Chapter 7

Rose was never any more special than any other weapon of its time. It didn't fire faster or hit harder. Its power came from the hands that held it. Azzir was a gifted destroyer, a rare and mighty defender. And much like far older legends, his deeds and manner, his weapons and journeys have taken on lives of their own. So too, in time, will yours. I don't know that he ever reflected on his legacy. Truth told, I'd imagine he never considered his own death until after becoming the other—until after becoming Yor. I often wonder if he was aware of the monster he began, or whether even in that twisted, dark, nightmarish form, he still saw himself as the noble warrior—the defending knight giving all of himself to protect his crumbling castle. It's possible Vincent knows, though I would never ask him. There is still a soft spot there, a pained longing for the friend he'd lost.

My point is, sometimes we are forced to become "other" as we make our way along our individual roads. You, however, have been true to yourself at every turn. Always facing forward. Always accepting the burden of impossible odds. Not because of glory, but because of necessity. A thing needed doing that we may all live to see another day, and so you did. Time and again. Your legend already spreads. But what you do next, as you conquer Light and shadow, will set us all on our way toward a future where generations will be fueled by your righteous might.

You are the bloom that will serve as inspiration for the stories used to bolster the courage of countless heroes to come. You are all I, and untold others, could never be.

A beacon. A champion. A true and honored Guardian.