I took Phenix's place on the battlefield, standing against my father. Thanks to an injury he sustained from his previous battle with North and Kavik, he couldn't see and I disguised my voice so he wouldn't know it was me. I didn't plan on fighting him for long before revealing myself, but I needed to see how strong I'd gotten since I left home, and no one else on this earth could have tested me as well as he could.
He stood at the ready, waiting for my first attack. He always did that, he said that if you let your opponent strike first you can parry their attack and catch them off guard. I knew his fighting style down to the last detail, for years he would drag me into the yard and force me to fight him, often times leaving bruises and cuts that would sometimes require pretty extensive medical treatment. Of course he didn't see it as a big deal, he said I was alive so why was I complaining? I have to admit, there may have been an element of anger in my motivation for fighting him.
I dashed at him quick as lightning. Since unlocking Majesty's potential my speed had drastically increased, it was a heady feeling. He heard my footsteps and swung his sword horizontally to attack me, keeping me from dodging left or right so I just jumped over it instead. In retrospect, ducking would've probably been safer, but it also would've been less cool, so that's a pretty fair trade-off.
I hit the ground and dashed behind him in the blink of an eye, striking him with a bolt of electricity. He shrugged it off and moved his foot, causing a pillar of grey stone to assault me from under the ground. I just barely managed to evade it but was knocked off balance by my clumsy dodge.
He turned around, far quicker than one would expect from a man of his size and weight, and slammed his weapon into the ground, just barely missing me. It would've been easy to blame that on his lack of sight but I had a hunch something else was going on. I pointed my blade at his head, or rather his upper torso since he was more than twice my size, and readied a charge of electrical energy.
"You knew." I said softly, letting my sword arm fall limply to my side. "For how long?"
"You think I wouldn't recognize my own daughter's scent?" The man scoffed. "You did quite well. I think that's the closest you've come to beating me! Granted, you did get some help."
"Nah, I would've floored you even without these guys softening you up." I said teasingly, despite that statement being blatantly untrue. I was miffed that he knew it was me all along, but despite that I was really happy to see him. It'd been too long. "I missed you, old man."
"I missed you too, princess." He dropped his weapon and embraced me in a bone crushing hug, lifting me up into his arms. I didn't resist, despite him not really knowing his own strength, it felt good to get a hug from him. Besides, I was used to him hurting me 'by accident'.
"How did you get free from Xaviera?" He asked as he put me back on the ground. "And why did that bitch kidnap you anyway?"
"It's a long story." I chuckled nervously. "Or... well, I really don't know why she wanted to kidnap me." I figured it would be best not to tell him that it was about him. Maybe that was the wrong decision, I don't know, but I knew him and I knew he would try to pick a fight with the other Commander if he knew, and that was exactly what we were trying to prevent. "I think it was just a misunderstanding. I went to jail and got released the night after, maybe they thought I'd escaped unlawfully."
"You went to jail?" Dad looked down at me and arched an eyebrow. "Why?"
"Um, hey dad! We should really get your eye looked at!" I said, cheerfully changing the subject and grabbing his big ol' hand to try and drag him. "I have a friend who can fix that up for you!"
"Nice try, princess." He took his hand back and patted me on the head somewhat condescendingly. "Now tell me what happened."
I looked down at the ground and blushed, feeling really embarrassed. I wasn't proud of what had happened, in fact I was quite humiliated by it, and I didn't want him of all people to know. Hell, I didn't want to tell anyone. But he was my dad, how could I not tell him?
"No." I said as I came to realize something. "Dad, I'm an adult. I don't need to tell you everything. It was a minor infraction, I was let go the night after and everything was taken care of, but it's my business and that doesn't automatically make it yours." I stared up at him intensely, despite knowing he couldn't actually see me. My legs were turning to jelly as I waited for his response. And when he finally did say something, after a couple torturous seconds of contemplation, he laughed.
"You've really grown, haven't you?" He said, beaming with joy. "Wow, after all these years you've finally gotten a backbone! I'm so proud of you, Lilac!" I honestly thought I had heard him wrong at first, it took me a second to register that he actually said that to me.
"Tha-thank you." I stuttered, holding back tears. I knew how much he disapproved of crying and I didn't want to ruin the moment.
"It's no problem, princess. You've earned it." Dad said sincerely, putting his big strong hands on my tiny frail shoulders. "You're in good hands, aren't you?"
"I really am." I nodded, biting my lip to stop the bawling from happening.
"Well then I'm gonna leave ya be. You don't need this old man hovering over you anymore, do ya?" He asked.
I shook my head and said "No, I don't."
"Well then..." He grinned wider than I'd ever seen before. "The next time we meet, we'll have a real, honest to god fight. What do you think of that?"
"I think you need to get your eye looked at." I said laughing, wiping tears from my face. I really didn't know how else to respond, I was both over the moon excited and brick shittingly scared by the idea but the fact that he'd say it at all to me was more than I could really wrap my head around after everything else that'd happened.
"You're right." He chuckled, dipping his fingers into the blood on his face. "But I don't need one of your sissy doctors, I'll get treatment from my own crew. I know I left 'em around here someplace." He began to wander off to find his comrades before turning back for a moment to say one last thing. "Oh, Lilac. When you talk to your blue friends again, tell 'em that I said that it was a fine fight."
"Will do, dad." I saluted instinctively.
"I love you, princess." He said cheerfully before heading back on his way.
"I love you too, dad." I said weakly. As soon as he was finally out of earshot, I fell to my knees and broke down crying.