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Pearson Mary E, “The kiss of deception”, public translation into English from English More about this translation.

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“All? You will bury a whole company of men?” He laughed. The men with him laughed too. “Someone bring the princess a shovel,” he said. “Let her dig.”

I knelt in the middle of the field. My first duty was to bless the dead while their bodies were still warm. The tradition I had eschewed was now all that sustained me. I lifted my hands to the gods, but my songs flowed from that which was memorized to something new, utterances of another tongue, one that only the gods and the dead could understand, one wrung from blood and soul, truth and time. My voice rose, tossed, breathed, grieved, cut through the winds and then became part of them, braided with the words of a thousand years, a thousand tears, the valley filling not with my voice alone but with the lamentations of mothers, sisters, and daughters of times past. It was a remembrance that rent distant heaven and bleeding earth, a song of contempt and love, bitterness and mercy, a prayer not woven of sounds alone but of stars and dust and evermore.

“And so shall it be,” I finished, “for evermore.”

I opened my eyes, and all around me soldiers had paused from their duties, watching me. I rose and picked up the shovel and walked toward Walther first. Kaden stopped me before I reached his body. “Lia, death isn’t graceful or forgiving. You don’t want to remember him this way.”

“I’ll remember him exactly this way. I’ll remember them all. I will never forget.” I pulled my arm loose.

“I can’t help you. It’s treason to bury the enemy. It dishonors our own fallen.”

I walked away without answering and stepped around bodies and their severed parts until I found Walther. I dropped to my knees beside him and wiped his hair from his face. I closed his eyes and kissed his cheek, whispering my own prayer to him, wishing him happiness on his journey because now he would hold Greta again, and if the gods be merciful, cradle his unborn child. My lips lingered on his forehead trembling, unwilling to part from him, knowing it would be the last time my flesh touched his.

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