Chapter Twenty One

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Clarke POV

I am so caught up in my own thoughts that I barely notice the rest of the day pass by. Before I know it, it is time for the execution. Lexa and I head back to the throne room and, unlike last time, we take our seats at the front of the room before everyone arrives. Lexa informs me that once everyone has entered, she will stand and stay a few words. She will then gesture to me and I will stand, do the deed and stand next to Lexa. All of this I already know from when I was supposed to execute Emerson. Lexa also informs me that if I feel faint again while we are standing at the end, to step off to the side where indra will be with a chair at the ready for me. I let her know that will not be nessecary but she insists anyway.

I must have zoned out again as soon as I sat down because the next thing I know, the room is full of people and Lexa looking at me with a look in her eyes that is telling me she is worried but cannot show it on her face. It is so miniscule that you wouldn't notice it if you didn't know Lexa as well as I do. I smile and give her a nod to begin the proceedings.

Lexa stands and speaks loud enough for all to hear but she is not shouting, trusting the volume of her voice. "We gather here today. As we have countless times before. Gon ai op hef wan op (to watch a man die). Wanheda?" Lexa looks to me and I stand. I feel my knees clank together and my heart begins to race. Lexa takes her favourite dagger out of its sheath and hands it to me. When I lock eyes with her, she can see the fear in my eyes and she tells me to wait for her to say something else before I do anything. I love how we can have a whole conversation without anyone else knowing and without a single sound.

Lexa turns to the people once more, letting go of the dagger and leaving its full weight in my hands. "I want to take a moment to honour the nerves of Wanheda. Wanheda. Commander of death. Her name is renowned within our people. Many believe that is because she has taken so many life of both guilty and innocent alike that she has begun to be the person who chooses who lives and who dies. Some think she got that name because she likes to kill. Some say that she commands death and in return death kills those she loves." I am shocked and embarrassed by this. I knew I gained the name Wanheda but I didn't know what that meant to the people. They think I'm a murderer. "All of those people are wrong. Clarke is Wanheda because, although she has taken many lives, she has saved just as many. She has managed to do all of this and escape death narrow grip many times. She has forced death to obey her wishes, her wishes for peace and health for her people. This all comes with a cost and Wanheda bears it so they don't have to. Wanheda is a name that should be praised for she commands death. She commands death by staring it straight in the face and saying 'go away. I have my people to save'. So now she falters. The mighty Wanheda is afraid to kill this man. Noone wants to kill someone, noone likes that. Wanheda is human too. But, Titus is guilty of crimes against Wanheda and for his actions deserves to die. He will die from the same wound that he tried to kill Clarke with. Stabbed in the stomach."

Lexa nods at me, to tell me that now is the time to use the knife she gave me. I smile in response, thanking her for her words.

I walk shakily up to Titus. He is skinny, very skinny. There is practically no meat on his bones. If he were not set to be executed today he would probably die within the next two days if we continue to starve him. But I know Lexa will not be happy if I give this man his life. Titus will die today and it must be by hand.

I fidget with the dagger until the feeling of it in my grip feels natural. I decide where I am to stab him so that he dies fastest. I am ready.

All of a sudden I feel a hand on top of mine on the dagger. Finn? And then there's another. Maia. More and more faces come into view, surrounding me until I can barely breath. Faces of the people I have killed. I feel as though I am about to drown in a sea of these people when Lexa's face shines through the smog. She smiles giving me confidence to do it. I take a deep breath and place the dagger in place. If I apply pressure now I will stab him and he will die. Ai laik Wanheda (I am Wanheda), I command death.

"Yu gonplei ste odon"

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