“Roy mustang I would like to personally promote you to the rank of colonel in honor of your exemplary work in the Ishvalan war. Amestris thanks you for your service.” The Furher stood before Roy as well as a few other men, standing in flawless formation, side by side, maybe three inches from one another. They all stood with the same determined yet expressionless face. When King bradley turned away from them at last, Roy’s devastation finally shown through. He shouldn’t have been promoted for this, much less thanked. For all the people he had killed. How many countless innocent Ishvalans he was forced to scorch to a pile of cinders and ash. The smell of burning human flesh would never be erased from his memory. It was branded into his core like a searing metal prodder on livestock.
“Are there anyone special in you young men’s lives that you would like some time away to visit? Perhaps you have some family to alert of your return?” Bradley asked his olive colored eyes reflecting in the light of the setting sun that peered through the windows. It was then Roy almost lost it. Feeling his knees buckle, The now colonel stumbled, quickly collecting himself and resuming his stoic looking pose.
“Is something the matter Colonel Mustang?” The Furher turned to him, his eyepatch meeting Mustang’s eyes before his visible eye. For just a split second, he swore he could feel the king’s hidden eye glaring through the mesh, almost…burning him.
He shook his head in defeat. Uttering a simple “No sir.” before the rest of the group was dismissed.
“Mustang I wish to speak to you personally for a moment.” he asked with a polite smile, though the aged man clearly looked as though there was no real purity left in him. Surely a man in the military that long had seen such hells as Roy, and then some. The thoughts almost made Roy miss what his superior said next.
“The look in your eyes back there boy… Tell me. What are you hiding? You have someone…don’t you? Remember you have direct orders not to lie to me.” Bradley spoke in a stern yet monotone voice, his demand was clear enough, but how could Roy tell him. How could he tell anyone really?
“Not exactly” He spoke, taking a seat in front of the Furher’s desk. His raven hair slumping over his eyes, closed but still dull with grief.
“You see sir…. I left the woman I loved…To join the military…” His voice didn’t waver, though his expression did just a hint, his nose wrinkling for a moment.
Furher Bradley laced his fingers together and rested his chin on the connected hands.
“Tell me soldier, why would you do this? If you truly loved this woman why didn’t you just say by her side? Surely she misses you.” he pried, ever so skillfully. he was a crafty silver fox as some might say, he most definitely gave the intimidating vibe. Roy was nervous, as he should have been. No one knew the wrath of the Furher like they would in the future, but they all imagined it being awful.
Roy took a moment to think about what he would say next. Was the Furher testing him? What did he expect of him? he had just come back from a horrible war. Other than his pride and dignity what else did he really have to lose?
“I don’t even know if she’s still alive.” Roy told him. He wanted to think she was alive, but in a way that hurt even worse than thinking she was dead. If she was alive, he could guarantee she had found someone else by now. Had someone holding her, kissing her, loving her in all the ways he used to.
Roy snapped back to reality when he heard the Furher cough loosely. Upon looking down, he realized his fists were clenched tightly. In the crease of his hands where his fingers curled against his skin, his nails had dug down enough to draw blood a little.
“Who is this woman?” He asked with a fiend curiosity. “To see one of my most valuable soldiers so distressed, maybe the Military can return your service and find her for you.” He gave a small smile, his cheeks wrinkled against his lips, unfamiliar with the contortion.
Roy looked down, he felt his stomach churn in the most uncomfortable way. It were as if he had swallowed acid. It burned like bile rising in his throat.
Did he dare risk her safety? Did seeing her again really become so unbearable that he would put her life in danger? he just didn’t trust what Bradley’s response would be.
And so he lied. Giving a fake name, a fake address and a fake profile for the Fuhrer’s men to look for. When he exited the room, Roy let out a heavy sigh.
“Wherever you are Lotus….I hope you’re safe….”