"She has no real place to call home."
Berandor's shoulders sag forward at that notion, and tears well up in his eyes.
"Perhaps, you are right. Though I would like to think she always has a home on my island, with me, I believe she wouldn't dare come back now, for fear of having failed.
I gave her my sword, not only as protection, but also as a sign that I was with her, always. I hope she understands that..."
Berandor is silent for a moment, gathering himself again.
He speaks again, strangely bereft of emotion, as if recounting a tale that has happened a long time ago, and far, far away.
"I don't know how much you know of me, so I will tell you the most important parts. When I was less experienced than I am now, I got turned over to the Side of Evil. In the subsequent struggles and pains, I lost my mind for a time. I called myself "Dark Clown", and I don't think I was easy to be around. Among other things, this is what I did."
He makes a sweeping gesture over the cauldron, and the water loses some of its brightness. Suddenly, images well up inside the bowl.
The scene shows a farmhouse interior. A young woman in a simple brown kimono sweeps the floor. Suddenly, the ricepaper wall to her right bursts open and a man steps through. He wears but green trousers, and his chest is bare. The skin is pale white. His hair is dark yellow, combed high above his forehead. In his white painted face, a single red tear is painted
on his right cheek. The man grins like a wolf among a herd of sheep.
He is easily recognaizable as Berandor, albeit in a different... what? "Incarnation" would be the correct term.
The man grabs the woman before she can flee, and throws her to the floor. He beats her up with the broom handle until it breaks, then he tears her clothes off.
He bows low and picks the bloodied, mangled form up, carrying her over to the bed. Afterwards, he violently rapes her... all the while grinning and laughing.
The scene ends, and the cauldron is filled with water once more. Berandor looks into the distance, not daring to meet Lady Diamond's eye. Tears run freely down his face now, and his eyes are red. His voice is broken.
"If it helps you to know, the woman died before ...it... was finished. I know it doesn't help me.
"When I was sane again, my guilt drove me to this place. I had to see if I could do something to soothe my mind, or to redeem my soul. The home was still there, neglected. The west wall showed the rip through which I entered and left. I dared not look inside.
"As I turned to leave, I heard a faint cry, like that of a child.
"I followd the sound... and found Mianaavri, lying in the bushes near the home. Somehow, I thought the gods had given me a second chance. I took her, and promised to see to her health, and her education as she grew up with me."
Berandor turns his head again to look at Lady Diamond.
"However, I later learned the whole truth. Even though the woman was dead at the moment of, or even before conception, a child grew within her body..."
He breaks off, not daring to go on, to say what must follow. His face sags down, and he kneads his hands. Suddenly, he forces it out.
"Mia is the daughter of a dead woman and the Dark Clown. I am not her father, and yet I am. His seed, as well as mine, are in her... and I fear the Clown could prevail - I fear for her, and for the world.
You spoke of the future. While I cannot see into the future with perfect clarity, I am able to see glimpses of possible developments.
Look, look what I have seen for Mia!"
He waves at the cauldron again, and it shows a picture. Afterwards, Berandor is silent. His eyes a closed, and he waits for Lady Diamond's reaction; be it laughter, running away, or outright killing him.
The picture of Mianaavri is thus: