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"I did once beg help from the Light, but it gave me nothing but despair, and pain."

She stroked the unconscious Elizabetha's hair with care.

"You should know to stay out of a fight...which isn't yours.

Blind as you are...twice."

- Lashela Alania.


Not Yet.


Her heart was beating, almost so loudly that she could hear it. It hurt. It was difficult to breathe. Her stomach was a searing pain due to the dagger she had received there, as was her side and her left arm. Her left lung had trouble functioning properly, and she had the taste of her own blood in her mouth. Voices were shouting, yelling all around her. She could sense the darkness that surrounded her, vaguely sensing the people around her, as well. A voice mocked her as she tried to lunge out at her.

"Miss, I'm over here." The chill in the woman's voice was almost as cold as the regret Elizabetha felt within.

They had taken Entriia.

Elizabetha focussed, ignoring the horrible pain, called upon the Light and cast it towards where she heard the mocking voice. It shined as it left her hand, and she could hear the woman cry out in surprise as its power hit her, sending her back and knocking her over. Nymph was not getting her soul. She was not going to die here. She was not going to experience the same as she had done in her nightmare. This was not her end!

Elizabetha was about to invoke more of the Light's power as she suddenly felt something hard hit her head, and a moment later someone knocked the feet away underneath her, and she fell to the ground. The pain only multiplied, and despair coursed through her. This was not her end! She had promised Entriia to help her!

Her strength was spent, and everything was a haze. In the distance she could hear the voice of the Faith - the dark presence, which had been so thick as soon as that woman had but entered the room.

Elizabetha coughed up blood. Breathing was so difficult now. Hearing was almost muffled, and she felt numb in some parts of her body, and terrible pain elsewhere.

"The Light judges you, Alania..." she said as the blood flowed down from the side of her mouth. "The Light judges you...and you..."

Silence.

She couldn't hear anything. She couldn't feel anything. Just like her nightmare.

She sighed deep within. Failure. She had failed.

The darkness began to fade away. The face of her sister came before her, smiling as she could remember it. Peaceful and full of love. Then it faded away, and a pleasant light began to shine, calling for her.

Hopelessness, failure and fear vaned as the light grew. A pleasant peace filled her as she felt herself being pulled by it. This wasn't the same light in her nightmare, and she smiled. She hadn't lost her soul.

Voices called to her. Figures were over yonder, waving to her. They were happy.

Mother. Father. Grandda. Grandmum. You are safe... You are at peace...

Their faces flashed closer briefly, and were once again far away, as Elizabetha was gracefully lifted towards them. Everything was beautiful. Everything was peaceful. No regrets. No pain. Just utter and pure peace.

Another light flashed. Another voice resounded around her, and she felt something take hold of her, and she stopped moving.

Slowly she turned her face, beholding the Light. It was holding her, but it was not by force. It was waiting. It flashed briefly, and she thought for a moment that it had great wings, a shining face.

The voice grew louder - it was praying.

Richeron...my love...

She sighed, and knew what he was trying to do. And then she remembered what she had been doing. Her promises. And she thought of those she'd have left behind. Sister would endure more pain. Entriia would be left to her fate. Richeron would lose the only woman that had ever returned his affection. Merwyn would lose a friend.

She eyed the figures of her kin that had passed away, and could sense their understanding.

Elizabetha was going back. She couldn't leave now.

I love you all, she thought in their direction. I'll see you all soon...but not now...not yet...

Understanding flowed between them, and she felt their love embrace her, just as the Light was just now. She thought she could hear their voices echo within her, telling her words they had spoken in life. They would wait for her. No pressure. No demands. They would wait. She was not alone.

Elizabetha smiled and allowed herself to be pulled back. Richeron's voice grew louder as the view of the beyond gradually faded.

Then all was darkness once more.


Inhale.

Pain.

Thump, thump.

Exhale.

So weak.

Thump, thump.

Inhale.

But alive.

Thump, thump.

Alive...

Exhale.

Richeron...

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