Type: Original Stories
Series: Wolf Heart
Preceding: The Plains of Unrest
|Preceded by: |
The Plains of Unrest
|Lunar Eclipse||Succeeded by: |
Trust is a valuble thing
No matter if it's between friends, frenemies.
Or total strangers.
But the thing about trust?
It takes years to build up between friends
It takes seconds to destroy.
Just like how it takes years for the sun and the moon to run it's course.
And seconds for something to go wrong.
"So, what do you think?"
Two people were standing in a dark place, the only visible light was the light from a torch, held by a middle-aged man, and he was facing a man that looked a little bit older then him, but gave off a strong aura of energy, compared to the other man.
"What do I think?" The older man asked in eerie curiousity.
The younger man rolled his eyes, "I've been stuck here for a while, and you ordered me to find out a way out of here for you, which I obeyed and did, and I want to know what you think." He said in an annoyed tone.
"I think it is flawed, at best." The older man scowled, and the younger man looked shocked.
"Why do you say that?!" The younger man asked harshly.
"Garaos, you know as well as I do, Yuna would be watchful that day, she'd employ the help of her old friend, miss 'I rule the shadows', in the flesh," he said flatly, not impressed, "As much as she's playful and likes to fight with everybody, she's on Yuna's side, making her our enemy, and she's not very happy with you either, with that stunt you pulled way back when."
Garaos just stared, and said quickly, "Sorry, Solaris, but, what could she possibly do, I thought her power was depleted from the shock of Tharas's death, and Orias's change of his whole self, she cared deeply for both of them, and the last of her strength left her after seeing Tharas die and Orias suffer like he did."
Solaris smiled eeriely, and murmured, "Oh, you know just as well as I do what she plans to do, which may end up trapping us in here for a little while longer, for her friend's power isn't unlike Tharas's, in fact..." His voice was lowered to a whisper, "When he was still alive, those two were inseperable."
"By the way, she really really hates you, and is prepared to make you fall for good, for what you did to Tharas, thought I should repeat that, that hate will give her that old strength back, just to make sure you pay, I would not underestimate her, Garaos, and the power vengance gives others." Solaris pointed out, smiling darkly.
Garaos's eyes flashed at Solaris's words, and looked down at the darkness below him, his eyes flashing in a hidden regret.
Anima stood at the top of the Mountain of Fates, staring up at the slowly reddening moon, with a grim look on her face, she had her arms crossed.
"I can't believe this..." A voice murmured behind her.
She turned to look at Flynn, who stared up at the moon also, she turned to look at the moon again, and said flatly, "Better start believing it, Flynn, we're running out of time."
"How much time do we have left?" Flynn asked quietly.
Anima stared at the moon, and said in frustration, "Very little, ugh, there has to be a way to stop this!"
She turned back to look at Flynn, who looked lost, and he said quietly, "I don't know, maybe she will be alert to it?"
Anima scoffed, and said flatly, "The old gods, heh, she won't be alert, I know it, not this time around."
Flynn frowned, and said nothing, she turned back to him, and said quietly, "Sorry, I don't mean to sound pessimistic, you're nervous enough as it is."
He smiled, and said, "Not like you to say sorry, Anima, and also not like you to give up hope."
Anima smiled also, and said to herself, "Isn't that just like you..." She laughed, and asked, "Remember when I accidently called myself a hypocrite?"
Flynn nodded, "Yeah, why?" He asked.
Anima looked at the moon again, and said quietly, "Let's hope, for everyone's sake, that I am a hypocrite..."
Flynn just stared up at the moon also, which was slowly getting darker in colour each passing day. Anima thought quietly, I can't tell you what's going on, not yet, I'm being plagued by nightmares, it's obvious you're not, I need to figure out where this inconvenience is coming from first.
The Lunar Eclipse, where the moon takes on a reddish glow, quite ominiscent to the moon during one of the dark days, quite, maybe it's the same moon.
Solaris and Yuna, two very different gods, one light, one dark, but I'm guessing you're assuming that Solaris is the light, and Yuna is the dark? I'd tell you close, but while Yuna's powers are calming, with no dark and sinister intent to them, Solaris is different.
At least, the two eclipses affect both of these gods, obviously, the solar eclipse affects Solaris's power, while the Lunar Eclipse, affects Yuna, the moon god.
Interesting though, the Lunar Eclipse...
The nights of walking
and the days of dreaming
All have their bad parts.
Lillian was following the path, where signs pointed in every direction, she murmured, "Please let the path not be blocked, please let the path not be blocked."
Markus joked, "No matter how much you please and beg, I doubt a Fate lies, that path, it's going to be certainly blocked." Lillian turned to glower at him, and he added nervously, "But, you know, good reason to hope though..."
Lillian sighed, and said quietly, "You're right, I doubt any of them lie about anything."
She looked back at her tired and travel worn group of friends, and she thought grimly, How long have we been travelling? How long have we been in this form? Lillian sighed, and continued walking, and only stopped when some guards headed towards them.
Lillian made a noise, and pushed all of her friends into the heather beside the path, and watched the guards pass with apprehensive looks.
When they had left their sight, they padded cautiously out of the bushes, and looked at each-other. Lillian muttered, "Come on, let's go."
They nodded, and followed her, they headed up the path, nearing Orskola, and soon came across the obstacle. Lillian thought, as she stared at the large heap of rocks, There must have been a landslide. She turned to her friends, and shrugged.
Markus walked up to the landslide, and stared up at it, and he said cooly, "Well, we could try climbing up it."
Aris stared up also, as if he was considering Markus's idea, but Erik and Lucan didn't seem so sure, and Lucan said flatly, "We could go around."
Markus turned to look at him, and made a face, and he asked jokingly, "Where's the fun in going around?" He flicked his tail, and started to climb onto the first rock without waiting for an answer.
Lillian muttered, "Hold on, Markus."
She jumped on the first rock too, and watched a couple of smaller rocks crumble down to the solid ground, and Lillian muttered, "It's unstable, so," she turned to Markus, and said pointedly, "Unless you want to slip and slide all the way down, I'm going around."
Lillian jumped off the rock, while Markus followed suit, Lucan and Erik followed quietly, with Aris tagging behind.
She froze, and looked up at the sky, the sun was shining, but she couldn't help but get a foreboding feeling, she flicked her tail, and continued padding forward.
They followed the path in tense silence, and Markus asked, "Why is everyone so awkwardly silent? What happened back there, Lillian, you seemed to get a lot more then we did..."
Lillian looked back at her group of her friends, who were staring at her, she said, "The lunar eclipse is coming," They just stared at each-other, confused, she made a face, and said, "Think of the old gods." She continued to walk.
She stopped at a sign that read Orskola. and felt a shiver run through her. This is where Matthew was killed in the big battle...
Lillian walked forward hesitantly, as if the land she was about to walk on was sacred, and shouldn't be tread on lightly. Orskola was a huge city, but now it was spread out, and not many people, the battle was still fresh in both kingdoms minds.
Markus saw her hesitation, and he said gently, "We can always take another path."
Lillian sighed, then looked up, determined to go forward, and she said, "No, I can go." She padded forward without hesitation.
The first building they saw was abandoned, and ruined. She shivered, and continued walking, she could tell Lucan was getting uncomfortable around this place, he seemed even more hesitant. Lillian looked around, and she muttered, "Must have been a bad battle."
"Right." Aris muttered guiltily.
They stopped by a ground, where there were grave stones, Lillian found herself walking towards it, and stared around it, the grass seemed even more alive than around the town, the wind blew the grass around, it looked peaceful.
Lillian walked up to a gravestone, and saw Matthew's name, she looked down, and sighed. She turned back, where her friends were watching cautiously, she pushed past them, looking down at the ground. Matthew died in the battle... Lillian thought grimly.
She heard pawsteps behind her, but they were stopped, and she heard Erik mutter, "She needs time to herself, we'll meet up with her later."
Lillian was grateful for Erik, and continued on alone.
She stopped when she caught a strange scent, she looked up, there were two humans walking toward her, deep in conversation, but she couldn't recognize them from this distance.
One of them hurried forward, it was a women, and her earth brown hair was tied up in a ponytail, and she had deep mossy green eyes. She didn't see Lillian as she hurried past. But the other one held back, walking more slowly, looking almost thoughtful.
He was wearing a hat, so she couldn't really tell what he looked like, as he was looking down at the ground, but he looked very tired, but there was no mistaking those stormy grey eyes, and Lillian hissed, "Collin!"
Collin stopped, and looked around, and Lillian growled, "Over here!"
Collin finally looked where she was, and he asked excitedly, "Whoa, what are you doing here?"
"I could ask you the same thing," Lillian stood up fully, she thought, The girl with him must have been Anima... and she asked, "What are you doing here?"
"Oh, Anima wanted to talk to me, or question me really," he laughed arily, but it didn't sound like he was really laughing, and he said quickly, "Anyways, funny running into you here!"
Lillian just stared at him, and thought, He doesn't look just tired, he looks exhausted... Collin just stared at her also, and asked, "What?"
"You look tired." Lillian said flatly, and stared up at him.
Collin smiled nervously, "Do I? Oh, I haven't been getting much sleep lately, same as Anima, maybe that's why she wanted to talk to me I guess." He muttered.
Lillian muttered, "If you don't mind me being curious..."
Collin must have known what she was going to ask, because he said quickly, "Oh, it's nothing really, Anima told me she's been having like, really intense bad dreams, and I guess at some point she told Flynn, but I don't think he could have done anything."
"What's your reason?" Lillian asked pointedly.
Collin went silent at that question, and said quickly, "Oh, nothing, just not getting any sleep, guess I'm not tired these days..."
Lillian flicked her tail, and stared at him disbelievingly, and she muttered, "The way you're talking doesn't agree with you, you sound like you haven't gotten any sleep in days," she tipped her head, and asked, "Are you getting bad dreams too?"
Collin made a face, and didn't answer her question, and muttered flatly, "I need to go, Anima will wonder where I went." He quickly walked away. Lillian made a face, and just watched him hurry away.
"That was weird, especially for Collin." Lillian muttered.
She started walking around the near abandoned city once more, and she thought, It's odd... Collin and Anima are having bad dreams, while Flynn, and most likely Vortex, aren't having bad dreams, and I haven't tried sleeping yet, but I'm okay... What's going on? Are those two getting bad dreams from the eclipse?
Lillian jumped when she heard her name called. She turned around to see her friends catching upto her, and Markus asked curiously, "You okay?"
Lillian hesitated, still thinking about Collin and Anima, and said, "Yeah..." She looked at the sky, and continued, "I'm fine..."
"What's wrong?" Erik asked curiously.
She continued to stare up at the sky, and she said, "Next time we rest and sleep, I want you guys to be wary, and tell me if you have dreams, particularly bad ones." She turned to look at them, and they stared at her, then nodded.
They continued walking. But she stopped when her vision started to get blurry, she raised her tail, and everyone stopped, and she thought, Collin! Answer me! She frowned when there was no answer. Lillian turned to look at her friends, and shrugged.
Lillian continued walking, feeling a bit disoriented, but ignored it, and soon they chose a tree overhang outside the city, and she sighed, "I'm glad to be out of there."
Lucan agreed silently, and curled up, quickly falling asleep, she thought, Looks like he's not going to have problems.
As her friends went to sleep, she looked at the darkened sky, the moon was slowly going into the eclipse, she thought, How long do we have, until the full eclipse?
Lillian finally decided to sleep, unsure of what would happen.
She opened her eyes sharply, and realised she was in the dream world, or the lower spirit world, she couldn't tell, but it seemed a lot darker, a lot more menacing, even the light from the glowing mushrooms wasn't doing much, and even the mist wasn't even shedding light.
"What?" She looked around, and stood up, she held her head, getting a sudden head-ache, and looked around, and she thought, This isn't even... I am getting a creepy feeling, but nothing intense like...
Lillian froze suddenly, seeing a shadow move within the bushes, she widened her eyes. She backed up slowly, but the shadow seemed to follow her movements, she took out her dagger, and stared at it, while it stared back, in an almost interested gaze.
"What are you?" She asked carefully.
It narrowed it's eyes, and started moving towards her, she backed away a little bit, and clutched the dagger.
Then she noticed another shadow sneaking behind the shadow, it looked human, but she could barely see what it was. But she couldn't miss the sword in the darkness, it was thrust downward onto the shadow, and it disappeared, Lillian sighed, and said, "Thanks!"
"No problem." Said a familiar voice.
"Flynn?" Lillian asked.
He nodded, coming out of the shadows, he did look tired, but not like Anima and Collin, and he asked jokingly, "Why is it that shadows and spirits seem attracted to you when there's a problem?"
Lillian wanted to answer, but instead sat down, and muttered, "No idea. How did you know I was here?"
Flynn sat down also, looking thoughtful, and said, "I was already here, but I knew you were here because of Collin and Anima. Their bad dreams are unnatural, and really draining them."
"Draining them of what? Power?" Lillian said hopefully, fearing of what else the bad dreams were draining them of.
Flynn frowned and said, "Yes, but... There's something else..."
"So you're not being plagued by intense bad dreams?" Lillian asked.
Flynn shook his head, "No, I've been trying to figure out what's causing the bad dreams, and so far, I haven't had much luck." He said quietly.
Lillian asked, "Want to hear my theory?"
Flynn looked at her, and nodded, and she said, "Maybe it has something to do with the Lunar Eclipse."
Flynn looked thoughtful, and said, "I wonder..." He asked, "You know how we came to be Fates right?"
Lillian said, "Only a bit."
Flynn smiled, and said, "Anima and Collin were the first two Garaos chose, and believe it or not, both Anima and Collin understood him best, which is bad, his power over them..." He faltered.
Lillian asked, "What about you and Vortex?"
Flynn said calmly, "Anima is the reason I'm alive, and Garaos lost the connection after a while, mostly because Anima was starting to see Garaos in a different light, while Vortex had no connection to Garaos, me and Anima made sure of that."
"So, because of the connection Garaos still has with Anima and Collin, something is... Haunting their dreams?" Lillian asked.
Flynn nodded, "Worse though, something is creating bad dreams from their worst fears, I don't know what they're seeing, but I know it's bad." He muttered quietly.
"I can tell Collin is avoiding sleep, but Anima, she seems in more health than Collin..." Lillian muttered.
"Because Anima is able to fight whatever is in those dreams, Collin is a bit different. He has fought them already, and well, they just got worse, where Anima, when she starts to fight back, they let up." Flynn said quietly.
Lillian looked confused, and Flynn muttered, "I don't know what that something is, but they fear Collin and Anima, but why they let up when it's Anima, I don't know..."
"What would happen if Collin avoided the dreams?" Lillian asked.
Flynn frowned, and said quietly, "I'm not sure, whatever is causing those dreams is pretty stubborn, I doubt it'd give up."
Lillian's head-ache persisted, and she said, "I keep getting a head-ache."
Flynn looked around, and said, "You're not affected by bad dreams, but you're definately feeling the effects from your link with Collin."
Lillian said quietly, "I thought..."
Flynn continued, "This is your dream world Lillian, it changes to what's in your mind. The Lower Spirit world looks normal with the odd darkness and shadow, but where we are, this is your mind, Lillian." He looked around again at the never ending darkness.
Lillian looked around also, and frowned, "Collin, when I talked to him, he seemed intent on avoiding the subject."
Flynn rolled his eyes, and said calmly, "He's stubborn too, he's probably doing it so you don't start having the dreams him and Anima are having."
Lillian asked, "What about Anima?"
"She's been reacting the same as Collin, after she told me, she wanted to avoid the subject, and when I furthur questioned her, she would just ignore me and continue talking about something else." Flynn said calmly.
"Have they always been like that?" Lillian asked.
Flynn nodded, "Yeah, stubborn, thinking that they can solve whatever problems they have on their own, maybe they could in the past, but not this time, this is a bit different." He muttered.
"How?" Lillian asked.
Flynn didn't say anything, then sighed, "Because even I don't know what it is that's causing these bad dreams, and both Anima and Collin know it."
Lillian just went silent, and said, "If Anima fights back, while Collin tries to avoid it, both outcomes can be bad," she hesitated, then added, "Anima can't fight back forever, while Collin can't avoid it without suffering the consequences of not going to sleep."
Flynn nodded quietly, then she added, "Do you know what would happen if Collin went too long without sleep and if Anima fought back for too long?"
"You don't want to know what I think might happen in the worse case scenario," Flynn pointed out, then added, "Best case scenario, that I think, Collin goes to sleep, and is able to fight back, but not for long, where Anima will just get tired and endure the dreams for as long as possible."
Lillian looked up when the dream started to shiver, instead of shimmering away, which gave her a creepy feeling, and she said, "When you say this is my dream world, this isn't what it was back a while ago, it was a lot more sunny and open."
Flynn looked up also, and said, "What I think is happening, being in your waking form is changing your mind," he hesitated, then added, "Not like you changed your mind of turning back human, I mean, I don't know how long until wolfish tendancies start happening."
Lillian only stared as the dream started to shiver more, and Flynn disappeared as the dream world shifted, and turned into a world of darkness, she frowned. So, I'm running out of time, if my mind goes to the wolves, I might not be able to turn human, but, how much time do I have?
She jumped when there was a flash of light, and soon found herself awake, the sky was pale from the dawn, and she wondered, Maybe this Lunar Eclipse, has something to do with it?
Lillian looked at her friends, and thought, Are their minds going to the wolves too? Even Erik seems different, Markus is getting weirder and more... I don't know, we need to turn human before something else happens. She stood up and left the overhang, staring up at the sky.
She narrowed her eyes in resolve, and muttered determinedly, "I'm not going to stay this way."
Lillian returned to her friends, and roused them from sleep, they all lined outside the overhang, staring at Lillian confused, she flicked her tail, and said, "We don't have much time left."
"Left for what?" Aris asked.
Lillian turned to him, and said quietly, "I don't know about you, but my still human mind is slowly... Turning into a wolf's mind, and I don't have much time before I lose all rational thought of a human's."
Markus looked shocked, while Lucan looked concerned, she said, "That's why we need to get moving, before that happens, but do any of you where there is another path to the moutains?"
Everyone lowered the heads, except Markus, who muttered, "We both know where one is Lillian."
Lillian widened her eyes, and stared at him, and asked, "Not...?"
Markus nodded, and said, "It's real, it's a straight path to the mountain, never guarded, never travelled since the time of the old gods," he turned to the others, "This path, connected this town to the whole of the kingdom, until the great fire that ravaged that land, and cursed it, there's not a single living thing there."
Lillian muttered, "Jyris."
Markus nodded, and Lillian shivered, Erik asked, "What's so bad about it?"
Lillian frowned, and widened her eyes when she got a crazy thought, and everyone turned to stare at her, and she thought, I wonder... Collin? Flynn? Can you hear me?
Collin didn't answer, but Flynn did, and he asked, What?
Can you do everyone, including yourself, a favour? she asked.
Sure? What? Flynn asked.
First, be watchful of the dreams Collin and Anima are getting, and keep pestering them until they exactly tell you what they are. Second I have a crazy idea, I think I have a faint idea of where these dreams are coming from. But it's far-fetched. Lillian said nervously.
Flynn didn't answer, but she knew he listened, and she turned to Markus, and said quietly, "The tunnels then, that goes from Warway, right to Silete, then the path, then Jyris, then the mountain."
Markus nodded, and Lillian started to walk, the tunnels that spanned most of Graelach and some of Ishari were as old as time, many of the entrances were caved in, except two. The very two that were dizzying mazes, that drove people crazy in the stories.
Lillian sighed, and said, "There's something about the caves you need to know, these aren't like the caves in Nixsan," she continued, "They're cursed, yes, but they've been so for as long as time, people who've been through them went crazy."
"Well, we're already nuts, we're good." Markus joked.
Lillian smiled, and nodded, "Yeah, I don't think it'll affect us badly, but let's hope that we stay the way we are, until we reach Jyris." She muttered.
"What can you tell us about the Great Fire?" Lucan asked curiously.
Markus muttered, "All everyone knows is that it was big and devastating, many people died, but how it was caused, no one knows."
Everyone went silent at that, and Lillian thought, Caused by something no one knows...
Soon it became forested, and there was lakes and rivers around. They were near the border of Graelach, Lillian shivered, the painful memory of her father looking defeated, and being unable to really go home and face him still haunted her.
Markus looked at her, and he asked, "Need some time before we go?"
Lillian hesitated, then looked skywards, and she asked, "Do you think we have that time?"
Markus said nothing, and he walked around, looking for the old tunnel entrance, while everyone else sat down.
Lillian looked downwards, flicking her tail in nervousy, the tunnels legends starting to unnerve her already, Markus looked back, and said, "Found one!"
They all looked down at the neverending darkness, and Erik pointed out, "Gee, maybe people go crazy because they can't see?"
Markus murmured jokingly, "That's one theory."
"Overactive imaginations." Aris grunted.
Lillian only gazed into the darkness, she flicked her tail nervously, the darkness was natural, but something dark was lurking in the darkness. She growled, "Let's hurry up before I change my mind, please."
Lucan and Markus nodded, and they jumped in first, and she called, "We should stick together."
She jumped into the tunnel also, followed by Erik and Aris. She bumped into Markus, who growled, "There isn't enough space, come on guys, Aris you're squishing me into a wall."
"Sorry." Aris muttered.
Lillian flinched when someone stepped on her paw, and she snapped, "Hey, that's my paw."
But she narrowed her eyes when it was silent. "Hey guys?"
She didn't get an answer, she frowned, and blinked, trying to get adjusted to the darkness. But when she moved around, there was no one there.
"What." Lillian just stood there, and called, "Hey guys! Where'd you go?"
Lillian looked around, and flicked her tail. She sniffed the air, but couldn't smell anything except for the earth. She growled, and sat down.
I must have slipped or something... She thought, getting a scared feeling.
"So much for sticking together." Lillian mumbled and walked forward, only to walk face first into a wall.
She put her paws on her nose, laying down on the ground, and growled, "Ow!"
Lillian sighed, and thought, Okay, don't panic, just a dead end I turned to, I'll just go the other way.
She turned the other way, and was relieved to see that it wasn't a dead end, but she was still lost, these tunnels were different from the path in Nixsan.
So, you've lost yourself in the shadows, mortal? A quiet voice asked.
Lillian froze, and said cooly, "I make it a habit to not trust weird voices, miss."
The girl laughed, but unlike Nixsan's it wasn't cold, it was nice, and she said, I see you've had intrusions on your mind, don't worry, I don't exactly need a mortal's mind, I have the shadows myself.
"Okay, who are you?" Lillian asked carefully.
You'll learn in good time, mortal, I just need your help. The voice murmured.
Lillian raised an eye-brow, and muttered, "Last time someone told me that, I ended up nearly dying, and also getting crushed by rocks."
The voice laughed, I have no desire to hurt you or the ones you care about, you may even say no, but first, close your eyes, it's weird talking to you like this.
Lillian found herself complying to the request, and when she opened them, she was in a dark place, but it wasn't the lower spirit world, she looked around, and saw a person in front of her.
"Hello." Lillian said.
The woman smiled, and said calmly, "Hello, Lillian."
"How do you know my name?" Lillian asked, she took a closer look on the person, even though she looked young, her face was gaunt, and she looked like hadn't slept or had eaten in days, but the icy blue eyes were all too familiar to her. The same eyes of the dragon on Guagamela.
"I hear everything, my enemies don't know it, but I'm still around, still waiting, in the shadows." She hissed dangerously.
"Your enemies?" Lillian asked carefully.
"Yes, I'm sure you've heard of Solaris?" She asked calmly.
"A bit." Lillian muttered.
She smiled, "Soon, he's going to get what's coming to him." She growled.
"That seems a bit extreme." Lillian muttered.
"I've been to the lowest of the spirit worlds and back, I've seen the ones I care about die and suffer, and there was nothing I could do about it, if you assume I haven't seen the extreme, then you're about to get a nasty shock." She growled.
"Okay, so who are you, if you don't mind me asking." Lillian growled.
The woman smiled, and said, "I'm the shadows around you, back when I was in full strength, you couldn't say anything without me hearing it, unintentionally."
Lillian stared at her, and she said calmly, "But you can just call me Leilas."
"Okay, Leilas, old gods seem to like me too much, if you get what I mean, they either want to kill me or kill me sympathetically." Lillian said, and grimaced.
"It's in our nature to be... Not nice, but I'm not intent on hurting you, I want your help." Leilas said, her eyes blazing.
"How can I help you, I'm kind of stuck here." Lillian growled.
"I can help you, in two ways." Leilas said quietly.
Lillian raised an eyebrow as she continued, "I'm sure you've heard how the two Fates are having bad dreams? I know where they're coming from," she narrowed her eyes, "Think of these dreams as a sickness, that's how he's designed them to be, and if left alone, they'll soon become permanent."
"Who, Solaris?" Lillian asked carefully.
Leilas nodded, and stood up, "You can say no, but the second way I could help you, I could guide you out of these tunnels."
Lillian and Leilas stared at each-other, and Leilas said, "Those are the ways I can help you, only if you agree to help me."
"But you're an old god aren't you, I'm just a mortal." Lillian growled.
"Are you? I've seen mortals fight, the strength they have within themselves is something we old gods never understood, that strength is all I need." Leilas said calmly.
Lillian stared at her for a long time, but the icy blue eyes had a hidden desperation in them, Lillian sighed, "Yes, as long as you promise not to hurt any of my friends."
Leilas smiled, "Great, then I'll tell you about these dreams the Fates are being plagued with, better yet..."
Lillian widened her eyes when it suddenly got dark. Leilas asked, "Why don't we visit the dream?"
Sometimes it's better to see things
for what they are
then what they aren't.
Lillian gasped, and she opened her eyes to see Leilas sitting a few feet beside her, and Leilas asked carefully, "So, what do you think of this place?"
Lillian rubbed her head, and looked around, and asked, "What do you mean?"
Leilas smiled, "How does this place make you feel?" She asked.
Lillian frowned, staring around at the place, it was a bit like the lower spirit world, but the energy was different, hidden evil. Instead of restless. The darkness casted long shadows on the grass. Leilas smiled, "Welcome to the Farlands mortal, like the lower spirit world, we can get to the dream from here." She said calmly
She stared at Leilas, and said in a rasp, "The Farlands? But everyone says that the Farlands is a nice place, where spirits go."
"Unless you have unfinished business, or something deep inside yourself is troubling you," Leilas said calmly, standing up, "I think it's better we hurry along, if you see what you are seeing, you are in danger."
Lillian stood up and followed.
Leilas explained, "What I see is pretty normal I guess, calm winds, a little bit of light in the sky, it's nice, in a weird way, but some people see it like you are seeing it right now."
Lillian just looked on, and Leilas continued, "The Farlands, the lower spirit world, and the dream world, are all connected, and sometimes the same thing, it's never a stable thing, the middle ground, the mortal world, is the most volatile and dangerous."
Lillian stared at her, and Leilas asked curiously, "Can't you see it?"
Lillian looked around, and shook her head.
Leilas smiled, "Some people are unable to see from their soul, even some of the old gods didn't have that strength, it takes a certain something inside someone, to be able to see deep within them, and if there's something deep inside troubling you, it is nearly impossible, because you don't want to accept it," she hesitated, and continued, "It takes a strength of character, and understanding who you really are, the people who learned this, learned to really see, to the point where they don't need their eyes in the spirit and dream worlds. They listen and wait for the right moment."
Leilas smiled, "One of the Fates can do this, where a lot were unable too do it, even Solaris, and I believe they had this even before they became a Fate." She said calmly.
Lillian looked on, and said, "I remember, when I was in Ishari..."
Leilas smiled, "Only one Fate can truly do this."
Lillian looked at Leilas, and then nodded, and Leilas continued walking, toward the place where she indicated, and Lillian realised she started to fade.
"Hey!" Lillian gasped, and ran after her, and soon both of them were in darkness, Leilas looked around, and said, "We're in a dream, now remember, this type of dream, they don't have to be asleep, the dream is always there."
Leilas said calmly, "You don't know it, Lillian, but even if your mind became a wolf, it is your mind, you are in control, as long as you believe in it."
Lillian looked up at her, Leilas was looking around. Lillian said quietly, "I can tell we are standing on solid ground, but I can't see anything, like those tunnels."
"That's a very good example to describe these dreams, where you can't see light at the end of the tunnel, lost in the dark, in a way, you mortals are right, but there is no physical curse on the tunnels," Leilas said quickly, then asked, "How would you feel if you were stuck in a neverending tunnel?"
"Not very good." Lillian muttered.
Leilas seemed to smile, and took out a white sword, that somewhat shone through the unnatural darkness, the ground below them seemed dark, even though it was normal grass. But Lillian got a familiar feeling from the sword Leilas was holding.
Leilas grumbled, "I've been trying to help them, fighting off the negative spirits, or shades, whatever you want to call them, while they were awake. But it's not doing anything, they just seem to come back fiercer than ever," she laughed, but it was cold, and Lillian shivered as she continued, "He can try as hard as he likes, I'm not letting him get away this time."
"Did you fight, well, bad spirits back when you were at full power?" Lillian asked nervously.
Leilas frowned, and said flatly, "That's why me and Tharas most often worked together."
Okay, she doesn't want to talk about... Tharas. Lillian stared at her, as she stared angrily ahead.
Leilas blinked, and said, "Well, let's go!"
"Go where?" Lillian asked, looking around.
"Deeper into the dream of course." Leilas said quickly, and led Lillian deeper into the darkness.
Lillian looked around, and she asked, "I don't get it, why is this place so dark?"
Leilas stopped, and said, "That, I'm not quite sure, who knows what's in this darkness."
Lillian and Leilas stayed silent, staring into the unending darkness, Lillian jumped when Leilas pushed her, Lillian stumbled, and turned to face Leilas as her unnatural sword lit up the thing that attacked them as it sweeped by it. Leilas jumped back, smiling.
"I see." She sighed, and looked at the shade with a flat gaze.
Lillian realised the shade seemed a lot bigger than the darkness let on. I don't understand how Leilas can take that thing on her own. Lillian thought, starting to back away from the shade, as Leilas faced it, unfazed by it's size.
Her eyes flashed as the shade seemed to disappear, she watched the shadows carefully, an she smiled, and said, "Duck, Lillian!"
Lillian obeyed, an a rush of wind flew over her, Leilas held out her sword, and the shade ran right into her, Lillian expected Leilas to be hurt, but it seemed like she wanted the shade to come after her.
The shade seemed to shiver, and Lillian realised that the white sword had turned into something else that hurt the shade, something familiar, Leilas had blocked the shade's attack with a scythe, and the shade seemed to disappear.
Leilas laughed, standing up again, "It's not finished yet, Lillian, it might come back." She pointed out, as Lillian relaxed. Lillian stared at her as the white sword had returned, and she sighed, sitting back down.
Lillian asked, "Is something wrong?"
Leilas smiled, "Eh, nothing new, my power's are diminished, I don't have much fight left, that's why I need your help." She said quietly.
Lillian rolled her eyes, and said, "Every old god except Orias seems to have their powers diminished."
"That's impossible." Leilas whispered in a a strained voice.
Lillian stared at her, and her eyes were full of blue flames, "Orias can't have his powers diminished, because he's dead." She snarled in anger.
Lillian gaped at her in shock, and she sighed, "The Orias I knew at least, he's long gone, he may still be alive in a sense, I guess, but Garaos good as killed him."
Lillian stared at her, and felt a flash of pity as she continued, "I need your help, I want to have Garaos pay for what he's done, not just for Orias and Tharas, but for what he's done afterwards, even if he was under the influence of Solaris, I didn't think he'd be able to kill Tharas, especially Tharas, those two were like brothers."
"Revenge doesn't solve everything though." Lillian pointed out delicately.
"Well, maybe mortals have that view, but old gods, we're pretty much made to be pretty nasty when something goes against what little moral view we had, and the one who had the most of it was Orias, surprisingly, not that he ever got the chance to fight back." Leilas said in a funny voice.
Lillian stayed silent, and soon the dream started to shake, Lillian sat down also, and asked quickly, "What's going on?"
Leilas smiled darkly, "Solaris, in his really old age, is starting to get impatient." She muttered grimly.
Lillian stared around, and Leilas stood up, "Time to head deeper."
She followed Leilas, and asked, "Why are you telling me this stuff."
Leilas said quietly, "A friend once told me that knowledge was just as lethal as pure strength." She continued walking.
Lillian stayed silent, soon they stopped by a pond, and Lillian asked, "Is this a soul mirror?"
Leilas nodded, and Lillian looked with it, she saw her wolf self, but it seemed even more wild, it's eyes blazing with fire.
Lillian flinched, while Leilas stared down also, frowning. "Soul mirrors are complicated." She muttered quietly. Lillian took a deep breath, and stared down her own reflection in the mirror. Who seemed more wolf than human. She sat down beside the pool, which gave off more light around them.
Leilas seemed to be looking at it curiously, like she was watching something, she said, "Lillian, I can help you navigate the tunnels, but only yourself can find the exit."
Lillian grumbled, "How am I supposed to do that?"
Leilas said, "I suggest you take another look in the mirror."
Lillian huffingly complied, and stared down at her wolf self, which was staring angrily back up at her, and Leilas said, "The key is trusting in yourself, and not giving into your fear of never finding the way out."
Lillian stared at her reflection, and the image seemed to shimmer, and the wolf seeemed to have a less angry air, it only stared up at her in curiousity, and Leilas's eyes seemed to flash.
The soul mirror was starting to crack.
Lillian and Leilas jumped back in shock, Leilas's eyes widened, "I didn't know they could..."
"Break?" Lillian asked in a strained voice. There was a loud ringing in her ears, she covered them, and it seemed to block out the noise a little bit. There was a sudden flash of white, and someone was thrown out of the mirror, and pushed Lillian down.
"Ow, sorry." The person grunted.
Lillian blinked open her eyes, and realised it was Collin that had been thrown out of the mirror, and Leilas was nowhere to be found, she sat up, holding her head, and she asked, "Ow, how did that happen?"
Collin sat up also, and shook his head. He looked back at the soul mirror, looking confused. "I'm sorry, that wasn't supposed to happen..."
Lillian rubbed her head, and said, "It's not your fault."
Collin stood up, and looked around, Lillian tried to find Leilas, but she was no where to be found. Lillian muttered, "I think you shocked Leilas."
"Literally or metaphorically? And who is Leilas?" Collin asked curiously.
"Metaphorically," she stood up, wincing, and added, "And Leilas is an old god."
Collin looked around, and Lillian asked, "Is this not the dream you and Anima have been having?"
"Not exactly," he turned around on the spot, "It has the same... Feeling though, I can still hear... Things in the darkness." He murmured quietly.
Lillian looked around also, but everything was quiet, she couldn't see anything either, but Collin looked a bit confused at what he was seeing inside the darkness.
"I can't really hear or see anything, really. But I am getting a bad feeling about this place." Lillian said quickly.
Collin didn't answer her, he instead looked around very stiffly, as if he was expecting something to come out. Lillian asked, "So, will you tell me what these dreams are like now?"
Collin hesitated, and said, "They were kind of like this, except, the darkness was a lot thicker," he shivered. Lillian stared at the darkness, but still couldn't see anything. He continued, "I don't know, it felt like I'd never find the way out, like I was trapped."
"Never finding the way out..." Lillian echoed, widening her eyes at the darkness.
Hey... The tunnels! The tunnels! I think that's what Leilas meant, these dreams are like the tunnels, if I can find my way out of here, I can find my way out of the tunnels, but how... Leilas told me to trust what I see in my reflection... She thought quickly.
She felt herself pulled away from a sudden movement, and she looked around quickly. Collin sat down, looking a lot more defeated than Leilas had looked, Lillian asked, "Are you all right."
Collin looked around, and said, "I can't see anyway out..."
Lillian looked around again, and she growled, "There has to be a way out."
Collin looked up at her as she walked around the soul mirror, being watchful, she listened carefully, but only heard a faint ringing in her ears. She narrowed her eyes when something seemed to shift in the darkness, she faced it, and it seemed to disappear.
"We're going to find a way out of this place, Collin." Lillian muttered determinedly, while Collin stared at her. He stood up.
"Whatever you say." Collin murmured, Lillian had a feeling that at other times, he would have sounded sarcastic, but he sounded sincere instead.
Lillian led the way into the darkness, she couldn't hear anything, or see anything, but she knew that there was stuff there, she wondered, Where did Leilas go? She's very sneaky...
Lillian called, "Hey? Leilas?"
There was no answer, Collin asked, "Who's Leilas again?"
"Wow, your memory is really bad," Lillian smiled, and turned to him, but frowned when his gaze was flat, she said quietly, "Leilas is the old god of shadows."
Collin didn't say much as they continued walking, which Lillian thought was really odd. He's not usually this quiet, maybe the dream is still affecting him?
They continued walking, Lillian jumped when they came across another pond, but she was unsure if it was a soul mirror or a normal pond, and was about to go near it.
"No! Wait!" Collin called after her.
She stopped, turning to face him, and she asked, "What?"
"I wouldn't go near that." Collin said.
Lillian raised an eye-brow, but said nothing, the shadows seemed to be getting restless, and it was starting to terrify her.
Collin frowned, the water seemed calm and clear, but she knew that he could see things that she couldn't clearly see.
They decided to skirt around the edges of the pond. Lillian looked back at the pond, unsure.
Lillian felt like she was walking in circles, she growled, ad sat down, Collin watched as she snarled, "I can't believe this."
"What?" Collin sat down also.
"That I'm in this situation." Lillian growled, staring down at the shadowed grass, the shadows around her seemed to become agitated, or excited, she didn't know which, or if it made much difference.
Collin asked, "What do you mean?"
"I mean, the things I've seen, the things I've done. What was it all for? I mean, sure I absolutely hated the castle, it wasn't my life no matter how much it was nice, I wanted something different, but I didn't want this to happen." Lillian murmured.
Collin looked at her thoughtfully, and asked quietly, "So it was a nice life, but you didn't like it, even though others would love to have that life?"
Lillian nodded, and Collin smiled, "But you've made it this far, don't tell me you're having second thoughts." He said jokingly.
"I... I just don't know anymore..." Lillian sighed.
Collin crossed his arms, and said, "I can't remember much about when I was alive," he eyed Lillian, "As in, still fully human, but I do remember having to make a choice."
Lillian looked up at him, and he laughed, "You probably think I don't understand, but trust me, I do," he shrugged, "Sometimes you have to make choices that may seem hard, but what other way is there, if you're doing it for people you care about, then it's worth it."
Lillian stared straight ahead, So, the dire wolf, made the choice to defend her pups, even though she was facing armed humans, and Collin chose to defend his friends, even though his opposition was probably bigger and a lot more skilled than him, he didn't back down.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean..." Lillian murmured.
"It's fine, but you can't give up," Collin said, then his eyes flashed, "So, what are you going to do when you get out of this place?"
"The tunnels or this dream?" Lillian asked carefully.
"Whatever one." Collin said.
"I'm going to make sure my friends are all right. No more wondering how much time I have left, I just need to make sure we get there safely." Lillian growled. She glanced as the shadows seemed to form shapes.
Collin smiled, "Changed your goal from getting to the mountain as quickly as possible, to make sure you all get there in one piece?" He asked.
The shadows seemed to form even more, Lillian's eyes flashed, "Yes, that day, when I turned into a wolf, I chose to pull the sword out from it's hilt, it may have been instinct driving me, but I could have let the wolf get us." She stood up, facing the shadows.
She walked up to them, her vision blurry, "But it's over, I made that choice, I'm going to fix this, I'm going to fix my mistakes," she sighed, "I thought I hated the Fates, but that wasn't it, it was myself that I hated, for what I turned into, what I did to myself."
Lillian looked up to face the shadows, she was standing before a huge dire wolf, with blood red eyes, it's face pulled back to a snarl.
That's it. Leilas said quietly, new strength within her voice.
"There's no use anymore, there's no hiding from this, it's happening, and now, I need to fix this." She said to the shadows, it had stopped snarling, and seemed to disappear.
Lillian looked down at the ground, she turned back to Collin, who was also staring at the ground. He finally looked up, and said, "You're a good person, Lillian, don't think you're not."
"We're going to get out of here." Lillian said quietly, looking around.
Collin looked back up at her, "No, you're going to get out of here." He said quietly.
Lillian stared at him, he stood up, and said quietly, "I'm stuck here, remember?"
Lillian jumped when Leilas appeared, but she seemed like a projection, and Collin couldn't see her.
"It's time then." Leilas murmured.
Lillian's vision seemed to blur more, and soon there was darkness, she felt like she was falling through a neverending space, and then there was a flash of light, and she felt herself lose conciousness.
When Lillian woke up, she felt weird. She looked around, trying to see, but couldn't see anything. She rolled over, and stared at her paws.
Except they weren't paws, they were hands, she was wearing her hunting clothes, but they looked almost brand new.
"Ah, what the-?!" She gasped, a sudden pain in her head, she clutched at it, trying to stand up, but only stumbled around.
When the pain stopped, she sighed, and stood up, she heard Leilas mutter, And that is why the old gods are fascinated with the mortals, and the Fates.
"What was that?" Lillian asked, trying to feel her way through the darkness.
What is it? Well, I don't know, you know you're human again, that's for sure. Leilas said quietly, And chances are, so are your friends, who are lost in the tunnels.
"Well, did I do this?" Lillian looked down at her hands again.
Yes and no, I didn't take you out of that dream, Collin did. But there's a problem... Leilas murmured.
Lillian eyes widened, she sat back down against the cold rocky wall, and she murmured, "He couldn't have..."
Leilas didn't answer her, Lillian stood up quickly, and yelled, "Markus! Lucan?"
There was no answer, she could hear her own heart beat, but it seemed unnatural, she laughed, and whispered, "This is weird..."
She clutched at her sides, and murmured, "Collin, why though?" She sat down again, tears in her eyes.
Lillian heard something suddenly, she stood up again, and called, "Guys?"
She ran through the tunnel, and called, "Markus? Guys?"
"Ugh." She groaned, and continued running through the tunnels, completely lost. How Leilas thought going into the dream would help, she didn't understand.
She gasped when she ran into someone, very human and very alive.
"Who's that?" Lillian asked, squinting her eyes.
"Who's that?" A thick musical sounding accent asked back.
She squinted her eyes, but the person she ran into had their eyes closed as they rubbed their head, and she thought it was Flynn, but she asked quietly, "Lucan?"
Lucan blinked open his eyes, and asked, "Lillian?"
They stared at each-other for a full minute, until Lillian hugged him, and said, "Oh- I thought you guys were lost too, or worse."
"Um, we are, and-" He hesitated, then sighed, "Good to see you too, Lillian."
She let go of him, realising he couldn't breathe, and asked, "Where are the others?"
"I don't know, I guess I ran into something or blacked out, cause when I came too..." He faltered, then looked at his hands.
"It's weirding you out too, is it?" Lillian asked quietly.
Lucan nodded quietly.
Lillian sighed, "I don't know how we're going to find the others," she checked her backpack, and said in an annoyed tone, "I have nothing in here..."
Lucan was unnaturally quiet, and Lillian asked, "Did something happen?"
"Not really, or if something did, I don't remember." Lucan said quietly.
She sighed, then looked in her backpack again, she took out the wood torch, but she couldn't do much without the proper stuff.
Lucan also eyed the torch, he asked, "Do you have any cloth?"
"Hold on," she murmured, shuffling the contents, she pulled out a measly white cloth, and she murmured, "This is all I have."
Lucan frowned, and she put the white cloth and torch back in the bag. She stood up, and sighed, "Where should we go? This place is giving me the creeps."
"You tell me." Lucan laughed, and stood up also.
Lillian looked up at the stone ceiling, and she said, "Well, I've never been in here mysef, it's mostly forbidden." She turned around.
Lucan asked, "I realised that, but why is it that people think that this place is cursed, is there a reason behind it, just like in Ishari?"
She didn't answer him right away. Lillian was staring at the shadows, they seemed to move, and Lucan asked, "Lillian?"
Lillian sighed, "Because people have lost themselves within these tunnels, they may have found their way out, but they have never been the same again." She growled, eyeing the shadows.
Lucan turned to face in the direction that he had come from, and he said quietly, "It feels like we're going in circles, really."
Lillian frowned, still staring at the shadows. Then she said, "That's because we are," Lucan just stared at her, then looked up at the ceiling, Lillian sighed, "We've got to get out of here, fast."
Lucan nodded, and they finally took the wayLillian had walked, Lillian thought, Hopefully, I'll run into that hole in the wall again.
They walked for ages, feeling the walls as they went, Lillian gasped when she felt herself slip as her hand passed through nothingness.
She tumbled to the ground, Lucan following a bit more gracefully, and he asked, "You okay?"
Lillian nodded, standing up again with help from Lucan, and she said quietly, "I'm not used to this yet."
Lucan shrugged, and they both jumped when there was a high pitched whine coming from one of the tunnels, and they followed the sound.
"Kyrai, why'd you follow us?" Markus's soft voice asked.
More whining answered him, they soon stumbled into a dimly lit passage, where Markus was being hounded by a white wolf pup, who's eyes were watery.
"Markus, what-?" Lucan asked, Kyrai spotted them, and yelped, burrowing at Markus, fearful.
"Kyrai, it's okay, it's Lillian and Lucan." Markus said quietly.
"Kyrai, what's she doing here?!" Lillian gaped at him.
Markus looked back up at her, and said, "She followed us, apparently."
Kyrai made a noise that sounded like a snort, and looked up at Lucan, her eyes narrowed, then yelped happily, bouncing circles around the two.
"This is bad!" Lillian hissed at him.
"Don't need to tell me." Markus growled.
Kyrai barked in a sad tone, and flicked her tail.
Lillian sighed, brushing her hand through her hair, staring down at the wolf pup, even though Kyrai seemed a little bit older than the last time she saw them.
"Do you know where Erik and Aris are?" Lillian asked Markus.
"No idea," Markus said, then added, "I guess, we were walking, I fell, hit my head, blacked out, when I woke up, I was... Well," he looked down at himself, and said, "Kyrai found me to her great shock," he eyed the wolf pup sternly, "And my shock also."
Kyrai narrowed her eyes.
"We need to find a way out of here." Lillian growled, looking around quickly.
"No point, I checked everywhere," Markus sighed, looking at the lit passage, "You keep going and there's nothing." He murmured.
Lillian looked down the lit passageway, and she murmured, "If it's lit, that means we're close to something, and close to getting out of this place."
"Sounds hopeful, but none of us know the exits, only the entrences, and there is only two that aren't blocked." Markus grunted.
Lillian asked, "What if... There's only one entrance and one exit?"
Markus hesitated, his eyes widening, "That would mean, these tunnels, it's one straight path with tons of dead ends and circles."
"No wonder people go crazy, it makes my head hurt." Lillian sighed, holding her head.
"Really? It's actually simple to me," Markus muttered, eyeing Lillian, "Are you all right?"
Lillian only stared at him, unsure of what to say.
Both loyalty and friendship is dangerous.
Some people would go to the ends of the earth
For the people they care about.
"Just don't ask them too." Lillian read her book quietly, which she had found in her bag, sitting in the same dimly lit passage they found Markus. They all took turns looking for Aris and Erik, but with no luck. Kyrai was also staring at the book, but couldn't read it.
Lillian sighed, and went still when she started to get an odd feeling. Kyrai twitched her ears in curiousity, Lillian clutched at her chest, and frowned.
Kyrai barked, and Lillian continued to stare into the darkness, Lucan and Markus had both gone to search for their two missing friends.
She shuffled her feet so that she was standing up, while Kyrai was watching her in curiousity. Lillian growled, "Stay here, Kyrai."
The head-ache had returned, she grabbed Markus's sword, and headed into the darkness. Lillian sighed, standing in the darkness.
Lillian sat down against the rock wall, her eyes slowly closing from the head-ache and fatigue of travelling.
She soon found herself in her dream world, but like last time, it was dark, with an odd feeling coming from it. Lillian sighed, sitting down again, she growled at the grass, "What are you trying to tell me? Nothing changes!"
"Everything changes." Someone murmured.
She looked up, expecting Flynn or Collin, but it wasn't them, it was someone she couldn't recognize, but the person reminded her a lot of Collin.
He was sitting a bit away from her, and he said curiously, "Oh good, thought you were going to have a mental breakdown, that would have made me uncomfortable."
Lillian stared up at him, and asked, "Who are you?"
He smiled genuinely, and her eyes flashed in recognition. She asked, "Are you...?"
He looked at her curiously, and raised an eye-brow.
She gasped, "You're the dragon!"
He smiled, and said, "Well, yeah, I guess I am," he rubbed his head, "Well, not that I had a choice anyways, but it doesn't bug me, surprisingly, I've been given a time limit on how I can stay in this form, or, actually, this being, correct term for it."
Lillian just stared at him, "Being?"
He nodded. He asked curiously, "So you know me then? I don't remember you."
Lillian stared at him, shocked, he looked like Leilas did, with a gaunt face, like he never had any sleep, but eyes full of blue fire.
"Uh, what's wrong?" He asked curiously.
Lillian gasped, "Oh nothing, you just remind me of someone."
He blinked, and Lillian sighed, "You're Orias."
Orias nodded, "Yeah, that's my name." He muttered, still confused.
"Why do you look like this? Last time I saw you you were a really big dragon trying to kill me." Lillian flailed her arms, growling.
Orias looked thoughtful, and he asked, "Really? Interesting, I guess my memory is getting worse then, hope she hurries up, I want to have a good rest after all this is over, starting to wear me out." He muttered under his breath.
Lillian stared at him, and he laughed, "Well I should probably tell you why I'm here, before the poison seeps into your memory."
"Poison?!" Lillian gaped at him.
"It's nothing, really, don't worry about it," Orias waved his hand, and said, "I've got a message, from two people actually."
Orias stood up, and said calmly, "Leilas says you shouldn't waste anytime, Mister sunny personality himself is starting to get impatient, and it won't be long until the lunar eclipse finishes, and he gets his chance."
Lillian raised an eye-brow. Then he took something out of his pocket, "Strange, this is twice I've been dragged into something by people who needed something quite alike, young Collin literally kicked me right out of the dragon to get me to do this, I should thank him later."
Lillian listened as he said, "He says not to do anything stupid; that's his job, and to be careful," Orias hesitated, "And to give you this."
He threw the glittering object to her, and she grabbed it. She looked at it closely, and Orias said in an amused voice, "I've only seen that necklace once before, if I'm honest, must have been special to him, he almost hesitated, that, or he didn't trust me."
Lillian looked closely at the necklace. It was a perfectly carved dragon, with glowing red and blue eyes, Orias watched as she put it around her neck, and she said, "Why would he give me this?"
Orias shrugged, "I don't know, but he seemed desperate."
"Wait, he can't get out of the dream, can't we do something?" Lillian asked quietly.
Orias crossed his arms, and huffed, "Well, I'm afraid not, I've been in his situation for a long time now, can't wake someone up who's been forcefully put into the state, although, the reasons are different this time around."
He laughed, "But that's nothing really," he said, "Don't worry about him, he can take care of himself."
"How can you be so sure?" Lillian asked.
Orias smiled, and his eyes seemed to flash in sadness, "I knew someone who had a knack for getting herself in and out of trouble, never bothered her, never let anyone deter her either, she fought for what she believed in." He murmured.
Lillian stared back at the necklace, and he said, "My times up then."
She looked back up, and realised he was starting to disappear, and he said, "You should listen to Leilas, she knows what she's doing." He disappeared.
Lillian sat in silence, then looked back at the necklace, her dream was already starting to blur, the shadows slowly creeping on the clearing, and she woke up to voices.
"Hello! Wake up!"
She blinked open her eyes. Markus and Lucan were standing over her, Lillian asked sleepily, "Did you find Aris or Erik?"
"No sign of them, I'm afraid." Lucan muttered.
"We've got to keep looking!" Lillian growled, standing up quickly.
Markus and Lucan backed up, Lillian asked, "Is it my turn then?"
Markus nodded, but said, "Hey!" As she started to walk away, and he asked, "Shouldn't you bring someone with you?"
Lillian hesitated, then looked back at him, and she shrugged, "It doesn't matter to me, either way, we're lost in a straight line. We won't be able to find our way out without all of us." She replied gently.
Markus went silent, and she continued walking into the darkness, she didn't hear footsteps behind her, but she was too focused to notice.
She yelled, "Erik, Aris?"
There was no answer, she looked around, feeling the walls for branching paths. She gasped when her hand passed through open air, and regained her balance, and stared into the darkness. Lillian called, "Erik? Aris?"
There was no answer, but Lillian did feel a light breeze from ahead of the tunnel. She assumed that was where the entrance was, but she wasn't leaving without Erik and Aris. I'm not going to leave any of my friends behind. After, we'll still go to the mountain.
She decided to venture down the dark passage, she felt the rough rocky walls as she felt her way down into the darkness.
Lillian hesitated when she felt something within the darkness pulse, she brushed her hand across the rock wall. She was inches away from it, and she asked, "Who's there?"
There was no answer, Lillian continued on, growing a lot more nervous the longer she went, she finally called, "Anybody?!"
"Lillian?" A quiet voice whispered.
"Erik?" She asked.
He came out of the darkness, Lillian narrowed her eyes, trying to adjust to the light, and she asked, "Where's Aris?"
"We all got seperated." Erik murmured.
Lillian stared at him, and realized he looked like he just saw a ghost, or woke up from a nightmare, and she asked carefully, "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine, it's just..." Erik looked at her, and asked, "Did you have any weird dreams that reminded you of anything when we got seperated, did you pass out?"
Lillian stared at him, and she said quietly, "Not a dream, per say, more of an... Encounter?" She mused.
"Did it remind you of anything though?" Erik asked.
"No-" she stopped herself, the appearance of Leilas, going into Collin's dream, meeting Orias, it reminded her of a lot of things, but it was too foggy to piece it together.
Erik sighed, "I see, there's nothing here in these tunnels, they're just empty, I guess people went crazy cause of their own minds, what their minds and imaginations were projecting onto the shadows." He murmured thoughtfully.
Lillian stared at him, and he asked, "Is something the matter?"
"The danger was their own minds, the danger they only ever had was themselves." Lillian murmured.
Erik looked at her, confused, and she looked on thoughtfully, "I wonder, what is he planning?" She murmured, looking up at the roof.
The danger was their own minds, they were only ever a danger to themselves... Lillian thought, then looked around the darkness, it reminded her or something. Except she couldn't place it.
Collin is trying to warn me about something, but what? What is it? Lillian looked around, feeling like she was being oblivious to something obvious, but she just wasn't sure. She just couldn't remember.
Erik was oblivious to her thoughts, and he asked curiously, "You want to know what these tunnels remind me of?"
Lillian murmured, "What?"
"I mean, just the tunnel parts, the Path of Echoes, in Nixsan, I mean, there's nothing here, but sometimes, you feel something very evil in here." Erik murmured, looking at the rock wall.
Lillian stared at him, shocked, and she murmured, "We have to get out of here..." Erik looked at her, and he gasped when she dragged him up to the dimly lit passageway, and they were joined by Markus and Lucan. Markus greeted them.
"Hello!" He chipped.
Lillian smiled, and then turned to Lucan, and she murmured, "This is important."
Markus and Erik looked at her, then looked at Lucan. She asked, "After you passed out, did you see anything?"
Lucan looked at her thoughtfully, then nodded slowly.
"What did you see?" Lillian pushed on, fearing the answer.
Lucan looked at her, then said calmly, "Well, I wasn't sure what I was seeing at first, but I certainly knew where I was."
"Where?" Lillian asked.
"My home, but it seemed different, off," he murmured, and continued, "Like, something wasn't right, I mean, the place was always had that odd feeling to it, but this time, it was like ten times worse, I thought it was a memory, but..."
Markus asked, "But what?"
"It was a memory, just not my memory." Lucan murmured.
Everyone gaped at him, even Kyrai was listening intently.
"Do you know who's?" Lillian asked quietly.
Lucan looked at her, then said quietly, "Well first, I could tell it wasn't my memory, because the old castle, it was still standing," he sighed, and continued, "And for some reason, I felt weird, like I wasn't really there, and it was really dark."
Everyone went silent, and Lucan asked, "Why?"
"We need to find Aris and get out of here." Lillian growled, turning back down to the dark passageway.
"What's wrong?" Markus asked curiously.
Please don't be trying to say what I think you're saying Collin... Lillian thought, and she turned to Erik, "Can you find Aris?" She asked quickly.
"I can try." Erik muttered quietly.
"Good, after we find him, we look for an exit, I don't care if we end up in Jyris or somewhere else entirely, we need to get out of this place." Lillian huffed.
Markus and Lucan looked super confused, but Lillian thought, I'll tell them when we reach the surface, not now though...
They waited for Erik, it felt like hours before he came back, but Aris was still not with him. Markus asked, "Couldn't find him?"
Erik shook his head. Lillian started getting nervous, she whispered, "I-We need to hurry."
Markus and Lucan nodded. Erik said calmly, "We should try and rest for a little while."
Lillian nodded, and wandered a couple inches away from the light, and leaned against the wall. She drifted off into a sleep, and finally found herself in the clearing, with Leilas sitting across from her, staring up at the sky.
"Something's bothering you, Lillian." Leilas looked down, she looked even more tired.
"How can you tell?" Lillian asked.
Leilas smiled, "I'm the old god of shadows, of hidden knowledge, of the mind," she laughed, "Yes, I can hear what you're thinking."
Lillian tipped her head, and she asked, "What about Orias? What was he the old god of?"
Leilas laughed, "Oh jeez, sometimes, it was hard to tell. But me and Tharas knew what he was. He may have been the old god of storms to others. But to us, he will always be our friend Orias, the old god of truth, of morality, of humanity," Leilas lowered her voice, "Everything Solaris despised."
"Who was Tharas?" Lillian asked.
"Tharas, he was the old god of time, while Garaos was balance, both of them had the most important jobs to do, they worked together. I was like Tharas's helper. Flynn kind of reminds me of him..." She murmured, her voice sad.
"Flynn?" Lillian murmured.
Leilas nodded, "Yeah, they're different in a lot of ways, but they both understood what friendship meant."
"And how were they different?" Lillian asked curiously.
Leilas smiled, "Tharas was an experienced immortal, an old god, and knew exactly what he was doing," Leilas looked at the shadows, and murmured, "Flynn was too young to be turned into an immortal, to place that type of burden on young mortals, I'm surprised they've gotten this far."
Lillian jumped, "Hey, how are Anima and Collin?" She asked.
Leilas smiled, "They're both fine for now, but there's a reason why both of us are here."
Leilas sighed, "I have a mission and so do you, you're right to be worried of what you're worried for. You've got Solaris right on the dot, it's not Collin he wants, after all."
Lillian flinched, and Leilas said, "Collin is serving as a distraction, and keeping Solaris away from his ultimate goal, while Anima is an obstacle to him, so he catches both of them with the poison, he gets a clear way to what he wants."
Leilas continued, "But Collin, heh, he's doing a very good job at keeping Solaris distracted even in the state he is in."
"That reminds me," Lillian murmured, "Orias told me that he was in Collin's situation for a long time, do you know anything about that."
Lillian jumped when Leilas eye's started to water, and she murmured, "What I did, I wish I didn't have too, but it was for his safety, but a soul should never be touched, Lillian, keep that in mind."
Lillian decided to stray away from the topic of Leilas's old friends, and Lillian asked, "So, what's the mission?"
Leilas smiled, the old fire back in her eyes. She muttered, "Let's get going Lillian, but you better be ready to let the wolf inside take over."
Lillian nodded, and followed Leilas into the darkness. Lillian asked, "How is this going to help me get out of the tunnels?"
"I'm going to teach you how to survive." Leilas laughed.
Lillian tipped her head, and asked, "What do you mean?"
Leilas stopped in a clearing, "The old gods were well trained in swords, we all had a weapon that we channeled our powers into, Solaris doesn't need one, so I'm going to teach you how to block your mind, block your soul." She muttered.
Lillian widened her eyes when Leilas took out her sword, "And the only way is to teach your being how to survive against attacks on the mind." Leilas said.
"I don't have a sword though, I was trained with bows!" Lillian jumped.
"Your mind is your greatest weapon against Solaris, that won't stop him from trying everything he's got." Leilas murmured, and poked Lillian's head.
Lillian watched as Leilas walked away from her, and she asked, "You still have that dagger do you?"
Lillian took it out, it was glittering, and Leilas muttered, "That's a blessing, and also a curse, if your mind is not properly blocked."
Leilas said, "The only way to protect yourself from the malevolent, is to make a wall around your soul, people from Hostrich naturally have this, I never learned why."
Lillian looked down at the ground, and Leilas said quietly, "Do not be afraid to take the leap, Lillian, it is your choice, your soul."
Lillian looked back up at Leilas, who's eyes were narrowed in sympathy, she took out the dagger, and asked, "So, how does this work?"
"Oh, you won't be needing the dagger, it's more of a protective shield." Leilas smiled, then added quietly, "I'm going to be throwing your worst fears at you, if you need me to stop, just tell me, all right, are you ready?"
Lillian stared at her, and nodded.
Leilas brought out the scythe, but before Leilas even moved, Lillian caught images of the sky, the moon blood red, while the sun was black as night, Lillian held her head as these visions rushed through her vision. She growled, "Leilas!"
"I'm not doing anything, Lillian." Leilas whispered.
Lillian looked up, but gasped at what she saw, it was Flynn, and he looked terrifying. His eyes were a shadow black, and he had his scythe, and he seemed to shiver with dark energy.
"Leilas!" Lillian said loudly. She closed her eyes.
She opened her eyes again, and realised that they were back in the clearing, and Leilas was leaning toward her, and she whispered, "Are you all right?"
"Was that you doing that?" Lillian asked, clutching at her chest.
Leilas shook her head, "I guess Solaris is starting his attack." She murmured.
They both jumped when it started to rain, Leilas tipped her head at Lillian, who started to calm down, and she asked, "You like the rain?"
Lillian nodded quietly.
"It is through our greatest fears that we find out greatest strengths." Leilas murmured, "The things that we care for, the things that we turn to in times of trouble."
Lillian took out the dragon necklace, which seemed to be slightly shimmering in the rain.
"I don't want Solaris to hurt more people." Lillian murmured.
"I can guide you through the tunnel, but first you must find Aris." Leilas whispered.
Lillian sighed, then nodded, and closed her eyes.
She woke up to everyone staring down at her. Markus asked, "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine," she looked at Lucan, who looked even more tired than she felt, she asked, "Is something wrong?"
Lucan shook his head, and she growled, "We need to find Aris."
Everyone nodded, even Kyrai, but she froze when she sniffed the air, and started growling into the darkness. Markus turned to her, and asked curiously, "What's the matter with you?"
Lillian froze also, and snapped, "We've got to move!"
Everyone jumped up, and ran the oppisite direction, with Kyrai in the lead.
They finally stopped after turning a corner, panting, and Markus asked, "What was that?"
"I don't know, you tell me!" Lillian snarled.
They all sat down, Erik and Markus dozed off, Lucan and Lillian stayed up, and he asked quietly, "Do you think we're going to find Aris?"
Lillian looked up at him, and said, "I don't know, we've got to try though."
Lucan just nodded, and finally dozed off, Lillian followed suit.
She was alone in her dream, but it was a stormy grey night, she called, "Leilas?"
The old god didn't answer her, and she frowned. She looked at the darkness, and walked into it. The darkness surrounded her, until she appeared into the Farlands.
She looked around, it wasn't as dark as it was last time, and she continued, with spirits looking at her curiously. Lillian stopped at the edge of the clearing, where the darkness shifted.
Lillian stepped into it, and found herself in the dark dream world of one of the fates.
"Collin, Anima?" She called.
"Lillian... What are you doing here?" Said a quiet voice.
Collin was leaning against a tree, and he looked exhausted, and he waved, "Sorry, Solaris isn't giving up, but we're both very sure of each-other's abilities." He murmured quiety, then sat down against the tree.
Lillian asked in horror, "How long have you been fighting him?!"
Collin opened his eyes, and said quietly, "Hard to tell, it's kind of like mind games most of the time, and the odd time he comes out to attack me personally, I escape, and he knows not to come after me."
"You need to rest!" Lillian pointed out.
Collin sighed, "Don't remind me, Anima told me the same thing, but now Solaris is totally concentrated on me, she's recovering from the nightmares."
Lillian walked towards him, and Collin asked, "Did you get that necklace?"
Lillian stopped and nodded, Collin sighed, "All right, so first, Solaris is wandering around somewhere, and I'm the only one keeping him here, so as long as I don't waver, everyone should be fine, just long enough for Anima and Flynn to get ready."
"Collin, you could get killed doing this..." Lillian dropped her voice into a whisper.
"Yeah, I know, that's why Anima wasn't impressed with my plan." He looked down at the ground, then looked back at Lillian, and smiled, "But it's not like I've never been in danger before, I'll be fine."
"You can only say that many times. At one point your luck will run out." Lillian pointed out.
"Yeah, well, my luck was never that good to begin with." Collin murmured, and crossed his arms.
Lillian took out the necklace, and asked, "What is this by the way?"
"What do you think it is?" Collin asked carefully, looking up at her.
"A necklace?" Lillian murmured in confusion.
Collin laughed, "It was given to me, by Anima, I have no idea where she got it, I didn't ask, but it was important." He shrugged.
Lillian looked around, "Solaris thinks he's winning this fight against you, is he?" She asked.
"He can think that if he wants, I'm tiring him out, that's the plan." Collin growled, crossing his arms.
Lillian was tempted to point out that Collin was tiring himself out, but stopped herself, and asked quietly, "What plan?"
Collin smiled, and said, "I'll show you the memory, if you don't mind that way, I don't feel like explaining it," he stood up, and gestured her to follow him. "Anima didn't approve of it at first, I still think she's against this, but too late now." He murmured.
They stepped into the darkness, and soon it turned into the mountain, Lillian looked around, and asked, "This is the mountain?"
Collin said, "Yeah, this is the mountain, now come on."
She followed him down the white steppes, they peeked into the house built into the mountain, and Collin muttered, "Just listen then."
"So, what's this plan then?" Anima crossed her arms, staring at Collin skeptically.
Collin smiled, "Easy, I allow Solaris to get into my dreams, then I trap him, no problem, of course, he's going to get out obviously, I can buy you time." He muttered very quickly.
Anima just stared at him, while Flynn leaned against the wall of the house, Anima sniffed, "Stupidest plan I ever heard."
"It's the only chance we got though." Collin pushed.
Anima rolled her eyes, and turned to Flynn, who looked up, and she asked, "What do you think of this?"
Flynn looked from Anima to Collin, then Anima again, "What choice do we have Anima, I don't like it, and I'm sure Collin doesn't like it either, as long as Collin is willing to take the risk, I won't try and stop him." He said cooly.
Anima looked shocked, while Collin looked victorious. But Anima didn't seem to give up yet.
"These nightmares Collin, they are something more serious then bad dreams!" Anima snapped.
Lillian whispered to Collin, "She can say that again."
"She did." Collin murmured, watching his own memory.
"I realise that!" Collin snapped.
Anima and Collin glared at each-other, and Lillian whispered to the Collin beside her, "What was going through your head?"
"I'm doing this whether you like it or not." Collin grunted simply.
Flynn finally stepped in, and said quickly, "Look, Anima, I understand how you feel about this, but you heard what he said, he's willing to do this to give us time, which we have little of, you said so yourself."
Anima stared at the two, and finally scoffed, walking out, "Why do I even bother?" She growled to herself, huffing away.
Collin looked at Flynn, and asked coldly, "So, are you going to say anything to me?"
Flynn looked at his brother, and smiled gently, "No, I trust your judgement." He said calmly, and followed Anima out, and the memory faded.
"That was the first time he's ever said that to me, I was expecting him to take Anima's side." Collin pointed out, as they returned to the dream world.
"Do they usually not trust you?" Lillian asked, as they walked.
Collin shrugged, "They don't say it, but more often than not, they don't trust me half the time," he muttered calmly, and laughed, "Anima may not know it, but I understand how she feels."
Lillian stayed silent, then she asked, "It never bugged you?"
Collin shook his head, "No, maybe it doesn't bug me because I know they have good reason too." He said, looking up at the sky.
Lillian just tipped her head, and froze, getting an odd feeling. Collin stopped also, and asked, "Something the matter?"
She clutched at her sides, and she murmured, "What is this?"
Collin looked around, and he growled, "You've got to get out of here, Lillian."
Lillian looked around also, and she whispered, "Where? And what about you?"
"I asked for this, this was my idea, no way am I backing out." Collin stood up straighter, staring at the darkness around them.
Lillian hesitated, it seemed to grow quiet, even the shadows seemed to hesitate, Lillian thought quietly, Please... Leilas, you've got to help us!
Collin growled, "He's coming, Lillian, better hurry up, before I have to force you out."
Lillian whimpered, and looked around, letting go of her sides, but she wasn't sure where to go. "Where, Collin?" She asked.
Collin looked around again, and edged Lillian towards the darkness, while keeping his defensive stance, Lillian was staring at the darkness in nervousy.
He looked behind him, where Lillian was shying away from the darkness, "When you're dealing with Solaris, you must trust the dark." He murmured gently.
Lillian continued to stare at the darkness, getting a horrible feeling, she looked around Collin, and saw the mist starting to form.
"Now, Lillian!" Collin snapped, pushing Lillian into the darkness.
Lillian went to turn around, but found herself in the Farlands, with the spirits staring at her curiously, she stood up, and yelled, "Collin!"
She rubbed her head in confusion, and she turned to the nearest spirit, and asked sharply, "I need to get out of here, where is the way?!"
The spirit flinched away from her, and pointed feebly at the other side of the clearing.
She stomped toward the clearing's edge.
I need to stop this!
I must stop this!
Want and need
But sometimes they are the same thing
Lillian woke up with a jolt and realised Erik was the only one awake. She stood up sharply, causing him to jump, and he asked quickly, "What's wrong?"
She looked at him, and said quietly, "It's... Nothing."
"Are you all right?" Erik asked, standing up also.
Lillian nodded, and asked quietly, "Have you found Arik yet?"
He shook his head, "I've been searching while you guys have been resting, but no luck." He murmured quietly, and he sat back down.
Lillian looked back at Markus, Kyrai, and Lucan. All three of them were sleeping, but didn't seem to be having any dreams.
Erik asked, "You saw something, didn't you?" Lillian looked back at him, confused, and he said calmly, "You've got to be careful."
She nodded, and sat back down again, and she murmured, "I have this horrible feeling, it just won't go away..." She shivered, clutching at her sides.
Erik stared at her, and he said quietly, "I wish I could help, but I don't know how."
Lillian sighed, "It's nothing, maybe I'm wrong... I hope I'm wrong..." She whispered to herself.
He looked up at her, and added, "There's something I forgot to mention," he stood up, and pointed down the corridor, "I found the seal of Aris's family." He brought out a necklace, it was shaped like a moon, with a wolf silhouetted against the moon.
"Royal families tend to have this seal," Erik brought out his own necklace, "The guard wears the seal of the royal family in Hostrich."
It was an eagle surrounded by a dragon, it's wings outstretched, and Erik said quietly, "I guess it signifies our job as the guard, to protect, the dragon symbolises that, the eagle represents freedom."
Lillian brushed her hand against the dragon necklace, and she took it out also. Erik stared at it.
"Where'd you get that?" Erik asked.
Lillian clutched it in her hands, and she murmured, "It was given to me."
Erik tipped his head, "Impossible, that's the insignia of Guagamela, when it wasn't a cultural city, it's guard were lethal without having to kill, their dragon was a bit different," he added, "I learned that in our history, to give that to someone means great trust."
He took it, and examined it, then looked on the back, and said quietly, "And this is real..."
Lillian stared at him, and he turned it back, and he murmured, "Their insignia I guess had similiarities to ours, but... After a war that nearly left Guagamela in ruins, they decided to become neutral, and the guard returned to being normal citizens."
Erik continued staring down at the necklace, and he murmured, "I've never seen one up close, maybe in texts, but not like this," He gave it to her, and he murmured, "That's a sign of trust you have there."
She put it back around her neck, and he murmured, "But, it's strange..."
Before Lillian could ask what was strange, there was a strange sound, they both looked down the passageway.
They both tensed up, Lillian hurried over to where Markus and Lucan were sitting, and punched both of them in the arms, and they jumped awake.
"Wha-" Markus murmured, before Lillian slapped her hand across his mouth.
The noise continued, but Lucan looked shocked, "No way..." He murmured, standing, and backing up slowly. Markus followed suit.
Lillian looked at him, her fear rising.
Erik stood in front of them, Lillian looked up at him from the ground, and widened her eyes. She screamed, "No way, I'm not letting this happen again!"
Erik turned back to her, confused, Lillian grabbed the back of his cloak, and pulled down, just as the shape attacked.
The shape landed at the other exit, and Markus asked, "What is that?!"
Lucan pushed him away from the shape, and yelled, "It doesn't matter, run!"
Markus nodded and started running the other way, followed closely by Kyrai. Erik followed, with Lillian running behind them.
"Where is Aris when you need him?!" Markus asked loudly.
They continued running, Lillian was concious of something following them. Something big, and it was very angry. She gasped when she tripped on something, and called, "Hey!"
She turned back, and her eyes widened when she saw a huge shadow wolf, bearing down on her, she narrowed her eyes, concious that her foot was bleeding, and she took out the dagger, putting it in front of her.
The wolf stopped, staring down at her. She shivered, staring into the blood red eyes of the wolf. But it seemed that the dagger was stopping it.
Lillian groaned from the pain in her foot, backing away inch by inch, the wolf following her every move.
She heard someone running towards her, and she flinched when Erik jumped in front of her, causing the wolf to step back, and he asked, "Can you stand?"
Lillian tried to stand, but whatever she tripped on must have dislocated her foot, and she shook her head.
Erik was keeping the wolf at bay, but it wouldn't stay shocked for long. Lucan and Markus helped Lillian up, and she nodded her thanks.
"What did you trip on?" Markus asked.
"No idea..." Lillian murmured.
Erik was following them slowly, keeping the wolf at bay, his sword at an aggressive stance, but she could tell it was starting to get annoyed, by the way it's ears were flicking, and how it was moving in a zig zag pattern.
Lillian froze, feeling horrible, and she leaned forward, landing on the ground, and she snarled, "Something's here..." Lillian felt like she was going to be sick, her eyes stinging.
Erik looked around, and he snapped, "Get her out of here."
Lucan asked, "What about you?"
"I've got to find Aris." He murmured.
Lillian snarled, "He's coming!"
"Who's coming?" Markus asked, picking her up.
"Not Aris, that's for sure." Erik said, staring at the wolf.
Lillian stood up straight, feeling her heart pound, the darkness was bearing down on them, she kept her dagger close at hand.
Markus and Lucan looked from the two of them in confusion, and finally the wolf jumped at Erik, who braced himself.
Erik slashed upwards with the sword, as the wolf leaped over him, and disappeared in a flash of black smoke in front of the other three, Kyrai whimpered from behind Markus.
Everything went silent, but Lillian finally lost her balance, and murmured, "I..."
Erik sheathed his sword, and walked towards them, Lillian murmured, "I... Don't feel good. Something's wrong..." She clutched her head.
The three guys looked down the passageway, and Erik said quickly, "Let's go."
Lucan asked, "What about Aris?"
Erik frowned, and said, "You guys need to get Lillian out of here, something in here is causing this, I need to find Aris, I'll meet up with you guys later. I promise." He ran down the dark tunnel, sword at the ready.
Lillian snarled, "He shouldn't go alone..."
Markus laughed airily, "Too late, besides, he can take care of himself! He takes his job seriously, now let's get you out of here."
They guided her until they reached the lit passageway, and Markus turned to Lucan, "Can you tell where the exit is?"
Lucan looked around, and touched the rock wall, he murmured, "I feel a draft, I just can't tell where it's coming from..."
Markus looked at the wall closely. Then took out his sword, then stuck it in the rock wall while Lucan supported Lillian, and he asked, "What was that supposed to do?"
Markus moved it a little bit, and soon the wall caved in, and he jumped away, revealing another passage, and he murmured, "It must have caved in..."
Lillian growled, "Put me down for a second, I'm going to be sick..."
Lucan complied, setting her down a bit away from them, while she stared at the wall, feeling water drip down her face, she thought, What is going on? Why is this happening... I just want out, I want to get out of here...
Markus and Lucan bent towards her, and Markus asked quietly, "You all right, Lillian?"
Lillian just shivered, and Markus said, "Hey, Lillian, want to hear something funny?"
Lucan looked at Markus disbelievingly, but Lillian nodded quietly.
"I knew you were the princess when we ran into each-other during the Solar Eclipse." Markus said happily.
Lillian leaned her head into the rock wall, and she asked with a rasp, "How is that supposed to make me feel better?"
"Because I knew Matthew," Markus muttered, sitting beside her. Lillian nodded, and Markus laughed, "He used to help my mum with stuff, and he taught me how to use swords."
Lillian finally looked at Markus, and smiled a bit. She asked, "Did he beat you at that a lot?"
"Oh yeah, he was the best, but he always told me that I had to keep trying, and I'd be as good as he was one day." Markus laughed.
Lillian smiled, and finally stood up, leaning against the rock wall, and she asked quietly, "Think Erik will be all right?"
Markus laughed, "Oh yeah, if anyone can get people out of tough situations, it's him!"
She allowed Markus and Lucan to take her down the revealed tunnel, feeling the wind from the surface, she breathed in the air, smelling the forest of Grealach.
They finally broke the surface, Lillian sat down, leaning against a tree, all three of them were tired. Markus looked around, and he murmured, "Hey, we're in the Burnt Forest..."
Lillian looked up, and widened her eyes, the tree was dead, and she murmured sadly, "No wonder there's little shadow."
Everyone went silent. Lillian looked back at the tunnel, Please don't let them die... She thought darkly.
It had become night, and Markus had started a fire, while Lillian had bound her foot up. It still hurt a bit, but it was no longer bleeding.
They were all dozing off, when Lillian noticed something come out of the cave, she jumped up, leaning against the tree, holding her dagger.
She sighed when it was Aris, but he didn't seem hurt. Just tired. And he asked quietly, "Did I... Miss something?"
"Where's Erik?" Lillian asked curiously.
Aris looked around at the makeshift camp, and he asked quietly, "He's not with you?"
All three of them shook their heads. Aris looked shocked, and turned to look at the cave, Lillian jumped at him though, and she said quickly, "Erik wouldn't want you going back in just to save him, it was you he was protecting after all."
He stared at the exit with distant eyes, everyone had gone silent, and looked down at the ground.
"Should we move?" Markus asked, then added quickly, "When Erik follows the tunnel, he'll get out, he'll follow our trail."
Lillian and Aris both frowned, Lillian stared at the dark tunnel and thought sadly, Markus is only trying to help us, but that thing... I don't think Erik got out... She clutched at her necklace, which was warm to the touch.
"Let's at least find a clearing nearby," Lucan murmured, walking past Markus, "And have something to eat." He added.
Aris was in shock, Lillian prodded him, and soon he went to follow Lucan, leaving Lillian alone at the entrance. She stared down at it, then looked at the mountain behind them.
They soon found a clearing, with Markus once again making a fire then passing out beside it. Lucan was leaning against a tree, dozing, while Aris stared at the fire.
Lillian frowned at her friends, and she murmured, Erik was holding us together all along...
Two nights had passed already, and the moon was almost covered in red shadow. Lillian was dozing off against a tree when she heard a noise. Everyone else was asleep, and Markus was looking for food.
She jumped up, drawing her dagger, staring at where the noise came from. She asked dangerously, "Who's there?"
Lillian widened her eyes when the person came out, hurt, but very alive, and he grunted, "You wouldn't actually attack me would you?"
Lillian stared at the person as he dropped his sword out of exhaustion, Erik was staring at her, bleeding from his side, and he smiled, "It's just me, Lillian, you can relax." He said quietly.
She stared at him, and she asked, "You're alive?"
"Just barely." Erik laughed, walking into the clearing, looking around with tired eyes. Lillian hugged him, and when Aris woke up from the ruckus, he jumped up also.
"Hey." He said, walking up to the two.
Lucan opened one eye, and smiled, following Aris.
They all jumped when Markus asked loudly, "Don't tell me I've missed a group hug! Time for another one!"
"No wait-" Lucan gasped, but too late, Markus got them all into a group unwillingly, and hugged them, Lillian smiled, and also choked a bit. "Letgoofme!"
"Goof?" Erik asked, beaming.
They all stepped away from each-other, and Lillian asked, "How did you get out of there?"
Erik said, "I fought my way out."
"Wow, you must be tired!" Markus gasped.
Erik nodded, "Oh, just a little bit." He laughed.
"Right, we need a good rest, then we head for Jyris." Lillian said.
They all dispersed around the fire, with Markus watching it, Lillian's vision blackened, and saw the stone castle in the distance. The home she had left behind.
She woke up in her dream world, and realised it was a lot less darker then it was. But someone was there, staring at her as she sat up.
"Hello, Lillian, remember me?" The woman asked softly.
Lillian blinked her eyes a couple times, then realised that it was Anima, she had her arms crossed, but she had a rare and sympathetic smile on her face.
"I'm sorry for disturbing you, you really need the rest, but, I need your help." Anima murmured, frowning.
Lillian clutched her stomach, and she asked, "Ugh, can I like, get rid of this stomach ache first?"
Anima stared at her, and she said quietly, "Yeah, this is connected to that," Lillian stared at her as she continued, "Solaris has broken free of Collin's trap, and that would mean..."
"Wait, Solaris broke free?!" Lillian asked, alarmed.
Anima nodded, "Yes, I need your help getting to Collin, he won't wake up, no matter what Flynn does." She murmured.
Lillian stared at the oldest Fate, and she asked quietly, "What do you mean by he won't wake up?"
"He's by your human standards, dead." Anima said flatly. Lillian stared, and Anima continued, "However, we are not human, so I think the problem is in his dream," she eyed Lillian and said, "Don't worry, I won't be pulling any mind games, and it's not dangerous, seeing as Solaris is no longer in the dream."
Lillian stood up, and murmured, "Fine I'll help, then can I rest without people waking me up in my dream world?" She asked.
Anima nodded, and stood up also, and signaled for Lillian to follow her. As they walked, Anima asked, "Is it true you've been talking to Leilas?"
Lillian nodded, and asked, "Why? You don't trust her?"
"No, she's the one person I need, but she's ignoring me for some reason." Anima said quietly, and soon they entered the dream world, but it was quiet.
"Collin?" Lillian called.
"Calling won't do anything, Lillian." Anima murmured.
Lillian huffed, and Anima joked, "Oh, I see, now you're getting some of his charming personality, never realised links could do that, interesting, but I guess since you're mortal, must be different..."
Lillian smiled also, and continued following Anima. They both stopped in a clearing, but there was no one there. Lillian looked around, confused. Anime looked around also.
"Anima? Is that you, or are you just some weird vision Solaris sent to taunt me?"
They turned towards the voice, and Collin stared at them. He looked exhausted, and had the same defeated appearence of Leilas. But like Leilas, his eyes were full of stormy grey fire.
Anima walked towards him, and said gently, "No, Collin, it's over, the poison is receding, you tried your best, and you gave us enough time."
"I had him..." Collin looked down at the ground.
Lillian stared at Collin, and thought, I've never seen him so defeated before... She walked up to him, and she whispered, "I have to thank you for saving my life..."
He looked at her, confused, then shrugged, "I guess I did something right then." He huffed, crossing his arms.
She stared at him, while Anima had her arms crossed, and she murmured, "You can relax, Collin, Solaris isn't here now."
Collin sighed, "What about Flynn?"
"He's fine, he's assured me that he hasn't had any nightmares." Anima said flatly.
Collin looked shocked, "And you believed him?" He asked.
Anima hesitated, then assured him, "He didn't look as tired as you do."
He still looked at Anima, shocked, then snapped, "Oh come on, Solaris has his ways, Flynn knows this, what if he's not telling you for our protection?"
Anima face-palmed, "You've got to wake up, Collin. You're just putting yourself in needless danger." She growled.
Lillian watched the two argue back and forth, then she put up her hand feebly. They both looked at her, and she looked at Anima.
"Do you think Flynn would hide something like that?" Lillian asked quietly, "Haven't all of you got something to hide?"
The two Fates went silent, then Lillian took out the necklace, and held it out, "What does this mean, I'm asking both of you!" She said loudly.
Anima looked at Collin, while Collin stared at Lillian. Anima sighed, "I found that, on the mountain."
"The Mountain of Fates?" Lillian asked.
Anima shook her head, and Collin finally turned back to his sister. She crossed her arms, a thoughtful look on her face, and she asked, "What does this have to do with Flynn hiding stuff?"
"Everything." Lillian said quietly.
Anima looked at Collin, then Lillian. She then said cooly, "I found that on Guagamela."
"Yes, I knew this." Collin said calmly, slightly confused.
Anima had went silent, Lillian started to get a bad feeling, Anima then looked up at Collin, her eyes sad.
"He knew her, Collin," Anima murmured, "All he's done was to protect you from Garaos, even if it may have hurt you in the process, just because of her."
"What are you talking about?" Collin asked flatly.
Anima fully turned to Collin, causing him to back up, and she said, "You know exactly what I'm talking about, I know what you've hidden, you've had your memories back for a long time now, you didn't think I noticed?" She scowled.
Collin looked shocked, and she finally said darkly, "Orias knew your mother, knew her, maybe even cared for her in his own way, it's like the evil inside him was negated somehow," Anima added, "He may be the reason your home was destroyed, that you are like this, but he's the reason your mother died peacefully, instead of angered at Hamark, where she would have been lurking in the lower spirit world, she lies in rest in the Farlands."
Anima stalked off, and disappeared into the darkness.
Lillian looked at Collin, but he seemed in shock, Lillian was afraid to say something, she finally poked him, "Collin, are you all right?"
Collin didn't say anything for a while. Lillian stood beside him, watching the spot Anima had disappeared.
He finally sighed, Lillian jumped when he stalked off towards the darkness, and she asked, "Hey, where are you going?!"
"To find the truth." Collin snarled.
"You are not in your right mind!" Lillian snapped, stepping in front of him, "Please, listen to me!"
Collin stared down at her, then she whispered, "Ever since the shadow attacked, I've been getting a horrible feeling. It still hasn't gone away, I understand how you must be feeling!" She hesitated, then added, "I don't want to think I've lost friends again, that was a horrible feeling."
He stayed silent, then sighed, "Then come with me."
Lillian looked shocked, and he said quietly, "I only want to talk to him, I need to know if what Anima says is true."
"So you do have your memories back?" Lillian asked quietly.
Collin frowned, Lillian flinched when he nodded. She finally sighed, then nodded, "I'll come with you, maybe we can get to him without needing to fight."
Collin nodded, and looked up at the sky, the poison started seeping away, revealing stormy grey clouds, It got considerably brighter in the dream, and soon the dream disappated.
"Where are we?" Lillian asked, as the image transformed to a grey mountain. She realised they were on Guagamela.
Collin didn't answer, only headed towards the cave entrance, Lillian followed.
"Orias! I know you're in there!" Collin snapped.
Lillian gasped, clutching onto Collin's cloak as the dragon stepped out, but it seemed different, old, and it asked sadly, What could you possibly want?
Collin glared at the huge dragon, and he snapped, "I'd rather you were in your human form for this, and find that piece of your soul that isn't horribly mangled."
The dragon stared down at him. Then finally there was a flash of light. Orias was standing there, looking defeated, there was no fire in his eyes this time, Lillian stared at the old god, a flash of sympathy running through her.
"What do you want, Collin?" Orias rasped.
Collin looked at Lillian, Lillian knew what he wanted, then gave him the necklace back, he waved it in front of Orias, and he asked, "Recognise this?"
Orias was fixated on it, and he scowled, "No."
Collin took a step toward him, "You can't lie, you do recognise this!" He snarled.
Lillian pulled at Collin's cloak, "Relax!" She whispered quietly.
Orias took a step back from Collin, and sighed, then nodded.
"You know who it belonged too?" Collin snarled.
Orias stared at Collin, then nodded quietly.
Lillian realised with a pang that Orias was in genuine pain, He just wants all this to stop, he just wants to rest, he knows the things he's done, and he regrets it, it's killing him...
Collin finally relaxed his waving, and stared at the old god in what seemed of a mixture of shock and sadness. Orias continued, "Oh, I knew her all right."
Lillian stared at Collin, then finally asked, "Orias?"
Orias looked at her, then she asked, "Anima told us something, that you knew her, and that you cared for her..." She faltered when Orias spoke.
"It's impossible for old gods to feel anything related to that, I guess I was different then in that retrospect." Orias sighed, looking at Collin, "No, I didn't care for her... No, it was much more... I loved her..."
Collin stared at Orias, and Orias murmured, "I'm sorry, although, sorry won't bring her back, and sorry can't turn back time either."
Lillian looked from the two, Collin seemed even more in shock then he was before, while Orias said, "I want to give you a warning, Lillian."
Lillian looked up, and Orias murmured, "Don't trust anyone, only trust the people who are close to your heart, they are the ones that will save you when the darkness seems endless."
Lillian nodded, and Orias started to disappear, and also the image, and they were back in the Lower Spirit World.
She looked at Collin, and she asked quietly, "You need a minute?"
Collin sat down, and he murmured, "I can't believe it..."
Lillian murmured, "I'll take that as a yes?"
He shook his head, and mused, "I wonder why Anima didn't tell me this before..."
"Probably to protect you..." Lillian sat down beside him.
Collin didn't say anything, but she noticed that she was starting to fade away, she looked back at Collin, but he was standing up, staring at the sky.
"What's the matter?" Lillian asked, standing up also.
He continued to stare up at the sky, but Lillian didn't see anything, and he finally growled, "We have to get out of here."
"That doesn't answer my question." Lillian said.
Collin reminded her, "You're starting to wake up. But you've got to be careful, you heard what Orias said."
Lillian eyed him, "You heard him too." She pointed out.
He relaxed a bit, then murmured, "You're right, I did, Solaris is going to see his chance if I'm around here for too long."
"So my feeling is correct?" Lillian asked quietly.
"I'm 'fraid so." Collin said calmly.
Lillian face-palmed, and realised she was near transparency, and she said quietly, "So I guess I got some sleep after all."
Collin nodded, "Yeah." He murmured, and continued to stare up into the sky.
Lillian realised the dream was starting to finally fade away, Collin looked back at her, and soon she woke up to the night sky in Grealach.
"Morning~" Markus laughed.
"Morning?" Lillian asked quietly, sitting up.
Markus nodded, Lillian realised that the sun was slowly starting to rise, but that only gave an air of foreboding. She saw the caslte silouetted against the rising sun, and she murmured, "Markus, can you help me with something?"
Markus looked up, and nodded, and she pointed at the castle, "I need... To go back."
"What?" Erik called. He had awoken early.
"To the castle." Lillian stood up, grabbing her back-pack.
Erik and Markus stopped her before she could start walking, "Woah woah, is that a good idea?" Markus asked, shocked.
"Why wouldn't it be?" Lillian asked, annoyed, Collin's shock had rubbed off on her, she needed to see for herself what had happened at the castle.
"I mean, last time you saw your father, he tried to kill you." Markus said quickly.
Lillian looked from the both of them, and she pushed through them, "No, it was me trying to kill him last time we saw each-other." She snapped.
"Trying, or wanting?" Erik asked quietly.
Lillian stopped, looking back at Erik, and she said, "I just... Need to do something, I won't blame you guys if you don't come with me."
She continued walking, tip-toeing past Lucan, who was a deep sleeper.
Erik and Markus caught up with her, and Markus said calmly, "If you really want too."
Erik nodded, and soon, she led them to the castle in the distance.
It was well past dawn when they reached the river, Markus laughed, "Remember when we canoed down the river?"
"It seems like a distant memory." Lillian murmured, crossing the river.
Markus and Erik followed her, and soon they reached the castle, she stared up at the great stone walls, she noticed achers on the towers, and she gestured the two to follow her.
She led them away from the front gate, and to the secret passage, she felt the wall for the switch, and finally pushed it when she found it.
Lillian stepped inside, climbing the steps to her room. She heard Markus stumble, and she rolled her eyes when Erik muttered, "That was my foot, Markus."
She opened the book case, and stepped into her room. It was as clean as she left it, she looked at the bookcase, taking as many books, and putting them into her back-pack.
As Markus and Erik investigated the room, she headed towards her bedstand, and looked at the mirror. She thought, I've changed...
The person Lillian saw in the mirror was not the same Lillian that was last in the room a year ago, she looked a lot like Leilas. With a tired, gaunt face, and she could see that she was skinnier. When was the last time I ate? She wondered quietly. She could still somewhat see the wolf in her sharp green eyes.
Lillian shook her head, and looked out the doorway, Markus hissed, "What are you doing?"
"We need supplies, medicine, anything that will help us." Lillian hissed back. Then walked into the hall.
She dodged a couple guards on patrol, with Erik following her quietly, Markus had decided to wait outside for them.
Lillian was about to walk into the storage, but she felt Erik pull her back. A maid walked out of the storage, humming quietly, and walking away.
She nodded her thanks to Erik and opened the storage room. There was many things in here, but she first headed to the corner of herbal medicines. She put some in her back-pack, and looked around for the entrance to the kitchens.
Erik asked, "Will anyone be in there?"
"At this time? Breakfast will be served." Lillian murmured, opening the door.
Lillian stifled a scream when someone else was there, bent towards the oven.
She sneaked around the person, but soon quickly realised it was Heather. Erik bumped into her as she froze.
Lillian stood up straighter, and whispered, "Heather?"
Heather froze, and turned her head slowly, and she whispered, "Lillian?
Erik headed towards the door, locking it, his eyes narrowed as the two sisters stared at each-other.
"Father told me you were dead." Heather twitched.
Lillian flinched, and shook her head, "No, no no, I just, I couldn't live this life..." She whispered quickly, eyeing Erik as he stood by the door-way.
"Father said you were dead," Heather repeated, "You're not here."
"Heather, what happened..." Lillian murmured, backing away from her sister.
"The king doesn't notice me, he keeps me locked up in my room, sends food up to me, he doesn't trust me because you ran away." Heather snarled.
Lillian gasped as her sister leaped at her, causing the table to fall, causing a deafening crash, causing Erik to jump.
Lillian snapped as Heather attacked her, "What are you doing!?"
Heather didn't answer her, Lillian tried to defend herself, but Heather was also well trained for attack. Erik stared at them, looking super confused.
"Erik, help..." Lillian murmured, as Heather tried to choke Lillian.
Erik finally jumped towards them, pulling Heather and Lillian away from each-other. Heather snapped, "I went into the tunnels, looking for you, want to know what I saw in there?!"
"Why would you go in there?!" Lillian snapped back.
"I didn't believe dad, I didn't believe him, I refused to believe my little sister was dead, but even now, the tunnels curse follows me!" Heather snarled, going for another swipe.
"I'm not part of the curse, I'm the real thing!" Lillian cried back.
Lillian heard voices outside the storage. Lillian pushed away her sister from herself and Erik, and dragged Erik to the exit, Lillian slammed the door behind her, locking it, and she cried, "I'm so sorry, Heather!"
The voices got louder, and Lillian and Erik managed to get back to Lillian's room. Lillian closed the bookcase behind her, and they ran out of the entrence.
Markus and Erik jumped when Lillian collapsed, her face in her hands, tears stinging her eyes, and she cried in frustration, "Why would she attack me, what made her go into that tunnel?!"
Both of them stared down at Lillian, Markus asked quietly, "Do you need anything?"
Lillian took out her backpack, dumping all the books out, she sorted through them until she reached an old tome, with the sun on the cover, she pushed the book into Markus's chest, "I want you to take this back to camp." She said in a rasp.
Markus looked confused, but nodded, and walked away from them, Erik asked, "Are you all right?"
"I just need something to drink..." Lillian murmured, rummaging through her back-pack. She took a cup out, and walked towards the river with it.
She dunked it in, and sighed, "I'm such an idiot."
Erik followed, and she took a drink, feeling her throat unclench. She stared at her reflection, and put the cup back in her bag.
Erik sat beside her, and she murmured, "Is this my fault?"
Erik looked at the river also, and said, "If you're looking for forgiveness, I'm not sure I'm the one to say, but would it help if I said no, it isn't your fault?" He asked curiously.
Lillian nodded, and stood up, putting the back-pack back on, and she murmured, "Let's get up."
Erik followed her away from the castle, Lillian thought, Now I know it, I was such an idiot, there was no turning back then, there's no turning back now.
Showing you're afraid, that you have your flaws.
Is the greatest courage one could have.
And sometimes the greatest defiance.
Lillian had returned to camp, where everyone was waiting for her. She sighed, looking up at the sky, and Markus asked, "Why did you want me to keep the fire going?"
She didn't answer right away, only picked up the old tome, and read it, it was all in runes, but the story was the same anywhere. Lillian growled to herself, going to the final page, and ripping the last page out, putting it in her pocket. Everyone watched her tensely.
You watching Solaris? She asked to the sky, it was nearing mid-day. She balled her hands into fists, Lillian walked up to the fire, staring down at the book.
Lillian then dropped it in the fire, and everyone watched as the book burned. Markus said in confusion, "Well, I wasn't expecting that."
She walked away, and said darkly, "I need to be alone for a while..."
No one followed her, and she walked towards the lake, and sat beside it, watching the waves quietly lap at the shore. The fight with her sister still fresh in her mind.
"Well, I guess we have something in common by now." A voice laughed.
Lillian turned to see Collin, he looked tired, but not as tired as he was. Lillian sighed, and said, "Let me guess, you're going to tell me the same thing Erik told me?"
"I don't know, what happened?" Collin asked.
"I had a fight with my sister, she changed, the tunnels destroyed her after she went looking for me," Lillian said quietly, "I can't help but feel that it's my fault."
"So you think it's your fault?" Collin asked curiously.
Lillian frowned, and said quietly, "I'm not sure what I'm looking for now, forgiveness... Or for this whole thing to end, by now... I don't care who's fault it is," she stood up, "There's no turning back once you've made a choice." She muttered and crossed her arms, staring across the lake.
Collin stared at the lake too, but his eyes were distant, and Lillian turned to him, "You know this place too, huh?" She asked.
Collin laughed, "I guess you could say that, but you're right, once you've made the choice, you can't turn back." He rubbed his head.
Lillian sighed, "You can't let Solaris win." She took the paper out of her pocket, and looked at it.
"Lillian, we can try, but... You've heard stories of the first two." Collin said calmly.
Lillian crossed her arms, walking up to Collin, and gave him the paper, and she murmured, "I've read about them, yes. But everything has a weakness."
Collin stared down at the paper also. He only nodded, Lillian looked up into the sky, and Collin said, "Solaris won't see what's coming."
Lillian turned back as Collin disappeared. She sighed, walking back to the camp. Everyone was standing around the diminishing fire. Lucan asked, "What was the book for?"
"Nothing," Lillian murmured, staring down at the pieces that didn't burn immediately. She shuffled them back into the fire. Kyrai watched the fire with interest, Lillian turned to her, and said, "You have to go home, Kyrai, things are about to get chaotic."
Kyrai stared up at Lillian, she barked, and wagged her tail.
"No, Kyrai, your pack must be worried sick about you." Lillian crossed her arms. She stared down at the pup.
Kyrai looked at Lillian in disbelief, and Lillian said, "You're old enough to take for yourself, at least until you reach the pack?" Lillian asked carefully.
Kyrai didn't move, Markus said, "Please, Kyrai, this is important, we need to make sure you're safe."
Kyrai looked at Markus, with begging eyes. She drooped her ears and tail, and nodded her head. She started to walk away from the fire, then looked back at them, before running into the bushes.
Lillian finally snuffed the fire out, and she said, "Let's get moving, before Kyrai changes her mind," she hesitated, then added, "To Jyris."
Everyone nodded, and turned to follow Lillian, towards the mountain in front of them. Markus asked, "Jyris... They say that place is cursed."
"We're about to find out if that's true." Lillian murmured, and continued walking.
Erik said, "I've never seen Jyris myself, have you?" He asked Markus.
"Nope, it's forbidden, but seeing as no one knows us, nothing like seeing if a legend is real." Markus laughed, and shrugged.
They finally reached the path to Jyris, it was completely empty, Lillian said, "Let's go."
They walked up to the path, to the ruined town of Jyris, Lillian thought quietly, Very few people come here, thinking this land to be cursed from the fire.
Lillian stared up at the old buildings, she finally reached the house of the first seer of Graelach, but she had died a long time ago.
"Wow, this place is different." Erik said quietly.
Lucan was silent, and Lillian asked, "You all right?"
Lucan looked at her, and nodded, then he said, "There's something odd though, here, come on." He gestured her to follow him.
Markus was showing Erik and Aris around Jyris, while Lillian followed Lucan away from Jyris, and the path. Lillian asked, "What do you mean by odd?"
Lucan shrugged, and by evening they reached a pond that was as clear as day. Lillian asked, "That's it?"
"That's it." Lucan said.
Lillian noticed something glittering under the water of the beach, she bent down, putting her hand into the freezing cold water, she shivered, and pulled the shimmering object out.
"It's a coin." Lucan muttered curiously.
Lillian stared down at it also, it was old, older than Jyris, maybe even older than Guagamela. Lillian asked, "Now this is different, I've seen coins, but not this one."
She brushed the dirt away from the surface, and narrowed her eyes when the side she was looking on had a moon, she could see her reflection clearly in the surface, even after its rest in the pond. Lillian turned it over, and brushed away the rest of the dirt, and stared at the other side. The sun was glinting in the evening light, but she could barely see her reflection.
"Now that's a weird coin." Lucan muttered, staring at it also.
Lillian turned it back over to the moon, ad she asked, "Why was it in the pond?"
Lucan shrugged, Lillian pocketed it, and he murmured, "Who knows, let's just get back."
Lillian nodded, and they returned to village as the sun set, and Markus asked, "Should we set camp near-by?"
Lillian said quickly, "Yeah, in the clearing near-by, then we can eat."
"Oh yum, I haven't eaten in ages!" Markus said happily, grabbing his back-pack, and wandering to the camp near-by.
Lillian smiled, and followed Markus, she started the fire, lighting the clearing in the fire-light, Markus looked around curiously. She took out the coin again, which glinted in the fire-light.
She didn't know how long she sat there, but she jumped when she blinked open her eyes, and she was in the clearing of the dream world. No one was there. She stood up, and called, "Hello?"
She tipped her head when she started walking away. Lillian turned around to see, and realised with a jolt she was walking away from Jyris.
Lillian followed the river quietly, she gasped when it started to rain, and she looked up into the sky. It was a stormy grey, and there was an eagle flying high above.
She continued walking, and Lillian wondered, Where am I going?
Lillian stopped at the pond, she jumped when someone walked through her, she couldn't recognise the person though, and they took out a coin much like the one Lillian had.
"Hello?" Lillian asked.
The person didn't turn to acknowledge her, Lillian went around her to take a good look, and she jumped when it was Anima. But the odd thing was, she looked very human, her eyes were a honey brown, and she was staring at the pond in anger.
Lillian heard a soft female voice in her head, "Watch and learn, Lillian, this is where it all began."
Younger Anima seemed to smile in defiance, and soon she launched the coin high in the air, it landed in the middle of the pond, sinking to the bottom. Lillian stood beside Anima, watching the scene curiously.
Lillian gasped when a man appeared, but she couldn't hear him, and he seemed to be fading away. She got an air of desperation from him.
The scene shifted, and she was on a mountain, she looked down at the grey stone beneath her, she looked up to see herself staring at Orias's cave.
Lillian looked around the White City, and she thought in surprise, Wait, this is Guagamela!
She stared in awe at the white city, there was people bustling around, Lillian walked around, then jumped when someone ran through her, it was a girl, but the girl ignored her, but the person following her seemed to realise someone else was there.
The boy stopped, and turned around, staring at Lillian.
"Collin?" Lillian gaped.
Collin looked as human as Anima did, he smiled. Then turned to follow the girl, Lillian could hear faint voices, and decided to follow Collin.
The two were staring over Hostrich, but it seemed different, Lillian felt weird being on the mountain, staring down the old kingdom.
"Wow." Lillian murmured.
"Wow is right." Someone said beside her.
She turned to her left, and saw Orias, his arms crossed, but he seemed like a part of the memory.
"Hey! You can see me?!" Lillian gasped.
Orias nodded, "What are you doing trudging around old memories?" He asked gently.
"Uh, I guess someone wanted me to see them." Lillian shrugged.
Orias smiled, and soon disappeared, Lillian looked to her right to see Collin and the girl staring over Hamark, the girl was talking, with Collin listening quietly.
Lillian smiled, turning to head back toward the cave, but the memory flashed, and she saw the Guagamela she knew. It was in ruins, but the sky was dark, she turned back to the edge, and saw someone standing a bit aways from the edge, his arms crossed.
Lillian turned back to the person, it was Collin, but he was a Fate. Lillian returned to the edge, looking down at Hostrich once again, but it was stormy, not that Collin was affected by it. Collin looked upset as he stared at the kingdom below.
She sighed, and murmured, "He must have returned here a while ago." The image dissapated.
Lillian found herself standing in Nixsan, but it seemed different, it was still snowing, but it was soft, not like the harshness Lillian saw.
She jumped when a boy ran through her at full speed, she looked back at him, and he turned back, and waved. He had deep brown hair and grey eyes.
Lillian waved back shyly, he smiled, and jumped when someone asked, "Who are you waving at?" But the voice seemed distant.
The boy looked at his friend, and he shrugged, but his voice was clear as day. "Oh you know, Finny, sometimes ghosts need to be greeted too, they get lonely sometimes~"
Lillian looked at the other boy, and jumped when it was Flynn, he laughed with his friend, and they continued talking avidly. The other boy stopped to turn to look back at her, and he gave her a thumbs up.
Lillian smiled as the boy continued to catch up to Flynn. Until Flynn stopped also as the boy ran ahead.
He looked back also, but he didn't seem to see her, he smiled, and left to catch up with his friend.
Lillian smiled, and the image disappated once again, and Anima was there waiting for her.
"So, I bet that made you curious." Anima said calmly.
"A bit, where are we?" Lillian looked around.
"Ishari." Anima said simply.
"Oh, Vortex." Lillian said quietly.
Anima shrugged, "I don't know, Vortex doesn't remember anything about her human life, or doesn't want to, this might not even be her memory." She said cooly.
"No..." Lillian took a step forward, and said, "It's..."
Anima noticed the coin in her pocket, "I thought it would be a long time before I saw that stupid thing again, but you're right, this isn't Vortex's memory, it's mine, the day we went to save Vortex." Anima said cooly.
As she said that, the image shifted to a dark place full of flowers, with a girl sitting in the middle of it, looking at peace, with Flynn and Anima ahead of them.
"I've always wondered what had happened when Garaos attacked and Flynn kicked me out of the dream." The Anima beside her said thoughtfully.
Lillian watched as Anima questioned Votex, she noticed Flynn looking around restlessly. Lillian shivered when the dream started to shift and unshift unnaturally.
"Here he comes." Anima said quietly.
Lillian noticed a rip in the dream, and so did Flynn. Lillian couldn't hear their voices, but Anima finally realised what was going on.
Lillian saw Flynn turn to Anima, and she seemed to be pushed into another rip in the dream, while Flynn disappeared, with Garaos following him, ignoring Vortex along the way.
"Woah," Lillian laughed, "Intense."
Anima smiled, "Yeah, it seems so far away by now." She murmured quietly.
"Why did you want me to see this?" Lillian asked quietly.
Anima didn't answer immediately, she murmured, "The coin you found started all of this." She eyed the coin as she said this.
Lillian looked at Anima, who shrugged as the dream started to fade away. Anima murmured as she disappeared also, "Weird, how something so small could cause all this."
Lillian woke up to low fire-light, everyone else was sleeping. It was still night time, the moon was nearly covered by the eclipse, and there was many shadows around them. She looked around nervously, then quietly stood up, facing the eclipsing moon.
She blinked, and sat back down against the tree, she murmured, "I hope we can settle this, I hate being on the run."
Lillian jumped when there was a creaking noise. She narrowed her eyes, it had grown silent. Lillian stood up quietly, heading towards Erik who was nearest, she kicked the tree he was leaning against, and he blinked open his eyes, he asked sleepily, "What?"
"There's something here." Lillian whispered.
Erik looked around curiously, he murmured, "I don't see anything."
They both stared into the undergrowth, Erik finally stood up, looking around warily. Lillian started to have the bad feeling again. She covered her mouth, widening her eyes, and Eirk whispered, "What is it?"
"It's... Sneaking past Aris." She whispered in horror.
Erik readied his sword, staring at the clearing, Lillian followed him, but stopped when the shadows suddenly got larger. She hesitantly looked up.
The moon was a dark red, she gasped, "Oh no!"
Erik stopped also, looking up at the moon, and he said quietly, "The Lunar Eclipse, it's starting."
"We... Need to get out of here!" Lillian squeaked as the invisible attacker manifested, it stared at the two, and they stared back.
It turned away from them, heading towards Lucan and Markus, who were sleeping a bit aways from each-other. "Do something!" Lillian hissed quietly.
Erik nodded, but just as he took a step forward, he stopped, and looked down, something was holding him back, Lillian tried to move to, but couldn't. "What's going on?!" She asked. Erik didn't answer her.
She watched as the shadow got closer to the two, it's eyes flashing. Lillian snarled, something inside her seemed to be waking up. "No way am I letting you hurt my friends." She growled.
Lillian took out the dagger, but it seemed dulled under the eclipsed moon, she glowered as the shadow was nearing them, and she threw it. But at that moment, Lucan blinked open his eyes, and they widened as the shadow attacked.
But the dagger dug deep into the shadows side, and Lillian felt the pressure on her lift, and she could move again. Lucan asked, "What was that?!" As the shadow disappeared, dropping the dagger on to the grass.
Erik looked around quickly, then he said to Lillian, "Wake them up!"
Lucan and Lillian nodded, and they woke up Markus and Aris, and Markus exclaimed, "Why is it so dark?!" Lillian pointed upwards, both Aris and Markus looked up, and Markus stared, with a shocked face.
"No way!" Markus gasped.
Lucan snarled, "We've got no time, we need to move!"
Lillian felt weird, her eyes got blurry. But they went into focus as soon as they blurred, and everyone continued arguing.
Markus said, "But... What happened?"
Lillian clutched her stomach, and looked around, the shadows seemed to be distorting, Erik looked at her, and he asked, "You okay?"
Lillian couldn't answer him, it was like something was stopping her from talking.
Aris stood up straight, the shadows seemed to be getting longer, she heard Aris ask, "What was that?"
"What was what?" Markus asked back.
Aris seemed to drift towards the shadows, and Lillian yelled in her mind, No, something's wrong! But Aris couldn't hear her.
Her vision seemed to be blinking in and out, but the moon made no change, and when her vision stabalised. All her friends were gone, only an older man stood in the clearing with her, and he smirked, "Not what I was expecting." He muttered cooly.
Lillian's head was pounding, and she asked, "Who are you?!"
"Me? Oh, no one you should know right away," The man said cooly, "Do you know where you are?" He asked.
"I'm in the clearing, but, where are my friends?" She asked.
"You mean you don't remember?" The man asked, smiling.
She stared at him, confused, and he murmured, "Your friends are dead."
Lillian stared at him, her eyes widening, and she said quietly, "That's impossible, they were right here!"
"I could show you, if you really want." He said cooly.
Lillian stared at him, and she whispered, as images flashed through her mind, "No... They can't be dead..." She growled.
"I'm Solaris." The man said idly, as if he was bored.
"No, this can't be happening, Leilas told me. This is a bad dream, this is a bad dream and when I wake up..." she faltered, then added quietly, "My friends will be standing around me."
"The mind does curious things, Lillian." Solaris smiled.
Lillian patted the ground, but it was real, a bit too real, she shivered, and looked up at Solaris, "It was nice having this little chat, I guess I should have taken mortals seriously." He murmured.
Lillian covered her face, images continued to flash in her vision, the deaths of her friends, and she snarled in frustration, "This can't be happening!" She stood up, facing Solaris.
Solaris raised an eye-brow, she felt tears in her eyes, "They can't be dead!" She yelled.
Lillian saw a flash behind Solaris, and when Solaris turned around, he disappeared, and Lillian was left alone in the clearing.
"They..." Lillian whispered, then turned her heel, and ran towards the pond, I need water!
She ducked toward the pond, staring at her shivering reflection, she took the coin out, and stared at it. Wait, shivering?!
Lillian stared at it, but nothing changed, when she held out her hand, she gasped, punched the water's surface, but it broke like a mirror. Her eyes darkened.
She didn't know how long she was out beside the pond, but when she awoke and stared down at the pond, her reflection was normal, but she was still alone.
Lillian sighed, and jumped when there was a noise.
"Lillian?" The voice asked.
"Who are you?!" She snapped, standing up quickly.
She jumped when Lucan walked out, and he raised his eye-brow, "Okay, first, you break down in the middle of the clearing, run towards here, and now you don't recognise me?" He asked carefully.
"How do I know you're real?" Lillian narrowed her eyes.
Lucan looked at her in disbelief, but he sighed quietly, and walked towards her. She kept the dagger posed, but he just grabbed the hilt gently, and took it away from her, then flicked her in the head. She flinched, and he asked skeptically, "Real enough for you, Lillian?"
Lillian stared at him, and she whispered, "I thought you were dead..."
"What made you think that, you were just standing there for a few minutes, broke down, and ran away, we were worried you saw something that we couldn't." Lucan pointed out.
"So, it was just... Solaris playing tricks on my mind, just like Leilas said he would." Lillian murmured thoughtfully.
Lucan sighed, "Trust me, I'm pretty sure I'm alive at least," He said quietly, "Or maybe we're all in a dream, that'd be really weird, maybe the tunnels weird energy is still affecting us..."
Lillian rubbed her eyes, and murmured, "I'm sorry, Solaris... He used my fear to mess me up."
"If you don't mind me asking, what is your fear?" Lucan asked, "Just so we know in the future, in case Solaris tries to mess with your mind again."
"I... I'm afraid of losing you guys, for a very quick instant, I saw you all die, and I was all alone." Lillian murmured quietly.
"Wow, extreme." Lucan said thoughtfully.
Lillian said nothing, and Lucan looked around, then murmured, "Well, my mother always told me something," he hesitated, as if trying to remember, then said, "She told me that no matter where my friends were, they would be right beside me, even if it looked like I was alone."
She stared at him, and he asked, "How about we go to back to camp, then you can test the others for what Markus would say 'realness.' Even though that's not a word." He shrugged, and walked away, with Lillian following closely.
Everyone looked up, Lillian smiled shyly, like she was meeting them for the first time, and Markus asked, "You all right, Lillian?"
Lillian nodded, she noticed that Erik had his sword out, then realised that it was the flash of his sword behind Solaris, they were there all along.
"I'm sorry for worrying you guys, I just saw something, Solaris just messed with my mind." She said quietly, rubbing her head.
"Aw, it's okay~" Markus said, and hugged her, much to her surprise. She hugged back, Markus yelled and she jumped, "Group hug, before any of you can get away!"
"You're so weird." Lucan laughed, stepping back, but Erik dropped his sword, and hugged too. Aris looked like he was thinking about it.
Lucan jumped when Markus managed to pull him into the hug, Lillian laughed as he begrudgingly allowed himself into the group hug.
Markus said to Aris, "Oh yeah, it's kind of weird to hug people in Isharin culture, right, or are you all just awkward?" He asked.
Everyone stared at Aris, and he said calmly, "Well, not weird, just a bit odd, nothing wrong with it though."
"Then you join in too!" Makus pointed at him.
Aris waved his hands, "Ah, I'm good, I was in the last one." He said quietly.
They dispersed from the group hug, and Lillian looked up at the mountain, she narrowed her eyes when there was small flashes of sharp light at the top, she murmured, "We need to hurry."
Her friends nodded, Lillian grabbed her back-pack, and led the way to the mountain. They broke into a run when the shadows seemed to get longer, and the moon slowly got darker.
They got to the lamped path to the entrence, but the lamps had blown out. Erik murmured, "That can't be good."
They huddled together, Lillian noticed red eyes coming out of the shadows, and Lillian took out her dagger, while Erik took out his sword. "Be ready to defend yourselves!" She hissed.
The red eyes finally got shapes, and all of them tensed up. But didn't attack.
"Hahaha!" A laugh sounded, "The shadows don't attack unless I tell them too, because they are a part of me, not unless Solaris finally convinced them!"
The red eyes blinked, and Leilas appeared in a huff of black smoke, she was wearing black pants, and a black shirt, her cloak barely making a noise, and she taunted the spirits, "Well, come on!"
The spirits growled, and launched themselves at the group. Erik pulled Aris out of the way of an attacking shade, while Leilas laughed, holding out two fingers, and the shades against her stopped, but seemed to be in pain. She outstreched her whole hand, then made a swiping motion in the air, and they seemed to disappear with the swipe.
"I'm really glad you made out of the tunnels alive, Lillian, but it's not over!" Leilas said loudly, pointing to the huge white gate.
Lillian nodded, then looked at her friends, they all ran towards the entrance, but more shades appeared.
"They never end!" Lillian said exasperated.
Leilas turned to her, then looked at Erik, and smiled, "No, but they can be held back..."
Lillian stared at her, the rumbling overhead getting louder and louder.
Your friends will always be there for you
No matter the distance.
Erik looked at Leilas too, but then understood, and nodded. Lillian squeaked, "What are you planning?"
"Are you ready?" Leilas murmured.
Erik nodded, then pushed the other four towards the gate, Lillian asked sharply, "What are you doing?!"
"This is the only way, Lillian, both me and her can hold them back, you guys need to hurry up to the mountain," when Lillian was about to complain, he hissed, "There's no time, don't worry about me, worry about yourselves!"
He finally pushed them through the gate, Aris looked like he was about to interject, but Erik hissed, "Aris." Aris looked up at him, Erik took out his necklace, and took it off. He threw it at Aris, and said, "As long as you have that, you should still be protected."
Lillian asked, "But, what about you?"
"The guardian knew what this path meant, Lillian and Aris." Leilas murmured.
Lillian was about to step across the gate but Erik quickly pushed her back, and did something to stop them and the shades from going in or out, he smiled, "You've got to trust me, Lillian." He said gently.
He turned to the shades bearing down him and the old god, he took out his sword, and he said quickly, "Go now, before they figure out how to get past the barrier!"
Lillian turned to Leilas, "Please don't let him die..."
Leilas smiled, "That's up to him, now go!" She hissed.
She nodded hesitently, then ran up the white stone steps, Markus and Lucan following her, but Aris hesitated, then said, "You are the best there is, Erik, you got us this far."
Erik seemed to smile, "I guess I have, now go catch up with Lily."
Aris smiled, and ran to catch up with Lillian. Erik looked at Leilas, and asked curiously, "So, before we launch into battle together, what's your name?"
"My name is Leilas, little guardian," She murmured, "And I was the sister to Hamark's old god, Orias."
Erik eyes seemed to flash, and he nodded, "You ready then?"
"I've been ready for this for a long time, guardian, how about you?" Leilas asked, taking out the scythe.
Erik smiled, "I'm ready." He murmured, determined.
"Then let's show these shades not to mess with you, guardian." Leilas laughed, and leaped at the shades, scythe glinting at the pure hidden moonlight, with Erik following close behind, sword at the ready.
Lillian panted as she reached another step, and she growled, "Oh man, how long is this going to take?"
Markus looked up, and said quietly, "Looks to be a long time," he looked back down the mountain, where the shadows were slowly climbing, and he asked quietly, "Think Erik will be all right?"
"If anyone can beat back an army of shades, it will be him." Lillian laughed, and continued up the white stone steps, Lucan stopped though.
"Something the matter?" Lillian asked, looking back.
"Well, yeah." Lucan smiled, but he seemed oddly pale, Lillian frowned.
"Can you keep going?" Markus asked curiously.
Lucan nodded, and soon followed them up the steppes, until they reached a small clearing edge, and they took a break.
Lillian looked up as the sharp white flashes continued, and she murmured, "No, wait... There's a problem!" She gasped.
They all jumped, and Lillian said quickly, "If Solaris is awake... That means... Garaos is too!"
Everyone stared at her in shock, Aris then said, "Hey!"
Lillian turned to him, and he was pointing at the distance, at Guagamela. The mountain seemed normal enough, but Lillian got an odd feeling from it, and she murmured, "He's waking up..."
"To fight against us or with us?" Markus asked quietly.
"Against Garaos, but that doesn't mean he's wholly on our side." Lucan pointed out.
Lillian stared at the mountain, and she murmured, "He won't hurt us, it's Garaos he wants, just like Leilas, they have no ill intentions against us this time around."
They all stared at the mountain this time, all tense, then Lillian murmured, "Let's keep going."
Markus and Aris stood up, but Lucan didn't, Lillian turned to him, and asked, "Okay, something's wrong, isn't there?"
Lucan nodded quietly, not saying a word. Lillian bent towards him, and looked at him, while he stared at her, and asked, "What?"
"Our time is quickly running out, then..." Aris murmured.
Lillian helped Lucan stand, Lillian noticed that he was radiating heat, she thought, Please... You've got to keep going... We'll get help once we're up the mountain...
Lucan looked at her, as if he could hear what she was thinking, he nodded, then they walked up the mountain, the rumbling was on and off, but Lillian stopped when the rocks beside them were eerily silent. Lucan was half concious, leaning against Lillian.
"It..." Lillian murmured, then looked up, almost afraid of what she was going to see.
The rocks were teetering over the edge, and a few pebbles started fall. Lillian wouldn't be able to get out of the avalanches path in time, not with Lucan, Markus ran up to help them, and the rumbling started again, and bigger rocks started to fall.
Lillian felt someone push her ahead as the rocks finally fell, and blocked the way.
"Aris!" Lillian called, "You okay?!"
"I'm okay, how about you?" He asked back.
"All right, but I don't think you'll be able to find another way around." Lillian called.
Aris seemed to think, then said, "I'm going to go back down to the clearing, keep an eye on Guagamela, and send you a signal if there's any change."
"Signal? How?" Lillian called back.
Aris laughed, "You'll know when you see it." She heard him walk away from them. The rocks crunching under his feet.
Lillian looked at Markus, and he shrugged, "We need to trust him." He murmured, then indicated to Lucan, "We don't have much time for thinking about it."
She nodded, and they continued to walk up the steppes, and she murmured to herself, "They'll be all right, we've been in danger before."
"Of course." Markus said quietly.
They soon reached another clearing, and sat down for a bit. Lillian murmured inside her head, Collin... Answer me please...
Oh, hello! Collin said cheerfully.
Wait! Are you in trouble? Lillian asked.
Of course, who isn't? Collin laughed.
Lillian facepalmed, and she asked, We're heading up the mountain, one of my friends is sick...
That's not the best idea, Garaos is here. Collin said quietly.
We have no choice, Collin, we'll help! Lillian growled in exasperation.
He didn't answer back, but Lillian gasped when the shadows started getting longer, Lillian stood up, but Markus didn't, while Lucan was only half aware of what was going on. She took out her dagger, and snarled at the shadows, "I'm not backing down! Not this time!"
The shadows seemed to contemplate, then the shape flew at her, but not before another shape blocked it, and the voice said calmly, "Long time no see, Lillian."
She realised it was Flynn, but he looked all right, he asked, "How are you faring, then?" He turned to Lillian, as the shade disappeared.
Lillian looked at him, then at Lucan, and murmured, "Erik had to fight back the shade horde with Leilas, Aris is watching Guagamela, we think Orias is starting to wake up."
"Oh yes, Orias is going to wake up," Flynn said calmly, sitting with them, "Because I took the spell off him that was keeping him in that state, I politely asked him for help, he seemed hesitant, then I told him, along with Solaris, Garaos would wake up too. Then he told me that I'd have to give him time, he had something in mind that would really help, but he'd need my permission to do it." He explained.
"And..." Lillian asked.
"I gave him it." Flynn murmured.
Lillian stared at him, then looked at Lucan, "Got any of that magic liquid with you?"
Flynn looked at Lucan too, and frowned, "Yes... But this time, I don't think it will help." He murmured.
"Do you know what's wrong?" Lillian asked curiously, while Markus listened quietly.
Flynn hesitated, then said, "All I can say is, he'll be fine, I mean, I can give him the liquid, it might make him aware of his surroundings, but he won't be in much state to defend himself."
Lillian nodded, Flynn passed her the liquid Lillian gave some to Lucan, and he blinked open his eyes, and asked in confusion, "Eh... How long was I out?"
"You weren't out." Markus pointed out.
Lucan stared at him, and he murmured, "Oh, it felt like I was."
Lillian smiled, and Lillian asked, "What's going on, up on the mountain?"
Flynn looked up, then said quietly, "Collin and Anima are having a little reunion with Garaos, Solaris hasn't shown his face yet."
Lucan murmured, "That's because he's waiting."
Flynn, Markus, and Lillian looked at him, and Markus asked, "What do you mean by that?"
"It means, he's waiting for his chance to land a killing blow without needing to fight them." Lucan murmured quietly.
Lillian and Markus stared at him, but Flynn looked at him thoughtfully, "Like... Garaos is a distraction?" He asked curiously.
Lucan finally looked at his ancestor, then nodded, "Yeah, but what Solaris is waiting for, that's the mystery..." He said quietly.
Lillian looked at them both, and realised how different the two were. Flynn blinked, and murmured quietly, "Oh, I know what he wants."
Lucan looked up also, eyes flashing, and he said, "The castle."
Flynn stared at him, and asked, "A castle-?" but Lucan interrupted him.
"If... You don't mind me asking, after... The Great war... Did you..." He faltered, then asked, "Visit the old castle, during the dark days of that time?"
Flynn finally seemed to be really seeing his descendent, and asked quietly, "How... Do you know?"
"It... It was a memory, I don't know if it was yours, or... Atavia's..." Lucan murmured quietly, "But it was dark, and I was staring up at the old castle."
"Atawhat." Markus asked.
Lillian murmured, "It means great great great grandmother, Markus."
"Woah, that's a lot of greats..." Markus muttered.
Flynn had gone quiet, and said thoughtfully, "I'm not sure, I don't remember much, it's a bit fuzzy, I'm sorry." He murmured.
Lucan asked, "Why are you saying sorry? If you can't remember, you can't remember."
Flynn didn't say anything, and he asked, "How has Nixsan been, apart from Nixsi."
"All right." Lucan said quietly.
Lillian felt awkward, then watched as Lucan took out the icy music box, which Flynn seemed to flinch away from, but he didn't move.
Lucan said, "I'm giving this too you, because it's what Atavia would have wanted, and I'm sure she does want it."
Flynn stared at him, then smiled, taking the icy music box. Flynn looked like he was about to say something, but Lucan cut in, "You're part of the family, we all know that, it's not like we try to hide it or anything, and in looks, you look like my brother, not my Atavus, the music box belongs to you just as much as it belongs to us."
Flynn sighed, "Well, I was starting to feel old, I guess that feeling's gone," he looked at Lucan, "Holly told me that she'd protect the family, even from the Farlands, no matter the tough times that you all went through."
"So, she did make it to the Farlands?" Lucan asked.
Flynn nodded, "She went there, because she went peacefully, didn't put up a fuss or anything." He said quietly.
"Well, I'm glad Atavia is still watching over us then," Lucan murmured, looking up at the sky, "This fight isn't going to stop us."
Lillian and Markus nodded quickly, and Flynn smiled, and said, "Heh, that's what she said to me once, too."
Lillian asked Lucan, "Hey after this, what are you planning to do?"
Lucan stared at her, and said, "I don't know, I guess we'll see, what about you two?"
Lillian dreaded the thought of seperating from her friends, then she asked Flynn, "Hey, is Erik all right?!"
Flynn smiled, and said, "I'll let him tell you himself, but it will just be his projecting image. The shades seem to be backing off a bit."
He turned to the edge, and held his hand out, and soon the image of Erik came, and he looked fine.
"Hey guys!" He called.
"Erik!" They all said happily.
"You guys holding out all right? Leilas is helping me project this image, weird right? Anyways, we beat back most of the shades!" He reported.
"That doesn't mean they're going to stop." Lucan pointed out.
Erik smiled, "Of course, actually, me and Leilas have been having fun, these shades are nothing, but..." He hesitated, then said, "Leilas is worried this is just a front, a trick, something bigger is coming."
"You guys need to get out of there before it comes then!" Lillian said.
Erik looked at her, then said calmly, "We can give you time, we're not backing out."
Lillian frowned, but then smiled as Erik disappeared.
Flynn turned to them, and said, "I can guide you the rest of the way, but you must promise that you will keep out of the fight, until at least, Orias wakes up, then we'll need your help, when you see the signal from Aris..." He faltered, then looked at Lillian.
"I need you to do something specifically, when that happens." Flynn said quietly.
"What?" Lillian asked.
"There's a cave, right at the top, with a big round boulder, I want you to take the dagger in there, climb to the top of the boulder, using the steps..." He hesitated, then said flatly, "And destroy it."
"The boulder or the dagger?" Lillian asked.
Flyn looked at her, then murmured, "Both."
"And how exactly, am I supposed to do that?" Lillian asked, "Daggers can't usually do that much damage."
Flynn smiled, and said quietly, "Not when you aim right."
"Anyways, how would destroying both of these things help?" Lillian asked curiously.
"It'll hinder Garao's power, but I've been trying to figure out a way to at least lessen Solaris's power, but I've had no such luck, apart from the solar eclipse, which I can't force." Flynn murmured thoughtfully.
Lillian got an odd feeling, then headed towards the edge, she looked down, and saw that the shadows seemed to be climbing up the mountain, she was really worried for Erik and Aris. Markus came over to see, and he murmured, "Now that, can't be good."
Lillian turned back to Lucan and Flynn, whow ere watching her attentively, she said, "Then, we need to hurry up, Collin and Anima can't fight Garaos alone..."
"They have before." Flynn pointed out.
"Did they win?" Lillian asked, Flynn went silent at that.
They all stood up, Lillian and Markus helped Lucan up, because he still seemed out of it, Flynn asked, "Are you ready?"
Lillian nodded, and started to follow Flynn, but she stopped, and everyone turned to look at her.
Lillian turned also, and watched as a bright light seemed to be launched into the sky, and disappear. It exploded, showering the sky with colourful sparks.
"What the heck, Aris?" Lillian murmured.
"Looks like he's awake." Lucan murmured.
Markus pointed out, "I can't see anything though."
"You don't need to see," Flynn told him, then said, "Which means we better get going." Lillian nodded, and followed Flynn quietly.
Lillian murmured, "I wonder how long this whole hidden ruin was here..."
Flynn said thoughtfully, "Anima said something about being here long before the old gods, which was a long time ago."
"That's a long time," Lillian sighed, staring up at the mountain, which was now an eerie quiet. Lillian asked, "Think Collin and Anima will be all right?" She asked.
Flynn looked at the mountain also, then said, "Hard to say."
Lillian stopped, then leaned towards the rock face suspiciously. Everyone turned to look at her, and she asked, "This mountain is hollow at the bottom, right?"
"At some points it's hollow, sometimes it's not, it's kind of weird." Flynn murmured, also staring at the rock wall.
Lillian looked up at the mountain again, and she said quietly, "We shouldn't stop."
Flynn nodded, and continued leading the way. Markus asked Lillian, "Am I the only one getting a bad feeling? Because I'm getting a really bad one." He murmured.
"Hold fast to that." Flynn said quietly, staring ahead.
Markus stared at him, and murmured, "Aw man, now it's worse when you say that!"
Flynn said quietly, "Sorry, but trusting your instincts is the best thing to do." He continued walking, but seemed tense, as if like Markus, he had a bad feeling too.
Lillian stopped suddenly, and everyone looked at her, her eyes widened, her vision flashed, Markus and Lucan stared at her, unsure of what was going on. But Flynn walked towards her, and asked quietly, "Collin?"
Lillian shrugged, and she murmured quietly, "Something's off, Flynn..."
Flynn nodded, and turned to continue walking, Markus asked, "Need help?"
Lillian looked at Markus, and said quietly, "No, I'm fine..."
Markus nodded, and they continued following Flynn, until they reached a clearing. Flynn looked around, while Lilliian looked over the edge, the shadows on the mountain seemed to be crawling upwards to the mountain, but she was sure Aris and Erik were okay.
Markus sat down, and said exasperated, "This is the biggest mountain ever."
They all sat down, and Lillian murmured, "I wonder how Garaos is going to react to Orias..."
"Well, you're about to find out." Markus pointed out.
Flynn crossed his arms, "Garaos believes he is as good as dead." He said cooly.
Lillian frowned, remembering what Leilas had told her. Garaos as good as killed him! She had said, she was angry then, the old god had cared very deeply for Orias, and hurting him was the very last straw for her.
"Maybe... The old gods are misunderstood?" Lillian asked quietly, "Their minds seem a lot more suspectible then ours, even more suspectible than yours," she eyed Flynn, and she said quietly, "Their minds weren't meant to have mortal contact, they don't understand when they're being hateful, and cruel, and Solaris seems to know that, doesn't mean they know what it's like to care for someone, even though they may never understand what love is, doesn't mean they can't." She added.
Flynn looked at her thoughtfully, "I wonder..." He murmured.
Lillian looked at him, Flynn stood up, and said, "We better hurry."
Lillian nodded, looking back at Markus and Lucan, who were staring at her. They followed after her, and they followed Flynn the rest of the way up the mountain.
It was still quiet, but they reached a wooden door, Lillian almost missed it, but Flynn pointed it out to her.
"Woah." Markus said.
Flynn looked at it, then said quietly, "There's no need to go inside yet, let's go." He headed towards white, viney steps. Leading to the top of the mountain.
Lillian hesitated, then followed Flynn, she asked, "Why is it so quiet?"
"Garaos must be talking to them, they were fighting a while ago, but I guess Garaos decided he wouldn't bother, so unlike him..." Flynn growled.
They reached the clearing, and Lillian was awed at the view, she could see Hostrich, even Grealach, and she murmured, "Never thought I'd reach here."
Flynn was staring at the cave entrance though, Lillian walked up to it, then went in, with Flynn following quickly.
When they reached the end, Collin and Anima seemed to be fighting to stay concious, while Garaos stood over them, he turned when he heard the newcomers, and he smiled dangerously, "Well, look who it is." He said cooly.
Lillian stepped toward him, and Garaos stopped, and she asked dangerously, "What did you do to them?"
Garaos looked at Collin and Anima, who looked at Lillian in horror. Lillian stared down Garaos though, and he laughed, "I did nothing..."
Lillian took another step forward, while Markus called, "What are you doing?!"
Lillian ran past Garaos towards the boulder, Collin and Anima seemed to look relieved, but stared as Garaos blocked Lillian, "And what are you planning to destroy the boulder with?"
"You know what, Garaos!" Someone called, but it wasn't anyone Lillian immediately recognised, she felt herself pushed to the side as Garaos took a swipe.
It was Orias, he had blue flames in his eyes, this wasn't the Orias in the vision, the seemingly human old god, this was the dragon. Lillian felt someone help her up, and she stared as Orias and Garaos stared at each-other.
Garaos's eyes flashed as Orias pushed him down easily, Orais sneered, "Not unlike you to finish the job, but unlike you to stand idly by, I know you, Garaos." He growled.
Garaos spat, "You don't know me at all!"
Orias eyes narrowed, and he said cooly, "I've waited too long for this, Garaos, waiting for my power to return, just for this moment."
Garaos stared up at the younger old god, and smiled, "Going to finish the job, Orias?!" He laughed.
Orias narrowed his eyes, then snarled, "Why do that when what I'm about to show you will kill you anyways?!" He plunged his sword towards Garaos.
Garaos flinched, but the sword never touched him, instead, Lillian noticed a faint blue mist surrounding the old god, and his eyes seemed to turn into a very deep brown, instead of a sharp green. He had gone silent, while Orias concentrated.
"Man, what's going on?" Collin finally asked quietly.
Lillian walked towards the two Fates, and she asked, "You guys okay?"
"Could be worse." Collin laughed.
"He..." Anima murmured, staring at Orias.
"What?" Everyone asked.
"He's... Garaos..." Anima murmured.
They turned to look at Garaos, and finally Orias let go of the mist, and stepped back from Garaos in disgust.
"Urg, Orias?" He asked.
Lillian froze, something was different about his voice, he looked up at Orias, and asked, "Where am I?" Orias stared at him angrily, and he murmured, "Last thing I remember is..."
He froze, then stood up, and asked Orias in horror, "Tharas! Where's Tharas?!" He asked in horror and fear.
Orias anger seemed to leave him, and Garaos murmured, "You seem different..."
Orias said nothing. Garaos murmured, "I... I killed him... How could I..."
"Solaris knew exactly how to get under your skin, you should have seen this coming, Garaos, you of all people." Orias murmured, his voice strained.
Garaos looked horrorfied, and asked in horror, "Why did I let this happen?!"
Orias sighed, and Garaos stared at him, "And you're not you, there's something off about your soul! What have I done?!" He asked.
Orias stared at him, everyone watched tensely, and Orias said quickly, "You need to tell us when Solaris is coming."
"I don't know! I don't remember, this is too much..." Garaos murmured.
Orias snarled, "Get a hold of yourself, Garaos! There's too much at risk! The balance you and Tharas worked so hard to protect is being destroyed by Solaris using you!"
Lillian asked, "Er... What do you mean by that?"
Orias looked at her, and said, "Solaris has been controlling Garaos's soul, a near impossible and plainly forbidden thing to do."
Flynn asked, "Controlling the soul?"
Orias nodded, "Yes, that's why the Garaos now having a mental breakdown before you is the non crazed Garaos, as sad as that is." Orias stared at Garaos.
Garaos seemed to relax, and he murmured, "How much has changed... It feels like there's these gaps in my memory...." He faltered.
Orias stared down at Garaos, "I'm afraid a lot, most by your own hand, do you know these four, or even recognise them?" He asked darkly, and signaled to the four Fates, Vortex had finally caught up to them, and was staring at them confused.
Garaos followed his indication, and Lillian stared in horror when nothing of recognition flashed in his gaze. His gaze was instead flat.
"Wow." Collin muttered.
He looked back at Orias, and asked eerily, "Should I?"
Orias frowned, while everyone else stared at Garaos. Anima murmured, "Not possible..."
Orias sighed, "I'm afraid so. Solaris loves to use his powers, to break the mind slowly, on the inside," He sheathed his sword, "But he must have used a lot of power to get this big a hold on Garaos..."
Garaos was staring at Anima, and he asked in a strained voice, "I know you..."
Anima stared at the old god, and narrowed her eyes, and Garaos continued, "You're immortal, I can sense it... However, you're not an old god, you're more human than naught..."
Lillian shivered when Anima's eyes seemed to flash red for a second, and she snarled, "I'm Anima, I'm not an old god, never will I refer to myself as such!" She snapped, taking out a sword, and pointing it at Garaos's chest, she pushed Orias to the side, "I'm a Fate! And it's because of you I'm like this, because of you, you destroyed lives of innocent people!"
Collin and Orias jumped at her sudden outburst, anger filling in her eyes, "I never asked for this! I never wanted this! Being immortal is the worst! Watching the people I care about slowly wither away while I stay this way!" She snarled.
Collin looked at the ground, while Orias looked straight at Anima in horror and sadnes. Flynn had also looked away, his eyes also flashing red.
Garaos stared at her in horror, but made no move to defend himself.
Lillian jumped when Collin moved very quickly towards Anima, as she raised her sword. Collin stepped in front of her, and she stopped.
"It's too late now! It's not worth it!" Collin snapped.
Anima lowered her sword, and snarled back, "Don't talk to me about what's not worth it, Collin!"
Collin didn't back down, and he said quietly, "This isn't like you, Anima, you weren't meant to kill."
Anima continued to glare at him, Collin continued, "He's not who he is! Way back when, he wasn't himself!" Collin turned to Garaos, and said, "You made us immortal."
Garaos widened his eyes, and said in shock, "No way, that's totally against the rules!" He shook his head quickly in horror.
Anima snapped over Collin's shoulder, "You broke it knowing full well what the consequence was!"
Collin pushed her away, "He obviously didn't, Anima! Get a hold of yourself, the real enemy is Solaris!" He slowly turned back to Garaos, and asked, "When was that rule made?"
Orias answered, "Well... A while before Tharas..." He looked at Garaos, and said, "Solaris must have started taking control of you after that..."
Garaos seemed so defeated, Lillian couldn't help but feel bad for him.
Markus finally said, "Um, I have a question..."
Everyone looked at him, except Anima, who was still glaring at Garaos, Markus asked, "Uh, how could you tell Solaris was starting to control Garaos?"
Orias looked shocked, his eyes flashing, and said, "No... It was before... He started controlling you..." He stared at Garaos, "Remember that day at the mountain?"
"Huh, oh... Faintly..." Garaos murmured.
"You were egging me on, to go to a place I feared the most, and you had a very... Weird gaze." Orias said, all annoyance towards Garaos gone.
Garaos looked confused, then said quietly, "I just remember asking you why you were hesitating..."
Orias looked almost thoughtful, he said, "So this is what he's planning, got all that Leilas." He looked to the shadows on his left.
"Yep!" A female voice called, and Leilas walked out of the shadows.
Lillian gasped, "Is Erik all right?"
"He met up with the young Isharin, and I caught up with you guys." Leilas said calmly.
Lillian relaxed, and so did Anima, and Leilas asked Garaos coldly, "So, know when he's coming? And no funny business."
Garaos stared at her, and said, "I don't know! I already said that!"
Lillian noticed that Anima had gone stiff, and she was slightly shaking, while Collin was staring at her. Lillian walked up to them, and asked, "What's wrong?"
Collin looked almost horrorfied, Flynn had finally turned back to Anima, a look of confusion on his face.
Anima whispered, "No... He... That's wrong..."
Garaos started to back away from Anima, while Orias looked at her in what resembled shock.
Vortex was hiding a bit behind Leilas, who was also wide-eyed.
Markus asked Lillian quietly, "I take it that means he's coming?"
Lillian looked at the boulder behind them, and she snapped to Garaos, "You need to help me destroy that!"
Garaos looked at her, and said, "If you destroy it, my powers will be weakened and..." He looked at the Fates, and Lillian painfully understood.
"Why didn't you tell me?" She asked Flynn, who took a step back.
"Solaris is the biggest problem, we knew what would happen, and we were willing to risk it." Flynn said quietly.
She looked at Collin, who only looked at her in sadness, while Anima was staring down at the ground.
"You can't ask me to do that!" Lillian snapped, facing Collin, who flinched away from her.
"Then give Garaos the dagger so he can do it!" Flynn growled menacingly, stepping towards her.
Lillian flinched, then looked at Lucan, who was very pale, and she thought, If... If they die from that... That means...
Lillian then got an idea, and she asked, "You can hold Solaris back, can't you?"
Everyone nodded except for her group of friends and Garaos, she looked at Garaos, "I'm giving you the chance to fix your mistakes." She said quietly, clutching the dagger.
Garaos nodded, then looked down the tunnel, "Here he comes, follow me."
She followed him as the shadows got longer, He placed his hands on the boulder as Lillian climbed the steps. Markus hissed in her ear, "You're not seriously going to destroy the boulder?"
"What other choice do I have?" Lillian hissed back, when Markus made no noise, she continued up the steps, leaving Markus at the bottom with Garaos, who was slowly turning the boulder.
Lillian climbed to the top, staring down at the boulder and she asked Garaos, "How do I do this?"
Garaos stopped though, Lillian looked up as a man walked down the tunnel, and he sneered, "Well isn't this an odd little reunion..."
"Solaris." Garaos hissed fearfully.
Lillian's ears were ringing now, Garaos had turned back to the boulder, and she could see cracks starting to form at the top, with white looking light started to spill out.
Everything seemed to attack, the shadows overtook Leilas and Orias, who fought back, while the Fates stared down Solaris.
You've got to do it, Lillian! Collin called.
I can't! I can't do it! Lillian looked at the dagger, which was shaking in her hands.
If you don't, this world will die! Collin said softly.
I don't want to lose my friends! Lillian snapped back.
Lillian remembered Holly's words way back in Nixsan.
You might get what you want, but it might not be a price you're willing to pay.
Lillian glared down at Solaris, tears in her eyes, she then looked at the white light, and sneakily dipped it into the white light.
"What are you doing up there?!" Garaos asked loudly.
Lillian stood on the boulder, while everyone fought, and she snapped, "Hey, Solaris!"
Solaris stopped his attacking of Anima, and looked up at Lillian, with a curious gaze, and she snapped, "You're scared of Yuna, that's why you chose now!"
"Excuse me, mortal." Solaris sneered.
"You're weak! Yuna's power exceeds yours!" Lillian looked down at the boulder, watching the white light, This is Yuna's essence...
Solaris said nothing, and Lillian snarled, "You're afraid!"
The shades continued attacking, but he snarled back, "What about you, mortal, are you afraid?"
Lillian looked at everyone, and she said, "I'm afraid, but that just makes me human!" She plunged the dagger in one of the crevices, and Garaos sort of flinched, but he was confused.
Lillian took the dagger out quickly, her heart pounding. She could see cracks in the daggers surface as it shone in the white light.
She aimed, and thought, It's just like a bow, it's just like a bow, I refuse to plunge this into the boulder, I care for too many people, I'm protecting them, I refuse to hurt them.
Lillian threw it, and it seemed to shine through the shadows as it headed towards Solaris, who was fighting with Collin, who was trying to keep him where he was.
Lillian said, "Collin! Watch out!"
Solaris seemed to smile as the dagger seemed to fly towards them, Lillian closed her eyes in horror.
But nothing happened.
She opened her eyes again, and saw that Collin had just barely avoided the dagger, but Solaris wasn't so lucky. It was stuck in the middle of his chest, and slowly, he started bleeding. He laughed, "Think you can best me that easily?"
Lillian snarled, "That wasn't my purpose!"
The boulder finally started to crack under her, and Garaos let go quickly, she dove for the small steps, and almost rolled over the edge of the steps. Solaris was frowning, looking at the dagger as it cracked in two.
Lillian was helped up by Markus, but Lillian noticed a faint white light coming from the entrance, and Markus said, "It's... Moonlight, the eclipse is over!"
Leilas kicked back a shade attacking Orias, and yelled, "Still feeling confident, Solaris!?"
Solaris turned to look at the tunnel, and someone else joined in the fight, pure white sword in hand, pure white hair tied up, and eyes blazing in silver fire.
The women held out her hand, and white shades started attacking the dark shades, and almost all of them were dragged away from the people they were attacking.
"Enough Solaris!" She yelled, running towards Solaris, who seemed shocked, then he finally took out his own sword.
Solaris went to take a swipe at her, but Lillian gasped as someone took her to Solaris, Solaris wasn't facing her and the woman disppeared in white smoke, and Lillian grabbed the broken dagger, as Solaris turned around, she plunged the broken dagger back in, with the woman standing beside her.
Solaris laughed, "That dagger didn't work once, what makes you think it'll work again?"
Lillian flinched, he had already taken out the dagger, while he was already healing. Lillian gasped as he took his sword and was aiming towards her, but she felt herself being dragged away from the swipe.
Collin snarled, "Like hell I'd let you old man!"
Collin was now facing Solaris, who seemed curious. The woman was sneaking behind Solaris, who was distracted by Collin.
"Immortal, she's going to die either way!" He snapped.
"Being immortal doesn't mean that Solaris." The woman whispered behind him, and when he turned around, she plunged her sword through him, and she said, "If you must go like this, you're going to stay asleep, forever, so will I!"
Solaris stared at her, and he smiled, "Not like you to play unfair, Yuna."
The moon god! Lillian gasped, Yuna snarled, "Also not unlike me to attack another old god, but sometimes we must make exceptions!" She pulled the sword out, and Solaris flinched when he wasn't able to heal, blood continued to spill, but there was very little of it, which confused Lillian.
"So you beat me..." Solaris murmured, staring at Yuna, "I hate losing, especially to you."
"I'm sorry it came to this, Solaris, this is my fault," Solaris was now on his knees, "If I knew this is what you would become, I would have put you in a deep sleep long ago." She murmured.
Solaris seemed to fade away like a shadow, but the blood was still there, Yuna walked up to Leilas and Orias, and she whispered, "You two have been through too much, I should never had done this..."
Leilas said, "All we want is a good rest, he was being annoying." She bowed, but Orias didn't move.
Yuna looked at Orias sadly, while he stared unflinchingly back, "I'm afraid I can't repair the damage done to your being, little one. Once a soul has been torn as many times as it has, it's impossible to fix." Yuna whispered.
"Little?" Lillian and Collin asked quietly.
Orias finally frowned, "I wasn't expecting you too." He admitted.
"What happened was not your fault!" Yuna said sternly.
Orias said flatly, "If I had not told her..."
"Then a whole different outcome, and the young Fate guarding the mortal would not be standing here if you had not." Yuna pointed out gently.
Orias frowned, and sighed, "I need a good rest too."
Yuna smiled, and waved her hand at the two old gods, Leilas waved at Lillian happily before disappearing, while Orias kept a straight face, and disappeared back to Hostrich.
Yuna looked at the Fates, "I can't reverse the change either, not without a great amount of power and risk." She looked at Anima, "I hope you will not take that too badly, Immortality always has sucked."
Anima seemed to smile, then Yuna looked at Vortex, who waved, Yuna waved back, then she turned to Collin and Flynn.
Yuna looked at Flynn for a long time, then said to all of them, "You keep the balance in this world, by being immortal, but by also having the humanity we did not, of the understanding of what love and friendship really means."
She finally looked at Lillian, and said, "You and your friends have been through so many perils... Speaking of..." Yuna smiled looking at the entrance.
Lillian gasped as Erik and Aris walking through, looking winded, but cheerful, Erik waved.
Yuna finally turned to Garaos, and she asked, "You need a good rest too, but I must keep you locked like that, so the effects of the control may heal over time."
Garaos nodded, and also disappeared.
Yuna started to shimmer a white mist, and she smiled, "That is all I can do, may the skies watch over you..." And she disappeared.
Lillian sighed, "It's over..."
Everyone turned to look at her, she then looked at her friends. They all looked at each-other, and gasped when Lillian dragged them into a group hug.
"Hey~!" Markus laughed, hugging her back, with Lucan following. Erik and Aris hugged her also.
They let go of her, and Lillian turned to the Fates, she looked at Collin, and took the necklace off, "Thank you for trusting me, when I barely trusted in myself." She murmured, staring at Collin.
Collin laughed, "Aw, you need to have more faith in yourself," he looked at the necklace, "You keep that, and whenever you're having trust with yourself issues, you have that~!" He said.
Lillian hugged Collin, and she whispered, "I think you've saved my life more times than I can count."
Collin nervously hugged her back, then she turned to the other three Fates. Anima looked away, but Vortex and Flynn smiled, Lillian smiled, "Thanks, I don't hate you guys, I promise." She laughed.
Anima finally turned to look at her, and she smiled. Lillian said quietly, "I'm grateful for what you guys did so long ago. I needed to stop thinking like I was alone, when I had people who were there, when I needed them as much as they needed me."
Anima said quietly, "You always had the power to change back, you just needed to see what it would take..."
Lillian smiled, "And I did see," she looked at Collin, "You taught me the greatest lesson, that I don't always need to see with my eyes." She said.
Collin smiled, rubbing his head nervously, she looked at her friends, and said quietly, "But... I'd hate to be seperated from you."
Everyone looked down at the ground.
Vortex jumped in the middle of the circle, and said, "I can help with that! Friendships shouldn't be broken by distance~!"
Lillian jumped when Vortex put her hands on the ground, forming a faint green line connecting all of them, she stood up, and the line disappeared.
"There, now you have this sort of link, I guess you can mind talk with each-other. Try it out! I haven't fully grasped the concept yet, so it's going to be a bit different than our link." Vortex laughed.
Lillian yelled, Hello?!
Everyone, including Collin, who flinched, said, Ow.
Markus was holding his head, "Next time not so loud! Wow that rattled my brain." He laughed.
Vortex giggled, "Okay, at least the mind talky thing works! I wouldn't use it for long periods of time, it'd be weird, and you might end up talking out loud."
Everyone nodded, and Lillian asked, "Would you like to go home? However, I have no home to go too..."
Markus laughed, "My home is where you guys are, at this point."
"What about your sister?" Lucan asked.
"She takes after me." Markus laughed.
"Forget I asked then." Lucan laughed also.
Erik looked at Aris, Aris said, "You're not my guard anymore, you can go back home, but I still have a kingdom to take care of."
Erik smiled, "As long as you have that necklace, and I guess our link, you can always tell us when you need help." He said
Aris smiled, and said to Lillian, "I promise to make up for the losses in Orskola." He bowed
Lillian smiled, then looked at her friends, We've came this far, now I understand what that dire wolf meant... I'll never forget the people I've met, the people I've come to care for, like family.
She felt herself tearing up, and Markus laughed, "Oh, relax Lillian, we'll be able to see each-other!"
Lucan looked at Markus and Lillian, "I'm going back to my home, what about you two?"
Lillian looked at Markus, and Lucan sighed, "I guess you guys could come with me until you decide, my mother would love you two."
Markus giggled, "You say that like it's a bad thing?"
Lucan crossed his arms, "I have two younger sisters, she loves coddling."
"That bad?" Markus laughed.
Lillian looked back at Erik and Aris, "So, Aris, you're going back to Ishari, what about you Erik?"
Erik seemed thoughtful, then said, "I guess... I'm going back home, for a while, catch up with people," he looked at Collin, "However, when you have time, I'd like to show you something."
Collin asked, "What?"
Erik said, "Just something that's apart of Hostrich's past that you might like to know about."
Collin shrugged. Lillian smiled, and they all walked out of the tunnel.
Lillian smiled as the soft dawn light tore streaks of light over the sky.
That's the story, of course lots of things happened afterwards, but that's a different story, for a different time.
They stayed together though, and that's all Lillian ever asked for.