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Friday, 13 July 2012

Kysharok - Part 7

   Three days had passed, and Varai had finally been allowed to leave the healer's care. He had felt a little trapped within the house, and had wanted to get out and do what he felt he was supposed to, so the second he was told he should be fine to leave, he did. He had spent the time there thinking, however, and as he contemplated it, he was grateful that they had forced him to stay. Had he run off the second he woke, he'd likely have ended up wandering aimlessly with little idea what to do. As it was, he had decided that the best thing to do would be to go back to the site of the fight and look around; see if he could find something to convince others - and himself - that what he had seen was true. Because the longer he spent thinking on what to do, the more he had found himself questioning whether it had even happened the way he had thought it had.
   It had taken a lot of force to keep himself on the correct line of thought, and as he walked through the city now, head bowed, hood up, he headed towards the Sanctuary.
   He approached the large, white, stone building, which stood out of the way of the city in a quiet and serene area of almost-woodland, but still with easy access, and passed several of his own kind along the way. Instead of heading inside, though, he followed a narrow path beside a high wall of equal white colouring and stonework until he found himself stood in a large courtyard.
   The walls stood high, but the trees behind them still overlapped the top; the ground was of paved stone, around which bright green plants grew, and a narrow man-made stream ran right through it, only a couple of feet wide, with sky blue tiles at the bottom. No algae or any such greenery was growing within it, it was perfect, and as the sun reflected back from the bright stone and the water's surface, it created an almost dream-like atmosphere.
   But that didn't stop him from standing and staring, eyes wide in shock, at his prestine surroundings.
   The paving was smashed, there was blood in the stream, there was screaming and shouting around him - but there wasn't. There was nothing now. No bodies, no blood, even the ground was smooth and perfect. There was no sign of the fight whatsoever.
   His brow knotted as his mind raced. Did it really happen? Had he dreamt the whole thing up? He lifted his hand to his side. No, it had happened, it had happened exactly the way he remembered it...then why was everything flawless?
   A realisation dawned on him suddenly: the courtyard was empty, aside from him. The fight had occurred during a meditation session for students of his order, to better understand and control their abilities, and while there were not always such classes happening at every moment, there would always be a few others, even of his own rank, making use of the perfect, quiet space. But today, there was no one.
   He strode further into the courtyard, stopping about where he remembered the ground being broken, and crouched down to inspect it. He wondered as he smoothed his hand over what was clearly new paving where the bodies had gone. About ten or so had died, maybe fifteen, he had guessed from his hasty glance about him before he jumped into the fray, and about the same number, probably a few less, had fled. Whether they had survived and reached safety, he didn't know, but he could do nothing for them but hope for the best, and find a way to deal with the problem to prevent anyone else from suffering.
   He rose back to his feet and looked around towards the back of the Sanctuary, leaving the building behind him. Nothing there seemed out of place either; the plants were growing normally, the water was flowing the same as it ever was, and the walls showed no signs of damage either - but why would they?
   He sighed to himself. He was a Venko-class Salori, a warrior Mage of one of the highest ranks, and it was his job to keep people safe. Not his, solely, but he was responsible for a regiment of other warriors, once...before he resigned. Before the accident.
   Now he was happy to patrol and protect towns and villages outside of cities, smaller places with little other protection, but where things would still happen to place the citizens in danger.
   Wandering into the city of Tenvil that day was by chance alone. He had wished to meditate in these very grounds, having grown tired and stressed as his memories haunted him. He wasn't to know of the slaughter that was taking place here at that same time. He was grateful he had wandered in, though, despite his mindset at the time. If he hadn't, everyone there may well have died. But he couldn't help feeling guilty and ashamed at himself for fleeing. 'If I hadn't, I'd have been killed, too,' he had to remind himself time after time.
   He felt a sudden weight on his shoulder, and as he turned his head to see who had so boldly and silently approached him, he was greeted with wide, empty eyes, with no iris or pupil to hint at the direction of their gaze, and an aggressive hissing sound, but before he could even turn and react to the slow but certain attack, a sharp pain ran down his back.





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