Chapter 2 – Alive
One year later
This has never been done before, what I am about to do. Never in the past, or the future, has it or will it ever be done. It is probably the wrong thing to do, but this one time I make an exception. It is not because he deserves to be given another chance, but because SHE has favored him. SHE seems to favor those who only think of others in their time of greatest need. Perhaps he never thought of anyone else in his life, but SHE saw a sincere honesty in his heart when he pleaded for the dragon’s life as he died. Not once was he concerned for his own life, but was only thinking of hers…the one he was forbidden to love. And she was forbidden to love him. They had a chance, but those who would keep the ‘balance’ took that chance away from them. SHE has decided that their deaths deserve to be avenged. And he could do it without my help. I simply want to give him the chance.
He opened his eyes slowly, his mind hazy with pain, and he briefly wondered why everything hurt so badly. Even his eyes hurt. Why did his eyes hurt? What happened…?
Where am I?
Alive. Yes, he was alive, he knew that much. Had he been…dead? He couldn’t remember anything…
Give it time.
Through the haziness in his mind, he noticed the voice that seemed to be speaking inside his head. He lifted his head painfully from the ground and looked around. He couldn’t even see clearly. Everything was blurry, but it was slowly coming into focus.
‘Who are you?’ he reached out with his mind.. 'Why are you speaking inside of my head?'
That is how I speak. Turn your head, and you will see me.
He strained to turn his head, pulling himself up to lean on his arm. He caught the sight of a black crow perched on a tree stump nearby, and nearly laughed out loud. The crow was talking? Surely not. Yet he had experienced stranger things than a crow talking inside of his head.
The voice inside his head was firm and he couldn’t disobey it. It sounded similar to the voice of his master…but who was that? He couldn’t remember clearly. He gritted his teeth as a wave of frustration and pain racked his head. Why couldn’t he remember?
Don’t worry about that now. Just get up.
Groaning, he pushed himself up off of the cold ground, every bone in his body protesting against being moved. His hand slipped and he collapsed again, his muscles being very weak. He tried again and finally managed to pull himself up into a sitting position. He shivered uncontrollably, the wind biting into his skin. He wasn’t supposed to feel cold, either…was he?
After several attempts, he struggled to his feet. His knees were weak, and his head was spinning, it was hard for him to stand. He shivered in the chill of the wind and realized that he was naked. Where the hell were his clothes?
Look over there.
He turned around slowly to see a pair of dirty black pants lying on the ground.
“Is that it?” he wondered aloud. Just a pair of pants wasn’t enough to warm him up, was it?
It will be enough for now.
Not willing to argue, not really sure if he was even awake, he shakily pulled on the pair of pants and stood as though waiting for orders.
The crow seemed to chuckle at him. You haven’t changed much. Start walking.
He put one tingling foot in front of the other and slowly began to work the kinks out of his body. Already his mind began asking questions that he didn’t know the answer to. What happened to him? Why did the name Filia keep coming to him?
That name…where had he heard it before? Why did the thought of that name hit him with such infinite sadness, such anger, and such pain? And why did he feel that those three things were supposed to feel good to him? They didn’t…he felt like he was being torn apart from the inside by these horrible emotions.
She didn’t live.
“I know,” he said out loud, replying to the crow’s voice inside his mind. While he was still trying to work out his memories, he remembered the name Filia. He knew that Filia was someone of extreme importance, especially in his situation. But why? And how did he know that she was dead? He could feel his memories wanting to come back to him, but he wasn’t sure he wanted them to…
He walked for what seemed like eternity, having no idea where he was going but feeling led by the black crow that flew ahead of him. It would fly far ahead, wait for him to catch up, and then fly on again. He figured that since he had nowhere else to go, he would follow this crow that had seemed to appoint itself his guide.
As if to add to his misery, lightening cracked the black sky and rain began to pour. Soon he was soaked, but in the distance he could see a few twinkling lights of a village. A wave of relief settled over him. Soon he’d be able to find somewhere to sleep, and maybe figure out what was going on.
We’re almost there.
He frowned as the crow perched itself on his shoulder, flapping its wings gently. “Where are you taking me?” he asked.
You’ll see. Just be prepared.
“Prepared for what?”
The crow didn’t answer him, leaving his shoulder to fly ahead once again.
The village was silent, all its people having gone inside to escape the rain. No one noticed the strange-looking, disheveled man with no shirt, no shoes, and long, stringy purple hair as he shuffled his way through the darkened streets. The crow was still flying ahead, leading him to who-knew-where.
Finally, after he thought he’d had as much as he could take, the crow alighted on the roof of a run-down, boarded up house. He looked up at the crow questioningly.
The crow said nothing, only looked at him with its beady, all-knowing, all-seeing eyes. He swallowed hard as he reached for the doorknob and entered the house.
The sight of an ungodly mess hit him immediately. There were broken glasses and trash everywhere, as well as dark stains on the floor and on the walls that looked like blood. He looked around the room, what could only be the living room, in bewilderment. Leaning over, he picked up a piece of broken pottery. His knees buckled and he fell over, crying out as a wave of pain and rage hit him. A vision. Memories. And not just his memories.
On to Chapter 3
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