Wednesday, August 14

Chapter 5

Today was pretty much like every other day, Blazerine thought. Tiring....but yet slightly nerve wracking. And the nerve-wracking part came from the constant nagging done on Leon's behalf. 

"Don't turn the page so quickly!" Leon commands, "You're going to miss an important part." 


Let's just say Leon and I made a deal. Since I wasn't exactly too fond of walking. He would allow me to ride his horse, only in exchange for reading his church scriptures. They were pretty boring, long and dull... How thankful should she be? For the fact that her sunglasses were able to translate the weird peculiar words, or how Leon was trying to convert her; an atheist to Christianity. 


"You know..." Blazerine sighed, "Well have you ever thought that religion is just a way of scaring people onto a moral compass?"


Leon was quick to reply, "No."


"When I look at these - all - I - see - is - conspiracies." Blazerine said.


"Conspiracies?" Leon repeated.  


Blazerine then blurted out, "Like theories, myths, or urban legends." 


"Then how do you explain the sacred orb, that's dangling from around your neck?" Leon asked.


"It's probably something else completely." Blazerine shrugged, "Even in lies, there are fabricated pieces of the truth." 


"Leon always chooses impossible tasks." Fenix butted in. 

"Yeah, like trying to save the world," Blazerine muttered.


"No I meant you, you're an impossible task." Fenix couldn't help but chuckle. 


"You know what this book has taught me Spencer?" Blazerine glared straight at him.


"What?" Fenix questioned her.


"Go to hell." Then she stuck her nose back into Leon's so-called educational reading. 


"Oh, you've already reached that section." Leon smiled.  


"Why does she always call me by my last name?" Fenix wondered. 


"It's something she does; whenever she's~ mad at somebody." Lyrist explained. 


Soon the weather didn't stay exactly favorable. Although Leon usually didn't mind the rain, it kind of felt like a damper in the atmosphere. And by the time they've reached Dividing Cliff, it turned into a downpour. 


Unfortunately, Lyrist had come across his mother's corpse. Beneath his wetly laid hood, his fierce, slitted green eyes; glowed as he watched maggots crawl in and out of her remains. 


"I'm sorry to say this," Leon mentioned,"But doesn't it seem like her eyes aren't decaying?" 


"That's because they're not." Lyrist said, "We've inherited a trait from the elves, that has only affected our eyes. Whereas full bloodied elves' do not decay at all."


"That explains why that guy wanted your father's eyes." Fenix pointed out.


"Yes..." Lyrist agreed, "Considering our eyes are actually a lot better than the elves' will ever be." 


"Wouldn't it be appropriate to bury her?" Leon asked him.


"No..." Lyrist shook his head, "She doesn't deserve to be laid to rest. I forbid it." 


His mother's yellow pair of eyes, glowed ever so brightly, until he had crushed them beneath his feet. 


Fenix started removing his clothes all of a suddenly, while saying, "I don't know about you guys, but looking at "that" makes me feel dirty." 

Lyrist presumed it must of have been a human custom to bare your necessities in the rain until he saw Blazerine's reaction.


She quickly had turned around and cried out, "Spencer; what the hell man?!" 


"What's her problem?" Fenix huffed a bit. 


"She doesn't want to end up seeing something she might regret later on." Lyrist explained accordingly to her thoughts. 


"Regret!?" Fenix laughed, "Every single woman who has laid their eyes upon me, HAS been IMPRESSED, by my handsome physique." 


Having no shame, he wiped a handkerchief underneath one of his hairy armpits, in means to wash himself. 


"Yeah well... maybe they do, maybe they don't. Either way I've seen enough already." Blazerine tried hard to erase the mental image, by continuously shaking her head. 


(I should just let him be. He's in great need of a shower anyway. He hasn't exactly smelled very pleasant in the last few days.)  


Then at that very instance, Fenix remembered what had taken place between the two of them; back at Yeldir's tower. For a second he busted out laughing, before washing the opposite armpit next. 


"You would think you'll be all googly eyes to me, considering you went out of your way to touch me down there." He sneered. 


"What - what do you mean by that?!" Blazerine angrily yelled, "I don't ever remember doing anything vulgar. And even if I did, why in the hell would I choose you, of all people!" 


"You, crawled, in, to, my, lap." Fenix grinned quite widely now, "You were trying to get a peek at my-"


"No!" Blazerine interrupted him, "I fell into your lap!"


"That's not how I remember it!" Fenix argued, but when Lyrist looked his way, he said, "What are you looking at?" Awkwardly, he continued scrubbing at his genitals. 


----


Once Fenix was done displaying a public washing. Lyrist guided them down an alternate safer route to reach Withering Heights. 


Although it stopped raining, the cold nipped at Fenix's bare chest as he trudged through the frozen landscape. Naturally he'd heard many warnings; about how he could get frostbite. And yet the cold did not bother him, not one bit. He had grown accustomed to it. Mainly because, he has spent several years living in a colder climate with a barbarian tribe. 


Being in a new environment, it was common for Blazerine to be paranoid about the dangers that might lurk just out of sight, such as aggressive creatures or maybe even unstable terrain. For the most part, she felt awkward. Being wet made her clothes feel much thicker and bulkier than they actually were. 


By now it was very obvious that the others don't know how to deal with such a cold environment. Leon wasn't really that surprised. Lyrist has never really experience the world; outside of his den. And Blazerine lacked the most common knowledges, like fire making, and hunting. Lastly, Fenix just didn't seem to care as long as he was fed. But overall their weakness can easily be replaced by their stronger attributes. Although their personalities is something he would never hope to replace. 


Despite the fact, all their personalities clashing together did create a lot of noises, but for some reason, he enjoyed it. If there was pain, there was life, and this one was too amusing to let death steal away just yet.


He started humming a song absently. He couldn't remember the words, but the tune was something he could never forget. It sounded like a lullaby, and maybe perhaps it was. No matter, it reminded him of warmth. 


Lyrist couldn't help but wonder... What if his father had managed to reach this far with the totem. Giving life to its former residents; still frozen in place. Which in the end, would have awoken the emotionalist. Or maybe that's exactly what the human intended him to do, all along. 


Blazerine felt like they were walking through a museum or to be more appropriate, a pet cemetery. Not wanting to be anywhere near here, she tried her best to focus on something else. It's quite a creepy experience, she thought. Seeing all the perched birds, unmoving from their branches, as if though time has stopped for them. 


Shortly she paused only to ask one of the birds, "Where will I be? What will I be doing? When time stops for me?" 


Suddenly a pebble whizzes past her head. Shockingly, half of the bird's body tilted backward, activating an opening in the ground. 


A light smirk crossed Fenix's face, because he had just discovered the entrance to the sanctuary. Although it wasn't intentional, he wouldn't let the others know that, he was just fooling around for shits and giggles. 


"I'll scout ahead." Lyrist said. 


Then he dove right in without the slightest hesitation. A gust of the wind blows right through him as he passes further and further down. There were many curves and twists, but he didn't want to slow down. This would take a lot of concentration, probably all that he's got to pull off these maneuvers.  His eyes dilated as soon as he focused greatly on the obstacles ahead. In doing so, everything around him had suddenly slowed to a state of suspended animation. The normal high-pitched sounds of footsteps clicking against the ice, from above, had softened to a low hum, along with everything else around him. 


Leaning left; his side barely grazes across an incoming wall, causing pieces of loose stone to collapse. Edging right, spinning left, twirling right, left again... 


Nearing the bottom, he aligned his back straight, allowing himself to land on all fours. He observed his surroundings calculating the powers of the seers stones embedded into the walls, of the long and vast hallway. Out of his searching his vision was drawn repeatedly to a pair of hexagonal planes, which materialized, then began to fade to translucence. It's colors; white and blue, kept blinking in and out of view.  


"It must be some sort of directional system left by the seers." He thought to himself, "One path is most likely to lead you to misfortune while the other will lead you to the sanctuary. How clever." 


Looking further on, he sees a left and right tunnel. But from what he can tell, the tunnels actually intertwined with one another. 


"Hmm..." Lyrist pondered, "There's ice above the ground, but none so far down here. Perhaps maybe these runes are possibly warding off the ice." 


Beginning to make his way back, he stopped the moment he heard his human companions. They already were climbing down the hole, with the help of a rope. Leon, of course, had removed his armor for the occasion, leaving only his thick padded clothes on, along with his surcoat. 


"Careful," Lyrist warns Leon upon his entry. "The Cirque has perfected a labyrinth to keep outsiders from getting inside."

"Or to keep the rest of his followers from getting out," Leon said.


Once everyone else had made it. Leon untied a set of lanterns that were strapped down to Fenix's back. He kept one for himself and gave Fenix another. 


Lyrist continued to walk ahead, saying, "I'll go first to determine where the traps are." 


"Everybody stay behind him," Leon instructed.


"He's blowing this whole thing out of proportion," Fenix grumbled, "I've stolen plenty of things to know a thing or two about traps." 


"Somehow I don't believe that." Blazerine harshly blurted out. 


"I see how it is," Fenix growled while forcing his way past them. 

"Fenix c'mon I was just kidding - well sort of..." Blazerine shrugged.

She could only hope her comment doesn't amount up to the point, where he'll end up getting himself killed; out of anger. 


Leon settled his hand to rest upon Blazerine's shoulder. He leaned in closer, only to whisper, "You weren't kidding." 

"Yeah, you're right..." Blazerine sighed. 


As Lyrist searched around, his thoughts couldn't have been any farther from the current situation. Until something,.... or someone tried taking precedence over his mind. Out of discomfort, he squinted his eyes and held the side of his head. 


"What's wrong?" Leon asked him.


"I think it's her..." Lyrist struggled to say, "I think the emotionalist is making contact."


"What's she saying?" Blazerine was curious now.


"Run for me Fredrick, there will be love if you come, come wake me up." Lyrist replied. 


Unexpectedly, Fenix broke out into a run, leaving them all behind.


"Fenix...?" Blazerine questioned his sudden actions. 


"Stay put!" Leon ordered, "I'm going after him!" 


Lyrist looked straight at Blazerine and said, "It looks like I wasn't the one she was trying to make contact with."  



Leon's tolerance for Fenix's rational behavior is now beyond comprehension. Despite the annoyances of confrontation, this didn't seem like something he would do. The trip through the hallway had led him astray, the moment he had turned the corner, only to realize Fenix was no longer within sight. And there was no sign of a light, which would have gleaned from his lantern. 


At this point, he decides its probably best to return to Lyrist and Blazerine. It wouldn't be wise to split up their group any further. If anything it would hinder their chances of making it out of here alive. Once he turned around, he's surprised by a wall. Surely it wasn't here before. How else could he have even come this way, to begin with? 


"It's impossible...." He frowned, "There's no way I could have miscalculated my steps." 


Setting the lantern aside, he attempts to budge the wall, by ramming his shoulder as hard as he can. After trying several times, he realized it was no use. The wall was too solid to be moved by force. This however leaves him with a question; how did it get there in the first place?


Angrily he bashed his fists against the wall and screamed, "Hey can you hear me!?" 


With no reply, he can only assume that he's now going to be on his own. The most, he could do, is hope the others would be able to survive without him. Thankfully he knew Blazerine could rely on Lyrist. But Fenix, on the other hand, has no one to pull him out of harm's way. For all he knows, Fenix could be walking straight into a heap of trouble, like he always does. 


---


Lyrist lowers his hood around his shoulders, so he could unleash his ears from the restraining pins. He twitched his ears slightly, trying to channel the others thoughts. 


"Lyrist...?" Blazerine questioned his sudden actions. 


"I don't hear any of their thoughts nor their vibrations." Lyrist said.


"Vibrations?" Blazerine repeated. 


"The vibrations which can be heard from the movement of their feet." He explained, "Therefore I cannot determine their location by any means. I believe this emotionalist is somehow interfering..."


"Well, that's not good." She sighed softly, "Considering I can't really see much without the lanterns." 


"What I can hear is some sort of mechanism that's rotating its gears. I'm not sure if it's being triggered by something, or if its a continuous cycle." He said, "If it is... then we'll have to find out how long it'll last, or when it begins again. Perhaps the exit may only show itself for a little amount of time."


"If that's true." She thought for a moment, before saying anything further, "That means the walls are constantly changing their course. I doubt we'll be able to find the others at this rate. The most, we can do now, is just find our own way out, and the same goes for the others." 


Blazerine tensed the moment Lyrist had touched her hand. And the firmer the grip is, the harder her heart pounded in her chest. She didn't know what was worse, being disoriented constantly by flickering lights or blushing deeply, like some kind of heart struck teenager. She wasn't sure why it made her feel that way at first. But then she realized, it reminded her of Leon. When he had pulled her through the window of Yeldir's tower. Was she just thinking about him in general? Or was it the act itself that made her fluster? Either way.... all, she knows, is that her mind had never worked this hard to fight her heart before. 


"The runes up ahead are dimly lit." He replied, "I'll have to be your eyes~ for now."

Walking on, Lyrist could hear a lot of thoughts circulating amongst the emotionalist. Her airwaves mostly consisted of primarily guilt and loneliness. He started to wonder why the Prophet would leave Fauna in such a state. Did he fear that she would be more harmful to the world than useful? The thought quickly left, the second a gigantic crescent blade, had swooped out in front of his path. Having quick reflexes, he easily avoids being slice, by leaning back just in the nick of time. 


Blazerine winced when Lyrist unexpectedly backs up into her. Defensively squinting her eyes, she asked, "What's going on?" 


Lyrist lowered his eyes, only to see a bronze plated floor, which is divided up into different sections of panels. He speculates a sufficient amount of weight on the plates would activate the projectiles. The most, he can do in this situation, is tread lightly through the tiny spaces in between each panel. 

"A slight minor setback is all. It's nothing we can't overcome." Lyrist replied. 


Then he wrap his arms around her and swept her right off her feet. 

When he smiled, she seemed to sink further down into her coat to hide. 

"Is this really necessary?" She nervously laughed, "I'm beginning to think everyone is taking advantage of me being so short."


A slight hint of bath soap filled his nostrils, but it did not outweigh the musky smell of the environment. Slowly he turned back to face the traps that lie ahead, and said, "It's actually very helpful in this kind of situations."


"Wait! What do you -" Her statement stopped as soon as he leaped forward. 


Lyrist managed to land in the first titty bitty space, even though his balance wasn't exactly at its peak, due to the extra weight he was now carrying. He kept himself at a reasonable pace, to prevent himself from swaying back and forth. If he didn't the result would not only be the end for him, but for her as well. 


Out of nowhere he said, "This would be a lot easier if you weren't so heavy." 


"Lyrist..." Blazerine began to say to him, "A word of advice. Don't ever call a human female heavy or anything relevant to that word. Most, if not all of them will find it very offensive. Well, unless the women of this time are different than mine, but I highly doubt that." 


Lyrist thought this wasn't the greatest time for her to be mentioning her human formalities, especially when he's trying to focus getting them across this obstacle. Yet again, it wasn't her fault, since he wasn't letting her know how serious their predicament truly was. 


And all the while, the muscles in his legs were beginning to scream, informing him that he's about to reach his limit. Gradually he took a long breath, as several beads of sweat strayed down his forehead and eventually reached his eyes. Desperately he blinked several times to help relieve them of irritation. 


Once he felt confident enough, he took the very last jump. At first it seemed successful, but the landing was quite harsh. The only way he could keep himself from falling, is by instinctively dropping Blazerine. Right there and then, his heart had skipped a beat. When he heard it, the click of the panel activating.  And all he could see now, is a gigantic spiral ax, swinging across his path, along with strands of hair, scattering throughout the air. 


"What have I DONE!?" He probably asked himself that question over a thousand times, within a mere second. 


Blazerine sat up halfway and muttered. "You dropped me that's what you've done!"


Quickly Lyrist squeezed himself through to the other side of the ax. And to his surprise, there was no blood to be found. The only damage that has been dealt here, was to Blazerine's hair; it was once long, but now has been chopped down to shoulder length. 


"Do you mind explaining to me what just happened here?" Blazerine already had lost her temper. 


Glee, utter glee, is the only word that was perfect enough to describe what Lyrist was feeling right now. A soft smile slipped onto his features, as he hugged her close, despite how much she hated being touched. 


"Leon wouldn't have ever forgiven me." He said, "I wouldn't have ever forgiven myself... if something were to happen to you."

"We were in DANGER!?" She furiously yelled, "Why didn't you tell me? You should have told me!" 


"Yes you're right." He agreed. 


"Look if we're ever in danger again, don't deceive me into thinking otherwise." She continued to yell, "Misleading is the same as lying to me alright? And honestly I thought you were above that. Unlike you know who..." 

"It won't happen again." He murmured softly, as his long slender fingers brushed against the back of her hair.


Blazerine shoulders drooped into a more relaxed position now. She felt better since Lyrist admitted his mistake and didn't further press the issue. However, it still didn't stop the pang of guilt from passing through her though, thinking she might have overreacted, but it was hard not to. She was desperately trying to hold onto at least one person in this world, that she could trust, even if he wasn't human.


Lyrist helped her back to her feet, before insisting they should get moving. 


"What's the use?" She sighed, "How do we even know if we're heading in the right direction anyway?" 


"Do you feel that?" He asked, "It's a cold breeze. The wind can blow from any direction, on any given day, but were underground, you see? It's coming back from the entrance, at the very beginning of the maze. All, we have to do, is keep moving further away from it." 


"Wow, I actually never thought of that." She laughed nervously, "Nor ever will."


Lyrist tried his best to navigate them through another series of walls. When it's becoming nearly impossible; due to the never ending rotation. As soon as there appears to be a guaranteed passage, it quickly turned into nothing but a dead end. 

At one point, the front and the rear are completely cut off, leaving them only with the option of either going left or right.


"Left or right...?" He asked. 


"Left?" She suggested. 


Now moving left, surpassed the corner, a pair of spikes dislodge from the wall. If Lyrist was a second quicker, a portion of his body would have been just impaled. 


Wearily he said, "Right it is then..." 


This is when they encounter a floor made completely out of see through titles. And right below it, is a dark endless abyss. From one single step, a title would simply collapse into nothingness. The only way they would be able to move forward, without falling, is by running nonstop. And that's exactly what they did. 


Blazerine was breathing heavily with her jaw clenched shut, trying to suppress the pain, which suddenly surged across her flesh. Not only that but her internal temperature had shot up to at least ten or more so degrees. 
This condition only phases in temporarily to help further the progression of the virus; coursing through her veins. Although it only occurs sometimes whenever she's under high levels of stress. With nostrils flaring, she was giving it her all, despite the world now falling apart around her. 

----


No, patiently waiting in silence was the safest option, Leon thought. But he'll be damned if it wasn't a frustrating, and painful way of doing things. 
And unlike him, Fenix was infamous for brash actions, undertaken with little to no thought. Whilst he's afraid he has no other choice, but to do the same in this situation. 

Shortly, Leon wanders into a circular room; where all the walls are spinning out of control, along with the floor. One foot inside was already disorienting him because he felt as if he's about to stumble or fall. And not to mention, the dizziness was the worst factor of them all. It wouldn't be long before he ends up with a splitting headache. 

Slowly, but surely, he made his way to the middle of the floor. And there he saw it, an empty door frame. It was the room's only exit, but it never seemed to stay in one place at a time. But the more he looked, the more he realized the rotation was actually spinning in a clockwork motion, which is in the opposite direction of the floor. If he times it just right... he'll make it. There's no doubt in his mind now. 
Gripping the handle of his lantern, ever so tightly. He patiently waits for the opportunity to arise. And when it does, he jumps straight through; to the other side. 

Leon might as well have landed right into a winter wonderland. However, this wonderland was beginning to melt, which could only mean one thing. Something or someone must have revived the emotionalist. 

"That someone is probably Fenix." He heavily sighed. 

The quiet stillness of this area was depressing to him, because once there was life, but now there isn't. All of it has been concealed behind an icy tomb. Except the ground was mushy chucks of ice, and the stone walls were beginning to peel away; plopping to the ground like compressed jam, only to reveal the dead horrendous blue faces of the seers. 

Moving on, he used the light of his lantern to discover old paintings and scriptures along the walls. He stopped at one particular painting for a closer look. In the painting, he saw a woman, a woman with bloody red eyes, and fiery hair. Surrounding her body was nothing but destruction. Beautiful structures had been knocked over, caught on fire, and were crumbling to the ground. Lying below her feet is a disfigured man, whose body is covered with bizarre scarring. But the oddest thing about it was, the white veins painted on the surface of his skin. 

Further, along, in the back is an altar of the same woman chiseled in stone. And in front of it, is a stairway, which leads to an underground floor. There was something about the wispy mist, which is overflowing from its steps, that seemed to tweak his thought process. It was an unwanted distraction. So... unforgiving and strange. Yet at the same time, it was giving him the sensation as if he was about to cry. 

It didn't take him long to reach the bottom, but when he did. He saw Fenix heading to a crystal like containment made out of thick ice. The very center of it is filled with water. There no doubt in his mind, it was to help preserved the body inside; the emotionalist. She must of have subconsciously protected herself. 

"Fenix stop!" He called out to him, "What do you think you're doing!?" 

Fenix no longer has any control over his body. And every step felt heavier than the next. Fauna name resounded deeply within him and so seemingly bittersweet. All at once, his heart would race incredibly fast, and he felt like it was breaking at the same time. Everything else in the world didn't seem to matter now. Not Blazerime, not Lyrist, or Leon, just her... she was the only one he needed right now. There was this strong desire to be with her, and protect her at all costs.

Once he’s close enough, he grazed his hand across the outside to remove the condensation. Now he can see a pale blue haired woman, dwelling inside. She had prayed every day for Frederick to come save her, but he had yet to appear, until today. . .

"Wake up..." Fenix whispered. 

Blonde lashes fluttered opened then closed over a pair of crystalline eyes. The second time they reopened, the room begun to shake. As if she were to announce, that she had finally awakened. And those slender hands of hers were grasping out desperately to escape imprisonment. The more she struggle, the more the ice cracked and tear away. 

"Fenix get away from her!" Leon tried pulling him away, but Fenix easily tossed him aside.

Then it happened, as quickly as it all started, the shaking had stopped, and the emotionalist broke through, sending shards of ice to glitter across the room, like a million of tiny little stars. 

Fenix extended his arms out, only to catch the shivering white velvet body. She was completely naked, other than the two accessories she wore; the collar of truth and the bracelet of falsity. Long strands of luscious hair fell against his skin, dampening it ever so lightly. 

Fauna blinked slowly up at him, leaving a trail of wet tears behind, on her pallid features. Opening her mouth, she tried to speak, but nothing would seem to come out, not even one sound, nor syllable. 

Fenix looked down towards her, staring into her peaceful eyes, which seemed to flow like a soft stream into his. The expression she was giving him, radiates off the words, "I have been waiting for you." Their interlocking glazes with one another, shortly came to an end, after she had suddenly lost consciousness. 

"Fenix!" Leon cried, "She's controlling you!" 

Fenix worries were slowly bubbling up, and taking precedence over his own thoughts once again. 

"We were connected..." He said, "I felt it, they - they tortured her."

"Put her down and step away from her!" Leon demands. 

"Don't you get it!? She's just like me!" Fenix declared, "I know this kind of pain." 

Blazerine and Lyrist hurried down the stairs, after overhearing Fenix's yelling. Half way down, he blocked her path with his arm outstretched. 

"Don't go any further." Lyrist said, "The emotionalist used some sort of psychic link with Fenix. And by doing so... his mind reached a higher consciousness, bringing their minds, bodies, and souls together in a state of unity."

"Meaning what exactly?" Blazerine questioned him. 

"Which allowed her to take full control over Fenix's actions." Lyrist explained. 

"Fenix we must kill her while she's still unconscious." Leon insisted, "Or else all our lives will be in peril, not only us, but every other living being." 

"She might of have done horrible things in the past," Fenix began to say, "but -" 

"No!" Leon interrupted him, "It would be too dangerous. Don't you understand? If I were to spare her, right here, right now. Who's to say somebody else of ill intentions, wouldn't try using her for their own advantage? Or maybe she'll lose control again. I cannot allow either scenario to happen. It is my duty as a Templar, it's my responsibility to prevent this from recurring somewhere else." 

"That's why we'll take her with us. It'll be different this time because we're not going to lock her up in some hell hole like this. She'll have a chance to live life to its fullest." Fenix replied. 

Then he unlatched the bracelet of falsity from her wrist, and asked, "We should be okay as long as we have this, right?" 

"Fenix it's still too risky," Leon answered. 

"I know what it's like to be treated only as some mere tool, that nobody could give a damn less about," Fenix yelled, almost in tears now,"

Blazerine could hear the pain in the tone of his voice. It was truly the only time she had ever seen him break down emotionally.

"What happened to him?" She had accidentally thought out loud. 

Fenix swallowed his saliva roughly, before continuing to speak, "I lived in a small village with my father... He taught me pretty much everything, and by everything, I mean EVERYTHING. All the basics of survival... How the poor can gain luxury of riches through stealing and gambling. But one night of gambling had gone completely wrong. 

My father was caught with a loaded dice. And the toll for cheating is the removal of one finger. Since he had been there several times before, and won. They thought it could only be justified by chopping off his entire hand as repayment. 

When his hand was about to be lopped off, he made a bargain to exchange me for his fines. Although I disagree, I didn't really get much of a choice. So I ended up becoming a work mule, for a farmer, who mistreated me on a daily basis. Like… I was some sort of animal, that he could beat on whenever he felt displeased.

I worked in his radish fields, beneath the hot scorching sun without food or water for days. Whenever I got desperate enough, I would snatch a radish or two, and it made me very ill, but I was starving to death. 

When the farmer caught on... and he locked me in a dark Itty bitty cellar, periodically. Sometimes as punishment, or sometimes just for fun. It's the very same thing Brother Augustine had done to her." 

Blazerine didn't ever expect Fenix to say something so personal about himself, just like that.  Who would have known there’s a heart somewhere behind all that savage muscle of his. 

The LCD image within her lenses suddenly detected weak vital signs in the emotionalist. Her core temperature is in the low 60°s F, and there was little to no pulse. Instructions flashed over, saying; The heart is not beating. CPR should be given immediately. Warning; sensitivity to physical bumps might cause fibrillating. 

"Well, whatever your decision is..." Blazerine butted in, "You better make it fast because she's no longer breathing." 

"How can you tell?" Leon asked.

Fenix green eyes glanced quickly downwards, only to realize the words, Blazerine had spoken, were true.  He continued staring at Fauna in a frozen sort of silence.

"What should I do?" His voice wavered a little bit with shame, but his expression remained wide-eyed and vacant.

Without warning, Blazerine said, "I can save her... I can save her if you'll let me Leon." 

"Leo!" Fenix bellowed, "It's the right thing to do, and you know it!" 

Leon knows Fenix's actions have always spoken louder, than any word he has ever spewed out, from that mouth of his. Even if he agreed or disagreed, the decision has already been made. Not only by him, but also by Blazerine. 

"Only time will tell if reviving the emotionalist is a mistake or a god sending." Leon softly sighed, "But know this... we will all be held accountable for what has taken place here today, on this very day. Whatever the outcome may be, we will bear the burden together." 

Blazerine thought every word, Leon spoken, was sincere. And it's one of the few times she didn't see him as annoying acquaintance, but as an actual leader. 

"You heard him! Get your small tits over here!" Fenix demands. 

Blazerine lets out a long breath, before making her way over to him. 

"Okay..." She said, "Fenix put her down."

Fenix did exactly what he was instructed to do. Then he moved aside to make room for her. 

Dropping down to her knees, Blazerine crisscrossed her hands, over the other. Next she planted them on top of the emotionalist's chest. That's when she began to gently press down rapidly, and repeatedly. Then without one second thought about it, she interlocked lips.

The others stood there perplexed by what they thought was a kiss. 

"Looks like Lyrist isn't the only one we should be worried about liking the same gender." Fenix tried to laugh, but he couldn't bring himself around to do it. 

Blazerine tried her best to ignore Fenix's idiocy. And continued to breathe slowly into the depths of her mouth. Fauna's chest rises slightly, indicating the air had successfully passed through. 

Minutes passed by, and yet there was still no sign of life in her. 

"C'mon breathe God damn it!" She screamed at the top of her lungs.

It wasn't long before frustration had taken over her entire being. So she slammed her fists down against Fauna's chest, as hard as she could. Unexpectedly this made her a cough a couple of times, before she began to breathe again on her own. 

Fenix never did say thank you, but everyone could tell he appreciated her kindness, from the way he ruffled up her hair. It felt a little awkward to Blazerine, because it reminded her of what somebody would do with their pet dog. Whenever they've completed a task. Unfortunately, for her there were no treats involved to satisfy her grumbling stomach. But what surprised her the most. Is when Leon took the bracelet from Fenix and gave it to her. 

"But why?" She asked, "I'm just a bandit in your eyes." 

"Out of all of us..." He smiled, "You're the only one who can understand the emotionalist the most."

Fenix was quick to say, "You mean Fauna."

"Because I am female?" Blazerine shrugged, "I understand how you could think that, but I been around men my entire life. Well, at least as far as I can remember anyway."

"Tell us something we don't already know." Fenix chuckled. 

"Seriously Spencer?" Blazerine glared at him with the utmost hatred in her eyes. 

Leon redirected her focus back to him, then said, "You'll do fine, I trust you." 

In all honesty, it's a bit hard for Fenix to hear such a word escape from Leon's lips. It took him several years to earn just an ounce of trust, and yet she managed it in mere minutes. 

Blazerine gave the bracelet a hard look, thinking it looked more like a silver bangle, embedded with various of jewels, that looped all the way around. Never the less... she latched it onto the outside of her coat sleeve. 

(I guess I'll be carrying the emotionalist feelings on my shoulders, well... in this case on my arm.) 





© Tiffany Ann Adkins 2015 - 2019