By Candle Light, I am Led

A/N: Welp, this is it. The final chapter of this two-shot—though, I guess that's kinda obvious. Personally, I really liked writing this and I would continue it if I could, but with the ending I chose, it'd be an extremely difficult task. ...No,the main character doesn'tdie in this one, sheesh!

Post Note: You may be wondering who exactly the romance is in this story is with, but I think I've dropped enough hints. :)

A few more days passed, slowly, but I'm glad I took those days off. Though, it gave me the feeling of being in rehab—even though technically I am. The first day, I had to relearn all the basics, like hand coordination, walking, and object identification. I was surprised to find that without my sight, I had no idea where my own nose was! I mean, I know it's between my eyes, but in order to know that, you need to know where your ears are. Really, who can feel their ears?

Then came walking, and I realized my ankle still hadn't fully recovered. As soon as I had stood, I begun to stumble back onto the bed; I had laughed, but they sounded extremely black—which I later translated as fear—and apologized profusely, saying it was their fault for they should've known that would happen. It had been swollen beyond recognition after the fight: all blue, black, red-ish like the skin of a zombie.

After all, they added, you did sever an imperative ligament. It's a miracle you even have your foot following all the first aid we had administered.

What? I tore my leg that had been peppered with mints? What? Then they told me with a giggle that it was something like a muscle; I was kinda close...

So I tried standing again, with more care this time. My ankle was a bit weak, but if I could maintain my balancing act I would be successful. That in itself took a while to master before we moved on to actual walking. As if I wasn't bad enough with my vision, without it I was a complete disaster. They would help me balance while I learned where and where not to place my foot. The first couple of times I'd either step too far from myself and feel like a penguinist, or I'd step too close to myself and trip over my standing leg. Luckily, they were always there to catch me (...sorta). So once I got used to my own stride, walking was a breeze again...

...Until I ran into an end table.

That was the first—painful—lesson about object identification: There is always something waiting to get in your way. They started out by placing a few varying objects in my hand and asked me if I could tell them what they were. The first one was smooth and spherical, so it had to be a ball. They took it from me, saying that it was actually a kirima; how was I supposed to know that?

After that, they'd said, Now, I am only guessing on this, but I think emotions can act like condensed energy and vice versa. So, tell me what you see when I do this...

Suddenly a swift flash of black appeared, resulting in a devastating blow.



N-Nothing... what did you see?

"Well, it was quick and black, almost like... a strike." I'd said, shrugging. "But what happened that caused you to say 'oops'? There was a jagged noise, but..."

You're right. I struck the end table with anger. It, uh... did not hold up.

My mouth hung slightly ajar, "You broke the end table?" I had exclaimed.

That's not the point. When I did that, you saw black... That must mean black is associated with anger.

I gave this a moment of thought. It sounded plausible, but looking back, I remembered that when I had discovered exactly what I was 'seeing' I had black surround me. I wasn't angry at the moment... "No," I'd said, "Well, maybe. When I told you what I was seeing, I saw black surrounding me. I definitely wasn't angry then."

Hmm... Anger and fear are kinda the same thing, so that would make sense.

I frowned, "They aren't, are they? ...How so?"

The only reason you become angry is because you fear something might happen. For instance, in battle if somebody gets knocked out, we become angry at our adversary for we fear having anyone get injured. How about that?

"Oh, yeah."

After another day, they decide it's high time I get out of the house and back into the real world. Personally, I was elated to finally get back to something that was normal for me. They, however, were somewhat apprehensive.

I never realized how hard it was talking step after step without crossing yourself and managing to keep your strides even until now. At least I have someone to guide me. Though I do feel like a bit more empathy for the klutz in our group—what was their name? Co... Col... Cole? Coleen?

Oh, Lloyd! Thank goodness you're okay! Can you see?

This voice is laced with yellow—concern—and almost suffocated by enormous blobs of pink. Pink, now what is pink? "Uum, kind of, but not really..."

What's that supposed to mean? He asks with great gold. Gold, now seeing as it goes along with a question, it must be curiosity or something of the sort.

Don't pester him too much!

I wasn't!

"Hey, have you made the pact with Origin, yet?" I inquire; it's a question that's been eating away at me for quite a while now. I don't want to be a burden and slow everyone down. The worlds can't wait for my little injury to heal, that's ridiculous!

No, even if we wanted to, we couldn't. Origin wouldn't fight us without you in the party, says someone with a very tan nature, like me. So I guess tan and brown are kind of lax-ish. Some'n 'bout you being the secondary pact maker with Sh—shee... zhee uhzaa Summonah! They finish in a very odd way. Oh goddess, this is such a gimme if I could only remember the name...!

"You won't even say each other's names around me? Come on, that's just not fair!"

When you remember, we'll use them again.

I run a hand through my hair in frustration, "But I'd remember them sooner if you'd just tell me!"

Oh, brother…

At least you haven't changed too drastically, Lloyd. That voice was kind of cold, but by no means uncaring. Reminds me of… Krraa… someone. Man, this is way harder than I thought…

This brings up another question: "What exactly happened after I collapsed that day?"

No one speaks for some time, there's a visible white aura surrounding and darting between them. White must be some sort of hesitancy, unwillingness, secrecy or something like that; it's annoying. "What happened?"

Finally, the person next to me—the one who's been taking care of me—says in an unstable sky blue tone, We… that is, after you collapsed… carried you back to Meltokio and summoned for the doctor. He did all he could but… Well, while that was going on, we met back with Kratos at your house and he gave us the necessary ingredients to make the ring of the pact. He'd been collecting all materials to create it from around the world… Then the doctor called us back to Meltokio with news…Kratos followed us; he didn't know what'd happened, but thought you had merely collapsed from exhaustion.

When they stopped, I urge them on. I need to know what happen, they shouldn't keep anything from me. "Go on, please,"

P-please, I-I'd rather not…

"No, I have to know!"

Not now, you don't! Another voice argues. They, too, are swarmed by white, black and navy—hesitancy, fear and… sorrow.

"Why!" I blurt angrily. "What are you trying to hide from me? Honestly, I don't even know if you guys are real or not, I don't know what to believe anymore! The more you conceal from me, thinking it's for my benefit, just makes me even more confused… Reality is cruel, that's a well-known fact by all of us, but in a fantasy, everything's okay and nothing's muddled. I know I'm not crazy, I'm not, I'm not…"

Still they're all overcome with hesitancy, except for a warm, shining red located in the deep center of the person next to me. Okay, they finally utter.

The doctor had been doing intense treatment on you, along with our healers, for the first day with only little success. Even Tethe'alla's advancements in technology and medicine could prove no use in your situation. When we arrived, he had you veiled in black sheets. He told us the raw truth… that even if you did somehow miraculously awaken, you wouldn't be you, but just a lifeless shell. You—or rather, your body—would search and search for a another soul; in other words, you'd kill anything and everything in your path.

They went on, Then, if you weren't to awaken, you'd just… be. You'd never live again, nor would you die, like an exsphere: the object of your greatest spite. We had the rest of the day to decide what to do, and decided it would be best if we… if we euthanized you.

I don't know exactly what the word 'euthanize' means, but I can only assume… It was a… tough decision, but it had to be done. We proposed to do it at dawn of the next day so we could pay our respects and say farewell before… They pause, unwilling to admit. When dawn came, we gathered in the room, except for Kratos. We had figured he'd rather not see his son be put to death, so we carried on.

Just as we were about to commence, he heard a gasp of pain coming from the other room. At once, you sprung to life, clutching your chest and breathing heavily as if you'd just been wounded. We watched helplessly as you seemed to struggle to cling to life, but little by little you calmed down. You kept mumbling, 'Don't kill me, please, don't kill me' in a frantic plea. Then, when Sebastian investigated the room adjacent to us, he came to us saying Kratos… Kratos had committed suicide by removing his exsphere and stabbing himself in the heart.

The red shining within them grows substantially to engulf any sorrow they still carry as they add, He held a note in his hand, it said: 'Live long and succeed… my son,'.

Everything is silent as I process this information. Kratos, my father, took his own life—he killed himself—so I could live? That's what he wanted to do from the start I suppose, but he had agreed with me! 'When you die, that's the end! There is no point in dying,' I had said, and he'd replied, 'And to think I had to have my son teach me such an obvious lesson,'

I had vowed for no more sacrifices, and yet everyone is sacrificing themselves for me. It just doesn't make sense, everything's so surreal.

But that's how I know this is all genuine. Kratos had made his decision not based on a life being over, but so one could continue. Mine.

"Thank you… for telling me," I say slowly, "Now, let's go get Origin and end this once and for all."

It's been a difficult journey, but we've all managed to pull through somehow. I don't know how everyone else managed, even with their sight and hearing, it was grating on their emotions. They stood by me, and I by them.

Before this incident, there was no doubt that I was the leader of our group, a role to which I was predominantly ill-suited. With their help, I led them through thick and thin valiantly. All for one and one for all, even through heart throbbing betrayals and deaths.

But then who would follow a blind leader? Still they trusted me to lead them, while I, too, needed to be led myself. Luckily, the goddess Martel blessed our cause and gave me a glimmer candle light to guide through the darkness.

My hallowed flare: glowing with a center of yellow for her care and dedication to me even through the worst of crises, wrapped in a comforting layer of orange for her contentment. Above all else though, a warm red. Red for love.

Someday, I'll remember her, I will overcome what has befallen me and when that happens, maybe—just maybe—life can continue as it was, and everything will be back to normal.

Or maybe I won't remember. I guess I'll just have to meet them all over again.