Chapter 2 of the semi-failed conclusion:

Chapter XXIV

Silence.

No whisper of the wind touching her hair, no bustle of carts being rolled out into the market, not even the sound of her own breathing.

Trix lay on the ground, an ornate obsidian dagger sticking from her chest. Blood bloomed around the knife like an open rose. Her hair was matted with dirt, splayed across the ground, soaking up the blood trailing down the path in a small stream. Hers was not the only body to find its final resting place on this lonely trail.

Tani's weary knees cracked as she bent towards her sister. Long fingers trailed the edge of the ghostly pale cheek, trembling as they continued down to find the golden locket around her neck, practically glowing against the grime of the wearer.

Sudden, immense ire swathed the young woman, tearing the locket from the aged chain in one, swift movement. Trix did not deserve this end—she did not deserve the life she led. The life dictated to her because of her heritage—a heritage embodied in the locket.

The Aventinian legacy had no right to claim her sister as it did. Their fate should have ended centuries ago, not now. Not with her sister. Their sins were not Trix's.

Her head lifted, glancing towards the bodies littering the pathway. Nay. They were bodies no longer, barely piles of fine sand, if that even. With every passing moment, even the fine grains were disintegrating. The Black God was finally reclaiming those who had eluded him for so long.

Their deaths coincided with Trix's. Usuoae would surely be laughing in her godly cage, knowing her curse finally bore fruit.

Wes had explained it to her when he fetched her from her father's workplace. Who Trix was; what he was.

The suspicions Trix had had suspecting her connections to the Old Ones were true, her paranoia concerning the Trucidare was not without reason. She had truly been their target.

She saw the depth of the centuries he had experienced in his eyes as he told her his intentions.

He wanted to die.

She punched him.

What else was she to do when someone told you that he had wanted your sister-in-heart to die?

'Course, he explained as well his emphases in the 'had'. He wanted to find another way, for surely there was a way to break Chaos's curse without murdering an innocent. He was the minority in the Trucidare, he explained. As the years grew longer, the men's patience wore thinner. Their fear of death turned into a yearning which blinded them to other alternatives. It was like trying to speak sense to an animal—a deaf one at that.

He told all while running through those crowded city streets, though not immediately saying where they were heading. Finally he explained the rush: the Trucidare planned to attack Trix in one final, definite blow. They no longer cared if there was a chance she was not the Last. They were willing to risk being exposed to the King's forces for a chance to end their immortality.

So they ran, but still they were too late.

Tani had just reached the battle when Wes collapsed next to her, as with ever other member of the Trucidare. And, in the middle of it all, lay Trix, eyes still open in shock.

Hours had passed since then, but Tani had yet to leave her sister's side. One hand clasped Trix's bloodless one, the other clutched the locket.

A heat spread through her hands and Tani jumped in shock, the small locket was emanating warmth, light poking through the space between her fingers. There was a rustling up the road.

A woman, clad in pure white cloth stood mere feet from the sisters, an unknown breeze causing the gauzy material to flow. A sad smile touched her lips as she knelt down to the elder sister, hand out, waiting.

Tani looked questioning for a moment before glancing at the locket in her fist, then back down to the stiff corpse she still grasped.

Pax, mea sorore. Dies Salvatrixi concludverat. Tibi, autem, tua duraturam. Magna casus iacis praelibare tibi, Tani. Pax et vive!

The woman's voice swirled around her thoughts as if it was part of the wind itself—perhaps even part of her own mind.

The wind continued to pick up, and the woman's robes swirled around Tani and Trix, growing until they encompassed the entire area. Her eyes shut tight against the dirt picked up with the maelstrom.

Then silence once more.

The wind faded into nothing, taking with it all evidence of the Trucidare.

Including her sister.

Slowly Tani's knees unbent as she looked at the site surrounding her. Not a speck of blood, not a weapon on the ground, not a body in site.

But there, resting where her sister once lay as if it had always been there, was the locket, now fully attached to the necklace once more.

OoOoO

Years later a woman aging in her years was known to sit by the fireside, fingers toying with the golden locket she always wore around her neck as she told her grandkin of the mysterious Aventines, the courage of one young woman, and price to be paid for every granted wish.

Once again I want to thank everyone who has stuck with Time over the years, even from the very beginning. As horrible as it feels to give this story a conclusion it does not deserve, I could not bear to see it sit on Hiatus. Thank you again and maybe one day you will see an eerily similar story sitting on the shelves of your bookstore ;)

+dares to dream+

Translation: "Peace, my sister. The days of Salvatrix have concluded. For you, however, you will continue. Great events are yet for you, Tani. Peace and live!"

Two years of not refreshing my latin really puts a dent in things... eek...