"Come with me if you insist," I tell Farah.
She looks as if contemplating an alliance because so far neither of us has had much success against the 'demons'. It would be within our mutual interests to partner up if only to expedite the journey to the Tower of Dawn.
"But I warn you I move pretty fast."
Before I can even finish my next words she dashes towards the broken screen beyond the water pool at the far end of the hall. Some things never change with her. I follow her out the window and she takes off again while I pause to drink more healing water. Fighting enemies made of sand always leaves me thirsty. It is like dueling in a desert that's everywhere. Two quick wall runs bring me back to her, it appears she is quite fit for a Maharajah's daughter though given her skill with the bow I should have seen that one coming earlier.
"And you were worried about me keeping up with you," quips Farah mockingly.
Familiar noises cut the conversation short so a third wall run lands me on what looks like an outdoor garden, but not quite.
"I'll cover you," calls Farah.
"Please don't - you're liable to hit me instead of them."
Courtesans and clubbers appear in pairs. It is a reprieve from fighting only guards not so long ago. Not much of a challenge unless I am off my guard, which I intend to not be. Slashes and drains whittle down the enemies with ease and at first it looks as if we were in the clear until more appear once Farah comes over from the perch of the roof just above this patio. Now they divide their numbers between us like they had back at the hall so I double back to cover her once they start to close in on her no amount of marksmanship will keep shield her from a circling attack pattern.
It is the courtesans that are attacking her so I knock down several of those hefting clubs so that I might redirect their attention from her to me. Our survival means working together because the visions imply that our partnership is the only way either of us getting through these long winded encounters. At the same time however my growing attraction to her similarly pushes me to save her from death.
The skirmish ends sooner due to the fact that I kept taking advantage of all the enemies she knocks down with her arrows, so as irritating as it gets trying to cover her, at least she can knock them down long enough for me to drain them.
Another sand vortex materializes near us so I walk straight towards to glimpse what lies ahead though it as I already could tell there are gaps in the glimpses that are widening with each vortex encounter. Either because I cannot retain the memory of it or perhaps I cannot see beyond certain decisions because I don't understand them because I have yet to make them.
More puzzle solving, more of that which falls apart, and a three way brawl beyond a door with the familiar emblem on it. She stays away from me when I awaken undoubtedly due to my outburst at the hall though she still emphatically asks if I am alright. My head isn't pounding as badly as it had before, which is a small mercy, either I am getting used to the side effects of the visions or maybe Farah is something else to focus my attention on when I rouse from the visions. As we circle around the walkway that protrudes from the tower, the path ahead crumbles, which explains why I saw myself land on a lower rooftop below us.
After all who I am to argue with my own moves, at least not ones that save me from wasting sand to reverse back to try over because it appears by way of the visions that I'll need the sands to freeze my attackers at some point in the future.
It looks as if we are to separate again because this door is lock shut. I tell her to wait here and she thankfully obliges despite offering to follow me across. Considering the acrobatics that come with these sidetracks, I rather go it alone with the knowledge that once back with her I know that somehow something I had done had kept her alive instead of her ending up like everyone else in Azad save for the dastardly Vizier.
I wall run then slide down the wall to half circle roof before going into another wall run to the tapestry rods hanging off the wall ahead of me. It is a rather long dash so starting from the ideal spot means starting near the far edge of the half circle. Rapid swing jumps from one rung to the next take me to another half circle roof. It is always the long ways between harrowing skirmishes or so it appears to me. Regardless of how repetitive these maneuvers get, timing is still my no longer ironic technique for making it from here where I am to there where I must go next.
There is a bridge below or was a bridge as it had fallen apart save for the section closest to the locked door and fitting enough there is a turnstile besides so I quickly turn it in the necessary direction before dropping down to make my way inside. In the corner of my eye, there is another glowing 'puddle' so I use the dagger to drain it into the dagger like I would with downed enemies. Another ability is open to me, likely what I saw myself do in the vision, I could now freeze the sands within my attackers, but there is obviously a drawback just as there is with rewinding time when I am about to die.
I also have these phantom feelings from cuts that I got yet are not there now. The act of rewinding does more than send me back through time. It also reverses any wounds done onto to me by the sand 'demons'.
The familiar warping noises surround me, which means a fight is imminent as usual. The first wave is a clubber, a courtesan, and a spear carrier. All the enemies so far save for the Sand King and those I fought back in the hall are of Azad though any enemy wearing blue was once of Persia, but not anymore. If I am to reach the hourglass many more will disintegrate at the touch of the Dagger of Time. These three unlike the ones in blue are vulnerable to my ability to vault over them and in the process of doing that knock to the ground making it quicker to drain them of their sand.
Vault after vault, topple after topple, and soon they cease to warp in at this location. Their numbers are massing - each wave is bigger than it was before, which means the closer I get to the top the longer these skirmishes are going to take. It is almost as if there is a pattern to their movements aside from them warping around during the fighting to catch me off-guard if they can. I had the means to rewind back if I make mistakes, which I will though I can't blatantly rewind back because eventually the sand tanks will empty even with constant replenishment from sand draining my attackers.
Another sand vortex appears directly at the center of the chamber where the last string of visions had come to a stop. These vision portals almost seem to be connecting to each other though with each one I am shown less and less though by now I have already noted that yet my sense of time is slippery than ever so I can't be truthfully sure of how many times I have done this only that it has been more than once. There is no logic in tracking how many times I have died either in a fight, from a jump, during a wall run because as infinite ways to die exist in every possibility since my first use of the dagger while escaping the crumbling vault only a few days ago.
"Has it been only that long? It feels longer, I feel like I have lived weeks or even months during these past few hours."
The point is I must not grow too dependent on vision portals within the sand vortexes. It already left me unready for the fight in the hall and for the fact that my father, the King of Persia, fell in an unnecessary fight with me. Certainly I believe one day I might succeed him though not like this yet it is done though with the Hourglass all this could be undone. As to how to accomplish such a feat remains a mystery to me. Likewise I wonder if there are consequences beyond knowing for those who open the Hourglass because already I am met by the visible consequences every step of the way in this ascent to the Tower of Dawn.
I step into the vortex yet mentally brace myself for the onslaught and soon the familiar body jerking motions are in play.
I see us operating an intricate network rotating stairwells, which are movable only by body weight shifting pulleys. There is also no shortage of booby traps along my part of the route though I can't see any getting in her way, maybe she'll be fortunate to only to have shoot any sand 'demons' that appear once we get where we need to go with those stairs. The chamber where the stairs are look like a warehouse, but again it is head up to go down to move onward.
No Farah to greet me once I rouse and force myself back to my feet. The stone floor is cold, what else to expect from it. It appears as if a whole section of a walkway above me had fallen down to my present location so it would some times the crumbling can be advantageous so it is the moment to get going again. I climb the broken walkway then turn my attention to a narrow ledge above me and walk along it until centering my position to spot that is diagonal to the horizontal pole nearest to me. The aim is to use to a vertical wall run to launch myself to the horizontal pole, easier than done as I tempted to say even with the ability to rewind back if I miscalculate the bound off point.
It is relieving that it works on what I believe is the first try, but the after effects of the vision are causing a lapse in my ability to distinguish one attempt from the other, almost as if the attempt that succeeds overwrites the fails except I don't remember falling here. Next a string of flips from one horizontal pole after another brings to me another bound off jump. The last one however leaves grabbing for finger holes as I feel myself slipping though somehow I pull myself up and then there are two directions before me. The first is a mysterious doorway leading to a featureless hallway - save for sheer tapestries and wall mounted candles whereas the second is a ladder that likely leads me closer to the warehouse.
The earlier calming déjà vu is back as I make a wall run only to smack into a spinning blade then start to plummet towards the floor and while I am falling I can see the floor below getting closer so I grip the dagger and think back before the wall run. The air rushes backwards around me, the slash across my shirt and the cut on my chest literally vanish yet there is a lingering feeling as if all that is still there, but visuals tell me otherwise when I run my fingers down my chest. Every rewind leaves me with memories of what happen next, but all of it did not transpire except for me. The second attempt of a wall run from this spot succeeds so I head into the hallway. The lighting from the candles gradually lowers the further in I go so I had to wonder is there any correlation between the number of visits I made to this hallway or it is just coincidence for me to try to assign meaning to something that appears meaningless.
If only the Old Man could hear me babbling now, he'd say to me I am too young for philosophy, but then I doubt he has ever been a position quite like this one.
The bridge to the fountain is longer this time at least that's what my eyes are telling me and the thirst is upon me as I stand before it again so I down a mouthful only to experience the relaxing sensations the previous visits had given me to offset the sand vortexes. Everything around me glows for mere seconds before it stops and I am back outside where the open doorway had been only moments before. I touch the wall only to find it rock solid with no signs that there was ever an open doorway in this spot rather than debate the origins of the hallway or for that matter the fountain I make my way back to the ladder.
Several wall runs are necessary to unlock another door with the self-same symbol as I had seen many times since the vault or since working my way up to this location. I can hear Farah calling out to me so I make my way to her, step on the stone to let her inside and together we head back up the stairs I had just come down to reach her.
There is a crack in the wall, which is again only wide enough for her.
"You're a skinny little thing," I say to her.
She slips through and steps on another stone giving me a way to follow her and within seconds we have made it to the warehouse.
"What are we to do now?" she asks me.
"Wait here while I throw that switch," I answer her.
At least she is listening this time I think to myself.
The stairs rotate giving her passage to another body weight lever on the platform down the first rotating stairwell. Her lever shifts the stairs on the other side of the room closer to me so I drop down then work my way up to another horizontal pulley.
"I'll just wait here then - shall I?" says Farah haltingly.
She seems less aggressive for the moment so I look towards the pulley knowing what to expect when I backpedal away from the wall while holding onto it.
It could only mean a timed dash through booby traps and probably a doorway given the vision flashes. All I had to do follow the footsteps I am going to make so I roll about dodging the spinning spike poles and sidestepping the floor spikes before sliding sideways under the closing door ahead of me.
I had come full circle though like all other circuitous turns it brings me to where back to where I am going and where Farah is again waiting like she said she would so perhaps I can count on her help maybe even learn if she has feelings for me as I do for her. It is a quick dash down the stairs to her position then I make way towards another body weight lever.
"Are you all right? I heard strange noises," exclaims Farah.
"No permanent damage – thank you," I assure her.
I head towards the other corner as if already aware of her impending suggestion.
"There's another lever in that corner – do you think you can reach it?"
I know I can therefore I must if we are to continue advancing and to reach solid ground below us. The alternating between her and me on the levers only proves why we must press ahead together. Two stands a better chance than one, but it is steadily becoming more than just survival to me though as to her only time would tell on that account. I chuckle inwardly thinking only time would though I must continue on my way – no time for jokes.
We had in tandem move from body lever to body lever turning the stairs as we go lower and lower to the ground just like I saw we would though the only thing that worries me now is what awaits down there yet I feel as I already know somehow. I know something that she does not, which is not always the case, she had known more about the dagger than I from the start though who her father is where it made sense that she should whereas my advance knowledge comes from head splitting visions of the future.
The final set of levers reunites us at the elevated high ground at the center of the warehouse floor.
"Wait here," I recommend to her.
She is at the ready as if aware of approaching enemies though maybe it is instinct because often when we are together and I go ahead of her it usually means enemies are near. As I drop down to the lower floor they start to appear, they were soldiers save for these ones hefting massive hammers undoubtedly for the Palace's Forge though one warps in behind me only to knock me across the floor with the hammer. If only to spare myself the injury and the pain of taking one of those things to the back side of my skull I rewind back to less than a minute before I believe the Hammer man appears behind me so that I might roll out of the way in time.
The rewind to dodge maneuver appears to work as I am able to instead vault over him and drain him where he had once hit me hard against my skull. Best not to get caught in my own elation because there are still more swarming in and so a-vaulting I go towards them. Each time they fall flat on their face or their back, which only leads them to a drain in rapid succession. It is getting less hard to ignore the howls when they become nothing more than sand in the dagger. I am not an insensitive warrior, but they were all in a sense dead from the moment I open the Hourglass. The only way to restore them is to fight my way to the top and no matter how many 'die' for to fill the dagger's power – only by doing this can I hopefully find a way to undo all this – I must believe in this outcome.
I need to believe in more than myself to ensure it so I look to her and find a growing cause to survive for together we have come so far in only hours. I must live for more than my redemption, live for the feelings we both appear to share though maybe it only the mutual danger that this quest holds is drawing us together. It is a plausible interpretation and maybe I read too much into her eyes or words.
As if on instinct I find the crates necessary to weigh down metal tiles to the left and the right of the doorway ahead yet once more this is where the vision from the last cycle had come to a halt.
The crates feel strangely lighter than I was expecting though as the 'Old Man' said to me many times all that stands in your way appears so only in your mind so maybe in thinking these crates weigh very little – perhaps they have become so to my thinking. What should be heavy is now almost weightless.
It is easier to spot the one on the right for the floor stone's symbol is visible from my position so I move quickly to push and pull it into position before turning to retrieve the left, which is tucked away in a corner on the floor thankfully. The puzzles in the system are less elaborate than the traps though it is only by the visions that I even have the slightest idea how to solve them. I am not incapable of solving puzzles on my own though I'll confess to my own impatience to keep moving forward.
I finally get the left one into place except instead of it opening the door, it raises a section of the floor near the elevated platform where Farah is standing directly in front of the sand vortex so I wonder should I consult it or continue on without peering into the future. My head is still smarting from the hit that technically never happen in the first place. It appears phantom cuts and injuries are to be the aftereffect of these rewinds. I'll think I'll skip it once because the solution to the door looks too obvious from where I am standing.
Two up wall runs and two tumble downs should get me there.
Unsurprisingly I was right and soon we are in the adjoining corridor beyond the warehouse. Two wall runs get us to the next area, which turns out to be the Sultan's menagerie. I fear what may have become of his dead majesty's prized pets, in particular his flock of vultures.
It is only upon sighting a group of Hammers that I start to consider that going ahead without consulting the Sand Vortex might have been a grave error on my part. Of course considering the fragmentation of the visions – I might not have been shown everything like the previous visions.
Now is not the time for second thoughts Prince.
Who are you?
Your inner self- you real think talking yourself wouldn't have a side effect?
So what is causing these head pains?
Noise that you can't decipher in the vision is your own voice – multiple versions of you – all that are dead or will die during the course of visions' foretold events.
So if there are versions of me that are dead how am I alive?
Because you exist outside of time – at least when you rewind you are- that's the dagger's doing – by moving backwards- this version of you avoids the injuries or deaths of the others- there's even one of you that never made it out of the Maharajah's Vault.
What happen to his time line?
It no longer exists – just like all the others – see you avoided his death by rewinding where he didn't – he marveled too long at the dagger and got impaled for it.
What became of the dagger in then?
It doesn't matter because that past never happened for you or for me.
Then what do you represent?
The you that went and goes on without Farah – she's dead – well she died countless times before, but each time those deaths were averted at least for the version of Farah who is with you now. So you may have to learn how to solve this problem without her at your side.
I should hope not – though I suspect you might be right though having avoided my own demise this far it could mean I could keep avoiding hers by avoiding mine.
By the way – the Hammers are closing – now move.
I snap out of that inner chat at the sound of Farah's arrows.
"Prince – watch out – that one nearly took your head off," murmurs Farah.
"Sorry – must still be feeling a little off from the visions and getting hit back there," I reply.
"You weren't hit – I saw you dodge it – something did seem strange about that though considering that you know where the Hourglass is – maybe you know more about what lies ahead than me."
She is catching on – maybe I can trust her with the full extent of what I have seen ahead.
Together we dispatch the hammers by arrows and drains – the skirmish is briefer than the last. I'd hate to fight this type alone – I wonder how the other I had done it – I suppose if I had to – I would do the same because it would be only me against a wave of them.
Near the overlook several paces forward is a lamppost and a vortex so I think this time I'll have a look ahead despite the gaps and side effects that await me.
"Maybe you should try to climb over this wall – there's a weight floor stone on the other side," suggests Farah.
"An up run won't do – I'll have to go higher ground like the palm tree and use its branches to get me over," I respond.
I step into the swirling vortex like I had done several times before the warehouse and got head pounding flashes as before though the noise is clearing up as I listen for my own voice. Comments about defending against the vulture's swooping strike, using round wall runs in the enormous cage, and so on as if the conversation with that lonelier me had actually proven beneficial.
I climb the lamppost then once high enough I change my position with my back to the stone ledge and jump while turning again in midair. I grab tightly to the grass and pull myself up though I also see her watching with apprehension.
"I made it – I'll be over the wall shortly," I assure her.
She smiles weakly back at me. It must have broken the lonelier me to lose her though how did he continue on – maybe it is the hope that by undoing all this that she'll be alive once more even if he had to lose her to ensure her livelihood. I wonder if he is that selfless or selfish – he can't be that different from me – so I wonder if I have to make that call though it does little good to ponder future decisions with so much to be done in the present.
Up twice then down twice before reaching the palm tree branch to swing myself towards the wall. I land on the wide ledge above the door, which like so many other doors bears the familiar symbol so similar to the one on the dagger as well as the one on her necklace. I suspect there's a link to all of it as if they were all made by same individual – so who is responsible for their existence and what has happen to them – that I may never know though I am content with that acknowledgment.
Another drop down and a short step to the stone unlocks the door bringing her inside with me except now is the descent of the vultures so I head forward with my sword high as if anticipating the path of their downward strike. It works like a charm so then I lash back after every block and the vultures disintegrate after a few blows.
Inside a nesting ground off to the side is a crate with the same symbol as the one on all the other crates I had seen so far, which meant I have to move it. Behind it is a crack where the wall meets the ground and likely only wide enough for Farah.
"Look a crack!" exclaims Farah.
I pray nothing attacks her in there or wherever it leads – I don't want her to die like she had in those other time lines – though I couldn't always be there to protect her. I vow to never her out of my sight for too long even if we face multiple separations from this point onward.
She soon reaches an adjoining area where a lever opens the way to the menagerie's interior.
The Fabled Menagerie of Azad – the Sultan's pride and joy – one of the wonders of the world – as a child I had dreams of looking upon with my own eyes – now it is a place of terror – now it is abandoned – wasted by the Sands of Time.
I utilize the rungs to bring myself of to what is left on the circular walkway one level up from me. I walk a few steps before using the next set of rungs to gain another level before turning about to a third set of rungs takes me to the third level. I recall a ladder, which I find shortly and up to the top level. A wall run takes me to a horizontal pole that spans half the circular width of the menagerie. My body weighs heavily against the muscles of my arms as well as my wrists so a few loops over the pole before launching myself across the gap between myself the platform that will lead me back outside. The elaborately forged metal exterior is broken open – most likely by the vultures though it is my way out too.
I jump once more across a gap to the stone outcropping then an up the wall run to a branch of tree protruding from the rock face. Now I am top the menagerie and near the turnstile from my last vision series.
The moon is full tonight – an omen perhaps – if it means anything I don't know for sure though the view from here is beautiful though not nearly as beautiful as Farah I almost wish she were up here to share it with me among other things. I miss her already even though she is not far from me at the moment.
The door opens and I look to my way down by the stone outcroppings though it is only in mid lunge that I notice I am going towards a forming sand vortex. All the other times I went into those willing yet it is the only thing to stop me from smacking head long into the rock wall beyond it.
My body convulses, my back arches like it usually does in these things, and then my head starts pounding as it typically does in this position.
Wooden plank bridges with missing sections and I slip she looks to be coming to pull me back up though she is too late. I fall to my death or so it appears – it happens again – it shows me my own death so that I might avoid it?
Something is behind why I am seeing these things – I just don't know what – not that I question why – just wanting to know what or who is responsible for showing me these events that always have yet to happen when I see them like this.
A few drop downs bring me to rods with lamps hanging from them so I use them to reach solid ground and move pass the open doorway to a glowing symbol on the far wall, which lowers a ladder for Farah to climb up to rejoin me.
"Thanks" she calls out.
As we continue, I hear another familiar – the one that belongs to those unnaturally large scarabs.
If my tale remains believe up until now – so perhaps it'll be believable when I say – I am more than grateful to have her at my side – though just as well I wouldn't allow her to come to harm.
I hack slash my way through them before she could risk being stung by them as I had been. It hurt though the dagger appears to protect me from the poison though not the injury itself. No point in rewinding over a brawl with these things.
The lever above us is too high up for her though not for me so I am quick to pull it down. Once inside another crack for her to crawl through is found so she goes into it while I look for my own way forward. Elsewhere she finds a switch that enables me to pass through the lock door before me at the end of the path I had taken away from where I fought the bugs.
Another horizontal wall pull lever could only mean the typical timed booby trap passage to the next marked door. It might be timed, but no sense in getting me killed trying to reach her since she is undoubtedly on the other side by now.
A tumble here and there mixing with slow walks over spike plates in the floor is the way to move ahead if only to not get multiple stabs from below – whoever made this system made it too well.
"The door is closing – hurry!"
She certainly sounds worried though I am nearly there so once over the last section of spike floor plates I slide my way under the door and made it before the door hit the ground. She looks at me as if I am taking foolish chances with timed doorways. I had to wonder how much she really knew of such things though it is not really practical to question her worrying at least not here.
The plank bridges ahead are missing sections and it looks like the place where I felt to my death in the visions I saw during my time in one of the previous sand vortex jaunts.
There are more towering palm trees so I'll use them to navigate the high ground in this area yet I am not alone – there is no warping sound – only flapping wings – meaning there are sands altered vultures circling about up there. The first one comes at me from the high ground near the palms I used to climb my way up. After dusting the first, a second descends and easily dealt with too so it seems a well timed blow finishes the vultures quicker than a human sized opponent. As I move to make a wall run I can see a horizontal crack in the rock wall ahead of me, which thankfully takes me directly behind the next set of palm trees so I use the closer of the two to lower myself to the middle ground.
I use the dagger to absorb the glowing sand patch nearby before going back to the palm tree and turning around to the other side to make a short aerial jump to the palm tree across the way. The fifth palm tree is instead tucked away in the corner before the waterfall so alter position and launch myself towards it while once more turning in midair. Shortly after that I am at the waterfall as more vultures descend on my advance. Pesky annoyances, but like scarabs – their bites do damage just not as severe as a human weapon would in the hands of those who were once human within these walls.
A stop to drink the water and find it holds the same regenerative properties as the fountains both in the palace and in that ominous chamber where the water glows a shimmering blue.
The narrow ledge is the only way to reach the broken plank bridge further ahead and below my present location so off I go with the wish that I won't be attacked at this juncture – not that I couldn't fight them off, but these intermittent skirmishes are taxing on me even with the water to rejuvenate me or the sands to rewind back a 'bad' move on my part.
After I drop down, I prepare jump only to realize the size of the gap so I backpedal so I can run before jumping and manage to land on the middle part of the bridge only to see a similar gap ahead of me. Another jump puts me a little short of my target so I am gripping on the wooden plank that I missed landing on in order to pull myself up. The wood marked my hand, but I am unhurt except for soreness in my ribs from impacting the plank in such a way.
Turnstile to open the locked door below – unsurprising for me since virtually every locked door so far has been bound to a turnstile, a pull lever, a weigh button, or some other kind of activation mechanism. I can hear it opening and Farah likely upon seeing it open went straight for it just as I must do since I have no idea how long it will stay up.
A wall run followed up by two palm tree hops gets me to the ground directly across from where the open door is so I wall run again only stopping a few inches short of smacking into the door frame. After that I walk through to find Farah shooting arrows at scarabs so I bring the sword out of the scabbard for another skirmish with the bugs. The birds and the bugs on a whole look less disturbing in appearance than my once human attackers – not that's something to be positive about – just something I notice from looking upon them before I drain them.
As we continue on there is another group of easily dispatched scarabs before I spot a bright glow ahead. Most likely from a heavily illuminated room and I am entirely sure where within the palace I am now.
A new kind of enemy awaits us beyond the breach. They are ones carrying spinning weapons. I had rarely seen this kind of weapon outside the training sessions I had back home and even then they were seldom used due to the close range damage they could do to both wielder and opponent.
There are also the dancing courtesans and we had come far without encountering many of them.
Farah starts flinging arrows as I knock those that are hit by her arrows so by that method we whittle their numbers, but this number is smaller than the last attack force. It only could mean more were coming soon and then I heard it before I saw it.
The new enemy type with the swinging blade appears behind Farah and the blade kills her right there.
I feel something impale me too. The blood starts to stream from my mouth – it can't end like this.
The only way out of this one is to rewind... must concentrate before its too late.
The ground comes up too fast and then nothing.
A/N 1: This covers from "I'll Try To Find A Way In" to the beginning of The Baths. Hopefully the way I went about describing events didn't get dull or recycled. The enemy types I describe by way of their weapons still except for the courtesans or non-human attackers such as scarabs.
A/N 2: The Old Man that he refers to again in this chapter is the Blind Old Man first seen in Warrior Within - sequel to Sands of Time.
A/N 3: Further commentary on the origins of the visions and a kind of fourth wall thing about how they are getting fragmented, which is something I'm sure anyone who played the game noticed. As for the alternate Prince he mentally meets that's a bit of time travel mumbo.
A/N 4: Cliffhanger ending to this chapter - based on a double death experience from the game.