Chapter Twenty-seven, The Heart Wants What the Heat Wants
Amelia, Sylphiel and Pokota had spent the rest of the day packing the things they needed for their upcoming trip. Since Sylphiel didn't want to leave anything to chance she and Amelia had gone through town buying more supplies while Pokota rested. Another thing Amelia and Sylphiel did while getting supplies was seeing if anyone was willing to join them on their quest. Sadly there was no one brave enough or skilled enough to feel confident enough to offer their services.
With no help but supplies in hand the two girls went back to Sylphiel's to finish packing and to start dinner. Since high calorie, high fat and high protein filled foods were best Sylphiel had opted to make a good hearty dish. A thick meaty stew with lots of starchy vegetables that was extremely delicious. Pokota and Kopo eat until their stomachs were about to burst and even then there was still some left over. The meal was good and heavy surely to make anyone sleep well.
This was true for Sylphiel, Amelia and Kopo as they had no trouble getting to sleep that night. But not so for Pokota. Just like the previous night Pokota found himself sitting in the living room staring outside instead of in his room sleeping. The previous night's insomnia had been brought on by despair but this one was different.
Pokota was filled with hope again. Maybe he could come out alive out of all this after all. He didn't dare dream of what life he could have if all things went well. He didn't have that much hope but he was entertaining some more positive thoughts.
One thought he was thinking more about had to do with what had happened the night before. He had asked Amelia to kiss him and she had. It had been an emotional moment that Pokota would never forget. The kiss had been as much wonderful as it had been horrible. And it also had Pokota wondering if it could ever happen again?
Pokota wasn't stupid, he knew he guilt Amelia into kissing him. She saw him as a cherished friend and not as a potential love interest. She would have never kissed him in normal circumstances. Or at least that's what Pokota assumed. At best if Pokota did live through this ordeal then he and Amelia would only ever be just friends.
It turns even hope can be depressing.
Suddenly Pokota felt himself get very tired. With one last look at the moon in the sky Pokota got up and turned his back on the window. Tomorrow was going to be a big day so he needed to rest up.
'You can mull about your nonexistent love life another time...' Pokota told himself as he headed towards his room.
The next morning had Pokota waking up feeling very tired. Though he had gotten a full night's sleep he didn't feel rested. His dreams had been littered with disturbing images. He dreamt that his body wasn't connected and his body parts were scattered about. Pokota had spent the whole dream trying to get his body put back together with the help of Amelia and Sylphiel. It got stranger still, Amelia wasn't Amelia but a rag doll and Sylphiel was a walking bowl of petunias. Kopo was in the dream too but he wasn't even a stuffed animal. No Kopo was a big yellow balloon with a smiley face drawn on it.
Getting out of bed Pokota expected to be in a world of pain. This was what he was used to. Pain and temporary loss of at least one of his senses. However he noticed he was feeling only a bit sore. Along with his tiredness it just felt like he had a bad sleep. It was encouraging but Pokota wasn't about to get excited. He had drank some of the glowing water before going to bed.
Since time was of the essence Pokota dressed quickly and got himself ready. He had assumed that Sylphiel was already probably up and making breakfast as Pokota was probably the last one up. Lest he keep the others waiting.
Going down the stairs Pokota was puzzled by the fact that his nasal cavities weren't being tickled by a Sylphiel culinary masterpiece. Had he woken up earlier than everyone else?
Nearer to the kitchen Pokota could hear the sounds of someone working away at breakfast. Obviously they had just begun preparations otherwise he would have smelled something. Shaking his head Pokota walked into Sylphiel's sanctuary.
"Good morning Pokota! Sit down, breakfast is almost ready." Sylphiel smiled at Pokota as she finished up making the morning meal.
Kopo was hovering over Sylphiel's shoulder trying in vain to snatch some of the food when Sylphiel wasn't looking. He never actually succeeded as Sylphiel never let her guard down when it came to food preparations.
Amelia was sitting at the table drinking a cup of tea looking very much relaxed and content. "Doesn't it smell wonderful in here? Miss Sylphiel is making sausages, eggs and cinnamon buns!"
Pokota took a big whiff and frowned. He sat down at the table with a defeated slump.
"Pokota what's wrong?" Amelia wondered looking at Pokota with concern.
"I can't smell anything." Pokota sighed.
"Are you feeling sick? Is your nose plugged up?" Sylphiel put down the food on the table and felt Pokota's forehead.
"I'm not sick. Or at least not cold and flu sick. This is just like the blindness thing all over again." Pokota groaned. He looked at the food before and boy did it look delicious. But as he shoveled into his mouth he discovered he couldn't taste a thing. "Actually this is worse than being blind. I can't taste anything either." He whined letting his head fall and hit the table in frustration.
"At least you know it's temporary." Amelia reassured him.
"Just like the water... Doesn't cure just delays..." Pokota said bitterly.
"Well I'm sorry it doesn't taste like much but please eat up you'll need the energy for later." Sylphiel advised him.
After breakfast was eaten and future meals prepared and packed the trio and stuffed animal left New Siaraag heading northwest towards Krimson.
"Source of all power, light which burns beyond crimson, let thy power gather in my hand. FIREBALL!" Amelia commanded demanding the magic fire to form in her hands. A full fledged fireball emerged much to Amelia's delight. She threw the fireball against a boulder and watched it explode. "It's back! I have my magic back!" Amelia cheered.
"Well that's a relief." Sylphiel smiled. "It's a good thing, as we might need your magic later."
"We should fly to Krimson!" Amelia gushed with excitement.
Pokota shook his head right away at that comment. "Given that we're not even one hundred percent sure that Krimson is IrC'nn I'd much rather walk than fly. We could end up going past it all together."
"That's right Amelia." Sylphiel agreed with Pokota. "It could be the IrC'nn fell like Siaraag and it's descendants decided to rebuild it but in another area. So even if Krimson is technically the rebuilt IrC'nn, Krimson may be further north that the original IrC'nn or in any direction for that matter. We could fly to Krimson and miss over the ruins of the original IrC'nn." She explained.
Amelia let out a defeated sigh. "Okay we'll walk... I was just excited that I could actually be helpful for once. I haven't been able to do much this whole quest."
"Amelia that's nonsense!" Pokota protested. "You've done more than enough to help me. Believe me when I say that there's no way I could have made it this far without you Amelia."
Amelia blushed. "If you say so. Anyway let's get going!"
Having an extra person with them while they travelled was proving to be a real help. Given that this trip was more thought out than Pokota's original one they had lots more supplies packed to take with them. And with Sylphiel going on along she was able to carry a good amount of those supplies. Plus her knowledge of the area made it almost impossible for them to end up lost. But the biggest benefit of having Sylphiel along was when it started to get dark.
Not only did Sylphiel cook them all up a nice dinner over the campfire she was an extra person to help with the night watches. Unfortunately for Pokota Sylphiel agreed with Amelia in not letting Pokota take one of those watches. Proper rest and good food was very important for Pokota though the Tarforashian prince disagreed but not enough to put up a big fuss. When it came time to for Pokota and Amelia to go the sleep so that Sylphiel could take her watch Pokota did try to sleep. However once again night time brought on strange thoughts in Pokota's head and he just couldn't sleep.
He laid in his bedroll looking up into the night sky. It was a cloudy overcast so there were no stars or moon to stare at, just clouds. Pokota didn't say anything or let out make any noises to make it apparent he was awake but Sylphiel was aware of it just the same.
"Pokota you really need to get some sleep." Sylphiel chided as she stoked the fire.
"I'm trying but my brain is too noisy." Pokota mumbled while sitting up.
"I know you've got a lot of things to worry about with the problems with your body and this potential cure but you got to find a way to block it out."
Pokota shook his head. "That's not what I'm thinking about. Actually no I am thinking about that but that's not what's keeping me awake."
"Perhaps if you talked about what's on your mind your brain won't keep your sleep captive?" Sylphiel suggested.
Pokota looked over at Amelia studying her carefully. From the even rise and fall of her chest he was sure that she was asleep. "Well... it's kinda... private..."
"I promise I won't say anything Pokota. You can trust me."
"Okay... it's just that... the night before last I was feeling very depressed and I couldn't sleep. Amelia found me and we started talking... I was just so sad thinking about all the things I missed out on life... Miss Sylphiel I asked Amelia to... kiss me..."
Sylphiel's eyes went wide. "Why?"
"I had never... kissed anyone before... I asked Amelia to as a dying wish..."
Pokota couldn't verbalize his answer all he could do was shamefully nod.
"You know she's in love with Mister Zelgadis right?" Sylphiel stated almost sadly.
"So I've been told..." Pokota muttered bitterly.
"Do you regret the kiss?"
"I don't know... I have no other kisses to compare it to but I'm sure it's the best kiss I could have ever received. I've spent all this time alone with Amelia and you know what Miss Sylphiel, I think... no I know I have feelings for her. Strong feelings... She's so beautiful, so sweet and kind..." Pokota trailed off while shooting a longing look at the slumbering Amelia. "She's angel... and angel on earth..."
"Who is in love with someone else." Sylphiel finished off.
Pokota nodded while letting out a deep sigh.
"I can see why you're having trouble sleeping. I know this might sound insincere, but I know exactly what you're feeling." Sylphiel let out a sigh of her own. "Being in love with someone who is in love with someone else can be hard."
"Does it ever get better?"
Sylphiel wanted to lie to Pokota and tell him that it did but she couldn't. "Maybe it can but for me it hasn't. I've been in love with Gourry-dear for so long and even though he's with Miss Lina I still can't shake that feeling when I see him. I've been trying to get past it and move on but it's hard. Your heart wants what it wants even if that's something that doesn't want you back."
"Do you think Amelia could ever feel anything for me besides friendship?" Pokota wondered with fragile hope spilling into his voice.
This was another time where Sylphiel wanted to lie but she just couldn't. "Maybe... But as long as Mister Zelgadis is in the picture Amelia may have trouble seeing anything else."
"I don't know why such a perfect person like Amelia would love such a cold indifferent person such as Mister Zelgadis. It just doesn't seem right. I don't even think he feels the same way about her." Pokota muttered bitterly.
"The heart wants what the heart wants." Sylphiel repeated herself.
"Yes it does..."