Thinking about it made me wretch. Physically ill, in fact. The way it created its antibodies, the way the antibodies looked... the stench that had constantly impaired my senses, causing me to feel dizzy and nauseus. The only glimmer of light emminated from the legendary sword I had held in my shakey hands.
Through any other monstrosities, it would have cleaved through them like they were paper. But oh, no, not these... these fleshy, pulsating beings were so strong, so tough. I can no longer remember how many times I had to slash and stab at them like a madman so that they would not reach me...
Skin, and blood. I walked up that path and wanted to die, but I wouldn't allow it. Too much at stake. Three slashes, and it was done.
Those who survived after it was defeated told me to leave my past behind, try to move on. They simply couldn't understand. They can never imagine what it's like to be inside something alive; alive, and full of so much hatred. Full of fear, disgust.
Sometimes I wonder, was its demise enough to save us? Did I finish it off quickly enough? Or was too much damage already done? I cannot yet tell.
That little girl's mother perished shortly after peace had returned. One of the soldiers decided to take the girl in, but she never smiles, now. All she has left is her dog. It always had a sort of... depressed look about it. But it looked worse now, like it knew everything was still unsettled, still not quite right. "He's such a boring dog. I keep him around because he's the only thing I have anymore that's familiar." The girl told me, before she left with the soldier.
When I'd first arrived here on the island, everything was so colorless. Even after returning the idol to its rightful place... after going deep inside the most evil of evil things...
Light refuses to grace us with its presence.
With no one else to turn to, I brought my worries to the elven priest, Aeaine Vigil, deep in the Holy Forest. We sat by the fountain. She listened without interrupting. After I finished, she let out a heavy sigh.
"Prince Devian. I too have such doubts. For a breif few days after you felled the Great Darkness that overshadowed the island, light had indeed shined upon us. But why it has gone now, I... cannot say. Perhaps this time, it is the surrounding kingdoms effecting us, and not the other way around, as it was before?"
I shook my head. That couldn't be it. I had received several letters from father, stating that everything had grown prosperous and beautiful again. So why? Why has the curse been lifted everywhere but here? Was the darkness here so concentrated, so entangled with the island's roots, that the island could never be free of it?
Would these people have to live in a constant state of hopelessness? Or would they flee to other lands to escape it? A bigger question yet... could they escape it?
I got so engrossed in my thoughts that I didn't notice Aeaine trying to get my attention, until she tapped me firmly on the shoulder. "Oh, forgive me. I got so lost in thought..."
"Bad thoughts, I presume. Your face looks heavy with despair. It's not good for you... you should try to rest soon. Drink some of the fountain water, too."
"I suppose you're right. Thank you for listening to me... hopefully, in time, things will change for the better." I stood up and smiled at her, and dipped a crystal vial into the shimmering magic water of the fountain, then began to head back to the village.
Aeaine closed her eyes sadly. "Poor Devian..." she whispered. "I pray the Gods will forgive me for not telling him that carrying the idol has left a terrible imprint on his soul. If he stays here, the gray skies will never cease. After fighting so bravely, after so much pain... Oh, Devian, I am sorry..."
And she turned and left to take a contemplative walk deep into the forest.