"Kyra!" I shouted, preparing to run after her. But Warlic stopped me.
"Let her go," he said quietly.
My legs felt wobbly beneath me, and I slumped down against the wall, burying my head in my mail-gloved hands.
I should have known.
Kyra had indeed lost her memory. She did not remember a thing about any of us.
Which also meant ...
She had forgotten that she had once loved me. But that wasn't the most important part. I deserved to lose her love, for all I had done.
What about her good, kind nature, though? Was that still intact? What if ... what if...
Don't. Don't ever think about that. Because your life depends on it.
It was all my fault. All of this was caused by me.
Why couldn't I be punished instead? Instead of a sweet, loving girl who had never hurt anyone, who had never deserved to lose everything?
On second thought, perhaps I had been punished. In a sense, I was standing in Kyra's shoes, experiencing firsthand just how painful it was to love someone wholeheartedly, and to not be loved in return.
I felt tears gather at the corners of my eyes, and scrubbed them away hastily. But more came, and I couldn't help but succumb to them.
In all the years of my life I had striven to hide any signs of weakness from my demeanor. It would only make me more vulnerable to the enemies that had crossed my path - Sepulchure, Drakonnan (at one time), Xan, Drakath, all of the rest. Of course, crying was strictly forbidden by the Artix-conscience - it wouldn't solve any problems.
But I didn't care now. I allowed the sobs to rack my body, not caring if anyone was watching.
I didn't know what to do. I didn't know how to put my life back together. Because I had ruined another's. Kyra's. I wept for all the chances I had been given, and never taken. I wept for the girl who had suffered in my stead ... and lost everything. I wept for the girl who would never be the same again.
"Kyra..." I choked on the name. How I wished she was here with me. I wanted to see her kind face, to hold her close, to tell her the earth-shattering truth - that I loved her, not Vayle. That all I ever wanted was to be with her forever.
But it was too late.
At length I felt a hand on my shoulder. I glanced up and found Warlic looking down at me. I was grateful that he had not interrupted me during my bout of sadness. He had allowed me to ponder what I had done. I knew that he was aware of everything that had happened, but he just hadn't mentioned it.
Or maybe not.
Suddenly I felt the collar of my cape being yanked up, and I was thrust against the wall with unimaginable force. I opened my eyes to find Zhoom holding me by the collar, glaring at me with no small amount of malice. Really, that was an understatement. The man looked like he wanted to kill me. Indeed, he was patting himself for his dagger, which appeared to be lost.
If he did kill me, I deserved it, anyway.
"You are despicable," Zhoom snarled in my face. "You were the cause of all her pain. And you were the cause of everything that happened just now. It's all your fault Kyra's like this now." He shook his head in disgust, barely managing to keep a lid on his anger. But sadness seeped out. I thought I saw something gleam in the corner of his eye, but it was gone in a second.
Over Zhoom's shoulder, I could see Warlic, looking apologetic, picking up the ranger's discarded dagger from the floor and placing it safely out of reach. So Zhoom had tried his renowned powers of persuasion on Warlic, too.
"If you do not make all of this right again, I will hunt you down if it is the last thing I do," Zhoom hissed. "You held her life in your hands, and you destroyed it. And you must get it back, or Sek-Duat willing, I will make you regret this!"
And with that sound verbal beating, he let me go.
I had to find Kyra if I was to make everything right again. So out I went, ignoring the overwhelming pain and fatigue I had accumulated throughout the day.
The sun shone brightly in the clear blue sky, the birds chirped merrily, and there were flowers and plants everywhere in full bloom. But to my mind's eye the sky was gray, covered in clouds, the sun was nowhere to be seen, and the land was lifeless.
When I was a safe distance from the house, I heard a whisper next to my ear. It was Warlic - he had followed me out without my noticing. I was much too tired, defeated, and depressed to make much out of it. He handed me a health potion, which I mechanically drank; it did not improve my situation. But what he said next suddenly changed everything.
"Time. Time heals all wounds ... and time brings back memories."
Yay my 6th chapter! But sadly, writer's block kicked in, and I'm having trouble thinking of ideas for the next chapter. Like, what should happen to Kyra now? And what will Artix do? I would love to hear some of your ideas! :DD