(This chapter has been difficult to write. I had me stumped for a good while. I know it has problems, but I am going to post it and move on. I will come back to it at a later date and update it.)
Ut hardly had the strength to fly, yet he managed to return to the Temple of Sand despite the debilitating wound. One more push. The temple is within sight. He grinded his teeth as he flapped his wings and fought against the ensuing darkness that consumed him to reach the temple courtyard. He knew that if his sight went entirely dark, he could collapse and die in the desert before anyone would realize he needed help. Therefore, he harden his will to keep his flame of life from being extinguish.
Alessia saw Ut staggering through the sky. “Look!” she pointed. “Ut’s injured.”
Ut roared in pain as he collapsed into the sand.
“Ut!” Arayia rushed towards him. “What has happened?”
“I …,” he failed to say because of a shortness of breath. “I have failed.”
“No, you haven’t.” Arayia gently caressed his face.”You have not failed me. You have saved this earth from this enemy once, and you are still here fighting it. You have done more than enough for this realm. I should have done better at protecting this realm.” She hugged him. “I have failed, not you.”
“Goddess,” Ut laid his head on the sand. “The blame is not your,” he said, closing his eyes.
Sulyvan lifted an eyelid and looked straight into Ut’s eye. “Stay awake, my friend. Your fight is not over yet. If you fall under at this moment, I fear you might not awaken again.” He touched Ut’s neck to feel the rhythm of Ut’s breathing as he notice the life in his eyes dwindling.
Ut opened his eyes and struggled against the pain to lift himself to his feet. He then clinched his teeth as he extend his bloody hand he had kept hidden underneath his stomach to set the goat he had hunted before Alessia. “I found a goat in the mountains,” He said to Alessia. “Eat. You need to be strong.” The goat was drenched in his blood.
Alessia ignored the goat Ut had set at her feet. “You faced him?”
“I encounter him,” Ut collapsed into the sand once more. “The man of metal. He has terrifying power. When the goddess came to me and described a terrible man made of steel, I thought I knew the enemy, but this thing is more than it used to be. It has shaped in form, and it is stronger and more intelligent than before.”
Sulyvan touched Ut’s neck. “His breathing is getting fainter. He is dying.”
Arayia hugged the dragon once again. “He is not going to die! I will not allow it. I can heal him.”
Ut grunted as he rested his head in the sand. “He said he was alone…” he closed his eyes.
“Stay awake,” Sulyvan said.
“… I kill him.” Ut slightly opened his eyes. “I feel it. If he is the only one of his kind, then the threat is gone.”
“Suly,” Alessia said, “It’s beginning to get cold.”
“It is Ut. His flame is beginning to extinguish. You can feel it because of my presence,” Arayia said. “I will not let Ut die.”
“Can you heal him?” Alessia asked.
“Perhaps,” Arayia hesitantly said. “I do not have much strength, but I can try to heal his wound before C’oel appears to takes his flame. If he comes, do not let him touch Ut,” she said. Thereafter, she rested her hands against Ut and shut her eyes. she then began to sing from her heart:
Oh glorious heart, have mercy on my never healing wounds,
for the enemy’s attacks on the heart are relentless,
and the pain inflicted is excruciating.
Curse the curses of the heart, oh glorious Lords of Empathy.
Curse the fiend who strikes at the heart,
and aims for the spirit without compassion,
To murder it because of his wickedness.
He is truly cruel and miserable.
As Arayia sang, a warm light filled the skies. Her body trembled and her eyesbrows sweated as she used her the feeble strength she had to heal the wound on Ut’s chest. The light descended unto Ut and it illuminated his flesh as it permeated through to his soul. Ut’s heart began to glow through his chest as the wound in chest slowly healed.
Sulyvan refrained from looking into the light in the sky. He stood there stoically with his eyes closed, only focusing on his breathing. He knew the light was magical, so he just allowed himself to bask in its healing properties. He inhales deeply as he felt the pain in his chest alleviate.
Alessia, however, looked into the light with curiosity, but it was too bright for her to gaze into. She almost closed her like Sulyvan, to allow herself to be soothed by the light, but a gust of wind caught her attention. When she looked in the direction of the wind, she saw a candle holder in the sand. “Sulyvan,” she nudged him. “Look. He’s hear.”
Arayia kept singing:
The heart is cursed to suffer from wounds that never heal,
wounds that break open when heart lament,
but the lamentation is not the curse that breaks the wounds open,
it is the cure that heals the wounds when the heart is broken.
Sulyvan immediately walked over to the candle holder and picked it off the sand. “I know you are here to collect the primordial fire he was born with, the fire that cannot be extinguished, but I cannot let you take him.”
“I count one-hundred steps between me and his flame. His flame has until then to rekindle,” a voice answered.
“Please,” Sulyvan supplicated as he felt a force exert itself against the candleholder.
When it began to move, Sulyvan’s strength was not enough to stop C’oel from advancing. He mustered all his strength to keep the C’oel from walking forward, but the candle holder merely dragged him along with it.
When Alessia saw Sulyvan’s struggle, she quickly moved to grab the candle holder, but the candle kept moving forward.
Arayia heard C’oel advancement. “Please, wake up,” she hugged him. “Your wound is heal. It is now your duty to reignite your soul.”
“It is futile,” Sulyvan said. “He is too strong.”
Arayia continued to hum as C’oel approached the dragon. “Wake up,” she continued to plead, but he did no wake up.
It was not until Ut felt the cold hand’s of death grapping onto his flame that Ut’s soul burned anew.