Chapter XII: Restorative Magic
Peridas could not remain conscious a moment longer. He toppled to the ground at the same moment as the arrow struck the Viking in the forehead. The knife was jerked ineffectively across the face of Livaen’s neck, passing with a harmless scratch. The Viking’s blood splattered the side of Livaen’s face, and she stumbled forward as he collapsed. She ran to Peridas.
He was spasming on the ground, scattering droplets of blood onto the dirt. A dark pool was expanding outward from underneath him. The boy’s eyes darted sorrowfully to her own, then snapped shut as he was overcome.
Livaen’s torrent of emotions was uncontrollable. She felt as if she would burst from their force. They awoke in her an unfamiliar feeling, in a place deeper that instinct. And they prompted her to attempt something the sirens had long since forgotten in their millennia of festering isolation. She used restorative magic.
“Asodij,” she whispered, and the word boomed with power. And she began mending the gash in Peridas’ stomach, muttering softly all the while. Ever so slowly, like waves in a stasis, the wound crawled together, as if eager to reunite Peridas’ body.
Peridas was somewhere else, in a nowhere place between memory and death. He could hear Livaen’s directionless voice rustling through his mind, like the susurration of dry leaves. It sounded desperate and far away, and the boy was reluctant to follow it.
Then a shaft of moonlight split the night, and Peridas found himself sitting on a stone windowsill, Lenise warm and secure in his arms.
Her perfume was heady and intoxicating to Peridas as they looked out upon slumbering Athens.
There, shining down from the firmament and onto the peaks of the ancient structures below, the plump moon and ever-changing winter flares of green and gold in the sky colored the city in a marvelous number of degrees and hues of color.
A blanket of fog coiled around the darkened city, illuminated by the unblinking heavens so that it appeared like a shroud of scintillating quicksilver.
The city appeared drowned and dank beneath the oppressive weight of the lurid palls of mist.
Above, the sky was clear as glass, and the stars glowed with cold and distant radiance.
Despite the warmth of their contact, Lenise shivered, and Peridas felt her heartbeat quicken.
He knew why; tomorrow he would leave her, bound for a bloody fate abroad.
It was much the same throughout the city as the youths of Athens prepared for some form of doom, and already the lifeblood of the city pulsed a little weaker.
Soon, homes and studies would be sitting silent and forlorn; epitaphs in and of themselves.
Peridas sighed, wearied by humankind’s propensity for evil, and loathe to exacerbate the same.
Then he thought of the girl in his arms, and a measure of peace entered his heart.
He drew Lenise closer and kissed her sweetly, and, gripped by a sudden surge of emotion, whispered, “Marry me,”
Lenise turned to him, her tears falling now, and in a small gasp replied, “I will.”
– A jolt shook the world…
“Come on…” Livaen growled as she crouched over Peridas’ unconscious body. She slapped his cheek, but his eyes remained stubbornly shut. However, his face grew more taught, and his nostrils flared. And this gave her hope. “Come on, Peridas!” Livaen glanced over her shoulder nervously. The baying of the Vikings’ hounds was clearly audible now, and she groaned; she thought she had lost her pursuers hours ago. They had regained her trail, and would be on her within minutes. “Oh, no…” she said.
Peridas fought off the suppressing tendrils of unconsciousness. It felt like needles of darkness were coursing through his veins, subduing him… subjugating him…. The boy thrashed blindly in the dark, and the shadows surrounding him dispersed slightly, and a pinpoint of light exploded from the depths of his mind. Peridas dove for the light; there was a feeling of something snapping or shattering, and on the other side of consciousness, he opened his eyes.