Although Xavani had told her that people had drunken lots of it, they were reportedly all male, and the nectar had an effect on them as Naga poison. Following her mad thoughts Eidomas reason sprung to life, dousing the flames all around. “There will be cleansing, one day.” she stammered, rushing up, confusing and nauseated she looked around the smoldering forest and the sad rest of the palisade. Growing ever stronger the voice of reason in her mind urged her to leave instead of fight. She sensed Gulius and Xavani watching her, still withing earshot. Something inside her happened, reason and madness began to blurr into one another. “Wicked fires, doused by the damp form of truth, shadows of lie cast aside by the light of one true salvation, delievered unto peace, the children sleep. Sleep my child.” Guius wanted to to jump back, held back only by the look that Eidoma gave him from a far. “She know she could just walk away, but she has fallen too deep. There is no return for her now.” he explained to Xavani who was staring back to the fungal woman with a lot of guilt. “Liberated by the one we dreaded the most, now in peace we lay don our head to sleep.” she mumbled. Gulius grabbed Xavani by the arm and ran away from the site as fast as his legs would permit.

Behind them thunder rocked the earth, a wave of heat washed over them, carrying spores and polen from bushes, trees and mushrooms with it further away into the forest on republican soil.

Regardless of the spectacle of flame, smoke and wind behind them Gulius and Xavani kept running. “Stop please!” Xavani gasped for air, reluctantly Gulius stopped, from the side she could see strems of sweat mixed with streams of tears on his face. She wanted to address it but couldn’t find words that would be adequate to be used in a delicate situation as the one she had found herself in. “She was my best friend for all of our lives,” he noticed her gaze. “and the love of my life.” he added, suppressing the urge to scream. They were still too close to the border.

“I don’t,” Xavani paused. “During the occupation of your people, I was fighting your comrades. Hated you folks when I just saw your skin blazing through the snowy branches, or green leaves. My father, my brother and my husband, they were all murdered. My husband before my very eyes, after we were captured.” Xavani looked at her stumps again. All the pent up hatred resurfaced, the agony and humiliation she had received since her capture fuelled the hatred further. “But I have learned a valuable lesson from my time in the resistance. Carry on. Bring the agony to your fists, and repay the world!” she yearned to clench fists, staring at the bandaged stumps. “But what ever your losses may be, carry on. As long as you physically can.”

Gulius nodded, still weeping silently.

Together with Eidoma the rage of the fire died out, leaving only the forest and the palisade to fuel it. Saddened he bowed his head. “Together we walk through the long night, joined hands I rest assured that beneath my feet there will always be salvation, absolution and home. Good night princess of my heart.” he turned away facing towards south east. “If my knowledge doesn’t betray me, the republic’s capitol lies in that direction.”

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