The next morning, the birds sung over the Ruins of Evale.
It was a haunting sound. The city should have been alive with the noise of hundreds of thousands of lives being lived. You shouldn’t be able to hear the morning songbirds this close to the walls.
Tarya toed the ground with her boot. The ash was thick, covering every surface.
“What you think, boss?” Equa asked, wiping her visor with the back of her hand.
“I think it’s shit,” Tarya replied. Her own visor was clouded up, but she didn’t want to wipe it clean. She didn’t want to see the destruction of Evale in front of her.
It told her the truth. The prophecies were real.
Her brother was going to be the end of them all.
“You think you’ll be able to reason with him?” Equa asked, gesturing to the smoke coming out of Evale, “Evale tried to reason with him-”
“I’m his sister,” Tarya said. Even admitting it out loud, after what had happened, was tantamount to heresy. There was a price on her brother’s head, and every Captain in the land was out hunting him like Tarya and Equa.
However, unlike Tarya and Equa, the other Captains were out to kill him on sight.
“That’s not going to stop him summoning the power of hell,” Equa said, “you know that right?”
Tarya didn’t reply. Equa was right – there was no guarantee Natten would recognise or remember her. He was likely too far gone, consumed by the demon who he had struck the prophetic deal with two years before.
She’d have to face the reality, at some point, that her baby brother was now a merciless killing machine.
“Come on,” Tarya said, wiping her visor, “let’s get going.”
She pointedly looked at the floor. Reality was too hard to accept today. She had to try and save him, to believe he could be saved.
She couldn’t live with herself otherwise.
Featured Image by Alice Hampson on Unsplash