Visions III: Revealed - Part Eight
Hara entered the room shortly after Nil awoke. She didn't have her usual array of bags and bottles, which surprised Nil slightly.
She tried to sit up and greet Hara, but a pain spread through her body and she gasped before lying still.
"Oh, you're up," the Zafara said, going over to Nil. "How do you feel?"
"Like a mad Wocky zapped me in the chest," replied Nil, sitting up on her elbows. "What's happened since I fell unconscious?"
"Jazan saved you, Jix was captured, and your mother showed up," Hara reported. "Other than that, nothing much."
Nil stared at her. "My mother?"
The Zafara nodded, oblivious to Nil's reaction. "Yeah, she's just outside, waiting to see you. Should I send her in?"
"Why would I want to see that thing?" Nil asked, turning her face away from Hara. "She left me alone on the streets."
"Well, she's your mother, isn't she?" Hara explained. "Besides, she told us what happened and what she did for you. It was actually the right thing."
Nil scoffed. Yeah, right. She fingered the gold stud in her ear and closed her eyes, trying to wipe away the painful memories she had relived in her dreams. They were all too real, though.
"Ah-nil?" a voice asked and a short, red Kyrii stepped inside. "Are you alright?"
The two Kyrii looked at each other, the yellow one glaring at the red one fiercely. "After what happened, I would think you'd expect me not to be."
Nil's mother ran to her side. "Oh, Ah-nil, I didn't mean to. I wish I could take it all back, reverse time--"
"Save your breath," snapped Nil. "That's really all it is to me, just more air being wasted by you." She looked at her mother and felt almost bad for her. Almost. "Besides, if you call me that stupid name one more time, I'm going to hurt you."
Her mother nodded, seeming to understand, though Nil doubted she actually was listening. "Right. I won't." She closed her eyes and sighed. "Let me explain what happened that night, though."
"There's no excuse behind what happened, so don't even try to come up with one."
Hara muttered something about leaving and quickly made an escape, leaving the two Kyrii alone.
"Nil, I tried to keep you with me," her mother began, and this time Nil didn't bother stopping her. "I did my best to, even when Queen Fyora told me to abandon you. She said you had to learn how to survive on your own so that you would be prepared for your visions."
It all comes back to that, thought Nil, running a hand across her scar. Stupid, risky, pointless visions.
"I kept you from her for a year," her mother continued. "Every day, though, you seemed to grow to love the Queen more and more, unaware of what she wanted to me to do to you. Finally, I just couldn't stand it and... and..." She was silent for a moment, and whispered after a moment, "I finally did what she wanted me to do, and that was the end of it."
Nil stared at her mother, unable to believe her ears. "That was the right thing you did? Abandoning me on the street?" She clenched her teeth and shook her head, ready to scream at her mother when she suddenly became aware of another presence.
There, in the room, stood Queen Fyora herself. She was just as elegant as Nil remembered her, though age was clear on her face. The very way she seemed to light up the room was amazing and her beauty surpassed Nil's previous belief of what the Queen looked like, as if she had to see the grace before her to truly know it.
"I am afraid I caused this to happen," apologized Queen Fyora. "It seems I've made a lot of mistakes, but this was one of my biggest." She sighed and closed her eyes. "No child should have to go through what you did, even if you needed skills to survive. The betrayal of your mother... I can't imagine the pain you must have gone through. I truly am sorry."
Nil regarded the Queen and felt her rage surge. "Sorry isn't something that works on me, Fyora. Even you can't just apologize and get away with it."
"Perhaps there's something I could do for you," Fyora offered. "It's possible I could restore your eye."
"My eye is fine the way it is," Nil replied, glaring at the faerie. "The only thing you can do for me is leave me alone."
Fyora shook her head. "At least let me give you protection." She took the pendant that hung from Nil's neck and muttered a quick incantation before setting it back down. "This will keep danger from you, so long as you wear it."
Nil went onto her side and turned away from Fyora and her mother. "Thanks, now leave me alone."
The two glanced at each other for a moment and wordlessly left the Kyrii.
"My eye is perfectly fine," whispered Nil, and she felt it was true. "Completely and perfectly fine. It sees what others cannot, and that is what makes it fine."
Things had drifted back into normality as everyone departed towards their homes. Brynn and Hanso had left for Brightvale, Altador was going back to his own city, Master Fushi and Nil's mother had left for Shenkuu, where Damon still was, and Jix had been sent to a prison in Sakhmet, just in case he, or Xandra through him, tried to escape and kill Jazan. Nil now waited alone, her strength returned after a couple of weeks of rest. It was time for her and Karan to head back to Altador, though she still felt it wasn't really where she needed to be.
She played with the earring her mother had given to her before she left. It was the other one that she hadn't gotten the chance to put in all those years ago. It was newer and not as familiar as the last one, but it still felt better than the stud.
Where do I really belong? she wondered, leaning against the wall. Altador was where I was born, but I grew up in Faerieland. Shenkuu was the closest thing to a home I've had and here has become familiar as well. Still, something's telling me my journey's not over yet. She sighed and recalled Mala, the strange Shoyru still imprinted in her memory.
At the thought of her grandmother, a vision stirred into her mind and she embraced it, knowing it was best just to get it over with. Sensations and images flashed through her mind and she focused on them, sorting them out until she had her answer. It faded as Karan walked up to her, holding out her satchel.
"You're not coming to Altador, are you?" he guessed as she took her satchel.
"I'm afraid not," she replied, slinging it over her shoulder.
"So where are we off to this time?"
She shook her head. "I'm off, not you. This is something I have to do on my own, if you understand that."
Karan smiled. "Sort of. Good luck and be safe all the same."
Nil nodded at him, secretly feeling the weight of the pendant around her neck. "I will." And she left, leaving her brother staring after her.
I can only wonder where you're going, he thought, and sighed. "Good luck, Nil."
The cold wind whipped back her hood and Nil pulled it back up again, clenching her teeth against the bitter cold. It was unlike anything she had ever experienced before, and now she wished she was still back in Qasala, having to hide in shadows from the heat. Here, she couldn't hide in shadows to warm up. She had to use fire, and that made her feel open and exposed.
Nil looked up as she noticed how brightly the world was lit up. The moon was full, and she could see all the stars in the sky. Slowly, she traced them out, thinking about Karan and how he taught her the names behind some of the Altadorian ones. She quickly connected the dots for Kelland's constellation, the one she remembered the best because of how she related to it.
"He was a thief, but became a hero," Karan had told her.
"Like Hanso," she said bitterly in response. "The Handsome Master Thief."
Karan shook his head at her when she said that, smiling to himself. "No, like you." He had looked at her in that brotherly way and she wished they could still be together.
She laughed to herself and paused in the snow before a large, wooden cabin. Look at how attached I've become. It's hard to believe little more than a couple of months ago I didn't have a friend in the world, and now I have a brother and a mentor. She sighed and headed up the stairs, about to knock against the door when a red Lenny opened it.
"You've finally come," he said. "Mala told me you would, I just didn't believe it. Come on in, Nil. I have some things to show you."
A/N: Thus, the Visions trilogy is concluded. Sorry about the delay, guys. Life's been busy. Anyways, I'd like to thank TNT for letting me do this series and all of those who commented on this story. There's one last adventure yet, so stay tuned. Until then, though, I bid you farewell.