At The Edge
"No, no, no! Sylvana, don’t go!!"
A cry of utter despair rang in Brisiella’s ears as she stood to the side, overlooking what could only be described as the end of a battle in the world of Neopia. As an invisible spectator to the scene (no normal Neopian could see the patron of life, after all), the ground was a charred crater below an Usukiboy Usul, a Faerie Peophin, and a Darigan Kyrii, all three of them heavily wounded and surrounded by crumbling debris. But of the trio, the Kyrii was the most heavily injured, and judging from the crimson wound in her chest and her unmoving form, Brisiella knew this meant only one thing - one of her creations’ life had come to an end.
This was the part of her job that she always found the hardest. Even if Brisiella knew this was a natural part of life, it didn’t make the sting of watching a life come to an end any less painful - in this case, the Usul’s despair at this Kyrii’s death was rather heartbreaking. Still, death was a part of every life, and it was an irreversible part of nature. As the patron of life, it was her job to see her creations off to join Toumei, whom Brisiella knew would take good care of them in the afterlife.
Slowly, from the Kyrii’s unmoving form, a glow of blue emerged. Initially a formless orb of pale blue light, it slowly floated in the air until it came to a stop in front of Brisiella. Another glow flashed from the orb as it took the shape of the Kyrii. Her form was entirely transparent, save for her crimson eyes as she and Brisiella found themselves in the astral realm, the latter’s home. As for what was happening in Neopia, the scene had become a blurred, but still-moving image as it drifted off to the left of Brisiella and the Kyrii.
"Greetings," Brisiella spoke. "You are Sylvana, correct?"
The Kyrii blinked before looking up, now spotting Brisiella. "Who are you?"
"I am Brisiella, the patron of life." The Lutari gave a polite bow. "I am who created you and the rest of life across Neopia and countless other worlds."
"Creator of life?" Sylvana looked down at her hands, only noticing the newfound transparent quality of her body now. Her hands then reached for her chest, where she discovered that her previous chest wound was now nonexistent. Despite the discovery, she only appeared slightly surprised. "If you’re really the patron of life, does this mean…?"
Brisiella gave a solemn nod. "Indeed, as unfortunate as it is for me to say it. Though I do not know what happened here, you perished in that fight." Her gaze went past the Kyrii’s shoulder. "My partner should be joining us soon. Once she has arrived, she will take over from here."
When Brisiella looked back at Sylvana, the Kyrii’s gaze was to the ground, ears flattened atop her head. Her expression was somewhat hard to read, but Brisiella sensed something was on her mind.
"Are you not ready to go? I understand if this is a lot to take in."
"It’s not that," Sylvana mused. "I’ve always known my time would come sooner or later. It’s just that…if you’re truly the patron of life and who created me, then tell me something." At Sylvana’s side, one of her hands clenched into a fist.
"Why would I be born into this world only to bring misfortune to everyone I care about? Father, Torvald and the others at the Darigan Citadel, and even Jerreth...all I’ve ever done is cause them pain. I’m no better than the evils that have tried to destroy Neopia throughout history." The Kyrii’s voice faded off as she stared at the scene before her, particularly of her unmoving former body.
"Do you think…this world would be better off had you never created me? Then Neopia never would’ve been put through so much danger, what I did during the war never would’ve happened, and Father, Torvald, and Jerreth never would have…"
Brisiella’s gaze turned to the same scene Sylvana was staring at. Though a slight distance away, she could still make out Sylvana’s unmoving body, the Usul that was tearfully holding her, and the Faerie Peophin who stared on sorrowfully. Of the trio, Brisiella found herself staring at the Usul in particular, who was now hugging Sylvana close to him, all while tears spilt down his crimson-stained face. Though Brisiella couldn’t say she completely knew what war or any of the people Sylvana was talking about, she silently guessed that the Usul was Jerreth. She also wasn’t familiar with his and Sylvana’s relationship, but Brisiella had always personally considered herself a good judge of character. If this Usul was crying over Sylvana, someone who clearly thought of herself rather poorly, this Kyrii couldn’t be as evil as she made herself out to be.
"Do you truly believe your life was created only to bring misfortune to others?"
At Brisiella’s question, Sylvana turned back to the Lutari, who had a newfound firmness to her otherwise gentle expression.
"I unfortunately do not possess the ability to decide what happens in every life I create, but each and every one of my creations, I create with purpose. Though the circumstances and what may happen throughout every life is different, no one is born to create misfortune, nor is anyone ever truly born evil." She paused as she turned to the crying Usul. "Look at that poor Usul. He’s absolutely devastated that you’re gone. If you truly brought him misfortune, why would he cry?"
Sylvana’s gaze went to the ground, now appearing unsure of herself. "I…"
"He is only so upset because of how much you mean to him," Brisiella continued. "Not just him - you said before you have a father, correct? How do you think he would feel if he saw you like you are now?"
"That’s…you’re not wrong, but…" What Brisiella said about Sylvana’s father undoubtedly struck a chord with the Kyrii. Still, Sylvana appeared uneasy, but Brisiella wasn’t finished yet.
"You might not see the good in yourself, but as the one who created you, I do." A small smile stretched across Brisiella’s face as she took a step towards Sylvana, gently placing a hand on her transparent shoulder. "I know you mean a lot to a lot of people in this world, and this world is better with you in it, even if you don’t believe that yourself."
Sylvana had since fallen silent, her face now contemplative. Still, Brisiella could sense a tinge of sadness from the Kyrii. Even if her words weren’t an automatic solution to Sylvana’s doubts, they were nonetheless what Brisiella personally believed in, without a doubt.
"I won’t force you to think about it. But at the very least, I hope I could help you see just how much you matter. Your life is and will always be important, and I will never stop believing that, Sylvana."
Before Sylvana could reply, a sudden flash of light made her and Brisiella briefly wince. When they both turned to their right and left respectively, what was the scene of the Usul holding Sylvana’s body had since been completely blocked out by the light, with its rays appearing to focus on Sylvana in particular. Her transparent quality threatened to fade out by the utter brightness of the light.
"What’s happening?" Sylvana asked.
"It is not your time," it seems. A female voice made Brisiella and Sylvana turn, where a Transparent Korbat slowly approached. Long ebony bangs framed a completely skeletal face, and in one hand, the Korbat held a gnarled black staff topped with a faintly glowing lantern, a familiar sight to Brisiella.
"What do you mean, Toumei?"
Toumei turned to the glow, the light illuminating her hollow eye holes. "Something is bringing this Kyrii back from the brink. Though it is very rare in Neopia, the ability to bring others back to life is not completely unprecedented."
Though initially surprised, Brisella turned to Sylvana. "Such a thing normally goes against the laws of nature, something even I have no power against. In a normal situation, I would prevent such a thing, but this time, it is like my partner says, it is not your time." She paused to give Sylvana a small smile. "It appears you will be able to continue living, Sylvana."
Sylvana’s ears perked up. "Is that so…"
"So what will you do now?" Toumei asked, turning to Sylvana.
Brisiella watched as Sylvana’s gaze went to the ground once again, retaining her contemplative expression. For someone who seemed to accept when her death was coming, being brought back to life had to be quite sudden. After a bout of silence, Sylvana finally spoke up, her voice initially a whisper, only for it to rise in volume with a quiet, but strong resolve.
"You’re…You’re right in that I don’t believe myself to be a good person. At the same time, you’re right in that Jerreth and Father both care about me very much. If they’re able to see the good in me like you can…maybe I can try to find what exactly they see in me. If there’s truly some good in me…I want to figure out just what it is."
In response, Brisiella nodded in approval. "A wonderful answer."
Next to Sylvana, the earlier light appeared to grow brighter, now appearing to illuminate her entire body. Toumei, who had turned briefly to look at it again, turned back to Sylvana.
"It’s time to say goodbye. At least, for now."
Nodding, Brisiella gave Sylvana one last smile. "Farewell, young Kyrii. Should we meet again, I hope it won’t be for a long time."
Though silent, Sylvana slowly, but gradually gave Brisiella the smallest of smiles before the rays of light completely engulfed her form, with Brisiella raising an arm to block such a bright glow. When the light faded, where Sylvana was standing was replaced with nothing, and only Brisiella and Toumei remained, the pair now standing side-by-side. Both were silent as they found themselves to be invisible spectators in Neopia once again, watching as Sylvana’s unmoving figure started to stir. For a moment, neither spoke a word until Toumei turned to her partner.
"Do you think she will be alright?"
A small smile stretched across Brisiella’s face as she watched Sylvana’s eyes slowly flutter open, and the Usul hugged her in a tearful, yet joyous relief.
"Whatever happens next is up to her now," the Lutari answered. "But whatever happens, I only wish her the very best." Brisiella’s voice then lowered into a whisper, hands clasped in front of her chest as if in prayer.
"Memento vivere, Sylvana. May you have nothing but joy for the rest of your life."