ALE: Xithymia - The Sins Of Transcendence - BestLightNovel.com
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Noisy, demanding, urgent,
Refusing to give up,
But broken all the same.
Hope is a young man,
Nurturing, loving, tender,
Caring, healing and helping,
Sharing his warmth.
Hope is a baby bird,
An infant fallen from its home,
Abandoned and left to die
Cold, forgotten and alone.
In silence hope sleeps,
Drifting away through time and s.p.a.ce,
The little bird exhales its last breath,
And is finally at peace.
[City center of lands of Aleksithimia – Nion's apartment]
The autumn breeze coming through slightly opened window tousled Nion's silver hair and reddened her cheeks. The warmth that had been in the wind just last week had either evaporated into the sky or leached into the earth. A vase full of purple roses was standing on the table right in front of the window. The heavenly fragrance and long green stems of the roses looked as fragile as a ballerina. The gentle wind touched the beautiful petals curling at the edge dancing in the breathless air of September, performing an intimate act of splendor and elegance.
The gentle wind touched the beautiful petals curling at the edge dancing in the breathless air of September, performing an intimate act of splendor and elegance
Nion slowly opened her eyes and tried to identify where she is. After a couple of seconds of rubbing her eyes, the blurriness started gradually going away, making her vision a bit clear. The familiar ceiling and the comfortable smell of her apartment put her at ease. She was lying on her bed without any memories of how she got back to the capital or what happened after she arrived at the precipice Clogwyn after being summoned for an emergency mission.
While stretching her arms, the movement somehow felt odd, the numbness and tingling in her arms run all the way to her shoulder. She realized that both of her arms were fully covered with white medical bandages. Surprised and curious, Nion decided to remove one of them so she could look at it.
After struggling for a couple of minutes due to not being able to bend her arms, she finally located the metal clip under her wrists and carefully removed it with the help of her mouth. The medical bandage had thick layers rolled around her arm; Last layers were particularly painful to remove as they were glued to her skin, it was almost impossible to remove it without ripping her skin away. Regardless of the pain, Nion continued removing the bandages.
Finally, she regained full control of her hand, and as soon as she started moving it, warm blood gushed out of the exposed wounds. She pressed snugly against her opened wounds with the pile of the used bandage in order to stop the free-flowing surge of sticky blood. There laid an expressionless young lady who sits on a pool of mild cerise substance that was slowly making its way between her fingers, dipping down like raindrops dripping from tree branch after the spring rain.
'Pat'...'pat'...'pat.' Red scarlet tears were dipping all the way down until they come in contact with the soft texture of white cotton fiber surface producing a deaf sound of water dripping on a piece of paper. With each impact, a small pear-shaped portion was exploding in hundreds of droplets rebounding then being absorbed by the snow-white blanket that was covering Nion's chest. Her hands started shaking, her vision becoming blurry once more. Each drop of blood she was looking at was giving her distant and unclear flashbacks of what happened during her last mission. Repulsed, she moved her head away from the blood and started looking at the white wall that was facing her.
She felt that there was something odd with its color, caught in the perfectly flat white shade of the wall. A headache surged into her head, eyes fixated in front of her, she tried to recover and reconstruct the incident that happened the night before. Absorbed by neutral colors, her vision was getting narrow as if the wall itself became the arrays of light pus.h.i.+ng away the obscurity.
The dark ma.s.s was slowly consuming the s.p.a.ce around the remained arrays of light. The light and dark showcase were reflecting the echoes of the conversations she had with Seànn in the forest, these echoes were vibrating in her head, getting closer, then further away. Then, there was fire; An outrageous heat of anger went through her body and started swallowing her sanity. Nion's whole body started shaking with the excitement and will to commit a brutal act of violence against someone who inflicted a profound pain and regret; That very someone who is being despised enough that Nion would gladly offer a slow and painful death in a most horrid way she could imagine.
Her face began to twist like a serial killer's smile of amus.e.m.e.nt just before dissecting his victim's body. Her eyes, filled with craze, were flickering as a pair of lightened matches waiting to set everything on fire. Thrilled, she began unconsciously squeezing her unbandaged arm, the feeling of pain was making her electrified while her imagination was going insane. Shattered memories of pure hate were raging inside, her body began overheating, she was about to faint.
The dark ma.s.s had completely consumed the light on the wall. The puddle of blood from her injury had tainted the blanket. Her blood started getting through and quickly spread itself everywhere underneath. Both colors merged on the wall transformed itself into a pile of vivid ashes.
Because of blood loss, Nion started losing her energy and gradually falling into the realm of emptiness far away from reality. Lucid colors around her started growing dim, the wall had entirely changed color to the authentic mixture of silver grey and pure black. Within seconds these colors began to slowly disappear until the wall regained its original flat white color. In reality, the shadows and light were simply sun rays that were projected through the transparent window while the sun was slowly moving behind the buildings of the capital... The rest was Nion's hallucination.
The whole thickness of Nion's arm skin, epidermis, and derma were destroyed, the affected skin had turned light brown. There was no doubt that these injuries were due to an extended exposure of skin to fire. A slight movement of her arm was enough to begin an intense pain and continuous blood flow that was painting everything around her into a tanned red. Alarmed by the gravity of the situation, Nion managed to stop the blood loss with the used bandage.
Completely exhausted, without any strength left to stand up and wash all the blood away in the bathroom, she kept lying on the bed covered with her own blood. Her body felt extremely heavy as if she had not rested at all, a painful headache, muscular pain and sore dry eyes were keeping her away from being able to stand up. She managed to find enough strength to move her pillow away and pulled her body up so she could sit on the bed waiting until the pain goes away.
The last rays of the late afternoon sun fell slanting through. It was a bright and sunny day, such a tremendous contrast. Peace and serenity filled her room as the sun slowly moved around the city projecting heat and warming up the whole apartment. Far away, from the sadness and sorrow that Nion has recently been through, calmness and tranquility were streaming through the huge gla.s.s window. Her eyes caught the unfamiliar vase full of roses. A delicate shade of purple and the gold colors coming from the sun's reflections started filling Nion's heart with calmness.
The whole apartment had a very minimalistic design; She owned little furniture because of her irregular schedules as "Border Guardian". Due to the nature of her permanent mission and critical a.s.signments that could potentially require an intervention within the shortest delay possible, Nion, as well as other guardians, had their main residence at the a.s.signed border. The only time when guardians were allowed to render themselves in the capital was during the "reporting day" that was usually happening twice per month, except for some special cases.
She heard the sound of steps approaching her front door, the steps stopped in front of Nion's apartment.
"The patient has third-degree burns." Said an unknown female voice.
"I apologize, but I am not sure about the gravity of the situation, would you mind elaborating on the meaning of the "Third Degree Burns?" Asked Seànn.
"Of course madam. Third-degree burn means a severe burn characterized by destruction of the skin through the depth of the dermis, or you can call it the skin, possibly all the way into underlying tissues. It usually happens when people get trapped within a burning house for a certain amount of time until the rescue arrives. As it is right now, I would highly recommend the patient to rest and limit her movements to the bare minimum. If you do not mind me asking, are you one of the patient's family members?" Explained nurse.
"I am a close friend. The real family member will arrive here any minute." Replied Seànn.
"Yesterday's operation has been successful; Most of the burned skin has been removed and replaced with skin grafts. Both hands were splinted until the skin was cured. Special creams were applied to her wounds in order to speed up the recovery of the burned skin tissues. Please make sure that the patient does not touch the wounds, also does not change the bandages without medical a.s.sistance, which could delay the skin cure and most importantly infect the open wounds. The reparation of the arm skin tissues will take around two to three weeks." Said nurse.
"Understood! Thank you for your great work." Seànn thanked her.
"You are welcome, after all this is why I am here."
Another group of footsteps approached the front door, this time there were more than two people arriving.fa
"Pleasure to see you here, prosper." She welcomed the prosper.
"My greetings prosper Aleksithimia, it is an honor to meet you in person." Nurse welcome Aleksithimia who was accompanied by his bodyguards.
"Ladies, good afternoon! Thank you for your hard work." He shook everyone's hands. "Seconda, how is she do..." Aleksithimia has abruptly stopped his conversation with the nurse and approached Seànn looking at her face as if he saw something suspicious about it. "What happened to your face?" He discreetly asked Seànn.
"Please, do not worry about it, that was an accident..." She discreetly replied back while hiding her face.
"This is the first time I see a scar on your face." He said while observing the scar that was hidden behind the hair. "Hmmm...Does it has something to do with our discussion the other day?" He asked her as his hand went for touching the scar with his fingers.
"No." Seànn grabbed his finger with her hand and slowly removed it away from her face.
"I see...Looks like you had some hard time dealing with whoever did that to you." Said Aleksithimia.
"Yes...We could put it that way." She replied.
"Very well...How does she feel, is she awake?" Aleksithimia spoke to the nurse.
The nurse explained the Nion's condition.
"Now that you are here, I shall get going. Please, tell her that she has to contact me when she wakes up." Said Seànn to Aleksithimia.
"Why don't you tell me the message directly?" He asked.
"With my due respect, I would like to keep that private." She politely declined.
"Very well... I shall see you later then." Said Aleksithimia.
"Goodbye." Said Nion.
The front door opened and Nion heard footsteps getting closer. Aleksithimia entered the room and saw Nion sitting on the bed full of blood.
"Hi..." She made a forced smile.
After she p.r.o.nounced her last word, her body began slowly falling over the edge of the bed as if she was a sandbag thrown off the flooded boat. Her eyes were being sucked into a desolation. Nion heard Aleksithimia's distant voice as he rushed to catch her numb body. All her senses disappeared at once, she plunged into the never-ending void that consumes everything and replaces it with a paralyzing emptiness. Nothing to subside her hollow soul, away from the human realm, echoing coming from beyond was like the constant hiss of unclear sounds. The place where she found herself was freezing cold, the howling wind of loneliness and fear were reigning around her. She was completely alone in this mysterious and obscure universe.
No matter how much she tried to scream for help to Aleksithimia, no voice would come out ... She could feel neither pain nor the warmth of the sun she felt earlier back in her room. She was surrounded by an uncountable number of overlapping voices screaming, shouting, crying and yelling at each other. A feeling of déjà vu and nausea started quivering within her head, the same feeling she had back in the forest when she removed the "Kanjöga suppressor" for the first time, then it happened again just a dozen of minutes ago on the wall. The volume of the voices drastically increased as a huge shock went through her body, it almost sounded like a white noise of random unrelated memories that occurred somewhere some time ago and were for some reason stuck in her head.
The volume of the voices drastically increased as a huge shock went through her body, it almost sounded like a white noise of random unrelated memories that occurred somewhere some time ago and were for some reason stuck in her head
Muscles cramped and unable to move, Nion was sitting in total darkness, out of fear she covered her ears like a nervous toddler trying to escape that unbearable pandemonium. Eyes closed, she tried to focus on anything else other than the voices that surrounded her. She needed a source of insurance that she is still alive, she just needed to cheer herself up and wait until this nightmare will be finally over. The warm feeling inside her heart kept her from freezing and losing consciousness.
Despite her best efforts, her heartbeat was slowing down, each heartbeat was producing electroshock that was going through her body and felt like a rebounding ball that is being smashed against the ground, each bounce, spending a long time in the air and taking higher alt.i.tude. At once, Nion's body became weightless detached from gravity like a dandelion petal that is floating in thin air. The chilled emptiness started growing warmer; The darkness lay silent, an uplifting feeling of being pulled from the bottom of the oblivion back to surface.
Eventually, a glimpse of light appeared in front of her, it was s.h.i.+ning so strong that Nion could barely open her eyes and look at it. An imminent burst of light enveloped her body while she flew like a projectile into the limitless sky. Her aches, headache, and muscle pain had vanished. Confused and unable to recall if her soul has perished, she just felt extremely relaxed. Her body was perfectly healthy, full of contentment. She cast her eyes around herself trying to identify the source of that warm luminescence. The familiar smell of a bakery went through her nose, making her smile of nostalgia.
There was no sky, no horizon, everything as it is, was just an infinity of white gold, the empty desert of endless love and tenderness. Distant children's voices, playing and laughing together as if she found herself during a cla.s.s in kindergarten, full of innocence and gaiety. It sounded like there was an educational cla.s.s ongoing; Adorable kids were screaming words altogether, one at a time.
"Happy!!! Wonderful!!! Cheerful!! Pleasant!! Excited!!!" Shouted some distant children's voices.
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And so they continued. A mysterious serenity, but at the same time a familiar sentiment filled up Nion's heart with happiness and joy. Perhaps, this is what heaven felt like...
It felt warmer and warmer as her body was raised in the air. An unexplainable feeling of divine protection as if she was a baby inside her mother's belly, enveloped with love and care. Children's voices slowly disappeared. Floating in the air she was comfortable enough to let everything go and just stay in that place for eternity. Her body started gently slowing down; A tender female voice appeared inside her head, each phrase was getting clearer as if that person was approaching her.
"M. d.ar ch..d... I love y.u so m..h... I alway. .ill..." Chanted a tender female voice.
"Who are you? Am I no longer alive? Is this heaven?" Nion asked the voice.
Confused why she could not see anyone around her, she felt somehow relieved that there is someone who could communicate with her, and more importantly that she was not alone anymore. While she was waiting for the answer, a strong uprising wind chilled her spine. Alarmed by her instincts that something is not right, she began slowly turning her head trying to look over her shoulder. A heavy breathing male voice started whispering behind her back while Nion's body started moderately losing alt.i.tude.
"L.ft O.t... Crimson blo.....In E..ror... Et..nity...Exc...ded...Y.u Negle..ed...Lon..ome...At Fa.lt...Revenge..." Hysterically whispered a strange male voice.
"Who are you?! What do you want from me?!" Confused she asked.
The whispering voice was ignoring Nion's attempts to communicate, but at the same time was getting more aggressive, the warmth that surrounded her minutes ago started to feel freezing, her body started speeding up during the fall. The hysterical voice was getting clear; It was not whispering anymore, but yelling and shouting of like a hysterical father who is going through a burnout:
"To Blame! Guilty! You Incapable! Isolated! You Afraid! Frustrated! Helpless! You Alone!!!" Another male voice was hysterical shouting somewhere in the distance.
A bitter taste filled Nion's mouth, continuously falling down was making her extremely nervous. The number of voices had multiplied streaming from that pit of emptiness, there were so many of them repeating the same words that they began to overlap each other. Scared, Nion started helplessly struggling in the air, trying to free herself while screaming for help.
"Please! I don't want to go back there!" She begged as she stretched her arm towards the light that was getting further away.
"You Sacrificed Mother! Ritual h.e.l.l! Emptiness! Jealousy!! Freedom!! Madness! Hurt, You Apart!! Unforgiven!! Weak!! You Isolated!!" Thousands of voices angrily screamed while overlapping each other.
Nion's body was falling down like a heavy rock to the bottom of the ocean; It was impossible to stop or do whatsoever to prevent the imminent impact with the ground. The warmth was entirely gone, the last ray of light flickered in front of her, frozen in time, she heard that tender voice crying.
"I am so sorry..." Cried an unknown female voice.
"Sorry for what?! I don't understand..." Nion asked.
"Nothing of this is your fault, my child..." Said another yet somehow familiar female voice.
"MOTHER...? IS THAT YOU?!" Nion was shouting at the emptiness.
"DESPERATE! FORSAKEN! YOU DESTROYED! YOU ABANDONED!" Unknow voices screamed so loud that they were crus.h.i.+ng Nion's mind like a gla.s.s plate that is being smashed by a hammer over and over.
"I will always be ...with you!" Said the female voice.
The last rays of light completely disappeared.
"PLEASE! PLEASE! DON'T LET ME GO!" Said Nion hoping that her words will reach that tender female voice of whoever it is.
"PLEASE! PLEASE! DON'T LET ME GO!" Said Nion hoping that her words will reach that tender female voice of whoever it is
Nion's hope faded away with the disappearance of the warmth and light. Crystal tears started pouring out from her eyes, leaving a small s.h.i.+ning trace on the gradually greyed out background.
"Why is this happening...? What is going on..." Nion spoke to the disappearing ray of light as she flew down to the unknown.
Suddenly everything went red and black, Nion plunged into the ocean of thick blood that started filing her mouth and refraining her from breathing. Seizures took over her body as she began suffocating. She was unable to comprehend if she was breathing air, her lungs were slowly filling up with a crisp, cold and thick ma.s.s as if there was just less s.p.a.ce in them for air.
Overlapping voices sounded like a whole arena was shouting, shouting like a group of stray dogs.
"DESPERATE!! VULNERABLE!! YOU PARALYZED!! WORTHLESS!! POWERLESS!! USELESS!! YOU UNFORGIVABLE!! SISGOIEHOENO!! HIHEBDWOWNBOODHJNDOIDJPJDPOIDH..." Said thousands of overlapping voices, their sound reflected like the white noise in her head.
As her eyesight went blurry, her desperate arms flailed for something to hold on to, to save herself from this horrible fate. She grew tired and exhausted of struggling in vain, she also noticed that overlapping voices vanished away, or, perhaps, she just could not hear them anymore.
A glacial liquid surrounded her in a cold embrace and a rush of fear went shooting through her heart. Nion was slowly sinking down to the abyss of the unknown, eyes closed, waiting for the final moments of desolation to happen...