Is no see good. No hear, no smell. Breathe too little too fast. Horera no get up. Is dying? Horera didn’t mean to.

No. No dying. Breathing is better, smell hear better. Horera stand up.

“Horera!” Nadine yell.

Aquilo Divinus!” Audrey blow away black mist.

Horera throw hand back, “No come!”

Horera sniff. Where Dark Fairy? Amity Freya rejoin Cisnarf in stands. Horera friends no allowed watch. Dark Fairy say friends might try help, is bad. There!

“Well, how unexpected,” Dark Fairy appear, look Nadine Audrey.

“No hurt friends! Horera still fight!” Horera get between Nadine Audrey and Dark Fairy.

“If your friends would kindly step out of the ring so we can continue,” Dark Fairy shoo Nadine Audrey.

“No!” Nadine pull back arrow, “I don’t know what you think you’re testing here, but there’s no way we’re going to let you kill Horera!”

Dark Fairy shake head, “Look at yourselves for a moment. You’ve interrupted the Trial of Life and Death, but you’re in no condition to make any difference here. It may be disappointing to have traveled from such distant worlds only to turn back unsatisfied, but in your weakened states I could slay you both with a single breath.”

Horera try stand bigger, block more Nadine Audrey from Dark Fairy. Dark Fairy right. Audrey look lots tired. Nadine look more lots tired and lots hurting.

“Please!” Audrey push up glasses, “Don’t you want Horera to save your world? What good will killing her do? You’re pushing her too hard!”

Horera whimper. Audrey right. Horera dying. If Horera die here, no can save world. Lots lots die. Horera need do better. Dark Fairy no attacking, but Horera too tired fight good.

“These trials are meant to determine the Champion’s worthiness to carry their destiny,” Dark Fairy draw super big skull sword. “If Horera does die here, it will be because she lacked the strength to fulfill her destiny—in which case dying at my hand is by far the kinder path. She needs to complete this challenge unaided if she is to show the strength necessary to save Terra.”

“Horera be okay,” Horera look Nadine Audrey, “You rest. Is needing it.”

Audrey laugh, open book late page, “You need to rest too, Horera! Let us help you, then we can all rest.”

Nadine quiet crying, “We’re not leaving, Horera! No one should ever have to fight alone!”

“Horera must face me alone, if she is to show the strength necessary to save our world!” Dark Fairy sweep skull-sword, black mist start rise again.

Nadine Audrey look Horera. So sad. Horera nod woof Nadine Audrey.

“Arf!” Horera turn Dark Fairy “Horera no have fight alone! Horera always have friends!”

“What?” Dark Fairy’s eyes widen.

“Guisarme-san!” Horera call.

Guisarme-san fly from stands to Horera! Horera and Guisarme-san jump Dark Fairy, Guisarme-san hit skull-sword. Dark Fairy pushed back toward water. Horera growl.

“Horera have friends!” Horera keep pushing, “Horera have Daddy, and Edmund, and Pretty Fairy, and Bad Priest, and Suzie and lots lots fairies! Horera have Guisarme-san, White-Wisp, Diamond and Audrey and Nadine! Horera no alone! Friends help carry destiny too!”

Dark Fairy smile! Dark Fairy never smile before! Horera confused. Dark Fairy drop sword. Black mist go away.

“There’s the strength I was looking for.” Dark Fairy actually sound nice.












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