016 Nyl Awakened by Crystal
“Mother... Mother, it is time to rise.”
“Get up silly,” an innocent, feminine voice ordered.
I opened my eyes in the same meaningless gesture which I performed every morning. The same nothingness greeted me.
Who are you? I asked the voice in my head.
“Why, your daughter of course. I'm Crystal Comfort.”
Pleasant shock reverberated through my mind.
You have never spoken to me before.
“Den and Thee’ taught me to. Aren't you proud of me?”
Of course, darling. I just never expected…
“That your daughter would be so intelligent.” Den interjected. “Theila and I have been training her mind since her conception.”
“Den says I must wait a long while before I am born. Is that so?”
As quickly as her voice entered my consciousness, it left as sleep silenced the infant.
Den, how did you?
*“Theila's mind is very potent. She believed it would benefit you to meet Crystal, so she worked until we both had contact with Crystal. It was impossible to introduce you to your daughter until you allowed me to engulf your mind. I hope you are not displeased.”
Of course not!
“I have more gifts for you, Nyla.”
Den took my right hand tenderly and placed it onto a small stone embedded in my skin just above my breastbone.
“My sister gave this stone to you when she departed from you last night.”
She was here? I interrupted.
“She was your dress during the celebration.”
My dress? I interrupted again.
“I told you she would take any form you required. She was also your dagger during the duels and the bandages which healed you.” He stated as if her actions were perfectly normal. “Please try to concentrate. The stone is the Orderer Stone. It was born with you.”
What does it do?
“It will order everything near you. Your clothes will never appear wrinkled or soiled and so on. What else would the Orderer Stone do?”
And my hand, how did it grow back so quickly?
“I poisoned you with my sister's venom while you slept. Now I will present my other gifts.”
Fabric rustled as Den reached into his pocket. Two small, indescribably beautiful things emerged with his hand. My eyes stung with the sensation that one of the things created.
What are they?
“This is a starlet. A relic of my mother’s race. It is light,” he held up the stinging object.
When I could no longer endure the stimulus, I slammed my eyes shut.
Does it always hurt this much? I slowly reopened my eyes.
“No, you will grow accustomed to it in time.”
The thing moved along his hand and hovered above my fingertips as he released it. Fire surged painfully across my skin, but unlike the fire of legend, it did not consume me. After the initial pain subsided, warmth filled me. Blurry images formed before me for the first time.
As I concentrated, Den's face became the first distinguishable object in the room. It surprised me, he bore no resemblance to any of the other inhabitants of my homeland. He looked like me. His hulking form came into focus and filled a third of the cavelet we occupied. Another object, exactly opposite to the starlet, rested in his hand.
What is the other gift?
“This is an unstarlet. It is darkness and silence.”
When I touched the unstarlet, frost formed on my fingertips. The light and dark spheres circled around each other, like two combatants preparing for a duel, before resting on opposite sides of the Orderer Stone.
Tears spilled from my eyes, given sight by the gifts of Den. I threw my arms around his neck and wiped joyful tears from my face. I couldn't remember the last time I was happy.
After a simple meal, Denrick surprised me again with a question.
“Nyla, may I braid your hair and prepare your adornments for the celebration?”
I doubt that I have enough to braid, I thought as I reached back and felt new, thick, healthy hair.
But how do you know how to braid hair?
“I learn every skill which you or my sister learn. Thee' loves to make herself and others beautiful. I take pleasure in what pleases my sister.”
By all means, you may help me.
Denrick knelt behind me and with his thick fingers, he nimbly wove my hair into an elegant latticework, aided by the Orderer stone. Never once did his giant hands falter.
While he worked, I questioned him. You seem to know a great deal about me? Did I have parents or was I created as Thee’ was?
Pain filled his mind as he remembered something unpleasant, something he dreaded to tell me.
Speak, Denrick. I can endure anything you must say.
“I know little save the events of your birth. To protect you from harm, your mother fled with you in her womb. Starvation and disease afflicted her while she fought to keep herself alive long enough to deliver you into this world. In her agony, her mind snapped. As her time to give birth approached, a bat-person recognized her and aided her in birthing you. But this bat was treacherous. Once you were born, the bat threatened to kill you if your mother did not grant all of her powers to the bat. Your mother complied to save you. Then she died. I know nothing of your father.”
The bat was Gemma, was she not?
Loathing for that creature who abused and oppressed so sorely caused me to dig my fingernails into my palm till they drew blood. I desired vengeance ever so sorely.
But if my mother possessed power, then why have I so little? Should I not have inherited it?
“Your mother was delirious when you were born. She tried to pass some of her power to you, but it was tainted with agony and thus you are Woethief. She didn’t intend to curse you.”
Then, there will be no escape from this terrible burden?
“No, your gift cannot be removed from you.”
And it is all the fault of that filthy Gemma. I swear to you I will…
The potent will crashed into my mind in her abhorrent, fiendish body and violently snatched the end of my terrible oath from my mind before I could complete it.
For the first time, I saw something in Thee' that I never believed possible. Tears of blood formed in her eyes as she pitied me for the hatred I suffered from. Then she vanished.
“You wish to kill Gemma?”
Yes, I wish to kill her. How can I not hate her You cannot deny that she deserves death.
“What will her death achieve?”
It will free me from the guilt I carry.
“But it will bring on new guilt. Guilt would drive you mad as you lived on knowing you killed the girl that Faithful loved.”
I cannot just forgive her. No power in this world is strong enough to remove my hatred.
“You are right, Nyl. You are powerless to overcome your hatred.”
Despair seized my hearts and ripped them out of my chest. The fangs of despondency gnashed my soul into a steaming pile of gore.
Is there no hope? My soul is so very hideous. The thoughts of what I wish to come upon my enemy are enough to cause your God to damn me ten times over!
“There is hope. There’s a greater Woethief than you, the Son of Faithful's God. He’ll bear not the feelings of guilt as you have done for others, but he’ll bear your actual guilt so far away that it will never be found again.”
If he is so powerful, then why would He condescend to visit me. What payment must I give him that he would perform that kindness?
“He delights in making helpless rebels his friends. There’s nothing you can give to earn your salvation.”
If there is no payment, then how must I get him to remove my guilt?
“Believe that he is able to remove it and forsake your wrongdoing.”
How can I forsake my evil? I am transgression? How can I shed my desire for vengeance?
“He is more powerful than your evil. He will aid you.”
What will become of him if he takes my evil?
“He was murdered to bear your damnation in your stead. He was innocent of all transgression, so that wretches like us can receive his perfection.”
What good does a dead man do me?
“He’s no longer dead. God resurrected him to prove his satisfaction with the sacrifice. He reigns over all worlds and demands the worship of all.”
But if he died for those of this world, then are we not excluded? We are of a different race from the others.
“All worlds and all peoples descended from one initial world. Salvation is available to all.”
Den and I continued our conversation for another hour. I learned many things about my world which startled me, but nothing was more intolerable than him telling me that I must give up my hatred. I deserved revenge against my enemies. Forgiveness was impossible!
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