I open my eyes to see a wooden roof and the smell of food cooking. I sit up and let out a small yelp as a sharp pain shoots through my back. Where am I?
I was the only one in the room, it looked like I was possibly in a cabin of some sort or small house. The walls were wooden as well as the floors, a single window was close to my bed with the curtains drawn.
My back was burning in an all too familiar way, Melody wasn't here to heal it this time. She can't be the only person with healing powers in this world, there had to be another.
I hear a knock and the door slowly opens revealing a nun carrying a bowl of stew. It wasn't just any old nun but Sister Sherilyn. She walks into the room and smiles, pulling up a chair next to me with her free hand before sitting.
“You sure did surprise us when we saw you at the fountain, Luci. I wasn't entirely sure you were going to make it.” She hands me the stew which I take. I hadn't eaten at all today so I finish it quickly.
“Why would you help me?” I mutter, they did know who I was right?
Sherilyn laughs nervously. “We're... we're quite aware of who you really are Luci. However, you were once a student of Kerovan so Sister Eleanor couldn't just leave you.”
Eleanor was here too? Come to think of it, I didn't see them at the cathedral. It looks as if they'd fled from the school, maybe they'd found out what Bellona was doing and disagreed.
“Why did you two flee from the school? Why not support Bellona in destroying me?” I hand my bowl back to Sherilyn who places it on the windowsill.
“We found out Mother Bellona had been handing students over to you all along, or rather to Lottie. Students who were said to have died in the past had been sent to you...” She fiddles with her hands a little, not really sure how to continue.
“Well... if they were sent to Lottie then I'm sure they're dead now. She didn't really lie to you in that sense.” I attempt to get into a more comfortable position but end up failing, there really was no way to ease this pain.
“Ah yes, that's what we feared. Myself and Sister Eleanor decided to leave the school as we were unhappy with Mother Bellona's plans. She was going to raise an army against you using the students, we didn't want that as I'm sure you would of easily defeated them.”
I laugh a little. “They're already in my realm, Sherilyn. Lottie's probably dealing with them as we speak, there's no way they could overcome her.”
The door opens for a second time and Eleanor walks in, she closes it and leans by the window. She looks rather nervous but she had always been the softest out of the Sisters, I probably made her feel very uneasy.
“Sister Eleanor here thought that we should try find you, to reason with you. You can imagine my surprise when Sister came to the door with you on her back. I attempted to heal your wounds but they're rather severe...” She stands up, picking up the bowl as she does so. “I'll leave you and Sister Eleanor to talk.” She bows and leaves the room.
An awkward silence fell between us. The last time Eleanor had seen me was when I had fled from her, she probably had some hard feelings deep down.
“Are you going to stay all the way over there?” I break the silence, she jumps a little.
“Ah... sorry.” She hesitates before sitting on the chair Sherilyn had left by my bed. “I don't mean to be... distant but I'm not sure what you'll do. You don't seem all that different though...”
“I don't?” I don't know if it was my injury or the fact that they'd tried to help me but it was true, I felt less like myself and more like Luci.
“You have a very... heavy aura around you, that's all that's changed in my opinion.” She pushes her chair a small fraction away from me and sighs.
That injury had done more to me than I thought. While I was passed out Luci had been trying to crawl her way back to the surface. Although we had merged it seems she'd rather I forget my true identity, I would end up back at Kerovan that way though and that would mean the end for me.
“Sherilyn said we should talk. Talk about what?” I lay down and find myself having to turn onto my side due to the pain.
“Why have you come back here? You could of stayed down in... who knows where.”
“I came to destroy Kerovan and put Bellona in her place. That's all.”
“We have a common goal. I was forced to join Kerovan by Mother Bellona... I didn't like anything she was doing. It's not right to keep children contained like she does...”
“You have to remember, I was the one who created the school. Everything she did was under my orders so she isn't the one to blame.”
“Right... but I didn't agree with how much she hated you. You may be Satan... but... but you were Luci during your time at Kerovan. You cared so much about Yuna and I thought maybe you could stay as Luci, you wouldn't have to regain your memories or be killed. Mother Bellona was surely going to kill you... I thought that choker would be the method, she knew you would run.”
She knew I would run, she knew me well. I bet she was sorely disappointed when I returned to the school still alive, she hadn't put enough morphine in that device to end my life. However, why didn't she just put Holy Water into the choker to begin with? Humans are so fickle.
“So you'd rather abandon Kerovan to help the devil? I would never of expected that from you, Eleanor. You were always so shy and quiet, I thought Bellona just walked all over you like a doormat.”
“She did... Then Sister Sherilyn asked me to leave with her. She said we going to try find you, try and turn you back or something. We had no plan but we couldn't be Bellona's pawns any longer.”
Eleanor's new bravery impressed me. I honestly thought she would never amount to this and that she would remain forever under Bellona's thumb. She was always so gentle and kind, perhaps too kind for her own good.
“So what do you want from me?” I begin to twirl my hair, beginning to grow bored yet at the same time thankful there was something take my mind off of my injury.
“We want... we want you to destroy Kerovan and set the students free. Once that is done, return your memories to us and go back to being Luci.”
I think this over. I had intended to destroy Kerovan in the first place but I didn't intend on handing over the students or returning my memories. The amount of powers I had now was wonderful, it felt as if I could do anything in the world so to give that up wasn't an option.
Of course, I'm sure Yuna would prefer it if I did return to who I once was. If I did such a thing, Lottie would surely take revenge on Eleanor and Sherilyn and kill them and just return my memories anyway. Her touch was usually the trigger and if that failed we had Rei, granted she was still alive.
“I accept. I will destroy Kerovan and in return you can have my memories.” If I can just string them along for a while everything will be ok. I can use their knowledge of the school, deception is a skill of mine that I'm rather proud of.
“However, I can't do much in my current state. I highly doubt Sherilyn can heal such a wound, she failed to do so on my legs. The only person who can do such a thing would be Melody.”
“But... you said she's in your world.”
“She is.” I close my eyes and concentrate. I'd had time to recharge but it still wasn't enough. I could bring Melody back but she would probably spawn outside or even a few streets away, there was no telling.
I open my eyes and a gust of wind flies throughout the room, rattling the door and blowing open the curtains to reveal that it's now night. Melody was back, but she wouldn't be in the building.
“Melody's somewhere in this village. I don't know where, my powers weren't strong enough to teleport her to an exact location. I'd advice you go and find her.”
Eleanor nods and hurries out of the room, I hear a click. She didn't trust me at all, a smart decision on her part but such a tiny lock couldn't hold me.
I close my eyes again. I couldn't escape even if I wanted to, not with such a burn. I'm thankful I managed to escape from Bellona and bump into Eleanor, otherwise I would of died. I never would of imagined such a contraption to be in the roof of the cathedral. Bellona must have been planning an attack for years in order to gather that much water.
I don't know how much time had passed before they returned due to an absence of a clock. I had drifted off and had been woken by Melody's protesting voice.
I slowly sit up while waiting for them to enter the room, I could tell that I was beginning to get a fever. It's almost as if this is a repeat of last time except I'm sure that Melody wouldn't be as understanding.
The door bursts open and Melody is being pushed inside by Sherilyn, she stops struggling when she sees me. I smile at her, I wouldn't want her to see me in a vulnerable state.
“I won't help her!”
Sherilyn looks at her disapprovingly as Eleanor creeps in behind them, she shuts the door and blocks the handle. They were determined to keep Melody contained.
“Don't you trust us, Melody? If you do this I'm positive that things will turn out for the best.”
“I trust you Sisters but I don't trust Luci! I never trusted Luci! She just sent us down to what Hell could be, it was horrible. The air was toxic outside the castle, we were suffocating until Lottie took us inside only to lock us up!” She shoots daggers in my direction and I can't help but laugh a little.
“Ah yes, I forgot to mention that the air is poisonous for humans. It wasn't always that way though, Lottie let things get a little out of hand in my time away from the castle.” I flinch slightly as a sharp pain shoots through my entire body.
“M...Melody... Please heal Luci. We can't take down Kerovan without her...” Eleanor says from the door, it was barely audible.
“But I can't just heal her... that's so wrong. It would be much easier for her to die wouldn't it?! Sometimes I regret healing her the first time... It was so difficult to do so to begin with! You have no idea how hard it is on my body to heal someone!”
Melody had wanted me dead. Of course, she knew who I was all along but maybe like the rest had hoped I would never regain my memories. Melody had gotten sick the last time she had healed my wounds and she wouldn't want that again. The burn was a lot larger this time around and it would probably be more of a demand on her body.
“Did you see Yuna down there?” I surprise myself a little at these words. I should be trying to convince her to treat me instead of asking about Yuna. However, I didn't trust Lottie as she had obviously treated her badly in the past.
Melody seemed a little shocked herself, she crosses her arms and sits on the table on the other side of the room. “No. I didn't see her.”
I couldn't tell if she meant it or if she was only saying that to get back at me. I don't know where Lottie had taken them as we couldn't possibly have enough cells for all of the students Kerovan holds. If what I knew about Lottie to be true, she'd of left a large portion of them outside to suffocate to death and bring in the more valuable students.
I lean on the wall a little, my head was beginning to grow heavy and my breathing becoming shallow. I thought that with my powers no longer suppressed, I would be able to handle it this time but obviously not.
“If I heal you Luci, what will you honestly do?”
“Take down Bellona and remove Kerovan from the picture. You can all go free.” I'm sure she wouldn't believe me but for good reason, I was only telling the truth about Kerovan. I had no intention of setting them free or removing my memories again. I was tricked once but I refuse to be tricked a second time.
“Set us free? Where the hell would we go?! Kerovan is the only home we've known!” She stands and kicks the table before turning to face the wall. “We have no where.”
“We can find you homes, I'm sure people would happily adopt some of you. We could track down actual family members for those who have them... I'm sure Mother Bellona forcefully removed students from their homes.” Sherilyn puts a hand on Melody's shoulder. That doesn't sound too unlikely, it sounds exactly like something Bellona would do.
“Melody... if you treat me I'll... I'll do whatever you want. I'll grant you one wish.” I put on a brave smile although my vision was going hazy again.
“Really? If you could do me any one thing that doesn't involve you dying... would be for you to get rid of my powers. I don't want this stupid gift or curse or whatever, why can't I just be normal?”
My smile becomes even bigger. “I can do that. In fact, I'd be more than happy to help you with such a request.”
Melody sighs and walks up to my bed, her eyes were cold. “You won't lie to me will you? You'll honestly rid me of this burden?”
“As soon as the primary goal is completed than yes, I will stay true to my word.” For the first time I didn't have to lie, well she only asked for me to remove her powers right? She didn't ask for the details.
Melody climbs onto the bed and sits behind me. She pushes me forward slightly and I wince as she places her hands on the burn. A few seconds later I could feel the pain slowly beginning to ease as well as my fever. This is such a useful power I can't see why she want to get rid of it.
Melody presses harder onto my back and things begin to slow down. The room starts to turn black and my body was going numb. I was unable to speak but I know what she was doing if it was intentional or not. Sometimes her healing backfires and ends up killing the patient... I had forgotten about that handicap.
Her hands leave my body and I could see that she had been pulled away by Sherilyn. I fall backwards onto the bed and stare at the ceiling, my vision was slowly returning but my body still felt numb.
Sherilyn kneels over me and waves her hand in front of my face, I don't respond. Everything would be fine within a few moment I'm sure, she was just worried. It's hard to think that they'd be worried about me.
I turn my head slightly to see that Melody had collapsed on the floor and Eleanor was tending to her. I wonder if she knew what she was doing?
Sound returns to me ears as the numbness leaves my body. I sit up, my head spinning a little but the burning sensation was gone. I pat my back to check, I couldn't feel any pain which meant Melody had succeeded in healing me.
Sherilyn sighs a little as I get up off of the bed before turning her attention to Melody who seemed to be out cold. I walk over to them and kneel down, staring at her pale complexion.
Eleanor looks rather uncomfortable about me being so close but I just shoot a smile in her direction, she doesn't seem to feel any more relaxed.
“She was trying to kill me. If you hadn't of removed her I would of probably died.” I begin stroking her arm, Eleanor and Sherilyn give each other a worried glance thinking that I didn't see.
I let out a small laugh before standing up. “It's obvious you don't trust me and that's very smart on your part. Now, what are we going to do with Melody? I could send her back to the castle as I'm sure Lottie was surprised with her disappearance. We could simply kill her or use her in our plans somehow.” I kick her gently which causes Eleanor to pull her away from me.
“I'm not sure how we'd use her though. She doesn't have any real fighting powers as well as being opposed to the entire situation.”
I walk back over to the bed and sit down, I stare at the Sisters in hope one would speak and give me the answer.
“I... I could tend to Melody here.” Sherilyn was the one to break the silence. “Yourself and Sister Eleanor could infiltrate Kerovan. Sister was very close to Bellona so knows all of the secret routes into and out of the school.”
“Of course you'd want to stay and tend to Melody, that's basically your job. You probably feel sorry for her as she's a fellow healer... or possibly you're jealous at how quickly she can heal people.”
Sherilyn looks away from me, I'd hit the nail on the head.
“I'd gladly go with Eleanor to the school yet she's no use in battle either. Once I'm inside Kerovan, I'll allow you to return here to help Sherilyn if you wish.”
Eleanor nods as she passes Melody over to Sherilyn. I get up as she places her on the bed, there's no point waiting around any more. I was fully healed so it was time to get this plan rolling.
“Right Eleanor, lead the way.”