Interlude I

Interlude I

Satel’s Last Thoughts

“Didra!” I rasped out the second I appeared in her lab. My limbs were barely able to support me and I ended up slumping against the metal table in the center of the room, sending a few glass vials smashing to the ground. “Sh-she got me… Sea Dragon venom.”

I wasn’t sure what my sister-in-law was doing and I could barely see anything through my failing eyes, but I could tell by her gasp that she got the message. Didra knew full well which dragon would’ve poisoned me and how little time she had to save me from it. In a near split second after I finished talking, I heard more glass shatter as everything from the table was cleared off.

“Lie down immediately,” she ordered in her usual authoritative tone. I wanted to do as she told me, but I found that I needed help in order to do so. She managed to aid me in sitting before she roughly slammed my uncooperative body down onto the cold metal surface. I was quickly getting numb, so I couldn’t even feel the pain that should’ve come from such a move.

“Where is it?” Didra inquired in a near frantic tone while keeping up the appearance of being calm.

“M-my side…just below…my ribcage.”

Not long after that, I could hear her ripping apart my clothes to get to the area. I knew that I didn’t have much longer to live when Didra stifled another gasp, then shouted at the top of her lungs. “I NEED HELP!”

Sea dragon toxins were known to spread to every organ and nerve in the body, slowly killing and causing a long, painful death to the victim. In the weakest of forms, a mere accidental brush of skin on skin could kill a human in as little as half an hour. While that amount wouldn’t do much to a falucite, I had been struck by the most deadly dragon known to all creatures. Such a constant state of loathing had Cyirlie’s venom moving very fast, and was more potent than normal- my own body had no hope in fighting it off.

Her sting was instant death to any other lesser creatures, but for me, I probably had as little as ten minutes for Didra to slow and purify the toxins before they melted my insides. I suppose my case was too much to handle though- she could not slow the venom’s progression enough, even with her magicks. If she left now to mix the antidote, I knew I would die instantly.

There was only one plant that could purify the toxins- a certain breed of sirsa found in Rynrir and Kotija. This was one of the many reasons why sirsas were my favorite flowers. I had grown quite attached to them ever since that evil witch appeared in my life. However, getting the antidote was pointless if one couldn’t consume it in time, and I didn’t have much of that left to spare.

“Satel!” my mate’s voice called out seconds before my grandfather rushed over and asked, “What do you need me to do?”

“Try to hold back the toxin while I prepare the serum,” Didra replied with a hint of urgency in her tone.

It truly broke my heart to hear ‘Tia call my name. I wasn’t that surprised to see either one appear so quickly after my departure- I was sure Makhis’ra’s keen eyes saw that sly exchange between Cyirlie and I, and had warned them of the possible danger. My sight was beginning to darken, so I couldn’t see her face, but I could hear how scared she was to see me like this.

I didn’t mean to place this burden on her. I honestly didn’t think this would happen so soon, but I had a feeling Cyirlie was planning to kill me all along, even if I had consented to mate with her. That shove and the calculated move of her hand was just too perfect- it was like she had been practicing it for a long time. Either she knew the entire time that I had taken a mate, or she thought that my death was a better outcome than that cruel reading the Fates had given us.

The Fates never could predict death unless they asked for it, so if she really wanted to escape her reading, then my demise would excuse her. However, it didn’t really count if she was the one who had to murder me- did she honestly think no one would believe that she was responsible? She may have been a powerful dragon priestess, but she was no trained assassin.

Still… as long as striking me appeased her, then I wouldn’t have to worry about her going after ‘Tia. As long as she is safe, then perhaps dying would be worth it. I could take comfort in these thoughts, knowing I would soon lose my fight against the poison. Cujol was doing everything he could to stop the progression of the venom, but it was too powerful for even an elder to suppress- I could feel myself rapidly slipping away…

I knew my condition was getting critical when my hearing all but vanished. All I could hear was yelling from Didra and a few heated words from ‘Tia when my sister-in-law scolded her, for whatever reason. I think two others showed up, but I couldn’t tell who- I would guess Maetira and probably Garroe.

“You idiot! Why did you confront her!? You should have fled!” I didn’t know who had shouted that, but I could tell it was female. I felt like I was floating and everyone in the room was slipping away. Maybe she was right- I should have run like I always did. But, it wouldn’t have solved my problem and I would still have to deal with her another time. Even those angry voices were soon lost though, and I could feel myself losing consciousness.

All I had been thinking about was ‘Tia’s safety. I was fully prepared to take her away for a week or two and hide out somewhere in the Wastelands, but when I found her talking to Cyirlie, I’d panicked. Cyirlie didn’t forget a face, and if she were to discover what role ‘Tia played in the clan, my mate would never be safe outside of here ever again. However, if I were to die, or if Cyirlie believed that I were gone, then there was no point in her attacking ‘Tia. I could rest easy knowing that I had accomplished saving her from that sea dragon.

Suddenly, I tasted something sweet on my tongue and felt something cool slide down my throat. I would guess it was the antidote, but I didn’t feel myself getting better. My hearing was gone and it was getting harder to breathe. It must’ve been too late- Didra didn’t give it to me in time.

I could no longer sense the presence of anyone in the room- everything was gone and I didn’t know what was going on anymore. I couldn’t help but regret not gazing at ‘Tia one last time. I wanted to feel her hand in mine so badly, but I couldn’t even feel it anymore. This is the end, isn’t it? I felt rather scared and alone.

I probably died right then.

To the Next Chapter

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