In the void, a dim floor barely lit up everyone's view. They find each other and huddle together where Mei casts Candlelight, a lantern-like spell that could be held in the palm of one's hand.
Steven begins to panic, believing the others are alive and in need of help.
Steven: "We have to go back!"
Mei: "We can't go back, at least, not now. We don't know who attacked."
Steven: "Bullshit! It's the Old Guard and you know it!"
Mei: "We can't march back, it'll be a death sentence!"
Steven: "Fang and Lian need our help! We can't just abandon them!"
Mei felt her blood run cold. "Did he not witness it?" She thought, not wanting to be the bearer of bad news. Though, she doesn't have a choice if she needs Steven to simmer down.
Mei: "Steven… Lian… I saw her get killed with a crossbow bolt."
Steven: "No… we have to go back!"
Bao becomes increasingly frustrated with Steven and lashes out at him.
Bao: "You didn't hear her, you moron!? She's dead! We'll be too if we go back! Now SHUT UP and SIT DOWN!"
Bao's words cut Steven deep and makes him sob quietly. He hides his face in his knees, begging God for this to be just a sick and twisted dream. Hoping he'll wake up in the lodge, and resume his investigation for the Old Guard in the morning.
But it's not, the Old Guard found them first…
Mei begins to well up in tears, wanting to hold onto the thin string of hope that her friend had, by some miracle, escaped. Bao sees her sister and begins to worry if her words had indirectly affected her as well.
Mei: "I—hope Fang is safe…"
Bao lays down on the floor, staring into the dark abyss. "What a horrible way for it to end," she thought. "This needs to be made right." Bao prepares for a long ride home, and secretly wishes for the others to stop crying.
Bao: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
Mei: "What are you saying Bao?"
Bao: "I'm saying mother will know what to do."
Mei: "I hope so."
Bao: "Of course she will, you never doubted her before, have you?"
Mei: "No, but still… Fang…"
Bao: "She's a Warrior-Maiden, did you forget? She had a good chance to escape."
Warrior-Maidens were the renowned religious warriors, according to Hei'an folk religion. One could be a Warrior-Maiden through many ceremonies and training. It would be many years before one could achieve such a title.
In fact, many would begin at a very young age and wouldn't achieve such a title until they are barely in their 40's. Fang, on the other hand, had earned that rank at 26; an age unheard of.
Mei: "I hope you're right…"
Bao: "So do I."
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