When Fayte finally had his first sleep since his trip to Mount Tyrus, he found his dreams assailed with splashes of scenes like memories taken from another mind. He heard voices and sounds unlike any he heard before, a cacophony of noises that flooded him. There was death and there was evil in the memories, a cruelty so heinous he felt wounded as though stabbed by a blade.
The next morning Fayte found out from Wilson that he had roused in the middle of the night in a fit foaming from his mouth.
Wilson and Julin grew increasingly worried as Fayte passed out twice since that night as they set off for home. The first time he foamed in the mouth again while during the second he nearly bit off his tongue.
"It's the Dragon Essence," Wilson said, sticking a twig into his mouth after Julin pried it open. Fayte had fallen off his horse. "His mind and body are fighting it."
"Why?" Julin had asked, the boy frightened out of his wits when Fayte's eyes started rolling into his head.
"A Dragon Essence is what it is named, the essence of a Dragon. To consume it is exactly what it means. Our mind and body is not made to host our own soul and that of a dragon's. That is why it will fight it but hopefully in time it will come to accept it. As time passes on the Dragon Essence will eventually fade away."
"Will there be any remnant effects?"
Wilson shook his head. "Not that we know of."
Fortunately Fayte did not have any more relapses during the flight north. They arrived at Oaksblade Town before noon, sooner than normal flights, for Wilson had asked that the gryphon master gave them his best. There they hired horses from the stable for Whitesong was with Renee and Amelia, waiting for him at Ironsville.
Waiting to be disappointed.
They rode off together and midway of the journey they bid farewell to Julin. Fayte wanted to fetch Whitesong first while Wilson hoped that the townsfolk could cheer him up.
"I will be fine," Fayte said when they bid Julin farewell. "Please tell my father that as well and that I will return to Rondiar after a short stay at Ironsville."
Julin was relieved to hear that and became more willing to part ways then.
And so Fayte and Wilson rode for Ironsville. Along the way Wilson counselled him and explained that no one in Hylan thought him unworthy to receive the Light of the Spirits. However Sera was wiser than all and she knew what they did not, so if she had not saw it fit for him to receive her blessing, then she had her reasons and it was up to Fayte to figure out why.
"Maybe she plans to make you a Templar," Wilson mused.
"Tried it," Fayte said. "Didn't work."
"Ah, that explains the second bolt of lightning then."
Around midday they could see the trails of smoke from the smithies in Ironsville. A reassuring sight to the both of them. They had been gone from home for a while now and missed it sorely. Wilson missed it even more for he longed to hold his sister again and would not shut up when he got started.
"Amelia! Amelia! Your brother has returned!" Wilson said, checking again that the miniature roses were in his bag. He held up a regular white rose. "Do you think she'll like this big one?"
"Seeing as how she's going to join the Order soon, I don't see why she wouldn't."
Wilson smiled to himself and held the rose in his mouth before he urged his horse into a sprint.
Sera, what is it that you plan for me? He looked to the sky. I am lost and confused, so please, just give me a sign.
He shut his eyes and took in a long relaxing breath.
Smoke? The smell was different. No, this is not the scent of Ironsville. This smells like burning wood.
"FAYTE!" Wilson screamed, and the fear in his friend's voice frightened him. "FAYTE!!!"
"Come on, boy, as fast as you can, GO!" He pushed the horse into a gallop. Fayte reached to his side and untied his shield, slipping his arm into it before he drew his sword.
They rode with all their speed towards Ironsville where the smoke trails were thick and black. They were not the smoke trails of smithies and burning coal. They were smoke from houses burned to the ground and the closer they got the worse it looked.
"AMELIA!" Wilson screamed as he charged into the town. "AMELIA!"
The entire town was set on fire but most of it had already burned out. Lord Jacob's house was burned to the ground, pieces of weapons from his collection stuck out in the heap. The air was dusty and the smell of burning wood was all around them. Their horses refused to go deeper into the town so they got off and ran in.
"Amelia!" Fayte screamed, looking in horror at the burning heap which was once Jayden's tavern. "Aunt Silvia! Lord Jacob! Lady Linda! Jayden! Renee!"
No one answered and they could not see far with the smoke in the air. Wilson had summoned more than ten spheres of light now, sending them flying in every direction.
"AMELIA!" Wilson yelled.
"Wilson!" Fayte rushed to his friend.
His friend was pulling burning wood planks out from the heap of debris. He didn't even notice his robe catching on fire. Fayte sheathed his sword and tried to pull Wilson away, but his friend shoved him aside and knocked him back with a spell when he tried again.
"AMELIA! ANSWER ME! AMELIA!"
No one can survive that, Fayte thought as he stared at the burning heap. No one.
"DON'T JUST STAND THERE!" Wilson screamed at him. "FIND HER! FIND HER, DAMN YOU, FIND HER!"
The priest swept his arms and tore off his sleeve after it caught fire. He hadn't found anyone in the wreckage so Fayte shook his head and began searching around again.
There are no bodies, he realized. They must have ran!
A glint caught his eye. Fayte pushed away some of the wooden debris and found a severed hand. For a few grave seconds Fayte stood frozen. He did not recognize the hand but he knew the ring. An iron band commonly worn by the lady wives of Ironsville. Only this one had a jewel embedded in it. The lady who was given this ring did not want the jewel, for she was not one to fancy such luxury as did her husband. However he was magister of Ironsville still and her the lady wife of the magister.
- The little one… - A voice spoke in his mind and Fayte found himself looking up.
Fayte saw a little girl hugging a little wooden box in her arms, wandering about as she cried.
He almost cried. "Amelia!"
She turned to his voice, her cheeks stained with tears and ashes. "Fayte? FAYTE!"
"AMELIA!" Wilson rolled out of the pile of wood and ran to her. "AMELIA!"
The girl started crying uncontrollably at the sight of her brother and Fayte started making his way to her. It was hard to tell from where he was but Amelia looked unhurt, only dirty and sweaty and utterly terrified. That hand belonged to Lady Linda and Fayte had a feeling that it wasn't the only thing she lost. Amelia started making her way towards her brother.
At least she's fine, Fayte told himself. At least-
Amelia fell forward and her box flew out of her hands.
It hit the ground and broke open, spilling the little glass vials of miniature flowers. Her prized collection over the years shattered on the ground in a thousand pieces. One of them stood out to Fayte though small they all were. It was the flower that Amelia wanted to give to him, but he had her hold on to it until he returned. It was the miniature white rose they found on Emily's birthday.
And now it was coated with blood
The tail of an arrow was sticking out from Amelia's back as she lay flat on her face.
The very sight of the little girl laying on the ground, motionless, with an arrow in her back woke something deep within Fayte. He heard a moan from deep within him. It trembled with pain and sadness, crying out for someone dear to it. And when its call was not returned, Fayte felt his chest burning up and the moan became a roar.
A mighty dragon's roar.
It took over and Fayte moved, sprinting, overtaking Wilson who screamed and cried as he removed the arrow and flipped Amelia over. Fayte raised his shield as a burst of light, brighter than he had ever seen, erupted from Wilson's hands. The sound of metal tips bounced off his shield and some even pierced through the steel. He surged forward, not a thought in his head, just carried forward by an bestial rage, propelling him towards the group of men with the bows and arrows.
They dropped their bows and drew their swords when they saw him, but Fayte unleashed his fury and cut them down before their swords left their sheaths. Each time his sword screamed across the air, a life was extinguished, and every time his shield charged, a man breathed his last breath. One after another, he didn't know how many, but he just went on and on until he felt a pain in his shoulder.
Fayte looked at his shoulder and saw an arrow pierced into it. He could not move his shield arm. As he reached to break it off, three arrows found their way into his chest. Time slowed and he wanted to snap them off so that he could return to the fight, but two more went to his left leg, one to his right. That was when something shoved him to the ground from behind and he fell, landing on his side with his back to the men with the bows and arrows. Fayte saw a great white body leaping over him.
The arrows stopped hitting him after that but all he could see then was Wilson screaming and crying, bathed in light growing so intense that Fayte had to shut his eyes. At some point he passed out and when Fayte roused again, he did not stay conscious for long, but he heard a few things.
"This boy has the Royal Seal of Hylan on him," a man was saying. "Why does he have-"
"By Sera, that's the Lord-Knight's boy!" Another person shoved the man side. "Fayte! Fayte Kaywin! Can you hear me? Bring Joanne, HURRY!"
"Ian, she's still with the priest-"
"To hell with the priest!" Sir Ian said. "I have the last of the Kaywin family dying in my arms here! I will not lose him as well!"