Pix’s note: This part of the story picks up where Memory and Fate left off. This time around, it’s just me, so consider yourselves warned, and I hope you enjoy it. By the way, the use of the Draenei language in this set of chapters will be taken straight from the in-game conversions, so I’m not inventing anything here. If you have an issue with it, take it up with Blizzard.
Am I dead?
It’s so warm and cozy here, wherever I am. It reminds me of the place Esmerellda and I picked out just outside of Stormwind, whenever we needed a break from our adventures. Sometimes we shared the space; days where we both felt we needed a retreat from the seemingly endless battles in Outland and Northrend. Other times, one or the other of us would be here alone, enjoying the quiet and solitude in the countryside, out of the way of the busy city.
“Lelissa? Are you awake?”
I open my eyes immediately, taking in my surroundings as I nearly leap out of the bed, only to be caught by a pair of hands wanting to restrain me. I’m in that little getaway of ours, but who…
My eyes finally rest on the person holding me back… Esmerellda.
My dearest friend… she is a beautiful sight to see, but not here. I wanted her to live. I wanted her to get away from that terror, to escape and survive. My failure comes at me all at once, and I can’t stop the tears from falling.
“I guess this is the afterlife after all. I thought that I would be able to save you. I’m sorry, Es. I couldn’t beat her. She was too strong.” I hear my own words tumble out of me in a rush, anger and sorrow accenting every word. “I thought that maybe, even if I died, that the Gift would be able to keep you alive long enough to escape, but…”
She shushes me with a finger, shaking her head and smiling. “I don’t know what you did, but it worked. I healed enough that I could get myself free, and had just enough power to bring you back and heal us both. I’m just glad you brought heavy cloaks with you, or Siegadormi wouldn’t have gotten either of us back without concerns of frostbite.”
Realization suddenly dawns on me, and I can’t help but hug her tightly, laughing and crying all at once. Blessed Light, we’re alive! The whole thing is so overwhelming, and I realize just how close we both came to death… I start shaking in terror of the thought, and it seems like it will never stop. Esmerellda, patient as always, just waits, quietly comforting me with her presence.
Finally, everything subsides. I’m not crying or shaking anymore, but I can’t bring myself to let go of her just yet. It’s a little embarrassing, but Esmerellda understands. Better than anyone, probably.
After a little while, she pulls away from me to look me in the eye. “Lelissa, I was healed somehow back in that cavern. What happened? What did you do?” I can see that she’s concerned, but I can’t help but smile a little sheepishly for keeping this a secret from her.
I feel like a child caught stealing from the cookie jar. I can’t look her in the eye; it’s probably something I should have told her before, but it just never crossed my mind as important. “Draenei are very closely linked with the Light, through our work with the Naaru. Because of this, the Naaru have granted us a small measure of their ability to heal. It’s not much; usually only enough to stop bleeding, or heal a broken bone or two. We can use it on others, or ourselves. It works well in a pinch sometimes.”
She’s smiling and shaking her head, more amused than upset. “I’d say it worked wonderfully, in this case.” She frowns. I can see her hesitating, wanting to ask a question, but afraid of what might happen if she does. “Lelissa, what did Malyss say to you in the cavern? I’ve certainly never seen you so angry at an insult, if that’s what it was.”
The question makes me shift uncomfortably. I have to take a deep breath before answering; I have to tell her what isn’t widely known among non-Draenei. “It wasn’t really what she said. It was the language she used.” At the confusion on Esmerellda’s face, I continued. “She was cursing me in Eredun… the language of the Man’ari Eredar, who lead the Burning Legion.”
“But how did you understand what she was saying? You’re not an Eredar.”
I wince, definitely less prepared for this question than I was the last one. “I guess it’s the day for giving up secrets… actually, that’s not really true. You see, the Draenei and the Man’ari Eredar were once one race, simply known as the Eredar. When Sargeras came to our homeworld, Argus, he offered immortality to our Triumverate – Archimonde, Kil’jaeden, and Velen. Archimonde and Kil’jaeden gladly took Sargeras’ offer, but Velen declined. He later fled our home planet, with his followers in tow. Those Eredar became known as the Draenei – in your tongue, it means, ‘exiled ones.’
“Both the Eredar and the Draenei continue to speak Eredun… it’s just that the dialects have changed so greatly over the millenia that to anyone who isn’t Draenei, the languages seem completely different.”
Esmerellda looks worried. “But what of Malyss, then?”
I shrug… and smile inwardly at such a human response… Esmerellda’s influence at work. “She has been corrupted by fel energy. She can be saved, I’m sure, but I wonder how much of her really wants to be.”
She smiles and gently pushes at my shoulder. “Well, we won’t worry about it tonight. Plenty of time tomorrow to decide what to do. Now scoot over.”
“Because it’s the middle of the night, you’ve been out cold for three days, and I can’t sleep sitting up anymore. Make room; it’s the only bed we’ve got.”