In case you missed it, here’s Part 1.
The sunlight through the window is a comforting way to wake up. The light is calming, the air around the small home smelling slightly of peacebloom… my garden, fully awake in the middle of a warm summer. I sit up, Esmerellda sleeping peacefully next to me, and it is as though the events of the past week were nothing more than a bad dream. A deep breath dispels that illusion readily, the soreness in my ribs and my back testament to my near-death experience.
I couldn’t stop her.
I climb out of bed, stretching a little, feeling my sore muscles warming up from the movement. Sitting on the edge of the soft mattress, I look to the corner of the room. My armor hangs there, heavy plate taken from the treasure rooms in Naxxramas, stolen while Death Knights still faithful to the Lich King kept watch. The mace leaning against the wall taken from the Iron Dwarf forges of Ulduar… identical to the one my sister wields.
Shaking my head to clear the thought, I walk to the chest near the foot of the bed, finding comfortable clothes for the day; a simple tunic and trousers will do. I dress as quietly as possible, not wanting to wake Esmerellda from her dream, a pleasant one from the turn of her mouth while she dozes. For now, I’ll let her sleep; I need time to think, and I can’t do it in here.
I pick up my mace on the way out the door; I need something to focus with.
Overhand swing, pivot, sweep.
Where did I go wrong?
Backhand sweep, turn, swing up.
Was she corrupted before she went to Stormwind? Or did this happen later, during her travels through Draenor? Naxxramas was such a huge threat, I had to go fight.
Thrust, spin, backhand sweep.
But she wanted me to be there with her. To help her remember what she had forgotten.
Cross cut, haft forward, overhead sweep.
Is this my fault?
“There you are. I thought you might be thirsty.”
I glance up at Esmerellda’s voice, smiling at her as she hands me a cup of cool water from our well.
“Thank you… I’m sorry for not leaving a note, but I just needed some time to think.” I pull the tie out of my hair, shaking it so that it falls loose. “I don’t know what to do about her.”
I can tell she’s thinking: that corner of her mouth slightly twisted as though she were chewing on something, her fingers casually smoothing a wrinkle out of her skirt or picking a bit of lint from her vest. “Well, I suppose that you really won’t know right away. I guess exorcisms aren’t exactly standard fare for the Draenei. I guess the important thing to figure out right now is, where is she going to go?”
Two Draenei children rushed down the eastern hall of the Temple of Karabor, racing to see who would find their father first, long strides pushing them faster and faster along the flagstones, past the servants, priests, and paladins that walked through the halls. Their race amused some, irritated others, and left a few concerned for the children’s safety, but children will be children after all, and you can only be young once.
The elder of the two, born only a few minutes before her sister, skidded around a corner, her white hair flying wildly behind her. Her mother always insisted that she pull it back and tie a ribbon around it to keep it neat, but the moment she was out of sight, out the ribbon came, and off the girl went, always with her younger sister in tow. As she cleared the wall, she shifted her weight and used the strength in her legs to spring off down the next hallway.
The younger sister opted to keep her momentum going, and instead went wide around the corner, nearly crashing into a priest carrying a stack of books. Her momentum wasn’t slowed as much, and she gained more than a little ground on her older twin, laughing as she caught up.
The two careened down hallways and lesser-used passages, jumping over benches and dodging others walking along the halls, until they reached a solid wooden door. Skidding to a stop, they stretched, reaching for the goal…
“Ha! Beat you this time, ‘Lissa!” Minessa’s hand hit the door a split second before her sister’s. She smiled broadly, proud at having won for the first time.
Lelissa’s smile was no less broad. “Yeah, you got me this time. Just you wait, you won’t win again!”
Laughing, the two took a few moments to catch their breath before quietly opening the door to observe their father’s sermon.
I looked up at Esmerellda.
“I think I know where she’ll be.”