When Fydul left, his warning echoing in my thoughts, I felt suddenly drained of all energy. I let go of Alyssa, collapsed to the ground and buried my head in my hands.
"I did not anticipate this," I murmured to myself.
"What are we going to do, Horatio?" Alyssa whispered.
I looked up at her, removing my hands from my face. "We are going to do nothing," I said, a little harshly. "And I mean that - I am not even going to attempt to guide your soul through the remaining barriers."
"But, you said to Fydul..."
"I lied to Fydul!" I shouted.
Alyssa's mouth closed. She looked frightened.
"You should go," I said wearily. "I am not in the best of moods at this moment."
"Can I help?" she asked, sitting down and looking anxiously into my eyes.
I gazed straight back. "No, you cannot. We have both made mistakes and I need to contemplate them. A Guardian Spirit should have no faults yet I have many. And you..." I should've stopped there but I went on recklessly. "Your mind is too full of desire, Alyssa. The way you love me will mean you'll find it impossible to cross the final barrier. I should not have encouraged you and you cannot help be transfixed by me but ... I wish you were more."
"More?" Alyssa asked, her eyes filling at my hurtful words.
"Go now - I don't intend to cause you anymore harm. In fact, it might just be better if you left altogether. Took your sisters with you and never set foot in this place again."
"Haven't I made you suffer enough already, Alyssa? You can be sure that I'll always protect you but I don't think our relationship was meant to be like this."
"I love you, Horatio," she said, tears streaming down her terribly beautiful face. She had evidently easily forgotten my horrible words. "I will always love you."
"And I you," I murmured quietly - too quietly for her to hear. "This is not how love should be, Alyssa," I told her. "You ... almost died tonight."
"I don't care, Horatio! I want you. I want you selfishly for my own. I would do anything to get that desire."
"You speak in the wrong way, Alyssa," I whispered, before turning and walking away. She tried to follow but I teleported her back into the house, locking the front door with my mind. It hurt me, oh did it hurt me, but I had to do it. She could not be in my company while I was in this state.
In a way, I was glad he had come when he had. He had saved Alyssa's life and helped me reform my ideas on the subject of our relationship. I wished he was not so bitter towards me, though.
Twelve years ago, I had wanted to be a sorcerer. Fydul had noted that I could be an amazing sorcerer, if I dedicated myself to the work, if I was committed to it.
He had had an apprentice so my dream could not be realised.
But then I had found out about Guardian Spirits. My dreams changed and so when Fydul's apprentice died in a magical fire, I had to disappoint him and decline his offer.
He had gotten angry. Sorcery apprenticeships were rare and it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
He had hated me ever since.
My thoughts returned to Alyssa. What would have happened if I had become a sorcerer?
She would be safe. No doubt courting a young man from her own town - one who would treat her right, give her what she needed and never hurt her.
I did not return to the house that night. I slept in a tree until the birds began singing, praising the dawn of a new day.
What should I do?