I sat there, dumbstruck, for several minutes. Then I burst out laughing so suddenly that Sarin actually jumped beside me. In fact, I was laughing so hard I fell backwards off the log I was sitting on. Eventually the laughing subsided and I scrambled up again, clutching my sore ribs and shaking my head incredulously at the stunned people sitting around me.
"You're... you're not serious. You don't honestly expect me to believe that do you? A Guide? In a Fatesong? You're pulling my leg. I've never even heard of these Fate things, so how the heck can I be your Guide, whatever that is?"
Elorie looked at me, her expression slightly hurt, "Yes, I do think you're our Guide. No, I don't think, I know. Everything fits; you're a ghost and, up until earlier, only I could see you. I don't suppose you've spent the last years of your existance wandering the roads looking for something you just can't find have you?"
The laughter died on my face to be replaced with suspicion, "So what if I have? That doesn't tell you anything. There could be dozens of wandering ghosts out there, how do you know I'm the one?"
"That's just it," replied Elorie evenly "there aren't any other ghosts. I haven't seen anyone like you for well over five years. You're the only one."
Larn grinned, "Face it mercenary, you've got to believe us now. Whether you like it or not, you're it!"
I shot Larn a dark look, so what if I was the only one? Maybe I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Did that prove anything?
Yes, said a small voice in my mind, it does. Face it Nicor, this is just too much of a coincidence. This is real, no two ways about it.
But you knew that from the start didn't you?
I shook my head vigorously, trying to push the irritating thing I could only presume was a concience back into the small corner of my head it had occupied for most of my life. Then I looked up at Elorie's truimphant grin, matching it with a grimace of my own.
"Fine. You got me. I'm your Guide or whatever I'm supposed to be. But please, spare me any further lectures. Let's just get going."
Yeah, before my bleeding concience shows up to give me any more lectures. The sooner I get this over with, the sooner I can leave and pretend it's all just a bad dream.
Just because I'm complying with this goddam Fatesong doesn't mean I have to like it.