The Burning

Reentering the main part of the church Rowan let out a gasp, as she looked at the bodies that covered the floor. Hyde didn't say a word. Instead he made his way over to the Chief's wife and then pressed a few fingers to her neck. He looked back at Rowan and shook his head before moving to the other bodies. Rowan soon did the same, moving from one body to the next. Each one was the same. They all had a strangely peaceful look on their face, as if this were the way they wanted to leave this earth this way. Half way through the church Rowan stopped and looked over at Hyde who had also stopped.

"There all dead...aren't they?" Rowan asked.

"Yeah, I have no doubt in mind that their all dead," Hyde responded, his voice emotionless.

Rowan balled her fist before she stepped over several bodies making her way towards the door. She didn't want to see this place anymore. She didn't need to. Stepping out into the cold night, a icy wind blew against her face, stinging her cheeks. Behind her she could hear Hyde shutting the church doors before standing beside her.

"It's cold..." he said.

"The Gods are angry," Rowan replied looking up at Hyde.

Hyde didn't say a word. Instead he turned around and looked towards the church. He opened the palm of his hands and blue and green flames erupted from his hand. Imediately the church and the grounds around it were engulfed in flames. Taking Rowan by the arm he quickly lead her down the steps and away from church. They looked back in silence before Hyde closed his eyes, humming.

"What are you doing?" Rowan asked.

"I'm calling Levi and Shadow. We've got to get out of here. The flames will spread, and I don't want to be here to burn as well,"

A few minutes passed, the only sound coming from the crackling of the flames that were slowly eating away at he church and the buildings that surrounded it. The galloping of hooves came into ear shot and instinctively, Rowan turned to greet her trusted steer. She patted him on the neck, before climbing into Levi's saddle. Hyde was all ready situated in Shadow's saddle, sword still in one hand. He quickly slid into the a space betwen his bag and the saddle and with a whip of his reins took off. Rowan followed after him. The wind blowing in her face. She threw on her hood, following after Hyde.

She couldn't speak, her whole body was being weighed down by the feeling of guilt and sadness as she listened to the city of Englante burn. She had failed miserably. She had found the Alchemist, but she had been quickly over powered by him, and that resulted in herself being captured, and nerarly sacrificed so the Alchemist could become the strongest Humonculous. She had failed Annabelle and now her precious city was burning to the ground.

Hyde tried to talk to her, but she was to absorbed in her thought as the people who laid their in the church returned to her mind. Closing her eyes, she bit her lip. The pain stopped her from thinking about it. She bit her lip, hard enough that she was close to bleeding. They arrived at Rodinen forest and that was when they both finally stopped and looked back at the city of Englante. The church as still burning but several off the other buildings were on fire as well. It wouldn't be long before the city would be a pile of ashes.

"Come on, let's keep moving," Hyde said, leading Shadow into the forest. Rowan took one last look at the forest before she followed after Hyde. The forest was a bit more difficult to traverse, zig zagging with her horse to guide him through the maze of trees. Levi leaped over several bushes and trees with ease, landing on the other side with a slight thud before continuing after Shadow. they circled around teh  large hole wher e Rowan had fought the Sin before arriving at a rather large clearing this was where they rested for the night. They allowed their horses to rest and Hyde quickly motioned for Rowan to rest as he gathhered wood to make a fire.

Once he had gathered enough kindle, he dropped it in the middle of the clearing, stacking it up, before looking at Rowan. He lit the flames with his sune-kin flames before leaning back and wiping sweat from his brow. Rowan could see the relief drift over his face as he sat their, looking at the flames. Letting out a long sigh, he rose to his feet and removed his pack from Shadow's sadlle before fishing out some bread. It was much, just some bread and jerky.

"You wouldn't happent to have anything drink would you?" Hyde asked.

"Ummm..." Rowan said quietly, before pointing her hand towards her sack. It lifted into the air, before entering her hand. She opened it and then pulled out a large canteen. She shook it for a moment, before opening it nd pressing it to her lipse. She grinned, before handing it to Hyde.

Hyde slowly lifted it to his lips, before he cringed and handed it back to Rowan, along with some jerky and bread.

"What is that stuff?" Hyde asked.

"Peach tea...or some variation of it. It's gotten sweeter since the last time I've drunk it,"

"We sune-kin never did like sweet stuff, that would probably kill one of us if we drunk to much of it," Hyde said, taking a bite from his bread.

Rowan did the same. She had to admit it was nice to have food in her stomach. She actually couldn't remember the last time she had eaten anything. As she tried to think back to the last time she had eaten, she suddenly heard Hyde calling her name.


"Are you all right?" Hyde asked.

Rowan hadn't even noticed that he had walked around to the other side of the fire to sit next to her. While waiting for her answer, he ate another piece of bred, popping it into his mouth as if it were candy.

"I guess I'm all right. It's just seeing the place burn like that...brings back bad memories. I just fill so guilty for failing Anabelle. If I hadn't gotten ill I could have-"

"Stop it right there. I won't have you blaming yourself for this. It's not your fault. Just think, if I hadn't come and saved you, I would have probably join in this little thing and lost my soul as well. Don't go and blame yourself. You tried and that's sometimes all you can do,"

"But so many people died at my hands...again," Rowan said looking away, "They were all innocent,"

"I think the word your looking for is crazy," Hyde said trying to perk up her mood. But Rowan didn't laugh, she just looked into the flames.

She watched as the flames danced wildly, sending pictures and telling stories. Sasha had all ways said watching flames was something that took practice and that sometimes, if you watched long enough a tale would be woven, for your eyes to see only. At the moment all Rowan saw was burning bodies she. She sighed before closing her eyes.

"Rowan..what happened...I mean so long ago? When you first lived in Lardon?"

"Why are you asking?" Ropwan questioned.

"You said this is the second that people have lost their lives by the flames. What was the first time?" Hyde asked.

"I thought you knew..." Rowan said looking at Hyde.

"I knew that the city or Lardon burned and that a few children went missing, I'm not entirely sure how they all  tie together,"

"I've told this tale several times now...I'm so tired of telling it. But fine, I'll tell you. 13 years ago, I lived in Lardon. At the time I was just seven years old. I acted alot differently then. I was worry-wart, and tyhe youngest of the group. The group of the children that went missing, I was apart of that group. I knew them all. Well one night my sister and I snuck out and went with the others; X, Moran, Miranda and Cole, and bought a strange box from a man named Randolf,"

"We were young and foolish. So my sister opened the box, and this whole wind surged in and tried to take her away. I ended up hitting her with a wooden sword, and knocking her out cold. After that everything changed. My sister had two seperate personailities. She was sickly sweet, or she was absolutely eveil after she awoke from her coma. It was a few days after this that we decided to sneak out again, to find another one of the artifacts from Salaka. That was what the box was," Rowan explained.

"So what was the second artifact?" Hyde asked.

"My necklace," Rowan said.

"Ok, so what happened after that?"

"They came. The men in the black cloaks, knocked my sister out cold and did the same to me and my froends. But I some how managed to stay awake. I watched them take my sister away and then they burned my friends. After that a voice came to me, saved my friends, but was unable to save my sister. After that I found myself with West and the city was burning,"

"So, how can that be your fault?" Hyde asked.

"If I had stopped my sister from opening the box, those men would have never came, and I would still be living in lardon, with my sister and my friends. I would still have my parents and..."

"And what..."

"All those things, I want them, but they come at cost," Rowan said looking at Hyde.

"You wouldn't have found out you were a Sorceress, you wouldn't have become part of the Royal Reguiment, you wouldn't have met me...all though, I don't think that's sucha bad thing," Hyde said with a chuckle.

Rowan laughed as well, before looking back into the flames. "I would have never mey Sasha, or West. I wouldn't even be here now. I'd have a pretty boring life. It's just I don't know which one I want more,"

"No offense, but your over thinking this way to much. You can't hjave your old life back, because it's apart of the past. Even if you found your sister and your riends, your life wouldn't return to normalcy. You'd still be Rowan, the Rowan from the present. So all you really can have is the life you are living right now,"

" are filled with wisdom, and here I thought you spent your whole life just looking at the world in one perspective,"

"Then you don't know much about me at all. I was trained to see the wolrd in different perspectives, which allowed me too join the Royal Regiment. It was because of this, that I am one of Chief Dugard's most trusted men,"

"Ok, so why did you leave your village

"I wasn't happy," Hyde said, a frown coming to his face, "Their ways...their teachings, I didn't agree with them. I try to vouch for my people, and say that we are brave and civil. Well the brave part is true, but we are also crazy and sick.  Sometimes I'm ashamed to be a sune-kin,"

"Sasha once told me that within all races, their ones that never agree with what their race is doing. Your that odd one out. Truthfully I haven't heard much about sune-kin, but that's because no one really ever sees them. All though I have heard some stories. Sune-kin are-"

"Barbraric, I know. I wish they would let go of this feud,"

"Sometimes it's hard to let go of the past..." Ropwan said, as she stretched out and then placed her hands behind her, looking up through the cnaopy. The stars glimmered above her head, as if winking at her.

"Yeah, your right. But their still my people never the less," Hyde said with a yawn.

"Thanks Hyde. You saved me...yet again,"

"No, I believe you saved me back there," Hyde said sprawling out on the ground.

"No, I mean just right now. I'm not being eaten up by my guilt any more,"

"Huh?" Hyde said rolling over and looking at Rowan.

"I guess I hide it quite well. I all ways said that Iwas over my past. But I wasn't until now. In the old times Sorceress, use to sit in front of fires like this and would burn away their guilt and sadness.  UI'm doing that now. I tried my best, and perhaps stopped something like this from ever happening again," Rowan said.

"Well, your welcome," Hyde said, his eyes never leaving Rowan. He swallowed hard. The way the flames illuminated he face, he saw that Rowan was truly a beautiful and strong woman.

"What are you staring at, is their a bug on me?" Rowan asked, looking at Hyde.

He shook his head, before laying on his back, closing his eyes. Rowan raised an eyebrow, before reeaching for her pack. She set her canteen aside, before she closed the pack and laid it on the ground like a pillow. The gournd wasn't as cold, thanks to the fire. She liad with her back to Hyde, staring out into the forest, that was illuminated bluish-green by the flames.

Behind her, she listened as Hyde rolled around for a moment, before opening his pack and fishing something out. With a slight sound "Eureka," Rowan suddenly felt, Hyde drap something on top of her, before he walked away and checked on the horses. Rowan chuckled closing her eyes.

He's all ways working. He's all ways doing his job. He's all ways saving me...when did I become such a damesal in distress? Next time for sure, I'm going to save you Hyde. Rowan thought to herself before drifting off to sleep.

The End

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