Eilan put on her shirt in the deepest of silence, not even daring to look at the Asmodian near her. His proposal shocked her and the explicit look in his eyes even more because those eyes weren’t asking at all. They were commanding. It wasn’t a suggestion, it was an order. Karlis wanted to take her to Asmodae with him.
“That’s not possible.” Her voice low but firm, she shook her head. “My life is here and your is there and we always knew it. I’m an Elyos, don’t forget it. The moment one of your people sees me, I’m dead.”
“Not if I protect you,” he boldly replied, fastening his belt over the leather armor. He started wearing it again some days before and Eilan noticed he never separated from his weapons either. A necessity, she knew, because he was in enemy territory. “My voice is not unheard in Pandaemonium and if I state that you will live with me, nobody will dare to oppose it.”
“And then what?” Eilan raised her eyes, angry and disappointed he could even think of that. “I should live among Asmodians? When you go to the Abyss to fight my people, I’m supposed to stay at home waiting for you? And if you never come back? What will happen to me?”
“Then what do you suggest?” Karlis walked to her but when Eilan stepped back, he stopped, clenching his fists. “Should we forget everything that happened? Should I go back alone and keep up with my life of war knowing you’re here and that some of my brothers could kill you by accident when raiding your village?”
“Yes you should!” Eilan shouted, knowing it was a dead end. “We knew this was coming, we knew you had to go and I had to stay. We knew there was no future.”
“To the Abyss with that!” Karlis grabbed her by the arms, his eyes burning red, deep rage in his voice. “I don’t care about what we knew, I care about what we know now! When we started we thought it was lust. Watch me now and tell me it really was just lust! Tell me you don’t feel anything!”
“Don’t even dare going there!” Eilan tried to break free but he was too strong and determined not to let her go. That angered her even more, why was he making the separation even more difficult? Why was he so cruel? “Even if we feel something, there’s no solution! You’re an Asmodian, an enemy, it will always be like that! So stop acting like…”
“Shut up!” He roared, shacking her. “I don’t know how the mighty Elyos solve their problems, but when an Asmodian is in trouble he always finds a way out! And if there isn’t any… he bloody MAKES one! I won’t let you go, do you hear me? I won’t!”
And just in that moment, an arrow hit Karlis on his arm and a furious voice echoed in the cave.
“Let her go, filthy beast!”
Eilan looked back and her eyes widened seeing her father with Yurnik. No no, why did they shout so loud? Why being found out so near the end?
Without a moment of hesitation, Karlis pulled the arrow out with a disgusted expression and drew his daggers, moving Eilan behind him.
“Too bad Daeva, for you and the human. Now I have to kill you both.” he was just whispering, but Eilan heard him and before she could grasp him, the Assassin was already engaged in battle with the Ranger. Karlis was smart. With a swift movement he placed himself between Yurnik and the exit of the cave, trapping him inside. The blows were so fast Eilan couldn’t even see them as she flattened against the wall to hide from the two Daevas.
It ended as fast as it had begun and the Assassin towered on Yurnik ready to deal a fatal blow.
“No! Don’t!” Eilan shouted, seeing the Ranger wounded and on the ground. She ran to him, shielding him with her body. “He’s my friend, don’t hurt him!”
“Come with me then! They saw us, the Elyos will kill you if you stay here!”
Karlis grabbed her wrist, but she shook his hand off with desperation.
“That is my father and this is a friend. They won’t hurt me. Now go before someone else come!”
And the Asmodian hesitated. Was she safe? Wasn’t she? He couldn’t know. But if the Daeva wasn’t alone, there was nothing he could do but run and Eilan would have slowed him down. All her efforts to keep him alive would be wasted.
“Don’t die because of me!” She cried, her eyes full of tears, echoing his thoughts without knowing it. “I don’t want you to die! Go now, run! Find a Rift and go back!”
After squeezing her hand a last time, Karlis jumped back, out of reach of them all, but his gaze was still fixed on Eilan.
“It’s not over, Bright Eyes. It’s not over!”
He ran away from the cave and after he was out of sight Eilan suddenly fell on the ground, openly weeping. It was indeed over and in more than one way.
Because, as she felt the shocked eyes of her father and Yurnik on her, she realized she and Karlis had spoken in Asmodian all the time.
There was no choice for them but to take her to Eltnen fortress to stand trial.
The charge would be treason. And treason was punished with death.