The Bladesongs of Boethra, Volume III

Blinded by light, Boethra felt Molagh vanish beneath her. Through memory alone she felt for the crack in the Lattice that Dagon had made.

Slipping into the Lattice, she could feel the presence of Azurah and Noctra. Mafala and Dagon were gone. There was another presence, too, but it was all around and felt like searing heat. Merid-Nunda still stood.

Boethra reached Azurah’s side at the same time as Noctra. The sister-daughter-mothers embraced one another and knew they needed to say nothing about the burning light that bore down upon them. Each felt its scorching gaze, and each knew what it meant if they were to look upon it.

And Azurah said, “All right, little one. You earned the key. But I told you what would happen if you use it. Be sure you want to leave all you have behind.”

And Boethra said, “What is this you speak, sister? Noctra has trained under my blade. She has proven loyalty. What is it you ask of her with this key?”

And Noctra said, “Boethra, Mother-Master, I have learned all I can from you. I have heeded Mafala’s words. Now I learn from Azurah, she that slew Vaarmina, and she whom Namiira fears only. I take with me your lessons, and now I take those new.”

“With this key I can at last say I am not Namiira. I am Noctra, and I will shelter you in darkness.”

Then Noctra took the key and pierced her own breast. It sank into her like a dagger, and then she turned the key. Her very form became as shadow and cloth, a cloak of darkness billowing around the sisters.

As the cloak spread, her form grew mighty, taller than all the rest, and it went on to blend itself with the night.

And then did darkness shroud the Aether Prism long enough for Azurah and Boethra to reach Merid-Nunda.

They tore Merid-Nunda from the Prism, though shards of her remained behind, and they cast her down along the Crossing.

Merid-Nunda rose, wiping golden blood from her lips. She glanced around and saw that Dagon and Molagh were both gone, but there was no sign as to where. Behind her sang the Varliance Gate, a doorway that led to so many possible futures for her.

But before Merid could plot a course, Boethra strode forth with such speed as to not be counted in time. She had grown used to the red shift that altered time, and now Boethra was able to dance just as fast as the light that bent the waves.

In doing so, the precise cuts of Boethra divided Merid-Nunda unto all the shades and hues of light she embodied, all the mirror-pieces that forged her into being.

There Azurah saw her chance. She gathered up the mirror-pieces and threw them beyond the Crossing into the Void. But Azurah knew she could not leave it thus, so she bent the light just so that Merid-Nunda reflected upon her own colors and became trapped within them.

And when Boethra at last sheathed her blade, the Crossing was safe and the Lattice secure. She knew the Rainbow Angel would return one day, and she made a promise to Azurah that she would be ready once again when that time came to be.

Azurah asked her sister Boethra whether she remembered how many times they had already fought this battle, but Boethra replied with a simple shake of her head. She rested a palm upon the hilt of her blade and smiled.

“Does it matter?”

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