Kichi knew he would find her on the cliffs outside the Crystal City. That is always where she went to think, to be alone. He thought that part of Kyran also went to the cliffs to watch, waiting to see if her people would ever come to take her home.
The sun hung low, heartbeats away from kissing the horizon as Kichi parted the waterfall that protected his home and left the city to find her.
She wants to leave. Kichi picked his way through the stunted trees that clung to the rock on this part of the island. They twisted in the wind that blew over from the shores of Jandor, the land of the dragon and the Mer. As a Soul Seer, Kichi could not see the evergreen branches that were sculpted like the stone carvings of the Crystal City, but he could sense their living presence.
After the Blind Moon, Kyran had avoided him. Kichi was used to weathering her moods and had tried to be patient, but the darkness within her had shifted. I must heal her. I must take the darkness from her soul so that she can stay with me. Anger flared with the rhythm of his sandals on the stone. She must stay.
As a Soul Seer, Kichi’s entire existence was for the purpose of healing. He had healed old warriors who carried the guilt of countless souls in their hands. He had healed the shattered hearts of mothers who had lost their children. He had healed the evil-rotted core of men who had killed simply for the pleasure of it. Kyran was the woman he loved, the woman he wanted for his soul-mate. What good was the gift of the crystal if he could not use it to heal her?
She sat a foot from the edge, overlooking the shore where the old shaman had found her as a young child, abandoned and lost. Kichi saw her colors and paused. The darkness within Kyran threaded through the angst of her soul. I must be calm before I approach her, or I will only feed her turmoil.
He closed his Sight and took a deep breath, filling his lungs down to his belly. When his own soul was a calm blue, he took the last few steps to stand behind her.
“Kichi?” Kyran’s voice was mellow in contrast to her feelings.
“I am here, Kyran.”
“Why?” She did not look back at him but kept her eyes on the ocean. “Why did you come here?”
He swallowed. Why? Does she not know how much I love her? But she did know, she just refused to accept his love He had asked her to bind souls, and she had quietly delayed for months.
“You are troubled,” Kichi spoke as softly as he could while still being heard above the wind.
She did not answer. Kichi counted twenty breaths before he spoke again. “I can heal you, Kyran.”
“No,” her answer came quickly this time.
Now Kichi did not know what to say. A crimson ribbon flared in Kyran’s soul, and the thread of darkness followed it.
“Go away, Kichi.”
He clenched his hands. “Let me try. With the darkness gone, you can stay.”
The crimson and darkness danced and Kyran turned to face him. “I’m not broken. I don’t need you to heal me. This is who I am, Kichi. I’m not like you. That’s why I need to find out what I am.”
“You are one of us.”
“No,” Kyran stood, “I’m not.”
“You can be. Let me heal you,” Kichi reached to take her hand.
The darkness snapped out of Kyran like a whip, the thread of it carving a fissure in Kichi’s soul. It felt like a shard of ice ripped through his chest and left it hollow. The blue of the crystal that gave him the Sight, that made him a Soul Seer, flickered and the fissure webbed through him. Kichi stumbled back as the very essence of what he was shattered and the light faded.
He fell to the ground, hugging his arms to his chest to keep the emptiness from expanding beyond the confines of his body. He closed his eyes and reached for the Sight, but all he found was blackness.
He was blind.