Kyran had never felt the pain before. During the Buraindomun she had only been able to see the Soul Seers eyes glow red and listen to them screaming.
But her darkness had stolen Kichi’s Soul Sight and now the crystal flowed in her veins, the blue crystal of the Healing Mother and the red crystal of the Fighting Mother. It was the red that brought the memories, the murder and rape and burning that her people had committed before the Sisters lay in the water and they became the children of Iyashino Haha, the Healing Mother.
It flared for only a moment, but in that moment Kyran experienced the grief of a thousand years.
She pulled her hands from the stone floor and held them over her heart, fighting to contain her darkness before it destroyed the shaman the same way that it had destroyed Kichi. She wanted to mourn for her lover and her friend, but the darkness had kept her numb, waiting.
The shaman’s ancient voice vibrated through the cavern. “You are the balance, Kyran. You are both the light and the pain. The darkness within you feeds on the crystal and grows stronger. It is neither good nor evil, but it is dangerous. Learn to control it, Kyran. Then you may return.”
So this is his goodbye. The thought hurt, more than losing Kichi, more than collecting her lover’s broken body from the rocks where the water crashed onto the shore. “Return from where? Where do I go, grandfather?” Calling him ‘Father’ now meant something more than it had before. She was his granddaughter in flesh, not just a lost child he had taken pity on and raised.
After Kichi’s death, that would not make any difference to the Soul Seers. Kyran steeled her soul. I already knew I had to leave.
The shaman’s hands were dry and calloused as he clasped hers, his fingers shaking with a brittle strength. “The Mists are failing, Kyran. I knew that the day the man who took your mother arrived, and again the day I found you on the shore. You are both a warning and a gift. You must awaken Senso no Haha. Find her heart and feed the crystal. We must return to our Fighting Mother to defend our home.”
“But you are healers. None of the Soul Seers have ever held a weapon.”
The shaman let her hands go and stood. “Come with me.”
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