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He still smelled of honey, of wildflowers, of midsummer. You laid him down - slumped against the feet of the statue - so he may rest by The Lady's side. You shut his eyes so he may sleep. You kissed him one last time.
His bed was a patch of moss, thriving under a rare stream of light. It shone through broken glass, through a window almost hidden in an alcove in the ceiling, above where The Lady's head should be. Its warmth would not touch his cold cheek. Nor would it touch yours on the journey forward. You should not forget it.
[[You journeyed farther into the dungeon.|hall]]The hall grew darker with each soundless step. Suffocatingly so. The dark was almost tangible, with long fingers grasped around your eyes, your neck.
[[The air grew sleepy and still.|hall2]]Your match would not light. Your sight lay in your fingertips, tracing along the wall, following the grooves and ridges in the stone.
You edged your free hand closer to your dagger, in wait of another presence.
[[None came.|hall3]]You walked as if on a sigh of wind. You walked without thought.
The mind became serene while the body ached for conflict. The body doubted such stillness. There had to be something.
[[To pierce the Dark.|hall4]]Your steel blade sang into nothing, and from nothing came nothing.
The Dark was pregnant--
//pregnant with squirming little worms that lived in your body, and shivered//
[[--yet barren.|hall5]]You dropped your dagger. Its song did not echo. It became lost in the roiling sea.
The Dark's embrace coiled tighter, and you sank. How long had you ben walking? You were no more tired than you were when the festival began, and the... and the...
The sleeping eye and the waking eye were one; became one.
[[A hint of a breeze swept through you.|hall6]]It was nothing: your desire for conflict made manifest. The Dark was a haze, and you longed to cut through to its end.
So long you had walked, with a sleeping eye. You did not tire, nor hunger. Your fingers were numb from tracing the stone.
You could have been walking in circles and you would never know. You followed its path because you had near forgotten anything else.
[[The memory flickered like the light in the distance.|hall7]]It was a dull glow.
Orange; perhaps yellow. Candlelight marring the Dark. Its muddy light burned away at the Dark, creeping onto the walls in mottled tendrils, like a miserable sick star screaming its illness into the night.
Your fingers thirsted to seize that sickness, to consume it and become one. You crawled closer to that burning blight.
[[And saw the suppleness of your fingers.|hall8]]Your skin was smooth and young. It bore none of the Dark's weight.
You grabbed the candle, flinching at its smooth wax and it's //perfection//. Its wax resting crisp, untouched by the blazing blight. It kept the breezes away, but there were no breezes.
[[You entered a grand hall.|hall9]]A sick star glared through the apse and fell onto a grandiose throne, its crown twisting to the sky in tarnished iron, as if they were a whirlwind of shrieking flesh, yearning to return to the blight. Just as you did.
Before the throne was an altar.
[[A coffin|hall10]].And on the coffin was a goblet.
Your blight-memory flickered. This was what you sought. You and he had planned to drink, together, and let the world and Time fall behind your feet as you conquered.
You drank. For him.
And let the cup clink to the floor. Such a sweet song, you thought. It never ran out. It chanted across golden tiles, burning with the blight's sickness.
[[Your lifethread was unending.|hall11]]You placed the candle on the coffin. The blight had begun to burn into your eyes. You would not need such a thing on your way out.
[[It will all have been worth it.|hall12]]You made your way through the passage with new vigor.
You cut through the Dark for a brief moment, before it embraced you yet again.
[[It had become a comfort.|hall13]]You walked as if on a sigh of wind. You walked without thought.
You walked as if in a dream.
And the haze was a warm lover's kiss.
[[And you awoke.|hall14]]Cold, burning, blight.
A headless lady and a rotted corpse.
[[The path continued.|hall15]]There was that infernal blight again, perched on stone ground, its tendrils burning away at a dried river of black. You threw the blight behind you, in a fit of anger.
[[And you drifted off in the haze.|hall16]]Your fingers had gone numb from tracing the stone.
You couldn't feel anything anymore - only the warm embrace of the Dark. Your lover.
You walk with it, carving love notes into the walls, until everything was an ache. But you didn't mind.
[[It kept you safe.|hall17]]Safe from the cold, burning, blight. The sick star. Marring the perfect night.
It would appear on the floor every few dreams, mocking you and your lover.
And often, you would find yourself in an accursed little room filled with blight. Blight and a green headless woman. Sometimes the blight she commanded would be dark: an imitation of your lover. The woman was worshipped only by bones.
You would drift away, quickly, knowing the throne room, the site of your marriage, couldn't be far.
[[Sanctuary.|hall18]]Under the dark blight you would see that you are nothing.
You and your lover intertwine.
Under the dark blight, you would marvel at your lover's perfection.
You and your lover travel your love-rendered halls.
[[Under the dark blight.|hall19]]It was a long dream before another blight-creature made their way toward the goblet.
The blight did not last long.
[[And you continued eternity in bliss.|hall20]]Eternity was bearable with your lover.
[[When you were one.|hall15]]