Chapter 41 (Cora)

            Kyzella flew as far and as fast as she could, but the weight of two passengers and weakness from blood loss overwhelmed her once they were a few miles outside of Doronhine. She half-landed, half-crashed onto one of many small knolls that made up the grassy landscape of northern Allomoria. Cora and Ford climbed out from underneath her panting frame.

            “Thank you,” Ford said. He looked at her leg. “Are you doing okay?”

            Kyzella winced as she ripped off the cloth at the end of her robe to press into her bleeding wound. The heat from Everin’s blast had also served to cauterize much of the injury.
            “I need a healer, but I won’t die right away.”

            Ford turned to Cora, who sat on a patch of dirt a few feet away, a look of shock on her face.

            “What about you, Cora? Are you okay?”

            Slowly she shook her head. No. How could she be?

            Ford gathered up the courage to ask his next question.

           “Were you telling the truth when you told Everin you could see auras? Was that what happened to you when you passed out back there?”

           Cora nodded, but she didn’t say anything. It felt like she was in a dream. This wasn’t real. It couldn’t be.

           Tentatively, Ford asked. “You also said that you couldn’t see suffering. So…what do you see? Is it happiness, like King Valen?”

           Cora shook her head. She had her suspicions about the cloud of soft pink energy drifting around Ford’s body, but she was afraid. Once she did this, there was no more pretending that she’d just hit her head too hard on the stone rooftop of the castle. Once she did this, it would be real.

           Cora took a deep breath. She extended her hand toward Ford and let the tiniest flicker of carnation-stained light drift away from his body and into her own. She felt a gentle heat and tingles of electricity run up and down her skin. Cora placed her hands together, and she focused the energy down her arms and to her hands. Pink sparks jumped between her palms.

           Ford and Kyzella both let out a gasp of amazement. Cora looked Ford in the eyes.

           “Love,” she said. “I can see other people’s love.”

           Ford stared at her with an open mouth. “I…I don’t know what to say.”

          “You don’t have to say anything, I can read your aura,” she told him.

          Just then, a flash of light in the distance caught their attention. It came from the direction of the city of Doronhine. A beam of blue energy blasted into the sky, tinting the entire landscape with a faint sapphire light.

          “Wow,” Ford breathed quietly. “I can’t imagine how much pain Everin must be in if he can produce that much energy.”

           Cora didn’t respond. She looked up at the light. The entire sky was painted blue by Everin’s pain, by the pain that had taken her friend from her and turned him into something terrible. She’d lost him. Cora felt her eyes burn as they began to water. She turned away from Ford and Kyzella, not wanting them to see her tears.

          Cora raised her hands to her face, and she cried, and cried, and cried.

To be continued.

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