In the Bloodfire, Amberle felt the surge of elven magic beyond its protection, and the Seed she held pulsed in response. The communion within the Ellcrys's experience produced a new request, and Amberle gasped.
She had been intended, could see the fate that would befall the bearer of the Seed.
~He is the blood of two Races, with a heart dedicated to the nurturing and healing of all. Let the Elf's nurturing and Man's determination hold back the ancient Enemy.~
"I cannot ask it of him..."
~It will be clear to him.~
The Bloodfire faded, and Wil, barely standing after facing the Reaper looked to be certain Amberle and Eretria were both still safe, both alive. The Elfstones were put away, and yet Wil could still feel the searing pain of having used them in all their power, that feeling of having been changed by them.
More, he could hear the Seed, calling to him, promising him a chance to be the healer of more than just man, a balm to ease the lands themselves. More whispered in his mind, calling to him to save the woman he loved, calling for him to be the one rather than Amberle.
In his weary state of having been a destroyer rather than a healer, the words comforted him in ways that nothing else would.
In the wait for the young Roc rider, Eretria felt something had changed, as Amberle and Wil seemed to be in a state of communion, knowing what the other thought without even asking. She ranged away from their side, helping Hebel with Drifter. It gave the pair a slight privacy, to say aloud what stood between them.
"It should be me," Amberle said, held tight in Wil's embrace. "It was meant to be me all along." She cried against his neck, wanting this to be simpler.
"No, Amberle." Wil kissed her, long and tender. "I would never be the same, not after what the Stones did to me."
"Shh." Wil used another kiss to silence her, and in the desperation of the moment, Amberle went pliant against him, a silent offer between them.
Wil gave her that, the only thing he could, and the lingering magic on them both enhanced it to bring forth one final gift shared.
Amberle remained slumped with her brow against the Ellcryn, tears flowing freely as the chaos of the Demon War resolved in the sudden resolution of the Forbidding sweeping the foul creatures away once again.
Wil was gone, and her she was, held under the graceful limbs by love, by wanting it to not have been him.
~You will always be my Chosen.~
The voice within her mind was warm, sending shudders through her, and giving her strength to finally rise, cheek rubbing at the leaves touching her shoulders.
"Yes. I will."
She turned to go find Allanon, to lash out at, to find her Grandfather, or maybe to find her uncle. Anyone, to remind herself that she had to go on, that life still demanded care of the land and the future. It still hurt to attempt to walk, and she felt so weak, but she had to go on.
Who she found was Eretria.
"Elf Girl..." Eretria looked uncertain, as she had been since the Bloodfire.
"Eretria," Amberle said softly.
"I was wrong. He was yours all along."
Amberle felt fresh tears, and she reached out on impulse, taking Eretria's hand. "No. He belongs to all of us. We just didn't know it until too late."
Eretria seemed to grapple with something inside her own heart, and then she moved closer, sliding an arm around Amberle's waist. "Arm around my shoulder. I can't carry you any longer, but we can support each other."
Amberle felt nuances in those words, and realized that maybe, just maybe, she was not facing the future alone.
"So we can."