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To watch a close friend succumb to the Light's corruption had been unbearable.

But to watch the same scene happen to you…

 

Gods… You.

 

That is a suffering from which she could never be saved, could never know peace.

 

The risk had always been there, ever present at the back of their minds. Of your mind. Was it over-confidence that bid you to ignore it? Or were you simply resigned to do what needed to be done, no matter the cost, as you always had? Would you have sought a different path, had you known the truth before it ever began? Or would you repeat the steps, fulfill your role, as bound by your duty as the stars are to the night sky? Even lost as they are behind the primordial light, the stars are still there, clinging to the sunless sea; Just as you cling to the fate you have been dealt.

 

She asked herself these questions while hunting for a cure, but the answers remained just as elusive as any hope for your ailment.

 

It humiliated her to admit that she had ignored the possibility. More than anything, Alisaie wanted to believe that you could do what no one else could. That you could contain the light of the Lightwardens. That you could save the First from the century-long tragedy it had endured. She still wanted to believe it, despite having seen how wrong she was; How foolish they 'd been. Even standing upon the platform where you defeated Vauthry, watching you fall to your knees, a beautiful warrior aglow with the endless light that burned within you, she had not dared admit the truth. You would fight it, she believed. You were strong enough, you could contain it! You were fighting a war within yourself, and all of her faith was in you. Damn the Ascian and every word he uttered!

 

But then she watched the splatters of ivory liquid spill from your lips… She watched you cough and choke on the light until it painted the marble floor. It was the very same that had poured from Tesleen's eyes and consumed her whole. She watched and feared that any moment that same curse might befall you.

 

And there was nothing she could do.

 

Helpless, she was always helpless when the ones she cared for needed her the most. No matter how hard she fought, no matter how she trained, no matter what price she paid, it was never enough. You, who would always be stronger, the hero who she could never dream of surpassing in strength… What hope did she have of saving you?

 

At first she dared to think Ryne could stop it… But the Oracle of Light she was still a child, wielding a power she'd possessed in full for only a brief time. At the very least. Alisaie was grateful that the girl had slowed the inevitable, but that alone would not soothe the ache that claimed her heart and turned her stomach.

 

 

She came to you while you lay in your bed, locked away in the Pendants Suite of the Crystarium. Someone was always watching the outside, checking on you, making certain the change did not take you while they were unaware. Your friends took turns overseeing you, for only they knew the truth, and not a single one wanted to imagine the chaos your turning would ensue.

 

The Warrior of Light and Darkness would make a terrifying foe, a Light Warden to rival all those who's aether you had consumed.

 

You remained still while she sat beside your bed, watching your sleeping face with an expression of stone. She would not weep in front of you, whether you could see her or not; This she repeated to herself until it was true, until she felt certain her pain was numbed.

 

It was not.

 

“We can't save you,” Alisaie whispered while you slept. “No one else will face the truth and admit it, but I cannot lie to you – I won't. There is no cure. We've...” She tore her gaze away, choosing to focus instead on your hand, limp by your side. “We've failed.”

 

She exhaled a hard sigh and shut her eyes for a long, quiet moment; they were reddened when she opened them again.

 

“I want… I want to believe you can still fight this.” The Elezen bowed her head. “No matter how foolish it is to hope, I- I need to. Do you understand that?” She chanced a glance at your stoic face, but you did not stir. Small comfort though it was, you at least looked serene, for all the good such peace would do.

 

“Do you remember that night at the Maelstrom camp? Gods, it's been ages… I had wandered off with Ga Bu to watch the stars and you found us. Do you remember what I told you?” She paused briefly, even knowing there would and could be no response. “I said that the hopes and dreams of so many rest on your shoulders, Warrior of Light. That… As long as the sun rises, we can but carry on. For the sake of those we hold dear.”

 

Another pause as she looked away, hanging her head.

 

“Well, we may not see the rise and fall of the sun in this world, but it is still there... And I still need you to carry on, just as I have carried on, for the sake of those I hold dear. For you. Maybe it's selfish, but I need you to fight! Don't-” Her breathing hitched. “Don't you-- Don't you dare leave me, do you understand!?”

 

Her head rose, but when those watery eyes fell over your face Alisaie could not hold back a cry.

 

You wouldn't remember it later, but you had awoken, and you watched her through a hazy and blurred vision. Light distorted almost everything you saw, but for that moment she remained clear and solid. Too embarrassed to let you see her cry, Alisaie tried to turn away… But your hand rose, fingers trembling, to lay your palm against her wet cheek. Gentle, your thumb moved from the corner of her mouth, stroking in a slow line to brush away a rolling tear. You left it there while she closed her eyes, both of you waiting for her breathing to calm, her tears to settle. Only with her composure mostly regained did she look at you, turning her cheek into your hand.

 

You tried to smile, but it was small and weak. You tried to speak, but your lips would not part.

 

The moments of your consciousness were brief as the battle continued within you, and so you spent that time watching her, silently willing her to hear, to feel, to think… To understand that you would keep fighting. You would keep doing what you did best, for the sake of those you hold dear. For her.

 

For those you had lost, and those you could yet save.