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Every night, she dreamed of her.

Quintas saw Pelora in all of her dreams, whether it be rested against a simple black pear tree, or drowning in the stormy depths of the Kraken-infested sea. And every time, she would hold her hand, finding comfort in her embrace.

But every morning, she woke up in an empty bed, all that comfort gone in a minute. Her head would spin with guilt as she tried to cling onto the remnants of her dream. She held back her tears, kept the pain from seeping from her mind.

She hadn't cried since she entered the town. She quelled the memory of Pelora being plunged into the sea by that ravaging beast Hurwilde, but she never forgot it. She always thought about the past.

She held onto their past dates, the moments where their hands would touch, or when Pelora would sneak a kiss on her cheek. She hallucinated cuddling her in a grassy field in the warmth of the summer sun.  She remembered the moment where she took her face, eyes filled with fear, and kissed her in the cheek one last time. She lived entirely in the past, letting the world pass by her.

Pelora always told her to "live in the present". But how could she now, when the woman she loved only existed in the past?

She wasn't a sorceress. If she knew how to conjure up a ghost, she would've done it by now. She's tried to contact necromancers, clerics, healers, even divine mercenaries to find her lost love. She read up on ancient magic rituals, spent gold on candles and books and charms, searched for some way to communicate with the dead.

But no matter how much she tried, all her attempts were in vain. Pelora was gone.

Even though he didn't like her that much, Zip tried to comfort her as best as he could. But she denied his solace. She denied his hand on her shoulder. She refused his condolences. Overtime, he just retreated to the Soul Door and worked harder than ever.

Quintas knew he was trying his best. She knew he was suffering as well. First his brother goes crazy, then suddenly his sister dies. He didn't even get a chance to say goodbye. The last thing she wanted to do was infect him with her pain.

During the lonely nights, Quintas would lock herself in her room and stay up with her dreams. She held onto them for dear life, no matter how terrible they became, or how guilt-ridden they were.

She saw her.

She saw her radiant green eyes. She saw her unruly golden hair. She saw her royal purple dress flowing behind her as she ran with such eagerness, such raw spirit.

She saw her yelling with pride. She saw her fighting with her fellow subjects with a zestful flair. Her heart sunk every time she realized her dream would never come true.

She saw her face lit up with adventure. With hope. But every morning, that hope flickered out like a candlelight.

She saw her.

And she could've sworn Pelora could see her too.

--

In a small town nestled within the woods, an amnesiac elf sat up in bed at the strike of midnight in a cold sweat. For the past few weeks, she dreamt of drowning in a dark, murky sea. She battled for her life, wrestling against the grips of the ocean, searching for shore.

In the limited range of her sight, all she saw was a beautiful blue-skinned woman reaching out to her in the middle of the ocean. She stretched out her arm, frantically trying to save her. She raised her arm from the ocean, desperately attempting to grab her hand, only to be pulled into the monstrous water.

The water choked her, trapped her, killed her. Her lungs burnt up as she sunk deeper and deeper. From here, it was no longer a dream. It was a memory, long forgotten. A memory she spent days trying to repress as she searched to replace it.

A scream from above. A cry for help. Tears dripping into the gloomy water.

The last thing she always saw before waking up was the woman's crestfallen expression as the ocean cradled her whole.

Then, she'd jolt up from her bed, fully awake. Her hand jumped to her rapidly beating heart. She hyperventilated as she grounded herself back in reality. She looked around the room, remembering that she was safe, she was saved by that lady with the coin on that shore.

Unable to go back to sleep, she'd analyze the dream. She experienced it so many times at this point, she knew it by heart. But one lone detail always caught her eye.

The woman.

And every time she thought about the woman in her dream, a voice escaped her lips, as if calling out to her. It was the only voice she could remember when she washed up on sea that fateful day.

"Quintas?"