Part 41: Sultana
Okay. I get why Yumil has to leave. Where are you going? To find another country to get kicked out of?
I'm going back to Waisen. Find some way to hold off the invasion.
No offence to Kaleila's militia, but I don't like their chances without Yumil on the field.
Why would they invade again? We already won.
You won one battle. If Valdo only wants the book, he doesn't give a damn about losses. He'll throw the whole country at you if he has to.
Your friend's back on his feet, by the way.
All I'll say is, this might be your last chance to see him. Don't forget that.
Look, um. I know. Okay? I just...I know.
I'm gonna find the rest of those pages. I'll get them back to you. After that...
I dunno. I guess that's it.
Thanks for the help, whatever your name is.
Lauca. And you owe her as well as me, so there's your "after that."
I'm sorry about Fana.
All my little chickens flying the coop at once. They grow up so fast.
It's just, when I'm done with this, I won't have anywhere to go.
Would it be alright if I came back here for a while? I know it's a lot to ask, but...
Ah, shut up. As long as you bring a bedroll next time.
...I'm fine with just the floor.
I meant for me, idiot. Guests don't get the floor.
I am a general.
Nothing. Just needed to remind myself.
Two days. According to Ellie, that's how long idiot foreigners could survive wandering the Samiad.
After two days, you'd still be drawing breath. Your heart would still beat. And that would be it. You couldn't move. You couldn't think. You could only lie still, and breathe, and stare into the sun, and wait.
Two days to walk and count the hours. And after two days, I would see either the book, or an oasis, or vultures.
One hour. Reality is starting to set in.
My first time through the desert, I had transport. My second, I had an escort. This time, nothing. No water but what's in my stomach; before leaving, I went to a river and drank until I felt sick.
No magical book to fall back on either. All I can do to navigate is look back at my footprints and say "Not that way."
It's a good thing I didn't think this through too much. Otherwise I doubt I'd have done it.
Two hours. I wish I'd thought this through. I should not have done it.
I could have gone to a town somewhere and looked for an expedition. People trade with Samiad. I could have followed a caravan. I could have had Rex go back to Rhoan and ask Nanai if she'd help.
I could have brought a bloody hat.
Four hours. I am steamed rice.
I should probably take this coat off. What was it called again?
Eight hours. A stomachful of water is not as much as you think.
Justacorps. That was it.
I wonder how Meenya's doing.
Probably won't be able to see her again. I hope she'll be okay. Maybe after what happened, there'll be other ghosts to keep her company.
I spy with my little eye, something beginning with "S."
Twelve hours. Night time. I am now trying to bury myself in the sand to keep warm.
Deserts are the most awful, spiteful, ridiculous, stupid climate in the world. If I get the book back, I am writing them out of existence. I hate them.
Twenty-four hours. Back to sweating out my life. Joy. Wondering if I dislike being too hot more than being too cold.
Decide that being too hot is worse. Will probably change my mind tonight.
There are monsters. Had to fight them. Can't afford to run. Need to keep my eyes open.
One of them got me. Doesn't hurt much. Don't know if that's a good sign. It looks like it should hurt a lot.
My skin feels wrong. There is sand in my everything.
Twenty-nine hours. Kick myself. Realise I can just have the spirits fly up and point me the right way.
Twenty-nine hours and one minute. Realise I can't.
Thirty hours. Had to stop, legs are finished. Can't rest for long. Have to keep going, if I stop too long I'll die.
I shouldn't have asked Lauca if I could come back, now she'll be expecting me, she'll probably worry
No she won't, don't be so arrogant, all you did was sleep in her bed and eat her food and be miserable, she does not and should not care what happens to you
Yes she will, she was so nice, she didn't have to do anything for me but she did, she doesn't have to worry about me but she will
She's probably glad to see the back of you, she only took you in because Heath asked, you're just a stranger to her, you're not special
I know, but she is
Thirty-four hours, start walking again
Thirty-five hours, stop
i miss fana
i should have helped her
i think i might be a selfish person
thirty something hours
it's night and i'm cold and i'm by myself and it hurts to move
would someone, anyone, please just come out here, and tell me everything will be alright
probably another mirage
but maybe should just pretend it is
lauca would worry
I wonder if the book already knows how the story will go. I wonder if it chose me knowing that it would be lost, knowing that I would search for it with only luck to guide me, and knowing that I was the one in "one in a million."
That's the only way I can explain it. I charged into the desert alone like a fool, and I should have died like a fool. I should not have found this place. But there it was. And there I was.
And there she was.
And there it was.
Do you realise how absurd it is that you're standing in front of me right now?
And do you realise I can't even use this damned thing? I suppose it's attuned to you or some such nonsense. You might have told me.
What, and saved you the trouble of stealing it?
Why not? If I'd known it wasn't worth the effort, I wouldn't have bothered, you'd still have it, everyone would be happy. Can't argue with that, can you?
...just give it back. I don't have time for this.
Ah, yes. Of course. Well. You see. That's not going to happen.
You just said you can't use it! What's the point of-
I can't. You can. And you'd use it against me.
If the world is to end, I intend to be there to see it. I've lived this long, why stop now?
I have bigger things to worry about than you. Give me the book, go home and live what's left of your life. I don't care.
Hah. You're a precious little fibber, aren't you? I could just take you home with me and have you tell me enchanting lies all day.
If you give me the book, maybe I'll kill you. If you don't, there is no "maybe."
You're right. There is no maybe. You won't. Because what are you without the book? You're a weak, scared little boy. And very soon you will be a bleeding, crying little boy.
Do you know how many people have died because they underestimated me?
That's the thing. I've lost count.
Enough. I...I give up. Take it. Just take it and get out.
Am I still a weak little boy? If I am, that's who you just lost to. Or do you want to take that back?
Get out. One more word and I'll...
Nothing. You'll do nothing. Because you're a weak, scared old woman.
You want to live to see the end? Here's what to do. Go back to your village, stay there, and be good. Because if you cause any more trouble, with that Great Spear or anything else, I'm coming back for you. And then you will be a bleeding, crying old woman.
Now I'm going. To clean up your mess. And I don't want to see you ever again.
That was your own fault.
Come back. Help me. You have to help.
Tell me why I have to help.
You're supposed to be a hero, aren't you? A real hero would help. No matter what. He'd be merciful.
I called you a hypocrite. If you leave me like this, I'm right. I win.
I never said I was a hero. Everyone else did.