(Sacred Stones) Until Knoll met Lyon he had felt empty and alone. Now that his one true friend is dead he returns to his unhealthy coping habits, feeling it’s the only way he can feel alive. When...
It never failed to fascinate him.
Drip… Drip… Drip…
Strangely enough the presence of the crimson colored fluid seemed quite soothing. The sensation of the blade piercing into his flesh helped him to feel alive. That was the reason for the countless scars covered his frail wrist and his skin was so pale that they were had to miss. Luckily the long, flowing robes he wore kept them from sight. His secret would be safe so long as he was never caught.
Every night Knoll sought comfort through this ritual of pain and bloodshed. The piercing sensation served as a distraction from the emptiness and sorrow that consumed his heart while the blood represented the tears he was unable to cry. Only one person had ever cared enough to make him stop doing this to himself but that person was no longer himself. Lyon was gone, replaced by the wicked entity known simply as the Demon King. The gentle and kindhearted prince was the only friend that Knoll had ever had and his death left the empty man all alone.
…Or so he thought.
Someone had been constantly keeping her eye on him during their travels, curious about her mysterious companion. She viewed him as a rival as he was, after all, a wielder of magic like herself. Though she never understood his solemn personality she never once imagined that he would do something like this. Stepping from her hiding place she stood before him and spoke.
“If you keep this up you’ll become an easy target for the enemy.”
Her voice startled Knoll greatly, causing him to drop the knife he was holding and look up to his companion. Lute took a seat beside him, picking up the knife and pocketing it to ensure that he couldn’t make another incision.
“What do you want from me?” Knoll demanded angrily.
“My! Aren’t we cranky!” Lute exclaimed a bit taken aback, “I’m merely trying to keep you from becoming a hindrance to our forces.”
Knoll breathed out a heavy sigh. He then returned his gaze to his bleeding wrist, taking comfort in the crimson liquid. Noticing his fixation on the self-inflicted injury Lute decided she needed to speak up. Unfortunately she had no idea what to say.
“What?” questioned Knoll as he returned his gaze to his companion.
“Why do you.. do this to yourself?”
To Knoll’s surprise Lute’s voice seemed to be filled with hurt. Could someone he had just met during the course of this war care whether or not he lived?
“Well…” he began, trying to think of something to say in reply.
“Why are you so interested in the situation?”
Lute was now at a loss for words. She wasn’t exactly sure why she was interested in such a confusing and morbid situation. It wasn’t because they were rivals because if he died it was an admission of defeat. No, it was something different. Something… unfamiliar.
“Is there a reason why you’re blushing?” inquired Knoll interrupting her thoughts.
“Uh… erm…” Lute stammered as she tried to find a logical explanation. As she did her checks grew a brighter red.
Seeing the usually aloof and confident mage act flustered caused Knoll to crack a small smile. It even more amusing to see her grow more frustrated at his reaction.
“What’s so funny?” Lute demanded indignantly.
“Usually you have a witty reply for everything but at this particular moment that’s not the case,” explained Knoll.
Lute sighed. The dark mage had a point, she didn’t have the answer to the simple question he had asked her. Finally she was able to admit to herself that books didn’t hold the answers to everything. There were something people needed to learn through experience.
“Don’t get used to this,” the violet haired woman warned her companion.
“Don’t get used to what?” Knoll questioned in slight confusion.
“Don’t expect to be able to ask me a question I don’t know the answer to. Aside from this situation I know everything,” explained Lute confidently, “I am, after all, a prodigy.”
“So that’s it then?”
“What do you mean?”
“Our conversation, is it over?”
“That is up to you,” replied Knoll becoming visibly more at ease, “If you want me to answer your question from earlier I would recommend that you stay a bit longer.”
Lute nodded her agreement. Wanting to give him her full attention she folded her hands in her lap and looked him straight in the eyes.
“The reason that I… you know… is because it makes me feel alive,” Knoll explained awkwardly.
“So in order to feel alive you take a sharp object and pierce your own flesh to make it bleed?” questioned a still confused Lute.
“What I mean by that is…” Knoll stammered, unsure of how to say what he felt, “What I mean is that I have always been alone… The one person who ever treated me as a friend is dead, leaving me alone again. Without people to care for me I feel that my existence is meaningless.”
“That’s not true.”
“What are you saying?” questioned Knoll in surprise.
“What I’m saying is that you are not alone. You are a part of this army and these people are counting on you to support them in battle,” stated Lute with extreme confidence, “Besides that I’m counting on you to keep my skills sharp and…”
“For conversation as well. I was alone too at one point in my life but because of one person I never had to feel hollow.”
“Artur?” Knoll guessed.
“Yes,” Lute replied with a nod, “I’m sure he’d converse with you as well if you wished.”
“Thank you, Lute.”
“Huh? What for?”
“Thanks to you I’ve come to realize that there are people whom I can count on when I’m feeling overwhelmed by grief,” he explained with a smile, “And because of that I no longer require the pain and regret of self-inflicted wounds.”