31 Chapter 20.2: Red Heart and Black Sea: Samai
I didn't want to leave him, I spent so many years trying to find him, risking my life and safety so I could get him back. I ran, I was leaving him because I knew that he would want me to, he wanted me to find happiness and be safe, I ran because I knew that I couldn't save him, no matter how hard I tried, I wouldn't be able to make a door in time, even if I did how would I stop the tremors from killing him. I thought about him lying on the ground in pain as Clerics grab him and prolong his life enough to sacrifice him before he died. I run through hallways and downstairs. I found my way back to my bedroom, a place so obvious nobody would think to look here, not yet at least. The floor beneath me shook, as the Ash Cult attacked the Citadel, it lasted longer than the others. I look at the wall where I last made a door to escape. I slice into my palm and rub the fresh blood on the dried one, I hoped that it was enough as the Citadel shook and I fell onto my side "entralla" I focused on the outside, it wouldn't work, it really wasn't the time for my magic not to work. "Entralla" I was running out of time. Another tremor ran through the Citadel, it knocked me to the floor, it was almost completely dark, with the ash raining down from the sky. I opened the door opened I could see the Citadel being attacked, I got up from the floor only for another tremor to knock me back down, I pushed myself back up. I ran to the door and I made it through. I thought about my brother still trapped inside there, I watched as the foundations of Upper Skotash collapsed, I watched The Citadel start to come down, I was far enough that it didn't affect me, I froze, as I watched it fall in the darkness you don't see much you just hear the sound of brick smashing against brick smashing against concrete, metal bending and clashing on the ground, a wave of dust and smoke wafted into my face. I held my breath as I waited for the dust to settle, I breathed too early and then started retching, I rubbed the rest off my face.
I pulled the map out and read it. I found the Citadel on it and tried to find a path, map reading and path making skills weren't a priority when I was learning to become a Blood Cleric. After two carriages and another hour of walking, I found it. It was a place shut off from Skotash, the only thing connecting them was a bridge made of rope and wooden planks with questionable sturdiness. I walked on the bridge every step I made causing the bridge to sway. I took a breath steeling myself so that I could keep walking. I made another step and then a plank broke, I fell on my chest I push myself into a crawling position, then I realised that if the bridge swayed too much I could fall through, so I went back into a standing position. I breathe steeling myself once more, I made an effort not to stand on the bridge too long not wanting to fall into the darkness below. I get to the other side. I draw breath into my lungs hungrily after realising that most of the time on that bridge I forgot to breathe. I see a path with dark walls either side of them, I walk through the darkness. I saw a dark red light pulsing in the distance then I saw a huge door with a statue on top of the Great and Powerful Goddess. I hesitated. Gods are only monsters seen through ignorant eyes. I repeated that to myself. The door creaked open "Come to me," I heard the voice call for me like it did in my dreams "Shataska".