"The two Holy knights avoided looking at the dead girl on the bed while that was all Yule could see. "
"That girl had been unknowingly a new hope for Yule and as quickly as she came she was snuffed out."
"Many thoughts were flowing through his head at that moment, clashing and fighting for dominance."
Julie's dead Yule.
Those three words kept ringing out in my head loud and clear yet I couldn't comprehend them.
The weird Holy Knight who I had let in softly responded.
"No, that can't be."
I quickly knelt down by the bed with Julie on it and reached out to her, urging her to wake up, to move, to shuffle, do anything to signify that she was alive!
I flinched as my hand touched her skin.
She was cold to the touch.
I got up shakily turning to Luna who was still holding Zera in her arms, I saw them both staring sadly at me.
"This isn't possible! She just got sick recently she shouldn't have died so quickly!"
I saw Luna look over to the body then wince, she turned to me, I saw a complex emotion in her eyes.
"What did you say are the symptoms of the disease are?"
I shook my head in frustration.
Why was she asking that?
"Can't you see? It's horrible purple rashes and sickly coughs, look she's hardly developed any rashes and none of them are bleeding! She can't be dead-"
Luna's next words cut me off and cast me into silence.
"Then what are those bruises all over her body from?"
I gulped and slowly looked back at Julie's still body. It's true there were many bruises all over her body different than the purple rashes, my eyes opened wide.
They were from her Uncle beating her.
"Are you saying she died from those bruises?"
"Not those bruises, the one on the back of her head."
The back of her head?
I looked closer at the back of Julie's head and I did see a bruise and swelling there. I heard Luna gently put Zera down on the ground behind me as she walked up beside me speaking softly to me.
"It's a concussion causing injuring, blood pooled in her head and suffocated her brain."
I gently reached out and brushed back Julie's hair.
"She died because of this?"
"It was most likely a combination of that and her sickness that did her in."
"So you're saying she would have lived if she didn't have that injury?"
"Yes. What happened to her Yule?"
I let go of Julie and bowed my head, I spoke out again but this time with a much colder voice, something odd was rising up within me.
"Is she really dead?"
Luna who was standing beside me reached out to grab my shoulder to comfort me but I wasn't talking to her, I was talking to the God of Death inside me.
(Yes, she's been dead for about 30 minutes, but it's okay she went in her sleep.)
I spat out a question between my clenched teeth.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
Luna who was patting my shoulder flinched at my cold tone and was confused by my ramblings but I ignored her.
(Even if I did, you couldn't have saved her.)
I clenched my fists at my sides and let out a deep breath.
Izmus was right, I have no power at all.
"Could you have saved her?"
Luna who was trying to rouse me flinched and shook a bit at that question, but once again I wasn't talking to her.
(Not me, but with that power you rejected before yes.)
"Can you bring her back?"
Luna secretly glanced at Zera, their eyes met and they shook their heads to each other assuming I had lost it, what they didn't realize is I was as calm as I could be, disturbingly calm.
(No that would break my own laws, I can give you a few moments to talk with her spirit if you act soon, but that would require using the power inside you.)
Izmus's sinister voice spoke into my mind again, it almost sounded like he was grinning.
(Will you do it?)
Something inside me was welling up, something that didn't care if that power was evil or not, it was something that wanted revenge.
It was fury.
Luna had finally reached maximum concern over my ramblings and patted my shoulder again to make my head go up and look at her.
(Do you remember how to do it?)
"I know what to do."
As my eyes met Luna's she flinched and seemed to back up a step from me, I could see cold sweat on her forehead but I didn't care.
I walked past her and as gently as I could I picked up Julie before turning to walk to the door, I heard a fearful Luna shakily call out to me.
I talked back to her without turning.
"You can use the bed for your friend now."
"What are you going to do?"
"What else? I'm a gravedigger, I'm going to bury her."
After that I didn't wait any longer and walked out to the graveyard closing the door behind me while grabbing my shovel.
Holy Knights probably shouldn't see what comes next.
I brought the cold Julie to a clear plot of land by the tree, it was beside her mother's grave. I gently placed her down on the grass. I looked long and hard at her face before I stabbed my shovel down into the earth where it sunk in.
I then took a deep breath before closing my eyes.
First, picture the dead from Itzes.
Once again the horrible bloody streets of Itzes filled my mind, bodies of family and friends punctured with black arrows lined the streets.
Second, picture the dead from Sirus.
The street ends were piled higher with more new bodies, this time the diseased dead I had berried, their skin purple and peeling off.
After waiting for a moment I felt the aura in my mind shift, I couldn't see it but I felt it, red streams of energy began to twine up the shovel into my hands. I then heard the sharp cracking of bones and eyelids shuffling open as the bodies lining the streets all turned their heads towards me.
I ignored them and walked down the imaginary road to the man standing in the center, my father, but a morbid version of him, all dried out and punctured with errors, his head tilted towards me at an unnatural angle.
His mouth opened and I heard a horrific harmony of voices all call out to me at once.
"What do you want?"
"What do you want?"
"What do you want?"
I stared at him unflinching.
"I want power."
My dad's dead body stared at me, then its voice creaked open and I heard only one voice, my dad's voice speak out to me.
"Are you sure you want to do this son?"
My eyes widened a bit at that however I soon resolved my self before nodding. He looked at me for a long minute of silence before cracking a wicked smile.
The void was filled with crackling laughter.
"We will lend you our power."
"Use it well."
"Or else it will use you."
"HA HA HA HA HA HA HA-"
I snapped open my eyes to feel a burning sensation running through my body. Looking down I saw red tendrils running up my arms and going through out my body including to my eyes. I couldn't see them but my eyes felt as if they were completely dilated and bloodshot.
I shouldn't stay like this for too long.
I crouched down by Julie putting my hand on her chest, I felt the disgusting power begin to build up at my hand.
"Julie, time to say goodbye."
I had called out gently but I still heard every word echo as if I was in some grand cathedral. I saw the red lines begin to spread from my hand into Julie's body as she began to tremble, her limbs shot out and she shook viscously.
Then finally as if reaching a crescendo her shaking stopped and her eyelids shot open revealing a pair of clouded eyes.
She spoke in a weak raspy voice.
"It's me Julie."
"O-oh was I dreaming then?"
I saw her now blue lips creak into a gentle smile.
"I had the most wonderful dream that I saw mommy again, we were together and she made me the most lovely breakfast. But I was a bit sad too."
"Why were you sad."
"Because you weren't there Yule. I didn't see you because Mommy said I was in a different place now. I told her that Yule would be sad if he couldn't see me, I told her that you didn't have any friends besides me and always looked sad without me."
My eyes began to water as something inside me was breaking, but I still managed to weakly laugh for her.
"Haha, Is that what you thought about me you brat, even after I gave you so much to eat too."
"Hehe, I really wanted to go adventuring with you to try those cool foods I told you about Yule."
"Wanted to? You don't want to anymore?"
"I can't anymore."
There was a long moment of silence where neither of us talked, then finally Julie spoke out in a complex tone.
"I remember now."
"I'm dead aren't I."
Tears began to drop from my face onto Julie as I nodded holding back sobs that wished to run havoc in my body.
"I'm sorry Julie, I'm so sorry. If only I'd gotten off my high horse and accepted this power sooner I could have saved you!"
"It's okay to cry at a funeral."
"Remember what you told me when we berried my mother, I know you try to be strong and independent as well Yule, even though I could tell you really enjoyed my company."
I saw Julie creak her stiff head towards me and look at me with cloudy eyes and a stiff smile that somehow still managed to convey happiness.
"So it's okay Yule, it's okay to cry for me."
Seeing how the dead Julie only showed concern for me a flood of tears and sobs began to escape me as I bent over grasping her hand. At the same time I felt the power inside me begin to wane, the time would be up soon.
"I'm sorry Julie, I can't keep you much longer, it really is time for g-goodbye."
"That's okay Yule, Mommy keeps me company after so you don't have to worry about me being along."
I nodded weakly to her.
"Oh and try out those cool foods I mentioned before, you should leave this place, you'll be to lonely without me..."
I weakly laughed as tears flowed down my face.
"I promise I will, I'll tell you about all of them."
She was worrying about me as she was dying.
The power was almost up, her voice was no more than a whisper and her eyes were slowly shutting, but she managed to speak out one more time.
"And Yule, be careful using that power.... that smile isn't yours...."
Finally Julie's eyes closed as the last of the power dissipated.
I blinked my eyes a few times at her last statement.
'That smile isn't yours...'
I reached out to grab the nearby shovel and cleaned off the dirty end enough to see my reflection, looking in what I saw staring back chilled me to the core.
It was me crying with tears and snot streaming down my face but my mouth...
Was twisted into a wickedly wide smile.
The minute I noticed it I quickly reached towards it but instantly it stopped, the words of the voices rang out in my mind again.
'Or else it will use you.'
I sniffled back tears as I nodded towards Julie's body.
"Thank you for the warning, I'll put you to rest now."
I slowly dug a grave beside Julies mother and placed Julie's body into it. Sniffling I retrieved a headstone and carved in a statement for Julie.
Filling up the grave I started to cry again as the dirt covered up Julie's face and I cried again as I tapped the headstone with the shovel.
The familiar sound of a funeral organ ran out again as the funeral started. I wiped off the tears around my eyes before continuing.
I smiled weakly, there was only one thing I could say in farewell to that rascal.
"May you enjoy delicious breakfasts with the company of your mother forever Julie. You'll never be able to steal my food again and in truth that saddens me more than anyone will ever know. Rest in peace."
I clanged down my shovel once more indicating the end of the funeral. As I clanged thunder rang out above my head and droplets of rain began to fall around me.
I took one last glance at the headstone before the smile I had been wearing slipped away. What remained was something broken, something cold and angry.
Something that wanted revenge.
I turned and began to walk into town leaving behind Julie's grave and my last hope.
There was more for me to do.
Here lies Julie.
She was a glutton who loved her mother.
I'll miss her dearly.