“Not good, not good….” Alta mumbled quietly. She loosely rolled a blanket and placed it under Yzin’s back to prop her up and bring her at least a little comfort. She placed her fingers on Yzin’s stomach and felt the skin stretched taut over the whole of the child that lay within.
Einan appeared at the entrance of the cave and set Ruin down upon the smooth stone floor. The wall cooled Ruin’s back and soothed his tired body. Einan watched as Alta ran up ridden with worry.
“Einan! Her body isn’t strong enough for childbirth, I don’t know how well this will go….My goodness, is that him??”
Einan nodded quietly. Ruin lifted his head barely an inch and began to mumble almost incoherent words. “…….stone……flesh………” He could hear Yzin groan in the cave. His child was causing her pain…He hoped that the Anon’s magic would help with the birth as well.
Alta looked at him strangely, trying to understand… “Flesh….He needs food. Einan, go get him some meat.” She helped Ruin to stand and slowly guided him across the cave. Einan disappeared again, feeling like an errand boy.
Yzin glanced tiredly toward the sound of movement. She could recognize Ruin’s faint aura as he sat back down near by. She reached out to him with a gentle hand. It was then she saw that what she feared was true. The gaping hole in his chest. His exposed pearl…It had really happened. But when his fingers moved under her palm and grasped her hand, she closed her eyes in comfort. His aura brightened enough to put her worries at ease. He will be alright.
Ruin watched her as she fell asleep when her pain subsided enough to give her a chance at rest. He was silent, not really able to focus his vision. There was the sudden shift of red fabric over his chest and he looked to Alta as she wrapped her other blanket around him twice and tucked the rest behind the folds to secure it in place.
“Will she…be alright?” He mumbled.
Alta looked up at Ruin’s downcast eyes. She smiled a bit as she reached in her bag. “If…if it’s Yzin, I’m sure she can power through it. But….I still worry.” Alta took out a shard of purple. She placed it in his hand, “Here. Absorb it slowly.”
Ruin looked at it strangely. “….What is it?” He asked.
Alta tilted her head in confusion. “Pure energy of course! Straight from the Towers of End. Go ahead! Abosorb it quickly. It will help you.” She closed his fingers over the shard in his palm and moved to close her bag.
Ruin looked at his fist with curiosity. Eventually he squeezed the shard in his hand and felt the magic within it seep through his skin and draw into his veins. He felt his skin buzzing as the newfound energy moved through him and excelerated the regeneration of flesh and bone in his chest. Feeling the pain begin to subside, he carefully moved himself closer to the sleeping Yzin.
A few moments later, a chunk of animal thudded on the floor against Ruin’s leg. Einan’s lime green light luminated the ground around him as he looked over Yzin. Seeing her in this state pained him. Einan’s eyes glared at Ruin until he turned and walked away without a word.
“Please forgive him. He feels frustrated in situations where he is not in control. He often disgraces the Patriarch with his rash behavior, but we all know his intentions are always well…” Alta mentioned as things calmed down and Ruin began to eat.
Ruin simply nodded as he enjoyed the nourishment of rock and flesh until his stomach was full.
Hours passed with Yzin coming and going from sleep, the pain appearing more frequently as time went by. Ruin rubbed the back of her tense hand with a thumb. When she woke again, she looked toward the ceiling of the cave with alarm.
“A-Alta….Alta quick-!!” Her breathing instantly quickened and a powerful contraction rolled through and the baby began to move. Yzin’s face contorted in pain and her fingers grasped Ruin’s hand in a vice grip.
Alta ran in from the mouth of the cave and dropped to the ground. Einan followed but less enthusiastically. Seeing her in such pain worried all of them. Alta prayed to the void urgently. Hoping with all her might that this ends well.
The trial was long and difficult. Yzin was exhausted to tears. Ruin held her head up for her and watched her eyes stare blankly as Alta helped her focus on breathing. Suddenly, Alta’s face lit up. “Here it is! You can do it Yzin, push! The baby is almost here!” She spoke with encouragement.
Ruin felt relief wash over him when she lifted her head again and mustered up whatever fighting spirit she had left. Her lips revealed nearly all her teeth with an expression of determination that was almost scary.
And with the final stretch, she pushed with all her might. And not a moment too soon, a tiny cry echoed through the cave. Like a trigger, the moment her body fell limp…her wings shone. Every feather glinted with light and softly fell away from their hold to the skin that began to fade. The halo that crowned her forehead faded away and she closed her eyes once again.