There were a few labored breaths that reached my ears, some quiet whispers underneath my own fatigue. I could hardly feel my own body, my senses were muffled, or even muted in places. I tried to open my eyes, but the light burned. I felt my center of gravity shift and I looked out again. After a moment of blurry blinking, I saw Airelinna's solemn, well composed face, her golden hair a bit scattered, but her eyes were stern.
I tried to speak, my voice coming only with effort, "W-what happened? Did we kill the demon?" I figured, since everyone else still stood before me, that we were successful in bringing it down.
Airelinna hesitated before making a concise statement, "You died."
My eyes went wide, my face contorted with churning feelings of disbelief and despair, "I died!?" My mind flashed with images of my brother, the demon, and his…
Murph interrupted this caravan of thought with, "Ellie," she did seem to like that human-like nickname, "We did everything we could, but it wasn't enough. We… we were unfortunately unable to save your legs."
I could feel my toes, so I knew she was just kidding. But, as I painfully looked, they were not present! I had lost… I… My legs!? I couldn't keep it in anymore, my eyes filled with tears and all sense of bravery or stern determination even a desire for intelligent understanding of the moment escaped my body in this instant. I was a cripple! I was less than alive! I wailed for what little strength I could muster to do so, but it merely birthed new pains as I felt my phantom limbs struggle against their bonds. I had failed my family, my brother, my queen.
What decisiveness that fate had given me this day, to not only live, but to live a life not worth living. I would be held to a commonality of disdain that was eyed from all intelligent species, not merely my own.
Murph tried to comfort me, "Ellie, are you okay?"
"No! No, I am not okay!" I curtly snapped through my tears. "I don't know why I thought I could be like my brother. Please, just leave me alone for a while."
I fell asleep from the exhaustion I felt. I was wide awake in my mind, but my body's aches overwhelmed my need to rummage through confusion, terror, and pains. When I opened my eyes again, it was dark. What happened now? Why… Wait a second. I wiggled my nose and felt a cloth's ridged fibers nestled over me.
"Murph. Get this off of me…" I murmured from whatever corner I happened to lay in.
Murph struggled to keep from giggling. And, as the cloth was removed, I took notice that a pair of legs was passing by in my field of view. I blinked a couple times, but took the occasion to mean that I must be hallucinating or something, as nobody else seemed to see it. Was I going mad as well? No. I couldn't be. Could I?
Murph was forced to dispel the illusion she placed over my legs. Her "fun" had ended too soon for her liking it seemed. I gave her the most disapproving glare I could. Even I with my illusions would not go so far as to harm another's image of themselves.
The Professor leaned down and picked up my frail body and forcibly fitted me into a wind-up chair. I had no choice. My body could not move much of it's own accord and my mind was in a daze. He said something about moving this small sti-.
"Aiiie!" I was thrust forward in this "wheelchair." Unable to stop, I went headlong into the wall where I numbly felt new bruises on my knees. My wings were terribly sore by the end of my embarrassing wind-up tour, the accompanying backrest saw to that. I just begged that someone take me to my room. This "toy-like" feeling was growing stronger and I hated it. I knew that it was purposeful and it was wrong of them to do so. I bit, well, numbly pressed down on my tongue. I wouldn't be so ungrateful towards the Professor. He did save my life. Airelinna told me as we ascended the stairs that he used a potion of resurrection.
However, Murph made quite sure not to leave my side for any reason whatsoever. I just wanted some peace and quiet, but I didn't have the strength to speak anymore. I fell asleep in the wheelchair, and let the darkness take me, completely ignoring her jabbering.
When I awoke, I felt much better. I still ached everywhere and I didn't feel well enough to fly, but I was able to get free from the chair which I was strapped to. I managed to descend the stairs, and get some food before making my way back to my room. It was then that I was alerted to the large gaping holes in my wings from the Professor.
I looked and was again beset with pure grief; inundated with a wild emotional stain that cascaded over me and I straightway left in tears. I couldn't bear it. It was the worst feeling I had ever felt. Why did this have to happen to me? I don't want to live with this. . .
On my way back, a human male, the Xithonian hunter, Garrett, noticed me. I had no mind nor care for his presence, only the call for a bit of solace sounded amidst my sobbing frame.
I was about to return, when Murph paraded into the room and held Veilseeker aloft. It was much smaller in her grip.
"Hey, Ellie, Look what I found!"
I cleared my eyes of tears to see that she danced with Veilseeker above her head.
"Please, Murph, don't do this," I begged her, "That's very important to me."
I didn't even try to take it back. How could I in this state I was in? I wouldn't give her any additional satisfaction from being, however slight, the taller of us both. Instead, I just watched her while I moved towards my bed. She teased me some more and popped it onto the table where I couldn't reach without some good proper climbing. Then to my extreme emotional dismay, she picked me up and cradled me like some newborn. It hurt for one, and two, I was distraught! I struggled in futility to escape.
She babbled on end for what seemed an eternity until she suddenly stopped as Airelinna burst into the room and set things right. She tore me away from Murph's cradling, returned Veilseeker to me and I was gently placed into my leafy bed by the kind elf. That's when all sound ceased. She lifted the leprechaun up with a wave of her hand and spun around her three times, much to the visual protest of Murph. But, all faded away as I gave myself up to sleep's embrace.
I awoke again, but made no effort to leave my bed. I felt awful; less so physically, but definitely emotionally perturbed. I saw that my wings were healing, some magical effect from the potion I was given, but the feelings I had were a pulsing soreness in my head. My whole life felt off kilter, not unlike when I was first banished. There was some food at the foot of my nest and I nibbled on that while I thought quietly to myself.
When I was fully rested, I braved the world again and went to have a chat with the Professor about what he had done for me. We had found a beautifully secluded portion of some forested mountains where we were to hunt the Hydrus Maximus. A wall was erected around the house and Garrett was busy chatting with one of the others about things that needed doing.
I took the time to search for some special poisonous plants that were common in forested areas. I found them and gathered as much of the precious toxins as I could. . .