Llyr managed to catch the Huntress as she staggered backwards and her knees gave out.
“Tanith! Wait, I’ll heal you—”
Her world was turning dark, and with her last strength she turned to look at him, “I’m sor..ry… Llyr…”
“Tanith no, this is not how it’s supposed to go!” He tried to close the wound with magic, but it was already too late. He knew it was, and yet he still tried.
“It was supposed to be me.”
Despite his desperate attempts, he could not bring back what was gone. Long moments passed, before he was able to let go of the former Huntress and lay her down on the bed of snow.
“…It was supposed to be me” he repeated, “This was a battle for your freedom.”
He was defeated.
A cold wind blew past them.
And with it, a pale figure arrived.
“It is time for her to leave here.” the stranger spoke with voice as crisp as the winter air, and yet full of immeasurable sadness.
“Are you… a Valkyrie?” He had heard of them, but never witnessed one. They went where battles raged, and then silently left with the fallen.
“No, I can’t let you have her…!”
“Please…” her sadness-filled voice asked him, “Let me do my one duty. Or do you wish for her to wander these woods alone forever?”
Llyr let go of her hand reluctantly and set it down carefully.
“Why did you choose her? I was already marked for death once. It didn’t have to be her!”
“We do not have the power to make such choices. We are but guides.” her responses were calm, as if she’d explained this a thousand times before.
It was easy to blame the Valkyrie, but the Demon already knew they had no say in who perishes.
Moving from her path, Llyr spoke again, “Where are you taking her?”
Would she rest forever, or be forced to battle for eternity? The latter was a fate he did not wish for the Huntress as battle was not something she had ever enjoyed.
“I can not tell you.” She responded sadly, as she turned to the lifeless Tanith: “Come.”
Her spirit rose from her body as if on command and her clouded eyes turned to the Valkyrie.
“It is time for us to go” she offered her hand to the Huntress with a strange aura of reassurance in her melancholy voice.
Llyr gasped. He had not expected to see Tanith rise again. This had never been mentioned before, although Valkyries had been witnessed throughout the ages. Perhaps it was his eyes that saw everything, and his eyes only?
Tanith reached her clawed fingers up and took the Valkyrie’s hand.
“I will guide you where you belong.” The Valkyrie smiled gently yet sadly
“Tan–” Llyr reached for Tanith on impulse but his hand went through her as she had no more substance than air.
The Valkyrie seemed curiously surprised by the demon’s action. Like this had been the first time.
She shook her head, “You are but a ghost to her now. She is no longer on this plane.”
As she walked, Tanith followed, her eyes never leaving her guide, as if she were mesmerized by her.
Before fading through dimensions, the Valkyrie glanced back once: “Farewell, stranger who sees everything. Perhaps we will meet again.”
Llyr could probably have followed her with his eyes, wherever they went, but he somehow felt that it would not be permitted.
They were both gone and he was alone, feeling like darkness had just swallowed him whole.