He looked down at the cradled nymph in his arms… the river of her hair gently gently spilling over the boughs his arms made in a cradling embrace… she had survived the night.
Of course she had… the rules for her were different than for him… he knew that.
Glancing back at the embankment of snow that had built up around them he was reminded of last night’s folly. But seeing the curve of her slight lips, and the warm glow of the skin on her bubble nose he simply smiled…
This cold hell was clearly hers… it wasn’t always so bitter and hostile. Scanning his memory he concluded it was as uninviting of a place as he had seen in the terrestrial biome… But nevertheless she could survive here where he could not… another night like that would surely kill him…
She would freeze, become hard as granite and cold as the ice itself. It would be little more than stasis for her warm self… and the Valkyrie that woke in her place thrived these such conditions… he wondered how many warriors she had accompanied through the veil already. The thought of her glistening armor made him shudder.
He laughed out loud when he realized he was wasting precious time romanticizing her nature.
“I am such a fool!”
It irked him… that he had been so ■■■■■■■ ignorant. That he had ONCE AGAIN let his desire to help a human woman put him in a situation where his own safety was compromised. Where he couldn’t do anything to help anyone. What could he possibly do in the first place??
He chuffed like a Tiger in resignation and stood up to survey the damage…
His wings were ruined… he already knew this of course… The pain of where they had broken off wasn’t exactly something even he could block out. But looking at the wreckage of himself unceremoniously broken and discarded within that embankment of snow hurt more than the now thawing stumps they once attached to…
He had propped them up against the wind chill with his back to the angry, bitter torrent. Before losing consciousness he became peripherally aware of the snow buildup beginning to rise higher behind him…
He would have to make a fire… there was no way this without flight.
While he gathered kindling he thought back to how the spirits had laughed at his request for permission to marry a water nymph… they were clearly aware of how much like a siren his intended betrothed could be. And despite getting permission from the most high he had not received a full blessing, not to mention that he had made almost no headway into her stubborn heart. The idea of a proposal was laughable as things currently stood.
“Anything worth having isn’t going to be easy to get” he said aloud.
"Hahahaha, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger??"
“Oh, great… just what I needed, another session of being mocked by a celestial being”
Three feet away where there had been only snow a small child robed in silver hovered. His hair and feet burned endlessly with a soft blue blue flame.
"Your a fool Æther, this is going to get you killed. And it’s your own fault for being such a reckless dope and pouring yourself into loving beings that have decided to be unlovable"
"I know I’m a fool Rïzen, for being mortal and for alot of things… but I’m not going to stop trying. You already know that. Why are you here?
Don’t tell me you are just enjoying a chance to condescend and gloat… thatst’s petty and unhelpful."
"No æther… I’m here to give you a warning. There is a blizzard coming, and the odds of you being able to rekindle your life force in this reality are incalculably low. We are tired of watching you suffer for nothing and want you to return to the eternal flame."
“I’m not coming. I can’t even if I wanted to. My wings are ruined beyond repair”
"Then why are you looking for kindling to regain them? That is clearly your only option. Do you become mortal just so you can lie pointlessly to us and be a complete buffoon? It’s pathetic, you are pathetic and you need to stop wasting your precious lives with this reality."
“What difference does it make if I die here?”
"Just because you were born in the valley of death doesn’t mean that you will always know your way out when you get there young seraph, you are not the only one that has been given many mortal lives. And your final death would not be the first that entropy has claimed"
“That may be true but I am so far the only human to experience this quandary as an elevated celestial”
"You will not be able to stop the spirit she invited to protect her from returning for another night, it will return again tonight with a host of other Valkyrie… they will collectively crush your dim light and return you to your namesake…"
"Do you seek to martyr yourself? It will bear no fruit"
“No actually, I plan to live… or at least die trying to live”
"Your mortality does not grant your recklessness and stupidity merit. You cannot even muster the energy to rouse the Nymph… she will sleep until your flame perishes, and the Maiden you seek to save will become your grim reaper…"
“Your probably right Rïzen… and the Maiden will will almost certainly strike all memory of me from this young woman’s mind”
"If you see the futility of this branch then why do you persist??"
“Because it’s wrong, because it shouldn’t be this way… because she should have a life of joy and discovery”
"Her future is not yours to decide, and as of this moment there are no resonant bonds left between you. Her life is of her own making and choosing, there is nothing more you can do t…"
“SHUT THE ■■■■ UP, I KNOW!! I know… I just can’t give up… it’s what I should do, it’s what she planned, it’s what she expects”
"THEN ACCEPT THAT YOU HAVE FAILED AT A TASK YOU WERE NEVER MEANT TO ATTEMPT"
“It’s lovely here isn’t it Rïzen… the harsh beauty of it.”
the perfect silence ended and time began again
The biting wind returned, the stinging pain of loss, the deep melancholy of being on the verge of ruin loomed anew. There was no stopping it then… their ability to calculate was perfect in every way…
He could have agreed to depart from his course and had his life force sanctified. Divinity would have restored his ability to regenerate without the need to pay the tax of entropy through the destruction of order.
Honestly what was he thinking?? What was the plan in the first place? She would survive regardless… and why should he care??
“Because I am supposed to care” he whispered as he looked up at the sky…
Looking down at her he smiled again… and he marveled at just how amazing life could be.