…and he said the words and closed his eyes,
and the world moved on without him,
until the day she would be free again.
I was barely awake yet, and I already knew something went terribly wrong. I opened my eyes to see nothing. I didn’t dare Sense my surroundings out of fear that my magic reserves had dropped too low. I was still alive, so there must have still been some left, but I felt weak which meant it had been a long time. Too long…
I used a trickle of magic to activate the unlock mechanism, and I felt relief when the magic engravings of the sarcophagus glowed bright and blinded me. It meant not just the spells still worked, but also my eyes. Maybe there was hope still.
The lid of the sarcophagus raised, but it took me a while to get in control of my limbs. After what could have been hours, I managed to get myself standing up. Although the preservation spells required me to lay naked inside the protective box, I had planned for it and left a second box, smaller than the sarcophagus, with things I would surely need. That spell had been simpler, since it didn’t require maintaining life within it; in fact, it was preferable that it didn’t.
This box contained clean clothes, clean water in a sealed jar, a few vials of mana dust, to be dissolved into the water as a way to regain my lost energy, and some tools necessary for certain non-trivial spells I would have to invoke. I had planned for as much as I dared to think, but with the weakness I felt, I wasn’t sure those vials would be enough. If it came to that, I would have to find other sources to replenish my reserves once I started to use them. I was certain I would have to use them.
The glow generated by the boxes’ activated spells was enough for me to get dressed and mix the mana potion. I used a higher concentration than I would normally use, because I wanted to keep some water in case of necessity. It wouldn’t be pleasant, but to risk dying from dehydration was the worse option.
It took a while for the convulsions to end and a while more to get myself back in shape. My body was functional, but it had suffered some damage that I had to painfully and carefully fix. Believe me: it’s not easy to heal your own internal organs, even with the help of magic.
There was something else that had been bugging me. I hadn’t really thought about it when I made the decision to freeze myself, and I chose to ignore a lot of warnings just for the chance to be with her again. The school of sorcerers and magic-craft was an elitist one. They had very strict acceptance tests and anyone who failed to achieve the requirements set for the learning had their knowledge of magic erased before sending them back home with a small bag of coins – a token so that they could try themselves elsewhere. It was so rare to see new students reach the end of their studies and be granted the title of Sorcerer that the number of active sorcerers in the world had been steadily declining over the years. Magic may let us live longer, but not indefinitely. That means, for all I knew, magic could be lost to the world. I hoped it was not so.
My options at that point were limited. I was safe within the hidden, sealed room, I had made certain that no one would happen to find the hidden staircase leading down to the catacombs, and I had made sure that in case someone found them in any other way, they wouldn’t be able to find this room. Safety wasn’t my goal, though. She would arrive into this world soon, and I had to be ready for her.
The first step then would be to locate the point where the arrival would take place, and the second step would be to find help in making sure it was ready in time.
I extended the parchment on the flat ground and kept it in place with some weights. I drew the interlaced runes that described the Finding and when the part came where I had to visualize the target of the spell, everything inside me broke apart. The heat left my body and a cold sweat paralyzed me. As much as I struggled, I couldn’t see any other explanation for it. While all the memories involving here were still in my brain and I could remember loving her and sharing my life with her, she was gone from them. Not her being there, but the details. I could not bring myself to remember the look of her hair, the shape of her eyes or the texture of her skin. For all that mattered, she was gone, and I was lost.