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Dark Winds

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Sol was out of it for what seemed to be hours. He drifted in this almost dream-like state for a long time, and when he finally came round, he thought that his head was being split open by a nasty force. Nauseous and confused, he found himself propped up in the corner of a mostly ruined room. He had no recollection of how he had come here, or what had happened for him to be whisked away to such a strange place.

His body began aching all over when he even only twitched. Sol grunted, trying to get into a more comfortable position. It was hard for him to breathe, and he couldn't hear anything. Had something deafened him? The thought of these ruins actually being this quiet was frightening. It meant no life, and that entailed the possibility that his friends had been harmed, or worse.

"I see you're finally awake." The strangely distorted sounding voice made Sol look up at a battered looking figure. It was Vata, or rather Nil Vata. Man and Dark Flow tangled into one another. It was a horrifying sight to behold, and Sol swallowed thickly at the thought of an actually rather nice man being caught up in there, somewhere. "You gave me one Hell of a fight."

One that Sol couldn't remember at all. He tried, but nothing came to mind. He had the feeling that something was not quite right at the moment, as if this moment was staged. It all felt wrong, twisted, perverted. Had he really fought Nil Vata to the brink of utter exhaustion? He had a hard time believing that.

"But now it's over." Nil Vata slowly stepped closer, nothing but contempt in his gaze. "You gave me enough of a headache. The darkness must spread and consume this world. Must twist it. I can't allow you to be in the way."

Sol just leaned back, watching Nil Vata struggle with his injuries. So it had boiled down to this. He couldn't allow himself to think about the man inside of this personified Chaos. He had to put an end to this now. There was no other choice but do what had to be ultimately fulfilled. This was his chance at finishing off the entity threatening all of their existences.

He had his blade still clutched in his grip, and he tried to lift it. But it was near impossible, and his arm burned up with just any little twitch. It was horrible, but he still had to fight on. He couldn’t allow Nil Vata to get away with this. He couldn’t allow the whole world to be destroyed. He could mourn his friends later on, or join them in the afterlife. His main concern now was to slay Nil Vata, while he still had the strength.

Nil Vata now was right atop of him, but it was obvious that he was drained of strength, too. His knees gave in, and he was straddling Sol now. His clawed arm was still raised, and now, everything seemed to go slowly. Sol just reacted to the claws coming down at him. He raised his blade, and it ran through Nil Vata’s body seemingly without meeting resistance. And at the same time, the blinding pain of the claws ripping at his shoulder came to his consciousness.

“Sol!” The terrified scream of Diana tore through the up to then so unreal silence. Nil Vata dispersed above Sol, in a black mist. Sol groaned, sinking down again and losing his blade. The pain was slowly crashing in on him, like an endless, horrible tide that closed around his soul. “Sol, please, don’t slip away. Stay with us…”

Dusk and Alba immediately came over to use their white magic. Sol didn’t really notice them doing it. He just looked up at Diana, who was absolutely devastated to see him like that. Sol didn’t quite understand why, but he just knew that there was something that was almost impossible to control with white magic. Sol grunted softly when he was lifted up by Glaive and Aigis. Nacht collected his gear, and he believed that Sarah picked up Diana from her absolutely devastated state.

It took weeks, even months for Sol to recover from his wounds. He knew that there was something wrong with him the day he woke up from his long unconsciousness, but there was no way he knew until he finally had shaken off the fever and had come to his senses fully. He then learned that the last attack of Nil Vata had deeply hurt his left shoulder. His joint had stiffened up and had become heavily susceptible to pain and anything that even slightly impacted it would immediately cause him immense pain.

But at least, he had done what had to be done to stop the Dark Flow from consuming the world. And the memory of Vata could live on with them.