Rinse and repeat. That was mostly how it was when we were traveling. We’d set up camp at night, figure out who was bringing home dinner, sleep, get up at first light and get moving again. Once upon a time the thought of being exposed in the wastes was a terrifying idea, but in all our years together, nothing had ever tried its hand at attacking us. I remember once or twice finding eyes lurking in the darkness, but they were never close enough to be a threat. As long as I knew Sylus was nearby, I was never afraid of anything in the wastes.
As we trudged along on a particularly warm day, I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up on end. I immediately looked to the sky. Speckles of violet crystals were forming around the clouds above.
“Rain.” I muttered.
“And we’re completely exposed.” Sylus replied briskly.
I looked around. “There’s nothing for miles.” I could barely contain my rising panic.
“Come on.” Sylus took my hand. “There has to be something further ahead.”
“Sylus, those mountains are miles away! There’s no way we’d make it in time!”
With a growl, Sylus pulled me into his arms and lifted us into the air on his tendrils. Faster than on foot, yes, but we still wouldn’t beat the storm.
The telltale sound of crystal clinking on the ground signified the storm had officially begun. It was always slow at first. Tink tink tink. But it wouldn’t be long until it became an unearthly cacophony of crystalline pellets crashing into earth and stone.
Sylus raised some tendrils overhead to keep the deadly shards from hitting us. Well, me really. He was still fully exposed to the onslaught.
“There!” He cried out just as the sound of rainfall grew to an almost deafening level.
Violet fluid began dripping from his tentacle canopy. The crystals were tearing through his flesh.
He dove into a cave and we rolled around as a mess of tentacles and limbs until we finally laid still. I pulled myself out from under him and sat against the adjacent wall. I played a bit of music to light up our surroundings. He was bleeding, but not terribly. It was like a million paper cuts had sliced through his tendrils. He was hurting, but he’d be okay.
He groaned as he rolled onto his back.
I played another quick spell to keep the cavern lit. Sylus reached out and added a spark of his own to it making it a permanent ball of light rather than something I’d have to keep rekindling every time it dimmed.
“You okay?” I chuckled.
“Ugh.” He replied.
“I can help with that.”
It took me a minute to actually tune my guitar correctly for playing music just for the sake of music, but once I had, I began playing a somber, melancholy tune with a hint of light and hope mixed in.
Sylus smiled in the dim light.
It was our song. The song that kindled our souls as one. I could feel our connection opening. The markings on my arm tingled a bit as I let him in.
The longer I played the more his wounds healed. There were so many tiny cuts that it’d take a while, but he’d be right as, well, rain by morning.
It was all part of our connection. Our bond.
I played as long as I could before I had to give my fingers a rest. As soon as the music stopped, it was replaced with the sound of crystalline rainfall slamming into the earth.
I could remember when rain was a welcome thing. When it meant water fell from the sky and nourished the earth. Now it was a thing of nightmares. The Voidal clouds still drew moisture from the earth, but instead of returning it as it was, it came back as slivers of crystals capable of ripping through flesh.
The upside of all of this was that once it was over, the ground would be saturated which meant I could filter water out of it. Once the crystals hit the earth, they’d melt back into it like water. The only difference was the water was poisoned with Void energy now, but that’s how the entire world was at this point so it didn’t really matter.
“Wonder how far back this is gonna set us?” I laid down on my side.
“Mm. A day or two at most.” Sylus murmured.
“How far did you carry us?”
“A mile? Two? Not far. Not enough to make up for the downtime.”
“Hm.” I rolled onto my back and closed my eyes. There was nothing left to do but wait for the storm to pass.