Chapter 25: Unexpected Fortune

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"Will they still be men? Will they still have mortal flesh and bleed, as men do?

It is a question that not a few will ask, once the Sons have discovered their fates.

They will know Death, like no other creature before them has.

Yet they will be alive, like no other creature will be.

They MUST be both Life and Death, if there is to be even a single hope

That they will safeguard an entire universe from the Darkness to come."

- from an unknown author, scrap of text found in the Druidic Archives

A warm rush filled him then Shawn felt it drain just as quickly away. As it did so, a blue-white glow grew into being around the whole of Thom's limp body. There it remained for a brief moment then Thom's flesh flushed with life as the Alisairan prince took a long, shuddering breath.

<<Maker, what the frost happened?>> he moaned hoarsely, his eyes fluttering open as he painfully moved his body into a more comfortable position.

<<A quick trip to the Beyond and back, old friend,>> Shawn said with a smile, already sketching another sealing rune over the jagged tear in Banik's side just to Thom's right.

<<Uhhhhh.>> Thom rubbed his head, wincing as he did so. <<I don't recall you waking up with a headache like this one.>>

<<Most likely because I didn't wake up alive, just reanimated,>> Shawn chuckled, then was commanding the Star Sword to summon Banik's soul back from the beyond: "Zhivum korado istum!"

A final set of sealing runes and commands and Feladorn joined them, sitting back against the wall as he tried willing the pain in his head to subside.

<<Okay, remind me never to die again,>> the Lusinoran husked, eyes closed as he licked dry lips and coughed.

<<Done.>> Shawn stood, the Star Sword still naked in his hand. He glanced at the door beyond which the sounds of a raging battle still echoed. <<Now, if we can find Dezi, ...>>

<<Consider me found, my Shawn,>> the dark elf maiden quietly suggested as she stepped out of the shadows behind and to Shawn's right, her face a mask of determination as she visibly worked to keep the pain of her bruised and battered body from stopping her moving. <<The Shadow soldier thought me dispatched. But no Shadow can match the strength of the Silver Flame.>>

<<Good to hear.>> A rune of healing sketched in Dezi's direction made her gasp as the pain of her injuries disappeared as the injuries themselves were healed in a rush of energy. Three more healing runes got Banik, Thom and Feladorn to their feet.

<<Now we need to get out of here. But I'm not sure what exactly is going on in the hallway outside. So if you want to take a quick look around for weapons, I'll see if I can do a quick reconnoiter with my new abilities.>>

<<Before you do, . . .>> Dezi said in a low voice, stepping close. Then she was in Shawn's arms, kissing him deeply and passionately.

When she stepped away a moment later, leaving Shawn's head spinning and his heart pounding, she favored him with a small smile, her eyes wide as they drank him in.

<<Welcome back fully to the land of the living, my Shawn, Wielder of the Star Sword!>>

The soft declaration made three sets of eyes snap around and focus on the massive sword now in Shawn's hand.

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