Episode 12: Diverging Paths

“Sionis, my dearest.” Iliera’s tone was filled with sadness, but simultaneously carried a hard edge.“You know I’m not able to stay here. Not yet.”

“I had hoped you would change your mind,” Sionis admitted, not looking directly at her. “I assume Fÿnn feels the same way?”

“He does,” she said, a faint hint of a smile appearing on her face. “You can’t keep him away from the action if you try.”

Sionis wanted to speak, to say something that would inspire her to drop her crusade and stay in Dalaran with him, but he knew that it was an impossible hope. Iliera had dreamed about fighting with the Army of Light since she was a child. This was literally her biggest goal in life as she knew it and it was happening right now, on Argus.

“Worry not for me, my champion,” she said now, stepping to Sionis’ side. “We have come so far and accomplished so much. I don’t intend to be put down by the Legion any time soon.”

“If your sister hadn’t found you…”

“She did find me. Then we found Fÿnn. That’s why we’re doing this together. Divided we fall, but together we are unified and strengthened more than ever. This is why you have sent so many from the Academy. You can feel it, Sionis. The end to all of this madness is coming.”

That made him frown.

The end.

Since he was a child, his life had been influenced by the demonic forces of the Burning Legion. If she was right, if this really was the end of the very thing he had struggled against his entire life, then what would come next?

Would there be peace, like there had been in the years before the very first Orcish Horde arrived on Azeroth? Or would the old wounds that had been festering for years start to tear their fragile alliances apart?

Fÿnn, the kind and heroic paladin from Theramore. When the Legion was gone, would he forgive those that took his family from him?

Vaeliera, who lost her family at the hands of the Orcs on Draenor. When survival was secured, would she remember the crimes of the past?

Kaellax, the worgen that watched her lover slain in the fall of Gilneas. When her dark powers were free to engage others, would she ignore the Forsaken?

“You are troubled,” Iliera said quietly, pulling Sionis to face her and breaking his concentration from the deepest concerns settling in his gut. “We are winning this war, Sionis.”

“We haven’t won anything yet,” Sionis replied firmly. “The Legion still crawls all over our world, and now we’re picking fights with the Horde in those damn warden towers.”

“You were the one that suggested we take a tower from them.”

“That was just to serve as a reminder to them. They shouldn’t have assaulted our troops. It was reprisal.”

Sionis furrowed his brow at his own words.

Already?

Was it already happening?

The Legion wasn’t even defeated and even he was already turning?

Iliera was frowning at his words too. “I imagine your reprisal will be considered an act of—”

“I know how the cycle works, Iliera.”

“Then help end the cycle,” she said, her voice firm once more. “Make sure there’s a peaceful world for me when I get back from Argus.”

“Easier said than done.”

“That has never stopped you before.”

He laughed. “I suppose that’s fair.”

“So, this is where we part ways once more?” Iliera asked.

Sionis took a moment to look into her eyes, the glowing energy within them pulling him closer until he was locked in a tight embrace with her.

“We will be together again soon,” he whispered in her ear.

“I know,” she replied casually. “I am confident in that.”

Her confidence fueled his own hopes. “Maybe we’ll take a vacation,” he suggested. “When you get back.”

“We can see your old home?”

“The Sepher manor?”

“Please?”

“Alright. We’ll go see the old manor. Then maybe something a little more exciting?”

“You still want to visit Pandaria?”

“Yes, please.”

He felt her cheek rise as a smile formed on her face. “Pandaria it is then.”

For a moment, he considered not letting go. Perhaps if he refused to yield in this moment, the two of them could stay locked together forever. Time itself would not be able to separate them and all of this chaos could be forgotten.

Then the moment passed.

He let her go and stepped back. She stood, as stoic as ever.

“You and Fÿnn take care of each other, yeah?”

“Of course,” she replied.

“I’ll let you be on your way then,” he said, turning away from his love. “And tell your sister I said hello.”

“I’ll pass it along,” Iliera replied. “And remember not to start a new war while I’m gone. Azeroth had better not be on fire when I get back!”

He chuckled at that, but it was a nervous laughter this time. He wasn’t sure that was something he could promise her.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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