"Ugh!" I hopped madly on the spot. My fingers aching with cutting pain.
"It bit me! The ruddy thing bit me!" I growled at the evil box.
Brystagg sighed. He waved his hand over mine whilst muttering a spell.
My hands glowed with green light, which removed my pain as soon as it had faded.
"You're a hira," I whispered and glanced to Colin whose brows were raised.
"Of sorts." Brystagg confirmed.
"Fine. Let's try this again." I calmed myself with deep breaths.
I flipped the box's lid wide. Swiftly retracting my hands before it could do the chomp.
I groaned when I saw an object the shape and size of an ice cube. It wasn't as white as the one Death had described. Instead. It shone with a golden hue.
"One, two... three!" I counted and grabbed the cube.
My hand was stuck inside the box by a powerful force.
"Holy crap!" I yelped. Feeling my palms burn, but I couldn't let go.
Gold light poured out of the box to blind my eyes.
My ears rang from an omnipotent voice that telepathically spoke words steeped with the energies of age and wisdom.
The voice's strength increased to a near bone shattering volume.
Orduan nago, orain ni naiz, ni naiz, izango naiz.
Rays of light stabbed my heart, head, hands and all my vital organs.
"NO!" I begged before my voice was silenced with pain.
"Famine! Hold to me!" I felt Death's voice desperately reaching out for me.
Orduan nago, orain ni naiz, ni naiz, izango naiz.
My head numbed with sweltering heat. I couldn't see, think clearly.
"Hold on... Famine!"
Orduan nago, orain ni naiz, ni naiz, izango naiz. Deitu nire izena.
"GODDAMN IT! YOU WILL NOT HAVE MY BROTHER!" Death's curses banged about my brain.
Ni naiz, izango naiz. Deitu nire izena.
"I AM DEATH!"
The pain stopped.
I felt a soothing cold calm my frazzled nerves. It restored my senses to normal.
I gawked at the sight of Small Cap hovering in mid-air where the box should be. He was glorified in golden light.
"Freend. What be going on?" Small Cap asked with a trembling voice.
"It is the Zaldizko's power!" Delphi gasped.
She lowered herself to her knees to pay her respects to Small Cap.
"I feel it Famine. The Chiorntex's power controlling the flow of life. It's pulsating through my mind." Death's voice seemed distant and strange.
"Death?" I gulped and yelped when Small Cap flew back into my belt pouch.
He stopped glowing.
"We can go back now, but this power is too raw to use. It'll burn up anything in this state. I need a filter or something to channel time," Death said from the belt pouch.
It took me a moment to realize that the voice had rebounded off the walls.
"The spider talks." Lyra noted.
"It is because the Zaldizko has taken back some of his power." Delphi confirmed as she rose to her feet.
I frowned. "Are you saying that my brother is this Zaldizko?"
"Of course, and so are you," she answered matter-of-factually like it was a known thing.
"Lemme get this straight. So, this Zaldizko is meant to be this fancy, god like, horseman who has power over this world, right?" I scratched my head.
"Both our saviors and destroyers, depending on the power they wield before us." Delphi confirmed. "They hold the hana of this world. Through my studies. I have come to view the hana as the Zaldizko's power. One with the Chiorntex pertaining to Sol."
"So, I take it that Death just reclaimed a bit of his hana." I spoke my thought aloud.
She nodded with confirmation.
I looked at Small Cap who was resting, princely, in the belt pouch.
"Oi! Death. You better not get carried away with this power and stuff things up." I warned him.
"I think I'm more capable in this area than you would be Famine." Death's voice rebounded off the walls, which made Lyra burst with laughter.
The ominous room had lifted with a lighter spirit.
"Yes. I do feel more relieved that a spider is in control of this power," she said at the end of her chuckles.
"Sheesh. No one has faith in me." I moped.
Delphi approached me with a warm smile. "Your virtue and innocence are what set men apart from gods. You are the shining light when all hope is lost. That is not something to feel bad about is it?"
"Thank you." I bowed my thanks and felt reassured of my place in this world.
"I am surprised that the Black Rider would have had this power to give." Galais frowned.
"Why's that?" I asked.
"It was not his power," he answered with a sigh.
"No one knows the why's and how's of that time Galais. The fact remains. The power is returned to its rightful owner. False destinies can now be reset." Delphi's words drew the matter to a close.
We followed her out of the room and the way back to the bull statue.
"You will find what you need back within the Exacle's Office," Delphi said and faced me with a motherly smile.
"Famine. I am most blessed to have met you. It has been an honor. I am content to know that Sol's future continues to be bright with you in our world."
I paid her humble respects with a prayer bow.
Galais saw us out of the temple and across the courtyard to the domed entrance.
"This is where we part ways, Your Highness, my Lords. May Mithras guide your way," Galais said his farewells.
We found our way back to the dais and to my namesake statue where Buru was waiting.
"All's well Milord?" he asked.
"All is well." Brystagg reassured him.
Lyra unfolded her fans and set the sparrows free to take us back to the Office of Exacles.
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