Everyone nodded, with determined kind expressions to him - they all believed in Svarik and themselves, and they would do anything to save the world they cherished.
" Well, I am kind of glad none waited for my reply. " Falcon chuckled a bit. at their reactions " I like that you all naturally assume I am in for it, really... But in this case, yeah, I am. I normally would discuss something as big as this with the Organisation, but, this time, I will have to say I agree anyhow., under any cost. I will not walk into this blindfolded, but I am all in for anything that can save this fledgling here and don't result in demise of the whole world. " he tossed Svarik's hair gently. " But, seriously, I am against just motivational speeches. I am in for that we now make some real practical plan and method to this madness, who is with me? "
" I can't say I don't have any questions, truly. " Liron agreed.
" Me as well. " Ciel added. " This all came all of a sudden, indeed. We must act carefully and thoughtfully so we could get the most out of situation. "
"I knew you would not leave me," Svarik whispered quietly to Conrad. "Thank you, as well..." But then he already focused on the actual problem. "So how does our original plan change?" he asked White. "If I understand correctly, you can't remove that.. darkness... in me before the Solstice, can you?"
" Maybe will, maybe not... But if it's so strong, our chances are smaller. "White whispered. " First and most we can do, is focus on weakening its hold and probe it. It holds on to you through your trauma. The more of it we heal, the weaker hold over you it will have. I wished I could afford to give you a slow gentle healing, and wait until you yourself judge you are ready for it.... But that's not option anymore. You need to let us cleanse as much as we can in as little time as possible. " White whispered. " Melody will leave tonight to try to get the head from Raven, but she wants to play for you once more tonight, with Nammy, while Ciel uses his touch and my balm upon you. Not just a simple comforting song, but a healing cleansing song, such as you used to play to heal people throughout your life. The traumas you have been put through are deep, but I bid you to be brave, and face them, and let her do as much as he can.... We will continue with the treatments when she returns..... I admit, though, I have lot hope in Solstice's coming, too, not only in this. If Solstice comes, chances of your all to live into the old age raises considerably. If anyone can help you deal with that darkness, other than us, I would say it would be him, the one King of Sun. "
" They are not unimportant. The grand scheme of things doesn't belittle the suffering you have been through or the credit for how bravely you dealt with it so far. You are important, and we are all doing our best precisely because it's so. " White whispered gently. " And yes.... Solstice is very powerful. I hope with all my heart that he will come. "
" Even if he doesn't, it would not be all that bad, through. " Falcon noted, not wanting them all to disappoint themselves in case of refusal. and lose will to fight " Even without him, we still have plenty of resources within ourselves. We would manage. "
" Yes... About those resources.... There were few things I wanted to ask... " White gulped, seeming to grow uncomfortable about prospect of having to ask for something, even now still rather insecure about it.
" Well, for first... You know these are special circumstances, right? I would not ask this normally, and we can all stop with it once Solstice passes and return back to normal.... For now, through, I will need as quick bust of energy as possible. By the time Two headed Raven is healed, I want to be equally matched to him. I will heal him, but I don't have unconditional fate in him. I won't let myself strain this time.... So, for a start..... I would bid you that in next six days, you provide me with much more food, as much as you can spare, and with feeding through day and night. I would normally not ask too, but..... Sacrificing animals to me might help too. I want nothing of religious undertone or anything, just killing a bigger animal, and after letting its blood sip into the pond, throwing the body in so I can consume it.... Nothing more complicated or fancy that that... " he gulped uncomfortably. " I know it's a big financial waste... Specially on throwing food into a pond.... B-but.... It's just for this little while. Just for six days. I can't let Two headed Raven be stronger than me, and I can't let everything go to waste because I was too timid to ask for this. I really need it. The more I can get, the more I will be able to give back. "
Conrad actually nodded with a bit of approval and relief - as Svarik could had seen at a time they were Semai, man was unwillingly not as content for spending so much Organisation money so often recently, not wanting to be viewed by his people as inconsiderate to them for using the joint budget so freely.
White nodded shyly too. Then he was quiet for a moment longer, there seeming to be something else bothering him .
" As well. The more seeds I have, the stronger I am. That always tended to be a firm boost of energy. I am stronger with only few I have now, with more of them, I will be more powerful.... Bonds with living souls make me stronger. I wished I did not have to ask like this.... But you all know lot of people, and have many friends. If there is anyone willing to do it, I plead you to send them to me. I would not ask if I didn't need it. "
" I will see to it. " Conrad said gently, encouraging him. " I will find you as many people willing as you'd like, not only because it could make you stronger, but because you deserve it in any case. I trust in you, and I think you deserve the bounds and trusts with my men. I will let them decide themselves, but I will give strong recommendations. Now, please, anything else, if there is anything we can do to help you - you are our friend and we owe you a lot - you can speak freely. "
White gulped, with anxious expression.
" Then.... Well.. " he said slowly. " I.... Would like you all not to take this personally.... I don't ask anything from you specifically... But... There is one more thing.... I need to grow the fairies again. " he said with a bit shaky insecure voice. " Swan explained me that it's not proper thing to ask, but I don't know how else to put it.... With fairies I am stronger. Besides, when I grow them, I can send them through the layers. They can live separately from me, and go as fire and wide as needed. They are fast too. I can send them through the realms, to try to reconnect with my other friends, and see if some of the else is willing to help. They can be useful for other things too.... Maybe we will have some luck with them. So.. I... I just... I need someone to connect with me. I don't discriminate. Men, woman, anything in between.... I can stay like this or change however much I need. It's just in a dream. All I ask is that the person... I mean.... Consents, of course. I.... But I would understand if it's too much to ask... It's really just an additional measure that could help.... But if I crossed any line, I plead you all to forgive me and not look down upon my request.... Your culture regarding this is really different now.... "
" You don't have to... " White whispered hoarsely, looking away, uncomfortable as everyone else seemed to grow uncomfortable too.
" I am sorry..... I have wife and kids. I have nothing against you, but I really could not. " Ciel whispered unhappily.
" I am married too, and just recently in fact.... I have a baby girl.... I really could not. " Nameless voiced too.
" If I wasn't your descendant, I would do it, but since I am.... I really can't bring myself to do it, if there's any other option. You are like a great-great grandpa to me. I can't. " Falcon declined the offer too.
The only remaining were Melody and Liron. They both were looking at each other uncomfortably - and blushing Liron understood she is not hesitating because she wouldn't do it with White, but because even in no relationship, her heart belonged to Conrad now.... He sighed shakily, and lightly put a hand on White's shoulder, and smiled at him faintly.
" I... I don't mind. You are a kind person, White, and I know you won't mistreat me in anyway, and I am not afraid. " he whispered quietly, trying to make his voice firmer, even if he too seemed to be shaky about it. " I... I will admit I have never been with anyone before, though, so, ummm.... We will just have to figure it out... " he whispered, through anxiety could be felt in his voice, as well as embarrassment spreading across his face, as he never really thought he would be brought to this position, but not wanting to leave White having to do it with someone else he didn't know, if they even manage to find such a person.
Svarik smiled a Liron thankfully, but didn't comment about it more, to not bring him any more embarassment, although he privately thought that it might even do Liron good to get some experience about this.
" So, to get back on other subjects... " Falcon coughed, seeing Liron is very uncomfortable and not wanting to prolong it, changing subject. "Can we maybe focus on some other aspects? What I am particularly interested, why are those demons on the fifth layer, and why that portal is even needed? Before they seemed to be able to travel okay. Is it possible that someone just locked that Gate they used? And why is there only one Gate, or is there only one Gate they can use? Are others closed as well? What kind of power would be needed to close of all those portals and who would do it? "
"As I understand it," Svarik said slowly, "these demons are not Beings. Not all spirits are Beiings either. Only Beings can move freely between the layers. Some only between two or three, some through all of them. There is no other such portal from the fifth layer through all the others until the first one. Usual gates only allow you to cross the border between two layers. They must have been preparing that gate for a very long time... Am I right, White?"
" Partly, yes. " White agreed. " Though, we don't call the spirits that can travel Beings, we call them Erythro. That's a specific term, through we generally rather just go simply by spirits for us all. Only the Erythroes can travel in between all layers. The rest are confined to the Gates. You are true that much.... And it's true that there is only that one big Gate that connects first and fifth layer... I knew about it while I lived. But sometimes after I died, someone must had closed of that portal and all other minor portals. I felt it while I was at Melody. It seems none of Erythos that are not bound to portals noticed it, but there must had been something or someone that managed to close of all the portals from fifth layer to the fourth or else. I felt it while I was in Melody's body. Something must had closed of all those portals at once, trapping all those demons on fifth layer so they couldn't leave it to come below. " he shook his head slowly. " It just.... Is strange. I wonder who would be able to do such thing..."
" Could Star Boy's key do that? " Conrad asked.
" Maybe... " White whispered slowly. " But... I am not sure Star Boy would be able to do it.... It would require a tremendous amount of power., and it would be hard to generate such power in a really short amount of time... I don't know if he could... Not all of them.... Star Boy is a fox, he isn't that fast.... "
" Death.... Or maybe Two headed Raven? " Conrad suggested suddenly then, as if in some thought. " Think about it.... White told us a while ago that decline of demons happened in first centuries after he was killed. Those his people fought at that time could have been the remaining demons from the other layers that remained behind after closing of the portals, and got to first layer sooner or later. After it, in last centuries, there have hardly been any demons around, the only one we can confirm is the Thief. " he said with a pondering thought as he looked at White. " You said it required tremendous amount of power harnessed quickly... . What if Two headed Raven used the released power from the change in the fabric that happened with your death to close of all those portals? The biggest one was right there, connected with the Vein you was connected with... It would add up.... "
" No... " White shook his head with a blank horrified expression, almost. " No, please don't suggest such a thing. It's a convenient coincidence, nothing more. "
" But we need to consider all possibilities... "
" Enough.... " White cut him of, gritting his teeth.
" Well, if we would figure out who did it, considering their strengths, t would be easier to learn how." Falcon murmured. " But with a Key able to open or close anything, well... I think that's a give away, perhaps. It was probably done with the key, but maybe someone more powerful than Star Boy used it. "
" Well, the same way you open one - just turning it in other directions. " White murmured, like it was obvious. " Star Boy actually already taught you that. Well, not specifically you, but your last kings - when he closed of Mountain heart, gave them a copy of his key and passed down the customs of three doors - the ones new Emperor and the Master of Keys would go through when the old emperor would die. All doors can be open that way, from human doors, to magical. You just play out the sequence in your mind and open your mind to that idea, and direct key toward the keyhole and turn it in right direction, and it's open or closed. With magical doors, it's a bit different, because there's no keyhole, but you just need to imagine it and you can do it.... The problem is the force you need, though. Each time you open some door, it requires a certain amount of mental and inner force. Magic, Liron would say, but it's more like a wave of music you pour through yourself and into the door you're trying to open or close. That's why such huge magical door would require a lot skill and power to open - while simple human mechanisms you can open in a blink of an eye, without sweat. "