[Note: While the last parts 8-9 were edited versions of what I’d written in the past, from here on out is entirely new. This means they might also be in shorter segments depending on time.]
Rain pattering down on my face slowly brought me back into consciousness. I tried opening my eyes but they were blurry, and my eyelids felt like stones. The rest of my body still felt numb, I knew that the potion would start to wear off, but hopefully, it had sealed my ribs in place, at least for the next twenty-four hours. Gin’s potions were a wonder, and in this case, likely a literal lifesaver.
Pushing myself upright I sat on whatever hard surface I was sitting on and let the rain trickle down my face. It was hot outside here but the rain made me feel refreshed, and I tried my best to clear my disjointed thoughts. So much had happened in the last day. What could it be driving this?
Ikiru, you’re overthinking things, be happy you’ve made it this far. There was Ikiru’s voice, pleasant and familiar. Finally, I managed to open my eyes. I was sitting in the paved alleyway that I had been knocked out in, rain poured down from dark clouds in the night sky. However, specks of light from stars and a waxing moon illuminated more than average as I stared blankly, taking his advice.
The stars are so bright. I thought idly to myself staring up. I had never studied the constellations closely, but through cracks in the clouds, I thought I could make out one or two. Oona said something about the stars… what could she mean?
She screwed you with your ribs, what makes you think that this isn’t another half-truth. Ikiru chimed in. Right of course but…
“She didn’t say anything totally untrue, just led me to believe one thing. So the stars do have something or some part of this.” Now, where would I learn more about the stars? I mused to myself, pushing myself to my feet. The sudden movement made me feel dizzy, and I clutched at the wall next to me to stabilize myself.
The monastery. If anyone knew about the stars and star signs, it would be in the archives.
Feeling nostalgic? You haven’t set foot inside an active temple since…
Ignoring him, I worked my way back through the city and to the highest ring near the castle, to the D’tao temple. I would get to the heart of this, what Saito or whoever behind these rituals was planning, the answer would be there.