Alone, shaking and afraid, Guide sat high up on the slopes at the edge of the Ghosts. Her tears leaving a stream frozen icicles as they fell. The winter’s bite sank deep into her as she huddled by a fire that she struggled to keep alight in the howling wind.
“A mortal would have perished by now” the voice in her mind whispered.
“I am not mortal.” Guide said
“Good, you do understand your place, child”
“I will not talk to a voice in my head, Serpenterra.”
The air shimmered with a heat haze and Guide shuddered as what little warmth was left in her body was pulled away from her and coalesced into the spectral form of a red and gold scaled man in flame coloured robes sitting across the camp from her.
“If you wish to speak with me, then speak. I can only maintain this form for a short time.”
Guide did not look at him and continued to fret with the fire, convinced she was now hallucinating. Serpenterra sighed, he gestured his clawed hand and her fire flared to life. The sun would set soon but even this would do little to stave off the bitter cold. Guide sat back considering what she wanted to say.
“Why me? If Enigma is your true form, why did you want me?” she asked.
Serpenterra considered the question for a moment.
“You want me to say because you are my granddaughter or because the Storyteller willed it. Either answer would make this easier for you.” He said “You also do not want me to lie to you. Which answer would you prefer?”
Guide scowled at him
“The truth then. Your convenient as I’m already bound to you. You are carrying my soul therefore it is a stronger position for me. Enigma is no more than a pile of left over parts, a body and little else.” He said.
Guide tried her best to appear intimidating but she knew this was not her strength. She knew well enough that there was something deeper. Serpenterra laughed bitterly.
“You are just like her you know.”
“Be it enough that I intend to set my mistakes right? That I want to protect you from what I must do to achieve that?”
Guide shook her head. “I will stop this. I will show you that there is another way.”
Serpenterra laughed fading back into the wisps of heat and reinfusing her body like an insincere act of affection.
“Oh my dear naive child, you will try. You will fail.”