He blinked, staring at the blind girl with surprise and a bit of apprehension. Her sudden statement really threw him off. Why would she keep something like this secret? And why tell him now?
Confused, he asked carefully:
"More… visions? Why haven't you told us?"
A fleeting, tired smile appeared on Cassie's face. She lowered her head and remained silent for a while. Then, closing her eyes, she said:
"You probably don't know. How could you know? But knowledge… knowledge can be really heavy. It can be as heavy as the heaviest thing in the world."
Then, a sad smile appeared on her face.
"I am afraid that by telling you, I will actually cause the things I saw to come true."
Sunny tensed up, alarmed by the implication behind her words. If she was afraid of the visions coming true, then their content must have been pretty bad. And if it was really bad…
If something terrible was destined to befall them, Sunny had to know about it in advance. That way, he would be able to make preparations and deal with whatever happens. As long as he was prepared, many things would become much less dire. However… what if his preparations would become the very reason for that terrible thing to happen, making Cassie's vision a self-fulfilling prophecy?
This was the danger of knowing the future.
'Damn it, my head hurts. I hate this crap!'
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Sunny struggled for a long time, trying to decide if he should pressure Cassie to reveal her visions. Either outcome was going to leave him uneasy, so he was really not sure what to do. In the end, unable to make a decision, Sunny simply remained silent. Cassie also didn't say anything.
After some time had passed, she finally spoke:
"Can you… can you just promise me one thing?"
It seemed as though this was her attempt to find a compromise between revealing everything and doing nothing. Sunny frowned.
"That depends on what it is."
The blind girl hesitated before speaking.
"Can you promise that you'll take care of Neph? No matter what?"
He delayed answering for as long as the growing pain allowed him. When it became almost unbearable, Sunny reluctantly said:
"I can't. I can barely take care of myself."
He also didn't trust Nephis enough to make a promise like that. He had nothing against Changing Star and even liked her quite a bit, but they didn't really know each other. Their alliance was one of necessity, not choice. Who knew what would happen once their need for each other was no longer there? "No matter what" was too steep of a requirement.
Of course, he could have misled Cassie by answering "yes". After all, the question was whether or not he could make a promise, not whether or not he would follow through with it. But at that moment, Sunny was strangely reluctant to deceive the blind girl.
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Maybe that whole honesty thing was slowly growing on him.
Cassie sighed and turned away. Suddenly, it felt like something imperceptible about her changed.
"I see. Yeah. That's fair."
With that, she summoned her staff and walked away, leaving Sunny in a somber and uneasy mood — just like he had expected.
No matter how much he tried to relax after that, his thoughts kept wandering. Eventually, Sunny found himself trying to find connections between various pieces of information about the Starless Void — or the Forgotten Shore, as it was called in the Azure Blade's description.
If nothing else, it could distract him from thinking about the latter part of their conversation with Cassie.
Also, for some reason, the need to understand their environment suddenly seemed much more vital.
His sword, the Starlight Legion Armor, the carapace monsters and the giant headless statue seemed to be connected in some way, but he couldn't quite understand how. Was the statue a monument to one of the seven founders of the Starlight Legion?
The line of runes describing the armor said that their names and faces were lost to time. The statue's missing head would certainly fit that description.
The scavenger's Echo suggested that the carapace monsters were "cursed soldiers of the fallen legion". Was that fallen legion the Starlight Legion? The fact that he had received the Starlight Armor after slaying a carapace centurion was almost a certain confirmation of that theory. If so, why were they cursed?
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Starless Void, Starlight Legion… what did all of it mean? The seven heroes were described as being born in the "all-consuming darkness". Their oath was to return light to the cursed land. What light did they seek? Starlight? And what was the nature of the all-consuming darkness?
Was it the manifestation of the curse that befell their land? And if so, was it the same curse that eventually turned soldiers of the Starlight Legion into carapace monsters?
If the curse was still around… was Sunny going to wake up one day with patches of chitin growing over his skin?
'What a creepy thought.'
The seven heroes were forgotten, but the memory of their oath, apparently, still remained. "On this forgotten shore, only stell remembers"... that was the Azure Blade's description. Was there a hidden meaning behind these words? Were the Memories received on the Forgotten Shore hiding a secret?
Inwardly, Sunny groaned.
'So many questions, and not a single answer!'
And then there was the main mystery — Cassie's vision… the one she chose to reveal to them. She dreamt of a boundless darkness locked behind seven seals. Once the seals were broken, the darkness escaped. She also saw a crimson spire with seven severed heads guarding seven locks. Were these locks connected to the seals?
And was the giant knight's missing head one of the seven guarding them?
Or was he completely wrong about everything, leaping to conclusions and forcing connections where none existed?
Sunny sighed, knowing that his curiosity would not be quenched any time soon. He had too little information to make a proper theory. If so, there was no point in torturing himself right now…
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Maybe things would become clearer in the future.
The word "future" made him frown.