“Oh, good Blade of the Darkmoon, welcome home. If I can provide thee succour, only tell me how.” The soft voice spoke to the unkindled who knelt before her.
The unkindled kept his head lowered, his forearm on his knee as he remained kneeling, the other resting over the pommel of his sword as he spoke. “I need your advice, my Captain.”
The lips of the captain’s soft features curled into a small smile as her head tilted curiously. “We’ve been over this, good Blade of the Darkmoon, you may call me Yorshka.”
He sighed, “My dilemma of the First Flame thickens. The Firekeeper believes the Flame should fade. As is destiny.”
Her curiosity thickened, her expression matched her feelings. “Do you think it should fade?”
He did not answer, he kept his head lowered. He had no answer. How could one answer such a question?
She seemed to respect his decision to not answer. She leaned forward and placed her small hand on his shoulder. “Rise, Blade of the Darkmoon, we are here to converse. The formalities are unnecessary as of now.”
The unkindled raised his head and quickly stood as the Darkmoon captain pulled her hand back, resting it gently in her lap as he faced her directly. “I know not what to do.”
She smiled. “May I pose thee a question?”
“I know not of what the world is like. I am a prisoner of this tower. Do you believe the world is worth saving, Blade of the Darkmoon?” She asked softly, her head still tilted in curiosity.
He paused, lowered his head slightly and glanced to the side as he thought deeply about it. Not for the first time, either. It was nearly every day that he wondered if it was even worth it. The world was so far gone, what would even be fixed if he restored the Flame? At the same time… he felt a sense of destiny and urgency to restore it. It was the only reason he was brought back from ashes – to restore the First Flame.
He finally answered after a long moment, “It is the people within the world that I believe are worth saving.”
She nodded. “If you were to find them a new home… what would you do with this world?”
He did not hesitate, he immediately raised his head to face her directly again, a small frown forming in his face.
“I would let it burn.”
She did not seem phased by the answer, she almost had expected it. “It is the people within the world, as you said, that you deem worth saving. Then why bother with the First Flame? Why not find another home instead for them all?”
He shook his head and sighed, turning his back to her and walking to the edge of the tower, resting his hands on the stone railings as he looked out ahead at the city of Irithyll, then lowered his head. “This world is their home. It is what they know. And some, like you, are bound to one spot.”
Her smile faded slightly. “Like me?”
He turned his head to look at her over his shoulder. “A prisoner, my Captain.”
She shook her head and linked her fingers calmly in her lap as she looked right back at him. “Like who?”
The frown lingered on his face. “The Firekeeper, she is bound by duty to the Firelink Shrine.”
Her expression softened again. “You consider duty and oaths to be a bind for imprisonment, dear Blade of the Darkmoon?”
He immediately understood where she was getting at, to which he then shook his head and turned to look at her again. “I chose to be a Blade of the Darkmoon, my Captain. The Firekeeper did not choose. You did not choose. These positions were forced on you.”
She nodded. “I know not of how the Firelink Shrine binds her to that spot, but I am bound by magic. There is nowhere I can go. Is she bound in such ways?”
He shook his head. “No. But how can you convince one raised to believe such things to believe otherwise?”
She could not help but smile. It was not the first time the Unkindled had spoken of the Firekeeper, she could already tell how she meant to him. “If she feels for you how you do of her, she will follow you.”
He scoffed, pulling away from the railing and approaching her again. “You do not know her, my Captain.”
She shrugged her shoulders lightly. “But I do know you, good Blade of the Darkmoon. I would suggest to at least ask her. Then, you would know for sure.”
He exhaled deeply, then nodded his head. “I know, my Captain.”
She blinked a few times as something occurred to her, then tilted her head ever so slightly again. “May I pose another question to thee?”
He raised a brow.
“You refuse to call me by my name, but I cannot even call you by yours, for I do not know it. You carry the title of Ashen One, Unkindled… but what is your true name, I wonder?”
He glanced away from her, then shook his head and folded his arms across his chest. “I abandoned my name long ago when I had fallen to the flame, my Captain.”
She smiled. “But what was it?”
He sighed. “Who I was then and who I am now are two different people entirely.”
“How so?” she asked curiously.
He did not say it, he would not admit how he thought himself much lesser than he once was. He was proud to be a human – to be part of society, but to be considered lowly even amongst the undead? It was a shame he would not even bring to light, he kept it hidden to himself, as he intended to stay.
“My Captain… I have no answer.” He lied, unable to even look directly at her when he said that.
Given her naivety, she believed him as she nodded her head. “I do sense a bit of darkness within you, dear Blade of the Darkmoon. You were once more… lively, more at peace with yourself. Something hinders those feelings now, yes?”
He shrugged his shoulders. “It matters not. I am who I am.”
She could not help but let out a little giggle. “But who were you before? I desire to know your name, for I wish not to call you by titles alone.”
He frowned slightly. “I would sooner be called rubbish before I was called by who I once was.”
Her smile faded again. “But why?”
He felt his jaw clench slightly, his shoulders stiffen, almost instinctively answering without thinking. “I am not worthy of the name I once held.”
That actually caused her to frown slightly. “I do not understand…”
He shook his head again, suddenly approaching the bonfire near her. “We must speak later, my Captain. I must discover the Firekeeper’s thoughts on another place to go, should this world fail us.”
She did not press the matter, she nodded her head and forced a faint smile. “I hope the path fairs well for thee, good Blade of the Darkmoon.”
He did not say anything in response, he instead extended his hand to the bonfire, almost immediately fading in front of her as he went back to the Firelink Shrine as he said.