Read from part one or reread part four.

The fire before her crackled cheerfully with questions from the back of Elysia’s mind: “Where will you go, little fire-watcher? With whom will you share your light? How will you find them, and more importantly, how will you get there?” Elysia had no clear answers for the fire, and felt uncomfortable, off-balance, in her trying. What can I tell you, that you will understand? She thought. No, what can I tell myself, that I will understand? Do I have answers to any of your questions?

She felt smothered in Ravena’s absence, a gradual starvation of fuel which threatened to extinguish her forever. She felt at odds with those around her, and within her, a growing need to do something, to act on her own behalf, to ensure she continued to show her light, to not burn down to coals — she admitted with some reflection that she didn’t want to become like Ianice, to dwindle to the tiniest light.

The fire voiced no opinion, which to Elysia was a sign that she would have to make her own decision, one way or another. She would have to choose whether she would remain at the temple to weather the oppressive weight of suspicion that hung around her, or if she would make the leap, alight to some different place. If, like her mentor and others before her, she were to move on.