Gritting his teeth, Sylin inserted the blade, which was now small enough to be called a knife, into his chest. Carefully moving the knife, he did his best to carve out the petrified flesh. Though his body’s abcession process had already begun, the petrification process was stronger and faster. Even with plentiful light supply from the afternoon sun, there was no way that his body would be able to collect enough light in time to fully sever the petrified region before the infection broke through the barrier that was meant to close it off from the rest of the body. Without surgical intervention, his body was fighting a losing battle.
A true human, like Xiyana, would have no problem waiting a few more hours. Xiyana’s brother was a perfect example of the human body’s natural resilience. Even while fully infected, according to Xiyana, the man lasted for at least a month. Despite his usual immunity to petrification, Sylin would never be able to do the same. While his body could normally keep an infection out, the moment that the infection reached his organs, he didn’t stand a chance. Even an unlimited supply of acquirable and stored light wouldn’t be enough to save him.
The human body was an amazing thing. It was no wonder that his elders admired them so much. While his interactions with them weren’t all positive, his mind instantly flew to Xiyana at the thought of humans. Looking up at her silhouette, a smile briefly came to his face, despite the pain. Regardless of how they were as a unit, there were a few that mattered. A few that were more than deserving of that admiration.
Returning his attention to the injury and ignoring the pain, he continued to cut, using his familiarity with the natural impact of petrification on light to guide his incisions. For her sake, he couldn’t afford to stop. Not when the infection was only moments away from breaking down the abcession barrier. Xiyana was a precious friend. The last thing he wanted was to see her cry.
Piece by piece, Sylin threw solidified chunks of flesh aside, until he was left with nothing but a gaping hole in his chest. A familiar itch came to the injury. He let out a breath. It was finally over. Though the barrier was currently as thin as a single sheet of tissue, he could already feel the skin and muscle eagerly repairing itself under the sun’s plentiful energy supply.
“Xiyana.” He called, his voice breathy. It took all of his determination to stay awake.
He smiled reassuringly, as she rushed toward him. His vision blurred, but judging from her frantic pace, she didn’t seem convinced. He heard her voice. She was saying something, but none of it was clear. Feeling her arms around him, he relaxed against her, appreciating her soft and gentle warmth. Her presence was comforting even if he could no longer make out the details of her face.
“I’m sorry…” He slurred, suddenly remembering the words that she had previously said soon after he’d first woken. “But I hope… you won’t mind… if passed out… one more time.”
Though he knew that the suggestion would anger her, staying awake was really too difficult. Despite his increasingly clouded thoughts, he parted his lips. However, before he could assure her… before he could tell her that while he remained under the afternoon sun, there was no cause for worry, the clouds carried him off and the world went black.