“I left the clearers. I couldn’t look at them…. The Black Cats didn’t know what I’d done. They just needed another swordsman.”
“Another – they didn’t know you were a sorcerer?” Stheno demanded, aghast. “Why? How could you even hide it?” A true sorcerer might keep spells uncast, if need required it. A warlock, whose power welled up from elsewhere – no. Never. She could not go a day without calling light and fire to her hands. The pressure within would be unbearable. A warlock Kirito’s age, powers just arising within him? He should be throwing sparks at the slightest stress.
Which is how Galifar kills them.
“I went out nights to practice. Who needs sleep? I….” His voice sank. “I killed them.”
“If your magic had burst your will’s bonds from sheer stupidity, you might have,” the medusa said acidly. Harsh, too harsh; but she could hear the crumble of stone statues in his voice. The wail of the maimed and dying. The dry rattle of her kin’s bones in Swiftwater Pass.
I should have known.
“You lived alone, survived alone, for months before you met them,” Stheno bore on, snakes coiling in true anger. “The first day you trusted another player to fight beside you, he left you to be slain by monsters. Do not deny it!” she hissed, as Kirito sat up in alarm. “I scryed your past when first you visited me; I know it is true. You trusted, and it nearly cost your life. You trusted Diabel to lead you against Illfang, and that nearly had you slain by Kibaou’s words. You have acted to spread lore amongst your fellow warriors, and seen that flame gutter out as others hoard their secrets to be heroes. So you held back secrets from your comrades? I have kept them even from my own sister! There is always a dark night, when your enemies are upon you and there is no help. Only a fool discards the last knife from his sleeve.”