It takes only a moment for my eyes to adjust since my Vessel Soul is almost completely emerged. Since the haze has taken over my vision completely, I can see fairly clearly in the pitch black room.
I’m standing in a bedroom. The bed is pushed against a wall along with the other furniture. There’s a dresser as well as a small table and a single chair. In the corner I can see a small dressing table with a large bowl of water resting on top, presumably for washing up.
There is a little girl sitting on the edge of her bed, head cocked to the side, eyes open but blank. Her hair is a mousy brown, tangled in a mess down her back. Her clothing looks fairly clean, if a bit ragged.
There’s a thrumming in my chest. The same thrumming I get when I’m around Caden and Ayers. It’s my Vessel Soul calling out to hers. I’m hit with a rush of sadness, staring at this poor little girl.
“Hello?” she calls, questioningly, cocking her head the other way, curiously. I open my mouth to reply but find it bone dry. I swallow thickly.
“Hello,” I reply, keeping my voice low and soothing. “My name is Sara.” Emmallis’ eyes widen and she looks frightened.
“Who are you? Where is Lidiya?” she asks, voice laced with panic. I stay where I am, not wanting to frighten the girl further by getting closer before I’m welcome.
“Lidiya isn’t here.” I say. “It’s just me.” Emmallis pushes herself back on the bed until she’s pressed against the wall, blank eyes wide in fright.
“Why are you here? To hurt me? Just like Master said! You’re gonna hurt me!” she cries, her voice rising in hysteria.
“No! I’m not going to hurt you!” I exclaim, horrified by her reaction. “I’m here to help you!”
“Why do I need help? Master and Lidiya keep me safe!” Emmallis says, frowning.
“You’re not safe here! The master has you locked away in the dark! You’re all alone!” I exclaim, taking a couple steps forward.
“Master says the world outside is dangerous! He keeps me in here to protect me!” she cries.
“And I don’t mind being in the dark. I can’t see anyway.” She adds after a moment.
“A person still needs sunlight to be healthy, whether they can see or not.” I say, voice quiet in my fury and sadness. Our time is running out. I need to either get her to agree to come with me, or I need to force her. I refuse to leave her behind, Vessel or not.