Nedac and Nerits are leaning against opposite walls, waiting for me. They both straighten when I emerge, both of them staring at the girl in my arms.
“Emmallis, there are two people with me. They’re friends so you don’t have to worry.” I murmur, keeping my voice low and soothing. She nods into my neck but doesn’t say anything.
Still holding her clothes in my free hand, I reach down and struggle to open my backpack. It’s a losing battle. I’ve too much in my hand.
Suddenly hands are picking up my backpack and holding it open for me. I look up, expecting to see Nerits. I’m startled to see Nedac instead. He’s not looking at me, however. He’s staring down at the girl huddled in my arms.
He looks… confused almost. I know he’s probably never really seen a child up close before; except through Caden’s eyes.
That was an aspect of the Vessel Soul I never considered before Ayers had mentioned it. The Soul is basically a second person hidden inside of me. I’d never considered the humanity of it; whether it had thoughts and feelings. What it did when locked away.
According to what Ayers and Caden told me of Ayers’ many conversations with Nedac over the years, Nedac could see out through Caden’s eyes a lot of the time.
He was a silent observer to Caden’s life. That it had taken many generations for him to be able to see out whenever he wished. And this makes me wonder, how much can my Vessel Soul see?
I shove Emmallis’ clothing into my bag, and button it closed with one hand. Nedac then surprises me again by helping me shrug the backpack onto my shoulders and fixing the straps across my chest and abdomen, being careful as he threads the straps between me and Emmallis.
Emmallis is shaking in my arms and I know it’s from fear. She’s blind and hasn’t been out of that room for a few years. The only thing to ground her in the darkness is me and I give her a squeeze when I realize this.
“Alright,” I say, looking to Nerits and Nedac. “Let’s get moving. We don’t have much time left, do we?”