"Blasphemy!…take it back…don't do this, Islinn." Johan's voice quavered.
Islinn stayed on the ground and raised a hand to her mouth. She studied the red smear with detached interest then slowly raised her eyes to JoHan.
"I renunciate. Bear witness, Domyni." She repeated with a painful reluctance.
The words appeared to truly cut JoHan's heart and Alora realized she was seeing a loss with the capability to break those it could not slay. The restless ghost of faith hung in the air, redolent, and Alora knew she was the only one aware of the fact that Brede was a cruel god, one who didn't require blood as a sacrifice. Misguided love would work just as well.
She moved Loki forward a step and lowered her sword towards JoHan.
"I don't know what any of this is…and I don't care…but why don't you just say whatever it is you're supposed to say." Alora shot a quick glance at Islinn then leveled her eyes on JoHan. He looked back at her, his eyes brimming with tears.
"I don't fear you, demon. You have somehow managed to enthrall something essential to my faith so I am prepared for battle. The question is, demon, are you?"
Alora turned and looked at Islinn as the girl slowly got to her feet.
"Some…thing essential huh? The only thing essential to you, JoHan, is pain. In that respect, I can make the next few moments very satisfying." Alora's tone was derisive.
Apparently he was going to stand there and let her run him through. Alora had to admit to a certain sense of admiration for such bold ignorance. She briefly wondered if JoHan realized this little game wasn't going to be strictly for show. Dead was dead. Though now, given her level of irritation, she thought she'd try for "deader-n-dead" in his case.
Islinn's voice was ragged but commanding. Alora looked at her,astounded. No one outside of her Clan had ever forbid her to do anything. She paused for a few beats than shrugged and slowly sheathed her sword. She felt a trickle of unease at someone else being in control of the situation but her curiosity at how it was all going to play out temporarily won her over. JoHan regarded Islinn with sorrow.
"It's true, than. You're not enthralled. You command the demon yourself. You once held dominion, Islinn. Why??"
His voice was pained and filled with despair. Islinn approached him and gently took one of his hands with both of her own and rested her face against his skin.
"Bear witness. Please…just…bear witness, Domyni. I renunciate." Her voice was heavy with tears. The old man sagged.
"I bear witness," He said in a hushed voice. "I bestow upon you the title of apostate."
Tears furrowed JoHan's face and dampened the wild gray of his beard. Islinn stepped back and turned away.
"I'm ready to go now." She stated, her voice dull. Alora silently held out the reins to the stag. Islinn mounted and JoHan peered at her retreating figure through a wall of tears.
"You are damned, Islinn." He called out. "We could have saved you if you'd been possessed but your soul is lost by your own choosing. You allowed the demon to win here today. You're blind to me."
A sudden rage enveloped JoHan and his voice rose an octave as he screamed hoarsely, his head thrown back to the skies.
"Blind to me!"
Islinn flinched as though each word were a physical blow and her eyes were hooded with pain as she silently turned the stag and started off down the road.