:That: He can hear 'Lendel in his mind now; they're so close they're practically the same entity. :I love you, ashke. Hold on:
Abras will feel Tylendel's effort, his concentration, following instructions from Gala that Abras can't quite hear but can somehow feel the edges of, the magic flowing, building a glowing threshold on the abandoned doorway while Gala defends their position with hooves and teeth, despite the gashes in her hide–
And then, just once, she's a fraction of a second too slow.
Blood, gushing from her ripped-open throat.
:Chosen: Her mindvoice already fading. :Chosen, I love you. Hold on. Please. I love you–:
And Abras will feel it, when the last of her light slips away, the gaping emptiness it tears open in 'Lendel's mind, and he's screaming as well–
–and somehow Tylendel holds the threshold...
...and, somehow, impossibly, he adds a final layer, and the spell reaches, Tylendel clings to the image of the Heralds' temple, in Haven, hundreds of miles away, the threshold that Savil used to Gate out, it must have been the first place to come to mind. Gala isn't there to hold off the wyrsa, they can't have much time–
And the shimmering archway is suddenly a door to somewhere else.
"Ashke, go, gogogogo–" Tylendel rips Abras' fingers away from their grip on his arm, and shoves him, hard, so that he – a moment weightless in the icy dark – and he falls sprawling in the mud on the other side of the Gate.
And Tylendel turns, turns his back on Abras and faces the wyrsa now scrambling over the crumbled cottage walls, he's never had any intention of coming through the Gate, not since the moment he knew Gala wouldn't be coming with them.
'Lendel raises his hands.
On the other side of a faltering Gate, the horizon turns to fire. A fire made up of everything that 'Lendel is or has ever been, going up like a candle, hopes and dreams, rage, determination, love–
Even in the final moments, no pain, and no fear.