As he waited for her return, Gabriel tried to sort out all his emotions that had been weighing him down since he'd been awoken by Medea late last night. Chief among them was grief, at having lost his family in such a way. But there was also anger at Medea and her family for having caused all this, guilt at not being there for his sister one last time, and worry for how his brother would deal with all this and the trauma of having physically been the one to kill everyone. So much pain and anguish swirled around in his head. He thought that he'd burst apart into a thousand pieces with everything that he felt.

But there was more, deeper down.

All his surface level emotions were understandable, but in the back of his mind and the bottom of his heart, Gabriel knew that these emotions weren't really what was causing the turmoil he felt. What caused these emotions were feelings that he didn't know exactly why he felt them, but he still did. Guilt and shame for having to kill Medea and her family, anger at his family for being so hostile to those that didn't follow God while not always following Him themselves, hatred for his brother for having killed their family. There was the disgust at his sister at what she'd asked him to do.

Gabriel knew these feeling contradicted each other. But he couldn't deny that these were all vying to be what he felt the most, to be what he would act upon. To keep himself together though, Gabriel forced himself to cling tightly to only two of the emotions that raged like the storm last night inside him: his sadness at the loss of his family and the glimmer of hope for a future as Alexandria's husband. Why he was clinging to that emotion, he couldn't fully say. Perhaps it was because it was something he'd harboured long before all this had started; or maybe it was because he needed to feel something positive and happy amongst all the negative and destructive emotions that were aswirl inside the all too small confines that were his head and heart.

Kneeling himself down, Gabriel gently laid Marcus II down on the ground at his side. Staying on his knees, Gabriel straightened himself up. With his right hand, he crossed himself as he began to pray. "Forgive me, Lord God, for I have and am about to sin," he quietly said, his head bowed in both shame and reverence. "I killed the two witches who had cursed my family, and will kill the third in the next few moments. It was not my wish to do these things, but in order to protect what family I have left, it has become my responsibility. I pray You see these actions, not as the unforgivable acts that they are, but sinful acts taken for the greater good and survival of my family. I've always tried to live in such a way that my words and actions were inoffensive to all and to treat everyone with respect. Please, in Your wisdom and mercy, judge me forgivable."

Raising his head, Gabriel looked back towards town. "Forgive my family, Almighty God. I don't know all their sins, nor do I believe all of them to be justified in being committed, but since they were taken from this world before they were able to properly atone for their sins themselves, I ask You judge them leniently, or give them a chance to redeem themselves. When I die, should I be worthy of entering Heaven, I wish to see them again. I miss them so much already, and know that this yearning for them will only grow as time goes on."

Hearing footsteps to his side, Gabriel swung his head to find Medea standing before the tree she had disappeared into minutes earlier. As their eyes met, he saw a smile pull the corners of her mouth up, as she turned herself around to give him the privacy she clearly thought he wanted. In a voice slightly louder than the one he had been using, just loud enough that he knew that she could hear what he said, Gabriel continued, "Forgive the women whose blood will forever stain my hands, Lord. They may have scorned Your faith and tried to have it erased from the land, committing numerous sins to do so, but their actions weren't always unjustified. You gave us the gift of free will so that we may live our lives how we chose, even if that life was sinful in Your eyes. These women were not devout in faith of You, but the faith they practiced had their entire devotion, and had people like my family not persecuted them, they may have yet lived good lives."

As he asked God to forgive Medea and her family, he'd watched the girl to see what her reaction would be. All she did was bow her head and bring her hand to her heart. "Forgive us God Almighty. Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen." Signing himself with the cross once again, Gabriel stood up.

Walking over to her, he placed his hand on Medea's shoulder and gently turned her to face him. Seeing the faint tracks her tears had caused to form on her face, he gently wiped her cheeks and eyes to stop her tears. But he thought it was the shock of having him wipe away her tears that truly made her stop crying. When he'd finally stopped wiping and had returned his hands to his side, Medea looked at him with awed confusion. "Why? Why do you constantly do things that make me love you? We should hate each other; we are responsible for the deaths of the other's family. You made me betray my family with a single conversation; I placed protection on you, and you alone, rather than on your entire family. We have every reason to hate each other, and yet, you insist upon words and actions that make my heart scream in longing. Sweet Terra, why do you inflict this blissful torture upon me?"

There was no anger in her voice; truthfully her voice seemed to be devoid of all emotion except exasperation. Before he could respond to her, Gabriel felt the air leave his lungs as Medea threw her arms around his torso in a crushing hug. "Thank you, Gabriel," she whispered into his chest. "Thank you for doing the hardest thing in your religion: thank you for asking your god to forgive my family, despite all that we did against you. I know that doing so could not have been easy; and even if your plea was disingenuous, the fact that your asked shows that you are a better person than I could hope to be."

No sooner had he placed his hand upon her back, returning her hug, that she pushed herself away from him. Her awkward contrite smile on her lips, and her eyes avoiding his, Gabriel quietly but firmly said, "You're welcome." Her face turned to look upon him intently at hearing his words.

A blush creeped across the girl's pale skin. Clearly trying to alleviate the embarrassment she felt, Medea stiffly thrust out her right hand that held the lead sickle. "Umm, you need this," she said opening her hand palm up so he could take it. But the imbalance of the blade and handle caused the sickle to fall to the ground. Both of them bent down to pick it up at the same time, causing them to smack their heads against together in their haste to grab it. "Sorry, sorry," Medea espoused as she retrieved the sickle with one hand and rubbed her head with the other. Straightening up, she forcefully but gently pushed the sickle flat against Gabriel's chest, not letting go until his hand left rubbing the sore spot on his head to grab it. "Sorry," she whispered again.

Embarrassed himself at the encounter, Gabriel turned himself slightly away from her. "Me too," he whispered. Looking anywhere but at her, he found his eyes resting upon his brother. Glancing down to the lead sickle in his hand, Gabriel swallowed the lump that had suddenly risen in his throat as he turned back to Medea, his face a mask that hid the turmoil within him. "Where do you want to do this?" he asked.

Upon hearing and seeing the seriousness of his demeanour, Medea seemed to force the residual embarrassment she still felt down, as she looked first to him and then around what he assumed was her home. "Bring your brother here," she said solemnly. "Ideally, I'd wait for the new moon in two days time; I was born under a full moon, seems only fitting that I'd die under a new one. But since it must be now, right here will have to do," she said as Gabriel went to retrieve his brother. Lying herself onto the ground, she placed her hands under her breasts just below her sternum. "Place him beside me so that when my last breath leaves me and the spell giving you protection fades, causing the demon to wake, you can act quickly to decapitate the snake that houses it. The more time you waste in killing it, the more strength it will regain and the more likely it will escape. Your brother should wake within a minute or two after the demon has left his body."

As Gabriel finished placing Marcus to be in the same pose as Medea had assumed, he turned himself back to her. Once again on his knees, he brought the sickle up to her throat. But for all his might and concentration, he couldn't make the blade stay steady, his hand shook too much. Finally giving up after a minute, Gabriel dropped his arm to his side. "I-I-I can't do it. I can't kill you Medea!" he said.

Propping herself up on her elbows, Medea gave him a look of such empathy that Gabriel felt a tear or two start to well up in his eyes. Here was this girl, who by all accounts he should hate, willingly sacrificing herself for his safety, all but begging him to kill her, and in her eyes was an understanding so complete that he almost couldn't fathom what had led her to feeling it. Sitting herself up so that their eyes were level, Medea placed her hand over his and gave it a gentle squeeze. "Yes, yes you can, Gabriel. You must. You have already confessed to killing me to your god; you don't want to have you're not doing this make you a liar and thus tarnishing your pleas for forgiveness. I know that you can do this, Gabriel. It may be painful and the guilt may consume you; but don't look at this as killing that which you hate, look at it as protecting something you love," she said with a nod to his brother on Gabriel's other side. "My death is divine justice for the many wrongs that both me and my family have committed not only against your family, but the innocents of this town. You can enact the will of both our gods Gabriel, grim as it is."

Lying herself back down, Medea brought his hand holding the lead sickle back up to her throat. But when she let go of his hand, it shook even more erratically than before. Tears began to flow down his cheeks as he put all his effort in trying to make his hand stay steady. When after a minute it was still shaking, he dropped his arm to his side and let go of the handle as if it was searing hot, causing a dull clang to sound as the blade rattled on the ground. "I know I should hate you, Medea, but I don't. How can I hate someone who has sacrificed so much for me, someone who has loved me for as long as she's known me and helped me with all her might." His eyes sought out hers as he was about to reveal something that was becoming more and more clear to him the more time he spent with her. "I love you too, Medea."

The stillness of the air around them was all that allowed Gabriel to hear the small gasp that she let out upon hearing this. His eyes were focused solely on hers, watching as the widened as his words registered in her head. It was only when she closed her eyes that Gabriel took stock of the rest of her. Her hands had risen to her chest, over her heart, as a serene, if saddened, smile ghosted her lips. Again sitting up, Medea wrapped her arms around his neck as she pulled him into another hug. But unlike her last hug, this one was gentle and Gabriel could almost feel the love and gratitude that she seemed to want the hug to represent. "Thank you, Gabriel, feeling the love of another is such a rare occurrence in my life, it will be nice to die having felt it one last time."

Not knowing how or what to respond to this, Gabriel wrapped his arms around her as gently as she held him. It was a few moments before either of them let the other go. Gabriel could only speak for himself, but he assumed that this hug was about more than their love for the other; it was about their sorrow at having to part, their guilt for causing the other pain, the emptiness their recent losses at the hands of the other had left in them and all the other contradictory and confused emotions that they felt for each other. When she finally did let him go, the two of them took a moment to wipe away the tears that had silently fell as they held the other.

Rather than lying down again, as he thought she would, Medea interlaced her fingers in his. "Do you know the tale of Achilles and Penthesilea?" she asked.

Confused by her sudden change of subject, especially to something so random, Gabriel gave her a quizzical look but answered her question anyways. "Not particularly well. Wasn't she an Amazonian queen that he killed during the Trojan War shortly after killing Hector?"

Nodding, Medea continued, "Yes, but there's more to their tale, at least in the version that my mother told me when I was younger. After having dragged Hector's body around the city for a third time, Achilles pauses to verbally taunt the Trojans, claiming that Hector was no challenge and the city was doomed to ruin if that was their best fighter. My mother also claimed that he yelled to them that their mothers smelled of elderberries and that their fathers were hamsters, but I think that was more to make me laugh than something that he really said." The both of them gave small chuckles to this.

"As a daughter of Mars, Penthesilea took great offense to Achilles' mocking and the flaunting of his disregard for the rules of war. Taking a handful of the warriors she'd brought to Troy, she strode out of the city to face Achilles. But upon seeing the advancement of her forces, a battalion of Greek soldiers rushed to encircle Achilles. It should have been a quick slaughter of a fight, 200 men against ten women. But as time passed, two things became clear: the Amazons were better fighters than Greeks and only Achilles stood a chance against them.

"While the Amazons defeated all the Greeks that had come to Achilles' defense, it took Achilles fighting with three other men to take down each Amazon, until only the queen and hero were left. Despite his wrath being in full force at this point, Achilles concedes that the Amazons are great warriors and bemoans his being their opponent, that he wishes to not see the fall of the great warrior culture. Penthesilea rages at the implication that her culture will fall, and that Achilles himself will be their downfall. In her indignation she attacks him, denting his armour made by Vulcan himself and is even able to draw blood despite the protection of the River Styx.

"But despite all this, Achilles kills her. But as he runs her through with his sword, the two of them end up in a lover's embrace, their lips coming together in a brief but lustful passion and Achilles inhales her last breath. He lays her gently on the ground, requesting Pluto be kind with her soul.

"As he returns the Greek camp, a soldier named Thersites claims that Achilles just showed Penthesilea more tenderness than he'd ever shown Patroclus and thus implying that Achilles loved the Amazonian queen more than he did Patroclus. Achilles stops in his tracks, walks back to Thersites and stabs the hilt of his sword through his face." Her version of the tale over, Medea gave a brief pause before she continued. "Personally, I believe that Achilles did fall in love with Penthesilea in those moments on the battlefield. It wasn't enough to come anywhere near eclipsing his love for Patroclus, but there's a type of love that isn't nearly discussed enough that only enemies can feel for each other."

Upon hearing her words, Gabriel knew why she'd brought up this story. Squeezing her hand that was interlaced with his gently, he nodded as he didn't trust himself to speak at that moment. With the delicateness of plucking a flower, Gabriel brought her hand to his lips before planting a gentle kiss on each of her fingertips. Letting go of her hand, he softly returned it to her breast, her heart, as he put pressure on it to have her lie back down. But her slight resistance at his pressure caused him to search out her eyes and the answer he hoped to find within.

"Can I ask you for one last favour, Gabriel?" Her voice was meek but she held his gaze. "One last thing that you do before I die?"

Eager to prolong his taking her life for as long as possible, Gabriel nodded his head vigorously. "Yes, anything, Medea."

Smiling at his enthusiasm, Medea asked, "Will you kiss me?"

Slightly taken aback by the request, although he shouldn't have been, given the story she'd just told, Gabriel brought both hands up to her face. Gently cupping her cheeks, he pulled her into himself. Having never kissed a girl before, Gabriel knew the kiss couldn't have been everything that Medea had hoped it would be, but hoped that she felt the same wonderous sensations that he felt as her lips danced with his.

He was surprised when she pulled herself away, before returning to her original position on the ground. Gripping the lead sickle in his hand, Gabriel brought the blade to her throat, the tremors that had caused his hand to shake uncontrollably were now gone. Looking to her eyes one last time, he tried to return the ocean that he saw she felt in that moment. With a quick swing of his elbow, before his courage could flee once again, he cut her throat.

Where Gabriel thought Medea would start to sputter and choke on her own blood as fear flooded her eyes, he was surprised by her actual reaction. Her eyes widened slightly as the cut was made, but that was all. She didn't panic, didn't choke on her blood; she stoically kept her eyes on him, the love and guilt she had felt the entire day still in her eyes.

When her eyes finally glazed over, Gabriel turned back to look at his brother. Unsettled by the black viscous smoke that oozed slowly from his neck, Gabriel gripped and regripped the sickle in his hand as he awaited the demon snake to emerge from his brother's body. Over the course of the next couple of minutes, the smoke that oozed from his brother slowly solidified into the body of cat snake. As it slithered away in a manner that reminded Gabriel of someone either drunk or severely wounded, he raised the sickle over his head. Once the snake was clear of his brother's body, Gabriel swung with all the force he could muster, taken the snake's head off an inch from the base of its skull.

Both the head and the body of the snake turned to ash, before melting into the ground. Dropping the sickle, Gabriel cradled his brother in his arms, silently praying that he would wake. Not a minute later, Marcus began to stir in his arms and Gabriel gave both a sigh of relief and a shout of delight. Once his brother's eyes opened, Gabriel pulled the boy into the tightest hug he'd ever given. It was only when he felt Marcus II pushing him away that Gabriel allowed the boy to escape his embrace, but he kept his hands on his brother's shoulders. "Are you alright, Marcus?"

"I think so," the boy said as he looked around. "Where are we Gabriel? And where is everyone?"

Shaking his head as tears once again stung at his eyes, Gabriel pulled his brother into another tight hug. "That doesn't matter right now," he said into the boy's ear. "All that matters is that you are alive and well and that the curse on our family is broken."

Picking his brother up as he stood, Gabriel tried to ensure that Marcus didn't see Medea's body on the ground behind him. Walking away back to town, Gabriel stopped two trees away from the one that Medea had indicated as her home. Shifting his brother to his other arm, he pulled his knife from his hip. Quickly gouging out two slashes into the trunk of the tree so he knew where to go, Gabriel returned his knife to its sheath and continued on.

Knocking on the door, Gabriel held his despondent brother close to his side. As they had returned to town, Gabriel had informed his brother that their family was dead, causing the young boy to cry for an hour non-stop. Gabriel had cried too, finally allowing all his grief to be felt. They'd stayed outside of town for the next thirty minutes as they composed themselves. But rather than returning to their home, Gabriel had taken them to a different destination: the home of Elder Antonius.

Looking out to the setting sun, Gabriel awaited the opening of the door. As it was the time of day when many families ate supper, he figured that he might need to knock again to draw attention to his presence. He was about to raise his hand to knock again when the door opened to reveal a girl no more than fifteen in a dirty white dress. With her head bowed as she asked who they were and what business they had with Elder Antonius, Gabriel knew the girl was a servant. "I wish to speak with Elder Antonius and his daughter Alexandria. My name is Gabriel Iracundus."

The girl's head snapped up to look upon him as he said his name. She opened the door wider and ushered them inside. "Please wait here, Master Iracundus. I will inform my mistress and her father that you are here." He didn't know what it was, but Gabriel thought that the girl's voice had changed as she welcomed them into the home, as if it had gotten bolder.

"Father hates Elder Antonius, Gabriel; why are we here?" his brother asked in confusion once the servant girl had left to retrieve Alexandria and her father. "I want to go home."

"I know you want to go home, Marcus; I do too. But home isn't fit to have us be there right now. When she came to tell me about Mary this morning, Alexandria offered me all that she could give to help us as much as possible. And we're here to greatly accept some of that assistance."

Before Marcus could complain and argue some more, the sound of footsteps alerted them to the approach of Alexandria and Elder Antonius. Looking to the hallway that led from the entryway, Gabriel saw the two being led to them by the serving girl who'd let them in. As he gazed upon Alexandria, Gabriel couldn't help the smile that sprang forth. Something that he saw was mirrored on the young woman's face, as well a blushing of her cheeks.

Bowing himself at the waist for a moment, once the Elder and his daughter had entered the entryway, Gabriel began his request. "Pardon the interruption and intrusion, Elder Antonius, but my brother and I are in need of your assistance."

"It must be something great if you're here at this time of night, interrupting my family's dinner," the old man said, a not-so-subtle scowl upon his face.

"Father!" Alexandria said indignantly. "They've just lost their family, show some compassion." As she turned to look back at Gabriel, Alexandria's face softened. "What is it you need, Gabriel? As I told you this morning, I'll help in any way I can."

Smiling his gratitude to her, Gabriel forced himself to look back upon her father. "I'm here to ask you for a place to stay. The attack on my home has left it a mess that I do not wish my brother to see. If it's not too much trouble, would it be alright if we stayed here for a few days until I remove the things that would greater traumatize my brother?"

"Of cour-" Alexandria started to say, before her father raised his hand and commanded her silence.

"Before I agree to this, if I agree to this, master Iracundus answer me this: why here? It is no secret that your father and I were hostile to one another, nor is it a secret that my family and I still practice the faith that your father called pagan devil worship. So I want to know why you've come to me seeking shelter when there are others of your own faith, people your family surely held in higher esteem than me and mine, that would help you more eagerly than I would." The wrinkles on his face nearly doubled as he glared at him.

"I hadn't really given much thought to it, to be honest. As Alexandria said, she offered any assistance that she could give this morning. I was simply looking to take a friend up on their offer to help." Gabriel hoped that his telling of the truth would be enough to convince Elder Antonius. "But if you would rather we go somewhere else, just say the word and we'll be on our way."

It was a tense moment as the old man deliberated his decision. "As my daughter said, master Iracundus, you may stay. But only for a week, after that, you will not be welcome."

Bowing again, Gabriel said, "Thank you, Elder Antonius; I'll try to make our stay as smooth as possible."

"See that you do," he said before he turned to his daughter. "Since this is all your doing, I'll leave it to you to find them suitable lodging and to see that their needs are met."

"Yes, Father," Alexandria responded. Waiting for her father to return to what Gabriel assumed was the dinning room, Gabriel saw Alexandria turn to the girl at her side, which seemed to be her personal servant. "Julia, will you take the young master Iracundus to the bedroom beside mine." The girl nodded to her mistress' command, as Alexandria crouched down to his brother's eye level. "It's Marcus, right?" she asked, to which his brother nodded. "Are you hungry Marcus? Just tell me what you'd like to eat and I'll have Anthony prepare it for you."

"Roasted chicken and potatoes, please Lady Alexandria," Marcus said after Gabriel gave him a reassuring nod.

"Roasted chicken and potatoes it is then," Alexandria said. Straightening up, she turned back to Julia, "After you settle him into the room, inform Anthony of his choice in meal."

"Yes Mistress," the girl said. Offering her hand to his brother, Gabriel watched silently as the girl led Marcus deeper into the home.

"Do you want to sleep in the same room as your brother, or do you want to sleep somewhere else?" Alexandria asked once they were alone; startling him with how close she seemed to have gotten to him without his noticing.

"I think it best if we stay together," he answered. Looking into her hazel eyes, Gabriel felt himself begin to fall into the golden green pools that held the intelligence that had always captured his attention. Realizing that he'd been staring, Gabriel forced his eyes away from hers, unintentionally having them land on her breasts. Flushing crimson, he turned away from her until she was just at the edge of his vision. "Thank you, Al-Lexie," he said, remembering to use her nickname. "Your father wouldn't have let us stay if you hadn't convinced him. And I appreciate that very much."

Placing her hand on his shoulder, causing him to once again look at her, Alexandria smiled at him. "Of course, Gabriel; what are friends for if not helping you in your times of need. I'm just glad that you took my offer, rather than try to be stoically masculine and dealing with all this alone."

"Well, that makes me more comfortable in asking you for another favour," he said with a gentle smile. "Well, two actually."

Sliding her hand from his shoulder, down his arm and into his hand, she smiled at him as she gently tugged him into her home. "Name it, Gabriel; I already told you that I'll help in any way I can. But you probably haven't eaten all day, so come to the dining room and have the rest of my dinner."

Planting his feet so that she was no longer leading him, Gabriel gave a gentle tug on the hand that was still miraculously in his. "I don't want to have anything in my stomach that I could lose later," he said, causing Alexandria to give him a look of confusion. "There's something that I still need to do before I can sleep tonight, and I'm not sure how I'll react while doing it." Upon hearing his vague answer to her unspoken question, her eyes looked deep into his, blazing bright as they searched for answers. "Which brings me back to my requests."

"What do you need Gabriel?"

"A horse and cart, and for you to watch my brother until I return."

Alexandria simply studied him for a moment before answering him. "It's very kind of you, Gabriel; and probably more than those women deserve, especially from you."

"What do you mean?"

"You're going to bury the witches that killed your family," she said simply. When she saw his look of confusion as to how she'd determined this, she elaborated, "You want a horse and cart, implying that you can't or won't carry whatever it is you need. You're wanting to leave now, rather than waiting for morning, which means you want to do this at night and thus eliminate the possibility that you'll be seen, ergo you don't want to be seen doing this. Your refusal to eat because whatever you're doing has the potential to cause you to throw it up, meaning that you are slightly disgusted by doing this, but feel you must. Add all that up, plus your general compassion and belief in the golden rule, as well as your need to have your home made livable again, it really can be concluded that you're going to bury the witches that killed your parents and sister. A generous act, that I commend you on, but I personally think that it's something that is beyond what those women deserve. Especially from one of their intended victims."

Stunned slightly by her deductions, and the speed she was able to correctly reach them, Gabriel had to hold himself back from kissing her. It was hardly the time, and he still wasn't sure how she felt about him, despite his sister's insistence that she harboured feeling for him. "Like you said, it's something that I feel that I have to do, deserved or not; I'm probably the only one who would do it. Will you help me like I've asked?"

Nodding, Alexandria started to once again pull him deeper into her home. "You should say goodnight to your brother, as well as familiarize yourself with where you'll be staying for the next week."

An hour after the last light of day had faded, and the light of the moon shone bright and clear, Gabriel found himself once again outside the tree that had been the house for Medea and her family. Three mounds of earth, two of which were unmarked and the third having a rudimentary cross, marked the graves of the coven of witches. Breathing heavy from the exertion of having dug and then filled the graves, Gabriel leaned on the shovel he'd used as he struggled to find the words. "I, uh…I don't know what to say, Medea. I barely know the practices that my religion uses when laying our dead to rest; let alone a culture I barely knew existed until a couple of days ago." Running his hands through his hair, before bringing them back to his face and scrubbing as if he were washing clothes in the river. "Please do not be offended by my lack of knowledge, I've left you each a solidus for Charon's toll; I hope it's enough." Still not knowing what to say, Gabriel began to pace the graves slightly.

Stopping after a minute of pacing once again at the foot of Medea's grave. "I'm sorry that you had to die for this all to be over, Medea. It's not fair that I get to live on and spread my faith further out into the world, while you are dead and your faith will most likely be demonized by those that come after. I can't control the actions of others, but I promise that I'll preach tolerance and acceptance for all, regardless of creed. Christ didn't condemn those that didn't follow Him, He simply wished them to live just lives that benefited everyone." Pausing as he wondered if he should bring up Christ at a moment like this, Gabriel looked around in search of answers to questions he couldn't form. "Goodbye Medea; I hope that you find peace in death, and that whatever gods you worshipped welcome you into their company."

Picking up the torch that'd lit his way, Gabriel leaned it against the tree that had been the witches' home. Within minutes, it was ablaze; flames danced along its trunk and branches in a rainbow of colours. Whatever magic had once been housed there, was going up in flames with the rest of the family home. It was beautiful to watch as the night grew brighter and warmer from the inferno. Once the larger branches began to snap and fall to the ground, Gabriel walked back to the horse and cart that Alexandria had given him to use. Sliding into the saddle, he urged the horse away from the burning tree that miraculously wasn't spreading its blaze to the tress around it.

With a final glance up to the sliver moon, Gabriel noted that it was the first time in a while since he'd seen the moon unobstructed by clouds as he had Alexandria's horse return them to town.

A/N: Well, this is the end. I hope everyone is satisfied with how everything developed. This final chapter is twice as long as my usual ones, so I hope that doesn't deter anyone. I'm going to be using a few local authors to help polish this story and L&L before I (re)send them out looking for publishers, before I start working on a couple of stories for my own private collection that I need to finish. And them once those are done, I'll start work on the sequel to The Kanta Chronicles (which is now available in audiobook form); so hopefully by the start of 2022 I'll be starting that. If you'd like to help that come quicker, please consider donating to my Patreon (under Sutty93 as well) so that I can start taking more time off work to write.