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I sneezed, feeling the cold chill penetrate my thin layers of clothing once again. I ran my arm across my face, trying to stem the steady flow of blood and mucus streaming from my nose. My dark hair, which I had cut short to prevent any type of hindrance, flew about my face, cutting into my skin like tiny whips. I winced, covering my eyes.

'Jem,' I thought, 'if only you had never fallen in love with me, you would still be safe, and I wouldn't be near death. But, by the gods, Jeremy Garnier, I will get you out of here!'

Pressing a sleeve up to my nose, I ran once more in the general direction of the citadel, ignoring the stabbing pain in my chest. He was still alive, I knew. But for how much longer, well.

I swallowed my fear and doubt. I couldn't afford any negative emotions on this plane of existence. They had warned me about that, but I wondered if they knew the extent of what they asked. I was near death already. Only Jem's safe return could heal me.

Time became blurred for me. I only knew that I must keep putting one foot in front of the other, and quickly, or Jem would surely die. I couldn't afford that.

'If he dies, you will surely die, too.'

"I know, I know!" I reminded the voice, but it was only a memory. No one could hear me. At least, I hoped no one could hear me as I slammed into the citadel door and fell to the ground. Tears sprang to my eyes.

If only I wasn't a Guardian of the Worlds, we'd never be in this mess.

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