Shaking, crying, blood pouring out like waterfalls.

" Nova- Nova, Nova, you didn't have to do that for me, Nova-"

Ifrit looked so upset.

" I- I can't stand her! I hate her! I had to do something! No matter what you do for her, it's not enough, it's never enough, what was I supposed to do, sit there and watch you get hurt?! You're the only person here I can stand!"

Ifrit closing his wounds with adhesive strips, blood staining his pretty white coat.

... Nova had only seen blood on it once before, a memory he had tried to repress.

Ifrit grabbed his cheeks and lifted his head, to look him directly in the eyes.

" You can't be like that anymore, Nova, you're barely a child, you'll be killed before you're even old enough to duel. It's one more year. It's only one more. And whether you can best me or not, I promise I'll take you away with me when I leave then, alright?"

Nova stared up at him, trying to get rid of the tears flowing down his face, and the burning pain from where Queen Mother had struck him.

A moment.

He wasn't quite sure of himself, til that moment.

He sat up and kissed Ifrit on the lips.

A hand separating him.

The taste of his own blood.

" I understand how you feel, but we mustn't do such things, Nova," Ifrit said, very gently, like he was trying to explain something to a child. " You should go back to your room and sleep. You're very upset right now, and not thinking clearly."

... So Ifrit patched him up in silence, and he went back to his room, and he couldn't sleep.

He felt very sick.