All Creation froze when my hand grasped the arrow. Splinters cut through my fingers as it exacted its price for stopping, the soiled tip inches from her neck.
Yet I had heard five shots. Two of the remaining arrows were in plain view, hovering motionless along with the rest of the world, my attention already turned to them. The remaining two must have been going for my own back.
For the first moments, I thought nothing odd about my situation; my thoughts were on saving her, nothing more.
My mind began to drift while the world remained frozen in place. I briefly wondered how long I could fight after being impaled myself.
"Not long." A voice washed over my own mind, soft and patient.
I could not draw a single breath to reply with, though I felt like I was inhaling regardless... something not air, not through my lungs. Still, my own thoughts were plain enough for the voice invading my mind to respond to.
Long enough to save her! My heart felt like it was still racing even while frozen mid-beat. None of the energy of the moment had dissipated. Instead, it was continuing to build.
"Do not be daft. It is far wiser to avoid being hit." I swore my mind was playing tricks on me as the gash on my arm seemed to shorten.
I am not that fast! I was off balance enough from catching the first arrow.
"I can help with that." The calm the voice expressed began to unsettle me. The energy building within demanded that I move. Demand that I exhale whatever I was inhaling.
Help me save her!
"Save her, and save every single one they are hunting. Whatever they are after cannot possibly be good." I found the lack of omniscience strangely reassuring.
Anything! My body, my mind, my soul, for her, I- The voice cut me off. No longer soft, every single syllable echoed like thunder in my skull.
"I care not for your body, it is frail. I shall reforge it." There was no mistaking the gash on my arm knitting itself together. My muscles visibly toned beneath my skin; the weight lifted from my bones.
"I need not your mind, it is simple. I shall hone it." Visions of ten thousand battles flooded my head, and countless other memories of a time come ages before, joining with my own. The world seemed to warp and reshape itself, sounds re-echoing in my ears. I did not need to see the arrows racing for my back, their position was no more in question than the arrow in my hand.
"Your soul is but a tiny, faint spark. A worthy soul it is, however, so I shall fuel it, and fan it." I could not tell whether it was breathing into me or I was breathing in myself... not air but fire and light, searing from within.
"Your potential, however..." Every part of my being stood at the brink of climax, too much for my body or soul to hold much longer. It was searing, agonizing.
"I give you, a tiny sliver of power, and you give me your future." The light would no longer be contained by mere flesh. It poured from me in a great burst, instantly banishing the dusk. The stars vanished, and from horizon to horizon there was only the deep blue hue of the noonday Sun.
"I hereby join with You, once-mortal, and Exalt You beyond all Terrestrial peer."