Would Vhiran be prepared, though? Continuously running after the fast clone patrol, Bultar’s thought dwelled off again to the young Jedi Knight. Vhiran’s time in training had been very similar to hers. He had many of the same teachers as her, spent his time around mostly the same people, had received the same lessons she had received. Not only their Master Plo Koon, but also Jedi Weapon Master and lightsaber instructor Anoon Bondara, and not in the least their friend Nillanthir Zerati. All of them had placed their own life on the line countless of times to defend those of others, yet it was them who had taught her as well as Vhiran that unwritten rule. If you carry a weapon, be prepared to take a life. Although utterly harsh, Bultar had accepted the truth there was in these words, be it somewhat unwillingly, but had Vhiran? As much as she knew even he would face this one of these days, she strongly hoped he would not have to. He might be a veteran general, a soldier and warrior of great renown, away from the battlefield he was as gentle a soul as one could ever hope to be, so kind and caring about every living being around him. For Vhiran to destroy a life, it felt he killed a bit of himself, Bultar knew, more even than for other Jedi. Would he be ready? Even while fully aware of the Force bond that existed between them and would end both if one of them passed away, when the time would come for him to take the choice between destroying his opponent and facing his own end… Would he be ready? Will you be, Vhiran?
Bultar halted abruptly. While not directed at her in particular, over the great distance, Vhiran’s voice reached her still and echoed in her mind. With a surge their connection triggered. She saw his face before her, streams of sweat running down his forehead, his jaws clenched together, his eyes narrowed, looking sad and weary. She could feel what he felt clearly now and it was unmistakable. His mind was in turmoil. A whirlwind stirred up inside him, a whirlwind of anger, fear, sadness. And guilt. Like a raging fire it grew, greater and greater, threatening to devour him at any moment, and then blow apart to viciously and mercilessly tear through him and everything around it. And then, as sudden as it had come, it started to fade, and slowly but surely his mind seemed to calm down again. As the image of Vhiran’s face disappeared, Bultar looked up at the sky, ignoring the smog that coloured it a dirty dark brown, trying to reach out to him. ‘Hold on, Vhiran. I won’t be long.’