Arc 1 – Lost
Ch. 13 – Home
After reaching the surface, we began heading towards the village. A change in scenery lifted up the corners of my mouth.
As the sun released me from its dazzling smile, I was able to observe the greenery around me. In lieu of the countless moss-covered rock formations I had gotten accustomed to, lush oak and willow trees covered the land aplenty. The cheerful vastness of the sky above stretched out to where our eyes couldn’t reach. Vortexes of white painted the sky in flowy curves, adorning the pristine cerulean with a tiara of fluffiness.
The wind twirled around the bushes, gently rustling from one side to the other. The birds chirped, and squirrels squeaked as the crackling of leaves under my feet danced along to the orchestra of nature surrounding us. The scent of damp earth filled my nose to the brim.
I wouldn’t have noticed most of these things if I wasn’t deprived of the outside for that long.
The scenario slowly began to change: the previous overflow of green began to organize itself, turning into trimmed plantations and farms. An uncountable amount of white dots extended to the brim of the green meadows; those white dots were sheep, living peacefully in the soft scenery.
The village’s outskirts happily glowed under the sunlight as our steps neared it. Some demi-humans amicably harvested their crops while humming. Children played at the immense open fields, using sticks as swords and playing hide and seek at the forest’s entrance while being observed by adults.
Observing the jubilant landscape, I smiled. An ‘I’m home’ atmosphere enveloped me as we passed the entrance of the village, striding down the roads while Gavyn stole the utmost attention from every passerby, demi-humans and humans alike.
The cub took a peaceful nap within my arms, as my eyes kept wandering to the smallest things.
With each step, my heart fluttered. I could barely contain the happiness of going home.
I would be able to see my family again.
What would they think about the cub?
Putting that question to the back of my mind, I led the way home as Gavyn followed. He said he would escort me home before parting ways. He had other things to take care of at the village.
Eventually, we reached my house.
It was a normal building, sufficient for me, my parents and my two siblings. Nothing out of the ordinary.
The stone foundation and wooden structure did a pretty good job at keeping us safe from rain and snowstorms, while the rectangular shape of the house didn’t stand out amongst the other homes neighboring us.
I led our way to the door, hesitating a moment before opening it… No matter how much I looked at it, I’d suffer an incredible amount of pain, one way or another…
“Please don’t mind what will happen. Also, could you hold him?”
“Hm?” He gently picked the cub from my hands, looking at me in slight confusion.
I took a deep breath and steeled my nerves. Accepting the pain would hurt less anyways.
I knocked. Thumps inside the house followed soon after, and the door was opened with a creak.
Within the blink of an eye, I was bear-hugged by my mother.
“Where were you?!” Her voice sharply ringed through my eardrums.
“Mom, stop screaming! I’m right… beside you…” I could barely breathe in between those slender, yet uncannily strong arms.
After almost seeing the light, she finally ungripped me. Without balance, I almost fell on the ground.
I gasped desperately. I’ve never longed for air this much since I almost drowned in that underground lake.
Before she said anything else, her eyes landed on Gavyn.
“Pleasure to meet you. You can call me Gavyn.” He scratched the cub unconsciously
“Same here, you can call me Elise.” She politely bowed. “So, I assume you brought my son here safely.”
“Yes, and this small guy here as well.” He held one of the cub’s paws and waved with it.
“I see, why don’t you come in?” She smiled.
“No thanks, I have some things I need to take care of. I’m sure you have plenty yourself.” He shot a smug grin at me.
“Kyel, I’d like to hear that later, in more detail, okay~?” She smiled, but her eyes didn’t.
While she was obviously worried, her anger was a given. Having your son disappear one day, just to come back with beat-up clothes, a knight, and a dragon was surely vexing. Thinking of which, she took Scarlet’s presence lightly, huh?
Undoubtedly, I’ll get killed by my mom in a couple of moments, and I can’t do a thing about it… I cringed while contemplating my grim fate.
Gavyn’s almost inaudible snickers reached my ears. I will remember that, you… Ugh.
“Is everything alright?” My mother noticed his snickers.
“Ah, Completely! … Well, anyhow, I’ll have to go for now. Pleasure meeting you Elise, Kyel.” He carefully placed the cub on the ground.
“The pleasure was mine.” She bowed once again.
“See ya later, Gavyn.” I waved with a little smile.
He waved back, and gently tapped on Scarlet’s side. After parting ways, I looked at the cub.
“Since you’ll stay with us, I will have to name you…” I commented thoughtlessly.
“Ahem…” A shadow loomed over me.
I turned my head around, only to see the scariest pair of eyes I’ve ever witnessed. Not even the cub’s parents could come close to this… this pressure.
They were the very definition of ‘intimidation’ and ‘authority’.
Goodbye, cruel world…
As the sun hid from the world, the moon arose from its deep slumber. The stars filled the sky with a mélange of soft whitish colors.
The village was ghostly-quiet. The usually busy main street, filled with life and abundance, slept silently amidst the peaceful night. Standing in one of the street corners, a lamppost shone softly. The gem inside it pulsated lonely.
From that main street, in that somewhat small village, following along the parallel trails and bifurcations, turning and twisting through irregular paths, a small run-down building hid from the night in a small, unsupervised road of the village.
That place’s doors were tilted, the hinges beat up. The windows had no glass, just nailed wooden planks. The structure on its whole was entirely old, threatening to fall at any given second.
But, if you’d scoot closer and enter that small run-down building, a soft, pulsating pastel-blue light made its way in the space between door and ground. Tailing the light, entering through the door, a staircase path went down until it hit the ground of a basement.
However, the basement was extremely tidy. There were no traces of dust or cobwebs, only an excessively organized arrange of furniture. A roundtable sat at the center of the room, surrounded by a couple of chairs. A gem chandelier hung itself from the ceiling, dipping the basement in a pastel array of blue.
“I haaaate this place…” A high-and-mighty feminine voice made itself known through the room.
“That’s why cap’n chose it, ya dimwit.” A hoarse voice answered in a defiant, rough tone.
“Speakin’ of the devil…” The rough voice removed his legs from the roundtable.
Approaching them, a man’s gloved index slid across the wooden table. Lifting the hand, he saw dust encrusted in one of his fingers.
“Loathsome…” His deep voice reverberated across the room.
He removed his white, formal gloves, and threw them away in a particularly organized trash can. In one of his pockets, he pulled out another pair.
“What did I tell you? Filth is not to be brought here.”
“’Tis inevitable, cap’n!”
“… We’ll discuss this later.”
The rough voice nodded, his carefree attitude controlled.
“We’re here to discuss new methods since the last one was destroyed by ‘Crimson’”
“The Beast Knight with obsidian hair, and lava eyes… That’s one big fish we ended up hooking.”
“Precisely, but we shouldn’t raise suspicions. Let’s lay low for a while.” The captain got a small brush and began to clean the table.
“I know what you’ll say, but we need to, or else we would be discovered.”
“Mhm…” The rough voice accepted reluctantly his position of staying quiet.
“Conquering is just a couple of moves away,” the captain finished cleaning the table. “All we need is patience.”
Thanks for reading!
My and my editor’s schedule were hectic these past few weeks, sorry for the wait…
Thanks, Xaga, Emelia for editing this chapter!
> Updates every Saturday <