With the cases solved, I didn’t see a point in staying. We couldn’t cause a whole lot more problems than we already did, but those monsters were clearly planning to stick around. We’d probably end up being buffers or shield for the brats rather than the instigators.
“We grab dear Vel, and then we run at full speed.” The brats were busy tying up that half breed and muttering something among themselves that we weren’t paying attention to.
“We run at full speed, grabbing the brat along the way.” I countered, leisurely stretching. We’d have to move fast to outrun them, it didn’t seem like they’d chase us though. Probably.
“What if that hurts him though?”
“He’ll live.” Our eyes turned to the arguing old fellows. The ghost was lecturing the old man, who wasn’t listening.
“I told you that in confidence, not so you could blurt it out in my dear child’s face. So help me, if you-”
I looked over to see her face twitching, but no sadness.
“Boney-brat?” I prodded her shoulder gently.
“He always was a gossip, it has come to bit him several times in his life. I am really surprised he hasn’t tried to glue his own mouth shut.” She chuckled darkly.
My hand was patting her surprisingly fluffy head before I noticed. Turning, we walked calmly way, until we were out of sight. Then we ran.
With Aena leading the way, reminding me of hunting with my un-hounds, we located the brat and left the island quickly. He had been chatting with the girl again, but we didn’t have time to stop.
“Sorry dear, come visit some time!” Aena called to the brat while we were running. I doubt the kid heard it.
Off the coast of the nearest continent, we set the kid down. After that, I spent the next few minutes…calmly looking for shelter. It was noon and sunny and apparently I put the nifty umbrella in the wrong space and it got…wet.
“Aww-ww” Aena failed at her ‘subtle’ attempt not to laugh when I finally settled into a grove of large, dense trees. “Did someone forget they won’t burn like kindling in light, now?”
“…” I stared at her for a minute. “…of course not. I was looking for a good place for the ch-brat to rest. He’s got sudden-motion sickness.” I gestured to the kid who was clutching the ground for dear life muttering.
“Mmmm.” We shuffled the kid under the trees as we relaxed a bit.
“Fun trip.” I commented.
“Yes, yes it was. So, when do I get my promised dinner?” The kid had fallen asleep after I gave him some medicine to settle him down. Which vaguely reminded me of something…well, if it’s important it’ll come up again.
“Dinner time.” As if I didn’t make her meals anyway.
It was quiet for a bit. We were on a continent to the west of the archipelagos. It would take a while to get back to the cave. Plus, we still had to teach the kid how to swim. When he woke up. Although, people do learn quick when thrown into things…
Exhausting that fun thought, my curiosity brought back the questions that popped up over the course of our trip, but it seemed like a topic she didn’t want to discuss. Finally, when I was about to break down and just ask, she opened her mouth.
“Little Rizy always loved fighting, starting or escalating them. There was never a doubt on what she wanted.” She chuckled. I felt my own mouth twitch as I remembered her.
A tricky fighter, not once did she seem to care about how she looked or what was an “honorable” tactic. Yet, she never backed down in a confrontation when others were behind her. It was like her feet were rooted to the ground and would never retreat, even in death.
“My fourth, Kinry, was a bit of a harder case. A bright child who loved old stories of battles and valor, but he hated pain. He chose to become a scholar and help from behind the lines. Silizy..." We shared a look.
"Now, Anzy was kind and a gentle soul,” She smiled wryly, “Which you might not have known. He chose to put his faith in a desire for revenge.”
I remembered a blood-clad angel who seemed driven down, tired. He was considered the second “Golden Eyed Menace”. If the girl was a fighter, he was a killer. Yet, just like her, he stood between his men and my army. In both battles, they were practically the only ones who died.
“Anzy and Rizy died with smiles, content with their path no matter how grim, Silizy was...inevitable." Her eyes dodged to the side.
"Kinry died as he would have wanted to go, crushed by books. The ones who made the shoddy shelf were flayed alive and let to roast, but that's beside the point." She waved her hand in the air.
"But my eldest, my dear baby girl, she didn't have a choice. Her life was decided before she was born, no matter what she wanted, no matter who she wanted to be." Her head lowered as she calmly spoke to the grass. "and it was all my fault."
I listened to a short, sad tale. I couldn’t bring myself to say a word the whole time. When she was done, I pulled her into my arms and we just sat there.
“Babaris, was there a cure to be found with the demons at that time?”
What was the right thing to say? My grip on her tightened, but ultimately I decided to tell the truth.
“Yes.” Autumn’s Breeze as angels call it, was an illness that continuously lowered the body temperature until they froze to death. We called it a chill. Every demon learned the cure since it was fairly common for the humans that entered, but I couldn’t think of any angel who came to ask for help.
“Then,” She laughed, tears soaking my shirt where she was clutching it, “I really did kill her."