Chapter XVII
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" Gramps, what is that? " a baby's eyes shone curiously.
 
The elderly giggled as he kept working on the mysterious, unseen before device. " It's a wristwatch... it's used to tell the time. "
 
" Like a hologram band? "
 
" More like it's ancestor. This one here is as old as me, perhaps even older. It was a gift from someone very close to me, and one day it's going to be yours. "
 
***
 
Arun shook when he recognized the device. Clenching his teeth he remembered his grandfather and his teachings. His dream was always creating a better world trough the use of ki... one in which inequality would be properly addressed one in which hunger and violence would be nothing but a far-of nightmare.
 
The arrogance of the rich, the powerful bullying the weak, the people on the bottom of the chain who had to fight every day for just a piece of bread, all those things chipped at his hope slowly but surely... he held on desperately onto his dream as a last ditch attempt to ignore everything but he almost forgot why he wanted to achieve it in the process.
 
Just because today the world is dark today doesn't mean light won't shine tomorrow. He can, and he will, craft a better world using his creations. His sins... he'll atone for them this way as well.
 
Gripping the heirloom with newfound strength. He peeked the corner once more. As the girl mourned his father he could now see a woman tightly embracing her while the rest of the men tried the best to comfort. Even the one which got injured while trying to block was now resting one of his broken arms on her shoulders. At least she still had someone. And at least even those thugs had some heart. Arun was relieved, his path confirmed.
 
Finally recovering, he inhaled deep than exhaled while wiping out his tears. Than he noticed something. It was something that was always there yet he hasn't observed it in this light until now. He was so focused on the it's beauty and mystery that he didn't notice? Or perhaps he did and was too entranced by it.
 
Black Rose, the weapon forged from his wrath, it was... laughing? Arun took a step back, a creator afraid of his own creation. He could read it's aura better than any other, and even the people around him could see the weapons malice from a glance. It was as if the spear was alive... a living incarnation of death... no, cruelty. It was happy that it claimed a life, proud and even hungry for more. It demanded more.
 
It took just a minute in order for Arun, who refused to let the weapon go a few moments ago, realise. The weapon must be destroyed. He quickly sealed it inside his ring without even
touching it.
 
But how was he going to destroy it? He made it too sturdy, there was nothing he new which could do the job within his reach. He had to keep it within his ring until he found something.
It was not going to be that easy though. He could now feel the aura of the spear getting restless attempting to escape. It's as if it felt his intention and was opposing it's fate. Arun looked at the ring with an uneasy expression. It was a low grade ring without a proper seal function. It would soon break free. As to what would a spear do after it broke free, well it had no legs but it could influence minds. It was too dangerous.
 
An alternative had to be found, he couldn't just reseal it every other 10 minutes. There was only one he could think of. Hide it away from people's sight and senses.
 
This whole ordeal lead to yet another insight. Creations could be or be used used for both good and evil. He would keep this in mind.
 
***
 
A pair of curious eyes followed Arun intently. The shadowy figure was both out of sight and senses, so much so that not even Paradox could sense his presence. As he saw Arun throw the gruesome weapon deep into a lake he finally reported with a sigh.
 
" Sir, the mission did not yield positive results. "
 
Static noise could be heard on the other line until the response finally arrived.
 
" That's a nice way to put it. I'd say it failed spectacularly. "
 
***
 
Thomas and Margery took their time before they released him from their embrace. He was a bit surprised seeing them here, especially at such a late hour, but that was not the end of his surprises.
 
On the other side of the room, the two kids who previously fell asleep woke up. They both had red tiery eyes and the lack of sleep had little to do with it. Eileen, who seemed to be the most shaken came close to Arun. A few moments of silence followed just before the sound of a not-so gentle slap.
 
" I told you to wait! Why didn't you wait! You worried me sick! You worried us sick... " her voice, strong at the beginning started to die down.
 
Arun felt flustered as he received the slap. He deserved it. He neglected to consider the other's feelings when he went on his foolish quest.
 
" I'm sorry... "
 
Bohdi seemed like he wanted to say something to her sister about her words, but decided against it when he saw her state. Instead, he rested one hand Arun's shoulder and the other on Eileen's.
 
" Right and now... "
 
Than he pulled the two simultaneously into a three way hug. Both Arun and Eileen were surprised by this action.
 
" What is with your family and hugs? " Arun asked while barely mustering a smile.
 
" A surprise attack... you coward! " Eileen reproached.
 
" Si si, this is Bohdi your family friendly surprise hugger. You can only blame yourselves for letting your guard down! " Bohdi increased his pull, trying to smother his two friends.
 
" Oh, so you are playing it like that than? " Eileen responded with her own, mighty, hug.
 
" Oh, my spine, mercy sister, mercy! "
 
" Friendly fire, I repeat, friendly fire... AARGH! " that last yell from Arun seemed a bit too real to be a joke.
 
Eileen quickly released her grip. Arun was currently holding his back trying to massage the point of the violent hugging.
 
" Arun! Are you ok? " Margery asked, worried.
 
" Yes, I'll be fine " Arun said with a pained expression on his face.
 
" I don't understand... I thought I didn't put THAT much force into the pull... " Eileen said, shocked by what just happened.
 
" You didn't. I just don't have any ki or cultivation level at the moment. "
 
" Of course Eileen doesn't know about her monstrous strength. Actually, wait, what?? "
 
" Boy... could you repeat what you said " Thomas, who was viewing the scenes from the sideline until now intervened.
 
Arun looked around at their reactions. They all thought they heard wrong. He cleared his throat and raised his shoulders.
 
" My cultivation base has been crippled. I have no ki for now. "
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