Leguna pushed her out of the way and almost rammed his eye onto the blade.
"Wayerliss, those children are innocent," the old voice said.
"Eiron… Eiron!" Wayerliss roared with seething rage.
"I'm here. It's been so many years… Yet, this is where I ended up."
"Let me go! Let me go!" The usually calm Wayerliss behaved like a madman and growled like a wild beast.
"Oh well, let us settle it today for good." Eiron appeared beside Wayerliss and slowly materialized.
"I will kill you!" Suddenly, Wayerliss moved and pushed his dagger through Eiron's heart. However, he merely stood there and shot his son a complicated gaze.
The dagger was pierced through his heart, but no trace of blood flowed out.
"An illusion?" His expression turned grim.
"No, child, I am here." As if to prove it, he nudged Wayerliss's shoulder.
He shook. The motion was far too familiar to him.
When he was still young, while he was only a quarter human, he didn't have much talent for magic most elves should have. Both human magi and his father came to the conclusion that, if he trained in magic, he would cap at the peak of the mid-order at most. He wouldn't even be able to break through to the high order. It was something he couldn't accept no matter what. Both his parents were strong magi and peerless professors in the Stokian Magic Academy.
In the human empire of Stok, magic was something to be worshipped and the academy was where most human magi in the continent congregated. Yet, the child of two prominent magi ended up having no talent whatsoever. It became a huge joke in the academy a few centuries ago. That was how he spent his cold and harsh childhood.
Ever since then, Eiron kept using that gesture to motivate him. Whenever he did so, he would use magic to warm Wayerliss up. The warmth made him feel pride and encouragement and he would relish in the sensation every single time. It felt just like him drinking the warm soup his mother made during winter and gave him a sense of strength and confidence. Whenever his father did so, he would stop looking crestfallen and get back on his feet.
And now, the familiar feeling flooded into his body alongside the memories he had sealed away for decades.
Even for an instant, someone who had already broken through to the saint realm had his mental defenses pierced to the point that he completely blanked out. How long… how long had it been since he last felt that sensation? Even though all the students in the magic academy looked down on him, he had never felt even a bit of shame. Even when he made the decision to abandon noble magic for the savage way of the fighter, he had never doubted himself! After all, his parents had trusted him the whole time and gave him encouragement. No matter how others saw him, at least, the two top magi of the academy had never doubted him. He didn't have a reason to accept it as a weakness.
But when he slowly snapped out of his stupor, he began to feel like he had fallen down into the icy depths of despair. Everything that had supported him the whole time crumbled and their shards embedded themselves in his heart for decades, and the one who shattered all of it was Eiron!
"Why!" he roared like a wounded wolf and swung his dagger once more with a stomach full of hate. Why did he do it? If the other elves don't accept Mother, why couldn't he just convince them? If that didn't work, why couldn't he leave with her? Why? Why? Why abandon her, when she had chosen to spend more than a century with you? Why did you not care about me at all when I was out training? Why did you abandon everyone without any explanation and return to the darned settlement?
Die! Go to hell! You ruined all I had… You ruined everything Mother had! It's all your fault!
His dagger slashed through Eiron's throat, but he didn't get hurt or bleed as if he was an ethereal illusion.
Eiron cast a regretful glance at his son who had experienced countless trials over the past century. Chairman, teacher, saint-realm assassin and master schemer… Now, he wasn't any of that. He was none other than Eiron's child.
After a moment of silence, he decided to reply. "Because… I am long dead, since some twenty years ago."
Clarity returned to Wayerliss's bloodshot eyes. With disbelief, he asked, "What?"
"I said, I'm long dead. It happened around 20 years ago," he repeated. His handsome face seemed to age at a speed visible to the naked eye. He closed his eyes and looked as if he was resisting some kind of pain. "My child, there are limits to what I can tell you. Ask away! You only have two more questions at most."
"An extraneous lifeform, huh…" It was a phrase even Annelotte didn't know. "Did… did you abandon Mother?"
"No. You've asked me that countless times and my answer won't change. Answering this question comes with no cost, but if you want to know the reasoning behind all that…"
"I understand. I don't need you to remind me." His mind was working the best it could as he summed up all the information he had collected up till now in an attempt to piece together a coherent picture.
"Did the battle back then have nothing to do with you?" he finally asked.
"Myr's spell wasn't able to take complete effect and Reaper's Shadow wasn't able to completely suppress his soul. Your mother and I were living in seclusion nearby and didn't want to partake in it, but when we saw him just about to use the wishing spell to revive completely, we acted. I died to subdue him," he answered, before he aged even more and spat out blood. He cast Wayerliss a smile. "I got hurt because your mind has changed. Child, what I said was true."
"I'll judge by myself whether it's true!" he roared.
After another pause, he gingerly asked, "Why did Mother die?"
"Haven't you already guessed the answer to this question? You just don't want to admit it. Without her, my existence wouldn't have lasted till now. The extraneous spells and necromancy have really close ties, and she's the strongest necromancer I've ever seen till now."
"This… it's impossible…" Wayerliss clawed at his hair and muttered, "It can't be! Impossible! This is not how it is! Why didn't you tell me early on?!"
"I only existed till now to stop him. But today… It looks like I had to stop my own child from becoming the source of all evil."
"No! You're lying! This isn't so!" Wayerliss roared. All in all, Eiron had only answered three questions, but that alone was enough to make the hate Wayerliss harbored all these two decades into mere jokes. Though he wanted to refute the answers, he instinctively knew them to be true.
Eiron waved and caused Wayerliss to fall asleep before he spoke an incantation, causing him to vanish into thin air.Previous Chapter Next Chapter