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Aether Beasts

Chapter 15 - 15

Chapter 15 - 15

My aunt was waiting for me when I arrived home, much to my surprise. It was only late afternoon and usually, she was in her clinic up until early night, healing patients, helping, and I would have guessed with the sects around she"d been home even later.

That in and of itself was odd, but what was odder was the look on her face. It was sadness mixed with acceptance.

"Aunty, what"s wrong?"

Seeing her like this always got me worried. She was always naturally calm and relaxed. She"\\\\d seen the worst type of wounds, and faced aether beasts.

She sighed and motioned me to take a seat on the couch beside her.


"You"re leaving aren"t you?" She asked though it was more a statement than a question.

I stiffened. I was going to tell her obviously but i;d planned to do so tomorrow when I"d figured out what to say.

"Yes, I joined the steel heart sect today."

She smiled sadly and leaned her head on my shoulder. "I expected as much. You know I knew this day was going to come, but time"s gone by so soon. You"re all grown up and ready to venture out into the world."

"You"re not mad?"

She laughed. "Why would I be mad? I knew this day was coming from the moment you began down the path of an arcanist, and sometimes you get that faraway look in your eye. You remind me of her you know."

I tried to keep my shock from showing, but I doubted I did a good job of it. She rarely ever talked about my mother or my father. She"d only ever told me that they"d died when I was little and she took me in.

"I have something to tell you, Aiden." She sighed. "Something you need to know before you go."


She reached into one of her pockets and pulled out an odd-looking necklace. The string that tied it together was pitch black and seemed to have been made from darkness itself, but the main part of the necklace was a gold coin-shaped medallion with black engravings. There was a symbol at its center but I had no idea what it was. It looked like some sort of aether beasts, though none like I"d ever seen.

"This belonged to your mother and she gave it to me when she left, to give to you when I deemed the time was right."

I stared down at the odd-looking necklace until her words hit me like a freight train.

"When she left? Not when she died?"

She nodded, a sad smile on her face. "You mother and father aren"t dead. I don"t why she told me to tell you that, but she said they would know, and it was for your own safety so I played along."

I stared at her in shock, my mind not able to process what was going on. My parents were alive? They"d left me, but why? My mind began running in circles as the same question played over and over in my head and that sadness at never being able to see my parents changed into curiosity at what my parents would be like, what they would look like.

"Why?" I said. My voice was rough and raw with emotion. "Why?Tell me, please."

There was faint dampness to her eyes now and she wrapped her arms around me, pulling me into a fierce hug. "I don"t know why she left, Aiden. She wouldn"t tell me, she only said that it was best if you remained hidden for as long as possible, or if possible, lived a normal life, although I think that was a distant hope for her."

So she"d left to keep me safe? From what though? My entire life I thought my parents were dead and that my aunt was the only family I had, and now I"d just been told my parents were alive and that they"d left me because I would have been in some kind of danger? This was too much for me to take.

I pulled away.

"Did they tell you where they went?" I asked.

"They"re beyond the great scar, Aiden," Jenna said. "She left with your father shortly after you were born."

"My father," I muttered. I had a father, a living father.

I looked back down at the necklace and reached for it. She let me take it, and I brushed a finger across the surface of the coin-shaped medallion. My finger tingled at the touch.

"I think I"m gonna head to my room," I said. "I need some time to think."

"Of course," She said. "I"ll be here if you need me. Im… sorry Aiden."

This time I gave her a hug. "You raised me, Aunty, you don"t have a damn thing to be sorry about."

I headed up to my room and closed the door behind me before flopping down on my bed. A moment later, Zirani appeared next to me and took my hand in her own. I squeezed it. It felt very comfortable and reassuring, having ehr with me, knowing that I would never be alone.

"You ok?"

I hesitated. "Yes? No? I don"t know. I think I"m just in shock."

I rolled over and pressed my face into my pillow. "This entire week has been one shock after another. I nearly die, I bond with a jungle queen, sects arrive, I join a sect, and now I find out my parents are still alive."

"That"s a good thing, no?"

I flipped onto my back and stared up at the ceiling. "I suppose."

Zireani lay down next to me and placed her head on my shoulder. "Don"t let this disrupt your goals. We"re still training tomorrow, and you have another reason to get stronger. Your parents are beyond the great scar. If you ever want to meet them then you need to become strong enough that you can join the next expedition when it leaves."

She was right.. If I wanted to ever meet my parents, I needed to get stronger and cross the great scar.

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