“You’ve heard about the incident a couple nights ago, Morrigan?” Sitting on a very elegant throne was an overbearing man clad in maroon and black silk.
“Yes, your excellency.” Kneeling down at the base of the steps leading to the throne was a seductive woman. She had flowing locks of midnight black hair tied up a braid that gently rested against her moderate chest. She was covered in black attire with a thin chain-linked vest peeking from the hem of her tunic. Under her black tunic sported a very agile and athletic body, toned through rigorous training.
“And I expect that you have the brains to do something about it correct?”
“Yes, your excellency. I’ve sent my best men to investigate the source of the Bright Night phenomenon.”
“That’s not enough!” The sudden increase in volume caused the room to shudder. The frail looking girl kneeling in front of Emperor Kianis couldn’t help but flinch. Lowering his volume once more, “Have you heard of the ‘Prophecy of Sienna’?”
A look of sudden realization flashed across her face, only to be hidden once more by her stoic gaze. “Yes, your excellency. I have no excuses for not realizing this sooner, you may punish me as you wish.” She began to slowly undress herself right then and there in front of the royal guards stationed in the throne room. Even these disciplined guards couldn’t help but expectantly stare at her devilish figure.
“Enough!” Holding up his palm to signal Morrigan to stop, Kianis let out a long drawn out sigh, “Hahhhhhh~… Morrigan, now is not the time to play around do you understand me? This is a major event and if we don’t act now who knows what might happen to our whole kind.”
“Hehehe” Suppressing a giggle, Morrigan glanced at the guards around the room, only to see each and every one of them hastily look away. After she retied the sash holding her tunic on, “I’m not sure I understand what you mean, I just want to be punished your Excellency.”
“Fine, if you want to be punished so badly, then here’s your punishment. As of this moment, Morrigan Vylona, you will be sent to the source of the Bright Night phenomenon. Your mission is to watch over the chosen one and make sure he has no ill-intentions against Demon-kind.”
As soon as the last word escaped out of Kianis’ mouth, a portal opened up in the center of the throne room. With the flick of his wrist, he flung a screaming mischievous succubus through the distortion in space. “Stupid Kio!!!! I’ll get you for this!!!!”
“Hmpph! Good riddance!”
Over the next few days Hiro quietly helped his father organize stuff to sell to the merchants that are on their way back to Adetia. Although Adetia is a peaceful country, it is one of Arcadia’s wealthiest kingdoms. Surprisingly enough, the country of Adet controls the currency that is used throughout Arcadia. Since everyone is using the neutral currency of the peaceful country of Adet, no one would invade Adet. If a kingdom does invade Adet, they would have to face the wrath of every other kingdom in Arcadia. It was because of this mentality that Adet is so peaceful.
“Hmmmm…” Sitting at the table casually rubbing his chin as if he was in deep thought was Albert. Across from him, quietly eating yesterday’s leftovers of venison stew for breakfast was Hiro. Ever since that incident a few days ago Hiro had stopped talking to his father. “Hiro… Can you stop pouting like a kid and act like an adult? What is the point of going through your rite of passage if you still act so immature?”
“Which is it?” Without so much as a glance from his bowl of stew, Hiro gave a short reply.
“Which is what?”
“Am I still a kid or an adult? You said it yourself, I’m not ready and not strong enough to take care of myself. You still treat me as if I am still the little boy that would follow you around holding onto the edges of your shirt. What do you expect from me, how am I supposed to learn how to take care of myself if you won’t even give me a chance?!” After his barrage of words, Hiro stood up from the table and walked out.
Hiro was frustrated, his one chance to get out of the tiny town of Torin was visibly slipping away. In his struggle to find a way to convince his father, he became very stressed and lashed out blindly at the cause of his stress. In truth, Hiro hadn’t intended to say any of those things, he was going to keep up his silent demeanor. He felt that if he talked less and focus more on work, his father will come to see that he’s grown. However, it proved the opposite of what he had intended; he came off as imprudent and spoiled.
‘Hah~ I have to leave no matter what. I’ll leave along with the caravan, maybe I could provide hunting services for the caravan and get a ride to Adetia. Yea… I’ll have to do that, no matter what. If the caravan doesn’t want me, I’ll go on foot if I have to. Now the only thing that keeps bothering me is leaving father behind by himself…’
He had remembered his father’s word that day. “I only have you left, please don’t leave me too…” Hiro gently said to himself. His father only had him to rely on. If he were to leave… his father’s heart would break. Stuck in this dilemma Hiro didn’t know what to do. His only way to visit Lena was to receive his father’s permission. Yet, Hiro felt that it was wrong; he should be considered a man now, he had to make his own decisions.
Hiro had been wandering aimlessly on the outskirts of town, during that time he was trying to find the best way to convince his father. After thinking up many different ideas, he gave up; they all ended with him leaving on bad terms with his father.
The reason why Hiro wanted to leave so badly was because he was tired. After the events that had transpired in Du Weldenalfa (Forest of Mist), Hiro could no longer go back to the peaceful and quiet days of the past. It was as if he had taken a sip of nectar meant for the gods, he was addicted to the rush he felt when he barely survived the Doppler encounter. His whole like in the quiet village of Torin was boring and monotonous, he felt no stimulus living in the village. The village was just too small for him now, his goal now is to see the world.
When Hiro found out he had no talent for magic, he had quietly resigned himself to his fate of never becoming an adventurer. Magic wasn’t really required to become an adventurer, but it sure helped a lot. That was why Hiro spent the next 6 years suffering in silence, he knew that his father wouldn’t approve of him becoming an adventurer.
‘That time ends today, now I can use magic!’
Hiro thought back to his encounter with Tenga, ever since the ritual Tenga has been asleep; Hiro heeded Tenga’s advice and let him recover. Although Hiro could use magic now, he didn’t have the slightest clue on how to do it.
‘Speaking of magic… Didn’t father do something on the way home? I can’t really remember… I was thinking back to the Doppler incident… I’ll have to go ask father about it.’ As if seeming to have forgotten why he was out taking a stroll in the first place, Hiro ran back to the house.
When he arrived at his house, he noticed that his father was carrying loads of their things and packing it at the back of their cart. Next to the traps, lures, and tools on the cart were simple everyday things like their pots, blankets and clothes.
“Father, why are you selling all our stuff?! We still need those!” Aghast, Hiro couldn’t help but scream in surprise at his father.
“Hehe, these aren’t meant to be sold Hiro.” The earlier frown on his father’s face during breakfast was nowhere to be seen. In its place was a bright smile, so bright that it reminded Hiro of the time when his father first took him out to hunt. “Can you guess what they’re for?”
Hiro took a moment and began to think about what his father could possibly do with all their things. In the distance the bell rang, signaling that something important has happened. It was at that exact moment a feverish grin spread across Hiro’s face.
“Seems like you guessed it Hiro…” Albert began to trail off at the mention of Hiro’s name, as if to contemplate something significant, “I’ve thought about all that you’ve said and although I don’t wish it to happen, it seems like there is nothing I can do. My one wish was to live the rest of my days in a quiet peaceful village, but I guess it’s not meant to be, Hah~”
“Thanks father!” Running up to his father, Hiro gave Albert a tight hug. The hug brought back memories of his childhood, whenever he was very excited or overjoyed he would show affection to the person that caused it. “So when are we leaving?!”
“We’ll go along with the caravan. Although this isn’t during times of war, there are still many dangers on the road.”
“So what made you change your mind father? I’m sure it wasn’t because I yelled at you earlier… about that, I’m sorry about earlier. I was out of line there and shouldn’t have yelled at you who was just worried about my well-being.”
“It’s fine! Haha!” Albert patted Hiro on the shoulder, then began to become embarrassed, “You just remind me of myself when I was younger. Back then, I was also stubborn and carefree, I felt as if the whole world was in the palm of my hands and that I could do anything I wished. Also back then, I ran away from home, because my father also didn’t agree with me becoming something I’m not. It was only later that I regretted parting with my father in such a terrible way.”
“So where is grandfather now?”
“Dead… Bandits raided their little village a couple years after I left…” The gloom finally appeared on Albert’s face. “Anyways, long story short, I killed every last one of those sons of bitches and fed their corpse to the dogs. Although my only regret was that I’ll never be able to apologize to my father and seek forgiveness.”
There was an eerie silence when Albert finished speaking, “I’m sorry father… but thanks for understanding.”
“Enough of that. Since you want to become an adventurer I guess you’ll start out in Adetia right? Then there’s no point in me living this far away. I’ll be in Adetia, so you better visit me from time to time. Now, it’s time to go see what all this ringing is about. Haha, shall we Hiro?” Without waiting for an agreement, Albert began walking towards the Chief’s house near the center of the village and close behind him was an overjoyed Hiro.
It wasn’t long when they found out the reason for all the commotion. In the horizon was a large caravan of over 30 carts and carriages. Riding along the entire length of the caravan were armed mercenaries and adventurers alike. Hiro couldn’t help but stare at all the people riding horses, they all looked amazing riding on their majestic horses.
“If you all have not found out by now, the biannual caravan is just moments away from our little village. If any of you haven’t already, prepare the things you want to sell and buy any necessities. Although he is late, I’m sure Mitchell has a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why he’s late.” With that said, Chief Garth went back inside his house. He looked even worse than the last time Hiro saw him.
“C’mon Hiro, let’s go finish packing our things. You go on ahead, while you do that I’ll go inform Garth that we’re leaving for Adetia.” Albert gestured for Hiro to head back to the house and made his way towards Garth’s house.
“Wait father!” Pausing in his steps, Albert turned around, “I almost forgot, back then when we were walking back from the forest. You did something… What was it?”
“That?” Albert was smirking mischievously, “That will all be explained on the way to Adetia.”