Ok, I am seriously thinking about moving back the upcoming 0.5 by changing to the end of the arc a few chapters ago
I don’t feel like writing the 0.5 chapter right now.
***July 6th, 965 A.F.***
***Dwarven Capital (Former Boneforge Manor)***
In the dark room, lit up by a single ball of light, I was faced with a boy that was no older than 7 years old, huddling in the corner trembling. His disheveled orange hair matched his dirty soot covered flashy clothes, giving him a look of a downtrodden noble. From the look of things. He probably is one. His face was smeared with dry tears. Even though he was sobbing, not another single drop of tear could be wrung out from him. I tried the best I could to calm him down.
“Who...who are you? I don’t know that voice. Please don’t hurt me.”
That’s strange. Why did he specify he didn’t recognize my voice? With my illuminate spell, it shouldn't be that hard to see.
“Are you perhaps… Did you hurt your eyes during the fire?”
“No, I was born like this.”
I willed the light ball closer to his face. The quivering boy was blessed, or cursed depending on the circumstances, with an androgynous face. His had pale white porcelain-like skin. It was as if he has never been in the light of day. If he was put in a dress, I am sure that everyone would have mistaken him for a girl. When I saw his eyes, though, I could see that there the defect on his otherwise perfect face. His eyes were completely white with no pupils. If this were the Naruto world, he would definitely have special powers to see through other’s weak spot.
“Are you here to save me? You sound like you are the same age as me. ”
“Sorry to disappoint you, but I am all there is. I don’t think anyone else is coming.”
“What about others? My mother? My father? Aunt May?”
I struggle a bit since I don’t know if I should tell him the truth. Just then, I remember a rule though, taught by one of my teachers when I was a human. The harder it is to tell someone something, the sooner you should tell them. Taking a deep breath, I delivered the devastating news.
“I am sorry, but no one else in the house survived.”
Taking the news in, he froze in terror a for a second. Then slowly, he started sobbing again, Soon, he began to bawl like there was no tomorrow. I immediately covered his mouth and stopped him.
“SHHH! You can cry all you want, but do it either quietly, or we might be in trouble.”
Since I can feel fresh air inside this small and cramped secret room, I am sure that there were some air ducts, carrying his voice. That was how I heard his wailing from the outside. He struggled to remove my hand, but with my strength, it was an impossible task. He finally calmed down enough to listen to me.
“Look, I think someone murdered everyone here and burned the place down to get rid of the evidence. All the bodies had signs of a fight. If anyone hears you, you might attract the murderers to come back and finish the job. At that time even I can’t help. Do you understand me?”
He nods and agreed.
“I am going to remove my hands, and you will stay as quiet as possible. Do you agree to that?”
He nods once again. I slowly removed my hand from his mouth.
“”Good boy. My name is Ajax McGuire. I had some business with someone in this house. I happened to hear your voice. That’s why I am here.”
“My name is George from the Boneforge Family.”
“Nice to meet you George. I wish we could have met in a better circumstance.”
He sniffed and stifled his urge to cry.
“Are you hurt in any way? Can you walk?”
“I can walk, but I have never been outside. My dad tells me I need to stay in the house to keep me safe because I am blind.”
Well, this will be bad. To help George, I would need to lead him everywhere since he is blind. It will slow us down, not to mention attract tons of attention. Well, let’s do as much as I can.
“Here, let’s clean you up first.”
A thin layer of water envelopes him and evaporates, cleaning all the tear stains on his face and all the soot in his hair. I noticed another problem. I gave a long look at George. I think he should be about the same size as me. Since he is blind, I am not worried about activating my ring in front of him.
“Here, change into my clothes.”
“What’s wrong with the ones I am wearing right now? Is it damaged?”
“No, they are too flashy. You need to blend into the crowd.”
George obediently obeyed my order. He took off his shirt without a question. With his androgynous look, I got a bit embarrassed and turned around when he started stripping, looking around the room instead. It was filled to the brim with weapons of all sort. Axes, swords, and spears lined the wall. It was as if the owner was ready to wage war. If I had to guess, this was one of the reasons that this place was purged. Seeing that the household had no more use for them, I made a mental list of them and started to put them into my ring. Waste not, want not.
“All done. I hear metal clanging together. What are you doing Ajax?”
“Oh, nothing. Just taking some weapons in the room.”
“But that belongs to the Boneforge. You can’t just take them!”
“First things first. I might have saved you from starving to death in this room, but don’t expect me to feed you once you are outside without any compensation. Why should I spend my hard earned money just to feed you with no benefit? If you want, I can put the weapons back and leave you behind in here. I have no problem with that.”
George tries to retort, but I cut his sentence short.
“There is no more Boneforge. All the Boneforge except you is not of this world. No one is willing to babysit you for no reason. You might be a pampered runt in the past. Your family never let you go hungry and let you do whatever you want, but the outside world doesn’t work like that. Which brings us to the second point.”
I held out two fingers to emphasize my lecture, but I realized my blunder since he is blind. I quickly put my hands down after I noticed my mistake.
“If you want me to help you, you have to do exactly as I say, no questions asked. I don’t want to get in trouble just because you didn’t listen to me. And lastly, I remain the right to stop helping you at my discretion. I can promise you that I will try my best to assist you within my powers, but if a situation happens where I have no other choice, don’t be surprised that I will leave you to fend for yourself. Do we have an understanding?”
He stayed silent, unable to counter a single word I say. It’s better for me to air out all of these dirty laundries out of the way before I help him. It’s no good if I try to help someone, and it ends up hurting myself. I stood there, waiting for his response. HIs face changes from surprise to anger, and finally dejected acceptance. After a good minute, he finally broke the ice.
“Good. The first thing we need to do is change your name. I don’t want to be hunted down when the murderers caught wind of your name. Do you have anything in mind?”
“No, I don’t.”
“If you don’t mind, how about I give you a new name.”
Let’s see now. What should I name him… George Boneforge… blindness… a light bulb flashed in my mind.
“I got a new name for you. I think it’s fine if you keep a part of your name to remember your family by. Your new name is Geordi La Forge.”