Gah! Sorry, I was late with the release. Last Sunday was pre-release for the new set in M:tG and I forgotten about it. I would have written this chapter before hand if I remembered.
Good news everybody! I just landed myself a new job. It's the same work that I am doing but with more pay. The hours are more flexible than my current job too. I am starting in 2 weeks. I should have more time to write in two weeks time.
Also, as per your suggestion, I will put the .5 chapter as a separate novel.
The update timing will be the same ( one every five chapters).
***July 6th, 965 A.F.***
***Dwarven Capital (Former Boneforge Manor)***
“I don’t like that name.”
“You said I could give you a new name.”
“Anything except Geordi.”
“Make up your mind. I already gave you my suggestion. If you don’t like it, make one up yourself.”
“I don’t know, give me another name suggestion.”
Arg. This is going nowhere. It’s like a couple arguing about where to go for dinner where the girl can’t make up her mind but dislike everything the guy suggests. I guess I will have to use some brute force in this situation.
“Hello Geordi, my name is Ajax. Pleased to meet you.”
“I said I don’t like that name.
“I gave you a chance to change it yourself already.”
“Can’t I just use my old name George and change the last name. George is common enough.”
“You should have said that right from the start when I gave you a chance. I don’t care about what you think now. You have to live with the consequences of your inaction. This is your punishment. I am going to call you Geordi no matter what.“
“Nope, I don’t care. You are called Geordi from now on.”
I suddenly felt that I had had a similar conversation before with someone. I can’t recall when or who I had the conversation with, though. Ignoring the sense of deja vu, I changed the subject.
I emphasized on his name, asserting my dominance on the matter in regards to his new name. I am not going to give him a choice.
“Let’s get out of here before any other adults decide to come in. God knows what those thieves would do if they find nothing in the house except us.”
I guided Geordi through the hole in the wall that I made and let him get out before me. I noticed something strange when I got out from behind George. I was expecting that I would have to guide him slowly outside. Much to my surprise, he was walked directly towards the staircase, carefully avoiding the debris along the way without my help. Just before going upstairs, I stopped Geordi and asked him.
“Are you really blind?”
“Wh-why are you asking? Of course, I am blind.”
“You... didn’t trip over anything and you seem to know where the stairs are.”
Not sure if he should tell me, he hesitated a little before answering.
“If I click my tongue, I can hear the sounds reflecting off of things, and I can sort of guess where things are.”
Here it is! The legendary echolocation ability of the blind! At this moment, I was regretting a bit to name him Geordi. If I knew he had this ability, I would have named him Matthew Murdock. If I buckle and change his name again, he would think that I was a push-over. Oh well, c'est la vie. I just need to get past my regrets and move on. I started to head upstairs once again to leave the mansion.
“That’s a pretty impressive ability.”
“I would love to trade it for the ability to see.”
“The grass is always greener on the other side. How far can you sense things?”
“It’s nothing impressive. It’s not very far.”
“Can you show me how far your ability can go?”
He points to a charred remain of a table just shy of 5 meters away.
“I can sort of tell that there is something there. I think it’s a table, but I am not very sure. I can’t tell anything beyond that.”
“That’s pretty far already. At the very least, you don’t need to rely on anyone to get around. I was dreading that I would have to hold your hands and lead yours everywhere. Keep practicing and expand your range. It will serve you greatly one day.”
“Where are you going? The door is that way.”
“Yes, I know. I don’t want to go through the front door. Who knows who is watching.”
We reached the backyard, blackened with soot from the fire. Several ravens were cawing in the background. They were probably attracted by the burnt corpses in the house. The whole yard was surrounded by a tall wall without an exit in sight. It was just how I wanted it.
“Wait here and don’t move.”
I went back into the house looking for items that were still sturdy despite the fire damage. After I had collected enough furniture, I dragged them all right next to the wall and started to stack them up to create a makeshift ladder. While I was working, I decided to extract more information from him. Hopefully, he will have something that I can use.
“So, do you have any idea who might have done everything? If we can find some clues, we might avoid unnecessary danger.”
“I don’t know anything. Dad never talks to me about his business.”
“Well tell me what you do know. What did your father do these few days?”
“We were just playing with me during the day. He would read me stories…”
At this point, even without looking at him, I could hear his voice cracking up as if he would start crying anytime.
“We would have dinner together. Then uncle Reinhart would stop by sometimes and drag dad to work in his office.”
Uncle Reinhart, huh? This might be a lead. I need to keep an ear out for this name just in case. He might not have been inside the house when everything happened and survived. Geordi is not giving me enough information at all, though. Perhaps I need to probe with more leading questions. Trying to recall some of the police drama’s I have watched as a human; I started to use some of the techniques they showed.
“Tell me about what happened just before you were stuck in that room. How did you get there?”
“I was sleeping in my room and all of a sudden, my mother carried me from my bed and ran downstairs. By the time I realize what happened, I was already stuck in that room.”
“Did you notice anything special when you were carried down to the basement? Perhaps some familiar voice?”
“No, not really. I just heard screams everywhere and the roaring flame.”
“When was the last time you saw your father?”
“Just before bedtime. He tucked me in after reading a story to me. After that, he said he was going back to finish off some of his work.”
“You have no idea what your father does for his work? He didn’t tell you anything at all?”
“No idea. I just see him writing at his desk all the time.”
It looks like I was right about the weapons. His father has to be doing something shady for his business. He loves his son too much to tell him. It still doesn’t explain why nobody came to investigate the fire unless it was a sanctioned raid by the royalties. On top of that, the royalties don't want anyone to know about the attack. If it were an official raid, they would much rather arrest everyone and seize the properties instead of burning everything down. That way they can recoup their assets. They want everything solved under the radar. That means they are trying to cover something up.
“Last question before we leave here. What would you do if you find out who killed your family?”
“I… I don’t know.”
“Well, I can tell you, if want me to help you, you better give up on the idea of taking revenge and live a normal life. I will have no part in your revenge. From what I can tell, the one who killed your family should be connected to the royalty or at the very least, a noble. Only they have the authority to call off the investigation.”
I finished the makeshift ladder and started to climb it. After a few steps, I turned and faced Geordi, who was standing in a solemn silence.
“You better make a decision right now, before someone else forces a decision for you, just like what happened with your name.”
“I… I won’t think of taking revenge. Please don’t leave me behind.”
“Good, now walk towards my voice. Give me your hand and I will help you get over these walls.”
I held out my hand towards Geordi. He slowly walked towards me, Like a frightened little animal, he flinched and hesitated, stopping just shy of taking my hand. Seeing that he hesitated, I took initiative and grabbed his hand, pulling him onto the ladder. I slowly guided him up on the stairs top the top of the wall. Standing on top of the wall, I looked around for a good place to jump off for Geordi.
“Stay on top of the wall for a second.”
I jumped off the wall which was at least three meters tall. I rolled as I hit the ground to lessen the impact. Luckily for me, when I was on top of the wall, I saw a cart full of hay. I wheeled the cart right underneath Geordi.
“Jump off and try to land on your back.”
“What? I can’t..”
“Yes, you can. Trust me.”
His face was full of anxiety and fear, fidgeting back and forth. After a bit of internal struggling, he finally closed his pupilless eyes, exhaled, and jumped. The haystack rustled and caught Geordi’s descent. I climbed to the cart and dug through the hay to find Geordi with the brightest smile. It was as if he has forgotten everything that had happened last night.
“Are you ok?”
“Ha ha ha ha ha ha! That was fun. Can we do it again?