GUESS WHO'S BACK FRO THE DEAD PEOPLE! THIS FANFIC!
Haha, Sorry about the long hiatus. I had College and School work and Internship and…no, that's not entirely true. I actually thought of ending this fanfic.
At first, it really WAS just a break to get things done in the real world (Curse you time, never stopping for anyone) But then, when I came back to the fandom, I found that there was a bunch of updates in the manga.
A lot of them.
(Like, Holy Shit, The last time I read the manga was at the chapter where Yunan was fighting Arba, and then Aladdin Coming in. What the hell happened after that?)
Mor and Alibaba are getting married? Arba becoming a loli? Ugo having a desperate God Complex? David turning into a galactic fish? Mass suicide? Sinbad becoming God? Them going to Solomon's PALACE?!
…what the hell happened while I was gone?
Naturally, I was rather frustrated by this overload of information (I couldn't get anything that was happening after they entered the palace, the only chapter I understood was Judar's trial-thingy, and that was basically because he was all "fuck it, I do what I want, and I don't fucking regret it!". Everything else was like a mess of information for me) and it made me want to just stop reading magi altogether (It was just waaay too complicated for a casual reader like me)
I got back up though, because you guys kept on reviewing my maybe-dead-maybe-not fanfic, and it just made me feel guilty. So I was like, "Why not? It's not like I DON'T want to continue it. I love my fanfic"
So, thanks for the support, I hope this chapter isn't a disappointment for you.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own magi, I own Shirin though.
Stage of New Beginnings
A Child's Promise
…This wasn't supposed to happen…
"Happy Birthday, Ririn!"
I groaned when the old man-child squealed and picked me up while I was sleeping and started jumping for who the hell knows why. If it weren't for the fact that I hadn't eaten breakfast yet, I would have puked, or at least turn a little green from all the sudden action.
"Nanan stop!" I whined in his arms. "I'm getting nauseas!"
"Hm? Oh! Sorry!" Yunan laughed before ceasing his jumping, instead, he started squeezing the air out of my tiny lungs "I'm just so exited! Oh, today is going to be wonderful!"
I gave a weary smile at the overzealous face Nanan was making, but couldn't find it in my heart to make him feel down hearted. I mean- It's adorable! I gave a giggle and let him hug me to death.
It's been about a year or so since Nana first found me on the plains and a lot has happened since then. Nanan – who was a complete and utter greenhorn when it came to raising other human beings, let alone a child – improved in his caretaking skills, such as being mindful about what I read, what I eat, and what time I sleep, instead of simply letting me do what I want. At first it was uncomfortable for me – I mean, I just got used to going back and acting a bit like an adult again, and now he's treating me like a kid? – But as time flew by, I got accustomed to it and just did whatever the hell I felt like doing instead of being cautions of my actions like an adult would be.
I can't say that things didn't get funnier for me now that I toned down the maturity.
"…It's my birthday?!"
I have a birthday?!
I gaped, flabbergasted, as Nanan only laughed at the expression I was making and set me down back onto the bed "Surprise! I didn't tell you because I wanted it to be a secret!" Sitting down beside me with his wand laid snugly on my pillow, he took something out from under his shirt. It was a rolled up scroll. I watched in confusion as the magi opened the scroll, revealing an intricately familiar circle that made me flinch in unease.
Ain't this…an Assyrian calendar…? I've only ever seen pictures from my days in college but…
"You see, since neither of us knew when you were actually born, Nanan decided to use the day he found you as your birthday!" He chattered on, unaware of the uneasy expression I was making from the sheer amount of connections this world seems to have with my own world. "The night I found you was the beginning of the 15th day of the month of Anu, which I find rather ironic but oh well! A birthday is a birthday!"
I swallowed the lump in my throat painfully "R-Really?" I let out, trying not to sound too weak. Fortunately, Nanan was in too much of a festive mood to get the hint, as instead of pointing out my odd behavior, he turned towards me with the biggest, most exited smile I've seen him make since I came here.
"Mhm! Today would also be marked as your first birthday here since I adopted you!" He said with a childish smile, clearly happier about the idea than the actual birthday girl did "So I wanted to make it special!" I looked at the adorable face he was making and smiled, pushing down my anxieties for today in favor of whatever Nanan had up in store. Now isn't really the time to think of things like that after all. I have all the time in the world to think about shit like that.
I gave the effeminate magi a grin, one that matched the smile on his face "I'm not looking for anything big you know! It's just a birthday!" Nanan only laughed at my answer and patted my head in a familiar fashion.
"Like I said, It's your first birthday here, and I want it to be special," He said to me before getting up from the bed, leaving his staff there instead of taking it. I watched in curiosity as he actually bent down to get something that was under the bed, finding it to be a parcel covered in a brown cloth. I was about to ask him what this parcel was when my own words were cut short by Nanan's words.
"Happy Birthday, Shirin." He said happily, offering the warped parcel to me with eagerness "I hope you like it!"
Curiosity getting the better of me, I took the parcel from the magi's hands and stared at it. It was a small thing, but not that small, about a few sizes larger than maybe my own torso, but it was thick and heavy. The thing that gave it away though, was the fact that it wasn't stiff and was actually sagging, meaning it wasn't a book, but something easily bendable. In front of me, Yunan was looking rather eagerly at the parcel.
"Come on now! Open it!" He said excitedly and I let out a small giggle before taking the edges of the cloth and pulling them apart, revealing to us the contents of the present.
The first thing I saw was the surface of red fabric.
"It's a coat!" I gaped before reaching out and picking up the red outfit. It was rather big and rather small in the same time, making it look like it could be worn by someone bigger, when in reality, it would only fit someone smaller. The collar was large and white, with the lapel seeming to fold itself at the rim of the coats edges, only for the white to stop around the midriff and continue on as gold, geometric rectangles that form at the edge of the coat. The sleeves were wide and short, making it ideal to wear for the hotter seasons. At the back of the coat was a tiny cape that covered the back of the coat as a whole. All and all, it looked exactly like a miniature red version of Nanan's top.
"It's Nanan's coat!" I squealed happily
"It's my coat!" Nanan squealed happily
"It's your coat!"
"No, it's your coat!"
"It's- W-Wait. Where did you get something like this?" I asked him, to which he replied with a grin.
"I didn't get it anywhere!" He replied happily "I just shrunk one of my coats and dyed it red!"
"You shrunk it?"
"I shrunk it!"
"You can shrink things?!"
"Yes! It's quite simple. It's much easier to repair things if their small too!"
"That means you can also make it bigger?"
"Yes. I plan to do that once those clothes get too small for you, only if you still want to wear them, that is,"
"That's…that is so cool," I gaped, completely and unabashedly starry eyed "I-I knew you could do a lot of things with magic but…that's is world changing," Think of all the money I could have saved If I could just make clothes bigger instead of buying the stupid XL's!?
Nanan gave a giggle at my obvious expression as he patted my head "I take it that you liked it?" Hearing that, I gave the widest grin I could muster before throttling him with a hug.
"I love it! Thank you, Nanan!" I cheered. I wasn't lying either, since Nanan's coat and pants look to be much more comfortable than this tiny version of a monk's coat that he gave me. "You even made it so that it's in my favorite color too!"
"I'm glad you like the color!" He said, returning the hug with a pat on the back "Still, you shouldn't say thanks just yet. That's not all of them after all!" I frowned, confused about what exactly he was talking about, only to receive a pat on my head in response. I blinked and watched as he got up from the bed, heading excitedly for the door.
"I'll be outside!" He said before exiting the room, leaving me to stare at the doorway blankly for a few seconds before blinking.
"…oh, he wants me to wear the coat!"
If that's the case…
I took off the simple robe and quickly put on the coat, using the cloth belt I use for my pants to keep everything in place. Childishly, I gave a spin to see how well it fitted me. It was very loose for one, and sometimes felt like it was going to fall off at times, but with a few adjustments here and there on the coat and pants and it fits nicely. I grinned.
Fuck yes! This beats some ragged robe any day!
"Ririn, are you done?" I heard Nanan call out from behind the door. I snickered, putting on my shoes and running towards the door, intent on tickling him with another hug because why the hell not?! This is literally my first birthday present since I got here! Heck, I didn't even know if I would HAVE a birthday here! Getting a gift from Yunan was already under my 'This-Is-The-Best-Gift-I've-Ever-Had!' List! Of course, it's only second on the list though!
(Nothing beats the card I got from my little spider lilies. Not even those packets of chocnut! )
Of course, very little of my plans ever go right in the end. Case of point?
"Nanan! Thank Yo- HOLY FUCK?!"
DIZZY! I'M GETTING DIZZY!
"Oh you look absolutely adorable Riri! And here I was worried my clothes would make you look more of a tomboy! Actually, you do seem to look a bit more boyish now…But it looks good so it doesn't matter!"
Yunan cheered as he twirled in a circle with me in tow, struggling to survive the death grip. What? Just because I'm used to him picking me up doesn't mean I like it! I do NOT like being reminded that I'm puny dammit!
"Nanan! My head is spinning!" I cried out in an attempt to save what's left of my sense of momentum.
"Me too! My head is practically spinning with everything were going to do today! Oh, OH! Maybe I should use magic to recolor our hair and eyes for a while! Then we could play that 'Hello-I-Turned-Back-Into-A-Child' troll with the Toran villagers! I've always wanted to play that!"
THEIR NEVER GONNA BUY THAT SHIT!
"I MEANT PHYSICALLY NANAN- ugk!" I gagged when I when we spin past the stairway for the eighteenth time, urging Yunan to slow down to a stop.
"Oh, my bad," Yunan laughed, putting me down gently.
"My bad my ass," I stumbled for a second before leaning on the door frame. Were the rukh always this numerous? They doubled in quantity! "Solomon, I'd probably be covered in the white stuff by now if I'd been full,"
"Hahaha, Normally I would be scolding you for the curse words…But it's your birthday! So I'll let it slide!" Yunan cheered and I grimaced.
"…Yaaaay," I groaned, oh my poor stomach.
Yunan chuckled for a moment before squatting down to meet me at the eyes. I paused, confused when his already bright eyes seemed to twinkle softly at something. "Nanan?" I called out in confusion, only to get another smile.
"Can you close your eyes for a second, Ririn?" Yunan asked me in a soft voice, completely different to the chirpy tone he had used just a few moments ago. "This will only take a second, I promise,"
Puzzled, I blinked, but settled with closing my eyes just as the magi told me to do.
Yunan hummed for a second, whether it was an incantation or a simple tune however, I wasn't sure.
"Now, Open them,"
My eyes blinked open, and widened.
For all one would say about my world, and for all they would say about the pessimistic men who rule it, one could not deny that the driving force of that world of technology had been the dreamers and the optimists. From the creation of oil paint to the discovery of creative writing, those of my world strived to find things that did not necessarily feed them or give them a roof above their heads, but instead allowed them to see the world in another fashion. I for one, was one of those dreamers when I was young, and my hunger for something interesting had led me through countless books and pictures out of sheer boredom and interest. One such book I had taken a hold of spoke of a magical world in which You can pass through a wall in a busy train station without anyone noticing and nonsensical words shouted by an adult, all the while madly waving a tiny twig, Is suddenly something much more dangerous than an AK47 sniper rifle.
It was due to this particular book – created by someone whom I will worship and loath for the rest of my conscious life for showing me a fictional world that was far more awesome than my own life in general – that when I caught sight of the article in front of me, I was overcome with the colossal urge to speak British and find a train station.
Yunan smiled softly, his hands cradling a hat. It was a flabby thing, looking like it was suppose to point straight to the top but had decided to let it's tip sag to the side loftily, empty of any to all weight. It's brim was wide and circular, easily looking like something that would completely cover a person's head. And finally, clipped lightly on the white ribbon encircling the base of the hat, was a replica of Yunan's feather ornament, only instead of a red gem framed with gold lining, it was a gold cross with circular indent in the middle.
I stared, dazed, before slowly picking the hat from Nanan's arms and holding it in mine. Nanan chuckled softly.
"Why don't you wear it?" He said, still smiling. Dazed by my own fantasies, I put on the hat carefully. Just as I predicted, it completely covered the top part of my line of sight. I adjusted it a bit so that my eyesight wouldn't be covered completely.
"This is…," Words escaped my thoughts, and I gripped the ends of the brim tightly.
"I take it you like it?" Nanan asked despite already knowing the answer. I looked back at him with a full on grin that could have been wide enough to cover the bottom half of my face.
The urge…THE URGE IS TOO STRONG!
["Blimey! I'm a witch!"] I squealed excitedly in a British accent, Inwardly, I was cackling like a madwoman. It's one thing to know that magicians exists in this world, It's another to get a bonafied witch's hat for your birthday. Pity no one here gets my jokes ["I'm going to Hogwarts!"]
"Eh…yay?" Yunan laughed uncertainly "I don't know what you just there so…but I guess you're happy..?"
I laughed "Hell yeah! This is awesome Nanan! This is like- The best thing you could have given me!" I did a small twirl in my excitement, letting my clothes fly along with me before vaulting towards the older man "Seriously! Thank you!"
"Well that's a relief," He smiled down at me, before removing something from my hat, it was the feather ornament.
I paused my excitement and stared at the man in confusion, which only grew when he took his own feather ornament, and held both in either of his hands.
"Nanan?" I called out, and he smiled at him, kneeling on the ground so that I can see both of them.
"I just wanted to show you a little secret concerning these ornaments. You see, they were once part of a staff that was given to me a long time ago." He said as he turned his ornament over and gently pulled off the bottom casing, revealing an exact replica of the design on my ornament "However, a terrible incident happened, and the staff was destroyed, only the center piece was salvageable. I was heartbroken when that happened, It was a very powerful staff, you see,"
He then took my ornament, and began to twist the top rim. To my awe, the indents of the cross began to rise, until it was about an inch deep "The person who found the staff and gave it me was a bit put out by what happened to it as well. But instead of throwing the center piece away, it was transformed into something else, a pair of ornaments,"
He took the two pieces and gently pressed them down together, until a firm 'click; was heard, and my eyes widened.
The red gem glowed bright as magic began to shimmer and spread throughout the ornament. The indents surrounding the metal rim smoothed until with was a gold ring. The two wings, now adjacent to each other like a pair of wings should, glowed and straightened, turning feather into metal, white into gold, until what was left were a pair of golden metal wingspread open, ready to fly.
I gulped as when I saw the amount of Rukh hovering around the ornament, completely silent.
I looked at the ornament with wide eyes, Yunan saw this, and smiled at me.
"Keep this a secret between the two of us, okay? This is for no one else's eyes but ours,"
I looked at him dumbly, my mind whirling at the sight of the 'ornament' in front of me. In the end, I nodded.
Yunan smiled at me again, and unlatched the ornament, just like that, it was two simple feather ornaments, no magic to be seen. I let him attach the ornament back on my hat without protest.
That…that can't be!
There's no way it could be THAT!
Why- Why does Nanan have that?!
My thoughts, however, were once again destroyed when the magi picked me up.
"Now that that's done, let's get back to your party, shall we?!" He cheered, and I froze. What the hell?
I saw his face however, and sighed.
It wasn't a look that said that he was willing to answer questions…
Nanan laughed excitedly as he held me by the waist and started pacing – practically skipping – out of the room, leaving his staff on the bed. "Now let's go! I planned the whole day, you know! And the people from the village were kind enough to give me tips on what to do during birthdays too!" All the while, I was trying to get down from Nanan's arms.
"Nanan! I can walk!" I called out, but Nanan only continued skipping joyfully "Nana-!"
My breath was cut short when I caught sight of the room bellow us, specifically, the wooden table that right now was covered in a clean white cloth and had an assortment of food clustered on top of it. I blinked at the sight even as Nanan went down the stairs with me in toll and placing me on a chair. I blinked, transfixed for a second by the assortment, but not because it looked good (Not that it wasn't, but still-!)
All of them were…familiar…
"Do you like it?" Nanan said excitedly "I have to admit, I had to use magic to cook half of them…,"
"Y-yeah, I do…," I muttered with wide eyes "I-It's just…,"
Is that…chicken…? And…that over there looks like mashed potatoes with sour cream…their all my favorite food back in my old world…
B-But that's not right…when did I tell Nanan my favorite food?
"If you're wondering how I knew what you favorite food is," I filched when Nanan pretty much echoed my thoughts out loud as he sat on the opposite end of the table. I thought he wasn't allowed to do that anymore?! "I just used a spell to read your preferences. The Rukh around a person not only shows a magician their personality and feelings. But if you know what to look for, it can also tell you their preference when it comes to almost anything, be it women to food,"
"So you can…read my mind?" I asked, disturbed, only to lighten up when the magi shook his head.
"Oh no! That's rude after all! And also very difficult!" He said, and suddenly, he was in a lecture mode "The mind and the soul are two very different things after all! The soul holds all your memories, your true self, and everything that makes you who you are. The mind, however, holds your experiences! I only used magic that let me read what was in your mind, not your soul. Even then, it takes an extreme amount of gifted ability to go as far as to listen to the soul's thought, as well as a deep understanding of said ability to decipher the language of souls. The only exceptions to this rule are the magi, who's mind and soul are open to the Rukh,"
I nodded understandingly. One would think that Nanan was peculiar for explaining these kinds of things to someone who was only a year old, but on the other hand, not once did I even try to act as a normal child in front of him anyways, so the argument is moot.
Inwardly, I sighed in relief. As much as I've grown to love the magi, him knowing about my future knowledge is the last thing I wasn't to bother with.
Still, who would have known that telepathy was near impossible in this world? You'd think that a world that can make fire pillars out of thin air would have a something as universally badass as telepathy.
"You were not thinking of getting telepathy, were you?" "It's not the kind of power that people would strive for these days,"
"Haha, I'm sorry, but it's impossible for you" "But you are welcome to try of course," "Nothing's stopping you,"
Great, now even the Rukh's laughing at me.
"Ah! Now look what you made me do! Today isn't the day for a lecture; it's time for a party!" Yunan snapped out of his lecture mode in an instant, causing me to halt my thoughts. I looked down at the food arranged for us two. There was a lot of food for just two people, and it almost covered the whole table. The last time I saw this much food in a lowly table was back in my world when I got promoted.
I smiled, letting the bittersweet memories take over before letting them rest in favor of the memory I am making now. Yunan looked at me happily from the other end of the table, patient, exited, and so very happy that I couldn't help letting my grin widen with his with just how grateful I was.
I…I honestly didn't think I'd be getting something like this anymore…a family dinner that is…
Excitedly, we clapped our hands in unison. And with the light of the rukh dancing around us like a thousand and one tiny fireflies, I gave an honest grin.
"Thank you for the food!"
It's been a while since I celebrated birthdays with my family…
Border of Reim and Partevia – Dungeon (Crevice) – Late Afternoon
For the first time in a long while, Sinbad screamed.
He rushed, ignoring stunned faces of the soldiers surrounding him and the hiss of pain that clawed his arms and chest as the bandages the child had so carefully wrapped around his person began to loosen and rip. He let his arm draw his sword, causing the man – a captain, from what he could see – to back away in fright when it began to spark widely. The soldiers surrounding the crevice created by the dungeon gasped and murmured in shock at the display of power so unnatural that it had to have been the one they were searching for. Some cowered beneath its thundering groan, while others grinned with ecstasy at the sight of the treasure that would lead them to riches.
Amidst all that, something small fell on the ground, and was soon stained by the dying red of fresh blood.
It was a child's arm.
The screams of a child echoed through the area.
"Fuck-!" Sinbad panicked and dropped his sword to catch the screaming child when she fell to her knees, but continued flailing in panic. She gasped and squirmed, clutching the bloody stub as blood continued to flow down onto the ground. The man who struck the child dropped his halberd in panic and began to stutter. The men surrounding him were now terrified. Their captain had just struck an innocent and practically sentenced her to death.
"I-I…I-I didn't-," The man, a pudgy captain with gray hair, convulsed in panic at the sight of the child and the severed arm. He looked around in a flurry of panic. His men were still there, frozen in shock and frightened by the turn of events. Sinbad cared for neither of this however, and was already moving to using his sword sash as a makeshift bandage to stop more blood from flowing.
The blood wouldn't stop flowing.
"A-Argh," The injured child choked as her lungs gave way, and her screams were but choked groans of pain now. Sinbad gritted his teeth and tightened the sash around the stub that was once her arm. The blood was pooling.
Shirin was only four years old. She wasn't like the people around her at all. They were soldiers, warriors. Shirin was a child.
One strike and she's…
"Shh, save your breath," Sinbad whispered to the child, his heart beating in ways he never wanted to feel as he tightened the sash again. The bleeding was slowing down, but she had already lost so much blood. At the very least, he was thankful that the captain and his army were too preoccupied by their own problems to intervene at this precarious time.
Bandages. He needed more bandages. Sinbad ripped his sleeve and used it as another layer to stop the bleeding. It wasn't enough. The bleeding was too much, her whole arm was cut off after all. Sinbad thought of shouting at the army to get them to help, but threw it aside when he realized that if they really wanted to help, they would have done so sooner. The boy bit his lip and continued his attempts in stopping the flow.
"WHAT ARE YOU ALL STANDING AROUND HERE FOR?!" A scream pierced through the heavens and caused the young dungeon conqueror to snap his head towards the captain in shock. Said captain was sweating, red-faced and pale faced all at the same time as he looked at him in panic. Around him, the men shifted uncomfortably. Sinbad looked up in shock by his words, and a vain sort of hope whispered to him that the army might actually help-
"SILENCE THEM! WE CANNOT HAVE THE EMPEROR KNOWING ABOUT THIS!"
Sinbad froze. So did the soldiers.
"S-Sir!?" One of the soldiers squawked "B-But she's just a child! It would be a-against our m-moral-,"
"YOU THINK I CARE WHAT YOU LOSE, SOLDIER?!" The captain was red in the face, kicking the quivering soldier with his iron boot "IF THE EMPEROR COMES TO KNOW THIS, OUR ENTIRE IMAGE WOULD CRUMBLE! REGARDLESS OF WHETHER WE GET THAT BLASTED POWER OR NOT!"
The soldier flinched back, frightened. The army on top of the crater looked hesitant, but lifted their halberds regardless. The captain who gave the order too picked up his weapon, and was now aiming it directly at the boy and the child he injured. The conqueror wanted to scream, but hesitated in fear of harming the child even more.
"What are you doing?!" He seethed instead, curling his arms protectively around the dying child as he minded her injury "Have you all lost your mind?!"
Perhaps he has…
The captain's halberd quivered, then steeled, before a sneer came upon his face.
"Sorry 'bout this, lad," The man said with a casual tone, yet the labored breaths and the sweaty hands gave away his true emotions, Never lest, Sinbad glared at him hatefully "But if word gets out that our division killed a civilian kid, our reputations would get tarnished at the eyes of the court. We don't want that, now do we?"
"So you plan to silence us?!" He shouted in disgust. How on earth is this man so different from Drakon?! It had taken Drakon sustaining near long lasting injuries and hours of exhaustion before he broke his code of honor and attempted to strike Sinbad in the back, and yet this man need only to commit a crime and decided to spoil his honor instead of living by it. Where is his pride as a soldier?! His honor?! Sinbad spat at the thought that this man may have a similar standing as the green haired commander, he certainly didn't look like he earned it due to his skills.
In his arms, Shirin was beginning to pale. The Rukh surrounded her was panicking.
The labored breaths vanished, the sweat running over his hands stopped, and the captain's decision was made "Got no choice here, lad. It's either your life, or mine, and I'm sure you can tell which one is more important," The man sneered, crazed as droplets of sweat continued to drop down his fat cheeks. He raised an arm, and suddenly, the teen and the child were surrounded. Sinbad gritted his teeth before setting the child down carefully and picking up his sword.
This wasn't happening. This can't be happening.
"Don't worry, lad," The man said, coming forward with ease in front of the teen and the child, knowing that he would not attack lest the ones behind him stab the child to death. "We'll be sure to tell the emperor of how you conquered the dungeon, only to die from all the injuries you had. You'll be a hero,"
Sinbad spat on him, and the captain growled when it reached his face in a disgusting mess. Surrounding them, the group of soldiers shouted in protest at the act of disgrace and hardened their stances.
"People like you will never amount to anything!" Sinbad growled "NEVER!"
The captain's eyes burned and bled the color of blood, and with an ear deafening screech, gave his order to his men.
The soldiers complied, and the halberds were raised. Sinbad ran back towards Shirin and brought out his sword, which glowed like lightning.
The soldiers charged forward, Sinbad readied his sword, the captain began to laugh.
"What have you done."
And the world froze.
…How could I have let this happen…?
"…Ririn? Ririn wake up, It's alright now,"
A pair of arms were wrapped around me as my back rested on someone's chest. I opened my eyes and met two blue orbs and a strained smile.
Yunan looked at me, his face mirroring the weary look he was sporting.
"Are you alright?" He asked, straight and blunt with a touch of uncertainty. He didn't even bother to let go of me yet either. I blinked before looking down. I…My arm…
The arm I thought was gone stared back at me, clenching it's fist and uncurling it, it was as if it had always been there.
The already small smile on his lips faded at my lack of answers and already, the beginning of furrowed brows were appearing on his face along with a mouth lined with worry. "…Ririn?" He called out, but when I hadn't responded to his call, put his hand on my cheek and looked at me with full blown worry "Is something wrong? Can you not speak? Oh dear…could it be that your too traumatized to speak?! Solomon, I am so sor-!"
I sniffed and began to wail, clutching my father figure tighter than I ever did. Yunan stiffened for a second, before wrapping his arms around me tighter.
"…It's been rough, hasn't it?" Nanan murmured as I cried in his shirt, I could have sworn that his voice broke for a second there "I'm sorry you had to go through that…,"
My cries only continued as the hours passed. I wanted to scream louder than I ever did when I was a kid. I wanted to yell so loud that it would just release all this pent up frustration and fear churning wildly in my body. Why did I go through that? Why did I have to feel that? What did I do to deserve that? I-I could h-have d-died…
Any form of words would only tumble uselessly through my tongue in the form of garbled cries.
"…It's okay now, everything's alright now. Everything is alright. Your safe now, you're safe,"
None of these feelings compared to the sheer relief I felt when Yunan's arms around me protectively, something I almost thought I'd never feel again.
Nanan's here. I'm home. I'm safe now.
I'm safe now…
"…Have you had enough?" Yunan asked hesitantly after what seemed like an years worth of pent up tears coming out all at once, before using a piece of cloth to gently wipe my face of the any tear stains and snot. I grumbled, too dazed by my outburst to stop him.
"Mhm…," I sniffled an answer, letting my tears slow down to a stop. I took the cloth Yunan was holding and wiped away the excess tears. Yunan just smiled hesitantly, beside him was his wooden wand, leaning on the sea rotting wall. "…Thanks, Nanan,"
I paused, blinking at my words
"HOLY FUCK!" I freaked, causing Nanan to also freak, thus causing his wooden staff to fall due to our resounding freaked-out-tedness.
"Eh? Ririn? What's wro-,"
I ignored the pitiful and innocent staff and brought my fists to Nanan's shoulders, holding him in a very tight grip.
"R-RIRIN?!" Nanan squeaked. I growled.
"What the FUCK?!" Well, there goes the tender moment "WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT FOR, YOU SHITTY OLD MAN?!" I shook him violently, not caring that his head was painfully hitting the wall repeatedly, he's tougher than he looks anyways "WHAT THE FUCK WERE THINKING WHEN YOU THREW ME IN THAT FUCKING PLACE?! YOU'RE A DAD FOR FUCK'S SAKE! YOU DON'T DO THAT TO YOUR OWN FUCKING DAUGHTER! WERE YOU EVEN FUCKING THINKING BACK THEN, YOU TEA-FOR-BRAINS NUMBSKULL!? WHAT THE HELL MADE YOU THINK THAT DOING THAT WAS A FUCKING GOOD IDEA?! WHAT KIND OF MOTHERFUCKING SHIT ARE YOU?! SOLOMON! I AM SO GONNA TELL ON YOU WHEN WE GET BACK!" Yunan paled, whether it be due to blood loss or recognizing just who I meant, I didn't care.
"I-I'm – Ow! – S-S-Sorry- Owie!" Yunan attempted to speak even as his head hit the wall repeatedly. "let's – Ow! - calm down!"
I paused and raised an eyebrow.
And then I smiled.
"Nana," I said in a pleasant tone, causing the older man to flinch horribly "I just went through one of the most traumatic moment of my life at the age of four because my own father pushed me into a dungeon, where – might I remind you – killed more than a thousand grown men with military training." Yunan winced at the smile I was giving him. I honestly don't know why, cause my smile is absolutely pleasant.
The Rukh shivered in fear.
"And your asking me to CALM THE FUCK DOWN?! YOU?! ASKING ME?! TO CALM THE FUCK DOWN?! YOU'RE THE FUCKING REASON MY HEAD WANTS TO EXPLODE!"
"U-um…," The older man muttered weakly, and I paused to allow him his last words before I enacted divine fucking punishment via head injury"I-I can explain! I can explain why I didn't tell you!"
"Oh? Then what is it?!"
"There…um…wasn't any time to explain?"
"Ow! – Ririn wait! OW! – This is actually starting to hurt –! Owie! I'M SORRY!"
"I HAD IT WITH YOUR SHIT NANAN! DON'T YOU DARE THINK YOU CAN JUST SAY SORRY ABOUT SOMETHING LIKE THIS! I PRACTICALLY LOST A FUCKING ARM BECAUSE OF YOU! YOU ARE GONNA FUCKING TELL ME EVERYTHING I WANT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW OR SO HELP ME, I AM GOING TO GIVE YOU THE FUCKING MOTHER OF ALL BRAIN DAMAGES YOU SON OF A WHORING BITCH AND AN ASSHOLE!"
"I will! I promise! B-But you need to – OW! – calm down!" Nanan tried again. Goddammit, Nanan! Just let me vent on you! I shook him harder "Ririn, you might upset your-!"
"Hiee!" I gasped when my shoulder suddenly began to throb painfully, causing me to let go of my foster father in favor for cradling my shoulder. "Aw fuck!"
In front of me, Yunan sighed and picked up his wand.
"-Injury," He groaned, tapping the shoulder with his wand and letting the healing magic do its work "I sorry I couldn't fully heal it. Reattaching limbs is difficult if the patient is unconscious," I winced as the magic slowly pulled out my stitching and closed the gaps of the injury until it was good as new. "Better?"
"…no," I huffed as rubbed my now healed arm gently, now cautious of what might happen if I went over the top again. "I am not okay. I am confused, hurt, and just plain pissed off because nothing is making sense and I want it make sense already," Yunan's shoulders slackened and his frown became more apparent when I said this "You can't just thrown these things at me like that and expect me to be alright with it, because I'm not! I just want an explanation, Nanan, Just one straight answer. Just one! I don't want to go through something like that again completely blind!"
Honestly, I don't want to go through something like that ever again. But seeing as I'm in a Shounen manga, I'm not taking any chances.
"…I'm sorry, I really am," He said softly, not bothering to pick up his fallen staff "I…I didn't take to account that you'd get injured the moment you left the dungeon,"
Oh fucking hell, I am not in the mood for another apology.
I snapped at that line "Dammit Nanan, did you even get a single thing I just said?!" I growled, causing him to snap in shock "Who the hell said I was pissed off because I got stabbed in the shoulder?! I'm pissed off because SOMEONE didn't bother to say anything to me about going into some god forsaken deathtrap. You didn't even give me the OPTION to refuse! You just shoved me in there as if my own opinion means nothing!" I got up and kicked him in the shin, knowing it has no effect on him in reality "Do you know how fucking angst I had to go through because of that?! If it wasn't for the fact that the purple headed idiot overheard you muttering something, I would seriously thought that you abandoned me!"
"Eh? Why would you think that? I-It's not like this was the first time I left you alone," Yunan asked hesitantly, clearly afraid by the veins that were popping out of my head right now "I-I asked Sinbad to protect you!"
Oh. My. God. Fuck the hole he lived him, this is ridiculous "If you had the mind to get Sinbaka to protect me, why didn't you just explain it to my face, huh?! At the very least, you were able to do that whenever you had to leave home alone! Be more specific goddammit!" I want aspirin. I want it right now. Someone. Please. Invent it for me.
"B-But!" Yunan stuttered "If I explained it to you back then, the army would have caught us!"
Oh you are NOT playing the blame game on me "Than why didn't you just tell me BEFORE we had to rush into some death trap before we got skewered alive?!"
"Because…," Yunan trailed off while biting his lip "…I only thought of getting you to enter the dungeon at that moment…,"
"HUH?" I mocked, clearly unimpressed "Do you seriously think I'd believe that? Goddammit Nanan, just give me a straight answer alrea-,"
My mocking tone was silenced when I saw the troubled look the magi suddenly sported.
"Nanan?" I called out in worry. Because for all my shouting, I already decided that I wouldn't hate the guy. He was the only father I had left after all.
Between us, the Rukh was silent.
"…It's true," He said quietly, his body was still, and his face suddenly looked so ashen and blank. It honestly worried me "…I'm not lying…I…suddenly thought you'd be safer going with Sinbad in the dungeon than…wherever I'm going. I don't know why…I just, suddenly thought it was a good idea and acted on it,"
"…," I looked at the silent magi in confusion, before a thought suddenly came to me. I frowned, because it wasn't a nice thought.
The rukh was still fluttering silently between us.
My shoulder's slackened. If that was the case…then Nanan really didn't have a straight answer to my question.
"We have a lot to talk about, Nanan," I sighed tiredly. This whole scenario is just too much right now "How about' we go home after all this and have a decent talk? We could talk here, but I have this feeling that this conversation should be in somewhere less, open…,"
"Hm?" I looked back up towards the magi, who was looking back at me in surprise "Yeah, home. What? Did you decide to call it something else aside from home while was away?"
"You…still want to go home with me?"
I fell silent at that single line. The man in question was still looking at me with uncertainty and confusion. It was as if he couldn't believe what he was hearing. I couldn't help but feel a twinge of worry when I heard that for some reason. Did I…Did I say too much?!
"Of course, I mean…I can go home with you…can't I?" I squawked. W-Was I too harsh?! Oi! I do not like where this is going! Fuck, I need to apologize! "U-Uhm,"
God. Damn. It. Why can't my mouth say "I'm sorry?!" at the most crucial of times?!
"O-Of course! Of course you can!" Nanan practically jumped, which shocked me a bit, but left me relived all the same "It's just that- I didn't think you wanted to go home after everything I made you go through. You even got your arm cut off…,"
I frowned, rubbing my shoulder at the memory. I should be angry at him but…
"This is all my fault"
"…I'm not angry about that, really," I said hesitantly and truthfully, knowing that anything else would not get to the magi "I…I'm pissed of that you threw me into that dungeon without even a say so, but it was still mostly my own fault that I got these injuries…,"
No really. After much deliberation in my part, I found that I just couldn't really blame Nanan for any of my physical injuries, had I not been overeager in doing stupid things, I would have most likely escaped the with not a single scratch. Mental trauma? Sure. Physiological trauma? Definitely. But Physical trauma? Based on what Baal said earlier, I probably would have been safer than an infant in their mother's arms if I hadn't been stupid and just damn unlucky.
And I doubt he could have predicted what had happened earlier…
And because of that…I…I just can't bring myself to blame him for this. I just can't.
I know how painful that would be.
"So…," I trailed off, looking up at the man, who was now sporting a very familiar face to me, It was a face I saw in the mirror every time I remembered that particular day. The sight of that face gave me enough courage to push through "So don't think it's your fault, okay? S-So stop thinking it is, okay ?"
Silence. It was as if the world stopped to give this one man the time to comprehend my words. He looked at me with wide eyes, so confused and so unsure of my answer that he actually backtracked. It made me wonder really, how many people have blamed him for something before? How many people hated him for choosing a king? For not choosing a king? For every action he had done as a magi?
How long has it been since someone just…forgave him…plain and simple?
I don't know. I can't tell. Nanan's just…way deeper than any normal person should be.
The man in front of me looked like he wanted to bite his lower lip so badly that I wondered what was stopping him. Seeing as he was still in shock from my apology, I reached out and patted his head. Which was more like slapping it really, but you get the point.
"I don't want us to have a broken relationship over miscommunication…I like having you as a dad," I tried to say in an even tone, but only found myself stumbling in some of them "So stop moping around, would you? I'm alive, and I forgive you! Just, no more secrets, okay? I'm not like the other kids that can't handle complicated things, and family really shouldn't hiding things like these between family. So no secrets, okay? Pinky Promise me here."
Nanan smiled wryly when I lowered my hand from his head and stuck out my pinky for him to see. He gave a small chuckle, but it was enough to feel the whole room.
"I…I promise to tell you everything then," fingers locked and I could help but let out a giggle at this childish promise marker. It still works though, so who am I to complain? "And…thank you for forgiving me. I don't deserve it,"
"Of course you deserve it! You more than deserve it, ya know!" I chirped with a laugh because finally, things were actually looking up now, I'm actually gonna get answers now "Through I have to admit, that dungeon was hell to do through! I've never been so tired in my life!"
"…Ah, about that," Nanan quipped to catch my attention as he got up from the ground. I winced when I saw the suspiciously deep crevice on the wall where his head should have been. I…think I should get some anger management issues eventually. Who knows what might happen if I got this angry at a normal kid "I was wondering about the bandages around your shoulder. When I took them off, I found that there was a separate injury aside from your recent one. What happened for you to get injured like that?"
That one question made me flinch in embarrassment. I kinda wish I was still unconscious right now "I kinda…uh…got in between Sinbad and Drakon during a fight…and well, Sinbad was really in the zone then…so, ya know,"
I…could have worded that better…
Yunan stared at me blankly for a second "I see…," He said, and I had to keep a shiver from going down my spine, because it sounded so normal that it was just plain creepy with how blank his face was. Beside me, the rukh were fluttering in panic, just like they did back in Balbadd when he found me in that slaver's hideout "I could have sworn I asked Sinbad to keep you safe while in the dungeon…Yet in the end it was his fault for almost killing you?"
Oh, holy hell and god above. Misunderstanding ! MISUNDERSTANDING!
"He tried to dodge!" I added hastily to calm the sleeping giant. I saw it awaken once, I DO NOT want to see it again. "And aside from that, he was really good at his job! Like, really!" An image flashed in my mind of building that once held hostages and how it- Nopenopenope. Not going there.
"…I suppose that's fine…I guess…,"
I frowned at the look the magi was making.
"…Seriously? Are you seriously pouting over not getting revenge over Sinbaka?"
"W-Wha?! O-Of course not!"
"I-I'm not pouting! R-Really!"
"H-How about we change the subject! Okay?!" Nanan said quickly, his face rather red on the cheeks. I fought long and hard to stop the bout of laughter from escaping my throat and ruining everything, because really? It's been so long since I've seen Nanan embarrassed like that. The last time I saw him like that was back at home, a whole year ago! Still, it seems like Nanan saw through my attempts and smiled as well, through it only lasted a second more before a frown took its place .
"Like say, what exactly happened back there in the dungeon entrance?"
I paused at the sudden change in subjects, and flinched when I realized what he just said and memories of that time came back to me. Disgruntled I frowned "Wait, you don't know?"
Yunan only frowned "When I arrived, Sinbad was defending you from the general. I connected the dots from there, but I would like to know your side of the story,"
I frowned as well "Eh, the stupid general attacked me,"
"So he did attack you…," I thought I heard him mutter, but I was too preoccupied by my own memories to care for now. "Why did he do that? Surely a general like him wouldn't swing his halberd violently at a civilian for no good reason…,"
"Um, a couple of reasons," I shrugged, remembering how it happened "I was sent back a bit earlier than Sinbad see?" earlier than I thought was possible really. Was the world really trying to screw with me or something?
"No it is not," "Bad luck exists in this world as well, child,"
I ignored the suspiciously fast reply of the rukh after hours of silence and continued.
"Added to the fact that I suddenly appeared out of nowhere with a huge sack of treasure with me? You could guess what happened," Yunan frowned at the implications.
Yunan frowned in confusion "But how could they make a mistake like that? Surely they could see that you were too young to be the chosen conqueror?"
Oh hell yeah I was!
"I know, right!?" I groaned uncaring that it's in English, which I knew caused quite a bit of confusion for the magi "I tried telling him! I really did! But he was just so much of a stuck up piece of pig shit that he wouldn't listen!" I groaned inwardly as I recalled the event and the men surrounding it.
They were an organized looking bunch, all clean and healthy wearing their nicely polished armor and holding their decently sharpened halberds. The head of the group in particular looked as if he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He wore a pleasant smile and a jolly face, added to the fact that he looked a plump and fortunate man, I could honestly say that he could have looked grandfatherly. I remember looking at the man in question, and wondering just how on earth this person acquired a similar title to the young, but battle hardened commander that fought Sinbad until he himself couldn't even lift his sword due to his injuries. Corruption, maybe? Probably something like that.
They looked so different from the men that were forced to enter the dungeon just mere months ago. Their hands were rough, but for some reason they looked so delicate to me, like they were trained to handle a sword and nothing else.
Those people were different from those farmers and villagers that died in the dungeon, they were actual trained soldiers, and that in on itself was downright dastardly.
Then that captain spoke, and I was completely and utterly thrown back.
I mean, who in the right mind would think that a four year old was the same person who entered the dungeon? Wasn't there like- a minimum age requirement or something? And…and I'm a girl.
I told him off immediately, but in all honesty, I didn't have any conclusive proof that I was telling the truth either. They literally saw me appear from a beam of light.
And because of that…he just wouldn't listen.
"My patience is thinning lad, either cough up the power of we take it by force,"
Hey! Stop that!
"Men! Ready your weapons!"
…ah!? Fuck that was close…
…Y-You…what kind of fucked up general are you?! I am CLEARLY four years old!
How…How the hell are you on the same standing as Drakon?!
To think someone like him could be compared to Drakon… disgusting! Your all fucking disgusting!
I…I need to buy myself time…I can't let them get the treasure before Sinbad arrives…
"W-Wha- You greedy child! That belongs to the country! Not yourself!"
…As if I'm going to believe that you wouldn't take some of the gold anyways, you look like that kind of guy…
…God, my arm is killing me. I shouldn't be over exerting it like this, who knows what might happen…
Fuck it. Sinbad, you owe me for this!
"Enough games! You are testing my patience with your stubbornness! Give us the treasure and the power of the dungeon or I will have you arrested and chained!"
Well people like you makes slave traders look like fucking friendship ponies, you near sighted Neanderthal! I've seen WAY too many people like you back in my world, and you know what?!
I've HAD it with people like you!
You all make me sick! All of you make me sick! Not only are you blind to just how fucked up your actions are, your own greed is stopping you from seeing reason! Thinking only about their status and no about anything else, doing the most dastardly things if someone so much as waves some money on front of you, being puppets to the real evil and not even caring…THAT'S WHAT YOU GUYS ARE!
How the hell are you on the same level as Drakon?! You're just a bunch of corrupt assholes that stinks worse than bullshit!
People like you…people like you will never amount to anything in reality! NEVER!
"You- YOU INSOLENT LITTLE-!"
I sighed. God, am I embarrassed.
"I ended up exploding at him in the end because of that," I said causally, hiding whatever quivers I got from the memory. Knowing the magi, he caught sight of them anyways. "Called him a lot of fucked up things – which were 100% true by the way! I mean, seriously! I was clearly younger than 14 and they STILL threatened me with those sharp pointy things! It was insane! – and accused him of corruption. He then snapped and struck me in the shoulder,"
I paused. I remember nothing about whatever happened after he cut off my arm really. What happened to him? Probably got scared shitless by Sinbad or something.
Nanan placed his arm on my shoulder and frowned "You must have angered him greatly to make him use enough energy to cut off your arm," Instinctively, I twitched and stretched my shoulder in response.
Magic really is a wondrous thing, isn't it? When I turned back that time and accidentally exposed my injured shoulder to the commander, he struck dead center through my arm, just a few inches away from my most recent injury. Due to the closeness of the cuts, the skin between them had inevitably tipped and collapsed, causing the weight to collapse on what was left of the bone, dislocating it from its joint, and then finally ripped through my armpit, thus causing it to fall off. While this was the first time I've experienced this, this wasn't the first time I've seen something like this happen. So when I woke up and found that my arm wasn't just a stub with pieces of skin flaying off like a peeled apple, I knew that I had to give it to the wonders of magic for this insane miracle.
"Yeah…I guess that was a close call back there," I trailed off awkwardly, trying not to look at him directly in the eye. Hey, it's embarrassing, okay? I should be, what, 36 years old when it comes to mental age right now? And yet I let myself go and do something stupid like insult a guy with a weapon. God, I'm getting worried for my own sense of safety already.
I blinked when my eyes landed on a set of wooden bowls to the side of Nanan. Huh, they look a lot like the ones from Sinbad's house…
I was suddenly aware of my surroundings before turning my head to observe the place I was at. It was a small, sun-baked room with a small layer of dust hiding between the gaps of the walls. Pinned on the walls were empty fishhooks and a fishing line. The furniture was sparse in the room, only having a low table, a cupboard, three pillows, and a single bed clustered on the side. It was empty.
"This is Sinbad's house…," I muttered in realization, to which Yunan nodded and smiled hesitantly again.
"Yes, It is," He said a little too quickly, causing me to frown. Something…something was wrong here…I looked around again, trying to figure it out. There was nothing out of the ordinary in here really, so why does that make it worse?
My eyes fell on the empty bed, all neat and orderly with a folded piece of a straw mat laid on top of it.
My head snapped towards the center of the room. There was nothing there.
There was no one there
Dread began to pile up inside me as I tore away from Nanan's grasp to run towards the bed and took the floor padding folded on top of it, almost ripping it when I unfolded the straw weave.
"Ririn, you shouldn't be moving around so fast, you'll get-!"
It didn't smell like anything. No herbs, no hair, no sweat, no blood. It was perfectly clean.
It shouldn't be this clean so soon.
Isn't it supposed to be holding a dying woman?
"Where is she, Nanan?!" I snapped back towards my father figure. My throat was hurting so much right now. I felt like I wanted to puke.
Yunan was frozen in place, lowering his arm and averting his eyes from me. He wasn't speaking.
He wasn't speaking
"I said, WHERE IS SHE?!" I screamed. No, no, NO! This isn't right!
"NANAN! WHERE THE FUCK IS ESLA?!"
"Ririn…," He muttered, voce still soft, still just above an actual whisper. "You saw her condition…she was only hanging on because, she didn't want to leave her son all alone…,"
"I-I-I know that," I sputtered, anger rising with every second of unanswered questions "I-I know that s-she was a hopeless case. What I want to know is where is she?!"
Nonono, please god no. I-I know it was fated but-
Yunan fell silent again, and I felt like pulling my hair is frustration.
"MOTHERFUCKING- ANSWER ME NANAN!" I clawed anything I could reach, his clothes, his hands, his arms, anything so he would just stop being so damn silent "Where's Esla?! Where's Sinbad?! What the fuck is happening?! Goddammit- you just told me that you were gonna give me straight answers from now on, so please, ANSWER ME FOR ONCE!"
Yunan crouched down and hugged me tightly. Only then did I notice how worn out he really looked. I froze.
"Miss Esla died three days ago. She was already given a burial by sea,"
Tison Village - Coastal – Evening
The torches were still there He mused They didn't want to return the funeral torches,
He sighed, picking up the unused torches from their shallow grave in the sand and moving them to the side. It would not do anyone well to keep the coastal dirty after all. He remembered how his father would sometimes stab his only foot on splintered wood and give a restrained yelp. Ever since then, Sinbad would clean the coastal before hand, just before he would hide in that tiny fishing boat they always used. He never spoke about it to his papa though, because if he did, he would use it as a sign that his son was already there and remove him from the boat.
Sinbad chuckled when he remembered a particular time back when his father was still around, while selling fish with his father, a thief rushed by them, stealing three of their fishes. Due to his father's disability, he gave up in trying to catch him, but Sinbad hadn't, and when he caught up to the thief he was able to keep him from running away until the adults caught up with him. The merchants had praised Sinbad for his bravery, and Sinbad really liked being praised. But instead of his father doing the same thing, Badr had looked at his son in utter horror, immediately looking for injuries before berating him for doing something so rashly and back then Sinbad couldn't understand.
Why wasn't his father happy for him? He saved the day! He did good! He was a hero that everyone praised? So why was father so displeased at him?
Sinbad placed the funeral torches in a single pile and stood up, looking towards the ocean again.
Must be the wind He thought with a frown, shaking away his own thoughts before they got too out of hand.
The teen jerked and turned towards the source of the voice. It was a kid, looking at him cautiously. On her shoulder was very attached arm. Sinbad grinned, his previous thoughts pushed back recognize the new arrival.
"Shirin! Your okay! Thank Solomon!" The sailor cheered as he paced towards the weird child. He did his best not to strain his smile as a thought surfaced. It wasn't her fault, It wasn't. "For a second there, I thought you-,"
He cut himself off there, suddenly very sick as he remembered what happened in the giant crevice. Especially what happened after the captain struck Shirin.
"What have you done."
The wind, he thought to himself definitely the wind, it is nothing else BUT the wind.
The girl in question looked at him weirdly before giving a shrug of her shoulders "Kid, it'd take something a bit more fatal than a bit of skin ripping before you could get rid of me," Sinbad twitched at the display of faux carelessness. It would probably take a couple more years until he actually believed that lie.
I'm pretty sure getting your ripped out is a bit too much to just be called 'a bit of skin ripping after all He thought with a frown. Of course, it could just be that she was making light of the situation to ease his own worries, so he couldn't say anything against that.
Instead, he gave a light bark "Heh, guess I take it your alright? That's good, that's good…," He trailed off when he saw the face the child was making at him.
"How 'bout you?" She asked cautiously. A question he's heard throughout the entire night by almost everyone in the village…excluding Shirin's father. (Thank Solomon)
Despite this, he still gave her a confused look "Hm?"
The kid must have had shorter patience that he thought, since she already looked ticked off at the first deflection alone. "I said, how about you?" She said testily, as if she wasn't talking to someone who just lost his mother. It didn't take long for the anger to ebb away though, leaving behind a tired tone "Are you alright?"
He blinked at her, unsure whether he should answer an obvious lie, or continue deflecting. Because he certainly didn't feel like talking about it at the moment.
Turns out, he didn't need to think. Because soon enough, Shirin's eye twitched "Wait, no, stupid question," She said more to herself than to him "Of course you're not. Why would you be? I just want to- God, this is not turning out the way I planned it to be,"
Sinbad raised an eyebrow as the girl continued muttering to herself, frustration was clearly building up inside her. Before he could stop her rising temper, however, she took a deep and dramatic breath and spoke again.
"Just- are you okay?" She asked again, and Sinbad had to stop the smile on his face from forming at the troubled look in her face "I-I get that I'm not the first person to ask that, but I really don't know how to start these things,"
Not being able to help it anymore, Sinbad smiled and ruffled her head. The kid stumbled at the sudden wait, and looked like she wanted to protest.
"I'm fine, really," He said with honesty. And when the girl gave him a look, he continued "Mom's health…it wasn't the best really. We once had a travelling doctor pass by our village once, and he told us that she really doesn't have much life left in her anymore." He thought back to his mother at the time, looking grim and hopeless when she thought he wasn't around, and ruffled the child's head again. "I guess you could say…we were all just waiting until something finally gave in inside her,"
His mind flashed back to the past, when his mother gave him his father's sword and told him to leave.
Shirin looked up from Sinbad's hand, a frown on her face "But that's not what's bothering you, is it?"
"You didn't get to see her…that's what's bothering you,"
The smile on his face fell slowly and his arm fell from the child's head.
"…yeah, I guess that's it,"
"…do you regret it?" Shirin asked him, and his mind flashed back to the dungeon. For once in his life, he felt a little disgusted with himself. Because even now, he still felt the thrill that place gave him.
Sinbad clenched his fist to stop the memories "No…I don't regret going into the dungeon," he said to her "You were right back then really. Thrill-seeking is like a second nature to me. I would have never refused a challenge like that, especially with a djinn as a prize,"
He saw Shirin wince at his words, he wondered what he said wrong to get that kind of reaction "I guess…I just wasn't expecting her to die before I came back from the dungeons,"
Nonono he wasn't expecting that at all-
Now Shirin was outright squirming. Sinbad raised a brow at her behavior. Anymore, and she'll start crying herself silly.
"Hey-," He started, but Shirin cut him off.
"I'm sorry, okay?!" She cried, startling the teen before her. "This is my fault! This has to be! We spent so long in that dungeon because you and Drakon had to protect me! If I wasn't thrown in that dungeon in the first place, maybe you could have at least seen her one last time!" Shirin's face started going red as she continued to cry "Dammit! I can't even blame Nanan for this either, now that I know why he threw me in there…,"
While the last part of her rant piqued his interest a bit, it wasn't enough to overcome the worry he felt at the sight.
"Hey, wait, I'm not blaming you! Stop that!" He said with honesty, which was why his voice was strained when he spoke that line "It wasn't your fault either, okay? There's no way you could have expected that to happen, and there was no way you could have prevented it,"
"But I- God, what am I doing?!" She continued to cry "You're the one who needs the support right now! Not me! Just- Argh! I can't do this! How the hell did my sister put up with me?!"
Sinbad overlooked the garble of words she said in the end. Why was she so worked up over this? It wasn't her fault that she died or anything. It wasn't.
So he told her that, and to his relief, the tears slowed down a bit, but still continued to drip down her face. Like this, she looked like an ordinary child.
Because she was. She was only a child. There was no way he could put the blame on her for something like this.
Sinbad brought a smile to his face before looking up towards the full moon staring down at them and changing the subject.
"Did you know that mom didn't like the moon?" He said without thinking, just staring at the full moon before them. It's been a while, he realized, since he's shared any stories about anyone other than himself to a kid. Said child looked at him, startled out of her tears, before shaking her head "Dad once told me that she got it from Grandma and Grandpa. Since the tides always seemed to rise higher when the moon was out, the three of them often suffered with having their house flooded. Mom used to talk about how they'd sometimes have to go all the way out to sea to collect some of their belongings that got washed away." Sinbad bit a smile at the memory, because while his mother told him about it with such distaste, his father would always laugh it up and remind her that it was the reason why they met in the first place.
Fate worked in strange ways, he guessed.
"…Huh," She finally spoke with a scratchy and painful voice "Is that why your house is the farthest from the coast? I always found it funny that a fisherman lived so far away from their money source…,"
This time, Sinbad barked out a laugh "Ha! Yeah, She insisted that they'd move to a house as far from the coast as possible because of that, despite dad being a fisherman and all," His smiled waned just a bit "It was fine back then though, since the distance wasn't really that far in the first place. But she really started regretting it after dad…,"
Sinbad paused, suddenly unsure how to proceed.
Why was he having so much trouble talking about it? Just tell her about hi-
"Sinbad…In the end…Your father was deployed after all, right?"
"Hey," He hid a flinch when the child spoke up, Shirin looked at him warily, but continued nonetheless "What was your dad like? Esl- Your mother would tell me a thing or two about him, but not much,"
"She tends to do that, yeah," he said half heartedly, not really looking at her until he gave out a sigh and began to remember "Let's see…I guess you could say that my dad was a pacifist. Even before the war started, mother would tell me how much he avoided resorting to violence more than anything, even if someone was actively hurting him,"
Because of that, it was always Mother who won the tiny arguments they had. The only time Father would win was when it involved the war.
"But don't think he was a pushover either!" He said with a quick smile as his mind wandered to that day "Father survived a war after all! All you had to do was hurt someone close to him, and you'd find yourself bleeding from your chest before you could even react!" He turned to see Shirin's understandably horrified face. He wore a slightly more awed face when he heard the same stories from one of his father's friends before they were shipped off.
Slowly, his shoulders began to relax and his breath began to even. The guilt was still there, but it was muted now.
He began speaking without thinking, telling the child things he almost forgot about his own father. How he made his cane from drift wood, how he once fell off his boat when Sinbad rocked it too hard, how he fought off birds with his cane when they were trying to get a hold of their fish.
It surprised him when he realized just how long it's been since he's actually talked about him, not the hero who saved him from the Reim spy and was shipped off to war, but his own father.
"You could even the proof from his body too! He was literally all muscle and no flab!" Sinbad said to the child, who was easing up from her weary state as well. How long have they been talking already? Sinbad found that he couldn't care less, he just wanted to talk "He was really handsome too, the most handsome man in this village! Mother used to tell me how she literally had a crush on him the moment they met, and how he almost fainted when he proposed to her! Even while she was sick, she would always gush about how much I'll end up looking like him when I grow up!"
Sinbad kept talking
He stopped thinking
"Heck! She was supposed to mistake me for him when she died!"
Sinbad froze, his mind only now registering what he just said. Did he just-
Shirin, who had closed her eyes during his conversation, opened her eyes and looked at him blankly. The sight made Sinbad sigh mentally, as it seemed like she didn't hear that particular bit.
He looked back towards her, only to find that she had frozen
He winced. So she did hear.
Sinbad opened his mouth-
"Wait, WHAT?!" She screamed at his ear, causing Sinbad to flinch away "What did you just say?! Did I just hear say that?!"
"Hear me say what?" He feigned ignorance, hoping it would deflect her. It didn't.
"THAT! What you said in the last sentence!"
Maybe he could still salvage this mishap "I said 'I'll look as handsome as my father when I grow up',"
Shirin was definitely not buying it "AFTER THAT!"
Shirin looked like she was about to burst a vein, something tells him that not giving straight answers piss her off a lot "Don't you DARE try deflecting on me!" She roared, looking very pissed off "I want a straight answer from you! What do you mean by her seeing you father in you when she died?! And why do you sound so sure that's gonna happen?! How do you even know this?!"
Sinbad froze, but replied again "It was just a slip of the tongue Shirin. I meant to say that…that she would probably see my father in me at her death bed-,"
"If it really was a 'slip of the tongue' you wouldn't have tried to deflect it! Dammit, Sinbaka, I am not dumb enough to not read the atmosphere!" She barked at him with the weariness of a beast. Every wart of her was tense with something akin to disbelief. "You sounded like that was supposed to happen! Fuck! You sounded like…y-you..,"
The tenseness in her body disappeared, leaving slack and wide eyes as she stared up at the boy, who was now looking at her with a resigned frown.
"…Sin…are you…actually aware of….what's gonna happen in the future…?"
Sinbad closed his eyes
"The man you saved is a spy,"
"Your father is not coming back,"
"Your mother will die only moments after you escape the first 'dungeon',"
And opened them again
"Yunan cares for his daughter deeply,"
"…Oh My God…," She stared at him, eyes growing even wider, she had already stood up and blacked away slightly "Oh My God. You could – You could see into the- the future! All this time- you KNEW what was going to happen?!"
Sinbad stayed still on the ground, looking at her with equal weariness "In a way…I can tell what might happen, but no exact details,"
Shirin was just gaping now, her expression making Sinbad uncomfortable. Inwardly, he cursed his tongue for letting that slip, he was going to be starting his journey soon, and he didn't want something like his to happen.
He wasn't expecting this at all.
So many things are happening that I hadn't expected-
"You- God, Why didn't you do anything then?! Y-You could have- I mean!- Couldn't you have prevented it?!" She was looking at him with such desperate eyes, her body posture screaming at him, screaming things he wanted to just block out "Couldn't you have prevented everything?!"
Couldn't you have saved her? Couldn't you have saved him?
Couldn't you have changed something?
"Dammit- Sinbaka don't do this to me! You can't just stay silent now! I am sick of the silent treatments already! So plea-!"
"Mother would have died either way,"
The Rukh shivered
"Unless I resorted to unsightly methods, I couldn't earn enough money to pay her medicine no matter how hard I tried. I couldn't leave the village to earn more because then no one would be there to care for her – and the villagers could only do so much with their own family to sustain. I couldn't stay with her when she gave me my father's sword because she would just forcibly worsen her illness until even the medicine I bought wouldn't be enough. I couldn't rely on the merchants to help my mother, because their merchants, not doctors, and they know very little about herbal medicine. I couldn't even ask your father to heal her, because illnesses were something that magic could not easily help in, and by the time you and your father arrived, mother was already in a state that he could not cure her from,"
"I couldn't even save my father, because I didn't realize I could have saved him. I was too young to know what some things meant. I didn't realize that, being a spy meant he was dangerous to my family, I just knew he was someone and helped him. The Rukh said he wasn't going to kill us. And he didn't, but the rukh didn't tell me that he wasn't dangerous and I couldn't do anything, okay? In the end he didn't kill anyone, because the people who killed my father ended up being an army. I couldn't do anything-!"
Shirin grabbed his arm, and he stopped, he was breathing heavily (When did his breathing become like this?)
"I'm sorry," She told him, urgently "I didn't- I didn't mean to make it sound like it was your fault. I just- I'm sorry,"
He looked up to her face. The guilt was overwhelming, was she really feeling this much guilt because of one accusation? It was as plain as day.
(And how long has he been hiding his?)
"It's fine, really," He said with a smile, easing her up "I already accepted that I couldn't do anything for them. That's why…that's why I want to be stronger,"
He stood up from his place, taking out the sword from its sheath and letting it's polished blade reflect the strokes of moonlight. In the center of the blade was a glowing symbol.
"I want to be stronger, faster, braver, more knowledgeable. I want to be everything that I wasn't before, everything that I should be so that I could so whatever I want. I want to go around the world and see everything. I want to meet everyone and know everyone. I want to be by their side and have their back. I want to be someone who can protect them, to protect everyone,"
In the pale light, the symbol grew brighter.
"I want to be their hero,"
The Rukh surrounding the boy cheered and buzzed reverently, yet Shirin could only look on at this display with bitterness.
"…You can't save everyone…," She murmured to herself, eyes and fists clenched. Sinbad heard this, but didn't turn around "You can't always be there to save everyone…,"
"Then at the very least, I could try," He said "And there's nothing wrong with trying, right?"
He turned away from the ocean and towards the little girl in front of him, her head was lowered and covered her face completely.
"…and if you fail?" She said in a weak voice, and Sinbad once again wonders what's gotten into her "If you fail and something bad happens because of it? Something that would make you regret even trying for the rest of your life?"
He almost said that he wasn't going to ever fail, That with the help of the Rukh, he could save everyone. But he stopped himself, and instead gave a smile.
"Then I'm going to regret it, regret failing," He said evenly as he looked at the child, who flinched at his words "But I'm going to learn from it, and I'm going to try again. Because I know that the people I'd be saving would be worth it,"
"That's what a king does, right? He always looks out for his people, even when he makes mistakes. He wouldn't stop trying to help them,"
Slowly, the child looked up, and to Sinbad's relief, she was smiling.
"If you could keep that ideal with you for the rest of your reign, Sinbad," She said, and his eyes widened when he realized that she used his real name "Then I'm sure you'd become a great king,"
It was Sinbad's turn to smile, laughing as he tousled the hair under her hat, much to her chagrin "Aren't I already one?" He said happily "After all, If I could get the respect of an annoying pipsqueak like you, I could make everyone love me!"
"As if, fish-for-brains!" She growled, but held no true anger in it "Now stop touching my hair!"
Sinbad laughed, really laughed. And he wanted to think that somewhere, his mother and father were laughing and smiling with him too.
"Let's get you home now, pipsqueak," He said, taking her hand and leading her back into his house, where her father should be staying. Shirin froze.
"Hm? You said something?" He said absentmindedly as he entered the hut and froze just like the child did.
He entered the hut for a few seconds before exiting again, looking at the girl with a weary stare.
"…Shirin…where is your father…?"
"Ahahaha…he…um…you might want to sit down for this,"
"He wants me to WHAT?!"
"I KNOW, RIGHT?!"
Tison Village - Port – Morning
"I can't believe he's making you travel with me!" I watched in bemusement as Sinbad ranted, all the while fixing the harness.
"I can't believe you actually kidnapped the freakin' princess and stripped her in public!" I ranted as I pointed once again towards the barrel in the sea, which held a very furious princess with a very broken chest plate "And then you just threw her in a barrel?! Solomon! What the hell is wrong with you! That's not how you treat royalty, you dingus!"
"And why should I care about her status, huh?! A person's status has nothing to do with their personality!"
"I know that, but she's a princess!"
"Just- argh! I think I understand why Drakon wanted to rip you to shreds back in the dungeon!" I threw my hands up to the sky and prayed to whatever deity was up there that they would give me patience. Because I'll be needing a lot of it.
Instead, they just gave me an eye glare. I cursed and looked away from the sky.
"Did you have to strip her like that, though?! You could have easily just knocked her at the back of her head! What's with that humiliating display?" I ranted at him, because really? There were like, a lot of people there. If I were her, I would be burying myself in a hole by now.
"Well I had to get her attention somehow, and I didn't really want to do something that was too painful" Sinbad said with a frown. "She beat that guy to a pulp, yeah, but she only raised her hand because they insulted her father, and I couldn't really blame her for that," He wrinkled his nose in distaste "Even if her father is as horrible as the man said he was,"
I looked at him with a frown, eyes narrowed at the color on his cheeks.
"You just wanted to see a pair of boobs, didn't you?"
He flinched, and glared "Don't make it sound like it's a bad thing! I am a healthy man with healthy tastes. Those leather straps were just begging to come off!"
I whined and looked towards the vast sky for salvation, tears were steaming from my eyes "Oh My Solomon, Nanan, you made me travel with a pervert! I'm gonna die!"
In response, the Rukh danced around me happily, traitors.
"Hey, stop making it sound like I'm a molester, I'm nothing like those guys!" He barked irritably "Beside, you should just blame your father for this set up. Why did he even think that this was a good idea anyways?" The last part was more of a mutter to himself than anything, but it was still loud enough for me to hear it.
I frowned and looked back towards the port town that was slowly disappearing into the horizon.
"So you wish to comfort him?"
"Well duh, he's probably the one who's hurting the most right now," And I just want to tell him I'm sorry for messing everything up "He…people like him needs someone beside them so that they wouldn't shoulder the burden alone," Finding my boots at the doorway of the house, I stepped forward.
"Then how long would you stay by his side, Ririn?"
"Just a few hours? Only enough to get the message through his thick head…Nanan? What's with that look?" I turned back towards my foster father His face was pensive, and not a trace of the remorse he showed earlier was seen in his eyes. For that one second, I swore I saw someone much older underneath that youthful skin.
His eyes softened, and the image disappeared, but the way he spoke was still odd "How long would you stay by his side to comfort him? A few hours? More? Maybe Days? Or perhaps…," A look of uncertainty crossed his pensive face "Years?"
I blanched "What the fucking hell are you talking about?" I couldn't help but say because, what? Just, what? "Of course I'll just be staying there for a few hours! Maybe for just a few minutes! I hate the guy, remember?! Why would I spend my whole freakin' life with someone I hate?!"
"Because you're worried for them?" He answered plainly, his tone mimicking one saying the sky was blue "Because if you don't stay with him, he would be alone? And that was the one thing you did not want him to be?"
I backtracked "Wha-!"
"Was it your intentions to comfort him, and then leave the next day?" The way Nanan was acting right now was so straightforward and blunt that it was just foreign to me. I flinched with every sentence he said "Because I say, Ririn. If you do that, then you will make no difference in his behavior and mood. You'd have to stay with him longer than that for the truth of your words to sink in,"
"What the- Then what do you expect me to do?! Travel with him?!" I screeched, I so confused right now. What was happening?! What the hell is Nanan going on about?!
"Do you want to?" He asked and I paused "Join him on his journey, would you want that? Because if you go and comfort him now, I promise you that you'll find it eerily difficult not to stay with him,"
"What do you mean by that?" I asked hesitantly. Only then did I notice that the Rukh was encircling around him erratically, whispering so many things that it was making my head spin. And while Nanan himself seemed to be deaf to their voice, it did not mean they held no influence to his words.
"The boy is a very special person, Ririn," Yunan said, standing up from his spot as the Rukh continued whispering "And whether they are conscious of or not, people are drawn to those who are different. You and I were no exceptions,"
"Did you know?" Yunan said to me "When we first met the boy back then, I had no intention of following him? I was grateful yes, but we had already reached the town we were supposed to stay in when the bandits arrived, accepting the boy's offer of staying in home was unneeded. So…why did I follow him to this village? One that was suspiciously close to the first free dungeon of the era no less?"
"Why did I invite him into the dungeon? His plight was saddening, yes, but could I honestly say that I have not seen worse cases? Could I honestly say that I did not meet determined people like Sinbad in the past, only to turn my head away from them? No, I cannot, Which is why I found myself confused when I realized I offered a child as young a Sinbad the power that thousands had died for, and believed he would obtain it. Why did I do that? Why is that boy so different from the others I have met?"
"It is true that he has the makings of a king, Ririn, he has the makings of a fine king," His face was blank, so very blank that it was almost frightening "But to be drawn to one person so easily? When it has been so long since I've chosen a king? I only realized my own actions after Miss Esla died three days ago and Sinbad wasn't there yet…Why did I believe that Sinbad was supposed to be there by now?"
He walked towards me and lowered himself so that we would meet eyes. My own mind was stalling, reeling back painfully at this new information, and unable to comprehend what all these mean.
"The boy…Sinbad, the pull of his destiny is strong, too strong. Once you're in deep, it is almost impossible to turn away from it," He placed my hand on my shoulder and frowned "Perhaps being part of his destiny isn't a bad thing…but I would prefer it if you paved your own future instead of relying on one king's destiny,"
"Ririn, you might not understand it right now, but if you get any closer to that boy than you are now, I cannot guarantee that you'd still want to come home with me and live your life,"
"That's…," I trailed off. He was right when he said I'd be confused, even with my own future knowledge, everything Nanan was saying was just flipping me over the head. I knew that a lot of people would follow Sinbad in the future, but I didn't think that something as simple as that came from something strange enough that it would terrify a magi. Wasn't Yunan afraid of Sinbad in the future? Even Aladdin was hesitant in becoming Sinbad's magi. Something about…being swallowed up by his light…
I gulped, suddenly everything Yunan was saying was making sense, and I really didn't like the truth of it.
"Hey, Shirin?" I blinked away my thoughts and turned to Sinbad, who's look of irritation had already vanished.
"Yeah?" I turned towards whatever he was looking at, and paused. It was the island that once held the 1st dungeon. Beside me, Sinbad was looking at it with a complicated face.
"…that island…was the farthest I ever went from the village," he said, and I saw the beginnings of elation buried in his voice "And now, I'm actually going to go past it,"
The grin on his face was blinding as our little, insignificant boat, passed the island and towards the vast open sea.
"So you still wish to travel with him?"
"No…I…I don't…but…I don't want him to be alone yet...and if it means I have travel with him for a while, it's fine...,"
"Haha…Hahahahaha!" He laughed and cheered, like a child who has done the impossible "It's finally starting! My journey is finally starting! It won't be long now!"
I looked at him and his smile, not once did either fade.
"…then how about this? Travel with him for now, and when he gains companions you can trust him with, let them help him in your stead,"
"They will be his loyal subordinates in the future, no? That way, they can be protected by their king, while protecting him in turn,"
"I…I don't understand,"
"Make them care for their king, not just as a figure above them, but as an equal,"
"I am going to be a King!" He cheered, climbing up onto the edge of the boat as if doing so wasn't going to tip up off and send us into the watery pits of hell.
I laughed at this "Not with the way you're standing on the edge like that, you aren't!" I said, using what little strength I had to pull him down before he got a taste of salt water. "Besides, you have a long way to go before anyone would boy down to you, Sinbaka!"
Sinbad laughed, and I laughed as well, because the laughter and joy this king candidate was feeling was just contagious.
"When you believe he's in good hands, I'll come and pick you up,"
And deep inside, I could only hope that this happiness never dies.
"What have you done?"
Time stopped for no one, no matter the tragedies, no matter the miracles. Yet for this time alone, it seemed as if the word had froze.
Sinbad gasped and swayed, the power the djinn was giving him flickered to a halt, as if hiding once more in its cage of steel. The man in front of him, with his arms and legs strapped in armor, was the first to move.
He stepped back, and fell on his rear, pointing at the boy with a look of death. The soldier's behind him quivered and stepped back as well, holding their weapons as if it held their very life. The soldiers above were quivering still, looking at the boy in panic and fear.
No, Sinbad though, they wasn't pointing at him.
Sinbad turned quickly, swinging his sword to find-
Yunan, just Yunan
It was just Yunan, cradling his child in his arms and murmuring little nothings. There was a soft green glow surrounding the two, a glow that almost felt warm. It was a warmth that reminded Sinbad of his mother and father, and how they would huddle together happily during one of the many frequents storms that plagued their village. It was the kind of warmth that would make any child feel safe and secured, and Sinbad would honestly have fallen asleep amidst the warmth right there and then had the situation been different.
Sinbad gulped and fought the urge to step back as well. Even with his own pride and the the djinn's power at his side, this mere action seemed so difficult.
What is this fear he's feeling?
"Yu…nan?" He croaked out and fought to step forward. He put his right foot first, then his left, and slowly repeated the process. Sinbad fought the urge to scream, for every step felt painful and constricting. He felt his legs burn in molten ash, sharing his muscles and burning his bones. His heart began to pound widely, faster and faster and faster, screaming to the boy who had seen the abyss of gore and had fought for his life in a pit of the foulest of beasts to run as far away as possible, to run away so that he may live.
And then, Yunan turned.
"Oh, Sinbad, there you are," The man named Yunan smiled at him, and all of a sudden, the pressure the boy felt coming from the father disappeared, leaving him breathless and weak-kneed. Behind him, the general had yet to get up from the ground. With a sort of grace that came from years of experience, the man stood up, carrying the tiny bundle of red with him as he walked towards the King Candidate and handed the child to the boy.
Sinbad felt like screaming, but he found that his voice was halted at the sight of the child.
She had both arms on her.
Her arm was back.
But how did-?
"There are traces of blood on that general's halberd. Could that be Shirin's?" He said pleasantly, politely, happy in a way that was outright disturbing for the boy. Sinbad fought the urge to quiver at the man in front of him, for despite his smile and tone of voice, his eyes portrayed a vastly different emotion. "Take her to your home, would you? Your mother needs you as well,"
The mention of his mother brought some sense back into the man's shaken mind, who now looked at the magi with disbelief. He turned his head towards the general and his army, but was stopped by Yunan, who turned his head back using his wooden staff, the pressure that Sinbad felt earlier seemed to have returned.
"I will take care of them," He said lightly, too lightly and with a smile at that, "It is within my right to be the one who punishes them after all. They did hurt my child after all,"
Sinbad took a glance at the quivering men above the crevice, they looked like they wanted to run, like they were willing to throw away their own comrades just so that they would not be eaten by the storm inside this blond haired man. Yet, as If they were rooted there, they stood still.
"…The soldiers didn't do anything…," Sinbad bit his lip and braced himself, ready to reason to the man who clearly did not look troubled by the thought "It was just the general! They didn't do anythi-!"
"Indeed, they didn't do anything,"
The staff the magician held began to glow, and suddenly Sinbad was flying.
"Don't worry about them now. I will give them what they deserve, and only that,"
Sinbad screamed in surprised, clutching onto the unconscious girl as to not let her fall. It did not take log before they were set down by the mysterious magic, right in front of his house. The events that happened after that was enough to let him set aside the events that occurred before his mother's death.
It was only when he heard a disturbing rumor while preparing the supplies he needed to start his journey that he was reminded of that strange event.
"Have you heard? General Boletus eius Brachium's army was found outside the dungeon severely injured!"
"The villagers found them all without their legs! I even heard some of them say that the group nearest to the crevice was choking and was unable to breathe properly!"
"Choking? From what?"
"Fungi of all things! They were growing on the surface of their tongues! The medics had to cut off the entire thing so that the soldiers could breathe properly, but now they can never speak again!"
"And the General? Where was he when all this happened?"
"That's the thing…no one found him…whole, at least,"
"What? You mean…,"
"At the center of the crevice, they found what looked like an arm…they think it's from the general,"
"...what looked like an arm?"
"It…I saw it while it was being carted back to the palace…it's nothing like I've ever seen before,"
"The arm! It was- It was swelling all over! And there were holes dotting around it too! Like hives! They were even littered in fungi!"
"T-then that couldn't be the General's arm, you dolt! No human has an arm that looks like THAT! It must have come from the monster who killed him!"
"…y-yeah, yeah, that must be it…,"
Sinbad shivered, and turned away.
Even then, the chill refused to escape his system.
The wind, I'm just feeling the wind.
I actually wrote a MUCH more detailed version of what Yunan did to the soldiers, but then I looked at the fanfiction ratings and felt that making this fic M rated wasn't worth showing everyone my love for gore.
Besides, people with Trypophobia would probably hate me for making a rather…detailed….description of what exactly happened to the General's arm. They would certainly LOATH me if I uploaded the image I drew of said arm and how it's all-
Okay, I'll stop now.
SO! I hope you liked this chapter, I'm sorry I thought of killing this fanfic, and sincerely thank the people who still reviewed even after it had been a year! You guys guilt tripping me is the entire reason why I haven't scrapped this thing!
That's it for now.
Read and Review, Okay?