3rd Pov: Ban
Ban was tired of how his life was going. Having to steal food just because his parents didn't want to feed him again tonight should not be a way for an eleven-year-old like him to be growing up. He might make himself a little garden somewhere so he can get to have some food without getting worried about starving for a week or so. That won't really help with getting meat or milk though. Maybe he can trade from the garden he would make. He would just have to think about it. Right now, he has to try to steal some food.
After his many theft attempts, (where he failed 5 times and succeeded twice), he went back 'home' to hide some of his bounties while eating just a bit of what's left. Last time he wasn't careful of his supply, his deadbeat of a father took everything he managed to get, then beat him for not bringing it to him straight away.
While eating, he was thinking about his sister, Kilia, who died when he was nine. He blamed himself for her death. He should have snuck more food for the both of them, or, given her his share, no matter how many times she refused. He should have been better at stealing the food in town or the marketplace. Now he was all alone in this town. At least she didn't have to suffer here anymore. He hopes she's happy, wherever she's at now.
Ban finished his small meal, then went to find someplace that's somewhat safe to sleep at or in. He knew never to sleep near where he hides his food. Knowing his parents, they weren't going to even let him enter the bar and locked all the windows. He can only hope tomorrow is a better day than today. Not likely.
A Few Days Later…
That Zhivago man was weird. For a thief, he sure was kind, if a little quirky. Ban wasn't used to adults like him at all. Now that he thinks about it, no one was ever like that to him before. He had taken Ban to his hideout, (which he is sure to keep secret, just as Zhivago asked him to). He even fed him! And gave him some food to take home! His parents should be happy with this food. He wasn't even the one who stole the food. He should take the food to the bar before it's taken from him suddenly, or worse, his bastard of a father comes looking for him and starts beating him right where he stood.
I'm glad he got me out of Aberdeen Prison with him, Ban thought while on his way to the bar.
"What the hell is this Ban? Did you eat some food?!" Uh-oh.
Ban's father lifted him by the front of his shirt to inspect him closely. When he saw some crumbs next to his upper lip, his face contorted into a look of pure fury. "I told you to go steal some food, but I never said you can go eat food, you idiot!" While he was screaming this, he was shaking Ban rapidly back and forth.
"Some… someone gave it t-to… me," Ban said, struggling to get the words out.
His father stopped shaking him, only to punch him in the face, almost dislocating Ban's jaw. "Don't you ever…" Then an even harder punch to his stomach. "…TALK BACK TO ME!"
The punch to his stomach was too much for Ban. He fell to his knees, throwing up all the food Zhivago gave him to eat that day. Letting out a slight moan of pain, he held his stomach after he threw it all up. Ban looked down at the mess and just knew his parents weren't going to feed him again today and maybe even tomorrow since his father was angry with him. Making a quick decision, he ate everything he threw up right away, as quickly as possible, knowing he's probably gonna be thrown out any second. Many people in the bar were throwing disgusted or pitying faces at the sight, so his father threw him out of the bar, and into the street, just like Ban predicted.
Ban, after getting himself together, went wandering the streets for a while, trying to see if he can get anything to eat or drink. Most of the people in town ignored him, but others kicked him away, not trusting him in the slightest. Suddenly, he was stopped by a couple he remembered from his parent's bar.
"Hey Ban," the man said. He was a short man and very much on the heavy side. He also had no hair on his head, but it looked like he tried to grow out a mustache, which failed miserably. The only hair on his head was the dark and thick set of eyebrows he had on his face.
Surprised that they even acknowledged him at all, Ban stopped his attempt of going around the couple and looked up at them.
"You want something to eat? We got some food in our barrels on that wagon over there, as well as some coins. I'll give you one silver coin and a loaf of bread from them," the man turned and pointed to a wagon on the other side of the road.
Suspicious of the couple, but too hungry and too curious to refuse, Ban nodded and followed them to the wagon to get something to eat. Maybe they'll have some bread, Ban thought.
Oh, they had food alright. The woman, real skinny and too long of a face, told him there was some bread in one of the barrels next to where she was standing.
"If you go in there Ban, you can get the silver coin from inside, and I'll give you one loaf of bread," the woman told him with a smile, sort of repeating what the man with her told him. Her smile was a bit sinister, but Ban didn't notice since he was too busy trying to reach for the coin he noticed when he peered into the barrel.
"YESSS!" Ban cheered when he got the coin, but then he frowned and examined the coin. The coin felt too light to him, so he bit it to check.
"It's fake," Ban said a bit put out.
The man came up behind Ban and pushed him into the barrel. Ban fought to get out by pushing on the lid, but the woman was sitting on the barrel so her weight wouldn't let it budge.
They were on their way to sell him to the noble of the area, Lady Roxanne, who tends to hurt and kill children. Ban didn't want to go anywhere near the place. He may have a hard life, but at least he has one, unlike some of the kids there. Suddenly, the couple was ambushed by a thief. Ban didn't notice the commotion since he was still trying to get out of the barrel the couple trapped him in. When he finally got himself out, he saw the couple tied up and the thief, Zhivago, getting ready to leave with whatever he stole from the couple.
"What are you doing here, bastard?" Ban asked rudely. Being raised in an abusive environment, Ban didn't really learn manners.
"Me?" Zhivago asked, a bit curiously. "I'm just working like I always do. What about you? What are you doing here? In a barrel no less."
Ban didn't know how to answer that. He didn't intend to be in the barrel if he was being honest. He was just so hungry and wanted the silver coin and the bread the couple said he can have. Ban just climbed out of the barrel and walked towards Zhivago, kicking the restrained couple on the way. Zhivago just shook his head at Ban's antics.
"Never mind," he said. "You can tell me later if you want."
3rd Pov: Background
When they settled into their secret spot, Ban told Zhivago everything that happened since he last saw him. From going home, to when he was thrown into the barrel. Zhivago was both angry and sad about what Ban's father did to him just FOR EATING. Though, he was amused about how Ban ended up in the barrel. He started teasing Ban about it. Ban just ignored him and ate some of the food he was given.
"Oi Zhivago," Ban called to the man after finishing his meal.
"Hm?" Zhivago turned to look at Ban a bit curiously.
"Bastard," Zhivago reared his head back in both shock and annoyance.
"You're supposed to say, 'thank you' kid."
"Thank… you?" Ban asked. He hasn't heard this phrase at home before, or anywhere really, now that he thinks about it.
"Yeah, that's it! And don't worry about it. That food was stolen."
They both sat quietly after that. Ban, eating the rest of his meal, and Zhivago, a bit lost in thought. Neither had any words to say now that everything was relatively safe.
Once Ban finished his meal, he asked Zhivago to teach him to steal, like him. Zhivago was a bit hesitant to agree. He didn't want to take Ban's chance of being in an upstanding society. He studied Ban closely. What he saw, made him realize that this will help Ban live somewhere within society, but not quite be a part of it.
"Then, how come you… do…" Ban started getting really sleepy, his head kept nodding forward.
Zhivago couldn't help but be amused by this.
"You're so full, it made you sleepy, eh?"
Ban, hearing this, tried shaking himself awake.
"If you're tired, go ahead and sleep. You won't get big and strong otherwise," Zhivago teased, seeing Ban fight his sleep.
"I can't sleep," Ban slurred out. "If I do, my old man will just beat me up."
"…I see. Then I'll watch over you so that you can go to sleep," Zhivago told him, laying Ban's head in his lap.
"Okay," Ban was out like a light after that.
From then on, Zhivago would meet with Ban, around morning to mid-afternoon, at their meeting place and start to teach him the basics of thievery. Ban would watch as Zhivago casually walked around people with full bags, and then suddenly be in front of him with his hands full of all types of things from the people.
When Ban would try though, he tended to fail almost every time. Zhivago would always have to snatch him and run away before the people beat him up. Ban was getting better at it the longer he practices, so he was happy.
Ban ended up just living in their secret spot, so he wouldn't have to keep sleeping in the streets or getting beatings from his old man. Zhivago also, unofficially, adopted Ban as his own son while teaching him his tricks.
Zhivago would, sometimes, tell Ban stories about the Fountain of Youth.
"In the Fairy King's Forest, all the way to the north towers, there's an enormous tree. Right at the very top of the tree is a special treasure that a guardian protects. That treasure is called: The Fountain of Youth."
"The Fountain of Youth?"
"Yeah," Zhivago said, with some excitement in his voice. "There's a legend that says, anyone who drinks from it will be granted eternal life, so there's a lot of people who are after it."
"Eternal life? " Ban spoke up, with eagerness in his tone. "That sounds awesome! Let's go steal it! "
"You dummy!" Zhivago scolded. "You would be taking on the fearsome saint that could wipe out an entire army in a second. You would be a pancake before being halfway up."
"Then how come you haven't gone Zhivago?"
"Well, it's a four-day journey to the Fairy King's Forest. I can't leave my son for a journey that long with him being so young. Besides, it's still unknown if the Fountain really exists."
They both stayed silent for a bit after that discussion, staring at the campfire in front of them.
"What's your son like Zhivago?" Ban asked suddenly.
"Hm? Oh, my son. His name is Selion, and he's a shy but very good boy. Real patient and kinder than most."
"Tch," Ban looked away with a pout. Zhivago looked at him with amusement.
"I also have a child who seems a bit rude and standoffish, named Ban. He's tough, but an insecure boy."
Ban snapped his head back around, saw Zhivago's gentle smile, and looked down with a blush. "… "
Ban decided to change the subject a little bit.
"Zhivago? How come you only go home at night?"
"If I went around the town any time I wanted to, the guards would eventually find my home," Zhivago replied.
"Does your son know about your stealing?"
"Yeah… Selion knows about it," Zhivago answered. He looked down at the fire. "He and I both have accepted the fate we have."
Zhivago looked to the side of their hideout.
"Ban," he started. "Don't put your trust in humans, you hear me?"
Ban didn't answer right away. When he did, he looked Zhivago right in the eye and told him:
"I trust you, Zhivago."
Zhivago was speechless. He was so touched by Ban's words, he pulled Ban to his chest to give a hug and called him an idiot.
Zhivago pulled back, turned Ban around, and pushed him toward his sleeping spot.
"Get some sleep, kid. Tomorrow is a big day. We'll be thieving bright and early!"
Ban rubbed his head, where Zhivago rubbed it when they hugged, while watching Zhivago head home. A smile spread across Ban's face, then he went to get ready for bed.
3rd Pov: Ban
Ban was so excited about this job. He saw that the target was a HUGE place. He sat on a wall close by the place to wait for Zhivago.
"Zhivago is really late today," Ban noted looking around to see if he was on his way. Not seeing him appear, his shoulders slumped. Guess I gotta wait a bit longer… Ban's face suddenly lit up.
"Oh, I know! I'll go ahead and steal the treasure myself before Zhivago gets here. "
Ban chuckled to himself while hopping over the wall.
"Zhivago's gonna be so shocked! Maybe he'll praise me for doing a good job. "
Ban didn't even make it for five minutes before he was caught.
The guards saw him and started bellowing out:
"INTRUDER! YOU GOT GUTS THIEF, THINKING YOU CAN COME HERE AND STEAL FROM LADY ROXANNE!" They then swarmed Ban, leaving him with no way out.
"Uh-oh! Ahhh!" Ban cried out.
Zhivago… I'm so sorry Zhivago. I should have waited for you, instead of rushing in. I'm sorry…
3rd Pov: Zhivago
"I can't believe I overslept," Zhivago huffed, dashing to get to Ban. "I can only hope Ban isn't reckless enough to go ahead without me."
Who am I kidding…?
When Zhivago got to the meeting point, he saw that Ban was nowhere in sight. Then, he heard the commotion on the other side of the wall.
"I knew the idiot would rush in!" Zhivago cursed and hopped up the wall to try to get Ban out of there.
Before he could hop to the other side, he heard a group of knights speaking from the side he was at previously.
"We're going off to our hunt in the mountains! It seems they have spotted a Were-Fox child at the end of the forest just before it!"
Zhivago looked back shocked and horrified at what they said. He remembered the words his son told him before he left him that morning:
"Be careful, Daddy. Come back home soon, okay?"
He looked back the way he came. Selion…
Hearing the sound of a fist hitting a body, he turned back towards Ban. He sees the guards beating Ban real viciously.
Zhivago began to feel the panic rising within him. He didn't know what to do. Should he go to his son? Or should he first help the boy that he considers as his own son?
He thought of his son, oblivious to what is heading his way. That is what made up his mind.
Closing his eyes tightly, he rose his hand to his head and tore off his bandana. When he did that his body changed: sprouting fur, a pair of pointed ears came up from the top of his head, paws replaced his feet, and, lastly, a large snout with sharp teeth appeared on his face.
With tears in his eyes, Zhivago turned and sped away towards the mountains to save his son.
People cried out in fear when he ran past them.
"EEK! A WERE-BEAST!"
I trust you Zhivago.
Remembering Ban's words brought pain to Zhivago, making him close his eyes, crying more tears.
I'm sorry Ban. I'm so sorry…
3rd Pov: Ban
After the guards were done with Ban, they just threw him into the Aberdeen prison, which Ban was thrown into once before.
I wonder why Zhivago didn't show up, Ban thought. He could have sworn he saw him for a moment on the wall, but when he was able to get another glance of the wall, he wasn't there. Maybe something happened when he was on his way there, Ban concluded.
Ban then remembered hearing some of the men say something about a hunt in the mountains. Zhivago told me that his home was in the mountains and that his son stayed there when he was out. His eyes widened in realization. Then he looked down at his feet sadly.
"I understand," Ban whispered. "They probably found your home or something. Don't die Zhivago. I don't blame you for what happened. It was my stupid impulse that got me here. Don't worry about me. I'll get myself out of here when I'm able to. Maybe we'll see each other again one day. I hope we do. I have to let you know I don't hate you. Until then Zhivago, goodbye."
Five Years later…
Ban served some time in Aberdeen Prison. Five years to be exact. Ban is now around sixteen years old. He had more time in his 'prison sentence' but he no longer wanted to be there to serve the rest of the time. It was too boring now. Especially since the guards were kind of scared of him now that he was able to defend himself. He decided he wanted to get out now that he was stronger.
He waited until it was getting dark to escape since there was a shift change of the guard at that time. It was pathetically easy. The guards don't take their positions seriously, so they never really kept a sharp eye on the prisoners. He didn't even break a sweat getting out.
Once he was out, Ban decided to lay low for a few weeks in his and Zhivago's old secret spot. He would only leave to get food and water, but just when it was dark so people wouldn't see him. Ban didn't think anyone was looking for him. He was considered a screw-up, no name thief to everyone. They probably forgot about him by now. His parents probably think he's dead and don't care, the bastards.
After those few weeks, Ban decided to head out to the town. Specifically, he went to the market square. He knew that that's the best place he can hear the town's local gossip, as well as catch up with the town and its people. Maybe he could get something better to eat for today instead of the thrown-out bread and meat he would find behind the bakery and butcher shops.
While in prison, Ban was given some tips from fellow thieves to add to his list of teachings, next to Zhivago's teachings, on stealing. He can test himself at the market square and check to see if he can succeed this time. Hopefully, he's improved, now that he was older. He was hungry after all. Ban felt he deserved a good meal after all these years.
When he got to the square, he noticed that nothing has really changed. Maybe a few differences here and there. Some of the booths were new, like a few of them now sold jewelry, other accessories, and even clothing. A few new food booths as well. It was actually a bit surprising that there were any new booths at all. With this place getting more bandits and thugs, that he noticed.
Ban casually walked around, making his way to the food booths. No one was paying him any attention, which was good for him. He spotted the fruit stand though and knew it was the best one to test himself with first. The vendor of the stand has sharp eyes, not missing a thing.
Casually, Ban walked by and quickly snatched up an apple without breaking stride. He chanced a glance, from the corner of his eye, and smirked a bit triumphantly when the fruit vendor didn't so much as twitch. Ban's years in prison sure paid off, at least, he believed they did. Ban decided he wanted to stock up on food, water, and maybe a few pieces of clothing since it's getting a bit cold at night lately. With that plan in mind, that's what he set out to do.
While he was doing that, he also made sure to keep an ear out so he can hear the gossip he came out to listen for.
"Thievery got worse in this town…"
"…need to get some meat for supper."
"Can't believe they had another one. After the death of their daughter, Kilia, and Ban's disappearance…"
Ban stopped in his tracks, not sure what he just heard. His no-good parents actually had another kid. He needed to hear more, so he sat close to the people he picked this up from and kept listening.
"Do you know if the kid is a boy or a girl?"
"I saw that they had a girl."
"I feel sorry for her. They haven't even named her yet. I mean, it's been months! Six months if I remember."
"If she is left with them, who knows what they'll do. Will they starve her? Hit her?"
"Hell, she'll probably end up dead if she stays there!"
"It's a shame the knights are so dismissive in this town. Practically useless, the lot of them."
Ban sucked in a breath. He had another sister! He wanted to know more, but he didn't want to be recognized. Based on those women's words, they remembered him. He needed to get a disguise or something if he wanted to continue on. Ban looked to the side and saw the perfect one inside one of the clothing booths. A full-length cloak with a hood. He went to the booth and quickly snatched it up and put it on. Once he was ready, he went back towards the two women.
"Excuse me, ma'am? Did you say something about a baby?" Ban asked.
"Hmm? Oh yes! An adorable little baby girl with the reddest eyes that I've ever seen. Almost like rubies," she replied.
"When was she born?"
"I think she was born in the month of July. The last day of that month, if I remember correctly. The mother was sure screaming up a storm that evening. The poor child is probably alone in a room at the bar."
"Thank you," said Ban, walking away. He needed to go and think about what he learned. Only a few months old? She won't make it if she stays there. It will be just like Kilia, Ban thought. I can't let that happen. Not again!
Ban made up his mind. He decided he was going to get his little sister out of there. He had to wait until the middle of the night to head to the bar though. If it's still the same, then that's around the time the bar was at its busiest and they wouldn't notice the noises he would be making outside.
I'll go have a meal and then sleep until it's time to go, Ban decided, heading back to his hideout to do just that.
Five hours later, Ban was on his way to the bar. It seems to him that it was surprisingly closer to his secret spot than it was five years ago. At least he didn't have to go through the front doors. There was no way his parents wouldn't recognize him. He knew there were trees next to the bar, by the windows. Ban headed for them so he can get inside. He climbed up the tree that reached the highest windows so he can look inside them. The last window was suspiciously dark compared to all the others, so that's the window Ban went into first.
When Ban opened the window, a horrid smell came from the room, causing him to gag. At least with the window open, the room will air out. If his sister is in there, at least she'll get some fresh air now. He didn't notice any source of light close by. The only light this room had was the light of the moon behind him. Ban hopes there's at least one candle close to the door. He did hear muffled crying inside before he opened the window, so he wanted to hurry and find more light. With that in mind, he climbed into the room.
Once Ban got inside, nose covered with his shirt, and he looked around the for a candle, since it was so dark in the room. When he got close to the door, Ban found a small candle and some matches on a small old stand. He grabbed one of the matches, ignited it, and lit up the candle. With that task done, Ban really looked around the room. It looked really dusty, which means his parents never bothered cleaning up here at all.
Ban went towards one of the corners that had a few boxes piled up. When he looked inside one of them, he was both horrified and extremely pissed off. There, in an old wooden box, was his little baby sister. What he saw, was not good at all. There wasn't really anything around in the room besides the boxes and the nightstand by the door. The box the baby was in wasn't in great condition at all. It looked like it was one of the boxes that the ale came in. He was right though. His baby sister really was crying. It sounded like wailing really, which he hoped nobody can hear outside. He didn't want anyone to come in and see him.
Ban got closer to her to see her closely. He gasped at what he saw. For a six-month-old, she was far too skinny. His parents probably haven't fed her for a while and, based on the smell, they haven't bothered to clean or change her.
"No wonder you're screeching up a storm," Ban whispered sadly.
It was a heartbreaking sight. Her face was red and swollen from crying, she doesn't seem to be wearing anything but a rag that just covers her lower regions, and there seems to be a rash on her inner thigh. Which most likely means that it's spread all over the area the rag is covering. She must be in terrible pain.
Ban didn't know what to do. She was in pain but couldn't do anything to help herself. All she could do is cry. Ban knew one thing though. He can't leave her here if he wanted her to live. Ban thought about what he should do for a minute.
While he was thinking, the baby noticed Ban standing over her spot. This caused her to slowly stop crying and just stare at him. Her stare seemed to be mixed with fear, pain, and a bit of curiosity. When Ban continued to be lost in thought, she started gurgling a bit to get his attention. Ban quickly look down when he heard that and, finally, noticed that the baby was staring up at him. It was kind of weird though. The women in the market square were right. His sister really has ruby red eyes. He, himself, also had red eyes, which people thought was very strange already. He didn't really think about it much.
"Our hair also matches, huh squirt?" Ban spoke to her, talking about their light blue hair. She just cooed back in reply.
"Well, I guess I'll take you away from here. After all, I am your big brother. It is my job to protect you. " A happy gurgle was her response.
Now Ban wasn't quite sure, but after he said that, he thought he saw a bit of relief and hopefulness. He looked down at the, clearly, soiled rag she had on.
"I have to change you somehow and warm you up. "
He looked around and low and behold, there was a pile of cleaning rags in the corner, as well as a barrel of water.
"I didn't notice that stuff earlier. Probably because it was dark," Ban muttered to himself. He went to the pile and grabbed three rags, wetting one in the water barrel. Ban then went into the routine of trying to change his sister. It took him a while since it's been a long time since he's changed a baby and he was trying to be very careful with the rash and sores. The last time was when Kilia was still alive and around this age. Ban does know that babies don't usually stay this quiet or still when being changed. Mom probably smacked her a few times, Ban thought grimly.
He managed to clean and put one of the rags on her, but he didn't really know how to treat the large rash and sores that he saw. He didn't have any kind of salves on hand after all. With that in mind, he looked at her and saw she was looking a bit better since she had stopped crying.
"I need to get you some paste for your wounds, and some milk so you can have something to eat. You must be starving, based off your stomach's loud noises. "
Luckily, Ban learned to cook when he was in prison. He thought he should be ready to survive on his own when he got out. He also knows where he can find some milk. Hopefully, it won't be too hard.
Ban, carefully, picked up his baby sister. He didn't want to irritate her wounds or make them worse. She started giggling and waving one of her arms around, happy to be out of the box. He chuckled at her actions and brought her into the cloak he was wearing. He looked at the rags and had a brilliant idea. He took most of the clean rags and stuffed them into whatever pockets he had on his clothing. He put the dirty rag that his sister was wearing and the one he used to clean her up, and put them on the rest of the clean ones, and spread the mess on them. Take that ungrateful jerks, Ban thought, a bit satisfied.
When he was done, he carefully climbed out of the window and down the tree. For some reason, his sister kept giggling while he was going down. He was confused about this, but as long as she was happy, he wasn't complaining. At least she wasn't loud or else someone would have come and checked or, most likely, come to shut her up.
Once he was down, he quickly headed for his secret spot. In no time at all, he got there. Nobody bothered him or even glanced at him, which was perfect for him. He opened the cloak, took her out, and just looked at her for a bit. He noticed that her face wasn't all puffy anymore. She had some baby wrinkles, though since she's about six months, (if he remembered what that woman at the square had said), his sister doesn't have as many as a newborn.
"Where should I set you down? " Ban wondered, looking around and trying to find anything he could put her down in. He saw an old feed box in one of the corners of his spot.
"Guess you're gonna be over there. At least it's not by the opening. You shouldn't get much of a chill there," Ban told her.
He took off the cloak, wrapped her up so she can be nice and warm, then put her in the feed box. She looked at Ban curiously and a bit sleepily. She did have a whole day of crying after all. Now that she wasn't crying anymore, she was really hungry. Her stomach gave a low and adorable growl. Ban chuckled when he heard the noise.
"Right, I gotta get you some food," Ban said. "There's a farm close by the town that has a few cows. I'm gonna go there and get some milk for you. I'll be really quick, so you don't get too worried. No crying, okay? I don't want someone to take you back" She just cooed back in response. He smirked at her.
"I'll be back."
Then he was gone.
Ban was back an hour later, give or take a few minutes. It was not easy getting milk at all. I'm just gonna get the jar first from the market then go to the cows and see if they're in a giving mood, he had thought while out. Getting the jar was pretty easy. The milk, however… well, let's just say that cows are evil.
He also got some paste from the local apothecary. The owner happened to be awake and gave him what he asked for. He didn't seem to know who Ban was, which was a relief.
He put everything down on a flat stone and went to check on his sister. When he checked on her, he saw she was awake and seemed happy to see him back.
"Well, it's time to give you some milk, squirt. " He got a happy gurgle in response. He picked her up and went to sit by the wall close to the stone with the milk. He grabbed the jar and put it down next to himself, grabbed a clean rag, wrapped part of it around his index finger, dipped it in the milk, and started feeding her. She eagerly sucked on his finger to get as much of the milk as possible, having not eaten in a while. It didn't take too long the feed her. She couldn't eat too much, or else she'd get sick. He saw she had about a little over a quarter of the jar though, which was good for now. He knew from watching some mothers that you're supposed to lightly pat the babies on the back until they let out a little burb, so that's what he did.
Once he finished that, he looked at the jar of milk. He grabbed it and drank a little of the milk himself since he was a little thirsty. Once he was done, he wrapped the top of the jar with a rag, tied it up, and put it aside so he can bury it in the dirt. It was the only way it would last for tomorrow.
Just then, Ban remembered something. She doesn't have a name! His parents didn't even bother to name her if he remembered what the ladies at the market square said. "It looks like you need a name, right squirt? " He just got a yawn in response. He thought for a moment, rocking her all the while. "I like the name Protea. I don't know why, but I like the sound of it. It seems right for you for some reason."
There was a beat of silence, then slight babbling was her response to the name. "That's it then, your name is Protea. Protea Sage. How do you like it, squirt? " She gave a happy coo in response, snuggled into Ban, and slowly went to sleep. He chuckled at this. He realized he forgot to put the paste on her sores, but he didn't want to wake her, so he decided to do it tomorrow.
"Well, I guess I should get some shut-eye too."
Ban brought the newly named Protea closer to his chest and went to sleep.
Ban woke up with a start, and a bit disoriented, when he felt something wiggling around on his chest. He looked down and just saw some white fluff on his chest. Ban was a bit confused, until he remembered everything that happened the night before. The bar. Protea! He plucked her off his chest to make sure she was okay.
Protea blinked up at Ban from the abrupt movement, then she smiled at him a big toothless smile. She started waving her arms and kicking her feet, babbling in his arms. Ban smiled at her actions, relieved that she was okay.
She started wiggling her body again, a frown on her face. He looked at her with concern, wondering what was wrong. That's when he smelled it.
"Oh, you need to be changed again. It has been a long time now, " Ban concluded. Looking for the clean rags that he took from the bar. I need to get her proper baby changing cloths as well as clothes. I don't want her to freeze, after all, Ban thought to himself while changing Protea. The problem with that was that there weren't many people in Raven's who would be kind enough to help him get what he needs for Protea. "Maybe if I find one of the ladies I heard yesterday. They might help me," Ban mused, remembering the women at the market square who were talking about his sister. He shook his head. "They remember me too. They'll probably report me to the knights around here for escaping the prison. Guess I have to get the stuff myself." Ban looked towards Protea, thinking about what to do.
"What should I do with you though? I can't just leave you here alone like last night. I'll be gone for far too long." Protea didn't move a bit while Ban was speaking since he was changing her. She did giggle a bit, happy to be out of the dirty rag. She looked up at him when he slowed down his movements from changing her and saw he was looking at her but not really paying attention to her. He was trying to find an answer to his little predicament. Protea didn't really like this, so she let Ban know this.
Ban blinked when he heard soft whining. He saw Protea had a pout on her face, tears shining in her eyes. He started panicking at the sight.
"What's wrong? Did I irritate your sores?" she just sniffled; a bit miffed that he ignored her. When Ban realized this, he gave her a little smirk, amused by her actions.
"Are you mad at me? I'm sorry about that. I didn't mean to ignore you, squirt. I'm just thinking of what to do with you while I get the proper supplies. I can't leave you alone after all. You're too young to stay alone." With those words, Ban finished changing her, adding the paste onto her sores before putting on the rag.
Protea blinked after he spoke, not fully understanding everything that he said to her, but she understands that he seems to be worried. She just smiled at him and gave him a loud coo, while in her head, she was asking for some help from an old friend. Ban chuckled when she cooed out to him. He froze when he heard a noise coming from behind him. He quickly turned around and got into a defensive stance, holding Protea close to his chest with one arm. With the other, he put in front of them, holding a small dagger he commandeered from some passerby.
What Ban saw, he was both wary and confused. The person across from him and Protea didn't really look human. They were a bit stooped, but if they straightened up, they looked like they would be about seven to eight feet tall. They had on a full-length cloak with a large hood shadowing their face. The only bit of them Ban can see is their hand, which is extremely pale.
"Who are you?" Ban demanded harshly, wary of the stranger.
"I go by many names," they responded. "My most common name is Death."
"Why are you here?"
"I was called here by my little Master."
"Your master? Who would that be?"
"Why, that would be the babe you hold to your chest so protectively."
Ban's grip on his sister tighten when he heard that. "What do you want with Protea?"
"What I want? Oh, I didn't come here to take her away, if that is what you are afraid of. I just came to see what my little Master has in need of me for."
Ban blinked at 'Death'. Not really trusting the being in front of him just yet. He then looked at Protea with a deadpanned expression on his face. "Did you really summon this guy, squirt?"
Protea just babbled and waved her arms around excitedly. Happy at seeing the new 'face' in the hideout.
"Hello, little Master. It's nice to see you again as well." Ban looked at 'Death' strangely.
"Dude, she can't talk."
"She and I have a very special bond. Because of that, I'm able to speak directly to her mind and soul."
"That's… cool I guess," Ban said slowly. He held out Protea in front of himself, squinting his eyes while inspecting her from her head to her toes. Protea tilted her head to the side, wondering what her big brother was doing. Ban just shrugged and put her on his hip. Ban then looked at the being with some suspicion.
"Are you sure you're not gonna take her away from me?"
"I swear it to you, I shall not take her away from your care," Death replied.
Ban's shoulders sagged in relief.
"Okay, that's good to hear then. Listen, I need to get her some supplies. I can't leave her in only a cleaning rag all the time. She'll get sick," Ban informed Death.
"I see. That is a predicament. I will see what I can find for my little Master." And with that, Death disappeared into the shadows beneath them. Ban looked at the ground Death left through with wide eyes.
"Didn't expect that," Ban muttered to himself. He, once again, looked to Protea. "You have an interesting friend there, squirt."
She cooed at him in response.
Death came back about ten minutes later with two large sacks.
"Why'd you bring so much?" Ban asked the being when he saw the sacks.
"You will not be able to stay here for very much longer," Death replied gravely.
Ban stiffened when he heard that. He looked toward the being and demanded answers. "What happened?"
"The people of the town suspect that someone has been inhabiting this dwelling. They are determined to destroy the building above here, so I believe it is best that you leave this place by nightfall."
Ban clenched his fist in anger. This is all happening way too fast! He had no clue where to start from here. A small cry coming from the manger had him glancing over that area. Seeing Protea crying made him rush over to her to see what was wrong. She rarely ever cried while with him so far, so he was pretty worried.
"What's wrong, squirt?" Ban questioned, looking her up and down to see if she needed a change or if her sores are getting worse.
"Little Master is reacting to your distress, young sir. It seems she is able to sense your emotions now," Death informed him. "That may not be good at this point in time."
Ban looked up sharply, not liking the words the Death just spoke.
"She will not be able to control this power quite yet. She will become overwhelmed with the emotions of many others within the town unless she gets an object to block her powers or, at least, suppress it for now."
Ban felt helpless with the situation. He was only sixteen, for goodness sakes! He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Ban knew that if he wanted Protea to calm down, he needed to stop panicking, and fast.
After four more breaths, he heard Protea's crying go down to just slight sniffling. He opened his eyes and looked down to see Protea had finally stopped crying and had fallen asleep, eyes a bit puffy, but otherwise okay. Ban let out a relieved breath, glad she was able to go out right now. He could finally speak to the being with more a clear head.
"Do you know where I can get something like that for her? While we are on the subject, does it need to be a specific object? She will need something sooner rather than later."
Death was silent for a moment, as if they were thinking about what to say. When they seemed to make up their minds, they looked directly at Ban and spoke: "The purple crystal named Amethyst will help her for now. As she gets older, she will need others as well. Even with training, her powers will always be very strong. The crystals will keep her safe from her own powers, as well as from others, who would try to use her powers for their own gain."
"Amethyst, huh? Well, I don't know of any vendors around here who sell crystals like that. Same thing about caves with crystals. Granted, I never really went far from this town," Ban muttered, mostly to himself. He would have to travel to some other towns to find stores or street vendors with this crystal. Maybe find one with good maps of the country to pinpoint any findings. He was drawn out of his thoughts when Death spoke once again.
"There is a cave about a week or two's journey from here that has many types of crystals and gems. Just head towards the mountains west of here, through the forest about eight miles out of this town."
Ban looked to the being in surprise. He didn't expect Death to tell him something that helpful. He thought that they would speak in riddles or something. If he thinks about it though, it makes sense, because it's for Protea, their 'little Master' after all. He didn't really care about that. A starting point was all he needed.
"Thanks a bunch, Death, " Ban sang out. "Now I have a destination and a time frame. After Protea wakes, I'll change and feed her. Then, we'll be off to that cave you mentioned. Do I have to get the crystals made into a necklace or something like that?"
"Once you have found the crystals, call out for me and I will come forth to you and make the suppressants that are needed for her."
"What other name do you go by?" Ban questioned. "I don't want to just call you 'Death'. It feels a bit weird."
Death thought for a moment. "My little Master would call me Bàs if you would like to use that. It is one of my many names after all and it seems to amuse her for what it represents."
"Bàs? Whatever, it sounds good," Ban said. With that said and done, He went to the two large sacks Bàs brought and started digging in them, trying to find something for Protea to wear on the journey. Something for the cold will do. He found a reddish-brown onesie that seems to be made of cotton. He put it in front of himself and saw that it looked like an animal, a fox to be exact. Ban looked at Bàs, that was suddenly right next to him, and deadpanned, "A fox onesie? Why'd you get her a fox? It seems to be very specific."
"That is not the only one within the bag, young sir," Death responded to Ban's scrutiny. Ban continued digging in the sacks and, true to what Bàs said, there were other types of onesies in them. He laid all of them out to see what types there are. There seemed to be a bunch of them.
Besides the fox, there was a snowy owl, a grey wolf, a black dog, a stag, a white doe, a yellow dragon, a green snake, (he didn't know you can make a snake one), a brown bear, a red pig, a lion, a purple goat, and an angel-like one. There was a total of thirteen onesies.
"That's a lot of them Bàs. Why so many? Won't she outgrow them within a few months?"
"They all represent people and creatures of little Master's past and future. As for the size, they grow with her, so they may be used for a few years. They will also change form when she is a toddler."
Ban looked impressed. "That's awesome! That means we'll have extra money to get food instead of stealing it."
He then recalled the first part Bàs said. "People she knew and will know? Which one means me?"
"You would be the fox, young sir. They all are a part of her past and future representations," Bàs answered
"Got it. "
"If you have any need of me just call my name," and with that, Bàs was gone.
Protea started making noises right then, as if she were waking up, so Ban went back over to her and picked her up. She looked at him and started babbling away, back to being the happy baby he saw that she was.
"You hungry, squirt? We still have some of the milk from last night," said Ban. Just like the night before, Ban went to the flat stone, sat by it and started feeding her. Just like before, she couldn't eat too much so once she was done, he drank the rest of the milk, put the jar down, turned back to Protea and said, "Now it's time to change you, then when nightfall comes, we'll head out."
Nightfall came and Ban knew that it was time to go. He wrapped Protea up to his chest with a wrap-like blanket so his hands would be free, and so she would stay warm. He found a large pack in one of the sacks and put all of the things Bàs gave them inside it. He was surprised everything fit.
"Here we go, squirt. Remember, you gotta stay quiet now, okay? Once we get out of town, you can make as much noise as you want, " She cooed as if in confirmation. "Good girl."
Ban went to the entrance, took a deep breath, and opened the little door. It was quiet in the streets, meaning most of the citizens were probably at the bar or at their homes, asleep so this was just perfect for them. Ban looked left and then right, saw nobody was walking around, and he left the hideout.
Ban started running west out of the town, as Bàs told him, mindful of Protea on his chest. He set her on tightly, but he doesn't want to risk her falling out anyway.
Once he was far enough away from town, he stopped and looked back at it.
"I hope we don't have to come back to this place, Protea, I really do."
With that said, Ban turned around and continued his trek to the cave. Since it'll take about a week, he must stay focused on his path. This is for Protea after all. He doesn't want her to get hurt with these powers she has or anything. As if sensing his thoughts, Protea started babbling and kicking her feet, excited to be moving around so much after being in a box for so long.
"Feels good to stretch your legs out, right? I bet they didn't take you out of that room much, the morons," she just continued on, babbling away. Ban chuckled, not knowing if she fully understands his words or not.
"Let us hurry off to this cave Bàs told us about, squirt. Once we get there, maybe our adventure will get more interesting."
Looking ahead, Ban saw the forest Bàs mentioned. He chose to slow down to a brisk walk. That was quick, he thought. I must have been moving faster than I thought. He stopped at the edge of the forest entrance, squinting his eyes to try to look as far into the forest as possible. It didn't seem to be dark or anything, even though it just became nightfall, so it should be safe to trek in.
He looked down at his sister, who was looking around her in wonder. He patted her head, the touch causing her to look up at him. He smirked at her making her giggle. "You ready, squirt?" She clapped her hands. "Alright then. Here we go! "
With those words said, Ban and Protea went into the forest.
One week later…
Ban looked at the cave entrance with wide eyes. He expected it would be big, but not this big. The entrance is bigger than a freakin' house! Bàs should have warned him of this so he'd be ready for anything living within the place.
"Your friend likes to be funny, don't they squirt," Ban said, glancing down at his sister, who was just bouncing in her spot on his chest. Ban just shook his head. He should have known she wouldn't care or really understand his surprise.
"Well Protea, I guess we should go in now while it's still daybreak." With those words, Ban entered the entrance of the cave.
When he got inside, Ban froze. Forget the entrance, the inside of this place is so MASSIVE and BRIGHT! Ban thought, looking around the cave. There were crystals and gems everywhere. There was also a small hole close to the top, which explains the brightness. All in all, the cave was incredible. Ban was quite impressed with all the crystals and gems inside.
"This place is awesome, " said Ban in a sing-song voice when he got to the middle of the room. Protea squealed, as if in agreement. Ban smirked down at her.
"Now, time to look for that crystal Bàs told me about. If I remember correctly, they said it was purple," Ban wandered around a bit, looking back and forth. He turned a corner and was shocked to see a lake inside the cave. "Okay, there's a lake. A freakin' lake. I've decided we're gonna live in this place Protea. It's cool, it's bright, and it has a lake. Once we get what you need, I'm setting up a small space for us to rest at."
With that decided, Ban continued looking for some of the purple crystals. It took about two hours, having to take a couple of breaks to feed his sister and to change her, but he finally found some by a waterfall farther into the cave.
"Yes!" Ban cheered. "Now I just have to go and get a few of them, or a good big piece,"
He looked down at Protea, who was sleeping at the moment. Ban was grateful his cheering didn't wake her. He didn't want her crying and getting all puffy again. It hurt seeing her like that. So, he went to a spot that looked relatively safe, put their giant pack there, rummaged inside it, and brought out a travel cot. He quickly set it up. Once he was done, he carefully pulled Protea off his chest, held her in a cradling position, then slowly put her down in the cot. While he was putting her down, she started wiggling a little bit. He just made low shushing noises and set her in the cot. She stopped wiggling, gave a little sigh, and went back to sleep. Ban put a blanket over her, got up, and went back to the pack. He dug inside once more and pulled out a small hammer, a chisel, and a pouch big enough to hold a good number of objects.
When Ban got everything he needed, he headed back to where he saw the amethyst. "Alright, let's get this over with. I want to hurry this up before Protea wakes up."
Another hour went by and Ban had a good amount of the amethyst in his pouch, so started his way back to where he left Protea. She was still asleep when he got there, making him think she wasn't napping as long as she should, which worries him a lot.
He put the hammer and chisel away, got some food and water to eat, and made himself a small lunch. When he was done with that, he got comfortable for a small nap. He would call Bàs to give them the crystals he collected when he woke up.
Now that Ban had a full stomach and had a small nap, it was time to call Bàs.
"Oi Bàs! I got the amethyst crystals you told me about," Ban said quietly since Protea is still asleep.
Shadows started forming across from Ban and out came Bàs. "You called for me, young sir," Bàs rasped out.
"Yeah, I did. I got some of the crystal you told me about, " Ban said again, holding up the pouch with said crystal.
"Well done, young sir. This will help my little Master greatly." With that said, Ban gave the pouch to Bàs when they held out their hand. "I will return shortly."
And they were gone.
Ban blinked at their departure. He thought they were going to just poof it into something for Protea. Speaking of his sister, she was starting to make noises as if waking up, so he went to her cot to go pick her up.
When Protea looked up after doing a little stretch, she smiled a big gummy smile, with two teeth, and made grabbing motions with her hands, as if asking to be picked up.
"Alright, I'm coming," Ban said with a chuckle, picking her up. She was kicking her feet the whole time, happy to see Ban again, even though it hadn't been that long.
"Bàs should be back soon. While we wait, why don't I give you a bath now? It's been a while now since I cleaned you up."
Protea blew little raspberries at him in response. Ban was thinking she was excited for her bath, since she seems to be so playful. When they would take breaks on their way here, she would crawl around their little camps, looking at flowers, little animals, or tiny bugs. She never messed them up though, like she didn't want to destroy the life in front of her. For a baby, that was weird. They don't usually have a care for things like that, but it seems his sister did.
Ban put her back in the cot, since she was safer in there than on the floor, and went to get the water basin, that was small enough to wash Protea in, which was hanging from the side of the pack, a small knife, and a pouch of fern roots from inside the pack. He put the knife to the side, planning to use it after getting the water, heads to the lake he found. He filled the basin halfway with the water, then headed back to their little spot. He put the half-filled basin down, grabbed the knife, looked at Protea, and said, "I'm gonna go get some branches for firewood so I can sterilize the water. I don't want you to get sick after everything that's been going on. That would just suck. Play with the trinkets I left in there for you. They're safe enough." With that, he went out of the cave.
3rd Pov: Protea
Protea bounced in her cot and looked at the trinkets her big brother talked about. It was so nice of her big brother to leave her some things to play with. She didn't want to go back to sleep or get bored and cry.
One trinket was a small doll that looked to be soft to the touch. It had a little green dress with black slippers. The hair was made from yarn and was a black color as well. The face had eyes made out of a pretty green thread. There was no nose or mouth, but that was okay. She didn't need a mouth.
The other trinket was a smooth hollow stone. It was bigger than her hand, but easy to hold. A white coloring with some pretty black lines going around it. It was cool to the touch, which makes her happy because her mouth was bothering her lately and that looked like a mouth toy.
The other thing in her cot was a red blanket, which reminded her of her brother's eyes. It was of wool so it was really warm, which would help her greatly because of the coolness of the cave. She kicked her feet so they would end up underneath the blanket and stay warm.
Protea grabbed the stone, put it in her mouth, and started gnawing it. The feeling of the stone on her gums felt really good so she wanted to leave it there. The only thing is when she lets go of the stone, it falls into her lap. She looks down at it with a pout, not liking this one bit.
"Perhaps you should lay down then put it in your mouth, little Master," a voice rasped with exasperation and fondness above her making her lookup. When she saw Bàs, she squealed with happiness. Bàs, you're here again!
"Yes, I have returned from making your suppressants, little Master." Okay. They keep me safe? "Yes, they will keep you safe. I shall wait for your elder brother to return before I put them on you."
Protea's expression then went solemn. Memories will come back soon. Bàs nodded. "They will return little by little. You should have all of them by your seventh birthday, little Master." Tell big brother for me? "I shall inform your brother about it."
"Inform me about what? "
3rd Pov: Ban
When Ban returned from his errand, he didn't expect to see Bàs already back and talking to his sister. What she was saying, he wouldn't know. What Bàs was saying, on the other hand, worried him.
"I shall inform your brother about it."
"Inform me about what? " He spoke up. Protea and Bàs turned their heads in his direction. Protea let out a happy squeal, glad to see him back. Ban ignored this for now and continued looking at Bàs.
"Little Master's memories will return to her while she ages. Her final ones will return on her seventh birthday."
"Why would she be gaining memories?"
"Is it not obvious?" Bàs asked Ban, a little confused he never caught on with all the hints given to him. "This is not her first life."
"WHAT!" Protea jumped at the shout, startled by the loud noise. Ban looked at her with a guilty expression. He didn't mean to scare her. He was just shocked by what Bàs revealed. "How many has she lived?"
"This is only her second life," Bàs replied. They didn't understand why he was so surprised. Then again, humans tend to be surprised by any little thing.
"Oh," Ban said. He thought she lived many lives or something crazy like that. "How old was she when she died?"
"She did not die," Bàs answered, shocking Ban once more. "The world around her died and she grew lonely, so she simply left."
"The world died?! How old was she?"
"She is over 6000 years old. Just a child really."
"6000 years?! IS?" Ban couldn't believe this. His sister is a freaking ancient being like Bàs here. They also consider her as a kid. Also, she never died. This is so mind-blowing. He looked at where Protea was in her cot, looking at him with a confused expression on her face. "What happened to her previous world?"
Bàs' voice sounded solemn when they replied, "The people within it were so very corrupted. They would love my little Master and if she ever disagreed with them, or said and did something they didn't like, they then would turn around and hate her. Everyone she trusted and loved were killed in front of her. She tried to help the people even then, but they refused her help. Little by little, their corruption was killing their world. Until one day, they were all just gone. She stayed there for over 2000 years, mourning her lost loved ones and the children that didn't experience the lives they were given. I stayed with her as her companion so she would not be alone. She decided she was ready to leave and asked me for the best place for her to go to. I showed her different worlds for her to choose from and she chose this one. She thought she would be able to have a family here and help when the time was right."
Ban was speechless after the story Bàs told him. His poor sister went through so much and it sounds like instead of giving up on life, she's still growing strong if he was hearing right.
"So, she was born into this world?" Ban asked after a beat of silence.
"Yes and no," they answered. "My little Master came to this world, as she was, a thousand years before the Holy War. She just explored the lands and got to know the different races and cultures here. When the war began, she tried her best to help where she was able. She did know how to fight and heal because of her previous world, but she mostly protected those in need. She didn't like to fight if she didn't have to. Once that war had ended, she wandered for just under 3000 years or so. She decided to be reborn after that. She wanted to grow up once again. Experience a life she never truly had. I informed her even if she was reborn, her body would always stop at seventeen, maybe even younger, and have her powers, just like before. She did not care and prepared. She told me to take her soul to my sibling, the being of Life or Beatha as my little Master calls her, so she could start a new life as a babe. Beatha cares for my little Master as much as I do, so agreed to her wishes as well. Beatha chose your parents because Beatha knew you would return to the town of your birth one day and take her away from that environment to raise her on your own. For you have such a kind soul within yourself."
Ban looked back down to Protea, who went back to playing with the trinkets he gave her.
"Wow. All this was set up for her to be with me? I don't know how I feel about this. Last time I had a sister, she died. What if the same happens to Protea? I don't think I can do this."
"You can, young sir," Bàs said, startling Ban from his spiral of insecurities. "Beatha's choice was the best decision. This, I have no doubt."
"How can you be so sure?" Ban asked the being. A desperate edge in his tone.
"You rescued her from an abusive environment the moment you learned of her existence, young sir. You also left the town of your birth with her instead of leaving her behind with someone else. Very few humans would do the same in your place," Bàs explained to him.
Ban stayed silent after Bàs' words hit him, trying not to let his emotions get the better of him. After hearing all of that though, he almost failed. Bàs and Beatha both believe that he could take care of Protea. Who was he to refuse their faith like that? He looked toward Bàs and nodded.
"Alright, I got it. "
Protea chose that moment to make herself known once more. She squealed while waving the hollowed-out stone around. Ban smiled at her antics; happy she was having fun. He started speaking to Bàs again; changing the topic for now so he can think about these revelations later.
"Since you're back from wherever you went off to, that means you finished making her suppressants or whatever, right? "
Bàs took the change of topic in stride. "Yes, I have, young sir." They pulled out two objects, from who knows where and presented them to Ban. One was a beaded bracelet. A symbol is on what appears to be the center. The symbol looks like a circle with a triangle inside that has a line in the middle of it. The symbol also seems to be attached to the clasp as a charm for the whole thing and made with, what appears to be, silver.
The other object was actually a pair of earrings. They were square in shape and surprisingly small. They were held by silver backings as well. Carved in what seems to be the crystals was the same symbol that was on the bracelet. Besides that, the earrings were pretty simple. "Where's the rest of the crystals. I know I gave you more than that."
"They are still in the pouch," Bàs replied, showing the pouch to Ban. "I will make more suppressants for her when needed." Ban accepted the being words.
Ban scrutinized Protea's suppressants, then looked at Bàs with a raised brow. "Her ears aren't pierced. How are we gonna get those on her without her wiggling around or feeling pain?"
"I am going to numb her earlobes so she would not feel the pinch when I use my magic to make a small pin to puncture through them. Once that is done, I will put the earrings in. I will advise you to be careful when bathing and drying her, young sir. If you move them too roughly, she will feel pain then. Be gentle during that time."
"You don't have to tell me. I kinda figured that out for myself."
Bàs handed him the bracelet. "You may put this on her before I begin on her ears."
Ban went to Protea, who looked at him when he was heading her way. He showed her the bracelet, his way of letting her know what he was about to do. Somehow, she understood because she started waving her right arm in front of him so he can grab it, which he did. He put it around her wrist and wound up the clasp. Ban grasped Protea's hand and shook it lightly so her charm would wiggle around, making her laugh. He looked towards Bàs and nodded, letting the being know that they could start getting her earrings on now.
"Little Master," Bàs said, making Protea look up at them with a curious expression on her face. "I shall begin the process of adding your final suppressants for now. Are you ready?"
Protea looked at Ban, who just gave her a small smile of encouragement, then back to Bàs and nodded her head. They spoke to Ban then.
"She wants you to pick her up so that both of my hands will be free."
Ban nodded and picked Protea up from the cot. He walked to a nice sized rock and sat down, putting her on his lap. Bàs then walked towards them, lifting their hand to touch Protea's right ear. When they did that, a pulse of magic came out and surrounded her ear and sank into it slowly. This both cleaned and numbed the ear. Bàs lifted their other hand and made a hollow needle appear.
"Will you hold this cloth against the back of her ear? I do not want to poke her neck," Bàs asked Ban, holding out a small rolled-up white cloth towards him. Ban nodded and took the cloth, holding it against Protea. Bàs lifted the needle to her ear and moved it forward, sticking it smoothly through the ear, stopping when it reached the cloth Ban was holding on the other side. Bàs then rotated the needle a bit, to make sure the hole stayed big enough for the earring. They held up one of the earrings, using a bit of magic to sterilize it and put it in the needle. They motioned to Ban to remove the cloth so he slowly removed it and held the cloth, knowing it would be needed for the other ear. Bàs then slowly removed the needle and put the small clasp on in the back, so the earring wouldn't fall off. This was repeated on the other ear and they were finished.
Protea was being so well behaved. She didn't move once during the whole process. Once Bàs finished, she looked up and smiled at them doing soft babbles. Ban thinks she's saying thank you or something like that. Bàs confirmed this to Ban when they replied to her. "You are welcome, little Master."
They looked at Ban then and spoke, "These are to stay on her ears for six weeks. During that time make sure to wash her ears daily with warm saltwater. There is a saltwater river close to this cave; by the forest edge. Be sure to boil the water first to clean it from any parasites and bacteria. After that, dip a washcloth into the water and lightly clean her ears. Rotate the earring while cleaning it so the hole doesn't try to close up on the earring or else it will get stuck and she will be in pain. Once six weeks have passed take the earrings out, clean them, and quickly return them to her ears. Her ears will take a while to fully heal, but as long as you keep them clean, there should be no trouble."
Ban listened to every word Bàs spoke. He wanted to take good care of Protea after all.
"I got it. "
"Well then, I must be off now. I will let you two finish whatever plans you were in the process of completing. If you are in need of my assistance, just call out my name like before. You may even call Beatha for they would not mind seeing you two," with those words, Bàs left through shadows once more.
Ban continued sitting with Protea for a bit after Bàs left; thinking of everything he learned today. He still can't believe that his sister has lived for so long. She was lonely too from what Bàs told him. How could she live like that for so long? 2000 years of wandering, then coming here and practically wandering for 4000 more. He wouldn't be able to do that. At least, he didn't think he could. He looked down at her and saw she was playing with his hands. She seemed fascinated with them for some reason, which he thought was funny. He decided to continue the preparations for her bath.
"Alright, squirt. Let's get you cleaned up. "
She smiled up at him in response.
Well, here is the first chapter. I wasn't sure if I should post it if I'm being honest.
I spent quite a bit of time making this. I kept putting it off for years. Then COVID happened, so I started looking back into this site. This isn't the only story I have though. I've been writing all types. This is the only one I finished the prologue for though.
I may have read stories on here for years, but posting was a bit different. This is my first step in showing what I can do. I want to be a writer. I want to create stories everyone can enjoy.
Now, I think that's enough blathering on my part. Let me know if you guys want some more of this story. Keep in mind that it might be awhile before the next one is out. I have so many ideas for other stories and the like.
I do not own Harry Potter or Seven Deadly Sins. They belong to JK Rowling and Nakaba Suzuki respectively.