[Arc 1] Ch. 5 Child Prodigy

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Vandiver

I'm doing my patrols like always. Momma said she was taking little Sebas outside for the first time today to play in the snow... and I'm going to miss it!

I cry a little.

"Boss, are you okay?" A young elf with a bow asks me.

This is Talis, he is a member of the village who goes on patrols with me to fend off demon beasts in the forest.

"My son is going outside today and I'm going to miss it!" I wept. I am no longer crying 'just a little.'

"Ha! A devoted father to the end." He laughs at me.

I sigh. "It's about the only thing I can do. Maybe when he's older we can train together."

"You're going to gives Mommy's little prince a sword. HAHAHA! I can only imagine how upset she's going to be. For a royal she's absurdly attentive to your son."

"He's our firstborn, how can you expect her not to?" I glare at him.

"But aren't you always telling me how awful nobles are, how they leave their kids in the hands of nannies and only see them when they need to."

"I may have exaggerated. A mother is still a mother after all. Besides, Amelia is different." I stare off into the distance and remember how much she glows when she holds baby Sebas.

"... Speaking of different, there is an odd aura about the forest today, Van. Aren't we near your house?" Talis sniffs the air curiously.

That's when I notice something that makes my blood cold. Tracks, big tracks. Snow wolf. A strong monster that rarely comes this far north.

The tracks lead straight to my house.

They are scary because they are good at hiding their presence in the winter. Even an elf like Zorlo might not spot them until it is too late. It is why we travel in groups in the winter.

"Van, these tracks are fresh." Talis says after inspecting them.

I break into a dead sprint with Talis right behind me.

We breach the end of the forest, I see my house and red stains going up the incline. I summon my body strengthening magic so that I can go faster. After I chant the spell I push myself to reach my house before it's too late.

I had thought my house was far enough away from the forest that I wouldn't have to worry about it, and now I curse my complacency.

When I reach my house I'm am completely out of breath. Zorlo is waiting for me. Piled around him are the corpses of twenty large wolves with white fur. The only reason I can see them is because of the blood. Zorlo doesn't look like he's broken a sweat, but I am ragged and out of breath.

"My Family!" I can hardly speak between gasping for air.

"They're inside." He coolly responds.

I need to see them though, I need to know they are safe!

I try the back door, but it's locked.

I don't have time for this.

I take a step back and throw my shoulder into the door breaking into my own house.

Once inside I scramble to my feet and look around, but nobody is in here. I sniff the air.

Snf snf.

The cellar.

I am too out of breath to call for them, I reach the cellar and it is locked. I have the key. I fumble around for it when I hear my wife scream.

"Sebas NO!"

That is it! Fuck the key, it's dad time.

I take a step back and aim at the lock. I pile my warrior spirit into my leg and kick the door open.

"AIR BULLET!"

The door barely hangs on its broken hinges, but something from the bottom of the stairs flies at me and slams into my chest. I am knocked up into the air and against the wall.

I find my feet and look down the stairs to see Sebas lying on his face. Amelia runs over and throws her body over him like a shield.

"Momma." I call with my weak voice.

Amelia turns around. "Husband?... Quick, get Zorlo, Sebas needs healing!"

I nod and run to grab Zorlo.

Momma carries Sebas up the stairs and we all meet awkwardly in the living room and we set Sebas on the couch.

Momma is beside herself. I pull her into my arms while she's wailing and screams her grief into my chest.

Zorlo inspects the wound on the back of Sebas's head. He chants a healing spell and his hand glows green.

"This is strange. With an injury like this he should only be crying not unconscious. Tell me what happened." Zorlo looks at us, but I honestly have no idea, and momma is in no condition to answer.

Hilda just looks frightened.

Finally, Iliza speaks. "He used magic."

Zorlo's eyes widen. "He did what!" Zorlo flips the toddler over. He presses his ear to Sebas's chest and then looks into the boy's eye. "It's true..."

"LOOK!" Hilda shouts pointing at Sebas.

I hadn't seen it until Zorlo flipped him over. Dangling off the side of the couch was not one but two black tails.

"Impossible, he is only a baby..." I gasp. I was 5 when I got my second tail. And I was considered a talented youth.

"Mama...?" Sebas opened his eyes and looked around the room.

My wife's ears perked she spun around and saw the healthy boy.

"My baby!" She fell on top of him, embracing him and kissing him all over.

Zorlo walked over to Iliza now that he was sure that Sebas was okay. With a grave tone I hadn't heard him use before he simple says. "Iliza, I need you to tell me exactly what happened."

*

Sebas was tired so momma took him up to our room disappearing with him. I honestly don't think we could pry him away from her if we tried right now.

The rest of us sit around the living room and listen to Iliza's story after Zorlo patches the back door with a little earth magic.

"... I see..." is all Zorlo says in response. "The words he used, are the most interesting. It wasn't the traditional chant. I don't know who Gaia is, but maybe it's a spirit that has smiled upon him. A spirit of the wind perchance?"

"What should we do?" I asked.

"I don't think there is much we can do. If he does anything dangerous we'll have to step in. The issue is that he's not at an age where we can do much. But there is a silver lining here."

"What's that?"

"He has a very strong instinct to protect others. He also noticed the wolf before I did." Zorlo let out a rare smile. "I took this job because Calypso is a good friend of mine. But I think this is just the beginning of a very interesting story. Maybe it's about time you began a journal, Van."

"Maybe..." I think it is...

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