Plot: When Eridanus one stormy night finds a young boy in front of his house, his and his children's lives change forever.
It all started when a mysterious boy showed up at their front door on the day of Mid Spring. His eyes, dark as the forest at night, stood serious, and his clothes, dishevelled and shredded, weren’t the same as they themselves wore.
Regulus had been five at the time; Spica just two. That night, they were woken up by thunder rolling through the air and lightning igniting the realms. Both children had ran downstairs, crying frantically and screaming.
Regulus had hidden himself underneath a table, while his sister was crying by their father. Another “bang” ringed through the house, and the children’s father, a man who had lost his wife just after the birth of his daughter, took a deep breath.
Yes, Eridanus was exhausted. Even with the help of their nurse Merope, he felt like he had to do so much to keep his children happy. He was only a simple astronomer, nothing special. The elf wanted nothing more but to lay down for a second, but seeing as his kids were out of their minds in fear, that should have to wait a while.
Eridanus scooped Spica up in his arms, who immediately clutched her tiny arms around his neck. Her lower lip was quivering; in one hand she held a small stuffed animal in the form of a dragon.
‘Don’t worry, my starlight,’ the elf shushed the little girl, who hid her face in the crook of his neck. ‘The storm’s not going to get you, nor your brother.’
‘Pwomise…?’ Spica whispered, and her father nodded. ‘Of course.’
He walked to the table under which his son was hiding, and with his daughter on his arm, he squatted down. Regulus was huddled up close to one of the chairs, hiding his head between his arms. With trembling shoulders, the young boy opened one eye.
‘W-when is this gonna end?’ Regulus asked his dad, who smiled kindly at him. ‘What, son, are you scared of a little thunder?’
Regulus’ eyes widened, and quickly, he sat up and crawled away from his hiding spot, frantically shaking his little head. ‘Nah-ah,’ the boy exclaimed, ‘being scared is for little kids!’
He looked up at his father, eyebrows pulled in what could’ve been a frown. ‘A-are you scared, Papa? O-of this thunderstorm, I-I mean…?’
Eridanus thought for a second, before grinning at his son. ‘You’re probably less scared than I am, Reggie.’
In the span of a second, Regulus had dropped his scared face and pulled up a brave façade. ‘I’m more heroic than you, then!’ he said, blue eyes suddenly filled with pride. ‘Isn’t that right, Spica?’
His little sister opened her mouth to say something, but quickly closed it again. Frantically, she shook her head, and Regulus’ grin dropped. ‘Oh,’ he mumbled, ‘okay.’
Eridanus frowned, before scooping his son in his free arm. Regulus protested for a second, until another thunder rolled through the air. He flinched, and Eridanus couldn’t help but chuckle.
‘Let’s get the two of you to bed again, now shall we?’ the man said, and watched as his daughter frowned at him.
‘But storm…?’ she asked. ‘It’s scawy…’
‘I’m not scared!’ Regulus shouted at her, taking his sister’s words a little too personal. The girl’s blue eyes filled with tears, and she hid her face in her father’s shoulder.
‘Now, Regulus, that’s not nice. She wasn’t saying you were scared, just that she doesn’t like the thunder,’ Eridanus scolded his son, who looked down and mumbled a quick apology.
The next thunder didn’t make it easier for Eridanus. As his two children trembled in his arms, he made his way to the staircase that would bring him to their bedrooms. With a slight sigh, the man took a step on the first stair – and a fragile knock on the door struck his ears.
Carefully, Eridanus walked back, and put Spica and Regulus on the couch. Spica let out a small whine as he walked towards the door, and Regulus turned around on the couch to face his father.
As soon as Eridanus had opened the door, he wished he could close it again. The wind struck his skin, and the rain flew inside, making the floor surrounding the door wet.
But all that wasn’t the worst part: in front of the door stood a boy. He was clothed in shredded clothes, and there was a small trail of blood walking from his cheek to his neck. His dark eyes, green as the forest at night, stood more serious than Eridanus had ever seen a child act. His green hair was messy and soaked, his olive skin pale in the lightning outside.
Eridanus wondered how long he had been standing there.
‘Ehm… hello, boy, where are your parents?’ he asked, squatting down so his eyes were on the same height as the child’s. The little boy didn’t answer, just stared at Eridanus. The man sucked in some air, before standing up again.
‘Do you want to come inside?’
The boy walked in without answering Eridanus’ question, and ran towards the big kitchen of the observatory. Eridanus had to breath in and out before he could follow him.
From the couch, he could see the big eyes of Spica and Regulus. His son was leaning over the railing, while only his daughter’s eyes reached above it. Regulus’ mouth hung open; Spica’s hand was gripping the railing tightly.
Meanwhile, the boy was opening the drawers in the kitchen with slight force. He had thrown a pack of bread beside him, and was standing on his tiptoes to grab something of the counter. Too late, Eridanus saw he was reaching for the knife he had left there.
‘No-no-no,’ the man yelled, quickly running towards the young boy, but before he could do anything, he had already taken the knife into his little hands and thrown it off the counter. It fell beside him with a ringing sound, and Eridanus could hear Regulus gasp from afar.
Rapidly, without really thinking about it, Eridanus snatched the knife from the ground and placed it far from the boy’s reach. The kid pouted slightly, before taking the bread in his arms and walking back to the door.
Eridanus could only just slam the door closed before the boy was gone again. ‘Oh, no you don’t, young man,’ he said sternly, and had to take a deep breath once he saw the boy roll his eyes. Eridanus decided to ignore it, and asked: ‘What’s your name?’
The boy looked at the ground, seemingly hesitating. ‘Audace,’ he then mumbled, ‘Audace Blackwood.’
Eridanus squatted down again, and tried to smile at the boy. ‘I’m Eridanus Lichtenstern,’ he said, ‘where are your parents, Audace?’
Audace shrugged, but didn’t say anything. It was then, that Eridanus heard the wonky footsteps of his two-year-old daughter. He turned his head around, and saw little Spica toddling towards him and the boy. She was still holding her dragon plush, and her eyes stood wide.
‘Hey, starlight,’ the elf said, and he reached out for her hand. ‘Something wrong?’
She didn’t react, and Eridanus realized how her eyes were fixated on the little Audace. The boy, who had earlier avoided every ounce of contact, was staring back at her, his eyes just as wide as Spica’s.
‘I-I’m Spica,’ the little girl whispered, ‘hi…’
‘H-hi…’ Audace stammered back, before shifting his green gaze to the ground again. Eridanus let out a sigh, and placed a hand on his daughters back so she wouldn’t fall. Then, it hit him.
‘You’re a refugee,’ the man mumbled, ‘aren’t you, Audace?’
The boy frowned, but didn’t replay. Eridanus took another good look at him, and realisation dawned over him; the moss-green hair and eyes, the olive skin, and the clothes decorated with leaves… they could only mean one thing.
‘You’re from the Forest Realm,’ he said, and Audace nodded. Tears appeared in the young child’s eyes, and with his tiny fists, he tried to rub them away. Little Spica gasped, and waddled forward. She reached out, and put her tiny hands on the boy’s cheeks. From the couch, Eridanus could hear Regulus laughing, but his daughter didn’t pay attention.
‘Dwon’t cwy,’ the girl said, almost demanding, ‘not scawy.’
Audace stared at her, and then, held up his head. He looked from Spica to Eridanus, and whispered: ‘The Forest Elves fell. My father sends me here.’
And then we get the original series, we all know this. From what I re-read from the original series (which is, to be quite honest, not a lot. The Acacia-Chronicles are currently just on what I still know from when I read lastly read the series when I was thirteen), I don't know a lot about how Audace's arrival at the observatory really went down. So, I gave my own twist to it!
In this version, Audace is just a scared little boy, wanting to flee everything and never opening up - which is, if I remember well, pretty close to canon, although we almost never see it returning.
Honestly, I think that's strange. It's said Audace is very serious, doesn't laugh that much (oh my god, does he fit the bad boy trope? Honestly makes sense), but in the series, he smiles so much, laughs, and is, overall, more of a joker. I like, to be quite honest, that idea so much more, but if you say he has this personality, don't give him another one, please.
What do you think? Is Audace serious, or a joker?