Importance - Chapter 13
Audace immediately shot into action when his little girl whispered those small words. He took a few steps forward, subtly avoiding the veins swirling around him. ‘Ace, look at me,’ he said, catching the young Elf’s terrified eyes. ‘Concentrate on your happiest memory. Let every bad emotion fly away.’
Acacia stared at him for a second, hesitatingly trying to control her breathing. ‘Are you sure this will work?’ she asked with a small voice.
Her father nodded, smiling kindly at her. ‘I’m sure, dear.’
The girl took a deep breath, and closed her eyes. As she envisioned a small scenery for her eyes – a summer day filled with flowers, laughter, and the sun shining brightly – she felt a strange, tingling sensation run down her spine. It was a heavy feeling, seemingly pulling her down to the ground, but at the same time keeping her light as a feather.
When it reached her legs, it seemed to split into two, traveling towards the ground through her blood. Her knees just barely resisted the urge to buckle when the feeling passed there.
It finally came by her feet, where the feeling seemed to pour out of her veins, into the ground. Ace let out a deep sigh when the heaviness on her body was lifted, and her legs gave into tired pressure. She fell forward, but was caught by a pair of familiar arms.
When the girl opened her eyes, she noticed the veins had fallen to the ground and the light had disappeared. Her father had taken a tight hold of her, scooping her up to carry her better – like he had done when she was a kid and had hurt her knees.
‘You’re gonna be fine, dear,’ the General said, flashing her a tender smile as he leaned forward to press his lips against her forehead. Ace kept silent, resting her tired head against her father’s shoulder.
‘Regulus, can you walk her home with me?’ Audace asked his brother in law, turning around to look at him. Regulus frowned for a moment, crossing his arms in front of his chest, but then, sighed, and walked towards his old friend and niece. ‘If it’s for Ace’s sake, then I’m in,’ he replied, ‘but don’t think I haven’t forgiven you. Not until she had forgiven you.’
Audace didn’t argue on that, and turned around to face the exit. From her place in her father’s arms, Acacia noticed the veins had woven themselves through the open iron web over the arena. Her eyes widened in fear, but she felt too exhausted to say anything.
‘Sir? Can I come too?’ she heard Avondir ask. She wanted to tell him yes, of course you can come, but couldn’t. Instead, the General frowned at the young man. ‘You’ve only known my daughter for a day, Avondir. Why are you so invested in her?’
‘Well,’ Avondir replied, his voice sounding more certain than Ace had heard him talk. ‘A kind person told me, meeting today is enough to trust someone. I myself believe in that statement, sir.’
Acacia’s eyes widened, and she let out a soft laugh. It was followed by Avondir’s next words: ‘Please, General Audace. Even though I’ve known Ace for such a short time, I care for her. I just wanna know she’s alright.’
Audace groaned slightly, annoyance slipping through his expression. ‘You can come,’ he ultimately said, ‘let’s hurry up and get her home.’
Avondir’s face lit up, and as the four made their way out of the arena, his eyes stayed bright and tender.
Spica was busy training Cassi to shoot an arrow at a target when she heard her husband’s voice inside their home. The twins were busy with their own studies – Altair had come home late and had left early that morning, so to be honest, she hadn’t seen him that morning – so she and her youngest child had the house all to their selves.
However, the peace was interrupted when her brother walked into the backyard she was in, a concerned frown adorning his face. ‘Hey, sis?’ he said, and the tone in his voice made Spica’s mind run crazy with bad scenarios. ‘I think you need to come inside, there’s something severely wrong with Ace.’
Spica’s heart dropped, and she let the bow and arrow she was holding fall to the ground. She ran towards her house, quickly followed by Cassi.
As the woman reached the living room, her eyes widened, and she let out a strangled: ‘What happened?!’
Her daughter, face pale as that of a ghost, was laying on the couch, her teeth gritted together as her eyes were half closed. A young man, who she vaguely remembered as Avondir, was sitting in the chair next to the girl, his worried eyes fixated on her. Spica’s husband had squatted down next to their daughter, gently stroking a lock hair out of her pale face.
When Audace noticed her, he got up and walked towards her. His eyes shone with something like fear, exhaustion, and even more worry than Avondir carried. ‘She got overemotional. Her powers took over and now she’s exhausted.’
‘Did she hurt anyone?’ Spica asked, flashing a concerned look at her half-asleep daughter. Audace shook his head, gently placing a hand on his lover’s shoulder. ‘No, but Avondir accidentally cut one of the veins she made. There’s a large cut on her arm, if you can look at it-’
He couldn’t say another word as Spica already rushed towards her daughter, grabbed a small knife from her belt and opened up the girl’s sleeve. She needed to urge herself not to curse when she saw the gaping wound adorning Ace’s arm.
‘Is she gonna be alright…?’ Avondir asked with a small voice, not bothering to take his eyes off his friend. Spica turned her head towards him, smiling sadly. ‘She will, but this thing is obviously gonna leave a scar.’
The young man’s face dropped, and he gritted his teeth together. ‘I-I’m sorry,’ he whispered, ‘I-I never w-wanted to hurt her…’
‘You couldn’t know, Avondir.’ Spica reached out to lay a hand on the boy’s arm, giving it a gentle squeeze. ‘She’ll forgive you, I’m sure of it. It’s just another scar for her, she has more of them.’
Avondir’s gaze shifted once again to the girl’s face. He sighed, before stretching out his hand and tenderly stroking a strand of hair behind her ear. ‘I’m sorry, Ace,’ he mumbled, ‘forgive me.’
While Spica gave the young man a reassuring smile, Audace crossed his arms in front of his chest with an annoyed look in his eyes. ‘Do I need to get you some bandages?’ he asked, his voice filled with irritation. Spica nodded, and the General walked towards the kitchen to grab their first aid kit.
It was then, Regulus brought Cassi in, and the little girl screamed.
And here we got it! Ace experiences the downsides of her power which is completely new to her, Avondir feels very guilty, Audace becomes even more overprotective than he already was, and Cassi is scared.
Happy holidays! How much worse is it gonna get for our main characters?