Importance - Chapter 19
The arrival back on the Island felt like a walk of shame.
Acacia found herself clutching Avon’s hand for comfort as they tried to keep up with the excited pace of the newly made knights, the sun slowly setting, illuminating their surrounding with a golden glow.
The last few hours had been a mess – when the last apprentices had returned from their exams, all having graduated, Sharpeye had taken them to her village, given them lunch, allowed them to rest a little before returning to the boat.
Acacia bit her lip when she remembered how her father’s cousin had looked at her when she realised the girl hadn’t succeeded; the mixture between surprise, pity, and sorrow was a weird one, and Ace wasn’t sure she could forget how it felt.
Her family’s faces would probably be even worse.
‘Ace?’ Avondir called her name, the soft, miserable tone in his voice ever prominent. ‘Are you gonna go back to your home…?’
Acacia shrugged, squeezing his hand tightly. ‘I-I’d rather not,’ she muttered, not even daring to look him in the eye. ‘You know… I-I don’t know how they would react, I was supposed to graduate – why are you even asking…?’
With a sigh, Avondir pointed his hand at a small group of people standing at the end of the quay – most of them were their teachers, mentors, family members living on the island.
Including Ace’s parents and siblings.
The girl sucked in some air, feeling the blood drain from her face. Her legs became shaky when she locked eyes with her mother – she let go of Avondir’s hand when Cassi waved in excitement.
The next thing Ace knew, was how Altair came rushing to her, grabbing her hand, pulling her to their family. The dirty look her brother threw Avondir didn’t escape Acacia, and she bit her lip not to say anything about it. Instead, she kept quiet, running to keep up with Altair’s quick pace, distancing her further and further from her friend.
‘Oh God, my baby’s still alive,’ Spica grinned, taking her daughter in her arms as soon as she came to a stop. ‘Not without the needed scratches, but that’s what becoming a knight takes you-’
‘Bitch, you’d better tell me everything.’ Altair winked at her, standing next to their father. Where the blond boy had a large smirk on his face, Audace was frowning, his arms crossed over his chest as he looked at the scene.
Cassi giggled, holding her little notebook and pencil, sending a bright smile her older sister’s way – ignoring Methone rolling her eyes behind her. ‘How was it?! Tell me everything, I wanna write it down!’
Acacia couldn’t look her in the eyes – instead, she moved her line of sight to her other sister, shaking her head slightly, hoping she’d catch on.
To her surprise, Methone did. The sixteen-year-old’s eyes widened, and she clasped her hand over her mouth, seemingly not able to believe what her sister had made clear.
‘You failed…?’ Methone whispered, taking a step to the green-haired girl. Biting her lip, Ace nodded – trying to keep her tears at bay when she heard her mother gasp, Altair curse, and Cassi let out a yelp in surprise.
It was pure embarrassment, pure horror.
Nothing felt worse than that feeling that yeah, she had failed.
She had failed the thing she had working her entire life to get.
Spica’s consoling words didn’t matter; Altair’s hugs made her feel empty. Cassi was trying not to cry, Methone had taken it on herself to stay in the background.
However, the voice of her father was missing.
When Acacia had grown up and failed something she really wanted to get, he had tried to make her laugh, tried to make her feel better. She could vividly remember how he had grabbed her hand, made some corny joke, told her there would be another day.
She needed that now.
She needed his support, his fatherly advice. She needed a strong hand on her shoulder to tell her she would be okay, there would be another day.
Instead, there was nothing.
Her mother’s voice yelling a distressed, ‘Audace!’, made clear her father had walked away, off the bay, to the group of new knights.
Acacia couldn’t help but sob and hide her face in her brother’s shoulder when realisation hit her.
He had been right.
She wasn’t made for being a knight.
Her brows furrowed, a fire roaring up in her stomach.
She was still going to try.
This is probably the longest I've gone without updating, lol, sorry for that. Quarantaine and having to work much harder now that school's being held online, plus my exams from this week, made it hard to do anything and to keep myself motivated.
But, I've done this!
Be proud of me XD.
So, tell me what you think!