Chapter 100 – (Title is spoiler, given at the end)
“He will not go outside!”
The roar of a masculine voice echoed through the silent corridor.
.“Xar, he is still a child. Do you really expect him to stay bottled up indoors for the rest of his childhood? What about making friends? You can’t expect him to stay alone like that forever…”
A woman’s soft voice sounded out, trying to persuade the other figure.
Shuffling his wings with agitation, the enormous griffin turned to glare at his wife. Seeing that there were no signs of her backing down, Xardoth sighed with resignation and whispered in a gloomy voice.
“Denela, his meridians are crippled and there is no herb or medicine in this world that can ever cure him. This means that he’ll never be able to cultivate and become strong in the future. I also have many enemies in these mountains. What if, one day, one of them decides to capture Rebran? I can only protect him as long as he is near me. He doesn’t need friends… he only needs to be alive.”
.“Is that truly the future you want for your own son?”
Denela asked with tears in her voice.
It pained her every time when her son would pleadingly look into her eyes, requesting to go out to play with the other children. Watching his little heart crumple right before her eyes each time she said ‘no’, it tore a bit of her soul apart.
As a griffin herself, she knew exactly what it meant for a young griffin to spread their wings and experience the sensation of air against their body, but for her son, this would forever remain a dream.
Unbeknownst to the two adults who were arguing in the room, a small white lion was currently standing crouched outside the door with tears streaming down his soft, furry face.
.“Oy, wake up, kid.”
Calron gently murmured, as he patted the young lion’s cheek.
.“my… ball… come… back…huh?”
Rebran abruptly opened his eyes, sensing that he was no longer flying.
Rapidly pawing his body and touching the ground, the beast confirmed that he was indeed not dreaming and was actually very much alive.
Rebran thought for sure that he had died already, since it was impossible to remain alive after falling from that great of an altitude.
Curious as to how he didn’t enter the netherworld, the young lion glanced up and gradually came face-to-face with Calron’s massive scaly head.
Letting out a frantic yelp, the little lion swiftly scrambled onto his feet and crouched low to the ground. A low growl thrummed from Rebran’s throat, as he threateningly snarled at Calron.
Please don’t eat me, please don’t eat me, please don’t eat me…
Rebran inwardly screamed with panic, but he made sure that he exuded no signs of fear on the outside. The worst thing one could do when facing a predator was to let it know that you were afraid of it.
Just the mere size of the gigantic golden bird was enough to make Rebran’s heart tremble in fear, but it was actually those cold azure eyes that evoked a primal sense of danger within him.
.“Relax, I am not going to hurt you.”
Calron stated with an amused smirk while observing the limbs of the white lion shaking uncontrollably.
.“Bahaha, you are scared of this little birdy? He could not even defeat a tiny goblin!”
Tarnila burst out into laughter, as she slowly walked towards the scared lion.
Calron mumbled in annoyance, but did not refute the raccoon’s words as they seemed to be having an effect on the young lion.
Maybe it was because the short raccoon was similar in height to him, Rebran slightly relaxed his body when she placed herself between the golden bird and him. The adorable dark puppy dangling from her neck further dissolved any hostility that he might have towards her.
.“Who are you people, and what happened to me?”
Rebran inquired while remaining vigilant in case the dangerous bird decided to change its mind and eat him.
As if knowing what his thoughts were, Tarnila let out a silent chuckle.
“I don’t know what you were doing up there, but that scary bird over there was the one who stopped your body from going splat all over the ground.”
The raccoon calmly stated with a nonchalant face.
He was the one who saved me? Maybe, he is not all that bad… NO! It’s a trap!
Rebran quickly shook his head and once again resumed his ‘threatening’ posture.
As a beast who had never been out in the real world, Rebran’s experience in interacting with strangers was very limited. The only outsiders he had ever talked to were his father’s troops and they never seemed to have anything interesting to say. With so much over-protection in his life, Rebran was highly suspicious of strangers to a baffling degree.
I remember a story I once read about a cat who tricked a fish into his mouth by singing a sweet song. Innocent and gullible, the little fish had happily swam over the edge of the pond where the cat suddenly snapped its traitorous jaws over the small fish. I will not be that little fish!
Rebran swore within his mind, as the growl coming from his throat became louder.
.“Well, I give up… I tried my best and it didn’t work. It’s all up to you now, little birdy!”
Tarnila lazily yelled, as she turned around and began walking away.
You damn, pesky raccoon! You did not even try!
Calron cursed inwardly when he saw the old raccoon happily bouncing away.
.“woof! woof, woof!”
Suddenly, Avi started to bark at the white lion as if trying to talk to him.
It seemed as if the wolf pup had leapt off the raccoon’s back a while ago and was now trying to communicate with the white lion.
.“Avi! Avi, avi!”
That was all that Calron could understand from what the little wolf pup was saying.
.“How can I trust you?”
Rebran quietly responded as he looked down at the adorable dark puppy with her bright purple eyes staring back at him. It appeared as if Avi’s words had gotten through to him and was beginning to change his mind.
The wolf pup proudly barked while wagging her tail and pointing at Calron with her small paw.
A bit of suspicion appeared to have faded away from the young lion’s eyes, but a trace of it still remained.
“Alright, I’ll take your word for it. By the way, have you seen a round-shaped thing around here? I was playing with it before and I seem to have lost it. I think it was called a ‘ball’ or something.”
Rebran inquired as he searched his surroundings, looking for his precious treasure.
.“Avi… avi, avi. Avi?”
The wolf pup replied while scratching her fluffy head.
.“I don’t think so…”
Rebran stated in a dejected voice.
Wait, what in the heavens is going on here? You understood all that from her just repeating her name?
Calron watched with a baffled expression at the scene currently unfolding before his eyes. Rotating his head to glance at the raccoon, he saw the similar look of confusion on her face as well.
Kid, haven’t you realized something yet?
Ezkael’s deep and serious voice sounded out within Calron’s mind.
Detecting something strange from the tone of his Teacher’s voice, Calron grew slightly curious and waited for Ezkael to finish speaking.
Didn’t your friend, Roran, also have a similar case of these crippled meridians?
His teacher’s words caused an explosion to erupt within Calron’s body. The only cure of crippled meridians that he knew of, was the legacy which he had inherited from his first Master.
.“The Blood Legacy…”
His mouth subconsciously whispered out the words in silence.