THE TINUTAES HOUSEHOLD
NINE YEARS AGO.
Watching the flames from a distance already gave him a fright he could not express. Even as he got closer, Kael knew the fire and heat would be a lot more worse than what it looked like.
Besides it was fire; it was always worse than it looked. However the lump in his throat refused to disappear, the feeling that something had grown terribly wrong gnawed at his chest and his heart beat erratically, terror completely griping him tightly.
"You have to calm down master Kael, don't jump to conclusions until a conclusion is met." Asare gave a sound advice.
But Kael felt like cursing at his retainer, what sort of reassuring comment was that? It sucked! But that was just Asare, the guy was so socially awkward at times it was as if he had been living on a desert or in a cave for most of his life.
His words were not enough to calm Kael down, but he was at least happy for his presence. It made Kael feel safe, and whatever was waiting for him at that burning house, he knew Asare would be there to support him through it.
The Air car felt uncomfortable even though this was like the millionth time he has been in it, the familiar leather seats felt so foreign as it was drenched in sweat that slid of his thin eleven year old frame.
It was upsetting how panicked he was, but Kael didn't care, it was not just one of his close friends, and protectors that lived in that house, but also his goddaughter. The very idea of an eleven year old being a godfather seemed amusing, but Kael was Jason, and Jason was a full grown man.
He could handle a little girl. The air car came to a stop in front of the small two story building, it looked nothing like the quaint vacation house Kael knew it was from memory, now all that it is, was a blazing heap of fire and smoke.
Kael didn't slow down his stride, as he jumped out of the car and made a beeline for the burning house, he completely ignored the onlookers. But he was able to take notice of one glaring fact. Nobody from the fire service were here.
It was not that much of a surprise if there should be late, but when the house on fire was only one end, of a kilometer and half street away from the fire station, you'll begin to wonder if this was surprising, or another fucking conspiracy.
Kael could hear the people talk about the burning house, whose inhabitants were still trapped within, if they were not already dead.
Hearing this he fell to his knees, powerless to hold himself up as grief almost threatened to consume him. Apollo and Cassandra had raised him together with Asare, they made up two parts of a squad of five bodyguards, led by Asare himself.
The guard detail was disbanded when they both got married on Kael's orders, he wanted the others to find a life too, other than protecting him twenty-four seven.
And now here they were, barely a year and half later, and they were in their house, being burnt to death with their six month old daughter. A loud crash caught his attention as a window was kicked open.
Kael looked up to see the Tinutaes maid, taking deep breaths as she cradled a bundle in pink blanket close to her chest.
The half human, half vampire maid had her fangs poking out of her lips as her eyes gleamed purple in hunger and fear. Soon enough the onlookers were already wondering if the maid would feed on the child, completely forgetting that they were both still in a burning building.
Some of the onlookers even made bets. But Kael didn't care, the moment he saw sister Geliea holding Rhea, everything else ceased to exist. And with that, not even caring for Asare who was screaming at him to wait, Kael took a deep breath, and jumped into the burning house.
THE PRIDE CITY OF LEO CORSON
THE COR FAMILY ESTATE
THREE DAYS LATER
She's not stopped crying ever since they got here two days ago. Geliea has had to use a sleep spell fourteen times in the previous 48 hours to calm Rhea down. It was as if the young girl knew her parents were no longer a part of this world.
The estate was by no means small, but her tiny lungs were loud enough that Kael could swear he felt his desk shaking with her screams. He wanted to go to her, but he was currently bedridden and getting treatment for severe burns and lung poisoning from inhaling too much smoke.
Of course it was nothing a single healing session with a priest or cleric wouldn't take care off, but Kael had instead decided to make the eight hour journey from the Golden city of Sivet, back here in a hurry to get back to safe grounds.
That fire was not normal, and in a place that could have enemies lurking about, it was not a good idea to have both himself and Rhea exposed like that. So he had to hang on through severe pains and a few hours of coughing blood before he finally got the treatment he needed.
However since he took too long, he had to be under observation for a few days. Healing was not an automatic procedure even though it could be done instantly. Healing spells worked the same way surgeries are carried out, only this time it was happening at a cellular level.
Due to the intricacies behind it, he was stuck on this bed, and completely unable to go see Rhea. There was a knock on his door, as the half vampire maid Geliea came in, closely followed by Asare. Kael looked up as he asked.
"How is she?"
Geliea looked back at Asare with tears in her eyes, he nodded at her to continue speaking before she turned to face Kael again. It was obvious whatever she had to say, was too painful for her, and she had no idea how to explain it to Kael. After all in her eyes, he was just an eleven year old kid.
"She's been healed of any burns or residual effects from the fire, just like you she's under observation, so it could be said that she's not in danger of dying from the fire." Geliea explained with her head bowed.
"That's good isn't it? Right Asare?"
Kael asked as he turned to his most trusted subordinate. Asare shook his head as he took over for Geliea.
"She's refusing to eat, and whatever supplements she's given, she throws right back out of her body. To make matters worse, because of her crying, I dare say she has a migraine that a child her age is not even supposed to have. But even with the pain, she's not stopped crying at all. As long as she's awake she's going to cry, and she's strangely building a resistance to the sleeping spells Geliea has been using on her. She's sleeping less after each session, and even without her sudden resistance, we can't continue to put her to sleep. I'm afraid to say this Master Kael, but Lady Rhea seems to have completely given up on life in the absence of her parents. I have no idea how a child that's not even a year old can have such a perception of events, but for all intents and purposes, she's killing herself."
"Oh! She's woken up again, poor child." Geliea exclaimed as she burst into tears.
Kael didn't say anything else, he just picked himself up from the bed, ducking under Asare's out stretched hands in his lackluster attempt to stop Kael from moving. Kael ran out of the room, completely ignoring his burning lungs and aching sides. He ran across the hallway, running past the paintings of previous heads of the Cor family and the list of their achievements.
The guards on patrol looked surprised at his frantic pace, after all he was supposed to be in bed. But he ignored them all, and thankfully they let him be, instead choosing to follow at a distance in case he needed help.
Kael barged into her room, and made his way to her crib. Her screaming was so grating that even his ears rang as his heart ached for her. He understood her pain, the agony she was going through. It was not easy loosing a parent, and he has had the misfortune of loosing a father twice, in both his lives, with his mothers nowhere to be found or unfaithful.
They were kindred spirits, children whose parents did not fight long enough or hard enough for. He carried her, gently as possible, hoping not to drop her. Her face was completely red, and nestled on his dark skin, her fairness seemed completely out of place.
They were like night and day, but connected in more ways than one. She shut her eyes tightly as she cried herself to an early grave, she was not responding to anything, not the rocking or the soft cooing Kael whispered to her. She was adamant in her grief, Kael couldn't help but think that she would have grown up to be an incredibly willful and resolute person, if she grows up. With no other choice he decided to talk to her.
"Rhea, my sweet little goddaughter. Please listen to me, I know it hurts, and I don't know how you can feel this pain, but I understand it. I've lost much in my life, both of them. But there's always a second chance, there's always family waiting for you somewhere. I'll be here for you baby girl. I know I can't be a replacement for them, but I promise you. I'll be your father, your mother, and your brother! So please, please stop crying and do me a favor. Open your eyes and look at me!"
SECTOR 3 AREA 9 TOWER 17
RHEA TINUTAES COR
I was stuck in darkness, held by it in such a way that it felt like I was drowning. I felt a kind of disconnection to the world around me, it was just like when I first used the time chamber to train. But I could feel warmth, a very familiar one. One that I've longed for with earnest anticipation for the last year and the half.
It was the warmth of a parent and a sibling all in one, a rival, a friend, a benefactor, my brother. But that shouldn't be possible, he was prisoner somewhere in the dancing caves of Noxis Nyx, and in the process of finding him, I was captured. And so was Shera and Oeara.
I felt lost, I miss him so much. I remember a boy though, well two boys really; who fought with the Naga placed to watch us. One of them came back to save us, and then he left again. Probably to go save his friend. But what was happening, where am I. Is this what it felt like to be dead.
"Am I dead?"
"No Rhea you're not dead. So please do me a favor, and open your eyes."