CASeries #2: LEGEND
Chapter 4 ♕ Aeron’s Tale
Kylon placed a tray on top of a circular table in front of him, causing a song of clinks to fill everyone’s ears. A breakable tea set sat on top of the tray, along with a jar of sugar cubes. Seraphina had taken the liberty of moving the said table by the fire and two chairs for Kylon and herself so that they were facing the Court Leader. Once everything was set, the two took their places and looked at Lord Aeron expectantly.
“I thought I would bring this to my grave,” the man said, waiting eagerly for a cup to be handed to him. As soon as Kylon dropped the saucer where the cup sat to his palm, he started sipping soundlessly.
“What exactly is this about?” Seraphina inquired.
She leaned back on her chair, shooting a glance at Kylon who mirrored her action with a shrug. He then handed her a tea, which she gently pushed away and refused. “Not for now, thank you,” she told him. He took the cup and sipped.
“I take it you know about the incident that has happened with Valemnia and the human world?” he asked them.
“Of course.” They nodded.
“How many times had Valemnia tried to contact humans?” the Court Leader asked them, though they doubted if he didn’t know the answer. He was obviously testing their knowledge.
“About three I suppose.” Kylon said.
“It’s four,” Lord Aeron said in contrast to his statement. A pause filled the room as the lord took a few moments to drink his tea.
“The first time was way back, about two or three hundred years after the first kingdom was established. Back then, we were welcomed with open arms—of course there was doubt, I can imagine.” He paused to take a sip of his tea before continuing. “We continued to mingle with them, adapting their language and behavior along the way and they, in turn, learned ours as well. Up to this day, you’ll notice the remnants of that connection we made and soon severed.”
The two nodded.
“It’s such a shame,” the lady knight whispered. “After the interference of demons and discovering that the power pressure was actually detrimental to these people, we would’ve continued.”
“That is true. The second attempt wasn’t as successful as the first,” he said. “Everything ended the same. The third was when they drove us away completely in fear of our differences and power. We have not tried to communicate with them again since then . . .” he trailed off in a mysterious tone. “Until about two decades ago.”
“That last attempt failed miserably.”
“Well, the truth was kept in secret,” Aeron said. “As you know, only a select few were chosen for the mission—one of them being me.”
“You?” they both repeated in disbelief.
“What is there to be shocked about?” he asked them. “Before the Court Leader, I was a Celeste.” He chuckled.
“We know.” Seraphina grunted. “It’s just hard imagining you as one.”
“Oh?” He grinned at them. “I occupied the position as First Knight among the twelve Celestial Knights during those times, serving as the hundred and sixteenth holder,” he said boastfully.
“Like we don’t already know. Besides, the identities of those people were kept confidential. No one else knew—not even their family and close friends.” He paused. “In total, there were twenty-five elites sent down to the human world. Yet in the end, these people were never heard from again. Five of us were the only ones known to ever step back through the gates.”
Information regarding this was only known to the nobilities, the common people were completely unaware.
“It was said that they died in an encounter with humans.”
“It didn’t go like that.”
They stared at him in confusion.
“What?” Seraphina’s brows knitted together in confusion. “What do you mean?”
“It was too peaceful in the human world.” He sighed. “Save for small disputes and misunderstandings between themselves, humans were content and happy living their life.”
“So if there was no engagement in battle of any sort, what happened?”
“I can’t tell you much, however . . . the primary mission was a demon, and some of us had actually died in reality. However, most of us had decided to stay behind. I left out this part.”
“The simple life was too much of a temptation. Many of us are tired fighting, and I assume this weariness had weighed down on them. To live in ignorance and for self-satisfaction. The others in the group who went down to the human world became too enraptured with its locals.” He chuckled. “They were enamored.”
“So are you saying that Valeriana . . .” Seraphina swallowed.
“May be the daughter of one of my closest, old friends.” He chuckled. “Do you think that with the numerous times we attempted communication, there won’t be any . . . say flings or affairs or I even dare say romantic relationships? Some of these humans may actually have Valemnian blood in them despite it being diluted. Some of them may actually be half-bloods.”
“Well, I must admit it’s a rarity to see one. And this is only one of the conclusions I’ve managed to come up with that are reasonable enough,” Lord Aeron thoughtfully stated. “Half-bloods aren’t that stable so they’re put in constant danger wherever they are. It’s rational to say that most of them don’t last long to live a full life.”
“Yes. Right from the very beginning, she already showed characteristics of being a Valemnian. Being able to see demons, there shouldn’t have been any doubt,” the headmaster said. “But it simply isn’t possible. Half-bloods are too . . .” He breathed heavily.
Seraphina mulled over the thought. “Their condition isn’t stable,” Seraphina then told the lord.
“Well it is true that most half-bloods don’t survive after birth,” Lord Aeron said. “Human bodies are simply too weak to handle the power flowing within the blood of Valemnians. Truth is, it’s impossible for the two to get together. Their situation is a bit complicated. They aren’t above, but they aren’t less either. They stand on the very center of the balance and if it tips, their lives will be in danger.”
“They can’t be too human and they can’t be too Valemnian,” Kylon added.
“Correct,” he answered. “Once a half-blood becomes too human, their bodies become too weak that they can no longer handle the intensity of the strength their blood carries so they die. However, once a half-blood becomes too Valemnian, they go blind and mad, seeing as the power they have can no longer be contained.”
“So you’re saying Valeriana is a half-blood?”
“It’s really ridiculous for you to end up suggesting that. Although, coming from you Lord Aeron, I shouldn’t have expected anything less.”
The lord laughed at the statement of Celeste Academy’s headmaster, all the while grabbing another cube of sugar to drop into his tea. “Well, I’ve been researching. Ever since Valeriana came here, I intended for my knowledge regarding these half-bloods to widen. Valemnia doesn’t have that much information about them, you see. For now, the information I hold is limited.”
Kylon sighed. “How did Valeriana survive if she was a half-blood?”
“A suppressant might be a good explanation. If she has considerable amount of power as one—or should I say half?—of our kind, then, she might’ve been given something to keep it in, correct?”
“That is also a possibility.” The Court Leader nodded in agreement, forgetting his tea for a few moments since he got too engrossed with the conversation they were having.
“A suppressant, you say?” Lady Seraphina paused to think. “Well, now that I remember, she had a bracelet she said she always wore ever since she came here, a gift from her father, as I heard.”
“A bracelet? It is possible.”
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking, then?”
They exchanged glances.
“It means that it’s responsible for keeping her stable, if she is a half-blood,” Kylon muttered.
“But the incident with the demon . . . she lost it during that time.” Worry creased the lady’s face.
“We have to find that bracelet,” Lord Aeron said. “If Valeriana is a half-blood like what I concluded, then her life is in danger.”
“But if we don’t find it? It fell into a demon’s dimension. It’s not possible to get it back.”
“We have to try,” he told them. “Also, I’ll try to find something that’ll be able to hold a spell for her protection.”
Kylon raised a brow. “I don’t think you need to. You already have one.”
The three went silent.
Lord Aeron started giggling which made both Kylon and Seraphina shake their heads. “Oh, I have forgotten. Pardon me.”
This wasn’t the normal talk over tea that the headmaster had preferred, yet, no matter how many conclusions they came upon, questions kept on popping up like mushrooms. It made the man want to take out a piece of paper and write down every mystery he wanted resolved. Valeriana’s identity and background seemed to grow darker and dimmer as they proceeded with the discussion.
“Yet, why did you coax Valeriana into leaving so soon? Knowing the situation? You did not even give her the choice to stay behind to investigate on the matter at hand.” Seraphina’s brows creased at the rush of sympathy. “She must be having a hard time now . . .”
“I did so because it would help keep her mind off it for a while,” Lord Aeron said. “And I believe this mission would do a lot in helping her improve and find out more about herself.” He then gazed at his reflection on the surface of the tea and frowned. “I also looked into the matter regarding the recent attack with demons.”
“And? What has become of it?” Headmaster inquired.
“There are no holes on the barrier, nor are there any signs of forced entry. Though the barrier is gradually becoming weak, it still has enough strength to fend off demons for two months or so . . .” He exchanged glances with the two. “There is no other way strong enough that can assure entry in exception for one thing.”
Seraphina and Kylon froze, their eyes bulging as the word rolled off their tongue simultaneously. “A summoning.”
Aeron nodded. “Which in turn makes Valeriana’s suspicions regarding a planned attack plausible.”
“So you believe that someone is after Valeriana’s life? For what reason?”
“I wish I knew. Really. I wish I knew.”
“Then, how do we help?” Kylon inquired.
“I will not bother Seraphina as you currently have something heavy going on, don’t you?” The lord eyed the lady knight knowingly which made her recline in her seat and nod her head slowly. Just knowing she wouldn’t be taking much part in this made her guilty. “Do not feel bad. Kylon and I will do our best for Valeriana.”
“Please do just that.”
“Then, what task will you ask of me?” the headmaster inquired.
“It’s really simple . . . but that depends . . . I want a list of suspects who you think may be responsible for this event. If we can start there, we’ll eventually get somewhere. I am not sure how things will turn out, but hopefully we’ll find something out of this.”
“I see. Corvan spoke to me before and he already had his suspicions.”
“Who is that?”
“The only person who had the audacity to approach Valeriana under the false pretense of a caring friend during the times she had no one to rely on but herself.” His pink eyes glowed and his mouth curved in distaste. “Or, it might be the sworn archenemy that did nothing but threaten her life since the very moment she stepped on the grounds of the academy.”
“So it’s . . . if you were asked, Headmaster,” Lord Aeron started. “Who do you suspect the most?”
“Between the first and second? I suspect the first.”
“So if it’s that way, I’ll set the trap ready.”