Chapter 14: "A soul's end is an evil's start..."

"I could never get over death easily. My first days back then in the orphanage were hell for the priests and nuns. That was until Kat-Chi and Zoliphian came. We were stuck in the same room for ages. I had to take care of them since everyone else's hands were preoccupied with other matters, like burying the dead.. The very same war where my family was killed. every single one of them."

Tan'nein shook her head and took this in. Her primary work wasn't a psychologist, but calming this man down was rather crucial if they were to keep him from tearing the bandits (or anyone else, for that matter) apart with his bare hands. She attempted to calm him down with her slow words of reasoning. "But I do understand you haven't forgotten the terror of losing people most dear to you. I heard that your fiancee was wounded in combat before this unfortunate mishap. Perhaps these repeated acts of bad luck have given your violent side a rise in power?"

Mabatsekker raised his arms to his temples, his eyes fighting not to spill into tears of mixed anger and fear: "..I don't want to hurt anyone. But when it burns inside of you.. I just can't give up and let everyone get away with their crimes against others! That's why those bastards deserved to get themselves beaten up! Tortured! Decapitated! Why did you have to get in my way!?"

"I've seen a lot of anger, sorrow and death on my journeys. So much anger leads to so much death.. so much sorrow, yet again, sorrow brings up more anger.. truly an ill omen, Mabatsekker." Igatona finally released the words from his mouth that was tightly sealed like a chest until this moment. "I know a valued comrade of your is dead. Killing people won't bring him back, not if you keep feelings like revenge above all others. Your other friends need your support. You seemed like the leader of the group, try to act one at the very least!" He finished with these reminders, hoping for Maba to gain at least some reason to his confused mind.

"I'm no leader material. I can't push people around and tell them what to do!" Maba tried to state. Igatona simply took support of the table they were sitting around and talked to Mabatsekker in a very serious tone with his index finger pointing at the roof: "A leader doesn't have to rely on his status. You seem more like one of those persons whose mere presence is enough for most to identify himself as the leader-only-in-name rather than a fullblown title! Think about it!"

"I can't! Kat.. and Zol.. they could never see wretched man like me as a leader! This whole mess would be better if I never volunteered to pro.." Mabatsekker's vision cleared as a sudden thought ran thru his consciousness: "TIRIA!!"

Mabatsekker tossed the chair he was sitting aside, crashing it into the wall as he started taking the steps up faster than his heart pounded in his weary body. The girl's safety was his only priority now, his mind started to assure him of it. His steps grew weary until he was at the final step, panting heavily. His head fell down in exhaustion and when he finally raised his head towards the room where the girl was supposed to be..

"Is something wrong?" Tiria groggily asked, as she opened the door. Apparently, she was awakened by the noise Maba had made when he was running up the stairs. Tiria was unexpectedly grabbed into a bearhug and Tiria sensed something was not right with whomever grabbed her.

"Hello?" She asked. Maba couldn't say a word as he realized he didn't know how to say what had happened. It just wasn't his forte to bring in the bad news.. Especially to a child. He had seen enough sorrow in his own past when families were informed that the man of the house fell in battle.

"I have something to tell you, Tiria.." Maba opened his mouth, his voice shaking a bit. "Is it the Druchii!?" Tiria asked in a panicky manner. "No.. I don't know how to break this to you, but.." Maba closed his eyes and bit his lip.

("'..Gar is dead..'")

"Gar is d-" He was about to unload the truth upon her, when it just hit him again in a way most unimaginable. He burst into full tears again and kneeled down, still holding her tight.

"GAR IS.. DEAD!" He sniffed and still attempted to swallow the truth in whole. Tiria went silent. Whatever color besides the dark hue she had on her face was certainly gone. She closed her eyes to tears under the eyefold she was wearing.


After a moment of silence, Maba finally opened his mouth to tell her that the bandits were there again, but Gar had valiantly taken the hits, succumbing to them.

("It's like a dear member of the family was dead..") Both thought at the same time, somehow subconsciously sensing it themselves.

"Kat's in a state of unconsciousness aswell," Maba talked in a barely recognizable tone of voice. "She tried to save Gar from dying, but she was too late.. and the magical currents were too strong for her to handle.."

Tiria felt Maba's hold loosen, then releasing completely. "What about Zoliphian?" She asked.

Maba felt like the blade of ignorance had just cut in another beloved place. Wasting no time, he grabbed the girl who yelped in surprise. He suddenly seemed to get into a hurry and began racing downstairs with the girl tightly on his arms...

Chapter 15