By all accounts, he appears to be a normal baby, save only for that muddy shadow. After a week, the shadow begins to come and go at seemingly random intervals, twirling up from his tiny head and fingers and toes, only to vanish like smoke. At a glance, it could almost pass for some type of odd hair.
Then, Parson Miles arrives. As the current head of all Vanguardian forces in Sair, he has been a valued comrade and friend of the family for many years, especially after their most recent tragedy.
“Your son is what we call an aberration,” says Parson. He is normally jovial. He is not so now.
Knowledge of aberrations is still a top-level secret within the Vanguard, but given the family’s unique circumstances, Overra says they will make an exception.
And so Parson explains at length. Ibai is a monster in human form. How these monsters are created is yet unknown, but it involves Abolish in some way. Aberrations exhibit powers that are otherworldly, even by servant standards. And they grow more powerful by consuming souls. They are deadly beings. Ibai will only bring ruin upon their family.
So it would be best to kill the boy now.
They refuse, of course, and demand that Parson and Overra leave.
“Fine,” says Parson. “We will go. But if you will not kill him, then keep his existence a secret. You will eventually see the truth with your own eyes, and I suspect the rest of the Vanguard will learn about aberrations soon. When that time comes, you will not want them knowing what he is.”
Parson goes in peace, but the seed of doubt is planted.
He and Nere begin to worry about the future of their son. They decide to exercise caution and keep Ibai a secret from everyone outside the family. He orders all branches to return to Luzo. He wants his House brought together.
He explains their circumstances to all of the branch heads. They are all so terribly young. With Melchor gone, he is now the eldest servant by far, and similarly, everyone knows that Rholtam is one of the most ancient and loyal reapers in the family. As a pair, their age affords them both a certain reverence that helps them gather everyone’s favor; and in the long lingering and still deeply felt aftermath of their most recent losses, he has never seen his House so united and comforting as it is now.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Written by George M. Frost