Ismael only returned a heavy-eyed stare.
Briefly, Ibai wondered if he could put the man to sleep by droning on long enough. If it weren’t for Rholtam’s presence, he might’ve tried. “Papa. Let me be direct with you. I don’t think anyone is going to prove my innocence for me. I think I will have to either do that myself or just run away and take all these problems with me.”
“No, Ibai. I won’t let you do that.”
“Yeah, I didn’t think you would. That’s why I’ve always snuck out. That’s why I never told you that I could sneak out anytime I wanted. And that’s why I’m going to sneak out right now. Well, I guess it’s not sneaking out anymore now that I’m telling you about it, huh?”
His father stood. “Ibai--!”
Ibai held up a hand. “Look, the point is, I’m not going to hurt anyone, and you’re not going to hurt me, so you can’t really stop me. But even if you were going to hurt me, you probably still couldn’t stop me.”
Ismael’s brow depressed enough to make his eyes look like they might disappear beneath it. “Now you listen to me, mijoro. If you leave this place, the other Rainlords will hunt you down and kill you. Would you do that to your mother? To me? Don’t you understand? You are our son. Everything we’ve done was to keep you safe from a world that hates you. You cannot simply throw all that away now.”
Ibai placed the figurine back on the board and stood as well. “I understand, Papa. Protecting me is important to you.” He moved around the table to give his father a hug. “But protecting you is important to me. And you’ve done more than enough already. So I’m going to go now. I intend to come back, but if I don’t, then please don’t worry about me. I will be fine.” Then he let his father go. “Okay, bye.”
“Ibai--” growled Ismael, but his voice was cut off as the aberration teleported away.