Chapter 2908 The Outsider (Part 2)
'I Awakened by myself so everything that came from that counts as the fruit of my hard work.'
They walked slowly to the Palace, with Lith describing the family-friendly parts of the trip to Jiera and showing holograms of the majestic sea creatures. Aran and Leria gaped when he put a scaled-down version of Raaz near the magical beasts, emphasizing their size compared to an adult human.
Aside from that and the welcoming party of the merfolk, there wasn't much that could interest them.f̴r̴e̴e̴w̴n̴.̴c̴o̴m̴
Aran and Leria had already met elves at the Gala for Lith's birthday and they often played with the reverted orc, Br'ey the Svartalf, every time Rena invited her to the Verhen Manor. "Give these little rascals to me. You can use some rest." Once they arrived home, Elina took Valeron and Elysia out of the children's arms and put them in the same playpen as Surin and Shargein.
The Wyrmling had already reached the size of a magical beast but he was less than a year old and eager to play. Elysia greeted her aunt with joyous chirping but sadly, Surin had already forgotten about her and Valeron.historical
"Ba!" Elysia said in outrage while Valeron just crawled to Surin and grabbed her hand.
She was still alive and well and that was enough for him.
Shargein stood in the middle of the conflict, licking Elysia to calm her down.
"Ba! Ba!" She shapeshifted into her Tiamat form, touching the Wyrmling to express how hurt and offended she felt.
Shargein was warm and his small scales soft to the touch. Elysia fell asleep without even noticing and the others soon followed suit.
The real conversation had to wait until after dinner, when fatigue and a full belly knocked Aran and Leria cold. Tista asked Bodya's permission to share his part of the story and he agreed.
'If we break up, her parents deserve to know why. If we don't, I would still need to explain to them the reason I cut my family from my life.' He sighed.
Everyone was shocked at the sight of how Jiera had become and how even powerful creatures like the Nidhoggs had been driven into a corner. When people heard about establishing colonies across the ocean, they always pictured Jiera as a fertile but abandoned land.
What the Verhens witnessed, instead, was a death trap.
"I'm sorry for you, Bodya." Raaz said. "That Forrn is unworthy of the title of patriarch. They should have welcomed you with open arms and supported you while you grieved your friend. Not exploit his death for their agenda."
The part with Thaymos and the Black Tide was even worse. Not only did Lith's parents realize what their children had fought against but they were also scared that the Royals might send them to Jiera again.
"If Vothal contacts you again, please thank him for me." Elina said. "I know that your stepfather put himself at risk solely for you, but his actions saved my children as well. Your father is a good... Nidhogg, Bodya. You can be proud of him."
"Thanks, Elina. I will." Despite his words, the compassion everyone showed him made him feel out of place.
The Verhens treated him like family while Bodya was still an outsider and maybe would soon exit from their lives. He excused himself, claiming to be tired, and left the room.
Tista was sad seeing him leave while Lith took advantage of his absence to add the part about the Eternal Fortress knowing about him and Solus.
"Thank the gods Tyris was with you." The night in the Desert was chill, yet Raaz found himself covered in sweat from the worry that he wiped with a handkerchief. "Why didn't you just tower Warp away?"
"And then what?" Lith shook his head. "Even assuming that Thaymos wouldn't have followed us to Garlen, how could I have explained my survival? Inxialot would have probably forgotten about it, but the Council wouldn't.
"Also, using the tower Warp meant to leave Orion and Bodya behind to die or share my secret with them. Then there were also Kelia and Ilthin. Once Malyshka rescued them, I would have had to answer a lot of questions.
"I can dodge Ilthin up to a point, but not the Empress. Not after the Gate and the Wayfinder were destroyed and I popped out unscathed along with everyone I give a damn about."
"This begs a question." Kamila said. "Thaymos didn't know squat about modern magic and had no idea who Tyris was. Yet he knew Dawn and was aware of Lith's nickname as the Destroyer and that he is bound to Solus."
"Correction." Solus shook her head while replaying all the conversations with the Eternal Fortress in her head. "He believed me to be a cursed object, not a mage tower. Which rules out Malyshka because she would never betray me and Dawn because she has no reason to.
"She knows my real identity and asked Malyshka to seal her memory to avoid betraying my secrets under any circumstance. Even assuming that Dawn went mad, changed her mind, found a new host, went to Jiera, and somehow found a loophole to rat me out to Thaymos, he would have known the truth."
"So the real culprit is someone who hates Lith, has a vague understanding of our bond, and can pass for a Horseman."
"Meln." The entire family said in unison.
"The only question is how does he know about Solus?" Raaz clenched his hands so hard at the thought of his disowned son that they bled. "He doesn't have the brains for it and Night can't help him."
"The only people I don't trust that knew about Solus are Hystar and Thrud but they are both dead.
"Also, Thrud never shared the truth with Hystar since even before his death he referred to Solus as the fourth Horseman, not Menadion's legacy." Lith had pondered about the issue long and hard while waiting for the Gate to be completed.
"I asked Leegaain, and he confirmed to me that Thrud's surviving Generals don't even suspect I have a tower and they never left his lair. The only possible explanation is that before dying, Hystar must have told Meln what he knew and Warped him away.
"It would explain why Meln's knowledge is flawed and how he managed to evade capture after the destruction of the Golden Griffon."
"It sounds a bit forced." Elina didn't like the idea of Orpal knowing so little yet so much.
The thought that he was the cause of the misfortune of her children during their stay in Jiera filled her with guilt. He was still her son and she felt responsible for every atrocity he perpetrated.
"Maybe, but we can't think of anything else." Solus shrugged. "Also, Meln running away to Jiera makes sense. Everyone on Garlen knows him and the spell that can be used to capture/destroy Night.
"Here he has no allies whereas there no one knows him or the spell."
"Well, that's something easy to correct." Lith took out his Council communication amulet and forwarded the bounty on Orpal's head to everyone he knew on Jiera, including the human and the beast representatives of the local Council.