It was noon as the gate begun to spin, blue arcs of pulsing energy coursed through the lines – vein like structures – that connected the runes.
The runes were gradually filled with the radiant blue light, the brighter the runes glowed the faster the gate spun.
A spark shot into the centre of the gate and from the centre ripples expanded out creating a swirling vortex, a gate connecting to another world.
The gate suddenly snapped shut, with a small explosion.
But in the sealed gates wake stood a tall and abnormally broad figure, the energy dissipated and the shimmering air calmed, to reveal a man.
He looked like an ordinary man, two arms and two feet with a head of short blond hair, but there was one peculiar thing about him, the strange metallic structure that adorned his visage, kind of like an exoskeletal suit.
Raylin strode forward with firm steps, his steps echoed upon the stone platforms as he looked around with a firm gaze.
”Where is everyone? ” he asked upon noticing the incredible lack of people in the surroundings, his gaze gradually shifted to the only man that stood awaiting his arrival.
Ivick Lothnar looked upon the figure of his son, his hand went to his pocket, where his pocket watch was located.
”As a celebration of your miraculous return from the dead, I gave everyone a day off to celebrate… son, ” he added after a brief hesitation, his fist tightened slightly in his pocket.
He could hardly believe the son he was seeing, the son who was said to have died in the Hades Helm dungeon.
It had been a decade since they last saw each-other.
”A celebration, ” Raylin raised his brow with a mocking look.
Ivick released a heavy breath, his son had changed, and by no tiny amount, when last he saw his son he was weak, he made a decent noble, but he lacked any form of grit.
But now he was entirely different, the greatest proof of it all was the red and white uniform with four strips on the shoulder, and of course the metallic suit, it was the ultimate form to show case the difference in their ranks.
”Where are Klein and Nylah? ” Raylin asked his expression softened slightly as he spoke their names, ”I expected them to be here to greet me, ” he said unable to hide a trace of his dissapointment.
Ivick adjust his monocle slightly and glanced beyond the gate platform and out into the vast stronghold before looking back at his son.
”Your brother and sister insisted on throwing you a large surprise party, to welcome you home, ” Ivick explained, ”Try to act surprised when you reach the Manor, ” he said.
Raylin nodded with a soft sigh of relief and looked down the long stone stairs that led to the transmat gate, the gate was built on extremely high ground, he walked by his fathers side as they gradually made their way down the spiralling staircase.
Raylin looked out into the distance, his eyes focused on the stronghold walls, ”The stronghold has grown bigger… much bigger, ” he murmured softly.
When he had last been here 10 years ago the stronghold wasn even a fifth of its current size.
Ivick nodded proudly as he tinkered with his monocle, ”Since we became a vassal of the Dynasty they have granted us access to many new forms of technology, ” he said attempting to make light conversation.
”I can even begin to imagine the things you have seen, as a member of the Dynasty, ” he continued and gave his son an expectant look.
”You wouldn even be able to fathom the things the Dynasty is capable off, ” answered Raylin without adding any details, from the corner of his eye he could see his father scowl, it gave him a slight sense of joy to see that look.
They reached the final set of stairs, and there Raylin could see a small fleet of a dozen automobiles, stationed and waiting with drivers at the ready.
”Thats a bit over the top, don you think? ” he asked his father, ”It is just the two of us, ” he added.
Ivick chuckled and looked at the vehicles as if they were his precious children, ”I take the fleet with me everywhere I go, each model you see there was designed by me, ” he explained as they reached the parking bay.
”Which one would you like to ride in? ” Ivick asked his son.
Raylin rolled his eyes and looked at the one coloured in a light blue, ”That one, ” he chose.
”Some things never change, ” Ivick commented and walked to the automobile.
”What would you like to do first, go to your party, take a scenic view of the city or perhaps… ” Ivick started to propose a list of several sights, but Raylin cut him of with a single line.
”Take me to her grave, ” he said in a sombre tone, his eyes hardened, and a slight shiver coursed through his body.
Ivick looked at his son and nodded before informing the driver of their destination, his eye glimmered with a feint light.
The garden was beautiful, tall hedges formed green walls and rows of white lilys coloured the garden in a pure and untainted atmosphere.
But like all beautiful things, they were often deceptive.
Raylin walked ahead of his father as he looked at the garden, ”Lilies were her favourite, ” he said, ”How did you know… father? ” he asked with his expression becoming ever so frigid.
Ivick raised his brow and looked away in the direction of two gravestones, ”I asked her parents after she died, ” he replied.
Raylins expression slackened slightly until he noticed his fathers fist becoming tighter in his pocket, he took a breath and forced a calm expression to his face.
Raylin walked over to the first gravestone, his face was a mess of emotions as he went down on one knee and placed his hand against the stone as if it was the most fragile item in the world.
On the stone was written:
Wife of Raylin Kenneth Lothnar
Holy Priestess of The Sunrise Church
82 – 103 A.AW
”Im sorry that it took me so long to visit, ” Raylin whispered, it was his first time visiting her grave, he trembled as he tried to bury his anger about that fact and his eyes couldn help but drift to his father.
But just as quickly he looked away, Do not let anger guide your actions, he thought of a line from a sutra he tried to live by, not wanting the moment to be ruined by his anger.
He reached into his uniform pocket and fished out an old and hole ridden handkerchief, with a floral design that was stitched into the fabric, ”By some miracle I never lost this, since the day of our engagement Ive kept it with me, and its accompanied me through every hell Ive visited, ”
”I used it to constantly remind me of why I was getting stronger, and now Ive returned with the strength to learn the truth no matter what gets in my way, ” he spoke with a guilt-ridden tone and determination.
He gently placed the handkerchief at the foot of her grave.
Raylin turned around and looked at his father, he heard the sound glass shattering and noticed that his father pulled his hand out of his pocket that held the pocket watch.
”What, do you disapprove off? ” he asked calmly as he looked at his fathers scowling face.
”She is dead, shes been dead for ten years now! ” Ivick said with his face turning red, ”What do you think you could possibly find after all this time? ” he snapped.
”Im aware of how long shes been dead, I was there when she died, ” he replied in a haunted tone as he rose to his feet and walked to the second gravestone.
”You were so furious after her death, ” Raylin continued and brought his hand down on the second gravestone, the one that bore his own name.
Raylin Kenneth Lothnar
Husband of Silica Emryn-Lothnar
Eldest son of Ivick Lothnar
80 – 105 A.AW
Raylin rubbed the stone, ”Its new, ” he said, ”Extremely new, ” he added as he looked at the gravestone.
”Do you know why Im certain… father? ” he asked and turned to look him in the eye.
Ivick looked at him, ”Your imagination is as wild as ever son, ” he scoffed.
”Because the day after my wife died, you called me a failure of a man, ” Raylin gritted his teeth, ”You called me a failure of a husband and you cast me out, ”
”You cast me out to the streets and left me with nothing, you said that for as long as you live I will never bare the name of Lothnar again, ” he uttered with a shaking voice.
Ivick pulled up his face and gritted his teeth, ”Son, ” he started, ”After I learnt of your death I felt remorseful so I… ”
”Lies, ” Raylin spat, ”Its just us here father, theres no audience for you to impress like always, why don you say the truth, you only made this, ” he pointed at the gravestone, ”When you learnt of my position in the Dynasty, ” his hand went to the stripes on his shoulder.
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