"What?!" The moment Eiron spoke, both Vera and Kurdak, and even Arikos, seemed shocked.
"Eiron Bator is only a name I use among humans," Eiron explained with a smile, "My elf name is Eiron, Shadow of the New Moon. So, the true name of that child isn't Wayerliss Deepshadow, but rather, Wayerliss, Shadow of the New Moon. He is…"
"What is he?" The three of them put their gossip faces on.
Eiron blushed at that point. After some hesitation, he said, "He is the child of me and my wife, he was born of a half-elf."
"Ooooh!" they chimed in unison. Had Eiron not mingled with humans before, he would've been crippled by that eerie sound as most other thin-skinned elves would."
"What happened next?" Vera asked impatiently. Gossip was in her blood and nature. And now, she was given a chance to listen to gossip about the strongest man on Lance and Moonshadow's chairman! She wanted to know even more.
"Hey, Vera!" Kurdak said. Was she crazy? Did she still want to live? They were talking about Wayerliss, not just any kind elf! Knowing his secrets was a disaster waiting to happen! What if he decided to silence them for it?
"For the sake of your safety, I think it's better if I don't tell you some things," Eiron refused with a cordial smile.
"Uncle Eiron, you can't just leave us hanging like that…" Vera was eager to listen and Kurdak was frantic to stop her. Arikos on the other hand just snapped aware that he knew something he shouldn't have and looked as horrified as Kurdak.
"Alright, it's my bad. But I can't tell you no matter what." Eironn shook his head resolutely. It went without saying that even someone like Eiron couldn't just spill his son's secrets no matter how kind he was.
"Then, Elder Eiron, what did you ask us to come for? Does it have to do with Vera?" Kurdak hurriedly changed the subject.
"Yes. Miss Vera, forgive my rudeness." He stepped in front of her and carefully stretched his hand above her forehead. A purplish light appeared and entered the point between her brows.
Kurdak didn't know much about magic, so he didn't know whether it would harm her. Since Eiron was his savior, he surmised that Eiron probably wouldn't do anything bad. Kurdak found that elf rather trustworthy, their past considered. Not to mention, Arikos was there as well and he wouldn't be able to do much to stop the elf even if he tried.
Not to mention, Eiron used elven magic. Back then, Kurdak was mostly out cold when Eiron healed him, so he didn't get to see much. Furthermore, elven magic differed considerably from human magic, so Kurdak couldn't figure out how powerful Eiron really was.
Even so, he instinctively found the elf to be incredibly mysterious. He didn't have any rationale for that, only the keen instinct he honed through many battles. If he had to come up with a reason, it would be Wayerliss being of the same stock as Eiron, and since the former was an assassin…
As such, all Kurdak could do was pray that Eiron didn't have any ill intentions.
A few minutes later, Eiron fell into deep thought.
I've figured out the formation composition. It's a variant of the order spell… Eiron thought, But modifying a level-six spell for additional effects… The only one who can do that is…
Eiron didn't tell the rest what he thought. He only pondered for a moment and said, "Mister Kurdak."
"What is it, elder?"
"Vera is indeed under a spell. It's embedded deep within her and if it isn't immediately removed, something terrible might come to pass."
Anxious upon hearing that, Kurdak said, "Then… please remove it for her! I'll do anything I can to repay you!"
"There's no need for that. But, you have to promise me one thing."
"What is it?"
"All four of you will have to head to the elven settlement in Nightsong Forest with me."
"Four?" The two blanked out for a moment before recalling Lamir and Manhattan.
"That's right. It will take time to remove the spell, and I can't remain in the human realm for too long. So, I will need to trouble you to go there with me."
"Don't worry about the tavern," Arikos added, "Just join Moonshadow and we'll look after it for you. I'll return it to you in proper condition."
Kurdak and Vera glanced each other in the eye. Vera then asked, "How long will this take?"
"Two years or longer."
"Kurdak…." She decided to let him make the choice.
"Can we… go back to discuss it with Manhattan and Lamir first? The four of us are involved after all," he carefully suggested.
"Then… we'll head back first." Kurdak decided to leave.
"Feel free, but please believe that I'm just trying to help you," Eiron added.
Kurdak and Vera bowed to him before leaving.
"Elder, why didn't you tell them the truth outright?" Arikos asked.
"I can't do it… I can't say my child is trying to plot against them, so I need them to go with me to the settlement for protection, right? Wayerliss is still my child after all."
Arikos kept silent.
"You, on the other hand…" Eiron looked at Arikos with a curious and gentle gaze. "Why aren't you going with Wayerliss's plans? Isn't he your most esteemed chairman?"
"I am greatly in his debt…" Arikos began as he recalled what happened two decades earlier.
Back then, he had been exiled from Stok to Lance. He was but a youth in his mid-teens. When he first arrived, he angered a bunch of underworld thugs by breaking their rules and was being pursued. They had planned to cut off his limbs and leave him to die in a pile of trash.
That was when Wayerliss appeared. He subdued all the members of the thieves' guild and saved Arikos. After that, Wayerliss and Arikos took over that small guild and reformed them into Moonshadow.
Arikos had been incredibly grateful to Wayerliss since then. He wasn't just thankful for his life, but also for being provided a place to belong.
Arikos used to feel like he was nothing more than a wild mutt everybody hated. He angered a Stokian magus back then and was not welcome in the empire any longer. Additionally, Hocke had just formed and was distrusting towards southerners. When he traveled to Lance, he almost died at the hands of a few thugs due to his bad luck.
And Wayerliss appeared the moment he felt the world couldn't let him continue existing. He gave Arikos the space he needed to breathe, eat and sleep. It was nothing special in the eyes of most. That space was called Moonshadow.
That was the thing he was most thankful for. With the guild, he no longer felt that the world didn't need him and that he deserved to exist. So, he had always respected Wayerliss's will and carried out every order he was given, no matter how dastardly, venomous and insidious they were.
That was so that he could pay Wayerliss back. Additionally, he knew doing so would be to the benefit of the guild. He also wanted to protect the place that gave him warmth even if he had to die for it.
Any human with heart definitely had something they weren't willing to part with at whatever cost. Otherwise, they could hardly be called human. Arikos, whom Leguna saw as scheming and sneaky, was no different. He was still a human with a heart.
"And so, I served the chairman for two decades," he continued, "And I haven't even once gone against his orders. I suppose that should be enough to repay him for what he did for me."
"What about now?" Eiron asked.
"Now, I want to live life the way I want to. I want to protect this guild with my own methods, as a member of the guild instead of the chairman's puppet. I believe that only by doing so…" Arikos touched his chest and felt his heart beating firmly, as if it was trying to encourage him. "Only then can I protect my human heart."
"A human heart, huh… That child has existed among you humans for quite some time. I wonder how much he has learned…"
Arikos didn't respond. Wayerliss wasn't in the guild now and nobody knew where he had gone. However, he knew Wayerliss was definitely plotting something, and it most likely had something to do with Leguna.
I hope that brat can come out of this safe, Arikos prayed.Previous Chapter Next Chapter