The La-Iin Series
“Thank you for taking the time to fly with me, Niser-Zanta. I truly appreciate it.”
“Not a problem. Did, uh, anything bad happen recently?”
“Why do you ask?”
“Well, you didn’t really seem like you were asking to fly for no reason whatsoever…”
“I actually was,” Asul-Zenza sighed, “although I suppose I do have some things on my mind…”
“Go ahead and lay them on me then,” Niser-Zanta said. “You always turn to me for these sorts of things anyway. I’m used to it.”
“Well, it’s simply that….how do I put this….well, this year I’ve had a lot of luck. I’ve been able to visit La-Iin a lot more. But I feel like I haven’t done anything productive as of late. I used to travel a lot, do many odd jobs, but now that I’ve been worrying whether she’ll call or not, I haven’t done any of what I used to do. And I don’t think I’ll be lucky enough to get on more amicable terms with Mit-Sun anytime soon, or lucky enough for her to let me watch La-Iin on the Weekend or some similar time…”
“You never know.”
“I really doubt it. Mit-Sun’s been more friendly towards me but she always makes a point of showing that she still doesn’t like me. It frustrates me to no end sometimes. Sometimes I wonder why we couldn’t have just stayed together. Would have made some things easier for me and I would have been able to watch La-Iin grow up. But even wishing that was the case…..well, the idea of being her husband disgusts me now.”
“Don’t blame you for feeling like that.”
“So I’ve been wondering what to do. Do I take the chance and travel like I used to, hoping only that she won’t contact me? Or do I stay behind and wait for a call that might never come?”
“I say you should travel. You’ve talked to me about Mit-Sun what feels like millions of times. You’ve told your daughter before that you travel a lot, right? I don’t think she’d be too surprised if she called you and couldn’t get back to you.”
“But she might be sad….”
“Look, Asul-Zenza.” Niser-Zanta reached out to Asul-Zenza as if trying to put his arm on his shoulder, but he couldn’t reach. He sighed and flew away from his side. “You’re not always going to be there for her! You’ve seen it before! There are just times you won’t be able to see La-Iin. Would you worry about her being sad if you couldn’t visit her because your wings were broken!?”
Niser-Zanta slapped his forehead. “I know she’s a very little Vampire right now. But that’s just the thing! She’s only what, five, six?”
“Exactly! And unlike her, you and I were still in diapers at that age, that’s how young that is for us. The chances of something happening to her are very slim. She has over a thousand years still left in her! And as for your ex, if you’re worried about her, don’t be! You said she doesn’t like you! You have plenty of chances to see your daughter. But if you spend your days waiting for the next one you’ll never get anything done. Eventually you’ll run out of money if you don’t work. You’ll become miserable waiting for her all that time. You’ll be spending the hundreds of years you have left waiting for the next chance to see her when you’ve told me you already stopped by randomly before!”
Asul-Zenza had no response. Niser-Zanta made a good point.
“If you wanna go traveling like you used to, do it. You have no reason not to. You’d want La-Iin to follow her dreams, right? Even if those took her far away from you?”
“Then do it! But be back before the next book club meeting, and bring me a souvenir for giving you advice!”
“Why should I have to do that?” Asul-Zenza giggled.
“‘Cause I’m your friend and I’m nice.”
“Thank you, Niser-Zanta. I’ve been struggling with that for a while. But you gave me an idea and stoked the fires of traveling desire in me. Hm, but where would I go?”
“Somewhere not too far, I hope.”
“Definitely…maybe to Aena?”
“That sounds good. But can you speak Aeness at all?”
“Mm….a very small amount!”
“You might be better off going somewhere in Vaelyn….that’s not Bledger, of course!”
“Pick whatever, just make sure you can understand the language wherever you go!”
“I will. Oh, and Niser-Zanta? One more thing?”
“I don’t want to spend too long wherever I go. If I’m not back by my birthday….please tell people that something might be wrong.”
“What’s this for?” Asul-Zenza’s words sent a shiver up his spine.
“Remember, I said I don’t want to disappear from people’s lives. If you know for sure that I want to be back before a specific time, then I won’t have to worry about people wondering where I am. People not knowing that they’ll never see me again…I don’t want my loved ones to forget about me.”
“I’m only going to put it into mind if you promise me nothing bad will happen to you! You know, I just encouraged you to go–do you want me to try and force you to stay?”
“No, of course not! And I promise to stay safe. You have my word on that.”
“I’ll put it in mind, if only to give you peace of yours.”
“Thank you, Niser-Zanta. For everything you’ve done for me today.”
That night, Asul-Zenza packed only a few things. At a late time at night, he called a few people and left messages for them.
“Darseen, Floma, I am going to travel. I’m not sure where to–nowhere as far as Manemica, nor dangerous such as Dasdoria. But I will be out of touch for a short while. I just wanted to leave this message to tell you. I love you.”
‘Should I really leave a message for her?’ He wondered. He opted to do so when he thought about La-Iin.
“Mit-Sun, I know you could care less about this message. I am leaving it for La-Iin’s sake. La-Iin, if you try to contact me, you will not be able to reach me. I am going to travel. I’m not sure when I’ll be back, but most likely sometime this month. You will not be able to reach me until I’m back. I wanted to let you know that. I’ll speak with you later. I love you.”
‘I wonder if I should leave a message for the book club….’
“Hello. Niser-Zanta may have told you, but I am going to be traveling for most of this month. I intend on being back before my birthday. Please wait for me to hold another meeting! I will be reading lots while I stay wherever I decide to stay.”
With all the things he felt needed to be done finished, he turned off the lights in his house, locked all the doors, and took off into the night sky.