The La-Iin Series
“The Child Warlock–Part 7”
Sale-Dessu had believed his life was difficult in the days after his mother had died. At the point he was at now, thinking back on that made him want to slap his past self in the face.
His Apeta had never returned, and though he scoured the area as thoroughly as possible, he could find no sign of her. And staying in the area much longer hadn’t been feasible–the people there knew he was her grandson now and held the same grudge against him.
Before he left the area, he searched for any signs from the people who hated him that might clue him in as to where his Apeta had gone. But he found no signs, and had since come to the conclusion that she was most likely dead.
More than a year had passed since that day she left him and he didn’t feel that his life had gotten any better. He tried to keep her words in mind, tried to think positively and look towards the future, but never having a permanent place to stay and always having time to think by himself got to him. No matter how much time he had to think for himself, he could never formulate a plan for his future. Instead he always found himself either becoming frustrated or giving into despair at the reality that lay in front of him: the two women he had spent most of his life with were dead.
“Hello there, sir. Staying another night at our hotel?”
Sale-Dessu only nodded in response.
“Alright then. I hope you have a good night here!”
‘If she only knew,’ he thought as he stumbled off towards his hotel room. He unpacked his spellbooks and study materials and stared at them blankly.
Now that he had lost his mother and grandmother, and had no way of contacting the rest of his family, this was all he had. It was all that brought him any feeling other than despair.
‘What should I make today…I should treat myself. I’ve been managing my funds better lately. Maybe I should have something sweet. No, Apeta would say it would rot my teeth. I need something healthier, like a salad…’
He got to work on a tissue, focusing on changing it into a salad. He felt a massive strain on his body, but the tissue eventually changed shape. He cautiously started to eat it, checking to see if it still tasted like tissue. Once he found it didn’t, he nearly scarfed down the rest of it.
‘I need a plan,’ he thought after finishing the salad. ‘Something, some plan. I can’t keep going on like this. But what choice do I have? I have no experience with this sort of situation.’
He had tried to think on what he might do with his future, but all he had really decided on was to keep on practicing his powers. When it came to where he might live and what he might do, he was at a loss. He was so adjusted to living life with other people he could barely imagine it any other way, yet at the same time the idea of living with anyone who was not his mother or grandmother made him feel immensely uncomfortable.
‘Maybe I could find a way to make myself a house. My powers are strong. I might be able to do it. But where would I go from there?’
He thought back on his Apeta’s recollections of her power studies. ‘Without anyone else to bother me, I have all the time in the world to study. I can really devote my life to my powers. Their potential is endless, so it wouldn’t be a boring life. I’d always be learning something new, always following my dream, without ever having to worry about how someone close to me might feel….but where would I go? How far away can I manage before people stop recognizing me as Astineth Eir-Tyuj’s grandson?’
His thoughts always went in the same direction, and he came to his usual conclusion that thinking on this was pointless for the night. He packed away his supplies and laid down in bed, instead trying to think over what he might want to try power-wise tomorrow instead of what he might do with his future.
Just as he had begun to drift off, the hotel door opened, and he glanced at the door to see who it was.
“No, I’m not your Apeta. Just a concerned stranger.” Sale-Dessu blinked. Once his eyesight had steadied, he recognized the girl as the one who always greeted him when he came to this hotel. Even though he had seen her many times before, he still found himself shying away.
“Aw, don’t be scared, I won’t harm you. I just wanted to talk. I see you coming by here a lot and I worry about what’s going on in your life. Are you okay? Why do you keep coming to this hotel? You look awfully young. Are you just young-looking or are you an adolescent?”
“I’m okay,” he mumbled. “Please leave me alone.”
“I’m not trying to scare you, sir. I just want to make sure you’re okay. I know I can’t expect you to tell a complete stranger about what’s going on in your life, but I can’t help but worry. You always look so upset.”
Sale-Dessu didn’t respond. He was utterly confused as to why the woman would even bother talking to him, but he didn’t have it in him to ask her to leave again.
“Look, maybe things aren’t as bad in your life as I think. Maybe you just like this hotel and you naturally look sad. But if things aren’t alright, then try to make them better to the best of your ability, okay? Fulfill yourself, give yourself a purpose. Don’t just live because you have to, live because you want to, that sort of thing. And if you’re in need of a house, remember: we live close by Bledger, Vaelyn, one of the cheapest places to live in Vaelyn. If you work hard you could probably afford to live there.”
He peeked at the woman, who was now smiling. “I can’t claim to know what’s going on in your life. I just want you to know that there are people out there who will care if you let them. People who will help you. And there’s always something worth it in the world. So if you’re stuck at a point in life where you’re wondering whether or not there’s anything to look forward to, remember this–there always is. And anyway, our species is full of endless possibilities. There’s always something new waiting out there for you, so don’t let the bad in life get you down, okay? Sorry to bother you. Have a good night!”
Sale-Dessu didn’t uncover his head until he heard the woman close the door. ‘What was that all about? Why did she even bother coming in here to talk? Do I look that upset?’
Still, he found himself mulling over some of what she said, particularly the bit about the cost of living in Bledger. ‘Vaelyn is close, but far away. And it’s not a Witch and Warlock society, it’s a mixed one, isn’t it? That could be beneficial.’
Perhaps the woman’s intrusion and words hadn’t exactly reached him, but they had given him the idea he was searching for.
‘I’ll live far away from this place, and make a new life for myself. A life where nobody has to care about me and I don’t have to care about anyone else. I can study my powers all day and night and never have to worry about a thing. Because there, nobody will care that I’m the grandson of Astineth Eir-Tyuj. It won’t matter at all. Because nobody will care about me.’
To him it sounded like the most ideal future, especially after the past year and having to deal with the people who saw him as only his Apeta’s grandson. He could put his painful past behind him and focus only on finding out the true extent of his powers.
Satisfied for now, Sale-Dessu fell back into sleep, this time without an interruption.
The part of his life where he had to fend for himself at the end of his childhood barely ever came back to him nowadays, but whenever it did he tried to push the thoughts away. Something about that period of time bothered him to relive, and he wasn’t sure quite what it was. All he knew was that he wanted to ignore the memories until they went away.
“Father, is something wrong? You look disturbed.”
“It’s nothing, Eul-Bok. I was just thinking on a…peculiar spell.”
“Are you sure? A lot of times you’ve told me you weren’t exactly being truthful when you say things like that. I’m always willing to listen to you, Father, so you can go ahead and tell me what’s on your mind.”
“Trust me when I say it’s nothing, Eul-Bok. Let’s just get back to work instead of overthinking things, alright?”
‘Back then I was so sure I could make it without anyone else in my life. I thought that since I had adjusted to losing those important to me, I could survive on my own with only my powers. I wonder what I would have thought back then if I told myself that I would be more lonely trying to manage that way. Something tells me I would have believed myself no matter how skewed my reasoning was back then…”
“Father? You’re making that face again.”
Sale-Dessu shook his head. “Sorry about that, Eul-Bok. It’s just nagging at me.”
Sale-Dessu could tell by the look on Eul-Bok’s face that he didn’t believe what he had told him, but after that point he didn’t bring it up any longer–though it was evident that it was as much on his mind as that point of his past was on Sale-Dessu’s.