This is an excerpt from a future story in Koeleth. Like the Slayers of Koeleth, and the Forgotten War, and any other excerpts I might have offered (other than the legends) it is connected to the main story, and might even be considered a sequel in this case. However, the focus is not on Tom and Aaron, but on another character. Now, because most of the characters are the same, I will be omitting names, so this won’t be as smooth as some of my other excerpts, but I felt like posting it. I have no updates on my progress that will amount to anything important, otherwise.
Excerpt, The Wolf and The Blade
The guild master dropped a heavy leather-bound package on his desk. It was full of documents, most of them neat and tidy, but some of them worn and burnt, as if someone had attempted to destroy them. The girl looked at the stack, very confused. Her superior had said nothing when she initially arrived in his office, and now he had dropped all this paperwork in front of her. Seeing the question in her eyes, he quickly explained.
“This is you, princess,” he said lovingly, as if to a daughter. “I’ve been working on this for a couple years now. It’s been tough, but I wanted to give you the best gift I could on your birthday.”
“But…it’s not my birthday…” the teenager replied, still perplexed as she pulled the package towards her. “My birthday…I thought it wasn’t for another couple weeks.”
“That’s when someone dropped you off at the orphanage, but that’s not the day you were born. Honey, that was today. Everything there is to know is right there. In that pile of papers is your whole life.”
She ran her hands over the leather cover, simultaneously awestruck and fearful of what she might find.
“How? I mean…there’s no way…”
He laughed, saying, “Well, it wasn’t easy. I had some tough fights. I had to dive into some dangerous places, broke a few laws, broke a few bones—mine and other people’s—had to cash in more than a few favors. But it was worth it.”
“Thank you…I don’t know what to say…I just…How can I repay you?”
“It’s a gift, honey. You don’t have to. And you may not want to, after you see what’s inside; it’s not all sunshine and rainbows in there. Now, you best get going. I have some more work to do, and I’m sure you’re eager to get to it. You know where to find me if you have any questions.”
“Yeah…Thank you, Dad…” she just barely muttered, too busy contemplating the documents before her.
She picked up the stack of papers, cradling almost as if they were her child, and headed towards the door to the office.
“I love you, my precious little girl,” the guild master said affectionately.
“…I love you, too, Dad…” she said, as stoically as ever, but not without sincerity.
She closed the door shut behind her, leaving her adoptive father to his work, and ran quickly to her room, dodging her guild mates along the way. When she finally reached her bedroom, she locked the door behind her and began digging into her past. She learned about her parents, a noblewoman and her farmhand lover, and the reason behind her abandonment, the scorn of her mother’s family. She learned of the faithful servant who was tasked with finding her a safe home and how she came to the orphanage. Everything after that she remembered, up until her adoption. Everything after that was a blur. She learned that her adopter was a scientist who was dead set on creating a reliable form of producing artificial magic. She was one of his test subjects, and these experiments were the source of her own magical weapon’s power. She learned of her connection to her psychopathic counterpart, the boy with the saw tooth sword. Many of the documents had nothing to do with her directly, but they explained why all these things happened to her. The last document was the most powerful, though. Every other document had addressed who she was, the parts of her past she didn’t remember, the birthright she didn’t know she had, but this one was addressed specifically to her current self. It read:
No doubt, if you’re reading this, it means that you’ve filtered through all the other information contained within and reached the end. So you know who you were now. Your life, your experiences, your missing past, everything that brought you to me. Legally, you became my daughter five years ago, but ever since we found you in the woods, a lost, confused, amnesiac child, I’ve watched over you. I want you to know that whatever you found in those documents, you are my daughter, and I couldn’t love you anymore if you were my own flesh and blood. I’m proud of you and everything you’ve done. I couldn’t hope for a better role model for your younger siblings. You have had many unique struggles, due to the side effects of the artificial magic and your cloudy history, and yet you have succeeded despite all this. Perhaps you will embark on some great journey in the future. Perhaps you wish to meet your biological parents, or seek out the man who gave you magic and robbed you of your memory and emotion. Whatever you do, and wherever you go, I have no doubt you will meet with success, but never forget yourself. Not the you in this file, but the you that trusted me with her life; the you that learned to be merciful and kind, even when it was difficult; the you that has learned when to hold back and when to push forward; the you that is happy, and loved, and not afraid of herself. You’ll always have a home to come back to and a family that loves you. Now, I’m no poet, nor am I an author, so this letter may not do much for you, but it’s vitally important that you remember that you are important, that you are valuable, and that you are precious. Never forget that. Ever.
The girl stared at the letter, moved by the heartfelt, if a bit clumsy, words, and saw something she had never seen before. Droplets of water had started to moisten the paper, and the ink bled. The source? Her own face. Tears were rolling down her face. She could feel it. Sad, happy, loved. A conflagration of emotion, and she was expressing it.