Dragon Raja and the Core Tokens: Grief

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It was midnight, Asen was walking alone through the forest on the edge of Black Swan Bay, trying to clear his head on everything that went down. Howling wolves could be heard from the distance but Asen paid no mind. As he trudged through the snow, lost in his thoughts he heard a rustle in the leaves. he sharply turned around to see Z standing before him, holding his arms up to signal peace. Asen stared at him coldly

“I can only show you here what I went through..” He spoke

Before Asen could reply a blur of memories hit him one by one, slamming him with every feeling Z felt through the years of being Hertzog’s experiment, Asen held his head trying to stop it from splitting, he fell on his knees, begging for it to stop. After a few moments, it did. Asen regained himself to look up to see Z was replaced by several wolves, he panicked and immediately summoned Comet but to no avail, it didn’t show, panicked Asen was defenseless, As the Wolves began to charge Renata came forth, shoving him out of the way, defending him from the current danger, before Asen could get up The wolves charged for his sister, In desperation he reaches out to her, trying to save her before she is mauled by the wolves, Asen watches as she’s completely torn apart and then,

Asen shot up in cold sweat, his tears streaking down his face as he frantically looked around. he was in his bed, it was sunrise, the horror he experienced was purely a nightmare. a sudden knock came at the door,

“A-Asen..? Are you u-up yet..? It’s Vera-” She called from outside

The brunette, still in shock from his night terror just wiped his eyes quickly and attempted to calm down

“C-Come in--” He hollered,

Vera stepped in, looking as cute as a button, the morning light shining through the open door. She smiled as she held a plate of food

“Renata said you could use a plate of-...” She paused, noticing the taller boy’s tears and softened

“Asen..? W-What’s wrong” She walked in and set the plate down, closing the door and sitting beside him on the bed

“N-Nothing just woke up is all...” He wiped his face, his face a little purple from the bruising yesterday,

Vera cupped his cheeks gingerly, brushing her thumbs over his freckled cheeks. Her face laced with worry as she examined the boy’s injuries

“W-What happened..?” She asked

“I got into a fight...” He whispered, his head lowered in shame and embarrassment.

“With who..?” She asked

“Z...” He confessed

“Oh, chiot...” The French girl cupped his face sadly, looking over the brunette’s face, it was a bruised nose, busted lip, and tired eyes from having a poor night’s sleep. She scooted closer to sit on his lap and wrapped her legs around his waist and placed her arms around him.

Asen simply held her, burying his face in her shoulder. He didn’t wanna question this, it felt safe, he felt like he could only trust Vera at this moment, with how mad he was at his sister, and unsure about his father...

Asen trembled under her touch as she rubbed his back, he gripped onto her cape tightly as his emotions began pouring in, the teen just cried his confusion and frustration on her. Vera sympathetically held the taller boy, stroking his head gently and letting her fingertips drag down his back comfortingly.

The two sat there for what felt like hours, in reality, it was only twenty minutes or so, Asen could barely organize his thoughts but he was thankful to have Vera by his side.

Eventually, Asen lifted his head, trying to wipe the teary mess he made on her coat. She laughed gently and took his hand away

“I-It’s okay chiot...” She comforted, Asen just meekly nodded before sitting up properly

“How about we just w-work on your music yeah? That usually cheers you up...” She suggested

“Yeah...That sounds good...” He muttered and picked himself up, He grabbed his guitar and sat back on the bed. Vera grabbed her thumb piano from her bag and sat down beside him. Asen began playing quiet chords as Vera harmonized with him on her kalimba. the two made calming music together to cheer Asen up from the harsh day yesterday.

As the Serdtse filled with music, the light shined through the stained glass windows, making the floorboards wash in color, the two played in calming silence, enjoying the peace together. Asen didn't want this to change. He didn't want to leave Vera, or Renata, or Hertzog. He couldn't. He wouldn't. there was no guarantee anything bad would happen. And Asen was willing to accept that Z wasn't thinking clearly. He knew this place far more than Z had. His emotions showed through his playing, they were strong and full of confusion, Vera's playing was full of comfort and love, the two played until their song ended, Asen took a soft breath, feeling the sun kiss the freckles on his bare shoulders and his nape. This moment was peaceful. He wanted to stay in this moment forever.

But time goes on. Asen slowly stood up and kissed the top of Vera's head, causing her to blush bright red, with a sorrowful voice and a pained smile he spoke

"Thank you...I'm going to go talk to Renata" He said

"O-Okay...Will you be okay...?" She asked

With a soft nod, he waves and puts on his coat, heading out the door to find his sister.

The sun just rose over the horizon, gracing Black Swan Bay with a gentle breeze, as the birds flew overhead Asen made his way through the orphanage, Calling out for Renata, after a few moments he found her, sitting over by a cliffside, looking out to the ocean while sitting on the snow. He quietly makes his way over to her before taking a seat beside the blonde Russian girl.

the two sit in silence for a little bit, listening to the ocean and the ambiance of nature. Renata takes a deep breath of the crisp morning air before speaking

"What do you think It's like...On the other side of the ocean?" She questioned

Asen gazed out to the sea where the horizon line formed and let out a small sigh "I'm not sure...perhaps beaches that are warm...like we've always talked about?" He glanced over to her.

She gave a small nod, looking over to her brother before looking back out,

"The people on the other side are probably wondering the same thing..." Renata murmured

Suddenly a giant whale jumped out of the ocean, spouting water into the air before landing in the deep blue water again,

Renata let a small smile creep onto her face before she spoke "I remember when we saw that for the first time-" She chuckled weakly

"I remember wishing I could be like it, to be free to swim in the ocean..." Asen mumbled. He watched the whale sink into the depths of the waves, unable to see it now.

The two stayed in silence for a while, gazing into the ocean,

"Look...Asen, I'm sorry about yesterday, It was wrong to spring so much at you at once..." She turned to him

"I'm sorry for lashing out on Z" Asen confessed in embarrassment.

"Z is persistent that doomsday will come...I'm not sure when, but we must be prepared...Z thinks we should leave by the new year." Renata explains

"Where would we even go..?" Asen turns to her

"I don't know, but if here's not safe, we must evacuate...If you care about Vera, I suggest you take her with us...but we can only fit four people on the Professor's plane...We can't save everyone..." Renata looked down sadly

"We can't just abandon our family, what about Ivan- Anton, Khorkina-"

"I know- but Asen we don't have a choice...Right now you are my priority," She teared up

"Once we are clear, If all goes well, Z said he'll round up anyone he can...And we'll all make it out."

"And when doomsday passes. I hope I'll be right with you" She stood up, facing him

"Asen, as your sister, I'm very happy to have you by my side..." Renata confesses

Asen stood up as well, embracing her gently "Promise me it'll be okay..?" He whispered out

"I promise, no matter what I will always look out for you and whatever happens I'll always search for you" She promises

The two sit in the embrace for a few moments before separating from one another

"right then...Let's go back.." She mutters, taking his hand

The two walk back towards Black Swan Bay, unaware of what will happen next, but as long as they were there together, they'd be okay.

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