Guardians

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Chapter 10 - Son of the piranha plant?

“Dude, look. Look! You can actually see his ears growing!” I could hear the cowboys not so quietly whisper from behind me as we walked through the woods

My ears! Are you freaking kidding me! As if being short wasn’t enough, now I’ve got some stupid elf ears! Why couldn’t I be related to some War Guardian! Or some Fire Guardian! As if competing with Aden wasn’t hard enough!

I slowly and hesitantly reach up to me ears, and almost squealed. I felt it, the point. THEY WERE COMING OUT TO A FREAKING POINT! NO NO NO NO! Not to mention my head was spinning, it was somewhat getting hard for me to keep up. I guess my body was going through the changes.

All of this because of my mom…

I accepted a long time ago that I was just never going to see her again, that she just abandoned us. At least that’s what my father had me believe. Which opens a whole new world of perspectives to take in. Maybe my mom didn’t just abandon me, maybe she had to…

I could feel this warmth rising to my cheeks, and this sudden burst of energy welling from within. As far as I was concerned, she was nothing more than a stranger to me. Dad down right refused to talk about her. The only hints I got about her, were all the things he didn’t want me to do growing up. So maybe, maybe this was my chance. My chance to finally find out about my mom.

“Jack, are you really sure that this will take us straight to her?” The knight called out from behind me.

“Yeah, don’t we normally take ’em to the guild first?” The cowboy chimed in.

But Jack just stayed silent.

“And the silent treatment again…” The cowboy sighed.

“So those bracelets, they magically let us travel between forests anywhere that has a tracking mark? Kinda like a GPS connection?” I asked.

At this point if he told me the whole world was a magic floating taco I be willing to believe it. So a magic travelling bracelet wasn’t far out of my realm of reality anymore

“Being a child of Gaea you should be feeling it. The great shifts in the ecological terrain.” He replied softly. “Most children of Gaea don’t enjoy traveling like this, since they naturally can teleport between forests. Most report nausea or headache type symptoms when traveling like this.”

“Guess that explains why my stomach feels like a rock album cover” I groaned.

I couldn’t think straight anymore, I was used to naturally knowing my way through a forest. But it was like my internal map was wizzing out. If I had to compare it to anything, I say it reminded me of a roller coaster. The world around kept taking drastic shifts and turns, I honestly expected to feel the rush of the wind soaring around me. I just needed to stay focused on Jack, and the road ahead of me.

“You act as if I care about that mistake!” I heard a woman’s wail echoed through the woods.

It threw me off, I don’t know why but it just felt familiar.

“I know you don’t care about that mistake, because you dumped him off on me!”

I stopped walking, I felt my stomach drop as I heard the voice of my father. Which means, that women had to be my mother...

“Damn, who pissed in his cheerios?” The cowboy said under his breath.

A mistake, that’s what she said. She said I was just some mistake. No no no, I had to just be hearing this out of context. Besides some randomly lady doesn’t exactly mean it’s my mom! At least that’s what I told myself.

The warmth I just had slowly trickled out of me like rain. It was just like when I caught Aden and Elle together, fear. Nothing but fear taking me over.

“You naked ape! What do you think Arbuscula means? I had to claim him, so I gave him a name to show how little I cared!” The women yelled again.

It felt like, everything was gone. I was alone there, the guys were around me and the sound of the woods filled the air. But I felt like I was miles and miles away. I guess, I guess I was wrong then. She did abandon us.

I never even realized it, but deep down I had always hoped. I hoped that she really did love me, that she really was just forced to be away from me. Maybe this isn’t real? Yeah, I regenerated from the sun! Yeah! And these guys hunt monsters with swords and knives! This could all just be… something else…

As that thought crept into my mind, I already could tell I was delusional.

“You know, you took everything away from me! I had a future! I was gonna go to state! Then you came in and ruined my life! You think I wanted a ki-”

“How can you say that!” Suddenly I was snatched back into reality as a boisterous voice ripped through the air.

I turned around and saw Stryder marching ahead of us all, I could see this light shining through the trees ahead of us. Indicating an open field of some kind, that’s where he was heading.

“Hey Stryder, calm down!” I heard the cowboy yell as he chased after him.

Jack followed behind the two and I watched them for a moment, it was like my legs were in cement. I needed to move forward, but I could feel this anxiety rising in me slowly. Maybe if I didn’t keep going it would all just end up being a dream. I wish could just boot up another save file and try this again.

But this was real, all of this was real. No matter how scared I was, I needed to keep moving forward. So I followed, soon coming out into the clearing.

Then, my breath was taken away, just where in the world were we? I could see huge mountains in the distance that towered over us like the clouds in the sky. There was a waterfall not far off in the distance, and the ground was covered with rainbow shaded flowers. Don’t even get me started on the Skyrim farming trees, all in unique shapes and sizes like some weird art project. I could even see some fruit!

This was amazing! I couldn’t even fathom all the sights before me! Last time I was this shocked I found out Samus was a girl!

I had so many questions, thoughts, concerns! My mind swirled in a endless loop just questioning my own perception of reality at this point. This place looked like some college art project! Ellie would love thi-

That’s when I was pulled back into reality, Again. Memories began washing over me. Aden and Ellie together… That hungry, hungry hippo freak who tried to gut me.. Then the biggest one. Hearing what I assumed to be my mom, calling me a mistake.

As my energy died down, I got my focus back, and that’s when I saw them. My father was under an odd tree shaped like some standing doughnut hole, with some enchanting women.

I froze as I took my time taking her in. She had on a simple short green dress, it was flawless. The dress had spaghetti straps, and stopped at her knees. Exposing her freckles that were scattered about her body and her bare feet. Her hair was long and curly, it seem to be dancing with the wind. Then her deep green eyes, I’ve seen those eyes everytime I look in the mirror. There was no doubt, this woman had to be my mom.

“Ah! It seems the culprits have shown themselves! Of course it was the Dragonfang Guild.” The women growled as her eyes laid on the knight.

She folded her arms and glared down at him, but the knight seemed far too angry to even care about my mother’s icy glare

His fists were balled and he had some weight to his steps.

“How dare you two talk about your son like that!” Stryder roared at her, which caught me by surprise. This guy was yelling at essentially a goddess, for me?

“Boy! Who do you think you are referring to in that tongue! I’ll-”

“I don’t care who you are! You don’t just get-”

Then, it happened so fast, it was like a flash. Or maybe I just blinked, but Jack was suddenly in front of Stryder. His hand held out to Stryder, seemingly telling him to back off. Which it seemed like he begrudgingly did.

“Our dearest apologies Gaea, since this one is an irregular we figured it makes much more sense to bring him straight to you. Seeing as he is the first male born in hundreds of years.” Jack spoke softly and calmly.

He had this tone to him that made his words seem insincere, like he knew she couldn’t disagree with him.

The women, Gaea just glared at the three. It was clear she wanted to say something, but she just couldn’t for some reason.

“I understand the situation, but you need to make sure you keep your party in line. I am a Guardian, I’m not above reminding you why you all are tasked with taking our quests.” She growled back to Jack, who seemed not show any signs of emotion.

He just lowered his hands and walked past Stryder whispering something to him. Jack looked up at me for a moment, then he looked past me and kept going. Stryder soon turned around and followed.

Stryder stopped however, and set his hand on my shoulder, which alerted me to how much strength this dudes been chucking into his stats! That little tap on my shoulder freakin stung! I winced some at it and looked at him.

“Ah! What’s the big id-” I started but I stopped seeing this serious and concerned look in his eyes.

His blue eyes carried a lot, like it was the ocean. A pretty surface that shined, only to hide the dark depths within.

“We’ll be back later, okay? Don’t let them get to you. Your not a mistake, remember that” I was taken back a bit as he spoke.

Where was this coming from!? Could he tell It was bothering me? Well, I guess she wasn’t exactly silent about it…

With that Stryder moved past me and back to his group. Who were at the edge of the tree line. Then they all vanished back into the woods.

Leaving me there, just a few feet away from my parents.

My mind was still a bit in shock, apart of me just wanted to run off that cliff. Just a few minutes ago, this was my wildest dream. Now all it’s become is a corroded nightmare. Words I never even imagined would cut so deep, managed to cripple my mind so easily.

I looked up to say something, my eyes catching my mom’s. Who had nothing but a cold stare in return for me. What should I say? What should I do? How should I respond? These questions ran over me, as her cold glare made me freeze more and more into place.

“Son, I know this may be hard to take in right now, and I know you must have a lot of ques-”

“I have work to do, so we can skip all of this introduction for later?” My mom so graciously interrupted. “ I refuse to let him in with any of my elves or other children, so he’ll get his seal. But the elves wanted to see this rarity before he left.”

“Like hell I’m letting my son be used as some stage prop for your freaks of nature!” My dad yelled back at her, clearly agitated.

“You dumb ape! My elves are the ones who helped those forsaken Adventurers make the seals! This little runt has to stay here in order to get the seal!”

“You act like I care about your dumb accomplishments! You guardians and your pride! That’s why Eden isn’t getting mixed up any of this crap! My son is going to be just like his old man! Normal!”

That’s when the incomprehensible yelling began to start. And I was left feeling like I was attacked by a confusion ray, then hit myself again and again.

Instead of thinking about any of that, I just focused on her. This, all this time. This was my mother, this is the guardian of earth Gaea. The women my dad refused to mention ever, the women who I fantasized seeing again my entire life.

Then, I felt the ground shake some. It cut my thoughts short, but my parents didn’t stop.

“H-hey, guys what’s-” That’s when I heard it.

A loud roar ripped through the trees, and ran chills down my spine. I turned to the sound and I became speechless.

An all black creature was charging at us, he was huge. Like as big as a house, he had two horns and looked ripped. It only took me a matter of seconds to make the connection. This thing was a minotaur, a tenebris minotaur!

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