It had been ten years since the Great Flash caused by Kaydence Harkhallow and ten years it had been since Zack began to raise Bregan and Braylen’s child Tollen.
Things were still being rebuilt and after the fae’s extinction, humans had taken over the territory claiming it as their own seeing as there was no one to object.
For months on end after the tragedy, ceremonies had been held in memory of those lost, although there would be many names forgotten.
Verdite Cortice fell into the hands of Lyra Brooks after being pried from Sorin Ribaya’s, she had kept it secret until a decision was made to honour Solon and the fae..
Since then, it was displayed as a reminder of the once harmonious coexistence and those that fell.
Zack hadn’t seen Everette since that day, Monty and Nathan on the other hand, had regrouped with them and the other Raven members that had survived the risky situations, but Everette still remained missing.
He hoped that perhaps because she was part human, she could have survived.
The human cities had been rebuilt and modified, some were still in their late stages of completion, but Arravan as they knew it had changed.
It was never clear how much of a role the fae had in their lives, but now they were gone, the world was different, it didn’t feel right and was most definitely emptier.
The little section of the Bristling forest that had been left untouched by human civilisation now stood as a park for the residents of Himiratia.
It had become an annual visit for Zack and Tollen, the little glen that was overgrown with ivy, moss and grass was a place they went to remember and reflect.
He watched his son hop from rock to rock up the stream as they enter the glen.
“Be careful” he said as he did every year, a tradition of sorts he supposed.
“I will” Tollen would reply as usual and he would be, not once had he slipped into the water, perhaps it was the balance of the fae within him.
It had been difficult to raise him, he couldn’t relate Tollen’s traits to himself or Rowan and seeing as he never knew Braylen or Horatio, there was no knowing who he took after in regards to his personality.
Although, he was thankful that there were no signs of madness or psychotic tendencies in his youth so far.
But even so, Zack couldn’t help shake the feeling that there was something more to Tollen, he was the son of two fae and yet, for all he knew, Tollen had survived the light when no other fae had.
Over the years, since the Great Light, he had done some digging, he wanted to know what he was dealing with, what Arravan could be dealing with.
Zack discovered something, it originated further back than even the Battle Of Crestfold.
When Bregan’s armies were developing weapons, testing on fae to create a so-called master weapon, it was then that he found out what they were truly doing.
The master weapon was never a gun, a bomb or a blade, it was a child, the unborn and developing child of Braylen and Bregan.
However, he hoped that if he kept it a secret from Tollen, then perhaps whatever it was that was done to him would stay subdued, because he wasn’t sure he could cope.
They reached the open area, some litter lay disrespectfully amongst the dreary-looking flowers that grew weaker each year that they regrew, their colours having faded too with wilting leaves.
Zack picked up the cans and packets, silently cursing people for being so inconsiderate in such a precious space.
As he did so, Tollen continued forwards around the pond to the wall, he pointed a finger to the inscription “What does it mean?” he asked repeating his words from the previous five years.
“Skies hold knowledge, knowledge holds power. We fly among the clouds and learn what was forgotten.” he recited, his fingers fumbling with the several metal origami raven pendants on his chained necklace, one for each of those he lost from his team.
“Daddy, tell the story. Please, please, please tell the story” Tollen pleaded with an anticipating bounce.
He still wasn’t used to the parental label, he never dreamed of raising a child alone, it was always supposed to be he and Aveline.
But things don’t always work out the way one wants.
“Once, a long time ago, there was a man who had wings upon his back. His name, was Kaydence Harkhallow.”
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