Book 2 Chapter 28

“Your spirit is in great turmoil, ZenToYa.”

The warrior startled in surprise at the unexpected sound of the voice, his own tone reflecting his puzzlement, “Aur?”

Despite the amount of time that Zento spent there Aur’s small room, they spoke very little. This was the first time that the golden-eyed man initiated a conversation on his own.

Zento could feel the looming presence grow tall, manifesting at his side. The cream colored cloth of Aur’s robes caught the corner of his eye as sunlight from the open window alighted upon it. The brown-haired man stood there, peering down quietly at where Zento sat on the stone of the window sill. It became a place that the winged man came just to think and ponder out all his concerns.

And to keep Aur company.

Something within Zento’s heart expressed a deep, gnawing guilt at the thought of leaving the creature to his own lonely devices there within the chambers of the Dragons. It was an unfamiliar place. A place that Aur had been taken to against his deepest wishes, by a group of invaders who knew nothing of what he was and where he came from.

Aur is here because of me. Because I fought to defeat him and deliver him to Zemi.

Because of these thoughts, Zento chose to spend time there in Aur’s room, as if by offering some strange sort of one-sided companionship, he might make things up to the creature. Zento couldn’t tell if his presence was approved of, or if Aur merely tolerated him. It was hard to decipher the silence behind the depths of the big man’s golden eyes, a place where emotion and expression both seemed furthest devoid.

Yet, now, just out of the absolute blue, Aur chose to speak to him. Of his own will. Of his own accord. And had even moved to stand next to Zento by the windowsill.

“What I sense is correct,” the golden eyes continued to observe him. A blank silence hung over his face. Despite the meaning behind his question, there was nothing of concern within the gentle wave of his voice.

“Turmoil…” Zento met Aur’s glance with a bit of hesitance. Though he was not one to make a display of his worries, he found himself nodding. “Yes, I’m really concerned for the sake of my children. Both of them, it seems, are falling into danger.”

“Children?” Aur inquired, as if asking after a foreign concept.

“My two sons,” Zento nodded, leaning his shoulder against the stone in order to position himself better for the conversation.

“I see. You are speaking of your offspring?”

“Yes, that’s correct,” Zento’s green eyes sharpened a bit, studying the static features of the other man’s face. “Did you have… offspring… back in the place that you came from?”

For a moment, Aur didn’t answer. And Zento began to nervously wonder if he had made too far a leap ahead of himself in the conversation.

Finally, the golden eyed man shook his head, voice smooth and distant. “No. My kind did not exist through relations that brought about offspring.”

“But you are familiar with children, yes?” Zento found the whole idea curious and baffling. After all, how could any type of creature exist without producing some sort of family line to follow behind them?

“Yes. There were creatures similar to those that are now called Earthians who lived during the Old Age. They would produce and bring up little ones that were similar to themselves,” Aur nodded in return, obviously groping to find the proper words to describe something that was so unusual to his own way of existence.

The Old Age…

It was the first time that Zento had heard Aur give a name to the Time That Came Before. And the fact that there were once people that existed that might have been a lot like the people that lived now only served to intensify his curiosity.

“I see. That is very interesting,” the winged man shifted his pondering back to the topic at hand. There was no point in letting a perfect chance pass him by. “In our lands, our children are treasures that are deeply loved. Parents care much for their children, and there is a special bond that connects the two.”

Aur nodded slowly in comprehension, “I have seen this bond. The young Earthian of wavy hair, the one you call SoYa. This is your child?”

“Yes, he is my oldest son. I have another son, TsuYa.”

“He is not here?”

“No,” Zento lowered his face for a moment, more grief falling upon the word than he meant to show.

Aur seemed to sense it, his response quickly honing in on the root of the winged man’s anxiety. “There is something wrong with this child, is there not?”

“Yes,” the warrior’s eyes widened. “How did you know?”

Again there was silence for a space of time. This time, Zento waited, knowing that Aur would answer again in his own time. Not before.

The voice that returned to him was soft, with a hint of reflection, “Your mind has been fixed upon this child so intently that the whole of yourself speaks of the fear.”

This took Zento by surprise. Considering the situation, and his own mind abilities, he thought he did a pretty good job of not letting things show to the outside world.

But then again, this is Aur that I’m talking to. There’s no knowing what he can see with those golden eyes…

“I’m really that bad at covering my tail?” the winged man gave a weak laugh.

Aur’s eyes flicked downward for a moment, examining him before replying, straight-faced. “It is my opinion that your current attire covers your tail quite well, ZenToYa.”

Zento laughed in spite of himself, one hand lifted to wave at the air.

“Is that a statement that brings amusement?” the brown-haired man asked, something that hinted on the edge of bewilderment.

Clearing his throat, the warrior shook his head quickly. “I’m sorry… no… I don’t mean to joke. You’re right. What I meant to ask was: is my worry really that obvious to everyone?”

“I cannot tell you that,” Aur replied. “I am not everyone. I am simply myself. And to myself, your turmoil is very obvious.”

“Ah, I see,” the grin flickered away from Zento’s lips. Replaced by more curiosity.

Why did he approach me about this? Is he acting out of concern? Annoyance? Curiosity?

Zento found no answer in the blank mask that served as Aur’s countenance, no matter how long he appealed to it. He was left with a sense of silent observation, and nothing more.

Zento turned his gaze out towards the sunlit sky, peering past the stone window sill, trying to gather his thoughts and approach. Something spoke in his ear, a whispering thought that there may never be a better chance for him to bring out his request.

But will Aur be willing to help Tsu… and can he, even if he wanted to?

It was the one thing that Zento decided upon, especially after everything that he witnessed back in the Lion’s Keep of the Spiral – Zento wanted to ask for Aur’s assistance in curing TsuYa, rather than force him into the situation.

I just can’t bring myself to force more on him, even if the whole reason for going out to the Spiral was to find a cure for Tsu.

Fear and consternation flickered over his face as the winged man turned his eyes back towards the creature.

Now that I’ve seen Aur, now that I’ve talked to him, I just can’t bring myself to push him into this without giving him a choice. He’s not a tool… he’s a living being.

“There is something I’ve been needing to ask you about, Aur,” Zento’s voice sounded decidedly less confident than he wanted it to.

The golden eyed man didn’t utter a sound. He simply peered down with a calm and patient expression.

“It’s about my children… about TsuYa…”

“The one whom you fear for most.”

“I worry for both of my children,” Zento answered quietly. “But TsuYa may be the one in the most danger.”

After a moment of trailing silence, Aur nodded. “I am listening.”

Feeling like he should begin with some explanation, the winged man spread his hands, groping for the right words to say. “The reason I came to battle against you in the Keep… was to save TsuYa’s life.”

“I know.”

“You… do?”

“Yes. I was aware of your intentions the moment you stepped into the Keep,” Aur spoke gravely. “I sensed that you fought me on the behalf of another that you cared for deeply. But I still do not understand why you would come to me.”

Here it goes…

“Zemi said that you might have the power to cure him,” Zento sucked in a long breath.

“Cure him?”

“Yes, as I said, his life is in danger.”

Aur gave it a moment of thought, then asked, “Why should I be fetched to cure an ailment when one as powerful as Zemi Dreigiau shows you and your child concern?”

“Because,” Zento tried to explain, “This is something that Zemi is not able to fix.”

Again, there was a pause for thought. The words came slowly, “This is an unusual turn of thought, indeed. What could be ailing your child that would require something of my nature to cure… whereas the Arweinydd cannot?”

“It’s a long story, but,” the winged man took in a long breath, combing his fingers through his hair. “My son, TsuYa, has gotten himself into a bit of trouble with another Arweinydd, one that calls himself Zerom. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but it looks like this Zerom fellow is doing his best to try and take control of TsuYa. Zemi was able to put up some temporary protection against it, but he says he cannot completely cure it because Zerom’s energy signature is too close to Zemi’s own.”

The golden eyes closed tightly, a reaction that Zento had not expected. Silence drew up around the room, silence much more deep and grave than the previous had been. The winged man watched the creature’s reaction with growing trepidation, wondering if he had said something that would shatter his case right there and then.

“It is as I feared,” Aur’s low murmur carried across the folds of light and shadow within the chamber.

“What is?” Zento drew back from the statement instinctually. But the question still passed between his lips.

The golden eyes opened once more, fixing upon the winged man’s face. “The Arweinydd already have begun to battle one another. Such a struggle I have seen before, in my own time. In the Old Age. Such a struggle brought about the great cataclysm that nearly threw the living worlds into the abyss of oblivion…”

“The Mistake…”

“Is that what it is now called?” Aur’s look became more intent. The first reaction that almost seemed to have feeling behind it. And it was not a good one.

“I’ve only just heard bits and pieces about it from stories that Zemi told. No one really knows what happened, but…” Zento trailed off. “Are you suggesting it was the conflict between Arweinydd powers that caused it?”

A low sigh drew from between the man’s lips in reply. “It was a part of it, ZenToYa. And my greatest fears are that such a thing should come to this world and begin again.”

Zento received the answer in silence.

“If what you say is true, that the Zerom-one intends to use his power to control others here upon this world, then there is great danger in this fact. Especially if it is contrary to what the Zemi-one would have happen,” he continued. “Anger between Arweinydd brews the fiercest Chaos.”


He didn’t exactly know what that meant, but Zento’s main concern fell upon his son. The warrior implored, a sinking feeling bottoming out within his stomach, “And what about TsuYa, caught up in all of this? Is there anything that can be done?”

“It is hard for me to make a commitment to cure your son until I have seen the damage done to him by the Arweinydd power,” Aur answered.

Well, it’s not a yes. But it’s not a no, either.

“I understand,” Zento nodded, deciding that to press the conversation any further might sway the creature’s favor towards the negative.

Besides, that’s some heavy stuff Aur’s chucking out. I wonder what it means?

Before Zento had any time to ponder the words of the creature further, he heard a familiar voice ring across the chamber.

“Father!” SoYa strode through the arch of the doorway, his face painted in a wash of panic. The feeling of fear seeped from every inch of his body as he stood there, shivering.

“It is your son,” Aur simply stated, as if looking for confirmation.

“Yes,” Zento answered with a nod. Then he stepped forward, one hand outreached, “SoYa, what’s wrong? Has something happened?”

SoYa could only grasp for the hand, “Father… I need your help!”