Revealing Adryan's past (part III)



Leila falls into silence as I relate my story to her, the story that has my heart caged and captive for the pain it still holds from that terrible night.

“I grew up in a good family living in a bad neighborhood that tormented us every single night because we were the image of a broken family newly arrived to a tightly secluded town. We used to live with our father, but he abused of his own family several times. He treated us akin to the beast from the fields. Every night I had to endure my mother’s body falling to the ground face down, her cry for help was stronger in the beginning, which irritated my father. Quickly she tolerated pain with more ease for the sake of her children; every time she uttered a cry my father would burst into our bedroom and drag my little sister from the hair and out of the room. What he wanted to hear was my sister’s screams every time he thrashed her around by the hair, he would stop when my mother finds her voice and begs him to halt.

“Many times I was the observer because I couldn’t react due to fear, but that ended once I turned thirteen. One night I fought my father while he was having a discussion with my mother. It was the most terrifying night of my life and I was grateful I was able to summon enough energy to do so. He threatened and beat me, yes, but that didn’t compensate the many times I had not come out to defend my mother and sister. I grew stronger every time I went down on the ground, totally overpowered by his wrath. I never hit him, not once; my mother’s words were stronger in my heart. You never achieve anything through violence; he doesn’t deserve your energy. By standing there and doing nothing you are wounding his spirit, he is not a worthy opponent. Her words remained strong in my head whenever I felt the necessity to hit my father.

“Two years later I decided it was time to move on. My mother was adamant in staying, arguing there was nowhere else to go. I told her we could start all over in a different place away from him, that we didn’t need money and we could work for it. We would suffer for the first couple of months but it was better than living with our father and being subjects of his abusive temperament. We left.

“He was laying on the streets somewhere, getting drunk. It was a cold night when we escaped under the cover of darkness. We traveled for three long days and nights nonstop, fearing that he might catch up with us and drag us back to the hell we desperately tried to leave behind. Finally, like a miracle, we lost our way in a forest while we were escaping from a band of terrible outcasts, and found the secluded isolation of a town in the midst of the forest.

“We weren’t well received and not once were they friendly with us, but we were safe. They always wondered where my paternal figure was, but never once did we reveal our obscure past. Days turned into months and then into years and finally I reached the reckless age of eighteen. I was adventurous in all the ways imaginable, I learn to fight and defend myself from the dwellers of the night that dared enter our town to rob from it. My eyes became accustomed to darkness due to the dark and bleak forest surrounding our town, my senses became stronger and my stamina increased. I learned to hunt as means to feed my family.

“One day, my adventures took me away for a long period of time. A sailor came into our forest by accident and I offered him a place to stay, much to my mother and sister’s pleasure. They were always wary of strangers, especially burly-looking men. But I recalled the memories of hostility and aloofness which received us when we first arrived and felt great duty to prevent further visitors and peace-seekers to feel the same. He stayed with us for some days and after instructing him the way out of this forest and into the coast, he offered me a job in the sea. I accepted it, feeling it might bring some more income to our household, but my family was against it. They didn’t want me to leave the house, they argued they were perfectly fine as they were but that was not true.

“The cold nights defeated us and our empty stomachs hungered almost every night. I had to take the job. I made several trips on foot to the coasts to embark myself into adventure and fortune, always returning within two weeks with a sac-full of gold coins, enough for us to live modestly for a month. For four years I worked as a sailor but then calamity strike, our boat was hit by a storm and few returned unscathed, one of them was me. I suffered from pain and nightmares, devouring my sleep and confidence. Slowly and gradually I retook the reigns of my life and devoted myself wholly as a hunter. I hunted for several reasons and for multiple jobs, several times it was for the meat those animals provided and for the skin when opportunity of a job arose.

“One night, I returned later than usual and found the town succumbing to fiery flames that seemed to erupt from the ground. Instinctively I ran to my home to look at for my mother and sister but it was too late. The entire structure was down on the ground, with the fire burning the ashes that remained. I ran into the forest and hid in the hollow of a tree and cried myself to sleep, hoping this was only a terrible nightmare. When the sun streamed the next morning, I returned in a half-wake to the town and found it in ruins. It was real, and the pain never died away.

“I became a skulking wanderer from then on, walking aimlessly through towns and villages trying to find the shadows of my loved ones. I blamed myself for not being there for them, for letting them burn in the flames that were partly extinguished since we left our father.

“When I arrived to Syltra, I heard some of the townsfolk talking about many villages and towns burning unexpectedly, as if summoned from the ground. They attributed the cause to witchcraft. It was then that I decided to become what was left for me to become, a witch hunter.”

I pause, my sobs finally subsiding. I raise my head, which had been resting on Leila’s shoulder and gaze past the endless sky and into the place where the sky fused with the ground. Leila remain motionless and appear to hold her breathe, something wets my shirt and the tear touches my skin. Leila’s fingers are now lightly pressing against my flesh and I hear her stifle a cry. Broken clouds finally begin forming in the sky, blocking the sun momentarily and casting us in a somber shadow.

Please forgive me Leila.

{Author's note: Not thoroughly happy with this chapter but its a cornerstone in getting to know Adryan. I typed it very fast so expect many mistakes and the description is not as good as I wished it to be. Will fix it in due time. Nonetheless, enjoy!}

The End

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