I returned to life with a desperate heave, grasping the sheets of the bed I was in and pushing myself into a sitting position. Doing so caused a horrific pain in my chest, and just as quickly as I had risen, I crashed back to the bed so as to prevent any more pain.
How the fuck am I alive?
A man was sitting in a chair to my right, watching me with close concern. His amber eyes matched one of my own, he had spiky blonde hair, and his skin was distinctly tanned. This man was hunched forward attentively, slouching out of his chair, hands together and elbows on his knees.
Oh, son of a bitch.
“Are you alright?” Cyria asked, “I came as soon as I felt your energy begin to fade.”
I groaned, leaning back into my pillow and closing my eyes. This is not happening right now. You should’ve just let me die, you piece of shit.
“Michael!” Cyria exclaimed, “Are you okay!?”
“I’m fine…” I groaned, struggling to get the next word out of my mouth, “Dad.”
Season One: Recursion
Episode Six: Cyria
My father leaned back into his chair, crossing his arms over his chest and sighing. “Thank Meiro,” he muttered, “I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you.”
I laughed bitterly. “Maybe you should’ve thought of that before mom died.”
A distinct look of guilt and pain crossed my father’s face at that. “I- there was nothing I could do!” he sputtered, “It was an accident!”
I glared at him. “An accident that could’ve been prevented if you had stayed by her side, by our side, like a real man does. Like a man that actually loves his family and isn’t obsessed with some old fucking blood feud.”
Cyria closed his eyes and sighed. “That old blood feud is what nearly got you killed last night. The man you fought, Nalia Hector Cynd, is the grandson of Max The Second. You would’ve died, too, if I hadn’t come when I did.”
I sighed, remembering my fight with Nalia. “And what about him? Was he dead by the time you got there? Did you finish him off?”
Cyria shook his head. “No. He was gone before I arrived.”
I raised my eyebrow. “Did you see who took him? I’m pretty sure I disabled him, too.”
Cyria paused. A wave of uneasiness crossed his face before he responded, “No. I didn’t see anyone.”
I didn’t care to pry further. “Thanks for healing me up. Can I go now?”
Cyria raised an eyebrow. “Are you kidding? You can barely get up without being in pain. You need to rest. I’m fine with taking care of you in the meantime.”
I sighed. “You do know this isn’t going to make me forgive you, right? You can’t just make up for mom dying and leaving us by doing me a single favor.”
“I know.” Cyria said, nodding solemnly, “Regardless of whether or not you forgive me, I’ll always be here for you.”
I placed my hands behind my head and closed my eyes. “You can go now,” I said, “I’m going to get some rest.”
I felt Cyria’s strong energy signature in the room with me. Up until I fell asleep, I neither felt or heard him move at all.
If I didn’t hate him so much, I’d probably find it touching.
So by now, you’ve probably noticed a key thing: my dad’s not a wolf. Well, technically he is: his true form is a great wolf composed of Light energy, with scarlet lightning pouring from his eyes and his mouth. The form that he’s in now, and the one that he was in when he met my mother, fell for her and ultimately resulted in the birth of me and my siblings.
Of the three of us, though, only one exhibited a Light Affinity and a physical characteristic from our father. Me, with my white-and-amber heterochromia and Light that comes from a Great Beast. When this manifested in my youth, my father explained to me that there was a name for someone like me, a hybrid between Great Beast and human.
I’m still not sure exactly why I’m the one out of my three siblings to actually manifest these traits. For most children of parents with differing Elemental Affinities, it’s a good 50/50 chance of which they’ll inherit. In fact, they don’t even inherit one, per se: they inherit both, and then the more dominant one manifests in their youth, typically before they turn ten years old.
Chimeras are early bloomers, though: mine manifested within a year of my birth. I guess the same didn’t happen with Michelle and Richter due to those strong Lockheart genetics, though: in almost all cases I’ve known of where a Lockheart has a child with another person, the resulting child inherits Lockheart characteristics. It’s actually a little bit weird.
So I’m a little bit of an anomaly. That’s probably not very surprising to you, but it certainly was to Nalia, the smug prick. I still love the look on his face when I actually started channeling Light energy. Royal fuckboy looked like he was gonna have a heart attack.
Thinking of Nalia in my sleep, I found myself re-experiencing the sensations of excitement and slight panic I had felt during our battle. Mostly excitement, but as my dream-recollection of the fight continued, I found panic started to take over and I forced myself awake.
Cyria was still in the room. He hadn’t moved much, still watching me steadily with those amber eyes of his.
I groaned. “Are you serious? Watching me sleep doesn’t suddenly make you a decent father.”
I pushed myself into a sitting position off the edge of my bed, finding that my wounds had finally been healed. For most people, such a severe chest wound would probably take months to heal, and would leave a scar at that, but we Light Spectrum folk enjoy much faster and better healing than your average joe. (My father being a Great Beast also probably helps.)
We enjoy this healing as long as we’re in a bright, hot environment, which the fit the description of the little hut Cyria was keeping us in. A fireplace was in the corner, providing plenty of natural heat and warmth to the hut. There weren’t any other rooms in the hut, so round windows circled its entire radius, letting in plentiful sunlight on our side of the room.
I shut my eyes and inhaled. Past the smell of smoke and wood in the fire, the world outside of the hut was likely a forested area, if the smell of soil and trees was any indication.
If you’re wondering how I can tell that from a sniff alone, you haven’t been paying attention. My dad’s a literal fucking dog.
Being reminded of that made me open my eyes once again, glaring at the man sitting across from me. Cyria gave the smallest, uneasy smile in response.
“Well, thanks for patching me up.” I said, throwing off the blanket my father had put on me and standing up in front of him, “But I have to head back out and find wherever Richter and Michelle went.”
I paused and he bit his lip.
“Though speaking of,” I continued, “Two of your children go missing and you still don’t come out of hiding? Not to check if I’m okay or to help me find them?”
“I tried to find your siblings!” Cyria defended, “But I couldn’t! Good Darkness users can conceal themselves extremely easily, especially from someone that’s literally made of Light.”
I rolled my eyes. “Whatever,” I said, “Where are my clothes?”
“I washed them for you. They’re drying outside.” Cyria responded.
“Thanks.” I said, still reluctant to show any gratitude to my sperm donor of a father, “Where’s Murzim?”
Murzim is the proper name of the white claymore you’ve seen with me up until now. More accurately, it’s a black-and-white claymore: a black handle with a white blade. At the base of the blade is a simplified version of the Lockheart Family Crest, a stylized black heart contrasting with the white of the blade.
Murzim is one of many weapons crafted by Vincent Lockheart, the Ancestor of the Lockheart Family. Vincent Lockheart was a rival to my father centuries ago, and is one of many aforementioned blood feuds my father still seems to carry to this day, like an idiot. My father used to unconsciously growl at Murzim when I was a kid, and to this day he still seems to distrust it.
There are other weapons crafted by Vincent, all sharing the same black-and-white color scheme. Prometheus, for instance, is a katana crafted by him. It’s also apparently his first weapon. That one got passed down to Richter, and if used to its full potential, legend says he’ll be able to use it to cut through dimensional fabrics.
Michelle wields a pair of twin, curved daggers known as Tsukimono, also crafted by Vincent. Yet another legend- or, more accurately, Lockheart Family bullshit myth- states that mastery of these weapons will allow the user to become intangible, just like Vincent before us.
Murzim’s special ability is…apparently just being a really good channeler of energy. I don’t know anything else about it besides that, and there are no Lockheart Family bullshit myths about it unlocking some cool, secret hidden power either. It was my first choice, though, so I don’t mind.
He sighed. “It’s under your bed,” he said, “I don’t like looking at that thing. It gives me the creeps.”
I bent to reach under the bed and pulled out Murzim and its scabbard, which included a strap for mounting it around my back and chest. “It’s just a sword, dad.” I said, sheathing it and almost moving to fasten it around me.
Then I realized I still hadn’t put my clothes on yet. Oops.
I set it on the bed as Cyria responded: “A sword that stabbed me. Multiple times.”
Too bad it didn’t stab you some more, then.
I made my way outside, enjoying the smell of the bright, sunny forest around us. My shirt, jacket and jeans were all hanging off a clothesline, sun-dried to near perfection. As I pulled these clothes on, Cyria walked out of the hut, carrying Murzim with him and still looking noticeably uncomfortable with holding it.
If you’ve guessed why Murzim was my first choice by now: you’re right.
I took Murzim from my father and completed my ensemble once more, finally recovering that comfort you feel in your own skin when you have your favorite outfit on. Like when you leave a hospital and you’re finally allowed to put on normal clothes again and feel like a normal fucking human being.
Course, I’m not a normal fucking human being. Not quite. Let’s not get caught up on that technicality, though.
“Before you go,” Cyria said, “You need to be careful. Nalia, and Cynds like him, can regenerate. You aren’t going to kill him that easily, and I’m not entirely sure you actually can. We couldn’t kill Max The Second when the time came to do that.”
Ah, yes. The Fall of Blusk. I should probably tell you some more about that sometime.
“You didn’t have any trouble killing his dad.” I retorted.
A look of distinct guilt passed through my father’s face. You see, back in the days of yore, this shithead and his other Great Beast friends killed Maximilian Cynd, the first King of Trine, and sealed his understandably-vengeful son away Meiro-knows-where.
“That was…mostly his old age.” Cyria said, “That battle would’ve gone very differently if he was in his prime. Which Nalia and Hector both seem to be. So please be careful.”
I shrugged and turned my back to my father, beginning to walk into the trees ahead and totally fine with finding my way to the nearest town on my own.
“Wait!” Cyria called, “I can teach you Howl if you stay for a bit!”
“Not interested.” I muttered, walking right back out of his life in the same way he once walked out of mine.
Like father, like son, right?