53 The Parting of Fates*
Needless to say, that when Arita awoke from her drug induced sleep late the next morning, she was distressed to find her Labratory lacking one very unique, blood-sucking boy. However, after a preliminary search which overturned nothing, there was little more the Magician could do. After all, it was not as if Rassa was their property or their charge. He was unlike anything they'd ever found before, and hence there were no real laws pertaining to him. If they'd made him a slave to be bought and sold, then perhaps they would have been able to claim their property stolen, however, Magicians did not have a strong belief in a human practice as crude as slavery.
The Guild Master could do nothing, and hence Rassa was dismissed as a project that never came to fruition. Erik the Scholar had been so immersed in the thought of a differing political system to replace that of the current Empire, that he did not even notice Rassa's absence until a week later when he returned to discuss a few points that he and his colleagues had been stuck on with the boy. He was disappointed by the boy's absence, but the inspiration the boy had left was certainly one of great momentum. The name of Erik Loch would become quite famous in the years that followed as he and his colleagues released countless works on the prospect of an Empire without an Emperor. A prospect that would later anger the Emperor greatly.
Half an Empire away, in the Academy city of Barday, Jane had arrived to begin her training as a Magician. She'd been assigned a room with her very strange roommate Laura who was what was known in the Magician community as a Hybrid as she had access to both the water and earth elements - though not separately. The gift was rare, but considering the result of water and earth combined was mud, she would be ridiculed heavily in the near future as the Mud Girl. It was a nickname Laura would never let phase her, though only because she spent most of her time above silly prospects such as reality. Jane would be the only one who could get through to her.
Another discovery that Jane would make in the following weeks was that despite the fact that the Mist had no concept of social class or distinctions, Magicians certainly did. The commoner population of the Magician Academy made up nearly 60%, and yet the classes required literate pupils to fully comprehend them. The Academy had a class that taught the common students how to read and write, but it was one class a week in the evening, and they didn't seperate individuals by level of understanding nor age. This was a clear disadvantage to the commoner students, and yet, the Academy seemed to have no goal to fix this despite multiple complaints. Hence, Jane resolved with her classmates to work harder. If the Academy wouldn't help them, they would help each other. They would not be left behind now that they'd been given a chance to do more with their lives.
In her determination to work hard, Jane never forgot about Rassa, and yet she didn't have the opportunity to visit him either. Toulle City was a great distance away, Cordon even further. She would have to wait a long time before news of Rassa's disappearance would reach her.
Across the city, at the Knight Academy, Diggory had also begun his training. With his promise to Rassa guiding him, Diggory was determined to do well. But he possessed little in the way of natural talent. In fact, he was barely average. And yet, this did not stop him.
Again and again he was knock off his feet, and again and again he resolved to get up and continue onward. For he knew that if he stopped, if he gave up, he would be betraying his promise to move forward. It would not be until eighteen months after his entry to the school that he would discover Jane's presence in the city as well, and quite by accident. This was also when he learned of the massacre at Cordon. He'd been apprehensive to continue to believe that Rassa was still Rassa after hearing of it. But seeing Jane's determination, and her resolve that Rassa was still there, Diggory decided that at the very least, he could continue moving forward. After all, he'd definitely made the promise with Rassa, regardless of what his friend became in future, there would always be the Rassa of the past who had forgiven him.
As for Falla, she seldom returned to Cordon after all of her friends left. She took it upon herself to learn of her father's business, determined to do something with her life. If she could not be with Rassa, then the least she could do was prove she was capable of looking after herself. She would prove that and more in the years that followed. When her father, despite his pride in his daughter's progress, expressed the fact that Falla could not inherit the business because she was a woman, Falla decided to prove that inheriting a business was not the only way to become successful in the trading world. At sixteen, she left with her mother for the southern Trading City of Lovolon and never looked back.
Finally, in the forever scarred little village of Cordon, remained Phillip and Anna. The weeks without their son turned into months, and then years. They seemed to all of their neighbours and friends to only be going through the motions of living. The loss had hit them hard, and lack of news had been worse. It was especially hard on Anna, so much so that two years after Rassa was taken, she fell gravely ill.
Though the Doctor would never admit malpractice, he did little to help Anna in her final days. He and many of the other villagers still held a grudge against the couple for keeping their tainted son a secret for so long. When Anna passed on, Phillip spent three days sitting at her grave in silence. No one could move him, nor did they want to. When the three days were over, Phillip rose to his feet, walked to his home, and retrieved his sword. He packed a bag full of belongings, what meager ones he wished to take with him at least, then he went to the Doctor's office.
The Doctor was indifferent to Phillip, right up until Phillip cut off the Doctor's hands so quickly and cleanly that the Doctor could do nothing but stare at where his hands had been as Phillip picked up both hands and threw them in the nearby fire.
"That's for my family, and I guarantee you it's worse than my son would have ever done to you".
With that Phillip Cordon, his eyes dark and determined, a single promise to his dead wife weighing on his mind.
"I'm going to find our son, and I'm going to make up for abandoning him when I should not have".