"Do I think something is wrong with Kaden?" Winna asked as Mie nodded once. The squack of the Recukoo bird drew her attention as Winna considered her classmate's behavior as of late, "I wouldn't say anything is wrong, exactly, but I have noticed a bit of a change in him." Mie reached into a large sack and presented a handfull of seed to the crimson bird. As he ate his dinner happily, Mie stroked his head affectionately, "As have I. Today he seemed a bit off." Winna listened attentively as Mie explained the condition she found Kaden in and the fresh mark on his arm.
"So what do you think it could mean?" Mie asked as she brushed off her hands on her sage colored skirt. Winna sat up and contemplated, "I don't know exactly. You have more experience with controlling your affinity than I do. Is this normal for a person? To lose control like that?" Mie sat on the chair beneath her painting of a majestic bird completely engulfed in ice frozen mid-flight. Winna remembered Mie telling her that she was the subject of the art work. Most of the time she felt just like that bird, so apt to fly away, but bound to this world by the ice of her own self-consciousness.
"I'm not sure myself. Kaden's affinity isn't like our own. He has to put so much energy into controlling the flame or it will destroy all his progress. When I speak to my birds, it is relaxing, fullfilling, but I can stop before I become exhausted from the effort. I think part of it is his obsessive work ethic in conjuction with the amount of energy he has to put into every training session. What changes have you noticed?" Winna looked down at her folded hands and remembered the events earlier in the week, "He threatened Seto for me. I can't recall exactly the words, but the tone he said them in was something more than just anger. I would say it was almost malice. As if he truly meant to cause him harm if he came near me again and it made Seto back off quick."
Both girls considered what the scenario meant, but gave it up to male hormones and continued on with their night. Winna smiled as Mie showed her the new developments in her research, but as they laid down to sleep, the look in Kaden's impossibly golden eyes flittered through her restless mind. Was he really changing? Did she want him to be anything, but Kaden? And why did she care so much either way? All these questions plauged her mind as sleep refused to come.
Meanwhile, Kaden watched as his mother searched through the many drawers lining her study. She seemed transfixed on finding a specific book as her snowy fingers skimmed through pages upon pages of hand-written accounts. Suddenly her wandering fingers froze on a dusty, black leather book and she stood up from her crouch slowly, "Found it." With that, she seated herself regally on the couch beside the fire place, using it's flickering light to illuminate her project.
Kaden stood awkwardly, unsure of how to act with her sudden intrest. Deciding that silence was the best course of action, he leaned against the wall as Jessah mumbled to herself. While he waited, Kaden's golden eyes flickered around the room, quite used to the range of serpants that lounged in the corners, slipping in and out of holes like water through a drain pipe. A particularly bright one with scales of purple stalked a much smaller version of itself. Kaden watched as it slithered silently to the cornered serpant and stuck quicker than his eye could follow.
"Got it!" Jessah announced making Kaden jump slightly. Her own topaz eyes matched his and turned to the sight he had just witnessed as her lips curved into a small smile, "It is natural in their world do this. That one there gave birth to the smaller one not but a week ago. It is common for the mother to eat her young to sustain herself. So many lessons we could learn from reptiles." Kaden didn't miss the implication as an involuntary shiver ran down his spine. Jessah walked past him, giving no further indication to the act of cannibalism taking place . "Follow me." She commanded as Kaden glanced once more to the mother snake as she devoured her young before following his own mother outside.
"Stand there." She ordered as she continued to walk a few more steps into the back yard while Kaden watched from the distance she had specified. Once she was satisfied, Jessah dropped the book at her side and melted into a fighting position, "Come at me."
Kaden stood confused as he tried to search her face for any sign of tickery, "What?"
"You heard me, attack. Show me the training you have been working so hard at for the past seven years. Don't tell me that you have been wasting all this time for I will be very cross with you. Attack me." Kaden tried to make sense of the request as her eyes narrowed, "Show me that you are not a lieing coward like your father!" The comment sent a fresh wave of fury through Kaden's veins as a familiar heat engulfed his heart. Calling upon the power within himself, two balls of flame ignited on his fists as Kaden concentrated on controlling their burn.
Jessah paced back and forth like a midnight cat, her golden eyes never leaving her son as she called upon her own affinity. Kaden glared at his mother as she Whispered to the base of the tree beside her. Slithering out to it's master's call, a large, horrifying cobra emerged and reared up, extending it's painted hood towards the enemy. Kaden knew this particular cobra very well from the three dimonds marking it's neck and waited as the two other heads emerged from the marks and hissed wickedly at him.
"Show me your power, fire Whisperer!" Jessah called as Kaden's eyes widened. She had never called him by that title before, never acknowledged his abilities at all. Grasping onto the chance to impress the woman who was a constant source of fear and humiliation, Kaden focused and extended his arm, releasing a stream of fire towards the evil creature before him. The serpant avoided the flame and struck out at the boy who avoided it's fangs narrowly.
Rolling onto his side, Kaden raised a hand to his lips and gave oxygen to the fire, increasing its size before calling on it to attack once more. A smile came to his lips as the cobra's tail singed slightly as Jessah spoke to it in a language only they spoke. The angered serpant whipped out it's freshly burnt tail and wrapped it around Kaden's right foot and pulling so he lost his balance. Quicker than anything he could have imagined, the cobra slithered towards him and struck his shoulder maliciously.
A wave of pain exploded through him as Jessah called off her pet and came to his side. Kaden cried out as Jessah silently helped him up and into the living room, laying him down on the couch as she searched through her basket of herbs. Kaden clutched his wounded shoudler as the snake's venom raced through his veins, burning as it trickled closer to his heart. When Jessah returned, she grasped his shoulder firmly, focusing on the two punctures in his pale skin which oozed with bubbling venom as she placed a mixture of Jinako leaves upon it and wrapped the bundle securely, "Stop blubbering. You aren't going to die."
Kaden bit his lip trying to hold in the pained cries which begged to be released from his throat. Jessah continued to bandage his arm, "Be brave, it won't last much longer." True to her word, the Jinako leaves melted into the wound and chased after the venom soothing what was burned in his body as Kaden quieted. Once she had pinned off the bandage, Kaden's eyes became heavier as the numbing of the Jinako leaves began to make him drowzy.
"Your body needs to recover. Rest and allow it do so. I need to take care of the mess you made of my baby." Before Kaden's eyes closed, he didn't miss the look of worry on her face. But the sleep that so demanded his submission prevailed as he gave way to dreamless sleep. As her son recovered from his wound, Jessah reached into her basket and called her injured cobra to her. The three heads had molded back into one as it rested on it's mistress's lap while she applied ointment to the burnt tail. Kaden had indeed become strong, stronger than she had given him credit for. Once the serpant was attended too, Jessah rose and returned to her book which was nestled in the grass by the tree.
Kneeling down to grab it, she returned to the living room and inspected the mark which curled up Kaden's right arm. Her eyes ran over the contents that matched the same mark she had seen in the past, "So you have chosen Kaden, Lumin? Was one man not enough that you have to take his son as well?" Jessah gripped the book and let out a hiss which was as wicked as the serpants around her, "We shall see what our son will do, won't we, Kidick?"