Chapter 58: Another, Part II

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 1059



Of all the towns Adelah had to be in, it had to be this one. It had to be the one Yittek stayed in...

Zidane couldn't help the anger that sparked inside him upon recognizing her. His first thought was to calm himself, hold what he was feeling back because it was all in the past. It didn't matter anymore. It wasn't worth the trouble. Zooka's logic. That'd be what she'd say if she was here.

But everything just kept coming, more memories uprooting the longer Adelah's eyes held his. Out of all the places...

Zidane closed his eyes for a moment, breathing in and focusing on the words Zooka would tell him. It was good logic, it made sense. He felt Adelah's energy float forward, reaching towards him. Unlike the other auras that had been roughly pushing against him since they stepped foot in this town, hers was much softer. But she was still checking to make sure it really was him.

When his eyes opened, he raised his head, looking into Adelah's eyes. He barely felt anything, only thinking of their last conversation almost two years ago.

"Really? That's the reason you're here."

She was trying to fix her life, he thought. Guess everything's fine. She doesn't need me for anything anymore.

She never did, a voice inside his head responded, and this thought landed a blow to his gut.

Adelah blinked, the movement interrupting their prolonged eye contact. A smile came to her face, one genuine and free of worry. She took a step forward.

"You should have told me you were coming down," she said, laughter sprinkling her words. "I would've started preparing something more than this." Zidane's stare was brought down to the translucent bags in her arms. The Razalek equivalent of groceries.

"I'm not here to see you." The words fell out of him; a part of him internally shrunk away, ashamed and guilty at the statement. He kept talking, driven by the reason they were there. "I'm looking for Yittek. You know where he is?"

Adelah looked over to his right, bringing Zidane's attention to the fact Lance was standing next to him. He panicked momentarily, the fear speeding through him as Adelah swept her gaze over the human. Quickly, before he could let the feeling affect his eyes, Zidane calmed himself. He had cloned and altered his tail exactly; for a Spiro, Lance was blending right in.

Adelah met Lance's eyes, holding his stare without blinking. Zidane's breath left him, his body still as he fought against the urge to connect with Lance's mind. He'd completely forgotten about the greeting.

Lance was smart enough to not look away, not even blinking as they locked eyes. Finally, Adelah gave a slow blink, and in a sheer stroke of good luck, Lance timed his blink with hers. Zidane allowed himself to breathe again, the first exhale turning his thoughts into the words that came out of Lance's mouth.

"Le'toke," Lance said, and Zidane was surprised at his own choice of name. Le'toke had been a storybook character, something of a Spiro fairytale about a skilled archer.

"Adelah," the Razalek replied, her voice light and kind.

The greeting done, Zidane watched his half-sister turn back to him, continuing on with their original conversation.

"Yittek is usually with a patient at this time. He cuts off mental connection to ensure privacy, so he won't be available for a while."

Zidane bit back his reply, an irritation of how he knew Yittek blocked out mental contact. He'd been in touch with the Razalek enough times to know, and the fact they were here even talking to her was obvious that he wasn't open to connections. Suddenly, he remembered Lance was there. He almost reached to the human's mind, wanting to explain that Yittek was creating an energy barrier around himself that blocked off all possible outside communication. Zidane hadn't been lying when he'd explained how once a connection is made, it can't be broken. Just weakened.

But Lance had no idea what they were saying. Everything was more or less smoothly-spoken gibberish to him. That was probably a good thing.

Zidane forced himself to nod at Adelah's reply. "Cool," he said, speaking in a language that had origination in the olden Razalek slums. He reverted to the sophisticated tongue they had been speaking in before: "I'll check back with him in a while, then."

He instantly knew he was backing himself into a corner with that statement. He had spent a lot of energy, especially with the teleportations. And keeping his and Lance's clothes like this was only eating away at the small amount he had left. With this considered, staying here until Yittek lifted his barrier wasn't an option, and the time it would take to go back out to the forest would leave them without defense if someone were to find them. Zidane was tempted to take either option, comparing it to time with Adelah, but once again Zooka came into his thoughts. He had a family, even if he had only spoken to his half-sister once in twelve years. He needed to take advantage of the fact they were still here.

Zooka's too smart for her own good, Zidane thought, a smile playing upon his lips. He raised his head up, looking at Adelah.

"So are you going to invite us to dinner or what?"

He could feel Lance's shock; he even felt the subtle, crazed stare that came with the feeling. When Adelah praised his choice with a few words and a quick rock onto her tip-toes, Zidane began building the bridge to Lance's mind again. When Adelah had turned, beginning to lead them further along the street, Zidane fully connected with the human, feeding information through thoughts.

I'm running critical on energy, he said. I've also got a clone set up and I don't want to know what happens to it when I run out.

"'Clone'?" Lance replied, thoughts quick. "You got a clone? You can do that? Why do you have a clone?" And then, quietly: "Sorry—too many questions."

It's fine, Zidane replied. Probably a weird concept. With his stare on Adelah, hoping she wasn't reading the energy between their conversation and listening in, he explained, Yeah, I have a clone. It's mainly for Zooka... I don't want her to know I'm here.

Submitted: December 04, 2019

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