Gio led the way through the grounds as Brodje kept his arm firmly on his sword hilt, he did not really need it but it was a habit that was hard to stop. The two brothers walked silently, neither of them willing to break the silence; finally Gio asked “Why did you leave brother? You take off for five years and now you come back and ask for help from your family-the family YOU turned your back on?”

“Who said anything about asking for help?” Brodje replied dryly

“I am not a little kid anymore, I can see in your expression that you are in some kind of trouble… most likely involving a woman” Gio said, his grey eyes glinting in the moonlight

“C… Calm down, I’ll explain everything as long as you don’t say anything to mother”

“Fine, fine”

Brodje then spent the remainder of their walk up the hill telling his brother about how he had survived over the years, gotten a wife and was soon to become a father. “Wow!” Gio exclaimed “Brother that’s amazing”

“You think?” Gio replied grinning broadly “You should come see her someday, she’s a beauty”

“Brother wait!” Gio said, suddenly serious “You said she was a water mage right?”

“Yeah, why are you asking?”

Gio’s eyes went wide with shock, he trembled as he struggled to form the words, every time he tried to speak he stammered and stuttered, his knees buckled and gave way.

“Gio!” Brodje shouted while running to help him up “Are you okay?”

“Brother!” Gio mouthed having composed himself a bit “What have you created?”

Brodje was about to ask what Gio meant by that but at that moment the huge doors to the house opened and they were ushered in by a servant. “Mistress Imber is in her study on the 3rd floor” said the servant as he left them in the entrance “You would do well to go see her promptly as she is already aware of your presence young master”. Gio left Brodje saying he had to go look for something in the library and so Brodje was left to face  the only thing on this earth he truly feared apart from losing Rara, he was about to face… his mother.

Brodje climbed the stairs slowly, his fear growing with every step, his mother was terrifying, she was an excellent magus as well as the most underhanded, sly, conniving person he knew, it was her that had ordered the EquiOmni soldiers to kill him thrice and here he was walking up to her study alone with only a mere sword and with every creak of old wooden stairs his desire to flee grew. When he reached the third floor he heard a voice call out “Mazio I’m in here, now hurry up and don’t keep me waiting”, following the voice Brodje walked down the hall past his old room and into the study. “Mother I refuse to be called by that name!” Brodje shouted at the finely dressed grey-haired woman who was sitting down by a desk reading.

“Shut up and sit down Mazio, you are not in any position to make demands” said Rulio as she took off her reading glasses and smiled at her son

“Fine, so how long do I have until the bodyguards come for my head?” sneered Brodje

Depending on your answers to the questions I ask, your head shall remain on your shoulders… well today at least”

“What do you want to know?”

“First off. Why have you come here seeking for help?”

“Because this is the only place I can get it” replied Brodje frowning a little

“Where have you been these five years?”

“I was in the western continent for a few months, eventually settled in Umere in the province of Aer”

“Lastly what do you need help with?”

“As a result of you and your heretic organization, other provinces are getting rid of their mages”

“And what does that have to do with you?”

“My wife, she’s going to be killed!”

“Ooh you got married did you?” Rulio said grinning happily “From the look on your face you are an expectant father right?”

“How did you…”

You are my son you know, also if she wasn’t carrying a child or sick escape would be no problem right? I’m afraid I can’t help you, most of my forces are up north pushing back the old government soldiers, besides you should be able to take a regiment of soldiers yourself or have you grown weak these last few years?”

“I have reason to suspect they may be sending Templars, my wife is an exceptionally powerful mage”

Oh! I can see why that might be a problem, what element does your wife control?”


Rulio laughed loudly, stopped and looked at Brodje’s puzzled face then laughed some more, “Dear child you have no idea what you have done right? What you have created?”

What are you talking about?” Brodje asked

“You are an extremely powerful wind mage, in case you did not know, marriage between certain mages with certain elements are outlawed because such a union would produce an abomination. Brodje, you and your presumably pretty wife have created a stormspirit”

“What’s that?” Brodje asked

Don’t worry about that for now, I expect Gio will fill you in as you journey back to Umere” she paused and looked towards the door “Come in Gio, I know you’ve been eavesdropping

“My apologies Mother, Brother, but if I am to help brother I would like something in return from him”

“What do you want me to do?” asked Brodje while ruffling his hair

“When we are done rescuing your wife, both of you have to come live here and work for the EquiOmni”

“WHAT! I will never do that…”

“Pardon me brother” Gio interrupted “but if you do not agree to our terms mother and I will kill you right here” Gio finished as his right arm began to fade.

Brodje thought hard, he didn’t want Rara to die but he also would rather die than join his family in their conquest of Yaaba, he would agree, then he and Rara would escape later after everything had calmed down.

“Fine, Fine, I’ll join for the sake of my wife, you don’t have to start disappearing Gio, jeez!”

“Good” Gio laughed “We take off at dawn, I got someone to clean your old room, you can sleep there, and I’ll come wake you in the morning”

Brodje nodded and left the room after saying goodnight to his mother and brother. Rulio smiled at Gio “Do you think he’ll keep his word Gio”

Of course not mother, he’s big brother after all” Gio replied “But if he tries anything funny, then that’s one more family I’ve erased from this world, nothing lost, nothing gained”

“Well, his soon to be born child is a stormspirit, that’s nothing to joke about

“It will grow into a huge asset for us if taught well” Gio agreed” But if I had to, I’d kill it right now, it’s too much of an uncertain factor”

That’s my boy!” Rulio exclaimed “Goodnight then child, I want to read some more”

Goodnight mother” Gio said as he closed the door behind him, he’d go keep an eye on his brother just in case he tried any funny tricks, thinking that, he phased into thin air, things were about to become a whole lot more interesting.