Chapter 1905: Good Memories (part 1)
“You and Mom gave me the strong body that could endure the harshest training.
It was you, Dad, who forced me to learn how to read and write, allowing me to pass the written exams to become a sergeant.
“Everything bad that happened in my life, instead, was of my own doing.
Every stupid decision I made, every attempt I made to get back at Lith, only brought me more pain and suffering.
“I shouldnt have messed with Phloria Ernas out of envy just like I shouldnt have treated Mom so badly.
Even after reaching adulthood, my mind remained that of a childish sore loser.
“I know that empty words cannot make up for all the bad things I did to you and Mom, but its the only way I have to start.
Im sorry, Dad.
Im sorry for everything Ive done.
“As you said, its too little and too late, but if you give me another chance, I promise that I wont disappoint you again.
For whatever short time I have left, I promise that Ill make you proud.”
That wasnt the outcome Raaz had been hoping for.
He wanted Trion to yell back at him.
To try and defend himself, giving Raaz the opportunity to lash out his righteous anger again.
He gritted his teeth, looking in hatred at the shadow of his son.
Even in death, Trion was hurting him.
Raaz had just found a way to feel better, to relieve his pain, and Trion was already taking it away from him.
Raaz lifted his open right hand, ready to strike Trion in the face and force him to react.
At that point, he would be the bad guy again and Raaz would continue.
Then, Tista hiccupped.
Raaz turned around, seeing the pain on Elinas face and knowing it wasnt Trions fault but his own.
He saw how his own daughter looked at him, in fear.
Even Kamila, the woman who had brought light in the darkest hour of his family was pale, looking at him like a monster.
Then, Raaz looked at his own raised hand and remembered all the times that Orpal had slapped him while torturing him.
‘Good gods, Im not just taking Orpals place.
Im becoming him! Raaz gripped his right hand with the left, afraid that it might have a mind of its own.
The room started spinning around him as the memories of the suffering he had endured and the time when he had educated his children overlapped.
Raaz had never used violence on them.
Sometimes he had been forced to spank Orpal, but only when he kept harassing his siblings and ignoring his parents scoldings.
As he puked his guts out, Raaz realized that he had let a monster growing inside of him.
That he had been feeding it until that moment.
That the monster would have taken his place forever if he let it strike his son only to relieve his wounded ego.
“Dad, are you alright” Trion knelt down, worried about Raaz.
Even while throwing up, Raaz kept clenching his hands together, preferring to get covered in bile rather than let Orpal destroy him for good.
Elina, Tista, Rena, Senton, Lith, and Kamila got close to them, but left Raaz the space he needed to breathe.
It was then that Raaz realized it.
Until that moment, he had looked at them without really seeing them.
He could hear them, but he had stopped listening for a while already.
Lith had rescued his body from the interrogation room in the Hogum Mansion, but his mind was still trapped there.
Raaz was still laying on that table, waiting to be put out of his misery.
Panda Novel Seeing the worried faces of the members of his family and hearing the fear in their voices, he understood that those people werent just in the same room with him.
They were there for him.
Trion used a pulse of darkness magic to clean Raaz and tentatively offered him a hand.
Raaz grabbed it, feeling the unnatural coldness of the darkness that comprised Trions body and the strange texture of what was supposed to be skin.
‘My son is really dead. He thought.
‘He died over one year ago and despite how angry he was at us, despite what Night did to him, Trion had the strength to stay behind.
Not to avenge himself, but to protect us.
‘Otherwise he would have followed the real Orpal instead of his clone and Elina would now be dead.
He endured several months of pain and isolation just to make sure that we would be alright.
The realization struck Raaz like a lightning bolt.
He felt as if he was holding the cold hand of the corpse of his son.
As if Trion had just died between his arms, making Raaz experience the same grief that he had felt the day he had learned of his sons death.
“My baby boy.” Instead of standing up, Raaz pulled Trion down, taking his face in his hands and caressing it.
“My beautiful baby boy.
What has that monster done to you”
Tears streaked down his eyes as Raazs sadness turned into hatred for Night and then into rage for what Orpal had done despite knowing that his power had come at the price of the life of his very own brother.
That rage gave him the strength to stand up and embrace his long-lost son, welcoming him back home.
If Kamilas arrival had given him hope that even in the darkest time something beautiful could happen, Trions existence was the proof that true determination could defeat even death.
Raaz looked at them, using them as crutches for his mangled heart.
He knew that he had simply taken one step forward in the long journey toward recovery, but it was still one step after so many days of rotting inside.
“Im so sorry, Dad.
Can you forgive me” Trion returned the embrace as small puffs of smoke and fire came out of his eyes instead of tears.
“Foolish child, I already did.” Raaz replied.
“I never hated you and you never disappointed me, except when you made your mother cry.
During all these years we followed your military career thanks to Jirni.
“We were so proud of your achievements and all we wanted was to share that joy with you.
Thats why your rejection hurt us so bad.
Now its all in the past.
You are here now and its all that matters.
“Can you forgive your foolish father for his cruel words” Raaz asked while looking Trion in the eyes.
“Theres nothing to forgive.” Trion shook his head.
“You may have been brutal, but everything you said was true.”
“Still, a father should never say such things to his child.
Not after everything you went through.”
“Thats no justification for my actions, Dad.
But if it makes you feel better, I forgive you.” The two men remained on the floor for a while, kneeling and crying under the loving gaze of their family.
When Raaz stood up, he had regained his cool and his eyes had regained a spark of life.
His gaze was still dull and full of pain, but his smile now was sincere, not just a mask.
“Lith, does it cost you much energy allowing a Demon to hang around” He asked.
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