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Greyashe chapter 327

Page history last edited by Sakaki 10 years ago




Greyashe chapter 327 is entitled 'Welcome back.'


Previous chapter 326: Passionate debut -Side loathing.

Next chapter 328: White festival.

Summaries page


-Short summary-


Van has returned home after his long time abroad, but with his spirits crushed and his will broken. Will a warm welcome be enough to restore the farseer's sense of hope?


-Long summary-


The sweeper’s voice tolls three times to remind the sweepers to go home and take a break from their daily duties of cleaning the roads of Greyashe so that commerce and life can go on as usual. Shops stay open so that sweepers can run errands for their family while on break or do some visiting. In fairness the job is one where sociability is important so talking is done both ‘on’ and ‘off’ the clock. A running joke between people is asking facetiously ‘how’s the weather?’  Despite knowing that the forecast is snow, snow, and more snow. So it’s no surprise that a few afternoons after Van and his group of fellow travelers arrive in town that the weather is once again cold with gentle snowflakes dancing in the air.


Getting into town and awakening at home –well, the home he had been raised in for most of his fourteen years alive had all been a blur to the young farseer. So much so that he’s truly not sure how to feel about the whole situation. There’s happiness of course, and a comforting sense of nostalgia. Truth be told it comforts the boy just a little that he hasn’t forgotten how to feel these emotions. However, while he is still able to feel he is unable to ‘convey’. He knows that his friends Nicolas and Nancy yearn to talk with him, as does Mr. Sikes but he’s just unable to summon the ability to express himself and avail to their concerns and inquires. To make matters worse they had chosen to wait for him rather than force him out of his reclusiveness. To know that they want so earnestly to open up to him and in turn for him to make himself available to them –yet they patiently wait for him only hurts all that much more. After a few days of sitting in the house silently, Van wordlessly found a coat in his old room, put it on and wandered into town. It surprises him that the coat is now too small for him, and wonders how long he had actually been away.


The boy wanders through town, his nostalgia working as a guide to the city that seems familiar and strange to him all at once. He can hear people talking excitably as he walks by and some beckoning him to come over, but he just can’t summate the desire or will to answer them. Even the cold weather biting at his hands and neck due to the insufficient covering of the too small coat doesn’t seem to faze him. He just walks, and walks, and walks….


Not too far behind, Nancy and Nick follow their old friend. Nick is a year older than Van, and had always been a precocious joker, while Nancy being four years older than the boy had always seen him and Nick as her little brothers. When Van had returned with his group, the two could scarcely believe their eyes. Sikes, always the calm and collected one had the two help him bring the group in so they could recover and keep warm. They wanted to ask Van questions immediately, but Sikes forbade them from it. He told them to wait until he’s ready to open up himself. Despite this when he left home that afternoon and started walking they followed him, being sure to stay hidden.


Nick asks if that’s really Van? He looks the same, but there’s something…off about him. Nancy agrees and realizes that he’s grown a bit since they last saw him. He’s no colossus, but out of the three he had always been the smallest and quietest. Now he’s almost as tall as Nancy despite being four years her junior. She then notes sadly that his gait and eyes are like those who’s alive on the outside but dead on the inside. It’s as if they’re following a living ghost…


Meanwhile back at Sikes’s place, Lazaro has an uncharacteristic look of regret as he sits beside a bed in a room graciously offered by Nancy. Under the covers is Roysé who is sleeping peacefully. Lazaro silently keeps watch over the angel as Colin walks by the room, and shakes his head sadly. He sits down at the kitchen table as Sikes prepares tea and sighs. He hates to admit it, but maybe that idiot genuinely does care about his little girl. Not that it changes his position on them ever being wed.


Sikes laughs and gives Colin a mug of tea. The farseer thanks him and asks for sugar, which he dumps into his tea upon receiving and stirs vigorously. Sikes is a man in his early forties, but his gentle face and long, straight black hair give him the appearance of a gentleman who’s Colin’s age…or younger. He had taken Nancy, Van and Nicolas since he never had children of his own due to his wife passing soon after their marriage. Truly he cares about the three as if they are his children, and is worried about Van’s sudden change of demeanor. He had been a quiet boy in good times, but this silence is different…sad even. Colin sips his tea and makes a face before adding more sugar and stirring again. He first thanks Sikes for taking in his kid and ensuring his safety. He owes him big for that alone. Sikes waves it off and replies that it was no trouble. Nick is a prankster and would often involve Van in his schemes, but he could tell that he always insured they never got in too much trouble. Colin grins and asks if he can hear more about his son’s childhood later? Sikes nods and turns to Nancy’s room, asking if the girl will be okay? After all she was the one who managed to bring all four of them into town.


Colin sighs and leans back in his chair. Loathe to admit that he and two other strapping young men had to be dragged into town by a teenage girl, but he assures Sikes that his daughter isn’t a weakling. She needs a little bit of time to rest and she should be fine. As for the idiot sitting beside her, well…as long as he doesn’t collapse of hunger sitting there he’ll be fine too. Sikes nods and then asks again about Van…he can tell Colin is being less than forthcoming on purpose. Colin raises an eyebrow and leans on the table. He admits too that while he can tell Sikes is a good man, he’s not entirely sure of what he’s thinking. Come to think of it, he had always wondered why his wife had chosen here to bring their son? Anna Rose can come off as brash and impulsive, but there is always a reason behind her actions. He had been thinking about it over the last few days and come to an answer….an answer of why she’d bring him—Van here, and what Greyashe really is. He’ll tell Sikes anything he wants about Van, but first he wants an answer to his question. What is this place really? Sikes gives Colin an enigmatic look as he drinks his tea and sets it on the table, and asks a question in response….’What do you want this place to be?’


Van is still walking in a fog of pent up emotions and self-loathing when a hand on his shoulder pulls him back into reality. He turns quickly –too quickly and nearly knocks over a girl standing behind him. The girl keeps her balance and for a moment the two stand quietly regarding each other. She’s wearing a shawl with a hood so he can’t see her face well, but her eyes burn into his. After a moment she ‘ah’s’ with realization and claims that it really is him! Despite himself Van is intrigued as the girl lifts the hood revealing her identity as Anu the former goddess of fall. She nods and asks if he knows her? Then she realizes they’ve never met and while turning red offers an apology. She then explains that she met his friends, Guy, Kani, Reid and Candle. Oh and she is very familiar with the former goddess killer Claire. Although due to a run in with the Challengers of Eternity leader Joel Lupine, she’s just human now. Van regards her for a moment silently, but doesn’t move. Anu smiles and continues. She had spent time with Guy in particular and he had taught her all sorts of things that she had either forgotten or never learned as a goddess. Oddly she blushes at the mention of ‘sorts of things’, but the boy doesn’t comment. She expresses her disappointment that he had to leave soon after…or well, more like that he left and didn’t tell her soon after, but she does understand that they have a mission to stop the sentinents. She does hope that he and the others are doing well. Guy had nothing but good things to say about Van, and that he regards the boy very highly. Van can feel himself growing smaller as she talks and entertains the notion of leaving, but Anu seems to sense something is amiss and changes the subject.


She shivers and marvels at being able to see her breath in the cold air. When she was a goddess, such simple things escaped her since agape took care of everything for her. She’s long since forgotten where and when she was born since it’s been so long, but out of curiosity had come to see the city where her ‘sister’ Ancasta had been born. She then perks up and asks if Van knows the ‘truth’ about that matter? See, Anacasta hadn’t actually been born here! Due to her manipulation of ice and snow, people assumed she is the reason why Greyashe has snow all year around…that and she had openly said it was one of her favorite places to visit since the pure white landscape relaxes her so. Someone had built an effigy to her in the city, and then rumors and hearsay had taken a life of its own. Anu being close to Ancasta had heard the truth from her lips, and though she can’t remember where she was born it definitely wasn’t Greyashe. Still she’s happy she came to see this place that had made her ‘sister’ happy. Out of the four she had always been the one with the calmest disposition, despite it being in her nature to be quick to worry, whether it be about the other three ‘sisters’, or the world.


Behind them, Nancy and Nick stare slack jawed at their friend and the former (although not many know that she no longer has the power of agape she once had) fall goddess. Nick whispers excitedly that not only is Anu here, but she seems to be a friend of their friend! Nancy smacks her cheeks in an effort to wake up from a dream. Where on earth had Van gone and what had he been doing to have such a high profile acquaintance? She then blinks and narrows her eyes while glaring at Anu, claiming that something about her seems off too. Though she honestly doesn’t know what a goddess is supposed to be like, she just gets the idea that this shouldn’t be it. Nick crosses his arms and nods sagely, replying that she’s not as curvy as the legends indicated. Nancy gives him a dirty look and he shrugs sheepishly in response. Nick then asks if ‘that’ is acting up again? Sikes told her not to use it too much since she’s not used to it. Nancy nods and promises not to go overboard.


Anu glances at Van who seems to be observing something far away. She asks if he’s okay? He’s awfully quiet for someone who’s returned home. Van blinks and turns to her, and she reveals that Guy had told her about his homeland of Greyashe. He’s lucky he’s been able to make it to this point honestly. She doesn’t remember where she came from. She could walk into her home town right now and not recognize a thing…..moreover the people she knew from her childhood are long deceased. Beyond that, with Butcher’s ‘recall’, there are many who want to go home but cannot. Far be it her place to lecture him, and she apologizes for being rude if she is, but returning home is a privilege…not a right. So on those rare occasions where it’s possible to, a person should rejoice with their family and embrace nostalgia and warmth.


The boy looks up at the frozen sky and reflects on the former goddess’s words. For a moment the whispers of the agape and his own guilt recede and leave the emotions he was unable to convey in their wake.


He is home. This is home. His home.


For the first time since he returned to Greyashe…


He opens his eyes.


Then his ears.


Then his nose.


His hands, and finally…


His heart.


The buildings, the sky, the pavement and the gentle crunching sounds as he walks on the snow…all of it welcomes him…but it is a voice from behind that truly brings him home.


‘Welcome back’.


Van turns around and Nancy comes from behind a nook and smiles warmly. Nick is next and he flashes a peace sign as he welcomes his ‘bro’ back. Nancy’s long brown hair and pink winter coat, Nick’s messy blue hair and his favorite black winter cap. Their eyes full of familiarity and their smiles asking him to come home. Anu takes Van’s hand and welcomes the boy home too.


Van feels a genuine smile finding him as he wipes away a few stray tears and replies to them.


‘I’m glad to be back.’


Meanwhile back at Sikes’s place, Colin gives the aforementioned a level look. He then palms his chin and murmurs that it all makes sense in retrospect. In fact he’s a Lazaro for not figuring it out sooner. He then looks into Sikes’s eyes and apologizes. He’s the one who owes Sikes a huge debt, yet he’s going to selfishly ask for one more favor. He asks if Sikes can keep all of this a secret from his boy for a little while? There will be a time in the immediate future where he should know –no will need to know everything, but for now he begs that Sikes keep mum on the subject.


Sikes takes another sip of tea and after looking at the bottom of the empty cup replies. ‘You’re the boss.’

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