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Chapter Twenty-Seven

Nine hundred and eighty-five days after he swore to the gods that he would find Obí’s family, Thæon fulfilled that oath.

It was the last day of Morel, close enough to two months since he had set his eyes upon the small farming that sat on the Southern border of Ered Naur; a seemingly ordinary village that stood to witness an extraordinary event when one of their own, thought to be dead these years passed, returned out of the blue one day; taller, stronger and with hardly a word as to where he had been.

Thæon was warmed by Anther’s mother’s love; the utter relief she felt as she saw him, falling to her knees and holding on like she were terrified he would vanish again if she took their eyes off of him.

Thæon had been pulled into their hugs as his parents thanked him in rushed gratitude and curiosity that Thæon curbed with the promise that he and Anther would answer their questions, but later, inside, away from the too-many-prying-eyes of the villagers who were watching the commotion from afar and lifting their voices in surprise, because Anther was alive?

Anther spent his first hour home being passed around his friends like a new born child; so many people wanting to touch him, to hug him, to clap him on the back or make a comment about the new colour of his hair and give him a stern, yet teasing word about worrying his elders and wandering off into the forest, Anther should know better, he was a grown man now.

Anther took it all in stride as he clasped arms with familiar faces, greeted his closest friends with mindless headbutts that dissolved into laughter and bruises, sharing jokes and learning the names of their wives and their children.

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