Unsealing Emptiness -
Count Oliver was puzzled about which Family Ozul was talking about. He tilted his head a little to show his confusion.
“Tell me about the Abilon family.”- Ozul just said in the dull tone.
Even Raven wondered why Ozul wanted to know about some Abilon Family. She lived in the village before. So, her knowledge of the kingdom was limited.
“Hm. The Abilon Family, the Family of one of the Dukes in our Silverbird Kingdom?”- Count Oliver was even more perplexed as to why Ozul wanted to know about them.
But it did not have anything to do with him so, Count Oliver began to describe what he knew about the Abilon Family.
“I think that Family has kept their status for centuries now. Each generation had produced at least one capable Mage that can hold the position of a Duke.”-
Ozul did not intervene, and every now and then, he would nod his head a little.
“But in the previous generation, there were two such geniuses!”- Count Oliver continued,
“Alas, one of them died like ten years ago.”- Oliver said with another sigh. He always admired talented people.
‘Ten years ago... it could be my ‘father’... but why and how would he just die? Is it related to why at least one of my part is with the Church now?’-
Ozul began to think of a few possibilities as he was also born just about ten years ago. Such timing can’t be a coincidence.
Count Oliver noticed that Ozul wanted more explanation, so he began to describe;
“Ten years ago, Edward Abilon was the Duke while his younger brother did not have any important position. Edward was, of course, the stronger between the two.”- He continued;
“Everything was going smooth for the Family. But all of a sudden, misfortunes befell on Edward Abilon.”-
“Misfortunes?”- Ozul wanted to know what kind of misfortunes Oliver was talking about.
Count Oliver did not know why Ozul wanted to know about the recent history so much, but he explained nonetheless;
“First of all was the death of his most favorite concubine. I think her name was... Sylvia Ashfall?”-
“Syliva...Ashfall. That was her name, huh.”- Ozul muttered, but only Raven could hear him.
She did not fail to notice Ozul’s distinctive tone when he said the name. But she decided to ask later. It was not the time nor the place to ask such personal questions.
Count Oliver did not hear Ozul as he began to count all the misfortunes of Edward Abilon ten years ago.
“The second would be the death of the baby inside Syliva Ashfall’s belly, Edward’s first and the only child. I think there were complications during the delivery.”
‘He declared me dead, huh.’- Ozul thought while he did not flinch hearing the news of his own ‘death’.
“The third will be, of course, how he lost all his cultivation together with his mind before he...well, died.”
“And now the younger brother of Edward Abilon is the Duke, am I right?”- Ozul finished the rest of the story after putting the pieces together.
“Haha... You are right; His name is Edwin Abilon. Everyone calls him Duke Edwin though. He is also the other genius of the previous generation that attained Rank-8.”-
Count Oliver awkwardly spoke since Ozul’s earlier inquiry meant something else. Those were just unspoken words that everyone knew, but no one dared to speak out loud.
“Also, since Duke Edwin secured the position of the Duke, their Family is on the rise! No one knows how they could improve so much in just a matter of a few years.”- Count Oliver added this last part.
Ozul only had one last question;
“Is he in your faction?”- It will make things easier for Ozul if he were.
“Ah, It’s a pity, but no. He is more like a neutral party. Duke Edwin has close ties with the Royal Family; he doesn’t need to join a faction.”
Count Oliver answered while shaking his head a little. Ozul learned all the information he wanted to.
So, he just took his leave after receiving the compensation together with the reward from the mission after he handed over the wooden box.
As Ozul walked back home together with Raven, he was in deep thoughts;
‘No wonder they forgot about me—as they are not even alive to think.’
‘Earlier the Count confirmed that most probably Edwin was behind the death of my ‘father’.’
Edwin was also a Rank-8 Mage; it goes without saying that he would be jealous of Edward due to his position as a Duke.
‘Sigh...Couldn’t even kill him myself. Well, Edwin sold my part to the Church of Light. I can kill him...’- Ozul sighed, thinking of how his ‘Uncle’ was now in possession of his ‘part’.
Raven kept stealing glances at Ozul and noticed his weird behavior on the way back home.
. . .
When Ozul sat on the couch in the living room, Raven sat near him, and after some hesitation, she asked;
“Um... Ozul. Can I ask you about that lady named Sylvia Ashfall?”- Raven just wanted to know why Ozul was so interested in the name.
Raven had never seen Ozul be interested in anything.
“Hm?”- Ozul looked at Raven and said;
“My name is Ozul Ashfall.”- This simple and plain answer was enough for Raven to make the conclusions.
Raven’s eyes widened hearing that Ozul had the same surname as Sylvia who was the concubine of the previous Duke of their kingdom! She clearly understood the implications behind this.
‘What could’ve happened for him to end up here though...’- She began to think of various scenarios.
Ozul did not bother explaining because he wanted to sleep right now.
He neared Raven and just put his head on her lap before closing his eyes! Unknown to Raven, Ozul’s favorite spot had already changed from the tree outside to wherever Raven’s lap was.
Raven had not processed Ozul’s earlier words when she felt his head on her lap!
She happily smiled and began to run her hands through Ozuls’ hair.
But she did not forget the meaning of Ozul’s earlier words. Raven did not ask anything further as she thought that it might be sensitive.
“Wake me up in the afternoon. We will go to Mr. Smith for the arms.”- Ozul said these words before going to sleep.
. . .
In the afternoon, Ozul and Raven went towards Mr. Smith’s house.
When the door opened, the old figure of Mr. Smith came into the view of Ozul.
“Oh, it’s you. Kid, I can’t use any more precious materials on creating your prosthetics.”- Mr. Smith had already used so many expensive metals for free on Ozul.
Ozul did not mind and just nodded his head. He gestured towards Raven, who took out the Gold Coins from her Spatial Ring and presented in front of Mr. Smith.
“100 Gold Coins. Make the prosthetics detachable and add some extra features like self-destruction or something...”
He kept his straight face while explaining Mr. Smith to make more of a weapon than some prosthetic arms. He also wanted to modify the leg to have the same features.
Mr. Smith smirked and headed back inside. Making just flat working prosthetics was too dull for him who had made weapons for wars before.
He did not ask why Ozul would need such ‘prosthetics’ or how did he obtain 100 Gold Coins. He was a professional who does not ask any questions.
His motto was simple; If you have the money, you will receive the service.
Sometime later, Ozul and Raven came back home with Ozul having a new pair of weapo...*cough*...arms.
. . .
Back home, Raven was playing with Ozuls’ hair as he lay in the garden and rested his head on Raven’s lap.
Raven was still curious as to what was inside the wooden box. She wanted to know if Ozul knew;
“Um. Ozul, what do you think was in that wooden box?”
The soft voice entered Ozul’s ears as he opened his eyes and replied;
“You remember the healing potions? It is the same potion, but with about a hundred times more concentrated healing effects.”
These words shocked Raven! A hundred times more! Could it also heal... missing limbs!?
“I know what you are thinking, and they won’t work on me.”- Ozul could guess what was going on in Raven’s head.
How could mere samples obtained from his arms and a leg heal the very same limbs? The amount these people considered as concentrated would probably be regenerated in mere seconds by his limbs.
Raven chose not to ask for the reason as she believed that Ozul would tell her if it was something important. But Ozul only didn’t explain to her because he was too lazy to do so.
However, she was disappointed that she couldn’t do anything about Ozul’s arms and his leg.
No one made another sound after that as Raven enjoyed the sleeping face of Ozul on her lap as she caressed his face. Thoughts about Ozul’s past ran through her mind.
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