For the next ten days, everyone in Alex’s squad worked harder than ever before, only sleeping for six hours a day the rest of their time was spent training. Over the past year, Alex was getting more interested in the orb he had absorbed, but he never really payed much attention to it. Now that his energy was completely surrounding it he couldn’t remove it, his interest changed to an annoyance. Controlling the energy surrounding it he tried to forcefully move remove it from the orb, but when trying to remove his energy the only thing that happened was the energy rotated around the orb. As his energy was rotating around the orb he noticed his body begin to heat up and the faster it spun the hotter his body got.
The heat was giving him a similar feeling to when he had merged his misty energy into a single drop of liquid, so he sped up his energy even further trying to reach his limit. After a while the orb begun to release liquid energy just like his own and after the ten days of training he had made the orb half its size and quadrupled his own inner energy. Finding that the orb was indeed medicine made him proud to be of the Braan clan, even giving failure like him such an important medicine.
After ten days passed Lance was waiting at the training field with a luxurious carriage, the carriage was the type the nobles would use, it was decorated with engravings and gold leaf. For the first time since Alex met Lance he had a smile on his face, he was welcoming the children and ushering them into the carriage. Inside the carriages was four sets of clothing, the clothing looked far more extravagant than what they were used to, it was obviously nobles clothing. They were all told to put it on and once they did Lance explained their mission
The trip was going to take five days to get to the capital of Fruce, luckily the village of Braan was close to the border so it was a relatively short ride. In those five days the four children were meditating, all trying to improve their inner energy as much as possible before their mission. Alex was controlling his energy to consume the orb, the closer to the core of the ball the more energy it was releasing. By the time the five-day trip was over, Alex had managed to completely consume the orb and fill a quarter of his soul well. With this new energy his body had strengthened by leaps and bounds, he may have finally caught up to those of the same age.
When they Stepped out of the carriage they were greeted by a huge mansion, it was larger than any other building in the Braan clan and radiated nobility. At the gates numerous visitors were entering, they all looked to be important figures. They were dressed in fine clothing and adorned with so much jewelry it was hard to see any skin. “Ok, everyone knows what to do when they get in, just follow the plan we went over in the carriage,” Lance whispered to the kids.
In the carriage, Lance had told them exactly what to do, when they get into the main party hall they must stand next to the people Lance points out. When the signal is given by Lance they are to quickly run to the exit. They were being used as targets for warriors from the Braan clan to know who to target. A simple mission with a high chance of escape, since no one will really suspect four powerless noble kids running away from mysterious warriors.
The four children walk in following close behind Lance, Alex was at the very back since Lance had told him he had a special mission. The closer they got to the entrance the more nervous they became. They were after all in enemy territory if they are discovered who knows what will be done to them, everything that could happen to them if they were discovered was swirling through their minds.
As soon as they walked into the ballroom Lance pointed out the people who they need to stand close to, slowly the children went to their targets. When it came to Alex’s turn he was pointed towards the largest group of people surrounding a couple, they were obviously the guests of honor at this party.
Slowly Alex walked towards his targets, he was still afraid that people would notice him so he tried to walk there as casually as possible. Alex could easily squeeze through the crowd and get to the couple, after all he was only six and a half, and he was small compared to those of his age. After the planned five minutes passed no signal was given, Alex was starting to get very nervous, then out of nowhere huge explosions begun to appear around the ballroom.
When the first two explosions hit Alex looked in the direction they came from, their point of origin was exactly where his two squad members were standing, Kell and Jerry were most likely dead now. Alex was fully panicking now, “They must have discovered us and are killing us, what do I do now.” Before he could do anything else Sam was caught in an explosion. This time Alex was too close to it and the shockwave sent Alex flying across the room into a wall. Just before his vision went out he could see a small orb drop to the ground. It was the orb that he and the rest of his squad had absorbed. The orb was glowing red with heat, with a multitude of cracks covering the surface.
“Kid wake up” a soft voice penetrated Alex’s conscience, slowly he opened his eyes and before him was the couple he was told to stand next to. He instantly begun to panic again, was he caught, did they find him and many other things ran through Alex’s mind. After all, they had already discovered his other squad members. The woman placed her hand on Alex’s head and a bright white light begun to envelop his body, suddenly the pain he felt from his wounds disappeared and he could focus again.
All throughout the ballroom the nobles were talking about the previous incident.
“Geez, who thought they would use kids” everyone was surprised someone would dare use children in an attack like this.
“Yeah, it’s terrible using destruction orbs on kids,” one woman said to her husband.
“Lucky they weren’t a ranked warrior otherwise they could have destroyed the entire building” the husband responded in a whisper.
“The only reason they managed to get so far was because they weren’t a ranked warrior” someone responded.
Everyone was obviously quite sickened that they would use children for a suicide mission and there is no evidence to find out who did it either, only three small destruction orbs were left and they could not be traced now that their energy had been used.
‘Destruction orb was what they gave us to absorb? Was our mission to explode next to our targets?’ this thought caused Alex to vomit. Tears began to fall, he wasn’t especially close to his squad members, most of the time he spent with them was in silent training. But they had trained together for a whole year, how could he not have formed a bond with them. Not to mention he found out that he was thrown away by his Braan clan, the clan dedicated to unity threw four of their own members away.
This was all too much for Alex, the emotional damage was too much and he fainted. The couple who looked after Alex picked him up and went looking for his guardian, but after hours of searching they couldn’t find anyone who knew the boy.
Alex woke up on a huge bed, looking closer he could see the room he was in was far larger than his entire house, it was full of paintings and furniture each one more expensive than everything he owned combined. “Oh, he’s awake” the young women of the couple called out, “It’s been a whole day young man we were worried you would never wake up. I’m James and this is Mary, we weren’t able to find your guardian. They were probably killed in the explosions” Just the thought of the ballroom caused Alex to tear up again, how could he have been abandoned like that by his clan.
The couple, however, saw this as a boy mourning. Mary couldn’t help but feel sorry for the young boy in front of her. “What’s your name honey?” Mary asked Alex, “Alex” Alex could only raise his voice to a whisper. He was so tired, his entire life he had been training for one reason. To bring honor to his clan, but now he was thrown away from his clan. How could he not feel like trash?
“Listen Alex, we know you’re going through a lot, you can stay here for as long as you want” Mary got up and nudged James. They left to let Alex calm down. ‘What am I going to do with myself now, no clan and I’m in the enemies borders. I may as well just stay here, I’ve got nowhere else to go. It doesn’t seem they know I’m part of the Braan clan either’ Alex decided to stay with the couple for as long as they would let him, anywhere is better than a clan that threw away one of their own members.
For the next two days, Alex stayed in bed wondering what to do with his life. With his clan abandoning him, there was no point to all the trainer he had done. All the training he had done was done for the clan, his strength was their strength. His entire life he was taught that people in the clan needed strength and unity and as long as you strove to have these qualities you would be part of the clan. All his life they lied to him, they tricked him to the point that they were going to throw him away like trash. His three other squad members were thrown away as well, but only he had escaped. Alex was lost, with no goal in life what was the purpose of his life, as far as he could see there was none. So all he did was lay there looking into space, eyes devoid of life.
Everyday maids would bring food to his bed and every day he leave it, every day he only slept. Slowly his mind was becoming numb, the couple was getting worried about him, but even when they tried to communicate with him they would get no response. Eventually, Alex withdrew from the world falling into a half conscious state, not feeling anything. He started to look into his soul well, the calm liquid relaxed him.
Days passed and with each day he went deeper into his single focus, the energy inside his soul well. Eventually, he began to play with it out of boredom, moving it about smashing it into itself. Nothing was happening though. With nothing else to do he just kept spinning his energy around, after all, the only thing he used to be able to do for fun was play with his inner energy. Even now, it brings a slight amount of joy to see it move around his soul well. In a daze, his energy begun to spin faster and faster. After spinning it for days on end something strange began to happen, the liquid energy started to glow and he could feel a heat deep in his body.
With this strange new feeling came joy, he began to only focus on his energy trying to make it spin faster, make it glow brighter and make his body get hotter. After five more days of ignoring everything not even stopping to sleep, his energy had become a blur. He couldn’t control it anymore it was bouncing all around his well. After hitting the sides too many times, it exploded sending a shock all throughout his body. It was like being constantly stabbed by dozens of swords at the same time while the heat felt like he was on fire, and it was only getting hotter.
When this happened a scream of pain escaped his lips. His muscles were tearing and repairing themselves at an astonishing rate, his entire body was breaking, and for the first time in over a month he felt alive again. As Alex lost conscience a small smile appeared on his face and his eyes regained light, he now had a goal and his life did have a purpose.
As soon as the first scream was heard everyone in the mansion ran to Alex’s room. What they saw was terrifying to witness, Alex’s skin had turned a shade of red, when a maid tried to help him his skin burned her hand, with no way to help they could only watch on in horror. They could see his muscles moving under his skin in ways they shouldn’t be able to and every time you saw them move a cry of pain escaped his lips. Sounds of bones constantly breaking could be heard yet his expression showed only a content smile.
Some of the maids were too weak-willed to watch this, they could see he was in so much pain yet they couldn’t help, it was like he was being tortured. Most left leaving only a handful of people left to watch over him. After an hour of pain, he finally settled down into a deep sleep. There was blood everywhere, during the ordeal he had begun to sweat blood. His hair had changed from brown to light gold. This colour change was only noticed when the blood he had coughed and sweat out was cleaned. His body which was skinny and malnourished was now fit and sturdy.
Alex slept for eighteen hours, only waking up after sensing two figures standing at the end of his bed. In Front of him was a worried looking Mary and James. “It’s been a month now Alex, we were wondering if you would like to stay here from now on?” Mary had been wanting to have him stay at their house ever since they met, after all, who could abandon a child at his age who had gone through so much and with the past day her protectiveness had only increased. She had been holding onto her question since she could see that he was in a lot of emotional distress, but now his eyes were bright with life. She didn’t know what had happened to him the previous day but whatever it was had brought him back to life.
“Stay here, you would let me stay in this huge house with you? Why?” Alex couldn’t understand why these two were showing him so much kindness. Had they figured out his true identity and they want to keep an eye on him now or were there truly kind people in the world.
“To be honest with you Alex, we can’t have children of our own and with your situation we were thinking of adopting you” James had been silent throughout the previous exchange, but James thought it would be best to just give Alex all the details and let him decide for himself. Since Mary had an accident she has been unable to have children of her own, ever since that event occurred it has weighed heavily on her mind. To not be able to produce an heir for James has even made her suggest he get a mistress, but James has denied that idea every time it is brought up.
“You want me to be your son?” being adopted by nobles was something only those with talent could have. After all, talent was more important than blood for these kingdoms that were always in war. However Alex has no talent, he can hold as much energy as a normal warrior can absorb in an hour. “You would really let me stay here and even adopt me?” Tears began to fall, such kindness is not something Alex had ever seen. Even when he was in the village he knew most of the support he received was from pity, they pitied the child with no talent, with no parents.”I would like to stay here with you”
As soon as Alex finished talking Mary rushed to him and gave him a hug, not letting go of this poor child who has gone through so much. “Don’t worry Alex we will not let anything happen to you again, from now on you can live a good life.” Even James while not showing it was secretly happy, finally an heir to his family, he can now hang his head high towards his ancestors.