March 9, 2016

In Which Adwyn Declares Who Should Shoulder the Load

December 27, 1198

"Bar's closed for th' night," the lone remaining drunk--an older man, late sixties or early seventies by the iron hair and wrinkled hands--slurred from the corner table. "Landlord cleaned up in here, just cleanin' up the kitchen now."

Adwyn frowned. Judging by the number of discarded tankards by the man's feet, he was in no small part why the landlord had chosen to close the bar early--and yet, he was still here. "Can you find your way home?"

"I'm stayin' here. Meant to head to Naroni for th' New Year."

"Interesting. I'm heading there myself." For the sake of discretion, he didn't mention that he was accompanying the Carvalli Royal Family. It may have been his free night, but he was still a professional--on the surface, at any rate. "Can't say I'd fancy traveling with the hangover you'll have tomorrow, though."

"Not goin' now. Sit."

Shrugging, Adwyn obliged. He supposed he could keep the man from falling off his chair for a few minutes while the landlord tidied up in the kitchen. He'd find a more happening place soon enough, as always. "Why the change of mind?"

"Chickened out--like las' year, and the year b'fore that."

"And what's so terrifying about Naroni that keeps you out?" Adwyn smirked. "You don't believe all that bullshit about the creatures in the forests, do you?"

The man sighed and pushed himself upright--or, as close to upright as he could manage in his condition. "My son."

Guilt, then. Adwyn got that. "Ah... my daughter's in Naroni too. I haven't always done right by her, but she's been more forgiving than I deserve. Something about that place, maybe."

"Dunno." The man sighed. Another side of the table wasn't far enough away to avoid his breath. "My son never liked me--an' I never liked him, really. But, I'm old an' disgraced an' alone. He's all I have left in the world."

"Huh." Adwyn leaned forward, not entirely sure of what to say to that. He supposed he'd have to wing it. "You know... I don't think children always owe their parents anything, at least as far as emotion is concerned. A kid doesn't choose to be born, and sure as hell doesn't choose a shitty father like you or me. But, we're why they're here, and we have to live with that; it's only fair for the parents to shoulder the load for bridge-building and whatnot."

"You did that with your daughter?"

"Like I said, my daughter's more than I deserve--and if nothing else, nothing I put her through was out of malice. She understood that, even if my selfishness and recklessness left her more than a little inconvenienced."

"Hmph. Tha's you, then. I meant to hurt my son. Thought it would toughen 'im up, maybe." The man kicked over one of the tankards by his feet. "Or maybe I jus' couldn't stand the sight of 'im. Couldn't stand his mother. Never would've married her if we hadn't made 'im."

"Well, good luck reconciling, in that case." Adwyn cracked his knuckles beneath the table. His own father, at least, had had the decency to run like hell and leave his mother to her own more impressive devices. "Kids know when they're not loved properly. They don't recover from that."

The drunk sighed again. "Wouldn' be here if I didn' know it."



Van said...

Say goodbye to 1198.

Ekho said...

So looking forward to seeing Mona and Anna back in Naroni!

But hold up, mind my bluntness but is the old man the rapist from way way back?

Ann said...

Oh goodness! Never though I'd see THAT face again! O.O Sheesh, he's got some nerve to even think about coming to Naroni after all the shit he's pulled!! Especially since I have to wonder if this is really about Isidro or if it's just another ego-trip. Poor Isidro in any case! I doubt that there'll be any healing in a meeting between those two. Riona ought to brush out her squire outfit again, to defend her husband against this ass! Although... I guess she could do that wearing anything. ^^

Also: Yay Anna and Mona!! :)

Van said...

Ekho: If nothing else, it'll be good to get that secret out in the open for all the involved parties. At this point, not too much political crap could come from it anyway.

That's Izzy's dad--so he is indeed a rapist, but I don't know if he's the specific rapist you're thinking about. :S

Ann: I can think of at least six Naronians who would also rather not see that face again. o_O

Luckily for Izzy and Riona, it seems that Domingo plans on turning back--for now. It's tough to get into this guy's head. He's never made any efforts to be a good father, but he's old and alone and very aware of that.

Suffice to say, Riona is never unwilling to go into ass-kicking mode, so if Domingo does end up not chickening out one of these years, he'd better watch himself.

Orilon said...

I hope for Isidro's sake he never has the courage to go the full way to Naroni. Being old and alone is the least the bastard deserves after everything he has done.

Van said...

Domingo only has himself to blame for his loneliness. Some people may have more innate asshole tendencies in them than others, but whether or not to act on those tendencies is a choice. Domingo consistently made the wrong one.