Chapter 16- A Bond Stronger Than Life
"That's what happened… It took you almost 45 minutes to regain your consciousness." Damian finished his story with a sigh.
Rin had a weird face as his mouth was hanging open and his eyes widened to their extreme. He couldn't believe that he did all of that while inside that world.
"H-How…" He muttered under his breath.
Not only did he attack his own family, but he also almost killed his mother. It was true that he didn't know them for long, but, they were still his parents in this world and he carried some kind of affection for them that lingered in his body.
Besides, he wouldn't want to kill innocent people because of such a glaring mistake. He didn't know why he was so calm and carefree inside that world as if his common sense was asleep the whole time.
'Why did I let this happen? Dammit!' He cursed in his mind as he clenched his teeth in frustration.
His hands started shaking and he slumped his head down with an ashamed look. He didn't know how to look at them even though they risked their lives to save him.
"I-I…" He tried to say something to, to apologize but nothing came out of his mouth.
'I don't have the right to say sorry. I almost killed them…' Tears welled up in his eyes as he felt his heart getting crushed slowly.
"No!" Aria suddenly pulled out of his embrace and looked at him with a serious look.
"It wasn't your fault! You didn't anything wrong!" She yelled.
Rin could only stare blankly at her as she held his face tightly and wiped his tears with her finger.
"But… I almost killed mother…" He replied as he quickly averted his eyes.
"It wasn't something you intended to do, honey. I don't blame you at all." Selina approached him and patted his head gently with an affectionate look.
"We don't know what happened, it was something no one expected," Damian added.
Rin looked at each one of them with a complicated gaze. If they got angry, shouted at him, or even showed any kind of fear of him, he wouldn't say anything. In fact, that should've been the case. Yet, they not only didn't blame him but they were also extremely worried for him.
"That's why… Don't blame yourself for something that you had no hands in." Aria exclaimed and hugged him again.
Feeling her warmth again, Rin looked up and closed his eyes.
'This feeling… how long has it been since I felt it?' He asked himself as he hugged Aria back and buried his face in her shoulder.
How long has it been since he was surrounded by his family? Since when did he feel that he wasn't carrying all of the burdens life throw at him alone? Since when did he feel that he wasn't alone? He has long forgotten that feeling and thought he will never get it back. Yet, here he is, surrounded by his new family, supporting him and caring for him.
That strong bond was something he greatly missed. He wanted that emotional support from people that truly loved him.
"I'm sorry…" He whispered.
"It's ok… Everything is ok now." Aria replied with a small smile. Her hand kept caressing the back of his head softly.
Selina and Damian watched their son and daughter hug each other silently. Their eyes softened greatly upon seeing this wholesome scene.
Silence took over the place, no one wanted to ruin this moment. But, whether they liked it or not, things can't stay the same forever.
Alfred quietly approached Damian and whispered something in his ear.
"Rin… Do you remember anything when you were inside that world?"
Aria had already pulled out of his embrace but was still sticking close to Rin and making sure he felt her presence beside him.
'Should I tell them what the dark figure said? Is there any problem with that, system?' He asked the one that gave him the skill.
[Your actions are none of my concern. Just make sure that my existence remains a secret.]
"Well, yes… He did say something."
After that, Rin recited what the mysterious voice said to him.
Everyone's expression turned slightly grim when they listened to Rin. Especially, Damian had a strong frown on his face.
lightsΝοvεl ƈοm"Weird… He is talking about you, right?"
"From what I understood, he was including me in his speech. He spoke with 'we' instead of 'I' so it's safe to say he meant both of us."
"I can get the first part of 'We rule the darkness and exist in the light' or whatever he said. But, what about the last part? 'Worthy'? What does it mean?" Damian muttered.
"I genuinely don't know. But, if I can give an assumption. He meant that I must reach some kind of requirement for me to become 'worthy'. That requirement could be anything. Maybe a certain power threshold? Or maybe a certain achievement. I could be anything that makes people feel 'worthy' of respect and admiration."
"That sounds logical." Selina nodded in understanding.
"But, is it safe to say that you can use this power? It was controlling you and making you do something you didn't want to." Aria interjected.
"I… think I have no choice in that. It's inside me now so I could only deal with it and learn how to use it so that nothing like that happens again."
'You have a lot to explain to me later, system.'
[Please be gentle, host.] The system responded with a weirdly meek voice.
"I see… What if this happens again?" His mother was still not fully in with that idea.
"I think the 'chains of madness' should be more than enough to stop him in case he went rampage like that again."
"I'm really sorry for this inconvenience. Because of me, you have to live in constant danger… I can totally understand if you want me to live alone. Maybe like that, I wo-"
"Shh… Don't even think about that." Aria put her finger on his mouth.
"That won't happen. You are our son. If we can't take care of our own children, how can we qualify as parents?" Selina said.
"Yes, I don't want Rin to be left alone too," Aria added with a warm smile.
"Mmm… Thank you both." He said
'I am acting like a total idiot. Even though they are trying to help me, I'm trying to push them away.' He thought.
"Shadow element, huh? I have never heard of such an element before. It's something that probably never existed before." Alfred rubbed his chin as he contemplated.
"The power to control the shadows is simply scary. Even Rin, who was not even an awakened, was able to fight all of us and hold his ground. That power… it's something that should not exist in this world. If it ended up in the hands of the wrong people, I can only see a disaster." Damian frowned deeply at the mere thought of what could happen if that were the case.
"But, I will still look around in case any such cases existed before in recorded history. I hope I could find something useful."
"Please do, Alfred. Also, I don't think it's necessary to tell you that everything that happened here is of utmost secrecy. I don't want any leaked information about this." Damian's eyes turned sharp as he gazed at Alfred.
"For sure. This one swears on the graceful goddess that he will never say anything about what happened here." Alfred nodded quickly.
The last thing he wanted was to offend the Silvereye family in any way. If Damian Silvereye turns him into an enemy, he might as well go ahead and put his head on the guillotine from now.
"Good. Let's leave now. We can continue our discussion back at home."
The family then left the church and embarked on their journey back to their house. They kept talking about their plans and how to deal with Rin's new powers in the right way.
In the end, they were only able to resort to what was the most possible thing. They can only rely on Rin in controlling his new powers. He must train his element and turn it into something he can use freely with no possible threat of losing control.
Seeing how they were all trying to find a way to help him, Rin could only feel warmth in his heart. It was something simple yet Rin felt really grateful for it. People take it as a given since they unconsciously think that their family will stay with them for a long time.
The only people that could understand how precious that was are those who lose one or multiple individuals from their families.
Rin was one of those unfortunate ones so he learned one thing that day. A familial bond is something strong… way stronger than life itself.
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