Return of the Fallen Volume 9 Chapter 23

With his little sister fast asleep, Zephris was back in the kitchen. Very soon the smell of brewed tea spread through the house and the warm scent eased his mind. Just as he was about to take his master Aziria a cup, his master, along with his father and Chela came out from the room and everyone had a seat at the table.

Grek pointed at a seat across the table ushering Zephris to take a seat.

Sitting down, Chela quickly scooted up close to him and hugged him.

“Zephris, my sweet boy.”

Tears were in her eyes.


Azira picked up his cup and inhaled deeply before taking a sip.

“I told your mother and father what you were doing while they were not around. They know all about your traps, and they know you’ve killed people.”

Zephris’s eyes widened when he heard this. He was completely taken aback. He felt no shame whatsoever for killing those people but the way his mother cried while holding him, an intense sense of guilt welled up within him. Tears began to stream down his face and he cried.

“Mom, I’m sorry but I had to. They were going to hurt you, they were going to hurt Alta.”

Chela cried even harder. Grek though had a proud look while Azira simply grimaced from seeing his apprentice cry like a newborn.

“Son, you did nothing wrong and have nothing to be ashamed of. You did exactly as I and your Master have trained you. Those people were bad and they did not care about free will or any of our thoughts. They simply followed their master blindly and in doing so, they have caused countless harm to not only us but the many innocent victims that came before us. Everything you did, you did to protect your family and because of that, I couldn’t be more proud.”

Grek reached across the table with his large hand and covered his son’s entire head as he rubbed it with a rare smile. Zephris’s tears came flooding out. Whether it was because of his father’s words that were like treasure or because of just how difficult everything was or both, either way, these tears ran like an ever-winding river of emotion and exhaustion.

“Your father is correct boy. The things you did…I knew you were talented but watching your ideas play out, the way you used the forest and its natural resources and geography to your advantage, well, it was quite good. Actually, it was downright impressive. At your age, I was simply running around foolishly playing with the other dumb kids but you, you really are something different. Is it nature, nurture, or a combination of both I wonder?”

Zephris wiped his tears.

“It was all thanks to mother, father, and you Master. Mama taught me about all the different places in the forest ever since I could walk. Father taught me how to fight and you taught me Alchemy and all the ingredients that goes into it. I just used everything you all taught and showed me.”

Azira nodded his head. His student was both highly intelligent, but could also use that intelligence in the real world and apply it to his own environment. On top of that, the boy was humble too. Azira was glad he came to this forest a few years ago and accepted the boy as his apprentice.

“Master, you mentioned that you told mother and father what I did but how were you aware of it?”

Azira set down his cup and took his fingernail and sliced open one of his fingers. As soon as he did that, a drop of purplish-black blood fell out and landed on the table.

“Master, this, I saw it before but isn’t this too strange. I’ve seen your blood plenty of times during experiments and it’s always been red but during your fight and even now, the color is completely different. Why?”

“Right your memory is immaculate as always.”

Aziria’s red eyes began to glow with quick flashes and the purplish-black blood on the table changed to red and then back to purplish-black the next second. It repeated this several times and started to float in mid-air.

“Since you saw my fight earlier, then you obviously noticed my strength and speed. As you know I am not fully human. Your father has the blood of men and the blood of dragons flowing through him. Because of this, he has a few special attributes. For example, he can breathe fire using magic. He has this ability because of his body. You as well have dragon, elf, and human blood flowing inside of you. Because of this, I suspect it’s the reason you are so gifted with so many different elements and can even use them without the need of a magic tool. It’s also why the Great forest who most of the inhabitants can barely hear its voice, you can get the forest to lend you some of its aid. So many gifts, I believe they are a result of the many different types of blood flowing through your body.”

“Master, are you saying that having different types of blood can give you gifts? Is such a thing possible?”

Aziria nodded.

“Indeed and this is not just some wild theory but proven fact. My body is the evidence for it. Your father has two types and you three. I, on the other hand, care to take a guess how many different types of blood I have coursing through me?”

Zephris wondered before taking a wild guess.

“If Father has two and I three, then since you are so much stronger, maybe four.”

Aziria released a hearty chuckle. He was not usually one for laughter but this guess was way off. Not that it was Zephris’s fault but the small number threw Aziria off.

Aziria held up 6 fingers in front of everyone.

“Master has 6 different types of blood?”

Aziira shook his head before correcting his apprentice.

“Not six but six thousand…Give or take a few.”

Not just Zephris but both Grek and Chela were left dumbfounded.

“I’ve never told anyone any of this but seeing the expressions on all of your faces maybe I should have done so long ago because these looks are just too ridiculous, heh.”

The drop of blood floating in the air slowly came to rest on the tip of Aziria’s finger. Holding it up under the light, it seemed to gleam radiantly.

“The number of gifts I have are on a whole other level. Regeneration, strength, and speed that far exceeds the natural limit of a human. Poisons, cures, heightened senses, vision in the darkest of nights, echolocation, the list goes on and on. This body though is not what it seems. You see I was in fact not born this way but instead, I created this body myself. Over time, changing it little by little. Small increments at a time fine-tuning it and trying my best to remove the defects. One of the gifts I have I gained from a tiny parasite I discovered in the depths of the frozen ocean up north. This parasite can duplicate a part of itself and still hold a mental connection to that duplicate.”

The drop of blood on Aziria’s fingertip slowly sank back into his finger as if he was a sponge of some sort.

“I can make tiny duplicates of myself through my blood. Each drop can see for me, hear for me, and much much more. I had these drops of blood all over the forest since the very first day I arrived. I have quietly watched and observed everything and everyone since the beginning. I told you before that I have been in search of a special ingredient for my experiments but have you once ever seen me actually leave my dwelling. That’s because I’ve had my blood all throughout the forest in search of it.”

Zephris didn’t care about the ingredient he was searching for. His mind focused on what Aziria said and h became angry as if someone had flipped a switch.

“You…Master, you were watching this whole time and you didn’t help until the last minute.”

Aziria thought he understood where this anger was coming from and added.

“I would have stepped in and saved you if you were in mortal danger but from what I observed, you were able to hold on all on your own. I understand your anger but as I said I would have come in if it was needed.”


Zephris slammed his tiyn fist onto the kitchen table and with his unnatural strength, he shattered it.

“I don’t care about my own safety but mama and Alta, they got hurt. I saw the cuts and bruises on them and they suffered greatly. Master, are you telling me you could have rescued them earlier but instead you just watched?”

Aziria now understood but his expression stayed the same. He calmly nodded.

“Yes, it is true.”

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