In the distance, Aeris finally saw Cebyr. The child, trying to swim with his short arms, was constantly being thrown back to shore by the powerful waves. He was terrified and panicking. The cries for his mother broke her heart, as she noticed the boat drifting away with my silhouette in it.
She ran to him and took him in her arms. “Quiet, Cebyr, it’ll be alright,” she tried to hush him, but in his state she could just as well have said nothing at all. He did everything in his power to get himself out of her grasp and jump back into the sea to go after his mother.
“Cebyr!” she finally yelled at him, shaking him a bit to grab his attention. “Mommy will be okay! Nothing is going to happen, but until she’s back you can stay wi--”
She stopped in her tracks, she couldn’t let him go along with that heartless man behind her right?
Aeris felt a hand on her shoulder pulling her away from the child. She could do nothing but oblige. Fargnau hunched over the child, eying him down.
“Cebyr, do you remember who I am? Your father?” The owlet nodded as his father put his hand on the child’s shoulder. “Mommy will be back. I’m sure of it.”
Cebyr wiped the tears from his eyes, still heaving from his adventure and his wailing. “Are you sure, father? I can’t even see her anymore.”
The boat I was stuck in had indeed gone too far into sea for me to even make out the shorelines with my good eyes, just a blur of trees and mountains.
Fargnau’s exhausted eyes took a kinder, more pleasant look towards his son. Even Aeris hadn’t seen this look from him before. I suppose not even the most stubborn of men can hold up to a child’s innocent eyes. “I’m sure,” he replied. “But until she is with us again, would you like to spend some time with your father?”
Cebyr’s eyes lit up a bit, I didn’t have much to say about my husband towards him, even when the child would ask about him nearly daily. You can’t blame a child for wanting to spend time with both their parents, after all.
“What are we going to do then? Do you have fun games at the tower, too?” the owlet’s curiosity took the better of him.
“Well, there won’t be too many games to play, but we’ll have lots to learn. You like learning, don’t you?” The owlet nodded again, looking towards the sea just for a few seconds more.
“Cebyr is going with father, mommy. Now be back quick or I’ll have to find you myself! No scary open water is going to stop me!”
Aeris distanced herself from the owlet, anyone knew what kind of dangers the ocean kept in the depths below. No one ever came back. Besides some islands around the continent, not even the sages ventured out. Curiosity is one thing, stupidity another. She was heartbroken, my poor little Cebyr would detest me for not keeping my promise. Or rather, for leaving him behind with his careless father. From here on out it would be no more playtime, no more games, no more bedtime stories. Only teaching, day in day out. That’s the kind of man my husband was, he’ll try to push his own eagerness to know everything onto him. We made a deal on that, once Cebyr would hit puberty he would get taught by his father. But that was still another 24 years, the poor child was still only 6!
It wasn’t time for me to worry about my child’s upbringing for now, there were far bigger problems to be taken care of… If only I knew how. I was in a hopeless situation.