Crawling out of bed trying to tie my hair into a bun as I walk towards the source of Shawn's voice. I walk down the hall and walk into Anne's room to see Shawn bouncing her around in his arms as he tries to stop her from crying.
I slowly walk up to Shawn who turns around having noticed me entering the room and smiles slightly as he hands Anne over to me as if he was handling a glass statue, "I tried," he whispers with a smile and walks out of the room. I just shake my head and smile to myself. "That's because she wanted her mommy…" I gaze passionately at the little miracle now quietly sleeping cuddled up in my arms. And slowly walk over to a rocking sitting right by the window and slowly rock back and forth.
The sun gently steams through the window casting it's warm light throughout the room, maybe it is because of this tranquil situation I recall memories from long ago when my mother did exactly like this, humming a toon full of love and happiness. As I rock I find myself humming that same tune and while holding Anne, my daughter her black hair shimmering in the afternoon sun softly breathing as she sleeps in a stillness resembling that of a doll.
I soon find myself lulling off to sleep under the warm sun when I hear the rapid taps of someone knocking at our door causing Anne to slightly rouse from her slumber and start squirming. I rise from my chair and carry Anne back to her cradle placing her down softly then walk out of the room to see who is knocking at the door. Shawn is already at the door and engaging in a deep conversation with whoever is on the other side.
Slowly I walk up behind Shawn and peer out the doorway and see two gentlemen accompanied by a small band of soldiers I immediately recognize the elder of the two gentlemen as Lord Edus, a high-ranking noble who, currently rules over the city of Shesa and surrounding areas. Noticing my presence both Shawn and Lord Edus look towards me the former slightly inclining his head in acknowledgment of my presence while Shawn looks at me with a strangely worried expression printed all over his face.
I feel dread and panicked thoughts take flight in my head as the sound impatient sound of one clearing their throat rings through the momentary silence. "Mr. and Mrs. Groves I have come here today to speak to you about a very serious matter that has arisen in Shesa," Lord Edus says in a gravelly voice, "as of this morning a "Fallen One" has appeared within the city and has since fled somewhere in the surrounding country, as one of the strongest duo parties of adventures within Shesa at this time it is my duty as lord to enlist you two to locate the location of this beast through a simple mission of reconnaissance or if possible subjugation."
In an instant I feel my mind go blank, the words "Fallen One" resonate through my skull shaking me to my very core. Shawn wraps his arm around me and pulls me close and turns to face Lord Edus again, "Isn't there anyone else who could help you with this matter, I understand that Fallen Ones are nothing normal people can deal with but I don't want something…"
"Mr. Groves, I assure you from the reports I received previous to this visit this Fallen One is rather timid and probably won't cause any harm if not provoked (not that you probably won't be able to deal with it) it's estimated its power is probably only around a Monster Lord class, due to some of the magic it displayed during the initial capture attempt," Lord Edus explain lazily. Then turning to the gentleman accompanying him he gave a sharp wave of his causing the man's face to solidify as he stepped forward.
"My name is Thomas Browne, Sir Thomas Browne, but this is not the time for formalities I'm afraid so I'll get right down to the point. I was the one who accompanied Markus (apparently the name of the Fallen One). During my short time with Markus, I could assume that his affinity with magic is nothing to scoff at, so much so I had sent him to the Mage Association rather than the Adventure's Guild due to raw talent among other reasons. In terms of physical abilities I couldn't make any estimates nor did he display any supernatural ability it's safe to assume his physical strength is around that of a Beast King, with most of his strength-based in his magical abilities."
Slowly I feel the chaos pick up pace turning into a raging storm in my mind as new waves of information flow in to take over whatever space of emptiness I had left. Strangely, I find myself nodding my head with the man as he continues explaining certain details that may help us track down the Fallen One, Markus. It seems like hours have passed by the time that Lord Edus finally stops Thomas from speaking before readdressing us.
"I want both of you to leave after that beast as soon as possible, I plan to send another group shortly after you to assist you in your mission but currently they are not all here in Shesa yet, your daughter will be taken into my households care during the period of your mission unless you have someone else to take her in," Lord Edus explains as he turns away leaving. Thomas gives a quick bow before following after Edus who in turn is followed loyally by the troop of soldiers standing at attention.
I follow Shawn back into the house and watch as he takes a seat at the kitchen table before resting his head in his hands and letting out a long sigh before glancing over at me with a distressed look on his face.
"I'm going alone," he says suddenly, "I want you to stay with Anne just in case something were to happen to me I don't want her to lose both of her parents… please promise me will you stay here?"
I stand there for a moment silently the candle on the table cast an eerie glow all around the room, "Shawn, I can't just let you go I need to go with you… I don't know what I would do without you, anyways from what Lord Edus said it doesn't sound like anything we can't handle…"
"No!" Shawn yells as he stands up quickly slamming his hand on the table with a look of fury raging on his face, "look I don't want anything to happen to you please…please just stay here." The candlelight now illuminating the tears streaming down his face giving it an almost glossy look.
I feel my heart tear, but I tighten my jaw and stare Shawn right in the eyes, "Shawn I'm going to protect you, we need each other."
Shawn looks down at the table before slumping back down dejectedly, "If your really going to come with me promise you'll listen to everything I tell you, and if I tell you to run do so immediately I want Anne to grow up with at least one of us, okay?"
I nod my head firmly and then everything fades. Suddenly I'm back in the cave I look around me wildly I'm no longer Diane but myself, I slowly remove my hand from Diane's body and stand up slowly.
"What the heck just happened to me?"