A large three-tiered stone fountain stood in the center of the Grand Gardens with figures with wings, horns, and merfolk. A tall and imposing man sat at the edge of it with a young boy sitting near his feet with figurines in his hands. The boy had horned wolf figurines in his hands.
“Keegan, let’s get your siblings and cousins,” the man said in a deep voice as he scooped up the toddler. He had long silver hair in a half-ponytail with piercing gold on black eyes. He had gold scars all over his face with one prominent one going through his right eye. Each gold scar shimmered as the light touched it as if his very blood could have been gold, which it was. He had two gold horns with two bangles on them that looked important. The man had long pointed ears and claws for fingers. He stood on hocks with five talons for toes and had a long sleek golden tail. He walked to the benches to find his children lounging as humanoids or running around as horned wolves altogether.
“Kids, it’s time for a story,” the man said. They all perked up and ceased what they were doing.
“Are you finally going to tell us about the Cyril, Uncle Kayden?” one older boy asked with burgundy on black eyes but with silver curly hair. The man—Kayden nodded.
“I’ll tell you our history and where we started,” Kayden said before making a chair out of branches with the mere gesture of his hand to face them and sat down.
“It was a few hundred years ago—long before the era of the true hybrids of Golden Celesi and Lacauss, and even before the discovery of the Mana Walkers….” he started.
“It was when I was a different species, like many of our Guardians,” he continued.
“What did you look like?” one girl with brunette hair and green on black eyes asked.
“Cyril were cyclops—therefore, I only had one eye, for starters,” he said as he poked his right eye closed, making them giggle.
“How tall were you back then?” one boy with red on black eyes and brown curly hair that had silver tips asked. Kayden smirked and eyed them.
“Ten foot seven,” he said—making the youth burst out in laughter. That was about 322cm.
“You were short, papa,” Keegan said with a giggle—he had short silver spiky hair and gold and red on black eyes. Kayden smirked.
“This was the time before the true giants emerged, kids. Back then, Cyril didn’t get very tall thanks to the stunting of genetics by enhancements,” Kayden said. He looked off into the distance as they paid more attention.
“Back then, I wasn’t even a Guardian. I had gone freelancing…it was like going rogue, but not on the wrong side of the law,” Kayden said, making them all gasp.
“Why, papa?” the young brunette girl from before asked.
“Because I believed I failed to protect the one person that to me mattered the most. I figured…I couldn’t protect anyone because I couldn’t protect her,” he added, making them all frown.
“But I realized later, that wasn’t quite true…” he trailed off before he started to recall the memory.