Hey, y’all! Next part of Unmortal here. Now we’re answering a question that originated from the very beginning: who is Arion?
“…and Equinox of Origin, you know what he did? That’s right, he closed it, stabbed right through the lid. That box was no more, nor contents inside. There was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.”
Arion found himself nose-deep in the final book, which he assumed Caddie must have accidentally slid into the bag of books, because it had nothing to do with fighting or weaponry and was instead a history book. He was currently involved in the last story, about a lava-dweller named Equinox of Origin who tried to drive away invasive species and somehow ended up accidentally angering both the demons and the angels, as well as causing the entirety of the Demonic Wars. He knew he had heard the name before; it was very familiar him, and yet he could not remember when he had heard it.
“He yelled to the child, ‘Go, save yourself!’ So she fled far away to go find the elf. But her archer friend was not to be seen, nor his sister, nor their queen. By now Equinox had finally come, burned and scarred and hurt and then some. ‘Where could they have gone?’ he asked, so finding them he and her were tasked.”
Arion paused to sum it up in his head; the speech’s language made it a little difficult to comprehend. Thankfully, Caddie had written little notes in the margins. From them, he gathered that Equinox had gotten stuck, and was with the current unmortal. They had an archer friend, whose name was inscripted with strange characters Arion could not read, but he, his sister, and the queen had been kidnapped by the enemy in the midst of the fight. When Equinox finally got himself out of the trap, he and the young girl had found themselves alone, and took it upon themselves to find their missing companions.
He decided to skip ahead a few verses. The night before, Caddie had entertained the young hybrids with some history, supported by Nephthys, and so he had heard about the little snippet where they found their friends and killed the enemy, who was in fact the cruel king.
“And as he called to the child once more, the buzzer sounded, the man went, ‘Score!’ Nobody had won, the choice had begun, ‘So why not go out and have a little fun?’ And the dweller found, that him all around, was his enemy from days of old, or so he was always told. And the pain held him, and in water dwelled him, and deep in the ground his stony self sleeps sound.”
The name Nobody triggered a memory in Arion’s head. Suddenly he was back in the forest clearing, standing in bewilderment as a disembodied voice echoed from nonexistent speakers as he squinted through the dimness, trying to avoid being blinded by the red lights of the suspended disco ball. “YOU’RE NOT IN OUR RECORDS,” Nobody had boomed. Equinox of Origin, the lava-dweller, had just slipped out. Arion didn’t know where he got it from, but he supposed everyone had forgotten about it in the fighting that ensued. Now, though, he wondered if it was more than just a passing name. He had told his little foal buddy earlier that maybe they were descended from the real Arion, but Arion the unmortal was clearly not a hybrid, nor related to horses, like Arion the foal. However, the notion of being descended from a mythical creature was no longer unthinkable. An unmortal was thought to have angel-demon parentage, but now Arion began to wonder if that was always the case. Could it be he was descended from Equinox himself?
His thoughts were cut short by Caddie racing down the sidewalk. She skidded to a halt in front of him, out of breath. “We’re going…to find…Lycaon,” she panted. “You, me, Nephthys, Obsidian. We leave…tomorrow morning.”
Arion nodded. He had already put together the pieces about Lycaon’s disappearance from the snippets of conversation he heard in the past few days here at the Secret Sanctuary, and he was just as eager to set out and find the wise old wolf hybrid.
Caddie had soon regained her breath and straightened up, just as Arion closed the book and set it down. “I don’t remember lending you that,” Caddie said, frowning. “Must’ve gotten mixed up with your books by accident.”
“Yeah, although the history was really interesting,” Arion admitted.
Caddie nodded slowly, her eyes still trained on the book. “Yeah. Did you finish it?”
“Just did,” Arion confirmed.
Caddie leaned over and picked it up. “I was never really intending for you to read this, or at least not this copy. I don’t suppose you read all the stuff I scribbled in the margins?”
Arion shook his head. “Most of them weren’t in English,, so I couldn’t read it anyway.”
“Right, right.” Caddie rifled through the pages right up until the back of the book, her frown deepening. “Just forget whatever you could read about my notes. They’re of no importance.” She looked up at him and the locked eyes for a moment before Caddie shifted gaze.
Arion knew right then that she was hiding something. He stepped forward and grabbed her arm before she could go, his eyes blazing with a new intensity.
“What do you know about my ancestors?”