Domire, Valkyr, Misolfa, Tido, and Aton took position in a straight line facing their parents, backs toward the Thallenrose, and knelt on one knee. Together they bowed their heads and uttered in a loud voice, “Kindred and people of Grendhill, we have been commissioned at this time with taking the next step to prepare ourselves to protect this land. We Depart now and will return with the might of Aguneg’s Promise in our hands.”
As Reedl approached, the five siblings rose, turned, and stepped onto the Thallenrose. They made room for Reedl to stand in their center and faced outboard around him, facing outboard toward the crowed on all sides. They each saluted the crowd in their own way, presenting their weapons ceremoniously. Aton held his dao crossed in front of him.
Reedl spoke, “Hexti miti Harrval conti pondere!” The world around the six of them vanished.
Aton reflected internally as they flew. The group had not been touching each other when they launched and so he was unable to see or interact with Reedl or his siblings. He was completely alone for a few minutes.
The oath he had just uttered to the people in the square felt like an empty promise. He supposed it was true enough. Aguneg’s Promise to Grendhill had created the Farella’s weapons. The Sagewoman was a particularly talented one, according to legend, and had somehow been able to confer some of her supernatural gift upon Gren Farella all those generations ago. He hadn’t become a Sageman, nor had any of his descendants, but the gift of the Royal Arms and the talent the Farellas displayed had proven hereditary, and tied to the throne. The King and Queen’s children were born with them, but the princes and princesses who did not inherit the throne did not confer the gift on their children. The Farella dynasty did have the intelligence of the Sages, proof enough that the weapons and talent came from Aguneg’s Promise. Sages were always intelligent. Not genius level, but you would never come across one who was not smarter than average. There was their health as well. The Farellas, like Sages, were almost always in excellent health until an age when the years would finally catch up to them and they suffered the weakness of seniority. It seemed no disease could keep up with them until then.
Aton had not been granted a weapon at birth, and because of that he felt different, apart from his family. However, he had unmistakably been given exceptional prowess. He had dexterity and speed seemingly superior to anyone he had ever met, excepting within his family. Even with them, they could only best him with their respective weapons of specialty. He had every mark of Aguneg’s Promise except the most obvious and visible one. He had no weapon of his own.
Exactly what was Aton Departing for? The view? The stars flying towards him certainly were a sight he always looked forward to, but even that inspiring sight seemed inconsequential in view of the task his siblings had. What was he supposed to retrieve that he did not already have?
Domire had his sword to meet. He had fought and trained with all types of swords, but now he would meet his own. He would certainly find it the ideal length and balance for him, and even styled in a way that would match his personality. Valkyr would surely feel like she were meeting her soul mate or reuniting with an old friend when she held her own bow for the first time. Misolfa and her hammer. Tido and his axe. They would all have a very meaningful two weeks in isolation. They would all Return with an extra glow in their cheeks.
Aton was competent, but he was different. He would come back to Grendhill just the same as he was when he left.