Anna's return to the village filled the village with gratefulness. They all kowtow towards the hill and their guardian spirit. No one could believe this miracle they were sure Anna would die just yesterday and now she was walking down the hill by herself.
Franklin was the first to rush to his mom giving her a hug. Anna winced as her arm gave a shot of pain.
"Your arm is still hurt?" Franklin asked worriedly.
Smiling at the boy she patted his head with her good left arm. "Don't worry, I'm sure it will be better soon."
Arron walked over with a huge smile. "I'm glad you're back with us."
"Thanks," She said with a nod and a slight smile.
As more were about to rush over Gregory stepped up. "It's getting late and she was just healed. Let's at least give her a night to rest."
Laurel still made to run over but was stopped by Mellisa who wouldn't let go of her hand. "Now honey you heard Gregory. You can apologize tomorrow." She said although in her heart she thought it was all that Arron's fault. It did no good to bring up a grievance now.
"But mother." Laurel wines as she is dragged off.
"Let's go home," Anna said to Franklin.
With that everyone dispersed returning to their hovels to rest for the night. Franklin worried the whole way back asking over and over whether she was alright. Arron also watching over them from a distance making sure they made it home.
"Stop fussing I've told you a hundred times that I'm perfectly healthy!" Anna scolded Franklin with a frown.
"I know but you were so hurt..." Franklin pouted looking at his feet shuffling on the floor.
Sighing she cupped the boys face with her left hand. "I know you're worried, But I can tell you haven't slept well and you've been crying. Let your eyes rest and go to sleep. I'll be here in the morning just like always."
The boy hesitated but then slowly nodded his head and went to his makeshift bed. Though he didn't want to his eyes couldn't seem to stay open a moment longer. Anna watched as the boy fell asleep. Franklin's forehead kept creasing showing he was still worrying in his dreams.
Anna began to shift his hair gently caressing the boy with love. Soon however when her son was asleep her eyes burned fiery with passion. Her face contorted with hate as she began to sing a strange lullaby.
"Hold, hold, ye sons and daughters, though the lines have shattered n' despair abound.
Why must thy slumber for traitors and bastards whilst your decedents are battered and broken?
Fight, fight, all you descendants though the war horns fall silent n' destinies broken.
Why must thy slumber for traitors and bastards whilst your decedents are scattered and lost?
Charge, charge, filial warriors though your stamina exhausted n' no allies are found.
Why must thy slumber for traitors and bastards whilst your decedents are crying and wailing?
Hasten, hasten, all the survivors though the seal is still yonder n' hope has been lost.
Why must thy slumber for traitors and bastards whilst your decedents are fearful and haggard?
Woe, woe, for our enemies though the field has been taken n' your enemies flatten.
Why must thy slumber for traitors and bastards whilst your body still strong and life hasn't left you?"
Up on the hill, John was watching the son and mother duo. When he heard the song his leaves shuddered. "Who would have thought I would meet a Lamenter here." Sighing to himself with memories of his past life flying by. "To think there are still survivors!" He exclaimed with mixed emotions.
Back in the hovel a determined Anna soon turned to her bed. Slowly she crawled into bed trying to keep her right arm comfortable. After having some issues getting the arm in a good position; she too drifted off to sleep.
In her dream, she saw an old man standing there as if he were waiting for a guest. "I thought you might show up." She said with a rye smile.
"Indeed I was quite surprised with your feat the other day." He said with a kind smile with a wave of his hand a cozy table and chairs appeared. "Here why don't we sit and have a chat."
Anna hesitated a bit nervously chewing her cheek. However, what could she do? Shaking her head she took a seat opposite the old man. "What does a master such as yourself wish to talk to a nobody like me about?" She said smiling.
John couldn't help laughing, "Can't an old man have a chat with a young lady without ulterior motives you wound me."
Frowning she responded "I know you are helping my son and for that I'm thankful. But I don't see any reason to beat around the bush." Anna's forehead was covered in sweat as she slammed her hand on the table. "I don't understand why you tease me like this!" She yelled as her nerves broke.
Shaking his head with a bright smile he lifted up his hands in a calming manner. "There's no need to be so worried. I'm not someone who holds a grudge." Motioning for her to sit back down. "Now calm yourself."
"Look if you're going to kill me go ahead. Just leave my boy alone he knows nothing!" Still standing she swallowed hard and continued. "Still I must thank you for letting me see my boy one last time."
John's eyebrow raised as he countered "Didn't you promise the boy to be there when he wakes up? I don't plan to make you a liar." With a light tap on the table, he continued. "As for healing you. I just helped a bit by stimulating your natural healing with the energy on the hill. It's not even worth mentioning." He finished with a wave of his hands showing he didn't think anything of it.
A deflated Anna slumped into her chair.
"That's better now. To think I'd meet someone from the illustrious Emerald family out here." Then with a slight smile. "A Lamenter no less."
Anna felt a shiver run down her back. "Did you get close to my son because you knew?"
"Nope, I'm just a long dead guy who heard a boy proclaiming he'd become strong." Leaning back in his chair rubbing in his chin he mused. "It's quite dull being dead. Not much to do you know? So I just thought it'd be fun to teach him a few things. Perhaps if he showed talent I'd even bestow a simple cultivation technique."
"Do you think he can become powerful like you?" Anna asked in excitement fire returning to her eyes.
John rubbed his nose embarrassed. "Even if you say it like that, being as powerful as me is nothing. Alas, he is too old. Unless his talent reaches the heaven he'll never catch up to the geniuses that start at five." Anna's heart hurt upon hearing the news slouching back into her chair.
"You don't hope to get your son to soar the heavens and take up the torch do you?" John's eyes gleamed looking at Anna as if he could see through her.
"It's too bad. By the time you have the fire for it. Your potential is used up." She said with a sigh. "I too was like my son; living a carefree life before everything was turned upside down."