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Zane & Belle 7

Breanna Vincent contributed to this story

Chapter One

“Please Mr Koopmann” The young man fell down to his knees “Please teach me. I have no father and you are my idol sir. I want to be an assassin “I only teach my children. Maybe if I hadn’t retired but I retired for a reason. I worked many years, I spent so many days and nights away from my Belle and our children. My life is now completely devoted to them. I will not use my time with family on you no matter how you beg or how much you pay. Go home or maybe take some lessons from my son ZJ. He teaches a class”

“He doesn’t teach how to be an assassin sir”

“It’s not my problem and it wont be my familys. I’m done unless my children want to learn” Zane slammed the door as the young man continued to beg “Zane” Belle said sadly and he sighed “Belle”

“I feel so bad for him”

“Honey he’s a pest. I retired so I could just be with you” He sat on the couch with her, pulling her into his lap “Zane baby, he breaks my heart. Come on”

“Not you too honey”

“Maybe just once a week. He’s been coming here for almost a month begging. I think that’s earned him some classes”

“Belle that’s not fair, quit with the eyes” Instead of stopping she added a pout to her face “Belle” his voice telling her he was weakening. She felt so bad for the young man. He had told her so many sad stories about his life and she wished her husband would teach him.

Zane’s patience was wearing thin but he had a hard time telling Belle no, after all, she was the love of his life.

“Alright, I’ll think about it.” Zane said in a huff. He clearly wasn’t enthused with the idea but Belle smiled from ear to ear knowing she had worn him down. She loved this man, he was kindhearted and gentle, you would never know he was an assassin. The problem was, you couldn’t just ‘teach’ someone to be an assassin. They have to be born with the necessary skills that one would use to take a life. There was another problem. It doesn’t matter how hard you train and mentally prepare yourself. When it comes down to it, there is no other feeling like taking a life. This is something that you cannot, yourself, replace. This is irreplaceable, never to be gained back, you are wiping out someones very existence from the face of this planet. It was hard to determine if he was ready for this monumental task or if he would falter at the last second and in doing so lose his very life. Zane guessed he would find out.

Zane tugged the door open and looked down at the desperate young man. “Go home, I’ll come to you when I’ve made a decision.”

“Thank you, sir.”

He watched him get up and leave then shut the door and turned back to Belle. “Happy love?”

“Very, thank you.”

“I don’t think he gets it. I lived and breathed that life, it was and still is a part of me, I can never forget it. The feel of a blade in your hands, the way your feet carry you silently through the darkness. Myself and our children are naturals, even our grandchildren.”

“You’re a wonderful teacher honey, I know if anyone can do this, you can, just be patient, he’s not our children or our grandchildren, he doesn’t have your grace and killer instinct.”

“That’s the problem.”

She smiled and wrapped her arms around his neck, pressing a kiss to his lips. “I love you Zane.”

“I love you too, no more guilting me, it’s not fair.”

“I’m sorry, I just felt so bad for him and we have eternity together. I value our time together above all else but I really want you to help him. He must really need this to have bothered you about it this long” Zane lifted Belle into his arms and went to sit on the couch with her “eternity isn’t even enough time to be with you. Not when my job took me away for such long stretches of time”

“You’re so sweet Zane”

“I’m just truthful my beautiful princess. You have been my everything since the day you were born. I love you so immensely. Until we were married I felt miserable when I had to leave since back then I only got visits with you as it was when I was home”

“That feels like a lifetime ago but I suppose we’ve lived many human life spans at this point. I wonder how Irims childhood memories feel to him since he’s older than you and I combined” Zane chuckled “Maybe we should ask him next time he visits with your sister. I’d say we should go see him but I have a pupil now”

“I’ll write a letter to my sister to check in, see what their plans are or if they are even home”

Zane sighed as he nuzzled her neck. “I guess I should start getting things ready.”

“Why do you sound so upset?”

“Because it’s going to take me away from you.”

She giggled. “How about I bring you both lunch then so you can see me.”

“I don’t know what his intentions are, having you near him…”

“I’ll be fine, he seems like a nice young man.”

He sighed. “Alright, I won’t argue.” She kissed his cheek and he let her go so she could write to her sister and he could gather his equipment. He would go out tonight, sneak up on the boy and gauge his self awareness. He wanted to know exactly what he was working with.

Belle set a few pieces of paper on her desk then pulled her favorite pen out to begin her letter.

“Dear Ariel & Irim

How is everything where you are? I hope you’re home to receive this message but if you aren’t let me know you’re well as soon as you’re home. Zane might be taking on an apprentice after his long break. It’s been nice having him home but I feel so bad for this young man. He’s been coming for a month begging to be taught. I hope he is capable because it’s obvious his heart is going to break if Zane can’t teach him like he did our children. I love you both so much”

She folded it then slipped it into an envelope then prepared it for mailing. Zane was busy with his equipment so she kissed his cheek “I’ll go to the post office on my own. I’ll be right back”

“Just be mindful of your surroundings my love” she smiled, enjoying that he always gave a sweet warning every time she left. It might grow annoying to others but it made Belle feel cared about. Besides, Zane had every right to worry about her. Nothing had happened in years but they had been through a lot together.

Zane always had to resist the urge to follow her, wanting her to have freedom, but also watch over her. He forced himself to focus on his task, checking and double checking that he had everything he would need. Taking on someone so green meant the young man would probably be injured a lot. The work was grueling and Zane himself had cracked a couple of ribs during his training. It wasn’t something for the faint of heart. He would test the boy again and again, pushing him harder than he had ever been pushed. He wasn’t like their children who had inherited the natural grace and instincts from their father. He set everything aside and went outside to sit on the porch and wait for Belle. Relief flooded through him when he spotted her walking back and he stood, striding toward her and scooping her into his arms and pressing a kiss to her cheek.

“I wasn’t gone that long.”

“A moment is too long.” He replied softly as he took her inside and dropped down on the couch. “Now I’ll have to be away from you.”

“Zane, you’ll be back after each session and I’ll be right here waiting for you.” She ran her fingers through his hair, letting them play along his scalp and down to his neck, hoping to sooth him. “He needs your guidance. You wouldn’t want him getting hurt or accidentally hurting someone else would you? What if he decides to get help from someone less qualified?”

“You’re always so worried over everyone else. He really isn’t our problem you know but I’m aware he’ll burden your heart if I don’t do this so I will. I plan on testing him later tonight. I’m going to do a surprise attack to see what I’m working with”

“Thank you so much, really” Zane kissed her, holding her just a bit tighter “Thank me by remaining in my arms awhile longer” Belle smiled, her whole being warming at his words. They spent what remained of the day just enjoying eachother and before he left Belle reminded him “tomorrow is our monthly dinner with the kids though. While I want us to help him don’t miss that”

“I’d never, if Ryan misses it again I’m going over there”

“they have a new baby, you remember how hard that is”

“It’s once a month and they know we will all help” Belle kissed his cheek “I’m sure they are coming”

Zane made sure she had locked up before heading out and immediately embraced the night. A cool breeze brought the scent of the young man, not that he would need it, there was a clear trail. He wasn’t good at covering his tracks, that was something to note. The trail lead him into the woods and down a well worn path. He opened up his senses, wanting to make sure the only one coming this way was the young would be assassin. Dim light bloomed ahead of him and Zane slunk through the treeline, staying in the shadows as he observed the young man sitting on the porch of a small cottage. He was staring into the flames of a small fire pit, the gears in his head turning as he contemplated. He looked serious and Zane knew he must be wondering if he would visit him or not. The young man stood, moving closer to the fire and lifting a stick to poke at it. Zane heard the sigh and then the young man was moving away and around the cottage, more than likely for firewood. Zane made his move, following him, his feet not making a sound as he stepped. The boy realized too late that he was being stalked and even as awareness dawned, Zane had a dagger pressed to his throat. He dropped the wood he had been holding and swallowed, feeling the blade pressed there.

“If you were a target, I would have slit your throat or driven my knife into your liver.” Zane said, his tone low and menacing. The boy went rigid.

“Wh…what did I do?”

Zane dropped his hand and let the young man turn around. He reached up rubbing at his throat and Zane showed him it was nothing but one of the wooden training daggers. “You lacked awareness. If you wish to be my pupil it is something you will work on.”

“Y…yes sir.”

“What’s your name?”

“Espin, sir.”

Zane bent and picked up the chunk of wood and handed it back to him. “Shall we talk then, Espin.”

“About?”

“Your reasons and what I expect from you.”

Chapter Two

He saw Espins face light with excitement “Yes sir, anywhere you want”

“lets talk by that fire you made” They sat down and Zane said “first things first, why do you want to be an assassin?”

“I want to protect people. Assassins do take lives but the good ones, like I want to be and you are take the lives of people who would take countless others or cause lifelong mental pain by treating others as objects and abusing them for their own pleasure.”

“I like that answer, good.. Keep your nose clean and make sure if the client is questionable at all to check and be sure you’re working for the right side.”

“yes sir”

“My name is Zane, no more sir” Espin felt nervous calling the great assassin by his first name but he would anyway. “Training will not be easy and I plan to be harder on you than I was my children. My children inherited a lot from me so to get you anywhere near their skill training is going to be long and sometimes torturous. If it’s in you I will make you among the best though. We can’t start until the day after tomorrow though because tomorrow night is the one time a month all my children come home with their children and have dinner with my wife and I. It’s something important to me, it keeps us connected and together”

“You have quiet a few children with Mrs Koopmann right?”

“Nine, five boys and four girls. Most of the boys are older. At first I thought we were only going to have boys”

“wow, but I guess you two are immortal. From what I hear you two have been together a long time and have been through a lot”

“we have and it’s been amazing to raise those children with her. She’s a good woman and mother. They’ve all turned out to be pretty amazing”

“you can’t really live in this kingdom and not know you guys. Ediva opened the first school. Of course not the first school ever but before hers you would of had to move days time away just to be near one and hers is now the best. People actually come here even if they have a school near them to attend Edivas. Then there’s your firstborn, Gabriel, while I know all your children are skilled his skill as an assassin is the only one to fully match yours. Ambrose and Ryan are in the knights right?”

“Yes, then ZJ teaches self defense classes. He hated violence as a child. One day he was forced to fight but even then, the most he can stomach to choose to deal with is teaching people how to defend themselves but there is nothing wrong with that. Lakshmi chose to be an assassin aswell then of course my precious little Luella opened her own clothing and jewelry store. Her younger sister Regina now helps her run it then Seth came to us from another world. We didn’t get to raise him but we love him immensely. He’s an assassin aswell”

“are you two going to have more?”

“Maybe one day but for now, I really like finally having Belle all to myself, no work, no children that we have to raise, just us”

“I’m sorry”

“it’s alright, as my wife says, we’re immortal so we have all the time in the world”

Zane handed him one of the wooden daggers and Espin looked at it, confused. “What’s this for?”

“Training. You don’t get to use a real weapon until you can master using that and it will also keep you from getting cut.”

“Is that how you were trained?”

Zane shook his head. “No, but I am not my father. We’ll start with this and you’ll only be allowed to use a real one when you can kill me.”

Espin frowned. “But that’s impossible.”

“Exactly so get to know it because you’ll be using it for awhile and also, make sure you wear something you can move freely in. Getting caught up means death.”

“Thank you for giving me a chance. I’m not good at any of this, but I’ll work hard and I won’t give up.”

Zane slapped him on the back. “It’s good you’re persistent, it’ll come in handy.” He stood. “I’ll see you the day after tomorrow, if you need anything before then feel free to drop by. You’re alone out here and Belle would want to know my pupil is being taken care of.”

“I’m sure not during dinner though right”

“We will have more than enough food. Belle ends up cooking way more than the family can eat so if you find yourself hungry we wont mind you there”

“Okay” Zane went home to his wife, finding her already prepping for tomorrow. “come to bed my love. You know one or two of our kids will come tomorrow and help you beforehand, they always do”

“It was just something to keep me occupied while I waited for you” Zane helped her put things away then he carried her to their bedroom, stripping her once they were inside so they could sleep skin touching skin. “how did it go?” Belle asked in a whisper once they were laying down. “I could have killed him but he hasn’t had a single lesson yet. He has good intentions and that’s all that matters to me”

“and you told him about tomorrow right?” He kissed her head “of course, I even let him know he was allowed to drop by”

“good, there will be more than enough food”

“should I get you anything in the morning for tomorrows dinner?”

“No, I have everything sweetheart” After that they laid silently in eachothers arms until they were sound asleep. With no children and no other responsibilities they had developed a habit of sleeping late into the morning. so they remained in eachothers arms until a knock sounded at their front door. Belle got up excitedly, slipping on her bra and a clean pair of panties then grabbing a sun dress from the closet because it would be fast to put on.Being tonight was dinner she knew it was one of her babies so she got to the door as fast as she could “sleeping huh?” Her daughter Luella said as she moved to hug her mother. Belle noticed Regina over her shoulder “hey!” she let her girls in then finally noticed Regina was holding something “what’s that?” Belle inquired. Luella took it “we made this for you. We were trying to think up some new outfits and dresses for our stock and we stumbled upon something we felt you’d love so we made the first one just for you because we love you”

She hugged them both “you two are amazing….thank you…you should at least let us cover the cost of materials”

“Mom, go on and try the dress, see how it looks. We don’t want anything for it” Zane hadn’t left the bed so he was still laying there when she ran back in “the girls made me something” sleepily he said “I heard, I want to see it on you too” Belle opened her present then quickly took off the sundress she had moments ago put on to wear it for them. Zane continued to lay down, admiring her with a happy smile.

“Come on lazy, stop staring and get dressed.”

“But I can’t help it, you’re so beautiful.” He climbed out of bed and hugged her. “You look like an angel.”

She pressed a kiss to his lips then rubbed their noses. “Get dressed, silly.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

He let her go, giving her a playful swat on the bottom as she went back out. He pulled on clean clothes then joined her in the living room where the girls were gushing over how amazing she looked in her new dress. He hugged both girls and asked how they were doing, happy that everything was well. “So your father has taken on a new student.” Belle said.

“Really? I thought you were on break.” Luella said.

“Well he was persistent and your mom suggested I do it.”

“So she made you feel bad.”

“Yes, she made me feel bad.” Both girls laughed. If there was anyone who could get him to do anything, it was their mother. She was his biggest soft spot.

“You should have seen him girls, I felt so terrible for him” They sat there catching up, continuing to talk even as they started on dinner. Night came quickly and soon everyone showed up, including their son Ryan and his wife Leilani, their new little baby nestled in her arms. Zane had meant that he was going over there if he didn’t show so he was happy to see his son. After dinner that night Gabriel suggested they go on a late night stroll. With such a young baby Ryan and his wife took it as their que to go home but everyone else thought it was a great idea, even Zanes new apprentice, who had shown up halfway through dinner decided to tag along.

Zane and Belle had slept so late they were outlasting their children, each making their way home one by one. It was near one am and the only ones that remained with them was Espin, ZJ, Arthur and Regina. They had wandered far from where they lived but none had thought for a second about any lurking danger but just as Espin moved closer to Regina to tell her something a shrill shrieking type sound filled the air. Multiple people Zane loved dearly were out with him that night but he tugged Belle closer the instant it hit his ears. ZJ was an amazing fighter and he had his fairy boyfriend whom had the same instinct Zane did. He had pulled ZJ over to him.

Zane saw the arrow coming aswell but his daughter had been so far ahead of them with Espin that Espin was the only one who could react to protect her fast enough. Espin pushed Regina down who hadn’t seen them coming. Regina shifted, knowing her scales could protect her. Two more arrows had pierced Espin so without asking him she took him in her claws to fly him to safety. She didn’t care if she damaged his male ego, he had taken those arrows to protect her. If she had reacted quick enough herself he might not be so injured. It was pissing Zane off he couldn’t see what was attacking but he was glad his wife got the same idea and shifted into her dragon form to protect herself from the arrows.

“You and the boys go, follow Regina and make sure Espin gets the help he needs.” Zane was already holding his knife and striding in the direction the arrows had come from.

“Let us help you dad.” ZJ said.

“You might have to kill.”

“I know, it’s fine. They almost killed Regina and Espin is injured.”

Zane just nodded and glanced behind him as Belle took to the air. Even though she was in dragon form, he wanted her out of the way. He slipped into the woods along the lake, his feet silent as he used the shadows, his senses flaring out to track his prey. How dare they attack his family, how dare they injure his pupil, it was unforgivable. He didn’t wait to see if ZJ and Arthur were following, knowing that they would take care of any stragglers.

Chapter Three

Regina hurried to the castle with Espin, knowing the kingdoms best healer was seldom not there. Regina was let in quickly and she took Espin right to the medical wing to be treated. “don’t be angry” she said as she was asked to move back so they could get the arrows out and tend to the wounds “I’m not” Espin answered. He hated he couldn’t have shown off a bit for Zane but he hoped he had done enough in his eyes by protecting his daughter. Her father was still on the trail of what had attacked their family in the night. He was trying to scent what it or they were but he couldn’t place the smell. Death was the dominate smell but what the hell was this.

He didn’t know if what lay before him could only be invisible so long or if they were just fine with being seen now but before him were four skeletons. Was this magic? What were these things. They must have dropped their bows or this was another hint of magic they had because they were all holding clubs “what the fuck” he heard Arthur say, confirming to Zane they had followed. Zane wasn’t sure how to kill a skelton but he would, he would find a way no matter what it took for them daring to harm his family.

Now the healer Regina had specifically brought Espin here for approached her “hey, are you okay?” he asked, causing her to blush. He always did that so easily. “Yeah, Espin made sure I wasn’t hurt before I shifted”

“you should be checked just incase”

“don’t be silly, I’m really fine”

“Let me, it would not only put my mind at ease, but those of your family and your friend.”

“Alright.”

He checked her for wounds, making sure there was no blood on her clothes that belonged to her. “You shifted in time.” He said once he was satisfied.

“Is Espin going to be alright?”

“He should be, but he’ll need rest.”

“He’s going to be so disappointed. Dad was supposed to start training him tomorrow.” She felt tears well up in her eyes. “He doesn’t even know me, but he saved my life.”

Zane was enraged that the creatures just wouldn’t go down and their screech made his ears hurt as he whirled between them. as he spun he noticed ZJ and Arthur had froze, both of them with horrified looks on their faces. The creatures aimed their bows and Zane shifted whipping the skeletons with his tail then lifting ZJ and Arthur into his claws. He shot up into the air, spitting fire down at the skeletons. He didn’t want to burn the forest down so he beat his wings until it went out. The screeching came again and the things rose into the air. He couldn’t believe this, it was insanity. He used his tail to knock them out of the air then flew away, needing more information before he continued this battle. He couldn’t afford to keep going if they wouldn’t die and both ZJ and Arthur were too stunned to move.

Zane was glad when he arrived back to the village outside the castle and there were no signs of the skeletons still giving chase. He landed infront of the home he shared with his wife, letting his son and Arthur out of his claws before shifting. “come inside and stay the night. Your mother will be up all night as it is, at least give her the sound mind of having you two in the house”

“Of course” they followed Zane inside where they were almost instantly met by Belle “are all my babies okay?”

“Yes momma” ZJ said, causing his mother to let go of Zane and hug him. “what’s going on?” she finally asked and Zane said “I honestly have no damn clue. They were skeletons, I don’t know how you kill something that is nothing but bones. I tried but it looks like I’ll need to do some research before i confront them again. Do you know how our daughter is?”

“Cantaly sent word from the castle they are okay. We should go over and fill them in”

“If you allow me to carry you. There’s no other way you’re leaving this house”

“Thats fine by me”

Once they made it to the castle, Zane had ZJ and Arthur go and fetch Gabriel and Irim and also asked them to check on the rest of the family. Ambrose was already there with Demeter, a look of relief passing over their faces when they saw them. They ran up to them, hugging them both tightly. “One of the guards saw Regina come in with Espin, are you two okay?”

“We’re fine sweetie.” Belle said, giving him a reassuring smile.

“Take us to him then I need to talk to Cantaly and Casimer.”

“I was told he’s going to live, he’ll have scars, but it’ll give him something to show to the ladies.”

Espin tried to set up when he saw Zane, but was quickly pushed down by Regina and softly reprimanded. “Don’t or you might reopen your wounds.”

“She’s right.” Zane said as he rested a hand on the boy’s arm. “Thank you for saving my daughter, you have no idea what that means to me.”

“I just reacted.”

“You’ll make a great assassin yet, just rest for now and heal. As soon as you’re better we’ll start training.”

Espin felt relief at Zanes praise and would now rest much better. Now that he had seen his new apprentice and his daughter well he went to talk to Belle’s parents. If they didn’t know anything they could probably help him find the books that would lead him to the correct information. Irim would be the best for this sort of thing but he didn’t know yet if they were here or off somewhere. Gabriel soon showed up at the castle and let his father know that ZJ and Arthur had immediately left for Irims cave. Hours later Ariel and Irim were entering the castle with the sunrise, Irim eager to talk to Zane about precisely what he had seen.

Irim was directed to the library where Zane said “finally, we can talk.”

“ZJ has filled me in some but you were of clearer mind when you were facing them. What precisely did you see?” Zane went into great detail about the skeletal creatures. He rattled off to Irim even the tiniest details he could remember because he knew any information could be important to helping Irim figure out what it was and how to face it. “It sounds like Baykoks to me and they are hard things to get rid of once they are created. Before you see red they aren’t created on purpose.”

“How are they created then?”

“They were horrible people in their past lives. To become one you must have committed the sin of incest, infanticide, rape or things of that nature. They would of have had to die a humiliating death and their bodies would have also had to be left without burial. No matter how much you hate a being, if they were truly evil you MUST bury them or you run the risk of them becoming a Baykok. No doubt an angry family or village taught them a lesson and killed them. I would imagine they have no idea that the evil those men carried in their hearts brought them back. The only way to get rid of them is to find what’s left of their bodies and give them a proper burial”

Zane crossed his arms, letting out a sigh. “How are we supposed to find them? It’s not like it’s uncommon for people like that to be hanging around, I’ve killed my fair share.”

“But you don’t just leave their corpses without a plan.”

“Either the animals get them or I let whatever knights there are know where they are.”

“We’ll have to check all of the surrounding villages, see if there were any recent executions, any instances of mob justice or revenge.”

“I’ll have to send the boys to investigate.”

“I’ll have the twins help as well. I sent them off with ZJ and Arthur just in case.”

“I couldn’t believe hos terrified they looked. I’ve never seen them freeze like that.”

“That is the power of the Baykok. Your ability to keep moving probably has something to do with your focus.”

“And I was pretty pissed.”

“We’ll take care of this, until then, everyone should be on high alert and should stay indoors.”

Zane made sure his family knew as much, needing them to remain safe. When the boys finally found the village they suspected the Baykoks came from they learned the Baykoks in question had been a part of a perverted club comprised of men from their late teens to early twenties, what they had in common was sexually abusing their younger sisters. It had been going on unbeknownst to their families, all four men able to convince their younger sisters they’d torture and kill them if they told. They died because one girl became brave enough to tell her father what her older brother was doing. Disgusted the village decided to take care of them in a way they felt was karmic. They tortured them in the same ways they threatened to torture the girls in front of everyone and left their bodies where they lay after ending their lives.

The boys had gotten directions to the site this had been carried out then fetched their fathers before going, knowing it was safer. Upon arriving at the site the smell was nearly enough to knock them out. Maybe even the animals wouldn’t feed on men so horrible because it just seemed a lot of meat was left. They suffered through the stench, digging proper graves then burying them. They gave them a ceremony even though what they had done left them sick to their stomachs.

When it was over Irim placed a hand on Zanes shoulder “the kingdom should be safe now”

“How would a club like that even start? Whats wrong with that village?”

“obviously it’s not the whole village or they wouldn’t have done this to them in reaction. Maybe one just started with rape jokes and through that they discovered they all had the same twisted thoughts.”

“Yeah, there were two more men in their friend group dad. It did start with rape jokes but when they started actually getting into conversations about rape they felt uncomfortable and quit talking to those guys. Rape jokes are in horrible taste but there are quite a few men that make them and can talk lightly about rape so they didn’t think to warn anybody”

“I have informed the villagers of what exactly transpired and told them that next time they need justice served to send word to Cantaly and Claudius instead of taking it into their own hands. Something much worse could have happened than what did, those things could have killed an entire village before we stopped them.”

“It’s hard when it’s your own children.”

“I know, but you and I know what we’re doing, these people did not. Those things could have come back here.”

Zane nodded. “I want to get home to Belle and check on Espin again.”

Irim chuckled. “I heard Belle made you take him on.”

“You know how it is, refusing our wives is out of the question unless it’s safety related. She looks at me with those eyes and I want to give her the world.”

Irim chuckled again “I know, you’ll want to smother Belle but Ariel wants to stay close. She misses her sister”

“Belle was wanting to see her too. You wouldn’t have gotten the letter yet but she sent one”

“well lets hurry home now that this mess is over with” They left hastily, happy when they were finally with their loved ones again. Irim and Ariel ended up staying in Belle and Zanes home instead of the castle this visit but with a new apprentice it wasn’t like Zane was going to be home all day anyway so she may aswell have her sister and Irim to talk to. It was only a week later when Espin insisted training start. Zane went easy on him until he felt he was truly healed, then the real training commenced. Things had been shaken up again in their kingdom but once again the royal family stood triumphant and harmonious. Zane hoped for another incredibly long stretch of peace again like they had just had or for at least his wife and children to keep making it through alive.

~ The End

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