Crownless: The Fallen World - Chapter 28
Hale and Aires ran on the quiet road in the city. It was filled with pillars of icicles as they passed through them. When their Holowrist alerted them that 2 minutes was up, they hastily entered an open house.
Aires received a message from Kassean that they successfully evacuated all of the citizens and was 3 kilometers away from the city. He breathed out in relief.
“We’re the only ones in here. We have to be quick. Hale, how further is the vortex from the ground?”
“Around 650 meters.”
“You think it will be enough to get out of the city before it hits the ground?”
“Yes, it might be possible. But the power of this tornado is devastating, we might be caught in the updraft and will be shredded. Also, it has bolts of lightning inside… it’s really dangerous.”
Aires saw how Hale slightly shivered and clenched his teeth to prevent the chattering. He retrieved a thick furred insulated down jacket and gave it to Hale with his free hand, “Wear this.”
“Thank you.” Hale’s trembling hands reached and his cold fingertips grazed Aires’ warm one. When he zipped the jacket, he blew his warm breath to his hands then tucked it inside the pockets.
They set off again when 2 minutes were up, running to the best of their ability to shorten the time to get outside the city. When they were running, he heard the boy mumbled, “I’ll miss this city.”
“A lot of the citizens will miss this city,” Aires patted the child’s back as he ran.
“It’s also the place where I was abandoned and found a family too. I was suddenly alone when the first of this happened and killed them…” Tears strolled down his soft cheeks as he sniffled, the cold fog entered his body as he wailed. He shivered uncontrollably, clutching on Aires’ fur coat.
Aires increased his speed, carried Hale along who yelped from the sudden force lifting him up. He entered a house that was now 300 meters from the Northern exit. When he closed the door, icicles started to rain down.
He set Hale down gently, he wiped the child’s tears in his arm then opened his coat to engulf the child in. The little one tightly hugged the older, rubbing his face on the warm clothed chest of Aires’. The bigger male hugged back tightly, “We’ll be your family. We’ll take care of you.”
Hale was touched as he heard the word ‘we’. Feeling so giddy inside, he joined the hug as he kissed the head of the boy that crowned from Aires’ closed coat, tightening his hug, “We will never leave you. We’ll love you like our own family.”
The boy’s breathing shallowed, his sniffles and sobs stopped as he fell asleep in the comforting warmth. Aires raised his eyebrow, whispered, “Never knew you could be this sweet.”
“Not for you,” Hale rolled his eyes but his smile never faltered, he tapped Aires’ shoulder, “Let’s go. The vortex is already 250 meters above the ground.”
When they neared from the entrance, a deafeningly loud thundering roar echoed throughout the whole continent. Their ears rang as they slowly lost their balance, the two males looked up to see the vortex was now filled with crackles of lightning.
The lightning struck the east gate then the west gate after the lightning struck, what came next was the frost that froze the exits. Aires hurriedly carried Hale from the ground as he did his best to run towards the north gate. He also removed Hale’s goggles and tossed them away which he immediately closed his eyes.
Aires didn’t answer his question, he kept his attention towards the gate as he glanced from time to time at the vortex, which was now crackling violently from the lightning. With that, he threw Hale and the little child to the outside of the gate as the lightning struck the northern gate.
Because of the explosion, Hale and the little child ended up far from the wall, they rolled till they hit a tree. He groaned, standing up to pick up the still unconscious child. He searched around to find Aires but to no vail, he didn’t find him.
His eyes slowly looked at the destroyed gate with huge rubbles on its way. There was a blue opaque wall with the complex writings in it. He saw a bolt of lightning struck the same position it did earlier but the lightning only hit the wall.
He should be grateful for it since the opaque wall was close to the base of the cloud. But he couldn’t. He couldn’t be grateful knowing that Aires might still be in there.
He called Kassean as his arms trembled, waking the child in his arms.
“Mister?” The child called him, his little hands touched the tear-stained cheeks of Hale, which he didn’t know until now.
He hummed in response as he heard the ringing of his Holowrist. His hazy eyes looked at the child’s confused one, “Yeah?”
“Why are you crying?” He scanned the area, his cute brows furrowed with more confusion, “Where’s dad?”
“The taller man with you. Where is he?”
“He… he might still be inside the city,” Hale whispered with uncertainty. His gaze looked over the burning city. The child followed his gaze, widening his eyes.
“Don’t worry. He will come back.” His small voice gave a lot of comfort to Hale but he still couldn’t eliminate his huge worries.
“Believe in him. You know? He saved me from the icicle back inside,” the child’s small fingers pointed at the city, “It was so amazing! He’s really… amazingly strong!”
Hale smiled fondly at the child’s little antics and tucked the child’s long fringe behind his ears as Hale kissed his small forehead.
He glanced at the wall, in the instant he laid his eyes on it, a human figure emerged from the rubble. The fire of the houses chased the fog away in that one part as the silhouette turned around to stiffen a wave at him, ripped clothes coursed through the air.
“What happened, male beauty?” Hale’s thoughts broke when he heard the voice of the person he detested. In the background, he saw a lot of people took shelter in their luxury tents and he already saw some houses which he knew it was a convertible convenience house.
“Are you the one that activated the outer protection barrier?”
“Outer? Protection barrier? We never knew we had that.” Kassean turned around, “Arya, do you know about the outer protective barrier in our city wall?”
“No. That’s the first time I heard about that. What about it?”
“There were complex writings on the outer wall of your city. It turned opaque and locked the tornado in.”
“Ah… we always wondered about that but there were no records about it in the archives. By the way… where’s Seb? And who’s the little child?” Kassean tilted his head as he snapped his fingers in realization, “It’s your illegitimate child!”