"Yergal is the best baker in the world! It was so nice of him to send us bunch of these sweets with us for free. I loved those muffins with the orange flavored frosting and the strawberry tarts. What did you like Lera?" The monster didn't answer. "Do you want… Kear or Lera what do you… why don't you 'want'?" The monster's eyes looked at the ground as it stood in place. "Seriously… Lera is your name until you tell me otherwise." The monster just kept the smile it had from earlier and followed along behind Paroppe.
They had gotten clothing for the monster and were heading home. Earlier Paroppe had lost her jaw from the nearly thirty-thousand gold coins that the monster had from its past.
Inside, Jev and Ayanni were chattering in the small kitchen. There were pots and pans being used to make a tomato based pasta with sausage on top. That is what Jev explained to his sister as the two walked in.
"I got dessert for us!"
"You didn't seriously spend your money on dessert did you? If you did…"
"I know dad would kill me, but this is from a friend. Well new friend. The best baker in the world! I totally agree with Barrian." Paroppe looks back towards the monster with a grand smile.
Ayanni was very insistent that she explain what happened. Paroppe gladly told them the events from earlier today. She was bragging how she became friends with the best baker in the world and she kept repeating it. She eventually gave up once Jev stepped in to give her a taste of reality.
"You just ended up being there and he just happened to be from Kear's past."
"Before you start calling her Kear… Until she tells me what she wants, she is Lera for now."
"Fine, Lera. Either way dinner's ready."
Jev turned to plate the food as everyone sat down. Before they started eating, Ayanni asked Paroppe a question.
"So how much money did she have?"
"I… I don't think I should share that." She looked towards the monster sitting next to her. "Do you mind?" No response from the monster. "Can I tell them?" The monster nodded. "Lera eat your food. Twenty-thousand and seven-hundred-sixty-eight gold. I remember the number clearly because I almost had a heart attack seeing that number. Though that was just Lera's money. She had additional separate private accounts for other people. Kerell, Naka, Waquell, Heryan…" The monster started choking on its food. "Are you ok Lera? "The monster nodded that it was fine, but that would have been a lie. "Well, good. Anyway there were a few other people." Paroppe's eyes shift back and forth as she looked away.
"Well who?" Ayanni pushed for answers.
"Your family Ayanni. She has some money being sent to your family. But it's like less than one percent." Ayanni jumped from his chair and rushed over to the monster.
"Who are you? Why are you giving my family money?"
He watched that blank stare from the woman he grabbed. He slowly released her as he stepped away. He was in the wrong for acting like that. He knew that, but there are questions he wants the answers to.
As soon as he heard Paroppe telling him about the money, he had to know. He turned towards Paroppe as she fixed Lera's shirt. He felt Jev's hand on his shoulder, but he needed to know.
"Tell her to answer my questions!"
"Dude chill and sit down. Otherwise if you don't you will end up on the floor."
Ayanni moved over to his seat and sat back down. He hated that he felt compelled to get answers, but couldn't stop himself. Will power was what he needed, yet he was never strong enough.
He barely squeezed that through his teeth, but Paroppe did ask Lera why she had given money to his family.
"Lera, what do you mean family? Are you okay, you're crying?"
Ayanni watched the woman in front of him cry. She stared at the table, but didn't answer Paroppe's question. He grit his teeth waiting for an answer that didn't come.
"Tell her to answer the question!"
"I hate that I have to be like father, but you two need to calm down. Paroppe don't push her and Ayanni, Lera isn't a tool."
Ayanni hated himself. He knew that. He picked up his food and stood at the stove eating his food alone. He needed to remove himself, so he didn't make matters worse.
"Lera can you finish your food?" The monster shook its head and stood up. It looked around for a corner where it could hide, but there wasn't any. A safe place to hide itself.
It had hurt its family. Rather than stay with them, the moment the family was separated, it left. I did only what it wanted without asking anyone else. If they had a different opinion, then that sucked for them. The monster never listened. A selfish child. It hated these thoughts and with nowhere to hide, it broke down.
It wailed like the child it is. It was selfish and craved attention. A monster that only hurt others. It ran away before it could do anything else. It teleported itself to its lair. Dark grey walls and floors. It made a room, a small empty room, where it couldn't escape.
It clawed at the walls. It thrashed around the dark room in pain. It hid itself from the world. It felt the pain it deserved, but it didn't like it. It hurt more knowing that it didn't like it.
It hurt. It hurt. It hurt.
"Seriously?! Where did she go?" Paroppe was looking frantically around the house.
"This is all my fault." Ayanni slumped on the floor. "If only I kept my mouth shut."
"You two relax and listen. If she teleported away, she could be anywhere."
"We need to go out a look for Lera."
"Didn't you hear what I said? She could be anywhere. Plus teleporting in the city will get her caught."
"I'm sorry guys. This is my fault."
The rest of the noises in the house were Jev cursing his luck.
Lera awoke on the ground. She stood up on her two legs. She wasn't sure when this was, but she needed to get back to her master. No, Paroppe was her name. Lera teleported herself next to Paroppe. She was sleeping on a bed. Lera just lied down next to the bed and curled into a ball falling asleep. She was tired.
She woke up to a scream. She looked up at Paroppe and then around the room. Whatever made Paroppe scream wasn't good. She didn't like bad things. Suddenly she was hugged by Paroppe and she like it. She was warm. Lera liked warm.
"You've been gone for two weeks Lera. I have been searching for you every day. What happened to you? Where did you go? Are you hurt anywhere?"
Lera just smiled as she was still held in Paroppe's arms. She 'wanted' to be hugged. She was happy. No pain and no bad thoughts. Good.
"Say something Lera. Please say something!"
The monster just nuzzled in Paroppe's arms.
The door swung open, hitting the wall. Lera was startled by the sudden noise. She never saw that person before. She needed to protect Paroppe, but She didn't want to hurt anyone. Hurting people was bad. It was painful. So she froze the intruder in time.
"Dad? Why aren't you moving? Hello?" Lera was still in front of Paroppe, just in case other people wanted to hurt her. "Lera did you do that to my father?" Lera wanted had to let Paroppe know she did it. It could get a hug again. It nodded happily! "Lera can you undo what you did?" It nodded again. Whatever Paroppe wanted it would do what it could. Hugs were nice.
"Princess are you ok?"
"I'm fine dad, but Lera isn't. She must be hurt and there's just so much blood."
"I'll find a healer."
"Thank you dad!" She turned Lera around and back into her arms. "I'm so happy you're back!"
"Her fingers are broken, arms are fractured, and there is bruising everywhere. It's amazing that she is alive and didn't get infected. But that isn't all. Her mind is damaged. Not physically, well not that much, but she doesn't talk. Simple thoughts seem to be all she is capable of."
"Is there anything you can do?"
"We are still learning about psychology. It is still a new area that we are exploring. For now she needs a safe place and a friend. That is the best I can think of right now. Whatever she went through… It's going to take time some time for 'all' her injuries to heal."
Paroppe gripped Lera's hand. Those two were alone in a guest room at their home. The doctor had put her to sleep to get away from Paroppe so he could examine her injuries. Healing magic had taken care of all those physical injuries and so he had left exhausted after a treatment like that. Her mind…
Paroppe knew that Lera wasn't doing well before, but now it was worse. Rather than words, she gets emotions in return. At least there was something.
She had gone back to her parents after Lera went missing. She looked all over the city, twice, these past two weeks. She knew that Ayanni punished himself over her Lera, but he wasn't really at fault. He couldn't have known what would happen. She and Jev had explained that many times, but he didn't listen. At least those two were still practicing their combat moves while she searched.
For now she planned on staying with Lera until she woke back up and then she would head out to meet with the others.
A while later her father brought in snacks.
"I brought something for you and your friend to have. Well, when she wakes up. How are you feeling?"
"I'm alright, just worried."
"Are you happy that you found her?"
"I am, yes, but I have so many questions I want to ask."
"There will be time for that later. Eat up, your mother made those for you."
"By 'made', you mean that she bought them on the way home?"
"Well she's busy and whatnot."
"I know." Paroppe leans into her father's arms. "I love you both."
"We love you too princess."
"Ugh, can you stop calling me that already?"
Her father looks at her as he gives a big smirk before leaving the room.
Lera was happy to be walking with Paroppe. She hadn't been outside in a while and it was warm. Warm was good. Warm was happy! She bounced and jumped around Paroppe, all while following her.
"Please just hold my hand, there are people staring."
She happily grabbed her hand. Warm! Lera beamed a bright smile to the world around her.
"Pay attention to where you're walking Lera. I'm just like mother. Oh no…"
Paroppe is sad. What did she do wrong? Lera observes the ground as she walks with Paroppe. She is paying attention, just like she said. Is she doing a good job? She needs to know.
"Why are you looking at me like that?" Lera looks back at the ground. "The ground…? Seriously! Do you want me to praise you for looking at the ground?" She jumped up and down happily. "Lera I want to help you, but why are you doing this?"
Lera was confused. Was it because she jumped? Paroppe's frown was making Lera sad. She did something wrong, but she doesn't know why. Being sad hurts. That is bad, but she doesn't know what to do.
"Don't be sad Lera. Everything is fine. Look!" Paroppe was smiling, so Lera was happy again. "At least you're easy to please."
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