The Legend of Saga Chapter 3: Oncoming Blizzard


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When we pulled up to the apartment building, I stepped out into the gelid night air. "Have a good night," I said to the cab driver before I closed the door. He didn't spare a glance in my direction and drove away. I checked the time on my phone: 8:49 p.m. I breathed out a sigh of relief. I wasn't too late tonight. I climbed up the flights of stairs to get to our apartment. I unlocked the door as silently as possible, hoping that I wouldn't wake Evander up if he was already asleep. I pushed open the door open to hear giggling and whispers.

Next to Evander on the floor of the living room was a young boy with dark, fluffy hair and a school uniform on. This must've been the friend that Evander had mentioned over the phone, but he was still here? That means he had been here since school got out nearly six hours ago! His parents must be freaking out by now! Oh, this is so not good.

I leaned against the couch for a minute before Evander finally looked up from the board game. His basil coloured eyes lit up when they locked with my soot coloured ones. "Mommy, you're home!" He bounced up, sprinting to my side. His arms wrapped around my waist and he nuzzled his face into my stomach. The other child also looked towards me, his brown eyes frighteningly cold. I gave a warm smile back, nevertheless, and waved. Evander broke away from me in realisation, eyes wide in excitement.

"Mommy, this is Luca! He's my new friend and is really, really nice! Come and meet him!" He dragged me over by my wrist and come to a stop in front of his friend. I stuck my hand out to him. "Nice to meet you, Luca. I trust that you have been good to my baby, right?" I probed, still a little suspicious of this new child. Evander didn't have very many "friends" at his school. Stuck-up brats.

Luca gave a small smile at my overt protectiveness and put his hand in mine. "Don't worry, I have. We've been talking and playing Monopoly for a while. Your cooking is great, by the way." He said. I was oddly touched. Then I paused. "Wait, you were able to teach Ev, the child who has no idea what a dollar is, how to play Monopoly?" I said incredulously.

He laughed lightly at my expression. "Well, there's a reason I've been here for over five hours." That snapped me back to reality. "Speaking of that, we reeeally need to get you home. I bet your parents are worried sick!" His face soured at that. "Don't worry, he isn't. I'll call my butler and have him take me home. Thank you for allowing me over though. It was a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Clarielle." He bowed like a little gentleman and I could feel my heart melting. "It was a pleasure meeting you too, Luca."

He then pulled out his phone and dialled a number. A few seconds later, I could hear a sound coming from the closet in the hallway. No way is someone in- The door opened and out stepped a teenager no older than 17 in a suit holding a ringing phone. I stood there with my mouth hanging open while Evander clapped, chanting "Magic! Magic!" over and over again. He bowed towards Luca and said, "Young Master, I will call the driver to take us home." He called a number as well, and I half-expected someone to come out of the bathroom. Luckily, nothing happened and I was told that it would be around twenty minutes before he would be here.

The teenager peered at me from the corner of his eyes, but quickly looked away when I caught him. I looked towards Evander, then felt his eyes on me again. I whipped my head around and he averted his eyes to the ceiling, whistling a tuneless song. Twenty minutes couldn't pass fast enough.

A 'ding' came from the butler's phone, and both him and Luca got up. Evander raced over to Luca and trapped him in a bear hug, much to the latter's chagrin. "I'll see you on Monday, Luca! Thank you for being my friend!" Evander said. I cradled my cheek in my hand, watching them. "Come over again soon, Luca!" He nodded at me. The butler-master duo left and the atmosphere returned to normal.

"Alright, Ev. If you've already eaten, it's time for you to go to bed. I'll tuck you in." While Evander changed into his pajamas, I picked out a story from the shelf. I sat on the side of the bed, pulling up the covers around Evander when he laid down. I opened it up to the first page and started reading.

"Once upon a time, there was a young girl with a very young brother. Their parents had sadly died early on in their life, leaving the older sister to care for her brother. They scraped by, her being a maid at the castle. One day, the younger brother bumped into a prince by accident. Both boys were the same age and quickly hit it off. The father of the prince, the king of the castle, had also experienced a tragedy like the young girl. His wife died soon after childbirth, leaving the king to raise his son all on his own. This caused the two to drift apart. But suddenly one day, the prince and his friend had been kidnapped!

The young girl and the king panicked, both going in search of the two. The king arrived to find that the young girl had saved her brother and his son all on his own! He immediately fell in love with her and married her the day after. The two young boys rejoiced because they had become brothers! Everyone lived in harmony and the kingdom lived on."

I closed the book, checking to see if Evander was asleep. He was out cold. I stood up and exited the room. I went into the kitchen, opened up the trash can, and threw the book right in. "Who the hell even wrote that? Hope they get nothing in royalties because that sucked." Then I turned the lights off and headed into bed.

_(┐「ε:)_♡ And a skip~

On a certain playground in downtown Aureolin…

"You better stop talking to that poor kid, Luca, or I'm going to make sure no one ever talks to you again," Freya said to Luca, looking down her nose at him despite the fact that he was at least two inches taller than her. It was an awkward sight to see a child's head tilted back so much. Freya was steaming, unsure if she was mad at Luca or jealous of Evander. Her face was scrunched up into an ugly pout, causing Luca to wince and turn away.

He clicked his tongue in distaste. "Please do so. It's enough to have a brat like you bugging me all the time, so I would rather you call back the rest of your cronies. It's tiring." With that, Luca walked back to the corner of the courtyard where a small boy with bright blonde hair was sitting with his knees pressed to his chest. "Evander." The child looked up with joyous eyes and gave a wide grin. "You remember me…"

Luca took a seat next to him on the cold cement. He took a glance at all the playground equipment filled with snooty kids who wouldn't even let Evander go within five feet of them. "Of course I remember you. It's only been a weekend since I last saw you. I don't have dementia." He snarked. Evander turned his head towards Luca in confusion. "What's dementia?" The other boy just said "nevermind" and curled up into a fetal position as well.

They sat in silence for a bit in the winter chill until Evander broke it with a question. "Hey, do you want to go somewhere cool after school today? I know a really cool spot that no one else goes to. It's my secret hideout!" Luca smiled bemusedly, quirking an eyebrow. "Oh? And where exactly is it?" Evander shook his head violently, causing some of the playing children to stare at him weirdly. "I can't tell you here!" Then, lowering his voice he said, "There are too many people listening. You'll just have to follow me. We can meet by the back gates and I'll take you there. You can come, right?"

In truth, Luca actually had something important to do that afternoon. However, looking at Evander's hopeful expression, he just nodded and started formulating a plan to get past his butler.

_(┐「ε:)_♡ And a skip~

The late afternoon sun dangled in the grey sky, sparing no heat to the freezing souls below. I was one of the ones walking under it, one of those being pelted by the heavy snow that had suddenly appeared a few hours ago. I was so not ready for this today. This hoodie is too light for this… I pulled my hood up as far as it would go and started race-walking home.

My phone then vibrated in my jacket pocket, an unfamiliar number showing up on the screen. I hesitated for a moment before answering. "Hello?" I asked. There was an uncomfortable silence from the other end in response. I was just about to hang up when someone spoke. "Is this Blair Clarielle?" They asked.

"Yes, who is this?" The person replied almost instantly. "I'm calling about my son. His name is Luca, I believe you've met him." Oh, so this is Luca's father? He sounds rather young to be a parent, but I can't judge. After all, I could say the same about me. "What about him?" I said.

"Well, I believe that your son has kidnapped my son and taken him to an unknown location. I was hoping you'd know where they went." I coughed violently. "My son?! Evander would never do anything of the sort. He probably just took him back to the apartment like last Friday." It was his turn to be surprised. "Luca wasn't at home last Friday? Dmitri never told me that… Anyways, I was told that Luca was being taken by your son to his secret base. Do you know where that is? If so, could you please tell me so I can pick my son up? We have an important event to attend and we're already late."

A secret base…? Oh, he probably means the riverside. Evander and I have been going there since he was born. "They're most likely going to be by the Saffron River. More specifically, the part across from the steakhouse. I'm not too far from it right now, so I'll be going ahead." I hung up without waiting for him to say anything. Honestly, I don't care about what Evander did. It's more of the fact that I don't want Luca's father to kill me based on this because while his voice was cold, there was an undertone of panic. Poor kid, he's probably not used to his son doing anything like this.

The streets were hardly crowded. Most people had sought refuge as soon as the snow started, but those idiot kids just had to go down to the river. What if one of them fell in…? That thought alone made me start to run. Now is not the time to start rebelling Evander! In my worry, I had completely forgotten that I could just call him. I realised that later in the hospital bed, but by then it was too late.

Soon the familiar sign of the steakhouse appeared through the gloom of the clouds and snow pelting the ground. All was quiet except for the rushing of the Saffron River and the light jazz coming from the restaurant. I shuffled down the hill, careful not to slip. The silhouettes of Evander and Luca became more apparent the closer I got. They were chatting happily until my grumpy voice resounded in the area around us. "You guys are in so much trouble!"

I threw my bag on the hillside before grabbing both of them by the wrists, adamant about taking them to the safety upstream. Afterall, the riverbank itself was only raised concrete from the recent development around here. Ice could form and they could slip! My mother bear instincts were going wild as I analysed all the possible dangers like I was a robot. The actively resisted, whining and pulling away from me. Their whines grew louder and louder as I pulled harder and harder. Finally, I snapped. "That's it! I'm going to-" But in the next moment, all I saw and felt was the cold water around me. Well sh*t, this was not how I had planned to spend my night.
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