The first time Alan Ezros saw Kaira’s mother was at the academy. From a distance, he was smitten by her flowing black hair and dazzling beauty. Her fierce personality and love for combat deterred the other men from pursuing her at the academy, but he wasn’t discouraged. He had fallen deeply in love with her. However, she was a top student at the academy while he had just joined. Filled with determination, he worked hard on cultivating so he that he could stand by her side.
After a few years, he was noticed by her and allowed to join her team on missions. They went on hundreds of missions together and overcame countless life and death experiences with each other. Gradually, she began to reciprocate his love and they became a couple. His years of hard work had finally paid off, and he spent the rest of his days at the academy in happiness.
After they graduated, he proposed to her and she accepted. He brought her back to live with him at the Ezros Manor. There, his two sons were born along with his beloved daughter Kaira. When he first held Kaira in his arms, he felt the happiest he had ever felt in his life. However, his wife began to grow restless over the years and longed for the outside world. He tried to dissuade her from venturing out, but was unable to.
When Kaira was five years old, she watched her mother leave on a mission for the Ezros clan. Alongside his daughter, Alan Ezros waited solemnly for his wife’s return. Weeks passed and then months, but she never came back. He was devastated as he watched Kaira stand for days outside the manor gates, waiting for her mother. His heart was torn apart as he told Kaira that her mother wasn’t going to come back.
As he held his crying daughter in his arms, he felt immense grief and guilt. He blamed himself for his wife’s death; he should have prevented her from leaving. It was his fault that his daughter couldn’t ever see her mother again. He promised her that he would make her the happiest girl in the world, bringing a smile to her face. When he saw her smile, he knew that he had a new reason to continue living.
Years passed, and he was promoted to the patriarch of the family. His daughter had grown up to be a beautiful and fierce young woman, the splitting image of her mother. Every time he looked at his daughter, he was reminded of the wonderful times he spent with his wife. She was his source of happiness, his only light in this world. He gave her whatever she asked for, regardless of the cost he had to pay or the things he had to do.
One day, his daughter disappeared while out adventuring. He frantically sent out many people to search for her, but she could not be found. After two years, he began to fear the worse and the all the hair on his head turned white. He thought about joining his wife and daughter in death.
However, one day, Alan received news that his daughter was coming back to the manor. When he saw Kaira’s face in the distance, he began to feel happiness again. He welcomed her back into the manor with open arms. However, he noticed that there man beside her and that she was a holding a baby in her arms. His daughter had fallen for a stranger. Furthermore, the man was very weak and his background was unknown. This caused an uproar within the Ezros family and the family wanted to separate the couple.
His daughter heard the news and went to beg him to let her and the man stay together. Looking at his daughter who was on her knees with tears flowing from her eyes, he couldn’t refuse her plead. He was angry at the man for stealing his daughter away from him and also wanted to separate them, but he couldn’t bear to see her in pain.
Against the wishes of the entire family, he allowed them to stay together in the manor. His decision caused discontent and anger from those in the family, but he didn’t care. He would do anything for his daughter - she was his world. This was what he had vowed to live by, for she was his reason for living.
“...Are you really going to get in my way this time... father?” his daughter's voice rang through his mind.
Yes, he had to. He couldn’t let her sacrifice herself for revenge. He had to protect her from herself.
“I.. have to,” he murmured. Because I love you.
“Fine…” he heard her speak. “So be it…” Her body began to tremble, the air around her fluctuating with energy.
“No!” His daughter was burning away her life force for power. “Stop!” he screamed, but it was too late.
Kaira began to rise in the air, her body engulfed in flames. Her skin turned red along with her eyes, and her aura grew immensely stronger. Behind her, her fire crane spirit shook violently as it grew larger and larger. Kaira was now radiating the power of someone at the heaven realm, on the same level as him.
“I have to stop her!” He no longer hesitated, manifesting his own soul spirit behind him. A blue elemental soul spirit appeared in the air, followed by the cracking of lightning. The elemental spirit had the appearance of a ball with lightning sparking from its body. This was his epic-grade lightning elemental spirit, Volt Cloud. He raised his hands and his elemental spirit flew up into the air, expanding into a thundercloud.
Thunder boomed, followed by the sharp cry of a crane. The giant crane spirit behind Kaira flapped its wings, sending hundreds of flaming feathers towards him. He waved his hand, causing lightning to come down from the thundercloud. The flaming feathers were stopped by the lightning, quickly dissipating into thin air.
Kaira roared even louder, her body turning an even darker shade of red as her power continued to increase. Four pillars of flames appeared around her, each combining to form a giant crane made of flames. Kaira jumped onto the flaming crane as the crane soared up into the sky, before diving down towards him. His face paled as he summoned two golden runic shields in front of him to block the blow. Boom! The shields were shattered and he was knocked down to the ground below along with the princess.
Patriarch Alan looked up and saw that the flaming crane had begun to dive at him once again. Panic filled his eyes; his daughter had become too strong. He had to go all out or else the Ezros Manor would be destroyed along with the princess and himself. This time, he closed his eyes and raised both of his hands. A large blue runic circle with golden words appeared in the air.
“Heaven-ranked Spell: Colossus Thunderclap!”
Two giant hands made of lightning shot out of the runic circle. They came together, clasping the flaming crane in their palms. The crane shrieked in pain as it was crushed by two hands. Kaira was blown off the crane, her body falling down from the air. “Kaira!” Patriarch Alan flew into the air and caught his daughter before her body hit the ground.
His arms trembled as he held her. She was unconscious and devoid of any signs of life. Her skin was a dark red color and veins protruded from her entire body. Her heartbeat was very faint and she was on the verge of death. He felt his heart tear into two. He knew that it was unlikely that she would ever wake up again. “Why?” He murmured, a teardrop falling down his face. “Why did it turn out like this?” He stood there with her in his arms, his face and clothes becoming soaked in the rain.
After a while, he turned and looked at Seon, who was still lying on the ground at his father’s feet. Patriarch Alan’s eyes were filled with anger. It’s all because of him! If Seon didn’t provoke the princess, none of this would have happened. First, it had been Seon’s father that had taken away his daughter from him. Now, it was Seon who caused his daughter to burn her life force.
“Leave.” Patriarch Alan spoke in a chilly voice as he glared at Seon’s father. “Take his body with you and never come back!”
Seon’s father trembled as he looked at the body of his wife.
“I said leave!” This time, Patriarch Alan’s aura flared up, golden strands of energy revolving around him.
Seon’s father clenched his fists as tears appeared at the corners of his eyes. He had no choice, he could only hang on. He bent down and took his son into his arms, before carrying him off into the distance.
“Elders!” Patriarch Alan shouted, his voice spreading through the manor.
Moments later, a bunch of elderly men appeared in the rain. He looked at the faces of the elders of his Ezros family, rage in his eyes. None of them had appeared to stop the situation before it escalated into this. “Cowards!” Energy raged around his body as his aura pressed down onto the elders. The elders trembled in fear, not daring to meet his gaze.
“When the princess wakes up, have Mark escort her back to the capital. I will take all the blame for what has happened today.”
“Patriarch, you can’t-” one of the elders objected.
“No. From today on, I am no longer the patriarch of the Ezros family. My eldest son will take my place when he comes back to the manor…”
The elders looked at one another in shock, before bowing towards him. “We obey!”
Patriarch Alan turned away from them and headed towards the forbidden part of the manor, his daughter in his arms. From now on, he would stay by her side and watch over her. He would wait for her to wake up, no matter how long it took.
“Years ago, I tore out half of my heart by not stopping your mother…”
“Today, I have destroyed the remaining half of my heart by stopping you…”
He looked up at the sky.
It had stopped raining, but water continued to flow from his face.