대현아 일어나. 여기서 나가야 해. 지금이다. (Daehyun-ah, wake up. You have to go. Now.)

대현아 일어나. 넌 여기서 나가야겠어. (Daehyun-ah, get up. You need to get out of here.)

악속해, 첫 기회만 얻으면 도망가라고. (Promise me, you'll flee the first chance you get.)

A 15 year old Daehyun only nodded in response to what his mother had requested him to do. Did he know a few months later he would risk his own identity exposure to the rest of his Initia tribe? No. Did he know in that exact moment that one day he will endanger his own beloved mother's life? The mother that had nurtured him since forever long ago? No. Was he aware that he was going to cause problems in the future? No. Daehyun grew up to be a quiet child. He's always attentive and preferred to sit by the sidelines. He wasn't reckless. Not usually. But did he know that one day will come when he will have to accept who he was? Yes.

He's been awake since the beginning. He couldn't get any sleep in his system. Hell, he couldn't even do much as to wander off in his wonder dream land for a brief few seconds of closing his eyes without getting hit by the lightning bolt of memories. So many years could pass and Daehyun will never be able to forget his first kill. It wasn't a direct approach but despite the indirectness, it was still his fault. Very much his fault. He had a picture of his mother tucked in his photo frame that was placed in his new room as soon as they moved recently to Evermore, the rumored place that was dubbed the supernatural haven for all. The very foundation and idea of the city fascinated him and whilst he was still apprehensive to go along with it, he told himself he swore an allegiance to Anivia, who ended the tyranny and reign of terror of Coldren Frostbourne. A man he thought to be his friend. A man he saw as a father figure. 

The man who took him in when he and his sister had nothing to offer. 

A man he will always respect and admire. 

He found it ironic how even in death, Coldren still haunted his memories, much like his parents. The people he's left behind hasn't left him. Slightly ruffling his light colored hair, he stared at the comfortable bed sheets that he has yet to make use of considering the lack of sleep he's been getting. "Get a hold of yourself, Dae. Sleep is the least of your concern." The young Niveis remembered how he's always had a small amount of sleep even from his childhood days. It was a problem he hasn't been able to shook off, unfortunately. His groggy state didn't match his appearance. Daehyun pushed himself off the bed and rinsed his face with the cold water a few times before leaning against the wall. If he had nothing to gain information over, he usually had nothing else to do. 

After wiping his face with the towel by the sink, he wrapped himself in an outerwear before making his way downstairs. He's too used to being alone that he had almost become an expert at blending in the shadows without anyone else noticing. Tucking both his hands in the coat's pocket, he decided to venture into the city square. Surely, there was something to look forward to. Most of his friends were slain in the civil war against their former chief and the small portion of them that was still alive were mostly those who sided with Coldren. As he walked down the pavement, he inhaled in the fresh air of the wintery night as his eyes gazed upon the piles of snow everywhere. The best weather suited for them Niveis. 

He eventually spent his time walking around the town square until he stumbled upon a shop that caught his eye. Something about the shop just really hits him. He has never been to a pawnshop, but then again when directing his life, the male has never set foot anywhere else that was not home. Pushing the entrance door ajar, he entered the shop and let his eyes wander around. That was of course, before noticing the all too familiar face of the person sitting at the counter. A face that he found quite hard to forget considering the friendship he had with a few before. 

Kaldre Frostbourne.

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Kal couldn’t stop the laugh that escaped his lips in response to the male mentioned this Rhydian guy once again, it sounded like there was a real issue between the two of them for Daehyun to keep bringing him up, after all Dae wasn’t really the confrontational type for the most part so the guy must really get on his nerves for him to keep mentioning it “You really have it in for this guy huh?” he raised his brows curiously, he supposed everyone just had those people they couldn’t stand, though if he was Via’s second then he imagined Daehyun didn’t have the luxury of just avoiding him. Kal couldn’t really judge the guy given that he never met him but first impressions mattered and all.

Kal had to admit he liked this side of Daehyun, the two of them had never really had the opportunity to be close back on Unyak, mostly thanks to the younger Niveis being so caught up in the drama his own family caused to ever really branch out. Kal knew if he had made more of an effort to know his community then perhaps his views on Niveis society as a whole would be different. But for the most part he had been too self wrapped up to really lend an ear to the people around him, that was where his sister shone, she had always thought about others around her. “I missed having someone to talk to, that’s for sure” that was the best he was going to get, Kal wasn’t the sentimental type after all.

The niveis had to wonder what the tribe looked like now though, when he left they were a broken shell just beginning to rebuild, to figure out where their future was and now, hearing all these names he had never even heard of he realized that quite literally nothing was the same anymore. That probably wasn’t a bad thing considering that they had just gotten over a civil war and toppled what was essentially a dictatorship. He was mostly glad to know that Via had remained true to herself thus far, that she had searched for a better future for them all. “I almost feel like I’m now a stranger to my own people” he admitted, biting down gently on his bottom lip. Perhaps that was for the better too, all things considered.

It was strange, how he could quite literally grow up knowing someone and yet see them years down the line and feel like he never really knew them at all, Daehyun had always been a quiet member of the tribe but he was a loyal as they came and his father tried to keep him close “I’m not sure I’m ready to be a part of all of that again, just kinda goes against everything I believe in at this point” there was always gonna be a part of him that opposed the very idea of a chief, that couldn’t accept the fact that anyone had the power to take people’s choices away from them, whether they used it or not was irrelevant “I love her, I do” he attested that without a doubt “But being a leader comes with responsibilities even she can’t avoid forever” and that was why he couldn’t stay back then, to watch it happen.

Kal found it really easy to tease the elder Niveis who seemed to fall for his jabs easily, he laughed softly shaking his head as the other male took the bait “Believe me I know, I don’t think you’d last a day in a job that meant you had to talk to people constantly” he chuckled tilting his head a little, his shop was pretty quiet, most people came in, bought or sold something and left, he didn’t really have to hold long or deep conversations with most and he was okay with that. Sometimes it was nice to be a nobody, no one relying on you or expecting you to do one thing or another.

“I’ll come and visit sometime” he spoke it more so that he couldn’t back out on it “Via deserves an explanation, all of them do really” he admitted with a knowing nod. He still didn’t know exactly what he was gonna say and half expected Via to chase him off the mountain but the wiser Niveis had inspired him “Keep the snow globe” he offered with a half smile “It reminded me of those I left behind but I don’t really need a reminder any more” he chuckled softly as his eyes dropped back down to the newspaper in front of him and he let out a gentle sigh.

Would Daehyun admit it made him feel incredibly great that he was able to drag the laugh Kaldre Frostbourne himself lets out earlier? Yes. It was rare to see him even do anything that was remotely closer to making people smile, much less laugh. His time away with his sister has made the elder Niveis grow number as the century passes. But whilst it was a small stint to his charming self, it didn’t diminish altogether as it seems that he was bringing it out and about during his session with Kal. Perhaps, he only thought it was gone. Daehyun wasted no time in expressing his annoyance on Rhydian Snow, because even to Anivia, he’s complained about the right hand countless times. Complaining and whining about the male to Kaldre shouldn’t be a weird occurrence, at all.

“Yes, I really do have it out for this guy. He makes it so easy for me to fume. Can you believe I had to remind myself I’m no longer a phoenix and that I wasn’t supposed to let fire kindle the roots in me as the cold was supposed to. I know you’re not one to judge people so easily, Kal. But I can promise you, he’ll have a way to get to you once you both have met. Believe me. Also he’s hard to shake off. It’s only a shame he wasn’t able to remain frozen for longer than a minute or two. Maybe I should perfect these abilities a little bit more, no?” He asked, promptly asking the male if he should do exactly what he thought of doing. Freezing Rhydian wouldn’t be the first time he’s done so. He was glad, however, that he was given the chance to train that guy. At least a few hits here and there gave Daehyun the satisfaction he never thought he’d gain.

While seeing where and how their conversation is taking up the road, he noticed how he was given more amount of pride seeing as he was able to make the youngest Frostbourne smile again. It wasn’t an easy feat, he knew that. Especially when it comes from Daehyun Stormwind, who lived up to his name, being known infamously for his coldness. How has he not befriended Kaldre some time back then? He had plenty of time to do that. A century’s worth. Right, it was because of his tyrannical mad father; the person Daehyun looked up to and probably still would had he not succumbed to his crazy ways. “Sure you do. Sometimes, you need to talk. So you’ll stay sane. That’s why I talk to animals. There’s not really an sufficient amount of people I can actually converse or interact with, in the tribe. Other than your stubborn hard-headed sister, maybe. But she’s often busy.”

Throughout their years together, Daehyun’s kept himself a quiet soldier, always executing and carrying out the orders given to him without much thought. If he didn’t have the idea of humanity embedded inside him, it he didn’t have his sister to keep his ideals sane, most were sure he would’ve ended up being a deadly one. At least, he still retained his morals. He saw the difference in Anivia and Kaldre. He even began to piece it one by one and see how things went wrong and how they would be able to mend their relationship again. He hated to see such a good sibling hood go to waste. It was a strength both Frostbournes needed to make the best use of.

“You’re right, there are some things she can’t avoid forever. But when that time comes, it’s important to have people you trust and care for, near you. So far, everything is gradually getting better. We were able to get new members to join our community, especially those who’s only been a Niveis by a mere coincidence, and has yet to fully understand who they were. Our tribe was broken by Coldren, but now it’s back up again. We managed to glue the parts that cracked. It took some time, but if we could do that, why can’t you? I know being part of the community is not what you want, but if you delve deeper inside you, you must find that small sense of wanting to belong. We didn’t have the best time growing up, Kal. You and me both. But let’s not let that hinder this current progression.” He cared greatly for both royalty of the tribe, and wished for nothing more but the reconciliation to commence.

If he had to be by the sidelines and help the male, so be it. He was willing to do so. “Your father took that sibling bond away from you. Don’t let him win, even in his death.” He added, his tone dropping an octave lower, making his voice a little bit huskier than usual. “Being a nobody might seem the best option. You’re entitled to freedom. Sure. But it gets tedious eventually, and in the end, you’ll find yourself raking at yourself asking what’s your purpose. That’s what I experienced in my childhood. Suppressing all my phoenix abilities perfectly until one day, my whole life crumbled down because I just had to play the role of big brother. But at least it gave me an insight about what I am going to do next, even if it’s not much. It’s enough to keep me going. You’re wise for your age, smart too, Kal. I wish you would not let it go to waste.” When Kal told him to keep the snowglobe, he chuckled and shook it a few times as his hues followed the trickles of snowflakes falling. “And you said you weren’t a sentimentalist.”

Kal guessed he wasn’t the cheeriest of people, he tended to be pretty solemn, lost in the woes of the world, perhaps he was even pretty boring considering his idea of fun was either writing in his journals or curling up and reading a good book with a glass of whiskey. He wrinkled his nose realizing he had the mentality of an old man who just wanted to be alone all the time. Not that the other niveis was much better, Kal wasn’t sure he could recall a time when he’d seen Daehyun truly having fun, most of the time he looked a lot like he was annoyed at the world in general, which Kal could hardly blame him for.

The dark haired Niveis furrowed his brow as he listened to the way Dae spoke about Rhydian, he had to admit that he’d never really see Daehyun so passionate in his opinion on a person except perhaps the thoughts he had on Kal’s father. But then everyone’s opinions on Coldren were deep rooted and personal, by the end his father had lost the very children he raised. He hated the man for what he had done to their tribe and to the man he loved. Every time he pictured him he felt sick to his stomach and that in turn made Kal feel like everything he had ever known had been a lie. “I’ve never met the guy but the picture you’re painting isn’t pretty” he commented, wrinkling his nose a little, Via knew what she was doing right?

When Daehyun mentioned talking to animals Kal’s mind drifted to the neighbor’s cat which seemed to keep visiting him, showing up in his apartment in the evenings and curling up beside him on the couch, at first he had tried to encourage it to go home but eventually he’d given up trying to make the cat do anything, he chuckled softly “How ironic” he commented thinking about how sometimes he talked to it, it didn’t seem to give a damn what he said but sometimes it was nice to just say whatever his mind was spilling over “Guess I’m not crazy for talking to a cat after all” he reached up to rub his temples for a few seconds “Via’s never been one for saying much, she’s an action rather than words kinda person” or at least she always used to be anyway, 40 years could have changed her drastically.

Kal hadn’t been able to reconcile with the idea of his sister being the new chief, he wasn’t sure he would ever be able to truly support it, regardless of how many years past or what example she showed. He’d thought his father was a fair and just leader at one time but he’d watched the man deteriorate over his obsessions with his people, slowly crack under the pressure of whatever was pressing on his mind until he didn’t recognize his own children anymore. “Everything I touch breaks” he stated more honestly than he was intending before parting his lips and pressing them together and there was the real reason he left, he didn’t see has involvement as anything more than a danger to all of them, every decision he made seemed to lead to someone getting hurt.

And that was why he had to stay away, he knew they all did better without him, without his strong opinions on what a chief should and shouldn’t be. He didn’t want to influence her, he wanted her to carve her own path and perhaps in the process she would feel like he let her down but at least she was alive. In the meantime Kal had done some real searching on the person he wanted to be, he’d found happiness in the little things in life, like studying rare and interesting things that were brought to his shop. By helping to return things to their true owners, to learning things he didn’t even know you could learn. “The way I help Via is by not being an influence on the leader she is, I want no part in running a tribe, Dae, I never did” and he knew that people had been looking to him to fill that role. One he knew he couldn’t mentally handle at that time.

He sighed, he knew how that sounded but it was where he stood, even when the two of them were reunited he didn’t intend on staying on the mountains with them, he had a life now, he had people who worked at the shop and relied on him, he had friends, not many but a few. He knew what he said was disappointing to the other male but he just wasn’t there yet and he wasn’t sure if he ever would be. He watched as Daehyun studied the snowglobe commenting about Kal’s sentiment and the younger Niveis shrugged “We all have our moments” he explained, running his tongue over his bottom lip as he spoke.

By the way things were going when Daehyun heard every single word that comes out of Kaldre's mouth, he was left to sigh heavily as he thought it would work; the attempts on trying to bring him back to the tribe, to his family. But the more he lend his ear to the younger Niveis, the more he understood why the youngest Frostbourne didn't want to return. If he was given the chance to flee 40 years ago, he was sure he would’ve taken the offer as fast as he could. But he had more to lose by going away, rather than gaining them. He might gain new experiences in the new world, but he would’ve also lost his sister. It was bad enough that he wasn’t even able to directly come face to face with her despite living in the same corner, so was he able to visit her a few times in the month if he was away from Evermore to God knows where?

Now that he’s had time thinking about things, instead of letting all his worries and woes burden his shoulder like the weight they were, he had a small insight to how things would have been like. Daehyun didn’t have any hobbies, maybe sharpening his blades and training by himself, but that’s hardly a hobby, no? It was something he told himself was a hobby, just so he wouldn’t feel sorry for himself. Such a sad reality he’s living in. But Kal was right on one thing, the elder Stormwind rarely expressed anything so outrightly on the spot. It just wasn’t him, to begin with. Being a master at concealing one’s emotions, Daehyun wasn’t a big fan on the concept of it.

But, while he’s struggling to find real sense in what he’s doing these days, he did wish to see Kal reunite with his tribe again. Especially his sister, Anivia. The poor woman had quite the burden on her and he knew she needed someone to vent to. Not necessarily in that order or through anger, but Kal’s quite wise. He was sure that he would’ve made the best advisor they could possibly have. Anyone that could replace Rhydian honestly. The guy doesn’t use his head most of the time to get a grip on the sense of logicality, most of the time. “Sometimes, I think you think too lowly of yourself, Kal. Don’t get me wrong, humility’s all good. But there’s always the time for it.” Upon hearing his brief comment on how the bright haired Niveis has been describing the right hand, he shrugged. “Like I said, guy’s good at his job. But that’s pretty much about it. Just that. He hasn’t displayed any traits that could possibly make me like him. Respect and mutual likeness, are two different things.”

Despite being only a few decades older than both Anivia and Kaldre, he did tend to look over them like how a brother would do so. He suspected it had something to do with his attachment to Coldren, once upon a time ago. “She’s a doer, yeah. She still is. But sometimes, while it is true that actions speak louder than words, you need to use the words. Not everything calls for an action, after all. Diplomatic reasons too.” Scrunching his nose up at the mere mention of it, he dismissed every other thought that accompanied it. “Which is a troublesome thing, because Snowman’s not much for his words like his actions too. Maybe Caspian’s better on that part. Maybe. See when I told you that there’s no actual good reliable people on and around to help the progress?” At this point, he wasn’t sure if it was just him being bitter about a lot of things.

“I’m pretty sure we could make a club to talking to cats. They seemed to understand us better, and definitely emits a finer response while hearing. There’s just not many beings that’s really tolerable to talk to.” Even if Daehyun wasn’t able to persuade Kal into rejoining their current tribe, at least he was able to keep him company. He wasn’t kidding when he said he’d look over them. Better to keep him occupied, after all. “It’s okay if you don’t want to rejoin the group, Kal. No pressure. I’m just glad one of you had the chance to find what you really wanted. But come visit me up my cabin sometimes, eh? Don’t worry, no one really ventured the west side, since they said it’s rather steep and dangerous. Although I’m sure that’s just them saying they don’t want to encounter me on my bad days. But unless you wanna find your luck with your hiking skills, you’re gonna have to get used to flying. Let me know if you want to practice any of your skills, whether it’s flying, icing or fighting. Anything. I’d be glad to come down to help, it’s not like I could do much being cooped up there.” He then got up and placed a reassuring hold on his shoulder, as he offered a small smile.

However, before he left, he halted on his steps before curving a feather-like shape from the water in the glass, before offering it to the male. “You gave me the snow globe, only fair if I give you a little something, even if it’s not much.” He gave him a slight wave as he exited the pawnshop, knowing well he’s going to venture them occasionally annoy the Niveis.

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