Garin stared at the sky, watchful for Solus’ arrival. I looked at him and despite the wisdom of ages coursing through his mind he could not help the urge to have childlike fun. “Go on”, I said. He wanted to fly off, drop and then catch the air in his wings. His own enjoyment washed over me like a spring breeze. It was refreshing to see such light. Solus saw him in the distance and joined for a little while. Like a mother and child, they made me wonder if Solus influenced Garin’s form. They spent a few minutes up there while I toiled away with some magical energy. Solus had already given me a way to start up the portal that would take me back to Earth. When they finally came down both of them were happy to have flown around so freely. “Such freedom is an immeasurable gift, I am glad I get to accompany you Jake”, Garin said, his wisdom often stunned me for only having been born a short while ago.
With Solus’ power aiding us we built a proper gateway that could be used to more easily establish portals. Not only would these be used to travel to Alfarand, but it could also be set up to open a portal to Earth. After a supply caravan passed through on their return from Alfarand, Solus and I prepared the portal. While we channeled our energy into it, Solus taught Garin the necessary knowledge to travel in such a way. In a few minutes the portal was ready and we stepped through. Solus stayed behind to continue her work.
We emerged from a bright light, in the middle of a road. After getting my bearings I noticed it was early morning. I looked around slowly, taking in the scene. In a short moment I recognized everything around me. It felt odd being here, right in front of my house. I figured maybe a day had passed since Garalith had taken me to Argumand. When I entered home dad was there in the kitchen, preparing a sandwich no less. He looked at me and said, “well, it certainly has been a while. How are things in Argumand?”. I’ll be honest, I felt kind of angry because he had kept most of his power and the existence of that world a secret for so long. “Really? That’s how you decide to greet me? How about explaining everything?”, I replied. “Look, there was no easy way to explain everything about that world and our magic”, then he noticed I wasn’t with Garalith, “Wait, Garalith passed?”. He looked sad, but recovered fairly quickly, “hmm, I see you have a new companion. By the way, I had to clean up the mess Garalith left behind”. Mess? I looked at Garin, then back at dad, “What mess? What do you mean?”. In all this time I believed only a day passed between the time I was taken by Garalith and my return, the truth however, hit me like a truck. “It’s been three years Jake. I used my magic to rearrange the memories of a lot of people. I made them forget about Garalith, the incident at college and I had to make them forget about you. People would start to ask about you and it caused quite a stir here. You lost your grant at college. Everyone was suspicious so I had to take action. I knew Garalith would take you to Argumand. Every wizard with a guardian has to fight in the war”, dad explained. Meanwhile I was rather stunned. Part of me felt I had to continue the life I had, despite not really wanting it anymore. After all the experience I gathered it would have been very difficult to return to such a limited existence. I then said, “So my life here is over. I didn’t really come back for it though. I came back for you, to tell you my home is in Argumand”. “Jake, I should have returned to Argumand a long time ago. As I told you before, meeting your mother changed everything. When she passed away I was heartbroken. There was nothing that could make me return to a war torn, dying world”, he looked down and then back up to me. I explained what had happened in the time I spent in Argumand and Alfarand. The people I met, Solus and the other guardians. “I’m proud of you Jake. You accomplished things generations of us only dreamed. To think all we needed was to see Alfarand with our own eyes, to acknowledge that its demise would also mean our own”, dad said. He looked at Garin and spoke to him for a bit. Garin introduced himself. At this point dad explained that he had severed his link to Garalith, thinking it would save me from being taken into the war. What he didn’t expect was that this mystical link was passed down to me at that moment. He had argued with Garalith many times. The day Garalith came for me was the day the link was broken. “I really don’t know if I should return to Argumand, Jake. I made my life here, despite the difficulties of living in this mostly magic-less world. Do what you feel is best for you and your guardian”, he said. Dad was understanding. He knew that nothing could keep me there. I could learn so many more things and have such incredible freedom in Argumand. Then I realized, “Will you be alright here? You’d be alone without the same freedom we have in Argumand. Are you sure you want to stay?”. He replied, “I guess, the one thing that would take me from here is you. You’re right. For whatever reason I thought my future would be here, but after learning how things are going there perhaps it’s time I returned”. “Tell you what, let’s take time to live there and see how it goes. If at some point you don’t like it you could simply come back. With our magic there really isn’t much that is out of reach”, he was appreciative of my offer but he knew that if he left he wouldn’t return. Despite the friendships he gained in his time on Earth there was nothing compared to living alongside guardians and wizards. Sure, Argumand has none of the technological advancements of Earth, but surely in due time we could come up with even better stuff. “Then it’s settled. When do we leave?”, I asked, knowing well that dad would want to leave things in the right order. “It’ll take me a few days, stay with me until then and we can leave together. And Jake, I’m sorry for not telling you about Argumand sooner. Once we’ve returned I can share some of my stories with you. Garalith was stalwart, but he could be mischievous sometimes”, I smiled and then walked to my old room on the second floor.
After a few days we bid farewell to Earth. My home in Liriath now had a new room. Dad was quick to make new friends and even reunited with old ones. His magic was also impressive. Together we traveled to different places in both Argumand and Alfarand. My life changed in such a drastic way. From meeting Garalith to reconnecting with dad after the war. The experiences were sometimes difficult to manage, but I never lost hope. I feel that it was that hope that led me to eventually setting Solus free and ending the war. Now, onto new adventures across these worlds.