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Book 8, Chapter 47 - The Search

 Skycloud - once embroiled in chaos and destroyed by strife - had returned to its original splendor.

Sprawling and beautiful, its capital city was full of vibrant activity as far as the eye could see. All markers of the calamity it suffered were gone like a bad dream.

After Sumeru's defeat the horrors of their struggle were now nothing more than a memory. That distant dominator would never again respond to the acts of man and the age of the divine had come to a close. But faith was not something that vanished overnight. It would take time for the people of the Elysian realms to get used to this new reality.

Dawn and Selene were home again. Before long they came upon the familiar Polaris family mansion, guarded by members of the family. They didn't remember what happened, to them it was all some fantastic dream that was slowly fading away just like everyone else.

"Dawn!" A burly lion of a man shouted and stormed into the room.

Dawn's eyes immediately became red and moist when she saw him. She couldn't hold back her tears and threw herself into his strong arms. "Grandpa. I thought I'd never see you again!"

Skye Polaris was as confused as the rest of humanity. He vaguely remembered being killed like it was a nightmare, but then one day he woke up safe and sound in his bed. "Dawn, you've changed."

"OF course," she answered. "I'm awesome. I bet I can even beat you!"

"Hahaha!" Skye's bellowing laughter shook the walls. "This girl and her damned mouth. Well, time for your grandpa to put you in your place!"

"Bring it on then! Let's see who's afraid of who when we're done!"

**

The Governor's Mansion.

Arcturus. Baldur. Sterling. Skycloud's three masters sat together in the grand hall.

Arcturus was wrapped in his typical gray robes, handsome and easy-going with shocks of white slowly taking over his temples. He had a warm and inviting presence, like an old teacher. Baldur sat to one side in snow-white garb, the most heroic looking of the three. He was in the tail end of his middle years but his face was still handsome and aloof. The faint air of experience around him would easily charm the ladies wherever he went. And finally Sterling, still in his red robes and with his crosier loosely gripped in one hand, sat with them. His brows were slightly furrowed and his face was serious, but there was also compassion like an old priest worried for the soul of the planet.

Three men, three brothers. They'd forgotten much but remembered plenty. An awkward air hung in between them. So different were their natures and standpoints that conflict seemed inevitable.

A young girl threw open the doors and walked inside. "Father!"

Baldur's eyes turned to the girl and gleamed with excitement, but under the circumstances he had to keep his emotions in check. So he made a show of nodding his welcome. "I heard you were back. We've been waiting for you, sit."

She complied. Here among Sterling and Arcturus she felt stiff and uncomfortable.

"The war with Sumeru is done. The forgotten godslayer has defeated the God King." It was Arcturus who spoke first. "I heard you took part, even fought with the hero side by side."

Selene replied. "I believe I was very close to the godslayer, he... he was very important to me. But I can't remember anything about him. What he looked like, or even his name. It's... strange."

The three men shared a silent glance. It seemed that despite participating in this crucial battle, Selene's memories were also incomplete. All in all this widespread amnesia was unheard of.

When Arcturus spoke again it was half to himself. "Who has the power to single-handedly alter the memories of a whole planet in one fell swoop?"

"It's impossible, no matter how strong one is," Sterling answered. "It's more a cover-up. Concealing something at the most base level. No one can remember any details about the godslayer. Maybe it truly is a curse from Sumeru."

"Perhaps it's meant to conceal," Baldur stated. "Or, perhaps it's meant to protect."

Arcturus considered this for a moment, nodding sagely. "You mean to say that knowledge of this man may be dangerous. Remembering him might bring us misfortune?"

"Perhaps. As it stands all we can do is guess."

"I don't care about the reason. I will find him!" Selene shot to her feet with a fire in her eyes. "Ten years, twenty, a century - it doesn't matter! As long as I'm alive I will never give up the search. I will find him!"

The three men felt Selene's determination fill the chamber, stifling the air. The young Cloude daughter was stronger even than Arcturus, the most talented member of their family to have ever lived. All the changes - in her and everything - was likely because of this collectively-forgotten past.

Obviously she had spent a long time by the godslayer's side. They may have even been more than comrades. The three brothers were quiet. While they did not know what knowledge of the godslayer might bring, they knew they had neither the power or right to stand in Selene's way.

Day turned to night. Dawn and Selene met once again.

Dawn said to her, "Grandpa and I sparred. He's no match for me anymore. He offered me the post of Commander-General. I can't say I'm thrilled with the idea... but I think I'm going to accept."

"Why?"

"As Commander-General I'll have more resources I can put toward searching for him. Leading Skycloud's army is about as interesting as mud, but I can delegate most things. I met this fat man named Hammont, he seems capable enough to handle matters. What about you?"

Selene seemed lost. When she spoke her voice was soft. "I'm going to look for him."

"Where?"

"I don't know. I don't have a destination. Or... the destination is wherever he is." There was a hardness in her eyes. "I'll spend the rest of my life traveling, hoping for a sign."

Dawn was quiet for a little while. "So this is goodbye?"

Selene nodded. "Yeah."

"Will we see each other again?"

"Perhaps."

Dawn wasn't sure what to say. She wasn't going to try and change her mind, they were both on the same mission. But the way they chose to go about it was different. Maybe they would never find him, and that would mean a big part of the meaning of their lives would be gone. So they decided to use what remained of their lives to find that piece.

Not just them, either. There were many out in the world with different motivations, searching for the godslayer. He held the key to the greatest mystery in the history of their world.

But where had he gone?

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