The snippets Illendi witnessed he was rather impressed by his protégé, with his chores done after dessert he followed Amano outside into the last rays of the setting sun and settled against one of the benches half hidden in the long shadows. He listened quietly to every word that spilled eagerly from Amano’s lips, his eyes holding the liquid gold of the last rays of the sun much longer than any humans ought to, even as the sun itself started to turn crimson, his eyes still held the gold. It would be quite unusual, perhaps disconcerting to most, shrugged off as a trick of the light. It certainly was unusual on his stoic features, which remained unmoving throughout the story.
By the time the excited human had come to the end of his tale the demon was already deep in reflection. It seemed his training was paying off, or at least the boy was using his last few free hours to show his family exactly what he thought of them. It was all the demon could do not to poison the food of all but Amano’s mother. While no true benefit came from killing the humans –and there were by far many worse- it would have made for a much quieter, and thus more pleasant, household if he had. “Not much?” He purred back at his master, “In all your years these people have underestimated you, even your mother. Do you think they do now?” He asked with a curl in his tone like the cat who had got the cream. “You finally showed them what you could have been all this time and they were forced to recognise it. You are going to leave them with that thought, that image of you and return more than even that.”
He took a pause, a moment where his eyes half lidded to allow the feeling around the household to saturate into his very being before opening them again, the sun by now had escaped them and instead a silvery light remained instead. “I’m proud of you.” He finally stated. While the words were warm enough his tone made it hard to tell how deeply they really resonated with him. He stood from his spot and approached the boy, the shadows clinging and grabbing at his legs like love sick puppies, until the light forced them back into their corners. “The hard bit will be the goodbyes. Keep them short, sweet and to the point. Especially with your mother, the love between you two could derail your trip.” He didn’t seem to mean it in a cruel way, but he had seen many brave men turn cowards at the sight of their Mother’s tears. Amano was not a brave man in Illiendi’s books, he was no coward either.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
And so finally it had come, the leaving day, Illiendi had had all the luggage loaded onto a wagon and taken to the docks. He’d finished Amano’s packing himself, making sure the sketching material was well packed for the journey. He’d visited the sister-in-law in order to assure her of their safe journey and that she ought to write, often if she could. He’d gifted her a bird who could ‘find them to deliver letters’ if there was any need for them. Though she’d been asked to –where possible- keep it quiet from the family, including her husband, so no one could get the wrong idea. He’d also visited Chesia again and offered her a final reassurance that no foul deed would come to her son and as long as the plant was alive she could take comfort in the fact, so too was Amano. For the younger brothers he offered nothing but left a ‘parting gift’ on the table for them both. One received an expensive looking soap –which had been cursed to leave the skin stained no matter how much one scrubbed at it-, while the other had been left a comb –cursed so that whenever it was used the hair would start to grey-. The elder brother got his assurance that the family would be fine during this time and as for the father. He got nothing. For ‘what could you get the man who has everything?’.
The final part of the play was unfolding, Illiendi had seen to it that the square had been told of Amano’s departure and his travels. He’d prepared and scripted the boy on what to say and how to answer the jeers or cries of his ‘impossible’ mission. A soap box had been set up for him and by it Illiendi stood with the Captain of their ship on the other side. The three were sketched by an artist while Amano delivered his speech and Amano kept eyes on the crowd for any foolish interlopers to their plan. The game was about to begin and the anticipation for what was to come was utterly delightful.