I still owe you the rest of the story how we found your mother and sister – we had so much to talk about, I’m sorry.
After we had found the empty cave, we called down the others and investigated further. Logan found some kind of mechanism that he believed to be of Syrneth origin or at least constructed using Syrneth technology. He wanted to search some more before simply trying out the mechanism. I tried my best to be patient and held back Ramon who had already reached out to pull the lever. Alain did pull it, to Logan’s dismay, and opened a portal that showed us a tunnel leading further into the ground. Logan punched Alain for his, as he thought, foolishness. The technology used in the mechanism usually sets free uncontrollable amounts of energy, Logan has seen it destroy entire ships, and Alain had probably been lucky that he had just been mildly stunned.
I have to admit I did not pay much attention to their quarrel, I had better things to do. Alain stayed behind, feeling that he could not be asked to stay in Logan’s company any longer until an apology had been given. While he had a shouting match with Logan, Ramon and I pressed on, overpowering two guards on the way. We found a system of tunnels, many of them closed by heavy iron doors or caved in. And we found another portal, so we turned back to get the others. In the meantime, Logan had found a tool to activate the mechanism without danger and had brought Lucia to our side of the portal.
We stepped through the second portal and found us in the upper storey of a tavern, unnoticed by the people drinking at the bar. A quick investigation turned up nothing of interest – except for the fact that the tavern was in Marcina. Normally I would have been eager to explore, but we had been following the noise from the tavern and had ignored a couple of tunnels. And in one of them we finally found Isabel and Alba, alive and unharmed. I was so relieved, I felt faint and it was a while before I was ready to let go of the two.
We took prisoner one man who stepped through the door, shouting at people and slamming the door behind him. Logan punched him right after that and he didn’t have any time for a warning, so we had no problems leaving as quietly as we had come.
I had been travelling alone for so long – having almost my complete family with me was overwhelming. I think I was very quiet that night, I apologise if I seemed distant. I was just enjoying seeing you all together. It made Juan‘s absence only more conspicuous, but I have the feeling that he may be lost to us or at least to me. I could have forgiven him anything he did to me, but risking the life of his mother and sister, I don’t know if I can forgive that. It may be better if we did not meet again.
Alba…well. She is angry at me and I can understand that. Her life has not exactly been easy, with a heretic for a father. She says she knows that Isabel and I wanted the best for her, but still. She asked to give her time and I certainly do not expect her to come around immediately, but I do hope she will, eventually. As for me, I will need some time to get used to the fact that she’s almost a woman now. I missed so much of her life.