16 Moving On
The sun was shining bright, and Luis had left the house earlier than usual. He was quite a ways away from the family home, with it only being a speck in the distance.
All around him, the tall grass swayed to and fro as the wind blew through it, bringing fresh air into his lungs. All was calm on the prairie, with nothing but the whooshing of the air for miles.
Luis had his eyes closed, sitting in the middle of a field, allowing the breeze to wash over his scales creating a cooling effect. He was steadily absorbing the sun's energy, directing it to his old injury. A thin sheen of golden light emanated from his scales as he did so.
When Luis discovered that he was growing a stump where his right arm was torn off, he was reminded of what the guild master had said, that those with light affinities have miraculous healing powers. Although, he didn't believe it would be as exaggerated as this...
My arm is actually growing back, unbelievable... Luis stopped absorbing energy to glance at the progress he'd made. There was another couple inches of length to the reforming stump.
While experimenting with his energy, Luis realized that if he focused it from his core specifically to the spot where his arm used to be, it would slowly grow.
It was then that he remembered the slight itchiness he had gotten all those other times he had haphazardly wasted his energy while sunbathing.
So it turns out that those other times, my body had been naturally trying to regrow my arm using this... light energy. How incredible! Despite having already experienced countless miraculous things in his short time here, Luis was once again shocked at this development.
Through testing, he noticed that when he just naturally circulated the energy from his core through his body, the regenerating effect was much less than when he actually focused it to one spot. However, there was a drawback.
When Luis circulated his energy all around, only a fraction was being used to regenerate his limb, meaning he never ran out. But, when he condensed it purely on his missing limb, he could feel the energy from his core draining like a deflating balloon.
In other words, it took exponentially more energy to forcibly regenerate faster than simply letting it happen gradually on its own.
Honestly though, that's not much of a drawback... Luis internally smiled as he continued to bask in the sunlight, replenishing his drained core.
From everything he had learned, Luis realized that the reason he was able to harness the sun's light must be because of this... light affinity.
Bryn did say that both humans and magic beasts absorb the elemental energies from their surroundings. If my affinity is light...
I guess in a sense, I really am solar powered. Nature enthusiasts from back home would approve... Luis mentally laughed at what he thought was a clever joke.
He didn't want to return home just yet. While it wasn't so obvious before, the fact that he now had regrown a complete shoulder with a good portion of his right arm would be impossible to hide.
Imagine their surprise... Luis hummed in thought as he pictured the family's shocked faces. At the rate he was healing, factoring in the time it took to recover his core energy, he estimated he would have his arm back by tomorrow. In the meantime...
Luis got up and starting walking slowly. As long as he didn't move too fast or uneven, he was able to maintain his concentration, keeping the energy constantly circulating.
More importantly, it meant that he didn't have to stand still to use or recover his power.
How versatile! Luis was quite enjoying the abilities that came with his affinity.
He headed off in the direction of the woods where the father and son found him, knowing now that they were called the Border Woods. There was something he had to do before returning home.
Home huh? I wonder when I started referring to it as that...
Back on Earth, Luis lived humbly, for he never needed more than his family to feel at peace. Home wasn't defined by the house you lived in, but rather those you shared it with. Although...
A memory surfaced of when his eldest son nearly burned down their old house by lighting fireworks indoors. Heh... I spanked him so bad, he had to sit on a pillow for a week.
Then, his oldest daughter. Luis remembered the time when he bought her her first car, and then when she immediately ran it into a ditch. Heh... We were both in tears. Me from pissing myself laughing and her from sheer horror.
Luis could see the woods in the distance.
His youngest son, causing a family feud when he stole his oldest brothers car keys and blamed the middle brother, all because the middle brother refused to help him with the chores. That scheming little brat... Luis remembered watching the drama unfold, which included a fist fight that he had to break up.
Luis reached the woods, and proceeded to look for something that would suit his needs.
His youngest daughter, who loved to paint. Luis remembered when she was little, and he had found her painting the walls in the house with crude drawings of dolls and flowers. When she asked him if he thought they were any good, all he could say to her as a father was that they were beautiful.
That smile she gave me was so bright, it put the sun to shame... Luis found a rock in just the right size.
My wife... Luis paused in thought as he rolled the stone up to a small ditch he had dug so that it stood straight up. Using his power, he shot a small but intense beam of light onto the stone. From a distance, it looked like someone using a welding torch.
He remembered first meeting his wife, their first date, when he proposed. Scenes of their wedding flickered through his mind. When their first child was born, the way she had looked at him with hope as she held his newborn son. How he thought at that moment that he would literally jump into hell to take care of them both.
The following years of struggle, the fights they had, the tears they both shed when they said things they didn't mean.
The long days of work, returning home to find his wife cooking dinner with the kids. The way she would rub his shoulders when they were sore, without him even having to ask.
In his later years, his wife helping him into the car when his knees gave out. Spoon feeding him after surgury, when he was unable to feed himself. The way he always found a glass of water nearby that she had left for him, just so he wouldnt get thirsty.
Countless little memories and moments that he cherished, good and bad.
When Luis finished his carving, he stepped back to admire his handiwork. The words burned onto the stone read as follows:
Here lies Luis J. Ferdinand.
Underneath, Luis wondered what he could put to add meaning, but he drew a blank. There was too much he could say and not enough stone to say it.
Eventually, he decided on what he figured best summed up his old existence. Adding a new line with controlled bursts of light, he once again stepped back.
Here lies Luis J. Ferdinand
He lived a good life
Luis still deeply missed his family. Often times he couldn't sleep, thinking about what became of them.
I hope they still miss their old man... Luis would give anything to see how they were doing right now.
Luis shook his head. It wasn't fair to himself to wallow in self pity. Perhaps this is why men aren't meant to live forever. One life is plenty.
Otherwise, they end up drowning in memories of what they leave behind... Luis felt he had a slight epiphany.
It was time to let go.
He had lived. He had died. Now that he was given another go, it would be cruel to waste it. Perhaps, at the end of this life, I will see you all again... Luis put his claw on the stone that signified his grave.
Luis fell asleep at the base of his own grave that night, having spent the rest of the day focusing his energy on regeneration. When the new day broke, Luis continued this process. Finally, once the sun was beginning to set once again, Luis had finished.
He swung his right arm around a few times, flexing his regrown claws. He even tried running around to get used to having all fours. Turning from a tricycle into a four wheeler was quite an adjustment.
It didn't take long however, since it was how he was naturally supposed to be. Done experiencing his new arm, Luis... no. Finn walked up to his grave one last time, placing his head against it. He gave a moment of silence, and then walked away, leaving Luis Ferdinand behind. Luis had died a long time ago.
In this new life, those that make up his new home already gave him a new name, and he would respect it, despite how strange it felt.
Finngradus, more commonly known as Finn, walked backed home, on all fours. He didn't realize how much easier it was to move fast. Sprinting was a breeze unlike before, and he felt like he was almost flying with how fast he could move.
Much faster than a wolf, that's for sure... Finn thought to himself. He made it back to the house at record speed. When he pushed opened the door, the first thing he heard was arguing.
"What do you mean I can't go search for him! He is a part of our family and he is lost! We have to find him!" Bryn's desperate voice was the first thing Finn registered.
"Dear, he is probably just out roaming or exploring, I doubt he's... right there..." Mary's soothing voice faltered as Luis entered the living room without a care in the world.
She immediately noticed something different about Finn. However, Bryn was too emotional to notice.
"FINN!" Bryn had turned around to see what had caught his mother's attention, only to find the lizard he had been worrying over sitting there acting all innocent.
Bryn hobbled over without his crutch, accidentally tripping in his haste. Finn bent down and caught him before he hit the floor.
"You damned lizard! How dare you make me worry!" Bryn's words could not mask the relief in his voice. He hugged Finn, only to just now realize he couldn't wrap his arm around him the same way as before.
Leaning back, Bryn felt his jaw drop.
Finn... his right arm... it's back! How... how is this possible? Bryn had also heard about the healing properties of those with a light affinity, but even he couldn't believe it. To fully regrow a lost limb! What an amazing power!
A sudden and obvious thought bloomed in his mind. If he can grow his arm back, then maybe...
"Haha!" Lily laughed loudly, snapping the boy back to reality. Lily and George had walked into the living room to see what the commotion was.
George shared the same expression of awe as his wife as he looked upon the clearly no longer crippled magical beast.
This went beyond all expectations. George looked at his son, who he felt was hiding something. He would have some explaining to do...
In the middle of all of this, Lily walked up to Finn and patted him on his new arm. "Good monster got better because you have been good!" She nodded with authority, as if she just answered the world's hardest question.
Finn wished he could laugh. Bending down, he licked Lily on the neck where she was ticklish, electing a loud screech from the little girl as she struggled to run away.
"Nevermind! You're a bad monster!" Lily pointed at him as she hid behind her mother's legs.
George and Mary just smiled and shook their heads while Bryn scratched the base of Finn's neck, right in that sweet spot.
Looking around at the family that had taken him in. Finn felt at peace once again.
It's good to be home...