It turns out that doctors aren't free. After carefully prodding his parents for information, they reluctantly admitted the truth. Bryn learned another cold hard lesson on the harshness of life.
In order to pay for a reputable doctor, George had to take out a large loan of ten gold at a relatively high interest rate.
They never told their son about this, for they knew he would have blamed himself even more, which wasn't fair to the boy.
He had already sunk deep enough into depression from being unable to help with the seasonal planting. If he found out that his injury also plunged them deep into debt...
Turns out the parents knew their boy quite well.
Bryn ran out of the house after their reluctant explanation. Having attempted to sugar coat it didn't help, and only made Bryn feel guiltier. He ignored his mother's cries as she tried to call him back.
Finn, sensing another crisis, immediately followed.
Just when he had made a full recovery... Finn never believed in fate, but right now he felt like it seemed to want to screw with him. Bryn was young and impulsive. He had yet to learn patience.
If only he was able to take a step back and control his emotions, he would be able to understand that it really wasn't his fault in the grand scheme of things.
Sadly, young people always seemed to think one disaster was enough to ruin their entire lives... Finn knew that as long as they were all still breathing, no setback was impossible to overcome with effort and time. However Bryn hadn't lived long enough to develop this wisdom.
Finn followed Bryn as he ran to the shed, tripping on his prosthetic over and over. When he finally scrambled over to it, he punched it as hard as he could, cursing violently. He then collapsed to his knees, gripping his skull so tight that blood started to leak out where his nails went in.
Finn could hear the boy mumbling curses as the veins on his head, neck and arms bulged from his fury. He smelt salt as well, from the boys tears.
This isn't healthy. He is going off the deep end... The last time Finn saw Bryn break down, it had been a much more natural reaction. The boy had lost a leg and he had vented his sorrow. This time though...
This was the kind of rage that warped a person's perspective. He was unfairly punishing himself for their unfortunate circumstance. Although Finn wished Bryn to grow more, this was not the direction he wanted to see. It was time for him to act.
With children, when in doubt, cause a distraction. It was his tried and true method for managing kids, and it rarely failed him.
Just as kids were quick to react, they were also quick to forget, when given an opportunity.
Finn tackled Bryn, pinning him to the dirt under his weight.
"Wha-? Get off you fu***** lizard!" Bryn used all his strength to shove off the heavier-than-he-looks beast, with no effect.
Finn's tactic was to shift the target of his rage. Instead of hating himself, he would hate him, at least for a short while.
Once the emotions die down, Bryn will see that everything will be ok... This was Finn's ultimate goal.
Only, Bryn was not as helpless against him as Finn thought.
"I said... get OFF!" Bryn screamed in wrath. As he racked his arm against Finn's side.
Ack! Finn felt a sharp pain on his flank, rolling off of Bryn and jumping away instinctively.
Finn turned his head to look at the scales covering his ribs. His eyes widened in shock. Several scales were broken in a straight line, cutting into the flesh beneath.
Bryn had used his wind energy to cut through his natural defense. Although the wound wasn't very deep, the implications filled Finn with anger.
He is so blinded that he would attack those close to him... Never in a million years would Finn stand for this. This was going too far.
Bryn looked at what he had done unconsciously. Only now did he realize that his new power could hurt others without control. His wrath turned to horror at the drop of hat.
He stood there, petrified as Finn advanced on him.
"I'm sorry. I'm sor-OOF!" Finn cut the boy's apology off with spin, sweeping his tail under the boys legs. He then pounced, using more force than neccessary as he stepped on Bryn's chest.
If Finn hadn't developed great control over his strength, he could have actually injured the boy by piercing his skin with his claws.
Bryn found himself face to face with an enraged magical beast, his blood turning to ice. As Bryn trembled beneath his claws, Finn opened his mouth, revealing two sets of razor sharp teeth, and let out a terrible snarl that rattled the boy's eardrums.
Bryn cowered, shielding his head with his shaking arms. He had never seen Finn act so aggressively, especially at himself, and he was thoroughly frightened. Even when striking him with his crutch a while back hadn't garnered such a reaction.
It was at a moment like this where Bryn truly remembered that Finn was still a magic beast, no matter how human he acts.
As quick as he tackled the boy, Finn released him and trotted away down the path, seething.
Only after some time, did Bryn managed to stand, his legs still shaking from fear. He felt foolish and awkward. All remaining traces of self pity had long fled, and the anger from learning about the debt had been replaced with regret.
I hurt him... Bryn couldn't believe he had done so. First and foremost, he didn't even think he could hurt Finn. His scales, although pretty and thin, were very tough, and made for a solid defense. But breaking through Finns scales wasn't the crux of the issue.
I hurt Finn. He has been by my side for so long now. Even after everything, he stays with me, and yet I still hurt him. All for a stupid tantrum... Indeed, now that he wasn't so emotional, he saw his own actions for what they were, immature.
In other words, Bryn felt like a complete bastard.
He clenched his fists, wishing that he would stop acting like a fool whenever something bad happens. He couldn't keep relying on Finn to help him through all his problems.
Finn. How can I face him now? Bryn didn't know what to do. He stood by, contemplating his next course of action. Eventually, he decided upon following after Finn. Apologizing wasn't something to be delayed.
Bryn found Finn on a slight hill overlooking the prairie. He was resting on his back haunches, gazing off into the distance. Relieved to see that Finn didn't appear to agitated, Bryn cautiously approached him.
Finn could tell the boy was approaching from the corner of his eye. He wasn't mad anymore, just feeling slightly disappointed. He believed the boy to be better than this. For him to react so violently after any setback...
One day he would do something that was irreversible, and he would forever regret it. Finn didn't want to see that happen. That was the point of passing on wisdom. To share the mistakes of the past so the younger generations could learn from them.
Bryn sat down on the hill, a few feet away from Finn. An old lizard and a boy watched in silence as the breeze created waves on tall grass. The light from the setting sun cast a warm golden glow on the plains.
It's quite beautiful... Finn wouldn't mind enjoying such a scene for the rest of his life. Sometimes, all it took were the little things. People moving too fast in life often times forget to stop and enjoy it...
Just as Finn was getting sentimental, Bryn broke the comfortable silence.
Finn let out an audible sigh, which came out as a snort of air. He scratched something into the dirt by his feet.
Leaning over, Bryn read, 'Stop blaming yourself. It's not your fault.'
Bryn frowned, but didn't say anything. The silence resumed. The sun on the horizon expanded into an orange ball that was slowly disappearing.
Finn took this chance to write something else down. 'You need to always remain calm. Overreacting won't solve anything.'
Bryn snorted. Since when did Finn develop such wisdom. It's like talking to an old man...
"I'm sorry for hurting you..."
Finn risked a glance. The boy had a lost look on his face as he hugged his legs. At the moment, he looked so confused and uncertain.
Foolish boy... Finn shook his head and his gaze grew soft. Scooting closer, Finn laid down on all fours so that his head was at the same level as Bryn's.
Moving slowly, Finn touched his skull to the boy's. It was his equivalent to a pat on the head, as he lacked a more human way to show forgiveness, being a lizard.
Hesitantly, Bryn put his arm around Finn's neck, who began cooing softly. Bryn sniffed a bit as he felt a lump form in his throat. He is too good for me... At this moment, Bryn vowed he would never hurt his friend again.
They sat there until the sun set, and like clockwork, Finn nudged Bryn onto his back and carried him home. No matter how dire things seemed, there was always hope. Finn hoped that in time, Bryn would start to see things his way.
When they got back, his parents were expecting Bryn to be an emotional wreck. Their surprise when he instead apologized for overreacting left them reeling.
How in the world... This behavior was very unexpected from his son. George spared a glance at the magical beast sitting in the corner. Ever since he joined their family, both their kids had changed.
For the better... Was his opinion. Lillith was smiling and laughing way more than she ever had. She had really opened up, and Bryn...
George looked at the boy who was being hugged by his mother. She was absolutely relieved that her boy wasn't blaming himself. She had told him over and over, but he never listened, at least, until now apparently.
George sized up Finn again. There was definitely more to this beast than meets the eye...
The day was ending, and Bryn was able to walk up the stairs on his own for the first time in a long time. Before hopping into his bed, he patted Finn on the head.
"Thank you... for everything."
Finn licked Bryn across the face, causing him to smile uncontrollably. Pushing Finn's head away he glanced at the backpack he had left on his bed before heading out. An idea popped back into his head.
As the gears turned, he looked back to Finn and grabbed his head, looking him in the eyes.
"Finn... I know how we can fix this!" Bryn yelled in whisper fashion.
Oh? Finn wondered what his big idea was.
"We can go hunt magical beasts!" Bryn's smile bloomed like a sunrise.
Finn blinked. What?