“Ah, but aren’t you here because you have nowhere else?”
“Excuse me?” The old man tightens his fist as anger rises on his face.
“Well, you faced a great deal of discrimination in your home country which is why you moved out to these parts anyway. Having an elf for a wife must have been difficult. But after she disappeared, you had hoped your half-elf daughter would be sufficient, so you tried to move home and teach her noble etiquette.”
“I don’t see the point in-“
“But you were wrong. Oh, the nobles appeared to accept her on the surface. They treated you with respect, meanwhile harassing her behind doors. She’d never admit as much, but she faced all of the discrimination on her own while you pretended things were fine.”
“That’s not true, she never-“
“Mentioned it? Why would she? She was a good daughter, and just wanted to do her father proud. She knew how important it was for you. So, she tolerated the private abuse while putting a brave face in public, absorbing all the mannerisms of her aristocratic origins. She’s about marriageable age now. Did you find out the truth when you tried to find her a suitor?”
The old man’s lips tighten as he turns his head. “I was informed that my daughter was undesirable. They… they demanded an extremely large dowry… Of course, I wanted her to have a better life. I paid it…but…”
“But they never intended to marry a half-breed daughter, right? They took your dowry and said something like ‘this is just enough payment for us to tolerate you marrying an elf and having a half-breed daughter’, right?”
“What of it!” he raises his voice angrily.
“So, when the uncle you had trusted sent his will, penniless and with the aristocracy you trusted making fun behind your back, you headed to this little city where no one looked twice at a half-elf as your last chance to maintain your family line.”
“I’m not saying your right.” The old man calms his breath, “But even if you were, that changes nothing! You still have no right to be here.”
“No, Sebastian, that changes everything.”
“H-how did you know my name?”
“Ah, well, when I came to this place, as it would turn out, your brother‘s ghost still remained. He was a necromancer, you see!”
“What!” Sebastian almost stands up at that comment, but then turns his head. “I’d thought my brother kept secrets, I never realized it was something like that…”
“Papa?” Tiana took a step into the room.
She looks significantly more refreshed now that she had a bath. Ariel, Grimhilde, and Aurora come out with her, their hair still damp from their bath.
“I’m sorry to say this, but you brother wasn’t the savior you has thought. He had a very dark history.” You try to explain tactfully.
“What are you saying?” Sebastian only gave his daughter one look before turning back to you.
“He was a rapist, and a murderer. We found the left over remains of many women he had lured here, raped, and murdered. There was an elf among them.”
“M-mother!” Tiana takes a few steps forward while the other women give her sympathetic looks, but Sebastian holds up his hand to stop her as his eyes locked on mine.
“You can’t possibly be suggesting…”
“He killed your wife… and he plans to take you and your daughter, even after death.”
Tears ran down Tiana’s cheeks as she shakes her head in disbelief while Sebastian clinches and unclinches his hand.
“You’ll excuse me for remaining skeptical.” He responds darkly.
“Oh, not at all.” You wave your hand. “In fact, don’t take my word at all. Perhaps it’d be better if you took hers.”
As if on cue, a woman walks in. Her skin is a bit darker than her daughters, but the comparison between the two is undeniable. This is an elf woman. She looks only a year or two older than her daughter.
“Arianna!” Sebastian let out a cry of disbelief.
“Mother!” Tiana shouts.
Tiana runs, letting out a sob as her hands wrap around the woman who just appeared inside the room.
“Perhaps… we should sit down and talk for a bit.” Arianna responds kindly.