Chapter 10: In Which Aria Finds Faldo

Aria had been following Madame Mayor and her mother around all night, smiling to herself as she realised she was with both of her mothers, but tonight, she had done so distantly and quietly, respectfully a step behind the pair as she walked behind them. Usually, she was chipper and up for any of the tasks at hand, often seeking out ways to help without being asked; she sometimes now even talked to the world-walkers even. Tonight, however, she was distracted, worried about her situation, and wondering what to do. Over a month had passed and she still had come no closer to finding a solution to her problem. She knew that Votum did not exist in this timeline, however, she knew somewhere, her people were suffering and although they were not aware in the state they were in currently, they were counting on their Princess to save them.

It was later in the evening when Faldo, the Evermorian light bearer, came passing by. He had been a citizen of Evermore for some time and although Aria had heard of him growing up, she had never encountered the man with the candles personally. He was often quiet and in this time roamed the streets silently passing people by without a glance. He was noticed by all because of the three lit candles he wore on top of his dark blue hat. It was the candles that brought him to Aria’s attention as she stood next to her mother quietly and she frowned watching him as he stood stopped by a few world-walkers. He was rather tall and very lean, a thick dark blue poncho wrapped around his arms tightly. His hair hung loose just over his shoulders, a wavy light brown that cast shadows across his chest. He carried a lantern that was not lit that he hugged against his body tightly, charms, beads, and thread hanging off of the side in multiple colors.

The group waved a farewell at the light bearer and Faldo turned his dark eyes toward Aria as he passed by, “Hello Faldo.” Aria smiled at the light bearer and her mother looked at her concerned, then looked around, not seeing anyone.

“Aria, who are you talking to?” Vaella looked at her daughter, wondering if she was ill. First, her quiet evening, which was not like her, and now she was talking to people who were not there.

A world-walker began telling Vaella that Faldo had been right there, but that she could not see him because he had cast a spell over some of the Evermorians because he wanted to be forgotten by all who knew him before. Faldo wished to disappear from this world and to accomplish that, he had to erase himself from the memory of those around him. Hearing what the man said, Aria stared at Faldo walking away down the path, whispering, “That’s it. He might know!”

Vaella turned to her daughter again and frowned, “Aria, what did you say? What’s going on?”

Not wanting Faldo to get too far away, Aria raced after him without a word to her mother and caught up to him quickly, all at once spilling out what she wanted to say, “Faldo! I have a question for you!” They stopped walking down the road and Aria hurriedly continued, “What if say, hypothetically, a person was forgetting something, but you wanted to restore those memories? Could it be reversed?”

Faldo frowned, looking down at Aria, then looked away off into the distance before answering in his soft tones, “It would depend on what they were forgetting and why.”

Aria looked at him intently, “What if it’s a memory they are forgetting, something bad? How do I stop them from forgetting? Please, Faldo, it’s very important.”

Faldo looked at her once more, and calculating for a moment, spoke again, “You need a memento, something from them to trigger their memories.”


Aria smiled, a new sense of hope swelling inside of her, “Thank you Faldo, thank you!” She ran as fast as she could to catch up with her mother once more beaming inside; there was hope.

She found her mother and a new sense of worry filled her as she walked up to her. How could she tell her what she was doing? She knew her mother would never understand and would not be comfortable with Aria putting herself in any kind of danger. She stopped walking for a moment contemplating what to do next, “I owe it to my people to help them and now I have found a way to do so just as I was sent to do. I can’t be selfish and stay with my mother but I shouldn’t tell her either at least for now.”

She continued walking, catching up to her mother who looked at her with worry once more, “Aria, there you are. What were you doing?”

Aria looked at the ground not wanting to lie to her but having decided to not say what she was up to, she didn’t know what else to say and replied, “Nothing.”

Vaella gave her a stern look and lightly grabbed her arm, “Aria…”

“I can’t tell you!” Aria blurted out then looked at the ground again, conflicted and upset.

Seeing her daughter distraught, Vaella tried to get Aria to look at her, “Aria, tell me. What is going on? You’re keeping something from me.”

Aria broke from her mother and backed away then ran as fast as she could, her mother calling her name behind her. Aria didn’t stop until she was too tired to go any further and stopped to collect herself. Seeing her mother nowhere, Aria then began her task at hand. She visited with every Evermorian she could find on the path that would live in Votium in the future and asked them the same question.

“I have a question for you! This is going to sound strange, but I need something from you. I need something from you that is yours but something that you can part with. Something that you would remember even if it’s been a long time.” They would look at her quizzically but would give her a small token in the end; a ring, a medallion, a glass flower, and with each memento, Aria’s strength and hope built inside of her, finally finding her purpose and plan once more. 

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