Quinn had good eyes, and he could easily track things even if they were moving at a fast speed and notice minor differences in people that even they wouldn’t perhaps see themselves. Even if Layla was in a crowded place with people walking past and moving about each other, he could have easily spotted her. And now, he did not need to do anything of the sort because he had met the person he was looking for as she exited from the gate.
“Layla!” Quinn called out.
Hearing the name being called out, she turned around. The woman was wearing a curved hat obscuring the top of her head. Her hair was parted from the two sides of the hat, and she had fastened a very particular sword around her waist.
She was, without a doubt, the Layla that Quinn knew, even if she had concealed her appearance slightly. The moment Layla heard her name being called out, there was a reaction. Her eyes started to moisten up, and an overwhelming amount of emotions began to build up that Quinn believed he could see the glow from her horns, even in the hat.
It didn’t matter though as Layla started to run over and hugged Quinn tightly, squeezing him hard. Then, with her head resting on his chest, her shoulders quivered as she began to sob and released the sudden rush of emotions.
“Me too, don’t forget about me!” Minny jumped up, and Layla quickly moved so all three could enjoy embracing a big hug together.
“Where were you…where did you go…why did you leave me alone.” Layla kept mumbling words.
“I know…I know. I’m sorry, I really didn’t want to leave. I returned as soon as possible, but I know it wasn’t quick enough.”
A sweet smile appeared through the tears when Layla finally raised her head. Now that he could clearly see her, Quinn noticed that Layla looked slightly different in a particular area.
She even slightly held her hand over it and was a little shy as Quinn stared at it with an incredulous expression. That was because there was a slightly small bump. Seeing this his hand started to gravitate toward Layla’s stomach, and he lightly grazed the top of her stomach.
Closing his eyes, he started to sense, trying to discern the energy inside, which was more significant than before. In fact, he could feel a slight outline of what looked like a human foetus, or a vampire foetus at least.
“It’s grown so fast…but it’s only been about a month, right?” Quinn asked.
Layla nodded in response.
“Wait, you knew?!” Layla thought this would be a pleasant surprise for Quinn when she’s reunited with him again. However, with Quinn suddenly disappearing there were days which went past where she believed that he might never get to see his son. The mere thought of it had crushed her, but now it was a moment of joy.
“This…baby, I think he will be someone extraordinary, just like you, Quinn. I don’t think we can think of it as a regular baby that takes nine months to grow, and when it’s born, I want you to be there. I don’t want you to disappear like you did the last time.”
Quinn wanted that as well, but one of the things he hated doing was making a promise that he couldn’t keep, and at the moment, he wasn’t so sure it was something he could keep any.
“I will try.” Quinn eventually said, which he could see wasn’t the answer she was looking for.
She shook her head though, and thought it was more important for them to get to the point.
“Quinn, since you returned, have you noticed anything different around here?”
Quinn almost laughed.
“You mean apart from the fact that the nine castles have new leaders, and everyone has forgotten who you and I are? Nothing is different.”
“I thought…” Layla stopped herself there for a few seconds while she was left to think. “I thought things might have changed when you returned, so what’s the cause of all of this?”
As the former lifted his hand off her belly, Layla quickly grabbed him and Minny by the wrist as they walked back into the settlement.
“I will take you to where I have been staying for a while, and we can talk there,” She added.
Although the three of them didn’t say anything as they walked through the settlement. Quinn had decided to go on the other side of Minny holding her other hand. Quinn felt like he truly had his own family for the first time, and this was one of the most joyous moments in his life as he walked through the streets of the settlement.
There was no need for him to cover his face or get surrounded by others. At this moment, they felt a sense of privacy. It was odd, but they liked it. Eventually, the three arrived at an inn in a more quiter part of the settlement. It was away from the busy main marketplace, and few people inside were having a drink.
A small bell chimed as they opened the door, and a relatively large yet still gorgeous woman was standing behind the bar.
“Ah, you have returned, miss, and it looks like you brought back a few guests with you.” The Inn owner said, but her smile lit up even larger when she saw the handsome man standing next to a child. “Is this…your Husband? I don’t think I have ever seen a vampire more handsome than him in my life.”
Layla was embarrassed, but she still replied.
“Yes, this is my partner, and this child is our daughter. They have finally arrived from Earth.”
The inn owner quickly came out from behind the counter and walked up to Quinn to get a closer look at him, then soon went down to Minny as she pulled her cheeks and patted her.
“If you ever need a job, I know quite a few that would pay a lot of money for a face and a body like yours.”
“Thank you, I will let you know if I’m ever in need of a job like that,” Quinn replied as they walked past the inner keeper and up the stairs heading to their room.
“Even if you are no longer famous, you can still be quite popular.” Layla couldn’t help but giggle before explaining herself, “I mean, I know you’re handsome and all, but since I have known you since our academy days, I still somewhat see you in the same light. Of course, not a kid.”
Just as Layla was going to open the inn door with her Key, Quinn quickly snatched it from her hand and told her to move away.
“I can smell something. You stay behind me.” Quinn said.
“No, wait, that’s-“
Before Layal could finish the sentence, Quinn opened the door and rushed to the person in the room. He hadn’t smelt this since coming here, but he could now because, after a long time, he was smelling a human.
Quinn grabbed the person without a second thought as he lifted them into the air.
“Quinn!” Layla shouted.
When he had a second look At who this person was, whose face was bulging red he let go allowing them to drop to the floor. The man immediately started to cough as he could breathe again.
“That was extremely rude…after I go ahead and do you a favour, this is how you treat me.”
The door was closed behind them as Layla and Minny entered the room.
“What are you doing here?” Quinn asked.
The man looked up at Quinn and stood up while brushing his clothes.
“Don’t you remember, you’re the one that told me to look after them no matter what. Although in these times it has been challenging. Everyone here has the nose of a bloodhound.”
Layla went to the man’s side, ensuring he was okay, before slapping Quinn on the arm.
“I know you used to be rash, but I thought you had changed slightly. We need to keep it low while we can, okay? Anyway, Russ, are you okay?” Layla asked.
Before his disappearance, Quinn had asked a favour of Russ, who was in his shadow space, to look after Layla, and that request had been kept or, more so, forced Russ to be here.
“You remember me then?”
“Of course, I remember you,” Russ replied. “My own life is on the line.”
“How? First Minny, then Layla, and now you remember me, but the vampire settlement can’t? What about those on Earth? Logan, Peter, the others, do they all remember me as well?”
Russ went to have a seat at a table in the room. It was a rectangular table. After getting roughed up by the former, he didn’t want to be close to Quinn.
“I see you haven’t informed him of everything yet,” Russ glanced at Layla.
“I thought it would be best to talk here,” Layla shrugged.
Russ slightly nodded in agreement and then, turning towards Quinn, he exhaled a long breath and said, “Quinn, I will tell you everything I know. Because it has been one crazy month.”