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4.46% My New Life in the Kingdom of Wolves / Chapter 37: Addie's 18th Birthday

Chapter 37: Addie's 18th Birthday

***BRIAR'S POV***

I truly can't believe that it has been five years already. To think that my little protégé was already turning eighteen. I was having trouble coming to terms with that more than her family was. But I guess that made sense. I had only spent five years with Addie, they had spent every day of her life, or their life in the case of Catherine, with her. They had been expecting this day to come. Me, on the other hand, I had been so caught up in teaching her that I often still saw her as the curious and precocious thirteen year old that I first met after she woke up from the withering flu.

"Hahh!" I sighed to myself as I finished wrapping the gift that I had for her. "I hope she likes this." I had decided to replicate all of the books that I owned pertaining to alchemy and healing. It had taken me a long time, but it was worth it. Not to mention, it would come in handy for her when I left the village and she started practicing on her own. She would need them if she ever decided to start training someone to follow in her footsteps like I did with her.

"Oh!" I shocked myself when I realized that I had almost forgotten something important. "Now that she is turning eighteen, I can tell her the truth of who I am and start teaching her magic. I think she is ready to know that she has abilities above and beyond what she knows about right now." I don't know why I was talking to myself. I guess sometimes we just need to articulate our thoughts.

I had hidden Addie's magic from her all these years. She had gone all her life without knowing that she had it in the first place. I took care to make sure that she wasn't harming herself and I taught her some tricks to maintain the magic herself so that she wouldn't be a danger to anyone else as she got older. Still, it was time for me to tell her the truth about it.

Tomorrow. I will tell her tomorrow when she comes for her lesson. I will tell her about my secret, about her magic, and about everything that I knew about the world in general. I hadn't educated her on much to do with the wolves or the world like she wanted. I had kept her education strictly to alchemy and healing so that she didn't get a wanderlust too early.

Now, though, she was old enough to make her own decisions and she could do as she pleased. If she decided that she wanted to travel the world instead of staying here, then that was her prerogative. I would support her in whatever path that she chose. That was what you did for your family, right?

And to me, Addie was family. She was like a niece or something. I would say she was like a daughter to me, but she already had a father. She had a father and a mother and a brother and a sister all of whom loved her dearly. I love her too. I love her as much as I loved all my family that I had to leave behind all those years ago. I am just glad that I didn't have a wife or kids at the time. I didn't have to abandon them or subject them to a life of exile.

"I am glad that I was exiled." As stupid of me as that might sound, I truly was happy about it. I never would have met Addie and found out about all the unique things that have to do with her if I hadn't been exiled. And aside from missing a few herbs that can only grow in magic greenhouses, I still performed the same duties that I had before. I helped people, mostly humans, just like I did when I lived in the city.

"Alright, alright, enough reminiscing. It's time to go to the party." I chastised myself with a smile as I finished preparing the gift that I had been working on. Today was the big day that Addie turned eighteen and tomorrow was going to be the big day that we talked about the secrets we have been keeping from each other. Damn, I was actually really excited right now.

With a smile on my face, I left my house and started toward the Mercer family house. I now knew that path so well I could walk it blindfolded. I also knew their house well enough that it felt like a second home to me. Actually, it felt more like home than my actual house. At the Mercer family home, I had people that were excited to see me and looked forward to my regular visits. Who would have thought that we would all have gotten so close to each other?

I seemed to be the only person invited to the celebration for Addie's birthday. I knew that a lot of the villagers tended to avoid having these massive celebrations for themselves since they didn't have the same kind of money that Addie's family had. And with that factor dividing them, I knew that Addie had lost some of the friends that she used to have. In truth, I felt bad for her. I wanted her to have a positive experience with everything in her life. She was a precious family member to me now.

"Briar!?" Addie ran over and hugged me when I walked around the back of the house. I could see that Helen had gone all out for her daughter's birthday. The cake she made looked wonderful and there was a lot of food on the table that all seemed to be Addie's favorites.

"Happy birthday." I said as I hugged her with one arm, balancing her gift on my left hip so that it was out of the way.

"What is that?" she gave me a stern look and crossed her arms as if she was angry. "I thought I told you not to get me anything for my birthday."

"Well, to be fair, this is a practical gift." I chuckled as I handed it over to her. "Here, take a look."

She took the present and walked over to the table that had been brought outside for the day's events. I had wrapped the gift in a bright, brilliantly colored blue cloth that matched her left eye almost perfectly. I had also tied it together with a green string that was the exact same shade as her right eye. I had loved that her eyes were different colors and wanted to show that it was something to be celebrated about her.

"Briar?" She gasped my name when she unwrapped the books that I had prepared for her. "I can't believe you did this for me. How long did all of this take you? And more importantly, how much did it all cost you?" She looked up at me with shock written all over her face.

"Don't worry about that, Addie. It was well worth everything. I am glad that you like it." I smiled at her and told her silently that she didn't need to think about it at all.

"Thank you. Thank you so much." She truly loved it, that was good."

"I am glad you're here, Briar." Helen was coming out of the house carrying another dish of food that she added to the already overloaded table. "It's time for us to eat, so please sit and enjoy it all."

This was already a really good day. I don't really think that there was anything that could ruin it.


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