Kian moved to his mother's side, and wrapped her in a hug. "I am proud of you both," She sniffled into his shoulder. She pulled away, and looked at into Kian's eyes. "But Vienna? Really?" She said, a ghost of a smile on her face.
"What?" Kian laughed, looking down at his mother. She had disliked Vienna because of the expensive housing and because the Austrian German language is challenging to understand. Even though their mother never told him, she always hoped he would have picked a better city.
"Their chocolate cake is good." He said quietly, nervously glancing between his mother and Alex. "I knew it!" Alexander grinned, high-fiving his mother.
Well, everyone had always known, but hearing Kian admit it is something they needed to hear. Their mother laughed, and patted Kian's cheek, who was processing what happened. She slightly smiled, and sat back down on the white couch.
Kian froze and raised his head to Alex. "Wait- What do you mean you knew it?" He questioned, his eyes narrowing. "It's obvious, brother." Alex grins from ear to ear. Kian pursed his lips together and frowned. "Huh." He muttered, running his hand over his face.
Alexander clapped his hands together and smiled softly. "Well, are we going to celebrate?" He said with a grin on his face.
"Yes. Kian- sit down. Alexander and I are celebrating." Their mother said sternly, standing back up and walking over to Alex.
Alex knew Kian knows better than to complain, or argue with mother- since father's passing. Kian had a look on his face, and it was almost like he knew what was coming. Alex shot him an apologetic look, and followed behind his mother out of the room.
"Mama-" Alex started. "How are we celebrating?" He asked confused, looking into the dark hallway they are walking to.
"We're not." She said simply, her voice flat and rough. "Well, we are." She added when she saw the confused look on Alex's face. "But, you are going to go to Athens, and if you return successfully, then we will celebrate."
When Kian picked Vienna, he and mother disappeared for a while, and then they came back and celebrated together. Did mother do this for Kian as well? It would explain why he looked so tired when they returned..
"Wait- is this what you did for Kian too?" Alex questions, glancing between his mother and the dark surrounding them.
His mother glanced over her shoulder at him, and smiled softly. "Of course." She sighed, opening a door that Alex didn't see.
"What is this room?" Alex asked, looking around the dark room. He stepped into something wet, making him panic. "What is this?" He exclaimed.
A light suddenly turned on, and Alex looked around the giant room. The white walls were plain and starved of decorations, there was one small chandelier hanging in the center of the room, lighting up the entire room, and the floors were oakwood planks under puddles of water. There was only one chair, tucked in a corner. "Where are we, Mama?" He muttered.
He knew they were at least somewhere in the house, but he doesn't know exactly where. "Alexander, don't mumble. An extra room that your great-great grandparents put in a while ago." She said simply, sitting down in the one chair.
Alex nodded. "Why are we here?" He questioned, looking around the tiny room.
"As you know," His mother said, crossing her legs. "You have to be in the city you chose, in order to do transtemporal travel." She said.
"Yes, of course." He nodded again.
"Your father figured out that your great grandmother, put a spell on this room." She said, her eyes turning glassy. "He found out that the spell, allowed you to time travel to your city, from this room. That's why we didn't know he left."
How is that possible? Every time traveler in the Oteri family knows that you must be in the city. It's not possible. "How is that possible?" He asked, looking down at water on the ground.
"It's not." She sighed. Alex slowly put the pieces together in his mind, his leg shaking. "So- You want me to time travel to Athens, from here?" He questioned, a frown slowly appearing on his face.
"Yes. Kian did the same thing when he turned eighteen. I expect you to do the same." She said grimily.
"H-how do I do this? Do I just travel?" He asked, confused.
"Yes, and no." His mother said, snapping her fingers in a special rhythm. Suddenly, in the center of the room, a small whirlpool appeared. "How did you do that?" Alexander asked, taking a step back, staring at the whirlpool.
"Change into this." His mother said, pointing to the peplos and sandals that emerged out of the water next to him. Alex bent down and picked up the garment and shoes, surprised to feel that they are dry.
"I'm so confused." Alex said, gripping the peplos in his hand, looking back and forth between his mother and the whirlpool.
"Change into it, now." She demanded from her seat. Alex did as told, stripping to his underwear and tennis shoes, and putting the garment and sandals on. He handed his clothes to his mother, and studied the whirlpool, which has grown in size.
A screeching noise suddenly came from whirlpool, signifying it is at full speed. "When you jump in," His mother screamed over the loud noise. "You'll need to use your ability, otherwise you will be stuck in the void."
"Jump in?" Alex shouted, staring at his mother. "Yes!" His mother yelled back. Alex walked near the whirlpool, and looked into it. At the bottom, the blackness of the abyss slowly took shape.
He looked back to his mother, unsure. "I'll be here when you get back." She cried out. All of the sudden, wind spun around them, making it impossible to hear.
He walked closer to the whirlpool, looking into the dark of the void. He knew his mother had said something to him, but he couldn't hear her over the wind. All he had to do is jump in, and travel to Athens. Should be simple. Alexander thought, as he jumped into the void.