A/N: Here's the next chapter of 'Aifread's Pirate Archer'. Sorry for the long wait. All I can say is that it's getting closer to when our snowy-haired protagonist is separated from the family and meets Aifread. When that happens, I'm gonna make some changes as I realized Eizen wasn't visible until the night of the Advent. But, since Aifread had some natural resonance, he saw Eizen sooner than the other's.

BlackAceStriker: Thanks man and I thought you guys would like the fact he wasn't just a long-ranged fighter. He's smart enough to know that he shouldn't focus on one skill set or else he'll be in trouble. I'm still thinking of that meeting and trying to make it a tearful one that you all would enjoy. But, that won't happen for a couple chapters as I want to show his time with the pirates and a surprise addition to the story I hope will be liked.

I own nothing you recognize.

Chapter 3

Settled on a large tree branch, Abel's sharp silver pools were locked onto the mop of black hair that stood out against the brown leaf's that married the ground. There was no wind, giving his perfect aim. He took her every movement into consideration. She turned her head left and right, obviously looking for him. When she stepped forward, he struck. His notched back arrow cut through the air without resistance. It looked like it would have been a clean hit, if the girl didn't swerve out of place at the last second.

Amber orbs locked onto silver. Clicking his teeth in annoyance, as his spot was found, Abel responded by firing more practice arrows as quickly as he could. The girl got low to the ground and dodged the volley of arrows while advancing. 'She's gotten better at dodging.' He mused to himself as he kept firing one after another only for each one to be dodged rather well for a 6-year-old girl.

Changing it up, he dropped to a lower branch to give him a closer shot. Like he expected, it had the same results so he hopped down to the next then the lower one after that didn't work. When he was on one of the lower branches, the girl, using surprising strength, jumped to stand with him.

"Hya!" Yelling, she brought the practice sword down. bringing his bow up, he blocked the wood in a loud smacking sound that scared away any wild life in the area. Going low, he tried to sweep her feet from under her, but she saw it coming and used the sword to propel herself back.

Feet back firmly on the sturdy branch, she launched herself back at him. Abel met her charge by swinging overhead, which she ducked. She smirked as she had an opening and went for a thrust to his ribs. The 9-year-old gave his own smirk when he twisted his bow, letting the end of it parry the strike, and lash out with a kick to the gut.

The wind was literally kicked out of her and wasn't able to catch the branch and began to fall. Before the panic started, she felt herself suddenly stop. Looking up, she saw Abel holding her arm. "Looks like it's my win again, Velvet." The boy said with a small, victorious, smirk.

Velvet pouted at the older boy even as he hoisted her up on the branch. "Just you wait. I'll beat you sooner or later." The girl promised.

"I'll be waiting for that day." Abel said with a small smile. "Let's get down and head home." He suggested with his friend nodding. Landing softly on the ground, they walked through the peaceful woods that was slowly losing the snow. 'Can't believe it's been three months since I arrived.' Abel thought to himself.

The time with the Crowe family had been the best since his previous world had been destroyed. The family was just so warm to the youth and accepted him as one of their own. Abel looked up to Arthur and Celica as an older brother and sister. Little Laphicet was his adorable, yet sickly, little brother he loved spending time with. And Velvet…even though she was younger, he found a good friend and sparring partner in.

Velvet was also thinking of the past months since Abel arrived. She got to know him better to the point where she could call him her best-friend, besides Niko. He was so kind, once you get past that cold exterior he had, and was always willing to help the family. In fact, whenever he was around, she got a funny feeling in her stomach. When she asked Celica about this, she just giggled.

"Abel! Velvet! Lunch is ready!" They were both knocked from there thoughts when they heard the familiar call of the woman of the house. Glancing back at the girl, Abel gave her a light smirk. "Race ya." Like that, he was already a few good yards away from her.

"Hey!" It took her a second to realize this and shouted before sprinting with a large smile on her face. Panting a little, she pouted at the smirking Abel. "No fair! You cheated!" Velvet yelled at the boy.

Chuckling a little, he replied. "You got to be ready for anything, Velvet. You know that." Abel reminded the girl while taking a bite out of the homecooked meal with a smiling Laphicet at his side. Celica giggled at the pout of her little sister, even as she began to eat.

Looking around, Abel noticed the missing person. "Still no Arthur?" He asked, getting a shake of the head from Celica. "Wonder why he's been gone for two months?" The older boy mused as the man of the house left a few months ago because he had some work that needed to be done off the island.

"I actually just got a letter from him the other day. Says he's coming back in two days." Celica told the small family. "Yay! I can't wait to see big brother Arthur again!" Laphicet said with a big smile. Everyone just giggled/chuckled at the excitable boy.

Finishing the meal, Celica began to do the dishes and smiled to herself when she saw Abel stand next to her and help her. No matter what she said, the boy refused to not help the woman with some tasks around the house whenever he could. 'I can only hope…our baby will be as good as him.' The oldest Crowe thought to herself while glancing at her stomach. She couldn't wait to tell Arthur this.

~Next Day~

It was another day hunting for Velvet and Abel. "Hey, Velvet. How about we do this a little differently?" He got her attention. "We have a little contest. Whoever gets the biggest game wins the bragging rights over the other."

Velvet's eyes lit up at that. She always wanted to show Abel up and wouldn't pass up the change. "You're on!" Like that, she went off into the forest, determined to win this game. Chuckling at her enthusiasm, Abel twirled around the naginata he had purchased before going off into the woods.

Taking to the trees, Abel jumped from branch to branch of the trees, looking out for the best prey. So far, all he could see were regular prickleboars that wouldn't do the job. A full hour passed for Abel and still, he couldn't find anything that would win the contest. "Damn. Wonder how Velvet is doing?" He asked himself.

Just before he dropped to the ground, he heard a girlish scream. Silver orbs widened as he recognized the voice. "Velvet!" Abel ran as fast as he could towards the scream. As he ran, he didn't see the small glow on his legs, propelling him faster through the woods. Once he got to Velvet, he saw her on the ground, ankle bent to the side, with a large prickleboar over her, ready to bite. His mind went back to his mother dying. He wouldn't let that happen again!

Velvet was in total fear of the monster over her. She had spotted the mother boar some time ago and attacked with her sword. The problem was, it didn't cut the skin. It only angered the mother and proceeded to charge her. Running as fast as she could, in her fear, she didn't notice the root that caught her foot. Her foot now twisted, unable to move, she did the only thing she could do; scream.

The girl cried her heart out as she didn't want to die like this. She wanted to see Laphi grow up into a nice man and maybe have a little sibling from Arthur and Celica. Velvet was sad she wouldn't see Abel anymore. "Get back!" Amber eyes widened at the familiar voice and the dying wail of the prickleboar.

On the other side of the boar, she saw her savior. "A-A-Abel!" Velvet yelled in instant relief to see her friend saving her. When he turned around, she saw the relief in his eyes. She was surprised when he launched himself at her in a big hug. In the time he's been with the family, he wasn't the hug type.

"Y-You idiot! Why did you try attack that thing!? I was so worried when I saw you like this!" Abel shouted at the girl in absolute worry.

"S-S-Sorry, Abel! I-I just wanted to show you…that I can do things on my own." Velvet sobbed into his shoulder.

"Idiot!" Abel lightly chastised the girl and pulled back to give her a small smile. "There is no problem in wanting help. No one can do everything by themselves. I know I couldn't." He reminded the girl.

Sniffling a little, she wiped the tears from her eyes and gave him a smile. "A-Alright." She nodded. Trying to stand, she winced in pain. "Ah!" Velvet let out a girly scream when she felt herself being lifted. Looking down, she saw Abel was carrying her on his back. "A-A-Abel!?"

Lifting himself, he wrapped her legs around his waist and began to talk. "You really are an idiot, you know that?" Abel asked with a light chuckle. Velvet pouted and was about to retort but Abel cut her off. "Like I said before, no one can do anything by themselves. No matter what happens, no matter how far apart we might be, I'll always come rushing back. Because, you're my best-friend." Abel promised his friend, not seeing the large blush on the Crowe's face.

~Next Day~

Abel smiled lightly as he sat next to the bedridden Velvet. When they got home, Celica and Laphicet were worried over the girl and asked what happened. After telling them what happened, the older sister berated the girl while bandaging her twisted leg. Laphicet gave his big sister a hug, crying while saying he's so happy she's alright.

"Are you sure you're okay, Velvet?" Abel asked his friend. The girl blushed and shyly nodded. For some reason, since yesterday, she couldn't make eye contact with him without blushing. It confused him as she didn't have a fever. A knock was then heard at the door.

"Arthur!" Celica greeted her husband with a bright smile and hug. The other kids heard this, and Abel helped get Velvet out of her bed and to the doorway. Laphicet was hugging Arthur. "I missed you, Arthur!" He said with a big grin.

"I missed you too, Laphicet." Arthur told the little boy with a gentle smile. "Oh. What happened, Velvet?" Looking towards the other two, he noticed the little girl using Abel as a crutch.

"She got a little sprain during a hunting trip. She'll be fine." Abel replied.

"That's good." Arthur nodded. "Abel. I have something for you." This got his attention. "Follow me. The surprise is outside." Shrugging his shoulder, he and the family followed the male.

In the yard was a bag with something on top of it that shined in the morning light. "What's that, Arthur?" Celica asked her husband.

Turning, he looked directly at Abel. "While I was away, I passed through the town nearest to where you live. After I got the directions to your house, I picked up something very important." Abel's eyes started to water as he was feeling where he was going. "I thought it would be best to let her see her son again and let her know how he's doing." Arthur grunted a little but kept his footing as Abel launched himself at him.

"Thank you! Thank you! I-I-I can't…!" The silverette couldn't even speak as he sobbed into the man's shirt. To know that Arthur went back to his home and got his mother…he couldn't describe how grateful to the man he was.

Celica, Velvet and Laphicet were also crying a little at the scene. They all knew how much pain he's been in and to have his mother back, even if it was just her body, must have lifted a great burden off his young shoulders.

"It is no trouble, Abel." Arthur said softly while patting his head. "Come. I also found something else." Gently pulling him towards the body of his mother. He slowly grabbed the trinket on the bag. When he picked it up, Abel instantly recognized it.

"M-M-Mom's necklace." He whispered as he took the item and held it like it would break in an instant.

"It was the only item that wasn't burned in the fire. I thought you would love to have a piece of her with you, always." The boy couldn't stop his emotions any longer. Abel threw himself into the dead for m of his mother and hugged her. Even though he knew she wasn't alive, it made him feel safe to touch her.

END

It's a short chapter and I'm sorry for that. But, I hoped you liked how emotional this chapter was. I thought it would be nice for Arthur to bring Abel's mother to him along with the last thing to connect him to her.

Next chapter will be where my story started. Where Abel goes to the shrine where Celica died and where Arthur changed.

Strom Out!