Chapter 2138 Morning Surprise (Part 2)
"See, Mom? Nothing to worry about." Aran tried and failed to console his mother.
"Okay, but why did you take the appearance of a little girl? How old are you?" Elina asked.
"Because I'm eight this year. I've always been just one year older than Aran so in my human form I look like this." Onyx said.
"But you were so big and strong! How can you be this young?" Elina stuttered every word while Raaz brought her a dressing gown.
"Magical beasts grow quickly in order to survive. We can't afford to remain cubs for a long time like you humans do. Also, as a magical beast I was young, but as an Emperor Beast with a life expectancy of 3000 years I'm an infant." Onyx replied.
"Seriously, Mom, why are making all this fuss?" Lith said as Tista opened and closed the door of her own room after noticing the presence of the Guardian butler.
She wasn't as underdressed as Elina but she wouldn't be seen dead while wearing the sweatpants that she used as pajamas.
"I mean, Tista and Phloria Awakened because of me. Even the baby Awakened since conception because of me and due to our prolonged stay over mana geysers. Ever since I started teaching Aran and Leria magic, I have been expecting them to Awaken as well, sooner or later.
"I admit that I didn't consider that Onyx and Abominus would listen to my lessons and beat them to the punch, but that's just great news. It means that they can now protect them even better, don't they?" Lith asked and Elina banged her head against a wall in reply.
Ever since she had learned that Emperor Beasts could shapeshift from Protector and that magical beasts could talk, she had been afraid of the possibility that the children's pets could become something more.
Elina loved Ryman and considered Faluel like a member of her family. As for Salaark, after everything the Overlord had done for her husband and children, Elina would die for her without a second thought.
Yet she had still a hard time accepting mixed relationships. In her mind, Lith and Tista didn't count since no matter what form her children would take, they would always be the little bundles of love that she had given birth to.
She didn't care if Aran and Leria turned out to be Demons as well, but the idea that they would spend so much time with shapeshifted Emperor Beasts had lots of implication.
They slept, studied, and played together. In a few years Aran would have started to be interested in girls and based on Onyx's current appearance she was bound to grow into a lovely girl.
A pretty, kind, and older girl. If Aran was anything like his big brother, Elina could only see one possible ending.
"Don't worry, Mom, Aran is still at the deep green just like me at his age." Lith said.
"Yes, but you used Acceleration. What if his cloggings reach his mana core?" She said, her voice quivering from one more worry.
"It's actually Accumulation." Lith sighed. "As for the impurities, at the rate they are moving they'll reach his core while the Awakening process is still relatively painless."
"Define relatively." Aran ignored his mother's gloomy tone and screamed in joy, making her headache go from bad to worse.
"I can promise you that he'll be fine, Mom." Lith gestured her to drop the subject and turned to Onyx. "Later you have to show me what kind of Emperor Beast you are so that we can check if you have bloodline abilities.
"Speaking of checking, I wonder if Abominus Awakened too." Elina had just finished banging her head that she started again.
Luckily for her, Leria arrived riding a Ry with flaming red fur instead of hand in hand with a boy.
"Thank the gods." Elina sighed hard, slumping her shoulders in relief. "I really had enough surprises for one day."
"No fair!" Leria didn't share her opinion. "Abominus is bigger and smarter. You must have cheated."
"It's just that cats are naturally better than dogs." Onyx shrugged with a smug grin on her face. "Deal with it, shortie."
"Don't listen to her." Abominus yawned, more hungry than impressed. "I'm a year younger than Onyx so my core is still developing. Magic is no sprint, it's a marathon."
"Are you telling me that you are just seven years old?" Elina took his muzzle between her hands to look at him in the eyes.
"Yes, why?" The Ry was as tall as a small horse, but larger and heavier. He could easily bite off the head of an adult man and swallow it.
"No reason." She plunged in her chair and refused to say a word until the breakfast ended.
"When are you going to Awaken us, uncle Lith?" Leria asked, making both Elina and Rena spat out their food. "I want to start training with Accumulation to become as strong as you and help you with the war."
"Mwe foo." Aran said with the mouth still full of biscuits.
"I'm going to wait and see if you can do it on your own." Lith replied, making the children moan and the women sigh in relief.
"If you can't, I'm going to wait until you turn ten. At that age, you'll be experienced enough to understand the discipline magic requires and two years should be enough time to get used to your new abilities before going to an academy."
The children cheered and their moms spat once more.
"Hey, I worked hard to make that food. Show some respect." Leegaain said with a snort.
He was having breakfast with them, cooing at Kamila's womb from time to time and sharing with it advanced magical theories.
"Don't be in a rush to grow, kids." She said with a sigh. "Ever since I've Awakened, I need to take lessons to control Spirit Magic and my strength. It takes a lot of time and effort that I'd rather spend relaxing."
Regular Awakened wouldn't experience a major increase in their physical abilities until the cyan core, but her case was different. As the Guardians had pointed out more than once, the life force of the baby wasn't human.
As they grew bigger, Kamila grew stronger, making her akin to a hybrid until the baby was born.
Between the excellent food and the sun shining in the clear sky, the mood of the Verhens soon recovered from the morning surprises. Leegaain was not only a superb cook, but he had also prepared their respective favourite foods to perfection.
"I guess we now know who uncle Lith takes his cooking skills." Leria said with a satisfied burp.
"That would be me." Elina felt a little hurt at those words.
"That's what I said!" Leria pouted. "From great-grandpa to grandma and from grandma to uncle Lith. You are all better than Mom." She pointed at them in that order, tracing her imaginary family tree.
"Hey!" Rena said.
"You can say that." Leegaain grinned with pride.
Lith had much to say, but the food was free and that was the first cup of coffee he had in nearly twenty years and it was delicious. He couldn't risk the Guardian taking away the sack of powdered grains that he had so kindly left in the kitchen.