Chapter 18: Aunt Nina Returns
Eren had already hidden his lot of ID stones safely. But what should he do with Reen?
Reen was a special case among demon beasts. Her intangible body made it easy for Eren to take her around with him everywhere. But in the end, she was a C Rank beast.
Reen could stay hidden from low-level hunters if she didn’t use her powers or didn’t leak her aura. But Eren wasn’t sure the same would happen with other hunters who were also C Rank and above.
Plus, aunt Nina was a C Rank healer. Her perception of herbs and animals was especially keen and intuitive. How can he hide Reen from her prying senses?
Eren decided to ask Reen what she could do to make it look like she wasn’t a beast. Reen didn’t understand at first. Eren had to explain to her slowly he didn’t want her exposed or identified as a beast for the time being.
Reen didn’t take any offence in that. Those concepts were very far away from her. She only thought about processing her master’s request.
Reen understood that her master needed her to be something else than her original intangible state. She just kept on changing her shapes and asking if that was enough.
Eren saw Reen take the shapes of various humans and magic beasts in miniature forms. He was shocked Reen could double up as her victims that she had eaten before. He asked her to assume the humans’ original sizes and she did. He was impressed with Reen and caressed her jelly-like slimy body once she assumed her original form.
Eren would think about how to use Reen’s ability to double up as someone else later. First, he needed to think about the current problem.
Eren then told her to assume inorganic forms. Like a coffee mug or something. He needed to show her what he meant by displaying the original objects. She spread over those objects to get a sense of them before morphing them into their replica.
Eren took hold of the morphed coffee mug in his hand. He couldn’t spot even the minutest of the difference between the original and the fake one.
But that wasn’t enough to fool his C Rank aunt Nina. Eren mentally asked Reen if she could also assume the state of being an inorganic object, not just the shape.
Eren had to explain patiently what he meant to Reen. Reen had a mana sense. That’s how she could see things without having actual eyes in her original form.
Eren told her that her mana sense needs to get retracted to its minimum so she almost couldn’t see anything. Eren was asking her to close her eyes while assuming the shape of an inorganic object, making her stay blind and unable to move or feel.
Reen enquired what was the purpose of doing this. It was a simple question. But Eren didn’t think she would ask that this early. All this time Reen had been a perfect soldier, working on command-and-follow principles. But it was apparent that the beast was getting smarter. He shouldn’t underestimate a C Rank demon beast, after all. Eren made a note to himself.
Eren told Reen if she does this for a long period, she’ll get to have good food. And that finally made sense to her.
Do some work to have food!
That was a concept any human and animal would understand, not just the demon beast.
Reen assumed the shape and state of a coffee mug. Eren was rankless but he could feel a subtle change after Reen retracted all of her sense of being. He felt like it was an old, often used coffee mug. Earlier he had felt like he was holding a mug that could change its shape anytime.
Eren had these institutions thanks to his past life experiences. So he could at least feel such minute differences in objects and people when he was in physical contact with them.
Eren wasn’t 100% sure if his guise would work on Nina or not. But now he had done all that he could. He would think about altered explanations if and when aunt Nina finds out the demon beast’s existence.
While he was busy in his thoughts, Eren heard some commotion downstairs. He knew aunt Nina had arrived.
Eren kept the morphed mug with the original one in a secure place and assumed a sleeping stance.
Eren had an epiphany when he acted asleep. He slept straight on his back and started thinking about lewd things. His boner returned as a result and made its existence known by creating a mini tent in his loose-fitted sleepwear trousers.
Even though it was a nightmare, Eren’s room had a faint ambience due to mana-run inscribed stones on the ceiling. The light intensity could be adjusted with the help of another stone that had the notch over a circular inscription on it.
Eren adjusted the ambience just enough for his aunt to barely see his bulge while making sure his facial expressions stayed hidden.
Eren wanted to achieve two things by doing this. First, he wanted to divert Aunt Nina’s focus to his boner so that she would not pay attention to a certain demon beast hiding in his room.
Second, Eren wanted her to assume she and her incomplete explanation had been the reason behind his situation. So that she could resume the ‘talk’ with him sooner than anticipated.
Even during the chaos, Eren hadn’t given up on planning his advances on Nina.
As expected, Nina came upstairs to check on Eren. She called his name first and knocked on the door. When Eren didn’t respond, she took the liberty to open the door.
Nina saw Eren sleeping soundly. She felt some relief. She customarily looked around the room and was about to scan it with her mana sense. But then Eren’s little tent was made visible to her.
Nina smiled mirthlessly after seeing that. It was a mistake to leave the boy without a complete explanation about his sexual awakening. Of course, his mind would be occupied with ‘those’ thoughts even when he sleeps.
Nina wanted to leave the room but something told her to observe the scene for a while. Inspect the tent and estimate the thing’s actual size.
Eren was still a teenager who hadn’t experienced his growth spurt. He didn’t pack a monster of a boner but it was still decent enough for his age.
Nina was satisfied after estimating the size. Then she admonished herself for doing that. Then she gave herself the explanation that she was only thinking about Eren’s well being and his future as being a successful adult on all fronts. The thought cycle repeated in her head while she stood motionlessly near Eren’s bed, looking blankly at his bulge.
Eren half-opened his eyes to see Nina looking at his condition. His first-half wanted her to leave the room because he was worried about Reen getting discovered. His other half wanted her to stay and initiate advances on him. That would truly set the stage for Eren to approach Nina with ease.
That inner conflict allowed Eren to stay neutral to the whole thing and not break his character. He saw Nina raised her hand in his boner’s direction before slapping it away with her other hand snd then rushing out of his room. Eren was a little disappointed. But he let it go. It was time to sleep. Eren didn’t get his sleep last night so he dozed off easily as soon as he closed his eyes.
The new heralded new possibilities. Eren got up to get freshen up early in the morning. His ‘morning wood’ had returned, attesting to his body’s readiness to partake in those acts.
Eren stepped down and saw a familiar scene and a familiar person. Aunt Nina was concocting and distilling multiple potions simultaneously. She did that whenever she was behind her deliveries or had extra orders than usual.
“Morning, Aunt Nina! Someone paid a hefty amount for loads of potions it seems.”
Eren greeted Nina while commenting on her being so busy at the time.
Eren could see a hint of awkwardness flashed on aunt Nina’s face after seeing him. But she quickly masked it with her gracious smile. She greeted him with the same charm Eren had known her for and replied: