“I’m a mother again.”
It was a bigger shock than one of my daughters being a dragon and the other a Blood Elf. But shortly after that, I was given an even bigger surprise.
“I’m a grandmother?!”
Even if Michael’s children looked more like baby kittens than my idea of ‘people’, they were still a lot closer to actual infants than my two little monsters. At the very least, they didn’t start talking or using magic the moment they were born.
Our lives were so peaceful and happy, for a while. Ethir and I were teaching again. When he was a little boy, Michael told me this: “Teaching is like trying to fill a bucket with water. The more intense the pressure, the more water gets forced out of the bucket. However, if you put the hose in the bucket and turn the pressure down to a reasonable level, it might take longer, but you’ll end up wasting way less water. Also, don’t hold the bucket the whole time.”
Of course, I had no idea what a hose was back then. I just asked “Why can’t you simply place the bucket into the river and then pull it back up?”
He complained, “Listen Kid, I didn’t make the fucking metaphor. If you really want to be anal about it, you can just use water manipulation like this, then you don’t even need the bucket in the first place.”
That was when I could barely lift an ounce of water with my mind. Less than ten years later, I was sitting on the beach, on the northern side of Ael Tol, easily lifting a thousand gallons above my head. I was enjoying my day off, with my family of nine. My daughter Iris wanted to sunbathe, without using sunscreen lotion, so I helped her out.
“This is the life~, hehe~!” She was still a toddler, but she still insisted on wearing a pink bikini and laying on a large brown towel. I was a little embarrassed, but I also put on something revealing: A black one-piece bathing suit that reveals my entire back and has a slit on the front too, so most of my belly is exposed. At least I wasn’t as bad as my son and his girlfriend though! They were completely naked! They were always running around barely clothed or heavily armed and armored, there was no in-between!
I was sitting on my own beach towel, but I had to watch the three little babies with my husband. Ethir… Was still really shy. Even in such hot weather and on a sunny day like that, he was covered in all black, including the mask he wore. It was his time off, but he was spending it ‘working’ with our other daughter, Raijin. The two of them were talking about Runework and Alchemy, while he wrote everything down into a notebook.
“Doom~ Ray~!” There was deafening bellow, as purple beam of light suddenly appeared. It shot out of the depths of the lake and into the sky, maybe even beyond the atmosphere. A moment later, my son, that giant man that he had become, jumped out of the water and a crimson orb appeared in his right hand.
“Catch! Haha~!” He threw it down into the turbulent waves, as a plume of water shot up into the air shortly afterwards. Then he dove back into the lake and continued fighting his lover, physically, with his fists and her claws. That was what they considered ‘fun’. A battle that was so dangerous that they had to do it underwater in order to avoid hurting the rest of us.
“They’re almost as fuckin sadomasochistic as I am.” No matter how many times I scolded her, Iris wouldn’t stop cursing. If she was a normal child, perhaps I could have used simple methods like spanking as a deterrent. But when I tried the first time, she said “Yes Mommy~, ah~, I’m a naughty baby~! Hurt me! Whip me! Burn me with candle wax! Fuckin A, why’d you stop?”
She was only a few weeks old! Even if she looked like a toddler, it was still really upsetting!
Hmmm, our day at the beach happened around two months after I reunited with Michael. So it was close to five months or half a year after my girls hatched from their eggs. They were growing so fast compared to Wood Elves, but I guess they took after their father. Rai… She wasn’t even ‘humanoid’, so I never knew what to expect with her.
The three furballs crawling around in front of me were already two feet long, though they still hadn’t figured out how to walk yet. Compared to when they were born, they had doubled in size over those two months. Donald, the only boy, was always trying to keep his sisters from fighting. Abby was a crybaby, yet she would constantly try to scratch or bite her sister. But Terry took after her mother, in the sense that she would beat up anyone or anything she could find. She punched a big crab earlier that day and cut her hand open. Fortunately, I was there to heal her… It was just funny how she didn’t even make a peep, yet her sister was bawling her eyes out.
“Michael! How fucking long are you going to keep me waiting?! It’s been years!” There was a deep voice echoing across the sky. It was so sudden that I didn’t have time to protect my grandbabies from the deafening boom that followed afterwards. Even my ears were ringing for a while, but I healed quickly.
After a few minutes, a huge head with big curly horns on the side popped up out of the water. Michael looked over at me and his kids, that I was treating, then yelled “Did you say something?!”
“Mike, someone was calling you. Fuckin A! Whoever the hell that was, I’m gonna rip their damn ears off!” My daughter screamed at the top of her lungs and stood up off the ground, glaring off into the northern distance.
Michael slowly emerged from the lake, hovering a few meters above the water, as he lifted his head and sniffed the air. A moment later, Amber flew up behind him and noticed that Abby was crying. She glared at her daughter and then she growled, before turning her head away, as if she was annoyed.
“There there, it’s okay Abby, Granny healed your ears. You’re fine now…” I patted her back lightly, while Donald placed his tiny hand into her shoulder and purred softly. They were so adorable that I almost completely ignored my son and his girlfriend.
“Smells like…” MIchael sighed dramatically, then grumbled “I totally forgot about that so-called ‘Dragon King’.” Then he turned to me and asked, “Hey, do you guys want to go on a vacation to the mountains? Either that or you can watch my kids while we leave for-”
“No! You aren’t disappearing on me again!” I shouted unconsciously, then I coughed and telepathically told him: “We already finished hiring enough teachers and faculty to keep the schools running on their own without us. Ethir and I might not be as ridiculous as you two, but we’re strong enough to protect our children. Don’t leave again, please…”
“Okay ‘Mom’, calm down.” He snickered and then floated over to the beach, while Amber used her purple flames to fly after him. Then he said, “Although I think our kids are pretty tough, I don’t want to take any chances. Let’s just teleport there instantly instead of flying. I need to gear up first though. And it’s going to be cold, so my fluffy brats will need some winter clothing. Let’s go!”
He took his daughters and son into his arms, then vanished into thin air. It was only a moment later that he reappeared and complained, “Are you guys coming or what?”
“Michael… Are we fighting a war? Why did you bring so many weapons?!”
Not only was he wearing that gaudy and cumbersome black armor, he was practically covered with guns. He had a sword, a knife and even a magic staff that looked more like a giant metal pole. There were five separate suitcases for all the different types of ammunition he needed.
On the other hand, Ethir and I were only wearing some sleek, leather and cloth. It was incredibly strong and durable, resistant to magic and as light as normal clothing. Although my husband’s equipment was all black, I went with white. After all, we were going to the mountainside, so I would blend in much more easily that way.
Iris looked adorable in her puffy red hooded-jacket and boots. It was hard to find ‘winter clothing’ anywhere in Lorhon Forest, since it was always so hot. However, that started to change once it became possible to travel to Salvation.
The three little tiger cubs were upset because they had to wear clothing for the first time in their lives. They kept trying to take off their thick white coats and pants, but they didn’t know how. I decided to just carry the three of them telekinetically, since they were pretty big babies.
“Relax Rae.” Michael snickered from under his helmet, “Just think of this as a vacation. I’m just interested in finding out how far firearms have come in the past few years. I also want to test their limits. I bought each of these guns at a different store, throughout every city that sells them. They’re the top of the line, so if they can’t cut it against Drakes or Wyverns, then I’d be pretty disappointed. Of course, some of these are meant for smaller hands, so I might need Iris or Ethir to help out.”
“Fuck yeah!” My daughter was apparently very excited to shoot things. Raijin of course, couldn’t use a gun, even if she wanted to… At least not with her hands. She didn’t need to wear any winter clothes, since her body was constantly releasing bolts of electricity and warming her scales. As the tentacles on her whiskers grew, I started to think that maybe she was related to Maeleth, but I had no idea how that could be physically possible. Nobody really understood much about Blood Elves back then. At least, not the kind that I had transformed into…
One of the most important things that I had bought were actually custom-fit ear muffs, made especially for the three little kittens. They were too young to use magic to protect themselves from sonic threats, and it would have been far too taxing to constantly use Wind Magic to muffle their surroundings.
It took about five hours before we were all actually ready to go on our trip. It was really fast considering all the things we needed to buy and prepare. The problem was that we managed to attract some unwanted attention.
“Hehe~, I hope you aren’t thinking of leaving without me~, Michael~!” Her name was Lucy. A beautiful and cute little girl, who happened to be Michael’s biological daughter. Unfortunately, she had a personality even more twisted and dangerous than Iris.
“Oh for fuck’s sake! You bastards actually thought I wouldn’t find out what you’re doing?!” Then it was the giant silvery metal man, who happened to also have the same name as my son. We called him Mike, to prevent confusion. When he finally reached the beach we were once again standing upon, he asked “Seriously though, what the hell are you guys up to? Oh, holy shit! Are you finally getting around to the Dragon King Arc?! I have no idea what happens, but I’m pretty sure it involves a big ass dragon… So can I come watch?”
“Okay fine, whatever. Let’s just get out of here before more people show up. You guys do know that teleporting thousands of miles away isn’t cheap, right?” Michael complained as he waved his right hand towards us… Then I was suddenly staring at an endless green expanse. I had seen it from space, but looking down at Lorthon from a few miles above sea level was still incredible. It felt much more… Real? I didn’t feel as much of a disconnect, as when I looked down at the world from directly above.
The interesting thing I noticed immediately, was something I already kind of knew about, just never thought of before then. Lorthon Forest looked flat. Obviously I could only see the first ring of the northernmost part of Lorthon, but it was still odd to me. I knew that the forest was like a huge crater, yet the deeper you went into the pit, the higher the trees grew. So from several miles above all that, it all just looked like an huge bumpy green plain.
“Alright, I have no idea where exactly the so-called ‘Dragon King’ is… But this is as far as I could take us through teleportation. There are tendrils all across the southern edge of the mountain range that I can take us to, it’s just that the centermost peaks have the highest Mana-Levels. It’s only about fifty miles north but well… It’s a few miles up.”
As Michael spoke, I gazed up at the three mountains that shot up into the clouds. We were standing on a plateau, attached to those three. If we could just fly up there, it would only take a few minutes to reach the top… But we weren’t the only ones there.
Amber pulled out her bow and shot a massive flaming purple arrow up into the sky. It quickly ripped the head off of a giant grey wyvern, then exploded and killed three others. But there were dozens of others that started to swoop down towards us.
“Anyway, it seems like the Dragon King’s invitation doesn’t mean much to these assholes.” Michael snickered, then pulled out a double-barreled silver shotgun and pulled both triggers at the same time. I could see five holes open up on three of the flying lizards, the metal balls mostly hit their wings. However, it didn’t stop them from diving towards us.
There was a series of at least ten gunshots in a row, but my son wasn’t the one shooting. My husband was holding up his two revolvers and firing them really quickly. After a single second, he already needed to reload. On the other hand, I just waved my left hand and forced the snow on the ground to form sharp spikes and shoot up into the air. When the carcasses were about to hit us, Michael created a huge gust of wind that blew them up higher into the air, then they just fell off the cliff behind us.
“Now that I think of it, this plateau would be a great place for an outpost. Maybe even a fortress…” My son sighed, “Never mind. We’ve got enough work to do already. Can’t take on any construction projects that aren’t even in Lorthon for at least a few years.”
“Can’t you just… Ya know, teleport something here?” Mike suddenly asked, “Like what if you took a house or something at the very least and teleported it over here real fast? Then we’d at least have a basecamp. I don’t think it’s a good idea to bring a bunch of babies around the mountainside for more than a few hours at a time.”
“That would require a shitload of Mana.” My son sighed, then said “But you’re right. We shouldn’t bring the kids around with us everywhere. Rather than building a conventional house though, why not just dig down and create a bunker? With Rae and I working together, we should be able to do it. Amber and Mike will be on guard duty, Ethir should watch the kids. We can probably finish this project in a few minutes. This is a good location too, since this pine tree here is actually connected to one of Hithu’s roots. Alright, let’s get to work!”
It wasn’t anywhere near as simple or easy as he made it out to be. Michael would use his staff to drill down into the rocky ground with a spiral of super-compressed air, while I would have to life up chunks of stone that weighed several tons each. We piled up the huge grey cubes up and eventually used them as building blocks to create a short square structure that was barely up to my son’s chest. Though that was well above my head, so I guess it was at least six feet off the ‘ground’. However, the inside was big enough that even the giant golem could stand up inside.
Even though it was only a single room, it still took us a few hours to make. In that time, the sun went down and there were at least three more attacks. Not by wyverns though. The second wave consisted of eight giant brown bears, which were turned into fluffy pelts to furnish our ‘base’. The third group of enemies were lizard people with red scales. They used bows and spears, but after half of them were brutally butchered by Amber, the rest fled.
The last wave was a single drake, but it didn’t look like the kind that I imagined. Instead of scales, it had thick white fur and lots of spikes all across its back. The wings reminded me of a bat and its head was closer to that of a monkey or ape. The monster even had a stinger on its tail and Mike named it a ‘Manticore’. Technically, it was still considered a drake because it was oviparous, had four legs, two wings and needed to use wind magic to fly instead of relying on its own strength and wings.
We ate that creature for dinner. Even the golem took part. After spending a few months with Ailyn, he figured out how to simulate a digestive system and some other senses. The only reason I even knew was because he never shut up about it.
“Ah~, this manticore steak is fucking delicious! Seriously Ethan, why don’t you quit teaching and become a chef instead? No wait, what if you taught a cooking class? Even better! What if you broadcasted a show where you teach people how to cook across the whole damn country? It’s only a matter of time before televisions are mainstream. You should start planning your show now…”
My husband immediately refuted, “Ethir… My name isn’t Ethan. Why are you calling me that?”
“Oh, well…” Mike paused for a moment to continue slowly chewing his steak, before saying: “Hmmm, ah, yeah. I think I remember now. You changed your name to Ethan when… Shit, sorry, it’s really hard to avoid giving spoilers when a character from my story is asking me questions that could easily break the fourth wall.”
“Mike, for the last goddamn time.” My son stopped eating his smoked manticore liver, to shout “This isn’t a story you wrote! It’s reality! The last thing we need right now is some planar bullshit! Luna, if you want to have sex with yourself, I don’t need you to broadcast it directly into my mind! Go back to just observing me quietly!”
“Oh my God! Holy shit!” The metal man suddenly became excited, as he whispered “Dude, the moment you said that, it was like a porn folder opened up in my brainbox… I must have kept them somewhere much more easily accessible in my F-Drive. Wait a second, I don’t have ‘drives’? Damn it, that was so obvious and I didn’t figure it out until now… Ugh, all my folders are filled with porn. Maybe I could turn this into a physical form and sell it?”
Okay, I’ll admit that I’m writing these dialogues down from the file Mike sent me when he told me to write my memoirs. There’s no way I would remember so much from so long ago. I thought it would be better to be as accurate as possible, rather than embellishing things.
It might have been freezing and dark outside, but in our little bunker, it was almost too hot. Between Michael, Amber and Mike, just their body heat alone was like being in the depths of Lorthon Forest. Not to mention the extraordinarily dense Mana from all of us simply breathing. Ethir Enchanted the stone blocks around us so that we wouldn’t be noticed when we were all inside, but that also meant our Mana couldn’t leak out. It just seeped into the rocks, reinforcing his enchantment.
There was a faint light that emanated from Michael’s left arm, while Mike’s eyes were like spotlights in the darkness, so we were able to see each other in that humid place pretty easily. It wasn’t bad at all. Spending time with my family on vacation.
It got me thinking about ‘safety’. Is it dangerous to take your children that are only a few months old, into the mountains? Definitely… But only if you’re weak. When you’re powerless, just staying at home, in your village… Can lead to disaster. Even if Belial avoided our town completely, it was only a matter of time before something else happened. I was so young and foolish.
Rather than safety, I was more concerned about convenience. For example, if my grandchildren and children were anything like normal Wood Elves their age, they would still be in diapers and drinking breast milk. However, my kids looked more like toddlers and acted like adults, while Michael’s infants were at least capable of not peeing and pooping themselves. They would still ‘ask’ me to take them outside to do their business every thirty minutes or so, but it wasn’t so bad. As for breastfeeding, Iris liked to drink my blood, while only Abby and Terry were still drinking from my son occasionally. I still found it really strange, but then again, it was far more normal than a certain floating lightning lizard.
Speaking of which, around that time Michael asked, “Did Raijin teach you those symbols and say that they’re ‘Runes’? That’s obviously Hiragana and Kanji. You know that you can basically use any language when writing magical scrip, right? It’s basically just a program of sorts… Sometimes, it literally is a program if you’re in a virtual reality. Some realities have deities that literally read your script and then enact the effects through blessings or curses. However, most of the time, like in this world, the most important thing is your own feelings and understandings when you’re writing down the words. If you’re more familiar with Lorthon, just stick with that for the difficult stuff. Otherwise you’re just wasting your energy, and Mana.”
Ethir nervously explained, “I know… She told me before. But… Lorthon requires too much space. I’m trying to make things as simple as possible. As small as I can. In order to make normal materials into extraordinary ones, it requires a lot more effort. Also, since Raijin was once a part of me, I can read and write with Japanese as well as I can with Lorthon. Maybe better…”
Meanwhile, Mike was having a ‘deep’ discussion with Amber and Iris… About weapons and killing. I’ll just give a few bits of dialogue.
“Spear good for stabbing. Scythe for slashing and stabbing. I like bow for shooting. Makes good splosions.”
“Yeah, I’m telling you girl, ya gotta try a glaive. Kinda like a big fuckin curved blade on the end of a long pole. Of course, there are all different kinds. Then again, a halberd is always nice. Hell, I have a hard time picking and choosing so I would just collect em. Might as well, right? Guns and bows are fun, but then you gotta worry ‘bout ammo all the time. Even if it’s a magical bullshit weapon that works off Mana, it’s kinda like trying to ejaculate your enemies to death. Might as well just smash em with a big ass hammer. Oh, throwing hammers and axes are awesome.”
“I’m not gonna lie. I do love to cave people up with knives. Shoved a lot of poles up people’s asses too. But guns, ah~, there’s something so pleasant about being able to pull the trigger and kill the fucker from a distance they can’t close. Well, my specialty has always been ‘Mind Fucking’. I love making rapists rape each other to death. That prude has always been way too soft on those evil assholes, but whatever. Fuckin A~, what was I saying before? Oh yeah, guns are awesome. Even up close and personal, it’s hilarious to watch the blood and guts spray everywhere when you use a shotgun. Really gross sometimes, but totally worth it.”
It was mostly just that kind of nasty talk. Amber would say some rudimentary statements in between her incessant munching on the thigh bone of that drake. Then Mike and Iris would take turns trying to convince the tigress to try out new weapons or fighting styles.
I was playing with the three adorable babies and making sure they didn’t get hurt, while the last two people were playing ‘tag’. Of course, they could both fly and were really fast, so I was a little afraid that my daughter might get hurt. She seemed happy though.
Eventually, everyone started to get tired, so we all went to sleep. I was on the ‘southern’ side, with Ethir and all the children. Mike just laid in the middle of the room and ‘shut down’. While Michael and Amber took up the whole northern side. They were afraid to sleep with their own babies because they were umm… ‘Violent Sleepers’ I guess. It would have been horrible if Amber ate one of the kids while she was sleeping, or if either of them accidentally turned over and crushed them.
As I laid there on the fluffy bear pelt, cuddling with my husband, I closed my eyes and started to drift off into sleep… But then I heard a faint and high pitched voice crying, “Mommy!”
I opened my eyes and looked around, but all the children were already in a deep slumber. After sighing, I laid back down and felt like the world was falling away. Then I heard it again, but louder, “Mommy help, please!”
This time I opened my eyes, but what I saw wasn’t the dark room. It was so bright that it burned my eyes. A whole world that seemed to be on fire. The yellow atmosphere was so thick, that I couldn’t even see the surface. I was floating in the void, but didn’t suffocate or really ‘feel’ anything odd.
“Mommy, please… Help me…” The voice seemed really distant, I gazed down at that world and felt like my body was being yanked towards it. I was frightened at first, but my instincts told me not to resist. A little girl needed my help. I wasn’t going to ignore her cries.
When I entered the atmosphere, it didn’t impede me at all. Then I arrived at a massive battlefield. Several volcanoes were erupting off to the left side of my vision, while a cluster of black towers were standing over to the right. Flaming demonic cows and orcs were fighting against an army of really tall, dark-skinned Elves. Thousands of arrows filled the sky, while lightning rained down from the heavens.
“Mommy? No, who are you?” That’s when I noticed a human child, cloaked in arcs of electricity. She was floating next to me, casting an incredibly powerful spell to help the Elves, who were withstanding the seemingly endless waves of molten enemies.