Blucini told herself this was the right thing to do. With what had happened, she couldn’t hide in this mansion forever and avoid all contact with the outside world until the hysteria and suspicion passed. She needed a normal life and normal interaction. She couldn’t live the life of a caged pretty bird feranoth, its wings forever clipped.
Nina grew up in a rural milieu, which shaped her preconceptions and biases against townsfolk. That didn’t change until she was away from her family while finishing up her education – and lived inside the boundaries of that same town.
The bell above the shop door tinkled as it opened. Frell looked over casually. Her eyes widened at the uncommon sight: some kind of colorful underwater slug slithered inside. Definitely not something she usually saw on land here.
Atlas picked himself back up again. The problem had to be in the gears operating the flap of the wings. He might have tightened them too much. He went back to his workbench, took it off, adjusted the tension and put the straps back on. He made sure to add a little lubricant around the moving parts, in case that was the issue.
Worse, something was creating some new kind of noise and I didn’t like it at all. It was like echoey watery whispers any time it was misty or cloudy. It filled my senses during the thickest parts of moonrise. I needed my sleep!
The aunt’s face lit up with pure joy and recognition. “Yes! It is good to rekindle. Please eat the pie, while it is still hot. It’s not as good the next day. I hope you like it. It was nice to meet you.”
The stars were gone. Well, some of them. All above overheard, in some kind of impossibly larger black shape. The shower of trails of falling stars in the other regions of the sky outlined it distinctly.
Most of the other children where she lived had instruction in useful skills and practical abilities and here she was, just learning a bunch of useless dusty old facts she’d never be expected to remember or use in the future…
Start measuring fresh water and cursed water in flasks and arranging them on her work counter. Uncorks potion bottles and get multiple funnels ready. Cross-contamination is a serious issue with curse water.
When she was on the streets for a while, it really got to her deeply when it was matted all the time and she felt dirty and gross. Now she owns several kinds of soaps, shampoos and conditioners with lovely herbal and spice-based scents: vanilla, lavender, mint, cinnamon, chamomile, chocolate.
This clearly supports my previous position that using Mana was guided by nothkin themselves. Since this position is increasingly unpopular in both formal education and the dominant religion, you can understand my reluctance on publishing this.
Blucini dangled her legs over the edge of the dock, kicking them back and forth. She flipped open the knife, took the rounded wooden block and began shaping it. Flecks and thin curls of wood fell into the water below. Black shapes moved beneath the water, already assembling in anticipation.
After all, the Great Shelled One was literally the ground under their feet. They had harnessed the power of the giant manabeast. Given a constant supply of hypernutritious mana pumping straight into its brain stem, it grew to massive size and only continued to grow with every passing decade. The top of its head had been carefully drilled into, leveled and now housed an entire city on top of its flattened dome.