After ten minutes of cursing the world and all the gods that I know existed, I calm down.
From being mad at whoever it was that prevented me from dying to feeling very nothing at all, was very exhausting.
Ahh, I haven't felt this mad in a long time.
Where am I?
Arge, this is... the memory from this body? The pain from memory transferring was never pleasant.
The body that I am currently residing in was called Jenna Loveheart.
She was the youngest daughter of a large farming family, located in a small village called Bulea Village, far to the western part of the Ernos Kingdom, in a world called Aquiiros.
Within the memory, Jenna Loveheart was a very tenderhearted girl who loves to cook, farms, and watch over her older cousins- as they do not have the skills for making food as she does.
Her mother was the Village's only alchemist- a low tier one, but one nonetheless, and she loves her mother very dearly.
Her father was the youngest son of the 12 sons in the Loveheart family. This made her the youngest children to be born within the Loveheart family.
In total, there were more than 30 family members within this girl's family. And yet, as a farmer family from a small village, they didn't starve or got hunger from lack of foods and resources.
The Loveheart family lived on the western side of the village, with the largest farmland available. The majority of the households were farmers, with a couple members being hunters and warriors. So, hunting for meats from the surrounding was never something that they lack.
They all live a simple, carefree, live in this small village of theirs.
They farmed something that looked and taste to be wheat, barley, potato, long beans, red corn, basil, peas, onions, plants, mint, and parsley. They have geese, ducks, quail, pheasant, pigeon, chicken for eggs, goats for milk, cattle, and oxen to help to plow the farms. I could see other species of chicken/pheasants, but those are smaller in amount and it wasn't for eating. For example, Jenna's old pet, a grouse or maybe it was a chukar that looks more like a chicken. It has a very plump body, short legs, and a small round head and peck. The tail was squared and the winds are very broad and rounded. In term of weight, it should weight at least a pound and a half. It was very adorable and Jenna used to play with it every day before going to do her chores.
All of the plants and animals that were in Jenna's memory was all normal mortal plants and animal. There was no mana plants or beast of any kind. Does that mean that this world doesn't have magic? If so, which energy compensated for it? Spiritual Qi? Prana Energy? Star Energy? Elemental Energy?
Or was it Epsi life force as the energy?
Which was it?
The Loveheart Household's farmland was a large 15-hectare wide area. The area was divided into 36 different kinds of fields.
Out of those 36 fields of land, 12 fields were used to farm the stable foods for this village. Wheat, barley, red corns, peas, and potato. The other was for basil, bay leaves plants, long beans, mint, parsley and a small number of herbal plants for medicinal usage.
There were only the lands that have been plowed already. If anyone wanted to increase the land amount, they could at their own times.
Since the Bulea Village was so far away from other larger village and town, their rate of taxation was very low. At only 5% of their yearly harvest. This had cause Bulea Village to be one of the most carefree villages in this world. Some years, they didn't even have to pay taxes because the tax collector never came.
Jenna's mother used to say that Bulea Village was her dream home destination. Before she married Jenna's father, her mother was a girl from a mid-size village near Bulea Village. However, her village was not this peaceful. They had to worry about beasts, bandits, wars, foods, waters, and their very own safety even within the village.
So, when her parents left the world, she decided to follow one of the merchants' groups that likes to travel around and came here. She fell in love with this village at first sight. And since then, she had lived here. She was already 34 years old, a pretty old lady when she married Jenna's father- who was 8 years younger than her. And yet, they had lived a peaceful life with the occasional chaos from the surrounding forest here with no problem.
This all change when a dragon appeared out of nowhere.
A large, menace, angered, wounded, red dragon. Red, fire, breathing dragon.
When this dragon appeared, I knew right away that this world has to have either mana, spiritual qi, elemental energy, or Epsi energy as its sources. This was because Dragon, no matter if it was a false one or a real one, needs a higher rank of energy in order to survive.
This dragon, in rage, set the whole village on fire. Why was it wounded? How does it know this village? Those questions weren't something that the kids even though to ask.
Their small Bulea Village only has about 250 people.
From the dragon's fire, 225 dies. Leaving only 11 children and 14 adults- who aren't the type that can be trusted when it matters.
Clearly, the 14 adults didn't stay for long either.
Jenna's memory didn't show what happened to them, but, I could already guess what happened.
This left Jenna and 10 other kids alive, not well, but alive, in Bulea Village.
Jenna does not know what happened to the Red Dragon, because it flew away.
Out of the kids, from oldest to youngest, Jenna herself wasn't even in the middle.
Luke Greenbridge and Jin Yorkon were the eldest among the kids. Following by a girl called Rebecca Norme and then Jenna herself. Afterward, it is Lurin Greenbridge, Luke's younger brother, then Samantha, Jin's younger sister, following by Deana Woodlock. The last four was the two twins Hilsa and Minna Goldheart, cousin to Jenna Loveheart, with Vinna Redtail and Arise Milken being the youngest.
Age wise, currently, Luke and Jin are both 15 years old, while Rebecca and Jenna- I- at 13 years old. Then, Lurin at 12 years old, Samantha 9 years old, and Deana who was 8 years old. Hilsa and Minna were only 6 years old. Younger than Hilsa and Minna was Vinna who was only 5 years old. And then the youngest, Arise, who was only 3 years old.
.... A bunch of kids... how did they- we- survived all this time?
No, how did Jenna survived all these time?
Because judging from this body's original soul's fate, she was supposed to die in that attack that killed her whole family.
So, the question was, who changed her fate?
It wasn't Megie. She wasn't here when that event happened, so she couldn't affect it. Not to mention, she has never been to this world before. So, she had nothing to do with this girl's changing fate.
I cleared my mind of the question. Right now isn't the time to think about such a thing.
That event has occurred two years ago when Jenna was only 11 years old. And now, she's 13 years old.
I have to say that I am very surprised. For 11 kids to survives for 2 whole years without any adults to watch or look after they were not normal.
Clearly, they had survived by themselves after all these times. How?
This was due to the actions of Jin, Luke, and Jenna herself.
This girl really was tenderhearted. When that tragedy happened, Jenna was injured and was near death's door. Jin was the one that helped her out and nurses her back to life.
He was also the one that found the Balint Trees for them.
The Balint Trees are a kind of mysterious trees that had absorbed the nearby sea water into its roots. As the results, the sap from its trunk was thick and milky. It is an edible kind of milk that give out a lot of nutrition. Once the milk is dried, it tastes nearly the same as starchy mashed potatoes, only with a slight saltiness and sweetness to the tastes.
Due to Jin's action, for the past 2 years, this girl had mature at a rate that causes even I to be surprised.
She had used the knowledge that she knows from her mother's teaching to help gather the wild greens in the forest area that wasn't burned off. Cooking the wild greens with Balint's Milk just because there was nothing else to eat was an accident.
There was no need to worry about water, as the Bulea Village has five water wells that are safe and secured even now. The only thing that the kids have to worry about was food and shelter.
Since all the houses were burned down already, the kids build a very primitive shelter for themselves... So primitives that it didn't even stop the rains from leaking through.
It seems that even Jin was lost at building shelters.
It can't be helped. There were no tools at all. Jin had to tie a rock to a wooden stick and made a very makeshift stone-ax for building and gathering woods.
As for food, well, the greens that Jenna had been gathering and the Balint Milk was all that they have.
Sigh. No wonder this body feel so weak.
I wouldn't be surprised if it drops dead- wait a minute, it really did drop dead.
Wait for a second, how did this girl die anyway?
Eh? It was from... eating raw fish meat and mushroom?
How did she die from that?
There's a large flowing river, which comes directly from the mountain to the North of Bulea Village, nearby.
Within that rivers, there's a hundred different kind of fishes there. But, it was a very dangerous place due to the beasts nearby and the Lord of the River.
Usually, Jenna would sneak by here to gather the dead fishes that the Lord of the River left out.
However, today, when Jenna came here, it because of... a feeling.
A feeling that said that her time is up.
How Jenna knew of this was... odd. It was just a feeling that made Jenna dread worry for the kids. So, she came here at this location, right next to the river, where she usually collect the dead fishes from.
Only to find the corpse of the Lord of the River, bleeding out and was already dead.
Jenna had done the only thing that she knew how to. She panicked for ten minutes, calmed down, gathered the fishes, ignored the corpse, gathered the surrounding void mushrooms, and had a little snack by eating the void mushroom- which can be eating raw and it was safe to eat.
Only to feel that her times is up not a minute later.
Even at her death, the girl worries about the kids that she will leave behind. So, she even wrote out her wish on the ground using a stick, asking Megie- or whoever it was that will be living in her body- to help the kids out.
'Hello, Whoever it was that will be living in my body. My name is Jenna Loveheart. And I know that I am dying. I don't know how but I just know it like its a fact. I don't mind if you live in my place. I know that if not for Jin helping that time two years ago, I would have been dead, already. So, I have no regrets. The only thing that I am worried about was the kids. I don't know if you will be living in my place as me, but if you don't mind, please, help the kids out. They all are very good children.
... This girl... How was she able to keep her heart this pure in times like this? Even at her own death's door, she still worries about the other children.
Still, I am not a kind person.
But... Sigh. Was she the reason why I didn't die?
Because of this tenderheartedness little girl?
... To be honest, I am worried.
My heart had long ago stopped being naive and kind-hearted. My... conscious isn't even...
Sigh... But this is a wish from a girl who actually let me live her life.
... Fine. I shall do what I can for the kids. After that, I will leave.
I am... very tired.
However, before that... I need to find that asshole who prevent my soul from dissipating.
Whoever it was...
He or she better prepare their neck for me...
Somewhere in a sacred land, a male with long blond hair and wearing golden rob shivered... His back aches and his spine shivered in fear.
"... Shit..." He murmured with his eyes shivering in fear.
"She's not going to let me live..." He pale.
"But... Noona, sorry... This realm needs you... No, I need you," He whispered with a haunted look in his eyes. The air turned cold as ice start appearing.
The man looked up above him, into the star with a deeply profound, solemn, look within his eyes.
"Noona... hurry back. I can only hold on for so long," He whispered to the darkness around him. His expression unreadable.
For some reason, I thought that I heard the whispered of Sirayu... That kid... this better not be his doing or else...
Still, if it was, then, yeah... this would make sense.
... Sigh... I can't blame Sirayu for doing this either.
That kid has a lot on his plate. Not as much as me, but still too much for a soul that young. Even though I look like this, my age was far older than some worlds out there.
And then he goes around and calls me Noona... Which could be translated to Big Sis? Or was it Elder Sister?
Looking at the small pile of void mushroom, dead fishes that smell pretty badly, greens sprouts and... what the hell? Is that a fungus? But... what the hell? It's a leaf thought?!
Since when does fungus have leaves? How come I don't know this!
Ahh- Enough. This is a different world, after all. Who knows what kind of world this world is!
Still... this girl... she really died from eating fungus leaf?
The surrounding was exactly like how it was from this girl's memory. A large regional forest with large and tall trees. The river, called Bluecrest River, ran down from the mountain to the north all the way to the southeast, into the ocean. The earthen ground was dark, a sign that this area had a forestry fire before.
Not even 10 meters away was a large carcass of some beast. The body of the Lord of the River. The Bulbasaur, a large lizard beast with 6 arms and three large horns on its head. Its scale was of a dragon and its nails were of steel.
It was no wonder why this area was so peaceful... because there's a dragon blood lizard here who's actually a green blood beast.
Eying the wounds on the carcass, I have to say, this was totally not Sirayu's marking... So, that means that there's another person or being involved in sending me to this world.
... this is getting more and more complicated.
And I had only been here for not even half an hour, yet.
Looking at the dead body, the carcass, I have to question... how am I going to dismantle this huge carcass without any tool?
I can't use magic in this body- yet. There's no bamboo nearby either. I guess I will have to make do with flint tool?
I mean, there is a river right there, you know? Where natural flint-stone are found...
Still, can this body even handle the dismantling of this beast? This was a green blood beast, you know? Even without using any magic right now, I could still tell that its scale was harder than steel. How in the world am I going to be able to dismantle this huge ass carcass?
The carcass was easily a thousand times larger and longer than the current me.
Sigh. Jenna, oh Jenna, this is your life from now on.
Which mean that I will have to do something about this body first.
Sighing out loud and feeling somewhat hesitating, I sat down on the ground next to the carcass as I put myself into a meditation stage.
... And yet, I... hesitate. I knew exactly what would happen if I proceed on to meditation.
Magic affinities have nothing to do with the connection of the mind, the soul, and the comprehension of the Forces and Laws to the attributes of a body in any universe. Unless my eyes were taken out and my senses were numbed, even without any knowledge, I could still mediate into the world's core.
This body wasn't exactly normal either.
This body might be weak but... it was a body that was made to be a magician.
The magic vein was pure, clean, clear, and secured. After all these time eating food that is pretty much... trash, this body's magic vein was still this clean, this pure, this... perfect.
This body was even more suitable for magic than my original human body.
Sigh... No use hesitating, Jenna. From now on, you really are 'Jenna Loveheart.'
I closed my eyes and let my mind, body, soul, and spirit sink into the deep of the universe's Laws and Forces.
Ah, The Laws of the Elementals. And here come the Forces of the Elementals.
Hum? No- no -no this body isn't ready for the Time and Space Elemental yet! Go away!
First of all, this body needs something warm, easier to control, calm, and supportive as her first base.
Weird enough, I could tell that this body's sensitivity toward magic was even better than mine own- back when I first attempted to connect to the True Elemental Magic Affinities.
Which was... Okay, good for her. But... Why didn't she cultivates? Her late-mother knew a couple Lifestyle Spells, after all. With this girl's diligent toward anything and everything that her mother had taught, she would haven't a hard time like how she does now- if she had learned the magic spells that her mother used in their household.
Ah- I see. That time, huh.
There was one thing and only one thing that Jenna Loveheart hates with a passion. And that? Was learning about her own body.
When she was only 7 years old, something called the Blue Moon Eclipse happened. Jenna's memories of that event were fading in and out with no clear memories but it was during that time that she noticed something about her body. Since then, Jenna hates learning about her own body.
No, hates might not be the right word.
Fear is more like it.
I don't want to understand her but I could, this girl fears how her body was not normal.
She fears that she wasn't normal.
And she was right.
I don't know who(s) it was that prepared this body for me, but... sigh.
I have to live as Jenna Loveheart from now on.
Fine. First Elemental would be Plants Elemental Mana. This was so that this body doesn't drop dead as soon as possible. Afterward, would be the Water Elemental Mana, and then Wind Elemental Mana. Hum? This body also can get the Light Elemental Mana this early? No, not yet. I need the Earth Elemental Mana first.
Plant/Wood, Water, Earth, Wind/Air next would be Fire Elemental Mana.
Then, the True Dividend Element that divided all of the other Elemental, the One Element that I, as Megie discovered, called the Gray Element, with its formal named as Void Elemental Mana. The void magic was what truly separate each element from one another. It acts and functions both as a support and a catalyst.
Now, with the Void Elemental Mana, I can take the Darkness and Light Elemental Magic without fearing that this body will explode.
With Dark and Light Magic, next would be the Elements, yes plural, that let me use all other magic. The Chaos Elemental Mana.
With the Chaos Elemental Mana, next comes Space and Time Elemental Mana.
Time has never been without Space, as Space has never been without Time. These two will always be there together.
And now, the most profound elemental of all.
The Death and Life Elements Mana.
... Hahaha, I knew it.
There's no way that these two Elements would leave me alone.
With the Nine Primal Elements, comes the Four Origin Elements. This was a fact, an awareness, a comprehension, and a knowledge of acceptions.
The Nine Primal Elements: Wood/Plants, Fire, Water, Earth, Wind, Darkness, Light, Void, Death, and Life.
And the Four Origin Elements: Chaos, Times, Space, and Spirit.
And then, I have to worry about the Sub-Elements; such as Lightning and Sounds.
Any Metal Elements are under the Primal Elements Earth, Fire, and Water.
Any Lightning Elements are under the Primal Elements Water, Light, and Wind.
Sounds are a sub-element from the Wind, Darkness, and Space.
There is other sub-elementals magic out there. However, for now, these are all that I can handle in this body.
I sat down and continue to monitor the elemental within this body's mindscape.
I laughed slightly sinisterly when I notice that the first elemental mana that got attached to my soul was the Life Mana.
Fucking damn it.
Even in this world, I would have to live for a long time?
Isn't it eons of suffering enough? Now, I have to suffer more in this new and unknown world?
The Life Elemental Mana vibrate softly as they surrounded me. Their intention cleared and filled with goodwill.
Ten or so moments later, I came out of meditation with a calmness.
Now, I, as Jenna Loveheart, can use any kind of magic that I want.
For now, I need to do something before these foods and carcass draw in other animal or beast.
Going to the river beds, I picked up two stones that look round enough and started to flintknapping it. Once I got the shape that I like, I pick up another couple smaller rocks and make a makeshift campfire right beside the beast's dead body.
Unlike what normal people did when they craft flint stone tools, I cooked mine in the fire. And then quenched it in the water again, and cooked it again. Three times. By the third time, the rock was both hard and yet not fragile to the touch of flintknapping.
I sharpened the stone by grinding it with sands from the riverbeds and against the large boulder there.
Once the shape of the stone was to my liking, I used the Earth Mana and infused it into the stone while grinding it against the stone.
Within what feels like forever to me, but was in fact only a couple minutes later, a sharp carvy stone knife was in my hand.
I then again throw the stone knife into the campfire and lite it up using the Fire Mana in the air. This way, the stone won't collapse once it hit water since it has already been reinforced by Earth and Fire Mana.
For now, I can only use a small amount of mana for very basic manipulation. But, for this body, it shouldn't take long for her to get used to having mana circulates inside her body. For now, this was enough to make mana infused stone tool.
After five minutes, I took the stone knife out of the campfire and let it cool down naturally, all the while infusing more mana into it. This time, with Water Elemental Mana- because I needed the softness from the Water Mana functions to help stabilized this knife.
Five minutes later, a reddish-goldish colored stone knife was in my hand. The size of the stone knife was about 7.7cm in blade width while the blade length itself was about 19cm total. The handle was rounded at 12.3cm. It looked more like a cleaver, chef knife than a stone knife but, that's only because I made it this way for easier handling.
Next, I teared up a bit of my already-torn up shirt and tied it around the handle.
Next, I walked up to the carcass of the Bulbasaur and started to skin its hide- scales off.
First of all, the hide of this beast looked like scales but it was not scale. It is more crocodile hide and alligator rather than lizardly hide. So, I have to make the cut more carefully in fear that if made a mistake, those plate of skins from the lizard itself will cut me, easily.
Skinning the hide of this beast was more tiring than I thought. First of all, this body was weak. Very weak even for a mortal body. This was due to a lack of food, nutrition, sleep, and basically everything else.
So, by the times that I finished skinning the skins of this beast, I was sweating storms.
My stomach was growling and demanding food- something that I am not used to at all- as I barely need to eat before.
I dismantled out a chunk of meats from the beast and cooked it over the campfire.
However, I was soon reminded that this beast was a Green Blood Beast. Normal fire cannot cook it.
Instead, I used Fire Mana to cooked it.
I have to be careful thought. As cooking with Fire Mana directly was very dangerous. I don't have to do this, as I could have used the Water Mana to manipulate the veins of the beast to soften its meat to cooked normally- but I don't have the strength nor the time for that.
I had been gone for too long, already. The kids would have been very worried about me, already.
So, I just concentrate on cooking the meats with Fire Mana directly. Within ten seconds, the meats from the Bulbasaur was cooked.
Since there was no seasoning on it, I just eat it like that directly. However, even without any season on it, the meats from the Bulbasaur was very soft, tender, fatty, and very fragrance. This was due to the fact that this beast was a Water Element beast. So, its meat was not tough like Earthen Beast's beast tend to be when it died.
After eating a whole 30 pounds of cooked Bulbasaur's meats, I can say that I have more strengths now.
So, I proceed to dismantle the rest of the beast, after makings sure that there aren't any other monsters, animal or otherwise near me.
With the mana infused stone cleaver- not a knife- a cleaver, it was a lot easier to dismantle the beast. Although, I still have troubles with the bones, and the Beast Core.
Even if this stone cleaver was far stronger than granite or Igneous, for that matter, it is still was just a stone cleaver. Its material was only of stone, not iron.
I just leave the bones alone for now, even though it's worth a lot. While I use the Beast Core of the Bulbasaur to increase my Mana Vein's strength. With this weak-ass body, I am sure that whoever it was that place me in this world knows that I will use the Beast Core to strengthen my Mana Vein.
After all, Water Element Beast's core, up from the Green Blood Beast and above, are very useful for strengthening the vassal veins of a cultivator's body. The apertures and meridian acupoints weren't that easy to widen, much less opened it. That's why using Water Element Beast's core was a must. Nonetheless, this method isn't for everyone. I am probably the only person who would use it raw like this.
When I was done, I burned off all the waste and everything else, leaving only the meats, the large hide from the Bulbasaur, and the heart- which was very good for inscription- something that I and the kids really needed right now. There's a large pile of meats left within the hide.
I used the grasses near the river and make a makeshift string to tie the hide and meats into a bundle of a ball. This is so that it's easier for me to push/roll it. There's no way that I have the strength to carry this much meats and I am not leaving it here.
So, rolling it like a ball it is.
By the time that I made it to the kids and out... hideout. I was near death.
I really was near death.
Yep, this body cannot stay this weak if I am going to be staying in it. There's no way that I will tolerant this feeling of unable to do anything other than gasped for breath as I do small things like this.
Ah- I already hate this body!
"Jenna?" A bewildered voice asked with confusion. It sounds weak and young.
"Sister Jenna?" Another voice called out this time, clearly a girl's voice, with confusion too.
"L-lurin. Arise.- I'm back." I gasped for breath as I drop down to the ground, totally looking like I'm at death's door again. Ah, damn this weak body!
"Jenna? What's wrong? Where have you been? Jin has been looking for you before he left," Luke said with a voice that's very weak but wasn't able to hide his worries and curiosity.
Still gasping for breath, I groaned out, "Meats,"
"Meats?" Arise's small, weak, pitiful, and a pitifully hopeful voice asked. I looked at her. Damn,
Are you sure that Arise's 3 years old?! She looked like she's only 2! She hasn't grown at all in the past two years! The malnutrition was more severe than I thought. Good thing that I brought back these meats, then.
She, and so was everyone else, was all bones and skins.
"Yes, Arise, it is meats. I found the body of a large beast near the river so I took sometimes to harvest it. Luke, could you please start the fire?" I asked Luke as I rise to my feet and untied the ball of hides. Arise curiously come paddling to me like a little duckling with a curious expression on her pale face.
Behind Luke was Lurin, Luke's younger brother and only family member. He was also curiously looking at me with his two large eyes before he went toward his brother to help make the fire.
Arise looks at the pile of meats that was revealed with a shocked and very surprised reaction. Then that expression turned into delighted as her stomach growls in hunger.
I perfectly act as Jenna and smile softly at the girl. "Go wash your hands and face, Arise. And then, go get everyone." I said to the girl who nodded happily, with a vitality that wasn't there before.
"Sister Jenna, the fire is ready," Lurin said softly from behind me while I was organizing the chunks of meats.
"Thanks, Lurin," I answered the boy, who actually now have hope in his eyes, unlike the tired and exhausted figured from before.
For the past 2 years since that 'event', there wasn't much to eat for the kids. The farms, the village's storage house, and their own houses were all burned down to the ground. Their houses had long ago collapsed to the elements of the world. Leaving behind only the happy and sad memories in their minds. The only things worth scavenging for was deep underground in some of the house's basement, where the dragon's fire cannot reach.
However, the kids themselves have no tools or such strength to dig up that much earth. Now a day, they take turns digging and scavenging for things inside those basements for their usages. They found a couple of things upon some of their diggings, but they don't know how to use it.
"Sister Jenna?" Samantha, Jin's sister, asked with hope in her eyes as she held Arise's hand. Arise had probably gone to get her from the digging site for this week's scavenging house. Her clothes were the same kind as mine but her face was dirty due to digging around.
"Samantha, go wash your hands and face. The rest of you, too." I said to the kids behind Samantha, whose face was so frozen in shock and happiness that it looks so very pitiful.
"Luke, could you and Lurin please bring me the cooking pot?" I asked the two brothers. They didn't even wait for me to finish my sentence before they were gone with a renewed energy that speaks of their yearning for meats.
After Luke came back with the cooking pot, we help each other drew out the water from the well, nearby. And I started to cook the meats, along with the void mushroom, and the sprouts of greens that Jenna had manages to find.
Since the meats were not normal, I had to secretly infused in fire mana into the cooking pot. As the results, it took a whole three hours to cooked the meats. By then, Jin was already back with more Balint Milk and some sort of fruits that look like a pearl.
[Changes of Perspective]
Jin took one looked at the group of kids, who was watching the cooking pot with a very scary intensity in their eyes and stop dead on his track.
Jin: "..." What's this? Had I been gone for 5 hours and come back to this sight?
"Jenna, you..." Jin was so confused that he didn't notice that his hand was already petting up Jenna's head in an instinctually spiritually habits of praising her.
Jenna's eyes widen in surprise at the action and the sudden presence of Jin.
"Jin, you are back?" Jenna asked, tired and yet so very kind that it caused Jin to stop death on his track.
For some reason, Jin feels that this Jenna was a little different from the one that he had seen yesterday. Before Jin left this morning, Jenna had already gone out- Jin assumes that she went out to scavenge and forage the nearby forest. But then, when he came back for lunch, Jenna was nowhere to be found. They search for her for 2 hours but once noticing that no danger signs were found, they stop searching and went to do their things.
They only have so much manpower, after all.
And yet, here she was, cooking like how she always did... only, with meats that Jin could tell wasn't normal. And somehow, Jin would tell that this Jenna wasn't the same Jenna from yesterday, anymore. How? Jin didn't know, but he does notice that her aura changed already.
Did she have a fortuitous encounter?
"Do go wash your hands and face. The stew is ready," Jenna said with a smile on her face... yet, that smile doesn't seem right somehow. Like, that smile was really tired and weary. The Jenna from yesterday wouldn't have this smile.
This Jenna feels... exhausted.
In a way that made Jin worries.
"Alright," Jin answered, feeling slightly out of touch with his thinking.
"Big brother!" Samantha hugs Jin before she went back to drooling over the stews. So fast that Jin barely had any time to respond back to her.
Sighing out loud, Jin put away the basket of Balint Milk and went to wash his face and hands.
When he came back, each of the kids has their makeshift wooden 'bowl' in their hand, their eyes gluing to the pot of stews, their mouth swallowing their saliva and their body unmovable.
Jenna looked oddly amusing and yet worried at the kids.
Jin really wanted to ask about their progress on this week's house scavenging but he is pretty tired and very hungry, so he didn't.
"Big brother!" Samantha called out as she handed him his own bowl.
The wooden bowls that they had found from one of the previous resident's basement. It was a very crude wooden bowl- due to it being made by the children of that house. But, that house was the only former woodworker house in this small village, so the wooden bowls were better than nothing. Over times, Jin had been grinding his own bowl so his bowl was slightly more appealing than the others.
Jenna smiles softly at Jin and the kids as she scopes up two scopes of soup into their bowls, each.
Then, around the campfire with the cooking pot in the middle, they started to eat the stew with an energy that causes Jin to be surprised.
"Slow down, you guys going to ch-" Jin didn't even finish what he were going to say before they all choke.
"""""Cough! Cough! Cough!""""" They all coughed as the heat from the stew and the dense taste from the meats caused them to choke.
"Samantha! Geez, mind your manner when you eat, will you? You are a girl!" jin rebuke Samantha as he pats her back and gives her a cup of water.
Samantha, for the first time in Jenna's memory, didn't take heed of her brother's warning and teaching.
Jin just sighs out loud as he too eats his bowl of stew.
He froze one the spoon was inside his mouth. His eyes widen in disbelief and his whole body shivered.
For a split second, Jenna thought that she saw a flicker of light from within Jin's eyes, a sign of awakening to mana.
Eh? Jenna stopped eating as her eyes trial toward Jin's body.
Weird... I can't read this boy's fate! Or Destiny, for that matter!
Who the hell is him? The only people whose fate aren't readable are those that either had Heavenly Fate as their Soul Fate or Destiny. Or those that are directly connected to--- Stop! Don't think about it!
Well, whatever. She forces her eyes away from Jin's body.
Jenna went back to eating her own bowl of stew as she slowly chews the meats- which was already melting upon touching the tongue. She still chews it carefully. All because she knew that the more chewing she does, the better and more effective the meats will give her. After all, this was a Green Blood Beast. Not a normal animal.
A couple minutes later, when all the other kids already got their third refills, Jin and Jenna finished their first bowl.
"Haaahhh," They both sighed out loud at the same time. Surprising both of themselves.
Chuckling, "Hehehe, big brother Jin and Sister Jenna are so funny~," Samantha said with a bright smile on her face.
"We aren't funny, Samantha," Jin rolled his eyes as he went to the pot and grab his second serving, "Jenna, do you want a second serving?" He asked.
"No, I am fine. Save the rest for tomorrow," Jenna answered as she stood up and went to put the pot away, inside their makeshift little hut.
To make sure that no bugs or insects get inside, Jenna places a large stone on top of the lid.
Jin watches as Jenna put away the pot and went to her hut, which was shared with Deana and Arise.
"Arise, Deana, let's go wash before going to bed," She called.
""Okay~"" The two youngest of the group happily reply as they ran to their hut and come back out with two smaller wooden bowls and two pairs of clothes for themselves each.
Jin looked at the clothes on the two girl's hands and his eyes darkened slightly.
"Samantha, go with sister Jenna and take your bath," Jin said to his sister.
"Okay~!" Samantha happily ran to their shared hut and come back out with the same kind of torn looking clothes that Jenna, Arise and Deana has.
Jenna smiled as she leads the kids to the waterwell.
"Ah! Wait, Jenna, I am coming too~" Rebecca, the oldest girl in the group, said.
Once Rebecca said that all the other girls also wanted to bath too.
For some reason, Jenna was glaring at Jin. "No Peeking, okay?" She asked with a smile that doesn't reach her eyes.
Jin twitches. How did she know?! How did she know that he had accidentally seen her naked once?! It was an accident okay?! I am not a pervert! Nor was Jenna my type!
Luke and Lurin look at Jin with a look that said, 'What? Did Jin really peek on Jenna, while she was bathing?'
Jin blushed bright red, "Who's going to do that?!" He yelled at Jenna, completely feeling like a small little boy being a tease by a far older, sexier, lady.
Jenna just ignored him as she turns away and leads the girls to the water well.
Jin looked at Jenna's back with a weird feeling in his guts.
'Weird? Why do I feel like Jenna's crying?' He shook his head to clear his thoughts away. There's no way that Jenna's crying. Jenna hasn't cried since four years ago when her elder cousin died from birth complication due to the Blue Moon. That was the first and last time that Jin had seen Jenna cried. And even then, Jin doesn't feel any pity for her at all. And yet, here Jin was, worrying over the Jenna that was not even crying.
'What am I thinking about?' Jin shook this thought off.