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Aether Beasts

Chapter 26 - 26

Chapter 26 - 26

"Oh well you"re just in time, there"s some left," Jenna said as I stood and pulled out a seat for Zirani. She smiled and took a seat, and I noticed that she seemed a bit taller, not as large as she"d been when I"d first seen but definitely taller and the patterns on her light green skin were more prominent.

"Did you change?" I asked.

She nodded. "Yes, the mutation went well and we pushed through to the hydro stage and a bit of the way towards iron.

My eyes bugged at her words. Iron?

She must have noticed my shock because she shook her head. "I keep forgetting that I"m not below the scar. Honestly, someone at your age below the scar would already be at their second core and the great clans have many youths already at iron."

"I assumed you were from below the great scar," My aunt commented. "It"s not like there are any jungles in the northern plains."

"Can we go back for a second," I said. "People below the great scar would already have two cores at my age?"

"Yes, I"ve told you this already but the quality and density of the aether here is awful and the state of your arcane arts is just as bad, though the higher end sects of the plains might have better I still doubt they could even compare to the lower sects beyond the great scar. That"s why I"m so eager to get you stronger, so we can cross the great scar when the expedition arrives. You will not be able to form your third core here quickly or easily, and if we tried we would ruin your foundation. We want to be gone from here as soon as possible, no offense, Jenna."

"None taken," My aunt replied. "My sister informed me of the gap so I"m well aware of how backwards and lacking the arcane is in the northern plains. The only reason I"m as good as I am with healing is because of a few tricks and tips my sister"s husband taught me, now enough talking, eat some of the food."

Zirani dug into the remaining fried chicken and fries as I processed her words. She"d said that before, but now it was really starting to set in, and my aunt was aware too. Suddenly my skill and current power seemed a lot less impressive than I"d thought. If people beyond the great scar my age were at iron and had two cores already then before I headed there I needed to make sure I was at least at their level or close.

After Zirani was done eating, I helped my aunt clean up the plates, while Zirani relaxed. She"d asked to help, but my aunt had pushed her down onto the living room couch and told her to rest. Zirani might have complained since she was four hundred years old and didn"t like being treated like a child, but I could tell she was trying to be respectful and she didn"t really come off as an elderly being.

"So… Why is she nervous?" My aunt asked, stacking the dishes before placing them in their respective cupboards.

I turned to her and raised an eyebrow. "Who, Zirani?"

She rolled her eyes. "Of course Zirani."

"What makes you think she"s nervous, she seems fine to me," I said.

She sighed and shook her head. "I should have known you wouldn"t notice. She kept taking glances at you, and I saw her cheeks turn red several times. Is there… Anything you want to tell me?"

I frowned for a second and checked our bond. I didn"t feel anything odd at first, just contentment and joy, but then I dug deeper. It wasn"t like she was hiding it, but it was almost purposefully out of the way. She was nervous about…

I froze, the dish in my hand dropping into the sink as my face heated.

My aunt smiled. "I see… well just make sure you use some Stort leaf, wouldn"t want her getting pregnant, although I"m sure if she could considering she isn"t an ether beast"

"Aunty," I hissed. "Please stop, I get it."

She chuckled. "Just making sure you know. Also don"t…"

"No, no, no," I said, placing my hands over my ears. "We"re not having this talk."

"Fine, go on, I"ll finish the dishes, you have someone to attend to."

I quickly wiped my hands off and ran out of the kitchen, my aunts laughing trailing behind me. She"d always found it funny to tease me about things like that.

I found Zirani in the living room, her cheeks red, and her eyes averted from my gaze.

I coughed loudly. "So… you erm want to head to my room?"

I cringed at my own words. I"d spent too much time on the arcane and little with any women, so I wasn"t exactly experienced.

She slowly turned to me and smiled hesitantly. It was then that I realized from the way she was acting that she was probably a virgin. She was over four hundred years old and I"d just assumed she at some point had sex, but if she had she wouldn"t be acting like this.

"I would like that," She said, and together we went up to my room, both of us remaining silent until the door was closed and we were left alone, together.

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