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Author’s note: This is a fictional tale. All characters engaging in any sexual activities are over the age of 18 years.
Welcome to the third chapter of the series. It has taken a very long time and for a while, I thought that it wouldn’t ever get done. Thank you for your patience and encouragement.
First time readers: I would advise you to read the previous parts.
Past readers: it’s been a long time.
This too, is a slow burner, primarily focusing on world-building and defining story elements which play a major role in the upcoming parts.
A big thanks to WAA01 for helping and encouraging me to continue the series.
And a very special thanks to alalu for editing the story and being a constant help. Thank you, you’re amazing!
Gelodesh: Northernmost country of the continent.
Ostorth: Capital of Gelodesh.
Ryhor: Smallest of the three cities of Gelodesh.
Samantha Tygrine: Ruler of the kingdom of Gelodesh.
Suzanne Tygrine: Twin sister of Samantha Tygrine. Marshal of Gelodesh Kingdom.
Miranda Tygrine: Eldest daughter of Suzanne Tygrine. Water Element Awakened.
Rose Tygrine: Younger twin of Miranda Tygrine. Fire Element Awakened.
Lily Tygrine: Daughter of Samantha Tygrine. Earth Element Awakened.
Raymond Tygrine: Younger twin of Lily Tygrine.
Shania Mosel: Ex-Lover of Raymond.
Ingrid Beltran: Royalty from the neighboring kingdom of Beltran. Friend of Suzanne’s.
Theodore Henry: Chief of the Ryhor Branch of Henry Trading Association, the biggest trading association in the continent.
“WHAT?” Lily screamed, astounded.
“I awakened!” Raymond smirked at Lily’s surprised expression. He, too, had been very surprised when he had succeeded in refining his magic pool a few hours ago.
He was excited and exhilarated. A feeling, a belief, coursed through his veins that he would succeed in awakening after he had killed a prime beast all by himself; however, he had never expected it to be on the first try.
Raymond was feeling incredibly proud, elated even, but at the same time, he was also very relieved. He was relieved that he did not have to go through that hellish fight with his aunt and relieved that he was not to be the black sheep of his family anymore. He would no longer have to put on a face of false bravado for his family, but more importantly, he could hold his head high in front of Miranda and not feel unworthy of his larger than life cousin.
This new feeling of worthiness and achievement was alien to him. For as long as he could remember, he had been living in the shadows of his sister and cousins, all of whom were exceptionally talented. It showed on his face, the triumphant jubilation, when he moved towards his sister.
“Fantastic!” Lily wrapped her arms around him and kissed his lips; her whole being radiated of unbridled joy.
Raymond found it hard to say anything else. The morning was still a little surreal to him. He felt as if he was on top of the world. He wanted to shout at the top of his lungs, wanted to run around screaming, however, he controlled himself, wary of any prime beasts lurking by in the vicinity of the cave.
A little earlier, Raymond had run inside to tell her, but when he saw the peaceful sleeping face of his lovely twin, he decided to wait. Now, he couldn’t hold back his grin seeing the slightly shocked and joyous face of Lily.
It was quite satisfying to see her react in this manner. Lily rarely, if ever, showed such intense reactions of surprise and joy. Though after last night, when she had quite literally rocked his world, he wanted to see more of it, much more.
An eager Lily asked, “attribute?”
“Hah, it would have been nice if it was the fire element, even wind would be fine…” Raymond sighed heavily, “well, whatever, at least I’ve awakened.” His voice was full of regrets. He sighed some more, lamenting the fact that he didn’t awaken the fire element. He kept staring at the ground as if he was ashamed to have awakened such a “weak” element. “It’s the earth element,” he mumbled, barely audible.
“I- I don’t mean that it’s bad…” Raymond realized it as soon as he spoke that he was in trouble. He seemed to have insulted the earth element right in the face of Lily, an earth element awakened warrior. “… I just like fire more.” He added in a low voice.
“Oh!?” Lily replied to his words in a cold manner. Her earlier elation seemed to have suddenly cooled down considerably.
“Ahh…” Raymond was starting to get scared by the ominous glare on Lily’s face. He was used to the one-word answers from his quiet twin, but seldom had she been so cold to him. Thinking that he may have implied something horrible, he tried to justify himself. “…I don’t mean I like Rose better than you. I just-“
He suddenly jumped back, his hands covered his mouth. He was terrified by the intense glare haramidere escort of Lily. For a moment, he thought his life was forfeit. Fuck! Just stop talking! He could not believe the words coming out of his mouth. Comparing Lily with Rose, after the events of last night, was just asking for trouble. He cursed at his own stupidity and his habit of putting his foot in his mouth at the most inopportune of times.
“So- Sorry,” he muttered in a low voice, wearing an incredibly guilty look on his face. After a few seconds of awkward silence, he apologized again and again, and only stopped when he saw her nod.
“How did you do it?” Lily asked, referring to his awakening.
“It just happened,” Raymond blurted out.
Lily frowned when she heard his response. She could see the obvious relief on his face as the topic of their conversation shifted to his awakening. Since childhood, she had watched him put his foot in his mouth countless times and knew when to overlook his words to spare him from further embarrassment. She knew him and his habits. Because of this, she decided not to take his gaffe too seriously. And after that wonderful night, she just didn’t want to put any additional pressure on him to be or act differently.
“Congrats!” Lily said and dropped it there, unwilling to pursue it at the moment. She was more interested in his awakening and how it had happened. The only reason she could think of was his fight with the prime beast, but she doubted it was enough on its own. Nevertheless, she ignored the reservations in the back of her mind, much too excited to think deeply about them.
She leaned forward and lightly mashed his lips with her own. Raymond was emboldened by this display of sweet affection; he pulled her to him tightly and kissed her deeply with his tongue teasing her lips. He slowly moved his hands down from her waist to her ass.
Lily, though, swiftly pushed him away when he tried to get inside her trousers. “Not… now,” she said.
Raymond smiled at Lily’s slightly blushing face. He again tried to pull her in for a kiss, unable to suppress his growing arousal. Lily escaped from his grasp, which wasn’t a particularly difficult thing. Raymond had just awakened his attribute. He had only evolved his magic pool once. Whereas Lily had awakened her attribute for more than 7 years. There was no comparison in their strength.
Raymond grinned at her comment. He started to unbutton his pants. Lily was shocked by his shamelessness and silently cursed his lust addled brain. She quickly tripped him before he could actually take them off.
Raymond sighed at her serious expression. He resigned himself to the fact that it wasn’t the time for fooling around just yet. He was feeling happy and horny; however, she didn’t seem to share his mood. Taking a deep breath, he composed himself and then circulated his mana from his magic pool.
After Raymond was successful in his attempt to evolve his magic pool, he could instinctively tell the difference in strength between his current awakened state and his previously half-awakened self. He had never practiced any spells, so he was still unable to test out his power properly; yet, he was sure his physical strength had skyrocketed. It took his body nearly two hours to assimilate the new power and, during which, he could feel his bones getting strengthened as well as his muscles.
Raymond walked to a nearby boulder. The boulder came up to his knees and looked quite heavy. He steadied himself and punched out with full force. The boulder shattered into little pieces under his strength.
He turned back and smirked at Lily, who was staring at his display with round eyes, “not bad huh?”
Lily paused to glance at him and then turned forward. She nonchalantly lifted her hand, and suddenly, a nearby boulder of similar size turned to dust without a single sound. She smiled at him, gloating about her own prowess. Though she had tried earlier to look past his comments about the ability of the earth element, she was a bit dissatisfied, and it was just another way to remind him not to underestimate anyone or anything. There were a lot of different awakened warriors with various abilities, and any one of them could be deadlier than the next.
Raymond’s eyes bugged out, and his jaw hung loose. He ran up to her, stared into her eyes and pleaded, “teach me!”
Lily, who was gazing at his stupefied face, broke into a giggle. She felt amused when Raymond repeated the same words she had said to him the previous day but, very obviously, in a whole different context. When she recalled the way she had behaved, a blush crept on her face. She shook her head, trying to rid herself of the shameful memories where she acted like a hussy for her twin brother.
Raymond was oblivious to all the thoughts going through Lily’s head. He was much more worried ikitelli escort about his lack of power and wanted to improve as quickly as he could. He shivered in pleasure as he imagined himself crushing boulders into dust just by lifting his hands. Soon, he thought to himself.
He knew everyone in his family was incredibly powerful and didn’t doubt that they had always been hiding the extent of their strength from him so that he wouldn’t get depressed from his own lack of ability. It was good that they did that… I don’t think I could have held out if I knew the real divide between them and me. Now that I think about it, it’s beyond conceited how I thought that I could beat Rose in the spar…
While he was still lost in his own world, he heard Lily giggle. He frowned at her and whined, “Come on!”
He clapped his hands to gain her attention, very much eager to start his spell training. “What are you waiting for?”
Lily got excited when she saw his eagerness to learn. She, too, wanted him to learn spell casting as soon as possible. It would be for the best if he learned to protect himself in the upcoming uncertain times. It was always a concern, his carefree attitude, and her heart had nearly stopped yesterday when she saw him covered in blood from head to toe.
The sooner he gets stronger, the better it will be for all of us…
The war between Zekovia and Kyrgstan worried her much more than she had let on. Different to her clueless brother and Rose, her not so intelligent cousin, she did not fancy the public opinion that the people from the Eastern Continent were just “barbarians”. If the war had really been instigated by the Eastern Continent, then there were a lot of reasons to be wary of them.
The why and how of the matter was still an unknown factor, and if there was one thing that she absolutely abhorred in the whole world, it was the unknown. Even Suzanne, her all-powerful aunt, was far more worried than she’d let on. Otherwise, there was no way she would have arrived in such a hurry, already resolved to resort to fight and hurt her ‘Sweetie’ so as to hasten his awakening.
“Okay, first of all…” Lily’s tone was somber as she collected her thoughts. Now wasn’t the time for thinking about the war. She had to focus on the task at hand. Raymond, as a half-awakened warrior, knew how to partially manifest mana. However, to completely manifest magic out of one’s body was not that easy, and it was only the initial step for casting spells. Though there were cases where many awakened had learned to do it on the first try, she was not expecting the same from Raymond.
Considering how Raymond had trained for combat, the wind element would have been more suitable with his style of fighting. He fought with a long sword while focusing on speed and techniques rather than power or explosiveness. While employing the same style was still an option, it was not the optimum choice for an earth awakened.
“It’s difficult, so don’t be in a hurry!” Lily warned. She still remembered the countless days spent to both perfect her techniques and optimize them. She had worked extremely hard to figure out how to be efficient with mana use. Her mana pool was a lot smaller, and unlike Rose, she couldn’t keep up with the consumption if she tried to solve everything with brute force.
“I know, I know,” Raymond waved off. “How hard can it be!?”
Lily heard him scoff as he followed her to the cave. She could tell that his confidence was at an all-time high after succeeding in awakening his attribute, and the euphoria of it would take a while to pass.
Raymond was sprawled out on his back. He was huffing in exhaustion. All his limbs felt devoid of any strength; his magic pool felt drained and shaken.
This… is… so… hard, he thought with frustration.
“Match the chant,” Lily instructed in the same tone that she had been maintaining for the last hour.
Raymond had been trying to match the rhythm of his magic with the chant for the past hour with no success. The chant was easy, and he had memorized it in a jiff, but to match his magic rhythm with the chant was proving to be quite the ordeal. He did not expect it would be this difficult. He despaired at the thought of memorizing much longer and harder chants and matching their rhythm.
To cast a spell, an awakened had to circulate their mana through their mana channels in a specific frequency before manifesting it outside of their bodies. The chant was there because it helped and supplemented the process. If an awakened individual matched the rhythm of the chant with their mana, it would be the same as harmonizing it with the frequency. It was a complex process, and the awakened had to learn to make proper use of their mana channels. Mana control, those who were proficient in it, had a much easier time. Practice could help them figure out a lot of things, though there was also a factor istanbul escort of getting a feel for it on their own.
Generally speaking, a more complicated and complex chant indicated a higher-level spell. This, in turn, ensured more power would be obtained by the awakened. Though it was rare, an accomplished awakened could cast a spell without needing to outwardly chant.
“One more time!” Raymond picked himself from off the ground. He got his breathing under control as his magic was circulating through his body towards his hands, in its original frequency, and he muttered the chant.
Slowly, Raymond changed the frequency of his mana to match the rhythm of the chant. He was completely focused this time; his narrowed eyes stared at a patch on the ground not more than a few meters away. Suddenly, a large rock shot out of his extended hand and hit the ground with force. The rock, the size of a large melon, made a loud noise as it crashed on the surface. It was embedded on the hard surface, making a very small crater around it, with half of it under the ground and invisible to the eyes.
“Good,” Lily said in an impressed tone.
“What’s next? I think I can do this now! What’s next? New spell?” Raymond guessed that she was a bit surprised by the size of the rock, but it was to be expected, and he didn’t pay much mind to it. His mana pool was larger compared to hers, and as a result, he could channel more of it through his wider magic circuits for the same kind of chants.
“You can learn other spells by yourself. I want to teach you something else,” Lily commented as she ignored the expectant look on Raymond’s face, even though he tried to make it hard for her to turn him down easily.
“You can do it later,” she added and walked towards a much rockier surface. Gradually, the ground around her started to change and became plainer, smoother. She stared in his stunned eyes and said resolutely, “this! I want to teach you this!”
Lily was confident that if he could do it one time, he would be able to do it the next time as well. There was nothing especially difficult about learning different spells, just the chants would change which he could memorize and practice by himself. She was much more interested in teaching him how to manipulate the terrain by using his magic.
The earth element, though lacking in destructive power due to the large amount of magic needed to manifest it outside the body, had one major advantage which could be exploited. On the battlefield, if one could affect the terrain, it would lead to a major imbalance in the respective powers of the two sides. Since most battles were fought on land, with only a small portion of those over the seas, the earth element was overwhelming in its effectiveness. The only problem was that, usually, only the awakened with a large mana pool could make use of it.
“The first thing you should remember is never to leave the ground. It affects your mana recovery!” Lily knew that he liked to push off with his feet before his all-out attacks, but that would have to change now that he was an earth attribute awakened warrior.
“What? I don’t leave…” Raymond smiled a little guiltily.
“Second, you can’t use your sword anymore.” There was a mysterious glint in her eyes when she said it, and as usual, it went unnoticed by her twin brother.
“Why?” Raymond hurriedly added, “I am not doubting you or anything… and of course, I will listen to you. It’s just that…”
Lily was a little bit surprised by his patient reaction. She expected him to jump up and down in protest when she told him not to use his sword anymore, and that’s why she had made a display of power beforehand, a kind of convincing tactic.
She welcomed this change in behavior, as she always thought he was a bit too enthusiastic most of the time. If he was ever to become a king, it would have been a problem.
Nodding, she explained, “you have awakened the earth element. This means you have to be efficient with your magic, and fighting with a sword is not efficient.”
“So, that’s why…”
A look of understanding came upon Raymond’s face. Lily only ever used gauntlets and no other weapons. He had always wondered about that. It was hard for him to imagine her fighting, and she made a point to never display it to him, very much different to Rose, who always liked to show off. He was a little miffed about not being able to use his sword anymore, but it was not enough to dampen his mood.
“Is it- I mean, how?” His eyebrows pointed towards the magically manipulated ground.
“Yes. You should be able to do the same.”
Raymond’s eyes flashed in joy. He was waiting for this. The earlier scene, when Lily crushed a boulder to dust, was still etched in his mind. And now this… this amazing thing she’d just showed him, he couldn’t wait to do it himself. Though it was hard, he tried to keep his excitement in check, and patiently listened to her explanation.
“You have to use nature’s mana. Remember how you awakened? It’s the same.” Lily sighed, as she saw his clueless face, and continued, “earlier, when you shot that rock, you used your own mana for it, right? This time, don’t. You have to use your mana as a medium to direct nature’s mana, and the combination of the two would then alter the terrain.”
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