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The day went on as the siblings introduce me to every villager. I was able to meet almost all of them, except for the hunters and those who are gathering food and materials from the forest.
The village’s hunters and herbalists usually leave early and return before dusk. The hunters hunt every day and only rest about 3 days a week. Dao Village’s herbalist ventures out two to four times a month depending on their stock of herbs. They seem to have some sort of idea about hygiene and disease. But it was more of the result of beastkins hating the smell of feces and that elves taught them that compost from manure was good for plants.
It doesn’t matter how they specifically reached this point but what matters most is that epidemics wouldn’t be that much of an issue in the future. I just have to find ways on how to appeal to their common sense and preferences as I introduce new ideas.
The majority of them are Beastkins and a few Fairykins. Fairykins are races that consist of halflings, elves, dwarves, gnomes, and merfolks.
Elves have descended from the High-Humans who received the blessing of the Goddess Sibol. High-Humans blessed by the Goddess gradually left their old form and become more like the present Elves who are blessed with Wind Magic and Spirit Magic.
Dwarves came from High-Humans blessed by the God Tibay. They receive an affinity for Earth Magic and the ability to use the gifts within the ground. The craftsmen here are mostly dwarves. There are some from other races but for smiths using metal and jewels, the ones considered the best are still dwarves.
The God Alab blessed the Gnomes’ ancestors. He gifted them the affinity with Fire Magic and Sorcery. They bend the chaotic mana from outside their body with the strength of their will.
Merfolks are from the High-Humans blessed by the Goddess Daloy. They have an affinity with Water Magic and are great alchemists and scholars. They do rarely venture inland since they can’t survive without a body of water nearby.
Halflings are descendants of the High-Humans that didn’t seek blessings from any of the other gods. They are devoted to following only the Goddess. They are able to use magic and are stronger than some of the other races but they have never been able to outperform any race on that race’s specialty. Halflings are considered “jack-of-all-trades-masters-of-none”. Though they might seem untalented in magic or have physical prowess. They are the most common race on both continents. Their ability to adapt is unmatched by any of the races. Dao Village, however, is home to few halflings since halflings tend to enjoy the easy life in the countryside, just close enough to a city that they are able to live in comfort, but far enough to be free from the hustle and bustle of the city life. “Carefree” is also a good word to describe them.
Then there are the Halfbloods. Halfbloods are just children born from a mix of two different races. Some would identify themselves as half-catkin, half-dwarf, half-elf, etc. They may inherit traits from both parents but they may look closer in likeness to the other parent. But generally, they just call themselves halfbloods in general.
Each race has their own circumstance but being in the village for years have made them close to each other that the differences mean little to nothing. Merfolks come to the village every few years. They usually travel using the Dao River. Some of those merfolks live near lakes and some come from the sea.
There are villagers here that descended from merfolk and once in a while a halfblood with strong merfolk features will be born and they will have to move to places with bigger bodies of water. They can survive in any place as long as there is a clean body of water nearby. However, they can only have proper rest underwater, and having houses built under the Dao River will weaken the flow of water and change the lives of the creatures living in and beside the river.
That is why, although most merfolk villagers want to stay in the village they chose to leave in order to keep the way of life of Dao Village the same as before. So to keep a connection with the village they become merchants and peddlers that bring their wares up and down the river. During the rainy season, most of those merfolk merchants return and set up small sleeping nests in the river. They time it on the days where the river would swell and the flow would become stronger.
That’s the time when they would all celebrate near the river, cooking and eating fish with the bounties from the forest. Everyone would eat in long tables or set tables side by side so they could all eat and talk together.
Similar to those yearly celebrations. I received one in my honor. The celebration kept on until it was dusk and everybody was bringing food and Elder Hugo was helping with the bonfire. It was quite grand.
There were fluffs everywhere. Fluffy beastkins come in all sizes, shapes, and degrees of fluffiness. It doesn’t matter what they look like but both Fairykins and Beastkins join and welcome me.
We drank and ate food until we were stuffed. The conversation was flowing and villagers talked to me.
“Where did you come from Sir Victor?” (Villager)
“A faraway city where I work and study with my late friend (cat), meow.”
“Will you be returning there?” (Villager)
“Very unlikely, meow, it’s quite far (well it’s in another world after all).”
“What was the place you grew up like?” (Villager)
“It was a big city meow. There were houses and structures taller than the Dao trees here, meow.”
“What are the houses made of?” (Villager)
“The houses are made of mortar, rock, steel and wood, meow. That’s why they are quite strong and able to reach such heights, meow.”
“Do you live in one of those houses?” (Villager)
“I live in a house similar to that meow. However, mine was smaller since having a house that big would cost a lot of money, meow.”
“Do you know magic Sir Victor?” (Villager)
“I know a little magic meow. But I specialize in fighting with weapons meow.”
“But you’re so tiny Sir Victor, carrying such heavy weapons seem quite difficult for your stature.” (Villager)
“Yes, Sir Victor. Playing with heavy weapons is dangerous.” (Villager)
“No matter how excellent you are fighting is quite dangerous. Death is at every corner, even at one so young like you.” (Villager)
The females from the village see quite concerned to see someone like me holding a weapon. But based on the age of these children and what this continent considers as an adult. I have lived longer than most beastkins. Though my body has just been created I can feel overwhelming strength behind my bones and muscles. I should ease their worries.
“Well, I’m older than I look meow. I’m probably older than most of the beastkins here.”
“Really Sir Victor?” (Villager)
“But you’re so tiny.” (Villager)
I just shrugged and said,
“My mentor was quite strict with his disciples, meow. His idea of love is that he will drill every knowledge he has even if he has to force us, meow. Then he will hammer the will and habit of supplementing that knowledge by ourselves, meow. His love makes sure meow won’t die but thrive in whatever situation we find ourselves into, meow.”
I couldn’t help but remember what he said, “Diamonds are made from intense heat and pressure. And I will turn you into the hardest gem in the world.” And I smile. He might not be the warmest person, and finding his love is accepting that the pain he inflicted had meaning. But now I can smile on my own even if I experience challenges. I know his love will protect me and make me thrive.
It took some time before I reached this state of mind, but I am thankful for having the ability, tenacity, and flexibility he hammered to me. Still, I hoped that he wouldn’t have to sneak treats and pats when we’re dead asleep from training all day. He even goes far as to make the fake nuns pretend to be the ones with the idea of consoling and praising us after we failed. Father Raphael is too rigid. *Sigh* I hope he is still being his same old “drill sergeant with a heart of gold”.
The celebration ended only until the bonfire turned into cinders and all the food and drinks were consumed. Then Elder Hugo told everyone to clean up and head home.
A giggling and talkative Felix carried a snoring Mia to the house. It was nice and having small talk with this relaxed Felix. We even have Mia mumbling ridiculous things, as if she’s trying not to be left out of the conversation.
“Sir Victor, thank you for everything. You came and helped us and I don’t think we’ve thanked you enough.” (Felix)
“It’s no problem meow. You’ve done so much for meow too. You’ve even offered meow your home.”
“Staaay… zzz… ever…” (Mia)
Both Felix and I laughed at Mia’s sleep talking. I feel quite blessed to know that I met both of them. Thank you for sending me to this world.
“Meahahaha. Then, please keep taking care of meow.”
All three of us walked in companionable silence towards a place I could call home. The stars shine bright leading me to a place I have always been searching for. Now I just have to protect my potential new home.
A/N: Sorry, I was hoarding the chapters again. I am almost confident the chapters are cohesive.