Reincarnated as a mana core - Chapter 98
With knot free hair and a bit of worry concerning the intent clouds to the east Argul went into the common room of Luna’s little inn. She kind of wished she could magic the knots in her hair away like she did dust with her cleanse, but she wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. For one, she couldn’t simply banish the hair or she would end up bald and neither did she wish to simply throw mana at the problem until it solved itself. She could do that, but it kind of irked her.
Goodness she was becoming like one of those haughty nobles or arrogant court magicians that thought simple and crude methods to be beneath them. Argul smiled at the thought.
Magic was her art, her calling and abusing her endlessly regenerating mana supply like that felt wrong so she simply wouldn’t do it. Instead she would have to somehow devise a spell in the future that carefully loosened the knot hair by hair. The spell was probably going to be similarly complicated to her cleanse spell, something she was still constantly working to perfect.
“Good morning.” With that Argul stepped down the last steps and took a look around.
The common room was unusually silent, though it seldom got as noisy as in other inns or taverns anyway. The lack of patrons, even those that came every day to learn from Mia and Argul, explained the silence however.
Bubbles, the pet slime of Luna, was for some reason somehow climbing up the wall next to the door to the kitchen in weird flowing motions. Mia and Luna were playing UNO on the couches, her niece losing by a large margin, and her daughter Alyra was sitting in an armchair in the corner of the room next to a bookshelf full of manga. Aina was laying on top of Alyra’s lap enjoying a good kneading, some of her body hanging over the sides of the chair. The slime was close to splitting again and thus quite large.
Alyra looked up at Argul’s greeting and gave her a wry smile. “Morning princess! How was your beauty sleep?”
Argul rolled her eyes at her daughter’s antics, but decided to play along, widening that smile of hers. “Why, good of course, and very productive my dear daughter.”
Luna and Mia greeted her too, the former offering to whip up some breakfast for her, but Argul decided to decline after a second. She didn’t really need to eat and while yes, it would offset the mana upkeep of her Avatar, she wasn’t desperately in need of mana, seeing as she was creating more of that by the second, so there was no need.
Grabbing one of the normal chairs, she made her way over to her daughter and sat down next to her. She had questions, and if anyone had answers it was her daughter. Aina was also in desperate need of head pats, but that’s besides the point.
“So, something is happening over in Sacra right now, probably something to do with the military, right?” She asked while giving Aina a good squeeze, much to the delight of the slime.
This time it was Alyra’s turn to roll her eyes. “Yes mum, and had you not slept in-”
“You know I don’t really sleep.” Argul interjected, but was ignored.
“Had you not slept in you would know. The Newport government received a message by horse during the night that the army was mobilizing and a regiment of 5,000 was setting out for this city. They will arrive here in the afternoon, though their scouts will probably be around in a few hours already, so it was decided that all citizens should stay inside for the day to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties.”
Argul raised an eyebrow at that. “They want to fight against Sacra? That seems like a mighty stupid decision to me.”
Alyra shook her head. “Nope, but better safe than sorry. They can’t really go against the army, especially because the populace wouldn’t agree to that and wouldn’t support them with the church standing behind the army and all that. Doesn’t matter if the military gave up Newport a few months ago or not, so it will be strenuous and unhappy negotiations later today.”
This already relieved Argul a good bit. A fight in the streets would be messy and brutal, without modern weapons even more so and she didn’t want to get involved in any of that, so no fighting was good. As for the negotiations, the government wouldn’t go without a fight, at least diplomatically and would probably demand some kind of insurance that they stayed in power after the army took over in exchange for capitulation. Depending on the demands it was quite likely that the military agreed in her opinion as it would save good soldiers and in the current times they needed every single one of them.
“Does the situation pose any danger to us though?” She asked after a moment, her pointed gaze at Mia and Luna made it quite clear however that the question was more meant to be for their human company and not the two of them.
Alyra hesitated for a split second, but long enough for Argul to notice. “Not really?”
Clearly, her daughter wasn’t so sure of that herself.
“They don’t have any malicious intentions towards us and would rather have you join them or even leave you be, before they antagonize you. At least the military and the King of Erdanien would leave you alone.”
Huh, so they founded a kingdom. Argul would have thought that with the many soldiers from different countries and parts of the world they would go for a republic, but oh well, she didn’t really care that much.
Now the question was what her daughter meant with ‘at least’. It implied that there was someone who didn’t want to leave her alone and she had a problem with that.
Alyra patted Aina absentmindedly. “You are a bit of an enigma to them, but not dangerous enough to be eliminated, at least in their opinion.”
She gave Argul a smirk, both of them knowing that the kingdom stood no chance against either of them.
“In addition you have proven to be valuable, even if you don’t join under their banner, because you teach your magic to mostly everyone and those you sent away turn out to be power hungry and less than savory people. I still wonder when you learned to judge a person’s character that well.”
The last part she had grumbled to herself under her breath and Argul chose to pretend not to have heard, even though Alyra would know that she heard anyways. Sometimes, she had learned, it was more about appearances with her daughter and so long as it made her happy, Argul would play along.
“Anyway, the point is, you are a boon to them and they would like to keep it that way. Now, the church on the other hand doesn’t think that way. Our young yet old-minded god knows that we don’t pray to him and he also knows that we are way stronger than every other person. He wants us, wants our faith, because it is a lot more potent than that of others and he would get more mana through our prayers to boot, mana he can use for blessings and all that.”
Alyra had a predatory smile on her face at the end, which put Argul a bit off. Perhaps, the instinctual desire to know and learn more came through there, it happened every now and then. What more exciting to learn than how to kill a god, a fake divinity in this case.
She herself wondered what would happen if she was to pray though, since she was a god herself. Not that she would pray to Meran in any case, the guy was absolutely not worth it.
Alyra watched her bemusedly as Argul’s thoughts trailed off topic and she slowly lost herself in her own musings. “You know mum, what I meant with that was that while Meran wants us, if he can’t have us then nobody shall have us. Also something along the line of ‘Those puny mortals think they can deny me? I’m going to crush them.’.”
Great, very funny. Argul snorted to herself. Then she did a double take, really realizing what her daughter had just said and groaned. “Oh gods no, they are going to pester us endlessly, won’t they?”
She did not reincarnate to listen to some overly zealous people blabber on and on only to get enraged by her not listening.
Without giving her daughter a chance to answer, Argul continued on. “How long do we have before they’re going to get handsy?”
Alyra thought about it for a moment. “You know, the problem is that people tell their god a lot in their prayers so I can’t really say. For now, Meran and his followers don’t know about our plans to leave, but the moment they find out their fuse is going to get very short very fast. It’s probably for the best if you prepare yourself mentally to square off against a few people who can’t be reasoned with.”
Argul let out another groan, grabbed Aina and then hugged her tightly, softly mumbling into the slime’s membrane. “Please make it not happen.”
Aina happily agreed and, with all the innocence in the world, promised to remove any religious annoyances before they bothered Argul, not that the slime knew what religion was in the first place. A lot of words didn’t make much sense to her, but surely they had something to do with food!
Argul, of course, didn’t know what all the wriggling of Aina was about and simply took it for happiness. A few minutes of slime-cuddling later she handed Aina back to her daughter and stood up.
It was time to do some crafting, or woodworking, maybe carving?
Ahh, whatever. It was time to work!
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