"... Master?" Breena asked doubtfully. She was unsure of what to do. This was the first time anyone had ever sensed her when she was hiding in the shadows, and she didn't know if she could trust Lossa just yet.
"It's fine, you can come out, Breena," Lone replied with a soothing and calm tone.
Breena, after hearing Lone, stepped out from Lone's shadow and Lossa's eyes immediately widened. Naturally, as a Foxkin, Breena was fairly beautiful, but what had shocked Lossa, was how young Breena looked despite having awakened three times.
"How... ? You explained it when we last met for yourself, Lone. You can regenerate your wounds, but this young one, how has she retained her youth despite having awakened three times already?" Lossa's breath became ragged as thoughts of the possibilities of awakening with no backlash filled her mind.
Breena sat next to Lone and he stroked her head while a thoughtful look took a hold of his expression. "I reconstructed her body from scratch," Lone said as if it was the most normal thing in the world.
Breena blushed lightly and Lossa looked lost. "You... did... what?"
"It would be easier to show you. You've awakened twice, yes? Your eyes are a deep yellow, so that should mean you've awakened once or twice," Lone asked with a curious tone to his voice.
"Indeed. I've awakened twice. It's only due to my vast power as an SS-Ranker that I still look as young as I do, but every day I feel my body betraying me. Awakening was a mistake for me," Lossa shook her head in regret.
"If you can trust me, and don't mind pain beyond belief, I can reconstruct your body for you?" Lone offered.
Lossa had been nothing but good to Lone. He was too hostile when they last met, and in his opinion, he owed her something. Lossa had done nothing wrong and it would take him very little effort to help her reconstruct her body, to be honest.
Lossa took a moment to consider Lone's offer. It sounded tempting. Too tempting. "You said it would be easier to show me? Please demonstrate this reconstruction. I fully trust you, Lone, but even with the help of my daughter, the Matriarch, I still need to be present for the clan's daily affairs, so if it would take some time, I will have to decline for now until I can create some time."
"I understand, please, watch closely." With that being said, Lone took a dagger out from his dimension and didn't hesitate to sever his own hand. Blood flowed like a river from his wrist and Lossa's face paled.
A pained look crossed both Eolande and Sophie's faces, but they knew Lone was in no actual danger, so they grit their teeth and allowed the 'demonstration' to go on without interfering.
Without even batting an eye or showing any signs of pain, Lone began explaining. "What I showed you last time was passive regeneration, while this," Lone placed his remaining hand over his stump and continued, "is my reconstruction."
A grotesque and honestly, sickening scene then took place. Wriggling like worms, his muscles expanded and new bones were created out of thin air. Lossa noted the peculiar colour of his black, blue and purple bones, but more importantly, she was left speechless with the perfect hand that was created.
Lone clenched his fist and spun his wrist around, making his bones crack. "With enough mana, I can recreate any body to be perfect. I'm only telling you this because I trust you, Lossa, but with this ability of mine, I can cure any disease or illness, not just the side effects of awakening."
The normally composed and wise Foxkin Elder had an excited and almost childish expression on her face. "To think that such a ludicrous ability can exist... how did you even learn how to do this? No, wait, it doesn't matter how. Please, Lone, I beg of you. I can endure the pain, please reconstruct this body of mine."
"Of course. However, in exchange, I would like to request two things," Lone said with an amiable and relaxed expression. he was worried that Lossa would be scared of the process required for recreating a body, but thankfully, she was indeed an SS-Ranker, and while shocking, it wasn't at a level to ward off Lossa's desire to reverse the negative effects of awakening.
"Please, speak your mind, Lone. If my Crimson Foxkin Clan can do it, then we'll do our very best to assist you," Lossa proclaimed with a bow of her head.
Lone then asked Lossa for what he wanted. She immediately agreed to his first request, which was for unrestricted access to any documentation and books the clan held. Lossa would have given this to Lone regardless just based on his Golden Foxkin status. However, his second request confused her slightly.
"... It isn't exactly an issue, but are you sure, Lone?" Lossa asked with a concerned look spread across her youthful appearance.
Lone nodded his head in response. "It needs to be done. There's no two ways around it. If I can't do this, then I might feel guilty for the rest of my life. It was uncalled for and it deserves an apology. I wouldn't want to impede my enlightenment to B-Rank and beyond because of something as simple and silly as this. You understand, yes?"
Lossa looked thoroughly shocked. 'Just what exactly happened since we last met? It's like I'm looking at a completely different person compared to two years ago... '
"Naturally. It's common knowledge that the hardest part about raising one's rank is the enlightenment required for each rank. I agree with your decision if it's a knot in your heart, it's just... a bit startling. Are you really the same E-Ranker from back then?" Lossa asked this, but her eyes clearly told a different story. She was proud of Lone.
Foxkin tended to have a certain temperament, a prideful and brash temperament and changing that was nigh impossible without decades of meditation, so seeing Lone change so dramatically and quickly had inspired Lossa somewhat.
Lone just simply smiled in response. Seeing that, Lossa dropped all of her questions. "Well then, I'll go fetch the two of them and I need to deal with Captain Sabrina. Please, feel free to wait here until I return. If you go through there," Lossa said before pointing at a pair of sliding doors, "there's a small collection of books. It's nothing like our library, but it's a start."
Lone nodded, so Lossa got up and left the pagoda. Lone's gaze rested on Breena. The young Foxkin who he considered to be a younger sister. She was looking around curiously and a somewhat blank expression had taken over her face.
"Do you remember anything, Breena?" Lone asked.
Breena looked at him briefly before shaking her head. "I'm sorry, Master. It was just too long ago... I can't seem to remember much from that time. Besides, I'm your guard now, so it doesn't matter anymore."
Lone pet her head once more and smiled. "That's fine. We'll be here for at least a few days. Perhaps we can find your parents while we're here. Would you like to do that?"
Breena looked hesitant, but eventually, she shook her head lightly. "I... I think It would be best if we didn't."
The group then spent the next thirty minutes resting. Lone simply sat still and focused on his meditation technique while Sophie sat on his lap with Kyuubi curled around her. She was upset at the frequent head pats Lone had been giving Breena, so she demanded at least lap exclusive rights. Despite almost always training as hard as possible, Sophie couldn't deny that sitting on Lone's lap and doing nothing except loafing around was certainly one of her favourite things to do.
Lone's eyes snapped open when he heard the main door to the pagoda creaking apart.
"Thank you for your patience, Lone-ro. As promised, I've brought the children. Tiera, Trella, offer greetings to Lone-ro," Lossa calmly ordered the two teenaged children.
Indeed, Lone had asked her to bring both Trella and Tiera, the two young Foxkin children who he had met back in Milindo's capital city. He had always regretted his extreme treatment of the two and thought that his actions were disgraceful for a teacher, so he wished to apologise.
''Lone-ro'? I wonder if 'ro' is a way to respectfully call someone for the Foxkin,' Lone thought while his head turned to look at the two frightened children. A sigh escaped his lips and he slowly stood up.
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