Lossa spent the next two hours explaining everything to Lone. Whenever he had a question, she would have an answer. It was a very boring scene for Sophie, so she obviously decided to do the most logical thing. She went to sleep using Lone's tails as her duvet and his chest as her pillow.
Lossa found this very odd. Wasn't Lone married to the mysterious 'Tylwyth Teg', as Lord Elksworth had addressed her? Why was he being so affectionate with this Human child? Lossa could see Sophie drooling all over Lone and he wasn't even batting an eye or pushing her away. In fact, he wrapped one arm around her and used to other to gently stroke her hair.
"Please don't mind Soph's behaviour. She gets like this when she's really bored," Lone said with a caring smile being directed towards his lap's occupant.
'Such an envious position,' Eolande thought as she shook her head. 'One day, Violet, one day, you'll be the one getting treated like that.'
"I-It's no problem...but, are you not espoused to Eolande-ro?" Lossa didn't want to ask this. She respected Lone a great deal and held his privacy in great regard, but she was an old Fox, and she'd be lying if she said that her curiosity wasn't exceedingly strong.
Lone looked at the clan Elder and replied, "I have no such relationship with Eolande. Her love is completely one-sided. Soph is my lover and partner for life."
On top of Lossa being shocked by this, Al'ka, the High Elf, was also very surprised. 'A beastkin is in a romantic relationship with a Human? It's not unheard of but in these times of war... Truly, Lone is a very odd person.'
None of the Demihumans present questioned Lone and Sophie's relationship on account of Sophie's age because many beastkin reached physical maturity as teens much like with Sabrina, the Catkin Captain. What was strange was the racial disparity between the two.
Lone gazed at the young Fox by his side, his adoptive daughter, Kyuubi, and a warm look entered his eyes quickly followed by concern. "So even you don't know what happened to Kyuubi, Lossa?"
Lossa wore a strange and unreadable expression on her face. "I've never even heard of a case of a Foxkin, or of any beastkin for that matter, actually becoming a fully-fledged beast."
"And you don't have any clues? From my understanding, it's her personal choice to remain the way she is, but I don't know why and I need answers. She's my daughter after all." Lone looked down at Sophie before adding, "She's our daughter."
Kyuubi's sleepy eyes opened slightly and she pushed her head against Lone's side and licked him. Lone grinned from ear to ear and rubbed her head lightly with one of his tails which wasn't acting as a bed for Sophie.
Lossa watched all of this and her ancient mind was lost in thought. 'Is this the reason for his change? They do say that people change after gaining a family... Perhaps it's time for me to choose a new mate? Having a man look at me with eyes like that might be nice to feel once more...'
The meeting continued for at least another hour. To summarise what Lossa had explained to Lone, in their legends, a Foxkin's tails were gateways to new heights of power. In the stories of old, the first Foxkin to walk on Altros had exactly nine tails, and supposedly, he was strong enough to crush the planet with but a thought.
Obviously, very few believed such a tale. However, there was some truth to this story since the only Foxkin that ever reached the Cosmic Level of power, X-rankers, all had at least two tails. It was also fabled that a few of the past Elders, Patriarchs and Matriarchs had actually gone beyond the three X-Ranks and reached an even greater realm of power!
However, these Foxkin all had at least three tails. From this, Lossa couldn't help but think that there was some stock in the legend of the first Foxkin.
The other piece of information which she informed Lone of was that growing a single extra tail required a Foxkin to go through much hardship and adversity, so Foxkin were generally respected for having extra tails. In fact, Lone was the third ever recorded Foxkin to have possessed nine tails, even amongst all of the other Foxkin clans.
Lone felt like he had come out of this conversation having more questions than answers, but for now, he wanted to wrap this conversation up and train a bit before sleeping. After all, it was getting late.
"I suppose the last thing that's on my mind, Lossa, would be why I always get so bloodthirsty around Wolfs and Wolfkin." This was an ongoing issue for Lone.
Although he managed to control it well in the presence of Malt and his group of Wolfkin Adventurers, Lone was constantly fighting the urge to kill them all.
'I wonder how that Elf is? I completely forgot his name, huh? His summoned Wolf didn't deserve what I did to it...' Lone was exceedingly regretful for his actions during the monthly tournament back in Milindo.
'Don't normal Elves life at the base of the World Trees? Maybe I'll get lucky and I can apologise to him and finally free myself of all of these loose ends,' Lone thought with hope.
Lossa had, yet again, an incredulous look on her face. "You feel the urge to kill Wolfs and Wolfkin, Lone-ro?"
"Yeah. As I suspected, this isn't a normal thing for Foxkin?" Lone replied.
"Of course not! In fact, we're in a very good relationship with the Wolfkin tribes and clans due to our similar origins. We've had disagreements before, but nothing vast enough to create an instinctive bloodthirst for the other. Such a thing is very... odd." Lossa stated in a factual manner.
"Oh well. I'll figure it out eventually. I think I'm done for today. I'll leave you and your two guests to your business," Lone said before he carefully stood up and made sure not to wake the sleeping Sophie.
"I'm sorry to have wasted so many hours of your time, Al'ka, Your Highness," Lone expressed sincerely with a very slight bow of his head.
Her Highness smiled lightly and replied after Al'ka had translated Lone's words for her. "It was entertaining to watch you heal those Foxkin and to be in control of the entire conversation with the Clan Elder like that. Please, do not apologise. Our time was anything but wasted."
Lone nodded and left with Swind and Eolande who was lazily riding on the equally lazy Kyuubi. Naturally, Breena was where she felt most comfortable, inside of Lone's shadow. They returned to a pagoda that Lossa had pointed out to them on their way to the Pagoda of Passing, which was the name of the building where all of the dying Foxkin resided.
Swind hadn't said a word the entire day. Many strange glances had been thrown his way, even by Brahman Elksworth, but he had hardly noticed. To Swind, the Crimson Foxkin Clan was almost like an entirely new world. The culture was unlike anything he had ever seen before and he loved it greatly.
'There was-ss a lot of talking today-ss, wasn't there-ss?' he thought to himself before finishing the scarf that he had been knitting for a few days. Happy with his work, he put it in his spatial pouch and brought out another yarn of Mutant Sheep's wool.
He was still busy thinking about what style of fighting he would like to be trained in, and he thought that he might finally have an answer for Lone regarding this.
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