Chapter 10: Lucas Lugios
“Wh...what?!?!” Shiina’s shut eyes snapped open and he hurriedly sat up.
He looked around in confusion and eventually, his blurred eyes cleared up and a worried Lucas appeared before him.
“You’ve finally woken up!” Lucas sighed in relief. “You have been asleep for 2 days! I was afraid that you have died!”
“I have been sleeping for 2 days!?!?” Shiina spat out in shock.
“Yup.” Lucas nodded. “Considering your injuries when you just came, it is not surprising that you had to sleep for a long period of time to recover. However, today is Saturday, and your turn to feed the metal gear tiger. As I can’t afford to use anymore mana, I had to wake you up.”
“I’m sorry for the trouble.” Shiina got onto his feet and bowed as he apologised.
“It’s okay.” Lucas said. “Now, before we do anything else, lets have breakfast.
“We get to eat three meals?” Shiina’s eyes widened in shock, surprised by the metal gear tiger’s attention to details.
“Yes, the metal gear tiger will leave one day worth of meat at the hole in the morning everyday. After all, if we die of hunger, who else is there to provide mana?”
Sure enough, right under the hole, a small pile of meat could be seen.
Lucas silently picked up a small chunk of meat the size of a fist and barbequed it with fire made by magic.
“Here.” With a swing of his frail looking arms, Lucas threw the slightly burnt meat towards Shiina who caught it clumsily.
“Eat. Although I am not a great cook, it is edible.” Lucas said with a smile.
Comparing the crudely cooked meat with what he usually ate, Shiina hesitated. However, moments later, hunger got better of him and he took a bite.
Seeing that, Lucas let out a gentle smile.
“...bland.” Shiina complained while chewing.
“What can I do with no spices?” Lucas said with a wry smile.
“But edible.” Shiina continued as he took another bite, leaving the room with a warm mood.
A few hours later, Shiina and Lucas stood in front of the hole with a nervous look on their faces.
“Are you ready?” Lucas said slowly.
“…yup!” After some hesitation, Shiina gave a slight nod.
shiina took a deep breath before inserting his hand into the hole.
Shiina's pupils shrunk as he grit his teeth. Light particles in large sizes started squeezing out of his hands. Shiina felt as if his arms are continuously getting ripped apart from inside out.
“Arrrhhhhhhhhhh!!!” Shiina could not help but scream. He started struggling and pulling his hand, attempting to rid his arm of the pain.
Lucas held Shiina in place with his arms.
“Endure it Shiina!” Lucas shouted. Regardless of how Shiina screamed he still couldn't get away. Lucas held onto his waist and his arm, not allowing Shiina to step away from the hole.
Tears welled up in Shiina's eyes and snot started flowing. “Let go!” Shiina cried. Seizing the teary eyed Shiina, Lucas could not help but feel his chest tighten. However, despite his wish to help Shiina to stop the pain, for the survival of Shiina and Lucas, Shiina cannot remove his hand.
“I'm sorry Shiina…” Lucas thought. He hardened his heart as he kept Shiina's hand in place. “Hurry and get the job done! Metal gear tiger!” He shouted in his mind.
After a minute, Shiina's face turned completely pale. He had completely stopped struggling in Lucas's arms and went soft.
“Is it over?” Lucas prepared to bring Shiina back to the living quarters. “What is going on!” Lucas tried pulling Shiina’s hand out of the hole but to no avail. Whenever he pulled, Shiina would let out a small groan. Lucas hurried checked the hole. To his horror, mana was still leaving Shiina's hand at a fast rate.
“SHIT! It is still absorbing more?!?! Shiina don't even have anymore mana anymore!” Lucas cried out.
Shiina's face got paler and paler, soon approaching pure white.
Lucas grit his teeth and revealed a resolute eyes. “It has already been 10 years. Back then, my hoc goblin clan has already been fighting a losing battle. With that Duke’s personality, I doubt anyone’s still alive...” Lucas bit onto his finger so hard that blood started flowing out.
“My hoc goblin clan, though we have a high fertility rate, we have difficulty producing children with high talent.” Lucas stuck his bloody finger into Shiina's mouth. “Therefore, we created a method to increase the young’s magic talent by sacrificing some of our own mana capacity.”
At this moment, Lucas’s blood glowed bright red and flowed down Shiina’s throat.
Lucas's already pale face became paler and his mana capacity dropped while Shiina’s slowly increased.
After a minute, the suction force from the hole disappeared, allowing Shiina’s hand to slide out easily.
“This time...it's truly over…” Lucas let out a sigh and fell onto his butt along with Shiina in his arms. Shiina has already fell unconscious due to exhaustion. Seeing the beautiful Shiina’s pained face, even when asleep, pained Lucas's heart. “You have done well… for a 12 year old…” Lucas gently rubbed Shiina's head, resulting in Shiina loosening his pained expression. Seeing Shiina's sastified face, Lucas let out a warm smile. He forced himself onto his feet and picked Shiina up. Step by step, Lucas made his way towards the living quarters.
Lucas gently laid Shiina down onto the stone bed and slowly limped towards his own bed. Upon reaching his bed, Lucas collapsed.
2 months has passed since Shiina started providing mana for the metal gear tiger…
“How are you doing Lucas?” Shiina asked.
In front of him is an extremely pale Lucas lying on a stone bed.
“I am fine.” Lucas slowly got up from his bed. “If memory serves me correctly…it is your turn to feed the metal gear tiger today?”
“Yes…” Shiina lowered his head guilty and replied.
“Ok… lets go…” Lucas tried to push himself off the bed.
Shiina hurriedly rushed over to support Lucas.
“Lucas, take a rest for today.” Shiina advised.
“You don’t have enough mana to feed the metal gear tiger…I have to go…”
“You don't have to anymore!” Shiina hurriedly said.
“Do you want to die?” Lucas's pupils shrunk when he thought of the possible meaning behind Shiina's words.
“No no no!” Shiina denied.
“I believe that I finally have enough mana to feed metal gear tiger myself!
Shiina stuck out his bountiful chest with pride. “My mana capacity have increased close to the middle level talent! After taking in your blood so many times, I can feel that my magic stone(heart) can store way more mana than before. After recovering for a week, the amount of mana stored in My magic stone has indeed increased its mana capacity!”
“So, I can provide my own share of mana! Just wait for me here!” Shiina said with a smile before running off to the hole, leaving Lucas on his bed.
“I can finally lessen Lucas's burden!” Shiina thought as he reached the hole.
He plunged his hand into the hole with a fearless grin. As usual, mana started digging themselves out of his hand and into the mouth of the metal gear tiger. After a moment, Shiina's face turned pale. However, Shiina did not panic, he patiently waited for the metal gear tiger to finish its meal. After 5 more minutes, the suction from the metal gear tiger finally stopped.
Shiina let out a small smile. “Success!”
However, just a second later, the suction suddenly returned with greater force.
“Shit!” Shiina could not help but curse. Having lived for Lucas for 2 months, Lucas's slightly more ‘foul’ method of speaking has rubbed off on Shiina.
Shiina tried pulling on his hand and to his horror, his hand remained in place without bulging. Mana started to fly out at a greater speed than before and Shiina started turning more and more pale. Before Shiina could even start struggling, he felt faint and collapsed on his knees. His already pale face started to turn white and his sight turned blurry. After a while, blood started flowing his eyes, nose, ears and mouth.
“Is this the end? Well… at least Lucas will no longer be bothered by my presence anymore…Mother…sorry I can't go help you…” Shiina closed his eyes and prepared for his end.
“DON’T GIVE UP!!!” Shiina suddenly heard a shout coming from behind him. He forced his head to turn to the side and saw a silhouette limping quickly towards him.
“Lucas…” Shiina could only mutter the name of his saviour before losing his consciousness and fainting.
“Shit!” Lucas used every ounce of his strength to push him forward when he saw Shiina collapse.
As a result of losing the wall as a support, Lucas fell onto his face. However, regardless of how painful it was, Lucas crawled towards Shiina. Upon reaching Shiina, he bit his finger and placed placed it in Shiina's mouth. Before he could let out a sigh of relief, to his horror, the metal gear tiger continued to suck mana from Shiina.
“It is still taking more?!?!?!” Lucas screamed in his mind.
Even after using an extremely large amount of his blood, the metal gear tiger still continued to suck mana.
“I have no choice…” after sparing a glance towards Shiina, Lucas eyes revealed a resolute look and he removed his finger from Shiina's mouth.
“I can die but you can't…” Lucas took a deep breath and took a large bite from his wrist.
He grit his teeth as blood flowed out like a small stream. Lucas hurriedly placed his wrist against Shiina's soft lips. Lucas felt a strike of dizziness hit him, but without hesitation, he bit his tongue and shocked himself awake. He forced himself to remain in his position to feed Shiina his blood.
After another 10 minutes, the metal gear tiger finally stopped sucking. A purple glow could be seen shining from the hole before disappearing.
“It's finally over…” Lucas removed his blood stained wrist from Shiina's lips. At that moment, he collapsed right beside Shiina,
“All of my mana is gone…” Lucas looked up at the ceiling with blank eyes. He turned his head towards Shiina.
“You lucky little girl. Most people will not have a chance to increase their magic talent and yet you have done it...” Lucas softly laughed. “It seems that my time has come...”
“My clan... I’m sorry. I have let all of you down. To prevent our clan’s method of sacrificing mana capacity to increase talent from the duke, we have sacrificed so much...and yet I have used it on a outsider! As the clan leader, I’m ashamed. However, with this, I have sowed some positive karma. Perhaps, if some of you are still alive, this girl can help you.” Lucas let out a cough as his body started drying up.
“Shiina... I have told you the reason that I have not escaped from this cave, but that is only half of the truth. The other half is that the injuries that I have received from that final battle was too severe and that i have lost hope. Maybe I am merely pulling at straws, but as long as there is a chance, I am willing to take it.”
“Shiina... if you can live through this... please help my hoc goblin clan in Blue Berk city... my brothers in heaven... I will be coming to see you soon.” Lucas breathed his last breath before closing his eyes.