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Chapter 3 - Naulo

---Naulo POV---

 

My name is Naulo. I am 1 year 3 months old. I am the son of Emy and Auo. Mother followed father and his tribe, called the Renaun, in search of a peaceful place void of conflict to live. That is all of the information I am able to gather about my life right now.

 

I first realized something was different about me when I was 3 months old. I gained a sense of self? I don’t understand.

 

Who am I? Where am I?

 

These thought came to me as I started to question my existence. I cried a lot during my first few months after gaining my sense of self. I had headaches almost all of the time. Mother and father were really worried about me.

 

It did not take me a long time to begin to understand these people’s words. I guess it is because of my brain’s plasticity? Well, there seems to be nothing in there as of now anyway.

 

I thought it was normal to understand these people at this age. However, I could not voice anything. Mother said that it was weird since I should have been able to speak a while ago. I can make sounds but the words don’t seem to come out. Perhaps there is a psychological barrier causing this?

 

Today I am to be taken to the elders to have my magical affinity test. I was told that it would determine the amount of mana I can store and also my affinity.

 

Magic.

 

A word I have no recollection of. I don’t think it existed where I was from before. Wait...where was I before here?

 

However, it doesn’t sound too unknown either. Hmm…

 

Urrgh...I feel a headache coming. Need to stop thinking when this happens.

 

I continue to look outside into the distance. There is a small wall erected around the village to prevent beasts to come in. The beasts here are naturally cautious of humanoids, so it seems.

 

Ahh...when is father coming. I am bored just waiting here.

 

I pouted before turning away from the window to jump down the couch, but before I fully turned away I caught a glimpse of something moving. I quickly glued my face to the iced window. Urr...it’s cold, but I persist. I squinted my eyes in hope I could see whatever that was again.

 

Muu….nothing? Was my eyes playing tricks with me?

 

No no. That doesn’t happen. I have really good eyesight. From the moment I realized I could see a layer of different color light surrounding people. It was beautiful and this layer of light also shows up in the dark. Actually...everything living contains this layer of light. So I have no problem in seeing in the dark. This light also fluctuates depending on the mood and emotions of people.

 

Father’s light is the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. It has a baby blue hue that gives warmth and so soft! I love mother but her color kind of scares me. It is a deep red color. Almost like thick blood. Yet, it also seems to flow softly as if protecting instead of harming. So I don’t find her as scary anymore. Except for the times when dad makes fun of me...due to my...delicate features. I blame him though.

 

Ahh!! Dad’s here!

 

I thought as my eyes brightened when I heard footsteps heading towards the door. The window I was looking through was facing the outside of the village so I can’t see if dad was returning from there. Good thing my ears are also good allowing me to hear the footsteps of people through the thick snow.

 

The door opens and father came in. He had a few flakes of snow on his head, making him look sillier with that smile on his face. I’ve never seen him not smile. Well...except for the times he is running for his life from mom’s wraith.

 

I ran towards him as fast as this body can take me. People said I’ve always moved fast and steady for my age. I jumped into his arms as he picks me up.

 

“Hello to you too, you little fur ball.” he said as he gave me a kiss on the cheek. I gave him the brightest smile I could muster and I can feel my face burning. He is surprisingly warm despite wearing one layer of leather clothing.

 

After saying a few words to mother, father turns towards me and asked, “Shall we head out now?”

 

“Mmm.” I nodded with a smile. Finally something different.

 

Dad carried me out of the house and I was assaulted by the cold winds! I couldn’t help but hugged my dad closely for the warmth. I opened my eyes to look over my dad’s shoulders and saw two golden eyes staring back at me from the corner of my house.

 

Ehh?! What is that?

 

We continue to stare at each other for a few seconds before it disappeared. Was it a beast? How did it get through the barrier dad set up for this village? I know dad may be seen as an idiot but his barrier is first-class! Hmm...ouch my headache is coming again. I’m getting tired.

 

--------------

 

The room was dimly lit. I suppose it was to create a certain atmosphere? Doesn’t really work out when I am able to see in the dark though. I was placed in the center of a large hall and there were strange lines drawn on the ground in a circular formation.

 

The Elder and the other three elders surrounded the circular formation and started a chant. I cannot understand this chant at all. It sounds like pig latin, though I never understood pig latin.

 

Before I knew it they finished the long chant and the symbol on the ground started to glow. Then it flashed a bright light causing me to become blinded for a good minute! Well, this is a problem I must fix.

 

“How is he, Elder?” I can hear father say quietly to the Elder.

 

**sigh**

 

“He cannot hold onto any mana within his body. Actually, any usage of mana might put him in danger, I’m not sure. I have never seen such a constitution before. It’s like mana is poisonous to his body.”

 

“What?” the other elders responded.

 

“That doesn’t make sense? Mana is the basis for all living things. Without it only death follows!” one of the elders stated in shock.

 

Oi, is this something you say in front of a 1 year old?! Besides, you’re an elder, why are you in shock so easily?

 

“Quiet!” The Elder said and then glanced at me. I only looked back curiously.

 

“I’m sorry, Auo. I do not understand. I cannot say anything about things I do not understand. But assuming that he has lived normally up till now, besides the fact that he can’t talk yet, is proof that having no mana one can still live.

 

I think that only time can tell what will happen. You may take him home now.”

 

Father hesitated for a bit and then called out to the Elder, “Elder, can he survive? In this world where mana provide shelter, food, water even. Mana is the basis of all living things and constitutes almost 100% of everything. If it was poisonous to him how is he going to survive? How can he grow? What do I tell Emy? How do I tell her?”

 

As father said that his face contorted and the light around him starts to move erratically.

 

Father! I’ll be fine! I won’t die! Mana is important, yes, but I am still here!! I can survive! If I’m weak, I’ll train! If I fall, I’ll stand! If I don’t have mana, I can still use things that do! Not having mana is not the end of the world, father! Poisonous to me? PAH!! I’m always surrounded by mana but I haven’t fallen yet. If it’s poisonous, then I’ll gain immunity! There are many more paths one can take in life. It is not limited to one!

 

I wanted to tell father. I want to calm him. I wanted to talk to him!

 

‘Father, don’t worry!’ I want to say. I stood up and walked towards father, hugged his leg, and looked up to him.

 

He saw me. He saw my worry and corrected himself. He smiled. It was a sweet smile and his light returned to the usual gentleness. He picked me up and hugged me. It was comfortable. I’m tired. I’m falling asleep.

 

Urrrgh...curse this childish body. I want to listen and learn more.

 

Before I fade into a dreaming state I heard father saying to the elders.

 

“Thank you elders. I apologize for the display. I have worried everyone and Naulo. I shall return for today.”

 

I can feel a slight change in gravity as father did a slight bow to the elders. Then my consciousness faded.

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Yinang

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