Chapter 404: Nature Spirit’s Blessing (1/2)
Lucien hugs Sophia and takes her in his arms; then, he flaps his wings and flies back. At the same time, Daisy undoes the stone bridesmaids, and Lucien lands on the stage with Sophia while the back of her dress lands around them.
With Sophia in his arms, Lust, Sloth, his other sisters and wives at his side, they are ready to start the ceremony.
Under Laure’s orders, Clovis brings a pillar of approximately one meter to the center of the stage, while his wives bring a basket full of seeds of different sizes, colors, and shapes.
Lucien and his girls step back while Laure begins to make circular designs on the stage’s floor with a white stone.
At the same time, she speaks out loud for everyone to hear. “Today, we are making an offering to the Nature Spirit to get her blessings to Lucien and his wives.”
She continues to make several drawings on the floor, which arouses the curiosity of some people in Lucien’s group, mainly him and the sins.
“Although Lucien is not one of our people, as are many of his wives, they respect our traditions and are willing to accept the blessings of Nature itself.” Laure continues.
She smiles. “And, of course, he is our new King and protector alongside our beloved Queen Eve, as well as being my dear son-in-law.”
Everyone smiles because of Laure’s words. Everyone there is very respectful of Eve, Lucien, Laure, as well as everyone around them. So they are very happy that they respect the traditions of the demi-humans.
No one can deny that they are undergoing major changes in the Alliance system, but everything seems to be following an excellent path.
While Laure continues to say good things about Lucien and his group, Angela gazes at the drawings on the floor and comments in a low tone. “That looks like an enchantment…”
Lust and the other sins nod while thinking the same thing. Sloth looks at Laure with a curious expression. “Sorry for interrupting your speech, but could you tell me exactly what you’re doing?”
Laure amiably smiles at Sloth as she continues to make the drawings. “Oh, this is something usual in ceremonies like this. These drawings are to ask the Nature Spirit’s blessing.”
Sloth continues with a curious look. “And how do you know this works?”
“Because that’s how my mother taught it to my sister and me.” Laure quickly responds. “And it was taught to her by my grandmother, who learned from her mother and so on.”
Lucien looks at Sloth, also with a curious expression. “Is there something wrong?”
Sloth quickly responds. “Not exactly… It’s just that… Many demi-human races believe in the Nature Spirit, and I’ve heard of many ways to ask for blessings like sacrificing animals, making a big fire, tossing flowers in the sea, but I don’t remember hearing about such symbols.”
“Perhaps that knowledge came here with Adeline. She is the ancestor of Laure’s family.” He comments.
Lust nods. “Yes, that makes sense. If it’s something that only the Brown Star royal family knows, it might be a well-kept secret.”
“Greed should know more about that…” Sloth thinks aloud as he searches in her mind for anything that could help clarify her doubts.
Amelia makes a confused expression. “I don’t understand… if it’s something from their culture, why are you guys so concerned about it?”
“Because the Nature Spirit is a Primordial.” Envy responds.
Sloth continues. “These mysterious beings are extremely powerful and are supposed to be immortal. No one knows much about them, but there are many beginnings clues that they really exist.”
Pride rolls her eyes. “Do you really think that the method for contacting one of them would be a stupid wedding ceremony of an underdeveloped people in an inferior world?”
Hearing Pride’s arrogant words, everyone around her, especially Lucien, his sisters, and wives, makes upset expressions.
She realizes that it may not be really good to offend them all, but since she could never apologize, she just remains silent while looking at Lucien with a neutral expression.
Sloth sighs. “I just found this enchantment very peculiar, and due to Adeline’s background, it looks even more interesting.”
Laure understands that maybe her ancestor gave her family some kind of secret from her people, but in the end, that ceremony is still the same that the fox-people has been doing for hundreds of years, and they never had any problems with it.
Also, they taught that to other demi-human races, and everyone has always done so in the Alliance. Those symbols do nothing but represent they asking the Nature Spirit’s blessing.
But as Laure doesn’t understand the Sins’ complexity, she looks at Lucien with a respectful expression. “Should we continue?”
Lucien looks at Lust, and she nods, then he signals to Laure. “Yes, please.”
Laure continues to make circular designs on the floor while Sloth looks at them with a thoughtful expression. Lucien read a lot about enchantments in the books he picked up from the mercenary mage in Portgreen, so he also realizes that those symbols look more and more like a magical enchantment.
He looks at Sloth. “If this is really an enchantment, what exactly do you think it does?”
“What did Laure say.” Sloth responds and then explains. “I mean, this really should be an enchantment to get the Nature Spirit’s blessing.”
Her response makes Lucien and his wives even more confused. “So… What do you know about the Nature Spirit?”
Sloth makes a reflective look while seeking knowledge in her memory. “Hmmm… As Envy said, it is supposed to be an ancient Primordial being. Legends don’t say how the Nature Spirit was born or where it came from, but that Its purpose is to protect demi-humans from threats that want to destroy their worlds.”
“Why specifically the demi-humans?” Elsie asks.
She slowly responds. “I have no idea. However, as I said, the Nature Spirit protects people who need specific help. There are many races, especially the superiors one, that dominate smaller worlds to take resources. And they have no respect for those worlds, destroying mountains, forests, and rivers, as well as the people who live there to get the best resources quickly, especially mines of crystals that are underground.”
Everyone listens carefully to Sloth’s words as she continues. “They say that the first people to ask for help from the Nature Spirit were demi-humans, and then it became a protector of them in such cases. But over time, things change… I think that today people do not believe that the Nature Spirit would really fight for them, but they still ask for Its blessing… apparently at marriage ceremonies too.”
As soon as Sloth finishes talking, Laure finishes making the drawings on the floor. Lucien and his girls note that the drawing is a tree made with circular forms.
In the center of the tree is the pillar that Clovis brought, and in front of it, the basket with seeds. Then Laure smiles and extends her hand to her daughter.
Anne approaches her mother and holds her hand. Then Laure extends her other hand to Lucien. He also takes her hand, and she positions them behind the pillar.
Laure smiles at them. “Now you need to pick the offerings.”
“Mm,” Anne responds as she puts the bowl with her chosen flower and the powder made from the wings of angels over the pillar.
“It really is a beautiful flower…” Laure comments.
Lucien takes a beautiful gem with the color of Anne’s hair from his storage ring, and a big green tooth that he picked up from the mutant sharks in the crystal life mine.
That gem and the brightness of the tooth surprises everyone who is in front of the stage. They can also see the glow coming from Anne’s flower even though it is less shiny than when she picked it up the previous day.
Anne takes the brown gem while making a sad expression. “It is a pity that we will have to crush it.”
“I can go back to the Lake of tears to get more gems later.” Lucien comments and immediately feel the Ghost Lady tremble in his scabbard, making it clear that she does not want to return to that lake.
Lucien strokes the hilt of the cursed sword, and she returns to calm while enjoying his demonic energy.
“As Anne said, you must crush the gem, the tooth, and the flower together with the feather powder for it to be used as fertilizer for the seed,” Laure explains.
“Really an interesting ritual…” Sloth comments as she gets more and more interested in that ceremony.
Laure gives Anne a small stick to smash the flower into the bowl while Clovis approaches Lucien with a hammer to crush the gems and teeth.
“Thank you, father-in-law.” Lucien thanks Clovis but doesn’t pick up the hammer. He holds the gem and tooth inside his hand above the bowel and squeezes them, using his incredible strength to turn them into powder easily.
The shiny powder falls over to the flower Anne is smashing; then she smiles at him. “You’re such a show-off!”
Lucien smiles back at her and kisses her lips as she continues smashing the flower and mixes it with the powders inside the ceremonial bowl.
The fox-people, especially women, are delighted with the caring and affectionate way that Lucien treats all his wives. They look so happy beside him that Laure can’t help but smile because she is so happy for Anne.
As soon as Anne finishes smashing the flower and mixing it with the powders inside the bowl, Lucien stops kissing her and holds her hand while looking at Laure, waiting for the next step.
“This is usually done by the clan leader, but as Luise is busy right now, I would do that…” Laure looks at Eve. “But here we have our Great Queen, who is also the groom’s sister, so I think she is the most suitable person for that.”
“I appreciate the opportunity, but I’m not sure what to do.” Eve quickly responds.
“It’s alright, this is simple, and I’ll explain to you what to do.” Laure smiles.
Eve looks at Lucien, and he smiles back at her, then she walks over to Laure’s side, in front of the pillar. “I will try my best.”
Laure nods and then picks up the basket of seeds. “Anne and Lucien, you must choose two seeds to generate the tree that will represent your marriage.”
Lucien and Anne collect seeds from the basket and put them in the ceremonial bowl along with the other ingredients.
Then, Laure passes Lucien’s hand to Eve and then holds her hand and Anne’s; that is, the four of them hold hands around the pillar while they are over the tree drawn on the floor.
“Now, repeat with me,” Laure asks before beginning to speak the ceremonial words. “We humbly ask the blessing of the Nature Spirit for this couple. May this seed made with the efforts of both of them develop healthily and become a beautiful and strong tree as well as their marriage.”
Lucien, Anne, and Eve repeat Laure’s words as they hold their hands around the pillar. Then the tree drawing quickly shines while the seeds inside the ceremonial bowl are surrounded by a similar light.
“Amazing!” Sloth comments as she and everyone else looks closely at that scene, which is usual for the fox-people.
The light that surrounds the seeds magically unites them within the powder mixture, making a single seed.
“Nicely done.” Laure smiles at Eve and then takes the ceremonial bowl and hands it to Lucien and Anne. “Now you have to choose a good place to plant this tree.”
Anne holds the bowl while smiling. However, Lucien, like the Sins, is very curious about the drawing of the tree on the floor. They felt a small spark of life mana emerge from that drawing to mix the seeds.
“So this really is an enchantment…” Sloth comments.
“But Laure is not a life mage, right?” Envy asks while she is also interested in that now.
As Lucien looks at that drawing, Lust makes a curious and shocked expression. “Hmm… you better step back.”
“What happened?” Lucien quickly asks her.
Sloth makes the same expression as Lust, as does Pride. “I feel it…”
From that drawing on the floor, a thin branch begins to emerge. That looks like a living plant growing out of the drawing, not destroying the wooden floor of the stage.
“This should not happen,” Laure comments as that branch continues to grow.
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