Chapter 1293 - Circle of Life (Part 1)
We did it! The two kids rejoiced, hugging each other in triumph.
Congratulations, young mages.
To the victor go the spoils. Lith gave them a round of applause.
What do you mean Leria said.
Why is it doing that Aran looked at the fish writhing on the ground.
Out of the water, a fish can\'t breathe.
It\'s fighting for its life. Lit conjured another bubble that gave the creature respite from its suffering.
I don\'t want to kill it.
Can we throw it back into the water Leria asked and Aran nodded.
They had never questioned how the food that arrived on their table looked like before being cooked.
Leria lived in a blacksmith\'s house while Aran, now that the family had money, had never seen the livestock aside from when he helped Elina to feed the chickens.
Your dinner, your choice. Lith did as they asked.
They had already learned a lot for a single day, the law of the jungle could wait a bit longer.
What are we going to eat Now that the sun was gone, Aran suddenly felt his body aching from mana abuse.
A snap of Lith\'s fingers dug a hole in the ground while a wave of his hand made a warm crackling fire appear.
Several vegetables and mushroom skewers came out of his pocket dimension and slowly spun above the fire to get grilled.
While we wait, we can eat the leftovers of the roasted potatoes from lunch.
They are vegetables, after all. The pocket dimension had kept them warm and crispy, but hunger was the seasoning that made them taste like heaven.
Onyx and Abominus checked each other\'s muzzle for blood before drinking enough water from the lake to erase the smell of blood from their breath.
[I want to go home.] The Ry dearly missed many things.
His pack, the woods, the long afternoon naps, and the many hot meals a day without the need to work for them.
This place sucks.
It never took me so long to catch a single deer and the locals are assholes.] Onyx said.
I\'m sorry, Abominus, I let you down.
I failed to catch fish for you. Leria hugged the Ry, enjoying the contrast between the warmth of his fur and the chill of the night.
The magical wolf was actually full and had given little thought to Leria\'s promise to provide him food.
Yet the honesty in her apology made him forget about the hardsh.i.p.s of that day and focus solely on her happiness.
Abominus licked her face, tickling Leria with his fur and making her laugh for the first time during that day.
Onyx, was the fish good Aran was regretting letting go of their only catch of the day.
Just like it happened for Lith, vegetables and fruit would fill his stomach only for so long.
The Shyf nodded while l.i.c.k.i.n.g her lips at the tasty memory.
At least someone had something to eat.
Maybe tomorrow we could follow her example. Aran said.
Yeah, but only if you kill it. Leria shuddered at the thought.
Their dinner was light, but at least she would get to sleep at night.
I can do it for you. Lith said while offering more skewers of roasted mushrooms to the kids to make them regain their strength.
Isn\'t it bad to kill, big bro Aran asked.
You listened to plenty of my stories.
I had to kill a lot of bad guys when I was a Ranger.
Does that make me a bad guy as well
You did it to protect others and to survive.
Bad guys don\'t stop just because you say please, that\'s why they are bad. Leria said.
The same is true for hunting and fishing.
We aren\'t doing it for cruelty or sport, only for survival.
The wolf eats the deer just like fish eats smaller fish, but that doesn\'t make them bad, just hungry.
Even that mushroom killed other plants to survive. Lith pointed at a tasty brown-capped mushroom that Aran was munching.
Even plants kill each other Leria was flabbergasted.
Mushrooms aren\'t really plants, but yes. Lith nodded.
He didn\'t feel like given them the whole circle of life speech, just enough to understand the difference between violence and survival.
\'Without such knowledge, they might abuse their powers in ways that will scar them forever the moment they come to understand the pain they inflicted to others in what they considered games.\' He thought.
We eat a lot of meat at home, after all.
All people do, otherwise the butcher and aunt Selia would lose their jobs. Aran\'s quick-witted reasoning took Lith by surprise.
What are you trying to say Leria was sharing her measly meal with Abominus to make up for breaking her word.
Onyx ate the fish and she\'s one of the good guys.
People hunt to make a living.
Why shouldn\'t we do the same
But it\'s creepy! Leria said.
I know, but I\'m hungry.
I don\'t want to be hungry tomorrow and the day after that until… How long are we going to stay here Aran swallowed a lump of saliva.
Suddenly his big brother\'s adventures didn\'t seem so great anymore.
All he wanted was to stay between his mother\'s arms, to be pampered by his family as usual, and to spend his days doing boring things that didn\'t force him to think so much.
A few days. Lith replied.
The plural hit the kids like a punch in the gut.
Can you please cut off the head and tail before cooking the fish Leria asked, hoping that she wouldn\'t feel bad if her food didn\'t look like a living being.
I can do that.
Now let\'s get to bed.
Tomorrow is going to be a busy day. Lith had brought sleeping bags and plenty of blankets.
Between the walls insulating the makeshift house, his magic, and the beasts acting as both heating pads and pillows, the children had a good night\'s sleep.
They dreamed about their respective mothers serving them their favorite foods, but no matter how much they ate, they woke up hungry.
A hearty breakfast with bread, sausages, and sunny-side-up eggs greatly improved their mood.
They stared at their plates for a moment, aware of the noble sacrifice of such tasty animals, before digging in.
Why didn\'t we have this for dinner yesterday Aran asked.
\'Because you wouldn\'t have learned your lesson.\' Lith thought.
Because you wouldn\'t have anything to eat for breakfast today. He actually said.
They barely needed to think about it or coordinate their movements.
They just exchanged looks for a second and waved their hands down, letting the fresh air of the morning in.
Wait, we couldn\'t do that yesterday. Leria was about to try that again on her own but Lith stopped her.
That\'s because you\'ve learned how to focus your mana in a single point and to cooperate. Lith said while keeping her hands still.
Manipulating earth takes a lot of mana.
Do you want to start the day tired already
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