A loud cheer broke Karna out of her reverie as she stood remained on her boat that floated at the outskirts of the city, her face directed towards the valley that housed the twin Koi Spirits of the legends.
Gazing back at the youth, a troubled sigh escaped her lips. She was all too aware of this youth. In fact, alongside him, she was aware of too many men.
By her own right, Karna was extremely beautiful. An athletic body that was placed a rank above the soft bodies of many demure ladies of the tribe while still retaining her own curves and alluring facial features that caught the heart of many.
Just like the passionate youth rowing his boat towards her.
Honestly, Karna liked it. To be pursued, that is. To be wanted, to be loved and to be taken care of. Aware of the difference between the gender at a young age to learn the art of healing efficiently, Karna, just like any other tribeswoman was quite open-minded about the concept of mating with the ones that can stir your heart.
But alongside that understanding, Karna came to understand what her life would be if she really let herself get successfully pursued. If she really fell for any man from the tribe.
Restricted to even move the water in private times.
That's what it meant to be shackled from the moment of birth, at least, this is what her own mother, Kanna, wrote in her diary hidden away from her father.
The plans to running to the southern tribe, the plans to commit suicide... Karna was all too aware of the emotional instability her mother went through.
As a talented water bender, there is always a 'call' within the deepest part of her body. To move water, to master it. Karna was sure that Kanna was just like her... yet, restricted. Had to gaze upon men bending the water at their will, just like her freedom.
When Karna looked at the youth, she could easily see through the thin layer of passion that hid boundless greed. A greed to own!
'I am not a commodity...'
By now, she couldn't even feel that much rage. It was all too normal for her. She had already given hope of ever finding her mate in the tribe.
To lose her freedom of bending water is something she didn't wish to commit.
To be slaved while being allowed to bend the water would have been a much better option for her.
"What are you doing here? Aren't you assigned to the new member?"
Sighing, Karna replied impassively.
"He isn't a tribe member yet. And, he is being escorted to the Koi Spirits by Princess Yue..."
"The Northern Witch?"
The Youth immediately spoke with a sour expression.
'There it is.' Karna sighed sadly. Not being able to even bear the title of nobility on a woman showed how deeply her tribe was actually twisted.
In fact, they even called themselves the 'brother' tribe when comparing to the southern tribe aka the sister tribe just show how superior they were as a male.
"She isn't a witch. To be chosen by the moon spirit... she is really a princess... a free one at that."
Karna had already lost her mood to even entertain the youth as she simply ignored his expression and turned back, facing the entrance of the valley.
'She isn't a moon witch... you are just a dumbass.'
She grumbled inwardly while waiting patiently.
Nik hugged his body tightly while he felt the chilling cold striking his body. Of course, all his clothes, save for his loin cloth/undergarment and immediately jumped into the water with a splash while Yue didn't seem to have any extraordinary reaction after seeing a man in a state of 'almost n.a.k.e.dness'.
The route of the two fishes shifted a little before they continued revolving, albeit, glowing a little brighter. Seeing such a quick reaction, Yue's eyes sparkled while she finally seemed to have found something interesting as not only La, but Tui also showed a bit of reaction towards Nik.
Meanwhile, the water was really as warm as a spring and the depth was just nice for him to submerge most of his body.
"Is that Pavka? Why's that brat here?"
Suddenly, a deep voice rumbled forth from his surroundings. Even Yue looked around with a shocked expression while Nik simply remained unresponsive. After all, an extremely enticing screen had already been placed in front of his eyes.
[Root Source detected. Consume the root source to obtain rewards?]
'The root source... I gained a bit of source when I sneaked into the tribe. According to the information, the more root source is gained during the missions, the better rewards one can claim after the mission.
How much root source is contained within this spring?'
Nik fell into his thoughts. If the water is extremely special, then it would definitely explain why the two spirits would be willing to materialize and submerge themselves despite the glaring risks to their lives.
"Bleh! Who's the brat? La, don't make me angry or I'll zap you!"
Of course, Pavka had to reply to the obvious provocation. But even then, she showed surprising sensitivity as she only let her voice remain within the realms of spirits, but even then, every single entity present could hear her.
After all, Yue was a half-spirit due to her past condition and Nik was an anomaly that had ambitions to mate with Spirits, so hearing them is obvious.
"Your lightning would be an obvious nourishment, Pavka."
A slightly young voice emerged this time around as Pavka openly mocked.
"Oh? Tama, when did you become Tui? What the hell is this 'moon spirit'? Are you even a spirit emerging from this planet?"
"Don't blame me? Not everyone can hear my voice. See? Even the brat that has your smell all over him cannot hear me. Only that little girl Yue can hear us, right?"
Before Pavka could reply, she heard Nik's voice within her mind stopping her from telling that he could actually hear them. It wouldn't benefit him at all if Yue knew that he already had a spirit under his... well...
"Ah, yes! Lord Tui, I"
Tama spoke while he suddenly leaped out of the water and dived down once again with a splash.
"My name is Tama."
"And I am La."
The heavy voice that kept silent spoke once again.
"I am Pavka. For obvious reasons, you cannot see me."
Pavka's voice rang as she scrutinized Yue before enquiring.
"Tama... why did you grant her your bending abilities?"
Before Tama could reply, Nik smiled.
"Yue... the water is really warm... so, what I should do next?"
He swam closer to Yue, who still had stunned expression after hearing that she actually had bending capabilities.
Yue suddenly came to be and then looked at Nik with a little weird expression. Seeing his innocent smile, Yue finally nodded as she knelt on the ice and then spoke... whispered softly.
"Oh, Lord La, the master of Ocean. Bless this soul for he needs your destiny to live within the water and die within the water."
She joined her hands and softly chanted a strange prayer while La suddenly sighed and stopped Yue.
"Little Yue... stop it. I get it already."
"Pfft, it never gets old. Your destiny to live and die in water. Talk about being a morbid prayer."
"Yeah... this is my first time hearing something so..."
Even Pavka sighed as Nik tried so hard to keep his lips from twitching and waited calmly. He wished to laugh his ass off... but he couldn't.
He spoke out while Yue visibly blushed and shook her head.
"Don't worry. The water spirit has heard my prayers."
Even Yue felt extremely embarrassed. This was her fifth time chanting such an embarrassing prayer. Truly, she wished to dig a hole and bury her face... but that would probably freeze her head.
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