It was already night time when the procession reached the riverbank where Hana love to laze around. Hana could see thousands of multicolored 'lamps' from afar, making her reminisced about colorful funfairs and brightly lit circuses. However, now, she knew that wherever that beautiful multicolored lights were present, there would be where her current home was.
She would never lose her way unless she became blind.
Living for nearly two months in this unknown forest, Hana didn't just view it as her sojourn anymore. It felt closer like her real home. This place had the charm of its own, like a hidden gem or secret hole in the wall. What was missing were only her beloved hubby and daughters.
Although she didn't really focus on the huge silver catfish's ramblings, she did remember when he said there were living dragons in this land. So many things happened in the past six days, Hana felt quite regretful for not discussing with the elder about their location before. She was too focused on coaxing the elder for the spirit-agriculture efforts. If the fish clan had lived here for more than a thousand years, they must know the surrounding lands well. Although outwardly, Hana looked cheerful, only she knew the thickening self-doubt she was feeling at the moment.
The appearance of so many freshwater spirit beasts had made the usually spacious location extremely packed. Noticing this problem, Hana told Shiro to stop the rest from following her back to their cave-dwelling. Shiro instructed them to just stayed around the vicinity of the Crystal-veined stream, making themselves comfortable. After all, they were freshwater creatures; there was no need to follow her everywhere. Anything can wait for tomorrow morning.
Only Ara, Chomper, Saras, Alpy, Kolo and Mata got a special pass; they could accompany the Mistress on land this time. Saras and Mata delightfully conjured up the Water-bubble barrier and followed behind Gramps Alpy and Kolo, who were crawling languidly with puffed up chests. Suddenly they felt really strong sense of accomplishment! So satisfying!
The Young Masters and Young Misses started to complain noisily, but stopped themselves when they saw the colorful flame upon the Elemental Fiends' antennas who were traveling with them flared up simultaneously. The peaceful multicolored docile Elemental Fiends suddenly didn't look so mild anymore.
Before, these freshwater creatures had been looking down on the spiritual insect since all of them were just pseudo-spiritual beasts; they didn't have the servants' experience, nor were they educated well with the potential dangers of a colony of Elemental Fiends. The surrounding temperatures increased, while the droning of the Elemental Fiends became aggressive! Noxious gas flooded them slowly but surely, making them slightly dizzy.
"Step back. Both groups. This instant. For those joining the Advancement Program, follow orders, and stop complaining if you don't want me to throw all of you out. I don't care who will benefit. There's so many other participants in your clan to replace you."
Finally, Hana talked with a calm tone. But she didn't turn around to see what was happening. Beside her, Shiro translated her intent to let the freshwater creatures knew they were testing the Mistress' patience not just once, but twice already!
Ignoring the little squabbles at the back, Hana continued her steps through the beautiful self-made walking path. She was too tired to attend to every petty children's fight.
Thousands upon thousands of Elemental Fiends were lining up neatly, welcoming her home. They made a pathway for her by arranging themselves on both sides of the straight walking path. Additionally, they did it by clustering themselves into repetitive patterns, just like rows after rows of beautifully lit colorful festive lanterns! Hana was so touched coming home to this kind of welcome. It felt like these motorcycle-sized gentle termites had been long waiting for her to return. In the public telepathic channel, Q-chan had been very quiet, especially two to three days of late. Hana had been quite concerned with the wellbeing of her cute snowy white slug-like Queenie-chan, but haven't got the chance to directly asked her of her wellbeing.
Even without using Soul-link to communicate with these huge termites, Hana could feel adoration and reverence from their gentle droning. It was totally different from when they went to 'borrow' a few stalks of Lightning mushrooms, or when the Elemental Fiends faced the naughty freshwater creatures. At that time, the dronings were extremely loud, menacing, and filled with killing intent.
While Hana took her steps one at a time along the beautiful walking path, she dotingly caressed the lowered heads of the Elemental Fiends on her left and right. Due to that, the spacious 'lane' created by the giant termites narrowed into a thin lane where Hana could easily pat their eager heads on both sides by just stretching both of her arms. However, besides Pi-chan who was flying low, and Shiro, who was just a step behind Hana, the others were now terrified with the Elemental Fiends.
From afar, she could see where her cave-dwelling was located; high atop the artificial elevated vertical 'mountain'. Hana sighed while she lamented. So many things happened in just a month plus time. Previously, all the precious arboreal greenery was all but gone as the land was left bare, hence the clear direct view. She felt that she had trudged the wilderness for a long time before she could reach the Crystal-veined stream once upon a time ago. But now, it took less than twenty minutes at a relaxed pace. The mountain isn't so high; just around three to four levels of a building, but gosh, it was such a pain having to climb up and down daily. Thank goodness she had Shiro.
Hana stopped her steps when she was twenty meters away from the elevated 'mountain' and creased her brow.
Something was different this time. There was a new hole at the base of the 'mountain'!
The hole was circular and was about 1.5 meters in diameter; around the size of her previous cave entrance before it was cut into a rectangle shape by Shiro before. She couldn't make out what was inside since the opening of the hole was a bit to the side of the mountain rather than directly at the front.
Suddenly, a glowing white blob came out from the hole!
It was the Primordial Queen Mother's head!
Hana squealed with delight! She ran towards the translucent white gigantic termite and gave the fair termite a hug on its head!
Mis... Mistress, us make house here... see you everyday... You happy?
Very happy! Very very happy! Hana was smiling from ear to ear, until she realized something! Q-chan! You can talk?!
Us listen... Us remember... Us learn...
Hana was confused as to when did the Queen Mother ever listen and learn. She turned questioningly at Shiro as usual.
I guess she must be studying our telepathic conversations daily. What diligence. Shiro replied with an approving nod. He liked assertive minions. One was the little minnow with ugly teeth, and now, this white blob bug. How should he made the playful baby bird do some work too?
Come see... Come, Mistress...
Q-chan crawled back into the little darkened hole.
"F1 dear, come follow me inside too." Hana took her stove cum lantern together with her to see what was being done by the Elemental Fiends' Queen Mother's group.
Hana was so shocked she couldn't say a word for a full minute! Even Shiro was quite awed and amazed!
Inside, was a large cavern-like structure. It was connected directly into a deep tunnel underground. The finishing was so good, as if it was polished and spread with a layer of veneer over it. The veneer was like concrete, only it was translucent white in color, hence Hana could still see the real structure of the cave it covered. A musty muddy smell pervaded the interior of the new cave, but it wasn't so bad. Hana still could stand it. With a little air, it'll smell better.
Hana touched the wall inside the newly-made cave and gave it a few knocks with her knuckles. It felt very solid! Good material!
What are these, white finishings? She turned to Q-chan inquiringly.
Us spit. Make home strong... No collapse.
Ahh... Ahahaha... ^____^;;;;
Hana chuckled awkwardly. How much spit was needed to cover all these?
Why didn't I see such structures within your chambers, Q-chan? Although it was very dark inside, if the walls were white, Hana would've noticed it immediately.
Thanks to Mistress. Us advance... Spit stronger. Advance nest.
Wow, she didn't even know that the queen mother advanced a realm. When was it? Usually, if her pets advanced, she would feel something different since their partial soul within her will be affected as well.
I think she didn't advance a realm. A spirit insect system of cultivation is different from us, Mom. They have their personal cultivation, and also nest level. Actually, Q is considered quite young and her nest isn't mature yet. She must be talking about the specific upgrades towards her nest related abilities. Shiro answered thoughtfully. Truthfully, it was just a wild guess from his side. He hadn't come across any spirit insect before this.
Go up, Mistress. Here. Q-chan used her excessively large mandibles to point at an obscure location behind her.
Hana walked together with F1 who lighted up her way. There were really stairs beside the wall! It was a simple one; soil and boulders cut neatly into indentations which gradually rises upwards. These indentations on the wall were then covered with the whitish spit, making it extremely stable.
Hana took slow steps upwards. She needed to be very careful this time since there was no handrail, and the steps were quite slippery. If she fell, it could be a really hard fall. She was greeted with a new empty cavernous space this time!
More space. Mistress can use... Us made this for Mistress. Go up.
Q-chan didn't follow Hana up. She couldn't due to her size. However, she enthusiastically relayed all the details in excitement to Hana through telepathy. Her somewhat incoherent words were easily understood now. Hana looked around and found another set of embedded stairs on a nearby wall upwards. She moved up curiously with F1 and Shiro in tow.
The stairs passed a layer of white spit covered earth as thick as one meter before Hana could see her familiar cave-dwelling! The walls were still the same; studded with pearls all over. However, the floor was glossed with the same veneer! It made the slightly bumpy floor which was full of embedded pearls became smooth like it was being filled with translucent white-colored resin!
Hana was speechless and was extremely touched at the same time.
Q-chan and her minions proactively 'renovated' her already posh cave-dwelling into a three-storey house with resin-like finishings!
Hana ran down the steps and hugged the large translucent white Q-chan happily.
"Thank you, thank you! You're such a gem!"