Fey had told the king and his entourage about her little trip to the human capital, while Mira admitted to having helped her clean up there. The duo also announced that Chloe was her daughter and was, more or less, the cause for the whole event, which caused even more chaos. They managed to put that aside for the time being, though and continued to focus on the human capital while trying to devise a way to use this chance to finally make peace with the humans. They had to put that on hold, though, because Sophia wasn’t done yet breaking some news to him.
“W-What do you mean that this was just a warmup?!” Menzor stared at the blonde with big eyes. “W-What could possibly be more important than the human capital effectively being conquered and their rulers having disappeared?!"
“I, uhh… I mean, if you put it that way, but… Mine’s more of a positive and nice-to-hear bombshell?"
“From you…?” He didn’t believe her.
“Ahaha…” There was little she could say in her defense.
“Alright, fine… I doubt my migraine can’t get any worse, anyway.”
“Oi!” Menzor didn’t like her reaction.
“Hehe.” Sophia let out a small chuckle before continuing. “There are two things I’d like to reveal. One is something Chloe initially came up with, which Anna and I then tried to use for a more practical approach. The other one relates to how our group will travel once we leave the capital."
“You and Anna came up with something… practical…?” The king and everyone around him had a very skeptical reaction.
“How terribly rude!” The blonde pouted for a moment. “Anyway, we found out that you can use your raw magic to make plants grow and develop. We might or might now have used it to grow some massive trees some distance away from here…”
“I knew it!” Menzor got loud. “I knew these trees that can be seen from the higher places in the castle aren’t of natural origin!”
“There are many things I want to tell you about that fact,” He glared at the blonde. “I don’t understand how it would be relevant right now, though.”
“It becomes relevant went I add the idea I had.” She didn’t appreciate the glare. “Forget trees and think about crops and other agricultural products. According to Anna, even though it takes very little magic from you, it would still rather taxing, if not impossible, for the farmers responsible for the fields, but it is an alternative way. The princess and I came up with two uses for it. Growing rare or out-of-season fruits and plants and having a backup if something happened. Like a famine caused by a drought or something like that. With magically grown plants, it would be possible to grow a ton of food almost instantly if enough people come together to bundle their magic.”
"…" Menzor needed a moment. "A-Are you serious…?"
“I always am!”
“I-Is… Is that really possible?” He faced the overseer for confirmation.
“It is quite difficult to do from scratch because you need to be rather precise with the amount of… raw magic you use. After all, Sophia, the princess, Chloe, and the others are downright gifted with their control of magic. It most certainly is possible, though. As this much has been discovered now, I can provide more information. Be warned, though, while it is a viable way to use in an emergency like the mentioned famine or treat yourself to a specialty every now and then, I advise against making it a habit.” Mira paused for a moment. “Your body can attune yourself to magical food and won’t work with the regular one afterward anymore. Your whole diet would have to revolve around it, then. Relying on it through a harsh winter or a dry summer won’t cause this change, though. Neither will be treating yourself to an exotic fruit once or twice a week.”
"Oh, I hadn't thought about that possibility!" The voices of Chloe and Sophia overlapped.
“That is… a lot of information…” Menzor glanced at some of his ministers with a complicated expression. “We definitely have to further explore our options here, too. Having a failsafe for food-related emergency situations is beyond valuable.”
“Absolutely!” They nodded in agreement.
"Anyway," The blonde continued. "I'm happy to give a demonstration later on, but that’s about it for this topic. I hadn’t been too invested in it, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Alright, let's get to the main topic?"
“M-Main?!” The king took additional damage from that.
"Let me show you all something~." Saying so, Sophia stood up from her chair, and everything, as well as everyone, stopped moving entirely.
“What are you up to?” Well, almost everyone. Mira just turned her head to the side while looking at her.
"A-Ah!” Noticing her, Sophia did a short jump in surprise. “I-I’m really not sure how I feel about you not being affected by my ability to stop time…” She had expected to be alone.
"Look on the bright side. I can't mess with you, either. You also aren't affected by my ability either, after all."
“That does make it better. Slightly, at least.” She still wasn’t exactly a fan.
“So, what’s the plan? You aren’t going to tell them about this, are you? I would strongly advise against it.”
“Are you insane?!” The tiger stared at her. “I just need a bit of time to prepare some stuff. I want to show them one of my direct portals.”
"Ahh, right, you mentioned that before. Why don't you simply open it and let them deal with it themselves?”
“You’re kidding, right?” She intensified her stare. “I want to get home today again, you know? If I did that, they would freak out for two hours, it would take me three more hours to explain it, and even more to talk one of them into going through it. Afterward, more freaking out will happen once they go back. Menzor will start questioning me for a good while before I lose my temper and literally throw him through the portal! I admit that the last part sounds like it would be fun, but it’s definitely not worth it!”
"Well, I can most definitely see that happening.” The teal fox nodded a few times.
"Therefore, I won't give them a choice and put on a little show. I wanted to check if the other side is clear, connect two portals and transport the whole room, and give them a nice surprise~.”
“For someone who doesn’t like attention, you definitely know how to do things in the flashiest way possible.” Mira sounded impressed. “Are you still sure about that claim?”
“Why is everyone around me so playful?!”
“People of the same kind tend to flock together. It’s not like you’re any different, after all.”
“Mhmn… Fair, I guess.”
“Are you certain about this, though?” The teal fox got a little more serious. “I mean, I did something similar with the human army through Fey, but they had absolutely no idea what was going on. Everyone around here will instantly notice just how much of a big deal this really is.”
“Well,” Sophia scratched her cheek. “I really hated the idea back when the direct portals weren’t a thing, but… I've grown super attached to everyone here, and these portals will be really helpful! It will be a huge benefit for the entire beastfolk, too! Also, even when traveling, I want to come here often for a visit, which is kinda hard to explain without them. I mean, I don’t have to explain anything, but while I’m going to keep some secrets from them, I want to be honest about the things I can.”
“Oho, that’s a nice way of thinking. You really have your heart in the right place. It’s also fascinating just how much of a tiger you have become. It's one of their defining traits to always think about the best for the folk as a whole. Well, it's not like the others don't, but the felines with the stripes always go for the extra mile."
“Ahaha…” The blonde got a little awkward. “I-It’s not unconditional, though. If there’s even a sign of them misusing my portals, I’ll deactivate them immediately. Like using them for excessive personal gains or even war-related things. Unless it’s for defensive purposes, at least.”
“I like how you’re pretty thoughtful and easygoing at the same time. It’s really nice.”
“I do have my moments.” She let out a small chuckle. “Whatever, enough of all that. I’ll go and prepare the portals and the other side real quick so that we can continue here."
“Have fun~.” Mira just waved after her once the tiger disappeared through one of her portals. “She’ll make a fine overseer one day. She has just the right amount of common sense for that. Our common sense, that is.”
“Let me show you all something~.” Once everything had been set up, Sophia continued where she had left off before she stopped time.
“I’m not sure if I like the sound of that.” Menzor had mixed feelings about it. “Also, why do I feel like you changed positions in an instant…?”
“D-Don’t sweat the small details here!” She had forgotten to be in the same position as she had been before stopping time. “Anyway, here we go!” Immediately after, purple particles appeared all over the room, and soon enough, everyone had changed location. While the blonde was at it, she also took the chairs everyone was sitting on and the big table with her.
“W-W-WHA-?!” Everyone, except the fox family, had the same reaction. No one could understand what was happening and why there were at the lake that had suddenly appeared a few months ago.