Chapter 19- Progress and Beast Companions
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[Keeno POV]

Over the course of the next few months, I had slowly progressed in controlling how much heat my body naturally produced.  I am now at the point where I can comfortably jump headfirst into piles of snow and not melt them.  This means that when Pram comes over, we can actually play together instead of just trying to pile up snow for us to jump in and having it melt the second I get near it.  Speaking of Pram, she’s been growing more attached to me the more time we spend together.  Of course, that’s a natural thing that happens with kids, but it seems like I’m the only person her age that is actually willing to play with her regularly.


I did ask her why that was the case, but she isn’t really sure of it herself.  It took a bit of questioning about a lot of things, but I was able to piece together a convincing reason to why she’s in the situation she is.  Pram comes from a family of very good healers and so, to follow in her family’s footsteps, she’s been taught a lot about the body, the most efficient ways to heal someone with minimal mana cost, the positive and negative effects of healing magic, and so on.  This being the case, most kids, not being the brightest, don’t consider her any fun since her abilities aren’t super flashy and exciting.


It doesn’t help that her Soul Weapon is different than what most people have apparently.  Her Soul Weapon is in the form of a bell and, according to Ama and Fia, is highly attuned to support magic like buffs and debuffs.  This doesn’t mean she can’t use healing magic, just that she can be considered average at it.  It’s a good thing her family isn’t like the things that gave birth to me since they still accept and support Pram.  Anyway, since I’m her only real friend, she comes over any time she has an abundance of free time.  We play together which aids in my training since I don’t want Pram to be upset that we can’t play with the snow.


Today was turning out to be the same as it has been for the last few months, in that I was sitting on top of a big pile of snow that wasn’t melting while Fia looked at me with somewhat appraising eyes.


“I believe it’s time to move onto the monster eggs.  This training is going to be different than what I was originally planning, but we’ll still make it work.” Fia said as she handed me two eggs.  “Keeno, I want you to produce enough heat to incubate these two eggs, but not enough to cook them.  If you can manage that until they are close to hatching, I’ll teach you how to use mana.  That way you can make the monsters in the eggs contracted to you.”


I took the two eggs from Fia’s hands and sat back down.


“How long does it take to do that?” (Keeno)


“It depends.  These eggs are from a monster called a steelfeather raven.  If all goes well, then it’ll take a few hours a day for a year or two.” (Fia)


I nodded my head as I tried to contain my excitement.  Finally, a chance to learn how to use mana.  The surroundings started to get warmer, but I reigned it in just before it got too hot.  I hugged the eggs to my chest and closed my eyes so I could focus more.


“Rasu, it’s now your turn to amp it up.” (Fia)


{Very well.  We’re now going to try and get you to maintain your control while it’s my job to try and get you to lose that control.}


Just like that one time, Ama’s voice sounded like it was speaking in a whisper directly into my ears.  Ama then started going over things that made my emotions go all over the place.  I tried my best to keep everything under control, but I could tell I was slipping bit by bit.


“You can do it, Keeno.” (Fia)


Fia’s encouragement motivated me to concentrate even more on what my goal was.  This process was repeated every day for another two years until one day, the eggs started to shake in my arms.


“Fia, they’re starting to hatch I think.” (Keeno)


“Alright.  Remember what I said to do, focus on your mana and move it into the eggs.  That way the contract will be made.” (Fia)


I closed my eyes and focused inside myself.  Fia taught me about a month ago how to start circulating mana.  I found the source in my body and started to draw some out, leading it from that point, down my arms, through my hands, and into the two eggs.  When I felt my mana get sucked into the eggs, they started to shake even more.  After what felt like hours, but was most likely only a few minutes, cracks formed on the eggs.  The shells started falling from the creature’s inside and soon, I was holding two young ravens in my arms.


They looked around at everything before they started to try and eat the eggs that they hatched from.  I moved my arms to let them do their thing while Ama started speaking.


{Know what you’re going to name them?}


“Yep.”  I pointed to the one on the left.  “This one’s name is Huginn.”   I then pointed to the one on the right.  “And this one is Muninn.”


“Interesting names.” (Fia)


I was about to explain the names and where they came from when Pram suddenly arrived.


“OKAMI!!!!” (Pram)


She was running up to me and about to jump at me to hug me when she saw Huginn and Muninn.  She slid to a stop and stared at them with shining eyes.


“Lunch?” (Pram)


“No, my pets.” (Keeno)


“Cute.  Tasty looking, but cute.” (Pram)


“Hello Pram.  Is it time for the two of you to play today?” (Fia)


“Hello, Miss Fiametta.  If it’s not too much trouble, or does Okami have to take care of the not lunch?” (Pram)


“I’ll watch over the birds, you two go and play.” (Fia)


“YAY!” (Pram)


Fia walked over and gently took Huginn and Muninn from my lap and shooed me away.


Chaos Realm:

Luna: Congratulations, Amaterasu, you have learned all I can teach you about Fluff.  As a reward, I shall give you the Blessing of Fluff and several plushies of Keeno.

Amaterasu: Thank you, Oh Abyssal Fluff.  I shall be forever grateful.

Atmos: Hey, how long until Keeno is brought here?  I want to see her reaction to all of this.

Soon.  She’ll be able to show up here when she’s 10.  Also, when did Luna turn you into a tanuki?

Atmos: A while ago.

Order: The fluff looks good on you.

*Astraea wakes up from napping in my tails*

Astraea: Atmos!!!

*Astraea jumps and hugs Atmos’s tail*

Atmos: …I…This is fine…


Luna: *Sigh*  Now, I shall prepare for Keeno’s lessons.  I’ll have to make them more detailed, yet condensed since she won’t be able to spend as much time here as Amaterasu.