Chapter 11: Courage
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My limbs felt tired after the second day of training with the sword. I flopped onto my bed, exhausted. My muscles were stinging all over again. Adelisa really was a demon, urging me to continue each time. However, I was surprised my limbs healed so quickly. When I woke up that morning, the aches from the day prior had disappeared. Perks of being a vampire? I wondered. 

"Princess, Allow me to fetch you some blood," Yumi said, hurrying out of the room as I looked up at the ceiling. 

"I wonder if it will be like this every day? I love them, but-"

"Fufufu, did you have fun, dear?" Mother hovered over me.

"When did you get in here!?"

"Hmm, just about the time you wer-"

"Actually! I don't want to know! Geez, you could at least knock," I said. "I mean. I am sorry. I am just tired." 

She embraced me in her arms as she patted my head. "There is no need to be sorry, my dear En. I heard all about it. But you still didn't answer my question. Did you have fun?" 

"Fun? Adelisa is a demon. I think if she continues to train me, my arms will turn into spaghetti." 

She placed a hand over her mouth, covering up a laugh. "My-my, I should hope your arms don't become spaghetti," she paused, "but you shouldn't call Adelisa a demon, you know? Despite how it seems, she is a wolf. Not to mention, she is helping you in her own way."

The door opened again, and Yumi entered with a chalice of blood. She placed it on the desk in front of my chair before she stepped aside. I grabbed the chalice, sipping the blood. I always wondered where we got our blood from. Did people offer it willingly? It felt rejuvenating, my muscle soreness dissipating bit by bit the more I sipped. 

"This reminds me of when your grandfather started teaching me," Mom said.

I put down the beverage as I finished the crimson. "My grandfather?" I asked. I hadn't seen any grandparents thus far, so I wondered if I had any.

"Ah, yes. Your grandfather had trained me from a young age. I wouldn't be in this position now if it weren't for him."

"What happened to him?"

"Endeed, that is a good question. He left before you were born with an important task. He may be back soon."

"I'm sorry," I said as my mother finished. She looked down at me, confused.

"What are you sorry for?" 

"I just thought that it might have been insensitive to ask." 

She hugged me to her chest."Fufufu, that little head of yours worries about the oddest things. It is okay to be curious. Most children your age don't have such worries." 

Right, but I wasn't a child inside. I had come from a place far different from here. So many things were different. I felt like an imposter. She booped my nose, breaking my thoughts. 

"I told you before to stop doing that." 

I looked up at her in shock. How did she even? 

"Because I am your mother." 

"That doesn't answer anything! Can you read my mind?" I started to panic. What if she had already known that I was a reincarnation? 

"Fufufu, that is your mother's secret." She put a finger on her lips.

Was she just teasing me? My cheeks inflated into a pout, and she poked my cheek, releasing the air from my mouth, "Puaah."

"Fufu, Yumi tells me you want to learn magic?" 

I had almost forgotten that conversation with Yumi the day before. "I don't know…" 

My mother sat down on my bed next to me. "Why don't you tell your mother what is on your mind?" She asked.

"I am scared. I am terrified that something will happen again. On that day, I was so afraid of being taken away. I love it here, and I love you, Father, and Yumi more than anything. I never want to leave. I don't want to ag-" My words turned into sobs. I had finally found a loving family, and the last thing I wanted was to die again. The tears kept coming out as my mother embraced me tighter.

"Those feelings are fundamental. Fear grounds us and protects us from danger. When someone looks over the edge of a tall cliff, the fear would protect them from leaping. The fear of being burned keeps people from placing their hands in a fire, and all of that fear is very important," she paused, continuing to stroke strands of my hair. "We all love and care for you. I would take on everything in this world just to protect you. The fear of losing you makes me feel something else. Do you know what that is?"

"What is that?" I asked as my tears stopped. 

"Courage. I would have the courage to stand before any beast in this land to keep you safe, stand in front of an army of dragons, and become a demon queen if it were to keep the smile on your face. Courage doesn't mean I'm not afraid. I am terrified, but I would do anything. You know why?"

"Why?" I asked.

"Because you are cute, Little En, and I love and cherish you."

I looked up at them and smiled. 

"If you want to learn magic, I will be with you the whole time," she said.

"You will be with me?" 

She nodded. "Every step of the way." 

I was so scared to take that leap. But Mom believed in me. She stayed next to me and made sure I was never lonely. "I will do it! I will learn magic!"

I heard sniffling, and when I looked at the source, I saw Yumi crying.

"What is wrong, Yumi!?" I asked.

"My apologies, Little Princess, I couldn't help it after witnessing such a scene." 

"Come here, Yumi." Mom said. 

Yumi walked over, and then she was pulled into the group hug before realizing what was happening. Her tail and ears reacted to her surprise, twitching. Nonetheless, she embraced the situation without complaint. We sat there like that for a bit until the excitement dwindled. 

Then, Yumi and I were released by my mother. "Now then, shall we begin your magic training?"


"Do you still remember the starting process?" Mother asked.

"I couldn't forget it."

"Good girl, En. Get comfortable on the floor, and I will observe your focus. There is nothing to worry about this time. I will be here."

I obliged the request. Sitting on the floor criss-cross applesauce, I focused again. 

It took less time than when I was three to recognize my mana core. Only, there was a difference. Most of the core was silver, like last time, but I saw a strand of orange wrapping around the center. I hesitated after reaching this point. I was afraid that if I started pulling on it with my mind, it would once more bring me pain. 

"It's okay. Your mother is right here."

As she calmed my fearful mind, I refocused on the core and began pulling. 

There was no pain this time, and I could feel it when I opened my eyes. Mana was wrapping around my body like a thin blanket.

"That was quick. Good job, Enala!" As she squeezed me into a hug, the mana surrounding me dissipated. "We will stop there for now. There are many things I will have to teach you before you can begin actualizing spells."

"I really did it?"

"You did. You are a genius, actually," Mother said. 

Yumi nodded frantically behind her, her fluffy orange ears flopping around. 

"Now, this is very important to remember," Elise said. "I am happy you are such a fast learner but do not try to practice independently for now. That will come much later."

"Yes, Mother."