7: Family Outing
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First thing in the morning Galen checked Luca’s aura stone then hustled both his mate and son upstairs to register Luca’s aura in the Lotus-port. Meanwhile Galen headed back down to start organising breakfast.

“Here,” Donovan pointed to the centre of the plant that already had two different coloured stones wrapped in tiny vegetative tendrils and nestled in the centre of the lotus port. One was black within black, twisting shadows that consumed each other. The other was sky blue, with drifting clouds of grey occasionally floating by. Luca took out his own stone, a clear crystal with shimmering rainbows occasionally dancing across the surface.

“What do the different colours mean?” Luca looked up at his father, ears perked in curiosity.

Donovan pointed to all three stones in turn “Dark, wind, don’t know,” Donovan turned to stare at his son.

Luca’s eye twitched, use your words, your WORDS! How was that helpful, and why point at mine and say you don’t know?! taking deep breath, “I don’t understand.” Having noticed his father’s doting tendencies Luca pouted, widened his eyes and tried to force out a few tears, hoping to illicit a better explanation.

An almost crease appeared between the eyebrows of Donovan's ever expressionless face. One hand reached out at a glacial pace, before ever so gently resting on his angels head. Extremely relieved that his angel didn’t seem to be scared, he used his other hand to point at each stone in turn. “Mine is darkness, your dad’s is wind, we don’t know your attribute yet,”

Luca pounced on the little information he’d gleaned from his father’s sparse words. “What do you mean by attribute, and why don’t you know my attribute?”

Determined to satisfy his little angel’s curiosity this time Donovan arranged his words carefully “All beastmen’s anima have a connection with at least one attribute. If the connection is enough they may awaken special abilities. Your attribute hasn’t been tested yet.”

“The Church only holds the test at the end of each year.  They can only test hatchlings not eggs,”

Luca frowned suddenly recalling another test, the strangeness of this world had made him forget “Isn’t the gender test also at the end of the year?”

“Same time,” Donovan reverted to being concise.

Warmth, and a hint of a tear appeared on Galen’s face as he stood at the top of the stairs watching the two interacting. To be able to witness his mate and child bonding truly seemed like a miracle. He didn’t really want to interrupt, however as they had a bit to do today, he decided to hurry them along “Have you finished up yet? Breakfast is ready.”

“Ah No! How does this work?” Luca, flustered, frowned at the crystal rainbow stone still in his hand. Having apparently exhausted his word limit, Donovan pointed again at the centre of the Lotus port.

Pausing for a second, with no more information to go on, Luca cautiously placed his aura stone next to the entangled shadow and sky stones. For a moment nothing happened than the lotus port grew miniature vines and captured the aura stone and dragged it down like some tiny primordial octopus collecting rocks for its home. The thin green appendages wriggled and entwined around each other and the aura stone nestled into place.

Lucas feelings see-sawed between fascination and disgust, a large hand petted his quivering ears than his feet suddenly left the floor as he was swept into Donovan's arms.

“Breakfast,” the deep voice vibrated from the chest that Luca instinctively clung too.

“I can walk!” Luca glared at his father as he was princess carried to the stairs. A nod was the only response he got but Donovan didn’t put him down till they got to the table and he was sitting on his father’s lap.

Does he think I’m a child!...oh, wait, I am a child. Deflated, Luca obediently remained on Donovan's lap and ate the meat his father fed him. He eyed the chair but realised with his father’s size he couldn’t squeeze next to him. His reborn self’s humiliation was slowly chipped away by his anima's content at being surrounded by the scent of a loving parent.

It was the second time Luca had been out shopping but this time the whole family was joining in.

The first place the family went was the butchers where they’d bought Luca’s jerky previously. Turns out that the Boris his father had mentioned previously, was the bear beastman who had a bragging contest with his dad on their first shopping trip.

After resupplying the food for the two carnivores in the family and making arrangements to collect one of the skins after the treatment was over, they went to the next place.

Last time Luca was here he’d been too horrified by his missing memories, to really pay attention. However now that was in a better frame of mind, he realised that the Artisans guild was an amazing place.

All around were various nick-knacks. The devices on display gave of a strangely technological vibe. Armed with his new found literacy Luca wandered over to scrutinise one of the little information panels that were near all the strange objects.

[Fire-slab, does your natural element make it hard to handle an open flame? Can’t use fire elemental plants? Worry no more! the fire-stone will help with all your cooking needs! Become a master of the kitchen.  Surprise your friends and family with your amazing hot dishes. Buy any three of our household tools and get a 10% discount!]

‘…’ Ignoring the sales tone that sounded like one of those never-ending early morning commercials, Luca pondered something else. Aside from that meat bun just after hatching, he hadn’t had a hot meal this whole time! The only meat in the house seemed to be jerky or other cured meat and the rest of the food came from his dad’s small garden out back. Is it possible, just maybe, that dad can’t cook!?

Luca didn’t really mind, until this point he hadn’t even realised he was eating cold meals all this time…well I suppose anything taste great after hospital food…not that I could even eat towards the end.   Shaking off the depressing memories Luca focused back on what was essentially a hotplate. What’s that stuff about fire elemental plants mean?

“Luca come here,” his dad’s call interrupted his muddled thoughts. Luca turned and ran over to where Galen was waving from. Donovan was his usual expressionless self but as soon as Luca reached them, he was swept into his father’s arms again. His legs wrapped round his dad’s hips and arms round his neck. “Dad I told you before I can walk by myself!” glaring at his father only got him a one word answer “Stairs,” Luca’s pout seemed to have no way of affecting his father’s decision. So his only course of action was to ignore him, at least it’s not a princess carry this time.

Still ignoring his overprotective father Luca turned to his dad “Where are we going?” They were currently being led to some stairs by one of the members of the artisans’ guild.

Galen gave him a small smile then petted Luca’s head “to get your reward,” Luca tilted his head brows scrunched in confusion “Reward?”

Galen’s feathers’ and eyebrows rose in surprise “for finding the abode-fruit, you’ve forgotten already?”

“No but don’t you have to sell it first?”

“What did you think we were doing while you were distracted by the artefacts,” Galen chuckled.

“We’re here,” Donovan's statement, interrupted any reply Luca might have given as a room overflowing with books sprawled around them and took his attention away from the conversation.

Instead of the straight, orderly bookcases you’d expect to see there was a maze of curving and slightly tilted shelves enclosing the narrow paths between them. The cramped mess of different sized books had no order that Luca could see.  Different paths seemed to curve of into a bookish oblivion.  All the paths started from the small cleared space at the entrance of the room.

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