The King of Chaos (Peregrine x Andy)

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, Multiple posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Male, No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
The goddess’ head nodded slowly, as though she was considering Armen’s words carefully. A second later, and she smiled.

“Very well. It’s the slowest route, but I’m not in any particular hurry. I shall see you born into a family in this world, and reawaken your memories of your past life while you are still in the womb.” The goddess giggled faintly. “I’ll be interested to see how you deal with it.

“As for your remaining questions, please remember that they cannot be open-ended. Asking for more information about the factions is just as open-ended as asking for information on aptitudes.”
The goddess pondered for a second, before shaking her head slightly. “How about this? You can use those two questions to learn about the two most powerful factions in this world, or you can trade those two questions for the ability to set two conditions about the family you’ll be born into. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which you prefer.”
 
  • Creative
Reactions: Andy

Andy

the ultimate future soldier...who else wants some?
Invitation Status
,
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Primarily Prefer Male
Genres
Fantasy, romance, furry, scifi, modern, medieval,
Armen had to admit..the thought of being born into a new world with all the knowledge that he currently had was..a bit frightening..and he knew that if he wasn't careful he could cause troubles for himself and his new family..but that was a matter to worry about once he was actually reborn..plus as she said before..in doing this he would be regarded more as a genius..and he would have a background to help with his story.

Then she gave him a major ultimatum with a choice he could make. Use his remaining two questions to learn more about the two most powerful factions in the world..or use them to set conditions on his family that he'll be born into. Both were super tempting..and regardless of what choice he made he could only see positives..at least for the most part. If he chose to learn about the factions then he could figure out a bit more on whether or not they were groups he wanted to get involved with..because he had a feeling that she would tell him about what's going on in the public eye..but also what's going on with them behind closed doors.

But if he got to pick conditions for his family he could get a family that had wealth..and with wealth came connections and that could be a useful resource in and of itself..and if he also used his other condition to make sure he was placed with a family that had a good name in terms of reputation with the public that would also help since it would make his name more recognizable and thus it would help him gain favor with people better and make people more likely to help him in his journey.

After a bit of thought he would nod his head and look up at her "Alright..I'll trade in my questions for conditions. My first condition is that my family has wealth. I don't need them to be the richest people but I want them to at least have a good solid source of income that can support me in any way that I'll need it. My other condition is that my family has a good reputation and a good standing with the public, in their eye and behind closed doors. What I mean is that I don't want a family that's secretly kidnapping the commoners and people lower on the totem pole then them and like..raping and murdering them or anything dark like that. I want them to be kind and charitable to the people that are lower then them on the totem pole. Does that all work?"
 
  • Like
Reactions: Peregrine

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, Multiple posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Male, No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
The goddess listened to Armen’s conditions attentively, before her eyes fluttered halfway closed, trembling slightly. Above her the swirling stars began to stir, forming whirlpools in the sky that seemed to collect the light around them. It was clear that the goddess was putting genuine consideration into Armen’s requirements. However, after a couple of seconds, her eyes flashed open, and a satisfied smile crossed her face.

“Good. Yes, I’ve found a place that meets with the majority of your conditions. I cannot say that they would be capable of supporting you in any way you need, as there are resources in my world so rare and valuable that even a top sect might be incapable of purchasing them. However, they will have enough wealth to create a solid foundation for your initial development, assuming you prove yourself worthy of the investment.”

The goddess nodded slightly, more to herself than Armen. She did not ask him if this was acceptable, or appear that she would take his opinion on the matter any further than what she’d already offered. The goddess eyes were already slightly distracted, her attention turning to the world that sprawled below their feet. The map under them blurred, the giant images of the city vanishing into mist, before the map re-resolved into the image of a sprawling forest full of giant trees. Every tree appeared slightly different from the next, the trunks and leaves in a variety of colors. In the center of the forest, a giant tree with silver bark and golden leaves stretched into the sky, with a sprawling estate taking shelter under its limbs. Fine houses, verdant fields, and flowering gardens could all be made out with ease.

The goddess turned to look back at Armen as the image under their feet stabilized. “Do you have any final matters you wish to discuss? If not, I’ll send you on your way.”
 
  • Love
Reactions: Andy

Andy

the ultimate future soldier...who else wants some?
Invitation Status
,
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Primarily Prefer Male
Genres
Fantasy, romance, furry, scifi, modern, medieval,
Armen would remain silent as the Goddess before him explained that she had found exactly what he had been asking for in terms of a family. Well that was good at the very least..and while they weren't the wealthiest people in the world it was at least good to know that they would have the resources to support him..and with his knowledge from the previous world and his talents and well..everything he has going for him at the moment and in this next life. After a moment of silence he would shake his head "No..I cannot think of anything else that I need to know about at this time and I am ready to get going. Um..I guess the only other question that I have coming straight to mind is can I expect to hear from or see you again in the near future or anything like that?"
 
  • Like
Reactions: Peregrine

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, Multiple posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Male, No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
The goddess laughed delightedly at Armen’s question, her calm, controlled mask abruptly shattering into something filled with far more raw, primal excitement. “Oh, you won’t be able to get rid of me that easily,” she said, still laughing. “Things are finally going to get interesting again, and I intend to be there. Every. Step. Of. The. Way.”

Then, her hand swept outwards, causing the space in front of her to shatter like a mirror breaking. The broken fragments surged towards Armen like the rush of the tide, surrounding him in an instant, swallowing him up. Around him, everything began to twist and warp, the stars, the darkness, the idyllic estate, even the figure of the goddess herself was broken up into impossible shapes, swirling into incomprehensible patterns. However, from between these fragments of the goddess’ realm, a darkness began to creep. It spread rapidly, swallowing up every trace of color and light, until nothing was left but pure darkness.

Outside the chaos Armen would be experiencing, the goddess watched the twisted space she’d created, her smile spreading further and further as the storm around Armen shrunk away into nothingness. Only when it was gone did her eyes move away, her head tilting back to stare up at the swirling heavens that surrounded her. For a second, her eyes fluttered closed, and her arms spread wide.

It’s finally going to begin.



For Armen, there would be nothing left but darkness, all surrounding, all consuming. No trace of light existed, no echo of sound or brush of sensation. The body the goddess had crafted for him was gone again, leaving behind that same bit of mind, or soul, that the goddess had drawn to her realm. All that existed was the void, and Armen.

But into that nothingness came a familiar presence.

Relax, came the voice of the goddess. Your future body is still nothing but clumps of scattered mana in the belly of a woman, incapable of merging with your far more complete soul. As it develops, I will slowly fold you in.

For now, relax. And experience. You are about to personally witness one of the most raw, fundamental examples of the nature of mana. The more you can remember and understand, the more it will benefit you on your journey.
 
  • Creative
Reactions: Andy

Andy

the ultimate future soldier...who else wants some?
Invitation Status
,
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Primarily Prefer Male
Genres
Fantasy, romance, furry, scifi, modern, medieval,
When the Goddess suddenly burst out laughing at his question he couldn't help but stare at her a bit more out of...relief maybe? Probably because the way she was laughing all of a sudden it definitely made her seem a lot more...well...human...or..mortal then he had originally thought. Before he had always assumed Gods or..goddesses to be above emotion or..to not show it as much because they had to be big and all powerful and all that kind of stuff. But..to see her suddenly burst out laughing like this was..well..it was quite the relief. That wasn't even including the fact that she had just stated that she was going to be keeping a really close eye on him..although..that in its own way was another reason for him to be a little bit concerned about this whole thing.

Before he could even respond or consider how he would respond suddenly she waved her hand at him and before he could even register what was happening he was being swept up in a whirlwind of what appeared to be broken glass and stars. He would try to shout out in shock..but either he had lost his voice as he felt himself being dragged away into nothing..or what was happening around him and the nothingness that was surrounding him was so dark and..full of..well..nothing that it completely absorbed his voice and destroyed it.

The next thing Armen knew was that he had no physical body to even consider speaking of. All he knew was that he existed..but..any attempt to try and move or...do anything for that matter other then think was met with..that same nothingness. It was a strange concept..to be able to feel and think..without actually being able to feel or move..and in all honesty if it wasn't for the fact that he knew that this was going to happen after his conversation with the Goddess he would be freaking out in every way he could.

When he felt the familiar presence of the Goddess with him..he did find himself becoming more relaxed then he had been before. So..this was what it was like inside the womb..this was what it was like to not exist but exist all the same. He was definitely thankful and appreciative of the Goddesses advice just then and there because with this he would help to gain a better understanding of how mana worked in the world he was going to be entering soon..and if he could thank her he would but..given that he didn't have a voice or a way to do so all he could do was think his thanks. So..heeding her advice..he would contend himself with sitting back..and keeping his mind and metaphorical eyes wide open so he could try and see, memorize, and understand as much as he possibly could about the world of mana that was before him..and would be before him until the day he was born.
 
  • Love
Reactions: Peregrine

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, Multiple posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Male, No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
In the unborn, unmade darkness of the womb, it seemed as though there was nothing. There was no impression of time, no notion of movement or change. Unforgiving in its endless emptiness, it swallowed up everything. Even thought.

But it was only in that emptiness, with a mind that somehow resembled the moment between waking and sleeping, when thoughts flowed smoothly without notice or interruption, that it was possible to notice something moving.

Perhaps if he’d had a body to support it, it would have been something to see, to hear. But, with nothing but his own mind, protected by the goddess from the infinite blackness, it was a sensation that couldn’t be categorized in any of the usual senses. Instead, it was more like a kind of knowing, a certainty without any evidence to back it up.

What was worse, if he tried to focus on that mysterious something, the certainty would disappear as quickly as it came, leaving behind only vague guesses and more endless darkness.

But without all the distractions of a human body, without tiredness or hunger or thirst or discomfort to divert his attention, it didn’t take long for that lost feeling to recover. And in the timelessness after that, the feeling could become almost second nature.

This is mana sensing.

In the darkness of the womb, the goddess’ voice seemed to come with that same unknowable certainty with which he was able to feel mana. It wasn’t a voice in his head. There was nothing to hear. All there would be, was certainty she had spoken.

It is the most basic foundation of a mage, the prerequisite before anything else is possible. Even with an aptitude, you would not be able to sense the thoughts of animals before you have reached mana sensing. Otherwise, it would be like having your radio tuned to the wrong signal; the information would simply pass by without you knowing.

Now that he could be aware it was there, the mana was everywhere. It filled the space, darting around left, right, up down, back and forth, but also occasionally moving in directions that defied description with language. Sometimes the mana would interact, meeting each other in the same space, causing them to interact. Other times, they would seem to simply twist by each other, as though they should have collided, but simply didn’t.

And, in the very center of the darkness, one particularly dense patch of mana rested. Unlike the other mana, which darted about freely, these seemed somehow bound to each other. Occasionally, another piece of mana would be drawn close, only to be tied in tight to the slowly growing lump.

Your body, the goddess acknowledged. Most people need years of guided meditation before they can reach the cusp of mana sensing. You haven’t even been born yet. I’d say you’re doing quite well.

His body grew. And, as it grew larger, so too did his perspective begin to shift. It shifted inwards, so that he was surrounded by the mana. And it shifted outwards, growing in scale and scope. It was no longer possible to make out the individual units of mana. They were too small, too numerous, growing more and more complicated as his body continued to develop. He could no longer see the way the individual pieces interacted with each other. Instead, it was just possible to sense it was there, among all the other mana. And even that was beginning to grow blurry.

This is normal. Your aptitude is fairly narrow, and it’s going to be harder and harder to understand the mana as you are exposed to more and more varieties of it. Just remember what you can.

And then, one day, the darkness began to fade. It was replaced with shifting light, endless sounds, gurgles, thumps, a persistent, calming heartbeat. Occasional voices. The womb was not a quiet place, accompanied by the endless noises of his mother’s body, and shifting with patterns as light moved across her belly. With all these sudden sensations, it might even be possible to lose that frame of thought that allowed for sensing mana in the first place.

But even now, there was nothing to do but wait. Armen’s body was still growing, nourished by his mother, as his limbs continued to lengthen and form, his body shaping around him.
 
  • Creative
Reactions: Andy

Andy

the ultimate future soldier...who else wants some?
Invitation Status
,
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Primarily Prefer Male
Genres
Fantasy, romance, furry, scifi, modern, medieval,
It was quite odd..being nothing..yet something all together. To have a consciousness and to be able to learn and think..but to not speak or..react or..do anything. It was so unnatural yet at the same time enlightening how he could just take all that he was seeing..all that he was grasping and just take it all in and learn from it. Before long he felt that there was something else there with him..yet every time he tried to reach out to it..or at least what he felt was the equivalent of reaching out to it..it was suddenly gone..like a fragile thought or a pain of glass it would just shatter and then it was gone. But..when he stopped..trying to reach out to it..and just..accepted that it was there..it seemed to get closer to him..and before he knew it he could sense what it was that was around him..and it was everywhere..and it was so amazing in its own sense that even if he could articulate the words to describe it he wouldn't have the slightest idea of what words to use.

When he heard the Goddess's voice ring out to him and say that he had learned Mana sensing and that he was already in a sense proving himself he couldn't help but feel a tiny bit of joy in that..however as time passed as he did everything he could to learn from the mana..to let it collect and gather around him..for him to study it and try and learn every little thing it could tell him suddenly he felt everything about himself being pulled inward..and then..again outward..and again the ringing of the Goddesses voice..his body? So..the mana was coming together to start forming his body..so..in all senses..every living thing was comprised of mana..it was just a matter of how the mana was collected and pieced together and how much there was that decided on what was created from the mana.

When he could no longer actually see the mana surrounding him he couldn't help but feel lonely..but..soon that loneliness was replaced by something else..a soft..thumping...it was so soothing..so..so entrancing that he found himself being lulled to sleep by the sound of it alone..that was if he even could sleep that was. At this point the darkness around him wasn't so dark anymore..and he felt like he was only just laying there with his eyes closed..yet..no matter how hard he tried he couldn't open them. He was stuck there in a state of twilight..a place between the light and the dark. As he heard that same thumping sound continue..he quickly realized that it was actually his mother's..or..at least his new mother's heartbeat! No sooner did he realize what it was did he become aware of the own thumping in his chest..that just happened to be right in time with his mother's..it was a unique experience..to be alive and alert while inside the womb..but..what he did know was that this also meant that his time in the womb was nearing its end..and before long..he would be born..instead of focusing on his mother's heartbeat and his own awareness..he decided to instead focus his thoughts on the mana that was within him already..and he attempted to try and manipulate it in any way that he could..to make it stronger..to study it..he just wanted to do everything he could to try and understand the mana that he could already sense within him.

How long he did that for..he had no idea since he obviously had no concept of time while in the womb..but before he knew it..he suddenly felt his mother's heartbeat increasing which would disrupt his focus on his mana..and then..he would feel as if he was being turned around and then suddenly he felt an incredible pressure around him and he felt as if he was moving..and as he moved..the twilight that he had been stuck in for so long got brighter and brighter..and brighter until it was practically blinding him..and as the light got brighter..he felt the pressure around him getting stronger and stronger..and then suddenly less and less..it was only then that he realized what was happening..he was officially being reborn into this new world.
 

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, Multiple posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Male, No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
In the back room of a sprawling building, a beautiful, black haired woman lay on a wide bed. A faint silver aura surrounded her, swimming through the air. However, its normally smooth, graceful current was now disrupted by countless swirling pools. Several maids surrounded the woman, with an older maid kneeling at the foot of the bed, peering at the woman with great concentration.

Sweat dampened the woman’s face, causing strands of her hair to stick to her face. But, despite the pain that caused her brow to be marred into deep wrinkles, no scream of pain passed her lips. Instead, no sound filled the room but her haggard breathing, and the murmured encouragement of the gathered maids.

On the other side of an ornate door, a dark-haired man was pacing back and forth. He was dressed in fine clothes, a black overcoat embroidered with orange thread, a long gold cloak falling over his shoulders, emblazoned with the mighty symbol of a roaring tiger. His tall boots let out loud thumps as he paced back and forth.

Just like the woman, the man was not alone either. He was accompanied by several other men, ranging in age from late twenties to their upper eighties. Like the woman, two of the oldest men were surrounded by an aura. However, rather than the woman’s pure silver, theirs showed a dark brown and a deep fuchsia respectively.

“My Lord,” one of the old men said softly, his voice sounding cajoling. “There is no need to worry. Lady Lian is a powerful Mana Wielder, and the mana will support her. Your son shall be born healthy.”

The Tiger Lord briefly stopped pacing at the elder’s words, but as a burst of commotion came from behind the doors he immediately started moving again. Past the commotion, it was just possible to make out the sound of a newborn's cry. Just as the elder was about to speak again, a middle aged man dressed in deep green clothes rested his hand on the other man’s shoulder.

“Give it a rest. This is Lord Juro’s firstborn son. He would need to be superhuman to be able to remain calm at a time like this.”

The elder seemed to wish to protest further, but his words were once more interrupted. However, rather than coming from another person, he was interrupted by the heavy door suddenly swinging open. Juro immediately froze in place, before racing towards the door in three long steps.

The old maid stood at the entryway, a smile on her face.. “Your son was born healthy, My Lord,” she said, a trace of satisfaction in her voice.

“And Lian?” he asked.

The maid smiled. “Tired, but otherwise fine. Come in and see her.”

On the bed, Lian was resting, propped up against a pile of pillows. In her arms, a small bundle of white blankets was cradled with the greatest care. A soft, tender smile graced her face. However, at the sound of heavy boots, she looked up, the smile breaking into a full grin. “Come meet your son,” she said softly.
 
  • Love
Reactions: Andy

Andy

the ultimate future soldier...who else wants some?
Invitation Status
,
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Primarily Prefer Male
Genres
Fantasy, romance, furry, scifi, modern, medieval,
He could feel the change in mana surrounding both him and his mother as he was born. With every little push and every squirm he made he could feel the mana changing and shifting as if to assist him in his birth and to ensure that it was a safe one. It was a tiring process not just for him..or his mother..but for the mana itself. He could almost feel as if the mana was truly alive around them..and that it had a consciousness of it's own and that it was exhausting itself to ensure that he was born as safely and as healthy as he could possibly be..and sure enough that's what would happen.

There was a moment..a faint moment of an incredible tightness surrounding him..a tightness so hard that he thought he was going to be split in half..but then it was gone and the next thing he knew he felt hands upon his body..and cool air touching him..he felt as if he was being moved..then he felt something cold and wet splashing against him..water..they were cleaning him..he had been born successfully..properly reincarnated..it was a strange feeling to truly experience birth..and one that he would not likely soon forget in all honesty..not that he wanted to experience it again mind you..but still it was a unique one nonetheless.

He had still yet to open his eyes at this point..and as he lightly kicked and squirmed in the arms of whoever was holding him he would let out a cry..even though his consciousness was that of a 21 year old male..he was now in the body of a baby..and that in itself was even weirder. To know what words were..to know how to speak but yet be unable to properly convey any words or speech..that was definitely the strangest feeling he had ever experienced..second only to the concept of how he existed inside the womb but yet had no body to move yet he felt like he was moving all the same.

The cold dampness of the water soon washed away and the next thing he knew he was wrapped in probably one of the softest blankets he had ever felt..and then he felt as if he was being passed over..and then he would open his eyes for the first time and gaze up into the loving eyes of his mother. She was incredibly beautiful..not as beautiful as the Goddess had been..but beautiful all the same..the next thing he knew he was aware of a second presence standing over him and his mother. Turning his head as best as he could he would see his father standing there..a tall proud looking man..with hair as dark as his mothers..at the moment he didn't know what to make of either his mother or his father..but..he had to trust that the Goddess had kept her word and put him in a family like he had requested for..so..with as much effort as he could give he would give out a high pitched baby squeal when he saw his father and would give a very faint..baby smile..even though he was smiling with his eyes mostly..and he would squirm in his mothers arms as best as he could even though he was wrapped in that blanket as if he was trying to reach out and touch..and hold both his new mother and his new father.

As that thought crossed his mind..his thoughts would go back to his parents and his friends and family back in his old world..and he couldn't help but wonder how they were doing now..he could only imagine the pain and heart ache they were going through to believe that he was dead and gone forever..and in a way they were right..there was likely a zero percent chance that he would ever see them again in any fashion..but..he at the very least hoped that they would find some future happiness with his passing..but..he couldn't worry about them now..instead he had to focus on his new family..and on the task that the Goddess had put before him.
 
  • Sweet
Reactions: Peregrine

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, Multiple posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Male, No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Time flowed like water in the Albilon household, always moving forward.

There was no denying that Lord Juro and Lady Lian treasured their newborn child greatly. Both were powerful people in the sprawling family, with many duties to attend to. Lord Juro was the second son of Patriarch Symund Albilon, and the Head Beastmaster of the family. Lady Lian, the beloved youngest daughter of Ghost Empress Isemni, was an even more skilled mage than her husband, and had taken over as the Captain of the Albilon family's Spirit Guard upon marrying into the family, protecting the family's vast domain from incorporeal threats of all kinds. Yet both still clearly made their son Armen their first priority. Even with numerous maids and caretakers living in their household to help with the burden of raising a child, both still did their best to ensure that at least one of them would always be home for the first years of their son's life.

Of course, the interior of the Albilon family house was well protected, and there was no risk that their son might become injured. On the rare occasions that both of them had to leave for urgent matters, they would leave behind their two closest confidants to watch after their growing son.

The first, a maid named Chandrah, who had been helping to care for Armen since the moment he was born. Indeed, she had been one of the women present at Armen’s birth. The young maid was not a powerful mage, only capable of performing some low-level spells, but she had grown up alongside Lian. Although their status was quite different, Lian still considered the vividly red-haired woman like a sister, and trusted her implicitly.

The second was the most trusted companion of Armen’s father, a massive blue and black tiger with vividly golden eyes who had been tamed by Juro back when he’d still been a young man venturing the world. Although this fierce “Uncle Blue” could not really be considered a suitable caretaker for a toddler, he was a valiant and loyal guardian, more than intelligent enough to understand what might constitute a threat to the Young Master, and play with him without bringing him harm. Combined with Chandrah’s attention and affection, Armen would be well cared for in the times his parents couldn’t be with him.

It was on a perfectly normal day, when Armen's father had left the house on a mission he naturally didn’t bother to fully explain in the presence of his two year old son, that the goddess spoke to Armen again. True to her promise when she’d first sent him down to the mortal world, she had kept a close eye on him all that time. However, the moments she would speak were unpredictable at best, and sometimes even downright irrational. She’d been relatively attentive at the beginning, explaining the requirements for a person to transition from the stages of Mana Sensitive, where one was able to sense the existence of mana in their surroundings, to Mana Touched, where they were able to gain a strong enough will to move around certain types of mana, causing it to collect and dissipate. However, after finishing her explanation she might vanish for weeks at a time, even going so far as to ignore Armen’s questions, only to suddenly appear again at dinner, speaking of some of the culinary delicacies that the great factions would serve at their banquets.

How much longer are you planning to sit around? Although her words were a little harsh, the goddess’ tone was playful. It was obvious she wasn’t mad. You’ve already become Mana Touched through the mana of an animal’s thoughts, but you aren’t going to be able to progress further in your understanding of other mana, unless you get some instruction.

Indeed, due to the rather terrifying aptitude for the thoughts of animals that the goddess had granted Armen, less than two years after he was born he’d been able to step into the realm of the Mana Touched. Through his understanding of an animal’s thoughts, he could gather together their thoughts, allowing him to understand them, or even change their thoughts to allow his own “voice” to reach them, regardless of whether or not they understood the human language. Of course, it would still take care and effort on his part, and the more complicated the thought he wanted to read or impart, the more likely it was for him to mess up. But there was no denying that such capabilities at such a young age marked him as an undeniable genius.
 
Last edited:
  • Love
Reactions: Andy

Andy

the ultimate future soldier...who else wants some?
Invitation Status
,
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Primarily Prefer Male
Genres
Fantasy, romance, furry, scifi, modern, medieval,
Two years had gone by since his birth. Two very fast years that while he was only but a babe he couldn't deny that they were some of the happiest of his existence including the time before his reincarnation. He lived with a family that clearly loved him and did everything that they could to support him and make sure he was safe and healthy, from his real parents to Chandra and good ol Uncle Blue. Thanks to his parents dedication to him and their instructions to never leave him alone he had to admit that he was constantly under loving supervision..and while at times that got a little annoying because it meant he couldn't properly practice without anyone catching on that meant he could only practice controlling his mana at night when everyone else was asleep.

The Goddess was luckily of some help..here and there..but the unfortunate part about her "help" was that it was so random and sporadic that there was no way of knowing when she was going to pop up next. Hell one time in particular he remembered that she popped up right in the middle of one of his meals and scared the living daylights out of him. And unfortunately just because he had the mindset of an adult..didn't mean he had the emotional control of one..so that started him on a complete crying fit and a tantrum that just lasted forever..and when it was all said and done he was so embarrassed that if he could have he would have avoided contact with anyone that came near him. Unfortunately being a baby though you can't just avoid everyone.

During his two years of training though he had definitely learned to communicate with some of the..smaller animals that were in the house. He didn't do it under the watch of anyone of course so mostly the small mice that were living in the walls he had more or less learned to control with relative ease. He couldn't have them do extremely hard tasks..but he at least had enough control to teach them how to fetch things for him and do a few other simple commands.

It was on one such day when he was actually under the watch of his mother that the Goddess spoke to him again in that playful but serious tone of hers. She had a point..if he didn't make some kind of move soon to show that he was clearly incredibly gifted in the art of mana he would be able to evolve and learn more..however the problem was how was he going to do it? Well..the best way to show off any talent was probably just do to it wasn't it?

Turning his attention to his mother for but a moment he would look around the room from his position on the floor. He would then give a small grin to himself. He had the perfect way to get his mother's attention and to help her notice his talents all at once. Carefully he would take one of his little toy balls that he had and he would carefully push it across the room so it was a good distance between him and his mother who was sitting next to him in one of her chairs. After the ball had some distance between them he would focus on the mana circulating around him and push his thoughts outward in an attempt to feel the thoughts of one of the many mice that he had "befriended" over the years.

When his thoughts touched one of the mice he would smile and using the mana he would focus on the mouse's thoughts and it's own mana wavelength so he could speak to the mouse and after he had matched the frequency he needed to he would simply send the mouse the command "Come" The mouse would immediately stop what it was doing and follow Armen's mana and his command to the letter and make it's way through the maze of tunnels it had inside the walls before it would pop out of one of the tiny mouseholes that it had in the wall underneath one of the large book cases and would make its way out into view.

Once Armen saw the mouse out in plain view he would smile and send it another command "Stop" After the mouse had stopped right where it was Armen would look up at his mother from his position "M..Momma..watch this" He knew how to speak well enough by now considering he was two years old..he had finally found the strength to use his words however he felt he had to dumb himself down a bit to not scare people too much. How would people react if he started talking in full complete sentences like an adult could after all?

Once he got his mothers attention he would turn his attention back to the mouse and after focusing his thoughts and his mana on the mouse he would speak out loud this time so his mother could understand what he was saying "Fetch ball." The mouse would stay where it was for only a moment before it looked over towards the ball that Armen had pushed across the room..and then it would make its way over to the ball and after it got behind it, it would start using it's body to push the ball from the spot across the room where it was right to where Armen was sitting, and once it had reached him..Armen would reach down and pick up the ball with a smile and stare at the mouse. "Sit." and after that command it would lean back and sit on it's hind legs with it's front paws up in the air for everyone to see..as if it was doing some kind of trick for them all.
 

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, Multiple posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Male, No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Lian was a studious mage, who rarely wavered in her attempts to learn more about mana. Many believed it was that exact diligence that had allowed her to reach such strength at such a young age, the kind of strength normally only seen in elders of large families. She and her husband had long since gathered the materials to build her a grand lab in their residence, where she would spend most of her free time locked in research. However, her lab was no place for a small child, so Lian had grabbed a book and a brightly glowing white orb, and settled herself in the living room. She alternated her time between reading a paragraph or two from the book, studying the silver orb, and watching her young son play with a ball on the rug.

Lian had always been remarkably satisfied with Armen. He was a good child, curious and intelligent, and she'd never had many of the complaints other mothers seemed to have about their children. He settled easily for his naps, was generally quick to sooth, and was, all things considered, remarkably patient and understanding for his age. At least, Lian found it quite rare for him to interrupt her when she was in the middle of something.

That was also a contributing factor to why Lian was always so patient when the two year old found something ‘important’ enough to want her attention. She took a second to finish reading her sentence when Armen called out to her, before placing a small marker in the book, closing it, and setting it on the side table. Then she smiled at her son. “What? Show me,”

The pretty, black-haired woman naturally didn’t expect anything particularly profound from her son. But in the world of a toddler, even the smallest things could be incredibly significant. She watched her son with ‘rapt’ attention, only to eventually turn her gaze in the direction he was staring, towards the little ball that had rolled its way halfway across the room.

And then, her jaw unconsciously dropped slightly as she saw a little grey mouse scamper across the rug, and begin carefully nudging the ball back towards her son. She watched the whole process silently, before her eyes finally switched to stare at her son. He looked almost as pleased with himself as the mouse did.

Lian was an intelligent woman. She naturally knew that mice wouldn’t just go fetch a ball randomly. Her son had just used magic to convince the mouse to fetch the ball for him. However, every logical part of Lian’s brain rebelled at that particular conclusion. How old was her son? He wasn’t old enough to begin receiving even the most basic training in magic, yet he was already casting spells? That was a level of natural genius that Lian had never heard of before, and her horizons were much broader than most.

Her gaze still switching back and forth between her son, and the tiny mouse perched next to the ball, Lian stood up from her chair before going to crouch next to the boy. “Armen. Honey. Can you tell mommy what you… just did?”
 
  • Love
Reactions: Andy

Andy

the ultimate future soldier...who else wants some?
Invitation Status
,
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Primarily Prefer Male
Genres
Fantasy, romance, furry, scifi, modern, medieval,
Armen had to fight back a chuckle when he saw the look of surprise cross his mother's face at his little feat of magic right there. It was true he didn't have much practical practice yet and he couldn't do a whole lot of magic tricks since he was only just getting started..but still even he knew that what he had just done was something that was not even considered possible in this world..at least in terms of doing it at this young of an age. He felt so proud of himself for managing to accomplish this..and he knew that because he had shown this to his mother who was the most open minded of his two parents that everything she just saw was going to be believed completely and pushed to the furthest it possibly could.

When she asked him how he did this he would tilt his head to the side for a moment as he thought about how to answer that. He still couldn't form complete sentences even though his adult mind knew how to perfectly answer what she wanted him to say..but even then..he had to be careful with how he answered. So after a few moments of silence he would smile at her and look at the mouse "I felt the mouse..and asked him to get the ball for me.." There wasn't much else he felt he could say to describe what he did. He was at such a young age he doubted that anyone would believe him if he started saying that he manipulated the mana around him and felt the mana of the mouse and etc etc. So..he had to dumb it way down to make it work. He just hoped that his mother would believe/understand that, that was the case.
 

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, Multiple posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Male, No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
"Is that so?" Lian said, gently reaching out to tousle Armen's dark hair. "That's... very good." Even though Lian was a well-trained mage, who had been through numerous great dangers and had honed her self-control to perfection, it was clear that even she couldn't fully suppress the shock that had welled up inside her. However, the woman was still doing her best to keep herself calm, to act as though this was no big deal, just to keep from upsetting or scaring her child. Only the faint tremble that showed up in her voice on occasion gave her away.

"That's very, very good. You did very well, Armen." The woman stretched out her arms towards her child, clearly intending to scoop him up. "Do you want to go show what you can do to to grandpa, too?"
 

Andy

the ultimate future soldier...who else wants some?
Invitation Status
,
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Primarily Prefer Male
Genres
Fantasy, romance, furry, scifi, modern, medieval,
Armen wasn't sure how his mother was taking all of this. If it wasn't for the fact that he was an adult in a childs body and that he knew what he had just done was something considered far beyond normal in this world he'd be a little scared right now. He imagined that his mother had a whole slew of emotions running through her right now. Confusion, excitement, happiness, fear, concern, and plenty of others. What he had just done was unheard of for a child of his age..and there was no telling what kind of things could happen if word of this got out. There would probably be those that would consider him a demon child and want him executed, there would be some that would want to study him and figure out how he came to control mana so well from such a young age, then there would be those that would want to nurture his talents and help him grow stronger..only to attempt to use his abilities for their own personal gain. So it was no wonder that his mother was slightly afraid.

When she reached out to pick him up he would smile at her and reach his arms up and after she scooped him up he would gently wrap his arms around her neck and hug her before he gave a small nod "Yeah! Let's have Papa see!" He would give a small bounce in her arms as he spoke and would look at her with a big smile "Will he be as happy as you?"
 

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, Multiple posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Male, No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
"Alright," Lian agreed, hugging Armen close to her. Feeling her son in her arms, she finally seemed to fully calm down. So what if her son was a near monstrous genius? She'd been called a genius in her time as well. All that meant was he'd need a bit more care and attention. "We'll show gran'pa and gra'ma now, and let your papa see when he gets back. I'm sure they're all going to be so happy."

Although the house where the small family lived was undeniably a part of the central Albilon residence, the building was still detached, creating a separate residence. In front of the house grew a massive garden, filled with all kinds of different herbs that Lian would often gather to help with her experiments. At times she helped to maintain the garden herself, but most of the time its care was left in the hands of several well-trained gardeners. These people stood when they saw Lian exit the house with Armen in her arms, bowing politely and greeting them. Far over their heads, the sky was covered with the golden leaves of the colossal tree that sheltered the Albion family's entire residence, causing the sunlight to dapple as it passed through the distant foliage.

Lian greeted the gardeners as well, sending them back to work, before heading off down the smooth stone path that ran through the center of the garden. In the distance, it was possible to see more of the houses like their own residence, built from multi-colored woods, with a curved, sweeping style of architecture that sent the houses sprawling and curving through numerous other gardens and fields.

As the overlords of the Snakescale Forest, the true Albilon residence was massive, containing living quarters not only for all the branch families that had sprung up from generations of the Albilon family, but also all the guards and servants necessary to maintain the residence. However, the core area of the Albilon residence was only open to the immediate descendants of the current clan patriarch. All others had to move out and build or occupy a residence in the outer area. However, even with the population being more limited, it still would take a good twenty minutes to walk from one side to the other. After all, the central residence was truly lavish in its style, with large spaces between each household containing gardens, ponds, fountains, and other carefully selected decor.

Lian and Armen weren't heading for the opposite side of the central residence, but instead right for the middle, where the residence of the patriarch pressed right up against the base of the trunk of the massive tree. However, it was still going to be ten to fifteen minutes, as Lian strolled casually through the garden, making sure not to jostle the boy in her arms.

Wanting to keep him focused, and also hoping to get a bit more information before they reached the patriarch, she tapped her son gently on the back. "Armen, you said you could feel the mouse? Can you 'feel' other animals too? Or just mice?"
 
  • Love
Reactions: Andy

Andy

the ultimate future soldier...who else wants some?
Invitation Status
,
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Primarily Prefer Male
Genres
Fantasy, romance, furry, scifi, modern, medieval,
Armen would gently nuzzle himself into his mother's arms and the crook of her neck as she gently rubbed/patted his back. He did this to calm her down as much as he did it because even though he was an adult..he still felt so comforted and safe being in his new mother's arms this way. It was a feeling that he hoped he would never lose no matter how old he got. Hell even in his last life he had always enjoyed this feeling..and to have that feeling again in this world was more then he could ask for in all honesty. "I'm glad! I want them to be happy!"

As they walked through the garden towards the main Patriarch house he couldn't help but stare at the beautiful garden in awe. He may have been through this garden plenty of times in the past but this wonderful place always brought him so much peace and at the same time intrigue as he was presented with all kinds of plants and herbs that he didn't recognize. He could only imagine what kind of qualities each of the plants held..but they were all perfectly maintained by his mother and the gardeners that were under their employment..whom as they walked by he would give a big smile and wave towards them all.

Even the buildings and the architecture themselves were of a completely different make then he ever thought he would see in his life. In his old world a house built into the side of a tree like this was nothing but a spout of fantasy. Yeah there were tree houses and other such things back in his old world but this? this was something that architects back in his old world could only dream of and he knew that being surrounded by his family like this at all times was something that made him even more blessed then he already believed he was. There was always someone from his family nearby no matter where he looked..now that didn't necessarily mean he was close to all of them..but still it was nice to know his family was always nearby.

When his mother tapped his back and asked him about whether he could feel other animals or not he would remain silent for only a moment or two before he gave her a smile and nodded his head "Yeah! All kinds! Birds, Squirrels! Bunnies! Even Uncle Blue! but..I don't think they always understand me." By giving that answer the way he did he was hoping that his mother would understand that he was attuned enough with his mana to sense all kinds of other animals..but because he didn't get to talk to them as much as he did the mice he wasn't able to give them orders or request their help as easily as he could with the mice. That was of course only the case because he didn't get much interaction with other animals..except for Uncle Blue. He was the exception. He purposefully didn't attempt to talk to Uncle Blue that much because he didn't want his father to talk to his favorite partner and for him to spill the beans on Armen before he was ready to be found out. That being said it didn't mean he didn't practice getting in tune with his mana enough to know how to sense when he was near or not.
 
Last edited:

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, Multiple posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Male, No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
"Is that so?" Lian replied, a small smile crossing her face. It wasn't that she'd be disappointed if Armen could only speak to mice. There was plenty of time for him to grow and develop. But she wouldn't have been able to help but find it strange if such a genius child was only capable of communicating with mice. "You're already doing so well! And there will be lots of time for you to practice. Papa can even help you talk to Uncle Blue later, yeah?"

There were many layers of protection, both magical and mundane, between the core of the Albilon residence and the land that surrounded it. That meant that there were very few guards in the core compound, to ensure that the residents there had a true sense of privacy. While most of the people who were able to get a job there had reached the level of the mana touched at a minimum, they weren't true guards.

Juro and Lian's residence was a good example of that. Most of the gardeners had some small measure of skill in either plant or earth magic, but there was nothing in particular preventing these gardeners from walking into the main house. Of course, they never would, not if they wanted to keep their job and prevent themselves from running afoul of the sharp side of Uncle Blue's paws, but the general rule in the residence core was that anyone who was able to make it that far had been thoroughly screened in the process, and was safe.

However, there was one location that was an exception to that rule, which was the residence of the Patriarch himself. The magnificent silver and gold building, which more closely resembled a palace than a house, was surrounded by a wide, deep pond that almost resembled a moat. A long, silver wood bridge ran from one edge of the mighty stream to the other, giving the illusion that the residence was floating on an island rather than solidly anchored to the ground. On this bridge, sets of guards in dark armor were regularly spaced along the bridge, spear in hand and a whistle in a variety of shapes strapped around their necks. Under the bridge, long, serpent-like shapes swam beneath the water, their figures obscured by blue ripples.

The outermost guards nodded to Lian as they saw her approach, clearly recognizing the other woman. However, as she drew closer, their spears still crossed over each other, barring the way forward.

"Apologies, Lady Lian," he said softly. "But you know the rules."

Lian nodded, before offering a half curtsy in the direction of the river, the motion slightly awkward due to Armen, who was still held in her embrace. "Lady Lian, here to request a meeting with the Patriarch," she said towards the water,.

For a second there was silence, before a ripple suddenly spread across the water. A dark shadow seemed to be rising from the depths of the moat, before a cascade of droplets suddenly parted to the side to reveal the head of a massive silver dragon. Its massive, blue eyes stared curiously at the two visitors.

"Lian," it said, voice raspy and deep. "I wasn't told to expect you today."

Lian's head shook slightly side to side. "No, Elder. I'm afraid this is an impromptu visit, although not an unwarranted one."

The dragon's head bobbed slightly, before one of its eyes sunk closed. Around its head, a small halo of dark grey mana appeared spinning in a slow, lazy spiral, before it was abruptly sent flying off towards the palace. If Armen was observing closely, he might be able to pick up traces of a familiar movement of mana, but one far beyond the complexity of anything that had ever appeared when he spoke to the mice.

The dragon's eye opened again. "The Patriarch is busy, but Madame Ansha has invited you inside for tea."

"Thank you, Elder," Lian responded, curtsying again as the silver dragon's head sunk back below the water. On the bridge, the guards smiled and parted their spears.

Lian smiled to Armen, shifting him over to her other arm. "Let's go see grandma, yeah?"
 
  • Nice Execution!
Reactions: Andy

Andy

the ultimate future soldier...who else wants some?
Invitation Status
,
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Primarily Prefer Male
Genres
Fantasy, romance, furry, scifi, modern, medieval,
Armen would just smile and nod enthusiastically as his mother complimented him on the strong work he was doing and how far he had progressed as well as her offer of getting his father to teach him how to speak with Uncle Blue. "Yeah! I want to speak to Uncle Blue too!" This was going well..with how this was going so far he had completely convinced his mother that he was a prodigy in all senses of the word when it came to mana and his control over it and he was only a child in every sense of the word. If he kept this up then he would soon have everyone on board..and he could garner the best tutors in every subject from mana to every other topic the world had to offer and then once he had truly mastered his aptitude for his current mana..he could start branching out to try and learn every other mana he could get his hands upon. All he had to do was show off his skills to his grandmother..and then his father and grandfather.

As they approached the giant gold and silver building that resembled a palace he couldn't help but stare in awe mouth slightly agape. He knew that his family was going to be rich thanks to his request to the Goddess..but this was beyond what he could have imagined in all honesty. As far as he could remember he hadn't seen this building before..in fact as far as he could remember his grandparents had always come to visit him at his parents residence..but then again it was possible that when he had visited here he was asleep so he never got to see the outside.

Speaking of things he never saw before the sight that came next was a complete shock to him in every way. When his mother suddenly curtsied to the water he couldn't help but give a pause..he had seen the movement beneath it from what appeared to be like several large serpents..but that was nothing compared to the sight he was greeted to as a large silver dragon suddenly emerged from the water. His eyes were completely wide at this point that he wasn't sure how they weren't popping right out of his skull. This was a dragon?! A Dragon!? Their family had a dragon?! How?! Why?! What was the reasoning behind this?! And it could speak as well?! How in the world did his family manage to tame a dragon? What was the terms of the agreement between the dragon and his family? Did one of his family members actually tame it? Or was it some kind of mutual agreement? He hadn't the slightest idea..but he wanted..no..he had to know as soon as possible.

As the dragon spoke he couldn't help but shiver a bit..while there was no hostility in it's words..he could definitely sense the power behind his words..and knew that as he was right now any attempts to read that dragon's mana would likely cause his mind to go completely insane. As the dragon shot that spiral of mana over the walls in what he assumed was a way of communication between itself and his grandma and grandpa he could sense plenty of mana within it..however he could only understand a fraction of the large pool of mana that was just used. After the dragon spoke and told his mother that they could enter to visit his grandma and disappeared beneath the water Armen would continue to stare after the dragon..and after a moment would reach up and give a slow wave like he was saying goodbye. After that was done he would turn to his mother and nod his head at her question "Let's see Grandma!." After he spoke he would turn his head back to the water..and then look at his mother with as confused an expression as he could reasonably muster "..Mom..who..or..what was that? And where did it go?