Etienne was currently directing some of the guards, who had been given time to help thanks to the Golems taking their jobs temporarily, to begin clearing and preparing the large empty field next to the village that was used for the festival. Several long tables had been set up, while several firepits were being built. The chief himself was bringing in a keg of ale that had been acquired during the trip to Lightwood Fortress prior to Seran's arrival.
Seran walked over just as his father put the keg down on a stand by one of the firepits, "Looks like it's going pretty well over here."
The chief chuckled, "Much smoother than in previous years, yes. At this rate, we'll be done by the end of today. How'd harvesting go?"
"With the help of Storm and his kin, we've already cut, bundled, and stored 3 fields. The remaining 3 fields can be done in the morning or before nightfall depending on how the festival preparation goes."
"Good, good. This will be the best festival we've had since the first few the village had." Etienne was all smiles as he pictured how festive everything would be.
"Hey, dad... if I told you that, last night, I gained the power to give others abilities, what would you do?" Seran had sworn not to keep secrets from his family unless it was extremely crucial or dangerous.
After stopping to ponder, Etienne sighed, "I wouldn't do anything. It's your ability, not mine. What you want to do with it is up to you. If you do decide to use it though, use it wisely. Giving powers to the villagers is fine, but make sure you're careful with them. This village is one big family, so we trust each other wholeheartedly."
"I know, dad. One of the reasons I'm asking is because it means I can also change talents... I can change your talent, dad, to be an S-rank Divine talent. Considering the highest talent in the village, other than me or Fen, is Nan with her D-rank Mortal, which is several major layers from the Divine class, then if I change the talents of the villagers..."
He was about to continue when Etienne knocked him lightly on the forehead with a finger, "Hold that thought, kiddo. I'm more than happy that you want to do that. Do remember, though, that it'd be too dangerous to do so without having the power to protect the village. You still need to get the Elf Queen's agreement for you to begin the process for starting a kingdom, as we are in the ancestral forest of their people. A foreign kingdom suddenly appearing in their lands is certainly not a good thing."
After a light grumpy look from being tapped on the head, Seran nodded, "Yes, dad, I know that... I just need to find a way to meet with her. Since we don't know who's coming this year, I don't know how to do that..."
"Don't worry about that right now, kiddo. Just enjoy the festival, be a kid for once." He gave his oldest son a hug and a ruffle of his hair, "You're ten years old, Seran, you need to have fun sometimes."
Returning his father's hug, the purple-eyed boy smiled, "Okay, dad... I'm going to go visit Lady Khloe quickly, then I'll go help Fen." Now that Etienne knew his son was going to take some time to enjoy himself, he let Seran head off towards the spirit spring, since the boy was now given permission to enter at any time, just like an elder or the chief.
Ten minutes later, Seran was sitting in front of Khloe's pond as he did his unique beseechment, simply with hands pressed together and eyes closed, "I humbly ask for Lady Spirit to speak with me."
As with the previous time, Khloe took her fairy form from the water, her crystalline eyes bright as she gazed upon the mysterious yet kind child before her pond. "I am here, Seran. How can I help?"
"Since you are a helper spirit of Lady Demeter, are you capable of relaying my words to her?"
"I am, yes, though don't expect an answer. That crisis is monumental, after all."
Seran nodded, "Okay. I've never met her, but I honestly believe she cares about this village. I don't know what deal my ancestor struck with the elves or with Her Ladyship, and I know I can't find out from anyone but her. Ah, that's not what I want to talk about though. In all honesty, what I want to do is something more for you."
"For me? Are you sure you're able to do something for me? Keep in mind, I am a fairy spirit. Material possessions are almost useless to me, while power is similarly pointless." Khloe folded her arms as she listened to the boy's semi-rambling words.
"I can. I want to give you a power thanks to my newfound ability. I want to give you the ability [Physical Manifestation]."
This made the fairy's eyes widen, "[Physical Manifestation]? That's an extremely high-grade ability, one that only very ancient spirits have! Of Lady Demeter's helper spirits, only the first has such a power, and he uses it to travel the world to help others."
"I know what kind of ability it is. My version is a bit better, though. You'll be invincible as long as you remain around your main source of power, which would be this spring. The reason I want to give this power to you is because of your help towards my village over the centuries. You haven't really been given a true reward for such work, so I want to give you this as thanks. I truly want you to stay as a part of our village, even when it becomes a kingdom. You're already an irreplacable part of our home here." Seran's purple eyes, and his words, showed nothing but good intentions, as he honestly wished to repay her faithful duty.
"I... I am... flattered... and honored... I was simply chosen by Lady Demeter to protect the village, I am just doing what I was asked to do..." The fairy was visibly awkward about accepting such a gift, seeing as she believed that she was just doing what she was told.
"Yes, I am aware of that. Still, you have protecting this village for 300 years. You deserve something in return. I will give it to you, but there is something I want you to pass along to Lady Demeter."
Khloe still looked very awkward as she listened, "Okay... what would you like to me to tell her?"
"Please tell her that I would like to know what the deal was with my ancestor, and I am happy to give whatever I can in return for the information, no matter how difficult it is to do." Seran kowtowed towards the spring, emphasizing his sincerity.
After a minute, Khloe beckoned for him to sit up as she agreed to relay the information. As she did so, Seran reached out and deftly tapped the fairy on her head lightly. The fairy spirit shivered, both literally and spiritually, as a new power assimilated itself into her soul. Light began to spill from her translucent liquid body, which began to swell in size. Her blue-tinted liquid body grew to 4ft (121.92cm) and rippled colorfully. Several colors flashed through her body, which became more opaque and solid over time. When her transformation completed, she was standing atop the water in the spring, a small girl with an appearance of a 6-year-old, save for her deep blue eyes and hair, along with her gorgeous wings.
Seran blushed and turned around quickly in embarassment. William, quick to react as always, quickly created a little white dress along with personal garments for Seran to give her. As the white-haired lad did so, the fairy's stunned demeanor changed as she realized why the boy looked away, and why he was holding clothes behind his back towards her. Blushing furiously, Khloe almost screamed as she slapped him out of the spring, making him fly out and crash into the wall of a house.
Etienne and several others, children included, came to see what happened. Upon seeing a red hand mark on his face, most of the adults either grinned or were confused. Etienne was the latter, as he knew he'd went into the spirit spring. As the boy got to his feet, Khloe came out of spirit spring, still red-faced but absolutely beautiful in her new physical form and outfit. This further stunned the villagers, who had never seen such a person before.
Khloe, very embarassed, walked over and gave Seran a look of embarrassed anger, "Next time, warn me when you plan to do something like that." The boy nodded with a very embarrassed look, especially as he now had to explain what happened to his father, who had a look of bemused schadenfreude.