79 Introductions (4)

The tunnel delved down to the core of the hill, just close enough to the spirit spring to still feel its influence but without damaging its integrity. Upon reaching the end of the tunnel, the trio discovered an enormous cylindrical cavern that descended much farther underground. Around the edges of the cavern were several layers in rings, each of which had caves carved into the walls, with carefully made ramps between each floor. The centre of the cavern was empty, completely, and one could not see the bottom. With the exceptionally deep cave's lack of guardrails, mostly due to it having been built by an enormous snake, Seran did not let either of them get close to the edge of the layers, as he didn't know if he could catch them due to the darkness.

Unable to help himself, as he really liked how the three Chimera siblings chose to design the place, something he certainly chalked up to their experiences in school, the demigod boy used his powerful Earth Magic to form an enormous transparent pillar in the very centre of the cavern extending down to the very bottom. Then, using his Water Magic, he analyzed and copied the exact composition of the spirit spring's water, all the way down to its natural mana signature. Beginning from the bottom of the hollow pillar, Seran quickly filled it to the very top. With expert ease, he removed the last barrier between the original spring and the pillar, causing the two to merge flawlessly.

Up above, Khloe felt an odd sensation, like the spirit spring she was a part of had suddenly doubled, but she could only feel the other half. She could not connect with it like her original, but the strange feeling truly confused her. At least until she perceived the bottom of her original spring had suddenly disappeared. After a brief sensation of falling, spiritually rather than literally, that odd other-half she felt crashed into her original self, causing her to gasp in surprise as her natural power expanded threefold due to the exceptionally large amount of water in the hollow pillar underground. It took her a hot minute to get a handle on her newfound power and suppress it properly so that she didn't wake up her animal friends. Grumbling a little, she mentally cursed the boy she knew had caused this unusual event, making a note in her mind to kick his butt the next opportunity she had.

Back underground, the sudden appearance of diffused light through the enormous pillar filled with crystal clear water brightened up the cavern with a cool but natural colouration. With the new light in the cave under the hill, the two boys and one man could see the area much easier than before. Thanks to this, they could spot the three Chimera siblings nestled together in a den not far from them, mumbling in surprise at the odd appearance of light where there had once not been any. The first to spot the white-haired boy and his companions heading towards them was Ophiuchus, upon whom Leo had been sleeping.

Chuckling a little at seeing the trio of childish creatures' confusion, Seran walked over with a smile. When he arrived, before he could even speak, he was pounced upon by the trio as they exclaimed, "Big brother!"

The sight of the powerful demigod being 'attacked' by strong creatures briefly shocked the two witnesses, only for them to realize he was actually being cuddled tightly by the three. Quite an odd sight for the pair, but not too odd, considering the demigod himself.

"Agh, can't breathe!" He did his best to shove one of the three goofballs off of his belly, "You're gonna be holding big brother's corpse if you don't let me breathe!"

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"Ah!" said the trio, in sync, as they quickly unwrapped themselves from their important family member and lined up side by side before him. "S-sorry, big brother..." The three siblings, upon interpreting Seran's words as an admonishment, immediately began to feel apologetic.

Sighing, he walked over and gave the three a hug each, "I'm not angry, you goofballs." After he eventually managed to soothe the trio back to their normal selves, he waved to the two who had followed him, "Come here, guys." Andrew and Rexus went to stand behind the little demigod, who smiled as he asked the siblings to introduce themselves.

The first to work up the courage to speak to the strangers that their big brother had brought, which made the trio more nervous compared to all other strangers, was Leo, who awkwardly attempted to bow, "H-hi, I'm Leo... I-I-I'm a Sun Lion." Seran gave Leo a supportive pat and another hug, making him cheer up just a bit more.

Second was Ophiuchus, who usually was the shyest of the siblings, "M-my name is O-Ophiuchus... I'm a Q-Quake Python..." As he had before with Leo, Seran gave the slithery boy a big hug.

Finally, Draco managed to speak, "I-I'm D-Draco... I'm a L-Lesser Thunder Dragon." The dragonkin made a small rumbling purr upon receiving his own hug from Seran.

The sight of three S-rank magical creatures behaving like nervous children, like the citizens had seen when they had first arrived, amazed Andrew, whose eyes sparkled, and Rexus, who was having trouble chuckling. The former also introduced himself to the three siblings, only to end up assaulted by questions from them, as their endless curiosity took over. This just made Seran laugh, knowing that his disciple would be occupied for a while.

He then led Rexus towards the edge of the upper layer, dangling their legs off as Seran began answering some of the Imperial Guard's inquiries on the city. Unsurprisingly, there was quite a number of them, but the demigod was undoubtedly one of the best to get proper answers to them. Of course, the best person to ask would be Eleanor. Discounting her seniority over 99% of the entire populace, her caring nature and willingness to provide advice to anyone made her one of the most beloved members of the community. Of the citizens of Greenwood City, few had not taken to calling her Nan, just as the original villagers had. At the same time, she was also feared to some extent, as she was known to take her cane and smack someone upside the rear or knock them on the head. Therefore, Eleanor Greenwood was still a community pillar and a force to be reckoned with.

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