11 Village Council Meeting

About 7 hours after June relayed Seran's information to the headquarters, the boy and his companions were returning to Greenwood Village. Up until now, Storm wasn't familiar with most of the area from above, but 5 minutes ago he recognized the area as being within 3.22 kilometers (2 miles) of the village. As such, Seran stopped giving directions, since he knew the crow would know how to return on his own. He did, however, advise the bird to land carefully above the well in the center of town, which was made with very sturdy wood and stone.

It didn't take very long for Storm to fly over the village and begin to circle downward. Unsurprisingly, a huge golden bird startled the villagers, most of which ran for safety in their houses. Only a handful of people, such as Eleanor and several protectors, remained outside, the latter being prepared for combat. Eleanor was watching the bird with a critical eye, which changed a little when the resident crows took flight from Elder Marcus's roof and fluttered around the big bird in what could only be described as amazement and joy. The old herbalist contemplated before putting two-and-two together, discovering that the giant bird had to be Storm, which had left earlier. The crows didn't like other magical birds except for their family, so such a reaction had to be towards family members. She ordered the protectors to stand down as the enormous crow landed lightly atop the well, which barely shuddered under the weight of him and his passengers.

A man around 60 with salt-and-pepper hair came out of one of the houses, specifically Elder Marcus's house. Having hurried from his living room to grab his old bow, the elder looked visibly disheveled as his eyes trained immediately onto what was causing the commotion. Compared to Eleanor, his reaction was much quicker as he rushed over to the giant crow that was being surrounded by smaller ones, even as Storm's three passengers dismounted, which Marcus hadn't noticed at all. "Storm..? Is that you? What happened?"

The Golden Crow was about to answer when Etienne spoke first, "Elder Marcus, we can talk about that later. Right now, there's something more important to do. It's time for a council meeting. This is not an emergency meeting, but it's still very urgent. What happened to Storm will be brought up, don't worry." Although the elder was unhappy, he tacitly agreed and made his way toward a very well-hidden path far behind the furthest house from the well. Etienne, Eleanor, Seran, and Fenmore all followed Marcus, while Storm remained atop the well with his crow family.

After trekking three minutes down a very unkempt path through hedges, the group stepped into a secluded grove surrounded by trees and flowery bushes. In the center of the grove was a small spring with rainbow-scaled little fish swimming around. In this world, Seran had never seen such a beautiful place, nor had Fenmore. The younger boy immediately rushed to kneel beside the pond and watch the fish.

Eleanor, while concerned about who the boy was, instinctively said, "Don't get any closer, dear. Those fish don't take kindly to anyone being close to them." She looked at Etienne with a silent stare, which only made the chief sweat more.

Two minutes passed as three more people entered the grove: two elders and a rather built man. A silver-haired lady was the third elder of the village, Elder Miranda, while the fourth elder was a bald man named Elder Carson. The built man was the village's equivalent to a guard captain, Shaun. With all 4 elders, the chief, and Shaun present, only one was still missing. Each of the leading members bowed respectfully to the spring, speaking in unison, "We beseech the Lady Spirit to grace us with her presence."

The spring bubbled ever so slightly, the fish unperturbed, and several ripples spread from the center of the water. An orb of clear water rose from the spring to stop about head-height before it began to expand and contract. In the span of a minute, the orb had transformed into a small female figure no more than 2ft(60cm) tall, save for a pair of butterfly wings she bore on her back. The fairy's hands moved to press together before spreading her arms widely. Upon reaching T-position, the watery form became a solid, flesh-like one, save for everything about her being blue-tinted. With a mature, enchanting voice, the fairy spoke, "A summons so early in the year. This must be quite urgent."

Etienne, who remained bent in a bow, said, "Yes, Lady Spirit, it is very urgent. More urgent than anything we've ever had before. I believe that the time the Oracle spoke of has come." This caused the four elders and the fairy to look at him with shock. Shaun wasn't privy to such knowledge, but he knew it was extremely serious.

Eleanor flatly stated, "You'd best not be joking about this, Etienne. You know just how serious that is."

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"I am very certain of this, and I have proof."

The fairy hummed in thought before beckoning them to straighten up. After looking around at the group that circled her spring, she spotted the two children, especially the purple-eyed one. After looking him up and down, she said, "Ah, the special child I'd sensed earlier."

"Yes, it is he, Seran. I am 100% certain that he is the one from the Oracle's prophecy," Etienne's eyes showed total certitude of his words, stunning the spirit. "I'm not totally sure how to start, though, but I'll start from the easiest matter. He gained 13 jobs in his first awakening today."

A simultaneous shout echoed through the spring, "THIRTEEN!?" Even the fairy was astonished, far more than any of them had seen before. Then, she recalled that he said it was the easiest matter...

"On the way to Lightwood Fortress, we encountered bandits, a group of 30 with a B-grade bounty. Seran single-handedly annihilated them in less than two minutes. After which, we rescued little Fenmore here from them. I brought him back as he has no more family." Etienne calmly ruffled the smallest boy's hair as he stared with sparkling eyes at the fairy. "And, as you have noticed, Storm has changed drastically thanks to him. He is now a pureblood Golden Crow, the first in a million years."

Of the people present, the two most impacted were Marcus and the Lady Spirit. Marcus fell on his butt with total bewilderment before almost bursting into proud laughter from knowing he'd been the one to raise the first Golden Crow. The fairy's hovering was temporarily broken, as it required a modicum of mental stability, but she did catch herself. She immediately cried, "I sensed a powerful fire from him, but I never expected that! And it's because of Seran!?"

"I am sure of it, yes. He swore that he was capable of it, and proved it. He also said he'd explain everything related to his secret upon returning. So, here he is." Etienne turned to Seran, who nodded quietly.

The white-haired lad bowed in respect to the spirit, "Greetings, Lady Spirit. I am Seran. While I have no knowledge of a prophecy, I am certain of almost everything else."

"You are most kind, little one. I am already amazed just from hearing what Etienne said, but I have a feeling you might tell me something that might make my manifestation collapse... Ah, I am Khloe, one of the helper spirits of Lady Demeter, and the protector of Greenwood Village by the divine contract between Her Ladyship and Edric Greenwood." The fairy, Khloe, gave a short yet regal curtsy, showing sincerity in her actions.

The young boy sighed a little before saying, "This will take a few hours to talk about, so it would be best if we all got comfortable." With a casual wave of his hand, Seran summoned 7 well-made wooden chairs, four of which had soft cushions, from his inventory. Ignoring the amazement that appeared once again, he stated, "Take a seat, everyone. The four chairs with cushions are for the elders. I am unsure if Lady Khloe would like to sit, but do let me know if you would like to." Upon hearing her decline of seating, he reminded Fenmore not to fall in before beginning to speak from the very beginning of his story, from the day he was dragged into this world.

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