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Benladra glanced the starry night with shiny eyes, as her little sister was munching a sandwich. Unlike Kate who seemed aloof, Benladra had a strange affixation with stars. Something that came with her when she was born in this world. She doesn't remember her previous life at all, but fragments of "desires" always remained within her soul, one of them was her wish to see the stars… and now that she was seeing them in such a beautiful splendor, she felt enchanted.
"Uwaah! Rose! Do you always see the stars like this? Sho prettyyyy!" Benladra said, Rose and Coral smiled a bit at her.
"Well yeah, once you see them for years, you kind of get used to it and never really find them anything special…" Rose sighed. "But yeah, I guess… I suppose they're quite pretty."
"So many stars…" Coral sighed.
In front of them, there were thousands- if not millions of stars shining in the clear skies of the island. These nights were quite common for everyone in the island. However, life was very hard for the poor, they often always held their heads down, thinking about their own misfortune, without taking notice of the beauty of nature and the cosmos beyond.
"Kate, how many starsh do you think are out there?" Benladra wondered.
"Hmmm… Dunno…" Kate shrugged. "But… many."
"Yeah, right? There might be so many we can't even count them all…" Benladra sighed. Over time, her way of speaking has been refined thanks to the arduous efforts of her parents to teach her language and speech.
Although in the outside world it has been less than a year, inside of Drake's Divine Realm, due to time dilation, Benladra has already lived for over two years, enough time for a half-dragon to develop well. In fact, her father always counted each day he spent with her, so her third birthday was already approaching, even if it didn't matched the dates of the outside world.
"You really like stars, don't you Benladra?" Wondered Rose, sighing a bit. "Why do you like them so much?"
"Huh? Why not?" Benladra wondered. "I… I just feel relaxed when I see them! Like… like they're so pretty!"
"Hahaha… We get it." Laughed Coral, scratching a piece of coral growing on his hands.
"Why coral?" Wondered Kate, looking at him by getting a bit too closer.
"Eh? Ah… This is a curse." Coral sighed. "It makes it so Coral grows over my body. It can slow down as long as I feel calmer, but the more my emotions boil, the faster it grows. It drains all my Mana, so I cannot really cultivate. At least it helps scare people off and sometimes it protects me from hard blows, like a natural armor. Though… I can't really control it."
"I already healed you… If it hasn't been dispelled, maybe its not a curse?" Benladra wondered, tilting her head curiously.
"Eh? You healed me- Ah, right… That's why my cold's gone." Coral realized that a bit too late. "Then… Wait, what? Are you sure? Maybe it is a curse, but too strong for you to heal."
"Nuh huh." Benladra said. "I have special powers, I can detect stuff like curses easily… You're not cursed, Coral! It is your own special… magic! Or Skill… A power."
"Eh? It's… not a curse…" Coral felt surprised. "But the only thing that has done is worsen my life, I don't get it…""Maybe you need to learn how to control Mana. Papa always says that the way to control magic is to control mana! Have you ever taken mana control classes before?" Benladra seemed curious.
"No… I lack mana, it's always being drained by the corals…" Sighed the boy.
"Hmmm… Maybe if you drink a potion…" Benladra wondered.
"Benladra why are you doing this? you don't really need to… help us to this extent." Rose said.
"Eh? Why not?! If I wanna, I help!" Benladra pouted angrily. She disliked when people didn't accepted her help.
"Hahah, it's fine, with what you said you've done enough." Coral smiled, looking into the sky. "If this isn't really a curse but my own magic… Maybe… Maybe I can find somehow a way to use this power so I can protect those I care for." The boy shyly glanced back at Rose, who suddenly blushed a bit.
"Fweh? Eh? W-What do you mean you want to protect me?" Rose asked surprised.
"Heheheh, you two are funny." Kate giggled.
"Maybe they'll be like mommy and daddy in the future." Benladra said while gossiping with her little sister.
"Geh! D-Don't say that like it's something normal!" Coral felt even more embarrassed.
"Huh? What's that?"
Rose suddenly noticed something within the streets below the house, a large group of armored men were approaching. Her magic senses, enchanted by her mysterious Stigma, seemed to have helped her notice the threat beforehand.
"Huh? Armored Guards and Knights?!" Coral panicked. "Wait, wait, wait a second! Why are they coming here?!"
Rose and Coral panicked as they saw the group of men running across the streets, kicking and punching away anybody that got in their way as they finally reached the entrance of the orphanage.
"You damn insolent tourist! We know you're here! Come out if you don't want us to wreck the orphanage! …Wait, since when has it been this big though?"
The Knight Commander spoke, a tall man reaching up to three meters, an anomality between Mermen, and with large and strong Shark-like features, such as a White Shark head and big, blade-like fins over his back and elbows. In his hand he was holding the handle of a large sword he had sheathed stuck to a belt wrapped around his hips.
"Hey! What do you want?! Go away!" Rose angrily said, suddenly grabbing some stones and throwing them at the knights boldly from the house's ceiling!
"There's no tourist here!" Coral said, helping her friend torment the knights below. "The church protects this place! You're not allowed to barge and do as you please!"
"You damn brats… This changes today though!" The Knight Commander suddenly showed the children a signed paper in his hands. "This Orphanage has been officially disbanded from the church's protection!"
Meanwhile, Benladra's golden eyes glowed sharply and menacingly as she glanced at these men from behind her new friends.
"Baddies… I'll stomp them! Like daddy does…"
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