Chapter 38:

Ch 38 - A Makeover

St Chaos Healer

After a horrendous strict checking and waiting in the queue for long, we were finally allowed to enter Delven city. One of the biggest cities in the Zephinya kingdom.Bookmark here

Usually, commoners like us could only ever just glance at the city from a mere distance. But due to the mage ascension ceremony being held this month, many citizens travel through the other cities to come here. Only the registered citizens can enter the major city during this event.Bookmark here

Although commoners like us will not be able to enter the city, we are still allowed to sit outside the city walls. At this moment the exterior of the city is filled with thousands of commoners camping outside the city to catch the glimpse of the blessing.Bookmark here

Only the commoners whose kids have turned 12 and have boarded the ceremony train are allowed to enter the city. These commoners are made to wear these bracelets which allows us to roam in the city while letting the patrol guards keep a tab on us.Bookmark here

At most, we can roam in the outer district of Delven city.
The interior region is still a forbidden zone as the elite and the noble families reside there.
But that’s about to change as the almond family has acquired the three golden passes which allow us to enter the inner region.Bookmark here

This will allow us to get a better place during the ceremony, especially for my parents.
Although we have to wait for 2 days before we can move into the inner region.Bookmark here

The manager Bervice had instructed that he will send us one of his aides who will be escorting us to the inner region. If the three of us just charge in with just the three passes, we will surely be deemed to attract unnecessary attention and even the patrol guards might assume we stole it and have ill intent.Bookmark here

Seeing the temperament of the nobles, there’s a good chance we will end up getting into unnecessary trouble.Bookmark here

The aide named Mr. Keith would be coming to pick us up in 2 days' time.Bookmark here

After checking in our inn, we dropped our luggage and then after getting fresh, the first thing we went out for shopping.Bookmark here

Mother dragged the two of us to the shopping district and bought an exquisite and fancy dress that could easily house months of rations. She forced us to spend at least 6 months of our father’s income just to buy fancy clothes.Bookmark here

I would rather have bought some useful books with that amount of money and learned a few techniques in controlling mana. But my mother didn’t bother to listen.Bookmark here

She instructed that going in the inner district, we must be dressed to our best.
She said that one’s attire describes one’s personality.Bookmark here

Even my father had to submit to my mother’s wishes.Bookmark here

The next day we spent family time, going to visit the city temples and gardens. We even tried a lot of food dishes till our stomach would burst. Afternoon, my mother gave me basic knowledge about mana and its works. I carefully studied alongside and noted each and every point.Bookmark here

Meanwhile, father went on a stroll looking at other antique shops in the city.
Thankfully mother had stripped away all the cash so he won’t purchase some nonsense.Bookmark here

The very next day finally arrived when we were about to be shifted within the interior.
Now we just have to find the man named ‘Mr. Keith’.Bookmark here

Right at this moment, I was standing in front of the mirror in our room.
Dressed up with an alluring attire, wearing a white ironed collarless shirt that stretched till my knees. The shirt itself had beautiful embroidery of various petals and birds of the same color as my shirt.Bookmark here

The pants were matching the shirt although a little tight around the legs, which was said to be a fashion sense. This would certainly hinder my combat but nevertheless and quite useless to fighters like myself. But I still went ahead and wore it anyway.Bookmark here

My classy unruly unkempt red hair, at this moment, was neatly combed thanks to the overdose of hair oil and my mother’s destructive love. After a strong struggle with the comb and my mother’s ability, she managed to straighten every strand of hair on my head.Bookmark here

But that’s not all, my skin usually looks nice and manly, at this moment I was glistening with bright skin. I almost looked like some sissy feminine boy, thanks to my mother’s makeup.Bookmark here

On my hands, I wore two rings each made of gold and silver with beautiful colorful gemstones.
But they are obviously a fake imitation of the real thing. My father bought it for a cheap bargain at the shop.Bookmark here

Although the pendant I was wearing at my neck was the genuine thing. It is said to be an Almond family heritage that is supposed to bring luck. They only handed me this pendant this morning. I really needed this luck aboard the ceremony train though, never mind. Bookmark here

I also bought a new pair of sandals and a wooden cane.
What the heck is this cane for?Bookmark here

My mother was the one who helped me or I must say dressed against my will.Bookmark here

I looked at my reflection in the mirror. There I saw myself in the mirror that I could barely recognize.Bookmark here

“Who the fuck is this dork? Is that really me!” I said in utter dismay.Bookmark here

“Hey!” my mother grabbed me by the ear, “Stop cussing. And what do you mean by dork? You look so handsome. So adorable”Bookmark here

My mother smiled happily.Bookmark here

“Mother, your definition of handsome is a bit, no, a whole lot weird. If that’s the case father doesn’t come close anywhere to that definition” I said bluntly.Bookmark here

“Well, sometimes I do wonder to myself what made me fall for him in the first place. He does look like a cranky hobo who is jobless all the time.”Bookmark here

“Hey! You do know that I am in the room, right?” said the father who was moping.Bookmark here

“But today he looks really cool, right.” saying so mother proudly looked at dad.Bookmark here

My father also had a makeover. Yes, I am not the only victim.Bookmark here

Dressed in silky smooth hair combed in sideways. Adorning a well-shaved face with a tweaked mustache sharp and shaped like a little bull’s horns. He looked like a different person altogether.Bookmark here

He was wearing a white ironed shirt and over his shirt wore a leather coat. He wore black complimenting pants and a new pair of polished leather boots. In his hand, he held a wooden cane with a silver handle.Bookmark here

What does the mother’s definition of canes have to do with looking fashionable?Bookmark here

My father has been quite down since being forced to spend an extravagant amount of money.
Also, it took a lot of effort to make him agree to straighten his unruly hair. Half the night yesterday night went on just toiling his hair.Bookmark here

But to my surprise, he looked like a very different person.
I know mother’s going for the look so we could blend in the noble territory.
But to me, he typically looked like some amateur thug who killed a noble and stole his clothes was trying to impersonate that very person.Bookmark here

It's really weird seeing dad like that.Bookmark here

My father noticed that I was staring at him
He suddenly fixed his glasses and smiled in my way,
“So how do you feel seeing your handsome father’s new avatar? I am pretty sure some people in the street might even mistake me for the city lord, who knows. Gahaha!”Bookmark here

Listening to his weird laughing and self-confidence at least made it clear that this foolish person was my dad after all.Bookmark here

“Uh... yeah right.” I just didn’t bother to break his heart.Bookmark here

“Alright now that you guys are ready, I can now start getting ready myself.” said my mother as she patted the final dust off dad’s coat, “Don’t worry I’ll be ready in a jiffy.”Bookmark here

“In a jiffy, she says-” said father in a mocking manner.Bookmark here

I let out a sigh within.Bookmark here

My mother’s brows quickly knitted as she glared at my father,
“Do you have something to say to me?”Bookmark here

Seeing my mother’s expression father quickly cheered up,
“Ha! Nothing at all. I have all the time in my life to wait for you.”Bookmark here

“There’s no need to hurry, we still have an hour before the meeting time,” I replied.Bookmark here

“Exactly, just give me a few minutes. I will be right back.” Saying so my mother pushed the both of us out of the room.Bookmark here

So a couple of minutes turned into 20 minutes of us waiting outside the room.
The door finally opened.Bookmark here

Dressed in a beautiful matching purple frock with shiny embroideries and top of her head she wore a matching purple lady hat. Her skin was glistening and her lips were rosy red almost complimenting her long beautiful silky red hair.Bookmark here

On top of that, she was wearing expensive-looking jewelry and earrings. In her arms, she wore white gloves that reached till her elbows. I also noticed her height had increased thanks to the high heels she was wearing.Bookmark here

She looked like the standard definition of how noblewomen should look, according to the children’s fairy tale books that I read.Bookmark here

Although she looked really beautiful indeed.Bookmark here

My father was wonderstruck at the sight of her beauty.Bookmark here

I gave him a light jab him in the gut to wake him up,
“Oi pops. A fly might enter your wide-opened jaw.” Bookmark here

Father finally snapped back to reality,
“Oh, *cough* You took your sweet time Bethy. I thought we might miss the time of the meeting.”Bookmark here

“Father is still shy and sulking but let me say in his stead, you look gorgeous just like a diva,” I replied.Bookmark here

“Hey!!”Bookmark here

“Oh my, thank you very much. You really know how to flatter me unlike certain someone” saying so my mother glared at my dad.Bookmark here

“Eh! Okay! You-you look great. Still, you used to look very beautiful back in your younger days~ Ow! Why did you stomp on my feet! I had just finished polishing my shoe! Ouch~ Okay I am sorry!”Bookmark here

Saying so my father was duly punished as he deserved it.Bookmark here

Just when we were about to depart,
“Geez, I forgot my parasol! Just be right back.” saying so my mother once again rushed back inside the room.Bookmark here

“Hey, we should be by the square by noon or we might just miss meeting Mr. Kieth.” retorted my father angrily.Bookmark here

After another few minutes of waiting, we finally left the inn.Bookmark here

The inn was also located in the outer district of the city.
The outer district was filled with many common folks as well as the citizens that had migrated to the city for the ritual. Thankfully most of the citizens that did come to the city were not much different from us commoners.Bookmark here

There were still other candidates roaming with their parents in the district.
We could tell them apart thanks to the bracelets in their arms.Bookmark here

The ascension ceremony had attracted a lot of people to Delven city.
Thousands of people bearing the citizenship had traveled all the way to the city.
Even the mages and adventurers were no exception.Bookmark here

There were also incidents where the people of other nations smuggle themselves into the city, even risking their lives if they were caught they might even be executed.Bookmark here

What makes all of them so interested is not in the mage ascension ceremony but the divine ritual conducted before the beginning of the ascension ceremony.Bookmark here

The ritual is known as the Divine Phoenix Blessing.
It’s said that the ruling king of Zephinya kingdom, unleashes his familiar legendary phoenix bird’s spirit which divides itself into 7 phoenix fledglings that then head to the 7 major cities. There the phoenix fledgling descends on the center of the city to lay its eggs and bless the entirety of the city with the divine phoenix fire.Bookmark here

It is said that this fire can cure and heal any illness and injuries. It also helps many mages to ascend to a higher class of mage arts and perceive a higher understanding of the divine mana arts.Bookmark here

Even the common folks like us who aren’t allowed to enter the city, still camp just outside the city to just bear a divine glimpse of this rare bird. Sometimes even the divine flicker of flames manages to escape the city and heal the commoners.Bookmark here

The flame of this phoenix doesn’t harm or destroy.
The closer you are to the phoenix nest, the more benefits one gains.Bookmark here

Of course, the royal family is the one who reaps the most benefits.
The rest of the divine blessing is then used by the royal soldiers and mages, then the nobles and the adventurers, the remaining blessing is given to the folks of the outer district. Only a wisp or a glimmer of remaining flames or just its warmth are then received by the commoners waiting outside, only if the blessing manages to somehow surpass the big walls.Bookmark here

Although the common folks who are troubled with injuries and illness still try to travel and camp outside the city. In hopes of getting treated by mere luck.Bookmark here

There are also common folks who kill each other to acquire each other’s spots.
Hence why not all the common folk would dare to come here.Bookmark here

Thankfully we were here thanks to my ascension ceremony.
In this way, we get to bask in the blessings much better than those people outside the city.Bookmark here

Once the phoenix lays the eggs, it would then depart back to the royal capital where it would once again reunite and go into a deep slumber, only to awaken next year.Bookmark here

The ruler of the Zephinya kingdom used to gain the favor of the people by healing its citizens.
He also uses this as propaganda to show the might of his familiar the legendary phoenix spirit who he controls.Bookmark here

Although the phoenix spirit is pale in comparison to the actual legendary phoenix, it is still nevertheless a powerful familiar.Bookmark here

I wonder what happens to those eggs laid in the 7 cities.
I never heard them hatching so what's the point.Bookmark here

We finally reached the park square on time.
Now the only thing we had to do was find Mr. Keith.Bookmark here

There were hundreds of people frolicking on the street.
The people were all merry-making and having the time of their life. It was as if there was a festival going on here. There were even a few low-level mages performing mana tricks on the street.Bookmark here

My father finally opened a piece of paper,
“According to this instruction, a man holding a flower bouquet at the square should be the person named Mr. Keith.”Bookmark here

Well, certainly it won’t be strange to see a man holding a flower bouquet.Bookmark here

“Hey, is it that young man over there?” my mother asked as she pointed at a certain place.Bookmark here

There amidst a crowd stood a young man by the side of a fountain.
Dressed in a black suit from head to toe holding a pair of beautiful red roses. He stood up straight with a calm demeanor.Bookmark here

Not to mention he was surrounded by a lot of girls who were flocking him like flies attracted to a turd.
He definitely smelled like those noble arrogant brats.Bookmark here

I just hope we can move into the inner district safely.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.