Chapter 19:

0.19. Mom Is Harsh

We Got 'Shipped' by the Goddess


Click.

I turned the lock and passed the key back to Pu’er.

“Ready?”
“Un.”

Pu’er and I gave each other the green light, I slowly pushed the door open.

We had just finished work and received news that the ‘creature’ will be staying over the night.

It was an unexpected emergency on Leo’s side. So Bleu had to inform us with an apology.

Pu’er and I stuck our heads in? The sound of the television..

We entered and took off our shoes, Pu’er bent her knees to rub her heels a little– making me conscious of her legging..

“Pst.”

“H-Huh?”

I got entranced by her slender legs that I failed to notice her sending hand signs my way. I had no idea what she was trying to tell me.

As she saw that I was clueless as was, she shook her head and made her advance.

I followed her.

For some reason the home smells like baby powder and..

Diapers.

Pu’er froze up when we reached the living room, I nearly bumped into her.

I tilted my body and found little Cain biting on a napkin with the television on. He slowly turned over to our direction.

“Mama?”

“Nope! No way! I’m out!”

Pu’er quickly ran and locked herself inside her room.

Cain and I then turned to face each other.

“Uncle Avner! Home!”
He banged his hand on his lap.

Knowing that he was trying to be a cute dolt, I felt like he was testing my patients.

I’m not good with kids. And I get the sense that Pu’er has a mild degree of pedophobia.

From the kitchen leaned out Bleu holding a ladle.

“Welcome home.”

I froze up.

Holy moly, she looks like an actual mother! And she’s only 16!

“Depending on which world you’re from, getting sent off for political marriage at around this age isn’t uncommon. Anyways, please watch over Cain for me. I’m almost done with dinner.”

“Y-yeah..”
Saying that, the housewife vanished into the kitchen. It was only now that I noticed the smell of something resembling tomato stew masked by the strong smell of baby powder.

“Uncle Avner..”

Cain climbed down the sofa and wobbled my way. I placed down my bag and received his hug. He nuzzled on my cheeks.

He’s so soft, and chubby..

He pulled back and placed both his hands on my cheeks. His chocolate coloured eyes looked into mine.

“Welcome back.”

“Thank you. I’m back.”

Hearing a creak, I directed my eyes towards Pu’er’s room. She was peeking out from inside, monitoring the monster.

===

“After this we’ll have your milk alright? Try some of this first say ah~”
“Ah..”
Nom.

Bleu was sitting beside Cain, feeding him small bites of vegetables.

It’s a wonder how she’s able to persuade Cain to take his greens. Aren’t kids supposed to go yuck over these things?

Like.. just look at Pu’er over there stirring her soup with a dead-pan face.

Bleu purposely cooked up this meal to ‘accustom’ Cain to the smell of vegetables. Dinner is a thin tomato soup with various vegetarian ingredients and a side of mapo tofu.
People are influenced by their surroundings, and as a kid who just arrived at a new environment, Bleu knows that the first impression is important as it informs the child what to expect at a subconscious level.

Nom.
Cain’s cheeks went round and round. Bleu dabbed a napkin around his mouth.

“How does it taste?”

“Bad.”
“Does it? Then should I feed you this? This tastes better. Say ah..”
You know, I’m also inclined to think that Bleu’s smile plays a factor in persuading that kid. It’s different from the dangerous smile she showed me back when I met her the first time. This is a smile I can only describe as devastatingly affectionate.

If she wanted, I bet she could swindle a millionaire.

Concurrently, I felt just a tad jealous that little Cain is on the receiving end of such a wonderful service.

“Brat..”

“Hm?”

“Nothing..”
Pu’er forced the food down her mouth with an unpleasant countenance.

===

Once the washing machine began running, she held her back as she got up. She loosened a rare yawn.
It was unusual to see her like that. Being a mother is hard even for a Goddess huh?
“Hm? You saw that? Un. I won’t deny that being a mother is hard but.. what you saw there was a bad habit of mine to garner sympathy. Don’t misunderstand, that wasn’t meant for you, I’m fine really.”

She’s really blunt. Maybe a little too self-dependent.

“Who is it for then?”
“For the husband I had in the past.”

Oh. That’s surprising..
“So that’s why you have experience taking care of children?”

“You already have a good idea what kind of existence I am. I don’t think I need to explain so much. Though, I would appreciate it if you could help me watch out for Pu’er? She’s as much of a worry as the child himself.”

“I’ll do that.. well, thank you for all this Bleu.”
“No problems.”
For a moment there I heard a whisper saying: it’s part of the exchange.

I chose not to pursue further after Bleu changed the topic.

Bleu stood there and stared into the air, thinking, as she waited for the washing machine to finish. Since it was already late in the evening, Cain was already sound asleep.

===

Pu’er’s condition disallowed her to enter a fallout unless we risk the acceleration of the Seraphication process.

This was my nth training session, and I’ve been contemplating a little about how Bleu has this uncanny habit of staring into the air.

“Is there any reason for that?” I asked.
“You have leeway to speak, maybe I need to up the ante a little.”
Cling. Sling. Ring. BanG!

The both of us staggered back at the explosive parry.

“I spend that time thinking. That’s my job.”
I closed and distance, the scenery in my surroundings seemed to warp.

Darundal’s 4th phase, a green blade reminiscent of a rapier. Each strike brought with it half a dozen similar projections which I could direct from any other direction.

In fact, using Darundal’s 4th phase consumes a lot of mana so I don’t have a lot of leeway.

As an aside, Bleu can not only recover erosion value, but also replenish my mana. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have anything to do with her class operative, rather, it’s probably some innate ability she possessed. And because of this, every time I become drained, she’ll heal me back to shape.

Endless purgatory.

A quintuple strike descended upon Bleu. Her sky coloured hair swayed in an entracing manner. Shifting her body with minimal movements, twirling like a snowflake in winter, she slipped past my attack and brought her shoddy iron sword to my defeat.

“3512. Not bad. I think I should teach you how to control your mental state now.”

“You still haven't given me a concrete answer to my question.”
“As a ruler, it's my job to think and come up with plans. There are many people more specialized than I in certain fields. So it’s much better to lead a team than to do everything myself. Does that answer your question?”

Bleu did say she was once a monarch of some empire.

“It does. Thank you.”

“Stand there for a bit.”
Bleu took a few steps back.

I felt some pressure press on me. And then a release.

Huh? Why do I suddenly feel so light? It’s like she just removed weights tied to every part of my body.
“Good. Now, I want you to drop the weapon when you find yourself sinking too deep.”

She dropped a gem into my hands.

“Wait, what was that earlier?”
“Divine pressure.”

Hah?
“I’ve been gradually increasing the divine pressure directed to you. Now you should be able to stand against a high-ranking Seraph without buckling.”

The air around me stiffened, lightened, stiffened, lightened. It felt like Bleu was using telekinesis to squish me all over. It tickles.

Wow. To think she trained me to stand against divine pressure? That’s ludicrous.

I looked at the gem in my hand.

“This is.. Craim Stygian?”

“I want you to learn to use this. The side effects are unpleasant, but if you want the capability to turn the tides on the battlefield, a good weapon is a must, especially in a world where attribute values are a great limiting factor to cultivation.”

“Don’t you have some other weapon that doesn’t have any side effects?”

“I do. However, those weapons either don’t work in this world due to the difference in system, or will eat you from the inside out. I chose Craim Stygian because it has by far the best performance to cost ratio. It’s a weapon which drowns you in waves, but you can always reset it forcefully by turning it back into a gem. Like a steam locomotive, the longer you use it without breaking the chain, the stronger you become. If you break the chain, you’ll have to spare time to build up the momentum again. There’s no upper limit except that you have to be careful not to let it consume you. I’ve added a fail safe to it so I’ll kill the user at a certain mental break point.”

She’s going to be the death of me– I can feel it.

I would much prefer my trusty Darundal than gain strength by courting death. Moreover, Craim Stygian isn’t even part of the mythological weapon series. What exactly is this weapon?

“Begin. I’ll keep watch.”
“Okay.”
I calmed my mind and crushed the gem.

The thirst to eat swallowed me whole.

Makech
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