33 Wish (2)

[Extra chapter for reaching 10 reviews (tho it was meant to be 11). I've decided to put the review extra chapter goals aside. I'll also be editing the the powerstone goal and rebooting it from now on. For every 100 powerstones, there will be a bonus chapter that week. Sorry for all the changes, my hands decided to crap out on me after too much writing, lmao. But I'm feeling good with this new keyboard now, so we can get back to grinding.]

Leonel's gaze locked onto Aina as though trying to read something through her expression. But, try as he might, he couldn't get anything out of her. She had returned to being that completely unreadable existence.

"You should focus on understanding your Lineage Factor, we still have some time before we reach Orleans."

Leonel continued to stare at Aina for an uncomfortably long time, as though he hadn't heard her words at all.

He found it too difficult to read her. Was she shy? Or was she the same woman who didn't hesitate to tell him that he smelled or demand he put on a shirt? Was she murderous? Or was she the same woman who stayed back to protect the Frenchmen by his side?

Just who was she?

"… Lineage Factor?" Finally, after Aina began squirming beneath his gaze with nowhere to escape to, he registered the words she had spoken.

"You aren't aware? You awoke a Lineage Factor on the battlefield. It's why you couldn't control your unconscious state."

Leonel frowned. "… You mentioned Lineage Factors once before when you spoke of Natural Force Nodes. What are they exactly?"

Aina wasn't surprised by this question. Judging by Leonel's previous ignorance, whoever of his family was of a higher world most definitely hadn't explained everything to him just yet.

"Just like how Zones are points in time higher dimensions connected with lower ones, Lineage Factors are the genetic equivalent of these instances.

"Have you ever thought of the proper way to interpret higher Dimensions? What exactly does the Fourth Dimension mean?"

"Well, in an abstract sense, a higher order Dimension is just any plane of existence infinitely more powerful than the last, in the simplest terms. I can write a story and exert infinite control over the 2D. Likewise, a 2D construct can obliterate someone in the first Dimension."

Aina nodded. "In the real world, outside of the abstract, higher Dimensions work similarly, though not exactly in this way. The higher a person's Dimensional Constitution, the more influence they can exert. It's this power that causes anomalies that must be dealt with in Zones, and it's also this power that allows certain abilities to be passed down through generations.

"Simply put, a Lineage Factor is the result of a family member of yours, whether in the past or in the future, who has exerted sufficient influence to grant you this ability."

"… Or in the future?" Leonel finally heard something that shocked him.

"Yes. Just like Zones. Sub-Dimensional Zones are examples of the future influencing the past. If they weren't, why would they only start appearing now and not before the Metamorphosis began?

"Just like you said yourself, you can think of it as higher Dimensions being infinitely powerful compared to lower ones. If you wrote a book in 2D, is your concept of time like that of your characters? You could make a million years pass in the blink of an eye if you wanted, or you could have a flashback send them a trillion years into the past."

Leonel's gaze glowed with enlightenment.

'… Do I really have a family member from a higher world? Or is it that someone down my line awakened a similar ability and passed it back to me?'

Leonel's mind spun. 'Wait! If that's possible, then it's not necessarily true that Aina or one of her parents is from another world. If this future influencing the past result is possible and even probable, then it's likely that the most powerful families of Earth will have begun awakening these Lineage Factors.

'Logically, the more powerful the family on Earth, the higher chance they have for success in the future, and the more likely they are to create powerful characters who can pass these abilities backward.

'But I've never heard of Aina's Brazinger family. There's also not a single Brazinger on the Eligible Bachelor list. So is it that her family really came from another world? Or… Is it that the truly powerful families of Earth have hidden themselves waiting for this chance?'

There were too many unknowns. Even with his ability, Leonel had no ability to guess at what the truth was or even begin to find the right path.

"Aina… your family —."

Leonel stopped his words. He hadn't even begun to form his thoughts when Aina's gaze flashed with an endless fury. For a moment, he sensed that she almost lost control over her Lineage Factor once more and went berserk.

This time, with her being at peak health, Leonel wasn't confident in his ability to stop her. If she really lost it again, it could be disastrous.

After several minutes of Leonel's silence and her deep breaths, Aina's jaw set.

Seeing that she was okay, Leonel didn't question her further and simply went to sit on the bed of straw, pulling out [Call of the Wind]. He had never gotten around to reading it like he had [Dimensional Cleanse]. So, it was about time he did.

The hours ticked by silently and Leonel truly expected Aina to not speak on the topic again. But, unexpectedly, on the next day, she did.

"I'm sorry…" She said softly. "… It's not that you said anything wrong, you hadn't even asked a question yet…"

She felt guilty. It seemed that all of her interactions with Leonel always ended in him being extremely understanding and her demanding too much of him. It only made her more certain in some decisions she had made.

"… The short of it is that I don't have a family. I had a mother, and my father… is no longer with me. But, even while I was in my mother's womb, we were expelled from the Brazinger Clan.

"The only reason I still carry their name is so that I can reject it myself when they most wish for me to keep it."

Aina's words were very gentle, but they held a resolve far larger than her small body.

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