3 Mana Mania

Unbeknownst to their child's inner ruminations, Lora and Theor continued to argue about the issue at hand.

"You promised you would let me name him. You named Sasha, and I was supposed to name our next child!"

Protested Lora and a helpless expression appeared on Theor's face.

"But the child might become a mage when he grows up! Who knows if he will someday go to Arcvallen like Aran. He might even become a High-mage like the Duke of the North! I understand you want to be filial to your father, but the child can't have a northern name. He'll face endless troubles if the upper echelon thinks he's a foreigner!"

"Who cares! Who says he will become a court mage in the first place! It's not even confirmed if he's a mage! He isn't even two days old!"

Lora raised her voice and held her child tighter.

"Are you saying you'll reconsider if he's confirmed to be a mage? I'll let you rename Sasha if you let me name our little mage," Theor said while looking expectantly at Lora.

"Don't play games with me, Theo. And don't talk about changing your daughter's name as if you were talking about changing your dirty socks! Be a man and stay true to your words!"

Lora snapped and defiantly looked away from Theor. Theor sighed and seemed to give up.

"Sigh, sorry Lora, but you understand I'm just doing what I think best for our child"


Lora didn't even glance back at him, and just caressed the child's head with her hands.

As Theor was about to continue apologizing, a knock came from the door.

Elina opened the door and found mage Aran with a small pouch hanging by his side. Aran was a tall man with broad shoulders. But his natural pose was on the slouching side, so a bookwormy atmosphere surrounded him. His slightly red hair messily hanging on top of his head further pushed that image.

The child realized that it was the same person who visited him the previous day.

"Sorry for intruding again. I'm here to see if your kid is a mage or not. What's his name, by the way? What's up with you two?" said Aran, after noticing the weird atmosphere in the room.

"We were just talking about that. Lora wants to give him a northern name, and I think it's bad for his future, since he's supposed to become a mage in the Western kingdom. Who knows what those court mages will think if they hear him having a foreign name"

Replied Theor, feeling hopeful that Aran will take his side.

"I won't say that such things don't exist in Arcvallen's mage circles, but I can honestly tell you that you don't have to worry about those things. Thanks to the late king Rowan Arcwall's decree of finding and nurturing every single mage in the kingdom, the amount of commoners in mage circles has become much higher. So a few exotic names won't garner any unwanted attention. Besides, in the end, we're still part of the same Empire," Aran replied in a matter-of-fact way.

Having his hopes crushed by his childhood friend, Theor started grasping at straws.

"But his name's Eviendra! It even sounds like a girl's name, doesn't it?"

Hearing the name, Aran pondered a little and then asked.

"What's it's meaning? Sounds familiar."

"Wisdom drakeling," murmured Lora, and then quickly added, "He's very, very smart. He hasn't cried at all since he woke up, and he just looks around the room with curiosity. His eyes are still a bit dim, but you can see him trying to see everything around with all his effort. He didn't even get upset when Theo and I started arguing. I'm sure he'll become someone great in the future, so I called him that."

Theor, hearing Lora say that she was sure that the child was going to become someone important, wanted to say something, but wisely decided against it.

Hearing her answer, Aran nodded thoughtfully, but no one seemed to notice his weird pause. The mage shook his head and commented.

"Well, I personally would love to watch your boy become the next Eviendrakar. But it is a bit of a mouthful, so why not just call him Evin in normal times"

"That is a good idea, Aran. Lora, please tell me you won't be stubborn about this too"

Quickly added Theor, finally seeing some hope in the matter.

Lora blushed and replied.

"I would feel embarrassed calling my son a wisdom drakeling every single day. Evin is a good way to call him, thank you Aran"

"Ha-ha, your welcome then. Well, I'm here to check if he has the talents of a mage. After all, I've never heard of a dragon that can't channel the worlds," the mage said with a laugh and opened his suitcase.

The curious Evin's attention immediately went to the blue rocks in the suitcase. The shine they emitted was brighter and clearer than anything he saw with his eyes.

Then, as if the demons got the better of him, his mind blanked and only one thought filled his mind.

He needed that crystal.

Following his instincts, he tried to get to the crystal as soon as possible, struggling against her mother's panicked clutches.

He would usually be afraid that his reaction would be too unnatural, but at that moment all his thoughts were on how to get to that crystal as fast as possible. Unfortunately, her mother was able to stop his attempt. But obviously, that didn't stop his hands from swiping at the rock like some crazed drug addict.

"He is definitely abnormal. I've seen children react weirdly when first seeing a mana lodestone, but never this strongly," Aran said, inspecting Evin with interest.

"Just give him the stone!" Lora shrieked and tried to take the lodestone from Aran's hands. Seeing her child's weird state, she couldn't help but make an irrational decision.

"Whoa, calm down! How are you also joining your kid's mania? Here, take it"

Surprised by Lora's sudden change, Aran gave Evin the small lodestone he brought out. Evin immediately calmed down, and confusedly stared at the stone in his tiny clutches. Then, as if he suddenly realized what he just did, he slowly glanced around the room to see the reactions of the surrounding people.

Lora had a content expression for a little while, then gradually her brows creased, as she seemed to realize that there was something was terribly wrong with this whole situation.

Aran saw Evin's reaction, and for a second, he seemed to see very complex emotions in the expressions of the two-day-old child. His gaze became sharp and slightly dangerous.

Theor was simply confused with the occurrence, showing a dumb, blank look while looking at his son.

Evin immediately felt great worry.

'Probably not something a two-day-old kid would do'


In the small bedroom of a neatly made wooden house, a very peculiar atmosphere emerged between three adults and one newborn. While the sudden change of the newborn shocked the adults, it was the newborn himself who felt the greatest surprise. A two-day-old child almost overpowered his mother's grasp to snatch away some shiny rock from a man.

He knew of many different unbelievable stories from when he was wandering the world, but he knew that it was physically impossible for him to move like that in reality. So how was he able to suddenly gain powers similar to a three-year-old child?

He warily looked at the adults in the room and felt slightly relieved. They only looked confused and shocked. If they had traces of fear or panic, then it would most likely be more troublesome. Fear and panic meant that similar things happened in the past, and they were most probably bad things. Confusion could eventually become fear, but Evin felt that the problem did not reach those levels yet.

'In the first place, this whole thing happened because of this stone. What's the deal with it?'

Evin had another good look at it, and he noted its features in his mind. The stone was only the size of an adult's pinky, but Evin knew that there was something very special about it. It had lines in it that were similar to veins in it, and it would sometimes pulse inwards with bright blue light. It weighted basically the same as a normal rock, perhaps even lighter, but it felt to Evin as if the stone's center of weight would shift a tiny bit with every pulsation.

Evin could feel the weight shift thanks to his newborn body, but he was quite confident the bigger ones would have similar qualities.

The stone reminded Evin of the woman who sent him to this new World. Since he spent some time in his mother's womb, he figured it was about 9 months since he last saw her. The Storm flickering in her eyes might have been the very same pulsations on the stone.

'This thing gives such a huge sci-fi vibe'

Connecting those stray thoughts, Evin was sure that this new World had magic in it, and these stones played a huge role in it. He was not a hundred percent sure, but he also remembered that the adult named Aran used magic to scan his body the previous day.

Evin felt a bit worried about his sudden outburst, so he decided to check what the adults in the room did next.

"Well, we definitely know that Evin is a mage," Said Aran, seeing Evin's pondering face.

"Was that supposed to happen? I know nothing about magic, except some dumb rumors and stories, but that didn't seem very normal," Theor asked worriedly and with a slight confusion.

Theor and Lora could not see the pulsing glow that the rock inside Evin's hands emitted. It only looked like a slightly dim, blue crystal, with some practically unnoticeable lines running through it. They knew mages loved these things, so if they ever found it in the wild, they would make sure to collect it, but aside from that, they knew nothing.

Aran nodded his head and answered.

"Although it's rare, it's not unheard of for some mage newborns to perform actions that seem impossible for normal babies. Most people agree that their mana-core can give them spontaneous spurts of energy, so you will be able to see them perform small miracles. There's a few other things I should mention to you, but I'll say it later. For now, what's important is why he acted in this way," Aran said and smiled in a scholarly way. Pointing at the lodestone in Evin's hands, he began explaining:

"I've never heard of anything like this happening in children, but there are such cases in adults. It happened to some prisoners who were locked in a mana-blocked cell. They're meant for exceedingly dangerous mages who can never be allowed access to the slightest sliver of 'mana'. In any case, after they're cut off from their access to mana, they would usually get extremely agitated after a little while, some of them even becoming permanently insane. And whenever they see a lodestone, they would react similarly to your child"

"How can that be? He was never in any place with little mana in his life. Also, Evin seemed quite normal before seeing the stone, no?" Lora asked.

"Honestly, I don't know. Maybe his mana-core is just bigger than others, so he has a much sharper reaction to them," Said Aran, then after pondering for a bit, continued: "Now that I think about it, some other newborns really did have weird reactions with their first exposure to 'mana'. I know of one who couldn't sleep without a mana lodestone in the room, and I have heard of another who would stare at them every chance they get. Also, there are also the legends of our founding king Judeus Arcwall, about how he was afraid of anything that emitted 'mana' at first, because he felt that they were alive, but after he got over his fears, he became a mage so powerful only the Empress was above him"

Lora, who was worried about her child's safety, relaxed, and added on Aran's words to further convince herself that everything was okay.

"That is true, my father also told me of the Ivari founder Selat's story of how he would try to stick two mana lodestones to his forehead when he was a child, and later in his life, he disappeared into the Wilderness, and came back with two actual horns on his forehead able to channel mana. They also say that the Varas'hati Empire's Emperor Vasheen used to spend most of his childhood talking to mana lodestones"

Hearing about the Varas'hati Empire, Theor snorted and added.

"Humph, those blasphemous barbarians. What gall do they have to name their collection of states an Empire? I swear to the Empress, only thanks to her infinite mercy they can get away with such heresy"

"They aren't dubbed the 'death-smitten' for nothing. I just hope the tragedy of dragonshifters will not happen to them." Aran said, and a brief silence filled the room.

"How's Evin, by the way? Can you take the stone from him?" Aran asked, suddenly remembering their original problem.

Lora cautiously took the stone away from Evin, afraid that the child will have another fit. But contrary to her expectations, her child showed no abnormal reactions again.

"He seems okay, I thought he would try to get it back, but that went much better than I expected"

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