Supreme Magus (Web Novel)-Chapter 2420 As A Child (Part 2)
A burst of emerald flames came out of her flesh, painting the room green.
When the fire died out, her wings were whole again. New and perfectly formed feathers now covered the bald spots as if the injury had never been there in the first place.
Everything felt right again, her body familiar, and Tista's heart burst with an intoxicating feeling of joy. She drew more breaths, to not let that joy nor the fire stop.
'I can feel it. I can feel my fire, my blood, and my heart moving in unison. They are one and the same.' She thought. 'What about my mana? Why I don't feel it? Why should it be any different?'
Tista started to weave the runes of the simplest spells she knew with her body, discovering that the method she had used to circulate her mana until that moment was ungraceful and clunky, like dancing with hard shoes.
It was still feasible, but the movements resulted awkward and the constant pain made it hard to enjoy the music.
She discarded everything she had learned until that moment and let the magical runes flow through her blood at the same rhythm as the Origin Flames, discovering that her spellcasting had turned smooth and required no effort.
She could feel the runes effortlessly moving through her auxiliary cores, their sequence falling into place by itself instead of needing to be guided with a steady hand.
As the mana flow increased, Tista moved to more complex and powerful spells, quickly reaching the tier four and five that until the day prior had been impossible to perform.
Usually, her auxiliary cores couldn't hold such powerful runes even after reaching a semi-spherical state and they would burst along with her flesh whenever Tista tried to make them flow by force.
This time the runes encountered no resistance and the power they carried helped the auxiliary cores to further develop, nearing their perfect form. Tista drew a final breath and started to weave a tier five spell, knowing that she had finally done it.
'One more. Just one more and I'll reach the-' Her mind froze in shock as a pillar of golden light appeared around her.
Along with the first rune of the tier five spell she was weaving, Searing Wave, she could also feel that her life forces were starting to merge. The silver star of the Dragon, the red star of the Phoenix, and the human life forces were all breaking apart.
Yet it wasn't an act of destruction, simply the necessary first step to build together something new where they would all fit together in harmony.
"No!" Tista yelled at the top of her lungs, cutting the spell off.
The mana flow, the Origin Flames, and the golden pillar disappeared together as she fell to her knees. Tista wrapped her arms around herself, shivering from an unnatural coldness that was in stark contrast with the warmth of the room.
"What happened? Are you alright?" Lith took a step forward but he didn't touch her, afraid that the process might resume at any moment and that his presence might mess with the result.
"No. I'm not." Tista looked at her hands and contracted her fingers over and over.
She was glad to see her pink skin instead of scales and short flimsy nails instead of razor-sharp claws. Yet fear still gripped her heart and with it, the coldness that made her shudder.
"What's gone wrong? You were this close to reaching the violet and turning into-"
"A monster." Tista cut Lith short, the word making him take a step back as if she had slapped him.
"Oh gods, little brother, I'm so sorry." The moment she saw the pain she had caused him and the rest of her family, Tista found the strength to stand up and ran into his arms. "I swear, I didn't mean it."
"What did you mean, then?" Lith wanted his voice to sound cold, but as Tista broke down in tears while hugging him with all of her strength, his anger disappeared and was replaced by worry.
No matter how rude, a single word couldn't erase the years they had lived together and the love Tista had showered him with ever since Lith was a baby.
"I'm not as strong as you are, Lith. I'm scared." She sobbed. "I'm scared of losing my humanity. Scared of turning into someone else. I know that you, Mom, Dad, Rena, and Solus would accept me anyway, but I saw how much you changed after becoming a Tiamat.
"I saw you struggle to express the slightest emotion and how much focus it took you to not break us every time you touched us. What if turning into whatever lay beyond the Red Demon also turns me into someone different?
"What if I can't get used to a world where everyone else is as frail as an egg and I hurt someone I love? If I were to hurt Aran, Leria, or Kamila, I would never forgive myself. I'm afraid of losing my life as I know and love it."
Lith's eyes went wide in surprise, realizing what the word monster truly meant for her. Tista wasn't scared of changing her physical appearance but of the idea of becoming a threat to the people around her.
To be forced into a self-imposed exile with Salaark's nest because she wasn't fit for human life any longer.
'Poor Tista.' Lith gently caressed her back and hair. 'Her situation is completely different from mine. I achieved the deep violet core while I was fighting Jormun because I needed it to survive.
'Mine wasn't a choice but something that I did on the spur of the moment without the time to think about the consequences. All I cared about was to not die in that cave and stop Thrud. I found my answer in the chaos of battle and I embraced it because it saved my life.
'Tista, instead, has found her answer in the quiet of peace and she refuses it because it offers her nothing but a new path with unknown consequences from which there is no turning back.'
"I always wanted to be like you." Tista sniffled. "You are not a monster. You are my hero. It was easy to daydream about becoming a Divine Beast like you when the violet core was still far away but now that it's standing before me, I'm scared.
"I'm so sorry. I'm proud of what you achieved but I don't know if I'm strong enough to do what you did. To learn how to live as a Divine Beast from scratch. Please, don't hate me."
"I could never hate you." Lith held her tight, not knowing what else to say.
"There's no need to be ashamed." Elina joined the embrace. "I don't care if you decide to remain human, to turn into a Divine Beast, or to never achieve the violet and stay a hybrid. I will always love you."
"We will always love you." Raaz kissed Tista's head. "I already risked losing you when you were a child. Whatever you choose to become, I'll never abandon you. Never."
As Tista sobbed, Elina remembered her own words about wishing that her grandchildren would have a little more skin and fewer scales, fearing to be one of the reasons her daughter was so scared of the change.