7 New Life
Three months passed by in the blink of an eye as the snow melted to give way to spring, and Luis used this time adjusting to life in his new form.
Everyday, he would search deep within himself to see if he could sense the mysterious power that had saved his life twice before.
With no tangible success, he concluded it was only possible to use in extreme circumstances. How he was able to do it at all, however, was still the greatest mystery. Its powerful effects completely defied common sense. Luis hoped that he would eventually come to understand this magical power, but he currently had bigger problems.
After all, it wasn't just his body he was adjusting to.
Learning a new language simply by listening was incredibly difficult, but Luis could now pick out certain words. The names of the family came first, hearing them spoken over and over.
The mother's name was Mary, the daughter's name was Lillith or Lily, the father's name was George, and the son's name was Bryn.
He also discovered that there was a smaller member of the family, a baby, that had yet to be introduced. With his stronger sense of smell, Luis was beginning to recognize them based on their scent alone, each of which was slightly different.
In addition to their names, Luis also learned other... very specific words... like "follow" or "fetch." He is treating me like a dog... Luis didn't know whether to laugh or cry when he realized this.
It could've been worse though, at least he was fed and had shelter. Baby steps. First... I need to learn their language... Were Luis' thoughts on the subject of his demotion from grandpa to pet.
It wasn't all bad. Luis never found himself bored. Everyday, the boy would have Luis accompany him wherever he went, taking him fishing or hunting small wildlife back in the edge of the border woods.
Luis' sense of smell really helped in these cases, often leading Bryn to rabbit holes where he would flush them out for Bryn to shoot with his bow.
Bryn was quite pleased that his rabbit hunting efficiency basically tripled with Luis around, often scratching his neck in thanks.
At the house, the little girl Lily would often antagonize him, jumping on his back and pretending he was a horse, laughing uncontrollably while he carried her around.
Her mother, Mary, was hesitant at first, but she quickly relented and allowed her daughter to play with Luis. The beast had proven quite docile, and she was quite pleased that Luis allowed her to collect any scales that he shed without fuss.
As if I would even care about something so trivial... Luis was more then willing to share.
Slowly but surely, he was integrating himself into this family, comfortable with the routine. Playing with the children was a small joy all on its own.
For all the drawbacks having a new form had, the ability to move without his old joints hurting was not one of them. Luis found he had far more energy, vitality, and strength then he ever had as a man.
Or maybe I just got used to being old... Luis couldn't quite remember. Regardless, after spending every waking moment with the kids, he couldn't help but grow fond of them.
With the thaw of spring, new life began to blossom. All around the house, green started to appear. Flowers started popping up, and vast patches of barren dirt covered in weeds emerged where the snow melted.
This was a farm... The connection was easy to make. All at once, the lazy days ended and things started to get busy. Luis' comfortable routine was disrupted.
"BRYN! Come here!" George yelled as Luis watched him enter into the shed he had been sleeping in, likely to gather some tools.
"Go already!" Lily commanded from her perch on his back. Luis pretended to ignore her as he looked off into the distance. "GO!" Came her impatient shout. In a flash, Luis whipped his head around and licked her across the face without warning. "Eww! Stop it!" She demanded as she rolled off and tried kicking him.
Luis jumped and ran away, being chased by a "furious" little girl. If he could physically laugh, he would have. Playing hard-to-get was quite entertaining for him.
Before the snow melted, he would often hide, playing hide-and-seek with her, blending right into the snow with his white scales to effectively disappear. Now, with no snow around, his fate was sealed.
Cornered against the house, Luis "cowered" in fear at the little girl who was now holding a "deadly" stick, pointing it right at him.
"Surrender monster! You have nowhere to run!"
Luis, understanding though context, dramatically collapsed onto the ground in submission. Lily put one foot on his snout and pointed the stick to the sky. "You have been conquered!" She declared, striking a mighty pose.
Luis heard laughing from the side. "Lillith, stop terrorizing the poor beast" Mary couldn't keep the grin off her face. Every since their first meeting, she couldn't keep her daughter away from the poor thing.
However, she was secretly relieved, her daughter used to be so reserved and quiet. Now she was always out and about, "defeating" magical beasts.
Despite her misgivings in the beginning, she was quite thankful the beast was entertaining her daughter so much.
It took a load off her shoulders in trying to entertain her herself, especially when she had other matters to attend too... Mary smiled down at the bundle in her arms, rubbing the face of the baby sleeping snugly inside it.
At this moment, Bryn came running out of the house to answer his father's call. "Yes father, what is it?" He asked, adjusting the woolen shirt he put on backwards in his haste.
"The snow has melted. The time has come to pluck the weeds before their roots go deep. I need you to go to town and buy the seeds from Milano's shop while I start here..." George reached into his pocket and pulled out a green gem, handing it to his son.
"Here, take this and sell it. This will be your first lesson in haggling my boy. Do not sell it for anything less than five gold, for I know it's worth at least that much..."
George patted his son on the shoulder and smiled. "Anything you earn more than five gold, you can keep for yourself."
Bryn examined the gem that was brimming with earth energy. He was moved deeply by the trust his father was putting on him, as well as excited by the prospect of earning money of his own. "Yes father, I won't let you down!" Bryn saluted dramatically. He was immediately slapped on his head.
"Don't let this go to your head, boy! There are simply too many weeds this year for me to go personally, and I need to get started..." George couldn't keep the smile out of his voice.
Bryn was too excited to be aggrieved at the slap. He could finally go into town and visit the guild library. Hopefully, I can find out what he is... Bryn looked over to the lazy white lizard, who was too busy enjoying a neck scratch from Lily to notice.
"Can I bring him along? Bryn asked his father while looking at Luis.
George considered for a moment. Magical beast pets were not that rare, but not exactly common either. Even for those that were around, they were often used as mounts or as weapons of war. That was of course, unless they had a particular use...
To have one as a pet, or even a hunting hound... that was quite uncommon.
He also assumed that whatever the scaly lizard was, it was only rank one at most, based on its size. Although, it was able to kill a rank two earth wolf... George was still considering. Eventually, he came to a decision.
"I'll leave the choice up to you. Should you decide to bring him, be aware that you mustn't tell anyone that it killed the earth wolf. If any store owner asks, you will say we chanced upon its corpse,"
Bryn nodded vigorously, being sure to memorize everything his father was saying. George nodded and continued. "If you do bring him, be prepared to garner some attention. The only other trained magical beast in town is the blacksmith's fire salamander.
Although it's unlikely, should you encounter trouble, seek him out if you do. Now... off with you!" George finished and bent down, beginning the slow process of weeding an entire field.
Bryn ran over to Luis, who was pinning Lily under his arm as she tried to break free, yelling childish curses at him.
He immediately motioned for Luis to follow, and Luis complied, leaving the saddened Lily behind as he followed Bryn. Together, they walked towards the dirt path.
I wonder where we're going? Luis couldn't help but be curious.
Bryn couldn't contain his enthusiasm as he walked with a spring in his step. This was going to be fun!