WC1084 words [500x2; Remainder: 84wc]
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The mending physically didn’t take long. However, getting to his feet mentally took a little more time. The villagers nearby and some of the recurring cast of mages that visited had shown up to help rebuild the temple itself. Although with the spells that the group of them used being more than enough to rebuild, there was something that was somehow refreshing about putting things up with your own two hands. Well, more than two hands there were now but all the better for having the teamwork and peace among those that put such effort into rebuilding such a beloved and ancient place.
Tsubasa himself worked around the temple, once he had gotten a bit of rest with the help of his sister and at the orders of his mother. The two things were contradictory but extremely complimentary as they ensured that he remained in bed for more than a few hours at a time. Meanwhile, Ahab helped around the building as well, although his strength was considerably limited. He showed no verbal concern for Tsubasa, as was their way, but there were always little flying squirrel handprints on the cups of tea that were delivered to Tsu’s room upon his awakening from his rest. After roughly a day or so, he found himself ready to get up and find the others. The main temple had been rebuilt and there was just a little bit of work to do around the gardens, the pond and the temple gates themselves.
As Tsubasa meandered through his house, touching the door frames as he passed through the rooms with a strange kind of nostalgia for something new that seemed to flood over him. It felt like the reverse, really, as though rather than an eagerness to recall memories, he felt an eagerness to make new ones. This home, although new, carried the love and energy of the old one. As he made his way from room to room, admiring the craftwork, he ended up in his favorite room: the kitchen. There, his mother was just starting work on a lunch for everyone who had been working so hard all morning. He could see that she was already working on a nice roux, using one of the larger pots that would be enough for everyone. Wordlessly, Tsubasa walked over to the sink and washed his hands before finding another cutting board and starting on the carrots. The vegetables had already been rinsed and cleaned, and they were especially plump, having grown just outside in the garden.
The two of them worked silently in tandem, as she periodically checked on the rice and he took over the curry. He went to the fruits outside on the dining room table and plucked one of the particularly fresh looking apples. Once he’d skinned it, he added it to the curry by shaving it into the pot while stirring it up. “What are you doing, Basa? You’ll make it too sweet! It’s lunch, not an apple pie.”
He sliced just a little more in and said, “I was working on a recipe at the guild hall and thought that adding in a little more apple makes it spark with the fukujinzuke.” He continued just once or twice more then took a bite of the apple itself. “Try it, Mama.” He motioned towards the pot as he continued stirring, shifting it to a lower heat as was natural around this time. She walked to the pot and took a tasting spoon, trying a little of it as he watched on eagerly. She tried a little more and a small smile grew on his face. She looked up at him with a sour expression, but he knew what it meant. She had nothing negative to say, and her playful way of showing that was feigning disappointment.
“You’ve been cooking at that place then?” She asked, going back to the rice and starting to dole out servings. “They have a kitchen and everything?” She asked as though he was living in a third rate den with barely a fire pit to share between the members. “Are they feeding you properly?”
“I’m feeding them, Mama.” Tsubasa said with a smile. As she slid the plates to him, he ladled in the curry and spooned in some of the fukujinzuke, the sweet and sour daikon mix that went with the curry. This particular curry was made with pork which was, thankfully, not farmed here. When the children were younger they’d had some animals for food, but once Dehlia named all of the cows and pigs, that ended very quickly. “Haven’t you watched my LacTube videos? They have a nice little kitchen.” Of course he was being extremely modest about the Silver Wolf guild kitchen, which was absolutely state of the art and wonderful.
“Oh you know I don’t know how to work those things,” She said dismissively. There was a short pause, “We watch them sometimes with your sister.” They continued to ladle and serve in silence, before she offered up, “Your rat tells me you’ve been drinking too many of those power drinks.” She had a habit of calling Ahab ‘your rat’ because she had been completely against him staying when he had first arrived. The two were now the only early birds in the house and would often chat over coffee and biscuits when Tsubasa visited. Nevertheless, the nickname stuck, as did the feigned dislike of the creature.
“I’m trying to quit,” Tsubasa said. “They’re not good for me, you know.”
“Don’t give me lip,” She responded. “I’m trying to make sure you live a good long while. Not with these gun men and demon things chasing after you like you’re some kind of action movie star.” With the serving finished, she beckoned him over. “Come here, let me get a look at you.”
He walked over and she examined him with an almost clinical gaze. The height difference between them was almost an entire foot, with her being shorter, but against her even the tallest man was smaller. She looked at his cheeks, prodded them with her finger, tapped his chin a few times, “You need to shave,” then looked him in the eyes. She kept a firm gaze on him for roughly ten seconds before her bottom lip quivered and she pulled him into a hug so tight he wondered when he’d last written his will. “My baby,” She sobbed into his shoulder.
“I’m okay, Mama,” He said, returning the hug. “I’m okay.”
Current Durations: Spell Name 0/0
Current Cooldowns: Spell Name 0/0