186 Frozen heart II
Natasha was walking towards her house which was located deep into the woods with the young man marching right beside her.
"So... I just want to make it clear... The house is kind of a mess right now... It's just been me and Marcy for a long time after all... But I think we can set up a bed for you to sleep next to the-"
The lady was taking her time trying to explain to her new guest how he could settle himself in the place, but before she could, she got interrupted by the loud scream a young girl storming out of the house and coming right at her.
"Oh, hey Marc- UGH!!!" Natasha said while being headbutted in the stomach by her young daughter who had the same hair color and eye color as her.
"How did it go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it go?" the young-looking girl repeated while holding a lot of excitement in her eyes.
"It..." Natasha responded while trying to gasp for air after being knocked against the ground, "It didn't... Sorry honey... Still no new daddy for you..."
"Aaaaww... Really...?" the girl replied, "That's the eighth one mom... I'm the only one in the class who doesn't have a dad!!"
"I know, honey, I know... Mommy is trying..."
Marcela just began to pout while crossing her arms and began to glare at her mother.
"It's just... Its really hard to find a replacement to daddy, you know? These things take time!"
"You always say that mom!! You always say that you will find a new daddy and always end up saying that it's hard..."
"I know, honey... I'm sorry..." Natasha whispered. She then looked at her secret weapon and hoped that this could work to ease Marcela's frustration, "but look honey, while you wait for your new daddy, how about you play with your new friend?"
"New friend?" asked the nine-year-old. The girl then finally noticed the boy her mother had brought with her and began to shout again, "NEW FRIEND!!!!!!"
The boy was startled by her sudden burst of emotion and began to run away while she started to chase him.
The girl kept running with her arms extended while saying "New friend! New friend! New friend!"
Natasha just shouted to the poor boy who had taken her place as Marcela's target of affection, "Sorry!!! Don't worry, she calms down after a while!"
The two continued to run around on the grass for a while. Natasha was glad on seeing her daughter so happy with their new guest. The girl hadn't been very easy to please ever since she lost her father due to an unfortunate accident. The sight of her mother was the only thing that managed to put a smile on her face, but said mother was sadly extremely busy with her job as a master-class mage and had very little time to spend with her because of it.
Between trying to find a romantic partner, taking care of her daughter, and fulfilling her duties as a member of the guild of water mages, Natasha was having trouble finding time for herself.
"Who wants dinner??" Natasha asked in order to save the poor boy from her daughter.
"Me!!!" Marcela replied with her hand raised.
The boy just remained quiet and tried to hide behind Natasha's leg so that Marcela would leave him alone.
The three finally entered the house and enjoyed a nice meal prepared by the ice mage. The boy seemed like he was about to eat the plates itself from the way he just devoured everything.
"What's his name, mom?"
"I'm not sure... Tomorrow I'll take him to the guild and see if we can find any information on him..."
"Awww... Can't we keep him?? I want a little brother to play with!!" Marcy asked while staring at the boy who suddenly felt an immense shiver down his spine as if he was about to be targeted by a wild animal.
"He's not a pet, Marcy... I'm sure his parents are very worried about him..."
"Don't worry... I'm sure he doesn't live very far... You will probably be able to visit him!"
Natasha was about to go further into her explanation, but one look at Marcy's face was all it took to make her realize that her daughter would take the absence of her new friend really hard.
"Well..." the woman then added, "I guess we could wait a few days..."
"Thank you!!!" Marcela jumped out of her seat and gave her mother a big hug in response.
"Mafoo!!" the boy cried.
Both Marcela and Natasha looked at him in bewilderment. That was the first time they ever heard that kid making any noise.
"What was that...?" Marcela asked while coming closer to the kid.
"Mafoo!! Mafoo!!" the boy continued.
Marcela just gazed at her mother while completely lost. Natasha then tried to guess what he was trying to say, "maybe... that could be his name...?"
"Mafoo...?" Marcela repeated, "your name is Mafoo?"
"Well... Ok then..." Marcela shrugged, "welcome to the family, Mafoo!!"
The next couple of days consisted of the two ladies trying to help Mafoo to get used to his new lifestyle.
Natasha would take him and Marcela to walk around the forest to get familiarized with the area in case he ever got lost, as well as trying to teach him which spots could be dangerous and should be avoided.
Whenever she was done, the kid would just get captured by Marcela and forced to play with her for the rest of the day. Natasha felt sorry for him, but she was thanking the heavens for finally getting some free time for herself while her daughter was distracted.
She tried to convince her daughter to let them take Mafoo to the city in order to find any information on where he comes from, but the girl would just give her the biggest puppy dog eyes while crying "please!! Just one more day!!"
She managed to get away with it a couple of times, but Natasha was starting to get worried about the boy. He always acted as if he was in deep hunger, but no matter how much he ate, his skinny body remained the same.
"Honey..." Natasha finally told her daughter, "we need to take him to the city!!"
"Please, mom!! Just one more day!"
"Marcy, look at him! At this rate, he might get sick if we don't find out what's causing this..."
"Can't you just fix him with magic?"
"I'm an ice mage, Marcy... I don't know a thing about healing magic..."
"Fiiiiiine... Can I come to at least?"
"Of course, sweetie!"
The three of them finally set out on their journey and brought the young man to the city, where he began to gain many sparkles at the sight of so many people in front of him.
It was the first time Natasha and Marcy ever saw him smile so much.
"I think he's excited!" Natasha commented.
"Oh, mom!! Can I take him to see the fountain while you check on the guild?"
"Ugh... Fine... But be quick... Remember that we have an important mission today..."
"Yay!!! Come on Mafoo!! Let's see the fountain!!"
The two youngsters began to rush towards the center of the city with Marcela dragging Mafoo by the hand. Natasha just smiled at the sight of her cute daughter laughing with so much joy.
She finally reached the guild of ice mages and spotted a new request with a very fat reward stuck on the wall.
"Oh, my heavens!! With this much money, I could buy a new house three times bigger than my own!! I could finally move out of the forest and live in the city!! Marcy could finally live closer to her schoolmates!" Natasha whispered while daydreaming about how much her life could improve if she just cleared this quest.
She picked the paper with the description and hurried to the balcony to meet with the receptionist.
"Lia!! Lia, tell me everything about this request right now!! I'm taking it!!" Natasha shouted in a hurry.
"Oh!! Good morning miss Natasha! I see that you're in a good mood today..." Lia replied.
"You bet I am!! First I rescue a cute little boy from a pack of evil bandits and have him and my daughter become best of friends, and now I come here to see this new job that might change my life forever!! I feel like lady luck is finally smiling upon me for the first time in years!!"
Lia grabbed the paper and immediately started to lose her smile upon seeing what the job was.
"Lia...? Lia, what's wrong...?"
"Miss Natasha... there is a reason the reward for this job is so big..." Lia explained. She then came closer and began to whisper to avoid being noticed, "this is for the extermination of a demon!"
"Yes... It seems that a demon has been spotted around the city and has devoured some of the citizens every night... You haven't heard anything about it??"
"Not really, no... I've been so tired from having to take care of two kids that I barely managed to keep my eyes open during the night... When did the attacks start?"
"A couple of days ago... It seems that the demon was being kept imprisoned by a gang of bandits and was going to be sold off to the church of the goddess of the west..."
Natasha's expression became pale, "a group of bandits...?"
"Yeah... Robert was the one who posted the request... He was involved with the gang members and they appeared to be very angry at him for some reason... The demon they lost seemed to be very important..."
Natasha began to shake a little, "this... This demon... what does he look like...?"
"From what Robert told us, it seems he holds some kind of curse where he bears the look of the youngest person he ate... So right now... He looks like a boy between the age of eight or ten..."
Natasha felt like she was about to throw up.
"And another thing..." Lia added, "the survivors stated that the demon always says the same words whenever he's hungry and is about to attack again..."
"... ... ... What words...?"