206 Change of plans
The following minutes were dedicated to Ellie explaining how she defeated the demon spirit of Hana's garden.
She talked about how she pretended to be defeated so the demon could bring her closer to her core, how Ellie used this chance to finally touch the core and steal one of her abilities, that being, the power to boost her strength from staying in contact with the soil, and finally how she managed to access terminal energy by combining said power with her blessed energy and her magic energy, which gave her the final push to defeat the demon.
She assumed that everyone would be jumping of joy from this news but they all were holding serious looks on their faces as if they were trying to solve a very long math problem.
"Something wrong?" Ellie asked, not being able to stand the silence any longer.
"Ellie... How do you feel?" Marcus asked while trying to be careful with his words.
Ellie wondered about that question. She was missing an arm and suffered another blow to her pride, but overall, she was feeling optimistic thinking she was finally on the right track to fight Mia.
"I was a little shocked at first... But... I think I'll be better by tomorrow..."
Marcus didn't drop his look thought, "I'm glad to hear but... That's not what I meant... I was talking about how you feel physically..."
Detra spoke next, "try to stand, young miss..."
Ellie was a little confused with their concerns but she did as she was told and pulled her sheet. She then touched the wooden floor with her feet and tried to stand up, followed by immediately falling and almost crashing against the ground if it wasn't for Marcus catching her.
"That's what I thought..." Detra mumbled.
"What!? What happened?" Ellie asked while realizing she could barely feel any strength in her bones.
"It seems like your body reached its limit..." Detra explained.
"What do you mean? Am I out of magic power again or something? Cause if so, I can just absorb more..."
"Ellie, you slept the whole day yesterday..." Lilith commented, "your body should be full of magic already by this point..."
"What...? Then..." the girl mumbled.
"I told you... Your body reached its limit..." Detra spoke again, "the problem is not that you don't have enough power... Is that you have too much power... Way too much for a nine-year-old to handle..."
At this moment Claire raised her hand, "actually, you said Ellie spent a whole month in the garden right? Then she's probably ten by now..."
Ellie widened her eyes at her friend's comment. She completely forgot about her birthday and didn't even realize that she was ten years old by now, "I missed my own tenth birthday party??"
Detra rolled her eyes and tried to get back at the topic, "regardless... the thing is, such a young kid should not have access to this much power... How many powers do you have right now?"
Ellie began to count, "I have the magic diamonds, the future sight, the holy metal, spell breaker, the beastly howl-"
"What!? How did you learn all that??" Joseph shouted.
"Ignore him..." Detra commented, "please continue..."
"Right... and now I also have the power boost I got from the forest demon..."
"Oh!! Can I name this one? We could call it, earth's blessing!!" Joseph interrupted again.
"We are not going to name a demon power with the word blessing!!" Detra yelled.
"Anyway..." Detra took a deep breath, "anything else? You also came in contact with me many times... Did you get any ice spell?"
"Don't think so... I tried many times... But nothing ever happened... I think my mirror magic picks a power at random if I don't focus on what I want..."
"I see..." Detra whispered. She seemed a little down, as if she was disappointed she wouldn't get to see Ellie using one of her spells. This made Marcus smirk at her which in turn made her blush and turn her face to the other side.
"So... I think that's it... six powers..." Ellie finished.
"Right, right... Getting back to the problem... This might not seem like much..."
"You kidding...?? It took me a whole week to learn two spells and she just starts counting six of these things like she was talking about a shopping list! That seems like a lot to me!" Joseph interjected for the third time.
"WOULD SOMEONE GET THIS KID OUT OF HERE!!???" Detra shouted.
Claire pulled Joseph's hand and dragged him out of the room so he would stop ruining the flow of the conversation. Once Detra calmed down she began to talk again.
"As I was saying!!" Detra took a deep breath, "She simply has too much power inside her body... Not only that, she gets a new power every time she touches someone... At this rate, her body might actually blow up from not being able to handle this much energy..."
Ellie's face became blue, "Is... Is this another joke...???"
"I wish... It would be one thing if these powers had some consistency... But their natures are all over the map... If you keep gathering random abilities like this the same thing that happened to your hand might happen to the rest of you..."
"Oh, God..." Ellie whispered while holding her amputated arm, "how do I turn it off??"
"You need to learn to control it with time... But sadly, we don't have time... The battle with Mia is tomorrow and you don't look like you are in proper shape yet... So for now... I suggest you try and not to touch anyone..."
Suddenly, someone raised her hand and asked a question, "Is it ok if I touch her?"
Detra saw who it was and just sighed, "yes, yes... you should be fine..."
Ellie didn't recognize the woman but she just came closer and extended her hand to greet Ellie.
"Hi, nice to finally meet you! I'm Ashley!" the woman with long red hair said.
Ellie began to spin the gears on her brain, "Ashley? The Ashley?"
"The one that adopted my aunt when she came to this world? The one who helped her come up with plans and ways to use her spells when she was learning her magic? The strategist of her old group? That Ashley?" Ellie spouted as if she was reading the woman's Wikipedia page.
"Uuhhh... Have you been stalking me...?" Ashley joked.
"Ah! I'm sorry, I'm sorry... It's just... I've been wanting to meet you for a long time... I heard a lot about you!"
"Well... I'm flattered... You mind if the two of us chat for a bit?"
"I would love to!!!"
Marcus started to feel a little better once he saw Ellie smiling at Ashley. He honestly wanted to know what these two could possibly want to talk about but his mother pulled his sleeve and called him out.
"Let's give them some privacy... We still have some things to discuss..."
The group then exited the room and left Ashley and Ellie alone in the inside. Before getting too far, Marcus could hear them talking about their experiences. How they felt about magic, the monsters they faced, how crazy their lives were, and, of course, about Evlin.
Marcus felt a tiny bit of jealousy. He started to miss Daren, his own family, who he would often have these kinds of conversations with as if they were brothers.
They all moved to a wide room where a table was located in the middle and proceeded to take a seat around it.
"So what's the next step...?" Marcus asked while helping Lilith sit.
Detra looked at Leona for a moment and proceeded to stare at Marcus again, "I need you to make a speech tomorrow..."
Marcus frowned his face, "what...? Why? To whom??"
"To our troops..." Detra explained, "The fire mages contacted some of their allies from other parts of the country to help us in the battle with Mia, and so did the red-haired girl. She sent a message to her guild and managed to gather a small army of mages to fight by our side tomorrow against Mia and her forces... I made this request before we separated..."
Marcus was still confused.
"We also shared with them our situation..." Leona added, "they all know about how Mia took down the crossbow girl and wish to join the hero who declared war on her to honor her memory..."
"Hero...?? Memory?? What??" Marcus repeated.
"Well... we couldn't just tell them that we managed to keep Mia waiting by using the young miss to lure her desire for a good fight... We... Kinda tweaked the full story a bit to make it look less ridiculous and more heroic..." Detra explained.
"Where are you going with this...?" Marcus asked.
"The thing is... We kinda promised that an amazing hero would stand up against Mia, and lead us to victory in the battle of tomorrow..." Detra mentioned while trying to turn her look away, "buuuuut, as we all saw... The young miss is not in the most... Heroic shape right now... So... We need another symbol to give our men some fighting spirit..."
Marcus finally understood what she was saying, "so you want me to be the face of our faction...? Won't Ellie feel a bit insulted that we are trying to replace her?"
"She doesn't need to know... The important thing is... You just need to go out there and give some encouraging words to our soldiers so they feel more fired up for the battle... Can you do that?"
"I'm not sure... Why me...?"
"Well... Who else do we have? The young miss is barely able to stand, not to mention I think we would look like a joke placing a kid to be our savior..." Detra commented, "Miss Lilith would have been a good replacement but... You know... She's all blind and all now... Ellie's friends, from what Leona told me, are very powerful, but still very immature..."
"So basically, I'm your last choice..." Marcus mumbled, feeling a little insulted himself.
"But think about it!! You're the son of the world's most famous hero!! The second living weapon! People spent years looking for you... You're basically like a legend!"
"More like, the son of the legend..." Marcus interrupted.
"Marcus!" Detra shouted.
The silver-haired lad looked around and noticed Leona looking at him, "Please... They need a symbol of hope... They need a hero!"
Marcus just sighted for a bit and gave his reply, "fine... fine... But I don't know a thing about motivational speeches... So don't blame me if I end up bring our spirits down even further..."
Marcus then felt a soft hand grabbing his shoulder and noticed Lilith smiling at him, "you won't... I trust you! We all do!"
Marcus took these words to the heart and began his preparation for his big day.