116 Chapter 116 Twins
A baby was crying.
Joseph jerked awake and lay there for a second, as he realized the noise wasn't a dream.
Stella woke when he jerked beside her.
"My chest…it's so tight, like a weight," he gasped, grabbing his shirt.
He could hear the worry in her voice, but the vision of a little blonde girl flashed before his eyes.
"Shavist!" he screamed, bowing his back in pain.
(A LINK BETWEEN YOU AND STELLA IS UNIQUE IN ALL THE REALMS, BUT IT APPEARS YOU HAVE ONE WITH YOUR LITTLE SISTER FROM YOUR PREVIOUS LIFE, AS WELL.)
"The queen," he panted, grabbing at Stella and finding her leaning over him, panic was in her eyes. "Take me to her, now!"
She didn't hesitate. Grabbing him up, she began to run. Joseph fought to breath, closing his eyes to focus on working past the pain that was overwhelming him. It was her pain, not his. His sister had followed him, and she needed him, or she would die!
-We're hiding from the man, downstairs, trying not to even breathe.-
Shaking his head as Stella darted as fast as a shadow through the empty elven halls. Any guards they passed, didn't have a chance to react before they were gone again. Joseph fought free from the memories, finally managing to focus on the here and now.
His chest was growing tighter and tighter with every moment. His sister had died horribly in his previous life, and while he knew that who they were heading towards wasn't his sister in this life, he refused to experience the death again!
Finally, they were outside a heavily guarded room. A dozen guards surrounded the door. Standing from Stella's grasp, Joseph felt the floor sucking at him. The rune, draining mana, must be just below them. It was trying to actively suck the extra mana out of him.
Struggling towards the guards, they moved to block the way. Stella seemed ok. The System's battery must not be affected by normal magics. The rune was draining the mana back out of the babies! They were in a higher mana area, but the rune was pulling it back out of them. Joseph struggled not to gasp his chest from the pain. Suddenly, the door opened. Another elven doctor was running in, but the gap in the door was enough for him to see through.
Yells and screams in elven emanated from the room. He grabbed Stella's hand tightly.
The queen was still bleeding from delivering the children. There were twins, laid out on a table, while three doctors stood over them looking lost. They must have been able to help each other to survive until now.
The queen was screaming, maybe at him, but Joseph didn't notice as he stumbled over to the table, pushing one of the doctors out of the way. Invoking Mana Territory, as he cast LEND ENERGY in his right hand. His second mind was casting LEND ENERGY in his left hand. Fighting against the rune as it tried to drain him and the babies, he flushed the stale mana out of the babies' bodies and began to fill them to the brim with his own mana.
The king was holding the queen down while she screamed and fought him. The mid-wife was screaming and Stella had a knife, keeping the doctors away while he worked.
Each of his minds started examining their circuits.
He left everything else to Stella, as the king started screaming too.
Their circuits were a mess. He could see what it should be, but it was almost like TV static.
'Lay the track, reinforce the loop here, this minor collection point leaks, so patch it and expand it, Stella's mana circuit did this cycle much better, so upgrade this while I'm repairing it, add a function to repair itself in case of minor damage.'
TELEPORT only allowed him to bring one being with him, so if he didn't fix these circuits to be much stronger, as soon as they left his Mana Territory, the rune below the floor would destroy them again. Using the actual LEND ENERGY spell made it easier to do this, thankfully.
Joseph had never had to do this so quickly. Fortunately, the babies started crying strong and loud, so he knew it was working. He had made it in time.
Their cries made the screaming come to an abrupt halt. Instead of pale blue, limp forms, pink healthy babies screamed and squirmed on the table.
He was running low on mana and had already used a good chunk of Stella's battery teleporting in here. The stale mana was unpleasant to absorb at that speed, and he felt a headache creeping up, like eating ice cream too fast.
'Add this secondary pathway, so anything that gets leaked will recollect over here, instead of being lost. How could the altered rune force them to use life force instead of mana? This reacts with this part normally, so alter that structure, but modify this part to handle half of that portion…'
Joseph could tell that the two minds had synergized, allowing them to do something beyond his normal abilities. Maybe that was what caused the headache? Didn't matter, he was almost done.
'There, with that line being reconnected, I can now fill the entire array full of mana. Wow, I'm tired.'
He turned towards Stella, who turned to see him at the same time.
"JOSEPH!" she screamed.
'Why did Stella scream? My nose is running…' when he wiped it, blood was on his hand. 'Oh, that would make sense.'
Everything started to spin as he fell. Stella caught him, of course. She was such an awesome fried. He meant to say it out loud, but his tongue wasn't working for some reason. He really hoped she managed to put that dagger up before he caught her. His eyes didn't want to stay open.
"Run," he whispered.
She was running. Was someone shouting? Maybe guards?
The sun was shining in his face. Moving didn't seem like a good idea.
"Joseph?" The whisper was soft. It made him smile.
"Yes, Stella?" he asked, then frowned as memories of what happened began to register. "I think I owe you an apology. That was way more dangerous and painful than I thought it was going to be. Are the children ok though?"
There was a sigh.
"Yes, Master Joseph." Her voice was soft, and did he hear the hint of tears?
Rolling his head to the side didn't make him feel like he was falling through the ground. Squinting, he saw her face, laying next to his, where they must have fallen. There weren't tears, but he thought maybe there had been.
"Good. You can yell at me as long as you do it softly."
That made her smile. His eyes focused beyond her face, and he saw an open plain clear to the horizon.
"Stella, what happened to the trees?"