Truthful Transmigration 105

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The constant rocking of the boat had been suspected as the source of Matayal’s consternation at the beginning of the journey, but her pregnancy was a more accurate explanation. After puking over the side of the ship for a few days, she managed to narrow down some specific details. One would expect that triplets could easily cause more sickness earlier, but further investigation proved enlightening.

A pregnant woman on Earth could only get a picture inside of her when she went to visit the doctor for an ultrasound or similar procedures. A cultivator, however, could have a proper view inside her body. After a few days of being very cautious, Matayal took a closer look.

Inside of her were three tiny figures. Even with all of them, they were comfortably sharing the space in her womb without pressing on anything nearby. With no physical mechanism it would have seemed that they could not be the cause of her sickness, but that was only partially right- for one of them was quite overexcited and greedily drawing upon all of the water element within reach. At least, as much as a growing child that hardly even had human shape could. Even so, the energy inside of Matayal was disrupted significantly since she only focused on resisting outside changes.

She spoke with John, partly as a way to think things through and partly for actual advice. “What do you think I should do? It seems unsafe to let spiritual energy inundate them.”

John frowned as the explanation was given to him. He didn’t have much experience with normal pregnancies, and couldn’t do much more than speculate here. “You can stop it?”

“Now that I know what is happening, it isn’t difficult to cut off the flow. But I don’t know if I should. What if they need it somehow?”

“There are reasons most people only start cultivating at the verge of adulthood. It’s quite easy to cause harm to yourself when you don’t know what you’re doing.” John pursed his lips, “I can’t imagine there are any conscious thoughts guiding this. It seems very unsafe.”

“Right,” Matayal said. “But I also can’t entirely stop it. While I am awake I can handle it, but once I’m asleep there’s little I can do. I should normally be able to seal off such a weak presence but… I’m afraid if I do too much I’ll hurt them.”

They sat together in the swaying cabin in silence for a while. “Children are at least supposed to wait a little longer before causing trouble for their parents, right?” At Matayal’s stage of pregnancy, most people wouldn’t even know they were pregnant, if they weren’t cultivators. John sighed. “We’ll have to ask someone who knows more about this stuff. Until then… we just have to watch over them?” Matayal nodded. “What about the other two? Are they not causing any trouble?”

“Not currently,” Matayal said. “I’ve allowed some free water energy to go near them, but there is no reaction. I think we should ask the captain to detour to Kaimana.”

“Where the Mulyani clan is?”

Matayal nodded. “Neither my mother nor grandmother still live. She would be the best option for pregnancy related questions.”

“But she’d also be the first to know.”

“She can keep silent when it suits her. And it shouldn’t be a problem if people know if everything goes well.”

Since the entire point was to try to assure that, John supposed it made sense. He just hoped everything worked out.

—–

Matayal was sleeping peacefully with her head on John’s lap. It was not actually required, but it was the best way for John to remain awake while still close to her in a way that wouldn’t wake her. As she slept, he watched over her… and their children. His energy very carefully found its way inside her, to her womb. It was metaphysically very close to the dantian, the core of her cultivation, which allowed for energy to flow into it rather easily. 

John carefully guided the streams of water energy pulling from everywhere they could. He didn’t have a water element totem, but he had years of cultivation experience. He absolutely had to be better at controlling energy than an unborn and hardly developed child. 

He didn’t really have to do much. They had decided that completely cutting off the child from energy might hinder their development, so they were instead watching over them at all hours. Most of the work ended up falling to Matayal, but John was at least able to cover for her while she slept. He just had to make sure it was a gentle flow instead of a crashing tide or raging river that might harm the child. 

The actual quantity of spiritual energy was as tiny as the little being drawing it in, but that didn’t mean it couldn’t be harmful. As for what happened to the energy when it was absorbed, they were both unsure. The child didn’t seem to have fully developed meridians or a dantian, and the energy just sunk into their body and disappeared. Or rather, it was used up- the difference being that it was certainly doing something. By every measure they could think of the child was perfectly healthy, perhaps even more so than the two others, but they constantly stayed on alert, never allowing too much energy in at once.

—–

Captain Terri was perfectly happy to re-route to Kaimana. It happened to be closer, and since the pay would be the same and there were no other passengers to worry about, listening to the demands of her temporary employers suited her just fine. They were much less problematic than some young masters and mistresses, though few of them made their way onto such an unremarkable ship. Either way, they didn’t complain about the food or the storms or anything.

Except for the wife’s sickness, but those complaints weren’t directed at her or the crew when they very well could have been. As they approached Kaimana, she was beginning to think everything would go without incident. 

Then she felt the tension of an approaching storm. However, this one wasn’t natural but a caused by something. It also wasn’t the sort of thing that could be avoided. The Rattler wasn’t a ship made for speed, but even if it was Captain Terri honestly didn’t know if it would matter. Could anything outrun whatever it was that caused the oceans to froth so wildly?

“All hands, battle stations!” she called out. She wasn’t sure if it would matter, but it was better that they prepare as much as possible. That way, someone might survive. That was what she was thinking, but she’d made a mistake. Being ready wouldn’t matter at all.

A bolt of lightning shot out of the water, traversing the distance in an instant. The figure appeared behind her, and she couldn’t even turn around to face it. And then… nothing. Not for a few moments, at least.

“Hey,” a strong voice called out. Completely unnecessary if it were talking to her. “Are you two coming out?”

Captain Terri turned her head. She saw the figure of an old woman, wind swirling around her and lightning crackling between her fingers. So. A person. And a Consolidated Soul Phase cultivator at that. Perhaps her guests would stand a chance, but her crew wouldn’t.

“Yeah yeah,” came the reply. “We’re coming.” The man popped his head out from down below. Fortkran, his name was. “It takes a second, you know.” The pair climbed out from below decks, looking completely unafraid.

Captain Terri managed to relax slightly. 

“You two should have told me you were coming to visit,” the old woman said. Terri’s expression managed to relax as she realized she probably wasn’t going to die.

“And how could we get that information here ahead of ourselves?”

“Good point,” the woman said. “Have you been paid?” Her eyes locked on Captain Terri.

Before she could respond, the wife responded, “Half. We have-”

A large sack was dropped onto the deck. “That should cover it. Come on you two, let’s go!” The whirlwind of a woman swept up the two, half carrying them off the boat before stopping. “Oh, almost forgot your guards.” At that point they had made their way out from below decks… and then they were gone.

Captain Terri looked into the sack. She couldn’t tell if she had been over or under paid. Sure, it was more than she’d asked for, but she also hadn’t bargained for a heart attack.

—–

Matayal grimaced as everyone was tossed into the little boat Kusuma had half brought to them. “Could you be more careful?”

“I’m always careful,” Kusuma said. “Shouldn’t be anything worse than a few hairs out of place.”

Matayal glared at her. Despite the fact that she suddenly pulled them away, there really had been no harm done. But the look in Matayal’s eyes softened Kusuma’s cavalier attitude. 

“I was just excited,” she commented. “Nobody ever comes to see old Kusuma, you know.”

Nobody commented on the small fleet of ships moored in the harbor that might have all been intending to see her, or at least the Mulyani clan. For one thing, they knew the difference between seeing a person and meeting with a clan. They could be completely different.

Kaimana was not terribly exciting to look at. It didn’t have the same wonder as Pualani with its flower shaped arrangement of connected islands, but instead it was just one big mountain. It still had a beautiful beach and a tropical flare to everything growing on the slopes, but it managed to look almost normal. Except for the dark storm cloud menacing the very peak.

“So what brings you here?” Kusuma asked as they began the long trek up the mountain. The Mulyani clan doubtless had carriages that could bring them, but it was also extremely likely that Kusuma had just run down to meet them without thinking about one.

“I had some questions for you,” Matayal replied. “Some of which would better be asked behind closed doors.”

“You want my secrets to cultivation?” Kusuma said flippantly, “I suppose I could share those.”

“Something like that,” Matayal said. She wasn’t exactly hiding her constant but small use of energy, but she wasn’t drawing attention to it either.

When they reached the peak of the mountain, large gates were opened for them. The Mulyani clan did not actually have many members, but they had a large number of hired guards. A few people John and Matayal recognized from various events inclined their heads as they passed, but nobody interrupted the matriarch’s march to a private sitting room. 

It was likely that their four bodyguards already had some suspicions about what had been happening with Matayal, but they were still left outside for the discussion. They could be trusted with secret information, but some things simply didn’t need to be shared.

Once they were alone, Matayal cut straight to the point. “I’m pregnant,” she said. “And one of them is absorbing water elemental spiritual energy with great vigor.”

“Well congratulations!” Kusuma grinned widely. “It took you two a while.”

“Not really,” Matayal said. “We barely started trying. Anyway… we were hoping you could tell us more. Is this sort of thing… normal?”

“Absorbing water element you say?” Kusuma furrowed her brow. “Can I see?”

Matayal nodded slowly. Kusuma and the Mulyani clan were steadfast allies of the Brandle clan, and this was the exact reason she had come. It was difficult to trust someone with something so personal to her, but if Kusuma intended to cause harm she could just do it. Especially now that she was in Consolidated Soul Phase. 

Kusuma very carefully reached her air elemental spiritual energy inside Matayal. Nobody said anything for a few minutes, just waiting and observing. Then she slowly withdrew. “Well,” Kusuma finally said, “It’s probably a good thing. Though it’s a bit complicated by the fact that there’s three in there.”

“Do you know something?” John asked nervously.

“It’s nothing crazy,” Kusuma said. “Just a strong affinity for an element. It should be a good thing.”

“Except…?” Matayal wrung her hands nervously.

“Except for the others in there. That kid could really screw up their elemental balance,” Kusuma scratched her chin. “It’s a bit odd though. Usually such a thing comes about when two cultivators share an element.”

John shared a look with Matayal, then returned to Kusuma. “Could it be something caused by my cultivation?” he asked. “I don’t believe attempting a cycle of elements is common.”

“Wish I could tell you,” Kusuma said. “But you’re right. It’s quite rare. And even then, I’d imagine a case like yours to be even more rare.”

“About the elemental imbalance,” Matayal asked. “What does that mean?”

“Well, my memory isn’t quite perfect,” Kusuma said honestly. “I don’t want to worry you. But I do recall that more often than not, when cultivators have twins often one gets all the cultivation talent. Especially with a strong affinity like that. Unfortunately there aren’t that many records on such things. It’s not only rare, but as woman’s business it’s often deemed unimportant.”

“That’s stupid,” John said. “Literally everyone has to be born. Knowing what can go wrong with pregnancies is the most important thing.”

“Agreed,” Kusuma said. “But the world is stupid sometimes. That said, I think I have a few records salvaged from somewhere or other. We might be able to dig them out and shed some more light on your situation.”

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