Chapter 165 Are you asking me to drink all of it?
"Ladies and gentlemen! That's a wrap!
The winners have been chosen, and what an evening it was!
I can wholeheartedly say, in all my 27 years, this is the greatest Elemental Clash I've witnessed!
We witnessed spellbinding magic mastery, innovative spells, absolute stage dominance, and a surprise from a remarkably talented underdog! It was a sight to behold!"
The announcer announced with an excited look on her face.
"And after such a Grand display, it is now time we Crown our winners. So people of the Vesta City, please put your hands together for this year's champions!"
People screamed in excitement and under their cheers, 4 Mages walked into the Stage.
Then, the Head of the City walked in, personally awarding the winners according to their Tiers. The Tier One Winner being the first to receive the award, and the Tier Four Winner being the last.
The award ceremony soon ended, the Mages who thought they did well were looking at the Vesta Mages, hoping that one of them would recruit them, the lucky ones got what they desired, as for the unlucky ones…
They could only hope to do better next year.
Just like that, the Year 5039's Elemental Clash was over.
The night, however, still wasn't over.
Especially for Vaan, Elara, and Astra.
Vaan who was standing in front of a room while holding Elara's hand, knocked on the door.
"Come in." Astra's calm voice was heard.
A big smile appeared on Vaan's face as he walked into the room together with Elara.
"We are here, mother."
"You did what you said you would, congratulations," Astra commented.
"Were you doubting me?" Vaan questioned with a confident smile on his face, "You didn't have to. It was glaringly obvious that we had no competition." He spoke with an arrogant look on his face.
Normally, Astra would have shut him up and humbled him, however, today, she didn't have any way to do that.
What her son said was true, he had no competition today, heck, he didn't even get to show his full strength and he was already crowned as the Champion.
"I can finally understand what mother used to feel."
Astra shook her head as she glanced at her son. She remember how Elysia tried to tell the same thing to her when she was 20, however, in her younger days, she didn't heed her words. It was only after she went to the Agresia Academy and met Orion did she start changing little by little.
Thinking about it, she couldn't help but think how similar the current Vaan was to younger her.
Astra's eyes then fell on Elara, 'Would she do the same?' she couldn't help but think.
Then noticing how Vaan was holding her hand, she couldn't help but chuckle, 'He has changed a lot compared to before… so quickly that it almost feels unnatural.'
"So, shall we start tonight's party?" Vaan spoke with a big smile on his face. "I have arranged something quite amazing."
"Whatever you have prepared, forget about it," Astra ordered, then, with a smile on her face, she walked towards a wooden cabinet and pulled out a dusty, ornate bottle.
"Since the two of you have made this day special for me, I will allow you to drink this."
"What is this?" Vaan questioned, just a glance alone is enough to tell that this was not a normal wine.
"It is a Mystic Wine."
"Mystic Wine…?" Vaan tilted his head in confusion.
"It's a Wine that can only be created by an Advance Mage by continuously injecting the wine barrel with condensed Mana for years. The longer the Barrel is injected by the Mana, the better the wine will be, this in particular has been refined for 300 years and is one of the finest wines that exists in the entire Agresia. It is not something money can buy." Astra spoke.
"Heeehh? You are really going all out, aren't you?" Vaan chuckled.
"Did you think I was some cheapskate?"
"Of course not, my mother is the most generous," Vaan replied with a cheeky smile on his face.
Astra rolled her eyes, her son really knew what to say at what time, his tone, however, made her want to slap him.
"Alright Alright, come and sit."
Astra shook her head as she invited the couple to sit and unlike her attitude with Vaan, as she walked towards Elara, a bright smile appeared on her face and she gently held her hand,
"Is your hand alright?"
"Yes Teacher." Elara nodded.
"You did well today." Astra gently ruffled Elara's head, the red-haired woman closed her eyes and enjoyed her teacher's pats.
Astra hugged Elara and Vaan who saw this scene just continued to stare at it with a deadpan look on his face.
"Are you sure you didn't adopt me?" He questioned.
"I did. I picked you from a dustbin." Astra nodded.
Vaan turned silent.
Elara, on the other hand, laughed out loud before quickly hiding her mouth as saw Vaan staring at her.
"I have this bad feeling that today's drinking session is not going to end well for me," Vaan spoke.
Astra, however, completely ignored his words, brought Elara next to a table and made her sit down. Then, as she sat next to her pupil, she glanced at the other chair beside her and pointed at Vaan. "Sit here."
"The difference in treatment is almost unreal. It is as if you are doing this deliberately." Vaan commented. Astra, however, waved her hand in dismissal, "Don't think too much, it is not healthy for that tiny head of yours.
Now come and sit down."
Lady Astra really wasn't holding back her punches.
Vaan turned silent and sat on the chair Astra pointed at.
Astra placed the wine bottle on the table, then, placing three glasses in front of each of them, she finally uncorked the bottle, releasing a rich, velvety aroma that filled the room. She then poured the wine into delicate crystal glasses, the deep crimson liquid glinting the soft glow of the room.
"Be careful, the Mystic Wine is considerably stronger compared to normal alcoholic drinks you consume, take gentle sips, enjoy its delicacy, and don't be too hard on yourself."
"Heeh? Should Mother be serving us such a strong drink? Shouldn't you be the responsible adult here and tell us not to drink carelessly since it could be harmful for our bodies?" Vaan teased, it was his way of getting back to his mother.
"I am merely following through on the promise I made, I am not someone who goes back to my words."
Astra replied, not minding Vaan's words.
"Also, this drink is not harmful, the compressed Mana negates the negative effects of alcohol, so other than getting drunk quicker than normal and the headache after you wake up the next day, this drink has no other side effects.
Rather than side effects, the drink is actually beneficial to Mages."
"Oh?" Vaan's expression changed.
A smile appeared on Astra's face as well, "Mhm, although minute, the condensed Mana in the drink resonates with a Mage and increases Blood Flow."
"What…? But how does condensed Mana affect our Blood Flow? That shouldn't be possible according to the Theories…" Elara muttered, her mind already thinking about the theories and principles that made such a phenomenon possible.
Seeing her pupil act like that, a proud smile appeared on Astra's face. Just as she would expect from her genius little girl.
"Should we start drinking?"
Vaan, on the other hand, was having a hard time controlling himself. The wine's smell was just too strong for him to ignore it.
However, seeing the deadpan expression that had appeared on his mother's face, Vaan quickly changed his words.
"T-That sounds intriguing indeed, condensed Mana in wine, I mean…" Vaan faked a laugh.
Astra shook her head. "Elara, we shall discuss the Magic Theories related to it later, right now, it is the time we enjoy the night, so forget about everything and,
The Family Head raised her glass and, "To your remarkable performance in the Elemental Clash, to the bonds we have formed, to love, to family, and to the unforgettable memories we will be building together."
The glasses clanked with each other, and the three took the first sips, the wine enveloping them in its sublime richness, Vaan could feel a weird energy flowing through his body, and his eyes widened in pleasant surprise. Elara seemed to have the same expression as well.
A satisfied smile appeared on Astra's face as she noticed Vaan and Elara's reaction. The three continued to drink together, but then,
Two adorable little creatures appeared next to Vaan, their expressions, however, weren't the same cheerful ones they normally have.
"Krriii! Krri kri!!"
They seemed… strangely excited…?
Vaan frowned in confusion.
He had seen this expression on Flamey's face before. It was when he was about to break through and become a 2nd Circle Mage…
He was still far away from becoming a 3rd Circle Mage…
Then why would…
Flamey cheered as she pointed at the Mystic Wine's bottle.
"Mystic Wine…?" Vaan tilted his head.
"Are you asking me to drink all of it?"
Flamey and Splashy nodded.