14.318.Question and Answer

The La-Iin Series
Chapter 318
“Question and Answer”

“Rival-boy’s making an ass out of himself,” La-Iin said, contempt in her tone that day at school. Dosa-Mina twitched in his seat, his eyes wide–or at least, they had been when La-Iin entered the classroom–remaining in a stiff position except when San-Kyung’s head began to droop.
“I wonder what he’s excited about? Maybe there’s something happening after school.” Fer-Shi said.
“Why, Fer-Shi?”
“Why what?”
“Why do you sympathize with rival-boy at all? He’s one of my biggest rivals! No, he’s the biggest. Everyone else who stands in my way is one thing, but he’s intervening in the cultivation of a very important relationship.”
“Dosa-Mina’s a nice boy,” Fer-Shi said. “I wish we could be good friends.”
La-Iin glared at her. “Glare at me all you like, I won’t take back what I said! Besides, even if you and San-Kyung are friends now, isn’t he still turning away your crush?”
“Yes,” La-Iin groaned.
“So I don’t think Dosa-Mina’s standing too much in your way in that case.”
“He still is. When I go out with San-Kyung, it could be an outing between just him and me….of course, he always has to interrupt,” La-Iin said with a sigh as she rested her head on her desk.
“Either way he’s being stupid, shaking like that.”
“Should I ask what’s exciting him?” Fer-Shi asked.
“No. It’s just going to be something stupid, I know it.”
The teacher glanced around at the classroom before quickly walking inside.
“Class, today the Class D teachers and the faculty were discussing a class that needed to be cut for today…unfortunately, that’s my class,” he sighed. “But in return, a professional species studier has come to answer some questions about species study.”
Dosa-Mina sat up straight and his jittering became more intense.
“Oh, so that’s it,” La-Iin said, her tone deadpan.
“What’s it?”
“He’s excited because of the species studier,” La-Iin said.
“Ohhh. Well, it is pretty exciting! I hope he doesn’t ask all the questions though, I’d like to ask some myself!”
“Me too…”
Their history teacher sniffled as a tall Bunety man walked into the classroom, dressed in a suit that seemed too formal for teaching students. He wore a smile as he addressed the classroom.
“Greetings, all. My name is Kaebyk Allo-Paro. I’ve been working in the field of species study for eleven years now, going on twelve. I’ve learned a lot within that time, so any questions you might have, I’m willing to answer. Really, I don’t specialize in any particular field nor for any particular species, which is part of the reason this is a Q&A. And it’s always nice to see people excited to learn. Anyone can ask any amount of questions, but give other people a chance to ask too, okay?”
“Can I have the first question, Mr. Kaebyk!?” Dosa-Mina yelled. La-Iin rolled her eyes.
“Alright! And your name is…?”
“Dslellullar Dosa-Mina, Mr. Kaebyk,” he said. “You could call me an aspiring species studier.”
“So obnoxious…” La-Iin sighed.
“He’s just excited.”
“Oh, a budding species studier!” Allo-Paro seemed excited himself at Dosa-Mina’s words. “That’s great to hear! Maybe you and I will be coworkers someday!” He cleared his throat. “But enough about that. Your question?”
“I’d like to know how Animated Pumpkins can do things like blush and bleed and…other things I won’t say here,” he said. San-Kyung glared in his direction, his cheeks turning pink.
“Well for starters, it’s only Aesthetically Normal Animated Pumpkins that can blush. Anything similar you might see on a standard Animated Pumpkin is…well, it’s not a blood rush, it’s actual blood. As for bleed, that’s because they have a heart obviously, and they need that blood to light flames. The blood of an Animated Pumpkin reacts to the strike that cuts the skin like a match against a matchbox. And since the blood quickly clots, the Animated Pumpkin doesn’t set completely on fire.”
Allo-Paro’s ears lowered as he continued on. “As for that other thing I’m assuming you’re talking about…well, that’s because Animated Pumpkins can reproduce in the Normal’s Way too. It’s an evolutionary adaptation in response to the inconvenient way of reproducing, and an ability that was dormant since the earliest Animated Pumpkins. …and as you know, a species who can reproduce in the Normal’s Way, often has certain…functions and issues similar to that of a Normal’s…”
San-Kyung turned away, looking indignant and embarrassed.
“Okay, well that was awkward! Anyone else?”
La-Iin flew above her seat and raised her hand.
“I have to stop rival-boy from taking all the questions,” she said.
“Hello there! Your name is?”
“Cahongyun La-Iin,” she said. “I want to know if Vampires can use any powers aside from bats, blood and flying!”
“Of course they can!” He said. “For starters there’s the standard V-Puppetry ability, and then there’s blood abilities.”
“Blood abilities!?”
“Yes. Did you know that by sucking certain types of blood directly from the source, you can achieve the temporary usage of that species’ powers? This isn’t always something younger Vampires can do, and when you drink from a store-bought blood often it’s a little diluted so that doesn’t happen. But yeah, there’s more to bloodsucking than just bloodsucking, and drinking from the source can make you a lot more powerful than usual.”
La-Iin’s wings began to flap rapidly. She sat back down in her seat, satisfied.
“And also, we’re looking into an ability some half-Vampires might have, along with half-members of any species, well, except Normal,” he said. “But that’s not just a Vampire’s power it seems like, so I won’t talk about it just yet. Okay, any more questions?”
San-Kyung raised his hand. Dosa-Mina blinked at him in surprise.
“Yes, Mr…?”
“…Molshei,” San-Kyung said quietly and through grit teeth. “…I just want to know what power you’re talking about.”
“Well, I’m not sure how much I can divulge…but basically it’s a Multibreed power so far seemingly available to most, at least we assume, that allows them to change their form,” he said. “When I get back to work, maybe I’ll ask if we can focus our attention more on that. We’ll release a report when we figure it out, so look out for it!” He glanced around the classroom. “Anyone else?”
“Yeah, I have one,” Xhen-Bei asked. “I’d like to know something about Werewolves. How come we don’t break our bones when we jump?”
“Werewolf bones are sturdy to accommodate for that power,” he said. “They’re just naturally that way. They’re also like that to prevent breaking your bones even moreso than in other species because most Werewolf powers are combat-oriented. Stronger bones tend to happen in more physically powerful species like Werewolves and Minomixes, while species with powers less physical tend to have bones the strength of Normal’s bones or weaker. For all their powers, Witches and Warlocks actually have weaker bones on average.”
“So I gots stronger bones than most people here?” Yefu-Shenhao asked.
“Yes, you should. Speaking of, did you have a question?”
“Yeh, if that’s the case, what happens when ya get a Dualbreed that’s weak-boned and strong-boned species?”
“Well, we’re still doing research into all cases,” Allo-Paro admitted. “But it seems like it varies between creating a balance or one becoming dominant. And it doesn’t seem like this depends on the species either. We think it depends on the dominant species. If the species meld well, it becomes a balance, but if one species has decidedly stronger genetics, that species becomes dominant not just power-wise it seems. We found one exception, though, but as a general standpoint, it creates a balance and the bones aren’t particularly strong but they aren’t weak either.”
Yefu-Shenhao gave a nod as if satisfied.
“I have another one!” La-Iin yelled, flying above the class. While listening to the answer to San-Kyung’s question, she felt she had to have this one answered.
“Is there anyway to stop Animated Pumpkins from being weak in November!?”
San-Kyung glared at her, though she didn’t notice it. ‘Is everyone out to humiliate me!?’
“We haven’t found an official way yet,” he said. “Taking care of yourself and practicing on the things that become hard seem to be the primary solution for now. We’ve heard of possible drugs to induce a miniature power surge that reduces the weakness…but such things would likely cause a worse weakness once they wore off. We haven’t been looking into it as often, if I’m being often. There are more standard Animated Pumpkins in the world than there are Aesthetically Normal ones, surprising as it may sound…”
“I have another question,” Dosa-Mina said.
“Tell us, are there any truly incompatible types of Multibreed? Would the rumored person encompassing every species die before they could take more than a few breaths?”
“…that’s a hard one,” Allo-Paro sighed. “We still haven’t figured out everything about every single combination since there are so many….it’s one of our primary fields of study now that we’ve learned so much about Pureblood species. But from what we’ve learned, I don’t think it’s impossible…how genetics play out differ for every Multibreed. So while some species don’t go as well as others, it doesn’t mean they can’t survive. Lizardfoot-Wingyrms and vice-versa have one of the highest mortality rates. If there’s one born to you, you probably won’t have much time with them. But some types of Lizardfeet go better with Wingyrms than others and live longer. Think of it as how Wingyrm-Groundisers can go. Sometimes the wings are fragile and frail and the shield doesn’t cover them, so they end up breaking and either needing to be amputated or coming off naturally. But sometimes they don’t get the Wing-arms. Sometimes the Wing-arms are strong enough to survive even without the shield. And sometimes the Wing-arms get the shield too. It all gets down into genetic lottery there…I don’t know about that rumored person with every species, given that most Multibreeds we’ve studied tend to have just two or three species in them, but I think it’d be possible…they’d just have to be really, really lucky.”
Dosa-Mina wore a satisfied smile. With that answer, he felt he could go the rest of the class without asking any more questions. He was curious to see what the rest of the class might ask.
“I see someone near the back?” Allo-Paro said. Shan-Zetsu was raising his hand, even standing on his desk to get his attention.
“What’s the most species you’ve ever seen in a person?”
Allo-Paro gave an uncertain smile. “Well, that’s not really a species study question…but I once met a couple’s baby that was six species. They were both Tribreeds and each of them had three species each in them. They were all fairly common species and the baby was holding up pretty well so far, but they were taking him to the hospital often just to make sure.”
“Wow, six species?” Gen-Reiya said.
“Yup. Most of the people with those many species are babies though, since it’s still fairly uncommon even to see Dualbreeds….you’ll see a lot more Multibreeds in places like Manemica or Dasdoria than anywhere else, though. Our ancestors stayed in their societies for many years. I think it might be a little bit of instinct to pick a partner who’s the same species as you…”
“Imagine how annoying it gets to say your species name at that many species,” Fer-Shi said to La-Iin.
“Vampire-Normal-Werewolf-Animated Pumpkin-Siren-Lizardfoot-Birdmix-Catori-Ferreniao….” La-Iin grimaced. Fer-Shi gave a quiet chuckle.
“In the back! Did you have a question?”
Fer-Shi hadn’t expected to be called on without raising her hand. She stood on her seat, hoping that Allo-Paro could see her.
“Um! I never really understood why Sirens needed to eat meat to keep their wings strong…”
“That’s alright. Meat contains a nutrient Sirens are unable to produce that keeps their bodies strong. Without it, because their bodies can’t produce the nutrient, they start to waste away. There’s ways to make up for lacking the nutrient, but it won’t keep them going for long, so I recommend a diet of meat for any Siren. …and on a slightly darker note, there’s no point for Sirens to commit cannibalism, because Siren meat obviously doesn’t contain that nutrient.”
Fer-Shi sat down, unsure of whether to feel satisfied or disturbed.
“Um, um!” Rini-Futo raised a claw in the back.
“Yes, Miss…?”
“Shaejaein,” their history teacher said. Allo-Paro nodded.
“Ah. Yes, Miss Shaejaein?”
“Is there any way a Normal could use a power?”
“Not that we know of yet,” he said. “I don’t even think drugs to enhance the powers of other species could induce even V-Puppetry in a Normal. Half-Normals, of course, but Purebloods, no. It’s something we’ve looked into before, but given how pointless it looks, it’s not something we’ve looked into that deep.”
Some of the Normals in class began to look slightly disappointed. Mi-Kou raised her hand.
“Yes, Mi–”
“Sherry,” she said. “What is the most powerful combination of species between the known number of combinations?”
“Er, well, that’s something we’ve been looking into as well,” he said. “But we assume Witches and Warlocks almost certainly always have to play a part. They’re already the strongest Purebloods, so it makes sense they’d produce the strongest Multibreeds. I can’t say for sure right now, but I can tell you a Minomix-Witch would be a powerhouse. That combination of physical strength and sheer usage of powers would be a valuable asset for offense. …of course in this day and age, I’d hope someone like that wouldn’t have to be in that situation.”
Yefu-Shenhao seemed proud that he had mentioned Minomix as one of the species. The next to raise her hand was Ai-Reia.
“Yes, Miss Vampiris? I’ve heard of you before. A lot of species studiers have, if I’m being honest.”
“…that’s nice,” Ai-Reia said politely, though she seemed slightly off-put. “What I’d like to know is, what sort of physiology does a Multibreed person with several protrusions have? I mean to say, someone with wings, horns, you know…”
“I know,” he said. “Well….whatever sort of primary physiology they’d have, except with all the extras! I won’t deny that someone with a frame similar to a Pureblood Normal’s might experience some bone deformations from all those extra protrusions, or even just one extra protrusions. It’s been known that the skeletons of Birdmix-Normals can look quite strange near the wings…we’ve examined a few and there is sometimes a little deformation. It’s similar with Normal-Minomix skeletons. Their skulls can be…well, less than round. But it doesn’t usually cause a problem for the individual, though there have been cases of babies being born with bone problems.”
“I see…” Ai-Reia began to jot the information down in her notebook.
“All right, anyone else?” Allo-Paro called.
“YES!” La-Iin yelled. The students turned to see her as she flew into the air.
“Wow, Miss Cahongyun, you sure are a curious one, huh? And here I thought Mr. Dslellullar would be asking the most questions…”
“I do want to ask more,” Dosa-Mina sighed.
“But since you’re the one raising your arm, what is it?”
“You say you’re an expert, so let’s see you answer this! What’s the true number of powers a Witch or a Warlock has!? In how many species can the male become pregnant!? What’s the life expectancy of a Groundiser-Narwhaltae!? Is it true some species would be able to survive in space with no detriment? Does Animated Pumpkin go well with Vampire? What would happen if someone only had a very small amount of Siren blood in them? What would their voice do then? What are the effects of having someone of another species really far away in your bloodline? Just what are all the details on what happens when a Siren starts to waste away from a lack of meat? What happens to a Vampire when they ignore a blood craving for too long!? And what powers are the most likely to accidentally kill the user!?”
Allo-Paro’s eyes widened and he took a step back. He straightened his tie, stood tall, and faced La-Iin down.
“The true number of powers is unknown because no Witch nor Warlock has ever learned all of them in their lifetime! It is known the number is over one-hundred but a round number probably won’t exist for several years yet! In less than ten species is male pregnancy possible! I believe the exact number of species it’s possible in is six, and that is not counting asexual reproduction by male members of species! Much to your surprise, the life expectancy is about nine-hundred-and-ninety-six for deaths by old age! Death from other causes makes the expectancy from about three-hundred to five-hundred! The exact age varies from country to country! The answer to that is currently unknown! It has not been experimented with for obvious reasons, though it is believed people with Witch blood might be able to! Yes, Vampire-Animated Pumpkin or vice-versa is considered one of the better Dualbreed species in terms of health! The less Siren blood someone has makes their voice less deadly. Half-Sirens’ voices only make the person pass out. So some effect would occur. For Tribreeds with Siren part of them, the voice makes someone partially unconscious. It is assumed that a small amount of Siren blood would only make someone dizzy! You may grow protrusions from that species in your bloodline or develop one of their powers! Something will inevitably happen no matter how far away it is unless the genetics of that species are incredibly recessive! Their flesh may start to rot on their body and parts of their bodies might fall off randomly! Essentially, they begin to rot entirely! That depends on the Vampire! Some go crazy and for others it just disappears! It can also vary on how much blood the Vampire has in them right now! If the Vampire is low on blood and has a blood craving they may go crazy no matter what! And among the top known powers, the flame of Animated Pumpkins due to blood loss, Groundiser sand travel due to injuries sustained from injury under the sand, Hex Change Operation for Witches and Warlocks as well as reality warping due to the strain it puts on the body, bat transformation for young Vampires due to a lack of control and potential development of rabies–which, if I’m being honest, has proven more deadly on half-Vampires–and the jumping ability of Werewolves when used from an incredibly high place due to overestimating how well you can do it!”
Allo-Paro took a few breaths before glaring up at La-Iin. “Happy!?”
“Very,” La-Iin said with a smirk before sitting back down.
“Well, I’m not! Now I have a headache. Thank goodness this class is over. I’m sorry more people didn’t get to ask questions because of the antics of some of the students.” Allo-Paro straightened himself out. “Thank you for the chance, Mr. Chensu.”
“Oh, don’t thank me. You should thank the Principal and Miss Theasis. It was their idea.”
“Okay,” he said with a nod, before leaving the classroom.
“…well, I guess math is next,” their history teacher said. The students groaned.

Shortly after La-Iin sat down in her seat before the last class, Dosa-Mina walked over to her and flicked her forehead.
“That’s for what you did earlier,” Dosa-Mina said before stomping off.
“How’d you make him mad?” Fer-Shi asked, sounding curious.
“Rival-boy’s constantly mad at me when it comes to species study,” she grumbled.


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