Later at night, Gwen sneaked out of bed after she made sure Merlin was asleep. She knew Meliodas or Ban were still awake for their drinking session. She came in time to see Meliodas and Ban just wanted to start their drink session.
"uncle Ban, big brother Meliodas, can you help me?", Gwen revealed a necklace with beautiful stone, a gem with beautiful colors but its chain broke "when Veronica pushed me and tried to drag princess Ellie away, it broke and it was also the main reason of why I snapped out of my calm and fought with Veronica".
Meliodas inspected the gem of the necklace "it's beautiful. Is it from Merlin?".
Gwen shook her head before she told the beautiful gem in shape of teardrop was her birthstone that she had gotten from her parent "father told me once, that stone has been with me ever since I was born. Mommy also told me that birthstone is sort-of my protection charm and I should keep it close with me, so mommy made it into necklace but its chain broke".
Meliodas hummed "it's so tiny, but I will try".
Ban leaned his chin on his palm, rolling his eyes to Gwen who sat on his lap "and why did you not tell Merlin about it, li'l Gwen~?".
Gwen puffed her cheek, leaned her head on his chest "...I was afraid if mommy would scold me or feel disappointed because I couldn't take care of my things, so I only told half story".
"it's done?!", Meliodas triumphantly tied the cord of the chain from the necklace after he fixed its chain "now you're good to go?!".
Looking down to her necklace that had been fixed by Meliodas, Gwen smiled broadly and jumped to Meliodas to hug him "thank you, big brother!?".
"also, I don't think Merlin would be angry to you just because of this", Meliodas patted her head and turned to the door "right, Merlin?".
"do you seriously think I wouldn't realize it that you tried to sneak out of bed when I was asleep?", the door creaked open. Merlin smiled knowingly, waving her hand "let's go back to sleep. You said you want to read more books tomorrow, right?".
"yes!?", Gwen trotted and reached out her hand. Holding Merlin's hand, Gwen waved her hand back "thank you and good night, big brother Meliodas and uncle Ban".
Ban and Meliodas waved back before Ban caressed his chin "speaking of which, I understand why li'l Gwen called Merlin as 'mommy'... Diane as 'big sister'... you as 'big brother'... but why does she group me with Gowther, Escanor and King, calling us 'uncle'?".
Meliodas lazily shrugged "because you look older than me and around their age?".
Ban scoffed "we don't even know how Gowther looked like within his ever-present armor while King and Escanor clearly look older than me".
Meliodas grinned and chuckled "what? You want li'l Gwen to call you as big brother?".
What were people thinking when Merlin was mentioned?
Strongest and greatest sorceress of all Britannia. Check.
Beautiful and sexy woman (also intelligent, kind and cheerful, courtesy by Escanor). Check.
An eccentric one who really liked anything rare (courtesy by Meliodas). Check.
Always locked herself for her research and had deep thirst of knowledge. Check.
Adopted a little girl as her daughter lately despite she never married? It invited attentions from people around her, of course. As long as they had known or acquainted with Merlin, never had they heard about her love-life and it had been mysterious. So looking at Merlin carried Gwen around the hallway of the Castle as she went to her workplace had the workers on the castle ogled them.
Swinging her legs up and down, Gwen blinked her eyes in confusion "mommy, why do people keep ogling to us when we passed them by?".
Merlin realized it but chose to ignore it, still carrying Gwen as she walked to her laboratory after a week off "why exactly do you think?".
She innocently leaned her head to Merlin's shoulder as she wrapped her arms around her neck "because you're so beautiful".
Merlin laughed in amusement "aw, you're so cute".
"someone pinch my cheek if I'm dreaming", mumbled one of Knight who shocked by this and after one of his comrades pinched him, he ridiculously caressed his stinging cheek "okay, I'm not".
"I don't expect this side at all from Lady Merlin", whispered one of maids on the castle "but her adopted daughter is so adorable?!".
"agreed?! She makes me want to pinch her cheeks!?", said another one of maids.
"see? I, Gowther and Ban won the bet", Meliodas reached his hand out with smug smirk "where is my prize?".
Ban and Meliodas grinned broadly. They had a gamble with Escanor, Diane, King and Gowther about how the workers on the castle would react when Merlin brought Gwen with her to her workplace. The result was, the Knights were shocked and the maids stunned.
When Merlin arrived on her laboratory and met with Vivian, Vivian shocked "so the rumour that you adopted a daughter is the truth, Master?!".
"of course. Since she is my successor, she also will learn magic and sorcery with you", Merlin smirked when she saw Vivian's reaction after knowing that Merlin chose Gwen over her as her successor. She introduced them to each other "Vivian, this is my daughter, Gwen. Gwen, this is my apprentice, Vivian. Like I said before, you can read books from the libraries in this Castle and learn as much as you want while I'm working with my research. I will pick you up when we go home at the dusk".
"how many libraries here, mother?", Gwen asked after Merlin put her down to the floor but before she got the answer from Merlin, Gwen already had the map of the Liones Kingdom's Capital on her head thanks to Gowther's power, 'Invasion'. Looking behind, Gwen beamed up and she wrapped her arms around Gowther's ever-present armor "oh, it really helps me?! Thank you, uncle Gowther?!".
Gowther kneeled in front of Gwen, offering to carry her "I will come with you because I want to read book as well".
"go with Gowther, you will get free-pass", Merlin encouraged, tapping her shoulder "be careful".
Sitting on Gowther's shoulder, Gwen waved her hand "I will see you later, mommy".
"Master, I thought you said she is your successor and she will learn with me? why did you let her run off outside instead?", Vivian was baffled to see Merlin let Gowther bringing Gwen "and above all, you chose her as your successor?!".
"she just needs a week to read all books on my home so she said she wanted to read all books on the Castle", Merlin crossed her arms and rolled her eyes to Vivian before opening one of her book "she is a child prodigy. You're supposed to know from how fluent she's talking on her 3 years old. Would you believe me? She just read and saw me practice a magic spell. Just with one glance, she could imitate my magic spell".
Last night, King argued with Ban, again. Merlin accidentally saw Gwen just read a book of magic spell and she practiced how to use telekinesis (a magic spell to move things without touch them). Merlin was curious and she told Gwen to try to throw things to Ban and surprisingly, Gwen successfully was able to use telekinesis magic spell and Ban was ended up buried under a pile of books and utensils that Gwen threw to him. Ban didn't have the heart to yell at Gwen though, not after Gwen apologized to him with those big round, teary puffy eyes, so Ban forgave her.
Vivian didn't believe Merlin that easily. As a proof for her Master's word, Vivian tried to play pranks on Gwen when Gwen played with Elizabeth and Margaret on the garden. Margaret told Gwen to take rest time after their lesson and she was the first who realize Vivian's action. It was not that bad, Vivian just wanted to send electric waves to shock Gwen and see if what she could do with it. Meliodas and Gilthunder were on the hallway upstairs on their sword training session, both heard Margaret's shout. When they turned their head down to look what happened, Meliodas was surprised to see Vivian send electric waves directly towards Gwen which might hit Elizabeth. Before Meliodas had a chance to use his 'Full Counter' and jumped to in front of Gwen, Gwen reached her hand out forward and created a shield from water of the nearby pond.
Elizabeth dropped to her butt and jaw-dropped in awe "whoa... what is that?".
"nothing, I simply use telekinesis. I haven't able to create the element like mother yet", Gwen moved her hand "water can dissolve and restrain the thunder element. Now it's my time to pay you back".
Vivian was poured by the water which had the electric waves on it. Not only soaked wet, she was also got hit by electric waves "KYAAA!?".
As Vivian collapsed in charred slump on the ground, Meliodas ran to them and kneeled near Gwen and Elizabeth "Elizabeth!? Gwen?! Are you okay?!".
Gwen shrugged "like you see, big brother. We're okay".
Margaret approached them, hastily checked on her sister and her new friend "Ellie, Gwen, you're really not injured at all?".
"um!? I'm fine, thanks to Gwen?!", Elizabeth stood with sparkles on her eyes "she's amazing?!".
Meliodas, Margaret and Gilthunder felt relieved, though two latter turned pale when they saw Meliodas glared to Vivian with dark aura surrounding his body though next second, Meliodas smirked "at first, I wanted to warn you for trying to attack the 3 years old little girl with your magic spell but looks like I will leave it to you this time, Merlin".
Vivian turned deadly pale when Meliodas mentioned her name and she felt dangerous threatening aura from behind.
Merlin stood tall, crossing her hands behind him "do you think I didn't realize your envy to my daughter or your intention, Vivian?".
Gwen clapped her tiny fist above her palm "oh, so that's why mommy told me that I can't use my magic spell to whoever carelessly but if Vivian made a prank with me, I should just pay her back ten-fold?".
Meliodas narrowed his eyes slightly as Elizabeth, Margaret and Gilthunder hiding behind him "Merlin, what did you teach her actually?".
"what you get when you dare to mess up with my daughter", Merlin put her hands on her hip and smiled sadistically, looking down with icy glare to Vivian "now, it's time for you to get the punishment from me, Vivian
They heard Vivian shrieked in fear from far distance as Merlin dragged her back to laboratory "NO!? I APOLOGIZE!? I STILL WANT TO LIVE, MASTER?!".
Margaret sighed in relief after Merlin and Vivian were out of their sight "Lady Merlin was so scary".
Even Meliodas admitted it after he heard Merlin's evil laughter when Merlin dragged her disobedient apprentice "scary".
Instead, Gwen lifted her fists with sparkling eyes "mommy is so cool... I have to try harder to become more like her".
Meliodas waved his hand "no, Gwen, how could you see it that way?".