Azhure: Also contains missed opportunities with the Rules of Engagement and the Three Philosophies mentioned in book Alicia. I have also created an archive for them here.
“Where are you from, mister Bell?” Irene asked while slicing bread.
“A faraway land,” Ronald swiftly replied. It has been the textbook phrase for Court Wizards whenever someone asked them of their place of origin.
“And where is it, exactly?” Irene inquired further.
“A faraway land,” the Bell heir repeated.
“And what faraway land is it?” Irene inquired again, with her tone getting annoyed.
She’s not buying it.
Well, we’re gonna reveal ourselves anyway. Why not tell her? (Joshua)
It’s way too early to tell, they say that people are more willing to listen more open-mindedly after a good meal.
Although the Illyers were the ones who needed the support, what they wanted was the Bell Conglomerate, not the Otherworldly Court Ronald and Joshua were offering.
Though the Illyers were certainly desperate for help, anything offensive or bad impressions to the Illyers beforehand could hurt their chances for cooperation given the nature of the Otherworldly Court.
Specifically, whether they will believe the Otherworldly Court with its altruistic goals and the existence of other worlds.
“Remember, boys. Given your track record, any foolish acts could make you a sorry excuse of con-men and jeopardize the entire operation, do not make any slight of weakness. Is that clear?”
And Fire Guardian Gertrude made sure to drill it to the boys’ heads. Hence the business suits from Kaomagi Earth to provide a bit more legitimacy of what they will reveal to the Illyers and prince.
Right, but you gotta give her something to be satisfied with, for now. (Joshua)
“Is something wrong?” Irene asked for all she saw was Ronald spacing out.
“Nothing wrong, just in my thoughts,” Ronald quickly replied. Literally.
“Are you unwilling to divulge due to you, or rather your father’s image?” Allister deduced. “We will keep it to ourselves if that comforts you.”
“And my curiosity certainly will not leak outside,” the prince, Albert, interjected.
Great, they want to know now too. Should we spout some random territory? (Joshua)
And then turn around saying we lied? That’ll make us less believable.
Yeah, let’s not do that. (Joshua)
Ronald looked at the Illyers and prince, awaiting an answer. Anymore dallying would be rude.
So, with more brain-racking, this was all he could say, “In due time, duke Illyer. In due time.”
“…I see,” Allister nodded. “I will be patient.”
“Sure,” Albert relented. “As long as you tell us.”
That worked!? (Joshua)
Well, they’re the ones who needed allies. So they’re also trying not to offend us.
CHOP SLICE CHOP
“Your table manners are good,” Irene praised as she watched Ronald gracefully cut his breakfast with his eating utensils. “You too, mister Ruze,” she further praised, looking over to the tall young man.
“As my daughter said, though both of you are traveling, you maintain a fine cutlery skill,” Allister noted. “Impressive.”
“We practiced,” Ronald shrugged.
And by practice, a week-long spartan training in eating food ‘properly.’ I do not want to go through it again. (Joshua)
Who knew Rose could be so strict and forceful when it comes to using a knife and fork.
“Tell me,” Allister spoke. “Are you unmarried, mister Bell?”
“Yes,” Ronald responded without much thought. “Why’d you ask?”
“I am simply wondering,” Allister replied. “With the succession war, I admittedly kept my daughters sheltered. And so, they have passed their marriageable age,” he explained while his eldest daughter, Irene, rolled her eyes. “Though my youngest daughter, Elaine, is engaged to his highness.”
“But we decided to be wed after the situation is sorted,” Albert added, putting his arm behind his fiancee, Elaine, who blushed.
How lovely. (Joshua)
“His highness is engaged to your youngest daughter?” Ronald inquired regarding the two. “Not the eldest?”
“Yes,” Allister nodded. “Initially, his highness was engaged to Irene,” he said, eyeing his eldest daughter.
On cue, “But we both know we were never meant together,” Irene finished bluntly. “His highness and younger sister fell in love with each other instead.”
“And I wanted for the best for my daughters, so I had no reason not to transfer the engagement,” the duke continued, looking at the young couple.
Whoa, marrying for love in high society? It’s gotta have some drama at least. Might make a good show. (Joshua)
Quite, and it’s most likely possible due to being in the same family.
“I see. It must be quite the tale for it to happen,” Ronald revealed what was in his mental conversation with Joshua.
“Yes, and it has left Irene with no partner right now,” Allister concluded in a somber tone.
He’s probably trying to hook you up with his daughter. (Joshua)
As if, I’m just the son of a ‘humble merchant’ who’s, albeit, pretty successful and she is the daughter of a duke. There is still a huge social gap, she’ll marry another nobleman who might be way younger than her.
Sure… If what you’re staring at has anything to go by. (Joshua)
I hate you.
You’re welcome. ‘sides, she’s kinda a loner by what her overprotective dad said. (Joshua)
Well, at least we know he’s a good father.
Uncharacteristically plopping into her bed, Irene gave a huge yawn as she stretched her limbs, having already taken off her dress for something more casual.
Just before, she overheard the maids gossiping over the recent events.
“Poor Willow,” Layla, who was hovering above her namer, grieved. “She can’t seem to get enough of it. The maids teasing her over tall prince charming.”
The weak-bodied maid Willow was particularly being in the center of it, due to her mishap with the Court Wizard Joshua Ruze. In any case, the maids seemed to fawn over the young men.
“Well, are you okay now, Layla?” Irene asked the spirit, seeing that her demeanor has become normal after her and Neptune’s excessive fright over the Court Wizards.
“Eh… No,” Layla denied. “I still don’t think you should get involved with them.”
“Really? They seem to be good people with integrity,” Irene concurred, looking up at the greater spirit candidate. “They are also philosophical too, what they mentioned at breakfast was one of their Three Philosophies.
“It was what made their third rule of their Rules of Engagement, choose for the betterment of the world. It appears to be broadly termed to allow them to help us.”
“Hmm, I don’t know,” Layla shrugged. “But Rules of Engagement and Three Philosophies sounds uncreative.”
“That, I have to agree,” the duke’s daughter sighed.
“Also, they’re probably not gonna be here all the time, they got their private lives in their world too,” Layla said. “As they put it bluntly on their sixth rule to just save their skin if this world’s kaput, they might abandon us if it gets too tough.”
“Yes,” Irene nodded, with her head still resting on the pillow. “And it seemed contradictory too. Apparently, the other half of their Rules are for their own protection.”
“Makes sense, you can’t protect other worlds if you died on one of ’em,” the spirit bluntly stated.
“Let us not speak something so grim, something else.” Irene tried to change the subject, which she knew what to change into. “How about the outfits the Court Wizards wore. It looked very nice.”
“Um, it’s just a cloak,” Layla said, confused over her namer’s fashion sense.
“I meant what was underneath their cloaks, their suits as they called it.” Irene deadpanned.
Walking out of the gate of the Illyer mansion, Joshua stretched his arms. “That went well,” he said.
“Indeed,” Ralph Arnald, the Bell Branch manager of the Illyer’s city, nodded. “A fine job you did, mister Bell.”
“Thank you.” Ronald readjusted his tie once again. “Honestly, the extra pairs of eyes unnerved me.”
“Yeah,” Joshua agreed. “Dozens of maids and butlers lining up against the wall staring at us eating is just plain creepy.”
“Is that so?” the manager chuckled.
“Well, in any case. Can you recommend a good restaurant in these parts, mister Arnald?” Ronald asked the manager.
“Huh?” the manager raised his eyebrows. “But we just ate.”
“About that,” Joshua interjected. “It’s noon right now back in our world, that breakfast was our lunch. And it ain’t enough.”
“Yes,” Ronald nodded. “We are still famished.”
“Oh dear…” the manager furrowed.
Azhure: I decided from now on, stressed words in all italicized text are in bold. Stressed words in normal texts are still in italics.
Voice: What about the only all-capital stress word in Alicia chapter 13!?
Azhure: Just keep it there.
Azhure: By the way, I have exams, so chapters will be slower.