Year 1398 in Manegia
“Hold him down!” Ronald yelled, pointing his finger.
In the Illyer mansion, right in the entryway to the dining hall, a couple of maids and butlers pinned down a shifty-looking man dressed in the same butler uniform.
While said man was unconscious, courtesy to a roundhouse to the back of his head from a certain tall Court Wizard, it’s still a good idea to restrain him.
Especially after what he did.
“Dear! Hang in there!”
“Get a healer, quick!”
On the other side, the Illyers and named spirits were on the floor as they gathered over the duke who was the first to casually sip the tea containing poison received from the shifty man, collapsing as a result.
The others who were spared from the fast-acting poison quickly fell to distraught, hunching over the groaning duke, begging him to stay alive.
“What is that!?”
Suddenly, a bright kaleidoscopic light bathed the room as a vertical beam of rainbow burst out from an empty spot in the place. This, of course, caught the attention of many, their mouths agape by the otherworldly sight.
But some knew what it was.
“Good.” At the Court Wizards’ side, Ronald and Joshua sighed in relief. “The doctor’s here,” Joshua remarked.
“I must say.” Sitting behind the desk in his office, after convincing his clinging wife to release him, Allister, duke Illyer, said in a joyful tone as he did his paperwork, “I am the picture of health even though I just drank poison. The healer you have sent did his job quite admirably.”
“True,” Oswald, the head knight of Illyer, who was there, nodded. “We admittedly would not be able to address such cowardly method.”
Yeah right, ‘healer’. (Joshua)
I still don’t get the ‘death’ Element able to do the exact opposite, covering what the ‘life’ Element can’t heal. Heck, even the healing Element can kill people!
That’s the two most powerful Elements for you. But still, it’s not every day you need to purge poison or disease from an old man. Most of the time they’re just stab wounds. (Joshua)
Why do I feel like you are jinxing something?
“Yes,” the duke continued. “I must thank him for saving me though he left in a hurry.”
“Alright, the patient should be fine now,” the bronze-haired doctor wiped his sweat as he stood up and immediately went to where he came from.
“Leaving already, doctor Mav?” Ronald asked.
“Correct.” The doctor, Mav, tipped his nonexistent hat, “my job here is done, and other people need me. Ciao!” and gave a salute.
“Yeah, doctor Mav’s always like that.” Joshua shrugged, sitting in a chair brought into the very same room he crashed into through the window. “Pop in, heal some guy, and leave.”
“I see,” the duke chuckled. “Well, send my gratitude to him. Although I do wonder how he was able to arrive so quickly? It is as if he knew what fate would befall me.”
“Believe us, duke Illyer, we don’t know either,” Ronald smiled wryly, readjusting the same suit he wore back at the breakfast. “The doctor claimed to have a sixth sense beyond ‘borders’ for these sorts of things. That and he’s almost always at ‘there’ when his services are needed.”
Another thing that happened was that ever since the carriage attack plus kidnapping (in which the duke decided to stay put in his town ever since), they decided to refrain from speaking Otherworldly Court terms so the Van faction wouldn’t hear which apparently suited the Illyers just fine since they somehow became awkward saying them after that breakfast.
“However,” the duke shifted his tone. “This has been the closest attempt to assassinate right now. It is quite appalling.”
“Yes,” Oswald added. “It appears that the assassin stole the uniform when it was being dried – one of the maids reported it missing which confirms it.
“Then, he simply prepared the poisoned tea and served it as any butler would – he must be very skilled to keep his face low long enough to not be noticed by any of us until it was too late.”
And originally, the first attempt was poisoning, just that miss Willow could not see through it.
Yeah… guess twice’s the charm, even though it’s supposed to be third. (Joshua)
“Hah… it was only fortunate that only I consumed it,” the duke sighed, especially when the other cups were confirmed to be poisoned too. Looking at the Court Wizards. “How many attempts prince Van made against me does this make so far then?” he asked.
“Let’s see,” Ronald started listing. “The breakfast attempt, the carriage assault and kidnapping, another attempted kidnapping, various direct assaults when you’re only just outside the mansion, all the multiple break-in attempts, the more absurd attempts I’m not going to say, and the poisoning today.”
“Well that’s a freaking lot,” Joshua commented. “And most of them are towards duke Illyer too, not the first prince.”
“I suppose Van doesn’t want to ascend the throne as a brother-slayer.” Ronald shrugged. “Though he doesn’t seem to mind either if the push comes to shove.”
“Is that so?” the duke drooped his eyebrows. “But, be it as it may be, it at least lifts a target off of prince Albert’s back.
“And thinking about it, we have been through a lot for almost a year, have we not?” the duke remarked. “This has certainly become the most interesting chapter in my, no, our lives.”
“Yes,” Oswald nodded. “Never in my life I would expect my lord to come to me and say that he had allied with the likes of you two, then having the honor to experience everything you have to offer personally.”
“And to be honest,” the duke added, looking at the Court Wizards. “We may not be able to survive against Van’s machinations without your help – I am only good for direct war, not the secret kind, after all.”
Smiling warmly, the duke chalked it all up by saying, “So thank you, you two.”
“Aw, shucks!” Joshua grinned. lightly slapping his kneecap. “No need to get so sentimental, duke Illyer.”
“Indeed,” Ronald smiled as he nodded.
“But in any case,” Oswald interrupted, shifted back to his head knight mode. “With recent events, we will have to tighten security yet again.
“I suggest posting the knights who are familiar with the staff to patrol around the mansion to look out for any intruders – the staff can help out as well. As we all know each other’s faces very well, we should be able to spot anyone unfamiliar, yet in familiar clothing. We only need to make it a habit to confirm one’s identity every time we pass by.”
“Hm, I suppose we will have to do it.” The duke rolled his eyes, also reverting back to seriousness. “Well then, let us make the arrangements,” he said before turning to the Court Wizards. “How about you two?”
“Yeah, that’s not our area of expertise.” Joshua shrugged as he stood up. “So we’ll just be on our merry way.”
“Indeed,” Ronald added, getting up from his seat as well. “We’ll let you to it.”
“I see,” the duke nodded. “Farewell then, sir Ronald, sir Joshua.”
“Hey Ronald,” Joshua called his partner/junior. “Since when everyone starts calling us sir Joshua and sir Ronald?”
“Hm, I don’t know.” Ronald shrugged his shoulders.
“It was as if it was all a bad dream,” Irene muttered, her arm resting on her forehead, looking at the ceiling of her bedroom as she reminisced what happened. “Mother practically did not want to let father go.”
“Well yeah,” Layla, the greater spirit candidate Irene named, remarked sarcastically, floating beside her namer. “Your dad just keeled over after drinking tea.”
It was frightening. At one moment, Irene was having breakfast with her family alongside Ronald and Joshua who came to visit. Then, an unfamiliar butler came and gave everyone a cup of tea in which his father drank first and suddenly collapsed.
“Then suddenly,” Irene continued. “The dining hall was bathed in rainbow light and a man in a white coat appeared from it who completely healed father with red-black colored arts.”
“And it reeks!” Layla croaked. “How does that creepy guy’s arts even heal!?”
“Layla…” Irene sighed at the spirit.
Even though it has almost been a year with the Court Wizards, Layla and Neptune, the spirit her father named, were still uncomfortable around them. Even the kaleidoscopic light the Court Wizards used to travel worlds made them startle every time they see an actual rainbow.
“But I do wonder about the art that man used,” Irene said curiously. “Or all of them in that manner.”
“Yeah, dunno! Don’t care!” Layla huffed, covering her ears.
Never minding Layla’s antics, Irene decided to get up from her bed and said, “Well, I suppose I will take a walk for a moment. Do you want to come, Layla?”
“Er… No thanks,” Layla refused, still floating around her namer’s room lazily. “Don’t wanna run into those guys. I can still feel their fractured souls.”
Tilting her head in confusion at the spirit’s last comment, Irene nevertheless decided not to pry further and reached for the door. “Alright then,” she conceded. “I will be back shortly.”
“Kay!” Layla waved.
Passing by the maids and butlers who politely bowed at her, Irene strolled through the hallway, looking outside every window she went by – her father decided not to close every curtain so as to not show falter, just the ones that should for obvious reasons.
“Hm?” Irene’s eyes spied the familiar red-suited man staring out in the window, looking bored. “Sir Ronald?”
Year 1397 in Manegia
“Mister Bell?” On the walking journey back to the carriage after the kidnapping, Irene spoke up to Ronald to ask something. “I-“
“Hm, you know, miss Illyer,” Ronald interrupted. “Being called ‘mister Bell’ doesn’t feel right. It makes me feel old.”
“Huh?” Irene raised her eyebrows. “Then what should I call you then?”
“Just Ronald is fine,” Ronald casually stated. “And Joshua too.”
“Um, I do not know. It sounds too informal…” Irene mulled before figuring, “oh, I know! How about sir Ronald?” she suggested. “And sir Joshua too.”
“…Hm, I suppose that’s fine… lady Irene.” Ronald shrugged whilst smirking.
Somehow, Irene couldn’t help but blush at his statement.
‘Oh, perhaps I should inform the others about this too…’ she thought innocently.
Wait… Did Irene go around telling everyone to call us sir? Ronald realized as he recalled that particular memory almost a year ago upon hearing the familiar voice and turning to see the duke’s daughter, Irene.
But, as Irene came over to him, Ronald had no time to think about it and needed to greet her. Otherwise, he’ll leave her hanging which would be quite awkward and not to mention rude.
“Hm? Lady Irene?” Ronald raised his eyebrow to keep up appearances. “What brings you here?”
He’ll just have to inquire it with the lady herself later down the line.
“Well, I was just taking a stroll in the mansion when I run into you,” Irene replied. “Is sir Joshua not with you?”
“Hm, let’s just say Joshua also happened to run into someone and ditched me,” Ronald smiled wryly. “And how about you? Is Layla not with you?”
“Yes, Layla is still in my room.” Edging closer to Ronald, Irene put her hand beside her mouth and whispered, “and to tell the truth, she did not want to encounter you, which I did.”
“I see,” Ronald chuckled as he darted away his eyes. They’re too… close! He cringed internally, trying to keep the lady’s modesty. And I am not going to let Joshua tease me with that again!
“Huh? What is wrong sir Ronald?” Irene, on the other hand, was blissfully ignorant of the young man’s attempt to preserve her dignity. Fortunately, she stepped back from him as she inquired him.
“No, no. Everything’s fine,” Ronald quickly remarked, breathing easily internally.
“I see,” Irene sighed in relief.
Afterwards, they were in a pregnant pause with both of them just standing there, awkwardly staring at nothing. Ronald couldn’t even bring up that question.
But eventually, Ronald spoke up.
“…Is there anything else you want to talk about?” he asked.
Name: Henry Maverick Age: 37 Sex: Male Species: Human World: Rakarok-Earth World Merge Element: Death Element Color: Red and Black Cherished Armament: ??? Rank: Grand Wizard