Azhure: While uploading Chapter 2 to SV, I noticed that I made a note saying that I’m going to make 3-4 Memory Chapters. I must’ve forgotten that exist when I planned in the back of my head making a Memory Chapter after every Chapter except and until the previous.
It was by chance through his only, yet reluctant informant for Van to learn that the Bell Conglomerate manager was invited to duke Illyer’s mansion to which he concluded that there was nothing strange to be made out of it. After all, it was obviously to negotiate for cooperation, seeing as all of the duke’s allies were gone, before Van got to him – he was doing that alright.
Even if he doesn’t know what the alliance entailed, he didn’t need to as it was by the prince’s nature that he decided to take the opportunity to assassinate them both. By doing so, he could finally take down his final opponent and hopefully cause more chaos with the death of the most wealthy merchant in town to make sure his half-brother couldn’t pick up where the duke left off.
And it was by chance that it had failed horribly and Van knew next to nothing how it became so.
It certainly wasn’t because his personal assassins were incompetent, they had successfully carried out a couple of hits before. Granted, it was the war hero duke, but that was why Van doubled down and deployed all of them to make sure they got him – he’s also remembered the maid being a backup plan too. However, that just made sure of their entire demise, wasting years and money training them and forcing Van to hire other assassins who fared no better.
But then, when the day the duke finally left the city, that could never be inconspicuous, all the bandits Van funded to literally squat until the duke peeked out were all eliminated in that same day. Even his men he sent to keep an eye on those low-lives had perished. And once again the how other than the massive body count the duke couldn’t and didn’t cover up wasn’t known to Van.
It was then Van began to suspect that the origin of these two disasters lied in the first, that there was more to the seemingly innocent ducal-merchant alliance than it met the eye.
Unless the duke was more shrewd than he thought, Van first suspected that the Conglomerate has connections to various Spirit Mercenaries and he still believed it to be so. Judging by all the bandits killed, they have named spirits even, and from outside the territory, as they couldn’t possibly carry so many talismans let alone waste that many – even if it’s a few powerful ones the second point still stood.
Problem was, he couldn’t find out these Mercenaries. Considering what they did to those brigands, they’d be quite famous. However, none of the famous Spirit Mercenaries Van got a hold onto were them nor do they even have any dealings with the Conglomerate.
But whatever it was, these interlopers had managed to sabotage every attempt Van made against the duke when they were so foolproof against other stubborn nobles and become another thorn in his side. He needed to do something about them.
“To think Allister would do such a thing…”
“My condolences, father, but it is true,” Van duly said, sitting across the bedside.
All of the above was interrupted when an attendant barged in and reported that his father, the king of Kirash, had awoken from his unconsciousness for years. Naturally, he’d want to see his sons here.
“And Albert is not even here when I had awoken,” the king continued.
“Yes,” Van nodded. “He is still in duke Illyer’s mansion.”
Of course, when the king woke up, Van quickly informed him what had happened in his absence; how duke Illyer started a succession war, how it went, Albert’s semi-permanent residence in Illyer manor, and the countless attempts Van made to get rid of his main competitor that had failed due to those international interlopers. Suffice to say, the king was quite unpleased with the state of events, which elated the second prince; perhaps his seat of king will be guaranteed now?
“Well, it will be harder to name you king now,” the king said as if he already had planned to shatter that expectation of his son. “I know Allister well, he will still be insistent with his stance even with my word, and he has the power to make the court reconsider my decision to name you heir on short notice.”
“I see…” Van uttered, feeling deflated.
“It was my fault that I had been too idle not to name you heir long before this illness befell me. If I did, not even Allister can challenge your consolidated position,” the king rolled his eyes. “But, you said that he is the last person needed to be removed to firmly arrest your claim to the throne, which you have been trying to do, correct?”
“Yes… W-Wait, what!?” Van widened his eyes. He certainly did not expect that to come out of his father’s mouth.
The Illyers have always been a loyal ally of the royal family for generations – the current duke supporting one particular member still counted -, and the royal family, in turn, kept close relations to them as well, especially when they are related to them. In times of war, the royal family always entrusted the Illyers in the command of the army to defend the kingdom and its sovereignty.
And that’s not accounting personal reasons. As far as Van was aware, the duke and the king were like two peas in a pod. Literally growing up together as playmates, Van often heard stories of what sort of improper shenanigans the two went through, though it’s mostly as a warning by the old nannies fed up with his predecessor’s antics. Very ludicrous.
And now that I think about it, I have been trying to eliminate father’s dearest friend! Van realized. He had forgotten how his father would react if Van managed to do so. It must have been that insult getting over his head.
However, based on what his father just said, even he’s willing to!
“Sometimes, you must do what is necessary,” the king explained. “If a piece is not in your control and even going against you, then it is better to cut it down, no matter how useful it is. It is simply not worth it.
“Besides, I also believe the Fichs are in a decline, and unifying the water territory under Kirash’s rule will affirm its safety. Even without the Illyers, it is doable, and once Fichs is conquered they will be unneeded besides their fading blessing. Allister is simply too cautious, not that I can blame him but my point still stand.”
“That is…” Van gaped like a fish out of water. That was very pragmatic of his father, he had thought otherwise with him showering him with love and care. “But, how are we going to get rid of the duke? I have tried many ways to remove him but it all failed.”
“Well… the wards are still active around here right?” the king first asked. The wards he mentioned are nothing more than markers to politely ask the spirits not to snoop around the area which they respect it enough to comply.
“Let me check,” Van then looked up to the ceiling and recited, “oh, water spirits, show me your presence!” There was no response whatsoever.
“Then fetch me some documents, we must keep this between few people as possible,” the king continued. “And listen closely.”
Year 1398 in Manegia
“B-By the spirits! The mansion! It’s burning!”
“What happened! Was it an accident!?”
“Has the duke escaped!?”
That night, the residents of Illyer’s city were woken up by a great red light, an uncommon color in this region, only to witness the mansion of the beloved duke was set ablaze. Murmurs of panic and confusion quickly spread among them. Did some servant accidentally start a fire? Was it arson? And most importantly, has the ducal family living there escaped safe and sound?
Two people, in particular, are going to find that out soon enough.
“What. The. Hell!?” For the first time in a while, or perhaps the very first time, Joshua let out a crasser language than he ever dared upon seeing the destruction with his very eyes.
“How did this happen?” Ronald murmured as he stood with the Ice Court Wizard on top of the nearest building outside the duke’s burning mansion.
They were going to retire for the night after completing an unrelated mission in Osianicd Archipelago which was a long and absurd adventure in it on itself with Rhaims and Rhaims junior, the latter which was not even a Court Wizard yet, when one of the Transporter Room operators assigned to monitor the Open First Prince Faction Support Operation 24/7 gave the most unexpected report.
“T-The mansion, it’s burning down!”
Naturally, this set the Otherworldly Court to overdrive but the unprecedented turn of events has caught them off guard. Just as it was nighttime in Kaomagi Earth in Ronald and Joshua’s time zone and in the Illyer territory in Spiri Raia, it was also nighttime in the Otherworldly Court, or rather the slot of time where most Court Wizards were not working.
Because of this, in the state of emergency, Ronald and Joshua were the only Court Wizards the Court could send first. The operators will try to wake up the Guardians living in the chambers and call every available Court Wizards, but they will be on their own to rescue the Illyers for now.
There was no time to waste.
Launching over a corner of the wall, the two Court Wizards took a peek at the gate to find the gate guards dead, but they weren’t the ones Ronald and Joshua were familiar with – the gate couple was in the morning shift.
BOOM CRACKLE CRACKLE
Looking straight forward, the two saw many men garbed in cloaks, surrounding the mansion throwing what was essentially medieval molotov cocktails – they probably already went through their few fire talismans.
Around them were the corpses of their comrades and the duke’s knights who had fought them. Damn, like the night gate guards from before, the two really got to know them over the year and now they’re dead.
Not letting their deaths be in vain, the Court Wizards [Eject]ed again to better position themselves for a landing. Fortunately, due to the gate in the front, the arsonists were less concentrated in that particular area which suited the Court Wizards just well.
Emotion suppression on.
In an emergency situation like this, there was no time to manually formulate an Order just to pinch a few more maneg – even with a higher thought process, the boys couldn’t find the logic of traditional ordering or long chanting in general.
And so, while Joshua materialized [Emilia’s Left Dagger], Ronald, seeing as he still wasn’t in a good posture to do so, decided to activate his family Order, memorized, enveloping his fists and feet in flames.
Thinking about it in a split second, he almost used this Order most of the time. In Spiri Raia especially, barring the first few times, he almost used it half of the time to either knock out or… eliminate all who came to him. This Order that got him into the Wizard rank really was versatile.
And thinking about it in the remaining second, although one way to promote to the second rank was to take an existing Order and modify it to become a new Order or improve upon it, to think that adding the coat trigger to his feet despite being called [Burning Fist] would promote him into the Wizard rank really made Ronald wonder the Otherworldly Court’s standards sometimes.
Or perhaps it was the notion of breaking the shackles of ‘fist’ holding back its development that got him the rank? Should he officially register it as ‘Burning Limbs?’ His father at least turned the trigger into a spherical trap to choke out the target as opposed to burning the entire body when his grandfather invented the Order, those two examples justified their promotions.
But whatever it was, Ronald will still take credit for it when it was so obvious for anyone else to take it for themselves.
And it’s not like his family Order’s a patented Order used only by them, at least that’s what Ronald believed. Joshua’s Order that promoted him, [Ice Layer], for instance, was used by Master Isaac to seal that entrance…
With the two Court Wizards about to touch the ground, Ronald narrowed his eyes as he struck out his burning foot to kick the head of an unsuspecting arsonist.
Tech: Sword and Magic
Irona, pre-modern fantasy world of sword.
Azhure: Haven’t decided whether or not I should add Irona Earth yet.
- Irona Human Species Module
- Irona Magic-Mutated Animal (Monster) Species Module
- Irona Magic System Module
- Irona Enchanted Equipment Object Module
Azhure: As established before, more Modules will be added when the world is further explored.