Azhure: I’m back, my exams are done.
Azhure: Not saying anything, Voice?
Voice: Isn’t it obvious from the title?
Nameless World Under the Ground
Year 1395 in Manegia
With flashlights in each of their hands, the trio of Court Wizards navigated through the large underground network that the Fire Guardian Gertrude called home.
Fortunately, the ceiling was more than tall enough to accommodate Joshua’s height.
“Damn,” Joshua cursed, shining the flashlight on the ground so he and his group wouldn’t trip. “This place is pitch black.”
“Of course it is, it’s a cave world.” Ronald deadpanned as he carefully watched his step in the limited light there was.
“I do wonder how people could even live here,” Emilia uttered, traversing through the cave better than the boys, she was not even focusing on her flashlight. “Relying solely on pieces of rock that glow occasionally in the ceiling. ‘Brightrock,’ they call it, they could’ve come up with something better, to be honest.”
Brightrock was the world’s ‘natural’ lighting. It made up the rocky ceiling which allowed the unique flora to grow that in turn, allowed life to thrive in this world without a sun by substituting for it. The way it lighted on and off throughout the world strangely worked on a 24-hour basis.
“I don’t know.” Joshua shrugged. “But they sure would be helpful to us right now.”
And currently, the Brightrocks in these parts were off, so the ordinary contraption of the modern era was needed.
“Well anyway, is it really fine to use these?” Emilia asked, shaking her flashlight for emphasis. “Even though we’re not near any civilization.”
“Yeah it’s fine, we’re not breaking the fourth Rule anyway,” Joshua answered. “Besides, there’s a chance light Catalysts will run out of juice. And Light Wizards will eventually knock themselves out if they keep ordering [Shine].”
“Not that there are Light Court Wizards with us,” Emilia smiled wryly.
“And the closest we have is Ronald over there,” Joshua pointed at the other male in the group. “Except the flashlight’s better.
“Although he could keep us warm. But then again, he could set us on fire instead,” he smirked.
“I am confident my Orders will not burn anyone if I don’t want to,” Ronald sterned. “And I’m not a walking heater.”
Incidentally, Brightrocks also warm the area when it’s on, so it’s stupid cold on top of being completely dark right now, hence the Court Wizards’ thick clothing.
“Oh please, your Maneg Soul prevents you from feeling cold, as fake as it is,” Joshua pointed out. “Unlike us.”
It was true that Ronald’s Maneg Soul still inhibited his senses to feel cold, even after the merging. Though the scale was lowered down and his body still physically feel the drop in temperature during and after the merging, even though he doesn’t feel it despite his brain technically does.
But the opposite was true for these two Ice Court Wizards. However, they technically don’t feel cold because they always feel ‘cold.’ It was the same for Ronald; his hands were ‘warm’ all the time, putting them in fire will not faze him as the temperature was already ‘normal’.
“And you have all that extra fat under your skin to keep you warm too,” he teased.
“Oi!” Ronald exclaimed, annoyed. He almost misplaced his step much to the older Court Wizards’ amusement. “I’m not fat anymore!” he continued, recovering himself.
“Sure thing, kid. Sure,” Joshua lazily waved off her free hand. “Anyway, we’re only transferred near the objective. Those two options ain’t viable considering how well we’re finding that nest right now.”
“No sweat,” Ronald muttered, wondering if they’ll ever find it.
“…Right, the nest…” Emilia, however, changes her mood suddenly. Reminded what they were here for.
The other two noticed her expression, but thought nothing of it, as always. They believed they felt the same and understood her predicament with the ever-demanding missions they went through recently. They believe she’ll get used to it in due time – they certainly did.
“You alright, Emilia?” But, Joshua couldn’t help but voice out his concern.
Over the years, they all have gotten close together, always going on adventures together and all, but Ronald noticed that Joshua and Emilia were particularly closer.
“…Y-Yes, I’m fine, Joshua.” Emilia stuttered, not expecting it. “Why do you ask?”
“U-Uh, just asking,” Joshua made a fake coughed. “That’s all.”
Although it looked like them getting into awkward predicaments which ended with the two pulling away from each other, Ronald could tell that wasn’t entirely the case.
“There it is.” From Emilia’s flashlight, its light revealed a tunnel without Brightrock – think of it as a cave in any other world with a sun, which in this nameless underground world translated to a cave within a cave, however, that made sense.
With the light delving deeper into the tunnel, numerous figures on four legs growled being basked in it. Various earthly minerals covered its fur, encasing it like a shell. They have the snout and paws of a hound but the ears and eyes of a feline, making them some sort of cat and dog hybrid.
And behind these beasts with rock-hard skin were their young. Smaller and with smooth skin, not matured yet to gain the armor their parents have by however they obtain it.
As how young living beings tend to behave, these pup-kittens looked scared with the sudden light invading their abode and the adults taking an aggressive stance to protect them.
And one of these adults lifted its upper body and send itself pounding the floor.
And suddenly, the world shook. But the Court Wizards had expected this as they had already taken a balanced stance to ensure they wouldn’t fumble over.
“What were the locals called them again?” Ronald asked the other two, his hand holding against an uneven wall. “Right, they don’t even know they exist. The Guardians dubbed them ‘rocked-skinned half-cat half-dog,’ I remember.”
“Well, they collectively called the wildlife here ‘Cave Monsters’,” Joshua explained. “Maybe our predecessors or a Wanderer coined the term, I don’t see people living here all their lives calling their cave world a cave.”
“Come on,” Emilia interrupted softly, materializing her dual dagger Cherished Armaments. “Let’s get this over with…”
These Cave Monsters were newly discovered, but not by the natives of this underground world, but by Court Wizards – so they were never named. With the capability to cause earthquakes whenever they struck the ground, these Cave Monster could very well collapse the entire world.
But they could be a peaceful species, only using their power for self-defense. Not much was known about their wildlife, after all. They also seem to hide away from other inhabitants, meaning they would not use their terrible ability frequently. So it seemed to be the case
However, these are creatures ruled by instinct and they will eventually encounter the people of this world as their numbers grow. Whatever interactions could happen, the Court Wizards were not willing to take that risk.
And so, the Otherworldly Court has decided to contain the potential threat.
Ronald and Joshua did speak out of the prospect of causing the genocide of an entire species, but the decision was final. Emilia seemed to agree to it as necessary despite what it was.
All for the good of the world Gertrude called home.
“You know,” Joshua started. “The Cave Monsters here can get very absurd. But there aren’t any bat Cave Monsters or anything close to it at all.”
“Perhaps that makes it the most absurd of them all,” Ronald mused.
“Well, I do appreciate you trying to lighten up the mood after what we just did, Joshua.” Was all Emilia said, as they all stood between the bloody carcasses of the slain Cave Monsters, young and mature. None were spared.
Year 1395 in Manegia
In the world the First Guardians decided to use as the standard for categorizing worlds, which has now become a post-modern world, Ronald and Joshua always had to contain their excitement whenever they stepped foot in this kind of world they’ve only seen in fiction.
Especially where and what they’re going to do here now.
Emilia wasn’t excited either as they looked at the camouflaged complex entrenched in the middle of a rainforest of one of the largest islands of an archipelago nation in the modern era that has managed to keep its natural visage mostly intact after centuries of human advancement to the post-modern era.
The Court Wizards themselves were hidden behind the foliage as two guards were carrying futuristic rifles in the front entrance.
“So this is the place, Ben?” Ronald whispered the fourth Court Wizard with them.
“Yep, here’s the place, kids,” the Court Wizard known as Ben, short of Benjamin, confirmed.
Under his robe, he was an aging man with a greying crew cut hair, though regularly shaved, standing about twenty centimeters shorter than Joshua.
Despite his time catching up to him, Ronald saw his cool neon white futuristic jacket over a normal black shirt and white trousers attached to the brim with what was assumed to be his gadgets.
“Another research facility with illegal human experimentations by those parasites festering my homeland,” Ben scowled, conveying his expression with every word. “And this time, inside the rainforest the government’s desperately trying to conserve from those greedy corporations and others, the gall they have!”
Somehow, Ronald felt attacked, though he swore his father nor his late grandfather, whose funeral was a very complicated manner, ever engaged in shady practices and he was certainly taught to be a good boy. Well, perhaps they did circumvent a few laws here and there, but that was to keep the otherworldly secret, literally.
“Well, kids.” Ben calmed down. “Do you still remember the layout of the place from your briefing?”
“Yeah, we do,” Joshua answered, looking at the other two who nodded in unison.
“Right.” Afterwards, rummaging inside his robe, Ben pulled out a white futuristic-looking gun which resembled a P90.
Bluish lines lit up throughout the weapon’s body.
“As planned, you kids cover me while I do the deed,” Ben instructed, readying his firearm. “…You know that’s what you’re in for, right?”
“…Yes,” Emilia answered as if that question was for her.
Hah… Of all times we showed up for work. We just committed genocide against a possibly peaceful cat-dog hybrid species, how troublesome, Ronald internally sighed as the group marched forward with Benjamin forming white electricity in his hand.
Maintain the flow of the natural order, the fifth Rule of Engagement. In this case, it’s to commence this operation with little supernatural means in this world of advanced science as much as possible.
With two bursts, four superheated lead that turned the surrounding air to hot plasma came out of Ben’s rifle, it was impressive that it didn’t overheat too quickly.
The plasma bullets lit up the dark room which the electrical failure was courtesy to Ben’s lightning Order, the communication lines of the facility also shut down completely, isolating the underground building from the outside world.
And two of each hit the back of a man in a white coat and the torso of a guard who didn’t fire his gun in time respectively. Both fell helplessly to the ground, whirring in the pain of the plasma bullets burning them before dying.
All scientists and guards killed.
Emotion suppression off.
Ronald and Joshua turned away at the sight of the multitude of charred corpses in the room, despite the lights being down. Eighties slasher films weren’t even close to being accurate to the real thing. Emilia seemed to be used to it though, not being from their world and could stomach a bit of gore.
Instead, they looked what’s behind the glass to see the room of dozen people kidnapped from the country of this facility’s location of various age, race, and gender strapped in operating tables with deactivated operating machines above them.
They looked asleep, but the Court Wizards could tell they were suffering from their limbs and some, almost their whole body replaced with machinery. It looked halfway done and with the facility sabotaged, it’s not going to be finished anytime soon.
“Right,” Ben groaned, examining the would-be cyborgs. “There’s still no saving them now,” he said as he lifted his rifle up, signaling what he’s about to do.
“Really?” Ronald approached the older man. “Can you still reconsider?”
“No, we can’t let anyone else salvage anything from this place, not the government, nor the corporations especially. That includes them, being the product of it,” Ben explained, rolling his eyes. “Besides, by the looks of it, I’ve shut down the power during their operation, if we take them off the table they won’t survive, even if we transfer them as fast as we can.
“Damn them,” he cursed again, clenching his fist. “Why do these bastards turn technology supposed to be used to aid people with disabilities into producing cyborg soldiers.”
“I see,” Ronald uttered.
“…” Joshua said nothing either.
“…” Nor did Emilia as she looked towards two particular operating tables, a boy, with metal for eyes and torso, and a girl, whose limbs were in the process of being replaced. They’re barely clinging to life.
With no more words, Ben forcefully opened the shutter, which was halfway opened, leading to the operating room. Standing there for a second, he pointed his rifle.
Everyone else looked away.
Name: Benjamin Age: 47 Sex: Male Species: Human World: Earth Base Element: Lightning Element Color: White Cherished Armament: ??? Rank: Duke
World: Nameless World Under the Ground
Nameless World Under the Ground, pre-modern fantasy world of sword.
World: Earth Base
Earth Base, post-modern scientific world of sword.
Azhure: I decided to include the year equivalent in Manegia in a given world from now on as timelines could get fuzzier, especially in Memories. I also added them in Memory 2 before this Memory’s publish to clarify the date of each event.
Previous chapters and book ‘Alicia’ should have enough context to figure out what year in Manegia is in this world, but every chapter after this will have the feature stated in the previous paragraph without exception.
On a side note, I finally introduced a sci-fi world, as dark as the introduction to it as it is.