Azhure: I was stuck writing this Memory. As to why I was stumped, refer to the note after this Memory.
Year 1396 in Manegia
CLINK CHOP CLINK
“Dad? Has the Otherworldly Court’s administration always been that bad?” Ronald asked as he ate his potatoes.
It was another evening after Ronald completed yet another mission. Usually, he would talk with his father, Alan, about how it went over dinner, just the two of them in the dining hall, alone. Like, Bell senior and Bell Junior were the only occupants of this mansion.
Ronald’s grandparents, with his grandfather being Bell Conglomerate founder and the first Bell Court Wizard, Thomas Bell, had long since retired to the mountain villa which its acquisition was interesting, to say the least.
“Father? Why did you buy a villa?” Alan asked as he, his son Ronald, and his father Thomas, grandfather, father, and son stood in front of a large house built on a mountain, putting their hands below their stomach.
“No, I did not, son. I won it,” Thomas looked at Alan and shook. “A friend of mine, from the Otherworldly Court, dared me, at our age, to a buy a ticket from a house raffle, and that ticket happened to be the winning one. This villa.” the oldest Bell gestured his hand towards the villa. “I wouldn’t dare to waste a dollar on the minuscule chance of winning it otherwise,” he looked back at his son.
“Huh,” Ronald uttered. “Well, that’s interesting, grandpa.”
His mother? Well…
“The administration?” Alan perked his ear. “Ronald, we have talked about how poor it is before, right?”
Year 1392 in Manegia
“Hey dad, I’ve been to one of the Guardian’s discussions but why are there only half of the Guardians there?” young Ronald asked. “Is that normal?”
“…Yes, it is,” Alan slowly nodded, darting his gaze away. “The Guardians, after all, still have private lives in their world.
“To make matters even worse, Mother Souls tend to choose people with high political positions in their world like a leader of a country for example. Perhaps it sought the advantage of that political power which did indeed benefit us, but that also made them very busy, too busy to attend every discussion. Around half of the Guardians are such people in every generation. A trend if you will.
“As they cannot be demanded to stay in the Court all the time, yet having the important status as Guardian, a compromise was made where at least half of them must be present in the Court. It was easy enough since around a quarter of the Guardians usually take permanent residence in the chambers, the latter quarter is arranged in an agreed rotation.
“That at least keeps the Court functioning.”
“Then what about everyone else?” Ronald then asked.
“Oh, the rest of us can show up whenever we feel like it,” Alan casually shrugged.
“Eh?” Ronald blinked.
“Yes, I’m serious,” Alan continued. “We are paid per commission, every mission which is all that matters to our ideals. Like I said before, there are always Court Wizards living in Manegia, so they’re always on standby for missions that don’t appear every day other than the routine ones.
“Otherwise, we still have the conscience to visit the Court with the powers we’ve been bestowed, usually once or twice a week, once every two weeks at most.”
“Like me coming to the Court every weekend to receive missions?” Ronald guessed.
“Precisely,” Alan nodded. “And anyone longer than that is usually taking a break.
“Moving on,” Alan continued. “As you said before, son, this model means that there are always Court Wizards to take the mission, missions handed out to whoever’s present in the Otherworldy Court at the time…”
“Yeah,” Ronald said. “But I still don’t like how the Guardians just hand out missions to whoever shows up. We already hired people from the Four Nations to operate the facilities for us, can’t we just properly choose who should take missions?”
“Hah… That’s actually pointed out multiple times,” Alan sighed. “But as long as the mission doesn’t require a specialized Court Wizard, there is no need for that. Missions are similar to the Hunting Guild’s bounties, if the hunter can do it, they’ll take it.
“The difference is that we have to take whatever the mission is for the day since we already can choose which day we want to show up to the Court. That includes New Wizards to double as training since they would be tagged with their mentors, so they would be safe.”
“In other words, it’s of all the times we showed up for work,” Ronald concluded, massaging his temple.
“Hm? Did something happen with your mission today? You did come home later than usual,” Alan asked, putting the pieces together with what his son was getting at. Then, recalling when Ronald came back to Kaomagi Earth, “ah, you have promoted to Grand Wizard judging by the new cloak you brought home. So something did happen in your mission.”
“Yeah, it is, dad,” Ronald admitted, cutting to the real part of his mulling. “It’s about the mission me and my friends went through, in Geron Yor.”
Azhure: I decided against italicizing the rest of this Memory despite happening in the past relative to the previous sections just this once.
Year 1396 in Manegia
“Welp, here we are,” Joshua said as they stood outside the walls of yet another aristocratic mansion, in the middle of the night in these parts of Geron Yor – it should be noon in Ronald and Joshua’s place in Kaomagi Earth.
“Right then, time to take out another noble,” Ronald remarked, but it lacked enthusiasm.
Facing down on Ronald’s expression, “Well, the noble and the entire family might still be Spawns in disguise,” Joshua consoled. “It ain’t farfetched the Green Deity could make one since it’s even more unlikely for the noble to work with him when the big green guy wants to kill all the humans, him included in the end.”
“But even so, we still have to massacre them ourselves, different than luring the champion who was supposed to confront them,” Ronald mooted. “This is all because every attempt to tip off that champion of a traitor has failed thus far.”
“The idea of betrayal wouldn’t cross the Yellow Deity’s army’s minds after all,” Joshua said. “Since it’s about the survival of their race.”
“And we just had about enough letting unknown enemy hurting the chances of the champion winning,” Ronald finished. “To be fair, we still don’t know everything about this noble, but we know he has caused many Beacons to fall in the short span of a decade. We can’t waste any more time investigating this guy.”
“Come on, you two, let’s go already,” Emilia interrupted them as she materialized her Cherished Armaments. “Besides, it’s not like you boys are going to do the deed since you don’t have the guts to murder. You’re just knocking out interlopers while I do the killing, I am from an assassin clan, after all.”
They didn’t talk afterwards as Joshua ordered multiple [Platform]s, forming horizontal slabs of ice maneg to act as stairs to climb over the wall quietly.
“Apologies,” Emilia whispered…
…as she smacked the butt of her dagger to a maid’s back of her head, knocking her unconscious. Recalling her daggers, Emilia quickly wrapped her right arm around the maid’s stomach to stop her fall and grabbed the arc of the bucket filled with water the maid was carrying so it wouldn’t spill.
As Emilia slowly put the bucket to the grass and laid the unconscious maid beside it, under the new moon which reflected the state of the world, the green overtaking the yellow by a few inches when seen from below, though it couldn’t be seen right now, Ronald and Joshua wordlessly dropped from the wall with little noise, going in after Emilia went in first and knocked out the poor servant who was just doing her work, even though it was their job to do so.
“Just as the [Drone] reported, there aren’t many servants here and all the soldiers are with the champion since this place is between the Green Line and a Beacon,” Joshua commented, no need for [Telepathy] since no one else was in the vicinity, aside from the maid.
“And our lack of suppression should confirm the lack of armed forces, at least for now,” Ronald added.
“Well, follow my lead,” Emilia said quietly. “The noble should be in his usual place, we’ll sneak in as plan. Subdue any servants in the way.”
The Court Wizards entered through the back door of the mansion, where the maid came from, unaware of the carvings hidden beneath the blade of grass between where they landed and the wall that the Transporter Room operators wouldn’t and couldn’t check. If the Court Wizards had dropped in closer to the wall, they would have stomped it.
Isn’t that the noble’s son?
Yeah, it’s him alright. (Joshua)
As it turned out, going through the backdoor led them to the servants expecting the water bucket maid’s return, not a big deal after knocking them out.
Afterwards, the Court Wizards navigated through the hallway, with the route established from previous [Drone] scouting, and came upon the noble’s son, a young man older than them coming from the front entrance, approaching a maid, who seemed surprised by his presence, in a full lustrous yellow armor set sans helmet and a sword strapped to his waist.
No matter what, the yellow color of the Yellow Deity’s army is very gaudy. Even if it’s supposed to protect them from Spawn acid, though for some reason it only works in Geron Yor. (Joshua)
When your enemy’s blood can melt your own face, and the general and mage versions of that enemy able to shoot them, you’d obviously want protection. In this case, the Yellow Deity bestowed his subjects ‘blessed’ metal aptly named ‘Yellow Steel’ that’s immune to acid corrosion to be forged as armor and weapons, this allowed his army to not die after getting sprayed by the blood of the Spawn they hack away as well as to not damage their weapons in the process. Of course, the acid can still seep through the cracks so dead bodies still have skin parts dissolved, especially when they lost a limb or two. And as Joshua said, when
Well, there’s our other target. Convenient. (Emilia)
… (Ronald & Joshua)
Emilia’s rather sarcastic last word aside, how could Ronald forget? When the mission was to assassinate an aristocrat, it was always the entire family, for the father always taught the son to become the father – the unwritten finish that contradicted the first of the Three Philosophies (Azhure: first mentioned in Alicia Chapter 13.6).
As much as he wanted to deny it, the risk of the noble’s son continuing his father’s damaging work cannot be afforded and therefore must die too. The only saving grace was that Emilia, who grew up in an assassin clan, will perform the necessary action, not Ronald nor Joshua.
“Where is my father?” the noble’s son demanded to the maid in a frown.
“T-The count is in his study,” the maid answered, unnerved by the young master’s expression. “But-”
“Right,” the noble’s son huffed upon hearing the maid’s answer and zipped past her.
“S-Sir!” the maid exclaimed as she turned around to reach out to the noble’s son, flustered. “The count said he does not want to be intruded by anyone!”
“Whatever,” the noble’s son stated coldly, not once looking back.
Watching the entire exchange, Joshua, hiding behind the corner along with the others, gave his thoughts.
Well, that’s interesting. (Joshua)
I think I recognize the guy from the photographs, doesn’t he stick around the current champion the most?
He is. That guy has helped the champion kill a bunch of Spawn generals and a couple himself too, and I believe he fended off Gra too. (Joshua)
That’s impressive, surviving against the champion killer is no small feat. (Emilia)
And he’s that noble’s son? How come we didn’t get the memo? (Joshua)
It’s hard to get information from the front lines, Joshua. We don’t have collaborators within their ranks and the Bell Branch can only provide chatters from the common folk which was pretty much all about the champion, never him even though we’ve seen him fighting alongside the champion every time.
Then the noble’s son is most likely a hidden shadow supporting the champion. A selfless man giving all the credit to the champion even though he’s half the reason for the champion’s triumph, that’s probably why we didn’t get much info on him. The age gap means we can’t tell how similar he is to his father enough for us to conclude that they’re father and son unless we know they share the same family name which we don’t since we’ve only heard his first name from the distance. (Emilia)
Seems farfetched, but it looks like he’s caught on to his dad’s machinations and is confronting him for all the Beacons lost, so you’re probably right, Emilia. Welp, guess we’re not assassinating him. I mean, I don’t think the Green Deity’s willing to kill off many of his generals just for his spy to get close to the champion. (Joshua)
Indeed. And the Spawn in disguise theory is out of the window too, unless the son’s adopted.
Never mind that, what are we waiting for? Let’s follow him instead of loitering around. And knock that chasing maid out too. (Emilia)
Right. (Ronald & Joshua)
Looking at Emilia’s expression as they went, Ronald noticed that she had a sigh of relief.
Azhure: It was supposed to be a simple Memory, with just one Sub-Memory like the previous, a reenactment of Alicia Chapter 20.12. But then I found the opportunity to use this Memory to explain how Ronald and Joshua got their Grand Wizard rank, yet I procrastinated until I figured out how it will go. Then, I’ve written a section for too long that I decided to cut it to the next Sub-Memory after it had pushed this Memory’s update even further. The Grand Wizard rank requires to either make a big achievement during a mission or serve the Otherworldly Court for at least a decade,
Voice: You know, why does the consolation requirement for Grand Wizard is ten years!? Why not eleven!? You know, eleven Guardians!
Azhure: …I’ll make someone point it out instead.
Orders[Platform] forms a slab of maneg to allow the Court Wizard to step on as a platform to unreachable places where [Eject] is not appropriate to be used. Order: form rectangle x length x width x height x location, lock.
As there are many worlds archived, Amelia Rickens alone certainly couldn’t record every Module in one go. Additionally, there may be hidden secrets in worlds that the Otherworldly Court has yet to discover and for Amelia to record as a Module. So, she will occasionally come back to update each world’s Modules whenever she needed to.
- Geron Yor Yellow Steel Object Module
Azhure: So from now on, I will update an existing world’s modules like this instead of editing the previous chapter that has it.