Azhure: Well, thought of making a short Sub-Memory to finish this Memory after the previous one having nearly 3k words, never mind. But this should still end this Memory.
Year 1396 in Manegia
“Either the noble managed to finish the spell in time or he rigged it into a dead man’s switch as backup, we were suddenly surrounded by Spawns,” Ronald finished, cutting his vegetables. “Turns out, there were runes circling all around the inner wall, turning the mansion grounds into a transfer point. If we landed just closer to the inner wall, we could’ve smudged it with our shoes.”
“And so you three ended fighting all of them by yourselves!?” Ronald’s father, Alan, widened his eyes in concern, putting his knife and fork down. “You didn’t call reinforcements?”
“We did,” Ronald replied, flailing his hand back and forth lazily. “But they were at a discussion and the operators don’t want to disturb them.”
“Hm, I’ll need to have a word with them later.” Alan’s narrowing eyes unnerving his son aside, he asked, “you weren’t hurt, are you? I know the Life Wizards can heal acid wounds without scars, but being burned by acid can still leave a traumatic experience.”
“No, no,” Ronald denied, waving his hand in a stopping gesture. “We made sure to stick to ranged Orders after we dealt with the Spawns near us.”
“I see.” Alan rolled his eyes, picking his eating utensils up. “And afterwards, after the display of valor of the three of you, you were all promoted to Grand Wizard.”
“Yes, that’s correct. Though I believe Master Gertrude only gave me the Grand as a pat on my back for making us put up with it,” Ronald commented grudgingly.
“Well, at the very least, you have attained the rank with little casualties. After all, you three did prevent the Green Deity from trapping the champion’s army from both sides, it would have been a disaster,” Alan consoled his son. “So congratulations are in order.”
“But still,” Ronald sighed, slacking his arms on the table. “We could’ve handled it better. If only we had more info on the noble before going with the mission, or at least find out those runes placed by the Green Deity. Then maybe we could have saved the noble’s son… and the house servants too.”
165 Spawns eliminated, ??? remain.
Blowing away another group of Spawns standing in a T intersection in the hallway below the floor where the son killed the father with [Fire Burst], Ronald and company marched forward, trying to get out of the Spawn-infested mansion.
So far, they were able to conserve their maneg usage just fine, taking turns to shoot Orders while being mindful not to create an ice and fire Maneg Beast which would complicate things even further.
However, before moving forward, they took a glance below the arching window and found an ugly sight: the maid Willow knocked out when they climbed over the wall hacked to pieces wearing a face of horrifying agony as her blood stained the grass she laid down upon for the blade of the Spawns was the first thing she woke up to.
“The Green Deity always has new tricks on his non-existent sleeve, you have done the best you can do, Ronald,” Alan said to his son. “After all, the nobility has obscured the achievements of the noble… Hm, do you know the family name of that noble? You seem to only refer to him as ‘the noble.’ It could get confusing when pairing with other nobles.”
“Uh…” Ronald stared at his father awkwardly. “His family name was hard to pronounce, so we just call him ‘the noble.’ Also… I forgot.”
“Well, we never try to remember aristocrat names across worlds if we don’t have to anyway,” Alan mused. “Though this could be troublesome… Ah, I recall you said the noble is a count, let’s call him ‘the count’ then?”
“…Sure,” Ronald nodded slowly. “That sounds good.”
“Alright then, as I was saying.” Alan continued where he left off, “The rest of the nobility obscured the count’s achievements and forced him into a remote territory prone to getting invaded, finding information about him was difficult, to begin with. That is something out of your hand. And it doesn’t help that whatever record we may actually have on the count’s lineage is lost in the 1246 Incident.”
“That bad?” Ronald frowned. “I thought Daisuke not being able to find even a single family portrait of them was as bad as it could get.”
“Hm, based on what you said, the count may have been one of the very rare good nobles who upheld their noblesse oblige,” Alan theorized. “With the Green Line so close to his domain, the count wouldn’t waste time and resource just to have a simple family painting, much to my old friend’s frustration. Perhaps after the Line was pushed back much further he might, but alas his was family killed sans his son.”
“You might be right, dad,” Ronald said, contemplating what his father said. “Now that I think about it.”
“Well, people do say we Court Wizards give nobles a rather hard time,” Alan chuckled. “It’s quite a shame that such a good count was disillusioned to the point where he would collude with the Green Deity.”
“Yeah, losing your family twice will change you a lot,” Ronald added. And it’s something we both know very well. “For the count, it made him insane.”
“And in that insanity, he has lost sight of the original reason for his actions,” Alan finished.
“Hm?” Ronald raised his eyebrow, confused by his father’s statement. “How so?”
“Remember the last things the count said,” Alan calmly responded. “You told me yourself, after all.”
“Humanity is a lost cause! Trapped in a perpetual state of taking and losing Beacons for centuries as those in charge bicker amongst themselves while the ignorant masses put their hope on the champions who see our conflict as a big game!”
“Ah, do you mean that?” Ronald recalled.
“Yes, the count focuses only on the hubris of Geron Yor’s mankind and the broken crutch that is the summoned champions, and perhaps the local champions as well, which caused the pointless cycle of capturing and losing Beacons, killing countless lives,” Alan explained. “But never did the count tie his deceased family into it despite being the catalyst for his betrayal, the catalyst his son brought which started their argument.”
“…You’re right,” Ronald snapped in realization. “Right after talking about how the nobility, the skirt-chasing champion, and the lazy champion let the counts family die, it was never brought up again. Especially when the count ranted the most.”
“Precisely,” Alan nodded. “Even though his son reminded his father about it, the count still shoved it aside. That’s why I said he has lost sight of the reasoning for his actions.”
“I see,” Ronald muttered.
“I will stop you from impairing us right here, right now!”
“And I guess even the count’s son lost sight of it too,” Ronald mused, recalling the moment where the son proceeded to thrust his sword to his own father. “When he killed his own father instead of arresting him.”
“Indeed,” Alan furrowed. “To think the count’s son would react so violently to his own father. I suppose that happens when the son does not see eye-to-eye with his father to such an extreme degree. Not having that deep of trauma compared to his father and still believes in the summoned champions the count badmouthed…”
“…Hey, dad?” Ronald spoke up, breaking the silence that formed afterwards. “Do you think… we would end up like them? You know, since…”
“No, I don’t believe so,” Alan cut him off. “We may argue a bit, but that is normal and fine.”
“I see…” Ronald muttered, his arms slackened.
“…” Looking at his son, Alan spoke, “Was it that bad?”
“…Pretty much,” Ronald confessed. Even behind the door, he could imagine just how much emotion flying around the heated confrontation. “Especially when our suppression is off the entire time. Though it’ll probably be worse if it did, with all the baggage coming out at once.”
“Hey, dad? Is the Green Deity even aware of us?” Ronald asked. “I know he can’t observe through every Spawn he makes but he should at least saw us a couple of times, so how come he never recognize us Court Wizards? Geron Yor was a world ravaged by the Eleven-Century War, so the Green Deity should know us from our predecessors and deal with us accordingly, right?”
“It is most likely because the Green Deity couldn’t confirm us,” the elder Bell answered. “After all, we are nothing like our predecessors, the Maneg Users. For one, we have our robes hiding any otherworldly attire or features.”
Though Joshua insists on wearing the cloak instead, Ronald mused internally. Much to Rose’s frustration.
“Two,” Alan continued. “Our Orders are similar to magic used by humans in Geron Yor. So for all the Green Deity knew, we were a secret squad of magic users foiling his plans in the shadows. And to confirm his wrong suspicion, we always operate with more than one Element in our group.”
“Because Maneg Users of Elements never get along,” Ronald finished.
“Precisely,” Alan nodded. “According to legends in Geron Yor, which unfortunately didn’t tell how many years ago, Light and Dark Maneg Users were the first to invade Geron Yor, fighting both sides and each other in a battle royale.
“And apparently, they also recorded the two Maneg Users group creating Maneg Beasts, describing them as ‘monsters of light and shadow’ that appear whenever the two groups’ ‘magic’ clashed. Other Mother Souls of Elements joined the fray after they left.
“While it is a mere legend for the humans, the Green Deity ought to remember them as true, the Maneg Users did a number on him. So the sight of us rivaling ‘Maneg Users of Elements’ working together should throw him off.”
“Then what about the Yellow Deity?” Ronald then asked.
“He doesn’t seem to mind, apparently.” Alan shrugged. “Probably in the same boat as his enemy and opted to observe us Court Wizards of Elements from above until he decided to leave us be since we’re helping him fighting his adversary which is his primary concern. It is the most ideal outcome, certainly much better than mine in Spiri Raia.”
“Ah, right.” Ronald perked up. “Your group got into a fight with the local deity of the place. A greater water spirit, right?”
“Yes,” Alan nodded with a sigh. “And if it weren’t for Daisuke convincing the greater spirit that we mean no harm, the opposite in fact, and lowering our hoods as a sign of goodwill, it could’ve gone much worse. And Spiri Raia was not even affected by the Eleven-Century War! We must be unlucky to receive such a bad welcome.
“That’s why we always send a large party when we explore a newly discovered world. Fitting, as we are Voyagers,” Alan continued. “Who knows what sort of deity or watching entity we disturb upon our arrival. And with worlds like Geron Yor, some were actually rediscovered.”
“Can we tell that it is?” Ronald asked.
“The Transporter Room can vaguely determine when the Maneg System has been applied to a world, but it’s more reliable to search evidence of the Eleven-Century War of that world,” Alan answered. “Which is why the party of Court Wizards must be of different Elements, the more the better, to pause the enraged deity trying to stop the ‘returning invaders,’ knowing that we normally wouldn’t be together, to at least hear our story.
“But you know all of that, don’t you?”
“…Yes, I do.”
“Your expression tells me otherwise.” Alan deadpanned. “Hm, I may need to talk with your mentor as well, Ronald.”
Somewhere in the city, Joshua suddenly woke up from his sleep, sweating bullets as he hyperventilated.
“You know, the Yellow Deity’s army used the unofficial nickname ‘champion killer’ to Gra. But when the commanders write it on their report, it’s not in capital yet the official moniker, the ‘Champions’ Rival,’ is,” Ronald pointed out. “And why do we also write it like that even though we informally write phrases like Maneg Geyser Maneg Pillar with capital?”
“Probably because it is an unofficial title to them – it was supposed to be taboo anyway,” Alan guessed. “And we usually follow how a world writes their words and phrases when we write a report or archive regarding their world.”
“Okay then, then how about our words and phrases?” Ronald then asked. “Joshua doesn’t find it important enough to tell us about it.”
“I suppose it is,” Alan mused. “In Manegia, only ‘maneg’ is normally not written with a capital letter, unless it’s the first word of a sentence.”
“Right,” Ronald nodded. “Because it’s a ‘normal’ word for us.”
“But when it’s used in a term, like Maneg Soul, it is,” Alan added. “Formal or not.”
“Hm, like Maneg User instead of that name,” Ronald commented, receiving a silent nod from his father. “Maneg Pillar for us, and Maneg Geyser for the Four Nations.”
“Actually, both should be separate entities,” Alan corrected. “‘Maneg Geyser’ when it’s formed, bursting upwards like a geyser. Then, it’s called a ‘Maneg Pillar’ as we sense its pillar shape as it moves around.
“Only the former is a known term by the Four Nations as the maneg is visible when it bursts out and then disappear from their sights when it becomes the latter. This is probably why we Court Wizards still consider Maneg Pillar an informal term and even interchange between the two phrases as if they were synonymous.”
“But we all use Maneg Beast when multiple Elements of them collide,” Ronald interjected.
“Of course,” Alan chuckled. “Maneg Amalgamation is a mouthful after all.”
“What about our emotion suppression and discussions in the courtroom?”
“We never even have a formal term for those.”
“Well now, we have talked for hours that we didn’t realize our food has gone cold as we eat,” Alan said, looking at the old grandfather clock. “I’ll clean the dishes. Go to sleep now, you had a long day.”
“Right,” Ronald got up from his seat. “Good night, dad.”
“Good night, Ronald.”
Leaving the dining room, Ronald could only sigh.
All because he and his friends picked a bad time to show up to work, as wrong as it sounded. With or without the emotion suppression, the mission had left a bad taste in his mouth, to all of them.
And it was right after we shared that photo, Ronald internally frowned. Well, it shouldn’t get any worse now. One bad mission is enough for a year.
“What do you mean destroying my entire clan!?” Emilia shouted, banging the stand in front of her.
Orders[Burning Fist] or rather, the original version of the Order. Not Alicia’s modified version that’s designed to be non-lethal. The Order created by Thomas Bell, the first generation of the Bell family of Court Wizards and founder of Bell Conglomerate, covers enemies in fire maneg upon contact with his fist, as his Maneg Soul had trouble directly applying it no matter how much he described his target, and continuously burn them. Order: coat set trigger right hand, coat set trigger left hand, trigger: on contact attach sphere 30 cm diameter, oxidize.