You are currently viewing Five, Twenty-three, and Twenty-nine Years Owen’s Collection Chapter 5.2: The Dragon’s Curse – Spiri Raia’s an Otome Game!?

Voice: What the heck’s with the title!?

Azhure: You’ll see.


Year 1421

“Pardon me, granddaughter,” Allister said calmly. “But what even is this I am looking at!?”

In the fire chamber, a laptop was put on the low table over the edge so everyone in the sofas could see the screen albeit in an awkward position. The screen was showing the title screen of a video game. It was a visual novel, an otome game as a bunch of pretty boys were plastered in the background

However, they weren’t booting this up for no reason. On that screen front and center was the heroine of this game who looked exactly like Alicia’s cousin, Maria, if she was an anime character, with a greater light spirit candidate beside her. Even more damning were Layla and Neptune being in the background as well as Maria’s parents and other people they knew. But they didn’t need to know that when the title said it all.

Spirit Kingdom.

“It is an otome game, grandfather,” Maria answered, dragging the cursor around. “A kind of video game where you play through a story and date one of these capture targets on the screen.”

“I can see that,” Allister nodded, rubbing his chin. “But why is your face there?”

“And why are our faces there as well?” Layla added, pointing out the background characters that were them.

“Yeah!” Neptune chimed in, practically doing a backflip for no reason.

“I do not know,” Maria shook her head. “That is why my friend gave me this. She found this game having my face on it and even the protagonist has my name.”

“So is this why you suddenly want to return home, dear?” Maria’s father, Albert, inquired. “To fetch this?”

“Yes, father,” Maria nodded, eyeing the screen. “When you told me about your original world, it felt like I have known it before. After you were done, I finally remembered it was from this game.”

“But how is this possible?” Maria’s mother, Elaine, gasped, looking at the title screen in detail. “It even has your looks when you were still in high school, your hair was shorter back then.”

“Is this the Storykeeper’s doing?” Aqua mumbled, eyeing a certain greater spirit in the background.

“Yes, this is the Storykeeper’s doing,” Rose nodded while sipping her tea before placing it in its saucer.

“Well, now I know how it feels to have one about my world,” the greater spirit mused with a wry smile.

A lot had happened after encountering the cursed spirits like Owen’s father calming down his troops. After sorting out the mess, Aqua called for a meeting with the other greater spirits. As it would take days for the summit to happen despite the emergency, they decided there was no excuse to drag Joshua back to Manegia.

Since Aqua carried the ‘origin’ of the water spirit’s Fantasy Law, Layla and Neptune could also come. After a much tearful reunion, Maria then opened her laptop she brought back from Kaomagi Earth and showed them this.

“Storykeeper?” Alicia muttered the name.

“Uhn? Who’s that?” Rin tilted her head.

“A Wanderer,” Rose answered, patting her knees, sitting in her wheelchair. “Just like Timeless Hero.”

“A Wanderer?” Alicia blinked, not expecting Rose to say that.

“What kind of name is Timeless Hero?” Maria asked otherwise.

“Not important,” Rose shook her head, brushing aside Maria’s question. “The Storykeeper is the first Wanderer we ever knew, preceding even the Wanderer Maker.”

“The Wanderer Maker,” Alicia muttered the name. “She is the one who turns people into Wanderers like Timeless Hero, correct?”

“Yes, apart from the Wanderer Maker herself, he alongside the Time Gardener are the only Wanderers we know of not coming from her,” Rose explained, sipping her tea. “That makes him leagues more powerful than the likes of Timeless Hero.”

“Ooh…” Rin gasped in awe.

“Like other Wanderers, the Storykeeper has a great ability apart from his ability to wander that gives his title,” Rose continued, taking another sip. “And that is the ability to keep stories from every world and then tell them to other worlds.”

“Uhn?” Rin tilted her head in confusion. It was understandable; the summary of the Storykeeper’s job was vague to Owen too when he was first told about him.

“From the Sea of Worlds, he can view the activities of multiple worlds at once without needing to step into them directly like the Maker’s Wanderers,” Rose continued. “Linear time does not seem to apply too as he can view events happening in the past, present, or future to see the ones that interest him.”

“Like what?” Alicia inquired.

“Something like this for instance,” Rose waved her hand towards the laptop.


“Are you saying this otome game is real, miss Rose!?” Allister inquired, almost shouting. “Well, I suppose I know the answer to that already.”

“Quite. The Storykeeper is like a historian, only he records the history of another world, ‘keeping’ it,” Rose explained, closing her eyes. “And then writes the record to other worlds through mediums like books, television, and, of course, video games.”

“So then, did the developers know another world existed from the Storykeeper and make a game about it?” Maria concluded confusingly.

“Yes, that is the part of Storykeeper’s power,” Rose confirmed with a smile. “Unconsciously, the writers receive the knowledge from the Storykeeper and, as a flash of inspiration or simply thinking of a plot, they would unwittingly create a retelling of the story that happened in another, real reality.”

“Give or take a few inaccuracies when it comes to reciting them,” Aqua added confidently.

“Or embellishments on some parts or the lack thereof as would an ordinary historian.”

“That is how plot holes happen.”

“I see,” Alicia gasped in understanding. “So can the story be anything?”

“Yes! Think of a piece of fiction, chances are it is real,” Rose exclaimed happily. “Not all of them are, though. And it does not need to be said that the stories originating from the same world will be recorded how the people see fit.”

“The Storykeeper is only in charge of exporting them,” Aqua added. “Even our current conversation could be written down by someone somewhere out there.”

“Whoa! Now that’s some 4th wall right there!”

“Quite,” Rose chuckled at the pixie. “That is why it is not too surprising to see something like this. Sometimes we need to explain this to someone getting an existential crisis after seeing his work.”

“Huh, so that gives the many isekais where the protagonists end up in a novel world a whole new perspective,” Maria mused.

“That is very much a case of the Storykeeper nesting records together,” Aqua interjected with a smirk. “He seems to like keeping stories of kids ending up in a world they read about in their stories.”

“…Oh wow.”

“Ooh! Lemme greet our audience! Hi, readers! Watchers! Radio listeners!”

“That is certainly an incredible individual,” Allister said, clearing his throat with a cup of tea. “But, how did you come to know such a man?”

“Oh, we have met the Wanderer ourselves, on the rare occasion he decides to enter a world,” Aqua shrugged like it was nothing. “Then Amelia immediately asked for an interview, that is how we knew all of this.”

“Of course it’s the Evil Mad Scientist Lady!”

“I see,” Allister nodded. “Then may I ask why the Storykeeper would do all this?”

“Well, in his words, he wanted people’s stories to be known because many times he has seen great deeds go unnoticed and is quite frustrated by it,” Rose answered with her hands put together on her lap. “Sometimes people did not know a hero sacrificed himself to save them. Sometimes one’s actions were misunderstood as evil when they had the best intentions which worked.”

“And sometimes, our heroes are just ordinary people who may just have an interesting daily life the Storykeeper just had to tell everyone else about it,” Aqua added, her hands on her waists.

“Though he will not dictate how people write their world’s myths and histories or the lack thereof, he will make sure they are recorded outside of their world even if the people reading them thought they were fiction,” Rose concluded with a light clap. “As long as someone knows, that would be enough for him.”

“…I see,” Allister muttered in thought. “But what says this then?” he asked, gesturing to the otome game.

“We mention he can tell a story that would happen in the future. That possible future is something he can see,” Aqua casually pointed out. “Provided no Incarnates are entering the world of their novel… or us.”

“Oh my!” Alicia’s mother, Irene, gasped, realizing the implication.

“Heh,” Joshua chuckled. “Looks like we really defied destiny, eh Ronald?”

“Indeed,” Ronald smiled, gulping the last drop of tea in his cup, putting it down before confronting his niece before anyone else could act further, adopting a serious expression. “So, what would have happened if we never interfered in the first place, Maria?”

“We are truly fortunate to have met you two,” Allister muttered contemplatively, resting his chin on both of his hands. “I could never imagine such a thing happening to my daughters.”

“Oh, dear!” Marisa gasped, linking her arms to her husband’s.

“How horrible!” Elaine, Maria’s mother, gasped, unconsciously holding her daughter.

“Yes, it is certainly not a place for our daughter to be in too,” Albert added, also taking Maria into his embrace.

The screen was showing a gallery of otome CGs as it was more efficient for Maria to explain the gist of the story through them. It was quite extensive, seemingly having an illustration for almost every plot point including backstories.

Seeing the silhouette of his mother stabbing Allister didn’t do any good to Owen’s heart. Even though the game itself never revealed the maid’s identity, it was undoubtedly her for obvious reasons. It was fortunate his father stopped her before she did.

Case in point, it was because of Ronald and his father that pushed Aqua to create the great sea, so the otome version of her barely reacted to her blessed’s assassination. Afterwards, one thing led to another, and the first prince and the rest of the Illyer family had to flee the country.

However, even though they brought both Layla and Neptune with them, Marisa got killed during the escape. That was how Maria got her name; here, her name was always just Maria but in the otome timeline it was short for Marisa in her grandmother’s honor. The survivors then settled down in the only kingdom in the greater light spirit’s territory where the game took place.

At least, that was the abridged backstory explained by Maria over here. There was certainly more to it but that was something for a later date.

“Ronald, if this truly happened, I would have never met you and have Alicia too…” Irene sobbed, hugging her daughter as if she could disappear at any moment.

“Yes dear, I know,” Ronald comforted her.

“Mother…” Alicia muttered softly, returning the hug.

According to the game, Irene never married and remained single. She’s literally a side character serving as Maria’s aunt who named Layla, a greater water spirit candidate, to make the foreshadowing of the entire backstory along with Neptune. She would sometimes visit her niece with a water spirit in tow in the middle of the light territory with no context until she visited otome Maria with one of the capture targets home. The game’s still in a generic noble academy but otome Maria still lived in her parents’ house being close to the place.

“I don’t even want to know what happened to your mom if I didn’t stop her,” Joshua muttered, rubbing Owen’s hair.

Right, what felt like deja vu, not only Alicia wouldn’t exist, but also himself. That was a depressing thought.

“Then it is for the best that the future seen by the Storykeeper was averted even without knowing beforehand,” Rose calmly said, consoling the group.

“Uhn?” Rin perked up, noticing the implication. “So all of those games and manga…”

“You would be surprised how much information we could glean from the Storykeeper’s works,” Aqua said in a non-joking manner. “It is indeed a part of our intelligence gathering. If we can find his work beforehand, we could know where to avert whatever disaster from happening or tie up loose ends.”

“If they’re just for entertainment, we wouldn’t hoard that many,” William added with his arms crossed.

“And we will also add this one to the collection,” Aqua said, gesturing towards the game.

And it’s getting even bigger, Owen mused. He could have sworn there were at least three rooms dedicated to store everything from the Storykeeper. Granted, they do double as recreation rooms so there needed to be some empty spaces.

“Indeed, and to exploit such knowledge,” Ronald clenched his hands together and turned to his niece, again. “Maria, please go over how the cursed spirits came to be… and why my daughter can purify them.”

Azhure: I was planning to make a post chapter out of this as a fun little idea I made happening after the end of this book. Then I figured I could fit it into the plot and also introduce another Wanderer early on as a part of the worldbuilding. The post chapter is still happening, there are a lot of details I left out to make the story sense.

Azhure: So, what do you all think of this part? Is it good? Are there any problems with it? Any reviews or feedback is appreciated as long as they’re not plain insults meant to blow off your stress.

Voice: Don’t do that to people! Not even on the internet!

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