You are currently viewing Five, Twenty-three, and Twenty-nine Years Owen’s Collection Memory 6: Rising to the Freezing Mountain of Vulgis

Azhure: Kinda messed up the title ordering here.

Voice: Lol!

Azhure: Anyway, I finally finished my final project.

Voice: Hooray!


“How in the Dark Mist does dumping loads of Palras Steel into a volcano make it erupt faster!?” Miriel demanded as she palmed her head with one hand and supported herself on the podium with another. “Does that even make scientific sense!?” She continued, eyeing William.

“Haven’t heard of it at school,” William shrugged in disbelief.

Being in an emergency meeting, not many Guardians can arrive on short notice. There were just William, Zekie, Gabriel, and Miriel. They contemplated having Alice here but decided this would be a bit too much for her first discussion.

“Something about mass amounts of weight dumped into the volcano all at once destabilizing it,” Zekie said with a reluctant tone. “Believe me, I’ve worked with metal all my life and I have no idea why an alloy can be used that way.”

The entire invasion attempt was all a ruse by Palras to distract the Vulgis while a small contingent snuck into the natural landmark of the Half-Beost kingdom and wasted so much of their precious alloy into the mouth of the volcano to accelerate its eruption.

It was an inane plan with very little logic but somehow it worked and was very much confirmed by Amelia who was similarly in denial after spending a better part of her day analyzing the damage caused. She was currently resting in the light chamber after a nice shower after being around an active volcano for a long time, which practically gave her heatstroke.

“Regardless, it had happened,” Gabriel stated, closing his eyes for a moment. “It is best we move on to what happens after.”

“Right, like how that fool of an emperor will destroy Beohar with his foolish stunt!” Miriel shrieked, gripping the podium so hard it could crack. With Beohar being her homeworld, she was freaking out. “It will be more than just my kingdom becoming a sea of ashes if it erupts!”

A good portion of Amelia’s time was spent on estimating how big the eruption would be. Case in point, the volcano being in the middle of Beohar would spread its ashes to not only Vulgis, but also Palras and the entirety of central Beohar, leaving only the outer regions habitable. Even then, the volcanic winter occurring afterwards would screw their harvest anyway.

“Calm down, Miriel. I know you are distraught seeing it is your kingdom and world at stake,” Gabriel reassured the mermaid princess. “But panicking will not do any good.”

“…Yes, I know,” Miriel relented, her fin-like ears drooping down and her tense mermaid tail relaxing. She wasn’t like other fish half-animals who could morph their tail into human legs, so she needed her loyal maneg to let her traverse through the land. “It is just that even though it was supposed to be just between Palras and Vulgis, it still very much affected my kingdom. Vulgis is our biggest trading partner, you know.”

Miriel’s kingdom, the Aqua kingdom, was an underwater civilization in the largest body of water in Beohar. It was also next to Vulgis which meant trade for the things a nation with almost no dry land didn’t have, like grain, especially after getting a population boom because of it – Aqua kingdom architecture allowed for dry pockets to cook them.

With Vulgis being at war with a large empire, however, such inflow of vital supplies became shaky. The kingdom of fish Half-Beosts being stuck in the water meant they couldn’t fight alongside Vulgis even if they wanted to. This naturally made Miriel who was a princess of that kingdom very anxious about the coming state of her kingdom.

“I can already see bags under my father’s eyes. He tries to hide it, but I can tell. Even my younger brother is running himself ragged over the situation,” Miriel continued in frustration. “Meanwhile, I am here, with powers and position greater than I had ever before, having the chance to turn things around only to make no significant progress on top of a world-ending crisis on our lap!”

Panting from all the shouting, the other Guardians gave the mermaid some time to catch her breath. They knew she was under a lot of pressure so it was better not to rush too much lest it got worse. Of course, they didn’t have time to dally either.

“Yes, we know, Miriel,” Zekie sighed. “It does feel like we are not doing anything at all sometimes. But, we all know why we can’t rush this either.”

“Yes, I know that,” Miriel grumbled. “But we cannot dally either.”

“Very true,” Gabriel nodded. “In that case, do you have a plan, Will?” he turned to William.

“…” For a moment, William was silent, contemplating. “I got one,” he then said and looked up towards Owen watching the entire proceeding from the upper gallery.


“Ahoy, Ice Boy!” A jolly voice rang out into the lounge. “Fancy seeing ya here!”

Owen internally groaned as he leaned forward from the couch he was sitting on in the public area of the Court’s second floor with the many inner chambers meant to house non-Guardian Court Wizards and the grand spiraling staircase nobody used in view. He already knew who it was coming from the elevator as he could recognize that kind of speech from anywhere especially being the only person who called him that nickname.

“Are you here to challenge Master Miriel again, Jake?” Owen turned to see the poorly-shaven man in his pirate getup that somehow also still looked fancy enough to make him look like a nobleman.

“Was gonna,” Jake Rhaims admitted as he sauntered over to Owen. “Then I heard what happened today, my condolences.”


“His heart has been pierced and he is losing too much blood!” Gabriel lamented, his hands stained with blood trying to save the man. “He will not make it!”

“T-Tell my father… a-and Lei… t-to keep fighting for peace between… o-our races…” Crom struggled to say as he breathed his last.


As Jake took a seat on the opposite couch, he then said, “Ya know, I still clearly remembered what me pops said before he died from Winter Sickness.”

That was out of left field, the pirate wannabe literally just sat down and talked about how his father died from a plague hitting his world. Owen simply sat there, speechless.

“Me pops was a stubborn old fool at that,” Jake confessed, slacking his muscles as he sank into the couch. “Ol’ Maverick could’a easily cure him but he insists he could tough it out. Meanwhile, he kicked me outta our drowned world ’till the coast is clear.”

Owen didn’t know if he was supposed to chuckle or not. Jake seemed to allude to it given the hypocrisy of it, but the melancholic look on his face said otherwise.

“I only got back when me pops bit the dust,” the Water Court Wizard continued. “He stood there, proudly, on the Kraken he’s sailed with for all his life as he’s fading away.”

Owen never met Jake’s father, so he doesn’t know what to imagine of him. He can already begin to form it from what Jake told him but he still needed to hear more from the pirate as he screwed open the flask of rum he kept under his jacket.

“He told me he’s sorry for kicking the bucket like that,” Jake said after taking a quick swig from his flask. “Then, he told me to just keep going.”

“…”

“Yeah, I bet you thought it would be fancier,” Jake chuckled, swirling the liquor in his hand. “And it’s probably too cheesy for you modern folks.”

To be fair, it was. Owen has seen enough stories telling that inspirational line that people got bored of it. It was quite the effect of how darker stories were getting more and more traction.

“But, you know what? It’s still one good piece of advice,” Jake continued, putting both of his arms onto the armrests, the flask dangling in his right hand. “My kingdom’s through a wringer, ya’know? Bloody plague nearly wiped out the royal family. Stella’s only six when she suddenly became queen, it’s kinda the same boat as lil’ Alice now that I say it.”

Already it stung. The very apparent parallels between the two young girls’ situations were too hard to ignore. Sure, the Sea of World was vast, but Owen wanted to think such sad coincidences rarely happened, but it did not.

“She’s practically clinging to my leg and even the small nobility we have only left us a bunch’a greenhorns for ministers!” Jake ranted. “Barely anyone’s qualified to run the government. Twas’ a miracle old man Obex’s still prime minister to keep the ship from sinking.”

Owen may not know much about how medieval society was governed, but he was pretty sure having most of the leadership gutted and replaced by newbies was never going to end well. Based on what he was implying, Jake along with this Obex was pretty much holding the reigns of his kingdom.

“But, I still pulled it off,” Jake then said calmly, swirling his flask mindlessly. “And it’s all thanks to me pops telling me to keep going.”

That was even harder to ignore. Jake’s father kept him motivated to save his kingdom, Owen’s father also kept him motivated to find him in the many worlds he visited. The Sea of Worlds sure was big for Owen to find someone to connect with.

“…Is that why you kept challenging Master Miriel?” Owen finally spoke, being the one of the only things in his mind.

“Guilty as charged, Ice Boy!” Jake chuckled, a huge grin was plastered on his face. “Gotta get that Contract back, ya know?”

To be able to make a Contract, one must be a Duke/Duchess. To attain the final rank for non-Guardian Wizards, they have to fight their respective Guardians. They don’t have to win, only putting an impressive show of combat mastery that the Mother Soul gave its recognition. Actually, Amelia said it’s only the recognition by the Mother Soul that’s needed for the rank, and sparring with its host was the easiest way of getting it, something Jake was rather enthusiastic about.

“I’ll get that Duke title,” Jake muttered happily. “For everything me pops built, queen Stella, and our kingdom of the stars! I can feel it getting closer!”

Owen’s father once told him having someone you care about can make you go very far. Sure, it sounded cringey, but Owen knew he couldn’t be any more right. If Jake’s willingness to challenge Miriel almost every day came from honoring his father’s legacy and serving his queen and country, Owen sure knew what made him willing to do.

“Well, Ice Boy,” Jake then stood up and pocketed his flask. “It’s a good time as any. Best of luck to ya!” he said with a wave of goodbye before heading off to the elevator.

And Owen knew he would need it.


SHIING

The blade of the ice rapier glistened from the sunlight as Owen gripped it straight up while his body leaned on the balcony railing. He heard it was his father who invented the [Rapier] Order to reach the Wizard rank by modifying the [Blade] Order. Because of that, Owen ended up using this Order frequently.

It was quite curious how nobody else came up with this Order before. Owen heard the Ice Guardian before Master Catherine was an 18th-century noble but he settled for an Order that created flintlocks since he could use [Blade] on his cane Cherished Armament. Owen supposed the original Order was good enough that no one tried making something new out of it until his father.

But well, Owen heard scientific papers and the like were built upon what others have made before and the same went for those too. Owen’s Order that got his Wizard rank was no different, taking his father’s second original Order, [Ice Layer], and developing it further as [Deep Freeze]. Amelia said something about how his Maneg Soul was currently the only one who could perform the Order and that others couldn’t.

But that doubly meant he needed to see this through.

“Are you good enough to go, Owen?” William asked behind him as he entered the air chamber balcony.

“Yeah, I am,” Owen replied as he turned his back to see his friend. He has been with him long enough to know his internal expression for making him do this.

“Right, we’re going back.”


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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