Azhure: Previous version of Alicia chapter 4.
Alicia’s mother, Irene Bell, was formerly named Irene ir Illyer, eldest daughter of the Illyer family who had the highest noble position of a duke in her country the Kirash Kingdom. Her father the duke of Illyer ruled over the territory given with utmost responsibility. He was loved by many. He was a good noble. The only good noble. Other aristocrats are your typical corrupt nobles like in books and films.
A succession war was embroiling at that time with the king being on the edge of death. Two main factions arose, the first prince faction and the second prince faction.
The second prince, Van va Kirash, was born from the second wife of the king whom he loved more over the first. This has made the second prince spoiled, he was given everything he wanted. He had grown to become quite despicable. He bribes any official to do his bidding, those who refused, get ‘eliminated’. He took money from the townspeople as “donations” to fund his spending (he understands that he cant just use the treasury willy-nilly). He forcefully took any women he comes across he liked as his concubine even the married ones in which their husbands died mysteriously the day before he took them in. The king and the queen never reprimand him for they dote on him too much.
The first prince, Albert al Kirash, on the other hand, is better than his younger half-brother. He is an honest man who considers the people’s well being. He does not engage the same detestable acts as his younger half-brother. However, he had little support namely literally just the Illyer family backing him up in the succession war due to every other noble either accepting the bribes from the second prince or were afraid to be ‘eliminated’ as the second prince had made an example with the first few nobles who refused him. Worse, the king liked the younger brother over him making the war seemingly one-sided. The people have no said to this either with a single protest puts them on death’s door to by the second prince.
It was obvious for any person to see the outcome.
However, it was not that simple. The power of both factions is equal in fact.
The prince’s only supporter, the Illyer family holds a large influence over the royal court of Kirash. The duke of Illyer had previously led the army against the Fichs Empire, an enemy nation looking to invade the kingdom, and pushed back the enemy back to their territory from 20 years prior. The enemy outnumbered the kingdom 3 to 1, so this victory had given the Illyer duke an outstanding achievement. Also, his responsible work in his territory had made his territory prosperous and the public has high opinions of him. Even before the duke’s achievement, the predecessors of the duke had also been outstanding people. With all of those factors combined had been enough to equal all of the other nobles in the opposing faction.
Now normally, the Illyer family usually stayed neutral in this kind of situation as siding with one faction tips the balance of power very heavily. That itself was surprising for the noble society. Of course, there is but one reason for the duke of Illyer to do this.
“Because the second prince is rotten,” he said himself.
The second prince had tried to bribe him over to his side but to no avail. He is an incorruptible man after all. For one thing, the duke had never shown his daughters’ faces to the royal court (he has two daughters by the way) out of fear that the jackass would lay his hands on them. Even those nobles he bribed never shown their daughters too despite being in his side.
The duke had seen his vile atrocities. He believed that the kingdom’s future will be grim under his reign and as such, he entered the first prince’s faction who is better and more competent as a ruler than his dastardly younger half-brother. Besides, The first prince had been close to his younger daughter. With all the other nobles flocking over to the second prince’s side the duke took the opposing side, tipping the balance to a stalemate.
Of course, this made him a thorn in the younger prince’s side. Usually, he would crush those who did not do as he commanded however, his target is the duke of Illyer who is hailed as a hero in the kingdom. Surely he will not do it, right?
Well, it should be obvious. He did it anyway.
With the help of his mother and even his father the king, he attempted to kill the duke by hiring highly-skilled assassins to kill the duke but that had failed numerous times. He tried to hire bandits to kill him when he’s on the way in a carriage and that failed to. He even tried poisoning his food and it did work, but he mysteriously recovered.
He got frustrated and so he pulls the last straw.
Night in the Illyer manor. The duke, his wife, his two daughters, all of the workers inside, the guards and even the prince (he had also received his fair share of assassination attempts, so he sheltering away in the manor) saw a light outside the window. Fire. The prince burned the manor. He had his guards disguised as Fichs soldiers to burn the manor and kill anyone who escapes the place. The first prince was there too, making two birds with one stone. This would be the end for them if not for the Otherworldly Court rescuing them.
The Illyer family had connections to the Court Wizards. It was Ronald Bell alongside Owen’s father during their days as a Court Wizard. When they were traveling in that world, they frequently stop by the manor. It was a high noble in the hierarchy, it would benefit the Otherworldly Court to have connections with them. They were the reason why the duke survived all of those attempts on his life.
The two had repelled all those assassins and bandits attacking him. When he got poisoned, they called another wizard to heal him quickly. The Otherworldly Court is capable of knowing almost everything happening in worlds so the two were able to intervene at the right moment.
And now, with the manor set ablaze, they had rushed in rounding up all of the trapped inhabitants and transfer them to the Otherworldly Court. The soldiers saw no one coming out and when the manor had burned to the ground, they went back and reported it to their prince. Although they did not find a body, the prince was satisfied nonetheless. There was no way anyone could survive that he thought.
Little did he know that they survived that. It doesn’t change the fact however that now the throne was good as his.
Alicia was astonished over the revelation by her father. It was a shocking story. No normal person would believe someone saying “Hey, my wife is a noble who came from another world”.
“Well,” Ronald said, “I was going to say this when you were older but given the current situation, I should tell you this since there is no need to hide it anymore. And…”
As Ronald takes a deep breath and Irene took a sip of tea in the sideline as her husband reveals her past.
“Forgive us for never telling you this.” Alicia’s mother said with guilt.
“It is alright, mother, father. I’m sure you have a good reason for it. More importantly, what happened after that? How did mother and father get married?”
“Well, it went like this.”
After the incident, the entire household is now under the protection of the Otherworldly Court. They usually do this when the person or group can no longer live safely in their world and have a good relationship with the Otherworldly Court (albeit just one or two Wizards were enough to make you a friend to the whole organization).
Initially, they wanted to immediately return however after they learned that the king whom the duke swore loyalty to despite his preference towards the younger prince was also in on the assassination plot, they have given up returning. The duke felt betrayed in particular. The elder prince was also convinced to not return. They should have been dead back there and so that world has to think as such; it was a rule of the Otherworldly Court. As for the territory the family left behind, it was later managed by a civil servant in which the Otherworldly Court had involvement in picking so the territory wouldn’t suffer the same fate. As for everybody else, it sucks for them to not be able to see their families again, but they don’t mind too much because of their loyalty to the household.
They would normally live near the vicinity of the base however they had recently taken in a large number of refugees from another world, they could not afford to take more at the moment. And there someone took the opportunity.
“I will bring all of them to my world as the next head of the Bell Conglomerate!”
Yes, the young Ronald Bell just said that. His friend simply facepalms at the outrageous proposal. His father was lost for words when he heard the news. The Otherworldly Court had very strict rules when it comes to bringing people from one world to another except their world though that is strict as well.
As you can guess, he succeeded anyway. Given the fact the current situation there is also a reason for him to say about the Bell Conglomerate.
It was the son of the first Bell who was Ronald’s father, Alicia’s grandfather had the idea of spreading the company other worlds, making branches there. It was an absurd idea but there was a proposition. The idea was the Bell Conglomerate were to set up a branch in one world, have someone in that world that can be trusted to manage it and simultaneously know about the Otherworldly Court and tell anything happening there.
Essentially, its a spy unit under the guise of a simple merchant company. Only the president of that branch and other high positioned workers and their descendants who would then take over their jobs after their retirement would know about this secret.
Ordinary employees would never be aware of who they were working for. A merchant would dig up any information for profit it won’t be suspicious. Another benefit would be that the branch can also be used by Wizards for convenience and the court can get their hands on that world’s money safely too (usually, they would have to sell a bunch of gold into black markets of that world). It was an ingenious idea.
It was also the reason that Ronald and co. made contact with the Illyer family.
The branch in the Kirash Kingdom was only recently opened there right in Illyer’s territory. With smart business moves by the chosen president, it prospers sparking interest with the duke himself. He wanted to meet the man and so he gave an invitation. The branch president gives the letter to Ronald and without missing the chance to associate with such a powerful duke, he with Owen’s father went to meet him (with the branch president).
At the meeting, Ronald revealed the true colors of the company and the Court. The duke was of course taken aback at such a claim. He would, of course, do something about an otherworld group spying on the kingdom but Ronald somehow managed to win his trust and thus, the duke decided to cooperate with them since the Court was also in favor of the first prince to be crowned (which ultimately failed anyway).
It is also at that time Ronald met Alicia’s mother.
“Well things happen and we fell in love.”
“Should you explain to our daughter about it further, dear?” Irene said with a smile.
“Yes do tell me, father.”
They then proceed to talk on Irene’s first impression of him then about how Irene enjoyed listening to Ronald’s stories as a Court Wizard. Then it strayed to how he insisted on buying the cheapest meal at a fancy restaurant while they were dating when he just bought an entire building on a whim slightly overpriced due to the Court ordering it.
Now back on topic, as Ronald had successfully secured the rights to bring the entire Illyer household to his home, he got to work.
He had made identifications for every person and managed to keep it under the radar especially when he married Irene (he is the son of the wealthiest businessman at that time, after all, he is famous). He had also given the workers of the household new jobs.
First is the maids, butler, chef, etc working in the mansion. Some to a mountain villa the conglomerate owns which Irene’s parents lived due to their dislike of the city atmosphere. He also trains Bell’s driver who was once the carriage driver to drive a car.
Next, he had the captain and his subordinates of Illyer’s private army, who were there at the burning of the manor, and the first prince’s attendants who were guards too trained and entered the police force. The captain today had become chief and was famous too.
“Wait,” Alicia interrupted. “Chief Oswald?”
“Yes, moving on.”
(The whole explanation is being conveyed by Ronald mind you)
The prince got himself a degree by going to college (since Ronald would never fake one) and got work into the conglomerate. He got a high position. He also married Irene’s younger sister too which factors in his promotion. In short, he is Alicia’s uncle now named Albert Kirash.
“So you got the police under your thumbs now, father?”
“Is that the first thing you said, my daughter?”
He ended off with a “Tomorrow, you will go to the Otherworldly Court. Owen, please guide her as according to the custom.”