Opening the red curtain of the balcony, a wide balcony can be seen. A balcony viewing nothing but plain ashes. To the left, there was a round table with an umbrella covering it. Two women were sitting there having tea and biscuits.
One of them, sitting closer to the Training Grounds, was a woman in her twenties with an athletic build. She had the same fiery red hair as Alicia tied to a ponytail and a pair of red eyes. She wore a red steel armor from neck to bottom. A knight.
The woman opposite to the knight was an albino. White hair, red eyes, and a skin paler than normal. She looked beautiful, wearing a white dress with a red outline and a sunhat. However, she was sitting in a wheelchair instead of a chair.
They noticed Alicia and the others entering the balcony. The knight lady stood up and the wheelchaired girl rotated her wheelchair.
“Good afternoon, I believe you are Alicia Bell correct?” the knight lady greeted, giving a salute. “My name is Jillianis Speris. Please to meet you. You can simply call me Jill.”
“And my name is Rosalie Bloodlight, but everyone calls me Rose,” the girl in the wheelchair said. Pinching the hem of her dress while still in her wheelchair. “Pleasure to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you too,” Alicia gave her reply while pinching the hem of her skirt (She’s wearing a white t-shirt with a red jacket over it, a red skirt, and a pair of white shoes).
“And I am the super-duper adorable little fairy! Voice!”
“Pixie!” Owen rebutted.
The little pixie came about with a flashy entrance of twirling around in the air leaving red trails and ended with a tiny explosion.
The three girls (plus pixie) gathered around the table, having a pleasant conversation. Aqua has other business, saying something about registering Alicia’s recruitment to the other Guardians, Owen went to the Ice Guardian’s chamber.
Their conversation went like this:
Alicia inquires, “What happened to your leg, Rose?”
“Hmm?” Rose lifted one of her eyebrows.
“Is it something I should not ask? If so, forgive me.”
“I do not mind. It is a long story. For starters, I am what you call a vampire.” Rose revealed her teeth-baring two sharp fangs.
“Do not worry, I will not suck your blood. In fact, I cannot.”
“Why is that?”
“I simply hated the taste of blood. Every time I drink some, my stomach screamed to me to vomit it out.”
“I was the youngest daughter of the Bloodlights, a powerful vampire family. Because I could not drink blood, I was ostracized by my family. I am also weak as a vampire so, that did not help either.”
“Then what happened?”
“A long time after I became a Court Wizard, the Bloodlights went to war with a vampire hunter clan and I was sent to die. I have put an impressive fight as with my experience as a Court Wizard but then my left leg was splashed with a new type of holy water,” Rose pulled the hem of her dress to reveal bandages over her left leg. “It is capable of spreading through the body from any point. A perfect vampire killer.”
“That is horrible. How did you survive?”
“James, a water wizard who was at the vampire hunter’s side saved me by staking my leg preventing the holy water from spreading. Long enough for the court to decide to transfer us out.”
“I see… So who is this James?
“He is the youngest son of the vampire hunter clan. He was the same as me, incompetent as a vampire hunter. He was also sent in the war to die, he found me and saved me but, our fathers saw this, so I am sure they took it as a betrayal. We have not returned to our world ever since.”
“Can your leg be healed?”
“Yes, but, I do not want to…”
“Why?” Alicia raised her eyebrow at her response.
“It is a custom in the Otherworldly Court, an unusual and dangerous one mind you. If we have a lost limb or injury which is the result of an important memory, we keep them as the symbolization of that memory,” Jill explained.
“Yes,” Rose nodded. “This leg here is how James saved me and our resolve to leave our family.”
“Also, we can temporarily replace lost body parts with maneg so, it is not a problem for us.”
“Yes, I can use maneg to support my legs like this.” Rose stood up for a few seconds, still revealing her bandaged leg, covered in red light, fire maneg supporting her left leg.
“Incredible… So then-“
“Do you like James!?” The pixie, who was happily munching cookies, suddenly asked Rose such a question.
“Voice! Don’t ask her something like that!” Alicia scolded.
However, the vampire simply said, “Yes.”
“Whoa! An instant answer! Tell us about it.”
“When we first met, he was still a young boy. He was so cute! He was half my height and had a girly voice!”
“Ooh! Tell me more!”
“I remember him gazing at me attractively and then freaked out when he figured out who I am. He fell on his butt tried to grab his stake but he kept slipping his fingers.”
Meanwhile, James was fishing somewhere and suddenly sneezed. Scaring the fishes off.
“He also really likes fishing so much so that his fishing rod he uses got turned into a Cherished Armament.”
“Ooh! Does it hook people!?”
“Yes, it does.”
The conversation goes on and then Voice looked at Jill.
“So, Jill, do you have a guy you like!?”
“Phbuw-what!?” Jill almost spit her tea “N-No! I don’t particularly like anyone!”
“I believe he is a knight named Richard, no?” Rose interjected.
“Hii! Do not tell her that, Rose!”
“So, who is this Richard?” Alicia curiously asked.
“Come on! Te~el u~s!”
“He is only a knight from an enemy kingdom in my world,” the knight huffed. “I would never dream to be fond of a knight from my kingdom’s archenemy! That is all!”
“Really?” Rose quipped. “You went into battle with him quite often. You were both make a really good team. I also saw you blushing around him often, no?”
“Wha- I did not blush around him!” Jill denied, but her expression said otherwise.
“You’re to~tally blushing!”
“I did not! You idiotic pixie!”
Somewhere in the Light Guardian’s chamber, a knight named Richard suddenly sneezed. He had heard that if you sneeze for no apparent reason, someone must be talking about you, perhaps it is?
“Then how about this? What do you think of Owen, Alicia?” Jill redirected the center of the conversation to Alicia
“Owen? Well, I think he is a sweet boy.”
“Huh? Really?” Jill questioned.
“Um… what do you two think about him?”
“A very quiet boy,” Jill said.
“Letting action speak louder than words,” Rose added.
“A cold personality,” Jill continued. “No pun intended.”
“Well, other people said that,” Alicia commented. “But I do not think he is.”
“How is that so?” Jill asked.
“Hmm… Well, one time he climbed a tree to save a kitten stuck on a tree, he fell. He still saved the cat though,”
“And he got along well with the children at an orphanage.” Alicia took out her smartphone. “Here, I got a picture of it.”
The smartphone shows Owen with little kids around him smiling happily.
“My goodness… It is so sweet!” Rose exclaimed.
“I did not know this.” Jill examined the photo.
“So, he is quite warm!” Voice exclaimed.
“Oh! And also…”
In the Ice Guardian’s chamber…
“Ah! Do you have a cold, Owen? I’m sure the air conditioner isn’t too cold.”
“No, I’m fine Alice, I think someone’s gossiping about me…”
“Oh! Look at the time!” Rose exclaimed. “It is past one noon. Shall we have lunch?”
“”Sure,”” the two other women answered.
“I will call the boys.”
Here in the Otherworldly Court, Manegia, if you don’t have the motivation to cook your own food then the only other place to eat is a place with a lot of tables and chairs scattered around an open field between a line of food stands.
There, you can see many kinds of food being cooked. Some are recognizable by Alicia and some completely alien to her.
It was closed off by a wooden fencing 1 meter high and the entrance has a huge sign on top that said,
Some Food Court
“That’s a re~ally lazy name!” Voice complained.
“True,” Rose interjected. “I still could not fathom what the people who built this place were thinking when naming this.”
“Well, I do not think it matters much,” a male voice commented.
The voice belonged to a man about 20 years, 171 cm in height. He had a short, blond hair and blue eyes. He was wearing an article of blue noble-like clothing that was slightly damp. This is the person whom Rose talked about and liked, James. He was pushing Rose’s wheelchair.
“James, should you not get a change of clothing?” Rose asked in concern.
“No need,” James replied. “It will dry under the sun.”
“James, you are getting less nobler further and further.” Another male voice came in.
He was 181 cm tall with a chestnut-colored hair and brown eyes in his twenties wearing a white full suit of steel armor without a helmet. He was the knight Jill was talking about, Richard. His family name was Sworsis when he first introduced himself.
There were: Alicia, Alice, Jill, James, Owen, Richard, Rose, and one other person.
He was a boy 16 years in age. About the same height as Alicia. He had a skinny build. He had a black hair and eyes. He was wearing a white hoodie and blue jeans. On his neck was a white muffler. Not sure why he would be wearing it on a sunny day. He was from Kaomagi Earth. And he was also the Guardian to the Mother Soul of Air, William Trust.
And apparently, everyone called him Will. This made Voice laughed until her stomach hurt.
“Your name is Will Trust! Oh, the irony!”
Especially after the pixie had discerned him to not trust others easily.
“The hell’s with this thing?”
Will immediately grabbed the annoying little pixie and increased the pressure on his grip to crush her before prompted to let her go.
“Will has gotten over his lack of trust,” Rose assured Alicia. “But mostly to us Court Wizards.”
Now, all eight Court Wizards all gathered in a large round table fitting 8 diners.
Well after they had all ordered their food in different stalls, no waiters will come to deliver your food here.
Alicia had something like a steak, though the stall owner said it’s like cow meat but it doesn’t look like one.
Alice had a piece of ham.
Rose had chicken with veggies and potatoes. There were two similar dishes near her plate. Apparently, due to her inability to consume blood which was essentially food supplements for vampires in her world, the vampire had to eat more than normal (recently, she was able to replace blood with something else, but it was not as effective). It was a wonder as to how she was able to maintain her body curve with that much food, it probably got dumped into one place.
Owen got a sandwich.
James got a fried salmon-like fish using the fish he caught which he asked the fish stall owner to cook it.
Richard and Jill had a dish consisting of a foreign-looking meat, potatoes, lettuce. She had stammered something about only having a matching dish with him because it was purely a coincidence when Richard asked.
Will also had a sandwich except it has no meat in it.
They had a pleasant time eating until…
“What was that?” Alicia asked.
“Well, I think someone is having a fistfight,” Rose said.
There was a circle of a crowd cheering about.
“Hmm… I feel that presence in the middle of the crowd is Fire Court Wizards. Hanz and… Blaze?” Jill muttered.
“How do you know?” Alicia asked.
“We can train ourselves to ‘feel’ the presence of other Maneg Souls,” Rose explained. “With it, we can even tell the Court Wizard knocking in front of our door beforehand.”
“I see… What are they fighting about?”
“Hmmm… I do not want to know.” Jill scoffed. “The males of our Element are always like this.”
“Yes, a bunch of hot-headed children,” Rose added.
“Now they are throwing Orders around.” Jill deadpanned
“What! That is dangerous!” Alicia exclaimed. “I am going to stop them!”
“What the? Alicia, what are you doing?” Rose asked.
The group was surprised to see Alicia suddenly got up and rushed to the crowd.
“Don’t worry. She always breaks fights and she’s good at it,” Owen said, Reassuring them.
“Um… Owen?” Alice asked, “Alicia can only use loyal maneg right?”
“Yeah, what about it?” Owen wondered at Alice’s question and then widened his eyes. “Oooh… Crap!”
Owen stormed off chasing after Alicia.
A man 18 years in age with a messy red hair and eyes as if on fire. 181 cm in height. He was wearing a red soldier’s uniform that wouldn’t be practical for camouflage. He was holding a red rifle with a bayonet. This is the Court Wizard who ordered all of those explosive Orders earlier this morning, Hanz.
In opposition to the young soldier was a boy, wearing a red shirt and pants, who looked like he was six. As to why a man is fighting a little kid, well the kid’s not human, though that wouldn’t be much of an excuse.
A pair of reddish-black horns stuck out of his short black hair. Scale-like skin and claws for the bottom half of his four limbs. Eyes that of a reptile. A not-so thick scaly tail sticks out on his buttocks. He was the other Fire Court Wizard Jill mentioned, Blaze.
“Alright!” Hanz shouted. Readying the bayonet of his rifle. “Let’s do this, lizard!”
“So are you, gun maniac!”
Hanz thrusts his bayonet while Blaze imbued his claw with fire and lunged towards the army man.
I order you, form rectangle 50 cm width and height right between them! Thus is my order! [Barrier]!
Alicia just so happened to be breaking her way into the crowd and gave her Order.
Alicia, wait! Don’t!
Alicia ignored Voice’s serious warning as she exerted her dominance over her loyal maneg and manifested a barrier between the boys charging at each other.
The bayonet and claw hit the barrier of fire and it shattered stopping the momentum of the two.
As the two hot-headed boys wondered, they heard a scream.
It came from Alicia.
The moment the barrier shattered, pain surged into Alicia, top to bottom.
She then coughed up blood.
It was painful.
What… is happening to me?
She thought of this as she collapsed and lost her consciousness.