To die or forsake a world you do not belong to, forsake the world.
The sixth Rule of Engagement. It’s self-explanatory, but this has also extended to a Court Wizard’s personal life such as school. In other words, Alicia’s school life took priority over the fate of a Bell branch in some world – and surprisingly, Alicia took it well. It was also why it took five days after the distress call to be responded to – the call came on Monday.
In a sense, a Court Wizard could refuse a mission with the pettiest of excuse. Of course, none of them in their right minds would.
Besides, as long it was not too late, it’s completely fine – hence Alicia accepting it.
Over Kaomagi Earth, the school’s out for spring break for a week, meaning plenty of time to finish this mission.
Of course, despite the initial opening, there were things done over the last couple of days during three out four Court Wizards’ absence: Jonathan staying in his world, going information hunting and be on the lookout for the SaltWaters; rented a room in an inn run by Bell Conglomerate to make it seemed as though the heiress was staying there and; Owen requesting Jonathan to be on the lookout for a tall man with white hair and light blue eyes with named Joshua Ruze.
First day of Spring Break over Kaomagi Earth
The Court Wizards were now back in the office, consisting of the same group as before.
“What happened while we were away?” Alicia asked as they entered the office.
“Not much,” the manager explained. “He tried to give you a bribe. Except that you were not present when he did, so he tried to relay it to me. I refused naturally.
“However, five employees who were threatened are unable to withstand the pressure, so I secretly gave them temporary leave to make it look like they left on their accord and once this mess is done with, they can return.”
“I see… Jonathan,” Alicia turned to the Court Wizard who stayed back this world. “What did you find about the salt waters household?”
“Not much.” Jonathan shrugged. “For all he is, he’s capable of hiding evidence of his criminal activities. I scouted the SaltWaters mansion in their territory and I found almost nothing but I ordered [Biological Scan] and picked up a lot of people under the place. Twenty-six to be exact.”
“A lot of people under the mansion?” The manager interjected. “Oh my, it must be their underground cellar.”
“Why would it be an underground cellar?” Alicia inquired.
“It’s a hobby the noble like to do, it is best that you would not know what they do in there,” the manager answered.
“…Alright then.” Uncomfortable with what the manager said, Alicia put it in the back of her mind. “Continue, Jonathan.”
“I couldn’t exactly infiltrate the mansion,” Jonathan continued. “It’s not my specialty, and I couldn’t get anything out of there, I also scouted the mansion in this capital and found similar results, so I turned to the most reliable informant I know in town and rumors.”
Jonathan took a deep breath before listing, “Extortion, bribery, kidnappings, illegal dealings to name a few, not to mention him taking any woman he sees interest as his concubine.
“He was more blatant in his actions ’till the new king passed down laws restricting noble’s privileges. Though, that didn’t stop that man.
“The informant told me that he had connections to local thugs here and assassin to attack anybody that defied him thanks to the new ruler.”
“I see,” Alicia nodded. “He had thugs to attack the restaurant and workers.”
“Yes,” the manager confirmed in a somber tone. “Fortunately, he has not decided to send an assassin after us yet.”
“True, but he’ll do it eventually,” Owen pointed out.
“We’ll have to get this done fast,” Will concluded.
Then, a red pixie came out of a flat chest.
“Can’t we just ki- beat that fatta- fatty up and be done with it!?” Voice chimed, correcting herself from profanities.
“…That’s a good idea.” And Jonathan, out of all people, agreed.
“P-Please, no killing…” Alicia whimpered.
“Damn, you’re annoying and violent too?” Owen accused.
“Whatever, Short Cream!”
“What!?” Owen clicked. “Is that a nickname? You!!”
The Short Cream tried to grab the annoying little pixie but the annoying little pixie went out of his reach.
“You can’t catch me!”
“Grr… Will! Back me up!” Owen barked.
“What!?” Will yelped back.
“Ha! Just try, Celery Stick!”
Will blinked, and then “…Fine, you’re dead!”
And thus a short boy and a skinny boy goes on a pixie-swatting game.
“A-Anyway,” Alicia tried continuing, “we do not have anyone who could infiltrate the salt waters mansion, is there any way to do it?”
“There is,” Jonathan answered. “We could call the Dark Guardian. Despite being a guardian, he’s the OC’s spy and assassin, he can break into the place with no problem. I think he’s free at the moment”
“Alright then, we will call him. For now, we will call for the day and stop it you three!” Alicia snapped. “You are all acting like children!”
The pixie, the Ice Court Wizard, and the Wind Guardian looked at Alicia and nodded silently.
Second day of Spring Break over Kaomagi Earth
From a high pitch to low pitch, a 181 cm tall, slender man with a dark-skin tone came into view in the Bell branch office. Under his robe, he wore a black motor jacket and matching-colored jeans. Silver eyes and a long silver hair down to the waist. A black cloth covered the lower part of his face. The most notable feature is a pair of long elongated ears.
A dark elf.
The dark elf looked at Alicia. “You must be the Court Wizard with nothing but loyal maneg.”
“Er…” Alicia muttered nervously. “Is that supposed to be a compliment or…”
“No, it’s not,” was the dark elf’s immediate reply.
“How rude!” The pixie popped out again.
“And that is the ‘persona’ of your loyal maneg,” he noted. “Essentially… Never mind.”
“What! What are you going to say!?”
“Whatever,” the dark elf shrugged. “You called me here to infiltrate a mansion. Tell me where it is and I’ll go.”
“Hey! Answer me!”
But the dark elf simply looks over the map of the town on the desk shown by the manager.
“The SaltWaters mansion is here and,” The manager pulled another two more maps. “The SaltWaters territory is here and the mansion there is here.”
“Alright,” the dark elf said. “I’m going.”
Suddenly, the dark elf became shorter. No! He was sinking into the ground!
“Eek!” The Fire Court Wizard let a short yelp.
The dark elf then disappeared completely into the floor, leaving a black puddle-like circle that was worse than an imperfect circle, on the floor.
“Aah!” Alicia let out another scream as the black circle moved to the open window at the back of the office and slipped through it. “What was that? An Order?”
“Well yes, but no,” Owen answered. “What he did is sinking into shadows. That was his Personal Skill of his own, not from maneg. The maneg part of it is that he ordered dark maneg to form above the floor and absorb light coming into it. Creating shadow underneath it in which he can sink into. He used a Progressive Order to freely move the shadow.”
“I see…” Alicia nodded in understanding. “You can do that with Orders, huh?”
“Yeah,” Owen nodded. “Using Orders in combination with a technique of your own are called ‘Half-Orders’.”
“I understand but, who is he?” Alicia asked.
“Right, he didn’t even tell his name,” Owen sighed. “He’s the Dark Guardian, his name is Darc, Darcassan Erith.”
“I see, well then, while Master Darc is spying on the mansion,” Alicia said. “Let us do what we can and wait for tomorrow for his findings.”
A sound that came from above woke up the Court Wizards resting in two separate rooms, one for the male Court Wizards and one for Alicia all for herself, on the top floor of an inn in the past three days, which Jonathan had it all for himself.
“Woah! What was that!?”
Then there was a sound of someone landing on the balcony of the room where Alicia was sleeping.
Alicia, dressed in a nightgown, felt the particular Maneg Soul coming from the balcony and promptly unlocked the door to the balcony letting Jonathan in dragging a hooded figure with his left hand, then opened the other door to let Owen and Will in.
“Who is this?” the only girl in the room asked.
“An assassin,” Jonathan huffed.
“So the noble made his move,” Owen said in a cold tone.
“He could be here to kidnap you,” Will suggested. “Using the kid of the guy who owns the business as a hostage would pretty much achieve his end goal.”
Alicia frowned, remembering a month and a week ago, she was kidnapped which resulted in Owen severely wounded and her introduction to the Otherworldly Court.
“Well, we’ll see when this guy wakes up.” Jonathan then put the knocked-out assassin or abductor in a sitting position, then paused for a moment.
Green maneg coming out of his Maneg Soul gathered around his left hand creating a green bundle of rope. It had numerous leaves sticking over it. It’s a bundle of vines.
“Help me tie him up,” Jonathan said and Owen came to help with tie the man with the vines as a rope.
“Best to use a real rope,” the Nature Court Wizard commented. “The vines will not last.”
“But would it not be suspicious to ask for a rope?” Alicia wondered.
“Your father technically owned this place,” Jonathan retorted. “Besides, we can carefully explain to the staff, they’ll understand.”
“A-Alright then, if you say so,” Alicia smiled wryly.
The assassin/kidnapper was now bounded with an actual rope, just in time as the maneg created vines have broken off completely. The hood was lifted to reveal the perpetrator’s face.
“Now that I think about it,” Alicia wondered. “How did you know that this person was trying to harm me, Jonathan?”
“When you guys were gone for three days, I overheard someone talking about your whereabouts,” Jonathan explained. “The daughter of a merchant who rarely showed his face, some argued he’s a marketing ploy and doesn’t even exist!
Also, your little stunt with that noble also made you the talk of the town.”
“E-Eh…!?” Alicia gasped in surprise. “People here were talking about me!?”
“Wow! You got pretty famous!” The pixie struck again.
“Get back in there, Voice!” Owen quickly caught the pixie before she could react and threw her back into her master.
“Anyway,” Jonathan continued. “Since you guys were gone for three days, no one knows where you are at. Only that all those people at the Bell Branch watching your act confirmed that you existed.”
“I-I see…” Alicia muttered.
“Also, I overheard one conversation in particular about where your room is,” Jonathan added.
“Ew! Creep!” Voice came out again, only to be immediately swatted by the Air Guardian back to Alicia before she could say anything else.
“And one of them is this guy,” Jonathan pointed at the bounded creep. “I noticed him staking outside this inn with a couple of more guys, but they left since you weren’t there. I got really suspicious so I just so happen to hide at the rooftop and this guy showed up.”
“I see, why did you not tell us that you knew?” Alicia inquired.
“I forgot,” Jonathan responded.
“Um, what?” Alicia blinked.
“’till I felt like climbing the rooftop this night,” he finished.
“O-Okay then…” the heiress smiled wryly. “Well, thank you for saving me.”
“Huh…” The savior’s face looked surprised like a person who has never been thanked before. Or something like that, maybe.
“Umm…” Alicia stood there, unsure of-
“Shouldn’t we check for this guy’s weapons?” Will redirected this awkward moment.
“R-Right,” Alicia nodded.
“A dagger, a leather pouch filled with spare changes, and a leather ball, a smoke bomb I imagine.”
“So he is an assassin!”
“So he is, but I imagine he would be better equipped.”
“He’s waking up!”
“Knock him again!”
“There, problem solved.”
“Should we not interrogate him when he is awake?”
Name: Jonathan Age: 26 Sex: Male Species: Human World: Qantasia Element: Nature Element Color: Green Cherished Armament: ???,???,??? Rank: Duke
[Vines] Creates a vine as long as what the Court Wizard specifies. Order: Create rope x thickness x length, sculpt leaf-shape x length x width x from left/right end, sculpt leaf-shape x length x width (x + n) from left/right end, sculpt leaf-shape x length x width (x + y) from left/right end, …, sculpt leaf-shape x length x width (x + z) from left/right end.
Sculpting leaf is to increase Time Interval for break-off, making [Vines] last longer. More leaves, longer Time Interval.
Progressive Orders are Orders that maneg will carry out the instant the first step is declared.
It starts with ‘follow as I order’ instead of ‘I order you’ and ends with ‘I end my Order’ instead of ‘thus is my Order’. You will also need to declare the amount of maneg used beforehand only by percentage from your Maneg Soul which included loyal maneg even though it is not used.
When ordering [Iceball] using a normal Order,
“I order you, form sphere 30 centimeters in diameter from my left hand, travel at linear direction parallel to my left arm, thus is my Order, [Iceball]!”
Maneg will only carry out the Order when the Order is finished. A Progressive Order on the other hand, upon finishing the first step, the ball of ice will form first, once the second step is finished will it launch at its foe. ‘I end my Order’ will cause the maneg to stop and break off completely.
The advantage of a Progressive Order is that it is flexible. Once a normal Order is given, maneg will do exactly what it is told and cannot be retracted nor altered. Progressive Orders are much more versatile as you can redirect their direction on the go and stop it when you need to.
Of course, the is a downside to it. Remember Time Interval of Break-Off? The Time Interval is dependent on the number of steps. So, upon the first step, the Time Interval would be one second, then two upon the second step and so on. This means you have to be quick on the steps initially less you will have most of your maneg gone. You also need to tell the amount of maneg used too since it couldn’t exactly know the minimum for what stunt you will pull off. Furthermore, you cannot give it a name at the end of the Progressive Order. However, a frequently used Progressive Order is still given a name for convenience’s sake.
[Carpet] the Progressive Half-Order used in conjunction with Darc’s personal magic, Shadow Teleportation, which allows him the sink into a shadowy area and immediately rise to another shadowy location provided they are connected, hence teleportation. The Half-Order forms a ‘floating carpet’ that absorbs light, creating a shadow underneath for Darc to sink into when there are no shadows such as during daytime. It is progressive for ease of travel.
Progressive Half-Order: form x-shaped x cm above floor underneath (the shadow under the carpet would be formed and Darc will by then, sink in it), travel x meters to x angle, travel x meters to x angle, …