“What is it, Rin?”
“I saw a boy, younger than me. He was crying because his family died too.”
“I feel sad otou-san and okaa-san died, but I feel sadder seeing that boy crying because he lost his family.”
“Heheh, you are just like tou-san and ka-san, caring about others.”
“What is it, Rin?”
“What was that light and how did you make our family katana glow like that?”
“Well, I suppose I was never clean about that. It’s kinda like this.”
“That’s about it. Any questions?”
“Then are you a superhero?”
“I couldn’t save tou-san and ka-san…”
“That’s okay, you still saved me and everybody else.”
“Then, can you make me a promise?”
“Otou-san and okaa-san always try to save a person so people that care about him won’t cry because he dies.”
“I see, you want me to save people so their loved ones won’t lose them and grieve, right?”
“Yes, I want you to save people so people like that boy won’t cry because those he cared about died. Can you promise me?”
“Yes, I promise.”
“Unh! Then give me a pinkie promise!”
Two fingers of the outermost side of the hand interlocked and a promise was made that day.
A vortex that suddenly opened in front of the Transporter Room has left it in shambles, but operational. The operators immediately operated their monitors after the vortex collapsed.
“All signs of the vortex-type Rupture is gone, we can’t track him anymore,” one operator reported.
“Damn!” John banged his desk before turning to the Court Wizards. “Sorry you two, but we lost him.”
“No!” Alicia exclaimed.
“…Call Master Darc and Master Pierre,” Owen ordered.
“Right.” The operator fiddled the machine in front of him to call the Dark Guardian and whichever Mother Soul this Pierre guard. Alicia assumes Pierre is the Light Guardian considering Haruto’s Element.
“Owen, what just happened?” Alicia asked, now that she thought about what happened to the raven-haired boy.
After cleaning some of the mess left behind by that vortex.
“It’s called a Dimensional Rupture,” Owen began. “But first, you’re gonna need to know this first.” He pointed at one of the monitors that showed an animation of a black screen with numerous specks of white moving about. “Currently, the popular theory is that this entire black space, called the ‘Sea of Worlds,’ also called the ‘Sea of Nothingness,’ is where worlds are. Think of worlds like breadcrumbs in water.”
“So worlds move around this Sea of Worlds?” Alicia deduced.
“Exactly.” Owen continued, “sister worlds are usually two crumbs that are in some circle that keeps them traveling together but still maintains distance. That also means that travel between them is possible through magic or technology of those worlds.”
“I have been wondering, can there be only two worlds as sisters?”
“No, multiple worlds can be sisters too. In that case, it’s called a ‘Circle of Sister Worlds’.”
“Then what happens if they clump together?”
“Usually, it’ll create a stable pathway, like a portal or a gate, between them that could stay up permanently but could still be severed. Otherwise, a ‘World Merge’ will occur where they fuse into one. Haruto’s world is one, Rakarok-Earth World Merge.”
“I see, I understand.”
“Right then, now we’ll talk about Dimensional Ruptures.” Owen continued, “they occur when two worlds that are not sisters collide. When that happens, a Dimensional Rupture, or just Rupture for short, is created in various forms like that vortex-type Rupture.
“Because it’s made between non-sister worlds, it’s unstable and would pull in anything from one world to the other and then collapse within minutes after it was formed.
“And… that’s how dad got missing.”
“I see…” Alicia muttered. So that was how Joshua got missing…
“It’s dangerous for us since our disloyal maneg will forcefully leave our Maneg Souls to maintain the amount in the world.”
“But I have only loyal maneg, wouldn’t I be fine?”
Going to another world, not with the transfer of the Transporter Room was lethal to Court Wizard because it could not transport disloyal maneg with them. Court Wizards flung to another world without disloyal maneg are at their weakest as they could not even order [Telepathy]. Additionally, depending on their Element, it will be hard to gather enough maneg to call for rescue. Furthermore, the repercussion for losing all disloyal maneg at once was brutal.
Most lose their consciousness and there are even some cases of amnesia. By that time, the Court Wizard could at worst get themselves killed or get tangled up in a mess that would last for a long time without ever stepping back to the Otherworldly Court.
Everything above, however, theoretically does not apply to Alicia since she had no disloyal maneg. So by the time she landed into whatever world she was thrown into, she could immediately send a [Telepathy] to the Transporter Room to pick her up, meaning Haruto’s sacrifice was pointless.
“Haruto knew about it, right?” Alicia asked.
“Yeah,” Owen nodded. “We talked about it extensively on the car, he’s smart enough to know that implication and he still did it.”
“Why would he do that?”
“…I don’t know.”
Just then, a man 192 cm in height, with a blonde hair and blue eyes appeared on the transfer circle. He wore a frilly white suit with a black shirt underneath and a white bowtie on his neck. On his back was a cape, white on the outside, red on the inside. He also had a top hat on his head. His look overall was pretty eccentric. He is the Guardian of the Mother Soul of Light, Pierre Rickens.
Alicia had met him before during her run-in with Amelia Rickens, his little sister.
Right at the same time, Darc had entered the Transporter Room.
“Owen, is it true that a Rupture had manifested and taken Haruto to the unknown?” Pierre confronted.
“Yes,” Owen confirmed. “I’ll explain what happened.”
“Well, Haruto will definitely do something like that,” the white suit guy said.
“And why did he do something like that?” Owen demanded.
“It has something to do with his personal life,” Darc answered. “I will need to inform his family about this.”
“Please, take me with you,” Alicia requested. “It is my fault for what happened to Haruto, I want to at least apologize.”
“Fine,” the Dark Guardian said. “At least inform your father first.”
Rakarok-Earth World Merge
A small girl in her sixth grade with a wavy black hair and black eyes opened the door upon hearing the doorbell.
“Darc-san!” the little girl cheered.
“Hey, Rin,” the dark elf greeted.
“Where’s onii-chan?” Rin asked as she could not see any trace of her brother. However, she did see three other people behind him.
“About that, can you call Daisuke.” Darc’s voice was low, as he has bad news for the little girl. “We got something to discuss.”
“I see, for such a thing to happen.”
Besides Rin, an elderly man in his sixties with a grey hair holding a cane. He was a Light Court Wizard who had retired from service. He introduced himself as Daisuke Fujiwara.
They were in the dining hall as the living room could not fit the crowd. Rin had brought tea for everyone. Both parties introduced themselves.
Then, the two were told everything that happened. From the S+ rank wolf-type Maneg Beast hunt to the forming of the vortex-type Rupture and to how Haruto had saved Alicia which ended up with him being sucked into the vortex leading to who knows where. Darc handed over Haruto’s Cherished Armament which he left behind.
Daisuke had taken in quite calmly, befitting his age. Rin, however…
“Are you okay, Bell-san?” Rin calmly asked her.
“…Huh?” Alicia was surprised. This is a little girl who had been told that her older brother had been cast into a vortex saving a girl who would’ve been fine if she was sucked in, thus an unnecessary sacrifice; and now the same girl was asked if she was alright!
But then she remembered…
“You remind me of my little sister. She’s about the same age as you.”
She is just like Rina.
“Y-Yes, I am okay…” Alicia meekly said.
“Thank goodness.” Rin smiled.
“W-Why? Because of me, your brother is-”
“No, it’s also my fault.”
Three out of four guests widen their eyes at the raven-haired girl’s remark. The retired Light Court Wizard cleared his throat to get attention.
“It’s complicated.” Daisuke turned to Rin. “Rin, can I tell them?”
“Yes, it’s okay,” Rin nodded.
“Right.” He then turned to the guests. “Now, settle down. This will be a lengthy one, and please ask questions after I have done speaking.”
“Haruto and Rin’s parents worked in a hospital that accepts patients regardless of race or nationality,” Daisuke explained, “it was one of the beacons of unity in this day and age.
“However, there was a terrorist group that didn’t like that idea and, well, they first revealed themselves by attacking that hospital.
“At that time, Haruto was in a mission in another world when the attack happened, so his arrival was delayed despite rushing. Fortunately, Darcassan-kun and Ilezenya-chan were on the scene but the opposition was too many so they were stuck dealing with those outside.
“By the time Haruto transferred here, he barged into the hospital but it was too late. Haruto was only able to save Rin, who was there too. While he had made the perpetrators pay, both of their parents had unfortunately lost their lives.
“Now, Haruto wasn’t only guilty of failing to protect his parents. At the time, he had hidden his status as a Court Wizard and it was only revealed at the attack; he felt bad that despite his powers, he still couldn’t save his and Rin’s parents.
“Naturally, Rin forgave him,” Daisuke said while giving Rin a warm smile. “But her brother still couldn’t forgive himself. So instead, she had made him make a promise.”
“I promise to save people so that their loved ones would not grieve for their loss,” Rin recited. “The exact words onii-chan said.”
“The context of that promise was also the reason for their parents’ career decisions,” Daisuke continued. “They both had once lost their relatives to illness, and they both had seen their other relatives grieve more than them and that struck them.
“Since then, they decided to become doctors, saving people from sickness so no one else has to grieve. Coincidentally, they also liked the idea of the hospital that treats everyone and decided to work there, that was how they met and married.
“Rin here loved her parents’ ideals and made the promise her brother keeps based on that. So, he will save people with the Maneg Soul inside him so others would not cry, same principle.”
“I see…” Alicia muttered, she gazed solemnly at the little girl. She is very strong…
“Moving on,” Daisuke continued. “After the incident, Haruto and Rin had no other relatives that could take care of them. So I, who was a mentor to Haruto, adopted them. So technically, I am their father now.” Daisuke ruffled Rin’s hair. She giggled. “But Rin here still referred me ojii-san, Haruto insist on calling me ‘old man’.”
In other words, people who cared about Alicia would be in grief if she were to be lost to the unknown, even though it would’ve been only for a short while. Haruto’s stubbornness to keep his promise to his sister is what drove him to save Alicia.
“Well, Haruto can be quite stubborn,” Daisuke continued. “And I’m sure he’ll be fine, even if it took years, he will return.”
“Yeah, onii-chan will come back!” Rin cheered.
The two were not in the slightest, dejected by the news. They had every bit of hope that Haruto will come back home.
“So that heroic siscon was like me…” Owen murmured. “Is that why he…”
Rin caught his murmur, she seems to have an idea about the white-haired boy’s statement. She came up to him. “Did you lost someone too?”
“Huh?” Owen raised his eyebrow.
“Should I not say that?”
Owen then told her about his mother, who had died from childbirth. Then, he talked about his grandmother, also passed away. Then…
“What about your otou-san?” Rin asked.
“…He’s missing,” Owen answered. “Like Haruto.”
“Are you trying to find him?”
“Yes, yes I am.”
“Unh! I’m sure you can find him!”
In a way, both were similar. They both had lost a loved one to death: one lost a mother and a grandmother, and one lost both parents. Both had lost someone cherished to the unknown: one lost a father, and one lost a brother. Both had lost someone to both entities.
“Also,” Owen continued. “Sorry.”
“I kinda told that to Haruto. I’m pretty sure that’s why that guy did it. Idiot…” Owen confessed. Though he did not let that last statement enter the ear of the black-haired girl.
“That’s okay, onii-chan will still save Bell-san even he doesn’t know about that because Bell-san is your friend!”
“Oh, I am so sorry!” Alicia apologized to Rin, her hand clasped her mouth and tears welling up.
“It’s okay, Bell-san.” Rin patted the crying maiden. “Oni-chan did it because he wants to.”
“T-Thank you, I will find your brother. I will make sure he returns,” Alicia declared.
“I’ll help find your brother too, I promise.” Owen also jumped in.
“Arigatou, but you should find your tou-san first.” Rin turned to Alicia. “Bell-san, you are helping him, right?”
“Yes, I will help Owen to find his father and then we will find your brother,” Alicia continued. “We will definitely find them.”
“Uhn! I’m sure you can!”
Initially, this started as a bearing of bad news. A little girl was supposed to be comforted upon hearing her brother’s sudden disappearance, but she was the one who ended up comforting instead.
It was a very eventful day, one that ended on a good note.
KETINK KETINK KETINK
“Oh?” Pierre raised his eyebrow. “What do we have here?”
A clear sound followed by a white light shining from the frills of Pierre’s white suit. The light was so subtle, it was the sound that got the attention of everyone, otherwise, no one would notice.
“Is that what I think it is?”
“Great, another one.”
“This will be the second this year.”
“Oh my, I wonder who will it be?”
The light separated from his chest, forming a white ball of light.
The stray Maneg Soul had runes of unknown language carved all over it that Alicia’s Maneg Soul did not have in its memory. Weird, considering her Maneg Soul should have those same runes when it merged with her.
The stray Maneg Soul moved about, left and right, leaving trails that fade quickly.
“I’ll contact the operators to track it,” Pierre said, putting his fingers behind his ears. “Lest we have a dramatic first episode, ohoho!”
His efforts proved futile, however, as the stray Maneg Soul moved upwards to the sky, well not to the sky per se. It made an arc, almost scraping itself against the wall, and landed into Rin’s undeveloped chest.
“Eeh!?” Rin was taken aback as the ball of light squirmed its way into her. Her adoptive father (though it should’ve been grandfather) caught her as she tripped.
“I see my efforts were meaningless!” Pierre chuckled. The Light Guardian was still on his [Telepathy], probably to tell the operators to cancel the search. “I must say, it’s as if a perfectly crafted story has unfolded for this to happen!”
“What’s happening, magician-san?” Rin was making a confused expression as she demanded an answer from the man with the magician’s getup. The kind of magician that pulled rabbits out of a tophat. Coincidentally, magician-san put his right hand over his face and his left below his right elbow.
“Call me Maestro Pierre, my dear.” Magician-san switched the position of his hands.
But ‘maestro’ is for musicians, right?
Don’t bother, he says what he likes. (Owen)
“But isn’t ‘maestro’ for musicians?” Rin pointed out.
“Guh! You have no need to sweat the intricate details!” Pierre’s ego was struck. He bent his upper body to be back while dabbing.
Hihihi, he’s funny!
Oh, I was wondering where you have been.
Eh, I’m always here!
Sorry, I meant that you were awfully quiet. I expected you to come out anytime soon.
Well, I’m waiting for the perfect time to introduce myself!
I see, good luck with that.
“Forget about that.” The not-maestro switched back to his original pose. “What that elegant light was, is a Maneg Soul of Light. Yes, the light that opens the eye to the beautiful world we see.”
“Basically, it’s the same thing that your brother has,” Darc explained to the girl. “A Maneg Soul.”
“Gah! Sir Darcassan, don’t interrupt my enumeration!” Another pose was switched into. This time, both arms pointed towards the dark elf with both hands crooked inward.
However, Darc carried on explaining everything that the soon-to-be-Court-Wizard needed to know about Court Wizards, especially the burden of it. Noises from the Light Guardian were simply ignored.
“Also, this guy will be your direct leader…” Silent for a second, Darc continued, “good luck with him. Any questions?”
“Hey, what perchance is that supposed to mean!?” Pierre demanded.
“Then can I find onii-chan?” Rin asked hopefully.
“Sure,” Darc replied. “Rather, you should.”
“Hey, listentomeplease…” Pierre sobbed.
“We will help you look for him too,” Alicia offered.
“Uhn!” Rin smiled.
“So, who’s her mentor?” Owen asked. His question got the attention of everyone. Rin was tilting her head, not understanding his remark.
“That will be you, Owen,” Darc said bluntly.
“What!” Owen screeched.
“New Court Wizards are to be accompanied by the first Court Wizard who contacted them first and the Guardian for at least a year,” Darc explained. “We’re both Guardians, Alicia has not been a Court Wizard for a year, and Daisuke is too old to go into service again. So that makes you the only candidate.”
Meanwhile, Alicia explained the whole menagerie to Rin.
“So Ruze-san is my senpai?” Rin concluded.
“Yes, I suppose he will be your senpai,” Alicia nodded while giggling.
“Wha? I what? I’m already mentoring Alicia!” Owen exclaimed. “Don’t lump me with another one!”
Hearing this, Rin approach Owen with a sad face. “Am I not good enough?”
“I uh, fine, I’ll do it.” Unable to withstand Rin’s puppy eyes, Owen gave in.
“Please take care of me, Ruze-senpai!” Rin bowed her head to Owen, flustering him more.
“Hoho,” the old Light Court Wizard chuckled. “I will also let her practice here to lift some of your burdens. Please take care of my daughter well.”
“I’ll do what I have to do,” Owen sighed.
“Wonderful,” Alicia smiled. “Rin-chan, we will be working together from now on. It will be my pleasure.”
“Uhn!” Rin smiled. “A pleasure to work with you, Alicia-nee-chan!”
She’s so cute! Alicia blushed internally.
Ignoring the Light Guardian’s wallow in despair, it has certainly been an eventful day. Now, it can finally end.
“Allow me to introduce myself!”
an: Sorry if I butchered the honorifics. They’re in the Japan of Rakarok-Earth World Merge, so it would make sense for them to speak Japanese.