an: I’ll give a breather here.
It had taken hours upon hours and they had skip lunch but they have finally routed all of the Green Deity’s Spawns that was guarding the Green Line.
It wasn’t so bad for the two junior Court Wizards after the team split up to quickly dispatch the sentries. Well, their seniors did most of the work which the manner they did leave Rin in awe, squealing “That was so cool!” in Japanese after the emotion suppression was off when they meet up at the other side of the Green Line from where they started – the overview shot on Geron Yor did not show this.
Voice: hah-hah! That was just a poor excuse! You messed up with describing the Green Line being a half-circle now!
an: remind me why I make this ‘mistake’ mocking me now? Or rather, starting this 4th wall break skit in the first place!?
Voice: hmm!? What ‘mistake!?’
an: you don’t need to know
Alicia went with Owen and William while Rin was with the rest. The black-haired girl had rambled on how James was flawless with his ‘hook and chain thingy’ and also Rose’s skill with her parasol. Again, she was not disturbed with the sight of Spawns getting their skin melted by the Fire Guardian’s [Steam] Order even after the suppression was deactivated, or the whole brutality in general – a result of the need for speed and efficiency. Alicia herself was and hence, chose to not go with Aqua.
As for injuries, all had gotten out relatively unscathed. Once you know your enemy, it will be easier to avoid getting hurt by it. For the weakest of Spawns that roamed the outskirts, it’s best to kill them from range to avoid getting hit by their acidic blood. Actually, Rin almost got drenched in acidic Spawn blood when she tried to strike one with her brother’s katana – she was trying to emulate Rose who had clearly been fighting Spawns for more than a century now – but James managed to pull her to safety with his hook – it can be made dull to safely yank people or things. She was promptly scolded by Rose for her reckless behavior after the battle, Alicia saw her vampire friend giving Rin a good scolding. Other than that are a few robes that were damaged and that’s about it.
“Good work everyone,” Aqua said. “It is already past lunchtime so Some Food Court should be closed for the time being-”
“Eh! How can Some Food Court close between lunch and dinner!? People still want to have late lunches like us! I’m starving!”
After Voice’s interruption, the greater water spirit continued, “they needed rest too. So I will be cooking our late lunch, does anyone would like to help me?”
“I shall,” Rose complied.
“I will join you as well.” Alicia looked at Owen and said, “can you help us too, Owen?”
Owen paused for a moment and answered, “Sure, why not?”
“Be sure not to make it cold!”
“Shut up, Voice.”
Voice: now that Some Food Court closed so you can make an excuse for a cooking scene, huh!?
an: yeah, so what?
Voice: it sounds so stupid!
an: well, I’m genuinely having fun making these skits. Now let me figure out what they will cook.
And they ended up holding a barbecue. Why?
an: because I got no other idea. I’m not writing Voice bashing me for the third time in the same freaking chapter.
Anyway, all the other Court Wizards and staff currently in the Otherworldly Court have already eaten and thus refused the invitation given, so it was just the Court Wizards that gotten back from Geron Yor.
Amelia Rickens had built a grill that works with fire maneg, hence a Catalyst. Rose remembered the scientist making it out of sheer curiosity on whether it would work or not. She has always been making Catalysts once she made the most important discovery of the eleven Elements of Maneg.
Frankly, for as… unique as she is, Amelia had done what no other Court Wizards had done. Though it was due to various factors that lead to no one properly studying the Elements for more than one thousand and four hundred years. Mostly due to the time before the Otherworldly Court was formed, where the Elements were not united but that is a story for another time. But even then, the Wizards of the Otherworldly Court were also uninterested in maneg research and had their duty. In conclusion, until Amelia Rickens came, most Orders created were too simple (but deadly) like [Elemental Ball] or [Javelin] due to the lack of understanding and most was made through trial and error. Some Elements like light were not recorded to carry out Orders for a long time as light maneg users tried to use healing Orders with light maneg.
By the way, she also discovered that understanding the concept of the Order can help the Maneg Soul to understand and carry it out. Mind the word ‘can’ as some Maneg Souls simply cannot fathom some of the more complicated Orders that pushes the boundaries of ‘Earth’ science, much to Amelia’s frustration. Usually, they are the pre-modern Court Wizards that make up most of the forces. Some were able to after extensive grilling by the blonde-haired researcher.
Now back to the barbecue, Amelia didn’t mind the grill Catalysts, there were four made (convenient), being taken by Rin, though she did ask her to give her some barbecue to the upper light chamber as she is tinkering with another Catalyst.
“Here’s the grill,” Rin said as she puts down a small grill Catalyst on the balcony of the fire chamber. The boys helped carry the other three bigger ones. The Catalysts were red in color and had runes carved over the sides, a line connects the runes to a circle on top of the grill. Except for the smaller one as the design was not… consumer-friendly, must be the prototype.
“Thank you, Rin.” The Fire Guardian said, “now we will need to get some ingredients, I have the spices stored over the cabinet but I have not visited the grocery store yet so the refrigerator is empty.”
“Shall we go buy them then?” Alicia asked.
“Oh, no need,” Aqua said, “I will order them online.” And she pulled out a blue smartphone from the desk’s drawer and fiddled with it.
“We have internet,” Rose explained. “I suppose we never told you this, but your father managed to set it up and it covers our territory right now. The four nations also have access but only for the governors for ease of communication.”
“Wow!” Rin gasped.
“My father really did that?” Alicia mumbled.
“Well, it was somebody that had the idea,” Rose continued, “he was from an ‘Earth’ few decades ahead of yours, but your father had the finance to do it.”
“I see…” Alicia cringed. What else did her father do, built an online transportation and delivery service that can be operated on a smartphone app?
“Oh!” Aqua exclaimed. “That must be the delivery, I will open it.”
“Good afternoon, Lady Fire Guardian.” A man in a grey uniform greeted her. He had an emblem of a rusty bell stitched to his left breast pocket and was holding a cardboard box. “Here is your delivery, and it has been paid online.”
Father did introduce BellDe a couple of years ago. Did father set one up here, Owen?
Yeah, he did. (Owen)
Alicia sighed mentally. BellDe (Bell Delivery) was a courier service that helped many people receiving work. Alicia now found out that her father got the idea from two similar rivalling services created from two different countries in Southeast Asia in another ‘Earth’ during the time Ronald was still doing Court Wizard work.
Geez, did dad make Eb*y to?
The Fire Guardian took the package from the BellDe employee. “Thank you very much,” he said and promptly left.
“And we are done!” Aqua said happily.
Plates full of the aroma of a grilled meat of many kinds filled the long wooden table that was brought into the balcony – it was lifted, with ‘magic,’ from outside the castle by the way.
The girls (and boy) who cooked the meat really outdid themselves, there was too much barbecue that the table could barely hold them all. There were also grilled vegetables cooked by Rin in the prototype grill Catalyst because Will, the Air Guardian, was vegetarian because he didn’t like meat, not because he’s an animal lover – he chopped countless of animals – but because meat tastes crap to him.
And of course, they didn’t forget to bring some to Amelia, she was cooped up with her research that she didn’t eat. Granted, there was too much food so they gave some of them to whoever’s in the Otherworldly Court.
“Thank you for the meal!” Rin gave a prayer. And the very-late lunch started.
While the Court Wizards are enjoying their food.
“Miss Bloodlight?” Rin called for the vampire.
“Yes, Rin?” Rose replied. “Also, you may call me Rose.”
“Okay, Rose. You’ve been a Court Wizard for a long time. How was it?”
Before the longest-serving Court Wizard answers, she peeled a grilled chicken off the stick with a fork, and then stabbing it with a fork and putting it in her mouth.
Voice: that’s a really graceful way of eating barbecue! Hey, why is this bold!?
an: cause you already said that offscreen.
Voice: but this is a written story, not a film!
an: great, I just made her bully me for the third time.
Rose answered, “If I must say… It is bittersweet.”
“Uhn?” Rin tilted her head. She was still green after all. But for everybody else, Alicia somewhat includes, that answer perfectly describes it.
“I have seen three generations passed with both good and bad memories. I was still going back and forth from Arknoir and here.
Starting from the aftermath of the ‘incident’ a century and three quarters ago, there were still visible scars in this castle even a decade and a half later when I came here for the first time. It was quite amusing when Master Kenzie and the other Guardians called the wasteland formed after the ‘incident’ Training Grounds on a whim and became stuck. They were so old and their wounds from the ‘incident’ meant that one by one, they passed on. Eventually, the fourth generation of Guardians make way.
It was painful to see them pass away, but when others who lived long like me retire, I still remain.”
“Do you regret it?” Rin asked softly.
“No, not one bit.” Rose shook her head with a smile. Sipping her tea, she continued, “for one thing, I have met your brother when he was still a child nine years ago, he was really cute. Of course, that goes for you three.”
James, Owen, and Will almost choked their grilled fish, grilled beef, and grilled baby corn respectively. James was particularly flustered.
“I have seen young Richard and Jill brandished their weapons against each other first thing they met,” Rose continued. “Master Zekie broke them up before they got into a fight.”
In Irongrad, two particular knights hailing from two different kingdoms shivered while minding their own business. One was sparring with her fellow knight while the other was doing nature’s call.
“I have also seen your father when he was recruited, Alicia.” Rose’s next remark got Alicia’s attention. “He was mentored by Joshua, Owen’s father along with…”
“Never mind,” she shrugged. “Your father had a chubby face, you know. I have a picture.” Rose opened her smartphone that shows Alicia’s father in his younger days, he had a very round face and is slightly overweight.
“Eh!? This is my father?” Alicia said surprisingly.
In Kaomagi Earth, Ronald suddenly sneezed during a business meeting.
“Here is your father, Owen.” Rose showed a picture of a tall young man with white hair and blue eyes. He was peacefully sleeping on a couch. Owen looked at the picture silently.
“Wow! Your dad’s pretty tall, Short Cream!”
Everybody else just looked at the pixie, with a mouth full of sauce. It took her a moment to realize what she did.