Azhure: In this part, which where semi-rewrite happened, I’m retconning some world-hopping title lore and adding new ones.
“Rose, how did the Green Deity know about us?” Alicia asked. “…And even our old name?”
“We… do not know,” Rose answered. “The Maneg Users may have visited his world before during the Eleven-Century War and made a lasting impression on him. Or it could be on Geron Yor, not even the Yellow Deity’s followers remember when he came.”
“Ah, they are returning,” Rose said to the other Court Wizards who transferred out of Geron Yor first.
In the end, Hanz and Crea had volunteered to hold off the Green Deity and his Spawns while the others escape. Rin objected but was convinced to go soon after, a Court Wizard who could set off explosions like it’s nothing and another who could project a near-impenetrable barrier can certainly handle themselves. There is also that Wanderer who seemed to want a piece of the green giant.
“Damn brat…” Hanz cursed.
Hanz and Crea transferred to Manegia about an hour and ten minutes after the first transfer request. Experience meant that they were relatively unscathed, they had few scratches on their clothing and a small scar on Hanz’s cheek which had already clotted.
“Ah, welcome back you two,” Rose said, sitting back in her wheelchair. “After a quick trip to the infirmary, we will hear the report in the fire chamber.”
“I see the both of you have returned after your ‘Wanderer Sense’ tickled,” Aqua mused. “How did it fare?”
“That brat kept firing at the Green Deity and Spawns and I kept firing at him until he left after the sixth time.” Hanz deadpanned.
“A proper report please.”
“Ugh…” the soldier groaned.
“Uhn…” Rin mumbled.
Alicia too had a confused expression.
The Fire Guardian looked towards Alicia and Rin. “I believe we need to explain what a Wanderer we have been talking about is, correct?”
They both nodded.
“Alright,” Aqua began. “A Wanderer is a title given to entities with the ability to freely move between worlds with little to no restriction, even between Circles of Worlds.”
“So there are other people who can travel between worlds like us?” Alicia asked.
“Correct, we are not alone in this Sea of Worlds,” Aqua nodded. “Also, like us, they are able to insert their Fantasy Law into the visiting world, or at the very least ‘carry it’ with them like myself, keeping their abilities at maximum strength.”
“So they’re super strong?” Rin asked.
“Of course,” Aqua answered. “In order to survive the environment of any world, Wanderers must be at least that powerful. That is why you should proceed with extreme caution when you run into one, unlike a certain gun-maniac.”
“Ceh.” Hanz simply snorted.
“Are there any cases that a Wanderer does not have their Fantasy Law with them?” Alicia asked. Then she remembered something, “is my mother one? And everyone else from Spiri Raia? Spiri Raia is a world with a different Fantasy Law than Kaomagi Earth.”
“Well, as for your first question, if the Wanderer does not have their own Fantasy Law, baring what pertains to their ability to travel outside of their Circle, and instead integrate themselves with the visiting World’s Law, then they are called ‘Outworlders.'” Aqua answered. “But that is not your mother’s title. But first, I should tell you our title.”
“So we are different than a Wanderer?” Alicia inquired.
“We have two criteria to define a Wanderer. First, a Wanderer must be able to travel to every world, even between different Circle of Worlds, without restriction. Second, they must use their own Fantasy Law onto worlds, whether they carry it or impose it unto worlds.
“As such, Wanderers are a rarity, their numbers that we know of can be counted by finger.” Aqua stuck out a few of her fingers, it seemed that records of them were still intact.
“I see…” Alicia muttered.
“Now, during the Eleven-Century War, Mother Souls can freely wander into different worlds and its Maneg Users will follow. Now, if the Mother Soul of Element and its Maneg Users are considered as a single superorganism with the Mother Soul as the head, then that makes us Wanderers.
“But, after the Eleven-Century War, we have lost that ability and we can only travel between worlds through the Transporter Room meaning we are restricted to use that. Thus, that makes us ‘Travelers;’ however, Traveler is a title to those who have traveled to their sister world inside their Circle.”
“And we can travel outside of that,” Alicia said.
“Yes,” Aqua nodded. “And so, the First Guardians decided to create a new title to call ourselves. And after much debate, they settled for ‘Voyager,’ as we venture new worlds and familiarize ourselves there. It is between Wanderer and Traveler in the hierarchy and in the same rank as Outworlder. This title applies if only the second requirement for a Wanderer is fulfilled, Outworlder if it is the first. But that is still not your mother’s title.”
“Because my mother fulfilled neither of those.”
“Yes. Now, the next title on the list is ‘Outsiders.’ They are those who are forcefully summoned from their original worlds to their sister worlds. When a person travels between sister worlds willingly is a Traveler, an Outsider is a person who did not.
“And if you remember what I briefed you about the mission, the Green Deity might also be an Outsider, going by his speeches. The fact that his fantasy abilities are not impeded so he must be from the same Circle and thus a problem that Geron Yor is supposed to resolve themselves.”
Alicia and Rin shuddered at his name, he did make a lasting impression. And for Alicia, the fact that his arrival was ‘natural’ that the Otherworldly Court had no right to intervene directly.
“Of course,” Aqua continued. “Cases of people who were forcefully transferred to a world outside of their Circle, usually by rare summoning magic capable of pulling those from outside of their Circle or… a Dimensional Rupture, they are called a ‘Stranded’.”
Like Joshua and Haruto… “Is Rei Furuta an Outsider then?” Alicia deduced. “I assume he was summoned forcefully from his world.”
“Correct,” Aqua nodded. “Now you see why even that title is not appropriate for your mother.”
“Yes, because mother went to my world by her own volition.”
“And with that situation, we created another title to classify people like your mother. And the name we decided is called ‘Visitor,’ those who willingly travel to worlds where their abilities could be weakened or disabled due to different world’s Fantasy Law. That is your mother’s title.”
“So my mother is a Visitor. And also everybody else who came with her…” Alicia muttered.
“Moving on,” Aqua continued “For the final two, ‘Incarnates’ are people who died and reincarnated to the other world with their precious lives’ memories intact. This time, it does not matter if it is between sister worlds or not.”
“Agreed,” Alicia nodded. “It is getting convoluted too.”
“Indeed. In addition, ‘Transmigrators’ are people who had their soul transferred to the sister world and taking over another recently deceased person’s body, like in those modern Asian fantasy novels. And that is about it.”
“I see,” Alicia nodded in understanding.
“Uhn…?” Rin, however, seemed to be confused, particularly at the last statement. Actually, it appeared that she was completely clueless about the entire thing. In fact, her eyes were spinning throughout the whole conversation.
“Just take it slowly, Rin,” Crea advised her. “It’s also confusing for me too.”
“Really?” Hanz perked. “It’s pretty straightforward,” he said, Owen nodded in agreement.
“No, it’s not.” Crea deadpanned.
“So~ many titles to memorize…!”
Regardless, Aqua continued. “In regards to the Wanderer you saw, he seems to have the ability to teleport himself into different worlds at will, with a few seconds of delay – so that was check number one. However, he does not seem to be able to teleport in the same world.
“Also, he is most likely carried his Fantasy Law as he was able to use his signature abilities without fail which is what we are going to talk about. By the way, we give codenames to Wanderers based on their abilities and behavior.
“The Wanderer you saw, who was the latest one we encountered, was dubbed the ‘Timeless Hero’.”
“Timeless Hero…” Alicia muttered the Wanderer’s name bestowed by the Court Wizards.
“Hero!” Rin sparked, taking an interest in the latter part of the Wanderer’s title.
“I believe you saw what Timeless Hero has displayed,” Aqua said.
During the fight between Hanz and Timeless Hero, they both took each other out. However, at that moment, the whole battle just reversed back to the beginning, undoing everything thus far.
“Timeless Hero has the ability to reverse time,” Aqua explained. “Which we do not know the limit to how long he can do so. We believe that he can control how much time will be reversed as well as the area affected. And anything that happened in that area will be undone. There was one time where he rewinds the time of an entire world, it also reversed a transfer which evicted the Court Wizard back to Manegia, it also caused a mild disturbance here.”
“That is a frightening power…” Alicia grimaced.
“Really?” Rin tilted her head. “It sounds really cool!”
“However,” Aqua continued. “He does seem to only be able to activate it upon receiving a fatal blow.”
“Oh, I see.” So there was a restriction, except Alicia still shuddered that required the Wanderer to die in order to activate it. But still, that meant he wasn’t that much of a threat, going by Aqua’s warning about them.
“But that means his body is in stasis, he cannot age and his time-reversal will restore his body from any fatal wound, effectively making him immortal,” Aqua continued in a grave tone. “Furthermore, he jumps between worlds in different points of time than ours. And that causes the timelines of the worlds we observe to suddenly change as of the result of the butterfly effect Timeless Hero caused in the past. It is really frustrating when that happens.”
And by the tone the Fire Guardian was giving, Alicia suspected it must have been really problematic.
“Also,” Aqua continued, calming down a but. “This created an implication that Timeless Hero might have been operating far longer than we first encounter him, which was when he became a Wanderer, five years ago. A certain magician even made a poem about him:
“How long has the Timeless Hero Wanderer wandered?
“A week? A month? A year? Ten years? A hundred? A thousand?
“Not even he knows it, nor does he care for it was irrelevant to his goal.
“And that is about it.”
It was as Aqua said before, the Wanderer was indeed dangerous.
“What’s the Hero part?” Regardless, Rin beamed with interest.
“Well…” Aqua leered her gaze on Hanz, who was frowning. “It is a touchy subject.”
“…Why?” Rin asked, confused with the response.
“According to Hanz, he…” Aqua cleared her throat, “is extreme.”
And that answer only gave confusion to both listeners.
But Hanz gave them the answer, “Timeless Hero,” he scorned upon mentioning it, “is just some whiny Outsider we met five years ago who messed up his job saving the world from some demon lord and made a pact with the Wanderer-Maker to be a Wanderer to ‘save’ worlds as a part of his ‘redemption’.”
“Then he is a good guy,” Rin hoped, “right?”
“The problem is the way he does it,” Aqua answered. “He is willing to do anything to make sure any threat to a world he goes into is eliminated, and I mean anything.”
“I saw him destroyed a village,” Hanz commented. “He did so because one villager caught a deadly plague and apparently that’s gonna spread outside if he only disposes of that one guy, so committed genocide on the entire population and blew the village up for good measure.”
“That’s way too far!” Rin exclaimed.
While Alicia was also shocked by the Wanderer’s action, she could see his logic but it’s still unacceptable nonetheless.
“Yes, and that is why we have to stop him whenever he appears,” Rose stated.
“And do we do that?” Alicia asked.
“Just keep killing him until he chickens out.” Hanz deadpanned, earning a reaction from the girls. “Works all the time.”
“I-I see…” Alicia grimaced.
“Eeh~!” Rin yelped.
Then Rose interjected, “Hanz here was very proficient in fighting Timeless Hero that he developed a ‘sixth sense’ for where Timeless Hero would appear, at least in worlds with the Maneg System. Though, he is fighting Timeless Hero over a petty grudge.” The last sentence was unheard.
“Yeah, so the ‘Hero’ part is because of his past,” Hanz continued. “But, he didn’t exactly like being called a hero nor do I, but you guys insisted putting it in his codename.”
“Alright, any questions?” Both girls shook their head, Aqua then turned to Hanz. “Your proper report.”
Hanz gave another groan. “Alright. Basically, it ended up in a three-way battle with Wanderer and the Green Deity alongside his Spawns. Each of us attacked the other two; me with my rifle inside Crea’s [Shield], Wanderer with his bow, and the Green Deity with his Spawns and acid.
“Surprisingly, the Green Deity didn’t get into a big head after offing the champion and acted cautiously, not that he needed to, Wanderer’s bow barely penetrated his skin.
“Then, after Wanderer died six times, he transferred out, I wager around eighty percent of the Spawns are dead by then. I threw a [Missle] to escape. At the very least, the Green Deity ain’t gonna start a massive counter-invasion, taking over three-quarters of Beacons before the next champion arrives.
“And considering a amount of troops the Yellow Deity’s followers threw in, ther ain’t gonna try attacking without a champion. So there should be a brief moment of peace with both sides weakened, long enough for the next hapless Outsider to get summoned,” he concluded.
“See, that was easy, right?” Aqua teased as she finished up the report, earning a frown of annoyance from the soldier. “I believe this is all settled, now we shall-”
That voice came from none other than Rin. And everyone looked at her, wondering what made her to do as such.
“You can, can you?” Rin said. “You can defeat the Green Deity back there, right?”
Ah, she did not forget what she demanded to know back in Geron Yor before she was interrupted, unlike a certain someone.
“And even what Timeless Hero does is unforgivable, what he is doing back there is to defeat the Green Deity that tried to destroy Geron Yor. So why stop him and let the Green Deity alive? Isn’t it against what we do?”
While Rin was a cheerful and supportive girl who brings a smile to everyone, she was also the naive heroine type like her brother who wouldn’t let go of something like this easily – she’s still eleven after all. Again, Maneg Souls’ influence on the Court Wizards’ mind is the suppression of emotion in a situation where it is deemed dangerous and the minor influence of easily get along with other Court Wizards, which is why relatively like-minded individuals are picked as Court Wizards. So Rin is showing her pure, unadulterated heart.
There was a moment of silence. Then Hanz gave this: “I stopped the Wanderer because he doesn’t deserve to, nor do we. Remember rule number eight. Master- no, Rose, you explain it to her.” Hanz turned his back to leave the chamber, Crea followed. But before he went through the door, he looked back and said, “also, that world where Timeless Hero was born, it was already dead when we got there. Also, I hate his guts. Goodbye.” With that, Hanz slammed the door out of the chamber and Crea gave a nod of apology and promptly left.
“…” Rin was left in an unstable emotional state. Fearing a breakdown, the more mature and open-minded Alicia looked to Rose. Without [Telepathy], the vampire knew what she was going to say. But the black-haired girl had beaten them to the punch. “Sorry, everyone,” she said. “For bursting out like that. I’ll listen after I calm myself…”
Although the atmosphere was supposed to be the solemn kind, Aqua took the opportunity to brew some tea and Alicia took out a cake stashed in the refrigerator. Rose got off her wheelchair and sat with Rin, embracing the little girl with her voluptuous body. And Voice was cracking jokes to make Rin laugh, but it was terrible. Owen left the chamber so that the impending conversation will be between girls, even though the topic’s not appropriate.
Moments later, they all seated with Rose changing couch facing Rin. The eleven-year-old ready to listen.
“As Aqua has said, we should not directly interfere with others’ affairs that they can do on their own.”
“But can we not help?”
“Hmm… To answer your question,
“1. Let no one witness you should you not belong there.
“2. Never use more than you need.
“3. Choose for the betterment of the world.
“4. Never reveal higher-level technology of another world to a lower one, unless necessary.
“5. Maintain the flow of the natural order.
“6. To die or forsake a world you do not belong to, forsake the world.
“7. Cherish your partner, comrades, friends and those whom you care.
“8. Let actions be done by those who deserve it.
“9. Preserve your duties, loyalties, and wishes.
“10. Stay true to yourself.
“Did you notice what I said?”
It only took a split second for Rin to know. “…Ah!”
Alicia too, realized this when the full list of the Rules of Engagement was given to her. The first five rules coincide with the Otherworldly Court’s purpose to protect the balance of worlds, and then the sixth rule said to abandon a stranger world to preserve your own life. And she was explained and understood its reason.
“Yes,” Rose continued. “These sets of rules, or more accurately… guidelines, could contradict each other. Rules one to five relates to the cause of this organization, but the last five is… more for ourselves.”
She tilted her head. “Uhn? What do you mean ‘more for ourselves’?”
“Because too many have died needlessly in the Eleven-Century War and many friends would have died, so we made these guidelines to protect ourselves.
“An example would be the tenth guideline. Hanz had stayed true with his bitter rivalry with Timeless Hero, he fought him no matter what the occassion.”
“Then… How does the eighth rule, I mean guideline entail?”
“Let actions be done by those who deserve it. It could be interpreted in some ways, but the true meaning of it is that you should not meddle with dangerous affairs that you don’t have to.” She paused. “Rin, I suppose you were not informed of this, but as you know, Green Deity was an Outsider. A feud with the Yellow Deity had caused him to only be able to transfer out of Geron Yor if the world is destroyed and the Yellow Deity killed – we still kept his file.
“You have seen Hanz’s report, even Timeless Hero, who is stronger than the average Court Wizard barred Hanz, has trouble fighting the Green Deity. What I am telling you is that fighting the Green Deity ourselves is too dangerous especially you, and Alicia. You could get killed and your brother would grieve for that.”
“…But I just want to help…”
Sipping tea to clear her throat. “…Tell me, what was the promise you made for your brother, Haruto?”
“…’I promise to save people so that their loved ones would not grieve for their loss.'”
“And because of it, your brother never followed the eighth guideline.” Pouring another cup of tea. Rose continued, “he had stuck his neck into every trouble and almost got himself killed most of the time. Like you have wanted, he went and fought a demon lord and he narrowly died after barely defeating said demon lord. I am sure you remembered your brother not coming home once, right?”
“…Onii-chan…” Rin muttered, reverting to her mother tongue. Contemplating the fact she got her beloved older sibling to risk his life for a promise, culminating to go missing to save her senior by two months.
“Rin,” Rose said to get her attention. “Please, do not follow what your brother did. Even he would not want you to do it.”
“…” But the justice-loving girl hesitates for her answer.
“Alright,” Aqua spoke up. “You should take a few weeks rest to sort out your feelings. I will inform Pierre about it, you should go home.”
“H-Hai…” Rin replied in Japanese, her head downcast.
The Fire Guardian turned to Alicia. “You should get some rest, it has been a long day.”
“Oh, and please remember this.” Rose declared, “Stay true to yourselves. No matter what.”
Ahzure: So yeah, this is how I’m making this. Also, in regards to the Wanderer, this is to show that the Otherworldly Court is not alone in this universe, the Sea of Worlds is a huge place and some may prove to be too much for them.
And Voice, what did I tell you?
Voice: *Whistles away, feigning innocence*
– Barrett M90
– FN P90
– Glock 17
– Spencer Model 1882
World: Geron Yor
Tech: Sword and Magic
Sister: Geron Yor Earth, unknown world (hypothetically the world where the Green Deity came from which Maneg Users must have once visited)