Alicia Chapter 19.4: A Ritual to Be Grounded – Astonishment
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  • Post last modified:23 May 2020
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Azhure: I said Richter will not die, but I did not say anything else, right?

Also, the forum’s in my website’s a bust, I couldn’t get around the CSS to blend in black background. I’ll make an entire website for it instead, in the future.

Voice: So all that work ’till you updated late was wasted!?

Azhure: Regrettably, yes.

Voice: Also, what the hel- heck is up with the last chapter!?

Azhure: Classic story writing. Every story has to ‘go up,’ not going on a straight line.

Voice: You better not hurt my master!

Azhure: I only care whether she’s alive or not, that will be my extension.


“Hah! You have fallen to our trap, Court Wizards!”

It was supposed to be a simple task of rooting out some secret evil magical organization bent on unleashing a horror that the kingdoms of Qantasia were deemed ill-fit to fight against.

But not only the Court Wizards were trapped save for one, but somehow, the cultists knew about them. The only natives in Qantasia that know about the Otherworldly Court were the royal family of Coastline and the higher echelons of the Bell Branches employees, but neither wouldn’t be involved nor even be cahoots with the cultists. The former for obvious reasons, and the latter too as Alicia’s father, Ronald Bell, hand-picked them and all of them are magically inept so there shouldn’t be a Bell employee within those black hoods. So how did they know, and who?

But Jonathan seems to have an idea “That voice,” he muttered.

While five Court Wizards were trapped between two glass walls with a glow from all sides of the corridor, Jonathan was out of the trap’s zone and came face to face (or hood to hood) with two dozen and a half or so cultists training their staffs, wands, and any other magical weapon or just their gloved hands at the Hero of Coastline.

Jonathan gazed at the cultist who uttered that sentence which surprised the Court Wizards. This cultist wore a black robe with a grey accent, meaning the lead cultist of this base, and also had a set of wings of a seagull sprouting out the back of his robe.

Jonathan spoke out one name, “Gray,” and pulled his hood then took off his metallic mask, dropping it to the floor with a solid CLANG. This surprised some of the other Court Wizards for revealing his face to the enemy, Jonathan is native to Qantasia – the first rule also implied to especially keep your identity hidden in your own world you live in.

As if to respect the risky decision Jonathan made, the lead cultist, Gray as Jonathan calls him, unveils his hood with his left hand covered in grey feathers, for his right held an iron dagger, to show the face of those in their late twenties though he had grey hair. “Missed me, Jonathan?” he said, stepping forward from the formation of cultist and left the sacrifice behind.

“Why?” Jonathan demanded in an angry tone, either his emotion suppression broke or he is yet to be in danger. Everyone assumed this Gray character knew Jonathan in the past, particularly Jonathan the Nature Court Wizard. This must be the reason the Court Wizards were compromised.

“Why you asked?” the lead cultist said mockingly. “Ever since I’ve seen what you in battle, I knew you were different. And so, my curiosity got the better of me.”

“So you spied on us.” Jonathan deduced.

“Yes! Seven years ago, I took the opportunity to join your merry army during the war seven years ago to learn every aspect of your ‘magic’.

“I was quite surprised there were you lot calling yourselves ‘Court Wizards’ looking over us in the skies. But honestly, you’re all idiots.”

I believe we know what he will say next, was every Court Wizards’ thought while flinching at Gray’s insult.

“You have great power,” Gray continued, “and for what? Babysitting us? Come on~! You can rule this sh*tty under your thumbs, for Abyss’ sake!”

“We have our reasons,” Jonathan retorted.

“Whatever you lot are doing, I knew you’ll be a nuisance to our plans for this world.” The seagull beastfolk pointed his claws at Jonathan. “And you! You have certainly proven yourself to that right, and I curse you for killing our brethren and stopping the release of GrassPlains.”

I see, Gray was the eavesdropper when I came here for a job during the succession war. (Darc)

I’ll keep him busy, focus on breaking out of the glass. (Jonathan)

“What is this ‘release’ you’re talking about?” Jonathan asked.

“Because this world is full of suffering!” Gray intonated. “But our lord Abyss showed us the path to be released from this hellhole. We just need to follow it!”

“And that entails sacrificing a child? Rituals always bring disaster.”

“No, no! This ritual will bring our lord’s agents to bring this world release! One kingdom every day.” Gray stepped back and ruffled the child’s black hair. “This child bears the cursed color of our lord Abyss’ enemy, and he wants his soul!”

“Let him go, black is the color of the Ancient Heroes. For your Abyss to be their enemies means he was the Great Destroyer, you’re mad to bring him back.”

“We are not mad, hero!” Gray was referring to Jonathan being a hero to Coastline and owning brown hair which was the hair color of the Ancient Heroes of Qantasia. “And our lord Abyss’ is not here to destroy us, only to release us to a better place! Those foolish heroes are too short-sighted to see it!”


“Excuse me.” In the midst of the argument between the hero of Coastline and the winged cultist, Jill shuffled through the other Court Wizards as the corridor was narrow for seven.

PANG

CLINK

The red knight summoned her Cherished Armament, [Speris Heirloom], and used the butt of the spear to break the glass and then tried using the fiery blade, but it only made an insignificant crack that the cultists wouldn’t see.

“I shall attempt this.” Then Richard, the white knight and Light Court Wizard, gestured the others to make way and as he did so, he unleashed his Cherished Armament. His was a bastard sword with runes engraved in the blade, giving off a soft glow.

CLICK

CLICK

WHOOSH

“Show off,” Jill scoffed.

Making a smooth noise, the white knight released the straps that held his brown robe and held the hem of his robe to take it off in one go, unveiling an elegant polished white armor. Richard did this in order to grab the shield behind his back, it was heater-shaped and bore a sword-themed insignia, the Sworsis crest.

Jill gave the other knight some space for him to try breaking the glass, with a huff.

Richard buckled his shield in front and his Cherished Armament pulled back, the glowing runic array making off a more dazzling light.

CLINK

And it only caused Richard to stumble back as the tight corridor meant that he could not set himself a proper footing.

“Hah!” The lead cultist laughed, noticing the knights’ attempt to break the glass, Jonathan had no more arguments to make. “The glass is magically enhanced, your sticks and pole won’t even come close to shatter,” he mocked. “And no need to try your ‘magic,’ the corridors are embedded with Magic-Dampener Stones,” Gray continued. “Even if your ‘magic’ is foreign to this world, it will still inhibit your ‘magic’ to some extent.”

As to test that theory, Darc Ordered a useless [Darkball] set to hang mid-air; the maneg formed and ended much faster than normal. Then, the dark elf stepped forward and pointed his right arm towards the glass wall. He crooked his hand to a hand gesture of a sock puppet, only with a biker glove, to create a shadow within his hand.

“Ah,” the winged cultist let out a gasp, his eyes widen a bit. “I did not set up a countermeasure for that.” It appears that Gray even knew about the dark elf’s skill set, which would explain the light in the corridor but it did not take into account what Darc did.

SHIMMER

CRACK

Partially true to the lead cultist’s word, as the stake burst from Darc’s hand met the glass wall, it only made a small dent which can only be seen from that side. Also, the Shadow Stake was smaller than what the dark elf’s twisted band could produce.

Even if Fantasy Laws differ from world to world, a world’s Fantasy Law may be similar to another and thus, things like ‘anti-magic’ techs could still apply to some degree, Manegia’s Fantasy Law is no exception.

“Hah!” Gray snickered, relieved to see that the glass wall held up. “I knew-”

SHIMMERRR~

And then, blackness covered the entire visible corridor. It seems Darc had resorted to using [Carpet] to counteract the magic-nullification; that would cost significantly more maneg than usual, but Guardians have an abnormal amount of maneg stored anyway.

SHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMER~

CRACKCRACKCRACKCRACKCRACKCRACKCRACK~

An absurd number of Shadow Stakes, in their full power, manifested from all surface to pierce the glass.

Then, the magical constructs dispersed. Dozens of seconds later, Darc unleashed another volley.

SHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMER~

CRACKCRACKCRACKCRACKCRACKCRACKCRACK~

Although each stake only made a few millimeters of progress on the thick glass assumed to be a meter, the attack came en masse so it will be a matter of time.

But the leader of the cultists, Gray, said otherwise. “A futile effort!” the lead cultist yelled, unfazed by Darc’s charade. “Time for the main event, look behind you.” He turned to his fellow comrades. “Unleash the Iron Knights!”

“Yes, sir!” One of the cultists began to change something. “Oh, steel. Thou are the holy crusaders. Unsheathe thy sword. Slay our adversaries before us. Awaken, oh Iron Knights!”

There was not a sound for a moment when the entrap turned their backs save for one. But then…

CLANK CLANK

CLANK CLANK CLANK

Alicia, behind me. (Owen)

Right.

Whatever it is, the Maneg Souls deemed it important to suppress the Court Wizards’ emotions for better judgment. Richard had pushed to the frontline with his shield firmly in position, Jill stood behind his back with her flaming spear prepared. Alicia was behind her childhood friend’s small stature and prepared her offensive wand Catalyst that Amelia Rickens made.

CLANK CLANK CLANK CLANK

CLANK CLANK CLANK CLANK

CLANK CLANK

SHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMER~

CRACKCRACKCRACKCRACKCRACKCRACKCRACKCRACK~

The sounds of marching steel have gotten, though it was masked by the Shadow Stakes cast coincidentally. Sweats are broken, not from anxiety, it was suppressed, but from the poor ventilation of the cultists’ lair.

I will focus on breaking this glass. Owen, you’re in command. (Darc)

Got it. (Owen)


“Now, for roles,” Aqua said. “Darc will be the leader of this mission. Otherwise, Jonathan and Owen will be the next person to listen to.”

“Eh! Short Cream’s sub-leader!?”

Owen was on the verge of chugging the annoying pixie into the teapot.

“I also wonder why?” Alicia added.

“I also wish to know,” Jill said.

“Well,” the greater water spirit began. “Owen has partnered with Will for the five years of his service, and Will is a good leader. So Will’s leadership should rub off on Owen.”


CLANK

SHIING

It came. At a glance, it was a two meters tall suit of knight armor. The armor itself had a devilish black design with two horns on the helmet which covers the face. Contrary to the last word in the previous sentence, however, was that the suit of armor was hollow inside. They are magically autonomous. Speaking of which, there were at least a dozen spotted, wielding only greatswords, and there may be more to be seen of the hollow knights in front could bend down for a second.

What are those?

Golem-type construct in Qantasia called Iron Knights according to our archives. Alicia, everyone, don’t hold back, use Orders that can cover large areas. Darc’s [Carpet] should nullify the anti-magic effect around us. (Owen)

Azhure: Owen doesn’t play video games, he doesn’t know what AoE is, so I can’t use that.

Understood. (The knights)

“Hahaha!” Gray laughed. “You should give up! You will all die here and we shall unleash the lord Abyss’ agents!” He was very confident with his card at hand that he simply went on and belittle the Court Wizards instead of plunging his dagger to the naked boy.

Jonathan simply sighed and said, “If you have learned about us, you should know not to challenge a Court Wizard.”

To that, Gray simply clicked his tongue arrogantly. “You can try! I know everything about your little group, I have prepared everything against you.

“If you did kill us here, our comrades will come for you.”

“I’ll take my chances. After all, I did…”

SHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMERSHIMMER~

CRACKCRACKCRACKCRACKCRACKCRACKCRACKCRACK~

Alicia nor the Court Wizards trapped could not hear what parted from Gray’s lips, much less seeing them moving.

ZIP~

YANK

THUD

“What the?”

But what happened next was clear.

While Alicia couldn’t witness it, it was clear by the sound that the naked child on the altar was displaced right under Gray’s nose.
I got the kid. (Jonathan)

Especially when Jonathan said it himself. The next thing was known was that Jonathan’s suppression broke.

“What did you-”

ZIP~

“Guagh!”

CLA-CL-CLAN-NG-ANG-G

“Leader!”

“A-Aaah!”

“He’s a monster!”
“You have not learned enough,” Jonathan growled, an expression of anger must’ve been written over his face. “Otherwise, you should have known this,
“We hold back, far too much. And, you will never get away from your crimes against us.”


Name: Richard Sworsis
Age: 20
Sex: Male
Species: Human
World: Irongrad
Element: Light
Element Color: White
Cherished Armament: Sworsis Heirloom (bastard sword)
Rank: Wizard

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