Azhure: After three weeks of only achieving 5k words (3k words in the three parts of Chapter 20.4 and 2k words in More About the Otherworldly Court 5 (in my WordPress site)) I should be back to normal writing volume.
Azhure: Not saying anything, Voice? Well, Enjoy.
Going back down the lobby, Alicia saw the state of the people thereafter.
The mercenaries seemed to have recovered, to say the least. With the icy bondage Owen formed expired, they got a hold of themselves and calmed down a bit with beverages presented by the other staff who came out.
At least until Alicia and company came back.
As one of them dropped their wooden cup, the mercenaries backed away as much as possible upon witnessing the Court Wizards’ return. Some near the backroom retreated there. One male mercenary laid down on the couch just came to only to pass out again.
The staff, however, fared much better. As staff like them worked fulltime in this building, they naturally were told of the company’s secret and so are generally used to the Court Wizard’s presence. Nonetheless, they were still tense with the current predicament.
“D-Did you…?” Passing through the counter, the receptionist stuttered as she quivered out all her courage to inquire about that.
After all, those on two floors below could still hear the whole confrontation. And the loud argument between the manager and his secretary ending with a loud foreign sound i.e. a gunshot certainly didn’t help either.
“You might still be able to save him,” Rose answered gently. “Also, we took Lei to our world for a while. We will also need a horse carriage.”
“…I-It’s in the backroom, our staff will guide you there and… excuse me!” And the receptionist dashed upstairs.
Incidentally, the mercenaries who hid in the backroom immediately snuck out.
Rose then turned to the crowd, startling them for a bit. “You should help her,” she told them.
After a few seconds, some of the staff swiftly did as the Court Wizard said. They were probably afraid of the consequences should they disobey her.
Owen, does this always happen?
…Yeah. Somehow, every debut of us always started when some idiot pulled off a world-ending stunt. So we responded in kind. (Owen)
What did you all do?
After I freeze mount Vulgis, we basically made a huge show of powerful Orders in front of Palras, and also the usual fear tactics. (Owen)
And ‘fear tactics’ is – using Orders, Personal Skill, or whatnot – brutalizing one enemy or just look terrifying in general to spook others. It’s one of the reasons why Alicia had to watch violent movies.
We did the same to the rest of this world as well so the Half-Beosts wouldn’t get into any ideas, and well… we accidentally formed Maneg Beasts. (Owen)
Urgh! Those things again!?
As Voice made her input, Alicia shuddered remembering the Maneg Amalgamation otherwise known as Maneg Beasts. She had almost died in her first run-in with them and Voice went berserk because of it.
After we cleaned up our mess we made a stern warning against pulling that stunt ever again and left. The Palras emperor abdicated soon after. (Owen)
I see. But still, the amount of fear they have towards us feels unreasonable.
Well, magic does not exist in this world. So Orders are foreign to them and so fear it more as it is an unknown. (Rose)
And also the Maneg Beasts. (Owen)
Yes… also the Maneg Beasts we created by mistake. (Rose)
…Then this treaty was?
No, we decided against specifically telling the two races to reconcile so as to not make do it forced out of fear. So this treaty was voluntarily by their own. (Rose)
I see, that is a relief.
“”We will guide you to your carriage.”” Interrupting the little conversation of the mind, two male staff gave the Court Wizards a bow and said such.
“I see,” Rose replied. “Lead the way.”
“Right, this way please.”
As two staff members prompted the Court Wizards into the backroom, the mercenaries skidded along the wall like metal repelled by a magnet of the same pole.
I’ll get the Catalysts. (Will)
However, Will went to the front entrance to retrieve the sound barrier Catalyst plastered around the building.
Alicia recalled it was a metallic sheet with the Order inscribed that could also camouflage – the medium used was from a post-modern world. With its large, but thin enough maneg battery box attached to it, it was set to use an amount of air maneg and to recast the Order before the previous expire. There were four of them, bent into each corner of the outside building.
The capital of Palras was split into two districts: the inner district where the imperial family and nobles live, and the outer district where everyone else lives. While these two districts can be split further into lots of sub-districts, this is all you need to know.
Remember, most of the population in any country in central Beohar congregate in one or two cities with small settlements scattered but around but still close to these cities.
Only in the outskirts, near the Mist of No Return aka the Black Mist, where lots of settlements can be sustained as Beosts shy away from the Mist.
And in the middle of the day, two guards guarding a gate to the inner district had a conversation.
“Hey, Jack,” one guard called his co-worker. “Why the hell do these nobles have the time to make a separate ‘inner district’ anyway?”
“Well, Mitch.” Jack rolled his eyes. “I guess being a powerful empire means you can do whatever you want.
“Heck, we didn’t even need to tame any Beosts like the in the countries near the Black Mist.”
That is true, while the land of Palras was vicious, it was also a hotbed of precious ores. Adding the blessing of generations of talented blacksmiths, even guards like them were equipped with the best of the best out of all of Beohar.
Incidentally, most of the settlements around the Palras capital and one other city were mining settlements.
“But still,” Jack continued. “Who would’ve thought that our mighty empire will be signing a treaty with that Half-Beost kingdom? We just finished a war with them!”
“I know right? It’s pretty strange to have a peace treaty with them. Especially with all the talk about them being the enemy.” Mitch continued, “but personally, I really got nothing against them. Only my uncle died in the last war with Vulgis, but he’s an ass to me and my mom, kinda thankful for that. So I don’t really mind the change.”
“Yeah, I got nothing against them either. So I think the treaty will be great.” Jack adjusted his helmet. “But man, it all happened because a bunch of otherworldly beings got pissed at our former emperor.”
“Uh-huh, our old emperor tried to blow up mount Vulgis. And then some kid with grandpa’s hair wound up freezing the damn thing whole like he’s an Ice Dragon! And then-”
“Stop.” Jack thrust his open hand towards his partner. “Let’s not talk about what comes after that. I still got nightmares from it.”
“Right, but man! It’s a day that would go down in history and we’re still stuck on guard duty!”
CLIP CLOP CLIP CLOP
But then, they were interrupted by the sound of horse hooves.
“Huh?” One of the gate guards, Mitch, raised his eyebrow. “Hey, Jack? Did the guys before our shift told us a carriage coming out this morning?”
“No, Mitch,” Jack replied to his partner. “I don’t remember the guys telling us there shouldn’t be any carriage coming.”
In the bustling street under the Black Mist, the guards looked at the horse carriage that was coming their way, they saw who drove it.
“What in the Black Mist? They’re kids!” Jack exclaimed to his co-worker.
Now, this was a strange predicament. Usually, they’ve only seen old men holding the ropes; but two boys younger than them? Now that was something they never encounter.
“…Well, we’ll probably know once we got a look on their crest,” Mitch replied.
With what their job entails, they had to memorize every crest of the high society and important merchant such as the Bell Conglomerate.
And speaking of the devil. “Oh, it is Bell Conglomerate,” Mitch sighed in relief as they saw the familiar crest of the light-blue cloth around the rusted bell on the side of the carriage.
“Man,” Jack sighed. “They’ve been coming here a lot.”
Over the last month, they have been opening the gates to the carriage very frequently. It was only the coachmen being different that threw them off.
By this point, they would rather just let them through, but they still had to do the procedure. Otherwise, they might lose their job.
“I’ll do it,” Mitch said.
Mitch sighed as he approached the carriage as it stopped in front of them.
However, when he approached the kids, they felt an indescribable feeling of revulsion. It felt like an “I don’t want to talk to you” and an “I’ll kill you if you approach me” kind of feeling of off these kids. And also, the boy with white hair seems familiar.
And so he decided to just go straight to the carriage’s occupants instead.
“Is something the matter?”
B-Beautiful! Mitch flustered in his mind.
The window opened to reveal the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Long hair that is not the white of an elderly, but like snow with a pair of bewitching red eyes to match.
And the open window was wide enough for him to see her curvaceous body under her skimpy red dress which he couldn’t help but ogle at.
“What is wrong, James?” Miriel asked. “You were eyeing on that guards intensely.”
“Nothing, master,” James assured her and he looked back to the surveillance with his fist tightening.
Mitch felt goosebumps as if someone, somewhere is out to get him. He finally diverted his gaze as the white-haired lady tilted her head in confusion.
And he turned to the other woman behind her.
She was a young lady with the reddest hair he’d ever seen. But under that was a contrasting pair of bright blue eyes, it did not devalue her pretty face, however. She wore the same red dress though it would fit her if her body developed more, but he got the feeling it wouldn’t happen.
But then, Mitch froze as he felt an icy stare to his right. He turned to the front seat and saw the white-haired kid gazing upon him with his cold blue eyes.
“Oi!” Jack called. “What’s the hold-up?”
“U-Uh… Right!” Mitch stuttered, realizing that he was just standing there. “Please state the purpose of your visit before we can let you through.”
“I see,” it was the red-haired maiden who said so in a confident voice. “We are here to visit the Wolframs to finalize a business prospect. The manager, Norman, was feeling unwell, so he asked us to take his stead.”
“I see, we shall let you through.” As much as Mitch wanted to prolong the process be with them a little longer, the white-haired kid made him uneasy. Also, the black-haired boy beside the kid began to stare at him impatiently.
“Open the gates!” Mitch shouted as he hurried back to the gate and his partner pulled out the keys from his belt and opened the lock.
And both guards pulled each gate open.
CLIP CLOP CLIP CLOP
And the carriage silently passed through. But the white-haired boy still maintained his glare on Mitch until he can’t.
As they closed back the gates, Mitch sighed.
It was strange experience, to say the least. They were in a state of euphoria, witnessing the most beautiful ladies among they’ve seen, and terror, being subjected to probably the scariest kids they’ve ever met, at the same time.
Especially that boy with white hair and ice-blue eyes.
Wait a minute! Nah, it can’t be, Mitch decided to dismiss the fact that the boy with white hair might be the very one who literally froze the erupting Vulgis.
“What took you so long?” Jack complained.
However, everything else was still a new subject to discuss with his partner.
“Oh, you wouldn’t believe what I just saw.”
“Well, that turned out alright,” Rose said.
“Yes.” Alicia nodded. “But the guards seemed to drone off. Was there something wrong with them?”
“Oh, I am sure it was nothing too serious,” Rose assured her. “Do put it in the back of your mind.”
Then, Voice came out and went to the front.
“Good one, Owen!”
“Yeah, yeah…” Owen shrugged and then stopped. Then continued,” whatever. Go back to Alicia.”
“Huh?” Alicia tilted her head as Voice went back inside her. She was unsure as to what that was.
However, she did notice that Voice did not call Owen by the nickname she gave him.
Alicia tried asking Voice but she was replied with “That’s a secret!” and so on.
Seeing no luck, she asked Owen but he brushed it off as usual. Alicia frowned, he always did that when he was hiding something, it started five years ago (and she knew why three months ago).
With a sigh, Alicia relented as carriage ventured onward with Owen and Will on the ropes.