Azhure: With that, I have rewritten the first twelve chapters. The note after this chapter will explain why I did so. And with that, this is the end… part one.
With both knees resting on soft cotton, Alicia rested her arms upon the sill of the open window beside her bed she kneeled on. She gazed upon the starry blue night, for there were no artificial lights beyond the window of her room blotting the sky black.
It was hours after the final mission of the First Treaty operation in Beohar, but she still felt like it was moments ago. Thinking about it dejected her even further.
“It’s… because of the nature of being a Court Wizard itself.”
“Why is that?”
“Well, it is not… the best kind of job.”
“Is it because it is dangerous?”
“…No, not really. We, Court Wizards, don’t go down and directly fight. Rather, we operate in the shadows. Doing subtle changes that impact the events of a world, but we can go public if we need to. However, it is how we do such changes is what I don’t want you to go through.
“I know it firsthand and it’s a rather sensitive subject for me, so forgive me for not wanting to tell you my experience.”
She thought she could handle it, the whole thing, when she took her father’s warning. When Aqua briefed to her that the child of the Wolfram noble has to die and why her mind had accepted it but it was clear that her heart did not. And thus, she finally broke down.
But perhaps, it was not just this. Perhaps this was just the final pressure that burst the lid.
At the seventh mission, in Qantasia, she had experienced, for the first time, what the Otherworldly Court might be willing to do. And learned that even Court Wizards can folly, witnessed the closing of a hero’s sad past in brutal vengeance, and learned that a Court Wizard would only perish tragically.
At the sixth mission, in Geron Yor, she had seen how despite the Otherworldly Court paved the path for the hero, they still strayed from it and failed to reach their goal, and how the Otherworldly Court was basically like, “Great, now we have to wait for the next hero to arrive.” Then, the unexpected conclusion that was the Timeless Hero Wanderer and how Hanz stopped him out of spite. This was the final blow that drove Rin Fujiwara to abruptly take leave with Rose’s patient reasoning, albeit incomplete, sowing the little hope that she would return.
At the fifth mission, in Osianicd Archipelago, she learned how the limitations the Otherworldly Court can do to intervene, the first clash to Rin’s ideals. The Contract was nothing but a brief respite for the younger Fujiwara for the sixth.
At the fourth mission, she had almost died and glimpsed at how Voice reacted to it with extremity. Then, Haruto Fujiwara had meaninglessly saved her just to keep his promise to his sister, to save so others would not grieve. Thinking about it, the Fujiwara siblings would have certainly tried to stop the murder of the Wolfram noble as it was shown that his son had cried because of it.
At the third mission, in Qantasia, she had seen the cruelty one can do to others first hand.
At the second mission, in Beohar, she watched her fellow Court Wizards kill the noble’s, now known as the Wolfram, men and she could not hold her disgust. Even further now that the noble’s, and all those loyal to him, motivations were known to be ‘right’ in their view.
At the very first mission, in Kaomagi, she learned how the founding Court Wizards chose to put a seal to a ‘Lord of Vengeance’ that will break once every century threatening extinction so that the world’s inhabitants would set aside their differences and live in harmony.
And finally, after the first mission, in Kaomagi, she had lost consciousness in which she had the dream.
Alicia now clearly remembered when she had that dream, the dream that she had forgotten when she woke up. And moments after Will had done the deed in the eight mission, that forgotten dream arose suddenly. She vividly remembered the events of that dream was exactly as in that faithful room on the fifth floor: its destruction, how the Wolfram died, the exact words and actions Will spoke before murdering the child, everything.
Alicia could not fathom how she could foresee it. It was probably a premonition, a useless one for it was only remembered once it had happened as if to mock her for being unable to do anything about it… No, it was certainly to chastise her for not doing anything about it.
How she knows this, well, she had always known ever since she had selfishly broken her friendship with Owen. Thing is, her father had told her against it, after she brought Kathryn home, but she didn’t listen. After reconciliations, Alicia vowed to never do it again.
This was why she let herself sit and watch everything that happened in those missions; whether it was the actions of the world’s denizens or the Otherworldly Court, she just accepted it even though her heart disagreed; Rin, at the very least, openly expressed her discord. And this has finally taken her toll.
With all of the aches to her heart, it should be pretty obvious that Alicia should quit – if she can’t stand the heat, then she should leave the kitchen. Furthermore, her father never wanted her to be a Court Wizard in the first place and she can see why. The Otherworldly Court wouldn’t stop her to resign as a Court Wizard, they did let Rin leave albeit she might return. In fact, she was told that she can so long as there was a good reason.
“Then let us be your first friends after Owen…”
“…Welcome to our little group, Alicia!”
Because it was there, the Otherworldly Court, did she get the thing she was denied for her entire life.
Alice Es, the Ice Guardian, and the first one Alicia met. Though she didn’t introduce herself as a Guardian, she must have low self-esteem or something. Alicia got the sense of wanting to protect her too, the others did so as the little girl somehow kept getting herself into harm’s way.
Aqua, the Guardian of the Mother Soul of Fire. And despite that, she was the greater water spirit of Spiri Raia, the world where Alicia’s mother came from, as well. While being a deity to her own world, she may not have the same line of thinking with others, but her long life has broadened her horizon before coming to the Otherworldly Court.
Rose Bloodlight, a vampire shunned by her clan for being too weak. The longest active Court Wizard. That title certainly showed her experience as a Court Wizard. The kind older sister who comforts her distraught siblings and it showed with her presence at the eight mission. Also, she really enjoyed sewing and clothing design.
Jillianis Speris, the knight who couldn’t seem to be honest with her words, be it her knightly pride or shyness. Especially towards Richard Sworsis, who she obviously has a crush on despite saying he’s a knight from an enemy kingdom.
Crea Snows, the seemingly little girl who was actually all-grown-up. A pacifist to the nth degree, even though she ironically partnered with a killer and displayed aggressiveness when someone addressed her stature. Alicia hasn’t interacted with her all that much so she couldn’t say much about her.
Luna, the dragon-morph girl. Alicia had only met her once, but she seemed to be a sweet girl. She had it rough reining her twin brother’s hyperactiveness.
Amelia Rickens, sister to the Light Guardian, self-proclaimed maneg scientist. The person that Alicia’s father nonchalantly beaten up for trying to test the durability of her loyal maneg as a part of maneg scientist’s experiment she dragged her into. But still, the Catalysts she made has helped Alicia’s problem with having one hundred percent loyal maneg.
And finally, Rin Fujiwara, the little sister of Haruto Fujiwara. A child whose parents were taken from her and yet still retain her great empathy and a sense of justice. The girl who Alicia promised to help find her brother who was cast into that rupture in space.
At first, she could only consider Owen Ruze her only friend. But now, ever since meeting Rose and Jill, she has found friends and made precious memories together.
And of course, she wouldn’t pretend them not being a part of this:
Russel, the first Court Wizard she met. A priest, or templar as he claimed, who liked to rile up Owen into an argument. Honestly, she wouldn’t know that side of Owen if it weren’t for him so she was kinda thankful for that.
Richard Sworsis, the steadfast and honorable knight from Jill’s world, Irongrad. He seemed oblivious to Jill’s falling for him, though the female knight didn’t help it either.
James Crosdar, the boy who had once saved Rose from certain death and the one the vampire likes. A cute boy, according to Rose, who was obsessed with fishing.
William Trust, the Air Guardian, the boy who came from Alicia’s own world, Kaomagi Earth. A boy with similar personalities to her childhood friend and yet displayed intellect being relegated to make plans for missions. However, Alicia was unnerved with how easy it was for him to kill being from Kaomagi Earth and all.
Hanz Huber, the man who Crea followed. A man had no qualms on shooting everything that moves and giving harsh truths, but he must’ve had meant well.
Blaze, twin brother to the dragon-morph Luna. A rather rambunctious child, Alicia has not much else to say. But he must be quite a handful.
Gabriel, the Life Guardian, a leader of the church of religion in Kaomagi, and guardian to the dragon-morph twins. The man who looked like a woman, the man who had healed Alicia’s injuries.
Jonathan, the stoic hero of CoastLine in Qantasia. A man with a tragic past but has moved on from it by his own hands, literally. Alicia certainly saw the [Plant Arm] he stealthily returned as he went to the fox knight. Also, he seemed oblivious to the multitude of women having a clear liking to him.
Darcassan Erith, the Dark Guardian. The older brother of Ilezenya Erith, the Nature Guardian who Alicia met once. An assassin with a heart of gold but can still hold grudges, it still did not detract the former.
Haruto Fujiwara, older brother of Rin Fujiwara, the teen who had saved Alicia from that vortex. The boy who cherished his sister with his promise to her, to save so others would not grieve for their misfortune.
Pierre Rickens, older brother to Amelia and the Light Guardian. Like his sister, he was every bit eccentric which manifested in his love of magic tricks and overly grand speech. But his ego was pretty fragile and he will devolve into awkwardness when shattered.
Daisuke Fujiwara, a retired Light Court Wizard. He was the one who adopted Rin and Haruto when their parents had died, thus becoming the Fujiwara siblings. It was good that they weren’t left alone in their world, Rakarok-Earth World Merge. There’s no way the Eriths could take them in.
Jake Rhaims, the pirate who admired his late father. With his unique accent, he peerlessly defends his homeland, the Celeste island kingdom, in Osianicd Archipelago just like his father did.
And last but not least, Miriel Aqua, the Water Guardian. Alicia only met her at the eight mission. She seemed to be a no-nonsense kind of person. The red-haired girl was awed with the fish half-animal’s use of water maneg to let her walk on land despite her mermaid tail.
All of these Court Wizards Alicia had met was the reason that she couldn’t get herself to leave the Otherworldly Court. And no, she will not blame her Maneg Soul altering her heart to bond with them better. Even without it, she felt it will turn out the same way.
Furthermore, as said before,
“…I will find your brother. I will make sure he returns.”
And she also still wanted to help Owen search for his father, it felt like a responsibility for her.
In other words, it’s not like she couldn’t leave the Otherworldly Court. She can’t.
But even then, it still didn’t overshadow the suffering she went through.
And this created two sides that pulled her heart apart. A polar opposition. An internal conflict. A contradiction.
“Why did you picked me?” Alicia asked the representative of her Maneg Soul sitting next to her arms, still gazing the night.
Voice looked up to her for a moment, her wings lowered down, and answered, “I want to live.” A very simple answer, without the usual chime to her tone.
“I am not blaming you for that,” Alicia shooked her head. “It is just that, why me? There are plenty of people out there, affiliated with the Otherworldly Court even, but why choose me in particular?”
“Well,” Voice dropped her head in downcast. “There’s really no logic to it. When I wandered into this world and saw you, it just clicked me that you should be my master. It just… felt right.”
Alicia looked at Voice, seeing her face that had lost its mischievousness. “I see…”
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
The two caught their attention to the door. Out of the trance of melancholy, Alicia recognized the signature behind the door. It was her father. Also, Owen’s Maneg Soul was at the edge of the corridor, but he doesn’t seem to want to enter.
“Come in.” Regardless, Alicia let her father in.
Azhure: All eight missions Alicia has gone through will all come together in this chapter. Hence, it was necessary to rewrite the chapters beforehand.