Azhure: Alright, last one before the interlude after this. I’m in my last year of college and it’s already stressful.
“Why has the princess not brought to me!? What are those fools doing!?” a slightly overweight noble yelled at one of his lowly subordinates.
News of the princess’ safe return to the capital had reached his ear and he was not happy. She was supposed to have been abducted and sent into his domain he could not even rule. Once the wench was in his waiting arms, he will rally his army and storm the capital, overthrowing the damned new king and marrying the princess to secure his power. Once that happens, he will undo all the corruption the new king had caused and return the kingdom to its former glory.
“S-Sir!” the subordinate squeaked. “Our spy reported he saw less than half of them were captured and handed over to the guards at the capital!”
“What!? They were defeated!?” the noble fumed, his nostrils flaring at the whimpering subordinate. “He said their numbers were enough to destroy the princess’ puny knights! How could they have lost!?”
“Our spy also saw a carriage from Bell Conglomerate with the princess, sir!” the subordinate continued, trembling. “They brought the wagons to transport our captured comrades, sir!”
That report made Doug’s eyes widen. “Why would a lowly merchant company help them!?”
“I’m not done reporting, sir!” And with whatever bravery he had left under the angry noble, the subordinate let out a “the hero Jonathan was with them!”
And then, there was silence. With the noble simply standing there with an oddly serene expression, it had only made the subordinate even more nervous for what was to come. As Doug looked like he was going to unleash his next outburst, the subordinate braced himself.
“Get out of my sight,” Doug calmly stated, breaking the tension the subordinate had. “I wish to be left alone.”
“Y-Yes, sir!” And the subordinate fled.
With that, the room was left empty but a single noble, silent in a moment of thought.
And then he started to wreck the place.
“Damn it! Damn it!”
“You are the villain here,” was her nonchalant response.
“W-What! You dare mock me!?” the noble fumed. He would’ve tried to assault the heiress but Jonathan standing behind her menacingly made him think twice about it.
“You bastard! You and the foolish king!” Doug cursed to no one as he slammed the desk, causing the ripped documents to fly around. “Everything wrong ever since you gave that bastard son Albert his grubby hands on the throne! Have you no shame!? Your king had upended centuries of values and tradition! He spat on all of our ancestors’ contributions and service to the kingdom! How could you stand for such oppression!? Does family mean nothing to you!? Your bloodthirsty king even murdered my father and even his brothers as if the civil war you made a mockery of was not enough!”
“Even now you still stand in my way, you scourge!” he growled as he balled his fists, pressing the desk. He was often told he tended to rant to himself like a lunatic in times of anger, but even his father did it had stitched the mouth of the low-born who said that as he deserved. “He was not supposed to even be in the war! He could if he set aside his backward ideals to keep his hide safe like the other cowards. But who would support a prince so tyrannical as to let commoners lord over him like barbarians!? But no, your foolish master did anyway!”
“I know you have a master, brute! I know the vultures surrounding my kingdom always wanted to strike us and so is your wretched lord!” Doug released his hold from his desk and stomped to the curtain. “There is no way someone from a backwater fishing village like you could even catch the eye of your narrow-minded prince and stand with our honorable armies fending off the invasion if not for your master taking pity on you!”
“Hero!? What a joke!” He yanked the curtains open and looked down at his window seeing the people frolicking about as if they owned the place. Not even his subordinate addressed him properly as lord anymore! “You are but a commoner whose brain is physically incapable of understanding how a kingdom is governed! Just because you have great magic and can swing a sword does not make you better than us! It is only because of your master that your king can even band together filth to swipe all the glory from us like the conniving rat he is!”
“What is worse, your master did not even give the dignity to show himself!” Closing the curtains just as violently. “Your buffoon of a king may hide your master saying he achieved his cruel ascension from the support of the commonfolk! But we all know they cannot do anything without us! And now, I know who he is!”
“I had nary a clue why he wanted me to dine in that restaurant, or why I should crush the merchant company that owned it, but it all makes sense.” Doug brisked himself away from the window, sliding across the pile of documents littering the floor. “I should have recognized you that day, Jonathan, especially your so-called hero’s descendants’ hair. That wench of your master’s heiress must have clouded my mind as she humiliated me!”
“No wonder your dishonest crook of a master wanted Albert on the throne so badly!” he growled, reaching for the door though he merely gripped the handle for the sake of it. “We were right to clamp down on the merchants, they have always sought to destroy the kingdom for their greed! Now look at what he had done! Stupid plebeians being ministers instead of the wise nobility and a filthy beast, a foreign beast for a knight captain! Can you not see what you have done!?”
Getting away from the door, Doug rushed back to the curtain and practically tore it open. Looking down on the streets again, he knew it wasn’t just human commoners loitering about, but also all beastfolk staining his once beautiful domain which only served to boil his blood further.
And with a deep breath, he roared, “They! Will! Ruin! The kingdom!”
“Hah! Hah! Hah!” Doug’s throat was hoarse as he slumped down from the window, panting having said his piece. He really needed that after everything went wrong for the past few days. Even his beloved father did this and he taught him that it was important to let his pent-up rage out until it no longer befuddled his mind.
“You may have gotten me after my preemptive strike, but mark my words,” he said softly, lifting himself up. Just as important as his father said, he rebounded just as quickly. “I will prevail.”
Dusting himself off, he went to the chair behind the desk and sat. “I admit, I could not have done this sooner on my own. My father’s vassals were all but gone or too cowardly to fight for what was right. I confess, your treacherous king made sure we could never revolt any time sooner as he left us alive so he could laugh at our suffering. I too, worried how I was to take back the kingdom from the source of evil when that man came.”
He reached out for a jug of wine, grabbed a cup with his other hand, and poured himself a drink. Of all the things he broke, he made sure to spare these. “Gray, I believe was his name?” he pondered as he took a sip, washing down his sore throat. “I had my suspicion when he came to me in that shady garb, but he has certainly proven his loyalty to his true allegiance. I have to admit I could not have done this without him.”
After downing the whole cup, Doug swung down his empty cup on the desk, letting the alcohol settle in. “He is still strange though, asking for hero descendants in my domain, not that I would know since such things are nonsense,” he said firmly as he poured himself another cup. He didn’t feel like calling his servant to pour it for him. “It is also a bit distasteful to have his mages run experiments on those filthy animals under my house, the servants will arrogantly demand more pay to clean up all the mess. Should he not have his own place to do that?”
“Wait, I am sure one of those brats is not a beast. Bah! I should not look a gift horse in the mouth. I suppose I benefit overseeing the progress myself and those brats will serve me for the greater good as the mages Gray gave me will get their act together after that botched kidnapping,” he scoffed, swirling his cup around. “Right, that. Gray had certainly messed up by going after that merchant company. Oh well, I suppose I cannot expect everyone to do their jobs right.”
At any rate, he will need to move up his timetable. By now, that blasted hero must have already regaled the bloody king on how the evil Doug von SaltWaters sought to topple his corrupt regime, Doug won’t take any chances his rebellion was not compromised.
“I need not to be in an absolute rush. That slowpoke will have to take time to rally his weak men, and especially all of the lousy beasts he is so obsessed with,” he remarked, taking his time to enjoy his drink. “By the time his pitiful army has reached my land, I will have my finest army ready to crush them. Then, I will march to the capital, my knights sieging the walls, and the mages destroying its defenses. Once I stormed the palace, overthrew the king, and saved the day, I will marry the princess and take the reigns of the kingdom as its rightful ruler!”
“I shall restore the kingdom to its former glory, repealing all the oppressive laws the former king passed and reinstating the old ones. I shall return the rights of my fellow nobles whose guidance shall prosper the kingdom as the superior race,” Doug said to himself with glee. “While I am at it, I will solve the animal problem once and for all, and the kingdom will thank me for saving it from the rot within. As to that merchant? Surely his daughter is still in the capital, no? I will teach that greedy fox a lesson he will never forget, muhahaha!”
With a satisfied laugh, the noble lifted his cup to give a toast to himself and downed it in one go. He felt confident, with righteousness at his side he would surely come out on top. Besides, after a few strings of mishaps, there was no way another one would come his way. No, it will only climb up from here.
“Hmm, come to think of it, that master mage Gray promised should be arriving soon,” Doug pondered to himself. “I wonder-”
“Doug! Where in the abyss are the experiments!? They’re not in your cellar!”
It went downhill from there.
“Wah!?” Doug gasped as he shot himself awake when the door was slammed open. Growling having been woken up from his fitful rest, he shouted at the one responsible, “What is it with you barging my doorstep!?”
It was one of his subordinates, not the black-robed mages like yesterday, and he looked rather distraught that he rudely entered his lord’s bedroom. “S-Sir! It’s the royal knights!” he yelped. “We are surrounded!”
It definitely downhill from there.
“First, prepare your knights, we’ll assist the more troublesome on,” Darc told the king. “Our second rule still applies.”
‘The rule is never use more than you need. Basically, don’t go overboard.’ (Owen)
‘Um, was the counter-ambush holding back?’
‘Yeah, it’s pretty obvious what constitutes as holding back can be whatever.’ (Owen)
“Of course,” king Albert nodded. “And how shall we apprehend Doug, then?”
“We’ll attack his mansion first thing in the morning,” William proposed.
“Whoa! Jumping the shark much!?”
“It does make sense, he would not expect us to deliver him an ambush so absurdly fast,” Albert nodded with approval. “But how can we transport all the knights to his location? Even though his territory is next to us, marching all the way there overnight is still improbable.”
To that end, William looked at his fellow Guardian. Darc, in turn, looked at him back and nodded in agreement. “We will transfer your knights directly.”
“Ah yes, there is that,” Albert mused, feeling nostalgic. “It had been very helpful in the war.”
‘Owen, what do they mean by that?’
‘Basically, we use the Transporter Room to transfer the knights to Manegia, and then back here at the noble’s doorstep. It’s like teleporting them in with extra steps.’ (Owen)
‘We can do that?’
‘Well, first rule doesn’t mean no contact at all, that’ll make our job harder. Since we already told the king along with his closest allies what we are and is cooperative with us, why not take advantage?’ (Owen)
‘Could Master Darc not use his shadow-sinking magic to transport all of the knights?’
‘Not that many, usually. I think it’s too expensive for him.’ (Owen)
‘But what about the transfer itself? Would that not be inconspicuous?’
‘Eh, if we do it in a magical world, a rainbow light teleporting people is only gonna catch the most scholarly mages that something’s off.’ (Owen)
‘Is that so? Well, I suppose when the die is cast, we might as well make the most out of it.’
‘Yeah, it wouldn’t be the first time we did this either, not just the ones in the civil war if that’s what the king is saying. Our dads also did this kind of thing to save my mom’s family… or orphanage, I guess…’ (Owen)
‘Oh, I see…’
Still in his sleepwear, Doug rushed to the front balcony, almost breaking its doors in the process. With his two hands shooting for the guardrail to stop himself from falling over, he immediately spotted about a dozen or so silver knights, armed with swords and shields, along with several mage knights behind them, right in the middle of his front yard. The front gate to his mansion didn’t seem to be molested as if these knights just appeared out of thin air.
As if to answer his question, a magic circle appeared behind the current formation of knights. It lit up a pillar of many colors giving a slowly rising pitch of the likes Doug had never seen nor heard before. He could scarcely begin to think what sorcery made it possible.
About fifteen seconds later, Doug heard the high-pitched sound dying down at the exact opposite of its climbing tone, and with the dispersal of the light, it revealed even more knights which doubled their numbers. Chief among the new arrivals was the detestable animal, Alfred Fox, who bootlicked his way to be royal knight captain. Doug could still tell it was him even though he hid his ears under his helmet like the shameful coward he was.
Another of that light emerged. It confused Doug for a bit as that should have been all of Albert’s lapdogs.
As the light went down, it revealed mages in brown robes along with one in light blue and another one in black. They would have been strange to him as they did not fit with the knights if not for his spies informing him of who wore those kinds of garbs. After he calmed down from his rage yesterday, he had taken time to hear the full report from his spies which appeared to be even more useless when they failed to inform the possibility this would happen.
“Gr…!” Even without his incompetent spies, he could still see from the balcony the ever so slightly red tuff of hair sticking out of one of the mages’ full-face masks and the presence of that damn hero. Suffice it to say, it made his blood boil even further.
“Well then,” the king continued. “Is there anything else any of you might want to add?”
“There were spies observing us entering the capital,” Darc said casually with his arms crossed.
The king blinked, then looked at Jonathan who nodded in confirmation. “…And why did you not catch them?”
“By letting them get away and report to their master, it’ll give the noble a false sense of security and believe we would not apprehend him so quickly,” the dark elf explained.
“I see. I hope you are right about that.”
The beast captain stepped forward and lifted a smooth, glowing stone the size of his hand over his mouth. Doug didn’t need to examine the runes on the stone in detail to know it was a voice amplification stone. “Doug von SaltWaters!” the beast captain’s bark boomed through the stone. “You are under arrest for kidnapping, murder, and torture of civilians, attempting sabotage of a mercantile company, instigating a rebellion, and treason! Surrender yourself and you will be guaranteed a fair trial!”
“H-How!? How could they be here the very next day!?” Pushing himself off the guardrail, the noble turned around and grabbed his subordinate’s shirt. “You! How did they get here!?”
“I-I don’t know sir!” the subordinate shrieked. “T-They just appeared from that magic circle!”
“I can see that, you idiot!” Doug growled as he tossed the subordinate aside. “Get me a mage and go rally my men!”
“R-Right away, sir!”
As the subordinate ran with his tail between his legs, Doug turned back and knew he had to buy more time.
They watched as Doug made a fool of himself while still in his pajamas. After he tossed aside his subordinate, who must have been paid a lot to put up with him, he turned to them and ranted, “What is this nonsense you lot are spouting!? Does your tyrant king get his kicks stomping over the innocent!?”
“This guy thinks he’s the victim,” Owen rolled his eyes.
The knight captain, Alfred, shared the same sentiment and simply sighed as he said through the magic speaker, “We have enough evidence and witnesses to prove your arrest warrant! Come quietly and answer for your crimes under the king’s law!”
“An unjust law for an unjust king!” the noble fumed. “Your king is a corrupt man for taking away our rights and making the kingdom a worse place to live! He should be ashamed!”
“Yep, he’s full of himself,” Owen quipped. “He still gets to keep his mansion, what more does he want?”
“When one’s used to privilege, equality is oppression to them,” William muttered.
“Wise words, mister William,” the knight captain nodded before speaking into the stone again. “You will not insult my king! What he did is give us equal rights and opportunities to us all, freeing us from your tyranny!”
“And there lies his foolishness! Do you not understand!?” the noble sneered. “He is encouraging self-serving upstarts to steal our place and destroy everything our families have built for generations! The kingdom will only fall to endless bickering!”
“He should look at himself in the mirror,” Owen deadpanned. “Competition means no one’s stagnating.”
“Yes, and it is getting irritating to hear,” Alicia agreed while trying not to cringe. “I admit my family is old money, but that doubly means I have to work even harder and not have a big head. It takes one generation to destroy everything their ancestors built; if he gets overtaken by someone else then that is his fault for flaunting and abusing his family’s legacy while doing nothing to deserve it himself – he would sooner be the cause of the kingdom’s decline than the others he is impeding.”
Yeah! What a spoiled brat!
“I cannot help but agree, miss Alicia. If they or I suppose their parents, had gotten their act straight, they would not have been where they are now,” the knight captain closed his eyes in retrospect. “You have only yourself to fault for that! Now, I will say it again!” he then spoke through the magic megaphone again. “Surrender yourself! Anything you say or act may be used against you in the court of law!”
“Never!” the noble shouted at the top of his lungs, leaning so forward he might fall over. “We will stand no longer as your despot ruins the kingdom with greedy cravens and savage animals like you! Men, raise your swords! Today, we will fight for CoastLine’s future!”
“Here’s the bulk of his forces,” Darc continued, swiping his smartphone to show the images he’s captured to the king. “The bulk of them are mercenaries judging by their uniforms.”
“Tch! And they were complaining I brought outsiders to our conflict,” Albert frowned as he looked down on them. “Even his father fell to that temptation when there are so many of them.”
“Excuse me, is that common here?” Alicia can’t help but ask.
Looking at her, the king sighed and explained, “As it is in our name, CoastLine is a kingdom defined by the coastal lands we control, and it sits at the crossroads of global trade. As you can imagine, that means of wealth brings people from all around the world to this kingdom.” Lifting his hand to point at Alfred behind him, he continued, “that was how Alfred’s people came to be here after the crisis in his homeland – there was already a community of fox beastfolk they can seek refuge to.”
“On the other hand, that meant many a brigand often preyed on these traveling merchants which made the demand for mercenaries to escort them,” Albert continued. “I have read the history books, we used to provide protection for these foreign traders, being the kingdom’s livelihood. As you can imagine, the nobility, and by extension the old crown, responsible became more reluctant to provide the escort and even started to impose heavier tariffs than normal as they blamed them for all the banditry, never mind their houses originated from the same background.”
“So, when the civil war came, all of these mercenaries found themselves under the employ of many factions to kill each other. Even I employ them as I admit the people inspired under my command would need experienced fighters showing the ropes,” the king said while turning to Alicia. “Incidentally, I have your father to thank for that part, especially in ensuring none of the sellswords were enticed to join the enemy.”
“I-I am flattered,” Alicia smiled wryly. Now she really wondered what her father had spent his money on in the Otherworldly Court.
“Anyway, as our kingdom was embroiled in civil war, it is not just the local sellswords that found opportunity,” Albert continued this time with a grimmer tone. “Neighboring kingdoms have always envied the strategic location we possess and were eyeing our conflict with interest. You have to understand the heavy tariffs were a recent invention and already they have affected other kingdoms. So, when one of the kingdoms that also coveted our seaports saw how weak we were from fighting amongst each other, they invaded.”
“It marked the final years of the war, and invasion had changed the winning condition,” the king explained, soaking his throat with tea. “Even though all of the remaining factions were supposed to be united against a common threat, we all knew the one credited with fending off the invasion the most would undoubtedly secure the throne. As you can imagine, it led to a very disjointed front with constant infighting and sabotage among factions resulting in an abysmal war effort.”
“Ooh! That’s when you swooped in and saved the day!”
“You could say that, miss Voice,” Albert chuckled, stroking the pixie’s ego. “While other factions bicker with each other, I banded together my army and focused on countering the invasion. With your aid,” he said, looking at Jonathan. “I scored victory after victory, pushing back the invaders after my brothers’ disastrous performances, culminating with my faction delivering the final blow to the enemy and overseeing the peace treaty. With my spot on the throne guaranteed and Jonathan hailed as a hero, the other factions were powerless to oppose me, especially having spent their strength against each other, and the rest was history.”
CLANK CLUNK CLANK CLUNK
With racism added to the noble’s charges, the knights and Court Wizards watched as Doug’s army rushed into the gardens standing between them and the mansion proper. As Darc reported, most of them were mercenaries of differing groups forming a ragtag force meant to overthrow the new king of CoastLine – the irony when Albert’s forces were ridiculed as that during the civil war. Just from their looks, they’re only doing this for the job, not caring for what Doug had spouted.
“Men, ready your weapons! We apprehend the noble by force!” Knowing it would come to blows, the fox beastfolk knight pulled his sword and pointed it at the belligerents, issuing the attack.
Maintaining a tight formation, the knights charged at the enemy while the mage knights prepared their spells. With Alfred and Jonathan leading the charge and the Court Wizards not far behind them, they held no fear as they crashed into the noble’s meager forces.
Emotion suppression activated.
CLASH BRAK CLANG
The two forces met, locking swords with each other. Although most of the noble’s army were experienced mercenaries, the knights had an even harsher training regiment and were veterans of the civil war and the subsequent invasion from the foreign kingdom. Add some of the beastfolk knights like Alfred being physically stronger than humans to compensate for their low magic potential, the battle was in their favor. There was a reason three fighters were needed to lock down just one of these knights.
1 enemy defeated.
2 enemies defeated.
THUD CLANG SLASH
4 enemies defeated.
5 enemies defeated.
SLASH SLASH SLASH
8 enemies defeated.
With blasts of magic from both sides canceling out each other, the knights slowly but surely pushed towards the noble’s ranks. This was without the Court Wizards unleashing their Orders, yet.
10 enemies defeated.
SLASH SLASH SLASH SLASH SLASH SLASH SLASH
With William pulling the same move as he did on the princess’ kidnapping attempt, the noble’s mages were taken out. Much like the battle yesterday, the mage knights began to hurl spells without impunity.
17 enemies defeated.
BANG BANG BANG
BANG BANG BANG BANG
27 enemies defeated.
As the enemy broke ranks, the knights stormed the mansion. Both Alfred and Jonathan kicked the double doors open breaking into Doug’s estate. With the other Court Wizards following suit, the knights rushed into the main hall. There, the noble could be seen on the second floor in front of the grand staircase. Still clad in his pajamas, he looked disheveled, having run through the hallway most likely, and yet he seemed to hold a huge grin on his face as if he wasn’t planning on running.
“Doug von SaltWaters, we have defeated your army! Give yourself up!” Regardless, the knight captain commanded one last time to see if the noble finally conceded.
“H-Heh,” the noble laughed instead. It would have been more effective in unnerving them if he wasn’t hugging the staircase’s newel post as he tried to catch his breath. “Arrogant scum!” he spat, pulling himself up. “Do not think you can defeat me! Get them, Dubarim!”
“Is there any chance he would escape through a secret exit?” the king inquired. It was a legitimate concern. It would not be out of place for a noble’s mansion to have secret escape tunnels when things got bad for them.
“I’ve checked, he has only one avenue of escape and it’s in the middle of his mansion,” Darc reported. “However, he would have to pass by the main hall in front of the entrance from his bedroom. If he still manages to escape, I’ll chase him myself.”
“I see, with the surprise attack at dawn, the conditions would hopefully be as you said,” Albert remarked. “Is there a chance he would have something up his sleeve though?”
“I’ve seen Doug up close,” Jonathan said, crossing his arms. He was likely referring to his encounter at the Bell Branch. “He may inherit his father’s cunning, but he’s not as good as his father at thinking things through. I can tell.”
“Considering he likes to monologue his plans to any spy, I doubt it,” William scoffed.
“Yes,” Darc agreed with his fellow Guardian. “If he does have a backup plan, we’ll handle it.”
A crooked old man dressed in a black robe emerged from the noble’s side. If his garb or how he had appeared behind Doug out of nowhere hadn’t put them on edge, then his evil smile plastered on his face as he raised both of his hands certainly would. But before they could act, he said a single word.
They had not expected his magic to be activated by a short utterance. Spells in Qantasia needed a lengthy chant to start and yet there was a visible pressure in the air as both of the mage’s hands radiated with malevolent energy. An aura of darkness then pulsed throughout the hall, washing over the knights and Court Wizards before they could react.
“What is happening!?”
“I-I can’t lift my body!”
Swords and staves dropped to the floor. The knights were all on their knees, going so far as to be on all fours. Most immediately tried to get up but to no avail as if a heavy weight was pressed upon them.
“Kuhahahaha! As I expected, you are but brigands playing knights not knowing your place!” the noble laughed, salivating at the sight. “Grovel like the animals that you are!”
If Alicia had to describe it, it was as if her weight was multiplied manifold causing her to be crushed under her own body. She knew it wasn’t her own body that gained mass, she paid that much attention in middle school. It was more like the force pulling her to the earth was pushing her down much, much harder as if the mage had cast a gravity spell, or maybe that’s what it was…
…because she was feeling it right now.
“Kh…!” she grunted, supporting herself with her hands to keep her from lying on the floor completely.
Alicia! Get a hold of yourself!
“Alicia?” Owen muttered, catching Alicia’s attention. She turned her head and looked at him to find him standing up just fine, unaffected by whatever that mage did. She looked at William, Jonathan, and Darc and found them also standing up straight. It was as if nothing had happened to them. Almost.
Normally, Court Wizards can’t see maneg until it’s unleashed in Orders and such, it would be rather overwhelming if it was otherwise. However, because Court Wizard can sense the Maneg Soul of another even of a different Element, it was not farfetched for them to sense any and all maneg around them in general. And right now, Alicia was ‘seeing’ the other Court Wizards leaking maneg as they stood.
“…Huh?” Doug muttered, finally noticing them still standing in his gloating, especially when the greatest offender was front and center. “How come are you still standing!?”
Not wasting any more time, William sent another gust of wind to the noble’s way. It soared above the noble’s men revealing themselves in the main hall, seeking to execute the incapacitated knights. While Doug’s goons felt the rather violent shift in the air, neither men on top of the staircase would know it on time.
The head of an old mage fell to the ground along with his pale hands losing their spell. Blood gushed out of the stumps of the deceased mage’s neck and arms as his body dropped to the floor. The noble, understandably, was in a state of shock as blood spread to his feet.
“Wha, what in the abyss happened!?” he cried. In his panic, he quickly stumbled backward, trying to get away from the puddle of blood and corpse only for him to slip and fall on his butt.
“Men! Apprehend the noble!” Alfred wasted no time getting up and ordered his subordinates to charge once the spell broke with the death of the mage. The knights picked up their swords and lunged themselves at what remained of the noble’s army as their morale broke.
“N-No! Stay back, foul beasts!” Doug shrieked as he backed away, turning his body and constantly slipping his feet from the pool of blood before making a mad dash away from the knights, leaving a trail of bloody footprints along the way.
Before the noble could get very far, Darc suddenly appeared before him and delivered a swift strike to his head, knocking him out. Looking down at him, the dark elf’s eyes looked as if he wanted to end him then and there but held the urge to himself. Seeing their leader defeated, what remained of Doug’s army soon fell to the combined might of the knights and Court Wizards.
The battle was over. Emotions returned.
“Alicia, are you alright?” Owen rushed to his childhood friend’s side and helped her get up.
“Y-Yes…” Alicia replied, almost slurring. “What was that?”
“Gravity spell,” Jonathan answered, dismissing his sword with green aesthetics and coming to the other Court Wizards. “It does just as you expect.”
“But how are you guys not affected by it?”
“That’s the thing, you shouldn’t be affected by it,” Owen complained. “Court Wizards are immune to indirect attacks like that gravity spell. Our maneg should stave it off… crap.”
“By maneg, you mean disloyal maneg?” Alicia asked for clarification.
“Yes, there was always something bothering me about you having no disloyal maneg,” Owen narrowed his eyes. “And now I know why.”
“Is that a bad thing?”
“Indirect attacks include mind-control, magical paralyzing spells, and anything that doesn’t hit you directly. You get the idea,” William stated, crossing his arms. “Disloyal maneg acts as an automatic shield against them, something you lack.”
“So the maneg constantly leaking out of you was for protecting you from the spell?”
“Yeah, and we’re gonna have to do something about it,” Owen answered worriedly. “It’s a good thing Will got that mage before his spell did anything worse.”
“Yes,” Alicia muttered before turning to the Air Guardian. “Thank you, Will.”
“You’re welcome,” William replied curtly.
Maneg works by ’emulating’ its current Element becoming the foundation of the Orders spun from it. Amelia Rickens has compiled a list describing what Element emulates in a single sentence. The details of each Element will be revealed in the future.
Life: Emulation of ‘suture and scalpel and life’
Light: Emulation of a particle emitting light and its properties
Water: Emulation of a particle in the liquid state of matter
Lightning: Emulation of charged particle
Ice: Emulation of a particle in the solid state of matter and freezing, the change of liquid to solid
Air: Emulation of gas state of matter and vibration
Nature: Emulation of plant and animal cells
Earth: Emulation of earthly material and metal
Fire: Emulation of oxidation of a particle
Dark: Emulation of a particle absorbing light
Death: Emulation of ‘tweezers and scalpel and death’
Although Maneg of a given Element looks and acts like the real thing, it is still an emulation, an imitation of the actual phenomenon it had been exposed to. Fire maneg may exhibit the phenomenon of fire, the burning of fuel, but it is all an emulation. Yet, the ‘fake’ power of the maneg can set a very real fire to a forest.
Azhure: So, what do you all think of this sub-chapter? Is it good? Are there any problems with it? Any reviews or feedback is appreciated as long as they’re not plain insults meant to blow off your stress.
Voice: Don’t do that to people! Not even on the internet!
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