The Otherworldly Court
As the light died down and the high-pitched sound turned low, Alicia was met with dimness.
Turning to her side, Owen was there, thankfully. But he was still gravely injured, yet acted as if he was the picture of health. As much as she wanted to get him to be treated immediately, he did tell her not to worry. He had used ice magic, as he called it, to cover the stab wounds, preventing blood loss. So, Alicia will trust his judgment, hoping that none of his organs were damaged.
Gazing down, Alicia was standing on a circular platform. It looked wooden… well, the color anyway. She had softly tapped the platform with her shoe and it felt metallic, hence she looked down first. Focusing her sight, the circle was split into multiple layers of smaller circles with each layer engraved with a similar set of some sort of runic arrays.
Looking around, Alicia was in a small circular room, though definitely wider than her room in her small mansion.
The room was poorly lit, the only source of light were those monitors around the wall. Wait, those monitors did not have a physical frame around them! It was just a holographic screen floating mid-air, like in those sci-fi movies.
Looking up, there was a second floor. Alicia could see this because there was an open space in the middle of said floor. There were railings around the edges to prevent falling, it was perpendicular to the perimeter of the ‘wooden’ circle Alicia was standing on. She did not see any stairs to go up the second floor, it was probably outside this circular room.
Alicia looked at the hovering screens again. Below them were curved desks. There were about four of these desks, and each desk contained six holographic monitors. A similar setup was present on the second floor. There were people in lab coats operating each desk.
And all of them are staring at her and Owen.
“Welcome back, Owen.” One of the operators greeted, then he looked at Alicia. “Is that girl the new Court Wizard?”
“Court Wizard?” Alicia muttered.
“It’s what we call ourselves, Alicia,” Owen explained. “Yeah, she is.” He looked at the operator that asked.
In an initiative, Alicia made a bow. “My name is Alicia Bell,” she greeted, “nice to meet you.”
“Bell?” Another operator quipped.
“Yeah, she is.” Owen went silent for a moment and then had the look as if he had forgotten something. “Crap, I forgot to tell him. John, notify him for me.”
“Sure,” the operator named John replied and turned his swivel chair back.
“By the Mother Souls! Owen, what happened to your back!?” a female operator shouted, pointing out Owen’s frozen bloody shirt.
“Uh… recruitment process,” Owen excused. He suddenly grabbed Alicia’s hand but then paused. “I’ll bring her out.”
“H-Hey, Owen!” Alicia exclaimed in surprise as Owen pushed her back out of the room. He probably opted for that instead of having Alicia see his back.
“Will he be fine?” the same female operator asked.
“Ah, that’s right. You’re new here,” an older operator said. “Yeah, he’ll be fine. He’s been much worse.”
“But the others didn’t come back like him before…”
“Well, injuries like that are uncommon. But they do come back in a mess from time to time, you haven’t seen it before and now you do. You’ll get used to it. Oh, but I will contact a Life Court Wizard to stand by in the infirmary.”
“I see…” The female operator rolled her eyes. “Still, Alicia Bell, huh? She seems to be a nice lady.”
“Yeah, best not to disrespect her. It’s her dad paying us and eventually, her,” a skinny operator commented.
“What? What do you mean!?”
“Let me explain.”
Alicia saw a spiral staircase to her left as Owen pushed her to the right, out of the cylindrical room. He didn’t push her to fast that she would stumble and fall.
Similar to the room before, she was met with an empty poorly lit corridor. But slowly, the light at the end of the tunnel was getting brighter.
In the middle of the corridor, there was a green glow coming from the sign of an entryway to her right that said ‘Infirmary.’ However, Owen kept dragging her on, skipping over the place that Owen should’ve been right now.
“I’ll go there later,” Owen said, guessing what his childhood friend was thinking.
A brief, blinding light washed over Alicia’s eyes.
“Whoa…!” she muttered.
It could only be described as a grand courtroom.
On the white marble floor, were eleven stands, arranged to make a half-circle. Each stand was decorated with a banner.
Starting from the farthest to Alicia were:
A white and light green banner, white on the outside and green on the inside. There was across in the middle of it.
A white banner, with a circle and a four-edged star overlapping it.
A blue banner with a picture of a simple water droplet.
A bright yellow banner with a lightning strike. Though the color of the banner made it hard for the symbol to be recognized.
An ice-blue banner with an intricate snowflake pattern.
A light green banner with a tornado.
A banner with dark green on the left half and a brown on the other with half of a leaf on the green side and a half of animal footprint on the other.
A brown banner with a mountainous picture sewn to it.
A red banner with an insignia flame.
A black banner with just a hollow circle, colored white to contrast the banner.
And finally, a black and red banner, black on the outside and red on the inside and a skull in the middle.
In front of the stands was what gave Alicia the impression of a courtroom. Two desks for a lawyer and prosecutor and a witness stand in the middle.
However, she could not see a stand higher than the rest as if there wouldn’t be any individual to be in charge of any session in this courtroom.
Looking up, Alicia could see a second story, similar to the circular room. There were stairs leading to it in the dim corridor. Inside the wooden balustrade were at least five rows of benches made of wood, each row was elevated to the previous.
Oh, there’s also a huge chandelier made in gold hanging in the ceiling, providing the majority of the light source in this hall.
However, amidst the elegant hall, there was a podium in the very center of the room. It looked very old, made from stone, and was covered in dirt and mosses. On top of it was a scale that looked unmaintained for years, it has completely rusted that it is unknown what the metal it is.
It was like a stain on a pure white sheet of paper.
TAP TAP TAP TAP
Interrupting her time to marvel, Alicia heard footsteps coming from the same hallway. It sounded like a person who was in haste yet keeping grace.
TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP
Then he came to view.
He was a man, 181 cm tall, with a dark red hair and blue eyes. His chin was poorly shaven, and his face looked like he had not drunk his coffee yet. He wore a red suit which looked fine, but it was not – it was bought in a cheap clothing store.
How did Alicia know this? Because…
“F-Father…!?” Alicia gasped.
The red suit man stopped dead in his track. “A-Alicia…?” he muttered, a shock in his face.
Yes, the man before Alicia was her own father, Ronald Bell.
He turned to Owen. “Owen, what is the meaning of this? Why is my daughter-” he paused. He took his breath and calmly said, “Owen, since when a Maneg Soul attempted to merge with her?”
Maneg Soul? Alicia thought, unaware of what term her father was saying.
“A week ago,” Owen replied.
“Then why did you not inform me?”
“I forgot.” The white-haired boy deadpanned.
“Didn’t John told you about it?”
“Well, he only told me that a new Court Wizard was recruited from our world, so I rushed here!”
Our world? Wait, we are in another world right now!?
As in those Japanese and Chinese Light Novels?
“What? John only tell you that?”
Alright, time to stop this.
“Father? Owen?” Alicia interrupted with a smile, but the tone was harsh.
“”Y-Yes, Alicia/my daughter?”” Both of the boys weakly turned their heads towards her.
“Do you mind explain… what is happening here!?”
“I thought of coming in to surprise the new Court Wizard,” Alicia’s father, Ronald, meekly explained. “You know, meeting a famous person they’re familiar with, but I didn’t expect it was you, my daughter.”
“I see…” Alicia said, her blue eyes are completely unamused.
They were in the infirmary back at the dim hallway. Unlike the hallway, the infirmary was brightly lit. It had everything that an infirmary should have like cabinet filled with medicines and the like. There was also a door to another room labeled ‘Scanner Room’.
“Damn, Owen. Thirteen stabs in the back and you’re still alive?” Said a man in a white poncho. He was 15 cm taller than Owen and had a short brown hair and eyes.
“What? You expect something else, Russel!?” Owen yapped in an annoyed tone.
“It’s a compliment,” Russel replied with a taunting voice.
Well now, Owen holding a decent conversation with someone else, albeit in an aggressive manner, was something new to Alicia. He had only ever talked to her.
In the infirmary, Owen sat on a stool with his bloody shirt taken off, exposing his skinny figure (Alicia was unfazed looking at her childhood friend half-naked, definitely). The ice covering his wounds had also melted, though Alicia could have sworn that the ice evaporated instead.
The man in the poncho, Russel, stood behind his back and waved his hand over it.
In a clear angelic like sound, green light came from Russel’s hand along with green nodes. The nodes landed on Owen’s back and slowly, the holes on his back began to close up. Soon, they were gone, no scars remain.
Alicia stood there in awe as the ‘healing magic’ healed her childhood friend.
But Russel happened to glance at her and “Hey Owen, is she your girlfriend?”
To that, both Alicia and Owen flustered at his remark and shook their heads profusely.
“Then can I-”
“Ahem,” Ronald coughed. “You are a man in the cloth, correct?” he calmly said, but a popped vein on his forehead said otherwise.
Awkwardly, the priest stammered as he tries to shift to a different topic and looked at Owen putting on a fresh shirt. “A-Anyway, how did you get these anyway?” Russel asked, pointing at Owen’s healed back.
“Uh…” Owen looked at Alicia and then to Ronald. Russel made a look like he had made a bigger problem, as he realized it just now.
Alicia simply nodded. Her father will know anyway.
In resignation, Owen took a deep breath and said, “Alicia got kidnapped.”
Suffice to say, Ronald overreacted upon hearing the first sentence from Owen.
But he eventually relented after hearing the story.
“I see,” he said. “I’m glad that you are safe, Alicia.” Ronald turned to Owen. “And thank you, Owen, for rescuing my daughter.”
“Yeah, sure.” Owen shrugged.
Ronald looked at Alicia. “I should’ve sent Clint and Alexa to watch over you,” he sighed.
Father… Alicia internally cringed.
As much as Alicia loved her father, he was too overprotective. Last year, she busted Clint and Alexa, her house security staff (who happened to be married to each other), secretly watching her and Owen visiting the local orphanage. She had berated her father to not do that anymore.
Well, now that she actually got kidnapped, her father definitely wished he didn’t cave in to her demand.
After her father calmed down, it was time for answers.
And Alicia’s father noticed it too. “All right.” Ronald took a deep breath in defeat. “This place… this world is called the Otherworldly Court.”
The Otherworldly Court is an inter-dimensional organization made up of people of all ages, gender, race from many different worlds. What makes them common is that they are granted mystical powers which source is from the very world the Otherworldly Court is based.
And because the powers granted looked like magic, they called themselves ‘wizards,’ Wizards of the Otherworldly Court, or simply called ‘Court Wizards’.
“Then are you a Court Wizard too?” Alicia asked.
“Yes. Your grandfather was too.”
Court Wizards are tasked to watch over worlds and protect them from whatever that could spell their demise.
“I see…” Alicia gasped in awe. A group of people granted magic and transferred to many different worlds to preserve its balance? It is something straight out of a fantasy book.
“There are more things you should know,” Ronald continued. “But this isn’t exactly a good place to discuss about it.”
“I understand, father,” Alicia said. For one thing, Alicia is one for being patient and open-minded.
“Thank you for understanding, my daughter.”
“But one more thing.”
“Hm? What is it you want to know?”
“Does mother know about this?”
“…Y-Yes, and all the maids and butlers too. In fact, I would like to talk this over at home. It’s also getting late anyway.”
“I see. Then let us go home.” Alicia stood up from the bed she was sitting on, there weren’t any more chairs.
“All right,” Russel interrupted. “I’m gonna head out.” He looked at Owen. “And props for taking a knife for your girlfriend, Owen.”
“Hey!” Owen shouted, cheeks red. But the priest was long gone.
But Owen did not exactly deny his statement though… Alicia pondered for a moment before blushing deeply. What am I thinking? There is no way, right?
And thus was Alicia’s first day in the Otherworldly Court.