“Yep, she’s a hundred percent loyal.”
The man in a white robe said it with confidence. He was the same man who healed Owen’s thirteen stab wounds yesterday, Russel.
“What does that mean?” Alicia asked as she came out of a giant cylindrical machine that apparently can check the content of her Maneg Soul.
“Care to explain Owen?” Russel taunted.
“She’s asking you,” he retorted.
“You’re her de facto mentor.”
“Well, you’re the one who analyzed her Maneg Soul. You’re the doctor, explain it to her!”
“What kind of priest are you!?”
“Well Master Gabriel forced me to and I’m a templar.”
“That doesn’t make any difference!”
“Um, please calm down you two,” Alicia mumbled, trying to calm down the two bickering boys.
“Please do not mind them too much. Russel enjoys getting into arguments with Owen.”
In response to Alicia’s attempt to calm both of the bickering boys down, the little girl with a platinum-blonde hair tied to a braid that is resting on her shoulder, Alice.
Right now, she has taken off her cape revealing a simple white one-piece dress down to her lower knees and a pair of white slippers.
“If you do not mind, I will explain it to you in their plage but I believe we have not introduced each other.” Alice stood up from the swivel chair and pinched the hem of her dress. “My name is Alice Es. A pleasure to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you too,” Alicia greeted back in a similar fashion taught by her mother. “My name is Alicia Bell.”
“Oh, so you are Ronald’s daughter!”
“You know my father?”
“Everyone here in the Otherworldly Court should know each other but your father… or rather, your family should be well-known.”
“After all, the Bell Conglomerate has helped us a lot in our effort in safeguarding worlds.”
“I see…” Alicia widened her eyes. She didn’t know these Bell Branches her father talked about last night were that important.
“Ah, we are straying from the topic You have not been explained in detail about loyal maneg, correct?”
“Yes, Owen said that it is something I will learn later.”
“Yes, but in this situation, you should know now.” And Alice began, “I believe Owen had already taught you that a Maneg Soul is composed of two types of maneg: disloyal maneg and loyal maneg.
“Well, disloyal maneg is what we mostly refer to as just maneg. It is the one we normally use for Orders. But, they do not stay as Orders forever.”
“Um, what do you mean by that?”
“…Here is an equation.” Alice took the same book lying on a table and flipped it before showing it to Alicia.
Order Duration (s)= Initial maneg (100%) / (Initial maneg (100%) – Efficiency (x%)) * Time Interval (s)
“Basically,” Alice continued. “Once an Order is given, a part of the maneg used ‘breaks off’ in a Time Interval until it eventually disperses completely. Time Interval depends on how many steps you give the Order.
“Take an [Iceball] for example. Usually, it has two steps thereby making the Time Interval is two seconds. Meaning every two seconds the ball of ice will have a whole chunk of it break off instantly and the same size for the next.”
Alice put her finger on the word ‘Efficiency,’ “Efficiency is the amount of maneg performing an order retaining itself after every break-off.” She pointed at Owen, who was still bickering with the grinning templar. “Owen’s efficiency is 90% meaning every two seconds 10% of the initial maneg performing level two [Iceball] breaks off.
“In conclusion, every two seconds 10% of the maneg expended for [Iceball] from the initial amount breaks off thereby after ten break-offs all maneg abandons the order. So, the iceball lasts twenty seconds, or it hits something.”
“I see,” Alicia said in understanding. “So then what is loyal maneg?”
“To simply put, the original contents of your soul that was turned into maneg.”
“…To help you understand, think of your soul like a glass of water where the water is the ‘lifeforce’ that makes our souls ‘alive’ and the glass is its ‘container.’ When the Maneg Soul merges with your soul, it ‘compresses’ the water.”
“Um, water cannot be compressed.”
“Please do not nitpick that detail.” Alice deadpanned. “Anyway, with your soul compressed, this gives room for disloyal maneg while the original becomes loyal maneg.
“On a side note, this causes beings who can perceive souls or anything similar would get the impression that a Court Wizard’s soul is incomplete, yet at the same time is complete.
“However, it seems that this was not the case for you.”
“So is that why my Order did not end until it hits Owen’s shield?” Alicia asked. She was unsure what the Order Owen had used.
“Yes, because it is your original soul, so it will never leave you and has a hundred percent efficiency. It also will not tire after performing an Order, unlike disloyal maneg.”
“But the thing is, Maneg Souls will always use disloyal maneg so the use of loyal maneg is difficult. But it appears that because you are incapable of storing disloyal maneg, your Maneg Soul must have been forced to use your loyal maneg and treating it as one.
“Also, this is about how we count maneg in a Maneg Soul. For example, if a Maneg Soul has forty percent loyal maneg and sixty percent disloyal; when we say twenty percent disloyal maneg was used, it refers to twenty out of sixty, not twenty percent of sixty which is um…”
“Yes, twelve. Thank you, Alicia. And the same applies to loyal maneg. Also, we never count the raw numerical amount of maneg we can store. It is the percentages that matter.”
“I see. I will keep that in mind.”
“Good, do you have any questions?”
“Hmm…” Alicia understood so far, but there was something that nags her. Ah, it was that. “I do have something I need to ask.”
“What is it?”
“It is about the voice that I believe came from my Maneg Soul.”
“Huh?” Apparently, Alice did not expect that. “A voice from your own Maneg Soul?”
Alicia then proceed to explain from when she got kidnapped and then watched as her friend gets stabbed repeatedly-
“Eh! Owen got what!?”
“Sorry, please continue.”
Moving on. As Owen got stabbed repeatedly. She hears a voice telling her to take its power which she then proceeds to burn the rope bounding her and attacked the kidnappers.
“I see. But I never heard anything about Maneg Souls talking to the person before. Maybe it has something to do with your Maneg Soul’s composition?”
Both girls are lost in thought while the two boys near them are still arguing away. Then suddenly.
“I can help you with that!”
A clear-bell-like voice resounded the air. Both girls got surprised. Not that the two idiots ever noticed it.
Then something came out from Alicia’s chest.
“Hello! I am-“
The tiny creature coming out of Alicia’s chest burst out and went right into…
“You wanna go?” Owen growled.
“Sure,” Russel smirked, “let’s do this!”
Both boys bashed each other’s heads at each other. Right as the critter went right between them.
And it got squashed like a bug.
“Huh?” Owen said. “I think there something between our foreheads.”
“Hmm? I don’t feel anything,” Russel replied.
“Guess it’s my imaginations. Moving on.”
The pair calmed down for a moment and then ignored the critter stuck between their foreheads and proceed to press their foreheads even harder.
“There is something between your foreheads!” Alicia yelled at both boys grinding the poor critter away.
“Oh, you’re right.”
“Are you alright?” Alicia asked the poor critter.
“No worries! I am always fine!” the little critter got itself right back up quickly and gave a confident statement.
She appeared to be a tiny girl, tiny enough to completely fit and crushed with your hands. She has a short red hair and a pair of red eyes plastered on her mischievous face. She wore a red one-piece dress and no footwear. On her back are a pair of slightly transparent red butterfly-like wings.
“A fairy…” Alicia muttered.
“Alicia,” Owen interrupted, “here in the Court, we call these things pixies. Fairies are the human-sized ones. Not this tiny thing.”
“What! I ain’t tiny, shorty!” the pixie insulted
Owen grabbed the little pixie with his hands and begins to apply pressure to his grip.
“Oh yeah? You’re so tiny I can make you meat soup out of my hands!”
“I will not succumb to your cold hands!”
“Is that supposed to be a pun!? You asked for it!”
“Owen!” Alicia exclaimed. “Let her go!”
At Alicia’s command, Owen released the pixie.
“Pwahh! Thanks a bunch, me!”
“Um, what?” Alicia pondered at the pixie saying ‘me’.
Owen then asked, “Alright, so what are you?”
“Why I’m Alicia of course!”
“Don’t give me that crap! The Alicia I know doesn’t have a really annoying personality!”
“Um, the pixie came out of Alicia’s chest so…” Alice commented.
“Then she is something related to Alicia,” Russel concluded. “Right?”
“Obviously, Russel,” Owen retorted. He turned to the pixie. “So, what are you?”
“Allow me to explain!”
The pixie began explaining in a bell-like voice.
“I am the representative of Alicia’s Maneg Soul!”
They all got confused over the statement. Then, Owen gave his hypothesis.
“So in other words, if Maneg Souls can come out and talk to you, you would be it.”
“Then why a pixie?”
“Alicia here is into fairies. So, I made myself look like one!””
“It’s pixies. Well now that you think of it, it kinda makes sense.”
Owen recalled Alicia’s liking for fairy (pixie) literature. Whether in books, movies, whatever.
“Then if you’re the loyal maneg of Alicia’s soul, you’re using some loyal maneg to make yourself,” Owen concluded. “How much?”
“Wha- that’s the average percentage of loyal maneg on a Maneg Soul! The most a Court Wizard have was seventy!”
“Well, Alicia is now the new record folder with a whopping one hundred percent, so it’s A-OK!”
“The hell! Having thirty percent of her soul outside is still not okay!”
“Now that’s a pot calling a kettle black,” Russel interjected. “You’ve wasted half your maneg to completely freeze an erupting volcano big enough to wipe out countries and you survived!”
“Eh! Owen did that!?” Alicia yelped in surprise.
“You’re exaggerating, Russel,” Owen denied. “It only took a third of my maneg supply.”
“What happened?” Alicia asked.
“Some idiot thought it would be a good idea to wipe an enemy nation by casting magic to erupt a volcano sitting right in their capital,” Owen explained. “The problem is, the volcano is technically big enough to supply enough lava to cover both nations and several more. So the Otherworldly Court told me to freeze it outright.”
“T-That is impressive…” Alicia spoke in amazement.
“H-Hey, we’re getting off-topic here.”, Alice interjected.
“Right,” Owen looked at the pixie. “What to do with you.”
“We’re talking about you annoying little pixie!”
And so they come up with three rules:
The pixie can only come out during the non-combat time.
The pixie will regulate Alicia’s maneg usage on her orders to ensure her well-being.
And finally, the pixie must always listen to Alicia’s command.
“We should come up with a name for you,” Owen said. “Alicia, give her a name. She’s your Maneg Soul.”
She racked through her brain looking for a good name.
Bell? No, that is my surname. Little Fairy? That sounds too generic. Tinkerbell? She does not look like her one bit.
Think. She is the persona of my Maneg Soul and I first met her through a voice… that’s it!
“Um… what?” Alice muttered.
“Voice!” Alicia said it again. “That will be her name!”
“That’s a peculiar name,” Alice mumbled wryly.
Alicia then explained her reasoning.
“Seriously?” Russel complained.
“She always had a bad naming sense,” Owen explained. “She once named a hamster ‘Harry’ when she knows it’s a girl just because it got a marking that looks like a lightning.”
“Anyway,” Alicia interjected. “Her name is now Voice! And it is final!”
And thus the fairy’s (pixie) name is Voice.
“Alright then,” Owen said, “for now, let’s continue on your Order training. Voice, regulate the amount of loyal maneg she uses.”
The pixie returned to Alicia’s body.
In the wasteland, Alicia was then trained to perform a few more basic Orders that can be remembered after being ordered once. Although it is using loyal maneg, Voice will produce normal Orders as if it was disloyal maneg.
[Javelin] A javelin made of maneg formed thrown with hand or used for melee. Order: Create line x in thickness x in length in x, sculpt edge of line increase sharpness. ‘Create’ lets maneg be controlled by hand and used as a weapon.
[Fire Burst] A burst of maneg in a cone. Suitable for striking multiple foes at once. Order: Burst in a cone of angle x horizontally x vertically on x.
[Barrier] A square shield covering the entire front of the body. Order: Form rectangle x in width x in height on x, reinforce.
[Eject] Ejects a mass of maneg out-of-body on a specific part of the body to launch the body using the momentum from the ejection. Order: Release x percent of maneg to launch on x.
an: ‘x’ is a placeholder for whatever parameter. Also, these Orders above and the ones to come are subject to change as I figure out a better wording for them.
“Lastly, since you can only use loyal maneg, you need to be able to command it to return to you. In case you missed or other circumstances,” Owen concluded.
“Alright then,” Alicia nodded curtly.
“You need to say ‘loyal maneg, return,'” Owen explained, “and all loyal maneg out of your body will immediately drop whatever Order and return to you.”
“Got it,” Alicia nodded, concentrating.
Loyal maneg, return!
At that moment, all of the Orders suddenly stopped and then traveled in the opposite direction back to Alicia. Her body absorbed the maneg.
“That was good Alicia,” Owen praised. “It took me a while to do that. Nice one!”
“T-Thank you?” Alicia muttered. Truth to be told, this was a first, she never heard her childhood friend ever praising someone, not even her.
“My my! What happened to the cold shoulders!?”
“None of your concern!” Owen snapped. “Go back to master, Voice!”
“Now don’t you sulk!” Owen grumbled before turning to Alicia. “Anyway, it’s time to meet your leader. Follow me, Alicia.”
“Leader?” Alicia blinked, forgetting about the previous charade. “Alright then.”
The two then went back to the Otherworldly Court where a certain greater spirit was watching the two from one of the balconies, the red one, of the castle for a while.
an: all of Voice’s dialogue ends with an exclamation mark (!) except for a few cases in which I will clarify it was the pixie who spoke that dialogue
Azhure: So, what do you all think of this 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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