Voice: It’s been a long time coming, huh!?
Azhure: Well, here’s the rewrite for More About the Otherworldly Court 1 with a new title to replace the old one, The Maneg Soul Chooses Its Court Wizard. There were constraints with the new title on Wattpad though. Also, I just like the writing tool on Wattpad which is the only reason I’m still posting there (or here) out of obligation.
Azhure: Anyway, while this chapter still takes place between Alicia’s first and second mission in book Alicia, I’ve decided to try and shove in every relevant lore as of book End of the Five, Twenty-three, and Twenty-nine Years Story Owen’s Collection Chapter 3.3 and I’ll dump any information not fitting the current context of the story in the chapter in an exposition at the end.
Azhure: Also, if there’s anything I’ve left out in the rewrite consider it no longer canon, I’m also changing a few things that shouldn’t conflict with canon as I haven’t used them yet as well as adding new ones. Consider some of the new information as foreshadowing.
Azhure: Also, to give this more exposure, I’ve slipped this in both books except in the WordPress version, which has its own page, which will be identical to each other. I’m not editing these author notes to fit book Alicia’s and I won’t remove things after some time – I feel like I shouldn’t.
Azhure: Also, college is starting again and I have to go to campus this time. Enjoy.
Azhure: This rewrite is published on August 25 2022 but I edited the post’s date to be in order with the other chapters for the categorical indexing of the OceanWP theme I use.
During the weeks before Alicia’s second mission and after her first mission in Wizards of the Otherworldly Court: Alicia.
SIZZLE SIZZLE SIZZLE
“Well, this is going to take a while,” Aqua remarked, putting her hands on her waists, and looking down at the oven baking cookies. “Not that I am consuming it,” the greater water spirit smiled wryly. Being a body-less soul meant she can’t partake in the pleasure of eating food.
“Is that so?” Alicia said in a consoling tone.
Something the teenage girl quickly learned about the Guardians’ chambers (assuming they’re all the same except the color scheme) was that they also doubled as apartments if the word ‘chamber’ didn’t explain it already, and were rather luxurious. The fire chamber for one has its own living room with the office desk where Aqua handed out missions; a kitchen they’re using right now, complete with its dining table; the large balcony where Rose hosted her tea parties; and two bathrooms for the first and second floor.
Yeah, you heard that right, the chamber has a second floor as well. When Alicia first entered the chamber, she noticed the set of stairs to the right, sitting on top of the kitchen and bathroom that were both beside each other – it created a long corridor to the living room. The second floor as Alicia knew was mainly the bedrooms, enough for a small family, along with the aforementioned second bathroom. The ‘First Guardians,’ the founders of the Otherworldly Court, and the first Guardians, hence their title, had intended for the Guardians and their families to live in the chambers.
In practice, not all of them do, even rarer with their families. Those Guardians still have homes in their worlds and simply transfer to the Court like going to work, leaving the second floor to gather dust. Those who do, however, were the unlucky ones which was the anticipation the First Guardians were watching out for.
Like Master Alice, Alicia thought sadly. Owen had told her about the little Ice Guardian’s circumstance that led to her living alone in the ice chamber and it was heartbreaking. No child should have gone through what she had.
And also Rose and James. With the both of them effectively banished from their world, the vampire and vampire hunter have their own house in the Otherworldly Court’s vicinity, or so Alicia heard from the former.
In fact, the area outside of the castle of the Otherworldly Court was a thriving city built around it, if Some Food Court didn’t make it obvious. There were many people who were not Court Wizards from other worlds living here. Most of them were like Alicia’s mother’s side of the family, the Illyers, being rescued from their world because of dangerous circumstances and were unable to return because circumstances.
The rest of them were from the countries around the Court and yes, the Otherworldly Court was not alone in Manegia, the world it resided in. The Transporter Room operators, in fact, were from those countries. They, like many others, came to the Court seeking jobs or other opportunities at one of the crossroads of worlds. Of course, the Otherworldly Court itself was independent of those countries and can be said to be its own city-state which goes to show that the Otherworldly Court would attract different kinds of people together as a community.
There’s still more to it like how the city was governed and the residencies inside the Otherworldly Court that were not the chambers but it’s getting off-topic, so back to the main story at hand.
“Well then, might I impart you another lesson while we wait?” Aqua offered.
As Alicia was new to this Court Wizard business, she needed to be trained and the basic Orders she was taught in about an hour (in total barring the near accident with Alice) at the beginning were nowhere enough. Being the standard procedure, Owen, who ‘recruited’ her, automatically became her ‘mentor,’ accompanying her on missions, showing her the ropes, and imparting what she needed to know. When he wasn’t available, it was Aqua who filled in the gap, being the Guardian of Alicia’s Element.
Because Aqua and Guardians in general acted as the ‘second mentors,’ they can’t be the ‘main mentors’ themselves lest the recruited Court Wizard only gets one mentor which resulted in an awkward mentorship if they recruited Court Wizard. Oh, and the mentoring will go on for about a year and then Alicia will be a fully-fledged Court Wizard. Whatever rank she achieved during the mentorship won’t expedite the time.
Also, in the case the new Court Wizard was recruited by two or more senior Court Wizards, only one of the latter was chosen as a mentor while the others could still give advice. Apparently, that was the case for Alicia’s father being the mentor of Aqua, something new she learned every day.
“Sure,” Alicia agreed. “What is the lesson for today?” she asked, dusting off dry cookie ingredients from her school uniform.
After the day of her first mission, she ended up wearing the same red blazer over her white buttoned shirt complemented by a matching red skirt as she did on her first day to the Otherworldly Court. This was mostly because she transferred to the Court after school and she’s not of the idea of changing clothes just for that. She planned to go to Court when she doesn’t have any homework for the day, and she and Owen were good enough at school to require no extra self-study except for tests.
Speaking of Owen, this was his routine when he’s a Court Wizard which she has no reason not to copy. So just like her, Owen mostly wore his uniform consisting of just the shirt and light blue trousers – ever since becoming a Court Wizard, Alicia now knew why her father picked those colors for the very customizable school uniform. Oh, but the old shirt did get replaced after having thirteen knife stabs driven through it.
Thinking back, I did not react as much as I would imagine… Alicia thought at the scene she’d rather not bring up from time to time. Is it because of my Maneg Soul calming me down? It might be considering before it must have fully merged with me.
Incidentally, Owen was usually at the ice chamber with Master Alice but ever since she was recruited, he occasionally visited this chamber too, or so the other Fire Court Wizards told her.
“Well, I figured I might as well tell you how Maneg Souls even formulate their recruitment plan,” Aqua explained with a huff. “It is not very important for missions, to be honest, but you should probably know who might be a Court Wizard candidate in your travels.”
“I see,” Alicia muttered in curiosity as she took the liberty of taking a seat at the dining table. “Well, I am curious myself what Maneg Souls take into consideration. My father told me it has to do with us knowing the Otherworldly Court.”
“Correct. You should remember that a Maneg Soul, in its natural behavior, merges with a host’s soul to survive so long as the host is,” Aqua began to explain. “As such, it is imperative for the Maneg Soul to choose the host that is likely to live long after merging with them. One of such factors that are on top of its decision list is as you said, either the entire world or just the host’s general knowledge of maneg and by extension, the Otherworldly Court.”
“Is it because it will be convenient if the host knows beforehand?” Alicia wondered.
“Yes, something of the lines,” Aqua confirmed, also taking a seat. Despite being intangible, she can still somewhat interact with the physical world, or else she wouldn’t be able to help bake the cookies. “Having the host being unaware of their new status could bring danger to themself and others especially when they will unleash Orders uncontrollably at the beginning without intervention. This is especially noteworthy how other people would react to it.”
“Like witch hunts!?”
“Something along those lines,” Aqua responded to the pixie. “Also, them knowing will mean they would attempt to contact us in case we did not find them first and lessen the chance for the scenario Voice mentioned.”
“I see,” Alicia oddly frowned, something the Fire Guardian understood.
It was because of the sheer knowledge of the Court increasing Alicia’s chance to become recruited that her father hid the knowledge from her as he doesn’t want her to become a Court Wizard because of his experience as one. As to what sort of experience her father went through that he didn’t want her to feel the same, she could only imagine.
“You know, if it was not for that and father not wanting me to become a Court Wizard, I could have known this growing up. I would love to know mother’s story in her homeworld as a child,” Alicia mused. Oh, Owen would have to, and know what happened to his father from the beginning…
“But you still got me!”
“Yes, I suppose it became all for naught,” Alicia chuckled at the pixie. After all, in the end, she became one regardless.
“Even if you did not know, your father and your grandfather being Court Wizards prove to be the undoing your father’s wishes,” Aqua then revealed. “Having a relative or someone you know being a Court Wizard means Maneg Souls will label you the same. Court Wizards will know the instant the Maneg Soul attempts merging and act accordingly.”
“Oh, I see,” Alicia nodded in understanding. That must be the case with Owen acting strangely when her Maneg Soul began merging with her.
“Also, there is the fact that you are the child of two people from two worlds who normally would never meet, making you a unique existence. Same with Owen,” Aqua continued. “Maneg Souls are normally attracted to those who have traversed through worlds, but your case makes you even more attractive, believing there to be an edge others do not have.”
“Hehe, I suppose that makes sense,” Alicia chuckled before recalling what Aqua said before that. “Wait? Owen too?”
“Yes, his mother was also from Spiri Raia,” Aqua said. “Joshua told me himself.”
“Oh, I see…”
“Well then, speaking of the host being unaware of maneg, there is the second best option to it,” Aqua continued, snapping Alicia’s attention to her. “Being in a world with magic and knowing it in general, I am sure you get the idea.”
“Hm?” Alicia blinked, pondering Aqua’s statement for a moment before figuring it out. “Oh, I suppose that makes sense.”
“And the closer the other world’s magic system is to ours in outward similarity, the more familiar the host will be to their newfound power, same for everyone around them if the mystics are not concealed,” Aqua continued. “That gives them less chance for unwanted events than those from worlds devoid of any sort of esoteric system.”
After all, even though Maneg Orders were given programmatically, the output was still akin to elemental magic spells one can find in books and films. In fact, maneg should be a form of magic, one that has inter-dimensional reach. On that note, even if magic doesn’t exist in a world, if it still existed as fiction it might still count, though they and the people whose worldview was scientific will still freak out.
“Now, still speaking of worlds, even if a medieval fantasy world lacks magic, Maneg Souls may still consider picking hosts there solely for the medieval part,” Aqua then moved on to the next topic. “It seemed to be a trend that Maneg Souls recruit people from pre-modern worlds more than modern ones and even less so from futuristic worlds.”
“Huh, why is that?” Alicia pondered. “I would imagine Court Wizards from technologically advanced worlds be better having access to better medical care and familiar with the equipment the Court uses.”
“Maneg Souls emphasize the first few moments after the merging,” Aqua explained. “Perhaps it is because of the surveillance technology in modern and post-modern worlds as well as the magic known as the internet meant choosing a host in those worlds unaware of maneg will be difficult to be kept inconspicuous.”
“Hm, I suppose it would still be bad to gather attention,” Alicia remarked.
“Yes, it would be no less than dangerous if the world knows your newfound powers,” Aqua continued. “On that note, Maneg Souls would also stay away from worlds stronger than us for obvious reasons.”
“Is that so?” Alicia quipped. She supposed maneg wouldn’t be on top despite its world-traveling capabilities.
“But still, people are capable of adaptation,” Aqua then said. “I had trouble with some of the equipment here on my first day, but now I can use it no problem. But perhaps Maneg Souls look for people with that quality, to easily adapt to change?”
“I am guessing you did not know that before?” Alicia tilted her head in confusion. Hearing it, she had the impression that it was common sense.
“Maybe it is in the book somewhere, there is too much to discuss for me to remember everything. I do not get to refresh my knowledge frequently,” Aqua shrugged. “But anyway, even if the host is from a medieval world, there is still one final barrier to get through, namely if the host can even leave their world.”
“Huh?” Alicia blinked. “Is there a problem with the host leaving?”
“Well, you need to learn a different lesson that is for another day,” Aqua explained. “So, let us just say that some non-humans like my people cannot survive outside of their worlds – I am one of the exceptions.”
“Hm? Is it like not being able to survive in a different environment?” Alicia asked with an analogy.
“…Yes, something along those lines,” Aqua nodded. “It is for that reason that humanity makes up the majority of Court Wizards, around half of the population, because your kind has generally no problem living anywhere. Also, Maneg Souls do consider the Otherworldly Court and know their hosts cannot stay in their world indefinitely.”
“I see,” Alicia muttered before noticing, “you know, I cannot help but notice you have been mostly explaining the worlds the hosts live in Maneg Souls take into consideration rather than the hosts themselves.”
“Realized it now, did you not?” Aqua smirked. “While the type of world is important to a stray Maneg Soul’s decision making, they do not have unlimited choices. To sum it up, unlike us with the Transporter Room, it takes time for a stray Maneg Soul to travel from the world the Mother Soul releases it from to the next and the distance between each pair of worlds varies and is not constant which is a lesson for another day.”
“And the Maneg Soul would die if it takes too long to find a host,” Alicia concluded.
“Exactly, sometimes Maneg Souls just have to make do,” Aqua nodded sadly. “Which is why now that we are done with abstract concepts of worlds, it is time we focus on the hosts themselves, starting with the host’s character.”
“Oh, so Maneg Souls know how to judge a person?” Alicia suspected.
“Yes, it is quite obvious,” Aqua nodded. “Even though Maneg Souls do mess with our minds, it is non-intrusive else we will have a problem with it. But on the other hand, it meant that Maneg Souls cannot overpower a host’s personality deep down.”
“So no bad guys!”
“Exactly, a Court Wizard who is ill of heart will endanger others and those others, in turn, will band together and take the Court Wizard down,” Aqua continued. “So in that sense, it is better not to pick a host who will likely abuse their newfound power.”
“Yes,” Alicia agreed. So far, that statement ran through, all of the Court Wizards she has met were generally nice people. While some of them were brash and hot-headed, they were still good people deep down. But I wonder if that is a perfect track record? Another part of her mind betrayed that notion.
“Now, speaking of powers,” Aqua continued. “Next, we will talk about the existing abilities of the host.”
“Oh? Is it like your powers as a greater spirit?” Alicia wondered.
“Yes. Any sort of magic or ability that are not purely scientific nor of maneg are collectively called ‘Personal Skills,’ for simplicity’s sake,” Aqua confirmed. “My powers as a water spirit, spirit arts, is called as such. So long as it does not clash with the Maneg Soul, it will be attracted to such hosts as they would have extra tools to survive.”
“Is that why you’re the Fire Guardian even though you’re a water spirit!?”
For a moment, Aqua’s fiery skin caused by her Maneg Soul flared up along with the water orbs floating around her becoming tense. If she were organic, she would’ve popped a vein. “…Yes, my power as a greater water spirit does add versatility to my repertoire as the Fire Guardian. Perhaps that is why the Mother Soul of Fire did not consider Ignis as a candidate, especially when our powers here do not degrade.”
“I-I see,” Alicia smiled wryly before asking, “but what do you mean by ‘degrade’?”
“That is a lesson for another day, the same one as I have said before I believe,” Aqua deflected. “But, the easiest way to understand is that just as some races cannot survive outside of their world, so to the Personal Skills of an individual. Most of the time, magic from one world like Kaomagi for instance may not work correctly in a different world. ”
“So is it like a successful business model of an IT company not necessarily working on a restaurant?” Alicia asked with another analogy.
“That… sums it up. Hehe, that is so like you Bells,” Aqua chuckled at Alicia’s response. “But yes, this is also why Maneg Souls put a lower priority on a host’s Personal Skills, and there is something about the host’s affinity with the Maneg Soul’s Element which is most likely a myth considering myself.”
“Ooh! The cookies are almost done!”
With Voice’s excited cheer at the oven, Aqua turned to Alicia and said, “Well, I suppose we should end this off with one final topic; the host’s lifespan.”
Azhure: I didn’t expect this rewrite to take so long but as it turns out, I kept adding more and more information while also spotting a few plotholes I created, forcing me to plug those too. By the second week, I’m still not done yet even though I’m at the last part.
Azhure: I just hope there’s nothing wrong with it. If you think there’s something that doesn’t make sense, let me know. Anyway, I decided to split this rewrite into two, moving a good chunk of the chapter I have already written from where I cut it off to the next part which should come out in a few days – I feel like I should report my progress by doing this after a long time. Also, thank you for reading even though I don’t upload as consistently as before.
Voice: Stay tuned!
Azhure: So, what you do 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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