Azhure: Read after book Alicia, though preferably after the upcoming next book. But since I wrote this before that, I’ll make sure not to spoil the next book.
Voice: But spoilers for book three, that’s not even being written yet!
Azhure: As of this story’s release.
“Welcome to my home,” Alicia said as the light of the transfer died down.
In celebration of Alicia’s completion in her mentoring, she decided to invite the girls to her house. Only Rosalie ‘Rose’ Bloodlight, Jillianis Speris, Rin Fujiwara, and Alice Es was able to come. Owen, as always, tagged along, making him one of the two boys in the group. William Trust couldn’t care less about some ‘girls-get-together,’ but still came anyway.
“Well, not to be rude or anything,” Jill commented, taking a good look at the Bell mansion. “Your family could pretty much be considered the wealthiest among worlds, so I have an impression that your abode was much larger.”
“Uhn,” Rin agreed with the knight.
True, when one looked at it glance, it was only two stories tall plus an attic. Though looking around, along with the humble garden, where its tenders gave the Court Wizards a wave which they replied in kind, it could barely be called a mansion.
“But it is… lovely I suppose,” Alice commented. “Though it could use a brighter color.”
True, it reminds me of my old home, Rose mused to herself. But alas, she knew Alice’s suggestion would never come to fruition.
As, in response, Alicia said this, “I see. Thank you for your input, but it is not like we needed a larger mansion nor do we need to give it a new color. It will be a waste of money on meaningless refurbishing.”
With that, Alicia beckoned the blinking women to the front door, where two maids had opened it for them. Only Will followed, silently – the other three girls still needed some time to process the information so Rose decided to stay behind.
Owen then followed suit, but not before turning around. “Yeah…” he muttered. “You guys should remember, she’s a Bell.”
“…Ah, right,” Jill muttered with widened eyes.
“Uhn?” Rin tilted her head. “What does that mean?”
“Yes,” Alice added. “What has it to do with her family?”
“It has something to do with her family’s history, Rin, Alice” Rose answered. “Simply put, the Bell family are, in the lack of a term, massive cheapskates. While not in an unreasonable degree, they are quite serious about it.”
“Do recall the time we spent together…”
“Your phone’s pretty,” Rin said, looking at the red phone with a flowery pattern Alicia was holding. “Where did you get it?”
“Oh, I happen to find it in a second-hand store for a quarter of its original price,” Alicia casually said. “I just need to remove the cracked tempered glass and clean the back camera lens, so it was a good deal.”
“You know, Alicia,” Jill remarked after gulping the food in her mouth, talking whilst eating was rude, after all. “Is that not the same dish you bought every time we are here?”
“Well, it is the cheapest and most filling I could find,” Alicia answered. “I could not believe that there was a steak this decent at its price.”
“Ah, that is true,” Jill remarked. “But it could not be that bad, right?”
After all, one might forgive not wanting to spend so much money on paint and workers to recolor a mansion. And Alicia’s money-saving behavior was pretty normal, despite being wealthy and all. Surely the Bells wouldn’t be that stingy?
Bur the oldest-active Court Wizard, who had known the first Bell, solemn expression and Owen’s look of the fifth stage of grief betrayed them.
“It has been quite some time since we last met, Rose,” Irene Bell, Alicia’s mother, greeted the vampire.
Entering the Bell mansion, the guests met with the matriarch of the household, along with a bunch of maids passing by in the background.
“Yes, it has been,” Rose chuckled with her hand over her mouth.
Turning to the other guests, “You must be Alicia’s friends too,” Irene said, secretly shedding a hint of a tear, seeing that her daughter has finally opened herself to others after the incident with Kathryn years ago. “I am her mother, Irene.”
“Wah~! You’re so pretty!” Rin exclaimed.
“Mmhm,” Alice hummed.
“Why thank you, dear!” Irene thanked the young girl. “That is sweet of you.”
“Your daughter certainly takes after your beauty. As expected of a noblewoman such as yourself,” Jill added. However… Seeing the differences between the mother and daughter, the knight gave Alicia a glance of a dubious look, while also sharing the feeling of inadequacy with her.
Has this chair ever been used? Jill thought to herself as a maid pushed the chair as she sat on it inward. Because as the red knight was doing so, she could see the marks left by the chair, indicating that it was rarely pulled other than for cleaning.
In the dining room, the visitors of Kaomagi Earth were presented to the dining hall. As the Bell mansion was, well, a mansion, one could expect it to accommodate such a large number of them. But again, the girls had the impression that it would be more… grander and… spacious. Sure, there were some decorations like paintings and vases… well, there were sparse and looked worn out.
“Your tea, madam,” a maid informed Jill, settling the saucer on her side of the long dining table before the cup of tea.
“My gratitude,” Jill thanked, dismissing the hard-working servant. But as she was enjoying the scent of the tea, gently blowing over it while estimating whether it’s cool enough to drink by her gut feeling as, because of her Maneg Soul, she could barely feel its temperature, yet she could still burn her tongue if not careful…
“Your tea, young miss.”
“Uhn, thank you!” Rin exclaimed.
It was not just her, Jill could see each and every person sitting at this table with their own maid giving them the same beverage.
Perhaps the impression of this dining hall could be contributed to the fact that there were too many maids and butlers here!
Come to think of it, didn’t they came without pushing a cart? Darting from a certain pixie happily munching cookies, Jill turned to the maid that served her tea, she was hugging the tray as she went back. In fact, all of them did. The knight observed the other house servants exiting to the kitchen while a butler was dumping a pile of used tea bags into the bin near the…
Wait, were those teabags that the butler was throwing away!?
“Why are there… so many servants here?” Jill asked, trying not to sound rude.
As Alice sipped her warm tea, feeling the usual fake burn on her lips, slowly, so as to not somehow choke on it, she wondered what Jill inquired as well. After all, it was obvious with the number of maids serving them. Incidentally, the maid serving her tea almost spill the boiling hot drink onto her hair.
“Oh?” Irene raised her eyebrow. “Right, I suppose you girls do not know about it. Well, it is a long story, but I will keep it short.”
“And to be fair,” Irene said. “This house desperately needed helping hands.”
“Why is that?” Jill asked.
“Because up until we came here, there were no house workers.” Irene deadpanned.
Now that got everyone’s attention.
“…Huh?” Jill blinked. “You mean until all of you moved here, there were no servants tending to this mansion?”
“They do not like the upkeep.”
“..!” Alice was stunned, the Bells were that stingy to not even hire a single servant?
“Then how was this mansion cleaned?” Jill inquired. “This place is still vast, it would take a long time to clean all of it.”
“Simple.” Irene explained, “once in a while, they would get together the whole family to clean it.
“In fact, my later-to-be-father-in-law, Alan, sweeping the floor with a broom and duster was the first thing I saw when coming into this household. Even though he could have bought a vacuum cleaner.”
“Father said they were expensive and would add the electricity bill,” Alicia noted.
Others looked at her silently, the rich red-haired teen said it as if it were the most mundane thing.
“I suppose he would not know how to use it, I for one have yet to comprehend every technology this world has to offer,” Irene continued. “Anyway, you can imagine how filthy the mansion was before everyone cleaned it all up,” Irene continued.
Looking around, Alice observed various tenders to this household cringe as if the former condition to this place was still fresh in their minds.
“It took years, but they were able to remove even the most stubborn filth off these halls,” Irene continued. The house servants gave a look of pride and satisfaction as if it were a huge achievement.
Alice certainly could see how clean this mansion was, she wouldn’t imagine how unclean it was before.
“But it could have been faster if Alan and my husband let us buy extra cleaning instruments from the start,” the Bell lady sighed.
And somehow, Alice could see that coming. Incidentally, she refrained from drinking her tea at the moment.
“No offense, but then why build this mansion in the first place?” Jill implored.
“Oh, this mansion was not built by the Bells,” Irene explained. “My grandfather-in-law, Thomas Bell, bought this place at a very cheap price, in par with regular housing. The value was just too great for him to pass up.”
“Really? How does this mansion attain such a low expense?”
“Well, the original family who owns of this mansion were horribly murdered along with their staff during the civil war in this country when the mansion got raided,” Irene explained.
“Ooh…” Rin muttered in melancholy.
“And supposedly, they have become vengeful spirits that haunted this mansion. After the first buyer of this mansion repaired it, they appeared and terrorized him which, reportedly, devolved into physical harm into evicting,” Irene continued. “And same happens for subsequent occupants of this household.”
“Since then, the price of this mansion has gradually decreased as time went on until Thomas bought this place, ignoring the warnings he received,” Irene concluded. “Being a Court Wizard, he believed he could deal with these supposed ghosts if they truly exist. And in the end, they never appear.”
“And this is my room!” Alicia opened her arms as she stepped backwards into her room. Others followed her inside.
“Wow! It’s all red!” Rin exclaimed, looking around.
“I must say, this chamber feels somehow spacious despite its actual space,” Jill commented.
“True,” Rose added. “It really made use of its area.”
“Thank you,” Alicia said to these compliments.
“Um, you said that you did not want to spend on paint,” Alice pointed out. “Is this room an exception?”
To that end, “No, this room has always been red as far as we were aware,” Alicia explained. “So I picked it as my room.”
“I see, so then- ah!”
Surprising the Ice Guardian, a crack suddenly appeared in the empty space above Alicia’s bed.
“The heck!?” Owen exclaimed.
“Everyone out, now!” Will, the Air Guardian, ordered.
SHIMMER CRACK SHATTER
Like a ghost, they were pale white. The lower parts of their body were missing. Their clothes ranged from fancy vests, old-fashioned uniforms of a maid, butler, and chef, and even overalls. But one thing was common was their blood-soaked eyes full of murder and the cackling crimson orb, of the same shade as the walls of the room, floating inside their torsos.
“They are like the Vengeful Remnants!” Jill exclaimed.
Others quickly recognized the similarities. After all, in a few months’ time, they will become a problem in this world’s sister, Kaomagi.
“I believe they are,” Rose grimaced. “They are the body-less soul type.”
Screaming intelligible bloody murder, unlike the goblin-type, the vengeful spirits poured out of the red room. One of them willed a nearby vase to float and launched it at the Court Wizards.
And by reflex, Rose materialized her cane Cherished Armament and smashed the tossed vase.
“Aah!” a nearby maid screamed, who was innocently sweeping the floor.
“Maya, go tell mother and evacuate everyone from this floor,” Alicia ordered the maid.
“R-Right away!” the maid, Maya, immediately do as hey young mistress said.
Emotion suppression on. But Alice’s did not.
“And keep in mind, do not ruin the hallway,” Alicia reminded in a monotone while forming two still [Fireball]s floating above her, “nor my room.”
“Incoming,” Rose said, positioning herself in a stance.
With an equal number on both sides to prevent the vengeful spirits from escaping, each Court Wizard summoned their respective Cherished Armament or maneg creation. Though because of the relatively narrow hallway, Rin refrained from using her flail and opted for her brother’s katana that she always carried with her; Will made a creation [Javelin] (as to how he was able to hold it, who knows) as the consequences if he ignored Alicia’s reminder will be inconvenient.
“Graaa~!” One vengeful spirit in a chef’s outfit lunged at its target, swinging its knife around.
And because of its violent flailing, it received an accurate [Javelin] to its orb.
CRACK CRACK CRACK CRACK
Actually, make that five, with four others – another chef, two gardeners holding pruning shears, and an old aristocrat with a bayoneted rifle – that were in the hallway.
As their orbs shattered, they shimmered from existence immediately.
5 vengeful spirit vanquished.
Five more vengeful spirits came out, they were maids, charging to both paths of the hallway with their arms in front.
SWING STAB SWING
In response, Jill and Owen stepped into the fray, striking each and every orb.
10 vengeful spirits vanquished.
Immediately after the maids, two spirits of butlers each went pass Owen and Jill. So Alicia and Will got ready.
At Alicia’s side, she threw one of the floating [Fireball]s at it. However, it sidestepped. But, Alicia immediately ordered the [Fireball] to stop and go backward to the vengeful spirit’s orb, she also willed the other [Fireball] to strike the orb at the front, sandwiching it.
11 vengeful spirits vanquished.
While on the other side, Will struck his air [Javelin] dead center at the second butler’s orb, a testament to his experience as a Court Wizard.
12 vengeful spirits vanquished.
“Leave us alone!”
It appeared that the rest of the family’s here. There was the father, the mother, a brother, and a sister.
“Let us put this family to rest,” Rose commented without emotion.
“Mm, right,” Alice said, yet her small hands holding her two ice-blue chakram-like Cherished Armaments were trembling.
But, the young girl need not to do the deed.
SLASH STAB BASH PUNCTURE
CRACK CRACK CRACK CRACK
16 vengeful spirits vanquished.
And the battle was over, emotions re-
Alice turned back, hearing the scream full of rage. “Ah!” she screamed as the vengeful spirit of the grandmother was right in front of her. She brandished her chakrams but,
The Mother Soul inside her just had to forcefully recall it.
Hearing the cries of her comrades who were unable to rescue her in time, Alice shut her eyes, fearing the worst.
17 vengeful spirits vanquished.
But it did not happen.
Opening her eyes, Alice saw a pale blue light, and it was the most unexpected thing in her entire life.
She was similar Aqua, the Water Guardian, the greater water spirit (or body-less soul as the Otherworldly Court naming conventions go by), having an entirely glowing ice-blue human body.
Along with a long wavy hair and wearing a snowflake patterned dress, Alice saw a Kaomagian magic circle which summoned a dagger of ice laying rest to the orb of the final vengeful spirit.
Then the ice-blue spirit turned around.
And it shocked the young maiden, and everyone else.
“Oh my,” Rose said.
“W-What the?” Will muttered, completely taken aback.
“N-No way…” Owen murmured, eyes as wide as a saucer.
“Impossible,” Jill mumbled in denial.
“Uhn?” Rin, however, was in confusion. “Who is that lady?”
“Yes…” Alicia added, for she too did not know who this ice-blue spirit was. But still, she had an inkling about its identity, Rin as well.
For this spirit had the same face as hers, only much older and mature. And Alice knew who she was.
“Oh, Alice!” the spirit clasped Alice’s shoulders in concern. “Are you alright, dear?”
“…M-Mother!?” Alice exclaimed.
Yes, before her, was the sixth Guardian of the Mother Soul of Ice, Catherine Es, Alice’s mother who had perished three years ago.
With the discovery of the fact that the Lord of Vengeance and his Vengeful Remnants of Kaomagi weren’t a one-time thing, but rather there was a system that created them from their hatred and desire for revenge.
And so, their Species Modules were under the Kaomagi Vengeance Complex Module from now on, along with the newly dubbed Kaomagi Vengeance System Module.