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Chapter 7 – Family Council II

Amelia’s Perspective

“Ah! Sander, you’re here early!” said Blue as she stood up to run over to him.

Really, what the hell happened to the clever and fearless Captain Blue, terror of the seas, that we all loved and followed. She’s like a puppy whose master has just gotten home. What? You say I act the same way when she returns as well? Well, I don’t know what you are talking about and you should stop, stop, that’s embarrassing, stop thinking that.

“We rushed ahead of the rain. Momarck is just parking the carriage and taking care of the horses.” said Sander. When I looked around, he was wearing his traveling cloths, but with the outer layer pealed off. He must have taken off his shoes and hung up his coat at the door. “I’d like to take a bath, but after that, I would like to have a discussion with Ashen.”

“A bath? Would you like me to draw one for one, or one for two” said Blue.

By the redness of her ears after Sander embraced her, I am guessing the answer was two. Seriously, this stupid couple. It’s not like I am jealous or anything. I am still young. I am! How young? Don’t ask a girl her age, dumb ass.

“So, after… that…” I say in monotone, “you would like to have a discussion regarding Ashen? It’s about 4 pm now, so how about 8 pm?”

“Um, yes.” said Sander. “That would be nice, but will Ashen be asleep at that time?”

“If she were ordinary, the answer is yes, but for her, she would be wide awake and engaged in her ‘secret training’. Though honestly, anytime she is out of direct line of sight, she is in secret training mode.”

“Um, then that is good. Let us meet in the… living room at 7 pm. We can discuss our options a bit before the real discussion commences at 8 pm.”

“What is the use of having a prelude to a discussion that we’re about to have with the three of us anyways? Or is it because Momarck will be joining?”

“Hmm? Didn’t I say, I wanted to have a discussion with Ashen.”

“Wait, with, not about, but with?”

“Yes. I think it is time. At the very least, we need to know how much of the situation she is aware of. Did she retain her memories from previous incarnations? If so, how many of them? There are a lot of discrepancies I want to figure out. For example, she is teaching herself magic, and at a very rapid pace with complexity and finesse I have rarely seen before. ”

“What about compared to the past Blue Stars?” asked Blue.

Well, when I mentioned it to father, he said that it was similar to the case with my aunt, except that for her, she simply was able to pick up the concepts that she learned in school quickly. For Ashen’s case, it is entirely different. She is not just learning magic, or reaffirming magic, but seemingly inventing magic whole cloth. Except that while she has done has a very large overlap with the Ancient Magic System that was in use a long time ago, and with which the previous Blue Stars of Astrania have favored. ”

“How is it different from the others, then?”

“Well, how can I say it. It is as if she is building a bridge from scratch, including the tools to be used to create that bridge, in a world without bridges.. But it is as if she already had the general knowledge of how bridges work. I know that example seems out there, but it really does appear to be as if she knew what it was supposed to do, but lacked the knowledge of how to do it.. Or it could even be the other way around. Anyways, to solve all this, we need to discuss this with her eventually. The sooner we do it, the closer we all can become. We can steer her, and be her guide. I do not say this lightly, but the future of this kingdom may rest upon what she does, and how she perceives us all. So starting now is imperative.”

“You treat your own daughter as if she was a weapon!” I said.

“Perhaps. Perhaps I am. It is not to say that I do not, even with our limited contact due to work, love her. I feel a bond with her that is as strong as any.” He looked into Blue’s eyes. “Well, perhaps a little bit weaker than a certain one.” Jeeze, really, just get in your damn bath and get it out of your system already. “Ashen will have my love and trust. I know she has her mother’s.” He looked into Blue’s eyes, again.”I guarantee that Father will be in the palm of her hand. Indeed, keeping his contact, er, limited will be a chore in it’s own right.” He said, with his fingers to his temples. “And for you, Amelia, I believe that you are rather fond of her as well, are you not?”

“That’s kind of hitting low, isn’t it?” I mumbled.

“Well then, let’s reconvene here in a few hours.” Sander said, pulling out a time piece from his pocket. “Well then, shall we?” he said, walking out of the room hand in hand with Blue.

This stupid couple.

A minute or so after they left, Momarck walked into the room, sopping wet in boots and jacket.

“Hey! Don’t drip everywhere and track in the mud. Why didn’t you take everything off at the door?”

“Oh? You wanted to see everything, did you?” Momarck said, as he leaned down to start pulling down his paints.

“Oh yes,” I said, “that’s good. Just a little bit more and I’ll have a perfect target to practice my Ice Bullet on.”

“Ah.” He stopped his movements and froze up. “But you don’t know magic right? Not outside home use spells…” said Momarck, with a dubious look on his face.

“I’ve been watching Ashen and practicing a bit of what she’s been doing. I think I’ve gotten better. But we can see how good my aim is.”

“Ah. No. Stop. No. Nevermind.” he said, pulling everything up and buttoning even the places without buttons. “But seriously. I need to dry off, it’s hell out there now. I’ll clean up this mess after I get done from the bath.”

“Nope. The lovebirds are in there ahead of you already.”

“What? Ungh, shit. Well.. want to get me out of these wet clothes? We can economize, and both get in together after they are done.”

“Or I can just freeze you, and then thaw you in the tub. Alone.”

“Point taken.”

Wrapped up as a towel mummy, Momarck and I bantered back until the besotted came out, and Momarck took their place.

Me? Of course not, I wouldn’t consider a guy who can’t even swim. That’s not what you meant? What did I do after that? None of your business.

 


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Chapter 6 – Family Council I

Amelia’s Perspective

“Honestly, at this point, I do not know what to think about life out here” I said. “At first, when you took up Sander’s proposition, quite literally I might add,” with some sharpness to my eyes, I looked right at Blue, “I thought that it would be a relatively boring time out in the boonies. You got to have your honeymoon, while I would hang around as chaperone.”

“Well,” said Blue, “It hasn’t been all boredom, hasn’t it? With Astrania’s take over of The Fleet, and the incorporation of all of The Fleet’s departments, Sander and I have barely had a moments rest.”

That was said by the brown haired woman, Blue Testarossa, across the table from me. Really, pushing everything on to me, like always.

“Hey, Blue, don’t forget here. I’m the one who had to deal with all of the paperwork and logistics. You just had to look ‘Captainly’, or maybe I should say ‘Regally’, and direct the broad strokes.” I sad. “On top of that, we’ve been dealing with the star of the show in the other room. Or maybe I should say not dealing with her? Hey, Blue, I know that you may want to be hands off as Sander said, but I really think it’s time that we leveled with her. Even if she is reincarnated, it’s not completely sure that she has her past memories. She may just possess the knowledge, or the raw intelligence, to have such rapid growth. But this is the time you are losing to bond with her. Like it or not, you are the mother of the Blue Star.”

“Uuuu… I know, I know but, it’s… how do I face that? Can I even be a mother to someone who could have even been a mother herself before me,”

“I know what you mean, and it’s not like our childhoods give us much of a basis to work on, after all. But Sander said, none of the known incarnations of the Blue Star have lived long enough to have kids…” Blue’s face contorted. “Ah, sorry, I didn’t….” my words trailed off.

A dead silence weighed in the air. Inwardly sighing due to my gaffe, I lean back in my chair and glance around the room. This countryside villa that we have called home for the last three years, no matter how long I say here, I just can’t see it as home. For me, home will always be either the cabin on the ship, or the rinky-dink rooms at the base where we’d crash between voyages, or manage the the affairs of The Fleet.

Overall, the place was what it looked like; a disused country residence of a wealthy noble family out in the middle of nowhere. It had solid, rustic and durable furnishings that could last the ravages of time with minimal upkeep from the owners.

The villa is better than my childhood home, though that may just be because of how horrible my childhood experience was. To be treated as a pawn, and then when plans fall apart, to be sold off for scraps… and father called himself a business man. Well, we’ll see when that hatchet can be buried. Hopefully, in the back of his head.

The villa was nice and calm, though. It was out in the countryside, away from the capital, and a few miles away from a small village on one side, a forest on the other, and far away from the sea. Well, if you took a certain detour, you could get to the sea, but we had to at least put on a show for the brass hats in the capital that we were not interfering with The Fleets operations. Which, let’s be honest, we totally were.

The house was two stories high and split into two wings. On the first floor on the right side, there was a large kitchen area, store rooms, and access to the basement for more storage. On the left side were the common living areas, such as the living room and dining room. On the second floor were the bedrooms, library and study. There were three large bedrooms on the second floor of each wing, followed by two bathrooms, a library and a study. The right wing bedrooms were traditionally reserved for the servants, but seeing as we did not have a whole lot going on around here, we ended up having everything scattered around without much of a fuss. The Cook who manned the kitchen for us lived in the nearby village, and simply commuted to work each day, as did her daughter who worked part time as a maid to clean the house.

Me? No, well, sure, I do some stuff, but I am an adjutant, not a servant. I’m here to get work done, assist Blue, and act as a guard if need be. Well, for that last part, it’s not as if Blue really needs protection. So I’m more in line with protecting Ashen, aren’t I? Or may be Sander? Meh.

The stupid couples, I mean, Blue’s and Sander’s rooms were on the left wing while my room and Ashen’s nursery are on the right wing. I totally know why we have this layout. Don’t try to avoid it, Blue. I was the one to be woken up at all hours by the baby’s cry… except that did not happen. Really, we should have known, right? A reincarnated person would not cry as a normal infant would, right? After all, unlike an infant’s cries about the unknown, this child would know what is happening to and around them.

Ah, now that I think about it, that was the impetus for my sit-down with Blue, wasn’t it. But, just as I was coming back from my own little world, Blue spoke up.

“Sander sent a letter ahead. He’s going to be here tonight. He said that he would like to discuss the situation with Ashen.”

“That guy, always like that, to discuss the situation, so round about.”

“That’s one of his good points, though? That he can be objective in all things.”

“But it’s his daughter, not a ‘thing’ to be impartial about!”
“Isn’t it just that.” Blue looked a little crestfallen, “that he wants to discuss the situation? That is, you know, if she really does view us as her parents? That she really is our daughter? ”

“Course she does. How can you think she wouldn’t? You carried her around in your belly for a year, then cloth, feed and protect her after. What else are you to her?”

“But, but… if she has her old memories… can anyone else be a parent to someone who already has had them?”

“Blue,” I stare at her with dead eyes, “You know, well as I, that just because you start off with one pair of parents, that doesn’t mean that they are your true parents at heart, nor are you limited to simply one pair.”

“But that’s just it, just as you said! Just because we were her parents bio-”

Were? You mean are.”

“…um… yes… sorry… um… but even if we are her parents biologically now, just as you said, we may not be her true parents to her.”

“That is why,” I put emphasis into my voice, “that is why now is the crucial part. Regardless, Ashen needs parents, and this is the time when she is most vulnerable. This is the time for you to bond. All we’ve really done is sit on the sidelines and watch her silently and out of view as she literally, LITERALLY, teachers herself magic as a baby. She has had no support. We all need to be that support, we can’t just avoid her like this.”

“it is as Amelia says, we can no longer leave her alone. It is time for us to discuss this as a family.” a voice rang out behind me.


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Chapter 5 – Spellcrafting

Over the last 6 months, I have made some amazing strides.

Practice time was limited to the times when Amelia or Mother were paying attention, but after the first couple weeks they seemed to feel that the scare was over and it went back to normal.

That’s not to say that they didn’t spend a lot of time with me. But that while they maintained a frequent presence around me, they seemed to let me do my own thing.

Such laissez faire parenting.

Father only comes about once or twice a month, and only for a few days. But when he does, the three of us-mother, father and I-would spend time together.

Well, they spend time being stupid romantic couple while I look on. But I digress.

My magic practice has been a resounding success thus far.

Once I was able to see the magic, and the magic around me, it was a lot easier to understand how it works.

What I was creating before was magic, but it was only a piece, a building block, a magical component.

Yes, it was like putting together a puzzle. No, a circuit. You needed the right components, with the right attributes, in the right order for how they processed, and then you created the desired effect.

I even figured out how to prevent the magic from damaging the caster.

It’s sort of complicated, but from what I can see, all magic has different wavelengths or signatures. Magic of the same or similar signatures interact differently than magic of different signatures. The differences can be very small as well, so it takes a lot of control.

In order to safeguard yourself, you need to comprise the magic you create using the same signature of your own link core.

I think that this comes naturally to others, but because I started out creating lots of bits and pieces haphazardly at random, they were of different signatures, and I ended up electrocuting myself.

But hey, my arm feels better, so that’s a plus, right?

From there, I wanted to create some real spells, but there was the catch.

Remember that the Core Taker had to use an incantation. That incantation must be a recipe. A recipe that puts together these different components.

They are probably all tied to something-words, sounds, letters, who knows. So when they say an incantation, they are just reciting the recipe and forming it from there.

So in order to create a bigger spell, I need to start small. I need to know what those components are first. Then assign those components with an identifier so that I can refer back to them later at will. Something easy to remember and manipulate.

Once I identify as many components as I can, then I can start having them interact with each other.

Take those interactions, make them into their own, more complex components.

I don’t necessarily need to speak it out loud. I just need to remember the feeling of creating that component. Associate an identifier with a feeling. Standardize it so that I can reliably build a library of components.

I also had to identify how to manipulate those components. How to change properties such as their size, speed, temperature, color, etc…

I then needed to define how the spell would behave when and after I released it.

So I came up with the following system.

  • Element – The base behavior, essence or raw mana for magic.
  • Component – Collection of Elements and/or Components.
  • Attribute – Characteristic of a spell, such as it’s size, power, intensity, color, etc…
  • Action – What the spell’s behavior will be after casting.
  • Formula – The components and attributes that make up a spell.
  • Incantation – Keyword that invokes the formula and outputs the result.

It’s very complicated, this magic thing.

But with these, I can build a flexible method to develop spells going forward.

This is the output of 6 months worth of work.

Refreshing! Triumph! Victory!

Now I just need to actually make spells.

What? Why didn’t I make any spells after all this time?

Didn’t I just explain how complicated it is?

How can I make bricks without clay? How can I make a wall without Bricks?

So what do I make? Shall I go like before and make a lightning sword-okay yeah lets not do that this time.

I know it won’t hurt me like before, but I really don’t want to pee my pants again.

How about a plane?

I decided to make a wooden plane. With any luck, I can fly it around the room.

I reach out and start building it. I formed and put together pieces of pseudo wood. Smooth tube, pointed at front. Sweeping wings coming from the side. I put a tail on the end of it. Then I sealed the pieces together. Presto, a light weight, wooden model plane.

I let it go and push it forward with some wind by changing the air pressure a bit.

The plane started to fly around the room.

Ah.

I hurriedly control the planes flightpath with more wind magic to turn it just in time before it hit the wall.

For the next hour I had fun flying the plane around the room.

AH!

It crumbled.

The wings came off, and it started to fall.

I quickly blow it back over to the crib, and it lands on my chest with a put.

I held it up and took a look at it.

It was soft, like brittle sand. The plane was disintegrating.

No, that is not it. I can see with my magic lenses. It is not that it is disintegrating per say, but that the magic power is evaporating away.

I experimented some more afterwards, creating different materials with different magic concentrations.

I knew that the magic components I had created had gone away previously, but I thought it was just because I stopped supplying magic to them and that they went away afterwards, but that the final product would stick around.

I was half right.

As long as I supplied magic, the product would stick around. But as soon as the supply was cut off, it was on a timer. Once the product ran out of it’s magic reserves, the structure itself would begin evaporating. It was like the magic had a half-life.

This would explain why this would could still have a wealth disparity, doesn’t it? Or more like, it explains why there can even still be a thing like wealth or currency.

Anything you make, like Gold, with magic would just disappear. The real thing would not.

So any Magic Tools or Magic Items I make in the future will have to be made a different way, then.

Wait, Magic Tools? Magic Items?

I grinned.

I am, or was at least, an nerd when it came to circuits. What if I applied those principles with magic? What could I make? Hehehe. I look forward to the future.

Yes, the future.

No way I would be able to make, let alone acquire the materials for, magic tools till I was older.

orz

Cheer up. Cheer up. Don’t mind. Don’t Mind.

You still have magic spells! You can still make spells! That’s just as good! Better even! And you can always use the spells and components to theorycraft magic tools, right?

I’ll just put Magic Tools as something to look forward to. A reward for the future. A future endeavor.

I can’t wait to grow up.

Wait.

When do I grow up, actually?

Elves age very slowly, right? And even though I was half human, physically I matured pretty slowly as a child in my past life.

If I mature half as fast as my slow growth rate in my previous life, then…

orz


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Chapter 4 – Whole New World

Ungh. My hand hurts. My head hurts. And I think I’ve wet myself even more than usual-okay enough of that no poop talk, right?

Did I just do something very stupid?

“Ah! Ashen, my baby! Amelia! She’s awake! She’s awake!”

“Oh thank the spirits, she’s fine. The doctor is coming from town, he should be here soon.”

Apparently, after my error in judgement and subsequent electrocution, I blacked out and wet myself. I seemed to have at least cried out in pain before I fainted, and thankfully Mother found me in time.

Really. I am a computer engineer. I’ve worked with electricity all my life. I should know better.

Eh. But I never really feared electricity, and I had good resistance to shocks in my previous life.

Meh.

After twenty minutes, I heard a commotion coming from the entryway, and a man dressed like an old country doctor strode quickly into the room.

The doctor examined me, checking my vitals and looking all over my body.

“I don’t know what to say, Madam. It appears that she has burnt herself, though I do not know from what. Are there any open flames?”

“No, sir” said Amelia, “Nothing of the sort. It is as you see now. The crib is in the center of the room well apart from the candle brackets.”

“Do you have any ideas on the cause, Doctor?” said Mother in a worried tone.

“The closest thing I have seen to this is a man who was struck by lighting. Look.” He rolled up my sleeve and showed my arm. “This pattern here.”

Mother, Amelia and the Doctor all looked down at my arm. I did as well. Looking at it, there was a pattern running all down the arm, like the stems of a flowering plant.

Yep, definitely electrocuted.

“What is that pattern? I’ve never seen it. Is it a curse?” asked Mother.

“Oh, I do not think it is a curse, though the cause seems to be magical. In time, it will heal.” Replied the Doctor.

“Will there be scarring?” asked Amelia.

“It is too soon to tell. There may be some scaring, but she is also young, and I dare say that she will grow out of this in time. After all, a child’s body can repair itself quicker than an adult, after all. Just keep an eye on her, and call me if anything else happens.”

“We will, Doctor. Thank you!” said Mother.

From then for the new few days, I was never alone, with either Mother or Amelia in the room with me at all times. Thus, I couldn’t practice magic.

Instead, I thought to myself, and began my speculations.

The magic existed. But it was not visible to me. But it was there, and I could interact with it.

But when I created the lighting sword, even when I stabbed myself, I didn’t take any damage, did I?

The bitch.. let’s give her a different name, shall we? The sphere is like my magical stone? Or Core? Yeah, Core Taker. Let’s go with that.

The Core Taker, she was able to throw a fireball at me. Throw it. Which means she had it in her hands, but did not self immolate. So there is a component of the magic that prevents the magic itself from damaging the caster.

So I am missing a key component with it.

I should be able to figure that out if I can reproduce the sword. But I made that on instinct. And I don’t want to get electrocuted again.

If only I could SEE the magic. I could see what it is doing.

Think back, how did they used to do this in stories?

Magic eyes?

Well, I don’t have magic eyes.

But, can I make my own eyes into magic eyes?

How do I even do that?

To do that, I’d need to pour mana into my eyes, right?

Except how do I pour mana? How do I move it around? Where is it even coming from? How much do I have? Will I end up going blind by electrocuting my eyeballs-okay lets not think about that.

If Magic comes from the Core, and the Core resides inside my body, then I need to take Mana from the core and then get it out into my body.

How did I do that.

I get the feeling I was only collecting the outer surface that was pulsing from the core.

That would mean that I am not actually taking magic from the core. I am just skimming the residue that is exuding from it.

So I need some sort of link. A linked core. Link Core. Yes, I am totally going to try and make a starlight buster in the future, so let’s go with that.

Create a link. If I take the part of me that I can feel collecting from the core, and use it to create a link core by extending it further inside the core.

Ah, there, I felt something. Like a prong sipping into place and locking it.

Woah, woah, woah, what, woah.

I feel a pulse flowing around through my body. It’s rather insane.

Its like that feeling when you are on a roller coaster, or an airplane during turbulence-okay stop roller coaster it is, and you feel that tingling sensation in the core of your body.

It was like that, but in the form of a river going through my body.

No, no, think about it like your blood vessels, or your nervous system, or even like a watercooled computer. Like the pipes of water in a powerplant.

Relieve pressure here, raise pressure there, and regulate the flow. Regulate it.

Once I calmed down, though, I got used to it, and controlled it to an extend.

Now what do I do with it? How do I release it?

I tried releasing it from my hands first, as I did before.

I could feel something warm going through them, but nothing happened that I could see.

See?

Right, magic eyes, let’s try that.

I directed the flow of mana, and connected it to my eyes. Not through the brain. Nope. Not going to risk that. I had to do it delicately to avoid that. Last thing I want is to find out I am in a magic coma for 3,000 years.

Instead of shooting things through my eyes-I do not want burning retinas or electrocuted eyeballs-I pooled the mana there.

When I did, my vision became obstructed.

I could see swirls of white fog everywhere, but nothing too distinct. It was like looking through liquid fog.

Well, of course.

I am just pooling it, aren’t I?

I know about modern optics. I should know better.

But how do I shape it?

I try and manipulate the mana that has pooled in my eyes.

Shape it, shape it, curve it, curve it.

With a lot of effort, I manage to get it into the shape of a lens.

Much clearer. But still not there.

I manipulate and adjust the lens, and condense it to my iris. The more I shape it, the clearer the picture I can see. And the more I condense it-there is only so much volume of space available, after all-the more magical power I could see.

Whoa.

Everywhere.

There. Is. Magic. Everywhere.

In EVERYTHING.

It is insane.

This is amazing.

I quickly forget the past. I reach out and begin creating the electrical pulses I had created earlier.

I can see them now. It’s so cool. They look like little fuzzy squiggles.

This. This is it. I may have ‘returned’ back here, but with this, now I am truly seeing a whole new world.


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Chapter 3 – Passing Time

It has been two months since I have been reborn and returned to this world.

As I suspected, it is a different world from Earth. I have only heard a couple proper names for places in passing, but it was enough to glean that this is not earth.

For one thing, Earth only has one moon, not two.

I was able to see that through the bedroom window.

We are in the country of Astrania. A kingdom of the Elves. I do not know if there are any other races, but since this is specifically an Elven country, then that implies that other races, that is to say non-elves, also exist.

I also have learned my name.

I am Ashen Testarossa.

A good name, I think?

But… yeah… I am female… why I am female? Is it fine because Elven women are supposed to be beautiful? No wait, the guys are supposed to be beautiful as well.

Though I don’t think that I was that handsome in my previous life.

Was it because I was a half?

Don’t mind. Don’t mind. Don’t think about it.

Boys and girls are not so different until puberty, right?

In fact, girls are more developed till then!

Oh shit… this means I’ll get my period when I hit puberty… when is that for pure Elves?

No idea.

Don’t mind. Don’t mind. Don’t think about it.

Okay then. Moving on. Ah yes, Mother.

My mother’s name is Blue Testarossa, and my Father’s name is Sander.

I do not know the midwife’s name. She left soon after my birth.

I did learn the attendant’s name, however. She is called Amelia.

Amelia is very close to Blue, to Mother. She seems to always be by her side and glued to her.

Though honestly, their behavior together is more like an annoyed older sister (Amelia) and an airhead younger sister (Blue).

You can’t tell who’s the mother here.

Ah, but speaking of mother. Her recovery is amazing. Within the first month, she was already walking around, good as new. There is no way she looked like a mother that had just given birth. Is this the power of elves?

Ah, but Amelia was chastising her for working out, while Blue was arguing that since she was finally free of her restraints (me), she wanted to make up for lost time.

Is mother a muscle head?

Dad looks like the clever type, though.

Father was present for my birth and the day after, but he took off and I have not seen him since. He must be working.

This is a fantasy world, so if there is no cheat way to travel like apparition or warping, then you’d be confined to horse and carriages, right? Minutes for travel on Earth mean hours here, and hours on Earth are days of travel here.

The family circumstances? If this is truly middle ages style, then I think we’re rather well off. We might be nobles or wealthy merchants.

I know that in addition to Amelia, we do have additional servants as well.

There is a cook, a butler, a coachman, and another maid.

I haven’t interacted with them much. The cook stays in the kitchen. The coachman seems more like Father’s aide, as he comes and goes and mostly interacted with Father. The butler and maid are similar to Amelia in that they are friendly with mother, and seem pretty informal in their relations considering their positions.

I like that, though.

But while Amelia seems more like Mother’s

I don’t really know, since I have not gone outside yet.

I have been carried around the house a bit. The place is definitely a mansion. An old mansion. It gives the impression of being an old mansion, full of neglect, that has since been renovated.

My room on the second floor, in the room next to Mother’s and across the hall from Amelia’s.

An ancient mansion? Muhahahha. Of course that means secret passage ways, hidden rooms, trap doors-at least, in my imagination it does. I can’t verify any of that until I am older, though.

Which leads me to my current situation.

I am bored. b.o.r.e.d. I am so bored. Being a baby is boring.

I can’t move. I can’t (shouldn’t) talk. I can’t read a book, go on the computer, watch TV, run around, fly a kite, defeat a Demon Lord, paint a picture, listen to music. Nothing. I can do nothing myself.

My only entertainment is Mother or Amelia telling me children’s stories, or being carried around the mansion and looking at things.

What the hell can I do then?

I am sitting here, all alone, laying in a crib. I get checked up on throughout the day, but for the most part it is eat, sleep and poop.

Poop? Don’t want to talk about it. Nope. Not going there.

I can barely even move my body, though. Just my arms, and maybe my legs.

This is another world. And there is magic, right?

I should know since I got hit by that fireball-no I don’t want to think about that stop thinking of that.

Fire is too dangerous.

Water? That’s what everyone starts with in fantasy novels, right?

Okay, let’s try that.

Water!

Nothing happened.

Oh, maybe I need to say it.

“Water!”

Nothing happened.

What the hell.

Wait, wait. Think back. What did that bitch do?

She was mumbling something before she fireballed me, right?

Do I need an incantation?

Kind of impractical (even though it did kill me… while falling from 15,000 ft).

How the hell am I supposed to do a long incantation?

Are they really even necessary? Wouldn’t such an incantation mean that there are set words or phrases to do magic? But what about people with different languages?

That can’t be right.

Actually, wait a minute. That bitch is not my only example of magic, right?

No, not mother. I never saw her do magic.

But didn’t I do magic myself? Instinctively, when that bitch reached through my chest?

And I feel like that blue sphere was the reason. It was like the thing that enabled me to do magic.

Since it belonged to Mother, that must be the reason why she couldn’t use magic over there.

But since I was fireballed, does that mean that it was destroyed after all when I died?

Then Mother, if she did somehow return here, can’t use magic anymore?

I am sad. Let’s not think about this anymore.

Magic. Magic. What did I do.

I created a sword of electricity, didn’t I.

How did I do that.

I feel like it just came to me.

But the feeling, it was like… this?

I think I can feel a spark right in front of me. But I can’t see it.

Maybe I need a higher concentration.

I reach out and create more ‘sparks’ that I cannot see.

There should be a lot of them there. But I can’t see them at all!

I reach out and try and touch them.


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Chapter 2 – Homecoming

Aahhhggg

I want to yell out, but I can’t breath. I can’t even move.

My body is pinned from all sides.

All around I can hear the muffled screaming of the other passenger.

I can’t open my eyes.

I feel like I am being smothered.

Calm down. Calm down. Don’t panic.

You’re alive. The plane has crashed, and you survived. Sure you are pinned, but you are alive. The screaming means that others survived too. Rescue workers, or the other passengers, will start digging through the wreckage and find you. I have to believe that.

Think. Focus. Calm. Down.

Sure you crashed. Sure you are pinned. But how is the body?

It’s fine, right? There is no pain, only weight all around.

It’s hot, so there is fire all around, but you are not burning, right?

Don’t think about that. Think of the other passengers.

Buried in the wreckage, but without life nor limb. Burnt, scarred, dead.

What are you complaining about?

The rescue workers will dig you out.

Some bruises, a knock on the head perhaps?

Nothing. Just mild injuries.

What are you complaining about?

Once extracted, you’ll be low priority.

You can even walk away from all this.

That’s more than many of the other passengers can say, right?

There is some leeway in front of me.

I start to wiggle forward.

I can barely open my eyes, but when I do, all I see is red.

Oh no. Is it fire?

No, it’s not hot, if anything, it’s getting cooler.

Screaming and yelling is getting louder.

It’s pink and soft, the stuff I am squirming through.

Flesh? Ungh. Bodies. Are these bodies? I am going to puke.

No, don’t puke. There is no room. Can’t breath. If you vomit, you’ll just choke and suffocate.

Suffocate?

Wait, how am I breathing??

With that realization, I can’t breath. Shit.

But I can feel some give way. There’s an opening.

Get out! Get out! Get out!

I manage to get to the end, pass through the opening in the wreckage. When I do, I can feel the large hands of the rescue workers pulling me out and carrying me.

I can finally breath.

I take a deep breath and let out a scream to vent my anxiety.

Wait. Carrying me?

I am a grown man. This isn’t a stretcher. I am in someone’s arms.

I open my eyes.

Holy shit. Giants.

A large woman is holding me. She is wearing a bloodstained apron, and grey linen dressings.

“Oh what is this? I didn’t even need to spank, and she is already breathing normally. Congratulations, madam, it’s a girl.”

I feel the giant woman tickling my nose with her index finger going ‘goochi goochi goo’.

What am I? A child to these people? Just because they are bigger than… wait-

I am handed over to another large woman who is laying on the bed. She is drenched in sweat.

She looks to be in her mid twenties, with brown hair and green eyes. I’d qualify her as a cool beauty.

“Oh, she’s beautiful”, the woman says, “Hello there? It’s mommy, it’s mommy.”

I am being spoken to in baby talk.

Wait. Let’s process this a bit.

The plane crashed, right?

No, it didn’t.

Or well, it probably crashed after that happened.

Don’t mind. Don’t mind. Don’t think about that.

I was talking to the Professor who was seated next to me.

Then we were going over the strange blue stone sphere with the circuits that he was bringing to me for analysis.

We talked about how it used to belong to Mother.

Then the blue sphere glowed, and shot into my chest.

Then the annoying girl from behind me stabbed me through my back, pushed the sphere back out of my chest, and…

Then…

I stabbed us?

I made a sword… and I stabbed myself through the chest… and into her…

Then shocks of electricity flew everywhere.

Then we were outside the plane, falling towards the sea… which was weird, since we were flying over the rocky mountains just before that…

And it was just the bitch and I falling…

I pulled the core back into my chest.

Then she said a weird thing and threw a fireball at me…

And I died?

I am dead.

But I am not dead.

Obviously.

Then…

That’s the Midwife…

The woman who said congratulations is dressed as an attendant to a rich woman. Maid?

That must mean that this woman is my mother?

New mother. Yes, New mother. Not MY mother, but my NEW mother.

Don’t mind. Don’t mind. You’ll just go crazy if you care too deeply about it.

I have been given the chance to start over.

Others do not get that chance.

While I have been trying to resolve my internal dilemmas, I’ve been wiped down, my cord cut, and swaddled in my mother’s arms.

A man came into the room as well, and looked at Mother and I with a loving look.

That must be father.

They have all been having a conversation about feeding, resting, and confirming that there were no complications with the mother and child.

I seem to be the first born of the family as well.

Wait. Something else is hitting me here.

I can understand these people.

But they are not speaking English. They are not speaking any language I’ve heard on Earth at all.

Except for one place.

I grew up speaking this language after all.

But it was only between one other person and I.

I can’t see it due to Mother’s hair. But I an see it on the Attendant and on my Father.

Their ears. They are pointed.

Just like Mother’s.

Similar to how my (old) ears were.

This means I am back with my mother’s family?

Or perhaps back in her old hometown?

I got hit (killed) by a magic fireball.

Reincarnated as a baby.

Surrounded by young, beautiful looking people with pointed ears.

Everyone is dressed as if it was the middle ages.

And no one knew where Mother was originally from. Only that she appeared suddenly, and she was not from around here.

If I had to put my finger on it… yeah… a new world.

But wait.

If I recall correctly, Mother was pregnant when they found her on Earth, right?

With me.

So does that mean that rather than a new world, this is a return?

Ah.

Welcome home, me. Welcome home.


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Chapter 1 – Plane Ride

I looked up again at the post next to me. The post has the numbers 11-15 with an arrow on either side pointing outward. Group A should be boarding soon. It was a bit extra, but upgrading to business should allow me to get a nice seat. And it is a business trip, after all. I can probably expense that. For small talk, I say as such to the old man who is in line behind me.

“Yeah. It costs a lot if you do it when you buy your ticket, but only a bit if you do it right before the flight. I always do so as well.” The old man commented.

The attendant at the podium announced that they would begin boarding disabled passengers first.

I can’t quite see it, but there appears to be a commotion happening over by the service desk. I see some yelling and a bit of hand waiving, with and a garbled ‘upgrade to business’ making it through over the rustling sound of other passengers taking their bags and lining up.

A call comes from the loud speakers.

“Business class passengers for flight 3489 from Chicago to Oakland, please take your place in line, we will begin boarding you shortly.”

I hear a gasp and a clatter come from behind me. When I glance behind me, I see the older gentleman with a case. He turns as well, and I lower my gaze. A couple spots behind him is a girl about a head shorter than the old man and I. I’d say she was about 5’6″ in height, with messy dark blue hair that covered her ears. She had an tired expression. She was catching her breath, in between which she would look up towards me. Not the monitor above me, or the attendant at the podium, she seemed to be keying in on me. Yep, right at my chest. I’m not wearing a graphic tee, just a solid colored long sleeve shirt, so nothing to look at here. Love at first sight? Nah. Just a weirdo. She looks tanned and fit, but out of breath. Just how far did she run?

The attendant picks up the PA and begins speaking over the intercom. She announces that passengers for our flight for group A can begin boarding now. I pick up my duffel bag in one hand, my boarding pass in the other, and start walking towards the ramp. The beep of the scanner rings out, and I go to board the plane. Behind me, I am pretty sure that I can hear someone having the ticket scanning process explained to them in an exasperated voice, followed by a bark about cutting in line.

Ah, the joy of being near the front, a window seat is available. Second row, left side eh. I stow my bag in the overhead, take off my backpack, and sit down. In the window seat, of course. I stuff my bag under the seat in front of me.

As I am fashioning my seat belt, the old man who was behind me moves in and sits in the middle seat next to me. I was kind of hoping to lay my coat on the middle seat and save some room, but the old man looks like he’d make a good conversation partner, and it is a 5 hour flight. Incidentally, the weird girl with the blue hair pushed past the the few people who boarded after us and made a bee line right to the seat behind me. Well, it is a coveted window seat, after all, but she was rather rude wasn’t she?

Ah well, none of my business.

As the plane boards, and we wait on the tarmac, I should exchange pleasantries with the old man who has sat beside me.

“Winter sucks out here, doesn’t it? It will be a nice break from the snow.”

Ah. He beat me to it.

“I can’t agree more. What do you do?”

“Oh, I should introduce myself first. My name is Dr. Freeman. I am a professor over at the Northwestern University.”

“A professor? What do you teach?”

“I am the head of the Engineering and Computer Science department.”

“What’s taking you out to the west coast?”

“It’s an interesting story, actually. My students and I were clearing out the old Computer Club room to make way for a new classroom. The room hasn’t been in use since the 90’s, so there was a lot of old equipment and parts there that need to be recycled.”

“Did you find anything good?”

“We did, as a matter of fact. Something a bit nostalgic actually. It was something that belonged to one of my old students, as a matter of fact.”

The professor said that with a downward note.

“Ah. Did something happen?”

“Well…” The professor looked down at his hands. “That student that thing belonged to, she disappeared.”

“She disappeared?”

“Yes. It must be about 20 years now, isn’t it… Everything seemed to be alright, and she was behaving normally, if even a bit energetically, but the next day she just disappeared as suddenly as she when we had first met.”

He looked a bit wistful.

“Are you sure she didn’t just run away?”

“Oh, no, no. Her world centered around her son. But he was just left behind at the student housing. We looked all around for her, but we couldn’t find her at all.”

“What did the police say?”

“Well… she was here illegally, so we couldn’t really involve…. But well, eventually we had to give up the search. We hoped that maybe she went back, but… well…”

He looked downcast.

“What happened to the son?”

“One of the club members took care of the boy and raised him.”

“I see. What was her name?”

I interrupted him before he could reply,

“Was it… Sarah?”

“Huh? Yes, that was her name. Did you know her?”

“Well, there was not much I could remember, other than stories that Skip could tell me. But, thank you for looking after Mother.”

“Oooh. My, my, I can’t believe it. Sarah’s son, I can’t believe it. Well then, I guess this would be yours, though you will have to excuse me, as I cannot relinquish it to you at the moment, since it is the subject of my trip, after all.”

The professor reached down and pulled out his briefcase. He opened it, and then pulled something out of it.

“Here we are.”

The professor held the object out.

I felt a rustling from the seat behind me, but I ignore it. She’s peaking through the gap between the chairs. I suppress my urge to give her a poke in the eyes.

It was a blue sphere, made of a material I had never seen before. It was covered in, well what can I call it other than circuits. The lines were intricate and clean, and for some reason, yes, a bit nostalgic. I could also feel my inner hardware nerd pulsing with eagerness. I think I know where this is going.

“This is what you’re going out to California for?”

“Yes, as you can see, the this orb, the more you look at it, it is undeniably a computer of some sort. But I have never seen anything like it. The circuitry is more complex than even the hardware we work with today. I do not know how she would have managed to have this even now, let alone twenty five years ago. My former colleague works at a a large computer processor manufacturer, and he was able to reach out to an expert, so I am flying out to meet with them.”

I grinned.

“What a coincidence. I also happen to be going there on business. One of my old bosses told me that their friend had found an interesting piece of hardware, and called me in to take a look at it.”

I ignore the scratching on the back of my chair. Damn that woman is annoying.

“Ha ha, so that’s it. That bastard, he had to drag the both of us all the way across the country instead of just meeting us in the city. But to think that Sarah’s son would be the one. She appeared out of the blue one day in the club room. Didn’t speak a lick of English, but damn did she run circles around us when it came to circuitry. I see that it rubbed off on you after all; like mother, like son.”

“I do not know if it was her influence or not, but you know that Skip, ah, that’s my guardian, he and a couple other friends run a prototyping company. So I grew up basically surrounded by computer chips and soldering irons, with everyone building new products all day. Thank’s to that, I’ve always been good with stuff like this. My main business is design and consultation of unique hardware solutions. So this is right up my alley.”

“Well then, here you go. What can you make of it?”

The professor handed me the sphere.

The grinding on the back of my chair is driving me crazy. Should I reach back and thwap her on the top of the head?

Whatever. Ignore it, ignore it. Let’s just take a look at the sphere first.

The sphere was, as I mentioned, intricately designed. I turned it around in my hands.

“It’s interesting. These are definitely circuits. But it’s weird.”

“Weird?”

“Yes. These circuits, it’s like they are all independent from each other. They are not connected except in a few places. Like this, look at this part here. It looks like it is part of the larger circuit around it, but that’s not the case. It never actually connects to any other part.”

“But then, how would each circuit communicate? Are they connected to a central area?”

“No, they are not talking at all with each other. I can’t even see how they are getting powered, even. Unless the sphere itself is powering them.”

Hmm… I look closer. What’s this, what’s this?

“This bit here… it is like a marking or comment. No, a label. It says… Memory Circuit?”

“Oh? Let me see. Huh? I can’t read it. What language is that? Ah. Well, of course I can’t read it. Though I guess it is natural that you could, huh….”

“Natural? What do you mean?”

“Nevermind, don’t worry about it.”

So it’s only natural that I can read it? Because it belong to mother? The points of my ears are getting itchy thinking about it.

“Hey, look right here, Professor. You see this part?”

“There? What about it? What do you see?”

“Well, it’s broken. Or should I say unfinished? Right under the area where the writing was. You see this part and this part? They are supposed to be connected to each other, but right here, you see, right there, there is a small piece blocking it that wasn’t carved out. Let me see here…”

The scrapping on my chair back is driving me nuts. I want to hit this person. Ignore it. Ignore it. Why isn’t the person next to them stopping them?

Speaking of scrapping… I pull out my backpack and rummage for a bit. I pull out a nail file. It’s a small, cheap, plastic one though. I try and scrape at the small portion that is blocking the circuit from completing. But it’s no good. The file is too thick, and it’s plastic anyway.

Out of desperation, or maybe just habit, I start scrapping the blockage with my thumbnail. I get tunnel vision when this type of thing happens, so I am focusing a little too hard on this, aren’t I?

“Whoah!? What was that?”

Both of us exclaimed together.

At my thumbnail, there was a small flash of light, and the indentation went away.

We both looked at each other for a second.

The sphere started to warm in my hand, and began to start glowing with a pale light from within it.

Whoosh.

“Ah!”

The sphere rushed at me like a line drive off the sweet spot of the bat, right at my chest.

No, not at my chest. In my chest.

The scratching sound behind me has stopped, and I feel a coolness on my back.

“Where did it go?”

“I… I don’t know… what…”

“How do you feel? Are you alright?”

“It’s hard to explain, but it’s kind of like… my chest is lighter, but denser? I don’t know how to describe-AAHHHH!!!!”

What the hell is going on? Is this Alien’s or something?

My eyes are screwed up with pain. There are bolts of electricity flying all around me.

The old man is yelling. Ah, he just got electrocuted!

I glance down. There is an arm. An arm going right through my chest. From behind the back of my chair, through my chest, and in front of that was a hand. A hand groping and grasping at the blue sphere that was just out of reach.

Anger like I never knew flashed over me. This bitch. Not again. Wait, again? Whatever. How do I deal with this? What do I do? Crap. Crap. Ungh. It hurts like hell. Do like last time? Last? Whatever. Do it. Whatever it is. do it.

I grit my teeth. I hold out both of my hands in front of me, and hold them as if I was holding a sword. And like that, a sword of lightning forms in my hands. But not like a normal sword would, this one is facing inwards.

“What?! Why that again!”

I hear something from behind me. Screw you, take this.

I shove the sword of lightning through my chest and into the one behind me.

Everything hurts. There is electricity everywhere. The sphere is flashing colors, and I can see a circuit on it start to glow blue. It’s the memory circuit that I had just fixed. And another one. I can’t read it. I can’t concentrate. Fuck this hurts.

A flash comes out of the sphere like a nova and pushes everything away from us. Chairs, passengers, the plane, reality, you name it. Everything goes blue. Then everything goes black.

When I come to my senses, I am falling from the sky. The blue sphere moves back inside my chest, and I feel a reassuring warmth from it.

But where is the plane? Did it blow up? Are we crashing? Did I get sucked out?

I look around, but there is no sight of it. Below, I see a fleet of old fashion sail ships, and in the distance I can see land.

In front of me is the girl. That cursed girl. Her right hand and arm, burnt and bloodied, covering her face, and her left hand extended out towards me.

“You! I’ll get you for this!”

She started to mumble something that I couldn’t make out. Anyways, I need to get away from her. How do I get away from her? We’re literally skydiving without a parachute.

< fireball! >

A burst of flame soared towards me.

Fuck! For real?

Right before it hit, and I burst into flame, I saw her smiling whilst floating away towards the land and away from the ships.

Then everything went dark.

 


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