Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Cursed White Rose Chapter 5 – Decisions First Part

Here's Chapter 5. Finally had spare time after busy events. Next chapter will come out when I have the chance. I'm still in the process of rewriting earlier chapters. So it's a gradual process of releasing my work.

Edit: Made some adjustments to the chart. I'm still working on what stats I want on it, so it will possibly be subject to change later on too.

Edit 2: Changed one part of the chart. Associations --> Job. Residence --> Rank Hopefully last chart change for a while.

Sara, Yuki and Tsubaki’s mouths hang wide open. Sara’s eyes almost pop out of their socket from the message.

Rose: “Hah. What a joke. They really can’t let things alone can they.”

Sara: “R-R-R-R-Rose, w-w-w-what does that mean?”

Rose: “Hmm? Ah sorry, was that still too technical? Hah… I’m too used to the magical world if I didn’t notice. Which part didn’t you understand?”

Rose face palms lightly seeing Sara’s response. Sara stands up yelling in a panic. She points at Rose demanding an explanation.

Sara: “That’s not the problem! What’s all this about registration and ranks?! You never mentioned this before!!”

Rose: “Because the rules are fake.”

Sara freezes up immediately. Sara’s anger starts to dissipate as her pointed finger falls down to her side. Her open mouth closes as she looks at Rose.

Sara: “Eh?”

Rose: “It’s never been an issue to hold a magic item even if you’re not registered with the magic world. They’re just targeting you specifically because they dislike the situation.” Sara stops moving and directly looks into Rose’s eyes telling her to continue. “I told you about my situation. Higher rank people didn’t like me so they had me locked into the book. You defied expectations by being a permanent owner instead of dying. They’re not happy with the situation, so they had these stupid conditions sent here so that you abandon me and make me suffer again. Oh right, though the conditions are idiotic, you can still be legitimately be punished for them.”

Sara: “Then Mary is…” Sara looks at the closed double doors.

Rose: “Mary is actually a friend. However, decisions are done in a group, so even if she wants to, helping me is limited.”

Sara’s head drops slightly, her bangs cover her expression. Her body trembles slightly. Her fists tighten to the point that her knuckles start to turn white. Her face starts to turn red as she looks at Rose with a fiery gaze. Just as Sara opens her mouth, Rose stretches out her hand stopping her.

Rose: “Okay. Stop right there. I’m not done talking, so don’t be rash.”

Sara freezes up at the unexpected intervention. Her face reddens even more, but her hand finally relaxes as she sits down. Her gaze remains firm as she looks at Rose.

Sara: “Okay. I’m ready.”

Rose: “…Hah… Okay. I’m going to start from the abandon choice first. Honestly, this is the better choice if you want a peaceful lifestyle. I purchased this home using your name, created bank accounts and every other necessity for you. So you can live a completely normal lifestyle even if you choose to abandon me.”

Sara shoots up immediately. Her face completely flushed again.

Sara: “I won’t aban…” Rose stops her again.

Rose: “Calm down. I’m just giving you an honest and objective opinion on your options. For this choice, the positive is to have an easy lifestyle without worries. The negative is dissolving our bond and me returning to my old lifestyle of killing people with wishes.”

Rose: “The other option is to train and reach A rank according to the magical world standards. This is an incredibly hard option. Especially since there have been no records of human being ever reaching an A rank.”

Tsubaki: “…Never?”

Rose: “When they reach the bottleneck, they frequently give up being human to try and break through being an A rank. However, I don’t think you can do that since they will argue that you cheated. So if you pursue this route, you have to become an A rank as a human being which would make you the first ever to do so.”

A deep silence fills the room. Sara shakes in anger at the thought of giving up so easily. Rose helped her have a better life and has been doing everything to care for her, but her only option is to abandon her to live. Yuki and Tsubaki watch the two of them struggle with the options unable to help either of them. Yuki decides to chime in and try to help.

Yuki: “…Doesn’t that make it impossible then?”

Rose: “I never said it was impossible. I just said it was never done before.” Sara’s face shoots up looking directly at Rose. “With the current situation, if you work extremely hard, then it’s possible to reach an A rank. My bond with you means I unconsciously feed you magic, so if you develop enough to take it as your own. It can help accelerate your growth to reach it. The problem is the level of training you need during that time would mean you would give up all your free time. Essentially, you lose out on the chance at a normal life. Plus there is my reputation to consider. Today’s assassination attempt will just be one of many.”

Rose lists off the demerits with a bitter smile. Sara’s expression doesn’t waver though as she looks at Rose.

Sara: “But you’ll protect me if anything happens. Right?”

Rose shivers slightly at Sara’s clear resolution. The answer already gleamed in her eyes.

Rose: “….Hah. I’m not a god. Yes, I’m powerful, but I’m not omnipotent. I can’t protect against everything especially if higher ranked people start moving….. But I will absolutely protect you with every drop of my power until there’s nothing left.”

Sara: “You’re not allowed to die…”

Rose: “………………………Understood.”

Sara stands up and looks firmly at Rose.

Sara: “I will do it! I will learn magic and free you from your book!!”

Rose shakes her head and sighs. “You absolutely…won’t change your mind? There’s still time to back out.”

Sara: “No!! I’m doing this!”

Rose: “Understood, Master. I will do everything I can to train you…without dying myself.” Rose can only sigh at Sara’s unwavering determination. “Mary took the liberty to sign you up for the D rank examination. It’s in two weeks so we have to get you ready by then.”

Sara: “Okay!”

Tsubaki: “2 weeks…That’s pretty short. Will Sara learn magic that fast?”

Rose: “There’s no choice but to do it since the registration is done already.”

Sara: “I’ll learn it in no time just watch!”

Rose: “Yes, I know. Here.” Rose pulls out a silver card from the white envelope and hands it to Sara. “The jewel on the bottom right is for you to prick your finger and mark the card with your blood.” Sara places her finger on the ruby embedded in the card. She presses her hard enough to make her finger bleed promptly covering the jewel in her blood. The card glows lightly and begins dissolving into particles of light.

Sara: “Wah! Why did it break!?”

Rose: “ID card.” Rose covers Sara’s finger with some ointment and quickly bandages it.

Sara: “ID card?...Wah!”

A window pops up in front of Sara. She almost falls out of her seat.

Akari Sara
16 years old
Cursed Tome of the White Rose

Magic Capacity
Magic Attack
Magic Resistance
Magic Control

10Cr 20G 50S 99C (200 gems)

Sara reads through all the lines. However, most of the window made no sense. What are Guild and Association? Are my stats good or bad? There’s a lot of numbers for money, but is it a lot or a little? It’s not Japanese Yen either. What kind of money is it?

Yuki: “…ra..Sara!”

Sara: “Huh? Yes!” Sara is broken out of her thoughts by Yuki.

Yuki: “You haven’t said a word since you cried out. Did something happen?”

Sara: “What? Um…” She glances at Rose in confusion before speaking.

Rose: “Master was reading her ID for the magical world. Only she can see it until she allows others to see. Master, for whatever is not clear. We can leave them for another time. We won’t be making a trip to the magical world right away, so that information will be best left for another time to avoid overloading you with information.”

Yuki: “Ahh that’s very true.”

Sara: “Okay.”

Rose: “Now then, Yuki, Tsubaki what do you want to do?”

Yuki/Tsubaki “Yes?”

Rose shows the two white envelopes in her hand.

Rose: “Mary was kind enough to start the paperwork for magical world licenses. Do you think you want to study magic too? Unlike Master, you can learn at a more reasonable pace.” Yuki and Tsubaki’s faces light up in surprise. “I should tell you that learning magic isn’t purely fun. You will have to commit to it and give up most of your free time to learn.” Yuki and Tsubaki frown after hearing Rose’s serious tone.

Sara: “…Is that okay? For them to just learn magic that easily.”

Rose: “Naturally there are various issues. The dangers from being around me are one issue. Learning magic can be extremely difficult too. But if you decide to pursue magic, it has its own benefits when used with discretion.” Yuki and Tsubaki fall silent at Rose’s response. Yuki speaks up first.

Yuki: “Can I have time to think about it?”

Rose: “That’s fine. Do you think you can have an answer in a week? There are a lot of preparations that have to be done.”

Yuki: “Okay. I’ll try. Thank you.”

Tsubaki: “Rose, can you have a match with me?”

Rose: “Hm?”

Sara/Yuki: “Huh?!”

Rose responds passively, while Sara and Yuki cry out.

Tsubaki: “I want to see your skill with my own hands.” Rose silently stands with a frown. “Please. I want to study under someone strong so that I can become strong myself.”

Rose sighs grandly. “…Why are you asking me?”

Tsubaki: “B-Because it seems like you’re really strong?” Rose remains silent looking at Sara. “I…guess that’s a no.”

Yuki: “Rose, why not have the match with Tsubaki-chan[1]?”

Sara: “Isn’t it okay to have the match?”

Rose: “Understood.”

After Sara’s input, Rose accepts immediately. Rose motions to Tsubaki to move away from the chair.

Tsubaki: “Thank you, Rose.”

Rose: “For reference, you misunderstood me.”

Tsubaki: “Huh?”

Rose: “When I said ‘Why are you asking me?’, I meant why are you asking me instead of Master. A servant shouldn’t freely do things without their master’s opinion. So I was waiting for that.”

Everyone stares at Sara.

Yuki: “Ah that is true.”

Tsubaki: “I see.”

Sara blushes with everyone staring at her. Rose and Tsubaki stand several meters away from Sara and Yuki. Sara and Yuki sit on the edge of the sofa watching the match.

Rose: “What kind of match do you want?”

Tsubaki: “Any kind.”

Rose: “What about the rules?”

Tsubaki: “You decide.” Rose frowns holding her head at Tsubaki’s uninterested response.

Rose: “Fine. We’ll do a two minute match. I won’t attack…”

Tsubaki: “No! If you don’t attack, then there’s no point.”

Rose: “Haaaah…”

Rose heavily sighs at the demand. Rose arranges a two minute match after making a timer appear. Rose uses a bamboo sword while Tsubaki uses a wooden sword. Tsubaki rejected the use of armor, while Rose felt there was no need. Rose sets up a handicap where she will only counter attack for most of the match except one attack when ten seconds are left on the clock. Tsubaki wins if she remains standing after the two minutes or if she lands a clean hit on Rose. Rose wins if the time runs out or if Tsubaki is knocked out.

Tsubaki: “Aren’t those conditions really unfavorable for you?”

Rose: “Not really. For what you want from the match, the handicap is good enough to avoid traumatizing you.”

Tsubaki: “…I’m a nationally ranked high school kendo practitioner.” Tsubaki pouts at Rose’s overconfidence.

Rose: “I know. A child that has zero battle experience is nothing to be concerned with.”

Tsubaki’s brow furrows in anger at the provocation. The clock floating nearby counts down. ‘3…2…1…Start’. Tsubaki immediately charges at Rose. She raises her sword up high aiming for a direct strike.

Tsubaki: “MEEENNNNNN!!!”[2]

Tsubaki closes the distance towards Rose, who calmly stands there gripping the bamboo sword with one hand. Tsubaki swings with all her might at Rose’s head. Rose calmly twists her sword to the side. The tip of the bamboo blade hits the tip of Tsubaki’s wooden sword. Tsubaki’s attack is pushed to the side completely missing Rose. Tsubaki’s balance goes into disarray from Rose’s unexpected parry. Rose moves fluidly as she twists her body lightly and attacks with her free left hand. She performs an incredibly fast palm thrust directly into Tsubaki’s stomach. Tsubaki flies back several meters from the attack. Her body luckily stays upright as her feet scrapes across the ground before coming to a stop.

Tsubaki stares at Rose in surprise at the sudden counterattack. Sara and Yuki’s jaws drop at the powerful attack. Rose clicks her tongue in annoyance after seeing Tsubaki land. An uncomfortable silence looms as Sara decides to interject.

Sara: “Rose, why are you mad? Were you trying to knock out Tsubaki with that attack?”

Rose: “Hmm? No, I missed the landing point. The spot she landed is about ten centimeters away from where I wanted. I’m still too rusty.”

The girls stare at Rose with an incredulous look. Rose sighs looking at Tsubaki with her bamboo blade raised.

Rose: “Are you done? The clock is still ticking. When the time comes, I’ll use my special attack regardless.”

Tsubaki stands there unsure if she should keep going. Yuki interjects this time unable to hold back her curiousity.

Yuki: “What kind of special attack is it?” Rose continues talking while still focusing on Tsubaki.

Rose: “It’s a disabling technique. I’ll hit the sockets of the arms and legs to pop them out of their joints. The arms and legs are disabled as the target falls to the ground in a clump. Oh yes, I’ll be doing the special version so there’s no pain felt. You don’t have to worry about lasting damage since I’ll fix you up later.”

Tsubaki pales at Rose’s description. Tsubaki inadvertently looks at the clock displaying 1:20. She lowers her sword to the ground.

Tsubaki: “I forfeit. I don’t want to continue anymore.”

Rose: “I guess I showed off a little too much.”

Tsubaki: “Hah… So strong. Rose, I will be honored to learn magic from you.”

Tsubaki earnestly bows towards Rose. The atmosphere relaxes as Rose makes the weapons disappear.

Sara: “Rose, you used a lot of magic for a practice match.” Sara’s voice is tinged with concern about the excess use of magic previously.

Rose: “? I haven’t used any.” Rose only tilts her head in confusion looking at Sara.

Sara: “Huh?”

Rose: “I haven’t used any magic. It’s not like everything I know is magic based. I know many other things too. Anyways, that’s enough talk. I’ll prepare dinner, so you girls should finish your homework.”

Rose leads the three of them out of the basement. Rose prepares a large dinner while the girls finish their school work. The girls enjoy Rose’s extravagant meal before heading home.

Later that night, after Sara finishes her shower, she finds Rose staring anxiously at her. Rose forcibly demands a punishment from Sara much to her reluctance. At Rose’s suggestion, Rose’s sense of touch is amplified to the point that the slightest touch causes extreme pain. Needless to say, Rose gratefully endured the pain as she had her energy refilled as part of her punishment.

[1] -chan: Japanese suffix when addressing another person in an informal and cutesy way.
[2] Men- Battle cry in Kendo when attacking the head.

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