Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Cursed White Rose Chapter 10 - Elemental Haven

Here's Chapter 10. Apologies if I missed any grammatical errors. Currently suffering from some food poisoning, I think, at the moment and feel terrible. Chapter 11 might be delayed a day or two from my normal schedule since my mind is having trouble focusing in my current state. It really sucks to suffer so much on my long awaited weekend. I'll try and get Chapter 11 out when I can.

After waking up, Sara and the others head downstairs to find Rose cooking breakfast.

Girls: "Good morning, Rose."

Rose: "Good morning. Go ahead and sit down. I'm almost done."

Rose urges them to sit down as she finishes the meal preparations. The girls animatedly start to eat their breakfast.

Sara: "Rose, what should we do when we get to the magic world?"

Rose: "The plan will be to head directly to Elemental Haven. That area is the best place for beginners to find familiars. The elementals that live there are whimsical type, but are the easiest to work with especially considering the difficulty of the conditions we have."

Sara: "Will I be finding a familiar too?

Rose: "If you wish to. It will be hard for you to maintain them considering how much of a burden I am. Honestly, I would recommend waiting until your magic has developed more before finding a second partner." Rose answers Sara calmly, but her face shows she's obviously upset at the thought.

Sara: "Ah! I didn't mean I wasn't satisfied with you Rose. I just wanted to know what I'm supposed to do while I'm there since it seems like I won't be participating."

Rose brightens visibly. "Oh! If that's all, while the girls are finding partners, I will be continuing the training for you. The test is steadily looming and you're ready for the next step."

Sara: "Okay."

Yuki leans in close to Sara. "I didn't think Rose was the possessive type." Yuki head tilts back as she receives an impact on her forehead. Rose looks at Yuki with some annoyance.

Rose: "Who's possessive? Hmph..." Rose turns away from the girls in a huff. Sara and Tsubaki stifle a snicker towards the pouting Rose. Yuki looks at Rose unhappily massaging her forehead.

The four of them head down to the white training room. The girls follow Rose's lead as they walk through the large double doors. A bright white light fills their vision as they walk forward. As the light clears, they see themselves standing in a field of grass. They glance around them, but only see a large forest to the east.  To their west, a path cuts through the field going over a nearby hilltop. The girls glance at the sky and see the sun beaming down on them, but also a orange moon on the other edge of the horizon.

Rose: "About a ten minute walk past that hilltop is a town. Visiting that town is for another day though, today we visit the elemental Haven."

Sara: "How far is this Elemental Haven?"

Rose: "It will take an hour to get there. The area is specially segregated since human homes and other buildings are banned there to preserve the aspects of nature."

Yuki: "Are we going to run there for training?"

Rose: "No. That would take too long." Rose pulls out a large carpet from her dimensional space and spreads it on the ground. As she sits onto the carpet, it begins to float off the ground. She looks at the girls and pats the carpet. "Hurry and get on, we have a lot of ground to cover."

The girls stare blankly at Rose and the flying carpet. After Rose's urging, they quickly get on the carpet and sit down in the center away from the edges. Thankfully, the carpet is quite large and still had room for more people even with the four of them sitting on it. Rose sits in the front as the carpet takes off.

Tsubaki: "You really have everything don't you Rose?"

Rose: "Hmm?"

Yuki: "It's a big surprise you have a flying carpet. We thought you would end up flying or something."

Rose: "... I think …you have the wrong idea right now. This is a normal carpet, nothing special and can be bought in any store. I'm making it fly with magic."

Sara: "...Um...So this carpet is unnecessary?"

Rose: "It's useful for you girls. If I made the ground float, wouldn't you feel scared?" The girls nod at her question. "So I had this carpet brought out, that way you can see where the edges of this floating platform is. And I don't have to waste extra energy coloring my magic. Oh and there are railings around the edges, so you won't fall that easily. Get a better view if you want."

The girls relax a bit after Rose's explanation. Yuki moves to the side and peers over the carpet watching the scenery fly by with a grin. Tsubaki takes a glance, but quickly moves back to the center. Sara sits next to Rose watching the ground pass by.

Sara: "Rose?"

Rose: "Yes?"

Sara: "Will I be able to pass the test?"

Rose: "Of course. You're development is excellent. At this rate, you can pass the test with ease."

Sara: "..."

Rose: "Speaking of which, I haven't talking about the test yet. The E rank test is quite basic. They give you a short test on the basic of magic. After that, you hit a target three times with a magic enhanced attack or a spell."

Sara: "But I don't know how to do either."

Rose: "That's what today's training will be for once we get settled."

Sara: "...Okay..."

Rose: "If you're so worried, then why not concentrate on moving magic around your body to practice more."

Sara: "Got it."

Rose: "Tsubaki, you okay with the height? Want me to go lower?"

Tsubaki: "I-I-I'm okay."

Rose: "I can hit you with a sleeping spell if it's that bad?"

Tsubaki: "N-No. I'm okay. Just tell me when we get there."

Tsubaki curls up into a ball to avoid seeing the shooting scenery. Yuki moves next to Tsubaki and strokes her head. Rose gradually increases the speed as the girls focus on other things.

After an hour, Rose descends as a large wall is seen in the distance. After landing, Rose helps the girls down before storing the carpet. They see a high enclosure in front of them. The wall towers over them reaching ten meters in height. The walls themselves are a sleek white. Numerous people are seen waiting patiently in line at the front enclosure. On the left side of the enclosure, not a single person approaches the open stand.

Rose immediately starts towards the empty stand with the girls in tow. The gatekeeper is noticeably bored reading a book, but closes it as Rose approaches.

Gatekeeper: "This is the line for private recommendations. The line for the general public is over there."

Rose: "I know. Here." Rose hands him a card made of clear crystal.

The gatekeeper immediately straightens up upon seeing the card. He reads it and nods. The letter Rose received from Mary had a large effect on the Gatekeeper’s attitude.

Gatekeeper: "I'm sorry for the rudeness, Ojou-sama. You're taking these three to the elemental sector?"

Rose: "Yes. I trust there's no problem?"

Gatekeeper: "No, Ojou-sama[1]. Do you need a guide or transportation?"

Rose: "We don't need a guide or..." Rose stops and glances at Tsubaki. "...But please arrange for someone to take us over there..."

Gatekeeper: "Yes, right this way." The gatekeeper leads them to a carriage with two large orange birds. The birds are just short of three meters tall and covered in orange feathers. Harnesses are tied to their bodies. A fancy, enclosed wooden carriage is attached to the birds. The gatekeeper holds open the door to the carriage. The girls get in first, while Rose talks to the Gatekeeper. "These two will take you to the Elemental sector."

Rose: "Thank you." Rose flashes a smile making the man blush.

Gatekeeper: "Ojou-sama, please be careful. The area is normally very safe, but there have been signs of attacks happening throughout the area. We have been looking for the culprit, but have yet to catch them."

Rose: “Understood. Thank you.” Rose bows to the gatekeeper and tosses two gold coins his way. “In appreciation for the help.” Rose heads inside the carriage.

The gatekeeper stares at the money in surprise. “Thank you.” The gatekeeper shuts the door. “Riri, Rilu elemental sector, make sure to go slow.”

Rose pops her head out of the window. “Ah. Don’t go slow. As fast as possible please.”

The gatekeeper stares at Rose for a moment before nodding. “Okay. You heard her. Full power.”

The birds cry out with a glint of excitement in their eyes. They charge down the road dragging the carriage at full force. The carriage rocks greatly with each bump on the road. Inside the carriage, there are two seats on either end of the interior, and a space to sit in between. Rose sets an incredibly large cushion in between the seats and sits down. Half of her body sinks into the cushion. The girls grasping tightly onto the shaking carriage join Rose and relax somewhat as the bouncing of the carriage weakens under the cushion.

Sara: “Rose, why the carriage?”

Rose: “Tsubaki didn’t like the carpet so I thought you should experience other forms of transportation. The speed is a little abnormal, but the petri species are a very common form of transportation here. Orange petris are quite rare, so it’s a surprise to see them pulling carriages here.”

Tsubaki: “I think the flying carpet would be better if we were going to bounce around this much.”

Rose: “Haha. New experiences are important.”

After ten minutes, the carriage slows to a stop as the birds give a loud cry. The girls exit the carriage and look around. The girls see a pristine field before them and an ocean in the horizon. A mountain forms to the west as the ocean ends with a flat wasteland in front of it. A volcano forms further west of mountains. Forests and desert form to the east of the ocean. With the fields as the center, a myriad of different environments form a circle with only the path they arrived from as the only opening throughout the landscape.

Rose: “As you can see, this place is both specialized and important for the familiars living her.”

Sara: “…Wow.”

Yuki: “So what should we do first?”

Rose: “First, run.”

Girls: “………Hee?”

Rose: “Like I said. Run, for physical training.”

Sara: “Here!? But we’ll get lost?”

Rose: “[Light Path]” Rose clicks her fingers and forms three orbs of light. Each orb circle and float in front of one of the girls. “These will direct you to your running path. Follow them while I make preparations on my end.”

Girls: “…Okay…” The girls reluctantly reply as they prepare to run. The orbs of light leave a path as the girls start to run. They struggle to run at a fast pace to avoid being left behind by the orbs. The three of them keep quiet carefully regulating their breathing knowing they shouldn’t waste energy talking with the pace that Rose normally has them run. They scenery passes by quickly as they’re forced to run at top speed for ten minutes. The path of light disappears as they finish running and find Rose cooking a large amount of food.

Numerous pots and pans encircle Rose floating in the air. Various sized flames burn under the cookware as Rose manages them. Rose points to a table to the side before returning to cooking. The girls sit down as Rose brings them a small meal.

Rose: “Here you go. I put an enchantment on the food to enhance your vision with magic that should assist in finding a familiar.”

Girls: “Thank you, itadakimasu!”

The girls eat the food happily. As they eat, their vision suddenly changes and magic enhances their vision. The previously empty field fills as all sorts of beings made from the natural elements appear. Beings made from fire, water, wind, earth, light, and darkness are gathered around various tables animately eating Rose's food. Even without Rose's supervision, the food is cooked and delivered to the occupants through the manipulation of her magic.

Rose: "I gathered as many of the nearby residents as I could. I've informed them on our purpose here and asked them their thoughts. Do you see it?"

Rose points above the head of a nearby rock golem.

Yuki: "There's a red X above his head?"

Rose: "Yes. That golem said he wasn't interested in forming a familiar contract with such unfavorable conditions. Anyone else with an X over his head has the same opinion. The ones you should try speaking with have an O over their head because they have some interest in the partnership.Though if the conversation doesn't go well, it could easily turn into an X like the others. The magic I put in the food will help you find and speak with them, so from here it is all up to you to find a partner."

Yuki/Tsubaki: "Okay!"

Rose: "Then good luck appealing to them."

???: "Excuse me. Are you done?"

A high pitched, yet soft voice resounds behind the girls. They turn around to see a fairy flying in the air. It is incredibly small at about fifteen centimeters in height with bright blue eyes and emerald green hair. The fairy wears a blue one piece dress as its wings flicker in and out of sight from its movement.

Rose: "Yes. Please go ahead."

The fairy flies around Sara, Yuki, then Tsubaki carefully inspecting them. The fairy stops in front of Yuki and nods.

Fairy: "Then you. Can we go over there? I want to interview you."

Yuki: "O-Okay!"

The two of them head over to a lone tree to talk in private. Yuki can barely hold her surprise as she starts skipping along the way.

Rose: "Looks like Yuki has a good start. Tsubaki, you should work hard too."

Tsubaki: "Yes. I know. Gouchisou-sama deshita" Tsubaki stands up and rushes to the various elementals enjoying Rose's food.

Rose: "Now then, we should get to your training now."

Sara: "Is that okay? Don't you still have to cook?"

Rose: "I promised one dish to whoever came. So I've done enough. Clean up can be dealt with later." Rose leads Sara to an empty field and uses magic to mark a large square boundary with each side reaching ten meters. Rose opens her computer and quickly types a sequence as several floating targets appear within the square. Some of the nearby elementals and familiars come over and watch at the spectacle. "So we've practiced how to turn on and off your magic and how to move it around. Now we can start with casting actual spells."

Sara: "Okay!" Her eyes gleam at the chance to actually use magic spells.

Rose: "Since this is your first ever spell, I'll do a special demonstration instead of a normal one." Rose beckons Sara closer. When Sara approaches, Rose pulls Sara close into a hug making Sara blush furiously. Rose presses her chest against Sara's back and makes Sara position her hands forward in front of her. "Okay. I'll going to channel magic through you as I cast the spell, so focus and remember how the spell works."

Sara's blush fades as she focuses on Rose's instructions. Her body has acclimated to the presence of magic and no longer suffers in pain even when exposed to Rose's own energy. Rose pours magical energy into Sara's body and directs it to Sara's heart. It circles her heart before flowing down both of Sara's arms. Rose explains the need to control the energy so it doesn't disperse to other parts of the body. As Rose's magical energy reaches Sara's hand, it steadily flows out of her hand and into the space before her.

Rose: “[Magic Shot]”

Spell formation have to be cast with energy, form, control, and intent. Rose supplies the energy for the spell and directs it into the form of a sphere the size of a basketball as a light blue orb of magical energy appears in front of Sara. The energy is condensed into the orb to prevent energy from leaking out and weakening the spell. Rose directs Sara's arm and the orb at a nearby floating target. "Fire." Rose's voice rings in Sara's head.

Rose's spell shoots towards the target at a moderate speed. Sara watches every moment until it attacks the target and explodes releasing all the built up magical energy at the target, shattering it to pieces. As the explosion dies down, Rose lets go of Sara and stands in front of her.

Rose: "Any questions?" Sara shakes her head.

A nearby fire elemental outside of the field calls out to them. "Oi. If you're teaching her a spell, you need to teach her how to cast it with an incantation. She's not going to understand it well enough if you just skip the incantations."

Rose: "A-ahhh... I forgot. Sorry let's do it again."

Sara: "Is it different with the incantation?"

Rose: "No. It just helps with focusing as you create the spell. Skipping the incantation helps casts spells more quickly and in succession. But people need to gradually move to that point since their focus can weaken and fail the spell or waste excess magic."

Sara: "Is it okay if I just try it without an incantation first?"

Rose: "Un... I won't stop you if you want to try the hardest form first. Try and keep the spell weaker by forming a small shot first."

Sara: "Okay!"

Rose steps to the side as Sara attempts to cast the spell. The fire elemental watched their exchanged and just shook his head in resignation. Sara's entire body starts to faintly glow a light blue as she releases her magical energy. She closes her eyes as she follows the same steps Rose taught her.

Sara: “[Magic Shot]”

Magic begins to flow from Sara's hand as a fist sized orb of magic forms in front of Sara. The onlooker’s jaw drops at the successful first attempt at the spell. Sara opens her eyes as she finishes forming the spell.

Sara: "Fire!"

The shot speeds towards another floating target. As Sara strongly focuses on the shot when she notices it steadily curve off course. She tries to focus on the spell to correct its course, but its path begins to spiral as it grazes the edge of the target.

Sara sighs and hangs her head down at the missed shot. She peeks at Rose without lifting her head and sees her shaking her head. Rose walks up to her.

Sara: "I'm sorry. I messed up.”

Rose: "No that was a very good attempt. For most people, their first spell usually crashes into the ground because they didn't give the spell a target correctly." Rose sighs. "How should I say this? For your first spell, the execution was excellent in every area. I'm honestly surprised you did so well.” Sara brightens visibly. "But there's a reason you missed the target even though you did so well. You focused so hard on the spell after firing it that you changed it's course partway. If you calmly watched the spell, it would have hit dead center."

Sara: "Uuu... Sorry."

Rose: "It's fine. That's why this is practice."

Sara attempts the spell again and her [Magic shot] accurately hits the target this time. Rose nods as the onlookers stare in surprise. Rose directs her to aim for the target high in the air. Sara fires her spell and hits the target, but misses the bullseye.

Rose: "Let's take a break now. You're almost out of magic."

Sara: "...Okay." Her voice is tinted with a hint of reluctance since she is thoroughly enjoying herself as she uses magic.

Rose: "Oh! Tsubaki." Rose notices Tsubaki trudging her feet as she approaches the two of them. "Not much progress I see."

Tsubaki: "Un. I talked to most of the possible familiars, but most of them rejected me once I started talking about the conditions."

Rose: "What did you talk to them about?"

Tsubaki: "How I want to get stronger. And I want a strong partner to do that."

Rose: "Well they would definitely reject that. It just sounds like you're greedy for power if you say that. In that situation, they'll think you will easily misuse their power."

Tsubaki: "…Then what should I do?"

Rose: "Get to know them of course. They will be an important partner. They don't know anything about you, so you need to properly explain your thoughts and why you desire power. Otherwise it won't go well."

Tsubaki: "I'll try. But there isn't anyone left to talk to."

Rose: "If there aren't any here, then you should spread your search farther to the other areas. The ones that came here for food is only a small portion after all."

Tsubaki looks around here, but groans. "That's so much ground to cover."

Rose shrugs. "Well no one said this process would be easy."

Tsubaki sighs. Sara looks at Rose with some annoyance. "Rose, don't just stand there. Give Tsubaki some help!"

Rose's body trembles slightly at Sara's order. "…Fine. Just a hint though." Rose points to the mountain area. "Go there. How are you with kids?"

Tsubaki: "Kids? I'm good with them. I've taken care of a few of my younger cousins fairly often."

Rose: "Then go play with some of the young elementals playing there. Don't bring up forming a partnership right off the bat." Rose tosses a bracelet to Tsubaki. "Take that for safety."

Tsubaki: "Thanks. What does this do?"

Rose: "It uses the power of the wind to create a barrier to protect you. This one doesn't require magic to use it, you simply need to focus on pulling its ability out."

Tsubaki closes her eyes as she focuses on the bracelet. As she tries to feel the bracelet's magic, words come to her mind.

Tsubaki: “[Wind Barrier]”

A torrent of wind starts to rapidly circle around Tsubaki forming a small tornado. When Tsubaki looks at the tornado and relaxes her focus, the wind starts to die down and disappear.

Rose: "Looks like you get it. Get going then."

Tsubaki: "Thank you Rose."

Tsubaki bows to Rose before running off to the mountains. Rose nods in satisfaction and returns her focus to Sara. They repeat their spell training waiting for Yuki and Tsubaki to come back.

[1] Ojou-sama: Formal term for addressing a wealthy young lady. Frequently used by servants or others in a lower position

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