Copy-pasta of a story by our group <written by me> KEK
Humanity, has survived, for a long time. So long, that one could not tell, or make a guess out of it. One might ask, “How’d we get this far?” Stories of our ancestors might tell. Legends, tales, fables, all of them. But one legend, tells a very possible way of how we passed the test of time. It tells of the All-Knowing, and His creations. His creations were wonderful, wise, and beautiful. Everything seemed to be proper, there were no flaws in every aspect. They were called ‘Humans’. But the darkness has found its ways to disrupt the perfection of the creation of the All-Knowing. Knowing this in advance, the All-Knowing bestowed powers among his creations and said, “Use these powers I’ve given to you properly, and use them to remove evil from existence.” And so, as the Lord have said, it shall be done.
Time has passed, and things change. Nothing is permanent, nothing lasts forever, except change. Even humans have changed. Humans have used their powers for the desire of power. Lust, avarice, and many more. Wars have sparked. Discrimination, prejudice, and inequality have existed for thousands of years. This has warped the beliefs of the people, the truth, unspoken. The lies, have spread. Now, another essential change, can occur, and turn the world over. This era can mark a huge change for the world.
Change. The world. …
A file from the archives of the Toten-Alles Prison. … [CLASSIFIED], [CLASSIFIED]. Prison Guard Entry Journal. The Prison, Toten-Alles, Reixia. 15th of Starfall, 5E 1 ENTRY #327 – conversation LOG +p1p2p3 [classified] SEND COPY TO Prisonmaster. I discussed with Prisoner 9271 some plans regarding his escape. “Sir, the things you need are ready. Some mana potions and some outfits fit for anonymity.” “Thank you.” “When will you take your leave, sir?” “Tomorrow, at dawn.” “I see. Is there anything else I can help with?” “Your efforts will be appreciated sometime in the future. I will do something that will change the world.” “Yes sir, I believe in your efforts.” “Everything I’ve done from the start will not be in vain. I will stop this propaganda of theirs. And no one is going to stop me.” “Hey [CLASSIFIED]! Surprise visit! Get back to post immediately!” [CLASSIFIED] called out to me. Doing as commanded, I left Prisoner 9271’s cell with an excuse and returned to post. = = END LOG = = Reason: Resuming work status from ordered request. …
1 | The Arrival Weiss There are times when we want to go to a place that we’re dreaming about, and what happens is we end up somewhere unexpected, but what makes it surprising is that sometimes we enjoy the time being wherever we end up in. I’ve tried to relate that situation, but I cannot. As I see it, the place we’re heading to is boring, so I just slept along the way. I recall memories in my dreams, both the good times, and the bad times. It happens very often. “Weiss, we’ve arrived.” Those were the first words I heard since we left the city of Blanc, from the Kingdom of Schnee. More precisely, the first words I heard after I have dozed off. “Hey, wake up. We need to get moving or else we won’t make it in time.” Half-awake, I stood up and fixed my silver-ish skirt. It took me a few seconds to realize that it was Lu waking me up. “Evening.” I said. “Good evening,” Lu said, “We’re here.” “I see. What’s the time?” “9 in the evening, Starfall the 16th, Fifth Era, year 1.” “Three hours since I slept, huh.” “Right. You were pretty cozy in there,” Lu said. “Now, let’s get moving.” “What’s with that hair?” I asked. “Oh. My bad, forgot to tie it up. I took a nap too, you know?” Lu then tied her blond hair into a ponytail, and then fixed her pocket-vest. ‘Alright, let’s go!” I got off the carriage and started walking with Lu towards the colossal arch which leads to the city, and written to a plaque that was on the arch was this sign:
While we walked, I observed the architecture and lighting in this city. Judging from the artworks done by those picawands, I always thought that this place will never make me surprised, but now that I have seen it, I guess I was wrong. The architecture in this place is very different from my Kingdom. Most of the buildings in this place are almost as high and as fancy as The White Council Tower in Blanc. And as expected, the whole city is large. It is said to be twice the size of Riverstone, in the Kingdom of Cavaflux. The population is overwhelming, too. The streets are filled with people with different agendae. “Hey, stop spacing out or you’ll bump into someone,” Lu said. I might have stared at the structures a bit too much. “I have a question,” I said. “What is it?” This has been on my mind after we left the carriage since I have no idea about this specific matter. “Where exactly are we going?” I asked. “Ah… the Quidvis Hall. Forgot to tell you, haha.” Lu laughed. “It’s located about 2 kilometres south from here and would take us about 30 minutes to go there. The place was known for its history, dating back to a millennium ago. You might be interested. Oh, and it also closes at 10 in the evening.” “Never heard of it. Also, why did we get off the carriage?” I asked. “This hall is still quite far away. Knowing you, you would always pick the most convenient and fastest option.” “You honestly think the carriage will fit in this crowd? We’d be inside the carriage right now if it did.” “No, I didn’t say we should take the carriage here. Isn’t there any other route outside the city we could use instead?” “I’ve considered that, but the risk is too high, and it’s too dark.” Lu said while winking at me. “Better safe than sorry.” “Ah, now that you mention it...” And as I’ve forgotten, any place that is not within the range of the city borders is quite dangerous in this era, especially at night. The war that has been going on for five years ceased just recently, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe now. And that war is the reason me and Lu are here. And we’re not the only ones. There are also people similar to us, fighting for something. And that something is very important for our Kingdom, as well as theirs. ………. ………. The New Era The High King of Myr, Jorveir Highland was assassinated by Shech Ringlock on the 27th of Moondawn, 4E 1029, in the Quidvis Hall, Toten-Alles, Kingdom of Reixia. During this time, Shech Ringlock was the King of Thermia. His reasons for assassinating the High King were unknown. This spread rumours saying that three of the six kingdoms, Thermia being one, wanted Jorveir off the throne due to some conflicts between the Interests of the Kingdoms and the High King. Shech Ringlock took the initiative in throwing the High King off his throne by going to Toten-Alles and killing the High King in his sleep. Regardless of his heroic deeds in the past, Shech Ringlock was executed by guillotine some months after the High King’s assassination by the order of the Court of Reixia, which, in turn, angered the people of Thermia. Alexander Nift, the right-hand man of Ringlock, was chosen to succeed as the King of Thermia. Tension between the factions of the High King and Shech Ringlock soon fuelled a war. Three weeks after Shech Ringlock’s execution, Thermia launched an attack on Reixia and Cavaflux as revenge for Shech Ringlock. Later on the other Kingdoms, Sudenheim and Inselile, which sided with Thermia, attacked Schnee, which was an ally of Reixia. Reixia, Cavaflux and Schnee launched a joint counter-attack towards Thermia, and henceforward, the war officially begun. The war caused countless deaths of high-ranking officials from each Kingdom, and prices of needs increased exponentially over the months. Five years of chaotic destruction have passed before the Council of Reixia proposed a treaty to the other five Kingdoms. The treaty states that all conflicts for an Interest must be held through a tournament, not a war. Surprisingly enough, all Kingdoms agreed to this without opposition. The Council of Reixia announced the first Interest that will be given to the victorious Kingdom: ‘The Throne of the High King’ Each Kingdom will choose two of their valiant citizens as contestants for the Interest and to determine who is most deserving to receive the title. The tournament is designed to be team-based, and the team members are required to work through the challenges together and not individually. The creation of this treaty marked the end of the Fourth Era, and the beginning of the Fifth Era, and on the day of 20th of Starfall, 5E 1, the First Interest Tournament, hosted by the Kingdom of Reixia, will commence and will be held in Toten-Alles to determine the rightful king for the continent. ………. A coated man read this plaque hammered on the wall of the Quidvis Hall. “First Interest Tournament, eh.” The man sighed, put the cigarette in his mouth and lit it up. “20th of Starfall, huh.” He said. “About time for my revenge.” The man walked away, and disappeared among the crowd.
2 | The Effect Weiss About 30 minutes after we’ve entered the city, we arrived at a plaza or park of some sort. There’s not a lot of people here for a place this spacious. “Weiss, have some water. Take a drink while you can.” Lu handed over a bottle of water.” “Why?” “I’m pretty sure we will be waiting for a long time when we arrive in Toten-Alles. We won’t be able to get out. And you know that I am always thirsty.” Lu said. “I believe we’re in the Toten Plaza, which means we’re only about a hundred metres away now.” I smiled. “Hah. Makes me remember what happened before.” Back when we were kids, Lu had the tendency to drink water wherever she found it. I didn’t have any idea why she was doing that at that time. One day an incident happened where she got sick by drinking water from a sewer. I didn’t know if I should laugh or feel sad because my friend is sick, but I chose the former anyway. “What did you say?” “Nothing, it’s all yours, I’ll just buy three water bottles, just in case.” “Good idea. There’s a water shop right over there” Lu said while pointing to a store about 10 metres on my right. “That makes everything easier then.” We headed to the conveniently-placed store and bought three water bottles. While counting my change from the vendor, Lu suddenly said, “Heh. Prices are still inflating. Next time you’ll get no change.” “Hm.” I muttered. Most likely an effect of the war. Hopefully this problem gets solved soon. After all, this will have an effect on us soon and it won’t take long before it does. “’It must be the long-lasting effect of the war.’ That’s what you’re thinking about, right?” I’m not sure whether I frowned on the change I received to make Lu say that, or that she’s a psychic. Knowing that one of those could be the answer, I just answered nonchalantly. “Yes, yes.” “Ahaha, you should’ve seen that look on your face.” I ignored that last statement, and I started walking towards somewhere else. I don’t know where the hall is, so I’d still end up behind Lu anyway. “Hey Lu, hurry up!” I shouted. Still laughing behind me, Lu tried to catch her breath. “Ahahaha, haha, haah. Okay, that was- Weiss, watch out!” She yelled. “Wha-“ I turned abruptly and accidentally bumped into a coated man, He was tall and it would be terrifying if he was taller than he actually was. “Ah, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to-“ “It’s alright. Heh.” I looked at the man’s face while Lu rushed to get to me. “Weiss, are you okay?” Lu said. “No, I am afraid I am not. If I can recall correctly, I am Wei-” Lu lowers her hand to me midway in my speech. My speech was cut, once again. “Right. Grab my hand and get on your feet already.” And of course, I grabbed her hand. I looked around for the coated man, but he was gone. “Seems like we’re here now. I guess you wandering around turned out to be alright. Because we’re in front of the stairs leading to the Quidvis Hall right now.” Standing at the bottom of these stairs, the 10-metre high structure called the Quidvis Hall and where we are headed to. The 10-metre height is only the building itself. The elevation of the whole structure is a different thing. “Right. Weiss, let’s go.” Lu urged on. “Okay.” And we proceeded to climb the stairs. While going up, I doubt anyone can keep their eyes on where they’re stepping as the scenery around is very astonishing. I wondered why I didn’t read much about this place. Or was there anything to be read about this place? I am not sure. “Hey Weiss, you’re spacing out again. Yes, I understand that the view is beautiful, but be sure to know where you’re stepping!” Lu’s voice broke me out of my trance. “Ah, my bad.” I should stop ‘spacing out’ because of the scenery. It’s not like the Kingdom of Schnee doesn’t have similar things. I think there’s just this part of me who loves nature. After a few minutes of climbing, we finally reached the actual front of the Hall. “Bigger than it looks like in the artworks of those picawands.” Lu remarked. Picawands are ‘Picture-takers and Wanderers’. Some teacher from our school coined that term back in elementary school. The use spread a few months later due to the excessive use of the term during class. “Okay,” I said. “Let’s continue.” We walked up to the Hall doors, and I put my hand on the handle. “Lu, let’s go.” “Right.” And then I pushed the door open.
…. “Hm. Weiss, eh? Girl seems interesting.” The coated man said, while sitting on a bench on the Toten Plaza. “I think it is really time for ‘that.’ Heh” The man stood up, and rushed to an alley, and once again, left no trace behind. 3 | The Isleans Ciel After travelling for six straight days, I arrived at the humungous arch built by the Reixians three hundred years ago. There really was more to this city than most would expect. It caught me by surprise the first time I went here, and it still amazes me even though I’ve been in this place thrice now. The first three visits were for trading purposes for our family shop in Inselile, but this time it’s for a different purpose. And I’m not alone. “Hey Xain! What’re you standing there for? Get your feet moving!” I shouted behind. “Yes, my apologies. I have been observing the wonderful scenery surrounding this place.” Xain said. Xain always observes everything around him where I don’t. I only notice things that I deem actually important. Different people, different points of view, I guess. “Ciel, where are we headed again?” He asked. For the millionth time. Well… not really that much, but quite a lot already. Despite his observant personality, Xain tends to forget simple information sometimes. “To the Quidvis Hall. I guess I don’t need to explain where that is.” I said. “I see, then I have a plan.” “Plan for what?” My brows furrowed. “We can get there faster by following a hidden route I discovered while reading the book ‘The Ways Of Treading Through Toten-Alles.’” Ah, trust Xain to pick up information which isn’t really necessary most of the time. “What time is it?” I asked. “9:15 in the evening.” “Yes, of course I know it’s in the evening.” I ranted. “Lead the way, then.” After only a 15-minute stride through the hidden alleys and pathways of Toten-Alles, we reached the Toten Plaza, which is near Quidvis Hall, but not quite there yet. “Guess your predictions were a little off.” I said to Xain. “They were simply predictions, and not the truth.” He spat. His words stung a little, but I didn’t mind. I shrugged and said, “Whatever. Let’s head to Quidvis Hall now.” “Of course.” We were on the side of the square plaza when I heard a girl shout, causing me to look at her direction. “..Weiss, watch out!” a blond, ponytailed girl shouted. “Wha-“ The next thing I saw was a girl in white crash down to the ground, because she bumped into a man wearing a coat. “Ahck, that’s gotta hurt.” I winced, but continued walking, paying no more attention. I looked behind me and it seems that Xain has also noticed the girls. It didn’t take long for him to shift his focus on something else though. Few minutes later, Xain caught up to me and said, “Ciel, I don’t think this is the right way. I don’t know much about this part of the city, but my instincts tell me we’re on the wrong path.” “Really? We’re about a few hundred meters away from the plaza by this point. Let’s see what’s at the end of this road anyway.” Walking a couple more meters, we discovered that the path is a dead end, with a couple of alleys leading somewhere. And in one of those alleys was something. I saw it in the corner of my eye. It looked like a coated man. I couldn’t tell much about it because I was certain it was in a rush. “Did you see that person?” Xain asked. “Yeah. Looks similar to the one earlier.” “True.” We decided not to pry any further and went back to the plaza. After that, we realized the way to the Hall was the road a block away from where we went. “Man, we took the turn too early.” I grumbled. Turning on the corner where the Hall was supposed to be, a set of stairs with a beautiful garden welcomed my eyes and on top, was the Hall itself. I climbed the stairs while viewing the splendid scene around me. The view made me speechless, yes, but that did not make the climb any less exhausting. “Whew, that was tiring.” I mumbled. But before I could take a breather, I noticed the girls I saw from the plaza a while ago. They were standing in front of the door, as if they were frozen. Even without looking behind, I could tell that Xain noticed it too. What are they doing? Why are they just standing there? 4 | The Quarter Weiss 9:45 in the evening. I pushed the door, for obvious reasons. But despite my efforts on trying to fancily push the door, the door didn’t bulge even an inch. “Ugh, what must be the reason why this gate is not letting me enter?” I said in a classy voice. Pfft, me and my lousy attempts at humour. As expected, Lu snorted. “Ha-hah. You should try doing that more often. Anyway, let’s get inside already.” “Sorry, just a stress reliever.” Once again, I tried to push the doors open, now without the fanciness. It still didn’t budge. “Uh, Weiss? What are you doing?” Lu asked. “I’m trying to get inside.” I replied. Duh. “Uhm, yes, but why aren’t you pushing the door?” “I am pushing the door.” I tried again and again, but the door seemed to be locked or stuck in its place, most probably because of its age. “Lu, I can’t open this for some reason, help me.” “Ugh, right. Okay. Let me open it for you.” Lu pushed the door. I expected the doors to open, because it’s Lu, she has this extra strength for things like this. But it turns out even the great, mighty Lu herself can’t make the doors move. “Huh? What’s wrong with this door? Could it be locked or something? Hey, Weiss, try to help me here. We’ll try to push this door, both of us.” “Okay.” I placed both hands on the door. “Ready?” One… Two… Three… We simultaneously used our shoulder blades to open the door. It could’ve been lethal if we hit somebody. This would have been recorded as the world’s most powerful attempt at opening a door. Expecting a nice ray of light from the Hall welcoming us, our expectations were not achieved. The door was still in its original position a few seconds ago and worse, our shoulders hurt. Lu and I tried to do whatever we can to open the door, we called for help from the people down at the plaza, but no one was around when we went down. I used my Skill to make explosives and then planted them on the door, and Lu used her ballistic knives to create holes on the door and to detonate the explosives I’ve set with her Accuracy Skill. Once it exploded, we found out that the whole building itself was invulnerable. It took long enough for my patience ran out, so I walked toward the door and angrily shouted at it. “Why won’t this door open?!” I kicked it real hard and it didn’t even shake. My patience has dissolved. I’m shaking so hard from anger… Wait… I think I am being shook… A few seconds later, I suddenly discovered myself in front of a man wearing some kind of suit. I suddenly felt like an idiot. A very confused idiot. What just happened? Who is this person? It took a while for me to recover and I realized that I shouted into a stranger’s face just a few seconds ago. I felt blood flowing to my cheeks. The stranger didn’t seem to mind though. “Miss, do you know what happened before you were conscious? It seems you were under hypnosis or some sort. Same goes to your friend over there.” He asked. I looked at Lu and she was talking to someone as well. Probably the friend of this stranger. The man was asking the same question to her. Facing the stranger once again, I answered his question. “What? We were trying to open the door, and then all of a sudden you appeared out of nowhere.” “Really? We’ve been here for about 5 minutes now. I think you guys would have noticed.” The stranger said “And you guys weren’t even moving.” I replied in confusion. “We weren’t moving? You mean you didn’t notice the explosions and other noisy things we’ve done here for the past 2 hours?” “2 hours? Weren’t you guys down at the plaza 15 minutes ago? I remember seeing you bump into a coated man.” What? I asserted that we’ve been here for 2 hours now. But as a safe measure, it is a rule of mine to ask so everything is certain. “I’m pretty sure we’ve been here for 2 hours.” I said. “What time is it?” Lu asked, voicing out my question. The stranger’s friend replied. “9:45 in the evening.” The words echoed loudly in my mind. 9:45 in the evening. That can’t be. I tried to assess this new information gained from some strangers. I tried to calculate the time in my mind. Judging from the darkness, it seems that they were right. Moments later, the stranger’s friend called out to him and told him something. After that, the stranger examined the door handles. Then the stranger pushed the door. Because we failed miserably in opening the doors, one would normally think that this stranger won’t be able to do it. But what happened surprised us. The door actually opened.
I was left speechless. That’s all the force it took to open the door? Before I could even respond, Lu talked to the stranger. “I’m pretty sure we’ve been trying to do the same thing for quite a while now. And with greater force.” Lu said. “Really? That’s weird.” The stranger’s friend replied. Before the stranger could even push the door further, I asked a question. “Why are you guys here anyway?” “There’s an event here. The First Interest Tournament. You guys are joining too, right?” The stranger pushed the door open without waiting for my reply and went inside the hall. We followed him in and what we saw surprised us all. I heard the stranger say, “What…” We all shared the same thought. We didn’t expect this.
5 | The Call Ciel I decided to call out to them. “Miss! Why aren’t you going inside? It’s open, you know.” There were no responses. It’s just probably because they didn’t hear me, so I called out once again. “Hey, you can get inside! It’s not locked.” Still no response. Just to make sure, I went closer so I can talk to them directly, Xain followed. “Uh, miss, you know you could use what I’m say-“ I stopped suddenly, when I saw their eyes. It had no light in them. “M-Miss! What happened?!” I shouted. I see Xain examining the handles of the doors leading to the Hall, but I pay no heed as there’s a more important issue here. I shook the white-haired girl on her shoulders, and thankfully, it seemed to work. “Why won’t this door open?!’ the girl shouted. Surprised, I let go of the girl. Noticing me and Xain looking at her, blood flushed on her cheeks. I ignored that, and then asked something. “Miss, do you know what happened before you were conscious? It seems you were under hypnosis or some sort. Same goes to your friend over there.” I pointed to her companion. The white-haired girl and I looked at the other girl, I saw Xain already talking to her. Probably asking the same thing. “What? We were trying to open the door, and then all of a sudden you appeared out of nowhere.” “Really? We’ve been here for about 5 minutes now. I think you guys would have noticed.” I said “And you guys weren’t even moving.” “We weren’t moving? You mean you didn’t notice the explosions and other noisy things we’ve done here for the past 2 hours?” The white-haired girl asked. I’m a bit suspicious since-- “2 hours? Weren’t you guys down at the plaza 15 minutes ago? I remember seeing you bump into a coated man.” They’ve been here for 2 hours? What does she mean by that? “I’m pretty sure we’ve been here for 2 hours.” She said with an intense seriousness. Her companion, the blond, pony-tailed girl spoke up, “What time is it?” “9:45 in the evening.” Xain replied. The girl’s expression went from confused, to even more confused. I looked at her friend and they shared the same look. Xain nudged me a few seconds later and signalled me to come closer to the doors. “Ciel, take a look at the door handles.” Xain said to me. “Uh, okay.” I replied nonchalantly. Examining the door handles, a person whose eyes are not trained for skillful sight will not see the difference between these door handles and the normal ones. Even though it’s quite unnoticeable, there are large handprints and I can feel traces of magic being used on the handles, and it seems it was pushed pretty hard. “These cannot be from the girl, obviously.” I tried to push the door handles, and it caused no problem. The doors opened, bright lights flowing out from the small space created by pushing the doors. The girls looked at me with surprise. “I’m pretty sure we’ve been trying to do the same thing for quite a while now. And with greater force.” “Really? That’s weird.” Xain said. Before I could push the door further, the white-haired girl asked me, “Why are you guys here?” “There’s an event here. The First Interest Tournament. You guys are joining too, right?” I said in reply. Not waiting for a response, I pushed the door open and entered the Hall. Everyone else followed, and what welcomed us surprised everyone. “What…” It was something very unexpected.
6 | The Inopinatus Weiss We stood frozen on the spot. The people that were supposed to welcome us upon our arrival were unconscious, their bodies, on the floor. I heard Lu murmur to herself. “What happened here?” I was certain everyone had the same thought, but Lu decided to speak that thought out loud for us. All of a sudden, a voice above us responded, most likely hearing Lu’s murmur. “So you finally came, huh.” A voice said. We searched the source of the voice, and eventually the stranger’s friend found it. “He’s over there!” Pointing towards the balcony from the second floor, a very familiar person appeared. It was the coated man. “Hello, Weiss, and hello to you too, Miss Friend-of-Weiss.” The coated man knew my name. Still frozen on where we are, all I can do was think and show expression. Similar to what others would do. How does this man know my name? Ah, right. Lu blurted it out a few hours ago. Or 15 minutes ago? Focusing back on the man instead of the time, the coated man shifted his stare to the others. “Oh, look at your two new friends, one is staring at me with anger. I wonder why?” Indeed the stranger was staring with his brows slanted, and then asked, shouting while doing so. “Did you do this?! And who are you?!” “Do what? Also, mind your voice. I can leave here in a flash and get you framed if someone notices us.” The man replied. The stranger grunted, anxious. “Anyway. This tournament of yours. It’s not just a ‘tournament’ where you play games and whatnot.” The coated man continued. “It’s completely something else.” The stranger replied, “What are talking about?!” “Heh. You’ll find out soon. I’m leaving. Oh, and yes. Worry not. These people will regain their consciousness in a few hours, after I’ve sent them to their respective homes.” Hearing that made me feel relieved. “Now, tick-tock, the hands of the clock, the seas, the docks, the time, now in lock.” The coated man sang, and then snapped his fingers. ‘What was that?’ was all I could think of. Then all of a sudden, I felt my body becoming heavier by the second. “Ugh.” I heard Lu from behind. A couple of grunts followed later. My vision got blurry and dark, worsening every second, but was clear enough to make me see the coated man take a leap from the second floor and get closer. “What did you do… to us...” The words I said with my remaining strength. The coated man went even closer, and then whispered something to my ear. “Do not forget. The tournament is a bomb, waiting to detonate.” And then I lost consciousness. 7 | et creans operantium Weiss I found myself inside the headmaster’s office, back in my school at Blanc, in the Kingdom of Schnee. “Weiss, your results from the aptitude test were the highest among your batch,” the headmaster said. “Your decisions on a life-or-death situation deemed a high chance of survival. And your choices on trivial things made you truly fit for this powerful Skill you possess. What could have been the reasons for you to choose such decisions?” I felt my heart pang, then I suddenly teleported to a more distant memory, The answer to the headmaster’s question. “Haha, Weiss, you’re an idiot! Hahaha!” “Aw, poor thing, you don’t have a Skill.” “What are you gonna do now? Huh?” My classmates, as the mocked me every single day, there was one person that would defend me in such instances, since I couldn’t bring myself to fight back. ‘Guys! Stop it!” It was Lu. “Stop making fun of someone else which is not like you.” Lu said with anger, and then turned to me. “Weiss, are you okay?” Lu asked. “I’m okay. After all, I’m used to it.” I replied, with some frustration. Time stopped all of a sudden, and before I knew it I was in another place.
“Weiss, try to make it happen. Try making a cat, perhaps? If you want just like a figurine or doll, and try placing it behind you.” I hear Lu beside me, sitting on the ground. And so I tried to release power from within me, and imagined a cat doll behind me. “Keep trying!” Lu shouted, giving encouragement. I closed my eyes to project something being released from me, to be able to concentrate even more. I tried harder, and harder. “Weiss!” Lu shouted. I didn’t try to open my eyes, and just kept on concentrating and trying. “Weiss! You did it! You did something!” Those words surprised me, and enough to make me open my eyes to see what happened. I did it. I have discovered my Skill. And I shall name it, “Et creans operantium” Forge And Create. … I woke up groggily. The dream I had was one of the usual dreams I usually get. Then I remembered what happened here. Ah. I looked for the people, they were gone. I quickly recalled what the coated man said a while ago. “..These people will regain their consciousness in a few hours, after I’ve sent them to their respective homes.” “Hopefully that would be the case’ I murmured to no one in particular. Arriving at that conclusion, I stood up and fixed my skirt, again. Then surveyed the area once more. I looked for a clock. Finding one just below the balcony where the coated man stood, it read, 01:32:02 in the morning We’ve been unconscious for almost four hours. I then checked on Lu and the others, and they were still unconscious, so I decided to wake them up one by one. “Lu? Lu, wake up.” I said. Lu groaned, and eventually spoke. “Hmm, what is it, Weiss… ugh. Huh? Where are we?” Lu asked. “Quidvis Hall, remember?” My response was enough for Lu to realize that we were in a possibly grave situation about four hours ago. “Whoa. We need to find that man.” Lu said, energetically. “Right.” I replied. Lu observed the area as well, and seeing the two others we were with still unconscious, she decided to give them a wake-up call of some sort. “Wake up! We need to discuss something about what happened here!” That was loud enough for the whole lobby to hear, and loud enough to make the two others wake from their sleep. I supposed that no one would be around at this time, so I let her be. “Huh?” The stranger mumbled, and then stood up. His friend followed seconds later. Noticing us staring at them, the stranger stood frozen, and decided to introduce himself to us, to break the ice, most likely. “Uh, hello, it’s a bit late for introduction but I’m Ciel, from the Kingdom of Inselile. Nice to meet you, and this friend of mine is Xain.” Xain offered his hand for a handshake. “We’re both from Inselile, so, uh, yeah.” Ciel continued. Lu took the hand and shook it. “Hello, my name’s Lu, and this friend of mine is Weiss. Thank you for opening the door for us.” Lu replied, and then looked at me. “Hello, I’m Weiss.” I said. “Nice to meet you.” Ciel replied. Before anyone could continue the conversation, Lu interrupted. “Anyway! There’s a bigger issue than your names right now. And I know everyone knows it already.” We looked at each other, as if making sure if we have the same thing in our minds. “So the question is, what can you guys say about it?” Lu continued. “There’s probably something very deep about this tournament we’re about to join.” Ciel said. “But what could be the real purpose of the tournament if it’s not for the Throne?” Lu replied. The Throne of the High King. The purpose of the tournament. If there’s another purpose, or if there was a completely different and actual purpose for the tournament, then what could it be? I could only wonder. “Well, I don’t know. Weiss, Xain, do you guys have any idea?” Ciel turned to us and asked. I was deep in thought, no idea have made its way to my mind, let alone an answer. “I, uh, I don’t kn-“ And then I remembered something very crucial to this situation. “Do not forget. The tournament is a bomb, waiting to detonate.” “Weiss? Don’t what?” Lu asked. “I remembered something. The coated man whispered something to me before I went unconscious.” I replied. Everyone’s attention rapidly shifted to me. “He said that the tournament is ‘a bomb waiting to detonate’.” I continued. “Is there anything else he could have said?” Xain asked. “No, I’m sure that’s all he said before I went unconscious.” I replied, with certainty. “The tournament is a bomb waiting to detonate, huh.” Lu said “Could it mean something big is going to happen on the 20th?” It could be the most possible scenario. “Most likely.” I replied. “If that’s going to be the case, then we can call for help right away, and warn the people about this!” Ciel said, making his way to the door. He held the handles and tried to push it and it didn’t budge. He also tried to pull it, and the same thing happened. “What? Why won’t this door open?” He said. “Didn’t you open that door easily two hours ago? What happened to your strength? Try pushing it harder.” Lu replied. “I’m trying but it won’t!” “Then we’re trapped inside?” Crossing out the door as a means of getting outside the halls, I looked at the windows. I didn’t see the stars, or any lights from outside. The windows themselves were locked. “Lu, the windows are locked, and it seems that they’re blocked, too.” I said. “What? Even the windows? How are we supposed to get out?” We were trapped. Of course it was a given that we can’t destroy public property, so I can’t do much here. I ordered to search for a possible way out, and everyone followed. A few seconds later. “Guys, take a look at this.” Xain said, holding a piece of paper. Lu took the paper. “What is this supposed to mean? Weiss, check this out.” I took the paper from Lu’s hand. The contents of the paper were, “The time where you die.” One-three-three-seven. 1337 13:37 1:37 in the afternoon. Arriving at that realization, I gazed at the clock again. 01:37:02 in the morning The timer just started. Without hesitation, I announced the realization I had. “Everyone, the 12 hour time limit just started! The cipher says “the time where you die”, 1337 translates to 13:37. 1:37 in the afternoon!” All of them tried to analyze the puzzle, and eventually accepted the realization I announced. “I guess we’re up from some trouble. Haha.” Lu jokingly said. Indeed we were. 8 | The Enigma Weiss I took a seat near the entrance of the hall to be able to concentrate. “I start from the start, I return from the end.” the code, the sequence. What could they possibly mean? I tried to remember puzzles that I solved back then I was a kid, but sadly, I recalled nothing similar to what we’re trying to solve right now. Everyone else has been doing the same thing too. “One-three-three-seven? A, C, C, uh, G!” Ciel said, converting the numbers into the alphabet. “Or, one, two, three. D, F, F, J?” He continued, making a Caesar cipher that obviously didn’t make any sense. I move my sight to Lu, and she was looking intently at the paper Xain found a while ago. “Hmm, there must be something like a hidden message here!” she said, staring at the edges of the paper as if looking for a side note. Technically, there is actually a hidden message there. I thought. I looked at Xain next, and what he was doing was different than the previous two. He was looking around for something. Since he was using a different approach, I stood up and approached him. “Xain, what are you trying to search for?” I asked. “I might have deciphered the code.” He said in reply. He might have, then why didn’t he present it to the group? “Well then, how? Why not present it to the group?” “Ah, they were busy, I feel I can’t interrupt.” I was surprised by that statement. What. This person can’t interrupt someone because of that someone’s unimportant matters while he has something way more important? I could only wonder. “I think everyone could use all ideas.” I replied. Hearing that, Xain proceeded to where everyone else were and I followed. “Everyone, gather around the center of the Hall, please.” I called out. Lu and Ciel stopped doing their own ways of tried to figure out something, and did as I said. “Xain has an idea on this cipher code or something. Please present it.” I continued. “Of course. So, my idea is, the digits of the four-digit code correspond to the text below it. For example, the digit ‘one’ corresponds to the floor, making it ‘the first floor’, and then the digit ‘three’ will correspond to the ‘the corner from the east’, which will mean ‘third corner from the east’, and so on.” “But there are more than four places that we can use the code on. What are we going to do about it?” Ciel asked. “We can just repeat the combination, one-three-three-seven.” Xain said in reply. The idea was so clear as if it was a gift from above. “All right! Let’s head there then. It happens that I remember where that place is, from the book I’ve read back in Blanc.” Lu said, with energy. We headed for the third corner, on the Eastern side, which took us about 5 minutes since The Hall was colossal. The walls were so high and filled with paintings and artworks made by people more than a millennium ago. One wouldn’t be able to just walk by these fragments of history. “The third shelf… The third shelf, aha!” Lu said, pointing over a shelf with the number ‘3’ engraved on its side. This cipher can be solved by a child. The convenience of things around the Hall and the cipher itself made me think that way. Going to the third shelf, Ciel looked for the seventh book from the left. “Seventh book, seventh book… This one?” He grabbed the seventh book precisely from the left, and then asked Lu, “Hey Miss Lu! What’s the next thing on the cipher?” “The page and the sentence.” Lu replied. “Right. Okay, so the first page, and the third sentence.” Ciel read out loud the third sentence on the first page of the seventh book from the left. “You’re mistaken.” “What is that supposed so mean?” I asked. “I don’t know. Here, check it out.” Ciel handed the book to me. The first page read as: If you think you’re right, and some think you are. Do you think what you have is sufficient? You’re mistaken. You don’t have enough. “Weiss, let me see that.” Lu said. I gave the book to her. It’s probably the wrong book. I thought. “Try checking the seventh book from the other level, I guess?” I offered a suggestion, to which Ciel agreed. “It says ‘You’re mistaken’. This is the seventh book from the second level, by the way.” Xain said, already holding the book. “May I see that?” I asked, then Xain handed the book to me. The first two sentences were different from the first one, but the third sentence was still the same. You’re mistaken. That’s weird. Maybe there’s something wrong with Xain’s theory? “Hmm, I might have missed something. Miss Lu, can I have the piece of paper with the cipher?” Xain said. And then I remember a line above the digits. “I start from the start, I return from the end.” “How about changing the combination to one-three-three-seven then returning to three?” I asked. “Why?” Ciel asked. “The cipher stated a line, it was-“ “’I start from the start, I return from the end’. I forgot to consider that. My mistake.” Xain continued. “So it’s going to be the third sentence of the third page?” Lu asked. “Yes. The new pattern will be one-three-three-seven-three-three-one-three-three-seven, and so on.” I replied. “Right. Just what I had in mind.” Ciel said. Everyone reached a consensus to follow the pattern I specified. “Lu, Xain, check the sentences now.” I commanded. “Okay, found it.” Lu replied. “It reads as ’The door to the left.’ Still makes no sense if you ask me.” “Mine reads as ‘It’s located just behind the shelf in front of you’.” Xain followed. “The door to the left, it’s located just behind the shelf in front of you. Now that makes sense.” Ciel said. “I’ll just look for more clues or ways around here. I won’t be too far.” Xain said. “Hey, wait for me!” Ciel shouted, following Xain. “Come back right here if you find a way out! If you don’t, you’re going to die!” Lu shouted. “Anyway, let’s push this shelf already.” The shelf in front of us, Shelf Number 3, was placed against a wall. We pushed it on the side, and as the message have told us. There were two doors. Each with number-lock mechanisms. “What’s next on the cipher?” I asked. “The digit, then the switch.” Lu replied. “The digit, one.” I pressed the button for ‘one’. Nothing happened, the digital screen did not show anything. “What happened?” Lu asked, curious on what appeared. “Nothing happened. It seems there’s no power for the lock. The third switch could probably be of use, but I have no idea where it is.” We heard Ciel’s voice somewhere below us. “…..uys….. there… seem……swit…here!” “What did you say? We’re busy here!” Lu replied. “I… aid… there….re…..switch….here!” Switch? I rushed to where they could be. There was a pathway leading to an opening, and that’s where Ciel’s voice was coming from. “Miss Weiss, over here!” Ciel called. The opening lead to a large cave with a large rotating lantern hanging about 15 metres high. And placed on the crown of the lantern were ten switches, again, engraved with numbers. “Wow.” I said, looking at the large lantern hanging. I heard Lu’s footsteps getting louder. “What’s in here? Wow.” Lu said. “Anyway, the switches are there, and we need to do something about the third switch.” I said. “I see. Then I’ll try to find out what I can do.” Ciel replied. All nine switches seemed to be turned on. All except the switch with the number ‘three’ engraved on it. Ciel is trying to flip the switch by throwing his sword and some rocks at it, but sadly the things he threw didn’t reach even the lowest part of the lantern. Knowing that the lantern is high and rotating, we can’t obviously flip the switch with our swords, and my knowledge of creating projectile weapons are limited. I can only make a slingshot, and there’s only one person who can pull something off at a range using that. Lu and her Accuracy Skill. “Lu, try using this to flip the switch. I’ll supply you with rocks.” I said to Lu. “So it all comes down to my Skill, eh? I knew you would come to me. Haha.” Lu chuckled. She took the slingshot and the rock I made and then gazed at the third switch. Taking a deep breath and then releasing more than half of the air can improve your aim. But with Lu, a blink of an eye is enough to know the trajectory of the projectile, the speed of wind, the power needed, and the right time to take the shot. She stretched the rubber with holding the rock, placed before the stretched rubber. Lu aimed for the switch. After waiting for the right time, she released the rubber, causing the rock to be pushed by the release of tension of the rubber, and enter the state of flight. The rock eventually made its way to the third switch. The strong force was enough to flip it. The lantern went brighter and lights appeared from the walls of the cave. “Nice shot.” I said. “Of course, it’s my Skill after all.” Lu replied. “Now let’s get back to that door. Ciel and Xain, let’s go.” Following Lu’s lead, we went back to the Third Corner of the Eastern side. I pressed the digit one again, and green lights went on, signalling that the door has been opened. “Alright, here goes.” I said. I opened the door, and the only thing that appeared was a large vault. With another number-coded lock mechanism. “What’s on the cipher again?” I asked. “The number, and the times. The times most likely means how many times you’ll press the number.” Lu answered. “Easy peasy, one-two-threeasy.” Ciel jokingly said. “I think this whole puzzle is easy to decipher.” Xain added. This is really ridiculously easy. Is this meant for kids? ‘Press ‘three’ seven times.’ That’s it. I entered the combination on the safe. The code was correct. I carefully opened the vault. Nobody knew what could surprise us once it’s fully open. I wasn’t careful when I opened the door leading to this vault. It was a big mistake. Inside the vault were hundreds of keys with numbers engraved and different kinds of designs were mixed inside, and a note. The note read as “The key for the door at the main entrance.” I handed this over to the group so they can see the latest message for us. “The key with the length ‘three’ and ‘three’ holes is what we’re looking for.” I said. We took the keys from the vault and split it into four, to make the search easier. It took about fifteen minutes for us to find that key. Ciel had it in his pile. “All right! Let’s get moving!” Lu said enthusiastically. “What time is it?” I asked Ciel. “2 in the morning.” He replied. “Thank you.” It has been less than an hour and we’re about to finish this cipher or probably some kid’s puzzle. Those were the thoughts I had in mind. Five minutes later, after we went to the lobby from the Eastern side of the hall. “Right, Ciel, go try the key.” Lu said. “Okay.” Ciel replied. He went to the main door he tried to destroy just about half an hour ago. “All right, here goes nothing.” He said with nervousness. Everyone went silent, awaiting what could possibly happen next. Ciel put the key inside the keyhole, and twisted it to the right. We heard the lock open. Loud enough to hear it echo in the otherwise quiet Hall. “It opened… Haha, nice work everyone!” Ciel said while laughing. I approached the door and held the door handle. “Okay, now let’s see what awaits outside.” I replied. I looked at everyone’s faces first. Getting the faces of approval, I pulled the door. “Tempus. Mutatio. Priore.” I heard someone, a man, say that. My vision suddenly faded to black. Before I knew it, I found myself in front of the door of the Hall. Standing where I was, four hours ago, frozen in place, my hand on the handle of the door. I heard footsteps making their way over where I am. “M-Miss! What happened?!” I heard a familiar voice. I turned around to see who it was. “Heh. Hello, Weiss.” It was the man we saw at the hall, the man I bumped into. “Surprised? Anyway, I’m sure your group has noticed that the cipher I gave you is ridiculously easy, correct? Ahahaha!” The man laughed. “Yes, I know that. Who are you and what are you trying to do?” I replied, my surprise fading away. “Me? Ohoho, me. I’m the harbinger of the truth. You’ll see soon.” The man laughed again. “Anyway, I’ll send you back now to where you’re supposed to be.” The man prepared the spell, and set his fingers. I thought this might be a good moment for some questions. “Wait!” I interrupted. “Huh? What do you want, missy?” The man asked in confusion. “What are your true motives?” I asked. “You’ll find everything out, soon enough.” The man once again prepared the spell, and snapped his fingers. My vision faded to black once more, rendering me unconscious, again.
Everything will be revealed soon… I wonder what ‘everything’ will be.