The Runaway Magician and the Lost Prince

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Chapter 22

The next day, Kakane and Serena got to work rebuilding REAN010 in a workshop lent to them by Mira. It was a bit of a hassle and took longer than expected, mostly because Serena had made adjustments to REAN’s blueprints. To account for her edits, they had to move parts around and build new ones. And on top of all that, they had to troubleshoot everything less something didn’t work right. Luckily, Mira was there to guide them and give them advice. With her help, Kakane and Serena soon finished by sunset.

Serena was jumping around giddily like a child and Kakane was nodding to himself in satisfaction as they admired their work. REAN010 stood before them, an empty shell for now, but one that would soon be brought to life with the completion of the Pure Soul Puppet Core. Unlike before, though, it truly looked like an ordinary person. Serena, Mira, and Kakane all had to admit that if they didn’t know any better, they’d all have thought that REAN010 was a real human. Its skin was on the tanner side and its hair was a deep ocean blue, by Mira’s suggestion. Serena thought that gold worked well for its eyes, so she went with that, but she also wanted to pay homage to Kakane. His hidden golden scales were what inspired her to add the design element. Overall, its realistic appearance was a bit frightening, but it only went to show how advanced the puppets of Atlantis were for their time. REAN010 was the fruit of years and years of cumulative, scavenged knowledge.

Serena knew that REAN010 was artificial, but once the Pure Soul Puppet Core was in place, it would have free will. It gave her a sense of wonder and awe. In that sense, REAN was no different from any other human, right? It could make its own decisions, run around freely, and live out its life how it wanted. Serna would take responsibility for her own creation even if the worst came to pass.

“You seem concerned. What is troubling you?” Mira asked.

“Oh, I was just thinking… With free will, if REAN does something bad…” Serena bit her lip. “I don’t want to think about it, but it’s something I have to consider as its creator…”

“It will be like a child once its consciousness is born. As long as you raise it right, you will have nothing to fear,” Mira said reassuringly. “Bad children come from bad parents. Give REAN a home and loving environment, and everything will turn out fine.”

“I sure do hope you’re right…” Serena gulped.

“I’ll help you with it,” Kakane added. “A child needs both ‘parents’ to bring it up properly, no? REAN will know the true meaning of a king once I’m done with it.” Serena smiled.

“Thank you, Kakane.”

“By the way, what will you name it? You can’t just keep calling it REAN010 forever,” Mira pointed out. Kakane and Serena looked at each other.

“Why not?” Serena tilted her head to the side. “I think it’s a fine name. REAN. Rean. Rey-an.”

“I don’t remember too much clearly, but I believe I knew someone named Rean back in my kingdom. That was ten years ago, though, so the name may have fallen out of fashion. But I believe it is a name fitting and worthy of a king!” Kakane seemed satisfied with his spiel.

“I see. Rean.” Mira tapped her chin. “Yes, I suppose it does have a nice ring to it. Rean,” she said again.

The door to the workshop opened. Serena was surprised since she wasn’t expecting anyone, but to her shock, it was none other than the king of Poseidos, Kai Tempest, that came through the entrance.

“Y-Y-Your Majesty! T-To what do I owe the pleasure?” Serena squeaked.

“Nothing, really. I came to check on what you all were working on,” Kai said. He began to observe REAN010 curiously. “I’m afraid I don’t know much about puppets other than what Mira has told me, but it looks beautifully made. Is it working yet?”

“You are too kind, Your Majesty.” Serena bowed her head. “We need some Atlantean records to complete REAN’s core but once we get that over with, it won’t be more than some minor tinkering and design editing.”

“Sounds impressive,” Kai said. Serena beamed.

“By the way, how exactly are you planning to purify Atlantis?” the white-haired girl asked. “I’ve been rather curious about this for a while.”

“Atlantis has been surrounded by a mysterious fog for at least 15,000 years,” Mira explained. “Every expedition team we have sent never returns. Furthermore, the strength of our navy, which is the greatest in all of Eyuth, cannot seem to put a dent in the mist either. But thanks to my studies at the Bannaanka Weyn, I believe I’ve figured something out.”

“I knew you could do it, Mira!” Kai praised.

“You didn’t ask Doryoku for help?” Kakane asked. “Now that I think about it, Poseidos doesn’t seem to be aligned with the empire, either.”

“That’s because we’re not. Enjo Hononen offered an alliance to my father, but he turned him down,” Kai explained. “King Enjo hasn’t reached out to me yet either, though frankly, I wish to keep relationships between our two kingdoms the same as they are now.”

“Besides, after they stole our puppets all those years ago, I didn’t want to ask them for assistance.” Mira frowned. “I wanted to find a method that was completely original to Poseidos.”

“So that’s why you went to the Bannaanka Weyn,” Serena concluded.

“Indeed.”

“What a strange coincidence,” Kai chuckled. “Well, I have places to be. I’ll be seeing you all soon, if you’re helping with Atlantis’s restoration. Best of luck to all of you.”

“Thank you very much, Your Majesty,” Mira said.

“Much appreciated,” Serena agreed.

Kai left, but Kakane kept on eye on his retreating back. There was a strange glint in his eyes and after a minute, he muttered something to Serena before following after the young king.

“What was that all about?” Mira asked.

“I’m not sure,” Serena admitted. “I didn’t quite catch what he was saying. Something about… Needing to ask His Majesty a question, I think?”

“Huh… I wonder what that’s all about.”

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