The Dictator of Jaialyn
To be honest, Honoka Thanatos didn’t think she was all that bad.
It wasn’t like she was a particularly bad person or anything. She didn’t have anyone quaking in their boots, hailing her name as she walked by. She was just a normal person, who had the strange misfortune or fortune of growing up in the Winter Wonderland; the Ruonas Dominion.
She didn’t have any plans to eat your children while you weren’t looking. She was your typical everyday teenager, who happened to have a personality change. That was all.
Didn’t expect that, did you?
True enough, she did have a reason as to why she was often titled ′The Dictator of Jaialyn’. After all, she was originally from the Jaialyn Kingdom and had been raised by the Ruonas Dominion’s Tsar; Viktoria Matarovski.
But it wasn’t all that bad.
She just ended up in a human experimentation ring for training. Normal, right?
At least, to her it was. Viktoria didn’t raise weaklings in her family, or that is if Viktoria had any real children. So once the stern ruler had learned that she still didn’t have any magical abilities at the age of seven, Viktoria shipped her off straight to the nearest centre to be cured.
Then again, to Viktoria, the brunette had probably never considered that her strict and orderly empire could dare to have something as despicable as human experimentation, kept under wraps. It had to be an average hospital- they didn’t want to die, did they?
See there was a simple and plain rule that was unspoken amongst all of the empires and residents of Xynes.
You didn’t cross Viktoria Matarovski. You just didn’t.
Except for Ethena Peacebridge of the Erecaen Republic. That was a different story. Honoka had heard that there was some bad blood between the duo and dared not ask about it either. That was another rule.
Never mention Ethena to Viktoria. You would die, a painful death.
The same went for the kind-hearted ruler also. You wouldn’t be killed by Ethena, but you’d soon find yourself working full-time as a slave of the Silver Coliseum.
That was Erecaen’s problem; slavery was legal. Surprising, for being ruled by someone so kind. Not like the slaves hated her though.
Anyway, Honoka had been given up and underwent the worst year of her life as a human experiment. That wasn’t the full story, of course, but she wouldn’t tell you if you asked. On the bright side, they were all dead now!
Yeah, think on that.
“Oi!” the silverette snapped his fingers impatiently in her face.
“We’re leaving,” he informed her, scowling.
“Yes,” Honoka nodded politely.
“Right,” she agreed, dispelling her current armament and armoire.
“Can you not space out for once?” her younger cousin, Narumi Thanatos complained, hands behind his head.
“I’m starting to think you’re almost bored of this mission,” he groaned, skipping a stone on the ice cold waters.
“Yes, that’s right,” she confirmed, snickering.
He nearly fell off the boat into the vast seas.
“How can you be bored?” he exclaimed once he had been stabilized, “This is the hardest one I could find for an S class yet!”
“Hmm,” she considered, hand to her chin.
Narumi’s eye twitched violently, “I’m gonna have to stop letting you hang out with that brat.”
How was Anubis doing anyway? She started to wonder to herself.
Chances were Aegea Villa was now in ruins.
“Oi!” Narumi clapped in her face, “Snap out of it!”
“I thought you left?” the white-haired seventeen-year-old questioned in confusion.
“Sorry to disappoint you,” he frowned irritatedly.
Honoka glanced out at the seas that were now melting into regular waters as they entered Jaialyn’s territory.
“What happened to those guys after anyway?” she narrowed her eyes at a disappearing glacier.
“The Shahzaman? No clue,” he leaned on the railing in thought, “Grandma said she’d deal with them sooner or later.”
“What are they after?”
“No idea...” he trailed off.
For the past two months, they had been dealing with small strange uprisings of activity, by a recently rising terrorist cult in the vicinity; the Shahzaman. Nobody knew what it was the group wanted. Maybe it was to spread the religion of Sharayar throughout society. All they knew was that it wasn’t anything good.
Rumour had it, the Phaiona Empire had already fallen to them.
It was just a rumor though.
Honoka’s eye twinkled as she noticed the familiar Sunaiseian seas a short way off. It had been a while since she had last seen Anubis. She couldn’t wait to tell him about her adventures. She had gotten souvenirs for him and Iliana too. Hopefully, they would like it.
“Yeah, yeah I’ve got it,” he waved her off, leaning lazily on the railing, “This is your stop. I’ve done this before, you know. You don’t need to remind me.”
“Didn’t you nearly drop me off at the Phantom Islands last time?”
Narumi tensed up as if caught red-handed.
Embarrassed, he retaliated, “To be fair, you never told me where to go!”
“That’s cause I told you I couldn’t navigate the seas,” she pointed out, snickering.
“Sh- shut up!”
“Well, sea you later. Get it?” she smirked, changing into her armament of flight and hovering in the air.
“That’s so lame...” he started, not noticing she was gone.
“Like come on, I could do better...” he looked up in shock.
“Wait, Honoka!” he shrieked in displeasure.
Honoka snickered at the rage-filled boy she had left behind her. A shame that the outfit she had chosen was way too fast. She could have dueled him first.
The outfit she wore was called an armament. An accumulation of one’s magic power, in the form of a sort of armor or garment. The same went for an armoire, except, it was a weapon or tool instead.
Laughing joyfully, the silverette did some loops in the air, barely skimming the water as she grabbed a flying fish from the ocean.
She stuffed it in her bag, “Well, now I’ve got dinner,” she smiled, thinking of the homely family of two who was unaware of her presence.
Things felt so peaceful when she flew. Almost as if nothing could go wrong while she was in the skies.
Of course, the universe had to prove her wrong.
BOOM! The sound came suddenly as she was swiftly snapped out of her reverie.
Narrowing her eyes, she glanced back, noticing the black gun powdered ball landing in the cool ocean.
A cannonball? She questioned internally, turning back to face the direction from which it came from.
Lined along the coast of the Aeiytian Empire was a set of small black dots, one of which stood out triumphantly against the rest.
Pharaoh Amenophis, she realized in slight irritation, so our contacts have been sabotaged after all.
During the mission, her communication feed had flashed out, a strange logo filling the screen, unknown to any Jaialyian or Ruonan soldier anywhere. This must have been the reason why.
Honoka always had to be cautious when crossing the border into the Aeiytia Empire’s territory before. After all, Aeiytia and Jaialyn didn’t have a pact, plus, she had been living illegally in their boundaries anyway.
One wrong move and schwing! That was it for her life.
If this is what was waiting for me here, she acknowledged, what if I had walked across the border?
A sword to the face, that’s what.
She shivered at the thought.
The influential ruler of the empire before her stood proudly, unafraid of any consequences that might have come. Rightfully so, considering he was the head of the Empirical Council. If anyone offed him, things would descend into chaos. They couldn’t have that.
After all, the Chaos Age was a simple step off from the current Dark Ages they lived in. Nobody wanted that.
Speeding towards the shores, Honoka increased her altitude, making sure to be nowhere near the ambush stationed at the end of the sea. She couldn’t afford to cross blades with the Aeiytian Pharaoh of all people. She was simply an S class spellcaster. A prodigy, yes, but a paladin was equivalent to her rank cubed.
She couldn’t battle a Paladin. She’d be killed!
Grimacing, she tried to come up with a strategy for evasion.
If I increase my altitude high enough, she considered, I might be able to barely miss a homing attack from the cannonballs and I might just make it ’til the outskirts of Aeiytia.
Her mana gauge was severely low this far away from her homeland. If anything, she could speed up enough that she wouldn’t crash right into Aeiytian territory.
However, life just had it out to get her as in that moment, around twenty-five shots took the skies right before her.
Quickly, she circled around them, spinning to dodge as they followed her path.
On the mainland, she could barely make out a few words said from the ruler’s mouth.
I’m aware of your reputation, Miss Thanatos, he stated smugly, watching her flee.
Why that shnick! She glared in her peril. He’s trying to make me run out of gas!
Turning, she stopped, noticing all of the projectiles heading right for her. A magical screen appeared before her as she locked onto the attacks.
I’ll show him! Honoka declared, feeling as if she’d been made a mockery out of. He’ll learn for making a fool out of me!
Sadistically, her sapphire blue eyes darkened as she slipped into her alternate persona. Her retaliation envisioned clearly in her mind.
Much unlike the other magics, Spellcasting was a particularly ingenious art. Crafted by their ancestor, Izanami Le Thanna long ago, it was the basis for all future forms of magic, excepting its primitive predecessors; Divination and Gladiation.
There were six true mortal magics that were currently practiced by various empires today. They were: Divination, Gladiation, Spellcasting, Magistry, Alchemy and last of all Magic itself. Each one was a result of humanitarian evolution. Created in that order over several eras, Magic was the closest to which the Nervonians had gotten to reaching the magic of the gods; Primordial Magic.
However, to some, Spellcasting remained superior. Cast in the form of circular runes creating a magic ring, one had to have a clear mind while practising it. Otherwise, it could come out useless as a spell. How photographic of a memory and how detailed of a mind one had, were heavily important factors to the one casting the spell.
Luckily for her, the Thanatos family were absolute geniuses for perfecting it.
Immediately, five circles of mana appeared in the sky, each directed towards another set of five. Opening her eyes, Honoka stared calculatingly at the incoming barrage ahead, the spoken word being said to realize all of her casted magic as real.
"Tartarus!” she stated coldly, watching the effects take place.
Suddenly, rays of white intercepted the cannonballs whizzing through the air, creating a big enough smokescreen that she could slip by unnoticed.
Zooming by, she slipped right between the group of ambushers, making note of the sounds of confusion that could be heard all around.
“I can’t see!” an Aeiytian screamed.
“What’s going on?”
“Where is she?” another spun around in shock.
Smirking, she flew by.
However, in that precise moment, one person noticed her.
A horrible presence engulfed her, closing in around her heart as he had a firm grip on it, completely calm amongst the chaos.
Glancing back in fear, she noticed the person completely unaffected by her screen.
Right behind her, was Pharaoh Amenophis looking right at her himself, his form embodying that of the god that her people so desperately hailed. The god of the sea, Neptune himself.
"Thoth,” he stared right at her with his piercing gaze.
In that second, she knew she was gone.
But rather than swatting her like a fly, he simply smirked, watching her coldly fade into the horizon.
Now past the border, Honoka let out a breath in relief.
“I thought I was dead!” she shivered, zooming over the sun-filled expanse.
Unfortunately, this is where her lack of mana took its toll.
Losing her form entirely, she passed out in midair, crashing right in front of a duo of young merchants, looking on in shock. The male stared in utter surprise as he gestured for his sister to open the door to their yard, hefting her up so that she wouldn’t be instantly killed.
“Ugh, she’s heavy,” he groaned as he walked inside of the small apartment, placing her gently on the bed.
Taking in her injuries, he glanced at his sister, chasing her out to get him some medical supplies.
“Now then,” he stared at the Jaialyian before him, “What to do about you?”