Is It Still Incest If Siblings Reincarnate With No Blood Relation?
Ryzelia stared out at the vast sea of clouds that stretched as far as the horizon. He thought a lot about everything that had happened since he turned thirteen. There was much he had learned from his time at the Estiatis Academy – including his own craft as well as a firm understanding of the world he lived in. Alongside his knowledge, he gained many surprises too, one of which was being forced to marry a noble daughter of the Fyairen family. While Ryzelia wasn’t against the idea of marrying a girl, the thought of the girl being forced to marry him against her own will didn’t sit right with him. Yet, there was nothing he could do as all of it had been decided before he was ever born.
Guess I’ll just have to deal with being married once I become of age. At least I can get to know her for a few years before settling down with her, Ryzelia thought as he looked over to his maid that was sitting across from him. Alyice Resian had served Ryzelia for nearly two years and despite all feminine appearances, Alyice was a boy. He had long blond hair that flowed down to his chest and azure blue eyes. He was dressed in maid outfit that bordered the line of being sexually enticing.
— Is something wrong, master?
— No, I was just thinking about this girl I’m supposed to marry. It just seems so… archaic. Shouldn’t we be allowed to marry who we wish?
— While I understand your augment, master – and agree – the fact remains that as a noble, you are expected to uphold any engagements or promises. Rather they were made by you or not. This union of two noble bloods is to strengthen the lineage for generations to come.
— I know but still.
— Either way, be glad you’re allowed to spend a few years getting to know your future wife.
— Right, right. Anyway, we should be arriving at the manor soon, correct? Ryzelia asked as he pulled out an old antique pocket watch.
The watch was primitive in its ability to keep time but worked and kept fairly accurate shifting in the phases of the sun and moon. A small needle pointed at the twelve o’clock position which indicated that it was about hour of mid-day in the world. Ryzelia recalled what his mother had told him about the manor. It was about a two week journey to reach the estate that bordered just outside the city. There was little out there aside from vast meadows and forests. Although there was a small town about an hour away from the manor, no one had taken up residence for some time.
Due to the vacancy of the home, the Aytelier family decided to buy it as a second workshop for their alchemical endurers. Yet, it had been well over ten years since anyone had made use of the place. The thought of anyone keeping it in shape was unlikely in Ryzelia’s mind due to the fact he had never seen his mother and sister leave for this other mansion. Still, he could not help but be surprised when the carriage finally pulled up to the manor. In his mind, he thought it would be run-down and bordering on a safety hazard, however, this was not the case.
Like the main Aytelier manor, this second manor was vast in size and held two floors from what Ryzelia could see on the outside. Everything on the outside of the building was set to make an impression – even the cobblestone pathway was crafted with care. Stepping out of the carriage, Ryzelia noticed another carriage packed at the front of the building as well.
— Alyice, is someone else supposed to be here? Ryzelia asked.
— Yes, master. You’re future wife and her maid arrived a week before us in order to clean up the manor.
— Do they expect four people to be able to keep a giant place like this clean?
— Not to worry, master. I shall ensure it is in the best shape for you.
Ryzelia noticed as the front door of the manor opened. Exiting the manor with an aura of beauty were two feminine beauties. One girl had long crimson red hair that was tied into a pair of twin-tails with two black ribbons. She was dressed in a black corset with various crimson laces that revealed her bellybutton and a matching black frilly skirt that had crimson red accents around the hem of the skirt. She wore a pair of white thigh-high stockings and a black pair of over-the-knee leather boots. Three earrings were pierced in her right earlobe which seemed more as a fashion statement.
Beside the twin-tailed girl was a girl that stood out due to her long pink hair that was tied off on the right side. She was dressed in a similar maid outfit like Alyice. The girl bowed and smiled.
— Greetings, your grace. My name is Blythe and standing next to me is Elyiena Fyairen, the eldest daughter of the Fyairen family.
— You can drop the formalities. I’m Ryzelia Aytelier and this is my maid, Alyice Resian.
Well, I can’t deny that she is cute. The true question is if the two of us can get along without any problems, Ryzelia thought as he handed Alyice a few books he had brought.
— Both of you can just call me Ryzelia.
— You can just call me Elyiena.
— Right then, shall we, Ryzelia said he motioned for front door.
Elyiena nodded and headed for the door while Ryzelia – along with their maids – followed. Inside, the foyer was grand in its appearance with wooden dark mahogany walls and hardwood flooring. Both Ryzelia and Alyice had seen and studied a map of the manor and knew where each of the rooms were.
— Would you care for me to show you around the manor? Elyiena asked.
— It’s fine. I already know where all the rooms are at. I’ll put my things in my room and be in the study if you need me.
Ryzelia made no effort to look his future wife in the eyes as he spoke. He quickly headed off for his room on the second floor while Alyice followed behind him. After making it to his room, he looked over the room.
— Master, do you know that you can come off as rude to those that you speak with?
— Did I sound rude? All I did was state what I would do for the rest of the day. How was that rude?
— I get that you try not to interact due to your… past experience at the academy but as your maid and friend, I’d advise you to try and be a bit nicer.
Ryzelia recalled his years at the academy and the pain that it had caused. Being a young prodigy, he wasn’t well liked by both his classmates or the teachers. Even getting the title of a master alchemist was a challenge. At one point, he was close to being kicked out of the academy due to the revenge that he had taken on the students.
— Yes, forgive me, master. Shall I place your books on the shelf?
— No, put them in the study for now. I’ll place anything I need in the workshop for my alchemical practises.
— Of course, master. Is there anything else you need?
Looking over his room, Ryzelia realised that all his stuff had been put up without him needing to unpack anything. I guess Elyiena’s maid must have sorted everything in my room, he thought as he made his way over to his closet. Opening the armoire, he could see that all his clothes had also been hanged neatly – along with his others that were folded in each of the smaller drawers.
— Just some coffee that I’ll take in the study.
— As you wish, master.
Alyice exited the room as Ryzelia laid down on his bed. Closing his eyes, he thought about what he wanted to do. I should probably read up on the medicine I wanted to try and create as well as see what I need down in the atelier, he thought.
— Excuse me, Lord Aytelier.
Ryzelia sat up to see Blythe standing in the doorway.
— I told you to drop the formal speech. Just Ryzelia is fine.
— Sir Ryzelia.
— Still too formal.
— Mister Ryze—
Ryzelia stared at with a half-moon gaze at Blythe as if he was looking into her soul.
Blythe continued to struggle saying Ryzelia’s name in a formal manner.
Ryzelia smiled and stood to his feet.
— Good job.
— May I just call you master?
— Whatever you like. I’ll head to the study now. Tell Elyiena that if she needs me, she can find me there.
— Of course, master.
Without another word, Ryzelia made his way past Blythe and headed for the study. Opening the old wooden door to the study, the room had a faint smell that seemed to transcend worlds, the smell of old classic bound books. The shelves held many books, all with decoratively ornate spines made of gold. In the southeastern corner was a rosewood wooden desk. On top of it was the books Ryzelia had asked Alyice to drop off in the study. In the opposite corner was a fireplace that held a few logs inside it. Ryzelia made his way over to the desk and sat down, opening a rare book that he treasured entitled, « yhe Alquimaeista ov Lymiunes », which told the tell of an old alchemist named Lymiunes who was said to live for a hundred years and travelled across all the kingdoms to gather alchemical ingredients and rare materials. Alongside a list of where to find the various rare items, there was also a section on how to mix the different compounds with each other to create new items such as herbs that could reverse the effects of ageing, medicine that removed toxins from the body, even a poison that could paralyse a person and force them to devoid rather questionable liquids from their body.
Flipping through the pages, he stopped on a section about a rare plant that only grew in the southern area of Estiatis. The rare plant was known as Nightsbane and grew only in shaded or dark areas. However, it was considered to be highly poisonous unless boiled over an open flame. It was able to be broken down into a powder that could be boiled and worked into a paste-like substance that would treat infections and wounds, effectively sterilising the area and healing it.
Ryzelia continued to read through the section on the plant and took detailed notes on where it was located, what it looked like and what needed to be done in order to extract the poison. Once he had all the important information on a single sheet of parchment, he sat back in his chair. Out of the corner of his eye he noticed a human-shaped figure that made him jump and his heart skip a beat.
— Alyice! H-How long have you been there?
— Exactly six minutes. If I had been an assassin, you would have easily died, master.
— Glad you’re not one then. Did you need something?
— I regret to inform you that there are no coffee beans in this manor, master.
— Okay, so you can buy them, right? Pretty sure I remember there was a town not too far from here.
— There is. Blythe and I can head into town and buy anything you or Elyiena may require, master.
— Very well, would you mind if I draw up a list of ingredients and materials I need and give it to you in the morning?
— I don’t mind. Are you planing to use the ingredients for your alchemy, master?
— Mhm. I need to figure out how to reproduce these rare items in this book. If I can do that, it’ll stop me from having to gather them. The problem is figuring out the base components of these rare items. It’s tricky and there is always a risk. I could end up endangering myself or anyone in this house.
— I will stand by your side until the end, master. Just…
Alyice blushed as he averted his gaze.
— Just please don’t make me drink that potion… please…
Ryzelia smirked as he grabbed a piece of blank parchment paper and a stick of charcoal from his desk.
— Hey, you’re the one that said you’d rather serve me than my sister.
— I know… Your sister was—
— Devious, I know. Don’t worry, Alyice. You’re safe so long as you serve me and Elyiena. Just never betray my trust.
— You have nothing to fear, master. I’ll always be loyal to you, even if you violated me, Alyice said with flustered red cheeks.
Ryzelia began to write down a few items onto the parchment paper.
— If there is nothing left for me to do, I shall take my leave, master.
— I can’t think of anything.
Alyice nodded and made his way for the door. Ryzelia continued to write down items as he thought of them – ingredients popping into his mind like lightning. After a few minutes, he placed the quill down and looked over the list he had written. Pretty sure I’m still missing some items but for now I’ll just wait until the morning and write down anything I else I can think of, Ryzelia thought as he leaned back in his chair.
— Hey, Alyice…
Ryzelia looked around the room and realised that Alyice was no where to be seen.
— Oh right, he left.
A knock at the door turned Ryzelia’s attention to the sound. Standing in the doorway was Blythe.
— Is there anything I can assist you with, master?
— Actually, yes. I need some help carrying these books to the atelier.
Ryzelia carefully stacked six books on top of each other into two piles.
— If you can carry these I’ll carry the other half here.
— Of course, master.
Blythe grabbed the stacks of books and headed for the doorway while Ryzelia did the same. The two of them headed down the hallway to the first floor and entered into one of the many atelier’s in the basement. In total, the manor had six atelier’s with two in the basement, three on the first floor and one on the second floor. Each atelier was relatively the same in size, with the second floor atelier being slightly different.
Ryzelia opened the door to the basement atelier and made his way down the stairs. The stairs where made of a paved stone while the walls were made of rough cobblestone. Inside, the room was barren aside from a large black cauldron in the centre of the room sitting on a raised stone flooring. To the east wall was a large wooden antique table with small bookshelf built onto it. Beside it, another tall standing shelf that could hold five rows of books. Adjourning the walls were small single shelves that were used for placing vials of potions and bottles of alchemical liquids and ingredients. The west wall held another bookshelf with a wooden alchemist desk that could hold a few items on it for easy of access.
— Question, master. Why didn’t you just use the atelier on the second floor? That one was closer to the study, was it not?
— I know why you think that but it’s more of a safety precaution. If I use the one on the second floor and something goes wrong, it’s better to happen here then on the second floor.
— What exactly do you plan to be doing in here, master?
— Don’t worry, I’m going to try and blow up the manor. Unlike my sister, I am actually careful about my alchemy.
Ryzelia placed the books down on the desk while Blythe placed her stack beside the rest.
— I’ve always wondered just what can alchemist create, master?
— Just about anything and everything, if they know the recipe and ingredients or components. I could easily create a potion that turns your nervous system haywire.
— Like, say you’re not ticklish anywhere on your body. The potion could make you extremely sensitive to touch. Actually made a potion like that and used it on my sister when she turned me into a girl for a day.
— Your sister… turned you into a girl… master?
Blythe could only raise an eyebrow as she wondered just what kind of sibling relationship the two had for them to both use alchemy to fight and pull pranks on one another.
— Mhm. For us, alchemy was a beautiful tool that we would use and trying new potions on each other was one of the best ways to experience how it would work. Plus, it was good practise for us to stay sharp with the fundamentals.
— I see. Well, I’m glad you two didn’t end up dead, master.
— Actually, there was one time I almost killed my sister. Luckily, our mum was able to cure her with a remedy she had made. My sister just laughed when she finally got better and hugged me.
— I’m shocked that she didn’t hate you.
— Yeah, she never once hated me and even told me to keep pursing knowledge in alchemy.
— She sounds like a sweet sister, master.
Ryzelia looked over the books he had brought down the atelier.
— I forgot to bring down a few blank notebooks and a quill as well as a bottle of ink.
— I can get those for you, master.
— Thank you, I’d appreciate it.
Blythe exited the room while Ryzelia looked over the twelve books that he had on the desk before him. Most of the books before him were the fundamentals of alchemy, others had information on where to gather various ingredients and materials. Among these books were three rare books that Ryzelia treasured. One was the compendium he read a lot, the other two was an encyclopedia of rare recipes and the other a guide on rare materials in the world. Grabbing the non-rare books, he placed them on the tall book shelf at the top row. It’ll take awhile to get this place to my liking but no rush, he thought as he sat down in the wooden chair beside his desk.
The sound of footsteps echoed throughout the room. Blythe entered the room and placed the few blank notebooks she could find along with the quill and bottle of ink.
— Here you are, master.
— Master, would you allow me to possibly study alchemy one day?
Ryzelia looked over to Blythe. He wasn’t surprised by the question as many people wished to study alchemy. The truth was painful to face though.
— I’m not against you learning and teaching you. The problem is, alchemy isn’t exactly easy to learn.
— How hard could it be to mix up some ingredients?
— You’d be surprised. Mixing ingredients is harder then many think. If you mix ingredients in the wrong order or use too much or too less it can cause problems.
— Such as?
— A gas that could destroy a human, an explosion and what not.
— That sounds… scary…
— Indeed. Now, if you still want to learn, I can let you borrow the book on the basics of alchemy.
Ryzelia made his way over to the bookshelf and pulled out a book entitled Rudimentary Alchemy. The book was bound in a black leather with a red pentagram with a square and circle surrounding it.
— Study this until you can memorise everything up to page sixty-nine.
Blythe flipped through the book and noticed that there were well over 666 pages of various illustrations and black ink of text.
— This is a long book.
— I told you, there is a lot of work when it comes to learning alchemy.
— And… you memorised this whole book?
— Wouldn’t be a master alchemist if I didn’t have at least the basic three volumes of alchemy memorised.
— You… memorised… three whole volumes…
— Anyway, take the book and study it. When you finally understand it, let me know. We can then look at some basic potions that you can make.
— Thank you. I’ll work hard, master.
Ryzelia smiled and sat back down at his desk.
— Just make sure you don’t lose that book, okay?
— Of course, master.
— Anyway, I don’t need anything more so you’re free to do as you wish.
— As you wish, master. I shall turn in for the night.
Blythe bowed and exited the atelier while Ryzelia opened up one of the books on his desk. He thumbed through the pages for information on an old rare material that he was hoping to come across. The hard part however was finding it. Still, that wouldn’t stop him from learning about all the different rare items in the world. Of course his ultimate goal was to find his sister but a quest for rare items was something that was fun to indulge in – especially since he had come so far.
Now that I think about it, I don’t think this manor is actually under any type of protection. Maybe I could create a barrier around the manor with a special liquid or powder, Ryzelia thought as he leaned back in his chair. A few hours passed as Ryzelia tried to find anything in his books on creating a barrier but he was unable to find any information in the books, even the few rare ones that he had held no information on the creation of a barrier or just a simple ward that could keep the manor safe from any monsters. I guess alchemy can only do so much. That or the recipe isn’t known for how to concoct a barrier through alchemy. It’s likely this is more of magical nature. Guess it’s too bad I didn’t learn magic, he thought as he closed his book.
Ryzelia pulled out his watch and took note that it was nearing the hour of the rising moon. Time for me to get some sleep. I’ll get up early in the morning to finish that list of ingredients I need for Alyice and Blythe to get from town, Ryzelia thought as he stood to his feet. Exiting the atelier, he made his way to his bedchamber and proceeded to change into a simple pair of sleepwear. Tomorrow, I should try and get that Nightsbane plant. Helpfully, I can find it sooner rather than later, Ryzelia thought as he laid down on his bed and closed his eyes.
Elyiena awoke to the sound of a tapping on her door. Without waiting for permission to enter, Blythe opened the doors and made her way over to the curtains. Throwing back the curtains revealed the morning rays of the sun that just starting to peek over the horizon. Sitting up in her bed, Elyiena rubbed her eyes as she looked over to her maid. Even with the two of them far from home, Blythe was still sticking to her daily routine of waking up Elyiena at the crack of dawn.
— Good morning, mistress.
— Why must you wake me up so early? We aren’t at my family’s home.
— You should always retain a consistent routine. Remember, you represent your family.
— Pretty sure I’ll be married off to that guy. So your whole argument is invalidated.
Standing to her feet, Elyiena yawned as she took a moment to stretch her body. Once she was ready to start the day, she made her way over to her closet and picked out usual outfit. With the help of her maid, she got dressed and took another moment to figure out what she needed to do for the day. Back in her old home she was forced to stick to strict schedule that mostly consisted of long hours of training with different weapons. Despite the long hours and many years of practise, Elyiena had enjoyed combat and swordplay. Her only grip was with her family and their stuck up ways of doing things.
— What are your opinions of the master of this manor, mistress?
— Blythe, if you call me that again, I’m cutting your head off. Just call me Elyiena.
— Ryzelia was annoyed by me being so formal too.
Blythe smiled as she started to tie Elyiena’s crimson red hair into a pair of pigtails.
— Then call us by our names, okay? And to answer your question, I don’t know. Personally, I don’t want to marry the guy. He strikes me as a guy who works too hard. Plus, he isn’t the man I want to marry.
— Oh? Exactly who do you want to marry then, Elyiena?
Elyiena could only blush for a moment as she formed the person who she wanted to marry in her mind.
— It’s… a secret.
— Is that so?
— It is. Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to have some breakfast.
— Sorry but I was ordered by the master of the manor to head into town with Alyice to gather various ingredients.
— Who does he think he is ordering you around like he owns you? Elyiena asked as she spun on the ball of her foot to face Blythe while placing her hands on her hips.
— Well, he is the master so he is free to order me around as he wishes. Don’t worry, I’ll cook you a meal when I get back.
Elyiena crossed her arms and puffed out her chest like she was angry.
— You better, Elyiena said as with a playful smile.
— Is there anything you want?
— Chocolate cake.
— Any real food?
— I said real.
Elyiena headed for the door.
— I guess I could go for some beefsteak.
— Very well, I’ll get the ingredients for that and cook it once I return.
Leaving the room quickly, Elyiena made her way down the stairwell to the first floor. This man still annoys me. I never told him he could order my maid around. When I find him, I’ll give him a peace of my mind, Elyiena thought as she continued to walk around the halls to try and find Ryzelia. Roughly thirty minutes passed before Elyiena realised she had no idea where Ryzelia was in the large manor. Turning a corner, she felt her body bump into something – or rather someone. She took a second to process what had happened. On the floor in front of her was Alyice dressed in a causal outfit.
— Oh, Alyice, I’m sorry. I didn’t see you there. Are you okay? Elyiena asked as she held out her hand.
— I’m okay. Thank you for the help.
Alyice smiled and took Elyiena’s hand. Standing to his feet, Alyice dusted off his clothes.
— I heard you and Blythe were going to the local town.
— You heard right, lady Elyiena.
— Please, no need to be so formal around me, okay?
— Are you sure?
— Yeah, I’m okay with you being informal around me. Quick question for you though. Do you know where Ryzelia is?
— Yes, the master was in the study last I checked.
Without saying another word, Elyiena headed up to the second floor and made her way to the door that led into the study. Opening the door without knocking, she noticed Ryzelia was sitting at his desk, quietly reading a book. He looks as if he is in his own little world, Elyiena thought as she made his way over to his desk.
— Good morning, Ryizla.
Ryzelia looked up from his book.
— Morning, Elyiena. And it’s Ryzelia.
— Is my name that hard for you to pronounce?
— Not my fault if you have a hard name to pronounce.
Elyiena sat down in one of the wooden chairs beside Ryzelia.
— Okay, what would you like to call me then?
Elyiena leaned back in the chair and propped her bare feet up on the wooden desk. Her toenails were painted a soft shade of red that captivated the eyes and accented her petite feet.
— Ryze is easy enough for me to pronounce.
— I’m okay with that. Also, could you get your feet off the desk? That’s disgusting.
— Lighten up. Not like our parents are around to tell us what to do. We can be free here for a bit. Besides, you should be grateful. I’m sure many guys in this world would pay just to look at my feet, Elyiena said with a smile.
— Mhm. Sure. Whatever you say, Ryzelia said as he averted his eyes and looked back down at his book.
— I wonder how much I could charge someone for this kind of service.
— I’m surprised to see you want more money when you’re already a noble with enough gold to live for ten life times.
— It’d just be something for fun. Also, while I have you here. Don’t think you can order my maid around. You have yet to earn that right.
Ryzelia didn’t look up from his book. Okay, so she’s a control freak who appears lazy and doesn’t seem to care about what other’s think. Something tells me the two of us are going to have a hard time living together like this. I do have to admit though her body is incredibly beautiful especially her… Oh no, Ryzelia thought as he quickly closed his book.
— Excuse me, I need to leave with all due haste, Ryzelia said as he stood up.
Elyiena lowered her feet to the floor, allowing Ryzelia to past by her and exit the room like a flash of lightning. I guess he had to use the restroom, Elyiena thought as she looked over all the different pieces of paper on the desk. She noticed a lot of the information on the paper was foreign to her. While she could understand the words on the page, they didn’t make sense to her and the simplistic mindset she had. Combat and cooking were the only things she had learned and devoted most of her time to.
Oh well, whatever he enjoys is fine with me. So long as he understands that I don’t truly wish to marry him. I only have one person in my heart that I want to spend my life with in this world, Elyiena thought as she placed her hand to her chest.
Ryzelia leaned against the wall as he tried to catch his breath. That was too close, Ryzelia thought as he looked down at his body. He could see that he had gotten a bit too excited by Elyiena. Taking a second to collect himself, he made sure he was ready and headed back into the study.
— Welcome back, Elyiena said as she looked through a few more papers on the desk.
— Guess you had to really hit the restroom.
— Yeah… something like that.
— So, what is all of this? I know what it says but I’m lacking when it comes to anything involving alchemy.
— Blythe said she wanted to learn so I made a small cheat sheet of alchemy notes for her. Alongside that is just a small list of notes on where I can find the rare plant, Nightsbane.
— I’m not interested in learning but feel free to teach her.
Ryzelia looked over the books on the shelf. I just need to avoid staring at her for too long, Ryzelia thought as he pulled a random book off the shelf.
— Hey, think you could give me a hand looking for a book on that shelf over there?
— I guess. What am I looking for?
— A book called Treasures of Alchemy. I need to gather some notes together from that book.
Ryzelia continued to look over the bookshelf for the book while Elyiena checked the other bookshelf. After searching his sections of the bookshelf, Ryzelia made his over to the other shelf as Elyiena sat down looking over the books on the bottom shelf.
— Wait, there’s a book about crafting weapons from alchemical materials? Elyiena asked as she quickly pulled the book out from the shelf.
Turning with her back to the shelf, Elyiena looked over the book she held in her hands. Resting her back against the wooden shelf, she opened the book to the first page.
— Look out! Ryzelia yelled.
It had began its descent down onto the floor with top of Elyiena’s head being in the way. Rushing without a second thought, Ryzelia caught the small potted planted that had been placed on the top of the bookshelf. In that moment, time seemed to stop as Ryzelia stared into Elyiena’s purple eyes. His face was only a few centimetres from Elyiena’s, their lips on the verge of interlocking. Ryzelia could only blush as he continued to hold onto the vase.
Elyiena’s cheeks were flustered a rose red as she stared into the man that she would be forced to marry. Even though she didn’t want to be with him, there was a small moment that she felt her heart skip a beat. There was only one time she had this same feeling.
— Are you okay? Ryzelia asked as he carefully placed the vase down on the ground.
Taking a moment to sit down, Ryzelia closed his eyes and breathed a sigh of relief.
— Yeah… I’m fine. Thank you for that.
Taking a second to stretch out her legs, Elyiena leaned back against the bookshelf.
— And to ask that question, yes. You can craft weapons with alchemical enchantments. It’s difficult but possible to create weapons that are strong, durable and can defeat different types of monsters.
— So, you could create me a blade that never breaks and could cut through a monster like butter?
— Well, not exactly. That would take far too many life times for me to try and create.
— Is that so? Then how about a sword that looks cool?
— I could probably do that but for now, I need to find a plant called Nightsbane.
Ryzelia stood to his feet and headed over to the desk. While he sat down, Elyiena sat down in the other chair beside him.
— Ah. Here it is.
Elyiena took the paper in her hand and leaned back in the chair as she propped her bare feet on the desk like she had before.
— So, it’s a plant that is poisonous?
— If you eat it, yeah.
— And it’s somewhere in the forest south of here?
— Yeah. I had planned to go into the forest for a few days to try and find it.
— Is it dangerous?
Ryzelia pulled a piece of parchment from the table and handed it to Elyiena.
— Is this a monster? It looks ugly enough.
— Goblins. Most don’t go near cities but out here, it’s different.
Elyiena looked over the paper once more.
— Do you have a book on monsters in this room?
— Should be at least a few.
Standing to her feet, Elyiena quickly browsed through the books until she was able to find a book entitled Myonsteria that gave information on different types of monsters in the areas around Estiatis. After sitting back down in the chair, she opened the book and thumbed through the pages. I knew there were a lot of monsters but I didn’t think their were this many. Plus, most of the combat training was dealing with humans, not actual monsters. Elyiena thought as she stopped on the pages about goblins.
— Do you have to put your feet on my desk? Ryzelia asked.
— Quit your whining. At least you’ll have me to protect you when you go out to find this plant, Elyiena said with a smug expression.
— You… actually want to go with me?
— Yeah! Why wouldn’t I take this chance to battle monsters and test my sword skills in battle.
Well, at least she’s determined. Guess now all we need to do is just prepare to spend days or even weeks trying to find this plant, Ryzelia thought as he looked over all the information he had on his desk. He knew he would need to bring along medicine and items for self-defence. Ryzelia went over all the possible items that he would need in his head.
Elyiena continued to look over the paper on the goblins they would likely encounter. She took mental notes of all the weaknesses they had, a big one being fire. Goblins are usually considered to be weak creatures but it may be different here. I should see if I can find an enchanter in the town that could make it so one of my daggers has fire damage, Elyiena thought.
A knock at the door made Ryzelia and Elyiena look up from their work. Standing in the doorway was Alyice and Blythe with a large basket of ingredients.
— You two appear to be enjoying yourselves, Blythe said with a smile.
— We’re actually planning on going on a trip to gather a rare plant called Nightsbane.
— Would you care for me to join you, master? Alyice asked as he placed the basket on the floor off to the side.
Ryzelia made his way over to the basket and looked over all the ingredients that the maids had gathered.
— I placed the other basket in your atelier as I figured you’d want the materials there, master, Blythe said.
— Alyice, do you happen to know if there is an enchanter in the town near us? Ryzelia asked as he continued to look through the basket.
— There isn’t but I know the basics of mage-craft.
— Wait, you do? Ryzelia asked looking up to Alyice with a surprised expression.
Alyice blushed slightly and averted his gaze.
— Y-Yeah… I didn’t tell anyone, aside from your sister.
Blythe pouted as she looked to Alyice, placing her hands on her hips.
— And why you tell her and not me?
Alyice turned away.
— If I know my sister, I bet she tried to use some truth serum that she forced you to drink.
Alyice nodded as he fidgeted with his skirt.
— I don’t like that girl, Blythe said.
— Many people do. However, I can’t deny that she’s a skilled alchemist.
— Anyway, if you and lady Elyiena are going to head into the forest, you should have the two of us come along. I can cast simple spells and Blythe is good with the bow.
Well, this sounds like a pretty balanced party if we were in a role-playing game. Guess it can’t hurt to have them come along. The more protection, the better, Ryzelia thought as he stood to his feet.
— All right, we need to make sure we have everything we need and are ready to spend days or even weeks in the forest to find this plant. I’ll prepare the different medicines and some firebombs to backup as attack if something goes wrong. Alyice, since you can enchant weapons, speak with Elyiena about what weapon to enchant with a burning effect.
— Blythe, make sure you’re ready and get what we need for combat, Elyiena said as she stood to her feet.
— Of course, Blythe said with a sadistic smile.
A few days had passed while Ryzelia, Elyiena and their maids prepared for their journey into the southern forest. Once all of them had finished their preparations, they began the trip into the forest. Once the daylight hours were drawing to a close, the four of them set up a simple campsite and ate a meal that consisted of bread and water.
— So, how far until we reach the area where this plant is supposed to be? My feet are killing me, master, Alyice said as he laid back looking up to the night sky.
Ryzelia looked over the map that he had made a copy of and marked up with the rough path that they had followed.
— We just have to head south a bit more and the plant should be around that area. Then all we have to do is check the surrounding area.
— Exactly how many of those plants will you need to get? Elyiena asked as she looked over her blade for any signs of rust or damage.
— As many as I can carry but at minimum, I could do with at least ten.
— Only ten? I figured you would want more than that seeing as how rare it is, Elyiena said as she checked her sword again.
— Well, ten is more than enough to make what I need. It’s just nice to have an extra amount as backup. Anyway, for now we should probably sleep and head out before the break of dawn.
Many hours passed until the sounds of birds chipping in the distance awoke Ryzelia from his slumber. After taking the moment to eat breakfast and disassemble the campsite, him and the others made their way to the area where the Nightsbane would be. The large meadow was a vast clearing that swayed in the gentle breeze.
— Okay, this is the area. Nightsbane likes to hide in dark places so check any places that are heavily shaded by trees.
While everyone scattered about to look for the rare plant, Ryzelia pulled out his watch and calculated how much daylight they would have to try and gather the plant before having to head back to the manor. Making his way over to a dark shaded spot near so trees, Ryzelia carefully looked around for any sign of the rare plant he was looking for. A few minutes passed before he noticed a purple plant sticking up from the ground. This looks like the plant, Ryzelia thought as he carefully uprooted it from the ground.
— So, that’s what the plant looks like, Elyiena said as she looked closer at the strange purple-ish plant.
— Don’t get too close to it. If this gets in your mouth it’ll poison you and likely kill you, Ryzelia said with a smile.
— Right, get whatever you need and let’s get back home. I need a warm bath after everything we been through—
Elyiena was went silent at the sound of the under brush just behind her. Turning on the ball of her foot, she grabbed the hilt of her blade. Her eyes remained glued to the thick vegetation that hid whatever was hiding in it. Emerging from the grass was a creature with deep green skin and a flat face. It snarled like a person on the verge of starvation, it’s jagged teeth showing as clear as the sun. The pointed ears would have made it appear as an elf, yet with its skin and crimson red eyes it was obvious what the creature was.
— That’s a goblin, Ryzelia whispered.
The goblin was dressed in a set of leather armour that had a foul aroma to it from its lack of proper hygiene. Its weapon was a battered wooden club that had seen better days. Elyiena gripped the hilt of her blade firmly and slowly unsheathing her sword, she continued to watch the goblin carefully. Elyiena had trained many hours everyday, sparing with Blythe and her father to the point that she was prepared for any type of combat encounter. Yet, even with all her training, she could still feel her knees starting to shake as she stared into face of the vile goblin.
Goblins were known for their violent nature and many other eventful horrors that gave young girls nightmares. Though one goblin was manageable to most well-trained swordsmen, if there was a horde of them, it was possible to spell the end of most small groups travelling together.
While Elyiena stared down the goblin, Ryzelia thought about all the options they had. Okay, so, we can either fight this goblin and hope there are no more around or I can use this vial with a special powder I concocted to blind the creature long enough for us to escape. The question is, which is the best option? Maybe I should just have the powder at the ready, just in case Elyiena finds herself in a bind, Ryzelia thought as he slowly reached into one of his many coat pockets.
Elyiena took a deep breath as she recalled all the training she had learned. All right, I can do this. I just need to relax and remember the fundamentals like father taught me, Elyiena thought as she placed her leading foot forward. She smiled as she prepared herself for the battle with the goblin.
Elyiena laid in bed at the hour of the rising moon. She continued to replay the event of what happened in the study over again in her mind. He was only a few centimetres from her face and their lips were close to touching. It remained clear in her mind like the sun. I don’t want to be married to him but he isn’t a bad guy per say. Still, I don’t want to marry him. There’s only one person I want in my life, Elyiena thought as she turned over on her side and held her hand to her chest.
She recalled the events of their journey to find the rare plant and how he was kind and cared about her. He had used a small vial of liquid that he had on hand to heal the bruise she had gotten from the goblin’s wooden club. Even if it hadn’t killed her, it would have been painful if Ryzelia had not been there to treat her wound. Her heart continued to beat in a steady rhythm as she embraced the warm memories. Maybe I could at least be kind to him. Maybe he doesn’t want to marry me but the fact our families force us to makes it so that the two of us have to, Elyiena thought as she closed her eyes to try and drift off to sleep.