Chapter 1:

Prologue Part One – A Rude Awakening

Rebirth


Hello everyone! I am very excited to be releasing part one of the prologue. I know it is quite long for a prologue, please bear with me (It would have been way longer if I hadn’t split it into two parts you know…).Bookmark here

In this chapter we will be introduced to the MC and a few supporting characters, as well as get some details into the setting. The second half will contain more setting-focused, technical details so wait for that (will be done within the next few days). ❤
This chapter does not contain Japanese honorifics, however I may change that in the near future (Still working out what relationships the characters have with each other).Bookmark here

For those reading on HoneyFeed, you can visit my site which has in-depth world dictionaries (information about races, places, magic, etc.) and a better reading experience: sorani.me/rebirthBookmark here

That being said, I want to thank the owners/developers of Honeyfeed for creating a website that allows authors in this niche genere of writing to have some extra exposure.Bookmark here

As always, any feedback is welcome on my writing, I know it will be somewhat amateur at times.Bookmark here

With that, our adventure begins….Bookmark here

Prologue Part One – A Rude AwakeningBookmark here

==========Bookmark here

「Wake up, boy!」Bookmark here

A harsh voice calls me, but I am not aware of it.Bookmark here

How could I be? After all, I’m asleep.Bookmark here

My restful state isn’t going to last for long, however.Bookmark here

I wake with a start, sharp pain spreads from the back of my head, causing me to shuffle away.Bookmark here

「What the hell?!」Bookmark here

I find myself sitting on the floor, my back against a hard surface.Bookmark here

Looking up, I notice a strange man in front of me holding a large staff. I can guess he is the one responsible for my rude awakening.Bookmark here

「Huh? Where is this?」Bookmark here

I ask the strange man, pain echoing in my head.Bookmark here

「Get up!」Bookmark here

As I sit in confusion staring at the man, he grabs my arm roughly and pulls me onto my feet.Bookmark here

As my eyes adjust to the dim environment around me, I notice I’m in a hallway.Bookmark here

It’s pretty narrow, two people would struggle to walk side-by-side.Bookmark here

How did I get here?… and what is that musty smell in the air? Gross.Bookmark here

「Why are you down here? How were you able to get past the barrier?」Bookmark here

「Barrier? what?」Bookmark here

「Nevermind, come with me.」Bookmark here

Good thing he didn’t continue with the questioning, as I have no idea where I am. What does he mean by barrier? Did I pass through some kind of security to end up here?Bookmark here

The man begins to move down the narrow hallway, beckoning me to follow him.Bookmark here

His appearance is a mystery, all I can make out is the hooded, black cloak he wears, extending from his head– to fall on the ground around his feet.Bookmark here

My only thought is that he must be a religious devout of some kind, perhaps a monk.Bookmark here

Because my only choices are to follow the man or get intimate with his staff again, I decide following him is the more favorable decision.Bookmark here

As we walk down the dark corridor, I take in more of my environment; torches line the dark brick walls at fixed intervals, and elegantly patterned tapestries hang between them.Bookmark here

The only sound I’m able to hear, other than that of our footfalls, is water dripping from the ceiling into small pools of water that collect on the floor.Bookmark here

We reach the end of the hallway, which leads into a medium-size circular room with a few rustic – looking wooden tables.Bookmark here

Many passages that lead into darkness are cut into the walls, offering an unsettling feeling.Bookmark here

Outside of that, the only noticeable thing about this room is several colored banners.Bookmark here

Since the torches give off dim, inconsistent light, I’m unable to make out the designs on the banners. It’s unfortunate as they may give me some clues about my location.Bookmark here

The man in front of me stops for a moment, as though thinking about which direction he wants to take.Bookmark here

I don’t blame him, the passages all look the same to me.Bookmark here

He ends up taking a right, and when I don’t follow him immediately, his staff greets my legs.Bookmark here

After walking a short distance I ask him about our destination.Bookmark here

「Where we going?」Bookmark here

I figured it was a natural thing to ask, but he decides to be one of those guys.Bookmark here

「You will see soon enough.」Bookmark here

Not very informative is he? He’s acting like I have antagonized him somehow so I guess it’s better to quietly follow.Bookmark here

The smell of must continues as we walk down this hallway; the lack of windows or skylights leads me to believe we are underground.Bookmark here

We begin going up a staircase, which I guess confirms my suspicions?Bookmark here

Reaching the top, the old man grabs a circular handle on a rustic wooden door and pulls it open.Bookmark here

I follow him through the door, and find myself in the courtyard of what appears to be a castle.Bookmark here

The center contains an inner square with a grass floor covered in flowers, and a couple of trees. There is several benches a few feet back from a small pond.Bookmark here

On the edges of the stone floor bordering the grass, pillars support arches which hold up a ceiling that cuts off above the grass. Moonlight bathes this area, and the flowers release a sweet scent into the air.Bookmark here

Around me I can see torches at a familiar fixed interval lighting where the moonlight cannot. Tables, able to seat four people each, are against the walls leveraging the torchlight.Bookmark here

Judging based on the scattered books and parchment found on the tables, it must be a commonly used area; that said, nobody besides the strange monk and myself appear to be present.Bookmark here

The monk grabs me by the arm and drags me along to a heavy wooden door on the same wall we exited from.Bookmark here

After opening it, the man shoves me inside.Bookmark here

「Wait for me in here, I will be back shortly.」Bookmark here

He closes the door, and I hear his footfalls trail off, then the sound of a door opening and closing.Bookmark here

Since it seems that I’m alone for the moment, I try the handle of the door to the room.Bookmark here

Locked.Bookmark here

Since that is the case, I take this opportunity to look around the room trying to find clues to where I am.Bookmark here

It appears to be an office, there’s nothing special in terms of design, some bookshelves are against the walls, and a desk with chair appears in the center.Bookmark here

On top of it lie various pieces of paper and several books. There is also a key ring, boasting a number of large, antique, skeleton keys.Bookmark here

Aside from the bookshelves, desk, and chair, the only things I notice are a few spare robes, gloves, and boots hanging from hooks near the door.Bookmark here

The room is lit by a large metal chandelier hanging about a meter down from the ceiling.Bookmark here

Might as well take a look at the bookshelves, if I’m in a castle there may be something like a volume of its history.Bookmark here

Browsing the titles I find instructive books such as: Fiaer’s Guide To Beast Handling, Common Magical Poisons And Their Antidotes, Skinning and Dressing: A How-To, and something that appears to be a novel, Turmoil of the Lesser Gods.Bookmark here

As I’m looking through the titles, I hear the sound of the door opening behind me, and the monk heads to his seat.Bookmark here

I look at him blankly.Bookmark here

「Well? Grab that chair, and bring it to the desk.」Bookmark here

The man points to a chair next to the bookshelves.Bookmark here

I pick up the chair and place it on the other side of the desk, taking a seat, I wait to hear what he has to say.Bookmark here

「So, I will have you tell me why you were in the dungeon, and asleep in one of its hallways for that matter.」Bookmark here

The man lowers his hood, and I’m able to make out some of his features. He seems to be old, probably in his 60s, he has many wrinkles, his complexion worn. Disheveled hair and many tears appear on his robes adding to his rugged appearance.Bookmark here

His staff, which he uses for beating innocent people, lies against the desk next to him.Bookmark here

With that in mind, it seemed best to tell him the truth. Despite his age, the blows from the staff were powerful, and I was already sore in multiple parts of my body. If possible I want to avoid getting hit again as much as I can.Bookmark here

「I’m not sure how I got there, in fact, I’m not sure where I am at all.」Bookmark here

The monk’s expression darkens slightly.Bookmark here

「Look, boy. You have already broken three rules: not wearing your vestment, out past curfew, and in the dungeon, which all students know is off-limits.」
(EDN: A vestment is a robe, basically.)Bookmark here

「As such, feigning ignorance will not get you out of punishment. But, if you tell me what method you used to enter the dungeon, I may be lenient.」Bookmark here

Based on his words, I can infer this place to be a school. Judging by the man’s appearance, extra clothes, and the books I saw, he must be a groundskeeper.Bookmark here

「Like I said before, I don’t know how I got there.」Bookmark here

The man’s face curls into a slight frown, clearly he is under the
impression I’m lying to him.Bookmark here

While I’m fairly certain I will be unable to convince him otherwise, I don’t know the situation well enough to make a believable excuse.Bookmark here

「Were you playing around with magic that you ought not be? Even if that is true… I find it hard to believe any magic you could perform would be suitable to get past the barrier.」Bookmark here

Magic huh? Rather than the groundskeeper, maybe he’s the local mental case.Bookmark here

「Magic? I saw some of your books… but I don’t know what you are talking about.」Bookmark here

That line seems to have had a profound impact on the man, his slight frown turning into anger, as he furrowed his brows.Bookmark here

Gritting his teeth and closing his eyes, he slams his hands on the desk resulting in a loud bang, which startled me for a moment.Bookmark here

「Do you take me for a fool, boy? Since you continue to play ignorant, perhaps you would like to take up a more permanent residence in the dungeon? 」Bookmark here

「As I’ve been saying, I don’t know what the rules are, who you are, or where I am!」Bookmark here

As the monk hears my response, he gets up forcefully from the chair, causing it to crash onto the ground. He picks up his staff as he maneuvers around the desk and readies it to deliver a painful blow–Bookmark here

Unable to react fast enough, I cover my head with my arms and prepare to receive it–Bookmark here

「That will be quite enough, Belkas.」Bookmark here

The monk abruptly stops mid-swing, we both turn our gaze to the door. Somehow without either of us noticing, another man had entered and began walking up to the chair I was sitting on.Bookmark here

「Headmaster?」Bookmark here

The monk looks confused for a moment, then offers the man behind me a short bow.Bookmark here

「But this boy was found sleeping in the dungeon, Sir. He is out of his room past curfew, and is not wearing a vestment!」Bookmark here

It seemed that the man standing behind me was the headmaster of the school. The man I had been referring to as a monk, clearly held the name Belkas.Bookmark here

「I’m quite aware of the situation Belkas, or I would not be here.」Bookmark here

The man Belkas referred to as 「Headmaster」 spoke with a calm, cool voice.Bookmark here

「I understand Sir, but for him to go so far as to pretend not to know what magic is…」Bookmark here

The Headmaster seems surprised by this line, but quickly recovers.Bookmark here

「Regardless, I will take matters from here. Thank you for bringing the boy up from the dungeon.」Bookmark here

「…Yes Sir, of course Sir.」Bookmark here

The Headmaster looks at me with eyes of deep silver mist, exuding wisdom. Or… that’s the impression I get at least.Bookmark here

「Well? Shall we go?」Bookmark here

「Uh, right. Sure.」Bookmark here

I reply nonchalantly, anything is better than staying here.Bookmark here

As the Headmaster begins to walk to the door, I hurriedly get up from the chair and follow him.Bookmark here

When he reaches a hand out to the door, he stops and spins on the spot to face Belkas.Bookmark here

「Oh, and Belkas?」Bookmark here

「Yes, Headmaster?」Bookmark here

「Best not to have this spread, I can trust you to keep this matter between us?」Bookmark here

「I wouldn’t dream of it, Sir!」Bookmark here

「Very good then, have a pleasant evening.」Bookmark here

Without much time to think about that last exchange, the Headmaster opens the door and I follow him out.Bookmark here

==========Bookmark here

At about the time a boy was awoken by a staff in a dark hallway, a certain headmaster put down his tea brusquely while looking into a pale, glass sphere.Bookmark here

==========Bookmark here

「What is it, Sir?」Bookmark here

A young woman’s inquisitive voice entertains the office.Bookmark here

「First, let me ask you to stop calling me so formally. After this many years, a degree of familiarity is not a problem.」Bookmark here

「Sir, we have talked about this in the past, it is a matter of respecting our ranks.」Bookmark here

「Even so, Eleain, while we are alone please call me by my name. In public, you may call me Sir if you must.」Bookmark here

「I will do my best… Lunian.」Bookmark here

The Headmaster shows a quick smile.Bookmark here

「Excellent. Ah, where were we… oh yes. It seems someone has been transported into the castle.」Bookmark here

「Transported into the castle? Sir, exactly what do you mean by that?」Bookmark here

「You’re calling me “Sir” again, Eleain.」Bookmark here

The woman named Eleain quickly snaps back.Bookmark here

「I hardly think this is the time for that!」Bookmark here

The man waves a hand in the direction of the girl, his face still aimed at a misty glass orb.Bookmark here

「Very well, very well. Do not get so up-in-arms, it is only a young human boy.」Bookmark here

「Human boy…? Why would such a person need to transport in? Could he not have simply come to the entrance?」Bookmark here

「I do not believe he did this of his own accord, he is in the dungeon, you see.」Bookmark here

「The dungeon?!? Why would anyone go–」Bookmark here

「Like I said, Eleain, I do not believe he transported here willingly.」Bookmark here

「Oh.. Right…」Bookmark here

「That being said, the conditions are suspicious. The dungeon’s ward barrier, as you know, is quite strong. To transport through it regardless…」Bookmark here

「Sir? What is it?」Bookmark here

The Headmaster did not say anything for a minute, he simply looked into the orb in deep thought. After contemplation, he answered.Bookmark here

「…You would either need to be quite the prodigy, or use the power of a spirit.」Bookmark here

「What does this mean, Headmaster?」Bookmark here

「I do not know either, however I intend to find out. I must go to him, it seems that Belkas has gone to alert an instructor.」Bookmark here

「Why do you need to go personally? It is late and an instructor can understand the situation, can they not?」Bookmark here

The young woman looked on at the tired mage, wishing he would let others handle such matters.Bookmark here

「As you have been hearing, although he does not pose a threat most likely… I am more worried about why such power would be used to send a simple boy here… No, I’m afraid this cannot wait if I desire to keep it quiet.」Bookmark here

「Keep it quiet? So you think this may be bigger than it appears.」Bookmark here

「I believe it appears quite large as it is, Eleain. Even if the boy is harmless, breaking through a Class VI Light Ward is not a simple task.」
(EDN: VI is roman numeral for 6)Bookmark here

「Do you suspect a mischievous spirit is involved? If that is the case, why send him at this hour, and into the dungeon no less? I don’t see how this relates to you, Headmaster.」Bookmark here

「The question becomes the answer, Eleain. If they intended it to be for show, they would not have sent him to a place few can access, at a time when no one will be around.」Bookmark here

「Still, would it not make more sense to send him directly here, if that is the case?」Bookmark here

The Headmaster considers her words for a moment. Normally that would be a good point, but she’s forgetting something.Bookmark here

「It is not so simple to do so, don’t you remember how this room operates?」Bookmark here

「Ah, right. It’s here and not, correct? Constantly shifting between realities.」Bookmark here

「And what would happen if someone, even a powerful spirit were to send someone here carelessly?」Bookmark here

「They would cease to exist.」Bookmark here

「Exactly correct, and I still cannot say that such a being is involved. It could, for example, be the work of a mage. I do not have time to speculate from a distance however, the instructor Belkas alerted is on their way. I believe it will be prudent for me to arrive first.」Bookmark here

「Shall I come with you?」Bookmark here

「No, I will bring the boy here after, prepare us some tea, would you?」Bookmark here

The Headmaster gave his assistant a glance as he said「tea,」and she gave him a small nod before replying.Bookmark here

「Of course, Lunian.」Bookmark here

With a wry look from the Headmaster and flash of light blessing the room momentarily, he was gone.Bookmark here

==========Bookmark here

After leaving Belkas’ office, I follow the Headmaster along the right edge of the courtroom towards a door on the opposite side.Bookmark here

As we walk I notice several more tables along the walls littered with books and candles… and a person?Bookmark here

That’s strange, I didn’t notice anyone here before…Bookmark here

As we pass by, I glance at the person’s face.Bookmark here

A girl in her early 20’s, displaying a sleeping face and breathing slowly, is laying her head on an open book.Bookmark here

Pure, porcelain skin shows under her long, silver hair, and if I may say, she is quite pretty.Bookmark here

Just as we continue past the table, her eyes open and she shoots me a quick wink before pretending to be asleep again…Bookmark here

You better be careful sleeping so close to Belkas’ office…Bookmark here

While thinking this I collide into the Headmaster, who is stopped in front of a door.Bookmark here

「Ah, I’m sorry, I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going.」Bookmark here

「It’s not of any concern, it’s hard to look away from a Siren after all.」Bookmark here

A Siren? Clearly he has the wrong idea, but I don’t mind his mistake, getting caught staring at girls isn’t one of my hobbies.Bookmark here

The conversation ends there, as the Headmaster opens the door we arrived at, and beckons me to enter first.Bookmark here

It’s obviously a small closet.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

What will happen to me if I go in there? Is he planning on locking me inside and letting me die of starvation?Bookmark here

Well, that’s pretty ridiculous isn’t it. Then again, maybe it’s not?Bookmark here

My mind is made up for me as he pushes me inside, follows me in, and closes the door behind us.Bookmark here

「I’ll be honest with you, this isn’t my idea of a romantic evening.」Bookmark here

The Headmaster lets out a snort of laughter at my reflexive joke.Bookmark here

At least one of us is having a good time.Bookmark here

「I realize we are in a strange situation currently, but please do not be alarmed, I have no such intentions.」Bookmark here

Being in a small closet with an middle-aged man becomes completely okay if they say it’s not weird, right?Bookmark here

「The reason I brought you here is to make sure nobody sees what I am about to do.」Bookmark here

Yeah, well that much is obvious–Bookmark here

A flash of light interrupts my thoughts.Bookmark here

I look around in surprise– I am in a lounge now..?Bookmark here

Wait, was I not just in a closet?Bookmark here

「I can see you are confused.」Bookmark here

The Headmaster looks at me from a short distance away with a wry smile.Bookmark here

「That would be an understatement, how is it that we got here?」Bookmark here

「Magic.」Bookmark here

「Magic huh… The monk said something about that before…」Bookmark here

「Belkas? Ah, yes well, you see… how is the best way to explain this…」Bookmark here

I have a feeling whatever he says next is going to be hard to believe.Bookmark here

「Well before that let us go to my office, as it is not far from here, and my assistant is preparing tea for us.」Bookmark here

That’s the most reasonable thing that has happened so far tonight.Bookmark here

Maybe I can get some answers…Bookmark here

The Headmaster turns from me and begins to walk through the lounge.Bookmark here

Quite spacious, it features several comfortable looking couches and chairs. A bar where you could order food and drinks occupies one of the walls, and shelves of books line the edges of the room — this seems to be a common theme, being a school and all.Bookmark here

Once we arrive at the other side of the lounge, we face a large, sturdy, wooden door.Bookmark here

Heavy, aged, boards are held together by strips of metal along the top and bottom, with a metal hoop handle and classic looking keyhole.Bookmark here

The Headmaster reaches into his pocket and pulls out an extravagant key. Besides the gold color, the entire thing glows dimly and is covered in several colored gemstones.Bookmark here

That key can’t really open this plain-looking door, can it?Bookmark here

Perhaps it’s a master-key.Bookmark here

He places the key into the keyhole and a flash of light comes from the edges of the door, as it violently rattles for a few seconds.Bookmark here

That’s normal, yep.Bookmark here

Nothing to read into there.Bookmark here

The Headmaster looks back at me over his shoulder and talks to me with a whimsical voice.Bookmark here

「After you~」Bookmark here

He pushes the door open and I walk inside the room.Bookmark here

Not what I had expected. The room beyond the door contains one of the most interesting scenes I have witnessed in my life.Bookmark here

Entering the room, I continue walking until I stand before a beautifully carved wooden desk, along the legs are intricately carved flowers and vines… that almost look like they are swaying in a slight breeze. The edges of the desk are glided with gold and various gems litter it, highlighting embossed swirls and lines.Bookmark here

On top of the desk are thick books with partially metal bindings, they look very expensive. I am unable to read the titles as they appear to be written in a different language.Bookmark here

Beside them sits various instruments: a magnifying glass on a metal arm, an antique-looking scale, a glass orb and an extravagant candelabra.Bookmark here

Behind the desk is a chair– more of a throne really.Bookmark here

It extends at least a meter high from the seat, red velvet cushions, and gold gilding winds around the sides and top.Bookmark here

As expected, it also has several gemstones of different colors complimenting the embossed designs in the gold.Bookmark here

There are multiple other points of interest around the room.Bookmark here

For example, a large table holding containers that look like chemistry beakers. Inside these beakers are strangely colored liquids, bubbling and fizzing.Bookmark here

Next to that table, something like a blackboard hangs from a wall.
It’s face is covered in complex equations underneath very intricate pictures of circles with various symbols in and around them.Bookmark here

Glancing to the other side of the room I see a collection of large gemstones in various glass cases. Complex looking magnifying glasses aim at them from different angles.Bookmark here

Several shelves hold jars with various animals and creatures inside them. I can’t recognize any of them, their bodies suspended in tinted liquids.Bookmark here

On either side of the door we came in, I can see a small collection of plants. Clay pots covered in vivid paints hold odd-looking flowers that seem to move without a breeze. It is likely they contribute to the faint sweetness in the air.Bookmark here

Aside from the visual impact of the room, there is much to be said about the auditory spectrum. Conflicting noises such as clocks ticking at different intervals, various mechanical gears, and hums originating from the crystals can be heard.Bookmark here

While looking towards the garden, the Headmaster closed the door behind him and– it vanished!Bookmark here

The Headmaster saw the shock which has not left my face for some time, and spoke up.Bookmark here

「I know you have questions… probably more after entering this room, maybe this wasn’t the best place… no… surely it is…」Bookmark here

The Headmaster seemed to trail off into his own world, nodding his head as though agreeing with himself.Bookmark here

After a few seconds he snapped back to reality, briskly walked behind the desk and sat down.Bookmark here

「You sit as well.」Bookmark here

「But there’s no–」Bookmark here

As I turn to look around I notice a chair has appeared behind my legs.Bookmark here

「But how–」Bookmark here

「Now, just wait a moment! Eleain?」Bookmark here

As soon as the Headmaster says this, a door appears from nowhere beside the desk.Bookmark here

It is pure white, except for swirling blue circles that move across its face. When it opens, a young woman carrying a tray walks out from an opaque, white mist. The door closes behind her and disappears.Bookmark here

If I were to describe her- she looks to be in her twenties, short brown hair hangs down the sides of her face, while the hair in the back is raised into a bun. Out of the either side of her bun sticks a couple rods with similar look to chopsticks, however they are clear and what looks like blue electricity arcs inside of them.Bookmark here

Green eyes with a peircing gaze and… is probably only up to my shoulders- 140cm tall maybe?Bookmark here

She wears an interesting outfit: A long black robe which seems to be uniform here, but at the waist the robe is tied behind her, hanging like a tail. Underneath it is a skirt, various shades of blue form a gradient on the fabric.Bookmark here

Black leggings follow up her legs from a pair of slate-colored, well-shined clogs to about an inch below the skirt line.Bookmark here

She hands the Headmaster an antique expensive-looking cup, and then offers one to me.Bookmark here

「Thanks…」Bookmark here

The girl does not reply, merely gives me a short bow.Bookmark here

She looks at the Headmaster with an expressionless face.Bookmark here

「That is all for now, Eleain.」Bookmark here

At this, she makes a short motion with her hand and the door reappears. She passes through it silently, and as one may expect, it vanishes again.Bookmark here

Somehow am I too accepting? Why would I expect the door to vanish?Bookmark here

The man then looks at me with a smile.Bookmark here

「How is your tea?」Bookmark here

Right, forgot about that.Bookmark here

Hmm, it’s very sweet, I don’t know if I’ve had tea like this before. Maybe I should ask what it’s made out of? Probably not the best time for that.Bookmark here

「What is this tea made from?」Bookmark here

That’s odd, I didn’t mean to ask that…Bookmark here

「I dislike being underhanded so I will tell you the truth, that tea contains something like a truth serum. I do not believe you have done anything wrong, however I must be sure.」Bookmark here

A truth serum? What could he possibly not know that I do? I guess he’ll interrogate me about the barrier Belkas mentioned.Bookmark here

Not that he’ll get anything from me about it. At least my name will be cleared. Speaking of which, what is my name?Bookmark here

「Let’s start with something simple, what is your name?」Bookmark here

Wow, maybe magic is real after all.Bookmark here

「I don’t know my name.」Bookmark here

The Headmaster isn’t as surprised as I thought he would be at my answer.Bookmark here

「I see. Do you know why you are here?」Bookmark here

「I have no idea.」Bookmark here

This is going well. I have a feeling this conversation is going to unearth all kinds of secrets.Bookmark here

「Right… Do you remember anything that has to do with being transported somewhere? Perhaps you know someone with magical talent?」Bookmark here

「I don’t know anything about being transported, and I am confident I don’t know anyone who can do magic.」Bookmark here

The Headmaster looks over my shoulder at the wall for a moment, then continues.Bookmark here

「It would seem your memory has been removed… Well let’s test it one more time. Do you remember anything? Any memory about anything will do.」Bookmark here

Any memory? Well I do remember I was in my bed… no wait…Bookmark here

「I do remember something.」Bookmark here

「Yes?」Bookmark here

Why did I not remember it until this moment? Still, I’m not sure that I want to talk about it to this strange man… I guess there’s no way to prevent myself from spilling it all out though.Bookmark here

「My childhood friend… there was a bit of an incident. One day she was fine, the next she was hospitalized, being kept alive through extreme means…」Bookmark here

「I am sorry to bring up such a sensitive memory.」Bookmark here

「No, it was a long time ago, I have moved past it… mostly」Bookmark here

I continue with the story with heaviness in my heart.Bookmark here

「The condition resulted in death only a week after it appeared… No one could explain what had happened. At the time, I was only about 5 years old so my parents only told me her family had moved away suddenly.」Bookmark here

「Of course.」Bookmark here

「When I was about 8 years old, my parents revealed the truth to me… It took me a long time to deal with it. Actually if a friend of mine hadn’t suggested I visit a shrine near my house to pray, I may never have.」Bookmark here

「Prayer has the ability to save us all.」Bookmark here

What a cheesy line…Bookmark here

「Right… well it seems to have worked in my case at least…」Bookmark here

「After that time, I have returned to the shrine every year on the anniversary of her death to pay my respects, and pray for her happiness wherever she is now.」Bookmark here

「I’m sure her spirit would appreciate your devotion.」Bookmark here

「The reason I’m telling you this is, the last thing I remember is going to that shrine as usual. Only, something was different.」Bookmark here

The Headmaster raises an eyebrow, listening with great interest.Bookmark here

「In what manner?」Bookmark here

「The shrine was one set up to a local fox god, as such it was not staffed, or even maintained by the government. Normally it was empty, I never knew anyone besides myself to go there. However, that day there was someone else there.」Bookmark here

「Did this person say anything to you?」Bookmark here

「No… not exactly.」Bookmark here

The Headmaster gave me a questioning look.Bookmark here

「Well, they were standing at the shrine praying aloud, in more of a whisper than anything else. I had been in a poor mood, it being the anniversary of my friend’s death after all, I was almost standing next to them before I realized they were there.」Bookmark here

「What happened next?」Bookmark here

「I don’t remember what they were saying, it was too quiet to really make out. Even though I had rudely gotten close during their prayer; they calmly finished it, gave me a solemn smile, and left.」Bookmark here

「What did this person look like?」Bookmark here

「That’s the odd thing about it, I know they smiled at me, but I don’t seem to recall anything about their appearance. All I know is there was someone else there… honestly it’s all a bit foggy.」Bookmark here

「I see. Please, continue.」Bookmark here

「Right… so I did my prayer as usual, giving my respects to the fox god and then praying for my friend. After that, I began to walk away from the shrine.」Bookmark here

「Is there more?」Bookmark here

「That’s basically the gist of it. The last thing I remember after that is walking through the Torii that separates the top of the stairs from the shrine area itself.」
(EDN: Torii are the red arches, commonly seen at Shinto shrines and the like)Bookmark here

My next memory was receiving a less than gentle blow from a staff…Bookmark here

The Headmaster’s eyes got foggy and he looked up at the ceiling, seemingly deep in thought.Bookmark here

After several minutes had passed, he spoke up.Bookmark here

「Well, no matter, no matter. Yes, it is certainly odd that you ended up here. Tell me, what do you call the place you are from?」Bookmark here

「Do you mean what city do I live in?」Bookmark here

「That will do, perhaps you live on Methendil?」Bookmark here

Methendil? I’ve never heard that name before.Bookmark here

「I don’t recognize the name Methendil, I live near Tokyo.」Bookmark here

「Tokyo?」Bookmark here

The Headmaster cocks his head slightly.Bookmark here

「Yeah… Tokyo, the capital of Japan?」Bookmark here

「Japan? I cannot say I have heard of Japan before.」Bookmark here

Hasn’t heard of Japan? Where are we exactly, a remote, wifi-less monastery in the middle of a jungle?Bookmark here

From what I’ve seen today that wouldn’t surprise me actually.Bookmark here

「Tell me son, what do you call the mass of land and water you live on, what I mean to say is, what planet?」Bookmark here

「Well I’m not sure what you call it, but I call it Earth.」Bookmark here

I say somewhat sarcastically.Bookmark here

「Earth? Unfortunately I still am ignorant of the name.」Bookmark here

Is he trying to tell me I am on a planet other than Earth?Bookmark here

「The place you are now is called Eldeora, one of the great schools of magic. It is found in Voulden, known as the elven city of wisdom, on the continent Methendil.」Bookmark here

Bookmark here

「I can tell by your shocked expression that none of these names offer you comfort.」Bookmark here

A truer statement has never been uttered.Bookmark here

「It’s true… I do not recognize any of them.」Bookmark here

The Headmaster looks at me with a solemn expression, his eyes seem to be apologizing.Bookmark here

「It seems that my original thought that you were simply transported into the school from another land is not accurate. As unfortunate as it is for me to be the one telling you this, you have come to a different world.」Bookmark here

Every fiber of my being is rejecting the words the strange man before me has spoken, but the evidence is all around me that what he says is true.Bookmark here

Magic, strange plants and creatures, doors which vanish and appear at a whim, these things are all around me even now.Bookmark here

Then out of nowhere, anxiety hits me like a stray meteor.Bookmark here

My vision begins to spin.Bookmark here

Shit, I’m going to be sick.Bookmark here

「Ah, it looks like the after-effects of the serum are setting in. I do apologize for the discomfort.」Bookmark here

After-effects? Haaa.. this is why you shouldn’t accept drinks from strange men.Bookmark here

「I will put you to sleep for now, we can resume talking tomorrow.」Bookmark here

「Aseth, mend and bind.」Bookmark here

As I hear those strange words, the world spinning around me stops abruptly, fading to black as I fall unconscious.Bookmark here

==========Bookmark here

「Eleain.」Bookmark here

A voice cuts through the assorted noises of the office. A door appears, and out steps the Headmaster’s attendant.Bookmark here

「Is he asleep, Sir?」Bookmark here

Eleain looks on at the boy who’s sitting in the chair across from the Headmaster, head sunk down to his chest. A faint breathing sound comes from the youth.Bookmark here

「For the time being. The serum’s after-effects started to kick in, so I thought to put him to sleep.」Bookmark here

「That was kind of you, Sir.」Bookmark here

「I only did what anyone would. I notice you are calling me Sir again–」Bookmark here

Eleain shoots the Headmaster a look that could kill.Bookmark here

「What did you learn from him?」Bookmark here

Rather than explaining the previous conversation, the Headmaster stood up and placed a hand on Eleain’s head.Bookmark here

「Do you understand now?」Bookmark here

「From a different world..?」Bookmark here

The Headmaster frowns slightly.Bookmark here

「That’s correct, I have heard of such a thing, but this will be my first time seeing it.」Bookmark here

「Even you have not seen this magic performed before?」Bookmark here

「Transporting magic is generally only intermediate level at best, there is no denying that…」Bookmark here

The Headmaster paused for a moment while returning to his seat.Bookmark here

「However, to take something from another world… and a living being as well…」Bookmark here

The Headmaster once more fell into a realm of thought.Bookmark here

「Sir.」Bookmark here

No response, the Headmaster stared at one of the strange flowers.Bookmark here

「Sir?」Bookmark here

Bookmark here

「Lunian.」Bookmark here

As though waking from sleep, the Headmaster slowly turned his gaze onto his assistant.Bookmark here

「Ah.. forgive me, I was lost in thought.」Bookmark here

「You were saying something about transport magic?」Bookmark here

「Right, right.」Bookmark here

The Headmaster cleared his throat.Bookmark here

「Ahem. After hearing the boy’s story, I have come to believe it was indeed a powerful deity that sent him here.」Bookmark here

「So you believe the strange person he encountered sent him after all? From the shrine?」Bookmark here

「It would seem so.」Bookmark here

「Forgive my doubt Headmaster, but are fox deities typically skilled in transportation magic?」Bookmark here

「As I recall, they usually have domain over crops and the like.」Bookmark here

Eleain added.Bookmark here

「But it was not such a deity that he met at the shrine.」Bookmark here

「Did he not say that it was a fox deities’ shrine?」Bookmark here

「Indeed, however on the matter of the person he met at the shrine, he said he couldn’t remember what they looked like.」Bookmark here

「Is that so unusual? After all he traveled worlds– it should be expected his mind has been scattered somewhat for the time being.」Bookmark here

「Yes, I thought so too when I learned of him telling Belkas he didn’t know what magic was. However, he does have some memories… Why not remove them all? Whatever sent him here clearly wanted it to be apparent he came from a different world.
Because of this information, I’m forced to believe the being didn’t want to be remembered; engineering his mind so that only some things would be forgotten.」Bookmark here

「This whole thing seems oddly convoluted, Headmaster. Even if that were to be the case, it would take years to create a spell that could target specific memories.」Bookmark here

「Yes, that is what worries me… It would seem that every time he returned to the shrine, the being used it as a opportunity to continue developing the spell. But why only remove its own appearance? Why not get rid of the whole memory of the shrine?」Bookmark here

The Headmaster decided not to speculate further, someone with more knowledge in the area is needed. He looked at his assistant once more.Bookmark here

「Send a message to Arthae, tell him we must speak as soon as possible.」Bookmark here

「Headmaster… are you sure you want to involve the Council? They will likely interfere with the boy.」Bookmark here

「Yes I am aware, however they are the most accessible Great Sages, and they will be privy that something has happened here by now.」Bookmark here

The Council may not practice magic frequently, but no magic of this scale could be hidden from their powerful familiars.Bookmark here

「Understood, Sir.」Bookmark here

As the Headmaster watched his assistant summon a door, he began to justify his actions silently.Bookmark here

Although I would like to talk with someone less formally, contacting people with the knowledge I require is difficult and time-consuming. It’s also a fact I cannot hide the matter concerning the boy from the Council’s eyes for long, if I try to do so, they will get suspicious and come to investigate.Bookmark here

With that said I also will need to contact an old friend, surely the boy arriving here under my watch is not a random act.Bookmark here

As Eleain opened the door she had summoned, the Headmaster stopped her suddenly.Bookmark here

「Eleain, I will also ask you to contact Rhodnar… It may take some time to reach him, but I require his knowledge as well.」Bookmark here

「As you wish, Sir.」Bookmark here

She began walking through the open door–Bookmark here

「Oh, and keep that matter quiet… I will comply with the council partially, but I wish for them to believe I have no interest in pursuing the matter further.」Bookmark here

Eleain gave a slight nod then proceeded through the door, as it evaporated into thin air the Headmaster looked at the boy, contemplating his next move.Bookmark here

I must not allow the Council to believe I am making contact with powerful spirits or they will quickly turn against the school… It is best to invite them here instead; as feigning ignorance about the magic fluctuations caused by the transportation– would be foolhardy at best…Bookmark here

The old mage put his head into his hands and looked at the sleeping boy.Bookmark here

But for now, I too must sleep.Bookmark here

–End of Prologue Part One: A Rude Awakening–Bookmark here


Rebirth


Soraniki
Author:
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