Yua and Veena – Part 7
Whilst Yua watched in horror as her mother’s form collapsed into the ice, her legs gave way and she fell to the floor like a puppet with its strings cut.
The two surviving rebels had disappeared, and all that lay before her was a ghastly scene coated in blood.
Veena quickly took Yua in her arms and covered her eyes. No child should have to watch their mother’s death.
There’s nothing that can be done anymore.
It’s not out of the realm of possibility that she could have been saved using healing magic. But…
Layered on top of the ice magic was a sigil of healing prevention.
There’s no way to save her. The moment she had come to terms with that, Veena had blocked Yua’s ears and covered her eyes.
It’s going to be okay, just calm down…
Veena whispered a calming magic in Yua’s ear, but it was futile.
Yua’s spirit, which was on the verge of breaking.
No, it shattered…
And with a voiceless scream, it began to overflow.
Veena and the King both let out voices of surprise at the same time. The enormous latent magical energy in Yua suddenly overflowed all at once. The intense and violence force slammed into Veena’s body and threw her back.
She threw up as strong a defense barrier as she could muster. But…
“Are you alright?!”
The arm she had been holding Yua with had suffered a terrible burn. Her skin looked raw and had begun to peel. The clothing on that side of her body had begun to burn away, and she could see some sores pockmarking her skin.
“Just… Just what is this…”
“This power… Keep away from it…”
It was the voice of the impaled Queen who answered Veena’s question. She still clings to life, though it’s a grim effort.
“Veena… I beg of you… Please stop… Yua…”
The King ran to her. “That’s enough. Please don’t strain yourself anymore…” he said, choking back a sob. The Queen still continued.
“If… If it goes on like this… That child’s magical power… It will…”
The Queen’s lips tremble. There’s no doubt that her magical energy will run completely dry if she releases magical power like this. If she only ran out of magical energy, then there would be a way to save her, but there’s the risk she might exhaust energy beyond the limits of her power. There would be no coming back if her magic ran into the negative.
“Your Majesty, please entrust Yua to me.”
Applying sensory deprivation magic to her arm, she lessens the pain she’s feeling. She would like to heal herself, but recovery magic of that level takes more time than she’s got. After casting the stop gap magic, she turns towards Yua’s already unconscious form surrounded by a cataclysm of rampaging magical energy.
“I will stop it.”
Veena casts a magic sigil at her feet. Whatever magical energy she had syphoned from Yua she returned to its origin. And with what little magic she had remaining, she began developing a new sorcery.
Yua found herself in a land of shadows, a dark place with no way out.
“What is it that thou desires?”
She hears a voice. Yua does not answer it. Or rather, she cannot answer it.
“What is it that thou desires?”
The voice rings out again.
What she seeks? She doesn’t have anything like that.
She just wanted to be happy. For those fun times to have continued forever.
“What is it that thou desires?”
Yua thinks as the question is asked again.
The ordinary life she lived with her mother and father, her elder brothers, Leena… and Veena. The life she was living before it had been snatched away in the fires of revolution.
This time, a different voice can be heard. A girl’s voice.
“Yua, you know, I was thinking about it and…”
A light shines in that deep darkness.
A nostalgic and pretty voice, filled with love.
Yua holds her chest, somehow just hearing that voice leaves a warm lump in her throat.
“Yua… Isn’t it about time you go back to school…”
“…Shut up. Just leave me alone.”
“Shut up! Didn’t I just tell you to leave me alone?!”
What is this? She can see herself in the corner of that dark room, shut away from the rest of the world. If she only took one step towards the door and opened it, she could be with the one she held most dear. A woman with black hair tinged with blue, who everyone admires as a wondrous beauty.
Hearing her say that name in such a sad way hurts Yua’s heart.
How did such a thing happen?
“Yua… If it’s about what happened before… I’ve already forgotten it, so…?”
She’s already forgotten it. Those words are too much for the Yua in that dark room to bear.
“Whatever happened to the old days?”
There’s no way to bring them back. That Yua points all her resentment and anger towards the person on the other side of the door.
“I… I’m sorry. But, Yua… I really…”
She didn’t care to listen to more lies.
After a long period of ignoring the voice on the other side of the door, Yua made sure she had left, then inserts the game into that second-hand console. On the flat screen TV, the title was displayed.
Splashed across its surface read “Eternal Magic”.
“That’s right… How did I forget?”
Yua knew the girl whose face was reflected in that TV screen. And long before she had saved her from that lonely life as an isolated Princess, she had also known Veena.
She doesn’t quite understand it herself, but these are two different worlds. Perhaps such a conviction was borne from the memories of her past life.
“Are you just going to die like this? Abandon that girl again?”
She heard a new voice. This time, it sounded like her own.
“Isn’t that selfish? You’re just going to fade away, and leave her to the depths of despair?”
The light disappears, and the original voice returns.
“What is it thou desires?”
“What I desire is…”
Her chest tightens. Her mother, father, brothers, Leena and Veena. Those beautiful days, before they were trampled by the rebel army.
…Those things don’t matter.
Yua’s emotions tangle with the feelings of her previous self, the answer she gave influenced by both of their memories.
“What I desire… is to go back to ‘the old days’.”
The world spins.
Her heart beats in her chest as her vision warps around her.
Then the spinning comes to an abrupt stop, and two options appear before her eyes. The life of the mother she wished to save, or the happiness of Veena who she longed to be with.
Yua took a step forward.
As she moved forward into the darkness, it cleared in an instant.
She had finally reached the game’s starting point.
“My desire… Yes, my only desire is that girl’s smile.”
The spell that Veena was casting was a Circulation Sorcery. Using their link, she continuously cycles magical energy between herself and Yua. An infinite loop of magic. It’s a magic that might seem unstoppable at first glance, but it has a huge weakness.
If either of them exhausted their magical power, this spell would not recover it.
Since Yua’s magical power seems boundless, the spell remains stable for now. It is being circulated and returned properly. But if that magic became exhausted, there would be no way back for her.
For now, such a flawed spell is doing just enough to stop the runaway magic from rampaging further.
“If I can keep this flow of magic going, I should be able to partially seal Yua’s energy.”
“It cannot work. For such a small body to take such a huge burden… I will go instead.”
Denying Veena’s confidence, the King lays Arnight on the floor and releases his own magic. In contrasts to the Queen’s tranquil and elegant magic, the King’s is bold and tough.
He really is a King. Even if he is considered incompetent and overly benign, the magic in the blood of royals still dwarfs that of most nobility.
“This is no good. Your Majesty’s control over magic is weak. It will require more than raw power to seal that child’s heart.”
Veena is blunt.
It was a just argument. Partial sealing requires an intricate level of control over one’s magical power. It’s not a magic that suits him at all.
“I will still ask for Your Majesty’s help. Could you cast a barrier whilst I prepare the sealing magic?”
“I will do as you ask.”
“Then, I’m going to start.”
Veena breaks into a sprint. In her hands, magic sigils begin to form. And, as if it senses the threat, the magic energy swirling around Yua forms into serpent-like shapes and attacks Veena.
However, they are all cast aside by the barrier.
The King’s barriers are much more robust than any Veena could cast herself.
Because of the King’s protection, Veena can rush through the storm of magic without expending any of her energy.
From all directions. The magical serpents seemed to come from all directions. Every fiber of her being is screaming at her to cast her own magical barrier, but she resists it with all the willpower she can muster.
It’s okay, trust in the King.
Holding onto that faith, Veena keeps running and only focuses on the sealing.
The Queen watches on with a weak smile.
And finally, Yua was before her eyes.
“Yua, wake up.”
Placing a hand on Yua’s head like she always did, she began channelling magic into her. Around Veena and Yua, the sigils expanded and overlapped into the shape of a dome. At that moment, the raging magical energy suddenly exploded into floating particles of light.
The first thing Yua saw was Veena’s gentle smile. Despite her body having been covered in burns, that smile of hers never faded, and she drew Yua into a deep embrace.
“Veena-sama… Thank you.”
“Don’t mention it, Yua.”
Still holding her tight, she stroked her head an arm covered in blisters. Yua remembered the scene she had run away from inside her mind and looked towards her mother. There, her mother lay impaled by an icicle, her chest still rising and falling slowly.
Somehow, she still struggled to hold on. But, there was no way she could hold on much longer.
One more chapter.