The next morning after their experimentation with their light abilities had been rather tiresome for Ursa as she awoke in common room. They had taken residence in it after their testing left their room looking like a charging herd of animals trampled through thanks to the little monster Mulengu summoned.
She yawned before rubbing her sore heavy eyes that were still covered by her eyelids.
"Look who finally decided to wake up" Mulengu's voice rang from the left side of the room.
This common room was fully packed with fifty bunk beds. Holding both sleeping and awake men and women of Avalon.
Since she had awoken from her unconscious state two days ago she had been sharing a bunk bed with Pyrrha. Mulengu had a bed to himself while Thor slept close to Hana who he still guarded in the upper levels, this had led to some crude jokes by Mulengu on the subject.
Mulengu wore an official Avalonian military jacket with the coat of arms printed on the back. Though the thing that mainly caught her attention was the the fact that he held his sword in hand.
"Morning sleepy, finally decided to grace us with your presence" he teased her with mock bow and while Ursa viewed it as childish it still brought her smile to her face.
"Good morning to you too... were are you going?" After yesterday they hadn't spoken much before going to bed so Mulengu's activities today would be unknowns to her.
"Thor passed by when you were performing a reenactment of sleeping beauty, the Cavallonians just offered him a hunt for boar and his inviting party a and party b. So get dressed so let's roll out" he seemed enthusiastic about it.
"Sorry, i can't" Ursa rubbed her stiff neck.
Mulengu's face morphed to one more resembling a sad puppy "b... b... but this could be great bonding experience. Even Chris and Pyrrha will be there".
The argument sounded like some half baked nonsense " I don't think we need that right now. After all, i've known Thor for close to four years now we've spent lots of times together. Plus i doubt hunting and killing animal will bring Chris and Pyrrha close to each other ".
"Come on Ursa when was the last time we all spent time together. I mean Thor has been gone for months and we all feel... distant" he was right of course, Ursa had felt the great divide between all of them.
"I know that but i have to research about the guardians of light in the library... " she was really sorry but she couldn't just let the small knowledge that she had uncovered be the only thing keeping her satiated.
"Can't you take a break for once from the monster known as studying who has so imprisoned your sense of fun?" she couldn't help but compare this to a whinnying child.
"Mulengu, yesterday we discovered that's without training i can easily a manipulate a force of energy that only the best wizards can replicate. You can summon and temporarily bind beasts from a realm that are impossible to summon and bind and Chris can create weapons out of light energy, you know another thing counted in the impossible bracket. We just can't leave at that and call it a day".
Mulengu sighed throwing his head backwards in an overdramatic fashion as he groaned " Fine professor Falcon ".
Ursa couldn't stop a slight chuckle from escaping her lips, her friends foolish jokes had this unfortunate affect upon her " Shut up you goof".
"And yet here the goof has made the unmovable stone Ursa Falcon smile how fascinating a thing is life" Mulengu bore the world's greatest smug expression making him appear even more goofy.
" Okay, okay you win" Ursa needed to end this conversation least she broke down to tears as her laughter increased "The last thing i need are the other knights thinking of me as some kind of weirdo".
" I win, amazing. Now i just need a cookie to celebrate my victory " Mulengu was now posing like bodybuilder who had just won a competition.
This was the last straw for Ursa and she burst into tears and opened her mouth to a flood of laughter escaped filling the entire room and drawing the confused glances of her fellow knights but at this point Ursa's funny bone had been too tickled for her to care.
This chuckle fest was brought to a halt by a voice coughing hard enough to draw their attention and snapping them both from fits of laughter. Standing before them was Siegfried who's appearance stiffened them.
Ursa stood up as Mulengu straightened himself and the two placed their right fist over their chest. the military protocol when addressing a senior officer.
" Aeris Falcon, Aeris Mulengu at ease" he ordered them and they followed his order relaxing only slightly because whilst Chris was friends with the Argentum knight they barely knew the man, this made them just a tad bit distance.
"Aeris Falcon you have been selected to have contact with the home soil" Siegfried said his face unflinching like stone.
Communication with Avalon had been opened a few days ago and knights were being chosen to speak with their loved ones.
It was an obvious damage control tactic to end the chaos back home. Ursa wasn't complaining though it meant she could speak to her parents and calm the headless chickens that they had no doubt become.
"Thank you sir" she acknowledged this order before Siegfried left.
"So you finally get to speak to the folks?" Mulengu asked her.
"Yeah" Ursa was now putting on her boots " How about you, how did it go?".
Mulengu had previously spoken to his family. She had avoided to ask him as she was reminded of the strained relationship he shared with them, running into minefields wasn't a hobby of hers.
"Honest to Deus it went well, no yelling or telling me about how i am acting like a child so everything is good it seems" Mulengu said to her.
"Hey guys let's go!" They heard Thor shout from the door and Mulengu looked at with a sorry expression upon his face.
"I am afraid that i have to go" he said before leaving her with only the remaining knights in the room to keep her company.
" Mom and Dad, time to get this over with ".
A long cold shower can do wonders for a person. It packed a punch equal to a cup of hot coffee for Ursa and by the time she left the bath house she was as sharp as a sword.
As she walked down the corridors she couldn't help but admire the architecture that near rivaled some of Avalon's best buildings.
Architecture wasn't something that she put much attention to but Ursa could respect the phenomenal when she beheld it. The corridors were cold due to their elevation though this never bothered her much. As a child even to this day Ursa loved the cold and snow.
Finally she reached her destination. It was a large hall filled with many knights all standing in small lines leading to booths within which the devices that would allow them to communicate with their loved ones where held.
As soon as she walked into the hall she was met by a Cavallonian knight who bore the dragon insignia of his people.
" Identification please " he asked her as she reached into her pocket and pulled out a small blue metal budge with her picture upon the center, name, rank and official number.
"Aeris Falcon? ".
" Yes sir" she confirmed her name before the knight directed her to a line of her own to await her turn.
After roughly thirty six minutes of being bored out of mind, she was called to enter a booth. Her booth was rather spacious on the inside with a single chair and a big screen resting right in front of her.
She pulled out her identification card yet again and faced it towards the television that sent out a green light that scanned the card before the words stand by appeared on the screen.
It would take another extra ten minutes before the screen lit up to reveal her parents who both sat in a room quite similar to her booth.
It had been a long time since Ursa saw her parents and now they appeared almost older than she remembered them, her father had a stubble and his hair was a mess losing its Korean boy band look as both him and Mulengu had playfully named it and his skin appeared paler than usual, contrasting the light brown colour of her and her mothers skin. Her mothers afro looked like it hadn't been combed in days and she shared a similar crows feet eyes to her father.
"Mother, father" she greeted them, watching as life returned to their exhausted bodies.
"Baby is that you" her mother sounded like she was on the verge of tears as she leaned forward to touch the screen as if it would allow her to reach her daughter.
"Yes mommy, it's me" Ursa never used the words mommy or daddy unless she was trying to make her parents happy.
"I told that she would be okay Hiro, didn't i" her mother was getting more and excited to the point that she had grabbed her father by his shirt and was rocking him back and forth.
"Alright, alright calm down Susan" her father finally managed to calm down his wife "Ursa, how are you feeling, are you okay, is anything broken or bleeding?".
Her father's mom mode always managed to make her smile especially coupled with the memory of a joke that Thor once told about how she technically had two mothers.
" I am fine dad " she decided to stand up and grant them a full view of her body to prove her point.
"I hope we don't come across as too difficult little star, its just with the number of hurt knights we found here at the capital, we were just worried that the worst finally happened" her mother explained and Ursa could only imagine what they went through.
Ursa knew that her parents never liked her line of work, that was something they weren't shy about mentioning to anyone who would give them an ear to listen to. She could smell that argument coming and she knew just how to avoid it.
"How are things over on your side" she knew that the current events plus her long loss of contact had left her parents with so much to talk about with her now that they had a chance.
"Tense that's for sure" her father sighed maybe letting what ever pent up stress he had " Since the whole attack happed security had been beefed across Avalon. The skies are teaming with battleship's and i swear the number of checkpoint's across the entire roads has increased by a hundred percent ".
"What about you guys. you weren't hurt in anyway?" Ursa didn't know how far the said attack spread.
"They only focused on the capital. we were still in little Geneva. Looks like they weren't interested in the Iron lands" her mother answered "We only heard about it when it happened and we called you but you didn't answer so we came here to make sure that you hadn't...".
This topic was getting too unnerving for Ursa and shamelessly she dodged onto another question " How is little Geneva anyway? ".
" Its beautiful, Ursa you should really visit. We have a home at the dock and a sunrise over the ocean is beautiful" .
"Nice to hear... " she racked her brain after that for stories to pass the time but couldn't think on anything.
"Hey little star, how are the boys doing?" Her father asked causing her to bury her face into her hands as her black flesh appeared to a slight red to it.
"Don't please don't call me that especially when mentioning their names" she half expected Mulengu and Thor to burst through the booth while declaring that they now knew Ursa's embarrassing childhood nickname.
"Come on kid, its just their names" her father answered.
"Be careful dad, names have power and those boys should never be invoked either by name or item" this baldly told joke managed to crack through the dark gloom that haunted her conversation with her parents so far.
"So, tell me how are the boys?" her parents never gave up, unfortunately.
"Mulengu and Thor have gone out on their bros quest, Chris is probably with them, so they are being themselves which means that they are alright".
" How are the king and queen anyway?" the question caused her to tense up a bit.
A previous debriefing had stated that the knowledge of the king and queens capture was top secret and it is not to be spoken of before civilians.
"But mother and father have always been close to Chris. They consider all my dumb friends family, maybe if they knew and i could use my echo to record their advice for him... they always had a way with words" taking a deep breath Ursa kept her face clean and without a shred of deceit she said " They are doing great, though i think that they are a little too busy with everything going on".
"That's good to hear" her mother sighed relieved " Its just with all the rumors.. ".
" What rumors?".
"Something about the king and queen being captured" her mother answered her not knowing her daughter's panic.
"Damn it, if this gets out there is going to be a panic, though how the hell does a civilian come across this info " Ursa coughed a bit " Those rumors are false mother. I mean we have all seen the king and queen in action before. She fried a planet, i'd imagine that a fight to take her and her husband would destroy the whole of Jord".
Her mother began to chuckle " Silly me, i should have remembered that ".
" Anyway enough about me, how are you doing. We really have not spoken in a long of time" deflecting this conversation before her mother a known shameless gossiper probed further.
"Well, we have started working under the Reven-croft institution and we found helpful wizard's there who are training us magic. though the competition is tough" at the end her parents seemed to slump their shoulders from the probable stress of being in a world where they weren't in the top fifteen cutting edge inventors.
"Don't worry, look when this all over i am going to come and help you guys. Remember more hands on deck make the whole machine run smoother".
" Thank you little star, though you might have to visit regardless " her father said as a nervous expression morphed upon his face and an annoyed one upon her mother.
"They are making the faces, this has to be serious" her parents were business men and women, they could always mask any discomfort that they felt easily "What's wrong?".
" Honey, our... my family wants us to visit for the new moon festival" with each word her father sounded older and older.
"Oh" those words sounded wrong "I thought they hated us enough that we've been excommunicated without our own damn last name".
" I know Ursa, i know " her father " I thought it was a sick joke when my brother finally talked to me after twenty years".
"So, are we going?" She wasn't interested in going but her father had grown up with them for years .
"Because perhaps we all have to move on. Look little star, I won't pretend to know everything, but after what happened to earth, our family needs to be united".
" If you say so" she may have gave in but it didn't mean that she was happy.
The light above her began to flash red signaling that her time was up "I have to go mother, father".
" Goodbye honey" her mother leaned to the screen " Please be safe... I nearly forgot! ".
Her mothers out burst stopped her in her tracks " What?".
"We just sent you some gear. Falcon made a couple of hours ago. I am sure that you will love it".
A small dimensional bridge had been formed a few days ago and it had been used to move important equipment and information even though it had a simple five minutes window.
" Mother, Father thank you " Ursa wished that she could lean in and hug the.
"Of course dear and remember, please be safe".
" Of course" a warm feeling grew in Ursa's heart before she left the booth to the next person with her next destination being the library.
The royal Cavallon library was truly a monolithic structure of grand size. An intricate design with mosaics, carved marble pillars and book shelves made from a beautiful milk coloured wood.
The grand hall of knowledge was an active ant hill of wizards and other important Cavallonian figures who were sampling the wide arrays of knowledge that were printed upon its books that numbered in the tens of thousands. Ursa had only seen one library that would be called an equal or even greater than this library and that was the library back in the Avalonian capital.
Even on her second visit of the library she could not help but eye the marvel in awe from its many carvings and statues of Cavallon's history from one depicting king Artorias in armour that she thought looked Roman to another depicting him laying across some battlefield of sorts defeated and finally the last major image being a mosaic that followed this sequence was the image of the king and Marzhin holding hands as their free hands were raised to the air with the massive structures of Camelot raised up behind them.
"Beautiful" Ursa whispered in genuine administration of the craftsmanship that was needed to create this wonder.
"I know, though i wish it was more romantic" a voice whispered to Ursa's ear making her jump in fright like a cat.
She turned with all the hairs of her neck standing tall and her forehead dripping with sweat as she saw the lady Marzhin herself and a young knight roughly her age with green armour and long flowing silver locks that made his soft features more cute than Ursa would ever dare admit to anyone least her friends found out or even worse her mother.
The very thought of anything rekindling her mothers quest to see her daughter get into a relationship sent a shiver down Ursa's spine.
"Forgive me, young lady, I am truly sorry for nearly driving your spirit from its mortal coil's" Marzhin may have been apologizing but her face bore a great grin of happiness whilst the knight besides her shifted uncomfortably with his eyes more interested with contents if the floor.
"Its okay lady Marzhin" Ursa said as she took deep breaths to calm her heart rate " It's is great to see you again ".
" Here for another lesson young miss Falcon? " Marzhin asked reliving Ursa of the awkwardness of having to ask herself.
"Yes, my lady".
" Of course, come along dear" the wizard began to walk into the thick of library "If i am going to be your book of wisdom you must at least aid me in my work".
" That sounds fair" Ursa couldn't argue with that logic and so she followed Marzhin trailing behind her with the green knight who walked in a manner that made him look smaller than he was.
"Oh the boys name is Perceval by the way " Marzhin introduced him "He is very shy".
" Oh you don't say" Ursa sarcastically thought as she passed a glance at the knight now known as Perceval who was too engrossed with anything else than the people he was walking with "It's a pleasure to meet you sir Perceval".
Perceval just nodded his head without utterly a noise and not even spearing her glance of common courtesy and Ursa wouldn't lie it annoyed her "At least look at me like i exist, damn it ".
"So my young dear those questions or are you more interested in trying to get young sir Perceval to notice you" the wizard's teasing was close to forcing her to have to heart attack.
"No, no, no" Ursa stopped her and Perceval appeared to get even smaller "Just the questions please. I never got to ask you what the Nexus is like. I mean, i find it difficult to imagine a place where you have a double running around a kingdom just next door and life just goes on".
" It wasn't always like that " Merlin's tone of voice was laced with amusement " Our region of the Nexus is quiet large. We have far off distances between each Camelot plus other mini kingdom's that of different size of make up a buffer between the Camelot's And the many wardings the ancient created stopped us from going into other Camelot's or be aware of them".
They passed many book shelves before reaching a different section of the library filled with scrolls and stone tablet's of many varying size from the smallest few inches to the largest that towered at seven meters in height.
"What are these?" the scrolls and tablet's held many inscriptions from a language lost to her.
" A few old books that i collected across the Nexus after king Artilia's fight with the ancient Drake brought down the wardings and our age of discovery was born" Marzhin answered.
"Your queen Natalia, she was king Artilia here" Merlin explained before passing her and Perceval some scrolls "Hold on to these will you, my dears".
" What was she like? " Ursa tried to imagine the queen in that role.
"I never met her, I only heard stories but from what i knew she was a real geopolitical mover".
" And i guess her Camelot didn't survive the Lunar empire " it was less of a question from Ursa and more of an educated assumption.
"I am afraid so, Nimue's wrath is truly an ugly affair" Marzhin stopped at a certain stone tablet with her face deep in thought "Many Camelot's are it's victims. including my own ".
" Your own?" Ursa had thought that Cavallon was this Merlin's origin point.
"Of course dear, did you forget that Cavallon is made up of the remnants of many different Camelot's looking to survive Nimue's madness" there was a slight chuckle that escaped Marzhin's lips " Not even my darling Artorias is my original Arthur ".
" Wait he isn't ?" this revelation was head turning " Then what happened to you're original king Arthur ".
" He dead ".
" Oh" Ursa shifted around awkwardly unsure of what to say as a cold blanket of atmosphere descended upon them "I am sorry, that was insensitive of me to ask".
"Don't worry dear" Marzhin waved her off in the same jovial tone as she had taken no offense to Ursa's question " It was simply nature taking its course, I mean he was ninety six when he departed from this word to the next. His also one of the few Arthur's to escape the strife in all of its many alternating forms".
"This place really is strange" Ursa sighed still trying to wrap her mind to existence of the Nexus " And here i thought Avalon, a Multiverse, Sophia, a realm of darkness and the existence of Deus was strange".
As she browsed the section of the library before they left. She caught a few glimpses of Perceval trying to pretend as though he wasn't looking at her and from his rose tinted cheeks she could deduce why " I might not be looking for relationships but he is kind of cutie".
She drew her eyes away from Perceval and she looked at the largest stone tablet that bore the lone carving of humanoid figure with a spear in hand. She couldn't make out more as the tablet was worn with age in some areas. The most striking feature though where the many tiny humanoids resting just below its knees.
The carving was crude and rather ordinary in comparison to the other great art works that dotted the library, But yet it had a feeling of age attached to it, as if it held a secret of a far off time and she just had to ask.
"What is that?".
" This my dears... yes, you two Perceval " the sudden attention caused the knight to look like he was close to suffering a heart attack " This is one of the oldest records in the Nexus. Its roughly thirty thousand years old and that big thing there is what many of us theories created the Nexus ".
" Created like Sophia and Deus creator? " she asked.
"A creator yes, on their level not at all" Marzhin answered " Deus is above Sophia is most definitely it's superior as she rules above all the old ones. But that's enough about cosmology ".
They left the section of library while Ursa was lumped with hundreds of scrolls and Perceval carried two massive tablet's that on a rough estimate would probably weigh a few double digit tons but Perceval didn't seem bothered at all.
" This place just keeps getting stranger and stranger" she whispered as she readied herself to ask about the light.
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I am a 21 year old law school student at the National Institute of Public Administration. My dream is to one day publish my story phantom ddriag and hopefully get a show made from it.
I also have a youtube account that hundels web fiction content, here is the link https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCFz-mHywXBJnLF8uyofcLAw/videos