Arcana Magi Memorial Vol.6 - c.2

by H-M Brown

      A pillow slid over the bed sheets. The sound of beeping echoed the room. A light growl blared out and a hand slapped an alarm clock. The hand grabbed the clock showing the time of 7 o'clock and the hand retreated under the sheets. Suddenly, a loud bell rang and Azure lunged herself up. She stared at the other clock resting on her desk across from her. She moved her brown hair aside to unblock her teal colored eyes. Azure coughed into her human hands and jumped out of bed, standing on her human feet. She stretched her wingless back, continuing her stretches to wake up for the day.
      “Azure get ready.” A woman said beyond the door. “Breakfast is almost done.”
      “Okay mom.” Azure grabbed her supplies and exited her room. She entered the bathroom and approached the mirror. Azure yawned before she brushed her teeth. Looking at herself, she smiled, unaware of a blue light behind her. There was no worry or concern lingering in her mind. She grabbed the bar of soap, spat out the toothpaste, and turned to the bathtub.
      In her room, she walked pat her desk with textbooks and a black artbook. It glowed bright but did not catch her attention. As she changed into school uniform, her phone range. She picked it up and swiped her over the screen revealing text. The name Katy appeared with text.
      [We're going to hang out at the café then go to the movies. Wanna come?]
      Without hesitating, Azure answered back and tossing her phone on the bed and resume buttoning her blouse. She saw the time was close to eight. She rushed, grabbing her books, and ignored her black artbook.
      “Mom.” She said closing the door to her room. “I'm going to go out with my friends after school and see the movies.”
      “Be sure to do your homework when you get back.” Azure's mother said and the Circle of Four gathered over the bed. “I don't want you waiting until Sunday like last time.”
      The Circle of Four exited through the window and flew around the building. They found Azure below walking with books in her arms, and her book bag slung over her shoulder like a purse. The lights kept their distance but not lose sight of her. They observed the city she was in. It was not Central Heights. In fact, it was a completely different town. There was no landmark or sign providing their location.
      They arrived at a private school. Analyzing the area, the Circle of Four sensed no hostilities or threats from the people. They looked normal. Some students smiling. Some teachers directing parents dropping off their kids. A bully pushing a smaller kid around. The lights were not sure what to make of it. Red and Black floated to the main gate and noticed the text was clear and legible.
      St. Marie Academy.
      They hurried over to Blue and White following Azure inside. Watching the surroundings, the school proceeded on with no threat in sight. The Circle of Four entered inside Azure's classroom where she sat next to a window. White and Red floated outside and watched while Black and Blue rested beside her. All they could do was stay with her.
      Azure stared out at the main gate, watching the cars drive by. As a bird flew past White and Red, she noticed a girl lying on the ground. She pressed her hand on the window, her face gasped for concern. As she stood to her feet, her teacher entered the room.
      “Time for class.” She said and Azure turned to her teacher.
      “Miss Daniels, there is a girl on the…” Azure saw the girl stand up, brushing her skirt and jacket. “Oh, never mind.”
      Azure sat down and Blue flew down toward the girl, and it recognized her.
      “You are… Ciel… yes?”
      Ciel moved her hair back. She looked at the light and stepped back. She looked at her surroundings and felt weak.
      “Y…yes.” Ciel looked out at the school. “Where am I?”
      “I do not know.” Blue said as Ciel placed her hand on the light.
      Ciel shivered at the coolness of Blue. It floated back maintaining distance.
      “You feel like Azure.” Ciel eyes grew wide. “Are you the Circle of Four?”
      Blue was silent as Red floated over. Ciel stood in awe but her body vibrated, and slowly faded.
      “Wait, what's happening?”
      “Ciel.” Red said. “Azure is here.”
      And Ciel vanished, waking up in her bedroom. Her eyes stared out at the wall. She grabbed her phone and swiped it on. She text Sora what happened.
      [I dreamt of the Circle of Four and they said ‘Azure is here'.]
      [What? That makes no sense.]
      [I mean, I was in a world where Azure is at.]
      [Again you're not making any sense.]
      [Just come to my house and I'll explain!]
      section break
      Sora and Ciel looked the Blood Circle in the living room and noticed something odd over Azure's summon spell. It was fluctuating. Nervous, Ciel reached out to touch it, but she stopped.
      “What will happen?” Ciel said.
      “Well haven't you been practicing using your circle?”
      “Not really.”
      “You saw what it can do. I don't want to hurt anyone.”
      “Okay.” Sora raised her hands up conceding. “Just try it.”
      Ciel pressed her on the summon spell and it showed an image of a St. Marie Academy. There was no sound. It was the end of class and Azure stepped outside. Ciel and Sora looked at each other with smiles, sighing in relief.
      “She's okay.” Ciel said. “But, she's back to normal.”
      “How?” Sora lifted her head. “Is this a trap by the Nocturne?”
      “I don't see any of them around her.” Ciel pointed to the top right corner of the image. “Look. There's the Circle of Four.”
      The Circle of Four floated above Azure as she met up with a group of girls. She talked to them smiling. It was surreal. Ciel and Sora noticed the lights floating in front of her and Azure ignored them.
      “She doesn't see them.” Sora said.
      “They can see her and they saw me. I was able to talk to them. Sora? Do you share dreams with your Golems.”
      “No, I don't.” Sora leaned close to the runes on the edge of the Blood Circle. “Maybe this is a special ability for this type of circle. To see your summons.”
      “This could be part of the connection I felt from her, but I stopped feeling the other night.”
      “Then this is what happened.” Sora got up off her feet, thinking. “But if this is a trap, why are Circle of Four moving freely? Did you feel anything else from Azure before it stopped?”
      “I felt frustration, anger, and trust.”
      “Yeah.” Ciel said and Sora shook her fist. “No, I wonder.”
      “What is it?”
      “It's a stretch, but I wouldn't be surprised if Azure had a plan.”
      “Polo said once inside the Sanctum, your mind is in Mother's control.”
      “Except Azure has the Circle of Four and very warped mind.”
      Ciel looked at the image of Azure laughing with the girls. “Oh jeez, you're right. I have to get back there. Do you know a good sleep spell?”
      “No, sleep spells tend to get broken up. We're going to need a potion. Let's go get some.”
      section break
      Azure said farewell to her friends and she walked home alone. The Circle of Four kept up with her unsure of what to do since she cannot see them. Azure turned the corner and found Ciel on the floor. She stepped back in startled, then knelt before Ciel to check on her.
      “Are you okay?”
      “Yeah.” Ciel said slowly getting up. Azure helped her to her feet. “Azure, are you okay?”
      “How do you know me?”
      “It's me Ciel. Don't you remember me?”
      “No, but it's nice to meet you.”
      Ciel looked at the Circle of Four, just staring at her.
      “I saw this morning.” Azure said. “You were on the floor over at school. You must be a klutz.”
      “No I'm not.” Ciel followed Azure down the street. She noticed the people are walking about normally. There was no sense of danger, just peace. “Are you okay?”
      “Well, yeah. Why?”
      “You were captured by the Nocturne. After I had taken the summon spell used by the girl Miri.”
      Azure stopped and stared at her. Her eyes grew wide, a smile formed. “You write stories don't you?”
      Azure hurried up to Ciel and grabbed her hand. “I do drawings. I always thought about creating comic books, or at least illustrations for novels. Do you write stories?”
      “Uh, no. Azure listen to me.”
      “Well that's a shame. That was some imagination you created there.”
      “Azure your life is in danger and I am here to help.”
      “Okay okay.” Azure waved Ciel to calm down. “It's just a story. It's not real.”
      The Circle of Four gathered around Ciel and signaled her to back down. As Azure walked away, Ciel turned her attention to the lights.
      “What should I do?” She whispered. “I don't understand what happened to her.”
      “Walk with her.” Blue said and Ciel complied.
      “Hey.” Azure said. “You wanna see my artwork.”
      “Yes.” Ciel walked beside Azure. She noticed Azure was a little quiet with her mind focused. She tried to comprehend what happened when red floated next to her ear.
      “Azure had a plan, and made it work. She trusted us to protect her, and she executed it. We woke up in this world and cannot recognize it.”
      “I'm actually asleep.” She whispered, but if got Azure's attention.
      “Asleep? But you're awake.” Azure tilted her head. “You're weird. Maybe that's why I like you already.”
      They crossed the street and Red continued.
      “If you are here by sleep, then we could be in Azure's mind.”
      “Hey Azure?” Ciel said and got her friend's attention. “Could you give me one second? I have to answer my phone.”
      Ciel scurried to the corner of the fence and looked down at the lights pretending to swipe on the screen. “Okay you four, if we are in her mind, is she still in the Sanctum?”
      “Perhaps, we can't sense her.” Blue said.
      “We were able to lock out the Mana.” White said.
      “Well that's good to know.”
      “Hey!” Azure called out waving. “I gotta hurry home. You coming?”
      “Yeah. I'm coming.” Ciel waved back without looking at the Circle of Four. “I don't know how long I'll be able to stay asleep. The potion is supposed to last long. We better figure this world out and snap Azure out of this.”
      “Understood.” Black said and the Circle of Four followed Ciel towards Azure.
      section break
      Mother rested on an incline table, short of breath. She stared out at the floor as a pair of wings stretched out like claws. Each wing had and eye open up, looking around. Azure was on her hands and feet like animal, shaking her body like a wet dog. The shackles on the wrists, ankles and neck glowed bright, drawing the Nocturne in her direction. Mother lifted her weakened body, smiling at Azure sniffing around.
      Azure turned to Mother, trotting over like pet. She nuzzled her face on Mother's hand, and received a gently pat. She purred as a magical chain connected to the collar. Mother leaned back looking up at the ceiling where new Nocturne screamed in pain. She released Azure and watched her frolic around. She reached out with smile at her latest child.