108 My aunt is in danger
"Can you please tell me what's going on?"
Ellie begged Lilith to be honest with her and clear out what exactly had caused all the events of yesterday to happen and why her family was involved with such a dangerous little girl.
"What's your name, young miss?"
"Ellie... How much do you know about your aunt?"
"I know she disappeared a few years ago after being kidnapped by some kid who wanted to force her to marry him, but she escaped by jumping out of a window, managed to find a job, and then got enough money to buy her ticket back home."
The knight woman pulled a chair and gestured Ellie to take a sit so she could have a proper conversation with her.
"I see... Did she ever said anything about magic, demons, or gods?"
"She would tell me stories about this stuff sometimes... But I always assumed she was just making it all up."
The knight then grabbed a chair for herself and now both of them were sitting beside Evlin while looking at each other.
"It was all true... Wasn't it?"
"Your aunt... She has been through a lot... I think it would be better if I spared her from having this conversation with you herself... Do you really want to know?"
Lilith then took a deep breath and revealed the truth to Ellie.
"Your aunt wasn't kidnapped... She was summoned to another world... And the boy wasn't just a boy, he was a prince that hired a mage to perform her summon."
Ellie began to hug her legs and continued to listen to the story.
"Like you said, she managed to escape the prince after realizing she had some kind of skill with using magic. Her "job" was as a bodyguard to adventurers. She would go on missions and protect them from the dangers of my world."
"Dangers...? What kind of dangers...?"
"My world is bathed day and night by some kind of magical energy that would mix with the air we breathe. Because of that, all the humans and animals of my world would inhale magic energy on a daily basis without even noticing it. Some people found ways to channel that energy by using the material from a special tree that allows you to release the magic inside your body. These people are known as mages."
"But this energy sometimes would evolve into different forms after being fed with different kinds of emotions released from the living beings that existed there. If the energy absorbed negative emotions such as suffering, greed, or anger... It would evolve into something called cursed energy... This cursed energy, when it enters the body of creatures starts to transform them into monsters... And if a monster starts to absorb even more cursed energy, the magic inside of it begins to corrupt itself and turns it into a demon."
Monsters. Demons. Ellie was reminded of the beasts that were chasing her in her dream. If what Lilith was saying was true, then these were all creatures that were consumed by the power of cursed energy.
"On the other hand... If the magic energy absorbs the emotions released from prayers, hope, and other more positive feelings, it will turn into what we call blessed energy... And the beings that have this power are transformed into what we call divine deities..."
Ellie also heard that on her aunt's stories. She was very specific about that part as she wanted to reinforce the fact that just because the power was called "blessed" it did not mean that it was automatically good.
"As time went on, your aunt ended up becoming tangled in the middle of a war between divine deities, demons, and humans."
"Many humans found out about your aunt's power and wanted to capture her for themselves. She has a very unique type of magic known as recreation. She can basically take anything she wants and change it into something else. Most recreation mages are hired to just help by giving the pieces of the special tree a slight change in its appearance and make it look more like a staff to aid other mages in their adventures. Recreation magic is really hard to do so just altering the shape of a piece of the tree is already a great challenge, but Evlin's recreation power was unlike anything anyone had ever seen before. She could just alter the way something looked as easily as if it was like breathing for her."
"There was also a fake rumor someone spread that she knew the location of a very powerful weapon. The whole world found out about that and started to chase after her. The humans wanted her so they could find the weapon, the demons wanted her so they could use her recreation power, and the deities wanted her so she could represent them in a competition."
So far Lilith's story completely matched the tales Evlin would share with Ellie. The girl was excited to find out that her aunt was the great hero of her epic adventures, but then suddenly started to glow red of embarrassment after remembering all the times she would complain about her story being a little "boring" or "predictable".
"Ugh!!! I'm such a moron!!!!"
"Ar- Are you ok...?"
"It's nothing, please continue..."
"... So as I was saying... During her travels, she ended up meeting with two very wicked girls..."
"Let me guess... One of them was Mia."
"Indeed... She was the little sister of one of my friends that was blessed by a god and ended up becoming unable to age."
"So, wait... She's an old lady?"
"A very mean old lady..."
"So all that talk about playing, toys, and games..."
"Yeah, she's also a crazy old lady..."
"She treats everything as a game... Everything she does, she does in order to kill her boredom... And after Evlin defeated the demon leader and the goddess of the east, there was very little for Mia to play with."
Ellie had completely forgotten that her aunt's story ended with her defeating these two figures. She desperately wanted her aunt to wake up so she could hear the story again with extreme detail. If she knew it was her aunt playing the main character the whole time she would have paid way more attention.
"So, who was the second wicked girl?"
"It was a demon dryad... A plant girl that tried to take over the body of Evlin's sister."
"What!!!?? My mom was part of the story??"
"No, no... Evlin was adopted by one of her friends in the other world and they became step-sisters."
"Ah... I see..."
Ellie was a little disappointed for a moment. The idea that both her aunt and her mother were fantasy warriors almost made her jump from her chair.
"We assumed that the demon was ki- I mean... Destroyed during the final battle but apparently Mia managed to find her."
"Huh... You can just say "killed"... I've seen much more terrible words on the internet by this point..."
"I... Don't know what this "internet" is..."
"Really?? Mia seemed to know... Mia seemed to know everything about our world..."
Lilith's expression turned cold. Ellie then realized why her aunt was so worried about how long Mia had been in this world. There was no way she would know what a cellphone was if she had just gotten here recently.
Evlin returned home five years ago. Somewhere during that time, Mia had arrived as well. But when? Mia had knowledge, money, and apparently was even friends with some of the locals. How did she survive in this world by herself?
"So this dryad thing is also here?"
"Yes... She probably is inside Mia's body just like when she joined with Evlin's sister."
"Err... Could you please just use her name? It's kinda weird hearing about my "aunt's sister" and not think about my mom..."
"Huh... Her name was Ashley..."
"... My aunt was adopted by a girl with the same name as my mom...??"
"She was adopted because she had the same name as your mom... It reminded her of her life here and made her feel safe..."
Ellie realized that her mother did play a part in Evlin's story after all, even if her mother herself was not aware of it.
"So, what about my dream? Why did I saw my aunt covered in weird fire and destroying the city?"
"During her final battle with the demon leader-"
"That's not his name!!"
"I'm sorry, what...?"
"I heard my aunt's story twenty times by now, and I always remember that the final boss had the best name ever! And it wasn't demon leader!!"
"... You can't be serious..."
Ellie started to cover her ears showing that she would not listen to anything else if Lilith didn't play by her rules.
"... Sigh... Fine... During her final battle with... Chuck..."
Ellie was covering her mouth to contain her laugh as she gazed upon Lilith's red cheeks.
"She managed to unlock a new evolution for magic. Something that combined raw magic, blessed energy, and cursed energy. When she did so, her eyes started to glow in the colors of red, green, and silver... Sounds familiar?"
"Wait... Those are the colors of the weird fire on my dream!"
"Yes... If what you saw was some kind of vision of things to come... Then the reason why Mia is here... Is because she is trying to replicate the power that Evlin obtained."
"How would she do that?"
Lilith rested her chin on her hand to show that she herself wasn't really sure.
"Mia is someone who possesses blessed energy inside of her... And now she also has the dryad in her body... All she needs left is the power of magic, and your aunt is the most powerful magic user I have ever seen..."
"The most powerful!!??"
Ellie was shaking on her chair. She just heard this weird armored lady say that she was the niece of the most powerful mage she has ever seen. She started to picture her aunt going around and blasting mountains with giant fireballs and splitting the sea with thunderbolts.
She started to wonder if she herself could possibly also have some kind of magic potential.
Lilith noticed the girl daydreaming and called her back to reality.
"Eh? Oh, sorry, please, go on!"
"There is nothing left... This is where we are now... Mia probably has found a way to steal Evlin's power for herself and obtain all the components necessary to become as powerful as she was."
"But... My aunt is stronger right? Can't she just find this girl and stomp her?"
"If she could do that, do you think she would be in this state right now?"
Lilith pointed her finger and Ellie turned around to see her aunt still unconscious in the hospital bed. She then started to wonder why didn't her aunt just fight back against Mia yesterday?
"Evlin lost all her powers once she returned to her own world."
"She is still very strong due to her time working as an adventurer, but she has no magic power whatsoever right now."
"... She gave up all her power...?"
Ellie stood up from her chair and came closer to her aunt. The once most powerful mage was now completely defenseless and could barely move.
"Why...? Why would she ever return here when she could do all that?"
Lilith also stood from her chair and approached Ellie.
"Because that was not the life she wanted."
"Evlin never wanted to be a mage... She hated magic... She hated dealing with demons and gods... She hated how people would always chase after her to use her like an object. She wanted to live the life she wanted for herself. She didn't want to accept that everything she aspired was going to simply be stolen from her."
"She hated being a mage...? But she could do anything!! Everything would just come to her without any struggle!"
"She didn't want that. She often would say that magic was a very unfair power and that it should not even exist in the first place. Too much power makes people lose control of who they are, and Evlin didn't want that for herself."
"But... That Mia girl... She said that my aunt had one week to get her powers back... How's she going to do that in this world?"
"I'm not sure... But I know that Mia has found a way to bring magic into this world somehow... If we can discover her secret..."
"We can turn aunt Evie into a mage again!! And she can kick that girl out of here!!"
"Evlin's fight is over... She came here to escape from all that... She earned her peace... I'll take care of Mia... And the dryad... Especially the dryad..."
"I told you, Ellie, Evlin never wanted this life... I'm not going to force it on her now that she finally managed to get rid of it... Just look at what happened to you two. Magic has existed in this world for less than a day and she is already half dead."
"But we need her power!! You didn't see how strong that Mia girl was!!"
"Maybe... But I still won't force my friend to join a fight she wants no part in..."
"!!!??" x 2
Both Lilith and Ellie turned around with shocked expressions after hearing the voice of the woman laying on the hospital bed that was now looking at them with a very enraged expression.
"But this fight... I definitely want part in!!"