One day has passed since my wish had been granted. I have a full grasp of Novas explanation regarding the wish cycle. I saved up my final wish and it carried over to todays wish inventory—I am able to grant up to four wishes today.
Because Nova wants to destroy the castle, I had managed to get video footage of this place using an older bat Cobot. Despite the fact that I threw a knife at it earlier, it still works perfectly fine and the video footage came out clear—surprising for a model thats as old as I am. Nova helped me with explanations, so I am thankful towards him.
He is enigmatic, but very wise and intelligent. I hope that we can change the world together. Now that I think about it, there is something I just remembered regarding Nova. He said that wishes have restrictions. I wonder what those restrictions are. I need to know. I hope I will find the time to ask and listen.
Arcturus closed his journal and then looked up. Nova was lying across from him; his head was resting on his coat that he had taken off and folded as a makeshift pillow for Nova. Arcturus felt rather chilly in his current clothes, so he rubbed his arms with his hands to warm himself.
”Are you feeling any better? ”
”Just give me a few minutes. ” Nova replied breathily. He had an arm over his forehead and eyes, trying his best to appease his headache.
Arcturus wondered what motion sickness felt like; he had never had it. For Nova to be affected by it constantly meant that he was a lot frailer than he seemed. Protecting Nova seemed more of a difficult task than what he had assumed. Regardless, he would do his best to protect him.
He read over what he had written just for time to pass by. He then heard shifting noises and looked up to see Nova sitting up and rubbing his temples.
”Are you feeling better? ”
”Im fine now. ” Nova handed him his coat back. He stretched his arms and then took a deep breath.
Nova was still, which made Arcturus slightly worried. He called out to him. Nova turned to him and smiled. ”No need to worry. I was just thinking. ”
”The only possible way to destroy this castle. ”
”And that would be…? ”
”Wish for its destruction. ”
It took him a few seconds to process those words. ”What? ”
”This castle was created from a wish. One of Souhaits brethren had wished for a place where they could all reside and watch over Terrenter. A castle made with indestructible ice—one that will never melt under the sun—that was how Castle Lavender came to be. ”
Indestructible ice…is he talking about the Ilacian ices? Arcturus wondered as he realized the connection. Everything makes sense now.
”So, the origins of incandescent ice came from wishes? ”
”Yes. It is a product created from a wish. ”
So its only incandescent ice and not iridescent and pearlescent? Interesting…
”So, is all incandescent ice from this castle? ”
”This was the origin, but technology has made it so that it can be replicated without the need to get it from here. It had been such a long time since the ice had been taken from this castle. Its basically useless now. ”
”But its filled with history. ”
e still willing to destroy history? ”
”I have to. Its best to leave it behind only as a memory. ”
Arcturus saw a glint in Novas eyes; they were telling him that Novas decision remained firm. Knowing that persuasion was futile, Arcturus just sighed. He then thought about how to destroy the castle. Should he blast it into smithereens?
After the last bout with explosions, I think its best that I give my eardrums a rest. I think its just best to make it collapse.
He then raised a hand to his chest. He gulped. He was nervous, but he knew that hesitation was not an answer. ”I wish for Castle Lavender to collapse quickly. ”
Seconds after his sentence stopped, tremors happened. Arcturus and Nova were caught by surprise; Nova fell onto his knees. Arcturus realized that they had to leave quickly. The exit was very far from the throne room and knew that the platform wouldn help either. He then knew what to do. At the cost of another wish, he wished for both Nova and him to teleport out of the castle; he had imagined his campsite while doing so.
Teleportation felt like being at another place in a blink of an eye. Arcturus quickly checked his surroundings. Nova was next to him; the charred wood underneath his feet indicated that he really was at his campsite. The cave started tremoring as well; the ceiling started to crumble.
”Lets get out of here! ” Nova yelled as he grabbed Arcturuss wrist and dragged him out before they were caught in the destruction.
Arcturus had been prepared to traverse through the blizzard, but what surprised him more than the collapsing tower was the lack of harrowing snow. His face wasn being pelted by small chunks of ice. He checked his surroundings; the feeling of being able to see his surroundings on this island made him overwhelmed; it felt so novel that it terrified him.
”Why is there no blizzard? ” Arcturus inquired; his voice was rather higher in pitch. ”Where is the blizzard? ”
”It seems to have ended. ”
”How? Wasn it called the Eternal Blizzard? ”
”The blizzard was just a barrier that existed to conceal Castle Lavender from wayward intruders. It was Souhaits creation and now he is done with it—its no longer needed. ”
Arcturus was rather fascinated. ”Interesting. ” Novas explanation eased him. He was able to adjust to the new sight now. The tremors had ceased, so he turned around to see a giant pile of rubble. The castle was broken, so he couldn see how big it originally was, which he found unfortunate. An overwhelming feeling surged within him.
”This is the power of wishes… ” He muttered. ”Its powerful yet terrifying to know that my words can cause such a result. ”
”Are you scared? ”
”A bit. ”
”Lets get going, ” Nova remarked. ”Our mission to grant the wishes of all living beings starts now. ”
Excitement came to him as they started walking. Arcturus quickly stopped as his eyes were glued to Novas feet. The snow was very deep that his bare feet were sinking in; his ankles and Achilles tendons were slightly red too.
”Whats the matter? ” Nova asked.
”Are you going to be fine without any shoes and gloves? Your clothes are also very light for this weather. ”
”Ill be fine. The cold doesn bother me at all. ”
Nova interrupted him. ”If it makes you feel better, Souhait is blocking my sense of touch right now. Everything I touch has no feeling whatsoever. ”
His words did leave Arcturus rather relieved. They continued walking. Arcturus took the chance to scan his surroundings. There wasn much to see. Everywhere around him was just snow and trees. There was no sight of a city or other people anywhere; he wasn even sure how much time had passed. The sky was cloudy but the surroundings were still bright, so Arcturus knew it was still daytime.
”Where is Sirius? I don see a city in plain sight anywhere. ”
”Sirius is quite an interesting city. It exists, but it can be seen by others. ”
”Is this a riddle of sorts? ”
”Not really. ”
Despite his answer, Arcturus decided to be in deep thought. He wondered how a city could exist yet be invisible simultaneously. An answer came to him. Perhaps, its underground? He did not want to ask Nova about this because he wanted to see it for himself; he kept silent about it.
”It seems that you have already figured it out, ” Nova remarked.
His words made Arcturus flustered. Am I that easy to read?
He decided to change the topic before Nova teased him even more. ”Come to think of it, you did say that wishes have restrictions. Could you tell me what they are? ”
”There are nine restrictions in total. Are you sure you want to know what they all are? ”
”Very well then. Lets take a break underneath that tree. Ill explain everything to you. ”
They headed towards a forest and took a break underneath the first tree they saw. Arcturus used his gloved hands to shovel away snow just to make a nice resting spot for both of them. Nova looked rather comfortable despite the wet dirt dirtying his pants; Arcturus didn mind since he had worn layers underneath his pants. He had taken out his journal just to take down notes.
Nova stared at the sky before clearing his throat. ”The first restriction is that one shall not be greedy and ask for more wishes. Doing so will get their ability taken away. ”
”So, I can ask for more wishes throughout a day? ” Arcturus asked.
”Yes. Souhait has created the hree wishes a day cycle and thats the rule. Trying to abuse that cycle only angers him. ”
Arcturus was rather curious. ”An angry Souhait…whats he like? ” He couldn imagine the rather gentle and serious Souhait angered.
He found it hard to imagine, but he knew to trust Novas words due to Nova and Souhaits connection. He placed a hand on his should. ”I feel for you. ”
”Im used to it. ”
Arcturus jotted their conversation down. Nova took the chance to continue on.
”The second restriction is that one shall not use wishes to break laws. Doing so will get their ability taken away. ”
”What kind of laws? ”
”All types of laws. Criminal laws, health laws, immigration laws…anything of the sort. Laws are created to help people. Breaking them only causes disarray. In order for this world to become peaceful, such confusion must not happen. Thus, this restriction was instilled onto every contract. ”
Thinking deeply, the restriction did make sense. Humans created laws to stabilize and control their own people. Without them, the world would probably be even more chaotic than its current state. He assumed Souhait was meticulous when applying these restrictions.
Nova continued as soon as Arcturus finished writing, ”The third restriction is that one shall not use wishes for malicious purposes. Doing so will get either their ability taken away or death. ”
”How is that different from breaking the law? ”
”Even if one were to break a law, what type it is varies and how severe it is when disobeyed. Malicious purposes, on the other hand, are terrible things like ****, murder, brainwashing—anything that harms another for ones selfish and evil purposes. ”
”So why either their ability taken away or death? Why not the latter? ”
”It all really depends on Souhaits moral views. He can be lenient for some things but not all. ”
”I see… ”
Arcturus jotted down his words, but also added some additional comments on the side. Souhait seems rather controlling regarding these restrictions, but its understandable. This is his world, after all. Though, the world right now is in a chaotic state. Everyone is selfish—selflessness is rare. I wonder how many people will die in order for Nova to complete his goal.
”The fourth restriction, ” Nova had cleared his throat before continuing, ”One shall not wish for the resurrection of a passing life. Doing so will result in the contractor or potential contractors death. ”
A chill surged down his spine as Arcturus looked up at the sky; the sky was getting darker. He then stared at Nova with an exasperated look. He wondered why he felt nervous when Nova had mentiond death previously. Was it because this was the only consequence? It felt grimmer to him, as if Nova was being stricter with these restrictions.
He cautiously asked, ”Why? ”
”Because resurrection is insanity. Why ruin the norms of the world by doing something so…deranged? I get that its normal to want a loved one back, but at what cost? Happiness? They will die again and the cycle of grief will only continue. Let the dead rest. People who are alive have the capability to move on. The dead won truly die if the continue to be remembered. ”
His words made sense. What would be the purpose of mortality if resurrection were to be a common recurrence? Death would just be meaningless if one had the power to resurrect. Even if he had missed his mother dearly, he knew that her coming back to life would leave complexities in his heart—all he wanted was just to remember her occasionally. The most important question would be if deceased want to be resurrected. Resurrection seemed like an inconvenience for anyone involved.
”I understand. ”
Nova was quick to move on, ”Fifth restriction, one shall not use wishes for world conquest. Terrenter was made from Souhait and his peoples wish for a place to call home. His people are no longer here, so Terrenter belongs to Souhait and only him. Anyone that desires Terrenter will die. ”
”Possessive much? ”
”Not me. Souhait. ”
”He seems quite possessive. How unexpected. ” Arcturus felt a tinge of disappointment within him.
”He is. You might be enarmored with him due to him being a figure of lore, but hes very human like you. In fact, hes so human that you might even become appalled with him. ”
Arcturus, exasperated, exclaimed, ”How? ”
Nova paused. He nodded while zoned out and then fixated his attention back to Arcturus. ”Youll know in due time. ”
He just avoided my question. Regardless, he thought about his words. As he thought deeply, Novas words made sense. Terrenter was Souhaits creation, thus it belongs to him. Humans in this world were his creation, thus they all belonged to him theoretically. It made sense for him to restrict world domination.
As he placed his pen on the paper, Nova hastily continued, ”The sixth—
Arcturus raised a hand to Novas face. ”Hold on! Let me finish! ”
”Fine. Tell me when you
e done. ”
It took a few minutes to jot everything down. Once he finished, he had told Nova as promised. Nova cleared his throat and continued on.
”The sixth restriction is that wishes can only be activated when I am awake. When I am asleep, they do not work. Those who fail to understand and obey this restriction will face dire consequences. ”
”Does this affect the three-day cycle? ” Arcturus inquired.
”No. If I am asleep on one of the three-day cycles, you will still have your inventory. The positive thing is that if the next day were to pass that isn a fourth day, the wishes will carry over and you can have a large inventory of wishes on a new day. ”
Arcturus tried to process his words, but it left him circling back to the beginning. He raised an eyebrow and then scratched the back of his head. ”This is very confusing. ”
Nova paused; he seemed to have gotten an idea as he fixated his attention back at Arcturus. ”Lets say that the difference between my being asleep on a three-day cycle and a fourth day is the time. If I sleep on a three-day cycle, its only in intervals since I am granting wishes. For a fourth day, I am asleep the whole day. ”
It made slightly more sense to him now. There would be moments where he cannot grant his own wishes even on a three-day cycle. He made a note to himself to be very prepared for any time Nova fell asleep. He had to be understanding of this, or it could cost him his life.
Nova continued, ”Seventh restriction: Failure to cooperate with fellow Contractors will lead to either getting your ability taken away or death. It depends on how severe the disobedience is. ”
”So, you value teamwork and cooperation? ”
”Of course. In order to achieve world peace, we need people to work together harmoniously. What this world lacks is a sense of cooperation. I can sense how selfish people are nowadays. ”
”What does selfishness feel like? ”
”It feels like a sting. Just a prick at first, but then I feel shocking after-effects. ”
”Interesting. ” Arcturus jotted it down. He then wondered if Nova felt different things with different emotions. He made note to ask about different feelings whenever he had the chance; he felt like this would be a good idea to put in a book in order to humanize Nova and help his future readers understand him. He fixated his attention back on Nova.
”The eighth restriction is that failure to cooperate with me will lead to either getting your ability taken away or death. ”
”Why is it that you
e so lenient on letting people die? Isn your mission to grant the wishes of all living beings in Terrenter? ”
”Isn that normal for humans? They don prioritize those that hate them. If theres someone who doesn like me, why should I care? Also, I didn say theyd only die. I would also take away their ability if their disobedience isn that bad. ”
Novas words weren those of ignorance or stupidity; rather, they were ones of wisdom. Arcturus saw an amalgamation of emotions swimming around in those lavender eyes. He could tell Nova was a lot older than he looked and went through so much. He wanted to know more, but knew that now wasn the time.
”Can you tell me the final restriction? ”
Nova cleared his throat. He first glanced up at the sky and then at Arcturus. ”The ninth and final restriction: If I were to disobey any of these restrictions, I will die. ”
Arcturus froze. He couldn budge his hand. The pen felt strangely cold despite his hand being gloved. A chill surged down his spine.
”You will d-die? ” He had stuttered because his tongue felt cold.
”Yes. Which is why I must obey these restrictions no matter what. I value my life after all. ”
Suddenly, he recalled Souhaits words about Nova back at the Contract Room. He understood what Souhait meant. ”The people around you can die, but you can . How is death even possible for you? ”
”Even if I live on forever, I am not omnipotent. There are only two ways to kill me. One is for me to disobey any of these restrictions. ”
Knowing Novas silence on the second method, Arcturus cautiously asked, ”And the second? ”
Novas face slowly contorted into one full of sadness as he reached a hand out and gently held Arcturuss earring. ”All I can say that the second method of killing me is a very sad and cruel way. Its best that I do not say it. It is a very hard method. ”
Arcturus knew that the only answer he had was to accept Novas words. They only just met, so he knew that Nova keeping secrets from him was normal. He hoped there would be a day where Nova opened up to him completely; he wanted to do whatever he can to help Nova ease a possible pain in his heart.
”I understand… ”
Nova gave him a sad smile as he removed his hand. Once he finished jotting down his notes, Arcturus closed his journal and put it back into his satchel. He then stretched his arms before getting up.
”I guess thats enough resting for now. We need to get to Sirius. ”
Nova got up. ”Yes. ”
Although Arcturus was the one who suggested resuming, he didn move at all. Nova took a few steps before noticing Arcturuss lack of footsteps. He turned around confused.
”Arcturus? Aren you going to move? ”
Arcturus wasn sure what to do. He wanted to move, but he felt like it wasn right to say something good before resuming. He was a bit embarrassed to say this to Nova, but he mustered up the courage. He took a deep breath.
”Thank you. ”
Nova looked even more confused. ”For what? ”
”Well, having the time and effort to answer everything about restrictions. Im sure that there were some that you didn want to talk about, so Im sorry. ”
”Theres no need to apologize. Besides, mentioning the restrictions is a requirement for me. ”
”I see… ”
”We should start walking. Its going to be dark soon. ”
Nova took another step forward, but Arcturus stopped him once again.
”What is it now? ” Nova asked.
”You can call me Arc. I only let my close friends and family call me that. ”
Because he and Nova would be stuck with each other now, Arcturus knew that he had to break the barrier between them as quickly as possible. Amidst his flustered reaction, he looked at Nova who seemed to be surprised. He then gave him a beaming smile.
”Okay, Arc. ”
Arcturus preferred being called by his nickname, so hearing someone say it after so long made him feel happy. Arcturus took a step forward, and the two finally resumed walking; the sky gradually became darker.
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