Author's Note: Heya Readers, both new and old!
After a year since Magica Academy Volume 2 finished, I have finally started working on Volume 3! The Tri-Continental Tournament is underway, and the students of the academies will be duking it out in a series of fights!
But first, we're kicking this Volume off with the backstory of the antagonists of the series. So grab some popcorn or another snack, kick back, and enjoy! And thank you all for supporting me all this time!
As for when the real first chapter will come out, expect that sometime in ths next month or two.
Now here we go, to the continuation of this grand tale!
Revenge...that's what I aim for. Revenge against the Casters for slaughtering my kind centuries ago.
Whenever I feel like my efforts to accomplish this goal are for naught...I remember what led me down this path, and regain my resolve. My story...that began seventeen years ago.
The Hidden Lands...that's where I was born. A continent on the far side of The Magical World, hidden from most people. Wild...dangerous...unfit for people to live in. And yet, here we Sorcerers were, being born and raised, with a great possibility of getting hurt, sick, or dying.
I can just barely recall what my mother's arms felt like. Like many other women, she caught a fatal illness and died when I was only a month old. My father...he died on hunting trip to a big Spectre before I was born, so I never got to know who he was. As a result, I grew up in an orphanage with other parentless children.
"Alright children." The old headmistress, Airi said tiredly, serving porridge with a ladle. "Eat up."
Thirteen year old Nyx Caelum watched the food fall into her bowl with a look of frustration.
"Why is it always the same thing every day?" She questioned. "Not just breakfast, but lunch and dinner too?"
That earned her a bob on the noggin, which made her shriek and hold her head.
"Just be grateful we have anything to eat." Airi scolded.
As she walked off, Nyx sighed and reluctantly shoveled the bland tasting meal into her mouth.
Beside her, Stewart Jenkins shook his head in disbelief.
"She's right, you know." He pointed out. "We got little else but this. Not just us, but everyone of us in Twilight Village, and the rest of the Hidden Lands."
"Hmph." Nyx set down her spoon and crossed her arms. "Doesn't mean I have to like it..."
Serene Rosette, who sat on her other side, put a comforting hand on her shoulder and smiled.
"At least we're able to live." She said softly. "I'd eat this every day, as long as it keeps me alive to see you."
Nyx's expression softened. Serene always had that peculiar effect on her. The dark haired girl's frustrations and troubles seemed to go away as long as the blonde was around, even if only for a bit.
But still...the worries were still on Nyx's mind.
"Even so..." She muttered. "Don't you feel like this is just umfair? Why are we living like this in the first place?"
"Did you already forget our History lesson?" Stewart said in annoyance. "The Casters-"
"Defeated us Sorcerers centuries ago, I know. But...what did we do to deserve...all of this?"
"We terrorized them, simple as that. We used our powers to try taking over what we now call the Real World, and this was our punishment. Living in the middle of nowhere, stricken with poverty and poor living conditions."
"Even then...were we really that bad in the past?"
That question continued to haunt me for the next two years. In order to the answer to that, I went through all the books in our meager library whenever I had the time. But all I could find was the histories that were already told to us, and eventually I considered dropping my quest for answers.
The now fifteen year old Nyx sighed in disappointment as she shut the last book and set it down.
"Nothing..." She muttered. "No matter how many times I read...Was this really all for nothing?"
She got up from her seat and walked over to a window and looked out at the dreary village.
Out there, tired and miserable people were going about, trying to prepare for the next storm. Some carried firewood and what fruits and vegetables they could their homes. Others nailed up hastily made boards on their cracked windows and broken rooftops. Then there were the few fit people who were preparing stone spears, clubs, and arrows to hunt for meat.
Such a primitive way to live...and a terrible one.
"We couldn't have deserved this...right?" Nyx sadly said to herself.
"Nyx!" Serene called.
The dark haired girl turned to see her friend happily waving at her from the library's entrance.
"It's time for our walk!" The blonde informed.
"Alright!" Nyx said with a slight smile, walking over to her.
Spending time with Serene like this always made her feel better. When they held hands, Nyx's body became warm and fuzzy. Her best friend suddenly made the hell of the Hidden Lands a bit more bearable.
Even the most stormy days were cozy, with Serene at her side...
But as they strolled through the village, hand-in-hand, Nyx couldn't help but feel like her best friend deserved a better life than this. In fact...everyone here did. Which brought her back to that question again...Were the Sorcerers really that bad in the past?
Of course, Serene noticed her look of worry.
"Are you still thinking about what might have happened in the past?" She asked in concern.
"I can't help it." Nyx said with a hint of shame. "It's just...we aren't bad. The Sorcerers here aren't bad. It just makes me question if our ancestors were actually bad. Did they really deserve to get punished like this? Do we deserve to carry on this punishment?"
"Hmm...I don't know, honestly. But...why do you worry so much about it?"
"Because maybe we deserve a better life than this."
Nyx stopped in the center of the village and spread out her arms, sporting a look of frustration.
"Look around, Serene. We are just barely surviving out here in the Hidden Lands. We are cursed with this miserable existence. Doesn't it just seem unfair to you that we are being punished for mistakes our ancestors may or may not have made?"
Serene looked down uncertainly. "When you put it like that...I guess it is too harsh. But what can we do about it?"
"Nothing." Nyx admitted, deflating. "We can't do anything unless we know for sure what happened all those centuries ago. That's why I'm going to keep searching for those answers."
"Just don't push yourself too hard, okay? I worry about you a lot these days..."
The dark haired girl gave her blonde friend a soft look, and reached up to cup her cheek.
"I won't." She assured. "Thank you, for caring about me so much."
Serene returned the soft gaze, and put her own hand over Nyx's.
So with Serene's wellbeing on my mind, I poured myself back into the pages of the library books. I wemt through them again and again, looking for any hidden texts or clues to what I was looking for. But within a week, I was exhausted, and close to giving up...
Nyx sighed tiredly as she set down the book she was reading. Slight bags hung under her eyes, and she was close to nodding off.
"Why can't..." She murmured. "I find any...thing..."
"Maybe you just aren't looking in the right place." Stewart said.
She jerked up and shook her head, then looked to see him standing across from her.
"Why are you here?" She questioned.
"Serene told me what you were doing." He answered, reaching into his bag. "She asked me to help out, and I felt obliged to do so. Here, I found this in Airi's office."
He took out a sealed envelope and handed it to Nyx, who hesitantly took it. On the front, she could see that her name was written in cursive.
"You risked getting in trouble...to help me?" She murmured, incredulous.
"Er...yes." Stewart said, looking away awkwardly. "You and Serene are my best friends. I couldn't turn down a chance to help."
She smiled softly. "Thank you, Stewart."
The small Sorcerer tore open the envelope and took out the folded letter within. Her eyes widened as she saw the name of the sender.
"Ava Caelum." She muttered. "Is that...my mother?"
She unfolded the letter and read its contents.
My Dear Nyx,
If you are reading this letter, then that means I have passed on, and am unable to talk to you. I had good old Airi hold onto this until you were of age, and ready to undertake a great responsibility. I have so much to tell you. About our ancestors...their actions back in the days of the Magical World War...and the matter of your heritage...our heritage.
My daughter, we Sorcerers were born with Dark magic that was different from the ones normal Casters possessed. Misfortune plagued us due to our initial difficulties in containing it, and that caused Casters to fear us. By the time we did get a grip on our powers...it was far too late. We were persecuted, slaughtered, and driven away from our homes.
How do I know this? It's because of the tales of Diana Caelum, our ancestor from that time. Her records were kept in a special diary that was passed down through the generations.
And that brings me to our heritage, Nyx. Our family was once a royal one. We used to be queens and kings of the Sorcerers, powerful and wise. But after the war...we fell out of power and became like everyone else. You are the last of our bloodline, and the Princess of Sorcerers.
And that is all I am able to say here. From here on, you will have choices to make.
You will find a small treasure chest buried at the old oak tree west of Twilight Village. In that, you will find a map and Diana's diary, along with a crown. Whatever choose to do with them...just know that I would have supported you no matter what.
I love you, my dear. I'll always be watching over you.
"Mom..." Nyx tearfully whispered as she read the last line.
Stewart awkwardly put a hand on her shoulder, blushing from apparent embarrassment.
"It's alright." He muttered. "Let it out."
It was only a small gesture, but I appreciated it anyway. Stewart was never really the touchy type, so something like that...it meant a lot. So for a while, I just cried in that library, with him watching over me. After that...I thought about what I should do with the new revelation my mother's letter gave me.
A princess...that's what I really was. My family used to lead the Sorcerers with power and wisdom, but they lost their royal status after the war. Now...I had the chance to reclaim rule over my kind. I had the chance to turn things around for them...for my best friends...for Serene.
But first...I needed to confirm this with the headmistress.
Nyx knocked on the door to Airi's office, letter in hand.
"Come in!" The headmistress admitted.
Nyx stepped inside, and Airi raised an eyebrow as she noticed the letter.
"So you had it." The old lady said. "I figured you did."
"I needed to know if what I was thinking was true." Nyx said solemnly, stepping up to the desk. "And according to the words my mother wrote...that may be. Tell me, how valid are these statements of hers?"
"Why ask me?"
"Good old Airi...Mom called you that. Like you were friends once."
Airi smiled slightly. "Clever, just like her. Yes, I used to be her friend. Back when the Caelums were royalty, my own ancestors were their attendants. Yes, your family was royalty, and you are the Princess of Sorcerers. Everything in that letter was true."
Nyx clutched the letter to her chest. "So it was...and now I have a great responsibility ahead of me."
"That, you do. But it is your choice if you want to take it or not. Just know that whatever you decide, you will have friends who will always stand by you."
"I know. Thank you, for taking care of us for so long, and alleviating my doubts."
After that, I went to the old oak tree to the west and dug through the dirt beneath it. As Mom had said, there was a small treasure chest.
Nyx brushed off the dirt on the chest, revealing worn, yet sturdy wood. She took a moment to breathe, then opened it to see the contents.
Just as the letter said. A folded, yellowing piece of paper, which Nyx unfolded to reveal a map of what she presumed to be the Hidden Lands. She put it back in, then took out a crown from the treasure chest. It was golden, and very ornate, with purple and black jewels embedded around it.
Then finally...a leather bound book with a purple ribbon extending from the spine.
"Diana Caelum's diary..." Nyx muttered.
She opened it and began to read the fanciful cursive writing that filled the pages.
21st of June, 1774
My eighteenth birthday has come at last. I am set for my coronation, and am ready to take the mantle of Queen.
It has been a hard century and a half. We Sorcerers fought our misfortunes every day of every year, surviving and learning about the Dark magic that brought them. And now, with it under control, I think it is time to reach out to the Casters and make amends with them.
That shall be my first act as Queen of the Sorcerers. I am hopeful that it shall succeed.
24th of July, 1774
After much deliberation and preparations, it is now time for me to set out and make peace with the Casters. I, along with my attendants, shall be meeting with the Four Mystic Kings in Bermuda, about a week away from here by boat. If they are willing to speak, perhaps there is hope for my kind after all.
2nd of August, 1774
I was foolish...I couldn't believe that they would do this. I didn't think that they could stoop so low...
Everything was fine at first. We had docked at Bermuda with little trouble. We received a seemingly warm welcome from the people, and even had a great banquet once we arrived at the castle.
It was such a joyous occasion...and then everything came crashing down.
The Mystic Kings and their guards turned their blades and magic on us. That's when they admitted that it was all a trap to slaughter me. And after that, they would go after the rest of my people.
My attendants and I had no choice but to run...It took all we had to get through the hostile people in the town and get onboard the ship. One of my attendants died that day...
This betrayal...it hurts my heart so. I can't forgive the Casters for what they did. If they want to slaughter us...then we'll fight back and slaughter them in turn. Tomorrow...war shall be declared.
10th of September, 1785
We failed...I can't believe it...
How could we fight so hard for our own peace...yet lose to those savages and their beasts?
And now, as the Magical World War ends and the kingdom that I so lovingly called home burns to the ground...I wonder if I can even call myself a Queen. I tried leading my people through those dark times, but we only ended up getting conquered in the end.
I have failed at being and powerful. I was unable to lead and protect when it mattered most...I am not fit to be Queen.
So as my kind goes into hiding, I have no choice but to give up my title and be just like them. The Royal Family shall be no more. Goodbye, to our freedom and happiness.
1st of December, 1800
The Goddess has alighted. To my astonishment, she punished us even more than we already were.
She created a new world for the Casters and us Sorcerers...and then left us on the shores of a stormy continent. Where the Casters went, I do not know. But surely it is a better place than this.
As we travel through the cold and rain, I am making a map of the continent in case we ever need it.
Someday, we may venture out into the rest of this new world, which the Goddess called the Magical World. Maybe we can find our place and be happy again. I can only hope...that the Casters do not ruin our lives again.
But from what the Goddess said, they have not forgotten us. They still hate us...fear us...They will try to kill us if we make our appearance after so long. Because of that, we will slaughter them first.
And so I leave my crown aside, along with this diary and the map. Maybe someday, we Sorcerers will rise again, led by me or someone of the Royal Family bloodline.
To you, whoever you are, I hope you choose to bring us back from the darkness the Casters pushed us into.
After reading through the last sentence, Nyx slowly closed the diary. At that moment, it started to rain heavily.
"Casters..." She muttered, putting the diary back in the chest.
She picked the crown and stared at it for a while.
All I felt then...was anger. Anger at the Casters for betraying the trust of my ancestors, for trying to kill every last one of them, and for not getting any retribution in return. I also felt anger for that Goddess...Gaia, who was supposed to be a benevolent being...persecuted us too. She did nothing to help us, and instead cast us out here to these desolate lands.
I knew what I had to do now. I was going to unleash every bit of hell that the Casters and the Goddess inflicted on us, right back at them. Together with my brethren, we would get our revenge on those who tormented us.
Then we could have this world for ourselves. No, not just this one...the other one as well.
Nyx walked to the village square, crown and chest in one arm, as the storm became fiercer. But even amidst the thunder and heavy winds, she barely faltered.
She then stopped and clenched her free hand. A magical black energy began to swirl around it.
"We shall rise again," She said vehemently, eyes darkening. "and conquer both worlds!"
The magic in her hand pulsed, and she let out a shout as she unleashed a wave of darkness at the stormy sky. A lightning bolt struck it midway, causing an explosion that shook Twilight Village to its core. The clouds above were scattered as the blast hit them as well.
Rain fell upon the village no more...and all was silent for a little while.
The villagers slowly came out of their homes, looking around at the clear skies in awe. Then their eyes fell upin Nyx, and they froze.
"Sorcerers of Twilight Village!" She announced, taking the crown out. "I, Nyx Caelum, am here to declare that we shall not tolerate living in this wretched poverty any longer!"
The people began to whisper to each other.
"Did that girl really clear the storm?" One man said.
"Not tolerate this poverty?" Another said. "What does that mean?"
Nyx looked around at them for a moment, then took a deep breath.
"What do I mean by this?" She continued. "Nearly three centuries ago, we Sorcerers were unfairly persecuted and slaughtered! The Casters betrayed promises of peace and drove us away from our homes! But that isn't even the worst part! The Goddess of Life betrayed her own benevolence and persecuted us as well, leaving us stranded in these desolate Hidden Lands and unable to live in prosperity!"
The mutterings increased, this time with hints of anger.
"Is this really true?" A woman said.
"Sounds like it to me." Another said. "This is dreadful!"
Serene and Stewart stepped towards Nyx, who looked at them solemnly.
"Are you really going to do this?" Serene asked in concern.
"You know there's no going back." Stewart said with a frown.
Nyx nodded. "I know. But if we want a better future...we must."
She looked around at the crowd again and continued.
"Everything I said is true! i know this because I have read the diary of my ancestor, Queen Diana Caelum! She reached out to the Casters, and tried to make peace! But you know what they did? Lured her into a trap and tried to kill her! She had no choice but to declare war in order to save her people!"
She held up the crown to prove her words.
"I am her descendant! I was given a choice! Do I just sit in this hellhole and let us suffer, while the Casters just live their undeserved easy lives? Or do I take up this crown and lead us all down the path of war? I would rather fight for the life we deserve and get revenge on those who persecuted us! But what about all of you? Will you follow me for a chance at prosperity? Or will you just sit here and waste your lives away?"
The villagers looked at each other, clearly very hesitant. But one by one, their expressions became ones of determination and they stepped forward to Nyx. They all got on their knees, bowing to her.
Serene and Stewart bowed right at her feet.
"Wherever you go, we will follow." Stewart said.
"I promise to serve you with every fiber of my being." Serene declared.
Nyx smiled at all of them, then looked out towards the stormy horizon.
"We got a long journey ahead of us." She said. "Everyone, tear down your homes and pack up the remains, along with your belongings. We set out today!"
Once we were ready, we set out to the southeast. Thanks the map, we kept on the path towards the end of the continent.
It wasn't an easy journey, however. The storms kept coming, no matter how many times I tried to keep them away. My body would quickly become fatigued, and my people would suffer under the harsh rain and wind. Some became sick. A few others died...
Yet somehow, we made it.
Nyx and Serene gazed out at the sea, admiring how the water glittered under the spectacularly bright sun on the horizon.
"It's so beautiful..." The blonde murmured. "It's like we're in a paradise."
Nyx shook her head. "Not yet. We must venture out and find the lands where the Casters live. And then...we must prepare to fight."
"Do you really think we can win?"
The short girl gently grasped her friend's hand, then used a thumb to rub the palm of it.
"I know we can." Nyx said confidently. "Because we're all here."
She turned to see the villagers moving about, constructing the hull of a ship with the pieces of their old homes. Nearby, Stewart and Airi were directing everyone's materials to the correct places.
The hopeful looks the people had on their faces made Serene smile.
"You're right." She said softly. "Nyx...let's forge a path to a better future, together."
Nyx nodded, looking up at her. "Yes. But Serene, I cannot watch over the others alone. I need people I can really trust to uphold their morale. And most of all...I need someone to always be there for me, and standing at my side."
She raised her free hand and cupped Serene's sheek. The blonde blushed, but didn't protest. Instead she placed her own hand over Nyx's.
Nyx's face heated up. "Serene, my best friend...and the one I love. Will you become my Queen, and help me guide our people to prosperity?"
The blonde beamed at her, eyes tearing up. "Yes! I will!"
Their lips found each other, and they kissed. For a while, the world meant nothing to them. All that mattered right there was each other, and their mutual feelings of love.
I knew, that with Serene at my side, everything would be fine. Even if everything were to come crashing down at the end...I would be okay, because she would be with me.
But that didn't mean I should be complacent. Instead, I would do everything in my power to achieve our goal.
Once the ship was built, we ventured out into the sea. We sailed across the waters for days, weeks...until two months had passed.
We ran out of rations and fresh water. Some of us who got sick during the journey through the Hidden Lands ended up dying. It was hard to watch them get tossed overboard...
Even Airi...ended up succumbing to lack of nutrition. I had never cried so much before...
The Goddess...and her Casters...they really are the cruelest beings in existence.
Eventually, we hit land. An island filled with magical creatures called Spectres. They are Goddess's creations that the Casters used during the Magical World War. Seeing how good that land looked...really did confirm my suspicions of Casters having it easy outside the Hidden Lands.
Well, now it was time for us to have prosperity.
Ten months later, we had made a good home for ourselves. It was the first step towards a great future for us.
Of course, we needed infornation on our enemies too. So during this time, I had Stewart and a few others go out to find the Casters and gauge their strength.
When they finally returned...I was astonished by what went on during our centuries of isolation.
"Academies..." Nyx mused as she looked at the sea. "The Casters don't have any army at all? Only these teenagers?"
"They do have agents called Enforcers." Stewart said with a frown. "They're highly skilled professional Casters. Those are who we should be wary of. Word is that they're starting to notice the activity around here, in this Isle of Damnation."
"Hmmm...that'll be a problem. We need to hide ourselves."
Nyx looked up at the lightly clouded sky, and let out a sad sigh.
"This sun was nice while it lasted." She said, raising her arms.
She closed her eyes, then took a deep breath. Her face contorted as she concentrated her Dark magic into a ball. It gradually became bigger...and bigger...until it was the size of herself.
As the magic pulsed, she raised it above her head. With a shout, she launched the dark ball towards the sky. It disappeared into the clouds for a moment...and then exploded.
Darkness spread out over the island, completely covering it within the minute. The only light now was from the torches of the confused villagers.
"Perfect..." Nyx said tiredly, wobbling a little.
Stewart took her in his arms, shaking his head in disbelief.
"You really are reckless." He chastised. "Be more careful with yourself. We can't have you dropping dead on us."
"Mmmhmmm..." Nyx moaned, nodding slightly and closing her eyes.
And so that's how my conquest against the Casters began.
They can send their Enforcers, their students, and their Spectres. They can do everything they can to stop us, and drive us back to Hell again. But so long as I have the will to keep fighting, I will keep trying to annihilate them. My brethren and I will get revenge, I swear it on the name of my bloodline.
I, Queen Nyx Caelum of the Sorcerers, am going to lead us all to prosperity. And nothing will stand in our way.
Not even you, Goddess of Life.