The Mistaken Goddess
She was a lost girl whose different clothes and a different tongue showed and proved she was yet another 'casualty' of the Gate in Alnus.
Sages Cato El Altestan and his student Lelei La Lalena found her on the way back from Rondel near their village, Coda.
They took her in, taught her their language and their way of life after that.
The girl, Reina Lucerna Potter was aghast at the barbaric laws of their nation, especially regarding slavery.
Laws lesson was last because culture was more important, followed by biology.
But she liked the countryside life as its peaceful.
'For now its peaceful but we ain't that optimistic Reina.' Cato shook his head. 'Bandits might come anytime, raid and raze our village, us men killed and you and Lelei...well...y'know.' he said uncomfortably.
'Not if I had anything to say about that!' Reina swore. 'Rape and Slavery back home are Capital Punishment Crimes!'
'Here its not as long as its our current monarchy that rules.' said Lelei dispassionately. 'Been that way for decades. All we can do is be careful and slit our throats for our dignity if we're fast enough.'
Reina looked utterly dismayed.
She continued studying Cato's many books while Cato taught Lelei magic. He's apparently a master of explosive magic, and finding underground water wells which was why despite being a small village, Coda was well-off albeit barely. Due to this, they were controlling their population just so there's enough food for everybody that Reina is the last person allowed in by the Mayor because she was an otherworlder not here by her own free will. She can stay until she's independent enough to move out due to food concerns because their farming lands despite abundance of water, is terribly small!
One day, Reina looked at their farms. Its too small.
'Hey Lelei, whose dumb idea was it, to make farms this small?' she asked her senior apprentice as the farms were big enough to last only four months at most, not a year. 'This size can't make even a hamlet happy.'
'What's a hamlet?' Lelei asked curiously.
'Its a community smaller than a village. Lesser in size and population.' Reina told her. 'Over a thousand years ago in my world, Hamlets existed but because humans are so plenty in number, communities are labelled by three distinctions now; village, town and city.'
'But still, why won't the village make the farms bigger?'
'Well, every young man here left for greener pastures, save for married men and elderly men.' said Lelei. 'It needs a lot of men to plow, dig and clear the forest.'
'Well, no wonder this village has food troubles.' she muttered. 'Hey, can I borrow your staff for a bit?'
'Eh?' Lelei blinked before giving Reina her staff.
'I'm a magic user back home, but I'm a sitting duck without a magical focus and I'm still a student, only just finishing second year when I got curious about the space-warp at the school grounds...and you know the rest.' Reina sighed as she stabbed the ground with the staff.
Rocks, grass and weeds floated above ground and separated, making a pile of rocks and plants. The trees then had their leaves disappear, and the trunks turned into sheets of paper, floating towards them and arranged into a neat pile before being weighed by rocks.
'There! Bigger farmlands!' Reina beamed smugly as Lelei's jaws dropped.
'N-no way?!' she gawked.
'And we can use the paper for everyone's use and we don't have to pay a single coin either!'
'But paper from trees?' Lelei gasped out, still wide-eyed as it was beyond her comprehension. 'Paper is made of animal skins!'
'I know but this is more efficient and cheaper. Sadly, they get soggy and burn easily if exposed to fire and water.' Reina shrugged. 'But cheap material to teach poor kids how to read and write, right? Paper back home is made from trees because they find killing animals for their skins for paper is barbaric and a waste of life especially if everything about the animal wasn't used. So livestock are often used as paper sources before people discovered you can make paper from trees because animal skin is better for keeping us warm instead.' Reina explained. 'I don't know how to do it the manual way so I used magic. Paper's made by hand in factories and I've never been to one. Would kids go to factories?'
'W-well, when you put it that way...'
Needless to say, they had to call for help to deal with a massive pile of papers Reina created just to clear more land for farming...and she made paper out of trees. The issues for school training was resolved that parents could continue teaching their kids how to read, write and do maths while the men hauled away the grass and weeds, and the rocks.
They had to make sure the weeds are alright before giving them to livestock with the grass.
Because Reina enlarged their fields and nothing in the way, farming went smoother in plowing for irrigation and seeding.
However, during the night, Reina made everything grow to ripeness.
When the villagers found out, they thought its Reina again they asked her nicely to do it again after they re-seeded to be able to have full stomachs during winter for once!
Thus the whole village's womenfolk was busy with preparing food preserves, and the menfolk with the harvesting and re-seeding. For once that year's winter, everyone ate well.
By the time both girls are fifteen(despite physique differences), Reina was worshiped as a Goddess of Agriculture and praying to her to the point that...
'Master! I feel really weird!' Reina cried, barging on his lessons with Lelei in another spell.
'Weird?' the two sages chorused.
'I-I don't know! I feel a weird surge inside me...I don't get it...I have to let loose somehow...' Reina clearly struggled even getting up. 'Lelei, lend me your staff again! I have to let loose real bad!' she begged desperately because she seemed to feel something very wrong with her and she couldn't understand why.
'A-alright!' Lelei choked as she turned trees into blank books this time, with hardbound wooden covers, and tree sap as their glue. The grounds cleaned as usual for bigger space and leveled even and Reina finally had relief.
'Feel better now?' Cato asked the collapsed girl. 'Lelei get the books! Goodness knows they're expensive we can write on them for free!'
'A-alright now...what's wrong with me?' Reina stammered feebly, unable to even move.
'Its because of worship.' Cato and Lelei looked to see a fairy elf dressed like a priest. But he's no ordinary mere priest...he's an Apostle by the weapon he has. A freaking huge sword.
'Worship?!' the sages sputtered incredulously.
'Yes. You wouldn't know since you three live way out here than actually within the village...but since Reina started helping the farms out, people suddenly got the idea that the village taking Reina in out of kindness is a test of character, which paid off and they were blessed with bountiful harvests.'
'Are you freaking kidding meee?!' Reina squawked from the incredulity of it all. 'I'm a magic-using witch back home! I'm no goddess! I'm human who can use magic hence people back home call us witches! We're definitely not goddesses!' she freaked out. And she thought she's finally away from the weirdness in her life!
'Well, the power of worship affects us apostles and gods and when we heard this village praying to you, a human with unusual magical powers, the power of worship is filling you and with you so close to your worshipers, you'll become a goddess, but a low-ranking goddess as only one community worships you, not a whole world so your powers as Goddess of Agriculture is limited based on their prayers.'
'I never asked for this, please help me!' Reina begged desperately. 'I only made the farmland big for more food and made them grow fast to last us bad seasons!'
'Well, that's what I'm here for since I'm the nearest apostle in the area.' said the elf. 'I am the Apostle of Flare, Granham. So Reina, you're just using your magic for more food for the villagers, not to make them see you as a deity?'
'Gimme a break! You guys can read mortal minds right?!' Reina was getting annoyed now as she forced herself to at least sit up with quite a struggle.
'Just asking to be sure since I'm an apostle, not a deity.' Granham shrugged. 'I was sent here by my patron deity since I'm the nearest to smoothen things out since the Gods were talking about the matter when they began worshiping a human all of a sudden and your magic is reacting to the worship, slowly changing you. Good thing I got here so fast. Now I must be on my way.' and he ran off.
'...that was shocking.' said Cato. 'So if people are sincere in their worship, its power of prayer goes to their patrons but in Reina's case, she's slowly growing in power until she evolves into a goddess?'
'Oh, hell no.' Reina moped. 'Immortality is just a lifelong boredom sentence, and the torture of seeing people around you die. I'd rather be mortal, thanks.' she grumbled. 'Whoever wished for immortality, are outright the biggest idiots in the world!'
Well, those words annoyed some gods who are indeed, super bored while people dying is a normal thing.
Rules are rules but as she is not a native of their world being from another, and her powers too unusual for them to work with...in fact, the nature of their powers is almost the exact same yet she is human, they are gods whose powers are within their aspects.
So if she was destined to become a deity anyway, why not?
But rules are rules of course.
Granham received new orders from his liege. 'Eh? Oh, OK. Change of plans so soon...'
He had to assemble the villagers with his voice. Upon recognizing him, they immediately paid respects. 'I have come on behalf of all gods since I just happened to be nearby.' he said. 'They have seen what's happening in this village and we wish to clear a misunderstanding.'
'A misunderstanding?' the Mayor asked.
'Yes. Reina wasn't a test of character sent to either reward or curse the village based on treatment towards her. She is a different type of magic user who simply helped out, out of good will and out of concern due to the size of your farms.' Granham explained. 'When you started worshiping her, she started to suffer severe power incontinence due to how much power she suddenly gets from you and just recently released that energy by vacating more space so to speak, and wound up creating a lot of empty books for people to write on. If she loses control of her powers before she can rein it in and evolve to a deity, the consequences will be dire.' he warned. 'The nature of her magic is very unusual that our environment affects her and her powers.'
'On behalf of everyone and Reina herself who's currently ill in her house from power overload, we ask of you to kindly stop worshiping her, and simply continue on treating her kindly as a member of the community as she really helps out of good will. She doesn't wish to be a deity.'
'She'll be alright in a few days.' Cato told the Mayor who was with some townsfolk. 'She was bad off earlier though. She could barely walk and in pain, asking Lelei to lend her, her staff just so she could spend the excess powers too much for her.'
'I see...well, we thought she really is a deity in human form sent to us...her powers are too surreal.'
'Surreal indeed. Magic-users from her world must be incredible if even she who just finished two years of schooling there can do so much.' Cato nodded sagely. 'And there's seven years in total before graduation to full adulthood. For now, she really asks not to pray to her anymore. We better go to Rondel to buy her a magic staff soon.'
So treatment of Reina went back to normal and when she recovered, she was well enough to travel to Rondel.
'Oh, you'll buy me a magic staff? But aren't those expensive?' Reina asked worriedly.
'Don't worry, Master has a lot of patents from Rondel and despite how he looks, he's wealthy.' said Lelei as Cato sweatdropped from her last few words. 'He doesn't have the same problems as most sages.'
In Rondel, where everyone...well, almost everyone were Sages trying to learn more about their world to improve standards of living, or learning or discovering new magic.
But to do this, you need money.
Thus nearly everyone doesn't get far without a financial patron, or a lucrative job. But if you're an excellent sage, you'll get patents and money raining on you you don't need to lift a finger for money.
But for sages like Cato who's on demand and has patents in Rondel, money is of no issue at all, that life was comfortable.
'I guess so, but a single staff will cost 3 sinks if you're not a student from Lindon Magic School...'
In this world, there are many units of money, reminding Reina of the Victorian Period in history classes.
Swani, Sink, Denari, Solda, Clo, Aku and Bita.
Only, unlike victorian money, the worth of the first four is very, very high. When she calculated, its frigging six times over with Swani being enough to classify 'life savings'. Having one swani alone means you're set for life for at least, 10 years if alone as an individual.
Its such that Reina can't imagine a single, cheapest staff from Rondel costing 3 sinks, enough for a person to live the good life for at least, 5 years if spent wisely.
Days later, she finally got her own staff. As a third year student under Cato, her staff reflects such, while Lelei's staff changed because she's nearly about to graduate.
Months later...summer time...
They received news that there's a Flame Dragon on the loose that everyone has to evacuate and hide.
'A Flame Dragon?' Reina asked. 'They really exist?'
'They really do, but they hibernate for fifty years before waking up again, as if its waiting for food to breed before sowing disaster and fill up its belly before sleeping again.' Cato tsked as they prepared in packing. Clothes, money, preserved foodstuff, medicine... 'Nobody so far, killed one so every fifty years, its a dreaded event to all of us.'
'Oh...must be one big giant if its world-wide feared.'
'You have no idea...' Cato shuddered. 'If you see one, hide in a place where it can't reach you whether by claw or flame.'
'Aaand how are we gonna do that when we packed everything but the house?' Reina pointed out as all three sages looked at their loaded cart. 'Even with me making it feather-light, its still impossible to run and if the horse panics, we'll all be thrown off along with the load...'
With that, they left their home with little trouble.
When they got to town however, there was some hold-up.
'Ah Cato, Lelei, Reina, sorry about the hold-up, but the axle on one of the carts up front broke because its overloaded!'
'Ah, I'll fix it, I need a little help though.' Reina offered.
'Huh, really?! What help?'
'The lifting so I can fix it without missing anything I didn't see so let's unload the front cart first.'
'Hey, they're unloading? Aren't they leaving because of the dragon?' a female soldier wondered.
'We ask. Hey, why unload?' one of the men in green asked the nearest guy.
'Reina fix cart. She Sage.' said the man. 'Magic.'
'Oh!' they watched as after they unloaded the cart, Reina tapped the cart with her staff for the guys to lift it up, and she was given the broken pieces before she pieced things, and the damage repaired seamlessly as if the cart didn't break! The girl helped up the horse and healed a young woman.
'Wow, we got a flame dragon, an elf and now a magic girl!' another soldier gushed out excitedly. 'I wish the outfit was cuter though!'
'Can it Kurata, this world's fashion just plain sucks, this looks like fantasy medieval land or something!'
When everything's fixed...Reina made every wagon featherlight by losing about 90% of its weight before they could proceed.
And on the road...
'Hey, have you determined who they are?' Lelei asked Reina. 'They're not mercenaries or soldiers from the imperial army...no armor too.'
'They got armor alright, under their clothes.' said Reina. 'These people are from my world.'
'Your world?!' Cato and Lelei stared at her incredulously.
'Yes. Just that we are different countries.' said Reina. 'So languages are different unlike this world where there's only one.' she explained. 'By appearance alone, they're from the east side of the world. So the capital opened a gate to Earth, eh?' she snorted. 'They're morons. Earth's military is powerful. They can't do squat. Just like at Alnus. One-sided massacre.'
'And why are we going with them then?' Cato asked, suddenly terrified because of the picture she painted.
'Humanitarian charity, so to speak. War aside, they also help refugees who were casualties simply because they're in a bad place at a bad time if you got nothing to do with their enemy. So we are very safe for now until we're relocated.' she said.
However, despite her aid, the travel is slow-going under the baking sun.
They stopped for a bit for some reason...before moving on again...not long after that, however...
'SHIT!' Reina yelped in english as there it is...a giant dragon as its massive, dark crimson beastly appearance descended on them.
'It's here!' Cato gasped in horror as all hell broke loose in panic. 'Talk about bad luck!'
Those in the middle had bad luck alright...its chaos and mayhem, but the military fought them off...not without Reina magically chaining the dragon down and even muzzling it, so the army and the other two sages gave it all they got before she ran out of power, and it fled after losing both its arms.
'I'll never do that again.' Cato whimpered. 'We only have one life!'
'I agree...I'm never doing that again.' Lelei groaned.
'I think I'm scarred for life.' Reina shivered. 'Too young to die, only 15! No way, nuh-uh!'
'And I want to enjoy my remaining retirement!' Cato added his sentiments.
Lelei sighed. Why must she be the only mature one in the house?
Soon, the caravan made a decision.
Those who had relatives in other towns decided to go separate ways now that the dragon fled away to lick its wounds, no better chance than this. So all that's left were those who had no relatives and nowhere to go because going back home, is suicidal. But Reina took both arms and made it float behind them.
'Er, usefulness aside, why take it?'
'For saving them some trouble because Earth will never believe they fought off a dragon and lived to tell the tale. Their means of interpreting news depends on what they've got and' said Reina. 'Because while our kind hid away from humans, no magical creatures existed and dragons classify as magical creatures there even if all they can do is breathe fire.'
That was a lie because she has to keep some stuff secret.
The floating gigantic severed limbs caused quite a spectacle in the base and even funnier, the 3rd Recon Team had no idea the refugees brought it along!
'So Reina, why bring arms?' one of the men asked in awkward local.
'You know, its easier if you speak in English you know.' Reina spoke in english as clearly as she could without her British accent(that she lost and got used to without it when learning Local) that made all of them do a double-take. 'I'm from Earth too after all.'
Chaos ensued twice in the base.
It took them a few minutes to recover their bearings.
'Done being shocked now?' Reina snorted in amusement. 'Can you guys speak English? Your Local-nese needs a bit more polishing. To be fair you just came here a short time ago.'
'O-OK, we'd like to ask again.' one of the women's english was good at least though when she said 'like', it sounded like 'raik'. 'Why did you bring the dragon arms with you?'
'Knowing social media in Earth, they won't believe you without proof after all and think you're making up the dragon attack. And as you're in the military, politics will come into play, right?' the woman looked stunned and since she spoke english loudly and clearly, they were able to understand in their own way thanks to lessons in military academy though that depended on how much attention they paid in class. 'They will take advantage of the fact that you got refugees killed under your care and using a so-called 'dragon' as an excuse for cover up so I did you guys a favor by bringing its arms with us as solid proof you really did live to tell the tale about it.'
'W-wow. You thought about that a lot!' the woman gasped as she talked to her colleagues in her native tongue who looked just as astonished by the time she was done.
'Thanks for consideration!' said a man gratefully. 'We hate politics too!'
'So what country are you from?'
'I'm from England.'
'1993. Been here for two years now.' the soldiers were shocked and frantically talked about themselves again that made Reina worried. Very worried.
She has a bad feeling about this because they were being horrified and frantic.
'Er, Reina-chan? Its year 2059 now back home...'
This time, its Reina who had a bad reaction. She fainted!
Back to Japanese language...
'OOOK, that went well...' 1st Lieutenant Itami Youji groaned, scratching his head. 'We have a British girl stuck here for two years when clearly, the time back home is so fast that before she knew it, 66 years passed by. Her family's probably dead by now she has nothing to come home to at all.'
'Poor Reina-chan, that would suck...' Kurata winced in utter sympathy, voicing out everyone else's thoughts. For Reina who's been here for two years she'd thought same time went by in Earth, only to learn everyone she knew are either still alive as grannies and grandpas or dead.
'But still, we have a British National here with us who's here for two years let's ask her opinion when she wakes.' Itami told his team. 'You guys watch over her and do something about the arms too, I'll talk with Major Higaki and the General. Britain might use her as an excuse to bring their military here we're gonna have to be careful. As she says, politics will take advantage of this and we don't know Britain's stance on us being free to travel here. I'll tell them about this but we'll wait to ask of her opinion about her going home or staying here although I bet my doujinshi collection she'd rather stay here.'
And when he brought the topic up to two superiors, they both wanted a freaking drink because this could potentially make Itami's theories become reality and both men really don't feel up to sharing houseroom with british soldiers due to protocols and even they have to do secrecy in their operations!
'So, one British girl who went native, native enough to be able to do magic is among the refugees you brought back out of sheer luck...before we pass this in a report, we'll have to wait for her to wake up as this can get in the wrong hands.' General Hazama decided. 'Keep an eye on Reina. What's her full name?'
'Its Reina Lucerna La Potter.' said Itami. 'She added the 'la' because she worships the patron Deity of Studies and its what locals do here, add a part of the name of their patron deity to their name as a sign of religious affiliation. We asked some stuff before we got to asking why she brought the arms with us. She told us many things and, well...life here is like ancient times wherein being the loser means the winner can do whatever they want with you that Slavery is pretty much the norm here, but while they can deal with labor since it means free food and room, the girls would rather slit their own throats than be a sex slave. They're ready for that which is...disturbing.' he shuddered. 'The cause of that is the greatest power in this world, the monarchy she described was a mix of ancient greek and roman by their outfits alone.'
'We'd like to hear more about that...'
Reina came to in a rather different bedroom.
It was too clean and sterile in appearance and she was dressed in what clearly looks like a school uniform.
Its a white dress shirt, a knitted cream-colored jumper, and a maroon pleated skirt with black tights. By the floor, were a pair of brown loafers and her staff was leaning on the wall.
Now, she wondered what else she'll have to deal with.
Upon leaving the room, she was clearly in the military base as judging by the window scenery, no tall buildings anywhere and the buildings outside were temporary constructs. Cheap stuff they won't miss.
For her, she has no idea what to feel to be so close to Earth again but she didn't want to go back. What's there to go back for? Her fortune was little consolation and she has no family who'd tell her they want her and they care for her. Hogwarts wasn't worth returning to either after all the crap she endured there in two years for the 150 points Incident and being accused as Slytherin's Heir just for being a Parselmouth that she took a leaf off of Hermione's book and began researching spells to help her with life, ignoring all else and carried the spells she liked in a notebook she shrinks in her robe pockets, and she still has her notebook even if she knew them by heart. So she gave up on returning to Earth. And diving in books paid off.
'A school uniform...how long has it been since I wore stuff like this...' she mused as she looked at herself in the mirror. 'And...earth underwear for that matter.'
When the soldiers saw her awake, she was taken to the radio room and told to wait for General Hazama.
When the man came...
'Thank goodness you're awake, there's only so long we can delay our reports.' he said in relief. 'While we have what's with this world covered, we need to know all about you in turn...and ahem, local-nese.'
Oh boy, its all about her this time.
She had to ensure she said believable lies that ended to her Primary Education and 'why she started late until the Gate happened'. With any luck, anyone who remembers her are long dead now, and old files discarded to make room for more. Due to the truth that was her life, she'd rather stay here despite the risks of what being a girl in this world entailed, and she wants to learn japanese swordsmanship and martial arts in return for teaching Local-nese. She can get her own sword by forging a sword using the dragon's scales.
She did NOT want to learn the very extremely outdated swordsmanship of this world that belongs to ancient Greece and Rome!
That, and in exchange for a few things that's 'legal by standards' in this world, she's willing to transform the 'war loot' they had ignored since they can't use the currency in earth, into nice gold, silver and bronze bars to pay for it all.
'Wait, legal by standards?' Hazama paused. 'What do you mean?'
'As I told those guys earlier, Gods really do exist, and their apostles, individuals who roam the mortal plane granted immortality, divine powers and superhuman capabilities. They act by keeping everything in balance and in check. Stuff brought in from other worlds that classify as food, fashion, medicine and architecture is OK as well as standards of living, skills in jobs and improved techniques of farming and martial arts. But revolutionary technology beyond the current age of human civilization? Oh, hell no, that's a Death Sentence and Emroy, the god of Darkness and Violence already sent Rory Mercury your way to keep an eye on you to make sure you don't teach or give illegal stuff to natives here.'
'While its OK to teach them how to drive and use firearms and explosives as you'll be gone in the future with the illegal goods anyway, giving them the means to create it, is a big no-no. Machines are also seriously no.' Reina shook her head. 'You're all gonna die if you do that. Just saying.' she said much to the disturbed general's disbelief. 'Ancient techniques that match this world's time and cultural development is OK but Rory will have to look into it first. Through her, Emroy will learn it too and he'll deem what's within the rules and what's illegal in this world.'
'Very well.' General Hazama nodded. 'We'll stick to the rules. But is there any similar resources here other than metal?'
'Well, there's the Cursed Burning Swamp in Elbe Province south of here that's pitch-black Master told us about...I'm guessing that's Crude Oil or at least close to it...since its something Earth has, Earth can harvest it as long as you don't tell the natives what it really is and what it can be used for since it classifies as Future Technology they can't have yet. As far as people knows, its cursed if its black waters burn. Pfft...right...' Reina snorted with an eye roll. 'Oil is the only black water that burns. It should be OK as the natives fear the swamp and avoid it with a veeeery wide berth.'
If that were true, Hazama thought, its free fuel the Special Region Forces can use, if they got through legal channels before harvesting it for their own use.
'We'll check it out soon when we get things done by the book. Well, I guess this means business transaction concluded.'