It was deep under the ground. Deeper than the mantle below the crust beneath the waves.
In other words, it welled up from the core of the star.
“There is a signal on the instrumentation.”
Instruments in the Empire’s forty-seventh survey institution, situated in the south-western part of the Mudle Gorge, had detected a sudden abnormality underground.
There was a flutter of conversation.
“Magnitude one, focal depth of approximately ten-thousand metres.”
“High-temperature reaction observed. It’s not a tectonic earthquake, it seems likely that it is due to something moving underground.”
“Magnitude two, focal depth has risen to nine-thousand metres.”
“That’s quick, is it a lava flow?”
“There are no active volcanoes in the mountain ranges nearby. It seems unlikely a lava flow would be heading for the surface.”
“Then what is it?”
Amongst the men and women of all ranks speaking over each other, one person spoke.
“…What about star spirit energy?”
Silence fell over the room. All present held their breath and stared intensely at the instruments.
“There is an eruption of star spirit energy…”
“Is a Vortex going to form here!?”
‘Star spirit’ was un-analysed energy from the planet. There was but one thing that mankind knew about this strange energy, that was the nature of those that were touched by the star spirit. A century ago, people touched by the star spirit were born with certain marks and had powers like the magic of fairy tales. It was the birth of the first ‘Witch’ and ‘Warlock’.
“Waves that seem to be star spirit energy are continuing to rise to the surface!”
“It will soon arrive at the surface. With the strength of the flow, it’s only a matter of time before a Vortex forms above-ground!”
Tension mixed into their voices.
A Vortex was a location that star spirit energy erupted. A century ago, one formed under the imperial capital and spread star spirit energy throughout the empire, creating thousands of Witches and Warlocks. And then persecution towards them began. A war between humans and non-humans.
The Vortex could perhaps be called the main reason for this war.
“One will come forth here?”
“…It will become the worst struggle.”
Witches and Warlocks were created through contact with star spirit energy. And if those that already had were to touch a Vortex, the touch of the star spirit was known to grow stronger.
“If the Witch’s Paradise… if the Nebulis Imperial Household Agency were to seize it…”
“Their Witches and Warlocks will be strengthened, this is no joke!”
They must not allow it to be stolen. The survival of ‘humans’ that had not been touched by the star spirit depended on it.
It would be a struggle all the more terrifying than that for territory or resources.
“Hurry, alert the capital!”
“We have detected a high energy reaction characteristic of a Vortex formation and predict it to occur in the next several days.”
We request combat support. We must hold the Vortex!”
Two hours later, a decision was passed down from the imperial capital’s highest governing body, the Eight Grand Apostles.
One battalion will be dispatched from headquarters.
Furthermore, contact the Holy Apostles. Due to the likelihood that the Nebulis Imperial Household Agency will mobilise several of the Star Spirit Corps and the Purebloods, the Holy Apostles eighth seat, Nameless, will be made available.
At the same time, a phoenix landed on the shoulder of a descendant of the Great Witch, a Pureblood called Kisshing Zoa Nebulis and flew off from the Imperial Household Agency.
The Imperial Army and the Star Spirit Corps, the superhumans called the Holy Apostles and the strongest witches called the Purebloods.
Thus the curtain rose on the grand ‘struggle’ between humans and non-humans.