His Solution
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Alina might not be an accomplished Oneiromancer, but she knew how to interpret dreams. There were four types of dreams, and only two has meaning. One of them was soul communication dreams where two mages could talk to each other using dreams as a medium. While the other was prophetic dreams predicting the future.

A prophecy was meaningless if no one believed in it. The universe will forget its existence after a certain period of time has passed, and the prophecy would become null and voided. Alina would have no idea if Bianca believed in what she saw. If she did, she hid it well.

That girl was more expressionless than any mages Alina met before. If she doesn’t have the characteristic and bearings of a noble, everyone would have mistaken Bianca as a mage. Her mask of cold indifference was commendable. It was hard to put such an act in the face of adversity. Alina couldn’t comprehend how she did it with a smile.

Later after the fire sprinkler incident, the Court Mage of the Imperial Palace, the Crown Princess, and the Oneiromancer’s Orb Holder gathered in the Imperial Library. Prince Raimond refused to be called the Second Prince because the alternative title sounds cooler to him.

The Oneiromancer’s Orb wasn’t a legendary artefact. It was a mass-produced object used in dream divination. Mass-produced or not, it was still magical in nature. The fact that it used to be owned by a beautiful woman was a plus, the Prince thought.

“Alright, we’re here. My brother won’t be joining us tonight. He is too busy trying to understand how politic between nations works. What are we going to do now?” Prince Raimond asked, spinning the orb on his pointer finger.

“Wait, I have an idea! Come closer, Bianca!”

Bianca obeyed the Prince’s request, only to immediately regret her decision. She felt a blunt object hit the backside of her head, and she knew no more.

“Problem solved.”

The Prince’s quick solution impressed Alina. Although the fastest solutions weren’t usually the best solution, this would do for now. Bianca’s condition would worsen otherwise.

“We can’t use this method too often, though. It’s not healthy. Let’s find a safer way to cure her sleep deprivation.”

Alina wanted to protest. Now that Bianca was out of commission, the Prince’s attention was focused solely on Alina and no one else. She didn't want him to revert into a fool suddenly.

“Is it safe to leave Bianca here?”

“We are not leaving anyone. This floor has everything we need.”

Prince Raimond kept his wit with him this time, much to Alina’s relief. There were time and place for everything. Alina was glad to know that the Prince cared for Bianca enough not to benefit the situation.

“How did you know what’s on this floor?”

“I asked the librarian nicely.”

Prince Raimond nodded to Deo, and Deo nodded back. It looked like someone will be getting his salary raised this month.

“Bianca can’t sleep because of nightmares. Nightmares are dreams. What if we prevented her from dreaming?”

“Isn’t that what you just did? You hit Bianca with the orb, and it’s not showing anything.”

Alina could brew a potion that caused anyone drinking it to fall into a dreamless sleep, but it was not healthy either. She was hesitant to suggest it as a solution since using it for a prolonged time could cause addictions.

“The Crown Princess must stay healthy. It’s on her job description. We have no time to hire another one, Bianca can’t be replaced. She is invaluable to us.”

“Are you sure you’re not overreacting? What if the nightmares stopped without us needing to do anything?”

“You’re right. I must be overreacting. But I’m Bianca’s only friend. It’s my duty to worry about her.”

Does Bianca have no friends other than Prince Raimond? She was more mage-like than Alina previously thought. Mages have no friends, only associates. Come to think of it; there were plenty of similarities between mages and nobles, minus the obsession with reaching out to the truth.

“We still need to find something just in case the nightmares won’t go away, though. Better be safe than sorry. My uncle can’t sleep for three days, and now he can see spirits.”

“Isn’t that a good thing?”

“Some spirits are hostile to someone who can see them. They don’t like being seen.”

Spirits were weird. Unlike people, those weirdoes didn’t die when they were killed, returning to their birthplace to reform instead. They came in various shapes and sizes, from animals to humans. The more human they looked, the more powerful they were.

“Speaking of spirits, I have an idea. Let’s speak to the manager! If someone has a solution, it’s her!”

“The manager?” Alina couldn’t help but ask. She had a bad feeling about this.

“Marcyziel, the Gifter. A Spirit Queen who governs dreams.”

Alina gave Prince Raimond a disapproving look. One doesn’t simply invoke the Dream Archon because they have trouble sleeping. It was like going to the hospital because of a paper cut.

“What? You’d rather me speak to the Spirit Queen of Procrastination instead?”

“How did you know so much about spirits?”

“My uncle won’t stop talking about them.”

In theory, speaking to an Archon wouldn’t be as hard as talking to a God or a Goddess. They were great spirits powerful enough to influence some aspect of human lives, but they weren’t divine spirits.

The Allfather created all manner of spirits to aid him in keeping the universe from self-destructing. Divine spirits were the most overpowered of them all, but they were also the most overworked. With great power came great responsibility.

It was no wonder the Goddess of Death loathed war, famine, and pestilence. They caused the numbers of dead people to skyrocket, making her job harder. She wrote a letter of resignation every day and got rejected daily.

One day, she had enough and went on a vacation. It ended up badly. The dead don’t stay dead until she returned to work. Or until they got blown to bits and stopped moving. Being trapped in a decayed body wasn’t a pleasant experience for everyone involved. A healthy body was required for a healthy mind and soul.

“Alright, let’s do this! Marcyziel, can you hear me?”

It won’t be going to work. Prince Raimond must be out of his mind or desperate enough even to consider trying. The orb was a device to view dreams, not to communicate with an Archon.  

However, Alina forgot that dreams could be used as a medium for communication between two or more people. What happened next reminded her of that fact. The Dream Archon responded.

 “Loud and clear. How may I help you?”

 

 

 

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