Once Upon a Time in Lugunica is a side story featured in Gekkan Comic Alive that takes place 15 years before the main story.
The story begins with the coronation of Roswaal L Mathers, who is 14 at the time on this story. The current king, Randohal Lugnica, is leading this coronation and gives a speech to Roswaal, advising him to get to know and trust the subjects surrounding him.
Afterwards, we change to Roswaal's POV, with him muttering about the experience. The narration suggest Roswaal's previous incarnation; Roswaal K Mathers had died suddenly, forcing Roswaal into his currently position. Despite only recently changing bodies, he has ventured to the capital alone, lacking any servants or guards. He notes how he was nervous during the coronation, lamenting the fact he had been away from the public eye for quite some time, however, he now has places to visit such as the Magical Research Institute. After leaving the inn and walking around the city, he begins feeling sentimental over being one of the capital city's best protectors. He notes how easy it is for him to begin feeling nostalgic, and how he had previously avoided meeting his previous acquaintances to prevent this feeling. Whilst in this line of though, a young boy steals an ornament from Roswaal. Roswaal gives chase, saying the ornament is important to him. After moving into an alleyway, a figure seperates the two, and Roswaal tries to negotiate for the item back, however hostilities arise and Roswaal strikes the man, but much to Roswaal's surprise, the man isn't knocked unconcious and is hit by a powerful blow that sends him flying across the alleyway, knocking him unconscious. Before he passes out, he notes to himself that he is "not ready for this yet".
Roswaal awakens to first aid being performed on him, with the man recognising Roswaal as the new head of the Mathers household, surprising Roswaal with his knowledge. After some talking, the man agrees to help him, with the idea that a favour from the Mathers household would be profitable, as well as introducing himself as Russell Fellow.
Roswaal provides more details of the situation to Russell, with Russell speculating the men who robbed him were from "the Brotherhood". We are told that The Brotherhood are a collection of poor people rebelling against class discrimination in the capital, and the man Roswaal ran into was probably the leader of said group. As they wander an alleyway, Roswaal notes he still feels pain, lamenting that he has never had an aptitude for healing magic in any of his bodies, even after introducing Blue's bloodline. Roswaal believes healing magic is the most gentle magic in the world, and that never being able to learn it is a curser on his bloodline, with him believing that the reason he doesn't have an aptitude for it is his lack of care for life. Russell brings up that another faction the Gold Wing Party has been an issue for the Imperial Knights, with them being made up of weak nobles and are in conflict with The Brotherhood due to differing viewpoints. During this conversation, they run into a small child with red hair, and he asks them to wait a moment, as his father is working persuading a friend. Roswaal abides by the child's request and asks him to provide the name of his father, with the child replying that his father is Heinkel Astrea.
We then cut to Heinkel and Marcos Gildark having a discussion about Marcos re-joining the Royal Guards, with Marcus not really responding and asking why Heinkel accepted a job he is unsuited for. Heinkel says he was pressured into it, but he has a duty to do it, just like Marcos. The argument continues to escalate, before Heinkel leaves, with Marcos telling him not to return because he cannot stand looking at his face. After Heinkel has left, Marcos sighs before glancing at a young teen who had entered the alleyway.
Marcos and Roswaal banter a bit, with Roswaal jabbing at how dejected Marcos made Heinkel look, before asking if they are also trying to force him back into the guards, which Russell denies. It is revealed that Marcos was the one who Roswaal been attacked by earlier, with Marcos deriding Roswaal for being an aristocrat, however Roswaal points out Marcos is merely pretending to hate aristocrats which causes Marcos to react violently. The two fight, with Russell promising information on the "Golden Wing Faction" if Marcos beats Roswaal.
We cut back to Heinkel, who is angry at himself for failing, expecting disappointment from his peers, before running into Reinhard van Astrea. He expresses shock at his presence, as he was supposed to be waiting at the Astrea mansion. Reinhard claims he was worried about his dad, with Heinkel apologising for yelling at him because he was worried. He asks Reinhard not to worry about him so much, asking him to stay by Louanna Astrea's side, before briefly touching upon his disagreement with Marcos. Reinhard asks if Heinkel would be happy if he came back to the Royal Guards, which he replies that he would, and Reinhard softly mutters to himself "I received it."
Returning to the battle between Roswaal and Marcos, who are having a martial duel, with Roswaal thinking if he could use magic for this battle, he could win easily. After exchanging some blows Marcos eventually is defeated, but Roswaal believes there is more fight yet in him.
A small timeskip then happens, with Roswaal complaining about his victory, refusing to accept he had won, due to Marcos giving up instead of being truly defeated. Due to being defeated, Marcos abides by the agreement to return Roswaal's ornament. After some interaction with some minor members of The Brotherhood, Roswaal comments how the group is becoming a bunch of outlaws, only being held together by their hatred of the "Gold Wing Party". After some dialogue on why Roswaal cannot be apart of the "Gold Wing Party", he asks why Marcos would be running a gang like this. Marcos responds by saying he never enjoyed his job, locking up poor, starving slumdwellers and disliking the class division. After hearing this, Roswaal comes up with a scheme, with him asking Marcos if he would like to be his accomplice.
We then get an introduction to the leader of the Gold Wing Party, Fareed Ibsen, with his motivations being patriotisms for his country, with him acknowledging discrimination, increasing hostilities with Vollachia, and increasing class disparity. Fareed is interrupted by Russell, who asks for some of his time. Skipping ahead, we see a meeting between the top 5 members of both The Brotherhood and the Gold Wing Party in a former tavern owned by Roswaal J Mathers. Roswaal claims he wants to solve the issue between the two factions, as escalation of the conflict between them would harm the capital. An argument arises, however Roswaal silences both parties, pointing out on their own, they can make no difference due to their lack of power. He then proposes a business idea on the production and sale of Meteors to provide jobs and giving more power to both factions, and providing jobs to slumdwellers. With this the meeting ends, with Marcos agreeing with Roswaal. After the meeting, Marcos tells Roswaal he is going back to the Royal Guards, noting he feels odd about the decision, but not upset with it.
A small skip occurs, with an unknown figure (presumably Roswaal or Russell) talking to the boy who stole Roswaal's ornament early. They discuss some business to do with the Gold Wing Party, before the topic shifts to asking if an incident of mind control was detected. The figure then look towards the manor at the edge of the aristocratic district, The Astrea Mansion.
We shift to the Astrea Mansion at night, with Heinkel being awoken by a strange presence. He wonders if Reinhard has woken up, thinking to himself due to the lack of Louanna, he was not very familiar with fatherhood, thinking he wasn't doing enough, with a lot of the slack being picked up by his parents and the elderly servants of the mansion. He notices an open window, before being threatened by a sharp and glassy voice. The voice claims Heinkel is under suspicion of a civil disturbance. Heinkel thinks to himself it's probably not only him, but Reinhard and Louanna being held as hostages as well, before asking if there is any way to clear suspicion surrounding him. The figure then says "The Divine Protection of Mind Changing" has been sensed around him, with the figure claiming it had been used of Marcos Gildark. Heinkel asks what the protection did to him, with the figure replying it made him re-join the Royal Guards. After this Heinkel dashes away from the figure, heading straight to Reinhard, before grabbing him and asking if he was responsible, which Reinhard claims he was. Heinkel assures Reinhard he isn't angry with him, however begs Reinhard to never use the Divine Protection of Mind Changing again, yelling so the unknown figures in the mansion can hear him. He then begins begging saying "I'll tell my son about his power! He will never use it again! So please! Reinhard is good! He's a sweet boy! He's Louanna's boy! He's a treasure to me and Louanna!". He begs for them to not take Reinhard due to himself already losing so much, sobbing as he does. After the presence in the mansion disappears, Reinhard says "I've erased it", with Heinkel assuming he just turned it off, before Reinhard asks to be able to sleep with Heinkel. Heinkel agrees and suggests sleeping together in Louanna's room. As they leave the room, Reinhard sees a figure by the window, and sees the figure mouth "If you care about your family, do your best to serve the kingdom.".
In the final section of this story, we see Roswaal saying farewell to Fareed and The Brotherhood's new leader, Leno Rex. Roswaal thinks to himself how fruitful this experience was, with him gaining contacts with Russell and Marcos, and having a good connection to factions in the capital. With all this in mind, Roswaal smirks and begins his journey home.
- Roswaal L Mathers
- Russell Fellow
- Marcos Gildark
- Reinhard van Astrea
- Heinkel Astrea
- Fareed Impusen
- Adnell Impusen (Mentioned)
- Leno Rex