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Thread: Lord El Melloi II Case Files

  1. #561
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six asterism42's Avatar
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    They glow red in the presence of mana, I think

    - - - Updated - - -

    Dropping her gaze, Gray spoke up in a reserved voice.

    "Why are your eyes a different colour now?"

    As Gray had pointed out, normally my eyes were a fiery red colour. Now, however, they probably looked more like a brilliant blue.

    Gently touching the area around my eyes, I smiled.

    "This is their natural colour, you know? Ah, now that you mention it, it's about that time isn't it?"

    I took some of my eye medicine out from my coat. Holding my eyes shut, I waited for the medicine to soak in before opening them again.

    "It's because of my particular kind of Mystic Eyes. When my eyes come into contact with magical energy, they start turning red as a side effect."
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  2. #562
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors
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    So are Reines' Mystic Eyes just useful for telling her that there is magic in use somewhere or is there more to them than just going red and giving off a burning sensation?

    Also I've been wondering, TwilightsCall, what was the cause of the schedule slip between Chapter 2 Part 2 & Chapter 2 Part 3? It was quite a long wait.
    Last edited by warellis; March 19th, 2018 at 09:28 PM.

  3. #563
    鬼 Ogre-like You's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canon View Post
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    That's exaggerating my point.

  4. #564
    Not always a dragon Draconic's Avatar
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    I volunteer to do the final editing again once this is finished when I compile the chapters into PDFs.
    Likes attention, shiny objects, and... a ball of yarn?

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  5. #565
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors
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    Quote Originally Posted by You View Post
    Haven't they been spoiled for some time in the stuff discussed in the main Case Files thread?

  6. #566
    Spooky Scary Counter-Guardian Balthizar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warellis View Post
    Haven't they been spoiled for some time in the stuff discussed in the main Case Files thread?
    Case files is one of the few things I haven't been spoiled on. Since it's been one of my favorites so far, I'd like to keep it that way.
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  7. #567
    死徒 Dead Apostle TwilightsCall's Avatar
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    One might wonder why this took so long to come out. I'm sure there must be some really interesting story behind it, right?


    Chapter 3, Part 1

    Chapter 3

    Part 1

    The news of the Princess of Gold's death spread through the twin towers like wildfire.

    In order to preserve the scene, I stayed in the room and sent Gray off to spread the news. The situation being what it was, it was no time at all before people began gathering in her room to see for themselves what had happened.

    Her body was just too hard to take.

    While it had its own beauty to it, it rather inspired dread. Whether dead or alive, her expression was still as always. If I hadn't thought to send Gray away to contact the others, I might have stared stunned at her remains for an entire day.

    At any rate, within thirty minutes, the entire group of those who had stayed behind after the Social Assembly had gathered.

    "...Miss Reines..."

    First, Maio came in gasping for air, staring at the scene with wide eyes. His expression had given away that he was weak to this kinds of scenes, and at first it appeared as if he might faint. However, as if thinking now wasn't the time for such things, he seemed to harden up.


    "Well, this has certainly taken a turn for the annoying," a dark skinned man said, scratching his head.

    "And you are?"

    "Mick Grajilie. Working for
    the Faculty of Curses

    The Faculty of Curses
    was part of the Neutralist faction with the Meluastea family.

    With his hair cut short and his muscular frame, he looked like some sort of athlete.

    Of course, even my brother could lift someone like Flat into the air one-handed once Reinforcement was taken into account, but it went without saying that such reinforcement would be many times more effective if the base level was higher.

    "Ha! Ahahahaha! What even is this?"

    The third person to enter the room did so with a dry laugh before sinking down to the floor.

    " think someone would do something so horrible to the clothes that I made..."

    The one now lamenting on the floor was a man with outrageous hair. I believed it was called a "blaze," his tremendous amount of hair tied into three wide braids. While it was a style popular among female black singers, his was even more complex, making it look less like hair and more like some sort of plant.

    It seemed from his comments that he was more worried about the dress than the person who had been wearing it.

    "And you are?"

    "Islo...Sebunan. I am the one who made the dresses for the Princesses of Gold and Silver."

    Later, I found out these were the first three to arrive because they had the shortest distance to walk to get here. Apparently they had intended to invite the Princesses to breakfast before returning home from the Assembly, so they had been lounging around tower.

    The one thing they all had in common was belonging to the Neutralist faction.

    Unlike the Aristocratic and Democratic factions, the Neutralist faction had no collective position when it came to the political disputes of the Clock Tower. Rather than vying for power, they instead focused their efforts on their research, and just like that a sizeable number of families had gathered under them. The strongest force within the Neutralist faction would be the Meluastea faction, but internal conflicts within the faction were plentiful.

    The sound of wood striking the stone floor filled the room. As if the world itself had died, a mournful cry filled the room.

    " could...Diadra..."


    Their shaking voices made one think we were watching the performance of a tragedy.

    In this room drenched in blood, the cruelest thing might have been showing it to these two.

    "...Lord Byron, Princess of Silver..."

    Similar to our first meeting with the Princess of Silver, her face was covered by a veil. Behind that thin veil was a face reminiscent of the Princess of Gold's, but her expression was invisible.

    However, it seemed she was transfixed at the sight of the severed head, and the slowly growing pool of blood on the white sheets beneath it.

    If that veil truly hid a face comparable to that of the Princess of Gold's, this place would be like a scene not even visible in heaven. In reality, despite the situation we were currently in, something in the back of my head started to heat up at the thought.


    "I see. This is quite the issue," another voice called out.

    Now, she wasn't wearing her glasses. Holding back her scarlet hair with a hand, her face had changed completely. With a cold voice, she spoke as she swept her gaze across the room.

    "Oh dear," she shook her head. "That makes those of us left here the suspects, doesn't it?"

    "Miss Aozaki!"

    Paying no mind to Maio's chastising tone, Touko continued without breaking her smile.

    "I don't dislike detective novels...though I had never imagined I would be a suspect in one. Really, I expected myself to be more of a victim type," she said her shoulders shaking with a faint chuckle.

    After seeing the severed head of the Princess of Gold and inspecting the inside of the room for only a few seconds, she was already laughing, becoming more and more relaxed. I couldn't think of it as much more than incriminating behaviour.

    "Now that I think about it, it is amazing. What on earth were they thinking, doing something like this in a place full of magi? It's enough to make you laugh."

    "...what is?" Gray asked without hesitating.

    "Think about it. I heard the story on my way here, but before you forced your way into the room, the door was locked, right? I've been here for a little while, so I heard about the locks on these doors. The doors to the Princesses' rooms are sealed by a Mystic Lock. It's a type tied to the wavelength of magical energy of the user, so any random person wouldn't be able to open it. They are used pretty commonly to seal treasure vaults in the Clock Tower as well. In short, no one except the Princess of Gold could have opened this door."

    A Mystic Lock.

    I had been told the same thing by Diadra. There were a number of different types of Mystic Locks, but in general they were a type of Mystic Code that used particular wavelengths of magical energy as a key. They had a number of disadvantages, from their high price, to the fact only magi could open them, to the nuisance it caused trying to switch who was capable of opening them. Even so, those disadvantages added a heightened level of security which made them popular in a variety of places.

    And one of those locks was on the Princess of Gold's door.

    Regardless of the fact the Princess of Gold was dead, the lock had been set. Which meant...

    "...which means, this was a Closed Room."

    For a moment, the room was filled with silence.

    Because everyone had already reached that same conclusion. Even in the world of magi, it was an unreal situation - just like she said, we could only wonder what meaning such a state of affairs held.

    "Well, when it comes to magi like us, killing someone in a Closed Room without entering it ourselves isn't something all that difficult. For example, your Volumen Hydrargyrum would be able to accomplish something like that with ease, wouldn't it?" Speaking carefully, Touko shifted her gaze to the silver maid standing at my side. "It's a common rule to suspect the one who first discovered the body, were also the last ones to see her, weren't you?"

    My heart suddenly jumped. I'd like it if you appreciated my ability here not to let my feelings show on my face. Suppressing the sound of the loudly racing heart in my chest, my voice came out perfectly even and natural as I responded.

    "Is that so?"

    "Lord Byron?"

    At Touko's request, the gentleman nodded his head. Stiffening his body, he shifted his cane to his wrist and snapped his fingers. At that sound, two more people entered the room - the twin maids of the Princesses of Gold and Silver.

    "Caleena, was it?" Calling to the maid that had been the Princess of Gold's personal servant, Touko asked her question. "What was it that Diadra and the El-Melloi princess spoke about last night?"

    "I-I...wasn't present during their discussion, so..." Caleena hung her head, giving nothing away.

    But there was no way Touko would let that pass. Unburdened by her glasses, Touko's cold and stubborn personality pressed the young maid for more.

    "Yes, you weren't there, I am well aware. But surely you must have had some intuition as to what they were speaking about?"

    For a while, Caleena remained silent, staring at the floor.


    This time Byron called the maid's name. As if unable to disobey the orders from her master, Caleena finally responded.

    "Lady Diadra was...asking for asylum with the El-Melloi family."

    Besides Caleena and Touko, the maid's confession earned a surprised gasp from all present.


    I bit my lip in frustration.

    We were completely trapped. There was no way we could just pass this off by saying that we had no intention of granting that asylum. On top of that, being that we were the only ones here representing the Barthomelloi faction, we had no back up either.



    The remaining maid called her sister's name. Caleena and Rejina, was it?

    Either way, her words were nothing if not lethal.

    "...this is...something I can't overlook." With a dramatic tone, Lord Byron turned his attention to me.

    Of course, there was no way I could be so brash as to say this was the first I had heard of it. Having been driven so thoroughly into this corner meant, at the very least, I had a good grasp on what had happened in the time since the Princess' death was discovered.

    "I would appreciate an explanation, Princess El-Melloi."

    "Yes...I had in fact received such a request from Lady Diadra." With the barest hesitation, I answered.

    If I were to remain silent here, it would be the same as confirming everything they had said. If I was going to come up with some kind of refutation, I was going to have to think of it while I was talking.

    "However, I give you my word I never laid a hand on her. After all, what would be the point in killing someone who had come to me to ask for asylum?"

    "A fight ensued after negotiations broke down...doesn't sound so far-fetched to me," the dark skinned man who had been listening quietly until now - Mick spoke out.

    Before I could even grind my teeth at his unsolicited opinion, I felt the gazes of every magus in the room snap to my hands and feet. If I were to do anything careless, I would be dead in the blink of an eye, and the few assets that remained with the El-Melloi family would be thoroughly seized.

    Enemies on all sides.

    After all, it was none other than I who had attended the Assembly.

    "...Reines," Gray whispered. She was already in combat mode, her right hand hidden beneath her cloak.

    ", Gray," I told her to stand down.


    "Yes, if you use that, we might be able to get out of here. But doing so would deal a fatal blow to the El-Melloi family. That is a much more severe problem than just my life."

    Though I couldn't keep the bitterness from my voice, I explained our situation.

    Ah, it was truly unfortunate, that my values were aligned so.

    If it had been my brother, he probably would have had no issue running away. 'The people living now are more important than politics or the family,' he would no doubt say. 'That's why your only second-rate,' is how I would no doubt reply.

    But I was not my brother.

    Just a little, I felt some regret at that.

    Lord Byron took a single step into the blood-drenched room before speaking again.

    "In any case, it seems a more detailed investigation will be required."

    "So it appears," I nodded. Remaining as calm as possible, I turned my hands palm up. "Until then, I'll be relying on your hospitality. I especially hope we can arrange some good tea and scones for breakfast. My stomach really won't settle for anything else. And we wouldn't want to put our new-found cooperation at risk now, would we?"

    "Cooperation? What are you trying to say, Reines El-Melloi Archisorte?"

    "It should be clear, shouldn't it?" In response to Byron's invocation of my full name, I replied in a voice feigning surprise. "I'm going to smoke out the culprit behind this incident. On the honour of El-Melloi family itself."
    Last edited by TwilightsCall; May 27th, 2018 at 02:54 AM.

  8. #568
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors
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    Well I'm happy to see it despite the delay. And hopefully the story behind the delay is interesting.

    And it's great to see a detective novel slowly open up.

    Considering what you said, was the translation for this really hard or it's tull of difficult words?

    Or was it that you had to focus on your job or your life went down a sudden bad turn?
    Last edited by warellis; May 13th, 2018 at 10:38 AM.

  9. #569
    死徒 Dead Apostle TwilightsCall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warellis View Post
    Considering what you said, was the translation for this really hard or it's tull of difficult words?

    Or was it that you had to focus on your job or your life went down a sudden bad turn?
    1 part technical difficulties, 2 parts getting sick twice in the span of four weeks, and 7 parts me being a lazy ass...I think that would adequately sum it up :P

    Anyways, here's the next part.

    Chapter 3 Part 2

    Chapter 3

    Part 2

    In response to my words, the room broke out into a variety of responses.

    The three magi from the Meluastea faction blinked dumbly, and the twin maids held their silence as if they had no permission to speak.

    The Princess of Silver...her reaction was still hidden behind her veil. And finally,


    Touko Aozaki burst out laughing.

    "Very good. That's the El-Melloi princess for you. To tell the truth, I was worried this Assembly was going to be a rather boring affair, but now it's become kind of interesting, hasn't it? What do you think, Lord Byron? It seems to me there's a little truth there, at least."

    "...I'll acknowledge that," Byron spoke heavily. No matter that the dead body of his daughter was in front of him, the head of the Iselma family's bearing as a gentleman was unbroken. In a way, speaking from the perspective of a magus, one could say his behaviour as a father was worthy of pride.

    "But I cannot allow you to simply wander around freely. You are still a suspect, after all."

    "What about me, then?" Touko put her hand on her chest. "How about I take care of keeping them under observation?"

    "Unfortunately, Miss Aozaki, that will not do. Have you forgotten that you are also a suspect here?"

    "...I see. Well that is a problem." Shrugging, the scarlet-haired woman easily dropped her apparent interest.

    Knowing what we did of her, there may have been nothing more to it than that. At the very least, it seemed like she didn't plan on using her title of Grand to bulldoze her way through everything.

    "Then what about me?"

    The sound of footsteps.

    Of course. There was still one person who had yet to show up. One woman who at this gruesome scene held an unquestionable authority over everyone else.

    "Sorry for being late. I heard the gist of things, but if it's come to this, there should be no problem if I keep watch, right?"

    "...Lord Valueleta..."

    Inorai Valueleta Atroholm.

    One of the corners that made up the triangle of the Three Great Families. The old woman at the very peak of the Valueleta faction.

    Of course, if you were to look for someone more trustworthy in this situation, you wouldn't find someone above her. Even if the Clock Tower were to do an official investigation afterwards, almost no one would doubt her testimony.

    "No objections, ladies and gentlemen?" she spoke calmly, sweeping her gaze across those gathered.

    The Princess of Silver and her maid, Rejina. The father, Lord Byron. The three magi of the Meluastea faction, here by coincidence. Touko Aozaki, the Grand. And of course, Gray and I.

    Even the Princess of Gold, reduced to nothing but a severed head.

    Nodding in satisfaction, the old woman clapped her hands together.

    "Alright, everyone is dismissed. From now on, its the detective's turn."


    Effectively, the only ones left were Inorai and myself.

    As expected, none of the other magi dared to oppose Lord Valueleta's word, and quickly retreated from the room.

    Perhaps because I had been halfway paralyzed by nerves I hadn't noticed it before, but the cloying smell of blood was enough to make me want to vomit. Thanks to my classes on
    Black Magic
    , I had become somewhat used to such things, but I wasn't certain anyone could get used to the smell of an entire human being's worth of blood.

    I had yet to touch any of it, yet even so I felt the rusty iron smell filling me from my mouth down to the bottom of my stomach.

    "So, where do we start?"

    "...if possible, from the layout of the room and the body," I replied, pushing a hand into my chest to hold down my nausea.

    "I see. Well, go ahead," she said with the jerk of her chin. Though she made no objection, it was still a bit unpleasant.

    No, I was of course grateful for her cooperation. However, my compatibility with her was just too low. Responding to frankness with vaguery, and vaguery with frankness was my usual style, but I couldn't see her having any problems seeing right through it all. Less an issue of the difference of age between us, it felt like we were just incompatible from the start.

    Actually, if we had been the same age, there was a good chance we might have been friends.

    Either way, as far as I could manage, I began to inspect the room with the utmost focus.

    The size of the room itself was similar to that of a small cafe. The main pieces of furniture were the large canopied bed, and the desk with the jellyfish-looking lamp. Numerous impressionist paintings. On a rather modest looking bookshelf were arrayed a number of low level grimoires. Though they were all luxurious enough as to match the name of the Princess of Gold itself, as far as the contents they seemed to be the barest of basics.

    There was one window and one door. For the record there was also a ceiling, but that wasn't really something a human being could use to enter through. If we were going to include that in the list, then we might as well turn to thinking about magecraft allowing you to pass through walls.

    "...they were rather thorough, weren't they?" Looking at how completely the body had been torn apart, I muttered to myself.

    The body and limbs had been cleanly cut into pieces, revealing a cross section that repelled the eyes. There were no signs of resistance - looking at the way she was cut, it seemed like she was killed before she had a chance to offer any. A magus skilled in Necromancy would be able to discern the cause of death even with a body in this state, but that was an area of magecraft I had no connection with.

    ...the reason I was used to dead bodies was from a completely unrelated incident.

    "Trim, do you think you can gather up the parts?

    "Understood." At my words, Trimmau quickly jumped into motion.

    Seeing that, Inorai slightly narrowed her eyes.

    "I see...with the body this scattered, we can't even tell what the murder weapon was."

    To begin with, the fact that magecraft was a possible weapon in the scenario meant that the cause of death could be more or less anything. As Touko had suggested, Trimmau itself was capable of imitating more or less any physical weapon. Just as having a Closed Room was more or less meaningless, the idea of a specific murder weapon was similar.

    "...that being said, if we can find out why they set up a Closed Room, it might lead us to something."

    "I see," Inorai nodded. "In short, you're looking at things as if the sealing of the Closed Room was an accident."

    "Precisely. In detective novels, the main reason the culprit creates the Closed Room is to eliminate evidence of their involvement. Logically speaking, if it was a murder that no human could have done, then the culprit can never be caught - that is the underlying assumption. However, when the suspects are all magi, that assumption doesn't hold water."

    Really, they could make as many Closed Rooms as they'd like. Even limiting yourself to long-distance curses, there were a number of varieties available. For example, things like manipulating the water in the blood to force a stroke, or overloading the victim with fire elemental energy to cause a heart attack were not difficult. Of course, in this situation the victim was experienced in magecraft as well, so such basic curses could be all but ruled out, but the idea of 'impossibilty' that a Closed Room was supposed to bring about was easily dismissed.

    As such, it was my supposition that the creation of the Closed Room had been an accident.

    It wasn't that they intended to create a Closed Room, only that it became one by chance.

    Following that train of thought, it was possible investigating the situation of the room could lead to a clue...

    "...nothing, huh?"

    But I couldn't think of anything at all.

    I wasn't really cut out for this kind of cramped thinking anyways. I was more of the type to read a detective novel starting at the back, lording my knowledge of the future over the characters as they struggled to discern the culprit.

    However, there was something else that had caught my eye. Something that would be present in any woman's room that was conspicuously missing.

    "...why are there no mirrors?"

    In response to my muttering, Inorai spoke. "Maybe she had grown sick of her own face?"

    "If you were that beautiful, wouldn't you be more likely to develop into a narcissist?"

    To be honest, it was beyond criticism. Art that had been developed to such a level wasn't something you could simply get tired of. If you gathered together the people who would be happy just looking at that face until they died, it would be a long line indeed. Some of them might even call that line a stairway to heaven.

    Though maybe a stairway to hell would be more appropriate.

    "Ahahaha. I understand the logic, but I guess that's the pride of youth. Once you get to my age, you won't be interested in looking at mirrors anymore. It just makes you think you should have pursued plastic surgery more zealously when you were younger."

    "...Lord Valueleta," I spoke on reflex, earning a satisfied grin from the old woman.

    "Kidding, of course. Actually, would you believe that even now I'm enchanted by my mirror for at least thirty minutes a day? Sorry sorry, I just suddenly had the urge to tease a bit."

    Being so thoroughly on the opposite side of my usual exchanges, I felt totally out of my element.

    Actually, it was a little bit exciting, but I decided to put a lid on that for now lest it lead somewhere inappropriate.

    "By the way, do you mind if I ask another question?"

    "By all means. I'm not the kind of person who would be capable of refusing Lord Valueleta of all people, after all."

    "Glad to hear it," she continued without reservation, her wrinkled features twisting into a smile. She spoke as if it was any ordinary conversation, despite the undeniable substance to her question. "Are you really that interested in reviving the El-Melloi family?"

    "I'm not really all that attached to the El-Melloi family itself, no. This is just the way things turned out," I replied. "From the start, the El-Melloi faction was at the bottom of the pile. By the time things had rolled around to me, all the high ranking families had already either been estranged or distanced themselves. After that, among the younger generation who were related by blood and hadn't recevied a Magic Crest yet, I happened to have a particularly high compatibility with the Source Crest...something like that. Well, Crest Splitting was a pretty common practice within the El-Melloi faction to begin with, so having a high compatibility was to be expected."

    Crest Splitting - the practice of taking a small portion of the Magic Crest from a magus of the main family and transplanting it into someone else.

    Originally, the first generation of a Magic Crest was developed by implanting a fragment of some lost Phantasmal Species or Mystic Code, called a 'core,' into the body. Of course, since you were implanting a completely foreign object into the body, the rejection response was far stronger than what one would see when receiving a Crest from a parent. By suffering through those rejections for generations, the core would slowly become saturated with the hosts' magecraft, and thus the Magic Crest would be complete.

    However, magi that used this method to produce Magic Crests were all but extinct in modern times.

    While there weren't that many from outside previously established magecraft families that decided to pursue it, those that did typically received a Crest Split from a much more historied family. Of course, since it was a transplant from a stranger, the intended function of the Magic Crest - to act as a crystallized mystery - was all but lost. Even so, it was a method that would produce results many generations faster than starting from scratch, and it was much easier to control the development of a Crest made in such a way.

    This method did damage the original parent Crest, but with the help of a Tuner such a level of damage could normally be repaired within a few months to a year. In exchange, they could expect a tremendous loyalty from the recipients. As such, it became common place for families involved in factional struggles to create such branch families, and the original family from which they were derived would come to refer to their Magic Crest as a Source Crest.

    (...though apparently, if the head of the Source Crest's family dies, that loyalty doesn't mean all that much.)

    It was often mentioned that the late Lord El-Melloi's death in the fourth Holy Grail War was a result of recklessness caused by his youth, but he really had gone there treating it like some sort of game. Or perhaps, he had just been trying to show off his talent to a certain someone.

    "I see. But if you aren't attached to the El-Melloi family itself, shouldn't you be satisfied by now? You and your brother have done more than enough. You should be able to fetch quite a price by selling off the family, don't you think? It's not like there is anyone who could buy it that would be problematic."

    "...ahh." Of course, I would be lying if I said the idea hadn't occurred to me.

    To be frank, the faction warfare within the Clock Tower was a load of crap. Putting aside the Meluastea faction who focused entirely on their research, the Aristocratic and Democratic factions continually sharpening their swords for each other just made me want to yell at them to grow up. If they keep saying they are so far above earthly things, why are they still squabbling over political power?


    "There is an enemy in front of me, and I have the means with which to fight it. Therefore, I can find no reason not to do so," I replied.

    Well, sorry. Unfortunately, I was no better than they were. My brother might have been able to come up with a better reason, but not me.

    "I see. You're a hardcore fighter then." Rather than sounding like praise, it was more like she was just parsing the data. Then, as if it had been nothing more than a topic for gossip, she switched to a new one. "Is it true that the Princess of Gold had been looking for asylum?"

    "Unfortunately, that is the case," I answered honestly.

    Lying carelessly while the truth was still uncertain would do little more than make my situation worse. Though it had been a common enough occurence in the old El-Melloi family.

    "Hmm. Why is that?"

    "Apparently, Lord Byron's methods of improving on the Princesses had become inefficient. She had also said that they were seeking asylum out of their obligation to protect themselves."

    Yes. An obligation, she had said.

    Not a right.

    In other words, she had already thought of her own body as nothing more than a means to reach the Spiral of Origin - she had fully adopted the mindset of a magus.

    "...I see. Sounds reasonable, doesn't it?" Inorai said with a nod. "From my perspective, it seemed to me that the Princess of Gold had obviously reached completion. It's not that strange for a previous methodology to fail when reaching a new level. And I can't really say Lord Byron is open-minded, either."

    As if she had struck upon an idea, the silver-haired old woman made a knocking gesture on her temple.

    "In that case, there's a possibility the Princess of Silver knows something."

    "Interested in helping gather some information then?"

    "Unfortunately, that would be a bit of a conflict of interest. My job is just to keep an eye on you this time," she flatly refused.

    Her tone and attitude were rather frank, but her ability to keep matters divided seemed appropriate for a Lord. Well, if that hadn't been the case, there was no way she would have risen to the top of one of the major factions. Completely different from the smallest, weakest El-Melloi faction.

    "...when did this all start?" Suddenly, Gray whispered behind me.

    "When did what start?"

    "...oh, just...about the Princess of Gold. Of course, she may have been pretty since she was a child, but can you really change someone's face that much just by how you raise them?"

    Something in her words made me pause. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, so instead I changed the subject.



    "When you were at Adra, did my brother say anything about his attitude when investigating the incident? Like, 'it's meaningless for a magus to think like that,' or something."

    "Ah...yes," the grey-hooded girl replied with a nod, speaking haltingly. "Umm...something like...there was no meaning to asking whodunnit or howdunnit in an incident involving magi..."

    Of course, I remembered that detective novel vocabulary.

    Whodunnit - who committed the crime.

    Howdunnit - how did they commit the crime.

    Certainly, when it came to magi, those two things would be far too flimsy to rely on. On top of not being able to confidently say what type of magecraft was even used, when everything from faerie rings to slip through walls and curses to kill from a distance were in play, the possibilities were almost limitless.

    "But...the whydunnit was an exception...I think."

    "...ahh, that makes sense."

    Even if they were some kind of superbeing that could cheat the laws of physics, magi could never deceive thought itself.

    In a way, it could be said that they were creatures that existed for that purpose. In order to reach the unreachable 「  」, they were existences that had gathered together the full sum of their will. Gathered together all manners of Concepts.

    ...though no matter how I talked about it, I was one of them too.

    "Master," Trimmau's emotionless voice called out. "I have finished arranging the pieces."

    As she had said, resting upon the bedsheets was now what had once the Princess of Gold reproduced. As if inspired by a jigsaw puzzle, the body looked like it had been cut into close to twenty pieces using an electric saw. It's beauty was enough to make one forget that it was dead, inspiring a whole new kind of nausea.

    "The parts have all been...gathered, then..."

    Depending on the person, gathering the parts of the body together was useful for a number of schools of magecraft.

    For instance, as I had mentioned earlier, Necromancy. In the West, most were influenced by astrology, and so arranging the parts according to the twelve constellations and ascribing them each a meaning made them available for use as catalysts for a variety of types of magecraft.

    Even in the incident at Adra, the twelve constellations and 72 angelic names came up, and certain body parts of each magus were being stolen - though it had all been a front for stealing their Magic Crests in the end.

    "It seems like she had no Magic Crest from the beginning. Well, the Princesses are more like the results of their magecraft, so Lord Byron, as the user of that magecraft, is probably the one who has the Crest."

    "...I see."

    In that case, commitment to the family's magecraft meant dedicating themselves to their father, did it?

    Resisting the twin tortures of the feeling of nausea caused by the smell of blood and the intoxication caused by her beauty, I took some time to observe the parts of the corpse. The thing that seemed most dangerous was the artistic nature of it, like a devil's hand reaching for my soul. It could be said that was because I was a magus, but the almost blasphemous attractiveness of it could never be confused as coming from God.

    Suddenly, I felt a faint pain in my eyes.

    It was coming from the edge of the broken door.

    Using my fingers to lift one of the wooden fragments from the stone floor, something fell out from it.

    (...sand? this ash?)

    The fact that it was making my eyes hurt meant that there was some level of magical energy in it. Considering this was the living place of a magus, that wasn't all that odd.

    "...Miss Reines?"

    "Did you find something?"

    At the same time, Gray and Inorai called out to me.

    "" Wrapping it in my handkerchief, I hid it in my coat's inner pocket.

    Putting my hand over my eyes, which had begun overheating, I gave a small smile.

    "...anyways, I need to get my thoughts together, so I'll be returning to my room."

  10. #570
    Beats By Matthew ft. Dr. Para Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    Now I'm reminded of how Gray's
    [literally turning into Saber,]
    the poor girl.

    Thanks, TC.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  11. #571
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six asterism42's Avatar
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    a fate no one deserves
    Quote Originally Posted by Sandstorm77 View Post
    He's just putting the bone of his sword into other people until it explodes and lets out parts of him inside them.
    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerEmiya View Post
    Genderswaps are terrible, but I think I and other people would hate them less if Fate didn't keep ignoring actual heroines throughout history and folklore. Like, why bother turning Francis Drake into a woman when Ching Shih and Grace O'Malley exist?

  12. #572
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors
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    Quote Originally Posted by asterism42 View Post
    a fate no one deserves
    What about Takeuchi?
    Last edited by warellis; May 28th, 2018 at 01:41 PM.

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