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Thread: Lord El Melloi II Case Files

  1. #881
    It depends on what you call a smartphone I guess. Nowhere is said to be a touchscreen.

  2. #882
    The Greatest Cool Reign's Avatar
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    Technically the first smartphone was in 1992. The first touchscreen smartphones didn't exist until 2007 yes but things like Blackberries count as smartphones too.

  3. #883
    How do the later books compare to the first two volumes quality wise?

  4. #884
    Quote Originally Posted by BeastXxx View Post
    How do the later books compare to the first two volumes quality wise?
    Depends on what you want.

  5. #885
    Can you say you enjoyed them a lot without considering the lore? Would you rate them above a 7/10?

  6. #886
    This is a series about magecraft and occult mysteries, of course that's the main focus. But there is definitely characterization later.

    And if you want action, next volume has that. Well, Rail Zeppelin too, that's why it was picked for the anime.

  7. #887
    Made a pdf of volume 2 for me and thought of sharing it here in case anyone wants it.

  8. #888
    The Greatest Cool Reign's Avatar
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    I appreciate it!

  9. #889
    Presia messe noce yor tes mea TwilightsCall's Avatar
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    After carefully reviewing your feedback, I have decided to go ahead and just move on to the volume 3 translation. I still intend to work on the GO event, but it will likely happen much slower as priority will be on the books.

    As such, here is the prologue for Volume 3.

    Prologue



    Prologue


    "...do you think humans can grow?"



    He spoke, almost as if praying.

    On the surface, it may have seemed like an arrogant thought - that an ordinary person can never become more than that. While most may have derived that sort of implication from those words, in this case they were said with an honest sincerity, as if revealing a cherished, heartfelt wish.

    Considering the stage on which they were offered, that may have been appropriate.

    In that old, desolate church, with a black-stained visage of the Mother Mary looking down on us. In reality it wasn't something so grand as could be called a statue of Mary, but at the very least the local people had considered it as such.

    And so, he asked.

    "By repeated study, I became good at calculations. I memorized history. Of course in that respect, growth is certainly possible. Even among my students, just by giving some trivial advice, plenty of them have risen to remarkable heights. But...if we're talking about a person's true essence, can that really be considered growth?"

    The true target of his question cut straight to the heart of the matter - the beginning of his own life.

    Yes. In a sense, maybe it was impossible. After all, considering everyone around me, I couldn't point to one person who had. Within my own group I was special from the start, always treated as special and separate. Thanks to that, the only 'person' I could really talk to was the personality given to a particular Mystic Code.

    In those unnecessarily spacious church grounds, I was always just cowering in fear. With the expectations of everyone around me on my shoulders, all I could do was try to avoid their gazes without accomplishing anything.

    -Why was it, that this world had no colour?

    That was always what I had thought.

    No, I did understand that the problem wasn't with the world. Because of my own eyes being clouded over, I was trapped within a world of black and white.

    Ashen.

    Gloomy.

    Vague and ambiguous.

    Gray.

    No matter how far I ran, I understood that that was the nature of my existence. Compared to that, how much more sincere were those who were already buried deep in the ground? Free from lies, released from vanity and ambition. Truly free, in every respect. To say the difference between us was like heaven and earth didn't do the comparison justice.

    ...when that person had finally shown up, I had already given up. I was already tired of giving up, thoroughly exhausted by my constant cowering.

    Just like always, I remember him smoking on a cigar.

    His jet black suit was lit from behind by the light of a stained glass window. Though the face, hidden in that shadow, was undoubtedly that of an adult, I felt like somewhere in that hard expression I could still see a child.

    "But..."

    I raised my voice.

    "Aren't you...the most successful person in the Clock Tower?"

    Considering who I was at the time, it was a rare thing for me to say - words that undeniably stepped into someone else's situation. But, because it was him, I felt the need to ask. Even if it meant bending my way of doing things a little, I wanted to know about him.

    Reluctantly, he answered.

    "Right...I've held this position for a little more than nine years now."

    His voice was full of regret, as if the achievement belonged to someone else.

    With a sound like the squeaking of old, rusted gears, he opened his hands and clasped the fingers of his black gloves together.

    "I've learned to use magecraft better than before. I've learned the boring skills of scheming and negotiating. Even my scholarship of magecraft has become somewhat considerable. But...where is the meaning in that?"

    A time probably spent entirely as a desperate, frenzied climb. Even I could sympathize with that situation.

    No doubt it was like having your flesh ground up, and your bones crushed to pieces every day. I wasn't very smart, and I didn't know much about the Clock Tower he had come from, but I could well imagine the intense study and harsh discipline that must have been required to reach where he was now.

    But now, he was denying all of that.

    "...long ago, I participated in a battle in the Far East."

    Ignoring me, who was unable to keep up with the sudden change in topics, he continued.

    "In that battle were a number of Heroic Spirits and their Masters. Of course the Heroic Spirits too, but even the Masters were all elites and professional killers that I could never compare to even now. If you ask how a me that was even less experienced than I am now managed to get through that battle alive, I'd have no answer to give you than luck. Because of my complete lack of ability, I avoided everyone else's attention. Yes, if it was me now, I would probably be marked and killed right away."

    'Probably,' he said, but with a weight in his voice that spoke of the hundreds, the thousands of times he must have replayed those battle differently in his head. And in those different simulations, how many times had he seen himself die?

    In the chilly air of the church, he spoke again.

    "In that case, does that mean the me of the past was actually better than I am now?"

    "...as you said, I think that's a matter of luck." Mumbling, I shared my own thoughts. Those words demanded an objection, or so I thought.

    But.

    "Yes, that's exactly right. But can someone who was just carried along by luck and coincidence really be thought to have grown?"

    Once again, he returned to the original question.

    It wasn't that he had led us back to where we started, but more that we had never left. It wasn't that he was particularly eloquent, just that his simple frankness made him drive that one question ever forward. That was just the way he did things.

    His manner was so serious, it made one want to give a bitter smile.

    Not that I was sure anyone else could take what he was saying seriously.

    "The course we take when life comes to a crossroads is always determined by the smallest coincidences, the tiniest twists of fate. If that's the case, can we really say that humans grow? Even as a child, anyone can get caught up in the desire to just quietly follow someone greater than they are...someone who was just born great, born a king. Isn't that the case?"

    He spoke as if he had already accepted that that was the way of the world, yet as if he was chastising someone for taking it as fact.

    Who could that have been?

    As if glaring back down at hell itself, he continued his angry rant.

    "I haven't grown at all. Nothing has changed since that time. I haven't gotten any closer to becoming the person I wanted to be."

    Those words came out thick with blood.

    The wounds on his soul were completely raw, and even now bright red was flowing from them. Or rather, it was like he was digging his nails into the wounds himself, demanding that they stay open. As if the throbbing pain in his heart was a reminder of the impulse that had first set him on his path.

    "I...want to change."

    He was probably close to 30 years old.

    At that age, someone from the same line of work would no doubt look at his success and question, why on earth would you want to change? But that desire was not some desire for a bright new future. It was nothing close to the everlasting ambition of a genius that had already reached the stars.

    (...disgusting...)

    So I thought.

    It was a feeling I was quite familiar with. Like a buildup of mud under your skin.

    (...ahh...)

    At that time, I understood.

    The people of my hometown always told me that I should change. That I should nurture the rare nature I possessed. That refusing to contribute when you had the ability was in itself a sin that could not easily be forgiven.

    Alternatively, like the books that reached even to our rural part of the country, you should accept yourself exactly as you are. Irresponsible words, telling you to accept even the pathetic and absurd parts of yourself, which even I found hard to swallow.

    But he wasn't like either of those.

    Without seeing the creases carved between his eyebrows, or the thin line his mouth was drawn into, his message was still clear. A rejection of that simple, easy kind of change. A rejection of that slothful, lazy refusal to change.

    "Even so...no, because of that, I want your help."

    He spoke.

    "This is entirely my selfishness. I have no guarantee I can provide you with a future or compensation that would satisfy you. Rather, it's more likely I'll just put you in danger. And I'm not so arrogant as to say that I'd be able to protect you. It's quite likely you could end up risking everything to protect me, and I'd be the only one who walks away."

    One piece at a time, he laid out the honest truth. I thought he had no need to lay out all the negative points like this, but that was just who he was. But thanks to that honesty, I was able to get a glimpse of another truth.

    Just as his words ran thick with blood, just as his soul was scarred deep with wounds, this person was even now still suffering. His past choices, his current way of being, his future possibilities, all of these were agony to him, as if he still held the spear puncturing his heart.

    That's why, rather than logic, it was those words that soaked through me.

    "Even so...I want you to come with me."

    "...."

    In that case, it would be fine, it made me think.

    If you will worry with me.

    If you will suffer with me.

    If you will get hurt with me.

    If it's this man, then his guidance would be better than the words of any sage. That's what I thought.

    "...can I ask you to promise me one thing?"

    I finally spoke.



    "Please...keep hating my face."



    Even now, I can still remember his flustered expression.

    He must be a good person, I thought. So much so that he still felt the shame of his first terrified reaction upon seeing my face. But even so, after a pause of a few seconds, he nodded heavily.

    "I promise."

    So said Lord El-Melloi II - my master.

  10. #890
    My cousin said reines is Waver thank you for the translation

  11. #891
    死徒 Dead Apostle
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwilightsCall View Post
    After carefully reviewing your feedback, I have decided to go ahead and just move on to the volume 3 translation. I still intend to work on the GO event, but it will likely happen much slower as priority will be on the books.

    As such, here is the prologue for Volume 3.

    Prologue



    Prologue


    "...do you think humans can grow?"



    He spoke, almost as if praying.

    On the surface, it may have seemed like an arrogant thought - that an ordinary person can never become more than that. While most may have derived that sort of implication from those words, in this case they were said with an honest sincerity, as if revealing a cherished, heartfelt wish.

    Considering the stage on which they were offered, that may have been appropriate.

    In that old, desolate church, with a black-stained visage of the Mother Mary looking down on us. In reality it wasn't something so grand as could be called a statue of Mary, but at the very least the local people had considered it as such.

    And so, he asked.

    "By repeated study, I became good at calculations. I memorized history. Of course in that respect, growth is certainly possible. Even among my students, just by giving some trivial advice, plenty of them have risen to remarkable heights. But...if we're talking about a person's true essence, can that really be considered growth?"

    The true target of his question cut straight to the heart of the matter - the beginning of his own life.

    Yes. In a sense, maybe it was impossible. After all, considering everyone around me, I couldn't point to one person who had. Within my own group I was special from the start, always treated as special and separate. Thanks to that, the only 'person' I could really talk to was the personality given to a particular Mystic Code.

    In those unnecessarily spacious church grounds, I was always just cowering in fear. With the expectations of everyone around me on my shoulders, all I could do was try to avoid their gazes without accomplishing anything.

    -Why was it, that this world had no colour?

    That was always what I had thought.

    No, I did understand that the problem wasn't with the world. Because of my own eyes being clouded over, I was trapped within a world of black and white.

    Ashen.

    Gloomy.

    Vague and ambiguous.

    Gray.

    No matter how far I ran, I understood that that was the nature of my existence. Compared to that, how much more sincere were those who were already buried deep in the ground? Free from lies, released from vanity and ambition. Truly free, in every respect. To say the difference between us was like heaven and earth didn't do the comparison justice.

    ...when that person had finally shown up, I had already given up. I was already tired of giving up, thoroughly exhausted by my constant cowering.

    Just like always, I remember him smoking on a cigar.

    His jet black suit was lit from behind by the light of a stained glass window. Though the face, hidden in that shadow, was undoubtedly that of an adult, I felt like somewhere in that hard expression I could still see a child.

    "But..."

    I raised my voice.

    "Aren't you...the most successful person in the Clock Tower?"

    Considering who I was at the time, it was a rare thing for me to say - words that undeniably stepped into someone else's situation. But, because it was him, I felt the need to ask. Even if it meant bending my way of doing things a little, I wanted to know about him.

    Reluctantly, he answered.

    "Right...I've held this position for a little more than nine years now."

    His voice was full of regret, as if the achievement belonged to someone else.

    With a sound like the squeaking of old, rusted gears, he opened his hands and clasped the fingers of his black gloves together.

    "I've learned to use magecraft better than before. I've learned the boring skills of scheming and negotiating. Even my scholarship of magecraft has become somewhat considerable. But...where is the meaning in that?"

    A time probably spent entirely as a desperate, frenzied climb. Even I could sympathize with that situation.

    No doubt it was like having your flesh ground up, and your bones crushed to pieces every day. I wasn't very smart, and I didn't know much about the Clock Tower he had come from, but I could well imagine the intense study and harsh discipline that must have been required to reach where he was now.

    But now, he was denying all of that.

    "...long ago, I participated in a battle in the Far East."

    Ignoring me, who was unable to keep up with the sudden change in topics, he continued.

    "In that battle were a number of Heroic Spirits and their Masters. Of course the Heroic Spirits too, but even the Masters were all elites and professional killers that I could never compare to even now. If you ask how a me that was even less experienced than I am now managed to get through that battle alive, I'd have no answer to give you than luck. Because of my complete lack of ability, I avoided everyone else's attention. Yes, if it was me now, I would probably be marked and killed right away."

    'Probably,' he said, but with a weight in his voice that spoke of the hundreds, the thousands of times he must have replayed those battle differently in his head. And in those different simulations, how many times had he seen himself die?

    In the chilly air of the church, he spoke again.

    "In that case, does that mean the me of the past was actually better than I am now?"

    "...as you said, I think that's a matter of luck." Mumbling, I shared my own thoughts. Those words demanded an objection, or so I thought.

    But.

    "Yes, that's exactly right. But can someone who was just carried along by luck and coincidence really be thought to have grown?"

    Once again, he returned to the original question.

    It wasn't that he had led us back to where we started, but more that we had never left. It wasn't that he was particularly eloquent, just that his simple frankness made him drive that one question ever forward. That was just the way he did things.

    His manner was so serious, it made one want to give a bitter smile.

    Not that I was sure anyone else could take what he was saying seriously.

    "The course we take when life comes to a crossroads is always determined by the smallest coincidences, the tiniest twists of fate. If that's the case, can we really say that humans grow? Even as a child, anyone can get caught up in the desire to just quietly follow someone greater than they are...someone who was just born great, born a king. Isn't that the case?"

    He spoke as if he had already accepted that that was the way of the world, yet as if he was chastising someone for taking it as fact.

    Who could that have been?

    As if glaring back down at hell itself, he continued his angry rant.

    "I haven't grown at all. Nothing has changed since that time. I haven't gotten any closer to becoming the person I wanted to be."

    Those words came out thick with blood.

    The wounds on his soul were completely raw, and even now bright red was flowing from them. Or rather, it was like he was digging his nails into the wounds himself, demanding that they stay open. As if the throbbing pain in his heart was a reminder of the impulse that had first set him on his path.

    "I...want to change."

    He was probably close to 30 years old.

    At that age, someone from the same line of work would no doubt look at his success and question, why on earth would you want to change? But that desire was not some desire for a bright new future. It was nothing close to the everlasting ambition of a genius that had already reached the stars.

    (...disgusting...)

    So I thought.

    It was a feeling I was quite familiar with. Like a buildup of mud under your skin.

    (...ahh...)

    At that time, I understood.

    The people of my hometown always told me that I should change. That I should nurture the rare nature I possessed. That refusing to contribute when you had the ability was in itself a sin that could not easily be forgiven.

    Alternatively, like the books that reached even to our rural part of the country, you should accept yourself exactly as you are. Irresponsible words, telling you to accept even the pathetic and absurd parts of yourself, which even I found hard to swallow.

    But he wasn't like either of those.

    Without seeing the creases carved between his eyebrows, or the thin line his mouth was drawn into, his message was still clear. A rejection of that simple, easy kind of change. A rejection of that slothful, lazy refusal to change.

    "Even so...no, because of that, I want your help."

    He spoke.

    "This is entirely my selfishness. I have no guarantee I can provide you with a future or compensation that would satisfy you. Rather, it's more likely I'll just put you in danger. And I'm not so arrogant as to say that I'd be able to protect you. It's quite likely you could end up risking everything to protect me, and I'd be the only one who walks away."

    One piece at a time, he laid out the honest truth. I thought he had no need to lay out all the negative points like this, but that was just who he was. But thanks to that honesty, I was able to get a glimpse of another truth.

    Just as his words ran thick with blood, just as his soul was scarred deep with wounds, this person was even now still suffering. His past choices, his current way of being, his future possibilities, all of these were agony to him, as if he still held the spear puncturing his heart.

    That's why, rather than logic, it was those words that soaked through me.

    "Even so...I want you to come with me."

    "...."

    In that case, it would be fine, it made me think.

    If you will worry with me.

    If you will suffer with me.

    If you will get hurt with me.

    If it's this man, then his guidance would be better than the words of any sage. That's what I thought.

    "...can I ask you to promise me one thing?"

    I finally spoke.



    "Please...keep hating my face."



    Even now, I can still remember his flustered expression.

    He must be a good person, I thought. So much so that he still felt the shame of his first terrified reaction upon seeing my face. But even so, after a pause of a few seconds, he nodded heavily.

    "I promise."

    So said Lord El-Melloi II - my master.

    Ah, these two's dynamic will always intrigue me, there's just something intrinsically appealing to it for me. So his seemingly harsh comments telling her to hide her face are as a result of this. This was also Gray-tan's first bond line in FGO, so I guess that kind of odd request is her way of forming a connection.

    Though Waver saying "I want to change." Cut a bit too deep into the me that's not even 20 yet.

  12. #892
    Knight of Joestar SirGauoftheSquareTable's Avatar
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    I personally think Iskandar would be a bit disappointed in him that he is keeping the wound of his loss raw and not embracing what comes ahead.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deathhappens View Post
    Really, all 3 of the romances in F/SN are 'for want of a nail' kind of situations.
    Quote Originally Posted by forumghost View Post
    You mean because Shirou winds up falling for the first of the three that he Nailed?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias View Post
    I speak for the majority of important people* *a category comprised entirely of myself

  13. #893
    屍食鬼 Ghoul
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    I've also made a pdf version of the second volume. I've included the cover for the volume as well as images on the first few pages of the volume that I got by downloading the sample pdf from amazon jp. The first few images should be much higher quality than the scanned ones. I also made some parts similar to the pdf of the first volume so it wouldn't be too jarring when moving on to the second volume.

    I'll be sharing it using google drive, don't really know a different method to share it currently

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vQV...4kMF4Avng/view

    This is my first time doing something like this, feel free to point out some mistakes for me.

  14. #894
    https://goo.gl/88mdof Criarino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonfire View Post
    I've also made a pdf version of the second volume. I've included the cover for the volume as well as images on the first few pages of the volume that I got by downloading the sample pdf from amazon jp. The first few images should be much higher quality than the scanned ones. I also made some parts similar to the pdf of the first volume so it wouldn't be too jarring when moving on to the second volume.

    I'll be sharing it using google drive, don't really know a different method to share it currently

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vQV...4kMF4Avng/view

    This is my first time doing something like this, feel free to point out some mistakes for me.
    bonfires will always be beacons of light amongs the darkness of the curse
    My servants and mages
    Sorry, my english sucks

    Things


    Greatest battle in history
    He-man x Shiki Satsujinki

    I love the internet

    OH GOD SO CUTE

  15. #895
    Thank you. I'm not a FGO hater, but I'm glad you made this choice. There are too many untranslated works out there

  16. #896
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonfire View Post
    I've also made a pdf version of the second volume. I've included the cover for the volume as well as images on the first few pages of the volume that I got by downloading the sample pdf from amazon jp. The first few images should be much higher quality than the scanned ones. I also made some parts similar to the pdf of the first volume so it wouldn't be too jarring when moving on to the second volume.

    I'll be sharing it using google drive, don't really know a different method to share it currently

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vQV...4kMF4Avng/view

    This is my first time doing something like this, feel free to point out some mistakes for me.
    Do you have a good PDF of Volume 1 as well? Because the version I have has everything put together in giant blocks of text with like no line spacing or anything.

  17. #897
    屍食鬼 Ghoul
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    Are you talking about the pdf of volume one on the first page of this thread? It seems fine to me.

  18. #898
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonfire View Post
    Are you talking about the pdf of volume one on the first page of this thread? It seems fine to me.
    I must've gotten an older version then. Okay that's good.

  19. #899
    Presia messe noce yor tes mea TwilightsCall's Avatar
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    Chapter 1 Part 1



    Chapter 1



    Part 1



    (...has anything changed since then...?)

    At the sudden recollection, my eyes narrowed.

    The reason I had remembered it was nothing special. Just seeing my master hanging his head, lit from behind by the setting sun, I thought it was a similar image.

    Becoming able to do something that you couldn't do before is not the only way that you can measure growth. And yet, my master continued to pile on new skills and knowledge as if that was all he knew. That's why his life held so much suffering. And yet from that excruciating life, he neither ran nor cowered. Even now I still didn't know from where he drew that strength.

    We were on a hill.

    From the place we had been observing the twin towers of the Sun and Moon before, we were now looking at them from the opposite side. The overpowering scent of the densely growing grass was enough to make you choke. Hidden amongst the dirt and grass were a number of rabbit holes, making it not hard to believe that such a place was often the stage for many famous works. Even in my hometown we had a number of books of the adorable Peter Rabbit and his family.

    From this angle, the blood-like colour of the setting sun over the mist and grasses gave the impression the world had been replaced by some sort of far off fantasy.

    My master stood silently, scribbling in his notebook.


    "-Now, shall we start preparing for the coming battle?"


    After such an impressive declaration, he had just gone back to his observations.

    That being said, perhaps because of some sort of development caused by the piece of paper Svin had brought for him, he occasionally would pop his head up from his notebook to confirm details of the case with Reines.

    "...the one who asked for asylum at the start was really the Princess of Gold, right?"

    "Of course, esteemed brother. There's no way you could mistake her for someone else."

    "And, the next morning, you found the body in her room. The Mystic Lock was still set."

    "Correct."

    In this way, he was slowly getting things in order.

    After the Iselma's Social Assembly, the Princess of Gold had approached Reines hoping to seek asylum with the El-Melloi family and the Artistocratic Faction of the Clock Tower.

    After that, when she went to meet her the next morning, Reines was the first to find the Princess torn apart, and soon became the main suspect. After that, Caleena was found dead by Trimmau, who had blood on her hands, prompting Iselma to take the Mystic Code hostage.

    My master wrote all this down in his book with a fountain pen stylized in the manner of a gryphon. It was a treasure left behind by the head of the El-Melloi of two generations ago, so for my master to take to it after rejecting virtually all of the El-Melloi estate meant it must have been something of significant interest to him.

    The smell of ink mixing faintly with the air was something I liked, as well.

    Just like the smell of his cigars, it was something that always seemed to cling to him. For some reason, whenever I recognized that scent, I could always calm down. I didn't know the reason why. Perhaps my master had laced the smells with some sort of magecraft to help relax the mind, but I didn't feel the need to ask.

    Alongside that came a certain rambunctious voice.

    "That's why I'm saying the culprit must be a Baritsu user! It's really invincible! You can use it to survive when you fall off a cliff, or even to make a person explode! Turning invisible or passing through walls would be a piece of cake!"

    "What kind of ridiculous magecraft are you on about now? First of all, is that even magecraft, or just a martial art?"

    "Baritsu is Baritsu! Sherlock Holmes is famous for using it, so the professor must be able to use it too! It's a skill all detectives have!"

    "Flat...are you saying our professor is something as plain as an ordinary detective?"

    "Hey, real Baritsu uses a cane too! That cane must be the catalyst for some kind of magecraft! So it must be a martial art that was created to be used by magi! The only reason it hasn't spread more is that one family must have kept the secret of it to themselves!"

    Though they had the same blonde hair and blue eyes, the impression they gave couldn't be more different. While the former's hysterical declarations painted him as a young, naive boy, the latter had an air of savage beauty about him.

    Flat Escardos, and Svin Glascheit.

    Even in the illustrious El-Melloi classroom, these two stood head and shoulders above the rest.

    "On top of that, Sherlock Holmes is a hero! He's a true super star of London! The same as Jack the Ripper, though I feel a bit bad for his victims."

    "Don't put our professor in the same group as a serial killer. In the first place, whether it's Sherlock Holmes or Napoleon, our professor isn't someone who can be compared to poeple who just showed up a bit in novels and history!"

    Yes, well. Svin wasn't entirely right. While my master was looked up to as a true hero among the New Agers, the fact of the matter was that these two were the real vanguard. And while most people hoped dearly to just leave them to their own thing, the fear that their interactions could escalate to the point of destroying the classroom itself was the greatest source of unease in the current El-Melloi classroom.

    That being said, I would do anything to avoid getting close to Svin.

    If he was going to get that worked up and aggressive whenever he saw me, I couldn't think anything other than that he hated me for some reason. I was used to not being liked by people, but such a vicious rejection was still enough to make me feel a little sad.

    No doubt, his gaze constantly flickering to me while he talked to Flat was a measure to try and keep me in check.

    "Hold on, that's not true at all." Suddenly Reines, who was sitting beside me, spoke up. Sitting with her head resting on her knees, even so she seemed to be thoroughly enjoying herself as she looked sideways at me. That small smile at the corner of her lips was as good an indicator as any that she was going to begin teasing me again.

    "...w-what do you mean?"

    "Well, you're thinking something like 'Svin must hate me,' aren't you?"

    My breath caught with a sudden jerking motion at being so clearly read. "...Miss Reines, mind reading is..."

    Before I could say anymore, she put a hand to her mouth to hide her giggling. "I don't need anything like that. Anyone could tell just by looking at your face. To be precise, by looking at the way your eyes move and how you're resting your hands and fingers. You may think of yourself as somewhat uncommunicative, but you're quite talkative in your own way, you know? I'd say about half as much as Add."

    "T-that..." After such a shocking evaluation, I found myself at a loss for words.

    "Ihihihihi! Me? Talkative?! Everyone knows I'm the quietest, most intellectual, most elegant box around!"

    To the best of my ability, I ignored the voice coming from around my right hand.

    Unfortunately, Flat was not willing to do the same, instead turning around to face me.

    "Ah, Gray! Can I talk to Add today? Show me, show me! Let me talk to him! Let me take him apart!"

    "Hey, don't talk to my...don't talk to Gray so flippantly!"

    As the two drew closer to us, I could feel my shoulders start to tremble.

    "...quiet down, you guys. Also Svin, keep at least five meters away from Gray unless it's an emergency."

    With an exasperated voice, my master spoke.

    And then,



    "It seems we have a guest."



    So saying, he capped his pen.

    "-did you discover something?"

    Just hearing it, I could feel that intoxicating voice cloud my thoughts as it washed over the grass.

    Cutting through the scent of cigars and the colour of the sunset was the figure of that woman. Her shadow, cast by the setting sun, felt like something completely different coming from her.

    Perhaps, the shadow of a God of Death.

    "Princess of Silver."

    My master called the name of the veiled woman.

    And, one step behind her, her maid stood quietly waiting.

    "Rejina..."

    "..."

    The remaining of the twin maids stood quietly, avoiding our eyes.

    In her stead, her master spoke.

    "A pleasure to meet you, Lord El-Melloi II. I've heard quite a bit about you."

    "I can't expect there's much in the way of good rumors about me floating about."

    Before my master's bitter smile, the Princess lifted her head.

    It felt like the wind had stopped entirely. It was as if all sound had ceased, as if even the flowers themselves were spellbound by her face. Peering out from within her veil, her appearance was ever so slightly different from her sisters, yet it was of course still unfathomably beautiful.

    "My sister....Did you discover something about the deaths of Caleena and the Princess of Gold?"

    That voice hit my master head on.

    It's awesome beauty pierced right through to my core.

    "I would like to express my deepest condolences for your loss," he replied with a polite bow.

    His voice had an unmistakable sincerity to it. Maybe because he was someone who knew what it meant to lose someone. What exactly had he lost in that battle so long ago? Even if one were to say he had gained a lot since then, would that be enough to even the scales?

    "However, that is why I feel it all the more important to discover the true culprit."

    "You believe your sister is innocent, then?"

    "Yes."

    His reply was instant.

    For a moment, even I was stunned. Just a little, the Princess of Silver's manner seemed to soften.

    "...you have a good brother, don't you?"

    "Yes, I certainly do," Reines replied calmy, a nod indicating the deeper meaning behind that for her.

    When Reines was like this, I sometimes felt like she would be better off acting and expressing herself more clearly. Maybe.

    Following that, Reines spoke again.

    "May I ask what happened with Trimmau?"

    "If you mean Volumen Hydrargyrum, then my father has carefully stored it away somewhere."

    "Good. I'll leave her in your care, then." Reines nodded sagely.

    Even if it was her, there was no way she was as relaxed as she was putting on. Trimmau was one of the most important Mystic Codes of the El-Melloi family, so there was no way she didn't feel like she was backed into a corner.

    As if under the threat of an invisible knife, a strange nervousness hung on the world. If magecraft was something built up out of will, then that may have been another kind of magecraft in itself. An ancient curse known by all humanity, independent of any sort of magical foundation or ritual. Words and will were both invisible, and therein lay their Mystery. Such was the driving force of many legends among those with no connection to magecraft.

    Suddenly, my master moved.

    "...by the way, I believe this belonged to your sister."

    Saying that, he pulled an object from his pocket and showed it to Rejina.

    A necklace, in which was set a stone engraved with a whirl. Rejina's eyes widened slightly as she saw the blood-stained accessory.

    "...thank you. Yes, it was my sister's."

    "It looks Celtic to me."

    "Yes. When she was born, our grandmother..."

    As if wrapped up in nostalgia, the Maid seemed to get lost within her own memory.

    Suddenly, I was assaulted by a piercing chill across my entire body. Wrapping my arms around myself, I called out as if fevered.

    "...M-Master..."

    "Hm?"

    "Yes, I felt it too. Though with his dull senses, he probably only felt slightly uneasy."

    With one eye shut, Reines interjected. Were her Mystic Eyes reacting as well?

    "Hey, watch what you're saying!"

    "I'd appreciate it if you didn't get all up in arms about basic facts. More importantly, Miss Silver Princess, would this happen to be related to Iselma's Boundary Field?"

    Fundamentally speaking, a Boundary Field was 'something that divided the inside from the outside.' If hiding something was the objective, then the highest levels of Boundary Fields were ones that were themselves impossible to discern. After all, no matter how powerful a magi was, they couldn't dismantle a Boundary Field they didn't know existed. As such, it was kind of a given that they would be difficult to detect.

    However, there was one other purpose for Boundary Fields.

    In short, for defense.

    A barrier to protect those inside from any sort of external force. A Boundary Field that reacted to the presence of enemy magi was one such example. A common type were those that would signal the presence of an enemy magus once they had stepped into the defender's territory.

    Of course, something like a Boundary Field that revealed a person's thoughts didn't really exist. If they did, something like a murder investigation would be entirely unnecessary.

    In short, this was a case of magecraft that wasn't bothering to hide itself from its opponent.

    "Please excuse me."

    With a succinct word of farewell, the Princess of Silver spun around and took her leave.

    "...Professor."

    "Flat?"

    "I think, probably over there." Flat pointed down the hill towards the nearby forest. "Looks like more than ten people. Or twenty...thirty?"

    While Flat's ability in most fields of magecraft were already fairly advanced, when it came to magical detection he was truly peerless. So while most of what he said was often dismissed out of hand as being silly or absurd, in this one area even my master put a heavy weight on his words.

    "If there's that many...someone is attacking Iselma now, of all times?" Reines' reply was clearly coloured with surprise.

    There was no way it could be a coincidence.

    While still dealing with the serial murder investigation, an army of magi were attacking. If this were a coincidence, then something like magecraft would be completely unnecessary. Magecraft was at its core a method of deceiving the world in order to recreate supernatural phenomena, but if that kind of negative miracle were possible, then magecraft had long ago taken control of the world.

    "Of course, there's no way it could be a coincidence," my master said. "Svin, it's the people you were investigating."

    "But Professor, if that's the case then we-"

    Svin's words cut off abruptly.

    From the beginning, Iselma thought of us as enemies. Would this be a situation we could work to our advantage? Or would we just get crushed along with everyone else? What would be the best play for us in this kind of chaos?

    A problem of this magnitude, while our ability to think was already wearing thin.

    Suddenly, the sun darkened.

    Clouds. Dark storm clouds were racing across the sky from the east, throwing a shadow over the entire Iselma estate. As we watched uneasily, the clouds spread above us with a clearly unnatural speed.

    The low rumble of thunder reached us.

    "-Master!"

    Instinctively, I leapt towards my master and grabbed him tight.

    At the same time, a powerful impact struck my whole body from behind.

    It felt like a bomb. I could only wonder at how much magical energy had to be invested in that attack, for it to shake the ground under us to such a degree. While the lightning itself had flowed mostly into the ground, the aftermath was enough to throw everyone around it into shock.

    "-Gray!"

    "...Gray?"

    "I'm...okay..."

    In response to Svin's alarmed shout and my master's quiet inquiry I gave a small nod. Even in this situation, Svin was keeping to my master's instructions to stay at least five meters away from me. His desperate, helpless meandering outside that space was almost amusing to watch.

    "That lightning was-!"

    "...their way of a polite greeting, it seems," my master whispered softly. Surrounded by the burnt smell left by the lightning, my master clicked his tongue as he looked up at the sky. "Weather-based magecraft aiming for an attack at sunset...doing things the old fashioned way, I see. The objective was to strip Iselma of the protection offered by the land, was it?"

    By wounding the land itself, the natural flow of magical energy would be disrupted. If that land were being managed by a magus, it was natural to expect the land itself would be enchanted with protective measures, and as such it was equally natural for an attacker to begin by attempting to neutralize that advantage.

    While the attackers' methods were certainly the opposite of subtle, there was still intelligence in them.

    Without delay, I could feel magical energy begin to move in one of Iselma's towers in response.

    The fact that the response came from the Tower of the Moon was as good as definitive proof that it housed Iselma's Workshop. While the form of the magecraft that had been set in motion there was still a mystery, the idea that it would treat us kindly was farfetched, to say the least.

    "...Master."

    "First things first, we need to withdraw to avoid taking losses of our own."

    While 'withdrawing' made it sound nice, really what he meant was we needed to hide so we didn't get caught in the crossfire. Of course it was obvious that whether we considered the attacker or the defender, neither was a magus my master's skills in magecraft could hope to equal.

    Reines replied with a small laugh. "'Let's run as fast as we can,' basically?"

    "Of course we're running. I'd rather just cover my head and get out, and never have to set eyes on this place again. If only a certain someone hadn't given them collateral."

    "To think, my brother would level such harsh words against me. My whole body is about to be set to trembling at the disgrace. Though if that's the kind of thing you're into, I think I can work on it a bit."

    "As if anyone would be interested in seeing that in their sister. Now let's hurry up and find somewhere safe to hide until this blows over." The bitterness was evident in my master's voice as he spun to leave.

    "...or," he stopped, taking back his previous words. "perhaps it's already too late for that."

    "...huh?" At first I was confused, but the meaning behind my master's increasingly bitter voice soon became clear. "...Flat!" Turning, I blurted out his name without thinking.

    Flat was, of course, nowhere to be seen. Even if we were stunned in the aftermath of the lightning, there was no way my master, Reines, and I would all fail to see him leaving unless he was intentionally trying to sneak away. Well, such sneaking was his specialty as a magus, anyways.

    "I'm going after him!"

    "Wait, Svin!"

    Without waiting to let anyone stop him, Svin immediately broke off running. And at a speed that would be hard for me to match even if I had Add's support, too. Perhaps following his scent, he ran off in a straight line to the forest nearby despite having no apparent clues as to where Flat went.

    "This is exactly why I told you two not to come here!"

    Holding a hand to his stomach, my master's perpetual frown deepened as he gave a long sigh.

  20. #900
    屍食鬼 Ghoul
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    So Gray is aware that she's being teased...

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