Page 13 of 18 FirstFirst ... 381112131415 ... LastLast
Results 241 to 260 of 341

Thread: Lord El-Melloi II's Case Files Translation, Starting From Book 6

  1. #241
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle All fictions's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Mons Regius
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    574
    US Friend Code
    909,698,324
    Quote Originally Posted by Comun View Post
    What we know firsthand from Evocation is:
    - Rufleus's ghost rings
    - Rocco's collection of Servant catalysts (don't know if he still has that in the timelines without Sub-Grail Wars everywhere)
    - Wills's ghost words
    - Shishigou's necromancy
    - Ophelia's Sixth Imaginary Substance
    - Fiore's Doc Ock arms
    There was also Caules reading/reliving the last moments of a corpse to find out the cause of death.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rafflesiac View Post
    Punching out some nerd doesn't make you a better magus.

  2. #242
    Lie Like Vortigern Reign's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Age
    28
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    9,266
    US Friend Code
    858,943,293
    The Riedenflaus from Requiem are stated to be from Evocation too, but they make homunculi and that's alchemy, so I don't know where the spirit stuff comes in with them. Maybe Koharu being able to fuse with a Servant is part of it.

  3. #243
    世はまさにパンテオン Comun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Manaus, Brazil
    Age
    27
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,769
    JP Friend Code
    262.110.454
    Yeah, Possession sounds very much like an Evocation thing.

  4. #244
    Chapter 3, Part 2
    Chapter 3, Part 2:

    It took around two hours to get there by bus and tram.

    The scenery became completely different as we arrived. The streets not only became narrower, but also seemed to be smothered by grassy fields and forests.

    My mentor and I got off the bus there. After examining a map for a while, we walked for around ten minutes before we arrived at our destination.

    After taking briefly with the sleepy old woman at the front desk, she immediately led us into the outpatient section.

    We entered a sunlit white hospital room with the tingling smell of disinfectant.

    Perhaps because there were no patients today, or because they were on lunch break, there wasn’t a nurse in sight. There was soft classical music playing in the room, possibly because it suited the owner’s tastes.

    Not long after, the person we were here to meet appeared.

    “Oh, Hello. Are you the visitor they spoke of?”

    It was a doctor of around sixty. Half of his hair had already gone white, and a pair of glasses hung from the front pocket of his white coat.

    “Nice to meet you, Mr. Gurrot.” My mentor said, bowing slightly. After shaking his hand, the doctor sat in his chair.

    “Did you come especially from London to interview me?”

    “No.”

    “Oh? Then why are you here?”

    Seeing a frown appear on the doctor’s face, my mentor smiled warmly and responded with something strange.

    “[We’ve been close friends for years now.] I just came to have a chat with you because I haven’t seen you for a while.”

    Of course, this was the first time my mentor had seen him. He had just greeted the doctor as if they hadn’t met before.

    However,

    “…Oh, yes… Right.” The doctor said, nodding with a vacant look in his eyes.

    “Huh?” I couldn’t help but say.

    My mentor put a finger to his lips.

    “Shh. That was suggestion magecraft.”

    “Suggestion magecraft…”

    To be honest, that shocked me more than the doctor’s reply.

    My mentor analyzed other people’s magecraft often, but it had been such a long time since I had seen my mentor use proper magecraft.

    “Unfortunately, it’s still just my magecraft. If anything contradictory happens, the spell will unravel immediately.” My mentor said unhappily as if he had predicted what I wanted to say. His expression was like that of a child who had it pointed out that they were bad at a subject.

    The doctor sitting across from us tilted his head slightly.

    “Is anything the matter?”

    “No, it’s alright. This is my assistant.”

    “Haha, is that so? So you’ve reached the age for that, too.”

    Under suggestion magecraft, who did he think my mentor was? What kind of story would be behind a friendship like this? Maybe it would be easier to keep things consistent if the backstory was vague. Though I had attended classes on suggestion, I wasn’t sure of the details.

    “So, as I was saying, do you remember your patients from thirty years ago?” My mentor asked.

    “…Of course I do.” The doctor replied, nodding absent-mindedly.

    “Do you remember someone who now goes by Heartless?”

    “—.”

    I gasped though I already knew what he was going to say.

    …This is what Mr. Atrum mentioned… I thought, recalling what my mentor said on the bus.

    —“Heartless has had contact with fairies in the past.”

    Atrum had written information about Dr. Heartless on the back of the envelope. There was more information than the back of the envelope could contain. The words had been made into a pseudo-magic formula that showed everything that Atrum had discovered upon reacting with my mentor’s Magic Circuits.

    In other words, it was a medium for recording magecraft, much like a compact disc.

    It was an idea that was typical of Atrum, who was not averse to fusing magecraft with technology.

    —“Though the linden leaf was stolen from me in that auction, it has helped me realize something. He probably thought that sending several people to bid together would be enough to conceal his identity. Unfortunately for him, it is a common technique to hide oneself among the sand in the land that I hail from. We have trained our senses to be able to detect the slightest smell mixed into the wind.”

    I felt as if I could see his smug expression, even though he wasn’t here.

    However, we had known all of this. When Heartless had first appeared, Melvin had mentioned that there were rumors that the former head of the Department of Modern Magecraft had his heart stolen by fairies. We believed that this experience was also the source of his strange abilities.

    It was like the Noble Phantasm that I possessed.

    —“You probably know all of this by now, but the problems with Changelings only appear after they return. I’ve heard a story about a Changeling who received the blessings of the fairies after returning to reality. That person was heralded by the Mages’ Association as a genius before that Touko Aozaki came.

    Heartless seems to have been sheltered by a doctor. This is as far as I got to, as the Holy Grail War is about to begin.”

    This was probably a natural thought from Atrum’s point of view. 

    The possibility that Heartless would become his enemy in the Holy Grail War existed, so of course he would so this.

    —“I thought that you might be able to make something of this. This is the doctor’s address. And that concludes my thanks for entertaining me.”

    His information had ended there.

    That was why we had taken the bus to this hospital.

    “I’ll tell you then, since we’re such good friends,” The doctor said after a pause.

    His white eyelashes fluttered as he recalled the incident.

    “Back then, I was still a young man full of aspirations. My late father used to reprimand me for that. But that was why I stubbornly refused when my father said that patient should be sent to a hospital with more resources. I decided to let him stay here.”

    In his troubled tone, I thought I saw what the doctor used to be like, committed to his dream and determined to make it a reality. Everyone probably has a phase like this.

    “When we first found him, he was covered with all kinds of injuries. I couldn’t believe that he was still alive. His wounds healed surprisingly quickly, but we soon realized a problem.”

    “A problem? Was his heart missing, by any chance?”

    “……”

    The doctor was silent for a moment.

    “How do you know that?”

    “I can’t tell you the details, but he told me himself.”

    “We couldn’t send him to another hospital,” the doctor said. “He had a pulse, and his blood was circulating properly. But no matter what instrument we used, we couldn’t locate his heart. It was almost like a dream… I recall that he would sometimes clutch at his chest as if he was in pain like his heart had been pierced through... Ha, to think that he calls himself ‘Heartless’ now…”

    The doctor’s voice slowly swept across the room.

    Heartless had indeed said something about his heart having been stolen on the Rail Zeppelin.

    —“It isn’t exactly Imaginary Numbers, but I can do similar things. All in exchange for my heart.”

    I recalled what Atrum said about the fairies’ curse.

    “All of this stems from Changelings, also called Kamikakushi(TN: Alternatively, being spirited away?)” my mentor said.

    His voice resounded across the white-tiled floor of the hospital room.

    Though his statement was a bit too short to be a lecture, it was still full of insight.

    “The tale of Urajimatarou from the Far East is a classic example of this, where the abducted person is taken to a completely different time and place. It’s possible that the only beings who know where Heartless came from are the fairies that abducted him and Heartless himself. (TN: Can the doctor hear all this?)”

    I didn’t know why, but my mentor’s words reminded me of the setting sun, a time when the world is indiscriminately dyed in a single shade of orange.

    What had this mysterious person received in exchange for his heart?

    “..So, are fairies real?”

    “There are familiars and Phantasmal Species like them. However, the existence of true fairies is still a mystery that we have not yet fully grasped. In a certain sense, it’s a mystery more complex than the magecraft of the Age of the Gods. After all, it was a fairy known as the Lady of the Lake who gave King Arthur her sword, Excalibur.”

    The mention of that name shook me. No matter how many times I heard it, I would never forget its significance. That name was carved into my soul, and had shaped my entire life.

    “He stayed for three weeks.”

    “Three weeks?”

    “…Ah, how have I almost forgotten? Yes. He disappeared after three weeks.”

    “He disappeared? How?”

    “Yes. He left on a cold winter morning, leaving only a neatly-folded shirt behind as if he was only an illusion.”

    “…The timeframe matches up,” my mentor said in a quiet voice. “Heartless began to be active in the Clock Tower several months afterward (TN: after what?). Mr. Norwich might have heard of his experiences and decided to help him.”

    “Mr. Norwich?”

    “I remember mentioning him before. Dr. Heartless is Mr. Norwich’s adopted son. They call him the Daddy-Long-Legs of the Clock Tower. He adopts and funds people who he believes are talented.”

    I did recall hearing this name before. His support was also the reason why the Department of modern Magecraft was named after him.

    “Hishiri Adashino also said that he was her brother, right?”

    “Yes. Norwhich’s adoptive children are in every department of the Clock Tower, including the Department of Law.. However, there has never been another example of a department head without a prestigious background. Such a miracle can never happen anywhere else except in the Department of Modern Magecraft.”

    My mentor’s words seemed to drive a nail into my heart.

    It could explain why the Department of Modern Magecraft was frequently underestimated, and why my mentor’s position was so precarious.

    “Please, think about it some more. Did anything strange happen while he was here?” My mentor asked, turning to the doctor again.

    “Strange things... let me think…”

    The doctor’s expression remained vacant as he looked up to the ceiling.

    He had asked himself how he had almost forgotten. Had the Clock Tower erased parts of his memory?

    “A mage less terrible than me might be able to dig up his memories. But all we can do now is hope he still remembers something.”

    I could see a tinge of frustration from my mentor. Would the clue that he had barely managed to catch slip from his fingers?

Finally, the doctor spoke again.

    “…Yes,” he muttered. “Yes. I remember. Back then…”

    The doctor’s fingers grasped at the air impatiently, as if he was trying to retrieve something that had been taken away from him. Finally, his hands came to rest over his own face.

    “Yes… It was a strange condition…”

    “Do you mean that Heartless had a strange condition?”

    “No, I did… I had a strange illness at the time. Every once in a while, everything would disappear before my eyes… I didn’t just see darkness. It was more like… the sense of sight had left me completely. …If you think about it, people describe anything they cannot see as darkness. It only lasted for a couple of minutes, but I worried that I had some kind of brain disease. Back then, I was constantly busy fighting with my father, so I didn’t have it checked at another hospital.

    “However, he cured me with a touch. It really surprised me. I turned around then to see him smiling happily. That was the first time I saw him smile. After that, the symptoms never appeared again. We talked a lot after that. He had a good taste in books. I recommended him some science fiction novels, and he read them impressively quickly and discussed them with me. I introduced him to things like Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics and Heinlein’s works after he married for the second time. We would talk for hours without me realizing. Ah, I still distinctly remember the feeling of wanting to be an astronaut.”

    “……”

    My mentor listened to each word as if he was trying to comprehend an oracle’s enigmatic prophecy.

    After talking a bit more, the doctor sighed.

    “So, what do you think? That’s all I can remember.”

    “I can’t thank you enough.”

    My mentor reached out and tapped the doctor’s shoulder.

    “Sorry to have bothered you.”

    “I don’t mind. I’m glad I got to talk to you after so long.”

    Perhaps because sifting through his memory had been incredibly tiring, the doctor leaned back on his seat. The light shining through the gauzy curtains illuminated the wrinkles on his hands, the sign of the passing of time which had chiseled away at the doctor’s ambitions.

    “Is he living a good life now?” He said, looking up. “I know it’s a bit strange to be asking this after forgetting for so long, but he was a very nice man. He was suffering himself, but he still cared about me. I even joked that he could become my assistant. If he had said yes, maybe my life would have turned out differently.”

    “I can’t comment on his life as a whole,” my mentor replied. “However, he has students that take his words very seriously. His motto was to dedicate your life to the most radiant thing.”

    —“Dedicate your life to the most radiant thing.”

    That was what Calugh had said back at the Secret Autopsy division. However, Calugh had been betrayed and murdered by Heartless.

    The doctor smiled faintly.

    “Oh? I was the one who told him that. He said he had no purpose in life, so I told him to search for something radiant to devote his life to. I believe that is what everyone should aim to do,” he said, putting a hand to his heart.

    Perhaps this was where the most radiant thing in his eyes could be found (TN: this sentence is vague. I think it means that being a doctor is his ambition, or something along those lines, but it could also mean that the most radiant thing for him is inside his chest cavity…?).

    “You said he has students, right? Good. That makes me feel happy. Isn’t it strange how many things make you feel happy once you get older?” The doctor said with a smile.

    That smile was the last thing we saw before we left the room.
    -End of Part 2 of Chapter 3, Book 9-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——

  5. #245
    祖 Ancestor Hawkeye's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    The Emerald Isle
    Age
    32
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    1,955
    Blog Entries
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by Reign View Post
    The Riedenflaus from Requiem are stated to be from Evocation too, but they make homunculi and that's alchemy, so I don't know where the spirit stuff comes in with them. Maybe Koharu being able to fuse with a Servant is part of it.
    I always figured stuff like this and the Card system from Kaleid was how Heroic spirits are normally invoked since fully materialising them is considered a rarity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Break View Post
    are MILFS and lolis the only two types of women you think exist in Ireland?
    Galleries for Stuff
    Gallery for Fate/GUDAGUDA Order
    http://imgur.com/a/4ErFN

    Gallery for Learning with Manga! GO
    http://imgur.com/a/qlLc5#0

  6. #246
    Onirique Daiki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    7,863
    Blog Entries
    6
    Thanks for translating the LN.

    I saw this in the other thread too but I might as well post it here since that's the most active;

    When picking a name for the department and the family ruling it, I see stuff like Astaire (the name of the Department) and Meluastea (what a mouthful) for the Lord family / faction which should at least look like Mellastaire (or Meluastaire) if you follow the naming pattern of their department. Same for Valuay and Valualeta / Valueleta.

    The first one is really bugging me, akin to have Quishua for the faculty which is named after Kishur (or however you want to spell his name), the magician. It loses the connection to the character it was named after. And since the Lord families are proud of their ties with the original Clock Tower members, at least that one should be in tone, I think.

    I mean, it's your choice how you translate but maybe keep it consistent? Stuff can be confusing as hell when translating but even more so for your readers who use your words as the basis for adding to the lore. Subtleties can be lost easily, after all.

    Also mage instead of magus (it's not a big thing though).

  7. #247
    Chapter 3, Part 3
    Chapter 3, Part 3:

    By the time we left the hospital(TN: probably clinic, actually), the sun had already started to set.

    The landscape here was different from London. There were old-fashioned buildings scattered around the landscape, and grass grew out from the sides of the pavement. All of this was being dyed crimson by the sunset.

    I could hear the sound of a bell tolling in the distance. It probably came from the church in the area. All the children who lived here probably used that bell as a sign for them to return home to a warm dinner, where their parents would ask them inconsequential questions about how their day has been.

    What was the Changeling doing at this hour? Did he have a place to return to?

    I didn’t know why, but I suddenly felt a little like crying.

    “Did you find useful hints, Sir?” I asked, surpassing my emotions.

    “Some of what he said is worth thinking about,” my mentor said, gazing into the horizon. “However, no matter what hypothesis arises from this, it is only a speculation on top of a speculation. I still don’t have anything reliable.”

    “I don’t mind how reliable it is. If it’s alright with you, Sir, could you please tell me?”

    I didn’t feel compelled to ask for an answer, but I did so anyway.

    I had only known my mentor for half a year, but I understood who he was. He wasn’t a perfectionist, but I knew that his hypotheses were useful to me, no matter how incomplete they were.

    “…I’m almost there,” my mentor said. “I feel like I’ve been chiseling at the wall of a cave. It won’t be long until I reach the other side, but I don’t know when it will happen.”

    He scratched his head in frustration as he thought.

    “There’s only a little bit left… not until I reach the full truth, but something close to it… But the distance of one step seems too far away…”

    “Sir”

    “…No, it’s alright,” he said shaking his head. Then, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a coin.

    “A Golden Stater,” he muttered. “Like I said back at Slur Street, all sorts of coins were circulated around Greece in ancient times. Ones with Iskandar’s face were especially popular. In a certain sense, his coins united cross-continental trade. Great kings like him were objects of the faith of their subjects(TN: objects and then subjects. Hm.).”

    “Faith…”

    “Exactly.”

    My mentor held the coin out and polished it with an expression of admiration. He continued speaking after examining it for a while.

    “Coins are one of the most ancient vessels of faith still present in the modern day. They’re so ubiquitous and meaningful that I don’t even need to give a lecture on the subject for you to understand. After all, modern society is built upon people’s faith in money.”

    Of course.

    Even before the prevalence of capitalism, human societies have long since been based on faith in money. As Mr. Shardan once said, money was the largest-scale magecraft created by humanity.

    “So why would Heartless want to take it into the labyrinth?”

    “Wait.”

    My mentor narrowed his eyes as if he suddenly realized something.

    “Why would he want to take the coin… into the labyrinth…?”

    I had unknowingly said something that seemed to be important.

    For a while, he continued to mutter things to himself as he ran his fingers through his long hair. Finally, he came to a revelation as he stared down at the ground.

    “Exactly! Isn’t Spirit Tomb Albion a labyrinth?”

    “…W-well, yes? At least, I think so?”

    That was the only thing I could come up with in response to that.

    Albion was a cornerstone of the Mages’ Association, made from the corpse of an ancient dragon that decayed away over centuries. We had established long ago that it was a labyrinth.

    “I’ve talked about this before, right? Labyrinths are a type of magecraft. Going through one is a type of Initiation.”

    “Um, you mean, when you told me that labyrinths and mazes are different, and that you can find another version of yourself in the deepest part of a labyrinth?”

    My mentor had discussed all of this when he first told me about Albion.
    
It had been inevitable that I(Gray) would meet another version of myself in the labyrinth beneath my hometown. In order to die and to be reborn, I had had to return there.

    —“To you, your hometown was a labyrinth.”

    Even though it had only been a couple of days, that seemed like such a long time ago. It was probably because so much had happened in this short period of time.

    “In that case, it’s clear what Heartless is trying to do to my king(TN: specifically, 我が王. Adding this note because it was emphasized). …Ah, I see now. Heartless could only be trying to do one thing by taking his shadow, Faker, to Spirit Tomb Albion.”

    “What is he trying to do?”

    My mentor continued muttering things to himself.

    “Damn it, why didn’t I notice earlier? Heartless is the former head of the Department of Modern Magecraft. It goes without saying what type of magecraft he’s best at. If he wants to summon Iskandar with the same field of expertise as me, he can only achieve limited things. Techniques in Modern Magecraft are often extremely specialized, so many components have to be pulled from beyond it, such as Emiya’s magecraft. …Oh, for goodness’ sake(TN: or at least a complaint around those lines).”

    Clouds of anxiety seemed to gather in him, just as it had been when he first realized that Heartless wanted to summon Iskandar. As if he had just unknowingly fallen into Heartless’ trap again.

    But what would it be like this time?

    Would another trap from Heartless await? Or, would my mentor’s deduction finally grasp onto his enemy’s heart?

    Or, at least the void where his heart used to be.

    “—!”

    My mentor’ shoulders began to shake, as if a sudden fire had overtaken his frail body.

    “Sir?”

    “…That’s the second Whydunit!”

    “Whydunit?”

    Had my mentor finally reached the answer?

    “I know what Heartless is trying to do now.”

    I widened my eyes in astonishment as my mentor buried his face in his hands. It was as if his Suden revelation had actually struck him.

    “But why? Why is this necessary? No. It’d certainly be the correct answer for a mage, but it shouldn’t be this simple. Touko Aozaki would find this answer ridiculous. We shouldn’t be going after something like this. If Heartless does indeed have an accomplice in the Grand Roll, how much do they know about his motive?” My mentor said in a small voice, not looking at anything in particular.

    This was a symptom of my mentor thinking too quickly. His mind was capable of leaving everything else in the world behind sometimes.

    What would happen next? I thought.

    Would my mentor finally be able to catch up to Heartless? Or, would this finally stop him from doing so for once and for all?

    “Sir?”

    Hearing my voice, he turned to look at me.

    “What is Heartless trying to do?”

    “……”

    My mentor was silent for a moment. Perhaps he was reevaluating the answer he had reached. Or, perhaps he was still hesitant to accept it.

    “This is purely baed on my speculations,” my mentor said, carefully choosing his words. “Heartless wants to use Spirit Tomb Albion to completely alter the way magecraft exists in the modern day.”

    Behind us, the red of the sky began to ebb away.
    *
    The window of the skyscraper provided a good view of the sunset.

    There were hardly any other customers in the restaurant. This place was usually filled to the brim with people at this time of year for its panoramic view of the city of London. Today, however, it had been booked for a few people.

    Specifically, they were an old woman and a burly man— Lord Valualeta and Lord Trambelio.

    “The food is alright, but the chairs aren’t kind to my back.” The old woman commented succinctly, wiping the corner of her mouth with a napkin after she finished the main course.

    “As unforgiving as ever.” McDonell replied with a smile.

    It was a charming smile that would make anyone who saw it wish to make him smile again. That was one of the gifts of those in positions like his.

    Inorai, however, met it with a cold response.

    “The problem, McDonell, is that we have different expectations. New things are often wonderful, but real art must be accepted in the moment. This food is too tailored to people who are used to fine cuisine. It is expected that innovation in this area comes from people with enough money on their hands, but even if there is enough time on the vertical axis, there aren’t enough people to experience it on the horizontal axis. (TN: I’m pretty sure that’s an accurate translation of what she said, but I still have no idea what she’s talking about).” Inorai said, picking up a glass of wine.

    “I agree, Lord Valualeta. Do you think entertainment should be simple so everyone will be able to understand it?”

    “Yes. That is a tenet of the Democratic Faction, isn’t it? Of course, the goal isn’t to simply appease as many people as possible. It is meaningless to have people accept things without actually enjoying them. We do not need to blindly pander to the masses. Instead, we should aim to win over them naturally. After all, why would anyone wish to follow a king who achieves victory in a boring way?”

    “Again, I must say. As unforgiving as ever. I think the public needs enticement rather than entertainment. What do you think, Melvin-kun?”

    “I’m quite satisfied. I thought the idea of pairing fig mousse with grilled scallops was absolutely wonderful,” the last person, Melvin Weinz said cheerfully. Even the sickly tuner stayed silent as the two Lords conversed.

    “If you don’t mind, I’m going to bring out the whiskey that I brought.”

    “Of course, please feel free to do so, Lord Valualeta.”

    “Also, no one else is here. Just call me Mrs. Inorai like you used to, even though it’s a bit disgusting.”

    “Haha. My apologies then, Mrs. Inorai,” McDonell said with a laugh. Then, he changed the topic. “We were just discussing the way magecraft exists in the modern day. What do you think about duels between mages?”

    “I don’t have an opinion on them. The Clock Tower encourages it as if we still live in medieval times.” The old woman said as she tilted her glass of Islay malt whiskey, produced in the Hebrides islands to the west of Scotland(TN: It also smells of peat. I don’t know how to fit that into the sentence though). It was her favorite drink.

    “I think it is very meaningful,” McDonell said, eyes shining with intent. “Even more so when you consider the New Agers. Maybe they have talents that can only be honed through competition.”

    “Does that justify murder? Especially since mages are already an endangered species?” Inorai said, somewhat at a loss for words.

    McDonell leaned forward, his body resembling a marble statue.

    “Do you want to give it a try? It’s been forty years, hasn’t it?”

    “Risking your life for no reason, are you? Don’t tell me you think the Grand Roll just a good stage for an unobstructed duel.”

    “Haha.”

    McDonell laughed a little. This time, it was Inorai’s turn to change the subject.

    “I heard that Dr. Heartless attacked Slur Street,” she said. “To put it plainly, it’s a warning to pressure his opponent as the Grand Roll looms over the horizon.”

    Though the time and place were far apart, the old woman arrived at the same conclusion as Lord El-Melloi II.

    That was the reason why Heartless had decided to emerge from hiding to flamboyantly attack the home of the Department of Modern Magecraft.

    “There must be someone after Heartless. Unfortunately, I don’t know why he suddenly resigned his post as the head of the Department of Modern Magecraft ten years ago, but it would make sense if someone was chasing him,” McDonell said as if that was his eternal regret. “Does the Valualeta Faction have any ideas regarding it?”

    “Who knows.” The old woman replied, disinterested. “But you understand, right? Heartless used a portal beneath Slur Street to go to Spirit Tomb Albion. And the Grand Roll will be held in the deepest part of part of Spirit Tomb Albion, the Ancient Heart.”

    “Hm. Interesting.” McDonell said, stroking his chin.

    She was right.

    The Grand Roll was no simple meeting about the mundane operation of the Clock Tower. Though it might have fallen to that level in recent years, the Grand Roll of the past was an elaborate ritual held in a section of Spirit Tomb Albion infinitely close the inner sea of the planet(TN: or stars of the inner sea I guess, if you go by Merlin’s English NP dialogue?).

    “Son. You said that the redevelopment of Albion is meaningful. The Democratic Faction agrees with you in that.”

    McDonell had said this during their discussion with Lord El-Melloi II. It was also why he proposed the Grand Roll.

    “In that case, it’s time for us to go over the relevant information to support that claim, isn’t it?”

    “I see. That makes sense,” Lord Trambelio said, nodding. “How about this!”

    With a twirl of his hand, the angelic puppets waiting beside the table spread their wings and dove over the it before gently landing and turning into a stack of books with a puff of smoke. Though the performance had been planned extensively, the Inorai accepted it without batting an eye.

    However, as she flipped through the pages, she froze.

    “Son,” she said, in an unusual tone of voice. “Is this from the Secret Autopsy Division?”

    “Hahaha, I removed the most revealing parts, but that isn’t enough to fool you, is it?”

    “Don’t play dumb. Where did you get this from? I don’t believe it would be so easy to obtain, even with the power of the Trambelios.”

    The Secret Autopsy Division had basically been granted complete freedom within the Clock Tower. Even the great family at the top of the Democratic Faction wouldn’t be able to easily access its confidential information.

    “Let’s not talk about that right now. What matters is that it backs up what I said earlier.”

    “…I see… This report details all kinds of details that cannot be found above the surface, even down to specific mining sites. The amount of excavation around the Mining City have decreased drastically, but they have remained the same in the Great Magic Circuit. In other words, you’re saying that if we redevelop Spirit Tomb Albion and establish a route directly to the Great Magic Circuit, we will be able to attain the same amounts as in the nineteenth century,” Inorai said, reading the words on the page.

    She was so used to this that she could check it with her Magic Circuits alone. That was one of the reasons why some mages still ridiculed the advance of technology in this day and age. However, the accuracy and efficiency of this technique varied based on the talent of the user.

    “But how am I meant to trust unsourced information? Do I need to check it myself? The Grand Roll is coming up too soon for that.”

    With a wry smile, McDonell backed down, probably because he sensed that he might be pulverized by the whirlwind of magic energy that was now emanating from Inorai.

    “Didn’t you just say that duels between mages never should have been made popular?”

    “I said that they are unnecessary and meaningless. Get it right, son.”

    There seemed to be a trace of kindness in the old woman’s voice.

    Like Lord Trambelio, the Lord of the Department of Creation was one of the Three Great Families. If the two ever got into a fight, it would put entire factions at stake.

    A swirl of sand formed beside Inorai’s hand.

    It meant that terrifying magecraft from the Lord of Creation(Valuay) would soon follow.
    -End of Part 3 of Chapter 3, Book 9-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——

  8. #248
    Quote Originally Posted by Daiki View Post
    When picking a name for the department and the family ruling it, I see stuff like Astaire (the name of the Department) and Meluastea (what a mouthful) for the Lord family / faction which should at least look like Mellastaire (or Meluastaire) if you follow the naming pattern of their department. Same for Valuay and Valualeta / Valueleta.

    The first one is really bugging me, akin to have Quishua for the faculty which is named after Kishur (or however you want to spell his name), the magician. It loses the connection to the character it was named after. And since the Lord families are proud of their ties with the original Clock Tower members, at least that one should be in tone, I think.

    I have no idea what I should do regarding most of the proper nouns, so I just take stuff from the wiki. I haven't really been paying attention to a lot of this stuff, so I'll make sure to keep that in mind in the future.

  9. #249
    '“I’ve believed it all along! Aren’t we part of the clock tower? Since rich people have catacombs under their mansions, wouldn’t it seem weirder if there wasn’t something like that under the Clock Tower? Closed gates! Hidden treasures troves! Monster surprised you!(TN: This is a reference to some graffiti on the wall of a maze in the game The Portopia Serial Murder Case, which itself is a reference to something in some other game which I couldn’t find the name of)!”'

    Wizardry. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wizardry While Waver is describing Albion Spirit Tomb, Flat keeps making Wizardry references. In the game, The Portopia Serial Murder Case, there was a shoutout in the last maze of an inscription on the wall saying a monster was going to attack you. It's not true, but it happens in the Wizardry games.
    Last edited by Andyzero; June 7th, 2022 at 09:33 AM. Reason: Fixing grammar

  10. #250
    Onirique Daiki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    7,863
    Blog Entries
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by azwhoisverybored View Post
    I have no idea what I should do regarding most of the proper nouns, so I just take stuff from the wiki. I haven't really been paying attention to a lot of this stuff, so I'll make sure to keep that in mind in the future.
    That's cool. The wiki isn't always the most reliable so if you're unsure about something (if the source is unreliable for example) feel free to ask around.

  11. #251
    Chapter 3, Part 4
    Chapter 3, Part 4:

    “Heartless wants to use Spirit Tomb Albion to completely alter the way magecraft exists in the modern day.”

    I was dumbfounded as my mentor’s voice echoed away in the receding light.

    “—Huh?”

    I had no idea what my mentor was talking about.

    Ever since I became my mentor’s disciple, I had encountered all kinds of unbelievable things. A great example of this was the super weapon of Atlas hidden in my hometown, which had the ability to make it feel like I was traveling back in time.

    However, this was different.

    It was far more significant than what had happened at Adra, the Castle of Separation, or at the Twin Towers of Ilsema. Even the incident at my hometown would only affect Wales, at worst.

    This would impact the way all magecraft existed in the modern day.

    In a certain sense, it was the first large-scale crisis we had encountered(TN: I mean I would call the entirety of Wales kind of large-scale but sure).

    “Us mages always aim for the Root.”

    My mentor brought up something that had come up many times before. The Root was the ultimate goal of all modern mages; an end that must be reached at any cost.

    Though no one knew that the Root was, my mentor said that it was the origin of everything.

    That was why the Clock Tower devoted an endless amount of resources to pass their dreams on to the next generation, even going as far as to redevelop Spirit Tomb Albion.

    “But what if we don’t need to anymore?”

    “Huh?”

    The same, ridiculous sound escaped my throat again.

    “What does that mean, Sir? Hasn’t it been mages’ ultimate wish for two thousand years? I think you’ve said several times that now that the Age of the Gods has ended, mages have no choice but to aim for the root. They can’t just suddenly stop needing to, can they?”

    “……”

    My mentor did not respond immediately.

    Perhaps because he saw something that was beyond my(TN: or his) imagination, he spent some time mulling over his words before he spoke.

    “…I have to reiterate, I’m mostly confident in this hypothesis, but it’s still a hypothesis. Understood?”

    “Yes.”

    “Good. …First, the mages of the Age of the Gods do not aim for the Root because they don’t have to. This is because the Root is quite close to them.”

    I had heard this explanation many times before. Modern mages chased after the Root, but ancient mages did not.

    “Faker is an example.”

    By now, we were already familiar with her. She was a Servant who had been summoned from many millennia ago.

    “The magecraft we know of is no more than the manipulation of formulas(TN: Alternatively, spells). It is only a trick to briefly fool the world. Their magecraft, on the other hand, directly connected with the Root and Divine Spirits— no, the gods themselves.” My mentor said, confirming the difference between mages in modern times and in the Age of the Gods, which had only been hinted at until now.

    “Oh…”

    Was that so? I thought.

    “We only know how to fool the world. They had the power to rewrite it however they wish. That is how powerful Divine Spirits are. Of course, they could only wield a fragment of the gods’ powers, but they were still far more powerful than we can ever aspire to be. Some of their spells are similar to the Ten-Count spells we use to deceive the world, but they are still fundamentally different. You could say that we are entire dimensions behind them. They were capable of changing the world with a single word by simply invoking the gods.”

    The rules had changed.

    I had heard something similar before in a lecture.

    Even a Ten Count spell had its limitations, but it was capable of somewhat influencing the laws of reality. For instance, a high-level spell like reversing the pull of gravity in an area or making light travel at the speed of a snail for a few minutes was very close to reaching the rules of the world.

    Besides that, there were forbidden things like Reality Marbles that achieved a similar effect.

    “…U-um… Can you wait a second… please...”

    I heard a grating noise inside my head.

    It was easy to understand Mystic Eyes and labyrinths because they were easy to imagine. The magecraft of the entire Clock Tower, however, was too conceptual for my brain to handle.

    “Magecraft today is different from magecraft in the Age of the Gods. That I can understand, at least somewhat. Because mages from the Age of the Gods are very close to the Root, they don’t need to chase after it. I’m not sure why, but I can understand that as well. But what does all of this have to do with Heartless?”

    “I’m afraid that— No. I’m sure of it. Heartless wants to create a god for mages.”

    I was at a loss for words. It was just too far-fetched.

    “…Is something like that even possible?” I asked carefully, suppressing my worries that my mentor’s mind had gone wonky because of Heartless’ schemes.

    “It’s not impossible. There are already legends that Iskandar was a descendant of Zeus. There is even evidence of people attempting to make him an Olympian. There were already plenty of heroes who were later deified, so why couldn’t someone as great as him become one as well? Like I said before, there were even rumors that he was a reincarnation of the Egyptian god Amun.”

    My mentor’s voice carried a strange mix of vexation and admiration.

    “On top of that, a similar ritual meant to draw out greater mystery is being held right now in the Far East. All Heartless needs to do is adjust it slightly.”

    “……”

    I could feel a tingling sensation on my skin.

    It was probably because something similar had come up in every incident so far. They all aimed for something great enough to change the world… such as one of the Seven Superweapons of the Atlas Institute.

    “But... how?”

    “Like you said, Lady. Spirit Tomb Albion is a labyrinth.”

    My mentor had already explained the significance of labyrinths in magecraft.

    “An initiation surrounding death and rebirth…”

    “Exactly,” my mentor said, nodding. “Faker is Iskandar’s shadow, and the properties of a labyrinth apply to Heroic Spirits as well. Since both Faker’s class and identity are shadows, the ritual will naturally be connected to the true Iskandar in the Throne of Heroes.”

    I wanted to shout that it couldn’t be possible.

    However, it made sense. We had already established that Heartless wanted to summon the true Iskandar. That was the core of my mentor’s earlier deductions. If that wasn’t the case, he wouldn’t have despaired.

    “Then, upon establishing a connection, it is necessary to extract a more refined Spirit Origin. I suppose you could call it the process of ascension.”

    “…Ascension…”

    “Of course, this is all usually within the bounds of a Heroic Spirit. On the other hand, however close the Heroic Spirit gets to their original essence, they are still far from a Divine Spirit. No matter how many times you ascend them, they are still only a Servant. Class labels like Faker or Saber already restrict Heroic Spirits to a single facet of their abilities. That’s why I never considered this possibility before.”

    My mentor’s voice was unusually powerful.

    Perhaps it was because this blind spot still existed, even after he had thought it through so many times. This possibility had been deemed too absurd to actually happen.

    “There are many elements required to create a Divine Spirit. …Add, you know about them, right?”

    “Ihihihi! It’s not every day I get called on by the teacher!” Came an excited voice from the hook at my right shoulder.

    “I find it rather apt that your seal is similar.”

    “Haha! Yes. Rhongomyniad’s no ordinary Noble Phantasm. It’s very close to the origin of the planet(TN: Or possibly the stars). If this seal had never gotten smacked onto it, the user would gradually become a Divine Spirit.”

    That was why Add existed. The gravekeepers before me said that it was necessary to seal Rhongomyniad away. I had thought that it was simply because the Mystery inside it would fade away. I had never known that there was another purpose.

    “The problem is, it never affected King Arthur in the decades that she owned it. There are no substantial affects to using Rhongomyniad within a human lifespan. All it does is make the wielder ever-so-slightly more like a Divine Spirit.”

    “Exactly. There just isn’t enough time,” my mentor said, taking over from Add. “It takes an enormous amount of time to make a deity through receiving worship and divine energy. Faith also needs to spread throughout the population, which requires even longer.”

    “Time…”

    I seemed to recall hearing something related not long ago. I immediately remembered a foreign-sounding name.

    “…Oh! That’s where Emiya’s…”

    “Exactly. That’s where the Seal-Designated magecraft of Emiya comes in.”

    Indeed. That was a spell to create a flow of time separate from everything else.

    …Wait, I thought.

    I seemed to hear the sound of puzzle pieces falling into place. It was simultaneously exhilarating and dreadful, as if I was watching an anthill collapse in on itself.

    Cold winter wind blew across my face.

    My mentor took out a cigar and attempted to light it with shaking fingers. He succeeded in the end, and purple smoke began to trail from it.

    “The problem of time can be solved with Emiya’s magecraft. It was originally intended to be used to reach the end of time in order to arrive at the Root. In this situation, because Servants cannot age, they cannot be overloaded. It’s just like how a few thousand years are nothing compared to the billions of years the earth has existed for.

    “Another thing. The Grand Roll is always held in a special location in the very center of Spirit Tomb Albion.”

    I gasped.

    No one had told me about this.

    “While the Grand Roll is being held, a special dam is unsealed. Because it is a ritual of sorts, it is held in the heart of the ancient dragon.”

    I had seen that name before on Svin’s diagram.

    The Ancient Heart.

    Also known as the very center of Spirit Tomb Albion.

    “When that happens, the Ancient Heart will be flooded with Magical Energy that cannot be found anywhere else. That is probably why Heartless chose to summon Iskandar right now. The Heart is an underground observatory of the Inner Sea of the Planet. As the Magical Energy of the ancient dragon swells, the conditions are perfect to transform a Heroic Spirit into a Divine Spirit.”

    My mentor’s words were like a string of incantations.

    I had never thought that this would be possible. However, my mentor’s deductions gradually gave Heartless’ plot a shape.

    Of course, this was what magecraft was meant to be like. It was the way of a mage to manipulate mystery to create unbelievable results.

    “Then, the coin from just then becomes important,” my mentor said, holding up the Golden Stater, which was illuminated by the light of the setting sun.

    “Money, and the economy that results from it, is one of the strongest beliefs of mankind. In that case, it should be very easy to create some form of worship using coins as a medium. Hah, a trick like this is really emblematic of Modern Magecraft, isn’t it? It should be quite simple to establish a path because the coin was already connected to Iskandar when he was still alive, especially considering that this is Heartless we’re dealing with.”

    Beliefs and Divine Spirits.

    In other words, he didn’t aim to recreate a god through faith. Instead, Heartless wanted to draw power from the god through faith.

    “After Iskandar becomes a Divine Spirit, this golden coin will become a grand Mystic Code that acts as a bond between god and mage. It’s not hard to imagine New Agers being drawn in by this promise of greatness. Though it probably requires a similar amount of training, just in a different form, those mages have no future right now. With this, they will suddenly become mages of the Age of the Gods. They will be able to escape the confines of their bloodlines.”

    “……”

    I didn’t know what to say.

    “But…”

    Was that… wrong?

    Did it need to be stopped?

    It was the opportunity that countless mages like my mentor probably hoped for. A way to achieve great things regardless of what family they were born into. In a certain sense, didn’t my mentor wish for this just as much as reuniting with Iskandar?

    It made perfect sense why my mentor would be troubled.

    After following this chain of reasoning until its end, Heartless had turned the tables and trapped my mentor instead. I finally understood why he didn’t ask for my mentor’s help. His goal fit too well.

    “…I must after go him.” My mentor said.

    “How though? Oh, what if we first head to the place where the Grand Roll is being held and go from there?”

    “We can’t. The Grand Roll was designed to be impervious to distractions. No one can leave or enter during the day. To get there, participants need to use a portal that opens from the Mining City. It doesn’t make sense if Lords had to go dungeon crawling every time a Grand Roll is held, does it?”

    Maybe he intended that as a joke, but I found it hard to laugh.

    My mentor’s pace quickened as he started toward the train station.

    “We’re returning to Slur Street. I need to discuss something with Reines. Depending on how the Grand Roll goes, we might need to call on the help of other Lords.”

    …But there might be an accomplice of Heartless’ there, I thought.

    As I walked after my mentor in the growing darkness, I felt as if we were caught in the palm of a giant’s hand.
    *
    McDonell stared silently at the sand swirling atop the table. He knew the old woman’s magecraft very well.

    She had three elements— Earth, Wind, and Water. However, this rare gift was hardly impressive next to her lineage, which had existed for millennia. The true terror of Lord Valualeta lay in the fact that she was the most mage-like mage that McDonell knew.

    Even a plot built up over a decade could fall to pieces at her feet if she so wished. If anything arose that conflicted with her beliefs as a mage, Inorai Valualeta Atroholm would toss away those mundane thoughts without a moment of hesitation.

    That was how the situation was kept stable, even though one of the most “proper” departments had joined the Democratic Faction.

    The sand continued to swirl.

    How fatal could she make this handful of sand?
    
After a few more seconds of hesitation, McDonell made his choice.

    “I give up. I’ll confess!” He announced. Then, he turned. “Ow. My shoulders are sore. Could you help, Melvin-kun?”

    “Of course.”

    Melvin stood up with a nod. McDonell smiled as he picked up his violin case.

    “Haha, I haven’t gotten to show off in front of Mrs. Inorai for a while. I still remember getting reprimanded by you because my reports were formatted incorrectly back when I was still a student.”

    “Well, you certainly haven’t gotten rid of your bad habit of rushing things.”

    The tune of the violin drifted through the restaurant.

    Although this restaurant would often invite famous musicians to play, the music was rarely this wonderful. Melvin’s tuning was more than just a way to enhance Magic Circuits. It was(TN: I’ll come back to complete this sentence later. Basically, the music is also good)

    “…Simply wonderful,” McDonell said, tapping his fingers to the music. “I see, the Magical Energy in the tune revitalizes Magic Circuits. This is what true immersion feels like. If it weren’t for your physical condition, I might even consider making you my successor.”

    “Please don’t spook me by flattering me like that. It might make me vomit blood.”

    Seeing Melvin continue to play his violin without being affected at all, McDonell smiled.

    “I have something I want to ask you. Which do you value more, friends or family?”

    The tune of the violin continued. Since Melvin had been entrusted by McDonell to perform a task, he would do so with perfection.

    “Haha, that’s a… direct question. Should I take this as an order from the head of the family?”

    “No, there’s no need to take it that seriously.”

    “Even if you say so, Mama will be troubled if I don’t.”

    “Ah. I never intended on troubling the head of the Weinz family.” McDonell said, winking as if he was telling some kind of joke.

    …Wait, Melvin thought as he continued to play.

    Something was wrong. It felt as if he suddenly found himself almost submerged in water.

    …The entire room… has been swallowed up by Lord Trambelio…! He realized.

    The restaurant was filled with potent Magical Power, and Melvin felt as if someone had just dunked him into a pool.

    Lord Trambelio had achieved this just then, when he nearly fought Inorai. Just like how Inorai began to manipulate sand, Lord Trambelio also prepared to unleash the magecraft he was proficient at.

    Typically, magecraft beyond a certain threshold required the user to take in large amounts of Mana from the air, and then light it with their own Od as a fuse.

    However, the Magical Energy emanating from McDonell was enough to forego this process entirely.

    “The silence we hold dear burns brighter than fire(Sheep will burn quietly). (TN: that is exactly what it says???)”

    Suddenly, fire appeared outside the window, even though this building was hundreds of meters tall. It gathered into a giant ball of flame before disappearing as quickly as it had appeared.

    “Did you notice it as well, Melvin-kun?” McDonell said with a smile.

    Yes, he had.

    The fire had burnt the thing to a crisp, and its charred remains fell to the ground outside the building.

    “Using a familiar to spy on us? How boring. It probably came from the absent Neutral Faction. If they care so much, why don’t they just attend the Grand Roll?”

    “…..”

    If McDonell had used Mana, the familiars would have noticed and escaped. Instead, he only used the Od inside himself, slaughtering them all before they could realize. This was one of the specialties of McDonell Trambelio Elrond— a truly terrifying amount of raw power.

    Since he was a mage of the modern era, he needed to recite a one-count incantation. After that, he could use any number of spells connected to it because of the violent efficiency of his Magic Circuits.

    It was only natural that he was the most powerful person in the Trambelio Faction.

    His qualifications were more than the average person could imagine. Lord Trambelio had outstanding abilities as a mage. Even though Melvin had witnessed the abilities of many mages as part of his job, it was the first time he had seen anything like this.

    Melvin could feel his knees tremble slightly, even though he had thought that he was more resistant to fear than his friend.

    …Sorry, Waver. He thought.

    He could only succumb. Lord Trambelio’s magecraft showed that Melvin didn’t stand a chance again. If he didn’t retreat here, he might slip up and make a fatal mistake.

    That was why Inorai and McDonell had made a scene on purpose.

    No, that was more than a performance. If someone had misstepped, maybe it would devolve into a duel. That was why the Clock Tower was so scary. It was a game of kings, where a surge of emotion could dictate the fate of the entire world.

    “Is the tuning over?” McDonell asked, turning to look at Melvin disappointedly.

    “I guess so. If you want something more professional, please visit my workshop later.”

    “I see. I’ll look forward to it, then,” McDonell said, picking up the silver bell beside his hand. “Let us continue our conversation.”

    With the light tinkling of bells, the door opened and a tall figure entered the room.

    It was a dark-skinned woman, whose eyes shone full of intention. Though Melvin didn’t know her, he figured that she must be important.

    “As I was saying, this is my source of information,” McDonell said. “This is Asheara Mystras of the Materials Branch of the Secret Autopsy Division. She is one of Heartless’ students, possibly one of the last people he ever taught.”



    Melvin had a vague impression of that name because he exchanged information with Reines quite often. Of course, there were certain things that they couldn’t talk about because of their positions, but he recalled that Asheara was one of Heartless’ former students. After meeting with Lord El-Melloi II at the Secret Autopsy Division, she had disappeared.

    All of this was already remarkable, but the woman’s response was even more shocking.

    “Please don’t do this, Father.”

    “……”

    Melvin was momentarily at a loss for words.

    “Yes. As she said,” McDonell continued, acknowledging the suddenness of the statement. “She’s also my twelfth daughter.”

    “What?” Inorai asked, also shocked.

    “Is that strange?”

    “Well… I know you have many wives and daughters. You are a Lord, so certain things can be excused. But it’s an entirely different matter if she’s a part of the Secret Autopsy Division.”

    “I already said that I was going to explain. A while ago, I was on a secret joint expedition with the Secret Autopsy Division to Spirit Tomb Albion. I met Asheara at the Mining City, and I couldn’t help but notice her wit and resilience. And her appearance, of course, but that goes without saying. I wanted to send a special request to get her back to the surface, but she refused.”
    
“I wouldn’t have been able to help that way.”

    “……”

    Of course, Melvin knew of McDonell’s habits. To put it nicely, he had a lot of love to dispense. Melvin reckoned that McDonell had enough wives and daughters to play baseball against each other. Either way, it was an extremely effective tactic to gain power through political marriages in the World of Magecraft.

    However, it had never crossed his mind that one of Heartless’ students would be McDonell’s daughter—

    Inorai stared at her with a gaze full of ice. The light of the chandelier illuminated her hand, which was firmly atop the classified files from the Secret Autopsy Division.

    “I can’t allow Dr. Heartless to continue going after his students, so I called her back. Perhaps I’ll be mocked, but I must protect my daughter.”

    McDonell put a hand on his daughters shoulder and smiled again. That gesture alone conveyed the bond his family had, even though many were not related by blood.

    …We’re doomed, Melvin thought, clenching his teeth. The Lords had cards up their sleeves.

    They either diligently collected them for the Grand Roll tomorrow, or revealed them to cause panic. Revealing Asheara’s identity here was so tat the Democratic Faction would be more united— In other words, to prevent backstabbing. He was implying that it wasn’t a good idea to go against someone with so many cards.

    If the need came up, he could also play cards to threaten others. Up until now, Melvin had been confused as to why he was called here, but now, McDonell’s reasoning was clear. Melvin was the obvious choice, as he was a convenient source of information who was moderately rebellious and somewhat prominent. Above all that, Melvin was also trusted by the people around him.

    McDonell had clearly calculated the right moment to incinerate the familiar of the Neutral Faction. He intended on leaking the knowledge that he had information from the Secret Autopsy Division.

    There were plenty of monsters lurking about the Clock Tower.

    However, not many could match Lord Trambelio in his skill at playing this delicate game of cards. He was doing exactly what he claimed the Democratic Faction stood for— deceiving the masses.

    One could say that he was the king of the new era.

    There was one thing in Melvin’s mind as he saw McDonell’s smile.

    …As long as my desperate attempt reaches you, he thought.
    -End of Part 4 of Chapter 3, Book 9-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——

  12. #252
    The Long-Forgotten Sight Rafflesiac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    38,448
    JP Friend Code
    Shoot me a PM
    Blog Entries
    16
    Will Waver crash Iskandarcoin? Stay tuned!
    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  13. #253
    Are you planning to tackling the Adventures of Lord El-Melloi once you're done with volume 10?

  14. #254
    Chapter 3, Part 5
    Chapter 3, Part 5:

    By the time we arrived at the station, night had completely set in.

    I peered across the interweaving branches that grew from the crumbling platform, at the constellations that hung in the winter sky. Perhaps because the light from the streetlights was faint, each star glittered brilliantly.

    However, my mind was fixed on matters that went on in a place that the light of the stars could not reach, as if they wanted to hide from the stars’ gaze.

    “Damn it, she’s not picking up!” My mentor said, turning off his phone angrily.

    “Why?”

    “I told her the gist of things before we boarded the bus. After that, I wanted to talk about the way forward, but she hung up, and wouldn’t pick up no matter how many times I called. All she sent was a text that said: ‘I get it. There’s a pointless struggle(TN: there’s probably a better word) heading your way, I’ll leave the decision to you.’”

    “A pointless struggle?”

    It did sound like something Reines would say, but I had no idea what it meant.

    That was why I was a bit slow in realizing the change in the train station.

    No one else is here…? I thought.

    Of course, this was a random station in the countryside, so it wasn’t impossible that no one was there. However, it was around 7 P.M., so it felt a bit strange.

    “Sir?”

    “…Oh.”

    My mentor entered a preparative stance, strengthening his limbs. Perhaps because he was more timid than other people, he gave the impression of being reliable.

    Slowly, a thick mist surrounded us. It was evidently the creation of some kind of magecraft. Not far behind it was the sound of steam which did not belong in this era.

    “Wait, this is-”

    The front of a rust-colored engine cleaved apart the fog, at the head of a metallic train. Its side rods moved in unison like musicians’ bows in an orchestra, creating a strangely nostalgic tune.

    “…The Rail Zeppelin…?”

    The old-fashioned train complemented the crumbling station sell, adding a sense of beauty to the otherwise mundane scene.

    My mentor and I stood there, frozen in place. Our reaction made sense, considering the events that had occurred on this train.

    The door of the train opened slowly, revealing the silhouette of a thin man.

    It was Rodin, the conductor of the Rail Zeppelin, whose name I had almost forgotten.

    “Good evening, Lord El-Melloi II.” He said with a bow.

    “…Why are you here?”

    “It appears that Mr. Melvin Weinz’s intuition was correct.”

    “Mr. Melvin…?!” I blurted out in surprise.

    “Indeed. Mr. Melvin informed us of Heartless’ flight to Spirit Tomb Albion and decided that you might wish to pursue him. He contacted us to help you with that goal. We also have unsettled scores with Dr. Heartless, after all.”

    There was a shocking amount of enthusiasm in his otherwise emotionless voice.

    “Not only did he interrupt our famous Mystic Eye auction, but he also caused us to waste many sets of precious Mystic Eyes in a pointless battle. As a result, our Deputy Manager is still dormant. We cannot allow him to continue to wreak carnage.”

    That was true.

    The Rail Zeppelin had suffered significant losses because of the fight with Heartless and Faker. Regardless of the identity of the owner of the train, it was impossible to simply ignore this disgrace. Melvin had probably considered this, which was why he chose to play this card now.

    Now was the perfect time to use the Rail Zeppelin’s undivided support to finally corner Heartless.

    “We have also spoken with Miss Reines. We understand why you wish to head to Spirit Tomb Albion.”

    So that was why Reines had said that. Even if she wasn’t talking to my mentor, I felt as if she would have said something similar(TN: similar = similarly 口悪い = similarly sarcastic…?).

    “Our train can take you to the Mining City. It should be the best way of traveling there.”

    Rodin said this because the Rail Zeppelin traveled between worlds, much like Spirit Tomb Albion, which also didn’t exist within the same bounds as the rest of the world. This fact made the Rail Zeppelin one of the best ways to travel there.

    But, could we really accept the offer so easily?

    “Sir?”

    “…If Reines has given you so much information, she is probably prepared to attend the Grand Roll in my place. I see. That’s why she didn’t answer my calls. She’d definitely rather throw me into the middle of a whirlpool than properly explain,” my mentor said with a tsk. Then, he turned to the conductor. “But Gray and I won’t be able to achieve anything. Heartless has probably reached as far as the Great Magic Circuit by now, and Gray is the only one who can fight. I won’t allow my students to continue to be involved in this, either.”

    “We are aware of that. So they’re already here.”

    “They’re already here?”

    The second the question left my mouth, the answer appeared.

    “Hey!”

    A certain mage opened the door to the train and waved at us cheerfully. He had a stocky build, tanned skin, and an unkempt beard that was tucked into a dirty headscarf. In the darkness of the empty train station, he looked as if he stood in a ray of sunlight, in stark contrast to the ominous hues that surrounded most of the mages I met. No matter what the rest of the world was like, I got the feeling that he would always remind me of a refreshing gust of desert wind.

    “What are you staring at? Have you forgotten about me? Does the name Flue ring any bells?”

    It was Flueger, the astrologer who we had met at Adra, the Castle of Separation.

    “Why are you here, Mr. Flue?”

    “Hahaha, I actually accepted a commission from your little sister a long time ago. She asked me to go to Spirit Tomb Albion— actually, ‘ordered’ is probably a better word to describe her attitude— so I got on this train.”

    “So it was Miss Reines…” I muttered.

    She had probably contacted Melvin not long after my mentor and I headed here. After that, while Melvin prepared the train, she had recruited people to join us on our trek through the labyrinth. Perhaps she had even considered this before my mentor found out Heartless’ goal.

    Flue was not the only one here, either. Someone else stood behind the astrogloger.

    “It’s been a while, Lord El-Melloi II, and Miss Gray,” the young man said. He was missing his right arm. I knew I would never forget that I had done that to him with Rhongomyniad.

    A black eye patch covered his right eye, and a small hat known as a tokin sat on his head. My mentor had told me back at Adra Castle that this was the attire of those in Japan who practiced shugendō.

    “Jirobou Seigen Tokitou,” my mentor said. “…Um, excuse me, can I call you Seigen?”

    To make a long story short, Seigen was the culprit in the case at Adra Castle. Another persona had been given to him unwillingly after he had his Magic Crest repaired there. In other words, his Magic Crest had overwritten his original persona. It was possible that the person we knew as Seigen no longer existed.

    “…Seigen works,” the monk replied spitefully. “The memories of the boy from the castle are mixed with mine. Sometimes I can’t tell whether I’m Jiroubou Seigen Tokitou or Granide Ashborn. Either way, I’m still Seigen. I’ll be glad if you call me that.”

    How much time had it taken him to arrive at this conclusion? The idea of not knowing which of your memories and feelings actually belonged to you terrified me. What must he have felt(TN: grammar?) when his body twisted into something else?

    “…I see.” My mentor said with a slight nod.

    “Do you still remember Heine Istari’s younger sister, Rosalind?”

    “Of course.”

    Heine was the monk who had lost his life at Adra Castle, also known as the Knight. He had originally gone to the Castle of Separation to repair the Magic Crest of the Istari family, which had been altered after it had been transplanted onto Rosalind. After he got there, Seigen(Granide Ashborn) had killed him.

    Recalling this, a wry smile appeared on Seigen’s face.

    “I swear your little sister is a demon in disguise. She said that her family would protect Rosalind to the best of their ability, in exchange for a small favor. Hmph, some small favor this is.”

    It was true. It was impossible for Seigen to refuse such an offer. Though Seigen had technically killed Heine, he had built up a friendship with him before Granide Ashborn took over, so Heine had entrusted him to protect Rosalind.

    “My apologies. I also believe that she is a demon.”

    I agreed as well. Maybe I should talk to Reines about it later, but I figured she probably knew it better than anyone else.

    “They say you need five people to traverse Spirit Tomb Albion, don’t they? There’s another person waiting.” Seigen said, turning.

    Soon, a displeased voice rang out from the train.

    “And here I was, thinking that I wouldn’t meet you for quite a while.”

    It was a voice that I last heard only half a day ago.

    I hadn’t thought that the young woman would command the night the same way she did the day, but it was quite the opposite. The mist in the station decorated her impeccable golden curls, which framed her striking face. Her cobalt dress wafted about in the breeze, making me feel as if I was at a ball.

    It was Luviagelita Edelfelt.

    “You as well?”

    “Blame the astrologer over there,” Luvia said with a glare. Flueger looked away immediately, trying to pass it off.

    “Ahaha, I did a little fortune-telling, and guess what! It told me that the most powerful person I know happens to be in London. I simply had to invite you. Don’t you agree?”

    “I don’t, but I concede that the matter at hand is interesting. A chance to ride the Rail Zeppelin does not offer itself up every day, especially not to Spirit Tomb Albion.”

    Luvia had hired Flueger back at Adra Castle to kill my mentor. Her definition of “kill” was not the boring, simple kind— it was far worse.

    —“That lady wants to prove your worthlessness in a way that practically renders you dead in the World of Magecraft.”
    —“Her way of thinking is so political it makes me want to laugh.”

    I think that was when I decided I didn’t hate Luvia.

    Before I knew my mentor very well, I thought that all mages were extremely weird. They seemed to all be drowning in a thousand years’ worth of hopeless delusions.

    The darkness that I witnessed at that castle had left a deep impression in my heart. However, it also taught me that mages who sought to fight against the darkness existed. My experiences at Adra Castle probably made me sympathize with mages for the first time.

    Luvia slowly walked down onto the concrete of the platform toward my mentor.

    “I understand that you do not want your students to be involved in your conflicts,” she said, pointing to him. “I am not one of your students. Surely that allows me to join you in your quest.”

    “…And yet you keep asking me to become your tutor,” my mentor sighed, covering his face with his hands.

    Luvia smiled. “Does that mean you finally agree to be my tutor?”

    “No. Not at all. So I have a request for you all.”

    My mentor lowered his hands and looked to the mages, addressing each of them in turn.

    “Luviagelita Edelfelt. Flueger the Astrologer. Jirobou Seigen Tokitou. Could you please lend me your strength to solve a personal issue of mine? My request is demanding. It involves taking an entire day to traverse Spirit Tomb Albion and defeat Heartless and the Ghost Liner whom he has a contract with.”

    “Do you still have to specify that it’s a personal issue at this point? I’m just a mercenary, though. It’s not my job to question my employer about unnecessary things.”

    “And I don’t really have a choice.”

    Both Flue and Seigen accepted without much hesitation.

    “I know how urgent the situation is, and I cannot allow you to to be left alone.” Luvia said, closing one of her eyes in satisfaction.

    “Everyone here is from the first case,” I said in a small voice.

    Of course, the first case technically was the one that happened at my hometown. Aside from that, I had a strong impression of the incident at Adra, the Castle of Separation. That was the first time I had seen my mentor dissect magecraft to solve a case. If I were to record all of these events into a case file of sorts, I would definitely make that story the first chapter.

    My mentor turned to face the conductor.

    “Can I hand the next part to you?”

    “Yes. The Rail Zeppelin shall take you to Spirit Tomb Albion.”

    After a bow, Rodin gestured to the door of the train. As if the train itself understood, the noble sound of a whistle pierced through the night.

    -End of Part 5 of Chapter 3, Book 9-
    ————————————————————————————

  15. #255
    Afterword
    Afterword by Makoto Sanda:

    —The greatest secret of the Clock Tower is hidden within its depths, buried within mystery that is impossible to find in the surface world. At the same time, it was part of an ancient taboo that could not be broken.

    Its name is Spirit Tomb Albion. Thou shalt witness the greatness of the great deceased dragon.
    *
    My sincerest apologies…!

    If you want to know why I’m apologizing, just look to the title. It’s “Grand Roll(Middle)”. If you want to blame me for going back on my promise that this was going to be the final book, I can only ask for your forgiveness.

    Actually, I got the feeling that this arc was going to be three books long a while ago, when I was planning out the previous volume. I discussed it with Mr. Nasu. If I wrote in the previous afterword that I wasn’t sure whether the next book would be the last, all the people waiting be unhappy… After much hesitation, we decided on this. I am really very sorry.
    *
    At the same time, because of the unprecedented length of this arc of the story, I believe it contains a deeper and more complicated story. The final question for Lord El-Melloi II to solve has been revealed, containing hidden secrets in Heartless’ past, mysteries in Spirit Tomb Albion, the interference of the Grand-ranked mage, Touko Aozaki, and the Lords’ scheming.

    Ever since I learnt of the Clock Tower and the labyrinth beneath it, I couldn’t help but wish to borrow it as a prop. My immaturity in that regard is probably the main reason why there’s an extra book.

    In the past few years, I have constantly had an idea about the ending of this story swirling about my mind. Finally being able to write it makes me incredibly happy, but also somewhat sad.

    Without your support, this story about a gloomy Lord and a grave keeper girl would never have become what it is now. I hope you all can witness their journey to the very end, until the mystery finally comes to light.
    *
    The manga version of the Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II by Tou Azuma-sensei has been continuing excellently. I don’t have anything to say that cannot already be conveyed by the shockingly intricate illustrations of the world of Case Files.

    The third volume will be on sale in January of 2019, so be sure to pick up a copy.

    Besides that, an original manga that I am in charge of writing, Bestia, will be released on KADOKAWA on the same day(!). I would be very glad if you all give it a look. (I’m also grateful for getting to collaborate with Aco Arisaka-sensei, who was behind the character design of Seikaisuru Kado(TN: Also known as KADO: The right answer. The person on the poster of that anime looks so much like Merlin.))

    Finally, I would like to thank Mineji Sakamoto-sensei for designing the characters and creating the illustrations, Kiyomune Miwa-san for the ever-detailed fact checks, Ryogo Narita-san for checking Flat’s lines, Nasu-san for entrusting me with this world and these characters, and OKSG-san for helping me edit, among other members of the staff at TYPE-MOON.

    Of course, I would also like to thank you for reading.

    Usually, the next volume will be sold at the summer Comiket in August. However, I know it must be hard to wait until then, so I will try and release it earlier if I can. It will most likely be available when spring turns to early summer.

    Please follow my account and the TYPE-MOON official account on Twitter to find the final date of release. Other announcements like ones about the manga will also be made there.

    Well then, let us meet again in the final book.

    —November 2018, while playing Warhammer: Blackstone Fortress
    -End of Afterword, Book 7-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——

  16. #256
    Here's an epub version of book 9. I tried to do some formatting. The landscape images still block the text in places, but this is the best I can manage.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/juv99e5wf1...anda.epub?dl=0

  17. #257
    Lie Like Vortigern Reign's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Age
    28
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    9,266
    US Friend Code
    858,943,293
    Thanks as always.

  18. #258
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle All fictions's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Mons Regius
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    574
    US Friend Code
    909,698,324
    Thank you for your work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rafflesiac View Post
    Punching out some nerd doesn't make you a better magus.

  19. #259
    Book 10!
    Chapter 1, Part 1
    Chapter 1, Part 1:



    It was my second time on this train, and it felt just as strange as it had before.

    I could hear the turning of the wheels and the steam escaping from valves. The cabin also rocked comfortably. However, I felt as if I was atop a floating carpet. It didn’t make any sense, but these contradictions coexisted aboard this train.

    The Rail Zeppelin. What a beautiful yet terrifying name, fitting for a secretive train meant for illegal organ trade.

    “…Are the interior decorations… different?” I muttered to no one in particular.

    “We redecorate once in a while,” Rodin said. His pallid face remained emotionless, making him seem inhuman. His appearance made him well-suited to be the conductor of such a unique train. “However, not many guests notice. Out of the ones who frequent the train, most partake in the auctions through their familiars. Only a few board the train in person more than once.”

    “…Oh, really?”

    I could sense a feeling of familiarity in his words. Maybe that was because of his staff member’s spirit.

    Either way, the conductor was just as distant from the normal world as the train itself.

    Apparently, he was a Dead Apostle’s kinsman.

    Though Dead Apostles were also associated with Mystery, they were different from mages and Heroic Spirits. They were also unlike the spirits and ghosts I had been taught to fight, so I found them unbelievable rather than scary.

    Perhaps this was a sign of how impactful Dr. Heartless’ plan was.

    After much speculation and thought, my mentor had deduced that turning Iskandar into a Divine Spirit was Heartless’ final goal. To this end, he had stolen my mentor’s artifact, stolen Mystic Eyes from the Rail Zeppelin, and summoned faker. All of the scheming he had conducted in the dark was in preparation for this final act.

    Through creating Divine Spirit Iskandar, Heartless planned to bring back the Age of the Gods, making modern mages lose the reason to search for the root.

    That was why he had gone into Spirit Tomb Albion.

    I understood the reasoning.

    However, the scale of it all was beyond my imagination. Even though I still didn’t understand what Heartless’ motivation was, his actions had the power to overturn millennia of mages’ effort.

    In response, we had gathered a somewhat strange group of people to stop Heartless. Our team was both a result of my mentor’s journey and of Heartless’ actions.

    Of course, both of these journeys were incredibly long. My mentor had been involved in countless incidents since he was forcibly made a Lord, while Heartless might have started plotting even before he left his post as the head of the Department of Modern Magecraft.

    The two of them were like mirror images—No, it was more like one was the distorted version of another, like the two sides of a Möbius strip. The likeness(TN: alternatively, contrast) was present both in their skill as mages and their ways of thought. Though they couldn’t be more different, I couldn’t help but think that they approached problems the same way.

    I was abruptly plunged into fear by a thought.

    …What if my mentor was dragged into the depths of Purgatory along with Heartless?

    I felt a gentle touch on my tense shoulder.

    “It’ll be alright.”

    It was my mentor, who was sitting beside me. Even though his hand also trembled slightly, I found comfort in it.

    “…Why can’t I see anything from the window?” The one-armed monk complained.

    It was Jiroubou Seigen Tokitou. He was a monk of the shugendō religion from the Far East. I had learned during my mentor’s lectures that it was a complicated combination of Buddhism and mountain worship, but I didn’t remember the details.

    “Why do you want to know what’s going on outside? This train travels outside of regular reality. Think about it. We’re going to Spirit Tomb Albion.”

    The person who responded was the astrologer Flue, a buff man with a dirty headscarf who was currently juggling his knives. Even though we were all inside the train, he reminded me of a gust of dry, desert wind.

    “If we accidentally take in more sensory information than our brains can handle, they’ll fall to bits. We’ll be entering a top-danger zone soon, so why would you take the risk?”

    The next person to speak was the blonde-haired young lady.

    “But shouldn’t this degree of chaos be exactly what we mages seek? If one wishes to reach the Root, one must not mind risks like these.”

    Seigen and Flueger already had varying worldviews, making the team feel patched-together. The addition of this young lady only made it worse. Even I could tell at a glance that her blue dress was her expensive as it swished about gracefully. Her face looked as if it had been created by a heavenly sculptor. She was so different from everyone else, to the point where I felt that anyone would accept that she was actually a mage.

    Her name was Luviagelita Edelfelt.

    All three of these people had been present in the the first incident at Adra, the Castle of Separation. Now, they had joined us on an expedition to Spirit Tomb Albion.

    “Haha, I don’t expect a high-class lady to have the same opinions as a spell caster mercenary anyway. That aside, what roles do you plan on assigning us?”

    “Well, I’m undoubtedly the lookout,” my mentor said. “I can’t do anything else. Unfortunately, I am the worst among us in terms of capability in dealing with Mystery.”

    “Yes. You’d come out on top if this was a magecraft theory test. For this task, though, your disciple is definitely the most skilled.”

    I had heard that most teams that went on expeditions to Spirit Tomb Albion were composed of five people. There were typically three roles: the excavators dug out the resources that they discovered, the lookout warned the team of dangers nearby, and the fighters defended the team against the creatures of the labyrinth.

    “We don’t need excavators, but guides. Other than that, the fighters have to sort out what specific role they fill. I’m automatically a guide because I’m the only one with experience surviving in the labyrinth, and Luvia’s clearly a fighter. ”

    “I never knew you were a Survivor of Spirit Tomb Albion.” My mentor said in response to Flueger’s words.

    I also found that interesting. I didn’t recall hearing something like it back at Adra Castle.

    “That’s probably because I put an ad up on TV about it.”

    “No, seriously. Shouldn’t the fact that you are a Survivor of Spirit Tomb Albion improve your job prospects as a mercenary? Why don’t you use it to promote yourself?”

    Flue was silent for a moment before he spoke again.

    “You know my nickname, right?” He asked.

    The answer to that question slipped from my mouth by accident.

    “…The mentor-killer.”

    I didn’t know the reason behind the nickname, but I had heard people address him as that during the first incident.

    “It’s exactly what you think it means. I stayed in Spirit Tomb Albion while the incident cooled down. If I advertise myself as a Survivor, I’ll be held accountable. That’s why I’ve stayed silent.”

    “…I see.” My mentor nodded.

    To mages, teacher-student relations were incredibly important. If the teacher and the student were related, one could pass on their Magic Crest to the other. Even if they were not, they were still incredibly close because the student inherited the teacher’s treasured Mystery. This was a fact that I had become acutely aware of because of my experiences.

    I suddenly had a somewhat odd thought.

    What if mages were like the continuous thread of time?

    That would explain why killing students or teachers was so frowned down upon. Doing so would be like splitting apart an ancient river of time. The act of erasing of the past(teacher) or the future(student) was antithetical to a mage’s existence.

    Of course, in some mages’ eyes, this heinous act was nothing compared to their ultimate goal of reaching the root. I had met enough mages, so it wasn’t actually hard to imagine what I just mentioned.

    The same went for the mages that were currently gathered on this train.

    After a little while, the train began to slow down. Blue light also began to stream in from the previously pitch black windows. However, it was different from the sunlight of the surface world. It was a strange light, which filled me with nostalgia and excitement.

    “…We have arrived,” the conductor announced solemnly. “We are currently situated in the top floor of Spirit Tomb Albion. Unfortunately, this is as far as this train can safely go.”

    I thought I sensed a slight tinge of emotion in his voice, but maybe that was a figment of my imagination.

    Rodin bowed as the doors of the train slowly slid open.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, I wish you all the best of luck.”

    *

    We got of the train at the underground equivalent of the foot of a mountain. Not long after, the Rail Zeppelin departed, disappearing in a veil of fog. Perhaps because the fog came with the train, it soon dissipated too, leaving us with a full view of Spirit Tomb Albion.

    “…That’s not the sky, is it?”

    That was the first thing I said.

    I was referring to the faintly glowing dome that stretched out far above us. Was the dome several kilometers wide, or several hundreds of kilometers wide? I didn’t know. It was the first time I had seen a dome that was so giant, possibly because such a thing did not exist anywhere else.

    In contrast to the “sky”, the ground that encircled us was made up of rivers and strange-looking streets, which snaked between several mountain ranges.

    Was this the Mining City? I thought.

    I had heard Flue talk about it as we made our way here on the train. It was a bridgehead built by mages for those who wanted to challenge the deeper levels of the labyrinth. Gazing upon it from afar, who could believe that such a place existed kilometers beneath the city of London?

    “Underground at last,” Flue said, examining the periphery somewhat impatiently. “Yep, this is the place. …As expected of the famous Rail Zeppelin. It took us to just the right place.”

    “Did you tell them where to take us, Mr. Flue?”

    “Yes. Though it is the famous Rail Zeppelin, it can’t take us directly to the center of the city. Time is of the essence, so I prepared some supplies before we got on the train.”

    The tanned mage scratched his chin and pointed at his backpack. Then, he looked around once again as he continued to speak.

    “Before we head off, just so you’re all aware, it’ll take approximately twenty-two hours and fifty minutes to reach our target floor. We’ve all rested up as much as possible while you were on the Rail Zeppelin, but are you guys sure that you won’t need to sleep or relieve yourselves in the process?”

    Seigen was the first to reply.

    “Being able to go without sleep or food for three days straight is the bare minimum requirement for us monks.”

    “Well, of course. That is only the most basic form of enhancement(TN: enhancement = strengthening).” Luvia said with a slight frown.

    “…I-I’ll be fine as well.” I responded, feeling my ears turn red.

    Though I wasn’t a proper mage, adjusting bodily functions was part of my training as a grave keeper of Blackmore Graveyard. I also recalled the executors of the Holy Church using this tactic, so it was probably a basic requirement for people involved with Mystery.

    “…I’m extremely sorry, but I don’t think I can operate without sleep,” my mentor said with a pained expression. “I’ve been overexerting by brain for the past day. I’ll probably be able to walk without any problems with the help of some kind of stimulant, but it would be very hard for me to maintain a normal mental state.”

    “OK, that’s quite the honest confession coming from a Lord of the Clock Tower,” Flue said, closing one eye and raising both hands. “It’s dangerous to traverse Spirit Tomb Albion without taking breaks anyway. In that case, let’s take two or three breaks, each around twenty minutes in length. Is that better?”

    “Yes. Meditation-style healing magecraft can also increase the effectiveness of the rests. There are side effects to using it, but they’re within an acceptable range.”

    Seeing my mentor say this with a frown, a giggle escaped from Luvia, and she covered her mouth.

    “Aha, how plagued must you be by sleep deprivation on a daily basis if that is enough to cause side effects?”

    “I am constantly plagued by sleep deprivation, Lady. Please don’t mock me too much, though. It reminds me of my sister.”

    “Haha, consider it payback for earlier.” Luvia said, putting a hand to her lips, which curved like a lovely crescent. “I never expected that I would end up as your teammate.”

    I shared her sentiment. I couldn’t help but marvel at how far we had all gone since the incident at Adra, the Castle of Separation. We had just rode the Rail Zeppelin to Spirit Tomb Albion to chase after a mage from the Age of the Gods and her Master, the former head of the Department of Modern Magecraft. That summary alone was probably enough to make some people feel dizzy.

    “Put these on.” Flue said, putting down his backpack and passing each of us a piece of cloth.

    “What!? You want me to wear this dirty rag?”

    “Oh, give me a break! Are you planning on going to the Mining City dressed as a noble? The same goes for you, Lord. No one will mind a monk, but you two stand out too much.”

    It took Luvia a while to process Flue’s words. Finally, she reluctantly covered her beautiful hair and shoulders with the cloth. Though she was a proud, spoiled person, she could accept things that were not in her style as long as she understood them. She knew that she needed more than powerful magecraft to survive in the World of Magecraft.

    “Um…” I asked in trepidation as my mentor and Seigen donned their capes as they were told. “Is it fine if I stay dressed like this?”

    “Yeah, you wear a hooded cape all the time anyway. You’ll be fine.”

    “S-sure…”

    “Ihihihi! You’re just glad to be in the same outfit as everyone else for once, aren’t you?”

    “What? N-no!”

    Add laughed like a creaking machine as I shook my head vehemently.

    To this, Seigen, the monk who was missing an arm and an eye, cleared his throat.

    “Flue, should we get going?”

    “Sure. Come with me.”

    Flue began to walk forward quickly. The entire group moved forward at an enhanced pace, but my mentor fell behind the group and tripped several times. I actually decided to carry him part of the way when he was out of breath. Despite this, we reached the plains at a surprising speed. In less than twenty minutes, we arrived at the beginning of the streets.

    “…Wow.” Seigen muttered to himself.

    From a distance, the city reminded me of desert cities in the Middle East. Up close, it was different. To be honest, it looked more like a giant beehive or anthill.

    The buildings were not separated with concrete like everywhere else in the modern day, but rather with dirt walls. People walked about in the shadows of these somewhat primitive buildings. The streams of pedestrians were exactly like those on London streets. In a certain sense, the people here were more diverse than the people in the rigid social classes of the Clock Tower. In terms of similarities, there were few old people, and most were dressed like us.

    Instead of cars, the streets were also full of all kinds of strange creatures. Much like the mounted police above the surface, people rode about on rhino-like creatures and giant, shelled beasts. I had no idea whether they were Phantasmal Species or regular animals that had evolved into strange beings over time. Either way, there were all kinds of creatures here that could not be found elsewhere.

    “…So this is the Mining City. Are these creatures commonplace here?”

    “Every region is different. In the central area, for example, you two will stand out even though you’re in a different outfit. You’ll probably be fine in this place, though.”

    Booths and stalls lined the streets as well, selling a variety of items including but not limited to food. Perhaps because of the diverse nature of this place, there was an enigmatic mixture of scents, comprised of strange spices, barbecued food, and the stench of mystical creatures.

    I thought I smelled some kind of spice that I didn’t recognize. The ones on sale here probably had all kinds of special effects that I knew nothing about. Maybe they sold talismans that I knew of, like Spirit Roots, here as well.

    “……”

    Suddenly, I heard the shouting from one of the booths nearby. Some kind of fight seemed to have broken out. I immediately felt a ripple of Magical Energy, so someone-- actually, probably both sides had probably used enhancement magecraft. Dust was kicked up into the air, and fell to the ground crackling with purple energy. This seemed to be a normal occurrence for the people there, so everyone else just walked by without caring.

    “Don’t look around too much,” Luvia urged in a small voice. “We are considered newcomers, so we should not mind others’ business. I have already sensed three people take note of us.”

    “Haha, you’re already used to it, huh?”

    “I might not have been to Albion before, but I have visited many foreign countries. No matter where the Edelfelts are, glory must accompany us.”

    “Yeah, I know. If only money could solve all your problems. The thieves here are more concerned with stealing blood and guts.”

    Flue’s words were more than just a threat.

    “I know mage blood sells everywhere, but guts…” Seigen said, shocked.

    Now that Flue said it, I could see livers and kidneys on display at the back of some booths. Just like how the Rail Zeppelin specialized in the trade of Mystic Eyes, it appeared that the people in Albion specialized in selling internal organs.

    “The buildings here are made of dirt. Is that because…?”

    “Oh, you realized that? You have a keen eye for spells, then. Let me show you an example.”

    Flueger touched the wall beside him and closed one of his eyes. Then, he gave it a knock before grabbing one of the small knives he usually used for divination and stabbing it into the wall.

    However, it was not Flue’s strange behavior that surprised us.

    The gash created by his knife closed up right in front of our eyes.

    “What…!”

    “It’s kind of amazing, isn’t it? It’s like the Fēng in Chinese Mythology(TN: Also called the Shìròu. Basically, a giant lump of flesh). Any minor injuries heal immediately.”

    Flue shrugged as I stayed silent, still too surprised to say anything.

    “This is only the uppermost layer, but it’s already Albion proper. Specifically, it’s the tail of the dragon. Even the dirt has been altered because of the ancient dragon’s energy, which is particularly evident around here. Most of the buildings are made by using magecraft to manipulate the properties of the dirt.”

    Flue’s explanation did not make it any less surprising. This was completely at odds with what I had been told about magecraft and Mystery.

    “But isn’t magecraft badly suited to mass production…?”

    “That only applies on the surface,” my mentor added. “This place is different. The material makes the houses less durable, but it’s not like the people here could have brought down construction equipment. Just like Flue said, there is an excess of Mana here. Even though it is still dimensions behind the levels of the Age of the Gods, Greater Magic Formulae are easy to cast here… of course, the mages casting the spells still have to be skilled.”

    He frowned as he said this. No matter what the situation was like, my mentor was still my mentor.

    “That aside, there are probably more skilled spellcasters here than there are in the Clock Tower.”

    “In summary, there are also composite workshops on sale here, which are also unique to the area. The environment around the city is constantly shifting, so the people here use tools like Formal Craft and artificial golems to construct artificial streets.”

    I listened to Flue, slightly bewildered.

    Above ground, some people in the first department(Mystile) used golems as servants. However, none of them were capable of things on the scale of building houses.

    Ah, this place was really a separate reality.

    Spirit Tomb Albion surprised me even though I was a member of the Clock Tower who had experienced a fair share of Mystery.

    In that case, I thought, what was it like for Heartless’ students to have lived here? Ms. Asheara, who we had met at the Secret Autopsy Division, had probably been born in Albion. People who grew up in this wonderland must have had trouble accepting that there was another world above them, as if they had been displaced in time.

    Just like what Faker must have felt upon being summoned to the modern age.

    “Either way, every nook and cranny of this place is based upon the labyrinth. That is to say, the body of the nameless ancient dragon. This city only survives on scavenging through its rotten corpse, tearing away what remains of its flesh, and feeding upon the maggots that spew forth from its bones.”

    “How delightful.” Luvia said with a smile.

    The Edelfelt were often called the world’s most elegant hyenas. She was probably capable of saying something like “stealing from corpses is a noble’s pursuit” in a dignified manner.

    “Well then, Flue, where do you plan on taking us before we head into the labyrinth?”

    In response to Seigen’s question, a frown formed between Flue’s eyebrows.

    “To my mentor’s place.” Said Flue, the mage who was known as the mentor-killer.

    *

    Flue led us away from the city, to a place that truly resembled tunnels dug by ants.

    This area seemed to be part of the labyrinth, with its sparsely-populated, winding streets. As I thought about this, I ran after the astrologer.

    “Didn’t you say you killed your mentor?”

    “Shhhh.” Flue put a finger to his lips, silencing Luvia.

    Then, he carefully took out one of his small knives and tossed it into the air.

    “Lead me.”

    It was a One Count spell.

    Could the astrologer’s knives function the same way underground? I wondered.

    The blade of the knife traced an invisible arc in the air. It seemed to stop unnaturally as it flew before stabbing into one of the walls beside us. I thought that the wall would heal itself again. This time, however, it passed straight through the wall and fell to the ground on the other side. The place where the wall should have been disappeared, revealing a small path.

    “Trying to trick me, huh? … As bothersome as ever.”

    “You mean, your mentor, who is supposed to be dead?”

    Just as Luvia was about to ask him in more detail, an unfamiliar, raspy voice rang out.

    “—Trying to kill me again, bastard disciple!?”

    An expression of distaste flashed across Flue’s face as he turned the corner on the small path. Then, he lifted up a sheet that had been draped there to reveal a small space. There were vaguely Middle Eastern decorations on the walls and cupboards, along with some star charts and knives similar to the ones Flue used.

    The person who the raspy voice belonged to was sitting right in the center of the room. It was a short old man, who sat cross-legged on a carpet. It was impossible to tell his exact age, but I judged that he was more than seventy years old. He didn’t have a single hair atop his head, and his teeth were yellow and uneven. However, instead of emitting some kind of stench, he smelled strangely sweet, like perfume.

    There was a jar of water next to him, and the old man reached out to pick up the hose that was attached to it. He had probably been smoking a hookah alone before we interrupted him. The strange smell was probably also a result of it.

    “So you’re back, stupid disciple. And you’ve brought guests.”

    “Uh…” Seigen said, at a loss for words.

    “Call me Geraff. I’ve given up on everything besides this name.”

    “So Flue didn’t kill you?” Seigen asked, blinking in surprise.

    “Yes, he did. As a mage, I’m completely dead. My Magic Circuits are all in shambles. My abilities now are worse than those of a Count-ranked child.”

    “…It seems you’re as dismissive of your health as usual.” Flue complained in a small voice, seeing the old man smoke.

    “Really? That’s what you take issue with? That doesn’t sound like something a mentor-killer would say.”

    “As you can tell, my mentor is very good at getting people to hate him. If he wasn’t technically dead, the line of people waiting to take a stab at him will be longer than the ones in amusement parks.” Flueger admitted, covering his face with his hands.

    In front of him, the old man who should have been dead took another drag on his hookah and smiled. Seeing this, Flue sighed.

    “That’s why I ‘killed’ him. Specifically, I treated him as if he was dead. Then, I after I inherited his workshop, I went knocking on the gates of Albion with him.”

    “Hahaha, the guards of Spirit Tomb Albion are generally very strict, but they don’t care much when you enter. In the early days, Survivors would come here to train, so there aren’t many restrictions.”

    Since a large number of mages from all manner of backgrounds entered Albion to excavate precious materials, it made sense that the security required for entrance was relatively lax. That was also how the Clock Tower managed to send so many spies into Albion, proving my mentor’s theory.

    “Wait, so…”

    “Yes. Like I said back on the train, I hid in Albion until the situation cooled down.” Flue said with a shrug as if he was tired of explaining.

    “Thank me all you want. I thought back then that an old withered tree like me would get to blossom again.”

    “There are so many people out there who hate me for killing you before they could, you know?”

    “And that’s why you’re a spellcaster and not a mage. …Well then, what are you trying to do with this team of people? Excavation is hardly as profitable as it used to be. Isn’t that right, Little Miss Edelfelt and young Lord of the El-Mellois?” The old man said, looking Luvia and my mentor with a sudden glint in his eyes.

    “…For someone living in Spirit Tomb Albion, you seem to be quite knowledgeable about the world above.”

    “Hahaha, my Magic Circuits might not work anymore, but I’m still a spellcaster at heart. Working hard in unconventional areas is the spellcaster way. Gathering information is one such area. I still don’t know why you’re here though. Especially not why my stupid disciple is with you. I know lots of people hate me, but I think the Edelfelt hyenas are above stealing from an old man like me. Right?”

    “Geraff. Mentor.” Flue said. “I want to reach the Ancient Heart in twenty-three hours— no, we only have twenty-two left.”

    “…Huh?”

    The wrinkles on the old man’s tree bark-like face deepened.

    “What? Has your time on the surface made you crazy? If you’ve got a curse on your brain, I can do you a favor and introduce you to an old friend of mine from the Department of Curses(Zigmarie).” He said, gesturing with his fingers around his temples(TN: There’s got to be a better way to describe this).

    “I remember you saying once that you know a way to descend,” Flue said, not giving up. “You said that regular teams don’t need to go beyond the hundredth floor because they have no way of getting back, but there are plenty of ways to get down there.”

    “I wasn’t being serious. I probably said that when I was drunk or something. If you really want to commit suicide, there’s gotta be an easier way to do that.”

    The old man moved the hookah over and took another drag on it. He lazily twirled his finger about in the smoke, seeming to not care about his disciple’s request.

    My mentor walked up to the old man.

    “Tomorrow, a Grand Roll will be held in the Ancient Heart.”

    “…Yes. It’s a meeting of the ridiculous folk who think they’ve found gold when they haven’t even seen glitter, isn’t it. I don’t care what they do to themselves or the world. I don’t care what depths they fall to. I don’t care about what your ‘Modern Magecraft’ is. I don’t mind being stuck in Spirit Tomb Albion, as long as I don’t have to witness this madness.”

    “…In that case, I think this will satisfy you!” Luvia interjected, proudly stepping forward. She had thrust an expensive-looking jewel necklace at the old man. She probably brought it along because she reasoned it would be useful in Albion as well.

    The old man gingerly picked up the necklace and examined it for a few moments before handing it back.

    “Alright… But will anyone buy something like this down here? You Edelfelts should really reflect on your habit of obsessing over catalysts.”

    “……!”

    “Um… Old man…” Flue said, somewhat conflicted. As he was about to interrupt, I couldn’t help but interrupt as well.

    “Sir?”

    My mentor was bowing.

    His long hair hung from his ears like the feathers of a damp raven, concealing his expression.

    “…What are you doing?”

    “I’m sorry. I have nothing to give you in return,” my mentor said, not looking up. “I have things that cannot be traded for with money. I’m sure you do as well. But I can’t just come here out of the blue to ruin your pride. So this is all I can do.”

    “Has anyone ever told you that Lords shouldn’t bow to others?”

    “Yes. I’ve been scolded many times, including by people who I respect. I know I’m not worthy of being a Lord. This foolish solution is the only one I can think of.”

    “Instead of wasting time bowing to an old man like me, why don’t you try breaking into the labyrinth?”

    “Flue brought me here,” my mentor said, still bowing. “I haven’t known him for long, but I trust him. And he judges that your assistance is necessary.”

    “……”

    The old man was silent for a moment. He let go of the hose of the hookah and stared intently at my mentor.

    “…You’ve got a keen eye.”

    “A keen eye?”

    The old man ignored the echoed question and continued.

    “A Lord, huh. A Lord of the Clock Tower bowed to me?”

    I didn’t know why, but instead of floating upwards like smoke, the old man’s words sank to the ground.

    “Oi, disciple.” The old man said to Flue. “There is a way to go down from the Great Magic Circuit. I never said you’ll be in one piece when you get there, though. You know that, right?”

    “I’ve got a job to do. I have no choice.”

    Flue’s almost mindless response made the old man frown.

    “A job, you say?” He said, rubbing his chin. “Well, you’ve certainly sold your life for a low price.”

    “Now’s not the time for this. Every second we spend here is a precious second wasted.”

    “Ha, says the ones who barged into my house. Well then, are you all prepared?”

    Even I understood what that meant.

    “…Is what we have now enough, Mr. Geraff?” My mentor asked, after taking a few seconds to react.

    “Fine, I’ll check. Since you came to find me, you’ve brought it with you, right?”

    “If you’re asking for the thing I had with me last time…”

    “Just give it to me.”

    The old man grabbed the bag that Flue handed him and inspected its contents.

    “Hmm. It’s so old.”

    Then, he slowly stood up and made an announcement after giving his disciple a chittering explanation.

    “Wait here for half an hour or so.”

    “Half an hour!? Didn’t Flue say that we only have twenty-three hours left?!” Seigen shouted.

    “If you wait half an hour, you’ll save half a day. You’d better thank me with tears in your eyes the next time you see me.”

    With that, the old man who called himself Geraff tossed the cloth at the doorway behind him and walked calmly away.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——


    Instead of doing a separate post for the pictures at the start, here's an imgur link
    https://imgur.com/a/GhKBAY3

  20. #260

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •