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

  1. #201
    Quote Originally Posted by Comun View Post
    I was also under the impression that being a New Ager was less of a “what you do” and more of a “who you are”. The New Age in the real world feels a bit like just Modern Magecraft to me. I’m also not exactly sure what being a New Ager in the Clock Tower entails, but here’s what I’ve found:

    - Reines comments that New Agers are unwanted/don’t fit well in the Clock Tower (Book 2, Prologue)
    - Olgamarie says that Lord El-Melloi II “used to be a third-rate New Ager”, implying that being a New Ager has little to do with Modern Magecraft because Waver didn’t study that. It also implies that New Agers aren’t all terrible at magecraft. (Book 4, Chapter 2)
    - Heartless says that the Department of Modern Magecraft was dismissed by the twelve families as just a way to increase New Agers(?) as a workforce (Book 5, Chapter 4)
    - The guy who isn’t named yet says that he is a New Ager, and his mother is as well. Neither are very good at magecraft. (Book 8, Prologue / Chapter 1)
    - Touko says that even New Agers can achieve good results if they have large amounts of artifacts (Book 8, Chapter 3)
    - Gesell Tolman calls the unnamed guy a New Ager in a kind of derogatory way (Book 8, Chapter 4)
    - And a couple of later mentions that would be spoilery

    Hopefully that’s helpful

    (I’m still kind of confused but oh well)
    Last edited by azwhoisverybored; April 9th, 2022 at 04:52 AM.

  2. #202
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  3. #203
    Chapter 4, Part 3
    Chapter 4, Part 3:

    The conversation ended unexpectedly quickly.

    After Lord El-Melloi and his group had left, the two members of the Secret Autopsy Division returned to the reception room.

    Calugh stared grimly at the floor. He kept clasping and unclasping his hands, perhaps out of habit.

    “Do you think our teacher has something to do with how Gesell and the others have disappeared, Asheara?”

    “Of course he’s involved in this.” Asheara pursed her lips. Though she was wearing a simple uniform, she still looked very attractive. “He already knows what we did. He's returned after ten years, and our team has become like this. It'd be a miracle if those two things weren't related.”

    “Mages shouldn’t talk about miracles like that,” Calugh said bitterly. “But if that’s the case…”

    “…Yes. Goodbye, Calugh.”

    Asheara picked up the briefcase she had packed in advance.

    Calugh looked up at her, confused.

    “Are you leaving? This is the safest place in all of London, you know?”

    “I still have to leave,” Asheara said, as if she was emphasizing it.

    And just like that, she walked out of the gates with the crisp sound of her footsteps.

    Not once did she look back.
    -End of Part 3 of Chapter 4, Book 7-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——


    Chapter 4, Part 4
    Chapter 4, Part 4:

    —The sun had already started to set. Because it was late January already, night came early. The concrete skyscrapers and quiet townhouses were all gradually dyed with the same red tint. The coat-wearing pedestrians were not exempted from this either, and their elongated shadows streaked across the paved stone roads.

    After leaving the Secret Autopsy Division building, we walked south along the road for a while before my mentor spoke up.

    “So?”

    “Well, they didn’t lie!”

    After checking the surroundings, Yvette lifted her eyepatch.

    “Oh, the Mystic Eye of Emotion Sight(TN: the wiki says ‘Mystic Eye of Seeing Emotions’ which doesn’t fit very well with the other names for Mystic Eyes.).”

    A polished piece of malachite(TN: which is opaque) was set into her eye socket. It seemed like she had changed the gem in her eye after the fight with the chimera without me noticing.

    That Mystic Eye was capable of capturing changes in people’s emotions.

    Because of it, if Yvette really wanted to find out what we were doing, we wouldn’t be able to hide it. My mentor had only agreed to her assistance because of this.

    “But, they seem to know something about the disappearances of the other students. When you asked them a related question, the atmosphere shifted drastically.”

    “I see,” my mentor said, nodding. “If that’s the case, the question becomes what the nature of the facts they were concealing is. Why did they find it necessary to hide it from us?”

    Whydunit.

    Why would they lie? Was something compelling them to do so?

    “Either way, we don’t have enough information to reach a conclusion now. It’s lucky enough that we managed to find people who knew Heartless back then.”

    “…He feels like someone who cared about his students a lot.”

    “Mages are meant to care for their disciples. Usually, though, this doesn’t include their regular students. Mages are creatures who only care about the heirs to their Magic Crests or spells, sometimes even more than they care about their own lives. In this respect, Heartless is an exception to the rule. Or, perhaps the Department of Modern Magecraft made him this way.”

    I didn’t bring myself to ask what the situation as with my mentor.

    Usually, I would be included as a disciple, but I wasn’t even a mage. I was just a grave keeper named Gray who was forced into this position by circumstance.

    However, to my mentor, the El-Melloi Classroom was not insignificant at all.

    Even though he treated the students who had already graduated like full-fledged mages and kept his interference at a minimum, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that he doted upon his students.

    Why was my mentor different from other mages? And what about Heartless?

    “—Speaking of which, Dr. Heartless was rumored to have been kidnapped by fairies as a child,” my mentor said, completely out of the blue.

    Hearing his words, Yvette tilted her head. “I heard he got some kind of special ability out of that as well. But he didn’t tell me the details, probably because he didn’t trust me.”

    Fairies reminded me too much of fairytales. However, now I knew that they existed. At least, something similar to them did.

    Besides that, just as Yvette said, though we had been obstructed by his power on the Rail Zeppelin, we didn’t know what exactly it was. According to him, it could do similar things to imaginary numbers, but we didn’t know any of the details.

    It was still a complete mystery.

    Though I could get the general idea from the statements of Heartless’ students, it was still hard for me to piece the Heartless of the past and the present together. It felt like I was filling out a crossword puzzle that had been eaten full of holes by maggots.

    “There are many legends about the gifts of fairies,” my mentor said as he walked, as if he was delivering a lecture. “However, the more recent the legend is, the less likely that it is only a gift. Disregarding the heroes who managed to carve their names into history for now, in an age where the realms of fairies and humans have been separated, there must also be a price equivalent to the gift— no, a price on top of the gift. Even in the modern age, there are still legends of changelings in Western Europe, but that might be because disasters leave stronger impressions upon people.”

    Changelings.

    I heard that they were types of fairies left in place of a human stolen by fairies.

    “The Rail Zeppelin…”

    “Sir?”

    “It’s noth…” He stopped in the middle of his sentence and shook his head. “I get the feeling that we missed something very important on that train…”

    At that, he was interrupted by a gust of wind.

    Snowflakes were mixed into the wind. The clouds were spreading outward as if they were chasing the setting sun, and harsh, cold wind began to blow. Just as I reached out to keep my hood in place, the neon lights beside us turned on, lighting up the streets full of intricate signs.

    “There are so many theaters here.”

    “Plays have always thrived in this area. But the people we’re meeting don’t seem like they’re here to enjoy one.”

    “Was this the meeting place they decided on in advance?”

    “Yes. They said that someone would come to show us the way, but…”

    “Sir?” Yvette asked.

    I also realized that the number of pedestrians had suddenly decreased. There was no one in sight. For a street in London at dusk, that was impossible.

    Finally, Yvette turned in a certain direction, and my mentor looked there as well.

    It was the balcony of a nearby cafe.

    An old man was seated one one of the chairs there.

    He had long, white hair, and a pair of glasses.

    A large ornamental gem hung by his chest. There was a jeweled ring on each of his shriveled fingers. However, despite this extravagance, the old man looked like he had come from a dismal world of shadows.

    The old man raised his hand like he wanted to part the drifting snowflakes.

    “…It’s been a while… Lord El-Melloi.”

    “If you don’t mind, I’d prefer if you add the ‘II’.”

    “You’ve told me that before… However… that is only an unnecessary insistence… There is no point for me to go along with it… You are Lord El-Melloi… I am Lord Eulyphis… This fact will not change…”

    His dry voice sounded like a curse of some sort. It reminded me of the winding tongue of a snake.

    Lord Eulyphis. The Lord of the Department of Spiritual Evocation. One of the twelve monarchs of the Clock Tower.

    “—Rufleus Nuada-Re Eulyphis,” Yvette whispered nervously. That was probably Lord Eullyphis’ name. I learnt after the fact that each head of the Department of Spiritual Evocation was chosen from a different branch family, and would be adopted into the Eulyphis family. It was very much in the style of the Clock Tower to have such a strange set of rules about names.

    The other letter sent alongside Lord Valualeta’s had come from this old man.

    “So… You haven’t forgotten our agreement to meet…”

    “Of course not. I just didn’t think that you would choose to have us meet here.”

    The old man’s shoulders trembled as he laughed.

    “It just so happens… that I have brought another guest…”

    Rufleus’ eyes spun around. Another figure appeared on the road.

    I couldn’t figure out whether she had just appeared out of nowhere, or if she had always been standing there. Perhaps making me lose my concept of time was also part of this spell.

    The snowflakes that kept drifting down seemed to blanket everything, locking the world into place.

    A silver-haired girl stood there, as if she had cleaved apart this field of white.

    Though she was younger than us, she didn’t succumb to the heavy atmosphere here and stood firmly. Her amber eyes seemed to announce that she would not let her attention drift from the battlefield that was to emerge.

    At the same time, she was also someone who my mentor, Yvette, and I were very familiar with.

    “I haven’t seen you for some time, Lord El-Melloi II.”

    Seeing the girl curtsy, my mentor muttered her name.

    “Miss Olgamarie…”
    -End of Part 4 of Chapter 4, Book 7-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——


    Chapter 4, Part 5
    Chapter 4, Part 5:

    —{Ten years ago, at the first floor of the Great Magic Circuit.}

    The floor beneath his feet was very bright.

    …It almost felt like a dream.

    The young man tried his best to gather together the loose threads of his drifting attention and stepped onto the shining light emitting from the ground.

    Light didn’t just come from the Great Magic Circuits(veins) of this labyrinth in the walls and floor. Since the first floor was close to the Mining City of Magisfair, the light from the giant crystals shined through from the holes in the ceiling. Most of the monsters wouldn’t appear in places illuminated by the light of the crystals. Combined with the fact that the city’s defenses stretched here as well, this place felt more like a place to take a relaxing walk than the rest of the constantly threatening labyrinth of Albion.

    Though he could sometimes hear the howling of beasts, from here, it almost seemed cute. Of course, since the environment of Albion wouldn’t change in such a short period of time, cases of unsuspecting groups getting ambushed and killed weren’t unheard of. However, humans weren’t capable of staying focused for long periods of time, so the more elite a team was, the more time they would devote to taking breaks.

    “It’s the last time we’ll ever be down here!” Jorek, the little brother of Calugh, exclaimed cheerfully.

    He had always been the mediator of the group. On top of being a top-notch fighter alongside his older brother, he also made up for the gap between the older Gesell and the other two members of the group.

    If it wasn’t for him, the team would have perished long ago in some corner of Albion, or split up because they couldn’t cooperate. The young man felt nothing for him but gratitude.

    “I never thought that everyone would become Heartless’ students.”

    “It’s only a title, but we’ll be able to attend classes at the Department of Modern Magecraft for the next two years, won’t we? Combined with being able to call ourselves Survivors, there’ll be no lack of options after we graduate. Ah, it couldn’t be better! You’ve really done something great here, kid!”

    “Ahaha…” The young man laughed awkwardly.

    It had been a few months since then. The situation finally progressed to him telling everyone about Heartless. After meeting several times with Heartless in secret, he had gotten the idea to just accept all the members as his students. In the blink of an eye, it was settled.

    Was this really the most powerful head of a department beside the Lords, the young man wondered with a twinge of fear.

    He would never even have dreamed up of something like this happening to him.

    Of course, an important factor was that they had managed to earn a huge sum by smuggling artifacts through Heartless during those secret meetings. They had used it to shorten their time here. In order to not make the Secret Autopsy Division suspicious, they had manipulated the information somewhat to say that one of the team members had always been in contact with the Department of Modern Magecraft, and that they had gotten funding from Heartless. It had taken quite a bit of effort.

    Recalling all of this, the young man suddenly changed the topic.

    “Speaking of which, have you all decided what to do after joining the Department of Modern Magecraft(Norwich)?”

    “That’s thinking a bit too far, isn’t it?”

    “Well, we’ll have to build up some connections during the two years when we’re students,” Calugh and Jorek replied, practically in unison.

    Though it still seemed distant to the young man, Heartless had talked about something similar. He had said that he needed to consider what he wanted to study and who he wanted to become in the future.

    [The future].

    For the young man, who had grown up in Albion, that was a word completely unrelated to him.

    “I want to go to the Secret Autopsy Division. It’s a good way to apply the experience I’ve gained here,” Asheara said.

    The dark-skinned young woman stared out into the labyrinth with a calm expression.

    That was a good idea. The young man was clueless about everything outside of the Spirit Tomb of Albion. Her actions were worth using as a reference, as he needed to get used to being a student. He decided quietly to stay beside her to learn from her.

    “Ha. I don’t want to get dragged into Clock Tower struggles anymore. I’m excited to attend classes at the Department of Modern Magecraft, but I plan on returning to be a freelance potion maker,” Gesell said, shrugging.

    Supposedly, he had been an independent mage before coming to Albion as well, so it seemed like he was prepared to return to his old job. Of course, the money and artifacts he had gotten here and the skills learnt from the Clock Tower would undoubtedly help him in the years to come.

    “What about you two?”

    “I plan on joining the Secret Autopsy Division, like Asheara,” Calugh said, scratching his head.

    Jorek smiled somewhat embarrassedly. “My brother and I have the chance to get adopted by the Kurdice family. If I can get good grades at the Clock Tower, maybe I’ll even get to become a candidate for being the heir.”

    The two brothers were very similar.

    Both were slightly chubby, and if they continued like this for another several decades, their weight might bring them health detriments. In the future, the young man knew that they would be just as reliable.

    He was sure that they would help each other in their next few years as students.

    Then, the topic of conversation turned to the young man.

    “You said you wanted to stay with Dr. Heartless after you graduate, right?”

    “Yes, that’s what I plan on doing.”

    “That’s such a waste of time! All your rights will get stolen by those pretentious old guys anyway! You might as well go find a family and organization to sell yourself to!”

    “No, don’t rush to conclusions. Even a New Ager like this kid searches for the same thing as every other mage. Doesn’t the continuation of generations lead to the Root?” Gesell rebutted the brothers’ statement, and they began to argue.

    This was probably the last time he would see this familiar interaction between the three of them in Albion. As he thought of this, the young man couldn’t help but feel a deep sadness.

    He would probably get to see them again after they went to the Department of Modern Magecraft.

    “—You can also aim for the Secret Autopsy Division, you know,” the young woman beside him whispered.

    “Oh, um, yes.”

    Hearing Asheara’s somewhat awkward voice, he nodded gently. The young man wiped at his face haphazardly in order to try and hide the redness that was creeping up onto his face.

    Each one of their dreams was about to become reality.

    This was undoubtedly wonderful. The chance was radiant and bright, and definitely something worth being happy about.

    However, for whatever reason, a subtle dark fog passed by the young man’s heart. For the first time in his life, he felt uneasy about the future.
    -End of Part 5 of Chapter 4, Book 7-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——

  4. #204
    Chapter 5, Part 1
    Chapter 5, Part 1:



    There was no way I could have forgotten the silver hair that fluttered in the snow-scattering wind.

    Olgamarie Asmleit Animusphere.

    The girl whose life had been intertwined with ours on the Rail Zeppelin. I should have expected that she would also appear in this case. I silently bit my lip.

    She was [the daughter of the Lord of the Department of Astromancy], after all. Besides, I had heard that the Lord of Astromancy didn’t leave his territory often. This being the case, it was only natural that she would appear as his representative in the Grand Roll.

    She glanced over to me, but didn’t say anything.

    That was probably because she felt that there was no need for nobles to greet other people’s servants. If the dead Atrum was here, he’d probably laugh and say “did you really think that there are fools out there who greet other people’s luggage? Or are you the sort of pervert that kisses the shoes of everyone you meet”, or something along those lines.

    I felt like this was more of a difference in values than a bad attitude. Those were values that had been distilled and passed down in the world of mages, which was only open to the chosen ones.

    “Isn’t it the daughter of the Animusphere family? I didn’t expect that you would be here as well.” My mentor bowed deeply.

    The old man only frowned.

    “…The last time I met with you, Lord El-Melloi… was several years ago.”

    “…This is the third time we have met. But my teacher has long enjoyed your favor.”

    “…Hm. The matter of your predecessor… is very unfortunate. …Not only Sola-Ui, but also Kayneth El-Melloi Archibald… my best disciple in recent years.”

    Hearing his words, I couldn’t help but stop breathing for a moment.

    He was the mentor of the previous Lord El-Melloi…?

    Up until now, I had heard so many stories of the previous Lord El-Melloi.

    He had created many Mystic Codes, including Volumen Hydrargyrum easily at a young age, and was a mage who was regarded as a prodigy even amongst other outstanding mages of the Clock Tower. And the person who had taught him was the old man in front of us.

    In other words, to my mentor, he was his teacher’s teacher. (TN: mentor and teacher are used pretty much interchangeably here)

    …So, he was my mentor’s mentor’s mentor?

    This tongue twister-like thought flashed through my mind, and I immediately tossed it out.

    Now was not the time to think about things like this.

    It wasn’t just that all the other people had disappeared from this otherwise normal London street at dusk. There was also a strong [aura of death] surrounding the old man.

    The Lord of the Department of Spiritual Evocation…

    Spiritual evocation was just like the name suggested. It was a type of magecraft where mages called down the souls of the dead and made them do their bidding.

    The dead bowed down to Eulyphis… I had heard something like that before in a class at the clock tower. If I was a grave keeper that ensured the dead could rest in peace, this old man was a mage who controlled and fed on them.

    The old man smiled slightly. Every time his fingers bent, the jewels set in the rings would glimmer with eye-piercing light.

    “…Haha, at least you’ve come. …I thought that you were persuaded by the Trambelios, and wouldn’t even pay attention to an invitation from this old man…”

    The old man’s words made my heart beat faster.

    He was showing that even though it had only been a day since the talk with Lord Trambelio, he already knew.

    “How would I? The connection between the El-Mellois and the Department of Spiritual Evocation(Eulyphis) runs far deeper than the last generation.”

    “Of course… if you had answered ‘yes’ I would have had you strangled on the spot.”

    The corners of the old man’s mouth curled upward in a sinister smile.

    I could clearly tell that he was not exaggerating. This old man did have the power to do so. As the Lord of the Department of Spiritual Evocation(Eulyphis) of the Clock Tower, he probably had the ability to kill us all even if we resisted as a group.

    His existence gave me a feeling similar to that of Touko Aozaki, yet completely different.

    My mentor only narrowed his eyes slightly.

    “Speaking of which, I thought that you would have let Bram attend as your representative like in the previous Grand Rolls.”

    “…Ha. Ha. Since McDonell of the Trambelios is going to attend in person, how could I not as well? …Well then… have you heard about… the Trambelios’… ridiculous plan to redevelop Spirit Tomb Albion?”

    “Yes. If you had decided to inform us in advance, we might have been more prepared (TN: this is said kind of semi-jokingly, so he’s not actually accusing Rufleus of anything).”

    “I have not… hidden anything from you… intentionally.” Rufleus’ voice resounded hollowly in the air.

    “…That’s a barefaced lie,” Yvette quietly mumbled to me.

    Since she said that, that was probably true. He had chosen deliberately to not give any information to the El-Mellois, who were the least powerful of the twelve families. It was just that I didn’t know whether it was because he thought they were insignificant, or worried that the El-Mellois would betray them. However, I was at least aware that he had his reasons for doing that.

    The Clock Tower’s social relations were too complicated.

    The plotting and scheming mixed into everything went without saying. Even traditions and evil intentions were almost indistinguishable from each other, and there was no way for an outside to tell the difference.

    However, Olgamarie interjected then, as if she had had enough.

    “Mr. Rufleus, that’s enough chatting, don’t you think?”

    “Of course… Since you already understand the current situation… everything becomes easier…” Rufleus said. “…As Lord Eulyphis… I oppose the plan to redevelop Spirit Tomb Albion.”

    Sure enough, I thought.

    I had heard that similar proposals had been brought up before. The fact that they didn’t manage to pass was a sign that opposition existed. Since the Trambelios, who were at the head of the Democratic Faction, were the people behind the redevelopment, it was natural that the Eulyphises at the head of the Aristocratic Faction would be opposed to it.

    “Can I ask why you say that?” My mentor asked after a brief pause.

    “…Because it is dangerous… is that not a satisfactory reason?”

    “Yes, of course it is. Lords must work to ensure the stability of the world of magecraft. You must be more thoughtful than a junior like me could ever be,” my mentor said, agreeing with Rufleus’ priorities. “I also think that it is very likely that increasing the speed of excavation by redeveloping Spirit Tomb Albion would cause the resources there to dry up. Albion is an incredibly dangerous place, and no one would be able to ensure the success of the redevelopment.”

    “To add to that, that’s the Department of Astromancy’s stance on this as well,” Olgamarie said from the side.

    She seemed to be adopting the strategy of saying as little as possible. Was that because she was only her father’s representative, while the other two people were official Lords?

    “But [what if] the success of the redevelopment [could be guaranteed]?”

    Suddenly, Lord Eulyphis said something completely different. My mentor frowned slightly.

    “What do you mean by that?”

    “That Trambelio kid must have taken many considerations… since he has decided to bring it up… Otherwise, he would not have revealed it deliberately… Barely managing to take out a topic that will inevitably be rejected in the end… would only be a show of his incompetence…”

    I could understand what Rufleus said. He was not underestimating Lord Trambelio. Rather, he saw Lord Trambelio as a potential threat. That was why he decided to attend the Grand Roll.

    “That is very reasonable. I agree that he has made appropriate preparations.”

    “Of course… And then… He seems to be close enough to you… to have you as a guest…” The raspy voice swept ominously across the stone slabs of the sidewalk. “Well then… can you… figure out what preparations they have made…?”

    Because of the light reflecting off of his glasses, I could not see his eyes.

    However, the terrifying implications of his words was enough to make me shiver, even though I was just standing there.

    Was he basically asking my mentor to be a spy? Of course, in the Clock Tower, that was so common that it wasn’t strange for Yvette to directly reveal her intentions.

    However, this was different. Even my feeble mind could understand that what was happening now was different from usual.

    Yes. This was a Lord, hinting for another Lord to be a spy. This was too different in terms of severity. If the rulers of the Clock Tower were to commit such a treacherous act, and if we failed, what little prestige El-Mellois and the Department of Modern Magecraft had would crumble immediately. Though I said that, there was no way to directly reject his offer without ceding the initiative to Lord Eulyphis.

    Both accepting and rejecting the offer could result in a deadly situation.

    My mentor spoke again after a brief moment of silence.

    “Would it bring any benefits?”

    “Ha. So you’ve learned to ask for rewards?”

    Hearing the old man’s question, my mentor shook his head and responded slowly.

    “No, I’m not talking about myself. I want to ask [what benefits the Aristocratic Faction would gain from not redeveloping Spirit Tomb Albion.]”

    In an instant, the old man’s expression tensed up.

    “…Don’t overstep your authority, young man.”

    “My sincerest apologies.” My mentor bowed his head again. “But if we wanted to obtain information from the Trambelios, knowing that would be essential. They are not stupid enough to trust someone who comes to them empty-handed.”

    …Huh? What was going on?

    I was suddenly very confused.

    I could only sort of understand what my mentor just said.

    I knew he was asking about what benefits it would bring the Aristocratic Faction, but this retort managed to make the old man sigh.

    “I see. Let us pretend that exchange never happened.”

    “I’m incredibly sorry that I cannot meet your expectations.”

    “…No, don’t be. I see… I finally understand the reason… why the El-Melloi Faction did not die out.” Rufleus said, smiling to reveal teeth like that of a skeleton.

    Then, he said something that I did not expect.

    “You do remind me… of that Heartless boy though.”

    “Was the Department of Modern Magecraft in Dr. Heartless’ age part of the Aristocratic Faction?”

    “No… That man… did not join any faction… He was somewhat neutral… but he did not vie for the favor of the Meluasteas…”

    After answering my mentor’s question, the old man left us with a final sentence.

    “The Grand Roll will be held in three days… Do not forget it…”

    At that, he raised his index finger. One of the gems there changed to a strange color. It seemed like some kind of spell had been activated. In the blink of an eye, the old man disappeared.

    Olgamarie, who remained there, waited for a moment before turning to speak to me.

    “Your name is… Gray, right?”

    It seemed like she still remembered my name.

    “Um… y-yes.”

    Hearing my somewhat hesitant answer, Olgamarie cleared her throat uncomfortably and touched the back of one of the chairs on the balcony.

    “Send my regards to Reines. She did a wonderful job. I’m very impressed.”

    “…I’ll make sure to pass your message on.”

    “Thank you. It would be nice to be able to have some tea with you again.”

    After she said that, Olgamarie disappeared as well with a wave of her hand.

    It wasn’t just that. The pedestrians on the street had returned too. Along with a cacophony of noise, the place around us returned to being a regular London street.

    As if he had suddenly lost all his strength, my mentor covered his face with his hands.

    “Neither Rufleus nor Olgamarie was actually here. They just shifted the street very slightly to create a simulated ‘field’ that other people wouldn’t be able to see. That way, they didn’t need to move their physical forms to appear here. This magecraft should be like child’s play to them.”

    “Oh, also, did you think of that comeback by yourself?” Yvette said, tilting her head in interest.

    I didn’t know if she asked out of her own curiosity, or because she was a spy. Either way, my mentor exhaled deeply as if to let fresh air flow into his lungs, and replied.

    “No. As you may have guessed, it was Reines’ idea. She said it was very possible that they wanted us to spy on the Trambelios if they suddenly asked to meet us, so I needed to touch on the interests of the Aristocratic Faction. Because [if we did have to defect to the Democratic Faction, this information will be crucial. As long as Lord Eulyphis notices this, he will try to balance things out].

    “Rufleus probably just wants to send us to the Democratic Faction because not sticking closely to a Faction makes us difficult to deal with. Then, he’ll probably send us to our deaths along with them. However, he didn’t judge that it was worth revealing the cards he has.”

    “…Oh. I see.”

    I was impressed from the bottom of my heart.

    It seemed that only a battle where each side could guess the weapons the other side had could be called a drama worthy of the Clock Tower. To be honest, I felt like I didn’t understand half of what was said during that conversation.

    …Ah, so that’s what Olgamarie was talking about.

    That was to say, she figured out that Reines had told my mentor to say all that just then. Reines and Olgamarie had met every once in a while after the Rail Zeppelin case, so it wasn’t really surprising that she could tell.

    “Hmph. To be honest, I couldn’t catch up with that interaction entirely either. Politics is not my specialty.”

    My mentor gazed out to the street with a slightly haggard look on his face.

    “Yvette, you should probably go home from here.”

    “Huh? We aren’t done talking yet, are we? And this is the right time to bring your cute lover around the place, isn’t it?”

    “Go.”

    Hearing my mentor emphasize that, Yvette pouted.

    “…Okay, fine. But can you tell me the details later?”

    Yvette walked away reluctantly, still pouting.

    “Sir, why did you have her go?”

    “Like we discussed earlier, that possibility exists in the Aristocratic Lords as well.”

    Even I could understand what possibility he was speaking of.

    “You mean, the possibility that Heartless’ accomplice is a Lord—”

    “Yes. The reason why Lord Eulyphis would reject the proposal to redevelop Spirit Tomb Albion is not clear yet. Of course, we can’t rule out the possibility that even the basic reason he just brought up about how it was impossible was a result of Heartless’ intervention.

    “Olgamarie is more suspicious. She has never had any contact with Heartless, but her father, the Lord of the Department of Astromancy, once [commissioned Heartless to research the Holy Grail War].”

    What he said was true.

    The only reason why Heartless successfully summoned Faker was the results of his research from then. We still didn’t know why Marisbury wanted to research the Holy Grail War, so there was no way to deny the possibility of a connection with Heartless.

    I felt myself become dizzied by the crisscrossing interests and goals.

    Was this how things normally were at the Clock Tower? Or was this just what interactions between Lords were like? Though I couldn’t tell, it was definitely part of what Reines had to deal with every day.

    It was a world right next to me that I could not see.

    “He said it was in three days,” I muttered to myself as we walked down a London Street already swathed in the hues of the night. “On February the second, the Grand Roll will be held…”
    -End of Part 1 of Chapter 5, Book 7-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——

  5. #205
    屍鬼 Ghoul
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    Wow, four parts! Thanks for the translations!

  6. #206
    Lie Like Vortigern Reign's Avatar
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    If this had been written after LB5 I wonder if Marisbury would have sent Kirsch instead.

  7. #207
    Chapter 5, Part 2
    Chapter 5, Part 2:

    After we met up with the other members of our team, we discussed what had happened today.

    It was night now, and we were in a new hotel room.

    “Professor, I can’t remember it at all!” Flat said, raising his hand.

    He said it without a hint of hesitation, and with a smile on his face. His demeanor was exactly the same as when he was in class. Every time that happened, my mentor would cover his stomach with one hand while the blood vessels around his temple would twitch… Yes, basically, what was happening now.

    “There are more people than usual involved in this one…”

    “Let’s draw a diagram for it then,” Reines suggested with a smile like a wildflower, as if she was relishing my mentor’s pain.

    Svin was standing behind me. Maybe because he hated me less now, he wouldn’t be as terrifying as he used to be, even when we were standing in the same room. This made me very happy. My mentor seemed to trust him more now, so if I could receive guidance from him once in a while, I would be even happier. However, that was just one of my delusions.

    “A diagram? That would work. Svin, can I ask you to draw it?”

    “Of course,” Svin nodded obediently. Then, he tore a page from the notepad in the hotel room and took out a ballpoint pen.

    My mentor would ask him to take notes like this in class as well. Something similar had happened in the workshop of Heartless’ missing student, Gesell Tolman. It was clear that my mentor would often hand the work of organizing and summarizing things to him.

    “Let’s begin from the attendees of the Grand Roll.”

    “Sure.”

    Svin nodded again, and then wrote a few names down. First came the Democratic Faction.

    Lord Trambelio.

    And Lord Valualeta.

    The two people who had dined with my mentor yesterday after sending an invite through Melvin.



    Then came the Aristocratic Faction.

    Lord Eulyphis.

    Lord Animusphere— or, actually, his representative, Olgamarie.

    And then, Lord El-Melloi II. It seemed like my mentor had gone along with tradition and decided to stand in there for now.

    “According to what we know now, excluding the Neutral Faction and the Barthomelois, these five will attend of the twelve families. This is around the average level of attendance in a Grand Roll. However, it’s rare that four actual Lords will attend.”

    “Why do you say that, Sir?”

    ”Basically, they’re taking it very seriously,“ my mentor answered. “The Trambelios are serious about the plan to redevelop Spirit Tomb Albion. Lord Eulyphis only decided to attend in person because he is aware of their intentions. If a representative attended like before, they might be scared into conceding because of the gap in authority.”

    Lord Trambelio’s charisma and his attitude to accept everything, regardless of how good or bad, was worth noting. It wasn’t surprising that Rufleus would be on high alert because of this.

    “The Neutral Faction has decided not even to send representatives. That’s probably because they don’t want to be caught in the crossfire. The more serious they are, the more impact a rash action will have, which might lead to hatred. If the Democratic Faction and the Aristocratic Faction were just tossing friendly attacks at each other, it would be fine. But if they actually intended on crushing the other side, it would be better to keep their distance… That’s the general approach of the Neutral Faction.”

    “Oh, I see…”

    Now I could somewhat understand it. There was meaning behind being absent from the meeting of well. I felt strangely impressed by this.

    “Add Dr. Heartless and his five students as well. Three of them are currently missing.”

    Svin wrote down a few more names. First came the two students we had met at the Secret Autopsy Division, Calugh Ithred and Asheara Mystras.

    Then, the ones who were missing.

    Gesell Tolman.

    
Jorek Kurdice.

    Finally,

    “Is this… the last person?”

    “Yes. Besides knowing that he is an unaffiliated mage, we couldn’t find any of his experiences. We couldn’t even figure out his last name. Considering how much of his life is shrouded in mystery, as well as who the other people are, it’s pretty much certain that he’s a Survivor as well.”

    [Kurou].

    That was the final name. According to Touko, he was one of Heartless’s missing students.

    “Something like this?”

    “Wow! That’s brilliant, Le Chien-kun! If I was the one doing it, it would have exploded already!”

    “Go learn how to write an essay other people can actually read first! Explain [the reasoning behind things] properly! Even though it’s evidently all nonsense, Mr. Shardan keeps getting me to translate it just in case there’s some hidden meaning behind it all, so could you please consider my feelings?”

    “Then you can be my co-writer!”

    “Absolutely not! You’ll be able to memorize a hundred Great War of Heroes cards in a single glance, and you want me to help you?” Svin said, sticking out his tongue.

    My mentor ignored their argument and stared intently at the notes, tapping the table with his index finger.

    “The problem lies in why they went missing.”

    “Yes. Do you not have a hypothesis, brother dear? This is your area of expertise, isn’t it?”

    “There aren’t enough clues. But since Spirit Tomb Albion comes up so often, it should have something to do with this.”

    That name had been brought up so many times, both regarding the Grand Roll and where Heartless’ students came from. However, I couldn’t imagine what relationship they would have at all.

    Reines looked to my mentor and closed one of her eyes.

    “Isn’t there another mystery here? Is Heartless gathering his former students, or is—”

    “—Reines.”

    My mentor interrupted her. He had a serious look in his eyes, as if he was saying that this was the only thing he could not condone.

    He shook his head and continued.

    “Either way, we need to find more information about Heartless’ missing students. Reines, can you go to Slur Street again to look into his students again?”
    
“I wish you’d be a bit kinder to your younger sister. So what are you going to do?”

    “It would be troublesome if the students found me, but I plan on going with you.”

    At that, Flat immediately turned around.

    “That’s a pretty big deal, Professor! We’ll need to think of some magecraft to hide you!”

    “You should first think of something to sew your mouth up so you won’t be so conspicuous.”

    “Ohh, that’s a good idea! Locking up the mouth of the Big Bad Wolf so Little Red Riding Hood won’t get eaten! Having Pac-Man lose his identity! Wait, you look a bit like Pac-Man, don’t you, Le Chien-kun? With the streamline and all!”

    “How are we similar at all?!” Svin shouted through his gritted teeth.

    However, it didn’t turn out as we planned.

    My mentor was called away because of a case that happened on the morning of the second day.
    -End of Part 2 of Chapter 5, Book 7-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——

  8. #208
    Chapter 5, Part 3
    Chapter 5, Part 3:

    Though we had only been called in a hurry, the only people allowed in were me and my mentor.

    Reines and the others went to investigate as planned, while we came to the Secret Autopsy Division and took the elevator down like we had yesterday.

    Yes, we were at the Secret Autopsy Division. However, a familiar figure awaited us as we walked into floor B45, which was where the incident had occurred.

    “Good morning, Miss Adashino.”

    “…Huh?”

    I blinked as my mentor called her name.

    Even in a place like floor B45, she was the same as usual. Of course, she was wearing the same luxurious outfit that I was told was a type of traditional Japanese clothing. Her long hair, which seemed to be strands of the darkness of the night, silently enveloped her, separating her from the rest of the world.

    Hishiri Adashino gracefully adjusted her glasses as she smiled.

    “Someone has been killed, so I am here to represent the Department of Law.”

    Thinking back to the last times we had met her, she had always had a similar stance. This was probably the job of the Department of Law. They were there to regulate and control the world of magecraft, where any misstep could easily pass the point of no return.

    As I thought about this, my mentor scowled.

    “Don’t interfere with what I’m here to do.”

    “You can do as you please,” Hishiri said.

    Soon, we were led by the staff members to the laboratory where the incident had occurred.

    “…!”

    The odor swirling about the room made me cover my nose with my hands.

    My mentor did the same. Only Hishiri remained undisturbed, maybe because she had already investigated the scene.

    It was a spacious room, around the size of the lobby above it. However, there were all kinds of equipment in this room. With my shallow knowledge, I couldn’t tell whether they were for magecraft or science. The tangled masses of wires and shattered teapots reminded me of a hospital.

    However, that feeling only stayed for the first second I was looking at the room.

    It was hard to imagine that this was reality. …To be precise, it was like reality and fantasy had been mixed together. That made the scene before my eyes different from everything I had seen before, in a sense.

    On the strange metal floor of the laboratory, there lay many beasts.

    Some were the chimeras I had seen yesterday. Others were entirely different.

    For example, there were giant beetles with curved horns, and large lizards covered in metal scales.

    All of them were dead.

    Blood in all sorts of colors was splattered around the place. Some was blue and green, while more was, shockingly, white. Later, my mentor had told me that scientists have been developing white artificial blood. If they heard that creatures of Mystery had that kind of blood circulating around their bodies, I didn’t know what they would say.

    “……”

    My mentor bent down to inspect the floor.

    There were claw marks and acid stains everywhere. It seemed like there had been a fight here. Lying dead on the floor, there were at least seven creatures of the kind that Yvette and I had barely managed to hold our own against.

    But the reason we had been called here lay deeper inside the laboratory.

    There was a splatter of red blood there. A shocking amount of the walls and the floor had also been dyed red.

    Calugh had died there.

    No.

    Perhaps it would be more fitting to say that it was the [object that used to be] Calugh.

    That was because the corpse was too heavily mutilated. It didn’t stop at his limbs being severed from his body. It was as if a child with a pair of scissors had stabbed madly at a doll for an hour. Though I could only just discern where the head used to be, even piecing the body parts together would be difficult. If a forensics expert tried, maybe it would be possible, but I didn’t think that regular police would be able to enter here.

    Bones, intestines, fat, and muscle… all of it looked like it had been blended together.

    “Why… did he have to be killed so cruelly…”

    “…I don’t know.”

    My mentor shook his head.

    I had seen all sorts of corpses in the cases before. However, it was the first time I had seen such a horrible corpse.

    Even so, my mentor’s expression remained clam, and he only bit his lip.

    “Do you think it was my brother who did it?” Hishiri said in a voice too quiet for the staff members to hear as she stood by the entrance.

    “It couldn’t have been anyone else. No mage would be able to defeat so many monsters of Spirit Tomb Albion. However, that Servant, Faker, could.”

    “Yes. She could, even if she didn’t use her Noble Phantasm.”

    There was a cold tension in Hishiri’s voice.

    She had seen Faker fight on the Rail Zeppelin. That was why she knew that Faker was a powerful mage, even without using her terrifying Noble Phantasm, which was supposedly a chariot that originally belonged to Iskandar.

    “Even if the intended purpose of the spell is the same, the spells of the Age of the Gods are completely different. I’ve heard that creatures from Spirit Tomb Albion tend to be able to deflect Magical Energy, but it seems like Faker wouldn’t be affected if the ability isn’t strong enough.”

    “The magecraft of the Age of the Gods is very close to Mystery, after all.”

    “Yes. That’s why they don’t need to keep trying to reach the Root. To us, that might be an unattainable truth, but to them, it’s just something commonplace.” My mentor spoke like he was describing nebulae thousands of light-years away.

    “Maybe our aspirations are the true mystery in her eyes.”

    Hishiri’s genuine words revealed the passion she had as a mage who sought the Root, even though she was part of the Department of Law. Or, perhaps they revealed the passion that had once been there.

    I remembered Calugh talking with my mentor about this when he had still been alive. This was probably the difference between Faker and modern mages.

    “That doesn’t matter now,” Hishiri continued. “So. Is Dr. Heartless killing his own students?”

    My mentor did not respond immediately. From the momentary tense in his shoulders, I could tell that he shared Hishiri’s suspicions.

    “Was this… what Miss Reines wanted to say last night?”

    “…Yes,” my mentor said, nodding. “It’s a taboo among mages to kill your own students.”

    I think that this was even more so for him. He treasured every single one of them. Saying that he simply enjoyed teaching would be an understatement.

    However—

    “Of course, such cases have happened. It isn’t exactly rare for students to kill their teachers, either. However, killing students is even more reprehensible than killing teachers, because it goes against a mage’s instinct.”

    My mentor had talked about this before.

    Mages were beings who would protect their students, no matter what it took.

    That was because mages placed their hopes on the next generation. They needed to pass on their hopes of reaching the Root to their descendants and students, because they wouldn’t be able to achieve them in this generation.

    My mentor probably followed this instinct more than anyone else.

    Even though he lacked talent, he wanted to be a mage more than any other mage. That must be because he saw his aspirations in all of his students. My mentor had placed his hopes in everyone’s futures, from Flat and Svin to Yvette and even Luvia.

    “…And why was Calugh the only one to have been killed in this way?”

    The other students had only gone missing.
    
Even if they had been killed, I could sense that the person we were up against wanted to keep it discreet. If that was the case, why would Calugh be killed in such an exaggerated way?

    My mentor and Hishiri didn’t seem to know the answer to that question, either.

    “However, I do understand something now,” my mentor said after a brief moment of silence as he observed the corpse. “[It wasn’t a coincidence] that a monster from Spirit Tomb Albion managed to escape and attack us.”

    It surprised me to hear the subject of our conversation to suddenly shift to the fight that happened yesterday.

    “…What?”

    “Calugh should have found out through some means that we had fought Faker on the Rail Zeppelin. Though he might not have known the details, he might have heard that we managed to fight her off.”

    Those words swept across the bloodstained floor.

    “He probably released those monsters because he wanted to use it as a point of reference. If it could stand its own against us, and since we were around equally matched with Faker, maybe a group of monsters would be enough to fend off Faker. Ah, so that was why he gave us a permit to enter that easily. Because that would be closest to the situation on the Rail Zeppelin. …But his preparation seems to have been for nothing.”

    …Of course.

    After all, the only reason why we had managed to fight Faker to a draw then was the result of many coincidences piled on top of each other. If we didn’t have the Executor with Jewel-ranked Mystic Eyes as well as Olgamarie’s Magecraft support, we would not be able to stand here now.

    For that reason, even though it had taken so much effort to defend against the monster from Spirit Tomb Albion, Faker was able to kill them all easily. Servants and humans were just that different. But, if it was Touko Aozaki, or another terrifyingly powerful Lord, the results might not be the same…

    “…Wait, so that means that Mr. Calugh…”

    “He already predicted that Heartless and Faker might attack him,” my mentor said.

    I looked toward him.

    If that was the case, Calugh probably already made preparations against them. He had found monsters through the Secret Autopsy Division and prepared a room for the fight to take place. Even so, he still lost.

    After squatting down to examine the corpse more carefully, my mentor stood up again.

    “There’s also something strange about this place.”

    “Something strange?”

    “Yes. Isn’t this a [locked room]?”

    I knew what a locked room referred to. Something similar had happened in one of the previous cases. It was a place where the culprit could not enter or exit— In other words, a place where the crime could not have been committed. I never thought that a term mainly used in detective novels would be brought up here.

    “This is floor B45. The only way to come in or leave is from the elevator we came through. It would be incredibly difficult to enter without the permission of the staff. Even Heartless and Faker would have a hard time reaching here without being discovered.”

    “Wouldn’t he be able to teleport or pass through walls or something?”

    Hearing my question, my mentor shook his head.

    “Teleportation can almost be considered a type of magic. Though maybe Faker would be able to achieve it as a mage of the Age of the Gods, there are several tight Bounded Fields here. Even she wouldn’t be able to enter using magecraft without breaking the Bounded Field. The same goes for passing through walls.”

    I could somewhat understand the reasoning behind this.

    Though the rules of the Age of the Gods were strange, they weren’t a completely different set of concepts. It was like how arrows and spears are different, yet are still able to kill people by piercing through them. Both of them would leave a mark if they penetrated someone’s body.

    “…So how did they do it?”

    “……” My mentor did not reply immediately. Instead, he turned his head. “Can I ask you some questions?”

    “Of course,” the staff member said, nodding.

    “First, why did you call me here?” My mentor asked. “The Secret Autopsy division is both a part of the Clock Tower, and separate from it. Even if someone died— No, perhaps I should say especially because something as serious as this happened, usually, it should be resolved internally. Even if we disregard Miss Hishiri from the Department of Law for now, there’s no need to ask a [Lord] to come. (TN: All of these are emphasized.)”

    “It was Mr. Calugh who requested it.”

    “…Mr. Calugh?”

    Wasn’t that the name of the person who just died?

    “Yes. Ever since a while ago, he kept saying that if anything happened to him, we were to call Lord El-Melloi II.”

    “Wait. How long ago is ‘a while ago’?”

    Noticing something strange in what that person said, my mentor raised one eyebrow.

    “Around two months ago,” the staff member replied calmly.

    “…Sir.”

    “I know. This doesn’t make any sense. I only met him yesterday.”

    Yes. From what he said just then, it was clear that Calugh had started taking notice of my mentor a long time ago. Of course, as a new [Lord], my mentor’s position was worth noting, but there wouldn’t usually be any need to tell people to call him if anything came up.

    If my mentor was someone like the famous detective of Baker Street, that would have made sense, but that was not the case. At the end of the day, my mentor’s job was being one of the [Lords] and a lecturer of the Clock Tower.

    My mentor was silent for a brief moment as he glanced around the room.

    “…What about Miss Asheara?”

    “We have not been able to contact her.”

    “…!”

    I felt like my blood had started speeding up as it circulated around my body.

    “Is it possible that she has gone missing?”

    “It is a possibility. We are still trying to confirm that.”

    My anxiety increased even more, and I felt like there was a heavy weight on my shoulders. I felt like our opponents had managed to make more moves in a game of chess without us noticing. Now, we didn’t even have an idea of how much worse the situation had become.

    My mentor carefully examined the scene once more.

    This time, his gaze rested on Calugh’s gruesome corpse for quite a long time before he turned to ask Hishiri a question.

    “Has there been an attempt to evoke his spirit?”

    “Of course. Unfortunately, though, the information has been sealed away. He was an important figure in the Secret Autopsy Division, after all. If no precautions are taken, important information could easily be leaked.”

    This seemed to be one of the security measures that mages took.

    Magecraft was something that needed to be kept from others. Mages fought tooth and nail to keep it secret, even from their fellow mages. For that reason, I heard that powerful mages would prepare magecraft precautions when they were still alive to prevent people from stealing information from their corpses.

    Though I said that, it only decreased the clues available to us now.

    “…Have the other students taken measures against spiritual invocation?” My mentor muttered.

    “Why do you ask that?”

    “The other survivors of the labyrinth without powerful positions would have no need to set up precautions like this. Most of the people who take on the challenge of Spirit Tomb Albion are [spellcasters], and not mages. Their purpose is to successfully utilize magecraft, not to use it to reach the Root.”

    I recalled that spellcasters referred to people who only saw magecraft as a tool.

    Mages sacrificed everything for the Root, and passed on— forced their hopes to the next generation. Though mages and spellcasters both used magecraft, the two were very different. My mentor had said something similar before. To some mages, the term spellcaster was the greatest insult.

    However, according to what he just said,

    “…So, if someone found their corpses, something might be revealed?”

    Was that why the corpses of the other students had been disposed of? No, we weren’t even sure that they had died yet. However, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about it as if that was the truth.

    My mentor touched the mangled corpse without caring if his clothes would get stained. Since I was a grave keeper, I could naturally tolerate a sight like this. However, for whatever reason, my mentor was also able to tolerate such a corpse. Of course, since he was a mage, he shouldn’t have been easily disturbed, but I felt like my mentor’s situation was different. It was more like he had once witnessed something even more disturbing than this, which meant that he was able to face this situation calmly. (TN: Why do I feel like an incredibly similar bit of narration happened with the Diadra’s corpse as well?)

    Suddenly, my mentor suddenly froze.

    “Is something the matter, Lord El-Melloi II?”

    “It’s nothing.”

    He shook his head and wiped his fingers with a handkerchief.

    “Was he one of my brother’s students?” Hishiri said with a sigh as she looked intently at Calugh’s corpse.

    “Yes. I have a question I never got to ask you, too. What kind of person was your brother, Heartless, to you?”

    Hearing my mentor’s question, Hishiri’s beautiful brow furrowed slightly.

    “I actually haven’t met him many times. Though we are siblings by name, there are many children like us in the Norwich family.”

    My mentor had brought this up before, too.

    Norwich, the head of the noble family that had established the Department of Modern Magecraft, had strange tendencies.

    He was the daddy-long-legs of the Clock Tower. Supposedly, he would do all he could to support the young people he saw potential in, and would adopt the ones he especially favored.

    Hishiri and Heartless seemed to have been chosen in this way. That was how they ended up being siblings in name alone.

    “However, though he was the head of a department, I got the impression that he used to chat with his students often.”

    This was consistent with what Asheara and the former student who was now laying dismembered on the floor, Calugh, had said.

    Heartless used to be a teacher who cared very deeply for his students.

    It was so different to Heartless now, who killed his students in such a cruel way. What kind of puzzle piece would fit in this gap?

    “Miss Adashino, I have a very absurd and somewhat rude question…” my mentor said, after a few seconds of silence. “Dr. Heartless wasn’t a spell caster, right?”

    “Of course not. The Clock Tower has no reason to choose a spellcaster as the head of a department,” Hishiri said, tilting her head in confusion.

    She was right. The Clock Tower was a place for learning. Even though they had let someone like Heartless become the head of a department, they would probably not accept a spellcaster.

    “…I see. If it was someone from an older family, it might be because of the Grand Order, but Heartless doesn’t fit that situation, either.”

    “Have you discovered anything new?”

    “No, I was just confirming something. I’ll report to you again when I manage to come up with some kind of hypothesis. Goodbye, for now. —Let’s go, Gray.”

    My mentor suddenly turned and quickly walked away.

    I hastily bid goodbye to Hishiri and the staff member before following him.
    -End of Part 3 of Chapter 5, Book 7-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——



    Chapter 5, Part 4
    Chapter 5, Part 4:

    Several maids and servants were hurrying about the mansion.

    Even for them, the guests today were special. Lord Valualeta’s servants all came from mage families that had a long history of serving her family, but they still were a little nervous when another Lord came to visit.

    The owner of the house sat next to a round window that encircled a patch of blue sky, enjoying some wine.

    “It went pretty well, don’t you think, son?”

    “Please don’t call me that, Ms. Inorai.” Lord Trambelio said, spreading his arms.

    Though he accompanied it with an exaggerated wink, Inorai continued with a look of mild annoyance.

    “I’m fine with redeveloping Spirit Tomb Albion. I also know most of the cards that you have. You’ve probably hidden some things from me, but I’m in no place to accuse you of that. So, as Lord Valualeta, I’ll give you my vote.”

    “Hahaha, thank you, Lord Valualeta! I appreciate your generosity,” McDonell said, laughing. Then, he turned to the other person in the room. “I’m also curious what you think, Melvin-kun. Depending on the situation, your friend may have to suffer a penalty. As the head of the family, I need to take the feelings of members of the branch family into consideration too, don’t I?”

    “Waver is a great friend of mine, of course,” Melvin said.

    He sat at a table not far away, enjoying a glass of red wine. Several silk handkerchiefs were laid out on the table in front of him, probably because of his tendency to cough blood. Perhaps he had also chosen red wine to make the blood stand out less. Since it was normal for mages to be strange in some way, the two Lords present did not comment on this.

    “But, if the head of the Trambelio family orders it, I’ll have to assist you even if it puts my best friend’s life at stake.”

    “Oh, really?” Inorai interjected. “I don’t have an issue with that, of course. But I’ve seen some other people like you who don’t feel guilty no matter how may people are dragged into problems, simply because they find it interesting. Don’t you think you would wipe out yourself and your entire family if you needed to?”

    “Of course not. How could I?” Melvin said with a faint smile. He responded in a similar way to how McDonell just did. Was this a trait of the Trambelio bloodline?

    “Speaking of which, can I ask you something?” He said, turning to McDonell and raising his hand. “Do you really think redevelopment is necessary for the Clock Tower?”

    “Yes, of course I do.” McDonell nodded seriously. “Our primary goal is always to reach the Root. Since that’s the case, shouldn’t we do everything in our power to work towards it? We are mages born in the modern age. Increasing the amount of artifacts provided by Spirit Tomb Albion is indispensable for our goal.”

    There was an unwavering passion in McDonell’s voice.

    As if what he said was the paradigm of righteousness.

    McDonell had something that made those around him feel that his choices were not just to win power, but to pursue the glorious truth.

    Perhaps it was the result of history. A place where mere humans, who had trouble living past a century, could not reach. However, in lineages that existed since the distant past, such natural “kings” would sometimes be born. McDonell was undoubtedly one of them.
    
“A grand stage awaits us! Let us enjoy it!”
    *
    The castle was situated in a place that overlooked the Thames river.

    It was originally built as a fortress, then used as an armory and a bank, before finally becoming a prison for nobles. For that reason, many kings and members of the royalty had been executed here, and many legends were spawned as a result of the regrets and laments of the people.

    For instance, the tale of how an ancient queen’s ghost haunted this place, or that the ravens that lived here were actually the cursed King Arthur(TN: This is not an actual story)… And so on.

    This fortress was the Tower of London.

    It was now one of the most famous tourist attractions in this city. Today, it was said to be closed for cleaning purposes, but there wasn’t a cleaning staff in sight. There was only an old man taking a stroll around the grounds.

    The man wore glasses, and had long, carefully groomed white hair.

    It was Lord Eulyphis— Rufleus Nuada-Re Eulyphis.

    Of course, he did not frequent the Tower of London to sightsee.

    Every step that the old man took in the closed-off fortress caused him to absorb more invisible energy.

    In other words, the Magical Energy of the dead.

    However, it wasn’t just the Magical Energy given off by the dead.

    With the “concept” of the dead at its core, both the large amounts of Mana seeping from the Ley Lines and the Od given off unintentionally by the tourists could be considered by the Clock Tower as the Magical Energy of the dead.

    As the Lord of the Department of Spiritual Invocation(Eulyphis), Rufleus used ancestral contracts and political means to carefully preserve this place, so he could use it to recover Magical Energy.

    He stopped walking near the central White Tower.

    “…Tired of waiting around…?”

    “No. It’s a rare opportunity to see something like this,” Olgamarie said, curtsying with her silver hair gathered up in one hand. “Has everything been progressing like you hoped?”

    The young woman looked to Rufleus.

    There was a truly staggering number of gems inlaid into the old man’s clothing. However, they didn’t seem gaudy at all. Instead, they gave off an ominous air, as if they were not jewelry, but burial goods.

    Perhaps this was the power of the Lord of the Department of Spiritual Evocation.

    Every single one of those gems was an incredibly powerful Mystic Code. Someone well-versed in this area would be able to tell that with a single glance. Even the colossal amount of Magical Energy he had absorbed from the dead could not match even one of them. This array of ornaments made the old man into a fortified fortress.

    “…Well.”

    The old man’s eyes narrowed, neither confirming or denying what Olgamarie just said.

    Piles of deep wrinkles nearly concealed his eyes.
    
“…This has nothing to do with territory… it all depends on how many people that Trambelio boy has persuaded... for this meeting…”

    The old man was saying that this meeting was like a battle. The results would already be decided before it even began.

    “We must maintain the order…. No matter what… we must guard the world of magecraft.”

    To this old man, even asking about this would feel hollow. This was something that had already been carved into his soul.

    —“In order to achieve the task handed to the Eulyphis family, the peace of the world of magecraft must be maintained.”

    He had always lived life by those words in all the years of his drawn-out life.

    The old man smiled, revealing a mouthful of yellowed teeth.

    “I wonder… how much does this Lord El-Melloi understand…?”
    -End of Part 3 of Chapter 5, Book 7-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——

  9. #209
    Chapter 5, Part 5
    Chapter 5, Part 5:

    As we were around ten minutes away from the Secret Autopsy Division, my mentor took out what he was hiding in his jacket pocket.

    “This was hidden in Calugh’s corpse.”

    “A rock? No, a piece of metal?”

    It was a very thin sliver of metal. There were traces of words etched onto it. I had to practically press my face into it so I could manage to read the numbers and letters on there.

    “Calugh tried to create a metal cage during yesterday’s battle. He probably used something similar to create a piece of metal inside his body with information on it. After all, the easiest place to use magecraft is within your own body.”

    So was this how mages left their dying wishes?

    Though I didn’t understand how it worked, I knew that simple magecraft only required one count, or a single action. The latter didn’t even require incantations, and could be achieved through manipulating Magical Energy alone. Calugh had probably used a spell like that.

    “This was probably left for me. I’m probably the only mage out there who has to resort to fiddling with corpses.”

    “But, isn’t this—”

    “…Yes. It’s an address.”

    British addresses were made from approximately seven characters. Every building had a different one. The characters written on the piece of metal in my mentor’s hand was probably that.

    I swallowed.

    “Aren’t we telling Miss Hishiri about it?” I asked.

    “We still can’t completely trust the Department of Law.”

    Considering all that had happened in the past, I completely understood my mentor’s reason for this even though I was reluctant to admit it.

    Since it was very possible that someone related to the Grand Roll was also Heartless’ accomplice, revealing any information was an extremely dangerous thing to do.

    “Even though it was left for me, we have no way of knowing what he was thinking when he did so. In the worst case scenario, Faker might be there as well. We can’t rule out this possibility, so it would be best if Flat and Svin don’t come along.”

    I was slightly surprised to hear him say that.

    “I thought you already made up your mind about letting your students help you if they want to.”

    “Of course not. I have put their lives in danger before, but that was an unexpected outcome. If I have the choice, I’d still like to avoid it as much as possible.”

    “But you won’t leave me behind, right?”

    My mentor hesitated for a moment, frowning slightly before he sighed.

    “If it wasn’t for you, I would have died a long time ago.” He said reluctantly.

    He had said something similar before.

    Why would the same words make me feel so proud now? I felt something slowly seep into my heart. It was very warm, and when I touched it, it began to pulse.

    Light laughter came from the hook at my right shoulder.

    “Ihihihihi, it feels good to be relied on, doesn’t it?”

    “…Yes, it does feel good.”

    Hearing my response, Add was silent for a moment before it laughed even louder.

    “Yes, indeed! That’s right! Ihihi, you’ve grown up too, crybaby Gray!”
    *
    I raised my phone to my ear as I stood in the musty stack room.

    “Yep. It’s not getting through.”

    I put down my phone and pressed the button to hang up. Flat, who was looking over with interest, tilted his head slightly.

    “Still can’t reach him?”

    “Unfortunately not,” I answered, shrugging. “The Secret Autopsy Division is secretive, after all. It was surprising enough that they let Yvette in. Electromagnetic waves can be controlled by the security system there, but there shouldn’t be a signal underground anyway.”

    However, I wasn’t sure if the reason I couldn’t reach my brother was the Secret Autopsy Division, or that he had turned his phone off because something had come up.

    We were in the district of the Department of Modern Magecraft, Slur(TN: this doesn’t have to be the translation for the name of the street, does it? It just feels so strange. It could be Slough street but there’s no reason why that would be スラー. I don’t know, it’s weird). Specifically, we were in the stack room.

    Academic books about magecraft were not the only things stored there. There were also all sorts of scattered records related to the Department of Modern Magecraft, such as the backgrounds of students and teachers, receipts from purchasing artifacts, records of Ley Line activities, and so on.

    Of course, this was usually a restricted area, but as the next head of the El-Melloi Faction, I owned the master magecraft key.

    Even so, we still had to sneak around the place to avoid the groups of overly-excited students in the El-Melloi classroom who were still looking for my brother. If they did happen to find us, we would have to somehow find our way out in a bombardment of questions about his whereabouts.

    We ended up having to dig through the entire mountain of documents, but our team of three people and one Mystic Code did manage to reach a conclusion after a bunch of tedious research.

    “…There really is a loophole,” I said, looking to the results that the Mystic Code— that is to say, my mercury maid Trimmau— had passed to me.

    “But haven’t we already looked through everything that mentions Heartless? Le Chien-kun and I have looked from top to bottom, and we’ve tossed them around like Cooking Fighters!”

    “I don’t know why you’re tossing documents around while talking about food, but, putting aside what you said about games for now, you two are researching Heartless himself, right?” I said, ignoring what sounded like the ramblings of a crazed fan. “However, we haven’t found enough about his students. If we hadn’t met that Touko Aozaki, we wouldn’t even have known that they were Survivors of the labyrinth.”

    After all, many of the records had been deleted. It had already taken us enough effort to find their names.

    “The information we obtained after that gives us more options to investigate. It should be incredibly difficult to erase someone’s footprints completely, in a time like the modern age where everything is recorded somewhere. The same goes for the world of magecraft. Since we know how many students there were and what ended up happening to them, everything else naturally follows.”

    “Of the five people in the team, one person whose situation is unknown, two people who are unaffiliated, and two people who joined the Secret Autopsy Division, right?”
    
“Yes.” Hearing Svin’s summary, I snapped quietly, because it would be terrible if the other students found us. “Around ten years ago, the team of Survivors became Heartless’ students. There are all sorts of mismatches in the books during this period. I originally thought it was extra money given by Mr. Norwich, but that old man would have been more generous with his gifts.”

    “…Then, does that money come from smuggling from Spirit Tomb Albion?”

    It was what had been brought up during our conversation with Lord Trambelio.

    If that originated from the Department of Modern Magecraft—

    —Yes, that would put us in a ridiculously bad spot!

    I really wanted to turn around now and pretend that I hadn’t seen anything. That was like knowing that the person who was the boss of a company before you had been embezzling funds. No matter how you looked at it, this was terrible news.

    However, the reality was that since this was one of our weaknesses, we needed to get to the bottom of it. Otherwise, it might become even more deadly.

    “Well then, let’s try and find out the precise details of those transactions. Flat, your intuition works well as long as you don’t try to organize something useful out of it, right? Svin, you’re sensitive about numbers, so I hope you two can combine to bring something useful.”

    “….I see~! I get it now! Le Chien-kun, let’s revive the Easter egg of ‘Let’s fusion’!”

    Just as Flat struck a pose I didn’t understand, Svin suddenly looked to the skylight.

    “What is it, Le Chien-kun?”

    “There’s a strange smell outside,” he said as his nose twitched. “…Or is there?”

    He frowned, frustrated, like a hunting dog that just lost sight of its prey.
    *
    “—That was close,” the woman leaning near the lamppost muttered to herself.

    It was an East Asian woman dressed in professional clothing.

    Not long after that, some kind of mayfly-shaped object landed on her hand.

    It was a mechanical mayfly.

    Its body was clear and transparent, as if it had been carved from crystal. A faint, ethereal light emanated from its folded wings. Though it was only the size of a child’s hand, the wires, springs, and gears were perfectly balanced inside it.

    All of this was fixed in place with a combination of chips of crystal, friction, and tiny amounts of Magical Energy. Even a high-ranking mage would be stunned with envy if they were told of how this Mystic Code worked.

    However, none of the other pedestrians reacted to the presence of the crystal mayfly. They couldn’t see it at all. This was the result of magecraft that obstructed the senses.

    “I should have eliminated the sound and smell completely. Hm. So that means his sense of smell isn’t limited to actual smells. The students there are so bothersome to deal with. I almost want to complain to them about how they ruin my happiness.”

    The corner of Touko Aozaki’s lips curled upwards in a smile.

    After they had parted ways in that workshop, her familiar had followed them. Since she knew how sensitive the one who used Bestial Magecraft was, she had the familiar keep its distance. However, it still caused a disruption when it entered the bounded field at Slur Street.

    “Usually, I would probably leave,” she said, looking up.

    The Department of Modern Magecraft(Norwich) was right in front of her.

    “However, this place is the starting point, just like I suspected. The Grand Roll will begin soon. Sorry, Lord El-Melloi II, but I’ll have to come to investigate.”

    The woman stepped forward. There was a strange light in her eyes, and it was impossible to determine what intent lay behind them.

    The crystal mayfly extended its wings, and they glinted as it glided silently through the beams of winter sunlight.
    -End of Part 6 of Chapter 5, Book 7-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——

  10. #210
    Chapter 5, Part 6
    Chapter 5, Part 6:


    My mentor and I boarded a taxi and headed to the address on the piece of metal.

    It was even further north than the Regent’s Park in north London.

    We got off around Belsize Park and walked the rest of the way.

    The atmosphere in the area felt more like a quiet suburb than part of a giant city. The rows of staggered red-bricked buildings reminded me of a neat line of Matryoshka dolls.

    The cold winter sunlight seemed to still and solidify here.

    This place had probably looked the same for the past decade. There were dainty yellow flowers sprouting from the vines of winter jasmine that peeked out from the garden walls. The residents would probably see this sight every year.

    “……”

    My mentor was silent.

    He walked along the road at a brisk pace, past the brick buildings, blooming vines, and rays of winter sunlight.

    I noticed that the number of pedestrians were decreasing gradually as we passed through the street that seemed to never change.

    It was different to when Lord Eulyphis had appeared yesterday. The people had not suddenly vanished unnaturally. It was more like they had just gradually tapered away.

    “Sir?”

    “…It’s a bounded field,” my mentor muttered. “But it doesn’t use Magical Energy. It’s a type of modern magecraft that affects people psychologically. Heartless is the former head of the Department of Modern Magecraft, after all. Though it’s essentially the same as what I did at Druid Street, the technique here has been thought out very well.”

    “What does that mean?”

    Before he responded, my mentor first took out a cigar from his case and lit it.

    The instant the smell entered my nose, I felt like some part of my brain relaxed. I had only just realized how tired I had become.

    “Like I discussed before in class, it’s a matter of feelings,” my mentor said with the cigar in his mouth. “It affects mages as well. Because no Magical Energy is involved, even mages that are considerably highly-ranked will have trouble detecting it. On the other hand, ordinary people can also detect it, but most people don’t have enough knowledge about bounded fields to recognize them.”

    In other words, it was something that only someone like my mentor would be able to detect.

    However, a strange, sinister feeling crawled up my back.

    Was this really Heartless’s mistake? I thought. Would he make a blunder like this if he knew that my mentor was working against him?

    After several minutes of walking, we arrived at an old wooden house at the end of the road lined with brick houses.

    “Is this the place with the address Calugh left us?”

    Opening the door revealed the interior of an average-looking house. There was a dirty sofa, tables, cabinets there, and an assortment of cheap magazines had been scattered all over the floor. Almost as if it was on purpose, the stairway to the basement had been left out in the open. My mentor and I exchanged a nod before we walked down.

    The darkness had been steeped in the rich aroma of wine.

    “…It looks like this place was converted from a wine cellar.”

    I felt like if Svin was here, he would have collapsed, drunk.

    We carefully advanced in the grape-scented air, which threatened to make my mind hazy again. The stone stairs were very slippery and were broken in several places, and I felt that a slight misstep could cause me to tumble down.

    There were also more stairs than I had expected.

    “I think I’m beginning to understand,” my mentor said as we walked. “Earlier, I said that the grave of King Arthur from before was your Labyrinth, Gray.”

    He had said something like this before.

    When he was discussing the history of mazes, he had explained how mazes and labyrinths were actually different.

    “If that’s the case, this place is my labyrinth,” my mentor said through gritted teeth, as if he was trying to hold something back. “Heartless could definitely be described as another me.”

    An alternate version of my mentor.

    My mentor had said that labyrinths only had one path that allowed people to dive into themselves. At the deepest point, there would be a monster— another version of the person who entered the maze.

    “My mentor isn’t someone who would ever harm his students.”

    “That’s why I’m thinking about this,” my mentor said gloomily. “I’ve considered if it would be better to do that before.”

    Those words sent a jolt of surprise through my heart.

    My mentor had said something that was completely different from what he was usually like. However, I could feel that his words were genuine.

    “If I just wanted clamber upward, there’s no need for me to teach at all. Rather than helping other people hone their talents to reach greater heights, I should devote my effort to trying to overtake them, in spite of their talent. Since I’ve been on the wrong path since the very beginning, I should have the obligation to get back on the right track, even if it means abandoning everything I have.

    “Ahh, I should be cultivating the magecraft of the Velvet family. To that end, I need to take back my Magic Crest. Waver Velvet, if you really want to become a mage you can be proud of, throw away that stupid teacher’s facade and regain the nature of a cruel, callous mage. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a voice in my head say that.”

    —“You’re all cowards.”

    —“Just because you’re a genius, you easily soar to great heights in a sky that I can only imagine myself flying freely in.”

    I recalled that my mentor had said that back at Adra, the Castle of Separation. Seeing Luviagelita Edelfelt double the effects of her magecraft just by listening to a few suggestions had made him jealous and revealed some of his true thoughts.

    It was both laughable and pitiable, and had given me an instant of insight into my mentor’s heart.

    There was also something else.

    —“I’m also in possession of the Magic Crest of the Velvet Family.”

    —“It’s the only Magic Crest in the world that’s compatible with Waver Velvet. You could call it the best possible collateral there could ever be to prevent mages from betraying you. It’s equivalent to taking away the meaning of his existence from the very beginning!”

    The was what Melvin had said to me. As a collateral, he held my mentor, Waver Velvet’s Magic Crest.

    Magic Crests were a bit like notes to be passed to the next generation. So now, my mentor had had his notes taken away. Not being able to record his magecraft into the notes and wasting all these years must have brought so much suffering to my mentor, who was too genuine for a mage.

    “…I don’t think you’re worthless.”

    “Thank you.”

    The stairs had ended.

    We opened the door even more carefully than last time. When the door had opened a certain amount, I immediately dashed in, prepared to deploy Add at any moment as I scanned the room.

    There was no one there.

    There were, however, several buckets of wine, as well as a few bottles that didn’t look like they had been uncorked for more than a week.

    Behind them, there were some beakers and test tubes alongside some strange instruments. For planets, there was a metal balance that had been twisted geometrically, a silver model of the system, bells in the shape of the solar system, specimens of evidently extinct creatures, fuzzy dry objects, and so on.

    My instincts told me that these were tools for magecraft experiments.

    “…Is this Heartless’ workshop?” My mentor muttered, lifting his cigar.

    The fire at the tip of the cigar suddenly flared up, illuminating the dazzlingly complex display of string and paper on the back wall of the room.

    “An evidence board…”

    I had seen something similar half a year ago, in the hut that Heartless had lived in. By reading the spell that had been written on it, my mentor had managed to solve the case involving the Seven Superweapons of the Atlas Institute.

    There was a map made of vellum hung up beside the evidence board.

    It seemed to depict a sideways London, with a dragon that was large enough to devour entire planets digging deeper downward into the earth. I could vaguely understand that this map symbolized Spirit Tomb Albion.

    “…He left us this on purpose, didn’t he,” my mentor muttered. “He should have had plenty of time to take it down. …That is to say, he left it here for us to find. He’s taunting me to come decipher it if I want to try.”

    Was that the case? I thought.

    My mentor said that it was a taunt. However, I had a different feeling.

    To me…

    …It was more like he was telling us that if he deciphered it, we would be done for.

    “Give me a moment. Since he left such careful notes, it shouldn’t take me that long,” my mentor said, looking to the evidence board and taking out a pen and a notebook.

    —His movements looked as if he was going to dissolve into someone’s mind. Was this just an illusion my brain had conjured?
    *
    “…There shouldn’t be much to the whydunit this time, right?” She said, holding a bottle of wine in one hand.

    It was a half-filled magnum wine bottle. She had already drank three whole bottles of this, but besides the slight flush on her cheeks, she remained unaffected, like she could down a thousand more. Though she was a Servant, this woman had probably been capable of this when she was alive as well. The look in her slightly tipsy eyes seemed to give that impression.

    She pointed one of her supple fingers at her Master.

    “It doesn’t take any reasoning for that gloomy Lord to figure out that you’re the culprit.”

    “Doesn’t the information given to you about the modern world contain flashbacks? It’s a technique used often in Columbo.”

    “I don’t care. I’ve never liked stories like the Illiad. Alcohol is all I need.” As she said this, Faker took another sip of wine. “You are kind of like that, though. Like those modern machine things.”

    “Machines?” Heartless repeated.

    “Yes. They have no content and no dreams. After their final goal’s been inputted, they’ll continue along the optimal path forever. That’s who you are. It’s hard to say you remind me of a human being.”

    Though she was being slightly rude, Heartless’s expression did not change in the slightest.

    “Do you find me to be a disappointing Master?”

    “Not at all. To be honest, you actually make me feel quite at home,” the woman said, smiling a fierce smile.

    She took another sip of wine, which made her lips more striking.

    In the distant past, warriors seated around the dining table had probably seen this smile.

    “I suppose you could call my king a capricious person. That’s why I was made to be someone like that. Yes, I suppose you could call me such a person.”

    The nostalgia seeping from her wry smile deepened.

    She was a human that had been created by the queen, Olympias, to protect Iskandar who was fated to be a conqueror.

    One was a general.

    The other was a mage.

    However, she was different from her brother. As a mage, she was far from being a Heroic Spirit. Even the name Hephaestion was an illusion that had been borrowed from her brother.

    For that reason, this world had always been too bright for her.

    The Conqueror King Iskandar went without saying, of course, but the many heroes that surrounded him were so dazzling and beautiful that she could not bring herself to look directly at them.

    “Ah, they shone too brightly for me to be with them,” Faker uttered, raising the bottle of wine. “So that’s why someone a bit plainer like you fits me just fine. I died such a long time ago, but it’s the first time I felt that I could truly be myself around someone. Even the wine tastes better now.”

    “That’s strange.”

    “It is,” Faker admitted. ”But, if this is what it’s like, I wouldn’t regret it if I disappeared right here.”

    That was almost like she was admitting to regretting something.

    She had once pledged allegiance to her king, but because he had foolishly said before his death to have the strongest inherit the throne, the Wars of the Diadochi had broken out. The dreams and aspirations of the past broke one by one from there. Generals that she had once trusted killed friends that had entrusted their lives to them, and even the queen who had created her, Olympias, was dragged into the conflict. Betrayal followed betrayal, until all that remained was a tragic ending carved into history.

    That was the end of a dream.

    The fragments of memories too wretched to recall.

    Beside her, her Master’s red hair fluttered in the strong wind.

    It was the same color as that of
    Iskandar
    the person she had previously served
    . Of course, it was ridiculous to compare her temporary Master to the king she had pledged her soul to in any way, but she had created such an association, for whatever reason.

    Why?

    The two people weren’t similar at all.

    “What?”



    Faker inadvertently looked away when she saw him look over.

    “Nothing. I just think you’ve summoned a strange Servant, too.”

    “I don’t think so. In fact, I’m actually more surprised that you’re willing to listen to me.”

    “That’s an odd thought,” Faker replied. “I’m a Servant. An object summoned to obey my Master’s command. Our goals also align, so shouldn’t I follow your orders?”

    “That wasn’t always the case in the Holy Grail Wars in the past.”

    “Either way, I’m not familiar with those wars.”

    She shook her head.

    She had heard that in the Far East, the ritual had already been performed several times. It was the bloody ritual between seven Heroic Spirits and seven Masters to obtain the legendary Holy Grail, which was capable of granting any wish. Now, she was a temporary being summoned using that ritual.

    A temporary Heroic Spirit.

    
A temporary Saint Graph.

    A temporary
    Container
    Class
    .

    None of this was authentic. That was why she felt like it fit her very well. She wasn’t like one of the soldiers who had served Iskandar. She hadn’t left her name in history, and wasn’t even an anti-hero. Instead, she was just a nameless decaying corpse.

    “More Servants have been summoned in the Holy Grail War in Fuyuki.”

    “You can tell?”

    “I’m connected to the Ley Lines there. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to know. The Fifth Holy Grail War will begin soon, after two or so more Servants are summoned. I don’t know when it’ll be over after that.”

    “Then we’ll have to hurry up. It won’t take much longer for [him] to figure out the first whydunit.”

    At that, Heartless suddenly changed the topic of the conversation.

    “Do you hate Lord El-Melloi II?”

    “Yes, I do. I hope he gets smacked on the head by falling books and dies. Not managing to kill him on that train is the most humiliating thing I’ve done since I was summoned.”

    “Well. But what happened on the Rail Zeppelin was meaningful,” Heartless said with a slight smile. “Thanks to the incident there, I understand him now. I know how he sees the world, how he values magecraft, and how he treats others. I’ve learned what he holds dear, how he lives, and what his dreams are. At the same time, he probably understands me, too. He may see through one or two of my whydunits, but if he continues reading… he will have mired himself.”

    “Ha, I’d love to see him in pain. Alright, we’re here,” Faker said, gesturing to what was [below them].

    “Ah, how I miss this place. I did sneak in not long ago, but this is the first time I’ve looked at it from this angle,” Heartless said. “[My dear Slur Street].”

    Yes.

    Heartless and Faker were now looking over the district of the twelfth Department of the Clock Tower— the plain street or two that contained the Department of Modern Magecraft.

    They were high up in the air.

    Of course, this was because of her Noble Phantasm, the chariot pulled by skeletal dragons.

    Every time their hooves(TN: Do dragons have hooves?) pawed the air, streaks of magical lightning would shoot out shaking the world around them. The sound of undulating waves of a type of Magical Energy that had already disappeared in this world rang out through the sky.

    “Well then, I’ll leave it to you, Faker.”

    “Leave it to me, Master.”

    Faker tossed away her bottle of wine and laughed happily. The prospect of a new battle made her Saint Graph(heart) beat intensely.

    “I have something I need to thank you for.”

    “Hm? What?”

    “You gave me a battlefield and a meaning. Thank you, Master.”

    Then, she began to shout.

    “[I am Hephaestion]!”

    This was a complete lie. A meaningless opening line, necessary to unleash the power of this chariot.

    As a Faker, she wouldn’t be able to tell the truth, even when she revealed the true name of her Noble Phantasm. Every other Servant probably felt at least a bit of pride when they unleashed their Noble Phantasm, which was like the concentration of their essence. However, all she had were these falsehoods, which were made to protect the original owner.

    “[The loyal liege of the greatest conquering king in all of history, Iskandar]!”

    This was also a lie.

    That honor belonged to her brother.

    Nothing about it was real. At least, not to her. However, in that moment, there was still a fire burning in her heart.

    The Magical Energy outputted by the chariot doubled, echoing the flames in her heart. Faker held the reins that had been weaved with magecraft, and the energy swelled faster. First, the chariot shot forward, arcing toward the sun. Then, it consumed all the Mana drifting along the west wind, transforming into a true comet.

    It rushed toward the street in front of their eyes—!

    “Come, gallop freely, Hecatic Wheel!”
    *
    After a while, my mentor let out a low moan.

    That was his reaction to the result of his reading and note taking.

    “All of these are about a Seal Designated spell…”

    “A Seal Designated…?”

    I recalled that it was an ancient measure of the Clock Tower. Touko Aozaki had been subject to such a designation.

    It was said that the Association had a decree to preserve those who mastered magecraft limited to a single generation that could not be obtained through study and research. Supposedly, it was the greatest honor to be designated as a target of the decree. However, at the same time, it was the greatest possible disaster for a mage.

    The symbol of the Secret Judgement Division had been stamped onto the corner of the document. That institution was also located inside Spirit Tomb Albion.

    My mentor’s finger lingered around the document until it came to a stop at the name of the Seal Designated mage.

    “The person who invented the spell was… Emiya.”

    “Sir?” I called out, seeing the unusual look on his face. My mentor only repeated the name again.

    “It was… Emiya…?”

    “Are you familiar with that name?”

    “He was one of the participants of the Fourth Holy Grail War.”

    “……”

    Hearing that phrase unexpectedly turn up here, I gasped inadvertently.

    “I’m almost there. The main part of the spell is very similar to the one at your hometown. He probably used that one as a basis, so it’s not that difficult to understand.”

    The sound of the nib of my mentor’s pen scratching against paper continued.

    I didn’t know if it was because he had already interpreted the spell from last time or because he had more information, but this time he didn’t need Trimmau’s help.

    However, after only a few minutes, he made an unexpected noise.

    “Why…”

    “Sir?”

    The hand that held his pen was shaking. His slender fingers looked like they could shatter like glass at any moment.

    “Have you figured it out…?”

    Had he interpreted Heartless’ spell?

    If he had, why would he have such an expression of despair? His nails had sank into the document, but my mentor’s body continued to tremble as if he hadn’t noticed.

    “Why…Why would he…” he uttered, like an artist deprived of inspiration, or a savior who had lost the grace of the heavens.

    It reminded me of that sentence, Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachtani.

    “No… that much is evident… Heartless left this evidence board behind so I would decipher this spell… Because he knew that it would prevent me from trying to stop him.”

    I could not breathe. The feeling of helplessness wreathed itself around my heart, gradually eating away at my insides along with the fear that I had felt with my initial ominous premonition.

    “In that case… What am I meant to do…?”

    “Sir? What’s wrong?”

    This was the first time I had seen my mentor like this.

    Even the time when he had been knocked unconscious by Faker’s Noble Phantasm had not been as serious as this. Though he was sometimes pessimistic, my mentor had the heart of a challenger. He would sometimes even provoke opponents who he had no chance of winning against.

    However, at this moment.

    “Oi, what’s up with you? Has all that magecraft finally driven that half-filled brain of yours mad?!”

    Even Add, who was still secured in the hook at my right shoulder, became restless and spoke to my mentor. However, he still stared blankly at those papers.

    “This is… A spell used to call on the Saint Graph of the true target through summoning something else. Yes, it’s meant to use Faker as a shadow to summon the true Heroic Spirit. This isn’t impossible. Yes, it’s completely possible. We’ve seen it before. That’s why Gray’s hometown wanted to resurrect the true King Arthur by fabricating her body, mind, and soul…”

    Yes.

    My body was the proof of that.

    The crystallization of a village’s fleeting dream. We could not deny the fact that such a spell was possible.

    Ah, so that was why.

    That was the reason why what my mentor said next was my true nightmare.

    “Heartless and Faker… want to summon the true Heroic Spirit… the Conqueror King, Iskandar…”

    (TN: Did you really have to end a book like this, Sanda!?)
    -End of Part 6 of Chapter 5, Book 7-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——


    Afterword
    Afterword:

    By Makoto Sanda

    —Those were like secret conversations between the stars. Every night, they would exchange words that would never be known to anyone else. Every dawn, they would hide away to a place that no one could reach.

    Would the result of that be the end of our already ossified dreams?

    Thank you all for your patience. The final act of the Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II, the Grand Roll, has finally begun.

    I have had the idea to make a meeting between Lords the theme pf the final arc since I first planned to write this. Since this story is set in the Clock Tower, both an Ivory Tower for mages to research their craft and a court full of scheming and tricks, this was mentioned before in many of the characters’ lines and settings.
    *
    In the actual books, if Lord El-Melloi II is used to show the academic side of things, Reines would be the character used to show the schemes. No matter who the characters are, it wouldn’t be the true Clock Tower if I didn’t describe the complicated conflicts and detailed relationships of the Lords. If I did want to tell this story, then the best time to do so would be in the final arc, where all of the readers here should be familiar with the characters that appear.

    If you want to ask for my reasoning behind this, it’s because scheming is a type of complicated magecraft. It also contains all sorts of whydunits. There couldn’t be a better subject for the finale of the Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II.

    That was also why I decided to have this story be set in London. I believe that the charm of this ancient city will enhance this final act as well.

    Apart from the meeting, I also used a set piece that I decided on using at the very beginning, the underground city of the Clock Tower that has been mentioned all throughout the series— Spirit Tomb Albion.

    Gray’s reaction in this book was based upon my own initial reaction when Kinoko first told me about this setting. I would never have thought that it would be like that! It isn’t anything like the one in the fourth chapter of FGO…
    *
    New Lords. Characters key to the plot that have not appeared yet. Heartless and Faker, who are in control of the causes and effects of this case. And Heartless’ students, who are all closely related to this incident.

    All of these threads tangle and converge, and the story surrounding Lord El-Melloi II and his assistant has finally come to the final curve, and will continue to accelerate. How shall they unravel the mystery and darkness ahead of them, and what will be the ending that awaits them?

    Please stay tuned for further installments.
    *
    By the time this book gets published, the second volume of the manga version of the Case Files of Lord El-Melloi Ii should already be released. Every page of the intricate manga drawn by Azuma Toh-sensei. Unlike other TYPE-MOON books, this manga will also be available in regular bookstores, so please make sure you don’t miss it!

    Finally, I would like to thank Mineji Sakamoto for drawing the gorgeous illustrations for the final arc, Kiyomune Miwa for agreeing to accompany me to London to collect inspiration, Kinoko Nasu, OKSG, as well as everyone else at TYPE-MOON for taking time from their busy schedules to help me read through my drafts.

    The next and final volume of this series is scheduled to be released this winter. I hope that everyone will be able to accompany me all the way until the curtain falls.
    
—June 2018, while playing Detroit: Become Human
    -End of Afterword, Book 8-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——


    ...And that's book 8!
    Last edited by azwhoisverybored; April 20th, 2022 at 01:15 AM.

  11. #211
    Images for book 9








    From left to right and bottom to top, Touko Aozaki, a Grand-ranked mage of the Clock Tower; Svin Glascheit, a student of the Department of Modern Magecraft of the Clock Tower; Reines El-Melloi Archisorte, the next head of the El-Melloi family; Hephaestion, Servant: Faker; Dr. Heartless, the Master of Faker; Flat Escardos, a student of the Department of Modern Magecraft of the Clock Tower; Gray, the disciple of Lord El-Melloi II; and Lord El-Melloi II, the Lord of the Department of Modern Magecraft of the Clock Tower.

    (TN: Grand Roll Middle sounds so bad, but that’s what I get for calling the last book Grand Roll Up. I have so many complaints about this cover, though. For one, it fails to depict both the titular character and the other protagonist, while it features Atrum Galliasta, who is dead. Luvia is a marble statue for some reason, I cannot comprehend the lighting, and– I should probably stop complaining about it. It’s not like I can draw a better cover. But still. It annoys me much more than it should.)


  12. #212
    The Long-Forgotten Sight Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    “Yes, I do. I hope he gets smacked on the head by falling books and dies. Not managing to kill him on that train is the most humiliating thing I’ve done since I was summoned.”
    Cute.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  13. #213
    屍鬼 Ghoul
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    I couldn't even tell that was Luvia on the cover at first.

  14. #214
    In the afterword, Sanda mentioned OKSG, a person who work with Nasu and Takeuchi from early days. She proofreads nearly all the works of TM, even Nasu so that is not a place. It should be Nasu, OKSG and as well as people at TM.

  15. #215
    Quote Originally Posted by Misaya View Post
    In the afterword, Sanda mentioned OKSG, a person who work with Nasu and Takeuchi from early days. She proofreads nearly all the works of TM, even Nasu so that is not a place. It should be Nasu, OKSG and as well as people at TM.
    Oh, I didn't know that. Thanks for telling me!

  16. #216
    世はまさにパンテオン Comun's Avatar
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    OKSG is a man.

  17. #217
    Prologue
    Prologue:



    The bright light of day was steadily fading away.

    As winter neared, the weather in the suburbs of London became unstable, and storm clouds would cycle by many times a day. It would rain a little, pause, and then begin to rain again. While there never used to be any pedestrians with umbrellas, more than half of the people walking along the street were now holding one.

    It didn’t matter, though.

    Either way, to the young man, rain was a memory from many years ago.

    There was something like it in the Mining City as well, but it might be a bit inaccurate to call it ”rain”. He could see the cloud-covered sky, the sound of incessant raindrops striking the roofs of houses, and the smell of dirt which made his nose itch.

    He recalled the black-and-white musical he had seen in the past, on a television so old it looked like it had fallen apart already. Once, when he was subconsciously humming that song, his teacher had pointed out that it was Singin’ In The Rain. That was how he learned what it was called.

    Learning the name had made him incredibly happy, because he felt like he had gotten close to something that he had thought that he could never approach.

    “……”

    As he thought of this, the young man ran down the street called Slur.

    Near the sparsely populated dormitories, a sad-looking shadow extended out across the pavement.

    The man had long, red hair. Because of his downward-pointing eyelashes, it was impossible to tell where he was looking. Though there was less than five minutes until class began, he looked as if he had stood here for several hours. Rather than saying he fit well with the rain, it was more like he was having a conversation with it.

    Why did that person look so lonely as he stood there, almost melting into the downpour?

    He was Dr. Heartless, the head of the Department of Modern Magecraft(Norwich).

    “Sir?” The young man called out. He did not immediately receive a reply.

    He didn’t call out a second time. Instead, he held out his umbrella, and Heartless looked down after blinking twice.

    “Oh, sorry. I was thinking too much about a new formula I thought up of on accident, and lost track of time.”

    That meant that not only was he using his brain, but he was also using his Magic Circuits. Any mage that was at least somewhat capable didn’t just use their brain to think. Mages seemed to need to be ready to activate their Magic Circuits at any moment to challenge problems that came up. This was an area the young man lacked the talent to reach.

    “Have you discovered anything new?”

    “Yes. Just like the first time I met you,” Heartless said, looking to him and smiling softly.

    The young man, who was a Survivor, was turning twenty years old soon. The fearlessness in his profile suggested the end of his boyhood, but his eyes had retained the purity that he had in the past. Perhaps because of the nutrition he received and the environment he was in, he was visibly healthier than he used to be.

    “Speaking of which, has anything happened? You’re a bit later than usual,” Heartless asked, after checking his pocket watch.

    “Nothing important. I just received a letter from Asheara telling me I could throw away the rest of the personal belongings.”

    “I see.”

    “And then I wanted to throw them out as I walked here, but… I got a little distracted thinking about how we’re all going our separate ways.”

    “You have been together for years, after all.” Heartless said with a slight wry smile as he looked to the young man, who was nodding.

    The young man was one of Heartless’ former students, and a Survivor of the labyrinth. The other members of his team who explored Spirit Tomb Albion along with him had now been scattered to the four winds. The young man would probably never meet another person who he would share his fate with again.

    Yes.

    Regardless if they became the adoptive children of famous mages or entered the Secret Autopsy Division to work, they would all achieve feats that the young man couldn’t even imagine. And now, as they were no longer with each other, he felt like there was a gaping hole in his chest.

    “…It is in a mage’s nature to betray others,” Heartless said.

    Long, red hair fluttered in the cold wind.

    “It’s essentially a problem of selfishness. The bond between teacher and student exists, but it is never absolute. Teachers value their students because they wish for their magecraft to progress, and students value their teachers because there are things they still have to learn. If they are no longer of value to each other, it isn’t strange for the relationship to be discarded completely… that is what kind of creature mages are.”

    Those words, which were almost like a lecture, flowed across the wet floor.

    “However, they went the trouble of sending in a request, and even asked for my advice before they officially became my students. I hardly ever see someone with such a sincere response.”

    “Well.”

    The young man, however, seemed to find something odd about this.

    He had actually heard about this a long time ago. As they walked, they had discussed how things would turn out, and their dreams for the future. And then, in order to achieve those dreams, according to what Heartless said, there wasn’t anything that could make him feel dissatisfied.

    At least, there shouldn’t have been.

    Seeing the young man’s somewhat dissenting expression, Heartless continued to speak.

    “First, you managed to survive in that giant labyrinth. This feat itself is already quite radiant,” Heartless said. “For that reason, you might believe that all of your teammates will continue to collaborate like one harmonious team. However, this place is not the same as the labyrinth. As the battlefield changes, your technique must change along with it. However, you still live in the same world, so you’ll get the chance to meet them again if you want to.”

    Hearing his teacher’s words, he looked up at the sky.

    That was something that did not exist in the labyrinth.

    Regardless of rain or shine, the vast expanse of sky was breathtaking to behold. Learning that it was a view that could be seen anywhere on the surface had shaken him. Though he had been so grateful to see it, now, he had gotten used to it, and looked up at the sky less and less.

    “Even if you don’t want to, the Clock Tower is but a small corner of the world (TN: Alternatively, the Clock Tower is a small world, after all). You’ll inevitably cross paths with them one day.”

    “Oh, okay.”

    His voice carried some uneasiness.

    The surface(world) was too vast. Of course, he understood that only a small portion of all the people here knew of magecraft. This world ran on science(reality), and those ones still stuck in the past needed to huddle together to survive.

    Even now, after he had already gotten used to it, the sky was still too vast. Under it, he felt so lonely, and then felt so selfish to think that.

    “—Hm?”

    A woman walked without an umbrella in the downpour.

    Even though her expensive outfit was thoroughly soaked by the rain, she remained unmoved. Perhaps this was what Londoners were always like in the past. Or, maybe it was what Londoners do in the present.

    The woman was old, and had white hair.

    She smiled cheerfully, and raised her wrinkled hand.

    “Hello, Dr. Heartless.”

    “Good day to you, Lord Valualeta.”

    Heartless bowed, and the young man hurriedly followed suit.

    It was impossible to determine the old woman’s true age from her wrinkled face. Everyone in the Clock Tower knew that the appearances of mages were not to be trusted. It was even more so the case with Lords.

    Lords would come by to visit once in a while. To the young man, the twelve rulers of the Clock Tower seemed like higher beings.

    “I didn’t expect you to visit.”

    “Oh, that’s alright, I was just passing by when I realized I haven’t talked to you in a while.”

    Within Lord Valualeta's eyes, there was a scale that measured how she would treat the person she spoke to. Right now, it swayed in a delicate balance. Though they were supposedly equal in rank, that was not actually the case.

    “……”

    Dr. Heartless was not accepted by all the other heads of departments. He was the only one of the twelve main departments to not be a Lord, yet he was also required to converse with Lords as if they were his equals. For that reason, he had had to accept many requests that did not benefit him at all.

    The young man had noticed this. When he first came up to the surface, he had thought that Heartless was one of the rulers. This assumption was incorrect.

    Finally, Lord Valualeta shifted her gaze to somewhere else.

    “Is this one of your students?”

    “…Yes. I think you two have met before…”

    Heartless gave his shoulder a light nudge, and the young man swallowed, standing as straight as possible.

    “My name is Kurou.”

    “Hm. What a strange-sounding name.”

    After that, she lost interest in him and completely ignored the young man’s best attempt to seem dignified. Lord Valualeta looked back to the head of the department he belonged to.

    “Since I’m here already, I want to make sure of something,” she said. “Have you heard about what happened to Lord El-Melloi?”

    “He attended a combat-based ritual in the Far East, right?”

    …Lord El-Melloi.

    The young man recalled that name.

    That family had a high status, even amongst the other Lords. That person was the Lord of the Department of Mineralogy(Kischur). He was still called a prodigy even though he was more than twenty years old because he had achieved great things ever since he was less than ten years old. Not only was he talented enough to take over the Department of Mineralogy, he was also talented in the field of Spiritual Evocation and became a first-grade lecturer in that department as well.

    The young man understood from his story how outstanding someone the Clock Tower heralded as a genius would have to be.

    The story of how that person went to attend a magecraft ritual in the Far East was only passed around amongst the gossipy ones in the Clock Tower. Rumors like how the El-Mellois were tired of only having fame in the field of research, and wanted to display how powerful they were in combat as well. That also revealed who Lord El-Melloi was as a mage.

    “It is the undefeated prodigy, Lord El-Melloi, after all. Even if the worst of luck befell him, there’s no way he would be defeated in a magecraft ritual in the Far East, would there?” Heartless muttered.

    “That would be for the best. But maybe he’ll lose to an ambush. Who knows?” The old woman said, speaking of something horrific in a lighthearted tone of voice. “Lord El-Melloi— Kayneth El-Melloi Archibald is engaged to the daughter of the Eulyphises. When they get married, the Aristocratic Faction will become even more united. It’s quite a headache for us here in the Democratic Faction. Well then, what do you think? Does the Department of Modern Magecraft want to officially become part of the Democratic Faction? That would make us owe you quite a large favor.”

    “I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that,” Heartless said, calmly shaking his head.

    Instantly, the atmosphere became tense.

    “How unfortunate,” Lord Valualeta said, as a smile appeared on her lips. “But, if you ever decide to change your mind, please tell me. I’ve always been rather interested in the Department of Modern Magecraft. If you ended up going over to the Neutral Faction, I would be so sad I wouldn’t leave my house for days.”

    “Please don’t joke around like that,” said Heartless, passing it off.

    The Aristocratic, Democratic, and Neutral Factions.

    The three ideologies that ran through the Clock Tower were just as Lord Valualeta had said. Presently, the Department of Modern Magecraft did not belong to any faction. Of course, that meant that Heartless had to walk a tightrope. Though that was the case, the only reason why the Department of Modern Magecraft could run independently was because it was independent from the three factions. If it aligned itself with one of them, it would immediately be bought out. As the only department head who wasn’t a Lord, Heartless needed to act even more carefully than usual.

    No. Besides that.

    The young man silently tried to stop himself from trembling.

    …What if…

    What if this esteemed old woman already saw through the Department of Modern Magecraft’s(our) secret?

    “Anything wrong?”

    “…No, nothing.”

    “Please don’t threaten my students.”

    Heartless gently placed his hand on the young man’s shoulder. He felt the trembling stop.

    Looking to the young man, Lord Valualeta smiled again.

    “Hahaha, I’m sorry. As an apology, could you please take this?”

    She had taken out a movie ticket.

    “Is this from the cinema you own, Lord Valualeta— Miss Inorai?”

    “Yes. I bought one of the newest kind of cinema complex. One of the theaters is specially reserved for relatives. This ticket will cover any movie you want. Haha, I’ve wanted my own cinema for such a long time.”

    “Wouldn’t it trouble Lord Trambelio if you spent money too flamboyantly in the surface world?”

    “That McDonell boy will understand. Well then, see you later.”

    Lord Valualeta walked away, waving. The tense atmosphere in the air left alongside her.

    After a while, Heartless smiled warmly.

    “Lord Valualeta prefers modern things, doesn’t she. And she even went all the effort to try and get someone like me to join her faction. It isn’t that she’s malicious… It’s just how the Clock Tower is.”

    “So, does she just scheme out in the open? That’s hard to imagine.”

    “Well, not really. When we think of scheming, we usually mean planning to create traps that make people fall to their deaths. She doesn’t actually want Lord El-Melloi to die. Lord Valualeta is just searching with her intuition for things she finds interesting that also benefit her. Ah, as a part of the Department of Creation(Valuay), maybe this process of discovery is her idea of beauty.”

    So, in other words, searching for power.

    Though she didn’t specifically try to hoard power, that was was just what the old woman was used to. Turning up out of the blue and discussing topics like what they had just talked about seemed to be as natural as breathing to her.

    However.

    “Aren’t you angry?”

    “Angry?”

    “Because, wasn’t that—”

    Wasn’t that just a threat, he wanted to say. But he couldn’t manage to finish his sentence.

    If he wanted to ask whether she had ill intent, the answer was probably no. However, what she said just then was almost like she was reminding him that his life was in her hands. That was who Lord Valualeta was like, but whether or not he could be complacent about it was a different matter entirely.

    However, as usual, Heartless accepted his speechlessness and responded with a wry smile.

    “In this situation, I don’t have backup, so I have to concede,” he said. “After all, mages are relics from the past. Trying to incorporate modern ideas is always antithetical to our nature. We’ve never been equal.”

    Heartless spoke of things that everyone in the Clock Tower accepted as an established truth.

    Magic Crests could only be passed on to direct descendants, and the quality and quantity of Magic Circuits were decided at birth.

    Since magecraft was the most important thing to mages, they way of existence could only be described as old-fashioned.

    “But, the Department of Modern Magecraft(Norwich)—”

    “Yes. Magecraft is in decline. For that reason. They can only start incorporating the New Ages who they used to dismiss into their organizations. This extremely controversial compromise created the Department of Modern Magecraft. That is to say, this street.”

    Heartless looked to the street before him.

    Just by looking down the street, there were hardly any people who would consider this place a center for quality education. It was far too small for that. It was just made up of a single school building stuffed between two roads. In terms of funding, it had around the same as the Department of Archaeology(Meluastea), but they were still vastly different.

    That department was one of the most prestigious ones in the Clock Tower, backed up by hundreds of years of history. It was also the representative of the Neutral Faction. By contrast, the Department of Modern Magecraft was just a random building poorly integrated to an area with a few existing workshops and relations. It gave the impression of being incredibly sloppily made.

    Even so, for the New Agers in the Clock Tower, this was a good enough place to place their hopes in.

    “You just said how mages would betray people, right?” The young man said, bringing up what Heartless had said before Lord Valualeta came. “What about you then, Sir?”

    “Of course, I’m just an ordinary mage. I hope to attain the best results I can possibly achieve, regardless of what immoral methods I have to use in the process. Just like every other mage.”

    Really, the young man thought.

    It had been several years since the first time had met Heartless. In that time, he had never seemed that selfish, not when he escaped from Spirit Tomb Albion, when he enrolled in the Clock Tower, or when he listened to his lectures.

    “But, don’t you have the fairies’—”

    Heartless raised a finger and shushed the young man before he could finish his sentence.

    “That has nothing to do with my nature as a mage. It just got mixed into my body by chance. Of course, there have been mages in the past who have attained exceptional ranks by using what they received from the fairies, but I didn’t go down that path.”

    The young man had heard of something similar before.

    For instance, someone who learned how to speak to everything in the world because they once touched a fairy.

    However, the young man’s teacher had not become the department head this way.

    “……”

    Without noticing it, the young man looked to his teacher.

    He hadn’t changed at all. He was still the exact same as when they had first met. Even when both the young man and his team had changed to be almost unrecognizable.

    “…I don’t think you need to change(TN: Alternatively, I think that’s alright),” he said quietly.

    He walked a few steps on the chipped cobblestone road.

    Then, he turned to look back.

    “I love this street just as it is.”

    Before he knew it, the rain had stopped. With the usual fickleness of London weather, half of the sky that had just been cloudy had already cleared up. Above them, a rainbow had appeared.

    Under the bridge of colors, the young man spoke up again, somewhat timidly.

    “I think that’s because you’re here, Sir.”
    *
    —That all happened ten years ago, before the Fourth Holy Grail War had begun, and before the unconventional Lord named Lord El-Melloi II had come to the Department of Modern Magecraft.
    *
    “So please stay like this, Sir.”

    That moment was back when the star in a certain young man’s eyes still shined in the street known as Slur.
    -End of Prologue, Book 9-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——


    Chapter 1, Part 1
    Chapter 1, Part 1:



    “The true Heroic Spirit… the Conqueror King Iskandar… Heartless and Faker want to summon him…”

    Those words were like bullets fired by a demon.

    It had been around ten years since the Fourth Holy Grail War.

    In that case, it crossed ten years of time and struck straight into our hearts. No, it was even more impactful for my mentor. It was more like it had pierced through his skull and scattered his brain across the floor, and all I could do was stand there in bewilderment, for that bullet was made of pure despair and hate.

    “……”

    We were still in Heartless’ workshop.

    Just the chokingly dense smell of the wine cellar alone was enough to make someone drunk. It was enough to cloud anyone’s mind, immersing them in the gifts of the god of wine(Bacchus).

    My mentor’s gaze was still fixed on the wall of the workshop, which had been covered with an evidence board.

    They had probably all been placed there by Heartless. The woven patchwork of threads and post-it notes looked like they came from a crime drama. Several of those papers contained information about Seal Designated spells, and my mentor was probably trying to deduce what they led to.

    …But, why? I thought.

    Why would they summon the Heroic Spirit Iskandar?

    To my mentor, this conclusion was a fatal blow. Even the temptations of the snake(Satan) were not so enticing. The original sin that made them betray God and take the fruit of knowledge was comparable to the sorrowful wish that bound my mentor now.

    “……”

    I couldn’t speak.

    —“I hope you can meet him.”

    I had thought this unsound(TN: Alternatively, serious or painful) thought just a few months ago.

    No. I still held the same belief now. However, Heartless had made the same idea sound so terrifying. I felt for the first time how sickening it was when what I dreamed of did not bring the results that I had hoped.

    “…But,”

    I wanted to stop myself. However, a sound managed to escape my throat.

    “…But why?” I asked.

    There was a sudden loud sound, and the table shook.

    It was the sound of my mentor slamming the table with his fist.

    “That’s what I want to know. It’s the only logical conclusion to all of this…!” My mentor said in a low voice, through gritted teeth.

    Though he was trying to suppress it, there seemed to be something that he could not hide.

    What kind of inner conflict and anguish was he trying to hold back? He had attended the Fourth Holy Grail War ten years ago. And now, all of his last ten years of toil was about to be torn apart in front of his eyes.

    “It looks like— No, this has to be it. What he learned in your hometown became the basis for this formula. By that, I mean the idea of resurrecting King Arthur by separating her into the body, the mind, and the soul.”

    That was what we had just discussed.

    Heartless had observed my hometown for a considerable amount of time. Thinking back, that was when the connection between Heartless, my mentor, and I had first been formed. Then, did that mean Heartless’s plan had first taken shape there? Or, had it originated much longer ago…?

    “However… This is much more advanced than that,” my mentor said, placing a hand beside the strings and leaning in to study it in even more detail. “Using Faker as the core, he plans on exploring… something greater than the Heroic Spirit Iskandar? Such as…using Heroic Spirits as a medium to create a chain reaction…”

    Similar mutterings continued as he continued to examine the evidence board.

    “Oi, what’s up with you, puny mage?”

    Even Add’s rude complaints could not reach my mentor.

    “…Damn it!” He exclaimed, scratching at the wall with his fingers. “Why… I don’t understand…”

    He was like a boxer who had lost after challenging a champion to a fight.

    Even my mentor, who took apart other people’s magecraft almost instinctively, responded in this way.

    I didn’t understand what I was to do.

    Ever since I became his disciple, I believed that I was always protecting my mentor. The opponents I fought against with Add were gradually becoming stronger than I was, and it took more effort to face them. Even so, I could hold my own against them.

    Why did we need to fight opponents like this?

    I could not see, hear, or feel them.

    Our opponents were magecraft theories that only existed within my mentor’s mind.

    “If that’s the case, the whydunit can be explained…” My mentor gasped, looking as if he could cry at any moment. “The problem now lies in why Faker would obey Heartless so easily.”

    “But—“

    “You might think that it’s natural that Servants obey their Masters. That isn’t actually the case. Only Command Spells can force a Servant to follow a command, but they cannot be used to force compliance over a long period of time. Command Spells are only temporary.”

    There was something else in my mentor’s words beside what they meant at face value.

    Perhaps it was because he had experienced this himself, ten years ago, in the Fourth Holy Grail War.

    “So why… what wish does she have that makes her comply with Heartless?”

    “Is that wish… for Iskandar to be summoned?”

    Yes. The whydunit was clear.

    If he really could summon the true Iskandar, Faker would assist him. I didn’t know anyone else who was as devoted in following another person as she was. Even if he wanted to conquer the world, she would probably be happy to comply.

    “…So what do you not understand?”

    “There’s evidently some kind of bait in this formula. That’s why even I can find out that he plans on summoning Iskandar. At the same time, this would have taken too much time to just be a trick to misguide me.”

    My mentor’s fingers, which had just been clawing at the wall, now pointed to the evidence board.

    “A completed formula takes more than just a theory. Magecraft doesn’t always react well when combined with other types of magecraft. Instead, it is far more common to it to backfire and go out of control. The more complete or powerful a formula is, the harder it is to be tampered with.”

    This suddenly reminded me of Flat.

    He had the rare ability to create a new Magecraft Foundation whenever he wanted to by improvising and rearranging. My mentor had once said that because of that, it was difficult for him to use the exact same type of magecraft more than once.

    In that case, the evidence board in front of my mentor was an intricate tapestry that had taken a truly staggering amount of time and effort, to the point where not even someone like Flat would be able to unravel it.

    “It’s like threading a needle, as the saying goes. From the parts that I can decipher, the spell seems to be incredibly strange as well. Ah, it’s evident that this was the result of the careful work of someone who could undoubtedly be called a genius. Only someone with an unusual obsession and a knack for unconventional ideas would be able to create something like this. …But then, even though it’s already reached this point— No, because it’s at this point, this spell is somewhat limited by time and place.”

    “…Time and place?”

    For instance, the positions of the stars, or Ley Lines.

    Several elements affected magecraft. For that reason, the classrooms of the Clock Tower were all built in carefully selected location. It was also important to make sure that different spells are compatible when combined. The magecraft of spring cannot be used with that of winter.

    If someone wanted to create a new formula, they would need to face these issues every time. For that reason, some mages made a living by obtaining a license from the Department of Law for every new formula created, so other people would have to pay to use them. (TN: copyright royalties? Really?)

    “[He] is at the center of all of this.”

    My mentor’s fingers were trembling. What king of complicated emotions were no cycling through his mind?

    “In that case,” my mentor continued. “…What’ll happen if I try and stop Heartless? (TN: Alternatively, what’s the point in trying to stop Heartless?)”

    “Sir…”

    I didn’t know if he heard me or not. His eyes did not meet mine, and his words fell to the cracked stone floor.

    “If he really wants to summon Iskandar, maybe I should even help him. I don’t need to be maintaining the order of the Clock Tower. Even if he doesn’t have memories of the past, even if I’m not his Master, because all of these are trivial.”

    Of course.

    To my mentor, the Clock Tower was only a distraction.

    Though he loved the students of the El-Melloi Classroom, that could not compare to the King he had pledged his life to. Even though he had decided not to participate the Fifth Holy Grail War, that did not mean he had given up on meeting his king again. However, he had decided that he needed to witness what the king’s shadow, Faker, planned.

    Finally, my mentor had arrived at the answer.

    That answer was to summon Iskandar.

    …Then, should I help as well?

    Should I, as someone who had witnessed my mentor’s struggles, support him in this? Should I stand beside him and encourage him to help Heartless and Faker summon Iskandar?

    “……”

    I could not understand.

    I couldn’t even make myself speak.

    I only needed to say a single sentence. Even though I desperately wished to reach out to help him, I could not think of anything to say. If only I had learned more poetry back at my hometown. Father Fernando had always encouraged me to.

    “…Um,”

    Finally, I had thought of something.

    “Why does Heartless want to summon Iskandar?”

    “That’s what I don’t understand.” A bitter expression appeared on my mentor’s face. “There’s no doubt that Faker will be the core of the summoning. However, Heartless has placed all kinds of extremely convoluted spells around it, including the Seal Designated magecraft created by Emiya that we talked about earlier.”

    “Is this Seal Designation the same as the one from before—?”

    It was supposedly an edict from the Clock Tower to protect extremely valuable mages, whose abilities could not be passed down to the next generation. Though “protection” made it sound nice, in reality, it involved stripping all of the Magic Circuits from the designated mage’s nervous system and preserving it forever.

    This designation was also one of the main purposes of the Department of Law.

    “Emiya’s magecraft creates a stream of time separate from the rest of the world,” my mentor said. “Originally, it seemed to be so he could reach the end of time and witness the Root. It was supposedly frequently discussed when the method was discovered, but that happened before I came to the Clock Tower. There are multiple paths to the root, but this was probably one of the more realistic ones. No wonder the Clock Tower jumped up to issue a Sealing Designation immediately. This is undoubtedly the work of a genius.

    “As a Lord, I know the basics of this formula. Depending on the situation, it can be combined with other types of magecraft to create a solution. However, using this in combination with a formula with so many variables and applying them to...”

    At this, my mentor suddenly stopped.

    “…No, it can’t be.”

    He denied everything he had just been saying.

    “If it was just complicated, there should still be a way. There are plenty of more structurally complex formulas in the Clock Tower. But there’s no trace of everything else Heartless has been developing up until this point. Even something complicated should have a core made of a type of magecraft he is used to. Even the habits of spellcasters will naturally seep from everything they do. What is Heartless trying to do? Why would he use(TN: Alternatively, endorse) this kind of magecraft? Or is this what the head of the Department of Modern Magecraft is supposed to be?”

    Without fully realizing it, I had become aware of it.

    My mentor’s discerning eye was probably more centered around people.

    Just as how he managed to deduce the essence and future of Jewel Magecraft from Luviagelita Edelfelt’s nature. Just as how he had seen through the secret behind the Twin Towers of Ilsema at a glance when he faced Mr. Byron.

    Like my mentor had once said before, mages could not overcome the whydunit.

    —“For mages who are immersed in the story of magecraft even before they are born, both resisting and accepting their nature will erode their inner selves. In this sense, no other group of people in the world are less capable of lying than mages are.”

    Just as he had explained in Adra, the Castle of Separation, my mentor could approach the essence of a type of magecraft by seeing through to the essence of the mages themselves.

    However, the tracks that Heartless left behind lacked this air. That was why my mentor had needed the support of Volumen Hydrargyrum when he was analyzing the spell we discovered at my hometown.

    Rather than saying that he didn’t feel like a mage, it was more like he lacked the basic ways of a human being.

    Just like his name implied… (TN: I don’t know how he expected anyone to trust him with a name like Dr. Heartless. Also, where’d he get a PhD?)

    “…Is Heartless’ goal to reach the Root?” I asked inadvertently.

    It was the goal that most mages chased after, the origin and end of magecraft. The Clock Tower had also been built for the purpose of reaching it.

    However, my mentor shook his head.

    “I don’t think so. This combination is needlessly complicated for that. Theoretically, the Root could be reached using Emiya’s magecraft alone. That’s why it was Seal Designated. It would be meaningless to add Iskandar or any other formula into the equation…”

    Something else gradually seeped into his words.

    The anger he had felt changed to become silent resignation.

    “So, should I just ask for his explanation?”

    He wasn’t waiting for an answer. That question was directed at himself.

    For a moment, everything in the workshop was silent.

    Up until this point, no matter how strange the case was, my mentor’s stance had always been clear.

    Though he kept saying that he wasn’t a detective, my mentor always solved the mysteries.

    However, what would happen if a detective decided that a case should not be solved? Moreover, what if the detective considered helping the culprit—?

    Like a puppet whose strings had been cut, my mentor’s hand fell from the evidence board, and he pressed his temples.

    “…What’s wrong?” I said in a quiet voice.

    It seemed to be some kind of telepathic message. As long as there wasn’t a bounded field present, communication between mages was superior to modern technology. Even my mentor was capable of it.

    The message lasted for around ten seconds.

    Just as when he had examined Heartless’ evidence board, my mentor’s body tensed unnaturally.

    “What happened?”

    “—Slur Street was attacked—!”

    His bewildered words rang out in the workroom, which was full of the scent of wine.
    -End of Part 6 of Chapter 5, Book 7-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——
    Last edited by azwhoisverybored; April 22nd, 2022 at 03:48 AM. Reason: Added images

  18. #218
    Lie Like Vortigern Reign's Avatar
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    You questioned magecraft royalties, and my understanding that's where the Tohsakas get most of their money because Tokiomi made some widely-used patents. It also gets mentioned again in Adventures, and Waver exploits the system to make money himself by slightly modifying existing formulas and then filing the changed ones under his name.

  19. #219
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Byegod's Avatar
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    Isnt that just patent trolling lmao

  20. #220
    Lie Like Vortigern Reign's Avatar
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    Yeah Reines and Luvia have a discussion about how a lot of mages want him dead and the moment he stops being a Lord he's sure to have a ton of assassins aiming for him.

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