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Thread: The Adventures of Lord El-Melloi II - English Translation

  1. #61
    Chapter 3, Part 4
    Chapter 3, Part 4:

    As night fell, I heard a faint humming. It wasn’t a particularly pleasant melody. The tune was off in places, and the rhythm was sporadic, either too fast or too slow. It sounded like the warbles of a child singing whatever they wanted to.

    To put it bluntly, the singer was tone deaf. Strangely enough, though, I was willing to listen to it.

    “……”

    I put my hand on the ladder, rubbing my sleepy eyes.

    After we had conducted searches with the Observational Sphere, we had returned to the apartment prepared by the Singapore branch of the Clock Tower. It was certainly well protected against magecraft, but that made it seem old-fashioned. The mechanism that allowed us to climb to the roof was probably also an ancient design.

    A dry wind brushed my face.

    A beautiful view of the city at night stretched out before me. The streets of Singapore were like the starry sky turned upside down. A sea of light shimmered in both the sky and the land. I could not stand the splendor, so I closed my eyes and then slowly opened them again.

    The singer sat on the roof tiles, gazing up at the stars.

    Don’t be afraid of ghosts

    Don’t be afraid of ghosts

    They’ll go where the dark goes

    They’ll go where the waves go

    Don’t be afraid of ghosts

    Don’t be afraid of ghosts

    They’ll go where our song goes

    They’ll sing with us

    The stars are coming this way

    Coming this way, to us

    Come on, we are singing

    We will wait for you to come


    “…Ergo?” I called out.

    Surprised, the young man turned with an endearing yelp.

    “G-Gray?!”

    Before he could fully articulate his bewilderment, Ergo’s tall figure slid from the slanted rooftop and fell into the night. Before I could catch him, he had already dropped onto a place ten or so meters from the ground.

    “Ergo!”

    Peering down, I saw that he was lodged in midair. It seemed that the phantasmal arms from his back had stopped him from falling all the way. It was as if he was suspended by an invisible string.

    “Please don’t sneak up on me like that,” he said, covering his face.

    “But-”

    “…I didn’t think anyone was listening.”

    Even in the darkness, I could see that his ears were bright red. I felt like he would just let himself fall if I continued this conversation, but I wasn’t good at changing the topic. I could only continue, choosing my words as best as I could.

    “…It’s a nice song.”

    At least, I thought that way about the song itself. Though it was the first time I had heard these lyrics, they seemed to speak to the twinkling stars of Singapore.

    I suppose I had succeeded in stopping this situation from becoming even more awkward.

    “Lana wrote this song for me,” muttered Ergo quietly, burying his face in his hands. He looked like a piece of laundry swaying in the wind.

    “Is Lana the girl who cut your hair?”

    “Yes. I was scared when I first came to that island. She thought I was afraid of ghosts,” said Ergo with a slight nod.

    I had a hard time holding in a laugh as I pictured the little girl comforting him as he cowered with a blanket over his head. Before long, though, a thought began to bother me.

    “So, what are you scared of?”

    “There are people I don’t know inside me.”

    Ergo’s reply made me gasp.

    Memory saturation.

    “Are they gods?”

    “I don’t know. Maybe,” said Ergo in a hushed voice, still covering his face as if he would become someone else’s mask if he revealed it. “Someone is always looking at me from the inside. I feel their gaze, their touch, even when people tell me there’s no one there. I was so scared I didn’t know what to do, so I started singing to pretend they’re a ghost and laugh it off.”

    “…That must be terrifying.”

    My response was natural because I understood exactly what he felt like. Just like I was trapped by an ancient hero, Ergo was trapped by ancient gods. It seemed that the fears I held were very close to his. Of course, while I had only stopped growing, Ergo was about to lose his memories and personality, so his were a lot more serious than mine.

    “Don’t you find it hard to live like this, Gray?” Ergo asked, looking up at me from the place where he was suspended, probably because he could sense my feelings.

    “No… because my mentor is with me,” I said, revealing the tall shadow that stood in the softest part of my heart.

    Back in my hometown, my mentor had said this to me:

    “Do you think people can grow?”

    He had no appreciation for the fact that he had gone from being one of many New Agers to one of the Lords of the Clock Tower. Not only that, he spoke of his lack of growth with words that seemed to be made of blood.

    “The path we take down life’s crossroads is always determined by the smallest coincidences. If that’s the case, do we really grow? Doesn’t everyone want to remain a child and simply follow someone greater, someone born to be a king?”

    “I…want to change.”

    He didn’t try to advise me. He simply confessed bluntly to his problems. What a foolish speech. How selfish. How… redeeming.

    It was an invitation to make mistakes together, to get hurt together, to walk alongside each other even when we knew we could lose our lives.

    At the time, I thought that I could go with that.

    “My mentor brought me out of my hometown. After meeting all sorts of people in London, I finally feel that I can stay there. Maybe there’s someone else inside me, but I belong there.”

    “So you can, too”— I left that part unsaid.

    “Have you made any friends?” After a while, Ergo’s question sounded in the night.

    “…Yes. I’m not sure what she thinks of me, but she is a very important friend to me.”

    The image of the golden-haired young woman appeared in my mind. Reines El-Melloi Archisorte, the person who had given my mentor the title Lord El-Melloi and the next person in line to become Lord.

    “That’s why I don’t want to be left behind,” I said, hugging my shoulders.

    I heard that some high-level magecraft could slow the process of aging, so others wouldn’t find it strange if I stayed the same age. Even so, I wanted to walk with the same strides as her and grow older as she did.

    “It’s a good thing I became one of his students, then.” Ergo said, slowly returning to the roof at last.

    “Yes.” I nodded. “To me, it's…the thing I am most proud of, more than anything else.”

    “Ihihihihi! Of course you pity your own kind, even though I guess the same goes for me!”

    “…Add.”

    I took Add from the hook at my right shoulder and shook it up and down to release my pent-up feelings. As it emitted a series of shrieks, I heard another sound.

    Ergo’s stomach was rumbling.

    We met each other’s eyes and smiled.

    “I can make some food in the kitchen. What do you want to eat?”

    “What do I want to eat…”

    For a moment, Ergo did not know what to reply.

    “Could you fry an egg for me, please? If you could, I’d like it fried on both sides.”

    “Alright, of course.”

    I nodded and went down the ladder. Midway, I rubbed my neck with my finger a few times, and the strange chill I had felt melted away like a lie.

    (…Why?) I wondered.

    Though it was only for a moment, why had Ergo looked so troubled when at a loss for words just then?

    *

    Sitting at her desk in the dark, Rin stared intently at her fingertips.

    She was in the apartment’s basement. The Singapore branch of the Clock Tower had offered a special lab, but this time she had refused it and chosen a regular basement instead.

    The candlelight reflected in hues of red, green, and blue.

    Jewels— rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, all of them large and brilliantly cut. Rin watched them carefully as she turned the knife in her hands.

    The tip of the blade dug into her index finger, causing a bead of blood to swell on her skin. It eventually reached its limit and turned into a drop, which fell onto a ruby.

    “Adjust your breathing.” Lord El-Melloi II said quietly from near the ventilation shaft connected to the surface.

    The tip of his cigar glowed faint red, flickering in the dark room like a firefly.

    “You have already experienced this countless times. Contract with the jewels. Place a portion of yourself inside them. You aren’t dripping blood onto jewels; you are dripping blood onto yourself. Imagine that your forehead catches that drop of blood. Let it seep into every neuron in your brain.”

    Following his instructions, Rin became even more focused.

    At the same time, the jewels began to act strangely, vibrating violently as if blood had been sucked into them. —No, it was not just blood, the jewels were also absorbing an invisible power that the ruby had passed on.

    A magic circle was created, and began to activate. To be precise, it was more like spiraling. With each revolution, the power increased in speed and intensity, gradually twisting it out of shape. The jewels’ oscillation also spread, resonating like a tuning fork from the ruby to the emerald and then the sapphire.

    “It’s not enough,” said Lord El-Melloi II. “Sharpen your concentration. Focus beyond the Magical Energy. Think of the jewels as Magic Circuits, as yourself. Perhaps the image of a knife suits you more. Yes, imagine those jewels are your heart. Imagine you are thrusting a knife into it.”

    Rin’s concentration changed according to his advice. The power surrounding her taut figure slowly drifted into the jewels, stabilizing right before the jewels were about to burst. It was like a river returning to normal after the dam on it was broken.

    Rin turned, exhaling.

    “How was it, sir?”

    “Perfect, except for one thing. It’s not over yet.”

    He pointed to a jewel that had begun to twitch.

    “—Ah!”

    In the next instant, a protrusion rose from the ruby like spikes on a hedgehog. It soon died down, leaving a startled Rin and a sighing Lord.

    “Are you hurt?”

    “I'm not that incompetent.”

    Lord El-Melloi II walked up to Rin, who coughed awkwardly. He gently turned her hand over to check for wounds. Then, he took out a monocle and examined one of the jewels in the candlelight.

    “Your magecraft is very similar to Miss Luvia’s on a deeper level, though it may be by conversion because they are both types of Jewel Magecraft. If her magecraft is the flow of value, yours is closer to its accumulation,” he commented, placing the jewels in a pile and clicking his tongue.

    For some reason, a dour look surfaced on his face. If Gray was here, perhaps she would sense a hint of jealousy. He quickly looked down to conceal it.

    “…To be honest, I thought around three sets would be wasted.”

    “In that case, I’ll keep the rest,” Rin said, brightening.

    “May I offer them at a discount? I paid for them with my own money.”

    “Alright then, I don’t want my teacher to lose face. Deal. I’m such a gracious, talented student, don’t you think?”

    She chuckled, deftly put the jewels into a leather bag, and tied them with a string as if she never planned on returning them.

    “But Professor, when did you start thinking about this formula? You didn’t invent it just to counter Latio, right? The advice you gave me also fits too well with the nature of my magecraft and Magic Circuits. Do you always think about such things? It’s annoying.”

    “I myself am only ordinary. I cannot help but look at others and wonder what they can achieve. So it’s only natural that I wonder how you can best utilize your terrifying talent as an Average One, isn’t it?” Lord El-Melloi II said in response, frowning.

    “I was only joking.”

    “I would rather you be honest. If I had even a tenth of your talent, I wouldn’t be a Lord.”

    He put his cigar into an ashtray as if he no longer wished to continue. He walked a few steps from Rin and lit an alcohol lamp to boil water in a beaker.

    Rin stared in wonder as he took out an old-looking tea set.

    “A Chinese tea set?”

    He cast the first pot of hot water away. Then, he added tea and more water and gently placed the lid on top.

    “You know how to brew tea? Chinese-style tea, no less.”

    “Making tea in a gaiwan can be difficult, but anyone can use a
    chh
    teapot
    . Besides, I came to Singapore before when I was traveling the world, and I had to do everything myself.”

    “I suppose since your apprentice has been spoiling you so often, you forgot you knew?”

    In response, he only offered his student some tea.

    “Hmm, nice,” Rin remarked after taking a sip.

    “It’s important to relax after concentrating on magecraft. Tea is a necessity for mages in all sorts of ways.”

    “Boiling water with an alcohol lamp and a beaker. How practical.”



    Rin tittered. Though they were laboratory equipment, they showed that magecraft and science had the same origin. Later, the mages of the Clock Tower had begun to reject science, but common items still remained in unexpected places.

    Lord El-Melloi II drank his tea while remaining standing.

    “How nostalgic… but is it really alright?” He pondered.

    Though he didn’t specify what he was talking about, Rin understood him completely. She grabbed his tie and pulled on it until their eyes were on the same level.

    “I understand you don’t want to involve the students of the El-Melloi classroom in your personal conflicts. But I’ll kill you if you dare exclude me from this.”

    Her gaze made it clear that she was not joking this time.

    The mage shrugged as if he was giving in.

    “It was you who found Ergo, after all.”

    “You’re also responsible. Didn’t you say that you refuse to sell out your students? That applies to me as well.”

    “I understand your reasoning. I just want to ask you again if that’s all.”

    Rin blinked a couple of times as she observed Lord El-Melloi II adjust his tie.

    “So you’ve seen through it all, Professor. —Hm, yes, I’m very excited,” she said, standing proudly. “This is what an adventure feels like, isn’t it? I haven’t felt this way for ages. I don’t get to give my all to fight an unknown enemy every day. How can you give up these chances left and right and still call yourself a mage?”

    “We mages should always aim for the Root.” Lord El-Melloi II said suddenly.

    “I don’t know if I’ll ever reach the Root,” Rin continued. “We all know that we won’t reach it in this generation.”

    “Even though we know, we’ll continue to labor and pass it to the next generation. That is the cycle that binds us.”

    “Then it’s not just my time that is being lost here,” continued Rin. “It’s the time of all the mages of the past, present, and future. As you say, Professor, it’s our ‘whydunit’. After accumulating so much, how could we betray our purpose?”

    Whydunit— the term for the culprit’s motive in mystery novels.

    Lord El-Melloi II nodded slightly.

    “Good, if you are aware of that reason and think that this is the right time, I have no reason to stop you. …Why are so many of the women around me hardcore fighters, though?”

    “Don’t you know that all women are fighters?”

    Rin gave Lord El-Melloi II a rare smile, which was charming and challenging at the same time.

    In any case, the Lord took another sip of tea before he spoke again.

    “I have something else to ask of you, pirate consultant.”

    His student’s face was reflected in his eyes. This time, they were not a student and a teacher, but a pirate and a mage.

    It did not take long for the pirate to reach a conclusion.

    “I think that proposal works, but first, I have a question.”

    “What?”

    “There’s something funny about Gray’s power, isn’t there?”

    She had carefully weighed the abilities of Lord El-Melloi II’s disciple after their fight on the pirate island.

    “I don’t think she excels in magecraft, but the accuracy of her enhancement magecraft is extraordinary. That Mystic Code with a personality model can’t have been made recently. And most importantly… her face is why you haven’t let us meet until now, right?”

    “……”

    For a while, Lord El-Melloi II did not reply.

    “Did you see her during the Fifth Holy Grail War?”

    “Yes.” Rin nodded.

    Both student and teacher had participated in the magecraft ritual where seven mages fought another with seven Heroic Spirits as their familiars.

    “Servant Saber— King Arthur. Gray has the same face as her. But you already know that, Professor.”

    “Most people don’t bring it up. Just think of Gray as a distant descendant.”

    “Do you plan on using that excuse to explain how she has stopped growing?”

    “……”

    Lord El-Melloi II frowned as if he was surprised that Rin knew so much.

    Gray’s body had stopped changing after a point in time. She also had the same face as King Arthur. Even in the World of Magecraft, these two facts were hard to ignore.

    “If her face was famous in the Clock Tower, he would surely notice. So thank you for that, I suppose,” she muttered, pocketing the pouch she had just put the jewels into. “She doesn’t look like she wants to talk about it, so I won’t. I just feel like Ergo and Gray are kind of alike.”

    “Like siblings?”

    “I guess. I can’t explain it well either, maybe like the two sides of a coin? No, not quite. Perhaps something more one-sided, like jewels and money?”

    Rin frowned, a little confused.

    “…Maybe they’re like a sheep and a wolf.”

    “Huh?”

    “No, nothing. Thank you for the advice. I’ll be careful.”

    Wiping his monocle with a cloth, Lord El-Melloi II left the basement.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——
    Last edited by azwhoisverybored; January 5th, 2023 at 10:14 AM. Reason: Edits

  2. #62
    Thank you very much for translating and posting.

  3. #63
    Chapter 3, Part 5
    Chapter 3, Part 5:

    The sky was shockingly blue the next day.

    Only a tiny patch of clouds floated in it, so the sun was free to flood the land with light.

    I could feel the glare even with my hood on. The weather was also incredibly humid, and I would have been drenched in sweat if my enhancement did not cover my nervous system. Despite this, I could see plenty of women with stoles because air conditioning in Singapore was surprisingly common.

    At least the sea breeze felt good.

    We were at the deepest part of the Port of Singapore, which lay between the islands of Brani and Sentosa. In terms of the volume of cargo it handled, it was on par with Hong Kong and Shanghai as one of the world’s top ports.

    Trailers came back and forth between piles of containers as we waited by a warehouse a short distance away. Despite the prevalence of automation, this one remained full of rust.

    My mentor ducked into the building's shadow.

    “Are you alright, Sir?”

    “I’m fine, just a little dizzy.”

    There were faint dark circles under his eyes.

    It was only natural that the weather was a strain on my mentor. Unfortunately, his skills did not allow him to avoid the heat. But the apartment building’s air conditioning had been adjusted to a comfortable temperature, so it couldn’t be the reason behind his lack of sleep.

    He had probably been up thinking for the entire night.

    I knew that while my mentor could be decisive at times, he was susceptible to stress as a rule. His only method of dealing with it was thinking through it completely, again and again, even if he couldn't find his ideal solution.

    Since his opponent this time was a mysterious alchemist of the Atlas Institute in a foreign land instead of a mage of the Clock Tower, his troubles were multiplied.

    (…The alchemy of the Atlas Institute…)

    Simply thinking about it sent shivers down my spine.

    Though her Exoforms, magecraft that used bones, were terrifying, her true threat lay in what was essentially precognition through Thought Acceleration and Partition. We had been soundly defeated on the pirate island because she could predict the next few seconds of the future.

    If we were to face the alchemist again…

    “…Gray.”

    A voice reached my ears.

    “It’s alright.”

    Though my mentor was still unsteady on his feet, he was already trying to comfort me.

    The same thought had probably occurred to Rin, who was looking at him with a wry expression.

    “I feel like you should work on your physical strength, Professor.”

    “Thank you for your advice. I do train regularly. …How about you, Ergo? How do you feel?”

    “I-I’m fine,” Ergo said, swallowing.

    “Hey! Ergo!”

    A tanned-skinned girl suddenly appeared from behind the container boxes, laughed, and lunged toward the young man.

    “Lana!”

    It was the girl who had cut his hair for him on the pirate island. She hugged Ergo tight with her forehead against his abdomen and then looked up at him.

    “Rin told me to come here! I’m the representative, everyone else is waiting by the ocean!”

    “Did everything go well?” Rin asked upon hearing that.

    “Yep, it was perfect, since you’ve always told us to build the farms somewhere else,” Lana said with a grin, showing her white teeth.

    I couldn’t help but feel a little sad. Looking at her, it was hard to believe that the island she had lived on had been destroyed a few days ago. Perhaps this was a quality unique to pirates.

    “You asked for my help as the Consultant. Is this what you want?” Rin asked, turning to my mentor.

    “Oh, yes.”

    “Is this the joint operation you were talking about, Sir?”

    I had heard the gist of it back in the apartment, but the details were still being worked out. We knew where the alchemist of the Atlas Institute was hiding, our next goal was to capture her.

    “The operation is extremely simple. We will lay siege to her position. Since the pirates are more familiar with the terrain, I will give instructions under their lead. But it will be dangerous for the pirates who adore Rin…”

    “You feel justified scamming people, and not this?”

    “…Is that a problem?” He replied a little awkwardly, probably because he was also aware of the contradiction.

    “No. I appreciate your concern, My Lord.” Rin smiled and bowed.

    “What do you think, Lana?”

    “Are you trying to pick a fight with Rin and Ergo?” The girl challenged, sniffling. “If you are, we’ll have to fight you! Rin and Ergo are our friends! We have a right to hit back when people target them, even if little kids who don’t understand anything aren’t allowed to join the fight!”

    As she spoke, she struck her cute little fist onto her chest.

    My mentor held her gaze for a while before turning to his student.

    “…Rin, what did you teach them?”

    “I taught them how to survive, of course.” Rin proclaimed proudly, causing my mentor to put a hand on the area around his stomach.

    If Reines was here, she would probably tell him 'She’s not wrong, you know? So you’d better endure the pain.' She understood better than anyone that, at certain times, you have to fight regardless of your age, or any other reason. It was not a question of right or wrong. If you don’t fight, you don’t survive.

    The simple idea that one could not let one's friends be hurt even if it defied all logic was necessary in this world. It was a world that I was sure I did not know, having only been to a few places outside my hometown and London.

    “—Ergo,” My mentor turned back to the young man. “You are what our opponent is after. Do you mind being used as bait?”

    “No.” Replied Ergo immediately.

    “Are you sure? I don’t want to force you to do anything, but since I am your guardian, my suggestions will inevitably be hard to reject. Forcing you to accept will only cause you to hesitate in critical moments, which could lead to death. I want to hear your true thoughts.”

    “I can’t say I’m not afraid,” confessed Ergo. “But I think I must understand myself. I must fight this battle so this self with only a month of memory can continue living.”

    His words penetrated my heart.

    He wanted to understand himself.

    What better
    whydunit
    motive
    could there be? Even for someone who had not been devoured by gods like Ergo, or held in place by an ancient hero like me.

    “…One of the three mages that created you?” My mentor muttered to himself. Then: “I see. Forgive me for doubting your resolve.”

    After apologizing, my mentor took out a cigar. The sea breeze immediately dissipated the smoke.

    The smell of the brine and cigar smoke curled around my mentor's fleeting silhouette, and for a moment, I was strangely afraid that he was going to be swallowed up by the sea.

    “That hawk also bothers me,” he said, narrowing his eyes and taking the cigar away from his mouth. Then, he took a breath.

    “One thing at a time, starting with what I can reach. Right now, we shall launch a preemptive strike against Latio Crudelis Hiram, alchemist of the Atlas Institute,” he announced resolutely, gazing into the vast blue sea.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——

  4. #64
    Thank you for the translation!

  5. #65
    Thank you for the hard work! It is much appreciated!

  6. #66
    屍鬼 Ghoul fearboss's Avatar
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    Thank you for your hard work! I'm a bit confused about this section, though:

    Spoiler:
    I cant say Im not afraid, confessed Ergo. But I think I must understand myself. I must fight this battle so this self with only a month of memory can continue living.

    His words penetrated my heart.

    He wanted to understand himself.

    What better
    whydunit
    motive
    could there be? Even for someone who had not been devoured by gods like Ergo, or held in place by an ancient hero like me.

    One of the three mages that created you? My mentor muttered to himself. Then: I see. Forgive me for doubting your resolve.


    Is there a line of dialogue from Ergo missing here? Or does Waver say that without any context?

  7. #67
    世はまさにパンテオン Comun's Avatar
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    No skipped lines. It's exactly how it is in Az's version. By "One of the three mages that created you", Waver means Latio is only the first out of three enemies. He's acknowledge that Ergo is aware of how much more he'll have to go through to understand himself.

  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Comun View Post
    No skipped lines. It's exactly how it is in Az's version. By "One of the three mages that created you", Waver means Latio is only the first out of three enemies. He's acknowledge that Ergo is aware of how much more he'll have to go through to understand himself.
    Thanks for explaining. I hadn't noticed he meant that.

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