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

  1. #141
    i click "show"

    - - - Updated - - -

    sorry, i figured it out

  2. #142
    Quote Originally Posted by narmbo View Post
    sanda at least thinks they do
    Thanks.

  3. #143
    Chapter 2, Part 4:


    Rin and Ergo walked toward the north. The lively atmosphere of Akihabara gradually calmed. The buildings they passed first became quaint electronics shops, then stores that sold mechanical parts, then finally became high-rise office buildings.

    “Feel anything?”

    “I think we’re getting closer, little by little.”

    “That lines up with the direction of magical energy,” Rin said, checking the mana gauge in her hand.

    “Did you expect this to happen?”

    “No, I was just being prepared. Have you forgotten you’re being chased by a bunch of mages?”

    It was clear what Rin was referring to.

    Latio of the Atlas Institute, Wuzhiqi of the Summit Court, and the
    Baldanders
    Wandering Sea
    . All three were mages who had made Ergo devour gods. Though they didn’t know much about the third mage, Rin anticipated that they would show up soon enough.

    “Simply reacting when things happen doesn’t suit me. It’s always best to go on the offensive, if possible. Why wouldn’t I surprise my enemy by attacking them first?”

    “Classic Rin,” Ergo smiled earnestly.

    Rin, who, as far as he could remember, was the person he had known the longest, was always pragmatic without relent. She didn't give off the unworldly air that came with being a mage. Perhaps that was because she ardently pursued her dreams.

    (Maybe the professor is the same,) thought Ergo.

    The Lord who kept belittling his own lack of talent yet never stopped moving forward bore a striking resemblance to his student. If he said that aloud, though, both of them would deny it.

    “Here.”

    Drawn by a mysterious sensation, Ergo stopped in front of an alley.

    “Ergo.”

    Rin stopped a few steps in.

    She only tilted her chin up, but Ergo got the message. He held onto her waist, and the two of them lifted unnaturally off the ground. His phantasmal arms grabbed onto the edge of the buildings and hoisted them up.

    Silently landing on a rooftop, they peered down into the alley, where several figures stood shrouded in shadow among the trash bags. They were all black-suited men with sunglasses that concealed their faces and the demeanor of people whose jobs were far from legal. They surrounded a child that looked around eight years old, who wore an anime-patterned shirt and tattered jeans. Although the child’s hair looked combed, the character on the shirt was pitifully dirty and faded. Through Rin’s enhanced eyes, she saw that the child was glaring at the men with pursed lips.

    Even from a distance of several tens of meters, they could hear the black-suited men.

    “We humbly ask you to return, Akira-sama(TN: Leaving this as is because these are people speaking Japanese to people who understand Japanese and I see no reason to localize it. Also I wouldn’t know what to translate it into anyway).”

    (—Akira-sama?!)

    Ergo stiffened from his place on the rooftops.

    It was the name of the very child they had been asked to find.

    “Rin—”

    Just as he was about to call out, the child twisted away and screamed, “I don’t want to!”

    However, it was impossible to escape from the circle of black-clad men. One of them grabbed the wrist of the child, who tried to bite his arm. Before that could happen, though, the men suddenly fell to the ground as if pinned down by an unseen force.

    “I don’t want to be too rough, but I’ve been permitted to make you feel pain as I see fit. You’ll recover just fine from a few broken bones. Please prepare yourselves for that to happen,” came a chillingly calm voice.

    It was the voice of someone who Ergo knew would act without hesitation if his hand was forced. Though he had encountered this sort of person before in the Strait of Malacca, it still shocked him to discover such violence in a foreign metropolis.

    “…We have to stop him.”

    “Wait.”

    Rin held Ergo back as he was about to step forward. Almost simultaneously, a tall figure cast a shadow in the alley.

    “Well, well. It seems they found us quickly after I settled down to get a job, as I guessed.”

    It was hard to see his face from the rooftop, but Ergo could tell he was tall. He wore the sort of vest bartenders wore, and was glaring down at the three men.

    “You’re…”

    “Do you know how long it took me to find this job? If I don’t finish the preparations by evening, I’ll never hear the end of my boss’ nagging. Well, it is my fault for giving all of my cash to Mr. Sano without making sure we had enough,” the young man who looked like a bartender said with a wry smile, scratching his head.

    As he said that, he slowly made his way toward the black-clad men— or rather, the child. The men looked terrified for a moment by his unwavering gait, but quickly shifted their gazes away.

    “Wakagashira.”

    “…Ah.” After exchanging a nod, the wakagashira, or boss of the henchmen, faced the young man and ordered him to stop. “We have heard about the mage who kidnapped Akira-sama. The head of our family has told us to avoid causing too much harm. If you leave, we will let you go.”

    “Well, that’s nice of you. It warms my heart to see how considerate you are.” The young man did not stop.

    However, before he could reach the child, the three black-clad men put their hands out in front of them. They each clapped their hands together, sending a sound down the alley.

    This was called kashiwade. Hands clasped in prayer.

    Ergo felt the sound transform into magical energy. For a moment, the young man’s back swelled, as if a gust of wind had gone through his body. After it passed, everything seemed to return to normal.

    “Classifying a person as a fiend? Japanese magecraft is way too aggressive.”

    “Don’t be so presumptuous,” said one of the men in black. “This is just a warning. Mind what you speak of the Yakou family's austerity.”

    “Ah, right. Calling it
    black magic
    magecraft
    is distasteful to you guys. Well, whatever you may call it, the core of its power detests fiends.”

    “…You’ve got to be kidding,” muttered Rin, tensing in contrast to the young man’s cheerful demeanor.

    “Rin?” Ergo turned to her.

    “Putting aside the strength of that for now, that spell takes effect directly inside your opponent’s body. It resonates with them. If you find the right wavelength, it’s like detonating a bomb inside them that completely bypasses most spiritual defenses and tears their insides to shreds.”

    Rin’s description perfectly captured the gist of the black-clad men’s technique. Originally used to summon gods with the purity of its sound, the kashiwade summoned the Od that dwelled within all living beings. That was how she realized that something to resonate with one’s inner self could be repurposed to blow people up.

    “That sort of thing doesn’t work with the Clock Tower’s Western magecraft. It’s unique to Japan. Here, the order is different. Though the scale is massively reduced, it exists in the same dimension as the magecraft of the Age of the Gods. What we think of as cheating is the norm here, and I’m sure the opposite is also true.”

    Ergo was reminded of something Lord El-Melloi II had said.

    According to him, the Western magecraft that was based in the Clock Tower was like an illusion cast over the world. While there were various schools and styles, the essence of magecraft was temporarily distorting the shape of the world through spells and magical energy. The depth of the distortion depended on the spell. A spell with more than ten Counts, also called an Instant Contract, could even interfere with the order of the world. For that reason, Reality Marbles, which created another world inside the world, was considered the pinnacle of magecraft.

    However, the magecraft of the Yakous was probably different.

    —“The magic of the Age of the Gods and the authority of those gods is simply like that.”

    —“It doesn’t require the same procedures as modern magecraft. The hand using magecraft is closer to the power of the gods.”

    Ergo thought of the ancient prayer, amen, and the Lord who said “let there be light” and brought light into the world. Though he couldn’t understand how it worked, he felt that the Yakous’ magecraft was similar.

    “…And yet, this guy…”

    Another clap rang out. Perhaps “sent out a shockwave” would be a better description.

    Other than making Ergo tremble, it didn’t make much of a difference.

    “Can you stop? It’s making my ears ring,” said the young man with a cheery smile, rubbing his ear.

    “You…”

    “It’s a matter of density. You can blow up a sandcastle with a toy firecracker, but a solid concrete one wouldn’t budge. You should keep that in mind if you think of me as demonic.”


    Then, he seemed to kick the ground with a motion Ergo and Rin, with her enhanced vision, could only barely follow. It appeared to them a blur, accompanied by three sharp sounds. Two of the men collapsed almost simultaneously, having been punched in the jaw. Only the man they called the wakagashira remained standing. He leaped back and made a sword hand seal by raising two fingers in order to cast a new spell.

    “Oh, impressive!”

    The young man who looked like a bartender rolled up his sleeve, revealing a pattern that looked like a key tattooed into his skin. He clacked his teeth together thrice as he traced it.

    Heaven and Earth Mysterious Ancestors
    Tian di xuan zong,
    The root of the Ten Thousand Qi
    wan qi ben gen.
    [1]

    His whispers seemed to overflow. As if appearing by sleight of hand, yellow talismans slid from his fingers and onto the faces and hands of the wakagashira, until he became a mummy bound by yellow paper.

    This charm shall be executed swiftly
    Ji ji ru luling
    …Done. Sorry, old man, this is the easiest way.”

    “Philosophy magecraft…!” Rin gasped in realization.

    Ergo also knew that was the general term for the magecraft of Continental Asia. The storm summoned by Wuzhiqi of the Summit Court also seemed to fall under that category. However, it was the first time he had seen talismans like those or engravings resembling keys.

    (Maybe…)

    Maybe this was what philosophy magecraft usually looked like.

    “Ruo!”

    “You’re tougher than you look,” said the young man, ruffling the child’s hair.

    “…I would’ve been fine even if you hadn’t showed up!”

    “Haha, exactly. Sorry for interfering, Little Miss Akira.”

    The young man gave the girl an exaggerated bow. Then, he looked up to the rooftops.

    “Now, it’s your turn.”

    After exchanging glances, Ergo and Rin jumped down. Ergo leaped straight onto the ground, while Rin kicked off the sides of the buildings. Like cats, neither made a sound as they landed.

    “Who are they?” Akira asked, taking a step back. The young man stepped forward slightly to protect her. He looked slightly older than Ergo, around eighteen or nineteen. From here, Ergo could see that he had beautiful tan skin. His sculptured features reminded Ergo of a gust of dry wind from a distant country. He saw before his eyes a sea of grass that stretched beyond the horizon, a lone rider on a horse galloping into the sunset.

    (…What is this feeling?)

    A strange sense of deja vu stirred in Ergo’s chest. It was familiar yet unknown, and suffocating.

    “Are you the people the Yakous asked for help?”

    “Wait,” Rin held up her hand. “We’ve heard about their situation, and they do want our help, but that doesn’t mean we agreed to help them.”

    “I see. And why should I believe you?”

    “If we were their helpers, why wouldn’t we have ambushed you earlier?”

    Recalling that Rin had just endorsed ambushing him, Ergo could only nod in agreement.

    The young man who seemed to be called Ruo gave a wry smile.

    “How practical. Your way of thinking reminds me of the continent. There aren’t many people like you in this country.”

    “Uh, no? It’s got nothing to do with my nationality. Borders are just lines on a map. People are only bound by those things if they think they are.”

    “Great answer!” Ruo exclaimed, clapping his hands together. “You’ve found yourself quite the interesting companion, Ergo!”

    “…Huh?”

    Startled at suddenly becoming the target of conversation, Ergo could only shake his head as Rin gave him a look. This didn’t make any sense. What was this nostalgia, this impossible sense of deja vu welling up inside him?

    “It’s alright, I expected you to forget. It’s a bit sad, but hardly surprising, considering you’ve eaten three of them.”

    There was no need to ask what he was referring to.

    Rin tensed as she wondered what the young man knew.

    "I thought it'd be over by Wuzhiqi's turn.", said the man. "The Atlas Institute can be dealt with. If their ability to estimate the future was enough to finish things on their turn, they wouldn't even need to feed you a god. Wuzhiqi, on the other hand, is a bigger problem than your everyday god. The old man said Wuzhiqi is unable to take his main body out in the open even though he didn't explain why, but he's still a challenge to overcome even with this handicap."

    The air in the alley seemed to grow colder.

    Even when faced with bizarre mysteries, Ergo had always felt a sense of detachment, as if it was someone else’s business, like a traveler walking by strange sights on a journey from a faraway land.

    This time, it was different.

    “Ruo?”

    “Oh, sorry. Don’t worry about it,” the young man explained to Akira looking up at him.

    Still guarded, Rin shifted a portion of her consciousness into her magic circuits.

    “Who are you?”

    “Bai Ruolong,”

    Then, he added somewhat shyly:

    “Ergo’s best friend— and the disciple of the mage of the Wandering Sea who made him devour a god.”

    *

    Ergo did not know which he should react to: the fact that he called himself Ergo’s best friend, or that he was a disciple of the mage that made him devour gods.

    “Bai Ruolong…!” The words tumbled from Ergo’s lips with a squeak.

    “That’s right. I hope you won’t forget it again,” replied Ruolong with a gentle smile.

    It was a smile dazzling enough to adorn the silver screen, that could draw many people into the abyss.

    “Ruo’s friend…?” Asked Akira.

    “We used to be friends, yes.”

    “I also want to know more,” inquired Rin. “You were using continental magecraft just then, right? So how come you’re from the Wandering Sea?”

    “Well, that shows a lack of understanding on your part. The Wandering Sea doesn’t care if the magecraft it uses is Western or Eastern. Mage from the Clock Tower… Tohsaka Rin, was it?”

    “Seems you did your research,” Rin said as she examined the fallen Yakou mages. They were injured, though not gravely. Ruolong had clearly been capable of killing them if he wanted.

    “So, are you also after Ergo?”

    “I guess,” the young man replied, shrugging. “Like I said, I thought you would have been captured by Wuzhiqi. We’re the last of the three. I never expected to run into you here.”

    “So, what are you going to do?”

    “Well,” Ruolong said, clapping the back of his neck, “I was told to capture Ergo if I see him, so…”

    Magical energy of an intensity far beyond a person’s Od surged from Ruolong’s body. Even Rin, whose number of sub-magic circuits surpassed those of regular mages, this was unimaginable.

    It reminded Ergo of Wuzhiqi.

    (I have to strike first—!)

    “Ergo!”

    “Got it!”

    At Rin’s command, Ergo’s translucent arms burst forth from Ergo’s back. Activated by Ergo’s magical energy, they surged toward Ruolong, only to stop dead in front of him.

    “Right, you’ve forgotten,” said Ruolong, looking down at the phantasmal hands and sounding somewhat lonely.

    Rin sensed that something warm was spreading from his back. Much like Ergo’s arms, they were translucent and ethereal, like something out of a religious painting.

    “These are
    Huan Yi
    phantasmal wings
    .”

    “Who are…”

    “Didn’t I say I was your best friend? How else could we have been equal friends?”

    Equal. That meant this was not just a psychological condition, but a physical one, and perhaps even a mystical one.

    “Oh, right, that reminds me. Just to confirm, you don’t want these people to bring you back to the Yakous, right?”

    “Of course not!”

    “Alright, then there’s no other choice,” the young man nodded. “Be prepared to endure some pain, Ergo.”

    Behind him, the translucent wings stood tall. If what he said was to be believed, they were phantasmal wings.

    However, their power was more akin to enchanted swords than wings.

    Feathers flew through the alley, tearing through reinforced concrete as easily as paper and sending blue sparks flying wherever they collided with Ergo’s phantasmal arms.

    “Agh…!”

    Feeling pain in his phantasmal arms for the first time, Ergo grimaced.

    Nevertheless, he kicked off the ground, extending a different arm from the one that stopped the feathers and propelling himself into the air above the narrow alley.

    “Aaaaaaah!”

    Ergo thrust his arms out with a roar. To Rin’s surprise, he was going all out from the very beginning, even though he was essentially a pacifist. The same person who had opted for a gentle restraint when Lord El-Melloi II and Gray infiltrated the pirate island now charged toward Ruolong without reserve or regard for Rin’s instructions.

    “Ergo…”?!

    An attack with the force of a tank seemed to send a hurricane barreling across the alley. It was a punch with a power that modern magecraft could not even be compared to. The winds made Rin wonder if the fallen Yakou mages had been blown away.

    And yet, the translucent wings that covered Ruolong remained like a coat of snow-white down. Akira was also unharmed behind him. This time, though, he looked somewhat surprised.

    “Ah…” Ergo groaned. He had calmed down and remembered that the girl was still there. “Don’t worry, I’ll keep you safe,” Ruolong said, smiling.

    “…Even though you’re always a little late.”

    “Haha, I’ve got nothing to say to that.” Raising an eyebrow at the girl’s remark, he pulled the girl closer to him. “It might be a bit tight.”

    With Akira in his arms, Ruolong began to flap his wings. They rose into the air like angels ascending into the sky, as if gravity no longer held them down.

    From the air above the alley, the tan-skinned angel looked down at Ergo and Rin— except, Rin wasn’t beneath him.

    “Don’t you underestimate me!”

    Immediately after Ergo’s whirlwind had passed, she had already transitioned into her next attack. Lowering her stance, she slipped past Ruolong and aimed for his back.

    “Anfang!”

    Without holding back, she fired a Gandr shot.

    It was a Scandinavian curse. Even in modern times, pointing at someone could be considered rude, but in other regions it was a witch's curse.

    Rin released several rounds of the semi-materialized curses in an instant. The young man deflected all of them as he turned around, only for the Gandr bullets to explode.

    “—!”

    He staggered, finally shaken. It took him the blink of an eye to realize that the last two attacks were only distractions. In that instant, Rin kicked off the alley walls and performed a somersault in the air like a gymnast. Two jewels sparkled in her hand. Ruolong’s wry smile was reflected in her brilliant blue eyes.

    “…I’ll admit, you’re pretty impressive.”

    “I won’t hurt the child,” she replied, with a wicked smile befitting the leader of a group of pirates. The jewels in her hand pulsed with magical energy like a beating heart. “Neun! Acht! Dornendes Siegels!”

    Rin activated a new spell at point-blank range. The ruby and sapphire turned into thorny vines that ensnared her opponent.

    “I’m sure you have your reasons, but you can tell me about them later!”

    “Trying to restrain both my movement and my magecraft? You Western mages are so practical.”

    Ruolong moved his wings, sending a flicker of lighting crackling through the air. Though they were in midair, he didn’t seem to need to flap his wings. When Rin looked up, she saw no sign of them falling, either.

    (…But I should have restricted his magecraft!) Rin thought, looking up and swallowing.


    She had been developing the spell she had just cast since before they came to Japan, made especially to counter the mages hunting Ergo down. She had used her favorite jewels: a sapphire that used thorns to extract the magical energy inside mages, and a ruby that used the energy extracted in a binding spell. Combined, they should have been able to neutralize enemies much stronger than herself.

    “I see you’ve prepared countermeasures against both the Atlas Institute and Wuzhiqi. You must be serious about making a stand if you prepared new spells in such a short timeframe,“ the young man said, floating as if in a fantasy world. “Oh right, and I guess I should thank you for promising not to hurt Akira.”

    There was a creaking sound.

    Nothing in Rin’s magecraft could have produced it.

    “You’ve got to be kidding…”

    “You’ve done well enough. Honestly. I won’t underestimate modern mages from now on. It’s not your fault you can’t defeat me.”

    The entwined blue and red thorns began to turn black, as if they were rotting. But that should have been impossible. The thorns she had created were shaped from magecraft, temporary tricks to deceive the rest of the world. The concept of rotting did not apply to such things.

    (Phantasmal wings and phantasmal arms…)

    “Phantasmal arms” was just a throwaway name that Lord El-Melloi II had come up with. However, it captured the essence of them exactly, which was to be expected of the mage they called the Plunderer, the dissector of mages’ secrets.

    For that reason, Rin could not help but make a connection between the two. (…What if…)

    What if Ergo’s arms were truly similar to Ruolong’s wings? If that was true, they would have the same power to destroy spells.

    —No.

    There was a more fundamental problem than that.

    If Ruolong had the same abilities as Ergo, surely he had also—
    “—!”

    Before the fear could take hold, Rin picked up a new jewel. But even before that, the thorns shattered into blackened shards that melted away before they could hit the ground.

    “Wait!” Ergo shouted.

    In all the time she had known him, Rin had never heard him shout with such intensity. He reached out with his phantom hands and grabbed at Ruolong.

    “Alright, hold on!” Ruolong whispered, and Akira held onto him even tighter.

    Then, the three shot up into the sky above the alleyway like rockets, so fast that not even Rin’s enhanced vision could keep up. By the time she looked up, they had already shrunk into fist-sized figures floating in the vast blue of the sky.

    “…Dammit, how? It’s not like they’re Servants!”

    After a few stunned seconds, Rin cast a spell to prevent onlookers from gathering. She decided to ignore the fallen Yakou mages for now. Though she wanted their information, it would be too much for her alone to handle.

    Gritting her teeth, Rin took out her cell phone.

    [1]天地玄宗,万炁本根 is a line from a Taoist incantation called the Golden Light Incantation. It’s used to protect and purify, and it means something like “the Heaven and Earth are the origin of Taoism, everything in the world originates from the Tao”. Maybe. I have no idea.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————

  4. #144
    Thanks for the translation AZ!

  5. #145
    Quote Originally Posted by azwhoisverybored View Post
    Chapter 2, Part 4:


    Rin and Ergo walked toward the north. The lively atmosphere of Akihabara gradually calmed. The buildings they passed first became quaint electronics shops, then stores that sold mechanical parts, then finally became high-rise office buildings.

    “Feel anything?”

    “I think we’re getting closer, little by little.”

    “That lines up with the direction of magical energy,” Rin said, checking the mana gauge in her hand.

    “Did you expect this to happen?”

    “No, I was just being prepared. Have you forgotten you’re being chased by a bunch of mages?”

    It was clear what Rin was referring to.

    Latio of the Atlas Institute, Wuzhiqi of the Summit Court, and the
    Baldanders
    Wandering Sea
    . All three were mages who had made Ergo devour gods. Though they didn’t know much about the third mage, Rin anticipated that they would show up soon enough.

    “Simply reacting when things happen doesn’t suit me. It’s always best to go on the offensive, if possible. Why wouldn’t I surprise my enemy by attacking them first?”

    “Classic Rin,” Ergo smiled earnestly.

    Rin, who, as far as he could remember, was the person he had known the longest, was always pragmatic without relent. She didn't give off the unworldly air that came with being a mage. Perhaps that was because she ardently pursued her dreams.

    (Maybe the professor is the same,) thought Ergo.

    The Lord who kept belittling his own lack of talent yet never stopped moving forward bore a striking resemblance to his student. If he said that aloud, though, both of them would deny it.

    “Here.”

    Drawn by a mysterious sensation, Ergo stopped in front of an alley.

    “Ergo.”

    Rin stopped a few steps in.

    She only tilted her chin up, but Ergo got the message. He held onto her waist, and the two of them lifted unnaturally off the ground. His phantasmal arms grabbed onto the edge of the buildings and hoisted them up.

    Silently landing on a rooftop, they peered down into the alley, where several figures stood shrouded in shadow among the trash bags. They were all black-suited men with sunglasses that concealed their faces and the demeanor of people whose jobs were far from legal. They surrounded a child that looked around eight years old, who wore an anime-patterned shirt and tattered jeans. Although the child’s hair looked combed, the character on the shirt was pitifully dirty and faded. Through Rin’s enhanced eyes, she saw that the child was glaring at the men with pursed lips.

    Even from a distance of several tens of meters, they could hear the black-suited men.

    “We humbly ask you to return, Akira-sama(TN: Leaving this as is because these are people speaking Japanese to people who understand Japanese and I see no reason to localize it. Also I wouldn’t know what to translate it into anyway).”

    (—Akira-sama?!)

    Ergo stiffened from his place on the rooftops.

    It was the name of the very child they had been asked to find.

    “Rin—”

    Just as he was about to call out, the child twisted away and screamed, “I don’t want to!”

    However, it was impossible to escape from the circle of black-clad men. One of them grabbed the wrist of the child, who tried to bite his arm. Before that could happen, though, the men suddenly fell to the ground as if pinned down by an unseen force.

    “I don’t want to be too rough, but I’ve been permitted to make you feel pain as I see fit. You’ll recover just fine from a few broken bones. Please prepare yourselves for that to happen,” came a chillingly calm voice.

    It was the voice of someone who Ergo knew would act without hesitation if his hand was forced. Though he had encountered this sort of person before in the Strait of Malacca, it still shocked him to discover such violence in a foreign metropolis.

    “…We have to stop him.”

    “Wait.”

    Rin held Ergo back as he was about to step forward. Almost simultaneously, a tall figure cast a shadow in the alley.

    “Well, well. It seems they found us quickly after I settled down to get a job, as I guessed.”

    It was hard to see his face from the rooftop, but Ergo could tell he was tall. He wore the sort of vest bartenders wore, and was glaring down at the three men.

    “You’re…”

    “Do you know how long it took me to find this job? If I don’t finish the preparations by evening, I’ll never hear the end of my boss’ nagging. Well, it is my fault for giving all of my cash to Mr. Sano without making sure we had enough,” the young man who looked like a bartender said with a wry smile, scratching his head.

    As he said that, he slowly made his way toward the black-clad men— or rather, the child. The men looked terrified for a moment by his unwavering gait, but quickly shifted their gazes away.

    “Wakagashira.”

    “…Ah.” After exchanging a nod, the wakagashira, or boss of the henchmen, faced the young man and ordered him to stop. “We have heard about the mage who kidnapped Akira-sama. The head of our family has told us to avoid causing too much harm. If you leave, we will let you go.”

    “Well, that’s nice of you. It warms my heart to see how considerate you are.” The young man did not stop.

    However, before he could reach the child, the three black-clad men put their hands out in front of them. They each clapped their hands together, sending a sound down the alley.

    This was called kashiwade. Hands clasped in prayer.

    Ergo felt the sound transform into magical energy. For a moment, the young man’s back swelled, as if a gust of wind had gone through his body. After it passed, everything seemed to return to normal.

    “Classifying a person as a fiend? Japanese magecraft is way too aggressive.”

    “Don’t be so presumptuous,” said one of the men in black. “This is just a warning. Mind what you speak of the Yakou family's austerity.”

    “Ah, right. Calling it
    black magic
    magecraft
    is distasteful to you guys. Well, whatever you may call it, the core of its power detests fiends.”

    “…You’ve got to be kidding,” muttered Rin, tensing in contrast to the young man’s cheerful demeanor.

    “Rin?” Ergo turned to her.

    “Putting aside the strength of that for now, that spell takes effect directly inside your opponent’s body. It resonates with them. If you find the right wavelength, it’s like detonating a bomb inside them that completely bypasses most spiritual defenses and tears their insides to shreds.”

    Rin’s description perfectly captured the gist of the black-clad men’s technique. Originally used to summon gods with the purity of its sound, the kashiwade summoned the Od that dwelled within all living beings. That was how she realized that something to resonate with one’s inner self could be repurposed to blow people up.

    “That sort of thing doesn’t work with the Clock Tower’s Western magecraft. It’s unique to Japan. Here, the order is different. Though the scale is massively reduced, it exists in the same dimension as the magecraft of the Age of the Gods. What we think of as cheating is the norm here, and I’m sure the opposite is also true.”

    Ergo was reminded of something Lord El-Melloi II had said.

    According to him, the Western magecraft that was based in the Clock Tower was like an illusion cast over the world. While there were various schools and styles, the essence of magecraft was temporarily distorting the shape of the world through spells and magical energy. The depth of the distortion depended on the spell. A spell with more than ten Counts, also called an Instant Contract, could even interfere with the order of the world. For that reason, Reality Marbles, which created another world inside the world, was considered the pinnacle of magecraft.

    However, the magecraft of the Yakous was probably different.

    —“The magic of the Age of the Gods and the authority of those gods is simply like that.”

    —“It doesn’t require the same procedures as modern magecraft. The hand using magecraft is closer to the power of the gods.”

    Ergo thought of the ancient prayer, amen, and the Lord who said “let there be light” and brought light into the world. Though he couldn’t understand how it worked, he felt that the Yakous’ magecraft was similar.

    “…And yet, this guy…”

    Another clap rang out. Perhaps “sent out a shockwave” would be a better description.

    Other than making Ergo tremble, it didn’t make much of a difference.

    “Can you stop? It’s making my ears ring,” said the young man with a cheery smile, rubbing his ear.

    “You…”

    “It’s a matter of density. You can blow up a sandcastle with a toy firecracker, but a solid concrete one wouldn’t budge. You should keep that in mind if you think of me as demonic.”


    Then, he seemed to kick the ground with a motion Ergo and Rin, with her enhanced vision, could only barely follow. It appeared to them a blur, accompanied by three sharp sounds. Two of the men collapsed almost simultaneously, having been punched in the jaw. Only the man they called the wakagashira remained standing. He leaped back and made a sword hand seal by raising two fingers in order to cast a new spell.

    “Oh, impressive!”

    The young man who looked like a bartender rolled up his sleeve, revealing a pattern that looked like a key tattooed into his skin. He clacked his teeth together thrice as he traced it.

    Heaven and Earth Mysterious Ancestors
    Tian di xuan zong,
    The root of the Ten Thousand Qi
    wan qi ben gen.
    [1]

    His whispers seemed to overflow. As if appearing by sleight of hand, yellow talismans slid from his fingers and onto the faces and hands of the wakagashira, until he became a mummy bound by yellow paper.

    This charm shall be executed swiftly
    Ji ji ru luling
    …Done. Sorry, old man, this is the easiest way.”

    “Philosophy magecraft…!” Rin gasped in realization.

    Ergo also knew that was the general term for the magecraft of Continental Asia. The storm summoned by Wuzhiqi of the Summit Court also seemed to fall under that category. However, it was the first time he had seen talismans like those or engravings resembling keys.

    (Maybe…)

    Maybe this was what philosophy magecraft usually looked like.

    “Ruo!”

    “You’re tougher than you look,” said the young man, ruffling the child’s hair.

    “…I would’ve been fine even if you hadn’t showed up!”

    “Haha, exactly. Sorry for interfering, Little Miss Akira.”

    The young man gave the girl an exaggerated bow. Then, he looked up to the rooftops.

    “Now, it’s your turn.”

    After exchanging glances, Ergo and Rin jumped down. Ergo leaped straight onto the ground, while Rin kicked off the sides of the buildings. Like cats, neither made a sound as they landed.

    “Who are they?” Akira asked, taking a step back. The young man stepped forward slightly to protect her. He looked slightly older than Ergo, around eighteen or nineteen. From here, Ergo could see that he had beautiful tan skin. His sculptured features reminded Ergo of a gust of dry wind from a distant country. He saw before his eyes a sea of grass that stretched beyond the horizon, a lone rider on a horse galloping into the sunset.

    (…What is this feeling?)

    A strange sense of deja vu stirred in Ergo’s chest. It was familiar yet unknown, and suffocating.

    “Are you the people the Yakous asked for help?”

    “Wait,” Rin held up her hand. “We’ve heard about their situation, and they do want our help, but that doesn’t mean we agreed to help them.”

    “I see. And why should I believe you?”

    “If we were their helpers, why wouldn’t we have ambushed you earlier?”

    Recalling that Rin had just endorsed ambushing him, Ergo could only nod in agreement.

    The young man who seemed to be called Ruo gave a wry smile.

    “How practical. Your way of thinking reminds me of the continent. There aren’t many people like you in this country.”

    “Uh, no? It’s got nothing to do with my nationality. Borders are just lines on a map. People are only bound by those things if they think they are.”

    “Great answer!” Ruo exclaimed, clapping his hands together. “You’ve found yourself quite the interesting companion, Ergo!”

    “…Huh?”

    Startled at suddenly becoming the target of conversation, Ergo could only shake his head as Rin gave him a look. This didn’t make any sense. What was this nostalgia, this impossible sense of deja vu welling up inside him?

    “It’s alright, I expected you to forget. It’s a bit sad, but hardly surprising, considering you’ve eaten three of them.”

    There was no need to ask what he was referring to.

    Rin tensed as she wondered what the young man knew.

    "I thought it'd be over by Wuzhiqi's turn.", said the man. "The Atlas Institute can be dealt with. If their ability to estimate the future was enough to finish things on their turn, they wouldn't even need to feed you a god. Wuzhiqi, on the other hand, is a bigger problem than your everyday god. The old man said Wuzhiqi is unable to take his main body out in the open even though he didn't explain why, but he's still a challenge to overcome even with this handicap."

    The air in the alley seemed to grow colder.

    Even when faced with bizarre mysteries, Ergo had always felt a sense of detachment, as if it was someone else’s business, like a traveler walking by strange sights on a journey from a faraway land.

    This time, it was different.

    “Ruo?”

    “Oh, sorry. Don’t worry about it,” the young man explained to Akira looking up at him.

    Still guarded, Rin shifted a portion of her consciousness into her magic circuits.

    “Who are you?”

    “Bai Ruolong,”

    Then, he added somewhat shyly:

    “Ergo’s best friend— and the disciple of the mage of the Wandering Sea who made him devour a god.”

    *

    Ergo did not know which he should react to: the fact that he called himself Ergo’s best friend, or that he was a disciple of the mage that made him devour gods.

    “Bai Ruolong…!” The words tumbled from Ergo’s lips with a squeak.

    “That’s right. I hope you won’t forget it again,” replied Ruolong with a gentle smile.

    It was a smile dazzling enough to adorn the silver screen, that could draw many people into the abyss.

    “Ruo’s friend…?” Asked Akira.

    “We used to be friends, yes.”

    “I also want to know more,” inquired Rin. “You were using continental magecraft just then, right? So how come you’re from the Wandering Sea?”

    “Well, that shows a lack of understanding on your part. The Wandering Sea doesn’t care if the magecraft it uses is Western or Eastern. Mage from the Clock Tower… Tohsaka Rin, was it?”

    “Seems you did your research,” Rin said as she examined the fallen Yakou mages. They were injured, though not gravely. Ruolong had clearly been capable of killing them if he wanted.

    “So, are you also after Ergo?”

    “I guess,” the young man replied, shrugging. “Like I said, I thought you would have been captured by Wuzhiqi. We’re the last of the three. I never expected to run into you here.”

    “So, what are you going to do?”

    “Well,” Ruolong said, clapping the back of his neck, “I was told to capture Ergo if I see him, so…”

    Magical energy of an intensity far beyond a person’s Od surged from Ruolong’s body. Even Rin, whose number of sub-magic circuits surpassed those of regular mages, this was unimaginable.

    It reminded Ergo of Wuzhiqi.

    (I have to strike first—!)

    “Ergo!”

    “Got it!”

    At Rin’s command, Ergo’s translucent arms burst forth from Ergo’s back. Activated by Ergo’s magical energy, they surged toward Ruolong, only to stop dead in front of him.

    “Right, you’ve forgotten,” said Ruolong, looking down at the phantasmal hands and sounding somewhat lonely.

    Rin sensed that something warm was spreading from his back. Much like Ergo’s arms, they were translucent and ethereal, like something out of a religious painting.

    “These are
    Huan Yi
    phantasmal wings
    .”

    “Who are…”

    “Didn’t I say I was your best friend? How else could we have been equal friends?”

    Equal. That meant this was not just a psychological condition, but a physical one, and perhaps even a mystical one.

    “Oh, right, that reminds me. Just to confirm, you don’t want these people to bring you back to the Yakous, right?”

    “Of course not!”

    “Alright, then there’s no other choice,” the young man nodded. “Be prepared to endure some pain, Ergo.”

    Behind him, the translucent wings stood tall. If what he said was to be believed, they were phantasmal wings.

    However, their power was more akin to enchanted swords than wings.

    Feathers flew through the alley, tearing through reinforced concrete as easily as paper and sending blue sparks flying wherever they collided with Ergo’s phantasmal arms.

    “Agh…!”

    Feeling pain in his phantasmal arms for the first time, Ergo grimaced.

    Nevertheless, he kicked off the ground, extending a different arm from the one that stopped the feathers and propelling himself into the air above the narrow alley.

    “Aaaaaaah!”

    Ergo thrust his arms out with a roar. To Rin’s surprise, he was going all out from the very beginning, even though he was essentially a pacifist. The same person who had opted for a gentle restraint when Lord El-Melloi II and Gray infiltrated the pirate island now charged toward Ruolong without reserve or regard for Rin’s instructions.

    “Ergo…”?!

    An attack with the force of a tank seemed to send a hurricane barreling across the alley. It was a punch with a power that modern magecraft could not even be compared to. The winds made Rin wonder if the fallen Yakou mages had been blown away.

    And yet, the translucent wings that covered Ruolong remained like a coat of snow-white down. Akira was also unharmed behind him. This time, though, he looked somewhat surprised.

    “Ah…” Ergo groaned. He had calmed down and remembered that the girl was still there. “Don’t worry, I’ll keep you safe,” Ruolong said, smiling.

    “…Even though you’re always a little late.”

    “Haha, I’ve got nothing to say to that.” Raising an eyebrow at the girl’s remark, he pulled the girl closer to him. “It might be a bit tight.”

    With Akira in his arms, Ruolong began to flap his wings. They rose into the air like angels ascending into the sky, as if gravity no longer held them down.

    From the air above the alley, the tan-skinned angel looked down at Ergo and Rin— except, Rin wasn’t beneath him.

    “Don’t you underestimate me!”

    Immediately after Ergo’s whirlwind had passed, she had already transitioned into her next attack. Lowering her stance, she slipped past Ruolong and aimed for his back.

    “Anfang!”

    Without holding back, she fired a Gandr shot.

    It was a Scandinavian curse. Even in modern times, pointing at someone could be considered rude, but in other regions it was a witch's curse.

    Rin released several rounds of the semi-materialized curses in an instant. The young man deflected all of them as he turned around, only for the Gandr bullets to explode.

    “—!”

    He staggered, finally shaken. It took him the blink of an eye to realize that the last two attacks were only distractions. In that instant, Rin kicked off the alley walls and performed a somersault in the air like a gymnast. Two jewels sparkled in her hand. Ruolong’s wry smile was reflected in her brilliant blue eyes.

    “…I’ll admit, you’re pretty impressive.”

    “I won’t hurt the child,” she replied, with a wicked smile befitting the leader of a group of pirates. The jewels in her hand pulsed with magical energy like a beating heart. “Neun! Acht! Dornendes Siegels!”

    Rin activated a new spell at point-blank range. The ruby and sapphire turned into thorny vines that ensnared her opponent.

    “I’m sure you have your reasons, but you can tell me about them later!”

    “Trying to restrain both my movement and my magecraft? You Western mages are so practical.”

    Ruolong moved his wings, sending a flicker of lighting crackling through the air. Though they were in midair, he didn’t seem to need to flap his wings. When Rin looked up, she saw no sign of them falling, either.

    (…But I should have restricted his magecraft!) Rin thought, looking up and swallowing.


    She had been developing the spell she had just cast since before they came to Japan, made especially to counter the mages hunting Ergo down. She had used her favorite jewels: a sapphire that used thorns to extract the magical energy inside mages, and a ruby that used the energy extracted in a binding spell. Combined, they should have been able to neutralize enemies much stronger than herself.

    “I see you’ve prepared countermeasures against both the Atlas Institute and Wuzhiqi. You must be serious about making a stand if you prepared new spells in such a short timeframe,“ the young man said, floating as if in a fantasy world. “Oh right, and I guess I should thank you for promising not to hurt Akira.”

    There was a creaking sound.

    Nothing in Rin’s magecraft could have produced it.

    “You’ve got to be kidding…”

    “You’ve done well enough. Honestly. I won’t underestimate modern mages from now on. It’s not your fault you can’t defeat me.”

    The entwined blue and red thorns began to turn black, as if they were rotting. But that should have been impossible. The thorns she had created were shaped from magecraft, temporary tricks to deceive the rest of the world. The concept of rotting did not apply to such things.

    (Phantasmal wings and phantasmal arms…)

    “Phantasmal arms” was just a throwaway name that Lord El-Melloi II had come up with. However, it captured the essence of them exactly, which was to be expected of the mage they called the Plunderer, the dissector of mages’ secrets.

    For that reason, Rin could not help but make a connection between the two. (…What if…)

    What if Ergo’s arms were truly similar to Ruolong’s wings? If that was true, they would have the same power to destroy spells.

    —No.

    There was a more fundamental problem than that.

    If Ruolong had the same abilities as Ergo, surely he had also—
    “—!”

    Before the fear could take hold, Rin picked up a new jewel. But even before that, the thorns shattered into blackened shards that melted away before they could hit the ground.

    “Wait!” Ergo shouted.

    In all the time she had known him, Rin had never heard him shout with such intensity. He reached out with his phantom hands and grabbed at Ruolong.

    “Alright, hold on!” Ruolong whispered, and Akira held onto him even tighter.

    Then, the three shot up into the sky above the alleyway like rockets, so fast that not even Rin’s enhanced vision could keep up. By the time she looked up, they had already shrunk into fist-sized figures floating in the vast blue of the sky.

    “…Dammit, how? It’s not like they’re Servants!”

    After a few stunned seconds, Rin cast a spell to prevent onlookers from gathering. She decided to ignore the fallen Yakou mages for now. Though she wanted their information, it would be too much for her alone to handle.

    Gritting her teeth, Rin took out her cell phone.

    [1]天地玄宗,万炁本根 is a line from a Taoist incantation called the Golden Light Incantation. It’s used to protect and purify, and it means something like “the Heaven and Earth are the origin of Taoism, everything in the world originates from the Tao”. Maybe. I have no idea.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————
    Thanks for the translation.

  6. #146

    Hello!,Are there any PDF's of all the volumes of the adventures of lord el melloi ll?

    Quote Originally Posted by ryugasaikyou View Post
    Thanks for the translation.
    Hello!,Are there any PDF's of all the volumes of the adventures of lord el melloi ll?

  7. #147
    Quote Originally Posted by Ale View Post
    Hello!,Are there any PDF's of all the volumes of the adventures of lord el melloi ll?
    If you're talking about the translated versions, I made pdfs for all of Case Files and Adventures that have been fully translated (Volumes 1 - 10 and Volume 1 respectively). Linked below is the folder that has them all.
    drive dot google dot com /drive/folders/1QcTIGgWxHHjry_oueM23YEA0xTSmyK2l?usp=drive_link

    I will be making the pdf for Volume 2 of Adv as soon as Az finishes translating it.

    If you're looking for the raw untranslated pdfs, then I can't help you

  8. #148
    Not that guy but thanks for compiling the translations. Was about to ask myself if there were any

  9. #149
    thanks you!!!

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