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Thread: Finishing the translation of Lord El-Melloi II Case Files volume five.

  1. #21
    I'm doing a pdf/epub of this volume

    I'll update them as you release the parts, and I'll post them when I'm done

  2. #22
    屍鬼 Ghoul fearboss's Avatar
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    Oh my god? I'm late to the party but wow! Thanks so much for your hard work!

  3. #23
    Thanks for translating!

  4. #24
    Going back to chapter 4 part 1, is the implication that there is 5 levels of Mystic Eyes then. Commons (For lack of a better word, the two auctioned off to the familiars that are referred to as not of noble rank), Basic Noble Rank (Starting at 1 million), Gold rank (starting at 5 million), Jewel Rank, and then Rainbow?

    Mostly I'm curious as I've been trying to figure out where Reines' eye fall on the list for fanfic and theory reasons. I'd assumed before now that Noble colors was the name of the categorization system and that the basic red and green were the lowest category but still noble, but it seems there is a lower one--which makes me wonder if the lower one also shines red and green or not, as I'd assume once they start shining gold they are probably ranked gold, so basic Noble's would be red and green.

  5. #25
    Sorry for the late answer, but Noble Colours relate to "inborn special talents", and that usually, but apparently not always, is applied to Mystic Eyes. It is also said that Noble Colours directly interfere with the fates of others. So I guess it would go like this: Common types, then low-level Noble Colours that are red or green, then Gold, then Jewel and then Rainbow.

  6. #26
    Thank you.

  7. #27

    Chapter 5, part 1

    Chapter 5, part 1


    The impostor blinked and kept laughing.

    He blinked twice, three times... and by the fifth time, the boy I knew was gone.

    “Excuse me. It took me a little while to finish the procedure.” The person who spoke was a complete stranger.

    He was tall and sleek, with a combination of fiery red hair and pale white skin. Even the clothes he wore had been transformed into a suit as blue as the sea. I can't tell his age, but he is somewhere between his mid-twenties to mid-forties. But the only thing I could think of was how his lips smiled as if it was a flower coming to bloom; it was something I don't think I'll be able to forget for a long time.

    I am terrified of that soft, gentle smile. I do not know why.

    “...”

    Caules, whose appearance had been stolen until now, was overwhelmed with bewilderment at the sight.

    Reines, who had been pushing through her fatigue, held her mouth shut and watched the situation unfold.

    Even Olga Marie, who was expected to finally confront the culprit, could not point her finger.

    Yvette pressed down on her head with an 'uh-oh', Jean-Mario grunted briefly - and Hishiri, the fox of the Department of Law, lost her visage.

    "It's advanced shapeshifting magecraft. Even the suit is no exception. Although originally that is the domain of the Department of Zoology, you dabbled in quite a lot of different magic, didn't you, Former Dean of Norwich?" Master said.

    Shapeshifting, in other words, is the kind of thing that witches in fairy tales use to turn their victims into frogs. Depending on the technique, it is said to be a powerful curse or an old and advanced magic, but I don't know the details. The former dean of the Department of Modern Magecraft, our opponent, is able to use such magic.

    Within the Bounded field, the former dean gives a small nod.

    "Old acquaintances call me Doctor Heartless. Feel free to call me that as well."

    “Heartless…” I can't help but mutter at the man who keeps smiling.

    Then, "...I've heard he is called that because a fairy stole his heart."

    This was whispered in my ear by Melvin.

    Apparently, the name had reached him, even though he was one step removed from the power struggles of the Clock Tower.

    (...Stolen, by Faires?”)

    I remembered that a Fairy Circle was left at the place where the Rail Zeppelin stopped. I heard that there are several types of fairies, including familiars and Phantasmal species, and that there are several other Mysteries that have yet to be found by the Clock Tower.

    When innocent, they switch shoes or clean a house without permission.

    When serious, they replace children with changelings and spirit people away.

    It is said that many of the humans kidnapped by fairies can never return to the common sense and texture of the modern day.

    A distant, heavenly shore, unreachable even by magic. Perhaps they are always looking for the perfect child from the abyss.

    "According to some, the previous dean of Norwich was once kidnapped by fairies, and his heart was stolen. Hence the nickname Heartless. He was the only one of the 12 departments who was not a lord, but his mystery should not be underestimated. ...It was nearly ten years ago; I'd forgotten all about it." Melvin's words made me bite my lip. 

    He was feared even in the Clock Tower, and he was the head of one of the faculties - most importantly, I felt a twinge in my throat at the fact that he had ruled over Norwich before Master, the Department of Modern Magecraft.

    Somberly, Master speaks. "I never thought we'd meet in a place like this."

    "I wasn't there when you took over as dean. That was after I had already given up on the Clock Tower.” Smiling, Heartless responds.

    He seemed to be truly delighted with this encounter. Or it might be that he didn't really care. The two could be the same thing.

    "By the way, don't you still have some reasoning to do? This is the part that you are most obsessed with, right? Yes, what will you say about the whydunnit?"

    Why did he do it?

    Why was it a crime that had to be committed?

    This time, Master obediently opened his mouth. Perhaps he thought it was too bothersome to refute him.

    “This is just a ruin of a case,” Master declares. "Because you have long since achieved your original goal."

    “What are you saying?!” Jean-Mario shouted hysterically, holding his temples. "This guy's goal is to get the Jewel-ranked Mystic Eyes of Transience! Isn't that why he was bidding so much money!?"

    "The Mystic Eyes are just an extra. You would have liked to have gotten them, but you wouldn't care if you didn't. I had to cross a lot of dangerous bridges just to prevent that bonus."

    Bitterly, the master grasps his cigar.

    Then, "The Far Eastern ritual that the Lord of Animusphere asked you to investigate was the Holy Grail War," he spoke.

    This time the name of the Holy Grail War was mentioned, probably because there was no longer any need to conceal anything as the familiars had their senses sealed.

    "The Holy Grail War is a magical ritual in which seven magi summon seven Servants and fight for the Holy Grail that will fulfil their wish. Yes, it would be more familiar to most magi to call it the ritual in which my predecessor, Lord El-Melloi, died. Considering the time of year, the death of my predecessor may have been the reason why the Lord of the Celestial Department Animusphere was inspired to look into it."

    His lips were twisted sarcastically.

    "Anyway, as a result of the investigation, the Lord of the Animusphere apparently thought that the Great Holy Grail was useless in this case. I don't know the basis for this, but since the lord was so convinced, the report must have been indisputable. In fact, it is not hard to imagine that the accuracy of the report was outstanding since the investigation was carried out using several Mystic Eyes. In the first place, the majority of people in the Clock Tower are of the opinion that there is no way that a proper wish-granting device could possibly be established in that ritual of the Far East."

    Master's words took my breath away.

    Although their heads were cut off, the owners of those Mystic Eyes were used like slaves. In direct proportion to their regret, their Mystic Eyes must have seen through to the truth of the Holy Grail War.

    "At the same time, that investigation would have given you other information. Information that is linked to the current case."

    "Good. Very good. I would have liked to have had a student like you while I was dean.'

    Heartless nods slowly.

    Yet this confrontation is the opposite of that. The format is that Heartless, disguised as the student Caules, asks the questions and Master, the lecturer, answers.

    "You have yet to make a single mistake. Please continue."

    "...I'm not doing this for your pleasure."

    "But you do want to know the truth. If there is a mystery, it is an instinct for a race like ours anymore to want to dismantle it. There is no need to hesitate. Expose it to your heart's content. In exchange, I swear to you that I will answer you whether it is right or wrong. I think you need that validation now, don't you?"

    The red-haired man presses for Master's reasoning like a demon.

    Alternatively, he looked like a child begging for the continuation of play. Perhaps it was the same concept.

    "With the same information, the Aminusphere gave up, so this case must be for a different purpose. As stated before, The Lord of the Aminusphere gave up because the Holy Grail was useless to him. Then it is clear that it is also not your objective. Ah, even if I don't know your ultimate goal, I know what you were aiming for with this case. After all, I saw the results with my own eyes."

    Master took one deep breath.

    He inhaled the cigar and then exhaled his answer with the smoke.

    “It is the Heroic Spirit,” he confronted. "You wanted to summon a Heroic Spirit as a Servant."

    “Excellent!”

    Heartless held the chest of his suit and looked up at the ceiling with emotion.

    However, the words generated whispers in other directions.

    "Wait a minute. A Heroic Spirit, as in a Ghost Liner? Did you really summon such a thing?"

    Jean-Mario, by the side, did not hide his dismay.

    Of course, Hishiri and Melvin already knew.

    Olga Marie shivered faintly, and though Caules and Reines were also informed, they had grim expressions on their faces.

    The train staff did not appear outwardly surprised.

    Master did not speak.

    This is because it is now a confirmed fact that Heartless summoned the Servant. The one we met and fought on the roof of the train, and who forced him into a wheelchair.

    "While I was unconscious, Gray said she found a strange seed inside the Child of Ainnashe."

    Before my startled self could say anything, Master attacked with more questions.

    "You didn't plant that seed, did you?"

    “Hmm? And why would I do that?”

    "Rail Zeppelin and the Child of Ainnashe - if you place these two on the same spiritual ley line, there will inevitably be a distortion. Take a sheet of paper, for example. What happens if you put two dots on the top and bottom of a sheet of paper and bring them closer together?"

    I imagine it.

    The shape obtained by bending two dots on a piece of paper together. This produces two convexes, and at the same time, there is also a concave with the same depth.

    For instance, the shape is almost like a cup.

    "Yes. A cup is created. The distortion is not actually formed in the middle, but rather at the point where the two powerful magical are in most conflict with one another. The more equal the quality and quantity of the opposing magical forces, the greater the outcome. For example, it would be ideal if the two were leftovers from beings such as senior-level Dead Apostles. This alone, of course, may be enough to be called a cup or a cauldron, but not the Holy Grail War. It could be adapted to become that Great Magic if it was crafted with the appropriate formula, but to make it the sort of grail that can summon Servants, it would need one or two more tweaks. For instance, to induce the kind of distortion that could allow the summoning of a servant, you could embed a ritual device that would act as a minor Grail, or you could try to form a connection to the Great Holy Grail that exists in Japan."

    Connection, Master says.

    His fingers drew with the cigar. Inside the Pandemonium Room, the red flame of the cigar formed an illusionary line.

    "Ley lines circulate all over the planet, even as far away as the Far East. Ah, perhaps you bought and developed a plot of land in this area. All in order to align to the ley lines."

    “...!”

    I just remembered.

    This was when we escaped from the Child of Einnashe, and I made it back to the Rail Zeppelin. The land around us then was strangely developed - and yet there was no sign of any new buildings being built. I didn't even have the time to question it at that time, so I never realised its meaning.

    "It is not unusual to tend to the lands in the real world to align with the ley lines. Every country in every era has done so naturally when setting up a capital city. In the East, it is still popular in the form of ground-breaking ceremonies and feng shui. If such a technique were applied to the Rail Zeppelin, which does not have a fixed railway line but runs along the spiritual ley line, it would be possible to ensure the land on which it operates in advance. You could even prepare the Child of Einnashe for where it goes. At the same time, you might also connect to the Great Grail of faraway Japan."

    "Amazing. Are these expert eyes what made the El-Melloi classroom a household name in the Clock Tower in such a short time?" Heartless was sincerely impressed. Inside the field of light, the man made a humorous frown. "It took me the whole year to reach that conclusion. I'm losing my confidence."

    "This is just an answer to your question. I have been given a disgusting amount of hints, and no matter how much I can realize from that, I never reach the achievements of the discoverers and inventors. Oh, and I might add, you must have summoned your Servant on the first night."

    “And your evidence is?”

    Master answers Heartless' question in a matter-of-fact manner.

    "That Servant said she had a letter sent out to summon me. The one you brought to me right after the second day's demonstration of the Mystic Eyes. That means that you had summoned her before that. The only time you were free for that long when you were disguised as Caules was on the first night."

    (The evening… of the first day…!)

    When I remembered that time, I nearly gasped.

    After a short conversation with Caules - an imposter - he said goodnight to me, and I went to sleep. That night I slept oddly better than usual because Master's cigar was so comforting. Alternatively, Master had a strange difficulty getting out of bed that morning; I had assumed that it was his usual fatigue.

    “That is… impossible…”

    "It wasn't poison or anything. It was just to make your sleep a little deeper."

    Heartless smiled.

    When he said that fact, I felt a storm swirling inside my own heart. Piece by piece, things were coming together in the worst possible way. I had never thought it would come to this, not even in my nightmares.

    That night, Heartless, wearing the face of Caules, summoned Hephaestion.

    If that is so, then where was the summoning?

    Perhaps he had gotten off of the Rail Zeppelin. Because even if he had, it would be easy to come back using the Gordius Wheel. He would only have to get back on the train while everyone was distracted by Hephaestion.

    (That is… not everything, though.)

    When we fought Hepaestion, Caules said he came because he felt the magical energy of the lightning. I convinced myself that such a thing was possible, as he had been training in Primeval Batteries. However, that was completely false. A fraud.

    How did Heartless, who was disguised as Caules at the time, feel about aiding Master with healing magecraft?

    Burying all of these thoughts, Master continued.

    "In other words, in this case, Trisha's murder and the Mystic Eyes auction were extras for you. As soon as you were able to summon the Servant, you had already succeeded."

    “You have keen insight. I give you one hundred points,” Heartless said with a broad smile.

    Ignoring his smile, Master continued with a question.

    "Since you succeeded, you could have just walked away; why didn't you?"

    "I told you earlier. Because I wanted to watch you."

    His expression was extremely subdued.

    “Why did you impersonate Caules?”

    “Because I wanted to get to know you,” Heartless sang like a little bird.

    Master had declared that the culprit of this case was his adversary.

    Yet this adversary spoke in a terribly friendly manner.

    "The more I looked into it, the more interesting the Holy Grail War became. Everyone was breathing. Myths and legends were recreated in the present day as they were. Even for magi, it's an impossible fairy tale, and that's why I was fascinated by it. I wished from the bottom of my heart that I could chase it forever and ever, like the sunsets I saw as a child."

    The word 'sunset', for some reason, struck a chord.

    A scarlet scene that gradually fades into darkness. A time when you could watch the changing light forever. This man still felt like he was standing in that red light. Like Rip Van Winkle, the sleeping man who stared at the sunset for so long that he suddenly realised that decades had passed.

    Then, a shadow interrupted.

    It was the conductor of the Rail Zeppelin.

    “Are you the one who summoned the Child of Einnashe?”

    “That’s right.”

    "Disputes between magi are acceptable, but if you are deemed to have caused harm to our train, you forfeit your right to participate in this auction." This time, it was the auctioneer’s voice that echoed. “The same goes for Yvette L. Lehrman, who was conspiring with you to obtain the unclaimed Mystic Eyes of Transience.”

    “Ehhhhhh! Me too?! Oh, no!”

    When Yvette screamed out in a wild and crazy manner, a snake coiled itself around her from behind. The snake, which had wrapped itself around her eyes, was instantly transformed into a sealing cloth as if to prevent her from using her Mystic Eye, which was the girl's speciality.

    It was the magic of Hishiri.

    The female magus of the Department of Law seemed to use snakes in accordance with her own image.

    "The two of you will be taken into custody by the Department of Law."

    “Oh, dear. I knew it would come to this,” Heartless shrugged.

    Inside the powerful Bounded Field, he softly placed Trisha’s head at his feet.

    "...However, this is not quite enough," said Heartless, lifting his right hand straight up.

    My own eyes were fixed on the strange patterns engraved on the back of his hands. Its obvious magical power made me understand, undeniably, that it was an unusual mystery.

    "You know it well, Lord El-Melloi II. It's a Command Seal. It is the proof of a contract with a Servant and grants only three absolute commands. It has several applications beyond just making them obey your commands.'

    “Miss Adashino! Cast a Bounded Field-” Master shouts.

    But sooner than that, Heartless called out loudly.

    “I command you! Come-”

    The radiant white Bounded Field is counteracted by an even more intense light.

    I quickly 'reinforced' my eyes, but by the time my sight returned in less than a few tenths of one second, the anomaly had already ended. Inside the field, which had shattered without a trace, a lone woman had appeared next to Heartless.

    She is the exact ideal of what a warrior should be.

    Of her gently wavy hair, there was only a single tuft of braided hair that reached awfully far down to her ankles. One of her eyes was as clear and blue as the sea, and the other as black as a raven's wing. Her armour, crafted from leather and metal, was antiquated, but alone she stood majestic, easily dominating this age.

    In the face of this heroic figure, Hishiri's breathing faltered for the first time.

    “A Heroic Spirit…”

    “Seriously, you're using ghost liners as your familiar!"

    Jean-Mario exclaimed. Perhaps 'Ghost Liner' was the more formal name among magi. In any case, the only certain thing was that this was an existential threat to even the most seasoned magus.

    The warrior maiden leisurely looks back at Heartless.

    "You finally for called me, Master."

    "Hahaha, it was just too interesting to talk with the Lord. I couldn't stay long enough."

    "Nonsense," spat Hephaestion.

    Despite it being just an exchange of words, the magi around them were frozen.

    "What, in the world… this is..."

    It was Olga Marie who nearly stumbled.

    As the daughter of a Lord, she has seen many strong Mysteries, so she knows what she is talking about.

    This is an order of magnitude beyond what she had ever seen before. This is the embodiment of the mighty, the immense, the violent, and the absurd.

    Even I couldn't help but feel my knees trembling even now. I had become disgustingly aware in the previous battle of how much strength the opponent in front of me held. My limbs were bound by the memory of having been so utterly beaten.

    "...Ihihihi, here I come! Oi, oi, Gray, pull yourself together!"

    In a whisper, Add scolded me.

    Still, just trying not to run away is all I can do. This is like claiming to have repaired a heart that has long since been broken, using only adhesive tape.

    “Did you survive?” The Heroic Spirit looked at my master.

    The cold, stern eyes seemed to freeze even my soul, even if they were not staring directly at me.

    "I have been thinking about you a lot," Master responded curtly.

    By no means does this mean he is unafraid. That's natural. He had almost been killed on this train. The wounds are not only unhealed; they are so serious that he is forced to use a wheelchair.

    Yet even still, Master suppresses a shudder and speaks.

    “I wondered who you were, so I reflected on it. Servant.”

    "I have already introduced myself as Hephaeistion"

    “Your Class, that is the question.”

    The Holy Grail War is said to facilitate the summoning of Heroic Spirits by restricting them to certain aspects of their lives and legend.

    For example, the Saber Class could be derived from the aspect of a hero holding a holy or magic sword, while the Caster Class could be derived from the aspect of a hero wielding powerful magic. These classes are said to be also used as temporary pseudonyms in place of true names, which are supposed to be hidden from adversaries.

    Therefore, my master has been wondering about this Heroic Spirit who revealed her True Name but not her class for some time now.

    “Only now do I understand the meaning behind this,” Master took an envelope out from his pocket.

    This was the invitation letter that had been placed in the safe in the room of the dean of Norwich.

    "You summoned me to Rail Zeppelin, even going so far as to leave an invitation in the vault, because you wanted your subspecies Holy Grail to misidentify me," he continued, holding the invitation to his chest.

    "You certainly did create a subspecies Grail. Although it may not function as a vessel to grant wishes, you at least managed to make it strong enough to summon Servants. Then, to make it even more of a sure case, you called me into the train. As I was once recognised as a Master in the Fourth Holy Grail War ten years ago, it would be easy for the Grail to misidentify me. Furthermore, in order to prevent me from possibly becoming the Master, you disguised your Command Seals in such a way," Master spoke, pointing to the Seal engraved on Heartless' hand - one stroke of which had now been lost.

    "But even that was not quite enough. This is because there is a fixed number of classes used in the real Holy Grail wars. Even if you could mimic some of the functions of the Greater Grail by connecting it to your Holy Grail, you wouldn't have been able to hack the Greater Grail itself. Since you can't call upon the same framework for Heroic Spirits, you were forced to create an entirely new extra class."

    Extra Class.

    Separate from the original seven classes, which manifest in the Holy Grail wars.

    "You intended to go through all of this as an impostor, didn’t you?"

    Suddenly, I remembered something Olga Marie had said.

    — “Everything. Everything I've experienced on this train journey is as if it is an afterimage."

    Struck by his words, Master added his own part after that. He had said that it was the decisive cog in the wheel that was his theory.

    "The Grail is a fake. The Master is a fake. The Command seal is a fake. Usually, this kind of nonsensical magical formula would fail. However, what if the class itself embodies being fake? Well, it's a play on words, after all. You could call it a trick. Yet, magic was originally born from wordplay and tricks. If not, no one would even be allowed to manipulate the Tarot, if I may use that as a symbol of the world."

    Indeed, that would be a fraud.

    Master says that if everything here is fake, then the basis of the magic here is the essence of being fake itself. Although it was fundamentally absurd logic, I also felt that it fit awfully well. Every nerve in my body was telling me that what my master was saying was right.

    “In other words… Who is this Heroic Spirit…?”

    "Well, a Heroic Spirit of Imitation could probably be known as Faker or something like that."

    "Apparently, we have the same taste in naming things," Heartless chuckled.

    Holding the area around the breast pocket of his blue suit, he affirms my master's words.

    "Exactly so, I have named this new class Faker."

    Faker.

    Heroic Spirit of Imitation.

    A new Extra Class.

    "A Class meant to call out the side of a Heroic Spirit that was an imposter or body double. You wanted to keep that hidden. That is why she never mentioned her class and only called herself Hephaestion. I suppose that's also why she didn't release the true name of her Noble Phantasm."

    Saying that, Master looked at the female warrior once again.

    “...Then, who would you say I am?”

    Gravely, the Heroic Spirit asked.

    Neither the train staff nor the magi would normally leave such a question unanswered. Yet unlike before, Heartless and the Servant were not confined by the wards of the Bounded Field. Their power was simply too great to carelessly instigate. A single person's Mystery was enough to cover the entire Rail Zeppelin in hostility.

    Master was biting down on his back teeth.

    For what it's worth, it seemed that he was holding back his teeth from the meeting. His fists, hidden behind his wheelchair, clenched so tight that they turned white, and he finally managed to let out a few words.

    "I once summoned Iskandar in the Holy Grail War," Master said.

    "However, his appearance was nothing like the Iskandar of legend. In fact, his body, which was said to be small in stature, actually exceeded two meters in height, and he was a muscular giant of a man. Perhaps in his younger days, he was different, but even so, the colour of his hair and eyes was a magnificent vermilion, far too different from what had been handed down from generation to generation. If we follow the legends, Iskandar's hair colour was either gold or black. It was even said that Iskandar was a heterochromia with one eye for the darkness of the night and one eye for the blue of the sky."

    “...That is,” I grunted to myself.

    Because, the way that he just spoke, it was almost as if—

    “...Yes, this very woman,” Master's words caused the heroine to shiver slightly.

    Perhaps Olga Marie was aware of this possibility. Even now, trembling like a fawn, her amber eyes were watching the conversation.

    "You are not Hephaestion," Master declares.

    "I suppose Iskandar was called as a summon. Yes, that's right. If that relic had been used, no other Heroic Spirit could have been summoned. However, due to the class of the summoning, an existence similar yet different from the original Iskandar was summoned. For ancient royalty, where assassinations and wars were commonplace, there naturally had to be such an existence."

    Similar but different.

    An existence that is only natural.

    Master then clarifies what he means.

    "You are an afterimage of the king, the body double of Iskandar."


  8. #28
    Amazing, thank you for the update!

  9. #29
    Thanks for your hard work Kneenaw.

  10. #30

    Chapter 5, part 2

    Chapter 5, part 2


    "B-but isn't that strange? She doesn't look anything like the genuine article, yet she's a body double."

    I couldn't help but interject.

    I just couldn't accept what Master said. I couldn't understand how she could be a body double when her appearance and gender did not even match.

    However, in a calm voice, Master continued his explanation.

    The term 'body double' refers not only to a person's physical appearance. In ancient times, when there were no photographs, it was a rather imprecise term. After all, If Iskandar's true appearance was never known to the masses, there was no need for her to look like him.

    “...That is true, but still…”

    "Besides, in her case, it probably has a different meaning than that of the ordinary body double. Possibly there is an example from ancient Mesopotamia..."

    "...You are roughly 80% correct."

    Interrupting Master's words, the female Heroic Spirit affirmed.

    She admitted that she was Iskandar's body double.

    Impostors. Substitutes. "Faker" is the class associated with such people.

    "However, the remaining 20% is wrong. That is the limitation of whodunit. As a deduction brought about by motive, it is correct. Yet it doesn't arrive at the truth itself. The name of Hephaestion belongs to my brother, but I have borrowed it from him on occasion."

    “Brother?”

    "I do not wish to listen to any more of this nonsense. Is that alright, Master?"

    Faker's expression showed that there would be no more questions and answers.

    “Oh dear,” Heartless waves his red hair.

    Then he slowly looked around.

    "Hmm, as far as I'm concerned, I'm fine with fighting here."

    He turns to face the Ral Zeppelin conductor.

    "However, it would cost numerous Mystic Eyes. Even though I have long since retired from the Clock Tower, I cannot bear such a tragedy as a magus. Therefore, shall we move out from the Pandemonium Room?"

    It's a selfish argument.

    When you consider that this is the same person who killed Trisha because he didn't want the incident of seven years ago to be investigated and also brought all of us into danger by summoning a Servant and the Child of Einnashe, it's clear how outrageous his words are.

    However, with a Servant as support, there is tremendous power behind his outrageousness.

    Wherever one looks in the Pandemonium room, there are Mystic Eyes.

    Each and every one of them was of value, as the auction had just proven. I didn't even want to imagine how disastrous it would be to fight in this environment.

    “...That would be good,” the conductor nodded, and there was immediate movement.

    The ceiling of the Pandemonium Room swung wide open. Perhaps it was a doorway to transport large cargo. Several twinkling stars could be seen across the night sky.

    After saying thank you, Heartless called out to one girl in particular.

    "Yvette. What are you going to do? Are you coming with me?"

    “I’m fine here.”

    Yvette, who was still bound by Hishiri's magic, swung her pink twin tails to the side.

    "Our agreement was only to work together for the loan, wasn't it? From now on, you will be judged by the Department of Law, and I think I'll just tell them everything without complaint. Regardless of the fact that you are the former dean, I will not be a part of your fugitive lifestyle."

    "Ahh, I've been dumped."

    Faker took hold of his hand, and as he raised one eyebrow, she jumped all the way to the rooftop lightly.

    "Let's go..."

    Master squeezes the armrests of his wheelchair.

    Master, who had been confined to the wheelchair, finally stood up.

    Of course, his wounds were not healed. He must have replaced his nerves with Magic Circuits, just as Melvin had done. Master was concentrating so hard that he was dripping with thick sweat.

    "Caules, Gray. Let's chase them."

    "Instructor, but..."

    "I understand."

    I nodded, which was in contrast to Caules, who hesitated.

    Perhaps that made him more determined as Caules stepped forward as well. Together, we both put our hands around Master's waist and then he jumped up by 'reinforcing' himself.

    On the roof of the train, we landed.

    Right in front of me, an exasperated Heartless looked back at us.

    "Good grief, I really do think it would be wise for us to part ways at this juncture. As I told you earlier, I don't intend to kill a Lord here."

    "I can't let that happen."

    Master said, casting his head down in pain.

    Although I tried to land on the ground with as little impact as possible, just standing like this was a definite burden on Master's injured body.

    "You never gave back the relic you took from me."

    "Ah, I see. I see. That's quite right. Certainly, it is of no use to me now that the summoning is over."

    Then, the man took out an old vermilion rag.

    He let go of it, and it blew right up to Master with the wind, and he took it.

    Master's lips pursed as he checked the relic that had returned to his hand. He took out another handkerchief and folded it carefully inside before putting it away in his pocket.

    "I have one more thing I’d like to discuss."

    "I'd love to talk to have a leisurely talk with you, but I'm afraid I don't have the time..."

    “I’m not talking to you,” Master shook his head firmly. “You, Faker.”



    By class, he called out to her.

    Faker, not Hephaestion.

    "I told you I'm not going to listen to your nonsense."

    Master continued undeterred in the face of the female Servant, who made no attempt to hide her hostility.

    "You said that about 20% of what I said was wrong. You also said that you sometimes borrowed the name of your brother. ...So, you are his twin."

    “...”

    With a twitch, Faker's fingers stirred.

    Not missing her agitation, Master spun some more words.

    "In those days, it was not unusual for one twin to be raised with decency while the other was left in the care of dark magic. Especially since Iskandar's mother, Olympias, was an ardent follower of the Dionysian cult."

    ── "Originally, I was put to work as the chaperone of that man's mother."

    I remembered what she had said in the cave.

    Moreover, Melvin had also talked about it. Iskandar's mother was in charge of the religious ceremonies in Macedonia. If that was the case, then what was the significance of a child being raised and chaperoned by his mother?

    "For some time now, I have thought that the name Hephaestion seems strange. Traditionally in Greece, a normal man would be named Hephaistos. The moment someone goes to the trouble of making a derivation with the name Hephaestion, both gender and origin become unclear. In fact, there was even a queen of the Amazons by the same name. —According to one theory, the name 'Hephaestion' means 'one that makes an offering to the gods.'"

    He must have been looking into it for a long time.

    Whenever it concerns the Heroic Spirit of Iskandar. Regarding the years that Iskandar has lived. Master always casts a faraway look when he contemplates the history of Iskandar. As he faces the far-off ancient era that has long since passed, he also reverts to the spirit of his youth.

    That's why I know for sure.

    "A king needs subordinates who will never betray him in order to wield his power. It is no wonder that Olympias, who had been working all along to make Iskandar the one and only king, would try to raise a loyal subject from an early age. I think it was that kind of name that was given to your brother."

    "─Shut up!"

    The furious female heroine draws her sword.

    Before her thunderous slash, she was interrupted.

    “Add!”

    “Hihihihi! I’m here!”

    Absorbing the surrounding magic, Add unfolds in my hands.

    The first stage of the practical limitation seal.

    A great barrier.

    Just as I narrowly protected Master, a tremendous shock struck my shield. The blow was so heavy that it seemed as if the anger of the Heroic Spirit was directly applied to the shield, and it was like my whole body might melt.

    “...I’m sorry, Gray.”

    “I’m fine.”

    Holding my shield poised, I made it clear.

    "This much is fine. So please, Master, say whatever you want to say."

    I somehow understood what my master was trying to do.

    Heartless said that the command seal is one that can only be used three times. Only three times. One of the three times was just used to summon Faker. Therefore, he would want to continue on without using it again as much as possible.

    This is why Faker, provoked by Master, is difficult to control here.

    This is because Heroic Spirits are not mere familiars and have their own personalities, making them difficult to control. But at the same time, Master knows better than anyone just how to deal with Heroic Spirits.

    "...When I said that Faker was probably Iskandar's body double, I was not referring to physical appearance."

    Again, Master brought back the earlier topic.

    "Even though that period was already drawing to a close, it was still a time when magecraft was at its peak, also known as the Age of Gods. Magecraft was more powerful then, and much of it was considered magic. Powerful kings always had priests and wizards available to protect them from curses. Going back as far as ancient Mesopotamia, there was even a ritual to bring in a substitute king. Apparently, in order to escape a bad omen, an unrelated farmer was appointed king, and once the calamity had passed, the substitute was killed."

     A substitute king.

    A ritual, to avoid calamity.

    “...Then, what you are saying, Master is-”

    "She is not simply a body double. She is some kind of magical substitute," Master declares.

    “That’s enough…!” Faker’s movements accelerate.

    Dodging my large shield, she swung herself around the outside of the train, which was still in motion. Her outstanding mobility allowed her to manoeuvre with almost no regard for the laws of physics. Her speed was so overwhelming that even my own reinforced eyesight could not keep up with her.

    (I can't get there in time...)

    Yet, in an instant, a lightning net ensnared her body.

    "────Ah?!"

    "...Haha, I guess I was able to do it one way or another."

    Caules had been ahead of the train and set up a trap.

    A thin electric current was running between his fingers. The thread of electric current stretched like a spider's web across the roof of the train, entangling the entire body of Heroic Spirit.

    "Combining my own body's magical energy with the Primeval Battery, I intensified my power over galvanism. I've been practising this with the instructor for some time now."

    It was like Galvani's battery experiments which also inspired the novel, Frankenstein, to be written. It was from the perspective of bioelectricity that led to the development of several magical arts between Master and Caules. In that sense, it was a technique that was appropriate to be known as Modern Magecraft.

    Full of tension and his own characteristic fastidiousness and pride, Caules spoke.

    "Perhaps I shall name it the Crafted Tree (Electric Death By Hanging)."

    "...Wa," Faker gasped.

    The lips of the smiling spirit were about to murmur something.

    "Gray, she’s consuming the magic!"

    His voice pushed me forwards.

    Swiftly, I transformed from the great shield and swung my Grim Reaper at an oblique angle.

    Exactly as he said, she was focusing on consuming the magic around her, rather than attacking her opponents. Inevitably, the magic of the Primeval Battery was also unleashed, but a completely different kind of magic - the kind of magic that was concentrated inside a Heroic Spirit of the world, also came out and hit back at his energy, which formed arround her sword held high that clashed with my attack.

    In the aftermath of the collision, a tornado blast of wind blew around.

    However, more than just its power, I was more horrified by the sheer amount of magical power I had just been hit with.

    “Right now, that was…”

    “Very, dangerous,” Master finished.

    “Gray. Caules. She’s a magus!”

    With a pop, Caules blinked.

    He looked incredulous. His eyes widened as if to say that he had been prepared to fight a Heroic Spirit, but those words were a complete surprise.

    "A magus from the time of Iskandar... I-Instructor that is..."

    Caules said in a muffled voice.

    "A magus from, the Age of the Gods...!"

    "If you want to be a magical substitute, the shortcut would be to be a magus yourself. A magus from a time when magic was far more versatile than it is today."

    Without pausing, Master lifted his eyes at Faker.

    "Ah, Olympias, who had wished for her son to be king for some time, must have wondered at the sight of those young twins. ‘If one of them is a general and the other is a magus, then he would have the loyal servants he will need.’ It is only logical to think that she wanted to provide a reliable magus for her son as early as possible, as well as a general. It is no wonder why they would be so valued. He and she would be the best general and magus for him. Thus, they would be prepared, educated, and trained to serve the king.”

    I was deceived.

    "Or, perhaps I should say, I was mistaken. I had simply thought that she was a general who had fought alongside Iskandar, wielding a sword, because of the previous battle. The fact is, among the tens of thousands of Iskandar's men, Hephaestion is the one general whose name shines brightest. However, if her true identity was not Hephaistion, but the double of the king—"

    “—I said shut up!”

    “Add, consume!”

    Breathlessly, I slash at her with the Grim Reaper. If Faker is a magus from the Age of the Gods, then she will be able to use it without fail. That would be like reducing the chances of us winning, which is already near nil, to begin with, down to a complete zero.

    Thankfully, it seemed that as long as she continued to absorb magic power, she would not be able to use her magic.

    But instead, the velocity towards me was increasing more than ever.

    "Yippeeeeeeee! This is amazing! I don't care about the quantity, but this quality of magic power is rarely seen in the modern world!"

    I can see that Master’s words have made her go into a state of rage.

    Otherwise, she would not have used the same move a second or third time when her magic had been nullified the first time. However, even so, there would be no fourth time. Having given up on magic, she returned to her sword and struck back at twice the speed of ours.

    The core of my body was hot and tingly.

    My Magic Circuits, running at a higher level than usual, have boosted my muscular strength, agility, and senses to a whole new level. No, surely there is more to it than that. The warrior spirit of the hero before me was blowing me away, making me realize that I couldn't afford to be frightened by my own strangeness.

    Behind me, I heard the voice of Master.

    "You would have continuously spread false information about what Iskandar looked like in order to avoid curses. No, in fact, you probably even acted in Iskandar's name. Therefore, the image of Iskandar passed down to posterity was mixed with a lot of what was really you."

    Black hair.

    Gold and silver Heterochromia.

    A small body for a man.

    Suppose they were entirely due to intelligence operations at the time?

    No wonder Iskandar took her with him on his many battles. Whether on an expedition against the ancient magic of Egypt or against the hereditary magic of India, she was the conqueror's trump card for protection.

    And, because it was a trump card, her true identity was concealed.

    Master is now exposing the secret that Faker had kept until his death, or rather, even after her death. It could even be called an incision. I realized that I was barely able to withstand the onslaught of this Heroic Spirit only because of the cruelty of his words.

    “...It’s a real dismantling, eh?”

    Heartless, who was watching, suddenly muttered.

    Master's words dismantle her mystery. Upon observing the scene, Heartless gave it that name. Master’s method was to dismantle.

    Suddenly, Faker took a big step back.

    She tried to catch up with him but spun back with something that was not a spell.

    “...I must correct you.”

    A brooding voice broke out from the female Heroic Spirit.

    "If only for an impression, we used to really look alike. At least enough to be his representative. The fact that I was made to be a substitute was only an extension of that. ...It was my brother who was mistaken by the mother of Darius."

    Faker says, baring her teeth like fangs.

    Her eyes were filled with intense hatred. Eyes that were a mixture of murderous intent and hostility blended into a black ball that absorbed all light.

    "Ah, this no longer makes any sense. If you want to hear it so badly, I'll tell you. I didn't have a name to begin with," she confessed.

    “...No, name?”

    "I was made to be a body double of the king, but I had no unique name, for, without a unique name, I would be a complete body double of the king. I could be a flawless shield against any and all curses that might befall king Iskandar. Hahaha, Olympias raised my brother to be a general while drugging the young me to prevent my useless ego from being born."

    In magic, it is a taboo for private information to be divulged. In certain magical systems, it is said that the accuracy of curses increases dozens of times just by knowing a person's name.

    If so, then simply don’t name someone.

    She only needs to be an object that takes on the name of Iskandar when she is needed.

    A shiver ran down my spine. It was something similar to fear, but a little different. Perhaps it was something close to that wish that I would become King Arthur, who had died so long ago.

    "The king nevertheless tried many times to give me a name, but each time I strongly refused. When I needed a name other than that of the king, I borrowed the name of my brother Hephaestion. That is all there is to it. That's all there is to it, magus."

    "Well, that leaves one last question."

    Without missing a beat, Master interjected.

    "Why didn't you appear in the Ionioi Hetairoi?"

    Faker's visage becomes dyed with fury.

    Her blade accelerates into a seething murderous rage.

    Realising that my Grim Reaper could not deal with this, I returned Add to being a Great Shield.

    A thunderous roar resounded as the Great Shield crashed with her sword. The sound, which became a series of echoes due to the sheer velocity, resembled some kind of orchestra. A powerful blast struck to the core of my 'reinforced' body, making me grit down on my back teeth in order to hold my whole body together.

    "You said that the king wanted to give you a name!"

    Master shouted as he spat out blood.

    Although he was protected, the many reverberations over the entire rooftop were enough to open his wounds. I could faintly smell the scent of blood.

    "If that is so, then he couldn't have accepted your situation! He could not tolerate the fact that you were treated as a nameless thing! not be able to take his place if you did. No doubt, you were one of the few truly loyal subjects of King Iskandar. As such, the reason you were not in the 'Ionioi Hetairoi' is-"

    “Shut up!”

    With a roar, almost as if an oversized bell had been rung, my body was blown away.

    “(T-that was… too fast…!)

    The moment I thought of falling off the train, I felt pressure on my back. Caules, who had been 'reinforced' in advance, had been able to catch me. However, this meant that there was no one left to protect Master.

    “Master!”

    With my entire strength, I jumped.

    Faker's blade swung down towards Master's brain.

    "It is because you yourself hate the 'Ionioi Hetairoi'...!"

    Possibly, those words momentarily slowed the sword of the female Heroic Spirit.

    To seize that one moment, I threw Add in the Great Shield form. The crash of lightning explodes the entire rooftop. A ricocheting Add flies back to me, drawn by my magical energy. Master was thrown back from the other side of the rising dust, and his body stopped halfway across the train.

    His glasses, which had fallen from his eyes, fell from the train.

    There was so much sticky blood that it looked like a puddle.

    I watched with bewilderment as my master slowly picked himself up, clutching his knees.

     And then, “You have stood proudly,” Heartless murmured, impressed.

    "But I see now. Despite knowing the same Holy Grail War, there is a big difference between a spectator who has only witnessed its aftermath and a survivor who has actually experienced it. You certainly know how to deal with Heroic Spirits. It seems you know how to face them as they are, which is a strength that cannot be measured by modern wisdom."

    “I’ve been through many things.”

    The master laughed bitterly, exuding pain.

    I can't say whether it was emotional or physical pain.

    Heartless nodded a few times, then scratched his cheek.

    "Unless I do something about you, Faker won't let me leave this place. As you can imagine, I can't just use another Command Seal here because if I do, our relationship will become irreparably damaged. Making an enemy of you has become quite a pain."

    Even at this stage, the red-haired man laughed softly.

    "So it can't be helped. Any more of this is an obstacle, so allow me to put up a fight as well."

    "You as well?"

    "Yes, just like this."

    Heartless's hands gently pressed against where his heart should be.

    “Turn around, my heart,” he sang a melody.

    Suddenly, I felt something turn inside out. Not me, but outside of me. I felt nauseous for a moment, as though the world had inverted its skin.

    I could sense its direction, too.

    In the darkness of the night, in the path of a travelling train, something was born.

    “Now, what?”

    “It’s not quite an imaginary element, but I can bring out something similar to that. Instead of a heart.”

    Quietly, Heartless murmured.

    In place of what was lost, there was also something gained. It is likely something different from normal magic. Invoked by means of incantation and gesture, and with the driving force of a spell or magic foundation, it calls forth a falsely similar series of phenomena.

    An irreplaceable perk acquired in exchange for being kidnapped by fairies.

    "Incidentally, did you really think that the Child of Einnashe had vanished so easily? Even if the child is no match for the main body, it is still a Great Mystery that won't be destroyed so easily."

    The magic that swelled up at the end of the track gave me a sense of déjà vu.

    It was a feeling I had experienced only half a day before.

    "Heartless...!"

    "I secretly retrieved the damaged nucleus of the Child of Einnashe and sealed it up in an imaginary pocket. Just a few moments ago, I liberated it in front of this train. After all, they're tough to kill, to begin with. So the more they are hurt, the more they will charge after their enemies."

    With these words, a strange noise echoed.

    Coming from the other side of the tracks were tendril-like tree branches. Its icy exterior was unchanged, yet its bark was clearly visible, pulsating with blood-red vermilion, it was as if the wounded Child of Einnashe was morphing into a new form under the extreme conditions it was under.

    "It has changed from before. Under these circumstances, it has become starved more than ever. Now, what is the thing that has the most magical power in the vicinity?"

    Such a thing was obvious.

    The Rail Zeppelin was now being devoured by the Child of Einnashe as it was wrapped tightly in the icy branches.

    *********

    Hishiri quietly put her glasses back on.

    The deadly struggle taking place on the roof of the train was reaching her with a terrific roar. However, apart from that, she also felt the emergence of a formidable magical force.

    She moved closer to the elegantly decorated window and opened it briskly.

    On the other side of the track, she sees a strange, tentacle-like branch stirring.

    "Well, well.'

    Hishiri shakes her head in dismay.

    "Yes. I knew he must be up to something, but I didn't think he was planning to reuse the Child of Einnashe. As expected of the former dean, I should say."

    "You mean, the Child of Einnashe...?! It got out?!"

    The bound Yvette reacted to her words.

    Her eyes were sealed shut, so she had no way of checking, but it seemed that she had not forgotten the horror she had experienced in the previous breakout.

    "──By no means are you calling the Department of Law inept, are you?"

    Reines teased in amusement.

    After having exercised flight magic from London to here, Reines had almost no reserves of magical power left. That is why she had given up on helping her step-brother, Lord El-Melloi II, but that was also why she felt a strong sense... to at least do something about this situation.

    In contrast, Hishiri turned to one magus.

    "In the meantime, we will need your help, Jean-Mario."

    "Um, me?!"

    Jean-Mario held his hands up as high as he could and made a hold-up-like motion with his head. His expression was not as carefree as his gestures, but rather he looked so gaunt that he looked as if he might die at any moment.

    "Your familiar would be great for checking the situation. I mean, you've likely already done that anyway."

    "...Well, at least about eighty-seven of them anyway."

    Small jet-black particles spilt from his sleeve.

    Miniscule spiders were slipping outwards through gaps in the train. He had observed many things with these familiars before the auction, so this kind of preparation would have been natural for him.

    "Then, first of all, we need to deploy as many wards as possible outside the train─"

    "...That serves no purpose, Miss Department of Law."

    And then, a voice crept across the carpet in a low tone.

    Hishiri looks back.

    The silver-haired girl had spoken with a depressed look on her face.

    "Is there a problem?"

    "I have been looking through the Ley Lines before you. This is the most effective technique. I can do this best if it is the Child of Einnashe we're dealing with."

    "I see, so you can see from the sky using the Ley Lines. I'll leave it to you then. Is that fine with you?"

    The girl nodded, "...I'll be fine."

    Her gaze was fixed on the head of Trisha Fellows, which was still on the carpet after the disappearance of Heartless and his Servant. Having picked up the head and gently placed it on a chair, Olga Marie faced it for a moment.

    "...Yeah. I… surely, want to do this."

    She whispered to herself.

    Hishiri then went on to question the conductor.

    "What are you going to do about this?"

    "We will not interfere with a quarrel between magi."

    The conductor spoke in his usual emotionless voice.

    "However, we cannot allow Rail Zeppelin to be disgraced any further. Particularly if it is a bastard child of the Dead, who is the same as us. We shall deal with this one in our own way."

    He answered firmly and spun on his heel. They probably have their own ideals. A fight based on their own beliefs, different from those of the magi, yet equal in their own way.

    Once he was seen off,

    “...Hey, Mr Hishiri, can I do a plea bargain?"

    Yvette cut in.

    She was tied up behind her back, and her tone was very light. It was as if to say, 'Yesterday I ate your lunch without your permission, so today I'm going to share mine with you.'

    "A plea bargain, is it?"

    "Yes. To begin with, I wasn't involved in the summoning of Heartless' Servant, was I? I didn't go along with him when he asked me, and I don't really think it would be that much of a problem from the Clock Tower's perspective if I just score some points here, do you?"

    “...Fine.”

    Hishiri shifted her palm as if to look up.

    At the touch of a gentle breeze, the fabric that had sealed Yvette was untied and lay at her feet.

    "Fufufufu. You foolish sorceress, you have freed my seal! ...Wait, don't leave me in the dark! Don't look so serious and leave without me! You'll miss me! Oh, God, she can be so flippant. Ah, yes, Melvin, I helped you with the Child of Einnashe before, so you can let me go, right? Please!"

    "I have no choice. I'll help you. It seems you're involved with Waver too."

    Having been forced into the conversation, Melvin shrugged his shoulders.

    However, the young man felt that he had no choice but to agree with her.

    Melvin opened the violin case he had been carrying all along.

    The contents appeared to be a nondescript violin, just as one might imagine. With the violin poised on his shoulder, the pure white young man spoke in a very condescending manner.

    "I very rarely use tuning devices for free unless my mum asks me to. So I urge you to listen now with an open mind."

    The magi looked at their roles and were about to make their move.

    However.

    Another figure took advantage of the opportunity and came running in.

    It ran with astonishing speed into the Pandemonium Room and ripped the transparent tube that had been left on the platform next to the auctioneer, who was still standing.

    "The Mystic Eyes of, Transience....!"

    A mournful voice echoed through the carriage.


  11. #31
    Thanks for the update! Keep up the great work!

  12. #32

    Chapter 5, part 3

    Chapter 5, part 3



    I found myself staring in a stupor at the sight of the Child of Einnashe's approach.

    It was like a tsunami of earth. Branches of icy trees writhed and slithered, transforming into a swarm of fearsome serpents that surged toward the Rail Zeppelin. Nothing could compare to the sheer volume of branches that attacked us now, even compared to earlier in the forest of ice and snow when we tried to escape using Black Keys. The deadly Child of Einnashe was using up its entire existence just to try and devour the train.

    (Then...)

    My throat becomes dry.

    I can't help it. Even if I were to release the treasure hidden in Add, burning all of it away would be impossible. I could feel despair robbing the strength out of all five of my senses.

    "That's enough, Faker," Heartless called out.

    Even at this late hour, his smile was still soft.

    "Leave the rest to the Child of Einnashe. Otherwise, as you are unmatched here in magical power, you will be targeted first. It's somewhat regrettable, but if the Child of Einnashe simply devours the train, then even the death of a Lord can be disguised for a while as an accident."

    "...Fine."

    The female Heroic Spirit turned on her heel.

    “Wait, Faker,” Master called out to her once again. “I’m not done talking.”

    “How much more is your tongue going to wag? You are going to be swallowed up by the forest anyway. Why don’t you desperately try to hold onto your life until the very end?”

    “That’s not going to happen. Not as long as you claim to hate the king’s army.”

    Faker glanced at him, and Master's lips lifted in a scowl with a pale face.

    “After all, I am also a vassal of that king.”

    “You dare to say that still!”

    Her words spat out like flames.

    Giri, the sound of teeth gnashing was surprisingly loud. Her bewitching gold and silver heterochromatic Mystic Eyes looked upon Master with what looked like a shark’s murderous intent.

    “Ah, how I loathe that army of the king!”

    Her human form roared like a raging fire.

    “I hate those fools that destroyed everything the king built. As well as any who seek to join their ranks! And Olympias, who taught me magic and tried to manipulate the king! And my brother, who knows how it ended, yet still lines up with those fools!”

    “...Ah, that explains it.”

    Master squinted at Faker’s indignation.

    “The reason you did not show up in the ‘Ionioi Hetairoi’ is because you ignored the call.”

    It was a terribly simple conclusion.

    It was not a mystery, but rather an obvious reason.

    "The earth is round, and there is no such thing as an endless ocean of wonder. When they find that out, I wonder what kind of bitter thing they mutter. The king and his subordinates alike. Since the world gives you the knowledge you need when you are summoned, it is no surprise that there are some vassals that are transformed by this knowledge. I don't believe any of us wanted to know about the Wars of the Diadochi that broke out to succeed the king."

    Yes, even I know this.

    If you look at history, the end of Iskandar is clear.

    When his expedition had finally ended in disaster, and he was on the verge of dying from fever, the king made a last will and testament that 'the mightiest of the mighty shall reign over the empire.' Although I do not know his exact intentions, it was obvious from the outset what would happen next.

    That was the Successor Diadochoi War.

    The empire, which boasted an area of territory outstanding even in the full history of mankind, was quickly divided, with influential generals fighting amongst each other. Among them was even his mother, Olympias, and war raged for decades. Those who had once aimed for the most beautiful ocean in the world forgot about such foolish fantasies and fought each other to the death, causing massacre after massacre, leading to a war that would last until their children and grandchildren's generation.

     What could be a more cruel end to a dream than this?

    "If you were the king's substitute, then you must have died before he did. You would never have known of the Wars of the Diadochi before you died. When we first met, you rubbed me the wrong way by comparing me to Eumenes, Aristotle, and so forth. So you hated all of them."

    “That’s exactly right.”

    Faker promptly states.

    Even if the king approves, she does not approve.

    Even if the king forgave it, she does not forgive..

    One could say that this great anger was aimed at all of the king's men, who numbered in the tens of thousands. No, perhaps even the king himself, who allowed them to cause such an end.

    Then, something odd happened. One of the eyebrows of the female heroine furrowed in interest.

    “Fu, fu… fufufufu… fufufufufufufufu…..”

    His voice spilt out into the cold air.

    A pause passed over the rooftop for a brief moment, as it seemed so out of place. My wounded master had started shaking his shoulders in a funny way.

    “What’s so funny?”

    "No, I just thought it was odd. How could a great king, who led such a huge expedition and held the loyalty of tens of thousands of soldiers, cause his own body double to become so pissed off that she would turn her back on him? Ah, for whatever reason, he never did have an endgame. Honestly, he might have actually had no talent."

    With a cough, he cleared his throat.

    He frowned faintly, as if in pain, then continued with, “thank you.”

    That response caused Faker to stop breathing.

    “...W-what…”

    "I've been pondering it all my life. There has not been a day in the last ten years that I have not been thinking about this. When I thought about going forward to where I needed to go to follow his back, I didn't know what I should do. After all, I was a talentless person and not a Heroic Spirit. All I can do is watch in a hapless manner as the talents of my disciples developed and flew past me."

    Master said slowly as if piling each word on top of the last.

    A decade that has been awfully difficult and compressed.

    "But I can say this with pride. Wherever and whenever I meet him, I can definitely boast about all this. I think I can be forgiven for repeating this story a few times. And if my rational mind doesn’t allow me to tell the same story, then a little help from alcohol would be nice. Ah, I never dreamt that an opportunity like this would ever present itself. How can I not thank you profusely?"

    “What are you, talking about?”

    “Hm? Ah, what I mean to say is,” Nodding in a natural way, Master continued. "I bet he wouldn’t be able to contain hearty laughter if I told him that I gave his favourite body double a good beating.."

    “...”

    Everybody went silent.

    The bold statement made even Heartless, not to mention myself and Caules, stop breathing.

    Faker, too, stiffened as if mesmerised by Mystic Eyes. As if the words of Master just now were a lost great magic that no modern magus could ever hope to match.

    Eventually.

    “You can never win against me.”

    As if grinding her teeth, Faker let her voice out.

    Master did not respond directly to these words but rather turned towards me.

    “Gray, could you help me for a second?”

    “...Yes!”

    I couldn't help but be impressed.

    How strong-minded he is. How stubborn. How can this man, who smiles unyieldingly and tries to stand up, be so...

    (This is so… beautiful.)

    I wanted him to be seen. I wanted to go and tell him. To the 'king' that this man looks up to so much - to Iskandar, the Heroic Spirit who is etched in history, I wanted to show him what this man looks like now.

    I felt a surge of strength in my body, which I had thought had long since burned out.

    “If you would let me, Master,” Faker readjusted her sword.

    "I had intended to be loyal to you in this world, but I cannot overlook such provocations."

    “Ah~hah,” The red-haired magus sighed exaggeratedly.

    His blue suit fluttered in the blowing rooftop wind, scattering his lamentations into the darkness.

    "I knew this was going to happen; that's why I tried to stop it. However, it can't be helped. So let's get on—"

    As he was mid-sentence, something black suddenly stabbed him in the foot.

    The blade, with its unique form, made me stare wide-eyed.

    “A Black Key…!”

    A new figure appeared on that rooftop.

    An old man with a jet-black coat and a large scar on his face. He had his eyes tightly closed and was clasping three black keys in each of his hands.

    “How can you come after me if you are blind?”

    “No,” the old man said in refutation.

    His grey hair blew until it, too, came to rest on the cheeks of the man holding his black keys.

    "I got back what the auction took from me."

    His eyes suddenly opened.

    The Mystic Eyes had been forced back into Karabo's eye sockets. It was not a very careful transplant, as shown by each eye facing different directions.

    Obviously, they could not function as eyes in that way. However-

    "──Essentially, the removal and implantation of Mystic Eyes require the linking of the transplanter and recipient spiritually.”

    Speaking lowly, Master spoke.

    "A kind of psychosurgery. It's the removal and transplant of the link between the eyes and the body. Therefore, the original owner of the Mystic Eyes, even more so when it is less than a day since the operation, can still make use of those Mystic Eyes."

    Even if they can not be used for vision, they still function as Mystic Eyes…!

    Karabo’s Black Keys shot through the air.

    His combat skills were in a realm that I could never imitate. In terms of pure physical manipulation, it greatly surpassed even Faker's, who had lived in ancient times.

    “Don’t block it!”

    Faker dutifully followed Heartless' words.

    Certainly, their blades never crossed paths. Karabo and Faker's bodies intersected for just a moment and then separated again.

    Yet, it was just a fraction of a second too late, as Faker's sword was severed.

    "Oh, I see. So this is how it looks."

    Karabo laughed.

    Now, that's not to say that his Karabo's Black Key was so sharp that it delayed the cutting. Evidently, the sword was cut in half at different times. It worked out like a film with dropped frames, jumping over the time axis.

    “It’s bubbles,” the old priest’s voice rumbled.

    Without giving Faker a chance, his body glided up to her. It was a smooth approach as if he had seized a gap in time. The Black Key that Karabo held with both hands roared with a speed that the Servant, who should be far superior in terms of simple physical ability, could not handle.

    The Servant was not his only foe.

    The branches of the Child of Einnashe that had reached the train were also cut down by the blade, which should not have reached it.

    “Ah, yes. That’s right. This world, is certainly made of bubbles.”

    His voice and tone were drastically different from Karabo's usual one.

    (...When he was being manipulated, Karabo…)

    It is likely different from a simple dual personality.

    It is likely that this is the repressed desires and emotions of Karabo.

    "Before the auction, I requested something from Miss Adashino. I asked if she could keep Karabo informed of every step of the auction, as well as what happened after."

    Master interjected.

    Then, I suppose that's the same reason why Karabo was freed from his restraints. When Karabo learned what had been going on, he realized that he had been manipulated for the past seven years, and he decided to fight. He retrieved his own Mystic Eyes and came to this rooftop.

    "I see. So there can be such a situation as this."

    Heartless said while laughing.

    “You have lost your normal sight, so you have become even more specialized in your Mystic Eyes. Now you can see things you normally could not with your normal personality, can’t you?”

    “Heartless…!”

    Karabo shot across the rooftop, his blade aimed at that smile.


    *********


    “The form of stars. The form of the sky. The form of gods. The form of me. Celestial bodies take hollow forms. Hollow forms from the void. The void forms gods.”

    A girl's chant echoes audibly throughout the train.

    Magecraft is, after all, the practice of rewriting the world.

    However, the rule is that the longer the bar count, the greater the depth of that rewriting, it is said that the human soul can only endure a ten-bar count. It is for this reason that it is sometimes referred to as the ten-count instantaneous agreement.

    Of course, prolonged rituals can greatly increase the scale and stability of magecraft, yet in terms of quality, this is where it hits its plateau. One could say that this is the limit of modern magecraft.

    Normally, this would be a large-scale ritual that would take several days to complete, involving the use of the ritual hall of the Aninusphere.

    At the moment, with the help of Melvin's tuning, it was taking shape at last. This was proof that the young blood-vomiting man's skills were outstanding.

    He was helped by Yvette as an assistant.

    She carefully focused her magic by scrutinising the general situation seen through Jean-Mario's familiars by means of her Mystic Eye. Although the thought was that she was just a specialist in Mystic Eyes, her support turned out to be down to the most minute detail.

    (Is it because of the El-Melloi classroom…?)

    Does the training of the Lord not only develop the characteristics of the students, but also influence this aspect of teamwork? Even so, betrayal is an inevitable part of the Clock Tower, yet his teachings must somehow be connected to this.

    In addition, Melvin's music helped.

    Melvin's music had the added benefit of augmenting the workings of his magic engraving with its tonal tuning. According to some, this is the form of tuning that is most effective for magic performed by more than one person at once.

    Essentially, the use of many magic engravings and magic circuits is wasteful, even for train magi. This is true even for a single magus, so the waste is even greater when multiple magi work together on a single formula. Melvin's work seems to align the wavelength of each person, if only temporarily.

    She decides to surrender herself to the beautiful music, “...right. I see. I understand now.” In the middle of chanting, Olga Marie suddenly whispered to herself.

     Trisha's head was placed on a chair. She spoke surreptitiously to it with her eyes closed, keeping a high level of concentration.

    “I am allowed to be angry when it is natural to be, right?”

    The spell seemed to dance.

    Her activated magic circuits were even physically hot now, having received power from both her Od and the Mana in the air. The heat was so intense that an inexperienced magus would likely burn out their nerves.

    "Were you waiting for me to get angry one day? Trisha."

    There was no answer. There shouldn’t be.

    Although it may be possible, for example, to make the dead speak through necromancy, it could only be information from one who has already died, so it would be different than the thoughts when they were alive. Even if the girl's current thoughts are selfish and self-serving, she would not be able to verify them unless she were a magician.

    But, now she spins.

    She spins the magic she must perform.

    "Stars. Cosmos. Gods. Animus. Antrum. Universe. Anima, Animusphere─!"

    The magic─comes to fruition.







    Sorry for the wait. I've been busy with both job interviews as well as of course, taking some winter break time.

  13. #33
    Break time is always a good thing to do.

    Thank you for translating!

  14. #34
    Thanks for translating!

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