Magi Craft Meister 494
15 Showdown With The Demons Arc
Jin had the Land Units he had summoned earlier take Lucas and Shion on stretchers to Nidou Castle.
Although that attracted some degree of attention from the villagers on the way, when they saw that Jin was involved, they all showed no further interest and returned to their respective everyday lives, so Jin was relieved.
The two children didn’t seem to be very surprised when they saw the Land Units. Jin, in turn, was surprised by this, but didn’t say anything about it.
Jin had two futon beds arranged in the guest room for their use.
“You can sleep here for the time being.”
“Ah, thank you very much.”
Jin decided to ask them his question again.
“Well, is there anything you’d like to talk about? I’m all ears.”
But the two of them still remained silent.
“Oh, well. No other way, I guess. I have a few things to ask you.”
Jin decided to try a different approach, and asked them another question.
“Do you know anything about demons?”
Both of them nearly jumped out of surprise.
“W-What’s up with that reaction?”
“I won’t let you lay a single finger on the young lady!”
Shion’s surprise caused Lucas to lose his temper, and he lashed out at Jin.
“I knew it. But you don’t have to act so scared. After all, I’ve already come across several other demons before.”
“…Lardus, Dogmaud, Bemiarouge, Marchosias, Androgias, Alciel. Do any of these names ring a bell to you?”
“Eeehhh!? Y-You… W-Who… What are you?”
Shion was paler than ever, but her eyes were fixated on Jin.
“I’m the Magi Craft Meister, Jin Nidou.”
“Magi Craft Meister? So it exists…?”
She seemed familiar with the concept of a Magi Craft Meister. Shion calmed down a bit, and continued with a seemingly deep emotion in his voice.
“…But I’ve heard that no one was there to take up the mantle after Adriana Balbora Ceci’s passing… so how come there is a Magi Craft Meister in this day and age?”
This time, Jin was the one taken by surprise.
“You know of my predecessor…? I mean, you’ve at least heard of her…”
“Predecessor? So you truly are…”
“Yes, Father is, without a doubt, Mother Adriana Balbora Ceci’s successor.”
Reiko, who had been silent until then, cut into the conversation. Shion stared at her.
“…A black-haired Automata… You really are the Magi Craft Meister…”
＊ ＊ ＊
Since Shion seemed to have calmed down a bit, Jin decided to wait and hear what she had to say.
“…Just as you say, Lord Jin, I’m a demon. My clan’s name is ‘Shinra’. My name is Shion of Shinra.”
“I am Lucas. I’m the young lady’s personal escort. Since I’m an attendant, I don’t have a clan name.”
“Are your clan names like surnames, in that they are hereditary?”
“Yes, that’s right. I guess it would be okay to put it that way.”
At this point, Jin decided to ask her about things he was wondering about regarding demons. This was because Shion seemed to be more inclined to talk about that.
“Say, are you really okay being in a place with so little Ether?”
“Y-Yes. But to tell you the truth, it is a bit tough…”
“Hmph! I’m only training myself! This is nothing…”
Lucas was putting up a brave front, but from his pale complexion, Jin could see that he was experiencing some degree of discomfort after all.
“I see. I expected as much. By the way, you’ve come from the northern continent, right? Through that narrow isthmus…”
“You! You know of the Great Isthmus of Pazdext?”
Jin had a general grasp of the northern hemisphere of this world, though it was limited to only its topography.
When it came to actual ground surveys, most of the land was still unexplored, as Jin didn’t know how dangerous it would be to conduct them, and thought it best to not risk triggering any unexpected conflict.
“Ah, I just know of its topography. So it’s called ‘Great Isthmus of Pazdext’, huh? So you do live in the northern continent, correct?”
“So you know that much… As expected from the Magi Craft Meister…”
Little by little, Shion’s stiff mouth began to loosen up.
“Yes, as you said, we live in the Gondoa Continent, on the other side of the Great Isthmus of Pazdext.”
The northern continent seemed to be called “Gondoa”. Through Reiko, Laojun was accumulating every piece of information in minute detail.
“So you don’t seem to have countries like we do here.”
Shion was eager to reply after being asked about how their society was organized.
“The clans group together to settle colony-like villages. The large clans have about 100 members, while the smaller ones have about 10 or so.”
Jin had to make an effort to hold the reins of his excitement after learning such valuable information.
Then, he asked the one question that would pierce the heart of the topic.
“Are the demons planning to attack again?”
As expected, Shion couldn’t answer that immediately. However, instead of her, Lucas lashed out in anger once again.
“What do you take us for!? That’s something that some clans do of their own accord!”
At Shion’s warning, Lucas held his tongue.
“…Like Lucas just said, not all of us have a desire for conflict. Though there are some powerful factions among the larger clans who call themselves “radical” and “extremists”, and they seem to be scheming something.”
It seemed that, as suspected, not all demons were the same.
There were still a lot of things Jin wanted to ask them, but he decided to let them rest for now, and called Belle to bring some special Hourai Island pelshika juice.
“Thank you very much. Please drink this and rest.”
Since he had enough juice for the three of them, Jin first took a sip to show them it was safe. Seeing that, Shion took a cup in her hand. Lucas seemed to have wanted to say something, but still took a sip before her.
“Delicious… Wait, this…”
“Young lady, our magic…”
The juice had more Ether in it than the medicine they had been given at Sally’s clinic. Both Lucas and Shion seemed to be in a daze as they drank up.
Seeing that, Reiko prepared herself for battle. She put herself on guard, in case the two became aggressive after their magical power had returned. Of course, the same was also true for the Covert Units around Jin.
But that turned out to be a needless concern, like kicking on a stone bridge before crossing it.
“Thank you. Ah, my body feels much better now.”
“…It was delicious. Thank you.”
Even after drinking all of it, their demeanor didn’t change one bit.
“This beverage has a large amount of Ether in it, right, Lord Jin?”
“That’s right. I thought it would be particularly effective on you.”
“It was. Thank you very much.”
Then, they returned to their conversation.
“Alright then. Can you tell me why you came to these lands?”
“…Yes. Um… …P-Pl… …lp us…”
“…Please help us!”
As her face suddenly became as if she was on the brink of tears, Shion instantly dropped to her knees, placed her hands on the ground, and lowered her face.
“I’m begging you! Please, help us!”
This took Jin by surprise, and he was rendered speechless for a brief moment.
“You! My lady is on her knees, and you say nothing!?”
As much as Lucas raised his voice in anger, it wouldn’t make Jin react any sooner.
“…Shion, can you please be a bit more specific? I can’t give you a response if you don’t tell me what you need help with.”
Shion’s face became completely red after realizing that she had just anxiously blurted that out without any context.