Magi Craft Meister 463
14 Family Trip Arc
14-14 The Selfish Siblings
“Hmm? Oh, what’s this? The design is different, but it’s probably been made by the same artisan!”
“I know, right?”
Beatrix and that young man started to talk to each other.
The young man was also blond and had green eyes. Since Beatrix had called him “Brother”, Elsa wondered if they were actual siblings.
But more important than that was the knife that Jin had given her.
“Um… Would you mind returning that to me?”
Nervously and hesitantly, Elsa approached the young man.
At that moment, the young man made a surprised face as he saw Elsa.
“Hm? …Oh, what a beautiful young lady! What’s your name? I’m Albert Bertin Du Silicanight.”
Although taken aback, Elsa answered uprightly as she told that man her name.
“Elsa, huh? That’s a nice name. Very Shouro-Empire-like.”
Albert took and kissed Elsa’s back of her left hand.
“W-What are you doing?”
Astonished, Elsa reflexively withdrew her hand. The Shouro Empire didn’t have a habit of kissing the back of a woman’s hand.
She had already been exposed to such customs in her experience of traveling to other countries with Reinhardt, but this time it was accompanied by a sense of physiological disgust.
After being touched by Albert’s lips, the back of her hand had an unpleasant feeling, almost as if a slug had just crawled over it. And yet, Albert didn’t seem to display the slightest hint of shame.
“My, my, you’re quite the naive young lady. Are you not familiar with the customs of the aristocracy? But that’s okay. I’ll teach you little by little.”
As Albert tried to reach out for Elsa’s hand again, Edgar gently stopped him.
“Excuse me. Could I ask you to please stop bothering my mistress?”
Albert had a stern look for a brief moment, but he soon changed into a distorted smile. His tone changed drastically.
“Hmm, you have quite the cheeky automata… But I guess you commoner women have a right to choose, huh? I’m 13th in line to succeed the throne, but I’ll treat you kindly, so you should consider yourself honored.”
“That is just your own perspective. My mistress has no desire for any of that.”
“Ha ha, I don’t care about that. What matters is that this is what I want!”
Albert raised his left hand.
In response to his gesture, ten soldiers appeared around him.
“Behold. These are my personal guards. Beato, let’s bring Lady Elsa with us. Then we can calmly ask her about the short sword.”
Beatrix let out a heavy sigh.
“As you wish, Brother.”
In the blink of an eye, 8 soldiers and a young man appeared next to her.
“Come now, Elsa. Let’s not force anyone to have to resort to violence.”
“…Lord Albert, do you really think such injustice will be tolerated?”
Stearleana, who couldn’t believe what was happening, quickly came to her senses and took a step forward to complain to Albert.
“Hmm? Umm… What was your name? I really don’t do well with middle-aged women’s names… Ah, I remember now. Stear… something or another, huh? Does a Magi Craftswoman like you have something to say to me?”
“This has nothing to do with social status. Injustice is injustice. That’s all.”
Albert laughed scornfully at her words.
“Ha ha, injustice, you say? Where, exactly? All I’m trying to do is to keep company with a woman I’m intrigued by. Isn’t it a great honor to be accompanied by someone like me?”
“That, again, is your own perspective. There are many girls who dislike that type of thing.”
“That’s precisely why I don’t care. These streets are my father’s territory, and I’m his eldest son. Everything my father has is mine as well by right, so how exactly am I doing anything wrong here?”
Words didn’t seem to work with him. Stearleana was fed up with just how much of a fool this rumored “Selfish Prince” really was.
“Okay, I think that’s enough of this joke. Let’s go, Elsa.”
“Huh? Do we really have to get a little rough here?”
In response to Albert’s words, one of his soldiers stepped forward.
“Mistress, please stay behind me.”
Edgar stood in front of Elsa, protecting her.
“Covert Units, you two protect Mistress. And deploy the barrier.”
Edgar stood in front of the armed soldiers and called out to Maron and Plum, the Covert Units who had been guarding Elsa without showing themselves.
In response to that, Maron and Plum appeared to Elsa’s left and right.
“Hmm? You had bodyguards? Ha ha, you aren’t just an average commoner after all. Interesting! I’ll ask you all about it once I’ve brought you home with me.”
Albert smiled as he spoke in a maniacal tone.
“You might have that cheeky automata with you, but all my guards are automata as well.”
The Kingdom of Celuroa was the most technologically advanced out of a small group of countries. They had the best automata and golem technology.
Many of their Magi Craftsmen have been taught by Donald Carou Alpha, the leading Magi Craftsman who once belonged to the Unifiers, and even after the Unifiers were gone, their technology remains.
“They’re custom made as well! First, let’s destroy that insolent automata.”
As Albert nodded towards them, one of his automata guards rushed on Edgar.
Since they were in the city, Albert’s guards were only armed with a small buckler on their left hand and a short sword on their waist, but the unarmed Edgar was still at a disadvantage.
The guard didn’t draw its sword, but instead went for a bash attack with its buckler.
Edgar cleverly dodged the blow, caught its attacker’s arm, and using its momentum, twisted it behind its body. It was a martial art commonly taught to knights in the Shouro Empire.
Automata, which behave like humans, had a range of motion of joints that was similar to that of humans. Therefore, techniques used in human hand-to-hand combat were effective against them.
Automatas can put a heavy load on their wrists and elbows, but they don’t feel pain. Therefore, the guard simply tried to force its own arm free from Edgar’s lock.
However, doing that while its arm was being twisted hadn’t been the right choice. A heavy load was applied to the elbow joint, and although it managed to shake it off, it suffered great damage while doing so. The guard’s left shoulder broke, and hung from its half-disconnected joint.
Albert apparently was more than just a selfish prince, as he instantly recognized how dangerous Edgar was by seeing him fight.
“Four of you, attack him together.”
Three more guards rushed on Edgar. They came at him in all directions.
Back in the Shouro Empire, Edgar had taken on two puppet soldiers owned by Elsa’s father Georg, but these automata guards were different.
Edgar was able to easily dodge the attacks by the first two of them, but the third’s attack shook his right shoulder. The impact caused him to slightly lose his stance, and as a result, the attack from the fourth guard, which should have been avoided at the last moment, struck him directly on his back.
As Edgar staggered forward, one of the automata guards kicked Edgar in the face. The automata guard behind him kicked his head after he had leaned backwards.
As the impact sent his head forward, a second kick came at his face.
However, Edgar caught its attacker’s foot with both hands, and half-twisting his body, threw himself at the guard behind him, tackling it with his back.
Still, his opponent was considerably heavy, so the impact only managed to make it stagger. Conversely, Edgar ended up being grabbed from behind.
Another automata guard approached the restrained Edgar and raised its right fist for an attack.
“Watch out, Edgar!”
However, Edgar used his legs to propel himself back, bent his knees, and used his backward momentum to kick forward with both legs, using his restrainer to support his body.
Naturally, the kick connects with Edgar’s rushing attacker. With the recoil, the guard that was restraining Edgar fell on its back.
The two automata fell on the ground, bouncing off each other. Twisting his body, Edgar freed himself from his restraint.
However, the remaining two automata guards finally pulled out their short swords.
“A-Are you going to go that far!?”
Saki had been dumbfoundedly watching the entire scene, but finally reacted. Elsa was being protected by her two Covert Units, so there was no need to worry about her. In that case…
“Ehr, go assist Edgar!”
Beatrix responds to her voice.
“Oh, you’re sending reinforcements? Then I shall do the same.”
With a sign of her hand, four of Beatrix’s personal automata guards took a step forward.
Ehr’s battle performance was slightly inferior compared to Edgar’s. The battle between Edgar and Ehr versus eight automata guards seemed to have a clear victor.
“Ugh! Jin! Come quickly!”
Before they realized, the passersby had already fled the area, and the shops had already closed their doors. Meanwhile, there were three people running towards them.
“…Is everyone okay?”
They were Jin, Hanna, and Reiko.
“Jin! Thank goodness…”
Elsa ran towards Jin, and Saki and Stearleana breathed out a sigh of relief.
“Hmm? Who’s that? …Stop attacking!”
Since an intruder had stepped in, the selfish siblings ordered their automata guards to stop attacking as a simple temporary ceasefire, and they came to a sudden halt.
“I heard the details from Reiko. Seems like you’ve had quite a rough time…”
The Covert Units used their built-in Mana Comm to contact Laojun, who then relayed the information about what was happening onto Reiko.
Upon learning of the situation, Jin and the others came running.
Jin’s complexion changed completely after finding that Edgar seemed to have sustained some damage.
“…Edgar? Are you fighting against those guys?”
“That’s right, Jin! That guy was trying to take Elsa with him, and when she refused, he tried to take her by force!”
Jin looked at Elsa, who was hiding behind him, and then at Albert. Then, he looked at Elsa’s knife, which Beatrix was still holding to herself.
“Reiko, first of all, retrieve that knife.”
Beatrix simply wasn’t quick enough to react, and right after hearing those words, Reiko had already snatched the knife away from her and instantly returned to Jin’s side.
“Well done. …You can’t take Elsa away with you anymore. Barrier…”
After noticing that the knife in her hand had disappeared and was now in the intruder’s hands, Beatrix cast a spell at Jin.
However, the spell was completely blocked before Jin and Elsa, and not a single bullet managed to reach them.
“…Hey, what’s the deal with you? Why are you shooting fire bullets at us all of a sudden?”
Hearing Jin’s words, Beatrix chuckled.
“You just stole my knife, that’s why!”
Jin was taken aback.
“…Wait, wait. This is Elsa’s knife, isn’t it? The only thief here is you.”
“Whaat!? How dare you call me a thief! Prepare yourself!”
“…Say, are these guys out of their mind or something?”
They seemed to be impervious to words. Jin turned to Stearleana, who was standing beside him, and asked her that question. In response, she shook her head with a disappointing look on her face.
“Well, I guess you can say they’re a bit exceptional…”