Magi Craft Meister 542
16 The Demons’ Mastermind Arc
16-21 Analyzing the Current State
“M-Mr…. No, Lord Jin, I’m truly sorry for what we have put you through… There are no words to express my regret!”
In the drawing room, Fabius, the chief of the Gospel clan, was literally on his knees as he apologized to Jin (‘s Substitute Doll).
“No, don’t worry about it.”
No matter how many words he employed in apologizing, it was nothing but a waste of time. That’s what Laojun, who was currently operating the Substitute Doll, thought.
“Let’s talk about more constructive matters, shall we?”
Jin then went on about how it was important to have all of those ‘needles’ –the ‘Agujas’– extracted.
“But how are you going to do that?”
“I’ll let some experts take care of that.”
Just as Jin said that, Reiko came into the room.
“Father, here they are.”
What Reiko had brought were two Automata, Nurses 1 and 2. They had been made by the real Jin at his workshop in Hourai Island.
Making the best use out of the data of Nurses Alpha to Gamma, these new models had the most optimized tactile control, reinforced analytic capabilities, and the ability to use the highest level of Healing Magic.
Their outer appearance, which had proven to be unpopular with some (?), had been completely renewed. To put it simply, they shared various features taken from Elsa, Sally, and Anne put together and split evenly between the two.
Very short platinum hair as if to reinforce their pure and clean look. A face with an expression that was filled with the broad-mindedness of a grown woman. A medium-built body that exhibited energetic movements.
Their pure white nurse clothes have been woven with Ground Spider threads, which are quite hard to get dirt on, and were sturdy enough to disinfect them by putting them through flames rather than by submerging them into boiling water.**
Equipped with the strength of 20 people, they could easily suppress unwilling, rampaging patients, and they could also use “Paralyze” and “Hypno”.
But their best selling point would be the Mini-Smith… no, the “Mini-Nurse” each of them had as their personal assistants, which allowed them to handle even the most minute medical treatments.
The 10-centimeter-tall Mini-Nurses were in charge of dealing with procedures at a very small level, which would be otherwise impossible for life-sized nurses.
Incidentally, when not needed, the Mini-Nurses would usually stand by inside the regular-sized Nurse Caps.
“Lord Jin, who are these ladies?”
Jin smiled at the visibly confused Fabius.
“These Automata specialize in medical care… erm, in healing.”
＊ ＊ ＊
Nurses 1 and 2 had learned the procedure to safely remove the “Agujas” devised by Elsa via “Transinfo”, so the treatment for ten people was completed in less than an hour.
Since Alectus had already had his “Agujas” removed, there were only 9 people left in the Gospel clan to go, but after including Belials of Kugutsu, who had been taken prisoner by Reiko’s party, the total was raised to ten.
“Lord Jin, I truly cannot thank you enough.”
Fabius had once again gone down on his knees.
“Oh, don’t worry about it, please stand up…”
The one controlling the Substitute Doll was Jin himself. The reason for this was the wanted to see for himself how Belial’s procedure had gone.
“I can imagine how the members of the Gospel clan will be after having their ‘Agujas’ removed, but I’m curious about how Belials has turned out to be?”
“He’s had a dramatic change. You’ll see in a moment.”
Fabius gave an order to Alectus, who was standing next to him. Alectus then left the drawing room and came back about two minutes later, joined by Belials.
“Mr. Jin, there are no words to describe how grateful I am for your help.”
Belials also bowed deeply toward Jin.
“I’m glad to see you’re fine. …I’m not doing this just to help the demons. My purpose is to prevent a war between demons and humans. Can you help me?”
Jin went for a straightforward approach. He believed that anyone who had been controlled by the “Agujas” would see where he’s coming from. And he was right.
“Absolutely. I will help you in any way I can.”
Then, Fabius also made an announcement.
“Lord Jin, though our help might not be worth much, you can count with all of us from the Gospel clan for whatever you need. Just say the word.”
“Thank you. Before anything else, I’d like to recount the current situation. Could you ask Istalis and the others to come here?”
It wasn’t that Istalis, Shion, Netros and Lucas had all just been relaxing in a separate room… They had been talking about oral traditions and legends passed down to both the Gospel and Shinra clans.
However, since the estrangement between clans still remained, Istalis and the others seemed to have been feeling as if they were being treated like members of an inferior clan the whole time.
Still, they didn’t seem to show any kind of hostility, and so Jin didn’t feel the need to cut into their conversation. Ann, who had been in the same room as Istalis and the others, simply relayed their conversation to Laojun without saying a word.
“Did you call us, Lord Jin?”
“You’ll help our grandfather too, right, Jin?”
Istalis and Shion arrived in the room, silently followed by Netros and Lucas. Finally, Ann came in last.
“We’re going to talk about that in this meeting.”
After they heard Jin say that, Istalis and Shion’s faces became a little brighter.
“First, let’s review what has happened so far.”
Jin asked Fabius, the leader of the Gospel clan, to briefly recount how they got their “Agujas” embedded into them.
“Understood. …We call ourselves the ‘Gospel’ clan because we sometimes receive words of advice from the ‘Origin’ clan.”
Those “words of advice” might have been seen as teachings or revelations from a “superior” clan, which is why they chose the word “Gospel” to name theirs.
“One such advice I once received spoke of a certain Magic Tool –or perhaps it would be better to call it an Artifact– that was apparently enshrined in the innermost part of this cave, and told me to retrieve it.”
Fabius then interrupted himself as if trying to recall something, and after putting his thoughts together for a few seconds, he resumed his speech.
“As if it had been some kind of portent to more advice being delivered to us, one of the ‘windows’ of that Magic Tool started to glow red all of a sudden. Was it about half a year ago? As the ‘window’ glowed red, I waited inside that room for the words of advice to arrive.
After a brief pause, Fabius continued.
“But instead of words of advice, what suddenly appeared was something that looked like a dwarf, that is, a very short person.”
Fabius then added that this “dwarf” might have teleported himself there.
“This ‘dwarf’ pointed something like a tube at me. Then, before I realized what was going on, I lost consciousness… When I came to, I realized that I had no choice but to do as ‘someone’ said.”
“That’s when they implanted the ‘Agujas’ on you, right?”
“That’s right. Then the ‘dwarf’ was gone. And yet, I could hear a mysterious voice inside my head, or rather, right behind this ear, that whispered to me ‘Implant the needles on your entire clan’.”
Fabius put his hand behind his ear, as if he could still hear that voice.
“At first, I kept saying that there was no way I could obey such stupid orders. I kept saying that… because that mysterious voice seemed able to hear my voice. But it didn’t seem that it could read my thoughts.”
“That’s one of the features of the ‘Aguja’ that was implanted behind your ear.”
“That’s right. …Then, as soon as I refused, I felt an intense, unbearable pain in my chest. I couldn’t breathe, and I fell on the floor and began to sweat.
As I felt my consciousness fading away, the pain finally subsided, and as soon as I started to feel relieved, the voice started commanding me again.”
With his shoulders dropped, Fabius then finished by saying that, eventually, he had no more strength left to struggle against that voice. Considering Fabius’ age, it was completely understandable.
“I found some more ‘Agujas’ in my pocket, as well as the same pipe-like tool that was used to paralyze me. …So I started by calling Alectus to my room, where I paralyzed him, and then –though I was completely disoriented– I managed to implant the ‘Agujas’ on him, following the voice’s instructions.”
Hanging his head out of shame, Fabius then added that the more allies he had, the easier it became to complete the task.
And in less than an entire day, all of the members of the Gospel clan had “Agujas” implanted on them.
“Also, I wasn’t constantly hearing that mysterious voice. Sometimes I wouldn’t hear it for as much as five days in a row. When you arrived, Lord Jin, I hadn’t heard the voice for several days. But that same night, the voice spoke to me again…”
According to Fabius, the voice had been very talkative that night.
“It talked a lot about you, Lord Jin. About how you were ‘easy to deal with’ and how we had to ‘put you down’.”
Having heard those words, Reiko’s face became a little tighter, while Fabius’ frankness and his own self-assessment caused Jin to laugh.
“By the way, what kind of ‘drug’ did you try to use on me?”
Though he had changed the topic, Jin thought about returning to the previous one whenever he could.
“Well, I don’t know what it is, but since it was in my pocket along with the ‘agujas’, I still have it. I’ll give it to you if you wish.”
“That would be a great help. I’d like to analyze it.”
Fabius then whispered into Alectus’ ear, who then promptly left the room. A little less than a minute later, he returned with a small bottle in his hand.
“This is it. The voice said that a single spoonful of this would be effective enough. But since you were the first one we ever tried using this on, we have no idea what would have actually happened.”
Upon receiving the bottle with the drug, Jin passed it onto Reiko. She would then use the Warp Gate in Capricorn 1 to send it over to Laojun.
“According to the ‘dwarf’, this drug weakens the will and makes it so you can be lured in by someone else’s words.”
Jin speculated that it was some kind of narcotic. At the same time, he thought that having this kind of drug widely distributed in the world would mean all kinds of trouble.
“I understand what the Gospel clan had to go through, so I guess I can say that you hold no actual hostility towards humankind, correct?”
Jin made special emphasis on that fact. And chief Fabius nodded in a big way.
“Of course! We’ve had enough of us having to dance in the palm of that ‘dwarf’… that ‘Nega-Doll’.”
“That’s good to hear. I’ll do everything I can to help you as well.”
At long last, Jin felt he was able to take the first step towards the main reason for him coming to the land of the demons.
“Well, before we talk about the Shinra clan…”
After glancing at Istalis and Shion, Jin looked at Belials.
“I’d first like to know about what happened with the Kugutsu clan.”
“Understood. I want our clan to be saved as well, Mr. Jin.”
Belials bowed at Jin, and then began to speak.