Magi Craft Meister 560
16 Resolution With The Demons Arc
As the evening closed in, the surviving demons, including Bafrosk –the chief of the Kaigyaku clan– began to gradually regain consciousness.
“What… What happened?”
“Bafrosk, are you awake?”
Jalardos, who had regained consciousness a while before him, looked into the face of Bafrosk, who was lying in the bed next to his.
“Jalardos… was it? What the hell happened?”
“You don’t remember?”
Bafrosk sat up straight in the bed, shook his head a few times, and groaned.
“…Ugh… That dwarf appeared out of nowhere… Then… he threw a silver ball? …I can’t remember anything past that.”
Bafrosk kept on groaning while holding his head, and Jalardos spoke in a soft voice.
“That thing was an Ether Stampede.”
“The Ether Stampede. The bane of us demons…”
Bafrosk was at a loss for words for a while. Eventually, he seemed to come to terms with that fact, and his voice regained its usual might.
“…But then, how did I survive it? How did you?”
“We were helped.
“One of the Automatas created by Jin, the Magi Craft Meister, happened to be there when it happened, and she managed to create a barrier that protected you, Belials, and me. Even so, the Ether Stampede was too powerful for the barrier, and we all ended up losing consciousness due to a lack of Ether.”
Bafrosk cast his eyes downward once again, deep in thought. He was trying to deny the fact that he had been helped by the fabled Magi Craft Meister.
However, along the way, he realized that there was a more pressing matter.
“T-That’s right! What happened to the other members of my clan!?”
Jalardos pondered for a moment about whether or not to tell him the truth, but he eventually figured that he would understand and chose to speak frankly.
“…20 people, including you, survived. The rest…”
“…O-Only 20? Out of the hundred demons in our Kaigyaku clan? What are you talking about? What about the chief of the Kyoran clan?”
The crestfallen Bafrosk held his head. Jalardos sympathized with his feelings so he didn’t say anything.
However, Bafrosk immediately raised his head as if his mind had done a 180 degree turn.
“…The one who did this… was that ‘dwarf’?”
“Yeah. His name is Nega-Doll 001. He’s been plotting to make humans and demons fight one another to the death. He’s our true enemy!”
A gloomy expression came over Bafrosk’s face.
“That’s what I’ve been trying to explain earlier, but our discussion turned into an uproar.”
Jalardos didn’t hesitate to remind Bafrosk about his clan’s attitude towards the discussion.
“…Tell me everything you came here to talk about. I’ll listen.”
Bafrosk’s voice was also coated with a gloomy undertone. Jalardos thought it would be a good chance to explain everything he knew to Bafrosk, who was deeply saddened by the events that had transpired but at the same time became more rational.
“Is it true that our ancestors came from the sky? And that Nega-Doll 001… I will never forgive him for what he’s done.”
A dark flame dwelled in Bafrosk’s eyes after hearing the facts, but Jalardos didn’t notice that.
“So what are you planning to do from now on?”
Pleased to see that Bafrosk had turned somewhat docile, Jalardos explained that a subordinate of Jin –the Magi Craft Meister– was currently looking for Nega-Doll 001’s base of operations.
“I see. The Magi Craft Meister seems to be a very capable person after all. He might be able to find him one day.”
With that said, Bafrosk laid down on the bed and closed his eyes. Not only he had to process everything that Jalardos had just told him, but his body wasn’t completely rested yet.
＊ ＊ ＊
Meanwhile, Laozi continued to lurk around the Control Room of Nega-Doll 001’s base.
(He teleported away and back here again in 2 seconds. That was very quick.)
And he continued observing him. During that time, he learned that the Ether Stampede had happened.
(He was probably trying to cause internal division among the radicals by framing My Lord for the attack. But we were fortunate that Ann and Bafrosk merely fainted and managed to survive.)
He had to consider the dangers of the Ether Stampede as well.
(Now that we have yet to establish what originates an Ether Stampede, neither Reiko nor I can make a move.)
There was no way to know how, when, or where would Nega-Doll 001 be able to throw another one of those silver balls that looked like a Magic Tool as a surprise attack and cause yet another Ether Stampede without their knowledge.
(We all need to work hard with My Lord to develop an appropriate countermeasure.)
Meanwhile, Laojun’s main unit worked with Jin, exploring various possibilities.
They started with a thorough checkup of Ann, who had been sent back to Hourai Island.
“…It seems that the surface of her Control Core has suffered some kind of erosion.”
“Meaning that the Ether that makes up the Magi Crystal was also affected.”
It could be said that having the Magi Formula carved inside the Magi Crystal with the technology from the previous Magi Craft Meister had been well worth the effort.
Jin decided to replace the entire Magi Device, including Ann’s Control Core, just in case.
“Things could’ve gotten much worse for Ann if the Ether Stampede had lasted longer… It seems that the barrier she deployed may have had some effect.”
Jin placed his hand over his chest and sighed in relief, saying he was glad that they didn’t lose Ann on that attack.
Next up was to analyze the Ether Stampede itself from the results of examining the corpses of the fallen demons.
They had recovered the silver ball as well, and found that it was completely empty save for a small amount of leftover dust.
Jin speculated that it was the remains of a Magi Crystal that had to be used up to activate the Ether Stampede contained inside the silver ball.
“Now, we would need to think about how the Ether Stampede would affect the human body.”
They knew that it was a spell capable of causing Ether to behave wildly.
It is known that a mage takes in the Ether in the air by breathing and transforms it into Mana inside their body.
This transformation from Ether into Mana doesn’t involve any special organ. It happens at a cellular level.
According to Laojun’s theory, just as mitochondria control the energy cycle called the TCA cycle and supply energy to living things, there is something that could be referred to as “Magi Mitochondria” in the cells of the mage that supplies Mana to their bodies.
It seems that the quality and quantity of these Magi Mitochondria determine the total amount of magical power of the mage.
But enough digression for now.
“Since the Magi Mitochondria in the cell are deeply connected to Ether, they are probably destroyed when Ether Stampede occurs. My hypothesis is that the cells will die as a result, causing the human body to perish as well.”
Jin seemed to agree with that hypothesis. There was currently nothing to deny it.
“Then, our next step is to investigate possible countermeasures.”
They would make this the highest of their priorities.
“Using Grand Dragon scales and hide to shield a Control Core should be effective to some extent.”
“Right, we can also try to use that together with the Mithril Silver we already use.”
That was probably still not enough in terms of preventing the Ether Stampede from damaging a Control Core, but it was better than not doing it.
“The Grand Dragon hide will also keep converting Mana into Ether, right?”
“Correct. Though it would have been more effective if it would convert the spell itself into Ether.”
They kept tossing ideas around for a while to no avail, and Jin was starting to feel that they were racking their brains in vain
But then, he suddenly came up with something.
“Hey, do you think No. 700672 would know anything about the Ether Stampede?”
“This was already discussed before, but I believe there is a high chance he does not know anything about it.”
“Right, but we could also hear his own opinion regarding the Ether Stampede.”
They were running out of time.
If they had a few more days, they could potentially analyze the Ether Stampede phenomenon in more detail, but time was of the essence at the moment.
“You know the coordinates of that room, correct?”
“Correct. Reiko and Ann already visited it, so I know the coordinates.”
“Okay, I’ll go ask him directly.”
“My Lord!? That’s too dangerous!”
But Jin denied it.
“He didn’t refuse to speak to Alectus about the ‘Fallen Ones’, right? In that case, I should be okay.”
“But you do know how Reiko is going to get when she hears that…”
“Ah, right. Contact Reiko and tell her to come back here for a moment.”
So Laojun contacted Reiko through the Mana Comm. And, as expected…
“Father, please refrain from doing such a dangerous thing.”
However, Jin’s curiosity wasn’t so weak that he would back down just yet.
“The Lands units are still there, right? They reported that there are no more markers there, and I’ll be wearing reinforced clothing. Also, you’ll be coming with me, Reiko. How does that sound?”
With that, Reiko reluctantly agreed with Jin’s plan, and immediately went back to Hourai Island via Warp Gate.
When she arrived, Laojun presented her with something that looked like a gun.
“Reiko, this is a special Transfer Gun. It has been adjusted to send its target to ‘Shinkai’, so please use it if My Lord finds himself in a situation of imminent danger.”
The idea was to transfer Jin back to “Shinkai” in the event of an emergency using that special Transfer Gun.
After taking all possible safety measures, Jin and Reiko used the transfer machine to teleport to the base where Servant No. 700672 was located.
“…So this is the inside of the fabled ‘Soaring Ship’, huh?”
Jin started to walk around the spaceship. The room they had arrived at had a lot of ‘windows’.
“We’ve been waiting for you, Master.”
Lands 31 through 40 and Smiths 11 through 20 were there to greet Jin.
“It’s good to see you, everyone. You’ve been doing a great job. Where’s the room of No. 700672?”
Jin was very interested in the Magi Machines he could find in this spaceship, but he had a job to do here first.
Reiko pointed at a section of a wall that seemed to have door-like seams.
“Wow, the gap between the wall and the door is so minuscule it’s almost impossible to see”
As he said that, Jin touched the surface of the door with his bare hand.
The door then opened silently, just as when Alectus touched it.
Jin stepped into the “White Room”.
“Who are you?”
Unlike the last time, the awakened “Servant No. 700672” asked for the intruders’ identity with a challenging voice.
“Please excuse our intrusion. I’m Jin Nidou. I’ve got something to ask you.”
Jin stood at the door, introduced himself and stated the purpose of his visit.
However, “Servant No. 700262”, who was sitting straight on his bed, squinted at Jin.
“You are the one who made that wonderful Automata.”
“Yes. Can you tell?”
“I can. I can feel a magical connection between you two. That Automata is willing to go to great lengths to protect you.”
Neige, the white girl by his bed, heard that and walked closer to the bed, snuggling up to No. 700672.
“So, what do you want to ask me?”
“Please, lend me the wisdom I’ll need so I can deal with Nega-Doll… no, with that ‘failure’.”