Magi Craft Meister 578
17 Resolution With The Demons Arc
A chilly wind began to blow on September 17th.
By this time, the demons had calmed down for the most part. However, there was still some anxiety left due to the fact that the whereabouts of both Lardus and Alciel were still unknown.
Since Laojun already knew Lardus’ magic pattern, he would have been able to find him with his Magi Radar, but…
“I cannot find Lardus’ magical reaction.”
This was a most abnormal situation.
“Either he is in a place where magical waves cannot pass through, or…”
Or he is no longer in this world, said Laojun.
In any case, now that he had accomplished what he had set out to do in the demon lands, Jin returned to the Shinra clan’s abode.
And this time around it wasn’t the Substitute Doll, but the real Jin himself.
Reiko and Laojun had finally given him the OK to be there himself since a pact had been struck, and there were no further signs of danger.
Of course, he had used Capricorn 1’s Warp Gate to switch places with the Substitute Doll.
Jin’s main motivation to come to the demon lands at this moment was so that he could see their artifacts with his own eyes, and touch them with his own hands.
“Oh, look at that…”
Now free to investigate to his heart’s content, Jin was amazed by an artifact named “photographic machine”.
Its structure was simple. It was basically the same as a camera. The light that passed through the lens would hit the film and form an image on “something”. Of course, it also had a shutter.
It was similar to those old-fashioned large cameras that used a glass dry plate.
Rather than the structure of the camera, Jin wanted to know more about the film, that is, the photosensitive agent.
It was old and deteriorated, degenerated, but the photosensitive agent seemed to be something similar to Magi Crystal powder.
A “dry plate” is a reactive plate that is made by flattening a crystal and coating it with a photosensitive agent.
Jin had come across some ideas about this photosensitive agent, so he decided he’d talk about it with Saki and Toa later.
Next was the “time display device”. It was similar to a table clock, but it had no minute or second hands, only a single hand that would tell the hour. Still, it was quite practical.
“Hmm? …The power that moves the hand…? And what’s this?”
“Father, is there something you don’t understand?”
“Ah, Reiko, have a ‘look’ at the relationship between this Magi Device and Ether for a bit.”
Jin pointed at the Magi Device, which seemed to be the heart of the time display.
“Understood. ‘Trace’…. This looks like it’s following the stream of Ether.”
“As I thought…. I still have some questions… but that’s okay. This ‘clock’ has a Magi device that seems to track the movement of the sun, so the sun’s position in the sky is displayed as the time.”
The clock’s core was able to detect the Ether emitted from the sun and turns in that direction, which in turn moves the hour hand.
For the purposes of telling the time, it was definitely a method without mistakes. However, if the device would be turned over, it would throw the display in disarray.
In this way, Jin was allowed to examine the artifacts of the ‘Shinra’ clan, and finished analyzing their structure.
“Have you finished, Jin?”
Shion came into the room, saying that the tea was ready.
“Oh, thank you. I’ll be right there.”
Shion, Istalis, and their mother Lorona were waiting for Jin.
“I brewed some of that tea you gave me, Jin. I wonder if I did it right?”
The tea that Jin had brought was the leaves of the “Tea Tree” of Kaina Village, also known as “Perhya”.
He had also brought some seedlings with him so that the demons had their own homegrown tea leaves. Shion and Istalis seemed to like it, so Jin recommended cultivating it in this continent as well.
“Yeah, it’s really good.”
After taking a sip, Jin shared his impressions.
“Oh, I’m glad.”
As Jin started to feel more relaxed, Shion turned towards him.
“…Hey, you’re going back home soon, right, Jin?”
“Yeah. In 2, maybe 3 more days.”
Shion’s face revealed a hint of loneliness.
Though Jin was for the most part unaware (actually, very unaware) in regards to romantic feelings, he was still sensitive to the feelings of younger children.
“But hey, I’ll come visit from time to time.”
Shion was glaring at Jin with doubtful eyes, as if suspecting that Jin had said that just to make her feel better.
“I can fly here.”
“…Ah, right, you have a blimp. You can definitely use that to come here now that it’s safe for you to do so.”
Shion’s mood improved instantly after understanding that Jin wasn’t lying to her about it.
“Oh, is the tea cold?”
“Ah, no, I can’t really handle hot food or drinks that well, so it’s better like this.”
After saying that, Jin drank about half of the tea in one go.
At that moment, he remembered the question he had been planning to ask them.
“By the way, Shion, Istaris, and Miss Lorona… I have a question for the three of you.”
“Yes, what is it?”
Lorona answered for the three of them in representation of her two daughters.
“Well, I heard from Shion that Lucas and Netros come from a race of servants. But I haven’t seen any other clans have servants like you do.”
“Ah, that’s right.”
Before Jin had finished saying everything, Shion nodded and began to speak.
“Just like Jin said, we of the Shinra clan are now the only ones who have servants. It seems that most of the clans used to have them, but…”
“Compared to us demons, servants have a shorter lifespan, so the only clan that still chooses to keep having them to this day is ours, the Shinra clan.”
Istalis took over Shion’s words and finished her explanation.
“Then, now, the servant race is…”
“Very small, yes. Only 10 of them remain.”
“Only 10, huh…”
It was a considerably low number of people for a race to even have a chance at survival, let alone thriving.
“Ah, this happens very rarely, but there are times when a demon has a child with their servant. But in most cases, the newborn child comes out with the characteristics of a demon.”
In the case of interracial reproduction, it seemed that the genes on the demon’s side would be the dominant ones.
Jin thought it was time to explain where he was trying to get to with his question.
“…Is that so? Actually, I was wondering where the servant race came from.”
The ancestors of the demons were the so-called “Originators” who had come from the planet Hale.
Then, after arriving on this planet Ars, the “Originators” mingled with the natives, which gave birth to the ones known as the “Fallen Ones”.
Most likely, the ones with the stronger “Originator” blood eventually became the demons, while those with the weaker blood became what was known as the humans of this world.
But what about the natives? There were no known settlements of this native race in this world. That fact led Jin to believe that this “servant race” might actually be this planet’s native race.
“…Of course, this is purely out of intellectual curiosity.”
Jin added that line after being done with his explanation.
“…I think your theory is correct.”
After a moment of silence, Lorona finally stated her opinion.
“According to the knowledge that has been passed down among us, the servant race was brought from the south.”
Jin nodded silently. The servants’ dark skin was not suitable for this northern land. He had also felt that the servants were a bit out of place living in such cold lands, and wondered if they weren’t better suited for the warmer, southern continent.
“Then, if I ever visit the southern land, I might meet new people of the same race as Netros and Lucas.”
Jin had set yet another goal for himself.
＊ ＊ ＊
Jin had come to see the zirconia deposit.
When he investigated the ore deposits with “Ground Search”, Jin found that they were distributed in a rather neat and geometric manner.
(I think the closest way to describe it would be as if a dome had been buried underground.)
Just like the dome cities that Jin had seen in science fiction, an artificial dome could have ended up turning into a buried cubic zirconia deposit.
That’s what Jin thought, but he didn’t say it out loud. He couldn’t even prove it to begin with. But it still was a valid explanation regarding why there was cubic zirconia buried here, since it wasn’t a formation that was known to occur naturally.
Then, he followed up with an additional speculation,
“There may be something deeper in the deposit, or rather, deeper underground.”
If it was a dome, it must have been protecting something.
However, thanks to his “Ground Search”, Jin had learned that one thing that was deeper underground was a formation of limestone rocks.
Jin theorized that it was probably the remains of a building that seemed to have been made out of something that resembled concrete.
“At the current mining pace, this reserves should last for at least 50 more years.”
Jin believed this would make for a fine commodity for trading. He also thought he would probably be able to synthesize it eventually.
“Ah, now that I’ve cleared some questions, I feel a little better.”
Jin straightened up his back and looked up at the darkening sky.
The wind felt a little cold against his skin.
As he turned around at the voice calling him, there he found Shion. With her hair fluttering in the evening breeze, she looked like she was sinking along with the setting sun.
“So… tomorrow you’re going back home, right?”
“Yeah. That’s the plan.”
“I see. …Thanks for everything you’ve done for us.”
As Shion cast her eyes downward and her sadness became evident in her voice, Jin cheerfully patted her head.
“Shion, you’re a very diligent student. I’m impressed.”
Shion was taken aback by the sudden compliment.
“Well, you explained various things during the meeting, didn’t you?”
“Ah, yes. But those were simply things I’ve read from the books you have in your castle, Jin.”
“Even so, understanding everything to that extent after reading it only once is truly amazing.”
This was Jin’s honest opinion. Shion’s face brightened after hearing that.
“Y-You think so?”
“Could it be that this amazing learning ability is a characteristic shared by all members of the ‘Shinra’ clan?”
“I don’t really know what’s so amazing about it, but I’ve heard that the name ‘Shinra’ apparently means something like ‘the knowledgeable’ so it was given to our clan because we know a lot of things.”
Jin took this chance to ask about something he had been wondering for some time.
“So, does that mean that all the clan names have that kind of meaning?”
“Uh… Hmm. You could say they do, but at the same time, not so much.”
Before Jin could ask her what she meant by that, Shion began to explain.
“A long time ago… Yes, when the clans were clearly divided, you would have been able to say that. Kugutsu means ‘the puppeteers”, and they are good with Enslavement Magic. Kyoran means ‘the frenzied’, and they are known for doing unthinkable things.”
“But now, there are marriages between different clans, so it doesn’t make much sense anymore.”
Jin understood that after all, as their blood thinned, the demons’ distinctive features seemed to thin out as well.
“But you seem to be very worthy of the name ‘Shinra’, Shion.”
Shion’s voice escaped her mouth in a rather half-witted tone after being taken by surprise.
“With your knowledge, you really look like someone who can lead the demons as a race once you become an adult.”
Shion’s face turned completely red.
“Wh-wh-wh-wh-whaaaaaaaat!? Y-You’ll get n-nowhere by p-praising meeee!”
Her reaction perfectly fit her girlish appearance.
“Alright. Make sure to do your best, not for me, but for your fellow demons.”
Having said that, Jin once again stroked Shion’s head.
Stars began to twinkle in the bright western sky, and the shortened autumn day would soon turn into night.