421 Magi Craft Meister
13 Stronghold Enhancement Arc
The party sat around a large table. The Marquess sat at the head of the table with Jin to his left and Reinhardt to his right. Berthie sat next to Jin. Elsa sat next to Reinhardt. Saki and Karen sat across from the Marquess.
Reiko, Noir, Neon, Edgar, and Lisa stood behind their respective masters. Mine stood behind Elsa, alongside Edgar.
As soon as everyone settled down in their seats, the butler brought tea. It was a fragrant green tea.
Well, the letter delivered by the post rider didn’t mention any details. But would it be all right to assume your purpose of visiting is for my sympathy?”
“Yes, Marquess. That’s the main reason for our visit. In line with this, there’s a gift from Elsa.”
“Hmm, what is it?”
“Please take a look at this first.”
When Jin glanced over, Elsa took off the coat that Lisa was wearing.
The Marquess widened his eyes. Karen, the butler, and the servants who were there were also breathtaking.
“… Her name is Lisa. She’s an Automata I created.”
“My name is Lisa.”
Lisa bowed normally instead of with courtesy since she was a maiden Automata.
Everyone who saw her the first time had their eyes nailed to her gestures and appearance.
“… I created her to take care of her surroundings. Did you like it?”
Elsa spoke in a lower tone than usual. After all, her self-consciousness regarding how hard to deal with the Marquess had not been wiped out yet.
“Oh, oh, I like her! Her name is Lisa, you said? Are you giving this child to me?”
“Yes, if you like her.”
“Of course, I do! She’s cute.”
“Master, I’ll be in your care.”
“Lisa, do your best, okay?”
“Yes, Miss Creator.”
Thus, Lisa became an Automata of the Marquess’ family.
The Marquess took her hand and said,
“I’ll be in your care as well, Lisa.”
The Marquess realized that her hand was warm, so he asked Elsa about it.
“… Yes, Lisa’s body temperature is comparable to humans.”
“Oh, is that right?”
Karen raised her voice in astonishment. It was uncommon for Automatas to possess warm body temperature.
“Hmm, Elsa, you’ve become a really good Magi engineer …. Is it the result of becoming Jin’s apprentice?”
After sipping his tea, Jin decided to carry out the other matter at hand.
“Your Excellency, may I speak with you privately? I have something to report.”
“Hmm? … I understand. You guys, please leave the room until I call upon you.”
“Thank you very much.”
The butler and employees went out of the living room. All that remained were Jin, Reinhardt, Berthie, Elsa, Mine, Saki, Karen, and the Marquess.
“Is this okay?”
“Yes, thank you. … Then, I’ll start the report. I found the criminal who poisoned Your Excellency.”
“What? Even though the security knights of the empire haven’t been able to identify the culprit yet? Who was it?”
“It was Marcus Grinwald.”
Jin mentioned the conclusion first.
“Marcus … you said?!”
The Marquess’ face became grim.
“Yes. And Marcus was being manipulated by someone. These are the two points that have been clearly proven.”
“… How did you find out?”
“First, I thoroughly investigated Marcus’ room in Viscount Georg Randol’s residence. I found traces of arsenic in the liquor that you like. Some other documents confirmed the poisoning.”
Jin explained. He then held his tongue while observing the Marquess’ reaction.
With his eyes closed, the Marquess appeared to be thinking about something. It was Saki who broke the silence.
“J-jin, is that true? I know of Marcus. Did he really poison grandfather?”
“Lord Jin! If that were true, then wouldn’t Viscount Georg Randol be the mastermind? Unforgivable!”
Karen’s remark was the reaction that Jin and Elsa wanted to avoid the most. That was the reason why Jin investigated Marcus.
“… Karen, please calm down.”
As Jin was trying to explain in more detail, the Marquess stopped her. With his eyes still closed, he spoke of the past.
“… I know that the Viscount was very ambitious in advancing his career. It would be fine as long as he was doing it for the country. At least, I assumed so and treated it that way.”
Perhaps because of his age, the Marquess was calm.
“… The Viscount knew I wanted Elsa to be my wife, so he offered to arrange the engagement. The liquor he brought at the time was really delicious. So when I mentioned that to him, he started to send me the liquor regularly ….”
The Marquess opened his eyes after finishing his sentence.
“The one bringing the liquor to me was always Marcus Grinwald.”
“Regarding the liquor, do you have any left? Investigating it would be able to get more concrete proof.”
The Marquess shook his head at Jin’s remarks.
“… I don’t have any left. I love liquor, so I drink it alone as soon as I received it.”
After hearing that statement, Jin deduced that his cirrhosis could have been due to his consumption of alcohol.
“So he was planning for Elsa to marry my father then poison him to death. And then take over the house and position?! That’s even more unforgivable!!”
Karen was so riled up that she appeared to be ready to storm out of the room at any moment. The Marquess calmed her down.
“Karen, don’t be so emotional. You won’t be able to see things objectively.”
As expected of someone who was once held a vice-admiral position, the Marquess was still calm upon learning such disturbing information.
“I find the Viscount’s idea was a little strange. If he wanted to poison me, it would make more sense to do so after Elsa and I got married. It would make even more sense if he did that after Elsa had a child.”
The Marquess’ insight was sharp. Karen, who was losing her temper, was also convinced.
“W-well, I guess what father said is right.”
“Yes, that’s right. The poisoning was at Marcus’ discretion.”
Through his eyes, the Marquess eloquently asked how Jin could know about that. Jin paused for a moment, and then decided to speak honestly with the Marquess.
“In Magi Engineering, there is something called Transinfo. It was originally for giving golems and Automatas cognition.”
“Oh, that’s interesting.”
The Marquess appeared to be interested in magic he heard for the first time.
“Only those with rare talents could utilize it.”
Jin never failed to remind others regarding this fact.
“That being said, I’m able to utilize it. So, I transcribed Marcus’ memory and examined it. Human’s memory is extensive, so it’s impossible to examine every detail of the memory. However, I can understand the important points.”
“I see. I guess memories won’t be able to lie.”
“That’s correct. Former Viscount Georg Randol was involved in everything else but this poisoning matter.”
The Marquess was silent for a moment after hearing Jin’s explanation. He eventually spoke slowly.
“… I guess I have to reflect upon the fact that I was taken advantage of. So what are Marcus and Georg doing?”
“Well, Marcus has been captured, but is currently unconscious.”
Jin also explained the condition of the former Viscount Georg Randol.
“… So was the bleeding in the brain caused his altered personality?”
Karen had a confused expression.
“Hmm, it’s extremely rare, but I think I’ve heard about a serious head injury that altered the personality.”
Many years of military life, the Marquess understood.
“The Viscount’s family is ruined. His eldest son, Moritz, is in the custody of Earl Randol’s family, and his second son, Fritz, is still serving the army. And Elsa is in Reinhardt’s custody.”
Finally, Jin finished his explanation with the official notification from the kingdom.
“… I understand. Is that the reason why you brought Lisa so to scratch my back?”
“N-no, not at all.”
Jin was flustered because the Marquess saw through everything. Elsa seemed to be stumped as well.
“Haha, that’s quite all right. It’s natural for children to feel for their parents. But Elsa, I hope you will be happy. I recommend building another house.”
What he meant by another house was a family other than the Randol’s.
“Well, if you want, I adopt you as my daughter. But perhaps you don’t want that.”
Elsa nodded silently. And then she started speaking.
“… I’m fine being a commoner. Just Elsa.”
However, the Marquess shook his head when hearing her humble response.
“No, your ability … as a Magi Engineer is first-class. You’re also a first-class healer. Having you become a commoner is a great national loss. Her Majesty probably thinks so, too.”
“I wonder about that.
“Absolutely. … Well, let’s leave that part to Her Majesty. Have you come to say everything you wanted to convey?”
The Marquess observed Jin with keen eyes.
“Not quite. There’s one more thing. It’s about the ‘demons’.”
“Ji-Jin, did you say demons? What the hell …?!”
“He said demons! This is bad!”
Once again, the Marquess calmed both Saki and Karen who were panicking. Reinhardt and the others already heard about that matter, so they listened calmly.
“Saki, Karen. Calm down for a bit. Let’s hear Jin’s explanation.”
The two of them held their tongues after the Marquess’ directives. The Marquess asked Jin to carry on.
“Okay, Lord Jin, please enlighten us.”
“All right, then ….”
Jin told the story.
It was about the “magic hectic fever” that struck Klein Kingdom. The demon that caused it was no other than “Lardus the Jester”.
Lardus’ two accomplices were Bemiarux and Dogmaloud.
Jin also talked about Marcosias who manipulated Marcus in the most recent incident.
All of them listened to Jin’s story silently.