416 Magi Craft Meister
13 Stronghold Enhancement Arc
13-04 The Truth
Even after Moritz left the scene, the investigation in Marcus’s room continued.
“Brother Jin, what is this?”
Elsa seemed to have found something.
“Hmm? … What is this?”
It was a piece of torn parchment with characters written on it. But even Jin could not read them.
“Reiko, do you understand this?”
“One moment, please. … Understood. These are characters used by demons.”
“… Ask, ques, ichrutoo, fuchgumnas* … it says something was mixed with liquor and made someone drink it. I can’t make out any more words, because it’s torn.”
Reiko confirmed with Ann via Laojun. Ann could understand some demon words.
“Hmm, arsenic and liquor, and then this note. There is no doubt that Marcus made the Marquess drink liquor that was laced with arsenic. And we can assume Marcus is a demon.”
Hearing those facts for the first time, Reinhardt was the most flabbergasted. Elsa and Mine were not as surprised.
Elsa had a rough idea from her previous confrontation with Marcus. She also informed Mine about it.
“What were the demons doing?”
“… As I told my brother earlier, he said he was gathering information.”
“That’s right. Information gathering, huh …?”
Reinhardt was horrified thinking about the possible meaning of that statement. Information gathering on the humans would only mean that the demons had an intention to come into contact with humans. And it could not have been a friendly contact.
“Could it be that they have known about Jin’s airship, mini smiths, and Reiko’s strength as well?!”
“Most likely … Jin! …”
Realizing he was the only one getting riled up, Reinhardt regained his composure.
“… I see. Were those only the beginning of your inventions, Jin?”
Elsa nodded to Reinhardt’s inquiry. For Elsa, it was self-evident, since she had been inside the airplane.
Then, two more pieces of the torn parchment with notes written on them were found. Although they were incomplete, one of the pieces read
“ask Elsa’s father” “administer poison” “the Marquess”. Another piece read,
“humans” “desire” “of great interest” “may be utilized”.
Jin recalled how the demon “Lardus”, who was helping out at Earl Walter’s place just for fun.
The demons seemed to be interested in humankind.
“Well, I don’t like to say this, but I think uncle was thinking more than just having Elsa marry the Marquess to become a consort kin. After Elsa got pregnant, he intended to kill the Marquess by poison. After that, Elsa would give birth to a child of the Marquess. He might have intended to be the guardian of the young Marquess, taking advantage of his consort kin, all the more if the child were a boy. Even if she didn’t have a child, he would have a significantly different influential voice as the father of the Marquess’ legal wife.”
Elsa shuddered when she heard it.
“… I hate that.”
Mine gently embraced Elsa’s shoulders silently.
“But if all evidence is collected, this Randol family will surely be destroyed …. Fritz, who is a soldier, would probably be all right and allowed to stay on active duty in the military, but Moritz ….”
Elsa had the ability to be a Magi Engineer. If she became a healer, she would be sought after.
Even if she did not become a healer, she could take refuge and live with Jin on Horai Island or Kaina Village.
However, Moritz had nowhere to go.
“… Brother ….”
“I would be grateful if Moritz could help me manage my territory. That is if he agrees.”
Reinhardt was referring to the territory he received from his father. Since procedures and other arrangements were necessary, the position would be officially assigned to him starting autumn. To that end, increasing the number of subordinates was necessary.
Moritz was capable and could be trusted.
“Would you like to ask him later?”
They did not find any more remarkable things in the room, so they returned to the living room with Elsa leading the way. Only Moritz was absent.
“Well, the remaining mystery is ….”
The big puzzle was solved, but there were still some things I did not understand.
“If that’s the case, could Marcus be the one who brainwashed Mine?”
When Mine heard it, she looked down in shame. But she could not have done anything about the incident.
“Probably so. I think it was a “Seduce” to protect Elsa from seeing anyone else and make sure she married the Marquess.”
That would explain that awful attitude of hers back then. And somehow I accepted the fact that I could not blame her for it.
“Mine was amazing at that time. I was told, ‘I will cut you if you do something insolent,’”
“Lord Jin, that’s embarrassing. Please forgive me already.”
With a beet-red face, Mine pleaded for Jin to stop while looking down in embarrassment.
Aside from the people involved, Jin and Reinhardt were the only ones who knew about how she tried to go into exile with Elsa in order to protect her.
“Back to the topic at hand. So it’s safe for us to assume that the demons could utilize Hypno, correct?”
It was released when the head was seriously injured, so it was unclear whether the demons utilized Seduce or Hypno. However, it would be safe to assume they could utilize both brainwashing systems.
“And then … the level of the demon culture.”
Marcus was a top-notch Magi Engineer. Lardus was also familiar with the heat consumption of magical power.
“Ann mentioned that the demons aren’t very social. In other words, they don’t create a “country”; they are organized in family units instead. This means that while humans lost their cultural civilization after the Magi War, it is highly possible that the demons didn’t.”
On the human side, a specific knowledge was inherited by a specific person, whereas on the demon side, everything was inherited on family basis. Therefore, Jin speculated that the surviving demons would have inherited a great deal of knowledge. In other words, as if the demons had a lot of backup.
“That’s … a threat.”
Reinhardt responded with a slightly pale expression.
“But if you don’t know what their ultimate goal is ….”
Jin also speculated that the low concentration of Ether in the presence of humans today would make it unsuitable for the demons to survive. Reinhardt sighed in relief upon hearing it.
“Hmm, does that mean it’s unlikely for them to attack immediately?”
“Yeah. However, we should stay alert. That’s why this isn’t the time for humans to engage in petty skirmishes.”
Jin was about to explain the “The Fuso Island Sanctuary Plan” he was currently brewing.
But at that time,
“Miss Elsa, the Viscount has awakened!”
The maid, who was tending to Elsa’s father, came rushing to report.
Everyone hurriedly headed to his room.
The Viscount’s eyes were open, while still lying down.
However, his eyes seemed to be unfocused. His words were difficult to hear as well.
“I-it feels like … I just … had … a night … mare.”
Jin figured that there were most likely some aftereffects left in his brain.
Even the highly advanced healing magic could not revive dead brain cells after all.
According to Elsa’s diagnosis, there was a tendency for mild hemiplegia.
“What ha-happened to Marcus?”
“… Marcus … disappeared.”
“I-I see. Su-such a heartless p-person!”
The Viscount noticed Mine standing behind Elsa.
“… Welcome b-back.”
And then he closed his eyes again.
“… Hmm, there are some aftereffects left in the brain after all.”
Jin said softly while returning to the living room.
“The first cerebral infarction seemed to be mild. However, this time it seemed to be a little worse. Nerve cells could not be regenerated no matter how advanced the magic utilized.”
The way healing magic worked was based on activating and healing the cells. Nerve cells and brain cells, which originally had no regenerative ability, could only be repaired and not regenerated.
“… Will father be in that state forever?”
“I can’t say anything because I’m not a doctor, but maybe rehabilitation could ….”
Jin could only give such a response to Elsa, who was worrying about her father.
The Viscount did not recover.
* I tried my best to translate these demon words. Let me know if you have any suggestions.
** Also, thank you for the feedback regarding “Kunlun Island”; I will use it in future chapter translations.