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Magi Craft Meister 457
14 Family Trip Arc
14-08 Investigation Trip
“Yeah, I’ll go!”
Of course, Hanna had no objections. She would be absent from the study sessions, but Jin and Elsa would be teaching her enough for her not to fall behind during their trip.
She quickly got herself ready and went to Hourai Island together with Jin.
“Good morning, Hanna.”
“Ah, Sis Elsa, Sis Saki! …And Sis Leana!”
Hanna had called Stearleana “Sis Leana”.
“Uhuhu, you’re so cute, Hanna.”
It seemed that Stearleana was very pleased to hear that Hanna had treated her as her “sis.”
＊ ＊ ＊
The next morning, the time to depart finally arrived.
The ones on board were Jin, Hanna, Elsa, Saki, and Stearleana. Reiko and Steward would be accompanying them as drivers. Ehr and Edgar would stay at home.
“Mistress, have a safe trip.”
With a slightly disappointing look, Ehr and Edgar saw off their mistresses.
“Well then, should we get going?”
They were going to use a transfer machine to instantly travel a long distance. It was currently 8 AM in Hourai Island, and they were headed for the city of Dier.
They set the landmark at Quinta’s Regulus 45’s location, since there was a significantly small chance of an error, making it possible to transfer within 1 cm from the surface of the earth. It became easier to get it right the more it was done.
“I’ve been waiting for you.”
The Regulus series consisted of adult male types. Regulus 45 welcomed the party. No one had any doubts about its existence because he had been introduced in advance.
“Good job. What’s with that look?”
Jin asked that question to Regulus 45. Its body looked a bit thin and slightly dirty all over, as if he had been worn out.
“Ah, yes. I did this in order to blend in with the remaining residents.”
According to Regulus 45’s explanation, about 50 people still lived near the old capital city of Dier.
“I rarely meet anyone, though. My house isn’t in Dier, but a bit farther away.”
“Understood. Shall we head for Dier then?”
“I shall be your guide.”
Regulus 45 sat in the passenger’s seat and gave directions to Steward, who was in the driver’s seat.
Jin and the others went to the 2nd floor and opened the roof to look around.
“Waaah, this is so fascinating.”
Hanna was thrilled to see a landscape she had never seen before. Jin, Elsa, Saki, and Stearleana were all looking out with eyes wide open as well.
Endless grass covered the road, and buildings entwined with vines were lined up left and right.
It looked quite peculiar at the beginning, but just as Jin and the others started to get bored of the unchanging landscape, a river came into view.
“This is the Spee River. It’s easier to drive by the riverside.”
Regulus 45 explained in a loud voice so that everyone who was on the second floor could hear it.
The time was around 8 am and the river breeze was pleasant.
The river seemed pretty big, and about 100 meters wide.
Although they were treading over large stones, the undercarriage of Tortoise had a golem suspension system installed, making any shaking almost non-existent.
There were some willow-looking trees growing sparsely along the road, but they didn’t interfere with the progress. The Tortoise was still able to advance at about 40 km/h.
After going on for about 30 minutes, they saw something strange in front of them.
“Big brother, what is that?”
It was understandable for Hanna to say that like that.
A group of half-destroyed buildings, covered with vines, towered ahead.
“This almost makes Reinhardt’s Ivy House seem pretty…”
Saki was surprised as well.
“How many years must have passed since these buildings were infested with vines to the point of crumbling down like this?”
“…It really looks like no one lives here. What in the world happened here?”
Jin and Elsa were also confused. In particular, Jin knew that the Hourai Island research institute hadn’t collapsed even after 1000 years, so this state of ruin was unbelievable.
Ten minutes later, they finally arrived at Dier, capital of the old Lenard Kingdom.
It seemed that the surrounding area had once been circled by a castle wall about 7 meters high, but more than half of it had collapsed, so there were several places where one could enter the city.
“Basically, no one actually lives here. Very rarely, people come here to see if there’s anything of value.”
“Have you come here to investigate?”
Regulus 45 asked that to Jin.
“Yes. In the first place, some people have been in and out for several decades, taking valuables away with them.”
“Well, yes, that’s what it looks like.”
Even if there had been any gold items or valuables there, someone must have already taken off with them. It seemed that the only things that remained were either things that were considered worthless or things that couldn’t be taken out.
“Still, I want to take a look.”
“In that case, this way.”
Regulus 45 guided them to a sturdy two-story building. This one was also covered with an incredible amount of vines.
“I think this was some kind of museum. Most of the things here have been taken out…”
When she heard that it had been a museum, Saki suddenly became enthusiastic.
“Jin, let’s take a look! There may be some rare books!”
Taking the lead, she started going forward.
The vines at the entrance had been cut off, and it was evident that some people still went there regularly.
They went through an entrance that was wide enough for only one person to pass at a time. There was no light inside, and the windows were blocked by vegetation, so it was rather dim, but as their eyes got used to it, it turned out to be quite the spectacular sight.
A mural painting was drawn all over the wall. As expected, no one would have been able to take that with them.
“This is amazing! …Let’s see, it says here: The light that comes from the east, it’s called ??? …There are some parts here that are illegible.”
Unfortunately, the wall was considerably damaged, and there were some parts where it was impossible to read what was written on it. However, this mural painting had already been recorded and analyzed by Laojun long ago. There was little useful or new information to be found in it.
Except for one single thing.
“Chief, please look at this.”
After being called by Regulus 45, Jin approached the corner of the wall.
“…driana… …Ceci… West… Maybe something about Adriana Balbora Ceci was written here?”
“Yes, that is likely, but this section has sustained a lot of damage, so it can’t be deciphered.”
That particular section was severely deteriorated, and some parts of it were peeled off and crumbled away, so there was no way to read what was written on it no matter how hard one tried to.
“Hmm, perhaps my predecessor once lived here in the Lenard Kingdom…”
Although he had inherited the knowledge from his predecessor, he didn’t get all of her memories. Jin didn’t know about his predecessor’s childhood or who she had learned Engineering Magic from. Not even Reiko knew that.
“Big brother, what is that?”
Hanna, who had been improving her reading and writing skills thanks to her study sessions, called out to Jin. When he went to her, he saw Hanna pointing at a hole in the wall.
There was a collapsed section of the wall there where there was a rectangular gap where stones that looked like Magi Stones were embedded.
It was about 50 cm above the floor, so it was easy for Hanna to find it.
Regulus 45 was shaking his head as if he didn’t know anything about it, so it looked like it had collapsed just recently. Jin called out to the rest of his companions, who were scattered all over the room.
“What’s the matter, Jin?”
“Did you find anything, Jin?”
“What is it, Brother Jin?”
He showed the Magi Stones to Elsa, Saki, and Stearleana.
“…Could this be a key to operate something?”
The three of them agreed with Jin’s theory.
“I have no idea what’s this going to trigger, what should I do…?”
“Chief, I’ll give it a try.”
Regulus 45 volunteered to try the Magi Stones. Since he said he’d do it as soon as Jin and the others were at a safe distance, Jin decided to leave it to him.
“Alright, we’ll go wait outside.”
Jin and the others headed outside for safety, leaving Regulus 45 behind. The sunlight was very radiant.
“Okay, we’re good.”
Jin called out from the outside. Regulus 45 confirmed the path of magical power as it was customary for investigation procedures, and after confirming that there was no risk of it going haywire, poured magical power on Magi Stone.
Immediately after that, it seemed that nothing would happen, but after a while, Jin noticed that the building vibrated a little from the outside.
“Chief, the floor has opened, revealing some stairs.”