Chapter 59: There’s Always Room for Improvements in Prototypes. Although Looking at it Another Way, it Means Prototypes are Usually Failures.
I leave the bath house about half an hour before the Morning Watch. Living in a world without clocks everywhere has made me pretty good at guessing how much time I have before the bells.
My internal clock has become very accurate.
The reason I was at the bath house was because I had done my early-morning training routine right after I woke up. In addition to the suburi training with my katana, I have begun running over the tops of the rooftops with free-running.
I had tested the rings, and just wearing 2 of them made my MP begin to slowly drop. About 2 MP every minute.
There are some more things I have to prepare, but for now, this is good enough for a prototype.
“【FRIEND CHAT: CONNECT】- [‘Seimei’].”
Technically I don’t need to say it out-loud, but it feels more natural to call someone with voice activation than just making it happen by thinking it. Some sentiments I brought over from the other world, I guess.
[“… *Beep* Oh, Jun-kun. We’re going to meet in just a little bit, but did something happen?”]
“No, nothing like that, I was just wondering if you were awake so I could come over a little bit before Ragnall showed up. There’s something I wanted to discuss.”
[“Ah, yes, that should be fine. I will let the annoya- guards know you’re coming.”]
He was going to call them annoyances just now, wasn’t he? Jeez…
After we ended the Friend Chat, I detoured by the food stalls. Since it’s already well past the Farmer’s Watch, all the food stalls are already up and running.
Recently, the girls at The Queen Mary’s have been having the younger girls run out to get breakfast and do the grocery shopping for them, so I’ve been forbidden to buy them food.
That I secretly slip the grocers and food stall obaa-sans some money to include some extras is a secret between me and them.
I think the older girls are carrying out the “onee-san” act a little too far … even younger siblings can dote on older siblings. It’s not forbidden or something.
Anyway, today I’m picking out some food to take to Seimei-san. Apparently he gets food from Sir Knight Captain’s chef, but … well, when you’re stressed out, sometimes it helps if you eat some junk food type stuff, right?
There’s only one guard in front of Seimei-san’s door. I guess because they were expecting me, he didn’t give me any trouble.
For a second I thought to offer him breakfast, but it probably would be bad if he got caught eating on duty, right? Their captain seems like kind of a jerk like that.
“Seimei-sa … sama, good morning.”
Since he’s discussing things with another one of his guards, I quickly switch from –san to –sama. We’re pretending we don’t know each other, right.
Although I think I should have used Sir Baronet then, but let’s not worry too much about the details.
“Good morning. Ah, well, then that’s what I’m planning on doing today. Let Captain Willem know.”
The guard taps underneath his throat with an open hand –a salute of some sort? – and leaves the house.
“Ah, good morning Jun-kun.”
“If you haven’t eaten yet, I brought some things from the morning food stalls. Also, the thing I have to consult with you …”
Like I expected, the food from the Nobles can’t win out against the fried food from the food stalls. Although Seimei-san said the Nobles’ food is delicious, there weren’t many fried types of foods on a Noble’s table. The smell of the fried cakes and meat skewers alone was enough to make his eyes go wide.
“Nn… it’s not bad, but…”
“I know, it could use some soy sauce, right?”
“That’s exactly it~! But the food in this world is still really good. I’m thankful there’s not just potatoes and hard bread or something like some light novels, ne~.”
“I thought so too. Although it’s different from Japanese food, it’s not at all inferior to Earth’s modern cuisine. Ah, Seimei-san, there’s this thick sweet soup thing too. It’s a little like a soupy kanten.”
Seimei is really enjoying the fried meat. It reminds you of kara-age, so there’s definitely some nostalgia to eating it, even if the seasoning is a little different.
“By the way, Jun-kun … what are these? I was going to say something about how it’s too soon to be engaged, but as expected, when faced with so many, it’s hard to make a joke about it.”
While trying the jouron cream soup that I recommended, that was closer to pudding than soup, Seimei inspected the collection of rings that I had placed on the table.
“They just suck in magic power. For ordinary people, they could kill you because they suck out all your magic power, but …”
“Ooooh! Wow~, Jun-kun, we only just talked about it yesterday, and you’ve already brought me something~! … Wow. These look like something you should used 2 months’ salary to buy~.”
“I wouldn’t price them quite that expensively. Silver’s a lot more bountiful in this world, and the stones are Higher Craeftite, the cheapest you can get, although they’re the ones that are also the most reliable for what we needed them for. Ah, the ones with other gemstones, those gemstones are just for decoration. You won’t be able to use them to cast spells, since they’re so close to the circuit and Higher Craeftite. I thought I should just try to disguise the rings like they’re just some Nobles’ trinkets, but was it too much I wonder?”
Seimei froze as he was lifting the rings up to the light to get a good look at them.
“Jun-kun… just to make sure, you bought these somewhere, right?”
“Heh? No, you can’t buy these things. I made them last night. There were some things I wanted to try out so it was good timing, and a Jeweler friend of mine helped me out. Although he doesn’t know what they’re for.”
Well, I kept dodging the subject and Kopfton is easily distracted, so that’s why he helped me out even though he has no idea what I’m using them for.
“… Jun-kuuuuun… come to think of it, when Sir Ilyos saw the sakura emblem on that knife you gave me, he freaked out. Is there something you’re not telling me~?”
Eek. Seimei-san’s using his frivolous voice with a smile, but there’s a dark undertone and his eyes aren’t smiling at all.
“No? I’ve just been doing a lot of smithing and metalworking and crafting things as I please? Though apparently they’re all at really high degrees and are now highly sought after …”
We’ve even had to watch out for thieves after The Queen Mary’s girls’ naginatas. Even though I had finally learned how to reduce the quality so they’re only slightly better than normal steel blades…
By the way, I gifted Maryiste the naginatas as a thank you for continuing to teach me how to read and write. That’s how I got through the “onee-san” defense. Between Maryiste and Erina-sama’s efforts, the others reluctantly agreed to let it pass.
“Haa… you’ve already caught the attention of a lot of high-profile people, haven’t you? I feel kind of foolish for worrying about keeping your talents hidden…”
Sorry. I feel like I’ve added more stress onto Seimei-san’s already stressful worries.
“A-anyway, I don’t know how many you’ll need to reduce your MP aura. I needed 2 to reduce mine, so …”
“I see, so we need to see how many it will take me.”
“Yeah. Ah, let me put up a Mana Barrier… Ok, you can take off your necklace.”
“Chantless… haa, I’m beginning to feel like if I get surprised at everything you do, I’m going to go bald sooner.”
With that, Seimei-san removed his ‘cursed’ necklace. 5 minutes later …
I immediately strengthen the Mana Barrier.
That aura is so not a joke! Even without using Magic Sensory I can tell how dense it is. This is ridiculous.
“I know, I know, I’ll start putting the rings on.”
As Seimei-san put the rings on, I dispersed his magic aura and used it to strengthen the Mana Barrier. I can’t tell if the rings are working if the area is already filled with magic.
“… Oh, ok, if I put this one on my MP starts reducing, so how is it with just these?”
“… Un. You only have a little above an average Adventurer’s aura showing.”
… But it took 13 rings …
For the record, he has rings on every finger, 2 on his left pinky, 2 on his left middle finger, and 2 on his right middle finger.
“… You know, I made extra rings just in case any of the others needed them…”
To think he would have used up 13 out of 15! Wtf kind of MP regeneration do you have?!
“Oh, I’m the only one who has this problem. The others have MP at around 1 and 2 million, there abouts. And their MP regeneration is ridiculous, but …”
“No way can it be as ridiculous as yours, right?! Geez, I didn’t realize it was THIS bad… I’m going to have to make 11 more.”
“Eh? How come?”
“Seimei-san … you’re going to have to discharge the stones at some point, you know?”
“… Oh shit. I didn’t think about that at all.”
“It was my blindspot too. I didn’t think you’d need to do it so soon, but … And … there’s something else I didn’t think of …”
Sure, the aura around SEIMEI-san was weaker, but the magic aura around the Higher Craeftite …
It’s still suspicious, right? To have every jewel on every ring glow with that aura. Even though the auras around inorganic things are a little different than ones around living things, it shows up the same on Magic Sensory. The only reason I can detect the difference is … hm… I don’t know. Maybe Magic Sense from my Magic Born trait?
Anyway, the magic aura given off of living things is actually magic being dispersed into the surroundings. The magic aura from inorganic things is more of just a glow. You can tell a magic charged stone from another stone not charged with magic by if it glows or not, but it’s not actually radiating magic.
Most people can’t use the magic given off by other living things, so this distinction doesn’t seem to matter. People and things with a magic aura are people and things that have magic. That’s all that matters. Or like, that’s all that people in this world are capable of noting.
I think I’m the only one can use ambient magic, so I’m the only one who needs to make the distinction. Well, I call magic auras around inorganic things ‘magic glow’ instead, but no one ever understands me, so I only end up calling them that way in my head.
Either way, the stones’ magic glows totally give Seimei-san away. This doesn’t help at all.
After I explain it,
“Haa… so we need something that encases the stone and won’t let the magic escape… but there’s nothing like that at all, huh? All materials seem to let some magic aura off…”
… Eh? Hang on … there IS something … Though I have no idea how to make it work …
Seimei-san takes off the rings one by one, and the overwhelming magic aura slowly comes back. While he’s doing that, the front door opens, and shortly afterward, Ragnall walks in.
“Good morning, Sir Barone- urk!”
In a matter of seconds after he passed through my Mana Barrier, Ragnall’s face turns pale, then blue, and he collapses on the spot, clutching his shirt in the area around his chest.
That’s what I want to know – ah!
“Seimei-san, put on that necklace, fast!”
I quickly erect another Mana Barrier around Ragnall and disperse the magic within. Now to get rid of the magic in the rest of the house …
Nn, how should I do it? Usually when I want to get rid of magic I burn it off with Augment Body, but I can’t take ambient magic in and use it that way …
I gather the magic into one corner of the room and maintain an extremely strong Boundary on it. It takes too much concentration and quite a bit of my own MP to keep things under control, but directing the ambient magic into maintaining the Boundary soon reduces the magic considerably.
In 5 minutes, it’s all gone. I have about 1.8 million MP left.
“Haa… Ragnall, are you ok?”
He’s still lying face down on the ground, but I see him taking several deep breaths, so he’s alive at least.
Ragnall remains lying there, without lifting his head, but he raises a finger.
“Just to make things clear, that wasn’t Jun, was it?”
“Then, that was …”
Still without moving from his spot, Ragnall points his finger at Seimei-san.
I just trail off like that, and Seimei-san coughs nervously.
“Haaa… I see.”
Ragnall says only that, and slowly sits up. His face is still horrifically pale.
I help him over to the wall and he leans heavily against it, trying to regulate his breathing. Seimei-san rushes a cup of water over.
After draining half the cup, Ragnall sighs.
“I understand why you would purposefully weaken yourself, then. That aura is something that would make even normal people begin to feel sick.”
“… Oi, Ragnall, even with the fact that you’re more sensitive to magic than other people, that just now wasn’t something you can laugh off.”
“Ah … I’m ashamed. It’s more like an illness … well, I’ve never had a reaction this bad before. Or like, Jun, you could withstand that?”
“Uh… It was never an issue in our hometown.”
Let’s just gloss over it …
“… The people in your hometown must be monsters.”
“Oh, you might be able to meet some more of them. I forgot. Jun-kun, Masaki and 2 others are coming over within a week.”
“Heh? Wait, hang on a sec, Seimei-san. Ragnall, since crazy things might happen around Seimei-san, what else is bad for your health?”
I really want to ask about why Masaki and other transported people are coming over, but there are things we need to work out over logistics first, if just being around Seimei-san in his natural state causes Ragnall to have a severe allergic reaction.
“Might happen … you mean probably will happen, huh? Losing magic is actually more dangerous to me than being overwhelmed by magic.”
“So too much or too little, both are bad, huh? Ok, well don’t touch those rings on the table.”
Ragnall looks over at the table, then reflexively flinches back.
“Jun … what are those? They’re kind of glowing with an ominous light, though…”
“Don’t mind it. Just don’t touch them.”
Although the rings only REALLY suck out your magic if the entire circuit is touching your skin, for example by putting one on, even if it’s just a little, if Ragnall is really that sensitive, just picking one up could be bad.
Nn? Ragnall called it a ‘light’ instead of an ‘aura’. How rare for someone other than me to make that distinction. It must be due to his strange health condition. Actual magic being a danger, a glow just being a warning of danger.
Hm? It’s dangerous either way?
“By the way, what was it about Masaki and the others?”
<a/n: Thank you landvaarder and DB for your donations!>