Chapter 99: The Way Something is Made is Sometimes More Important than What it Is
“And here I thought you were learning some common sense…”
Ragnall sighed as Desmond took up his sword and looked it over with a slightly panicked, no, quite distressed face.
I bowed my head towards Ragnall, saying,
“No, well, even I understood that there was something wrong with the way I did things.”
“So even though you knew it, you did it anyway.”
“No, well, right. Say a merchant brought you to a place with a strong monster you hadn’t seen before and asked you how best to subjugate it to keep its price high. Wouldn’t you just go along and defeat it in that way to try it out?”
“…Don’t change the subject.”
Yup, I saw you thinking about the procedures you would go through. See? It’s not that weird.
“I am reflecting on it, though.”
I said, as if defending myself.
“R-ragnall, that girl isn’t just some normal bladesmith apprentice!”
Cutting into our conversation, Trelzt is panicking.
“Trelzt… didn’t I tell you that she was a master bladesmith recognized by Helward?”
“Like anyone could believe that right away-!”
“Yup, I’m siding with Trelzt on this,”
I said, nodding.
“This… I never believed that Gaoithe could be made whole again! Or rather, isn’t it in better condition than before?!”
Desmond, in the testing area, swung the renewed wind blade with vigor.
Gaoithe… that’s the sword’s name, huh? A named blade, how envious. I haven’t made any blade I thought was worth naming.
Desmond bows his head as he sheathes the sword, then draws it once again.
Oh, instead of his refreshing, calm manner, Desmond’s actually trembling with internal passion, flushed red, and … oi, he’s crying?!
That sword, just what IS it?
No, I don’t mean literally. I already understand what it’s made of and it’s functions.
Now that I think about it, a grand looking, named sword that won’t be thrown away even if it’s unusable…
Un. It has to hold a lot of sentiment, no, it might even be a sign of status.
… I am seriously reflecting on my rash actions. Seriously, what if it didn’t go well? Although I had no doubts that it wouldn’t, but still…
“This type of spirit sword, even with just fixing it, it should need at least 20 people!”
Trelzt burst out.
Ah, so it was like that after all. That’s no good. Needing so many people’s magic can cause an unevenness in the magic, and there’s a good chance that the control would be lacking… actually, it’s amazing that they can make anything with a haphazard manner like that.
Or like, it’s called a spirit sword, huh?
It’s a strange name. I’ve started thinking of anime where the characters wield swords that represent their souls.
The name is probably because the blade is magic instead of physical, though, and not some chuuni “I have forged this blade with my soul-!”
… I wonder if there’s a way to do that… no, I’d probably die, huh?
Desmond, who had quickly composed himself, coughed and said,
“…I’m not sure about mending the sword, but when this sword was made, it took 50 deep elves trained in the Sword Song to forge it. It should have been the strongest blade with the most magic bestowed upon it of the spirit blades, but now, it’s incomparable to what it once was!”
Incomparable… in a good way, right? Oops, wait, before that,
“That’s… it’s a secret song among the deep elf smiths that forges a sword. There are many parts to it… but sorry, I don’t know all that much about it.”
Ahh… I don’t understand, but somehow I do understand.
Magic in this world seems to have a deep connection with language, but spoken, not written. Just like chants can direct magic, it’s not so strange to think that a carefully made song would also be able to control magic.
If I think about it, un. I can kind of accept that idea.
If it’s a song, intonation, timing, and pitch can be regulated. If it’s like that, then if you strictly trained people in that song, I can understand how you could get so many people’s magics to work together.
Taking it a step further, if you do harmonies like a duet or a bunch of different parts like in a symphony, paying attention to … d-dynamics? No good, my abilities in music are extremely lacking. I think I’ve already said my entire music word-bank.
A-anyway, what I mean is, even though it’s just my theory, if this sword was made by many people directing their magic with song, a song that had been fine-tuned by many people over many years to direct magic, I can kind of see how it could be made by the people in this world.
Although I think it’s a useless method for me.
Not only can I manipulate magic directly, I am horribly tone deaf.
But I see… 50 people used their magic to make this sword…
It’s not ridiculous to assume this is one of the most powerful spirit swords, then. It’s the type of sword that has a better performance the more magic it has being poured in when it’s made.
Which is why it’s no wonder there was an improvement after I “fixed” it then. After all, each of the 5 Higher Craeftite gems encased in glass that I evaporated to make the MP-rich environment held a little over 50 peoples’ worth of magic power. And I used 5 of them; that is, gems that were filled with magic after discharging Seimei’s rings.
Semei-powered magic batteries (temporary name) are seriously terrifying-!
Seimei-san, just how much MP… I feel like I’m afraid to ask.
But even though they have a huge amount of potential, Seimei-san said he didn’t want to become a battery-making station, so I decided against making and popularizing tools that use a battery.
It’s true that, since there’s no other way to fill these glass encased Higher Craeftite was than siphoning off somebody’s MP and mana (for now, anyway), some terrible things could occur, so I had to agree.
Besides, normal magic stones kind of operate in the same way already, so there are already a lot of convenient things available.
Battery-operated tools cheat-! is unnecessary.
But then, I seriously wonder what we should do with the mountain of Higher Craeftite encased in glass. It’s beginning to rival my sword mountain.
Ah, no, Seimei-san said something about desseminating my works into the market, along with some other technical jargon, so he’s been taking the time to carefully sell a few here and there. He’s also been using them to make connections among merchants.
Heh… – is what I thought, but Masaki said,
“Well, he’s really just tired of them being in the way.”
Anyway, there’s a big chance of the pile of Higher Craeftite being bigger than the pile of swords now.
But seriously, a sword needing 50 people to forge? It must be expensive… or like, I wonder what kind of person Desmond is, exactly, to have such a sword.
But somehow, when the sword is luxurious to that degree, it makes you kind of hesitant to ask.
Like, there are some things that would be better off remaining unknown… that kind of feeling?
…um. Trelzt, your eyes are kind of bloodshot… Eh… it might not hurt, but you sure are gripping my arm rather tightly…
“Uh… Trelzt-san… you… you still need to work on his sword, right…?”
And like, I’m sweaty… and it took me 30 minutes of intense concentration, so I’d like to…
He’s not really letting go…
Somehow, I feel like I won’t be getting out of this unscathed.
The soldiers trembled.
In front of them was a formation of fearsome beings.
Demons. 20 of them.
Behind the demons was a menagerie of fearsome monsters.
Manticores, gorgons, minotaurs, monsters that were hard to find in Orelia.
As for the soldiers, they numbered 3 on horseback and 4 on foot.
In a strangely accented Lorwian, the leader of the demons called out,
“There’s a tasty smell coming from this carriage. Leave them, and maybe we’ll let you go-!”
The crowd of demons in the back, leading various fierce monsters, laughed and jeered at the soldiers in languages they didn’t understand.
The carriage’s occupants were eavesdropping.
“… We smell ‘tasty’, apparently.”
“It’s kind of hard to feel flattered about that…”
Two of the occupants chatted about the situation with absolutely no sense of tension at all.
The third occupant tapped his chin while thinking, then said,
“Hyde, what does your <Vigilance> say?”
“… The soldiers might be in trouble, but against any one of us, I don’t think it’s a problem.”
The third occupant thought for a moment more before saying,
“Then Masa-yan, Hyde-cchi, go play with them for a while. I want to know how strong they are, and it’s not good to return the soldier’s we’re borrowing with any damage~.”
Outside, both the soldiers and the demons flinched as two young men came out casually from inside the carriage.
The one young man, with messy, dark brown hair and decked out in impressively ornate armor and a mystical sword that radiated a cold aura at his hip, was a man that all the soldiers there admired. Just having him step out onto the battlefield dispelled the fear and distress they had.
Although the person in question found it beyond embarrassing.
The other was a young man who kept his face and head swathed in scarves and hoods and wore black leather armor of a foreign flair. His weapons were also things that the soldiers hadn’t seen before, but even though his small, projectile weapons were things that they had ridiculed at first, after they had seen him in action their blood ran cold with terror.
A man they admired and a man they feared had both stepped out to battle.
Ah, the battle was already over. That was what the soldiers thought when they saw them.
“Hey, we need to get through, and these soldiers are with us, so please move or –“
“Or like, if you guys are demons, act like demons and get this over with. We’re wasting time.”
“H-hyde?! Is that really necessary?”
“O-oooi, don’t just launch into battle right away! Ah, mou-!”
Following after the ninja that had launched himself into battle, disappearing here and re-appearing there all over the place, Masaki sighed and unsheathed his sword. The ice-blue blade emitted puffs of white, cold mist as it revealed itself.
With a slight shock, indenting the ground, Masaki left the carriage, leaping towards the front of the line.
The fourth, and last, occupant inside the carriage pinched the bridge of his nose in exasperation.
“…All of you are ridiculous.”
Without using polite speech or honorifics, the man just slouched in his seat, hesitantly peering out the window, as if he wasn’t really sure he wanted to see what was about to happen.
“I think you should get used to it, Lor-san.”
The third occupant, that is, Seimei, laughed lightly, crossing his legs, clasping his hands together, and setting them on his knee.
More and more, he was becoming an incomprehensible existence.
Lor was relieved that such a man was a humanitarian by nature. Charisma, power, trust, and intelligence. This man wielded all of them with precision and decisiveness.
There was no doubt in Lor’s mind that, if Seimei-san wished for it, the world would be conquered in the blink of an eye.
When Lor had hesitantly brought up that possibility,
“Such a troublesome thing. Who would want to do something like that?”
Was all Seimei had said, waving his hand idly as if it wasn’t something worth considering.
For someone who was a natural citizen of this world, where strength, power, and authority were everything if you didn’t wish to be exploited by those with strength, power, and authority, it was a luxurious statement that Lor could never have imagined being able to say.
“So these are demons… Although there was a report of small bands popping up here and there lately, I was under the impression that they operated more under stealth.”
Seimei looked out the window of the carriage, interested in what was going to happen.
With a sigh, Lor carefully relinquished his common sense, for the moment, and replied,
“It’s true. I’ve never heard of demons choosing to attack a heavily guarded carriage. They often act more like small-time slave traders, kidnapping people who have wandered off, or targeting stragglers in caravans.”
“Like hunting wolves… well, it didn’t seem like Nyl City had this kind of problem.”
“For some reason, mountains rarely have places for demons to cross over. Nyl City and the dwarf ranges are considered the safest if you’re worried about demons. Most of Fernett would also be considered safe… from demons.”
“I see, it’s that kind of situation.”
“Indeed, although despite saying that, demon attacks are rarely a problem anywhere with a substantial amount of people and military or adventurers’ presence.”
“Although this happened, at this time?”
Seimei said that pointedly, nodding towards the commotion of Masaki and Hyde decimating the group of demons and their monsters.
“…It is strange… but at the same time, Masaki and Hyde give off a rather large amount of magic power, so it might not be strange that we are targeted… No, even if that’s the case, it should be natural that a person that has a lot of magic power would be powerful. I can’t imagine wanting to attack that kind of person, even if I were a demon who greedily searched for prey…”
Seimei sat there quietly as Lor began to mumble to himself.
For Seimei, who had grown up in a time where knowledge and information was power, this sudden change in the situation must have a reason behind it.
If they didn’t do something, then all of a sudden began to do it, you can’t just say, ‘Well, they’re demons so who knows.’
But it was also true that they were limited in the ways they could gather information.
Although he had asked Masaki and Hyde to try to capture an important-looking guy, he had also told them to prioritize their safety. It’s also possible that a prisoner wouldn’t talk.
Really, it would be much better if there was something else they could do, but there wasn’t anything like a demon embassy, and the race itself was essentially in another dimension, so you’d feel reluctant to send spies in without knowing what the situation was.
Seimei let out a little sigh.
It seems it was going to be useless worrying about those kinds of things. If he focused his attentions in too many directions at once, everything he would be trying to do would suffer, so it was better to drop the matters he couldn’t do anything about.
… Ah. Somehow, Seimei felt like he understood Jun a little more.
He swore in his heart that he would avoid becoming an incomprehensible existence like her.
If you asked Lor, though, it was already impossible.
“S-sei-chan, we captured one, but he committed suicide…”
Masaki, still not entirely comfortable with other world battles, came back to the carriage while pretending he was alright.
Hyde returned by landing on top of the carriage.
About 5 minutes had passed since the two of them had charged into battle.
As expected of the other worlders. The battle has already been decided.
“… It can’t be helped. You guys did good, so don’t worry about it.”
Out of sight of the soldiers, Seimei ruffled Masaki’s hair and slapped Hyde’s back as they re-entered the carriage.
Haa… they’re still just kids, and they have to deal with this…
Seimei hid his dissatisfaction.
They had only just started their journey to Tren Labyrinth.
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