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Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku 16-53

16-53. Sage's Tower (2)


Satou here. Keeping stuff tidy and in order, be it data or things, so you can readily get them anytime you need it is a form of talent, I think. You tend to forget where you put things right when you need to get them, don't you.

"--Are all these?"

I reflexively muttered that when I looked up at huge piles of old scrolls and books in front of me.

We were led to a room beyond Sage Karyu's, the principal, room.
I'm here to solve an [unsolved problem that has remained so for 100 years] as part of God Karion's Trial, but looking at these piles makes me get cold feet a bit.

Well, since I'm only supposed to solve one problem among these, there's no need to get so worked up.

"The number of problems themselves doesn't even reach 30. Most of these are investigations and memos left by the past scholars."

Sage Karyu told me so while stroking his long white beard.

"These here are the original scripts, but you can find the copies in the Great Library in this tower, while the problems themselves have been carved on the pedestals of the red salt statues on the first floor so anyone could read it if they so desire."

I see, the statues in the entrance hall carry such a role huh.
According to Sage Karyu, there are other red salt statues carrying a similar role situated in God Zaikuon main temple's chapel and inside the city itself.
As those statues have been reinforced with earth magic, they're holding up fine being outdoors.

"Then, maybe it's a good idea to look around the statues before picking a problem?"
"Nn, more efficient."
"Umu, umu. That's exactly right, missies."

Sage Karyu smiled as he replied to Arisa and Mia's conversation.

"I shall give the key to this library to Satou-kun. You can get to this library from the passages. You can read the documents here anytime you want, however you're not allowed to take them out with you. As their value cannot be understated, take care not to damage them."
"Yes, I will take the utmost care."

Sage Karyu handed over ID bracelets to us along with the key.
We can freely enter the Great Library some floors below as long as we have these.

"So this is the 『Ring of Wisdom』 of 『Sage's Tower』..."

Princess Sistina is gazing movingly at the bracelet she holds in her hands.
Looks like it's a kind of amazing item.

"Would you like to go to Great Library first? Or do you want to check the red salt statues?"

Apparently, Miko Maiya is going to continue acting as our guide.

Looking at the girls, their faces screamed 'I wanna go to the Great Library'.

"Well then, please show us the way to the library first."

We're headed to the Great Library two floors below Sage Karyu's room.
Three levels of this huge tower are filled with bookshelves, and one of those levels is an archive that's not open to public. It's not an archive of banned books, the archive is housing incomplete written memo and book collections of scholars that didn't have a successor. According to my Map, the forbidden library here is located deep underground.

"More than master's library even."
"I think there's about as many books as both the Royal Academy's and Forbidden Archive's libraries put together?"

The girls gave their impressions while looking around at the bookshelves.
The amount of books befit the name Great Library indeed.

It did feel a bit odd for a small City-state nation Kariswolk to have more books than a big kingdom such as Shiga Kingdom, but I got the reason why after checking the author's names of these books with my Map Search.
A great majority of them are books written by scholars belonging here and books written and donated by scholars who were staying here for a time.

"Arisa-chan, Space Lens Eye!"

Arisa survey the books' spines with her space magic reinforced eyesight while saying 'Bikaa' out loud.

"Mwu, unfair."
"Mia-sama, here's a telescope. I brought some along with me since I thought this would happen."
"Tina, nice."

Princess Sistina took a telescope from her magic bag and gave it to Mia.

"Found the first edition of Magic Complete Works!"
"They have the extra issue of Selmaraya Earth Magic Encyclopedia here!"
"Mwu, which."

The girls are getting excited to see rare books.

I stopped Arisa from charging in at the bookshelves to prevent her bothering other people here and went there with her.
I reached the book Arisa's hand couldn't reach.

"--You there!"

A stern sounding voice stopped me, so I turned at the source of that voice.
A beautiful woman wearing eyesight-correcting spectacles stood there with perked up shoulders.

"This is the Bookshelves of Scarlet Floor where only scholars and officiating monks with permission can enter! Take the primary grade kid and away with you now!"
"H-hold on! Excuse me--"

I blocked Arisa's mouth as she was about to object and showed the wrist of my other hand that wasn't reaching the bookshelves at the woman.

"Do you have a problem with--eh? 『Ring of Wisdom』? Why does an adolescent kid have that?"
"Sage Karyu-dono had given these to us."
"N-no way."
"Librarian Besse, he's telling the truth."
"M-Miko Maiya-sama!"

Miko Maiya who came with Princess Sistina after us talked to her.
Seems like they're acquaintances.

"His Excellency Earl Pendragon has taken on God Karion's trial."

The librarian who became speechless seemed like she found Miko Maiya's explanation hard to believe, but she immediately straightened herself and apologized to us.
I'm glad Miko Maiya came with us.
It probably would have taken some time to convince her with just these bracelets.

"Please give your orders to me or the librarian at the desk if you need a book. As an apology for my impoliteness earlier, I shall make frantic efforts to provide assistants."

Well, thanks to this little incident, we managed to get acquainted with librarian-san amiably, all's well.

"Hey, how many books here can we borrow at once?"
"I'm very sorry, but the books here cannot be lent. Please read them at the reading room, or hire transcribers affiliated with Great Library if you wish to make a copy."
"Can the chained books over there be transcribed too?"

Princess Sistina points her fingers at bookshelves and books that have been chained down to prevent theft.
There's even an iron grill in front of the bookshelves.

"Those books are prohibited from getting transcribed. You can write the part you have memorized, however, transcribing straight from the bookshelves is prohibited."

According to the librarian, they're not of banned books kind, however the books contain dangerous knowledge that could prove bad were they taken out indiscreetly, thus the spread of information has been limited.

"I'll be heading to the entrance hall to check on the statues' pedestals there, Arisa and you girls, are you staying here?"
"Un, I'll do it later."
"Library won't run away."

After thinking a bit, Arisa said so and Mia nodded at her reply.

"...That's right. It's not going anywhere."

Princess Sistina, the former master of Forbidden Library, looked to be a bit regretful to part from here, but she forcefully convinced herself about it and went with us.

"『What is miasma?』, 『What is mana?』, 『What is spirit?』, 『What is a soul?』--These are problems that have existed since the founding of 『Sage's Tower』 huh."
"They're intriguing and all, but there's no way we could solve one in a day."
"Nn, difficult."

Since these weren't recorded in the books the elves had, I should just leave these fundamental questions to the researchers.

"What do you think about this one?"
"Did you find something good?"

Beckoned by Princess Sistina, Arisa and Mia came to her.

"『For what reason do Labyrinths exist?』 huh?"

As a dungeon master myself, the mystery hit a bit too close to home.
There were numerous theories about it contained in the books at Shiga Kingdom, but nothing was decisive.

Let's memo it down as a candidate.
Perhaps I could get an answer if I asked Dungeon Core about this.

"These ones here are similar, just replace labyrinths with monsters and demons."

It's easy to come up with these questions after all.
There was nothing about City Cores, since its existence is hidden to public.

And so, the girls and I continued to read unsolved problems carved on the pedestals.

Curiously enough, there was no stuff like [Who made labyrinths?], [Who made skills?], or [For what reason do levels exist?].
In a world where gods exist in reality, people probably think that gods created those.

Considering how God Karion was like during our conversation back then, doesn't seem like they'll answer a question after all.

"『What's the difference between demon lords that get revived and those that don't?』 eh... Master, do you know about this?"
"I wonder?"

As far as I know, only two demon lords have gotten revived, the [Golden Wild Boar King] and the [Dog-head Ancient King].
Their common feature is that both had [True Demon Lord] title, but if that were really the requirement for it, it'd have been made clear once I checked Saga Empire's documents, so it's probably not that.
The Boar King was revived with the help of demon lord adherents and greater demons, but the Dog-head seemed like he just revived on his own at Selbira Labyrinth, thus it's difficult to declare that these revivals need other people carrying out a revival ceremony.

"Master, this is..."

Arisa was at a loss for words while pointing at a pedestal next to her.
Written there is, "What is the condition for the demon lords to manifest in this world?"
I could give the answer to that right here and now, but this is one unsolved problem that absolutely has to remain unsolved.

A tragedy on the level of witch hunt would befall reincarnated people if the truth were to be known.
Yup, I never saw this problem, nuh uh.


I went to Mia as she called.


She's pointing at a pedestal written with "How does one achieve chantless magic?"
Princess Sistina who came after me was also piqued enough to say, "Let's get to the bottom of this!", however, just like how chant shortening could only be achieved through skills, I think chantless magic could only be done through Unique Skill like in my and Arisa's cases.

"That's not necessarily true, no? Like, you can use magic without skills if you work hard on it, right. If you can act as the proxy that does the magic calculation instead of skills, perhaps you could do the same with the chanting part?"

Arisa insisted so.

"You're right. It does sound intriguing, wanna give it a try?"
"Mia-sama, would you allow me to accompany you in your research?"
"Nn, welcome."

Mia and Princess Sistina seemed eager when I tried rousing their interest.

"Tell me if you need materials, I'll transcribe it for you."

Afterward, I checked the rest of the pedestals.

"My? Was that all? There were less than 20 here, weren't there?"
"The remaining nine are all located close to the walls."

Guided by Miko Maiya, we went to a hard to find location near the entrance hall's front door where the rest of the pedestals were.
The statue up there looks kinda ominous.

"The ones here are more like subject matters than problems."
"『The transition of primeval magic to modern magic and variations』, 『Did level and skill not exist during the creation of the world?』, 『About the relationship between modern magic and Demon God』, 『Denying the irreversibility of the transformation from living being into undead』... These are all interesting too."

I'm a bit piqued by this [The transition from primeval magic to modern magic and variations], feels like it can be solved relatively easily.

Some of the other keywords are curious too.

The second and the third ones are quite interesting, however, the fourth one, the possibility of turning undead back into living being is quite intriguing.
If it can be done, I could maybe turn the kids who had become vampires at Tokiswolk Kingdom back into humans.
There has been a case of a normal creature that had been transformed into a monster turning back into an ordinary creature, in the form of Princess Doris's pet bird, Hisui, so I don't think it's impossible.

For now, for the trial I'll check out these three, "The transition of primeval magic to modern magic and variations", "For what reason do labyrinths exist?", and "Denying the irreversibility of the transformation from living being into undead", and see if I could easily solve one.

"Master, look at this."

Arisa called me when she saw the last pedestal.
It's a labyrinth-related theme.

"『How does a Dungeon Master produce magical items and monsters?』 huh..."

True, it looks good to be a research theme.
Since there's no way to test and verify things without the help of a [Dungeon Master], it's understandable how this problem remained unsolved for more than 100 years.

This one looks to be quite easy to solve.
Though, if I did, people would then question the source of information and its authenticity, which is just troublesome.

<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>

"Good work, Master."
"Welfomf bafh rarorefu."

We joined up with the rest of the girls who had gone around checking eateries.
After parting ways with Miko Maiya at Sage's Tower front entrance.

Pochi's mouth is stuffed with hodge-podge, she's frantically trying really hard to swallow it.

"Master, Sage Beans and Boiled Kariswolk Pork are tasty, so I report."
"The trout sherbet is pretty good too desuwa!"

Nana greeted me and immediately presented a bowl of hodge-podge.
Seemingly lured by Nana, Lady Karina also held out a plate with slices of frozen fish-like sashimi on top to me.

"Fish sherbet? --Ah, must be stuff that's like Rui-be huh."

Arisa sounded upset at first, but then she recalled some kind of cuisine from earth and nodded.
Apparently, you're supposed to eat this cuisine half-thawed and uncooked, but low temperature kills parasites anyway, it's a good source of vitamins in this winter season where it's difficult to obtain fresh vegetable.

"Welcome back, Satou-san."
"Please come over here. I will get you something warm to drink."

While greeting back Sera, I took the seat Zena-san offered.
As I warm myself with the ginger tea-like drink Zena-san gave me, I look around the eatery.

There's a big stove in the center of the eatery, a pot put on top of it is raising white smoke.

"Master, this salmon thingy is some good stuff."
"Pochi would like Master to eat hodge-podge too nodesu."

Arisa and Pochi offered me food.

I'll start with the lightly seasoned looking Rui-be.
Exactly like how it looks, it tastes like sherbet when you first put it in your mouth, but once inside, the heat thaws it out, spreading rich sashimi-like oily flavor in your mouth.
It tastes a bit like frozen salmon, really good. I could get addicted to this.

"This is good."

Arisa looked a bit triumphant.
Losing to the gaze of Pochi who was standing next to her with an excited look on her face, I reached out to the hodge-podge.

"This one is pretty good too."
"Yes, nanodesu!"

The flavor is a bit too dense, but the spare-rib-like texture from the pressure cooking is delicious.
And the smallish soya bean-like beans mixed inside goes well with the meat flavor.

"Mia-chan, they have fried mushroom wrap here, would you like a taste?"

Zena-san offered Mia a dish.
Princess Sistina gracefully brought the plebeian cuisines recommended by Lulu and Sera into her mouth.

While we were having a pleasant meal in the corner of the eatery like this, I heard some clatter from the streets.

"Like I said! Demon God-sama is the forefather of modern magic, okay! He's called Demon God meaning he must be god of magic!" <TLN: 'demon' and 'magic' in this context share the same kanji '魔'.>
"This again, you demon lord devotee and your screws-missing head!"

A man and a woman who were arguing with each other entered this eatery.

The man is quite handsome himself, but the woman is one such beauty that was a bit wasted on her underling-like speech pattern.
Putting aside Lulu as a special case, the woman has this transient beauty that wouldn't look pale in comparison to the girls in my party.

"I've been saying, yer' wrong! Even if I'm a believer of Demon God-sama, I ain't no adherent of demons and demon lords! To begin with, there ain't no reliable literatures that say demons are Demon God's familiar!"
"Hmph, have you forgotten about Lalakie Monument left behind in the ruins of a civilization that existed after Lalakie civilization from the age of gods, and the epitaph found at Golden Tower of Toro Kuro!"

That's quite an interesting topic.

As the AR readings have guaranteed that the woman isn't a demon lord adherent, I stand up from my seat to get in touch with the two.

"Hello there, if it's fine with you two, could I join in your talk?"

※Next update is planned for 7/1

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