16-57. Sage's Tower (6)
Satou here. We exterminate pest with fumigants in my grandfather's house back in the countryside, but doing that carelessly in a leased apartment in big cities could lead to fire, and in the first place, I feel like most of them don't even allow you to light one. Even though it's highly effective, rounding up everything in one go and all.
"Oh good, looks like Kariswolk City was the first."
I muttered so in relief.
I had returned all the captured miko and priests back to their home with Unit Arrangement and space magic teleport one by one, and found out that none of the countries had suffered a terror attack by the [Vampire Mosquito: Mutant] in the process.
Instead, I was able to capture members of the organization the old man in white who kidnapped those miko belong to, [Heart of Gold], several pots they had, and activated eggs of vampire mosquitoes.
I've prepared documents about these pots and vampire mosquitoes with photos, but I'm not sure if I want to distribute them to the top brass of each countries.
Because I'm afraid they would not only move behind the scene to obtain these mosquitoes, but they would also possibly use it to sow the seeds of disturbance during wars and such.
『Aah yeah, it's the norm for organizations who confiscated biological weapons to make use of it themselves in the past cold war too~』
『But, Ichirou-nii. If you didn't inform those countries, wouldn't their people get in a huge trouble later on?』
『Well yeah, guess so. How about hiding the information about Vampire Mosquitoes, and just tell them that the pots are the source of the curse? Tell 'em, like, "Demon lords are using this thing to curse the world!", and that the populace would be cursed unless the priests purify them with ritual magic.』
I got those answers in the space magic [Tactical Talk] held between me, Arisa and Hikaru.
I've decided to adopt Arisa's idea, after destroying all the pots in every country, I'll send letters as Hero Nanashi of Shiga Kingdom to warn those countries about the pots and the possibility of the remnants scheming to terrorize their countries still at large.
『But really, Ichirou-nii, your Unique Skill is really a cheat.』
Hikaru said that jokingly, however, I could hear her faintly muttering, "If only I had a power like that back then...", when I was cutting the connection.
Not sure if it was during her hero or king days, Hikaru had her fair shares of hardships too it seems.
One of these days, I'll accompany her to talk about her past with some good booze and snacks for a night.
"Oy, oy, you've gotta be kidding me..."
[Heart of Gold] that kidnapped miko wasn't the only organization conspiring to carry out vampire mosquito terror attacks.
After a close investigation in the first area, I went around and teleported to each Maps on the continent while searching for vampire mosquitoes and [Heart of Gold] members, destroying their vampire mosquito terror plans, but in the midst of it, I started to find other secret societies like [Thorn of Truth], [Eye of Mercury] and [Benefit Society].
Every one of them aren't connected in a terrorist network, most are acting as an independent organization.
However, all of them share one similarity.
The person who brought the vampire mosquitoes to these organizations had different names like [Comrae Don], [Member Nanya], [Seya the 『Shadow Walker』], or [Hunt Master], but besides the fact that they had a foreign accent, no one even knew their face.
I have no clue if they're the same person or not, but it's pretty much confirmed that there's a mastermind who's pulling the strings behind all these terrorist organizations.
And if there's anyone who's capable of doing a villainous act as large scale as this--
"Well, it's those guys..."
The mastermind leader and tactician Touya who are lurking in the shadow of Saga Empire crossed my mind.
I know Touya and his cohorts' location and I've put markers on them so I won't lose sight of them, but I still haven't got a single lead on their leader.
Every one of these organizations has a regular meeting with the mastermind, a small man, and the closest one is [Heart of Gold]'s meeting in three days from now.
According to the documented plan I seized from them, the terror attack was planned to be done two days later at the [The Day before New Moon], apparently the incident at Kariswolk City happened earlier than planned due to an accident.
Either way, since the small mastermind might run away when he gets to Kariswolk city where [Heart of Gold] headquarters lie, I'll put up a barrier that can detect a rift in space at Kariswolk City.
I'll catch the tail of this stealthy mastermind this time.
"I'm back, sorry I'm late."
It was already late in the day when I got back to the Solitary Island Palace to pick Hikaru up.
I feel a bit bad since I had promised to meet her in the noon.
"Good work out there, Ichirou-nii. No one but Ichirou-nii is capable of sensing and taking care of terrorist attacks in the entire world, all in a day work you know?"
You should be proud of yourself, says Hikaru.
While feeling slightly embarrassed to be watched by her admiring eyes, I took Hikaru along to Kariswolk City.
Tama and Mia went and hugged me when I opened the diner's door.
I went inside while the two were coiling around me, and caught a sight of Liza bringing water to Pochi who had her mouth jammed with food.
She must have tried to gulp down the food she was having so she could run out together with the two.
Looks like they went ahead and started the meal already since it was late already.
"Oooh, young master! Third's time the charm ssu!"
When I took an empty seat next to Lulu, the underling-sounding beauty--[Witch of Icy Field]-san hugged me from behind, forced me to hold a liquor cup, and poured it full of booze.
Even though she drank herself to sleep this noon, she's started drinking again, enough to get her face red.
Well, guess it's fine.
Since I'm starving myself, I'll join in the feast.
The impregnable fortress pair, Mia and Arisa peeled the clinging Witch-san away from me.
"But seriously, you really saved us ssuyo. It was young master who dispatched Tama-sensei and the others right?"
"They were super awesome ssuyo. They went and beat the men in white and the wrights, skeleton knights they controlled, like chop chop whoa."
Tama and Pochi who're getting high praises from Witch-san wriggle around, looking bashful.
Since Lady Karina had [Praise me!] written all over her face while looking at me, I also gave her some praises along with Tama and Pochi. I'm a bit afraid that it'll drive her out of control, but I'm sure Raka will do something about it. Surely.
In addition, even though Witch-san knew about [Heart of Gold] the secret society the men in white belonged to, she was not familiar with the old man in white according to her.
I asked if she had an idea as to why she was getting targeted, but she replied with, [Only bars where I put too much tabs on, and men I dumped would go after me ssune], I wasn't sure if she was joking or if she really had no idea.
"Good grief, what a disappointment of a Witch of Source you are."
"What are you saying ssuka. I'm nothing but a beauty when I'm away from the Source, you know."
"Who are you talking about! If you can't fight, then don't, could you stop exposing yourself to danger then? You can go back to the Source anytime you want anyway!"
The drunken Rakel-kun, pupil of the [Witch of Frost Covered Forest], picked a quarrel with the [Witch of Icy Field]-san.
"But, I'm the only one who can go back y'know? I won't do that and leave Rakel-kun alone ssuyo."
Rakel-kun whose face was already red turned even redder.
The love-minded Arisa and Sera who are watching from the sidelines are getting fired up, "Love? Is this love?", "It must be!". Zena-san seems to be a good talker, she's naturally put herself among them.
"I mean, the weak Rakel-kun would get done in real quick if he were alone ssuyo. Like, phoew."
"Whaddya think Juhyou-chan (frost covered tree) would say to me then. That obstinate Juhyou-chan would keep grumbling about it for like a decade ssuyo."
Next to Witch-san who's shaking her head exaggeratedly, Rakel-kun's face is turning red and blue in rapid successions, all the while Arisa and the girls watch him with a pitying look.
Well, uh. Keep at it.
<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 morning, Master."
When I came to, Lulu's upper half came into view as she was looking over me.
Judging from the sensation on the back of my head, it looks like I'm currently getting Lulu's lap pillow.
"Ah, good morning."
Looks like I was tired, I apparently went asleep in the middle of the feast, unusually enough. Zena-san and liza apparently carried me to the bed.
I'm loath to part with the soft pillow, but since there's a lot of things need to be done today, I muster the strength to get up.
Then it hits me that I forgot to ask Witch-san, about the [Location where the Demon God is sealed at], but it's not really a critical information to have in a hurry, so there's no problem.
I can ask about it before we leave this city anyway.
From what she told me during the feast, she's having a business talk with her big investor today, she might turn me away if I go to her now, and most importantly, I'd just get in her way.
"Thanks for waiting."
"The dining room is over here."
After grooming myself, I went to the dining room with Lulu.
Since we still have two days before the small mastermind behind the vampire mosquito comes here, we plan to continue our research as originally planned in the meantime.
I ask Arisa and the girls' progress yesterday while enjoying our meal in the dining room.
"--So you see, our research isn't going too well."
I'm told that they're having a trouble deciphering the scribbles of research materials.
I put the document I got from Arisa into Storage, tried to OCR it and it spat out normal character data, then I copied it onto Memo Pad, and printed out the copy into the Storage with Menu plug-in magic [Print Out].
Un, it's readable.
I hand it over to Arisa.
"--Are you a PC!"
I thought she would be ecstatic, so cruel.
"W-what about our hardships yesterdayyyyyy"
"Arisa, just consider that we will have it easy from now on."
"That's right, Arisa-chan. Look at this here. The incomprehensible part yesterday makes sense now."
"Nn, nicely readable."
Princess Sistina and Zena-san soothed the screaming Arisa.
Arisa and Zena-san's teams should have worked on different materials, but apparently they were working together to decipher their documents yesterday.
"I plan to investigate on the [Denying the irreversibility of the transformation from living being into undead] subject together with Sera today, but talk to me anytime if you have a document you need to decipher."
We'll be constantly connected with space magic [Tactical Talk] in order to exchange ideas.
I don't think there will be an incident like yesterday, I'm trying this method to see if having a way to have discussions like in SNS would be beneficial in our research.
"Where should we go?"
"Mia-sama, what do you think?"
Mia, Princess Sistina, and Zena-san are heading to the library to continue their research on [How to achieve chantless magic?].
"What about us, what should we do?"
Hikaru asked Arisa.
The two are researching on [The transition of primeval magic to modern magic and variations].
"I've taken a quick look at the print outs Master gave, and there's some parts I still don't really get, so I'd like to meet the scholar who wrote this document here. Master, do you know where they are?"
I draw a route from the inn to the scholar's house on a paper.
Since Arisa can check the city's geography with space magic [Clairvoyance] from high grounds, I'm sure they won't get lost.
"Master, hoping for a mission."
"We'll accomplish any mission, no matter how hard! Right, Pochi, Tama?"
"But of course nodesu! Nothing is impossible with Pochi and us together nodesuyo!"
Liza is watching over Lady Karina and the girls talking big while looking slightly troubled.
I've decided that Liza and the girls will go on a patrol around Kariswolk City while pretending to be on a pleasure trip.
Even though it's still two days away before the small mastermind comes, there's no guarantee he absolutely won't come here with space magic after all, and I plan to notify the girls about any other accident happening in the city and have them investigate it.
"Shall we be off then Satou-san."
Having my hand pulled by the all-smiles Sera, I stood up.
With a flustered look, Arisa frantically made a plea to Sera, "Just because you're two alone together, you can't push him down okay? You just can't okay."
Sera told her, "I know already" with a refreshing look on her face, but since Arisa still looked worried, I persuaded her by saying, 『We're all connected through Tactical Talk, so you'll know if anything happens right?』.
I put everything that was in the reference room at the top of Sage's Tower, and copied the content into Memo Pad.
I'm afraid of getting typo and stuff when transcribing if I use written copies so I've decided to use the original copy.
I print documents related to our research subject and ask Sera to closely examine them.
"Are you going to be okay with this many documents?"
"Yes, I will be fine."
Even though there's a scarily huge pile of papers in front of her, Sera replied while an oddly cheerful tone.
"We're going to work together, just the two of us."
I feel bad to say something like I would to Arisa to the gleeful sounding Sera, but I plan to go to Karion Main Temple to look for other documents.
After I told her that, the face Sera made, "Eh? Why?", stung my heart, but looking on Map, the main temple has some documents that don't exist here, so I absolutely need to go there.
I don't mind going with Sera but as a former God Tenion's miko, she'll probably find it uncomfortable there, so I'm going alone.
"Welcome to Karion Temple, your excellency."
Miko Maiya greeted me as I arrived at the main temple.
She's already working even though she just got abducted and was on the verge of death yesterday.
Looks like main temples have quite the black company environment.
"Could you let me see documents pertaining my research subject for the trial?"
"That would be fine. Your excellency are not only allowed to access the library restricted to scholars, but also the Sanctuary Library that are normally restricted to archbishops and high-ranking priests, where would you like me to guide you to?"
"First, to the library. If I can't find the document I need there, please take me to the Sanctuary Library."
I dunno if an outsider like me should be allowed to enter a library for high-ranking priests, but according Miko Maiya, it's customary for those who take on God Karion's trial to be given access to the Sanctuary Library, so it's fine.
The main temple shared a lot of documents with the ones in [Sage's Tower], but there were also a lot more documents peculiar to the temple pertaining undead and demons.
Especially about undead, when other temples stop at [Undeads are impure beings], here, some documents hypothesized that they might be flesh that contain highly concentrated miasma and negative feelings--or dead bodies that have undergone mutations.
Among the banned books and documents, there were results of experiments that tried to turn small animals into undead, but it's hard to say for sure whether the hypothesis earlier was correct or not from the results.
I bring all of those documents to check with Sera together.
"What's the difference between undead and monsters I wonder..."
Monsters are also plants and animals that have turned into monsters due to concentration of miasma and mana.
"Is it the magic cores?"
"Undeads have those too."
Undeads have magic cores too.
Even those without physical body have them.
There exist pseudo-undead called [Accursed], and [Coreless] that can get generated when dead bodies are left in a dungeon, but they're not true undead, and more like beings of magical phenomena instead.
Sera seemed to have hit on something.
"Perhaps, they're one and the same?"
"One and the same?"
"Yes, the only difference is whether the base that undergoes the mutation is the living or the un-living..."
The component needed for the transformation and the transformation process are the same huh....
"But then, that means..."
If those who have been vampirized--turned into undead are restored to their original state with the same process as [Hisui who has been turned into a monster], they will be turned back into their un-living bodies.
"Yes, we can't save anyone."
Sera who's seemingly come to the same conclusion bites her lips in frustration.
『Sorry to intrude in. Master, can I have a bit?』
Arisa who heard my discussions with Sera through Tactical Talk called in.
『Looks like it's heading to a negative conclusion, but can't you first verify whether it's possible or not? There are items that can bring the dead back to life like the [Artifact of Revival] at the duchy capital's Tenion Temple after all.』
『It's not an item! It's a Sacred Treasure.』
It seems Sera won't bend down on this, she cut in with a serious look.
『Sorry sorry. There's those kinds of Sacred Treasure around after all, so it might be possible to bring the dead back to the world the living too.』
『Yeah, you're exactly right.』
It's not like me at all to give up before trying.
『Thank you Arisa. I'll give it a try.』
『Ehehe~, that's my Master!!』
I thanked Arisa for her advices.
『Oh, and, it's fine if you go ahead and conjure up revival magic too you know?』
It's really like Arisa to joke around at the end.
Now then, shall we begin the experiment to make the impossible possible then?
※ Next update is planned for 8/5