Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 4 Chapter 32: What Dragon-san and Company Understood
While drinking some delicious sake, we exchanged information between ourselves, summarizing everything that we knew so far.
Kyle also sent the message back to Hibernia, informing Seram to make both Aru and Mikoto absent from school for now.
It also seemed that Mini Vaas-senpai managed to regain consciousness, however he was still to shaken to receive any messages or take action.
Oh well, as long as he was fine it was all okay in my book.
「So, did you manage to find some intel on ‘Eclipse’?」
「Up to some extent, but I think it’s really important.」
Kyle looked as though he wanted us to elaborate on that, and so Nectar continued with explaining.
「First of all, the ‘Innocent Chaos’ –– a type of youma whose existence was confirmed here in Towa over five thousand years ago. Taisha was established roughly around that same time. ‘Eclipse’ is invulnerable to any kind of physical attacks. Only magic can hurt it, and it is only up to some extent, if it’s not the ancient one. Coming into contact with it, no matter what kind of living organism you are, means certain death.」
Hearing all that, Kyle nodded his head. Most of the information he already knew, but some of them were news to him.
「Unfortunately, since Towa’s archives are so big, I only managed to read through a small portion of them, so ‘Eclipse’s’ true identity still remains a mystery to us. However, even the most gifted and wise of scholars of this country seem to have only assumptions and hypotheses on the subject.」
Mikado-san gave us the best of Towa’s magicians and scholars, in hope of us understanding youmas and the nature of ‘Eclipse’.
Many of the things they had to say were simply amazing.
They were convinced that instead of being a demon or a monster, ‘Eclipse’ was closer in nature to the natural calamity.
However, the moment I shared with them that when ‘Eclipse’ entered the world I could feel tremendous amounts of negativity oozing out if it, that theory was ultimately scratched and a new one had to be conjured.
In the end, none of the new theories seemed all that convincing.
「But still, we can be perfectly sure that we came to know the fool-proof method of slaying it.」
Nectar says to Kyle, and his eyes grew wider upon hearing that.
「The people of Towa use the magic from their surroundings to wear it in a similar way to a suit of armor, and also coat their weapons with it. This way, they can harm the ‘Eclipse’ and eradicate it. In order to do this, however, a contract with a demon is required.」
It is the conclusion that both Nectar and I arrived at, after comparing our observations.
We even went as far as to confirm all of that with Senjiro yesterday, and judging from his reactions we hit right in the bulls-eye.
Next, Nectar took out some documents from the interdimensional storage and spread them over the tatami mats.
「From what we managed to gather, there are two respective ways of utilizing the demonic contract, each of them practiced by the Guardians and the Shrine Maidens. One of them is called ‘Godly Descent’, and it is the technique that borrows the power of the demon and gives it to the contractor. And then we have the ‘Godly Assistance’, which allows the demons to manifest as a seemingly normal person that aids you in battle. (TL NOTE: Is that a Jojo reference? Because it sounds exactly like Stands to me.)」
The former was the technique that we saw Mikoto use, while the latter was the one that allowed both Ten-san and Karura-san to manifest in our world.
While establishing a connection between the demon and a human, it was possible for contractors to use the power of their demons as their own, thanks to the connection that was inscribed directly onto their souls.
Of course, using any kind of complex magic during that process was impossible.
However, during the connection you could use what limited magic you had to protect yourself from ‘Eclipse’s’ decaying effects and to inflict damage upon it.
And in order to further reduce the burden that such magic would inflict upon his body, Mikado-san was channeling Karura-san’s power straight into his weapon.
「While we’re still at it, I understand the merits that gods might have from covenants like that. But how does that possibly benefit demons in any way? To my understanding, the demons could eradicate ‘Eclipse’ by using their magic themselves.」
Hearing Kyle’s spot-on question, Nectar’s eyes lit with a bright light.
「It is because demons can’t recover by any normal means if they are hurt by the ‘Eclipse’ and other youmas.」
「What do you mean by that?」
「Demons are ninty percent of raw magic. The white fog does not inflict that serious of a damage onto them, however, that’s not the case with youmas. They are physical, and the demons might end up corrupted by the ‘Eclipse’ if it infects the youma-inflicted wounds.」
Karura-san was shivering while Nectar was saying that. What a cute reaction.
It was also quite horrible to see the demons being affected by the ‘Eclipse’ like that, especially now that we knew to just how great length they were willing to go in order to stop it.
And once the demon got corrupted by the ‘Eclipse’ it was the job of the Guardians and their brethren to put it out of its misery and end its suffering.
「In general, should the twenty percent of the demon’s body be infected, its sanity will start to erode rapidly. And should it fail to separate the infected parts ASAP, it will be gone in a manner of minutes…… The ‘Eclipse’ will make it go rampant. However, by making a contract with humans and circulating their magic through them, the demons can gain a temporal resistance to ‘Eclipse’s’ effects.」
We didn’t wanted to admit it at first, but it seems that every living organism was destined to die when clashed with ‘Eclipse’.
Of course, if the demon was also shielded with magic it would be able to survive, but should its core be damaged, it would mean the end of it.
The contract was severely limiting the demon’s offensive capabilities and was bringing it close to a human in terms of physical abilities, but it was still better than to be evaporated immediately upon touching the white fog.
Long story short: humans were gaining the ability to defeat the ‘Eclipse’, while the demons were gaining resistance to it.
It was a symbiosis –– a relationship based on mutual gain.
Now that I think about it, it was actually great system of fighting the ‘Eclipse’.
The values that the people of Towa worshipped were truly different from that of the West, but even when faced with such colossal adversary they were still bright and cheerful.
「I see. So in Towa, without the demons it would be impossible to fight off youmas and ‘Eclipse’, but does that also mean that if there was no ‘Eclipse’ to begin with, there would be no demons? I wonder who designed this system?」
Kyle asked, seemingly impressed, and this time around I felt that the answer would be slightly more complicated.
「That would probably be Taisha’s deity. In other words: Ten.」
Astonished, Kyle rolls his eyes and Nectar adds to that topic:
「There’s no doubt that the people of Towa developed the system and upgraded it across the years, but from the documents it can be deduced that its core rules were established around the same time as Taisha was created.」
「You know, the more I hear about all this, the more it seems that this Ten is doing everything she can in order to protect her country.」
We initially didn’t want to tell him that, but ultimately we decided that he needed to know the story about Taisha’s Shrine Maidens and their supposed sacrifice.
「Aaah, now I get it. Still, not that it changes anything.」
Said Kyle while putting his finger on his chin. I couldn’t really agree to that or deny that.
But I remember that I felt the same way as Kyle was now: lost and unable what to really think about it.
Seeing that I had no comeback to that matter, Kyle must have probably felt that it would be wise to change the subject for now.
「But still, can anyone tell me why are we meeting here in such secrecy?」
「At first we felt reluctant towards that location, but Mikado-san said that no one would dare to disturb us here and we could study here in peace. So far, it proved to be true.」
Certainly, part of the reason must have been to keep us hidden from Taisha’s gaze, but we could really focus on our research in here.
One of the merits of that situation was the fact that Nectar could understand the techniques used by Senjiro and Mikoto in much greater detail than before.
「To be perfectly honest, I didn’t think that some of those techniques would prove to be so useful or complex.」
「…… I see. After all, up until a while ago this country was secluded from the rest of the world.」
Kyle seemed to understood what Nectar was getting at, since he was way better at grasping the political situation around the world.
「It seems that for the people of this country, the concepts of ‘coexistence with the demons’ and ‘Eclipse’ are all parts of their everyday lives. Those are the concepts that we are probably unable to grasp.」
That is exactly right.
However, seeing the reaction on both Karura-san and Mikado-san’s faces, I was beginning to doubt even that statement.
From that moment onwards, the discussion was mostly about the Emperor, ‘Eclipse’ and the magic practiced in Towa.
I thought it was okay, since Mikado-san was not someone who would do or say anything stupid deliberately…… But would that be really okay?
I was seriously doubting if we were all sober enough at that point, but Nectar seemed to be thinking about something else.
「But I’m worried that the appearance of the white youma might be reported again.」
「Now that I think about it, didn’t you once said something about that, Mikado-san? Something along the lines of ‘Normally they don’t appear that frequently’?」
We were able to grasp the concept of demons and humans working together in quite a detail, but there was still one matter that needed clarification: the backlash and fatigue that a human body would receive after uniting with demon magic.
「Are there any demerits from pairing up?」
「Not that I’m aware of any.」
Here, at the royal capital, there were quite a few Guardians and Shrine Maidens that made numerous covenants with demons, including the Emperor himself. It was like that mostly because Mikado-san thought it would be wise to keep them all in one place in case of emergency.
If there were people like that at Melias during the ‘Eclipse’ outbreak, it would have been so much easier to contain the crisis before it managed to escalate.
Right here in Towa, the number of ‘Eclipse’ beasts must have been much larger, but even so everyone in here seemed to be strangely relaxed. However, you couldn’t say that neither the Emperor nor the magicians were sitting around and doing nothing.
I think that was one of the reasons why they wanted to learn about the Western magic so much.
Not every demon in Towa was able to establish a covenant with a human. Apparently only the third of their population was able to do that.
「If we manage to learn Western magic, we might be able to do something about that.」
He said so in a casual manner, but I couldn’t help it but to notice the kind of looks that Nectar and Kyle exchanged between themselves.
「Is that the only thing you’re hiding?」
Oh well. At that time we didn’t consider it important enough to bring the matter onto the negotiations table.
But it was no real harm to it, since we could mention that pretty much anytime. Even though there were still parts we didn’t quite understood ourselves.
Anyways, more than anything, it was mostly about cultural differences.
「So, what is it? That solution?」
「This is ––……」
In the middle of that conversation, Kyle’s forehead got full of wrinkles.
「Certainly, for the people of the West that would be a groundbreaking discovery, but judging from Mikoto’s reaction, what you consider just a contract was almost a sacred deal for her. So the question is: how is it in reality?」
「This is a cause of concern. But……」
I understand just how Nectar feels. It was a matter that Mikado-san needed to clarify.
Kyle also nodded his head to that while wearing a vague expression on his face.
「I shall leave the decision to you. Now I shall go and take care of the magicians whose self-esteem was crushed by Nectar-dono here. We also need to start thinking about the construction of the ‘gate’, since we have a motivation now.」
We took another sip of the alcohol, and while we were savoring its taste, Nectar had a thought.
「No, it’s nothing in particular……」
「I personally think that our magicians would be far better if someone as Spartan as you was in charge of their training from the earliest years.」
「I think that Towa has magicians who are way better than me, though.」
「It’s good to be aware of the fact that there is always someone better than you. Modesty is a good thing. …… Nectar, want me to join you tomorrow?」
「Good grief, don’t you trust me even in the slightest?」
「Keep dreaming, you magic-obsessed dumbass.」
Kyle answers Nectar just like that, his answer betraying deep trust that was only possible due to a long lasting friendship.
I couldn’t help but laugh at them both as they got up and went towards the entrance.