Chapter 48 – Part 1

 


TRANSLATOR: Artemis

EDITOR: Ryunakama


After hearing Vaje’s statement, Professor Edward and Miss Eliza stopped to think about Todorokuni’s recent actions up until now, and concluded that it was very strange for them to not be here.

Then we took a small break for a moment, prepared our equipment, and decided to go investigate at Todorokuni’s campgrounds.

Professor Edward looked around at all of us, and his usual calm and friendly smile disappeared. With an expression tight with nervousness, he opened his mouth to speak to us.

「Now then, we’ve done all the preparation we can do. It will take about a day and a half of walking to get to Todorokuni’s campgrounds, where their investigation team should be staying. If we leave now, we will probably arrive there by sunset tomorrow. In the case of any unexpected circumstances arising, we might end up arriving in the middle of the night or even in the morning of the following day. During the journey, there will be numerous rivers, so we can catch fish or shellfish there, and if we enter the forest, there will be plenty of fruits and mushrooms to pick. We won’t have to worry about running out of food and water」

After Professor Edward spoke, Miss Eliza continued from where he left off, moving her lips which were colored with a light crimson lipstick.

Instead of carrying that large, overstuffed rucksack on her back like before, she had replaced it with a poleaxe, a kite shield, and a bastard sword; all of them big, heavyweight arms.

「Todorokuni’s investigation squads are generally made up of 20 academic scholars, accompanied by a hundred soldiers in the front and back for protection. In past examples, among those 100 soldiers, 10-20 of them should be priests, exorcists, and feng shui masters. If we consider the size of previous investigation teams from other countries in comparison to our numbers, it would most likely be undesirable for us to be noticed by those other teams」

As Miss Eliza simply stated all sorts of currently common known information, Christina fiddled with her sword, Elspada, in her left hand and had a slightly troubled expression on her face.

Even so, Christina was like a masterpiece painting, her beauty was one that no artist could ever replicate again, not even a single strand of hair off her eyebrow. The expression that rose to her face was without question exquisite.

Perhaps taking notice of Christina’s grim expression, Professor Edward gently reminded us of something.

「But unexpectedly, with our lineup of members, even if we were to fight anyone head-on, we would probably win. And also, when those other countries start getting into their diplomatic conflicts, their fights are easier to spot than even a blazing fire. We can proceed while avoiding any incidents」

「Those people from Todorokuni should be there, but as far as we know, they’re not there. Confirming the truth of this paradox while trying to approach them unnoticed will be difficult. Isn’t this even harder than the investigation alone?」

Upon hearing the slight, almost joking tone in Christina’s last sentence, Professor Edward let out a rough and wild grin, completely different from how he’d presented himself until now.

「In a temple that protects the mummified dead, the God of the Underworld sleeps, hidden in a never-ending sandstorm. And then surrounded by a sharp wind, rain and lightning, is the Sky God’s altar at the summit of the sacred mountain.
There is also an underground city that is protected by man-eating bugs and man-made ghosts and golems. And lastly, there is a wandering ghost ship that travels the whole world’s oceans, surrounded by a fog that never clears up.
In comparison to these places that we’ve been to before, this is a simple matter, Christina」

Professor Edward, though wrapped in signs of a somewhat pathetic attitude, still had an unbeatable, positive smile. Even though he looked like he was writhing in agony, as if he was sitting in the middle of a swamp made of blood and vomit, Professor Edward was able to actually smile as he looked back on his memories. He must have really solid mental strength.

Hmm, I thought that was so impressive, I truly felt moved, but unfortunately, Professor Edward’s dreadful smile put a damper on his cool words, and he looked a little guilty about that.

「It’s a little hard to say this, but it’s just as Vaje said. There aren’t any other humans here in Solania besides ourselves」

Upon hearing that, everyone there immediately turned to Professor Edward. Young birds chirped in the trees to my left, and as one of them landed on my hand, the professor turned to meet every single one of us in the eyes.

Because he suddenly grasped the long sword hanging from his waist, even though his dominant right hand had just been completely empty the second before, I knew that he was like me or other natives of Bern village. We had a readiness for battle carved into us from a young age, from as soon as we were old enough to be aware of our surroundings.

「Oh, Dran, that bird resting in your hand is a Cobalt Nagao Sparrow. It’s a sparrow famous in Solania for its cobalt wings.

Maybe because the birds are overly cautious and wary, most of them will just patiently wait nearby, not falling for any bait. Their magical resistance is also good, so this is just one of the many effects of magic that the animals here cause.」

Disregarding the main point of the story, and saying just the thing that interested him the most, seemed to be a habit of the professor’s.

That can’t be the main issue here, both Christina and Selina seemed to question the professor with their eyes, but Professor Edward himself was interested in only the Cobalt Nagao Sparrow in my hand, staring at it with deep focus.

To not pay any mind to the expectant gazes of other people, is probably the meaning of happiness for him. It’s something I do often myself, so I can’t really fault Professor Edward for doing it too.

「I signed a simple contract with one of them as a familiar, you know. It was so that I could exchange information with its friends and colleagues, and find out the current situation within Solania. I just pay them back with magic and bread crumbs. I gained a wide coverage of information for such a cheap price. It may not be the most accurate information, but it should prove useful. They say that the people who appear to be the investigation team from Todorokuni, were spotted three days ago. But the birds haven’t seen them since」

「Isn’t that just like what I’ve been saying?」Vaje complained with a pout.

「These birds sleep at night and can’t see that well because it’s too dark, so I don’t know all the details. It appears the team at Todorokuni’s campgrounds got into some commotion in the middle of the night. A fighting voice and the sounds of explosions rose up, and a hand made of fire was raised, causing the team’s animals to become panicked and upset」

「I see, all I can think is that there’s no doubt that they were attacked by something. Did they not catch any glimpse of the attackers?」

The Cobalt Nagao Sparrow chirped loudly.

「It seems they couldn’t see a whole lot of it. But there were also things that they saw, but couldn’t recognize」

「Saw but couldn’t recognize? It’s like a riddle, isn’t it」

Professor Edward wrung his neck, while Selina gripped her staff in both hands with a face that was lost in memory.

With the feeling of wanting to resolve a problem pointed out by a student, I called out to Selina like a teacher would.

「Yes, Selina. Did you realize something?」

「The sparrows are saying that they saw the attackers, but they don’t know who they are, right? In that case, that must mean it was either a creature that they’ve never seen before because it doesn’t live on Solania, or it was a creature that doesn’t have a definitive form, like a creature made of fog or something. Could those be possible suspects?」

If it was some shapeless creature, it could be a moving puddle, or a mucus of some sort; in other words, a slime or a gel or jelly. But magical creatures made of jelly usually don’t appear unless there is a fog creature of some sort, but even then, they were magical creatures that live in the fog and the smog in the air.

Just like what Professor Edward had said earlier, if the Cobalt Nagao Swallows are native to this island, then they shouldn’t have any idea what any outsiders would look like, and would have a hard time identifying it, since it’s outside their field of knowledge.

Besides humans, who have been stepping foot on Solania for centuries, just like how Selina explained it, the sparrows do not recognize a creature they’ve never known, or a creature that can change its shape at will, so it seems like the sparrows’ information was suitable.


 


2 Comments

  1. gochisousama deshita

  2. Thank you very much for the updates and the continued translation. I’m very much appreciative.

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