Translator: Kell | Editor: Weasalopes
The Road to the Ruins
The fight between the Four Stars of the East was over in a flash, quite literally. With a flash of Selyse’s sword, the men’s weapons flew in the air, rendering them powerless. Sarah quickly silenced the wizard chanting a spell. Chloe babbled on about how incredible Selyse was despite Hikaru not even asking.
Chloe watched Selyse with dreamy eyes as the latter strode to the guild’s receptionist. I think a door that should’ve stayed locked has been opened, Hikaru thought. After that, Selyse talked to the guildmaster and took the Giant Rock Viper kill quest.
Morning of the next day.
「I’m going to the ruins!」Selica announced in the hotel’s lounge.
Apparently, even with only Selyse, Sarah, and Sophie, it was already overkill against the Giant Rock Viper.
After breakfast, Hikaru and the others met up with Count Buck.
「I heard you went wild yesterday.」the Count said with a knowing smirk.
「It wasn’t me.」Hikaru corrected.「It was the Four Stars that did it.」
They would be going to the ruins on foot, including Count Buck and his escort. Leaving town, they entered a coniferous forest at the foot of the mountain.
『Your leader sure has a twisted personality.』Hikaru said.
『Are you talking about yesterday? It was necessary. We’re a party of four women, so there will always be people who underestimate us. I remember going through all the guilds in the royal capital.』Selica explained proudly.『We adventurers, for better or worse, are really perceptive of pecking orders. It helps in gauging the strength of monsters too. Otherwise we won’t survive out there.』
『I suppose you have a point… I guess? Or maybe you just don’t like to be made fun of.』
『That’s not it. Because we showed how strong we actually were, we got to talk to the guildmaster directly. There’s information that you can only get by talking with one. The guildmaster is, after all, the manager of the information sharing network between guilds.』
『Such a network exists, huh?』
『They use a special medium to communicate. Sending even a short message costs a lot, apparently. But still, they have to know what’s going on throughout the country, so they communicate at least once a month.』
So high-ranked adventurers get all kinds of information, huh? Hikaru thought.
『So, did he tell you anything unusual?』
『Ponsonia’s King is dead.』
Unken’s face flashed in Hikaru’s mind.
『Was he assassinated?』
『You’re right. Great guess. The assassin was killed, though.』
Unken carried out his task, fully prepared to die. With this, he had killed both rulers of Quinbland and Ponsonia. One could say he performed a great deed. But his name would never come to light, forever buried in the annals of time. Only Hikaru, Emperor Kaglai, and perhaps the Prime Minister knew the truth.
Hikaru closed his eyes. Is Unken’s soul being judged up there right now?
『Anyway, there’s more. Would you like to know?』
『Oh. I thought for sure you didn’t care about Ponsonia.』
『I don’t hate the kingdom itself. I just didn’t like some people there, the King included. So, you said there’s more?』
『There was a struggle as to who should take the throne. I don’t know the exact details, but the Crown Prince was driven out of the capital and escaped to the fortress city of Leather Elka.』
Leather Elka. Hikaru knew the name. If I recall correctly, it’s a town about a ten days travel away by horse. Located on the border between Ponsonia and Einbeast, a steep mountain range loomed behind it.
『He sure chose a nice place to take a refuge in.』Selica said.
『Do you know the place?』
『Yeah, I’ve been there before. Walls surround the town, built assuming a war breaks out against Einbeast. The border checkpoint is constructed like a fort. Not even the Master Swordsman Lawrence can take the place.』
While Hikaru was deeply impressed, he felt a tug at his shirt. It was Lavia, who looked a little upset. Probably because they were speaking in Japanese.
「Sorry. We were talking about things others shouldn’t know about.」
Count Buck was nearby. He seemed like a good man, but he would surely be gathering information about them. Even the ruckus at the guild yesterday already reached him.
「I’ll tell you all about it later. Okay?」
Hikaru felt a sense of foreboding. It could be his Instinct working. Somehow he sensed it wouldn’t end with just a fight between the Crown Prince and the Princess.
After a while of walking, it came into view. Mountain peaks sticking out above the trees. And on top of it stood a tower. High up in the mountains, trees were bare of leaves. When they made it through the forest, their field of vision immediately grew wider.
After about an hour of hiking, they were halfway up the mountain. They decided to take a break in an open space with nothing but rocks to sit on, yet more than enough to rest their legs and drink some water. They felt refreshed after downing their flasks.
「There’s a valley nearby.」Hikaru said.
「Yeah, and a river too.」
Hikaru spotted a valley and so did Lavia. If they listened carefully, they could hear water flowing.
「And that’s the ruins.」
Hikaru turned his gaze at the summit. The plain, cylindrical tower with no windows, reminded him of a diploma case.
Katy approached him.「Did you notice something?」
「You’re too excited, Professor.」
「M-My bad. I know. I’m getting too impatient.」
「I did notice something, though.」
Before he knew it, Selica joined them too, and she seemed to have noticed the same thing. It was hard to miss, really.
Hikaru pointed at the huge, rusty dish installed around the top of the tower. There were four of them, all pointed towards their direction.
「Are there only four of those dishes?」
「That’s what they said. Wait, do you know what it’s for? We still don’t actually know their purpose!」
「Hmm? Do you know something about those Giant’s Caps?」
Even Count Buck joined them. Apparently they called the dishes Giant’s Caps. Each looked to be around two to three meters in size.
『It’s probably used to transmit radio waves.』Hikaru whispered to Selica.
『What about receiving?』
『I think it can only transmit. The antennae are facing only one direction, here. Plus…』
「Uh, the Giant’s Cap, was it? Did you find one anywhere else?」Hikaru asked the Count.
「No. Only those up there. Nowhere else.」Buck answered.
Hikaru nodded to himself.
『Since there’s no other antenna anywhere, that means it only transmits.』
『Then how are they receiving the signal?』
『There was something like a radio in the list of items they excavated.』
『Oh… I’m impressed they managed to make one. Did Japanese people make them?』
『I think so.』
After pondering it over a bit, Hikaru turned to Katy—she looked really excited—and Count Buck.
「We’re guessing it’s a facility used for relaying information.」
「Relay information? Like the Linga’s Quill Pen that uses the magicule that flows under the earth to move a pen remotely?」
「Uh, I don’t even know what that is, so I’m not sure.」
Selica told him it was the name of the magic item that the guild used for communication, the one that cost tons of money every single use.
「It sends information to the direction the dishes are facing. Anyway, I’ll give a more detailed explanation once we get a closer look. We might be wrong, after all.」
「I see… A facility for sending information.」
They probably wouldn’t understand if Hikaru told them about radio waves. He thought it over as they resumed their hike to the top.
It’s realty difficult to explain what electricity is in a world without it. Should I just tell them it’s a different kind of energy? Kinda like magic? Although strictly speaking, electricity isn’t an energy, but a wave. But explaining from the top would take too long.
Gradually they advanced to the top, Hikaru mulling his options over. They were moving faster, and he knew that it wasn’t just his imagination.
Finally, they reached the top. Hikaru stood in front of the steel double door. There were three log houses nearby where the soldiers guarding the ruins were staying.
The scenery from the top was breathtaking. They could see the mountains soaring not so high, only about five hundred meters above sea level. Nearby was a valley with a river flowing through it.
A radio tower… and a river…
Hikaru was extremely curious about the river, but the tower came first. The structure was made of stone, about ten meters in diameter and fifty meters high. As soon as they opened the steel door, magic lamps lit up.
The interior was much simpler than Hikaru had imagined; with no flooring, the earth was laid bare. A spiraling staircase was installed on the wall, climbing all the way to the top floor. The whole place was basically hollow until just near the top. Shelves lined the walls on the ground floor. Other than that, there were only tables.
「All the items found here were already taken away.」Count Buck said.「Only the Giant’s Caps and the equipment installed with it are left.」
「I only made it here before.」Katy remarked.
Katy wore a mixed expression on her face. Apparently she was only shown this empty space when she came before. The people in charge were cruel to her, saying “There’s something up there, but we won’t show it to you.”
「I-I apologize for that.」the Count said.
「It’s fine. As long as I can see it now. Let’s go, Hikaru!」
「What?!」Katy looked at Hikaru, surprised.
「Ah, sorry. You can go ahead. I’ll catch up to you after I read the scribblings on the wall.」
There were words written on the walls, faded after centuries. But they were still readable if one tried.
「Y-You can read it?!」
Selica already started reading the writings. Hikaru stood beside her and read the scribblings written in Japanese.
Title suggestions for our very first broadcast
· Hello, Another World!
· Helpful Information Special
· Today and Tomorrow’s Weather Forecast
My Romantic Days with Curia
· Trouble Consultation Cram School (I’m not sure how to explain what a cram school is)
· DJ Introduction
· Accepting Ads
『This looks like something a recently founded broadcast club would do.』Hikaru said.
『I thought it’s some kind of a Youtuber who knows what they want to do but had no idea how to do it.』
『Yes, that’s exactly it.』
「Wh-What’s written here, Hikaru?!」Katy asked.
「Our guess was right.」Hikaru sighed. How do I explain this to them?「This was a radio station operated by amateurs.」