07-13 The Secret of the Ancient Ruins
“Jin, what’s wrong?”
Reinhardt who had noticed Jin’s unusual look asked worriedly.
Then, while a single drop of sweat trickled down his forehead,
“This is… a giant Warp Gate.”
“This, is a Warp Gate?”
Reinhardt and Elsa were surprised, but the most surprised one was Rucall.
“W-w-wha-what! Di-did you call this a Warp Gate? H-how could you tell!?”
His face went red and then blue, but eventually he stammered something out.
“Why you ask…Well, there’s no other answer than because I recognize it.”
Jin who had used Artifacts known as Warp Gates multiple times by now said and dodged the question, but he unmistakably recognized it as a Warp Gate Artifact.
“Uh, mm, I, uh …It took me ten years of investigation before grasping that and you say you saw it at a single glance!? That’s ridiculous!”
“Uh, well, sorry about that.”
Jin apologized to the agitatedly yelling Rucall without really understanding why.
“Oh yeah, look, over there, you see that portion of a magic formation where that paving stone is upturned? Isn’t that evidence of a Warp Gate?”
Jin tried telling him, but Rucall became more deranged.
“As if I’d know! In the first place, there’s no way something like the magic formation used in a Warp Gate would be circulated!”
It looked like saying anything would be pointless by now, so,
“Jin-kun, let’s go.”
Elsa pulled Jin’s sleeve. Jin also thought that it’d be better to leave him like that for now, and left the spot.
“So, you say this is a Warp Gate… It’s huge, isn’t it.”
Reinhardt said in an impressed voice.
“Yeah. Even I didn’t know a Warp Gate could be this big. Well, it looks to be no longer functional though.”
Jin said. However, it seemed that the air conditioning still worked while faulty. Cool in summers and warm in winters. Caverns are like that, sure, but considering a shallow place like this air conditioning just makes sense once you think about it.
While Jin was thinking about things like that, Reinhardt turned to ask him.
“Hey, Jin, what do you think a Warp Gate as large as this was used for?”
“From its size I would say probably transmitting large quantities of goods or crowds of people.”
Reinhardt nodded and,
“I think so too. Isn’t this most likely one of the fortresses from the Great Magic War?”
He spoke of his conjecture. Jin agreed with him too.
“I see, that possibility is very likely…”
Then, Rucall who had recovered cut into the conversation.
“You people! You really think so! That’s the same conclusion I came to after ten years! There’s no mistaking that this is a region’s fortress from the time of the Great Magic War!”
The excited Rucall continued chattering.
“The Great Magic War! That was the battle which the devil race and mankind bet their whole existence on! The devil race was strong, and humans were weak! But, humans didn’t perish. Why do you think that was?”
Rucall asked Jin. Jin replied with a guess.
“Was it the Ether Stampede?”
That appeared to be the correct answer.
“That’s right! Ether Stampede, using that, although temporarily, all the Ether in the atmosphere vanished. The devil race couldn’t keep on living without Ether. However, humans, with the exception of powerful maguses, could live even without Ether.”
When Jin heard that he felt a chill down his spine. Supposing another Ether Stampede happened not Jin, Reinhardt, nor Elsa would likely survive. And Reiko too would probably become unable to operate.
“Was the technique for an Ether Stampede handed down?”
Jin then tried throwing a question like that at him.
“Hm? No, no. Including that, most of the techniques from before the Great Magic War weren’t handed down. And for that reason, I am studying these ancient ruins!”
Jin was relieved for now. There didn’t seem to be an immediate danger. However,
(Maybe it’s better to think about countermeasures against an Ether Stampede.)
Jin thought in his heart.
While Jin was like that, Reinhardt asked him another question.
“Hey, Jin, if this is a fortress, do you think there’s something other than a Warp Gate?”
“Hmm, a commander’s office, living quarters, a sickbay, mess hall, and finally…”
Jin spoke out while thinking, and eventually little hesitantly,
Reinhardt agreed with what Jin said.
“I think so too. Somewhere in these ruins, I thought, shouldn’t there be hidden weapons from the past.
He continued further.
“If they were to fall into the hands of the ‘Unifiers’, I think that…”
After explaining this far, even Jin understood Reinhardt’s worry.
“That’s certain. It’s fine if there’s none, but if there are any we have to do something about them.”
Jin had the same opinion. He then looked over at a wall and,
“If this is the chamber for the Warp Gate, it’s something like an entrance hall. There must be a basement floor just like this aboveground one. In that case, if there’s a storeroom it must be underground on the same floor or deeper, don’t you think?”
Jin said, and once again Rucall spoke out.
“No no. There’s no other floor or anything like that. Even though I may look like this, I can use a little bit of magic, and I investigated at least that much. But it was useless. There are no other rooms other than this one.”
He said. Jin was going to try to object to that, but on second thoughts he held his tongue. Instead, Reinhardt spoke,
“In that case, it’s fine, isn’t it. Well then, if there’s nothing more to see here, let us go.”
Jin and Elsa were of the same mind, and so the group left the still muttering Rucall behind in the ruins and went out.
Outside, the sunlight was dazzling. The elder who had guided them was not there either.
“Now then, what shall we do until the night?”
Reinhardt asked. Hearing the question, Elsa looked puzzled.
“Eh? Aren’t we going back?”
Jin allayed her worries.
“Well, let’s to the carriage at least. You’ll hear the details inside.”
And so the group lazily walked, and returned to Jin’s carriage. It was the early afternoon, and the spring winds felt pleasant.
“Alright, now let’s explain.”
After returning to the carriage, they sat in the cabin and closed the door.
“Reiko, please keep watch so that people don’t come close.”
Jin made doubly sure with his precautions, and suggested for Reinhardt to begin explaining.
“Alright. Elsa, earlier, you heard about the Unifiers, right?”
First was the explanation to Elsa.
“The Unifiers scheme to revive Dinar Kingdom. That means those guys surely want lost technology desperately.”
“Mm, I understand.”
Next Jin took over and began to talk.
“If those ancient ruins are the remnants of an old fortress, there’s no way it’s just that room. I can guarantee that.”
“Then, that means, that.”
“Right. An armory surely exists. And past technologies too.”
Then Reinhardt once more took over and began talking.
“By all rights our course of action ought to be to get in touch with the appropriate agencies of Egelia Kingdom and have them investigate, but looking at the present state and how it’s been left as-is for dozens of years, at the very least the lot in Uremlin are entirely incompetent.”
Uremlin was the closest provincial city. Reinhardt knew fairly well what to say and when.
“In addition, that Rucall fellow is suspicious. Way too suspicious. Why would one room like that take ten years?”
Jin had the same opinion. No matter how you look at it it was suspicious. Reinhardt brought it all to a conclusion.
“I thought that for now, we should take measures so that Unifiers can’t benefit from this.”
Jin agreed with that and,
“Yeah. They’re people who would manipulate Reiko and golems made by others. We don’t know what kind of dirty tricks they have. We must go ahead before them on this one, I think.”
He said. Finally, Reinhardt said,
“Moreover, the so-called ancient technologies are also interesting!”
He brought the explanation to an end. After hearing that Elsa felt her shoulders lose strength.