While they were waiting for Rucall to come to, Jin turned to face Reiko and,
“Reiko, you knew what Ann was going to say?”
He asked. Just now, she had explained instead of Ann whose speech device had a defect.
“Yes, Father. This girl is something like a cousin to me so with Magic Energy synchronization she could speak by proxy.”
Jin didn’t really understand what she meant.
“Yes. She and I share the same baseline design. I think it is likely that her design’s foundation is of the same family as that which Mother used. That’s why I can feel the Magic Energy waves and speak for her by just touching her like this.”
Maybe it would be fine to think of it as like two radios with nearly the same frequencies catching each other’s signal. At any rate, it turns out it’s possible for Reiko to talk for Ann. Maybe because of this she wasn’t especially jealous towards Ann, which had Jin feeling relieved.
“Hmm, I see.”
Jin was satisfied, but question marks still floated above Reinhardt’s head.
“Jin, what does that mean? Please explain it so that I can understand too.”
Jin apologized to Reinhardt.
“Oh, sorry Reinhardt. It’s supposition but, this Ann and Reiko have the same design. Of course the details differ, but the foundation is the same. That’s why she could be said to be Reiko’s cousin.”
“Hmm, in that case is Reiko-ch… Miss Reiko built according to ancient designs like her?”
Jin tried to remember just how he had explained Reiko to Reinhardt, but, he couldn’t remember. He had the hunch that he had told to Beana she was an Artifact Jin had found, but he felt somehow hazy about what he had told Reinhardt.
“Yeah. Originally Reiko was an Artifact-class Automata, but when I found her she was pretty damaged. And so, while keeping the design as it was, I rebuilt her using new materials and that’s the current Reiko.”
Explaining it like that apparently satisfied Reinhardt, as he nodded his head on a grand scale multiple times and said,
“I see, now I understand better. I can also understand why Reiko-ch…Miss Reiko has such a high power.”
“Reinhardt, you don’t have to call her a ‘miss’ after all this time. Right, Reiko?”
There was a slight delay, but as it was Jin’s instructions and she didn’t feel particularly animous towards Reinhardt either Reiko agreed.
“Is that so, thanks, Reiko-chan.”
“Ann, I’ll give you maintenance later.”
“Y. es. Th. Ank y. Ou v. Ery Muc. H.”
During their bustling, the fainted Rucall made a slight movement. The first one to notice was Reinhardt.
“Hey, you awake?”
Reinhardt tried giving Rucall a few light slaps on his cheeks, and finally he opened his eyes.
“Ugh…Where is this?”
“We’re inside the ancient ruins.”
It appeared that a part of his memory had vanished, and so as the representative Reinhardt explained the events so far to him.
“Hmm, something like that… Certainly, I can faintly remember… I think. By the way, could you untie this?”
Rucall said, looking around at his body bound by the robe’s sleeves.
It seemed like he had returned to sanity, and so cautiously they untied the clothes binding him.
“Ohh, that’s more comfortable. Incidentally, you said this is inside ancient ruins?”
“Hmm, I spent who knows how long searching for the secret of the ruins, and you who came here just today found it…I should just retire…”
So docile as if he was a different person from the one who was under the effects of [Hypno], this must’ve been Rucall’s true character.
“Alright, what’re you going to do after this?”
Reinhardt went back to square one. The investigation of the ruins was basically over, and it was past midnight by now.
“I’m a bit tired. I’ll go back to my cabin.”
Rucall told them that he lived in a cabin he had built near the ruins. Jin and Reinhardt also decided to first go back to the carriage and sleep until morning, then when it’s bright outside pay a visit to Rucall’s cabin.
“It would be good if Elsa was still asleep though.”
Reinhardt said. Jin also agreed, thinking that if she woke up and found that the two had disappeared, she would get angry.
And so they quickly returned to the carriage.
“Reinhardt-sama, Elsa is resting well.”
The two felt relieved. So as not to wake the sleeping Elsa, they both silently entered the carriage, reclined their seats and began to nap.
Reiko and Ann were outside the carriage. Reiko didn’t let down her guard, and Ann too was acting as a sentry with her body’s abnormal condition.
＊ ＊ ＊
The next morning.
“Leaving me behind you two went to the ancient ruins. You’re both terrible.”
Sure enough, after Elsa had woken up and noticed Ann outside, they ended up having to explain just where she had come from.
“Sorry, Elsa. You looked to be sleeping so well, so I thought it would’ve been rude to wake you up.”
“There could’ve been danger, so I didn’t want to take you to such a place. Please understand, Elsa.”
The angry Elsa was unapproachable.
With nothing else to do they decided to first put in order the breakfast preparations.
Using the stove Jin had made they boiled water and made soup. By dipping sliced bread in the soup it became a simple breakfast.
Because they hadn’t expected that the village would be this empty, the soup was thin but there was nothing to do about it.
“Well, this is good too once in a while.”
While saying so Reinhardt glimpsed at Elsa’s direction, but her mood didn’t seem to have improved.
Considering the atmosphere, Reiko dropped a bombshell announcement of sorts.
“Father, isn’t today your birthday?”
“I-is that how it was?”
Remarked Elsa, Reinhardt and Jin, in that order.
“Yes. There is no doubt that Father’s birthday is today, on the first of April.”
Jin’s information which he had copied to Reiko included his birthday.
By coincidence, the day Jin was summoned to this world was also the same first of April. It was Jin’s birthday in two ways.
“Aah, I’m 21 too now, huh.”
It had also now been a whole year since Jin came to this world.
“I-is that so. Jin, today, let’s go back to Yada Village and celebrate.
Reinhardt said, looking disconcerted.
“No, it’s fine, I’m already 21 so.”
But Jin didn’t look particularly happy.
“Don’t mind that. It’s the day to celebrate the day Jin-kun was born. That’s a very important day.”
Elsa was supposed to be angry, but after hearing today was Jin’s birthday she seemed to have inadvertently forgotten about it.
“I-I guess so.”
In the first place, Jin who was from an orphanage had birthday parties until the end of his lower grades of primary school. After that he was on the side of those who threw the parties.
And so, Jin who wasn’t used to being celebrated could only hide his embarassment.
First of all, they were going to visit Rucall’s cabin, and after talking return to Yada Village, and this time they left together with Elsa.
En route, there was a great sound as if something something was broken, after which it once more became silent.
“What could’ve that been, just now?”
“I don’t know. Reiko, don’t lower your guard.”
For now Jin gave Reiko orders, and while wary of their surroundings they moved towards Rucall’s cabin.
That cabin was 50 meters away from the ruins along the cliff in a sunken place.
“What is this?”
The cabin was crushed as if it had been trampled on by a giant foot.
Rucall was nowhere to be seen. Was he crushed along with the cabin, or did he escape? As they couldn’t see any blood, they preferred to think he had managed to escape.
“At any rate, nothing we can do about something like this.”
“You’re right, shall we go back to the carriage for now?”
While feeling not quite alright, Jin’s group returned to the carriage, told about it to Ann and the bulter Claude, and tried hearing their opinions.
Thereupon Ann made an outrageous statement.
“Sure. Ly thi. S Ca. N’t me. An that. The Gigantes. Is. Ta. King a. Ction?”