Magi Craft Meister Volume 10 Chapter 03

10-03 Study Group

“Good~morning!”
“Good morning!”
The cheerful greetings of the children resounded in Kaina Village.
“Yes, good morning.”
“Good morning.”
The children had come to gather at village chief Gheebeck’s residence. They were children taking part in Mine and Elsa’s study group.
There were nine of them. A small number. There was simply not a lot of children to begin with.
“There’s very few of them, huh.”
Mine also noticed it. That was because normally it wasn’t unusual for families to have over three children.
Elsa too had three siblings, albeit from a different mother, while Mine even had seven siblings.
“It’s because of the bad food situation, isn’t it.”
The village chief Gheebeck caught what Mine said to herself.
“Mine-san, it is actually because some men were conscripted, and also an epidemic disease eight years ago played a part.”
He was still talking to her in a slightly formal manner.
“An epidemic disease, you say…”
Previously, Rock had also talked about this with Jin. Although Rock had told Jin the main cause was conscription, the epidemic disease had in fact been serious.
At that time Rock had yearned to be a knight and had gone to the royal capital so he didn’t know of it very well.
“It was a harsh time. We lost half of the village, and to prevent contagion we had no choice but to burn all the dead to ash. That’s why we don’t have any proper graves for them.”
“So that’s how it was…”
Gheebeck continued to talk to lighten the mood that had become a bit gloomy.
“But the number of inhabitants will go up soon.”
“Eh?”
Mine who had been looking down raised her head.
“I don’t know whether it’s because the burden on the villagers became a bit smaller ever since since Jin came last year, or because of the hot springs, though.”
“Ah, you mean that there are people who have become pregnant?”
Elsa who was next to them looked like she didn’t understand, but as you’d expect Mine could guess.
“Yes. The bellies of five women have become bigger.”
“That’s good news, isn’t it.”
As they talked, Hannah turned up.
“Auntie, no wait, sensei, good morning.”
“Yes, good morning, Hannah-chan. Shall we begin soon?”
They had already exchanged greetings at the house, but Hannah had been told to draw the line between that and the study group, so she put it to practice.
Adding Hannah there were ten children in total. They were aged from seven years old to 14 years old.

“Good morning, everyone. I’m your sensei, Mine. This is my daughter Elsa who’ll be my assistant.”
“Mine-sensei! Elsa-sensei!”
The children were lively.
“Alright, calm down.”
Mine clapped her hands and made the children go silent, then said,
“Since this is the first day, let’s begin with self-introductions. Although we might all already be acquainted with each other, but since sensei came to the village only few days ago we don’t really know a lot about you. So please tell us.”
Ye~s, the children replied.
“So let’s begin with sensei. I’m Mine. 35 years old. I’m not from here, but from Egelia Kingdom. Elsa here is my daughter. Now then, Elsa, please introduce yourself.”
“…I’m, Elsa. 17 years old. I’m from Shouro Empire. I’m not very good at talking, but let’s get along well, okay?”
Once Elsa had finished speaking, the children burst into applause.
“Mine-sensei! Elsa-sensei!”
“Show us magic again!”
When she had shown her magic after the icehouse was built, Elsa had become admired by the children.
“Well then, please introduce yourselves one at a time in turns starting from over there.”
“Yeah! My name’s Patty! I just turned eight. Umm, my dad is called Linus and he’s good at making things out of wood. My mom’s Sera. She’s a bit scary when she’s angry but she’s good at making food.”
“Thank you, Patty-chan. Next one, please.”
“Yes! I’m Mario. My father is Rock and my mother is Molly.”
Like that, the children introduced themselves.
Once they were done the teaching finally began.

*   *   *

Jin had been watching the situation a little distance away but when Reiko tugged his sleeve and he guessed she had something to talk about they went to the back of the village head’s house.
“What is it, Reiko?”
“My apologies, Laojun has something to ask you.”
“Hmm, I wonder what. Well, let’s go there for a bit and see.”
Since there was a Warp Gate in the basement of his new home, he was able to freely go back to the research facility.
The golem managing the Warp Gate room, Butler-1 greeted them and Jin headed to the usual living room.
Laojun’s mobile terminal Laozi was waiting there.
“My Lord, my thanks for coming all the way here.”
Laozi said and gave a bow.
“As a matter of fact, there was something interesting among the weapons collected from around Tetrada the other day.”
Laozi said and presented Jin with a short sword.
“Tetrada… Oh, that was where Cline Kingdom’s army was disarmed. So this was among the weapons?”
Jin gazed at the short sword while talking. There was nothing unusual about it, it seemed to be a sword just like any other. He tried taking it in his hand, and again noticed nothing.
“What about this?”
“For some mysterious reason, traces of My Lord’s Magical Energy can be felt from the sword.”
“Eh?”
Jin who had heard something unexpected then tried using magic to investigate its workings.
“[Inspection].”
“Indeed, this is my… Ah, I remember now. This must be Lithia’s short sword.”
Jin recalled it. It was last autumn, when he had transported wheat in taxes to Toka Village from Kaina Village together with some men. At that time, golems had appeared, and time Lithia who had then been a tax collection official recklessly used this sword to fight against them.
Even so, the sword that was made out of iron which was even softer than steel had quickly bent out of shape. Then after repelling the golems, Lithia had been feeling down after Toka Village’s smith had told her the sword couldn’t be repaired.
Unable to just watch, Jin had straightened the sword with [Forming], then turned it to a steel sword using [Carburising] and [Heat Treatment].
“This is the sword from that time. I see, Lithia was supposed to be in Tetrada too, wasn’t she.”
“By Lithia-san, you mean the person who told Father to run back then, correct?”
Reiko hadn’t been around when the golems were driven back: she was talking about the time when after that Earl Walter had come to capture Jin to a misunderstanding.
“Yeah. Looks like she’s been taking good care of this.”
The sword in his hand hadn’t rusted and had been sharpened well. Since it was Lithia’s it probably hadn’t been used in combat, and Jin could tell it had been handled with great care.
“Indeed. Someone who treasures a gift from Father is a good person.”
Reiko’s evaluation standards were plain and simple. Jin smiled awkwardly.
“If possible, I’d like to return it.”
Jin had gone and given orders to have the materials of the taken swords, spears, shields, armor, and such checked, then have them molten down to ingots except for the clearly special equipment that were imbued with magic or made out of rare materials.
Considering that, Laojun (and his subordinates) who had found this swords were deserving of praise.
“She was in the royal capital, wasn’t she?”
Jin muttered and Reiko caught his words.
“Father, don’t tell me you’re thinking of going there?”
“Hm? What’s wrong with that? My face isn’t that known in Cline Kingdom, so I don’t think it would be especially dangerous.”
“But even so…”
Lately the overprotective Reiko had frowned a lot. Laojun then gave a helping hand.
“Reiko-san, since My Lord has expressed his desire to go, I think it is proper to fulfill his wishes. And if possible, I’d like to ask for some more protective measures for My Lord.. ”
“Protective measures against what?”
It was an obvious question.
“Against anything that poses a danger to My Lord.”
Laojun replied and,
“Please take a look at this.”
He continued, then the portable terminal Laozi took something out of a basket.
“Hmm? Clothes, aren’t they?”
“Yes. These clothes were made out of thin slices of a Sea Dragon’s leather.”
“A Sea Dragon’s leather? I wonder if this can harden on impact too in that case.”
“Yes. According to our tests, it’s not to the extent of the reinforced clothing but it can defend against Ann’s full strength.”
Ann’s strength used to be about ten percent of Reiko’s. In other words a human couldn’t break through its defenses.
“The silver surface is the most heavy part, and by passing Magic Energy through it it can become even more robust.”
The silver referred to the front of the leather which had a smooth surface. You could think of the front as the spot with the most superior defenses.
“I got it. So, pants and a coat. Thanks, Laojun.”
“It is a privilege to be a help to My Lord.”
There was still something else at the bottom of the basket. It looked like a lapel pin.
“And what’s this? …No, wait, isn’t it a Magi Tool. And what… It deploys a [Barrier] on a reaction from the clothes?”
“Yes. Please attach it to the lapel of the coat. In the case that you receive an attack and the coat hardens from impact and from Magical Energy, a [Barrier] will be instantly deployed. Since it’s small the [Barrier] doesn’t last long, so please activate the bracelet before it breaks. ”
The equipment was perfect. The Pegasus personal airplane from earlier was good, but this time Laojun really did excellent work.
“Got it, I’ll gladly put them to use.”
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Magi Craft Meister Volume 10 Chapter 02

10-02 Nostalgia

On the same night when Jin heard that Mine and Elsa were starting a study group, he warped to Hourai Island. This time he took Elsa with him. It goes without saying that Reiko came along too.
Since a small Warp Gate had been installed in the new home’s basement they were able to travel easily and without having to go to the shelter.
“Welcome back, master.”
Managing the Warp Gates was the butler golem ‘Butler-1’ that had started working only yesterday.
The adult male type SP golems were used as its base, and to have it serve as a guard too its power output was a little bit higher than the SP’s.
In addition, there were plans to have butler golems in various administrative tasks on Hourai Island.
“Welcome back, My Lord.”
The brain of Hourai Island, Laojun, welcomed Jin.
“I’m home. Laojun, I know it’s sudden but could you prepare some cloth woven out of a Ground Spider’s silk?”
“As you wish. How much is it that you need?”
“Let’s see, I think that a piece of cloth with a width of one meter and a height of five meters should be enough.”
“I will have it brought to you at once.”
And so Jin went to the workshop. There he found that the golem maid Peridot-17 who was in charge of the chores had already carried in the cloth.
“Ah, thanks.”
Jin thanked her and Peridot-17 gave a bow and left.
“Father, what are you going to make with the Ground Spider silk?”
Jin’s number one helper Reiko asked.
“Hm? I figured I’d make use of the special characteristics of cloth woven out of a Ground Spider’s silk and make a whiteboard.”
Jin replied.
“A whiteboard… I see.”
Reiko seemed to immediately understand, but Elsa looked to be full of questions. Noticing that, Jin began explaining.
“Elsa, a whiteboard is a board that teachers in my previous world used to explain or write down things when teaching their pupils.”
Actually blackboards were more widely used, but talking about that would’ve made it more complex so Jin continued talking about just the whiteboard for now.
“So, the silk of a Ground Spider is hard to stain. Even Reiko’s clothes are made entirely of it.”
After explaining that far Elsa too seemed to understand as she made an exaggerated nod.
“I got it. You can write letters or such on it and explain. And because it doesn’t stain the written letters disappear after a light wipe.”
“That’s correct.”
Elsa appeared to have understood.
“So by attaching this to a board we can make a whiteboard for the teacher to use. If we cut smaller pieces out of it, children can use them to practice and take notes.”
“Got it. Very useful.”
“Since it’s still unreasonable for you to make them, just watch us, Elsa. …Reiko, let’s start.”
“I understand.”
And so Jin and Reiko split the labor and began to work. The silk of a Ground Spider couldn’t be worked with normal tools. Either tools made out of Adamantite or Craft Magic needed to be used.
Jin and Reiko worked rapidly with their Craft Magic and built one blackboard-sized one and 27 small squares with 30 centimeters long edges.
“Amazing. Can I also do it like that one day?”
Elsa who had watched with sparkling eyes asked Jin. Jin promised her.
“Yeah, I’ll teach you.”
“Mm. I can’t wait.”
Next were pens and ink.
This world had pens too, but they were quill pens. Jin thought about making them out of metal, but since regular iron would soon wear down if rubbed against cloth woven out of a Ground Spider’s silk and there was also the weight to think about, so he used the 6/4 Light Silver alloy.
So as to make them fixable with Craft Magic if they did wear down, he made them out of the same material all the way to the shaft. They were dip pens of the so-called Kabura Pen variety. They were easy to make because they were comparatively simple.
“Elsa, you can try making these too.”
Jin gave her the required amount of 6/4 Light Silver and told her to give it a try.
“Mm. [Forming].”
The 6/4 Light Silver changed its shape…
“…It’s hard.”
…Into a weird one.
“As I said earlier, the image is important. Close your eyes and imagine the shape you want to make, and then give it another try.”
“Mm. I got it. [Forming].”
This time it went rather well. The left and right side weren’t symmetrical though.
“Oh, you did rather well. Give it one more go.”
“Mm. I’ll try.”
Elsa practiced many more times. Around the tenth time she managed to complete a usable pen.
“Oh, this is alright. Good job.”
Jin praised her and Elsa smiled pleasantly. Lately her facial expressions seemed to have become more common.
Next was the ink. Well, water with color mixed in would do but the other day the Mermaid corps discovered a fish just like a squid (or rather a mollusc), so its ink ended up being used.
If time passed then it would maybe pale, but for practice it should be enough.
Next was the marker for Mine, or rather for the teacher to use.
Jin shaped Light Silver into a tube and made its head narrow, then made a felt shape out of hardened Ground Spider silk and put it in as the tip. He then filled the body with ink and closed it with Craft Magic to finish.
Or so he thought, but then ink began overflowing out of the tip. It seemed that he really did need something like cotton wadding permeated with ink or it wouldn’t work.
Jin redid it. Jin made wadding out of the Ground Spider’s silk and stuffed it inside the pen stop the ink from overflowing.
“Mh-hm, this time it seems to be a success.”
“My Lord, there is one final report.”
“Hm, what is it?”
“The aircraft carrier has been completed. It is the first warship ‘Hokata’.”
“Oh, that’s good.”
“The reason for the delayed completion was the need for trial and error in various parts and applying revisions.”
Considering the true strength of Hourai Island which finished building the submersible base in a single day, taking over 10 days to do this was strange in a sense.
As usual, there was no one around to retort with “which option’s weird here, huh?”.
“The two-layered structure was no good. It makes landing and takeoff all the more time-consuming. As it uses a Warp Gate, it’s not a problem if we keep the number of aircraft stationed on the carrier as low as possible.”
The explanation continued.
“To make landing and takeoff more efficient, the deck has been arranged to go diagonally across the ship’s center line.”
This ‘angled deck’ structure was something already put to practical use, but since Jin didn’t know of it Laojun had to arrive at the idea by himself.
“The weapons are as instructed. Some other small adjustments and revisions will be made. But after finishing the first warship, surely we should build the second and third ships as soon as possible.”
“I see. Good work. Keep it up.”
“Yes, understood.”
While handling all sorts of tasks it had suddenly become nearly midnight.
“Now then, so that we don’t lack sleep we should be going to bed soon. Let’s go back to Kaina Village. …I’ll explain to you later about the aircraft carrier.”
“Okay, Jin-nii.”
They got out of the Warp Gate in the basement, and here in Kaina Village at 9 PM everyone was sleeping.
Elsa snuck back to the house so as not to wake up Martha, Mine, and Hannah while Jin went to the bedroom that had been recently finished.
And then he realized.
“There’s no futon.”
He had been thoughtless.
“Father, I will fetch one from the mansion.”
Reiko turned around. She warped to Hourai Island. Few minutes later she came back.
She brought a new futon, a duvet, and a pillow. Finally Jin could sleep.
“Good night, Reiko.”
“Good night.”
The night went on.

*   *   *

It had become a daily routine for Reiko who had no need for rest to talk with Laozi about this and that after Jin had fallen asleep.
“Today Reinhardt-san made routine contact. Nothing’s unusual, but he seems to still be forced to stay in Astan.”
“Celuroa Kingdom was the country with the most brainwashed ministers, so they surely haven’t recovered their faculties.”
Right now, the Unifiers were actually falling apart in every country, and because their influence disappeared everything was in disorder.
Celuroa Kingdom was the most disorderly of all, as indeed three in four cabinet ministers were puppets of the Unifiers.
The Quinta sent out and spread the names of the brainwashed people, and each country had their own responses to it.
“It seems that Egelia Kingdom is testing the [Shock] magic for cancelling brainwashing.”
Information had come to Laojun through the Quinta.
“Cline Kingdom seems to be the same. The countries with not enough nobles, or rather, not enough of the leading class seem to be having it hard.”
“How about Frantz Kingdom?”
“There they have been simply fired. Ah, not burned in a literal sense. I mean that they’ve been removed from their posts.”
“Even I know that much, Laojun. But Frantz Kingdom is rather small so they should be able to manage, right?”
“Yes. Celuroa Kingdom is doing the worst. They similarly fired people and hired new ones, but since they’ve got so many people a lot of departments have stopped operating.”
“And so Reinhardt-san can’t leave either.”
“That’s how it seems. The army seems to be the most disorderly department.”

*   *   *

In the headquarters of the Unifiers where Jin had sent the repaired and rebuilt Elena, the top seat Joule and the next seat Donald were cooperating with planning the reorganization of their group.
“Hey Donald, just what were we thinking?”
“I have no idea. We were fixated on longing for the past, and bound by that ended up doing some unthinkable deeds.”
“I was very surprised when Elena told me to take responsibility and that even death wouldn’t be enough for that. Indeed that would just be an escape.”
Then a clear and beautiful voice joined in.
“Yes, that’s right, my lord. Taking responsibility means ending the disorder and contributing to society. I’ll also do my best.”
“Ah, just having Elena gives us tremendous strength.”
No one other than Jin knew where the Unifiers’ headquarters was. And so, for now, Joule and Donald could act behind the scenes.
And so they dedicated the rest of their lives for the purpose of changing the Unifiers to a group that benefits society as a whole.
That was conveyed through Elena to Laojun, and having Jin’s permission Laojun could also help them as much as he was able to.
“And so, as proof of our new start, let’s abandon the name ‘Unifiers’, I was thinking of calling us the ‘Nostalgia’.”
“Nostalgia you say, that sounds good.”
“Yes, that is a lovely name.”

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Magi Craft Meister Volume 10 Chapter 01

10-01 New Home

Kaina Village, the 25th of April.
It was the season of early summer when the rays of the sun grew stronger and the days became more cheerful.
The mountains were completely covered in green leaves and the ears of the wheat in the fields had also grown long. The season when blowing winds were no longer cold and had a pleasant feel to them.

Extension work to Martha’s house was underway.
The workshop Jin had been using was originally used by Martha’s late husband who was a smith, so it was only the size of around six tatami mats.
Jin figured he’d double the size to 12 tatami mats along with adding a second floor to serve as a living space.
As it had been arranged that Elsa and Mine would live in Martha’s house, Jin decided to use the chance to properly make a place where he’d fit in.
“Hey Jin, I’m here to help… Wait, aren’t you half-done already?”
The men of Kaina Village came in turns to help with construction during the breaks from their work.
For putting up the supports and such Jin had Gon and Gen along with Reiko who insisted on helping, so the supports were placed in a heartbeat and they continued with constructing the floor.
In the morning, far from just the framework, nearly 80% of the work was fully completed.
Jin had lunch and in the afternoon it was time for the interior design.
“Magi Craftsmen really are amazing, huh.”
Everyone who came to see the house that was built in an excessively short time was similarly surprised. However,
“Well, it’s Jin after all.”
Accepting it with just that was sort of the way Kaina Village worked.

Its outward appearance was a two-storey house with a one-sided slanted roof. The first floor had the workshop and the second floor had the living space.
The front of the first floor was wide and had a long, so-called porch roof installed. When the weather was good he could also work under it.
He also decided to dig a basement some other time and store materials there. Of course he’d also secretly install a small Warp Gate.
The second floor was divided to two rooms each six tatami mats large. Immediately after going up the stairs was the living room, and Jin’s bedroom-cum-study was at the back.
Since no soft rush grew around Kaina Village he wasn’t able to make a tatami-matted floor, but as his bedroom had a wooden floor Jin was, as a Japanese person, still fussy about taking the shoes off when entering the room.
“Onii-chan, can I come up?”
Hannah called out to Jin from downstairs.
Hannah had clung to Jin since morning and watched him work. Right now she was looking around the rooms. She must’ve found it curious since only the village chief had a two-storey house.
“Sure you can.”
As he was done with sweeping the second floor and had confirmed that no wood chips or anything dangerous had been left lying around, Jin replied to Hannah.
“Yay~”
Hannah happily came up. And promptly glued herself to the window.
“Wow, what a view.”
The view of the village from the second floor was a little different.
“Ah, I can see the water well. And that’s the hot spring’s roof~”
Hannah was in high spirits.
Incidentally there was no dining room or kitchen, as Martha had firmly insisted,
“I won’t forgive you if you’re going to tell me you’ll eat separately from us!”
Jin had then gladly agreed.
“Father, the roof is finished.”
Reiko, who had been entrusted with the task of tiling the roof as she was the lightest of them all came down.
“Reiko onee-chan, good job.”
“Thank you, Hannah-chan.”
Reiko smiled at Hannah, then said to Jin,
“Next is the desk, chairs, and the bed, am I correct?”
Jin gave a nod and said,
“Yeah. Linus said he’ll make them for the housewarming party.”
One of the men in village, Linus, was unexpectedly good at woodworking. He had made half of the chairs and the tables used in the village.
“I’m no match for you, but it’s the thought that counts.”
That’s what Linus had said. Jin also emphasized that to Reiko so she wouldn’t be nitpicky.
“Jin-nii, I saw Linus-san.”
This time Elsa’s voice came from downstairs. They looked down from the window and saw Linus with a trailer that had a wooden bed on it.
Jin quickly went downstairs and,
“Linus, thanks for taking your time to do this.”
He thanked Linus. Linus laughed, waved his hand, and said,
“What the heck are you saying, this doesn’t amount to even a tenth of the work you’ve done for us.”
“First is the bed. I’ll leave this here and go fetch the table and chairs.”
“Thank you very much. Reiko, could you please carry it. ”
“Yes.”
Reiko nodded, easily picked up the bed and carried it out. Linus watched her leave and,
“Not just Jin, but Reiko-chan’s incredible too, huh.”
He pulled the trailer and turned back while voicing his admiration.

In the end, the exterior and interior were both complete in a single day and, although modest, they had a celebration for the completion in the evening.
Although the line-up was just the organizer Jin, Reiko (who didn’t eat or drink), Hannah, Martha, Elsa, and Mine.
Jin planned to gift boxes of Citran to the people who helped tomorrow morning.

“And so, thanks for everything you’ve done today!”
“Jin, congratulations on finishing the house!”
“Onii-chan, congratulations~!”
“Jin-nii, congratulations.”
“Jin-sama, congratulations.”
Everyone was smiling and cheered in unison.
They then enjoyed the food Martha and Mine had considerately prepared. Actually,
“Jin-nii, this soup, I made it.”
Elsa had apparently also done her best.
“Mh-hm, it’s tasty. You’re also doing your best with cooking, aren’t you.”
“Mm.”
“Onii-chan, onii-chan. I chopped the vegetables and peeled the Citran too!”
Hannah also showed off.
“Ah, thank you Hannah. It’s delicious.”
“Ehehe~”
Martha’s house was calm, and gently Kaina Village grew dark. It was a day you’d want to continue forever, as if all was right in the world.

After dinner, Mine had something to tell Jin.
“Jin-sama, we’ve decided to hold a study group from tomorrow on.”
Mine explained that she had talked about it some time ago and decided to teach reading, writing, and mathematics.
“We’ll borrow the chief-san’s house as the location and I was thinking about starting with two or three hours a day.”
“Ah, because the chief’s living room is large, I see.”
Because the village head’s house was also used to hold the village meetings, it had a large rooms. She had arranged to borrow them, Mine said.
“That’s good, isn’t it. Keep it up. If you need help with anything feel free to ask me.”
Jin said, then Mine smiled and gave a bow.
“Yes, thank you very much. As Elsa will also be with me it’ll be alright.”
“I see, Elsa too. Do your best.”
“Mm, Jin-nii.”
Even though it may not look like it, Elsa was fond of children. Jin who knew that thought that it might unexpectedly be good encouragement for Elsa herself too.
“Oh yeah, let me prepare the materials to use for writing.”
Jin proposed after something popped to his mind.
“Could you? I was thinking of using slates and writing with water at first though.”
If you dribbled water on a slate that had been shaven smooth, its color would change. Apparently she had been thinking of using this, but,
“No, I’ve got something much better. I’ll give it to you tomorrow.”
Jin said and took on the task.

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Magi Craft Meister Volume 9 Chapter 51

09-51 Side Story 13: The Efforts of a Certain Quinta

‘Quinta’ seems to have originally been a Spanish word.
Its origin was during the Spanish Civil War, when a general of the anti-government army had broadcast the following on radio: ‘Our four columns of troops are heading to marching towards Madrid. In Madrid our fifth column (quinta columna) will begin to support our battle. ‘
In other words it had the meaning of a betrayer, a spy, or a covert operative behind the enemy lines.

Unconcerned with that, the Quinta were sent from Hourai Island as observers to various places.

“This is Deneb-20, I have just arrived at the base in the ruins of the eighth subdivision. No people are around”
“Hourai Island reads you. While gathering information of your surroundings, head towards the appointed area.”
Deneb-20 was an adult female type Automata. For her goals she looked just like a human from the outside.
She could freely change the color of her hair and eyes. Deneb-20 now had light brown hair and eyes. This was because it was deemed the most inconspicuous, being the most common colors in this world.
“I suppose I’ll prepare clothes first.”
For now she was wearing a commoner’s clothing, but they had been bought from the town of Port Rock in Elias Kingdom. And so the possibility was high that they weren’t customary here.
Deneb-20 headed to the town Laojun had instructed her to. She had been given ten thousand Torr to use.
The name of the town was Sasari. It was a medium-sized town near River Torres.
Anyone could freely come and go during the day. Despite that Deneb-20 was standing near the entrance, watching the clothes of the people going back and forth.
“I see, they should be clothes like that.”
She walked the streets while looking for a second hand store. Unexpectedly she found one quickly. There she bought the clothes she needed.
For now she bought a woolen skirt that reached all the way to her ankles. She also bought a fur vest and kept her blouse as it was.
Her skirt was bright light brown and the vest was gray. It looked like colors that weren’t too flashy were popular.
The total cost was 1200 Torr. Deneb-20 who had changed in the store completely fit in with the town.
“Now then, how should I go all the way to Kemai I wonder?”
Kemai was the area Deneb-20 was in charge of, and at the heart of it was a town. It was located to the southwest of Lake Azul.
The first question was how to cross River Torres and River Azul.
There were a few ways.
She could cross it on a boat like a normal person. This was impossible for Deneb-20 who had no identification papers.
The other choice was asking a black market trader to help her cross. Considering that Elsa and Mine had been attacked while taking this option and since it came with the risk of the possibility of her true nature being revealed, that was rejected.
“So it’s got to be swimming after all.”
Because the Quinta had been built to resemble a human exactly, they could barely float on water. But swimming on the surface of the water then had the concern of being spotted by a nightly patrol boat. It was preferable to swim to the destination under the surface.
“It should work out if I bring some weights with me.”
Thinking that it should be easy to proceed underwater if she carried a stone or something, that night Deneb-20 put the plan into action.
She took off all her clothes and securely packaged them. She then carried them on her back. She held a stone as a weight with both of her hands. If necessary, she could let go of the stone and double her swimming speed.
The water was still cold but Deneb-20 threw herself underwater without minding it.
Possessing nearly unlimited stamina, Deneb-20 was able to effortlessly swim across River Torres. Actually, more than half of the trip was done by walking at the bottom of the river.
Then a commotion arose once she got out of the water.
There was someone who noticed the naked Deneb-20 come out of the water. It was a soldier going on patrol around the river bed.
Since the river she crossed was at the side of the capital Esaia, the defenses were rather strict.
Deneb-20 had been careless as she hadn’t seen even the shadow of a soldier from the opposite side.
The soldier was taken aback seeing a naked woman get up from the river in the middle of the night.
“B-bastard, what do you think you’re doing!”
He shone a light on Deneb-20 with the Magi Lamp he had in his hand.
Her light brown hair was drenched and dripping with water. Her white skin was glossy as if it was repelling water, and her pair of bulging plump breasts were completely uncovered.
“I don’t think you were swimming at a place like this and at a time like this. You’re suspicious.”
The soldier licked his lips while talking.
“I’ll overlook this if you keep quiet and do what I say, got it?”
While saying so the soldier pointed his sword at the back of Deneb-20’s neck.
“…Soldier-san, are you alone?”
The soldier seemed to misunderstand the meaning of Deneb-20’s question.
“Ah, yeah. I’m alone. Aren’t you glad? Well, I’ll try to be as loving as possible, you know?”
“…”
Deneb-20 muttered something again, but the soldier didn’t seem to have heard her.
“Hm?”
The soldier turned his ear towards her to hear her better, and this time he clearly heard her.
“What a vulgar fellow.”
“Uoaaah?”
Heaven and earth were reversed.
“Uagh!”
The soldier’s back hit a stone on the riverbed and he fainted.
The Quinta’s methods were the same as the SP’s. Although since the materials were different they couldn’t produce the same power they still were nearly five times as powerful as a human. They could also use martial arts quite well.
A soldier or two were no problem at all.
However, since it had been an unexpected situation she had decided to report to Laojun through her internal ManaCom and ask for instructions on how to deal with the situation.
“This is just a guess, but that soldier surely isn’t a very earnest person. And so it’s not a problem to leave him there as he is.”
Laojun’s instructions were simple.
“Instead leave the scene quickly. Make sure to not leave behind any evidence. And pay attention from now on.”
Deneb-20 followed the instructions and hurriedly wiped off her body, put on clothes, then left the spot at full speed.
In the middle of the night, Deneb-20 ran the100 kilometers to Lake Azul as fast as a horse, and no one noticed her.

A town on the shore of Lake Azul, Rok.
Since she couldn’t act without standing out during the day, she decided to gather information here at Rok. Although that was mostly just listening to gossip.
Even so, Deneb-20 whose hearing was multiple times better than a human’s was able to gather some fairly useful information in a day.
1. The Unifiers’ influence is great on the shores of lake Azul.
2. The Unifiers appear to have even dug into the central figures of Celuroa Kingdom.
3. The Unifiers appear to be moving around excavating ancient ruins.
Numbers two and three weren’t really rumors, but since she had heard the same information from multiple sources their credibility seemed to be high.
Deneb-20 reported the information to Laojun.
“I see, very interesting news. We’ve also got something to tell you. First of all, we’ve established a way to recognize people who are under mental manipulation.”
Laojun continued his explanation.
“When detecting the Magic Energy pattern, in a normal condition it’s flat and in times of agitation the normal response is that the pattern peaks. But a mentally manipulated person’s pattern is constantly flat. However, it’s at the level of an agitated state.”
In other words, you could say a state of agitation is their usual state. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say they’re in a constant state of agitation.
“Although that’s only limited to people who have Magic Energy.”
Since it was about Magic Energy patterns, people without Magic Energy couldn’t be distinguished. Although since there’s not much merit to mentally manipulating people without Magic Energy the method was practical enough.
This discovery was the achievement of a Quinta sent elsewhere.
“Understood. Thank you very much for the useful information.”
Deneb-20 immediately tried detecting the Magic Energy patterns of the townsfolk. In so doing she found out that two people –someone who appeared to be the town mayor and their assistant– were unmistakably being manipulated.
(Right, [Shock] magic is used to dispel it.)
At the ruins of Keuwan, when returning Rucall who had been affected by [Hypno] back to normal, it was said that a shock needed to be administered to him during a state of agitation. However, experiments afterwards showed that just the [Shock] magic was enough to dispel the affected person. That was also according to the report of a Quinta working in another area.
That night, Deneb-20 took the opportunity to visit the mayor and their assistant while they were sleeping and use the [Shock] magic on the two.
After doing that, to get to her assigned area of Kemai she once more got naked and swam across river Azul.

This time Deneb-20 crossed the river without being found out and arrived at Kemai that same night.
She then began real information gathering in Kemai.
During the days she listened attentively to gossip, and during the nights she snuck into the houses of suspicious people and used the [Shock] magic on those who were confirmed to be under mental manipulation.
She also listened behind the tavern during the nights. As you might expect, there was the possibility of someone seeing through that she is an Automata were she to enter the tavern, so she had to avoid that.

However, on the night of the third day. Two men stood in front of Deneb-20 who had been listening to gossip behind the tavern.
“Oi, oi, sister, whatcha doing in a place like this?”
“Didja drink too much and start feeling ill? If that’s the case then we’ll take care of you.”
The two seemed to be rather drunk. But on top of that Deneb-20 was detecting their specific Magic Energy patterns.
“Might you two know about the Unifiers?”
Deneb-20 tried asking. The attitude of the men became remarkably rougher.
“What? Why did that name come out now?”
This might be a hit, Deneb-20 felt and replied,
“I also want to join the Unifiers so I came to this town.”
The men then glared at Deneb-20 with eyes full of suspicion.
“Hmm, if that’s true, then it’s not impossible to tell you.”
“Really?”
“However, there’s a condition.”
“Condition, you say? Anything long as it’s something I can do.”
She had begun to grasp an important clue. Deneb-20 hung onto this critical moment.
But one of the men smirked, checked Deneb-20 out from head to toe with a repulsive and contemptuous look in his eyes, then,
“Keep us company all night tonight.”
He said. Deneb-20 wasn’t someone who didn’t understand what he meant.
“I see, how unfortunate. I don’t have a body that can do such a thing, you see.”
She said and quickly made the two men faint with the [Shock] magic. She then tied them up-
“Now then, these people doubtlessly have some information, but what should I do with them?”
Deneb-20 thought while looking down at the two tied-up men. At that moment.
“Deneb-20, there’s something to talk about.”
Laojun got in contact.
“We’re constructing a ‘submersible base’ in Lake Azul so go help.”
“Roger that.”

Laojun had decided to build an advance base in Lake Azul which was a central location to the group of small nations. The giant golem his master Jin had made could be sent out of it.
The Falcon VTOLs brought in materials for a Warp Gate. The location was a small peninsula on the southern shore.
Deneb-20 had confirmed that it wasn’t in sight of people.
The Warp Gate was established, and Smith golems came through it. Next was the materials for the submersible base. Then the underwater golems, Mermaids came.
All the materials were thrown to the water and the construction took place underwater.
The Mermaid golems assembled the parts of the structure while the Smith golems combined them with [Fusion].
Deneb-20 was on the lookout and would deal with any people if they came close. Deneb-21 and Deneb-19 were also there.
Because it was underwater, the construction continued all the same whether it was day or night. In a day the submersible base was mostly completed. It had a spherical shape. The interior was divided to the top and bottom parts, with the top half having space for a Warp Gate. The ceiling was able to open and close.
Various Magi Devices were stored in the lower half, but the vast majority was ballast (weights).
To sink the ballast portion took in water, and to rise to the surface it ejected water. The system resembled a submarine.
After seeing it finished, Deneb-20 reported to Laojun about the captured two.
“That is indeed a great feat. We’ll handle the questioning.”
Laojun praised Deneb-20 and collected the two prisoners. Having been left alone for over a day they were quite obedient.
They weren’t certain of just how to question them, but with this as the start surely the location of the Unifiers’ headquarters would soon become apparent.

Today and tomorrow too, Deneb-20, nay, all the Quinta continued collecting information for Jin’s sake.

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Magi Craft Meister Volume 9 Chapter 50

09-50 Each One, Afterwards

The next day, the 24th.
After having his breakfast in a great hurry, Jin first warped to Kaina Village. To make a report.
He went to Martha’s house where he met with Hannah who had just woken up and gone to wash her face.
“Onii-chan!”
After seeing Jin, Hannah ran over and jumped at Jinn. Jin held Hannah up in his arms.
“Good morning, Hannah. I came back after I was done as promised.”
“Good morning, onii-chan! So, you’re not going anywhere anymore?”
Jin gently lowered Hannah to the ground and,
“Hmm, there’s still some things to put in order, so could you please wait one more day?”
“Ehh…”
While having the conversation, Martha, Elsa, and Mine who heard them came along.
“Welcome, Jin.”
“Martha-san, I’m back. Elsa, Mine, I’m back.”
“Welcome home.”
“Welcome home. I’m happy that you’re well.”
Jin gave a short explanation to everyone about how he had neutralized the Unifiers among other things.
“Next, I was thinking of having the Unifiers reorganize, or rather recompense for what they’ve done.”
He explained how the top seat and the second seat had been brainwashed. Elsa who had some knowledge about it could immediately understand, and Mine also quickly got it as she already had a vague idea about it.
Martha didn’t seem to really get it, not to mention Hannah.
“Well, at any rate I was thinking of using today to tidy up some things.”
Hannah could only reluctantly nod after Jin’s explanation.

*   *   *

“Now then, first comes your role, Elena.”
Jin called for Elena after coming back to Hourai Island.
“Yes, master. What would you like me to do?”
“Right, for the next while you’ll be advising the Unifiers on dismantling and rebuilding the organization…”
“Elena-san, I will also be assisting you as necessary, and so…”
And so Jin gave orders to Elena while Laojun supplemented them.

“In that case I’ll be going now, master.”
Elena got on Falcon-4 and returned to the Unifiers’ HQ via the submersible base in Lake Azul.
There were the (former) top seat Joule Rolan and the second seat Donald Carou Alpha.
Both had been cleared of the brainwashing, one by coming near death and the other by application of the [Shock] magic.
Also, the information about the former Princess of Destruction’s, Elena’s, [Subliminal] magic had been recovered from her memory. Of course how to dispel it too.
“Please work out…”
Jin wished for a success as he watched Falcon-4 disappear into the giant Warp Gate behind the research laboratory.
Jin’s plan was as follows.

Originally, the Unifiers’ foundational principle was to revive the pre-Great Magic War country Dinar Kingdom. The Golden Princess of Destruction replaced that with unifying the continent.
From there, using the top two who had returned to normal he’d have the brainwashing cleared from the executives down to the rank-and-file members, making the organization a harmless one.
In so doing, he planned to give them some technologies outside of the ones taught to them by the Princess of Destruction to work as an unifying force.
Specifically, he was thinking of the Mana Phone. It was an inferior version of the ManaCom, so to speak. Although it was wireless it could only make calls to a specific party.
It was also as big as a large desk, so carrying it wasn’t possible. Selecting who to call like with a ManaCom wasn’t possible. But as a hot line between the leaders of the nations it should be usable enough.
Apparently the top seat and the Princess of destruction had used an even more inferior version of this, or more precisely, a smaller model with a short range. That’s it wasn’t particularly bad to spread the technology.
This technology, along with holding the reborn Unifiers together, could also be used to apologize to the neighboring states.
By delivering the technology only when Joule and Donald were at a loss on what kind of amends to make would probably be a small atonement itself.
“Nevertheless, it’s so large…”
The prototype Mana Phone Laojun made really was as large as a desk.
“Long-distance communication is a quite the thing, huh.”
The reason for the size was that the device included a lot of parts. All of the parts were high-grade Magi Tools.
Once again Jin felt proud of the range the ManaCom he had made reached. Because the signal could reach all the way to the other side of the world.
“But looking at it that way, I probably should’ve used Ether and not Mana for my device…”
He hadn’t realized it when applying the method that came from the analysis of the Artifact Magic Screen, but he had carelessly named the device a ManaCom. In truth, it should’ve been called EtherCom. Although Jin was thinking that it sounds bad so he’d keep using the current name.
This is a digression, but the usage of kanji played a large part in the miniaturization. Even the power words of Magi Language had a result several times better when written with logograms instead of phonetically.

Back to the main subject.
Leaving the support of the Unifiers to Laojun, what was left was giving aid to the nations.
This wasn’t something Jin was particularly worried about, but because there had been victims and damage because of his late intervention he wanted to give them some kind of aid.
“It may be hypocritical but it’s better than not to…”
And so, he decided to first give Egelia Kingdom –which was deemed to have suffered the most– ingots of the materials made out of the molten golems.
In total, there was about 200 tons of steel, 200 tons of bronze, and 50 tons of Light Silver. And little bit of Adamantite and Mithril. The market value was approximately 150 billion Torr.
Similarly he planned to donate half that amount to Cline Kingdom’s Tetrada.
In addition, he decided to return the seized pieces of Elradrite which had the countries’ seals carved on them to the respective countries. 15 pieces to Egelia Kingdom and ten pieces to Cline Kingdom.
There were no seals of Celuroa, Frantz, or Elias Kingdom.
This was all from the molten golems so it didn’t hurt Hourai Island’s pocket. The only cost was time.
Jin had 41 pieces of Elradrite without any carved seals on them left at hand. That was plenty.
He planned to carry in the materials in the middle of the night using a number of Pelicans with the [Stealth] function added.
Jin couldn’t restrain his laughter as he thought about the surprised faces of the material storehouse administrators come morning.

*   *   *

“…Just when can we leave.”
Reinhardt and Fritz who were returning to their home country induced to stay even longer because of the internal troubles of Celuroa Kingdom among other things.

*   *   *

“My Lord, about the response of the nations’ governing bodies regarding the Unifiers’ puppets we told them about.”
Jin was listening to Laojun’s reports. This was the newest information the Quinta sent this morning.
“Cline Kingdom and Egelia Kingdom have, for now, dismissed the people thought to be puppeteered. Celuroa Kingdom seems to still be in a dispute over it.”
Since Celuroa Kingdom was the country where the Unifiers had taken root in the most, this was no wonder.
“The dispatched armies have all withdrawn to their respective countries. The borders appear to have gone back to normal.”
Even so, the truth that they had invaded didn’t just vanish. Jin left the apologies and reparations to be argued between the countries. What he was interested in were the common people.
“What does the damage on the commoners look like?”
“It seems insignificant. As they had begun evacuation beforehand, no commoners died. There are 24 severely injured and 249 lightly injured people.”
“I’d like to stealthily administer restorative medicine to the severely wounded.”
“Yes, that is possible. I shall issue instructions to the Quinta tonight.”
“Mh-hm, please do.”
Now Jin too felt rather at ease.
“Really, I’m also wondering how my acquaintances are doing.”
Jin muttered and Laojun immediately replied.
“Yes, My Lord. This is as much as we know. Lithia Fahlheit from Cline Kingdom is staying in Tetrada. She is working hard with the relief knight troops.”
Lithia, really? Jin thought. She must’ve found what she wanted to do.
“With regards to Beana-san and Earl Kuzuma, although the Earl had gone along with the dispatched troops, he seems to be heading back to Blue Land since the dispute came to an end.”
They’d probably have the wedding ceremony soon, Jin thought.
“Elias Kingdom where Port Rock is seems to have been indifferent to the strife.”
Marcia was probably doing her best, huh, Jin thought as he reminisced about the days he spent in Port Rock.
“Egelia Kingdom’s capital Asunto appears to still be in a state of disarray, but they seem to have begun heading towards normalcy.”
Talking with Prince Ernest and Laila was really fun, Jin thought as he recalled the times and smiled.
“That is all. Furthermore, Tellurs in Celuroa Kingdom seems to be under blockade; no one can come or go.”
Speaking of Tellurs, what was the healer Sally doing, Jin wondered.
“Come to think of it, I wonder if Schiede’s family is still there.”
“Ah, they seem to have returned to their home country before the conflict began. Capella-3 of the Quinta caught sight of them in Desir, you see.”
“That’s good then.”
There still were a lot of things in his mind, but now that he had taken the measures he could take Jin relaxed.
Then Reiko brought him Citran juice.
“Father, please take a breather.”
“Yeah, thanks.”
Now that peace seemed to have finally come, Jin thought about what to do after this while drinking the chilled juice.

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Magi Craft Meister Volume 9 Chapter 49

09-49 IF #1: Had Jin Been the One to Find Elena
Content warning: violence, pain

Please think about this tale as something like a parallel world.
—————————————-

One day, one of the Quinta dispatched everywhere reported encouraging news through Laojun.
“My Lord, on the western shore of the Lake Azul there are ancient ruins that have been turned into a tourist attraction, but underneath it there seems to be a large room.”
“Mh-hm, has that not been found before?”
“It hasn’t, My Lord.”
“Hmm, seems interesting. Let’s try going for once.”
Jin muttered, and Reiko raised an objection.
“Father, it’s dangerous to go personally to an unknown place like that.”
“Mmh, I’ve got Reiko and since they’re ancient ruins let’s have Ann come along this time too. And I’ll be wearing the reinforced clothing and taking Muramasa and Masamune with me.”
Reiko was still looking a bit sullen yet,
“There’s no other way, is there. I’ll take Peach Blossom and the Magi Cannon. Let’s also have the SP carry a Paralyzer, a Vibration Blade, and an Induction Radiator each.”
She said. Jin who heard that wondered about what on earth she was going to wage a war on. But he kept his mouth shut since it seemed like Reiko would’ve asked him not to go since it was dangerous had he said it.
“If we go through the submersible base in Lake Azul it won’t take long. Let’s wait until it’s midnight on the other side when we arrive.”

*   *   *

Jin’s personal VTOL, Pegasus-1 flew out of the submersible base in Lake Azul, and in about three minutes it was above the ruins they were looking for.
“The Quinta is coming to meet us. No humans have been found on the surface.”
On top of the search by the Quinta who found the ruins, detection by infrared rays and sight revealed that there were no people around.
Judging that the risk of being witnessed was low, Jin made Pegasus-1 land in front of an open space in front of the ruins. It was stone-paved just perfectly so landing was easy and done without raising any clouds of sand.
First the SP went out to watch the surroundings. A minute later, Reiko, then Ann left. Finally Jin got out.
“Good work on coming all the way here, Chief.”
The Quinta in charge of the western shore of Lake Azul bowed.
“Thanks for greeting me. So, the ruins in question, where might they be?”
“Yes, over here.”
Jin tried lighting the surroundings with a [Light Ball]. There buildings all around supported by pillars of stone strengthened with magic. However, the strengthening magic had completely faded and the structures had begun weathering.

Guided by the Quinta, Jin headed near the ruins. The Quinta came to a stop between two large pillars and said while pointing at the ground,
“There is a large cave underground here.”
Jin examined the surface with [Sonar] and understood that there clearly was a large room underneath the ground. Jin then gave orders to Reiko.
“Reiko, try hitting here with 30% of your power.”
After confirming that Jin and the others had retreated a bit further away, Reiko swung her pretty fist and struck the ground.
Along with a thunderous noise, the earth cracked and caved in. Reiko nimbly leapt away and avoided falling.
Once the dust settled, a large hole could be seen there.
“So dark. [Light].”
Even when using light magic to illuminate the hole, the bottom couldn’t be seen. The Quinta then said,
“Chief, I will try going down first.”
And jumped into the hole.
A little while later a report came in through a ManaCom.
“I’m fine, there’s nothing out of the ordinary here. Please go ahead and come down.”
Jin’s group then headed to the middle of the hole. Jin was carried by Reiko, while Ann and the SP went by themselves.
Once down the hole in the ruins, they found a rather wide room with passages to the left and right. Either direction would’ve been good but Jin decided to head for the smaller passage.
After continuing on for a while the passage sloped down. Although dim, there were perpetual light emitters that ran on Ether inside the walls of the hallway.
“They’re of lower grade than those in the research laboratory, aren’t they.”
Reiko looked at the dim lights and commented.
Finally they saw a door. It was made out of iron, was covered in red rust, and once in front of it Ann said a few words.
“Master, this seems to be the emergency shelter room of the ancient fortress.”
“Hmm, so is it likely there’s something inside?”
Jin asked Ann.
“Yes, the likelihood of there being Magi Tools or weapons and such for emergency use is high, I think.”
“Alright, let’s try opening it.”
Jin tried pushing but the heavy door barely budged. Reiko took over for him and pushed. The hinges creaked and broke midway, and the door fell to the inside of the room with a loud sound. It raised dust into the air.
“*Cough*, this is terrible. [Wind].”
Jin expelled the dust out of the room with wind magic. Now he became able to inspect the inside of the room.
Inside the room were, just like Ann said, quite a lot of Magi Tools. There were ones that had broken through the passing of years, but about a third seemed still u sable.
Jin ordered the SP to recover the tools. Then he noticed something at the very back.
“That’s a…”
It was a human shape. Jin could immediately tell it was an Automata. Its figure was that of a girl. But it was leaning on the wall while sitting on the floor without any life. Its left arm was broken, gone from the elbow down.
“That’s, it can’t be… the ‘Golden Princess of Destruction’?”
Ann said.
“Ann?”
“It’s just what I think is probable, but this Automata is the ‘Golden Princess of Destruction’. She was a mysterious Automata that in the early days of the Great Magic War went around destroying my brothers and sisters.”
“Hmm, I see…”
After hearing that Jin proceeded to examine the Automata making sure not to touch it.
“The craftsmanship isn’t bad.”
In the corner of his eye, Jin saw Reiko puff up her cheeks after hearing that and he hurriedly added.
“…Although it can’t hold a candle to Reiko.”
Reiko’s expression returned to normal.
“Hmm, supposing we collect all the ancient Magi Tools, just leaving this Automata would be regrettable. Alright, Reiko, please carry her and then let’s go hom.”
“Yes, I understand.”
While carrying the Magi Cannon on her back and Peach Blossom on her waist, Reiko lifted up the Automata.
Feeling the faint Magic Energy coming from Reiko the Automata woke up.
“Are you the one… who woke me up? …H– hey, wait, what are you doing!?”
“Ah, she woke up. So she really had configured herself to wake up after detecting Magic Energy.”
“Wa-wait, release me! I am the queen of Automata! Listen to what the queen tells you!”
She kicked and struggled, but Reiko’s solid grip was like a vise and no matter how much the Automata tried to shake and untangle her it didn’t matter.
“Y-you’re, could it be, you’re Adrianna’s…!!”
“Be quiet please. My Mother is indeed called Adrianna Balbora Ceci.”
“I–I knew it! Le– let me gooooo!”
“I said be quiet.”
Reiko put more strength into her arms that were carrying the Automata.
Along with a cracking sound the Automata’s skeleton was bent.
“Gyaaaaaah!”
It seemed that the Automata possessed some degree of feeling. Her scream echoed.
“You’re too loud. Father, please silence her.”
Once asked by Reiko Jin got closer to the Automata and put a hand on its neck. Then,
“[Standstill].”
He had the Automata turn off half-forcibly.
“Ah, it became peaceful.”
“This Automata really does seem to be the Golden Princess of Destruction, doesn’t she.”
Ann said while looking down at the Automata Reiko was carrying.
“Hmm, I wonder why did she come to have a personality like that. I’m a little interested.”
Jin said while watching the Automata that had gone limp.

*   *   *

They were able to exit the ruins without anything happening on the return trip. When they were exiting the hole Jin was pulled up with a rope hung down by the SP who climbed up ahead of them.
They then boarded Pelican-1 and returned to Hourai Island via the submersible base.

Now the examination of the Automata that had been brought to the workshop in Hourai Island’s research laboratory was underway.
“Hmm, the skeleton is Light Silver, the muscles are Magical Muscles. There’s a Mana Driver but no Ether Converter.”
“Father, what does that mean?”
Reiko asked while holding down the Automata for hazard prevention.
“Mh-hm, you and the others use the Ether Converter to change the Ether in the air to Mana, then use the Mana Driver to convert the Mana to energy, correct?”
“Yes.”
“This Automata has no Ether Converter and instead has an Ether Tank, and appears to use an Ether Driver to convert that to energy.”
“What’s the result of doing it that way?”
Reiko had enough knowledge to tell the differences between the structures, but didn’t know anything about their efficiencies and such.
“Normally a Mana Tank and a Mana Driver are combined, but this Automata’s combination appears to sacrifice efficiency for a higher power output.”
“I see, this is the first time I’ve heard of something like an Ether Driver. So you’re saying the efficiency is worse when converting Ether directly to energy?”
“That’s right. If you think about it, then probably before the Ether Stampede occurred the Ether in the air was thicker than now, so this must’ve been good back then.”
Jin stated his guess.
“But Mother made me with the method I’m utilizing now though?”
Reiko asked a question regarding that.
“Ah, that’s just natural, since you could say that the predecessor had an ideology in her designs on top of the technology.”
There’s the structure of increasing the power output with heavy work, and then there’s the structure that increases the power output by delicately managing the performance. It’s needless to say which one is better.

“What’s more is that this Control Core is somewhat strange.”
“What might you mean?”
“Well, it looks like it’s been recycled and used twice. Although faint, here and there the old Magi Formula remains.”
Jin said while gazing at the comparatively large Control Core.
“Isn’t this one of the reasons this Automata went out of order?”
While saying so, Jin completely cleared the old Magi Formula.
“And also, there’s the possibility that the manufacturer’s last words have something suspicious in them.”
While talking, Jin freely used the Craft Magics [Read] and [Decompile] to search for that portion. And after searching for 30 minutes, he found it.
“This is it. ‘You are the best’, huh.”
“‘You are the best’ is it. That indeed does seem like something that could make one odd if there was a single error.”
Reiko could understand the danger as a similar Automata who had lost her manufacturer once.
“Hmm, but ‘You are the best’.”
Jin tilted his head in confusion.
“It’s got to continue somehow, doesn’t it. You are the best ‘and stay like that’, or you are the best ‘and the brightest’ or something.”
Jin thought of it a lot. Then,
“If it were me, I’d have wanted to say you are the best ‘daughter I could hope for’.”
Reiko said.
“Well, normally you’d say something like that, wouldn’t you.”
Jin also agreed with Reiko.
“Well, let’s for now try repairing the parts that have deteriorated or faded with age.”
Jin mended the flaws in the Automata. He then tried restarting it. Reiko was of course also monitoring her. Although more accurately Reiko was watching her restraints.
“…Where is this?”
The Automata opened its eyes.
“Are you the one who repaired my arm?”
There was no madness in the tone of her voice.
“Yeah, that’s right. Are there any other places that feel weird?”
Jin said and had Reiko slowly release her from her restraints. The Automata then tried moving its body and,
“No, not at all. I’m in very good condition. Thank you very much.”
She said and bowed.
“To thank you for repairing me, I would like to work for you. Would you please give me a name?”
She said and bowed once more.
Jin thought for a while, then suddenly a name popped to his mind. It was rather unusual for Jin.
“Hmm, I suppose, in that case how about ‘Elena’?”
He said.
“Yes, my name is Elena. Please take care of me from now on, master.”
Elena said and gave a deep bow, turned to face Reiko and Ann, then bowed her head and said,
“Pleased to meet you too, my sisters.”

This is the world of ‘what-if’. The world that would’ve been if Jin had found Elena. A story about a world of ‘what-if’ that would probably be a happy one for Elena afterwards.

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Magi Craft Meister Volume 9 Chapter 48

09-48 Princess of Destruction, Terminated

Jin decided to leave his substitute puppet Machina there and have Laojun control it and take command of dealing with the remaining business.
He himself took the Golden Princess of Destruction’s pieces and returned to Hourai Island with Reiko and Ann.
When they came here they had flown all the way, but on the return trip they decided to use the submersible base. According to Laojun since it also had a [Stealth] function they probably wouldn’t be seen even during the day.
Of course they checked that there were no boats or such in the surroundings. However, even the fishing boats going into the giant lake Azul didn’t go that far from the shore, so the worry that the waves caused by the base’s rise would affect them was exceedingly small.
It was better to not use it too frequently, but this time Jin and company returned before others to the research laboratory through the submersible base’s Warp Gate.

“Now then, shall we examine this fellow?”
The Golden Princess of Destruction’s body and her broken arms were laid on top of the workbench. Jin began assiduously examining them.
Reiko had the Vibration Sword in hand prepared for any unforeseen situations, and Ann was standing next to Jin to give advice.
“Hmm, so she has a similar endoskeleton. It’s just that the attachment of the muscles is still imperfect, huh.”
Although it was far superior to usual golems’s, Jin saw that the structure wasn’t a match for the works of the predecessor.
“The skeleton’s made out of Light Silver, huh. Well, that’s appropriate. Then there’s… What’s this?”
“Father, is something the matter?”
If something surprised Jin it was probably quite serious, Reiko thought and hurriedly rushed over to Jin’s side from other side of the workbench.
“Mmh, ah, sorry. I just saw something curious in her structure.”
Jin said and opened up the Princess of Destruction’s chest unit so that Reiko could also see.
“There’s no Ether Converter. No Mana Driver either. Besides… what might this be?”
Seeing the composition she had never seen before, Reiko too couldn’t immediately comprehend how the Princess of Destruction worked. But as Jin had already completely understood it, he explained it to Reiko.
“Yeah, this is an Ether Tank and this is an Ether Driver. The energy efficiency is poor, but it seems to be able to produce power easily. Although it’s not slim at all.”
Jin said while looking at the giant Magi Crystal working as the Ether Driver.
“It appears that around the time of the Great Magic War the Ether concentration in the air was much higher than now. So this was probably fine then.”
“In that case, if this Automata went to a place where the Ether was thicker, it would’ve become more powerful?”
Jin thought a little and then answered Reiko’s question.
“That’s right. If the Ether concentration was doubled, it would probably be able to increase its output by a half.”
Including Reiko, Jin’s golems and Automata had an Ether Converter the output of which would double if the Ether concentration doubled.
However, it appeared that the manufacturer of the Golden Princess of Destruction couldn’t build an Ether Converter in the end. Or she disliked imitating Adrianna’s patterns.
If Ether was crude oil then an Ether Driver burns it directly, while an Ether Converter refines it to gasoline which a Mana Driver then uses. It’s a rough comparison, but maybe it’s an easy one to understand.
“At any rate, it’s not a match for Mother’s technology is the gist of it, is it not?”
Reiko who came to this conclusion looked slightly proud.

“Well, the other thing is this. This is no doubt the Control Core, but it’s a Magi Crystal I’ve never seen before. Ann, can you recognize it?”
Jin had a pink Magic Crystal in his hand. Its diameter was about five centimeters; it was rather large.
“No, I do not. What might the attribute turn out to be?”
Ann didn’t appear to know either.
“Hmm, it seems to be a composite of light and fire attributes. To think that a Magi Crystal like this could naturally form. At any rate, this should be filled with the memories and knowledge of the Golden Princess of Destruction. Let’s have Laojun analyze it. But before that…”
It was a precious source of information, so Jin decided to hold onto a duplicate of it. He prepared an all-attribute Magi Crystal and,
“[Transfer Info].”
He used the Craft Magic for transcription. But at that moment.
“Woah!?”
The pink Magi Crystal suddenly lit up. Jin closed his eyes reflexively due to the radiance but Reiko focused on the phenomenon.
“…What was that?”
The puzzled Jin said while rubbing his eyes, and Reiko who had been watching in detail explained.
“Father, it seems that the Magi Crystal overreacted to a specific Magic Energy wavelength or waveform. That light came from changing the Magic Energy of [Transfer Info] into light.”
“What? I can understand the theory, but the existence of a Magi Crystal that naturally does that is…”
Nothing like that was in the abundant knowledge Jin inherited from the predecessor. Ann said he didn’t know about it either.
“Hmm, this is just a hypothesis, but could the cause for the overreaction to my Magic Energy –in other words the predecessor’s Magic Energy– perhaps be the Princess of Destruction’s hostility against the predecessor?”
“It’s possible, but that’s hard to prove, isn’t it.”
“Yeah. Expressly confirming that seems troublesome too. …Anyway, it’s better not to poorly tamper with it. By the way, was the copy made successfully?”
Jin tried examining the all-attribute Magi Crystal. There might’ve been some missing parts but most of it had been copied.
“Alright, let’s have this analyzed. Let’s make sure the original is securely sealed for now.”
Since it was a Magi Crystal with unknown properties, Jin decided to be cautious with its handling.
He decided to wrap it in thin Mithril foil to insulate the Magic Energy, and store it inside a bulky Adamantite box.
“Alright, lastly are her eyes.”
Jin detached the deep crimson Magi Crystals which had been used as the eyes for the Princess of Destruction.
“As I thought, they’re Blood Crystals. If I remember right, they had the [Charm] effect.”
That was something in Jin’s knowledge.
“Using these eyes at the same time seems to make mental manipulation simple, huh…”
This late in the game, Jin felt relieved and thought it was good that he hadn’t gone in person.

“Alright, now I understand it all. I suppose I’ll try to repair her.”
Jin said after finishing the investigation of the Golden Princess of Destruction. Reiko couldn’t keep quiet about it.
“Father, even though she was hostile you’re repairing her?”
When asked so, Jin smiled and added,
“Yeah, as long as I remove the cause of her madness she’ll be very helpful, I think. And I was thinking I’d have her monitor the Unifiers.”
Jin explained his plan further.
The group of small nations, in other words Celuroa Kingdom, Egelia Kingdom, Frantz Kingdom, and Cline Kingdom had been completely disturbed by the Unifiers.
Instead of leaving the management of the aftermath to just the individual countries, he wanted to have the Unifiers take responsibility.
“That top seat guy, Joule was it, seems to have returned back to sanity and is regretting things, you see.”
He’d have the Golden Princess of Destruction, or more accurately someone just like her monitoring Joule by his side and giving him advice.
“I see, I understand now. If she looks like the Golden Princess of Destruction she was originally then she won’t feel out of place, correct?”
“That’s right. So I’ll try to repair her. But let’s adjust some of the structure.”
And so Jin set about to repairing the Golden Princess of Destruction.
He left the skeleton as it was. But he decided to use the Hourai Island standards for the installation of the Magical Muscles and their material. Yet he decided to restrict the power output a lot, to about the level of a layperson. Just in case, he thought.
He coated the joints with Adamantite.
The skin was also changed to Hourai Island’s standard Magical Skin. The same skin that was used in Ann. He installed an Ether Converter and an Ether Driver.
The problem was the Control Core.
“Hmm, what should I do…”
Jin was troubled.
“Father, what are you worrying about?”
Out of consideration for the troubled Jin, Reiko called out to him.
“Ah, I was thinking about what to do about her memories. If analyzed, I could even remove her memories of after she malfunctioned, but is that what I should do…”
“If it were me, I wouldn’t want to be left with the memories of the time I was mad. I’d want to be myself because Mother and Father wished me to be so.”
Hearing Reiko’s words, Jin made up his mind.
“Alright, I got it. In that case, let’s remove her memories after the point her manufacturer passed away. Then let’s confer her the information afresh.”
In other words, even though she would know what happened, she’d recognize the deeds as not hers but of someone else’s doing.
“I don’t really want to tamper with her, but she’d be dangerous.”
“Father, for Automata it is detestable to have oneself act against the wishes of their creator.”
Reiko said to encourage Jin.
“I got it, Reiko.”
Jin then prepared a milky white Magi Crystal, and very very carefully transcribed the memories of the ‘former’ Golden Princess of Destruction to it in order of age.
He digitized the record of memories and such using the structure of the molecules of the Magi Crystal.
It’s a digression, but it’s said that a single standard Magi Crystal could record the memories of 50 people.

“Alright, it’s up to here. By the way, her last memory is ‘You are the best’, huh. What’s up with that?”
“‘You are the best’? Is it not ‘You are the best daughter I could hope for’?”
“Yeah. She probably died mid-way through the sentence…”
Reiko stared motionlessly at the ‘former’ Golden Princess of Destruction and,
“…Poor thing. I was able to hear Mother’s last will but she didn’t even have that.”
She said. First Reiko had been opposed to repairing the Princess of Destruction, but it seems that she had gradually grown sympathetic.
“Yeah, that’s where her misfortune began, isn’t it.”
Jin then after once again worrying about it, added ‘daughter I could hope for’ to the end of it.
“It’s not a very good thing to do though.”
Jin muttered and Reiko said to him,
“No, Father is kind. Even if they are fake memories, this girl will surely become happy. I guarantee it.”
“Thanks, Reiko.”

Then Jin recorded what happened until now into the information area instead of the memory area. With this she’s be able to understand what had happened and what she had done.
He’d then have her use the information to make things up afterwards.

Lastly, as a safety measure, he added measures to purge the main Magi Device in case she fell into the hands of a third party.
“Only thing left is general maintenance.”
As Reiko had bisected the clothes she had worn along with her body, he remade them anew.
During it he noticed that he had been late in having lunch so after eating and continuing with it, everything was finished at 5 PM Hourai Island’s time.
“Alright, [Activate].”
The ‘former’ Golden Princess of Destruction opened her eyes. Her eyes had been changed to be just regular red Magi Crystals.
She slowly sat upright, then looked at Jin and,
“You… have repaired me?”
She said.
“Yeah. How is your condition?”
“It is excellent. Thank you very much.”
After hearing that Jin tried to ask as an experiment,
“Do you remember what has happened until now?”
“Yes, I was built by my Mother, loved by her, and she left me with her final words of ‘You are the best daughter I could hope for’. I do not have any memories after that. I seem to have been broken.”
She replied. Jin was relieved. Then again,
“Alright, in that case what is your name?”
He tried asking. The manufacturer hadn’t given her a name. If there was any disorder or flaws between her memories and knowledge then she would surely respond with Elena. But.
“I do not have a name. It would be a privilege if you who repaired me gave me one.”
Her reply calmed Jin down.
“Alright, you’re ‘Elena’.”
“Yes, I am ‘Elena’.”
Without raising any objections that her name was the same as the Elena in her knowledge, Elena accepted her name.
Like this, the ‘Golden Princess of Destruction’ disappeared and was born again as ‘Elena’.

*   *   *

As you might expect Jin was tired so he went to relax in the hot springs, ate Reiko’s home cooking, and soon went to bed.
Contrary to Jin, the magical brain of Hourai Island Laojun who knew no tiredness was taking one measure after another in accordance with Jin’s ideas.

The headquarters of the Unifiers was re-established, and to repair it back to functional the Smith units were dispatched.
After finishing collecting the wreckage from the battle, the Land Corps near the Unifiers’ headquarters were withdrawn except for the 20 Land units from Land-81 to Land-100.
The brainwashing of the captured Unifiers was undone.

Such things were done first.
Further arrangements would begin the next morning when Jin would wake up.

Thus, there was finally hope that the long days of mayhem caused by the Unifiers would end.

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Magi Craft Meister Volume 9 Chapter 47

09-47 Princess of Destruction

“Be careful.”
“Yes, I know.”
Machina = Jin, Reiko, Ann, and Land-70 all four were standing in front of the hidden door they found in the middle of the slope that had originally been a staircase.
“Opening.”
Land-70 pushed the door, but, it didn’t budge.
“We’ve probably already been exposed. Do it with all your strength.”
“Yes.”
Following Jin’s orders, Land-70 pushed the door with full power.
The door and the latch held out, but the hinges could no longer bear with it and the whole door flopped inside the room.
They had thought the room would be cramped, but unexpectedly it was fairly spacious. Maybe about the size of a primary school classroom.
Straight forward at the back of the room a single Automata could be seen standing still.

“So you’ve finally come.”
The Automata spoke.
“You must be Elena.”
The Automata shook her head in denial at Machina’s words.
“That name was arbitrarily given to me by a slave. I am a queen. The queen of Automata.”
“As I thought, you doubtlessly are the Golden Princess of Destruction.”
Ann let out such words, then the Golden Princess of Destruction stared at her.
“So one was still left alive. Even though I thought all the puppets of Adrianna’s lineage destroyed.”
She said, as if spitting it out.

Jin was watching the image projected on Pelican-1’s Magic Screen sent through the Magic Eyes embedded in Machina’s eyes.
Even through the Magic Screen, the Automata was very beautiful.
Golden hair that reached all the way to her waist, white porcelain skin, deep crimson eyes. Her proportions were also nearly perfect.
However.
“How dangerous.”
Jin leaked out a few words as hoping to interrupt them. They were conveyed with the ManaCom through Machina’s mouth.
“What might you mean by that?”
The Golden Princess of destruction found fault with that and turned to Machina. Her eyes shined bewitchingly. They were ‘Evil Eyes’ so to speak, with the [Charm] effect.
Normally, Jin who had no resistance against mental attacks would’ve perhaps immediately become her slave.
But Machina wasn’t Jin. The picture conveyed to Jin through the Magic Eyes and the Magic Screen couldn’t charm Jin.

“Ah, I don’t know the person who built you. But I was wondering just what that person taught you.”
“Isn’t that obvious. ‘You are the best’. Those were Mother’s final words.”
“‘You are the best’?”
Reiko and Machina = Jin both said at the same time.
“That’s correct. I am the best. In other words, this whole world should get on their knees before me!”
Madness could be felt from the Golden Princess of destruction who triumphantly declared so.
“She’s malfunctioning after all, huh.”
“Yes, Fat– …Machina-sama.”
Machina = Jin and Reiko had the same conclusion.
Reiko then took a step forward.
“‘You are the best’. Don’t you think that what the person who made you wanted to say was you are the best ‘daughter she could hope for’?”
“What was that?”
“Did she not fail to continue the words ‘you are the best’?”
“….”
The Golden Princess of Destruction was at a loss for words after Reiko’s question. The madness disappeared from her eyes.
But that was just for a moment.
“Shut up, shut up, shut up! What do you know! I am Mother’s masterwork! I am the queen of Automata!”
She yelled and leapt upon Reiko. Then she tightened both her hands around Reiko’s throat.
“Ha, haha, hahahaha…. I’ll twist off your head like this. Then I’ll rip off your arms and legs. Just like I did to all the Automata up to now.”
The Golden Princess of Destruction then suddenly put strength into it.
However, unlike what she wished, Reiko stayed calm. Then,
“What is it that you’re doing?”
Reiko threw words at the Princess of Destruction as though she didn’t care at all.
Shock was visible in the face of the Princess of Destruction.
“Y-y-y-you! From the battlefield, you’re the monsteeeeeeer!”
Reiko caught hold of the hands of the Princess of Destruction and easily shook them off.
“I’m not a monster. I’m an Automata. The name’s ‘Reiko’. Pleased to make your acquaintance.”
“You, you’re! You’re one of Adrianna’s daughteeeeers!!”
The Golden Princess of Destruction heated up even more. In contrast, Reiko was calmness itself.
“That’s right. My Mother, Adrianna Balbora Ceci built me. And Nidou Jin is my Father.”
“You say you’ve got both pareeeents? You make me laugh! Reiko, you said! As if, as if someone like you…!”
While yelling she raised her fists and threw herself upon Reiko. Reiko caught her fist.
“Stop struggling.”
However, the Golden Princess of Destruction would no longer stop. The sword arts and the martial arts she knew disappeared somewhere as she only flailed with her arms as she fought against Reiko.
She looked just like a spoiled child.
“Stop it, I said.”
“Eek!”
Reiko took the swung fist and threw the Golden Princess of Destruction to the opposite side of the room. She crashed to the wall, got up with a dangerous glint in her eye, and once again headed to face Reiko.
She was fast like a swift wind, but Reiko was even faster.
The Princess of Destruction’s left fist and Reiko’s right fist collided.
Along with a dull smash the Princess of Destruction was blown away. Her left arm was torn to pieces from the elbow to her fingertips.
“Arrgh… As I thought, someone like him couldn’t completely fix me!”
Once again the Princess of Destruction came swinging at Reiko. Reiko met her with a fist.
This time her right arm was blown off from the shoulder.
“Just stop. You cannot win against me.”
Reiko said, but the Golden Princess of Destruction’s madness didn’t weaken.
“Why, why, why! Why is Adrianna always hindering me! Why is she always bullying me! Mother! Mootheeer! Where are yoouu!”
“Reiko, something’s strange with her.”
Machina = Jin who had been watching them attentively whispered.
“Yes, so it seems.”
Reiko also felt that.
“Let’s settle this.”
Reiko said and took the Vibration Blade in her hand.
Then,
“Sleep… peacefully.”
While speaking she cut the Golden Princess of Destruction horizontally straight apart.
Her upper and lower half of the body separated, and the Princess of Destruction fell over to the floor. But words were still coming out of her mouth, and she was trying to use her sole remaining left elbow to move.
“I am… the best. I am… the… queen. Mo… t… her…”
But her movements gradually weakened, and eventually the light went out from her deep crimson eyes.
“Is it… over?”
Machina = Jin let out a sigh.
For Jin it was an extremely nerve-wracking act. Seeing her engulfed with madness until the very end was simply sorrowful.
Would Reiko have also become dominated by such madness if something had gone wrong? The situation made Jin think about that.
“Reiko, good work. Let’s recover the Golden Princess of Destruction and go home.”
“Yes, fa– …Machina-sama.”
The group then left the room behind them.

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Magi Craft Meister Volume 9 Chapter 46

09-46 Trap

“Uhh… Where am I?”
The old man opened his eyes and after looking around asked Machina.
“This… seems to be the headquarters of the Unifiers.”
Machina replied, and the old man slowly shook his head.
“The Unifiers. …Ah, I remember. I am the top seat of the Unifiers, Joule Rolan. I somehow feel like I’ve been dreaming for a long time.”
The shock of being hit and lingering between life and death seemed to have cleared his brainwashing, Jin thought through Machina.
“Originally the Unifiers idolized Dinar Kingdom and chased after that ideal. Antagonising fellow countries like this makes me unhappy, it was supposed to be a group about ideological unification.”
As if convincing himself, Joule Rolan uttered.
“Why did it turn to this…”
Joule was very troubled. Seeing him like that, Machina asked him a question.
“Do you remember what you’ve done?”
Joule nodded.
“Yes. But, how should I say this, it’s as if another person had been doing it. Just why did I make those orders….”
After replying Joule was once again troubled.
Jin who was watching the scene through a Magic Screen in Pelican-1 thought that first of all he’d carry onwards, and decided to give orders through Machina.
“Land-71, stay with Joule for a while. Don’t take your eyes off the unconscious Donald either. …Everyone else, be careful of your surroundings. Like Ann said, the ‘Golden Princess of Destruction’ should be hiding somewhere.”
The ‘Golden Princess of Destruction’. Joule had a reaction to the words.
“Ah, you must mean Elena? Ah, oh, Elena. Right, it was at her instructions. That’s right, I remember now. Her orders were absolute. She was our queen…”
“So the Golden Princess of Destruction… Elena really was the true mastermind all along.”
Joule was surprised and looked at Ann who said so.
“You’re an Automata? Blue-haired Automata… We were supposed to have destroyed and scrapped on Elena’s orders all the blue-haired Automata we found from the ruins… So there were still some remaining.”
“Might you know where this Elena has gone?”
Ann asked and Joule pointed behind the top seat’s chair and,
“If she wasn’t here, then behind there is a secret passage. She probably snuck out through there.”
He replied. He seemed to have been completely cleared of the brainwashing.
“Alright, Reiko, Ann, Land-70, let’s go.”
Leaving Land-71 at Joule’s side, the group searched for the secret passage.
They soon found it. They hit the floor and found a hollow spot. Land-70 then found a depression where by putting a finger there and lifting the trapdoor could be easily opened.
Under it were stairs going steeply down. It was nearly totally dark.
“Stairs down, huh. Let’s go in the order with Land-70 first, then Reiko, Ann, and Machina.”
Jin gave the orders and the group went down the stairs. They kept going straight down an unknown distance.
From a bright place the stairs looked pitch black but in fact there was a dim light inside, and group could continue without any problems.
“I wasn’t aware of a hidden passage like this. It must’ve been built later. And so I don’t know what lies after this. Please be very careful.”
While climbing the stairs down Ann cautioned, and at that moment. Suddenly the stairs vanished.
Or more accurately the steps turned to a slope, like a playground slide. Naturally the group slipped and fell.
But while the case may have been different if there were humans, no one panicked. Land-70 who was in the front thrust out his arms to the walls and stopped.
Naturally, the following three people collided with Land-70 and stopped.
“A trap, is it. If we were humans then it would’ve been effective, don’t you think?”
“Mh-hm. Land, can you smoothly go down like that while keeping the speed slow?”
Machina asked and Land-70 nodded.
“Yes, Machina-sama. It’s a simple task.”
The group then left braking to Land and once again began descending. They slid down while Land applied strength to his arms to keep the speed down.
“It’s a long way down, isn’t it. We’ve already gone past the height we climbed, don’t you think we’re in the basement now? ”
On top of that the descent was completely straight. The stairway, no, the slide went down at about a 45 degree angle.
Just when they thought they had gone quite a ways underground, the end finally came to sight.
“Land, stop for now.”
When there was just ten meters left to the end of the stairway, Machina = Jin ordered Land-70 and had him stop for a moment.
“There’s a high chance there’s an another trap. Proceed carefully.”
“Yes, Machina-sama.”
Land-70 then once again went downwards, this time at a third of the speed he had used until now. Meanwhile Reiko, Ann, and Machina were all watchful of their surroundings.
Then suddenly they reached the end of the stairway. A single door was there.
Reiko who had the best hearing tried to listen carefully but heard nothing. Reiko tried changing her vision to the infrared spectrum but there were no heat sources near the door.
“Hmm, if it were me what kind of a trap would I lay?”
Jin pondered inside Pelican-1.
Meanwhile Land-70 touched the door.
At the same time Jin suddenly understood a possibility.
“This is bad! Everyone, watch out above!”
Before Jin had finished saying so through Machina’s mouth, a noise could be heard up from the stairs, nay, the slope.
“Boulders!”
Reiko who had noticed the noise first looked up and shouted. Yes, an avalanche of rock was coming down the slope. The door was a dummy. The moment the door was touched, a trap generated boulders.
“Planning to bury us alive!?”
The length of the slope going down was over 50 meters. Enough rock to fill it to capacity slid down.
“[Barrier].”
“[Barrier].”
Reiko used the pendant, Ann used the ring.
The magical barriers hidden in them completely protected them from the rockfall.
But like this they couldn’t move. Unlike humans they had no worry of suffocation, but there was no way they could stay like this forever.
“Hmm, ways to remove all this rock quickly… There’s only one, huh.”
Machina = Jin came to a conclusion.
“Reiko, I’ll explain to you the procedure to listen carefully. First take away the Mana Tank inside Machina that’s for emergency use.”
“Yes.”
The Mana Tank was a Magi Device for the purpose of running problem-free even in regions with a low concentration of Ether. Reiko was the other one who had one of them.
Reiko took out the Mana Tank from inside Machina. It was made out of Magi Crystals of all attributes. Even in the darkness it glittered with the colors of a rainbow.
In this place the concentration of Ether was plentiful so Machina who had an Ether Converter didn’t stop running.
“Alright, bury it in the rock that slid down. It’ll be hard.”
“Yes.”
With the [Barrier] on she couldn’t smash the rock, as the person inside couldn’t even directly touch the rock.
Now it was important to temporarily disable the Barrier and quickly set the Magi Crystal in the rock.
While doing so someone had to prop up the rock that was about to fall down, but Reiko and Land-70 had plenty strength to support the rockfall and they managed to do it.
This was of course because the strength the two had was immense, but also because the friction of the rocks stuffed in the narrow passage helped.
Ann watched over Reiko and Land-70 while being prepared to activate the [Barrier] if by any chance it was needed.
While supporting the rocks with her right hand, Reiko plunged the Magi Crystal in her left hand into a crevice in the rocks.
Then she and Ann again activated the [Barrier]s. Everything had been done without a hitch.
“Alright, that went well, didn’t it. Now the finishing touch. Reiko, on my mark use [Mana Explosion] on the Magi Crystal buried inside.”
“Yes.”
Jin then, just in case, had the allied forces in the fortress evacuate. The resistance had fallen apart so getting out was possible in minutes. Of course Land-71 and Joule and the unconscious Donald left too.
He also ordered for the other prisoners who had been rendered unconscious elsewhere taken out.
“Okay, wait a little longer… Alright, now!”
“[Mana Explosion].”
Reiko’s strongest offensive magic exploded.
The Mana Crystal used as the Mana Tank was a lump of Mana, so to speak.
If that was made to explode then what would happen? The area around Reiko was sealed by an indestructible barrier. The pathway was straight.
The answer was soon apparent.
The Magi Crystal with a potential over ten times higher than that of the Core of Hekantokheires –which was once defeated in the mountains north of Kaina Village– detonated.
The mass of rock filling the long sloping path was all blown upwards towards the exit.
It turned into a rock cannonball and burst out all at once.
With its force it blew through the roof of the control room on the top floor and flew outside.
“Ooh, it was stronger than I thought, huh.”
Jin, who was looking at the scene from Pelican-1, saw a part of the rock plateau crack and admired the debris flying from there to a height of over 50 meters.

*   *   *

“W-w-h-what!? What is it this time?”
The ‘Golden Princess of Destruction’ Elena had escaped to a room behind a hidden door prepared in advance at the exact midpoint of the slope that had originally been a staircase. She had been feeling relieved when she had successfully had the people chasing her fall into the trap.
That very moment she felt a tremor that was as if it had shaken the whole fort.
She looked at the Magic Screen that was still intact and saw rock fragments shooting out like cannonballs from a hole in the rock plateau serving as the roof of the fort.
“What! What is this! Don’t tell me this was also done by that monster!?”
Elena’s shouting echoed.

*   *   *

“Machina-sama, that went well, didn’t it?”
Ann also felt admiration. And Reiko, after cancelling the [Barrier] she was listening carefully.
“I heard a voice from the middle of the slope.”
“I see, so there was a hidden room or a passage on the way. Alright, let’s climb back up.”
The sloped path had been damaged quite a lot by the shock and had become rough, so climbing it wasn’t inconvenient.
The group then climbed up easily and finally found the hidden door.

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Magi Craft Meister Volume 9 Chapter 45

09-45 Storming In

At the entrance that appeared to be the front one. Fifteen minutes after the Land units from 61 to 80 rushed in through it while it was left open.
Reiko, Ann, and Jin’s substitute puppet ‘Deus Ex Machina’ also entered.
“There’s no mistaking it. These are the ruins of an ancient fortress.”
Ann said after checking the structure.
The place where they arrived after going through the entrance was something like a wide hall. It was the place where soldiers who warped in would wait for orders.
Similarly to the ruins in Yada Village, in the floor there were traces of a Warp Gate. Although the parts left behind were very few so there was no hope of reconstructing it.
It had probably been destroyed when the fort got abandoned.

From the front there, a passage extended out. At the entryway to the passage there were concaves where guards had likely once been stationed in, but now there were unmoving golems there that the Land corps had destroyed.
“We should find stairs after walking for a bit.”
Following Ann’s guidance, the three progressed.
Just as she said, after walking 20 meters more there were stairs leading up and down.
“The stairs down go to the armoury while the stairs up go to the control room. Where should we go?”
Ann turned to ask for Reiko’s opinion, and at that very moment. The sound of people walking up the stairs from below was heard.
“!”
Reiko immediately got on guard, but after sensing the Magic Energy Patterns she realized that they were Land golems and moved her hand off her sword’s handle.
The ones that came up were Land-70 and Land-71.
“Oh, milady. The basement seems to be an armory, but there were nothing but broken golems and Magi Tools that had become useless. Land units from 41 to 60 also joined us and we’re continuing the investigation.”
Hearing the report, Reiko decided to head upstairs.
“Let’s go up.”
They went upstairs taking Land-70 and Land-71 with them.
“Oh my, we’re not the first.”
The door leading to the second floor hallway was left wide open, and in the hallway there were the Land units from 91 to 100 who were supposed to have entered through the wester side.
“Milady, there was nothing but household golems. Yet they’ve all been neutralized.”
Land-100 reported to Reiko.
“Most likely the control room is on the fourth floor, let’s go.”
Ann suggested. Reiko nodded and called out to Land-100 and the others.
“You guys please keep on investigating this floor.”
Reiko’s group then went to the third floor.
The door to the third floor was left wide open, the Land units from 81 to 90 were there investigating.
Reiko’s group left that floor to the Land corps too and went to the fourth floor.
The stairs reached their end there, and a robust-looking door blocked their passage.
“Milady, let us try first.”
Land-70 said and pushed the door together with Land-71. But it didn’t budge.
“It feels like it’s been barred from the inside. What shall we do?”
They had a few ways of opening it. He was asking about that.
Then Jin contacted them. The substitute puppet’s mouth opened.
“Just now Land-61’s group discovered members of the Unifiers. The 17 people in total were all neutralized. From questioning those guys it seems that the control room is on the fourth floor.”
“That’s the floor we’re on, isn’t it.”
“That’s right. Most likely the ‘Golden Princess of Destruction’ is also here. Be very careful.”
“I understand. What shall we do about this door? Should we open it with force?”
“Let’s see, chop it off with the Vibration Blade.”
Jin gave instructions while borrowing the mouth of his substitute puppet ‘Deus Ex Machina’.
“Yes, Father.”
Reiko felt just a little disappointed. The substitute puppet turned to Reiko and said to her as if consoling her,
“Reiko, you’ll be headlining today so it’s better to not go ahead recklessly. ”
Then,
“Also, stop calling this puppet ‘Father’. This goes for all of you there, make sure to call it ‘Machina’.”
The word Deus meant ‘god’ so Jin refrained from that and decided to have the substitute puppet nicknamed ‘Machina’ which meant ‘machine’.
“Yes, Machina-sama.”
The group then passed through the door and stepped into the fourth floor proper.
There in the comparatively wide hallway a carpet had been laid down.
“There’s no mistaking it. At the end of this hallway is the control room. It’s clear that a rather high-ranking commander had been in charge of this fort.”
Land-70 and Land-71 were side-by-side as the vanguard, behind them was Machina, and Reiko and Ann were the rearguard. They were likewise side-by-side.
On the left and right there were a number of doors, but after opening them and checking inside they found nothing particularly notable.

Then finally only the door at the back was left.
“Opening.”
Land-70 and Land-71 pulled on the door. Because this time there was a handle on the door.
Slowly the door opened. It appeared it hadn’t been bolted.
“Please be careful.”
Ann said, and at that moment.
Once the door had opened enough to let a person through the gap, a number of golden and silver figures holding spears rushed out. They were golems.
“As I thought!”
Reiko who had stayed cautious immediately unsheathed the Vibration Blade and in the next moment cut down two of the attacking golems.
Even though Reiko didn’t know any sword arts, the golems were no match for her physical ability.
Then Land-70 and Land-71 too cut down an enemy golem each.
This time nothing jumped through the door and it was opened wide.

“So you’ve reached this far.”
In front of them at the back of the room there was an aging man. He was sitting with gold and silver-colored golems like the ones defeated just now standing on his left and right.
There was another golem about two meters tall, but it stood in front of Reiko’s group as if protecting the man from the front.
“I am the top seat of the Unifiers, Donald. You will be the opponents of my masterpiece, golem number 457. Go!”
Along with this words golem number 457 kicked the floor and rushed to attack Ann.
The aging man, the current leader of the Unifiers Donald, had been watching Reiko’s specialness through the Magic Screen so he was aiming for Ann who seemed the easiest to deal with.
Ann wasn’t indeed very strong.
“[Barrier].”
But she was fast enough to activate the Guard Ring she had received from Jin.
The Guard ring had once defended against a hit from Reiko at 30 percent output.
Golem number 457’s fist came to a halt ten centimeters before reaching Ann.
“W–what!?”
Land-70’s Vibration Blade mowed down golem number 457 which had stopped briefly.
Even steel hardened to the utmost couldn’t offer even a little resistance against the Vibration Blade.
The golem number 457 was cut in half at the waist and collapsed to the floor making a massive sound.
“Wha–wh–whwhwhw…. My masterpiece was….”
Donald turned pale. Machina = Jin turned towards him and spoke.
“A masterpiece like this is shameful. The masterpiece is always ‘the next one’.”
Reiko stayed silent and nodded as he spoke.
“Why you… Cheeky brat! As if the technology from the past could lose so easily! That’s right! It can’t looooooose!”
But Donald was close to being half-frenzied as he didn’t appear to accept the reality in front of him.
“Ann, the Paralyzer.”
Machina = Jin couldn’t just watch and gave the order. Ann immediately cancelled the [Barrier] and zapped Donald with the Paralyzer.
“Agh.”
Then again, she changed over to [Shock] mode and once more zapped him.
Perhaps because of something related to [Shock]’s wavelength, or its waveform, there were also people who weren’t knocked unconscious by it. Therefore it was necessary to zap the people thought to be mentally manipulated twice.
At the same time as Donald fainted, the gold and silver golems on his left and right side rushed for the attack but they were promptly beaten by Land-70 and Land-71.
“Now then, I thought that the Golden Princess of Destruction would be here, but she isn’t.”
Reiko looked around the room and said.
“Ah? Elder Sister, someone has collapsed over there.”
Ann who had been similarly looking around the room found a collapsed person concealed by the tapestry hung on the wall.
“Who might he be?”
Ann who found him, Reiko, and Machina went there to look. Land-70 and Land-71 stayed vigilant of the surroundings.
The collapsed person was an old man. Ann examined his wounds and her diagnosis was,
“His sternum is broken but he seems to still be alive.”
Machina = Jin decided to use the restorative medicine he brought with him, thinking that the person might have some useful information.
He applied it on the chest wound and the old man’s breathing seemed to become easier. Next Jin made him drink it.
The old man managed to somehow drink the restorative medicine. His breathing became regular and color returned to his face.
Then the old man opened his eyes.

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