Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Moldavia, Central Square
St. Laurent’s cathedral could be considered the grandest church in the northern region. In terms of its history, this majestic and exquisite building was one of the oldest holy places of the northwest zones, constructed at the same time as Moldavia’s main city. Like the Radcliffe family, the first pastor in this church had settled in this freezing wasteland, and after four hundred years where the city kept expanding, the church kept adding new facilities too.
Such as the recently erected teleportation hall.
Located to the left of the prayer sanctuary, the clergies who were notified earlier quickly activated the receiving circle as dimensions rippled. Soon, the light-blue dimensional passageway opened in the very heart of the wing.
Joshua, the first to walk out of the hall, furrowed his brow; he could hear harrowing screams ringing out hazily from somewhere nearby.
The warrior then took a few steps forward to give way for the others, before the turning his eyes towards the right wing, as if his gaze could penetrate walls.
“What, more cultists?” Joshua asked the young apprentice controlling the warping circle with a dispassionate voice that appeared a little annoyed while gesturing for Ying and Ling to go take a look. “They haven’t learned their lesson after sending out so many?”
“Yes, My Lord. The night after you’ve left, Miss 03 caught quite a few of themMr. Roland is using the Sacred Light to interrogate them right now.”
The young apprentice who was holding the portal turned out to be the black-haired priest initiate before. His expression seemed tired, as if the wails from the inquisition had left him sleepless. Still, he was alert and attentive when Joshua spoke to him. “The inquisition had started since last nightthere were quite a few of them. I think this was the seventh?”
“What a hassle,” the warrior shook his head, seemingly unhappy with the treatment. “The intentions of those things were already exposed. Don’t waste your strength, just execute them.”
From the words Joshua used, it was as if the cult members were not human.
“Artanis and the others thought so too, only to find out later that this was a different batch from the last,” a young girl’s voice replied Joshua, wafting from the entrance while Ling and Ying exited the wings. The voice was dreamlike as well as echoing, but soon became distinct.
“That holy knight was worried they have different ideas and so decided to interrogate them overnight to see if he could get anything new.”
As the voice became clearer, streaks of faint mystical light flickered, refracting a holographic projection. Then, self-constructing minuscule runes soon formed a blue-haired girl, hanging in the air by the doorway to the side hall.
Dressed in a black gown with feathery decorations, she was 1.5 meters tall and possessed a graceful face akin to a mannequin. Both her ears jutted slightly upwards, and there was a pair of wings behind her back. Clearly, she was not human.
“Ah, 03. it’s been hard on you regardless.” Joshua turned and raised a hand to greet the melancholic girl, before asking curtly, “So what’s the difference between this bunch and the last?”
“Hmmm” 03 looked a little troubled, her head askew as she searched the proper adjectives with a finger pressed over her lips.
“They’re… weaker? A motley mob completely without organization, their intentions are scrambled and are complete liars. The only thing certain is that they’re here to raise a ruckus in the city.” She said, shaking her head and huffing rather cutely.
“I thought it would be more interesting,” she then added disinterestedly.
As the artificial intelligence and Joshua discussed the cult’s movement, the other mages came through from the dimensional portal into the wing, one after the other. They appear to be quite familiar with teleportation, none of them feeling faint from the teleportation’s spatial dissonance effect.
After all fifteen of them stepped through the portal, the soft-blue passageway slowly closed.
Before the mages could lament that they arrived at what was once the edge of the Empire and the most rural spot, they quickly saw 03, who was floating in the air in front of Joshua.
The first one who saw her was a middle-aged mage whose hair was starting to turn white. He seemed mild and polite, ready instead of being emotional in the face of the Plague. And yet, he could not help but inhale the cold air sharply as he noticed 03’s body.
“What What’s this?!”
He was shocked since he could tell that she was the aggregation of some form of mana and not a real living being. “Such elaborate manipulation technique of magic, perfect runic construction, it’s identical to a real human No, it’s much more beautiful!”
The other wizards, too, followed his passionate gaze and noticed 03’s form. All of them leveled their gazes on her body, gasping in awe together. As mages themselves, they could swiftly tell from her appearance alone that her very existence far outshone the level of magic and rune construction the Mycroft Continent currently boasted of.
“By the Truth!”
“How could this be. Even those fellows at the Eastern Plains could not create such a magical being!”
“Twenty years No, it’s thirty years more advanced than our technology right now. Such threshold of the miniaturized runic building is an obstacle the entire Continent facesdevelopment of most cores for magical machinery was stumped exactly because of that. Who solved that issue, and actually applied it?!”
“ Inconceivable.” Among the mages was Tamara Moore, who had gaped blankly at the A.I. before eventually collecting himself. Compared to his old friend Nostradamus, he lacked the elegance of mages, but had the air of a rugged military man.
“Rather than a condensation of magic, it is more an elemental being” He said with a low voice as he too, observed 03’s figure. “A life, created from pure mana and runic composition, and equipped with a soul too. By the Truth”
Lost for words in an instant, Moore nodded and exclaimed with a firm and excited voice, “Pure perfection!”
Noticing the commotion among the mages, Joshua, who had been talking to No.3, paused for a moment. It had certainly slipped his mind that, for these men who pursued knowledge and technology with fanatical fervor, 03’s very existence would exhilarate them. She was, after all, a culmination of the most incredible magical technology in the world of Karlisher life was a miracle in itself.
It seems that the A.I. quite enjoyed the shower of praises, especially those along the lines of ‘It’s almost the real thing’, ‘No, it’s far more beautiful’ or ‘What are you talking about, it is real!’.
Though her lips curled every time she heard those lines, 03 understood that things would spiral out of control if she stayedthere was no telling if they would soon be analyzing her with ‘touch’ either. As such, after summarizing the latest cult incident, she curtly vanished from where she was, leaving nothing but magical dots of light.
Before the mages could react, Joshua turned and swept a glance over them.
“I don’t really understand the science either, it’s pointless to ask me,” he thought to himself.
“I could only say no comment,” he said sternly.“It’s a Radcliffe family secret.”
With his terrifying charmor more precisely, a deterrentthe warrior successfully controlled the scene. With the exception of the expressionless Moore who still seemed to be pondering, the other mages sensed a cold wind and a rising chill on their backs, and the thrill of seeing such superb runic technology soon cooled.
As spellcasters, they were obviously intelligent beings. After calming down, the mages who seemed to have forgotten themselves quickly remembered their mission, as well as Nostradamus’s reminder before they left the Imperial capital.
‘Moldavia has many things that are above your imagination,’ the old archmage had said gruffly then. ‘But don’t get too excited and forget your real mission.’
They had thought that it was an ordinary caution, but now that they have thought about it, these mages quickly understood that Nostradamus was merely stating a fact. It was best if they follow suit, too, since this was the faraway Northern Realms and not the Imperial Capital. And there’s the black-haired warrior who was the lord of the landand to a certain point of view, its sovereign.
If he told them not to ask, then so be it.
Joshua nodded in satisfaction as the band quickly quieted. Seems like his negative Charm still has some positive applications.
Then, he looked towards the young black-haired priest, and asked, “What is your name?”
The young man stared blankly for a bit, as if the warrior’s question was unexpected. Still, he mustered himself to respond quickly.
“It’s Delano, my Lord. How may I be of service?”
“I see. Well, Delano, please kindly lead these old mages to somewhere they could rest. And also, prepare breakfast.” Joshua ordered firmly and turned towards Moore, who was wearing a serious expression.
“Mr. Moore, if you would please come with me, we’ll take a look at the cultists. We could also perhaps examine the plague at the dungeon later, if need be.”
“Alright,” the mage replied with a low voice. As a leader, he was much calmer than the others. “That’s what we’re here for.”
After that exchange, the two men quickly left the sanctuary wing while the other fourteen mages followed Delano to the guest hall. Moore and Joshua did not leave for long, howeverit was barely more than an hour when the elderly mage returned, his face grave.
When he arrived at the guest hall, the mages who had already finished breakfast had split into small cells and debated intensely about miniaturizing runic construction, existences of concentrated mana as well as the difficulties of crafting artificial soul. Some even suspected that 03 was not a condensation of some form of magic but the living projection of an incredible individualwhich was why she could disperse and materialize with such ease without needing a core to revolve around.
Still, it was a pity they could only make conjectures. They would never have the chance to prove their hypothesis.
“Alright, everyone,” Moore said with a deep voice and a grim face, gesturing for the rest to settle down.
“Let’s get to business.”
The entire hall hushed in the blink of an eyea sign of the respect he held over the Third Research team. Nonetheless, Moore did not seem pleased. Sighing, he took out a little bottle whilst holding something black from within his robes.
“Our mission this time is extraordinary,” he said sourly.