Just realized, but the number of chapters in this series already catching up with the number of chapters in my other two series. After this, I’ll get back to Stepbrother’s Diary. Enjoy the chapter~
ED: clover, eristol, xtostos
I ran down the dark stairs of the palace.
(Aah, it’s a good thing that I had changed my clothes–)
I feel lighter compared to when I was running in a dress.
I mean, it is painful to wear a dress as someone who now has a modern human’s sensitivity.
Or it might just be that I am lacking in femininity.
After a while, I arrived at the location of the underground transfer gates.
The warm light of the star crystal lamps illuminated the basement shrouded in the darkness of the night.
“Maybe he’s not here anymore.”
I was faintly hoping they were still sticking around in front of the transfer gates, but this is not the easy mode.
The area around me was lined up with rows upon rows of stone arches of the transfer gates.
These are the transfer gates which are connected to the important places all over the country.
Each transfer gate was given a design representing its destination.
A faintly glowing, revolving sigil was suspended in the center of each arch.
Those were the magic seals that require one-time keys to activate.
Without hesitating, I ran towards the deepest transfer gate in the room.
That is the gate leading to the ancient Ruins of Visitor.
I arrived in front of the intended transfer gate and felt the confusion sinking in immediately.
“It is locked…”
Not only was the seal still present, it also had a physical lock.
Even if you falsify the one-time key in some way, you still can’t use the transfer gate.
What an awful ending!
Even though I borrowed supplies from my older brother’s Wunderkammer and assembled the perfect battle preparation.
However, it is better that nothing happened rather than something happened.
–Is it okay…to feel relieved?
But then, where did Klaus and Ann go?
I used the wand of Glam Sight just to be safe and immediately noticed the disaster.
Huh? This – this lock, it is an illusion!
The genuine lock was already destroyed by someone.
But, somehow the one-time key seal is also an illusion.
The phantom image that showed the lock as it was before destruction was created by Klaus Hafan.
He made it about thirty minutes ago.
The illusion of the one-time key was what Duke Aurelia, my father, made ten years ago.
The transfer gate to Ruins of Visitor is already very old and outdated.
Therefore, it might not have been possible to set up a one-time key seal, which is a newer form of magic.
Instead, it was locked with a physical lock and disguised with an illusion as if there is a one-time key seal.
It is an effective camouflage for someone from the western Aurelia who needs to spend a considerable amount of money just to use Glam Sight.
But as the opponent is from the east, on Klaus, who also happens to be an excellent mage, it wasn’t effective at all.
Looking at this camouflage, he immediately realized that the seal was fake.
After destroying the physical lock, he disguised it with an illusion identical to the one my father made in order to mislead others.
As a result, the false images of the magic and physical locks were completed.
“As expected, I will have to go to the ruins and bring them back after all.”
To be honest, I am scared.
Even in my past life I was not good with stories of evil spirits or ghosts.
It is a very scary idea to go inside the Ruins of Visitor where such things really exist.
“Wait for me, Klaus, Ann.”
If the Hafan siblings are in such a place—
If they are lost in the ruins without knowing what is going on or what lurks in there, then I have to lend them a hand.
I took a step forward into the transfer gate to the Ruins of Visitor.
If I am not mistaken, the words praising the land of destination should be the command words to activate the magic.
I read aloud the command words engraved on the transfer gate.
“Won’t you come with me, my dear friend, to the land far beyond the distant sea? For when we step upon a new sand, a new name for our promised land.”
—I felt a slight dizziness.
When I opened my eyes, I was on the first level of the Ruins of Visitor.
The gate itself was without a form of any kind, instead the spell was simply engraved directly on the floor according to ancient customs.
In contrast to the Spring Palace, which is made of solid white stones, the ruins were created from piled up regular rocks.
The ruins are located near the western coast of the Aurelia territory.
I thought that I could smell a faint scent of salt in the air
It was quite late in the evening, but the area wasn’t in complete darkness.
There were lamps of processed star crystal embedded in the walls, faintly illuminating the space with a weak, gentle, yellow-tinted light.
A long time ago, the family who founded Aurelia of the West, arrived on this continent. They were the last of the people to migrate here.
The indigenous ethnic groups referred to them as the “Visitor’s Clan”.
They were excellent navigators, expert alchemists, and people of a fallen nation who had lost their homeland
Or perhaps, they had destroyed their own homeland through excessive abuse of alchemy…but the details were uncertain.
Where they came from, what kind of past they had, their origins; such information were all lost to the darkness of history.
Due to the inclusion of a piece of truth among those lore, the people of Aurelia had destroyed some of their dangerous technologies and deemed them as ‘forbidden’.
An example of this is the art of creating a homunculus –An artificial human– which was imparted only through lore. Now, only techniques to reproduce certain body parts remain.
It is said that the secrets of ancient alchemy which has not yet been elucidated is preserved in these Ruins of Visitor, long forgotten.
I looked at my surroundings carefully with the wand of Glam Sight.
At the moment, there are no traces of magic other than the magic of the transfer gate.
First of all, that is a relief.
(It would be beyond frustrating if he had cast an illusion on the ruins as well.)
I took out the wand of Urd Sight and waved it five times.
The circle formed from its five points of white light enveloped the room fully before coming back like a reflected ripple to converge on my eyes.
Through the Urd Sight, which is capable of showing the past, I could see Klaus’ back as he took the exit to the left.
“Klaus…you came alone.”
I continued to look around the room. A little while later, I saw Ann reach this room through the gate.
She must have noticed something, as she inspected a specific point before heading left as well—
The past vision ended there.
Apparently, after Klaus headed alone for these ruins, Ann, who had noticed him going missing, appears to have followed him. It would’ve been preferable if the only one to enter the ruins was Klaus who has some skills, but now the situation looks grave.
I also inspected the spot Ann was investigating.
A spell card.
But it seems that it hasn’t been infused with any magical energy yet.
Since it is in a state of not containing any magical energy, my Glam Sight overlooked it…!
The spell card, which is made from a parchment, has spells written in ancient characters of the eastern Hafan.
I am not particularly proficient in foreign languages.
If I could read the letters I might have gotten more hints, but even this alone is enough for me to keep track of them.
Let’s chase the unused spell cards like Hansel and Gretel’s bread crumbs1.
I followed suit by taking the left exit and found several rooms with a similar structure.
A narrow passage was visible in the distance.
As I arrived at the passage, I could see lamps stationed all over the place. So, it was not completely dark.
But, this place is really scary, though?
This ancient building, the Ruins of Visitor, only descends further below the ground with the atmosphere of an underground dungeon.
“I’m not scared of ghosts, I’m not scared, not scared…!”
For the sake of giving myself a fighting spirit, I raised my voice repeatedly.
Mustering a little bit of courage, I used the wand of Glam Sight and wand of Urd Sight alternatingly and the specters of the past Klaus and Ann.
Have I moved 200 meters from the entrance? This is the fourth staircase I am walking down, so my sense of direction has become ambiguous.
I thought that monsters and ghosts were scary, but as I ran down the dark passage, I suddenly recalled my past life.
It was a memory of the time when I was hit from behind at night during high school.
It was not fear that froze my spine, but a dark, gloomy feeling.
(No, I’m scared of human beings…Ah, I feel like I can score N easy victory against things like ghosts.)
Yes, humans are very scary.
The grudges, the envy, the hatred of living beings.
Such things are really, truly frightening.
While thinking such things, I ran into a human.
“You, are you Erica…!?”
There stood the haggard-looking eastern mage, Klaus Hafan.
1 She compared the Hafan siblings with Hansel and Gretel, so if in the H&G story they used bread crumbs to remember the way, the Hafan siblings used unused spellcards.