As the translator, I also tried to imagine and comprehend each mechanism, reasoning, and explanations so I could make the story flow better and so there’s no inconsistencies. But well, if you see inconsistencies or don’t understand something, please tell me, okay?
ED: clover, eristol
I handed over the partially used wand of Urd Sight along with one of my alchemist’s leather gloves that will alleviate the recoil of the wand to Klaus.
As for myself, I took out a brand new wand.
“So this is a wand of Aurelia. How do you use it?”
“Just wave it while visualizing the spell in your mind.”
“It looks surprisingly easy. May I try it out?”
“Sure. Go ahead.”
Klaus carefully waved the wand.
The magic of Urd Sight activated safely and converged on his eyes in the form of a white magic circle.
Klaus looked around while blinking rapidly.
His long lashes made pichpich sounds while he blinked with vigor as if his eyes had dried out.
“…This is really convenient. I myself didn’t consume any magical energy at all, and I can already see you from a few minutes ago.”
“You won’t be able to see events too far back. If you keep a specific target in mind when you activate it, it should automatically focus on them.”
“Do I have to use it while thinking about Ann?”
“Correct. Let’s go then.”
Perhaps due to the oxidation of the room’s star crystal lamps, the light in this chamber is somewhat weak.
This might cause us to overlook important clues.
I searched my bag and took out a lamp.
“Klaus-sama, please take this lamp as well.”
Klaus attached lamp he got from me to the end of his staff.
When I thought of what he wanted to do, he demonstrated that he could light up high places with his staff.
Ooh, that is great.
… But there is no Ann in such a place.
You still somewhat want to explore, right? That is not good, you know.
While occasionally swinging our wands, we continued walking carefully with two lamps shining on our way home.
“Somehow, I can see the past you mumbling to yourself a lot.”
“Please don’t tease me.”
“Erica…You, are you scared of monsters or ghosts?”
“Klaus-sama, please concentrate on finding your sister.”
Klaus looked amused as he turned his line of sight to the front.
I will be in trouble for a while.
Right now, I am an innocent eight-years-old girl, you know?
Isn’t it okay to be scared of something?
Aah, but if I consider my actual age in the previous life, it is painful to say whether it is okay or not…ahaha.
“Your mood was terribly suspicious and you had dark, gloomy eyes…are you really an eight-year-old child?”
“Hey! Please search for Ann-sama seriously!”
“You, you sometimes have eyes that say you have given up on life…”
Eei, I don’t want you to tell me that!
I mean, at the start of the game before your affection goes up, you literally have the eyes of a dead fish!
I managed to hold down what I wanted to say.
Even though sometimes it seems that Klaus has the tendency of a small animal, the moment he grabbed my weakness he started toying with me!
Is this a glimpse of someone who will become a sadist in the future!?
No, no, now I have to focus on searching for Ann!
“Klaus-sama, have you spotted Lady Ann yet?”
“No, I can’t see any traces of Ann yet. For now, I have only caught on to you in Urd Sight.”
“Are you keeping your sister in mind properly?”
“Oh, I am definitely thinking about her. Even so I can only see you, it’s annoying.”
This, this guy…!
No, no, no, there is no time for wasting on him.
“Is Ann really in here? I have found no trace of her here so far.”
Just now … something feels off.
“…Hey, Klaus-sama, do you remember where you installed those Auto-mapping spell cards of yours?”
“Of course I remember … The spell card in this room is …”
Klaus ran to the corner of the room and looked around the wall.
As I thought, he seems to be having some trouble.
After holding up his lamp and walking around the room a few times, he returned with a baffled look on his face.
“It’s not here!”
“Are you certain?”
“What could this mean? I’m certain I put one here … That’s strange, it’s almost as if—”
He is not wrong.
I don’t remember it very clearly, but I remember seeing an unused spell card around the area he was looking at.
But now that spell card doesn’t exist.
—-Why do my worst hunches always seem to come true?
“It appears that the rooms and corridors of these ruins move around, and it’s definitely not magic. They are moving mechanically.”
I said so after looking around. At that moment, an ominous clink resounded through the labyrinth.
It was a faraway sound from a distant room.
“A mechanical labyrinth…!?”
“I have heard from my father about similar anti-theft measures of Ancient Aurelia, but I never imagined there would be a mechanical labyrinth this large.”
Along with the tremendously loud sound of grating gears, the ground beneath our feet began to shake and sway unnaturally.
This is no earthquake.
Right now, the room where we are standing is moving.
“…You saw both Ann and I come out of the transfer gate.”
“Was that first room the last time you saw her?”
Claus frowned, a deep wrinkle crossing his brows.
His sharp eyes stared at me.
“That means the pathways were probably the same when I first came and when you chased after me … but when Ann passed through, the passage led somewhere else.”
“That’s probably right.”
“And now that the maze has shifted again, we have lost our current location. Is that how it is?”
“Indeed. There is no guarantee that we can make it back to the transfer gate.”
We lost our only clues to find Ann as well as the way to return to the Spring Palace.
The hunter himself became hunted1.
We intended to find a lost child, but we ended up becoming lost children.
We were too late in noticing it, it is far too late now.
“You are quite calm about all these.”
“Is that what you think? I would panic if panicking would give me a way out.”
“Well, aren’t you cheeky.”
What I am most worried about is Ann.
I am calm because there is still Klaus with me.
But a small girl wandering these dim ruins alone.
I feel a tight grip in my heart just thinking about it.
Besides, if she has already been possessed by the ancient evil spirit—
No, I have to stop the pessimistic thoughts right now.
Look for Ann, return home, I only have to think about these two.
However, I feel stuck at a dead end.
Waiting for the night to come like this, wouldn’t father and Duke of Hafan notice and send a search party?
By then, Ann will have died according to the original game.
Our relationship this time is different, so I don’t know if she will kill me six years later.
However, even if it means breaking my death flag, I don’t want to leave Ann to her fate.
I don’t want to give up on the life of the young girl I have become emotionally attached to and let her suffer such a miserable end.
“If we move around without a plan, things will likely get worse.”
“There should be something we can do. Let’s think together for a little while, Klaus-sama.”
I spread out my leather bag on the floor.
What can we do with what we have right now? I scoured through my inventory.
“You have brought a lot of stuff.”
“There is no telling what might happen. You know what they say—you can never be too prepared.”
Is there any magic that can break through our current situation?
I turned over the box after box, checking the label.
“… Wand of Grease? That’s the magic that makes things slip. Cast it on your opponent’s hands, and they won’t be able to grab anything; cast it on their feet, and they will be prone to tripping. But what are you going to use it on in this labyrinth? It’s so situational…”
“Because I was in a hurry, I packed it noncommittally! It’s not like everything has to have an apparent purpose.”
Klaus peered into the bag curiously and joined me in sorting through the jam-packed bag.
“There is no convenient wand that will turn this situation around in one shot. This is pretty hard. If only wide-range search magic worked in here.”
“Please blame that matter on my vigilant ancestors.”
Klaus also carefully read the labels, but it seems he didn’t get any brilliant ideas.
But I can’t give up yet.
When I was persistently searching my leather bag, I noticed a faint light—different than that of a star crystal—pouring from its depths.
“This is Moonlight Gallnut Ink, huh?”
“I often use it back in Hafan.”
There is a mineral exclusive to the eastern Hafan region called Moonlight ore.
It faintly glows as the moon rises and loses its radiance as the moon sets.
When clouds shade the moon, the Moonlight ore too becomes obscured.
It is a peculiar stone.
Since ancient times, mages of Hafan have used its special properties to create an ink that would glow in sync with the moon, which is, the Moonlight Gallnut Ink.
“The moon is up…it’s probably just past eight o’clock.”
The small vial rippled with a faint yellow light, tinged with a hint of blue.
It is considerably faint compared to the star crystal lamps.
The night sky is probably cloudy.
“Klaus-sama, this is……”
When I covered my lamp to stare at the fleeting light of the Moonlight Gallnut Ink, I noticed something else shimmering in one corner of the room.
Pale light of the same color as the ink glimmered on the wall.
Moreover, it waxed and waned at the same time as the ink.
“You also noticed?”
“Well, it is glowing just like the ink, isn’t it?”
Perhaps, the fluctuation of the light is linked to the flow of thin clouds in front of the moon.
I noticed it in the first place thanks to that.
I put the lamp into my leather bag and Klaus covered the end of his staff with his sleeve.
Since the strong lights were blocked, the faint light of the characters drawn on the wall became more prominent.
What was drawn on the wall was a mark of the crescent moon.
And below the mark was a familiar handwriting—
A message left by our predecessors, the previous explorers of this labyrinth.
The golden light of the moon truly was the silver lining on the dark cloud hanging over our head.
1 An idiomatic expression, means: intending to persuade someone and instead being persuaded himself. Or, a person who went to bring the person to his side will instead stay on the other side.
About the Auto-mapping, so Klaus installed spellcards en route (the one Erica found in chapter 6). They are used to mark the places where he goes through, and when he activated the spell, they supposedly will create a map in the parchment he has in the previous chapter. But, since there is a trap that invalidated wide-area magic, the spellcards were found by Erica in a state of unused/inactive.
About the Moonlight Gallnut Ink, if the moon rose, the ink would shine yellow/golden light. If the moon was shaded, it would shine bluish-yellow light just like in this chapter. It depends on the current state of the moon, so even if it was indoor, as long as the moon has risen, the ink would shine.