While in the novelupdates and in the archive this chapter is posted after the second arc finished, I will link this chapter between c18 and c19, since this is the extra story of volume 1. Enjoy!
ED: clover, eristol
Aurelia Ducal Family spent summer and winter in 〈Lake Castle〉.
Eduard, who came back from Lindis on a winter vacation, stayed in his study as usual.
He sat back and flipped through the pages in a single-seat chair in front of the fireplace.
What he was investigating was the story about the Visitor’s Clan.
After finishing reading the second book, just as he lifted his face, the sound of knocking echoed suddenly.
When the door opened, there was Erica, Eduard’s sister who was 12 years younger than him.
“Oya, have you come over to play, Erica?”
“Onii-sama, may I borrow your book?”
“Ah, you can read whatever you want at any time.”
Erica, who was still a five years old, had recently been coming to play in Eduard’s study.
There were many expensive rare books in the study, but he never needed to worry about Erica because she was a child who never folded books or treated them roughly.
“Then, is it okay to borrow this book?”
“Yes, it’s fine.”
What Erica took out was an illustrated reference book about magical beasts.
She picked up the heavy book with considerable thickness and brought it to the two-seat chair in front of the fireplace.
Erica always opened difficult books and looked at them intently.
It was fine if she wanted to ask something, but perhaps she thought that it was a bad timing, so she looked at them all by herself.
Then, after a little while, she fell asleep before he knew it.
About an hour after Erica’s visit, the sound of the firewood burning in the fireplace started dying.
Today she leaned against the backrest of her chair and started to sleep.
Soft cheeks. Thick golden eyelashes. Half-opened mouth.
Watching such a situation of his younger sister, Eduard’s cheeks loosened up at her adorableness.
—However, while he thought that Erica resembled their mother, she took after their father although it was not very obvious.
Erica’s face looked much like their mother’s, but her discreet character seemed to be similar to their father’s. Erica seemed to think of herself as a willful person, but from Eduard’s point of view, it was the opposite.
His quiet sister who liked to be lost in her own thoughts and preferred gentle stories, was similar to their careful and quiet father, Ernst.
If so, that was better.
Because, their selfish mother who was lively and unrestrained, and above all else, reckless, got caught by her past obligations and died.
Eduard’s face looked exactly like their father’s in his early years, but his disposition took after their mother’s.
Their mother who passed away two years ago was a very free and unrestrained person.
Eduard thought that perhaps he also drew her blood deeply. Recently it had become possible to hide his nature with a smile, but his intense temper, which was far from calm, his strength and his curiosity strongly resembled that of their mother.
If this went on, perhaps he might also be lured to death like their mother.
Although he was forbidden by his father to investigate the cause of his mother’s death, this desire surely wouldn’t go away from the depths of his heart.
Their uncle’s phantom death, hidden by their father which he secretly investigated, their mother’s best friend’s death or missing incident and their mother’s death. He managed to obtain several clues, but even those were doubtful and he didn’t know which one to believe.
At the voice of a little girl, Eduard, who had been absorbed in his dark thoughts, returned to his senses.
Erica who had woken up unnoticed was looking at him worriedly.
As Eduard blinked, his face turned back to his gentle look like usual.
Right, he had to laugh in a carefree way.
“Ah, Erica. Did you wake up?”
“Yes……I’m sorry as always.”
“No, you can read as much as you like, and you can sleep anytime.”
“I’m sorry, Onii-sama. I didn’t expect to fall asleep after borrowing your precious book.”
“Since you have been reading a difficult book all the time, it was unavoidable for you to become sleepy.”
When you are with me, my heart becomes lighter, Eduard added only in his mind and smiled.
—If I can, I’d like to lighten your heart too.
Erica came to have a nightmare often since two years ago, that was, since their mother died.
Occasionally when she was daydreaming, she often murmured mysterious words.
Normally, it would never show on the outside, but these days……
As expected she was still unstable.
It seemed that she had been like that since she started liking difficult books.
Father said that even if she was reincarnated, the memories of the past might have been left intact without being washed away in the river of oblivion.
There were reincarnation theories in the view of life and death of the Visitor’s Clan, and memories of previous life were treated as luxuries.
This condition of Erica was something to be celebrated, not an abomination.
But for whatever reason, Eduard thought that his sister was heavily burdened. Things like past life memories would not bring about too many good memories.
First of all, he would talk about what she was interested in and help her distract herself.
With such thoughts, Eduard looked into the page of Erica’s open book.
“Today you’re reading an illustrated book about magical beast. It’s a difficult book, do you understand it……?”
“Yes, it’s very interesting.”
Eduard smiled at Erica’s sparkling eyes which were full of curiosity as she answered him. By the way, he also remembered that when he was a child, he had no such eyes about magical beasts.
“That’s good. I also really like this book! What kind of magical beast do you like, Erica? After all, is it the cool unicorn? Or is it a dragon?”
It seemed that girls prefer that horse-like phantom beast, but in this continent dragons’ popularity were also high due to Ignitia.
Erica replied after pondering on Eduard’s question for a while.
“Well. Unicorns are also nice, but I think I like dragons better.”
“As expected, they are rather cool. Then, shall I lend you the complete material about dragons when you come back next time?”
“Thank you very much, Onii-sama!”
Eduard recalled his friend who was familiar with the dragons. Surely he would be willing to lend him the materials.
Eventually, Eduard and Erica ceased reading books and ended up having a fun conversation about phantom beasts.
The next day, Erica was visiting the study of Eduard again.
Erica was holding a thick book on her usual chaise lounge today.
Eduard looked into it.
“Today is a book about alchemy, are you interested in wands?”
“They use pretty stones after all, I guess you find it interesting.”
“Well. I am more interested in the shaft and core materials.”
A page on which various examples of wands were described was opened.
He admired that she understood such difficult things well.
Eduard carefully took out the wands that he could finally make and showed them to Erica.
“When I was a child, I wanted cool things like this wand.”
“Ah! Onii-sama, is that the Wand of Urd Sight?”
“Oya, you can recognize it just by looking at it?”
Eduard widened his eyes.
It was a distinctive wand with an elaborate design, but it was not usually distinguishable to a normal 5-years-old child.
In addition to being an extremely expensive and rare wand, it was not really well-known.
It was different from common wands like the Wand of Glam Sight.
He was surprised by his younger sister who easily recognized such a wand.
“Yes. It is a wand that cannot be made by an alchemist alone, you will need a mage to make the core material.”
“Yeah, that’s correct. Have you perhaps memorized all the contents of this book?”
“No. Only the parts that I was taught.”
“Heeh, I see.”
“Besides, I only know the wands that are still commonly used.”
“Well then, what about this one?”
“Ah, I do know that one.”
As he asked, Erica would list the type and composition of the wands easily.
Eduard looked at his younger sister speechlessly. It was hard to memorize the composition of over 30 kinds of wands at her age. He wondered if their father was also an excellent and enthusiastic tutor.
At this time, while Eduard had a slightly doubtful feeling, he didn’t dwell on it too much and moved on.
It was a bright day once again.
On that day too, Erica was visiting Eduard’s study.
“Oya, today is a book about golems. Do you find this field interesting too?”
“Onii-sama, I want to learn how to make a golem!”
“You want to make a golem?”
Eduard was surprised at the unusual and aggressive demand of his normally quiet sister.
It was not something cool like a wand, instead a plain golem. Although it was a useful tool for alchemists, it was unusual for young girls to have an interest in golems.
“Because it looks like a doll and it’s cute……is it no good, Onii-sama?”
“No, it’s fine. Do you know the language for golems?”
The golem description writing system that currently exists was based on a set of 72 characters.
There were seven systems in its 72 characters, each with seven grammars. In other words, there were forty-nine different description method. It had been subdivided according to its application, such as obfuscated from highly readable grammar suitable for industrial golems and those for beginners.
Therefore, if there was a set of 72 characters, almost any golem could be described.
“First of all, I want to know how much Erica understands, so why don’t you try to describe the process for walking as a test?”
The process for walking was for beginners and could be described in about five lines.
Erica began writing letters in a notebook that Eduard had opened for her.
She continued writing from the first page to the second page.
Erica wrote the letters longer than Eduard had expected.
“Erica, have you finished writing?”
“Yes, Onii-sama! Is this fine?”
Written in the notebook was the description for walking process using seven grammars in each five systems from the existing seven systems.
In other words, Erica described the walking process in 35 ways.
It was impossible for most children.
“I’m sorry, I don’t know which one is the correct answer.”
“Everything is correct. She wrote 35 ways of the walking process……”
“N-no, no, I was only slightly surprised……my Erica is amazing.”
“I was taught a lot in my childhood, although I don’t remember well about that time.”
Erica said such a thing while smiling as if she remembered something amusing.
At this point Eduard finally noticed. Their father wouldn’t be able to make such thorough education for his daughter. Then, who taught her this? There was only one person other than himself.
Their deceased mother, who was reputed as a strange person, had secretly given special education to his gifted younger sister. Perhaps she taught the then one-year-old Erica spoken language and the 72 golem characters at the same time. The same was true for the composition of wands. Perhaps she read books in this study only to reconfirm her knowledge that she had already memorized.
—No matter what, this was that person’s fault. Even when he looked at it, this was not normal.
Eduard couldn’t hide his shock regarding his sister who was receiving a special education which could almost be called an evil restructuring, but he couldn’t be flustered in front of Erica.
Eduard restrained his complex thoughts greatly and smiled softly at her.
“Yosh! There are many ways to make it, but for a beginner, let’s start from the easiest one.”
Now it was time to make a small golem for Erica as he promised.
Eduard judged that it would be good to check their mother’s works later.
They moved to the desk in the study and started working.
Eduard took out a small fragment of pottery from the drawer and showed it to Erica.
“I will carve the letters on this pottery with an athame knife. Then, after making the shape you like with clay, we will open two holes on it. After that, we will embed the fragment in one of the holes……”
Erica worked exactly as Eduard suggested.
She used an athame knife made of silver and deftly carved.
Meanwhile, while Eduard picked out a boxed clay which could be used for making golem from his handbag and prepared it on the desk, Erica finished carving the letters accurately.
“Yeah, it feels fine like this.”
“Yes. That’s how we make a person’s shape.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
Erica carefully shaped a simple golem.
She opened one small hole in its chest and one small hole in its belly, as Eduard taught her.
When the golem about the size of the palm was completed, finally the fragments of pottery were embedded in the chest part.
“Next is the blessing, give it a little magical power.”
“This is a bit difficult. Then, please look over here?”
Eduard blew his breath upon the golem.
The golem moved three steps with stiff movements and stopped immediately.
“Next, light the fire on this little candle and put it in the hole……like that!”
Eduard used a lamp to light a small candle and put it in the hole of the golem.
Then, the little golem started walking on the desk with stiff movements.
It was as if it was a living thing, Erica’s eyes glittered.
“Golem moves with letters, blessings, and heat. This is the basic, there are various applications, of course.”
The golem arrived at the edge of the desk as it was and fell down.
The golem which was made of soft clay became disfigured.
When Erica picked it up in a hurry, the candle inside it had burned out.
“Can this child not think on its own?”
“You cannot incorporate that kind of thing. You can only incorporate a statement or a conditional expression into a golem.”
As a matter of fact, if we incorporated artificial spirits by Hafan’s technique, it was possible for the golem to imitate thinking.
An artificial spirit was a spirit made by a mage emulating a spirit and enabling artificial thinking and memory, but the manufacture of a golem incorporating such things had been prohibited since hundreds of years ago.
“The danger of making a wrong description increases, and if golems could move while thinking on their own, they would rob people of their jobs.”
“Yes, as expected Onii-sama knows everything.”
While wrapping the palm-sized broken golem, Erica looked up at Eduard with admiring eyes.
Eduard became a little embarrassed from his sister’s gaze.
“No, no, this is normal. Then, will Erica try to do a bit more trial and error?”
“Well, I will try again just a bit longer!”
“Yes, that’s a good idea.”
Erica looked motivated, she headed to the desk to make another golem.
Eduard left the boxes of clay so that she could use the rest of the material.
It seemed that Erica didn’t immediately start making golem, instead she wrote something like a design with a chalk on a small blackboard. Eduard looked on pleasantly, she seemed to be a serious and cautious sister.
“Onii-sama please go over there! It’s still a secret.”
“Eeh~ but I’m lonely. Then, I will be taking a rest in the chair over there, so please tell me when your golem is completed, okay?”
Saying so, Eduard waited while laying his body down on the chaise lounge.
He didn’t know how much time passed, Eduard had fallen asleep before he realized it.
—Oya, what was I doing?
Eduard woke up from his nap after a while and looked around the study.
His younger sister who was supposed to be in front of the desk was nowhere in sight.
The two kilograms of clay were all used up.
There were also thirty or more fine china pieces.
—Did Erica experiment using all of these?
At that time, a heavy sound like something hitting the ground resounded.
When Eduard looked back, he saw a huge shadow outside the window. It was a golem.
—A misproduction? No, in order to make it as large as this, it needs to be enlarged purposefully. How did the little Erica make such a thing in such a short time?
The large golem was moving around the labyrinth garden in the back.
It seemed that if a clumsy person made it, it would step through the planting that formed the labyrinth, but that large golem was very agile and nimble.
—It was made properly and unusually considered every aspect.
While admiring it, Eduard followed that large golem.
On the way, he noticed there were about thirty small golems sitting side by side on the lawn.
The small golems were similar to the golem that Erica produced for the first time, such as the balance of their limbs.
Apparently, Erica first made small golems and used them to make a large golem. It was really well-thought.
Then, where was the maker?
When Eduard’s line of sight wandered, a voice came up from the top.
Erica was being held on the right hand of the large golem.
Eduard’s heart was beating fast. Even he thought that it was dangerous.
“I really wanted to make a big child, and this thing happened.”
“N-no, it’s amazing. But, why don’t you come down soon?”
“That, um, it seems I made a mistake in judging the condition in the walking process loop.”
“W-wait a second, Erica!”
She probably made a common beginner’s mistake. The large golem that couldn’t be controlled continued to walk slowly. It would fall into the lake if it didn’t stop.
Immediately, Eduard opened his leather bag and chose a wand.
—Erica would be in a life-threatening danger if he blew the golem away. Then, how about Castling?
Eduard shook the Wand of Castling after picking up the small golem at his feet.
A warm body appeared in his arms.
It seemed that he succeeded in replacing the small golem with Erica.
“Onii-sama, what magic did you use? Ah, was it the Wand of Castling?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
“As expected of Onii-sama.”
He hugged his younger sister who innocently threw an admiring gaze at him, while he was thinking that she was the one who was truly amazing. Feeling the warmth of her body, Eduard’s heart finally regained its calm.
“Well, next time you have to manage that child properly, okay?”
Eduard pulled the Wand of Disintegration from the wand holder around his waist.
The head was a regular dodecahedron magnetite, and the shaft material was the axle of a water wheel used for more than ten years.
What was used as the core material was space-compressed twenty liters of aqua regia. The surface of the wand was inscribed with seventeen ancient characters which were now indecipherable.
“Wand of Disintegration? Are you going to destroy that child?”
“It’s fine. Trust me. Did you use the charcoal from the fireplace as the heat source?”
Deep down, Eduard was trembling with fear as he wondered if she also knew about the composition of such a dangerous wand.
“Well, will this work?”
Focusing his mind, Eduard carefully aimed through the back of the golem and cast the magic.
A black ray that disintegrates everything penetrated only the golem’s abdomen and destroyed the charcoal which was the heat source with minimal damage.
The large golem that had lost its power was quickly deprived of heat by the cold air and stopped immediately.
Eduard pulled out the fragment of pottery from the stopped large golem and handed it to Erica.
“Thank you very much, Onii-sama. The Wand of Disintegration, it is very convenient.”
“Yeah. But it’s also a very dangerous wand, so don’t touch it accidentally.”
“Okay, I understand, Onii-sama.”
Eduard smiled while hiding his upset. ‘I will tell this matter secretly to father later. Erica’s actions require attention.’
—Apparently, this child might be similar to mother.
Even so, he had to make sure that his precious sister wouldn’t end up like their mother or himself. He would put away her works so that at least she wouldn’t follow their mother’s footsteps.
Then, Eduard decided to conceal the trace of their mother which remained in Lindis Magic Academy.
Now, questions are answered, but more arise. So, we now knew how Erica was able to spout out the composition of each wand and made the golem.
Ah, before you ask, children have great memory capacity. Children’s recall is 50% accurate for events that happened before age 2 (source) and I guess because Erica’s mother probably kept repeating the information about wands and golem’s language, they stuck in her memory longer. But, long-term memory only starts to happen on the age of 3, so those information were probably jumbled. So, when Erica is 5 years old, as Eduart said, she read books to reconfirm her memory and place those jumbled information into long-term memory.
Findings indicate that elementary aged children remember a greater amount of accurate details about events than they had reported at a younger age and that 6–9 year old children tend to have verbally accessible memories from very early childhood. This increased ability for children to remember their early years does not start to fade until children reach double digits. By the age of eleven, children exhibit young adult levels of childhood amnesia.
The new questions and plots: what happened to Erica and Eduart’s mother? What’s with the ‘mysterious deaths’? What are their mother’s ‘past obligations’?