I will tell you this now. The pilgrimage stories from chapter 63 will be very important even for the later arcs.
ED: xtostos, eristol
When the night got much late, we arrived at Knot Reed.
As we ran through the city at night with a horse-drawn carriage, the song of the night watch switched.
The night watch traveling around the city sing a song that has been decided for every hour, so if one listens to it, one will know the approximate time.
The streets of the night were carved by their songs.
The water surface of the canal was shining with the orange light from the small street lights.
Warm light and jovial voices echoed from the taverns scattered here and there.
People who have finished their work are talking and drinking tonight as well.
『The fate of the downfall does not seem to be a problem any longer.』
“That’s true, things ought to change for the better after this.”
The fraud case involving Earl Nibelheim led to the launching of an unexpected project.
In addition to avoiding Harold’s ruin flag, we were able to realize Gilbert’s dream and the ending is near.
I took a breath and glanced at Tirnanog next to me.
Even though his emotions are supposed to be difficult to read while being hidden behind his face armor, he also seems to be feeling pleased.
“Somehow you look like you’re in good mood tonight, Tir.”
『Kukuku, that’s true, I do not feel bad.
I did not think that I would feel like this.
I guess I can understand why you are so good-natured.』
Tirnanog said so and stroked my head without reservation.
To tell the truth, I have only been moving for my own goal, and in the end, the ones who saved them were they themselves.
As for what I have done for anyone in this……huh? Has there been anything?
But, I don’t need to deny this gentle beast’s words.
Everything was right with the world.
Thanks to that, the city lights of Knot Reed felt particularly warm and the night watch’s song also felt like a gentle resonance to my ears tonight.
When we returned to the Water Palace, I ordered the wagon to bring meals to my room.
It is for tonight’s supper.
Tonight’s menu is pork, pistachio pâté and pickled vegetables such as onions and carrots.
I will surely be stamped as a big eater by the servant, but I don’t mind.
“Both of you, cheers for today’s good work.”
Confirming that the servant had left, I called Palug and Tirnanog.
Palug with her cat form and Tirnanog with his stuffed toy-size body, all appeared from the next room.
『I have told the cat about the approximate end of what happened around the Nibelheim family today.』
“Thank you, Tir.”
I arrived at the table where the meal was lined up.
Then, Palug climbed on to my lap in appreciation.
Since I had the opportunity, I enjoyed her soft fur.
『Does this mean that the ruin of the Earl will not take place?』
“Yes, I’m really glad that the white porcelain alchemist didn’t get killed in Ignitia.”
『All things considered, it’s all thanks to the blonde haired prince, huh?』
『Ufufu~ as expected of Auguste!』
“Y-yeah……right, that’s true……”
After hearing that the chaos caused by Auguste on Island of Messenger opened up the destiny of Harold and Gilbert, Palug was in a good mood.
If Auguste himself knows of this matter, he will be troubled instead.
While talking with Palug who had such a behaviour, Tirnanog was opening the dish cover.
He moved his short stuffed toy-sized arm deftly and divided the cuisine.
When I received the pâté and the dish with pickled vegetables served by Tirnanog, Palug moved to the next chair quickly.
『Even so, there were various things happening today.』
“Yes, we verified the contract and the transfer magic circle at the mine, listened to the discussion at the guild hall, attended the launching ceremony, made a blue glass……and finally went up the river and saw the porcelain workshop.”
『Uwah, you went to many places, huh~?』
I remembered today’s events and felt exhausted.
But it wasn’t a fruitless effort, and since things are changing for the better, it is all good.
However, Tirnanog shook his head to my words.
『No, Erica. There was one more thing, right?』
『Didn’t the student who fell magnificently this morning say something disturbing?』
『Eh~ what is it, what is it, what disturbing thing?』
Umm, what happened at that time?
The image of a gray young man wearing crooked glasses flickered in my mind.
Elric Actorius-sensei, who smiled faintly while falling over.
The reason a student came all the way to the Trade City Knot Reed.
“Ah……the mysterious dangerous ruins!”
I wonder why I forgot such an important thing.
Even if I have avoided the ruin flag, there is still the possibility that the death flag will attack by itself.
『Just hearing about it already feels suspicious. Something evil is definitely sealed in there, for example, something like this guy.』
『Umu, surely a savage fellow like this cat is wandering around.』
The two phantom beasts showed disgust while pointing at each other.
Even so, hearing about this conversation reminded me of something else.
“But since it seems to be a military facility, I think there is a low possibility that there is any phantom beast related to the destiny of my death.”
『What if weak beasts or spirits were being used as a mass murder weapon?』
『It can also be like that dragon knight who is still in the South, even if a phantom beast is not involved.』
“Indeed, if you say that……should I investigate it after all?”
It takes one to know one, so maybe only the same nonhuman can understand other nonhuman.
I should incorporate the opinions of these two elder people here.
“I understand……if both Tir and Palug have the same opinion, let’s investigate it.”
『Then, I shall change my schedule tonight from investigating the altar to this ruin investigation!』
“Yes, please, Palug.”
When she heard my decision, Palug got down from the chair gracefully.
Apparently, it seems that she will start the investigation soon.
She twirled and turned into a figure with silver shoulder-length hair and tanned skin.
“Are you going as the Founder King Guillaume this time?”
“If I borrow some student’s clothes, I will look like an apprentice, right?
Although I also like the appearance of Jean.”
Saying so, Palug winked.
Indeed, rather than the muscular Severe King, it might be easier to mix in with the students using the slender Founder King’s appearance.
“Be careful, Palug.”
『Please call out to me if there’s an emergency. I feel generous tonight, so I will come to your aid.』
“No way~ you being kind to me feels disgusting~!
Okay, that’s it. You should relax slowly with meals and a bath.
It’s improbable that there will be something like a fight right away tonight.”
After saying so, Palug jumped out of the window as usual.
She jumped over the canal which was glittering under the street lights, and disappeared into the streets of midnight.
Trade City Knot Reed, morning of the fourth day.
I regained consciousness with the feeling as if someone was carrying me.
When I opened my eyes, my eyes met Palug’s, who was in her beautiful woman form.
“……Oh my, have you woken up?”
“Palug, welcome home……?”
Apparently, I seem to have fallen asleep in the chaise lounge while reading a book last night.
I intended to find out about the ruins in the collected materials.
Palug brought me to the lavish bed with a canopy.
After laying me down on the sheets, she crept up to Tirnanog who was asleep.
“You better get up.”
Palug grabbed Tirnanog’s tail and lifted him up, swung him around and threw him away.
Tirnanog who was rolling like a ball, hit the foot of the bed, and fell down on the floor.
It is a rough treatment as usual.
Tirnanog stood back up while still half asleep, climbed the bed and came to my side.
Palug also sat down on the corner of the bed.
“How was your investigation, Palug?”
Did you find the location of the ruins?
“The location is around the upstream of Varnalis River. It’s a historical ruin at the border of the County of Nibelheim.”
“You were able to identify it properly overnight, huh……”
“It wasn’t difficult because it’s on the clear ley lines flow.
But I couldn’t enter the inside of the ruins.
There were layers of strong barrier put up, and it seems that they will break if existences like me and the serpent go in from the front.”
Palug said so but didn’t seem to be sorry.
Although she is regaining her power, it is difficult for her to break barriers put up by skilled mages.
『Then, how about your nose? Did you smell anything?』
“I could feel the power of a dense flame, but it wasn’t the smell of a beast.
It wasn’t very biological either, it had the feeling of pure magical power.”
“So there was no phantom beast?”
“At least none within the range I could sense.
There is a possibility that it was a spirit, but the area is surrounded by the thick barriers.
And there were lots of students and construction workers wandering around, so I couldn’t come closer.”
Students and construction workers were loitering in the dead of the night?
Considering Actorius-sensei’s information, it might be that some emergency response has begun.
“Did you see Actorius-sensei inside?”
“The glasses-wearing mage with gray hair, was it?
Well, I couldn’t find him in the range where I could enter.”
Palug tilted her head while remembering hard.
She has never seen Actorius-sensei, so there is a possibility that he might not have left any impression.
I’d like to meet Actorius-sensei directly and listen to the situation.
“I wonder if my investigation helps?”
“Well, I think that it’s enough for now.”
『That’s right. Cat, that’s a good hint. Did you say spirit and flame?』
Tirnanog who was thinking while listening to Palug’s story, nodded reassuringly.
He got out of the bed and came back with a book that I had left in the chaise lounge.
It was a collection of stories of the seven pilgrims which I purchased from the bookstore at the Poisoner Street.
『After you slept, I was reading the rest of this book instead.
There is a story in which both fire and spirit appeared.』
Tirnanog turned over the page and showed it to me and Palug.
It was a picture of a huge red sword floating in the indigo sky.
『This is an illustration of the story ‘A story of an alchemist who made the Cursed Sword of Fire and fought against the Prince of Sword.’』
That story has a synopsis like this.
Once upon a time, the royal brother of the West and the prince of the North were fighting for the rights of Knot Reed.
At such a time, an eastern mage who hated the northern people appeared.
That mage instigated the royal brother and thought of breaking the power balance between the two.
The royal brother of the West used the spirit brought from the East and forged the Cursed Sword of Fire to reject the prince of the North.
Several huge cursed swords covered the sky of Knot Reed.
‘If you do not obey me, I will raise the Cursed Sword of Fire from Heaven and burn this area.
The calamity will destroy all of this land.
Only our alchemists of the West know the means to prevent the calamity of the Cursed Sword.’
Said the royal brother as he threatened the prince.
However, the northern prince never lost his composure when he received the intimidation, even for a moment.
As soon as he stepped into the eyes of the alchemists, the prince cut off the royal brother’s neck in the blink of an eye.
As a result, the cursed swords which had lost their means to stop, poured down on the entire Knot Reed at once.
Like the words of the western royal brother, the calamity of the Cursed Sword burned all the land in North-west.
The northern people were not afraid to die for their pride.
The proud and cruel warriors couldn’t be tamed by intimidation.
If one scorned them, the wolves will reveal their true nature to eat and shred the flesh and marrows, the story concluded with the words of the pilgrim’s lesson.
“Flame, spirit……what an ominous coincidence.”
『If so, it also corresponds to the hypothesis of military facilities derived from spirits, what do you think?』
“You’re really sharp, Tir. This Cursed Sword is definitely the identity of the weapons.
When the matter of the Nibelheim family settles down, Tir and I will join the night time investigation.”
『Umu, I am fine with that.』
I rummaged through the inside of my bag and took out the tool that will be the breakthrough solution for this plan.
I brought the wand under the assumption that the altar we are looking for is buried.
“Found it. The Wand of Digging.
If you don’t mind being dirty, let’s make Harold charge this wand in large quantity immediately by wand alteration.”
“Oh my, that’s quite extreme.”
『If the charging cannot be completed in time, it’s fine to use me and the cat’s nails.』
“Eh~! My nails are not a scoop though……”
While I was consulting about the method to invade the ruins, I heard the sound of the servant knocking.
It seems that before I knew it, it was already time to change clothes.
Today I also changed places with Palug, who transformed into me, and went out of town with Tirnanog.
Since the matter of the historical ruins is to take place late at night, I should head to Gilbert’s workshop first.