Finally the last mini-arc for this arc has started! Enjoy this chapter!
ED: eristol, xtostos
Dolores eventually disappeared without a trace.
Although the three of us complained about the unreasonable specifications, we had to return to our dormitories reluctantly.
When I returned to my room, the two phantom beasts were already there waiting for me.
I shared the course of events that happened in the library with Tirnanog and Palug.
About the truth of the hanging girl in the library.
About the truth of the Morgue of the Headless Prince.
And about the circumstances around my mother and the girl who was her best friend.
Palug opened her mouth after waiting for me to finish my story.
“I’m worried about the forbidden art that was performed by that dead woman. The scale of it is too big.”
“Yes. But it’s really confidential, so I can’t expect any more information……”
Hafan’s forbidden magic.
When I asked Klaus about it, he clamped his mouth shut.
Perhaps it’s something that he can’t tell me even if I ask.
But, such a great magic that can transfer someone to another dimension or another world, it shouldn’t be something that one girl can handle, right?
『Erica. Isn’t that woman’s seven visions of the future affecting your oracle?』
“I think so……?”
Tirnanog talked about the possibility that I was slightly wondering about.
After all, looking at the future seven times is suspicious.
The number is equal to the number of the game scenarios.
Maybe this memory of mine was the future visions Dolores saw.
In fact, what if there is no otome game called 『Liber Monstrorum』, and it is just a false memory that was implanted in me?
No, no, in my memory, it was an otome game with beautiful CGs and gorgeous voice actors.
I don’t think that is an illusion or a false memory.
Then, what if Dolores transferred to another world and made that game?
No, no, I guess that’s a bit impossible.
Since it is deeply involved with that world’s culture, it should be difficult for Dolores who was only brought up in this world’s culture to create an otome game like that.
However, Dolores doesn’t seem to be a person who would die in vain.
“I can’t rule that out……but I need some more information. I actually have been wanting to draw information from Dolores the Artificial Spirit for some time now.”
“Oh my, so you’re going to wait for a month obediently?”
“I’m not going to waste a month waiting idly. I’m going to look into the matter of the morgue first.”
Since it’s confusing, I should return to my original purpose.
First of all, the hidden letter written in Claude’s notebook.
From Chloe’s tense appearance, I speculated that it might be related to my still unknown cause of death from the fourth scenario onward.
Her refusal to cooperate with me was the beginning of my investigation of the Seven Wonders.
The Morgue of the Headless Prince is probably a particularly dangerous wonder among the Seven Wonders.
But Chloe wouldn’t give up on speculation alone.
I should check out how much dangerous it actually is first, and if it seems impossible to handle, I must warn her specifically.
Even if I cannot stop Chloe, I still need the information to survive.
In the worst case, I might have to destroy something bizarre or some phantom beasts.
“I think it’s a bit dangerous, but you have this guy, so I guess you’ll be fine?”
『Erica, we will retreat as soon as I judge that we will not be able to finish it.』
“Of course, we will evacuate immediately when it becomes dangerous.”
I decided to do it tomorrow night.
This will be the last investigation of the Seven Wonders.
After school the next day, I had a meeting in Harold’s workshop about last night.
The topic of our discussion is about Dolores who became unreachable and about future policy.
“I’m sorry about last night. That was my fault……”
Auguste said with a guilty expression.
Auguste, who was the one to ask many questions about the confidential matters, seems to be feeling bad about it.
“No, Auguste-sama, it was a force majeure. No one had expected that such rules would be given out after the fact.”
Rather, I am thankful for his sharp questions.
Besides, Klaus and I had also asked one question each about the confidential matters, so we’re not in a position to blame others.
“But, that was an opportunity to find out so many things.”
“No, with that artificial spirit’s personality, she might have made us listen to her idle complaints and slanders.”
“Well, that’s true……”
“She was grumbling about my mother, and she even bad-mouthed her own creator.”
That artificial spirit, while it is convenient, but no matter what we ask, it seems only idle complaints and insults will come out of her mouth.
“Plus, I think it was better for the specification about the classified matter to come out now rather than later.”
“I was lucky that she didn’t disappear immediately after the third time, but I could have asked a lot more if I didn’t say that I have no more question.”
“We can ask again if we wait until next month, so it’s alright. Let’s go by this policy: if we touch the confidential matters twice in one day, we’ll end the questioning at once.”
“You’re right. It’s better than researching without any hints.”
I nodded my head in agreement to Auguste’s comment.
The investigation progressed in one sitting because I realized the true identity of the hanging ghost.
The appearance of Beatrice and Dolores were exactly the same, but I couldn’t piece it together immediately due to the difference in their personality, speech and conduct.
Without Harold’s investigation and the information from the past vision, I would probably have been stuck.
“Next, we have to move the artificial spirit to the reference room and then activate it.”
“It’s inconvenient because of the limited functionality, isn’t it?”
“Indeed. I wonder just for what reason the artificial spirit was moved……?”
Auguste said so while tilting his neck, and Klaus opened his mouth.
“It must be because there’s information that they wanted to hide. Be that as it may, even if they moved the artificial spirit, limited the number of questions about classified matters, and created one more cover-up, I feel like they still weren’t being thorough enough.”
“What other cover up?”
“What do you mean, Klaus-sama?”
When Auguste and I asked him, Klaus replied with an exasperated expression.
“Did you guys forget? ‘If one knows about all the Seven Wonders, one won’t be able to get married.’”
“Ah, I see!”
“Ah~……I forgot there is a jinx like that.”
Certainly, it’s a rumor that feels artificial, if I think about it.
If this rumor is spread, the number of people who want to know about all the Seven Wonders would surely decrease.
There is someone who created the superstition, no, the curse around the Seven Wonders.
Is it the same person who added the Hanging Girl into the Seven Wonders?
I must also be on the lookout for this person.
They may be an alumnus and not in this academy anymore, but I can’t deny the possibility that they might be one of the teachers.
If I ask my brother, would he know about any suspicious candidates?
“But, why did that person go through all that trouble……?”
“……Maybe because they wanted to hide the information about the Morgue of the Headless Prince.”
Hearing Auguste’s words, I was convinced.
That person—someone who is a member of the 〈Association of the Mysterious Story Collectors〉, did not want the dangerous morgue to spread as a rumor.
So, with the cards in hand, they set the artificial spirit as one of the Seven Wonders so as to hide the very existence of the morgue and spread rumors about the curse as a warning to those who want to investigate the Seven Wonders further.
“Erica, don’t get involved with the matter of the morgue. Promise me.”
Klaus warned me with an unrelenting tone of voice.
I knew he would say that, while thinking so, I replied immediately.
“I refuse. My acquaintance seems to be interested in that place, that’s why I need to do some investigation so that I can warn her.”
If Chloe gets to the mysterious morgue before me, the bizarre incident that might involve me would occur.
If that happens, with my current state where I still don’t have any measure to counter that, I will probably die.
I feel bad, but I want to stay ahead of Chloe for the sake of my survival.
“Please rest assured. I myself have no interest in the morgue, Klaus-sama.”
“I see. That’s fine then, but……who is this acquaintance of yours?”
“That is, of course, a secret.”
When I said so with a smile on my face, Klaus scowled at me silently.
Since I’ve been stubborn from a long time ago, he must have understood already that I wouldn’t open my mouth about this.
The sound of knocking echoed at such a timing.
Harold, who had left the room to prepare the tea seems to have returned.
“Oh, it seems like you have reached a conclusion. Have you decided your policy?”
Harold served the tea with a smile that seems undaunted by the dangerous air.
I received a cup of tea from Harold while telling him the course of our discussion just now.
“Since that’s the case, I want to ask you to prepare the wands for tonight’s investigation, Harold. Crystal Clusters, a bunch of offensive wands that don’t have fire attribute, a set of wands for exploration……”
“Eh? Didn’t you just say that you won’t rush into this?”
“I won’t rush. But I don’t know what’s going to happen, so, just in case, you know?”
When I answered Harold that way, the remaining three people exchanged glances with each other and held their heads.
Klaus opened his mouth after exhaling deeply.
“Well, I will join you as your escort then.”
“Yes, that will be great.”
I accepted Klaus’ suggestion gratefully.
I have been wanting to ask for his help from the very beginning, but it seems he plans on following me anyway.
“Oh, me too. You see, if I’m there, you won’t overdo it, right?”
Saying so, Auguste grinned mischievously.
What he means is that I wouldn’t dare bringing the First Prince of the entire nation into danger.
He’s the same as ever, a troublemaker prince who puts his life on the line.
“I have no intention of overdoing it from the very beginning though.”
I would like to collect information, but I don’t intend to proactively thrust my neck into danger or elucidate the wonder, so what’s with this treatment?
No, looking back on my behavior until now, I guess this is just reaping what I sowed.
After that, along with Harold, the four of us began to devise a plan for this final investigation.
The participating members are the same ones as last night, and Harold will be our backup in case something happens.
“Now then, see you later this evening.”
We disbanded at once and returned to our respective dormitories.
Join the discord chat to discuss the novel~