Hey hey, long time no see! In this chapter, we found out surprising facts about our fellow and this world. Enjoy this chapter!
ED: eristol (will be edited)
In front of a small rocky mountain in the northern lake and marshes area of the school.
The mist golem dived from the crevice of the rock into the crystal tunnel inside.
Since magic seems to be nullified inside the crystal tunnel, preparation is necessary.
“Even though we have two mages, it would be a problem if they are not going to be useful during emergency.”
Actorius-sensei turned a meaningful gaze towards Brad.
Brad let out a sigh.
“It can’t be helped, I’ll summon a substitute escort.”
“Are you fine with that, Brad? I mean, that……”
“They are already aware of it anyway, so there shouldn’t be a problem, right?”
Brad cast a long spell.
Some syllables included short incantations and terms we learned in class, but it is overwhelmingly complex.
A golden magic circle spread on the ground.
The summoned medium-sized black dragon is somehow familiar.
When the black dragon opened its eyes, its chrysoberyl eyes shone.
“You are the dragon from that time after all, Clochydd-sensei.”
Brad nodded wordlessly.
He seems to be in a bad mood……as expected he must have felt very unwilling for his secret to be exposed like this.
“Sometimes, do you hide other small dragons under your robe, sensei……?”
Hearing Chloe’s question, Brad once again just nodded silently.
Come to think of it, I feel like I saw something like a bat’s wings at the time of the Magical Power Judgement.
So that wasn’t a familiar but a small dragon’s wings, huh.
Then we started exploring the cave following after the mist golem.
The order is the black dragon, Actorius-sensei and Brad, Chloe and I, and Tirnanog.
Levitation magic has been applied, and an oil lamp that would not be affected by the magic nullification is being used as our light source.
With these, we should be safe even if we enter an area with magic nullification suddenly.
After walking through the passage for about 10 meters from the entrance, we entered a space where huge white crystals were clustered together.
Crystal columns that are as thick as a several-hundred-year old tree trunk are lined up.
I’m surprised that there’s such a large crystal cave nearby.
It feels as though we are dwarfs who lost our way and wandered into the crystal cave accidentally; the size is crazy.
“It’s very beautiful somehow. It looks a little bit like Erica-san’s magic.”
Chloe looked around with sparkling eyes.
Certainly they look similar to the crystal lances created by Crystal Cluster.
But, judging from the luster, these crystals are—
“These druses1 of crystals are selenites. They are not as hard as her crystal quartz. Watch your head and your step.”
Brad corrected and warned us.
Yes, the huge crystals here are selenites.
Its hardness is ranging from 2, which is as hard as a gypsum, to 7, which is as hard as a quartz2, so there is quite a bit of variation.
“They are beautiful and pleasant to see, but they make it difficult to walk……please be careful, everyone.”
Actorius-sensei, the person who said such a thing himself, had an unstable gait that seemed like he was about to stumble any minute now.
I tried taking out my star crystal lamp.
There are places on my star crystal lamp where the light is dim or disappears.
Indeed, it seems better to use less magic.
“Wild magical beasts are more likely to inhabit this sort of places. A unique ecosystem tends to be created in an isolated space like this.”
Actorius-sensei warned us while illuminating the path ahead using his lamp.
“……Everyone, be quiet. There is a fungal walker here.”
Ten meters away, a humongous fungal walker was sleeping.
It must have become enormous over the years.
If it screams, it will most definitely break our eardrums.
“Can we eat that too, Actorius-sensei?”
“Yes, in fact, the wild ones are more delicious, but when it comes to this size, it needs to be pre-treated. First, wash it well and rinse it in salt water. Next—”
Chloe was as calm as ever, conversing with Actorius-sensei.
Actorius-sensei, who likes to cook, and Chloe, who is a gluttonous girl, may have great compatibility.
We silently walked past the fungal walker.
We managed to go past the super huge monstro without problems.
“The mycelium3 seems to go on forever……it seems to grow en masse on the ground beyond this point. Let’s tread quietly and cautiously, alright? Oh, that’s……”
Actorius-sensei instructed us and walked ahead of us voluntarily.
Then, he stared at the place where the young individual fungal walkers are growing en masse.
“They have been eaten……from the tooth profile, it’s probably wild white worms. Please be careful.”
Chloe tried to rush over to Actorius-sensei immediately.
But, Brad held her back.
Wild white worm.
It is a dangerous creature with poison resistance, fire resistance, and high physical tolerance.
In addition, there is also the case where they perform hypnotic attacks to be considered.
Hypnosis would be dangerous in places where magic resistance cannot be increased.
What would be the best thing to do?
Actorius-sensei traced the fine scratches on the crystal pillar and looked up at the ceiling.
“A considerable amount of worms are probably hidden on the crystals above our heads. Brad, can I ask for your help?”
The black dragon called Boaz flew and slipped through the space between the crystals, breathing out lightning.
Charred white worms spilled over and fell from the space between the crystals on the ceiling.
“Thank you, Brad. With this we can be relieved……”
Actorius-sensei crouched down and confirmed the charred remains of the worms that were burned by the lightning attack.
“Look out, Actorius-sensei!”
Chloe’s voice reverberated.
The crystals on the ceiling cracked.
Several brown worms, about a meter in size, crawled out from the crack on the crystals.
Following those, smaller worms of similar color also started crawling out.
“Brown……no way, those are mutants!”
“They are the parent bodies of this flock, huh. Get down, Elric!”
At the same time as Brad’s shout, the black dragon flapped its wings.
One of the giant worms that was about to crawl over here was burned off by the lightning attack.
Brad seemed to have carefully narrowed the attack range to avoid hitting Actorius-sensei.
Tirnanog stepped forward in order to protect me.
“Don’t come here!! No matter what, you hear!?”
The remaining giant brown worms on the ceiling fell one after another on top of Actorius-sensei.
We were completely separated from each other.
Actorius-sensei retreated several steps back in the opposite direction from us, but he was quickly swarmed by the huge worms.
This, how can I help him!?
At that time, I heard the voice of Actorius-sensei chanting.
Simultaneously with the completion of the chant, a blitz vortex occurred around Actorius-sensei.
The worms that were scorched and lost their strength began to fall off from Actorius-sensei in clumps.
“Yes, I’m alright……I was saved because there was a place where I could barely use magic.”
Even if it was to blow the whole flock of worms with one attack, I didn’t expect that he would hurt himself with the lightning attack.
That was my first time seeing Actorius-sensei using offensive magic, what a self-sacrificing person.
Actorius-sensei’s clothes were tattered.
Because of that, some parts of his body were exposed.
Actorius-sensei’s exposed skin had silvery luster.
I’ve heard from my father that the giants have metallic skin.
In other words, this is a proof that Actorius-sensei is undergoing a giantification treatment.
Chloe pulled out her long sword and stepped forward.
Chloe’s voice shook slightly.
This is my second time seeing her confused like this.
“It’s okay, Cloacina-san. I won’t attack you guys. I’m not a weapon with built-in instructions, but a human.”
As if supporting his words, his skin, which was like a metal, gradually returned to the normal white skin.
Chloe was still a bit vigilant, but silently put her sword in its sheath.
Actorius-sensei smiled the same smile as usual.
“Since it’s already out in the open, there’s no use in covering it up. I’ll tell you the reason. But please keep everything I say from here on a secret, okay?”
The black dragon breathed out lightning attack, burning down the remaining small brown worms thoroughly.
Tirnanog was fidgeting as he looked on the situation, so I handed him an oiled jar.
“Catch them secretly. And then you can eat them later.”
Tirnanog caught two small brown worms and put them in the jar.
In the meantime, I caught the core of the mist golem and put it in my robe pocket.
Now I’m ready to hear Actorius-sensei’s story.
“No matter what I do, it would sound like an excuse, but please let me explain.”
Actorius-sensei started talking slowly as if it was difficult to say.
“I had this treatment when I was young because of some troublesome circumstances.”
A nail that is filled with magic, driven into the spine of a creature.
To receive that kind of treatment when he was young, no matter how I think about it, that’s torture.
“After crossing over to this continent, the treatment to remove the instrument was continued.”
But, receiving the nail treatment would mean that Actorius-sensei is a slave.
That’s not aligned with Harold’s notion of him being an exiled noble from Gigantia.
“However, a big burn I got six years ago forced me to put the instrument back in order for me to recover. If it was a normal person, it would have been handled one way or another by organ transplantation, but that method wasn’t compatible with me at all.”
Aurelia has a biogenetic technology that is a remnant of the homunculus technology.
Therefore, it is easy to restore the normal functions of the human body as long as there is money.
The standard practice is to create transplant parts from the person’s own body and transplant them.
“The Cursed Nail treatment is complicated, I can barely reproduce it on this continent.”
“This is a good time to remove everything. Your body has regenerated enough.”
Brad opened his mouth.
I see, so he’s the one who put the nail back into Actorius-sensei’s body, huh.
It is very burdensome for both the side that receives the treatment and the side that performs the treatment.
“All this time, I always hated this body. But, I have been protected by it. So I will try to gradually accept it, that’s what I’ve decided.”
Actorius-sensei quietly removed his gaze from us.
He looked at his hands silently.
“In the south, this nail was originally made to be driven into the Supreme Priest—in other words, the King.”
This is my first time hearing such a story.
“It was also a measure against the vampires. This can restrain the soul and prevent one from becoming a vampire. So instead of eliminating the vampires, we chose to become another kind of monstro.”
Having nails driven into your body and become a deformed person, or become a man-eating monstro.
Two ultimate choices.
But, if the leader were to turn into a vampire, the human country would be done for.
So that’s why Gigantia chose to turn their King into a deformed person, huh.
“In the south, those who are nailed are called the Holy One or Paladin.”
The southern people call such a cursed thing as something holy.
The reason why my brother immediately noticed Louis’ slip of tongue when he called it a Holy Nail, is because he knew about this, huh.
“To fight the war against the mighty Federal Kingdom and to counter the vampires who hunt the natives, we had to extend this treatment to the noble class.”
Actorius-sensei continued fervently.
I feel like his suppressed feelings are showing through the calm tone similar to the one he uses in class.
“However, the situation went downhill, and finally, even the slaves gathered from different ethnic groups were given this treatment. The technique has also deteriorated, and the curse of forced enslavement has been incorporated, and now we have stepped into unethical territory……this, is the truth of my motherland.”
In other words, the original giantification treatment was an obligatory self-defense method for the noble class.
That means it simply has fallen to a war weapon, huh.
“The late King of Gigantia was a foolish ruler who created the current dire situation. But, even though he was a foolish ruler, the late King was a legitimate King who was nailed. And, descended from that King, is a prince whose return is highly anticipated.”
The voice that used to speak calmly trembled slightly.
Actorius-sensei quietly closed his eyes.
“The prince, who was the only one nailed5, was eagerly anticipated by his subjects to return to the south.”
After saying that, Actorius-sensei slowly opened his eyes.
Oh, indeed, his eyes that I thought were gray are actually purple.
It is the color of the eyes of people who have their roots in the southern continent.
“Has this convinced you? If not, then there’s nothing that I can do.”
“But that means, um……you are—”
As Chloe began to speak, Actorius-sensei held his index finger in front of his lips.
“Keep it a secret, okay?”
And so, the legitimate prince of the Kingdom that is in a continuous state of chaos due to the civil war, showed a fleeting smile.
1 Druse is the crust of crystals lining a rock cavity.
2 To measure the hardness of a mineral, there is a hardness scale. Hardness is determined by the ability of one mineral to scratch another. Federick Mohs, a German mineralogist, produced a hardness scale using a set of ten standard minerals. The scale arranges the minerals in order of increasing hardness. Each higher-numbered (harder) mineral will scratch any mineral with a lower number (softer). Here is the scale.
3 Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus or fungus-like bacterial colony, consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae.
4 I don’t know if this is the intended meaning, but from what I found, Boaz is a biblical figure appearing in the Book of Ruth in the Hebrew Bible and in the genealogies of Jesus in the New Testament and also the name of a pillar in the portico of the historic Temple in Jerusalem. (source)
5 I guess he meant that the prince is the only one nailed ‘correctly’, since now the technique has deteriorated+incorporated forced enslavement.
Also, the fact that Elric received giantification treatment has been hinted since arc three: he was hinted to be ‘surprisingly strong’ despite his lean figure (Erica mentioned this a couple of times in the past), and Chloe also said that sometimes he seems to be ‘heavy’. And hmm is that a hint for ElricxChloe? The teacher who likes to cook with the gluttonous girl~
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