Hello, sorry for the late update! I was sick (and still sick, actually), but here it is! A new character appear, the mysteries surrounding the golden wolf thickens, and many more. Enjoy!
ED: eristol (will be edited)
After school, two days after receiving the request for mystery investigation.
I went to the eastern field of the academy with Tirnanog.
The purpose is to get rid of the new wonder with Klaus.
I went through the fields where the autumn wind was blowing through.
Orange and yellow pumpkins were everywhere.
“If something happens, I’ll leave it to you, Tir.”
『Umu. If it’s the golden wolf, I’ll eat it up along with the curse.』
I read the materials carefully yesterday.
I have found and read pretty much all the necessary descriptions in the books I was in charge of.
The main points have also been summarized and listed.
As a general rule, what Chloe described was most likely the closest to the truth.
The human head was cut and a wolf’s head was attached.
Inferred from the approximate sorcery, there is a possibility that it harbors some transmittable sorcery.
In any case, unless Klaus or Tirnanog is with me, it is something I don’t want to ever meet.
“But, for the golden wolf to suddenly appear here, I wonder if that’s really true.”
『The vampire from some time ago said that the northern Margrave confined the wolf1.』
“If that is the case, that means it has escaped, huh……”
But if it ran away, Harlan Slayson wouldn’t stay quiet.
There should be some movement from him.
Because this is that Harlan.
In the unlikely event that this wonder is really the Golden Wolf Prince, Harlan would be forced to intervene with the academy.
Ah, now that I think about it, there is that spy.
『There is a high possibility of that.』
“Well, today we have you and Klaus coming along, so I think everything would be alright.”
And then, we finally reached the entrance of the unfinished corn maze.
Tall and withered corns were swaying in golden color underneath the light.
As I was watching it for a while, I saw a blue light drawing near.
Looks like Klaus has finished his student council work.
“Have you been waiting long? Sorry for being late.”
“No, I’ve only been here for about five minutes.”
As the wind blew, the sound of the corn leaves shaking filled the air.
There was a slight howling noise intermixed with that sound.
“Did you hear that just now? There was a distant howl……”
“Hmm, so it’s here already, huh. How quick. Let’s get ready, Erica.”
“Yes, I’m ready anytime.”
Klaus held out his left hand.
Oh, it’s a spellcard to be exempted from his Barrier.
“I don’t know what will come out. Just take it for precautions.”
“Thank you, Klaus-sama.”
Next, Klaus cast some spells.
He applied the magic such as Glam Sight and magic resistance enhancement on me.
“But, will this ghost even come out properly……?”
“Who knows. At any rate, I will beat it and seal it.”
And so we went through the entrance of the corn maze.
The inside of the maze seems to be pretty well-built.
“The state of progress of this maze is better than I thought.”
“It seems that the work has been delayed due to this suspicious matter, but 90% of the passage is already complete.”
“So, that means we have to walk through this wide maze, huh……”
This maze, it’s about two to three times as wide as Tokyo Dome……no, it’s a little bigger than that.
It looks pretty wide.
There are pumpkin lanterns that shine with magical light, so it is surprisingly not scary.
“The inside is surprisingly bright.”
“Those pumpkins will be carried out and decorated around the maze on All Souls’ Day, so the inside will be dark.”
“I see. It feels tasteful and nice.”
So, one would be aiming for the exit inside a dim maze with only a faint magical light?
That sounds fun.
“In addition, not only will it be dark, but there is also illusion magic planted. So one will be able to enjoy it in that sense as well.”
“Oh my, what kind of magic has been planted?”
“It is set so that a ghost will come up from behind or appear and quickly disappear on the edge of the field of vision. Look, behind you.”
A ghost, huh. I wonder if it’s the classic ghost made of sheet.
As told by Klaus, I obediently looked back.
Looking at the way we came from, there were twin little girls.
Their white dress and pale face emerged in the dark.
“Hii……w-what in the world is that~~~~~!!”
“Kukuku……so you can be scared too……pft.”
No, no, normally one would be scared, right?
Kuh, Lindis’ corn maze is a real haunted house!
“Klaus-sama, you don’t have to laugh that much!”
“……No, I just didn’t really think that you will react like that for this level of scariness……pft.”
Klaus laughed with trembling shoulders.
Even though I got scared on a scary occasion like a normal person, what’s with this treatment?
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“No, sorry. My bad, Erica.”
“You’re a terrible person, Klaus-sama.”
Leaving behind Klaus who was laughing hard, I marched forward quickly.
“Because, you see, you have the impression that you’d only respond with 「Oh, I see」, no matter what you see.”
“Just what kind of person do you think I am, Klaus-sama. Whatever, I don’t care anymore.”
I should have been scared and screamed more often when I saw scary things.
You see, I screamed properly inside the 〈Ruins of Visitor〉 and the 〈Burial Chamber of Angels〉……right?
“Well, I’m sorry. It seems you also have a delicate side, huh.”
I reconciled with Klaus who folded quickly and apologized, and continued exploring the maze.
Then I walked around while chatting with Klaus.
“Speaking of which, yesterday’s material was quite difficult.”
“Even for you, Klaus-sama?”
“Because it seems sorceries require the use of a catalyst, and they are influenced by the blood of the caster, the land, the direction, and the position of the star.”
If it’s difficult even for Klaus, it was a correct decision for me to ask for his help.
According to Klaus, there are a lot of prerequisite knowledge and the description is omitted, making it difficult to grasp the contents.
“Furthermore, there are many techniques that were kept secret by each household. It seems it would be difficult to correctly reproduce the sorceries that existed in the past.”
“That kind of magic is convenient and clever, huh.”
Thanks to the sophistication of the format, there is an easy way to reproduce scrolls and such things as long as one can convert a little magical power.
The education at the academy is also effective because it is not bound by the blood power of the family.
“By the way, what happened to the golem from before?”
At the end of our conversation about magic, Klaus asked about the ending of the mist golem.
“Right, about that—”
I told him while omitting the matter about Actorius-sensei.
Upon hearing the truth of the tragic love between the Northern Princess and the Western Prince, Klaus frowned slightly.
“What are you thinking, Klaus-sama?”
“I was wondering what the prince would think if he knew that the princess had loved him. Having his lover dedicate her eternal love to his dead self would be far from his desire, wouldn’t it?”
Klaus questioned Chloe’s gentle interpretation.
“……that’s……I have no idea.”
It’s a very difficult question for me who has never thought of others in that way.
“Even if it’s a wish that was made at the risk of my life, if it restricts and causes pain on the one I love……I wouldn’t know what to do.”
Then Klaus looked up at the sky.
The moon is hidden behind the clouds, and only the stars are shining.
“……even if we ponder about this, it won’t do any good.”
“Well, you’re right……”
And so, we explored the maze while talking about everything.
However, no suspicious phenomenon occurred even though we traversed almost the entire area.
“Looks like it won’t come out. Should we withdraw for the night?”
“Yes, it may not be the cause itself, or it may have changed location.”
During the search that span for about two hours, the mysterious phenomenon did not occur.
After discussing it with Klaus, we decided to withdraw and re-investigate it tomorrow, so we aimed for the maze’s exit.
After we walked for a while, we reached an open space.
“For an area inside a maze, this is quite wide.”
“Aa, because this is the center of the maze. The narrow parts are connected to the ley line so they can deal with accidents and such things.”
At that time, the maze suddenly darkened.
The pumpkin lantern lights that were set up in some places dimmed and went out.
“Klaus-sama, it seems it has finally come out, huh”
“Heh, kept me waiting for a long time.”
“I’m glad we didn’t come here in vain.”
Klaus took out his staff and a bunch of spellcards from his robe.
I also took out about five types of wands.
The plan is basically to wait for Klaus to seal it inside his Barrier, but I prepared them just in case.
Gust, Crystal Cluster, Dispel, Disintegrate, and Castling.
Since we don’t know what the opponent would do, I can use any method, right?
A strong wind blew.
Cold air swirled.
It felt as if only this place is filled with freezing winter air.
An ear-piercing howl of a beast shook the air.
With that, a huge golden beast appeared before us.
Round and thick legs. Big-bellied stomach.
Cute puppy-like appearance.
I pulled his figure from the bottom of my memory.
I saw his figure in my previous life, it felt nostalgic.
『Hey, you guys can see me~~! I have something to ask you, is that okay?』
After all, it is Holle-kun!
This puppy-like form, I can’t be mistaken!
The size is awfully huge, but the form is exactly the same.
“What the heck is this beast, are you kidding me!”
“It’s the golden wolf himself!”
It’s the navigation sprite that helps the player by repeating the dialogues with the heroine of the otome game.
Isn’t this kind of thing a classic interface in the case of a silent-type protagonist?
『Aah, I’m harmless, so don’t do anything strange, scary-faced wizard-san~~!』
Holle-kun defended himself with a cute and carefree voice.
On the other hand, Klaus seemed terribly angry.
Without warning, a large amount of spellcards were laid around this area.
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“There’s no use in arguing! Seize that monstro—!!!”
『Uwaah! After all wizards are evil and barbaric~~~~~!!! Kyaaa~~~!!』
While raising a cute scream, Holle-kun got sealed inside the Barrier.
Ehh, that quick!?
I was prepared for a deadly battle against a terrible, cursed golden wolf, but it ended dully just like that.
After the quick capture.
Auguste, who finished his student council work, was also called over and the meeting started.
“That was amazing, Klaus-sama. You’re still fast and accurate as usual.”
“Seriously! What the heck is this boring creature!”
Klaus’ rage echoed in Harold’s workshop.
A huge dog that had multiple Bind magic on him was being stroked by Auguste.
Today’s guest is Holle-kun, the golden wolf spirit.
“It’s still like a puppy, please be gentle, Klaus.”
『Uwah~ I like this person~~! I like you, kind prince~~!』
“Yosh, yosh, good boy.”
Auguste was also fond of Holle-kun.
I guess for Auguste who is exhausted it’s like an animal therapy.
“Auguste, you, somehow you have a tendency to be soft towards animals!”
“Not any animals, just towards animals that suit my nature.”
The correct answer is that he is friendly to virtually anything.
I’ve never seen Auguste not being liked by animals.
“In the first place, aren’t scaled creatures your favorite……?”
“Eeh~ but soft and fluffy animals like this are also great, you know~?”
Holle-kun has a ghostly appearance, but he is also materialized and textured.
I also want to pet him.
“Klaus-sama, isn’t it fine already?”
“Erica, why are you siding with Auguste in this predicament……?”
Klaus, whose disappointment was palpable, hounded me.
“Don’t be fooled. Whichever way you look at it, that is an evil spirit!”
When Klaus pointed at him, Holle-kun tucked his tail between his legs.
『Uu……I can’t deny what that scary-faced wizard said……』
Ehh, he really is an evil spirit?
But he looks so cute though?
“I see, so you’re evil, huh— ……but, it seems there are special circumstances, so why don’t you tell us about that?”
Receiving Auguste’s affectionate gaze, Holle-kun cast his eyes downward.
“If you don’t want to say it, you don’t have to~”
Auguste rubbed Holle-kun’s back gently.
This person, he is unconsciously winning over Holle-kun.
He’s not a smooth-talker, but an animal-whisperer2.
After the silence stretched for a little while, Holle-kun opened his mouth.
『……well, um……do you, by any chance, know about Lucanrant’s Golden Wolf……?』
With upturned eyes, Holle-kun stared at the three of us one by one.
“Aa, I know.”
“Then, are you the wolf sewn on the neck of the prince of Lucanrant?”
『Y-yes! You know it well……!』
Suddenly a heavy confession was made.
Now that I think about it, Holle-kun is a golden wolf, and the prince is also called the Golden Wolf Prince.
It should be obvious that there is a connection between them.
“So, did you repeat the massacre as the Golden Wolf Prince?”
In response to Klaus’ question, Holle-kun looked down.
Auguste was stroking Holle-kun’s head without any worry.
『……That’s not it. My head was used as a curse, but my soul itself remained in between a phantom beast and a spirit. That’s why the princess of Hafan, who was the wife of my Lord, established me as an artificial spirit based on my soul.』
He’s an artificial spirit made by the princess of Hafan who was the wife of the Golden Wolf Prince?
“The princess of Hafan, huh. So your puppy-like form that seems like a girly preference is because of the princess……how pitiful……”
Klaus’ atmosphere softened.
Klaus dropped to one knee in front of Holle-kun’s face and gently stroked his throat.
『Meanwhile, my precious Lord’s soul was machined3 with my head and became the servant of the Lunatic King.』
『The Lord is now a curse that erodes and transfers to the opponent who kills him. That is the main thing that causes the tragedy to be repeated.』
A curse that transfers to the opponent who killed them.
This is the real reason why the headless prince was kept in the Morgue without being killed.
『I exist to destroy the Lord. It is the last wish of the princess who loved the Lord, so I will definitely fulfill it, even at the risk of this temporary life.』
I exchanged look with Klaus and Auguste.
If that is true, I don’t think Klaus will seal Holle-kun, but I’m not sure.
“……Then, why haven’t you destroyed the Golden Wolf Prince in the past?”
『I, I was captured by the swordsmen of my homeland and was sealed until recently……』
“Is it because you were remade by Hafan’s magic?”
Holle-kun nodded silently.
This is a matter between neighboring countries that have bad relationship.
Probably it was thought of as a national humiliation to revive Holle-kun, who is the guardian beast of the North, as an artificial spirit.
『When my Lord falls into a deep dreamless sleep, I can regain consciousness and materialize.』
“So you can only work while he is not conscious?”
『Yes……now that I have escaped, I must search for my Lord while I’m still conscious. That’s why, please, give me freedom—』
Before we knew it, Holle-kun’s body turned into golden particles and began to disperse in the air.
『……Aah, no, not again, my Lord……I, I’m sorry……I’ll have to say goodbye for a while.』
The golden light overflowed and disappeared in the air.
There was a piece of parchment left in the place where Holle-kun used to be.
Klaus took it.
The piece of parchment was filled with small letters and spells.
“This is the spellcard that contains him. Certainly, it uses the old Hafanese characters.”
But, why did Holle-kun come out around this time?
And I wonder why he’s not by Chloe’s side.
“Auguste-sama, Klaus-sama, what should we do about this?”
“We should wait and see. He doesn’t look like a bad child, but this is too hard to deal with because of the discord between the North and East.”
Saying so, Auguste glanced at Klaus.
Holle-kun may be able to be regarded as a valid piece of Hafan, but Lucanrant also wouldn’t stay quiet if this matter is known to them.
Klaus sighed deeply.
“Then, for the time being, I’ll take care of it. We will discuss it further after the end of All Souls Day.”
Klaus released the thin Barrier and recaptured the spellcards.
The corn maze case has been resolved, but new problems have arisen.
This is an incomplete resolution, so it seems that the resident of the reference room4 would be angry.
However, because it was resolved in time for All Souls Day, it was an excellent job for the student council.
Since it’s already late, the meeting was dismissed and we decided to disband.
1 A reference to chapter 125.
2 The actual words here [人たらしならぬ、動物たらしだ] literally translated to “He is not a person who scam other people, but an animal-scammer”, it’s a Japanese word-play. Since [人誑し] means people-trick/someone who tricks people and the other word is [動物誑し] means animal-trick/someone who tricks animals (not an actual word). But I changed it so that it flows more smoothly.
3 ‘Machined’ here refers to the word ‘Machining’ a term first mentioned in ch 48: Gigantia’s sorcerers’ method to drive a magical tool made of metal into human beings to enslave them. It binds the soul of humans by magic, robbing them of mental and physical dignity.
4 Referring to Dolores, of course.
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