Chapter 160: Claude Lucanrant’s Fragments (part two)

WARNING: Torture

Also, this monster of a chapter is 28 pages long in MSWord, so pace yourself! This will be the last update for this series until the author updates the raw, so enjoy!

TL: clover

ED: eristol (will be edited by xtostos)


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After losing his mother, Eduard often went outside of school.

It is being said that his interest has widened and he is also dabbling in ancient ruins investigations.

Taking along Elric or Brad to field investigations seems to have brought him some troubles.

He might have completely forgotten his deal with me, as he hasn’t even searched for the archive.

Perhaps he didn’t want to fulfill his promise to me, but that couldn’t be helped.

When he was sad, I was useless, wasn’t I?

Even someone like me still has such humane thoughts.

To begin with, searching for the Golden Wolf Prince is like catching clouds.

Then time passed and it was the third spring since I became friends with Eduard.

“Yo, Eduard.”

“You’re late, Claude.”

I met up with Eduard and we walked around the school at midnight.

When we passed by the gazebo in the park near the West Dorm, I could smell the fragrant scent of flowers.

“…You mean, it moves underground periodically?”

“Aa, there are two possible reasons for that. First, an altar that hasn’t been dealt with yet may be operating underground.”

Just as I was about to give up, this guy approached me with a story about the headless prince.

“The other possibility is that an underling of the Lunatic King Cain is staying underground.”

“‘Underling’, are you serious??”

“It appears that the wolf returns to the Lunatic King once its hunger is sated, so there is a chance that the school staff are experimenting on it.”

“Satisfying its hunger? What do you mean by that?”

The hunger of a creature created by the Lunatic King.

Something like that can only be satisfied using human flesh and blood, which means—

“It’s possible that they offer him blood in small quantity…or something. It’s pretty dangerous.”

“You mean, those Lindis’ guys, they offer human blood to that monstro?”

That’s a very blasphemous deed.

How are they going to take responsibility if something happens?

This is why those Hafan wizards cannot be trusted.

They are evil from their very core.

But, why did Eduard suddenly come to keep such a shady deal?

I wonder what made him change his mind, for some reason I’m concerned.

For a long time, he has been running away from everything that reminded him of his mother.

“Hey, you. Why did you suddenly find out about such a thing?”

Eduard smiled at my question.

Ever since his mother died, his smile had become unfathomable.

“I just got my hands on the materials. Currently, I’m making sure that the materials are usable.”

“Then, as promised, lend them to me.”

“Of course. But, because the security of the materials is low, could you give me a little bit of time?”

The security of the materials.

The way he said it made me a little bit uneasy, but I ignored that feeling.

“Aa, that’s fine.”

I still have a lot to ask.

But right now, there’s no way I can broach the subject.

“So, how about it? Do you want to go now?”

“Haa?”

“I mean, I’m inviting you to sneak in and take a look at the face of the headless prince. Well, it doesn’t have a face to look at though.”

Eduard winked while whispering an unpleasant joke.

“Is that even possible? Or rather, if it is possible, aren’t those Lindis’ guys too careless?”

“Even if it’s located underground, it is at least 400 meters below the ground. If something unexpected happens, there will be no immediate effect on the ground above.”

In case of an emergency, the basement will be sealed and the incident will secretly be dealt with.

The exit can be sealed promptly, so they actually have a risk contingency, Eduard continued.

But, it also means that they are going to leave all the experimenters to die.

“…Doesn’t that mean if someone makes a false report or something which leads them to seal the entrance, the guys from the school won’t be able to come running in that easily?

“…Yeah, I think you’re right about that.”

Eduard looked as if he noticed it only after I told him so.

“Heeh, how convenient. We can use this to call out the guys we don’t like and kill them.”

“Don’t ever use it for lynching. I hate that cruelty of yours.”

Heh, I see.

I also hate your unhesitating humane righteousness and kindness.

You, who are favored by everyone, won’t understand the depression of the unfavored me.

“Haha, then, why did you even agree to become my friend?”

I smirked at Eduard who scolded me while glaring.

“There’s a lot to learn from you.”

“Ah? What’s with that. What are you learning from me?”

“That’s a secret. If you hear it, you’ll probably laugh.”

Then, while cracking a joke with Eduard, I sneaked into the Phantom Beast Museum.

“This seems to be the blind spot. It’s my first time entering this place.”

“You’re not interested in this kind of facility, huh. Like this museum, the library, or the alchemist’s workshop.”

“Aah? Did you say anything?”

“No, nevermind…ah right, you do bring some kind of snowsilver tool with you, no?”

“Aa, is this okay?”

I showed him my necklace.

A snowflake-shaped necklace I got from my father.

“That’s enough. Now we will be able to break through that thing which even I can’t dispel.”

“That thing?”

“You’ll understand once you see the real thing. Can you keep it in this pouch until halfway through?”

I put the necklace in the pouch I received from Eduard.

It seems to be a pouch that blocks the effect of snowsilver.

“Naturally, tonight is just a preliminary inspection. Do you understand?”

“Getting right into it now suits me just fine though.”

“We’ll formulate a thorough plan for next time. The remnants of the Lunatic King era, which are just within a day trip distance, are waiting.”

Eduard grinned.

“Can’t be helped. It will do for tonight.”

“Yes, then, first of all, could you use the snowsilver necklace to break the magic that seals this door?”

Eduard pointed at the door at the end of the hallway.

It was physically chained.

When I put my hand on my sword intending to cut it off right away, Eduard shook his head and pointed at his wand.

Right, right, the wand of Unlock.

I don’t like it, but since this is just a preliminary inspection, the iron rule is to leave behind as little evidence as we can.

I pressed my necklace against the door which had its chain unlocked.

I could hear the sound of glass breaking inside my head as I felt something invisible was broken.

Now then, the door is open.

“Haah~ for some reason, this feels kind of nostalgic.”

“It’s been a long time since I have done any kind of mischief with you, huh.”

That night, I enjoyed doing some mischief with my bad friend after a long time.

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Before the door was fully closed, I caught it and snapped the knob.

I silently slid into the room while the other party was under the illusion that the door was closed.

This is the most basic infiltration technique in Lucanrant.

I followed Brad and reached a pure white library.

“Heeh, so this is your secret.”

Brad and Eduard finally noticed me and turned around.

“Sorry, Ed.”

“No, it’s not your fault. Since we don’t normally consider that there is a classmate who is good at tailing.”

“Eduard, you’ve promised to lend me the materials. Don’t skulk around anymore.”

I ignored their interaction and pulled a book out of the nearest bookshelf.

I flipped through the pages of the white book, but everything was blank.

What the heck is this?

“I said I would lend it to you, but I never promised to invite you here, Claude.”

“You know that I need to find out more about that thing.”

The headless corpse under the Phantom Beast Museum.

I know where it is, but I want to make sure that it really is the Golden Wolf Prince.

That’s why I need to find out about what happened after the downfall of the Lunatic King’s domination.

“I want to investigate a little bit more about the safety of the materials here.”

“Heeh~ is it that dangerous?”

“Apparently the vampire-related things are the real deal, and it seems it will be life-threatening if one carelessly gets involved.”

Genuine materials about those bloodsuckers?

Exactly what I needed.

I wanted to know about the tendency of those bloodsuckers and wizards.

“I’m not interested in letting those bloodsuckers prowl around everywhere. You know that.”

“Besides, the librarian is a tough nut to crack. And I think her compatibility with you is especially the worst.”

“Librarian?”

Eduard silently pointed upwards.

There was a girl who was hanging upside-down from the ceiling.

『Don’t steal, you savage.』

The woman said as she looked at me with an air as if looking at garbage.

—Not a human, huh?

Instead of answering, I jumped lightly and slashed her with my steel sword.

『What do you think you’re doing! You nasty savage! 』

The woman, who I thought was done for, had moved to another spot.

The reaction is surprisingly fast.

『I’ll tell you this, you stupid fool.』

“Tch, so annoying…”

『Those who laugh at fate will be ridiculed by fate! You should lament over your own self now!!』

After saying that, the upside-down woman disappeared without a trace.

I intended to give it another shot, but I missed my chance.

Even so, that was an ominous remark.

I landed on the floor and asked Eduard.

“What’s with that weird woman? I mean, what the heck is she talking about?”

“That’s the artificial spirit that acts as the librarian in this archive. It seems that the artificial intelligence of the artificial spirit is a generous feature that will give you the most suitable advice.”

“Wha–”

“I need to borrow the material while keeping an eye on that girl’s mood, so do you mind having a conversation with that girl again?”

“What did you say~~~~?!”

My voice echoed in the white archive.

“…As I thought, they seem to have the worst compatibility, Ed…”

“Yeah. That is as clear as day.”

Brad and Eduard nodded while exhaling deeply.

“Aah–? You guys are talking like you knew something!”

“You see, Brad…”

“The person himself doesn’t realize it, huh…”

Both of them stared at me with exasperated expressions.

The life of placating the shitty woman and grabbing the materials continued.

Although it was troublesome, the connection between the headless prince and the Golden Wolf Prince has finally turned up.

Several vampire cases have been tentatively concluded as done by someone called the One who greedily devours death.

The lines connecting the points of occurrence coincide with the places associated with the Golden Wolf Prince.

The place where the machining was performed on the Golden Wolf Prince.

The land where the decisive battle between the Golden Wolf Prince and the Eastern Witch took place.

The place where the Golden Wolf Prince was last spotted.

The gently curved line from there leads here, to Lindis—in other words, the Morgue of the Headless Prince.

As expected, and my conviction that the school is the hiding place deepened.

The last case related to the One who greedily devours death has occurred in a village near Lindis.

The vampire who devoured all the villagers disguised itself as a surviving nun and escaped.

That is also the origin of the ghost story about the Bloody Saint.

Seems like it can be used for something.

Maybe I can use it to smoke out the vampire in question, catch them and make them spit out the information?

“I don’t think that’s a bad idea, but I’m not sure. For the time being, guess I will proceed straightforwardly…”

I carefully examined the variations of the folktale about the Golden Wolf Prince.

And while at it, the anecdotes about the Seven Wonders of this academy were also examined.

I opened my red leather notebook and copied the information in clumsy letters.

Right after I closed the book, the resident of the room next to mine came over.

“Claude-sama, your luggage was wrongly delivered to my place.”

“Oh, thanks.”

I picked it up and looked at the luggage.

The sender is Earl Wynt.

If I remember correctly, the model for that librarian is called Dolores Wynt.

Then, this is the father of that Dolores, huh.

—Why the heck did he send this to me?

“Well, I suppose I should take a look.”

What was packed there was a bunch of letters.

Letters exchanged between the deceased Frederica Bort and the deceased Dolores Wynt.

And a set consisting of special ink and powders, that are also used in Lucanrant, was enclosed.

Were these supposed to be sent to Eduard but reached me by some mistake?

That kind of question crossed my mind.

Then I should return it.

But I was fascinated by Bort and Dolores’ brushstrokes.

Bort’s neat character and Dolores’ highly-strung yet pompous brushstrokes.

I began to look through the mysterious letters of the two women who died.

As for the contents, there were lots of miscellaneous things such as go here and there or buy this and that.

I read about forty of such trifling letters.

They were all very trivial.

I was getting tired.

I reached out for a slightly thicker letter, intending to make it the last one.

The characters of Dolores in that letter were very polite and beautiful, unlike in the other letters.

The content—it’s about the alchemist Oswald Bort.

The crazy alchemist who created aqua vitae and forged a philosopher’s stone from his own soul.

And, the man who hunted the Lunatic King Cain and was one step away from destroying him.

Why did he do something like that?

That’s because he was chosen as a pawn by the head of the Wynt family several hundred years ago.

It is said that he became an alchemist who would kill the Lunatic King due to the causal interference by the Wynt who looked into the future.

Dolores repeatedly apologized from the bottom of her heart to Bort.

If we didn’t get him involved, you wouldn’t have suffered like this, she said.

Causal interference? The philosopher’s stone?

How ridiculous.

It’s a fantastical story that makes me want to disregard it as nonsense.

But, I feel suffocated for some reason.

The war hero Evil Eye Bort, and Dolores, a genius from the prestigious Wynt family of Hafan who died prematurely.

Would they really converse like this just for some fantasy?

At that time, I realized the true meaning of the enclosed ink and powder.

The mechanism of this ink and powder is somewhat known to Lucanrant and Aurelia.

—So this dubious story is a camouflage while the real subject is written in hidden ink, eh?

I sprinkled the powder after reading through the letter once while feeling doubtful.

In the faint light that covered the letter, characters that were spelled in the dark became visible.

Emerging there was the truth of the death of the First Princess Eléonore.

It said that Oswald Bort’s failure to kill the Lunatic King Cain had distorted her fate.

The dying Lunatic King was in need of a new body.

The Lunatic King chose the twin prince and princess of Ignitia.

After many twists and turns, the target was narrowed down to the prince.

However, the Lunatic King found a more suitable body.

The lover who had been secretly dating the prince had a son who inherited not only the telepathic ability of the South but also the magical properties of the East—Brad Clochydd.

Eléonore tried to save her brother and sister-in-law who had been taken by a vampire, and caught the curse using her own body.

Then, she let Dolores kill her before she could fully become a vampire.

That is the truth of the death of the First Princess.

In another letter, addressed to Bort and Björndóttir, was a list of vampires to kill.

From townspeople to high nobles. From the Federal Kingdom to Gigantia.

The vast list certainly contained the names of those who have recently died suspicious deaths.

By the time I finished reading everything, it was late at night.

The moon illuminating the windowsill was round and bright.

I moistened my completely-dry lips with my tongue.

“If this is true—”

I remembered the face of the red-eyed Brad Clochydd.

If this is true.

Then he is the child who was chosen to be the vessel of the Lunatic King.

Moreover, a vessel whose body has already been given the blood of the Lunatic King and will be completed just by pouring the souls of sacrifices.

He’s a fire.

He can be a great fire that burns everyone in the world.

If it were Lucanrant—no, if it were me, he wouldn’t have been kept alive until he grew up like this.

Wouldn’t it be more merciful to finish him quickly?

I checked the letter again.

The last name on the list of vampires to kill is Brad Clochydd.

The witch gave instructions to Bort to take action if Brad ever posed a danger.

Protect him with your life, but when that time comes, kill him, she said.

The instruction was not only for Bort, but also for her son.

“—Isn’t this the worst?”

In other words, now that Frederica Bort has sunk into the sea.

Brad’s executioner would be Eduard.

That guy.

He has been raised to protect Brad and to kill him all his life.

But, one doesn’t usually focus their attention on the beast they plan to kill.

They should not feel compassion.

But that guy is not like that.

I know that better than anyone.

If everything was foreseen and this was an instruction.

This girl, Dolores Wynt, was much more inhumane than I am.

And as much cruel.

If that is the case, I—

Shall I substitute for that guy?

It was on that moment that such words spun in my brain.

“Yo…Eduard isn’t here?”

In the evening I returned to Eduard’s room and only found Brad there.

He was reading an old scroll while taking notes at the writing desk.

“Aa, he has been called by the teacher just a moment ago.”

“Did he do something again? He’s the same as ever, huh.”

“No, there’s a change of plan for the upcoming field investigation, so they are adjusting the details.”

Brad answered without giving me a glance.

“I see. I’ll wait here then.”

It would have been better to return to my dorm, but I decided to observe Brad’s appearance from behind for a while.

The silhouette of his body was extremely thin.

Probably because Brad doesn’t eat much.

It is the exact opposite of Elric, who is surprisingly a glutton and eats everything without being picky.

“So, what are you doing?”

“Doing some research.”

A defenseless back.

I quietly approached him and peered into the scroll.

“It’s about magic, which your people hate. More specifically, about the origin of Hafan’s magic.”

“Heeh, I see.”

In the scroll, there were coiling figures that were difficult to understand.

They resembled the thing I saw when I first entered the academy.

“I don’t hate it. I just don’t want to rely on it.”

“…Rely, is it?”

Brad, who seemed to have an issue with that, grumbled.

“So, what are you looking at?”

“A magic that changes everything. More than the miracle given by the angels of Ignitia…I think.”

“Ha?”

“I don’t know if it’s true or not. But it’s a very old magic, so it may be exaggerating.”

Brad turned to face me and began explaining.

The pattern that all students are required to record at the academy.

As a matter of fact, it is linked to the secret of the ancient magic of Hafan.

The school is secretly using the students’ patterns to analyze ancient patterns.

Like where the pattern is embedded in the body and how it works.

Its relation with magic and unusual powers.

And the deep connection between patterns and the world.

The explanation was awkward and boring, but ultimately, those who possess the hidden ancient pattern can change the world simply by walking on it.

You can only travel to the slightest possible deviation at a time, but you can repeat it to modify all possibilities.

For example, increase just one pebble.

If you repeat it an awful lot of times, you can even fill up an entire sea.

On top of that, it seems that you can reshape this world as you like, transfer to another world, or even create another world.

“Do you think something like that is really possible?”

“I don’t think so. I merely wanted to study it.”

Brad looked down with bemusement.

“Heeh, I see.”

Perhaps it is to liberate himself from the curse.

This guy, he must be trying to make his own destiny.

But, what if he really has that magic?

And if this guy is taken away by those monstro, can you imagine how dangerous the king of monstro would be?

I can’t imagine it.

I swung my long sword down like a blunt tool.

Elric Actorius lightly fell down and fainted.

“…!”

“…!?”

Eduard and Brad, who were walking in front, turned around.

Eduard immediately moved between me and Brad.

“What are you…?”

“Eduard, step aside. That’s the one I have business with.”

I leaped and landed on top of the headless prince’s bed.

I pressed the pad of my finger against the blade of my dagger and made it bleed.

Bright droplets dripped on the corpse.

“Claude, don’t tell me, you…!”

The headless corpse that was restrained by a number of spells began to rampage.

At the same time, the room started shaking violently.

The smell of the air changed.

An intense, musty, and dirty stench.

A spatial transition, similar to Eduard’s Castling, has occurred.

“Now…no one will help you here.”

I jumped from the headless prince’s bed.

I landed immediately at a place about a meter away from Brad.

“Hey, Brad, choose. Kill yourself right now. If you can’t do it, then I’ll kill you.”

“…W-what are you saying…?”

Brad retreated with staggering steps.

“Claude!”

The moment I put my hand on my sword, the person in front of me changed from Brad to Eduard.

Castling, his forte.

“Ed!”

“Run away, Brad. Please, run to the ruins!”

I tried to chase Brad.

However, Eduard, with his desperate expression, stood in my way.

I’ve been fighting this guy since the day we became friends, haven’t I?

I slowly drew my sword, recalling those nostalgic memories.

After I roughly finished restraining him, I sat on the back of the restrained Eduard.

The battle ended very quickly.

In addition to the battle being inside a closed space, it is also in point-blank range; both of which are advantageous for swordsmen like me.

And I have seen some of his trump cards.

Moreover, he was fighting while protecting his unconscious friend and a corpse that must not be touched.

Even for Eduard, it was not a favorable situation.

“By the way, will Brad be okay alone in this kind of place?”

“Much better than here, where there is a beast like you. And he’s strong enough as long as it’s not a human opponent.”

Well, this is troubling.

This ruin was the Fourth Corpse City Annwn.

Searching for a human hidden in this kind of vast and complex place is difficult for those who cannot use magic.

But I have Eduard at hand.

He is an alchemist, which is very convenient.

I took off his gloves and took out the wands inside.

Surprisingly, this guy stored thirty wands inside those gloves.

“Hey, Eduard. Which one should I use to find out where Brad’s location is?”

“You…think…I’ll answer?”

“We’ll see about that.”

I broke each finger’s joint to break his chance of counterattacking.

While intentionally hurting the nerves in order to give him the most pain.

“…!”

The proud Eduard did not cry out.

How stubborn.

But this was within my expectations.

From his fingers, I moved to his wrist.

Bent it in the wrong direction and broke it.

“Do you feel like answering now, Eduard?”

“…”

“Alright, I’ll also take my time then.”

I will break that will of yours, who grew up being taught to protect Brad.

You had done your best and had acted perfectly.

It only turned out this way because I was a bit more inhuman than you.

I don’t hate that soft and weak nature of yours that made you unable to use your wands when I used Elric as a meat shield.

Before the grief of losing a friend overtakes you, preoccupy yourself with hating me instead.

This is the only comfort that I, who cannot appease your grief, can give.

“…kh…uk…guh…!!”

When his wrists were done, I broke his elbows.

When his elbows were done, I broke his shoulders.

At that time, Eduard seemed to have fainted from the pain.

He will give up soon enough.

“Why…are you…doing this…Claude…?”

I heard a voice.

Elric, who had been unconscious until then, was getting up.

“Heeh, have you gotten up already? You’re much stronger than I thought. I thought you would be lying on the floor for about three years.”

A shocked expression appeared on Elric’s face.

“…You, what are you doing?”

“Is it not obvious? I’m asking Eduard to find out where Brad is.”

“…Why Brad? Why isn’t he here?”

“Well, I wonder why?”

I dodged the questions.

Secrets that should not be shared even to those in Ichthyes cannot be leaked to the enemy country.

“Nevermind. Get away from Eduard right now.”

“Sorry, that’s impossible. I also have a business with him.”

“Whatever your reason is, you don’t need to torment your friend to death like this, right?!”

This is the first time I saw Elric mad.

No matter what kind of insults I threw at him, he always deflected it with unruffled air.

I tightened up Eduard’s restraint and stood up.

I noticed that the skin of the hands of the man before me was starting to turn silver.

“You…I see, so you’re not a normal person, huh? To think that you were nailed, don’t go crazy in this place, okay?”

“Don’t die. I’m not good at adjusting my strength.”

Elric’s elbows and knees began to change in shape and color like an armor.

Unlike the giants I heard in rumors, that figure looked beautiful.

I received Elric’s lunging fist with my own fist in a moment.

The bones broke.

I got away and healed it instantly.

A giant is a giant even if he doesn’t enlarge, huh.

Indeed, I wouldn’t have lived if he did enlarge.

I reinforced my leg strength and ran up the wall diagonally.

I pulled out my sword and jumped.

Added speed and weight to the force of my blow and slashed at him from difficult angles.

I intended to make a mincemeat out of him, but his silver armor wasn’t even scratched.

I started feeling numb down to my elbows.

The steel sword didn’t break, but it was shot off from my right hand, which had lost its grip.

—My feet touched the ground.

The flowing movement of the muscle instantly converted propulsion into striking power.

My favorite to win, the left palm heel.

From an inescapable distance, I unleashed it with maximum physical reinforcement.

If the shell is thick, then I just need to smash the soft contents.

“Guh!?”

Elric staggered, holding down his side and retreated.

That strike was supposed to make him fall and cough out blood.

Did I miss?

He must be used to fighting.

He’s skilled even in fighting.

The damage didn’t make him falter as Elric put himself on guard against me.

I also healed my broken wrist and fixed my stance yet again.

Interesting.

His reaction speed and skill are high, and he has much more strength than me.

Had I met him earlier, I would have had a much easier way to kill time, what a shame.

Our fists crossed again and again.

I, who had to heal my fists each time they get destroyed, was at quite a disadvantage.

The longer this battle dragged on, the more I would be overwhelmed.

At last, one of my arms got dislocated, and even just receiving his fists required all my power.

Elric’s offense intensified as if he thought this was his chance.

Just like that, I was quickly driven to the headless prince’s bed.

I wouldn’t be able to receive the next blow.

When I was sure of that, I instantly used the headless prince as a meat shield.

The headless corpse’s heart was pierced by Elric’s fist.

Blood spurted from the hole in the corpse’s chest.

My vision was filled with red.

It was an amount of blood that should be impossible to be contained in a corpse.

Even while sustaining such a fatal injury, the corpse had begun to mend itself.

A regenerative power that cannot be achieved by a mere underling.

If this is not an ancient monstro made by the Lunatic King, I don’t know what is.

“…Haha…well, well…so this Golden Wolf Prince is the real deal!”

Elric was dyed deep red with blood.

His expression was frozen in fear.

Fear of touching something that should not be touched.

“Kuh, w-what are you…!”

“I got this feeling that the next person to be infected is you, Elric.”

“…!?”

Perhaps because of the shock after having pierced the headless corpse, there was a gap in Elric’s movement.

I struck Elric using that opportunity.

As expected, there was no damage.

I dealt blows from left and right, making his head swing from the impact.

And punched his chin for the finishing blow.

Even a giant could not defeat concussion.

When Elric fainted, I immediately straddled him.

“Seems like giants can be brought down in this way.”

I tore Elric’s clothes and pulled out the Nails that were hammered into his spine.

Elric’s scream resounded in the Morgue.

Around the time I pulled out about ten of them, I was struck by a burning sensation on my back.

Was I attacked by flame magic?

It was an attack with malice, as if the attacker had intended to kill me.

I turned around and saw Brad Clochydd.

The wizard with watery red eyes.

“So you’re back. It’s a shame, but there’s no one here to protect you anymore.”

“I, I am done being protected!”

Brad scattered spellcards while chanting.

A cluster of spellcards clad in flame, lightning, cold wave, and whirlwind.

Each cluster had a small dragon-like contour.

Artificial spirits.

Moreover, four of them at the same time.

So he has the nerve to do this kind of thing.

While letting the artificial spirits shoot, Brad took out a new bunch of spellcards and unleashed Bind.

For a wizard, for a princess who can only be protected, he’s pretty good.

But that’s about it.

The magic activation of the caster who is not good at hiding his hostility, the behavior pattern of the monotonous artificial dragons, I can see it all.

Compared to the previous battles, it’s boring.

I evaded everything while closing in on Brad.

A Barrier unfolded in front of me, but I could read it.

I broke through his defenses with the snowsilver necklace hidden in my palm and finally caught Brad.

What a shame.

If he had the magical power to summon four spirits at the same time, he could win by steaming this whole room.

“You wasted the efforts of Eduard and Elric.”

I held Brad by his neck and lifted him.

“Do you really want to know why I’m going to kill you?”

“…uk!”

I felt like Brad’s eyes were dyed especially red.

“That face. So you knew that you are a human who shouldn’t be kept alive, huh?”

As I tightened my hand around his neck, Brad moved his lips.

But I wrung his neck even more without caring about it.

If I squeeze his delicate neck as it is, it will be over in a second.

Everything will be over.

Even though that was how it supposed to be, even though everything I had done was set up for that end—

I slammed Brad’s unresisting body against the stone floor.

Not yet.

It’s not the right time yet.

The strong conviction that came to my mind moved me.

Then I dived into the door to the Corpse City and headed to the ancient labyrinth.

I navigated through the labyrinth as if I knew everything, and aimed for the surface.

originals on starrynightnovels.wordpress.com

I looked down at my hands.

They are bloody, and they are in the shape of a beast’s hand.

“…Haha…so I…was cursed by the golden wolf.”

I threw the corpse of my great uncle and kept Sigríður in check.

There were many dead bodies everywhere in the reception hall.

My father’s corpse was lying at my feet.

I wanted him to recognize me, but now he would never open his eyes again.

Aah, just what exactly did I want?

Before I knew it, Sigríður’s sword pierced through me and I couldn’t move.

A wolf-like roar escaped from my stepmother’s throat.

—Aah, so you’re the next one, huh.

I could hear the sound of someone crying.

Ah, that Harlan Slayson was crying and mourning for someone.

My consciousness is fading away, probably because I bled too much.

By this time, I realized everything.

I had been cursed ever since I was in the Morgue at that time.

Therefore, at that time, I could not kill Brad, who had been given Cain’s blood as the vessel of the Lunatic King.

That is my Lord.

Our, Lord.

When I came to my senses, I was in a dark forest.

I ran like a beast, holding my parched throat.

I passed through the forest.

Out of the dark forest where light does not enter.

The night sky where the moon shines spread out.

How dazzling.

The full moon filled my spirit.

“Aah…I remembered…just what exactly did I…”

The only faces that came to mind were nostalgic faces.

Everyone was staring at me with a grim expression.

Ah, that’s right.

Even so.

I didn’t expect this to happen.

“I…”

What did I really want?

Now that I have lost even that, I want something to heal the stinging dryness.

Over there.

I want to go over there once more.

Driven by the nostalgia, feeling as if I cannot stay still, I started running once again.

End of Arc 5


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37 thoughts on “Chapter 160: Claude Lucanrant’s Fragments (part two)

  1. Thanks for the Chapter !!

    I knew it from the get go , I really don’t like Claude, with his self-centerd mind ._.

    Apart from that I looooove everyoneee, by far the best novel

    Liked by 5 people

    1. If anything, while he is only thinking in short term, he has done that for Eduard.

      For him, Brad is a danger who must be killed because he is a vessel for the vampire king. Eduard was supposed to be the one to kill him. But Eduard is too kind, and Claude thought that Eduard wouldn’t be able to kill Brad when the time comes.

      So he intended to substitute for Eduard and be the executioner. Of course it seems the other guys don’t know this fact about Brad and Claude. And Claude also didn’t tell them, making them thought that Claude had gone mad and did a murder attempt.

      But thank you for your comment and sentiment! I’m glad you like the novel!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. “On top of that, it seems that you can reshape this world as you like, transfer to another world, or even create another world.”
    Is this the second time Isekaiing is hinted in-story? This is probably the first series I’ve read where someone other than the MC suggest/think about Isekai. (Not counting stories where deities are the one sending people to another world). That’s pretty cool.

    Anyways, thank you for picking this series and translating this so far. It was a really great otome adventuring series. It’s just a damn shame that it was not popular enough, with the LN not getting any new volume and the WN on hiatus… It’s exactly the same shit that has happened with Eliza, another great adventuring otome series. At least Erica’s author has said that he planned to finish the WN.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Wow…. woah!… gdamn I could visualize it all in anime form! gdamn! So the one who would be executioner… instead becomes his most loyal dog LOL… just woah! its almost like Eduard intended for that to happen!
    Who was the one that sent that information to Claude? who gave him the heads up about Brad? If Eduard orchestrated this just to get Claude cursed that would be freaking crazy! if it were someone else then what was the motive? why didn’t they do that themselves? was it Harlan? originally that letter was intended to make Claude kill Brad… so logically he could have killed him at any time before going to that corpse…so the one that sent the letter couldn’t be Eduard…
    Brad you fathead… get gud! so damn weak! how are you meant to be the vessel of the lunatic king when you are this weak! damn! Brad has all the bodyguards now! but one is in camp Lunatic! was that deliberate or accidental? so interesting!
    I keep imagining Erica going rabid mode if her beloved Onii sama got hurt like that… I tell you now Claude… your ass would be in the dog pound!
    Eduard! how many times do you get tortured! your baby sister will be heartbroken! she might get angry and break them! just stay away from troublesome things!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No no. The one who sent the letters were Earl Wynt. Remember, this is how they interfere with the future. Just with something so insignificant as ‘letters that might be wrongly sent’. But was it really ‘wrongly sent’? Perhaps it was intentionally made look that way.

      Claude got cursed was definitely accidental. The curse was supposed to transfer to Elric, but he had been nailed with Holy Nails, which protected his soul from something like this. So the curse transferred to Claude instead.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Elric was a pushover in this chapter and Claude appears as a meatbrain, even unable to think that Eduard may have an alternative plan or that he fell in the plan of someone else. Thanks for the translations.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Perhaps you meant Brad was the pushover? Because Elric was definitely not, he at least did some damage to Claude.

          And those of Lucanrant are known for being meatheads, like Chloe for example. They are known for ‘hit first think later’ type of thinking. So no wonder there.

          As Eduard had said in this chapter, Brad is strong enough as long as the opponent is not human. Which, unfortunately, what Claude is.

          Thank you for commenting! I hope you like the story so far!

          Like

    2. It was Earl Wynt who tipped him as stated, perhaps as a part of the family’s causal interference, just like how Oswald was used by some Wynt ancestor to kill Cain.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Uwaaaahh. One thing I appreciate about this over other otome stories is how there are much bigger things than Erica’s deathflags happening. This arc had way less romance than spoilers made it seem, but ultimately this is some intense lore! Really looking forward to the final arc and hope the next light novel comes out soon

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Ah, I really love is this novel. I’ve always been looking forward to the Monday updates. Early morning when I wake up there is a new chapter. I’ll miss it for a while but I’m definitely looking forward to the next book.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. WOW.just WOW.

    I admit I was very worried when you mentioned that the next one is going to be the final arc,but now with these stories of the past, almost every mistery of the whole novel has been solved.We love Erica’s gang in the present, We saw the powerful and destiny ruled gang of Bort and…we suffered with the pitiful and emotionaly weak gang of Eduart.
    Now se know the fatcs behind Chloe’s brother.After that horrible incident, the novel started…

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I just saw that the light novel version has begun to be translated on j-novel.club! There are two parts so far that reach chapter 6 of the web novel. 1 part is release each week, so the first novel should be done in around a month or so.

    Like

  8. Aaaa- I decided to wait till you guys finished translating till to ch 160 so I had the whole arc to read at once and Boy aam I glad!! That was intense– the reveals, twists and action was breathtaking. Love Erica Aurelia!!!
    I just can’t thank you translators enough for these chapters, Erica has inspired lots of crazy DnD scenarios and I love it! I pray the author is doing well during the epidemic and that they will finish the series before the year ends 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Thank you very much for translating this series thus far! Really enjoyed the ride and having read your latest translations made me really appreciate the past arcs.
    Erica’s adventure really came this far huh, there’s so much things connected and it widen my perspective on all parts. Also can we talk about how angsty Eduard’s squad is? Like ON GOD, I told myself “this is so sad” at least 4 times while reading this chapter. It’s so angsty and sad, my favorite character is Eduard so reading all these sad moments about him made me almost tear up. I really wish there will be a way where they can live happily… please author don’t push with any death flag TT_____TT
    I’m really hoping for a happy ending, just maybe… Erica has prepared all this time to break every death flag for herself so maybe she can help her brother and everyone else out of that.
    Anyways enough of that, this series is really amazing and moving. I can’t believe how intricately thought of every arc was, like I can’t even begin how everyone the author built up since the beginning came to be and everything just connects AND IM OVERWHELMED.
    Especially the characters I love all of them <333
    Again thank you for this wonderful series, thanks to the translator and editors involved that made this happen and the author who created this story!!
    Also really appreciate how easy it was to read the translation and the footnotes and glossary really helped out, midway at arc 3 I kept forgetting who was who because I didn’t paid that much attention to the other capture targets xDD

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Of course I will continue until the end. As long as the author herself does not ask me to take the translation down, whether it is directly or through her brother (I know her brother), the translation stays.

      Like

  10. I am confused..so all along, Brad was the son of the Prince, not Eleanor’s?

    Also, thank you to the staff for bringing this wonderful translation of an equally wonderful novel. 2020 has been sucking real bad, I hope and pray that this one doesn’t end suddenly or gets discontinued seeing from the previous comments that author-san hasn’t updated for a long time. Hoping for author-san to be well and in good health too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes. The reason for people assuming he was the child of Eleonore was because (spoiler alert) if Eleonore didn’t say that, Sigridur wouldn’t want to protect him. Sigridur swore loyalty to Eleonore, not her brother.

      Like

      1. I see I see, yea makes sense. Thank you so much for answering. If you don’t kind, I have a few more questions: Does Brad know this? Also, Eduard and Elric doesn’t know the reason why Claude attacked Brad right? And what reason did Claude kill his family? Also, even tho he’s cursed, Claude still has his consciousness, right? Cause he’s going to school “driven by nostalgia” so like he actually still remembers them..and he’s going there to finish the “job”? 🤔 Sorry for the barrage of questions. XD

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Brad does know it. But I think he didn’t tell Eduard and Elric. And yes, Ed and Elric didn’t know the reason Claude attacked Brad (or them). Claude did not intentionally kill his family, but his curse (the Golden Wolf curse) was acting up and he became a man-eating werewolf and massacred his family. The same thing happened with the Military Order of Utfor (same as in Claude rampaged again and massacred them). Yes, it seems Claude had been in and out of consciousness a few times. Although we don’t know much about it, perhaps this coincide with how Holle-kun (the golden wolf artificial spirit) could only “wake up” when its Lord (Claude/the golden wolf prince) sleeping. So perhaps it is vice versa and these moments when he was conscious were times when Holle-kun was sleeping. And who knows what Claude would do after he meet the rest of the gang? 😉 I guess we will find out in the final arc :3

          Like

          1. Oh I’m sure they’ll catch up like good ol times when they meet haha. I see, so it was the curse. Dang Claude, he meant well but his approach was wrong lol. And Brad, I do hope nothing bad happens to him, I really like his character. Makes me wonder tho what happened throughout the years that his personality then is so different from now xD (on his POV chapter, I was so confident it was Elric narrating but, I almost threw my phone when it was actually Brad 😂) Ahhh, can’t wait for the final arc. Hoping that Erica’s romance won’t be an open end but I have feeling it will be 🤔 Thank you so much again for answering. I really appreciate it. ☺️💖

            Liked by 1 person

  11. I wonder who will erica end up with
    Translator San I have a question
    so is cain death and can be resurrected anytime using Brad body?? ( or is the one behind scene is cain ( he is alive or his subordinates @@)
    I hope you can spoil a little D
    And author San how are many chapters left?? :((
    Btw thx
    This series is so far so good I really enjoy it
    Keep the work up

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Alright so. First, Cain is still alive. This fact is not a spoiler, as it has been confirmed many times throughout the series by Eduard, Dolores, and many others. Although it seems he is in a state where he can’t move. But he is dying and in need of a new vessel, which is Brad. But for this to happen, it seems he needs to sacrifice many souls.

      As I’m not the author I can’t say how many chapters are left, but the next arc will be the last one. So I suspect, as we still have many plot points to cover, there will at least be 30 chapters.

      Thank you for your support!

      Like

  12. And the plot thickens! I love how this series has deeper layer than just a simple otome game, it gets darker with every ark.
    Kinda confused though, was Brad already a vampire when Claude tried to kill him? Is that what this sentence meant?:
    “Therefore, at that time, I could not kill Brad, who had been given Cain’s blood as the vessel of the Lunatic King.
    That is my Lord.
    Our Lord.”
    Plus Brad was listed as the last vampire in the notes Earl Wynt sent to Claude. If that’s true, things just gotten whole lot creepier.
    Kind of sad for Claude because his effort ended up in vain, and nobody will ever know that he was trying to save the world by trying to kill Brad (maybe save for Eduard. That might be what he meant by he wasn’t totally uninvolved)
    My own predictions:
    – I’m suspicious that the Wynts have something to do with Erica being reborn with her past memories, and therefore changing the fate of the whole game.
    – In the normal game routes, each on of the capture target ended up being controlled by Cain because of their
    “unstable” state of mind, and Erica will always end up dead to control Eduard next.
    – I have super bad feeling that Eduard will either die or almost die in the next Arc (next T___T even though he’s my fave character. All the foreshadowing seems to lead toward that direction.
    – Erica ofcourse, will end up with Klaus. Not that anyone thinks otherwise, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brad is not a vampire yet but he is like a ticking time bomb, he already has tha lunatic king’s curse so after certain conditions are fulfilled it seems he will fully become Cain. Also, as a Harold shipper I know my ship is doomed right off the bat, but I want Erica to stay in Aurelia permanantly instead of marrying out and for her beloved “Oniisama” to “take care of her forever”. :p

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This novel is one of the best I’ve read. It’s quite heartbreaking to know that the light novel didn’t do well in Japan. I mean, come on — it’s one of the best out there! I would dare say this is much better than Bakarina — which is so popular right now — I began losing interest in that novel after volume 3 or so, maybe because there’s no more threats.
    But for Deathbound, I got to feel the pressure in numerous scenes, fearing the threats lingering around, the mysteries, and many more, ultimately I love Erica!. If this novel gets the anime adaptation, I think it would improve its sales a lot. But oh well… I’m gonna miss this so much when this novel is over. And I know I’ll miss Erica. One of the best protagonist I know.
    If I remember correctly, the next Arc will be the last one? Dammit! Nooooooooo!

    Liked by 2 people

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