The overarching mysteries surrounding the continent are starting to be revealed one by one…
TL: clover, eristol
“Sir Harlan, now I understand why you wanted to deploy your troops around Lindis.”
Eduard-oniisama turned to Harlan and said so.
Harlan, who was looking at the map, sighed deeply.
“I could somehow deduce it from those bloodsuckers’ movement that their target is Lindis. That’s why I wanted to deploy my knights even if it is an unreasonable demand.”
Harlan traced the red line on the map with his finger, expressing his feelings of the past.
Countless humans have died and have had their lives ruined along this red line.
Harlan and the Military Order of Útför must have been frustrated.
“However, due to the nature of Hafan, there will definitely be an opposition. No, it’s practically impossible.”
“There is still tension in the relationship between the north and the east. They were both perpetrators and victims.”
Klaus pursed his lips with complicated expression.
The north and the east have a history of butting heads just about anything unrelated to vampires, so there’s nothing we can do about that.
That’s why, the enemy will use that against us.
“So, why do you think these disasters were aimed at this city, Sir Harlan?”
“The reason the monstro who had been ordered to search for the Golden Wolf gathered at this academy where the Golden Wolf Prince no longer exists … the mystery keeps piling up, but they probably seek something the city of Lindis holds. Perhaps there is something in the Fourth Corpse City Annwn inside the underground ruins.”
The vampire, who was disguised as Lièvre, was pursuing the golden wolf.
And she infiltrated this academy with some other intention.
“I thought so too. There’s something they want here, right?”
Something they want, huh.
It’s not limited to some ‘thing’; there’s a possibility it’s some kind of curse.
What was she trying to do at that underground altar?
Brad raised his hand as my brother and Harlan’s reasoning progressed.
“Maybe it’s because I am here. It’s possible that my presence is being tracked and targeted by vampires.”
Everyone’s eyes gathered on Brad.
“Why do you think you’re being tracked, Brad?”
“It will be easier to understand if you look at this Historio Electrum.”
Brad placed the Historio Electrum on the table.
My brother took out a planetarium-like device from his bag that he used in his first lesson.
After rearranging some parts, the device was fitted with the Historio Electrum.
After waiting for a while, the image was projected on to the room’s ceiling.
Oh~ so you can also project images like this, huh…
It was nighttime, and Brad was seen sleeping on a couch.
The image appeared somewhat grainy.
The contour of Brad’s arm was hazy like black mist.
Something appeared to be clumping together inside the black mist.
Some small forms slowly separated themselves away from that haze.
No, that’s not it. Those black fragments are even smaller than bats; they are like butterflies.
The group of black butterflies fluttered amidst a glittering glow like mica.
Eventually, they disappeared into the night sky.
“Familiars were splitting off…from your body…?”
“Those things may have passed on some information to other vampires, but the splitting no longer occurred after I started my observation. Therefore, I am continuing to monitor myself to this day.”
Brad is still keeping an eye on himself even while he is asleep?
“There are recordings in my room from the beginning of the observation up until today. If you are interested, you may check it later.”
“Brad, have you been doing this all the time?”
“Should those suspicious things come out again, I will capture them for sure.”
It’s pretty scary that the splitting no longer occurred as soon as the observation started.
That means the Mad King is aware of Brad’s actions in some way.
Or to put it in another way, is it possible that the Mad King’s remains embedded in him still retain some will?
Even so, what astounded me more was Brad, who has lived that way for years.
I can’t imagine having to keep an eye on myself even when I’m unconscious.
“When did the observation start?”
“…From the night when a variant of vampire familiars called ‘Hounds’ invaded the basement of the academy seven years ago.”
My brother closed his eyes.
He seemed to be recalling the details of the memory of seven years ago.
“Besides the Hounds, do you remember that there were bat-shaped hordes of familiars in the sky above the academy?”
Brad asked my brother, who was tracing his memory.
“Ah right, on that night there were a lot of vampire familiars both in the sky and in the basement. After wiping out around forty-nine Hounds in the basement, a horde of bats were sighted over the academy. I immediately asked the two dragon knights stationed there to burn the sky over Lindis thoroughly.”
As if reading back a diary, my brother pulled out the memories of the past.
“They seemed to be searching for something, so I speculated they were looking for the Mad King’s remains embedded in my body. Well, when I think about it now, that must have been a tactic to divert us from the necklace.”
So Brad thought he was being targeted, huh.
Certainly, if he were taken away by vampires, the result would have been disastrous.
“You’d be correct. Still, I think you were wise to be vigilant.”
“I was afraid of being manipulated by them while I was asleep, but I was horrified when I learned that I myself was also the source of the familiars.”
Brad said the matter was well-known to the school dignitaries.
Ever since then, he slept inside a powerful barrier powered by magical energy from the magic tower in the city.
The function of the barrier is ‘to perform a completely irreversible disintegration when an undead appears inside the barrier.’
“After Lièvre’s case, the barrier has always been up, day and night. This barrier will remain valid until the caster’s death, and I plan to keep this up until the end of my life.”
Brad’s resolution could be seen from this.
This means if Brad transforms into a vampire in some way, in other words, if he becomes the Mad King, he will definitely be disintegrated.
For him to be willing to kill himself, such fierce determination.
“I understand your determination, Sir Brad. You have true courage and integrity.”
It seems that Brad’s coping method was at a level even Harlan was satisfied with.
“…Well, that is some kind of prison, I guess.”
Klaus muttered suddenly.
“Prison? What do you mean, Klaus-sama?”
I didn’t understand how that related to this, so I asked Klaus.
“Eduard once told me that the Mad King seems to be imprisoned. That is because the tactics of the vampire underlings were sloppy, as if the mastermind had been deprived of his freedom. Now I understand, so you were the cause, Sir Brad.”
We were saved because Brad imprisoned himself inside the barrier.
“Yes, you’re correct, Klaus-kun. Later that year, the incidents of interference using magic tools were on a decline. I started monitoring in spring, then the number of interference peaked in summer and eventually subsided after autumn … something like that.”
Does that mean the number of grave vandalism and magic tool-related cases has decreased since the spring night incident?
The peak when magic tools were abused widely was during Auguste’s stirrup case, and that was the last of it.
“I see. Around the time Sir Brad’s observations started, the movements of those bloodsuckers changed. They began to move more prominently. Although the number was small, the existence of ancient ones who had been hidden until then were also confirmed.”
Harlan turned the blackboard over and began drawing a timeline.
So that’s it.
It can clearly be seen that the transition was seven years ago.
With this, there are some coherency in their actions.
As for my experience, the cases I got entangled with were ranging from cases involving magic tools such as the necklace, stirrup, chalice to cases related to vampires such as the fraud case.
“But the altars had been polluted for a long time. The ill-effects were showing all over the place.”
I said with a little bit of discomfort.
“That’s the part we were too shortsighted to see. We, the military order, should have been able to notice that.”
Harlan bowed his head.
“May the angels forgive us. And please accept my sincerest apologize for the inconvenience we caused, Erica-sama.”
“No, it’s fine. I gained a lot of asset from dealing with that anyway.”
Magical energy was scattering outside from the corrupted altars, and there were outbreaks of monstro like kraken in large scale due to the ocean being infused with excessive magical energy.
It is true that I was able to gain a surprisingly large profit from exterminating those krakens.
“I assume the altars have been the target of attacks since long time ago. Probably the purpose of those vampires since the foundation of Ignitia.”
“Certainly, thanks to the dragon knights, those bloodsuckers can no longer return to the ruling class.”
When my brother added an explanation about the altars, Harlan agreed with an expression that seemed to say ‘serves them right.’
“Even if they want to dominate the city in swarms, hundreds of dragon knights will burn the entire city from high altitude. Because of this, now they have no choice but to hide in the shadows and live like parasites.”
Ignitia is very popular with both Lucanrant and Hafan.
Well, if the dragon knights come flying in from a distance and burn the vampires to the ground, it will be almost impossible for the vampires to overthrow them.
“And then there is the dragon burial, a tradition that was said to begin as anti-vampire measure.”
“Yes, I think it is reasonable. Even if they impersonate high-ranking nobleman, they will still end up being dedicated to their mounts.”
“Yes, yes. That’s why they can’t do such evil scheme like what they did in other countries, right?”
“I do envy Ignitia just because they don’t have to endure that … that situation where they pretend to be dead and then come out of the grave days or years later.”
I have always thought that the dragon burial, where the corpse is dedicated to its dragon mount, was a very dreadful ritual, but is that what it was?
Although it started out as a safety measure, this fierce ritual seems to have become a tradition.
“But it is all thanks to that angel, right, Erica?”
The cat on my lap had a smug look on her face with an attitude that seemed to say, “You should thank me for that”.
Well, it is a fact that she gave humans the power to coexist in harmony with dragons as an anti–vampire measure, so I think it is perfectly fine for her to be proud.
“Yes, the dragons are too powerful. Those bloodsuckers’ resentment against Ignitia must be quite strong. That’s why they are meticulously trying to destroy the royal family and the angel who granted them power.”
“And from what we heard from Erica, they were about to succeed.”
Auguste nodded deeply at Harlan’s words.
The vampires had been aiming to contaminate the altars as a long–term plan since the founding of Ignitia.
It is the most appropriate way to destroy the foundations of a religious state like Ignitia.
The Mad King was quick to notice the weakness of his enemy, the angels, and exploit it.
A number of schemes and layers of traps had been set up to gradually destroy the country, and Palug was losing her powers as well.
… Such a feat could only be accomplished by the Mad King, who was known to be a genius in sorcery.
“Now, let’s talk about the cases I was involved in—”
Next, Harlan began to share about the incidents he was involved in.
It was a simple explanation, but the details were quite graphic.
For example, there was a case of what appears to be related to vampires in a town of a hundred people.
Even after they narrowed down the suspects, they were still left with five people.
So, the five who could not be determined whether they were humans or vampires were disposed of to save the rest of the inhabitants.
Another incident was where a vampire sneaked into a port town.
It turned out that the suspect was hiding in one of the ships in port.
It was impossible to narrow it down any further.
There was no choice but to burn down the entire ship to save the inhabitants of the next port.
A case where a vampire infiltrated a certain mansion.
Except for one who happened to arrive late, none of the others in the mansion could be ticked off from the list of suspects.
So the entire bloodline was exterminated to save that one life.
If these people were left alone, situations similar to them would continue to increase.
“It would be nice if we could deal with these types of problems while they are still in the early stages … But unfortunately, that’s not always possible.”
“What will happen exactly?”
“Bloodsuckers who successfully go into hiding do so by first approaching two families, regions, religious groups, or any parties who originally had a disagreement between themselves. They will deliberately incite them to escalate the conflict.”
The Federal Kingdom’s strength lies in its unity, but the relations between the four ethnic groups is complicated.
They will definitely try to drive a wedge into that fragile spot and see everything crumble.
“I think the ultimate aim of this scheme is a continent-wide war.”
Harlan continued as his eyes scanned the faces of everyone in the room.
“Ideally, they would probably assassinate the king of Ignitia in the middle of a conflict between Ignitia and Gigantia. Lucanrant would become suspicious and assassinate key figures from Hafan under vampire suspicion. The skirmishes would eventually lead to a full-scale invasion, and Hafan, facing hardships, would invade Aurelia to secure the magical leylines. Finally, Aurelia would retaliate and the worst imaginable magical warfare would breakout between the East and the West.”
Cracks would appear in the unstable parts of the country.
And when the wheels of discord start turning, powered by doubt and anger, no man can stop them.
“That is exactly what those bloodsuckers want. War and chaos are the two things they love the most.”
Actorius muttered with a melancholic expression.
“If people draw a line between themselves and others and create an ‘us against them’ situation, the monsters will win … My homeland has become exactly like that.”
That is the reality of the ongoing civil war in Gigantia.
“Once the lines are drawn and people become divided, they start hating each other and killing each other; there is no going back when that happens.”
Actorius’ voice trembled slightly.
My brother gently put a hand on his shoulder.
“According to the Aaru Hypothesis, the Mad King himself was the end result of such circumstances.”
Auguste said as he glanced at Brad.
Whatever would that be?
“Oh, you are quite knowledgeable, Your Highness.”
My brother sounded surprised.
“I have been under Professor Brad’s tutelage for a long time on the origins of curses and vampires in the southern continent.”
Brad nodded at Auguste’s words.
My curiosity was piqued regarding the contents.
“Erm, Brother, what is Aaru Hypothesis?”
“Well, to put it simply, it is a theory on the existence of the Mad King. It was written by our uncle, Oswald Bort.”
A theory on the existence of the Mad King written by our uncle?
I was aware he was the brother of that Frederica Bort, and the one who raised her, but…
Perhaps he was also a very keen scholar.
“How do I put this … our uncle was a genius, a rather special kind of person…”
My brother hesitantly began to explain.
The hypothesis was mainly that the Mad King might still be alive.
I see, my uncle had uncovered the truth that had been kept hidden.
“It is also a hypothesis on the origins of the Mad King.”
Two tribes and a religious revolution.
A tribe who had once been harshly ruled, massacred the people who had once dominated them, and one man from the massacred clan cursed the world.
And thus, a monster who played with life and desired death was born.
His name was Cain Grendel, the Mad King.
Both the victim and perpetrator of unprecedented violence.
A rare genius of sorcery, and creator of countless cursed monstrosities.
He is also the incarnation of “Underworld” from the name Aaru, with countless souls trapped inside his body.
“…And that is the story of the beginning of vampires in this world.”
My brother said, concluding his explanation of the Aaru Hypothesis.
I thought about the Wesir and Setekh tribes, who were divided in two and detested each other.
I could not think of what they should have done, or where they should have stopped.
Yeah, hi, back from the dead. Massive apologies from me, I have no excuse. I just procrastinated until the guilt is too much to bear. you all should thank eristol for not giving up on the series and holding the fort and the Erica discord server. half of this chapter and all the future chapters until we catch up with the raw, will be the result of eristol blood and tears. I’m just quality/translation checking. it’s been a long time, I have forgotten many things. so this will also serve to jog my memories.