Chapter 173: Monster Hunt (part three)

TL: clover, eristol

Eristol: Last chapter of this mini-arc everyone, and as mentioned previously, this would be the end of their meetings for a while. We are gradually shifting to action from info-sharing.

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“Hold on a minute. Please elaborate a bit, Sir Eduard.”

Harlan urged my brother to explain himself.

I wonder, what connection did you notice from the information on the Golden Wolf Prince the Aaru hypothesis, onii-sama?

“It’s not just me, I am certain everyone else here can’t keep up with you either, so please … ”

“Oops, I am sorry. I got a little carried away.”

Harlan’s words seem to have calmed him down a little.

As he took several long, deep breaths, the color of his flushed cheeks faded somewhat.

“I have been having this strange feeling since I heard Holle’s story.”

Coughing a little to hide his embarrassment, my brother began his explanation.

“Holle mentioned that the Golden Wolf Prince has accumulated fragments of a vast number of souls. But the Golden Wolf Prince shouldn’t have to hold such a large number of souls. It would be understandable if it was a vampire; a vampire becomes harder to kill the more souls it accumulates. But the Golden Wolf Prince is a monster that possesses creatures by retroactively tracing the causal sequence, assuming that it will be killed.”

Vampyres become difficult to kill because of the sheer amount of souls they possess.

The more souls you have, the better.

On the contrary, the Golden Wolf Prince is a special case.

A monster that transfers a retroactive curse to the person that killed him.

“Based on its ability, wouldn’t it be more reasonable for it to be killed at an appropriate timing and possess the next suitable vessel, rather than holding a lot of souls and becoming harder to kill? Yet, it has accumulated a huge number of souls … This is why I am assuming that retaining a large number of souls in itself is the ultimate purpose of the Golden Wolf Prince.”

A monster that retains countless souls and can never be destroyed.

Why was such a monster necessary?

“Holle mentioned there was a ‘huge number of human souls and memories of many different eras.’ However, the period of time the Golden Wolf Prince has been active under the Mad King’s command is quite limited. Even if we include what happened after he was transferred to Claude, the timeframe can’t exactly be said to cover ‘many different eras’. Which means, it is very likely that the Golden Wolf Prince holds souls from an older era apart from the ones he actually preyed upon.”

Well, that might indeed be the case.

Then why were such ancient fragments of souls incorporated?

“I have suddenly reflected on my actions, you see. Throughout my life, I have collected a lot of materials, just like my mother and her friends who created this room. You know what I am talking about, Klaus.”

“… Right, I have been the keeper of you legacy for a long time now.”

My brother apologetically smiled at Klaus.

Klaus nodded without changing his expression.

“I was planning on leaving everything to Erica, even though I know it’s very selfish of me.”

Brother looked at me in a timid manner, as if asking for forgiveness.

I did not know what kind of expression to make, so I just smiled for my brother.

He heaved a long sigh of relief.

“I felt like doing it when I became conscious of my own death. I thought of my own will and memories to represent who I am. That is why I wanted to record my will and memories and pass them on to someone important as a copy of myself.”

My brother looked around at everyone.

“So, this collection of souls known as ‘underworld’ … and the Mad King who retains the countless memories of these souls … I wonder if he was also the same. I believe that one of the reasons as to why the Mad King created the Golden Wolf Prince was to replicate himself. At least that’s what I think.”

Replication of the soul fragments resembling the underworld possessed by the Mad King.

Is that possible? Is such a sorcery possible?

“Hmm … the Golden Wolf Prince is an incredibly difficult-to-destroy phantom beast like a hard-to-crack safe, so is it like he is hiding a copy of his diary in it?”

“Yes, that’s a good analogy. You are correct.”

When Chloe asked, my brother nodded.

What came to my mind immediately after hearing it was an external storage device with backup data.

The strongest backup device that, if destroyed, would interfere with causality and replicate itself.

It certainly sounds convenient.

“Well then, Brad. Your body contains the soul of the Mad King embedded as a curse, right?”


“The mages of Lindis have determined that you will need to slaughter a large number of people and receive their flesh and blood through another ritual to manifest as the Mad King. That is why, you have been living in this academy under house arrest.”

Brad silently nodded.

I see.

So that is why he always moves around as a dragon except for when he is at Lindis.

Brad is not allowed to leave Lindis for fear of an unforeseen emergency.

“What if the collection of souls retained by the Golden Wolf Prince is synonymous to that particular spell?”


“A large number of humans have already been slaughtered a long time ago, all that is left is for the vessel to receive their flesh and blood. What if we assume that?”

So there is no need to do something like collecting sacrificial victims to offer up to the Mad King.

Ah, is that why Lièvre was looking for the Golden Wolf?

“That’s why the vampires were so desperate to get ahold of the Golden Wolf Prince … well, the story is starting to make sense, isn’t it?”

Just as I hit upon the idea, Eduard supplemented his explanation.

I see, so that powerful ancient vampire under the Mad King was in the middle of a mission to resurrect the Mad King.

“In that case, why didn’t it transfer the souls to me inside the morgue? Wouldn’t that have been the best timing?”

At Brad’s question, a complicated expression fleeted across Eduard’s face.

He opened his mouth as if he was reluctant to disclose the reason.

“Brad, to complete one’s growth as a mage, aside from intense training, they also need to complete physical and mental maturity right? Besides, telepathy is also dependent on mental stability and maturity, isn’t it?”

Brad’s eyes widened at my brother’s words.

“I see … a vampyre can mimic the body and soul it takes in, but it cannot make it grow.”

Harlan clapped his hand.

“I don’t know why the Golden Wolf Prince didn’t hunt me or Elric, but now you know why he left without kidnapping you or transferring the souls to you, right? It was planning on coming back for you eight years later, not only to take away your body and soul, but also your life, accomplishments, and everything else.”

“ … !”

A deep crease appeared between Brad’s brows.

“Certainly, it makes sense now. To await my growth as a theurge and a mage, huh … ”

Brad’s voice trembled slightly.

Was it from fear, or humiliation?

Or perhaps it was a combination of both.

“I finally understand, Sir Eduard.”

After my brother and Brad both reached their conclusions, Harlan joined in on the conversation.

“This means the Golden Wolf Prince, who has remained inactive for eight years, has finally escaped our clutches because the time is ripe, Sir Brad, to get you.”

Brad silently nodded to Harlan’s words.

“And now the vampires are preparing all their machinations to reclaim the Mad King’s vessel. We are probably just one step away from an all-out assault.”

The Golden Wolf Prince who became active after awaiting the vessel’s maturity.

On top of that, the vampires who corrupted altars to recreate the Angel of Starvation and other phantom beasts.

“In short, the Golden Wolf Prince’s destination is Lindis, where Sir Brad is.”

“That is correct, Sir Harlan.”

“So your plan to hunt the wolf has turned into a plan to ambush him?”


Hearing this, Harlan let out a sigh.

“I don’t know if this is the right thing to say under such circumstances, but if it is about the Golden Wolf Prince, I find it much more convenient than having to track him down since he arbitrarily appears an disappears.”

Certainly, the situation looks favorable as far as Harlan’s reasoning is concerned.

“But this hypothesis is missing a few crucial points, and there are some inconsistencies here and there.”

My brother paused his conversation with Harlan and looked around at everyone.

“Firstly, having been kept in captivity, how did he determine the time?”

“Wouldn’t it be sufficient if he was past his mid-twenties?” Klaus answered.

I suppose he assumed if he grows old enough to be a young adult, he would be mature enough.

Sounds somewhat random, but not impossible.

“The other question is, why did the Mad King choose such a time-consuming magic just to switch his body?”

“Perhaps Casquetia had been weakened since it was destroyed by Ignitia?”

Auguste replied.

The Mad King was supposed to have perished after losing the battle to Guillaume.

“But 784 years without ever recovering? Vampires can strengthen themselves by eating people.”

“Ah, it was too long ago.”

Since his defeat it has been 784 years … almost 800 years.

800 years would be more than enough time for him regain his strength by blending among humans and preying on them.

Then why?

“Regarding that, I have some idea … can I have a bit of your time?”

Harlan raised his hand with a complicated expression.

“I know of someone who tried to kill the Mad King single-handedly. If he had been able to deliver a fatal blow … ”

“… Killing the Mad King on his own? Is he insane? Who would be so reckless?”

Klaus chided.

It is not on the level of being reckless, it is madness.

“That person’s name is Oswald Bort. He is the one who wrote the Aaru hypothesis.”

Harlan replied with great difficulty.


What did he just say?

“I once asked Frederica Bort why she had become a vampire slayer. She laughed and told me this story, saying ‘feel free to think I am lying then, since I am a liar.”

Harlan’s eyes were downcast as he spoke with nostalgia.

“‘It is all my brother’s fault for nearly killing the Vampire King’, that’s what she told me.”

Looking between me and my brother alternatingly, Harlan appeared to be surprised.

“I thought the two of you knew about this since you are from the West, but I suppose I was wrong. I was not sure whether I should tell you this since I wasn’t sure of its authenticity.”

“No, neither I nor Erica have heard about it. Right, Erica?”

“Yes, oniisama.”

Not only just hearing for the first time, but it was too much of a shock to bear.

“So, you are saying my uncle progressed further from his hypothesis and actually came to a conclusion and method to deal with him.”

“And then, in the end, he actually went and found the Mad King and demonstrated the method, is that right, oniisama?”

“How troubling, Erica … I suppose it is a common trait of the Western blood.”

Since he made a hypothesis, he would want to prove it.

That is precisely the problem with those of Western blood.

I suppose our ancestors had the same temperament, as they all died after unraveling uncharted sea routes.

“And the result was a skeletal corpse packed inside a bag … I was certain that even if he really did engage in such a fight, he would lose. But after hearing today’s story, I wonder if he really did lose … no, he had put up a good fight.”

Does that mean he faced-off against the Mad King alone and cornered him all by himself?

He was cornered to the point that he actually had to transfer his soul to another body.

“But this is unprecedented. Since the conquest of Ignitia 800 years ago, the Mad King was assumed to have perished, and no one has ever discovered such an existence. I can’t imagine how he was able to hunt down such a Mad King.”

Actorius-sensei tilted his head in wonder.

“Oniisama, aside from Uncle’s Aaru hypothesis, is there not anything like a detailed diary in his inheritance?”

“But Uncle did not possess anything of that sort …”

My brother laughed with a troubled face, but suddenly his eyed widened in realization.

“No, there is something I have in mind. In one of the property inventories of our mother’s family, there was a small island that no one inherited. It was excluded from our mother’s will. I did not pay any attention to it until now.”

“That certainly is a curious case, oniisama.”

“You are right, Erica.”

It is possible there are secrets of Oswald Bort that Mother did not want to pass down to us.

Mother probably removed such an accident-prone island from her inheritance out of parental love.

I suppose she did not want us, her children, to get involved with the vampire king.

But now, I am afraid of not knowing.

“I plan to go to that island and investigate to see what happened between my uncle and the Mad King. If the Mad King’s dark activities are related to my uncle’s case, it is necessary to investigate thoroughly. Otherwise, there is a possibility that we could be fundamentally going in the wrong direction.”

My brother declared as he looked around at everyone in the room.

I agree with him.

“Oniisama, would it be alright if I accompany you?”

“Of course, you have the right to know.”

Beatrice gently raised her hand after me.

“May I accompany you as well? The destruction of the Mad King has always been the long-cherished desire of the Wynt family. I would like to check if there are any traces of our involvement.”

“Yes, thank you for your support.”

The subject of the matter is why my face turned pale during this whole conversation.

Beatrice must be having a difficult time as well given her complex family connections.

Well, it certainly is not someone else’s problem

“Chloe-kun, Harold-kun, can I ask you both for your help as well?”

My brother turned to Chloe and Harold as well for support.

“Of course!”

“Eh? Eeeeh!? Me!? Me too!?”

Chloe’s strong reply was in a sharp contrast to Harold’s confusion.

Harold, who is afraid of scary things, definitely would not want to go to an island associated with someone whose corpse was found in a bag.

“Thank you, Chloe-kun. I am sure the snowsilver ore would be a great help in dealing with unidentified magic, alchemy, and sorcery.”

My brother broadly smiled at Chloe to express his gratitude.

Then, his pleading gaze was directed at Harold.

“Harold, it would be very helpful to hear your opinion as a fellow alchemist if you come. What we are going to explore is perhaps an unprecedented alchemist who was only one step away from killing the Mad King. Maybe he was a madman himself … I have no idea what might happen. So, the more perspectives a good alchemist has, the better it will be.”

With that, my brother shook Harold’s hand.

Harold maybe younger than my brother, but he is taller so the sight of my imposing older brother looking so slender compared to him was an interesting one.

“I, Erica, am also an alchemist from Aurelia. If you, Harold, an alchemist of Nibelheim, join us, I am certain you will notice something we might overlook … so, would that be alright?”

“ … Y-Yes! I will follow you!”

And so, poor Harold was dragged down within mere seconds.

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