Hey there everyone. It’s time for an intriguing island exploration and unraveling the past. There will be a lot of interesting revelations. Look forward to it!
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A few days after our last meeting, we headed for the place in question.
Our destination is a small uninhabited isle in the southeastern waters of Aurelia.
It takes about six hours to get there by a state-of-the-art vessel from the nearest port, which is relatively close to the island.
A quest to seek the truth behind what transpired with my uncle.
The members along with me today are my brother, Eduard, Beatrice, Chloe, and Harold.
Only Tirnanog accompanied me this time.
Palug was requested to stay behind to watch over Brad.
Our group first arrived at the nearest coastal city in the southeastern part of Aurelia using a transfer gate early this morning.
From there, we took a horse-drawn carriage to the dock, where the medium-sized vessel we were to board was anchored.
“Ah, that area … there is a nasty sea monster around there, and it doesn’t like anyone getting close. All ships avoid that area. The closer you get to that island, the rougher the beast gets, so please be careful.”
That’s what the ship’s owner told us about the island.
“An island avoided by the locals?”
“It’s very strange, isn’t it?”
I agreed with Chloe and Beatrice.
It is as if the place was designed to be avoided by people.
“What kind of sea monster do you think lurk around here, oniisama?”
“There might be a slight possibility of it being a sea serpent, but I doubt it. What do you think, Erica?”
“I can’t say for certain. The habitat of the Krakens are in a slightly different area of the oceans, so I think this is different.”
Since this area is out of the zone that was affected by altar corruption, I don’t think this is an abnormality generated by magical energy exposure.
Hmm, but what if my uncle released some dangerous creature into the sea to keep people away?
And thus, we set sail for the mysterious island.
We were off to a good start, with no mysterious sea monster suddenly turning our ship upside down.
“We still have some time before we arrive at our destination. Feel free to relax and enjoy the view of the sea, or do whatever you like.”
When my brother said so, Harold felt relieved and immediately immersed himself in crafting a wand.
Beatrice started reviewing her lessons from her magic textbook.
They were both diligent people.
Chloe chose to explore the ship, perhaps because it was unusual to her.
Meanwhile, my brother and I decided to relax and watch the bow as it cut through the sea.
It was also to ensure we can respond immediately in case of an emergency.
“The weather is really nice, Erica.”
“Yes, oniisama. I am glad the sky is so sunny and the sea so calm … ”
“The sea is so peaceful that it almost seems like a lie that we are in dangerous waters with a sea monster lurking about … ”
As we spoke, Tirnanog fished out a large parasol from my bag and set it up.
Even though it is nearing the end of fall, the sunlight is still strong, so I was grateful.
『 Hmm, the view of the sea is not bad.』
Saying so, Tirnanog flopped down on the bag as he picked up the jar of worms he keeps as preserved food and started munching on them.
It might be this human-like beast that is enjoying the boat ride most gracefully.
And so, the story of my uncle Oswald was brought up in our conversation of two people and one phantom beast.
“I have been investigating my uncle since my mother died, but just telling an ordinary acquaintance or the younger you that his skeletal corpse was found inside a bag would be too much, wouldn’t it?
“That’s right … ”
『You really can’t avoid these kinds of troubles that you can’t tell anyone about, can you?』
Tirnanog and I both nodded deeply in response to my brother’s words.
“What is worse, it is almost like a ghost story; he was reportedly seen several times after his death. I really hope it was just some case of mistaken identity, but now all I can think of is illegal alchemy.”
『Could it be … a homunculus?』
“On top of that, a fully automated humanoid golem with artificial spirit incorporated … the incorporation of artificial spirits had already been illegal when our uncle was alive.”
The current homunculus technology is only used to culture artificial limbs and internal organs, culturing the entire body of any living organism, or humans, is illegal.
Besides, golems with artificial spirits incorporated that completely resemble humans are illegal.
All such creations have been destroyed.
An alchemist with even the slightest bit of ethical compliance would never make such a thing, no matter how much he wanted to.
However, someone who actually tried to kill the Mad King might very well do it.
And so, I spent my time listening to suspicious stories about my uncle, and taking turns with my brother to go back inside and rest.
After the break, Chloe who had finished exploring the ship, invited me to play ball.
With Tirnanog joining in, we started playing a volleyball-style ball tossing game in the large deck.
Soon after, Beatrice who finished her reviews, also joined us and the three of us along with Tirnanog started tossing the ball around.
“Ugh, you ladies sure are energetic …”
It seems that Harold, who was working with his head lowered, got seasick so he was hitting the sea breeze while chugging down a vial of potion.
Just like that, as I was idling away my time, which was a rare occurrence in the recent weeks, I heard my brother’s voice.
“The island is almost coming into view. If we can continue like this without incident, we should be able to … ”
Just as he was about to say this, something hit the side of the ship, causing the ship to rock uncomfortably.
“NO, NO, NOOOO!!!!”
Harold’s wild scream reverberated through the air.
Chloe, who was strong on her feet, supported Beatrice with a cool expression.
“I see you have worn out your welcome, oniisama.”
“Hmm, seems like it won’t let us get close that easily, Erica.”
“I am afraid so.”
I activated the eyes of the overworld to assess the surrounding situation.
“This is … ?”
I could see a golem core right beneath this ship.
There is a golem down there.
Moreover, the main body of this golem is probably larger than this ship.
A hard hit would easily capsize this ship.
“Oniisama, the giant sea monster under this ship is actually a golem.”
“Ahahaha, how interesting, Erica.”
This is the work of an alchemist.
In short, no matter how you think about it, it was clearly my uncle Oswald who set up this thing here in these waters.
But since it is not a living creature, it will not overgrow and destroy the ecosystem, in fact, it is actually quite eco-friendly.
“UWAA!! I have never heard of anything like a giant fish golem!!”
Harold screamed after hearing our conversation.
You are scared, but you are also interested, huh.
Having a giant fish golem guard the waters around a privately owned island is quite the dreamy use of a golem.
“It was probably set up to intimidate any ship approaching this island. oniisama, would you like to capture it?”
“Would that be easy?”
“Yes, if it is him.”
I winked at Tirnanog, who was standing at my feet.
『Fumu, leave it to me!』
Then Tirnanog jumped into the sea and grew bigger and bigger, having released the restraints of his armor.
“I-I-I am counting on you, misteeeeeer!”
Unable to bear the shaking, Harold screamed with a pale face.
Soon after Tirnanog dived into the sea, the giant fish golem stopped interfering immediately.
All that remains is for us to wait for him to return from his fishing trip.
By the time the boat reached the island, just like a cat carrying a fish in its mouth, Tirnanog had come ashore with the golem fish in his mouth.
A golem resembling a sperm whale about ten meters long was sprawling in the beach.
Oh, it is smaller than I had thought.
When I chanted the command words again, Tirnanog reverted to his small size and fit into his armor.
『Hmm, it was clearly bigger when it was in the ocean.』
Tirnanog tilted his head in confusion.
What could that mean?
Judging from a quick glance, this giant fish golem appears to be made of high quality star steel.
It is quite large, and the materials alone are very expensive.
This goes to show that my uncle was a man of extreme tastes.
My brother and Harold took a quick look from the head to tail and found out where the core was.
There was a golden metal core about the size of a basketball.
“Erica, do you see the core?”
“That appears to be our uncle’s name.”
“It seems after generating a metal body, it turns the surrounding sea water into gel, transforming into a giant fish that roams around the island.”
“It is a brilliant idea.”
So it was gelatinized sea water?
Then it would be possible to form the shape at will.
That is a very reasonable implementation method to pose as an unidentified monster.
“Ah~ I see. There is also a logic incorporated to gently drive away fishing boats! But it won’t attack. If a person falls overboard from the threatened boat and drowns, it is supposed to save them and carry them to the shore. How kind!”
Having explained such, Harold continued to quickly analyze the contents on the core of the golem.
He too is engrossed in his interest in the golem.
Where is the frightened look from earlier?
“Ah, can I take this core and body back home with me? Could you let me use your bag to transport it, Erica?”
“Of course, let me know if you find anything else interesting about this golem, okay?”
After I handed over my bag with space extension and weight reduction, Harold began disassembling and collecting the giant fish golem.
He has a large physique and used to hard work, so he was able to quickly dismantle such a large golem.
“Perhaps there are many similar golems stationed in nearby waters to guard this island. Here, take a look.”
Brother showed me a blue butterfly perched on his fingertip.
It looked very real, but it was an elaborately crafted golem.
My brother gently pulled out the core from the golem and looked at it with a magnifying glass.
“Our uncle’s name is inscribed here as well.”
My brother showed me a white core on his fingertip.
It was inscribed with an intricate syntax in a frighteningly detailed script.
“Hey, Erica-san, here.”
Chloe showed me a crab on the palm of her hand.
“This is a golem too, right?”
“Yes, it is.”
“I am surprised there are no real living beings here … well, it’s … a little bit scary.”
Beatrice put what she was feeling into words in an oblique manner.
Well, I guess this is more than just ‘a little creepy’.
“Yes, it really is quite unnatural.”
Perhaps on this island, golems are placed everywhere where there should be living creatures.
It is quite scary to think as to why there are no living animals here …
Maybe this island itself is an artificial creation … no, I suppose not.
“But this place seems like a paradise for alchemists who love golems, doesn’t it?”
My brother’s expression relaxed.
This island was chock-full of golem implementation I have never seen before.
“I have never seen this kind of golem implementation. Isn’t it the best kind of technology, to be honest?”
Harold, who had finished dismantling the giant fish golem, agreed with an enraptured look in his face.
Well, I admit I also find it enjoyable.
If my ethical and economic views allowed, I would also like to make an island like this.
“Harold, I was finding it pitiful that you were brought to a place like this even though you were scared, but now you seem completely fine.”
“I am quite envious of how fast you were able to adapt … ”
Chloe and Beatrice were already uncomfortable by the abnormal situation in this island, and Harold’s attitude of an alchemist did not make them feel any better.
Yes, for the sake of the two of them, I at least, must maintain my rationality.
With the exploration of the sandy beach concluded, we decided to broaden our search a bit more.
My brother took the lead in getting an overview of the island.
As we approached a small hill near the beach, my brother who had been leading the group, called out.
“There appears to be a village up ahead.”
“What do you mean, oniisama? A village on an island that has had no contact with the mainland for years because of that sea monster?”
“Yes, I know, but it is there … ”
Have they been living on this island their entire lives?
No, perhaps they are not even human—of course they are not human, since everything else have been crafted so elaborately.
Beatrice, Chloe, Harold and I gathered around my brother.
There appeared to be around forty houses in the village at a rough count.
The white-plastered walls and red-tiled roofs spread out throughout the village.
There were wheat fields and vineyards around the village.
Most of the wheat fields had already been harvested.
Here and there, one could see people coming and going and working in the fields.
It certainly looks like an ordinary village.
Unless the people living there have spherical joints that is.
“Hey, look at this. What an elegant golem doll, Erica, Harold!”
“Wow! The textures are beautiful! This appearance, there is probably a self-correction function, isn’t it the best?”
My brother and Harold were impressed with the high quality of work.
Perhaps it was intentional attempt to not make it look too much like a human, but from my perspective, it looks as humane as it possibly can be.
In other words, it is illegal.
It is obvious why this island is completely isolated.
Such a thing should not exist in this world.
But what a feat.
The luxury of doing whatever one wants without any restraints.
I don’t dislike it either.
But I figured Chloe and Beatrice would be troubled if there was not even one normal alchemist with them, so I smiled vaguely.
“Well, shall we go?”
“Eh, in that village?”
Beatrice trembled when my brother urged us.
“If those things attack us, you wouldn’t mind if I destroyed them right?”
“Ah, of course!”
My brother replied with a very refreshing smile to Chloe’s question.
“Okay then, let’s go, Beatrice.”
“Um, yes, Chloe-chan … ”
With everyone in agreement, we decided to head towards the golem village.
As we approached the village, we saw several women picking up fallen ears in a field where the harvest had ended.
The villagers’ expressions were infinitely natural, simple, and gentle.
When we came into their line of sight, they bent over and called out.
Their voices were comparable to those of humans.
“It has been a while, Master, Young Lady!”
“Master, Young Lady, how was your trip this time?”
Master and Young Lady.
My brother and I exchanged looks.
Apparently, that was the first time my brother and I actually felt ‘scared’ since we arrived on that island.
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Eristol: To think even Eduard would feel scared for once, hehe. I would have loved to live in an island like that to be honest.