Monday, February 27, 2017

004 Adventures of the Snake <Overseas Arc>

This is probably the longest chapter I have ever translated... 12k words no less. Happy reading and thanks to my editors for making the translation way better than it should be :) Also, I found another translator(Agni) for TSR. Pretty sure there will be updates soon, sorry for leaving it like that.

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Written by: Yamashita Minato
Translator: yAmi (www.yamitranslations.com)
Editors: Jay, Captain


3. At Sankt Gallen Federation: Galerin Magic Academy — Testimony of Professor, Pow Egbelt von Glauman.

Welcome to this, far, faraway land. I can’t offer much hospitality, but you may make yourself at home.

Anyways, this is really... wow. The Alcael Kingdom’s High Court of Justice is surprisingly blessed with human resources. Although it’s just for an investigation of an Earl Family’s succession, you guys actually sent people to other countries.

What? You came here to investigate things you wanted to know? It’s not an official dispatch but by your own leave? That you came here out of pocket and not with taxpayer money?

Hahahahaa! Wow, wow, I’m impressed! Your hunger for knowledge , your aspiring passion and your curiosity! Absolutely wonderful! To us alchemists, this quality is the most necessary! More so than magic to shake the Heavens and the Earth or the intellect which see through all nature!

How about it, dear guest? Wanna join me as my disciple? You are still young aren’t you? Starting out this path now isn’t late at all, yeah?

…...Not interested? I see, it’s a pity.

Well, alright. Let’s get to the main point.
So it’s about that Oubeniel? That guy was truly an excellent student. He was enrolled for merely 1 year, 1 month and 23 days, but in that timespan, he left behind contributions which cannot be counted with all my fingers and toes. That level of talent was in the history of our alchemist course…...no, rather, even if you unravelled the entire school’s history, there’ll be nobody as talented as him. It’s most disappointing. If he didn’t drop out of school midway, he might be using his smarts as my right hand right now, or perhaps, he might be sitting in my position.

Oh? Isn’t that an exceedingly surprised expression you are making. You find it unbelievable that I am lavishing praise on him?

It seems that you must have heard quite some negative rumours about him before coming here.

That is unavoidable. The history of alchemy is the history of battling prejudice and misunderstanding. Just by hearing the name itself, people would be filled with of misconceptions and misunderstandings. Alchemy — the act of converting iron or lead into gold, among the numerous people who tried it, only one succeeded. The metamorphosis of the material and evolution of the soul to a higher-order spirit…...that was the original aim of alchemy. There are imposters who heard about alchemy and would do some monkey imitation of it randomly, by dyeing iron the colour yellow just for appearances. And yet, the fools of the world spread what they have seen, as though that was the true nature of alchemy — as if alchemy is just another thing that fraudsters do. This happened more than 400 years ago. The people of the world are still dancing to such rotten rumours.

Hrm. Looks like I caught your attention. How ‘bout it, guest? I would like to hear one or two anecdotes about the him you know and your impression of him. It should be interesting to judge how your country perceive alchemy through your evaluation of him. Anyways, just listening to me talking alone would make this somewhat dry. A souvenir in the form of a tale wouldn’t be bad.

…………
…………
………...Deplorable.

As expecting, gaining acceptance from the world is surprisingly difficult.

…...mm? What?
Aren’t I angry, you ask? Whether I am bothered by his way of trampling on a skill which I put in so much effort to learn?

For the present, I don’t really think much of it.

Human experimentation? The use of slaves? Nobles are blue-blooded beings, doesn’t it not matter how much dirty blood they shed? What kind of crime can that be classified anyways? The laws of your country are shadowy, but I do remember that the laws for treatment of slaves is roughly the same as other countries. Hm, so there really is no difference. Then there shouldn’t be a problem.

What? His acts were twisted? Certainly it wasn’t something fanciful to see. But, what of it?

In the first place, alchemy is something that resides with the truth of the world and the secrets of life. And, the truth is more often than not, cruel, and most likely, life itself is something that possesses many dirty facets. Think about it, you must have held a woman before. …...What are you blushing for? This isn’t something to be embarrassed about. Isn’t the interaction between males and females a ritual with a lofty vision to bring about the next generation of life? Hn?

I am going off topic? Hahahahah, what are you saying. I am just using an analogy to make this easier for you to understand.

You think this discussion of holding woman is some vulgar commoner gossip don’t you? The natural act of intercourse to make children shouldn’t be spoken of overtly huh? This and that Oubeniel dude’s experiments are on the same axle. For all living things, by searching every nook and cranny, we would discover their vulgar, ugly and disgusting aspects. Take our meals for example. For humans, if we don’t eat, we’ll starve to death won’t we? That’s why we eat our meals. We eat to fill our bellies, to regain our energy, so that we may live to tomorrow. Now then, what happens to the food we ate? No matter how appetising the food was, as long as it enters the mouth, it is diced by teeth, run through by the tongue and smeared by saliva…...it becomes a miserable sight. Later it enters the guller, falls into the stomach and is digested until not a single trace of it remains. That means, no matter how effort the chef puts into decorating the food, it is as good as an ugly slime. What’s more, it enters the intestines, have its nutrition and moisture absorbed into the body…… finally, it is expelled from the buttocks as excretion. Yes, shit. Gourmet food eaten by royalty or wheat porridge eaten by lowly commoners, as long as they are eaten, they end up as shit or puke.

The same goes for research. Whether you like it or not, without facing that kind of ugliness, one would be unable to progress.

Let's assume that a diarrhoeal disease is endemic in this country. If the outbreak is to be suppressed, the patient’s stinky and dirty excretion, which can be as formless as drool, has to be examined in detail. How did it become like that? What has to be done to bring the patient’s body back to a state when they excrete normal shit with normal frequency? Without putting in serious thought, it won’t work out. His experiments do exist for a prolonged period too. To the untrained, it must appear creepy and cold-blooded.

What was the objective of Oubeniel’s research? Hmm, he was an all-rounded individual after all. As long as it drew his interest, he would expend whatever he can on it. From improving experimental tools from a mechanical perspective, to the compilation of research history. Mixing of miracle medicines, manufacturing homunculus, creating chimeras, casting of equipment. He does anything. However, all these are just footholds for him to strike at his main research.

The field that he wrestled with, with the most enthusiasm was biology. That is also a domain that has to do with the root of life. Why are humans, humans? Why do we think? Why are we born? Why do we die? Why are we, why are we, why are we…… The answers to this bottomless question is not something that can be concluded after many days of thinking.

He left such a thesis. The correlation between a living being’s brain function and the soul. This is probably some grand compilation of the things you have heard he has done, particularly the ones you feel are disgusting.

First, slaves were prepared as experimental subjects. …...With regards to this and that, he wasn’t that indecisive. At worst, he might be a topic for the gossips.

And so, he cut open the heads of the test subjects and anesthetized a portion of their brains which correspond to a particular human function. Do you understand the functions of the brain? …...Don’t know? You don’t know? Whoa! What in the world! To think the world is still this ignorant of the structure of life!!

…...Sorry, lost my composure there.

Well, to put it simply, the brain is what governs the mind and body of living things. So if the brain of a person is destroyed, he cannot live? Of course. Just like how a country is fragmented when they lose their king, a human’s body stops altogether when the control tower — the brain, is lost. The heart stops too. Death. That is where one would end up when the brain, the controller of the body is gone. Do you understand this now? Know it now? Okay, good.

Next is the role of the heart. The functions related to the heart, like thinking and feeling of emotions are also under the jurisdiction of the brain. If you cannot understand it, surely you can feel it on your skin. This is what most people will say when they meet a lunatic. Crazy in the head! They’d say.

That is what that damned Oubeniel is attempting to do. Crazy in the head, madman. What becomes of the hearts and the souls of such people?

To find out about that, he first obtained some healthy subjects. Next, he sliced their heads open and destroyed the part in the brain that controls the heart. Another person had the portion which govern emotions destroyed. Another, had the part retaining memories destroyed. Etcetera. Naturally, the subjects became insane.

And, he euthanised them.

…...Ahh, stay with me to the end. He wasn’t particularly glad when he had to kill people after they lost their sanity. It was necessary for his research. Soothe your soul and listen calmly. If anything, do you need some painkillers? You’ll calm down immediately, y’ know? What, don’t need them? Then, you can calm your spirit through your own will.

Here’s where the meaty part is. In this Magic Academy, there are teachers specialised in various spheres, teaching each and every subject out there. Nevertheless, the multi-talented Oubeniel had a different specialisation from them. Isn’t it normal for mages? Particularly for this research, whenever there is a technique relevant to it, he would definitely learn it. And, in exchange for some help in other study subjects, a certain mage participated in his research.

A necromancer. …...You’re pale again, are you alright? Shall I continue?

Apart from anesthetizing a part of their brains, he called upon the souls of dead test subjects with necromancy. From conversing with spirits and assessing their mental state, he observed the effects on their soul the damage on the brains of their bodies had done.

And you know what! He discovered something shocking!

The madness of most of the souls of the test subjects were proportional to the time after the operation! For example, amnesia! A person who died quickly after the operation would be able to recall memories of his life even if he had forgotten who he was before dying. However, for those who were alive for longer, they won’t even be able to decipher language!

Do you know what this means? His experiments demonstrated that the brain has the role of processing information from ears and eyes and sending them to the soul! Insanity is a phenomenon that occurs when the soul receives disorderly information from the brain! Furthermore! The soul, memories and consciousness closely influence one another but they are all different things! That boy managed to pull off the excellent job of establishing that kind of proof!

This is likely considered a great finding! You should have heard of these fairy-tales when you were young. The reincarnation of a great hero and an evil sorcerer who replaces his aging flesh using black magic…...this is no hallucination! It is very possible! It is possible to move a soul from one body to another!

Trials to reproduce the results have so far ended in failure. That is to be expected. Whenever those necromancers are involved, even bringing out the souls of the dead and talking with them has yet to be established to date! They haven’t even come close to it! But, from now on, it’ll be different!? The soul and memory! Firmly maintain these two and transplant them into a body with a healthy consciousness! By doing so, a person can preserve his existence in the present world eternally!

Of course, that is not possible now. The theory is there but we don’t know how to put it into practice. However, this marks the baby steps for the cause. Pseudo-immortality. That boy has splendidly taken the first step to get closer to answering the biggest problems of alchemy!

……
Whoops, I lost my cool again. I unintentionally remembered my euphoria back then. These old bones were overwhelmed by his deed.

It seems that this Oubeniel dude must have at a considerably earlier stage — likely before enrolling into the academy — formulated this hypothesis. After all, he was familiar with tampering with human brains. He must have not announced it earlier because he did not have the right person to demonstrate it to. Truly wonderful. Establishing such an advanced theory in his teens, as well as being conscientious towards studies related to demonstrating his theory. A model for alchemists.

Despite this, that damn board of directors. Finding fault with something lame and expelling him. This is something that would make, if I may exaggerate, a “wiseman meeting” weep. Ahhh, what a waste!

The reason for his expulsion? I do not know the details. The duties of an academy lecturer are to do research and conduct lectures. Consequently, I hardly pry into the private lives of my students. Speaking of which, I should have grasped some aspects of his personality by now. If I had guessed his circumstances, I might have been able to protect him…...Arghh, is this what they call, letting a big fish escape!?

Yes, right. He from start to end, spoke about research and nothing else. He actively participated in debates, yeah?

He didn’t dine in the mess hall? As I have stated just awhile ago, no matter what the food is, in the end, it will end as shit from the ass. It is best to quickly gain nutrition. I doubt he had spare time for eating in a mess and socialising. Moreover, doing that while chatting with others is the height of inefficiency. Eating and socialising, what meaning can there be to do these two contradictory actions in parallel? Separate whatever you can separate, this way it is faster to finish all of them. Isn’t that the wisdom of humans?

Well, I will tell you the gist of it. A fight occurred between him and a certain student. I also heard that it was about an illicit love affair. Of course, it was that student who started being violent first. That Oubeniel shouldn’t be too fond of pointless fighting. The conclusion of the fight was that the student had the tables turned on him, suffering major injuries and was left in a half-dead state. To top things off, his disgrace was in full view of the public. In bitterness, he must have gotten him expelled from school, I believe. That student was this country’s …...how should I put it…...in any case, a blood relation of a high ranking aristocrat.

Slave maid? Oh, that huh! That is also some good stuff! One of Oubeniel’s masterpieces! Combining both form and function, that golden ratio is the work of god!

Speaking of which, I have a feeling that the person in question who was the target of that illicit love was her. A nonsensical attempt. He wouldn’t even let me meddle with her. I really wanted to try to dissect her but unfortunately, I couldn’t. Not to mention the trivial and blasphemous lust I felt towards her.

What was she, you ask? Just an ordinary human. However, she was frighteningly capable. Even I mistook her for a homunculus initially. It appears that it was the result of continuous prescription of strength-boosting medicines and the conducting of elaborate high level training.

Monster? Wrong, she was a monster-ish human. Just like how a chimera isn’t a homunculus. She was genuinely a human. Though she was the product of top-class alchemy. She did not purely display skills that are visible, and instead, improved her abilities steadily and diligently. Certainly it is true that transplanting other living being’s genes, like a chimera, would make it stronger. Still, there is always the risk of rejection and there are negative effects on future potential. He must have disliked that. Progressively prescribing medicine with few side effects and piling up effective training on her, that maid became a human that overcame the limits of a human.

If I may say so myself, it’s an artificial hero. We hear it in abundance in legends don’t we? Stories of a sage who had to study hard and a hero who had an unusual power. This time, it’s the alchemist as the medium instead…...thinking about it, what’s frightening is the beginning phase. Other than just needing to expend a startling amount of time, this method gives no leeway for second chances. Probably, him and her started the “process” when their ages were in the single digits. That’s how she became so perfect. That damn Oubeniel, humbly claimed that it was only because she was an excellent material. Isn’t that laughable? How is that only because of that if he had studied on his own when he was a child and managed to produce such a wonderful work as an alchemist?

What? Wouldn’t this be considered illegal? What are you saying. Prescribing the appropriate medicine, taking care of her whether it’s rainy or stormy, all he did was raise her carefully. All he did was that. Is that an illegal act in your country? Surely not, I presume. In fact, he has gone out of his way to do a good favour, hasn’t he?

Oh? You are going pale again. Are you chronically sick? Though I might be able to understand if your cheeks reddened from being touched by his actions……

Can you keep up with what I’m saying? Are you satisfied with hearing about his achievements as an alchemist?

But I still have much more to say about him though…...it cannot be helped if you are feeling unwell. A poor body constitution worsens the blood flow in the brains. In that kind of state, work performance declines. Please take care of yourself.

Ahh, if you’d like to know about his behaviour as a student, I know where to find you a former classmate. Let me write an introduction letter for you now. You are in luck. Since I hardly have any contacts with the students.

By the way, do you really not aspire to do alchemy?

…...I see, that is unfortunate. I don’t have much hope that you’ll be as skillful as Oubeniel but I still lack talent under my wing. My remaining years are short after all. Where is that person who would complete the immortality research before I pass on……






4. At Sankt Gallen Federation: Galerin Magic Academy — Testimony of Student, Fredrica Yulian von Castelberon.

A referral from Professor Glauman? How rare of him. To think he would actually bother with something else other than research. Was he in an extremely good mood?

So then, what business did you come here with?

Huh, an investigation centred around a particular family succession.

…...Oubeniel? Could it be Talese Shernan Oubeniel?

Ahhhh, how can this be!? When I had finally forgotten about him, I hear that guy’s name again!

Yes, right. Personally, I feel nothing like coziness and friendliness with him. That guy goes around creating trouble and every time, he would one-sidedly push the cleaning up to me. It believe it is because the professor likes to regularly meet with his favourite students that he actually remembers me. If that wasn’t the case, there is no way he can recall both a person’s face and name correctly! God dammit, we’re all studying in the same course but why am I the one drawing the short end of the stick all the time?

Huh? Am I well acquainted with him? Is that a first rate joke from your country? Didn’t I mention it earlier? There is nothing like that between him and me. In the first place, I don’t think that guy is capable of something that refined, much less him being popular with the girls. Having a friendship with him is only possible if you become his sacrificial lamb and let him tamper with your brain.

Are you clear now? Well then, I’d like you to retract your previous statement please. Since you come from the High Court, surely you are fully aware of what defamation means, yes?

…...Good.

Now then, let’s make this brief. This conversation would just be a pain for both of us. Yes, a person who finds the affairs of that guy interesting is probably a fella who enjoys a third rate comedy.

It was the spring of three years ago when I first met him. I said this earlier but, we were in the same course. Before the lecture began, he was the subject of rumours among the students. Even though alchemy is considered to be under the field of magic, it was an insular practice and is easily subject to misunderstanding. What an oddball he must be, to venture overseas to study alchemy.

Ahh, please do not misread me. I am not like that repugnant maverick nor that eccentric Professor Glauman. I am not so devoted to alchemy that I would abandon my humanity. My goal was to learn some practical skills that can be applied to medical science. During epidemics, there will be people who fail to get treated with recover magic, not to mention that mages are scarce, aren’t they? For that matter, people with weak magic can create medicine if they have the raw ingredients and can produce a significant portion in one go.

Back on topic. About Oubeniel studying abroad, it seems that it was a recommendation from his family. I do not know of the details, but I heard word that it was either an instigation from his brother, in which he was falling behind in the inheritance dispute since he was dedicated to alchemy, or his father who gave up on him and chased him, the nuisance who had been conducting overly immoral experiments, out of the family. From my perspective, both are equally plausible. With his passion for alchemy, he would not be cut out for the responsibilities as the head of an Earl family and also, with him doing those kind of experiments at home day in day out, it must have caused his parents to go crazy.

My first impression of him? I guessed he was a docile and harmless person. From the rumours, I heard that he was a match for Professor Glauman and imagined him to be a person who pays no heed to anything other than research, so anything different about him would surprise me instead. His getup was orderly, conventional and clean. Not a loquacious guy, but when hit up with a conversation, he would reply clearly. As long as it was normal situation, as the descendent of an Earl Family, his conduct cannot be considered passable nor is it failable.

However, Yuni-san — a maid who wore the symbol of a slave, the collar, and accompanied him from his house — was somewhat unacceptable.

Still, that was just for appearances. Doesn’t the same goes for you? The face you make when encouraging your colleagues at work. The relaxed face you make towards your family. The face you make when you are alone and not particularly facing anyone. Everyone carries along with themselves many different faces but, in his case, the difference was like night and day.

I noticed it when we were doing a practical on dissection. …..,.Please don’t make that expression. It’s not like I was in a merry mood while chopping up the corpse. It was purely because it was a required lecture. I don’t have a hobby of cutting up bodies to the extent of “manufacturing” corpses like Oubeniel.

So anyways, it was at that time; it was also my first time unearthing a body like that. Though it wasn’t my first time being in proximity with human death. I have seen refugees dying by the roadside, slaves at my family being granted death after earning displeasure, or relatives passing away. Nevertheless, despite what I just said, putting the scalpel on a corpse was a completely different sensation. Actually, the lecturer was the person performing the operation. However, as I was looking at the body that was being cut opened, or staring long and hard at the hollow face repeatedly, or looking at the grotesque inner entrails, or smelling the mixed smell of rot and medicine, I felt…...nauseated. My body clattered and a hard lump of nausea forced its way up my stomach. I wanted to flee right away from the practical and hide under the covers of my bed in the dormitory.

Somehow, I remember feeling how pathetic I was then. I aspired to save the suffering of people who were ill, so I pushed through the opposition from my parents and enrolled into the Academy. And yet, the first step…...the practical of learning the construct of a human body. Being fed up with myself, I thought of myself as an awful disgrace. However, I was also reluctant to escape from the lecture. I averted my gaze from the the specimen. At that time, I tried to observe the faces of my classmates around me. Those that were making the same expression as I did were still enduring it. This detestable and repugnant feeling and the urge to hide was the same for everyone. Thinking that everyone was going through the same thing, I could hold my ground. Perhaps, it was just a matter of me being not looking at an opened corpse, but still, thinking about it today, I still believe that was how I felt then.

The other students attending the lecture had pale expressions. It must have been their first time bearing witness to a dissection too. Ahh, so I wasn’t the only one that was in dread, I thought and heaved a sigh of relief that was kinda out-of-place. They also noticed what I felt and naturally, felt less tense.

Nevertheless, while the majority felt the same way as I did during the dissection and endured through it, there were people who were exceptions to this response.

First, people who displayed a greater rejection towards the dissection. I guess they weren’t doing so well. At the start of the dissection, there was a person who covered his mouth and ran out to the hallway and another two people followed him out thereafter. They didn’t excuse themselves and yet, the lecturer didn’t seem to pay any heed to it. It must be a yearly thing, that there are people who cannot take it and run away. I can understand how these people feel. I too felt queasy and even if I got used to it, I won’t be able to do it in a good mood.

The next group of people are the ones who have experienced dissection before entering school. There are people who voluntarily entered school to do alchemy, well, the enthusiastic people, who would go out of their way to do some research before learning at school. Naturally, this ‘research’ includes dissection. These people who have done it before, cracked jokes together with the others who were the same as them, and immersed themselves in their superiority as they look down with derision on people like me who shudder at their first experience. Furthermore, they were completely cool about it. If I may say so honestly, I don’t think it was that good of a hobby.

The last group of people…...yes, it’s Oubeniel. Without a single change in complexion, he quietly observed the progression of the practical. At the start, I thought that he might have dissected humans before. No, he definitely has experience in it. However…...compared to the other experienced people, he had a different atmosphere. I had, involuntarily, mulled over it since I wouldn’t regain my senses until my attention was diverted. Anyways, I was distracted by something else later. And so, I nonchalantly studied the difference between him and the other experienced people.

I understood the distinction immediately. Indeed, he had an unusual appearance compared to others who have done dissection before. Rather than being fidgety, he was more mesmerised, though the bottomline is that he wore a different expression from the rest. Isn’t it true? No matter how well-accustomed you are, you are still coming into contact with the death of a person. It is difficult to maintain the same everyday emotion in that kind of scenario. In some sense, they were all greenhorns. Becoming so used to the dissection that he was able to keep his nervousness in check and switch into his normal mood. Cutting the dead body by himself, observing the insides without any deep thoughts and keeping his hands and eyes sharp. Having a loose tongue and looking down on others, those “experienced people” were just airheads. They were just comforting themselves that they have experience and were only pretending to be fine with it. It occurred to me that he must have done it countless of times.

Oubeniel was poles apart. The lecturer or the me who had done hands-on several times, we were still a far cry from him. He gave off the impression that it would be weird if it didn’t feel normal. He didn’t turn blue and run away, neither did he put on a exhilarated front to deceive others, nor did he psyched himself up to appear normal. His eyes were the same as when he was joking with friends, drinking soup at the cafeteria or reading books at the library. He was so adapted to it that he didn’t even change his expression.

A cold shiver ran down my spine. He was the same whether it was related to the life of a human, or its death. What was his frame of mind such that he could have eyes of unchanging colour? In the moment this question arose in my mind, I felt more ill than ever before — I dashed out of the practical room too.

Strange huh? Certainly that is it. In other words, with just one look into his eyes. If that alone was enough to judge a person, there shouldn’t be anyone having difficulties in making a living in the world. Initially, I believed it was because I felt unwell, it was merely a delusion. However, I had a vague uneasiness, or a kind of foreboding, something of that kind you know? Surely you’ve had a similar experience when you suddenly felt sick in the stomach and had a bad premonition about the future, like a harbinger of misfortune?

…...It seemed like I was the only one who was perturbed by Oubeniel’s attitude during the practical. I myself, reassessed my trivial assumptions and shortly after, treated him as a mere friend.

During the course, he was by no means a popular person, but he had a large group of friends. Besides, it seemed that he proactively interacted with students and lecturers of different courses too. Don’t people consider alchemy as a more insular subject compared to other courses? Procuring things like medicine and experiment equipment that were required for magic research were mainly the job of the alchemy teachers. In contrast to other magic teachers, they were treated more like some contracted utility man. Even under the best of circumstances, we would be considered a rung lower than others, and despite so, Oubeniel went against those preconceptions and gained a reputation for being quite a misfit.

Yes, that is true. Normally, being so proactive in entering social circles would earn you favourable remarks from the rest, right? He was a competent alchemist and appeared to be a gentle person, so all the more so. But, he did not have a person to particularly call a friend. He was always with someone, smiling affably and if you have something to ask of him, he would generally help in the capacity of an alchemist. So why was he unable to have friends, or unable to make friends? It was a mystery.

Putting some thought into it, it did look like the wiles of a merchant. Approach people with a calming smile, flatter the other party’s strong points and provide what they need. Most probably, that was what he sought out to do. He wasn’t out to make friendships, and wanted acquaintances instead. Building the foundations for connections. So as to make small progresses in the preliminary preparation, that he cannot personally do, for his next research……

Have you heard about this from Professor Glauman? His most notorious research. Yes, that devilish experiment to artificially induce madness in people and then kill them to examine their souls. He brought a necromancer to his side for this sake, didn’t he? Similarly, he sought the help of many others in different fields to help in his research. He must have established connections with others for this very purpose. In order to maintain a business partner kind of relationship, he avoided personally interacting with people, while not failing to make courtesy calls whenever the situation called for it.

Seriously, he pulled it off so well. Because of him continuously performing those experiments that makes one’s head spin just by hearing about it, the voices which spoke well of Oubeniel disappeared in the blink of an eye. Even I would once again be reminded of the unpleasantness during the dissection practical. Still, in no way did the students rebuff their transactions with him. Sometimes the teachers too would have dealings with him. Just by giving him some help, they were able to receive a greater compensation in terms of effort. From valuable secret medicines to handmade equipment, he could offer help in almost anything. Sometimes he would even make use of slaves with few abilities. If research was the deed of a devil, (these) people were all making a deal with the devil. It would be different if these people were experienced people, but the people here were mostly young students and researchers with little experience in society. Brushing aside and ignoring sweet temptations was too much of a load for them.

The slaves? It seemed like he was procuring them from the city’s market. After feeding them some questionable medicine and doing some operations on them to strengthen them, he assigned them to the parties who had dealings with him. It was just annoying, though not considered an illegal action. The owner is free to do anything to their slaves. It is the same in any other country. Even if the person was tinkering with the slave’s body with alchemy and selling the slave to other people. Though you can be exposed with a crime if you are caught under the possession of dangerous living things like a chimera, golem or homunculus. A magnificent loophole in the law. I would be surprised if anyone says how could he have done something so despicable.

Nevertheless, in the end, with that as the basis, he was chased out of the academy, so he wasn’t something the world can accept.

The reason Oubeniel was expelled from school? Ahh, was that what you wanted to know the most? Have you heard the rough details from the Professor? Then it looks like our conversation will end fast.

It happened as soon as he became a second year student. If I remember, Oubeniel temporarily return to his country because his father was gravely ill, and it happened shortly after he came back to the academy. It was during a lively period, when the academy was welcoming the freshmen. He was also quite sensational among the freshmen. Though his dealings were not illegal, they were plenty shady. It wasn’t something that people would discuss out loud, but still, it wasn’t enough to shut their mouths completely. Students who had some connections with him talked about him to the juniors. Maybe they were proud about the goods they got from him, or there were trying to startle them with his affairs instead of a ghost story, or perhaps, they were pretending to be nice and was telling them who was the boss behind the school. All of these were possibilities.

Then there was this one freshmen who became interested in the rumours of Oubeniel. If he was the one paying for it, he could purchase top quality slaves inexpensively. I suppose that was what the freshman thought. Yes, that’s right. It might be vulgar, but, he thought he can have that slave to, umm…... to serve as an outlet for a gentleman’s desires.

People who knew about him could tell that it was an absurd rumour. Oubeniel was a guy that was undeniably more of a merchant rather than a mage. But, due to that, there were severe loss and gains for him. To people who gave him little, he would reciprocate with equally as few. In the first place, the slaves he managed were mainly for protecting him or labour. …...Well, if he was given a request, it wasn’t like he would definitely reject, but, for that kind of slave, they shouldn’t be worth that much in terms of price, that was what I heard he had said. No matter how he went about it though, he probably wouldn’t be able to get his desired result.

Of course, negotiations were quickly cut off. That young man was an aristocrat of this country, and was also in the family that had significant clout in the directorship of the academy. Therefore, he should have been able to afford it even if the price was slightly beyond what is reasonable. Still, he was certain that he could get that fine slave cheaply. Well, if he could be of assistance to Oubeniel’s research, he might have been able to get her for cheap or even for free. Though for a freshman that had only entered school just a few weeks ago, it might be an impossible task.

If he had backed down then, the incident should have ended there. However, the youth caught sight of the slave there. Not just simply a target for his lust, it was something he wanted to get his hands on, no matter the cost. Yes, Yuni-san — Oubeniel’s attendant maid.

She was quite famous within the school. She was a beautiful person, even from how I see it. She had an orderly appearance and behaved with impeccable gracefulness. Her lack of smile and silence was grating, but the way she privately snuggled to her master and devotedly attended him, it would be no exaggeration to call her the ideal servant. …...I hear that she had served as Oubeniel’s slave since she was a child, but his parents must have pampered him too much. That was because, no matter in which department, in looks, etiquette and her magic aura, all of them were first class. I can only believe that his parents were bedazzled by his cuteness and spent a fortune to get him the best slave and also provided his slave with training.

Well, since she was involved with Oubeniel, there were quite a few astounding rumours related to her. For example, she was a homunculus made by Oubeniel or that she was a flesh golem put together by choosing the best part from the people he killed…...I cannot help but laugh at these rumours. Even if he concealed the unique aura of such a magical beast, he would be in a fix if somebody uses perception magic. Actually, I have never seen that masterpiece of his. Surely there will be many people who will be fooled into thinking that it was a real human if he placed an emphasis on her appearance, but still, if a spell was used he would be troubled if she indeed a magical beast.

Ah, I went off topic. Now then, about the freshman in question.

The first time he set his eyes on Yuni-san, he fell completely head over heels for her. I heard he saw the silver collar, which represents her social status as a slave, and clean forgotten about the failed negotiations earlier. So he hounded him to give her to him.

— Please, give her to me, I will definitely not be rough on her, if she so wishes, I can free her from her position as a slave. I’m serious.

Well really, this was when he had just previously asked him to sell the girl slave at a cheap price. Nevertheless, if it was love, then maybe it was possible. Sweeping away all embarrassment and honour, the past and the future, all he could see was her. In that case, this emotion of his was something that couldn’t be made fun of.

However, Oubeniel declined bluntly. He had raised his demands during the negotiations earlier and if he could fulfill his demands then he might respond to it, but this time, he gave no chance at it. I will never sell her. That was Oubeniel’s reply. I hear even Professor Glauman who supports Oubeniel harboured an interest in Yuni-san too, but even if he was a Professor whom he was gratuitous to, he wouldn’t even let him touch her. Not to mention an underclassman whom he just met; there was no way he was gonna agree.

The youth became frenzied at Oubeniel’s reply. That his request — grounded in his subjectivity — was being taken advantage of, moreover, his affection towards her and his desire for this beautiful female slave to wait upon him was brushed aside without any care. In his eyes, he must have been a demon lord keeping captive of a princess. This is completely irrational but I must agree that Oubeniel was a scoundrel. In any case, the youth lost himself in anger and struck Oubeniel with magic all of a sudden.

But, the attack didn’t land on Oubeniel. Yuni protected him. She did not merely possess magic, she was also superior in her usage of magic. The youth’s magic was promptly blocked by a barrier and it can be said that his clothing were not ruffled one bit.

The one finding it unbearable was the youth. Not only did he rudely attack an upperclassman by surprise, the one whom he had fallen for at first sight had protected him. You could say everything was going wrong for him and I kinda feel sad for him.

The youth flew into a rage and shouted.

— Cowardly! To have a female act as your shield!

He said.

He was the one who picked the fight so what the heck was trying to…… Are you thinking about something along those lines? Though, well, what is it? If he didn’t say that he wouldn’t be able to live with his head up? Even if, for an instant, the surprise attack was targeted towards his upperclassman, it landed towards his loved one. And having his painstaking request thrust aside, the attack he launched didn’t even reach him. I considered what he said to be some sort of a scream containing his feelings of guilt and humiliation. Though I am not keen to defend him any further than this.

By the time he realised, the area was filled with quite a lot of people. The place of this private talk was at the dormitory, in Oubeniel’s room after all. It was natural for the boarders to check out the commotion. Despite being in plain sight by all those people, he didn’t pay them any attention and raised his voice at Oubeniel, denouncing him.

According to him, Oubeniel was a nefarious student freely strewing kickbacks in school. He was a demon who conducted immoral experiments repeatedly. He was a sex maniac who forcibly made a girl become his slave and raped her…… Well, there were some truths blended into it, but these three lines were, when I think back on it, things I wanted to say so myself.

The prevailing mood in the surroundings soon became tainted with a colour that made out Oubeniel to be the bad guy. Of course, I agree totally. The fault in this incident lies entirely on the side of the youth but, that does not write off the evil deeds Oubeniel has committed. There wasn’t nobody supporting Oubeniel, but they stopped at no more than a few of them. Many of the students who benefited from him were afraid of being associated with his crimes. Good grief, since all of them were keeping up with appearances when they were with him, I thought it would turn out like that. Furthermore, the people whom Oubeniel lent his hand to were mainly students from the same course who sat near his desk and a portion of the teachers who sought his help. Naturally, the group of people who didn’t receive anything from him — most of them held animosity towards Oubeniel.

Someone from the crowd yelled.

— Duel!

— The freshie is challenging Oubeniel, that snake bastard, to a duel!

They badgered.

It was nothing like that, but from the perspective of the full house of onlookers, their confrontational pose couldn’t be anything else other than a challenge to a duel. That was how some excited students misunderstood the situation.

The youth was caught up in the moment. From the loser who launched an attack on an upperclassman in indignation and yet had his attack parried by the girl he had fallen in love with, he swiftly took the stance of a hero who was taking on a great evil. Without delaying any further, he recovered the elegance of the son of an aristocrat and challenged Oubeniel to a duel.

— Given that I was just testing the waters and that she blocked it with a barrier, my earlier attack felt weak.

— Don’t be naive and think that I will make such allowances for you in a 1v1 fight.

He added all those useless taunts in his dare. I wonder what he would have done if he started criticising him for having struck earlier before even challenging him. Though speaking, with such a large crowd, it was indeed difficult for the villain to make an escape. Being a person who dislikes annoying conflicts, he wasn’t eager to have a duel at all. Additionally, if he tried to run away from the drunken mob, who knows what might happen. A large scale riot was possible. That must have been within his calculations. In any case, the person who responds to a duel has the smallest risk of being culpable. If not for that, his usual style was to avoid such a conclusion.

I forgot to mention, the academy forbids non-official duels. Fights between magicians, even if it was only a brief squabble between fellow students, there might be significant damages. It wouldn’t be strange if there were casualties too. Therefore, severe punishments would be doled out to offenders, though hardly anyone ever broke this rule. The response from the teachers’ side was slow too. Since Oubeniel distributed his items and new theories, the political balance within the school had been shaken…… Among the board of directors and the lecturers, there might be one or two of them who wanted to see Oubeniel beaten up, or even better, becoming a dead man from the duel. Otherwise, they could interrogate him and detain him. Have you ever considered that? Though these are all my speculations.

The location they decided to have the duel was at the plaza, in front of the dormitory. His opponent was the all notorious Oubeniel and if you gave him time, who knows what he’ll do — that was his argument for having the duel right away. Some simplistic thinking he came up with on the spot.

By then, the commotion reached the female dormitory, so my friend and I rushed there. At that time, for some reason, I was given the role of controlling the uproar created by Oubeniel, hence, my friend dragged me there. When I heard about the chain of events, I was surprised. No denying that he was a wicked person, and even if I thought he would be abusing a trick or two to slip through the cracks in the legal system, I didn’t think he would be implicated in such stupidity nor cause an incident like this where direct responsibility cannot be shirked away from. There was no way he could be done in by any cheap trick too. I felt a deep, dark pleasure in knowing that the time had finally come for that scoundrel to learn some rules. As the saying goes, Heaven’s net has large meshes, but nothing escapes.

When I arrived, the duel had just started. The young freshman left an imposing impression on me. He was full of confidence. We alchemists are mostly weak in magic. From the very start, this wasn’t a popular course since it doesn’t ensure a promising career. Consequently, the number of people studying alchemy was decreasing yearly. On one side, it was an aristocrat youth who was enrolled in the popular, military magic course. Using combat magic on the battlefield was the most common ideal in which magicians were raised to become. A natural-born in fighting. No way would he fall behind to something like an unprepared alchemist.

On the other side, Oubeniel was looking the same as ever. Yes, there was an air of tranquility around him. The look in his eyes were the same as normal. Those were the eyes he makes when it was business as usual, be it attending lectures, having a friendly conversation with friends, enjoying a book, ascertaining the chopping of a corpse or slicing the head of a living human. The only time the colour in his eyes change was when the results, regardless of it being a success or failure, of his experiments are out, or when he conceptualises a new experiment. Else, it would be when he received quality materials or quality equipment. The youth probably amounted to nothing but a pebble by the roadside in his eyes at best. In short, this means that he deemed us, the people whom he interacted with daily, akin to something like that too.

Meanwhile, the duel began. It was a traditional duel where both parties were accompanied with one observer each. The observer from the youth’s side made some assertive remarks but I can’t remember what he said. That was because I was more interested in the identity of Oubeniel’s observer. Though it was implicit, Yuni-san would have a problem in terms of social position, won’t she? Adhering to the formalities, she would have no choice but to refrain from becoming an observer. In that case, who would stand in as his ally, I wondered. The observer from Oubeniel side was the student in the necromancy course who participated in the previously mentioned experiment. That crazy experiment, that is. Since we all know he had shown support to him in that incident, he can’t say he had nothing to do with him now. How pitiable.

The outcome of the duel, you must have heard from the lecturer, haven’t you? Oubeniel won. The youth who challenged him was seriously injured. How did the battle progress, you ask? I don’t really want to say much about it, but if you insist on asking, I guess I can’t say no……

Although I don’t want to explain what happened, it wasn’t that complicated a story. You see, Oubeniel wears a handmade defensive equipment with him even during normal occasions. And you might think he makes a killing by distributing them but, he simply stockpiles them to the extent where he literally has more than enough to sell. The amulet in his bosom was just the beginning of his set of equipment. He also wore a mantle, which serves as the school uniform, with a protection seal embroidered on the back of it. The mantle was woven with a silver thread which holds the power to repel monsters. In addition, he wore shoes infused with magic, allowing him to run quickly. …...It was as if he was a moving fortress, or a walking equipment market. Some might think he was fighting some war with a country if he was seen with the full set under ordinary circumstances. If he had that much spare time to manufacture all that equipment while conducting his experiments, I don’t really want to admit it, but this guy can definitely be called a matchless prodigy.

Of course, with an opponent fortified this much, there was no way the freshman’s magic could pierce through his defences. Fire arrows, wind blades and lightning whips, none of them had any effect. …...There was no need for Yuni-san to step in and protect such an invulnerable beast, I reckon. The youth must have gotten wrong idea that he could win him alone because she thoughtlessly defended him then. If that was the case, doesn’t that make her a sinful woman?

Eh, he was cowardly? Yes, I think so myself. It’s just that, I feel he is cowardly based on the fact that he prepared this much equipment for times of crisis. Did they not have any time to think about battle tactics? That is of course. The same applies for both of them; they dueled with whatever they had on them then. Moreover, the youth was the same in that he had equipment with him. The staff that magicians carry with them usually is an equipment that boosts their magic, isn’t it? The things the youth had were also extravagant goods for aristocrats in high positions. If having equipment of a higher grade than normal people is a crime, then he was equally reprehensible.

…...Sorry, I went offtrack again. Now for more details of their battle.

The battle progressed one-sidedly. His magic couldn’t hit Oubeniel at all. No matter how desperately he launched attacks on him, the battle unfolded automatically as if approaching the limits of the laws of physics. He couldn’t endure one of bit of the magic that Oubeniel sent at him. He was beaten as Oubeniel freely willed. The outcome of the duel was clear as day.

Nevertheless, the youth did not give up. Honestly, he should have conceded. He refused to give up only because of his stubbornness. Furthermore, it was an obstinacy that was clearly wrong somewhere. Since he would be left with nothing if he conceded. Because it was a duel in which he staked his miniscule pride in, he didn’t allow himself to quit. …...He had the nature of one that lost big from gambling. There were some fights which shouldn’t be picked and even if you did take on the fight, there were times when you should step down too.

Oubeniel gave a really fed up look that was unusual of him. I do believe that was the most human-like expression he has ever made. Next in line has got to be his cruel look when working on human experiments. He looked at him as though he was an insect. The face of someone who was annoyed by a fly that wouldn’t stop flying around him no matter how he tries to shake it off. He had been going easy on him so as to make him surrender. Since that was the best way to resolve things amicably. Nevertheless, his opponent persisted on and all he could do was feel irritated.

In the end, the youth refused to admit defeat even though he was losing his consciousness and was in critical condition. Although Oubeniel won the match, not only did he break the rule of no personal fights, he showed immaturity in punishing his junior and was swiftly given the boot. If not for this incident, he might still be wiping out the slaves in Galerin by using them as materials for his human experiments.

The aftermath of the youth? He has since recovered. Originally, his serious injuries were treated with recovery magic but due to side-effects of this unnatural treatment, the bones of his limbs were crooked and it seemed that he had troubles moving them. Though, thanks to Professor Glauman surgery on him, somehow he was able to get back his body, good as new. Ironically, those surgical procedures were written on Oubeniel’s thesis.

Oubeniel accepted the expulsion more readily than predicted. On the contrary, because of the uproar over the duel, Yuni-san seemed to have an unusually pale expression. Instead of him being expelled by the academy, it seemed more like he left after he was done playing with his toys. The budget for the alchemy course was rather limited, so it was quite possible that an alchemist working for a powerful aristocrat would own better facilities. Furthermore, it was immediately after his trip home due to his father being gravely ill. He could leave so gracefully because he thought he would be able to get the inheritance after his father passes away.

You are investigating on his family’s succession, aren’t you? Is his elder brother that much of a problem? Not particularly? It was because you heard from the rumours that he was a gifted child and yet, he willingly backed down? Now then, you should be able to resolve your doubts.

That guy was only engrossed in alchemy. And for alchemy, he was monster who could abandon anything and everything aside alchemy. He would rather avoid the disadvantageous obligations created from being the head of family, than enjoy the rights of one. I mean, government work and socialising both take up time and he wouldn’t be able to work on his research.

Moreover, that guy who puts enough armour to be considered a fortress, probably did not forget to consider the dangers of pitting himself in a bloody battle with his brother. If ever he finds himself needing some political power to proceed in his research though, he would be in trouble.

…...I was planning to make this short, yet we’ve talked for so long. This is also because Oubeniel, for better or for worse — my bad, for worse or for worse — is a man with an abundance of topics surrounding him. My thanks for keeping up this long with me.

Oh, right. May I add a last one?
This is just a conjecture of mine, but take it as an advice from me.

Presently, that guy is meekly allowing his brother to inherit the family while fully immersing himself in his favourite research, I think. However, he is definitely not satisfied with that and is definitely plotting something behind the shadows. After all, he is the monster who accomplished that blasphemous research and a person who would exhaust all means for his research, despite being just a lone student. As long as he hasn’t stopped studying alchemy, he would sacrifice whatever he needs, to continue his groundbreaking research. He is quite capable of crushing one or two Earl Families, no, probably even countries too.

…...Before that happens, that guy has to be killed as soon as possible.

You think I’m joking? I’m being serious.
This is what I observed from watching him for an entire year. I have thought about it……







End. At Sankt Gallen Federation: An inn in the Capital— Reflections of a Certain Court Investigator.

As I opened the door of the room I was allocated with, the scent of a flower I do not recognise wafted inside my nostrils.

The smell was overpowering and made my head dizzy. Was it some kind of a deodorant that cheap inns use? It’s an awfully bad service for a customer paying this much money.

I laid down on the bed while feeling melancholy.

Using my leave and my private expenses, I came all the way to a neighbouring country for an investigation, and here I am, treated like this.

The succession of the Oubeniel Earl who passed on recently. It was predicted that a succession dispute would occur and so, since the second son quickly came down to a decision to withdraw from the succession, I personally became curious and put off the final conclusion into the matter until I finished investigations here. The little brother graciously handed over the seat of the head of family to his brother. It was excessively clean. I sensed something amiss and have come this far.

“Isn’t this prodding the bush and frightening the snake…...?”

The person in question, Talese Shernan Oubeniel is the Oubeniel’s second son, and the more I learned about him, the more I find him a queer young man.

I heard that he started killing slaves deliberately since he was young.
He created a monster girl slave.
He intentionally induced madness in people and violated their souls after they died.

All of these are possible plots for a shoddy mystery novel. How am I supposed to report my findings? From the onset, this was an investigation that I insisted on doing myself. If I submitted such a report to the higher-ups, what would they say? I might be rebuked for needlessly getting to the bottom of a succession in which no problems surfaced. Had I known things would end up like this, I would have just collected the usual statements from the start to the end and closed this all of this faultlessly.

At this rate, I would leave a bad impression on the higher-ups and incur the displeasure of the next generation Earl Family Head who had his inauguration delayed.

And more importantly, this monster, Talese Oubeniel, what on earth is in his mind?

From what I have gathered of him, the manifold appalling incidents he has conducted has, quite staggeringly, completely been untouched by the law. Certainly slaves can be treated as and how the owner likes. They are free to inflict pain, torture, make them crazy and kill them. He came into contact with necromancers who have an extremely terrible image, but he requested help after going through the appropriate formalities and the necromancer requested belonged to a public institution dedicated to research. His dealings with students and lecturers couldn’t really be called bribes. The only distinct violation was the duel, but it has already been internally dealt by Sankt Gallen. If this issue is brought up again, we would be infringing on the jurisdiction of Sankt Gallen and it might possibly become a diplomatic issue.

“Darn it, how did it end up like this…...”

I feel like punching the me of a month ago, when I was self-confidently voicing dissent on the succession which was easily concluded.

Back then, a friend who joined the court around the same time as I did, advised me strongly to drop this case. He must have heard a few rumours here and there about Oubeniel’s second son and knew more than I did.

To think that this investigation which stemmed from my trivial unease over the matter, could sow the seeds for this disaster!

No way can we allow such a dangerous character roam around freely. Nevertheless, it is impossible for me to corner Talese Oubeniel with the plans I can come up with. At the very most, the rumours I can stir about him can only scratch him. And having opposed him, what kind of response he would take is still unknown.

I think the least I can do is to report that the girl is possessed by a demon. Preferably the church takes my advice and burn the girl on stake. However, his deceased father did try to bring him to the church and they didn’t think anything was wrong with him. It seems that claiming that she is possessed would yield the same result, unless we dare to bear the crime of bribery and buy the pastor over.

What should be the best course of action?

Whichever angle I think from, I can’t think of a strategy against him.

A sense of powerlessness and futility washed over my body.

…...I feel overwhelmed.

Even though my consciousness is still here, I still feel my mind heading towards a direction of endlessness, as if my thinking cannot settle down.

I am so sleepy that I feel as giddy as I would be after pulling an all-nighter for work, but my nerves are fully dominated by nervousness and I totally cannot sleep. My situation was something like that. I could only rest my eyes meaninglessly at the ceiling of the room.

“............”

Furthermore, there was an unpleasant aura in this place.

My nose was still unused to the scent that assaulted my olfactory senses when I first entered the room. The sweet flower smell was thick enough to penetrate through my nose to my brains.

My brains, are, going, numb……

“—Yo, good evening.”

The door opened abruptly and a voice flew over.

The person stepping into my room rudely was a young man that shouldn’t have yet reached the age of twenty. He wore well-made garments. An aristocrat? And yet he was such an impolite guest. He was paying a visit and yet he didn’t even give a single knock before ent…...no, wait.

Shouldn’t the door be locked?

“Wh—”

As I was about to ask who he was, the young man seized me.

“Ah, don’t mind me. Please relax as you are. Aren’t you tired?”

The soft voice slipped into my ears readily. Just like how the smell enshrouding the room engulfed my nose.

All my tension came loose. I stopped trying to jump off my bed and repositioned myself again.

That’s right, I shall do as he says. I am so tired anyways, and I don’t wanna think about anything. I don’t want to care about anything.

“Actually, I have some things I would like to ask of you. They are yes and no questions so you can just nod or shake your head to reply. I just want to hear honest and frank answers. You understand?”

I nodded.

“Splendid. Now then, let me ask. You are from the Alcael Kingdom’s High Court, yes?”

I nodded.

“Your job, this time round, is to investigate the Earl Family succession?”

I nodded.

“Can you allow me to read the investigation record?”

I hesitated.
I have the responsibility to keep the investigation confidential.

“......Shall I phrase that again? Where is the investigation record? You may simply point your finger at it.”

I pointed at the bag laid by the side of the bed.
I looked behind the man. There was a silhouette that seem to belong to a girl there. I believe she was wearing a set of maid uniform.

…...Maid?

“Do not be concerned with her. Please only think about what I ask you. Is that understood?”

I nodded.

From where I pointed, the shadow of a person went towards my bag, soundlessly opened it and retrieved the bundle of parchment inside. And then, she respectfully got down on her knees and presented it to the man.

“Hmph…...let me see—”

The man swiftly skimmed through the records.

I did nothing. My mind became dim. The only sound in the room was the monotonous rustling of page flipping. Saliva gathered in my mouth. Swallowing was too troublesome.

Eventually, the man finished reading the records and lifted his face while sighing.

“Really, this investigation report contains some brutal content huh. Don’t you think so?”

I nodded. In that instant, I felt a drool drooping from the corners of my mouth.

“You are seriously one diligent investigator. You think yourself as one, don’t you?”

I nodded.
I felt like dozing off in my blankets. I could accept all these praises while in that kind of state.

“If that is how you are, can you believe such a preposterous content from the investigation?”

………...I nodded.
I hesitated due to the outrageousness of the testimonies, but I am a High Court investigator.
I have faith in my investigations.

“Oh, so the bottleneck is the trust you have towards your investigation. …...Well, when you first heard about this, didn’t you have doubts?”

I nodded.

“Right — so, however slight it may be, you do think that it all sounds like a lie right?”

I nodded.

“Perhaps, the people who provided their testimony were all lying to you? Have you considered that?”

I nodded.
He smiled.

“Doesn’t that mean you have no faith in their testimonies at all?”

I nodded.
He smiled.

“There is room for doubt?”

I nodded.

“Even if you talked to them, you don’t have enough confidence to believe?”

I nodded.

“You doubt the testimonies’ authenticity?”

I nodded.

“In that case — you can’t possibly use these testimonies in the report can you?”

M-m-m-m-me?
C-c-ca-can I……?
…...I nodded.
His smile widened.

“......Then, such a report is as good as trash isn’t it?”

I nodded.

“Then please burn them all when you wake up tomorrow morning.”

I nodded.

“Just send a report with ordinary information to the High Court.”

I nodded.

“Excellent. Now then, it is about time for me to go. Yes, the minute we go out and close the door, you shall sober up. At that point of time, you will forget ever seeing us, but please make sure to do what I asked of you, okay?”

I nodded.

After confirming that I agreed, the other person — for some reason, I cannot grasp her appearance — retrieved the incense burner placed in the corner of the room.

As soon as she did that, the sweet smell thickened.

That was where the scent was from……?
The someone who picked it up, blew away the flames.

The sweet scent faded —

“Farewell. Please do keep your promise.”

They left.
The door closed shut.
I was nodding.











My consciousness returned.
Somehow, it feels like I had dozed off. It must have been because of the long journey, I guess.

I shook my head and dispersed the sleepiness. Then I reached for the report in my bag, which was placed back where it was, and reevaluated it.

Because there was some points about it that bothered me. I am a thorough and hardworking investigator. I came all the way to gather evidence using my own expenses. I cannot make allow things that bother me to be in the report without confirming it.

“Damn, what is wrong with me……!”

Involuntarily, I scratched my head as I cursed out loud. Looking through once more, I understood.
Why didn’t I notice earlier? This report is —

“Isn’t this completely bullshit……!”

Some tall tale about alchemists that a drunkard would mumble about or what a receptionist who is left on the shelf would gossip about.

Furthermore, the content leaves me with nothing but a vulgar and horrid taste.

If I submitted something like this, there is no way I won’t become a laughingstock.

“I have no choice but to rewrite the entire thing…...no choice, I have to falsify the documents —”

I have to fabricate an appropriate and harmless report.

After all, there won’t be anyone in the High Court who will be interested in the background checks of each and every second son among the aristocrats. Let’s end it by following the flow and making do with a trivial trial. The young me was too indignant, asked to investigate on the succession and this was the result. I might be looked down upon by the boss, incur the displeasure of the new head of Earl Family and be ridiculed by my colleagues, but I should could myself lucky for getting a discount over it.

At the very least, it is better than submissively handing over this waste paper.

“......When daybreak comes, I shall discard it. No, I’d rather burn it personally.”

Having made my resolve, I laid down on bed again.
Time to sleep.
When I wake up, I will burn up the nonsensical report and quickly return back to my country.

Luckily, I still have some days of leave leftover from those that I took for this dumb investigation. At least I have enough time to invent some normal-looking report……

The smell continued to linger faintly in the room.
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25 comments

  1. holy fuck. the fucking madman. he may be more of a strategic planner than Kira/Light.

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  2. Was that girl really calling him a coward, just because he had the wits to perfectly use items and people freely at his disposal? That's what I'd call a fucking genius, the fine arts of manipulation and preparation.

    "Before that happens, that guy has to be killed as soon as possible.", she's uttering such phrases and they call him a monster, when he's (mainly xD) conducting his research within the boundaries of the common laws. As I see it, Talese is simply one of the most honest guys ever without sugarcoating anything, whereas most of the other characters are total hypocrites.. quelle surprise. Such a shame the aristrocat brat wasn't killed in the duel.. :|

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    1. You're the kinda guy who'd be perfectly fine with slavery and killing slaves for the heck of it as long as the law would allow it, aren't you. Disgusting.

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    2. You're the kinda guy who is the epitome of said hypocrisy, bet you're also assuming that everything in the world can be changed with good will or some half-assed ideals alone. Life sure must be nice with a brain full of bubbly shit, one of those Shounen fan fags I swear. :)

      And just to make it clear, I never said that I'm fine with slavery.. don't make assumptions centered on your weird train of thought, returd.

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    3. No, I don't think that at all. Your reasoning is just plain stupid to me. How are they hypocrites exactly? Because they think he's dangerous to everyone around him? Well, he is! He's got more than just a few screws loose in the head and that should be obvious for everyone.
      He is the villain of this story.

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    4. being a danger to others requires that they endanger or attack others. just "having a few screws loose" doesn't mean shit, never heard of developmental disorders, or autism? "screws loose" means "not working correctly" and nothing to do with "evil".

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  3. this novel is so good

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  4. Thanks for the chapter, god this Novel hypes me so much, I have high expectations for this one. How many dollars do you take for one sponsored chapter by the way ?

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    1. Don't really do sponsored chapters as I am working at my limit already. Doubt any amount of money would make me work harder :( the only way to make this faster would be to have a second translator or something.

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  5. hahaha man telese sure know to handle everything

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  6. Thanks for the chapter. Drugging and hypnotizing is a great way to get rid of a discomfort.

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  7. Thanks for the translation, a great work as always. The description of the MC from testimonies is like hearing them talk about Hannibal Lecter, truly scary. I thoug he would kill the investigator when he entered the room, never suspected tha he would hypnotise him to destroy the report.

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  8. Oh the way the chapter ended was priceless.

    Great way to show how Talese has developed without having to go into gory depths about the experiments.

    I like how the author shows other people's views of Talese.

    Thanks for the chapter, great quality to the translation and am looking forward to the next chapter.

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  9. This novel makes me remember of that deep web website about human experiments =o
    "not all humans are equal...." He is using that so perfectly that make people fear him, though, if they really want him to stop they would have to review the law and humans right and who have rights, and also conden the others nobles as well... which seems quite improbable since many are powerful and many would gain benefits from the mc, as an example would be the crown who could get an unit of elite (artificial hero) soldiers.

    Well, I'm looking forward to how will things go.
    Thanks for your hard work.

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  10. Thanks so much for the chapters :D

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  11. I've been reading these chapters and all I can say is good work! I really enjoy the story so far and I have high hopes for it. Please continue to translate this novel at your own pace and I hope that you will continue to release more chapters in the future.

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  12. Thanks for the chapter.

    Does anyone think he will die like Light ? I hope not.

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  13. Probably not right ? It's not like he is a pure villain. He doesn't want to purge the world from its criminals or some other grandiose scheme, he's just thriving for immortality. Making him die would defy the very purpose of his research :D

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  14. More chapters please

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  15. Yami are you dead?

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  16. This novel is so good, starting with chapter size and ending with Talese... God dammit, this guy is the best :D

    Also a little bit worried that there is no chap for nearly a month and the progress on it is still at 0% (from what one can see on the frontpage). Please, don't abandon this novel! Hope you will read it and thank you again for all the work!

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  17. I love this chapter so much.^^ Also, the professor Glauman is now one of my favorite characters in this series.^^ I like him as much as the MC and Yuni

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