We were on the way to Beim.
Today, I had come inside of the Jewel.
Alongside Milleia-san, into my own… no, the room I that should really be called the Jewel’s room of memories.
Rounding the door, as expected, I found the city of long, long ago. Calmer than last time, I was able to take a good, hard look around, and I noticed there was a very slight number of humans still working around.
The earth golems did the work, and at times, people would support.
But a large majority did nothing, drinking the sun away, and gambling their change.
In the very center of that large city, a humble estate that could be called a mismatch. Surrounded by lines of splendid structures, it was as if that plot of land alone was a scene of the countryside.
Around it, there was a yard, and even a field.
As we walked, I could hear the voices of the people.
“For goddess’ sake, that magic old maid sure is stubborn. We should just get rid of that hut already, and have someone build a castle over it.”
“It really does drop the dignity of the city. I heard the old folks went to complain to her, but that’s the only thing she wouldn’t yield on. Even when building a castle would let us hold our heads high to other countries, you know.”
“With her magic, she could go clap clap, and have one done any minute. She’s at that age already.”
Those young men raising mocking laughter were drinking so early in the morning. Their table was lined with cards, and silver coins were scattered around.
The clothes they wore… were well tailored. Their skin was also well looked after, and it seems they were paying some mind to their hair. Some women were wearing dress-like outfits, and leading around a golem to carry out shopping.
They loaded the golem with their loads of groceries, as they talked amongst themselves.
“Hey, isn’t this dress nice?”
“It sure is. That one’s made of precious materials, isn’t it? They should just make more, I say.”
“Don’t have the land to grow it. That’s what papa says.”
“Then we need only take it. From the neighboring country or something. Just have the golems crush them. Do that, and we’ll have tons of material! See, all our problems solved right there!”
If you looked at the scene alone, it was a charming image, but I couldn’t smile at the contents. Can’t laugh at a country that was invaded and destroyed for a reason like that.
But after thinking a bit…
“No, I’m not much different.”
As I muttered that, Milleia-san walking ahead turned around.
『Oh, something on your mind?』
Her expression somewhat felt as if it was seeing through me. Upon seeing this scene, of what I thought, and when I felt. It felt as if it was going directly to her.
“There’s no way I’d think nothing after seeing this scenery. I thought the Magician’s Village was a smaller-scale cautionary tale-like story.”
The fact that a single magician could manage a city so large was a fact I found quite scary.
Are none of the surrounding people thinking about that problem?
“… Why is it that these people aren’t thinking of what would come after the magician Septem-san died?”
Milleia-san started walking. And she looked a little upwards.
『Perhaps they thought someone would do something about it? Well, this is a case where you could call out both parties. Septem-sama lent out her powers to help the town’s residents without limit. The inhabitants accepted it without complaint, and they kept getting more people who couldn’t do anything at all.』
The more I heard, the less I saw any salvation for the tale.
From my point of view, I felt they should have a bit more of a sense of crisis. But perhaps the people who lived in the time wouldn’t have understood that?
We walked through the scenes of memories, and arrived at our destination. The golems cleared the way, and welcomed us to pass.
There were various golem of all shapes and sizes, and they were restlessly working in the estate. Maintaining the lawn, cleaning, and policing.
This manor held too few living souls.
When we approached Septem-san’s room, the door was open.
『Oh my, it looks like you’ll get to see an interesting memory.』
Saying that, Milleia-san entered the room. Before a bedridden Septem-san, three visitors had come. They were all old men. A considerably plump old man spoke…
『We’ve too little material to match the demand for cloth. We need to send more golems over.』
Hearing that, Septem-san spoke.
『… I’m sorry. But any more is impossible. My power isn’t what it used to be.』
A tall, thin man went on.
『You’re not even maintaining the city’s facilities properly these days. It’s quite troubling. Please get a hold on yourself.』
The third one, a relatively solidly built old man.
『More importantly, how goes the matter of finding a successor? It’s right time you prepare the next magician, or we will be troubled.』
The old men mouthed off their complaints to Septem-san, who couldn’t move from the bed. And once they were done with that, they moved to leave the room.
『You’re in the way, move!』
One of them glared at me, and shouted for me to get out of the doorway. As I stood surprised, perhaps it irritated him, as he pushed me out of the way.
“How… this is a room of memories, so shouldn’t they all be mere visions?”
The one to answer my question was Septem-san.
She raised the upper half of her body, and looked my way with a smile.
『That’s, you see, on top of writing down its records, the Jewel is calculating everything. If these were the people that had been recorded, then surely this is how they would react. Their actions, should be like this… and like that, it continues calculating it all. Long, long ago… the ancients had made plenty of tools that far surpassed a Jewel in that regard.』
While I wasn’t able to fully understand it, Milleia-san prepared two chairs. After sitting in one, she pointed for me to seat myself in the other.
And after I sat, I listened to what Septem-san had to say.
『Last time, I explained I was the one who made the Jewel, did I? And about Novem and the others… then what should I tell you today?』
Milleia-san, in regards to Septem-san’s worry.
『Well then, Septem-sama. How about the Jewel’s original use?』
『Ah, that one’s important.』
Nodding, Septem-san opened up her right hand, and manifested three gems. Blue, red, yellow, the three color of gems shimmered, and she held them up to me.
『Lyle, what do you think Skills originally were?』
Hearing that, I…
“… A weapon held by humans to oppose monsters? In order for humans to fight against evil, the seventh goddess granted them magic and Skills, or so I heard.”
Hearing that, she nodded, but made a troubled smile.
『Right. There was that as well. Well then, why do you think it’s only one Skill per person?』
“… Because mastering but a single Skill could take a lifetime?”
Septep-san shook her head.
『That’s wrong. It’s because for a single person, one type is the limit. Normally, a Skill will even change the body makeup of the one who uses it. To make it easier for you to understand, it makes the human themselves into a sort of Magic Tool.』
Hearing that, I tilted my head.
“To such an extent?”
『There are many Skills out there, but their original number was much lower. Body strengthening is a good example. If it comes out in Support Class, it can come out in Vanguard as well. But there are vague differences in effect, right?』
Well when you mention it, it’s true the distinction between the three classes of Skills can become quite vague.
『Let’s say there were three people. Even if they all awoke to the same Skill, the effects will never be the same. The reason being that humans have individual differences. Those differences can’t help but show themselves, making it so the Skill isn’t used to its utmost potential. Though there are times they can contrarily pull out more power from it.』
Body attributes. People with large muscle mass, and little would have different effects.
Someone with abundant stamina, and someone without would have different usage periods. The quality and quantity of the mana expended when using a Skill all depended on personal traits.
『Shall we make it even simpler? There are individual differences in mana as well. Attribute magic… there are the five elements, two divine, right? That’s the same. A person may be good at fire attribute magic, and bad in water. There can be someone with loads of mana, at a low quality, while there can be someone with high-quality yet scarce mana. When Skills use an individual’s mana as a driving force, there’s no way it wouldn’t be effected by it.』
I could nod at that explanation, but at the same time, a question formed. In that case, if I or another used other Skills, wouldn’t a problem come out?
“Um, then why is it that I can use the Skills of the heads of history? Based on what you’re saying, I don’t have a body adapted to their Skills, so I shouldn’t be able to handle them.”
Septem-san looked at the three colored gems floating about her palm.
『What made that possible was Magic Tools. No, the gems I developed. With all those traits to consider, I couldn’t help but split them into three. These are devices that support Skill use. Each one has Skills it’s best suited to support. And from there, the divisions of Vanguard, Rearguard, and Support come out. They influence their surroundings, so your ancestors all manifested support Skills, though. And because of the strong influence they have on their user’s body, they can’t help but have a bad affinity with Magic Tools.』
Okay, I see why holding a gem made it so you couldn’t use Magic Tools. To support its wielder, it brought about large interference, hindering the activation of a magic tool’s Skills.
After hearing this and that, I sought confirmation.
“Um, the one who granted Skills was the seventh goddess, right? She granted humans magic and Skills?”
Septem-san nodded, but she said it was wrong.
『What I… no, what the real Septem granted was the use of mana to humans. And what has been produced from using that mana was magic and Skills. Originally, neither magic nor Skills had any form. So Septem only helped shape them to an extent. Otherwise, she thought humans would have no way to go against the monsters and Labyrinths.』
“… You’re in the Jewel Celes holds too, aren’t you? Agrissa holds your memories, doesn’t she? Then why has Celes become like that?”
I can’t see the Septem-san before my eyes as the same Septem-san influencing Celes. No, I thought they were surely different, but I couldn’t see how they were this different.
If someone like her was recorded in her Jewel, would Celes have become so bad?
『… Agrissa has only a little bit of Septem’s memories. But in exchange, she inherited ours quite strongly. The Septem before her, and the Septem before that. We all inherited Septem… the one called a goddess’ deep memories of regret. But Agrissa is different. I’m sure she only ever saw our treatment… the parts of us being oppressed by humanity.』
I tried asking.
“Why do you serve them to such an extent? To be blunt, you’re spoiling them too much, aren’t you?”
When I said that, Milleia-san glared at me.
『Lyle, you’re going too far.』
But Septem-san smiled.
『It’s fine, Milleia. Lyle, perhaps you’re kind in the truest sense of the word. Right, what I am doing is self-satisfaction. Deep regret and irritation that isn’t even my own has driven me to live as I have. So I serve them. I can’t help but see humans as fragile beings. And I can’t help but love them…』
That’s what it meant to carry on Septem’s memories. Or so Septem-san said.
She looked over me with a gentle smile.
『Lyle, perhaps Septem’s memories were lost in Agrissa’s generation. Nihil put a stop to her memory’s inheritance quite a long time ago. Trēs and the others are the same. I’d feel sorry if I was the only one causing you trouble. So I’m going to teach you a bit. Before that…』
Septem-san erased two of the three gems, leaving only the blue one behind. When she handed it to me, it sunk into my hand, and disappeared.
As I was surprised, Septem-san looked at me with a serious expression.
『… Perhaps you truly do have fate with the goddesses. Be careful of Ūnus and Duo’s descendants. Quīnque as well. I don’t know why, but you’re drawing the goddesses’ descendants to you, Lyle. You’ve got some fate in store.』
“… No, um, I’m sorry. Could you please forget my past, ‘I must be loved by the goddesses’ line, and wait, how do you know about that? By Trēs, you couldn’t mean…”
Septem’s face was still serious, but after a while of silence…
『Oh right, you did say something like that. But there’s no mistaking it, right? Novem, Nihil, Trēs, Quattuor… you’ve pulled those girls’ descendants to you. And Lyle?』
What does this mean? As I thought that, Septem-san looked over me with a gentle smile.
“What could it be?”
『It will soon come the time for you to face yourself. The half sealed by Celes is already trying to awaken.』
I had absolutely no idea what she was trying to say.
… At Beim’s port, stood the figure of a man in a suit waiting for the Vera Trēs’ scheduled arrival.
He wore a specially-tailored overcoat, and around him, his guards were standing lined up.
With long straight red hair, a calm-looking girl with drooping eyes asked her father Fidel.
“It sure is rare for you to come out and meet my sister, father.”
“Really? I just had the time today. I wanted to spend some time with the three of us together as a family.”
Fidel sent a smile at his daughter, but looking over them was a nervous man in a robe.
Sticky from the port’s sea breeze.
With the sun beating down on him… he wanted to cast away his robe, and hit the bar. The man complained in his heart.
(Goddammit, I wasn’t free, yet this is why the rich are… my son and or daughter’s being deceived by a bad person. It’s a common request, but it’s usually a misunderstanding. Even if they’re charmed by Skills, it’s usually because the individual had a chink in their armor. It’ll wear off in a while regardless.)
The man was an adventurer dispatched by the Guild. An adventurer able to determine whether someone was using Skills, and determine what Skills they were using.
He held an identification Skill, and had an exclusive contract with the Guild, with a handsome income. But he was beginning to grieve over the fact he never got anything but these pointless requests.
(Don’t think psychological Skills are omnipotent. Why do I have to throw away my vacation to see if a rich girl is being tricked by a man? And even when you tell these guys there’s no Skill at play, they usually don’t believe it. Goddammiiiiiiit, I never should’ve contracted to the Guild!)
He held an identification Skill, and placed in the right situation, he was a priceless treasure. Those able to determine Skills like him were indispensable existences to the Guild.
But as the Guild’s position was weak to the merchants in this city, it couldn’t be helped there was an influx of this sort of request.
What’s more, the client was one of the prominent merchants of Beim. Even if the adventurer reported the truth, if the man didn’t like it, his complaints would make things quite troublesome. It would become harder to live in Beim.
(And wait, this is the second time for the Trēs House. They had me look into whether there were any Skills at place last time… and he complained last time regardless.)
The robed man was robed in this hot weather so as not to show his own appearance.
He wore a mask, as he took some glances at the young man standing nearby the red haired 【Gina Trēs】.
His hair was short and brown, and he was an amiable-looking young man in his early twenties. His name was 【Roland】.
An earnest lad who had worked at the Trēs Trading Company from a young age. Yet an information dealer had to thoroughly investigate him, and the robed man had to ascertain his Skills.
Fidel glared at Roland, before looking to the sea.
(Well, I get that it’s love across rank. But those two look quite good together.)
Roland was making a troubled face. Gina called over to him.
And it seems Fidel didn’t like that one bit.
(Before his daughter took a liking to him, he treated him quite favorably… why does father have to be so… oh, the boat’s here.)
A lump of metal approached the harbor, and perhaps from battle, it was quite beaten up. But as it came in, with the rumors it had taken down the Trident Serpent, there were some officials waving their hands, and some rubberneckers gathering.
Once the ship was at the pier, the sailors began their work.
With the ship’s owner watching them come in, their movements were different. They looked overly delighted, as they looked towards Fidel, and waved.
(Well, they returned after defeating a big-shot. Of course they’d be merry.)
The robed man waited for the party in question to disembark. A gangway was attached, and the ship started unloading its cargo.
And after the sailors descended, a little while passed before a large number of women came down. They looked like adventurers, but it was a typical harem party.
(Well, guess I’ll get to work.)
Fidel glared at the adventurers, and the robed man looked at the most-likely candidate, the man standing at the center.
And he opened his eyes wide.
(W-what’s with these girls? And that blue haired guy at the center… he’s no ordinary one. N-no, more importantly my job… among his Skills, a psychological one… it’s there! It’s really there!)
The man panicked as he searched out the Trēs House’s daughter. He found her walking alongside Lyle towards them. With her parasol in one hand, her other hand was grasping the man… Lyle’s hand.
But from her behavior, it was clear she was putting quite a bit of effort into doing so.
(Her face is the same as the other female adventurers supporting that delicate man! There’s no doubt about it! And his Skills are… ah, he isn’t using them. Never mind.)
The robed man shook his head, and Fidel’s face turned bright red. He gave a series of gestures to tell him to look properly.
But no matter how many times the robed man checked, he wasn’t using Skills.
After shaking his head a few more time, Lyle’s party finally reached Fidel’s side.
The robed man looked at Lyle.
(… Could it be this guy is maintaining a harem party without Skills? Hah, that’s actually worthy of admiration. But no way daddy over there’s going to believe it.)
The robed man shrugged.
The man leading around those fair female adventurers gripped the daughter’s hand, and appeared before the parent.
What’s more, Lyle’s first utterance was…
“U-um… father in law?”
“I don’t want to be called father-in-law by you!”
He chose his words as if purposely trying to strike a nerve…