“… Isn’t that a contradiction?”
I tried retorting for what it was worth.
“The demon lord was defeated by the hero in the ten-year war. And the holy sword Blutgang is a special sword that can only kill the demon lord. Isn’t this a so-called truth that can shake the world?”
“Well let’s see. We have witness reports, and clear-cut evidence. That truth doesn’t look like it’s going to shake.”
“On the other hand, the police arrested a girl claiming to be the hero’s descendent for a murder in November. The proof was that she had the holy sword. First of all, that’s strange. If it can only kill the demon lord, that’s impossible. He already died. More than fifty years ago.”
“That’s your logic, Dan. But it seems the police, or rather the prosecution sees things differently. By the forensic examination, it has been fully proven that Blutgang cannot kill any non-human lifeforms either.”
“How did they test that?”
“Of course, by attempting to cut through an experimental mouse. The animal rights activists are giving them hell.”
Boss Natasha seemed especially gloomy as she took a breath.
“I’m no good with those sorts of people.
“So what was the result?”
“Yeah. It splendidly failed to cut. It was a matter of whether the sword’s edge could even touch it or not, and it passed straight through the mouse. It was quite a sight on the eyes.”
“What sort of structure would it need for that?”
“Who knows? Magic’s a deep subject. And we’re in uncharted territory.”
Anyways, we know that the holy sword can’t cut living things. That leads to the question.
“If it can’t kill lifeforms, then has it been tested on humans?”
“Oh, how sharp. As expected of my star pupil!”
Natasha tried to pat my head, so I brushed her hand off.
“Quiet down. So did they do any human experimentation?”
“They didn’t. Do you think the legal branch of our country’s government would ever approve of human experimentation?”
“You have a point.”
But doesn’t that just lessen the grounds for her arrest? It’s true a sword that can’t kill is a rare thing, and if it can’t kill, I doubt it would kill humans. Even if it could kill a supposed demon lord, that’s a talk of legend. In society, if there wasn’t any evidence, it had no credibility.
As I thought, Boss Natasha spoke up.
“Do you know about magic parsing?”
“First I’m hearing of it.”
“It’s one of the new investigative measures the magic theory lab are using these days. It’s pretty much the magic version of DNA, you could say.”
“Hmm, I didn’t know that.”
At the very least, back when I was working in this office, that vocabulary didn’t exist yet.
In this world, there were races who could use magic, and those that could not. To speak to the world’s population, less than ten percent could call upon its power.
Humans who could use magic were called magicians, or witches, and it seems in the distant past, there were loads of them all over the world.
To support that theory, traces of magic use uncovered from ruins all over, alongside weapons and tools that used mana had been discovered.
And among the magicians, very rarely, a person capable of enchanting weapons with magic would come out. The weapons produced by those people were exceptionally valuable, and could be sold for a high sum.
Of course, it was often the case they were used to hurt people.
If it were a gun or sword, they could use traces at the scene to narrow down who did it to an extent. But the trouble in magic was in how they didn’t leave any traces at all.
With a gun, the scent of gunpowder would remain on the scene, and if even the bullet remained, the ballistics could be used to trace what sort of weapon had fired it.
If a sword were used, there were times the sword’s remnants would remain in the victim’s flesh. The human body is surprisingly hard, so it’s quite often some fragments are left behind, so in stabbing incidents, these murder weapon traces can be hints to solve the incident.
But you can’t hope for those traces with magic weapons. Compared to normal weapons, it was harder to establish proof linking back. There were many hands dyed in sin who would make use of that fact.
“What do you mean when you say it’s like DNA analysis?”
“If DNA analysis is a means to discriminate between the genetic patterns of people, than magic parsing is a means to observe the pattern of the magic that was used. It seems there are idiosyncrasies to the magic used by magicians and magic tools.”
“Like blood type?”
“Even more precise than that. They first started using magic parsing in cases around three years ago. Identifying the culprit of those serial killings in Balas was the first use of it in investigations.”
“That incident? If I recall, the culprit killed himself, didn’t he?”
Three years ago. In the outskirts of Balas with a population under three thousand, a young woman was killed. It was an incident the news and papers especially sensationalized.
By my memory, after the report was sent in, I get the feeling the culprit was arrested relatively quickly.
“The one who committed suicide wasn’t the culprit. A man friendly with the first victim around suspicions. He had no alibi, and his fingerprints were found at the scene where the body was discovered, so the police arrested him, but he was released at once. Because a second victim had come out.”
“Now that I didn’t know.”
“Because the police put out a gag order along the way. Though a few magazines kept writing as if the first suspect was the true culprit to the end.”
It was three years ago, so it happened before I was working here.
Despite the gag order in place, that this boss sounded so knowledgeable about it made me suspicious she was somehow involved in that case.
“I don’t really like speculation. In media scrums, those fields’ specialists can think over it, but I can’t bring myself to like it.”
She was definitely involved. But it seems she didn’t really want to talk about it, so I decided not to touch that subject.
“After he was set free, the man made out as the first suspect committed suicide… the investigations, you see. They were back at the starting point. There were no weapons at the scene, and they couldn’t find any fingerprints besides the suspect’s and the victim’s. It was a rough investigation. There, they decided to implement what was gaining attention in the scientific society at the time, and that was magic parsing.”
Boss Natasha went on. “Magic leaves a trace,” she said.
“The members of MT compress a special sort of liquid, and spray it around the scene. With that, they were able to pick up traces of magic. After that, all they had to do was harvest it up, and analyze it for its pattern. Based on the parsing, they were able to tell whether it was used by a human, or the result of some tool, and by comparing their archetypes, they were able to determine what it wasn’t.”
“That sounds amazing.”
“As a result of reinvestigation with reference to the magic parsing data, just a single suspect had surfaced. When they investigated his house, they found a magic weapon that gave off the same signature. The culprit was arrested.”
Boss Natasha took a deep breath, and said “That took a while, would you like some tea?”
“I’d love some,” I replied.