Magi Craft Meister 538
16 The Demons’ Mastermind Arc
16-17 No. 700672
Neige jumped at her ‘father’, who had just started to open his eyes.
The words did come out of his mouth, albeit with difficulty. Ann took another recovery medicine and offered it to him.
“Can you drink this? Please try to.”
“I’ll feed it to him!”
After receiving the ampoule from Ann, Neige had her “father” open his mouth and poured its contents inside.
After drinking the recovery medicine, Neige’s “Father” slowly took a deep breath.
This time around, his voice came out much stronger than before. The medicine seemed to have been very effective.
“Help me sit straight, Neige.”
With Neige’s help, her “father” straightened up on the bed.
He then looked around at the new faces around him, catching a glimpse of Ann, Reiko, and then stopping on Alectus.
After silently staring at Alectus for a full minute, Neige’s “father” softened his expression.
“Impressive. So even one of the descendants of the ‘Fallen Ones’ has managed to get here. I commend you for finding this place.”
Alektus, who had been silent until now, opened his mouth in response to those words.
“Y-You… Are you from the Origin clan?”
“Correct. I am Servant No. 700672. I am one of which you know as the ‘Origin clan’.”
“This place… No, this facility… what is it?”
This time around, it was Reiko who asked.
“Well, if it isn’t an Automata with a will of her own. Truly impressive… I’ll answer your question. This is a place that was once part of the ‘Soaring Ship’. And this room where I ought to sleep for all eternity.”
Soaring Ship. Those words sounded somewhat familiar.
“Are you one of the people who came here on this ‘Soaring Ship’?”
“Correct. I have come to this land with my master.”
“Where is your master now?”
“My master is no more. The lifespan of his kind is shorter than ours.”
“W-What are those ‘Fallen Ones’ you spoke of?”
This question came from Alectus.
“The ‘Fallen Ones’ are those who were born after we arrived on this planet, from the descendants of my masters.”
“Then, that means…”
“Correct. They are the distant, yet direct, descendants of my masters.”
＊ ＊ ＊
Meanwhile, in Hourai Island, Jin sensed that the common roots of both humankind and the demons were about to be revealed.
Through Laojun, Jin asked for an urgent meeting of the “Family”.
“Brother Jin… This is very interesting.”
Elsa was already in the loop.
“What is it, Jin?”
Then Saki arrived.
“Did something happen?”
“What happened, Jin?”
“What’s going on, Jin?”
“Master Jin, did you call for me?”
Then Toa, Stearleana, Vivian, and finally Mine.
“What’s up, Jin?”
“What happened, Jin?”
Finally, Reinhardt and Berthie arrived.
＊ ＊ ＊
“My masters came to this Ars after leaving the resource-depleted Hale. There are abundant resources and ethers here, all which have rejuvenated the masters.”
Hale would be the name of their planet of origin, while Ars seemed to be their name for the planet where Jin and the others lived.
“Some of my masters have associated themselves with the natives of this world, which resulted in the creation of offspring. As this offspring carried a weaker blood than that of my masters, they were dubbed ‘Fallen Ones’.”
“Did you understand? This is the answer to your questions from earlier. ‘My master’ is no more. All that remains are you, the ‘Fallen Ones’, who have inherited their blood.”
＊ ＊ ＊
This made Jin wonder if those who inherited the blood of this ‘Master’ are the ones who can use magic, and those who haven’t, cannot.
“Jin, does this mean…”
“Ah, that’s right, Vi! This will make for a great story to tell!”
“The precious truth is about to become history…”
＊ ＊ ＊
“So, what have you been doing here all this time?”
The party’s next question was asked by Ann.
“I shall answer that as well. I am the last Servant, No. 700672. I am merely waiting here in this land where my masters lie buried until the day I too crumble to dust.”
“How… How old are you?”
“I am my master’s creation. Therefore, the question ‘how old are you?’ makes no sense in my case. The closest concept that I could rely on to give you a suitable answer would be that my master created me over 5,000 years ago, according to this planet’s calendar.”
“F-Five thousand years!?”
Reiko, Ann, Alectus, and everyone else listening to this exchange in Hourai Island were equally amazed by his answer.
“Correct. I am a homunculus. A fabricated life form. Therefore, the concepts of aging and death are foreign to me. I shall instead decay and cease functioning before crumbling to dust.”
“T-Then, why have you used this ‘needle’ to exert dominance over our kind?”
“A needle, you say?”
No. 700672 was deep in thought with an expression that hinted that he didn’t have any idea what they were talking about, but eventually found an appropriate answer to deliver.
“Would it be a Magic Tool about 2 centimeters long and 1 millimeter thick?”
“That’s right! Please answer my question! Why are you trying to control us?”
Alectus’ voice became louder as he was overtaken by his emotions. However, No. 700672’s face looked as if he couldn’t understand.
“Control you? What do you mean?”
“Don’t play dumb!”
Neige interrupted the agitated Alectus.
“Wait, Neige. Perhaps he too is going through a situation of his own.”
In contrast with Alectus’ excitement, No. 700672’s answer was completely devoid of passion.
“I’ve been sleeping in this room for quite some time before you arrived. How long has it been according to your time standards… 300 years, perhaps?”
No. 700672 looked at one of the windows that were present in the room.
“Therefore I can’t say I am aware of the particular strife you’re talking about.”
Alectus, and everyone else listening in Hourai Island, were half amazed and half surprised to hear about such a long slumber.
“However, I can think of a possibility. Please explain the situation in detail.”
“O-Okay. The thing is…”
No longer concerned about using the proper honorifics with whom he was speaking, Alectus explained his clan’s situation. And Reiko and Ann explained what was going on with the other clans.
“Hmph. It’s possible that this is the doing of the ‘failures’.”
“The last Servants my masters created. However, it seems that my masters had no particular need for them in this world, and so they came out as imperfect, disobedient creations.”
“Are they homunculi as well?”
“Correct. My masters used to refer to these defective homunculi as “Failures”.”
Alexus was at a loss for words. The fact that the technology to create a person artificially actually existed was incredibly hard to believe, and yet one such person was sitting right before their eyes.
“I haven’t been able to move my body satisfactorily for about 400 years now. I haven’t left this room for that long. That’s why I don’t know what’s been happening in the outside world.”
According to No. 700672, a total of 13 “failures” had been created, and all of them should have been discarded.
“However, it is possible that some of those ‘failures’ actually managed to avoid being discarded.”
“That ‘Nega-Doll’ we met earlier… Was that one of those ‘failures’?”
Reiko interrupted his monologue.
“‘Nega-Doll’? Is that what it called itself?”
“Yes. We encountered it in the previous hall, just before we found this hidden room. Though it teleported away shortly afterwards.”
“I see. I have an approximate understanding of the situation. …I would like to think about this for a moment.”
After saying that, the seemingly exhausted No. 700672 lay on the bed once again.