Magi Craft Meister 539

16 The Demons’ Mastermind Arc

16-18 The Facts Behind the Strife

 

 

“Would you like to have some more of this?”

 

Ann offered him the last medicine she had in her hand.

 

“…Thank you. But isn’t this valuable to you?”

 

No. 700672 asked Ann as he received the medicine from her.

 

“Don’t worry. We can have a lot more of this once we go back.”

 

“Hmph. …This medicine is truly impressive. My masters would probably be able to concoct something of this quality, but I am surprised to see that the Fallen Ones can make something like this.”

 

“You’ve got it all wrong.”

 

Finding herself unable to keep quiet about it, Reiko corrected him.

 

“The one who made this medicine was my Father, the ‘Magi Craft Meister’, not the Fallen Ones.”

 

Though unexpectedly, she was technically speaking the truth. Jin was a person summoned from Earth, so he wasn’t someone born in this world.

 

But to No. 700672, Reiko’s remark was nothing but an expression of her own pride.

 

“Haha, as expected from an Automata with a will of her own. I can truly understand the feeling of holding one’s creator with utmost esteem. I too wish I could meet my own creator.”

 

“No, that’s not it…”

 

However, at this moment, a message came to her through Laojun, telling her that there was no need to continue talking about that. And to let him speak.

 

 

After taking the last of Ann’s medicines, No. 700672 seemed to have recovered some of his energy, and continued to speak while lying down on his bed.

 

“I’m sure there’s only a few remaining Ether in this facility, but you should still be fine here.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“In order to sustain my physical body, I require Ether. Therefore, my body is set to gather Ether from the surroundings.”

 

This could be one of the reasons why Alectus had gotten tired so easily.

 

“Hmm? The Ether density in the air is strange…?”

 

No. 700672’s voice came out with a hint of surprise as he looked into one of the windows close to his bed.

 

“…Did something happen while I was asleep? This low concentration of Ether is quite abnormal.

 

“This might be a result of the Great Magic War, and the Ether Stampede.”

 

Ann briefly explained the particulars of these two events.

 

“Hmp, a Great Magic War, you say…? How foolish. To think that brethren that share a common ancestor would kill each other…”

 

Then he quickly changed the topic.

 

“Regarding those ‘needles’… It was indeed my master who made them.”

 

“…!”

 

The look on Alectus’ face turned grim. However, that did nothing to change No. 700672’s calm tone of voice.

 

“Don’t get flustered. My master did create them. However, their purpose was to allow them to control the ‘failures’.”

 

“So it was for the ‘failures’?”

 

“Correct. I’ve mentioned that the ‘failures’ came out as disobedient creations. Therefore, my master created the ‘Agujas’ to have them follow orders.”

 

There were two types of “Agujas”. One that conveyed orders to the wearer, and another one that compelled them to follow those orders. An additional feature of the “Aguja” that conveyed orders was that it was able to transmit whatever its wearer had heard to their master.

 

“We should’ve known that they weren’t going to work the way we intended them to.

 

“So what you’re trying to say is that those ‘failures’ are the ones trying to control us…”

 

The true identity of the mastermind had been made clear. However, there were still some doubts.

 

“What’s their goal? Things like the destruction of all humanity seem like an illogical directive.”

 

Ann stepped and asked this on Alectus’ behalf.

 

“The ‘failures’ absolutely abhor the ‘Fallen Ones’. That’s why they see them as foes.”

 

“B-But why?”

 

“… I’m not sure about that. The concepts of slavery, worship, obedience, and allegiance had been embedded into them when my master created them, but all of these concepts had become their direct opposites.”

 

“And so they started calling themselves ‘Nega-Dolls’, huh.”

 

Ann was still calm even after hearing such a story.

 

“Perhaps. You’ve mentioned something about a Great Magic War. There’s a high possibility that this war was plotted by them as well.”

 

With this, it could be safe to regard the ‘Nega-Dolls’ as common enemies to demons and humans alike.

 

At this point, No. 700672 closed his eyes and let out a loud sigh.

 

“Father, are you okay?”

 

Neige’s voice was filled with concern.

 

“Yes, I’m fine. Just a bit tired. I think I’ll be able to be with you a little while longer.”

 

“I’m glad.”

 

Neige took No. 700672’s hand and smiled.

 

“Come to think of it, what exactly is Neige?”

 

Ann asked the question that Reiko, Alectus, and everyone else on Hourai Island had been asking themselves for some time.

 

No. 700672 had said that the last Servants… the last homunculi turned out to be failures. What did that make of Neige?

 

“Neige is a homunculus of my own creation. I made her long after my master created and subsequently discarded the 13 ‘failures’.”

 

It was said that creating a homunculus was no easy task, due to the various special materials and secret techniques required to do so.

 

“Perhaps it would’ve been better to not get too greedy with their functionalities, to keep them simple, to not embed those factors into them, and to not have made so many of them.”

 

At any rate, other than Neige, these homunculi wouldn’t listen to No. 700672’s master, and hated the Fallen Ones, which were the direct descendants of these masters.

 

The masters tried using the ‘Agujas’ to keep them in check, but were unable to monitor them for 24 hours a day, and fearing they would be able to do whatever they wanted while outside of monitoring hours, they decided to dispose of them.

 

“Though they were all supposed to have been burned to ashes.”

 

“And yet the one we met earlier called itself ‘Nega-Doll 001’.”

 

“…It may be the first one of the ‘failures’ to be made.”

 

Ann recalled what Nega-Doll 001 had said. He had spoken of revenge. And of “doing unto humans what humans had done unto them”.

 

When she told that to No. 700672, he nodded.

 

“It stands to reason. The pain caused by the Aguja must have been unbearable. I can understand why that could trigger their wish for revenge.”

 

In the case of homunculus, the Aguja would have been embedded into their organ that was equivalent to the human brain.

 

As Alectus had one of those embedded into his own heart, the thought of having it in his head instead sent a shiver down his spine.

 

 

*   *   *

 

 

“…”

 

Almost everyone on Hourai Island listening to this conversation went suddenly silent.

 

It was as if it had shaken everyone to their very cores.

 

The only exception to this was Jin.

 

“Laojun, tell Ann to ask him what kind of magical technology Nega-Doll 001 has access to.”

 

“Understood.”

 

From what they had heard so far, Nega-Doll 001 seemed to be indiscriminately attacking both demons and humans alike.

 

It was as if it didn’t even see them as demons or humans. They were all merely the descendants of its hated master.

 

“Perhaps, its goal is to instigate demons into getting them destroyed by humans, and in doing so, damage humans in some way as well.”

 

After quickly coming back to his senses, Reinhardt shared his opinion.

 

“Ah, it seems that No. 700672 is about to answer the question.”

 

In response to Jin’s words, everyone shifted their attention towards the Magic Screen.

 

 

*   *   *

 

 

“The weapons at the Nega-Dolls’ disposal, huh…”

 

No. 700672 repeated Ann’s question.

 

“That’s right. It’s only logical to try to get as much information about our enemy as possible.”

 

“Hehe, as expected from an Automata with a will of her own. You say interesting things. And you are correct. I shall tell you everything that I know.”

 

No. 700672 started by saying that there was some guessing to his knowledge, and then mentioned the following items:

 

The “Agujas”.

Chlorine gas.

Adhesive traps.

Every known type of offensive magic.

Illusory barriers.

Metallic Golems.

Enslaved magical beasts.

Kinetic ammunition.

Gravity Bombs.

Transporters.

 

…And so on.

 

“They are also armed with intelligence. It is possible they had devised other weapons.”

 

The last two on that list seemed to have piqued the curiosity of Jin and the others on Hourai Island the most.

 

“What is a gravity bomb?”

 

They asked this question through Ann’s mouth.

 

“Are you familiar with Gravity Magic? Well, Gravity Bombs generate a tremendous amount of gravitational force in a narrow range for a brief moment after their detonation. They can apply a force of 1000 times stronger than normal gravity in a single second.”

 

Most living things would be crushed under such tremendous force. Even non-living things would be unable to bear the pressure.

 

“And the Transporter is a kind of device that allows them to place a marker at a specified location and send things to it, as well as bring things from it.

 

It sounded similar to Jin’s transfer machine, but the Transporter’s main advantage was that it allowed them not only to send things over, but to retrieve things as well.

 

On the other hand, it seemed to rely on a “marker” to be set in place beforehand, a limitation that Jin’s transfer machine did not have.

 

“Well, we’re going to at least need to come up with something that can counter those two things.”

 

Jin folded his arms and began to think about possible countermeasures.

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