Magi Craft Meister 527

16 The Demons’ Mastermind Arc

16-06 The Gospel Clan

 

 

As Jin and the others approached the cave, the man who had arrived together with Netros welcomed them with a bow.

 

“Welcome, Magi Craft Meister. My name is Alectus, and I serve as a mediator for the Gospel clan.”

 

Alexis had a lean but well-built figure. Like the one you would see in a health and wellness magazine.

 

His hair was white and shortly trimmed. His eyes were yellow, which was an eye color Jin had never seen before.

 

 

“I am Jin Nidou, the Magi Craft Meister. These are my Automata, Reiko and Ann.”

 

“I am Istalis of Shinra.”

 

“I’m Shion of Shinra.”

 

“I’m Lady Shion’s retainer, my name is Lucas.”

 

Jin and the others introduced themselves one right after the other.

 

“Well, we can’t talk at leisure at a place like this. Come inside.”

 

Guided by Alectus, the group headed into the cave.

 

The inside of the cave was quite warm, and was illuminated by a dim light.

 

“Is it something similar to Ether Lights? They’re quite dim, though…”

Jin muttered to himself, but…

 

“It’s usually much brighter here, but now it’s like this due to something that you did.”

 

Alectus said that with a bitter smile, causing Jin to panic.

 

“A-Ah, I’m really sorry about that…”

 

“Haha, don’t worry about that. Thanks to that, I was easily able to confirm that you are indeed the Magi Craft Meister.”

 

After a couple of minutes of walking while having such conversations, they finally arrived at a spacious area.

 

“This would be our entrance hall.”

 

After crossing that and going through a front door of sorts, they reached another passage.

 

“We’re digging our way into this mountain so that we can live here.”

 

They had access to magic, so Jin thought that they could know some spells that made it easier for them to dig inside the mountain.

 

“Here we are.”

 

After going through a wooden door, they found themselves in what seemed to be a conference room.

 

There was an old man at the back of this room. He also had white hair and yellow eyes, which seemed to be a characteristic of this clan.

 

“My name is Fabius, and I’m the chief of the Gospel clan. Welcome, Magi Craft Meister.”

 

 

*   *   *

 

 

Their first meeting was rather brief.

 

They had essentially discussed the reason for Jin and the others to come all this way to visit the Gospel clan, and whether Jin really was the Magi Craft Meister.

 

The reason for coming to see them was clear enough. Jin wanted to ask if it was true that other clans were being instigated to start a war against humankind, and if so, what is the true intention behind it.

 

As a means to prove that he was the Magi Craft Meister, Jin showed Fabius both Reiko and Ann. He was quickly convinced when Jin showed that they had been equipped with the sense of touch.

 

“Certainly, there is no doubt that you are the Magi Craft Meister. It’s a great honor to meet you.”

Fabius bowed to Jin after saying that.

 

And regarding the question of whether the other clans were being instigated…

 

“I can’t say you’re right or wrong in assuming that.”

 

…He returned an ambiguous answer.

 

“But that’s a topic that could go on for hours. And it’s getting late. Let’s talk about it freely tomorrow.”

 

After saying that, Fabius concluded the parley and escorted Jin and the others out of the room.

 

From there, Alectus took them to their next destination.

 

“We would like you to use this room, Master Jin.”

 

It was a simple but elegant room in a secluded place. It didn’t seem to have been made by hollowing a large rocky surface out.

 

The only thing that gave away the fact that they were inside a rocky mountain was the room’s lack of windows.

 

Jin (‘s Substitute Doll), Reiko, and Ann were naturally led to the same room.

 

“Lady Istalis, Lady Shion, this way, please.”

 

They were taken to a room right next to Jin’s. Of course, their retainers Netros and Lucas would be staying with them.

 

“Dinner will be ready in about 30 minutes. …Ah, that’s right. We’ll split the food you’ve so graciously offered to us amongst our clanspeople. You have our deepest thanks for that.”

 

With that, Alectus finally dismissed himself.

 

 

“What do you think, Jin?”

Shion and Istalis were visiting Jin in his room.

 

“Hmm, I can’t say for sure yet.”

 

There really wasn’t a better answer Jin could give them at the moment.

 

“I’m quite intrigued by the fact that they don’t seem to know the purpose, or rather, the reason behind the other clans’ instigation.”

 

“I’m worried about that as well. I can’t see how this benefits us demons, no matter how hard I think about it…”

 

After all, the demons’ entire population wasn’t over a thousand, while the number of humans in this world was well over a million. There was no way a war where the enemy outnumbers the demons on a scale of a thousand to one could benefit them.

 

“The fact that they think they can wage war against humans in itself is quite worrisome…”

 

Jin was reminded of the Magical Exhaustion Fever and the incident of the Giant Centipedes.

 

He couldn’t stop thinking that either of those incidents could have ended in a tragedy had it not been by his intervention.

 

“…I can’t understand either, no matter how hard I think about it. I’ll have to make sure to ask Fabius about this in detail tomorrow.”

 

“Yeah, that’s right, there’s no better way to understand any of this right now.”

 

“…And…”

 

Istalis, who had remained silent up until that point, finally opened her mouth.

 

“This situation… It reminds me of that time.”

 

Istalis remembered the time when both Netros and herself were poisoned and captured by the Frantz Kingdom.

 

“Right, we need to be on our toes.”

 

Jin (‘s Substitute Doll) nodded in agreement. However, poison wouldn’t work against him.

 

At that moment, Alectus called them for dinner.

 

Jin (‘s Substitute Doll) decided to accept their food. In many ways, there could be many new discoveries to be had at the dining table.

 

 

“I’m afraid it’s not much, but please, feel free to eat to your heart’s content.”

 

They had been taken to a room that looked like a parlor, and were served their meals by Alectus and a waitress.

 

“This is my wife, Milonia.”

 

“I’m Milonia, nice to meet you all.”

 

She seemed to be in her mid-thirties. She was a slightly slender and refined young woman.

 

“I have been put in charge of today’s meal.”

 

With that, she then proceeded to explain the meal to Jin and the others.

 

“This is called ‘Non’. It’s made by kneading wheat flour into a thin and flat bread. Please make sure to enjoy it with any of these sauces.”

 

The name reminded Jin of the Naan bread found in Indian cuisine, but it was more similar to Chapati in shape.

 

As for the sauces, the first one seemed to have been made by smashing something similar to cowberries and bringing the mix to a boil, while the other one looked like it was made by mashing leafy vegetables and boiling them in saltwater.

 

The latter of those sauces didn’t look too appetizing to Jin, so he chose the cowberry sauce without hesitation. However, the Substitute Doll had no taste buds, so it would have been the same either way.

 

But even though it could not tell the food’s taste, Jin (‘s Substitute Doll)’s mouth had an analysis function, much like Reiko’s. And according to it, no poison was detected in the food.

 

“Ah, this flavor brings back memories.”

 

Istalis tried the muddy mashed vegetables sauce, and seemed to be enjoying it very much.

 

Jin thought it might be too salty, but it had plenty of mashed vegetables in it, and the concentration of salt in the saltwater used to make it didn’t seem to be that high.

 

The garnish was grilled meat. From what Milonia had told them, it seemed to be the meat of a herbivore called Snow Gazelle, which lives in the northern mountains. It had a similar taste to venison.

 

“I’m afraid this was all we could prepare for you. The flour you have given us has been this dinner’s saving grace.”

 

Upon hearing that, Jin (‘s Substitute Doll) eased his hand with the food to a point where it wouldn’t be unnatural to stop eating.

 

 

After the meal, they were served herbal tea.

 

“We make this with the wild herbs that grow naturally on this mountain.”

 

Jin (‘s Substitute Doll) had no way to tell how it tasted, so he basically looked at his friends’ reactions to the tea and roughly imitated them.

 

 

Once their dinner was over, there wasn’t much else for them to do other than relaxing in their rooms.

 

Jin (‘s Substitute Doll) took this opportunity to use “Decomposition” on the food that he had fruitlessly ingested and flushed it down the toilet.

 

 

*   *   *

 

 

“What do you think about them?”

 

“The Magi Craft Meister? Is it really him?”

 

“Yes, we’re very certain that he is indeed the real deal.”

 

“Hmph, if that’s true, we wouldn’t want to cross him.”

 

“Yes, according to legend, the Magi Craft Meister has access to a technology that far exceeds ours.”

 

“If only we could put him to good use. But if we enrage him instead…”

 

“Will we have to deal with him?”

 

“Most regrettably, yes.”

 

“But he does seem to be quite an easygoing character.”

 

“Do not underestimate him. The Magi Craft Meister can produce the most drastic results out even out of a piece of lint.”

 

“Understood. We shall see tomorrow.”

 

“Yes, tomorrow.”

 

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