Magi Craft Meister 536

16 The Demons’ Mastermind Arc

16-15 Mastermind

 

 

The door kicked open by Reiko flew into the room with a tremendous speed.

 

Its momentum was so strong that it looked as if it would destroy everything along its path, but instead, it soon vanished.

 

And then, the inside of the room became visible.

 

 

“What is that room?”

 

In Hourai Island, the real Jin was shocked by the image on the screen that was fed by Reiko’s eyes.

 

It was windows, windows, windows everywhere.

 

Small windows. Round windows. Square windows. Big windows. Long, rectangular windows. Elliptical windows.

 

Bright windows. Dark windows. Glowing windows. Translucent windows.

 

Red windows. Blue windows. Yellow windows. Windows with landscapes painted on them. Windows with letters on a 3D relief over them.

 

The walls and ceiling of this room were filled with all sorts of windows.

 

“…Could those be monitors of some sort?”

 

Thinking of the parts that look like windows as LCD panels, the room would seem to be full of high-tech electronic devices.

 

However, it looked way too different compared to the technology that Jin knew.

 

“So this is the technology that precedes even my predecessor?”

 

Jin muttered to himself. Laojun remained silent.

 

 

*   *   *

 

 

“So you’ve made it HERE. You, the followers of the Magi Craft MEISTER.”

 

It was standing right there, in the middle of the room.

 

It was about 120 cms tall, slightly shorter than Reiko.

 

Its head was smooth and completely bald. Its eyes alone were strangely big, and stared at the party with a cloudy gleam.

 

Its body was almost unhealthily skinny. Its gender wasn’t clear, though it was unlikely that it was female.

 

Its skin seemed to be deathly pale. That along with its overly slender figure made it look almost like a very sick person.

 

And there was some kind of Magic Tool in its hands.

 

 

“Are you a member of the Origin clan?”

 

Alectus was the first one of the party to open his mouth.

 

“NO. I AM ‘Nega-Doll 001’.”

 

“‘Nega-Doll 001’?”

 

“That is CORRECT. It seems I have underestimated YOU.”

 

The being that called itself Nega-Doll 001 warped its face into a hateful expression.

 

“Were you the one who was controlling the demons with those ‘needles’?”

 

Reiko confronted Nega-Doll 001.

 

“Are you… an AUTOMATA? Hmph, just a pitiful DOLL that does nothing but blindly obey her creator, without asking QUESTIONS.”

 

“What did you say?”

 

Her voice was mixed with anger.

 

“Oh, are you ANGRY? So you have EMOTIONS. I’ll answer your QUESTION. With a ‘That’s right’.”

 

“Why!?”

 

Alectus’ anger was also made evident by his voice.

 

“Why, you ASK? For REVENGE.”

 

“Revenge? Against all demons?”

 

This time, Ann took a step forward as she asked her question. Nega-Doll 001 took a step back.

 

“WRONG. Against HUMANS.”

 

“Then, why did you implant those ‘needles’ into the demnos…!?”

 

“I was just doing unto THEM what they have done unto US.”

 

“What!?”

 

“…It’s TIME. I’ve finally replenished the MANA that had disappeared after you so unexpectedly blew away the door to this ROOM.”

 

Having said that, Nega-Doll 001 operated the Magic Tool in its hand.

 

After that, it instantly disappeared from the room.

 

“Transfer Magic?”

 

“But we used our Ether Jammers! How?”

 

Reiko and Ann were confused. Their Ether Jammers were still active.

 

Alectus thought that since Nega-Doll 001 wouldn’t be able to use magic, it shouldn’t have been able to teleport like that, and yet it did.

 

“It was probably thanks to that Magic Tool.”

 

Ann concluded that there must have been some kind of secret in the Magic Tool that Nega-Doll 001 had. Ether Converters wouldn’t work while an Ether Jammer is active, but Ether Tanks and Mana Tanks wouldn’t be affected.

 

Meanwhile, Reiko was surveying the room and sending her report to Hourai Island.

 

 

“So it managed to escape after all…”

 

“Yeah, it’s a shame.”

 

Alectus dropped his shoulders, and Ann had a bitter look on her face. But Reiko turned to Alectus and said:

 

“But the magical power needed to operate the ‘needles’ is still coming out of this room.”

 

“What? Are you sure?”

 

“Yeah. …Perhaps that’s because of this Magi Device.”

 

Reiko then pointed at a Magi Device that was behind the place where Nega-Doll 001 had once stood.

 

It was also covered in several small windows, though it was a bit different than the rest of the room.

 

“But I don’t know how to use it…”

 

It was highly unlikely that Ann or Reiko, let alone Alectus, could know how to operate it.

 

The same was true for Jin back on Hourai Island. It could be possible to do something after taking some time to investigate the Magi Device, but there was no way to learn how to operate it in a shorter period of time.

 

“At any rate, we have to put an end to it.”

 

The Magi Jammer couldn’t make it stop either, probably because it had some magical power inside.

 

“We don’t have to destroy it, let’s just make it stop.”

 

This was Jin’s wish. He was hoping to be able to learn something from it later.

 

Using the Vibration Mode of her “Peach Blossom”, Reiko carefully opened the exterior of the Magi Device.

 

Due to Reiko’s own strength, the sharpness of “Peach Blossom”, and the effectiveness of its Vibration Mode, the metal on the Magi Device’s exterior was cut like hot butter.

 

Alectus was at a loss for words at the sword’s sharpness.

 

A minute later, the interior of the Magi Device was completely exposed.

 

“…Are these some kind of magical power conduction wires?”

 

There were four thick wires made of Mithril silver inside. At the very least, cutting these wires would most likely cause the device to cease functioning.

 

“Let’s cut them.”

 

Without hesitation, Reiko quickly cut the four wires one after another.

 

“…Looks like it’s stopped.”

 

The magical power needed to operate the “needles”, which Reiko and the others had been chasing after, was not felt anymore.

 

“At least with this the clans should have regained their free will, right?”

 

“Yes, perhaps. But it’s also possible that only the Gospel clan has been freed.”

 

Assuming that the Shinra clan and all other clans were being manipulated in the same way, it was still unlikely that a single Magi Device would control all the clans.

 

“Should we try turning off all of the Magi Devices in here?”

 

“No, sister. There are many Magi Devices here that we don’t know what they are for. If we go about disabling them just like that, we may cause some kind of irreparable damage.”

 

There could even be some kind of self-destruct device for all they knew. And even if no such thing were actually there, they could end up causing some sort of infrastructure outages such as turning off the lights, or stopping the air ventilation.

 

Reiko and Ann would be okay under such circumstances, but they could be fatal to Alectus.

 

“Yeah, you’re right.”

 

Reiko acknowledged that, and put her “Peach Blossom” back into its scabbard.

 

“Well, what do we do now?”

 

“We ought to return to the Gospel clan’s place.”

 

“Eventually, yes.”

 

They had to send Alectus back to his people, so they would have to at least stop by on their way back.

 

“But let’s investigate here for a little longer.”

 

Reiko thought it wouldn’t hurt to look around for a while longer, considering they had gone through all that trouble to go all the way down there.

 

And Laojun and Jin also wished for them to be able to find something new as well.

 

 

“Huh? Is there another room behind this one?”

 

Ann, who was looking into the back of the room, found something that looked like a door. Reiko and Alectus soon came along.

 

“A door, huh?”

 

There was a thin rectangular fissure running 2 meters tall and 1 meter wide on the wall.

 

However, despite looking like a door, none of them knew how to open it. There were no handles, nor levers, nor anything that could look like something that opened a door anywhere nearby.

 

“It doesn’t seem that it can be opened by anything except magical means…”

 

It looked like the automatic doors found on modern Earth. Still, even those automatic doors could be opened manually in case of an emergency.

 

“This door…”

 

Despite Reiko and Ann’s insistent search, there didn’t seem to be anything that would open that door around.

 

“…Is this really a door?”

 

Alectus walked up to the door and placed his hand on the door before rubbing it. At that moment…

 

The door opened without making a single noise.

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