Magi Craft Meister 549

16 The Demons’ Mastermind Arc

16-28 To The Next Clan

 

 

The morning of August 25th…

 

Jin declared that he would be departing from the Shinra clan’s abode.

 

A total of 20 hectares of new arable land had been cleared, and 50 farmer Golems had been completed.

 

The Golems also had a communication function that allowed them to reach out to Laojun if anything happened, and receive instructions from him. It would serve as insurance in the event that the radicals decide to raid the Shinra clan.

 

Also, a sufficient number of generators for the anti-frost barriers had also been set in place, so in all, the Shinra clan had the prospect of being self-sufficient.

 

“I should visit other moderate clans soon.”

 

“Yes, Lord Jin. Please.”

 

Both Belials of the Kugutsu clan –who was now being treated as a guest rather than a prisoner– and Bardius, the chief of the Shinra clan, bowed to Jin.

 

The next destination would be the place of residence of the Kugutsu clan.

 

A scout Jin had dispatched there two days prior had reported that the Kugutsu clan appeared to be free from the influence of the “Agujas”.

 

 

“Who would like to accompany me?”

 

If an influential member of the Shinra clan were to go with Jin, it would make things go much smoother.

 

“If so, I would.”

 

Istalis volunteered.

 

“Oh, you, Istalis? Good. Then, Lorona, you too go with them.”

 

“Yes, understood.”

 

Thus Istalis and her mother Lorona would be tagging along for this trip. Of course, Netros would go as well as Istalis’ escort.

 

“Eh? What about me?”

 

Shion was quick to complain, but then reluctantly gave up after being told that she was too young to make such trips in the first place.

 

“Uhh… Well, make sure to come back here again some time, Jin.”

 

Shion said that line with upturned eyes. In response to that, Jin (‘s Substitute Doll) patted her head lightly.

 

She quickly felt Jin’s reply, and said nothing more after that.

 

 

“Well, I’m off.”

 

Jin (‘s Substitute Doll) waved his hand from the skylight of Capricorn 1.

 

“Thank you, Lord Jin!”

 

“Be safe, Lord Jin!”

 

“Lord Jin, please come again sometime!”

 

Seen off by the members of the Shinra clan, Capricorn 1 started heading west. Over there was a slightly inland area where it was said that the Kugutsu clan made their place of residence.

 

“My clan has about 30 people in total. We don’t have retainers like the Shinra clan. Instead, we domesticate magical beasts and the like.”

 

It seemed that Belials used his “Grand Worms” to cultivate their land.

 

“We don’t use the Hecatoncheires very much.”

 

The bigger a beast is, the stronger it is. But the Hecatoncheires were carnivores, which made them difficult to feed. For that reason, it seems that they wouldn’t use them much for anything other than self-defense.

 

“If we were to have some of those Golems you made…”

 

“If you have the materials, I’ll make some for you.”

 

“Is that so? Thank you so much!”

 

Along the way, Jin asked Belials to bring him up to speed with his clan’s situation.

 

 

They had lunch on the way, and after a little over 5 hours at 20 km/h…

 

Capricorn 1 had traversed about 100 kilometers in total.

 

“Our abode is just a little farther ahead.”

 

The surrounding area had specks of coniferous forests in some parts of a vast wasteland.

 

“This place may look like a wasteland, but there are plenty of small animals around, so my clan mainly hunts them for food.”

 

There was a species of rabbit called “Rock Ice Rabbit”, whose meat is said to be particularly delicious, and their fur was used in winter clothing.

 

The “Gondoa Caribou” was a kind of reindeer so large that catching a single one could provide a lot of meat. Of course, its fur was also used for winter clothes as well as floor coverings.

 

The Kugutsu clan seemed to be proficient at hunting. According to Belials, they would often trade with the Shinra clan, exchanging the latter’s produce for the former’s meat.

 

“Oh, I see. Aren’t those…?

 

“I have detected an unusual amount of magical power!”

 

Land 1 interrupted their conversation. His voice implied that whatever was going on was considerably urgent.

 

 

“A very strong magical power is approaching from the north.”

 

It seemed that something had happened near the Kugutsu clan’s abode.

 

“What’s going on, Lord Jin?”

 

Lorona and Istalis, who had been having a pleasant mother-to-daughter chat, hurriedly asked Jin.

 

“Let me see… It seems that three enormous dragons are approaching.”

 

This was reported by Falcons 2 and 3, who were scouting the surrounding area.

 

“D-Dragons, you say!?”

 

“There can’t be dragons around here!”

 

“And three of them?”

 

In particular, the larger the magical beast, the more Ether it needs to maintain its body, so it is said that beasts like dragons shouldn’t not come out in these high latitudes.

 

“Perhaps that Nega-Doll has something to do with this.”

 

Ann shared her guess.

 

It wouldn’t be strange to think that Nega-Doll 001 was already made aware that Jin had already liberated the Gospel and Shinra clans from the influence of the “Agujas”. It was easy to imagine that more moderates would be released in the same way soon enough.

 

“So he might have thought to sic these dragons on the moderates in an attempt to crush them…”

 

“That’s possible.”

 

Jin agreed with Ann’s conjecture. But Belials became flustered after seeing Jin’s calm demeanor.

 

“Mr. Jin! No one in my clan can control dragons! We need to get away from here as fast as we can!”

 

But Jin (‘Substitute Doll) shook his head.

 

“We won’t make it out of here. The dragons are coming at us at about 150 km/h. The maximum speed of the Capricorn 1 is 70 km/h. We will not outrun them.”

 

“T-Then what are we going to do!?”

 

Belials’ tone of voice was overflowing with panic, and his face had gone completely pale.

 

On the other hand, Laojun, who was in control of the Substitute Doll at the time, was obtaining detailed information regarding those dragons from Falcons 2 and 3.

 

 

From their experience so far, Laojun knew that the strength of a magical beast was almost proportional to the magical power it possessed.

 

Hecatoncheires, Death Sea Serpents, Sea Dragons, Giant Centipedes…

 

Though the dragons that were approaching them had more magical power than a Sea Dragon, they still didn’t seem to be a threat to Reiko and the others.

 

From a distance, the party could see that the dragons’ approach could be felt even in the Kugutsu clan’s abode, as several people were heading out and seemed to be alert.

 

“Belials, I’d like you to go to your clan and try to calm them down.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“A magical beast that has nothing but their huge size in their favor is no match for the Magi Craft Meister.”

 

Those words Laojun made the Substitute Doll say would’ve never been said by the real Jin.

 

But he figured that if he could defeat a dragon right in front of the Kugutsu clan’s noses, he would easily be able to win their trust.

 

“C-Can you really do that?”

 

“Everything will be okay, Belials.”

 

Istalis supported Jin’s words.

 

“Lord Jin has defeated Stone Giants as if they had been clay dolls. I’m sure he can take care of those dragons as well.”

 

“Uh… A-Alright.”

 

There was no choice but to trust Jin’s words. Belials opened the skylight and jumped out.

 

Using his enhanced strength, he quickly ran back to his clan. They immediately welcomed Belials, confirming that they too had been freed from the influence of the “Agujas”.

 

“Okay, all I have to do is get rid of those dragons in front of them.”

 

As Jin (‘s Substitute Doll) muttered those words, small dots started to be reflected on his eyes. Those dots gradually became bigger and bigger.

 

“Grand Dragons…!”

 

They were terrestrial, and their bodies were gray-brown. They greatly resembled huge iguanas, about 20 meters long.

 

According to Lorona, they seemed to be a natural enemy of the Hecatoncheires.

 

“They’re said to prey on Hecatoncheires.”

 

“I see…”

 

“And for some reason, offensive magic such as Gravity Magic doesn’t work very well on them!”

 

“Huh?”

 

That was a first. It had Laojun wondering if this was some kind of special ability of these dragons.

 

The Grand Dragons would reach them in a matter of seconds. Dust was rising in the distance.

 

 

Through Jin (‘s Substitute Doll)’s eyes, Laojun kept observing.

 

He looked at the dragons, trying to determine if there would be anything that could be harvested as a material from them.

 

“It seems we could use their scales and the spikes on their backs.”

 

Therefore, he decided he wouldn’t use a “Mana Explosion”.

 

Complicated weapons such as lasers were also excluded from his plans.

 

“I’d like to defeat in a way that is as flashy as possible.”

 

And so he drew a conclusion.

 

“Reiko, Ann, could I ask for your help?”

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