Magi Craft Meister 541

16 The Demons’ Mastermind Arc

16-20 Summarizing and Beginning Preparations

 

 

The “Family” gathered in the underground laboratory on Hourai Island to discuss what they had learned so far.

 

“First of all, let’s talk about the origins of humankind.”

 

Jin raised his index finger.

 

“A long, long time ago, the ancestors of humankind built a spaceship, left their home world of ‘Hale’, and arrived on this planet, which seems to be called ‘Ars’.”

 

Reinhardt picked it up from there.

 

“So that’s consistent with our folklore, right?”

 

Vivian’s voice was brimming with joy.

 

“The ‘servants that looked like humans’ would be these ‘homunculi’, right? And the ‘new land’ they set out in search for would be this entire planet. Everything is so clear now.”

 

Jin and Reinhardt nodded.

 

“The ‘time of renewed prosperity in the new land’ meant that their population had increased as they mingled with the natives of this world.”

 

Jin shared his own conjecture.

 

“Hmm, so these ancestors from another world mated with the native race of this world, and the result of this mix would be the ancestors of both humans and demons.”

 

Toa took over with his own deduction.

 

“Here’s where we face our first question. Where did the differences between humans and demons arise?”

 

Saki asked the first question.

 

“To begin with, there is no difference between the body of a human and that of a demon.

 

Elsa stated a fact.

 

“Though we did hear that demons have a longer lifespan than humans. So why is that?”

 

Reinhardt asked the second question.

 

“I have formulated a hypothesis about that.”

 

Laojun began his statement.

 

“There is a Magic Tool called ‘Ether Stocker’ which enables semi-permanent storage of magical materials. But what if there was something similar for human beings, or in this case, the demons?”

 

“I see…”

 

“So you mean that by living in a region with a high density of Ether, they could be using a device like that to delay the natural deterioration of their cells?”

 

Stearleana voiced the conclusion she had arrived at.

 

“Correct. Moreover, I believe that, after many generations, they may have become more familiar with Ether at a cellular level, which in turn extended their lifespan.”

 

“I can’t say that’s such a good thing… After all, that would make them so that they could only live in a region with a high density of Ether…”

 

Vivian expressed her opinion with a bitter smile on her face.

 

“Exactly. In that sense, it would be accurate to refer to their condition as an ‘Ether dependency’. And in such circumstances, something like an ‘Ether Stampede’ would prove to be fatal to their kind.”

 

It could be safe to say that Ether dependency is a condition that causes one to suffer while there is no Ether close to their body. Looking at the reaction of the demons when they were exposed to Ether Jammers only seemed to solidify this theory.

 

In the end, the Ether dependence caused by spending several generations in a land rich in Ether turned out to be a double-edged sword that had brought them both great power as well leaving them vulnerable to abstinence.

 

 

*   *   *

 

 

“Next is the strife between humans and demons.”

 

Jin now raised both his index and middle finger, to symbolize the beginning of the second topic.

 

“It would seem that it was orchestrated by the homunculi No. 700672 referred to as ‘failures’.”

 

“Right, though there isn’t much information regarding them since No. 700672 was asleep. But it is unlikely that he is mistaken.”

 

Reinhardt supported Jin’s conjecture.

 

“…B-But these so-called ‘failures’… They were discarded, what, thousands of years ago? And yet they did nothing until the Great Magic War 300 years ago?”

 

Unusually enough, Mine gave her opinion. However, she had a point. At the very least, the ‘failures’ should have been disposed of way before the time of the Great Magic War.

 

This is because the ‘failures’ had been made during the time the ‘masters’ of the Servants such as No. 700672 were still alive.

 

“I have formulated a hypothesis about that as well.”

 

This time it was Laojun who stated his conjectures.

 

“It would be easy for any being capable of rational thought to allow for a good preparation period. And since the concept of a lifespan is foreign to them, it’s no wonder that the remaining ‘failures’ spent thousands of years planning before starting to call themselves ‘Nega-Dolls’.”

 

Upon hearing that, everyone nodded deeply.

 

This is because Laojun’s theory that he himself would also take a very long period of time to prepare for any plans if he had an extremely long lifespan without the need for anything but Ether for sustenance was quite convincing.

 

 

“In any case, these ‘Nega-Dolls’ have come to despise both humans and demons alike, that is, these ‘Fallen Ones’ who are the descendants of the ‘masters’, right?”

 

“And for this they have incited the demons into becoming hostile towards humans, right?”

 

Reinhardt and Jin were having a frank exchange about the goal of these ‘Nega-Dolls’.

 

“So we should think of the possibility of an eventual large-scale offensive.”

 

“Yes. It could bring about a destruction unlike any other skirmish so far.”

 

Upon hearing that, Elsa and all other women in the room shuddered.

 

“…Will it turn into a war?”

 

“Something like a Second Great Magic War?”

 

“Will we truly have to go through such a large-scale bloodshed again…?”

 

“I’m really hoping I don’t have to pass on such a terrible story to posterity.”

 

“This would be a grievous end to human history as we know it.”

 

“You can do something about this, right, Jin?”

 

Jin nodded.

 

“That’s what we’re doing right now. We’re gathering as much information as we can to prevent such a thing from happening.”

 

And if the need to do so ever were to arise, Jin knew that he had access to enough military power to completely annihilate the demons. But he wanted to exhaust every other possibility before ever having to consider that option.

 

 

“I’d really like to have more information about the ‘Nega-Dolls’… Laojun, it seems that the time for Capricorn 1’s exploration is over.”

 

“Yes, My Lord. I believe from this point on, Hourai Island should start working on preventing the Second Great Magic War.”

 

“Permission granted. I’m counting on you.”

 

Then Jin turned to face the rest of the “Family”.

 

“So that’s that. I hope I can count on everyone’s help.”

 

As Jin bowed his head before his friends, their voices started flying all over the place.

 

“Of course, Jin!”

 

“…I’ll do as much as I can.”

 

“I don’t know how much I can do to help, but I’ll spare no effort!”

 

“Just tell me what you need me to do, and if I can do it, I will.”

 

“If anyone can solve this situation, it’s you, Jin. I, no, all of us are going to do our best to support you.”

 

“Honestly, I don’t think I’ll be of much use. But if there’s anything at all I can do to help, please tell me!”

 

“Jin, you don’t have to take this upon yourself alone.”

 

“That’s right! We’ll be with you all the way!”

 

“…Thank you.”

 

The corner of Jin’s eyes started to grow warmer as he thought about what great friends… no, what a great family he had in all of them.

 

 

*   *   *

 

 

Meanwhile, Capricorn 1 had returned to the Gospel clan’s cave.

 

“I’ll go check things out.”

 

Alectus stood up.

 

“I’ll go with you.”

 

The “Agujas” were supposed to have been completely disabled, but just in case, Ann offered to join Alectus.

 

“Okay, so you two can take care of that.”

 

With Jin (‘s Substitute Doll) and Reiko, as well as Istalis and the others seeing them off, Alectus and Ann went back into the cave.

 

And not even five minutes later, they were back at the entrance. Seeing the joy in Alectus’ face made it easier to imagine how things had gone.

 

“Lord Jin! My clan is free! And it’s all thanks to you!”

 

“That’s great to hear!”

 

“The clan chief wishes to offer his thanks and sincere apologies, and also to discuss the situation. Would you like to come in?”

 

Jin (‘s Substitute Doll) nodded profusely, accepting Alectus’ invitation.

 

Just like before, the party left Capricorn 1 in Land 1’s care, and once again headed into the cave where the Gospel clan lived.

 

 

And exactly at the same time as that, Hourai Island began its full-scale preparations.

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