It wasn’t long before a black object entered the guest room where the five of us were, as if a haze had hung over the room.
Did something from the filth that lurks in this mansion sense us as foreign bodies?
The maidservants who were making tea and the servants nearby were hit by the miasma and fell to the floor.
The people in this lord’s house seemed to be lacking in vitality, but it was probably because they were continually exposed to the miasma.
Helena and I immediately reacted and tried to direct our purification magic to the main body of the miasma, but we realized that the source was not here. Then there was a loud, chilling roar that sounded like the roar of an animal, and the room went dark as cold air flooded in.
“Do you know where the main body is, Fiara?”
“I guess we’ll know when we get out of this room…but it’s not in the mansion, but something different.” I answered to Helena’s voice.
“Then what the hell is with the miasma in this mansion?”
The whole room begins to rattle and shake, tables slid and things on top of and near them flew around.
Hemmings-san created a wall with a strong wind magic, and Wilt-san pushed back the cold air with flames.
Judy directed her magic to her boots and nearly kicked down a handmaid who had gotten up and tried to attack her.
“It looks like they’ve been taken over. Isn’t it bad? This situation. If we’re too careful trying not to hurt them every time, we’ll eventually get hurt.”
As Judy said, I had a feeling that the servants and soldiers inside the lord’s house were being manipulated to come towards us.
“Let’s break the windows and get out!”
Immediately after Hemmings-san’s voice rang out, the large double doors of lattice glass facing the garden were blown outward with a violent force.
I heard a giddy Judy’s voice, but this was not the time to be laughing. We ran out at once.
The miasma was already starting to envelop the entire house.
“It’s not good to stay in this place. The miasma is a problem. Are you all ready? Let’s set up a barrier around the mansion. Fiaragent, please!”
The four other people scattered at the sound of Wilt-san’s command, except me.
“All right, I’m good, Fiaragent.”
Each voice came from the ear cuffs over Wilt-san’s voice.
“I’m in position too.”
“I’m all set, too.”
This was a communication magic tool lent out from the Dairoku for this expedition.
When creating a barrier, it was necessary to place the magic stones that each of us were holding at required point locations.
And I would use my power of purification. When it comes to work that needs to be purified, I was always ready for it.
Four people other than me stood and set up barriers around the four sides of the mansion through the magic power of the magic stones.
I filled up the barriers with my own magic power as it was flowed throughout my body.
Glittering ripples danced along with the green light, scattering the black mist in four directions. At that moment…
A beast-like voice echoed throughout the mansion.
A black mass broke through the roof and erupted outside. The black thing began changing its shape in various ways, making a buzzing sound and then transforming into a sharp spear-like shape that leaked out through the weakest part of the barrier. Then it flew away towards the mountain.
“What was that…it looked like the mass of fly monsters?”
“There was a lot of them. What the hell was that?”
Wilt-san and Hemmings-san were frowning while talking. It looked like the group of flies had a single will. As if it was just another container that was being controlled by some kind of will.
Later, I helped the people in the lord’s mansion who had regained their senses and split up with Helena to go around and check the purification of the mansion.
Judy accompanied Helena, Hemmings-san accompanied me as my escort, and Wilt-san checked on the servants and others in the mansion.
The place where the black mass that had broken through the roof and left was the lord’s room.
The inside of the lord’s room was in such a terrible state that even after purifying it, one would hesitate to enter, especially the bedroom, which was just awful. Some of the remains that seemed to belong to the lord were left inside the bedding. Did his soul realize that his body had already decayed?
The memories of the people in the mansion were vague, and they didn’t seem to remember much from the time when the lord seemed to be in an abnormal situation.
They all looked as if they had been pinched by a fox. (***T/N: Being ‘pinched by a fox’ is Japanese idiom that basically means being disbelieving of what you see because the situation feels unreal)
That day, we left the barriers up in the lord’s mansion for the time being. It was agreed that it wouldn’t be possible for that filth to return. If it was a barrier of this level, we could use the barrier maintenance device created by the Dairoku and things would be fine for a while.
After we finished cleaning up the mansion, we put together a report on today’s results and asked Wilt to send it over using Dairoku’s magic tool.
It was like a miniaturized version of a magic transfer circle, a magic tool that could send small inorganic objects. It seems that it could only be used in places where location data has been entered, but it was still a very useful tool. It looks like a small box-shaped bag, but it had the coat of arms of the magical division printed on it.
If Count Chevali was dead, we would need the right person to take charge of this territory as soon as possible. We decided to finish our chores at the lord’s house until the evening and return to Galt’s inn.
Tomorrow, we planned to enter the forest of question early in the morning. We would need to prepare accordingly. We would also have to make preparations for the encampment.
This was also not the time to be worried about the people in the territory learning about the magic division’s presence. We changed into our magic division uniforms, thinking about the future.
“As expected, it feels more comfortable in this uniform. It’s easier to work in.”
Judy seemed to be getting enthusiastic as she tapped her changed uniform.
“Yes, I’m still most comfortable in the clothes I’m used to wearing.”
Helena said as she fastened her cufflinks.
“Yeah, it feels right.”
I couldn’t help but notice that I also wore my usual blue squad uniform. It was clean because it was also processed so it wouldn’t get wrinkled.
There is no concept of anti-bacterial processing in this world, but since purification magic has been given, there is no need to worry about dirt when it comes to your our uniforms. It was not necessary for a person who has a purification ability to purify another person who does not have the ability every time. I asked Cerezo if he could add a purification function to the squadron’s uniforms, and he thought about it rather seriously, and from this term, the squadron’s uniforms had been given a cleansing function. Amazing, as expected of the Dairoku.
Judging by the gathered the stories of the deputies of Count Chevali and those who served in the lord’s mansion, it seemed that the lord had been acting strangely for more than half a year now. He didn’t come out of his room and was only giving instructions to those outside the door.
We explained to the innkeeper that it was okay to talk to us, and that we were from the magic division.
We rented out the dining room of the men’s inn and had a meeting for tomorrow’s events. A map was spread out on the table and a small barrier had been put in place to prevent any confidential information from leaking out of this room.
“There is a forest barrier in this area, but according to Dairoku’s research, it was put up by the ancestors of Count Chevali’s family. It seems that the family originally specialized in magic power to set up barriers. I’m sure it was built to sustain the barrier by drawing on the abilities of the family, but the direct lineage of Count Chevali is dead, and the remaining magic power is so fragile that it seems easy to break it now.”
With a hand on his chin, Wilt-san looked thoughtful.
“Hey Wilt, the place where this barrier was originally set up seems to be a place with a history, is it an old battlefield or something like that?”
Hemmings was right to say that. In general, the places that needed purification were the places where a lot of people’s regrets remained.
The quality of such places was particularly bad, especially old places that had been around for a long time where the residual thoughts of resentment remain unpurified and continue doing bad things. It was not an unusual story, and was also the cause of most purification requests that came to the Magic Division.
“This story is quite old, but according to the Dairoku’s findings, it seems that several tribes coexisted in the area that is now the neighboring territory, and among them, a tribe that specialized in barriers monopolized the resources. Well, that seems to be the ancestors of the Count Chevali…It’s a common story that they got this land by massacring other tribes.”
“Yeah, but then again, that was…”
“That felt like a powerful curse being triggered by all the wrong conditions…”
Picking up on Hemmings’ words, Helena blurted out.
“Well, the answer from the Dairoku is that this phenomenon may be due to something close to ‘Insect Witchcraft’ (T/N: The word is ‘mushijutsu’ which can also be translated as insect arts/techniques)
This time everyone frowned at Wilt-san’s words.
There was still a story of a clan in Elementia that dealt with such curses, but it was forbidden.
Even in the magic division, we also learn about such history in the classroom, and indeed, it was certainly mentioned in the magic.
Insect witchcraft is a form of magic that produces poisonous insects that are harmful to humans.
In the previous life that I remember, the country of China had something called worm poisoning. It appeared in various stories, and I had the opportunity to learn about it rather well. The idea was to put 100 poisonous insects in a jar, make them cannibalize each other, and then use the poison of the last surviving remaining insect. I wondered if human beings, even if they come from different worlds, end up arriving at the same kind of thinking? The insect witchcraft of Elementia was also a similar type of technique.
However, since this world also has magic power, those kind of curses are very complicated. Most purifiers have strengths and weaknesses, which is why the power of my Tizar purification, which was known to be versatile, was very much relied upon in times like these.
The next morning, before we mounted our horses to leave for the forest in question, I handed everyone a long, portable can, shaped like a canteen, full of dates.
Hemmings-san immediately popped the lid open, plucked a date out of the can and popped it into his mouth.
“Sweet and delicious!”
His face, which was always full of the usual smug face, was full of puppy-like smiles.
Judy also opened the lid of her can and threw one into her mouth, like Hemmings-san.
Then Hemmings-san spat out and sent the seeds flying farther away and made a smug face.
Quickly, Judy spat hers out farther than that.
Wrinkles appeared between their eyebrows.
Then the two of them started a competition to spit seeds, and finally, even Helena joined.
And they call me a child! I was pissed. Wilt-san was just laughing.
But thanks to that, everyone, myself included, began to eat some sweet dates, laughed, and left in a somewhat warm mood.
I remembered that Akaino had been misbehaving with spitting out seeds, and I thought that when I finished work and got my leave, I would go to Cross Island again. When I got back, I had some things I wanted to talk to Zak about. Thinking about Zak made my heart flutter as I thought about him.
“What is it, Fiara, your face is so red. Have you choked on a seed or something?”
I twisted my head around to see Helena’s seriously concerned gaze as she asks me such a thing. It made me wonder how troublesome I was being.
“No, no. I’m okay. It’s just that Judy and Hemmings-san were too funny.”
I felt bad lying to Helena, who was convinced by my excuses for suspicious behavior, waving her hands in the air and saying “Oh, I see,” but really, after all this time, I realized just how much I love Zak.
It was like a painful, sad feeling coming from deep in my chest…
“Okay, I’ll do my best to finish my work this time, and then I’ll be back home.”
To the people I love…
What a blessing it is to have a place to go home to.
T/N: It truly is a blessing to have friends and family to call a home ❤
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