Here is the next chapter! People we haven’t seen a long time make their appearance, some good news, some reveal about the truth (?) and many more! Enjoy!
ED: eristol (will be edited)
Harold’s workshop on that day was more cluttered than usual.
Even though usually there is barely a foothold, there is no place to stand today.
“It’s terrible, isn’t it?”
“It seems the preparation for All Souls’ Day has been difficult. You had your hands full with the fungal walkers before this, right?”
“It was difficult~~! If I sprayed them, they would fall asleep easily, but there were too many of them, you see?”
Harold increased the number of places he can walk on by pushing wooden boxes and huge golem parts aside with his legs.
Then a path to the couch opened up.
“I’m terribly sorry about that.”
“Well, the student council has been interesting, and thanks to that, I made some connections, so it’s not all bad. Please, go ahead and sit.”
As per Harold’s recommendation, I sat down on the couch.
“Now then, about that matter.”
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First up is the status report.
I took out the jar filled with the core of the mist golem from my bag and handed it over to Harold.
“Hmm, so you want to try letting the golem roam freely in the academy, huh.”
“I tried to check the processing in the part you left untouched, that is, the part of the artificial spirit, not the processing inside the golem.”
The real function of the mist golem is in the artificial spirit part, which is why the mysterious behavior is still going on.
Of course, the message that sounds like a will is also still playing.
“As you’d expect, it has been on my mind that perhaps, this golem has some kind of mission.”
“I get it. But, well, I’m surprised you were able to get the permission for this……”
“Well, it’s because there is no problem in my usual behavior.”
I explained to Harold about the reason why I was able to make an unreasonable request to the principal.
That said, I concealed the matter about the vampire and only told him that there was some kind of phantom beast.
“So then, found anything?”
“I found the logic to it. This is the route of the golem that I’ve observed for about 10 days.”
I gave the collected materials to Harold.
Harold went through it carefully.
“Ah~ indeed. This is an interesting one. So it only goes north no matter where it starts.”
“This……could it be the black box1 part of the artificial spirit?”
“……No way, is it trying to find and meet the Princess of Lucanrant?”
A look of amazement appeared on Harold’s face.
Certainly, that is a possibility.
“That’s why I’m wondering what to do. Should I give up here or continue?”
If I continue, I would like to extend the experimental range outside the academy.
This golem, no matter how I think about it, is worrisome.
Harold pondered about it for a moment while lowering his eyes onto the material.
“Hmm~ how about limiting the distance and observing its movement step by step?”
“Oh my, I thought you would stop me from doing this.”
“Because, I mean, you feel sorry for this wandering golem, right?
Harold looked into my face with his eyebrows lowered.
“You can’t abandon this guy who might be looking for the late princess because its master is no longer here, right?”
I was a little surprised that he was able to see through my mind.
I wonder if I’ve ever talked about that recently.
“You know me well.”
“I know. Because even though you don’t look like it, you’re quite sentimental. Well, I know you will see it through.”
Harold gave me a friendly smile.
A smile that hasn’t changed since childhood.
“As the saying goes, persistence is the path to success, so how about going to Lucanrant for ‘sightseeing’ during winter vacation?”
“I see, that does sound fun.”
Harold, who believes in me, also pushed me in the direction I wanted.
If I’m able to survive until winter vacation without problems, a trip to Lucanrant doesn’t sound so bad.
But first, let’s start with a survey focused on the vicinity of the academy.
Later, after reporting, communicating and consulting with the principal, I will ask for permission to expand the range of my experiment properly.
Just as the policy was decided, the sound of knocking resounded in the room.
“You have a guest at this time?”
“Ugh……I wonder if the student council came to bring me back……”
Harold exhaled loudly.
It is troublesome to deal with sudden errands like this, but it can’t be helped.
When the door opened with a familiar voice, Gilbert and Rob were there.
Oh, did they come from Nibelheim at this time?
“Oo~i, Botchan, it’s me!”
Leaving the door open, Gilbert waved his hand.
It seems that Rob and the golem behind him are carrying a large luggage.
“Oops, you’re here too, Erica-jou! It’s been a long time, Princess of the West. You seem to be in excellent spirits.”
“Long time no see, Gilbert-san, Rob. Both of you look well.”
Gilbert is still throwing flatteries around like a swindler as ever.
The cold impression has faded, and now his smile is completely beaming with positivity.
“Eeh~~ Aniki, why are you here~~? And Rob, you too~~!?!?”
“I brought the requested valuable materials for wands; rare minerals, phantom beast fossils, and cerebrospinal fluid. And I also brought your costume for All Souls’ Day.”
“I see! That’s right, Aniki.”
He was asked to bring the materials needed to recharge wands and Eyes of Overworld.
There are only very expensive items such as the core material of the wand of Urd Sight and various phantom beast materials, and he cannot carry them alone.
“But, well, looks like there’s no place to put the luggage. Rob, would you please clean the floor just enough to put the luggage?”
“Yes, I understand.”
Rob put the large bag in the hallway and started cleaning up.
Gilbert sat on a chair while avoiding the stuffs on the floor.
“Aah, I miss my old school after all. I can smell the academic scent from here~!”
“Good grief, Aniki. If you have the time to talk, you should take me to a reasonably delicious restaurant.”
Harold scowled at Gilbert.
He seems quite dissatisfied.
“Okay, okay, I’ve got an excellent inn, and I know a delicious eatery!”
Gilbert laughed with a flippant attitude as usual.
It’s an easy-going attitude because of our many years of friendship.
“But, you know, Botchan, this room is so messy. It doesn’t hurt to be a little tidier, you know?”
“Because I was selected as a member of the Dynameis and I’ve been preparing for All Souls’ Day, Aniki.”
“Haah~~ so you are a part of that glorious Dynameis, Botchan? That’s amazing! Do you perhaps have to read a scripture?”
“Ugh. W-well, that’s right.”
Harold turned his face away from Gilbert sulkily.
And then Gilbert’s teasing began.
“The lounge that can only be used by the student council members!”
“Tea parties with the beautiful senior aristocratic older sisters!”
Harold replied with a defiant attitude as his cheeks turning red with embarrassment.
This childish aspect of him is also one of his charms.
As I watched them, I spoke to Rob, who had finished cleaning up and piling up the baggage.
“Thank you for your hard work, Rob. It must be hard cleaning up right after a long trip from Nibelheim, isn’t it?”
“I am not worthy of those words. Thank you very much, Ojou-sama.”
Rob seemed to be a little frightened.
I feel like he’s still scared of me because of the way we met in that back alley, but that can’t be helped.
I guess I should talk about a topic that seems safe, huh.
“Do you miss school too?”
Oops, I accidentally said it, but that’s not a safe topic at all.
Because Rob was cornered by nobles and ran away from the academy, this is a subject that should not be touched upon!
I was stunned by my own lack of delicacy.
“I miss it very much. Because of various reasons, I left the academy during All Souls’ Day, so I miss it especially at this time.”
Rob calmly answered my insensitive question.
He’s been through a lot, but I guess it’s already in the past, huh.
Or was he just being considerate to me?
“My partner and I also fled from the academy on All Souls’ Day. We left this place in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the festival~”
Listening to Rob’s words, Gilbert also commented on the topic.
This one seems to be a planned withdrawal, so I’m not concerned at all.
“Why did you both choose to escape on All Souls’ Day?”
When Harold tilted his head in puzzlement, Gilbert also tilted his head.
“You don’t know? Let me explain, Botchan. At the time of All Souls’ Day, students can go around the city freely, right?”
“Oh~~ so that’s why.”
“Right, right. For people like us who have special circumstances, it’s much too troublesome to drop out of school. So we aim for a convenient time to escape.”
Students can get a permit at the time of All Souls’ Day, so they can go out to the city.
By the way, in order to enter the academy, an invitation is required, and it doesn’t matter whether you are a citizen of Lindis or a great nobleman.
“There seems to be such tradition since the olden days, Master.” (Rob)
“Aa~ the Evil Spirit of All Souls’ Day, huh. It’s a tradition to escape using that ghost story as an excuse.”
The story of the academy’s Seven Wonders came out of Gilbert’s mouth.
The ghost story about the Evil Spirit of All Souls’ Day.
It is a ghost story that occurs on the day of All Souls’ Day, and every year someone dies or goes missing.
“I see. So the true identity of the Evil Spirit of All Souls’ Day is both Gilbert-san and Rob, huh.”
This is also the true identity of the wonder.
The rumors about the wonder are actually a distorted interpretation of the disappearance of the people who escaped the academy.
Then, after the topic about the wonder was settled, Harold threw a question to Gilbert.
“By the way, Aniki, why did you bother coming to school? Usually it’s just Rob.”
“Hehehe. No, well, I thought I wanted to tell something to my benefactor.”
“Haa? What’s with that?”
Gilbert suddenly averted his gaze nervously.
Even though he is supposed to be a grown man, his attitude is just like a child.
Just what exactly does he mean by that?
“Aah, right, right! I have lots of delicious sweets, both of you are welcomed to eat them.”
“You can stop your attempt to mislead us, Aniki.”
“Did something happen, Gilbert-san?”
When he was asked by both Harold and me, Gilbert finally opened his mouth.
“……N-nothing, it’s just, I’m going to have a child next year.”
“Eeeeh~~~~~!!! Yours and Bell-anechan’s child~~~~~!!!!”
Harold screamed loudly.
That’s a surprise for me too!
“How wonderful! Let’s celebrate it!”
“That’s great, Aniki~~~!!!”
He was able to return to his home town, get his business on track, get married, and this time his family member is increasing.
It goes without saying that his love for Bell is also everlasting and they are now blessed with a child.
“I really wanted to meet that black mister. Would you please tell him for me, Ojou-san?”
Gilbert said with a meek expression.
I recalled that it was Tirnanog who persuaded him so hard at that time six years ago.
“Yes, I’m sure he’ll be pleased.”
When I replied, Gilbert smiled as if he was embarrassed.
After we finished talking, I returned to my room.
When Tirnanog came home, I told him about Gilbert.
『Kuku, I see, so that guy is a father now, huh.』
“He seems to have completely retired from being a prodigal son and become a full-time dad.”
Gilbert has that kind of personality.
I’m sure he will raise a mellow and nice family.
『If that is the case, we must protect the people from them even more.』
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What we meant by ‘them’ are vampires.
There are many unsettling movements these days, so we must prepare for the worst-case scenario.
“Palug is also hunting the underlings properly.”
『Erica, aren’t you taking measure against vampires too? If that is true, you are going to have your hands full with your fate of dying and all.』
“Well, I will work hard, starting from what I can do.”
Ever since the case of Lièvre , there has been a newly started countermeasure against vampires.
Which is the preparation of shelter-like facilities and stocking up wands and food.
The shelters are small in size, but they are starting to be prepared for every city and village.
Naturally, the budget came out of my own pocket money.
It was quite a big hit to my wallet.
But I won’t let the future where the world becomes vampires’ human-hunting ground come true.
For that reason, I will spare no expense in spending time and money.
1 Black box: In science, computing, and engineering, a black box is a device, system or object which can be viewed in terms of its inputs and outputs (or transfer characteristics), without any knowledge of its internal workings. Its implementation is “opaque” (black). Almost anything might be referred to as a black box: a transistor, an algorithm, or the human brain. (source)
Congrats to Gilbert-aniki and Bell!
Also, in case you don’t know, prodigal in this case means a person who leaves home and behaves recklessly, but later makes a repentant return. Not a person who spends money in a recklessly extravagant way.
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