Chapter 32 The Philosopher’s Stone
First published on Ainushi
I jumped from the window.
The guest room was on the second floor of Garrett Palace, and it was quite a significant height, but I was uninjured thanks to the Wind Spirits.
The dolls were stark naked. Spherical joints and cog-like structures peeled out from the seams of their bodies, and they made a strained hard screeching sound. Each one of their movements seemed sharp and mechanical to the extent of being excessive, it seemed as if it was stressing on the fact that they did not possess a will of their own.
One amongst them, rushed at the noblewoman who had been paralysed with fear. It raised its arm high as if it were the scythe of the death reaper.
I made it in the nick of time. At the last moment, I squeezed myself within the gap between the noblewoman and the doll. Relying on the momentum, I thrust my sword. Rather than to cut through, it was more of a stance to bash. Even if I may say so, I felt as if it was almost the moves of an experienced fighter. ……Even though I haven’t even fought once up until now. Maybe it’s because Weiss was assisting me.
The blade hit the white porcelain body hard. It didn’t sweep sideways in two parts or anything of the sort. It was just to the extent of cracks running down the face.
However, the places that came in contact began to freeze. It’s power rivalled Walf’s flame sword. Soon the dolls frozeーーNot.
The dolls left eye shone with a golden light. Lightning ran through their bodies, and while spreading, smashed through the ice.
(Shit, is this da “Philosopher’s Stone”!? This is bad!)
Weiss erased magic from the sword blade while shouting. The dolls were sent off flying from the impact.
(Alty, this is the only way fer’ escape. It’s da worst. Even the wise I couldn’t think of anything other than that.)
(What do you mean, Weiss. What in the world is the “Philosopher’s Stone”?)
(It is the natural enemy among natural enemies fer’ us spirits. An’ that thing’s bad news.)
(Wait, wasn’t freezing intrinsically the power of the magic sword.)
(I’ll give ya a detailed explanation later, in da first place, in the sword my split spirit is sealed. Ya followed that connection and drew out my main body, but it seems ya did not realise it.
……Kajero, Walf, can ya move?)
(Yeah, if it is to the extent of protecting the princess to the end, we can manage.)
(We’ll create a breakthrough point. Leave it to us.)
The two who were delayed rushed up to us.
It must have been the effect of the Philosophers Stone, but they seemed to struggle quite a bit to move
The protection that I had added to the one piece also seemed to be fading.
Dozens of dolls blocked our path ahead.
No, they were there behind us too. It seemed that we were under siege.
Before long, an ominous light filled their eyes. The expressionless faces somehow seemed to sneer.
(Princess, it’s news from the crows patrolling the skies. The marionettes have been sighted at other places too. They number around 1000, and they seem to be attacking people indiscriminately with the intentions to siege the royal palace.)
The usual composure had disappeared from Kajero’s voice.
(……This situation might just turn out to be a bit difficult.)
Barring the people around Alteria, this era’s information network was by no means perfect, and thus it was inevitable that the information the “Pessimistic King” got was quite removed from reality. In the first place, the Royal capital was at the height of chaos from the successive incidents.
ーーGarrett Castle was on the verge of falling due to the doll army, and the royal Army and the Imperial Guard Knight troops were in a state of utter destruction.
King Lereol turned pale.
(As expected, the Doll Princess came for revenge. Zudah, you bastard, Zudah you bastard!)
Thank to that rotten scoundrel, Malgaroid’s history would end today. Absurdly unbelievable. He had no excuses to offer to the first queen, Lady Marua.
Who was the one who incited the assassination? If he had eyes that could foresee everything, he would have found the mastermind out and beheaded him at once.
The spectacle that rose in the Pessimistic King’s heart was of Alteria leading thousands of dolls and the royal capital being engulfed in a sea of flames by it.
Innocent citizens losing their lives one after another as compensation for the assassination ーー.
(Ahh, If I’d known such a thing would happen, I’d have never become the king. It’d been better to have pushed it onto my younger brothers.)
In Malgaroid, as a custom from the past, many have taken reign in their early teens. Lereol, in his early twenties was quite old for a newly enthroned king.
Originally, it’s supposed be an age where one doesn’t even dream of being enthroned.
But still, the reason why he tried every trick and snatched the royal throne was because he did not want his brothers, who were too young , to bear the burden.
Generations of extraordinary young kings were forced into disabilities before they could even turn thirty due to the heavy mental load.
(That’s right, I know.
I worked hard up until now to carry this pain.)
In the eyes of Lereol, who’d been dyed in despair, a faint light shone.
Albeit small, he held conviction.
(If so, I’ll conduct myself as a king till the very end.
It’s my good fortune that I was, and not my cute brothers, assigned the role of the king of this ruined country.)
Lereol raised his head.
He was tortured by the violent swing within the carriage, with the horses running at top speed.
It wouldn’t be strange for the mirror on the wall to fall off at any moment.
……The face reflected in it, had already overcome all unrest and was tranquil.
Leaving a small gap in between, we and the marionettes glared at each other.
The summer sunlight scorched through the already taut string of tension.
(Weiss, is there any weaknesses of the Philosopher’s stone?)
(There surely is. If the Philosopher’s Stone does not take in the sun’s rays, it won’t function. That’s why it’s been buried in their eyes.
As ya can see, the weather today is just that.)
There wasn’t a single cloud and the sky was blue enough to be odious.
(Alty, can’t ya use magic to manipulate the weather?)
(It’s impossible. I guess there’s no way other than defeating them squarely.)
(Oi, Oi, the power of us Spirits is pretty weakened.
We have ta’ break through from where the enemy siege is thin and retreat.
We have ta’ give up on the woman behind. We only have enough energy ta’ take you along.)
(No. I have a plan.)
(Alty, don’t be obstinate. Leave that half hearted sense of justice behind.
Humans, how many of them will survive? Ya’ll get many chances fer revenge.
Nobody will point fingers at ya for abandoning that woman here. It’s that bad a situation)
(Weiss, aren’t you making a fool of me?
What bothers me isn’t just the person behind me.
Feria-san and Phyllika-san’s father is in Garrett palace too. There are many others who interacted with me, they’re an uncountable number.
Abandoning them, is a step that I wouldn’t choose till the very end.
I had just saved the redhead, so maybe I’d gotten a bit imprudent.
I sounded a bit self-important, even if I say so myself.
But, those were my true feelings now.
If I’d abandoned her from the beginning despite having a plan, I’d surely not be able to forgive myself.
(Ha, Ojou-chan barks quite a lot fer someone who hasn’t even lived a thousandth of how long the great I have lived.
Generally such a person meets their maker early. Looks like this is going to be a short acquaintance, geez.
……But ya see, I don’t hate such a thing.
Fine, the dregs are all that’s left of my strength, but I’m gonna bring out every last bit of it.
Oi, Kajero, your master, isn’t she a good girl?)
(You’re saying this at this time? This is exactly why you’re an idiot.)
Kajero gave out a sigh. His formal tone of voice softened.
(Even if I surrender in resignation, she’ll pull me up.
There won’t be a more ideal person you could ask for as a master.)
Wasn’t that too much flattery?
Well, it isn’t the first time this has happened, so I’ll let it pass.
(Hehe, I should say thank ya then.
Well, well then, O master who doesn’t know fear. What do ya want ta’ do exactly?)
(First, we have to increase the number of people under us. If we are like this,it’ll be like fighting against all odds.)
(Just like a while back, will the spirits come down too if you offer blood?)[Kajero?]
(That’s impossible, don’t try that. If it isn’t the unintentionally spilt blood, the magic like effects won’t be produced, even if you manage to summon them, they won’t have the fighting strength thanks to the Philosopher’s Stone.
That’s why I intended to return to the basics, just for today.)
I’d forget it at times, but originally doll magic did not rely on spirits.
It was to move dolls using magic thread, and what I did was only an application of it.
(Do you intend to steal the marionettes?)
(Yeah. For that you need to cut the thread that the practitioner has extended. Weiss, can you do it?)
(Of course. If I do not especially touch them, then I will not be repelled loudly like just now.)
(Will Kajero and Walf go too?)
The two nodded.
Incidentally, it might seem as if I was talking for a long time, but in actuality, not much time had passed.
It was always faster to communicate your intentions by Telepathy than by voice. Just as the word said, you could even call it mind to mind communication.
Moreover, it had to transmit at this speed, or what I was going to do would be by no means fulfilled.
(While we were doing this too, the victims have increased. It’s a race against time.
Because I’ll also be appearing on the front lines this time. Let’s use “That”.)
I knew that both Kajero and Walf would be opposed to it.
That’s why after declaring it one sidedly, I took a deep breath.
This was something I devised whilst preparing for the battle against the earl 2 years ago.
That time when we had a confrontation at the front door, the fight was in the short time till the permafrost magic was invoked.
It was a cheat that made it possible to increase the time of that short change as much as possible.
At that time it was a last resort filled with nothing but huge risks, but now, I have plenty of the drug in stock, so it wasn’t that big of a gamble.
The human body involuntarily has a limited built in it, and one cannot use all of their strength in the true sense.
If one goes there, they would only destroy their body by themselves.
However I could intentionally release that limiter.
Humans after all are simply creatures controlled by the strings called nerves. ーーThat’s right, I’ll choose.
Doll Magic: Target; Me.
Bypassing my brain and nerves, I connected my body and consciousness directly through magic.
With this I could bypass my limiter. Moreover, the time lag between my thoughts and movements would become infinitesimally close to zero.
I kicked the ground.
In a blink of an eye I dove right in the middle of the Marionettes.
The sudden acceleration didn’t take my consciousness along. Falling forward, I held my ground.
The confusion lasted for a moment, instantaneously I was synchronised with my body.
And then my one second seemed like an eternity.
I cut, chopped and slashed.
I scythed down, moved down, and swept them off their feet.
I stabbed, thrust and pierced.
One after another, the marionettes fell.
My fighting style must have surely been ridiculous.
Even my speed was simply absurdly supplementing it.
It wasn’t much, but it wasn’t something a Duke’s daughter should do.
This was a swordsman or a knight’s job.
I wonder where I went wrong.
There wasn’t any mistake.
I was doing what I could do by myself..
If I moved ahead I could advance further.
Unchanged right from the past, this was me.
1. Bunrei means dividing the spirit. The term refers to entreating (kanjō) a deity enshrined in one location to impart the divine presence to another location. The deity of such a branch shrine (bunshi, bunsha, niimiya, imamiya) is a divided spirit of the enshrined deity of the main shrine. ↩
Hasr’s Random Opinion Asking Corner:
Would you guys prefer the chapters to be broken up into parts (faster releases, but shorter) or the whole chapter (slow releases)? Tell me in the comments 〜