Jammerg55 here, this was a really fun chapter to translate, by fun I mean thrilling. This arc was only 3 chapters long but it is a big setup for a several arcs including the next one. Enjoy!
Chapter 23:The Underground Ruins and the Crystal Demon
「Light come forth, Small Illumination, Light」
In the air above Lindsey’s head appeared a small light. With a firm step on the stairs we begin to descend underground.
The stairs drew in a gradual spiral angle, just how far is this thing going to go? While continuing forward it felt as if we were walking closer to the bowels of hell, such foolish uneasiness sprang up.
After descending the long flight of stairs, there was a wide stonework passage way.
Pointing straight ahead, what lay ahead was so dark nothing could be seen. There was a damp moist smell that caused an indescribably eerie mood.
「Som-, something, it feels bad, a ghost might even appear.」
「What are you saying Elsie!? Surely, gh- ghosts won’t come out~degozaru! ……Right？」
Yae overreacts to what Elsie muttered quietly. I don’t really care but can you girls please stop pulling on my coat … it’s making it hard to walk…
Lindsey walks voluntarily ahead through the passage. You’ve got some guts.
The light from Lindsey ahead lights the passage. Next we follow and gradually advance through the next passage that gradually rises and comes out into a large hall.
「What is this…?」
Drawn on the furthest wall ahead, there seemed to be characters or something. Approximately 4 meters high and 10 meters in length, there seemed to be continuous lines of writing.
As I drew nearer, rather than characters they seemed closer to pictographs. Something in the range of Inca or Aztec writing.
「Lindsey…can you read what’s written here?」
「No… not at all. Ancient magic language…doesn’t seem to be this.」
Lindsey while answering my question doesn’t look at me, but stares at the wall absentmindedly.
This certainly classifies as a historical relic. Even an amateur like me can understand that. But, if you were to ask me if this was treasure, I would honestly say that it was something else. “Search” would have still shown this as a result.
Oh that’s right, I should at least take a picture. I setup the smartphone, pushed the picture button on the camera app and a brilliant flash of light appeared.
「U!? What was that!?」
The sudden flash of light startled Yae and the others. Showing them that it was alright by showing them my smartphone, they breathed a sigh of relief. The girls are gradually becoming accustomed to my eccentric behavior. Oh wait, I shouldn’t say things like eccentric behavior about myself.
I took pictures of all the paintings but why is something like this in a place like this?
「Hey, wait! Everyone come over here for a moment!」
Elsie suddenly raises her voice. On the right side of the hall she was pointing to a certain part of the wall.
「Someone buried something here」
In the wall, there was a brownish transparent diamond stone just in our line of vision that was imbedded. It was approximately 2-centimeters in diameter. A jewel, it seemed to be slightly dirty.
「This is… a demon stone. This is the earth attribute demon stone. If you pour in some magic something might happen.」
「Something… like a trap?」
「I can’t say it isn’t something like that… but something like this wouldn’t be a trap normally it’s unthinkable」
I can nod at Lindsey’s explanation but… what is it, this unease? Because there is a switch I want to push it. With that feeling it might not be a trap… I might just be over thinking it.
「Well then Touya, apply some magic.」
With Elsie’s nonchalant comment, I spun around and looked. Even though it might be a trap!?
「I mean Touya is the only one with the earth attribute right?」
Muu, if I remember correctly, Lindsey has fire and water, and light, Elsie has non-attribute, Yae doesn’t have any attribute. And I have all attributes. Oh well, it can’t be helped……
「Why is everyone so far away?」
「「「Well, just in case」」」
Everyone takes a distance from me, trying to laugh it away while staring intently. After sighing once, I apply magic to the demon stone.
Zuzuzuzuzu……the sounds of the ground that had begun to move, all the walls in front of me became sand and opened a hole. It was a pretty flashy door opening.
「What is this?」
The walls disappear and we look inside. There seemed to be an object covered with dust and sand in the center of the room.
What would be something appropriate to say…? The first image I saw was an insect. A cricket. It looked close to that… From the almond shaped body, that looked like it could fly, sprouted 6 long slender legs. Several had already been broken.
It was approximately the size of a light car. Imagine a dead cricket with its arms and legs missing.
But, the form was machine-like, with a simple streamlined structure, rather than a living thing.
「What is that thing? Is some kind of image?」
Elsie looked at it from various angles. Looking closely at it, looking inside the head there was what looked like a transparent baseball sized red object.
With dust and sand on the surface, the mysterious object was half transparent… was it glass? It can’t really see through the gloom……n?
「Lindsey…How much longer can you maintain the light magic?」
「Eh? I’m certainly not very good with light magic but… I can keep it going for about 2 hours.」
Puffing her cheeks in protest, cocks her head and looks at the light ball that’s suspended in the air.
「Huh? The light seems to be getting weaker it seems…」
「It’s not “it seems.” It’s certainly weakened. This is……」
Glancing back at Yae who shouted, in the head of the cricket, the red ball began to shine. The cricket’s body begins to vibrate a little.
「Touya-san! It’s absorbing the light magic!」
That’s the reason the light magic was weakening! The ball quickly begins to shine and the cricket’s body begins to move. Could it be… this thing, it’s alive!? The magic is being absorbed and it’s starting to move!?
My ears started to ring from the shrill noise. The sound impacted all the walls around the room. It was like an electric shock to the body. The pinging was causing the walls to begin to crack. This is bad! At this rate we’re going to be buried alive!
As the gate appeared, everyone ran through the gate one after the other above ground. I was the last to enter the gate just as the cricket stood up. It was charging at me at a terrifying speed. It was only 5 meters away from me, it was like a spear, and was headed right at me.
I fell out of the gate and landed on the ground. I immediately closed the gate and the ruins on the ground extended in my presence. It seems to have been buried alive in the end.
「What was that?」
「That demon, I’ve never seen anything like it degozaru!」
Elsie and Yae looked at the entrance to the underground, still tense while talking about the underground looked around, gogogogogo… the earth rumbled and a crack appeared.
From the interior came the sounds of roaring and a cloud of dust appeared. Perhaps the hall in the underground caved in it seems. That cricket demon seems to have been buried, or should have been.
Everyone held their breath, silence ruled the vicinity.
That sound…could it be…
Dokaa! And it broke through the ground and came out on top.
That almond type, 6 long slender legged creature. The crystal shines under the sun. This is what you would call a translucent living being, a crystal creature?
The cricket stretches its legs again, and runs sideways down the walls and directly at me. It cuts through the walls like a knife through tofu. What sharpness.
「Flame come forth, Red duet, Fire arrow!」
Lindsey sends a continuous stream of flaming arrows at the cricket. However, even without dodging the arrows, calmly accepts them. The flame arrows were being sucked into the cricket and disappearing.
「It’s absorbing the magic!?」
「Kuu…well then what about this!」
Yae draw’s her sword and strikes at the head of the cricket. But what would have been a hit was merely a scratch.
「What hardness degozaru!」
Next, Elsie punched the cricket from the side. But it wasn’t effective, it wasn’t something that could damage it after all.
One of the cricket’s feet took aim at Elsie. She dodged it before she was skewered.
「What should we do with this thing!?」
Magic is absorbed, blades don’t cut it, what should I……! ……Wait, if attack magic doesn’t work directly then what about indirectly…… let’s test that out.
The moment I set the frictional properties on one of the cricket’s feet to zero the result was immediate, that guy fell spectacularly. OK!
「Lindsey! Magic doesn’t work directly, but does indirectly!」
「I see…I understand! Ice come forth, a huge lump of Ice, Ice Rock!」
Lindsey recites the ice magic. A huge mass of Ice appears over the head of the cricket, then falls just like that. The cricket is crushed. Though direct attack magic is absorbed, an object made from magic could not be absorbed.
Like the rust on the hinges of a rusted door, the cricket flinches. However with even with the objects invented by magic only damage it a little due to the hardness.
Facing the one who stopped it, Elsie jumps out of the way like avoiding a bullet.
「Boost… Open all!」
This non-attribute magic improves physical strength, “Boost” is used, with a best aimed kick to one of the long slender legs of the cricket with as much power as possible.
The next moment, with what sounded something like breaking glass, the leg was crushed.
There’s no way this thing can’t be wounded. If can be damaged even a little at a time, it’ll fall eventually!
Suddenly, the cricket groans and screams, the read ball shines in it’s head. As if reacting to that, the leg that should have been crushed was restored, Hey, that’s a lie right……
「It restored it」
In a moment of surprise, Elsie stops momentarily. In the moment that she stopped she was deeply pierced in her right shoulder.
Elsie flies instantly backward away in escape. Blood streams profusely from the shoulder. Her shirt is stained and stains all the way down to her pants.
「Yae! Lindsey! Stall it!」
The two nod and Yae quickly attacked while Lindsey began to form another ice rock. While the cricket is focused on the 2 girls. I run up to Elsie and use recovery magic on her. The wound is gradually closed, and before long the blood is stopped.
「Thank you… I’m fine now…」
Like hell you’re fine. The wound might have been closed but the damage should still be there.
Capable of regeneration, magic absorption, abnormally strong hardness… how do we beat it…? Are there any weak points?
「Even if we break something it gets regenerated making this hopeless……!」
「Speaking of which…when we found that body it was already broken apart… So why….?」
If I remember correctly…… It absorbed Lindsey’s magic and then it regenerated…… Even though it regenerated it still needed magic? Speaking of which, at that time the ball in the head started to shine. Could it be that the red ball in the head is the nucleus…?
「Elsie, come here…」
I told Elsie what I realized.
「Eh? You can do that kind of thing!?」
「I’m not sure. But it’s worth trying」
With a breath straightening up, I faced the cricket and concentrated magic on my grip and imagined its body. The body is transparent so look closely!
In my hand the red crystal appeared. Good, it succeeded!
I aimed and threw the ball , Elsie’s strengthened fist came straight down on it. It got caught between Elsie’s fist and the ground and shattered to pieces with a “Pakiin!”
「How about that!?」
After pulling out the nucleus it stops moving. Before long, it crumbles with a rattle. Reflecting with a glitter in the sun, the Crystal demon finally falls.
For a while, waiting for it to reproduce again, but it did not revive for a long, long time.
With the tension drained, I sit on the ground. The idea that I decided to try went well. Looking around closely Elsie and Yae were also sitting on the ground.
Lindsey took a splinter of the demon, she wanted to examine it.
「Could this be, this could be something that closely resembles demon stone…」
「Demon stone’s features are magic amplification, accumulation and discharge. This demon absorbed magic from someone else and used it to regenerate itself… no, could it be that was a defense ability… and then used it, I think. Absorption, accumulation, discharge… those are features that look like demon stone.」
Could it be that thing couldn’t actually produce any magic itself? And because of that it stopped moving in the ruins? Nothing but a mystery.
「Is this something that we should report to the guild degozaru?」
「No, when taking the fact of the underground ruins and this being the former Capital into consideration, the government should be informed instead. Let’s go and speak to the Duke」
I see. That would be best.
Let’s immediately go to the duke’s house.
「I see, the old Capital had those kinds of ruins…」
The Duke folded his arms and leaned back in his chair thinking about it. It was unfortunate but Sue and Ellen were both out. While sitting in the parlor, we explained the general outline.
「I understand. This could possibly have some relation to the royal family. The government will send out an investigation and investigate the area. Of course the demon as well.」
「Ah–… The underground ruins are probably destroyed, so examining those might be quite difficult….」
「What? Oh, I see….the writing on the wall was something that interested me but…」
The Duke looks down with a disappointed face. Did I do something bad…? No, it’s not as if we destroyed those ruins.
「Oh, but I was able to take some photos of the wall painting. You might be able to do something with that.」
On the smartphone camera app the photo was displayed to the Duke.
「What is this!?」
「This is a non-attribute magic image recorder」
「Hou?… You’re amazing as usual…」
With a little lie the duke was easily deceived. Sorry forgive me. The explanation is too confusing.
「If I can have some time I can make some copies and hand them over.」
「Please do. By chance, it’s possible that this was recorded 1000 years before the capital was transferred.」
Ah, why is it that the country of the capital that was transferred doesn’t even know why it happened. Usually this kind of thing is recorded by the country in some kind of record. Or could it be that the duke is saying that the reason the capital was transferred is in the wall painting. That something about the demon was written there.
We understand the weak point of that monster. If we were to fight it again we would probably win.
But, something bothers me. The old Capital was that in that condition that it probably wasn’t the demon’s doing.
With hazy feelings, we left the details with the Duke and departed the residence.
So I hope you enjoyed this arc, I think it’s the best to date. What do you guys think of my writing style for Smartphone? Any suggestions, comments, endless praise etc etc write below. Thanks!
If I have more time I’ll probably release chapters for the next arc.