Chapter 14 is here!
【”There is a system other than that of the magic saint Arturius-sama in our world?!”】
Although Mordred had calmed down after being reprimanded by the prime minister, Kurats’ words still made him shout on the spot.
Magic used to not be much different from the tricks a street fortune-teller would pull, it could not even be called art, and Magus Arturius was the genius who had managed to systematize it and turn it into a first-rate academic discipline.
After that, not only did magic rapidly become more powerful, but it also became possible for many people to use it through studying. And so, magic turned into an indispensable field for all continents.
Now, the number of mages in a country’s forces was what determined their military strength.
The magic saint’s system was considered as sacred by the every mage in the world, there was no way any of them would just admit that there was another magic system.
【”Then, let me ask you, did magic not exist before the magic saint’s system appeared?”】
【”It did exist, but it was primitive and useless!”】
【”――Maybe. But still, my point is that there already was magic at that time. The magic saint’s system only sublimated it by allowing everyone to study and learn it. So why exactly would it have been impossible for my ancestors to sublimate it in a different way?”】
It was the Arturius system’s accessibility that allowed it to take over the world, because, after all, anyone could learn it as long as they had mana.
As for the old forms of magic that were too difficult to teach to those who did not have special talent, they had ended up disappearing.
【”In my home, we called our form of magic the sages’ laws, and concealing it from the world was considered as a duty. With our family’s system, the parents transfer their abilities directly and entirely to their children, from generation to generation, so it’s only natural that it never spread to the world, right?”】
【But what happens if the parents or those children die before their abilities can be passed down?”】
Toward Christopher’s doubts that could only be said to be natural, Kurats answered with a wry smile and a shrug of his shoulders.
【”Not to mention the children, if the parents were to die before passing down their abilities, that would be the end of our lineage.”】
【”Primitive! This magic system is much too primitive!”】
Mordred showed a triumphant scorn.
Certainly, Kurats had to admit that these conditions for inheritance were too severe.
【”But it’s thank to this that our sages’ laws become stronger after each generation.”】
As Kurats let out that remark under his breath, Mordred’s eyes open wide from shock.
It had been nearly a thousand year since the magic saint’s system had become actively used.
And so, Mordred wondered, if that sage’s laws system had been accumulating power since that time period, then exactly how strong was the man standing before him?
As for Kurats, he was careful not to alter his facial expression as he asked Bernst a question in his mind.
【”Is this setting really okay?”】
『If not for this setting, it will probably seem too unnatural for them that you can use such powerful magic at your age. And these people have no way of verifying your words anyway.』
Mordred could absolutely not accept that Kurats was far more capable than he was.
As he felt ashamed for having been afraid of Kurats for even an instant, Mordred’s face took a shade of red. But after shaking his head from side to side, he came right back to arguing.
【”W-well, let’s say you do have some slightly special powers. Wouldn’t that also be problematic? Because of the high-grade defense magic surrounding the castle, there is no one who could have attached that monster to her highness Lunaria.”】
【”You’re insinuating I was the one who did so that i could heal her later on?”】
Mordred snickered proudly.
【”You’re denying it? Isn’t it true that you can teleport through the royal palace’s magic barrier without being affected by it?”】
【”Your suspicions are as baseless as they are shallow.”】
【”H-how dare you!”】
Mordred was a man who had no resistance to adversity.
He was pushing himself into becoming more irritated all on his own because his newfound threats had been of virtually no effect on Kurats.
【”Mind yours words, Mordred. This person saved my life, and I have a high opinion of him.”】
Lunaria gave Mordred a warning while keeping her voice low in order to hide her anger.
Not having expected the princess’ objection, Mordred frowned bitterly and spread both of his arms wide in an exaggerated manner as he spoke again.
【”But think of who had the most to gain from this incident. A man who used to be a mere commoner from a remote region has now joined the upper ranks of aristocrats. How could all of this possibly be a coincidence?”】
Normally, what should have been considered was who would have benefited from the princess’ death, not her survival, but Mordred dared to disregard that.
And looking at the final results, it was an undeniable fact that Kurats had gained a lot from the situation.
【”No, it truly was a coincidence. That man wished for a single thing in exchange for saving Lunaria, and it was only to be able to govern the small village of Gaura.”】
The king’s crucial statement made Mordred’s speculations crumble on the spot.
【”Then, how come he became a baron?”】
Asked Mordred, while seeking for a ray of hope.
【”I did it so that I could evaluate the power of this man whose powers differ from magic as we know it. Well, I do admit that my decision was partly driven by a whim of mine.”】
In short, it was due to his unusual talents that Kurats had acquired his current position.
Even if the princess’ case hadn’t happened, with his power, Kurats would likely have been able to rise in prominence anytime he liked.
At the very least, he would not have needed to target the princess to show his worth.
Sweat started appearing on the forehead of Mordred, who was starting to have a hard time keeping up the conversation.
【”B-but, isn’t it too convenient that a magician who had been keeping himself in hiding suddenly appeared just when her highness reached a critical state?”】
“He aimed for that precise timing, there is just no way he didn’t. The world isn’t that convenient, it’s not some folk’s tale. And that’s precisely why I’m going through such a hard time.” Thought Mordred.
【”Although the chances of these speculations being true are certainly low, the fact is that we do not have any evidence to completely deny the doubts of the head of the royal court’s mages.”】
At that moment, the marquis of Strasbourg, who had been staying silent for a while, intervened in order to help Mordred.
As the first princess’ husband, he felt the need to interfere so that the king would not be able to trust Kurats completely.
【”I see, then I have no other choice than to find the criminal responsible for the whole incident in order to dispel all of your doubts.”】
Kurats smiled impudently, as if the heavy pressure coming from the marquis of Strasbourg had no power at all.
【”Can you really do it?”】
Christopher was evidently glad.
He felt it would be quite interesting if this ended up revealing just how powerful Kurats’ sage abilities really were.
【”In the first place, monsters don’t just appear anywhere at random. I might have a plan, but it will require her highness Lunaria’s cooperation, if she doesn’t mind.”】
Those words made Lunaria visibly cheerful as she broke into a smile.
【”Then, let’s get right down to business! Follow me!”】
◆ ◆ ◆
Looking at the back of Lunaria, who was smiling merrily, Rosberg was still feeling grumpy.
(Your highness, how could such a suspicious man…)
Rosberg could not help but feel like Lunaria, his favorite student that he had taught using all of his expertise and care, had now fallen into behaving like the young girls from the capital.
【”So, Kurats, what do you think? Was the person who put the monster on me someone who wanted to see my elder sister take the throne?”】
【”Jeez, how am I supposed to know that? I’m not omniscient, you know.”】
(S-she’s addressing him by his first name―― and without honorifics?)
Even Rosberg himself had needed to put in a lot of time and efforts before the princess started addressing him as “Rosberg”.
As for Kurats, even though he was addressing a princess, his facial expression was completely natural, like he was not nervous in the slightest, which made Rosberg furiously angry.
【”I see, you’re right. Then, although I might trouble you since I’m out of shape, can I still follow you in your investigation?”】
【”Princess, please don’t make such worrisome jokes!”】
As one would expect, Lunaria’s words were unacceptable to Rosberg.
She was still in convalescence, but more importantly, Rosberg could not let her be careless around such a suspicious man.
Or rather, how could Rosberg possibly leave his precious highness in the care of this youngster, who had been laughing frivolously since earlier and talking without being intimidated in the slighest?
【”Your highness, I do not believe this man is worthy of approaching you!”】
【”―― Do I need your permission to get close to others now, Rosberg?”】
Although Lunaria kept the volume of her voice to a low level, the will that was carried by her words was sharp as a knife.
Had she not been addressing a tough man like Rosberg, her fiery spirit alone would likely have been enough to make him lose his nerve, grovel, and apologize.
【”I will never withdraw when your safety is on the line, your highness.”】
The two of them looked at each other’s eyes for a while, but Lunaria ended up averting eyes, having lost to Rosberg’s persistence.
Was Rosberg a warrior like any other? How many times had he saved Lunaria who was always putting her life in danger?
Lunaria herself knew the answer better than anyone else.
【”Come to think of it, mister Rosberg, aren’t you the best swordsman in the kingdom?”】
Rosberg instinctively started doubting the sanity of Kurats, who complimented him as if he could not read the mood at all.
【”They call me the kingdom’s sword, so you could say I’m not worse than average.”】
Things were not going as Rosberg expected.
The truth was that Rosberg had not been provoking Lunaria all this while, he had been provoking Kurats.
If Kurats was using Lunaria for his ambitions, he would have somewhat protested Rosberg’s behavior.
When faced with the feeling called anger, it was too difficult for people to hide their true nature.
In case Kurats’ true nature turned out to be evil, Rosberg was planning to use the confusion of their altercation to get rid of him, but things did not go his way.
As Rosberg felt dejected and disappointed that his provocation had failed, Kurats kept talking.
【”Then, say, how about with drop the words and let our swords do the talking instead?”】
【”…Oho. I’m the kingdom’s sword, Rosberg Conrad Von Blankenheim. You already know that and yet you still want to duel me, huh.”】
It was completely beyond Rosberg’s expectations that he would be challenged to a duel by a youngster who was most likely not past his teens, and who, on top of that, was not even a knight but a mage. This ignited Rosberg’s fighting spirit.
Roughly thirty years had passed since the far away days when he was still a young and came to knock at the door of the kingdom’s knight school.
He had grown older, but even now, when he stood on the front line of a battle with his armor covering his throbbing muscles, it did not feel like the passing of time had weakened him in the slightest.
On the contrary, his exquisite swordsmanship had become even sharper with age, and to say nothing of fighting a mage one to one, it was said that Rosberg would be able to face a mage accompanied by an army of a thousand soldiers.
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