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Chapter 418 – 16 Year Old Inglis and the Highland on Distance Sea (27)

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Author: Hayaken Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2352 characters
Translator: Mab English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 928 words
Editor(s): Hydra, Liomad

Über continued, “However, some also believe this is the perfect opportunity to strike Charalia, considering the toll the battle against the Prisma might have taken on their military prowess. Opinions are quite divided.”

“I see…” was the only response from Inglis.

Rafinha couldn’t care less about that and immediately cut in, “More importantly, where are the people who were brought along with the princess?! We need to act quickly or it will be too late!”

“…It’s rare to have such an opportunity to talk. I’m willing to answer your questions, but you might not like the answers.”

“I need to know! Tell us, and quickly!”

“Very well, let me cut to the chase. You’ve already met them. There’s no longer any urgency; it’s already too late. You encountered them just before you met me.”

Über’s words hung heavily in the air.

“What…?! Too late…?!”
“Yes. There’s nothing more to be done now,” Über affirmed, his smile remaining gentle yet unsettling.

“W-, What exactly do you mean…?!”
“Could you please explain further?”

Leone and Liselotte joined in, clearly perplexed. If the people were handed over to the Highland, they could have been enslaved or transformed into Hyrule Menaces. Direct execution seemed illogical. Yet, Über’s claim that Inglis and the others had already met those people suggested—

“…You mean the guards on the bridge are them?”
“Eh? But they’re Highland soldiers, Glis.”
“True… But if Mr. Über insists we’ve met them here in Illuminas, then it could only be those soldiers.”
“Well, Inglis has a point…”

“But why would it be too late to save them?”
“…Miss Vilma mentioned they are pseudo-life forms, right? Perhaps the materials used to create those pseudo-life forms are those people taken from the surface.”

Rafinha and the others exclaimed in shock. Meanwhile, Über nodded, seemingly pleased with their deduction, and even clapped his hands a few times.

“Brilliant deduction. I regret being the bearer of such grim news, though.”
“…What exactly are they?”
“They are called Mana Coats. They possess minimal self-awareness and serve as soldiers for the Highland, as you’ve seen.”

“…When Inglis suggested they are made from humans, what exactly did she mean?”
“The humans brought here are placed into a furnace filled with a substance known as Mana Essence fluid. They dissolve within seconds, becoming part of that fluid… or so I’ve been told. I haven’t seen it myself.”
“No…!! then…”

“Everyone was transformed into that magic essence fluid…?!”
“That’s what you meant by too late…?!!”
“And those soldiers, created from processing the Mana Essence fluid, were the guards you encountered earlier. The process is quick and truly horrific.”
“…Given that we didn’t take long to escort Mais and return, it’s clear it was already too late.”

If those were Mana Coats, then the High Mana Coats must comprise high-purity Mana Essence fluid. Inglis pondered how many lives were sacrificed to create just one High Mana Coat. The concept was brutally efficient.

“The advantage of Mana Coats is that once their purpose is served, they can be reverted to Mana Essence fluid. Living soldiers require food and medical care. Mana Coat soldiers do not. They are the ideal soldiers. Illuminas’ airships contain reservoirs of Mana Essence fluid, allowing soldiers to be generated on demand. It’s a system where nothing goes to waste.”

“No way…! How can you discuss this so calmly?! To be used as slave soldiers, forced to fight and work, is a far better fate! At least then, you’re still alive, living in your own body… Being turned into Mana Essence fluid means you’re essentially dead…!”

Rafinha’s voice cracked with emotion, and Über looked at her, seemingly confused by her distress.

“Why tell me this? It’s the Highlanders of Illuminas who are doing this.”
“…! Ugh…”

Rafinha’s retort fell flat, her gaze dropping. Indeed, Über had made a valid point.

“I was utterly dumbfounded by how carefree you all appeared when I first saw you. How can you smile so freely in such a daunting place? I still tremble every time I interact with the Highland knights, fearing it might be my turn next to be turned into Mana Essence fluid. But then, I suppose you didn’t know.”

“You’re… right. We were ignorant. Maybe getting the Special Grade Rune made me a bit too confident…”

“It’s not just you, Leone. I feel the same…”

Leone and Liselotte exchanged somber looks, their expressions grave.

“You seem well-informed, despite that the Highland boy we met said Illuminus doesn’t use slaves because it’s wrong.”

Even Vilma seemed uncomfortable with the details of the Mana Coats, possibly preferring silence over disclosing such grim realities. She was undoubtedly aware that they were dealing with human lives.

It’s probable that Mais and most Highland citizens were unaware of these practices, given the more humane teachings they received.

“Well, yes. Our firm has maintained good relations with Illuminus across generations… so I’ve been privy to various insider information.”

It appeared he had connections with high-ranking officials, like First Professor Vilkin. The information he held, unknown to the general populace, must have stemmed from the upper echelons.


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