|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3697 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1681 words|
『I see. So the devil undid that seal… Somehow I think that’s harder than it sounds though.』
That story involved the spirits, angels, demons, and even Gods. It could easily be taken as a myth or legend, but it was all true. Mira was speechless by the seriousness of it, but decided to move along considering their current situation.
The God of Monsters’ corpse kept making an eerie sound while producing large amounts of miasma. To stop the miasma, they split the body into six pieces.
Then the pieces were sealed to stop the sound and the force pulling them together. But the piling up miasma would eventually break the seal and the sound would appear again.
So the sealed body parts were encased in pillars to cleanse the miasma, and the one below Nevrapolis was one of them.
『The issue now is where that sealed body part is now. Did any of your friends find something like that while researching the area?』
『Hmmm, I didn’t hear anything about something like that… Let me make sure.』
Since the pillar was gone, the body part encased within should have been freed. But Solomon had not mentioned the finding of something like that. Maybe there had been nothing, or he did not think it necessary to bring up.
So Mira decided to ask Solomon directly, whether the research team had found some sort of body part in the hole below Nevrapolis.
『That’s quite a strange thing to ask… Hmm, they only found the withered and dried plants around the area, nothing more. Each of the plant species were documented, and they made sure to check every nook and cranny of the hole, so I doubt they’d miss something like that. But why do you ask? Do you know what was supposed to be there?』
Solomon replied that they had not found anything of interest there, but he seemed really curious about the things Mira had learned. She had been talking with the Spirit King for a while, and then suddenly asked about a body part, so he had every right to be curious.
But it was too early for that.
「I’m still discussing a lot of things, wait a bit longer.」
Mira replied shortly and returned to talking with the Spirit King. Solomon’s jealous grumblings could be heard, as he wished he could also consult with the Spirit King.
『You heard him. It seems they didn’t find anything like that.』
Even though he could listen to the conversation, Mira still told that to the Spirit King. Solomon’s team had not found the God of Monster’s body part. In other words, it was still somewhere out in the world, now that the outer seal had been broken.
『So it’s already been taken by someone. That complicates things.』
That was a rather tricky situation, and the Spirit King did not sound too pleased about it. If Solomon was in possession of the body part, the Spirit King would have been able to use his power to seal it within a white pillar again. But now that it was unaccounted for, trying to find it would be rather complicated.
『At least the worst case scenario can be avoided as long as the first seal remains. But it’ll only be a matter of time before that one breaks, now that the miasma won’t be cleansed.』
The first seal stopped the eerie sound and the force that made the different body parts attract each other. The Spirit King believed that one was still in place, given that the sound could not be heard. That sound had been audible anywhere in the world, no matter how far one was from the corpse, so if the first seal had been broken, the sound would be heard again.
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But now miasma would be able to well up within the seal again, eventually breaking through it.
『Split in six parts like that, it should take around fifty years before that happens. Unless the parts are reunited, that is.』
Martel had a good idea of how long the seal could last, but also described how that time could be shortened. The body parts were still split in six and placed far away from each other, but if another pillar was broken and more body parts were gathered, they would start producing more miasma. With all the pieces together, the sound would return in a much shorter time frame.
『I see, that would be troublesome indeed.』
That was something they could not allow to happen, especially now that they suspected the devils were trying to bring back past calamities.
Through some unknown means, a devil had tracked down the pillar hidden by a God, so there was a chance the location of the others was also known. At least that was something the Spirit King and Martel suspected.
『Time, you say. Is there any other way of breaking the seal?』
Mira then asked that, wondering if maybe some special spell, the devil’s power, or some Artifact could break the first seal, just like how miasma did.
『I highly doubt that. The first seal was created directly by the Gods. I can’t think of any way to undo it without the aid of a God, or miasma… But whichever the case, I’d still like to know how the pillar was broken into though, and where the body part was taken.』
No one had been able to figure out the meaning of the eerie sound, so they decided to keep the body sealed away instead. But more importantly, only ancient spirits, angels, devils, and Gods knew about the secret pillars, and no one knew where they were located.
『Mira…would you mind telling me more about your encounter with that devil?』
After a short silence, the Spirit King asked Mira that. Knowing he was trying to figure out something, she readily obliged, detailing that event.
She was on the lowest floor of the Ancient Temple Nevrapolis, which was managed by the United Adventurers’ Guild. When standing at the shore of the lake next to the Chalk Castle, the devil emerged from the water. That devil was a third rank Earl, and soon a fight broke out where Mira emerged victorious.
『I see, and then you found the strange tunnel within that lake.』
The Spirit King gave a brief response to the story, then fell silent again. Once he was done, he presented a few possibilities.
One was that the body part had already been taken away before Mira arrived. But that was highly unlikely, since the devil would have no reason to return there if there was nothing else left.
『The pillar’s seal isn’t as strong as the God’s, but is also not one that can be broken easily. Not to mention that the devil you fought must’ve been really adapted to cleansing forces. Even if the pillar was gone, due to its long time there, it would’ve cleansed the surrounding area, turning it into consecrated ground. No devil would willingly step into such a place.』
After that, the Spirit King detailed his second idea. The body part could have been taken out after Mira left, and before Solomon’s team arrived.
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『While I can’t deny the possibility…and it certainly is a valid possibility, it’s hard to imagine that happening either.』
The Spirit King was still thinking that through as he spoke.
First, whoever took the body part must have known what it was. However, neither the Spirit King nor Martel had known that a pillar was concealed down there. The devil Mira confronted appeared to be aware of its location, although the method of discovering it remained unknown. Nevertheless, this set a precedent for others to also be aware of its location.
But devils typically acted independently, so a devil wouldn’t share that kind of information with other devils. Only a devil subordinate to another would report such a finding.
『Mira, would you happen to know what a devil’s rank signifies?』
『Hm? It’s like a court rank, so like nobles…』
Mira tilted her head at that unexpected question. The devil’s rank, which resembled those of nobles a lot.
Mira mumbled a vague reply, so the Spirit King cleared things up. A devil’s rank indicated how many subordinates they had, which were gained by defeating them through battle.
『You defeated their leader, so there was no devil above that one giving him orders. Maybe a subordinate took over the leadership, if there’s any left, that is.』
A third rank Earl had three subordinates. But it was hard to know whether all those subordinates were still alive in current times. The rank was a cumulative total of subordinates, and did not factor in whether those subordinates were alive or dead. Meaning that a devil could be a third rank Earl, but have no subordinates alive.
『I see… So it’s more like a title showing their power, rather than the actual number of devils serving them. That does sound like something a devil would do.』
Mira nodded sagely, comprehending the scheme behind the titles given to devils. It was a rather simplistic system after all.
‘By the way, you’ve only mentioned the possibility of subordinates existing, but what if that devil was subordinate to another? Wouldn’t that be possible too?’
She realized that the Spirit King had been treating the devil as the leader the entire time. But there was still one title above Earl for devils. Maybe there was a Duke devil giving the Earl orders.
But the Spirit King quickly denied that possibility. The reason for that was also the devil’s rank.
『A devil’s rank is also their undefeated streak. If they lose in battle and become subordinate to another, their rank is stripped. If the devil you defeated was truly a third rank Earl, then it’s impossible for him to be subordinate to another.』
『I see. That sounds even more like the ruling of devils who rely on power alone.』