|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3680 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1670 words|
The devils had gone down the path of evil. Tiriel had still not recovered from hearing that.
「They could not receive or steal that power, and there’s no way to open the coffin without it. But the coffin was opened somehow. That must mean they got that power somehow, the question is from where…」
Kagura gently patted her back to comfort her, while she summarized the information they had so far. Hearing that Mira thought of something, muttering, 「A god’s power…」
「I just remembered something. The Holy Sword Sanctia is your daughter, right Spirit King? Would she have the power to break the seal?」
The Holy Sword Sanctia. She had been born from the Spirit King’s pinky, and she possessed his power which rivaled that of a god. On top of that, when Mira first met Sanctia, she was surrounded by the demon’s curse. There was a high likelihood there was a connection there.
But the Spirit King refuted that as well. While it would have been possible to use Sanctia for that, he would still have noticed some of his power being used. Considering the power and authority of the Spirit King, there was no reason to believe he was wrong. They had to think of yet another option.
「What about this then? The seal wasn’t broken, but they simply bored a small hole into it. From what I’ve understood so far, it would’ve been impossible for them to break it open. Wouldn’t it be possible to make just a small tear into it then? That should be possible with less power, maybe without the need of any divine power even.」
So far they had only discussed how to open the seal in a proper way. But the more Mira thought about it, the way the Graveyard of War Memorials had been accessed was akin to a small tunnel that led into it. That caught Mira’s eye.
『Not blasting the coffin open, but creating a small hole into it, you say? Hmm, that could actually be possible, now that you mention it.』
The Spirit King sounded impressed with that idea. To access the contents of the coffin, one had to neutralize the barrier separating it from the human realm, and somehow turn the Divine Spiritual Crystals, the material used in its construction, into mana.
A barrier to cross and a material to transform. Those were the obstacles stopping someone from entering the location, and the proper way required a large amount of a god’s power to break through everything. But a small targeted attack that only created a small conduit could be possible with less power.
『But that would still require some amount of divine power. Otherwise it’s impossible to even interact with the barrier. The question of how they obtained it remains, but it’s still more likely than the other ideas.』
「Hmm… so in other words at least some divine power is a necessary requirement. And then some sort of destructive power.」
Mira continued thinking while she thought of everything they knew so far. Eventually she had yet another idea. If getting power from a god was impossible, getting an object imbued with divine power was still a possibility.
「What about an Artifact then? Those were objects given to humans by the gods, if memory serves.」
「I see, maybe something like Iris’ Divine Spear could’ve done the trick then!」
The moment Mira voiced her thoughts, Kagura also understood what she meant. They had only focused on obtaining that power directly from a god that they had neglected to think of other alternatives.
Artifact was a blanket term for any relic given by a god to humanity in the past. They came in all shapes and sizes, but they all were filled with immense power. But the Spirit King’s answer was not something they expected.
『Artifacts… ahh, you mean Heroic Weapons. It’s true the gods gave them to humanity, but the power within them isn’t divine power, but miracle power. That resonates with the hearts of the wielder, helping them achieve their dreams. Those are merely an echo of human potential, not something powerful enough to break into the coffin.』
「I… did not know Artifacts were that kind of item.」
「It wasn’t the answer we were hoping for, but I feel like that’s still valuable information.」
Mira and Kagura knew Artifacts were extremely powerful weapons. Now that they heard what those weapons truly meant, the two were shocked, while also excited to learn such a secret.
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『However, that might still be the correct line of thought. There exist items imbued with bona-fide divine power in your realm. The three great countries you have there possess quite a few of them too.』
While Mira’s first idea of Artifacts was wrong, the Spirit King mentioned a different set of items that did have divine power in them. And they existed in Grimdart, Alispharius, and Ozstein.
「Ah, ahhh! I see, so that’s what you mean!」
Hearing the Spirit King’s words, Kagura quickly raised her voice. While Mira looked at her with concern, Kagura said 「Wait a bit」 and ran out of the room.
「What’s gotten into her all of a sudden…」
『Maybe she thought of another possibility.』
Mira muttered as she watched the door swinging freely, while the Spirit King answered in an entertained tone. It had been a long time since he spoke with humans so much, so he was starting to get in a chatty mood as well. But no one really noticed that, not even the Spirit King himself, and it remained as just a faint emotion in him.
Mira was still holding the hand of the angel, who looked slightly downcast. Though maybe it was more accurate to say that the angel did not want to let go.
「I found it! Look at this!」
While Mira carefully looked at the angel for a bit, Kagura loudly stomped back into the room. She looked rather proud of herself as she slammed down a bundle of papers on the table.
「Hm? What am I supposed to look at?」
「This! Here! The part right here!」
Kagura took hold of Mira’s hand and pointed at a portion on a sheet with it. As far as Mira could see, it was just a list of materials. 「Okay okay,」 she said as she looked more closely, and once she read everything Kagura was pointing at, she exclaimed 「Unbelievable!」 in shock. Even the Spirit King seemed impressed.
There was one line in particular which read, ‘The relic hasn’t been found yet.’
「What is this all about?」
「Heheh, you see…」
When Mira asked that, Kagura chuckled proudly before answering. Those documents were the results of her investigation into the Archeological Research Committee.
When Mira first contacted Kagura from Sentopolly, she had started researching anything related to that group. This was the result of that, her most updated documents on the committee.
It had already been around a week since the interrogation of the three heads. At that time, Gregorius mentioned that he had sacrificed everyone in the committee that did not agree on an altar past a secret door in the ruins. Hearing that, she had gone inside the ruins together with Louise to find that secret altar.
They were able to find the door, which was concealed very meticulously, and past it they found countless human bones that had already turned white. Alongside the bones, their personal belongings had been left there too, making it easy to identify them all.
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But they also noticed that the official member list did not match the number of bodies found. That was counting those who had not been sacrificed like Gregorius. Somehow there were still members unaccounted for.
「Ludwig Vernstein, the leader of the Archeological Research Committee. It’s like he vanished after this point in time. Also according to Louise’s investigation, he was the leader of the committee, and he was borrowing a relic known as the Hammer to Hades. It all lines up, doesn’t it?」
Kagura smiled, proud of her discovery.
According to Kagura’s research, only Ludwig, the leader of the Archeological Research Committee, was still unaccounted for. The relic he had in his possession was also lost, and multiple undercover searches were trying to find it.
『The hammer, huh. A relic shaped like such a weapon could easily create a hole into the barrier.』
The Spirit King’s response made it clear that the Archeological Research Committee had the tools needed to open a pathway into the coffin. It was not the most efficient source of divine power, but the hammer’s shape compensated for that greatly.
「And I guess this means Ludwig was actually a devil too.」
A mystery in a different search was slowly starting to unravel now. Kagura was very pleased with that turn of events, making sure to not forget to update those involved with the search.
They had finally found out how the committee had found a location that no human should be able to run into or even notice.
「That’s very likely. There was a time a Duke devil posed as a king and ruled an entire country too. It’s not like a devil in disguise is something new. And if he was the leader, he could easily guide the committee into the right direction for his plan.」
Tiriel’s body twitched slightly hearing Mira say that. The devils she remembered would never do something like that. She looked truly pained hearing about it all. But she did not let go of Mira’s hand, or attempted to run away, she simply steeled herself and accepted this was reality now.
「There’s something I’m still curious about, could a devil use a relic? I feel like you mentioned that devils can’t use divine power earlier.」
Mira asked that. Since their thoughts were connected to the Spirit King, for some reason Mira felt like she could feel Tiriel’s feelings as well.