Chapter 73 – The Great Sage’s Research

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Author: Tsunose Bun Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3024 characters
Translator: Jiro English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1158 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

“Oh! I see now… But doesn’t it all feel a little too surreal?”

Merc gave Astard, who asserted his own point with a confident expression on his face, a puzzled look and expressed exactly what she thought without sugarcoating her words.

The theory presented by the Chulice Empire’s Dr. seemed reasonable.

The theory had not been broadly acknowledged when it was initially introduced, and Merc had not fully grasped it even during her time as Estert. Nonetheless, she was able to recall the sensation of her vanquished opponents’ Mana being transferred to her as Life Force based on her own experiences.

However…

The unexpected notions about the soul and how it had wandered till her reincarnation were still difficult for her to swallow. Given that this was not a myth or fable; it was fair that Merc cast Astard a skeptical glance.

“W-What’s with that look?”

Astard frowned bitterly at Merc after catching her gaze.

When Astard was wearing a hood over his face, his visage appeared unusually terrifying and intimidating, but now that he looked like a young girl, it didn’t have the same effect.

Merc shrugged her shoulders and averted her gaze.

“So what? I just thought, ‘That’s the Great Sage for you,’ since you spoke so confidently about theories that are full of holes.”
“Good grief… Didn’t I mention at the start that this was only a hypothesis and that I couldn’t prove it or provide evidence? I’d like you to understand, however, that that is the most likely scenario. It’s because your Life Force increased that you reincarnated as an elf, which is known to have long lifespans.”
“Is that really the case? Whatever the case may be, the fact that I was reincarnated as an elf girl won’t change. In the first place, I never hoped to expose the truth.”

Merc was skeptical of the hypothesis that Astard was so enthusiastic about, regardless of how much he favored it. Nonetheless, this was a chanced reunion.

Merc decided to settle the matter at a suitable time, rather than making too much fun of Astard and greatly worsening his mood.

“Apart from that, just what are you doing here? You mentioned someone named Count Fonan… You haven’t gotten yourself involved in anything suspicious, have you?”
“How rude. I’m only conducting study on a certain topic in partnership with a certain individual; I’m not doing anything wrong…”
“Tell me who’s that ‘certain individual’. Does it have anything to do with the Gai over there who are busy gathering magical stones?”

Astard averted his eyes to avoid Merc’s, but his expression remained unchanged. Merc approached him and pressed her palms against both of Astard’s cheeks, forcing him to turn around so she could ask him a question.

“Please don’t do this with that face of yours. It’s weird to be approached by a girl like this…”
“Look at you flapping your mouth, even though you have a girl’s face! To begin with, because you only have eyes for the Saintess, you don’t give a damn no matter how many gorgeous ladies approach you.”
“I guess you’re right… Fine then. If it’s you I think I can trust you.”

Astard took Merc’s hands off his cheeks, gave a slight nod, and started speaking.

“Just now I explained the Principle of the Strong to you. The thing where people or Magic Beasts can absorb the Mana of those they defeat as Life Force. If that’s the case, don’t you think it’d be easier to increase one’s Life Force if there was a means to get magical power without having to defeat others?”
“… Magic Stones?”
“Correct. My companion and I believed that Magic Stones might be used to gain Life Force.”

A Gai who had been gathering Magic Stones from the rock walls on the fifth level came racing with a basket on his back at the same moment as Astard nodded his head.

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It then placed the basket in front of them. Inside were a plethora of recently obtained Magic Stones. They were gleaming and glistening, like gems of various colors and sizes.

“The Magic Stones inside the Dungeons are imbued with magic power. Although the nature and amount of magic power housed in each variety of stone varies, they are mostly employed as a conduit for magic by magicians.”
“I know. They are also useful as ornaments. There are occasions when you might want to carry a Magic Stone with a specific effect as an accessory and utilize it when needed. Experienced adventurers used to do this often.”
“That is correct. There are even Transmission Magic Stones that have been put to practical use and have a plethora of applications today.”

Astard stated, his arms crossed, as though approving of Merc’s response. Merc, for her part, tilted her head.

“So? Is your research on extracting power from Magic Stone doing well? In the first place, what are you going to do with that power? You’re not going to abuse it, are you?”
“Estert. Do you really view me as that sort of person?”
“No. I’m sure you wouldn’t do something like that… Your partner, on the other hand… Can he be trusted?”

Hearing that one of her former companions was being led around by the nose was unpleasant for Merc.

It was inconceivable that Astard was being exploited by others since he was such a brilliant researcher to the point of being nicknamed the Great Sage and had a strong interest in magic and sorcery.

Although, he may be rather foolish at times…

Astard, on the other hand, merely shrugged off Merc’s concerns.

“He can. To begin with, he isn’t conducting this research in order to get power from the Magic Stones. He only thought of it when he was attempting to figure out what had caused the calamity.”
“What caused the calamity? Which calamity are you talking about? The research of which calamity would lead to the conclusion that Magic Stones can increase Life Force?”
“Oh my! Is it really so difficult to figure out?”

Astard gave Merc an intentionally skeptical look, as if mocking her for still not understanding what he was talking about.

Whether he was pleased to have the upper hand or it was a comeback to Merc’s earlier mockery, Astard’s grin, which he couldn’t suppress, was quite off-putting.

“It is.”

As Merc mumbled nonchalantly, Astard shook his head exaggeratedly.

Urgh, how annoying.

“Good grief… Listen closely then. This calamity occurs every few centuries or so, and it can even wipe out entire kingdoms. It has claimed many lives, and the most recent one took place around a dozen years ago. Do you still don’t know what I’m talking about?”
“I don… Wait… You can’t possibly mean…”
“That is correct. The calamity that my friend was investigating is the emergence of the Falgaro1.”

Astard, with a smirk on his face, was referring to an occurrence that could easily be classified as a tragedy.



References

  1. Robinxen: Artificial Demon Lord arc here we come!

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