|Author: Kashiwagi Masato||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2393 characters|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 983 words|
「…… Hey! Come on! Are you even listening!?」
「Wha? Oh, sorry, my bad. I was thinking for a bit.」
「Geez! Pull yourself together, will you! We’re finally on the part where I talk about us spirits, you know!」
While I was trying to estimate Arytte’s age, it seems like I was much deeper in thought than I expected to be. Incidentally, my main bet is that she’s a legal loli of at least 500 years old, while the runner-up would be that she’s exactly as old as she looks. The dark horse would be her being more than a thousand years old. And if she’s about to talk about the spirits next, then I might be able to find a clue about her age.
「We spirits were given life long before the monsters were created! In the beginning, only the gods and the beasts existed in this world! However, the world then was more abundant in chaotic magic power, and while it doesn’t affect the gods, this was a harsh environment for the beasts to survive in. The Creator God pitied the beasts, bringing forth spirits to put this harsh environment in order!」
Ohhh…… Smug look + An impressionable pose. This pose with her left hand on her hip and her right forefinger pointing before her, I wonder, has she ever made this pose to any people other than us?1 Or rather, her belly’s showing, so it seems slightly off……
「What are you staring at…… Do you have something you want to say?」
「Ahhh…… Well…… I understand why spirits were born now, but then the difference is?」
「Ah, geez! You’re so impatient! Fine then! I’ll tell you about it! But before that, I’ll talk about our duty, alright!
As spirits, our duty is to change the raging magic power in the word into the much more harmless form, mana! I expect you to know this since you’re a sorceress, but magic power is fundamentally a mass of pure energy. If left neglected at that state, an application of even just a trifling amount of force can bring forth catastrophic effects to the surrounding area.
Because of that, us spirits were granted an ability by the gods. This is the ability to turn magic power into aether. While magic power is a mass of energy, it’s terribly unstable. Furthermore, there are a lot of impurities mixed in it. So, we remove those impurities and turn magic power into aether, and what remains after that process becomes mana.
Incidentally, to turn divinity into mana, we momentarily contaminate it by mixing divinity with aether and other impurities, after which it is divided into aether and mana. Divinity is far purer energy than aether, so it’s harmful even to us spirits. If mankind were exposed to it, then it would cripple them at best or, at worst, turn them into cinders!
Well, now that I think about it, the one’s making food for the monsters are us spirits as well!」
If what Arytte said was all true, then without their existence, this world would probably be in big trouble. Using a past life example, it wouldn’t be wrong to imagine the situation to be like a world constantly filled with gasoline vapor. First, it’s already bad for one’s health. Rather, just living there could kill you, and any small thing can cause an explosion.
It’s definitely not an environment any living creature can live in.
「Now, I suppose that even you slightly out-of-date people have understood this then?」
「So, monsters are pets that god made and the spirits are their caretakers?」
「Ugh!? I-I don’t want to approve of that comparison, but yes, that’s exactly it.」
However, it’s not only the monsters that receive the benefits from mana. While Monsters can be born thanks to mana, it’s also thanks to the mana filling the air that people can use magic and magecraft. In places near dungeons and large mana pools like the sacred mountain, the mana in the air gets thinner, but it’s not like there’s absolutely none. Mana is necessary to recover the magic power inside one’s body, and it’s also necessary for using magical tools.2
Still, that’s not what I want to focus on. What I want to focus on is aether. Arytte said magic power is transformed into the purer aether. In other words, aether is a refined form of magic power. I can turn life essence into magic power. Considering that a small amount of life essence can turn into a large amount of magic power, it can be said that life essence is a purer energy than magic power.
Then is life essence the same thing as aether, if not something fairly similar to it? Still, if this is the case, there are several things it doesn’t answer.
First, why I couldn’t sense Arytte’s presence at all. While I can sense Arytte’s life essence now, this is only because Arytte lets us see her. And before this, I could only see Arytte after using 【Magic Sight】 which allows me to see magic power. If this is because 【Magic Sight】 allows me to see both magic power and aether, then it’s not much of an issue. However, 【Magic Sight】 doesn’t give me the ability to see life essence.
Well, enough about this for now. In the meantime, I’ll try asking her the biggest question that was left unanswered.
「Arytte, can I ask you something?」
「Very well! I’ll generously answer your question!」
「So how old are you really?」
As Arytte turned absolutely red, her magic just nearly shot through me. So I guess this means that while she looks like a little girl, she’s a lady inside.