54 Cunningham Viscounty Once Again



There was a barrier sealing Muriel’s power.

This barrier was supplied with magical power coming from the direction of Cunningham Viscounty.

This much was an established fact.

However, neither of those could be seen with a naked eye.

Only Iris and Eclipse could feel it.

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That was not enough to serve as proof.

They needed a piece of actual evidence or the criminal’s confession.

Iris and the rest headed to Cunningham Viscounty once again.

This time they weren’t making a snowman, so there was no need to roll snowballs.

Everyone simply went on a dragon’s back.

「「Rock paper scissors!」」

As a result of a match, Marion turned into a vehicle for the rest to reach Cunningham Viscounty.

「Muu…..even though mother’s back is wider」

Muttered Marion.

「Isn’t it fine? I’ll support you with Giga Inferno Flame. You won’t get cold」

Iris tried to cheer her up.

「Well, you aren’t wrong…..」

But she was still grumpy.

Why was she so against it?

「Fufu. Perhaps you wanted to play with Iris-chan as we go?」

「It’s not the case, but….!」

「Is that so~? Well, you’ve lost and have to bear with it. I’ll carry everyone on the way back」

「Alright……」

Marion transformed into a dragon outside the village.

The residents of Silverlight Barony weren’t a sort to be surprised at a mere dragon.

Adaptability is frightening.

Although there was still one surprised person.

Katie the Inquisitor.

「Dragon! Marion was a dragon all along!」

「Mm? Did you perhaps not see this before?」

Said Marion with her big mouth.

「I didn’t! No wonder you have horns and tail attached. I thought they were for decoration」

「Fufufu. It’s not accessories. Gaooon!」

Marion roared towards the sky.

「Oh, so cool!」

Katie rejoiced.

Perhaps this particular inquisitor was a dragon maniac.

Although it’s unknown whether dragon maniac is a proper occupation.

「Don’t dilly dally and get on. We are going to confirm if the culprit is really in Cunningham Viscounty!」

Muriel circled behind Marion and tried to climber her using her tail.

However, even though there were scales to grab, a dragon is a big and breathing creature.

「N-No jaa! Stay still, Marion!」

「Don’t ask the impossible」

Marion replied.

Without any other option, Iris flew up, grabbed Muriel as she clung to the scaly tail, and carried her to Marion’s back.

Following, Sheryl, with Punigami’s help, and Katie, with Eclipse’s help, climbed too.

In the end, Jessica, who retained her dragon power, easily skipped on her daughter’s back.

「Depart!」

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「Yes yes」

After Muriel’s command, Marion walked forward through the snowy field.

Even on a dragon, the trip would take about an hour.

However, if they try to approach the city from above, people might treat it as an attack. They chose to walk and transform back as they got close.

To kill time, they decided to play cards on Marion’s back.

「Let’s start with basics. Like poker」

Sheryl suggested.

「I don’t know the rules」

「Me too~」

Iris and Eclipse spoke in synch.

「I see…..then let’s go with Old Maid!」

「Don’t know that either…..」

「Same~」

「Eeh…..then what do you know?」

「….Actually, that’s my first time playing cards」

「Un, first time seeing them~」

「Alright then. Let me explain the rules」

It hasn’t been a year since Iris and Eclipse were born.

They were just out of the lab.

They were taught enough information to live their lives, but it didn’t include card games.

They started with the basics.

Having two cards with the same number was a good thing, Iris and Eclipse easily remembered that.

「Clairvoyance magic is forbidden」

「Okay」

Indeed, it won’t be enjoyable if you know the numbers of others.

Thus, they decided to rely only on their memory.

Katie looked unexpectedly confident.

「Fufufu. I have confidence in my memory」

「You were amazing gathering those numbers. Let’s make a rule that relies more on luck. Even Iris and Eclipse should be able to play Old Maid」1

「Are you perhaps aiming at me with Old Maid?」

Jessica looked at Muriel as she laughed.

「No ja!? There is no such intention! This Mistress was born three hundred years ago. Same as you」

「Come to think of it, that’s true. I was nervous since there are only younglings around me. Let’s get along, Muriel-chan」

「Besties」

Muriel sat close to Jessica.

The two were in the same age group.

Iris never noticed since Muriel always acted so childish.

「Uu……so nice……you seem to be having fun riding my back……」

Marion spoke full of envy.

Pitiful fellow.

She was pitiful, but there was nothing Iris could do about it.

She had no choice but to play Old Maid while wishing Marion all the best.

「Sheryl is so easy to see through」

Said Eclipse as she took on of Sheryl’s cards.

「A-Am I that easy…..?」

「Yep! Easier than with clairvoyance magic」

「No way…..」

Sheryl’s shoulders drooped.

「Sheryl seems like a person that will lose a hundred games out of a hundred」

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「Even Iris-sama….then let’s play something other than Old Maid next…..」

「Then let’s play seven in a row」

As they played and Marion grumbled, they eventually saw the wall of Cunningham Viscounty.

「Marion. It’s about time you become human. Else, they’ll think it’s a dragon attack」

「Alright. Get down from my back everyone」

They climbed down the same way they got up.

Together with Marion in her human form, they walked towards the gate.

「No ja no ja. We came from the neighboring Silverlight Barony. Let us pass」

Since the gatekeepers remembered her face, they were easily let inside.

They could now investigate inside the city now.

That being said, Cunningham Viscounty wasn’t a village.

Its population is about two thousand.

Investigating by just walking around wasn’t a great idea.

Since they didn’t have any clues they chose to go to the church.

The Guardian Deity of this city, Roshe, might be of help.

And so they told her everything.

「…..I see. So Muriel’s seal receives magical power from this city」

「Indeed」

「But I don’t know anything about it」

「It’s not like we are suspecting you. However, no average magician can seal a god’s power. That’s why we are searching for a non-average one」

「……Are you sure this town is the source of magical power?」

「According to my detection magic it is. Well, it’s more like it comes from this direction….but there is nothing else here except this city」

Iris answered Roshe’s question.

「Detection magic from someone who can turn a wasteland into grassland can’t be underestimated….」

Roshe thought with her hand on her chin.

Alter all, Muriel and Roshe are friends.

She probably doesn’t want to suspect her own people.

However, Iris didn’t lie. She had no reason to.

「My reasoning tells me this city is suspicious!」

Said Katie with a great deal of confidence.

Which earned her a glare from Roshe.

「Oh…..to be suspected by an inquisitor this city must’ve become famous. Are you saying I’m an evil deity?」

「N-No…..no such things……it’s just about apples, two hundred years ago apples GAA!」

The trio of deities from Silverlight Barony might be carefree but Roshe is different.

She’s a Guardian Deity that actually guards.

Being glared at by Roshe, Katie screamed something incomprehensible as she trembled.

「Apples?」

Roshe raised her eyebrow.

「Y-Yes! Apples from Cunningham Viscounty became popular again when Silverlight Barony turned into a wasteland, so I thought it’s a good lead」

One must have considerable courage to say something with so little basis.

Though in her case it was of a panic than courage.

However, Roshe wasn’t offended and thought it through seriously.

「Two hundred years ago, apples……I thought it was strange……which means the culprit is…..」

Roshe began talking to herself.

Iris and the rest had nothing to do except being dumbfounded.

Only Katie thought she worsened Roshe’s mood and swung her hands in a fluster.

「Emm, I mean, you know. My conjecture is weird, right? I mean she’s been sealed for two hundred years, but magical power still flows……it surpasses a human’s lifespan and ability. Only a god could possibly do something like that…..」

Then she noticed she said something even more offensive and hurriedly sealed her mouth.

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「Katie-san. You better apologize……most likely Roshe-sama won’t take your life if you do so……」

Sheryl whispered to Katie.

「Please don’t take my life….」

Katie almost prostrated on the floor as she cried.

She did well working as an inquisitor alone all this time, no, perhaps she’s alone because no one wants to work with her.

「Katie, was it? As you’ve said, only a god could seal another god’s power for two hundred years. Since you are affiliated with Great Temple of Divine Will you must know. Back then, I wasn’t a Guardian Deity, my father, Gashe, was」

「T-That’s right….that’s right. You predecessor managed to ascend to Heaven despite being born on in this world. It’s a famous topic in  Great Temple of Divine Will!」

「Yes, it’s a rare occasion for a god to ascend. Gashe grew in power with great momentum. It was my honor to take his place. But I have no idea where did his power come from. It’s strange if you think about it. His was about as powerful as the current me until the moment he ascended……」

Roshe spoke in a low voice.

Silence enveloped the room.

It’s not like her father sealed Muriel’s power.

She only wondered how her father suddenly became so strong.

Even so.

You couldn’t help but think.

「Nothing will come out even if you sit here all day~. I think investigating the surrounding will be more productive」

Jessica nonchalantly interrupted everyone’s train of thought.

「Mother. Where are we going to search if we don’t even know where to start?」

「Ara. We do have a clue, though」

Having said so, Jessica pointed at Muriel.

「No ja?」

「We came here following traces of magical energy from Muriel-chan. Since we are now much closer to the source one more use of detection magic might just do the trick. don’t you think? Even if we only cut off the source without finding the criminal, Muriel-chan’s power might come back」

「Umu, I see. It’s worth trying. Iris, use detection magic again」

「Alright」

If the source is in this city, she may be able to find it.

Or at least there will be a new clue.

A great deal of wishful thinking was involved, but it was worth a try.

「…..Emm, there」

Once again, she put her hands on Muriel’s back while activating detection magic and pointed a direction.

Then Roshe muttered.

「It’s in the direction of the Lord’s mansion」



References

  1. I’ll be honest. I don’t understand cards myself. So yeah, might have made some mistakes.

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