Magi Craft Meister 568
16 Resolution With The Demons Arc
“By the way, Mr. Bafrosk”
Upon receiving instructions from Laojun, Ann started speaking.
“Hmm? What is it?”
“I’m sorry to ask you this, but could you please gather the remaining representatives of each clan?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you see…”
Laojun suspected that someone from the Kaigyaku clan could have a transfer marker on them.
“What is this nonsense? Are you implying that there’s a traitor in my clan?”
As expected, Bafrosk reacted defensively. However, Ann met his anger with her calm voice.
“No, nothing of the sort. They might have been used against their will. Nega-Dolls are very cunning, so they might have slipped a marker onto one of us, or something like that.”
Unable to protest any further, Bafrosk summoned all of the clan’s survivors. There were a total of 18 people.
“Is everyone accounted for?”
“Hmm… Huh? Hey, where’s Donacia?”
“Huh? She was here just a moment ago…!”
“Look for her!”
At Bafrosk’s behest, the 18 remaining members of the Kaigyaku clan scattered all over the place in search of their fellow clanswoman Donacia.
Bafrosk’s face became serious. It seemed that Ann’s words had significance after all.
Meanwhile, Jin (‘s Double) had finished his analysis of the black gargoyle.
“So this is what the Core that unleashes an Ether Stampede looks like.”
It had released all its Ether and partially collapsed as a result, but it was still easy to tell what it had been when it was whole.
“This is probably an Operational Core. We should be able to determine No. 13’s location with this.”
Bafrosk reacted to Jin’s muttering.
“Jin…! Err… Mr. Jin! Is that true? Where is that guy?”
He was gritting his teeth in anger.
“I’m still looking for him as we speak… But for now I can tell you he’s somewhere farther to the north.”
At that moment, a member of the Kaigyaku clan came rushing in.
“Chief! We’ve spotted Donacia! She’s running towards the north!”
Bafrosk’s eyes darkened.
“Give chase! Though it’s probably too late to catch her by now. Find how far she is going.”
It was easy to reason that if Donacia was being manipulated by No. 13, she could be running towards him, so following her would lead them straight to him.
＊ ＊ ＊
Donacia was unable to use Transfer Magic. Therefore, all she could do was to strengthen her body in order to run faster and for a longer period of time. Three members of the Kaigyaku clan –and Transfer Magic users, at that– were chasing after her.
(…How far ahead is she going to run?)
(Yeah. She’s been running non-stop for about an hour now.)
Donacia’s sprinting speed was about 40 km/h. In other words, she had already covered a distance of 40 kilometers.
Then, after running for another 10 kilometers…
Donacia came to a stop.
(Oh, she stopped)
(But there’s nothing here, it’s just an empty prairie…)
The plains were empty as far as the eye could see. It was a flat land with only a grayish brown wilderness. The withered grass and shrubs added a slight highlight to the otherwise empty landscape..
Donacia then turned around.
“…Do you intend to keep on following me?”
Her words were directed at her three followers.
There was nowhere to hide in these empty plains. Therefore, the three that had been chasing after Donacia were also in full view.
“…Are you guys stupid or what?”
Donacia was 92 years old, which is the equivalent to 18 years in human age.
She had long black hair and golden eyes. She was quite stylish, and rather popular among her clanspeople. She also seemed to have been a certain degree of interest about Lardus. By all means, she was considered a lovely young lady.
However, the Donacia standing before her three fellow clansmen had an evil smile on her face.
“What’s taking them so long?”
It had been 3 hours since he sent out 3 people to follow Donacia. Bafrosk was concerned about having received no news whatsoever so far.
Worst case scenario, if the three demons he had sent out, as well as Donacia, ended up not coming back, the once one-hundred-strong Kaigyaku clan would be reduced to a mere sixteen members in total.
Meanwhile, Laojun had finished pinpointing the location of No. 13’s dwellings.
At first, Jin wondered if it would be a good idea to relay this information to Bafrosk. But in the end, he decided that if he withheld it now, Bafrosk could come to resent him for it, so he chose to tell him.
“I found a place that could be No. 13’s base. It seems to be hidden underground in some place on the banks of a river about 100 kilometers north-northwest from here.”
When Jin (‘s Double) said that, Bafrosk nearly jumped out of his chair.
“What are you going to do?”
Jalardos quickly called out to Bafrosk after seeing his reaction. Bafrosk’s bloodshot eyes turned towards him as he replied.
“I’ve made up my mind. I’m going there.”
Jalardos wanted to ask, “And do what exactly?” but after the rage in Bafrosk’s eyes, he decided he’d be better off not fanning the flames any further.
“All remaining members of the Kaigyaku clan! Assemble!”
Fifteen people gathered in front of Bafrosk.
“From now on, we’ll be on the offensive. We’ll attack the enemy’s base and avenge our fallen!”
Several voices clamored and cheered Bafrosk’s decisions. They all seemed to share the same sentiment.
Then, about 10 minutes later, all of the remaining members of the Kaigyaku clan were gone.
Moreover, some members of the Kyoran and Kaijin clans seemed to have also joined their cause.
“…Is this really okay, Laojun?”
Meanwhile, on Hourai Island, the real Jin was talking to Laojun.
“Yes. Because of their own nature, they won’t change their minds unless they have harsh, face-to-face encounters with their sworn enemy many times over.”
“But what if they’re no match for No. 13?”
“That is quite possible. In case of emergency, we’ll have air support with a Magic Canceller at the ready.”
“Hmm… I wonder if they can actually change their mind even after that…”
“I am sure this is a harsh lesson they have to learn by themselves.”
It was rather extreme, but Jin was reassured to know that Laojun wouldn’t just let them march towards certain death, and was willing to provide support to them.
The intended lesson for the radicals was for them to realize that their power was not absolute, that their enemy was far beyond their league, and that they needed to stay out of it for the time being.
“I will begin preparations to leave after them as well.”
The Lands and other units returned to Hourai Island via Capricorn 1’s transfer machines, and then took turns to be sent back out to their new destination. Though it would take more time and effort, they would reach this destination much faster in this way.
This time, they sent a total of 20 units, from Lands 11 through 30.
“So, Laojun, the place where No. 13 has been located has nothing to do with 001’s base, right?”
“Correct. I… Laozi defeated 001 in a place that seemed to be some kind of front base. But their main headquarters seem to be about 300 kilometers farther to the north.”
Jin folded his arms and frowned.
“So No.13’s hideout is in a different location, one we haven’t detected until now.”
“Yes. It must have been inactive until recently. I see no other explanation behind the fact that it didn’t come up on our exploration network.“
“So, in short, we don’t know what kind of facility it is.”
“That is correct. No. 13 made use of gargoyles, so I do not think it ends there.”
At that time, Reiko showed up. She came to see the real Jin’s face for a while before being dispatched once again to No. 13’s base via transfer machine.
“Ah, Reiko. You’ve been through a lot, haven’t you?”
“No, I’m fine.”
Reiko smiled with her whole face as the real Jin stroked her hair.
“It’s nearly over, Reiko. Keep doing your best.”
“Yes, Father. Leave it to me.”
Then Jin fully recharged her Transfer Gun. With this, she would be able to use it twice before having to recharge it again.
The thought that he should have made it so that it could use cartridges for reloading instead of having to manually recharge it at base came to Jin’s mind, but soon realized there was no time to think about it at the moment.
“Well, I’ll be off.”
After getting the Transfer Gun back from Jin, Reiko thanked her father and left the Control Room.
Thinking about how dependable Reiko had become, Jin also wished for this situation to be resolved as soon as possible.