“You seem to get things done fairly well, too. I withdraw my statement from before and apologize from the bottom of my heart. Also, it has been decided that I will join this time’s exploration as well. Please feel be relieved with a feeling of having gained a reliable asset that will keep you safe.” (Katharina)
The exploration of the yet unknown historic ruins, which was discovered by doushi in the Demon Forest, began, but before that Katharina, whose participation I requested, apologized to Ina’s group for her previous abusive remarks.
Once hearing her speech, I have ended up thinking that it would be better if she said it in a bit more gentle manner, however she is probably unable to say it in any other way than this.
Even so, it looked like Ina’s group has accepted just the aspect of apologizing more or less.
“Somehow I’m feeling depressed.” (Katharina)
“It’s because Ina-chan is a serious type. For me people like you are quite interesting and I’m fond of them.” (Luise)
“I don’t particularly mind either way since you will become combat potential.” (Erwin)
From the point of view of the serious Ina, Katharina’s remarks had some unforgivable parts.
Given that she apologized for the time being, Ina seems to still be in a condition, where she can’t smoothly interact with Katharina.
Luise apparently found some interesting parts in the person called Katharina.
Bearing in mind the matter of the previous underground ruins exploration, Erw seems to have no problem with her, if she is useful in the battle.
Since he has declared her as type difficult to deal with albeit her being a beauty, he didn’t care either way as she isn’t an object of romantic interest for him.
“Wend-sama, will Frilly be added as comrade, too?” (Wilma)
“It’s just this time for now.” (Wendelin)
Wilma called Katharina, who’s wearing a leather dress with frills attached albeit being an adventurer, with the nickname 『Frilly』.
Even though it has the appearance of a dress, the used leather is loot of a dragon. Since the cape* is knitted with soft, downy hair, which was extracted from a young dragon, it was an item close to being the best in regards to defense, however from Wilma’s point of view it seems to be a strange item. (* There was earlier some discussion about the kingdom’s restriction on “mantles.” I don’t believe the author means the full body types but rather the ones hanging on your back, so I will use “cape” instead.)
She is doubtlessly an elite adventurer given that she has obtained personal armor of that level within merely one year after she became an adventurer, but based on the opinion of the dry Wilma, who puts maximum priority on efficiency, she regards Katharina as an irregular existence.
“Frilly, that’s nice since it can be used easily.”
“This girl has a more wicked tongue that me…” (Katharina)
Katharina appears to be aware of her own arrogant tone.
Her face cramped up due to Wilma’s remark.
She doesn’t get angry since Wilma’s appearance seems to her as awfully small and lovely. This means that she is very understanding in regards to that aspect.
“Wilma-san, it’s no good to call a person, who will go on an exploration with us from now on, 『Frilly』.” (Elise)
“Yes, Elise-sama.” (Wilma)
“Let me introduce myself properly. I’m called Katharina Linda von Waigel.” (Katharina)
“It’s a pleasure. I’m called Elise Katharina von Hohenheim.” (Elise)
And, the one, even such Wilma is no match for, Elise, who is my future first wife.
She has been born with an appearance of beauty and kindness befitting her nickname 『Saint of Hohenheim』, but at the same time she possesses will power befitting a daughter of a prestigious noble household of the central government.
As expected, even Katharina greeted her politely.
Elise has also greeted her politely without caring about her past remarks at all.
After all the difference between a daughter of a former noble household, which ended up collapsing once, and a real noble daughter appeared.
Elise’s conduct of not pursuing the past remarks at all will in fact become a large pressure.
In noble society it has a feeling of 『With this you owe me one』, huh?
As Katharina apparently noticed that as well, she has toned down her usual demeanor quite a bit.
However, in the capital there are many noble daughter-like people, in a reversed meaning. Katharina might be a lot better if compared to that lot.
“Well then, now that you have exchanged those greetings, we will enter the ruins.” (Burkhart)
“Indeed! I wasn’t able to sleep overly much yesterday due to anticipating the event of a new ruins exploration!” (Armstrong)
We decide to enter the ruins at once as Burkhart-san is urging us on, but doushi, who is the other adult having a monitoring role, seemed to look forward to the ruins exploration very much.
However, I have ended up thinking You were unable to sleep due to the excitement? and Honestly, 『Are you a child!?』
“I will transfer us near the ruins then.” (Wendelin)
Since it’s not like it was me who discovered the historic ruins, it was first necessary to transfer to a place close-by so everyone can walk there.
Because we considerably thinned out this place in the last few days, monsters almost didn’t appear along the way. Even so, that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t any at all.
However, given that their numbers were low, all of them were killed by Luise with her energy-conserving magic combat style hand-to-hand techniques.
“Although we still haven’t entered the ruins, we cannot afford for our magicians to run out of mana.”
“It’s alright since their numbers are low. Undoubtedly it’s because doushi hunted a large amount of them.” (Luise)
“It’s as Luise-jou says! I don’t know what we will encounter within the ruins, therefore save your mana as much as possible!” (Armstrong)
After about an hour we have arrived at the entrance of the historic ruins by doushi’s lead.
The location is distant from a city, which has an adventurer’s guild branch, but it wasn’t too far in either.
The entrance is awfully small. Moreover it has been covered by a large amount of thickly-growing southern fern and such. I admire doushi for having discovered it properly.
“Since I felt like pissing by chance, I considered to do it here!” (Armstrong)
“Haa, is that so…?” (Wendelin)
In other words, he found it by accident.
Everyone except doushi should be feeling the loss of admiration within their minds.
“So? Who will open this entrance?” (Erwin)
The door attached to the entrance is closed. Erw ask who’s going to open it.
“Check that it has no trap before that.” (Armstrong)
Doushi is right. We don’t want the door to explode with a bang at the moment it is touched.
It was necessary to check whether a trap exists or not.
“It’s my turn then, right?” (Burkhart)
Burkhart-san quickly comes in front and investigates the door by using the spell 『Trap Detection』.
As might be expected from a former elite adventurer. Being able to use such types of magic is amazing, I think.
“It doesn’t look like there’s a trap. However, this is troublesome…” (Burkhart)
“Yea, have a look at this lock.” (Burkhart)
Burkhart-san pointed at the lock installed at the door.
It doesn’t seem to require a key, but it has four dials attached, which can change the digits from 0 to 9.
The easiest understandable way of describing it would be a numerical bicycle lock.
“Will it do something like 『Booo~~~oom!』, if the numbers are wrong?”
“I can’t identify a trap of that sort. I guess you have just to match the numbers normally.” (Burkhart)
Since it’s only useful for stalling, you can simply call it an unpleasant snare.
Probably the person, who set the lock on this door, has quite the bad character.
“There’s also the option of blowing it away!” (Armstrong)
“I don’t know whether there’s something beyond it. It’s out of question to blow away the door.” (Burkhart)
If we blow away the door and discover something dangerous inside, it might become a situation, where it would be indispensable to seal it with the door at that time.
If the door was broken with an explosion, it would become difficult for it to work as seal.
“There’s no other choice but to test it out one by one, I guess.”
“Is there some penalty, if we make an error?”
“I wasn’t able to detect such trap. In the first place, the efficiency of such highly complex trap is low.” (Burkhart)
Something like a trap, where something happens each time you make a single error on the dial, was realistically impossible due to the problems of costs for the installation.
Besides, the majority of the historic ruins from the era of the Ancient Magic Civilization seems to have a strong tendency to plant time-intensive traps inside.
On that subject, I recall that the previous traps like 『Forced Transfer Magic Circle』 and 『Deadly Inversion Regulation』 existed inside.
“Eh~~~~! Each dial, one by one?”
Turning it from 0000 to 9999 one by one, we will identify the unlocking combination of the door. (T/N: It’s only 10000 combinations, not that many in other words :p)
It’s a very plain, unpleasant and time-consuming work.
Once I make eye contact with everyone else, all of them look away.
Since even Elise was like that, probably no one wanted to do it.
Of course, I’m reluctant as well.
“Leave it to the newcomer in such case?” (Erwin)
Because of Erw’s statement, all eyes turn towards Katharina.
“Isn’t that a cruel argument!? We should fairly decide it by drawing lots!” (Katharina)
Naturally Katharina disliked the task, but on the other hand she provided a nice idea.
Certainly, no one should be able to complain afterwards with the method of deciding it fairly with drawn lots.
“Wend-sama, let’s decide it with janken.” (Wilma)
Wilma offers janken as way to settle it while pulling my robe.
Janken didn’t exist in this world, however once I taught it to Wilma, during a suddenly opened-up time slot before, she was very pleased with it.
Since then it has reached the point that Wilma suggests to settle it with janken whenever there’s something to be decided.
Given that the outcome can be attained easily without preparing anything in particular, even Ina’s group has been mostly participating in janken nowadays.
To decide it with coin toss or drawn lots at such moments is good in this world as it doesn’t take any time.
“Eh~~~~! Janken!” (Erwin)
The sole exception seems to be Erw, who’s unhappy to decide it with janken.
The reason is that Erw is weak at janken to a frightening degree.
Or rather, I’ve never been beaten in janken by Erw.
Being defeated by Wilma often, I witnessed him having his snacks and such stolen by her.
“Erw is greedy. He tries to rip off snacks from Wilma.” (Ina)
However, as result of him losing every time going by what Ina says, Erw had his snack taken away in reverse.
“Anyway, time is precious. Janken it is.”
“Can’t help it. Even I likely won’t lose since there’s a newcomer her too…” (Erwin)
Approving of it reluctantly, Erw also began the janken to decide the person, who will turn the dials.
“9995! 9996! It ain’t opening!” (Erwin)
After around 2 hours since then, Erw, who lost in janken after all, earnestly and single-mindedly rotated the number-styled dials, which was attached to the door.
Furthermore, the remaining members, except the one on watch, are having a break in the meanwhile.
Since one’s body won’t keep up, if it’s tensed for two hours, we enjoyed the sweets and tea, provided by Elise, with the exception of the one guarding.
“This chocolate pastry is delicious with its moderate sweetness.” (Katharina)
“That’s a test product sent by Artur-san.”
“That person rushes quite thoroughly.” (Katharina)
Ina admired Artur-san’s business spirit.
Because there are hardly any failures no matter what he does, it will probably stay the same for a while.
“However, it’s nasty towards Erw, isn’t it?”
“It can’t be helped since he lost.” (Wilma)
“Wilma sticks through and through to the truth. I also don’t plan to take over for him at all though.” (Luise)
“Since he is an adventurer, it won’t do if he doesn’t obediently accept defeat.” (Katharina)
“At this point that’s a statement, where I’m not quite sure whether it’s profound or not, Katharina.”
“I haven’t particularly aimed for such thing.” (Katharina)
“You guys, while a person is struggling…” (Erwin)
Erw complained to the female group, who’s enjoying the tea and picking up sweets, but in the end no one listened to him since it was the grumbling of a loser, who was defeated in janken.
“9997! This one’s no good either!” (Erwin)
He has turned it from 0000 as the beginning. Although it seemed that he was turning it from the start, it might have been a punchline that 9999 is in fact the beginning. Moreover the result was 9998, despite him starting from 0001.
Naturally Erw threw the dial, which came off the door, on the ground while being enraged.
“The fellow, who made this, has a twisted and poor character!” (Erwin)
“Is it for stalling time?” (Wendelin)
“I guess so.” (Burkhart)
Burkhart-san answers my question with low tension.
“There doesn’t seem to be any inspiration in that.”
“Although it’s an entrance, this sort of ruins is almost 100% a miss.”
There are various types of things even in ancient historic ruins, but as for the pattern of being locked by an entrance, it doesn’t seem that those ruins will have overly many valuable treasures, if it’s a kind of pattern that’s relatively easy to open.
“Rarely it’s a winner though. However, that’s truly rare.”
Apparently he previously entered historic ruins with a similar lock, but he found an old food storage there, it seems.
“It was also from more than 10.000 years ago. It was empty.” (Burkhart)
If this much time passes, food and such will go beyond being rotten and there will be nothing left.
“Although I had quite the expectation since it was historic ruins being quite deep in the hinterlands.” (Burkhart)
“It was just a food storage?”
“There are such underground ruins as well.”
There are extreme examples such as the types of secret bases of ancient great men, who conceal the true nature of the underground ruins in any way, like the one we dived in before.
Usually it’s underground structures, which have cultural value, cellars, used by individuals, and old public facilities.
What caused magic tools and treasures to be there are the assets of companies, organizations and people, who used those underground ruins, and the equipment, they left behind.
If one were to ask why they focus on domains, where monsters dwell, it seems to be because the other ruins had mostly been excavated already.
Even though it’s sarcastic, but the ones remaining are those, where it’s difficult for people to enter.
“Did people live in domains, where monsters dwell, in the era of the Ancient Magic Civilization?”
“I guess that’s how it was. There appears to be evidence as well.”
Also, it appears that occasionally historic ruins, which aren’t monster domains either, get discovered in untrodden remote areas and such.
However, nowadays that’s rare.
“Though it will be great, if it’s a sake storage.” (Burkhart)
“That again. Isn’t that just because you are fond of sake.”
“If it’s sake, it’s still possible.”
There were underground types of wine cellars, which were owned by nobles long ago, discovered as historic ruins. Apparently the wine, which was stored there, was still good.
“It’s because it’s wine with the vintage from the era of the Ancient Magic Civilization. It would attain a staggering level of prices.”
Nobles, wealthy merchants and such unanimously raised the prices in the auction.
“While you dream of such possibilities, we will start the exploration.”
“For the sake of safety, I will be at the front.” (Armstrong)
The reason is that it will be alright for monsters to suddenly attack, if it’s doushi.
With doushi in the lead, Burkhart-san and me enter inside passing through the door, which was opened with the key, from behind.
For caution’s sake I’m using detection magic alongside Burkhart-san while advancing ahead through the dark pathway, but there was absolutely no monster presence in the long pathway, which somehow allowed for two people to walk side-by-side.
“As expected, it’s just a storage.” (Burkhart)
Burkhart-san shows an expression looking as if he’s openly regretting it.
If there are assets of the person, who created the underground ruin, there will be a large amount of traps to protect the items within the ruins and monsters will be deployed.
Also, it’s said that golems and such are standard as well.
“Broken by deterioration over time, there will only be monsters, who have entered inside, though. However, doushi is dazzling.”
“They won’t appear, if I don’t clad my body in light magic!” (Armstrong)
“Well, it’s okay since it’s bright.”
Given that it had become dark as we were advancing through the pathway, doushi used light magic.
This light magic is naturally a popular spell in historic ruins explorations.
Usually one uses it by creating a light ball on a fingertip, but doushi clad his entire body in light and was shining meaninglessly.
In case of Elise, she was apparently called 『Shining goddess』 in society, but if it’s doushi, he can’t be seen as anything but a 『bright giant, who came to deliver divine punishment』.
Also the mana efficiency was bad because he is shining with his entire body all the time.
If you are possessing mana at doushi’s level, you likely won’t care about such matters though.
“There’s once again a door, which needs a key.”
The leading doushi discovers yet another of such doors.
Moreover, this time it seems to have a lock attached, which can be opened with a normal key.
“There’s no choice but to break it!” (Armnstrong)
“Is it only this time that there’s no choice but to break it, I wonder?”
We were unable to sense the existence of a trap, but that likewise didn’t mean that there was a key somewhere either.
Without regarding the lock itself as overly valuable since it’s a type of padlock, Burkhart-san judged that there’s no problem to break it.
“Wait a moment. I will use a lock-picking spell.” (Katharina)
“Hee, you are able to use a rare spell.” (Burkhart)
It’s not unreasonable for Burkhart-san to admire her either.
This lock-picking spell was listed under magic, which is quite difficult to learn.
Changing one’s own mana into a solid mass, you transform it into the shape of the key, that fits into the lock, and open it without breaking the lock itself.
It requires a frightening level of delicate control over one’s mana. Since its effect is plain in comparison to that, it was a spell, which has very few users as most give up on learning it right away.
“Are you able to dive into a ruin by yourself, if you have this?”
“No matter how remarkable a magician might be, historic ruins are too dangerous for a solo run.” (Burkhart)
“I know. Thanks to that, I hoarded spells.” (Katharina)
As expected of Katharina, she obediently listened to Burkhart-san’s warning.
She was aware of the fact that he was an elite adventurer, no one can complain about in regards to his accomplishments.
Also, her mood was apparently raised by being called remarkable by him.
“It’s because I have an acquaintance in the adventurer’s guild’s headquarters too. I have heard the rumors about 『Storm』” (Burkhart)
Having graduated as top of the adventurer prep school, located in the Margravate Holmer, which is managing the western part of the kingdom, she reached the point of becoming a rumor as best magician of the western region in a bit more than a year.
“I didn’t know.” (Wendelin)
“Boy, you are really not interested in other adventurers…” (Burkhart)
I believe that’s my fundamental nature of working for a company in my previous life, rather than having no interest.
It wasn’t something I was told much, but I have found that seniors and those at the same level as me have been scolded by their harsh bosses regarding their business results, though they haven’t been in the same company as me. I believed that it couldn’t be helped that I didn’t care about the results of other adventurers.
Adventurers are like self-employed individuals after all.
“Isn’t it fine, if I earn income by myself?” (Wendelin)
“That’s certainly right.”
Instead I’m suffering being tied down by obligations as noble.
“Ah, however, isn’t it still a bit more than a year after you’ve become an adventurer, Katharina?”
“Are there any complaints about that?” (Katharina)
“You aren’t that much older than us then, are you?”
She appears to be around 19 years old, but in fact she seems to be still 16 years old.
“I have an objective! I have to revive the Waigel family as noble household! This sense of responsibility appears on my face!” (Katharina)
In other words, she wants to say that she has matured and not grown old.
For that reason she has earnestly devoted herself to magic training by herself since the time she knew that she’s able to use magic. She earned money by hunting and such until she was able to enter the adventurer prep school with an age of 12 years.
At the time in the adventurer prep school she worked to earn money with hunting in the same way.
Of course, without being negligent on the magic training in the breaks, she doesn’t seem to be shirking her training since she is currently increasing her mana too.
“Somehow, once you hear her story, it’s the same as the former Wend…” (Erwin)
Hearing Katharina proudly talking about her memories, Erw expresses his thoughts absent-mindedly.
I’ve heard these things before. They are resembling my former lifestyle.
“(I see… Katharina was also a loner like me, huh?)” (Wendelin)
No, I have no doubt that she’s likely a loner in the present as well.
Anyway, she is a solo adventurer, that hasn’t joined a party.
“I knew about the lock-picking spell as well while wondering whether it will become necessary, if there are other comrades able to do it… You are admirable, Katharina.”
“What are you saying! There’s no true friendship between people!” (Katharina)
“Isn’t there in fact?” (Wendelin)
“Well then, let’s open the lock!” (Katharina)
Ignoring my question, Katharina begins to open the lock.
Looking at her dodging the issue, I ended up realizing that she really had no friends.
“It’s unlocked.” (Katharina)
“That was fast.”
“For me such lock is easy.” (Katharina)
“Although you can’t dive into a historic ruin by yourself, you have done well to get this far.”
“Don’t offend me carelessly!” (Katharina)
Opening the lock in a mere 10 seconds, we advance even further into the historic ruin.
Once we walked for a while, the pathway ended once again in a dead-end.
“Again a dead-end?” (Ina)
“No, a magical elevator has been installed.” (Burkhart)
“Magical elevator?” (Ina)
“It’s a handy device sending you to the level below with mana.” (Burkhart)
Burkhart-san replies to Ina, who is tilting her head to the side.
A magical elevator is, simply put, an elevator moving with mana.
Apparently those have been occasionally installed in ancient historic ruins, but it seems there were hardly any, which could properly move so far.
“This one’s working. How rare.” (Burkhart)
Once Burkhart-san presses the button, covered with dust, on the wall of the dead-end, the thing, which I believed to be a stone wall, slides to the side.
Certainly, it closely resembled the structure of an elevator.
“There’s 『Open』 written on the button.”
Given that there’s 『Open』 written below the button as well, there’s no doubt that this is an elevator.
Once we passed through the door, which opened by sliding sideways, there were buttons, which had the number of levels written on them, besides 『Open』 and 『Close』, on the wall.
“With this being the first floor, it goes 20 levels below, eh?”
“Isn’t this in fact a large ruin?”
“I believe it to be a large storage. Since the lock’s simple, it’s likely a miss.”
“Wasn’t it a storage for foodstuff and clothes?” Burkhart-san reasoned.
In the era of the Ancient Magic Civilization a large amount of big companies was crowding together.
“It won’t yield any money since its interior is empty already?”
While more than 10.000 years have passed, things like the clothes and foodstuff inside shouldn’t be alright either. It seems there are many cases where those ruins are mostly empty, too.
“We might be able to sell the magical elevator.”
It is very likely for the magic tool guild to purchase it for the sake of research.
“Yea, wouldn’t the magical elevator be probably installed in the royal castle? With this magical elevator being a lost craft as well, all of them have ended up turning into ruined items as the magic tool guild has been researching the stored ones.”
As those are few in numbers, all of them ended up getting broken.
“I don’t regard this as such complicated construction though.”
Similar to the magical elevator, which is here, those will be limited, if you specify the levels with buttons. They aren’t able to reproduce such function, it seems.
Also, people ended up getting caught in-between, once the door closed.
In my previous life it was normal for it to open by itself due to sensors, but naturally it was impossible to reproduce that with the current technology.
Rather, I believe they are amazing for reproducing things from the Ancient Magic Civilization’s era.
“If it’s an elevator of the level to lift the baggage from the first to the second floor, it can be used for those working behind the scenes in the royal castle.”
It seems to have a stupidly high price even if it’s only to be used for baggage.
With its number of production being insufficient as well, it looks like only the royal castle, some public facilities, large nobles and major dealers are possessing those.
“Moreover, it’s dedicated to baggage only, huh?”
“Magical elevators require specific technology in maintenance. Even among large nobles, there are many people, who classify it as unnecessary. My master doesn’t possess one either.” (Burkhart)
Now that he mentions it, I remember that I didn’t see something like an elevator in the mansion of Margrave Breithilde.
“We have already arrived at the next floor! Who was it!? The one who touched my bottom!” (Katharina)
“Ah, me.” (Wendelin)
“At least talk about it in an apologetic manner!” (Katharina)
“It can’t be helped, right!? It’s cramped! (Or rather, I haven’t felt anything but the sensation of leather)” (Wendelin)
It’s more spacious than expected. All of us, who entered the elevator, arrived at the underground floor safely.
We ended up being jam-packed since there’s many of us. Katharina complained because my hand touched her butt.
“Hey, have you touched my chest?” (Luise)
“It was me. Eh? Chest?” (Burkhart)
“Burkhart-sama, is it fine to beat you up afterwards?” (Luise)
“Please excuse me!” (Burkhart)
It seems an accident happened due to the cramped elevator, however we arrived at the underground floor totally safely.
“It’s just a pathway once again?”
“That’s typical for a ruins’ storage.”
A long pathway, where you can’t see what lies ahead, with a width of around 3 m stretches in front of us. On both sides, with a space in-between of 50 m, there were elevator doors installed having buttons of 『Open』 and 『Close』 just like the one before.
“Are the doors also moved with mana?”
“That’s how it is. Also… how rare! Hasn’t it become a magic-powered warehouse!?”
Even I’m aware of what a magic-powered warehouse is.
To put it simply, it’s a warehouse version of the magic bag.
Omitting the part of storing a large amount of items in a small bag, it’s something that only had the function of protecting the items, which are in that room, from deterioration over time.
At the time you open the door and take out the contents, that function will be suspended. Once you close it again, time will stop for the items inside.
It was written in books that this was a popular item rivaling refrigerators in the era of the Ancient Magic Civilization.
“However, does such old magic-powered warehouse still function?”
“It’s functioning. It’s a magic tool after all.”
There are many magic tools, which were discovered in historic ruins of the Ancient Magic Civilization’s era, that can still be used, even if they look old.
On top of many items having the prerequisite of being used for an extended period of time to begin with, there are also many items, which had spells to prevent degradation embedded.
Given that those are still from over 10.000 years ago, they won’t be usable once discovered, if they haven’t those.
“Hey! Try looking at the lower button.”
“Ah, the magic gem is shining.”
As it is shining, the degradation-prevention function is even now still working.
“Hee, it has lasted this long.” (Erwin)
“I guess a skilled magic tool craftsman took part in its construction.” (Burkhart)
Not only has the magic tool the performance requiring a skilled magic tool craftsman, but it has also a remarkably excelling consumption of the magic gems, which have been installed in it, Burkhart-san explains to Erw.
“However, it’s more than 10.000 years.”
“Degradation prevention doesn’t consume that much mana.”
That’s the reason why I was able to safely inherit the magic bag from my master.
“A magic-powered warehouse doesn’t consume mana at the level of a magic bag.”
A large amount of items can be stored away in the space of a different dimension, which was created within the bag. The magic-powered warehouse can exclude the function of freely opening that.
In fact, the magic gem, used for mana supply on the other side of the door, didn’t have a size bigger than approximately the size of a softball.
Since it has been running for more than 10.000 years with that size, it likely has a better mana consumption efficiency than a magic bag.
“There are also many cases of the available magic tools, that were excavated from historic ruins, having been put into such working storages. Unexpectedly, this one might be a winner.” (Burkhart)
Opening a close-by door right away, I try to enter the magic-powered warehouse.
The interior has a width of 50 m, a length of 100 m and a height of around 5 m. Once I entered, it became illuminated by magic tools in a natural way.
The floor, walls and ceiling were made with whitish stone, which is similar to marble. A lot of very small magic square-like things have been drawn.
It seems that those were magic squares for preventing degradation.
“It’s working after all.”
The inside of the room was packed with a large amount of wooden boxes, but I’m unable to imagine for all of them being from over 10.000 years ago.
With the whitish wood looking like brand-new, the pleasant scent peculiar to wood started to drift about inside the room.
“Time started to flow once again.” (Burkhart)
Since the door was open, the flow of time restarted. The wooden boxes are in the state just like they were as brand-new items, Burkhart-san explains.
“In other words, time is flowing when you are depositing or withdrawing the contents?”
“There’s probably a magic square drawn on the other side of the door. The spell to prevent degradation stops in the state of the door being open.”
“That’s handy, isn’t it?”
As it seems that the people of the magic tool guild have been pondering about this problem, that appears the biggest reason for the magic-powered warehouse to not spread.
Also, a magic-powered warehouse can certainly be used for an extended period, if it gets started once and if the mana consumption is low as well, but it’s necessary to draw a unique magic square without any breaks in it and a special stone has to be laid out in the entire area for the construction work of something like a warehouse.
If you consider the initial expenses, it seems that refrigerators are overwhelmingly better in cost efficiency.
“Which reminds me, what Artur-san bought was also a large refrigerator.”
What he bought for the preservation of miso and soy sauce was a large refrigerator, which was installed in the basement, I have heard.
“You can preserve perishable food with a good feeling as time doesn’t pass, but once you open the door of the magic-powered warehouse, time will flow again.”
Even if you store a large quantity of perishable food in a magic-powered warehouse, time will progress for each and every of it at the time you take it out in the end. It will quickly spoil because there isn’t something temperature control either.
That being the case, a small refrigerator won’t require overwhelming expenses. If you want to preserve a certain extent of quantity, a magic bag doesn’t take much room and is easy to transport.
Currently the magic-powered warehouse hasn’t spread at all since it’s an unfinished product.
“You can also store clothes and general goods for a long time.” (Wendelin)
“So, why did those in old days use magic-powered warehouses?” (Katharina)
“That is… I wonder if this might become a hint?” (Wendelin)
Although it’s not like I tried to answer Katharina’s question, I discovered a small desk and bookshelves alongside the wall nearby.
There’s a large amount of papers, bound with strings, in the bookshelves. Once I check their contents, it seems that those are lists of the goods, which have been stored in this warehouse.
“Just as I imagined, bottles filed with sake, clothes and miscellaneous goods for living, eh?”
Given that those are close to being new items, albeit being from an ancient era, they should achieve quite the price.
“Hey, Wend. This isn’t a list.” (Luise)
Once we have split into groups to read the contents of the paper bundles, tied by strings, Luise found a different document.
“Umm. 『A large shopping mall has opened in the suburbs of Prime town with magnificent price offs! 80% – 90% off are the norm! A large release with huge bargains, even for new energy conserving magic tools! There’s nothing you can’t find here!』, huh?” (Wendelin)
It looks like a leaflet, however it used wordings that somehow felt like being taken out of my previous life.
Or rather, even though it’s a ruin of the same Ancient Magic Civilization’s era, it feels somehow different from the one in the vicinity of the royal capital.
“Wend, I found materials about this underground ruin.” (Ina)
Ina, who read the documents carefully, discovered a paper, which described the true identity of this underground ruin.
Once I read it after receiving it, it somehow seems that this was the basement storehouse exclusively used by the shopping mall of this leaflet.
“Umm, in other words, it looks like this was a warehouse of a large commercial* city.” (Wendelin) (T/N: バッタ市 or batta shi. I interpret batta as barter, but barter city sounds weird, so I went with commercial)
It seems that there are still many things the researchers of this era still don’t understand well about the era of the Ancient Magic Civilization, but at least a far lager amount of magic tools had been spread than now and their livelihood was abundant, too.
As result of spreading a large amount of cheap goods in society, just like in the Japan of my former life, the prices fell gradually and it pressured the administration of the merchants to gather stocks of produced merchandise.
Weeding out the merchants naturally, it advanced into the bi-polarization of small-scale merchants, who worked effectively by being flexible, or large capital, that made small profits with quick returns.
I guess that this underground warehouse is a storage for preserving 『unused goods of old manufacture』 as merchandise, which was bargained from a merchant, that got crushed by that process.
“(The Ancient Magic Civilization’s era was surprisingly tough…) In short, there’s a huge amount of goods in this warehouse?”
“Since there are up to 20 underground floors, it’s only natural for there to be a large amount, I guess.”
Doushi at once opens a single wooden box, takes out a sake bottle from inside and samples its content.
The exploration hasn’t entered anything but this place, which is still the first room on the first underground floor.
On a single floor there are at the very least 10 rooms with such size and there are even 20 of those underground floors.
Just how many goods have been left behind? It was to a degree that it was difficult to imagine it.
“Doushi, please don’t drink sake during the exploration.”
“It’s immature wine. Can’t be helped since it’s a magic-powered warehouse, huh!?” (Armstrong)
Since even if doushi called it sampling, he naturally emptied the entire bottle in one gulp while drinking straight out of the bottle.
However, doushi shouldn’t get drunk with this amount either. His complexion hasn’t changed at all.
“Elise-sama, my stomach is empty.” (Wilma)
“Yeah, yeah. I will take out the snacks now, okay?” (Elise)
“Thank you, Elise-sama.” (Wilma)
Given that it was a ruins exploration without monsters being here, Wilma apparently ended up having spare time.
As the time was just right before noon as well, Elise had Wilma eat stuff like the baked cookies, she made herself.
How to call it? It looks like a setup of a younger sister being spoiled by her meddlesome elder sister.
“It appears to be a big hit. If I have this earning and achievement…” (Katharina)
“You won’t become a noble with a woman’s body.”
“This country is truly unsociable!” (Katharina)
We still didn’t investigate everything, however it should turn into a considerable income, if there’s this many goods.
Therefore Katharina ended up being at a loss due to the kingdom’s unwritten law that women can’t become nobles.
From my point of view she is a very excellent magician. I believe it would be fine to make an exception for her.
“(Doushi, if we leave it as it is…)” (Wendelin)
“(There the possibility of her defecting…)” (Armstrong)
Holy Empire Urquhart apparently recognizes female nobles.
If she isn’t particular about the country, you can even say that defecting would be the fastest way toward nobility.
“I won’t defect. I have retainers and their families I ought to protect.” (Katharina)
The Waigel household, which is Katharina’s home, ended up having its territory and peerage taken away because they refused the order to relocate to another lord’s domain by the royal family as aftermath of a factional infighting in her grandfather’s generation.
And, the retainers, she has mentioned.
At that time the retainers below the Junior Commander and their descendants have gone to an area under the direct control of the kingdom. Even now they seem to obstinately defend the territory for the Waigel household to return as noble.
What to say? You can actually call their loyalty frightening.
“My grandfather hasn’t done anything like disobeying the order of His Majesty! It’s the deed of that vicious Marquis Rückner household!” (Katharina)
The predecessor of the current Finance Minister Rückner used such maneuvering in order to lower the influence of the Earl Liliental household, with whom he was in a dispute within the finance affairs faction in those days.
The Waigel household apparently was a vassal of the Earl Liliental household, being a rare appointed noble considering it’s a countryside feudal lord family.
Having their territory close to the capital, the Waigel household, which could expect a certain degree of military forces in the worst case as they were also related by blood with the Earl Liliental household, apparently planned to disagree with the Marquis Rückner household.
“That person was resented by various people.” (Katharina)
“As they are a large noble, they will accordingly have enemies though.”
Moreover, at the time the Waigel household had their rank changed, the family heads of both families apparently had quite the bad relationship in comparison to their fellow predecessors. But, nowadays their relation doesn’t seem to be that bad.
Going by what doushi said, there are situations, where the relationship of fellow noble families ends up changing drastically once there’s a new successor.
In reverse, always writing 『We absolutely won’t forgive you since you are our mortal enemy!』 to the successor, there are likewise fellow noble households, which are on bad terms for several hundred years.
“At the beginning after the change of rank, we were supported by the Earl Liliental household as well, but…” (Katharina)
Although they provided support saying 『We will return your territory and peerage without fail』, they apparently ended up being abandoned once the generation changed.
After that the retainers supported the fallen Waigel household earnestly while acting as indigenous village headmen and such.
Since the Earl Liliental household probably mended their relationship with the Marquis Rückner household, they forsook the Waigel household’s situation, I guess.
In order to reap big profits, they cut down the small profits.
It was a story often heard, no matter which world.
“For the sake of them returning their debt of gratitude, it won’t do, if I can’t become a noble!” (Katharina)
Be that as it may, at this rate there’s no way for Katharina to become a noble. Her haughty attitude at the beginning came from being impatient about this situation.
No, I wasn’t aware whether she is one such person in the beginning either though.
Also, she was active in the western parts of the kingdom as adventurer, because it would probably be troublesome in various ways, if she was active around the area of the capital.
“Anyway, this is the end of the story. Let’s go home once we get the treasures.” (Burkhart)
With Burkhart-san’s comment, we went to collect the goods, which were stored in all the rooms being in this underground storage, after we had lunch.
There was apparently a large amount of magic tools, but as the confirmation comes afterwards, we didn’t care either.
Though I believed it to be unlikely, leaving it would be annoying, if other adventurers snatched it.
“A single floor has 20 storage rooms with the same size. With there being 20 floors, it becomes 400 rooms, huh…? That’s a lot.”
“It’s going to be an immense task for the guild’s people to appraise it.”
“It’s their job.” (Burkhart)
Burkhart-san replies as if it was something easy.
“The adventurer’s guild is something indispensable, but it’s a fact that we are living from the profits as adventurers. It’s unnecessary to worry about something like a bit of busyness.” (Burkhart)
“However, Burkhart-san.” (Ina)
“What’s up, Ina-jou-chan?” (Burkhart)
Recently, Ina, who was told to stop attaching 『-sama』 by Burkhart-san, had reached the point to call him normally by attaching 『-san』.
“If you check these documents, this place seems to be the fourth underground storage.” (Ina)
“We have to continue the search, eh…?” (Burkhart)
I participate in the search around the area, even postponing the construction requests, from next day onwards. We were successful at discovering 8 of the same storages called underground ruins.
As all of them were built in the same way, they were fully equipped magic-powered warehouses with 20 rooms x 20 floors.
And among those, a large amount of goods laid dormant.
“Those were surplus items in the old days.” (Elise)
While looking at a large amount of various goods, Elise expressed that kind of impression.
“At least this place feels like that.”
Going by Burkhart-san’s words, the ruins located in this Demon Forest are somehow fundamentally different from ruins in other areas.
Certainly, not only wasn’t this place built in a style of a historic ruin, but it’s nothing more than an underground storage for the sake of storing away large amounts of goods.
The matter of having installed even a magic-powered warehouse to prevent the deterioration of the stored goods wasn’t understandable unless you had a clean-freak part like a Japanese.
“Though we have been lumping the Ancient Magic Civilization together into one pot, this area belonged to a different country, didn’t it?”
“For the time being it seems that it was a unified country.”
According to the research by experts, a strong monarchic nation existed in the central part.
“Then was it a vassal state, a self-governing dominion or a satellite country?”
“It might have been either.”
However, it will be a good thing, if the kingdom’s researchers investigate the historic truth about this.
Storing the all goods from the eight storages, we discovered, into my magic bag, we returned to our mansion after re-blocking the entrances.
“I can’t stand dials anymore… Although someone is faithfully turning them from 0000, they pick a fight by making it 9987… Next, though I turned it from 9999 downwards, it was 0007…” (Erwin)
Turning up as the sole loser of janken, Erw, who ended up having to open the dial locks of all 8 underground storages by himself, became somewhat absent-minded.