Magi Craft Meister - Chapter 458
“Is it a basement?”
Called by Regulus 45, Jin and his friends returned to look at the stairs that appeared on the floor.
“… It seems that there was some kind of special barrier that I wasn’t aware of even after Regulus 45’s preliminary investigation.”
Jin came to that conclusion as he investigated the entrance to the staircase.
These kinds of hidden rooms and passages could be easily found using a “sonar” and the like. The barrier that was hiding these stairs must have been a very advanced one.
“I will go down first to see if there is any danger.”
Regulus 45 sounded eager to go as he dove down the stairs that appeared on the floor. The sound of running down the stairs became quieter and quieter.
After waiting for about 5 minutes without saying anything, the footsteps were heard again and Regulus 45 came back.
“There’s no danger. It’s a very interesting place.”
After his report, it was decided that it would be quicker to just go down and see for themselves.
“Okay, let’s take a look.”
They went down the stairs in this order: Regulus 45, Reiko, Jin, Hanna, Saki, Stearleana, and Elsa.
Surprisingly, there were Ether Lights stuck on the walls, which started to emit light as soon as Jin and his friends approached them. Considering that they weren’t triggered when Regulus 45 came downstairs alone, they seemed to have been set to react only to humans. It was a very advanced device.
After about 50 steps down, they arrived at the basement.
There was a door at the end of the stairs, and when Regulus 45 opened it…
…Each of the five of them had a different reaction.
What was waiting at the other side of the door looked like a sea of stars.
Though it was actually a huge mural and ceiling painting that imitated the starry sky.
A dim starlight was shining. The room seemed to be hemispherical. It was like a planetarium that had gone out of order.
A voice came out of somewhere.
“I was left here to tell the facts of what happened here to those who would come here after such a long time.”
“…An artificial intelligence?”
“You may perceive me as such.”
To put it simply, it was an entity similar to Laojun. Though its main function simply seemed to be to relay a message.
“What are these facts you speak of?”
“The reason behind the disappearance of the people of the Lenard Kingdom.”
It was a shocking fact. There seemed to be a very specific reason for the disappearance of the people of the Lenard Kingdom. Everyone seemed to want to know more about it.
“Please tell us.”
“Of course. That’s why I exist.”
＊ ＊ ＊
The story they heard from that mysterious voice was astonishing.
“234 years ago, an unknown epidemic broke out in the kingdom. It was named ‘Magical Exhaustion Fever‘.”
“Magical Exhaustion Fever…”
Just recently, Jin and Elsa had been suffering from a difficult illness. It seemed that there had been a large outbreak in the past as well.
“The plague started in the north of the country and gradually moved south. The mortality rate was high and inevitable in the beginning. The bodies of those who fell victims to it were burned, and the kingdom’s population was cut in half.”
For better or worse, there were no diplomatic relations with the neighboring kingdoms of Klein, Celuroa, and Egelia, so it seemed that the plague didn’t turn into a pandemic.
“While still looking for a cure, the people of the Lenard Kingdom considered the possibility of escaping the country. Since the plague was moving southward from the north, they decided to escape to the south. The entire country had begun to construct a huge ship.”
Jin wondered if they had made it in time, but the voice soon continued speaking.
“But the ship seemed to take too much time. So they instead evacuated to the sky.”
“To the sky!?”
“Do you mean… Above the clouds?”
“To be more precise, to the moon. There was a magic circle in this Lenard Kingdom, left by someone many, many years ago.”
A Magic Circle. The Magi Formula would be arranged in a circle, so to speak, a magic circuit composed only of the Magi Formula. Its effect could be amplified by circulating magical power in a ring shape, but it was difficult to handle, and was a magical technique that had become obsolete in modern times.
“There was a legend that spoke of opening up a path to go up in the sky and travel to the moon.”
Jin wondered if that magic circle the voice spoke of was the kind that could be used to teleport.
“First the royal family, then the ministers, then the knights, the soldiers, and the commoners. They moved forward one after another, and none has ever come back.”
“The few remaining people died of the plague. I was created by one of those who remained, the Magi Engineer Alexta Stakel, to tell those who would come here in the future about this event.”
In short, an epidemic broke out.
To escape from it, the people turned to the magic circle of their legend.
Most of the people ended up leaving, never to return.
The mysterious voice was that of the messenger left by one of the Magi Engineers who remained in the kingdom.
Jin tried to summarize the story in his head, wondering if it could really have happened. At the same time, some questions appeared on his head.
“Did they not make sure where that magic circle was going to take them?”
No matter how hard he thought about it, Jin couldn’t really believe such a story.
“Yes, the first to ride the magic circle was King Rentra the 11th. The king was the first to say that there was nothing to be afraid of.”
There might have not been anything to fear, but it would have still been hard to believe. Jin was under the impression that the king probably not only abandoned the country because he was afraid of the plague, but that he also had been the first to escape.
“Even so, they never came back here… Was it because they had no means to do so?”
Saki shared her thoughts with everyone.
“No, the magic circle itself could be drawn by anyone, and it really didn’t even need much mana to put it into operation.”
“So they could have come back anytime if they had wished to?”
Saki wondered if they had actually preferred the life they were having where they had gone, and if that had been the reason why they never returned to the Lenard Kingdom. She couldn’t come up with any more objections on the matter.
“Do you know what kind of magic circle it was?”
Jin was eager to ask that question. But the answer was rather disappointing.
“I haven’t been filled in with that information. Therefore, I do not know.”
Jin still could use Warp Gates, but even then he was interested in the technology behind teleportation through a magic circle.
But other than that, the thing that Jin was most worried about was their reason for not being able to come back.
“It would have been nice if at least one of them would have returned to tell others about what kind of place their destination was.”
He wondered if the plague had been that scary, and came up with one reason.
“Don’t tell me…?”
Jin frowned. Elsa saw Jin’s puzzled face, thought about what could be troubling him, and arrived at the reason.
“B-Brother Jin! If… If they really went to the moon… The moon… Vacuum…”
Jin nodded silently.
“…Yeah. I thought about that too. At that time, they might have not even thought about the fact that there was no air at their destination.”
Saki and Stearleana went pale when they heard Jin’s words. Both of them had enough of a grasp of science to understand what he meant.
“J-Jin, then… Then all of the people who were transferred at the time… They’ve all…”
“Jin… If their destination was in a vacuum… Then…”
Jin nodded with an extremely sad face.
“Only if they had actually gone to the moon. They could have gone somewhere very far in this world as well.”
“…But if that was the case, then someone would have eventually returned here, right?”
“…Normally, you would have some interest in coming back to your hometown, right?”
“But if they couldn’t come back… So that’s what actually happened, Jin?”
Perhaps those who had transferred at that time died before knowing what kind of place their destination was going to be.
The messenger wouldn’t know about it, and it didn’t have the scientific knowledge to understand it.
“Is there anything else you should tell us?”
After regaining his composure, Jin asked the messenger.
“No, there is not. I was only created with the purpose of relaying this information.”
Feeling a little depressed, Jin and his friends decided to return to the ground. Hanna was the only one who didn’t understand what was going on, so she wondered why Jin and the others had such gloomy faces.
When everyone had finished climbing the stairs, the hole in the floor closed itself.
Jin resealed the wall by reactivating the Magi Stone with Engineering Magic and went out silently. The others followed him.
The blue sky was the only thing that had remained unchanged after the long gone years when the Lenard Kingdom thrived.