Magi Craft Meister - Volume 9 - Chapter 27
09-27 Side Story 11: The Madness of a Certain Puppet
A little bit before the Great Magic War.
There was a certain Magi Craftsman in Dinar Kingdom.
The Magi Craftsman announced himself as the second coming of the genius Magi Craftsman Adrianna Balbora Ceci, and other people thought it wasn’t an exaggeration.
However, it was nothing more than him having acquired –by chance– a Template Adrianna Balbora Ceci had left behind.
And the Template itself was something Adrianna herself would think to still be at an incomplete level if she saw it.
But the people of this era didn’t know that.
The fact of the matter was that Adrianna Balbora Ceci was that much of a super-genius ahead of her time.
Only once this era came finally appreciation for her ability appeared.
Using that Template, the man made an Automata.
She had not only fitting movements, speech, and thought for an Automata, but she could also feel artificial emotions.
And although it was just for show, she could breathe and also had body temperature. The result was good enough you could call her indistinguishable from a human.
“Ooh, this is magnificent.”
“His works are on a different level, aren’t they?”
The nobles lauded her and everyone wanted to possess one of his Automata.
“Silver hair and blue eyes would be good. Her body should be tall, slender, and well-proportioned, and I want the breasts to be big.”
“The hair’s got to be blonde and the eyes green, please. Have her figure be thin and the chest be moderate too.”
The nobles had their own preferences for the looks. The Magi Craftsman varied the appearance of the Automata according to the request.
“Hmm, now that it’s come to this making it’d be good if they could be enjoyed during the nights too, but…”
Eventually he met even those demands.
At any rate, this was because being approved by other people and receiving admiration were his reasons for living.
＊ ＊ ＊
During the same era there was another, different Magi Craftsman.
He, no, she was also a genius. Actually, perhaps calling her the genius would be appropriate.
However, maybe because of her talent her intentions became warped, and in her madness she focused her manufacturing towards only building Automata.
She dedicated her whole life for building the supreme Automata.
Fortunately her house was prosperous, enough so that the assets wouldn’t run out during her lifetime. She poured all of it into Automata manufacture.
Be that as it may, her first one was shoddy and had a long way to go. Its movements were slow, and it had difficulty speaking.
“Mas, ter, the tea, is, reedy.”
“Ready, you mean! How many times must I tell you!”
Every day she got irritated.
But she built ten, then twenty, and they gradually got more refined.
“Master, the meal preparations have been completed.”
Both the movements and the way of talking became non-inferior compared to humans.
Along with that, she once again became the subject of conversations.
Automata manufacture commissions began incessantly pouring in for her.
But she still wasn’t satisfied. That was because in comparison to the hers, the Automata of the Magi Craftsman who was the current talk of the town were more popular.
That is to say, Adrianna Balbora Ceci was preferred to her.
She knew that the Automata that were all the rage then were all based on the Template Adrianna had left behind.
She declined all the manufacture commissions, and she aimed for “an Automata that has strength surpassing a golem”.
That became her next goal.
And the reason behind this was that the Automata built based on the Template left behind by Adrianna Balbora Ceci were three times stronger than any human, so they could even be useful as bodyguards.
“What’s Adrianna to speak of. I’ll show everyone that I’m superior to her!”
Following her goal, the Automata she built became stronger one after another. Despite their appearance being that of a delicate woman, they boasted a strength over twice that of conventional golems.
And yet she wasn’t satisfied.
An Automata surpassing all Automata, the queen of Automata. That was her next goal.
Appearance beautiful to the utmost. Graceful bearing. And mighty enough that once she displayed it all the Automata would prostate themselves before her. Building such an Automata became her dream.
For that reason she disassembled all the Automata she had made until now for materials, and collected only the most superior components and brought them to life.
The Automata numbering over 100 were all scrapped by her.
But she accumulated the knowledge and intelligence contained in their Control Cores into one.
Without even marrying, she devoted herself to nothing but building the Automata.
One day, a regular trader brought in a second hand Magi Crystal. It was a rather old thing, and had some kind of a Control System inscribed in it.
She analyzed it.
“This is incredible! It appears to be over 600 years old, and yet as early as then there was a movement formula like this!”
It was a Magi Formula written for a ‘special’ golem. After acquiring that her research advanced greatly at once.
In addition the Magi Crystal had a purity so high obtaining a similar one in her era would be difficult, and so she decided to reuse it after using [Erase].
By the time she had reached her 60s, she finished a single Automata. It was her masterwork.
Its appearance was that of a girl in her late teens who had just reached adulthood. Its height was neither tall nor short. Its hair was golden and its eyes a deep crimson.
“You are my proud daughter. You won’t lose even to Adrianna Balbora Ceci’s golems.”
At every opportunity she told the Automata that and adored it.
The Automata behaved as she had hoped for, no, better than she had hoped for.
“Mother, the weather is fine today so shall we go for a walk?”
It even had consideration for others like a human, no, as if it was also a human. More than once a son of a noble fell in love with it at first sight and courted it.
That was characteristic of an Automata who had eyes made out of a Magi Crystal with the [Charm] effect, the ‘Blood Crystal’.
If it so felt like, it could also use those eyes to cast the forbidden spells [Hypno], [Seduce] and [Subliminal].
That was solely because of the woman’s madness. As she didn’t deem acceptable that the Automata she built herself would serve people other than her.
In addition, the strength hidden beneath its surface was unfathomable. Probably even if ten battle-type golems attacked it they wouldn’t be able to defeat the Automata.
It had not just strength, but speed, flexibility, and knew martial arts. In addition to all that, it had an Adamantite short sword for self-defense.
Bestowed with magic, the excellent sword could even comfortably cut right through steel. Coupled with the sword techniques of the Automata wielding it, the Automata was nearly invincible.
On the other hand, maybe because she had worked too hard ever since she was young, she gradually lost her healthiness.
“Mother, today I’ve made gruel out of barley for you.”
The Automata gallantly cared for her, but her physique was weakening day by day.
“I’m no longer young. But having managed to build you is enough.”
The woman who had already become unable to get up from her bed said with a soft voice.
“Mother, please don’t talk about sad things like that.”
The Automata said, but the woman slowly shook her head.
“Humans are beings who all meet their end in due time. We can’t live as long as your like.”
Madness no longer dwelled in her eyes.
“Once I’m gone, live as you’d like. You are my masterwork. You are the queen of Automata.”
“My… daughter. You are the best…”
Once she had spoken that much, there was a sudden change in her state. Blood came out of her lungs and blocked her throat.
Making nothing more than gurgling sounds, the question of how she would’ve continued became an eternal mystery.
That was the night she passed away.
＊ ＊ ＊
“‘You are the best’… That is Mother’s wish.”
The Automata burned those words into its memory, no, its Control Core. She had said ‘the best’, but there was no longer any way of knowing just what she had meant by that.
At that moment, maybe because of the fickle finger of fate, maybe because the [Erase] had been imperfect, a part of the Magi Formula that was supposed to have been erased was restored.
The contents of it uneventfully overlapped with the Magi Formula the woman had written, and then they spontaneously united.
What the Automata ought to do.
It should win against Adrianna Balbora Ceci, in other words overpower all the golems she had made.
To become the best meant to ‘rise above everything that existed’ in this world.
The Automata had vast amounts on information. It also had the mansion the woman had left behind.
The Automata began working out a plan on how to rise to the top of all creation…
＊ ＊ ＊
Her first victim was the Magi Craftsman said to be Adrianna Balbora Ceci’s second coming.
A maid who had become suspicious of her master who didn’t wake up no matter how much time passed went to check on him and found him dead in his bed.
After that there was an incident where all the Automata he had handled were destroyed one after another.
As their owners had been mostly nobles, their mansions had gatekeepers and inside there were guards and security personnel.
Despite that before they knew it, one morning the Automata were found scattered about with their limbs and heads torn off.
More than one noble hired magi to place a barrier to cover their houses, all for nothing. As if ridiculing such measures the culprit easily infiltrated the houses, destroyed the Automata without anyone noticing, and then once again were gone like the wind.
What was mysterious was that despite there having been guards in the same room as the Automata, in countless cases before they knew it the guards found the Automata destroyed.
The guards testified that none of them had seen the culprit’s figure. There was even a case where an Automata in the same bed as the noble who owned it was destroyed without the noble in question noticing.
There were guesses that it might’ve been caused by the forbidden curse [Hypno] but there was no evidence of it. This was because no traces of [Hypno] having been used on the supposed victims were found.
The incident went unsolved and continued until all the Automata the dead Magi Craftsman had built were destroyed.
Much later it was established that a magic called [Seduce], which could turn one’s focus towards a specific action, was used.
＊ ＊ ＊
Five years after that, the Great Magic War broke out.
Many Automata and golems were made.
All of them were sent out to the battlefield.
It was a time when Templates left behind by Adrianna Balbora Ceci were rediscovered, then Automata and Golems based on them were built and greatly flourished.
Automata were mass produced and they performed chores in the front lines. Of course, golems fought at the forefront.
In the middle of it all, a mysterious incident occurred.
At first the soldier who witnessed it thought it was a dream.
This was because a girl with fluttering golden hair slaughtered their army of battle-type golems one after another.
Behind her the devil race gradually pushed on. Even if it was a dream, it was a nightmare.
The Great Magic War was fiercely settled.
In a location far away from the site of a bloody battle, one Automata had ceased moving but there was no one to pay attention to it.
The Automata who had lost its left arm was already just like scrap.
But the Automata was still ‘alive’.
It knew with its own body that she could not resist the power by herself.
Waiting for the next chance, the Automata went into hibernation.
It decided on the rule that it would next wake up when a human touched her, then sealed the entrance.
“Let’s be more successful next time. Yes, with [Seduce], [Hypno] and [Subliminal]. It should be better to set humans against humans.”
That’s how she made up her mind…