Magi Craft Meister - Volume 9 - Chapter 46
“Uhh… Where am I?”
The old man opened his eyes and after looking around asked Machina.
“This… seems to be the headquarters of the Unifiers.”
Machina replied, and the old man slowly shook his head.
“The Unifiers. …Ah, I remember. I am the top seat of the Unifiers, Joule Rolan. I somehow feel like I’ve been dreaming for a long time.”
The sock of being hit and lingering between life and death seemed to have cleared his brainwashing, Jin thought through Machina.
“Originally the Unifiers idolized Dinar Kingdom and chased after that ideal. Antagonising fellow countries like this makes me unhappy, it was supposed to be a group about ideological unification.”
As if convincing himself, Joule Rolan uttered.
“Why did it turn to this…”
Joule was very troubled. Seeing him like that, Machina asked him a question.
“Do you remember what you’ve done?”
“Yes. But, how should I say this, it’s as if another person had been doing it. Just why did I make those orders….”
After replying Joule was once again troubled.
Jin who was watching the scene through a Magic Screen in Pelican-1 thought that first of all he’d carry onwards, and decided to give orders through Machina.
“Land-71, stay with Joule for a while. Don’t take your eyes off the unconscious Donald either. …Everyone else, be careful of your surroundings. Like Ann said, the ‘Golden Princess of Destruction’ should be hiding somewhere.”
The ‘Golden Princess of Destruction’. Joule had a reaction to the words.
“Ah, you must mean Elena? Ah, oh, Elena. Right, it was at her instructions. That’s right, I remember now. Her orders were absolute. She was our queen…”
“So the Golden Princess of Destruction… Elena really was the true mastermind all along.”
Joule was surprised and looked at Ann who said so.
“You’re an Automata? Blue-haired Automata… We were supposed to have destroyed and scrapped on Elena’s orders all the blue-haired Automata we found from the ruins… So there were still some remaining.”
“Might you know where this Elena has gone?”
Ann asked and Joule pointed behind the top seat’s chair and,
“If she wasn’t here, then behind there is a secret passage. She probably snuck out through there.”
He replied. He seemed to have been completely cleared of the brainwashing.
“Alright, Reiko, Ann, Land-70, let’s go.”
Leaving Land-71 at Joule’s side, the group searched for the secret passage.
They soon found it. They hit the floor and found a hollow spot. Land-70 then found a depression where by putting a finger there and lifting the trapdoor could be easily opened.
Under it were stairs going steeply down. It was nearly totally dark.
“Stairs down, huh. Let’s go in the order with Land-70 first, then Reiko, Ann, and Machina.”
Jin gave the orders and the group went down the stairs. They kept going straight down an unknown distance.
From a bright place the stairs looked pitch black but in fact there was a dim light inside, and group could continue without any problems.
“I wasn’t aware of a hidden passage like this. It must’ve been built later. And so I don’t know what lies after this. Please be very careful.”
While climbing the stairs down Ann cautioned, and at that moment. Suddenly the stairs vanished.
Or more accurately the steps turned to a slope, like a playground slide. Naturally the group slipped and fell.
But while the case may have been different if there were humans, no one panicked. Land-70 who was in the front thrust out his arms to the walls and stopped.
Naturally, the following three people collided with Land-70 and stopped.
“A trap, is it. If we were humans then it would’ve been effective, don’t you think?”
“Mh-hm. Land, can you smoothly go down like that while keeping the speed slow?”
Machina asked and Land-70 nodded.
“Yes, Machina-sama. It’s a simple task.”
The group then left braking to Land and once again began descending. They slid down while Land applied strength to his arms to keep the speed down.
“It’s a long way down, isn’t it. We’ve already gone past the height we climbed, don’t you think we’re in the basement now? ”
On top of that the descent was completely straight. The stairway, no, the slide went down at about a 45 degree angle.
Just when they thought they had gone quite a ways underground, the end finally came to sight.
“Land, stop for now.”
When there was just ten meters left to the end of the stairway, Machina = Jin ordered Land-70 and had him stop for a moment.
“There’s a high chance there’s an another trap. Proceed carefully.”
Land-70 then once again went downwards, this time at a third of the speed he had used until now. Meanwhile Reiko, Ann, and Machina were all watchful of their surroundings.
Then suddenly they reached the end of the stairway. A single door was there.
Reiko who had the best hearing tried to listen carefully but heard nothing. Reiko tried changing her vision to the infrared spectrum but there were no heat sources near the door.
“Hmm, if it were me what kind of a trap would I lay?”
Jin pondered inside Pelican-1.
Meanwhile Land-70 touched the door.
At the same time Jin suddenly understood a possibility.
“This is bad! Everyone, watch out above!”
Before Jin had finished saying so through Machina’s mouth, a noise could be heard up from the stairs, nay, the slope.
Reiko who had noticed the noise first looked up and shouted. Yes, an avalanche of rock was coming down the slope. The door was a dummy. The moment the door was touched, a trap generated boulders.
“Planning to bury us alive!?”
The length of the slope going down was over 50 meters. Enough rock to fill it to capacity slid down.
Reiko used the pendant, Ann used the ring.
The magical barriers hidden in them completely protected them from the rockfall.
But like this they couldn’t move. Unlike humans they had no worry of suffocation, but there was no way they could stay like this forever.
“Hmm, ways to remove all this rock quickly… There’s only one, huh.”
Machina = Jin came to a conclusion.
“Reiko, I’ll explain to you the procedure to listen carefully. First take away the Mana Tank inside Machina that’s for emergency use.”
The Mana Tank was a Magi Device for the purpose of running problem-free even in regions with a low concentration of Ether. Reiko was the other one who had one of them.
Reiko took out the Mana Tank from inside Machina. It was made out of Magi Crystals of all attributes. Even in the darkness it glittered with the colors of a rainbow.
In this place the concentration of Ether was plentiful so Machina who had an Ether Converter didn’t stop running.
“Alright, bury it in the rock that slid down. It’ll be hard.”
With the [Barrier] on she couldn’t smash the rock, as the person inside couldn’t even directly touch the rock.
Now it was important to temporarily disable the Barrier and quickly set the Magi Crystal in the rock.
While doing so someone had to prop up the rock that was about to fall down, but Reiko and Land-70 had plenty strength to support the rockfall and they managed to do it.
This was of course because the strength the two had was immense, but also because the friction of the rocks stuffed in the narrow passage helped.
Ann watched over Reiko and Land-70 while being prepared to activate the [Barrier] if by any chance it was needed.
While supporting the rocks with her right hand, Reiko plunged the Magi Crystal in her left hand into a crevice in the rocks.
Then she and Ann again activated the [Barrier]s. Everything had been done without a hitch.
“Alright, that went well, didn’t it. Now the finishing touch. Reiko, on my mark use [Mana Explosion] on the Magi Crystal buried inside.”
Jin then, just in case, had the allied forces in the fortress evacuate. The resistance had fallen apart so getting out was possible in minutes. Of course Land-71 and Joule and the unconscious Donald left too.
He also ordered for the other prisoners who had been rendered unconscious elsewhere taken out.
“Okay, wait a little longer… Alright, now!”
Reiko’s strongest offensive magic exploded.
The Mana Crystal used as the Mana Tank was a lump of Mana, so to speak.
If that was made to explode then what would happen? The area around Reiko was sealed by an indestructible barrier. The pathway was straight.
The answer was soon apparent.
The Magi Crystal with a potential over ten times higher than that of the Core of Hekantokheires –which was once defeated in the mountains north of Kaina Village– detonated.
The mass of rock filling the long sloping path was all blown upwards towards the exit.
It turned into a rock cannonball and burst out all at once.
With its force it blew through the roof of the control room on the top floor and flew outside.
“Ooh, it was stronger than I thought, huh.”
Jin, who was looking at the scene from Pelican-1, saw a part of the rock plateau crack and admired the debris flying from there to a height of over 50 meters.
＊ ＊ ＊
“W-w-h-what!? What is it this time?”
The ‘Golden Princess of Destruction’ Elena had escaped to a room behind a hidden door prepared in advance at the exact midpoint of the slope that had originally been a staircase. She had been feeling relieved when she had successfully had the people chasing her fall into the trap.
That very moment she felt a tremor that was as if it had shaken the whole fort.
She looked at the Magic Screen that was still intact and saw rock fragments shooting out like cannonballs from a hole in the rock plateau serving as the roof of the fort.
“What! What is this! Don’t tell me this was also done by that monster!?”
Elena’s shouting echoed.
＊ ＊ ＊
“Machina-sama, that went well, didn’t it?”
Ann also felt admiration. And Reiko, after cancelling the [Barrier] she was listening carefully.
“I heard a voice from the middle of the slope.”
“I see, so there was a hidden room or a passage on the way. Alright, let’s climb back up.”
The sloped path had been damaged quite a lot by the shock and had become rough, so climbing it wasn’t inconvenient.
The group then climbed up easily and finally found the hidden door.