Chapter 58 – The mage tower
“‘Father’ is here.”
Says Memoria, who brought me to a tower of the Sorcerer Association that stands tall in the eastern district of Ende.
This thick cylindrical stone tower is particularly tall even here in the capital.
A smoke with a chemical smell oozes out its air vents, and the vibrations of the giant machinery operating inside can be felt just by standing in front of the tower.
(…So I really do have to infiltrate this place…)
Technically, the Sorcerer Association ‘hasn’t done anything yet’, so if I forcefully invade it, I will be accused of committing a crime.
(…It was a good idea to disguise myself.)
I think as I look at myself.
I’m wearing the questionable robe and mask of the Sorcerer Association.
It’s something I asked from Nekoko yesterday before she left.
I asked for them because I figured I was going to break into the Sorcerer Association’s tower, but I guess because I’m treated like a VIP, it was supplied to me very quickly.
Also, I paid the monthly fee to have Nekoko put her VIP smell on Memoria too.
For Cat-Sith, smell is a way to keep records, so now I can find out where Memoria is even if she runs away.
But I didn’t tell Nekoko about Memoria being one of the twelve sages or anything like that…
“…Attaching the smell on multiple girls nyanne Are you cheating nyanne I have three hush money plans available for you nyanne.”
…So I had to pay an additional fee as she looked at me with disgust in her eyes.
“…Aren’t we going in”
Says Memoria while pulling my sleeve.
“Ah, sorry, yes.
We can’t just hang around in front of the tower forever.”
And so, we make our way to the entrance.
I say entrance, but there isn’t a door or anything.
There are just two people standing in front of it like they’re the tower’s gatekeepers.
And behind them, there’s nothing more than a stone wall.
“O-one of the twelve sages!”
The mages see Memoria, and rush to kneel on the ground like they’re falling prostrate.
She usually uses memory obstruction, but it looks like she lets the mages guarding the tower remember her.
Otherwise she wouldn’t get in.
“…We want to go in.”
Then as always, say the password and use the magic lock, and the door will be made for you.”
“…Password Magic lock”
Memoria tilts her head.
I get a bad feeling about it, and it turns out to be exactly right.
Tell Memoria about it.”
“N-no, we can’t…”
Things have gotten complicated before we even made it inside.
The gatekeepers are looking at me like they’re asking for help.
“Are you her attendant Can you make the door instead”
“… No, this is Ch…”
“Yes, an attendant.”
Memoria tilts her head slightly.
(…It’s no good, she really isn’t suited for infiltration.)
I walk towards the wall while pretending to be calm, as I’m at my wits’ end on the inside.
A certain procedure is necessary to get inside the tower.
Releasing a magic lock while chanting a password with the right intonation.
Obviously, this is all a secret, but… I was a part of the Sorcerer Association a hundred years in the future.
I already know this.
“‘I am one who wishes to be consumed by a demon.’”
I follow the correct sequence as I place my hand on the wall and send magic energy into it.
The stones on the wall start turning and rearranging, and eventually a large entrance appears in front of me.
How did you know how to open it”
“… Is that strange”
“Ah, no, let’s just go in… I mean, let us go inside.”
I push a confused Memoria’s back as we enter the tower.
What we see is what feels like a dimly lit library.
The walls lined up with books feel kind of mystical, as the blue light of the floating magic stone lanterns illuminate them with a blue light.
Says Memoria while stepping on a spiral staircase near a wall.
Does this lead to where ‘father’, Cradle Destar is
(We don’t really seem suspicious, do we…)
Mages drag along their black clothes as they walk around like ghosts, but…
No one even reacts when we pass by them.
Are they all completely immersed in their own research Do they just have no interest in other people
In any case, it doesn’t look like anyone’s noticed that I’ve infiltrated this place under a disguise.
We go up the spiral staircase for a while, and Memoria stops on the highest floor of the tower.
We enter the only room here, and we are greeted by a stuffy damp air that stinks of chemicals.
(…Is this Cradle Destar’s room)
It’s like an alchemist’s laboratory.
There are test tubes and flasks with chemicals of all sorts of colors on the shelf, and what looks like parts of living beings float in cultivation tanks near the wall.
It feels like a typical room for a researcher like Cradle Destar, but…
“…It looks like the room’s occupant isn’t here.”
But he’ll probably be back soon.”
“Then I guess we’ll wait.”
There is another reason why I came here to the Sorcerer Association’s tower, so I might as well take care of that.
(…Here they are.)
I look around the room, and quickly find what I was looking for.
A bunch of test tubes and flasks with a pale blue liquid inside them.
All of them have a label with code of the Sorcerer Association written on them.
‘Demon king cells’ they say.
The core of the project to create demon kings.
This pale blue liquid was what birthed demon kings one after the other and led the world in the future to its destruction.
(…They’re making this right in the middle of the capital…)
No, it’s not that strange in this era.
Not many people know what this is at this point.
It’s probably better hidden this way than if they were being sneaky about it.
(If I eliminate demon king cells from this world… At the very least, no more artificial demon kings should be born.)
Demon king cells are still being researched in this era, so I doubt they’re being mass produced.
Also, there isn’t even ash left of the two demon kings that were born and destroyed in this era.
There is no way to produce new demon king cells besides cultivating these ones here, so…
(…Is this a turning point)
If these demon king cells are destroyed, we will take a huge leap away from that ruined future.
My heart starts beating faster.
I reach towards that pale blue liquid while trying to calm myself…
“Do you know what that is”
I feel a sinister presence behind me.
Like my heart was caressed by a cold hand.
I turn around quickly and grab the handle of my sword, but can’t seem to find who said that.
I didn’t even feel anyone entering the room.
“Could it be…”
I look towards one of the cultivation tanks.
There are parts of living beings floating in it, among which is an eyeball… That meets my gaze.
Memoria looks at it, and her shoulders tremble a little.
Now I’m sure of it.
“Yes, I apologize for being in this joyous form.
I was right in the middle of dissecting myself.”
Say the human body parts from inside the cultivation tank.
Lumps of meat gather in the cultivation tank like they’re swimming, and form one body while pulsating.
And then, what comes out of the cultivation tank is a man that looks like a corpse.
His pasty skin that looks like it was sewn together starts to change shape, and forms a black outfit that looks like mourning clothing.
It’s my first time meeting him like this… But there is no doubt about it.
This is the fourth seat of the twelve sages, the life sage Cradle Destar.
The man behind the destruction of the world in the future.
The man at the center of the project to create demon kings, and the genius life mage conducting research on demon king cells.
My enemy, who destroyed Almana in my previous life, is right here.