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My name is Hart C. I was asked by the main body to go to Professor Tia’s lab in the morning. Lisa is with me.
“Hmm. I’m sure this is some kind of magic tool. It’s really quite a delicate thing.”
As soon as he arrived at the lab, he said, ‘I picked up something strange,’ and showed Professor Tia the mysterious needle. It was shot at Rias. We have no idea what it is, so we thought we’d show it to an expert.
“Do you have any idea what it is?”
“You wouldn’t try to make a needle this thin unless you had a specific agenda. When the magic is revealed, we’ll know what it’s for.”
Professor Tia’s glasses gleamed.
“Let’s get on with the analysis. You’re welcome.”
“I move from room to room. Most of the time, every room is cluttered, but it’s a semi-cluttered laboratory.”
“Speaking of which, Hart, have you ever heard of ‘Weiss Owl’?”
(TlNote: Correction made. Vice Owl = Weiss Owl)
With a sideway glance at Lisa, who suddenly started to fidget, she replied quietly.
”I first heard about it in class yesterday. Like an unidentified research genius.”
“You don’t know much about it?”
He returned it with a curt “Hmmm,” but in a whisper, he looked at Lisa, saying something like, “She’s not…?” Lisa gave a small nod of her head.
Without any particular pursuit, Professor Tia takes away the black cloth that was hanging on the desk in the corner of the room. A fifty-centimeter-square table with a grid pattern, like a drafting table, appeared.
Professor Tia placed the needle on it and closed all the curtains in the room. It was faintly darkened only by the light of the candelabra.
”From the way you’re looking at it, it looks like this is your first time with an ‘appraisal device’.”
As the name implies, it’s a spellcasting tool that analyzes the magic done to an object. It’s an excellent tool that can accurately analyze the attributes and, in some cases, special effects given to an object. It’s even more valuable than the Crystal of Mija.
“You’ve touched it a long time.”
“It’s essential to the study of ancient magic. I had to work really hard to get my hands on some. It was really hard to find…”
I was depressed. I don’t want to hear the details.
“Only a few people in the academy know that I have it in my possession. You’ll keep it to yourself, okay?”
As she said it, she put her hand on the platform. The light suddenly flashed. The light flickered for a while, and then a beam of light was emitted from it.
“You will find a lot of letters on the wall in a blur.”
“What is this?”
It was letters that I’d never seen before. The one who answered first was Lisa. She blurted out, as if she hadn’t thought of it.
”Ancient language…. But, this is…”
That’s my girl. It’s an old language, also known as Shinyo. Experts can easily read it, but the letters listed there are far removed from the grammar of the Shinto language. Experts would snicker and say it’s a mess.
“You can’t read that.”
“There is a law, by the way. Think of a letter as a symbol and convert it into a number. You separate them according to the rules and convert them back into letters, and then you can read the meaning.”
It’s like converting a machine language into a programming language? I’m not too sure.
“But it’s a lot of information. It’s complicated and… hmmm…”
She’s converting and reading it in her brain.
“It’s going to take a while,” she said in a daze.
“Hey! Are there any fucking little glasses here? You are? Come out!”
An angry voice sounded in the distance.
“This way? She’s not here. Then this way! No, well—”
A dignified woman’s voice, as if she’d heard it somewhere, gradually came closer.
“Here you are!”
The door opened with a bang.
A beautiful person with long blonde hair, wearing a black robe. She wore a pair of glasses, and I recognized her as– “Hi, Ora.”
“Hi, Ora. You want to see me?”
“Don’t omit the rest of my name. My name is Oratoria Belkham.
“Oh yes. Thank you for your help in yesterday’s lecture, Gugigi Gugigi.”
“Oh? Hart Zenphis was there too. Just as well. He’ll take it.”
When Lisa stood in front of me, Professor Belkham looked at me with a questioning look on her face.
“You’re still abrupt, aren’t you? Are you trying to attract attention for your talent and invite me to your laboratory? No, you can’t. I won’t give you any.”
“Can you stop treating me like I’m some kind of object?”
“Hmm, such a talent for ancient magic is a dead study in–? What, are you still evaluating? Mu—”
Professor Belkham stares at a series of letters on the wall. They don’t seem to get along, but they don’t seem to be suspicious of the appraisal device. I wonder if she knew?
“… [Darkness] and [Chaos]. A curse.”
“You’re a guru in the field of attribute research. You’ve read it right off the bat.”
“Don’t flatter me. It’s disgusting. However, this is … what an abomination.”
“Yes, the mineral poison invades the body and the curse effect prevents healing. It’s clearly intended to kill. And, to make him suffer so badly. It’s in really bad taste.”
Professor Belkham looked grim (as he had from the start, but more grimly) and approached the appraisal device with a large gait.
“The needle … you were going to dissolve this in your body and spread it throughout your body.”
“So, it seems. Now, Hart-san, you say you ‘picked up the drop’, but you might have some idea who it was intended for?”
“…Well? I don’t know.”
I’m not lying.
It was released at Rias, but it could have been aimed at someone else and missed. I think it’s almost certain, but as expected, we can’t lightly say that they aimed at the prince of this country, can we?
”Don’t you have any idea who the culprit is?”
Professor Belkham answered.
“The curse itself is an absurdly advanced technique. It’s difficult for students. Moreover, when it comes to those with [Darkness] and [Chaos], even teachers are limited—”
”The most likely candidate is Ora-chan. It’s the Advanced Four-Attribute High Quad, which adds them to [Fire] and [Water].”
“Don’t leave the rest of my name out! Also, it’s not me.”
“Well, you’re not such a sleaze. You’re too clean, which is both a good and a bad thing, and that’s a bad thing. When I was a student, if you had the determination to kick your opponents to the curb, you wouldn’t have been drained by me.”
“Well, you’ve outperformed me. But, as a researcher, I’m way ahead of you.”
“What? If we were doing the same research, I think I’d be better than you, right?”
”Goooooo…. You! That’s what I don’t like about it! Why are you so distracted by ancient magic if you know what you’re talking about?”
“Modern magic is so predictable, you know. Modern magic is so far-fetched, you know that ancient magic is more interesting.”
“You have a gift, and you’re not…”
The two of them squeal and squeal. Mainly, though, it’s Professor Belkham.
“Um, so who’s the killer?”
“Hmmm. As I said before, it’s hard to imagine the creator as a student. A teacher… At the very least, if we knew who they were targeting and their motive, I think we’d get closer to the culprit’s image, but…”
“There are teachers who could do it without emotionalism. However, it could also be an outside job, you know?”
“Did he bring it on campus?”
They both shook their heads together.
It was Professor Belkham who opened her mouth first.
“I said, “The one who made it”. The creator and the doer may not be the same person.”
“How? What do you mean?”
“The needle recorded not only a curse effect, but also traces that would have sent it flying.”
The trail shows what magic is possible for a student to do. It even indicates that the student level was skipped.
“Well … are you saying that some amazing person from outside made a cursed needle and the student who received it off-campus magically sent the needle flying at someone else?”
“You’re breathing perfectly.”
“However, there are a lot of students out there. You don’t have a clue, do you?”
They both grinned at the same time. Are they actually close?
”The subject is a [wind] attribute, but [water] and [darkness] make it more covert.”
“That narrows it down to double digits at worst.”
“That’s a lot, isn’t it?”
“Can’t you narrow it down further?”
They both cross their arms at the same time again and groan. And the order in which they speak is still the same.
”I have a rough attribute ratio, but….”
“It’s exactly the same thing when you’re testing everyone.”
So, that’s what an attribute ratio is. The one that quantifies the strengths and weaknesses of the attributes you have.
“Then, it’s easy to understand.”
“Can you tell me that?”
This body can accurately measure the ratio of attributes. We can do this at a glance, so we can check every student in there without a second glance. The main body!
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