08-30 The Sixth Subdivision
The black boat that had run away with Reinhardt and Stearina entered the river Azul.
The large river Azul was a river that flowed from lake Azul. Lake Azul was not only a tourist attraction but also an important location that could ensure the resources of the fishing industry that was important to Celuroa Kingdom.
Here the width of the river was about 300 meters. Midway the river Azul floated four ships around 40 meters in length. They were ships owned by Celuroa Kingdom for the purpose of carrying carriages across the river, in other words they were ferryboats.
The black boat approached one of the ships. It was already four o’clock. There were many barriers for entry to the river Azul, so in order to pass through without notice they employed some trickery and had to use the waterways to enter river Azul. As a result it had taken time.
As the sun was already setting, there was no one who saw the black boat. The sun was already in an angle where the boat couldn’t be seen from the coast.
Earlier the distance had been around 150 meters and it had already begun to get darker, so for the naked eye it was probably impossible to tell that something was going on.
The small black boat came alongside the large ship, then Reinhardt and Stearina were moved on it. By now their arms had been tied behind their backs.
“What? We’re switching to a larger ship?”
Reinhardt said and,
The golem warned Reinhardt.
The large ship the two were made to board went upstream. There was no response from the remaining three ships.
After seeing that Reinhardt thought of a question.
“There’s no way all the three ships are supporting the Unifilers. Even so…?”
Maybe because it noticed that Reinhardt was observing his surroundings,
The golem said and covered Reinhardt’s and Stearina’s eyes with a blindfold.
The large ship continued on at a slow pace. The town of Dali grew further away, and the human settlements on both banks of the river became fewer. The curtain of the night fell and the surroundings were wrapped in the darkness.
After continuing on for two hours, the large ship neared the right bank. There were the ruins of an old fort. It seemed like a lookout fort from the era when Celuroa Kingdom had used its might to expand.
It appeared to no longer be in use and was covered in ivy.
Half of the fairly gigantic fort was built as if it was leaning on the river. Even though it was called a lookout fort, it must’ve been used as an important stronghold during wars.
It had been designed so that boats could sail into it straight from the river, and the large ship disappeared into the passage that was like a dark opened mouth.
Reinhardt who was still blindfolded couldn’t confirm it but he guessed from the atmosphere that the ship had come alongside a quay.
“I wonder if we’ve arrived at our destination?”
He said, and apparently the spokesmanlike golem had stayed next to him as it spoke.
It pulled Reinhardt up by the arm like a human.
“Ow! Be more gentle!”
Stearina’s voice was heard. Apparently she had been pulled up too.
While blindfolded, Reinhardt climbed up some stairs, walked through a hallway, turned corners multiple times and once more climbed some stairs.
Before long Reinhardt could feel the sensation of a carpet under the soles of his feet, and he was made to sit on a chair. At the same time his blindfold was taken off.
“Welcome, Reinhardt-dono, Stearina-dono. I’m delighted to meet you.”
A man sat on a chair in front of them and greeted them.
“I am the branch head of the sixth division of the Unifilers, Intact Mazecilia d’Galvani. I’m also a viscount of Celuroa Kingdom.”
Intact who introduced himself was a man in his mid-30s or so, and approximately of the same height as Reinhardt. However, he was slim enough to call nothing but skin and bones. He had dark brown hair and ashen eyes. He had a crooked Roman nose and sunken cheeks. Those eyes of his were filled to brim with cruelty, and one could even feel his madness. He wore a white robe and a cloak.
The room they were in was stone-built and spacious, the floor had a carpet laid out on it and tapestry had been hung on the walls. Countless Magi Lamps were turned on and it was bright as day.
“It is an honour to welcome the superior Magi Craftsmen Reinhardt-dono and Stearina-dono to this subdivision of mine.”
“Hmph, so you’re the same kind of guy as that Purcell or whatever his name was.”
Reinhardt said as if spitting it out. Intact then frowned.
“Purcell? I’d like you to not bunch me together with such an incompetent fellow. You see, I am the only one of the branch heads who have been bestowed with a few of the newest all-purpose golems.
“That’s right. Stronger than your Schwarz Ritter, and capable of autonomic action on top of that. You must know their power from experience, right?”
“Well, you might say that.”
Reinhardt tentatively affirmed it.
“And then, I have long been thinking about sounding out Stearina-sama but, regretfully, it turned out to become a heavy-handed operation like this.”
“Hmph, no matter what I won’t cooperate with you.”
Stearina firmly declared, but her voice was a little shaky.
“Ha ha, bluffing is pointless. You see, we have our methods to make you cooperate regardless of your intent.”
“Are you talking about [Hypno]?”
Reinhardt blurted out without thinking.
“Hmm? Who told you that?”
Intact gave a grim stare at Reinhardt.
“I wonder. I must’ve forgotten.”
“Hmph, playing dumb is also pointless. You see, once you’re under the effects of [Hypno] you’ll confess to everything.”
Being told that Reinhardt bit his lip.
“Well, think carefully. If you cooperate, your magical craftsmanship will surely improve remarkably. If you want to know why, we have the world’s most foremost genius Magi Craftsman with us.”
“Ah, is that so.”
Someone called the best in the world didn’t much convince Reinhardt who knew Jin.
“Hmph, so you don’t believe me. But you must’ve seen the power of those all-purpose golems. You see, during the golem party that was held in Egelia Kingdom, we caused and utilized the riot that time to examine the golems of each country. The gist of it is that the all-purpose golems were made using that collected information as the basis.”
“So the riot that time really was just a diversion in order to gather information, huh.”
“That’s right. And then there was apparently a golem that also surpassed that ‘Tauros’, right? ‘Reiko’, you said? We measured its strength and made sure to have the all-purpose golems able to exhibit strength surpassing its.”
Intact spoke with pride. The madness in his eyes increased further.
“In addition, I’ve also been awarded a single combat golem specialized in battles. It can boast a strength nearly double that of the all-purpose golems. It truly is a golem worthy of being called invincible.”
Reinhardt of course didn’t fully comprehend Reiko’s strength. However, the other day he was shown Jin’s technology on Hourai Island. Just by knowing that, he could tell that what the man in front of him was saying was false.
“Well, I don’t think the word invincible is something to be used so easily.”
Reinhardt said full of cynicism, and Intact treated his reply as if it was based on what happened to Schwarz Ritter,
“Well, I thought you would say that.”
He said and laughed it off.
“Anyways, Reinhardt-dono, Stearina-dono, now that you are here help is not coming. And even if it did come, without a force surpassing an army of a thousand men it wouldn’t be enough. Think well on how you’ll reply to my request.”
Intact said and nodded towards four black-masked men, who then forcibly made Reinhardt and Stearina stand and took them out of the room.
“Where do you plan on taking us?”
Reinhardt said and,
“To the guest room.”
One of the men replied, they again climbed down some stairs and eventually the two were locked into a room. There were no windows, only two simple beds. A single Magi Lamp was left to light the room, making it dim.
Having the restraints keeping his arms behind his back untied, Reinhardt breathed a sigh of relief. Stearina hung her head down. They both looked somehow listless.
“Stearina, cheer up.””
Reinhardt said, but she did not budge. Somehow or other her body’s sluggishness was the cause of her being dispirited.
“…It’s useless. No matter how I refuse them, I’ll end up the same as that Dominique.”
Reinhardt had told her the other day that Dominique had been brainwashed, or more precisely was apparently under the effects of [Hypno], and remembering Dominique’s disgraceful behavior Stearina shuddered.
“I don’t want that! I don’t want to not be myself any more!”
Saying it herself shocked her even more, and she gradually seemed to become more panicked.
“It’s alright, I’m with you.”
Reinhardt concealed the fact that his body was getting dull too, gently hugged Stearina and lightly patted her on the back. Doing so seemed to make Stearina return to normal from her agitation.
When she separated from Reinhardt, Stearina’s face blushed a little. Just after that she flopped onto the bed.
“So, the question is what to do now.”
Laying his heavy body on the bed, Reinhardt pondered.
The ManaCom used to make contact was in the inn in Dali. The Ring of Protection had been taken.
They had been abducted in the afternoon. Arriving here took five or six hours. And then other things took approximately an hour more.
It was about time for Jin to realize that strangely he hadn’t made contact with Jin at the usual time. If Jin used that same device that was used to find Elsa for finding him, help would probably arrive at tomorrow morning.
Reinhardt thought that, and planned to somehow persist until tomorrow morning.
However, his logic had great flaws.
First, he hadn’t realized that Jin didn’t know Reinhardt’s Magic Energy pattern.
And the second.
“Reinhardt-sama, I presume?”
It was the true strength of Hourai Island and Jin when he was serious.