Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
The following day, soon after arriving at Ist, Chris got off the water train and asked Ain.
“Ain-sama… Um, how exactly was I to part with you last night?”
“You just said good night and went back to your room.”
“──T-then, that’s fine.”
Of course, it was a lie, but it would only provoke her embarrassment if he told the truth.
As soon as the four of them passed through the station platform, Ain was surprised when they approached what appeared to be a ticket gate.
“There’s no magic tool to pass a ticket?”
Instead, Ain could see that the silver, horizontal boards on the ceiling and floor were glowing a faint green light as people passed by.
“You see, the ceiling and floor magic tools will identify you. Just hold on to your ticket, and it will be fine.”
Katima, who had taken off her usual white coat, put on glasses, and changed her attire, said. The three of them are also wearing different light clothing under their robes, just in case.
“I can’t believe they even have those magic tools.”
“It should be available in the White Rose soon. It’s convenient, isn’t it?”
Ain has no idea how much trouble the researchers went through to eliminate the problem of passing the ticket.
“Yeah. I realized how great the magic city is.”
Ist is still one of the big cities, although it’s not as crowded as the White Rose. In the morning, perhaps because it was the busiest time, the number of adults wearing suits and lab coats was more noticeable than in the royal capital.
“Um, where were we going to start today?”
Then Dill said.
“Why don’t we get a place to stay first? I’ve been to Ist with my father several times, so I know an inn where noblemen stay.”
“That would be great, but can’t we just stay in an ordinary inn?”
“No. His Majesty has instructed us not to stay in cheap inns.”
Even though Ain tried to hide his identity, he is still the crown prince. Then I don’t have a choice, said Ain.
Dill led the way through the crowded train station and stepped onto Ist’s proud main street. What awaited Ain there was an otherworldly scene that he had never seen before.
The streets on both sides of the main street were lined with Gothic-style buildings with spires on their roofs, and dark brown antique streetlights lined the roadsides at even intervals.
Horse-drawn carriages are often seen in the royal capital, but here in Ist, they are pulled not by horses but by monsters. There is a wide variety of monsters, from bison-like monsters to wingless dragons.
Orange cobblestones were neatly laid, and the thick iron pipes running through the roofs of the buildings were interesting in places.
Looking up at the sky, it was a darker gray than that of the royal capital…
“Ain, look at that-nya. That’s the symbol of Ist, the Tower of Wisdom-nya.”
Katima pointed in the direction of the center of the city, straight through the main street.
“T-that’s the Tower of Wisdom…?”
The size of the tower is astonishing. It’s not as big as the Royal Castle, but the tower’s height alone is greater than the Royal Castle.
“It has fifty stories above ground. The central tower is made from a tremendous amount of ore, with thick pipes surrounding it and blue-green steam… that proves that it is constantly generating energy, which is the art of researchers-nya. If I had one complaint, it would be that it relies too heavily on old furnaces-nya.”
“It must be difficult to rebuild such a large facility.”
Upon looking more closely, the pipes from the Tower of Wisdom seemed to be stretching all over the city. Ain was deeply convinced that the entire city of Ist was centered around the Tower of Wisdom.
“What’s in that tower? Laboratories?”
“Yes-nya. It’s a special facility in Ishtalika where only a few researchers are allowed to have their own labs-nya, and the country basically has no say in its operation-nya.”
“Heh… Have you ever been there, Katima-san?”
“Yes-nya. But because of its private status, no country or royal family has its own laboratory there-nya.”
The fact that she was looking at the Tower of Wisdom in such high spirits told him how important it was.
“And even if I could have a lab there, the maintenance costs would be too expensive-nya… Also, the security checks are very strict-nya.”
“Is the maintenance fee really expensive?”
“It’s ridiculously expensive-nya. Even if I were to come down to the city with my current assets, I wouldn’t be able to afford it-nya.”
It seemed like a ridiculous amount of money, and Ain’s cheek tightened.
“However, it really is a town full of magic tools, isn’t it?”
Even a single station is different from the royal capital. There was a slight feeling of disgust in the back of Ain’s mind when he thought about it.
“My mother was married to Heim, and yet there was a city where magic tools were being used like water?”
He understood that a lot of expenditure was needed for research.
He couldn’t find a way to sort out his feelings, but he had to understand that it was unavoidable.
“…Ain-sama, let’s go. I will take you to an inn that my father has approved.”
Dill, who had quietly appeared beside him, put his hand on Ain’s back and said that. From the warm hand and caring words, Ain felt the receptive power of a brother.
“Thank you. I should not be discouraged by such a thing. ──Oh, that’s right.”
He remembered the message bird he had received from Krone before leaving the royal capital.
He hadn’t arrived at the inn yet, but that was okay because he had arrived at Ist. Ain took the message bird out of his pocket and carried it right next to his mouth so that it wouldn’t make any noise.
“Krone, we’re finally in Ist. It’s much colder here than in the capital. The Tower of Wisdom is much bigger than I imagined, and I’m starting to look forward to it.”
He finished by saying that he was heading for the inn. The message bird immediately glowed pale white, blinked a few times, and returned to normal. After checking it out, Ain followed Dill’s lead to the inn.
◇ ◇ ◇
After dropping off his luggage at the inn, Ain walked through the streets of Ist with the letter of introduction he had received from Majolica in his hand.
At the address written on the letter, there was an academy. There was a sign that said, “Ist Great Magic Academy.” The address was definitely this.
As Ain and the others were confused, Katima walked in front of them and said, “This way.”
“This is the academy attached to the research institute, and the main research institute is a little further in.”
It wasn’t long before they were walking down the street without entering the building’s grounds. What greeted Ain was a large, five-story western-style building. The gate was guarded by a small guard post, and the iron fence gate was heavily guarded with several magic locks.
Seeing Ain and the others approaching, the guard appeared and frowned.
“It looks like we’re not welcomed here.”
“It can’t be helped-nya. The three of you are wearing robes that look like something an adventurer would wear, and I’m a Cait Sith-nya.”
“Well, that’s not something to be concerned about.”
They exchanged a few words, and soon after.
“It’s unusual to meet an adventurer. Do you have a letter of introduction?”
As the guard said that, Chris took out the letter of introduction.
“…Let me check the contents. I apologize, but adventurers often bring fake things with them. I hope you won’t be offended.”
“No, thank you.”
The unwelcoming attitude lasted only a dozen seconds. As soon as the guard saw the envelope, his expression immediately changed, and his eyes widened.
“Hey! Hurry up and call the chief professor!”
He shouted loudly and called out to another guard in the post.
“Y-you mean Professor Oz?”
“Yeah! Just call him up quickly!”
Ain couldn’t help but wonder what kind of person the chief professor was.
“Excuse me, visitors. Please wait a moment longer.”
Ain and the others were surprised by the obvious change in attitude. They couldn’t help but wonder how much of an effect Majolica’s letter of introduction had, or rather, how much influence Majolica had on them in the first place.
Then, after a short wait, a guard and an elderly man rushed towards them from the laboratory.
“…Hah… hah…! I’m so sorry! Thank you for your patience! Uh… are you the people?”
He was of medium height with some stubble and sooty auburn wavy hair. He wore a spotless white coat with a dignified air, and a hint of intelligence emanated from his round glasses.
“I apologize for the suddenness. I wanted to do some investigation, so that’s why I’m visiting here.”
Ain looked at the man who seemed to be the chief professor.
“No, you don’t need to apologize! I can’t thank you enough for your visit!”
He paused for a moment to catch his breath.
“My name is Oz. I’m the chief professor at Ist Great Magic Academy. ──Good grief, I never thought that Professor Emeritus Majolica would introduce someone.”
“Yes, Majolica-dono is an honorary professor of our institute.”
That perverted-looking person is an honorary professor? He thought it was some kind of joke, but Oz never acted like he was joking.
After that, Ain turned to Chris and Dill and shared the same dumbfounded emotion.