Maseki Gurume – Vol 8 Chapter 8 Part 3

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ED: LonelyMatter



Part 3

 

“I want to know the end of evolution!”

 

Chris was silent, not knowing what it meant.

“Monsters, different races──and the Demon King! Where is the end point of any living being that is affected by the concept of evolution? This is all I want to know!”

“…If that’s the case, why did you go after Warren-sama?”

“Because he was in my way, of course! I only found out at the end that he was actually a red fox! He was only an obstacle until then! It was obvious to me that his presence would hinder the evolution of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, so…”

“…You! For such a purpose!”

“Such a purpose, you say? Don’t be foolish. There is no other material for research like that crown prince! His qualifications surpass even Demon Lord Arche’s! Look at His Highness the Crown Prince, who has taken root in the Royal Capital of Heim! No other being is as divine and inspiring to study!”

Oz continued proudly.

“I remember meeting His Highness the Crown Prince and immediately being smitten with him. That’s also why I gave him the precious magic stone of my tribe, you know. Oops, that reminds me, I had put a certain trick on that magic stone──”

According to him, there was a hidden trick that released dense miasma at the signal of Oz.

The density of the miasma was equivalent to the miasma that Layfon was releasing in Birdland, and it should have knocked the castle into a whirlpool of chaos in no time.

“It should have been kept by the first princess, but I wonder if it was destroyed. Well, it is a trivial matter now that the plan is going well.”

Having listened to the story being told indifferently, Chris became even more agitated.

“…..I won’t forgive you. Do you know how many people have died because of the war you caused? And because of that, even Ain-sama is──”

“What are you saying? It was our chief who caused it.”

Oz laughed at the misguided remark.

“She was driven by revenge. I’m not sure what she wants revenge for and why, but it must be for something in Ishtalika. I wasn’t involved in the war itself, so I don’t really know.”

Oz strongly denied that he was the source of the problem.

His face was in an even better mood than before, and his eloquence was only increasing.

He looked up at the sky with a gesture of his hand.

“I just took advantage of it! For some reason, it was very, very convenient that the chief was also targeting the crown prince! That’s why I contacted the man after a long time and lent him my power! So that His Royal Highness the Crown Prince could show his true power!”

Ain would go after Shannon.

If only he could be influenced by her and go off the rails like the Demon King Arche. This was all that Oz himself had in mind.

Oz only used the war and everything that followed to his advantage. For that reason alone, he gave Edward the black stone, the result of his research, and intensified the war.

Then, the blonde elf coldly said.

“──Oz. You have hurt all of us greatly.”

In the space of a breath, she disappears and appears behind him.

But the lord of the skyscraper smiled at her.

“My heart aches for the noble sacrifice, but that is all.”

He still smiled unconcernedly.

“Oz, you are insane…!”

It’s only one researcher. He’s not an enemy that Chris should worry about.

So he must have come here with an idea. Chris was concerned; nevertheless, she thrust her rapier into Oz’s back──that was her intention.

Strangely enough, just before she did so, her limbs stopped moving.

“This tower was built about two hundred years ago. A researcher who was considered a rare genius at the time was responsible for most of the development.”

As Chris listened to his voice, she noticed that her feet and hands were covered in white ice.

No way, magic?

It would be astonishing if he could have released this much magic in an instant.

“I guess I don’t need to tell you, but it’s me.”

As Oz finished, there were familiar black stones embedded in the backs of his left and right hands.

What was different from Edward’s was the purity of the blackness.

In comparison, it is a jet-black colored diamond stone.

“───!?”

“This is the finished product. The only one that is not a failure that I gave to the two people who crossed the sea. I want to use it to further refine His Highness the Crown Prince.”

The freezing ice invaded her body.

She could not push her body forward. This made Chris click her tongue, and she hastily retreated, using wind magic to break the ice covering her limbs.

Her white, fine-textured skin was infested with frostbite, and she felt a dull ache.

“I assure you. It is impossible for you to defeat me in this tower.”

“…..I’ll only know if I try it.”

Oz heard the strength in her voice, put his hands over his eyes, looked up to the sky, and laughed high in the air.

“Ahahahahahaha! It’s impossible! There is no way that your rapier can reach me unless you are a match for the monsters of ancient times!”

“Oz! No matter how much enhanced magic you can use──!”

“Magic? I’m afraid you are mistaken.”

“Nonsense! If it’s not magic, then what is it?”

“──There’s only one such thing.”

He lovingly strokes the back of his hand and moves his lips.

The voice from his mouth was saying, “It’s a skill,” certainly carried on the wind.

Comprehension could not catch up.

But there it was, a wind of scales created in the empty air.

Chris’s body was suddenly struck with numbness, and when she saw the scales fall into her palm, she was surprised.

“Why are raven-butterfly scales…?”

“This proves that it is not magic but skill.”

Next, several roots of dryad trees emerged from the large hole where the tree had collapsed and attacked Chris, trying to bind her.

Chris avoided them and ran up the tree’s roots, slicing through them with her rapier.

“…..You must be lying.”

Oz was using both hands to imitate a cannonball and was storing flames at the tips of his fingers.

The flame was faintly tinged with purple. It looked much like the breath of a powerful wyvern.

Chris, who had fought it before, realized this and doubted her own eyes.

It would be foolish to take it straight on.

Pushing her body with wind magic, she just barely managed to avoid the breath that was released into the air, but… it grazed a little bit of her soft skin.

“Cooling it is the best way to treat burns, you know.”

The same cold air as before comes around Chris when he speaks of the obvious information.

Soon, a blade of ice surrounded Chris.

…..Is it similar to Ain-sama’s ice dragon? While the ice blades attack all at once, she swings her rapier while thinking about this.

“Ah…. kuh…!”

Not being able to avoid, and not being able to handle, a single blade pierced through her thigh.

She managed to escape into the air and landed on her feet, remembering Oz’s words, “It’s a skill.”

“By the looks of it, you finally understand.”

Although she didn’t know what was going on, what Oz was using was certainly not magic. All were skills possessed by monsters and different races.

Even just the situation left her full of wounds.

Chris wiped the sweat from her neck and tried to understand as she caught her breath.

“The material of this stone had two characteristics. One is to increase the hidden power, and the other is to absorb it. It acts as if it were holding in magic power and consuming it. I was curious to know what kind of magic material it was, but I gave priority to my research.”

“No way, Oz… you’re…”

“Fufu… you won’t understand the sophistication of my skills anyway, so let me tell you this much. I have arrived at this area through my research.”

“Impossible!”

“How can you be so sure? Even your beloved crown prince can do it. …But, my research results don’t require a magic stone. It could be bones, body hair, or anything else. As long as I understand the nature of that monster, etc., then I can use my skills by adjusting them based on that.”

Oz goes on to say that he is a superior version of Ain.

Certainly, if he could get monsters’ skills without needing a magic stone, he would be upwardly compatible.

Seeing Chris unable to retort, he became even more emphatic.

“The data of monsters accumulated over hundreds of years, I have more than a thousand skills that I can use. What do you think? Is that not enough to be afraid of?”

“…..Over a thousand?”

“Oh, that look on your face! It’s hilarious! Fufu, the fact that you were trying to calm down in the face of such a great research result was indeed unsettling to me!” 

Chris was surprised at first, but her spirit was not yet broken.

“You, a mere researcher, have gained so much power; it’s like giving a serious weapon to a child.”

“Haha… I have nothing to say in return. But you will bow down before pure strength. I even have the power of the King of the Frostfields. I told you, didn’t I? As long as you cannot defeat the ancient monsters, you will not be able to defeat me.”

It was regrettable that her wounds had not healed completely.

Oz, at least, was inferior to Edward in melee combat.

With Chris, whose divine speed was a step ahead of Lloyd’s, in normal times, even Oz was now not inferior to her.

“I have named the results of this research.”

With a clang. His footsteps echoed on the rooftop.

The name of the research result is──.

 

“──’Almighty.'”

 

The name was neither false nor exaggerated. If Oz had prepared the data and materials of the monster, he could use the monster’s skills, so there was nothing wrong with that.

“The current issue is that it consumes a lot of magic power. Therefore, they are useless if I am not in the Tower of Wisdom.”

He was definitely convinced of victory.

He seemed to know every detail of Chris’ exhaustion and knew that all that remained was her energy.

“I will return to get the power of the crown prince who has run amok.”

He mouthed softly, freezing Chris’s exhausted limbs.

This time, he also layered the roots of the dryad tree, thoroughly depriving Chris of her physical freedom.

“I hope, too, to see the end of evolution.”

“I won’t let you… do that!”

“What can you do now? How can you win a victory with your wounded body against me, the one who has gained almighty power?”

“…..”

“Everything is going according to my plan. There is nothing more you can do.”

Oz gripped the ice blade in his hand and closed the distance step by step.

“Remember the research on the artificial demon king? That was to promote the evolution of the subject by pouring the magic power of the magic stone into the core. I can only think that if I were to pour it in now….. and in this place, I would succeed.”

“Oz… that is absolutely not…!”

“Absolutely, what? This is not about what you allow or don’t allow.”

He stood in front of the restrained Chris.

He chuckled at the sight of her limbs, red with frostbite. He smiled at her face as she writhed but was still devastated by the fact that she could not escape with what strength she had left.

“As soon as I have extracted the crown prince’s magic stone, I will bring it to this tower. Connect the appropriate different race cores to the chain, and use my power to channel the magic into it.”

He looked at the piece of control equipment that Chris had come to retrieve and spoke.

This was the very reason for the tower’s existence.

This is the true purpose that Oz has been hiding up to this point.

“I plan to use it to control the crown prince’s magic stone.”

This was due to research that qs outside the bounds of common sense.

“The magic stones will work as they did in life when the magic is channeled through them as long as there is a core connected to them that does not reject them. The problem is that there is nobody──however.”

He looked proud.

“By injecting a sufficient amount of magic into the magic stone and the core, a phenomenon similar to criticality will occur. The excess magic power that fills the core will begin to form a semi-permanent body, which can resume life activities just like a human being.”

He said.

“My research on the artificial demon king came to a sad end when the core could not withstand the magic power of the magic stone. However, if only I had my power now, I would be able to manage it well enough. …That is even if it is against the power of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince. Once this happens, all that remains is to look forward to the end of evolution.”

He spoke happily, aiming the ice blade at her ample bosom.

“Christina-dono. I will channel all the power of your magic stone into the crown prince’s magic stone.”

So, without regret, cease your life activities, he said.

The ice blade was close to Chris’s soft skin.

She closed her eyes, but there was no sign that her body was going to be penetrated anytime soon.

…..Why?

When she fearfully tried to open her eyes.

“Let go of Chris-san!”

 

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