Chapter 4 Part 5
After a while, Reid and Elria made their way to the shelter where the teachers were gathered. And then, they were made to sit in seiza position.
“Well… I gave Elria permission to lift the restrictions, and I think His Excellency did a good job dealing with the unknown magical beast, but…”
With a vein popping on her forehead, Alma pointed with her thumb.
“―― I never said to rewrite the map, did I?”
The forest that once existed is now gone. The shadow of the hills that were a bit far away can no longer be seen. It is now just a straight horizon that extends endlessly.
“”We just got carried away and couldn’t stop having fun along the way.””
“I see. I can’t say I don’t understand.”
‘Alma-chan, you shouldn’t agree with them!!’
From the communication device, Elise’s yelling and the sound of banging on the desk could be heard.
“What did you do to make the entire examination area disappear!?”
“I made a sword with my magic.”
“I used that sword to make everything disappear.”
‘Don’t let the two nonstandard people harmonize in a weird way!! I need to report this to the country and other relevant parties, you know!? If I submit it like this, I’ll be scolded and told to investigate and report in detaaaiilllllll…!!’
Elise’s voice turned to tears as she listened to Reid and Elria’s explanation. For a little girl, she worries a lot.
‘So, Alma-chan… What about the investigation report on the reinforcements you sent…?’
“Well, there’s nothing left as if it never existed, but I think some fragments might remain. After all, it was a magical beast that even my magic would only be half as effective.”
While saying that, Alma’s expression changed.
“We’ve also gathered testimonies from the students who encountered it and confirmed that almost all magic is reflected or nullified. And when I tried to use magic, not only the surrounding land but also the magic power of the mages fluctuated. We also confirmed a phenomenon where magic became unstable.”
‘In other words… does that mean they had all possible measures against magic?’
“It’s not that simple. Even my <<Undead Brigade>> was slowed down by the magical beast’s influence and was easily crushed due to its reduced magic power.”
‘…I see. If even tenth tier magic was inhibited, it doesn’t seem like an optimistic situation. Let’s call back the reinforcements and send a specialized investigation team instead.’
“Sure. We’ll talk to the students again.”
After ending the communication, Alma called out to Faregh, who was waiting nearby.
“So, you actually fought against the magical beast?”
“…Yes. During our search, we encountered an unknown magical beast. Valk and Lucas, who were protecting me, were injured. We then determined that it was a dragon-type magical beast from its appearance. So, we walked in the Horwakka grass, where it grew in clusters to mask our scent, burned some of the trees to avoid thermal detection, and fled to the cave with the two of them to wait for rescue.”
“I see. You made the best judgment in a dangerous situation. Well done.”
With a snickering laugh, Alma patted Faregh’s shoulder firmly.
“For now, there’s a temporary resting place over there, so go get some rest. Don’t worry. This time, the evaluation for the examination won’t count for everyone. However… don’t talk about this incident to anyone.”
Alma also looked at Millis and Wiesel, who were present, and scratched her head with a troubled expression.
“After all, we were dealing with the magical beasts in the ‘designated danger zone’ the day before, and we had teaching staff monitoring the examination closely.”
“Um… so you’re saying they appeared out of nowhere despite being monitored?”
“That’s right. To be honest, we can’t rule out the possibility of a hole in our monitoring system. That’s why we need to investigate carefully, considering various possibilities.”
In response to Millis’s question, Alma’s words were vague, and the reason could be easily imagined.
The academy had investigated the ‘designated danger zone’ in advance, and even on the day of the examination, they had personnel in place… yet they allowed several large magical beasts to enter.
If it was not an accident… there was a possibility that a third party or someone from the academy had brought in the large magical beasts. And if they include diplomatic relations, even students could be considered suspects.
That was why Alma must have insisted on keeping it confidential, thinking that an investigation in this area was necessary.
“Well, not only students in our class but the other classes have also witnessed it, so I just want to ask you not to spread it to outsiders until the investigation is over.”
After saying that, Alma let out a deep sigh.
“Other than Reid and Elria, who are kneeling, must stay. The rest of you can leave.”
“We’re just students. Can’t you let us go, too?”
“I want something salty for dinner tonight.”
“You two are so noisy. Just come over here.”
Alma dragged the two of them by the scruff of their necks and took them away to a secluded place. Then, she brought up the topic.
“So, Your Excellency. Is it okay to give Elria-chan some information, too?”
“Oh, that’s fine. Elria might even know more about the ‘Armament Dragon’ than I do.”
“Yeah… it was difficult to deal with even in the past.”
Elria nodded solemnly.
However, Alma’s reaction was different from what they expected.
“…So, that magical beast is called the ‘Armament Dragon’.”
“Does that mean you have never heard of that magical beast before?”
“Yeah. At least I’ve never fought against a ‘magical beast that affects magic’. Besides, it’s a problem that not only I but also the Welminan’s child didn’t know about.”
“Come to think of it… wasn’t that boy’s family related to magical beasts?”
“Yeah. The Welminan family has made achievements by subjugating magical beasts. They not only collect information and ecology about the magical beasts they have subjugated, but also about the magical beasts in various places. And yet, the child of such a family said he didn’t know about it.”
“Is it possible that the child didn’t have enough knowledge?”
“That child’s handling of the dragon-type magical beast’s nature and habits was correct. If it wasn’t for that, he wouldn’t have been able to escape with two injured people and would have been killed before they even got to the cave.”
After correctly evaluating Faregh’s ability, Alma turned her gaze to Elria.
“Uh… from what I have heard from His Excellency, if it were true, maybe it would be better to use honorifics, but… it’s a hassle to be honest, so can I just talk to you normally?”
“Yes. I’d be happier if you used ‘-chan’.”
“Well then, Elria-chan. What exactly is that magical beast?”
“The natural habitat of the Armament Dragon is mountainous areas and valleys, especially places where mineral deposits can be extracted. It is a dragon-type magical beast that forms a unique outer shell by consuming minerals, which are their main source of food. However… if they formed an outer shell powerful enough to neutralize magic, it’s highly likely that they were given magical minerals artificially.”
“…That’s definitely not something from the current era, right?”
Elria nodded, and Alma’s expression became serious.
“In that case… it becomes even more confusing.”
Alma then began to speak softly.
“I specialize in the history of magic, so I’ve heard of the existence of a ‘magical beast that affects magic’ before. However, none of them have survived to this day.”
“…None of them survived?”
“They were thoroughly hunted down. As long as magic is prevalent, any creature that can affect magic is considered a threat above all else. Even those that have become mutated beasts were completely exterminated… It happened hundreds of years ago, and public records confirm that they have been completely wiped out.”
In other words ――
“―― Such a magical beast should not exist in the present day.”