Chapter 0277 Soul Resonance
“Kenneth, Kenneth are you there~?”
That familiar scenario is once again being repeated at the entrance of the Royal Alchemy Workshop.
The person in question is the water-attribute magician, dressed exactly the same as he was back then.
With but one big difference.
“Your Excellency Duke Rondo, we have been expecting you!”
His position had changed so much that there was no longer any need for him to trespass or anything of the sort.
Over the past three years, he had been in and out of the Royal Alchemy Workshop quite often….
So, both the guards and the staff of the alchemy workshop were acquainted with Ryo.
He’s the premier duke, even if he is dressed as an adventurer magician.
He is also a disciple of the master of the workshop, Viscount Kenneth Hayward, in the field of alchemy.
Although this is just Ryo’s one-sided claim….
Kenneth always gives a strained laugh when he hears it.
However, on this particular day, Ryo was guided straightaway to where Kenneth was without so much as a fuss as usual since he had informed them beforehand, which was unusual.
“Ah, Mr. Ryo, thank you for coming.”
Kenneth smiled and said to Ryo as he saw him entering the laboratory.
“I came here because I heard that you have created something interesting.”
Ryo seemed even more excited than usual… as he said that.
It was something that Kenneth himself worked on enough to be referred to as ‘something interesting’.
He couldn’t help being intrigued.
“Oh yes. It’s quite interesting. For the time being, I’m calling it ‘Soul Resonance’.”
Talk about a name straight out of a fantasy.
“Simply put, it’s an ultra-long-distance communication.”
“A-And that just consigned it to something more realistic…”
‘Soul Resonance’ and ‘Ultra-Long Distance Communication’… there aren’t many word pairs that evoke the perception of such opposites….
“You were also given a long-distance communication tablet, weren’t you, Mr. Ryo? I believe it’s called ‘Communication Tablet’ or something?”
“Yes, I left it back in Rondo Forest.”
He was talking about the contraption where he received the message to “come to the castle”.
“It’s an improved, smaller version of that one, only it can be used as often and over a considerable distance, depending on the magic power of the person wearing it.”
“Ohh. Now that’s amazing.”
Kenneth explained and Ryo was astonished.
Ryo’s mind then wandered to a certain conversation he once heard in Abel’s office.
“Kenneth, you once showed me the research papers of this thing, right? Something about long-distance communication via splitting of magic stones.”
“You remembered correctly! That’s exactly what it’s based on.”
In fact, Kenneth gave Ryo ‘something’ that utilized that technology after that….
But that’s another story.
Kenneth brought out what looked like a very small earring.
“It’s so small!”
The blue magic stone in the earring was no more than one centimeter in diameter.
The sterling silver casing also gave it a stylish look.
It was probably meant to be put on the ear….
“Um~, I’m not really fond of piercing my body…”
Ryo had never had his ears pierced in his entire life.
“That’s okay. I thought you might say that, but this one clips to the earlobes like earrings. Once you set it, it automatically adjusts to the perfect size, so it doesn’t hurt.”
That’s the world of magic for you.
That’s the art of alchemy alright.
Gotta hand it to the genius, Kenneth Hayward.
“I’ve never seen a blue magic stone before.”
“Oh…yeah, blue magic stones are hard to come by. Then again, since it’s of the water attribute, they can be obtained from aquatic monsters, but those usually sink to the bottom of the sea after they’re subjugated, so…”
Ryo nodded in agreement with Kenneth’s explanation. Come to think of it, when he fought the Bait Balls, the monsters he defeated sank….
“Since you’re a water-attribute magician, the blue magic stone is perfect for you. In fact, I prepared this with you in mind, Mr. Ryo.”
“You see, this little trinket actually has one amazing feature. Remember Rosalia, the dark-attribute magician in Twilight Land. It’s also thanks to her that we were able to create it. That’s why we’re calling it ‘Soul Resonance’…”
Kenneth said, smiling more than ever as he began to explain.
Holding up a ring fitted with a blue magic stone, which seemed to be one of a pair.
The royal castle, the king’s office.
King Abel was, same as before, drowning in papers.
However, there were fewer documents than before.
“What is it, Abel?”
Abel called out to Ryo while signing the documents, and Ryo answered passively, lying on the sofa, reading an alchemy-related book.
“You’re leaving for the Western Countries tomorrow, are you done with all your necessary preparations?”
“Of course I am. I have already informed Sera, and I’ve confirmed returning all outstanding books with the chief librarian, except for this one that I am reading now. All that’s left is to have curry or hamburger steak at ‘Houshoku-tei’ tonight and I’m set.”
Abel was a little curious about the menu at ‘Houshoku-tei’, but decided not to ask for more details.
He thought that now that he was cured, it would be nice to visit there while Ryo was away.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t steal a march on his doctor!
“Abel, just because I’m not here, don’t overdo it or go out on your own, okay? You’re still recovering.”
“Y-Yeah, I know that…”
Ryo was staring at Abel while making a gesture as if adjusting his glasses.
He was more like a prosecutor cornering a defendant than a doctor.
“Anyway, so basically, there’s nothing else more important to you besides alchemy and food…”
“How rude! The pinnacle of alchemy is still very far away. There is no time to waste. And food is the body’s main source of energy. It should never be neglected. If His Majesty the King only has this level of awareness, then I can only say that the future of the Kingdom looks really bleak! ”
“I-I kinda feel bad…”
Ryo dissed Abel, and for some reason Abel apologized.
Ryo, who had been watching Abel with a smug look on his face, suddenly exclaimed.
Abel asked, looking up from his paperwork.
“I didn’t make plans to eat cake at the ‘Cafe de Chocolat’.”
“Uh, right…that’s tough.”
The exhausted King Abel I… went right back to signing documents as usual.
Yes, as usual.
But today it didn’t end there.
“How unusual, Ryo. Have you ever worn earrings before?”
Abel asked, suddenly taking his eyes off the papers and looking at Ryo.
He noticed a beautiful blue magic stone on Ryo’s left ear.
“Oh right! I totally forgot.”
“Yeah, you seem pretty forgetful lately…”
Ryo shouted, realizing that he had totally forgotten about it, and Abel having figured as much, was stupefied.
With his imminent departure, he knew for sure that he would forget a lot of things.
“This is Kenneth’s invention. It’s pretty useful, but apparently it consumes magic power the whole time it’s on, so I’m going to be trying it out first.”
“Well, your magic power is pretty much inexhaustible after all…”
Even from Abel’s point of view, who knows many magicians, the amount of magic power Ryo possesses is extraordinary.
To begin with, he has never seen Ryo’s magic power run out.
Then, Ryo stared at Abel intently.
Abel asked Ryo, as he rarely saw him look at him that way.
“Abel. Do you trust me from the bottom of your heart?”
“Alright now I’m curious, what’s the matter…?”
Abel was even more surprised by Ryo’s question.
“If you wish, and if you really trust me from the bottom of your heart, Abel, I can take your soul with me to the Western Countries.”
Grand Master’s office, Adventurers’ Guild in the royal capital.
“I was told that the acting Grand Master in my absence will be coming today though…”
Hugh McGrath looked restless, but he couldn’t pull himself away from the paperwork in front of him.
Ordinarily, there’s no way the person in question wouldn’t have been informed of who would be taking over their duties.
But King Abel simply told him; “He is the perfect stand-in”.
So he deliberately didn’t tell him, saying he didn’t need to know until just before….
Hugh’s mind, however, led him to a possible candidate.
There was a knock on the door, and the receptionist announced the arrival of a visitor.
“He’s here, sir.”
And then he walked into the office…
“I’m here to take over from you, Hugh.”
“Oh, it was you after all, I knew it…”
The one who came in was Finlay Forsythe.
The former Grand Master.
Having survived the fall of the royal capital three years ago, he handed over the position of Grand Master to Hugh, and was now living a comfortable life in retirement.
He is also the father of Hugh’s wife, Elsie.
“Well, Lord Forsythe doesn’t really need to do anything. I’m planning to call in vice guildmaster Showken, too…”
“Lord Forsythe huh… well, you too will eventually take over the family name and the title of count…. So Showken is the vice guildmaster. Considering how consistent and careful he is in his work, he might be a good choice.”
In the past, Showken was the leader of the escort adventurer detail for the delegation to the Twilight Land, and after the fall of the royal capital, he played a leading role in the resistance movement as a prominent adventurer among the ‘Rebels’.
He wasn’t flashy, but he was highly regarded for his ability to organize people and ensure that they fulfilled their roles.
“I’mma use him very well.”
The current Grand Master sighed in his heart at the muttering of the former Grand Master.
Then he prayed… that Showken would be safe and sound until he returned.
The next day, the departure ceremony was held with great fanfare.
It was the first time in history that the Kingdom, together with the Empire, the Union, and other central countries, had sent a delegation to the Western Countries.
The delegations from each country would meet in the city of Gilsbach in the northwestern part of the Empire, hold a meeting, and then set out for the Western Countries.
There were a total of 300 people, including 100 civilian officials and 200 escorts.
What was unique about the 200 escorts was that they were all adventurers.
The Kingdom is the land of adventurers… the saying still holds true.
It’s pretty distinctive, like the fact that the 200 escort detail of the Imperial Delegation did not include any adventurers at all for instance.
Of course, a major reason for this was the fact that many of the knight orders of the Kingdom, including the Royal Knights, had suffered greatly from the recent disturbance in the royal capital and the Kingdom Liberation War, and were still recovering.
However, even though the Kingdom boasts a relatively large number of adventurers, it’s no walk in the park to gather 200 adventurers, only those of C-rank and above, qualified to take up quests leading across the Kingdom’s borders.
Of course, it’s possible in terms of numbers, but doing so would bleed the guild across the Kingdom.
And while they’re on their way to the Western Countries, the usual requests are still coming in.
If the B and C-rankers were to suddenly drop in droves, there would be situations where those with insufficient skills would have to push themselves to fulfill quests… and naturally, failure in such situations tends to be fatal.
Therefore, an exception was made in this delegation, in that it included some D-rank adventurers.
Of course, the C-rank adventurers were the largest in terms of number.
With even fewer B-rankers than the D-rankers….
The B-rank adventurers were positioned as the elite representing the Kingdom.
“Etho and Amon I understand, but even Niels is also considered the so-called elite B-rank adventurers…”
“Hey, Ryo, I can hear you.”
Ryo’s muttering was heard by Niels, the leader of the B-rank party ‘Room 10’.
Since he was walking right next to Ryo.
“Niels, it’s just me talking to myself, so don’t worry about it. I know I don’t.”
Niels hung his head at Ryo’s not-so-subtle remark.
Etho was struggling to hold his laughter, and Amon chuckled.
The little peaceful episode of ‘Room 10’ was displayed out in the open.
Three adventurers were watching the four of them.
They were the three members of ‘Room 11’ led by the future Duke Harold.
Harold’s expression was particularly complex.
Niels from ‘Room 10’, whom he respected, was chatting away with the man who had shattered his shoulder….
Needless to say, there wasn’t a hint of his respect and admiration for Niels within his expression.
His complex expression primarily had to do with Ryo alone.
The person who shattered his shoulder…. It would be impossible to hold no feelings for such a person.
However, the emotion in Harold’s heart right now wasn’t ‘hatred’.
Nor, of course, was it ‘gratitude’ for the reprimand.
Nor was it simply ‘fear’.
It was a mixture of all of these feelings, feelings that even he did not understand… hence the complex expression on his face.
Harold and the other members of Room 11 and Room 10, including Ryo, were placed at the tail end of the Kingdom’s delegation.
The B-rank party ‘Coffee Maker’ led by Delong was placed at the head of the delegation, and the B-rank party ‘Room 10’ with Ryo at the tail end.
It was a logical arrangement that the elite be placed at the head and tail of the delegation.
And ‘Room 11’, being in the custody of ‘Room 10’, was also placed at the tail as it should be.
All of these arrangements were made by Hugh McGrath, the Grand Master and head of the delegation.
“I wonder how many lodgings there can accommodate a delegation of three hundred people…”
Ryo asked, not particularly directed at anyone.
“Well, we’ll be taking the First Highway to the imperial border. It’s one of the Kingdom’s major highways, though not as great as the third highway in the south. I reckon there should be a couple of large inns in the cities we’ll be passing through, don’t you think?”
“I’m sure they’ve already booked a few lodgings beforehand.”
Etho added to Niels’ answer.
“Meaning, we won’t be camping out.”
Ryo said, looking pleased.
Of course, as an adventurer, he may be accustomed to camping out in the wild, but it’s still preferable to sleep in an inn, on a bed, if possible.
“We shouldn’t have any problems getting to Brown Bear, the border town of the Empire. I heard that the knights of each territory will be escorting us from town to town as well.”
Upon hearing Niels’ words, Ryo turned around and said;
“So, in the meantime, there should be no problem drilling the three from Room 11 to the very last minute!”
“No, it’s best if you don’t.”
Niels intercepted Ryo’s radical statement.
Not like a few days of training would make them stronger anyway.
If the three of them were to be wrecked already before the journey began, it would be doubtful whether they would make it to the Western Countries in one piece.
And then Niels saw it.
Room 11’s Harold and Gowan, trembling slightly.
‘In fact, Kenneth gave Ryo ‘something’ that utilized that technology after that….
But that’s another story.’
Is not written yet. It is material for a possible spin-off story in the future.