10th Year – 43

Part 3: Chapter 12 – Hidden Circumstances

Red smoke rose in the forest.
It was a signal from the Adventurers who had secured our path of retreat.

“They succeeded then. Let’s go in.”

Rokuk knocked his fists together excitedly. The high pitched ring of the metal echoed.
At the same time, the other teams had started to charge in as well, and the sounds of fighting could be heard.

The Adventurers were entering the nest from every side, and they would start by wiping out the magictec beasts that were within. Because of this, each team was made up of the best.
Tor’s team likely had the strongest fighting force, and so it was no wonder that they had been assigned the deepest part.

And so they stepped foot into the ancient civilization’s ruins.
While they stayed on their guard, Euphie and Mailey looked around with interest.

“In spite of being called a ruin, it is surprisingly clean and well maintained.”
“Do the magitec beasts keep it clean?”

As the twins had pointed out, the ruins were in an incredibly clean state.
The buildings, from the walls to the roofs, showed no signs of having been repaired. They looked like people could be living in them even now. There were even waterways along the streets, and when they looked inside, there wasn’t a single fallen leaf within.

They doubted that even Fangaro was kept so clean. However, both Euphie and Mailey felt something ominous here that they could not describe.

“I do not sense any living creatures here.”
“There is no smell of life.”

Frogs, reptiles, rats and other city vermin. Not even a single insect. They had seen no signs of life since entering the ruins.
It almost felt like they had wandered into some kind of dollhouse.

“There are magitecs that are specifically designed to clean the cities. There are also some for construction work. The sad thing is that they would stop working if you brought them back to Fangaro.”

Perhaps she was hoping to catch sight of them, as Coen was looking around her, as if they were not in a dangerous place.
But like the other three, Tor felt extra cautious about this unnatural silence.

During his nine years of adventuring, Tor had experienced such ruins several times.
However, this time, he had felt a tenseness on his neck the moment that he entered.
It was the feeling that he got whenever he entered the territory of a strong monster or magitec beast.

“Rokuk. There is a powerful magitec beast here. Be wary of a surprise attack.”
“So you can feel it, Tor.”

Rokuk smiled and then suddenly stopped. And then he pointed his right arm to the building on the right side.
Immediately after, the walls exploded from the inside, and a conical stone came flying out while rotating.
Rokuk calmly lowered his stance, and then struck the stone from below as if scooping it up.
The moment that the stone cone hit his fist, it shattered, and the pieces flew through the air.

A bear-like magitec beast had also jumped out of the building, and was running towards Tor.
Just as red electricity ran through Tor’s war rings, Coen’s Golems unleashed their arrows with an explosive sound.
An explosion Enchant caused the arrows to move with accelerated speed, and with increased energy, they pierced the head of the magitec bear, causing it to die instantly.

Tor then used his rings to attack the ant-like, four-legged magitec beast, who had been camouflaged on the roof.
Coen looked surprised as she saw the magitec beast fall from above.

“I didn’t even see it.”
“I have an Enchant that allows me to detect most metals. And I was getting strange signals from the roof, so I tried attacking it.”
“That is a good Enchant for fighting magitec beasts.”
“It’s what helped me to rise to B-Rank so quickly.”

The battle ended so quickly that they had time to chat as they headed deeper in.
On the way, they saw the storage houses, which was their goal, in the distance. However, they passed them for now, as their role was to destroy the control facility.

“We must stop at that processing plant on the way back. I want some aluminum.”
“I want any rare metal they might have. Like bismuthinite.”
“Platinum would be nice as well. It can be used as a catalyst.”
“This isn’t a treasure hunt, ladies. Tell them, Tor.”
“It won’t matter if I say anything. These three are only here for ore.”

While the monsters they encountered were large and powerful magitec beasts that were good at hiding, they were nothing in front of Rokuk’s destructive power, and Tor’s scouting ability.
They left the magic stones, as those would be gathered once everything was over. And so as they continued on, a paved road appeared ahead of them.

It was a path of cut stone. The shapes were irregular, with some being the size of a palm, while others were the size of a head. But they were packed tightly together.
And there were no magitec beasts. Clearly, this was an important district, unlike the others.
Still, Rokuk took a step forward as if he was not concerned.

“There will hardly be any magitec beasts from this point. However, there are several turrets installed, so you must be careful. And we may be sniped at from far away.”

Just as Rokuk explained this, a bullet came flying.
Rokuk had been standing so as to become a smaller target for the turret, and like that, he caught the bullet in his hand.

“Right back at you”

He flicked his fingers, launching the bullet back and destroying the half-hidden turret.

“That’s how it is.”
“This is going to be annoying.”

Tor said as he enchanted his war rings and threw them into the air.
And then bullets came from every direction, as if to knock the rings down.
However, before they could reach the rings, the bullets stopped and then were blown away.
And as if moving in reverse, they shot back at the turrets, destroying them.

“If they can detect bodies, then this way will be faster.”
“Ah… All of my hard work…”

As someone who put himself in danger in order to destroy a turret, Rokuk had to laugh at Tor’s method.
So even the turrets were not much of a threat, and the team continued to walk forward.
As Rokuk said, there was no sign of magitec beasts. Instead, they saw large construction magitecs, storage houses and cars.

“The control facility is supposed to be very important. So why are there no magitec beasts guarding it?”

Mailey asked Coen with a puzzled expression.
Coen shook her head.

“Ask the people of the ancient civilization. There are rumors that they were wary of the magitec beasts revolting. After all, they attack not just monsters, but humans as well.”
“If the magitec beasts fix the facilities after destroying them, then you would have to destroy control facilities all over the world at the same time. Perhaps this current situation is a result of the ancient civilization not being able to manage everything anymore?”
“There is too much we don’t know, and so I cannot say. Some people like the sense of mystery, but I don’t. They were just a foolish civilization that lost control of their own creations.”

Coen looked at the destroyed turret with exasperation. Since it was attacking humans, it had also likely escaped the control of the ancient civilization.

“…Mr. Tor. Is something the matter?”

Euphie looked up at Tor with concern.
The deeper they went, the quieter he became, and Tor grew more cautious.

“Stand back. Stay behind Coen’s Golems.”
“…Very well.”

While not understanding the reason, Euphie and Mailey sensed the seriousness in Tor’s voice, and so they stood between the Golems.
Up ahead, Rokuk pointed to the control facility.

“That is the control facility that is our target. You just have to destroy those horn-like parts surrounding it.”

To Tor, the control facility looked a little like a radio tower. There were eight metal bars like antennas that stretched out from it. And the base of the tower was supported by eight pillars.

Tor held his chakrams and looked at Rokuk.
Rokuk looked up at the facility and sighed as if troubled.

“…Ah, I knew it. The symptoms have gotten worse.”

Rokuk muttered as he looked down at his mechanical arm, and then he turned to Tor.

Immediately after, like a cannonball, the metal fist came shooting towards Tor.
Anticipating this, Tor raised the rings like a net, stopping the fist and using the magnetic power to knock them back.

Rokuk jumped back in order to kill the momentum and then landed with the control facility behind him.

“…Well done, Tor. An average Adventurer would have died.”
“What are you trying to do?”

While Tor answered calmly, his guard was at the highest level now.
Rokuk laughed awkwardly.

“You can look up the details in my house in Fangaro. I left three wills on my desk. One is addressed to you, the others are for the guild chief and the Fangaro council. Everything is explained in them. If someone like you knows, I won’t have to worry about the information being extinguished. I can die in peace.”
“Hey. If you have a reason for this, then tell me now.”
“Telling you won’t solve anything. Just kill me. That being said, I did not expect Ms. Coen to come along. Perhaps you understand my situation?”

He chuckled. Coen looked at him with cold eyes and clicked her tongue.

“Side effects of the over parts…”
“Side effects?”

Mailey heard Coen’s muttering and she narrowed her eyes. Then she turned to Rokuk in realization.

“Is it like how the old Golems go wild?”

Mailey asked, and Rokuk laughed apologetically.

“Ah, yes. I didn’t want to say it, but I suppose it is obvious…”

White mist began to appear from his left arm, and the over parts of his right arm started to enlarge as they were encrusted by orange powder.

“The Golems lose control because they run out of magic energy. Orders are sent from this control facility to the magic stone. Five years after I had these over parts attached, it seems that the stones in my arms are at their limit…”

As soon as he heard Rokuk’s words, Tor threw his chakrams at the control facility. They were enveloped in red electricity as they shot faster than the speed of sound. Then the high-pitched sound of the impact echoed.
However, as if predicting Tor’s movement, the orange powder from Rokuk’s right arm shot out and slammed into the chakrams from the side.

“I also thought that perhaps breaking it would work, but it is no use. Not only that, but now I cannot even break the facilities myself. This arm moves on its own. And I hear a voice from somewhere. Kill monsters. Kill living creatures. Kill, eat, take their energy. That’s what I hear during every waking moment. Apparently, they are coming from this control facility. It is so loud that I cannot sleep. And when I try to kill myself, these over parts stop me. I cannot even end my own life.”

Rokuk said with a sigh, and then he took a step forward towards Tor.

“Magitec beasts must be able to recharge on energy by eating animals and monsters. Even I felt that my symptoms improved a little when I ate, which allowed me to make it this far. But it won’t be possible with the over parts that were added later. Do you know how desperate I felt, when there was no one in Fangaro who was strong enough to stop me once I went mad? It was my good luck that you came along, Tor.”
“…The reason you invited us to this fight…Was it to fight near the control tower, where you wouldn’t have to worry about magitec beasts?”
“I couldn’t fight you in the town. But here…well, destruction is part of the mission.”
“And there is no other way?”
“I wouldn’t be asking you to kill me if there was.”

They talked while slowly taking note of the distance between them. Thanks to this, Tor was able to understand the situation. He then turned to Euphie and Mailey.
Euphie and Mailey had been thinking with serious expressions, but they nodded when Tor looked at them.

“Please buy some time.”

Euphie and Mailey were saying they could do something with more time, and Tor replied curtly.

“Rokuk. I’ll play with you until we find a solution.”
“…But I want you to kill me.”
“In that case, you better go all out, so I’ll feel that I have to kill you.”
“Aye… I will do that. Even if I didn’t want to, this arm looks like it can’t wait to fight!”

Next Chapter

On The 10th Year The Transferee Who Gave Up Returning Finally Becomes The Protagonist

1 Comment Leave a comment

  1. Good to see this continue.
    Thanks for the translation.

    At least the guy is an ossan.
    I would have a bad premonition about this character if it was a young female.
    … the prosthetic arm malfunction will not gender-swap him, will it?

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