Experiments and Preparations – Q of Hearts (Part 2)
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Think of it as throwing money at the author and Alphapolis, and getting a book with squiggles and pretty pictures as a pleasant extra.
There’s also the fact that it’s winter, but no matter when I visit this place, it always feels dim and cold.
The castle dungeon.
Even though it’s still daytime, there isn’t a single ray of light that reaches this place.
“Ah-, Achille… You did say that the tattoo experiment problem would be all fine but, this place is…”
With Achille leading me by the hand, I descended the stone staircase, lit by the light of a magical lamp.
Also through the use of flame magic, it seemed that the dungeon was always kept at a certain temperature so that the prisoners wouldn’t freeze to death.
But still, the fact that it still feels a little chilly might be because they’re only warming it to the bare minimum.
Because I spoke to Achille about experimenting with “a tattoo that stops forbidden magic”, today it seemed that I would be experimenting on something he prepared in the dungeon for me. As expected of Achille… He works fast.
“There was a kind fellow who voluntarily wanted to cooperate with your experiments, you see.”
“There’s a person like that?”
I mean, cooperating with the experiments means that they’d have forbidden spells cast on them, you know?
An experiment that Achille banned me from conducting on myself, as well as an experiment that I was hesitant to perform on Achille.
A person who would volunteer to help with such a dangerous experiment… is a massive M!
Still led by the hand, I continued deeper and deeper into the dungeon.
On the way, we passed by Miss Claire and Count Tito’s cells.
Beyond here are the places where those involved with the commoner extremists are held, and they’re completely full at the moment.
The further we continued in, the gloomier the atmosphere got, and the number of lamps steadily decreased as well.
“Is it further in?”
Uu… Is that how it is?
I’m not really all that great with dark places though.
I can hear the loud sounds of some liquid dripping.
A damp smell assaulted my nose.
If I were locked up in a place like this, I don’t think I’d be able to stay sane…
“Achille, you’ve stopped, you know?”
In the very deepest part of the dungeon, Achille placed his hand against a large iron door.
From the rust here and there on the door, you could feel the history of the dungeon.
Taking an old-looking key from his pocket, he inserted it into the keyhole.
With an unpleasant creaking sound, the door slowly opened.
Beyond the door was pitch black so I was a hesitant, but gathering my will, I took a step forward.
Perhaps noticing that I was a little afraid… Achille immediately walked to my side and put his arm around my waist.
He did it naturally, but in this posture, he was surprisingly close, so I couldn’t relax.
After fixing a light to my fingertips and walking in the darkness for a few minutes, we arrived before a large iron fence.
“T-, This place?”
The depths of the tightly guarded dungeon.
Would the person I’m meeting be inside that pitch-dark cage?
If you stayed in a place like this for a few days, you’d go craz-… Could it be that that’s the purpose of this room?
A-, A torture room or something?
When I looked at Achille questioningly, he smiled as if to say that I needn’t worry.
I’m not relieved at all.
“Heyy, why if it ain’t Camille Rhodolite.”
Suddenly, a man’s voice rang out from inside the cage. It’s a voice I’ve heard in the past.
The deep voice of that hateful man who gave me a terrible time during the incident a little while ago.
“Achille… I don’t think it’s possible, but could it be that the kind fellow who wanted to cooperate with my experiments was…”
“…Yeah, although he’s the principal offender during the extremist occupation incident.”
“W-, W-, Why is it Galuf Sharohm?”
Because of the shock, my voice went shrill.
Why is an enemy like Galuf helping with the experiment?
What’s more, according to Achille, he volunteered. S-… Suspicious!
After timidly approaching the prison bars, I could see a person’s figure inside.
They had all their limbs bound, and surprisingly, they seemed to be doing quite well despite the environment.
The J of Clovers… is a person with a strong will.
The chains that are binding him are a mana-sealing item for prisoners, aren’t they?
Ironically, they’re made of the same material as the steel trap that Galuf used on me previously.
He’s a person who can use forbidden magic without blinking after all, so it’s a natural measure.
“Oi, heartless dude over there! I’ll go along with your deal, so fulfil your end, yeah?”
Galuf shouted at Achille who was standing behind me.
Achille frowned in displeasure.
“…Of course I will.”
“You don’t sound believable at all!”
“Shall I interpret your words to mean… that our deal is off?”
In that instant, Galuf fell silent.
What do they mean by deal…?
To use Galuf as the guinea pig of all people, just what is Achille thinking?
I stared hard at him.
“There’s no need to worry, Camille. I’ve got permission from up top after all, and I’ve got his consent as well.”
“…But, is this really okay?”
“Experiment to your heart’s content. There’s no problem even if by some tiny chance the experiment fails. On the contrary, how about you *do fail once or twice?”
“Oi! You still holding a grudge, damnit!? Heyy, Camille. How ’bout you leave this vindictive boyfriend of yours, and change to me?”
“Please do not speak to Camille so familiarly. Also, I am her husband.”
So little tension…
To think that Galuf Sharohm can have such a light-hearted conversation in a situation like this. You really can’t make light of him.
His nerves and guts are incredible.
“Achille, it’s a bit unceremonious, but would it be fine if I start the experiment?”
Since we have permission, I’m sure there’s no problem.
I’m reluctant about performing the experiment on people other than myself, but I’d already decided earlier that I needed to complete a magic tattoo that protected us from forbidden magic.
Entering the cage after having Achille open the door, I drew a chain-patterned tattoo on the hand of the immobile Galuf, from his right wrist down to the fingers.
“Ohh? Pretty skilled, ey? So you used this tattoo to nullify my forbidden spells as well, that time?”
Looking on from the side, Galuf spoke in interest.
Thanks to my tattoos, his plans during the raid failed, but despite that, doesn’t he hold any grudges about it?
For exactly what reason did he cooperate with the extremists…?
I finished drawing the chains in no time. All that’s left is to use forbidden arts and test it.