December is a busy month…
Arc 27: The Reverse World
Chapter 307: Magic automobile, and the signs of unrest
「This is a magic automobile, an "Ether Vehicle"」
「It certainly looks like a small carriage」
In the public plaza to the north of the Brunhild castle, I am displaying the new product that I've made to the rulers of various countries. Oh well, it's not exactly me who created it though.
Four thinnish wheels on an open body without a roof, and a covered-leather two-seater with two headlights installed at the front.
A simple steering wheel and a horn, and also an accel/brake pair of pedals at one's feet. Installed at the back is a folding hood to avoid rain and direct sunlight.
The ether vehicle is made after a car called Fiat 3.5 (3 ½) HP. In 1899, the proud Italy automaker introduced a four-wheel gasoline car called "Fiat" for the first time.
This compact magic automobile was created from scratch under the guidance of Rosetta by the town's master blacksmiths whom I had entrusted with a magic motor brought from the Reverse World.
In other words, the main body uses neither Babylon's technology nor the ancient kingdoms' technologies. Which means that any country with a sufficient amount of money is capable of producing this machine. Well, they would need to buy the fuel — that is Ether Liquid — from our household though. We, in turn, don't have a need for it ever since the Frame Gears switched to new models.
In the back seat, there is a PET bottle container of 500 ml filled with ether liquid. As usual, it looks like melon soda.
Getting into the seats, the magic automobile starts operating once the steering wheel drains some magic power. After I hear a low rumbling noise, I slowly step on the accel and make the ether vehicle slowly start moving.
「It is moving……！」
Because the magic motor is being operated with the magic power amplified by ether liquid and a magic stone, it's quiet and doesn't cause fatigue to the driver as well. Though if one continues to pour magic power for a whole day, they would naturally get completely exhausted all the same at the end.
It's ecological as well because the vehicle doesn't produce exhaust emissions. Instead, it emits glittering steam-like particles, the waste of magic and ether liquid, which are harmless.
The velocity is a little bigger than a carriage going at normal speed. It would probably lose if it competes with a carriage running at full power. Although ether vehicle should be able to bring out more power with some remodeling, it should be fine as it is for now.
I turn the steering wheel and make a U-turn. And once I am back at where the rulers are, I press the brake and stop the vehicle.
「The speed is almost the same as a carriage, but it surely is good to be able to operate it freely. I suppose taking care of the horses and their feed becomes unnecessary as well」
「A regular maintenance is still necessary, you see. Anyone can drive this vehicle if they get used to it. Nevertheless, it's most certainly a dangerous machine, so it's better not to let small children drive it」
Just in case, I intend to prevent anyone other than the person whose magic fingerprint has been memorized from operating the magic motor because it would be really bad if five-years-old kids could move it.
「Though it feels plain compared to the frame gear, its convenience is handy」
The King of Rynie says that, but being compared to something like that is a bit much. I guess it's not wrong that a classic car would have no impact if it's shown next after a huge robot, right?
「So, Touya-dono. May I also ride it?」
「By all means. I've been thinking about selling it to everyone's country, so you should ride it, of course, and get a feeling of it」
I nod to the words of the Beast King of Misumido, and take out another four magic vehicles from 【Storage】.
In the first car rode the king of Belfast and the emperor of Regulus, in the second car — the beast king of Misumido and the devil king of Zenoasu, in the third car — the king of Rynie and the knight king of Resita, in the fourth car — the Statewide Governor of Rodomea and Ramisshu Pope, and in the fifth car — the king of Ferzen and the Young King of Paluf.
Or rather, only the youth king of Paluf was able to ride next to the oversized king of Ferzen in the last fifth car.
Each one of them started to timidity drive their cars. The Monarch of Reefrees and I stayed behind and gazed at that.
「Come to think of it, Touya-dono, you saved me with that pirate issue the other day. Thanks to you, the merchants are pleased」
「Did you arrest all of them in one go?」
「That's right. However… among the ships which departed for the pirates' extermination, one turned to be missing. Though we are searching for it… can't Touya-dono look for it?」
「I don't think it is impossible but… do you know any characteristics of the ship?」
Hearing the characteristics of the ship from His Majesty The Monarch, I search the map of the sea around Reefrees but there is no reaction. If that's the case, there is a possibility that it sank…
「Uumu…. Had it been sunk by a sea monster after all…? My apologies, I wasted your time. It's regrettable but I suppose I have to stop the search」When one talks about sea monsters that could drag down a ship, something like a kraken or a sea serpent comes to mind, right?
Though the adventurers can subjugate magic beasts of the land, their hands wouldn't be able to reach the sea monsters…
By the way, the name of the missing ship is McClane. I glance at the bald monarch as I think that it's some kind of prank in regards of a certain Hollywood actor, but it seems to be a coincidence. Of course, it would be.
However, for the ship carrying the name of the unluckiest detective in the world — even though it's a movie — to meet such a misfortune, I could feel some kind of destiny. Though it would be nice if it had the tenaciousness to survive as that detective did.
The rulers were so pleased with the magic vehicles that they said they would buy several of them. Thank you for the purchase.
The ethel liquid will last for more than half a year, but I present each of the buyers with one more bottle as a service. I also add spare tires and off-road tires. Places like Misumido and Zenoasu still have locations where the roads are rough.
If they dismantle the magic vehicle they purchased, they should be able to reproduce them and make improvements in their home countries. As I didn't intend to make money with those vehicles, I'm looking forward to what progress they can reach upon them in several years.
The money we can earn with the ether liquid will do either way. Speaking of which, the headlights are made using the magical light stones, so a simple reproduction is impossible. Well, this could be substituted with a hand lantern or something though.
「When I think of those coming and going back and forth in the highways, it might not work unless we pave the roads even more」
「As for that, there is sort of a new magical work machine for civil engineering that the dwarves are in the process of completing. I believe such works will be able to done with considerable ease even without involving the magicians」
It appears the development of Dverg is proceeding smoothly, and it will soon be sold in the markets. Because neither the price nor the number of sales can be decided at my own discretion, I should probably leave it to Alba-san. There is hardly any profit for me in that area.
After that, the rulers continued playing with the ether vehicles for a while under the pretense of drive testing them. It seems they started something like a race.
By the way, the young king of Paluf was overwhelmingly faster than all others. It wasn't due to a driving technique or anything like that. It was a mere difference in weight.
The next day, I delivered the number of ether vehicles asked by each country (the upper limit of said number was decided to be five), collected the payment, and then passed that money to Kousaka-san.
As I was looking down at the castle's courtyard from the balcony, I could see the figures of Lapis-san and the maids practicing how to drive ether vehicles.
A simple course was built in the courtyard in order to practice driving those cars. This route was built in a manner of "Stage 1" type of route from race games.
Though the head maid is fired up as she herself boards it, the magic vehicle doesn't need as much training as a bicycle would.
The controls are also simple, like in a go-cart. Even a child could drive this type of car once they got used to it. It might've been even better if I had made it a bit more complicated. However, we have no driving school after all.
After Lapis-san boards the car, she starts driving slowly. She makes a single lap around the courtyard to confirm the movement. It's quite the safe driving. She should be able to easily shop in the town as well once she becomes able to drive the car. Oh well, I guess the head maids don't usually go shopping.
While I am staring at the courtyard with such feelings, the smartphone in my pocket informs me of an incoming call. Eh? That~, it's from the Demon King of Zenoasu. Could it be that there was a defect in the cars that I delivered them?
『Ooh, is it the sovereign king of Brunhild?』
「Has something happened? I will hang the call if it's about your daughter Sakura, okay?」
『Wait a minute! I would like to do something about that someway or the other… nope, it doesn't matter right now, yup』
「And? Did something happen?」
『It's about the information that I received a while ago. The mutated Frazes that the sovereign king talked about, they've appeared in our country』
The variants are in Zenoasu?
『The location is a town called Radom. If am not mistaken, this town was full of thieves and ruffians, and a crime there was a daily occurrence. It fulfills the requirements of the place where the negative emotions gather, just like you've said』
「What about the residents?」
『Almost everybody turned into zombies with crystal bones. The number of the variants is just one. I dispatched an ogre corp, and they managed to defeat it somehow. There were a couple of victims in the end though」
Ogre corps, huh? If I am not wrong, the ogres have the power of ten humans, so it's possible that they could defeat even the variant. However, it shouldn't such an easy thing to achieve…
The appearance of crystal skeletons means the inhabitants' souls were "consumed". In order for the evil god to get stronger, "The soul eating" took place in Sandora and Restia as well. Don't tell me that this case is as well…
By appearing here, the mutated species have appeared in both worlds, the Surface and the Reverse. It looks like there is some scheming from the evil god.
There's a high possibility that a similar thing could happen again. The response tablet in the adventurer guilds can only react to normal Frazes. Though if we captured a variant alive and research it, we could make a new response tablet.
『The defeated mutated species crumbled and melted as expected, and once the cores of the crystal skeletons were shattered, their bodies broke to pieces as well. I am also told that the remains were collected just in case. Are they made of the same material as Frazes?』
「The basics are the same. They will harden if your pour magic power and their purity is even higher than the magic stones, so the effects are befitting. Still, those fragments cannot be fused, so the way they can be used is even more limited than that of regular Frazes due to their small sizes」
『It is a fortune nevertheless…. However, they could be called the victims' remains, so we are reluctant to use them though. The victims won't be able to rest in peace too』
According to his majesty the demon king, those who had their souls eaten cannot be saved anymore. They cannot go to the other world either. They are removed from the circle of the reincarnation, making an annihilation the only outcome. It's surely unbearable.I wonder if the evil god collects the energy of these souls and assembles them into the variants. I feel ominous with how it gradually stores more power bit by bit.
In any case, it's Zenoasu who defeated the variant this time, so the country is free to do whatever they want to with this crystal material. They can probably exchange it for money and repay the families and relatives of the victims. They also can make preparations for the future and improve their magic tools and armaments. Even small fragments can be processed into something like a scale mail, a splendid armor once the wearer pours magic into it.
After hanging the call with his majesty the demon king, I start to think it may be necessary to have some comrades in the Reverse World as well if such accidents continue to happen.
Suddenly, I look into the courtyard and notice that Lapis-san is driving the car at reckless speed toward the corner. Hey! You're going too fast! Turning the corner like that is…. eeeeeh!?
Lapis-san intentionally makes the tires glide, changing the direction of the car body and making it lean inside the turn as if almost bending it, and turns the corner without losing any speed at all.Drifting… no, is it motorcycle hang-on? No, it isn't a hang-on, is it called a "hang-off" outside Japan. Whatever, it doesn't matter.Though I am aware of how she managed to ride the bicycle quickly, what's with our maids' driving skills? Or rather, the tires are probably damaged…. They will go bald in no time.
While I was thinking so, I was wondering if we could do a race on the public roads like the principality of Monaco does.
The techniques of our household's maids are terrifying!!TL: Airsblue