After being seen off by the unexpectedly cooperative Irudo and Mora, I went out.
In my breast pocket are the scrolls of blank white parchment that he gave me.
My physical description must have already circled around, as I see people surrounding me at a distance. Though not to the level of the fevered reception that I got the day I arrived, their gazes are still filled half with respect and half with awe. Well, the eyes of the villagers back in Yuule were more heavily colored with fear, so I suppose this is still better.
“Alright, let’s just get going.”
I try my best to look full of confidence by straightening my back and walking composedly.
My destination is the Magician’s Guild. Yes, I remember the way now.
“Have you come to accept our offer from yesterday?”
The only person who comes out is the Vice-Guildmaster of the Lelis Magician’s Guild, Yahman. Oh well, I suppose he’ll do for today.
I tell him that I want to see all the records that this branch has on Shadow Demons, and that I want to sit in on an actual training session of the magic soldiers.
“Umm…… But showing the guild’s records to outsiders is……”
I exaggeratedly repeat what he said back to him and look straight into his eyes while putting strength into my abdomen.
“Though it is important to stick to every single word of every single rule in effect, this investigation is indispensable for my consideration of the offer from the other day. Are you unable to help me?”
If I go about this like my usual self, I would deprecate myself a bit more. However, as a ‘Great Wizard,’ I can’t very well go around bowing left and right for merely this level of negotiation.
“N-, no, I am not saying that you are an outsider…… Y-, you’re already at least a, um, consultant! Yes, I shall make the necessary arrangements immediately.”
“Glad to hear it. Convey my greetings to Heldol-dono for me too, will you?”
Before anything else, I need to know more about the Shadow Demons.
Inside the Guild’s large library, I pulled out every single book and scroll that had the words ‘Shadow Demon’ in its title.
“Uohh, my back……”
After several hours of concentrating on the records, I realize a dull pain and let slip a moan.
On the inside, Gio’s Constitution stat is 16, so this amount of exertion is supposed to be a walk in the park, but I guess it just means that’s how long I’ve been away from deskwork for.
“But still, based on all this, it seems that almost nothing is known about Shadow Demons.”
So I grumble to myself while gazing at all the information that I’d compiled.
Although there are a lot of books about Shadow Demons, they had almost no information to offer that I didn’t already know. Shadow Demons do not found countries nor societies. As soon as they are born from a [nest], they continue assaulting humans until they are killed…… If I had to say, they sound more sci-fi than fantasy.
However, I did learn a few things. First is the term Bleed.
It refers to ‘a mass outbreak of Shadow Demons.’
When they occur, they are catastrophes on the continent scale that can easily wipe out a country or two. So far, there have been two Bleeds.
On the parchment I got from Irudo, I have noted down ‘Year 815: First Bleed occurs.’ By the way, the calendar is based on Shulendal’s founding year.
The current year is apparently Year 1300, so this was almost 500 years ago. During the incident, the entire eastern half of the continent was destroyed.
How this Bleed was pushed back is not clear, but there are three main reasons that people raise: humans discovering magic, an existence called ‘heavenly soldiers’ allying with the humans, and ‘heroes’ going around and destroying a large number of Shadow Demon nests. Heavenly soldiers and heroes…… The location of the nest that birthed this outbreak—the source of this Bleed, in other words—is apparently a place called the Valley of Earthly Calamity.
Next on my notes is ‘Year 1134: Second Bleed occurs.’ This is the incident where the Carbanera Knight Order played a huge part. It originated from a cave called the Jaw of the Earth. Although it was only about half the scale of the first Bleed, it still wiped out all of the countries and cities in the central part of the continent, and was the impetus behind Shulendal’s break up.
This time, an allied force of humans, elves, and dwarves ultimately met, and broke, the Shadow Demon host at the Plains of Dawn (now called the Plains of Twilight). At the same time, several parties of extremely skilled adventurers successfully infiltrated the Jaw of the Earth and destroyed the nest inside. Compared to the first Bleed, records of this second one are more numerous and detailed. Whereas the first is ‘legend,’ the second is ‘war history’—that’s the feeling I get.
Ever since the second Bleed, Shadow Demon nests have been appearing in various locations around the continent at the pace of one every few years. So it was right that the last ten years of peace was unnatural.
“If the legends are included, it would mean that there were two previous allied forces.”
So I muttered to myself while doing stretches to loosen my back. Having precedents, that is good.
“There was also an unexpected discovery.”
On my note-taking parchment, there is now also a copied down map.
On top of it is the title ‘Continent of Sedia, Central Area.’
Indeed, with Lake Liuus as the center, there are 4 countries all around, one on each of the cardinal directions. In light of this positioning, it makes sense how the Liuus Union, of which Lelis is a part, is prospering so much through commerce. With this, I can now visualize the relative positions of all the places that I’ve heard about, including the Plains of Twilight, which is now a haunt for undead, the Valley of Earthly Calamity, the Jaw of the Earth, and even a few other new places with ominous names that sound right at home with the fantasy genre.
“Yagi used to draw ones like this all the time in his kanji practice notebook, didn’t he……”
I inadvertently look off into the distance while reminiscing about my school days. Then I slap both of my cheeks with my hands and rouse myself.
Because this is not a game, but a real world that I am planning to save.