59 – The Pixies' Reports
──A few days later, Thor’s Perspective ──
” ──I have returned from my reconnaissance mission near the border.”
” ──I’ve burned information into my eyes and ears!”
” ──It felt so good to fly in my newly-made clothes.”
The pixies bowed to us.
We were in my room in the general’s mansion.
More specifically, in a [Simple Warehouse] I placed in the corner of my room.
We decided to hold a tea party here while Rukie was present, just like in the Demon Castle.
Therefore, Rukie, Mabel, and I were sitting around the table, drinking tea and talking.
The pixies were present because they had returned from their reconnaissance mission near the border just a short while ago.
They said they wanted to report to us as soon as they arrived, so we invited them to the tea party as well.
I really wanted to relax with everyone, but that was no longer possible.
A few days ago, we received information that the Imperial army was approaching, arriving earlier than we had been told and on a much larger scale.
Rukie, who was supposed to be on her way to inspect the border, was forced to wait at General Reisenga’s residence.
It would be foolish to proceed without being aware of the Empire’s movements.
Of course, General Reisenga and Chancellor Kelve had already dispatched troops to the border for reconnaissance.
The pixies, hearing this, also set out as scouts and just recently returned.
Can you tell me what you’ve seen?”
As Alchemist-sama orders.”
Soleil, clad in translucent clothing, stepped forward, standing in the center of the table.
She pinched her skirt and bowed before drinking tea from my spoon.
She then began to speak slowly.
“This time, we pixies went to scout the border region.”
Soleil nodded, then said.
“First of all, we saw a large number of soldiers heading towards the town of Nosa near the border, with an arrogant-looking warrior at the front and a carriage in the middle of the unit.
It was a magnificent carriage with a sword and flower emblem.”
“An insignia with a sword and flower……”
“Thor-sama, do you know what that is?”
“I think it is an insignia that is drawn on the carriages of female members of the Imperial family.
It is possible that an Imperial princess has come from the capital.”
“Is it the Princess of the Holy Sword?”
Mabel asked in an uneasy tone.
I turned towards Soleil and said,
“That’s why you entered the town of Nosa, isn’t it Soleil?
“Yes, that’s right.
I was finally feeling better, so I thought I should at least do that much.”
Soleil puffed up her chest and pumped her fist slightly.
It seems that soaking in the foot bath daily had revitalised her.
“If it was the Princess of the Holy Sword who had come, the Demon Territory could end up in turmoil again.
So Soleil and the others snuck up to the building she is staying in, but……”
“It’s not the Princess of the Holy Sword.
The princess that Soleil saw had very strong and distorted light magic.
You can’t handle a holy sword with that kind of magic.”
Soleil nodded with a serious look on her face.
Since Soleil is a light pixie, she was able to sense light magic.
“What do you mean by distorted?”
“It’s like Soleil’s magic before she was healed by Alchemist-sama.”
Soleil replied to my question.
“No, it’s even more distorted than mine.
It’s like water that should be flowing has become stagnant, stagnant and frozen.
That state must be very painful.”
“Why would they dispatch such a person to the border?”
My case was the same.
Why would the Empire do something so reckless?
It’s as though they were attempting to discard a useless person in a distant location.
“Soleil, do you have any other information about the princess?”
Rukie asked Soleil.
Soleil spoke to the other pixies and then combined all of their reports.
“The people there called her “Sophia-sama”.”
“Sophia, that should be the name of the princess.”
Rukie turned towards me.
“Do you have any idea who that princess is, Thor?”
“No, she is probably an Imperial princess who doesn’t possess the right to the throne.”
The names of the princes and princesses are disclosed to the nobility, but the names of those without the right to inherit the throne are kept hidden.
That seems to be the treatment given to those who are born to the emperor but lack the power to fight.
They never appear in public and are used in political marriages.
“Soleil heard a bit of her conversation.”
“What did she say?”
“She said, “I want a smartphone”.”
“A smartphone? That legendary item?”
I raised my voice involuntarily.
Both Rukie and Mabel were surprised as well.
“What a formidable princess.”
“Isn’t a smartphone the legendary all-purpose item the heroes used?”
It’s not strange that they were surprised.
A smartphone was of great importance to the heroes.
They were from another world and always desired to use the smartphone.
However, there is no record of them ever having used one in this world, and the prevailing theory is that they either were unable to bring them or that they were sealed away when the heroes were summoned.
Also, according to the stories of the heroes, the phone possessed the following abilities:
The ability to observe the ground from a high vantage point, like a bird.
The ability to connect to a space harbouring many surging emotions.
The ability to speak to people in a different location.
The ability to have anything in the world delivered to you, for a price.
Its abilities were numerous and varied.
When I read the record of the heroes, I thought, “Are you kidding me?”
“Thor, can you create a [Smartphone]?”
Rukie was glancing at me, a small shiver running through her body.
I shook my head.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t.
I don’t know its shape, structure, or its specific capabilities.”
“Isn’t it in the [Mail Order Catalogue]?”
“I found phone cases and accessories for smartphones, but not smartphones themselves.”
As there were no pictures of smartphones in the [Mail Order Catalogue], I was unable to confirm what they were.
In the first place, I wasn’t aware of the method to create such a versatile item.
I didn’t know what materials I required, nor what attributes were suitable.
It was a fantastical item that my techniques didn’t measure up to.
“Yes, that’s right.
It’s the kind of item a hero would want.”
“But, I’m curious, what does Thor think it is?”
“I think that it is a key item for grand ritual magic.”
It was impossible for a single item to possess that many abilities.
Perhaps rituals that granted wishes were commonplace in the other world.
The [Smartphone] was likely the centerpiece for the ritual.
“Looking at the smartphone case in the [Mail Order Catalogue] shows that it is about twice the size of our palms.
It’s difficult to imagine that something so small can be used to speak to people far away or order items from all over the world.
“So you believe it’s a key item used in wish-granting rituals.”
“Perhaps they place it in the center of a magic circle or on an altar to worship.
Or something similar to that.”
I can’t make a smartphone right now.
However, someday I will try to replicate it with my [Creation Alchemy].
That will be my evidence, that I have transcended the heroes’ world.
“I’m sorry for digressing.
Did the princess say anything else?”
I asked Soleil.
Soleil thought for a moment and then said.
“She said, “I’m not going to fight against the Demon Lord’s territory.
I’m not going to start a war or involve the people in it.”.”
“She has no intention of fighting the Demon Territory?”
An unreadable expression was present of Rukie’s face.
Mabel was also nodding her head, and it was likely that I was showing a similar expression as well.
“That is contrary to the actions of the Imperial army.”
We turned our attention to a map on the table.
It was a map of the border region and the area around the Empire’s town of Nosa.
The white stones on it indicated the location of Imperial troops.
They were placed based on the information provided by the scouts of the Demon Territory and the pixies.
“This is the town of Nosa.
There is a plain to its west, and the scouts have confirmed that the Imperial Guard is conducting exercises and firing magic on the plain.”
“There is a road near the plain, isn’t there?”
“As I mentioned before, the Demon Territory trades with the villages of the Empire.
This is the road that is taken.”
Rukie used her slim finger and traced the road.
With this, even I understood the Empire’s intentions.
“If the Imperial soldiers use this plain for military exercises, it is probably to harass us.”
“It’s a troublesome situation.”
Rukie moved the white stone closer to the road that led to the village.
She then grabbed some black stones and moved them from the Demon Territory to the town.
If we assume that the black stones are the merchants of the Demon Territory, they will pass right by the Imperial soldiers conducting military exercises.
It was a troublesome situation without a doubt.
If the imperial soldiers were present, they would be able to monitor the wagons exiting the Demon Territory.
If military exercises were conducted while the merchants were travelling, magic and arrows could fly at them.
If that happened, we wouldn’t be able to trade peacefully.
It would be difficult for the people of the human town to do so as well.
“Are we still trading with the Empire?”
“We are currently being overlooked by the Empire.”
Mabel answered my question.
“Many residents of the Empire are interested in the specialties of the Demon Territory.
There are also some items that are difficult to obtain in the Demon Territory, but can be bought in the Empire.
That is why we’ve been trading in secret.”
“So, the Imperial soldiers are aware of this and have come to harass us?”
Rukie furrowed her brows, a disgruntled expression showing on her face.
“However, Princess Sofia said that she doesn’t wish to fight us.
Those are likely to be her true thoughts.
She was unaware of the presence of pixies, so there was no reason for her to lie.”
“Even if she was aware, it’s odd that she would go out of her way to say that she wasn’t hostile.”
Mabel and I both nodded back at Rukie.
“You can tell that they have malicious intentions by observing the movements of the Imperial soldiers.”
“So the princess’ intentions differ from those of the Imperial army.
I’m curious about that…”
“Would you like me to ask her?”
Soleil raised her voice.
“The pixies will go speak to her.”
“If we speak with a burning passion and sincerity, I’m sure that our words will get through to her.”
“A warm and sincere conversation, from the heart!”
The other pixies were nodding their heads in agreement.
“I appreciate the sentiment, but the risk is too great.”
Rukie shook her head.
“The princess surely has her bodyguards stationed nearby.
The more you go back and forth, the more likely you are to be discovered.”
“””What do you think, Alchemist-sama?”””
Soleil and the rest of the pixies stared at me with pitiful looks.
“I agree with Rukie-sama.
I don’t want to place any of you in danger.
I know the pixies are skilled at concealing themselves, but that doesn’t mean you are impossible to detect.”
I’m certain some of the Imperial soldiers are experts in magic and martial arts.
They may be able to perceive the presence and appearance of the pixies.
I don’t want them to do anything dangerous.
I believe it’s better to think of another way to determine the princess’ situation…
“──I want to be useful.”
“──I’ll make sure she doesn’t know I’m a pixie!”
“──Please, allow us to help you, Alchemist-sama.”
The earth pixies, along with Soleil, bowed to me.
The wind pixies were eating sweets without a care.
The one that was looking at me had crumbs covering her face.
I’ll wipe them off for you, so don’t move.
But…… Not allowing them to know they’re pixies…
Yes, that would decrease the danger.
For example, if they transformed into an animal.
May I ask you something?”
I wiped the pixie’s mouth before turning towards Rukie and proceeding.
“What is the most inconspicuous creature in the town of Nosa?”
“The most inconspicuous creature? I’ve heard that there are countless owls and cats in that town.”
“Owls and cats?”
I heard that the people in the town rear owls and cats to hunt rats and other vermin.”
“So, if an owl approaches the princess’ room and delivers a letter…”
“That would be inconspicuous, but it’s impossible.”
Rukie shrugged her shoulders.
“Birds are unable to execute actions as complicated as that.
They would need to avoid the soldiers and approach the princess when she’s present.”
“What if a pixie transformed into an owl or a cat?”
Rukie was puzzled.
Mabel was covering her mouth with her hand, as if she had noticed something.
She seems to have realized what I was trying to convey.
“Thor-sama, are you planning on creating an item similar to the [Body Pillow]?
Mabel said, staring intently at me.
“The previous [Body Pillow] was a pillow that was transformed by magic power.
You are planning on applying that technology to create a magic item to transform into another form, aren’t you?”
Mabel is right.”
I opened the [Mail Order Catalogue].
I had already found the item that matched that description.
It was on a page near the pillow.
I flipped to it right away.
Your family will be transformed into something cute, such as puppies, cats, birds, etc., and head into a dream world.
Children who are difficult to put to sleep will willingly go to bed in this pajama set.
Also available for adults.
Parents can wear these pajamas and turn their homes into an animal wonderland!
Let’s return to nature and deepen our bonds through skinship.
*We have limited quantities of penguins, pandas, and zebras.
*Other animals can be custom ordered.
Feel free to contact us for more information.
“It’s a transformation item no matter how you consider it.”
“I think so as well, Your Majesty.”
I read the contents of the catalogue, and Rukie and Mabel nodded.
“So this item can transform someone into an owl or a cat.”
“If someone becomes an owl, that person won’t stand out.
I believe we can have the pixies deliver the letter to the princess this way.”
“I’m not sure if I’ll actually use it for reconnaissance until I’m certain it’s safe, but it will definitely be useful…”
“We could even transport a wagon to the town without revealing ourselves.”
Both of them were looking at the [Mail Order Catalogue] with a glint in their eyes.
The same was true for the pixies, who were able to fly while wearing their [Onesies].
If they could take the form of common animals, they would not be recognized as residents of the Demon Territory.
The problem is…
“The question is… whether or not I can create this item.”
I myself could tell that my tone wasn’t as confident as it should have been.
“What’s wrong, Thor? Normally, you would have already begun creating the item.”
Rukie peered at my face.
“I think there’s something missing.
For me to make this item…”
Do you remember the pillow I made for you before?”
“Yes, I do.
I remember that it took the form of Mabel and Thor.”
“I didn’t see it turn into me, but during the experiment, it did look just like Mabel.”
Rukie and I looked at Mabel.
Mabel, perhaps remembering that time, turned bright red.
“But that [Body Pillow] was unable to express Mabel’s charm fully.”
It was probably able to express only about one-tenth of Mabel’s charm.
I didn’t sense Mabel’s charm and vitality from that [Body Pillow].
It’s true that it was breathing and exuded body heat, but that was all.
I explained this to the others.
“In order to ensure the pixies’ safety, the pajamas must be able to transform into something that resembles a real bird or cat.
However, I don’t yet have the confidence to recreate the life force, the vividness, and other such aspects.”
I can guess why.
I believe it might be because I haven’t had much interaction with people.
When I was at home, I was almost always neglected by my family.
I don’t even remember being picked up by my parents or other family members.
At work, I spoke to people occasionally, but most of my time was spent managing items.
I didn’t have much time to interact with people or get close to them.
That’s why I lacked a proper understanding of the life force of living things.
I believe that is the reason why I am unable to imbue a vibrant life force into my items.
“So, I have a favor to ask Mabel.”
What is it, Thor-sama?”
“Would you please allow me to hug you for a moment?”
Mabel stiffened, holding her teacup in her hand.
She widened her eyes in surprise, and I continued.
“Of course, I’m not going to do anything strange.
I just want you to allow me to feel Mabel’s body heat and heartbeat.
You see, when an artist touches a masterpiece, it stimulates their senses.
This is the same.
Throughout my time here, I’ve seen Mabel and Rukie’s beauty, so I thought that by feeling your vibrant life force, my alchemy skills would be further awakened and stimulated.”
“P-please wait a minute, Thor-sama.
Give me some time to decide.”
Mabel, who said that, took a deep breath and looked at me with a serious face.
Then, after calming herself, she continued.
“Yes, I have decided.
Please continue talking, Thor-sama.”
So I decided to take the time to explain to Mabel – and to Rukie and the pixies, so they would understand – why I wanted to hug her.
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