“You just stated yourself as being a foreigner, and the lack of data about your person agrees with that fact.” Zero said in her usual tone. “However, taking in account the archaic garments and equipment you had in your person, as well as you insisting on something like a god sending you here leads me to conclude that you might suffer from delusions based on fantasy settings. While the cause of such delusions is unknown to me, it is enough for me to conclude that you require assistance.”
“And why the hell would a god sending me to another world be enough to conclude that I’m crazy?” I asked in a mix of annoyance and confusion.
“Because an entity such as ‘god’ has not been found or confirmed as of yet.” She replied.
“Oh, for god’s sake. If that’s so, then how do you think I arrived here?” I asked angrily while slamming my fist on the table. “I come from another world goddamit!”
“How you managed to stow away within a interplanetary cruiser is something that shall be left to further investigations.”
“Inter what of who?” What the hell with all those strange words. “I have no fucking idea what the hell that is, but no. I was just thrown here. I never stowed away or anything of the sorts, okay?”
“If you insist that you haven’t entered here via illegal boarding, then please state how you managed to arrive at this city.” She insisted. I sighed deeply for a moment before shaking my head.
“Look, it was a god’s magic, okay? Those guys are called gods for a reason, so I’m not even going to try to understand how the fuck they did what they did.” After a few meetings with them, you start to understand that logic does not apply to them and that its easier to give up.
“Your lack of inability to give concrete proofs supports the theory that you might suffer from either delusions or some other sort of psyche deviation.” While her tone was still the same as always, I couldn’t help but imagine that she sounded a bit more smug than before. “Since the very existence of the phenomenon of magic is but a fantasy, it just makes my standing even firmer.”
“…Huhh…” I felt my headache for a moment as I processed her words. “Did you just say that magic doesn’t exist?” I asked and she nodded. “…You should try harder, you know.” I said while sighing. “Didn’t you see the horseless metal carriages out there? That were FLYING for fuck’s sake!”
“Erm… I don’t know where exactly you took that idea out from, but those are nowhere near being magic, you know?” Dakota suddenly interrupted us, despite being quiet for all this time.
I froze in place for some time while trying to understand his words. Those things weren’t made with magic? How can such thing even be possible? Rather, aren’t the crazy one them here? But if I were to call them crazy it would just become a back and forth of callings, so I held back with a deep breath.
“I… You guys… Are you guys seriously trying to deny magic?” I asked after some time.
“This concept of magic have never been witnessed nor recorded reliably before, and has mostly been used as an archaic manner of trying to explain something that could not be comprehended with the available science of the time.”
“Look, I don’t know what’s this science of yours, but if you insist on magic being a lie, then all I have to do is prove it, right?” I said while standing up.
“Oi, boy. Aren’t you taking this a bit too far?” Dakota asked with a worried face that only left me more annoyed.
“Whether I’m taking it too far or not I don’t really care. I’m just getting annoyed with you guys saying bullshit.” That the whole world doesn’t have magic? What kind of ridiculous idea is that? “You want proof magic exists, then bring me my sword here and I’ll show you the fucking proof!”
“Aggression levels raising. If you do not calm down immediately I will be forced to resort to force.” Zero said while taking a stance with her bladed gauntlet and preparing to attack me.
Hah, does she really think she can take me on? I know that I’m nowhere near as good without my sword, but I’m sure as hell can take care of a knight wannabe like her. Flexing my muscles slightly and focusing my attention into her eyes, I awaited to see who would make the first move.
When all of a sudden Dakota raised his arm in front of Zero, who stared at him blankly for a moment.
“Stand down, PX.” He said tiredly, and Zero quickly relaxed her stance once again. “There’s a trick to deal with situations like this.” He turned to me and gave me a challenging look. “Here, kiddo. Let’s make a deal. You get one chance to show us this magic of yours. If you fail, you’ll get to do what we tell you without complaint okay?”
“…” Does he really think he have a chance at winning this? “And if I win?”
“Then I’ll keep my word and deal with everything for you.” He said with a shrug. “You won’t have to worry about the police again unless you do something serious.”
“Sounds good to me.” I said with a nod.
“Good. PX, bring the boy his weapon.” He said.
“Sir, I’d like to…”
“You’ll be here in case he tries anything funny. Don’t worry.” Dakota quickly shot her down. She nodded before moving out of the room. “In fact, if I were you I wouldn’t even try it.” He told me while shrugging. “I saw it with my own eyes when PX here managed to cut a sniper bullet in two.”
“…I have no idea what that means, but don’t worry… I’m not one to attack others like that.” I said, feeling a bit insulted that he’d believe that I’d attack him like that.
“And why would you even need a sword for magic? Wouldn’t it usually be a staff or something like that for a magician?” He asked me with a glint of triumph in his eyes.
“Because a staff is overkill for my skills and I’m much more used to a sword?” I replied bluntly. isn’t that obvious? I mean, yes, a staff is usually a better focus and all, but if I don’t have the skill to use it, then it’s much easier to use some other weapon instead.
He looked at me surprised for a moment before frowning troublingly. Not entirely sure why he’d do that, our impasse was solved once Zero walked in once again carrying my sword. She stopped before the table and offered me the weapon.
I picked up without losing sight of her keeping her guard up, ready to jump at me at the slightest sign of me being aggressive.
Ignoring their gazes, I focused a bit on my sword and checked for the mana stored in the focus. Surprisingly enough, it was still just as full as before. Not that I was going to complain about it, though. Nodding satisfied, I turned back and looked around the room.
“I hope there isn’t a problem if I break something here, right?” I asked just to be sure. Noticing my words, Dakota showed a slightly worried face for a moment before pointing towards a wall on the far side. Rather, a strange thing that looked like a jar of water upside down or something of the sorts.
“That water cooler there.” He said. “We can replace it easy-enough.”
For a moment I hesitated before finally nodding. Well, if they want a show, might as well give them one of my best spells. Well, it’s not a master level spell by any means, but it is an original advanced level spell. My only original spell to be honest, but that’s not what matters.
I focused the mana from the focus towards my other hand, and once there, I started forming the image I wanted for the spell, as well as creating the magic formation that corresponded to that image.
Pouring my mana into the image, I felt as the mana took form in my hand, extending roughly one meter into the air from the palm of my hand. Feeling that it was done, I turned my hand around and grasped the basis of the spell that quickly lit itself up.
Lightning crackled up as it spewed forth from my hand, taking over the space of the mana, and then expanding sideways slightly closer to my fingers. It was as if a storm had taken the shape of a sword in my hands.
Making a brief wave with the blade to get a feel for it, I quickly twisted my body slightly and swung it towards the water jar on the corner of the room. Extending the mana slightly while making the blade thinner, it crossed over the space and impacted with the jar.
During the contact, the tip of the blade dissolved, almost as if fusing with the object, before finally reforming as the blade left through the opposite side of the object. However, the dissolved lightning remained on the jar, crackling dangerously in a dark blue hue for a moment.
Soon after, the entire, machinery was covered in lightning and thunder that became brighter and brighter before finally exploding.
Reminder to self, expect wet clothing when exploding container of water.
While thinking so annoyingly, I started using the elementary heat magic go around drying my clothes. Since the other two were farther out, I guessed that they wouldn’t even need drying. Sighing, I turned back to them and awaited for their reaction.
Or I would have, if it wasn’t for the fact that Dakota had a dumb look in his face while Zero was completely frozen. Not even blinking… But then, I don’t think I saw her blinking previously, so I’m not sure if that counts.
“…Sir. May I request an emergency maintenance check to Doctor Garcias? My sensors seems to be giving me some impossible readings.” She said after a few seconds.
“Huuh… I… What… Just what the…” Dakota said confused, leaving me a bit surprised by his reaction. “Just… Hold on to that for a moment…” He said after a moment before turning to a wall. “OI! DID YOU GUYS ALSO SEE THAT OR ARE WE GOING CRAZY IN HERE?” He shouted.
I flinched surprised by his voice, however, not really understanding who he was shouting to, I prepared to ask him, but noticing his focused expression I quickly changed idea and turned towards Zero, but I immediately decided that she wasn’t in a better situation, as she looked absentminded… no, focused on something else.
…Could it be that they weren’t lying when they said there isn’t magic in this world?
No, that’s not possible. I mean, just look out there! How can they get all those things without magic? That’s downright impossible!
As I thought about that, someone knocked the door, and after Dakota gave permission, in came a man. With one glance I could tell that he was vastly different from Dakota, as he wore a long and white magician’s robe as well as a pair of glasses in his face. His long black hair was tied in a ponytail that fell all the way to his hip, a considerably long hair seeing how he was pretty tall himself. Looking like he was somewhere in between his twenties and thirties, he carried something in his arms like a book, increasing his studious look.
“Captain.” He nodded briefly towards Dakota. “I just received a transmission from PX saying that she received some strange readings, then the guys out there start a massive commotion unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”
“Well doc. If you are going to give PX a check up, might as well take the chance to give me one too.” Dakota said absentmindedly.
“Sir… you do know I’m not that type of doctor…” The man replied tiredly before shaking his head and turning to Zero. “Anyway, what exactly happened here for you to sent me that request?”
“…I am not sure if I possess the capacity to explain what happened, sir, seeing how multiple sensors seemed to have malfunctioned at the same time.” She replied coldly while turning towards the magician.
“What…?” The magician said, and once Zero turned her gaze back to me, he finally noticed my presence. For a moment he made a shocked expression, before becoming confused. “Huuh… Looks like I came at a bad time again, haven’t I?” He said awkwardly.
“Nah. It’s actually good that you came anyway.” Dakota quickly dismissed. “Oi, kiddo, do that thing again.” He said while motioning to me with his head.
“Ermm… I can’t do that.” I replied worriedly.
“…What?” Dakota replied confused. “Oi oi oi. Don’t give me that! Don’t tell me that was some kind of trick!” He leaned forward while looking doubtfully.
“Nah. It’s just that spell is a bit expensive, and I haven’t really had the time to stockpile enough mana in the focus to use it again.” I explained. “I need around twenty minutes to use that spell again.”
“Mana? Spell?” The man said with a frown. “Are you guys seriously saying that?” Oh god, even the magician?
“Well, I can use some other smaller spells though.” I said while stopping to think. Despite being the system I am the best with, lightning is a bit too mana-expensive, so it’s out. Guess I should go with earth then?
“S-Something else?” Dakota asked surprised. “Oh boy… I’m going to regret this, but yeah, go do it. And Doc, for the love of god, please tell me there’s a scientific explanation to what he will do.”
I frowned annoyed at how they insisted on trying to deny magic, but at least knew that it was having some effect. Quickly choosing my spell, I grasped the handle of my sword and held it in a reverse grip with my two hands, leaving the blade turned downwards, and stabbed it on the ground.
Slightly surprised at how resistant the ground is, I only managed to pierce the tip of the blade, but it was enough for me. Gathering a bit of my mana within the focus, I quickly had it course down the blade and into the ground.
“…What the…” The man said surprised as the ground undulated slightly underneath our feets. Focusing as much as I could, I soon had the stone in the ground dissolve into a thin sand. “PX!” He shouted. “Can you detect any sort of vibration on the ground?” He asked.
“None sir.” Zero said coldly while lightly raising her feet from the sand.
I heaved a sigh of relief after a moment while removing the blade from the ground. While the mana consumption was a lot cheaper than one would expect, this spell still required one hell of a lot of focusing to work. And it’s pretty useless considering it only affects a small area around the focus.
Falling back into the chair exhausted, I raised an eyebrow to the trio, asking if that was enough for them.
“Doc. Tell me you can explain that to me.” Dakota said with a frown.
“That’s… I… Maybe he have some sort of equipment hidden…” Doc said while looking around flustered, but he was quickly shot down.
“He’s not hiding anything under his clothes.” Zero said briefly. “Following the procedures for interrogation, I made a bodycheck on him and found nothing.”
“But… That’s…” The man said in shock before turning to me. “The sword… No… It would have shaken noticeably… And PX would manage to notice it…”
“…You guys really never saw magic before?” I ended up asking worried. Their reaction was far too natural for them to only be pretending.
“Magic is not…” Zero started saying, but she quickly stopped. “Captain, Doctor. Would it be correct to assume by your reactions that my sensors are not damaged?” She asked, but since the two of them didn’t answer she went on. “Should I change ‘magic’ as a non-fictional phenomenon in my database?”
“That’s…” The magician hesitated even more. “… Can someone explain to me what’s happening here?” He asked while grabbing his head on his hands.
In the end, all the eyes in the room turned to me as they awaited for answers.
…I’m starting to think this job might be a LOT more troublesome than what I originally expected.
“No one speaks about what happened in here with no one else. Are we clear?” Dakota said in his reliable mode to a few of his subordinates. Apparently, these were the ones who were nearby watching the scene while I was in the room. While I wondered how they did that, he went on. “I don’t care if the one to ask this is a superior or some bullshit like that. Unless I clearly state it, no one is to speak a single fucking word about this to anyone else. Are we in the clear?”
“Yes sir.” The men and women replied in a serious tone.
“…Is it that serious that I can use magic?” I asked confused.
“Affirmative.” Zero replied while approaching me. In her hands a strange transparent glass with black liquid and what looked like bread on a plate. “Your story and abilities are effectively new to our ‘world’, as you call it, and all that we built and studied basis itself on the premise that it shouldn’t exist. Your very existence have the potential of being an interplanetary issue without precedence.”
“Is that worse than international?” I asked when I heard the new word while gladly accepting the offered tea and snack.
“Yes. Much worse.” She nodded. “Are you familiar with coffee?”
“Oh?” I said surprised while looking at the cup of steaming black liquid with peculiar smell. “I have heard of nobles drinking it before, but no. Can’t say I’m familiar with it.” I replied surprised.
“It possess a bitter taste, so you might want to add a sugar in case it’s not to your liking.” She said while passing me a small sachet of… Paper?
After some help from her with the sugar, I took a sip of the strange beverage, becoming pleasantly surprised with the taste, I slowly drank it before taking a bite of the bread. Or so she says it is bread, but the bread I know is nowhere near as fluffy as this thing! And nowhere near as tasty!
“Damn, this is delicious!” I said amazed. “Anyway, what will happen to me now?” I asked after finishing the bread.
“That is up to the captain to decide.” She told me in her usual tone. “However, I can assume that whatever the captain’s decision is, most likely I’ll be in charge of escorting you.”
“Huh? Why’s that?” I asked surprised.
“As you already know, you are an unknown variable, however you also have proven to have considerable unquantifiable skills.” As she said that, I looked towards my sword and smiled a bit awkwardly. “Since your potential threat level is extremely high, the captain will most likely decide to leave the officer with the highest skills when it comes to fast subjugation watching over you, in case you decide to go rogue.”
“And that capable officer is you?” I asked surprised, and she nodded.
“Due to the very nature of my construction, I already possess skills that greatly exceeds that of a normal human, and since I am capable of processing information much faster and have been installed with various anti-personal tactics, I am the best choice for that.” I raised an eyebrow surprised at how direct she was, but after a moment I finally let out a brief amused laugh. “I cannot comprehend the reason for your laugh.” She said.
“It’s just that… It’s such a refreshing feeling to be doubted and be shown hostility upfront like this!” I said amused. Looks like I’m getting far too used to dealing with nobles and their veiled threats and whatnots.
“Showing hostility was not within my desired interpretations of my words.”
“Well, you still doubt and don’t trust me, right?” I said, and seeing her stay silent was enough to give me a good feeling. “Don’t worry. I’d rather that you leave it clear like this than be stabbed in the back like last time.” I said while patting my chest where the tip of the blade had left my chest.
Noticing that there was still a small scar left over from that moment, I smiled awkwardly before sighing and shaking my head.
“I seem to have made you recall some unpleasant memories. Apologies.” I turned to her and waved away. Not like it was that old of a memory anyway, and I’d recall it sooner or later. “Captain.” She said suddenly while turning away.
“Aah. I need to go to a bar after all this.” Dakota said while approaching us before putting on his serious face once again. “PX, until I sort this stuff out, I want you to keep a look on fantasy boy here, okay?”
“Affirmative, sir.” Zero replied immediately, meanwhile I smiled amused at her prediction.
“And as for you…” He looked curious for a moment before sighing and shaking his head. “God’s sake. What the hell am I going to do with you…” He said while falling on the chair besides us.”Officially, I should just go and lock you within a cell and be done with it… But my instinct tells me that’s just going to bring me trouble down the line.”
“Sir. I do not believe something as subjective as instinct to be a good measure for making decisions.”
“And it yet have to fail me up to this day.” Dakota replied bluntly before sighing. “If there’s one thing you seriously lack as an officer right now, it’s probably that. Otherwise you are probably one of the damned best ones out there.”
“Does that means that I’ll have to stay locked in a cell?” I asked worried. I’m sincerely worried about what would happen if I weren’t able to complete this one mission the gods gave me.
“Only for the moment.” Dakota waved away, leaving me slightly surprised. “I can call in a couple of favors and get things sorted out for you. Possibly say you are asking for a political asylum or something.”
“Then, does that means that you’ll help me?” I asked surprised.
“Haah. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I seriously don’t want to risk some kind of divine punishment or anything.” Dakota said with a sigh.
“I see. Is it that troublesome to just let me go and walk around the city?” I asked confused. “Or do I need to pay a fee or something like that to enter?”
“If we ignore the unknown variable part, the biggest issue would be your lack of ID.” Zero explained me. “Besides the fact that you do not exist within our systems, you would have no way of accessing most of the utilities in the city, including basic necessities and infrastructures, like food, hospitals and inhabitance.”
“Oh, then there’s no need to worry about that.” I shook my head relieved. “I’m used to surviving on hunting monsters. I can even camp outside of the town if that makes it easier.” Maybe even start a small farm too. I think I still remember how to work one after so long.
“I… Don’t think that’s going to work.” Dakota said awkwardly.
“Huh? Why?” I asked confused.
“Well, I don’t know about your world, but there’s no such a thing as monsters in here.”
“…W-What do you mean?” I asked shocked. “Don’t you have goblin raids? Orcs? Trolls? Wraiths? Slimes?” He shook his head, and in response I could only stare at them in shock. “…Are you serious?”
A world without goblin raids or anything of the sort… I can’t even begin to imagine how my world would turn out if we didn’t have to suffer with that! Heck, wasn’t that pretty much the reason for my journey in slaying demons?
“W-Well… I could just start working on a farm then…”
“Kinda difficult too.” Dakota sighed. “The closest place you’d have that was farmable is most likely some dozens of dozens of kilometers away, and as much as I want to trust you, it’s my job to do the opposite, so I’d rather have you closeby where it’s easier to keep an eye out on you.”
“Wha… How come?”
“Despite the use of farm-buildings nowadays, most of the land around the city is under the ownership of large farming corporations. The few areas that aren’t being used for farming, are under environmental protection protocols, and can not be deforested.” Zero quickly explained.
“So… Nobles already own all the land around here… Goddamit!” I cursed while holding my head in my hand. “What will I do then?”
“For now we’ll have to keep you in here since I can’t just go around breaking the rules.” Dakota explained before taking a deep breath. After a moment he suddenly stopped and seemed to think about something before turning towards me with a slightly disturbing smile. “Or… I could have you help us out.” He said.
“Help you out?” I asked curious.
“You see, we have a system in place that we allow some criminals to help us out with the investigations in exchange for a reduction in jail time.” His smile slowly grew bigger and bigger, making me feel a bit intimidated. “Of course, you don’t exactly fit the bill, but I can pull some strings here and there. And sincerely, getting you an ID isn’t as illegal as one might think.”
“Sir, I don’t think that is allo…” Zero started stating, but Dakota quickly shot her down.
“Look PX. This is the fastest and least rule-breaking way to solve this situation for both of us.” Dakota said to her before turning towards me. “On the other hand, this will mean that I’ll be pretty much tracking, and possibly even ordering you around for a good time. Though you will have a lot more freedom than if I were to throw you in a cell and leave you there until we find your non-existent birthplace to port you back.”
“That’s it?” I asked a bit dubious, and Dakota raised an eyebrow surprised.
“Maybe I wasn’t clear enough. Boy, You’ll literally won’t be able to drink a glass of water without me knowing. Leaving the city will be downright impossible even in the best situations.” he said seriously, but I sincerely failed in seeing the point of his warning..
“That doesn’t really sound much different from back when I lived in my village.” I said while shrugging.
“You had a tough life, didn’t yah, boy?” He said while making a complex face and putting his hand on my shoulders.
“Not really?” I replied confused. “Anyway, if all I need to do is to help out, then it’s fine by me. At least gives me something to do while I get used around to this world.” No magic, weird flying carriages, metal giants and metal knights… Yeah. I’ll probably need a long time to get used to it.
“Hmm… That’s good then.” Dakota nodded before sighing deeply.
“Well, we’ll also have to find a place for you to stay meanwhile.” He said while frowning.
“May I give a suggestion, sir?” Zero said.
“Warehouse 02 has been unused for a long time, and with a little refurbishing, it should be possible to make it inhabitable for a human” Oi, warehouse? Seriously?
“Ware… Oh, that’s right next to where your maintenance station is.” He said with a nod. “I see. That makes it easier for you to watch him, huh?”
No, seriously, no commentary on the whole warehouse thing? I thought confused.
Well, the fact that the warehouse was a few dozen times better than my old house is another matter altogether.