I was probably stiff… but when old Uwe saw my face he opened his mouth.
Don’t you remember?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Wait a minute, you’re not gonna let that slide. I’m more surprised than you. Then the old man looked at me and said in a sarcastic calm voice…
“I cannot say whether it was not there from the beginning, or whether it was due to external factors, or whether you simply forgot about it.”
No, there’s a chance I’m forgetting something. It’s possible. But that doesn’t mean you can’t act like it.
“If you’ve just forgotten, there’s nothing I can do until you remember.”
I couldn’t stop thinking about it. You know, the wise men and hermits of old were like this. When they lose interest, they don’t care how much we care. You don’t have to recreate all that.
I’ll get the information out of him if I have to. I’ll wake myself up from my fatigue and complain.
What do you mean by “external factors”?
“Have you ever wondered what’s wrong with the world today?”
“I guess it depends on what you mean by funny.”
Old Uwe thought for a moment and opened his mouth.
“Right. Let’s start from the other side. Why do you think killing demons makes you stronger?
Why? Because in the game, when you kill an enemy, you gain experience EXP, and when you reach a certain amount, you level up. What does that mean in terms of the world?
“You can use any expression you like, but let’s call it primordial magic power. Even the animals, plants, and minerals of the natural world have this primal magic power… and by absorbing it we can say that our power is increased.”
“There’s a difference in how easily they absorb it and how easily they don’t. It’s understandable if you say that some demons are more easily absorbed from metal.
I see. For example, they say that iron frogs, like iron toads, eat iron and grow big. That’s as far as I got.
“That’s how you become able to use powerful magic you couldn’t use at first and how you can cut through the skin of demons that were too hard for you to stand up against.”
“When you defeat an enemy, can you absorb it?”
“It’s one way to absorb it.”
And as we absorb more, we get a little stronger. You mean… you don’t think…
“And the knights of the Order…”
Of course it’s the same.
I see. So it’s not just that you were able to fight General Gesarius in King’s Landing because you were well-equipped… Did you become strong enough to fight General Gesarius because you kept fighting and winning against the demon armies in the Demon Runaway, the Hildare Plains, and the Finoi Siege?
If he had remained as strong as he was when the demons went berserk, he would have been outmatched in the coming attack on the Four Heavenly Kings. I was having these doubts, but my thoughts were suddenly turned upside down by the next line.
“But under certain conditions, it can make you stupid.”
Huh? What’s that?
“Smart” has a broad meaning. A good memory, a good understanding, a good judgment… they can all be called smart.
“I can see that.”
“As the original magic grows, the affected demons will come at you unafraid. Have you ever experienced this before?
I’m sure there are. At Fort Veriza… and the aqueduct project. I’m the one who planned a plan based on the premise that demons aren’t afraid of people. Wait a minute…
“Do humans also stop thinking about danger and prudence when they’re too influenced?”
“Adventurers also consider the weaknesses of their opponents when they are just barely able to win, but when they become stronger, they tend to push their opponents. That’s an easy example.”
Sure, there are things like that, but… In this world, when your character gets stronger in a game, you can just throw a big magic spell at him to finish him off.
No, I don’t care about the game at this point. So, to sum up what old Uwe is saying.
“The influence of the original magic, which is stronger than in the time of the Ancient Kingdom, is making humans think less and less about what they need to do.”
“Or was that in another of your memories, Sir?”
I imagine that astronomy and architecture might have been developed in the ancient kingdom. When I explained this to him, he looked at me as if he appreciated it a little, which is rare.
“Hmm. We could have a little talk. Let’s think of a person as a piece of cloth. If it absorbs original magic by normal means it will be dyed a color. It’s best if it’s dyed beautifully.
“But dyeing it with a muddy color can even damage the cloth itself.”
So the cloth in the muddy areas will be unusable. In other words.
“There are two kinds of original magic?”
“I’m thinking that there might be a primal magic derived from the Demon King, but at this stage it’s just a theory I’m working on.”
I can’t help but think about it when I hear you say that. It’s as if the Ancient Kingdom didn’t have a Demon Lord. What’s a Demon King? The mystery deepens.
“It’s possible that Sir may have been affected by this, that it’s impairing his memory of what he needs.”
“If that’s the case, can it be cured?”
I don’t know.
Hey, old man. I understand that there aren’t many cases and that this isn’t something we can talk about openly. If this information gets out on its own without any evidence or testing methods… it could even be used as an excuse to attack him.
Of course we can’t experiment on him. It might look like we’re trying to create a dangerous monster, and if we do, we’ll be treated like a mad scientist.
“And there are differences among individuals. If a plague spreads, some will die from it, some will collapse but recover, just as some will be fine when everyone around them collapses.”
“Some people can think.”
In other words, is it possible to hypothesize that technology is declining more and more because more and more people think things only simply or are unwilling to learn difficult things?
It’s like a bad virus that destroys brain cells.
“Do Your Majesty and Your Highness know…”
“I’ve already told them about the theory that it’s the original magic power of the Demon King.”
You know about this? But I can’t carelessly publish this one either, that’s for sure.
“I’m sure it was under such circumstances that after the demon king’s attack at the end of the ancient kingdom, he experimented with transferring knowledge and memories before they were lost.”
“Transferring knowledge and memories.”
You can’t do that. No, the fact that you’re using the word “experimenting
“Have you not succeeded?”
“There is no record of success. I thought it was possible that you could have obtained a stone with a successful memory transcription on it.
Uh, yeah, I see. I see.
“We call it what it is… a transference of knowledge and memory in stone form.”
Well, that’s, uh, that’s, uh, that’s…
“… Could the Demon General’s nuclear core be…?”
“So it’s possible. I’m sorry I didn’t think such a thing existed.
“Does that mean the Demon King is using technology from the time of the Ancient Kingdom?”
I don’t even know if it’s the same technology.
We won’t know if they’re the same if we don’t check. But does that mean that the Demon Lord who destroyed the Ancient Kingdom might be using the Ancient Kingdom’s technology? The Witch King is using the Ancient Kingdom’s knowledge… it’s possible that the general can use the memories of the elemental bodies to apply the same technology to him.
No, wait. There’s some kind of contradiction here… but I can’t think straight. I can’t think straight.
“You’re full of hypotheticals after all.”
“Indeed it is. Hmm, just as well.”
Then he starts writing something, ignoring the headache I’m getting. He shoves the paper at me without sealing it.
What the hell is this?
“I want you to give it to His Majesty. You seem well qualified, and I’ll ask you to go to King’s Landing and investigate the matter of the Ancient Kingdom.”
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