Science Shall Prevail Over Magic / Science Shall Prevail Over Magic Chapter 15
Lithium, 15th Chapter: The Royal Capital of Vander
Made it to the Daily Rankings of SF category.
Thank you, readers!
Thereafter, Shin’s bunch proceeded downstream by the riverbank. After spending one more night in the forest, they finally came out to a stretch of short trees.
“Once you’ve arrived here, you just have to walk. Over there is The Royal Capital of Vander.”
“…That’s the Capital?”
Under the blue expanse of sky was a stretch of all green.
The river they were walking by till now continued on to a great expanse of ocean.
Grandly situated across [the river] was a stone castle inside a castle town, which appeared vast even from this distance.
“Frey, what’s that tower in the center?”
“Aah… that’s a Mana Cannon. It’s the remains of war. Every royal capital has one constructed to keep the counterpart in check, but it’s no more than a decoration. You can think of it as a giant version of Manacraft.”
Towering into the sky like a skyscraper was an enormous pillar, the apex of which was in the shape of crosses piled upon crosses.
From the description just now, Shin guessed it to be an equipment that consumed a massive quantity of Mana Calculus to fire an outrageous energy blast.
“Such a thing is good for nothing? What a waste.”
In the past three days, he heard a lot of things about this world from Frey. From the value of money, to the market prices in the Kingdom; from the various races, to the types of beasts. Even about an existence different from a beast called a monster.
Incidentally, monsters and humans had been tangled with each other since forever. To resist monsters that were able to freely manipulate mana, Manacrafts that could utilize Mana Calculus were developed.
From that story, what not-unexpectedly caught Shin’s interest was the natural energy called Mana.
What was called Mana Calculus was a crystallized form of Mana; it was nature’s power through and through. Mana Calculus held a special place in the evolution of human civilization.
Moreover, amongst humans were those who exhibited the same power as monsters—that is, absorbing Mana directly into their bodies.
From what he was given to understand, those humans called Mages were considered special in the days bygone. However, after the advent of Manacrafts that could be used freely, they were not that special anymore.
Listening to that story, ‘Even if I used technology in public, I would only be taken as a mage,’ thought Shin.
A vast prairie was surrounded by mountains soaring in the distance, the tips of which were tapered like that of a deadly weapon.
Taking a hill that was relatively less undulating, Shin and Frey crossed the fields and turned their feet straight towards Vander’s Royal Capital.
When Shin subconsciously checked his Device for time, it was past 4 o’clock. They had left the forest just before noon, so four hours had passed.
Because his destination was right in front of his eyes, the time he took to travel from the forest to The Royal Capital felt longer [than four hours] to his body.
“At last. Is it because I was with Shin that the time spent felt so worthwhile? It felt longer than before.“
“Should I take it as sarcasm?”
“Haha, I was kidding. The Royal Capital is big; don’t get lost.”
With Frey, his relationship with whom had reached the point of ‘kidding’, he proceeded to what seemed to be the entrance to The Royal Capital.
The Royal Capital was enclosed within several meter high castle walls, which spanned laterally over dozens of kilometers. From that alone, the immensity of the site area could be inferred.
Onward from the entrance, the townscape progressed higher and higher. Enshrined at the summit of this ‘castle town’ was a white walled castle, watching over the entire town.
Standing motionless at the entrance–a recess in the castle walls–was a man, who appeared to be a gatekeeper, donned in a helm and an armor superior even to the flame sword wielding man’s platemail.
Shin and Frey were inspected with a sidelong glance–a glance that said ‘no issues’–as they passed him by and set foot into The Royal Capital.
“What are you going to do, Shin? Since I’ll be going straight to the Guild, you’ll be heading to an inn, I suppose.”
Shin didn’t think as far ahead as an inn.
Shin, who had the concept of sleep missing from his head, had never thought about contemplating such a thing.
Besides, Shin was penniless in this kingdom, so he could not be expected to avail an inn.
Hence, what took precedence was to find a way of earning money.
“Even if you say, ‘what are you going to do?’ I’m broke at the moment. I’ll find some work.”
“Aah, you are. Well, since I splurged whatever I had, I’m in a similar situation… Still, I can lend you the amount of money you need to pay for an inn’s charges. If it’s you Shin, you can return twice as much in no time.”
“Surely you jest. I don’t even know the ‘G’ of guild.”
Before arriving here, Shin had heard from Frey about work.
Frey, who had estimated the level of Shin’s ability, was shocked upon finding that he was not registered with the Guild. However, upon recalling that he was a rustic, she caught on.
Although there was a variety of work in this world. Those who were strong, especially those who could use Mana Calculus or weapons and excelled in combat, all aimed for ascendance under the banner of the Guild to make it big.
There were also some who scraped along on meagre work; and some who were able, yet joined hands to earn meagre but risk free income.
Receiving the Guild’s introduction from Frey, he walked on the street that was abounded with stone, brick and wooden houses. Admiring the castle town, Shin stepped towards the Guild.
The Guild, being a two story building, was not prominent in terms of size compared to other buildings in the vicinity. However, it was painted in a mesmerizingly brilliant white.
‘It must be repainted regularly,’ felt Shin since the rest of the buildings had a dull color about their walls.
Opening a pull door resembling that of a luxury store, he stepped in.
The interior of the Guild was, like the exterior, painted in a brilliant white and adorned ubiquitously with plants for decoration.
“Isn’t this place beautiful? Even more so considering this is where battle maniacs who want to make a fortune gather…”
“Did you imagine it to be a filthy bar?”
Receiving the last remark with a “Well…”, Shin surveyed the interior.
Slightly beyond the entrance was a stone podium-esque counter, upon which laid a scarlet cloth.
Across the counter were several people deep in conversation with some scary men, who faced the counter.
“Posted on this huge bulletin board here are work quests. From regular ones, to ones in the Kingdom’s jurisdiction. To accept the work, you take this paper to the reception over there.”
Installed by the indoor wall was an oversized white woodcut, upon which many sheets of paper were pinned with the help of something resembling pointed end of a knife.
There existed other woodcuts too; it would take an effort to browse through them all.
“…Like this one?”
“Every bulletin board pertains to a different class. If you go to the reception, you will find quests not posted here. That said, in your case, Shin—you’ll have to register first. Let’s go.”
Following bewilderedly after Frey who was briskly heading to the place called reception, Shin presented the very image of a bumpkin from countryside.
The man at the counter had already completed the procedure, and in his place stood Frey.
“Ara… didn’t you set out on a journey, Frey?”
“W-Well, I had a matter to take care of… For the time being, I have decided to work here again.”
“Really? On behalf of the headquarters, I’m grateful that an excellent Guild member has decided to stay.”
The woman at the reception, who seemed to be acquainted with Frey, chatted with her for a short while.
The first impression of the receptionist, who seemed to be called Neil, was ‘graceful’. Her naturally blue hair, which looked far from dyed, was complemented greatly by her gentle countenance.
“Work will be for later. For now, I want you to register this person with the Guild…”
When Frey turned around to Shin, the receptionist Neil shifted her gaze onto him.
Upon that indication, Shin stepped forward next to Frey.
“Is this your first time in the Guild?”
“He came from countryside. He has never seen the Guild before, so please be gentle with him.”
For some reason, Shin felt embarrassed.
As you would expect from a receptionist; even in a castle of those taking to the battlefield, she was exuding elegance.
Whether it was owing to the uniform the woman called Neil was clad in, or the air about her, he had no idea. However, he felt indebted to the label of bumpkin he had put on himself.
‘Am I thoroughly a resident of this world now? Seriously…’
‘I am an Earthling,’ Shin reminded himself. He was somehow able to reassure himself that he was not in fact a bumpkin.