Chapter 9 – Duke Nürnberg’s Circumstances

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“Duke Nürnberg, are you finally going to meet your doom? At the end of slaughter and a reckless rebellion, only your bad reputation will be left behind for future generations. You will gather the curiosity of future historians and novelists as historical villain.”

“Don’t give me that, demon. Do you plan to accumulate my slander while living for another millenium?” (Nürnberg)

“It looks like you are unable to learn either, Duke Nürnberg. Even if I am a demon, I will not live that long. My esteemed self will become 187 years old this year. If I live another century, I will reach my life expectancy.”

“Bah! It’s plenty as long as you can live that long, no?” (Nürnberg)

The Duke Nürnberg household is currently in the abyss of downfall.
There are many among my retainers and following nobles who believe that it’s yet too early to give up and that they can survive if we concentrate on a defensive battle in the southern area, our own domain. First they plan to defend against the invasion of the imperial army and then they want to survive by forming a military alliance with the Helmut Kingdom. Such opinions were growing in numbers every day, but something like an alliance with the Helmut Kingdom is impossible.
After all unifying the continent would become impossible if I allowed a foreign power to intervene in the process of consolidating the Empire.

“If we don’t aim for the unification of the Empire with our own hands to the bitter end, there won’t be any meaning in having started a rebellion.” (Nürnberg)

“Such pointless pride is going to shorten your life.”

“Are things turning out as you expected?” (Nürnberg)

Be that as it may, I will perish as long as the situation goes on like this.
The failure of the assassination of Earl Baumeister and the catching and killing of Therese through our conspirators, the loss of many magicians starting with Talrand, the appearance of His Highness Peter, a rival I didn’t even anticipate.

“It is completely as if fate is out to kill you.”

“Humph!” (Nürnberg)

Fate, you say?
I don’t believe in fate or such crap.

“In history—at times, an unexpected hero is booorn—I say.”

“Shut your mouth, demon.” (Nürnberg)

The youngster called Peter, the third son of the incompetent emperor who begged for his life twice in front of me. Born from a commoner mother, many nobles ridiculed that guy by calling him 『Commoner Prince』. You say, that commoner prince is going to destroy Duke Nürnberg, this me of a noble family ranking next to the imperial family in the Empire!?

“Lineage and ability are unrelated to each other. Since you do not even understand that, you are going to lose in the same way as that emperor.”

“As usual, an irritating man.” (Nürnberg)

“My esteemed self is always misunderstood since I am honest.”

I don’t think that’s the problem here though.

“Mysteriously people with great talents surround Earl Baumeister.”

“Now that you mention it, you’re right. Even so, don’t haunt me, Earl Baumeister. Demon, is your guys’ blood flowing through that fellow?” (Nürnberg)


Joining up with the Kingdom’s ultimate weapon; are these guys monsters?
It makes me suspect them having the blood of demons flowing through them.

“Mixed bloods of demons and humans vanished from this continent close to ten thousand years ago. Accordingly I would advocate for an Ancestor Return as possibility.”

“Ancestor Return?” (Nürnberg)

“It is something originating from the era called Ancient Magic Civilization by you humans, which perished a long time ago.”

“Explain.” (Nürnberg)

Since the demon seems to know something, I requested an explanation from him.
Right now I want to get my hands on any information for the sake of fighting off those guys.

“Sophisticated magic techniques were developed in the era of the Ancient Magic Civilization. They traded even with our demon country.”

“Which reminds me, you came from the distant west, didn’t you?” (Nürnberg)

His appearance was that of middle-aged gentleman you can find anywhere with his white tuxedo, his silk hat, his monocle and the small moustache serving as his traits, but as characteristic for demons, his ears are long.
That guy suddenly appeared in front of me.
At first I suspected whether he isn’t trying to corrupt me, but he made fun of me saying that I read too many stories. As far as I understand, this demon seems to be an archeologist.

『Duke Nürnberg, since there is a great number of precious ancient inheritances in your territory, I would like you to allow me to investigate them.』

To be frank, I couldn’t get a read on this man’s true character.
Is he aiming to spread chaos on this continent with the demon country pulling the strings in the back? Did he approach me, who holds the authority over this region with its underground ruins, out of simple, intellectual curiosity? Either way, as result I got my hands on a large amount of legacies of the ancient civilization.
Suicide-bombing golems that imitate animals, mass-produced dragon golems and a huge sorcery device jamming 『Movement』 and 『Communication』. I obtained various items which were very useful for starting a rebellion.

『Leaving the numbers aside, rare items did not appear as much as I had expected.』

The person himself seemed to be slightly dissatisfied with the result.
Another dubious aspect of the demons…this guy is the fact that he won’t tell me his real name.
That’s why I’ve been calling him demon, but he doesn’t complain about that either.
He’s a guy I don’t really like, but he cooperates with me by repairing and doing maintenance on the excavated items.

『You bastard! After all you are a spy of the demon country!』 (Nürnberg)

『Since this esteemed self has smuggled himself out of the demon country, that’s not the case.』

All about him is shady, but it’s a definite fact that this guy possesses a huge amount of mana.

『There are only few demons. In exchange, all of us are magicians.』

The demons mana pool was marvelous.
While regularly providing mana to the jamming device, he silently continues his research by himself as he performs maintenance and repairs on the artifacts.

『I guess I have to really pray that the demons won’t come attacking.』 (Nürnberg)

『There are various demons. Demons proposing an expansion towards this continent exist as well.』

『Expansion, you say?』 (Nürnberg)

『The demons have reached their limit as a race.』

It looks like it has become difficult for children to be born among the demons throughout the last thousands of years.『A declining birth rate. Although the demon country located in the west lies on an island, it’s as spacious as an average subcontinent. There’s no war, and the government is stable as well. And yet the number of demons not marrying grows, causing less children to be born. It looks like the birthrate will soon fall below 1:1. By the way, Nürnberg Dukedom is exceeding 4:1.』1

Strange words such as birth rate came out of his mouth, but what bothers me most is the matter about the demons’ 『Expansion』.
Words are sure convenient.
Even if that was an invasion for example, it’s possible to gloss it over with such words.
In other words, there are demons advocating for an invasion of the continent in the demon country, just like there are advocates for a southern expedition in the Empire and for a northern expedition in the Kingdom. Right now their numbers might be insufficient, but if the declining birth rate advances in the demon country, that opinion might become more prominent.
Isn’t it usually the other way around?
No way, war is human instinct.
Even the foolish masses, who weakly declare that they hate war and denounce war as being vain, celebrate a victory of their lord or their country as long as there are no injured or dead among their own relatives. The winners exploit and violate the defeated, abusing the difference in level between them.
It’s not strange for the demons to adopt a way of thinking of compensating for their own lacking numbers by dominating the humans, an inferior race. It is possible that the demons will attack this continent where the humans live for the sake of recovering their own instinct of propagation.
That means it’s necessary for me to rule this continent to prevent that from happening.
Even if I have to use this demon.

“Let’s get back to our topic. You said that Earl Baumeister is an Ancestor Return?” (Nürnberg)

“The amount of his mana is below advanced level if judged by demon criterions. It is still growing and as such it is very likely that it will go beyond advanced level even using the criterions of the demons. Since that is impossible for humans of the present time, it is appropriate to consider it as Ancestor Return of a human from the era of the Ancient Magic Civilization.”

“You are quite well-informed, aren’t you?” (Nürnberg)

“It is not like I actually saw it happening, but there was a technique to artificially increase the numbers of magicians in the Ancient Magic Civilization.”

“What did you say!? Such technique existed?” (Nürnberg)

“It is a technique that has been destroyed 10,000 years ago.”

As might be expected of one with a main occupation as archeologist. The demon knows a lot about the era of the Ancient Magic Civilization.
He knew of an outrageous technique to manufacture magicians.

“Since the demon country has not perished, there are relatively many documents about that time left. The Ancient Magic Civilization pushed the development of magic techniques into the extremes.”

In the era of the Ancient Magic Civilization a loosely united alliance of nations was formed.
Their own country, located in the centre of the continent, was a powerful state, but since there wasn’t much political instability, they apparently allowed the small countries in the rural areas a certain degree of free ruling.

“I guess that especially applied for the Akitsushima2 Republic in the southernmost area of the continent. Their people chose their rulers through an election.”

“It’s roughly the same for the Empire as well though.”

“Only the parliament members can vote in the Empire. The Akitsushima Republic allowed for all men and women above 18 to vote. It is the same in the present demon country.”

“Humph, isn’t that a mob rule then?” (Nürnberg)

The masses, who don’t even understand politics well, are allowed to choose the politicians?
Even the current imperial parliament would only throw the politics into chaos by increasing the number of foolish parliament members.

“It might be, but politics are only a means. If those actually carrying it out are capable, the political system itself does not really matter.”

“You are an archeologist and a political scientist at the same time?” (Nürnberg)

“I am just repeating what a former colleague told me. Returning to the topic, they increased the needed number of politicians through the development of magic techniques.”

But, there’s no way for a big number of magicians being born so suddenly.
Therefore they started researching the artificial increase of magicians.

“At first it was a series of failures, but at last they discovered a method. They found something connecting mana and magic inside the blueprint of life.”

“Blueprint of life?” (Nürnberg)

“All living beings come into existence based on this blueprint. For children to resemble their parents is owed to this.”

“Wait. There aren’t many magicians born through inheritance. Rather, inheritance has absolutely nothing to do with it.” (Nürnberg)

If being born as magician was hereditary, this world would have likely been filled with magicians long ago.

“Since it will turn into a complicated, theoretical treatise, I will only give you the simple explanation. That blueprint of life contains extremely recessive hereditary components.”

“Recessive hereditary components?” (Nürnberg)

“If a child between blonde-haired and black-haired parents is born, which colour will prevail in the child’s hair colour? It is the black hair. In short, blonde hair is a recessive heredity.”

I see, I guess the black hair is the dominant inheritance.
That means my suppression of the Mizuho people is correct.
If that group is allowed to propagate, they will erode and overthrow the Empire from within.

“The blueprint of a magician has extremely recessive heredity. It will not be inherited unless both parents possess it.”

“Hey, there are children between two magicians, who aren’t born as magicians as well.” (Nürnberg)

That why I said the world would be full of magicians if that wouldn’t be the case.

“There is one more heredity component required. This has been described in related documents as 『Mana Materialization and Increase』.”

“In other words, you are saying they won’t become magicians without it?” (Nürnberg)

“They will not be able to become magicians without both components. If it is just one component, anyone possesses a certain quantity of mana if it is the humans on this continent. Even among the humans nowadays there are many people holding the magician blueprint. If you were to investigate by collecting hair from the fief’s population as test, it would come down to 20%. Considering it statistically, I think that will be the rough average.”

Statistically, eh…?
It seems like various techniques and studies have advanced in the demon country.

“Meaning, the technique to create magicians artificially developed during the era of the Ancient Magic Civilization is a technique which allowed for the blueprint of life’s 『Mana Materialization and Increase』 to be established, right?” (Nürnberg)

“It is just as you say. Since it is a technique not needed by the demons, it is a lost technique by now.”

Even though it would be possible to mass-produce magicians if he knew; how regrettable.

“So, why do you regard Earl Baumeister as Ancestor Return?” (Nürnberg)

“It was written in old documents. It is said that the artificial magicians, which appeared during the era of the Ancient Magic Civilization, all possessed mana at his level. Also, I examined the information from you. All his wives are magicians.”

“Something wrong with that?” (Nürnberg)

“For all of them to be magicians is statistically strange. According to the documents that was not true before the marriage.”

Certainly, that’s a weird coincidence.
But, isn’t it possible to consider it as them having realized their talents as magicians through a capacity unification after the marriage since they had the qualifications for becoming magicians to begin with?
Except for the 『Saint』, 『Storm』 and 『Destruction Demon』, the other two are intermediate level.
What about the possibility of them not having realized it for a while since it’s intermediate level, although that’s plenty valuable too?
No, a mana examination during childhood should be obligatory in the Kingdom.
Indeed, that’s strange, isn’t it?

“There is one more thing we know from the old documents. Even if they have both blueprints3, they will not awake to their talent as magicians until their death unless they get stimulated.”

“What do you mean?” (Nürnberg)

“The ratio of those possessing both blueprints among the population of Nürnberg Dukedom is 8%. This is also an average value.”

“Considering that, the number of magicians is low.” (Nürnberg)

In the first place, for what reason are examination crystals provided even to rural villages in the provinces if they apparently don’t become aware of their talent? Doesn’t that cancel out any meaning in doing so?

“The ratio of magicians who realize their talent through capacity unification and examination crystals is identical to that during the Ancient Magic Civilization’s era.”

In other words, less than one percent, huh?

“Even though they possess the blueprint of life, they didn’t give concrete form to magic. At first they apparently forced people to awaken through harsh training, but the efficiency of this was bad.”

If you could become a magician through strict training, it shouldn’t be strange for people, who can use magic, to appear among the soldiers of my Duke Nürnberg household’s feudal army.

“As result of repeatedly going through various researches, they discovered another blueprint of life. It was the birth of the artificial magicians, who were provided with all three blueprints. These artificial magicians had an important characteristic.”

If you make children with an opposite sex possessing the three blueprints of life, the child will become a magician with a probability of almost 100%.

“Next they forcibly drew out the talent as magician by applying a stimulus to those who had two blueprints of life and had not materialized magic,” the demon explained. “As result of that, it allowed those, who were considered to be unable to use magic until then, to invoke magic. Even those, who could use magic, increased their mana by drawing out their latent abilities. Because of this, the humans of the Ancient Magic Civilization’s era increased the number of magicians.”

I see, so that’s what led to their great prospering, isn’t it?

“However, if Earl Baumeister is an Ancestor Return… Demon, what’s the factor for pulling out one’s potential latent abilities?” (Nürnberg)

“There is one instance where humans surpass demons. It is their sexual desire supported by their fertility. Because it is accompanied by pleasure, the number of humans has grown massively, resulting in them having far bigger numbers than the demons.”

“Don’t prattle bullshit. It’s probably the same for demons, too.” (Nürnberg)

Since there’s no difference in appearance with humans, it’s absolutely unthinkable for them to increase by laying eggs.
I never heard a story like that.

“The young demons in recent years are called herbivores as they show no interest in love or marriage. Many of them immerse themselves in their hobbies and work. The government’s countermeasures against the falling birth rates keep failing in vain.”

I guess their liveliness as living beings might weaken the less trouble they experience in their lives while maintaining an advanced civilization.
Hmm, I suppose no matter what country or race it might be, they must not run out of troubles.

“I guess the wives of Earl Baumeister, who possessed latent abilities to begin with, had their materialization of mana enhanced due to their wedded life with him. However, even the researchers of the Ancient Magic Civilization had bad taste…” (Nürnberg)

“Is that so? It’s the easiest way to increase the number of magicians. Because magicians were treated kindly back then, women, who wanted to become magicians, and women, who wanted to give birth to a magician, approached the artificial magicians, and the artificial magicians had the freedom to choose any woman they fancied. It was the dream of any man.”

“That’s true.” (Nürnberg)

Since I’m a man as well, I definitely understand that sentiment.

“But, why did such factor appear in Earl Baumeister?” (Nürnberg)

“That part is a mystery. Investigating it is the job of scholars and researchers. However, the reports related to Earl Baumeister you showed me are strange.”

“Strange, you say? How come?” (Nürnberg)

I had Earl Baumeister investigated using quite a bit of time and money.
A man of that caliber is going to become an enemy or an ally?
Either way, it was necessary to know the other party well.

“Do you deny my investigations?” (Nürnberg)

“There is only one part that is strange. The time when Earl Baumeister materialized his mana. Your reports are mentioning that it is assumed to have happened at the age of around 5 or 6. This is weird.”

“Why?” (Nürnberg)

“If one materializes the factor of an artificial magician, they will be endowed with mana at a level that it is clear at the time of their birth.”

“That might be owed to his home not having the means to examine him in the countryside.” (Nürnberg)

“It is common for a rainbow-coloured light to shine immediately after their birth, called 『Rainbow of Artificial Magician』. Certainly he is no abandoned child either, so it is very unlikely for his family of the woman that delivered him to not have noticed it.”

“In other words, something happened to Earl Baumeister when he was 5 or 6 years old? What about him awaking to his talent by coincidence at that time?”

Is there any guarantee that all of them definitely awake their talent right after being born?

“Did you properly listen to what this esteemed me told you? As the blueprints of life are inborn, it is impossible for it to suddenly appear later on.”

I see. He’s saying that it’s already decided at their birth since the blueprints are imprinted in them.
That’s why it’s impossible for an artificial magician to suddenly become aware of their mana later on.

“I hear that Earl Baumeister was born after his father passed an age of 40. It’s assumed that his first wife gave birth to him at an advanced age, but it’s also possible that they falsified the reports after having another woman give birth to him, isn’t it?” (Nürnberg)

It’s a story that often happens among nobles. A child born by a woman, who’s not a wife, is pretended to be the child of a legal wife.
Indeed, if that’s the case, I can understand.
If the mother is a poor farmer’s daughter, there’s a possibility that she didn’t realize his talent.

“Let me ask for caution’s sake, but are there cases where the blueprints of life suddenly change?” (Nürnberg)

“There are. But, it is impossible on this continent right now.”

“Impossible right now? What do you mean?” (Nürnberg)

“It means that it should have been possible 10,000 years ago.”

It’s probably the matter which caused the sudden and unknown collapse of the core nation of the Ancient Magic Civilization that boasted an overwhelming prosperity and unified the continent, albeit through an alliance, 10,000 years ago.
In spite of them owning magic technology far more superior than nowadays, this country apparently perished all of a sudden on a certain day.
It remains a mystery as the archeologists and historians of the Empire and the Kingdom were unable to discover the reason until this very day.

“Us demons are not omnipotent, therefore we do not know the precise reason for the destruction of the Ancient Magic Civilization, but we do know the gist of it. There are also materials left behind which have been discovered by a research group on the past.”

“That’s something I hear about for the first time.” (Nürnberg)

I didn’t ask since I have no interest in archeology, but this guy has partial knowledge that goes beyond archeology.
Even if I ask him something, he will dodge answering, and at certain times he will suddenly talk all by himself.
Is it because he’s whimsical as researcher? Or is it because the demon country stands behind him?
There were also situations which made me mad, but if I anger him imprudently and hurt this demon’s feelings, I will be troubled as the option to talk with him will vanish. Let’s stay modest here.

“Simply put, it is a mistake triggered by arrogance.”

“Mistake, you say?” (Nürnberg)

“They had reached the point where they could handle a huge amount of mana due to the increase in magicians by the artificial magicians. It seems like they experimented with some kind of huge magic device.”

“They failed and it exploded…?” (Nürnberg)

“According to the demon research group that entered the actual location afterwards, it was apparently a staggering explosion.”

It looks like the Gigant Crevice was created at that time. In addition, the capital and its vicinity in a range of several hundred kilometers mostly vanished. The pillar of the nation that ruled the entire continent disappeared all of a sudden. The chaos and ruin after that is easily imaginable.

“They focused an unbelievable amount of mana in one place and it detonated, scattering across the continent. The places, where clusters of mana stuck, became monster domains, also referred to as bruises of the continent.”

In other words, does that mean there were no monster domains during the era of the Ancient Magic Civilization?

“What about the monsters?” (Nürnberg)

“Once thick mana passes through a body in quantities impossible normally, the blueprint of life of living creatures changes. There are many creatures that will not grow up, becoming malformed or dying, but among them, there are also some who survive and prosper as new species.”

I guess that’s the true nature of monsters.

“What about the boss of a domain?” (Nürnberg)

“It is an existence that contains the biggest amount of mana in a domain, therefore the excess mana clinging to that area will vanish once you defeat it. Once that happens, it will become difficult for small and medium-sized monsters to live in that area.”

Hey hey, don’t dish out answers to things even the researchers of both countries don’t know anything about.
This is the reason why I must not become careless towards demons.

“You possess an extensive knowledge, don’t you?” (Nürnberg)

“It is because I am an expert. There are also many among the recent young demons who will not study.”

“You will be hated if you complain in such manner to the young people.” (Nürnberg)

“Even my esteemed self was told the same by the elderly in my early days.”

I ended up understanding the historical truth, but I suppose it’s not related to an improvement of the war’s situation.
Given that it’s a truth that’s not known among humans, except for me, it gives me a bit of a predominance though.

“Right! I forgot about Earl Baumeister. Why did that man suddenly became an Ancestor Return?” (Nürnberg)

“The term Ancestor Return might not be very appropriate. The third blueprint of life very rarely materializes without any technique to attach it. It is correct to say that it appeared in Earl Baumeister by chance.”

“Wait a moment. Isn’t that weird? During the era of the Ancient Magic Civilization it was probably possible to inherit it to the next generation by affixing it. In that case, why haven’t the descendants inherited the third blueprint of life?” (Nürnberg)

“It is because even the lost technique of affixing it has a limit of affixing it for around several hundred years. If you do not use the affixation, the inheritance of the third blueprint of life to the descendents will gradually stop.”

In addition there was probably chaos after the collapse of the Ancient Magic Civilization as well.
The majority of the continent’s soil should have been transformed into monster domains.
In order to expand the area where humans can live, magicians possessing the third blueprint of life were mobilized in big numbers and died in the battles against monsters.
I guess that’s how it turned out?

“Humph, so Earl Baumeister and his descendants will live in peace for the next several hundred years?” (Nürnberg)

As family possessing the inheritance component of a magician, they will be appointed to responsible posts in the Helmut Kingdom and contribute to an accelerated development of the Kingdom.

“And I lowered the national power of the Empire by causing a rebellion at the worst possible timing, huh?” (Nürnberg)

“It is a story that often occurs in history. It is better for you to not worry about it.”

“You are the one telling me that?” (Nürnberg)

The slightly belittling conduct and speech of this person. Is he really a scholar that has no interest in politics? Or did he make me start a rebellion upon orders from the demon country?
Either way, I’m bothered that I can’t get a read on the thoughts of this demon.

“So, are you going to defeat Earl Baumeister?”

“If I can.” (Nürnberg)

No way! He’s a valuable pawn to increase the number of magicians. Though, at the moment there’s no other option but to kill him, is there?

“It would be great if that goes smoothly.”

“I still have an ace. Get it ready soon.” (Nürnberg)

“I will at least return the debt of gratitude for providing me a lodging and meals.”

The demon headed out to prepare the final trump card that will be used in the final battle which will likely take place very soon.
I guess the demons are dangerous after all. I have exploited technology by using that guy, but it will take hundreds of years to overtake the demons. In order to oppose the demons the humans have to band together and work as one in the end.
Facing the demons while cooperating with the Kingdom is dangerous. It’s possible for them to join forces with the demons for the sake of securing their own survival to one-sidedly overrun the Empire.
The humans’ power must not be split into two.
For the sake of unifying the Lingaia Continent, I won’t even mind being cursed as devil in the future.
Furthermore, even if I have to shed the blood of many people, I will definitely unify the Lingaia Continent.
If I don’t accomplish that, just for what reason have I been born as Duke Nürnberg?

Therese, it’s the same for you as well, right?


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Translation Notes:

  1. Explained by Raufgar here:
  2. Ancient name for Honshu
  3. magician and the mana increase and propagation

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  1. Pingback: Hachinan tte, sore wa nai deshou! – Volume 10 – Chapter 9: Duke Nürnberg’s Circumstances – Infinite Novel Translations

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