Leila led Hermes to one of the guest rooms for him to use temporarily.
It seemed like it would take some time for Katia to tidy up her appearance and explain Hermes to everyone, so he waited in the spacious guest room with nothing to do.
He decided to use this opportunity to repeat the chant from before.
Then, his magic was activated. A jade tablet materialized before his eyes.
Currently written on the terminal’s surface was information on the Bloodline Magic—The Archer of Magic Bullets, Mistle Tina—which he recreated in the battle from a short while ago.
He didn’t have any time back then and recreated it instantly, but after getting a better look at it—
“…Bloodline Magic really is pretty.”
He muttered, his voice carrying feelings of both admiration and longing.
It had elaborately crafted formulas, which were layered with countless mana circuits.
As expected, the structure of Bloodline Magic was in a different league of complexity compared to generic magic. A myriad of magical elements intricately intertwined with each other, resulting in something magnificent when put together.
It was just like an orchestra, with a wide variety of instruments playing their own unique part.
…I’ll use this magic, too—
Right when Hermes was reaffirming his own goals, he suddenly heard a knocking sound.
“Sir Hermes, is this a good time?”
Leila, the same maid who showed Hermes around just moments ago, opened the door and asked him a question.
He turned off his magic and said it was alright.
Then, Leila gave a gentle bow by the entrance and spoke.
“Thank you for waiting. Lady Katia and the current head, Sir Jurgen, said they would love to speak with you. I shall guide you to the reception room, so could you please follow along?”
Leila opened the imposing door to the reception room.
Past the door was Katia, who was sitting on a sofa in front of Hermes and wearing a simple one-piece dress.
Sitting on the sofa in the back was a man observing Hermes. He had a gentle look in his eyes, yet Hermes felt like he was being appraised.
His purple hair was carefully done, and he had the same amethyst pupils as Katia. He had slender, sharp eyes and wore glasses with a thin frame.
That man was Katia’s father, as well as the present head of the Trakia household.
Jurgen deemed Hermes acceptable and began to speak.
“Hey, Hermes. It’s been a while…or is that not quite the best word? You’ve grown, huh.”
“…Yes. I was a bit surprised when I saw how little you’ve changed, Sir.”
Considering how close their two households were during Hermes’ childhood, Hermes had naturally been acquainted with Jurgen. When Hermes gave Jurgen his honest impression of him, Jurgen responded with a wry smile.
He took a seat next to Katia after being urged by her.
“I got the general gist of things from my daughter… I must first give you my thanks for saving Katia from her predicament. Thank you.”
“N-No! There’s no need!”
People of high social standing shouldn’t bow their heads so casually. And yet, despite that, he properly gave his thanks when it was necessary. Hermes remembered he was fond of that aspect of his, and it seemed like he hadn’t changed in that regard.
“So, Katia said she was confident in the magic skill you displayed at that time and wanted to employ you as a guard, but… In order to do that, I need to check a few things. For starters—”
“Sorry, but won’t you activate your magic for us, Herm? Right here, right now.”
Katia finished what Jurgen was about to say.
I don’t really get it, but I suppose it’s necessary.
“…Thus was the world created by the inerrant truth herein; Heaven and Earth are two of the same in the face of the one true miracle.”
Just like he did in the guest room a short while ago, Hermes activated his otherwordly terminal.
“It’s quite pretty. What’s the name of that magic?”
“The Inscription of Genesis, The Emerald Tablet.”
“…I see. I’ve never heard of or seen that magic.”
With a look of slight surprise on his face, Jurgen nodded and asked the next question.
“How did you obtain that magic?”
“A certain person taught me it.”
“And who is that person? Is it someone from this country?”
Here it is.
“…I deeply apologize, but I cannot answer that.”
Hermes needed to make a few promises with Rose if he was going to the royal capital.
One of them was to never speak a word about Rose.
Hearing his answer, Jurgen narrowed his eyes.
“The head of the Trakia household of dukedom is asking you. Do you still refuse to answer?”
All of a sudden, Hermes felt the pressure from Jurgen rapidly become heavier.
…That moderate demeanor of his made it easy to forget, but Jurgen was, without a doubt, the current head of a prestigious duke household. Moreover, he was employed as the Minister of Justice at the royal palace, too.
In order to achieve such a position in this country, you needed immense talent and ability; skill in magic was absolutely indispensable as well.
This was the crushing pressure of a remarkable man who possessed both great authority and competency. Your average noble kid would’ve blown their cover long ago; even Katia began breaking out into a cold sweat. Despite that, Hermes—
“Yes. I cannot answer.”
Fully composed, he repeated his previous answer.
“Is that because you’ve been forbidden to speak by someone of a higher position than me?”
“No, it’s not to that extent. However… I don’t want to become an apprentice that breaks the promises of their most respected master.”
Hermes could tell that Rose had deep ties with the royal capital from her ability to use Bloodline Magic and her way of speaking.
So, if Hermes thoughtlessly blabbed about his master here, it was easy to imagine the repercussions his actions would bring to not only himself, but to his master as well.
If I ever do something like that, I’ll leave the royal capital at once. With that in mind, he stared right back at Jurgen.
“…Hm, good answer.”
Jurgen stared at Hermes with an impressed look and changed the subject.
“Then I’ll put that matter aside for now. Tell me the particulars of that magic. According to what I’ve heard from Katia, you utilized The Archer of Magic Bullets, Mistle Tina that Chris uses by means of that magic’s effect. Am I correct in that understanding?”
“Then is that magic’s effect copying Bloodline Magic?”
“Strictly speaking, it’s not copying… It’s more so that it recreates the magic that I see.”
“…Is that really true?”
Jurgen’s voice was tinged with a hint of surprise greater than before.
“Are there any limitations or anything to that ‘recreation’ of yours? For example, you can only use each magic once, or there’s an upper limit to the amount of times you can use each magic?”
“? I don’t have either restriction. I’m able to use the magic I’ve recreated once whenever I want if I memorize it. I’ll still be able to use the same magic if I memorize a different one.”
“No way! Is that true!?”
This time, not only Jurgen, but even Katia showed their abject astonishment on their faces.
His “recreation” didn’t copy magic unconditionally, but rather, it memorized the recipe of the target magic; naturally, there weren’t any of the aforementioned limitations.
However, even Hermes didn’t expect them to react so strongly.
It was true that he definitely had confidence in his magic, but Hermes thought he was being overestimated by a long shot, considering Jurgen was a duke who existed at the peak of the world of Bloodline Magic.
In actuality, Hermes himself overestimated Bloodline Magic, so he missed the mark on why they were so surprised.
“Ah, but of course, I cannot immediately recreate something as complex as Bloodline Magic. The Archer of Magic Bullets, Mistle Tina, which I’ve observed since childhood, was a mere exception to the rule. I believe it would take a reasonable amount of time to recreate other Bloodline Magics.”
“No, your magic is still plenty ridiculous…”
“…That’s right. In short, the more magic you recreate, the more you can add to your infinitely-increasing repertoire of magic…
“No, while that might be true in theory, you have to consider just how much time that would take…”
Hermes tried his best to clear up their overvaluation of him, but their facial expressions remained unchanging.
“…If we’re careless with this, we could flip noble society as we know it on its head… Katia, grabbing him was the correct move. You did well.”
“I didn’t think it was this earth-shattering either, Father…”
In the end, Hermes had a feeling they ended up evaluating him far more outrageously than before.
“…Now then, this is my last question. Now that I’ve grasped how skilled of a magician you are, I have to be cautious when I ask you this.”
Then, after clearing his throat and straightening his posture, he regained his stern aura and asked his question.
“What’s your objective?”
“That’s right. Why did you, who possesses this much power, return to the royal capital? As long as I don’t know why, I cannot keep you in this house.”
Usually, Jurgen wouldn’t go as far as to ask this kind of question.
However, Hermes’ power carried heavy implications. Besides—
“I’m baffled as to why you saved Katia, too. Based on what she said, you saved her without a single clue as to what was happening.
“Thinking from the standpoint of a noble, your actions were just too unnatural. In the most extreme case, it’s even possible that you’re plotting with your brother to trick Katia and curry favor with the Trakia household.”
“So, what’s the reward? Your comeback to the Flembreed household Thinking about it like that, not only does everything you’ve done add up, it would be the most natural course of action for you. Actually, I have plenty enough reason to kick you out just because of that suspicion.”
Jurgen kept an eagle eye on Hermes, letting no falsehoods go unnoticed as he doubled down on the pressure with his words.
“…You have a point. Well then, I will start by explaining my motive.”
Jurgen was both the head of a duke household and a father worried for his daughter; Hermes believed his suspicions were just.
That’s why Hermes decided to speak his mind truthfully.
“My object is to discover my own magic… I suppose that’s a little vague. I want to create magic with my own two hands.”
“Yes. I want to recreate a large amount of magic, then understand the principles behind them all. After that, I’ll create my own Original Magic. I want to bring forth magic as beautiful and wonderful as Bloodline Magic—or perhaps even beyond that—as proof of my existence.”
Not a counterfeiter, but a creator; not a performer, but a composer. That was what Hermes wished to be.
To him, recreating a large amount of magic was nothing more than a means to an end.
By recreating, he’ll understand the process by which magic forms, then use that to find and create his own magic.
That’s exactly why Hermes and Rose called The Inscription of Genesis, The Emerald Tablet a “seed”. Using a variety of magic as fertilizer, it was the medium by which his flower of Original Magic would bloom.
“…What you say is preposterous. However, that magic of yours might just make it possible.”
“Thank you very much. Now then, about my reasons for saving Miss Katia…”
In all honesty, he was just swept away by the circumstances.
His relatively strong sense of gratitude toward Katia was the biggest reason he wanted to make her his ally.
However, if he were to list a reason besides that, then—
“‘You don’t need to get mixed up into this’ is what she said.”
Yes, back then—
No matter who looked at it, she was clearly in dire straits, and anyone’s help would’ve been greatly appreciated. And yet, despite that, she attempted to distance Hermes from her plight.
At that moment, Hermes had a thought: …Ah, this person hasn’t changed. She’s still the same kind girl that used to cheer me on.
“I believed it must’ve been some sort of mistake that such a splendid lady was labeled as a criminal. That’s what I wanted to believe, so I saved her. Even if my judgment was in the wrong, I found it ridiculous to simply watch her get carried away without question… Is this… too weak of a reason?”
“Quite. I suppose I should say it’s naive. You based your decisions on such fleeting impressions of the situation—I can only call your actions short-sighted.”
Hermes’ reason was from the heart, but Jurgen ruthlessly brushed it aside.
However, his face abruptly went from stern to gentle-looking.
“Having someone who believes in Katia to that extent honestly makes me happy as her father. Besides, if you made your decision while keeping the fact that you might be wrong in the back of your mind, I won’t mindlessly criticize you. Everyone makes mistakes.”
Then, Jurgen eased up on his intimidation and went back to his initial gentle aura.
“Now then, sorry for drawing this out. About the matter of Katia hiring you… Yeah, it’s alright.”
“Actually, I’m the one who wants you to accept. If there’s someone like you protecting my daughter, then I’ll have nothing to worry about. Katia should be fine with that…Katia?”
Katia’s response was somewhat strange, so when Hermes looked in her direction, her face was beet red for some reason.
“Umm… I’m glad Herm thinks of me like th-… I mean, thank you very much for granting me the permission to hire Herm, Father! Now Herm can be at my side around the clock… to act as my guard, of course! What a delight!”
“…Yeah, I get how you feel, but you’re the daughter of a duke; try to learn how to hide your feelings a little more, alright?”
Thus, Hermes found employment at the royal capital as a servant of the Trakia household and Katia’s guard.
Today’s chap. I took some time off to focus on schoolwork for a bit. Tomorrow will be two magic arrow, see you guys then.