34. Sin Examination

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“――Head in, No. 15.”

One of the men in black said arrogantly, pointing past a heavy metal door with his chin.

“……What’s this room?”

I asked, but the man doesn’t move as though he didn’t even hear my question.

I reluctantly looked towards Gazaine behind me.

“Don’t worry. It’s not like we’re going to lock you inside an isolation cell.”

“……But no matter how you look at it, this is an isolation cell.”

That room was the inside of a stone cell, located deep underground.
It was around the size of four and a half tatami mats (2.73m2), but there were no windows and the ceiling was pointlessly high.
Above the ceiling there was a barred skylight, but it’s hard to call that a window.
Aside from that, if you looked closely you could see some round holes in the walls, but they were smaller than a grown man’s fist.
Although I had a lot of doubts, this solid stone room would normally be considered an isolation cell.
And it was the type that people who have committed a heinous or political crime would be locked up in.

“What, are you scared, 《Baby Scarlet》?”

“……I just have to go in, right?”

When I enter the cell, the door was closed and barred from the outside as I expected.

“……Melby, are you there?”

“I’m here. Don’t worry.”

Melby said when I asked with some unease, and she caressed my head while remaining invisible.
As expected of everybody’s big sister.

―― Five days have passed since I was kidnapped from the Viscount Chrebl estate in Fauno City.

During this time, I was surrounded by the leader and the other gloomy troops dressed in black , and they watched me closely as we walked on an off-road path in the forest.

I would occasionally feign tiredness to take breaks, as I thought of trying to confirm my location, but not only was the path very crooked, the important thing was that I was blindfolded so I could only tell that we were heading roughly west of Fauno City.

But then again, Melby who remained by my side whilst invisible (or should have been) could see our surroundings without being blindfolded because the evil <Yatagarasu> leaders were unable to see her.
That said, it seems like Melby had never travelled so far away from the Fairy Hamlet so whether she could have grasped our location was doubtful.

But since Melby was there, we could escape through the gate to Fairy Garden at least.
Because of that, I was given great peace of mind.

Now, five days later, we had left the forest, crossed plains, scaled valleys, arriving at something like a crevasse in a cliff wall.
It probably took five days because I, who am less than a year old, frequently requested breaks and the men in black purposefully taking us on a lot of detours to hide the path to this location.

The men in black jumped into the crevasse without any equipment.
The leader, Gazaine, asked,

“――Do you need someone to carry you?”

but I ignored his question and threw myself into the hole.
I write ♭ (physik) in mid air and fell gently, winking at the black-clad children staring in wonder as I landed.

At the bottom of the crevasse was a space the size of a gymnasium from my previous world.
Left at one end, there was a bogie with a metal seesaw on top.
I wondered what it was, but then I looked closer and saw tracks laid out under the bogie.
Which means, this is that.
A rail car that moves by pushing the seesaw alternately up and down.

Next to the rail car, there was a cleverly hidden small hole.
Heading to that hole, one of the men in black knocks his knives against each other in a steady rhythm.

Gotogotogoto……

A dull noise reverberated from far away.

“――Get on.”

Gazaine says, and I got on the cart without really knowing why.
Aside from Gazaine and I, two other men in black got on the cart.
The two men in black start pumping the seesaw in alternation, propelling the cart forward.

“Ooh.”

“Hmph……acting like a brat for something like this.”

Gazaine scoffed at me, who was genuinely moved.
The cart passes by multiple junctions and arrived at yet another gymnasium-sized area.
I realised it when we passed the junctions, but that signal with the knives was probably a sign to switch the tracks.
If you didn’t do that then you would probably end up at somewhere else or, in the worst case, you might even end up taking a dive off some open pitfall.

This space, unlike the last one, had some metal doors lined up.
At the centre there was an excessively solid-looking small door with regular-sized doors spaced a fair distance to the left and right of it.
The regular sized doors were left open, with stairs visible inside.

I was taken to the door in the centre―― which leads us to the scene at the start.

“Oi……oi!”
I attempt to yell out from the isolation cell(?) but there was no response.

“What are you trying to do……”

Since there’s nothing else to do, I sit down in the centre of the cell.
The corner is dark, so it’s not like I can tell what was there.

……Wait, if it’s dark, I just have to light it up.

“∩(Light)”

I create light, then survey the rest of the inside of the cell.

But all I could tell was that it was a uselessly cleanly carved air space in a stone.

I wonder if the randomly scattered holes in the walls are air holes.
But there seems to be too many of them if that’s the case.

I attempt to investigate the wall, moving ∩(Light) over to it but then,

“……∃(Erase)”

A voice sounds from the hole in the wall and my ∩(Light) was erased.

In the cell where darkness has fallen again,

“I see……so they were voicepipes.”

I nod as if I’ve solved one mystery.

“Oi, I know you’re listening. Why are you doing this?”

As expected, no response comes.
I waited a few minutes, but no sign of something happening comes.

“……Then, what to do…?”

I say to myself, thinking.

――Then,

“……I guess I’ll raise my skills.”

If they don’t plan on doing anything, I’m not going to gain anything by just waiting.

I stand back up, immersing myself in skill leveling.

There are a few choices I want to try.

First is the standard, raising my maximum MP, but fainting is something I want to avoid in a situation like this, so it’s rejected.

Next is leveling [Eavesdropping].
Actually I’m already doing it but since the walls of this room are really thick, I can barely hear anything from outside the walls.

Aside from those, I want to try to acquire that skill Gazaine had, [Night Vision].
Fortunately, I’ve been carefully straining my eyes since it’s dark in here but I have yet to obtain it.

There’s also [Spirit Magic] which requires the practice of “trying to hear the voices of spirits” that I still haven’t managed to succeed at.

In other words, even though I’m trapped in a dark, cramped room, I’ve got an infinite amount of things to do so I won’t end up getting bored.

If it seems like I’m really going to be locked in here forever, I can ask Melby to open a gate to the Fairy Hamlet, and begin working on peeling off the barrier surrounding the Pioneer Elf.
But then again, I’m probably being watched so I can’t just suddenly disappear.

――And, like that, half a day passed by with nothing happening.

While I will say that I’m glad I had plenty of time to level up my skills, it doesn’t make sense that nothing has happened until now.

Also, now that I think about it, I’m starting to get hungry.
Since I can just ask Melby to give me some berries and fruits for a snack, I’m not that worried about it.

But if I was a normal child, it would probably be about time to start crying “Let me out!”.

When I thought that, I suddenly hear a voice.

“――Remember……when was the first time you sinned?”

“…………Huh?”

To the sudden voice, I let out a stupefied voice.

“――Remember……when was the first time you sinned?”

The voice repeats its words.

“Well, what I want to say is even if you ask me so suddenly……”

“――Remember……when was the first time you sinned?”

Without answering me, the voice stubbornly repeats its words.

“Why are you asking this?”

“――Remember……when was the first time you sinned?”

“It has already been half a day since I was locked in here. Gimme food.”

“――Remember……when was the first time you sinned?”

“Then let me go to the toilet. I’ve been really needing to go for a while now.”

“――Remember……when was the first time you sinned?”

“You’re too persistent. Actually, what are you?”

“――I am a ghost. Remember……when was the first time you sinned?”

Oh, there was a slight variation.

After that I tried asking a bunch of things but that was the only time the response changed.

At this time, I never thought that something like that would happen.

――That I would end up stuck with this self-proclaimed ghost-kun for two weeks.

◇◆◇◆◇◆◇◆

――A week has passed since then.

“――Remember (etc.)”

While I ignore the endlessly repeating words, I attempt to listen for the voices of the spirits.

Melby, who is flying next to me says,

“In a place like this, an earth spirit would be good. The voices of earth spirits vary pretty greatly depending on the time and place, but since there is a lot of stone here, there should be the sound of different minerals hitting each other, making a grinding-like noise. Their channel of consciousness will be on a much lower frequency. Well, some mineral spirits reside on a much higher channel though.”

I don’t really understand this “channel” thing.

“――Remember (etc.)”

Even when I ask Melby quietly as to not alert the others,

“There’s no other way to describe it. Fairies understand it since birth, so I can’t really explain it well.”

She says, giving a completely useless response.

“Or rather, if you’re going to try to hide your voice, why don’t you just learn [Telepathic Communication]? Since I also know it, we should be able to communicate both ways.”

“There was also that method, wasn’t there.”

“――Remember (etc.)”

After that, it became Melby-sensei’s [Telepathic Communication] class.

“Now, focus on me. From there, try to match the wavelength of my magic. Since I’m a being born from magic, it should be easy.”

I focus deeply.

I stare singlemindedly.

Around an hour passed, I think.

I think I’ve somewhat come to understand that “wavelength” Melby talked about.

“Yes, like that! And now, don’t lose that wavelength and gently pull it in.”

“Like this? Ah, I let it go……”

“――Remember (etc.)”

For another three continuous hours of practice since then, finally, I’m able to somehow hold the “wavelength” for a period of time.
I understand the feeling of pulling it in, albeit vaguely.

“Somehow, I’m getting tired even though I’m just keeping you company. Ah, do you want to eat some nuts?”

“Okay.”

I receive and eat a nut that resembles an acorn.

I break the shell with a *snap*, and delicious juice pours out from inside.
Yeah, delicious.

“――Remember (etc.)”

Melby says she’s tired and falls asleep.
Now that I think about it, it’s probably around night outside now.

Then I guess I’ll level [Night Vision].
Wait, if it’s night then it’s not strange to be sleeping.
Or rather, if it doesn’t look like I’m sleeping somewhere then it will be strange.
If that’s the case, then I’ll feign sleeping while raising my MP.

“――Remember (etc.)”

Like that, I pass the night and when Melby wakes up, I resume [Telepathic Communication] practice.
After half a day passes, I finally grasp the feeling of pulling it in.
Melby’s voice keeps on breaking up, but I’ve come to be able to hear it.
It seems like I’m getting close to acquiring it.

“――Remember (etc.)”

This happened soon after Melby muttered “It’s almost midday”.
The bottom of the door is pulled out roughly, and instead a tray of food is pushed in.
On today’s menu is bread and thin soup.
I finish eating in no time.
When I leave the tray at the bottom of the door, it’s immediately pulled out.
It seems like I’m under proper surveillance.

“――Remember (etc.)”

While eating, the voice in the sky was the same as always.
Since it’s gone on this long, it’s about time I figure out this “ghost”-san’s intentions.

Scaring a kid by throwing them in a dark, cramped space, making them eat only the minimum amount; having a voice in the way so they can’t sleep, it’s probably a tactic to exploit their weakened mental state with brainwashing.
So that would mean, I should pretend to be brainwashed here or there’ll be no end to it?

Well, there are a few skills I still want to level, so it’s fine even if it’s like this for a while.

By the way, there is a hole in the corner of the room that I’ve been using as a toilet.
Since I don’t want the smell to stay here, I washed it away with π(Aqua) but, as expected, there was no need to use ∃(Erase).

Or rather, I wonder if ∃(Erase)-using magic users are constantly on standby outside this cell.
How troublesome.
……hm? I can probably use this to level skills.


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22 thoughts on “34. Sin Examination

  1. All you think about is training, huh Edgar?
    How furious will his parents be when they wake up. Hot Damn.
    Thank you for the chapter

    Like

  2. Such a fun way to torture your would-be torturers and brainwashers! >////<

    Hooray! I really love the story so far, and applaud you for your determination. You not having dropped the story is really commendable, and a source for relief ~(^-^~)

    Like

  3. It’s actually funny because they don’t know that The flying baby is actually a thirty year old man that he won’t be traumatized by those things as he can rationally guess what they’re trying to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would suggest that the much more significant reason it will be ineffective is because No Fatigue + ability to raise skills while physically doing nothing makes him functionally immune to boredom and lack of stimulation. Isolation in low- or no-stimulus containment cells affects even adult minds extremely severely, after all (generally very quickly, too).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. oh, you have a ghost that is constantly harassing me with questions? /ignore.

    you are constantly listening in, and are prepared to erase any magic i cast? prepared to face my rendition of 100.000.000 bottles of beer on the wall, compleate with a casted spell after each bottle…

    i wonder if there is a torturer skill, because E is about to grind the f**k out of that skill….

    Like

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