66. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Among the multi-coloured confetti (?) that was falling down like rain, I let out a stupefied cry.
I try to catch the confetti (?) that was fluttering down in front of my eyes.
From the texture, it seemed to be not paper, but cloth.
Coinciding with the bursting sounds, it was what flew out from the bamboo pipe-like objects that everyone had been aiming at me.
“Ufufu, those are the crackers I made. Surprised you, didn’t they?
I added Ususake Mushroom powder and scraps of multi-coloured cloth to the inside of the bamboo pipes, and inserted a string to pull on from a hole opened at the bottom.”
Donna stepped out from amidst the group and said.
“Y-yeah… I was surprised.
So something like crackers exist in this world too.”
In my daze, I responded with a shift in the topic.
I looked away from Donna who tilted her head in puzzlement as though to ask “this world?” and surveyed the inside of the dining room.
There was Alfred-tousan, Julia-kaasan, Chester-niisan, Elemia, Donna, Miguel, Beck, and Moria-san, even Hoffman-san and Grandpa Ganash were there too; each one of them was holding a ‘cracker’ in their hand and wore pleased expressions for succeeding with their prank.
Then, late as it was, I remember the congratulatory words they had said when I entered the room.
Today’s my birthday!”
With that remark, everyone but me all stumbled.
“I had wondered if you might not have noticed, but to think you that seriously forgot.”
Miguel said in astonishment.
“I wondered what to do when Miguel let things slip earlier, but it went well.”
“Moria too, you sort of let it slip during the adventurer registration….
There are no age limits for being an adventurer…. When that topic got brought up, it gave me a chill.”
“So Julia-kaasan telling me not to return because of guests, and Alfred-tousan saying not to be too late was also….”
“That’s right. To keep you away from the house in a casual manner was really hard.”
“That said, the party wouldn’t have started even if you returned too late.”
Julia-kaasan and Alfred-tousan replied.
“So Melby acting suspiciously now and then was also because of this.”
“Uu… But I couldn’t help it!
I’m unable to tell any lies!”
Melby said, pouting.
“Wait a moment. I’ll call everyone from the Fairy Hamlet over.”
Saying that, Melby creates a gate, and goes inside to call the fairies.
“――Anyway, happy birthday Edgar.”
Alfred-tousan says to me as a representative of the group.
“Mn… Thank you.”
“With this, Edgar-kun is finally one year old.”
Julia-kaasan says while smiling.
Several of the people in the room cried out in shock.
Elemia, Donna, Miguel, Beck, Hoffman-san, and Grandpa Ganash… I guess.
I had told the former members of the children’s group, but did they not believe me?
“Yes. Today I, Edgar Chrebl, have turned one year old!
Everyone, I will continue to be in your care from now as well.”
Saying that, I give a quick bow of my head.
“I did think he was absurd but… I never thought it was this absurd.”
“I always thought it was surely a joke…”
“Geh! Seriously! I keep losing to a one-year-old baby!”
Miguel ranted in indignation.
“Yeah, well, I did think Oro… no, Edgar could be like that too though…”
Beck nodded in resignation.
Moria-san apparently heard from Julia-kaasan, but Hoffman-san seems to be hearing this for the first time and fixes a firm gaze on my face, while Grandpa Ganash stares intently at me with a “hmm….”.
Then, the fairy twins Cecil and Cecila came flying out of the gate.
They shouted as they hugged me.
Behind them, the other fairies appeared in a bustle, and began to sing and dance.
“…Could this be the reason why Cecil and Cecila didn’t come to bother me when I went to the Fairy Hamlet earlier by any chance?”
“That’s right. Congratulations, Edgar.”
That was the reply Melby gave me when I asked her after she returned from bringing the fairies with her.
If I associated with the fairies who couldn’t lie, everything could have been exposed in an instant.
Everyone came up to send me their congratulatory words in turn.
Then, I somehow received presents from everyone.
“Because we’ll be heading to the royal capital after this,”
and presented me with an expensive-looking embroidered jacket.
I immediately put it on.
The sleeves might be a little long, but I’ll probably grow into it soon if it’s just this much.
“How nice, Edgar.
Even though I received hand-me-downs from Belhart-niisan back then.”
“It’s because Belhart, Chester, and David are close in age.
Edgar has such an age difference, so wouldn’t your old jackets be outdated now?”
“Well, I guess it can’t be helped.
It’s a secret, but Edgar has produced feats of arms even at this age.
…And for that reason, this is from me.
I’m sorry that it isn’t wrapped though.”
What Chester-niisan gave me as he said that was a smallish bow.
“It’s a small bow for practising.
Though I say that, it’s a good product itself, so you should be able to use it even in actual combat.”
Since he said that, I try using [Appraisal] on it.
《Small Practice Bow: A bow produced by Chester Chrebl using weak spiritual wood as the core, combined with the bones and tendons of a wyvern. Easy for beginners to draw, and tuned so that it is easy to stabilise one’s aim. 》
No, this isn’t at the level of something used just for practice.
This is just what I’ve surmised from talking to him lately, but if I had to say, Chester-niisan is a taciturn person and is very modest about his own capabilities.
“Thank you. I’ll use it well.”
Chester-niisan nodded happily.
It was a gentle smile that would have triggered my protective instincts if I were a girl of marriageable age.
“Next is from Mum and me!
Here, take it!”
Saying that, Miguel handed me a small shield.
《Small Tortoise Shield: A shield fashioned from the carapace of a Grand Tortoise. In addition to being resilient against slashes and thrusts, it can also repel weak spells. 》
“The other day, I defeated a beast called a Grand Tortoise together with Mum.
Because I heard that the shells of that tortoise make good shields, I had it made.”
“Is it alright? Isn’t it a valuable material?”
“It’s fine. I only use my gauntlets to hit with, and Mum has her dual swords.
We don’t have any chance to use something like shields.”
“I see. Thanks.”
I try equipping the shield onto my left arm.
It’s at a perfect size and won’t hinder my movements.
It seems like I’ll be able to draw the bow that Chester-niisan gave me even with it equipped.
“T-this is from me!
It’s also from Grandpa though.”
Donna and Grandpa Ganash gave me a druggist’s mortar and pharmaceutical codex.
“Donna and I will be leaving here soon.
Everything you would need to know from here on has all been compiled there.
Once you’ve learned everything in there, then you’d be able to call yourself my disciple.”
“E-even though I’ve yet to reach that point…”
Donna muttered, her doggy ears drooping down.
“Thank you, Donna, Grandpa Ganash.”
Next to appear were the duo with the position of tank: Beck and Hoffman-san.
“F-from me is this talisman.”
Beck said, holding an approximately five-centimetre-tall doll that appears to have been made with [Carving].
…This, could this possibly be me?
“I charged it with the power of [Safeguard], it’s a scapegoat doll.
When you imbue it with thought, it can invoke an invincible state in the same way as [Safeguard] does, just for a moment.
…Really, it’s only for a moment, but I think Edgar-kun will be able to put it to good use.”
“Invincible, you say… Beck, you made such an incredible thing.
You could make a fortune with just this.”
“It takes a lot of time to make it.
Weak spiritual wood at the least, or matured spiritual wood if possible, needs to be carried for about half a year, whilst distributing the power of [Safeguard].
It takes a lot of effort to cut the spiritual wood with the power of [Safeguard] dwelling within it, but you can’t cut it first and then charge it with power, so it has to be cut after being imbued.”
“It took so much labour… Thank you, Beck.”
Beck scratched the back of his head as he said,
“No, it’s the least I can do when I think of how much you’ve done for me, Edgar-kun
P-putting that aside, what about Hoffman-san!
Look, see that large cake over there, Hoffman-san made it!”
“Eh! That huge thing!”
In the centre of the estate’s dining hall-turned-party venue was a large two-tiered cake.
To think that it was made by Hoffman-san….
I picture Hoffman-san, a close to two-metre-tall man with a large frame, stooping over while making confectionary.
Yup, it’s kind of charming.
“Making confectionaries is… my hobby.
Or I should say, to display my talents with all my heart… was fun.”
Hoffman-san murmured as he gazed fondly at it.
It looks like he’s feeling embarrassed.
“Thank you very much, Hoffman-san.
It might be strange for me to say it, but Beck is someone with spirit, so please discipline him relentlessly.”
Hoffman-san responded to my thanks with a “Oh!”
Then, Elemia approached timidly.
With her eyes cast downwards, Elemia says,
‘I don’t have anything I can give you at the moment… that…”
“No, it’s fine. It hasn’t been long since we escaped from the Nest, after all…”
“T-that’s not it!
Here! I only have this, so…. t-take it!”
Saying that, what Elemia thrust towards me was――her pan flute, which consisted of metal pipes tied together.
In the Crow’s Nest, Elemia often played this flute at night.
“…Is it alright? Wasn’t this very important to you…”
“I-it’s fine. It’s because it’s something important that… I-I want someone important to have it.”
I turn my gaze away from Elemia who spoke with a blush, as even I was starting to get embarrassed.
The other people in the room observed the situation with smirks on their faces.
“…I have something important to talk to you about later.
Do you mind making some time for me?”
“Okay, I understand.
How about after this party?”
Saying that, Elemia retreated to a corner of the room.
“This is from me.”
Finally, Julia-kaasan, who had been waiting for an opportunity, handed over what she had been hiding behind her back.
White, black, and ivory-coloured organic materials were entwined together to form a short wand approximately fifty centimetres in length.
Affixed on the end of the wand were three crystal-like objects, one silver, one black, and one milky-white.
From a glance, it gives off the impression of a sharp blade, but the [Mana Detection] skill informed me of the vast amount of mana imbued inside this wand.
When we were searching for <Yatagarasu>’s hideout and couldn’t find it, I was so vexed that I shot down every single wyvern with magic…”
What are you doing, Mum.
Everyone but me started backing away.
“This wand appeared from the stomachs of one of those wyverns.”
Whilst my secret plot was unfolding within <Yatagarasu>, it seemed a lot happened on Mum’s side as well.
It looks like the ancient relic known as a Composite Rod, but I can’t determine the attributes of the magic crystals attached to the tip. I tried all of the spells that I can use but it was no use.
However, it conceals a great deal of mana within so selling it would be a waste…”
Huh… I wonder what kind of magic gems they are?
I’d like to study it… or so I thought for a second, but I have this handy skill.
《Composite Rod of Extremities: Ancient relic. A wand composed of several materials. Utilised materials are Unicorn Horn, Dark Dragon Fang, Millennium Mistletoe. The three magic crystals contain the mana of [Dimension Magic], [Void Magic], and [Illusion Magic] respectively. ▽》
Hm? There is a cursor-like thing at the end of the [Appraisal] result.
When I focus my attention on the ▽, the window displaying the [Appraisal] result expands.
《Even in the ancient times, embedding multiple magic crystals on a single wand was something that could only be done by top-rate magical engineers. However, in those times, the three magic crystals embedded on this wand were also known as “magic crystals of extremities”, and are magic crystals filled with the mana of rare and extremely hard to handle magic systems. There was no one able to use them naturally. This is a composite rod that was to be used as a ceremonial wand after a person in power at that time expended a vast budget and valuable materials to make it, with the purpose of showing off their ability to employ excellent magical engineers. Furthermore, the manufacturing method of the composite rod itself has been lost in the present day. 》
Hmm… despite being extremely valuable, a subtle impression of bad luck hangs in the air.
“…It says the attributes are [Dimension Magic], [Void Magic], and [Illusion Magic].”[Dimension Magic] was used by Melby, [Illusion Magic] by Gazaine, but I have yet to witness [Void Magic].
It just so happens that I’ve been wanting to research [Dimension Magic], and if I’m able to acquire Gazaine’s [Illusion Magic] then I’d like to acquire it.
These magic crystals of extremities, aren’t they a godsend to me instead?
“[Void Magic] is a legendary skill that only dark-attributed mages with a high aptitude for [Dark Magic] have an extremely rare chance of acquiring.
It annihilates all matter and substances without question or something…”
Or rather, I’ve already heard about the subject before.
The same thing was written in the『Abaddon Magic Compilation』, so I suppose that was Mum’s source of information.
I’ll take good care of it.”
“Mn. I don’t use a wand so I couldn’t teach you much about it, but Edgar-kun can do anything so you should be fine.”
“…Speaking of that, why doesn’t Mum use a wand?”
“Hmm, it’s the same whether or not I have a single-cored wand, since I’m clumsy with reconstructed wands.”
“Single-cored? Reconstructed wands?”
“A single-cored wand is a wand that is made by processing wood that channels magic easily, or a monster’s bone or horn and such.
Since the process is simple, the effects are limited to making it easier to concentrate mana and such.”
“…Just saying, but isn’t that ‘making it easier to concentrate mana’ pretty important for a regular mage?
Julia being able to use magic without a wand is due to her gift of having an extraordinary sense for magic.”
“Reconstructed wands are wands that try to reproduce the ancient relic, Composite Rods, using modern technology, but… how should I put it, they have a strong peculiarity, or rather, they’re not very accommodating, and they don’t allow for fine mana usage.
I taught Edgar-kun about how 卜 (flame) differs between 《Flame Lance》 and 《Flame Bit》, right?
Fine adjustments like that aren’t possible, so the range of useable spells shrinks if I use a reconstructed wand.”
“Just saying, once again, but the mana concentration and preservation effects of a reconstructed wand are a considerable benefit to regular mages.
Julia, who can just continuously fire spells empty-handed, is the strange one.
Or I should say, stuff like the different emissions of 卜 (flame)…. Just what kind of high-class techniques have you been teaching a child who hasn’t even turned one year old?”
“Eh~? But it’s important, you know?
I believe that it’s my lifeline, the lifeline of mages.
It’s true that the number of mages that can do that properly are few enough to count though…”
Oi! I’ve always been thinking that magic itself is hard, and yet it turns out that Mum’s way of teaching was just at an abnormally high level!
“…You, what kind of monster are you intending to make your son into.”
“Eeeh~? But Edgar-kun was able to learn it properly.”
“On top of that, he’s irregular and can even fight with weapons…”
Moria-san shrugged, as though to imply that there was nothing she could do about it.
Just which of those do you intend to treat as your main in combat?”
Moria-san asked with a serious expression.
I once again look at the presents I was holding in my arms.
There was the small practice bow from Chester-niisan, the small shield from Miguel and Moria-san, and the set of pharmaceutical kit from Donna and Grandpa Ganash; Mum gave me a wand, and Dad gave me a jacket.
“The spells directly transmitted from Julia alone would be most likely, but you’re also going to train with the bow you got from Chester, right?
You were trained in [Assassination Techniques] in <Yatagarasu>, and you also have the [Flying Sword Techniques] and such you revealed in the fight against me. Your throwing-class skills have already reached a considerable level.
You’re also the disciple of Ganash, who is known as the 《Medicine Saint》, and I suppose you’re intending to learn the spear from Alfred someday too?
No matter how much of a genius you are, there is a finite amount of time granted to humans.
You cannot possibly engage in all of them to the end.”
Certainly, Moria-san brought up a sound argument.
The matter of [No Fatigue] has been kept to our family as of now, so Moria-san is unaware of it.
But even if I have [No Fatigue], the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day doesn’t change.
…Furthermore, I’m not really a genius, I simply have an easier time with putting in effort than others do.
No matter how many different skills I am able to learn, I’m sure to hit a bottleneck at some point if I don’t have something to act as the focal point.”
It seems like I’ll end up becoming the so-called Jack of all trades, master of none.
“However, the issue at hand is that it’s not just me.”
I said, looking around at everyone once more.
“I thought of this during this <Yatagarasu> case.
There is a limit even if I alone become stronger.
No matter how strong I am, there won’t be any meaning in it if someone strikes with drugs and takes hostages like they did this time.
――That’s why I’d like to propose something to everyone here today.”
Everyone looked at me with dumbfounded expressions.
After I had attracted everyone’s undivided attention, I spoke.
“――Here, I propose we hold a ‘Chrebl Household Fortification Conference’!”