T/N: Final Part. More dialogue and uncovering the mystery of the past.
He gave a small chuckle and said, “I didn’t find out anything at all.”
(My life is coming to an end, and I still have no idea what happened or who caused it, not even a clue. Not an iota. Well, I’m a bioengineer, not an expert on history or civilizations…) (Voice)
He realized that it was impossible to determine the cause through his own speculation, so he decided to tell someone about his existence and what happened to this world before he died. To that end, he dared the Walker to walk conspicuously, so that researchers of a high intellectual level would come to him.
(Originally, I was going to invite the woman who was with you, but then I realized it should be you. I thought it was you, who had the same qualities as us, that I should express my feelings to.) (Voice)
I didn’t answer him, and I don’t think he was expecting an answer either.
I then asked him various questions.
He answered my questions politely. What is magical engineering? What is the third continent? When did their civilization start? What kind of food did they eat and what did they think… Before I knew it, I were asking various things that had no context.
A few hours had passed since I came to this laboratory, and he gradually began to cut the conversation.
(It’s been a fun time, but it looks like we’re running out of time. I altered the flow of time in order to invite you. I’m just about out of energy to return you because of that. …I have one interesting technique to share with you. You should be able to manipulate dimensions without the aid of a tool. It’s this principle that I’ve been using…) (Voice)
He said and showed me a technique to create and manipulate an interdimensional space like this laboratory. Yes, I’m talking about the useful magic known as item boxes, inventories, etc.
(…The logic is not so difficult. All you have to do is modulate the flow of space-time and connect the different spaces. You understand the logic behind this, don’t you?) (Voice)
“I don’t understand it, but I can visualize it. Can I do it here?” (Zack)
(Of course, it’s okay, we used to use it all the time.) (Voice)
I nodded my head and started to create an image.
The concept of the space-time continuum, used in science fiction and the like, interferes with different spaces. At first it was difficult to modulate the flow of space, but I listened to his advice and gradually got better at it.
Finally, I completed the Interdimensional Space.
(Wonderful! To be able to master it in such a short time without any mechanical assistance… The rest is easy. As I explained earlier, the space is like a bubble. As long as there is an anchor, which is you, it can be called upon at any time. I don’t think I need to tell you how to use it, but I’ll give you a heads-up just in case.) (Voice)
The precautions were simple.
Normally, they would use the warehouse management function of the auxiliary equipment to keep track of the quantity of goods, but I don’t have anything convenient like that here. So, I need to remember what we put in. Otherwise, I can’t tell what’s in the box and I can’t get it out.
(I wish I had met you sooner. If it was about ten years ago…) (Voice)
Ten years ago, he said, was five hundred years ago for me. Naturally, it’s impossible, but I didn’t say a word to deny it.
(Yes, it would have been nice to meet you a little earlier. I think I would have liked to talk a little more. Well, I think I’d like to go back to my comrades now.) (Voice)
(Right. You can take whatever you like of what you have here at the end. Many of them are unusable, but they will just disappear into a different space when the lab’s lifespan is up. If there is anything you want, feel free to take it.) (Voice)
I thank him and throw the experimental tools and other items into my newly learned storage magic [Inventory]. There were not that many things in there. The only things I felt like taking home were a few pieces of experimental equipment and written information.
I tried to take the golem in the back room, Walker, but I could not move it because it was using the energy of this laboratory. I gave up crying because it was indeed too big to fit in my [Inventory].
I said, “That’s good enough,” and I headed for the spot where I was standing when I came in. On the way there, he made a modest suggestion.
(How about that artificial life form, the homunculus? I’ve erased its memory, but it’s fully capable. If possible, I would be grateful if you would take it with you…) (Voice)
I clammed up, and he further recommended the homunculus.
(It shows absolute loyalty to its owner. It will definitely be useful for whatever you are going to do. As I said before, it is perfectly capable. You should be able to acquire the skills in a short period of time…) (Voice)
The physical ability of a homunculus is about five times that of a standard human being. And of course, as for magic, they can use all attributes.
Still, I refused to take them with me.
“But isn’t this form made in the likeness of your wife? If so, I feel it would be best for her to stay with you.” (Zack)
I used words of concern for him, but I had a concern I hadn’t expressed to him.
What would happen to this homunculus if the effects of the “Great Calamity” were still present? Wouldn’t it change and turn on us? That was my concern.
(Well… I suppose so. It would certainly be better if it disappeared with me. I appreciate your concern.) (Voice)
I bow my head,
“I will never forget meeting you. Well, I hope you meet your wife’s soul again.” (Zack)
(Oh, thank you. Looks like it’s time. It was nice to meet you. Then…) (Voice)
The next thing I know, I’m back in the outside world.
Outside, in front of a closed door, Liddy and her friends were forcing magic to flow through it and pounding on it with their fists in an attempt to open it. I seemed to have been put back behind them, and they were in such a panic that they didn’t notice me.
“It’s all right now. I’m back.” (Zack)
When I said that, they all turned around at once.
Then Liddy jumped into my chest with tremendous force.
“I was worried! I was really worried!” (Liddy)
I hugged her tightly as I said,
“I’m sorry. But I came back, right?” (Zack)
The world outside had moved by less than five minutes when I disappeared.
I told Ms. Kitley, “The door to these ruins will never open again. Even if you dig here, you won’t find anything inside.”
She looked like she wanted to ask me a lot of questions, but she just looked at me and gave a small nod.
I said in a cheerful tone, “Well, let’s go back.”
Everyone nodded and we went into the forest.
I looked back toward the cliff once. Then I gave a small bow and started walking again.
We left the ruins and returned to the town of Holywell via the village of Hallockwood.
That night I told everyone what I had seen in that laboratory.
Ms. Kitley listened excitedly at first, but gradually regained her composure and finally fell silent, deep in thought.
Perhaps reading the atmosphere, Liddy asked me why I had not taken the homunculus out.
“The main reason is the ‘corruption’ concern. He said that a homunculus is a man-made object and that it will not change, but it is still a ‘living organism’, even if it is man-made. I can’t take that kind of gamble.” (Zack)
Liddy nodded in agreement, but then made a mean face,
“But she was beautiful, wasn’t she? And she would listen to anything you said. Isn’t that every man’s dream?” (Liddy)
I wondered where he got that from, and he hit a sore spot.
To be honest, if I hadn’t met Liddy and the others, I might have taken her out, knowing the risk. A beautiful woman at our mercy, a man would definitely have hesitated. But I did not hesitate. I had Liddy and the others who loved me with all their hearts.
Still, I was reluctant to put it into words.
“That’s right. I did a wasteful thing. Unlike Liddy, she probably wouldn’t be selfish.” (Zack)
At my comment, her smile turned into a pout, and made a sulky face.
“You’re being so mean. That’s fine. I’ll be even more selfish and annoy you.” (Liddy)
Then we both erupted in laughter at the same time.
(I can have such a trivial conversation. This is the happiest part for me. So, what more do I need to ask for…) (Zack)
T/N: I would’ve wanted a short side story or a small section for the ancient bioengineer. I know he’s a throw-away character, but I just want him to have a happy ending. I’m such a sap.