TNG Vol. 17 Chapter 2 Part 5

“I suppose this means I guessed right?”

Shin had followed Raig in a private room, with Tiera and Milt in tow, then asked this question.

“My apologies, Sir Shin, but I would like you to speak first. As I said before, the items used in the 『World Rift Wall』 project are a military secret. One of utmost secrecy.”

The information about the plan and the items themselves were guarded very closely, to prevent ill-intentioned people from stealing them.

There were also several disputes within the empire concerning the creator of the items in the first stage of the project, so the creator’s identity was kept hidden to protect the people related to them from harm.

The creator was a nobody at the time, so they used their name for the project’s name too at first.

“The items’ creator is Barakia Wallcraft. In current terms, you’d call him a Chosen One. He was a blacksmith and alchemist, someone very passionate about building walls. His favorite words were ‘Parapets are the best thing ever’. That’s the Barakia I know. The items used for the 『World Rift Project』 are powered up versions of that item, maybe?”

Shin pointed to the item card in Raig’s hands. Since this world offered more freedom than the game, it wasn’t strange for Barakia to have become able to create such items.

“…to be able to figure out so much…Sir Shin, are you related to Sir Barakia?”

Raig did not answer directly and asked another question, but implicitly answered Shin’s question in the process.

“Well, we’ve done some things together.”

In the game era, blacksmiths exchanged information and critiqued each other’s works.

Barakia was a victim of a monster attack on a Home Town.

“That man was really passionate, but in a pretty strange way…the same type as Shin.”

“Oi Milt, don’t call me weird so naturally.”

“You were pretty high on the weird scale at that time, you know? Birds of a feather is what pretty much everyone said.”

“What…did you…just…?”

Shin was not aware at all.

“You’ve done things together, you say.,.I thought you had heard about him from Sir Shibaid. What exactly do you mean by ‘doing things together’? Barakia died more than 200 years ago…hmm, also considering what Lady Milt said…I thought you were a High Human, but apparently, you are a long-living species instead. A Lord or a Pixie, maybe?”

Raig heard from Barakia about where he used to live and what he used to do in the past, so while surprised he asked for more details, a serious look on his face.

Shin didn’t know what Barakia had been up to after coming to this world, so he thought that the Barakia he knew was different from the one Raig knew, but, apparently, that was not the case.

“I’ll leave that to your imagination. About the item, I pretty much know how it is made, so I believe I can work on it.”

Things would get complicated if they started talking about his species, so Shin changed the topic.

“This is not the right time to talk about that, is it? In any case, I would never have expected you to know him personally…that was rather surprising.”

Raig pondered silently for a short while, then looked at Shin again.

“….very well. I have had some of the wall creation items, named 『End Wall』, brought to this fort. There were concerns that they could be broken or lost, so we stored some of them here as spares. I shall let you see them. If it’s possible to activate them separately, it will be worth reporting to the emperor.”

Raig told the soldiers standing by outside the room to inform the other officers that the meeting was suspended.

“This way, follow me.”

Raig started walking away.

“I don’t think the two of us are going to be much use, but should we come too?”

“Yes, I was thinking the same thing.”

Raig did not tell Milt and Tiera to wait there.

They had followed Shin and heard the conversation too: Shin thought that if their presence was problematic, Raig would have said as much, so he said it would be probably fine for them to come too.

“Lady Milt is a former player and Lady Tiera is a priestess, right? We wish to hear ideas different from ours more than anything, after all. Do not fret, we will change the items’ hidden storage location after we have shown them to you.”

“…I can see how you know about Milt, but you knew about Tiera too?”

Raig had spoken in a casual tone, but Shin couldn’t help but ask about it.

It wasn’t strange for a long-living species like Raig to know about players, but the fact that Tiera was a priestess was only known to those who lived in the elven village or had a connection to it. The only exception was Shin and his party.

“I have been living since before the Dusk of Majesty, after all. I’m not this old for nothing. I have actually met a priestess before, though I don’t know what generation she was. Lady Tiera’s aura feels similar to hers. I was not completely sure, but it looks like I struck gold, yes?”

Shin’s reaction proved that Raig’s assumption was right.

Shin thought that he messed up: he would have never expected a Dragnil to know about the priestesses.

“I will not speak about this to anyone, of course. I know very well how important priestesses are.”

Raig spoke in a more firm, serious tone. Having met a priestess before, he was well aware of their position and role.

The group soon arrived in a room used by the fort commander for paperwork and meeting guests.

“We’re going in the secret passage now. The rest is up to you.”

So Raig said to the Dragnil in the room — the officer who had rebuked him for his jokes — and opened a hidden door in the back of the room.

Beyond the door there was a small room: Raig manipulated a device and a bookshelf slid to the side, revealing a corridor.

According to 【Magic Sonar】, the spiral staircase beyond led all the way underground.

“Wait a moment.”

Raig then proceeded into the hidden passage. Shin thought it would take some time for him to go all the way underground, but Raig was back in about 5 minutes.

“That was pretty quick.”

“I suppose you are aware of how far this corridor goes. But you shouldn’t be able to tell where the items actually are.”

Raig smirked and Shin raised his hands in surrender.

He wasn’t going to show both the hidden passage and the items’ storage location, after all. Nonetheless, it was also true that he had already revealed a large part of the fort’s secrets.

“What about the items, then?”

“Here. You’ll understand that I cannot simply give them to you. I’ll be here while you analyze them, I trust that is fine with you?”

“Of course, I have nothing to hide.”

Shin took the item from Raig. It had a spherical shape, very similar to his 『Space Rift Crystal』. The rainbow-colored glow in the center was probably created by a『Drop of Erathem』.

Shin activated 【Analyze】 and 【Appraisal】, the same method he used in Hinomoto when forging 『Dojigiri Yasutsuna』.

Since Shin already knew how to craft the base item, he could easily find out the materials and composition. He also found out why they were set to be activated all at the same time.

“I see, it’s because of a lack of materials…”

“What do you mean?”

“Apparently there weren’t enough 『Drops of Erathem』 at the time. The spell to create the walls and the skills to reinforce them both depend on them, but they couldn’t gather enough for all the items.”

“The prototypes created the wall without problems, though. I saw them with my own eyes.”

“They were probably designed for testing or demonstrations. These items are all connected by magic power. How do I say it…it’s like there’s an invisible thread of magic power tying them all together. When they are activated, they become complete together, creating not the faint light you see here, but a whole 『Drop of Erathem』 crystal.”

It was one of the methods used when there weren’t enough materials to make an item.

In【THE NEW GATE】, magic power worked more effectively when crystallized rather than when infused into an item.

If magic power was infused into items and then split into several parts, the resulting items or gear would have an inferior effect than magic power in its crystallized form. In the 『End Wall』 item, magic power was still crystallized.

As far as Shin could see, the 『Drop of Erathem』 used when crafting 『End Wall』 did not have enough potential output to create a wall that could cut off part of the continent.

What made it possible was using this method.

By distributing a uniform amount of magic power to all items and arranging them to activate at the same time in perfect balance, it was possible to create an amount very close if not equal to magic power in crystallized form.

It was also possible to break down the magic power crystals in powder or melt them, which was more effective in terms of simultaneous activation, but this method had its own unique advantages.

If an entire 『Drop of Erathem』 was used in a single item, the magic power effectiveness was 100%. If the magic power crystal was shattered or liquefied and split into two items, the effectiveness fell to about 48%.

If the magic power was infused, the effectiveness fell further to about 40%.

The more items magic power was infused into, the lower the effectiveness. By using this connection method, however, it was possible to keep magic power effectiveness close to 50% even if the magic power was infused into two items.

Shin remembered well that, when this method was found out, it created quite a stir among Creation job specialists, with everyone wondering how it could be possible, some claiming it had to be a bug.

Many players complained that magic power effectiveness should be made equal in every case, after all.

This method had its advantages, but since there weren’t many cases in which it would be really useful, most players either forgot about it or never knew about it in the first place.

There was no simpler method, however, to increase magic power effectiveness.

There was a solid reason why it was used in the wall creation plan: to keep magic power balanced, the items absorbed the surrounding magic power.

In order to create a wall across a whole continent, an incredible quantity of items was needed.

To keep magic power balanced between so many items, the total amount of magic power that needed to be absorbed far surpassed the amount of the 『Drops of Erathem』 used to craft the items.

After a quick calculation, Shin realized that the method could indeed provide for the lacking magic power.

“Hey Shin, is it really fine to activate some of the items by themselves, then? If they are set to absorb magic power together to work properly, won’t we mess it up if we change things?”

Raig probably thought the same thing as Milt, as he nodded to her question.

“That’s fine, thanks to Barakia. He didn’t use pretentious methods or newly found techniques not thoroughly tested. He also made it possible for the items to be incorporated, in case other players found them.”

The results of the analysis appeared in Shin’s mind. There were no defects to be found.

“What’s wrong, Shin? You have a pretty scary look on your face.”

“Oh, sorry. I just felt how serious he was when he made this. I guess this might be fate too…”

Barakia was not part of 『Rokuten』, but he was still a player Shin felt close to.

“So, about the magic power. At this point, there is a great amount of magic power being added. The items were made with this method because they didn’t have enough『Drops of Erathem』, basically not enough magic power, so if we use the『Drops of Erathem』I have we can make the items activate normally even in this state.”

The items were connected via an invisible bond of magic power, so it was possible to add 『Drops of Erathem』, their primary source of magic.

“If we use the same process on the items set to activate individually, their effects shouldn’t change. I have to actually try it before I can be sure, though.”

The plan had been carefully perfected over 200 years: Shin was not so reckless as to go and fiddle with its key items just like that. He had the blueprints now, so only the final checks remained.

“I’m thinking of doing the necessary testing first, then actually work on the items if there aren’t any problems. What do you say?”

“Please go ahead with the testing. I cannot approve work on the items on my authority alone, though. We will have to wait for the emperor’s final say.”

Even if Shin was Schnee and Shibaid’s companion, to modify the core aspects of such a project naturally needed the approval of the country’s ruler. 

On the contrary, it was almost a miracle that someone as little known as Shin could be allowed to see and analyze such top-secret items, even if Schnee and Shibaid vouched for him.

Things could be different if he revealed his identity as High Human, but Raig did not know of it.

“When do you expect to have the results?”

“With the situation as delicate as it is, I want to be as thorough as I can. Even if I start right now, it will take at least three days. Then it all depends on the results of the tests.”

The analysis of 『End Wall』 was complete.

Shin could have started experimenting on it immediately, but he wanted to try other tests first before actually working on it.

“I don’t know if the meetings here will reach a conclusion, but can you proceed like that?”

“Understood.”

Raig was quick to decide, probably because of his personality.

“If you have any other ideas, let us know. I don’t mean to doubt your ability, but the more countermeasures we have, the better.”

“I understand.”

There was always the chance of the tests leading to negative results. It was natural to try to have reserve plans.

“Shall we go back, then? I do hope a good plan will come out of this.”

Raig put back the 『End Wall』 in storage, then they all returned to the meeting room.

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