“My, you’re fast.”
“Anytime you call, lady Marlene. Besides, ‘fast’ should be our line.” Mason, the ambassador to the Temples, said with a dashing smile.
They were at the Tower of Truth in Quarancinq, the City of Magic. The owner of the room, Marlene the Sage, smiled in satisfaction.
“With my skill, it’s… well, I wouldn’t say it was simple, but the spell you requested had been the target of worldwide research since some time ago. Furthermore, this is Quarancinq, the pioneer of the world in magical research, and I am the greatest magician of all. It didn’t take much time to complete the spell. Still experimental, though.”
The Temples had requested the Heroine Marlene to develop several spells.
First, a new type of magical battery to retain mana that didn’t use magic stones.
Second, a radar system to detect magical signals worldwide.
Third, a magic circle of teleportation, a sixth-rank spell only usable by a few people throughout the whole world.
And fourth, a mana absorption system that worked through spells.
Marlene picked up the simply-designed Magic Gun leaning by the wall near her. She held it up into an aiming stance.
“This is good. I’d tried it out on my waste slaves, and I have to say it’s exciting stuff. But it’s true that it’s using too much magic. Even the average magicians wouldn’t be able to handle it, much less normal soldiers.”
Magic guns consumed the user’s magic instead of using gunpowder. They fired bullets made out of copper or silver, which were materials with high affinity to magic power.
During these last few years, thanks to the technological revelations coming from the ‘God’ of the Temples, single-shot magic guns were now capable of rapid-fire through the use of magazines. All the same, they required a lot of magic to output high firepower. And even if the guns were capable of rapid-fire, using the mana that would’ve been consumed to cast spells instead would still be more versatile, and the complexity of the guns made them quite costly. They hadn’t yet come into widespread use.
There were tools to seal in mana in order to cast spells without consuming the user’s magic, such as Magic Staves.
However, the manstorage-capable materials used in such tools were extremely expensive precious metals, such as pure gold or mythril silver. One hundred large gold coins were the normal price for a mythril staff, and while staves of pure gold would only cost about half, they needed to be coated by a thin layer of lead to prevent the mana from leaking, making them far too weighty for general use.
The magic gun Marlene was holding was the latest rapid-fire model supplied by the Temples. It had both a semi-auto and a fully automatic firing mode.
The first designs had made use of mana batteries in the form of small boxes the size of a pen case attached to the gun. Of course, the batteries were made of solid gold and lead, and the woman working as Marlene’s assistant was already staggering just by carrying them.
But this gun had no such battery. While Marlene the Heroine could handle the mana consumption of the full-auto shooting mode, she still gave it back to Mason, who was no magician.
“There, I’ve carved a mana collecting circle on it. The magic circle’s still in development, and it’s only going to have 30 shots, but you show it to your bosses and get me more funds.”
“Sure enough, collecting mana with spells still demanded a certain amount of spell knowledge and skill in the user. It’ll take time for me to develop a magic circle anyone could use, so you just take that spell formula back first. I’ll give you the magic circle later.”
Currently, countries worldwide were gathering mana from the Saplings by connecting them to several enormous magic stones by mythril electrodes, and then extract the magic from those magic stones.
Only some Children of God, by making use of their special abilities, were capable of directly extracting magic power from living beings like the Saplings. While there had been some pre-existing research on the matter, it did nothing to diminish the fact that Marlene had managed to turn theory into something usable in such a short amount of time. Her skill was the real deal.
“Understood. May I ask about the other two requests, as well as the progress in capturing Whitehare?”
“A teleportation circle anyone could use would be tough. You need to at least have someone capable of sixth-rank spells to activate it, and I don’t think there’s any other way. Ah, but that’s what I’m using to chase down the rabbit this time, as a matter of fact.”
“Oh, is that so?” Mason smiled, looking a lot more interested.
Marlene activated a spell, and a map of the world appeared on blank panels. Here and there on the map were shining points of light.
“Would this be… the detection spell?”
“Yes, it’s detecting every creature with over 500 magic. If I didn’t limit it to creatures only, the Saplings would turn the whole map white. The spell can only detect things near the observation equipment, though.”
The Dark Lady Whitehare seemed to possess an ability to disrupt identification, so Marlene couldn’t search by magic power value. But she reasoned that when Whitehare moved, the strong monsters near her must move as well.
“Then please allow the Temples to help you install the observation equipment… hmm, what would this be?”
“…powerful magic signals are moving fast. I’ll deploy a squad 10 kilometers ahead. You!”
“””Yes, my lady!””” Answering Marlene’s call, an assorted group of good-looking boys from early to late teens lined up in front of her, all equipped with the new magic guns.
“I’m sending you to this place. If you see Whitehare, kill her.”