Non-commentated version of this chapter here for those that don’t want to interrupt their reading of the story with my rambling.
Chapter 28 – Waterway exploration!
After bringing Yuuri back to Lobrion via 《Teleport》, I returned to Alus Island once again.
I had Yuuri and the blue hair brigade start on the armaments for the mouse people right away.
Right now, I was standing in the back garden of the government building with Elysia, Serena, and Tia.
“So you can draw water from the wells or the taps in houses as well.”
I said after taking a good look at the drinking fountain.
(TN: Since it was established that more than a thousand years have passed since the fall of the island, it’s kinda unbelievable that the whole thing still works. I doubt that the pipes and stuff were made from some high tech or magitech stuff.)
So in ancient times you could get water without going to the well.
(TN: You have loudspeaker magic tools and basically unlimited paper for betting tickets at a horse race on one hand and an inability to create internal plumbing on the other. This setting is so messed up.)
“Let’s try pouring some water first! If the system still works, then we should be able to get drinkable water.”
Saying that, Serena opened the tap for the drinking fountain in the back garden of the government building.
(TN: It was already established where they were at the moment, did the author really need to describe that tap’s exact location again?)
A whooshing sound provided proof that the water was most likely still flowing.
Serena started talking, feeling proud.
“As expected of the technological prowess of my Luxia Empire! Even after a thousand years, it’s still working fine! I can guarantee its taste as well! Here, have a dri──eh?”
As she was about to scoop up some water with a cup, she suddenly stopped.
(TN: Where did she get a cup? I doubt she needed one during that thousand years when she was just a suit of armor.)
“W-what the hell is thiiiis!?”
(TN: I have a feeling this will be a running gag for her.)
Serena let out a scream from seeing the black colored water coming from the tap.
It was clearly not the color of drinkable water. It looked like ink.
Serena turned off the tap immediately, but some black water could still be seen rippling in the water tank below.
“I-Is it fetid?”
Serena leaned closer with clear reluctance.
I also leaned in, but strangely it had no bad smell.
“Can this be…. Elysia.”
Elysia pointed both of her hands at the water tank, then sent out a ray of light.
Thanks to that, the water got clearer and clearer as the seconds went by.
“T-this is… It’s a bit murky, but almost completely clear now….. It must’ve had Dark mana inside it.”
I nodded to Serena’s words.
“There must be something that produces Dark mana within the waterway. Tia, have your people been drinking this?”
“It wasn’t that tasty-ssu, but still better than muddy water-ssu.”
It seems even if you drink this water, you won’t die right away.
However, it may be bad to let it accumulate in the body….. There are Dark Magic spells that strip someone of their agency gradually.
We should fix it if we can after all.
I don’t really want to drink something of that color either….
(TN: Coca-cola weeps in the background.)
“Let’s take a look at the waterways next….. Tia, can you guide us?”
“There is a stairway this way then-ssu!”
We followed Tia to where she was running.
We could see a small stone tower with a door left open.
(TN: I highly doubt a wooden door could survive a thousand years and there was no mention of it being made from any unusual material, like stone or metal.)
Within the building, there was a stairway leading down.
“We can go through this way! But it’s quite dark, so it’s best not to walk too near! The current is strong here; it took some mice with it in the past already…..”
“I see…..best watch our steps then.”
When I quietly chanted 《Holy Light》, a bright light lit up the area.
Serena let out a yelp of surprise.
“S-sorry sorry! I’ve always put my full strength in when I’ve used Holy Magic in the past.”
I misjudged my power there.
I’ve pulled back my mana and two floating lights could be seen around us.
But why did those become that bright? …..well, it doesn’t really matter right now.
(TN: The last time he used this spell a few hours ago at most, he explicitly brought up the fact that he appears to have an increased capacity to use Holy mana due to the Servant bonds, and now that something similar happened after bonding with a huge number of Servants, he has no idea what could be causing it. Really? It seems the author pushed a button in the MC’s brain to turn off any kind of logical thinking so he could get some kind of realization later about it, probably in the ‘whoah this absolutely legendary feat was unexpectedly effortless for me, just what could be the reason for this I wonder’ way.)
“My spell will be more than enough, so you don’t need to use your 《Holy Light》, Elysia. I want you to use your Holy Magic if something happens on the way.”
Elysia nodded and Serena next to her pulled out her as she spoke.
“I will protect you at all costs, Your Highness! I might not look it, but I’m adept with Fire Magic!”
“Hoh. Is your Crest a fire type perhaps?”
“Yes! It’s called 【Hot-blooded】!”
I spoke without thinking.
【Hot-blooded】 gives a blessing to not only Fire Magic, but a significant one to combat strategy as well. There was also something about raising the morale of nearby allied troops as well. Among fire type Crests, it’s a rare and powerful one.
“Now that I think of it, when Serena-san is nearby, I feel kind of fired up…..”
Serena might’ve taken Elysia’s words as praise, making her kind of proud and embarrassed at the same time.
Well, it’s clearly a Crest fit for a division commander.
But then how powerful that black clothed woman who managed to defeat Serena and all her subordinates at the same time could really be?
“Let’s get down to the waterways for now.”
So we went down underground.
We’ve found a fast moving stream of black water.
However, it was kind of strange.
“Is this a sewage channel? Though it seems to be flowing towards the continent.”
Alus is an island that’s close to the continent, so I thought they brought in the water underground from there.
(TN: For someone who finds the existence of indoor faucets a technological marvel, he went on really fast to think in terms of country wide water systems. Otherwise I don’t know why he would think that a large island would need fresh water to be sourced from the continent.)
However, this stream was flowing from the direction of the ocean.
Serena said after thinking about it for a bit first.
“There might be a reservoir somewhere.”
“Should the water be flowing this fast though? It looked like it hadn’t really rained lately.”
Like Elysia said, water shouldn’t be flowing this hard even if there was a reservoir nearby, since there was no rain recently.
(TN: Again with the superfluous repetition of words.)
Tia also confirmed.
“It’s always like this here. That’s why we tend to stay away from here.”
It’s possible that ocean water could be flowing in, but it lacks that salty smell…… Just what could be causing this?
“Let’s head in the direction it’s flowing from for now.”
So we proceeded further upstream next to the channel.
We ignored all smaller branching paths and just kept going straight on the main line.
In another three minutes, we reached a place that opened up before us.
(TN: Why three minutes exactly? This is a weirdly specific timespan, not to mention that a three minute walk is not exactly long.)
“So the water is coming from here…..”
Where we came out was a vast dome-shaped room. In the center, we could see a circular lake.
“It doesn’t seem like just a normal reservoir…..”
The water surface in the middle of the lake seemed to be churning. Foam and bubbles could be seen showing up on the surface, then disappearing.
Water must be coming up from there.
“So it’s a spring….. but that tree….”
Near where the water was emerging from, there was a creepy looking black tree.
“Could that be, a Holy Tree?”
Holy Trees bear leaves filled with Holy mana.
Those leaves have restorative effects, so they are valuable materials that are used for making potions and curatives.
Once grown it’s quite sturdy, but it takes quite a bit of effort to cultivate.
It’s one of the symbols of the Church and there was something about how temples are ranked by how large of a Holy Tree they have in their garden.
However, a Holy Tree’s trunk should be white and its leaves kind of blueish.
In contrast, this tree was black and gloomy, with black fog emanating from it.
“……it’s creating Dark mana.”
The black fog coming from the tree must be the reason the water is filled with Dark mana.
“…..was it cursed with some kind of Dark Magic? Elysia. Can you purify that tree?”
“Leave it to me!”
Elysia released some kind of Holy Magic towards the tree.
A brilliantly dazzling light lit up the tree.
The light proceeded to cover the entire tree…..or it should’ve.
We could see the light brighten, then it created a flash.
I promptly closed my eyes on reflex.
When I opened my eyes again, a sinister black mist was floating above the center of the lake.