Non-commentated version of this chapter here for those that don’t want to interrupt their reading of the story with my rambling.
Chapter 34 – Growing emotions
I’ve finished burying the last skeleton in the graveyard of the temple next to the governmental building.
(TN: Why is the 7 years old doing the actual digging? And how?)
The slimes helped out as well, so the work itself did not take even an hour.
A wooden grave marker was placed everywhere a skeleton was buried. I planned on having the blue hair brigade make some impressive ones later.
I called out to Serena, who had her hands together in a praying position facing the grave markers.
“Serena, are you alright?”
“Yes. It’s been so long ago already, but…..why would someone do something like this…..”
Among the skeletons, there were some that belonged to children. The black clothed woman must’ve ordered the Guardians to indiscriminately kill everyone. From an outside perspective, that can be considered going too far.
(TN: No! Really? Wow. Who would’ve thought that indiscriminate genocide is kind of a bad thing to do?)
“They must’ve had a deep grudge against the empire…..”
Serena was startled by my words, but then started shaking her head.
“Tialus used to not belong to the empire either……When it was first occupied, I’ve heard that a lot of people were made examples in cruel ways. It’s understandable that they would hate the empire.”
Just like she said, the empire has indeed destroyed a lot of countries and tribes. There have been times when the enemy leader was publicly executed even. It’s no wonder they would hold a grudge.
(TN: I guess the former empire being the good guys is entirely off the table.)
This Tialus territory was also under the rule of another country, but then the empire occupied it.
“The black clothed woman did not say anything. She just massacred all of us without a word. However, her expression was of deep anger. She must’ve held some kind of grudge.”
“Perhaps so…..Anyhow, there is a chance that the black clothed woman is still alive somehow. She was using Dark Magic, so she’s most likely not a human. We should prepare for that possibility.”
Well, if her aim was only revenge, then it can be considered to be achieved already.
Serena nodded deeply.
“There is no use lamenting the past…. My duty now is to be of use to Alec-sama and protect the people of this island. Let’s go and investigate the magical metal ore mine we were planning on visiting.”
With those words, Serena seems to have put the past behind her.
“Yeah, let’s do that…..oh, right.”
I noticed that the Guardians nearby were looking quite down.
(TN: Well, they have been mind controlled to kill off their own citizens for a thousand years, so I’d say they have a reason to not be inordinately happy right now.)
“They seemed very contrite for a while now….”
Well, even though they were controlled, they ended up killing the people that they supposed to have been protected, so it’s no wonder they would be feeling apologetic.
However, those are emotions that humans or animals would feel.
These ones were supposed to be artificial existences.
“They seem to be quite expressive with their emotions…..I also saw some of them pick some flowers from the roadside just now.”
There were indeed a few Guardians with flowers in their hands.
They must’ve wanted to place them on the graves.
As if just noticing this, Serena also kept her gaze on them.
“Those seem to be quite human-like for Guardians.”
“Is that strange?”
“Yes. They moving like that should be impossible…..When I saw that after I arrived here, they seemed to be nothing more than puppets.”
“Did some souls perhaps possess them somehow?”
“No way. A Guardian’s Magic Core is a modified version of a golem’s Magic Core. Golems having emotions like that is pretty much unthinkable.”
Golems are monsters that appear in rocky mountains.
They are made up of rock gathered around a Magic Core and they attack everyone that enters their territory. They have no family or allies.
“That seems logical…..but in that case, these are….”
Did they perhaps manage to grow a conscience during those long years?
(TN: Golems just spontaneously turning into pseudo-human consciousnesses like that without any apparent reason, complete with awareness of human cultural norms like putting flowers on a grave, is a hella convenient thing.)
“Anyhow, they seem to be pretty depressed now.”
After Elysia said that, Serena stepped closer to the Guardians.
“Listen! It’s already in the past! There is no use worrying about it anymore! I wasn’t able to protect the people of this island either! Let’s do our best for Alec-sama and the new residents of this island.”
(TN: At least let them put down their flowers and pay their respects first, jeez.)
Hearing Serena’s words, the Guardians all clenched their fists in frustration.
However, they all shortly shook their heads.
They seemed very human right now…..Though it’s most likely partly due to the effect of Serena’s Crest as well.
“Well, let’s have them do their best from now on…..but, it’s possible they’ll get controlled by the black clothed woman again…..”
I took a moment to think things through.
I guess I’ll just cover their Magic Cores with my own Dark mana.
However, there may be an easier way…..It might be possible to make these Guardians into my Servants.
(TN: And why would that prevent them from getting controlled again?)
I can release them from being my Servants anyway, so I guess it’s best to just try it.
“If I can just release them, then……Hey, Guardians. I will make you into my Servants now. Any objections?”
After hearing my question, the Guardians all fell to one knee.
In the next moment, the Guardians were enveloped in light.
What appeared after that were…..the same kind of suits of armor as before.
However, a voice could be heard from inside a suit of armor.
“We….are sorry…..we killed….”
That’s…..It appears they became able to speak now. Just like the mouse people.
I guess they wanted to say what they felt out loud.
“Don’t worry about it……no, if you are still not satisfied, then go and pray in front of their graves.”
“Understood….we thank you.”
After hearing my words, the Guardians went to apologize to the graves. Some even left flowers.
Serena watched it with an expression that said she still couldn’t believe it was happening. That wasn’t something normal Guardians would do.
(TN: I guess there was no fully sentient magical AI slave race then. Though I guess there is one now.)
In time, the Guardians once again kneeled in front of me.
“Alec-sama. We, are thankful…..We will serve you, with our all.”
Though their speech was imperfect, the meaning came through.
If something happens, we will be able to get verbal reports from the Guardians. That’s something very useful.
“Y-yeah. Let’s get along then, Guardians……no, you should have your own names.”
So I gave every single one of the Guardians a proper name from the empire.
Though it’s temporary, I decided to call them the armor group for now.
I’ll leave the defense and the security of the island to them.
After that we went down to the underground passageway once more and headed towards the magical metal ore mine.