“S-Class” Translator: Nigel the “One Whole Volume at a Glance” Man
Editors: Skythewood, Nate the “S-Class” Grammar Nazi and PervySageChuck the F-ranked, “Who the hell let this idiot in!?” man
Yao’s head hurt.
She approached everyone wearing green or dark green clothes and asked them, “Sorry, could I ask you a question?”
But none of them understood her
They were all the same. They simply smiled stiffly, or grinned, and their faces had confused expressions. She could not tell if they did or did not understand her.
Judging by the looks on their faces, they did not seem to understand her. She tried her best, but in the end, she still could not communicate with them.
As she was tormented by the thought that her efforts were in vain, she desperately hoped that there was someone who could speak her language. But she had no choice but to randomly approach people on the street.
After half a day, she had only managed to speak to around 20 to 30 people.
In the end, she realised that she could not communicate with the men in green… no. Though she could not get her meaning across, they could at least recognize individual phrases she said.
In the end, even people like these had started showing up.
“Dark Elf-neechan, are you looking for the men in green?”
She smoothly replied, “Is there a way to talk to them?” After all, the man speaking to her was not wearing green. By the looks of him, he was probably a man who understood this country.
He seemed too skinny to be a mercenary. He was most likely a trader, or a hired hand.
The man said to Yao, “I know where the men in green are, let me take you there.”
Yao was immensely grateful to hear this, so she took his kind words at face value.
Then, the man took her away from the busy streets and into the dark depths of the forest.
“Where are we going?”
“This way. The men in green are here.”
Yao could feel the sweat on the hand holding hers, and she wondered, “What’s with this hand?”
Could it be that he mistook me for a prostitute? she thought. This is bad. As she was thinking about this, he took her to a secluded place and said “I have money, and I have connections. I can put in a good word for you with the men in green,” and then he tried to force himself on Yao.
“I will not be controlled by strength or money,” she said, and kneed him in the groin. In the depths of pain, the man realised he had made a mistake and ran off with a twisted face.
Why had he dropped his money pouch, she wondered, before resolving to return it.
Normal women would probably shout, “How dare you!” and continue chasing him, and they might end up beating the crap out of him. But Yao did not do that. He was a young man, and it was only understandable, so she decided to look at it from an enlightened point of view and let it go.
Yao was quite aware of the effect she had on men (especially in her bondage armor). If anything happened, she would take care of it by herself. After all, this was not the first time this sort of thing had taken place. She was worried that it might end up becoming a bad habit.
She was not the sort of woman who would be bought by money, alcohol or brute force. However, if someone approached her courteously, she would seriously consider it. However, she never met that sort of people, so she had no choice but to kick them in the crotch instead.
In the end, all she had done was waste time. She had been dragged around the town.
Even now, her fellows were still exposed to the threat of the Flame Dragon. Her sufferings were nothing in comparison to that. Yao motivated herself and went back into town to look for people.
However, she could hardly find any men in green in the back street.
What she found instead was a line of carts stuffed full of cargo, lined up in a row. By the looks of things, the back street was a warehouse district of some kind. There were also warehouses under construction, and some of them had finished roofs, so the building materials were piled inside. They were then covered by a thick cloth to ward off rain and dust.
The workers here were moving cargo from the carts to the warehouse.
Most of the cargo was meat jerky and other staple foods. There were livestock in cages as well. After some work, they would probably be sold in the canteen.
There were mercenaries of all stripes having a rest by the side. They wore stained traveller’s clothes, and looked like they had just come to town. Their horses were being watered and fed.
One of the mercenaries saw Yao, and he decided to be a busybody and come over.
“Yo~ neechan, what’s up? If you’re bored, why don’t you come play with us?”
At least this time he had asked nicely, and he seemed stronger than the rude fellow just now. However, he still lacked the proper attitude, and his tone dripped with lewdness. Yao fixed him with a cold glare and replied, “Hmph~ your little toy couldn’t begin to satisfy me.”
And so the man ran away, a hurt expression on his face.
It looked like Yao’s words had a crushing effect on that man. Perhaps he had a size complex.
She sensed that she had done something bad, and hastily fled the scene.
After a while, she came to a place where crates and boxes were stacked high.
In front of her, Yao saw traders haggling over prices. There were boxes which contained a very fine and very shiny fabric. Even Yao could tell at a glance that they were expensive.
Out of curiosity, she asked what the fabric was. A nearby trader explained, “This cloth is called ‘satin’. Its key features are that it’s lustrous and feels smooth to the touch. It would make very pretty clothes.”
The trader had come to Arnus just for this.
“I’m not here to buy things.”
The man, who looked like a supervisor, broke off his haggling.
In order not to let too many people crowd Arnus Town, the ALC had set up branch stores in Italica, the Capital, Lognan and Deiabis, which focused on sales.
“Please, I need this, could you help me out?”
The trader had obviously been to all the branch stores, but all the places he visited were out of stock. He could not obtain the fabric he wanted. However, he did not give up. He could not wait here for the goods to arrive. In order to get things done, he had to get the silk by any means necessary
The trader said: there had been a great upheaval among the patricians of the Empire.
The Imperial ladies now wore figure-hugging dresses in vibrant colors, and adorned themselves with sparkling accessories of dyed gold and silver threads.
The other women, their souls stolen by these fresh, new and brilliant items, nervously asked, “Where did these come from?” But their owners simply smiled enigmatically and kept silent.
“What’s that lovely little fan in your left hand?”
The answer: “Oh that? it’s nothing much. Ohohohohoho~” and then they would fold it up with a patapata sound.
“Then, those accessories on your person, what are those lovely pearls? They don’t look like normal pearls…”
The answer: “Oh, those? They’re not high-class or anything like that. Ohohohohoho~” and then they would move so their pearl necklace made a clacking sound, and show off their pearl earrings.
“How did your body (translation: breasts) become like that?”
“Ah, no, I have no idea how they grew so big. Ohohohohohohohohohohohohoho~”
“Come on, tell me, where did you get those cosmetics from?!”
“From the same place we all do. If it looks pretty, then that’s because the person underneath was beautiful to begin with. Ohohohohohohohohohohohohohohohohohohohohohohohoho~ koff, koff”
Women would not be jealous of others because of their intelligence or temperament, but in turn, they would be intensely jealous of wealth, beauty and other such things. They would use others’ jealousy of them to feed their senses of superiority. Therefore, they would compare themselves with each other. One patrician lady was so jealous she bit her handkerchief to shreds.
And so, these noble women, driven by jealousy, envy and hatred, made their desire into a spearhead which pointed at the Imperial Capital’s fashion industry, which were the textile shops and tailors.
However, the shops and tailors could only say, “We can’t make anything that good. We can’t even make threads out of gold. If we had the material, it might be possible… do you get it?” That was to say, without the necessary raw materials, they were helpless.
To them, what they meant by “anything good” was patrician ladies’ dresses, maid uniforms, or priests’ formal wear. The quality of all of these was in turn determined by the quality of the cloth, dyes, embroidery and stitching used to make them, and the difference between two good pieces could be very fine indeed. This meant that if the cloth they used was inferior, there was not much they could do.
And so, the textile tradesmen and seamstresses began running everywhere to gather information.
There was a tailor who made dresses out of unknown materials. They started there, looking at those tailors who went in and out of the noble homes, and when they found him, they squeezed a confession out of him (his daughter later said that originally he didn’t want to talk, but he was forced to speak after he started fearing for his life.
After that, all the information they collected pointed to “Arnus.”
And so, all the tailors and textile merchants thronged the ALC branch shops to secure printed cloth, nishijin embroidery, and other such items, which they sucked up like vacuum cleaners.
However, at the same time they also saw samples of other goods, made from materials such as lustrous satin, sheer and translucent chiffon, strong and tough taffeta, soft velvet, stretchable elastics and so on. The dying techniques they used were impressive, and the colors they produced were bright and vibrant. Even the incredibly expensive purple dye, reserved for the royal family, was sold like any other product.
By the way, the products sewn from stretchable materials were “T-shirts”, which absorbed sweat well and were popular despite their high price. There were even signs that wearing them might become a trend.
“After we use this fabric as the base material, the rest will be up to the design.”
The tailors, long past the horizon of despair, clenched their fists tightly. Somehow, somewhere in the inventories of the ALC branch shop in the Imperial Capital, they had found an “art book”, used for reference.
Although there was only one copy, placed all by itself to one side, it seemed to draw people in with its extraordinarily detailed art, which also had words written in some country’s letters on it.
Nobody could understand the text, but that was not a problem. To them, the important thing was the clothing designs that they used for reference. Some designs were too fancy, but that just meant they had to modify the design for their own use. When they thought, “This is pretty good...” they would take the feature they found and adjust it for use in other projects. In this way, the foreign art book became a top secret among the tailors of the Imperial Capital, and was carefully preserved.
By the way, if a Japanese person were to read the words on that book, they would find that the words said “cosplay” or “layer”. As for why such a book would be in the Special Region, probably only a certain Japanese man with a strong connection to the ALC would know.
—Several weeks ago.
“Does anyone know where my magazine went? It was the international cosplay special.”
“Beats me. Didn’t see it.”
“Where did you leave it?”
“El-tee, please take care of your own things.”
And so, the Imperial Capital’s fashion trends were dominated by brilliantly-made dresses of dubious origins, or strangely designed new dresses made of mysterious yet marvellous materials.
The trader continued his explanation.
A certain patrician debutante-to-be was set to appear on the social scene soon. The merchant had been asked to “give me the best possible dress” for that event. If he failed to do so, her father would not be kind to him.
Therefore, for his wife and children’s sake, he had searched everywhere for the fabric, and finally he had encountered a material called “satin”. The trader said he wanted to use it for the dress.
The man in charge held his hands in front of his chest and muttered to himself. Before he was responsible for the ALC’s textiles, he had also been a cloth merchant, and he was very familiar with the patricians’ high-handed ways. Therefore, he wanted to help the trader before his eyes. However, he could not sell the fabric directly to him. That was the place of the branch shops.
As she saw the troubled pair, Yao said, “How about this…”
The trader had to return to the capital in any event, and the textile supervisor had to send his goods to the capital. That being the case, why not put down a deposit first, and then wait until the fabric arrived at the capital before collecting it from the branch store?
Once they settled the payment, even if the trader decided that he did not want the fabric, it would be fine. He would pay first and receive a receipt, and then exchange the receipt for the goods he wanted. The ALC would not lose out in any way. Still, it would be in the trader’s best interests to stick to the agreement to facilitate future transactions. However, if he could not wait for the goods to arrive, it might cause problems as well.
After the trader and the supervisor heard Yao’s thoughts, they pounded their fists into their palms.
“I see, that way it’ll all work out!”
“That’s quite a trick, to arrange things so nobody loses out. Then again, such wisdom is only to be expected of the Dark Elves.”
“Ah, that’s true, as expected of such a cunning race.”
The way the two of them looked at Yao seemed to say, “What a villain you are”.
Yao thought, What, isn’t this very normal? and then she left, as though her job was done.
She returned to the main road once again, going from store to store in search of the men in green.
Soon enough, she saw a Catgirl maid speaking with several men in green.
They seemed to be chatting. The girl smiled, and the men’s faces turned red. As she encouraged them, they bought more and more things.
Ah, could it be these men can speak the language? As she thought about that, she realised that was not the case. Rather, the Catgirl maid was speaking the men in green’s language.
Yao thought. Why could she speak to the men in green? She could not shy away from asking. When she chatted up the Catgirl, it turned out that she was the one drinking beside Yao.
The Catgirl mischievously asked, “Found your man in green ~nya?” and then she honestly answered Yao’s question.
“Because of this ~nya”
She withdrew a small but skilfully made book.
It contained the language that the men in green (according to the Catgirl, they were Japanese) used. It was a phrasebook for simple conversation.
Edited by the Arnus Living Community / Supervised by Kato El Ardestan / Printed by Gakuon Publishing. Because of the color of its cover page, they all called it the “Little Red Book”.
“Could, could you sell this to me?”
The red book’s cover had the following words printed in gold lettering:
The contents of this book are for internal use only. Do not use for non-educational purposes. After using, destroy by burning.
“This book is issued free of charge to the ALC members or the people working for them. The language study people have them too ~nya. I don’t know how outside people can get it ~nya. I never thought of selling it, so I don’t know how much it costs. Sorry, but I can’t sell it to you ~nya.”
“Is there really no way? Like I said last night, I have to find the men in green and get them to help by any means necessary. Since this morning, I’ve found a few, but I couldn’t communicate with them at all. Please, I’m begging you…”
Since she had come this far, Yao was prepared to do it. She bowed deeply to the Catgirl.
If she could, the Catgirl would have liked to give the book to Yao. However, she was an employee, so she could not make that decision lightly.
Although it was given to them free of charge, books were very valuable things in this world. When she received this book, she was prepared to pay several months of salary for it. The things she needed for work like the maid uniform she was wearing now, the furniture in her home, her food bills, and the costs of other expendables were deducted from her monthly pay, which was a natural thing in this world. However, the book was a different matter.
She was issued essential items. She had a discount on food (employee price). The hostel had adequate facilities. Of course, if she damaged them by fooling around, she would have to pay for the damages, but wear and tear over the course of proper usage was a different matter.
These were working conditions she could not find elsewhere. One might even call them revolutionary. When she saw her employment contract, she nearly said, “What’s ‘paid vacation’, can you eat it ~nya?”
Because of that, they were very serious about that work and had a strong sense of duty, for fear of losing the trust of the ALC. Even in the face of temperamental mercenaries, they grinned and bore it.
If they were no longer trustworthy, they would be sent back. It would also mean they would be throwing mud in the face of House Formal, which had recommended them to such an ideal workplace, and their entire tribe would be shamed as a result.
She understood that Yao’s tribe of Dark Elves was in grave danger, but giving her that book would endanger the Catpeoples’ way of life. Their homes depended on the money they sent back to them.
Therefore, she could not say something like, “It’s just a book, take it.”
Normally, when she encountered a difficult situation like this, she could ask one of her superiors “What should I do ~nya?” In this case, her superiors were the elders who were the ALC’s managers, the sages, or the Elf. However, as luck would have it, all of them were out. So she asked Yao to wait. However, Yao replied, “I can’t wait any longer. It has to be now.”
“It can’t be done ~nya!”
“I beg you, please…”
“Even if you lower your head to me, I can’t do it ~nya...”
“Then what do you want from me?”
Just as the Catgirl was agonizing about what to do, two people from the security details (military police) entered the store. They were dressed in the JGSDF fatigues, but they had armbands with “Military Police / MP” on their right shoulders.
As MPs, they would make regular patrols. Currently, they were on their beat.
“What’s wrong, Meiya-chan? Having problems?” the MP asked in a Kansai accent. Although the Catgirl’s Japanese was not very polished, she did not have trouble answering him.
If she told them she was troubled because of Yao’s request, the MPs, might treat Yao as a suspicious person and throw her out of the store. But if she heard the reason why Yao came to Arnus and felt sympathy for her, they probably would not do that.
Just then, one of the MPs furrowed his brows after looking over Yao.
“Hm? This Elf. Isn’t she the one in the reports?”
“I think she is. Brown skin, silver hair, elf ears, very beautiful, wearing leather armor… if you gave her a whip she’d be perfect. Her turban and scarf are just like that scammer we were told about.”
“Then again, the one who told us this was a shady sort himself, but since we’ve met her, we might as well ask her directly.”
In truth, the MPs had received a report from a victim. “I was seduced by a beautiful female Dark Elf, she brought me to the forest and kicked me in the crotch and then stole my money pouch!”
According to the Special Region JSDF Expeditionary Forces Special Law, MPs were empowered to investigate crimes and arrest criminals within any territory in the Special Region administered by the JSDF, in order to maintain public safety.
The MPs told Yao, “Sorry, I have something to ask you”. Because it concerned the law and order of Arnus, they were trying their best to communicate in the language of the Special Region. It definitely was not because they wanted to chat up the Catgirl. Probably.
A Japanese who could speak our language?!
Yao was overjoyed. And he even said that he had something to ask her.
From the morning until now, she had approached countless people. Because she could not communicate with them, she was plunged into despair. But in the end, someone she could talk to appeared in front of her. Having some good luck at last filled her with happiness.
As she thought about it, her tears started brimming in her eyes. She even wanted to cry out in joy.
“Sorry, but could you come with us for a little while? We have some questions for you.”
Yes, yes. As long as you’ll listen to me, I’ll go anywhere you want.
And so, Yao complied with the MPs’ request and followed them, as a suspected con artist.
This place was in the middle of the forest.
There was a small spring between the forest’s trees. A large boulder lay by its side, and an old man sat on that boulder.
He had his magic staff in hand, and he carefully watched the pupil he had raised.
His pupil was a girl young enough to be his granddaughter, and as an old sage and a magician, it was his job to observe how she had grown. He remained still, like a picture.
Lelei La Lelena stood calmly by the side of the small lake. She grasped her staff, and prepared to work magic.
The horn-like sounds from her throat were mixed with the sounds of a one-man chorus.
First, she would need to create the framework for the “Initiation”.
The world ruled by the “true principle” would be expanded by the “magic principle”, and then one would create an “array” to accommodate the “false principle”.
The air was not moved by the wind. It was propelled by “false air” produced by the “false principle”. Under the influence of a magic-user, the roiling of the “magic principle” slightly ruffled her hair.
Her soul touched the “true principle” at the heart of all things.
A silence like that of a vacuum spread throughout the quiet forest.
A small ring of plasma appeared around her hand. This ring of light orbited her wrist like a bracelet.
The ring quietly split into two, then four, and the number steadily increased. Not just that, as the number of rings increased, so did their size, and they gradually spread forward.
The rings of light were like a string of pearls, and by the time they spread past her finger, there were over 30 of them. They grew larger and larger as they spread forward until the diameter of the foremost rings was now the same as her petite height.
Lelei withdrew her arm from the ring in the air and snapped her fingers. Then —
— The smallest ring of light exploded, followed by the next, in a chain reaction.
The explosions came in rapid succession. The chained blasts formed a column of violet light, like a gigantic trumpet of explosions.
The projectile of light it created was a block of condensed heat. When it touched the surface of the spring, it boiled off a large amount of water in an instant, creating a phenomenon that could be called a steam explosion.
And then, the water blasted into the sky fell like rain.
Bathed in the sudden downpour, Kato could not move for a moment. This was far beyond the results he had expected. It seemed to freeze his soul. Be it the impact, the high temperature steam around them, or the icy cold rain that fell, all of them were bad for his heart.
Lelei maintained her blank expression as the rain fell, and waited for Kato’s evaluation.
Kato swept back his damp hair, and squeezed the droplets out before speaking.
“Lelei, you’ve done a wonderful job. I have nothing to say. Can you explain the “principle” you just showed?”
Lelei bowed quietly and spoke in a scholarly tone of voice.
Mages of the Lindon school were feared for their combat magic, but in truth, the situation was not as it seemed.
For instance, the use of magic in battle was merely using magic to alter the “true principle” of natural phenomena, so they could be used for combat purposes.
“It’s like this.”
Lelei picked up a pebble and let it float in mid-air, and flung it against a nearby trunk like a bullet.
The “false principle” interfered with the “true principle” which made the pebble fall. However ballistae and catapults could also do this, and better, so she had to train to overcome the spell’s weakness.
This time, Lelei lifted about 10 pebbles. The pebbles floated around the target and stuck it from all sides, leaving numerous holes in the trunk.
This was a technique ballistae and catapults could not duplicate. This was why combat magic was feared.
But practically speaking, what was the difference between looking at it from a mundane and from a magician’s point of view? Fire magic basically drowned the target in fire. Using kindling or flaming oil would have the same effect. Similarly, water magic of all sorts eventually ended up soaking the enemy in water.
And all of these could be replicated by machines and tools. In addition, the radius of the “false principle was small, while the power it could produce was easily exceeded by large devices.
Although it would be fine in small battles, many battles recently were large-scale clashes of power, and thus the importance of mages went down. Of course, they were not completely useless. They were indispensable as doctors and for their utility magic. However, the Lindon school which prided itself on combat magic could not rest on their laurels like that. It was their duty to continue the research their forefathers passed down.
However, in the face of the “guns” and “cannons” and other potent weapons used by the JSDF, even the effort they had been putting in until now would not be enough to keep up with the times.
It was a problem that could not be solved by using the “false principle” to interfere with the “true principle”. The practical applications of the “true principle” were more effective, and technological development meant that it would eventually catch up to and surpass magic.
This meant that the country on the other side of the Gate had a far deeper and broader understanding of the “true principle” than they did. If they used the “true principle to work magic”, could they produce a spell that exceeded all others in power? That was what Lelei was aiming for.
For example, the research into “flame” on the other side of the Gate.
According to that research, “flame” was a phenomenon created by the combination of “oxidizers” in the air with material “fuel”. They called this phenomenon “combustion”.
After that, “explosions” were an instantly-occurring form of “combustion”. It was similar to how a sealed object would burst after being heated, but different at the same time.
“Why don’t you try setting off an explosion?”
Lelei created a ball of light in mid-air.
On the other side of the Gate, the “oxidizer” was called “oxygen”. The “fuels” were objects made of “carbon” or “hydrogen”. Now she would use the “false principle” to generate and isolate a quantity of “oxidizer” and “fuel”, and then combine them. After that, she would seal them in a field, and let it float in mid-air until it reached the right density. Then finally, she would release them from the “false principle” in one go.
She snapped her fingers, and the ball of light exploded.
“On the other side of the Gate, there is a substance called “gunpowder”. It is comparable to this ball of light.”
“Ah, that makes sense. You’ve created new applications of magic, Granted, these applications were influenced by research from the other world, but combining them with magic and obtaining results from it make you worthy of the title of ‘Sage’.”
By controlling the hitherto ungraspable phenomenon of explosions, the value of magic was increased as well. If one thought about it, this would have a lot of useful applications in military, industrial and other fields, Kato reasoned.
“However, this lacks power.”
Explosions by themselves were not very destructive. They released a huge burst of light, heat, and sound, and ended. To create a more powerful effect, one would need to gather more fuel, but that was hardly efficient, Lelei explained. At this point, Kato raised his hand to interrupt her.
Then, after telling her, “It seems we have guests,” he looked behind himself.
Lelei looked in the same direction he did. There stood a JSDF MP.
“I’m very sorry, but there are some difficult things we have to say. Could you help interpret for us?”
Lelei sighed softly, then bowed to Kato before following the MP.
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