Chapter 6 – A Branch in the Coffin, Mistiltein (3)
As the coffin shattered, a sharp crushing sound rand out; the sound was enough to make everyone in the room freeze.
Divine punishment was coming…
Everyone froze in their tracks, unable to open their mouths because of the tension.
“Huh, what is this?”
Then, at that moment, the branch that lay inside the coffin ‘fell down’.
Literally, what had been a branch a moment ago had turned into black water and was pouring out under the force of gravity.
“I told you, it's fake,” Frondier said as he stuck his hand into the flowing black water.
The surrounding nobles gasped at this.
“That, you can touch that.”
Frondier tried to hold the black water in his hand and the water flowed down his hand.
But then Frondier made a fist,
The water turned back to metal in his fist, and when he squeezed it, it turned back to liquid.
“Yo, you're a weird one.”
At that moment, Elodie spoke up, as if something had dawned on her, “Viscoelasticity.”
Frondier smiled in affirmation at Elodie's words, “That's right, this substance is a viscoelastic metal.”
“What does that mean?”
“In simple terms, it means that if you apply force to it, it becomes solid, but if you leave it alone, it soon becomes liquid.”
But it was impossible for metals to have such property by nature.
Viscoelastic materials were soft because they were inherently elastic and viscous, even when they became solid.
They can't become as hard as metal.
It wasn't Mistiltein, but there was no doubt that this jet-black water was a metal with magical value.
“What happened that made it look like Mistiltein?”
“Someone must have infused it with mana using a magical formula to mimic its appearance, because magic is power.
Perhaps, this coffin probably served that purpose.”
Only then did a sense of relief surround them.
Since there were no gods involved, therefore there will be no divine punishment.
“But how did you know? That this thing is a fake?” Hortel asked.
“It is same as the elders thought.
Mistiltein was the weapon that killed God Baldur.
If this was indeed the branch, then Baldur would not have left it behind.”
Frondir hid the fact that he knew what the original Mistiltein looked like.
Too much of a fact kills persuasion.
“And I've never heard of Mistiltein being kept in a coffin.”
“That’s right, but that alone?”
What Frondier was saying now was what everyone knnew.
The odds of this branch here being real Mistiltein were certainly not high.
But no matter how low the odds were, you don't gamble with your life.
If you get it wrong, you'll suffer a fate worse than death.
“Like I said, I'm not afraid of punishment, and…”
Frondier poured the black water into a vial on the table.
The water, which had turned to metal when he applied force to it, flowed into the jar more easily than he expected.
Then, with sunken eyes, he said, “Just the thought of trading this for my father's sword, I cannot simply bear it.”
At that, everyone was silent for a moment.
But soon, a boisterous laugh broke out.
“Hahahaha! We've been completely outmaneuvered, and embarrassed in front of our younger friends.”
It was ‘Zodiac’ Heldre.
He laughed a boisterous laugh unbecoming of his age, then walked up to Frondier and put a hand to his head, “What did you say your name was?”
“Frondier, yes, Frondier, I will never forget that name.”
After saying that, Heldre looked at Enfer and said, “Enfer, you have a very filial son.”
“─I certainly have no words to add.”
“Since you didn’t have to give up your Gram because of your son, shouldn't you give him something?” Heldre eyes held a mischievous gleam that didn't match his wrinkled face.
Enfer, however, was not happy, “I was originally going to scold him.”
You heard him.
He’s not afraid of punishment.
That's something no one else here would dare to say.
Maybe the gods want a young man like this.”
Enfer lowered his eyes for a moment.
As it turned out, Frondier was right.
There was no need to sell the Gram now, and he had prevented the creation of another alliance between the Houses.
Bringing back the Mistiltein was not the end of the matter, as there was no need to increase the number of jealous eyes on the House in these times of frequent raids.
“You are far too consequentialist for your own good, Frondier.”
“……Yes, I apologize.
“Your behavior was very dangerous.
Normally, I would hold you accountable and teach you to never make such a mistake again.
You should consider yourself fortunate that I have not.”
“I will keep that in mind.”
Frondier bowed quietly.
Watching his action, devoid of even a handful of regret, Enfer sighed, “But, for what it's worth, I can't get away with this.”
Ludwig made a futile flirtation.
Enfere said, “If you want something, say so.”
There was a look of surprise in Frondier's eyes at those words; an emotion that was not uncommon in those impassive eyes.
“Uh, well, then…….” Frondier put his hand to his mouth for a moment, seeming to think, then raised his face, “I'd like to see the Gram in person.
The inside of that sheath.”
Short exclamations from those around him burst out.
Enfer's beloved, prized possession, the Gram.
It was a rare opportunity to witness it in its true form.
Everyone in the room glistened up at Frondier's suggestion.
“Is that enough?”
Enfer thought for a moment.
He couldn’t bring himself to say it, but he felt like this was not enough to reward Frondier for his action.
He placed his hand on the raised Gram.
The sword lay hidden in its scabbard.
Everyone watched Enfer’s movements.
But in that brief moment, only Quinie had other things on her mind.
‘How did he break it?’
Frondier was bare-handed at that moment.
He only put his hand on the coffin, he didn’t hit it with his fist, but the coffin was broken in an instant.
I just put my hand on the coffin, didn't punch it, and it shattered in an instant.
With Magic? But no spell?
Either that or…….
‘Aura, is it?’
Quinie swallowed hard.
Anyone who can radiate an aura with their bare hands was not at the student's level.
However, she couldn’t be sure yet.
If it's an aura, he must have released energy, but she didn't feel any flow of energy.
However, if he did indeed just used an aura, if it was a momentary release that was imperceptible to others.
No matter what happens, she must get him to her side.
Whatever it takes.
With a snap, the scabbard came off heavily and the pure blade within reflected the light.
“Ho-ho, this is……!”
The nobles' eyes lit up.
Gram, the Hero Sigurd's famous sword.
For all its fame, Gram was surprisingly plain in appearance.
The surface of the sword had quite beautiful patterns, like flowing waves, but it was not so beautiful as to be thought of as the work of a God.
Silence settled over the room.
This weapon was not to be judged by its outward beauty.
Although it just lay there, it seemed to weigh heavily on the air around it.
The blade felt cold, and the power within it seemed coalesced from top to bottom, like it was born to be that way.
‘I know I don't use a sword.
But indeed, gods are different.' Quinier admired inwardly.
Unconsciously, she couldn't help but assign a value to the weapon, but for now, she pushed that thought aside.
She wonder what the expression on Fondier's face was when he first spoke.
Curious, she turned to look,
Quinie gasped and quickly averted her gaze, in case he had noticed her staring.
‘Those eyes, what are they?’
Frondier was looking at Gram, too.
With an innocent face.
With pure eyes.
But the 'innocence' was far from peaceful.
Frondier was staring at it purely, as if he could devour it.
As if he could really do it.
The way those eyes coveted Gram was, well, how to say,
Pupils that violated the taboo.
━━━━━━ ⊙ ━━━━━━
“Aster, did you hear the news?”
“Huh? About what?”
Aster responded to the fuss of his friend Thane.
Thane, like Aster, was a commoner, and the two quickly became friends.
Aster was such a celebrity that Thane spoke to him with an almost fanatical fervor, which was a good match for the knucklehead.
“Haven't you seen the news, Mistiltein?”
I went to bed a little early last night.”
Aster said in an awkward voice and scratched his head.
But it was a lie.
Elin had taken away his WeezerView last night, saying there was a romance movie she needed to watch.
And then she said,
-Well, it's not ours anyway, but we'll check it out later.
There's plenty of time.
Her sister's got nerves of steel when it comes to other people's business.
She can't live without dying from romance
“They say Frondier broke the coffin!”
The corners of Aster's eyes twitched.
It wasn't displeasure, or anger, or anything like that, but is Frontier alive? It was an ominous foreboding.
“You mean the coffin where they kept the Mystiltein?”
“Yes! No, but it's different!”
“Different in what way?”
“Well, it turns out it was not Mistiltein.
It was a fake!”
Thane said, still sounding boastful.
But, indeed, something like this deserved to be talked about.
If it was a fake, then there would be no punishment.
So there was no need for Frondier to worry about it.
Does that mean Frondier knew it was a fake?”
“Well, I don't know, but maybe he had a corner of belief? I mean, I would never do such a thing no matter what evidence there is!”
No one does crazy things like that, no matter how strong the urge is.
…… Then it wasn't just a strong urge, but perhaps there was confirmation.
Something that only Frontier knows?
“……It's a fake.”
Aster's pupils darted.
He remembered Frondier's voice from the day before.
– Don't worry, Aster Evans.
– I'll take your worries away.
He thought It was a small consolation.
He thought it was impossible.
No matter which family Mistiltein went to, Aster Evans would have felt as if a knife was placed in front of his heart.
However, that’s right, he broke that knife.
━━━━━━ ⊙ ━━━━━━
Inside my dorm room, I stared at the jet-black water clinking in the glass jar.
Inside the gathering hall, I had focused all my attention on making a face as if I was indifferent to it.
Originally, in the course of the game, this fake Mistiltein was exchanged for the Gram of Enfer with a high probability.
It was then briefly enshrined in a prominent place in the House Roach’s manor, but it is quickly revealed that it was a fake.
Since there was no magician present at the banquet, there was a limit to the amount of mana input, so the coffin would break on its own.
As for the fate of the Gram after that, it was uncertain because it varied each time the game was played.
But it was a fearsome weapon that could trigger a sub-event no matter whose hands it fell into.
For now, it was still in my father's hands, which was a relief.
I set the square mold on the desk and poured out the metal from the glass jar and filled the mold.
Even when I played this game, I thought to myself 'whoa, that's a very subtle thing' about this metal.
As much as it pained me to say it, I think the only use for this metal would have been to ‘forge’ something, like imitating Mistiltein.
However, with Frondier, maybe…
I might be able to raise the properties of this metal beyond 100%.
I smiled, not hiding my anticipation.
“Henceforth, you shall be known as Obsidian.”
I ran my hand over the black cloth in the mold.
The sensation of a liquid with no temperature was still very unfamiliar to me.
Starting now, I will add 'weaving' to this Obsidian.
Grade – Normal
The image of a dagger mounted in the workshop was etched into the black cloth.
Mana was infused into the black cloth, and it gradually changed its shape.
In my clenched fist, I held the dagger.
It was not an illusion, it was not an image.
It was a black dagger that existed as a tangible reality.
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