Chapter 23 – RETURN TO THE LABORATORY
「Aa, it feels kind of nostalgic」
Night, with Hanna and Martha asleep, Jin and the 《Automata》 Reiko returned to the 《Magi Craft Meister》 base, the research facility.
「It’s bright even though it’s night… there are magic lamps, huh」
The important areas inside the research facility are furnished with magic lamps, and because the 《Automata》 had been doing the maintenance all this time, the research facility’s equipment were adequately functional.
Because of that, the 《Automata》 had passed its life of service, and had once collapsed in front of Jin. Jin then repaired it, or rather remodeled it with magic into the current Reiko.
「Well then… to start with, shall I upgrade Reiko?」
「Is that fine?」
「Aa, I’ll be in your care in the future after this… Lie down over there」
「Okay, thank you very much」
In the room Reiko was remodeled, Reiko laid on the same bench.
「I’ll cut your magic power temporarily」
When the 《Magic Drive》 stopped, Reiko’s operation smoothly stopped. Since Jin had already come up with an upgrade plan for Reiko in his head, he immediately collected materials.
「Okay, this looks good」
In the storehouse there was a large quantity of 《Mana Material》 stored, from them there were two beautiful 《Magic Obsidian》 he picked out.
Next he took out 《Magic Quartz》, two of them together for the eyes. To connect them, he wrote down a 《Magic Formula》 he devised.
「Alright, magic detection, and life detection. Also long distance, magnification, night vision, see through」
Once again by adding absurd features the upgrade was finished. Then again.
「Somehow, it feels like some parts have slightly deteriorated. I might as well 《Reinforce》 it」
Jin felt that the joints of the arms and legs were slightly worn out.
「The 《Light Silver》 can’t keep up with Reiko’s power after all, I’ll have to change it to 《Light Mithril》」
The shape of the frame could be left as, changing it to a stronger material, further coating it with a thin film of Adamantite on the exterior. With this, the durability increased by many times.
「There was too much muscles because I was in a hurry that time. But I might as well take the opportunity to thin the strands of 《Magic Fibre》 to increase the number of them. With this the flexibility should increase and the durability should improve」
It was same as a wire rope made by twisting together thin steel wire.
「I feel like this material wasn’t here before… aa, it’s the wing of the 《Sham Dragon》 Reiko had defeated. The 《Magic Skin》 is just perfect for skin」
Jin finished all of the upgrades he wanted to do in about 4 hours. Though the external appearance had not changed at all, the insides could be said to be powered up.
「Alright, Reiko, 《Wake Up》!」 ⚑
The 《Magic Drive》 restarted. She immediately woke up as there was enough magic power used this time.
「Reiko, how’s your condition?」
Reiko got up and landed on the floor. For a little while, she moved little by little to check the condition of her body,
「It’s very good. Thank you very much」
She says with a bow.
「I see, that’s good. Then, we’ll return to the village today」
When Jin said that, Reiko,
「Eh? Weren’t you going to come stay here?」
「No, there’s my promise with Hanna, and most importantly, there’s no food or water here…」
From Jin’s words, Reiko received some shock,
「T-That’s right… Father needs to eat…」
and she felt down. While Jin was surprised that the 《Automata》 grew such feelings,
「Aa, because of that, we’ll go back and forth between the village and here, you’ll need to adjust to living in this environment」
「… okay, I’ll do my best」
So using the 《Warp Gate》, Jin and Reiko returned to Kaina Village. Jin quietly slipped into his own bed, with Reiko standing beside it. To that Reiko, Jin,
「Hey, I’ll feel restless if you stand there」
「However, this is because if something terrible were to happen to Father. Also, it is unnecessary to concern yourself with me as I do not tire」
「Then are the very least, please sit on the chair」
「Listen to what I say」
After such an exchange, Jin finally got a short sleep.
The next morning.
Hanna came to wake up Jin who overslept due to going to the laboratory last night. But.
「Father is still sleeping」
She was obstructed by Reiko. Hanna,
「Move. Because breakfast is ready I need to wake up Onii-chan」
「Please let him sleep for a little longer」
「The food is done!」
「Lack of sleep is not good for his health」
「If he doesn’t eat, his stomach will be empty!」
「… so noisy」
Of course he would have no choice but to wake up with all the noise being made at the bedside.
「Aa, it’s morning, huh. Hanna, did you come to wake me up?」
For some reason Hanna looked at Reiko with a face of triumph.
Reiko hanged her head.
Jin got dressed and washed his face, then went to eat.
「Good morning Jin. It’s rare that you would oversleep」
It was rare that the Jin who was always an early riser to oversleep, Martha said.
「Ee, there were various things I did till it was a little late」
「Are you making something agaain? You really like to do that」
Because Martha knew Jin liked manufacturing things, with those few words it ended.
Hanna left to the yard after helping with the dishwashing. And, there awaited Reiko. Hanna avoided Reiko and went towards the workshop Jin would be in but then,
「Hanna-chan, please wait」
Reiko called out.
「What? I’m going to the place where my Onii-chan is」
「Could I talk to you a little?」
「I have nothing to say to someone like you」
Reiko held onto the cold Hanna,
「It goes without saying. I want to hear a story about Father」
For matters regarding Jin, the Hanna who was about to leave stopped her feet.
「Yes. Father immediately disappeared after he rebuilt me… because he disappeared, yesterday was the first time I talked with Father」
「So that’s it…」
Because of that confession, Hanna though Reiko was a little pitiful.
「Hanna-chan, because you’ve lived together with Father for half a year, I think you know more about Father than me. Therefore please let me hear a story」
With that said, Hanna’s will to refuse was broken, and decided to start with the somewhat boastful story.
「… the first thing is that I was the one to find Jin-oniichan! When I went to the forest to pick up the leaves of the tea trees, Onii-chan had collapsed」
「When Onii-chan saw me drawing the water, because it was difficult for me, he made a pump for me!」
「Because he made a bicycle trailer for me, carrying the water became easier!」
「He made me a tool to sieve the wheat so that I could eat delicious bread!」
「For the stove, it has become easier to make meals. There is no need for firewood」
「He made me a ball and handball, and also played a game of tag with me. Onii-chan is really kind」
「He made the Golems Gon and Gen, and also made my Mr Horse, Mint, for me. It’s really fast!」
The chronological order was disconnected, but from the fervent speech displayed by Hanna, she could hear that Jin cherished Hanna.
「Is that so? Father seems to take good care of Hanna-chan」
So, those words spontaneously spilled from the mouth of Reiko.
「I guess… so」
「Yes. That is so. Yesterday I was finally able to see Father, and had him finally repair my body that was in bad condition」
Hanna, who had been almost hogging Jin to herself, started feeling a little guilty once she knew that Reiko had been alone for a long time.
「Ri…ght… Reiko-oneechan would be lonely if she couldn’t meet Onii-chan… I would be too…」
Hanna recalled that she was lonely after losing her parents, up until she met Jin.
「I’m sorry. Somehow, it felt like Reiko-oneechan was going to take Jin-oniichan away…」
Then Reiko gently caressed Hanna’s head,
「It’s okay. Last night, Father had said it. 『There’s my promise with Hanna-chan』」
He would stay in the village until Spring, Jin told her that.
「I see, so Onii-chan said that!」
Hanna’s face brightened, to her Reiko,
「Hanna-chan, would you become friends with me?」
said holding out her hand. Hanna stared at that hand for a little bit, and eventually returned a firm grasp with both hands,
「Un! Reiko-oneechan is my friend! My best regards, Onee-chan」
Jin smiled while quietly watching the situation between the two in the shadows of the workshop.