“That reminds me, it’s kinda late but what’s going on with spirit magic these days?”
In the glittering milky-white Spirit Realm, I gathered the arch-spirits and asked them something that’s been bothering me.
Right now, we’re having a tea party with the chairs and table taken out from 【Storage】 floating in this space, with the tea and accompanying snacks on top of the table.
It’s a weird sensation, but the Spirit Realm doesn’t actually have a ground surface, so I have to make do. But the spirit of storm that I blew away earlier was making a bouncing motion… I don’t understand this place.
“If I remember correctly, there was a thing called ancient spirit magic right?”
It’s the topic Charlotte-san, Belfast’s Court Magician, was researching, if I remember correctly. I haven’t seen her in quite a while… Wonder if she’s doing ok.
“Even now, if a proper contract is made, we will lend our powers to the contractor, you know. However, the proper way to form those contracts seems to be mostly lost from the surface world now. Our language has been lost too, it seems.”
“There were times when our dependants get called out by accident, but the other side just kept on blabbering about things that they couldn’t even understand, and there weren’t a single decent one who can converse with them, apparently. They just kept on repeating ‘lend me strength’, ‘lend me strength’, or something.”
The spirits of light and fire answered my question.
The contract made with a spirit is one of equal standings. When all’s said and done, the spirits are simply lending their powers to the contractor, after all.
Different from a summoned beast, a spirit has the option of breaking the contract from their end, too. If they’re requested something they don’t want to do, they have the right to refuse that even with the contract.
If you think of summoned beasts as company employees who are paid wages to work, then spirits are more like friends. If you treat friends like you would subordinates and work them hard, they’ll obviously run out of patience and leave you alone.
Well, even if it’s to your subordinates in a company, if you keep pushing them too much you’d be hated by them too.
“Guess it would be best for us to spread that as an important point, huh. Things like ‘Spirits are equal in standing to men, and should be treated as a friend’.”
“From our standpoint, it’s troublesome if we’re relied on too much, or the contractors started acting too familiar towards us though.”
The spirit of earth tilted her small head slightly while having one hand on her cheek.
Spirits are basically representatives of nature. Since time immemorial, people have admired the mountains, prayed to the sea, feared the storms, and thanked the earth for its blessings.
That’s exactly why spirits have become the hands and feet of gods, and helped form and protect the particular world they’re born in.
“Well, to say nothing of arch-spirits, spirit magic should be usable just by forming a contract with one of your dependants, right?”
“That’s right. Mine would be something like a salamander, I guess? By forming a contract with it, the contractor would become able to use fire spirit magic.”
Said the spirit of fire while holding a cookie in one hand. The power of the magic would depend on the talent of the contractor, it seems.
Speaking of differences between spirit magic and normal magic, it must be the fact that spirit magic isn’t restricted by aptitudes, I suppose.
Normal magic requires the corresponding aptitude. Fire, water, earth, wind, light, darkness, and non-attribute; without having at least the aptitude for one of them, that person would be totally unable to use magic.
Conversely, in theory, anyone and everyone is capable of using spirit magic as long as he or she forms the proper contract for it. There’s also the part about needing a talent for forming contracts with spirits, too, so I can’t exactly make a judgment on which side is easier…
While it may sound like it’s natural, someone with an aptitude for water magic is more likely to be liked by dependant spirits of water. When you think about that, it’s not hard to guess at the reason why spirit magic went into decline.
The water magic that you yourself is capable of wielding freely, and the water spirit magic that requires the spirits to lend you power. Thinking normally, it’s clear that most people would choose the easier-to-use water magic.
However, spirit magic has its strengths, too; the biggest one would be the fact that no matter what kind of big magic the caster uses, he or she wouldn’t need to spend a lot of magic power if it’s done with spirit magic.
Which is obvious, since the one actually casting that magic is the spirit being called upon. The caster only needs to expend the magic power needed to call on the contracted spirit.
That means, even if you’re a small child with little magic power, if you manage to become friends with a strong spirit, and borrow its power, you become capable of using extremely powerful spells just like that.
From this, the importance of managing the relationship with the spirits can be seen.
The spirits agreed to my proposal to once again spread spirit magic throughout the world. Of course, the contracts themselves are left to the spirits’ discretion. If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it. That much is natural; the spirit and the contractor are equal existences in a contract, after all.
Just, some of the formerly rebellious spirits have declared that “We will never make a contract with people who are married or have girlfriends even if we die!” … Well, that’s their freedom too.
… What are those masks with the word “Envy” written on them that they’re making, I wonder? Well, I don’t really understand so I’ll let them be.
“The problem now would be the fact that not many people can see spirits, I suppose.”
“Once they have recognized a spirit, people who can see us will always be able to see us, you know~ People like the Fairy tribe should be able to see us instantly, too. There are occasionally people that appear who have special eyes called ‘spirit eyes’ too.”
Just like what the spirit of wind said, the Fairy tribe that’s good at magic originally should be able to master spirit magic quickly. They can use other magics pretty much effortlessly, after all.
For now, let’s find Charlotte-san and discuss this with her. She’s probably the one with the most knowledge on spirit magic among my acquaintances anyway.
“J-just now, what did you…”
Charlotte-san, who was holing up in the Magic Research Lab within Belfast and researching ancient spirit magic, stood in place while the rolls of paper she was holding in her hands scattered to the ground.
“Like I said, do you have any intention to learn spirit magic?”
“Eh? Eh? Please wait a moment. Spirit magic? Touya-sa… Your Majesty the Sovereign King, can you perhaps use it?”
“I can, like this.”
I called out a dependent to the spirit of wind, a Sylph. It’s in the form a cute girl shaped like a mini-chara about three-heads tall; it’s been arranged so that Charlotte-san can see it.
“WHY—!!?? Why can you use it!? Even though I who have spent so much time researching the topic can’t use it, that’s unfair!”
“Uh, somehow… I’m sorry.”
I reflexively apologized to the figure of a talented woman wearing a pair of glasses in an intelligent look half throwing a tantrum like a kid.
The assistant girls who are nearby held Charlotte-san down and started calming her. On a side note, these assistants are also wearing the translation glasses I gave to Charlotte-san some time ago.
After several dozen minutes have passed, Charlotte-san had finally regained her calm, and started asking me for the details while gazing excitedly at the spirit besides me.
“Fuaaa… It’s a spirit… I’ve actually seen a spirit before, just once when I was a kid. Since then I’ve always kept researching spirit magic, thinking I want to meet with spirits once more time. Although it isn’t by my own power, I’m glad to see another spirit after all this time…”
I see. So Charlotte-san had such a reason behind her research of ancient spirit magic.
“I’ve reached an agreement with the arch-spirits, spirits that are higher-ranked existences than normal spirits like this one here, to spread spirit magic throughout the world once again. And I thought to seek the help of Charlotte-san regarding this for now…”
“I’ll help! Please let me help! Let me belp!!” (TL: “手伝わせれろ”)
Charlotte-san pressed in while raising her hand. There there, calm down. Your words are becoming strange, you know?
Thankfully, I’ve received permission from the other research staff, so I started teaching them the matters regarding spirits while writing on a black board they had in the lab. It somehow feels like I’ve become a teacher in a school.
“First, spirits are ranked from arch-spirits, to the spirits under them, and then to the dependants of those spirits. Normally a case where an arch-spirit makes a contract with a human almost never happens, so for spirit magic, generally you try to make a contract with the spirits under them, or their dependants… We’ll call them lesser spirits for now. You have to forge a contract with either of those two to be able to use spirit magic.”
Fumu fumu, Charlotte-san and the others nodded as they wrote down what they’re hearing in the notes they’re holding.
“The most important thing to remember in a contract with a spirit, is the fact that you are standing on equal grounds with it. They’re neither familiars nor summoned beasts. Whether you can treat them fairly like you would treat a friend. That would be the deciding point on whether you can become a spirit user.”
Besides spirit magic, only the spirit king, in other words me, is capable of making the spirits subservient.
Speaking honestly, it’s probably impossible to hurt me using spirit magic. Since the spirits won’t lend their powers to an act which will harm their king, after all.
… Just one, there’s one part of the spirits who might do that. Those guys wearing that weird mask. Well, I don’t care about them anyway.
“Spirits are beings that cannot be seen generally. To be able to create a bond of friendship, one must be able to speak the language of the spirits. If you try to talk to them using the spirit language, they would show their form to you.”
“Hai! Is that referring to the ancient spirit language?”
“Similar, but different. That’s something made during the ancient era and is something like an abbreviated language. With that, even if the words you’re speaking are familiar, the proper meaning would not be conveyed to the spirits.”
If it’s the arch-spirits or a part of the upper-ranked spirits, conversing using the common language would be possible, though.
I took out a single book from 【Storage】. The title is “True · Spirit Language”. It’s an instructional book made with help from authentic spirits by using Workshop of Babylon.
“If you read through this, you should be able to hold a conversation to some degree. I’ll give this to you.”
“Eh, are you sure!?”
“I don’t mind. In exchange, like I mentioned earlier, I want you guys to help with getting more people to form friendships with spirits. For the spirits to stay in this world as a friend of man.”
When the worlds combine, if the spirits’ powers are weak, there’d be a lot of headaches. Natural disasters are a given, but there might also be the possibility of changes in entire ecosystems.
In order to strengthen the power of the spirits in this world, I just need to temporarily grant them power within my capacity as the spirit king. However, such a method wouldn’t last them long into the future. It’s best for the people on the ground to converse with the spirits and strengthen each other.
Well, that’s something Karen nee-san told me anyway. It’s a talk pretty far into the future.
However, if I’m to manage this world in the future, these kinds of things are necessary too, I suppose.
Since magic over in the Reverse World has hardly developed, it stands to reason that the art of spirit magic could be long-lost there, too.
There should be spirits in the natural world over there too, but the contact point with humans should be very little. I can only raise that over in the Surface World for now.
“Well, we don’t know if a successful contract can be formed yet, but let’s try calling out a spirit, shall we? Charlotte-san, how many magic aptitudes do you have again?”
“Err, five. Everything besides darkness and null.”
Five, huh, that’s amazing. Leen who is her master only has 1 more with the extra non-attribute; I guess it’s as expected of the Court Magician of Belfast, eh?
“Since it’s your first time, I guess it’ll be a lesser spirit of either wind or water this time? The wind dependants have strong curiosity, while the water dependants are docile and have gentle personalities overall, so they’re easier to make contracts with.”
“Well then… I’ll try it out with a lesser spirit of water.”
We moved out of the lab, and arrived in front of the fountain in the inner courtyard of Belfast Castle.
For someone who has not had any contracts with spirits before, calling out to a spirit would require a large amount of suitable mediums. For a lesser spirit of water, it’s simply water in this case.
Charlotte-san, holding the “True · Spirit Language” in one hand, started speaking the words of summoning towards the water.
Eventually, the water from the fountain began to stop in midair, and started forming into the shape of a small spirit. It’s a lesser spirit of water called an Undine. It looks similarly to the Sylph, a three-heads tall mini-sized cute girl, except its lower body looks like that of a mermaid.
Looking at the shocked Charlotte-san, the Undine was similarly tilting her head.
“Don’t forget to form the contract.”
“A, aa, yes! Uhh…”
While turning the pages, Charlotte-san began speaking to the spirit awkwardly in the spirit language.
If expressed in the common language, it becomes something like “I want to with you become close. Please be my friend. I ask of you.” Or something along that feeling.
… Well, contracting with a spirit is more about the feelings. Even if the spoken words are perfect, if the heart doesn’t properly reach out to the spirit, it won’t have any meaning. It’s the same thing with humans, isn’t it.
The Undine stared at Charlotte-san for a while, before floating in the air towards her and touching her hands while smiling slightly. Then she started flying around Charlotte-san happily a few times, before stopping on top of her hand once again and disappearing together with a flash of light.
And on top of Charlotte-san’s outstretched hand, is a small blue crystal about the size of a pachinko ball.
“Your, Your Majesty the Sovereign King, this is…”
“Congratulations. You have succeeded in the contract. That’s called a spirit stone, and the proof of one’s contract with a spirit. While holding that in your hand, try calling out to the Undine within your heart once again.”
Charlotte-san held the spirit stone close as if she’s praying and closed her eyes. Once she did that, the Undine from before jumped out of the fountain in front of us, and once again started flying in circles around Charlotte-san.
“It might be tough to call out the spirit at a place with not much of the required medium at first, but you should be able to call her out from as much as a cup’s worth of water in the future. After that depends on how much you can become good friends with the spirit in question.”
“Yes! I’ll work hard!”
Charlotte-san answered joyously while playing around with the Undine that’s circling her. Following that, the other assistants also succeeded in calling out and forming contracts with other Undines as well as Sylphs.
“For the spirit stone, it should be easy to wear it on the body if you attach it to a ring or a pendant. Just be sure not to scratch or damage the stone during that.”
… They aren’t listening, are they. I’m a bit amazed at these people who’re single-mindedly playing around with their spirits. Well, they did just achieve a lifelong dream of theirs, so I guess it can’t be helped.
“And what’s all this fuss about?”
And in came the King of Belfast, together with the queen behind him. In the arms of the queen is the first prince, Yamato.
When I told them I was teaching Charlotte-san and the others spirit magic, they stared dumbfoundedly at me for a while, but recovered saying that they’re not that surprised anymore after all this time.
I was planning to give out copies of “True · Spirit Language” to other countries aside from Belfast, too.
Charlotte-san and co. excused themselves from the King together with their spirits. They’re planning to play with them somewhere else, huh? Well nothing beats having a great relationship, I suppose.
“Still, Prince Yamato sure did grew bigger…”
When I said that while looking at the prince who’s being squeezed in the arms of Queen Yuel, His Majesty to the side made a sloppy smile and nodded many times.
“Isn’t that right, isn’t that right? He’s growing up quite healthily, isn’t he. Ah, I have photos of when he started making sounds. Here here.”
His Majesty then took out the white mass-production model smartphone I gave him and came towards me while showing me the pictures on his phone. What is this annoying behaviour…?
I know he’s excited since it’s the boy he wanted all this time, but… I feel like the day when he shoves a thick “growth record” album in my face wouldn’t be that far away.
Wonder if I’ll become like this when it’s my turn as well. No, gotta make this a bad example for my future…
Just now… What was that weird feeling…? Queen Yuel… No, is it from Prince Yamato?
I asked the queen if I can carry him for a while, and upon receiving the prince, started investigating him. The amount of magic power is normal… Other things are normal… Then what was that earlier?
I then activated divinity in my eyes and looked at the prince who’s making a fuss happily in my arms while going “kya, kya” for a final confirmation.
…… Now I know the source of that discomfort I felt earlier. I cannot help but acknowledge it.
I returned the prince to Queen Yuel with shaking hands.
“What’s wrong Touya-dono. You’re not looking very well there?”
“Eh? A, ahh, that’s because I was nervous while hugging a baby. You know, being scared if I’d accidentally drop him.”
“That won’t do, now would it. What would you do when the child between you and Yumina is born? If you don’t get used to it now, you’ll have trouble later, you know.”
While listening to the King’s laughter, I was torn within myself on whether I should convey this matter to him.
What I saw within Prince Yamato’s heart using [Divine Eyes] …
That was without a doubt, the [Core] of a Phrase.
The objective that made the Phrase cross over countless worlds and destroy innumerable species…
The core of the [Sovereign].
Possibly the single biggest plot point in the entire Smartphone universe, the CORE OF THE KING AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
Man, it’s 2am and I’m hyped af. How do I sleep like this…
As usual, please don’t hesitate to contact me on discord if you noticed any mistakes or think there’s any place where I can improve my translation. Thank ye for reading~
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