Chapter 08: The Observer in the Attic
It’s been five years since I’ve reincarnated into this world. I turned five and began to meet with aristocrats every day.
Most of them introduced me to their daughters who are the same age as me. They thought their daughters would make good consort candidates, but I had no right to decide this.
By the way, most of the aristocrats are men. I guess the idea of male supremacy is still strong in this world.
However, there were a few women who held aristocrat titles, and they all seem to have a talent for magic.
Apparently, the aristocrats of this world are all originally from ‘mage’ families. This makes sense when I consider the principle behind the creation of aristocrats.
Aristocrats were originally warrior class people on Earth.
Being able to use magic in this world means that you can ‘fight’. If so, then most of the warrior class must have been mages. As a result, many of today’s aristocrats are also mages.
Which means the talent to be a mage is probably inherited.
Mage supremacy may take precedence rather than the idea of male supremacy.
I don’t know what to do. I was going to hide the fact that I can use magic, but… I night be ostracised since ‘you’re not a noble if you can’t use magic’.
I have to be careful in this area.
By the way, the girls don’t look at me kindly. The reason is simple. I’m too chubby.
That’s because I’m barely allowed to exercise, and I’m forced to eat a lot of food; and it’s all fatty foods and sweets. It’s no wonder I got fat.
But well, the worst thing about this is that it’s fine as it is. At most, look down on me and ignore me.
… It’s not like I’m scared of the girls because they look at me with disgust. It’s just I can’t have what I don’t have.
Meeting with nobles, eating, agreeing with what the Chancellor and Chief of Ministry of Ceremonies say, and secretly practice magic. That’s what I do every day.
That only thing I enjoy is practicing magic.
… Eating? You think cold, greasy food tastes good?
I would be afraid to eat them without a poison taster since I’m the Emperor.
Well anyway, that’s why I’m making a lot of progress with my magic practice.
I can control heat freely and I can now control objects remotely.
I’ve also learnt a lot of new magic.
Among them, I’m focusing on developing magic that I can use after my escape such as magic to create invisible barriers and healing magic. I can also use ‘sleep magic’ to force the sleepless guard to sleep.
I was able to successfully develop this magic without any obstacles.
However, as usual, I’m not good with magic that requires water or wind.
The magic won’t work if you can’t visualise it, and it won’t work if you only know a bit about it.
It works better if you image it like how it would appear in anime and games.
Well, it’s not like I can’t use water or wind magic, it’s just inefficient.
I’m happy with that for now.
On the other hand, there are three types of magic that don’t seem to succeed at all: time, space and death.
I’ve never succeeded in developing these types of magic no matter what kind of image I had of them.
… I believed that there weren’t many rules to magic, but maybe there are rules and limits.
… It’s also possible for me to study this when I escape from here.
I, who was thinking about this, may have been careless.
I was training my magic in bed after I put my night guard (the maid) to sleep as usual.
I decided to try use ‘detect’ magic which I had never used before.
It would be better if I can detect the guards if I were to escape from here, and it would be ideal if I can detect them through walls.
The first thing I thought of was to unleash an ultra-wave of mana, but it didn’t go well due to the ‘immobilisation of mana’ that was casted inside the room.
So, I decided to release a weak ‘heat absorption’ spell in all directions.
I can absorb a lot of heat from places that were hotter than their surroundings and only a little from places where the temperature wasn’t that much different. Now, if I could construct the results in 3D in my mind, then I would be able to determine if a place has a ‘high temperature because of body heat’. The problem of the ‘immobilisation of mana’ block can also be solved by having mana continuously channelled into the spell and have it return heat energy instead of mana.
Furthermore, if I set the target of the ‘heat absorption’ spell to ‘behind the wall’ then I can search for enemies through the wall.
By the way, the most difficult part was to ‘visualise the feedback in 3D’ and I repeatedly failed at this.
However, I got used to it from repetition. Then, I was able to completely perceive the two guards outside the door. The spell was a success, I can say I have completely mastered it.
I also realised at the same time that there is someone in the ceiling.
I desperately suppressed my scream. I felt as if the heat in my body was disappearing.
It’s a building without a second floor, this means that whoever or whatever it is, is in the attic.
I don’t know if they’re an assassin or observer; either way, it’s not good.
I’m prepared to put up a barrier at any time if it’s an assassin. I began to gradually break out into cold sweat.
It’s even worse if it’s an observer. I’ve been practicing my magic every day and I don’t know how long they’ve been there.
If they’ve been here the whole time, then their master knows that I can use magic indoors…
I’ve never seen anyone use magic indoors other than me before. If few people can use magic indoors, then that means that I have a rare ability.
People call that talent.
… Bad, bad, this is bad!! Have they found out that I’ve been pretending to be incompetent? They might get rid of me… Would they rather kill me off pre-emptively? But I don’t think that would make the situation any better…
What the hell should I do…?
In the end, I greeted the morning without a wink of sleep that day.
The next day, they were still in the attic, and the day after that too.
I couldn’t sleep a wink during that time. I had a feeling that someone was watching me, but I don’t know the purpose of the person they serve, so I couldn’t discard the possibility that they are here to assassinate me.
I was so scared and nervous that I couldn’t sleep well.
So, naturally, I fell ill.
It happened on the third day after I noticed the presence in the ceiling.
I came back to my room after I had my meal and passed out.
When I woke up, there were a number of people around me who looked like doctors.
Apparently, they had concluded that I had been poisoned.
If this continues, then someone will have to take responsibility and be killed.
They asked me if I tasted anything different or smelled something unusual, but I said no to all their questions.
Finally, I told them that I hadn’t been feeling well since the day before and they apparently concluded that I wasn’t feeling well.
The tense aura of the adults around me relaxed and I was relieved.
After that, I couldn’t resist the urge to sleep, so I fell asleep again.
In the end, the person in the attic didn’t take any action.
Also, the person in the attic seems to be a different person every day. Their physiques seem to be different from what I can tell with my heat sensing magic, but it’s only a minor difference, so I don’t really know.
The Chancellor and the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies still don’t seem to know that I can use magic, and I don’t think the maids are aware of this either.
I decided to give up. If I really thought about it, someone who could use magic better than me could easily kill me.
I’ll worry about it when it happens. I’ll give up for now.
By the way, now that I’m aware that ‘poison’ exists, people don’t get suspicious of me even if I eat less.
This is how I succeeded in getting my body back into shape.