While taking Mefuri who seemed to have gotten more obedient along with us, for the time being I decided to place the rest of the escaped slave children soldiers into the barracks.
The barracks at Fort Jugfena also has a room that can serve as an interrogation room. As the leader of the Kaldia army, I was informed beforehand on how to unlock it. In order to prevent its misuse, a simple but special method must be used to unlock the door, one that would be difficult for outsiders to figure out.
My Kaldia army soldiers were awaiting orders in the dining hall. Since they were all gathered here, it meant that Ratoka must have done as I instructed and summoned them together, but Ratoka didn’t seem to be here for some reason.
“I’ve returned, report the situation to me… Gunther’s not here?”
When I looked around, not only was Ratoka missing, Gunther was absent as well. Was he off together with Ratoka somewhere?
“My lord, you’re injured? Come, let’s get that treated right away.”
“More importantly than that, Claudia’s injuries are worse than mine.”
“She got injured! What, it couldn’t be!”
“Claudia-sama was seriously injured…!?”
“So this wasn’t the blood from the enemy!!?”
The soldiers were in a ruckus at seeing the state Claudia was in. I simply received a towel and began wiping the vomit and blood off of my body, but they made a simple makeshift bed for Claudia to rest on and placed her on it respectfully.
When the blood covering Claudia was wiped away as well, I discovered that Claudia was in a worse condition than I thought. …The skin on her fingers and wrists had been burnt by explosions. Her beautiful blonde hair was also singed in many places.
Well, at least hair will grow back… The skin on her fingers and wrists, that could be much worse…
As I bit down on my lips, perhaps Mefuri who was behind us felt a disturbance in the air, her shoulders started trembling. Although she was still tied up, blindfolded, and gagged, she seemed sensitive to the people nearby her. I don’t know if it’s part of her magical powers, though.
“House the captured child prisoners under our protection in three separate rooms. Claudia, please choose a unit for me to do this task.”
“…Then, the third unit.”
The army unit that Claudia designated split itself into three smaller teams, and took the remaining children to the three rooms picked for their temporary accommodation.
“My lord, what about that girl?”
“…She’s under my personal jurisdiction.”
Mefuri seemed anxious as the soldiers glanced at her. It seemed that she was still able to detect their gazes upon her, she was rather restless and unsettled.
“Mefuri, this way.”
When I called her, she hesitantly and obediently walked in my direction. With her senses taken away from her, human nature would be that she was frightened of moving, it should be a stressful situation for her. Well, that was part of the reason why I had Mefuri blindfolded.
“I’m going to ask you some yes or no questions. Nod for yes and shake your head for no.”
Mefuri nodded her head slightly. Being surrounded by soldiers seems to have heightened her feeling of tension.
“Firstly, about your magic ability. You have the power to explode things, correct?”
She nodded. The soldiers were in a momentary uproar at hearing this, and they all went on guard against Mefuri. Her shoulders were trembling as if she was frightened.
“Are humans the only thing that you can explode? – No? Then, humans and magical beasts? -Oh, still wrong?”
Mefuri’s ability seemed to have wider applications than I realized.
“Then, animals as well – what, it even includes plants?”
She nodded in confirmation at those.
She could even explode plants… The more I found out about her ability, the scarier it sounded, I was shivering as well.
“So you can even explode plants… So I suppose you could even explode dead leaves, then?”
That was just an expression of my admiration for the extent of her power, but it seemed that Mefuri interpreted it as another question. She seemed confused at how to respond, then shook her head.
…What part of that was she saying no to? …She was unable to explode dead leaves? She was just exploding corpses and body parts earlier. What exactly was her power…
“Is it that you can only explode living things, then?”
She nodded affirmatively. I see.
-After that, I kept asking Mefuri many questions and got a clear grasp on Mefuri’s ability by the time that the first aid treatment for Claudia was over.
It seemed that the weakness of her ability was the condition to become something she could explode. To be able to explode something, she had to be touching it beforehand continuously for about half a day. Not only that, she could only do it to one living thing at a time, she couldn’t prepare two living things as bombs simultaneously. Among the remaining captured children, it seemed that there were only three left that could be exploded by her. Apparently, she turned them into her bombs without arousing suspicion by holding hands while sleeping with them.
The explosion’s power would depend on the type and mass of what was used, Mefuri herself was unable to control the power. However, she had a sense for how strong the explosion would be.
And, the greatest limit to her power was the detonation distance. In order to explode her bombs, the bomb must be able to hear Mefuri’s voice, and Mefuri must give a verbal command personally. Meaning, no matter how close Mefuri’s bombs were to her, if something loud drowned out her voice or if there was a soundproof wall between them, she wouldn’t be able to explode her living bombs.
Even after exploding a living bomb, she could still explode the corpse’s body parts again, but that was limited by the fact that the explosions would be much smaller and Mefuri had to be within the body’s range.
She also had the ability to sense the locations of her bombs that were close to her, as well as being able to sense the maximum range that she could detonate her bombs at, it’s unmistakable that her ability was powerful despite its limitations.
“…Got it. Then, I shall have your bindings and blindfold removed. The gag shall remain, you should have no objections, right?”
Mefuri nodded affirmatively.
I drew my short sword so that I could kill Mefuri at a moment’s notice if need be, as I indicated to the soldier standing behind Mefuri to remove her blindfold first.
…But, hmm. Was this “good” enough already?
As the blindfold was removed, her cloudy, muddy, murky eyes that seemed like they were dreaming were revealed – I confidently looked down on her with my own eyes that were as cold as ice.