Ex Strongest, Analyzing the Notes of the Witches
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To put it plainly, Soma didn’t become a Witch. It seemed that the color of the hair changed to white when one became a Witch, but Soma’s black hair remained the same. However, since it was partly expected, he didn’t really feel discouraged.
That was certainly true for Soma, but not Felicia. When she understood that it was a failure, she was somewhat shocked more than Soma. She took out something like a book and started to read it.
“Aah, Felicia? You don’t have to feel responsible for something that you failed, you know? I have expected that.” (Soma)
“…No, I can’t do that. It is true that the success rate is low, but… when I think about it, that is if the medicine was correct. It is normal to fail if the formula is wrong, and I don’t deny the possibility if I made it by relying only on my memory. If it so, it is normal to check that if I got the right one… please excuse me. For starters, I should have verified it before I let you tried it, Soma-san.” (Felicia)
“Hmm, well, I guess you are right…” (Soma)
However, it was Soma who had accepted it with the knowledge that it was based on a vague recollection. If that was the case, even if it was wrong, it should be Soma himself who should be responsible.
Well, speaking whether it should have been verified or not, of course, she should have done so, but…
“What’s wrong? Why do you have a strange face?” (Felicia)
“No… I mean, I’ve thought about this, but when I looked at the preparation, did you know the exact preparation method of the medicine?” (Soma)
“Yes, that’s how it should be.” (Felicia)
“When you said ‘should be’, that is quite vague… have you never read that book before?” (Soma)
“It’s not that I’ve never read it before… it’s just that I couldn’t understand it. So, is it the same thing?” (Felicia)
“Hmm? You didn’t understand? Is there a preparation method?” (Soma)
“Strictly speaking, I should say that I couldn’t read it in the first place. In a literal sense, it was written with a language that I can’t understand.” (Felicia)
In other words, it seemed to be like this. The thing that Felica took out was a book that was supposed to be a collection of wisdom that had been handed down from the Witches until today. It was a book how Witches could use magic and medicine, or the necessary knowledge needed for Witches. It would be easy to call it the book of Witches, but even if anyone could read it, it wouldn’t be abuse by those who had read it.
As a result, the book of Witches was written in a special language that didn’t apply to any existing language. It could only be deciphered by the Witches–…
“…Although it can be deciphered by the Witches, you can’t do it, huh?” (Soma)
“To be exact, it is a language that can only be ready by the Witches with the book. And before I knew it… No, I don’t know how to read it because the predecessor of the family had disappeared.” (Felicia)
“Aah, that is…” (Soma)
“You don’t have to worry about it. Since it has been like that for more than a few decades ago. I don’t remember what happened back then.” (Felicia)
No matter how she thought about it, that sounded nothing but a bluff. Of course, it wasn’t something that she would dare to mention. Instead of that, the main problem was that the book couldn’t be read.
“That is… troubling, isn’t it?” (Soma)
“Well, to be honest, I do feel so. It’s like I’m deciphering rather than reading this book.” (Felicia)
“Hmm… that was why you weren’t convinced that it was perfect because you couldn’t verify it, yes?” (Soma)
“You’re right… I’m sorry.” (Felicia)
Felicia didn’t need to apologize anyway, but she was certainly unwilling to do so. As a Witch, she couldn’t read the book that she supposed to be able to read, which cause her to give him a medicine that she didn’t know whether it was a proper medicine.
…No, if it was Felicia, she might have the confidence, but this made her lose it because of the failure. Although it had only been a week, he could understand that much especially when they were staying together.
“By the way, you aren’t going to leave things as it is just because you don’t understand about it, right?” (Soma)
“Yes. As I said earlier, I am analyzing what is written on the premise that I don’t know.” (Felicia)
“…Hmm? Do you really know what is exactly written there?” (Soma)
“No, it’s almost that I don’t understand anything. Maybe I should say that there are some medicines that I was taught before, and I used that as a reference to find out what is written.” (Felicia)
“…So, is it almost impossible for you?” (Soma)
“Yeah, there’s only time to waste. I haven’t understood one thing for over decades, and so far, I have only wasted my time. Perhaps, I am a fool. I’ve spent a lot of time doing this just because I have nothing else to do.” (Felicia)
Soma had no idea what he should say.
But at least, he didn’t think that effort was wasted. He also didn’t think that she was a fool. Rather… he felt empathy toward her.
Although the real thing was there, it was a very memorable when seeing someone trying to reach out something that couldn’t be attained. Even if others thought that it was pointless or she was a fool. Still, she didn’t give up.
Was it because she thought of such a thing?
“Hmm… Can I have a look at that book?” (Soma)
Well, even though he thought that it was impossible, he asked for the book.
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“Yes, it’s fine.” (Felicia)
“…Are you sure?” (Soma)
“Well, even though we failed, Soma-san has consumed the medicine, right? It may be safe to say that you are half Witch.” (Felicia)
To be honest, Soma didn’t expect that kind of reply, but it would also be strange if she refused to show it. He was simply interested in the book.
The wisdom accumulated by successive generations of Witches. It would be a waste to think that there was no way.
However, there wouldn’t be any discussion if he couldn’t read it in the first place.
“Here you go.” (Felicia)
“Hmm… Well then, I’m going to read it.” (Soma)
When the book was handed over, Soma somewhat looked at the front cover. Of course, he didn’t know whether it was good or bad quality, but he could understand that it was done profoundly. It felt like he had seen it somewhere as if that book stimulated his memory, but… it might be just his imagination. He had never seen a book handed down by Witches.
Then, he noticed it when he turned over the other side of the cover. That was because the name of this book was inscribed there.
Well, Soma wondered if this was written in a unique language. Of course, he could read it… could read it…?
“…The Book of Witches?” (Soma)
“That’s right… I don’t know when it is called so, but I think that characters are likely to read so and that’s why it is called that. The same characters will come out in it for several times. However, even if I understand that, I can decipher the whole thing…” (Felicia)
“Aah, hmm… hmm…” (Soma)
— [The Book of Witches].
It was certainly written in this way.
Yeah… in other words, Soma was able to read the characters. It was readable.
While feeling a strange sense of guilt about that… he became concerned at the same time. It was clear at that time that Soma could read the book, but no matter how he looked at it…
“…Felicia, I want to ask you something.” (Soma)
“Yes, what is it?” (Felicia)
“Do you know ancient sacred letters?” (Soma)
“I know such things exist, but I have never seen them. Aah, came to think of it, most of them aren’t able to be deciphered. Maybe, there’s something in common… well, I don’t think so.” (Felicia)
Felicia had a bitter smile when saying that, but it wasn’t a talk that had something in common. No matter where people looked at it, it only looked like that ancient sacred letters.
However, in order to prevent unnecessary leaks, the characters written here should have been something that only Witches could understand. To be exact, it seemed like nothing other than to be handed down to Witches only, but–…
“…Well, are you sure about that?” (Soma)
He didn’t reply anything to Felicia who tilted her head. He just nodded with ‘Hmm’. If what he thought was right on point, he was convinced in various matters.
Soma had always been concerned about this. It was because there was almost no one who could read the ancient sacred characters now. Even though the civilization had disappeared, people couldn’t understand the meaning when they read the letters. Not even a small fraction of the letters.
Furthermore, if it was done as something like cryptography, it would be sensible that it couldn’t be conveyed except to certain people only. If Soma could tell Soma, it would be possible to explain the current situation, but for some reason, he couldn’t do so especially when it was almost impossible for Felicia to read it.
Moreover, the very nature of the Witches was segregating themselves from other people. There would be no opportunity to see the ancient sacred letters which were used only in some parts of the world.
The opposite was also true. Those who had seen and could read the ancient sacred letters were likely to have the book of Witches.
That way, they might not notice each other even though they were using same language… or maybe, they did actually noticed it. When people could read it, they would know the intention.
Well, when Soma considered the current situation, he felt that the knowledge had collapsed somewhere, but… for the time being, that didn’t really matter.
There was only one thing to think about now. That was whether Soma could read it or not.
If he conveyed it, Felicia could know the contents of the book. But at the same time, what had been done until now by Felicia would be–…
“Hmm… how to make Elixir? This is something that is written from the beginning…” (Soma)
“…Eh? Soma-san, what did…?” (Felicia)
“I thought that the next page was something about magic used by the Witches. There is no organization in the order in which the contents are written. I feel like the contents here were written down one after another from something the writers knew. There are clearly different handwritings mixed in. It seems that successive witches had added the contents… hmmm. Should I say that this is something expected? It’s pretty interesting…” (Soma)
“Excuse me… eh? …Does that mean… you can read it? I mean, the contents of that book..?” (Felicia)
Unlike what was written in the magic books, what were written here were definitely worthwhile. If it was so, it was a sin to let it be hidden… and Felicia also thought the same thing.
As Soma believed so, he looked at the trembling eyes of Felicia, and gave a clear nod back to her questions.
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