Sorcery Hacker:Volume1 Phase0
Phase 00: Sky City Celedileka
A girl with long wavy blonde hair looked down at the dull sound she heard in a dimly-lit room. It had broken. What had? The chest of her blue blazer. The ample chest below was supposed to be perfectly protected by the blouse’s buttoned-up collar, but one of the buttons had popped off and vanished into the ether. That meant she seemed to be intentionally showing off her cleavage even though she very much did not want to.
“Oh, no. Oh, no, Oh, no. Oh, no.”
Her name was Teleria Nereid Aquamarine.
She waved her hands around in a childish way that clashed with her appearance, but she could not rewind time back to before the button had vanished. Besides, she had too much to do already!!
A sorcery device resembling a mynah with a bell around its neck stood in the birdcage hanging next to the window covered by blinds to block out the sunlight. That device tilted its head while a soft bell rang from its throat.
Then the lifeless speech organs spoke.
“Thank you for putting up with the long journey. We will arrive in Celedileka in 10 multi-times Please prepare for departure.”
(Where’s my entrance pass? Oh, no. Where’s my entrance pass!? It isn’t over there and it isn’t over here, so does that mean he has it!?)
This was only a small rectangular space. She quickly cut across the bedroom and slammed on the brakes when she saw something out of the corner of her eye. She took a few steps back to adjust her position and checked her own reflection in the large mirror there.
She was so short that a middle-aged man she had never before met had once told her she would probably age into being the quintessential little old lady basking in the sun.
Nevertheless, one part of her body – (Okay, fine. My chest.) – had grown more than necessary, which made it extremely difficult to find clothes that fit.
However, the blonde girl in a blue blazer was focused on something other than her large chest. She was much more interested in her slender legs.
(This is my first time setting foot in this city and first impressions are important. …Yes, they look fine. I don’t see anything wrong with my legs.)
The legs extending from her shortish skirt were contained in black tights and, in addition to her standard skirt, she also had some Expansion Armor floating around her. That was open in the front, so it was something like a C-shaped umbrella.
She had excitedly worked up the courage to buy that because it looked like a princess dress, but thanks to that “Pop!” from her chest, it made her look more like the star of an evening party showing off her cleavage and legs.
She groaned when she focused on her entire body instead of just her legs.
It really bothered her how she looked more indecent than mature dressed like this.
(A-anyway, I have to find my entrance pass. I can gather my luggage and use what time I have left to reattach the button! Surely there will be time for that!!)
When you were panicking was the time for positive thinking.
She once more cut across the long and narrow space to reach a corner with a simple table and sofa.
A blanket was draped across the small sofa, but it clearly had something below it. That would be her traveling partner. Why was he sleeping there? Because he had let the girl take the bed of course. She was extremely grateful for that standard decency from him, but the blonde and curvy girl was approaching him as hesitantly as she might some unexploded ordnance.
Her experience told her this was very much necessary.
“A-Ayato? Ayato Criminaltrophy???”
She tried calling softly to him from a distance at first, but the blanket did not so much as stir.
This was the usual state of affairs and she was not foolish enough to make a careless approach. She brought a resigned hand to her forehead, breathed a deep sigh, and prepared herself for what was to come. She placed her hands around her mouth like a megaphone and shouted at the top of her lungs.
“Aaayaaatooo!! Do you know where our entrance passes are? I know they have to be somewhere in this bungalow!!”
Mt. Blanket finally moved. A slender hand stuck out from a crack in the wrinkled blanket, a fingertip waved, and then it pointed in a certain direction.
Teleria looked over at the table in confusion, but the only things there were a mug, a sheathed short sword with a trigger at its base, and a square block of metal that would likely require both hands to carry. Something popped up with a ding like some freshly-cooked toast, but it was instead the day’s remotely-printed newspaper.
His Fate Decided: The fiendish criminal named Thomas Robergin has been sentenced to a public execution. She glanced across the frontpage headlines. After that top story, all political and financial stories were entirely ignored to give more page space for an article about a local festival plus an ad for the Forturiana Church telling people to “fill the world with the light of magic”. She could really tell they were far from home, but she also had to tilt her head because she was not quite sure what it all meant. But then a chill ran down her spine.
She had been so cautious before, but it had slipped her mind thanks to the newspaper. Warning sirens belatedly blared in her mind. It could be hard to tell since he was lying down and his eyes were closed, but that lump in the blanket was not necessarily asleep. She should have been more focused on the rhythm of his breathing.
And whatever kind of work it was, carelessly approaching him during his sorcery work was a risky decision.
(Wait, don’t tell me he’s doing his mental Self-Maintenance work!)
He could look like he was awake while not actually reacting and responding to her questions. Like with the placebo effect or seemingly superhuman feats of strength during emergencies, people did not always realize what their body was truly capable of. In order to move his body at maximum efficiency, he apparently had to lower the level of his own consciousness and regularly determine the “baseline values” of his body…but she did not care about any of that. As far as she was concerned, it just meant he was not listening.
In other words, he had not actually been pointing at anything just now.
Taking her eyes off of him then had been a mistake. The distance between them did not matter. Yes, he would always come to her and scoop her up from below.
Just as she heard the giant blanket lump fall from the sofa, roll along the floor, and bump into her leg, she was dragged down and taken away.
“Ah, ahh, wait, Ayato, ahhhhhhhhhh!!!???”
The blonde girl screamed as the blanket devoured her, but unfortunately, the two of them were the only people in that rectangular space. The announcer mynah was not designed to put a stop to immoral activities.
The giant blanket wriggled around like it was chewing on some gum and then a deep groan seemed to rumble up from the depths.
“Starting from the right thumb: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…wait, this isn’t my sword?”
“How could you possibly mistake this soft body for a hard and cold mass of crystal and mana-conducting silver!!!???”
So most of the time, his wakeup call came in this form.
Once again, a solid slap rang through the morning air.
Ayato Criminaltrophy, the boy wearing the same sort of blue blazer as Teleria, would normally have had handsome features, but he claimed his masculinity was devoured when he made a contract with a devil. Simply put, his face could easily be described as androgynously attractive.
“Miss Teleria. Miss Teleria Nereid Aquamarine.”
“I do appreciate the refreshing feeling of having my mental sorcery experiment forcibly interrupted, but we are about to set foot in that city for the very first time. This is an important event, so why are you making my face so unparallel? Do you have something against me?”
“You are not the only one who took damage here! I was, um, well, I took damage to my maiden heart!!”
“You need to be more specific. What are you trying to say I did to you? I lower my level of consciousness during my Self-Maintenance, so it isn’t easy to remember what happens in that time.”
“I am not saying a word. Don’t think I am going to do further embarrassment damage to myself for no reason. Now let me see your face!”
Teleria pulled a black and shining handgun from the leather holster she wore at her hip. It was hidden between her blazer’s tighter-fitting miniskirt and the princess skirt that floated around her. The unnecessarily long magazine was more than three times the length of the grip and the suppressor was built into the gun itself. It was even equipped with a dot sight on top and a laser guide below the barrel. She had a tendency to attach every accessory she came across, making her what was known as a “snowman gunner”.
She was blushing, but she had not grabbed the gun in a fit of emotion.
“Swelling and bruising of the cheek. No effect to the cheekbone or eardrum. Looks like I only need to order the manaflow in your body and accelerate your metabolism.”
“Hold on. Do that and my face will be covered in dead skin and filth!”
“Really? You want me to do cellular replacement regeneration too!? That’s expensive!!”
“I’m the victim and you’re the attacker.”
“I’m the victim and you’re the attacker!!”
The blonde girl raised the handgun, pressed the slide against her forehead, and muttered something under her breath.
“(Secondary Ex Aid.)”
With a muffled sound resembling full-auto gunfire, a pale, firefly-like light was released into that space. A bright blue muzzle flash blossomed, the manaflow that shot through the center contained a signal similar to an electric pulse, and it pierced Ayato’s face before her eyes. A smooth empty bullet cartridge was spat from the ejection port. It appeared to be faintly glowing from the firing, but it was the opposite. The cartridge had been glowing to begin with and firing it caused it to rapidly lose its light and fade like a brightly colored flower withering up.
Bullets like that were manufactured by rubbing impurities on the inside of a steel cylinder, applying intense heat, injecting mist mana, and adding a thin film to the outer surface.
But as the cartridge lost its light, it had the same fleeting beauty as dying embers or sea sparkle. The color changed depending on the type of impurities used and that allowed the manufacturer to give it their personal touch, but Teleria’s was a pale blue. It could be fun to give it a color to match the element used: red for fire, blue for water, yellow for wind, and green for earth.
Magic could be cast with the pull of a trigger.
Sorcery referred to using mana-conducting materials to cast magic. In the past, supernatural phenomena had been achieved by raising a sorcery sword or an old-fashioned staff to draw complex patterns in the air that would order the manaflow and reciting long incantations in ancient languages to create a resonance between the world and one’s body. However, those days were over. Just as a lengthy sentence could be abbreviated to a single line, modern magic was not a privilege restricted to a chosen few. It was now a technology of the masses thanks to the cartridges injected with pressurized fog mana that was extracted from the air. Just load one of those in a gun and pull the trigger and you were done.
The people only had to cause a change smaller even than the powder contained in a bullet.
Those smooth cartridges coated with a solid film of mana were mostly filled with the form of mana known as Intangible Mist. The bullet itself was made from soft disintegrating lead, but that was because it did not need any destructive power itself. The bullet was meant to be erased along with the activation of the magic, so it was controlled by the power of the user’s will and engraved with the letters and numbers matching the desired type of magic. That changed the type of muzzle flash. When the mist mana was released from its pressurized state, it would burst through the center of that colorful light which resembled fireworks and that created the desired magic.
The distance the sound of the gunshot traveled was directly linked to the effective range, so the purpose of the suppressor built into her gun was likely to increase the accuracy at the cost of range. Especially when she was messing with the human body using recovery magic rather than simply fighting someone.
In this age, young wives would use magic to light the stove in the safety of their own home, but no one bothered to actually understand what the letters and numbers meant or how precarious a balancing act it was to use numbers to take the place of the missing letters. For lighting the stove, they used this. For locking a door, they used that. They could not do all the calculations in their head, but they only had to memorize what was necessary for an ordinary life. And if they could not memorize it, they could hesitantly follow along using the notes they had taken. …Some might call that progress and some might call it degradation.
“You suck at that. You waste a ton of ammo by doing pain relief and fever reduction in parallel. Do it like this.”
The blonde girl with the gun raised her voice in a panic.
Ayato had drawn the sword sitting on the table and lightly stabbed the tip of the blade into the sorcery gun she held. He also pulled some ultra-thin crystal cards from his blue blazer’s breast pocket and scattered them out in the air. The set of 78 palm-sized cards drew up various arcana images all on their own and changed their arrangement as if controlled by a magnet.
Immediately, the magic supposedly under Teleria’s control changed its structure.
No, the manaflow had been hijacked and restructured into a different kind of magic altogether.
Using the technical terms of the field, the sword was a Linkage Plug and the crystal tarot cards were a Linkage Monitor.
“Cooling the affected area will dull the pain, so you can combine that with the fever reduction. And that leaves some spare resources, right? Use those to look after my skin and hair. Like I said, recovery magic that accelerates the metabolism will leave me covered in dead skin and filth. And remember, we’re about to set foot in that city for the very first time.”
“P-please don’t hack my magic like that! Oh, it’s so scary!! If you lose control, the recoil goes back to me!!”
“Do I look like the kind of guy that would screw up that badly?”
Ayato winked from the sofa.
Now that magic was easy enough for anyone to use, the people could naturally focus on other things. In ancient times, people had had their hands full simply activating the magic, but now they could find other applications for it. The benefits of that were many and diverse, but there were also people like Ayato Criminaltrophy here.
They were known as Sorcery Hackers.
Instead of using magic themselves, they would infiltrate other people’s magic, hijack it, and steal it away.
But his attempt to look cool was ruined by another bursting sound from the blonde girl’s chest.
Ayato and Teleria both looked down to a certain point on her body.
Her blazer’s chest had been in risqué state already, but now another of the blouse’s buttons had popped off.
“Wait, how about we have a nice lecture on causality in the field of sorcery? There is no possible causal link between magical recoil and your button, so I take issue with that suspicious look you are giving me!”
“You’re only brining up that complicated magic stuff to hide what you did!!”
“Don’t pistol-whip me with your sorcery gun! Did you forget about that long magazine sticking out!? Listen, just bring me the sewing set! I’ll fix it for you!!”
“I couldn’t possibly make you do that…”
“Are you suggesting you should do the sewing? You have already proven how disastrous the result would be. I am still trying to figure out how you managed to sew my pants and your frilly bra together.”
“Wah! Wahh!! Wahhhhh!!!???”
Before he could continue to pummel her with embarrassing memories, Teleria waved her hands wildly and started searching for the sewing set. But the sewing work here had to be done at the blonde girl’s chest, so…
“Is something wrong?”
The tearful blonde girl weakly protested while pressing her elbows against her sides and raising her lightly clenched fists to shoulder height as if presenting her large chest to him.
“I, um, don’t like how you’re staring…”
“While it would reduce the effort required for this job if you removed your clothes and let me replace the button that way, how many mini-times is it until we arrive now? If you want to be half-naked when you first set foot in this city, I won’t stop you, but I have a feeling a lot of people are going to very much misinterpret your intentions there. Myself included.”
“Ayato, are you only saying that so you can stare at my boobs while you do this?”
“Very much so, yes.”
Teleria did not hesitate to grab the sewing scissors.
“Wait, Miss Teleria! You are being unreasonable! Your breasts are far too attractive to expect me to act gentlemanly here!!”
“Ah, wha-, you can’t just spring statements like that on me out of the blue. D-d-d-d-do you really think you can trick me like that!?”
“Can you at least let me know whether you are seriously mad or simply hiding your embarrassment!?”
They struggled over the large pair of scissors for a bit, but Teleria had no chance when she was blushing bright red and her eyes were spinning in her head. Plus, all the movement was causing her blouse’s surviving buttons to strain dangerously.
(Ugh. I hate how conflicted I feel when he says things like that… Because I can’t deny that it does make me kind of happy.)
“…Fine, just do what you will…”
“Don’t mind if I do.”
Teleria tearfully looked to the side while the teenage boy stared at her chest and worked with his hands. The blinds made from thin feathers that had been covering the window must have reacted to her gaze because they folded up to reveal the scenery outside.
She could see a blue planet.
There was already nothing but the color black overhead. At this altitude, the normal azure color was found below them. It was only the blessings of magic that allowed them to ignore the air and pressure issues.
This was Sky City Celedileka.
It was famous for this view of the sun shining in the starry sky.
That giant city was a product of either hope or insolence, depending on who you asked. A thick, thick chain had been extended from the surface and it had been gradually lifted higher and higher while the people dreamed of eventually surpassing heaven itself. Things looked peaceful enough here, but this was closer to being in outer space than in the sky. Without the Guardian Umbrella, an atmospheric shield two or three sizes larger than the city itself, the city would have grown asphyxiated and frozen in no time.
“Maybe we should have taken a large airship instead. I hear those have delicious food, soft beds, tour guides, a bar lounge, and even a casino.”
“Miss Teleria, first of all, we do not have the money. And to any normal person, this is plenty luxurious.”
“Plus, airships packed full of rich people are the perfect targets for sky pirates. So unless you’re hoping to hit on an eyepatch miniskirt girl with a bare midriff and a cutlass, I would suggest avoiding hitching a ride with the rich.”
“I get the feeling someone has been fantasizing about sky pirates a little too much.”
“Besides, a large airship uses the same theory as this balloon bungalow. You input the destination coordinates into the navigator and it reads the manaflows in the atmosphere to mechanically guide the ship.”
“Yes, the big airships will have crew with lengthy titles like First Class Pilot or Engine Maintenance Officer, but the manual controls are only used for corrections in case of emergency. Everything is left to the equipment during ordinary flights. You know how airships are sometimes late to arrive for no explained reason? That happens when the navigator glitches and sends the airship on a long and meaningless detour.”
He fixed one of her buttons while talking and used his canine tooth to tear off the excess thread. Although that ended up looking a lot like him shoving his face into her cleavage.
“Cough, cough! Nothing, it’s nothing! Definitely not your breath tickling me!!”
“Well, anyway, our balloon bungalow does the exact same thing.”
They were not staying in an inn or a carriage.
They were floating at an altitude of 30,000 esoule.
A long, narrow metal container had been modified into a living space and it dangled from three giant balloons that were injected with the fire and wind elements to provide buoyancy. It would ride the invisible manaflows running every which way through the atmosphere to slowly take them to their destination. That was their mobile lodging facility known as a balloon bungalow.
Unlike a large airship, they had to supply their own food and do their own laundry. If their navigator glitched and they landed somewhere other than their planned destination, no search team would be dispatched unless they had paid for insurance in advance. The system left a lot to be desired, but it was still a high-level service for air travel. Ayato and Teleria did not usually use something this nice.
They had only splurged this time because they could not have reached their destination otherwise.
The blonde girl breathed an impressed sigh as she viewed the scenery out the window.
The blue sky that should have been overhead was pushed down below them and stars filled the sky both day and night. That was just how high up they were. A faint aurora-like red fog surrounded a sacred heavenly territory where a clearly artificial piece of land was floating. It was large enough to hold four or five of the royal capitals on the surface. The four outer blocks were colored to match their elements of fire, water, wind, and earth and Light Castle Brightio was situated at the center. That castle was protected by the Free Audience Restriction, an aurora-like barrier created by gathering the four powers of the outer blocks (and its artificial origin meant it shined brighter than the natural aurora). Legend had it that barrier could keep out any unauthorized intruders, including the divine and demonic.
Overall, it was approximately 100,000 esoule long.
This was the largest sky city within the Selected Kingdoms that bound together the many kings on one of the surface continents.
It was known as Celedileka and that crystallization of human sorcery would be their next stage.
“Oh, yes. What is it?”
“I have not yet fixed your other button and you are still fairly cleavagy, so why are you opening the window blinds? Are you that desperate to show your cleavage off to the world?”
She screamed and threw another slap, which vigorously shook those two mounds and popped off the fixed button yet again.
Option 01: Celedileka Tourist Guide Introduction
A city measuring approximately 100,000 esoule long.
A permanent population of approximately 901,000 and a temporary population of approximately 9.5 million.
This giant city-state is the largest sky city in the Selected Kingdoms that rules the continent. It actually began to float about 40 combo-years ago and it continues to rise bit by bit even now, but the plan is said to have actually begun between 500 and 700 combo-years ago.
An unimaginable amount of time, effort, and money have been invested and carried over through the years for the construction plan to finally bear fruit and give birth to the largest ever floating land made by cutting away a piece of Selected Kingdoms territory. The manaflows in the upper atmosphere are denser than anywhere else, so by collecting the mana, pressurizing it inside tanks, and sending it to the surface, Celedileka provides energy for the entire Static Continent. The sky city is facing many different problems at present, but under the rule of the Celedileka Royal Family that fulfilled the construction plan for generations, it has gained a large enough presence to prop up the industries of commerce, construction, sightseeing, specialized agriculture, and other fields core to the Selected Kingdoms. The sky city is connected to the ground by a thick chain, but this could only have been accomplished on our Static Continent that is the one and only continent to have remained entirely motionless over the many long years.
(Incidentally, the location of the land cut away to create the floating land has been registered as the Static Continent’s one and only artificial lake.)
These days, Sky City Celedileka is ruled by a partial parliamentary monarchy formed from the regional royal family and the 160 members of the knight class. Thanks to the king’s grace, the other classes are included in a portion of the governing process, so the city is known for its relatively free and generous character and that may be one of the reasons it is such a popular tourist destination.
It has been suggested that land cut away from the surface is spiritually vulnerable, but the regional royal family has given the Forturiana Church (known for sealing the Demon Lord in the distant past) approval for their Temple Moving Ceremony which will provide state-level protection and solve that problem once and for all.
With the fire, water, wind, earth, and light, Sky City Celedileka is well known for having plenty to see. There is simply too much to see everything in one visit, so savvy travelers will decide on one of the castle towns to stay in and focus their sightseeing in that one area.
You can see a new side to the city with each visit, so you can come back again and again and find new surprises every time.
If you have yet to see Sky City Celedileka then we eagerly await your visit.
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- Approximately 12 minutes 30 seconds.
- Approximately 36,000 meters.
- Approximately 120 kilometers.
- Approximately 120 kilometers.