Chore Granting Sorcerer Volume 2 Chapter 3 part 5

“So we welcome you! Sorry for the shady group! We had some friction with the Scholars’ Society in the past. We have to secretly compile like this in hiding!”
Rita brings her large eyes right up to me.
“About what kind of group we are, in normal times we act as the guild’s direct investigation team. In other words, we’re just using our workplace at night too, you know?”
A guild investigation team.
That made sense to me. The organization closest to the labyrinth’s mysteries in this world would be them, with no one else placing investigation teams.
“On the surface we’re the respectable Adventurer’s Guild investigation team! But our true face is…!”
She threw her arms out wide and proclaimed loudly.
“We’re the publisher of Labyrinth Maniac!”
Having said that, she deflated her shoulders.
“Well, I said it but really we’re just a circle of Adventurer’s Guild investigators who got together as a hobby to secretly publish papers that are hard to talk about publicly, so we put out Labyrinth Maniac for that purpose.”
“I see…”
“So Mr. Strauss! We’re going to have presentations of everyone’s research results now! What gets published is just a tiny part, and stays within acceptable limits to leave a paper trail! If you want to see the essence of Labyrinth Maniac, you have to see these presentations!”
A pulled out chair was in front of the offered hand.
“You’ll watch of course, right?”
I swallowed and nodded.

“Is this an application of a mystic artifact?”
The first presentation was “Labyrinth Wall Reproduction Mechanism Number Five, Attempt Number Two with Healing.”
I didn’t fully understand the content, but it seemed to be an experiment using mystic artifacts for healing. Trying to get severed limbs to self-repair without suturing them back to the torso…I think.
“Yeah! It reproduces the labyrinth’s mechanisms, but…look, the labyrinth’s walls have a lot of regenerative parts right? Aside from the transfer circles, those are the only permanent fixtures, but even analyzing them through the mystic artifact extension we’ve made zero progress on the principles! You’ve heard this, right?”
I nod. It’s a famous story in some circles. Circles I haven’t gotten into yet though.
Mystic artifacts refer to devices that extract light, power, and heat using magic stones as fuel. Aside from machinery, mechanisms inevitably mean these mystic artifacts, so it follows that the labyrinth’s devices are extremely advanced mystic artifacts. But it’s proven difficult.
Apparently no traces of the labyrinth’s mechanisms consuming magic stones have been found. Since they don’t know what energy is powering it, analysis is impossible.
“So separate from analysis, we’re trying to combine our own standalone mystic artifacts to recreate similar mechanisms! We fail every time, so it’s become a running gag opening act for the presentations, but still.”
Clatter clatter.
A table on casters was wheeled in. Something pinkish and squirming was on it, probably the experiment result.
Rita smiled broadly and pointed at it.
“See, look. That’s skin stitched together. We’re going to cut it and see if it can stop bleeding, then if it regenerates after.”
The presenter cut into the specimen with a knife, and red liquid came out of the incision.
“What kind of skin is that?”
“That’s…let’s see, pork! Pork skin stitched together while preserving the circulatory system as much as possible! And we’re continually casting livestock healing spells on it with the artifact!”
As she said, the bleeding from the incision stopped in an instant. The specimen squirmed on its own, contracted tightly, and the cut became a wrinkle, disappearing from sight.
It’s pretty grotesque, but I’ve never seen an attempt like this.
“Did it work this time…?”
Rita leaned forward and stared hard at it.
But after a moment, the wrinkle split open and the cut widened. The specimen just sagged lifelessly into an unmoving lump of meat.
“Ah…well, guess not. But some progress, I’d say.”
Scattered applause went up, and the Q&A started.
The questions and answers were so advanced I could barely keep up, plus they talked incredibly fast making it hard to make out. But it wasn’t like all the participants understood the presentation, only about 30% seemed into it while the rest muttered to themselves about unrelated things or did paperwork, looking uninterested.
It felt kind of like lawless territory.
“Um, Ms. Rita. This is my first time hearing of livestock healing, but the chants written are normal human ones…”
“Oh…the symbolic chants are probably abbreviated. We pieced it together specially for experiments! It was a real pain.”
That’s amazing.
“Well…um…a bit inhumane for livestock I admit, please forgive us! The specimens will be eaten deliciously by the investigation team later!”
“Ah, no, I wouldn’t say anything about that…”
Pursuing the bioethics of experimentation on living subjects is endless. As long as you have the intention to respect life, it shouldn’t become a major issue.
Besides, it really piqued my interest. I already wanted to ask about it later.
A desk across the blackboard banged loudly.
“Cut the crap!”
A woman in a white coat strode up to the male presenter.
And punched him.
The man punched back, not one to lose. Seemed he was prepared.
“Whoops, it’s started huh. Okay okay! Next up…perfect timing! Petrus! Get ready!”
As the others began preparing nonchalantly with the fight in the background, I asked “Um, are those two okay?”
“Ah, those two competed for funding and the winner gets it. Of course you’d be pissed if you lost after saying your experiment worked.”
“Well, claims will clash! Just protect your head and writing hand and it’ll be fine!”
In no time the posters and specimens were cleaned up and it was the turn of the man called Petrus to present.
“Mr. Strauss. You should listen to his presentation! He specializes in monster ecology, close to your papers. And more than that…it’s based on your own report!”
“Ahem! Ladies and gentlemen, attention please!”
Petrus’ deep, carrying voice rang out.
“The 98th Floor Boss has been identified! It is a close relative of the manatee, matching up to its net at best. It perfectly matches the extinct animal known as the rain tiger! Judging by vestigial organs, it likely diverged about 2000 years ago!”


Petrus was trying to uncover what living thing the monsters originated from.
Monsters are animals imbued with magical power, often shapeshifters, but many retain strong traces of their biology.
From there, the paradoxical question arises – what if the monster didn’t have magical power to begin with? It’s not unthinkable.
First, using the sketches from the report as a base, he exhaustively searched for a living thing that matched a manatee relative. But a perfect match never emerged.
The issue was the shell the Floor Boss had. To protect its organs, it possessed an internal shell, but no currently existing organism had that trait.
He didn’t give up. If no living animal matched, rather than conveniently conclude that’s just how the monster was, he theorized maybe it was something that existed in the past but went extinct, and investigated from there.
And he found it. An organism with an internal shell.
Apparently large numbers of fossils of a creature called the rain tiger had been unearthed from a fishing port far east of Villebron.
The rest was gathering evidence. Leaving the labyrinth for now, he returned to normal paleontology to uncover the ecology of the rain tiger.
The biggest discovery was that the largest individuals could spray black mist from their backs. Finding similarities between the unique inorganic compounds found near the fossils and the composition of the rain in the 98th floor, the Floor Boss was conclusively moving toward being termed the rain tiger.
“Wouldn’t you normally publish this…?”
It seemed like a valuable topic with no issues, so I asked Rita about it.
“Of course we will! But a lot of the methods aren’t formally approved yet, so we tidy up and trickle out whatever seems publishable. The cited papers are mostly unapproved internal ones, and the transfer circle rights to the investigation site are messy too.”
I see, those kinds of issues exist huh.
Petrus finished presenting. Loud applause went up.
“That’s it!”
His gaze piercing me as he finished speaking.
“Mr. Strauss, Petrus would like your impressions.”
“Eh…? Me? Why?”
“Of course, you had the longest contact with the 98th Floor Boss. Getting the intuition of an adventurer on site is big for us too.”
I see, so that’s how it is.
For me, I’d want the view of whoever I enhanced probably. That kind of thing?
The gazes focused on me silently.
“Ah…it was an amazing presentation, I thought.”
“Really? Even just a hunch is fine. If you felt something was missing, please say so.”
I tried to say something innocuous and got shot down immediately.

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