The Suspects of Necromancy Volume 1 Chapter 1

The girl was completely covered from head to toe in a white hooded cloak like a mage would wear, slowly walking through the town.
 
I couldn’t see her expression clearly.
 
The pharmacist who dealt with her said she had an unremarkable face.
 
It’s odd not to remember the face of someone who delivers such good medicine.
 
She must be using some sort of spell. There’s a famous charm among mages that erases one’s presence. She likely has one.
 
“Miss, can I have a word with you?”
 
I stepped out of the alley with two subordinates, surrounding her as we spoke.
 
She jumped in surprise, stopping to see who had suddenly appeared.
 
Our armor bore the emblem of the Kingdom of Rama, proving our identity.
 
“…A knight?”
 
She tilted her head, probably not understanding why she was stopped.
 
I looked at her face hidden under the hood.
 
Red eyes, white skin, and golden hair. …Is she of Asra blood?
 
She looked about sixteen, her features were beautiful and distinct.
 
There was no way her face wouldn’t be memorable. The small wooden talisman around her neck was likely the charm.
 
“I need to talk to you. It’s not bad news. Could you come with us to the knights’ station?”
 
I tried to smile to show I had no ill intent.
 
“What do you want to talk about?”
 
She asked, without any fear on her face. It seemed the approach was working.
 
“It’s about the person you live with. We’re not going to harm them. In fact, if they are who we think they are, we want to protect them.”
 
“Protect? My master?”
 
So, it was a master-disciple relationship. I had also considered she might be a servant.
 
“Yes. First, we need to confirm if your master is the person we’re looking for. It’s a private matter, so could you come to the station?”
 
“…Alright. But please, don’t take too long.”
 
She made a modest request and agreed to come along.
 
I was relieved to avoid using force.
 
“Of course, we’ll be as quick as possible. I’m Conrad, a knight of the Kingdom of Rama. What’s your name?”
 
“Luna.”
 
“Luna… a lovely name. Let’s go then.”
 
I had my subordinates flank her as we headed to the station.
 


 

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The knights’ station where I belonged was along the main street of the town.
 
Among the buildings on the street, the station was quite large. Our main role was maintaining public order, so a prominent presence was necessary.
 
Our duties ranged from apprehending criminals, conducting internal investigations, spying, and even sometimes hunting monsters.
 
These tasks weren’t very popular among knights, but the current king had established this group when he was a prince to show that the kingdom worked for the people.
 
Usually, soldiers under the knights did most of the work, so it was rare for us knights to act directly, as we were now. That showed how important Luna’s case was.
 
I led Luna to the cleanest room in the station. To avoid intimidation, I would talk to her alone while my two subordinates guarded the door to prevent eavesdropping.
 
We sat across a table with a teapot and two cups. The tea was a gesture of goodwill.
 
Luna brought the cup to her lips, enjoying the aroma before taking a sip. She didn’t seem nervous.
 
“Could you take off that charm first? It seems to have some magical effect.”
 
“This? Sure.”
 
Luna easily removed the charm and put it away. Now, she wouldn’t forget our conversation.
 
“Can you tell me about yourself? You seem to be a descendant of the Asra people. Is that right?”
 
The Asra were an ancient race said to have ruled the world long ago. They were characterized by golden hair, red eyes, white skin, and innate magical power, making them highly adept at magic.
 
The Asra used their powerful magic to rule the world, treating other races as slaves.
 
However, they were few in number. Eventually, our ancestors, who were their slaves, revolted in a great war.
 
The Asra, though all skilled mages, were overwhelmed by sheer numbers and were defeated. They became targets of persecution.
 
But that was over a thousand years ago. Magic itself was once taboo but now mages were valued.
 
Occasionally, someone with Asra blood would be born and was considered rare and precious.
 
“I don’t know much myself. When I was conscious, I was with human traffickers.”
 
I see. Those with Asra blood were rare and were traded at high prices. Human trafficking was rampant in the past, though it was now illegal. Still, some engaged in it in secret.
 
“I see, that must have been tough.”
 
Being with traffickers, she must have had a terrible childhood.
 
“Not really. I was treated well as a valuable product. They even taught me to read and write. It was probably tougher after my master bought me. He only cared about his research. The mansion was so dirty I started with cleaning. That was the hardest time.”
 
Luna replied cheerfully.
 
It was a bit different from what I expected, but I continued questioning.
 
“Then, could you tell me your master’s name?”
 
“Khan.”
 
Khan. I didn’t know the name. I thought he might be the great mage Logan. Could it be an alias?
 
Logan was a legendary mage, his current status unknown, but we believed a high-ranking mage was involved in this matter.
 
“We believe Khan is a mage. Is that correct?”
 
“Yes.”
 
“Is he a powerful mage?”
 
“I don’t know. My master is different from ordinary mages, so it’s hard to compare.”
 
“How is he different?”
 
“His magic is special… I don’t really want to talk about it.”
 
“It’s alright. I promise to keep it a secret. I’m known as the most discreet knight in this country.”
 
I winked and smiled. Most women trusted me with that.
 
Luna thought for a moment before speaking.
 
“…Alright. He studies necromancy. It’s a bit creepy, isn’t it? Please keep it a secret?”
 
Necromancy. The magic of communicating with the dead to see the past or future. It was said to animate corpses into ghouls and skeletons, but its actual practices were unclear as no one studied it anymore.
 
But the mage we were looking for was a necromancer.
 
“I see. I swear I won’t tell anyone. Absolutely. So, how advanced is his necromancy? Can he control many corpses at once?”
 
“I’m not sure. I asked him not to use ghouls because they’re creepy. Instead, we have some skeletons at home. They’re like servants.”
 
Skeletons as servants… I imagined bones cooking and cleaning. It was surreal.
 
If such a house were nearby, I’d move immediately.
 
Luna’s sense of normal was quite different from the public’s. Given her upbringing, it was understandable.
 
“He sounds like a skilled mage. Can you tell me more about Khan? I want to know what kind of person he is. Since you’ve lived with him, you can tell us.”
 
“If it’s about my story, I don’t mind.”
 
And so, Luna began to tell her story.


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