Kumo Desu ga, Nani ka? past arc 1
Past Arc ①
The man shakes the test tube. Filled with a red liquid, a small wave forms within the test tube. Using a micropipette, the red liquid inside the test tube is sucked up. With an experienced hand, the man transfers the contents of the micropipette to other test tubes one drop at a time. As each drop of the red liquid is added, the liquid chemicals in each test tube show a reaction every time. While observing that, the man progresses to the next experiment.
The man’s hands never stop. The place the man is in resembles both a laboratory and also a hospital room. Due to having the facilities of both, either could be said to be correct, but if one was to specifically define what type of place the room was, it would be a laboratory. The reason being, is that the ones lying down on beds were not patients, but the man’s experimental subjects – his laboratory animals.
The man, Potimas Hyphenath, turns his coldhearted gaze towards a girl lying down on a bed. His gaze is that of one towards a laboratory animal, without a trace of emotion. Even though she is his biological daughter.
From the reaction of the lined up test tubes, it is seen that there was no change compared to the previous day when the red liquid was added. However, it’s not the case that no abnormality was seen. Within that red liquid, a small amount of toxin was detected. From the blood of the girl lying down on the bed.
It is not the case that Potimas administered poison to the girl. The girl’s body was generating poison. However, that was not a function of a normal human body, and due to the generated poison contained within her blood stream, it had the effect of eating away at her own body. Due to her body being afflicted by this poison since she was born, it was inevitable that the girl experienced a life where she could not even properly get up from bed. However, if one was to ask whether the girl would be able to have an ordinary life if she had a healthy body instead, then the answer would be no. Due to her father being Potimas, and since she was not a proper human, it would be impossible for her to live an ordinary life.
She was a laboratory animal. Even though she was Potimas’s genetic daughter, since she was created by improper means she had no way of living except as a laboratory animal. Even so, it was unclear just how long her body that was being eaten away by poison would last. She was a chimera. The result of the insanity of mixing the genes of a human and an animal. She was one of the few successful examples. She was born as the result of an experiment to add animal characteristics to a human, by processing fertilised eggs. In appearance she was no different to a human, but her insides were irregular.
She had no name. However, based on the species of spider she had been combined with, in the form of a code name, she was called Taratekt.
From the moment he was first aware, Potimas Hyphenath was different to the other humans around him. To him, it was incomprehensible. How could people pass their time so leisurely? People die. That unavoidable fate visited everyone equally, whether they were a great person or whether they were a villain. Potimas was unbearably terrified of that. Always afraid of death, always thinking about death. For that reason, he found it unfathomable and unbelieveable why everybody so rarely thought about death at all.
Why aren’t they afraid? Why don’t they resist?
Potimas did not want to die. Ever since infancy he was always dreading the moment that could come at any time. How could he avoid that ultimate reality? He continued to think about it through his entire childhood. Thus, he got involved with every single field of science. To find out whether or not there was a means of survival.
Starting from the conclusion – no field of science had a solution for how to avoid death. That was obvious. If a method was known, then there’s no way that people wouldn’t be aware of it. Since eternal youth and longevity is a dream desired by all, it was still a dream because it was impossible to achieve it. Moreover, that dream was something from what is called a fairy tale world. Since it was impossible to implement, there were few humans who seriously aimed to achieve it, and it was as lacking in authenticity as events from myths and legends.
Even so, Potimas did not give up. If he gave up there, he would have to wait for the death that would come some day. He refused to do so. Therefore, Potimas seriously tried to complete it. The secret to achieving eternal youth and longevity.
He conducted his research using scientific methods based around cellular biology. Before reaching the age of 10, he had skipped grades and became a university student, and before he was 20 he became world famous due to his numerous discoveries. However, his main research had not borne any fruit. Sensing the limits of science alone, Potimas eventually began forbidden research. The field of research that humans could not handle, known as magecraft.
In this world there were mysterious creatures. There were many puzzles about their ecology, and human wisdom was inadequate to the task of explaining everything. Amongst those creatures, the one that stood out the most by far and was hidden by a strange veil, was the dragon.
Dragons only inhabited unexplored regions deep in the mountains, and were cut off from human contact. Any foolish attempts made at contact meant bringing their wrath down upon you. In the past, humans who tried to explain the mysteries of the dragons all received severe retaliation. For that reason, little was known about dragons. However, it was established that they possessed a technique that could cause phenomenons that couldn’t be explained by science. That was designated by people as “magecraft”.
Potimas focused his attention on that. The reason being is that dragons had long lives. Dragons lived long enough that they were said to have eternal youth in legends. Researching the bodies of the long lived. Also, the unknown field of research called magecraft. If he could gain knowledge on those, then he could come closer to completing his research on eternal youth and longevity. With that conviction, Potimas set out to search dragons.
And that particular event became the prelude to ruin.