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Interlude: Blank Easel

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Author: Resn Original Source: Kakuyomu
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Silva

While Crim’s guild was first traveling to Schwarzwald, something happened along the way. They were staying at an inn by a mid-stop station, and while everyone was resting, Lycoris went to Crim’s room and said, “There’s a weird glowing dot on my map that won’t go away,” and so the two headed out to the desert at night.

“And so, is that weird dot on your map over there?”
“Y-yes…just a bit further ahead…”

That was the Dragonbone Desert, the same place that had left Crim crippled before. While it was called that, there were no real dragon bones there.

Instead, there were vestiges from the dark ages before the empire was founded, and a fierce battle that turned that place into arid land, which included an enormous mass driver that spanned many kilometers across the desert.

“That’s an incredible sight…”

Crim muttered as she looked at the ruins of the mass driver, which did not look like bones from an enormous living being. Lycoris agreed, though she seemed somewhat distracted.

“Anyway… I’ve been wondering for a bit, but could you tell me why you only wanted me to come here?”

When Crim asked that, Lycoris’ body jolted a little. It seemed like Crim’s hunch was correct, and there was a reason why only she was told to come.

“I’m really sorry, I think I just wanted to vent a little.”
“Yes… I just feel like I’m so useless compared to Hinagiku.”

During their discussions, they had learned that Lycoris was starting middle school, while Hinagiku was in her last year of elementary school. It seemed like Lycoris was starting to feel inferior, knowing Hinagiku was younger than her.

But Hinagiku was a natural talent, it would be unfair to compare anyone with her.

“Yeah, she’s incredibly talented. I always feel she’ll surpass me any day now.”
“Huh…you also feel that way?”
“Yeah… But I don’t think it’s good for you to take her specialty and compare yourself to that.”

Lycoris blinked a few times, Crim’s words being something she had not anticipated.

“By the way, what are some games that you like?”
“Umm…I’m mostly into retro FPS and VRFPS…”
“Ahh, that’s why you’re good with knives.”

Lycoris’ close range fighting abilities were not bad by any means, or rather it was something she was good at. But what made her appear somewhat clumsy was that knives only served as sub-weapons in shooting games, so that was her only experience with them.

“Maybe we should find you a gun then. I’m pretty sure I heard about someone finding one…”
“Y-Yeah, I think it was on the forum somewhere…”

Her face instantly lit up as soon as she heard she could get a gun in this game. The change was a bit sudden, but Crim was glad that had managed to cheer Lycoris up.

They continued talking for a bit until they reached the spot Lycoris saw on her map.

“This is where the glowing spot is, and that’s…”

Lycoris stared at the thing in front of them. It was a large humanoid machine, with all its limbs crushed to pieces.

“That’s a Magi-Armor from the dark ages, before the empire was established.”
“So that’s what kept showing up on my map. But why?”
“The hatch is open… Maybe it’s some sort of event, let’s investigate for a bit.”

Crim took Lycoris’ hand and they went inside the machine.

A few minutes passed after that.

After searching for a while, the two found a strange case which they took outside, and opened by breaking the decayed hinge. Inside they found a sphere, the size of a soccer ball, and completely white in color.

“Is this…”
“A Magius Orb like the one Ryunosuke has?”
“It looks similar…but it’s not exactly the same…”

Ryunosuke’s was semi-transparent, but this one was a solid white.

“Oh well, either way you found it, so it belongs to you, Lycoris. Take it.”
“Y-yes…if you’ll let me…”

Lycoris reached for the sphere, but then just when she touched it…

“Are you okay?!”
“Umm, I just got a notification saying I obtained the Magius Gun Skill.”

Saying that, Lycoris began to focus her thoughts into the orb. After that, the sphere slowly began to transform into a long cylinder. One end of it then split into two, looking like rather twisted Y, with one side being a grip and trigger, while the other turned into white box with a scope affixed to it..

It looked closer to something from science fiction rather than fantasy, being a futuristic…

“Y-yes, it’s a gun! I have a gun!”

Lycoris happily announced that to Crim. But she felt a strange sensation in the nape of her neck, so Crim took hold of Lycoris’ shoulder and dragged her down onto the sand.

“Kyah?! C-Crim, what are you…”

The sudden movement caught Lycoris by surprise, leading to her hugging her gun tightly to her chest while getting red in the face, and was about to protest about it.


But then there was the sound of something being charred, a red hot mark appearing on the spot where Lycoris had been standing just seconds earlier.

“Is that…a long range optical weapon?! Lay low!”

All color quickly drained from Lycoris’ face, and Crim stood in front of her to keep her safe while looking around for the source of that attack. Eventually she found it, a spherical device bobbing up and down in the air far in the distance.

“Is that an autonomous drone placed to protect the main body? I see, it got activated when we took out the Magius Orb.”

Lycoris looked distressed and unsure what to say, almost like her circuits were overheating and she could not form a single word with her lips. But they could not afford to wait until she regained her bearings. The drone’s eye was starting to light up again.

“Lycoris, over here!”

Crim quickly threw herself onto Lycoris’ chest to cover her, pushing her behind the Magi-Armor’s remains. Barely a moment later they heard another impact, this time on the remains that separated them from the drone.

“It seems like it’s aiming at you…or probably the gun you’re holding onto.”
“Ah…I see.”
“Say, can you shoot it from here?”

Lycoris was finally done processing their current dangerous situation and was operative again, so Crim asked that question. There was a short pause as she looked at the gun, and then…

“Yes… The bullets are created with my mana, so I’ll be able to reload it just in case…I think.”
“Good. I’ll go out and distract the drone so you can get a clear shot, is that alright?”

After that last question, Lycoris pursed her lips slightly and nodded firmly.

“…I always played as snipers in FPSs.”
“Even better then. I’m counting on you!”

With that, Crim rushed out from hiding.


I’m counting on you.

That was the first time she was told that.
Somehow that made a warm feeling take root in her heart, making her smile slightly. But there was no time to delay relishing that feeling.

“Lesen, Einstrasse.”

As Lycoris gave those commands, the rainbow disk on her head activated and began to spin, creating a blue glowing area around her.

Norma Machina did not have the ability to learn regular magic like other species, and instead relied on a unique skillset called Technologie. One of the spells there was Einstrasse, which created an area that allowed long range attacks to go out without issue, but largely blocked incoming ones.

After deploying it, Lycoris held her gun against the Magi-Armor’s remains and looked into the sights.

She had not adjusted the magnification yet, so she could see how the drone fired countless streaks of light, which Crim dodged, parried, or blocked while running around.


Somehow she felt like she was watching a fantastical creature of the night dancing around. That was the moment when she became truly enchanted by that white haired girl.

And because of that, she wanted to help too. There was one thing she could do, and she bit her tongue to focus on that.

“…Lycoris, hide!!”
“Wha… Kyah?!”

All of a sudden Crim shouted a warning. A moment later something pierced through Einstrasse and she felt a sharp searing sensation on her right shoulder. Looking at it she noticed a burn mark.

It hurts.

It felt painful and hot. But at the same time she realized the attacks had slowed down. Thanks to Crim diverting the attacks up ahead, the drone was taking longer to charge up each shot.

There was some time before it would shoot again, so…

I’ll have to aim and shoot before that!

Bracing through the pain, she quickly moved forward to look through the sights.

The burn negative status continued to make it painful, but it did not hamper her arm from moving. In a way, it actually helped her remain focused. In the distance, she could see the drone flying through the air, though it appeared to be moving much slower now. It was like time was freezing for her, standing almost still…

I can do it.

She felt sure of that. There was no doubt in Lycoris’ mind at that moment. Her mechanical finger seemed lured by the trigger, reaching for it and pulling it firmly.

Then there was a streak of light, like a comet traveling straight through the desert. The streak hit squarely on the drone’s eye, or what was actually a laser diode, and continued extending behind it.

“Did I…do it?”

Lycoris raised her face from the sights, and stared dazed at the drone going up in flames.

“Lycoris! Your aim was incredibly perfect!”

Crim ran back to her, holding Lycoris’ hands with excitement and bouncing up and down. That made a strong sense of accomplishment well up in Lycoris’ chest.

“Yes…I did…I did it! All thanks to her!!”

Saying that, Lycoris embraced her gun tightly. In those short moments the oddly shaped Magius Gun had become an inseparable partner for Lycoris.

“Let’s go on a bunch of adventures now… Blank Easel…”

Brimming with happiness, Lycoris muttered the name of her new gun.


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