|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2415 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1235 words|
Lapis wiped her tears and tried to look up embarrassedly, but there were still tears on the corner of her eyes. That story seemed to have touched a sensitive side of her, though I did not know which, and I probably would never understand, considering it was something serious enough to make a strong girl like her cry.
“Huh? Why are you of all people crying? You don’t have anything to do with that story.”
Sorciere teased Lapis, as if trying to hide her own embarrassment.
“Shut up. Tell us why you called us here though, I’m sure it’s not just to reminisce about the past, is it?”
“Ah right, let’s get through that first then.”
Sorciere’s face turned more severe as she grabbed a chair and sat in front of us, and at the same time, the air around us turned tenser. It was easy to conclude she had something serious to talk about with Lapis, considering she went as far as sending a werewolf as a messenger.
“I assume you already know about the Demon King’s resurrection?”
Everyone nodded. That was the very reason why all countries had elected heroes, and started training soldiers and even adventurers, all to defeat the resurrected Demon King. Even though we had no solid proof, no one doubted the resurrection.
“Because of the position I’m in, I have a few more details about that. More importantly, the Demon King isn’t a singular entity.”
There’s more than one?! Just one is hard enough to deal with, but there are multiple?! I felt like I was about to faint.
“A-are you sure about that?!”
“I’m certain, Karin. There’s the one Demon King that was resurrected, and then multiple others that appeared, all having the same level of power.”
“Huh? I never introduced myself though…”
Even though none of us really introduced ourselves, she called Karin by her name as if she knew her for a long time. The only person who was supposed to have a known name was Lapis, so this was really odd.
“That much is really easy to find out. Who do you think built the entire adventurer registration network so ubiquitous to your lives? I’m directly connected to that network, so I know everything there is about adventurers. I know where adventurers go, what they fight against, how much they earn, and even if they were reprimanded or punished in any way.”
I knew Sorciere was an amazing person, but I did not expect it to this extent. If she knew where all adventurers were and what they did, it would be easy to figure out the state of the world all around without having to see anything directly, but I should have expected that much from the legendary magician.
“So that system had that kind of use as well. That’s quite surprising in itself, but then you have enough proof that there’s more than one Demon King?”
“Yes. Just like the puppy I sent to bring you all here, there are other monsters I employ. They infiltrated their lairs directly and brought this information, so I’m sure about it.”
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I could see it being easier to infiltrate and gather information from a place like that as a monster.
“But…if you know that much, wouldn’t it be better to go to a big city and directly report this?”
Vitis held a hand to her forehead in salute as she spoke, but Sorciere shook her head in reply.
“I don’t feel like interacting with the world outside anymore. I believe these problems should be dealt with by the people out there. If every time a problem arises I have to go out to solve it, then people will become way too dependent and never work for themselves. I don’t want to be used only when I’m needed, and then thrown aside like the hero was.”
She had told us the story of the hero earlier, so we could not say anything back to that. We were not stupid enough to ask her to fight again, she had already put her life on the line to save the world once before. Or at least anyone who had risked their life in the past, a soldier or an adventurer, would understand that much. The only people who would dare tell her to fight again would be a king or nobility, regular people who had never fought before.
“In truth, no matter what happens to the world, I would never do anything as long as this city stays safe. But then again, that feels a bit too cruel, so I figured I’d give you at least some information about the enemy.”
“So there’s no problem if we tell our higher-ups about this?”
“Yeah, though like I mentioned before, I’ll put a limiter on you all so you never speak about anything related to this city. That obviously means being unable to mutter a word about it, but you also won’t be able to write it, so make sure you find a way around that when you explain the more important information.”
Saying that, she whipped out a staff, pointing it towards us.
“It won’t be anything cruel like making you turn into stone or a frog if you break this promise. You simply won’t be able to relay any information about this site, whether spoken or written. In a way it’s a curse, and of course, the only one who can dispel it is me.”
The staff began to glow, illuminating the entire room as if she had cast some form of light magic, and then we looked at each other.
“I don’t really…feel anything different?”
“Yeah, I still feel like I did a moment ago. But does this mean…”
“Yup, I’ve already cast my magic on you. This concludes my business with you, so you can go home if you want.”
We were invited here in a very sudden manner, and now we were being sent away in a similar manner. She truly went at her own tempo. In a way, it felt like she had lost all interest in us now, grabbing a magic tome nearby and leafing through it.
“Thank you for the information, we’ll be leaving now.”
Lapis seemed used to that behavior, quickly turning around seeing Sorciere act that way. They spoke like they knew each other for a long time, but there was no reminiscent talk between them, which made their relationship all the more curious. There was no need for the rest of us to stay here as well, so we all followed after Lapis, but when we were crossing the main door, Sorciere spoke again.
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“Say, Lapis. If you want, I wouldn’t mind turning you back to your old appearance.”
None of us had any idea what she meant, so we stood still without knowing what to do. But Lapis seemed to understand what she meant, but she just shrugged.
“I’ll decline that offer. I’ve been living like this for much longer by now.”
“I see. Then I have nothing else left to say. But oh right, if you ever lose your way again, feel free to come here. I’ll make some room for you.”
“I’ll try my best so that never happens. Anyway, see you.”
Sorciere looked back to her book, only casually waving while Lapis turned around and walked away.