|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 5166 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2418 words|
|Editor(s): Silva, Fire|
「What is the meaning of this?」
Looking at how her hand passed through the black box, Mira’s face drew near while closing and opening her hand.
「As you can see. Even when this game became a reality, the former rules still apply. This vanity case is not transferable so I can’t give it to you. The same goes for soul-bound items like your master key; you can’t even steal them.」
「Do you mean that the only way is to get a vanity case myself?」
「Exactly. And you should know that it’s impossible with billing items.」
「What a disaster…」
After the brief conversation, Mira fell down on the sofa. An emotion resembling resignation took control of her head and she finally began to think at full power what excuse to make for her current state.
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「Shouldn’t there be any exceptions?」
Only lifting her face, Mira clung to the last ray of hope.
「I haven’t heard about any during these last 30 years.」
This answer which was backed by a historical basis had utterly shattered her remaining hope. Turning herself on the sofa, Mira closed her eyes retreating into the world of delusions dreaming of her past magnificent appearance.
「I’d like to help with this but I’m out of options here.」
「Do you really think like that? In your heart, you must be laughing about me, right?
The view of Mira rolling on the sofa full of negative thoughts made her look like a sulking child.
「Oh no, of course not. It’s not like you forgot about this country in those two days, have you? Protected by you all, this country was able to stand equal to others. But now, the wisemen that supported this country have gone missing, did you know that?」
He was talking about Arkite Kingdom’s greatest incident where all the wisemen have disappeared within a year since Danbulf’s disappearance.
「Yes, I heard about it from Graia. It’s like everybody vanished at the same time. However, I also heard that Luminaria returned twenty years ago, so I stopped by the towers.」
「Ah, so that’s why you were at the towers? Well, if you know that much then I’ll jump straight to the point, what do you think would happen to this country without the strongest shield that you guys were?」
Leveraging the support of the nine wisemen, the Arkite Kingdom never once partook in any aggressive wars, thus avoiding conflict with foreign countries. With rich and fertile lands, there was no need to steal lands of others and the kingdom could focus on defense, thanks to which it also became possible to establish trade with other countries.
However, the country lost those pillars.
The public announcement was made twenty years ago when Luminaria returned. Even if she was one of the Nine Wisemen, supporting the whole country by herself was beyond her powers.
As a result, the other countries who wished to claim the profitable lands have increased their campaigns. While there was no full-fledged war, frequent skirmishes gradually exhausted the country.
That was the present situation of the Arkite Kingdom. Even if it was just one, the return of one of the Nine Wisemen would have granted the country an immeasurable influence. Even more so if it was the 『One Man Army Danbulf』 who singlehandedly suppressed the neighboring country’s chivalric order of five thousand knights.
「This is my opinion as the king, but you are this country’s hero. The influence of your existence alone is tremendous, but we can’t grandly spread the news that you turned into a loli, can we.….」
「While I understand that you are the same person so your skill did not change, the impression is completely different. It might not have been a problem if you originally have such an appearance, but the image of you carved in this country’s history is that of a majestic veteran mage whose appearance was well suited for the title of wiseman.」
「That’s right. Even now I can proudly say that it was the supreme masterpiece.」
Hearing Solomon praise her image of a perfect man, Mira’s mood improved, she affirmed what he said and looked at Solomon happily.
「And what will happen to the image if it was known that he turned into a girl like this?」
Mira imagined it as she was told, a case when a respected person who called himself Danbulf turned into a girl of such tender age.
Murmuring that, Mira understood the position in which she had placed herself.
「You said it. I would be really glad to announce that Danbulf has returned to the country but I can’t show your current appearance to the public. People don’t know about the existence of vanity cases.」
「How about making an announcement without showing me?」
「That will be difficult. It’s a hero’s return after thirty years, the country would have to host a grand party to celebrate and it wouldn’t work without the main guest. And when things calm down, other countries would definitely send spies.」
According to Solomon, a party and celebration would be an inevitable course of events if Danbulf returned after thirty years. Spies seeking to confirm the truth would also come, and if they found out that Danbulf was not there, Arkite would lose trust.
However, from the moment Solomon met Mira, he had no intention of announcing Danbulf’s return. There was a more important issue, to relay it, Solomon approached the sofa Mira was lying on.
As he stood by her side, hidden behind Solomon’s smile was a serious look in his eyes, Mira corrected her sitting posture and looked up suspiciously.
「And here I have a proposal for you.」
「So, what is it?」
「I want to announce you as the pupil of Dunbalf after you get a nationally acclaimed achievement.」
Solomon’s proposal was for Mira to earn enough achievement. Prematurely announcing that the girl was Danbulf himself would likely generate confusion in the people. Even if they believed in the unlikely story, she wouldn’t have that much influence due to her appearance.
Additionally, immediately appointing the position of a wiseman to Danbulf’s disciple would put her in a tough spot instead as she was nothing more than a girl without any accomplishments despite being a hero’s disciple.
If the highest-level title was granted on a whim, what would the rest who worked hard for that title think about it?
But it was another matter altogether if she piled up great achievements for the country.
「I can’t say that it will work for sure, but I think it’s worth a try. Rather, I want you to do it.」
「Well, I understood your point. So, what exactly do you want me to do?」
When Mira asked this, Solomon took a deep breath and crossed his arms. Then with a serious attitude, he made a slightly troubled expression.
「Danbulf… No, I’ll call you Mira from now on to prevent any leaks.」
「Fine, feel free to call me as you like.」
「So, Mira. The thing I want to ask you to do is to find everyone.」
「Who do you mean by everyone?」
Mira put a finger on her chin and asked him to explain. What exactly did he mean by ‘everyone’? Mira couldn’t understand that at first but based on the context she eventually made the connection. She furrowed her eyebrows and made a really aggravated expression upon reaching the answer.
「Aren’t Luminaria and I the only wisemen in this world?」
「Nope, if anything — you are the last one.」
「I believe I just told you how the friend list works, right? Try to look at it yourself.」
Mira operated the bracelet and displayed the hidden window in response to that. Upon opening the friend list, she found the names of her past friends with whom she was close to. Obviously, the names of Solomon and Luminaria were displayed in white. And once she found the names she was looking for, she made a very languid expression as she stared at them displayed in white.
「Everyone is online.」
「It seems that way.」
「Then why are they not here?」
「If I knew that, I wouldn’t have begged you for that.」
「That’s a difficult task. I have no idea where to look for them. Towers aside, they’re not the type of people to stay in one place.」
「I agree that it takes time. But if it’s possible, I’d like to find half of them within this year.」
Half of them within this year. Without any ideas as to why Solomon placed such a limit, Mira asked a question.
「Finding half of them within this year sounds like quite the hurry. Without any leads, searching for them is definitely a task that can’t be completed within a year or two.」
「Well, that’s true. But no matter what, we still need them within this year. You barely managed to appear here in time. I have no other ways besides betting on this chance.」
Solomon was well-aware that it wouldn’t be easy. Therefore, he wanted to leave it to the one who had the highest chances of accomplishing it.
His expression with furrowed eyebrows—showing that he was tired from the bottom of his heart—really did not fit him. Though, Mira realized this based on the way he spoke and from his expression that he was at his wit’s end.
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「So why? Can you tell me the reason why we have to hurry so much?」
After Mira asked this, Solomon picked up a single document file from a bookcase. He placed it on the table next to the sofa and opened it.
This file recorded the war chronicles from ten years ago. Mira recalled the conservation with Graia in the corners of her mind. After a certain battle, the rate at which monsters appeared had increased.
「So it’s the Defense of The Three Gods’ Countries, huh…」
After glancing at the description, Mira muttered the title of the file.
「You heard of it?」
「Mm-hm. It’s about ten years ago, right? Graia said the number of monster attacks increased after that.」
「That’s right. Ever since everyone disappeared, I had to dispatch the chivalric order. From that, the military costs are nothing to joke about and we simply couldn’t ignore them.
「So, how is this related to your reason? It’s already in the past, no? So what, you want to dispatch me again and exterminate the monsters just to avoid having to spend military funds?」
「Ahh, well. That would greatly help but we have a more pressing issue.」
While saying so, Solomon turned some pages and stopped at a certain point. It was a page titled 『Limited Armistice Treaty』.
「Hmm, and that is?」
「You probably don’t know this because you were absent but the Defense of Three Gods’ Countries was a battle that scoped far beyond all wars we have experienced in the past. If I say that the kings and pope of the Three Initial Countries directly took control, you should easily understand, right?」
「Impossible… Those immovable kings moved?」
Mira’s astonishment had good reason. The Three Initial Countries were the starting location of this game. It meant that they existed before players founded their own countries and guaranteed the safety of new players.
Even during the country-founding rush, there was no country who would declare war against the Three Initial Countries. For comparison, the NPCs of those three countries had enough power to easily wipe out even the top players.
When even the kings of those three countries themselves came forward, it’s easy to perceive the scale of things.
To digress a little, the nickname 『immovable kings』 that Mira mentioned was given to them because no one has ever seen them in action.
「Even the title 『Defense of Three Gods’ Countries』 reflects the amount of effort put in by the Three Initial Countries at the frontlines. This war involved the entire continent.
It all started from a large army of demons who flew in from the sky. They mostly attacked the three countries but when their reinforcements arrived, they started to scatter to other places. Because the scattering demons attacked countries indiscriminately, the damage obviously expanded at a colossal scale and many small countries were destroyed. It was really cruel.」
Talking about the cruelty with a warped face due to anguish, Solomon certainly displayed a king’s lament about the nation. Answering 「Is that so.」 to Solomon while still not completely comprehending the situation in her mind, Mira lamented for her close friend.
「Well, even if ten years had passed since that great war, with that much impact, you surely can tell what happened after that.」
「Everyone’s hands were full with reconstruction works all over the place, I believe.」
「You’re right. That’s why all countries made the Limited Armistice Treaty to restrain each other. Summarizing the contents, all military actions were prohibited for ten years.」
In other words, all countries for the time being were proposed to focus efforts on restoration to put everybody on decent starting grounds because they weren’t in a state to hold a proper war.
「And you want to say this treaty ends soon?」
Based on the context of the conversation, Mira pointed at the time limit. It meant that the deadline is almost up and the time of wars will start after the treaty ends.
Without the main force of the Arkite Kingdom — The Nine Wisemen — someone will surely take advantage of this opening. The abundant, rich land would give them a lot of benefits and there was no other country as versed in spells as Arkite Kingdom, if they took over the country they would be make a lot of that knowledge theirs.
「Honestly speaking, it’s not an exaggeration to say that we’re being protected by that treaty Even if it isn’t enough to completely deter them, I at least want enough military power to protect ourselves. I’ll say it one more time. Mira, will you go find everyone?」
Taking a breath after closing the file, Mira returned a serious look to Solomon. The answer was already set in her heart.
「Very well, I’ll undertake it.」
Hearing that, Solomon broadly smiled 「Thank you. 」