|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 8182 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 3670 words|
「By the way, are you still using the 『Thunderscale Tiger』 as your main?」
Unable to bear with the complaints that were directed to her past self any longer, Mira attempted to change the topic by mentioning the name of the strongest summon that Creos had.
「Can it be that you heard of my 『Thunderscale Tiger』 from Danbulf as well?」
At this point, Mira gave up and decided to attribute all of her knowledge to her “master”.
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「Oh dear, that is quite embarrassing. Looks like he talked a lot about me.」
「Right, I heard a lot about you.」
Hearing that, Creos happily smiled. Despite grumbling complaints, it all came from his respect and affection for Danbulf. Creos was happy that this wiseman talked so much about him with his pupil.
「As you have heard, I am still mainly using the 『Thunderscale Tiger』. But since Master Danbulf last saw it, it is much stronger now.」
「That surely sounds promising.」
『Thunderscale Tiger』 was ranked in the upper-middle-class amongst summons. Having even more strength should make it a reliable battle force.
「Making a contract with 『Thunderscale Tiger』 was really hard. But you know, Master Danbulf had said this…」
And so, Creos started a passionate speech describing how great the Wiseman Danbulf was. Even though he was dragged along only because he was handy, Creos still told his impressions like 「Back then, he did it for me」 and 「It was a great lesson for me」. Mira, being affected by an awkward feeling of guilt, was busying herself by just sitting there silently with a fixed expression. Occasionally, she would respond just so she could be seen as paying attention to him.
「Being trained like that back then, I ended up managing the tower in Master Danbulf’s stead.」
Satisfied, Creos nodded with a feeling of accomplishment after ending his long story. From Mira’s perspective, they were just some nostalgic scenes on the level of 「Oh, I remember something like that happening」, but from the perspective of Creos, it was an epic tale about Danbulf.
Once Mira finished listening, she—at last—brought up her doubt from the time she went into the Tower of Summoning.
「By the way, when I stopped by the tower, it was utterly deserted compared to the Tower of Magic. Did something happen?」
「Eh… You surely touch the spot where it hurts. Certainly, right now, the number of summoners is extremely low.」
「So, it’s just like I thought.」
When she visited the tower, she thought that visiting at night might be the reason, but after getting confirmation from Creos, it was clear that the Tower of Summoning faced a shortage of people. Looking down in sorrow, Mira recalled the old times and began to feel she must do something about it.
「Since you’re a pupil of Danbulf, you must have made your first contract through the same method, right?」
To overcome the struggle with her first contract, Danbulf spammed potions and all of her available bombs. However, Mira knew that Creos was talking about another method. As the Elder, she developed it herself to help her juniors at the tower.
「Hmm. You mean using Refined Equipment and Magic Bomb Sealing Stones, right?」
「Yes, that’s it. Some time after the disappearance of Master Danbulf, we still continued to complete our contracts without problems. But shortly after, we ran out of the Magic Bomb Sealing Stones and even our Refined Equipment broke… Even the Refining technicians from the castle could not make such high-class tools as Master Danbulf. So eventually people who were unable to make a contract appeared.」
「Ahh…mm-hm, I see.」
The method Mira developed back then was similar to spamming consumables but was tuned up for better efficiency.
Potions were substituted with Refined Equipment to greatly increase stamina and instead of throwing bombs, they would use elemental Magic Bomb Sealing Stones that matched with the enemy’s weakness. Thanks to that, it made a drastic difference in the difficulty of completing the first contract. But because of the dependence on Danbulf, they could no longer use this method after his disappearance.
Even though there were a handful of people capable of using Refining techniques, time and labor costs made the price of Refined Equipment went straight through the roof. It quickly became beyond the means of the new summoners.
Moreover, without help from the absolutely charismatic elders, the Tower of Summoning became deserted.
「Fine, then for a meantime…」
Lifting her head, Mira reached for the Magic Bomb Sealing Stones she had in her inventory. Gathering the stones that were scattered on the floor, she offered them to Creos.
「I think it’s enough to defeat opponents for about 20 people.」
「Tho…Those are the Magic Bomb Sealing Stones!? And that grade… It is the same as the ones from 30 years ago… No, even higher… Is it really alright for me to accept those?」
「Yeah, it’s all I can do right now.」
「But haven’t you gotten all of those stones from Master Danbulf for self-defense?」
(Indeed, it could be used for that.)
The Magic Bomb Sealing Stones could be used as a trump card in emergency cases. Assuming that Danbulf gave these stones to his pupil for defense could be a reason why Creos was holding his cravings back.
「It’s not a big deal. I’ve got the Dark Knight from my master. Also, if he was here, he would not ignore the situation with the tower as well.」
「That obsessed with summoning Master Danbulf certainly would not accept the current state of things at the tower.」
Muttering that, Creos accepted the Magic Bomb Sealing Stones from Mira.
「Thank you. Thank you, Mira. I will immediately contact the newcomers who gave up on Summoning as soon as possible.」
A grin covered the young-looking face of Creos.
Being frustrated with the current state of the tower, Creos himself was constantly trying to do something. But even though several people finally managed to make some contracts recently, his methods were still full of problems and they couldn’t fully resolve this situation.
As a result, young people who wished to become summoners left the tower with their dreams shattered. For Creos who saw their backs as they left, these Magic Bomb Sealing Stones were worth more than hundred-carat diamonds.
「Mm-hm, please do so. Also, accept this too.」
Understanding his devotion to the tower, Mira decided to give one more farewell gift to Creos who already lost himself in delight.
She took a ring from her finger and a necklace from her neck and passed them to Creos.
「This equipment increases your physical strength and power. It should be enough to stand on equal footing against a low-ranked opponent.」
「Is it really fine to accept such valuable things?」
「It definitely is. If my master wants to protect something, I would also protect it as well. In return, I’m entrusting the tower to you, Creos.」
「Putting the honor of the vice-elder at stake, I will do everything to make the tower prosperous once more!」
Being in euphoria, he nodded and stared straight into Mira’s eyes with a strong resolution.
「Well then, we shall conduct the second stage of the experiment in five days, at the same time.」
Once Solomon closed the meeting with those words, the Nobles and the vice-elders left the development room with salutations.
「Seems like it’s over. Well then, farewell Little Mira and thank you. I will contact everyone as soon as I can. Looks like it will be getting very busy.」
「Mm-hm, take care on your way back.」
After a deep bow, Creos quickly left the room and followed the rest. His steps became light and the rest of the vice-elders, noticing that, tenderly looked at his back in surprise.
It was not a secret for them that Creos was worried about his tower, but having their hands full with their own towers, they couldn’t offer much help. Considering how often Creos was gloomy up until now, it had been a long time since he was in such high spirits.
It was obvious what caused him to be in such a good mood— new hope for the Tower of Summoning. However, without knowing the content of their talk, the rest of the vice-elders assumed Creos became cheerful after talking to Mira because of his love for children.
「Well, it’s already time for dinner.」
「What are we having tonight?」
The discussion between Solomon and Luminaria made Mira wonder how luxurious a meal is for a ruler of a country.
「Can I join you?」 Mira asked while turning her face back.
「Of course. We were going to invite you anyway. There are still a lot of things to talk about.」
「Little Mira, you can look forward to it. You surely never had such a feast before.」
「That sounds promising.」
Holding the robots that had been transformed to the extreme, Mira became even more joyful at those words.
Then, noticing that Mira was making some rustling sounds in the corner, Luminaria quietly approached and peeked at her hands with a grin.
「What the hell is that?」
Witnessing the clusters of weird objects in her hands, Luminaria instantly blurted in her original tone. Bringing her face closer, she fixed her eyes at the object in Mira’s hands.
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「A combining robot as you can see! I almost combined it, wait a bit.」
Smiling like a kid without worry or boredom, to the point she even looked the part, Mira declared like a young boy before further changing the robot’s form.
「Oh, what’s going on here?」
Worrying about them, the chief of development — Thomas — came near and saw the reason why they sat down there.
「Ah, the ‘Hyper Combining Lord Vulcan’? Where did you find it?」
「It was laying somewhere on that shelf.」
Mira pointed at a shelf in front with a finger.
「That’s where it was. I already considered it lost.」
Thomas nostalgically looked at the muddle in her hands.
「So, it means they are yours?」
「Rather than that being mine, it is made by me.」
「Oh~! You have a pretty good hobby there, hm?」
「Rather than a hobby, it has already become my work. And although I tried my best, it is a failed project: due to a design error, it won’t combine.」
「What… did….you… say..?」
At his last words, Mira awkwardly turned back with a disbelieving expression and stared at Thomas who was trying to disguise his embarrassment with a smile.
「Yo-…you see, when I made this combining mechanism, the width was a little bit off. Fixing it requires disassembling the whole thing so I put it aside to later fix it. I then accidentally lost it.」
Due to a face full of anger that he wouldn’t possibly think is possible for that cute girl, Thomas, stuttering in his answer, slowly lowered his body.
「What did you saaayy!!」
This scream was heard from the outside of the room.
Feeling relieved after he somehow managed to calm Mira down with a promise to give her the fixed robots, Thomas received the Hyper Combining Lord Vulcan from Mira.
Grumbling about the lost time, Mira got up and instantly frowned in response to a certain unexpected sensation. Yes, a common physiological phenomenon.
Mira turned around and wanted to ask for directions, but she stopped for a second.
In a basement of an unknown castle, it would be faster to ask if one didn’t know the location. But the thing she was going to ask would certainly light a strange sparkle in the faces of Solomon and Luminaria. She knew their personalities all too well.
Nonetheless, trying to find it without any hints could lead to the worst possible situation. That’s why Mira quietly brought her face to the ear of Thomas.
「Where is the nearest toilet?」 She whispered. But she picked the wrong person. Hearing her, Thomas pointed at a door.
「Well, you need to exit here, then turn right until the end. After that, turn left and you will find it near you.」
Thomas, without any delicacy, told the location of the toilet with big gestures. Of course, Solomon and Luminaria knew about a toilet in that direction. In other words, they immediately understood what Mira sought from his words.
Mira, obviously exposed to their looks, rushed out of the development room.
Mira stopped moving after reaching the toilet at full speed. She found that there were two entrances with the labels 『Men』 and 『Women』, which blocked her path like a barrier.
After a little confusion, Mira made up her mind and walked towards the women’s toilet. She was grinning a bit but she hadn’t noticed it.
However, a woman dressed in a white robe suddenly appeared from the door. Assaulted with a feeling of guilt, Mira recklessly changed her course and crashed into a wall.
「Ah! Are you okay? Wait, you are Mira! Mira the pupil of Danbulf, right!?」
While supporting the staggering Mira, the woman quickly recognized her. An impressive figure draped entirely in a robe filled with ribbons and long shining silver hair that adorned her head. It was impossible to forget that cheeky yet cute dolly face.
「Going to the toilet? Are you fine going alone? Do you need any help?」
The adorableness of Mira almost made the woman in the white robe unable to control herself. But no matter who looked at it, this attitude looked like she was caring for a precious little sister.
「I’m fine. I can do it alone.」
Escaping from her hands, Mira quickly jumped into the women’s toilet.
「Oops, I ended up entering the forbidden garden」 muttered Mira with unclear emotions in this space that’s unusually filled with individual stalls. Then, pushed by some irreversibly increasing sensations in her abdomen, she opened the door of a stall.
After completing the task, Mira approached the sink to wash her hands with a smile. All the while repeatedly nodding to herself 「I grew a little bit more.」 Then, looking around for something to wipe her hands, she saw the reflection of a little girl in the mirror right in front of her.
Gazing at that figure, she muttered 「I am so cute ♪.」
The first time Mira saw herself was in the reflection of light on the armor of the magic knights. The second time was in a window dyed by the night. A large proper mirror specially made to reflect a figure reflected her charm much more clearly, to the point she became enchanted with her prettiness.
Unable to find any towels at all, Mira wiped her hands with the sleeves of her robe. And while she was looking at the mirror, she absentmindedly touched her face. Following her chin, she moved her fingers from her lips to the back of her neck and lightly stroked the beautifully swaying silver hair.
「Welcome to this side of the world, my comrade.」
Foolishly immersed in her own world, Mira abruptly stood up straight and turned her face towards the atmospheric female voice.
Luminaria was there, with a self-satisfied grin on her face.
「Since when have you been here?」
「Since I am so cute 💛.」
Mira instantly charged up her Sage skill 【Ground Shrink】but Luminaria vanished in the air like a phantom and opened the distance.
「Whoa, what was that? I haven’t seen that movement before.」
Mira was attracted to that vanishing-like strange movement. She didn’t know of any skill that could produce a similar effect.
「While you went missing, progress was not limited in magical engineering. It was a whole thirty years, battle skills rapidly advanced with each day too.」
Executing her skill, Luminaria vanished and reappeared repeatedly like a phantom. Looking at that, Mira completely forgot about her recent embarrassment and filled her thoughts with that new skill.
「It is an evasion skill developed a little over eight years ago, 【Mirage Step】. The effect is, well, you can see it for yourself.」
While saying that, Luminaria kept moving, leaving phantom shadows behind her every step.
「The requirements for learning it are: having mana and acquiring the blessings of both light and water, I believe.」
「Oh! Then I can learn it too, right? Teach me!」
Hearing that she already met the requirement, Mira urged Luminaria.
「Eh~? What should I do~? I can’t simply teach a product of long history for free~」
Luminaria displayed a hesitating appearance. He, no, she already knew about Mira’s remarkable obsession with skills since those bygone days.
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「Fine then, Solomon should know it too anyway.」
Mira flew past Luminaria with those words when she was called out from behind.
「What do you think this is?」
Turning her face back at this voice, Mira saw a single book that Luminaria pulled out from her inventory. The cover said 『Encyclopedia of Skills, Year 2146 Edition』.
「Ca.. can it be..」
An Encyclopedia of Skills, the best-seller filled with countless skills of great varieties, a book made with Publication skill. Of course, being obsessed with skills, Mira had one too but it was 『Encyclopedia of Skills, Year 2116 Edition』, out of date by 30 years in this world.
It was no wonder that Mira couldn’t take her eyes off from that book. In the four years of the official release, players discovered lots of skills. Considering the 30 years of development, the amount of knowledge in that book should be immeasurable.
「There aren’t many publishers now so you can’t buy that book no matter how much you pay. What if I said I’m going to give it to you?」
「What do you want?」
Mira got straight to the point. This book was just a bundle of already known information for Luminaria, but she understood how attractive it was for Mira. If Luminaria brought it here, there was no way she could give it for free. It was too obvious from her very suggestive words.
「I’m glad you understand. Don’t worry, it is not that hard for you. I heard from Solomon that you are going to look for those guys. I want you to get two items for me along the way.」
「So, what are they?」
「The first one is the Crimson King’s Sword and the second is World Tree’s Ash.」
「Hmm. Those things are quite rare. Though, not to the point I can’t find them. However, it should be the same for you as well. There is no need to specially ask me, right?」
「As you already know, I can’t move from this country now. Putting aside the Accord Cannon, if I happen to cross the border, it can provoke other countries. You know, I’m famous here.」
Saying so, Luminaria puffed out her abundant chest and raised the corners of her mouth in a bold smile.
「That makes sense. It was quite realistic even from back then but now that it has become a reality, it is indeed easier for me to move.」
「Yes, that’s why I’m begging you. Do it and this book is yours.」
「Well, why not. But even if you try to hold a sword, isn’t magic faster and stronger? Also, why do you even need the ash for? I believe it was an alchemical material. You said that being a jack of all trades doesn’t suit you at all, right?」
「Well, I’m not going to use either in normal way. It’s just a catalyst for me.」
Luminaria was a sorcerer and the best one at that. No matter how rare the items were, the Crimson King’s Sword could only show its true value only in the hands of a high-level swordsman. Sorcerers wouldn’t be able to handle it. For a simple flame element attack, the magic 【Twin Blaze】 would be way more efficient. And considering that Luminaria was bad with delicate work, she never cared about alchemy to begin with, so it was unknown why she would need the World Tree’s Ash which was a material for Secret Stone of Purification.
「Catalyst you say… Could it be, a catalyst for a new spell?!」
「Yes. A while ago, I found a pentagram I have never seen before. After using ‘analysis’ on it, I found that it required those two items as catalysts.」
「To think that even new spells are discovered, thirty years of progress sure is amazing. Wait, you just said ‘analysis’? What is that? The catalyst for sorcery was mostly found by burning anything in sight. So you can get information on the catalysts by using this ‘analysis’ on them?」
「Indeed. It’s a new ability developed from the appraiser, 【Spell Analysis】. Of course, it’s written in this book too.」
Saying that, Luminaria brought the book to Mira’s face. That instant, Mira extended her arms and grasped the mirage.
「You are the same as you were thirty years ago. It’s thirty years too early for you to win against me. So, what is your decision? I will give this book to you if you bring the catalysts to me.」
「I’ll accept it.」
After turning around towards where Luminaria moved to with Mirage Step, Mira answered with a sparkle in her eyes.
「But I have one condition.」
「What? Travel expenses or some items? Solomon will get everything ready for you.」
「No, just teach me how to use that phantom step.」
Mira looked up at Luminaria with her eyes full of hope. This made even the experienced Luminaria’s heart skip a beat.
「You’re quite good at abusing your appearance. Well, why not. I’ll teach you as an advance payment.」
That’s how the training session of two “maidens” began in the women’s toilet.