|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 6850 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 3237 words|
Mira was surprised by the sudden request of the boy, he was so desperate that Mira began to wonder what drove him to go to such an extent. She thought to herself that she’d fulfill his wish if that was what brought him to tears.
「Hm, tell me your reasons.」
When Mira said that, the boy finally raised his head. His expression mixed in both anxiety and expectation, but he nodded strongly with anticipation.
「At the deepest part of the Ancient Temple, I heard that there is a mirror that allows you to speak with the dead. Please take me there!」
「A mirror that allows you to speak with the dead…huh. Was there such a thing?」
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In the game, Mira didn’t run through the Ancient Temple so often. During those times, the Nine Wisemen would usually lay waste to the dungeon in the name of ‘adventure’ or only visited it for certain quests.
「Looks like he’s talking about the Dark Aid’s Mirror. I heard about it too, I remember my friend gleefully told me about meeting his mother that died long ago.」
「Dark Aid’s Mirror?」
As she searched through her memory, Mira recalled a quest. It was about a viral disease that was prevalent in the past beginning to surface again, and this high-level quest required them to find a cure.
To finish this quest, the player had to travel around the continent to find the long-lost medicinal records. However, because nobody knew their exact location, the quest required them to call upon a king from the past and ask him for the location.
In order to do that, there was a need to visit the Ancient Temple of Nevrapolis, and the Dark Aid’s Mirror was introduced there.
While taking a trip down the memory lane, Mira recalled that large antique mirror. It was just an object for the event, but since the game had become a reality, it was an object that could actually be used now. Mira updated her knowledge in regards to the Dark Aid’s Mirror.
「My father and mother were adventurers. But five years ago they got a mission and still haven’t returned. I waited for them at my grandfather’s home. But last week, people from the guild said that my missing father and mother are dead.」
Mira silently listened to the story told by the boy, who had tears and snots covering half of his face. After he finished with his words, Mira proceeded to gently wipe his tears. Though there was a single point that did not make sense in his story, so Mira threw a glance at Emera to seek an explanation.
「Well, you see, according to union’s regulations, when somebody breaks contact and goes missing during a mission, they are treated as dead after five years.」 While waiting for the agitated boy to calm down, Emera supplemented.
「And that’s why they suddenly dropped this bomb on the lad that his parents died?」 Mira did not know how to comfort him and simply looked at the crying boy.
「You got the pass to the Ancient Temple, right? Please take me with you. Please.」
The boy shut his eyes for a while before opening them widely to show his determination and bowed his head.
Without thinking much, Mira placed her palm on his head and gently patted it.
「Yea, alright. If you’re that desperate to go there, I will bring you with me.」
Mira nodded while beaming with a wide smile. She genuinely wanted him to meet his parents after he was suddenly told that they were dead.
「Thanks, big sis! My name is Takuto.」
「Yea, I’m Mira. Leave it to me.」
The boy’s smile shone as he clung to Mira who embraced him. However, there was someone else here who was really against it.
「No no no. Noooo way! It’s a Rank C dungeon, you know!? How are you going to possibly bring an inexperienced boy inside?」
Tearing the boy away from Mira, Emera was shaking her head. Only high-ranked adventurers were allowed to enter Rank C dungeons. There was no way they could bring an unknowledgeable child there. Previously, the boy was kicked out of the Warrior’s Union because he was constantly begging the Rank C Emera to go with him into the Ancient Temple, but she firmly refused him every time.
Of course, her decision was not wrong. The task had the difficulty of a Rank C dungeon. It was not a place to bring along people who were unable to defend themselves.
「Why not? As long as he doesn’t fight, he should be fine.」
Mira carelessly declared that as she imagined the path until the fifth floor. She decided that a single child wouldn’t pose a problem there.
「It’s not so sim-…. I have no idea how strong your group is, but the Ancient Temple is out of the question. It’s way too dangerous.」
Emera gave a warning with a stern face. However, an outrageous revelation awaited her.
「Umm, I was actually going to go in solo.」
Silence descended upon them. Emera completely froze, unable to comprehend the meaning of those words. Her mouth was twitching as if she was going to say something but then, she burst into anger at Mira’s absurdly reckless and stupid remarks.
「Nonononono, there’s just no way! That’s not a place you can go alone! It looks like you just registered in the guild today, but how can you be so reckless! Even if you avoid battles as long as possible, a Rank C dungeon is not a place you can go with just two members, with only one of them combat-capable!」
Emera raised her voice and frankly scolded Mira. The bypassers looked at the source of the voice, and upon recognizing the famous high-class adventurer Emera, they opened their eyes wide. She had the image of a bright and gentle big sister and they had never seen her so angry before.
While bearing the full brunt of her anger, Mira was in anguish due to the loud voice right next to her. On the other hand, faced with the violent objection, the boy started crying again.
Seeing that the boy had resumed crying, Mira scowled a little and glared at Emera.
「It’s only impossible for you.」
With that refutation, Mira grabbed the boy’s hand, embraced him and started to walk away. Being told that, Emera couldn’t raise any more objection since it was true that it would be difficult for her to reach the fifth floor of the Ancient Temple while protecting the boy. Having said that, however, Emera still couldn’t believe it even if the girl in front of her said she could do it.
Even after she warned them that much, Mira made such a declaration so casually. Emera could get it off her head about the fact that Mira had just registered in the guild and yet was granted Rank C on the fly.
A magician couldn’t be judged by their appearances, that was the common sense of this world. However, Emera couldn’t tell how strong the girl before her was. She couldn’t dismiss the possibility that Mira was merely a fool overestimating her own strength. It was impossible to tell, and it seemed like Mira wasn’t going to entertain her either.
Emera rushed out to Mira and grasped her shoulder.
「What? Do you have anything left to say?」
「I’m going with you!」
As an adventurer herself, Emera couldn’t help but wonder just how much strength did Mira possess for her to be this unfazed by the ancient temple. And if it was just overconfidence on her part, she couldn’t just leave her be.
That’s why Emera decided to go together with them. In the worst case scenario, she was ready to let them escape using all her medicine and tools.
After Emera decided to go with them, they went to a cafe to discuss the details. The cafe was called 「Cafe de Chocolat」. This store was famous for its cocoa and chocolate cakes.
「Mira, you’re a magician right? Which class are you?」
First of all, Emera started by probing into Mira’s strength. They were going to the Ancient Temple Nevrapolis, which was filled with so many undead monsters that it was commonly known as the ‘underground cemetery’. Considering the perks of that place, if Mira was a high-class Holy Mage or an Exorcist, her compatibility would be great and it would be justified if she was confident.
「I’m a summoner.」
Mira answered promptly before stuffing her cheeks with the cafe’s special, Chocolatic Overlord, that she was treated to by Emera. The chocolate sponge cakes were interposed with chocolate mousse that had raw chocolate inside, and on top of the chocolate cream there was some bitter chocolate sauce. While not too sweet, it still hid the potential to make any sweet-tooth moan; it was not bad for a special dish. The size was close to a whole cake, so she ate it together with Takuto who was sitting next to her. From time to time Mira used the napkins that the table was equipped with to wipe the cream off Takuto’s cheek.
While watching the two act like friendly siblings, Emera’s expression froze over.
Speaking of Summoners, they already were considered an endangered species. Due to the high difficulty threshold, Emera heard there were not many new Summoners.
That was why Emera hadn’t had a chance to form a party with any summoner since she became an adventurer until now. The only summoners she knew were the elites serving at the Silver Towers, and they weren’t a good point for comparison.
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「Umm, I don’t know too well, so…are Summoners…strong?」
She was trying to get a grasp of Mira’s strength but ended up knowing even less, so she made the simplest question there is. And these words had triggered Mira’s pride and devotion to Summoning.
At the same time, Mira recalled the words said by Creos, substitute elder of the Tower of Summoning. He said that Summoning was on the decline. And according to how Emera put it, even she, a high-class Rank C Adventurer had yet to see a Summoner in combat. Understanding just how much Summoning had declined, Mira looked up above her and prayed toward the heavens.
However, she did not lose her spirit. She planned on reviving the dignity of Summoning with her own hands.
「You’ll see once the time comes.」
Mira chuckled meaningfully. Contrary to that however, Emera only became more uneasy as she muttered to herself, “once the time comes and you lose, it’ll be too late.”
After the two finished talking for the time being, they left the Cafe de Chocolat.
「Now then, let’s go. You know the way right? I shall let you lead the way.」
Squinting her eyes in the bright daylight, Mira looked up at Emera. The location of the Ancient Temple was listed on the back side of the pass, but it was faster to ask somebody who knew the way. With that thought, Mira gazed at Emera like she was asking the most natural thing.
However, Emera’s expression froze over again. Then she held her head for the nth time in anguish. Takuto was also equally surprised at Mira’s statement.
「“Wait, waait! We’re going to a C-rank dungeon, right? There’s no way we can go there without any preparations. At the very least let’s spend today preparing!」
Emera told her the obvious thing. It was only natural to make sure one was fully-prepared before entering a dungeon. And preparations for a high-level dungeon could easily take up to a week. That’s why neither Emera nor Takuto ever considered that they would be going today.
「It can’t be helped then. Let us depart tomorrow in such case.」
Mira was going to finish the task today, so it was troublesome, but if Emera could be convinced with that, she agreed to put off the departing until tomorrow.
From there on, Emera started to show her real skill as a high-class adventurer. They went around various stores to buy the required medicine and tools. Just in case, she bought high-class medicine.
Compared to that, Mira was completely in sightseeing mode. The only item that she bought was an insect repellent.
Takuto learned how to use tools and medicine from Emera. This too, was just in case something happened.
「Mira, are you really going to be fine?」
「I’m fine. I was going to go there from the start so all the necessary things are already here.」
With those words, Mira rolled up her left sleeve. There on her arm was the operator terminal, which was called the operator bracelet here.
「I hope that’s the case…」
Not persuaded yet, Emera anxiously bought more medicine and tools just in case.
Mira only accompanied her due to her mood. She made an excuse that she had bought everything, but in fact Mira’s item box was already full of various medicine and tools, so in a way it wasn’t wrong.
Once they had all consumables prepared, led by Emera they went to buy food items this time.
In the corner of the main street, there were various shops selling food lined up and from among those, Emera headed straight for one.
「Ohh, Eme? Welcome. Going off somewhere again?」
The place she headed to was a store that she had frequented. It was a store that dealt with food for adventurers run by a well-built granny. Lined up inside there were various processed foods as well as seasonings.
The granny welcomed Emera with a wide smile as she put the goods on the display, making Emera burst into a smile as well.
「Yes, to the Ancient Temple tomorrow.」
「Hohoh. Going after big fish this time? Considering your guild, I shouldn’t worry much but take care about yourself.」
Not wanting to worry her, Emera did not say anything about bringing Mira and Takuto. However, the granny looked with curiosity at the two that came together with Emera, alternating between their faces.
「Are they your children?」
「Of course not!」
While the old woman made a mischievous smile, Emera denied with her face beet red. While the two acted like in some home drama TV show, on the side Mira curiously looked at the lined up goods.
In the meanwhile, Emera bought processed meat, freeze-dried vegetables, and fruits in cans.
The next place they headed for was an armament store. Inside the store there were metallic armors and several customers took them in their hands to check the state they were in.
「By the way, Mira, it seems you don’t carry any weapon; what weapon do summoners use?」
Emera saw that Mira had an Operator’s Bracelet so she thought the weapon might be inside the item box. However, a weapon was something carried within hand’s reach just in case. Naturally, Emera too, had a sword by her waist at all times.
「I don’t have any. Summoning itself is a weapon, after all.」
「Heeh, is that so.」
While what Mira said was not wrong, it wasn’t as though all Summoners were like that. There were many who held a staff to improve their maximum mana and speed of recovery. It was one thing that Mira’s skill as summoner was beyond ordinary, but she also had Sage as a secondary class. Sage was specialized in bare-handed combat so holding a staff would make her unable to make full use of the second class, as such she did not hold any weapon.
However, Emera didn’t know anything about such circumstances or Summoners themselves, so she was convinced by what Mira said.
The main reason for her coming to the armaments store was for inspecting Emera’s equipment and to prepare armor for Takuto. It was a C-rank dungeon. Even if he wasn’t going to fight, it was bad to leave him with a casual outfit.
By the way, the entire sum was paid by Emera. It was one thing that she wanted to show her dependability as someone older, but at the same time she earned enough that an armor for a child was an insignificant expense for her.
「Phew, I guess this is it. Normally it takes longer to prepare, though.」
Finally done with the shopping, Emera sat down on a stone fence that surrounded a square with a large monument. The sun had already set and street lights illuminated shone on people as they returned home after work.
「About the plans for tomorrow, are you fine with gathering at 10 AM in front of the union?」
「Yes! Please take care of me!」
While responding to her, Mira sat down next to Emera, Takuto stood in front of the two and bowed deeply.
Emera still couldn’t shake off her remaining anxiety, but she intended to do something about that from here on.
「Well then, it’s already late so let’s call it today. Mira, Takuto, where are you staying?」
「I live in grandpa’s house in the backstreet behind the union.」
「I am…what was the name again…」
After Emera mentioned that, Mira recalled that she hadn’t heard the name of her hotel-like inn. However, she did remember what Garret said to her in case she was lost.
「If I remember correctly, it’s the best inn in the city or something like that.」
Touching the chin with her finger Mira answered vaguely.
Hearing that, Emera made an expression not that of surprise, but a completely astonished one as she put a hand on her cheek. Takuto looked at the two in alternation and tilted his head wondering what happened.
「Wait… you mean there?」
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As she sighed, Emera pointed with her gaze toward a large building brightly lit by the street light. The brightly-lit building was the inn “Summer Lantern” which looked different from how it looked during the day, being very showy now.
「Ohh, that place. To think it was this close, mm.」
Chasing after Emera’s gaze, Mira recognized the building whose atmosphere changed despite being still the same familiarly-built inn.
「Fine…I won’t be surprised anymore. Yes, nothing will surprise me.」
Letting her gaze wander, Emera slowly stood up and took Takuto’s hand.
「Well then, I’ll take Takuto home. Mira, you go back straight to the inn, understand?」
Warning Mira, Emera moved her head next to Mira’s and looked straight into her eyes.
「Ye… yea. I’ve gotten hungry after all, I’ll go back right away.」
While saying so Mira stood up and then leaned back to move away from Emera. She was unable to completely hide her perturbation from suddenly being approached so close by a beauty.
「I see, that’s great. Well then, see you tomorrow.」
「Yeah, see you tomorrow. You too, Takuto, see you tomorrow. Make sure to sleep well today.」
「Yup, thanks, big sis. See you tomorrow. I’m counting on you.」
After exchanging farewells, Mira nodded in response to Takuto’s smile, then turned around to start walking towards the inn. Emera did not move right away, she waited to confirm that Mira entered the “Summer Lantern” before taking Takuto and heading in the direction of the union.