|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 6205 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2889 words|
It was the morning after the day Mira promised to go to the Ancient Temple. Before going out, she procured a lunch box in the inn’s dining room.
After the girl dressed as Gothic Lolita had left the inn, the staff started a heated discussion, trying to guess her identity. Opinions like her being a noble’s daughter, a concealed member of royalty, or the hidden child of some powerful adventurer were flying around, and from time to time nearby adventurers would join the dispute.
Mira herself wasn’t aware that she had become the center of such exaggerated attention.
The sky was clear, it would have been a perfect day for a picnic. While enjoying the gentle sunlight of the morning, Mira advanced to the appointed place, the front of the Union.
Since it was already late in the morning, shopping housewives and armed adventurers could be seen standing among the scattered crowd of people on the main street, who were going to work.
As Mira advanced, excited about this possibility to display the true strength of summoning, she noticed that a crowd had gathered at her destination — a squared place in front of the Union.
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「What’s going on?」 Muttering that, Mira sat down on a bench in front of the spellcaster union. She tried to find Emera and Takuto among the crowd, but couldn’t see them.
Thinking that she had come a bit too early, she retrieved some 『Appure』 and took a gulp.
15 minutes had passed since Mira arrived in front of the Union. The clock in the menu confirmed it was 10 AM. It was the appointed time. But, the two of them hadn’t showed up yet.
「Late. They’re late.」 Mira dropped a complaint, while sending a look to her surroundings. She could see that the strange gathering still crowded the square.
Is there some kind of morning sale or, maybe, street performance going on?
Thinking that this couldn’t be the worst way to kill some time, Mira decided to find out, but just then a familiar boy, that tried to push his way through the crowd, jumped out in front of her. But, stumbling over the legs of people, he dropped the 2 copper coins he had in hand and started to chase them.
「What, you were already here, Takuto?」 Saying that, Mira, who was heading into the direction of the crowd, picked up the coins and called out to the familiar looking boy — Takuto.
「Ah, good morning, Big Sis Mira! Thanks.」 Getting the coins, Takuto greeted Mira with a friendly smile.
「And I don’t think you would be here alone. Where’s Emera?」
「Over there.」 Takuto answered while pointing at the center of the crowd. Mira thought that if Takuto had come out of the crowd, he should have done so earlier, so she wouldn’t have wasted her time there.
「Big Sis Emera, Big Sis Mira was waiting over here!」
Takuto turned towards the crowd and, running into it, raised his voice to call out to her. A short while later, the black-haired elf Emera appeared pushing her way through the crowd.
「You’re late, Mira. How long do you plan to keep me waiting?」 Saying that, Emera puffed out her cheeks. But Mira thought that Emera had been dilly-dallying with the crowd while she was waiting, so she just shrugged.
「Don’t be stupid. It’s me who was waiting. I was sitting on this bench all the time.」
A short silence followed. Then Emera’s eyes started to wander around, and while smiling wryly, she joined her hands in apology.
「I’m sorry! I didn’t expect that such a crowd would gather.」
Emera tried to make an excuse. But when Mira, noticing something odd in that, opened her mouth,
「Is this the Mira you told us about?」
A huge man shot her a glance from behind Emera. His massive metal armor had a blunt silver color and a scarlet bell design was shown on his gauntlets. A huge hammer, about the same size as the man himself hinted at an extraordinary physical strength. Still, he was good looking, his short red hair and the red stubble around his mouth made him look somewhat wild.
And, using that moment as a signal, two more people showed their faces.
「Wow, she’s absurdly cute!」
With those words, a woman lined up at the right side of Emera, while her purple robe lightly swung up. Her blue eyes, settled behind blue-framed glasses, were shining with lust. The sleeve of her robe, too, had a scarlet bell embroidery. At first glance, she gave off the feeling of an intellectual, but her actions ruined that. Her hair, which extended a bit past her shoulders, was green; and a cane with a length of about 1 meter was placed on her back.
「Really? Where? Ah, spotted the beauty! Though I’d rather she were 5 years older.」
This time, a man in light equipment lined up on the left side of Emera and passionately looked at Mira from head to toe. He had brown hair and earrings, his green bandana, too, decorated by the scarlet bell embroidery. He had a handsome face and was tall, two daggers hanging at his waist, and was wearing a black jacket and khaki trousers. At a glance he seemed to be an easy-going man.
「Who are they?」
Asked Mira, who was troubled due to being exposed to their attention, and glanced at the three, who, judging by their actions, were acquaintances of Emera.
「The best members that I could pick in my guild, Écarlatte Carillon!」
Emera answered with confidence.
「Rather, nobody else was free today.」
「Why’d you tell her?!」
Emera angrily grabbed the easy-going man by his collar and started to shake him. In response, the man repeated 「Sorry, sorry,」 without any trace of feeling guilty.
「I am Asbar. Nice to meet you, miss. 」
The huge man said while smiling cheerfully. With his stern look, it was hard to expect such friendliness from him.
「I’m Fricca. Best regards.」
Said the woman with purple robe while adjusting her glasses. Then she smirked and presented her hand, requesting a handshake.
「Ye..yeah. I’m Mira. Best regards.」
Thinking that the first impression this woman gave her was wrong, Mira reached out with her right hand.
「Cute as expected!」
The same moment Mira shook her hand, Fricca broke into a broad smile and started squirming while releasing a mushy voice.
「Lil Mira, ahh~ Lil Mira. Your cheeks are really squishy~」
With those words, Fricca started poking Mira’s cheeks. Mira tried to get away, but got caught by her hand and couldn’t get out of range. She shook her head to resist, but Fricca, not minding that, continued poking her cheeks.
「Do something, Emera!」
Emera who got called out released the easy-going man and turned her head. And then, leaking out a sigh and a wry smile, she dropped a hand on Fricca’s head, causing stars to appear before her eyes.
「I’m sorry, Mira. I did ask Fricca to do her best in restraining herself.」
「I’d prefer if she were to completely restrain herself, not just trying to do her best.」
Fricca, who was holding her head with her hands, got pulled away by Asbar. That made Mira recall Sherry, a waitress of Silver Wand, a shop in the village she had come by on the way to the Arkite Kingdom.
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「I am Zeffard. You can call me Zef.」
The easy-going man that named himself Zeffard silently approached and, while matching her line of sight, broadly smiled. That carefree behavior unexpectedly left a good impression on Mira.
「I’m Mira. So, why are they here?」
「They are here to help us!」
They hadn’t come up in yesterday’s conversation, so Mira asked while giving those three a glance. But Emera answered like it was a matter of course. She had talked to these three after escorting Takuto home, trying to sweep away all the anxiety that had built up within her.
A 3-man party going to a C-rank dungeon left her with nothing but worries. And there was no particular reason to not take more people with them. When she had decided to go into the Ancient Temple, she immediately went to get some help from any free members of her guild.
「Hm, well, fine. Then let’s go. I’ll leave the directions to you.」
Mira didn’t mind having some extra members. Also, compared to having only the beauty Emera as company, she surely could calm down easier, if there were male fellows like Asbar and Zef accompanying them.
Mira took Takuto’s hand and tried to set off, but when she looked at the main street in front of her, she couldn’t help but open her eyes wide in astonishment. For some reason, her surroundings were crowded.
The people she had seen at the square were now crowded around this place. Apparently, the guild that Emera was part of, was the reason for this crowd. They were famous high-level adventurers, and if four members of Écarlate Carillon gathered in one place, there was no way they wouldn’t gather attention. They had arrived in front of the Union earlier than Mira. After finishing with some business in the Union, they had been waiting at the square and surprise, people had gathered around them, creating this mysterious crowd. Once the origin of that crowd left and gathered around Mira, there was no way the crowd would just stand still, and needless to say, the same phenomenon happened again.
「Emeraaaa, you’re fantastic!」
「Fricca, scold me please!」
「Zef, don’t get too cocky!」
「Asbar, please take me with you when you go out drinking next time!」
「Is this cute girl a new member?」
「Zef, be careful at night.」
Hearing that the attention of this noisy square was about to gather on her, Mira hurried to hide behind Emera.
「Well then, let’s go. Everybody, follow me.」
Emera vigorously lifted her right hand and proceeded to the north side of the main street. Only Zef responded to her. Asbar smiled wryly and Fricca didn’t take her eyes away from Mira. Feeling some discomfort, Mira casually hid behind Asbar. Takuto, still holding her hand, followed her.
As Emera started to move, the crowd made way so as not to block her path and started cheering them on, once they had passed by. Mira was impressed by the fact that high-level adventurers were treated as famous people.
Leaving the Requiem City of Caranach and proceeding to the mountains located north of it took them about 20 minutes. After they came out of the woods, they could see the destination, the Ancient Temple Nevrapolis, greeting them with a dignified appearance along with some carved statues.
「Well then, finally we’re here.」
「This once again is quite the magnificent view.」
While Emera was trying to bring the group together, Mira was completely in tourist mode. The difference in their attitudes was quite obvious.
Their group stopped in front of the Ancient Temple. While it’s rare, there had been occurrences of monsters lurking around the ritual hall right next to the entrance, so they took precaution.
「Fine, I’ll go check it.」
After saying that, Zef slipped inside the temple without making a sound. Shortly after that they could hear an 「It’s clear」 coming from inside. The group proceeded inside the ritual hall and they all sat down. After everyone had taken a rest, Emera started to speak.
「Well, let’s confirm our goal. Our destination is the Hall where the Dark Aid’s Mirror is situated, at the fifth floor, right?」
「Yeah, you told us about the Dark Aid’s Mirror. But as you approach closer to the fifth floor, the monsters become much more troublesome and numerous, will we really be fine? Together with that miss and boy?」
Écarlate Carillon managed to beat this dungeon several times. After careful preparation, a party of major members would go inside and clear the dungeon till the fifth floor. Compared to those times, of course they had improved their skills, yet there were only four of their main members here, and the kids required extensive protection. It couldn’t be helped that Asbar was worried.
「Hmm, we’ll see if you can say that again once we’re done. I will show you how little you know.」
Mira said while carelessly throwing out her chest. She thought that if they were getting so much attention, this would be a good chance to make the world recognize the power of summoners.
「Well, well, then we’ll look forward to it.」
With those words, Asbar, thinking that she was at the age of wanting to act like an adult, prepared himself to grab her and run away if they were to encounter any danger. The other three members thought the same.
「Me and Asbar will be the vanguard, and we will be positioning Mira and Takuto between us, Fricca and Zef will guard the rear. Everyone got that?」
「Well, why not.」
「Yes! Thank you all!」
Everybody replied while the four members of Écarlate Carillon began to check their weapons. Asbar examined the handle and tie of his hammer, Fricca, in addition to her cane, lined up several cards. Zef smeared his daggers in something resembling oil. And Emera took a saber out of her item box in order to equip it at her waist, moving the sword she had worn there before into the item box.
「Oh, isn’t this the leader’s sword?」
Asbar asked once he saw it. At the same time, everybody turned to face Emera.
「Yeah, it is. It’s the Nevrapolis after all, so after hearing the reason, he lent it to me. It should help us considerably.」
With those words, Emera unsheathed the blade. This double-edged sword cast a faint white light, revealing that it wasn’t a common sword.
「Oh, a light spirit sword? You have some interesting stuff.」
Mira said, looking at Emera’s sword. The faint light is a trait of the light element. And, even amongst light elemental swords that were rare to begin with, this one seemed to have somewhat particular details.
The most popular light elemental sword — holy sword — is made by a blacksmith through swapping water with holy water and fire with sacred fire. There are several different methods, but the designs of holy swords and divine swords are unique, and everyone can tell at a glance that they’re no simple swords.
But the sword that Emera held in her hand was a mediocre saber. Even though it emitted pale light, it didn’t seem unusual. But that only applied to non-magicians, the top magicians could easily see what happened around the sword.
「How did you know it? It’s the leader’s saber, I borrowed it.」
Speaking those words, Emera put the sword back in its scabbard and the shining particles around it quickly disappeared.
Those shining particles were the reason Mira said it was a spirit sword. A spirit sword is a sword that received the blessing of a spirit, and so the exact effect depends on the spirit. It doesn’t have to be a sword, and so these weapons are usually called spirit arms.
The effect can be attached to any arms, and magicians can see a glimpse of this power. Just like warriors are able to see battle aura, magicians can see spirits. That’s why they can see the spirit power in swords. It is common knowledge for magicians. And the top magicians can even see a lot of spirits with precision.
Emera, Asbar, and Zef simply thought that she’s a well-informed girl, but for Fricca it was different. She couldn’t see the light particles that proved the spirit’s force in the sword. And without seeing them, it’s hard to tell that it’s a spirit sword at a glance. This girl saw the remains of a light spirit, which even the high-level adventurer Fricca couldn’t see. At that moment, Fricca started to suspect that Mira was no ordinary girl.
「We’re going to rely on you.」
Asbar grinned and, putting his hammer back, stood up.
「Yeah, leave it to me. Let’s go!」
Following Emera, who was brimming with energy, everybody got up and went to the altar, the entrance to the first floor of the Ancient Temple Nevrapolis. Mira took out her card case from the item box and, remembering what she was told when she got it, pushed the pass against the barrier crystal surrounding the altar.
「Finally. Is there any interesting loot here?」
「Don’t forget why we’re here. We have to escort them to the Hall of the Dark Aid’s Mirror first.」
「Fine, I got that.」
Passing through the swaying, thinned barrier, Asbar earnestly warned Zef, who was jumping down the ladder. Assured by that, Emera, Fricca, and Takuto passed the barrier, and Mira followed them upon returning the pass into the card case. A few moments after they descended the stairs, the barrier returned to its former strength and small birds started to sing inside of the once again empty ritual hall.
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