|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 7164 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 3122 words|
A caution from the Author: Some depictions are not suitable while eating.
After descending the stairs, the group, relying on the faint light of a swaying lamp, proceeded along a dim corridor.
「That is quite a useful thing you got there.」
Mira muttered, looking at the lanterns hanging from the waists of the group of four. A sphere floated at its core which was held in place by metal braces. It emitted a pale radiance that eerily illuminated the dark passages of the temple.
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「I heard you’ve already prepared everything, so I didn’t take you to the adventurer’s supply store. Honestly, I have no idea how you would manage without even getting a lantern.」
Saying that in shock, Emera stared at a sphere that was shining brightly on top of Mira’s head. This light orb illuminating their surroundings was made by Mira’s Concept Magic.
「Magicians can always use an illumination spell. That should suffice.」
「Well, you’re right, but is it fine for you to waste mana on illumination when you don’t know what’s lying ahead?」
Fricca agreed with Emera. They just entered the dungeon and could expect numerous battles ahead. And she is using mana on something that could be replaced by a lantern, no magician would ever think of doing that.
Illumination using Concept Magic requires recasting it over and over or it would fade. Also, it won’t light up the whole area so some darkness still remains. Therefore, Dunbalf always brought Creos along. With his power as a Light Spirit, he could illuminate everything.
Mira, intently watching the barely visible corridor, mused about bringing Creos here.
「Such a spell doesn’t cost me anything. Don’t worry about it.」
「Well… if you say so.」
Emera didn’t know much about magic and consented, assuming that Mira had some kind of class bonus. And Fricca simply believed the words of Mira, knowing that she could see traces of spirits invisible to her.
Actually, classes didn’t have any bonuses. But Mira already managed to fully restore her mana. She trained to raise her magical power, so her mana limit and recovery speed became unimaginable for normal adventurers.
They proceeded while talking about things like that until they reached a small room at the end of the corridor.
The air had become damp and silent darkness surrounded them outside the reach of their lights. They could hear nothing but their own breaths, footsteps, and the sound of their armor scraping against itself. Emera opened a map on her Operator’s Bracelet and started walking towards the next room.
Monsters should start appearing soon.
Leaving behind the first room after the stairs, they proceeded along the corridor for a while. Another room-like space opened up at the end of the corridor. Knowing that in the Ancient Temple, monsters would begin to appear from the second room onwards, Mira used a summoning skill to prepare for battle.
【Summoning Magic: Holy Knight】
When she set the location for the summon next to her, a shining circle of light illuminated the corridor.
「What’s with that light!?」
Because of the sudden flash brighter than the dim lanterns and the light of the illumination spell, Emera and Asbar, who were leading the way, turned around. There they witnessed how a pure white knight took form from the light.
「I’m sorry if I frightened you. This fellow spirit is my summon.」
Mira briefly announced while patting the waist of the white knight.
The knight who had suddenly appeared had a huge shield, which was able to completely cover his 2-meter build, as well as a shining silver longsword in his other hand. And the most peculiar trait was his full-body armor. Its color was a pure, shining white, and flickering red lights could be seen behind the helmet covering his face.
「Is it a spirit…?」
「It feels amazingly powerful.」
Emera and Fricca stared at him in awe. The knight gave off an overwhelming sense of intimidation and security at the same time..
「So this is summoning magic? That’s incredible.」
Zef examined this Holy Knight, who was calmly staying still, from every side. He was a scout, but he was in awe of the Holy Knights, the embodiments of protection.
Asbar fixedly stared at the white knight before him while recalling what Emera told him earlier. The fact that Mira became a C rank immediately after her registration.
Of course, at first, he thought that Emera went senile or perhaps she was just dreaming, but after he learned that Mira got a pass and was going to enter the Ancient Temple the next day, he had no idea what was happening anymore.
And after witnessing the Holy Knight with his own eyes, he realized her strength. His instincts told him that this knight was more powerful than him.
Asbar assumed that getting C rank from the start requires at least something on that level. The sheer limitless abilities of summoners slightly terrified him.
Mira then ordered the Holy Knight to protect Takuto, keeping away the malice that came from all directions.
The Holy Knight is an Armor Spirit specializing in protection. Therefore, when it comes to protecting, he even surpasses high-level summons. This was the reason she brought along Takuto to this dangerous place. Only one of the Nine Wisemen or somebody rivaling them could defeat Mira’s Holy Knight that was devoted to defense.
After ensuring Takuto’s safety, the group arrived at a large hall. Suddenly, Asbar tightened the grip on his large hammer, while cautiously scanning his surroundings.
「Wait, I sense some presences.」
Zef looked to the left, moved closer to Mira and Takuto and prepared both his daggers.
Asbar placed himself between Mira and the creature closing in on them, while Emera immediately closed the map and stood next to him.
Finally, the sound of something dragging across the ground broke the silence.. Slowly but surely something approached them.
Asbar and Emera kept their eyes on it while preparing their weapons. Zef observed their surroundings to guard their flank against any surprise attacks. Fricca, maintaining a composed face, stared towards it while grasping the staff in her hands.
Their silhouettes appeared, revealing their forms as they approached the light. Their wriggling bodies roughly resembled a human shape.
After showing a bit of disgust at first, Emera and Asbar quickly calmed down and engaged the ghouls with weapons in hand.
Zef stayed alert further behind, and the Holy Knight covered Takuto with his giant shield.
The vision is terrible.
It has been a long time since Mira, who had gotten used to Creos so much, saw monsters appearing from the dark. She strained her eyes, but due to Asbar’s back being in the way, she couldn’t see well. Standing on tiptoes, she swang left and right, yet she couldn’t grasp the whole fight happening at the front.
「Ew… What’s with that stench…」
「Yeah, what’s that smell?」
Mira frowned at the stench that gradually filled the air. Next to her, Takuto, who could also smell it, answered while pinching his nose.
「Of course, it’s their smell.」
With those words, Zef pointed to the ghouls ahead of them with his eyes.
The stench that Mira smelled as if something was rotting. Monsters consisting of half-rotten meat obviously didn’t return to life and the process of decay didn’t just stop. They were always decaying just to crumble down someday and infect another corpse.
After comprehending Zef’s answer, Mira fixed her eyes on a ghoul, which emerged behind the even more disgusted Asbar.
With dull, unfocused eyes, the creature gazed at its prey; a rotten tongue was hanging out its wide-open mouth, lacking any lips. Its face was bony and the scalp that started to peel off barely had any remaining hair. Its body was covered in wounds and infested by worms crawling out of its rotten flesh.
This hideous creature barely maintaining its human form made the very air they inhaled seem rotten. This overly realistic display made Mira feel intensely sick.
But when her eyes met Takuto’s, she somewhat overcame her nausea.
「I’ll do it.」
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With that, Fricca took a step backward and released the Magic: Crimson Flame skill she prepared. Magic power gathered in the cane that she lifted and with a quick flash, produced a flame vortex that engulfed the ghoul. The raging crimson hellfire burned away its skin, consumed its legs, and caused the ghoul to collapse. Then the flame covered its back, causing its intestines to burst into flames while scattering ash all around.
In the end, the flame cremated the ghoul, purifying the pitiful corpse possessed by evil, burning it to ash and erasing the stench.
The blaze that painted the surroundings bright red slowly faded out, and two more ghouls, who were outside of its range, started advancing once more. However, now Emera and Asbar jumped forward and tore one of them to pieces and smashed the upper half of another, splattering around flesh and worms. Even undead monsters wouldn’t be able to move after such destruction.
「Looks like it’s over.」
These few moments were enough to make Mira realize once more, that this wasn’t a game anymore.
Due to the realistic depiction, even in the game, she couldn’t look at the ghouls when she first encountered them. However, after some time it wasn’t a problem anymore.
But in reality, when the grotesque display of rotting corpses was accompanied by this smell, it was impossible to get used to it even if you had built up a resistance.
They broke up their formation and Takuto showed his face from behind the Holy Knight’s shield, while still pinching his nose.
The cremated ghoul was fine, but a rotten smell started to waft from the ghouls dismembered by Emera and Asbar. Mira frowned again at that stench.
「Takuto, did you drink the medicine?」
「Yes, I did.」
Takuto answered Emera’s question in a nasal voice.
「Then it shouldn’t be that bad.」
「Well, it’s natural. We’re used to it, but for Takuto, it’s the first time. The medicine helps, but it’s not enough for a newcomer.」
Zef answered Emera’s doubt while stroking Takuto’s head.
「Well, now that you mentioned it,」 Emera muttered in agreement, thinking back to her first encounter.
「Wait, what’s that medicine you are talking about?」
Mira became interested in what they were talking about, still covering her mouth and nose with her sleeves, trying to endure the nausea.
「Of course, the anti-smell potion… Wait, Mira, you don’t have it?」
「Anti-smell? Never heard about it.」
「To put it simply, this medicine takes really bad smells and makes them stink only slightly bad… or something like that?」
「It’s kinda oversimplified, but she’s right.」
No wonder Mira didn’t know about it. Anti-smell medicine works on the sense of smell, partly numbing it. While it can’t completely remove it, it can still protect you against really foul smells. There was no sense of smell in the game so nobody thought about creating this effect back then. But now, in reality, the rising demand for such medicine was only natural.
The new inventions in this world are amusing. I wonder what else I haven’t seen yet.
In the first real adventure she had since she came here, Mira was excited by the gradually expanding sense of reality.
However, in reality the stench did not go anywhere. Takuto boldly released his nose, trying to get used to it. With the medicine it was somewhat bearable.
This time something flashed in Mira’s mind. It was about the deeper parts.
They were in the Ancient Temple Nevrapolis. The sacred land of the undead, their paradise. Even the first ghouls were this bad. Even more of them would spring out later, and she recalled the huge zombie — Giant Ghoul — on the third floor. She couldn’t even imagine how bad that would be.
At this moment, Mira abandoned the idea of a normal adventure.
Distancing herself from the group, she held out her right hand.
【Summoning Skill：Binding Arcana Circle】
When Mira invoked the skill, a blue magic circle about her height in size emerged in front of her hand. But Mira didn’t stop there. After securing the magic circle, she turned her hand to the left.
【Summoning Skill：Binding Arcana Circle】
A second magic circle appeared. The slowly spinning circle was called Binding Arcana Circle. This specific summoning skill could strengthen the summons near it, giving them various benefits. The effect increased with each circle and improved the efficiency of basic abilities, reduced the mana cost and increased additional effects.
However, Mira was not going to strengthen the summons. The Binding Arcana Circle was a prerequisite for another skill.
「Mira, what are you doing?」
「Well, you will know soon enough.」
Briefly responding to Emera’s question, Mira reached her hands into the circles.
「Well, let’s go.」
【Summoning Skill：Rosario Summoning Circle】
When Mira touched the two circles, they simultaneously started to change, releasing sparks. Wondering what was going on, the five in the group only held their breath.
Larger two-fold magic circles appeared from the gathered light. The crimson shining circles overflowed with a different, stronger magic power. Noticing that presence, Fricca was so charmed she forgot she was thirsty.
And then, the preparations were finished. Everything was ready for the special summoning circle to call a high level summon.
『I ask you to name yourself, maiden soaring in the skies, the one who uses a flash of light as a sword to banish evil.』
Mira whispered that to one of the magic circles. Not limited to summoning, all spells at a higher level required exclusive chants. And the words she whispered were one of the chants for high-level summoning.
『My name is Alfina, the sword that swore fealty to her master.』
A voice answered from the other summoning circle. This meant that the summoning was completed without any problems. The five people behind them looked around for the source of this voice. Quickly noticing it came from Mira’s side, they turned to her.
『Come forth,【Summoning Magic：Valkyrie】.』
Mira proclaimed the completion of the high-level summoning and the summon circles shone even brighter, answering to her magic.
「What is it, what’s going on!?」
「What a terrific magic pressure…what is it this time?」
Emera covered her eyes to protect them from the dazzling light. Squinting, Fricca gazed towards the source of the light in a daze. The rest of them lost their words due to the sight before them and simply stared at it.
The summoning circle next to Mira disappeared with a bright flash. Then the remaining circle sped up its rotation, and the inner and outer circles moved apart.
「Answering your summon, I’ve come forth. It has been a long time, my master.」
A woman emerged from the pillar of light. Her beautiful figure was clad in light azure armor, gauntlets, and greaves. Adorning her head was a shining golden circlet and her blue hair that flowed like the wind blowing across the plains was tied behind her back. The sword at her waist was contained in a scabbard as azure as the armor, and a solemn light leaked from it.
A woman who could proudly call herself a battle maiden suddenly appeared in front of them.
「Yeah, it’s been a long time, Alfina.」
Replied Mira, fixedly staring at Alfina.
The summoned valkyrie, Alfina, kneeled in front of her, showing her respect.
「My master, it seems like your appearance changed quite a lot.」
After sweeping her eyes over Mira, Alfina spoke those words.
「Yes…we-well, a lot happened.」
「Yes, it seems so.」
Since she anticipated this, Mira managed to hide her excitement and keep up her facade, yet she certainly didn’t expect the change to be so extreme.
In the game, there was no dialog outside of answers to direct orders. However, the valkyrie before her, Alfina, clearly could speak and had her own will. Mira confirmed that, confident that her expectations came true.
It clearly was not strange considering that this was now reality. She was happy rather than surprised.
There were many intelligent creatures among the summons that Mira entered into a contract with. Valkyrie was one of them. This meant that other summons could speak too. It was a godsend for Mira who was often acting alone.
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「What have you been doing until now, Alfina?」
Since she already called her, Mira decided to ask her, driven by her curiosity.
「I was mostly training with my sisters. We worked hard so we would be ready to get summoned by master at any time.」
「Hmm, I see. As expected. You are reliable.」
「I am honored by your praise.」
Mira broke out in a smile, now that she knew, she wouldn’t be lonely while traveling on her own.
「Hey… Mira, who is that woman?」
Emera stared in amazement at the sudden appearance of the valkyrie who gave off an unusual atmosphere and stepped forward to question her. Fricca was stunned by the overflowing magic power and Zef couldn’t take his eyes off this beauty.
「She’s Alfina, a valkyrie.」
When Mira replied, Alfina stood up and turned to Emera.
「Are you friends with my master? My name is Alfina. I’m pleased to make your acquaintance.」
She bowed before them. Her figure was so graceful that Emera hurriedly said: 「Nice to meet you too,」 while bowing clumsily.
「Still, she’s pretty. Or rather, she doesn’t have any similarities with that knight. After all, she can speak.」
Asbar came to his senses. Even though he was still ogling Alfina, he muttered in admiration. He felt that Alfina’s presence was on a whole different level and was astonished by the difference in power.
「Of course. Do you finally understand the power of summoners?」
Bragging a bit, Mira threw out her chest, folding her arms. She was sure that for now, this was enough to accomplish her mission of showing off the power of summoning skills.
「Master, what are your orders?」
Alfina turned around and kneeled again, waiting for instructions.
To that, Mira gave an order that completely blew away all the expectations and worries of Emera.
「Exterminate all the monsters from here until the fifth floor!」
She wasn’t going to look at those grotesque ghouls again. And eliminating every last one of them was enough for that purpose. That’s what Mira thought.
「As you wish.」
Alfina unsheathed her sword and leaped into the depths of the Ancient Temple, leaving behind a trail of light.