Chapter 31: Return Trip

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Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 7784 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 3264 words
Editor(s): Exisero

「In that case, I’ll keep it until we get back to the guild.」
「Yeah, take it please.」

Emera used the Concept Magic: Itemization to the scythe and stored it into her item box.

「Whoa, it barely fit in.」
「Not surprised considering that weight.」

Looking over the remaining capacity, Emera was baffled by how little she had left.

The Operator’s bracelets, common among adventurers, were lent by the union. Their capacity depended on the items that were stored inside and of course the larger the item, the more capacity it took. Emera’s bracelet held up to 200 kg and coupled with the things that were already in there, the scythe almost exceeded the capacity.

Asbar held the scythe before and he wasn’t surprised by that, knowing how heavy it was. Mira was still confused since there was no capacity limit back when it was a game.

「What, you have maximum capacity on your bracelets?」

Mira looked at Emera’s bracelet. It had almost the same design as her own, maybe a bit larger.

「Yours don’t have any, Mira?!」
「SERIOUSLY?!」
「You can put in all you want?!」

Zef joined the conversation after Emera and Asbar. Since he casually gathered drops, the bottomless item box was a dream for him.

Being showered with questions, Mira opened her inventory from all the pressure. At a glance it seemed to be filled with many small things, nothing particularly heavy, everything bundled up would weigh just about a hundred kilograms.

Even in the case of there being a limit unlike in the game, she hadn’t reached it yet.

「Let’s see, there aren’t that many things to tell.」

Mira answered with that possibility in mind.

Emera’s party calmed down, remembering she became an adventurer recently and thus didn’t have much equipment in the first place. However, Fricca still found a point of rebuttal.

「When you got it from the union, they should’ve explained about the limit I believe…」

Everyone was in agreement to her thoughts.

「She’s right. Haven’t they told you?」

Despite being directly asked by Emera, Mira still had her own operation terminal from the game era instead of an operator’s bracelet managed by the guild. Obviously nobody told her about it.

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「Ahh… you know… I’ve got it from my master. He never told me anything except how to use it.」
「I see. Fine then.」

Everyone was convinced by the setting of being a disciple.

「Even then, what’d happen if you reached the limit at the worst moment? Why don’t we confirm it now?」
「Yeah. Let’s check it.」

Mira agreed with Fricca’s suggestion and thought about putting in lots of things when she returned to the Arkite’s castle.

Mira picked up the scythe, putting it into her item box to confirm that it fits and returned it to Emera.

Around the time they finished checking the item box, Zef noticed something was happening.

「Whoa!? Look, it’s on fire!」

Everybody turned around to witness the devil’s body engulfed in dark flames.

「What happened? Have you done something!?」

Asbar rushed forward, stopping next to the fire and asked Zef.

「No, I did nothing. It suddenly started.」

Shaking his head, Zef could only stare at the flame, fascinated by the complete eradication of the devil when the fire suddenly rose in front of them.

「There’s no need for concern, these are the last moments of a devil.」

With a reassuring expression, Mira explained to them that after a certain time after their defeat, devils perish engulfed in black flames and once the fire goes out, what remains…

「Hmm. There’s something still there.」

Zef cautiously poked the leftover black remnants. When a devil dies, the flames of the underworld dwelling within them burns everything to ashes and only the most resilient parts can withstand through it.

「I didn’t think there’d be this much left.」

Accepting Mira’s words, Zeff decided that was just how Devils were and started to collect Devil’s materials.

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Once they wrapped up everything, everyone walked back upstairs. The monsters didn’t respawn yet so they didn’t have any troubles on the way back to the first floor.

Except for Zef, the rest of the group took deep breaths of fresh air once they walked out through the barrier.

「Haa—! The moment when you leave the dungeon is the best.」

Emera took a deep breath while stretching herself. They weren’t technically outside yet as this was the ritual hall of the dungeon serving as the entrance but the air was much fresher and cleaner than the stale dark dungeon.

As Asbar and Frica relaxed, Zef muttered ‘It hurts’ while holding his hands against the palm marks on both of his cheeks. He teased Emera again as they went upstairs from the sixth floor.

Takuto silently watched Mira standing next to him with great respect and strong will dwelling in his eyes.

「We actually managed to finish much earlier than expected, let’s return before sunset.」

Emera concluded the dungeon delving with her last words, looking at the crimson light peeking through the openings of the temple of the slowly setting sun.

The walk from the temple to the city took twenty minutes. The original plan was to make camp somewhere in the middle floors but with Mira’s excellent performance, it ended very fast, leaving the whole array of provisions and medicines in the item boxes completely unneeded.

Parting from the temple and leaving the row of statues behind, they took a forest road on the way back.

With an early owl letting a faint sound far in the distance, the group were walking through the forest when a sudden gust of wind passed through, followed by a black cat seemingly chasing that wind.1

「Mira has white…!」

Fricca’s eyes were drawn to Mira’s rolled up skirt due to the wind, even ignoring her own robe. Despite the wind taking them by surprise, Fricca captured a glance of Mira’s plain white panties and drew closer to Mira. With a shiver, she hid behind Asbar and threw a glance at Emera, implying her to ‘Do something about her’.

With a silent understanding nod, Emera sighed together with a trained head chop on Fricca.

「She doesn’t mean bad, you know?」

She still cared about her companion enough to explain her intentions, though it was still met with Mira’s shaking head, making a point that her intentions and whatnot wasn’t the problem here.

「Err…」

While Emera dragged Fricca back with her, Takuto softly spoke, looking at Mira.

「Hmm, what? Did something happen to you?」

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Mira asked Takuto, looking at him from behind Asbar and after a moment of hesitation, he looked back at her.

「Before that wind blew I saw a woman. She looked like she’s chased by somebody and I got worried.」

Mira exclaimed ‘Whoa’ as he said that.

「Takuto, have you seen that?」
「Ye, yes. Ermm, it was a woman that had a hair similar to Alfina’s.」
「Well, well. It seems like you have some magic qualities. The one who passed before us was a wind spirit.」

Right before the blast of wind, a wind spirit actually passed across the group. For this reason, Fricca predicted this wind gust and locked her eyes on Mira’s skirt, a complete waste of talent.

「Me…a magician…」

Takuto was delighted all around, repeating her words. He admired Mira and owed her so much, now he had a chance to become a spellcaster like her, he was excited at the news.

「In any case, it seems a black cat chased her but why?」

Mira put a hand on her chin and fumbled through her memories as she said that but she couldn’t think about any creature other than elemental eaters. And since they always looked like actual monsters, it was hard to mistake them for a black cat.

While Mira was in her thoughts, the trees to the right shook and the wind spirit appeared again. The moment she saw her, Mira stepped in and caught the black cat behind the spirit.

「Hmm, what’s that…」

This cat was lighter than it appeared. It meowed, looking up to Mira as if it was trying to tell her something.

「Oh my, I feel some magic from this cat.」

Having come back to life, Fricca said so while taking a look at the cat in her hands. Mira inspected the cat to confirm her words.

「This one… is a shikigami?」

The words 『Shikigami: Nyanmaru』 appeared over the black cat.
Shikigami are companions controlled by onmyoji masters and they exist in a lot of forms, from the usual animals to fantasy creatures.

「Still…this one…」

The meowing black cat was wriggling in her hands, trying to push her away with its paws. Cute.

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Keeping in mind that everybody was looking at her, Mira held herself back just before breaking into a smile, but the cat’s cuteness wasn’t going to stop and Mira didn’t notice that Fricca, who pretended to look at the cat in the hands, was actually staring at her chest.

「Hey…」

With a gentle whirl of wind, a whisper of a girl tickled their ears and at the same time, the cat twisted its body with a meow, slipped out of Mira’s hands and dashed behind her.

「Ah… She returned.」

Takuto gasped, noticing her presence while Mira was busy wryly smiling at Fricca again for doing her things, still staring at her chest while ignoring the cat, she then turned back towards the wind spirit.

「Wha..what are you going to do with the cat!?」

The wind spirit peeked from the tree shadows and cautiously asked Mira and Fricca while keeping Nyanmaru in her embrace.

They were first confused due to thinking the black cat was chasing her but it all became clear afterward: they both knew each other and were on good terms.

「Eh… We don’t mean harm to the cat.」
「Then… It means… you came to bully me, right!?」

With a sudden scream from the wind spirit, the air around them began to rustle and a small whirlwind surrounded everybody.

「Hey, what’s that? What’s going on?」
「Mira and Fricca! Did something happen!?」

Since Emera, Asbar and the rest of the warriors couldn’t see spirits, they didn’t know who Mira was speaking to, but feeling that the whirlwind was raging dangerously strong, they grouped together, getting themselves ready.

「Apparently the wind spirit thinks we’re bullying this cat.」
「Doesn’t that mean we’re in trouble?」

Fricca talked in a calm tone but Zef became nervous about it.

「Can you wait for a moment? I thought Nyanmaru was chasing you and I held him to make him stop.」

Mira started explaining after showing the cat was fine, still calmly looking at the wind spirit’s chest. Spirits were usually friendly to people and didn’t refuse to talk.

「Did you say Nyanmaru?」

The spirit inclined her head, confirming part of Mira’s words.

「It’s the name of this shikigami… You didn’t know?…」
「…………」

Mira introduced everyone and explained everything about the situation, the part about thinking that the wind spirit was being attacked by the cat, holding him to help and the cat’s name being Nyanmaru.

It seemed like the cat and the spirit had been playing tag.

「Ahh…well, that… I’m sorry.」
「No, I should apologize since I wedged myself in without knowing the circumstances.」

While Mira was continuing her explanation, the whirlwind slowly faded off and as she ended, the wind spirit apologized, holding Nyanmaru in her hands. Mira apologized too and they sincerely smiled at each other.

「So this cat… Nyanmaru is actually a shikigami.」
「Nyaaun.」
「By the way, do you know the owner of this shikigami?」
「No, I met Nyanmaru when scary people attacked me. It became dangerous but Nyanmaru saved me and I don’t think there were any onmyoji’s around. Since then, Nyanmaru sometimes shows around to play but I never saw his owner.」

The speech of the wind spirit was expressive, she displayed fear when she spoke of how she was saved there was a sparkle in her eyes. Mira wryly smiled at the overacted expressions and pointed out something that seemed out of place.

「Hmm, if there was no spellcaster nearby then this means Nyanmaru is an autonomous shikigami. Still, you said some people attacked you?」
「Ah, yes. When I was bathing in moonlight at the bank of a lake, they suddenly surrounded me. They were scary looking armed people and I got startled and ran through the woods when Nyanmaru jumped in and drove the scary people away.」
「Attacking a spirit, what a scum’s deed!」
「Yeah, indeed.」

Fricca was fuming after hearing the story as for spellcasters like her, spirits were very important existences, she couldn’t hide her anger towards people that’d harm spirits. For the rest of the group, although they didn’t really know what was happening, they understood Fricca’s view and remarked as it was unusual for her to have such a reaction outside of being because of a cute girl.

Spirits of nature like the wind spirit were unlike monsters in the sense that they wouldn’t hurt people unprovoked, in fact all the opposite, they were known as very kind creatures willing to help anyone in trouble and providing various blessings. Killing any one of them only causes the wrath of all the spirits and no rare items would be dropped either.

Though that was all just in the game, now in reality she wasn’t sure there was anything she didn’t know. Thinking about what could possibly be valuable enough to go as far as hurting spirits, Mira felt a deep hatred for human greed.

「I am very grateful to Nyanmaru. Also, this is something I heard from a friend, but apparently our comrades are being assaulted all over and kidnapped.」
「Are there other groups attacking spirits?」
「It seems so. I was lucky to be saved by Nyanmaru, but they…」

The wind spirit tightly hugged Nyanmaru with trembling arms. Her face was full of sorrow and praying for the safety of her friends.

(If it happens in many places, then it must be some scum who makes a living by hunting Spirits, or doing of someone who uses them for trade.)

Mira drew some speculations based on the words of the spirit:
There was some kind of way of using Spirits that she did not know, and their worth rose with it, which is why people dealing in trade with them existed.
Just like the Wind Spirit in front of Mira, almost all Spirits were beautiful, so there could be people who kidnapped them to admire or keep as pets.
Other than that, there was a possibility of using their powers for military purposes.

With that said, Spirits had no mercy against those who harmed them. Even if a Spirit was captured, if it fought back seriously they were capable of easily erasing a small village. Spirits were a lump of power to such extent. However, based on what she said, Mira could imagine they came up with a method of capturing Spirits.

Now that thirty years had passed since the game turned into reality, it was not surprising to her that technology that did not exist had since been developed. Especially since she did see one thing that gathered the knowledge of magic engineering, the Accord Cannon, with her own eyes.

Technological progress could bring about the potential to overturn common sense in this world but it can also be a monster.

(And I severely lack information…)

However much effort she put in trying to figure it out, Mira had just come to this world. Facing the problem of still missing much of the information of these thirty years, Mira heaved a grand sigh and gave up on thinking for the time being.

「In other words, you have friends other than Nyanmaru.」

Suddenly Mira raised the edge of her lips in a grin and smiled towards the Wind Spirit mischievously.

「Of course I do—」

The upset wind spirit restlessly stamped her feet and puffed out her cheeks. Then laughter rang out nearby.

「Oh, Mira why did you suddenly start joking?」

Fricca was laughing, covering her mouth with her hand. She was still angered about the people attacking spirits but seeing a sulking wind spirit in front of her was relieving.

「Well, it’s not like anything changes from our talk here. I don’t know how far this information got spread but it seems we should report to the Union. I’ll also warn any spirits I meet on the way since it’s all I can do now.」
「Yeah, sure.」

The opponent’s identity was unknown. If it was an entire organization, a fair amount of preparations would be necessary
Mira thought that it would be best to ask Solomon, who seemed like he would already know about this problem.

Putting the attackers’ case aside, Mira looked at Nyanmaru.

Despite not being hostile, spirits held considerable power which wasn’t something an ordinary human could match. If they attacked knowing she was a spirit, it meant they had enough power to fight a spirit. Otherwise, they would know better than to attack an opponent that had strength far beyond that of a human.

But in such a case, there arose one more question.

Those attackers who were strong enough to fight with a spirit were disposed of by Nyanmaru. If it was capable of winning against the people who attacked the Spirit, it could be said that Nyanmaru, a shikigami, possessed power beyond that of a spirit. This meant that the owner must have possessed even greater power than that.

「Hmm… Nyanmaru, huh…」

The name of the shikigami reminded Mira of someone she knew.

It was one of the Nine Elders, the elder of the Onmyoji Tower, suzerain Kagura of the Seven Stars.

Among Onmyoujutsu existed multiple ones that used shikigami like Nyanmaru, but among them, the most versatile shikigamis were called the 『Four Holy Beasts』.

Even extremely famous sacred beasts like Vermillion Bird Suzaku, Black Tortoise Genbu, Azure Dragon Seiryuu, and White Tiger Byakko could be used by high-level onmyoji.

Additionally, there were two kinds of shikigami, autonomous and manual. Autonomous ones could think and act by themselves while the latter were directly operated by onmyoji.

And when someone had acquired a shikigami, they were capable of naming them. This was the reason why Mira was reminded of Kagura

Her Genbu was Kamekichi, Seiryuu was Nyorozou, Suzaku was Piisuke and Byakko was Gautarou. If Nyanmaru was added to that, there would be nothing off about it. Kagura also had other shikigami, but they all had similar names.

(Still, it can’t be…)

Of course, it could be a pure coincidence. It was possible there were other people with similar naming sense to Kagura’s.

That said, considering the power of Nyanmaru, it must be quite a powerful onmyoji. In which case, it was possible that as an onmyoji, they could know something about Kagura, who stood at the top of onmyodo, even if it was just a rumor.

In the end, it was mere speculation, but they had absolutely no information on the wisemen other than Soul Howl. In which case this could be a good starting point, and if they reeled in some luck, they could catch something.

Well, it was better than nothing so Mira put this information in a corner of her mind.



References

  1. Silva: I guess there’s no zombie attack in the webnovel
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