|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 5000 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2286 words|
The top floor of the Tower of Magic was called the Wiseman’s private room or laboratory. Furthermore, it also contained the aide’s room.
When the transparent film which blocked the back and front of the elevator lifted, Mira stepped down from the front. When she traversed the circular corridor formed from a translucent tube, she found herself before the laboratory door.
「Hey, Luminaria. Are you there? Answer me!」
Mira made a small fist and pounded on the door repeatedly.1 In the corridor of the tower, the echoing screams of the door seemed to exceed the sound of the little girl’s voice.
Since the time the person named Luminaria became an Elder, she would often stay in the laboratory. In other words, this was the most likely place where she could be found.
For that reason, Mira immediately knocked on the door of the laboratory with the expectation of Luminaria kicking open the door while saying 「Have some moderation!」
The usual situation did not occur so she stopped her fist and strained her ears to listen carefully.
On rare occasions, she could be found doing an experiment in a nearby forest that’s difficult to reach.
(This fellow is a guy who can’t read the atmosphere.)
Mira muttered this in her mind and placed her hand on her chin in careful deliberation.
「Who is this?」
While pacing back and forth in front of the door thinking whether she should wait for the master of the tower to return, the voice of a calm woman suddenly sounded from the rear. And Mira was familiar with this voice.
Indeed, it was a beautiful secretary woman with shoulder-length blond hair that matched well with her spectacles. Her blue eyes that were filled with suspicion were turned towards Mira.
「Oh, Litaria, it’s been a long time. As for Luminaria, do you know where she has gone?」
The beautiful woman whom Mira called Litaria was the aide of an Elder.
In order to assist the Elder with their research and miscellaneous duties, NPCs were dispatched by the country. In other words, Litaria was the aide for Luminaria.
And she was of the elven race and since they possess long lifespans, they remained youthful for a very long period. Depending on the person, it would be like a dream come true to be an elf.
However, players in Ark Earth Online were unable to choose the race because it was an exclusive race for the NPCs. In addition, famous races such as Dwarves, Halflings, Sirens, Werewolves, and Giants; as well as various other races like the Meou Tribe who are similar to humans except for their cat ears and tail, and the Gardia tribe with their robust bodies exist too.
「Who are you? In order to enter this floor, one must use the elevator, other ways of approach are nonexistent. Only a select number of people know the way to the top floor.」
Wearing a tense atmosphere, Litaria’s eyes were filled strongly with precaution.
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「Well, I am…… oh, that’s right….」
Mira just recalled that she did not have her dignified appearance. It was not possible to ask Litaria to 「Examine」 her status.
There was no guarantee that one would believe her if she introduced herself as Danbulf. To a person who knew of her original appearance, being seen as a little girl would be most unbearable for Mira.
However, it would only be a trifling thing if Luminaria was the other party.
First of all, Luminaria would enjoy “such a thing” more than anyone. In case the topic of her appearance was brought up, she could speak with confidence that she was cute.
Mira came to find Luminaria to ask her about the current situation. This outcome was unexpected.
Being told by Litaria, Mira recalled that in order to reach the Wiseman’s Room via the elevator, a certain procedure was needed to operate it.
Only a limited number of people who knew of this procedure would be able to go to the top floor so that fans would not intrude on the Elder.
Of course, as one of the Elders, Mira had agreed with this. Therefore, it was doubtful how a little girl had managed to come to this floor. It was a cause of concern for Litaria.
In order to not reveal her true identity, she could not say that she was the Elder of the summoning arts passing by to visit the Wiseman’s Room.
Mira traced her jaw with her fingertips as she pondered. She was unable to reveal her true identity, having said that she must provide justification for knowing how to operate the elevator to come up to this floor. She had to come up with a convenient excuse that would allow her to go in and out freely in the future.
And then, one good idea crossed her mind.
「You, do you know Danbulf?」
「Of course I know him. He is the Elder of the Summoning Tower.」
「Yes, that is so. I am Danbulf’s apprentice. I was ordered by my master to pass on some messages to Lady Luminaria in his place. I am to convey this message and come back.」
「Lord Danbulf……!? If that’s the case, then it’s reasonable…….. Er, however, I never heard about Danbulf taking care of an apprentice like you before.」
The expression of Litaria reflected obvious excitement when she heard his name. This was because she proclaimed herself the pupil of the Wiseman that had disappeared thirty years ago. It was natural for her to be excited.
「That is so. I became his apprentice after he disappeared thirty years ago.」
「After he disappeared?! If you are his pupil, then that means Lord Danbulf has returned?!」
「Ah, yes it’s like that. For certain reasons, he is unable to move right now. So I came instead.」
「I see, Lord Danbulf is…… But what kind of situation could render him immobile?」
「Ah…… um, it’s like that.」
Because it was an incomplete idea, Mira would be troubled if she were asked for details. Then she hit upon a suitable excuse. It was an action that she had frequently done when she was still Danbulf. If this world had succeeded in conventional history, this might work.
「In order to train a newly summoned spirit, he had to stay inside the Town of Phantasmal Beast.」
「… Again with a newly summoned spirit. As expected of Lord Danbulf. Just when we thought that he’s disappeared, he’s been training spirits in the Town of Phantasmal Beasts; I see even that part of him hasn’t changed. Then it can’t be helped that he can’t move away.
Ahhh, Lord Danbulf. I hope to see you soon.」
Though it was a desperate excuse, Litaria nodded because the story had been convincing. Apparently, her former actions remained in this world as a memory somehow. Mira gained conviction of this.
Why did this excuse work? This was because the Town of Phantasmal Beast was a famous hunting ground for players.
Although nobody lived in said town, great varieties of monsters and phantasmal beasts dominated the ruins of the ancient town. The more monsters one killed here, the more blessings could be obtained which increased the growth rate, recovery speed, and rare item drops. Due to the variety of monsters that appeared here, high ranking players were known to use this as their hunting fields.
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The problem was that the blessing would be reset upon leaving the town. That being the case, it was common sense for players that hunted in the Town of Phantasmal Beast to stock up a large quantity of recovery items and secluded themselves in hunting.
「Ah…. it is like that. So, where is Lu…..Lady Luminaria?」2
「Is that so. At present, Lady Luminaria is…………… Nonono……….I shouldn’t, it’s wrong. While that certainly sounds like what Lord Danbulf would do, anyone who knows Lord Danbulf well could claim to be his apprentice. Do you have evidence that you are who you claim to be?」
Litaria went beyond respect and worshipped Luminaria and Dunbalf who supported the country together. The hint that Danbulf was alive made a bright light burst out from her expression but she smoothed it over in a panic. She had still yet to confirm the truth regarding the previous matter.
「Is there any evidence? Let’s see……… is this easy to understand?」
After having thought a little, Mira took out evidence that only Danbulf would have from the item box. Of course, it was the silver card on which nine canes were carved, the tower master key.
「This is…… The master key of the Tower of Summoning! Then, you really are Lord Danbulf’s….. Oh name…. may I have your name if that’s okay with you?」
「I am Mira. Litaria, I would like to hear where your master is. Is Lady Luminaria not here?」
「Yes, Lady Luminaria as of now has gone out to Lunatic Lake. She is not likely to return until tomorrow.」
「Hmm, is that so? Then there is no helping it. Shall I come to visit again?」
If she wasn’t here, then there was no point to remain any longer. Mira considered it to be troublesome to go towards Lunatic Lake at the present moment. If she was going to return tomorrow then her conclusion was that it would be better to come back at that time.
「That’s right. It is night already, will you not spend the night in my room? You can stay until Lady Luminaria comes back. Also, please tell me various things about Lord Danbulf if possible!」
Litaria’s expression abruptly changed as she approached. Mira vigorously retreated until her back bumped against the door. Litaria only wanted to hear stories about Danbulf, but as for Mira, the thin excuse she used would go up in flames. It was not wise to prolong the story because she did not know when a fault would appear. She intended to run away promptly.
In addition, Litaria was a beautiful woman despite being a familiar face. Even if Mira may look like a girl, she remained a man on the inside full of lustful desires. In conclusion, she couldn’t let her reasonings be destroyed here. Rather than the pride of Danbulf as a person being at stake here, it was more of a feeling to want to look good to a person who loved him. Even though the present situation was that they both were the same sex, it was not the problem.
「No, besides I have other engagements to attend to. Allow me to come back again tomorrow.」
「Ah, so it is like that……. Then it doesn’t have to be tonight. Miss Mira, just a little bit, won’t you tell me what happened thirty years ago? Please tell me what Lord Danbulf has been doing up until now.」
「Maybe next time, I’ve been ordered by the master to take care of some tasks.」
When she finally shook off Litaria, Mira jumped into the elevator to descend to the first floor. If she was questioned for details, there was sure to have been some contradictions. For example, if she was asked about how she became his apprentice. It was because she did not think about the details.
Mira reflected on the excuse that she established. She looked up in regret at the thing she said herself. The sudden change in Litaria was unexpected. She let out a big sigh while leaning against the transparent tube.
「I should have a more intellectual impression.」
She knew that Litaria was an NPC, but she did not remember her personality to be like that from her memories. Her impression was that she ought to have been more secretary-like. Thirty years have passed, perhaps that was the source? Mira placed her hand on her chin as she smiled wryly and passed by looking at each floor.
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She arrived on the first floor in approximately ten seconds. Taking the opportunity to get psyched up, she passed by the researchers saying, 「Do your best!」
As for Mira, it was one of Danbulf’s habits to yell like this. To the abrupt encouragement of a little girl passing by, although they did not understand Mira’s purpose, several researchers got psyched up to greet their all-night vigil.
Mira left the Tower of Magic and entered the Tower of Summoning. Because Luminaria would be back tomorrow, there was one thing that she wanted to confirm by then. It was not necessarily a lie that she had business to attend to.
The business was to confirm the state of the room she had been using as a base. If it had not changed from before, she would be able to use it, accordingly she would also be able to spend a night there.
The Tower of Summoning had the same structure as the Tower of Magic. The inside of which was silent and as bright as the morning from the flickering light powered by concept magic. Mira narrowed her eyes a little at the radiance while she operated the elevator to go to the top floor. She considered regulating the quantity of light later.
It was different from the Tower of Magic in that it passed each floor without connecting to the stairs. When she noticed not a single researcher was in sight, she recalled the words the knights had said: 「It was the first time I have seen a summoner, they are unusual.」
The number of summoners had obviously decreased. Mira felt a certain feeling similar to that of seeing off a retired companion. She felt slightly disconsolate.
- TLN: poor door…. a person 6x as strong as an adult male is pounding on you
- She initially called her name without honorifics and only added them later.