|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3288 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1532 words|
「Well, good luck in your exploits then.」
The worker ended their conversation like that, and Mira left the parking lot, heading straight to the Union.
「It’s even larger than Sentopolly’s…」
The building’s exterior had already hinted at it, but the entrance lobby was surprisingly large. It was at least two hundred meters wide, and it split into two directions, left for the Spellcasters’ Union, right for the Warriors’ Union. Seeing the number of staff members on site showed just how crowded the lobby usually was.
「Do you have a minute? I’d like to inquire about something.」
Mira’s head peeked across a reception desk that was free. The receptionist sitting on the other side smiled gently and said 「Yes, what do you need?」
「I’m looking for an acquaintance. Has there been anyone who reached the White Room of the Ancient City recently?」
A fragment of a Chalk Orb was needed to create the Brilliant Chalice of Divine Decree. Those orbs were located in a place known as the White Room. Or rather, there was nothing else but them in the White Room, so if someone went there, it was almost certainly Soul Howl.
But the receptionist did not seem to remember such a person.
「The White Room? That’s so far at the end of the Ancient City, and an area zealously watched over by the Guardian, so usually no one is insane enough to go there. I’d remember if some daredevil attempted to enter that place.」
The receptionist answered, her voice sounding convinced of herself. She was right, the Guardian protecting the deepest reaches of the Ancient City was on a whole different level to the other monsters before it. Even one of the Nine Wisemen would struggle fighting it alone.
「Hmm, I see. Then have you seen someone with slanted eyes, a somber aura, wearing needlessly tacky clothes, like uh… very edgy, like if a teenager’s tastes were put into a grown man, wearing such clothes with no hesitation whatsoever. Does that ring a bell?」
Mira’s first question yielded no results, but she would not back down, trying to summarize Soul Howl’s appearance as best as she could to ask about him.
「Slanted eyes and somber… needlessly tacky clothes, a teenager’s tastes… I’m sorry, I can’t think of anyone like that.」
She thought about it for a bit, but there was such a volume of people coming and going from the Union that it was hard to remember the specifics of everyone.
「Hm, I see… I guess it was too much to ask for…」
There were all sorts of people in the huge crowd of adventurers, but that made it hard to find a specific person amongst them. Not to mention that it was still uncertain whether Soul Howl had been there yet or not, so it made sense if people had not seen him.
Mira began to ponder what to do now, but then the receptionist seemed to remember something, letting out a loud Ah.
「Last week someone came asking for a pass, not for the White Room, but the last floor before it.」
「Are you certain? Did that truly happen!」
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Hearing that, Mira clung to the desk, almost climbing on it to get closer to the receptionist.
The White Room was at the end of the dungeon, meaning one needed to go through the last floor to get there. A special pass was needed for that, so if someone came asking for said pass, chances were that was Soul Howl.
Mira realized that her method of asking had not been ideal, and that she would have obtained that answer faster by asking if someone got that pass.
「He was wearing a mask, so he looked more suspicious than ominous. The adventurers here seldom need to go so deep, so I clearly remember that person passing through here.」
「Ohh, I’m sure that must’ve been him!」
Suspicious theatrics like wearing masks was something in line with Soul Howl’s personality, so Mira was essentially convinced that had been him. But such were the Nine Wisemen. They would always find a way to stand out, even amongst such large crowds of adventurers.
「And so would you happen to know whether he is still down there?!」
Mira asked, her voice filled with hope. Based on the person’s description, and the fact that he asked for a pass to the last floor, Mira believed with considerable certainty that it was Soul Howl.
「I’m truly sorry, I can’t say for sure. But the Ancient City is vast, so he might still be there.」
「Hmm, that’s true.」
As the name of the city suggested, the area covered by the dungeon was large, and there were eight floors one had to overcome before reaching the White Room. Going through the usual path, it would take one around a month to completely clear that dungeon. Mira recalled spending multiple weeks there as well, so she knew it was quite likely for him to still be in the dungeon.
「Alright, can I get a pass to the last floor as well then?」
That person Mira suspected was Soul Howl had been there a week before. If she went there with everything she had, she might still be able to catch up with him halfway through the dungeon. Thinking that, Mira proudly displayed her adventurer certificate, showing it to the receptionist. Except there was something she was forgetting.
「I’m really sorry, I can only give you a pass to the fifth floor, seeing as you’re still a rank C adventurer…」
Mira was still stuck at rank C. The receptionist’s voice had a hint of pity, taking pity on Mira after seeing how proudly she requested the pass.
According to the receptionist, the dungeon’s difficulty grew with each floor, all the way to the last one. In other words, one had to be ranked A to obtain a pass to the last floor. Mira had not counted with such an obstruction.
(Hm… So I need to reach rank A for this too. Maybe I can use my medal and force her to give me the pass… No, Solomon said C was the highest rank he could give me, so the medal won’t have any more authority. Maybe I should go find an adventurer that reached rank A somewhere again…)
Back when she had to reach the Abandoned City in the Sky, or the Libra Fortress, she had to join another rank A adventurer to enter together. She was considering doing that again when something happened.
「Ah, please give me a moment.」
The receptionist said as she held Mira’s adventurer certificate to a device. Mira wondered what was happening, watching in silence as told, while the receptionist operated the device which started clattering.
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「I knew it. Sorry for the wait, but it seems your valiant efforts have been recognized, and your rank has been raised to A.」
The receptionist sounded surprised, but she sounded genuinely happy for Mira as she told her the news.
「Truly? That’s good news, but I wonder what I did…」
That was a favorable turn of events, but Mira did not recall doing any work as an adventurer, she was even starting to get suspicious. But her doubts were soon dispelled by the receptionist.
Her rank had been raised thanks to her work in Sentopolly. In other words, everything she did to take down Chimera Clauzen had been recognized by the Union.
「Ohh, I see. So that’s how much they valued that.」
The Fifty Bells and the Union had made an accord, the Union agreeing that all adventurers that helped in the fight would be recognized. It was the Fifty Bells’ way to award the adventurers who had been aiding them in secret, their work unrecognized by the Union so far. The Union also agreed that while the whole matter had never been registered as a proper request, they deserved some form of compensation. That was how Mira’s rank was also boosted.
The defeat of Chimera Clauzen was all over the news lately, and even the receptionist agreed that whoever participated in taking them down deserved a reward like that.
It was really rare for someone to go up two ranks at once though, which was why the receptionist looked so surprised.
「There’s still some paperwork left to do before you’re assigned your new rank, but once that’s done I can give you the pass for the last floor. Going up two ranks is a strange occurrence, so I’ll need to contact the headquarters, which might take some time as well. If I start now, it should be done at around noon tomorrow. Is that alright?」
The paperwork included various checks of authenticity, as well as the headquarters’ approval to grant someone rank A. That was going to take a day to complete, but after that Mira would be able to obtain the pass, so her answer was obvious.
「Please do so!」
Mira happily asked her to do the paperwork, told the receptionist she would be back the next day, and left the front desk.