|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3459 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1579 words|
「Where was that again…」
It made one wonder just how this city had been built. The lights illuminated every corner of the city, without regard to its complexity. In a way, that made the city look less overwhelming, and mostly fueled one’s adventurous spirit.
And there was one person there fully embracing that spirit. Mira waltzed in without a worry, underestimating its complexity simply because she believed she knew the best route through.
There were many facilities still active on the sixth floor, many of which grew rare plants and trees. Some also rumored there were places which had not yet been discovered. Regardless of its complexity, Mira still could see various adventurers around.
She could hear adventurers discuss those rumors as she passed by them, eventually getting influenced by those who believed in the rumors and those who tried to verify their authenticity.
「Now I turn here… No, was it… this way?」
Mira wandered about for a while, eventually looking out a mezzanine, trying to retrace her past memories.
(That’s where I came from… but going that way led me somewhere else…)
The mezzanine was not too broad, but it was enough for her to look at the corridor that was five meters away. She stayed there, trying to remember the right way.
「But that’s there, so that’s… over there… Ohh, up!」
She finally realized where she was, understanding she was below the correct location, so she stepped out of the mezzanine and easily kicked off the air with Sky Stride, jumping into the corridor above.
There was a skeleton on the place Mira wanted to land on, making her reflexively kick it, not caring about her skirt being upturned.
That took the skeleton by surprise, sending it flying back violently. But as a monster in a B rank area, a spellcaster’s kick was not enough to shatter its bones, so it stood back up almost instantly. However, it stood no chance against Mira, who held the title of one of the strongest spellcasters. A black sword appeared out of nowhere and smashed the skeleton to dust in the blink of an eye.
「Phew… that startled me. I kicked it without thinking.」
Finding skeletons creepy was likely a universal trait. Anyone would be startled if one suddenly appeared in front of their eyes.
Mira picked up the Magic Stone and realized Soul Howl likely was an exception to that fact. Then she thought about what she had just done and looked at her legs, muttering 「Oh right, I can also use my legs.」
So far, Mira had always relied solely on her hands for close-quarters combat. That was a habit that stuck with her since her days as Danbulf.
Mira had always valued her appearance above all else, and back then wore robes exclusively, all of which, including her Sage’s Robe, had long hems. That made it very easy for her feet to get caught in her clothes, so in the end she only trained how to fight with her fist.
But now she finally realized that was no longer the case. She was wearing a short skirt which exposed most of her legs, leaving them free and mobile. Mira sent away the Dark Knight in the corridor below and summoned another one next to her, and used it as a training dummy for her kicks.
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She had never used them, but the Sage Wiseman Meilin had taught her the basics of kicks. That was enough for her to move and throw some decent-looking kicks, allowing her to unlock a moveset she had kept sealed away so far.
While they looked good, her leg muscles were not very trained, making her kicks only marginally stronger than her punches, and she caused no damage whatsoever on the Dark Knight.
Her lack of physical strength could be compensated with Sage Arts. Once she finished testing her kicks, even if they were simplistic, she continued on her way, glad that she had more options to fight now. If only someone had been there spotting her training, or if she had even a little more femininity, or if there was anyone nearby, she would have noticed just what kicking in such a wild manner did to her skirt.
But Mira remained clueless, or maybe she simply did not care, and all she felt was pride in having a new way to fight as she continued walking in a gallant stride.
「I should remember to affix some steel plates to my shoes later.」
When Mira attempted a dropkick, the Dark Knight had stopped her momentum entirely. She continued trying them as they walked forward, but the result remained the same, so Mira decided to blame her equipment and made plans to correct that.
Steel plates on shoes would certainly increase the power of her kicks, but her mobility would fall. Lack of strength was the root of the problem too, so they would only add unnecessary weight and slow her down. She had actually thought of the solution before, getting Spirit Arms that increased her physical strength, but she kept forgetting to put that plan into action, and now she was so enthralled about her new skillset that she did not think of remembering that either.
Mira reached the upper levels of the sixth floor. After defeating a large skeleton in a big room, she obtained the glyph which would let her open the door leading to the first crystal.
「I’m getting quite good at this.」
She had continued honing her kicks as she moved through the sixth floor. At first she kept missing her mark, hitting the skeletons she ran into with her shins instead of her feet which hurt so much her eyes teared up. But now she had gotten far more accurate, and it seemed like focusing on accuracy rather than dealing damage was starting to pay off. Even if her kicks did not have much power, they could have a big effect if she hit a good spot. The monsters that spawned there were skeletons with all their joints exposed, which made them perfect practice targets for Mira.
「Though well, I think I’ve done enough for today…」
Her excitement had led her to overexert her hip joints, causing her pain now. That made her stride feel wonky as she got closer to the crystal.
The Dark Knight had done essentially all the fighting for Mira. She would just leisurely pick up the Magic Stones, and mix in her kicks with Sage Arts whenever she wanted.
(I remember Meilin causing all sorts of explosions with her dropkicks, I wonder how she did that.)
Meilin had taught Mira how to fight. Her skills were incredibly varied, and included a large assortment of kicks. Adding Sage Arts to the mix made them even more varied. But as Mira’s legs were clumsy, and they had limited time, her training focused mainly on fists. All Mira knew in regards to kicks were the basics she learned as a way to train her stamina, and her memories of the skills she saw Meilin use often.
(I did learn almost everything there is to know about Sage Arts, so I just have to figure out how to apply that…)
Mira’s focus had shifted from adventuring to fighting, but she still did not take any detours and followed the route she remembered.
She went through a small corridor, up a set of stairs, crossed straight through a room, went through a bridge, then reached a large street with corridors overhead, which led to a small shrine.
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「Ohh, finally here.」
Skeletons jumped down from the overhead corridors, trying to strike surprise attacks, but the Dark Knight’s swift response made them turn to dust almost as soon as they landed. Meanwhile Mira looked at the peculiar-looking shrine.
The shrine had a spherical shape, made of polished metal which shone like a mirror. The sphere looked like it was slightly buried on the floor too.
「This always looks so odd no matter how many times I see it.」
A pearl-like shrine in a city of piled up crude blocks. Maybe the people who once lived there were extremely religious. Such thoughts swirled in Mira’s mind as she crossed the sole opening on the spherical shrine.
「Up the stairs next to the altar…」
Mira walked across the place of worship as she recalled the location of the crystal.
Unlike the shrine’s exterior, inside it looked a lot more like a shrine or temple. The place of worship was located right next to the entrance. Many things had rotted through over the years, but there were still impressive columns supporting the ceiling, and the furthest wall was lined up with many elaborate statues. They all had different appearances, some looking like demons, others like kind angels.
In modern times most people followed the Three Gods’ religion, but in the past there had been nearly as many religions as races and cultures existed. Or at least that was what Mira’s lore enthusiast friends claimed. Those same friends claimed that the gods worshiped in the Ancient Underground City were the precursors to modern deities.
Even deities had stories behind them. Mira thought back to everything she heard back then as she looked at the impressive statues from closer, and then went up the stairs next to the altar.