|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3396 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1516 words|
Such a power could also create an extremely poisonous plant that instantly killed anyone who consumed it, which could also spread effortlessly. So essentially Martel could easily destroy the world if she felt like it. An Originator Spirit’s power could easily match that of a god.
「Heheheh, cool isn’t it?」
But Martel puffed her chest with innocent pride, she was clearly not someone who would ever do that. She was too good-natured.
「Yes, it is. I didn’t expect to experience something so incredible in a place like this.」
Mira expressed her true impression as she looked at Martel’s bright smile. Then she finally asked the question that had been circling around the back of her mind that entire time. Why was such an incredible spirit trapped in a place like that?
Mira had a few guesses, maybe Martel used to be rather mischievous in the past, as hard as that was to imagine now. But it was a common trope for someone to get shut away like that once they went too far with their pranks.
「I’m actually curious about that as well. This world has been distant to me ever since I became unable to leave the Spirit Palace, so I couldn’t see how you ended in this place either.」
Surprisingly enough, the Spirit King also had the same question.
Either as a self-inflicted punishment for using a taboo power when fighting the demons, or because his power became erratic after that, the Spirit King had never left the Spirit Palace after that. While it was called a palace, it was closer to a segregated building, so far away that even Originator Spirits could not reach it.
That was the main reason why the Spirit King was unaware of the futures of most of his old friends. But after Mira obtained his Divine Protection, he had gained access to all the spirits under a contract with her, which allowed him to obtain all sorts of information. Though he had not yet heard anything about Martel from them.
The last time the Spirit King had met Martel was back when the Hero Forsythia was alive and fighting against monsters. The humans of the time had gathered their knowledge to develop a device to stabilize the Spirit King’s unstable power, so he could aid them in the war. They succeeded in manifesting the Spirit King during the final battle, where he gave his Divine Protection to Forsythia and took command of the troops. Martel had also been there, her powers offering plenty of aid to the human army.
In the end, the humans won the war. At the same time, the device stabilizing the Spirit King’s power reached its limits and ran out of control. Luckily Forsythia was nearby and managed to stop the device from exploding, but it was already broken beyond repair, making the Spirit King return to the Spirit Palace without giving him a chance to properly say his farewells to all his friends other than Forsythia.
「Forsythia told us what happened, but everyone including me still regretted not being able to see you, Lord Sym.」
The Spirit King was still the main pillar holding up the hearts of spirits. That accident with the device had gotten in the way just before they could thank him after the grueling war, leaving them full of regret.
「I’m sorry, everything happened way too fast back then.」
Martel pouted and looked away in an exaggerated manner as the Spirit King apologized with a heavy voice. Soon after Martel smiled again and turned to look at him saying 「Alright, I forgive you.」
「I believe I need to correct a small misunderstanding first. I’m not trapped in here.」
Saying that, Martel returned to the original topic. The tunnel leading there had been sealed with multiple layers of Divine Spiritual Stones, according to her that was not to prevent her from leaving, but to stop those outside from getting in.
「Is that really so? You looked rather desolate so I had the impression you wished to leave.」
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When Mira felt Martel’s presence it carried a lonely sensation, so Mira assumed Martel was trapped somewhere. As Martel explained now, she had been shut in there of her own will.
「I’m sorry for the confusion. It’s just that I felt a bit of Lord Sym’s presence on you, so I guess that triggered those emotions.」
Even if she was there of her own will, that did not mean she would not get lonely. Still, Mira felt that having seen Martel smile and talk happily had made the trip there worth it.
「So tell me then, Martel. Why did you choose to stay in this place?」
The Spirit King went back to the main topic, his voice concealing his emotions. Martel replied by saying 「You really haven’t changed,」 before adding that she was there to protect something.
(Something that needs to be protected by a powerful entity like an Originator Spirit? It must be some invaluable treasure!)
Mira was filled with materialistic avarice the instant she heard that reply. In a way, that was unavoidable. They were deep inside a dungeon, in a room sealed by divine power which housed an Originator Spirit, which stood a level on top of other spirits. Now that spirit claimed she was protecting something there. Such a buildup would fill anyone with expectations, especially if they were fantasy-aficionados like Mira.
「Something to protect… I can’t see anything like that around here.」
The Spirit King muttered as he looked around. They were in a house covered by vines and other plants, located in a large open space. Inside the house was the most logical location to keep treasure, but no such thing was in sight.
「Heheh, do you really think it’s something you can spot so easily?」
Martel seemed proud to hear those words. After talking for a bit longer, she revealed that all the plants growing around the house had a special property that blocked searching abilities. She was quite content with how she had hid it.
「That’s quite a thorough veil. But that just makes the search even more fun!」
Mira could no longer contain herself from wanting to see that treasure, hidden with brand new species of plants, so she began rummaging through the room without even asking for permission. The Spirit King joined her, as if trying to erase the smug smirk from Martel’s face.
「Is it really over there? Hmm, I wonder.」
Martel watched the two run around aimlessly with an entertained smile, taunting them at their lack of results.
「…Actually, what are we even looking for?」
After ten minutes of futile search, the Spirit King made the desperate decision to ask the hider for the identity of the treasure. Mira was still searching in another room.
「Oh? Tired of searching already?」
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Martel’s face looked victorious as she replied with that question. She was essentially asking the Spirit King to admit defeat.
「There’s little I can do against your power in this state.」
The Spirit King grumbled an answer. The state he mentioned referred to being a projection cast from the Divine Protection on Mira. His perception of the world was limited by Mira’s senses, which was a far cry from the power of an Originator Spirit.
「Oh, is it that hard to admit defeat?」
「It’s the truth. But Mira will keep growing stronger, likely surpassing Forsythia even. I can tell, it’s only a matter of time before she can see through your tricks too.」
His voice was filled with conviction as he retorted to Martel, who continued grinning. There was a lot they did not know about Mira yet, but at least he had high expectations for her.
「She must be really promising then, if you appraise her so highly.」
「Yes. And more importantly, the rest of my children who are tied to her have told me just how much she loves our kind.」
The relationship between spirits and humans relied heavily on ties. Love was one such tie. Mira was nearly turning the room upside down as she searched a separate room, but even out of sight the Spirit King could feel a connection to her, which made him look that way with a kind smile.
「I see, that’s wonderful.」
The Spirit King had been unable to leave the Spirit Palace for the longest time, but that was no longer the case thanks to Mira, he could see a broad world again. Martel looked at the Spirit King’s projection, then thought of how he looked in the past, and closed her eyes in relief.
「Did you call me?」
Mira suddenly appeared back in front of them. They had been talking in a low voice, but somehow she had sensed they were talking about her. Maybe that was another effect of her ties with spirits. Thinking about that, and seeing just how covered in flower petals Mira had gotten, the Spirit King and Martel broke into laughter.