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Chapter 203: The Best Development Facility (Part 1)

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Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3790 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1644 words
Editor(s): Fire

While negotiating about the loot, Mira had been entranced by the sum of five hundred million, but she somehow managed to think rationally and focused on the matter at hand.

「By the way, Soul How. I also found this while searching through the body, what do you make of it?」

Saying that, Mira showed him the page from some sort of diary or report she had found amongst Machina Guardian’s remains, which had been the most puzzling item she had found there.

「Hm? What’s this?」

There was no paper in the known drops from Machina Guardian. Soul Howl was well aware of that, so he also gained interest in the piece of paper, and began to read through it while firmly holding onto Mira’s arm.

‘Eart… settlement, Japanese branch… Written the… month…year…062.
As expected, the sea coordinates…beginning…of administrative facility…located underneath…location…of the planet. Scheduled completion at… Earth time, in…weeks.
However, the surface…under surveillance of… Appropriate changes to…will likely take a considerable time.
Once the facility is complete…will begin… If it goes well…then… and I sincerely hope… Preparations for second…will start in hopes changes are…
At hour…will likely…too. We have to act simultaneously…hurry to…and check…
Settl… expected to use…just like the other location. The…specimens and…mples collected from…will be… They will inhabit…make sure to monitor their…’

He read through it one time, then two times, and only let go of Mira when he had gone over it a third time, only to go into deep thought.

「I guess it’s supposed to be Earth in the beginning? Some Japanese Branch on Earth… if that’s the case, then finding that here is somewhat unsettling. Not just Japan, but they felt the need to specifically mention Earth, so it’s easy to assume whoever wrote that is aware of other worlds existing. What follows looks like a date, the 62nd of some millenia, and an unknown day and month. I guess that’s the general information you can gather if you get a little creative.」

After thinking for a bit, Soul Howl tried to fill in the blanks of the first line. No one knew whether he was correct or not, but if he was, then the mystery would only get deeper.

「Hmm, yes, I agree with your assessment. At least it’s safe to assume that whoever wrote this knew of our former world as well.」
「There’s a lot missing here, but I’m convinced there’s some connection there.」

They did not know why, when, where, and who wrote all of that, but whoever that was, they clearly knew about Japan on Earth. Mira and Soul Howl could agree on that.

「By the way, did you try asking the Spirit King or Martel about it?」
「Yes, I did ask them, but they could not make heads nor tails out of it. Apparently the Ancient Underground City existed way before their time.」
「Wait wait wait…so you’re telling me this place is older than the Spirit King and Martel..?」

The history of spirits was devastatingly long, dwarfing human history. And yet the Ancient Underground City was clearly man-made, while being older than spirits. It was a really strange paradox.

「But regardless of how it came to be, it must exist for some reason…」
「True, that’s a fair conclusion to reach.」

While it felt contradictory in a way, it existed as solid proof in front of them now that this was reality, so it had to conceal some type of truth, which no one knew, and was nowhere in sight.

「Well, there’s no urgency to think about that yet.」

They had no leads to figure out why the Ancient Underground City was older than the Spirit King, so there was no need for them to waste their brain power on that now. Instead, he focused on what was in front of them, looking at the next line of text.

「Anyway, the next words seem to indicate the writer was some sort of researcher. They mention some administrative facility, something underground, and the scheduled completion of something too. I suspect that might be referring to this place, the seventh floor of the Ancient Underground City looks clearly different from all others, being more sci-fi than fantasy.」

Soul Howl looked around as he said that. He was right. The arena where they fought Machina Guardian was surrounded by sturdy white metallic walls, and the corridors leading there looked more at home in a laboratory than inside a dungeon or ruin.

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「Sci-fi, huh. Well, I can see that. Even the boss looked that way, but it’s still a stark difference compared to the rest of the dungeon.」

This world had a proper history. Maybe it was a fabrication to support the game’s setting, but it was at least as thorough and lengthy as that of the real world, and it continued as such.

But this was the first inconsistency, a section of science fiction amongst a wealth of fantasy. Just what was that area of the Ancient Underground City?

「Also, it mentions something about some weeks in Earth time, which I guess can be connected to the first line.」
「You mean the assumption that the writer knew of different worlds, correct?」

If there was only one type of time to keep track of, then writing down that time with no indicator would be enough. But the writer had taken special care to single out Earth time, making one deduce that there were other times they kept track of.1

「What comes after that is anybody’s guess. It’s probably related to whatever research they were doing, but it all seems like a jumbled mess. The last line is strange though, it mentions letting something inhabit and monitoring…them? But who or what is it referring to?」

The main body of the writing was halfway intact, but it was impossible to decipher what the topic was, so Soul Howl gave up on that. But the last line caught his attention again.

「That is a strange thing indeed. But if it were to point at people, then I’d guess it refers to everyone who lived on the first through sixth floors.」

Maybe the seventh floor was the first one built there, serving as the administrative facility, while the upper floors became cities in a contained environment. And for some unknown reason, the citizens were being monitored.

「Yes, that’s possible. I can see that happening, but we still don’t know to what effect. I feel like answers keep getting dangled in front of us and then reeled away.」

As much as they tried to decipher the text, the main and biggest mystery was still why all of that had been written. Not to mention that there were many missing words, and this was the only remaining page.

「Either way, trying to figure out everything with such limited information might be a mistake anyway. I’ll just drop it off at Solomon’s and let him do it.」

Trying to figure out more would be a waste of time and energy. That was Mira’s conclusion, so she stored the piece of paper in her Item Box and repeated one of her staple sentences. Whenever she could not figure something out, she would just throw it into Solomon’s hands.

「That might be for the best. I heard the Rising Sun Committee also has a division of former players that are trying to figure out things about this world. I’m sure they would be happy to look through this as well.」

Soul Howl also seemed to lose interest rapidly, deciding it was best for other people to deal with it just like Mira. Though maybe it was more accurate to say Soul Howl believed the right people should take care of it.

「Yes, I seem to remember hearing about such a group as well. They’d be the ideal people to worry about it.」

The Rising Sun Committee had various groups that were in charge of different topics. One of them was the World History Research Institute, a group trying to unravel the past. Mira chuckled to herself as she remembered Solomon mentioning their existence once. She anticipated the piece of paper to be a major historical find, and she was looking forward to seeing their shocked faces once she presented it to them.

「Still, I’m surprised you’re aware of the existence of the Rising Sun Committee. I thought that was a secret society only country leaders knew. How did you learn about them while you kept wandering around the world?」

That fact finally occurred to Mira, so she posed the question. The Rising Sun Committee was started by the rulers of countries made by players, and was kept as a secret underground society. All information relating to them was tightly shut from the public, and even regular former players would not know about them so easily.

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Luminaria had been the one who told Mira about it, but even that was only possible because they were close friends of Solomon’s, an actual member of the Rising Sun Committee. Soul Howl had been preoccupied with making the Brilliant Chalice however, so Mira was deeply curious as to how he had gained knowledge about it.

「Oh, Sumi-Sumi2 told me about it.」
「Sumi-Sumi..? You mean the blacksmith Sumi-Sumi? You two are friends?」

Soul Howl replied with an unbothered voice, but hearing the name Sumi-Sumi was a surprise for Mira, who raised her voice as she asked more questions.


  1. Silva: Or maybe, have you considered that this world used to be Earth and you are in the very distant future
  2. Nomad: nickname of Smith Midbard (スミス・ミッドバルド), Sumisu (スミス) -> スミス・ミ -> Sumi-Sumi (スミスミ)
    can definitely be localized in a way that makes way more sense in English, but going to chapter 474 to find his full name took enough of my brain power
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