|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu
|Original Source: Syosetu
|Word Count: 3119 characters
|English Source: Re:Library
|Word Count: 1591 words
Being able to eat while flying high in the air was another of the luxuries offered by the wagon. But going to the ground and having a picnic of sorts, surrounded by nature and a blue sky also had its merits.
Mira could pick one or the other whenever she felt like, and now she had chosen the latter option for lunch, treating herself to a relaxing meal while sitting next to a picturesque lake amidst the vast grasslands.
「There’s a certain beauty to such tranquility as well.」
The sun was shining brightly overhead, while some distant clouds adorned the horizon. On one side she had a lush grassland, while a lake with crystal clear water rested on the other side. It was the sort of scenery that would inspire an artist to draw a landscape, and Mira admired it while eating a warm lunch box of sauced pork.
Garuda was also there, not too far from Mira. As a way to rest and pass time, Garuda was feasting on fishes from the lake, skillfully pecking them out of the water. But that did not mean it had lowered its guard, Garuda’s senses were keenly aware of their surroundings, while also making sure that there was only a gentle breeze around Mira.
「Well, this might be the perfect place for that.」
Her lunchtime over, Mira stood up and surveyed her surroundings. This place was far away from civilization and seldom transited, so it was unlikely anyone would catch sight of what she did, no matter how flashy it was.
Mira wanted to put into practice something she had thought of the day before. Which was, greeting all the summons she had not checked out so far.
Mira began thinking about who would be the first summon, but that was a surprisingly easy decision. It was someone who had been a great help to her lately, during the Ancient Underground City, and even the night before.
Summoning Magic: Undine1
As Mira activated her spell, a magic ring with ripples that resembled the surface of water appeared, and soon a beautiful woman manifested in it. Her eyes had a timid appearance, and her hair was a deep blue like the ocean depths. She wore white clothes that left little exposed, and a fish shaped pendant hung from her neck.
That woman was the Water Spirit Undine.
「It’s been a while, Undine.」
Seeing she looked rather nervous, Mira spoke to her with a gentle voice. They had spent many years apart, so seeing Mira again was probably a big shock for Undine.2 Mira was slightly unsure of how to best talk to her now, but after a short pause she hugged Mira, or rather she threw herself at Mira.
That did not bother Mira in the slightest, as Mira had been taking care of Undine since her birth, so to Mira she was like a daughter.
「Oh… I see, sorry for that. I’m also really glad to see you again though.」
Mira then gently rubbed Undine’s back, like she was comforting a small child, and eventually they broke apart. Undine was smiling brightly now. She could not talk yet, but Mira could tell what she wanted to express. Such was the bond they shared, just looking at Undine’s face was enough to understand her thoughts.
Undine was unable to talk, not because she lacked the intelligence or understanding, but she simply lacked the means to produce a voice, as they were underdeveloped. It usually took many decades for that ability to mature.
But she had been able to communicate with other spirits since she was small, as that was different from talking to a human.
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That also meant that it was possible to have an actual conversation with her if a spirit who could talk joined them and acted as intermediary. Mira had no need for that though, as thanks to her various bonds she had something almost like telepathy, but not nearly as complicated.
‘What a surprise to see Father turned into Mother, but you’re really cute, and warm. I really want to hug you tightly, would that be bad? Maybe I shouldn’t… And that’s what she said.’
The Spirit King became Undine’s voice, speaking into Mira’s mind. Given the network the Spirit King had built with all the spirits Mira had contracts with, he could easily hear Undine, and then relay her thoughts straight to Mira like an interpreter.
Undine was still feeling a bit shy, but also wanted to be pampered a bit more. The Spirit King transmitted those feelings just the way she would have said them herself. Then again, even if he acted somewhat strange from time to time, the Spirit King’s voice still had that dignified tone that commanded respect, which was really fitting for someone in his position. But now he was using that voice to transmit Undine’s thoughts, going as far as to faithfully recreate her mannerisms.
That strange dissonance threw Mira off a little, but she had no option but to endure, doing her best to stop herself from suggesting Martel take over, as she could also hear Undine and had a better voice for that.
Regardless, now that Mira knew what Undine wanted, she gently embraced her, while also thanking her. It had been Undine who made sure the spirit mansion had flowing water after all.3
『I’m just glad I could be of use. I’ll keep doing my best, so feel free to call on my help whenever you want… That’s what she said this time. I can tell you’re loved, Mira. And that also proves I made the right decision.』
『I know, I also could tell the first time I saw Mira. Everyone loves her, and she loves everyone just as much.』
After the Spirit King translated Undine’s thoughts, Martel also joined with a few comments of her own, which led to even more spirits joining the conversation, everyone applauding the fact that a kind human had grown so close to spirits. All the overlapping voices and ideas caused Mira’s brain to overload as she struggled to discern the information though, making her confused.
『Ummm…that’s…that’s an honor.』
That was all Mira could say in return before tuning out of the conversation happening in her mind to focus on Undine. 「I’ll be counting on you a lot from now on then,」 she told Undine while gently patting her head. Undine smiled happily in response and hugged Mira again.
「Greeting everyone really was the right thing to do.」
After sending Undine away, Mira continued summoning the other spirits she had contracts with, while starting to regret she had delayed doing so until now.
Starting with the Rainbow Spirit Twinklepum, Mira summoned various spirits, like the Healing White Serpent Asclepius, the Great Serpent Umgarna, Hippogriff who had almost become the carrier of the wagon but looked too menacing, the Korpokkur twins who surprised Mira, as the younger one looked far more gorgeous, and then the Wise Ice Fog Tiger Jingralia also shocked her, as the majestic beast had grown twice in size.
「You’re all so kind to me, I feel truly blessed.」
Everyone she talked to had looked truly happy to see Mira again, without resenting the fact that she had neglected them for so long. Being showered with so much kindness nearly brought tears to Mira’s eyes, filling her heart with gratitude for experiencing those bonds that had become real now.
More than an hour passed like that, Mira greeting everyone she had missed so far, and then returned to the wagon with a refreshing smile, ready to depart again.
「It’s almost impressive that she’s still sleeping…」
Glancing to the side, she saw that Anlutine was still sound asleep. It was unlikely she would wake up any time soon, so Mira’s new contract would have to wait a bit longer. At least they were together now though, so she could take it easy and wait until Anlutine woke up.
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「Now, what should I do…」
There were many ways to kill time inside the wagon, and two of them lay on the low table in front of Mira. One of them was the Encyclopedia of Skills, encompassing a comprehensive collection of all known skills, including the latest discoveries. On the other hand was the copy of Soul Howl’s research notes, which detailed his own findings, beginning with Compound Skills.
Both of them would certainly help Mira develop new skills and become stronger.
There were skills like Mirage Step, Sorcerer’s Watchful Eye, Ascension Rule, and many others that had really enticing effects, serving mostly as supporting spells for someone who did not fight directly. The Encyclopedia of Skills included others Mira had not learned yet, including one that visualized particular scents, or allowed the caster to stock up on sleep beforehand to be alert for longer.
Meanwhile the research notes expanded on Compound Skills, as well as other derivatives from it in great detail. There were also the new discoveries Soul Howl had made with necromancy, and new ways of setting up such spells.
「Hmm… Let’s go with this one for today!」