|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2603 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1386 words|
The room she found herself in was empty apart from the magic circle she had just used. There was only a passage that led away from it and the sound of a water stream conducted inside through it. She walked through it, her steps reverberating on the walls. Once outside, it seems she came out of a hole to the left of the broken gates inside the cave. The shortcut to quickly go out was connected to the entrance of the Staircase to the Sky.
Mira summoned her Dark Knight, and paying no heed to the monsters popping out of the darkness to attack her, she left the cave.
When she was in the forest outside, a warm breeze blew over her, giving the sensation that it was melting away the coldness from earlier. A strong grassy scent attacked her nose, and while at first it was almost making her choke, after a deep breath, it turned into the comforting smell of spring. But once she gets above the treetops, that scent should disappear.
Mira climbed up on the back of the pegasus again and took to the skies above the forest that seemed to be enveloped in green flames while heading towards the nearest town.
「What shall we do now?」
A couple of minutes had already passed since she had left the forest surrounding the mountain range and was already above grasslands that extended away from it. Mira began pondering about the next steps she should take. She had two options, one was to simply return to the Station City, or go sightseeing the three strongest countries of the continent under the pretext of checking how much they had advanced.
She muttered her question into the void, but once she checked the money remaining in her waist pouch, her decision was already made.
(It’s good to take a break every now and then. I’m already here, so going to check how things changed in thirty years should be okay.)
Telling herself that excuse, she changed course towards the capital of the Holy Land of Alispharius, the Holy City of Ridel.
Mira began reading her manga while flying on the pegasus, and almost two hours of flying later, she caught sight of the Holy City of Ridel like a mirage in the distance, but it looked bigger than she remembered.
「Hmm… I should be going in… the right direction.」
The map confirmed that that city was the capital of Alispharius. As Mira began smiling, her heart was filled with excitement.
Seeing how the world had changed in thirty years—by now, this had become Mira’s main hobby.
The highway leading to the capital was really wide, which was obvious considering the volume of people coming and going into the capital of one of the Three Gods’ Countries. Even though she was still in the air, she could see people everywhere she looked. As she got closer to the city, the highway seemed to be as filled with people as it could be, their lively voices were somewhat audible for her already.
She landed in the middle of one of the prairies around the city, somewhat distant from the main highway, and from there, she entered the highway. Once she arrived at the main gates, she looked up at them while clearly feeling the liveliness around her.
(It’s even more wondrous when seen up close.)
The pure white gates, the borders built out of stones that fit into each other perfectly, and the opened gates glinting with silver.
There were many guards lined around it wearing glasses, watching over all the pedestrians going in and out.
But Mira’s eyes were not drawn to the gate itself, they went further inside, to a curtain of light that spread like a defensive wall.
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That was the change in the city that differed the most from her memory. The wall that once protected the entire city was further inside from the gates now, spreading to the sides, and a new barrier created with new arts took upon the role of the old wall.
The barrier swayed in the wind like a curtain in summer, a faint rainbow-like light emitting from it, giving it the appearance of a frail soap bubble.
But as far as Mira knew, the Three Gods’ Countries were an absolute existence.
There was a story from around the time when the player’s own countries began being popular. As they increased their military and began fighting each other, the strongest of them declared war on one of the Three Gods’ Countries, Grimdart. It ended in complete and utter defeat while Grimdart was left unscathed. After that, all of the countries decided that they would never wage war against any of the Three Gods’ Countries.
That was just how superior those three countries were compared to any other.
When Mira took quests from Alispharius herself, she was able to catch a glimpse of that power. Knowing that she was witnessing something made by one of those countries, her curiosity was piqued.
「Hey hey, is it okay for me to ask a question?」
Before she crossed the gates, Mira escaped the flow of people and approached one of the guards standing along the gates.
「What happened, little girl?」
His voice rang like a cold bell, but was also calm and composed, his face frowning just a little as he replied to Mira.
「What is that wall of light that comes out of the gates? Is that another defensive wall?」
「Yes, it’s called the Rampart Barrier. Only the top brass knows the details, but apparently it’s an application of both Magic Engineering and Exorcism.」
As he replied, his eyes wandered to the old barrier inside, as if expressing his respect to it. Mira followed his gaze, at the same time seeing the buildings that stood in that new district of the city. They were all white, while treetops of some trees scattered through the city were peeking out on some places.
「I see. Magic Engineering seems to be such a broad subject.」
「Well, they even made flying ships by now after all.」
His gaze returned to Mira, a friendly smile appearing on his lips. Mira just said 「You have a point.」 as she turned to look up at the sky, watching as some birds flew away from the sun and turned into dots in the distance.
Crossing the gates, Mira took a glance at the new district while admiring the differences from the old city she knew.
Alispharius had always had a religious air to it, so they used the color white a lot. From a quick glance, she could see that most of the buildings were made with white stones, the only other colors being added in was by different types of wood.
One of the biggest changes in the city was that there were many Grimward trees planted here and there around the city. Grimward was a tree revered as a sacred tree in Alispharius which blossomed into vivid purple flowers during summer.
In Mira’s memories, it was only planted on parks or along big roads, but now she could see it between regular one or two-story houses, or even in some gardens.
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It was almost so frequent she thought the green might stand out a bit more than the white after a quick glance.
(Looks about right for one of the Three Gods’ Countries, it’s always moving forward.)
Keeping those thoughts to herself, she left the main street and began walking around, enjoying the surroundings while comparing them to her memories.
Since that was a residential district, there were many children playing in high spirits.
There were boys with neutral voices that had still not cracked attempting to climb up the Grimward trees as a test of courage. Girls lumped into small circles, playing and talking with dolls. But just some seconds later, the boys would sit down on a bench, and the girls would run around happily.
Everyone, the housewives gossiping under the trees, the artisans giving it their all working on their crafts, or even the regular citizens she crossed paths with, they all looked brimming with life in Mira’s eyes.