|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2726 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1351 words|
From the crowd of children watching in envy, a boy walked forward. He was a well-known player in the store, so the other kids moved aside to let him pass.
「H-hey, was there a card you wanted? Maybe we can trade if I have it.」
His voice had not cracked yet and it had a straightforward tone to it, but it also sounded like he pitied Mira somewhat.
Hearing him, Mira lifted her face. The boy had black hair trimmed into a bob cut and wore a knitted hat. He looked slightly older than Takuto who she met in the Requiem City of Caranach. His cheeks had a red hue to them as if he was embarrassed, but his face overall gave off the same lively impression his voice had.
(Hmm, a trade huh. Considering all the cards I have, that sounds possible… and I just wanted to take a look at it.)
「Do you have Danbulf’s card?」
As soon as he heard Mira’s question, his face clouded over and his shoulders dropped. His hopes of showing off to a cute girl had just been dashed.
「Danbulf is, y’know, one of the Nine Elders. Even if I had it, all the rare cards you have here wouldn’t be enough.」
The boy shook his head after looking over the cards Mira had lined up on the table and replied curtly to Mira.
「Hohh, so the Nine Elders are that rare to find?」
「Well of course? They are legendary cards after all. This is my first time seeing someone buy so many booster packs in one go, but this isn’t nearly enough.」
As he spoke, the boy pointed at the empty packs scattered around the table. One of them was turned upside down, the back showing the rarity scale of the contents, legendary being the rarest one.
「And y’see, they say that there’s only one legendary card per thousand packs.」
The other children nodded in affirmation, some adding 「I gave up on finding one.」 or 「One must be a legend themself to find a legendary card.」 and other things of the same vein.
「One in a thousand packs sounds like quite the fierce odds. But hearing that only makes me crave to see it even more.」
With chances so low, and if luck was not by her side, there was the possibility she would be unable to find it even if she bought all the packs in the store. Though, human nature made that an even bigger incentive for her to want to see it.
「If you just want to see one, I can show you. I have one of the Nine Elders, though he’s not Danbulf.」
As Mira collected the envelopes with her lips pursed into a pout like a small bird, the boy spoke to her with a prideful and slightly nervous tone.
The fact he had found such a rare card, coupled with his skills at the game, explained why he was respected so much by the other children.
「Hohoh, now that’s wondrous. Can I see it?」
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Feeling the admiring and expectant gaze of a girl so cute she could capture the heart of anyone at first sight, the boy’s thoughts became wildly derailed while embarrassment comparable to standing naked in public washed over him.
Not to mention that since Mira was sitting, her eyes were naturally upturned.
He forgot how to breathe for a bit, and in an attempt to hide the redness of his face, he loudly exclaimed 「Of course!」 in reply.
Probably from some sort of habit, the boy began biting his lips as he took out a box that fit nicely in his hand from the pouch fastened to his waist. The box was of a red color and had Legend of Astelia written in golden letters.
It was a case for cards and most of the other children also had similar ones of different colors.
「Now, watch closely.」
The contents of the case were divided into different sections and as he ceremoniously grasped one card with his fingertips, he slowly pulled it out as if he was unsheathing a sword. With the same attitude as that of a professional chess player making a move, he placed the card in front of Mira, another wave of exclamations coming from the children surrounding them.
The legendary card lying on the table had a gilded border, giving off an even more special shine than the triple rare card Mira had found earlier.
The drawing on the card depicted a man clad in pitch black clothes and robes that covered his entire body with the exception of his eyes, giving off the appearance of a black mummy. Under the picture, ‘Elder Valentin of the Shadows’ was written in golden letters.
「Hohh, so it’s Valentin. They really outdid themselves to make him look cool.」
Holding the card in her hands to look at it, nostalgia from remembering the person himself filled her, a bittersweet smile taking over her face as if she was reminiscing of a person dear to her who was now far away.
The boy standing in front of her was unable to take his eyes off her, seeing her expression suddenly turn so much more mature. His mouth remained half open, his thoughts in a turmoil facing the vague feelings of one’s first love.
(So I’m ranked as highly as him. ‘Twas a shame I was unable to see it, but I’m satisfied just from knowing it exists.)
「You showed me something incredible, you have my gratitude.」
「Ah, sure. This is no biggie at all though.」
While that exchange happened, Mira held the card up and returned it to him. The boy forced his consciousness to return to him and took the card back, but due to his flustering mind, his fingers inadvertently touched Mira’s hand. The warmth the boy felt ran from his fingertips and had spread all throughout his body before concentrating on his cheeks. His fingers trembled as he returned the legendary card back to the case, his face red like a ripe apple.
(Now what am I supposed to do with these?)
Her original goal had been different, but Mira had been able to see one of the Nine Elders at least. Now her concerns were about the 750 cards lying on the table in front of her. Mira had never been much of a card gamer, focusing more on the collecting side of things, and now after buying all of those cards, she did not feel like playing.
When she looked back up, she saw all of the kids who were interested in the game.
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This felt like a perfect resolution for Mira’s problem, so she began reordering her cards.
She had already split them nicely earlier, so this pass was done in around ten minutes. She arranged them and had put one copy for each card in a paper bag, leaving the duplicates on the table.
「You all, if there’s a card you want, feel free to take it.」
She said that while pointing to the roughly 500 cards remaining on the table. The crowd reacted in surprise but no one stood forward to take a card, the children just exchanged glances and murmured if she was being serious.
「What are you saying now? It looked like you left all the duplicates here, but if you have three of these in your deck, you can win any match. Also, these are rare enough that it’s better if you have multiple of them.」
The boy began speaking while pointing to different cards, split into skill cards or the more rarer weapon cards. His earlier embarrassment was mostly gone now that the topic had switched to one he excelled at, his voice coming out clearly and well enunciated.
He was probably right and there were many cards like those mixed into the duplicate bunch, but it mattered nothing to Mira since she had no intention to actually play the game.