|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3594 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1966 words|
Since the last train had already departed from the Station City of Holy Gate, Mira had to spend a night there. The next day, she woke up early in the morning and began walking around the station, looking for souvenirs while waiting for the train that departs at noon.
As it was the Station City of the Holy Kingdom of Alispharius, the entire building was white and the interior design resembled that of a temple, giving the place an air of purity. However, the interior was already filled with travelers and people moving around since early in the morning, making the place appear more lively.
Amidst that, the sound of a bell rang before an announcement about the state of the trains was broadcasted. A train had arrived on the left lane.
Mira had arrived there on a train in the left lane as well, and that train would be heading towards Grimdart. Her way home was in the opposite direction, so she could simply ignore that announcement.
(This place has some rather lively noises.)
Mira watched an onrush of passengers to the platform as her ears caught the trio of noises formed by the steam whistle, the bell and the low rumble of multiple people walking at the same time.
Seeing as most of the people in the station had boarded the train while leaving the buildings largely empty, Mira decided to use that moment to look at the different shops.
The first store in line was a souvenir store. When compared to the souvenir store of the Station City of Silverside in Arkite, which was closest to this one, the items sold were entirely different. Since this was inside the Holy Kingdom, most of the items were holy books or charms with holy symbols engraved in them.
「Even things like these are being sold as souvenirs…」
Muttering that to herself, Mira took a small statue of a goddess of love in her hand and began examining it closely. The statue had peachy-colored hair and a multiple-layered angelic dress, as it represented a goddess of love, the statue’s face was that of a beautiful woman with a warm smile like a sunny day in spring. The carving was most exquisite and the workman’s skill was apparent in multiple places. It was a really well-made idol.
She then tilted the statue a bit, muttered 「They’re white huh」 to herself, then returned the statue to its place before heading to the food section.
One of Alispharius’ most well-known produce was pure white peaches, so there were many pastries and drinks made with that on display.
(What should I buy…)
After a look around the store, she picked up some pure white peach cookies, jam and juice of all types for everyone who helped produce the magic robe set. Afterwards, she chose souvenirs for Mariana and Creos, then some for Solomon and Luminaria, and lastly some for herself as well. In total, all she bought added up to around 80’000 Rils.
When that was done, she just wandered around window shopping. While she was inside a bookstore, she looked around to make sure no one else was there before standing on her tiptoes trying to reach a high shelf, then she bought the follow-up volumes for the manga series she had liked out of the last batch she bought. She was really enjoying her leisure life to its fullest.
As time passed, people slowly began to assemble in the station once again. When the announcement saying that there was one hour left before the train in the right lane arrived was broadcasted, Mira took it as her signal to head to the lively food aisle.
「It’s all white.」
The white staple of the Holy Kingdom applied to even their food. She took a look around the entire place to burn it into her traveling memories, then she bought an unusual lunch box of raw spring rolls and then added some tea she bought for 200 Rils to it.
Once she had everything she needed, she began heading towards the platform only to notice she had forgotten to buy tickets. She had been so engrossed in getting souvenirs that it had completely slipped her mind.
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(Oh right, oh right.)
She checked her menu to see how much time she had left, and seeing there was still more than enough, she calmly headed to buy her tickets.
She lined up at the counter of a gentle looking lady and waited for her turn. There were a couple of people ahead of her, but when her turn arrived, she began rummaging through the leather bag she used as a wallet and spoke to the lady.
「I’d like to buy tickets.」
Since Mira’s head barely peeked out from the corner, the lady thought she was a girl coming for an errand and unknowingly relaxed her expression.
「Which type? Economy, premium, or first class?」
As Mira counted the 100’000 Rils for the fare, her hand stopped. She no longer had enough money to pay for it.
(Hmphh, I spent too much…)
Mira pouted as she examined the interior of her wallet. Mira began thinking about the card game, then the souvenirs and everything she bought.
「Ah, I meant, five economy tickets please.」
「Alright, that’ll be 25’000 Rils.」
After calculating how much she would need to stay in inns for three days during her trip back, Mira bought five economy class tickets.
‘This is an announcement from the continental train. A train is about to arrive on the right lane, the stoppage time is one hour so please take the due precautions to board on time. This is an announcement from the…’
As soon as the announcement was broadcasted, everyone in the station crowded together and moved as one towards the platform.
Mira slipped into that crowd and arrived at the platform with them.
(Hohh… So this is the entrance to the economy class section…I assume?)
The entrance was completely different to that for first class. Due to the large influx of people, the economy entrance had multiple parallel divisions with devices to check the tickets almost automatically. Everyone was split into around ten lines, separated by the pillar-like devices, and crossing that they finally arrived at the platform.
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The platform was around the size of an average school’s main building, the ceiling, walls and floor covered in white stone tiles.
Mira was still trying to comprehend her surroundings as she was moved on autopilot joining one of the lines. There were so many people around her that she could barely see a few meters ahead of her.
Mira hesitantly walked forward, her mind filled with uncertainty just like when a student joins a new classroom and has to sit waiting for the teacher to arrive.
Ten minutes passed since she began lining up. Mira was able to see that those ahead of her were sliding their tickets into a slit on the pillars that resembled the marks of an axe on a tree. That was enough for her to understand what to do, so she relaxed her stiff shoulders, took out the tickets from her waist pouch and waited for her turn to arrive.
(It should be pretty much the same as an automatic ticket gate.)
She was convinced that someone must have used the entirely automated train stations of the real world as reference when building these.
The line moved forward and it was finally Mira’s turn. She kept telling herself that she just had to do the same as everyone else and it would be fine. The slit was located on a somewhat high spot, so it was hard to reach for Mira who had to lift her arms to slide her tickets in. When she did, there was a faint glow and something like a magic circle was engraved on the tickets.
(Hm. I wonder what this means now.)
Mira stared at the ticket, observing the faint magic power concealed in it, but she was pushed from behind and she exited the ticket gates and ended on the platform.
The platform itself was built out of bare stone, and while it gave off a simple impression, it was around 400 meters from one end to the other. It was much larger than the first class platform. When she took a better look at it, she saw that the station’s employees had made a barrier with a rope, separating the platform in two. The rope was of course, also white.
(It looks really lively.)
One side of that separation was still completely empty. Once the train was there, there could be up to a thousand people boarding and coming out from the train, so that separation would help divide the flow of people to agilize the movement.
The station’s staff raised their voices while ordering where people should go. Mira could feel the bodily heat from all those people around her as she followed the staff orders and crossed to the other side of the white rope.
Soon after she heard the steam whistle blowing from far away and slowly getting closer. Every time the whistle blew, it would sound louder until eventually it was so strong it seemed to shake all the air inside the building.
The steel locomotive, shaped like the helmet of a warrior that kept moving forward with nothing that could stop it, entered the station. As it braked, the shrill sound of steel rubbing against steel reverberated inside the platform, as if announcing the triumphal return of a king.
Afterwards the rest of the train wagons made their entrance as well. The presence of those black frames was truly overpowering, and while their movements seemed slow and dull, they still caused strong currents of air that wildly distorted the clothing and hair of those present.
「It’s quite long…」
When it stopped everything went silent, only a low grazing noise left. Mira muttered to herself in awe, looking at the train from one end to another standing like a sturdy wall in front of her.
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There were ten wagons in total. The one in the front was the first class one, then two premium class, and the remaining seven were all economy class.
While Mira kept admiring that incredible scene, there were passengers coming out one after another seemingly endlessly from the train. The entire platform was covered with people in the blink of an eye. That sea of people was then divided into two streams, one of which began leaving through an exit.
People continued coming out of the train for a few dozens of minutes.
There were so many people there that Mira once again felt crushed, but after her experience with the crowd earlier, it was much more bearable now.
「Please listen to the staff’s instructions, don’t push and board the train in order.」
The station’s staff began giving orders in a loud voice. She felt like she was participating in a large event and she followed the orders as closely as she could.
The doors of the economy class wagons were large enough for at least three adults to enter side by side at the same time. There were also two doors per wagon, one on the front and one on the back. Following the staff’s instructions, Mira boarded the fifth wagon through the front door.
Once she crossed the door, she was greeted with a dank smell that was like a mixture of wood and iron. There was also a set of stairs there since the economy class wagons were divided into three floors.
Thinking the scenery would look better from a high place, Mira nimbly climbed the stairs.