|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3533 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1842 words|
The seats inside the economy class wagon were arranged in rows of three on each side and with every four rows, there was a passage on the sides. It was the same arrangement as the seats in a plane, but the materials used were wood and fabric, so it resembled more of the waiting room of a mansion.
People were taking seats at a rapid pace already, but Mira was still able to catch one beside a window.
Twenty minutes passed during which more people boarded the train. At that moment, Mira caught sight from the corner of her eye a lady with blonde hair standing in the corridor.
「Is it okay if I sit beside you?」
The lady spoke to the charming girl with an appearance that rivaled that of cherry blossoms in full bloom, who was sitting with her cheek pressed against the window.
Her appearance suggested she was in her late teens or early twenties and she wore a white and blue apron dress as well as a white cape that swayed behind her. There were also multiple ornaments sewn into her clothing which looked more like highlights than simple ornaments. It gave her get-up a bizarre look that would fit in perfectly beside the White Rabbit in Wonderland.
「Sure, I don’t mind.」
Mira turned her gaze from the window to the lady and replied with a clear voice. She then stretched a bit and pressed herself a bit more against the window, increasing the already sufficient space in the seats.
Seeing Mira’s action, the lady resisted heaving a sigh before she sat down beside her. When she did that, the fluttering of her clothes caused a sweet, fruity scent to reach Mira.
「You know, you’re pretty cute.」
The lady said that as she turned to look at Mira with a friendly smile.
Mira replied with a slight smile. Her own appearance had been Mira’s best masterpiece, so she was never afraid to feel proud about it in front of others. But when Mira looked closer at the lady’s face, the light passing through the window reflecting on her eyes and glistening like gems, her hair interwoven with the sunlight, Mira was fascinated herself.
「Ahahah, you’re pretty funny. I’m Theresa, what’s your name?」
「Mira, huh. Ah, can I take a picture of you?」
Theresa smiled innocently as she lowered a bag from her shoulder and took a box-shaped object from it. It had a protrusion in the center housing a lens covered with a lid which Theresa then uncovered.
「Hoh, is that a camera?」
「Yes, it is. Does it bother you?」
「I don’t really mind.」
Mira was aware that photographs could be taken in that world, but she was still interested since this was her first time seeing a camera, hence she consented to it.
Theresa smiled as she exclaimed 「Thanks!」 and took the camera. Then she put it just in front of her face.
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「I’ll take one now~」
When Mira heard that, she faced the camera and tried to strike a cool pose like she used to do during her time as Danbulf.
「Ah, just try to act normal if you can.」
Seeing Mira acting in such an ungirly way, Theresa frowned while slightly bewildered.
Having been captured in a photograph while not in her signature pose, Mira looked slightly displeased.
「I got some really nice pictures now, thank you.」
Theresa smiled brightly as she expressed her gratitude, looking honestly pleased. Mira did not smile, as she usually looked calm and serious that used to create a more striking figure after all.
「I’m the public relations manager at Magical Knights. We have an exhibit soon, feel free to come check us out if you want.」
She stashed the camera back in the bag, placed it on her lap and fixed her sitting posture. Then she smiled and said that to Mira with a slight tilt of her head.
「Magical Knights huh… First time hearing that name.」
Mira replied to her as her gaze escaped outside the window once again.
「Err, it’s the clothing brand that’s trending at the moment, we focus mostly on Magical Girl style clothes, just like the ones I’m wearing right now.」
As Theresa explained, she spread her arms so her clothes were more visible. Urged on by her, once Mira took a better look at it, she remembered seeing multiple people wearing similar clothes in all the cities she had visited, so it was obviously a popular design.
(I see, so that’s where all of that came from.)
Mira was amazed, almost blown away at how that trend had managed to spread to almost all cities, even if that was their goal in the first place.
「Your clothes also have a similar style, but are they custom made? I’ve been intrigued by them for a while now.」
「Well, that’s pretty much it.」
The robe set Mira was wearing had been made by the maids of the castle who had used the Magical Girl look as a basis. So in a way, they were of the same style.
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‘The train on the right lane is departing now. Please be mindful of swaying in the train, so hold onto the handrests if needed. The train on the right lane…’
Time flew past while they were engaged in conversation, and after the chime of a bell, the announcement of the departure of the train was broadcasted.
The ambience inside the economy wagons was much more boisterous compared to first class, and many adventurers could be seen inside it. Some passengers seemed to be first-time riders as they began celebrating like in a festival as soon as the train began moving.
Feeling inertia gently pressing her body against the seat, Mira continued listening to those voices that were loud but not to the point of being annoying.
A short while after the train departed, the two continued talking about clothes. Though rather than a conversation, it was mostly Theresa speaking while Mira just nodded and kept her going. Hearing more of the story of the Magical Girl trend in that world was something Mira was interested in knowing more of, given that she still lacked a lot of knowledge about it.
「That looks really tasty.」
「I’m not giving you any.」
Theresa muttered with her mouth watering as she saw Mira take out her spring roll lunch box, her eyes filled with jealousy. Mira shot her down instantly, hugging the lunchbox and turning around as if hiding it before taking a bite out of one of the rolls.
Theresa had already eaten her own lunch and was now reluctantly scraping off the last remains from the corners of her box.
「Seriously… Alright, you can have this.」
Mira saw from the corner of her eye how Theresa began looking like a puppy with its ears down and licking an empty bowl, after which she decided to offer her some of the muscat cookies she had bought at one point earlier.
Theresa took the cookies instantly and without hesitation, looking even more like a happy puppy now.
(This looks really peaceful.)
Looking out from the window, a forest filled the scenery, going further away and disappearing in the distance. The sky was mostly clear with a few specks of clouds sprinkled around as if put there by short brush strokes on a painting. In contrast to that, the interior of the train was still really noisy and there was the smell of alcohol wafted in the air.
「I heard Fuzzy Dice appeared somewhere around Grimdart!」
It was impossible to discern who had said that out of all the concurrent voices, but Mira still caught a name she had heard not too long ago. That voice was also soon overtaken by a shrill voice, but Mira remembered where she saw that name, and took out the Phantom Thief Fuzzy Dice card.
「By the way, do you know this person?」
Saying that, she showed the card to Theresa who was still stuffing her cheeks with cookies. Theresa quickly nodded, still chewing on the cookies, and then began searching for something in her bag.
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「Of course I know him. That’s the awesome Phantom Thief Fuzzy Dice. He’s really popular lately, there was even an event surrounding him recently.」
Finally gulping down the cookies, Theresa replied as she took out a notebook from her bag, then searched for a picture in it to show Mira. The picture was of a group of around ten people, all wearing a similar costume to that in the card and wearing carnival masks. It was basically a group cosplay picture.
「So this is…」
In the center of the group stood none other than Theresa. Mira was unsure what to say as she looked at everyone there, a wrinkle forming on her forehead.
「Well, I see. But well, what kind of person is he?」
In the end, Mira decided to not inquire about the picture, but instead showed the card more prominently and asked.
「You don’t know him? Well, he doesn’t show up too much around here so it makes sense…I guess. Well then.」
With that, Theresa began explaining.
According to Theresa, knowing things about him was almost common knowledge. Though, there were still a lot of points that were shrouded in darkness, and there were not many who knew the details. But that was another reason why he was so popular.
What Mira learned after fishing through the many rumours and fabricated stories, was that the Phantom Thief Fuzzy Dice fell into the category of chivalrous thief.
「A thief who punishes corrupt and villainous people sounds like quite an eccentric personality in itself.」
「Some say that he contributes a lot to an orphanage. I adore him so much!」
Theresa’s voice increased in pitch like that of a maiden in love as she began clapping with her legs. Seeing her acting like that, Mira returned her gaze to the card, then looking away and deciding that a woman’s mind was still a big mystery to her.
After that there was just some idle chatter between the two as the train continued its ride. By the time the sun was setting and the presence of night began creeping into the train like some sort of mist, they arrived at the next station.
They were in the Station City of East Ballad, the closest one parting from Holy Gate. Mira and Theresa went their separate ways from the station square there, Mira going in a search for an inn. Judging from the remaining money she had, her available budget was below 10’000 Rils.
She had searched for inns so many times in the past that she was already used to it, so she quickly decided to stay on one called The Flowing Song, attracted by the stories sung by troubadours at the dining room.
With that, the night grew late.