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Chapter 44: Confession

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Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2792 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1317 words
Editor(s): Fire

「By the way, how has your life been these past years?」

As they flew together, Mira suddenly got curious about that and asked Isenfald. That was another thing that changed since this world became reality. Back when things were still a game, summons never had any type of background story. They simply appeared when called and disappeared when sent away, but Mira knew things had to be more complex now.

「I was staying in Dragon City with my friends, of course. That’s also where I learnt to transfigure into human form. Apparently less energy is needed to maintain that form, so it’s like a power-saving mode.」
「Ohh, I see. So you learned that in the Dragon City…」

Mira paid extra attention to those two terms she had never heard before. A Dragon City never existed during the game period, but the name was self-explanatory enough and it had to be a city with a lot of dragons. As far as transfiguring went, she could see the effect in front of her, but other than that, she had no clue what it could do. After all, if she knew, Isenfald’s transformation would not have been such a big shock.

「Who exactly taught you that transfiguration thing?」

She had never heard of an ability that turned dragons into humans.

The transformation part had common elements with Forbidden Arts, but the requirements for it and the fact a dragon had used it remained a mystery. After all, the nine branches of magic were known to be only usable by humans, except for rare cases like Creos who was part human. Types of monsters, spirits or demons with any form of sentience had their own skill trees. In other words, there was the possibility that it was a skill exclusive to dragons, but Mira still had no idea why a dragon would need to take human form.

Then again, thirty years had passed so maybe it was a newly discovered skill, but Isenfald mentioned someone who taught it to him, so that was another point of interest.

「Hmm… that was quite a long time ago. A human girl came to Dragon City out of the blue, I forget her name, and she spent some time living there, speaking freely without fearing us in the slightest.」
「Then one day, our feeding grounds were getting exhausted and we kept complaining about the lack of food, and that’s when she said that it was time to go on power-saving mode.」
「We couldn’t understand what she meant, but if she knew how we could keep living with the meager food we had, we were all ears. The method turned out to be transfiguration. In human form, a lot of our strength gets limited, but the food we consume is proportional to that, so it helped us get through those times.」
「I see…」

When Isenfald was done telling his story, Mira kept thinking about that woman. Since she used terms like power-saving mode, it was quite possible she was a former player. On top of that, since she was human, that skill had a high chance of being one any ordinary person could use. But there was still the problem that Isenfald, someone who could not use ordinary skills, was using it. Then, there was the possibility it was one specifically made for dragons, but then it made no sense that a human had taught it to them. Either she had found a skill even dragons could use, or she had knowledge about dragon skills. Though it could always be something completely different.

Either way, she possessed information that not even a former player like Mira knew about.

(That’s one more thing I want to ask Solomon now.)

Mira’s heart beated faster just thinking about all the new things she had yet to see in this world.

「After that, since Mother never called me even after many years, I ventured out and wandered from one human settlement to another searching for Mother.」
「Hngh… sorry.」

Thinking about how much Isenfald had worried about her, Mira mumbled an apology.

「I don’t mind since I’ve reunited with Mother now, but can I ask where Mother has been all this time?」

Isenfald’s question rang uneasily, but Mira had no way of answering it. After all, thirty years had passed as soon as she closed the customization menu.

「To be honest, I’m not really sure myself. When I came to, thirty years had passed.」

She had no other way of putting it, so she just spoke straight from her memories. Isenfald tilted his head curiously hearing that, only adding 「I guess weird stuff happens sometimes」 before purring again. For Isenfald, those thirty years of absence meant nothing now that he was back with her.

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Mira glanced far towards the horizon while listening to him, wondering if she should summon everyone she could just to greet them.

The trip from the capital city of Lunatic Lake to Silver Horn normally took two days, unless when going on an Express Carriage. However, flying with Isenfald shortened it down to two hours.

They spotted a small clearing in a forest near Silver Horn and decided to land there. As they got closer, the massive shadow of the Emperor Dragon became more defined as he slowly made his descent. The wind from his wings spread like ripples through the treetops, making flocks of birds escape while crying gloomily. The sunlight reflected off Isenfald’s silver scales as he reaffirmed his footing before raising his left arm.

「We’ve arrived, Mother.」
「Nice job. You’re a good child.」

Mira walked down his back, using his left arm as a ladder, and relished the feeling of solid ground she had missed for two hours. Then she began petting Isenfald’s snout. He narrowed his eyes while purring happily.

(Going from one place to another should be a piece of cake now. I just have to get a fur coat and it’ll be perfect.)

「Mother, will you call me again?」
「Of course, I’ll probably end up needing your help for a lot of random things, so I’ll be counting on you.」
「Okay, Mother!」

As Isenfald’s voice thundered, his body was covered by a faint light. Mira was sending him back. His figure slowly faded like mist as he returned to the Dragon City.

「From here, it’ll take around thirty minutes on foot, I reckon.」

Mira muttered to herself as she pictured the terrain she had seen from the sky before setting off towards a thick part of the forest that should take her to the road she was looking for.

When she reached that road, she simply followed it until its end, the nine towers visible from far away.

Her guess had been correct and she arrived at the main street of Silver Horn half an hour after she began walking. There she postponed her original goal as she looked into each and every one of the stores built along the street.

(I can’t believe mana water has become this cheap. And huh, there’s stardust fruits in this store like some sort of common item… Thirty years is quite a long time, huh. I wish I had been here for the ride…)

Mira looked at all the items offered. Some things were half the price compared to the old days, others had become even more expensive, and even some rare items that were only traded in exchange for other rare items were now lined up on shelves. The more she looked at the stores, the more she felt it was better if she just forgot the sense of value she had developed before.

By the time she had a grasp on the general cost of items now, after asking in one store after another, two hours had passed since she arrived at Silver Horn.

Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2924 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1445 words
Editor(s): Fire

It was already past noon, so Mira entered a café to satisfy her hunger, eating a sandwich while watching people walk on the main street through the window. Then she ordered some cocoa which she drank while she saw how people of many tribes were passing on the street. There were many spellcasters mixed with the locals, so Mira felt pleased seeing how the city was prospering with tourists as well.

When Mira left the cafe, she looked at the nine towers that appeared to be near, but in reality, were still pretty far away.

(I guess I should get going.)

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Having decided that, Mira pushed aside the temptation from the stores and headed straight towards the Silver Linked Towers.

The towers were located in a different district than the commercial one, but since it was still daytime, there were tourists there as well. When Mira arrived at the open space in front of the towers, it was already peak time for tourists, so the whole place was swarmed. They were of all sorts of races, and even some spellcasters with high-level equipment were scattered between them.

Amongst them, Mira spotted some children running around. They had some sort of wooden batons and were playing something. After shouting a nonsensical chant and a swing from the baton, a man who appeared to be the father of the child collapsed on the ground with exaggerated motions. The kid, who now held his baton high up with a triumphant look… was wearing a Sage Robe replica.

Seeing him, Mira recalled that time some days before when she herself bought a replica and walked around pridefully wearing it.

(Those were just make-believe clothes!)

Mira’s mind froze from terror after realizing the truth. Her face spasmed knowing it was something obvious if she gave it enough thought, her vacant eyes turning to the heavens knowing she had looked just like those children playing around.

Mira departed in a short run trying to push the shame away until she reached the gates leading into the towers’ premises. There were many tourists there as well, gazing up at the gates while voicing their admiration.

She knew people were going to see her, but she figured they would forget about it soon enough, so she took out her tower master key and walked up to the gate. As the gate slowly and silently opened, a commotion began among the crowd of tourists. That much was understandable, the only people who could open the gate like that were researchers or aides, vice elders, or the Nine Wisemen themselves. Anyone else would have to submit an application to enter, and permission would be granted for only one visit.

The researchers working in the towers were all first-grade spellcasters and were said to have enough influence in the country to be compared to nobility. Vice Elders had even more power, while the nine wisemen were said to be on the same level as royalty.

Not even powerful nobles could enter the lair of those people so easily. They had to possess some amount of power in foreign matters as well before being granted permission, but opening the gate by oneself was a completely different matter.
Mira was oblivious to how the towers were seen in the present day, so she had casually turned the key without thinking about it too much. However, sensing the sudden change behind her, she tilted her head, trembling to feel all the stares digging into her.

(Did I… do something strange again…?)

It was not obvious on her face, but her mind was greatly stirred. Just as a drop of cold sweat ran down her cheek, Mira ran through the gate.

When the gate was closed, all the tourists cheered wildly, having had the honor of witnessing the gate opening for the first time in their lives. Someone claimed he caught a glimpse of what was behind the gate, then someone else said they met eyes with a researcher of the towers. As those claims started making the rounds between all the tourists, those who had witnessed it first-hand felt even happier, while those who could not cursed themselves.

Inside the premises, the Nine Towers stood in shining silver, so tall they vanished up into the sky. Because of their appearances alone, tens of thousands of tourists came to look at them every month. Once upon a time, they had great importance in matters relating to the military, and now they still represented an important sight-seeing area for the country. The number of tourists increased especially after the Limited Armistice Treaty was signed.

Mira walked past multiple researchers immersed in their work as she headed straight towards the Tower of Summoning.

Many researchers did turn to look at the girl entering the tower. They recalled hearing about Danbulf’s pupil, and there was this cute girl with silver hair entering the Tower of Summoning. Normally they only held an interest in research, but the name of Danbulf made them think about the Nine Wisemen as a whole, and they began talking about the exploits of those legendary personages amongst themselves. Even if they focused on different subsets of spells, the Nine Wisemen appeared to live in a different plane of existence for the researchers, and that was also the reason why the people there held no contempt against summoners.

They shouldered the wills of the old spellcasters that once worked hard to improve each other’s skills in the towers. And that will would be passed onto future generations as well.

「So that’s Danbulf’s pupil. It would be nice if she manages to bring summoners back to their former glory.」

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One of the researchers muttered that. He had worked with Creos in the past, trying to find a new way of forming contracts with the summons. That research bore no fruit in the end so he still had regrets about it, but when he heard about Danbulf’s pupil, he decided to place his hopes on her.

Inside the first floor of the Tower of Summoning, Mira walked straight through the deserted hall and took the elevator to the top floor. As the elevator climbed up the floors, Mira took multiple deep breaths to calm down her stressed emotions until she walked out to the top floor full of determination.

She decided to forgo entering her personal room and went straight to the aide’s room. She wanted to tell everything to Mariana first.

For thirty years Mariana had firmly believed in Danbulf’s return, diligently keeping watch over all his possessions. Even if she was convinced Mira was Danbulf’s pupil, handing her all of his personal items straightaway was a bit too much. If Mira asked for it, Mariana would probably obey, but Mira wanted to stop lying to her. But more than that, Mira wanted Mariana to rest assured.1

When Mira raised her right fist to knock, the door of the office next door opened and Creos walked out with his golden and smooth hair swaying in the air.

「Oh, hey, Mira. Do you have some business with Mariana?」

Creos walked towards her with a bright smile, guessing the situation from Mira’s hand raised to knock on the door.

「More or less, yes.」
「I see, well, once you’re done with that, could you come talk with me too? I want to talk about the academy some more, as well as ask some things about Danbulf.」
「I guess that’s fine, I’ll see you later then…」

Saying that, Mira turned to look at Creos, thinking it was good luck he was also there. The matters of the Academy Creos had mentioned, as well as the problem with the current summoners, were things best dealt with by someone who had been in direct contact with Danbulf.

「Hello, do you need- Ah, it’s Lady Mira.」

As the two conversed in front of the aide’s room, the door opened. Peeking out of it, with eyes glistening like sapphires, twin tails, and a maid dress, was Mariana.

The only people who could go all the way to the top floor of the towers were those who knew how to operate the elevator, or a guest of theirs. Apart from her, the only person who stayed in the Tower of Summoning was Creos, but since she heard a conversation, it meant that there was a guest of some form. If they had business with Creos, they would not talk in front of her room, so Mariana figured they wanted to talk with her as well.

Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2963 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1316 words
Editor(s): Fire

「It’s been a while, Mariana. I have something important to tell you today, do you have time?」
「Yes, I’m free. What do you want to talk about?」
「It’s something a bit complex, so let’s go somewhere we can sit. Creos, you come too.」

As she said that, Mira took out the tower’s master key. Mariana looked at it with yearning eyes, coming out of her room while agreeing with Mira’s request.

「You want me to hear too? Alright then. Maybe the office would be a good place. I just got some really good tea leaves after all.」
「Mm, that sounds good.」

Creos replied that, his voice sounding a bit boastful as he opened the office door. Mira stored the master key back in her Item Box and entered the office together with Mariana.

Mira took a sip of the amber-colored drink Creos had made, while he and Mariana sat in front of her. A mellow and refreshing scent spread through her mouth, escaping with a sigh through her nose.

Creos smiled seeing that before taking a sip of his own with a prideful look. Looking at both of them reacting that way, Mariana also lifted her cup to take a sip, nodding satisfied afterwards.

「Now then, about the reason why I’m here… I’m not good at sugarcoating things, so I’ll be really straightforward…」

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With that preface, Mira placed her cup on the table.

(I wonder what they’ll think after hearing this… that it’s me in another body…)

Mira interrupted those thoughts, not wanting to imagine anything bad. After a deep breath to regain her earlier momentum, she spoke again.

「I’m not his pupil. I’m Danbulf himself.」

She spoke earnestly and directly. Her eyes were directed straight at them, full of determination. On the other hand, the two looked at her with vacant faces, like they were still chewing through Mira’s words, trying to understand the meaning of them. Creos’ face looked the most dumbfounded at that unexpected sentence.

「Umm… so in other words, you’re not Mira, but you’re actually Danbulf?」
「Mira was just a name befitting of this appearance I thought of. Though I understand it might be a bit hard to believe right now.」

Creos’ gaze wandered all over Mira, observing her closely before groaning in confusion.

At his side, Mariana was silent for a moment while she processed Mira’s words, then her mind rebooted.

「Do you… do you have anything that could serve as proof?」

When Mariana was finally able to say something again, she asked the question anyone would ask in such a situation. No matter what Mira claimed to be, that was not enough to prove her words as truth. So instead if she could show something only Danbulf could, there would be no need to say anything else.

「Hmm, let’s see…」

Mira also understood that it was a reasonable request, so she scratched her chin as she thought of something to prove her claim.

Something that would prove without room for doubt that she was Danbulf. The tower’s master key was something only the Nine Wisemen possessed, but she had already inherited that, so that would be useless now. Following that line of thought, any item that could be transferred was also out. In that case, an item that could not be transferred could work, like one only obtainable through microtransactions which only existed amongst former players. But then any former player could easily possess that too, so that was also useless.

Showing them Danbulf’s power could work, but since she claimed to be his pupil, it was obvious she would have similar strength. No matter what crazy and powerful entity she summoned, it could easily lead to the conclusion that she was an excellent pupil.

She had to find something that would identify her as Danbulf, looking through the list of her items, her stats, something.

(I could try summoning Alfina and let her declare that I am me… But no, it wouldn’t be too hard to force her to say that. Words alone will never serve as proof…)

Closing all the menus she had opened, she looked back at the two timid faces in front of her. Even if she spoke about her memories with them, there was still a chance they were stories she heard from her master.

Mira slowly became aware of how hard it was to find proof of one’s identity.
There had to exist something that was only for her, only for Danbulf. Repeating that inside her head, she glanced at Mariana who looked at her with expecting eyes.

(Mariana… fairies… Mariana the fairy…)

An instant later her mind was illuminated by a proof that felt like a divine revelation.

「That! There’s that!」
「Lady Mira…?」

Mira sprung up on her feet and walked in front of Mariana, leaning in front of her and lifting her right palm.

「The Fairy’s Divine Protection. You can only grant that to one person in your entire life, right? So if you can renew your protection here, that should be enough proof.」

Mariana’s breath caught when she understood what Mira was getting at.
A Fairy’s Divine Protection was something fairies could grant to only one person who they decided to trust for the rest of their lives. It was a special type of contract that was closer to an oath. The actual effect brought by the Divine Protection changed between different fairies, but it was impossible to break or retract the contract once formed. However, its effect would wear off after some time. After the bond was formed with a fairy, the effect would last for around three days, after which it would need to be renewed so the effect was restored. In other words, being able to renew the Divine Protection would mean that Mariana had been bound to Mira in the past.

Mariana had given her Divine Protection to Danbulf, so if the renewal worked, it was definite proof that Mira was him.

「I see. I remember Mariana granting Danbulf her Divine Protection. So if that manifests on Mira, then it would mean…」

It would mean that the girl in front of them truly was Danbulf. At the same time, Creos’ face twitched as he realized that all the complaints he shared with Mira had been him digging his own grave. His nervously trembling hand took his cup and drank all its contents while telling himself to remain calm.

「I’ll try.」

Mariana’s small lips trembled as she placed her left palm against Mira’s. Mira also felt nervous, but some seconds after their palms met, they began to glow.

「…Hmm.」

They had seen that glow countless times before, it was a sign the Fairy’s Divine Protection was being renewed. Creos finally felt the most dangerous time had come, so he looked around trying to form an escape plan.

The glow began focusing on the back of their hands, forming a feather shape there.

「The renewal… was a success.」

Mariana looked at her hand with round eyes, then pressed it against her chest in an endearing manner. Mira caressed hers with her left fingertips before saying 「Well, what do you think…」 in response, Mariana’s eyes welled up with tears.

Mira recalled the first time she met Mariana after this world became reality, her tears of that time when Mira was unable to touch her and be honest with her.

「I’m sorry.」

Saying so, Mira’s hand moved to Mariana’s cheek to stop the tear trickling down. Mariana looked happy, although slightly embarrassed, and gently placed her own hand on top of Mira’s.

「We finally meet again.」

She said with a bright smile. Her tears of joy kept trickling down, being caught one after another in Mira’s hand.2



References

  1. Silva: That’s one hell of a difference from Reid in Hero’s Daughter. Mira made a mature choice!
  2. Silva: Poimy, it’s so fluffy
    Fire: Ah diabetes is nice

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