|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2692 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1218 words|
After talking with the elders, Mira knew that Soul Howl had been there. In other words, the decryption of the documents was accurate and he was attempting to find the Brilliant Chalice of Divine Decree. If she followed that lead, she was sure to eventually catch up to him.
Mira thanked the elders and prepared to leave that place. As she turned around, the young girl who had been the most enthusiastic about the sweets, took a fruit from one of the trees and gifted it to her, saying it was the fruit produced with the offering made by the person who came in search of the roots.
With her business there complete, Mira headed to her next destination to fulfill the item search asked for by her good friend.
The place she was headed to now was pretty close to the sacred tree, around one hour away by foot. Still, she summoned Pegasus like it was the obvious thing to do, who appeared worried that entire time as he approached Mira and licked her cheek for a while.
Once Pegasus had calmed down, she rode on him for around ten minutes until they reached the nearest lake to the sacred grounds. There was a clearing between the lake and the forest, which was filled with countless flowers, forming an oasis for small animals. There was also a small mount of rocks at the side of the lake, from which a waterfall flowed down creating a pleasant ambient noise. Mira forgot the passage of time as she looked at that scenery, her senses tingling by the sweet scent of flowers and the forest.
(Was this place always this gorgeous…)
In Mira’s memories that place was much duller, so she once again could feel directly how the passage of thirty years greatly affected a place like that.
As Mira and Pegasus stood in that paradise-like clearing, a small animal that resembled a squirrel with golden fur approached the two, climbing up Pegasus’ legs and reassuringly lying down on his back. That was almost like a trigger for all the remaining animals nearby to gather around the two, mostly getting closer to Pegasus. This took Mira by surprise, but she quickly smiled seeing how they climbed on Pegasus, making him look like an adorned Christmas tree. He did not seem bothered by it either, as he let more and more animals climb on him.
This was all because Pegasus was a sacred beast, so animals felt the safest and calm in the sacred aura surrounding him.
Mira also spotted a small blue rabbit on Pegasus’ back. Those were called Pure Rabbits, and their fur was famous for being a good luck charm. Though more importantly, their round eyes and plump body made them extremely cute creatures. They were fierce contenders for the first place in Ark Earth Online’s cutest creature ranking ladder.
This was also the first time Mira saw a Pure Rabbit in person. They were known to be really careful and shy, normally only being observed from afar. Mira had only seen them in screenshots in the past, so now her eyes were nailed on that cute creature.
(To think they would look like this up close…so plump and fluffy…)
With her mind drifting away, Mira instinctively reached her hand out to it, but an instant before her fingertips would touch it, the Pure Rabbit jumped off scared and hid between Pegasus’ legs.
Facing that blunt rejection, Mira froze in place, her hand still outstretched. But a moment later Pegasus neighed, as if trying to say something. After that, the Pure Rabbit hesitantly came out and showed itself in front of Mira.
「Did… you tell it something?」
Seeing that, Mira turned to look from the plump creature to Pegasus, who struck his head out as if asking to be praised.
Patting his head once, Mira turned back to the Pure Rabbit. Its blue ears were moving from one side to another, as if scanning the surroundings. By then Mira could not hold herself back anymore and she reached out to the blue furball, enjoying its softness as much as she could.
The warmth passing to her hand made it clear that it was a live creature just like Mira was.
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Mira tried to pet it as gently as she could to not startle it, which she accomplished as it understood she held no ill will against it and snuggled against her hand. That was too cute for Mira to handle, as she gently embraced it and cradled it in ecstasy.
Not too long after Pegasus neighed loudly while the Pure Rabbit leaped out of Mira’s bosom in a hurry while squeaking, only to go in front of Pegasus and lie against the ground in a submissive pose.
「…What did you say this time…?」
Mira could not comprehend what happened so she just tilted her head.
「What happened, Pegasus?」
Saying that, she began stroking his mane, to which Pegasus replied by pressing his head against Mira’s chest.
(Hmm. I don’t get it.)
As she petted Pegasus, she looked around, seeing that the small rabbit was still prostrated while squeaking.
She still wished to enjoy its furry touch some longer, but also knew that if she picked it up, she would be unable to let go. Mira knew that she would be able to play with it for all eternity if the situation allowed for it, but she had come there with a specific goal in mind, so she could not afford to get too distracted with the little animals of the forest. Still feeling a bit dissatisfied, Mira carried all the animals on Pegasus’ back to the ground and sent him away. As soon as she did that, the animals gathered around her instead.
They had realized she was Pegasus’ boss.
As she headed to the small rocky mountain that held the entrance of the labyrinth, they all followed her.
「Don’t follow me. I’m going to a dangerous place now.」
But they could not understand her words, as the hyperactive golden squirrel found itself right at home on Mira’s shoulder, while the Pure Rabbit kept looking at her with round eyes begging for a hug.
Mira knew she could not enter the labyrinth like that, but she was also just barely resisting the temptation of the animals.[Summoning Skill: Cait Sith]
She decided to call for an intermediary to sort things out. A small magic circle appeared in the air, and quickly after a small cat with wizard clothes jumped out of it.
It spun three times in mid-air before landing on its feet, holding up a card that came out of nowhere with 10.0 written on it. A rain of confetti also sprung out from the magic circle an instant before it vanished, adding an extra touch to that artistic performance.
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「Meow meow meow! I was called so heow I am! It’s been a while so I tried adding some meow to my entrance. How meowny points do I get, chief?」
「Six at most.」
「What did you meow-!」
As he spoke in an exaggerated manner, the writing on the card changed to speed lines implying shock. That small touch made Mira giggle.
|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2775 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1273 words|
The fairy cat Cait Sith was one of the few low-level summons that could speak. His abilities were ill-suited for direct combat, but excelled when it came to scouting, given that he could obtain information even from animals. In other words, he could interact and talk with animals.
「What the meow! Chief, you’ve turned meownto a girl! And a splendid one at that, worth ten full points!」
Cait Sith looked up at Mira, jumping from side to side while waving around a sign with 10.0 written on it. The animals who had closely followed Mira all took a few steps back, wary of Cait Sith’s sudden appearance.
「You all accept it so easily…but that doesn’t matter. First lieutenant, I have a job for you.」
「What is it, chief!」
Cait Sith stood with his back straight and legs together, saluting Mira while the sign behind him changed to 「Snap!」
「I want you to tell all these animals here that I’m heading to a dangerous place, so it’s best if they stay behind. Can you do it?」
「I’ll accomplish that even if it costs meow life!」
He replied with a confident and ready for battle pose, the sign reading 「With the help of the gods」. He then leaped into the group of animals while meowing, then meowing even more as he spoke with them.
After some time of that happening, they seemed to understand as they slowly dispersed from there. Lastly, Cait Sith climbed on Mira’s body and spoke to the squirrel on her shoulder, who also understood and jumped down before climbing up a tree.
Cait Sith jumped off Mira’s shoulder, doing three flips before landing on his feet and striking a military salute. After Mira congratulated him on his success, she picked him up into a hug, using him as a replacement for all the animals that were gone now leaving her alone.
「It’s ticklish meow.」
As he spoke, he happily flopped his legs around while the sign had 「More!」 written on it.
Mira scratched the kitty’s chin as she walked towards the small rocky mountain.
The Tenma Labyrinth Primal Forest was beyond a cave in that small rocky mountain beside the lake. Mira walked into that opening on the rock with Cait Sith riding on top of her head.
Past the entrance, there was a sudden slope downwards, its width barely enough for an adult to pass. Mira’s steps on the rocky floor reverberated coldly through the entire cave as she moved forward.
Going further inside, even the sound of the waterfall became more dim, only audible as a distant echo and the light from the sun could not reach them either. But there was a light illuminating Mira’s path, thanks to Cait Sith. He was using one of his abilities, Cat Searchlight which let his eyes shine like a spotlight, and since he was on top of Mira’s head, it would always shine towards wherever she turned to look at.
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「Something smells fishy here, there’s a suspiciously dubiously meowly spell here…」
They continued walking down the slope for ten minutes, during which the slope’s angle decreased until it was a completely flat corridor, at the end of which Cait Sith glared ahead while speaking. The corridor ahead was illuminated by a multitude of light-emitting medallions etched into the walls like light bulbs.
「Hmm… I think this is supposed to be the barrier of this place.」
The ground just a few steps ahead had 「Tenma Labyrinth Primal Forest, Managed by: Adventurer’s Union, Caranach branch」 written in large letters. As Mira whispered to Cait Sith, she patted his back with one hand while the other took out the permit given to her by Leoneil from her pocket.
「Ohh… so this is…」
「Meow meow meow? The spell’s effect is dimeownishing.」
The moment Mira held the permit in her hand, it began glowing while the nearest medallions’ light became dimmer. Mira was unable to decipher the exact mechanism of the barrier, but she listened to Cait Sith’s words, given he had a strong sensitivity to that type of spells, and trusted it was safe to walk forward.
As she walked, the medallions coming ahead would lose their light, while those behind her regained their brightness.
Helped by Cait Sith’s light, she easily crossed that corridor and slowly the cave became brighter.
Continuing further along that path, Mira reached a large open space, covered by a small but very dense jungle.
The place appeared to be illuminated by sunlight, but looking above only revealed a black ceiling. However, the burly rocky walls were covered by a type of vines that emitted light from the ends of its branches.
The plants under that light were luscious green, while multiple unnamed flowers bloomed vigorously all over the ground. Looking ahead, Mira could see large trees growing into the distance, a sight that could leave anyone without breath after walking through that dark cave for so long.
「Chief, we’ve just discovered uncharted territory!」
Cait Sith jumped down from Mira’s head with a 「meohow-」 and shouted in a firm voice while pointing at the jungle. Of course, this was neither a remote region nor uncharted territory.
「Thanks for your help so far.」
After returning the permit to her Item Box, Mira held out her hand ready to send him back.
「An adventure is still waiting for meow!」
With an emotional tone, Cait Sith fell on his face begging Mira. The sign also had a message on it, 「Please have some merry meow」, expressing just how much Cait Sith wanted to explore that ‘uncharted territory’. And even the typo showed just how distressed he was.
「I really can’t win against you…」
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This was the first time a summon refused to be sent back, which Mira made a mental note of as a new reaction she might encounter, and relaxed the hand she had stretched out.
「Thank you for being undeowstanding, chief. I’ll follow you even to the grave.」
「I’d rather you didn’t follow me there…」
「Even then meow!」
He threw a sign up into the air that had 「Lifelong loyalty」 written on it, jumping up himself after it and doing a flip. When he landed, his attire had changed into one suitable for an adventure. The sign came down later, landing on his head with a message saying 「Preparations complete, but my heart is broken」 as it rolled over his face and fell flat on the ground leaving that as a sort of dying message.
「Well… let’s get going then.」
Mira scanned her surroundings, cutting off a piece of a vine leaf that grew the size of a small child, and with the cut leaf in hand, she began walking along the side of the large space.
「It’s impolite to leave meow behind!」
Cait Sith jumped on his feet and hurried to follow behind Mira.
Mira and Cait Sith walked along the rocky walls, a distance from the jungle, until they reached a large cave that created a path further inside. That was the true entrance to the Tenma Labyrinth Primal Forest.
The cave was also sloped with the ground slippery like glass, which meant that once one step was taken down, it was impossible to climb back up. That applied for every passage to the different locations of the Tenma Labyrinth, there was a different path to enter than to exit.
Mira let Cait Sith on her shoulder, tapping on his head to illuminate the passage.
「It’s pitch black ahead.」
|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2695 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1270 words|
Cait Sith pointed his bright eyes forward, sitting on Mira’s shoulder with legs dangling in front. He was not holding the sign anymore, his front paws holding him firmly onto Mira having already guessed what she was about to do.
Mira grinned as she held the leaf she cut earlier against her rear and sat down.
(This is always exciting no matter how many times I come here.)
The cave ahead obviously had a resemblance to a slide. So Mira smiled happily as she dragged her hips against the ground stopping at the start of the slope.
「A neow adventure starts!」
Mira impulsed herself forward and flew down the steep slope. The ground was very slippery which accelerated her descent even more while Mira was slightly taken aback by a speed higher than she expected.
(This was really fun in the game but… in reality, it’s a bit…)
She could feel the air pressure building up in front of her and centrifugal forces pushing her body threatening to launch her flying every time she turned a corner. The turns were very similar each time, but that did not matter as every time they passed one they would get even more scared. The darkness did not help either, as they could never anticipate any incoming turn and would be all the more impactful.
「Chief, I’m about to pee meowself!」
「Hold it back!」
As the downwards slope turned left and right like a rollercoaster, Cait Sith would cry every time. Somehow hearing him helped Mira remain composed as well.
Around five minutes later, they saw the light at the end of the slide.
Mira was suddenly launched forward into a bright light at the end of that fall which felt like an eternity to her. As she flew through the air, she had to squint her eyes due to the blinding light. Drawing a parabola in the air, gravity finally overpowered her momentum and she began to fall again, colliding clumsily with the ground.
She fell on her backside, but someone else had already landed ahead of her, Cait Sith who fell from Mira’s shoulder.
「Oops sorry. Are you okay?」
「I’m meowlright. You don’t weigh much as a girl, chief.」
Mira jumped a step back while Cait Sith unsteadily stood up and began hopping from one foot to another, showing he was fine. At the same time, a sign appeared out of nowhere with 「Being squeezed by a girl’s butt is any man’s dream」 written on it.
The two turned to look at the place they had arrived at, a large green expanse that dwarfed the earlier jungle filled that space, illuminated by a similar light as the earlier room. That scene spread far into the distance, covered by abnormally twisted trees.
Mira and Cait Sith had landed on one of those trees. Behind them stood a tall wall of rock that vanished into the darkness above, while countless vines covered the trees. From afar the cries of some wild beasts could be heard, but if those were ignored it was a rather calm place.
「It’s a neow world! We discovered a neow world meownside the uncharted region!」
Cait Sith looked around while an indescribable feeling filled his heart, taking out a sign that read 「Cait Sith Exploration Party」 and thrust it down in front of him, but the wooden ground was too resilient and the sign fell unbalanced with an empty noise. The first lieutenant watched sadly as it lay flat on the ground.
(Now then, I wonder how many I can find…)
Mira searched a nearby place, and once she verified her objective was nowhere to be seen there, she began walking to another area. Cait Sith followed after her, warily looking around.
They jumped from one tree to another as they advanced through that place filled with intertwined trees as Mira continued her search, finally finding one of those items on the ground almost hiding under some leaves.
A seed of a strong green color that appeared to pulsate with light, large enough to fit in one’s hand. A Founding Seed that Solomon had requested.
「Finally one of them…」
Mira picked up the Founding Seed, muttered to herself while sighing, looking around for a moment before resuming her search.
The Tenma Labyrinth Primal Forest, a place named as the first forest that ever existed, was strictly speaking not a forest. It was merely a portion of the countless branches from the Gopher Tree which gave birth to all trees.
In other words, all those thick branches intertwined in front of them were all part of the same Gopher Tree, which also meant that there was a chance for a Founding Seed to appear anywhere in that space. But the spawn points were not fixed, so it was not as easy as it seemed, and years back large groups of players would comb the place in search of them.
As Mira recalled those times, she sighed again while reaffirming her grip on the Founding Seed.
「Chief, how meowny of those do you need?」
Cait Sith asked after he climbed on Mira’s shoulder and pointed at the Founding Seed she was holding. Mira turned to look at him, recalling the class of summon he was.
「Around nine more. But I can only find them by searching randomly so it honestly is just a pain to find them.」
She made it sound like an idle complaint, but it still had an effect on Cait Sith as he crawled along Mira’s arm to sniff and lick the seed before jumping down to the ground and looking around with his nose held high.
「I sense a similar item in that direction!」
Cait Sith spoke enthusiastically as he pointed to a place a couple of branches away from their current spot. But on the other hand, his face looked off, his tongue out with round eyes, the sign he held reading 「It tastes like X」.
「Oh… You can tell?」
「It’s a very particular seed. For someone as meowself, who’s mastered the ways of tracking, this is a piece of meow!」
Holding his rotund toe beans in what resembled a thumbs-up sign, his eyes glistened pridefully, although his tongue was still hanging out.
「Hmm, that’s amazing first lieutenant.」
Mira quickly embraced Cait Sith to hold him up, then activated Sky Stride to run to the branch he pointed at.
「It’s someowhere around here.」
Cait Sith spoke from inside Mira’s embrace, his eyes following along the branch they stood on. Mira checked under some of the vine leaves covering the branch and sure enough, she found a Founding Seed there.
Before then Mira had always thought of Cait Sith as simply a reconnaissance scout, but now her eyes were open to a whole new set of abilities he could use, so she held him up with both hands asking where the next one was, rejoicing at the changes brought by this reality.
「Where’s the next one?!」
「Uhh… meow…! That way!」
As she dangled him from one side to another, letting his gaze reach a wider radius, the sharp tracking skills only he had mastered gave another result, which was promptly illuminated by Cat Searchlight.
「Alright! Good job!」
Seeing how much easier it had become to gather the Founding Seeds thanks to this new discovery, Mira’s mood was lifted as high as it could. As a reward, and maybe because of the kitty’s lovely appearance, she praised him lengthily while constantly petting all over his body.