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Chapter 51: Tenma Labyrinth Primal Forest



Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2707 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1368 words
Editor(s): Fire

With Cait Sith’s guidance, Mira was able to gather half the quota of Founding seeds in a shorter span of time than she expected. Seeing she would finish faster than scheduled, she was in a good mood as she jumped from branch to branch with light steps.

「Danger. I sense someowthing dangerous…」

After he had sniffed out the sixth Founding Seed and they headed to where it was hidden, they appeared from above them. Cait Sith glared at it with a watchful glare as if trying to fend it off with that alone, hiding further inside between Mira’s neck and shoulder.

「So it came.」

Mira muttered as she looked at the monster blocking their way. There was a type of monster known as treemen that appeared in large forests. Their bodies were entirely made of wood but in a humanoid shape. On top of that, since this was a Tenma Labyrinth, the monsters that appeared there were all of a different subspecies.

The monsters in front of Mira were a part of a subspecies of treemen, with skin of bark and a skeleton of wood, covered in ligaments and muscles made by intertwined ivy and vines, forming a rather burly silhouette. That subspecies was known as Niltreant, monsters with a far more unsightly appearance compared to any regular treemen.

The vines visible through some gaps in the bark covering them moved and wriggled without effort, moving the creatures closer to their prey. Every movement they made was accompanied by cracking sounds as they raised their hands pointy and sharp like spears against Mira.

「Stay still for a while.」

Saying that, Mira held the scruff of Cait Sith, picking him up and then dropping him inside the bosom of her dress.

「Roger that, chief!」

Inside Mira’s dress, Cait Sith moved around to find a comfortable spot before peeking out with his head and saluting, his tail up and straight as well.

「Mm… you don’t have to reply like that, and don’t move your tail so much, it tickles.」

Saying that, Mira twisted her body in an attempt to push his head down again while his tail continued brushing against her soft skin.

「Copy that.」

With that response, Cait Sith pulled his tail curling it against his body, but the situation around them also changed at the same time. There were three Niltreants in front of them, one of which had just leaped forward to attack Mira.
Noticing the incoming attack, Mira held her arms around Cait Sith who still had not hidden inside her dress yet, protecting him as she jumped back. At the same time, the Niltreant followed her movements and adjusted the trajectory of its spear-like arms in an attempt to follow the shortest path to its prey, ending up piercing into the ground.

Its first attack being evaded, the monster turned its head trying to find Mira again, but its arm would not be able to move again. A multitude of black arms appeared like a mirage on its back, each and every one of them swinging a black sword onto it.

The attack shattered the bark, wood and vines, sending a green liquid splashing away.

(Their strength seems to remain the same in that state.)

Those were proper Dark Knight attacks. Mira’s first practical test of Partial Summoning in battle had worked flawlessly.

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But Mira did not have much time to relish her victory, as the remaining two Niltreants saw their fallen comrade and began running with somewhat human but also awkward movements, crackling noises coming from their limbs. One of them leaped high into the air with all its limbs dangling around.

But that attack ended the same way as the previous one. They were trying to attack Mira from up and down at the same time, but before the one in the air could enter an offensive stance, a large white shield appeared in front of it and destroyed its momentum.

[Sage Art – Earth: Crimson Grasp] 

The remaining Niltreant was forced to fight a hopeless battle without aid from its comrades. All of its attacks were aimed carefully, but they could only hit air or were stopped by a small white hand, slowly pulling the Niltreant down into a scorching hell.

That humanoid monster eventually turned into black ashes, collapsing in front of Mira. The remaining Niltreant, the one who collided with the Holy Knight’s shield, clumsily stood up before it was cut in half, from the top of its head straight down, collapsing like a puppet that was cut off from its threads and staining the ground green. The black arm that made that cut vanished before its body hit the ground.

(This is actually very useful…)

They would only appear for an instant, but the multiple ways a partial summoning could be used made Mira’s experimenting heart stir. However, their short lifespan also added some limits to that. Still, she found they would be perfect for similar situations to her current one where there was not much space to move around.

「I expected no less from you, chief!」

Sensing the danger was gone, Cait Sith jumped out from Mira’s bosom. The sign also read 「This was needed to survive」.

「Anyway, where did you say the next one was?」

They had been attacked while searching for the Founding Seeds, and they were still surrounded by a very irregular forest of branches. Cait Sith had been guiding her around until then, so she asked him for the location of the sixth seed again, to which the first lieutenant responded by jumping onto the remains of a Niltrant and searching through it.

When Mira was about to ask what he was trying to do, Cait Sith nimbly took out something from inside the remains.

「Found it!」

Exclaiming that, Cait Sith held his hands up, holding something that looked like a bundle of ivy and vines in them.

「Ohh, you’re also good at looting.」

That item Cait Sith held was the drops from Niltreants, also known as Nilt Cores. Basically the Niltreant’s heart, they held all the magic power needed to make the Niltreant move, as well as the sap that regulated that. They could be used to craft other items as well.

Cait Sith handed the Nilt Core to Mira like some form of offering before he ran off to the other remains.

In the end, Mira obtained two Nilt Cores, since it was impossible to retrieve one from the Niltreant that burned to ashes. Next, Mira let the unexpectedly hardworking Cait Sith1 climb on her shoulder as they headed to the location with the next Founding Seed.

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Around one hour later after they entered the Tenma Labyrinth Primal Forest, and by the time Mira’s stomach began feeling somewhat empty, she had already gathered the ten Founding Seeds Solomon had requested. All thanks to Cait Sith’s great efforts.

By the time Mira defeated the umpteenth Niltreant, she began getting the hang of using partial summoning out of something akin to muscle memory. Around them there were many black stains everywhere as well, the remains of the poisonous fruits some Niltreants would throw.

While Niltreants were a subspecies of treemen, they too were divided into three types. Those who had arms like spears, others that threw poisonous fruits, and lastly those who could throw poisonous fruits as well as conifer leaves.

Mira had also gotten used to Cait Sith running to their bodies to scavenge Cores.

So far, Mira had remained in the outer edge of the Tenma Labyrinth Primal Forest. As one headed towards the center, even more valuable items could be found, but the monsters would also grow proportionally stronger. The very center was home to powerful foes that could make even someone as strong as the Nine Wisemen struggle, at least if it was someone alone. But even then, Founding Seeds could be found in every area of the forest, so there was no need to go that deep inside.

「I’m pretty much done here, so it’s about time I go back.」
「Roger that.」

Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3093 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1582 words
Editor(s): Fire

Cait Sith climbed back on Mira’s shoulder to his usual spot. Since the entrance and exit were in different locations, they had to search for their way out now, but since the place was like a very irregular forest, any regular person would lose their bearings almost instantly, making justice to the labyrinth part of the location’s name.

But since Mira had been there many times before, she knew how to find the exit. She narrowed her eyes and looked around, trying to find a landmark.

「Hmmm… I can’t find it. First lieutenant, can you see a blue flower anywhere?」
「A blue flower? I’ll try searching for it.」

Since she was unable to find it herself, she asked Cait Sith for assistance. He accepted the request, the sign changing to 「Searching…」 and his eyes turning round as he looked around, carefully examining every branch, every leaf, anything that hid under the vines, everywhere he could.

「I meownd it. It’s over there!」

Atop Mira’s head, he signaled with the light of his eyes to a certain location. 「Good job,」 she said, lightly caressing his chin before leaping towards that direction.

After crossing over a couple of large branches, she saw the blue flowers as well. They sprouted from a thick vine, with four blue petals as large as a hand. As long as she could find those flowers, it would not take her much longer to find the exit. There was a peculiarly sweet scent surrounding those flowers, which bloomed in regular intervals as if signaling a path. And if she followed them, she would arrive at the exit.

Mira looked around for a bit and quickly found the direction she had to follow. When seen from above, one would notice that the blue flowers were arranged in the shape of a teardrop. The pointy end faced the exit, so no matter which side she followed them she would eventually get out, though depending on where she started following one side could take much less time than the other.

(Well, I guess it doesn’t really matter which in the end.)

At first, she debated on which way would be faster, but since she had no way to determine where in the teardrop shape she was, it was impossible to know. So the fastest way was simply to start moving. Stopping her thoughts, she decided to follow to the left like she always did.

As Mira moved forward, following the flowers, she would encounter more Niltreants, which she used as test subjects for partial summoning practice. After crossing a few dozen branches, she found an old-looking chest.

「Chief, treasure!」
「Yes, that’s a treasure chest indeed.」

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Cait Sith’s eyes twinkled as he held the sign high up, a suspenseful line written on it: 「Will the treasure chest they found in the uncharted territory bring them hope or despair…?!」

On the other hand, Mira recalled what the chief of the Spellcasters’ Union told her. The reason why the entrance to the Tenma Labyrinth Primal Forest had been restricted and banned.

The reason was that chest in front of her. Even if the contents were taken, the chest would reappear after some time. A respawning chest was nothing out of the ordinary for a game, but it was considered a very strange phenomenon now that the world had become reality.

Mira slowly held her palm towards the chest.

[Sage Art – Heaven: Shockwave] 

When she activated her Sage Art, a gust of wind bellowed from her hand, hitting the chest an instant later and carving countless cuts into the front of it.

「It looks safe.」
「That was quite rowdy, chief.」

While Mira looked more relaxed around the chest, Cait Sith jumped down to the ground, his legs giving under him from the impact and making him collapse.

「You should let me check if chests are safe…」

He barely managed to lift his upper body, looking at the chest while a red light came from his eyes. He used the sign as a cane to support his body, 「Time to prove my worth」 written on it.

「It seems to be safe!」
「I know. I just tested it earlier.」

He somehow recovered his liveliness as he turned around and announced to Mira, but fell down again when he heard her reply. The sign had something written on it again, reflecting his current mood.

「I see…」
「But well, I guess that means you can also investigate chests now. I don’t remember you having that skill before, so that’s pretty amazing.」
「It’s the fruits of thirty years of training!」

Cait Sith hung his head in dejection, but when he heard Mira’s compliment, he sprung on his legs and ran to the chest, 「Training will never end」 written on the sign.

There were two types of chests that spawned in Tenma Labyrinths, treasure chests and monsters. It was extremely easy to tell them apart, one simply had to attack them like Mira had done. If it was a treasure chest, nothing would happen, but a monster would change into its true form and attack back. There was no reaction this time, so it was safe to assume it was a treasure chest.

「Hmm, these look like some sort of wood shavings.」

The moment they opened the chest to check what it had, its contents turned to sand and vanished without a trace. Mira did not seem bothered by that, instead picking up a handful of some wood shavings and examining them in her hand.

「Meoweoweoweow… this… this looks like a fragment from the World Tree.」

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Cait Sith climbed up Mira’s shoulder and said that after staring at the shavings.

「Ohh, you can tell?」
「I’ve seen pictures of them in books before.」

When Cait Sith mentioned that, Mira also remembered seeing something similar.

Shavings from the World Tree, they were mostly used as an ingredient for strong healing potions, but it could also be used as material for equipment, which would increase its healing attributes, as well as producing items that had a strong resistance against poison, paralysis or curses. Because of that, they were highly valued amongst high level adventurers.

(The World Tree… huh. That reminds me, Luminaria wanted some ash of that for a catalyst or whatever. I wonder if I can get some by burning these…)

Mira had been asked to find catalysts for magic knowledge by Luminaria in the past, as part of a trade for the Encyclopedia of Skills. One of those items was World Tree’s Ash. The item itself was exactly what its name suggested, but Mira had never tried burning the shavings to get it, so she was unsure on whether she should try.

(Well, I guess it’s best if I show her first.)

In the end, she decided to show her the shavings and see if she wanted to try burning them, so she stored the shavings in her Item Box. There was a good chance it would work, but she did not want to recklessly try it without proof, so she stored them aside for the moment.

After that they did not encounter any more chests, only fighting against more Niltreants before arriving at the exit.

「It’s rare to see people here. Are you looking for something?」
「Meow! It spoke!」

The place they arrived at following the blue flowers was a rocky wall with a large hole in it. Passing through it led to a space covered in mud walls, with those shining vines covering the ceiling and making it as bright as daylight. There was also a small lake to the side, covered with leaves similar to lily pads. There was no trace of the large trees that appeared everywhere in the labyrinth, replaced by flowers of a multitude of colors filling the space.

In the middle of that place was the way out of the Tenma Labyrinth Primal Forest.

「We want to go out.」

Mira replied that way, looking up at the guide that would take them out, towering in front of them. Cait Sith remained on Mira’s shoulder, his mouth open wide in shock.

There was a giant blue flower in front of them. Its petals larger than a house looked more vibrant than the blue sky, while a mellow herb-like scent filled the air. Bathed under the light from the vines overhead, that flower looked both beautiful and imposing.

「I see, I see. Then I might be of help to you. If you bring me a source of energy, I’ll take you back to the surface.」

The flower supported by a stalk many times thicker than Mira replied as such, its petals swaying in sync with its words. Its voice penetrated deep into the ground, resounding all around them. That source of energy it mentioned was another particular feature of Tenma Labyrinths.

Not only were the entrance and exit different, but there was always a particular item needed to go out, though it was not particularly hard to find that item. As long as one was strong enough to fight the creatures of the labyrinth, one would easily find it.

「Would this be enough?」

Mira took out a Nilt Core and offered it. Items dropped by monsters of a Tenma Labyrinth also counted as the item needed to exit it.

「That’s plenty. Drop it inside the lake, I’ll lead you to the exit afterward.」

Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2886 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1378 words
Editor(s): Fire

Mira placed Cait Sith inside her dress again before doing as the flower had told her, throwing the Core inside the lake. Ripples spread from the place where it sank, while the Core began emitting a faint light.

「I can see you already have one, let’s be on our way then.」

Saying that, the blue flower bent its giant stalk and wrapped its petals around Mira as if eating her.

「Meow is-?!」
「Don’t worry. It’ll carry us to the exit now.」

Cait Sith noticed his surroundings get dark all of a sudden, so he grasped the first thing he could in a fluster, which ended up being Mira’s bra. She had already gotten used to having it on, but once it was pulled away from her chest she felt a strange feeling of discomfort. Though, she knew she would be taking it off soon anyway, so she decided to ignore it and focus on remembering how to proceed.

The whole room began rumbling, the lake was now covered in ripples while the light shining from the ceiling also swayed in unison, and then the blue flower that had Mira inside of it was sucked into the ground below.

Though in reality, it was slightly different. The blue flower had plunged into the ground while holding onto Mira, moving through the earth while shaking violently, until after a while, it stopped out of the blue.

Mira still had the momentum of the earlier movement, so she was sent flying as if being vomited, her rear falling on a hard stone floor.

「Couldn’t you be a bit more gentle?」

Mira stood up, massaging her behind as she complained through her teeth. The blue flower ignored her entirely.

「Through this river, you’ll be back outside. Farewell, odd-looking visitors.」

After saying that, it dove back into the ground.

The place was a large space inside rocks. A river flowed through the center, and at the end of it was a speck of light shining into the cave. There was also a phosphorescent moss throughout the place that shed some light on the darkness.

「So this adventure is abeowt to end. It’ll be painful to be apart again…」

Cait Sith jumped out of Mira’s bosom and spoke while looking at the river. The sign he held read 「The adventure ends with the return.」

「There’s always next time. I’ll be relying on you again when the time comes.」
「Roger that!」

Hearing that, Cait Sith jumped happily into the air, swinging around the sign that changed to 「Adventure is the only path to the promised land」, looking completely delighted.

Mira smiled seeing Cait Sith’s cute act, then began taking her clothes off.

Putting her coat away, she took off the dress and then her underwear. She placed everything into her Item Box.

She made no efforts to conceal any part of her white skin.

「Let’s go, first lieutenant.」
「To the ends of the world!」

With that, the girl and the cat jumped into the river.

「Meow… forgot…! Can’t… swim… meow!」2

That river with a spot of light at the end was the source of the waterfall and lake near the entrance of the dungeon. Pulled by the flow of water and gravity they quickly fell into the lake, where Cait Sith shouted that while tightly holding onto the sign, which read 「World’s best lifeguard」.

The lake itself was rather shallow and Mira could more or less stand in it with her head out.

「Don’t get so scared.」

Mira held Cait Sith’s scruff and let him ride on her head, slowly waddling her way out of the lake.

The sun had already begun setting so there was faint darkness looming over the forest. Stepping out of the lake, the fully naked girl held her hair and squeezed the water out of it.3 Seen from afar, that scene looked both charming and somewhat ephemeral.

Next, Mira took out a large basket from her Item Box where she stores anything clothing-related.

When she attempted to take a towel from it, she heard something moving close by, and Life Sensing showed a reaction from atop the rocks. The forest was full of animals so there were countless other signs, but that one on the rocks was the only one staying still as if trying to hide itself.

「Who’s there?」

Mira glared at the rocks as she shouted, which made the entity realize there was no point in hiding so it came out. It was a man wearing a pitch-black cloak.

His arm was well-honed and muscular, a black cloth wrapped many times along his forearm. He wore long glasses, while the lower part of his face was covered by a mask. In short, he looked almost like a ninja. He looked rather wary, firmly clutching something against his back while looking cautiously at Mira before turning to look at the basket lying near her.

「…You.. .aren’t a… spirit?」
「A spirit? What part of me makes you think that?」
「That’s right! Address the chief properly!」

The man seemed to relax a bit hearing that, but then he glared at Cait Sith who peeked out from behind Mira’s feet.

「Isn’t that a cat fairy..?」
「Yes. I summoned him.」
「That’s right! Chief is a very streowng summoner!」

That made the man loosen up entirely, looking away embarrassed.

「I’m truly sorry. You were beautiful like a spirit, so I mistook you for one.」
「Ohh, I see. But that makes it even weirder, why were you so wary? Spirits are docile creatures.」
「That’s right! Unlike Chief, spirits are really gentle!」

Mira internally nodded at the idea that he understood the charm of her appearance, praising her to the point of comparing her to a spirit, but she was even more suspicious of the man which prompted that question.

The man raised his brow just a little, but he quickly erased that expression from his face.

「I know, it’s just that just earlier I accidentally stepped into the territory of a short-fused spirit and it started chasing me around.」

Saying that he sighed dramatically pretending he had a rough time. Mira nodded hearing that and took out the towel from her basket.

「So that’s what happened. Sounds like a sticky situation.」
「That’s right! Meow a blockhead!」
「You stay quiet for a bit.」
「Understood…」

Mira lightly dried herself with the towel before covering Cait Sith with it.

(Spirits are free creatures. They don’t have territories or things like that, so that sounds like a childish excuse. He’s hiding something.)

「So, what are you seeking in this kind of place?」
「I’m just collecting some medicinal herbs and fruits. I was just about to head back.」

Saying that, the man lightly knocked on a bag filled with something hanging on his waist.

「Hmm, I see. You got this far in, so I’m certain you found a lot of good stuff.」
「Yeah, a lot. But anyway, have you seen any spirits around here?」
「No, I haven’t. Why do you ask?」
「I’d like to avoid getting close to any if they are nearby.」

He spoke like it was the most obvious thing, though his attitude made it obvious he had an interest in spirits.

「Anyway, I’ll go back to a village around here, so see ya!」

He appeared to be cutting the conversation short in a hurry as he turned around and ran back into the forest. As he ran, Mira saw an eerily shaped dagger hanging behind his waist.

The man was nothing but suspicious, even his appearance, though his wariness for spirits looked to be true. But more importantly…

「Hmm, I think it’s best if I investigate this a bit more closely.」

Tracking him with Life Sensing, Mira saw the man take a sharp turn and head in a completely different direction while running faster. 「I’ll see you later,」 she said, sending Cait Sith back, his helpless cry from inside the towel suddenly cut off.



References

  1. Silva: how nice, a pet that auto-loot for you. I also want that
  2. Silva: lool
  3. Silva: Too good to not link an image here, uhehe.

    https://re-library.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/ph_kuchie3-1.jpg

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