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Chapter 59: Means of Transportation

Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2563 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1318 words
Editor(s): Fire

「Well, guess you’ll be heading to the Abandoned City in the Sky next. Considering the distance, this will take quite a while again.」

Suleyman left the office, returning to resume his work decoding the texts. Meanwhile, as soon as he left, Solomon returned to his more casual tone of voice, which made Mira curious.

「This’s been bothering me for a while, but you changed your voice to sound deeper earlier, yes? But I thought you knew Suleyman for a long time now, so he’s almost like a relative. Is there really a need to do that?」

Mira was thinking about Mariana and Cleos when she said that. She had known those two when the world was still a game, but they remembered everything that happened back then. That should apply to Suleyman as well, so there was no real reason to act differently in front of him. Hearing that, Solomon sighed, technically what Mira said was true, but it was more complicated.

「At first I didn’t care much about how I spoke, I was just myself all the time, but then Luminaria scolded me. She said that now that everything is real, I should take things more seriously than before. For that, I should start giving off the appearance befitting of a king, and that my manner of speech was a big part of that. I decided to ask Suleyman for advice, and he seemed really happy about me changing, he told me he’d personally supervise my words to make sure I spoke correctly. Since then, I always have to speak that way or he gets mad at me.」

「What a loyal personage.」

Solomon shrugged, laughing dryly at his helpless situation. Mira smiled, entertained, she could easily imagine that happening, knowing how Suleyman was.

「Anyway, let’s get back on topic. Why does the Abandoned City in the Sky have to be so far away…」

As Mira said that, she recalled her past travels flying. The views were breathtaking, she did not feel cold if she wore a coat, and it was much faster than going on a horse carriage, she could travel large distances in a much shorter time. But the only downside was that Mira could only last for so many hours riding Pegasus.

「How’s the wagon doing? Do you think it’ll be completed soon?」
「Hmm, it’s made out of very specialized items, I think I hyped it too much last time we spoke and didn’t think of that, so it’ll take quite a while longer.」
「Ah, I see.」

All her problems would get solved once she had the wagon of her dreams, but in the meantime, she would have to make do with Pegasus. Then again, Pegasus always seemed very excited to carry Mira as they flew through the sky. Mira also found that fun, but there was nothing she could do to avoid getting exhausted. Just the day before she had gotten so tired she needed to take a nap in some grasslands.
Mira turned to look at the ceiling, her body reclined against the couch. In her mind, she was dreaming of how nice it would be to fly through the sky on a couch like that.

「You look quite disappointed, did something happen?」

Solomon noticed something was off about Mira, asking her if everything was alright. Mira stayed still, only moving her head slightly to reply.

「Lately I’ve been riding Pegasus to go from one place to another, but when I have to cling to him for many hours I get really exhausted. And now I’m going all the way to the Abandoned City in the Sky, which is going to be quite the ordeal for an old man like myself, I wish you were more careful about your elders.」
「So that’s what’s bothering you. I get how that would be faster, but yeah, holding onto Pegasus for so long sounds tiring. But hey, it’s been a while since you spoke that line about your age, though nowadays it’s amusing in a completely different way.」

Still, Solomon thought seriously about her concerns. He took out a map and spread it on his desk, telling her 「How about this?」 Mira stood up and walked over, looking at it from the side.

「This looks like a normal map… though this, what’s this highlighted line?」

The map showed the northeastern regions of the continent, with the Holy Land of Alispharius at its center. There were short descriptions and names for the regions, and a strange line that spread through many of them that stood out a lot. Certain points of the line had circles on them as well, with the name of a city to the side. Solomon pointed at one of those circles, located past the mountain range to the north of Arkite.

「This is a map of the continental railroads. If flying gets too tiring, you can always travel on land. This is the closest station city, Silverside. You could take the train there and go all the way to Alis, then continue from there on Pegasus to minimize exhaustion. It’ll take you three or four days to arrive at Alis, but the cities on the way there all have plenty of inns where you could stay.」

As he spoke, Solomon pressed his index finger against the map, moving it from Silverside along the line all the way to the station city in Alispharius, where he lifted his finger from the map and made it jump to the Abandoned City in the Sky. Mira looked astounded at the map, reading the names of all the cities the railroads went through, until she finally gathered her thoughts and looked at Solomon.

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「A train, you said?!」

There was no such means of transportation thirty years before. Players had their floating islands, while the natives only knew of horses and boats. Mira was shocked at how much technology kept evolving there, but she also began chuckling to herself, eventually slamming the desk out of excitement.

「That’s good, that’s so good, a masterpiece! Who would’ve thought there would be a train here already. But I guess I was too narrow-minded seeing there’s already flying ships here!」
「No way, you already know about the flying ships. Now I have one less interesting story I can tell you about.」

Mira spoke very excitedly, but Solomon seemed rather disappointed seeing she already knew of the conglomerate of new technologies that were the flying ships.
Once Mira calmed down, she looked attentively at Solomon and asked for more details. He nodded and explained more details as briefly as possible.

The continental railroads were another product of Magic Engineering, the first line being constructed to connect all of the Three Gods’ Countries. The duty of managing the railroads was given to station cities, independent from the Three Gods’ Countries and located on protected territories. The railroads became quite popular, which created a booming economy for those station cities.

「You seem quite familiar with that topic. But well, guess I’ll take the train to Alis, and then… that reminds me, there’s another place I have to visit.」

Her mind excited about the train trip, Mira recalled that other clue she got by chance, so she took out a map from her Item Box and lay it on top of the route map.

「What’s this..? I see a marker on the Forest of Four Seasons.」

This time it was Solomon who asked the question. He could see a red mark on the center of the continent, where many mountain ranges merged at a single point. Solomon was unable to think of anything of interest to them at that point, so he turned a puzzled look at Mira.

「I told you about Chimera Clauzen before, yes? I ran into one of their members the other day.」

Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2872 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1472 words
Editor(s): Fire

After that Mira told Solomon what happened after she left the Tenma Labyrinth. How she followed him through the forest, how he tried to attack a young spirit at the lake, and how an onmyoji master came to help the spirit. That rescuer was part of an organization fighting against Chimera Clauzen, and agreed that Nyanmaru’s master was likely one of his comrades. After talking with his superiors, Mira was given the location of their headquarters.

「Though I really have to thank you for giving me that medal, it helped prove my position, and so they even gave me the location of their headquarters!」

Mira laughed giddily about everything, but Solomon was impressed as he looked at the red mark. Not because Mira had been able to use the medal so quickly, but because something he gave her was of so much use to her. He was also surprised when he heard the name of the resistance organization Mira had encountered.

「Are you sure they said they were from the Fifty Bells?」

Solomon asked again, which made Mira knit her brows quizzically as she replied.

「Yes, what about it? Is something wrong?」

She asked in return, and Solomon nodded before placing a pamphlet on top of the maps. The title on the pamphlet read ‘Let’s protect the spirits’ environment’.

「Protect their environment, huh. Is this something like an environmentalist’s pamphlet? What about it?」

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Mira took the pamphlet and began looking through it. Inside there were many pleas to prompt people to care more for conservation efforts, as well as addresses for donations.

But there was something about those addresses that caught Mira’s attention. The organization collecting donations across all of the Three Gods’ Countries was the Fifty Bells Association.

「What does… that mean?」
「It should be obvious enough. The Fifty Bells is an organization that was started as a charity to protect the environment and is known all throughout the continent. They’re quite active as well, they’re currently watching over the northern Grimdart forests as well, where almost all the spirits were captured in the past, so that everything is well-kept for the day when the spirits return. They’re trying to diminish the harm caused by the lack of spirits, and are constantly planting new spirit trees. They’re doing the same in other places as well, so they’re a trustful organization that has shown actual results. I’m sure they have plenty of representatives in this city as well.」
「But that’s all they show to the public. If what you saw and heard is their true essence, then everything we know about them is just a facade.」
「Hmm… I didn’t think they had a public side like that.」

Through their conversation, Solomon learned the true face of the Fifty Bells, while Mira learned what their public side was. But both could see how both sides coexisted, no matter how much they cared for the environment, the spirits would never return unless they got rid of the root of the problems. And Mira had met some of their members tasked with accomplishing that.

「I haven’t looked too much into them so I can’t say for sure that’s how they operate, but from what you’ve told me it sounds very likely. But it makes sense if you think about it, for such a big charity organization, a group like Chimera Clauzen would definitely be the worst scum on the earth for them. So it wouldn’t surprise me if they have armed troops ready to counterattack. But if they did that, then they would become an armed organization, which would get investigated by authorities from many countries, so keeping their peaceful charity facade is a really good tactic to operate freely.」

By using their environmentalist front, the Fifty bells had been able to spread throughout the continent. Like Solomon said, even if they made their goal of fighting Chimera Clauzen public, acting as an armed organization would have stopped their spread in many places. Mira also understood that much, closing the pamphlet and placing it on the desk again.

「Still, I wonder which side is their true one. Are they trying to conserve the environment for spirits, or are they trying to exterminate Chimera Clauzen? Though from what you’ve told me it doesn’t seem like they mean any harm, or rather, if that’s how they operate, maybe it would be interesting to increase our contribution to them.」
「Ohh, you were donating?」
「Of course. Protecting the environment also protects spirits, and spirits are the friends of spellcasters. It would be inconceivable for our country out of all others to not support them.」
「You have a point there.」

Arkite was a kingdom known as the land of spellcasters. Even if the Fifty Bells was a group of mercenaries, supporting people who cared for spirits, the good neighbors of humans, gave a good impression to both the people in and out of the country. Or rather, because they were known in that way, there was no way they would not support them. And now that Solomon knew how they operated behind that public facade, he could see them defeating Chimera Clauzen one day, which would mean only good news for everyone who supported the Fifty Bells.

Solomon went through the castle’s monthly expenses, calculating how much more he could afford to donate. That also gave him another idea, they had seen Mira’s medal, and they had to know it meant Mira was in direct contact with the king. Yet they still revealed their hidden side as a mercenary group, and even gave the location of their headquarters. Solomon decided to think of that as a message to him, and in response, he would increase the amount of money he donated to show he was willing to cooperate with them. After that, they only had to wait for them to directly contact the king.

Realizing Mira had once again brought him a very valuable present from her travels, Solomon smiled to himself as he looked at the map with the location of their headquarters.

「The Forest of Four Seasons has a multitude of spirits living in it, so it makes sense to place their headquarters there, they’ll have a lot of power to defend those spirits if the time comes. They’d only need a reliable form of moving in and out from there, and it’s the perfect base.」
「I know, without their headquarters there, the Forest of Four Seasons would be the perfect hunting grounds for Chimera.」

The Forest of Four Seasons was considered a paradise for spirits, sometimes regarded as even a sacred place. But since it was so full of spirits, in a way it would also be a paradise for Chimera Clauzen. Now that the Fifty Bells had their headquarters there though, it was impossible for them to just waltz in and pick as many spirits as they wanted. The difficulty of transportation aside, it was the perfect location for the Fifty Bells’ headquarters.

Then Mira began thinking of other things. She had two different destinations, both were to the north of Arkite, but one of them was on the eastern side of the continent, while the other was quite a distance away from there. This time it would be impossible to reach one right after the other as she had at the Tenma Labyrinth.

「By the way, where do you suggest I go first? The Abandoned City in the Sky or the Forest of Four Seasons?」

As for her, Mira was planning on waiting until she had her wagon before going to the Forest of Four Seasons, but just in case she decided to ask for Solomon’s opinion, who reclined on his chair before answering.

「Hmmm… maybe better go to the Abandoned City in the Sky first? It’ll take quite some time to figure out the age of the wood shavings you’ll hopefully find there, so you could use that time to visit the forest.」

He smiled, voicing his suggestion, and Mira nodded, realizing she would have much less idle time spent waiting that way, but then she turned a sharp gaze to Solomon.

「Aren’t you just trying to make me slave off harder?」

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Thinking about Solomon’s suggestion, Mira realized he was prioritizing shortening her free time, so she tried to question Solomon, who smiled broadly, almost in a mocking manner.

「Who cares? You’ve never been one to stay still for long. And traveling on a train doesn’t sound too bad either, does it? Each station city has its own charm, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy traveling through them. They even have lunch sets that are unique to each station, so that’ll keep you busy.」
「Hmm, that’s true… now I’m looking forward to that as well!」

Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2719 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1385 words
Editor(s): Fire

Being told of all that, Mira began picturing how her travels would be. Looking at the scenery through the window, eating the station’s meals, it did not sound like a bad experience, so Mira felt excited again.

「Alright then. I’ll take your advice this time.」
「You should see how much this world has developed. And ah, I’ll also tell Leoneil in Caranach about our earlier conversation. He’s been doing his best trying to find the mysterious onmyoji master, but all he found were similar rumors all over the place, like dummies placed to divert attention, so he’s having a hard time sifting through all of it. Though I’m sure he’ll try harder if he finds out that someone who doesn’t specialize in gathering information like you is getting more results than him.」

As Solomon said that, he narrowed his eyes in a wicked way. Mira had only found out about the darker side of the Fifty Bells by chance, but she had still stayed a step ahead of Leoneil gathering that information, so Solomon could not wait to see his face when he found out that a young and upcoming adventurer had gotten further than him, who prided himself in finding out everything faster. Solomon was already giddy just imagining how far he would go, even if it meant sacrificing his dignity, all to beat Mira and find an even bigger scoop.

「Also, they told me to keep all this as secret as possible, hopefully, you can limit yourself about it as well.」
「Don’t worry about that. They kept everything under wraps really well until now, so they must have thought everything through. They saw your medal, and still gave you the location of their base, so I think it’s safe to assume they knew fully well that I’d hear about it from you, and maybe even hoped for it. If anything does get leaked though, it’ll be my responsibility so don’t worry about it.」
「What, is that medal something like your autograph?」
「Well, I guess it’s best to say it’s something you can only get directly from me.」

Saying that, Solomon added 「Take good care of it」 while stretching as far as he could, while Mira stored the map away and threw herself on the couch again.

「But anyway, we’ve been talking for quite some time and I’ve worked up a big appetite. It’s almost time for lunch now, do you want to grab something with me?」
「Hmm, time sure flies by. But well, I already have lunch so don’t worry about me.」

Solomon continued clearing up his desk, while Mira smirked and ruffled through her Item Box to take out a basket.

She held the basket with a proud and satisfied look, placing it on the table in front of the couch with exaggerated motions. Solomon’s eyes seemed like they were about to pop out as he watched astounded.

「Is that… the legendary wife’s bento?!」

Mira replied instantly, albeit slightly embarrassed. That was the basket Mariana had given her before she left the tower. She glanced tauntingly at Solomon, then opened the basket.

「It looks like a lot of care went into making it.」

Solomon peeked into the basket impressed. The contents were well balanced, very colorful, and were overflowing with the love poured into making it.

「I know right, but I won’t give you any.」

Mira quickly jumped to hog all the love for herself, to which Solomon could only droop his shoulders disappointed and tell a maid to bring his lunch to the office.
After a short wait, a maid came with the food, and the two chatted while they slowly chewed through their meals.

When they were done eating, tea from high-quality leaves befitting the ruler of a country was served. Having finished that, Solomon checked the time and seemed to remember something.

「I almost forgot, there’s only one train going from Silverside to Alis, departing a bit in the afternoon.」

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Saying that, Solomon stood up and began looking through a shelf for something. Mira watched him do that without much interest, opening the menu of her bracelet. It was already half an hour past two, the train was about to depart at that time, if it had not already left, and according to the map she had seen earlier, she could only reach Silverside by the evening if she left immediately. In short, it was impossible for her to get there on time.

「So there’s only one train per day? That sounds like a rural area’s ride.」
「That’s pretty often for this world actually. When the railroads began to operate, there was usually only one train leaving every week.」
「Hmm, well, I guess it’s still a pretty novel concept here, so it is what it is. But exactly what time do you mean with noon?」
「Mm, I’m not too sure. It’s only a rough time frame and keeps changing depending on the situation. And found it.」

Answering Mira’s questions, Solomon pulled out a pamphlet from the shelf and threw it towards Mira. It landed square on her lap, and she began leafing through it to see what it was.

「Is this a timetable?」
「Pretty much. It’s a rough schedule of departures and arrivals, make sure to check it.」

Mira looked through it, searching for the departure times for Silverside. After a few pages, she found it. Right lane 8am, and left lane 12~3pm.

「That’s quite a large interval.」
「It seems they’re still struggling to maintain a schedule that is exact to the minute, but it’s still really nice we have access to it at least.」
「Either way, even if I went right now, I would only be able to leave tomorrow.」

Mira closed her menu and the pamphlet, then sipped down the last bits of high-quality tea and lay down on the couch.

「Then you should get ready to leave on tomorrow’s train. If you go now, you’ll arrive there at night, so you can just sleep there and be close enough. As I mentioned, the station cities have many inns, so you’ll definitely have a pleasant night there.」

As Solomon spoke, he approached Mira and dropped three gold coins on her chest.

「These are the funds for your current mission. I’ll look forward to your results.」
「…Well, at least I’ll do the bare minimum.」

Solomon winked in a meaningful way as he said that, which Mira responded to with a glare, before searching through her chest for the coins, which she then stored in her waist pouch.

「Well, I guess I’ll get a move on then. If I’m not making it on time, I might as well enjoy my night there as much as possible.」

Mira slowly rose up from the couch and rearranged her clothes. She had decided she was going to spend that night over in the station city, given that if she left that moment, she would arrive there at the perfect time to go to bed, and the next day she would have plenty of time to sightsee and get on the train. Traveling like that made Mira feel the best, as she already started dreaming of what she would have for dinner in the inn.

「That sounds good. There’s still a considerable distance between here and Silverside, but most of the inns there are built around the station, so if you head straight there you’ll know where to go.」
「Mm, got it. See you later then.」
「Mhm, bye-bye.」

Mira opened the door and waved her hand as she left. Solomon watched as she left, readjusting his sitting position and resuming his duties as a king surrounded by many books.

Wanting to be able to relax as soon as possible, Mira quickly left the castle behind, then on the clearing in front of the main gates, she summoned Pegasus and flew towards Silverside.

She was going really far away this time, and it might take more than a week before she was back. Mira watched the cityscape turning smaller in the distance, watching with a yearning look as she decided that next time she would go sightsee around the Five Pillar Institution.


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