|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3690 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1808 words|
As Mira peeked at her through the Dark Knight’s side, she appeared to be judging her abilities, though she also had a devilish smile as if enjoying something. On top of that, summoners would normally try to buy as much time as possible to chant, but Mira showed no signs of even trying to do that. Her attitude was basically telling Sasori that she did not need to use any high level summons.
Sasori felt indignated by that, but seeing the Dark Knight and Holy Knight in front of her, she could only laugh at herself. So that’s what the pupil of the continent’s strongest spellcaster looks like. She had never felt like she was pretentious about her own skills, but seeing Mira she was made aware that she had been overconfident.
(I wonder how far it can go!)
Forgetting about her original objective, Sasori ran against the Dark Knight motivated by a feeling of being able to spar with someone stronger than herself.
The battle grew more intense as Sasori used every hand she had to take down the Dark Knights. But every time one would fall, another would be summoned. Sasori was still motivated, but the exhaustion from the prolonged fight started catching up to her and her movements became duller. Still, using the skills she had honed through the years, she took down the twentieth Dark Knight.
(It’s getting a bit too repetitive by now… why am I fighting in the first place though…?)
As if someone was giving her an extra serving every time she finished her plate, every time she defeated a Dark Knight another would appear. Sasori was thoroughly tired but she still kept her mind calm, sighing seeing the Holy Knight standing further back without a single scratch on itself. The five people watching the match looked at her with a pitiful look knowing it was too much for her, and other onlookers did the same.
(She’s quite good, very good even. I’ll try chaining my attacks next.)
Since this world became reality for Mira, she had been planning new strategies and imagining how they would work out, and now she had a chance to actually put them to practice. Many things worked out differently than expected, but she still gained important experience from it.
「This is only the beginning!」
Mira was in a drunk-like state, excited beyond her mind being able to test many more skills than before this was reality. Seeing her like that, Uzume grimaced as she was reminded of a scene from years ago.
Sasori’s voice quivered in despair. Mira had gotten carried away and summoned five Dark Knights at the same time. If Sasori was pitted against a single one she was able to fend for herself, but this was far beyond her limits.
「I give up!」
Even while announcing her surrender, Sasori’s voice was clear and composed. Her daggers were already on the ground while she lifted a white handkerchief as a manner of white flag.
「Hmm… well, that’s fine. But what do you think? Summoners are really cool, aren’t they?」
Mira climbed up to the Holy Knight’s shoulder and stood with her chest up in a needlessly proud manner. She felt satisfied thinking that summoners would get plenty of recognition after she defeated the Fifty Bell’s elite so easily.
But as reality would have it, she was slightly mistaken. The founder and commander of the Fifty Bells was Kagura, one of the Nine Wisemen, so she obviously knew how Danbulf was, who she trained together with so they could polish each other’s skills. At the same time, she was aware of how useful summoners could be and stressed that throughout the organization, even the summoner friends of Sasori were fellow members. Basically everyone there held a different opinion compared to the commonly touted ‘summoners are outdated’ idea the general populace had.
As a result, she left a different impression on them.
「Well, summoners are rather… well, strong I guess.」
「So that’s what happens if you rely on stereotypes a bit too much.」
Mizar began speaking while carefully choosing his words, Alioth also grimaced as he agreed with him.
「Ahahahahahahah! She’s so presumptuous!」
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Without any hesitation, Cophin laughed as he spoke the words everyone was thinking but decided to leave tacit. No one blamed him for it, and everyone agreed with him as well.
「What… was that…?」
Mira’s expression froze over after being greeted by a completely different reaction than she expected.
「So that’s how summoners are, and that’s how your personality is…」
Kongou muttered that while adding that at least their fighting power had increased considerably, looking with a pitiful expression at Mira standing on the Holy Knight’s shoulder.
With the match over, they all headed back to the meeting room.
As they walked, Kongou related to Mira his unfiltered impression of the earlier fight, that she had been like a cat toying with a featherless chick.
Sasori’s shoulders sank realizing that it was impossible for her to counter a summoner, while Uzume tried to console her saying that Mira was just an exception amongst summoners. Mira was puzzled seeing those two, unable to comprehend Sasori’s feelings while also trying to find new ways to preach a summoner’s might.
Moments later the group arrived back at the meeting room, where they each were served a cup of tea from a varied assortment laid on the table. When everyone was seated, Alioth cleared his throat and began speaking.
「It was surprising seeing how much Mira overpowered our comrade Sasori while using only low level summons. I think it’s fair to assume that Uzume’s assessment of us being unable to stand against her was rather accurate.」
Uzume responded with a quick 「I told you so!」 with a smug face. That reaction was born from her old friendship amongst the Nine Wisemen.
「I have no doubts about her fighting strength. I think we can rely on her.」
Mizar emptied the contents of his cup in one go, then glanced at Sasori resting exhausted in her chair before announcing he had no objections.
Now that everyone had seen the extent of her power, no one doubted she would be able to handle the Libra Fortress. Only Hebi hung her head looking somewhat conflicted. The match had been caused by Mizar’s pity for Hebi in the first place, since she expressed she did not want to stay back. But he no longer took her feelings into consideration when speaking. It was not like Hebi had doubted Mira’s skills, she was simply dissatisfied with being left behind during the Fifty Bells Union’s most important mission since its foundation. Her earlier outburst had also avoided talking about Mira’s skills and only focused on her desire to go along with them.
「What is it, Hebi? Still not convinced? I’m pretty sure we can trust her though.」
Seeing Hebi’s state, Kongou spoke to her. In response, she lifted her face and slowly looked at Uzume through the corner of her eyes as she replied.
「I have no complaints about her. I just can’t accept…that I won’t go with them. I’m the only Hidden left aside.」
Kongou finally understood her true feelings when she said that. They had agreed that all the Hidden would be taking up this mission, but Hebi alone was not going to participate simply because the vehicle would be above capacity. Any other reason, even if related to a lack of skill, would have been more acceptable for her.
Kongou crossed his arms as he grunted, deep in thought. Then looking with resolute but caring eyes he asked to confirm something.
「That wagon you mentioned is one of those vehicles pulled by a summon, correct? None of us has seen it yet so I wanted to ask, is the three person limit due to weight constraints?」
「No, the weight should pose no problem. It’s a matter of space, three people sitting down would make it rather cramped already.」
Mira did not believe Garuda would have problems carrying more people. The first time it tried carrying the wagon it had been able to lift it with a single leg after all. So, she replied that it was more of a space constraint. When Hebi heard that, she leaned her body towards Mira as if about to jump on her.
「I don’t mind if I have to stand. Just give me a spot where I won’t be a bother. I don’t mind hanging on the outside either, just please let me go.」
Hebi’s forearms were on top of the table supporting her weight, her eyes about to cry if her request was denied as she pleaded Mira.
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「Do you think it’ll work?」
With Uzume also asking from beside her, Mira pictured the inside of the wagon again. Then she attempted to place herself, Hebi, Sasori, and an unknown rank A adventurer (hopefully a girl), like an imaginary harem in there. Chuckling at the thought that they would be somewhat cramped as well, Mira decided there would be no problem at all.
「Well, it might be a bit crowded but if you both have no problem with that, you can come!」
「…Umm, anyway, that means Hebi can go as well.」
Uzume gave Hebi permission to go, but only after sighing seeing Mira’s face filled with an almost disgusting hint of having an ulterior motive. Hebi lowered her head in thanks, almost hitting the table with her forehead.
With that, the group heading to the Libra Fortress was settled as a four man squad, and the meeting moved onto discussing the actual strategy they would employ.
The plan was settled after an hour of discussion, the members dispersing and hurrying to make the necessary preparations and briefing their subordinates.
The only ones left were Mira and Uzume. They put all the planning aside and instead began talking about what they had done ever since they arrived in that world. They had gone through a rollercoaster of events there, but their conversation was mostly relaxed and friendly.
Halfway through they also began talking about the foundation of the Fifty Bells Union. Mira’s complexion turned warm as if she was hearing the story of her grandchild, and later simply said 「You can count on me too.」 It had been many years since they had seen each other, and Mira’s voice and appearance had changed entirely, but when Uzume, or rather Kagura, heard that, something akin to a bright bonfire was reanimed deep inside her heart. The invisible bond they had forged in a virtual world had resisted the passage of time and could still be certainly felt.
Trying to hide her embarrassment, Kagura replied with 「Thanks.」
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