|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2936 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1374 words|
Below the water dome which reflected the blue sky like an aquarium in whimsical shapes, one location stood out with a higher transit of people compared to the rest. That was the market, where many merchants sold items indispensable for both adventurers and a common person’s daily life. There was clearly also a large group of merchants who supported the Fifty Bells.
The entire market street was filled to the seams with shops, which had signs placed in front to make it easier to know what they all sold, and there were also smaller stalls scattered around.
Mira walked down that street while constantly looking around.
(This looks like a very prosperous place.)
The people passing alongside Mira had very varying appearances, giving the entire place the same feeling as some sort of festival. She could see members of different races, Meou, Gardia, dwarves and elves, as well as more rare species like fairies, dragonborns, and demons. Their clothing was also very varied, some having practical armor or worn out equipment, if there was a way to describe all of them, they looked like a large conglomerate of adventurers. There were others who wore more colorful and peculiarly shaped native costumes, or engineers wearing their distinctive aprons. On top of that, there were some wearing shirts, pants, and even the occasional track suit.
Mixed between that varied flow of people, there were also spirits floating around.
The coupon Mira obtained from Kagura was quickly turned into a large quantity of food. After she stored it all, wondering if she really needed so much, she began strolling around leisurely, looking at different weapon and medicine shops, seeing how they had changed since the game era.
From a certain stand, a particular scent wafted into the sea of people. When it reached Mira, she stopped walking and turned towards its source, walking up to that stand.
(Huh, isn’t that…?)
The scent was stronger there, and as she looked inside she saw that young spirit she met in the Forest of Praying Children, the same who was chasing a butterfly around that lake where she first met someone from the Fifty Bells. Now it was playing around, chasing the particular pattern of light on the ground which came from the sun passing through the lake’s surface.
Mira felt relief seeing the young spirit, knowing it had been safely guarded by the Fifty Bells after she left it back then.
It was then that Mira felt an impact from behind which sent her falling to the ground.
「What was that?」
She lifted her head and looked around.
「Ahhh I’m so sorry! Really…」
There was an immediate reply from behind her, then she felt a pair of arms hoist her by the sides and pick her up. When Mira turned around, she saw a woman with light purple braided hair and a robe of bright and pale colors. The woman, who had a rather young looking face, continued apologizing while desperately dusting off Mira’s clothes.
「Don’t worry, it was nothing.」
As she spoke. Mira stared intently at the woman’s face. Something felt off, or rather, she felt she had seen that woman somewhere before, or at least someone similar. Once the dusting was over, the woman looked straight at Mira before squeezing her in a hug.
「What are you-?!」
While feeling an inexplicable lump of something soft pressing against her face from across the robe, Mira was shocked from the sudden hug, instinctively attempting to escape the embrace.
「Ah, sorry. I suddenly felt like…」
The woman pulled her arms back, though they still loitered in the air emptily wishing to hug Mira. Meanwhile Mira thought more about the sensation she felt on her cheek and also drooped her shoulders in regret.
A man then hesitantly spoke to those two who looked at each other with dejected looks.
「Lyne… I finally found you, and what are you even doing?」
The woman called Lyne replied with 「I ran into her…」 and then seemed to remember something as she placed her hand on Mira’s body. Her touch was gentle while a white glow enveloped her hand.
「I’m sorry. Are you hurt? I’m really sorry…」
That glow on Lyne’s hand was something produced from Monk Skills. As she touched Mira’s body, even the slight bruises that really did not bother her vanished with a slight glow. The man was able to largely guess what had happened, so he poked at Lyne’s head once she was done healing Mira.
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「Were you walking around while looking at spirits unaware of your surroundings again? Seriously…」
He appeared to have guessed correctly, as Lyne simply nodded without making excuses, apologizing after while bowing to Mira. But as soon as she lifted her head and saw Mira, she once again hugged her tightly.
「What should I- do with her?」
This time she did not resist the embrace, but she asked the man while looking at him out of Lyne’s arms. This time she had no ulterior thoughts though. Mira had noticed a certain sadness in Lyne, so she decided to let her do as she pleased.
「You can’t do that, Lyne.」
The man spoke softly like whispering, and Lyne slowly and reluctantly let go of Mira, heaving a deep sigh afterwards.
He appeared to be in his early thirties and had a rather lean body. His hair was golden like ripe rice straws and was cut short. He only carried some light equipment, and two swords dangled on each side of his hips. He had almond eyes, as well as slender glasses, which overall gave him a reserved and intelligent appearance. Either way, he was a rather handsome man as well.
「I’m Ashley, and she’s my wife Lyne. It seems she’s been a bit rude to you, so I apologize for her.」
He bowed after introducing himself, looking honestly sorry for anything that might have happened.
「Don’t worry about it. It seems she has her reasons too.」
Her actions had been largely unexpected, so there was no harm in Mira getting curious about her, and it was hard for her not to after seeing the two apologize so many times.
「Thank you.」 Ashley bowed again, looking slightly pained as he continued talking.
「As I mentioned, we’re a married couple, but we also have a son who should be turning ten this year. But because of certain reasons we haven’t been able to see him in many years now. It seems that has affected her greatly as now she always gets distracted seeing infant spirits, or she impulsively hugs children who would be around the same age as him. She’s run into people countless times before as well, and I try to talk to her about it every time…」
As he said that, Ashley gently held Lyne against him. His actions were like those of someone protecting something, or protecting her of something.
「That sounds like a complicated situation…」
Lyne would get easily distracted when seeing young spirits, thinking about her own son, and would run into people, and because of a similar reason she had hugged Mira only because of her young appearance. Knowing about her situation now, Mira felt some pity for her, as well as curiosity to know more about them. There had to be a reason why they could not meet their beloved son after such a long time.
「I hope I’m not being too bothersome or nosy, but could you tell me more?」
「You’re not a bother at all.」
Hearing Mira, Ashley nodded without hesitating, slowly letting go of his wife before plopping a hand on her head.
「Lyne is a half elf half spirit.」
「Ohh… I see.」
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Hearing that, Mira looked at Lyne again, and when she noticed that stare, Lyne spread her arms wide with a bright as if inviting Mira to jump into her arms.
It appeared that Lyne did not mind at all if they spoke about her either, so having confirmed that much, Mira turned back to look at Ashley. Meanwhile Lyne silently let her hands go down again while hanging her head down.
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