|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2458 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1191 words|
After having dinner with Kagura, Mira was led to a room in the inner palace where she spent the night. The next morning she had an ichiju gosai breakfast, a traditional breakfast that included one soup bowl with five side dishes.
Afterwards she met up with Sasori and Hebi, before heading to the tower that indicated the exit of the headquarters together with Kagura who was seeing them off.
The tower was tall, with spiral steps that made Mira feel exhausted just from looking at them, but she quickly followed after the other three girls who began climbing them.
When they reached the top of the tower, which held the gate that connected the headquarters to the lake, they saw Arlon was already there. The little equipment he wore was reinforced with gold, exuding an aura of confidence.
「Good morning Arlon.」
「Oh hey, morning.」
When Kagura, mostly known as Uzume there, greeted him, he turned from watching the sky waving above to look at the four girls, smiling as he returned the greeting. That place was commonly used as the meeting point whenever the Fifty Bells had missions.
「Now this is quite the wonderful lineup.」
Arlon said in an entertained tone. In front of him stood the very commander of the Fifty Bells, two of their elite members, and to top it off the pupil of a wiseman. He was so hyped for this mission that he ended up waking up really early that morning.
On the other hand, Sasori smiled confidently, while Hebi muttered 「He’s big」 after glancing at Arlon. She was worried about the capacity of the wagon.
「Alright, let’s go over the plan one last time.」
Uzume quickly assumed a more serious face as she reviewed their mission.
「Your first destination is the Libra Fortress. You’ll get there by flying on Mira’s wagon. There your objective will be to capture Chimera Clauzen’s higher ups. Is everything clear so far?」
「Yes, no questions from me.」
Arlon replied as such, and everyone else nodded in accord. After a short pause, Uzume continued while looking at Mira.
「You’ll have Garuda carry the wagon, correct?」
Summoning spells were not only useful in battle, but also to carry things like wagons, so hearing that fact stated, made Mira stick out her chest pridefully.
Uzume knew Mira, or rather Danbulf very well, and she also remembered Garuda’s demeanor and appearance, which made her feel somewhat uncertain.
「You have to stop by Sarut’s Union first to gain permission to enter, so try to look like a regular carriage after that. If you go all the way there with such a conspicuous bird, you’ll stand out too much and Chimera might suspect something.」
She quickly limited Mira’s ability to show off her summoning.
「Okay, I understand…」
Mira slouched her back like a small kitten, replying dejectedly to Uzume.
「Wait, better yet, travel by land as soon as Sarut comes in sight. One can never be too careful with Chimera after all.」
Mira only grunted slightly in assent, sighing knowing that it would still take a long time before the resurrection of summoners.
「We don’t know when Chimera’s higher ups will show up, so you’ll probably end up having to spend quite some time in there. During that time, Sasori and Hebi will be standing watch, while you and Arlon try to save energy to fight in your best shape when the time comes.」
Arlon replied instantly, turning to look at Mira afterwards. From the way Uzume spoke, he could tell she had absolute trust in her, which made his expectations from her grow even more.
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「I feel confident in your combined strength when it comes to fighting. But as far as restraining them is concerned, I’ve given Sasori and Hebi some binding devices to take care of that, so just focus on knocking them out.」
Uzume’s voice sounded almost like a suggestion, and was directed straight at Mira.
「Hmm, so you’re basically saying that I should just focus on fighting.」
When Mira understood what she was trying to say, she smiled slightly. After all, this would be a good chance for her to show the power of summoners after being belittled for so long. Sasori had been briefed on it all beforehand, so she confidently said 「We’ll take the rest」 to Mira. Hebi was silent, but she still nodded vigorously as well.
「And that’s it, good luck out there!」
With those parting words, Uzume sent the four away. She firmly believed they were the most suitable people for the mission, so there was not even a shred of doubt in her face.
After climbing through the steps surrounded by water like an aquarium, they were greeted by the soft air of the Forest of the Four Seasons. The morning mist still lingered around, its white contrasting with the shade between the trees, like it was the breath of the forest itself. But there was no gloom to it, simply filled in a solemn calmness.
(This is a really nice place.)
The scent from the forest was pleasant as well, while the spirits that sometimes peeked out blessed the four heading to their mission. The slightly warm feeling that gave Mira felt somewhat nostalgic and reassuring.
「This is quite a warm farewell.」
「Well, they know we have their best interest in mind, and we’re all friends here.」
Sasori waved back at the spirits as she spoke to Mira.
There were two types of spirit blessings. Ones that lasted forever, and others that only applied for a limited time. The first ones would normally be gained by being close to a spirit, and usually enabled the receiver to learn some special and unique skills. The latter were given by spirits on a whim. The blessings Mira and her group received were all of the momentary type.
As Mira felt blessings pile upon others on her, she could clearly feel their gentleness and warmth, making her decide even more firmly on taking down Chimera Clauzen.
As they continued walking along the lake’s shore, they arrived at the wagon, which was swarmed by children.
「Look at that, they found a new playground.」
They were all spirits from the forest, hanging from the braces of the wagon, climbing to its roof and jumping down, all while laughing and smiling brightly.
The white wagon stood out in comparison to the blue lake and green forest, so it was quickly turned into one of the spirits’ favorite playgrounds.
It took them some time to peel off all the spirits clinging to the wagon, only for the spirits that followed the four to take their place. Still somewhat reluctant, Mira handed to a responsible-looking spirit the small spirit that kept clinging to her.
When that was taken care of and she regained her composure, Mira opened the wagon door with an exaggerated manner. Sasori quickly ran to her side, looking inside and raising an 「Ohh!」 of admiration. That lured Arlon who also peeked inside.
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