|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3530 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1627 words|
She had heard the term before, but she could not remember what it meant. But it was clear that the man in long clothes was related to them, and from Arlon’s actions she understood he was not their enemy, so after a short delay she also appeared behind the group.
The man looked at the four who just entered the room, his gaze gelid as he appeared to be measuring who they were.
「You don’t look like regular adventurers though…who are you?」
He believed them a bit, easing his wariness somewhat as he pointed the crossbow away and towards the ceiling. Though his left hand still gripped the thin sword ready for any eventuality. Arlon took one step forward, looking around the room before pointing at one of the bodies lying at the feet of the man.
「Those are from Chimera, right?」
「…Yes, they are.」
The man looked down, seeing the bloodstained face of the dead man, his eyes filled with resentment, hatred and anger; a mix of all negative feelings as he spat out with a voice full of scorn.
(So my guess was correct.)
Hearing that, Arlon felt somewhat disappointed, though he did not show it in his expression. Their objective was to capture Chimera Clauzen’s members alive, but that was impossible now that they were in that state.
「You asked who we are, and in short we’re here to capture these people. That should tell you enough.」
Arlon made no efforts to conceal his annoyance, sighing as he wished that at least one of them was still alive enough.
Outside interference being present during the mission had been accounted for, and seeing the man’s expression, as well as the fact he was part of the Sky Denizens, made it easy to guess why he was there. But due to the importance of the mission, which could be said was the most important one in the Fifty Bells’ history, made Arlon’s reaction understandable.
But the man did not seem to be bothered by Arlon’s annoyed voice, simply thinking for a short moment.
「…Ah, I see. You’re from the Fifty Bells.」
Having understood where the group of four came from, the man sheathed his sword and relaxed his stance.
They had different means, but both organizations had the same objective. That was the relationship between that man and the Fifty Bells.
Seeing all the hostility vanish from the man, Arlon stepped deeper into the room while Hebi and Sasori followed behind him.
(What a monumental sight…)
Mira looked at all the corpses on the ground, covered in blood and with parts completely burned off, their faces contorted in anguish, before looking away frowning. She had figured she would eventually see human corpses when she decided to join the fight against Chimera, but she had never expected the first account would be this gruesome sight.
「Well, I guess our mission has failed.」
Arlon had checked each of the corpses in hopes there was a slim chance one would still be alive, but eventually he had to resign himself as he glared at the man.
「Well, I’m sorry for that.」
The man in long clothes apologized, though his voice carried no hint of remorse as he tried to walk past them to the exit.
「Oh right, you can have this as my apology as well, there’s something those bastards told me.」
Just when he was about to step out of the room, the man stood still, still facing away from the group as he spoke.
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「Their main base is somewhere in Sentopolly, apparently.」
With those last words, he silently left the place like a gust of wind. The room was left mostly silent, except for a disturbance in the air that sounded like a murmur. But to Mira that soft wind seemed to carry a sorrowful voice.
「That’s quite vague information. But well, at least it’s better than nothing.」
Arlon shook his head in disappointment, but he still took a piece of paper from his pocket and wrote down the newly gained information.
「We would’ve gotten a more precise location if we captured them alive after all…」
Sasori looked around, muttering in a low voice before squatting next to one of the bodies.
「We can’t go back empty-handed, so let’s see if we can get anything else here.」
「Yeah, things might look bad but if we search carefully we might still find something useful.」
Returning the paper to his pocket, Arlon was of the same mind and began searching through one of the nearby bodies.
「I’ll go search inside.」
Hebi decided two people was enough to search the bodies, so she went to the control room located further inside the floor.
「I’ll help you.」
Mira quickly decided to go there as well, running after Hebi and passing her, racing to the control room. Between searching a building and bodies, unless one had extreme tastes anyone would choose the former.
In the center of the control room stood a large stone table, broken down chairs littered around it. Further inside, where the Spirit King was said to have stood while directing the armies, there was an area with multiple pillars arranged in a line across the room. At first glance it looked like some sort of cage.
(What are these holes? I feel like I remember some orbs that went in them.)
Mira felt that weird fact popping into her mind as she looked at the pillars further inside the room. There was usually nothing much to do in that room, Mira had only been there two or three times in the past while everything was a game, so she did not remember much about it. But the fact that those pillars were there to restrain the effect of the Spirit King was something obvious at first glance.
That was also the first place Hebi went to investigate, examining the weird holes and mysterious writing around there.
Mira walked along the pillars, slowly remembering the times she was there in the past. But then she finally remembered what had been bothering her just a few minutes earlier.
「By the way, who are the Sky Denizens? I feel like I heard of them before, but I can’t remember anything.」
Standing still, Mira scratched her chin as she asked that. Hebi was leaning forward, closely looking at the holes in the pillars, but hearing Mira she stopped and ran up to Mira.
「The Sky Denizens are one of the groups that venerate spirits as deities, though they are a pretty small group. They’re actually part of the Fifth Anima tribe, and while every tribe has a high respect for spirits, the Fifth Anima go as far as having a spirit as their chief and live together with them. There are also the Earth Denizens, Sea Denizens, Fire Denizens, and Moon Denizens.」
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Hebi ended up telling her even more information than Mira asked for. But when she heard all of it, Mira’s hazy memory finally became clear.
「Fifth Anima! Now I remember, I finally know where I heard that. And now because of them Chimera are in that state, huh.」
There had been a quest back in the day where she had to fight alongside tribes that venerate spirits. But at the time only the biggest tribes took part, while smaller ones like Fifth Anima, or the Sky Denizens, were only vaguely mentioned as an existing group during some random dialogue.
Intrigued by how far that vague lore went, she dug around looking for more information until she stumbled upon a close friend whose proud smile was still burned in her memory. That friend told her everything she wanted to know, including the Sky Denizens.
That way Mira understood the lineage of the man in long clothes, while also knowing what brought forth the destruction she saw earlier.
「To them, Chimera Clauzen are like demons straight from hell. That’s why they deserve nothing but death penalty for their sins.」
As Hebi said that, she closed her eyes in displeasure since they were unable to capture anyone alive.
「Those are some radical beliefs. And they even have the skills to accomplish that…that’s tricky.」
Mira frowned, the sight of the previous room floating in her mind again. They had no way of knowing what rank those four Chimera Clauzen members had, but at the very least they were powerful enough to reach the last floor of the Libra Fortress. But then a single man slaughtered them single-handedly, and that without receiving any obvious injuries. He truly was a strong foe.
Hebi nodded, thinking the same way as Mira. Then after some thought she opened her mouth again.
「But something’s puzzling. That man had the priests’ emblem on his cheek, but killing is taboo for Fifth Anima priests. They normally have a specialized group to deal with heretics that disturb their order. Dealing with those four would normally be a job for that group.」
A priest that breaks taboo. For a religious tribe that was an inconceivable thought. If Hebi’s knowledge was correct, that man’s slaughter was a similar crime to those committed by Chimera Clauzen.
「Humph… Perhaps it was something he just had to do, no matter the means.」
「Maybe. Still, it’s out of our mission’s scope.」
「True, you’re right.」
That man clearly had a hatred and disdain for Chimera Clauzen deeply ingrained in his being. After only seeing him for such a short moment, Mira felt like there was a different emotion driving him than religious piety.
After that their conversation went silent, mostly out of prudence, and the two went back to searching through the control room.
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