Chapter 101: Ashes (Part 1)

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Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3387 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1589 words
Editor(s): Fire

The bright flash washed out even the light of the sun, a heat wave spreading out together with a destructive shockwave.
It was hard to imagine anything could be brighter than that light, accompanied with a low rumble like the bellows of hell, and pressurized air with more force than a tidal wave. Mira felt that repeat many times, blowing everything around her apart.

「So this… is the Spirit King’s power…」

Eventually the destructive waves passed. Mira peeked out between Pegasus’ wings, unharmed, muttering to herself in an annoyed voice as she surveyed the surroundings to see the damage caused by the spirit bomb.
The sky looked as blue as ever, but everything else had changed drastically.
The remains of the guardian spirits slain before she got there had vanished without trace, the broken down stairs stained a bright white. Around them all the ground had been covered in pale ashes as well.
Mira felt like she was in an alien world, stranded there alone in an instant.

「Just the little power leaking through from the Spirit King’s Palace caused all this…」

The Holy Lords with shields thick as a castle wall that stood in front of Mira had accomplished their duty. While half their bodies had been scorched and covered in ashes, their backs remained unscathed, not even a single speck of ash behind their feet.

「Good job.」

Mira gently touched their backs and sent them back.

The ashes that were stuck to the Holy Lords fell freely, but before they could hit the ground a strong gale swooped them up together with the surrounding ashes. The particles suspended in the air danced around like snow during a blizzard, so Pegasus used his wings to cover and protect Mira.

「Alright, I hope the hunt went nicely.」

Mira looked up with hopeful eyes, watching a huge bird of prey through Pegasus’ feathers.
That was a Garuda Mira had summoned as soon as she noticed the man was planning on escaping, making it fly around unnoticed behind him.
Her plan had been successful, as Garuda placed a bloodied coffin it held in its claws in front of Mira, and leaned down to give her something it held in its beak.

「Ohh, that’s… Mm, good job.」

That was the vase inside a small bag. Garuda had snatched it away together with the coffin.
The way the man, one of Chimera Clauzen’s heads, had planned his emergency escape was to rely on the extreme resistance of his armor to protect him as he used the powerful spirit bomb to propel himself away from there.
The blast had been so powerful he did take a considerable amount of damage, but his plan had succeeded.
There was only one point he failed to include, the existence of Garuda. He was attacked while still in mid-air, and wounded as he was, fighting back was impossible. That resulted in the loss of the precious vase with the Spirit King’s power, and his coffin which he used as a decoy.

「You both outdid yourselves today.」

Mira had the vase, the coffin, and the mist and spirit swords. The head had managed to escape, but she had been able to stop him from stealing the Spirit King’s power. The other items there should also prove valuable to unravel the mysteries surrounding Chimera Clauzen. Once Mira looked at all that, she thanked her summons and sent them away.
After that Mira picked up the two swords and placed them next to the coffin.
Any spirit sword was usually a powerful weapon, but this one was a Shadow made by Chimera Clauzen. From the information gathered so far, it was clear that spirits had been slaughtered to produce it, so no one in the Fifty Bells would want to use it.
Mira was also more interested in the black mist sword.
There was that sword, the golem shrouded in black mist, and the skeleton she had seen in the shrine under the lake. After fighting with them, Mira was convinced they were all the same.

(They said that was a curse that ate away at spirits.)

That was the wording used by the spirit of stillness Worthramble: A curse.
Such a description heavily implied there was someone who had cursed spirits. And even if it happened to be a natural phenomenon, somehow Chimera Clauzen had managed to control and shape it.
Mira pondered about it for a moment, but her thoughts got nowhere so she quickly gave up.
First she had to figure out exactly what the black mist was, it was impossible to arrive at any conclusion without knowing that.
Then her attention focused on the coffin.
It was closed with a lock, which could damage everything if she forced it open, so she decided it was best to carry it back and let a specialist handle it.
With that decided, Mira thought of how to carry it back. The coffin appeared to be out of the scope admitted by her Item Box, so she tried to pick it up to carry it herself, but she could not get it to even budge.
That meant she would have to summon Garuda again and let it carry it out of the dungeon.
But before she could do that, the ashen world surrounding her transformed in an instant.

「What?!」

She turned around flustered, seeing the sky covered in myriads of glistening particles, and behind her a large city colored like a rainbow spread out. To the front, a majestic palace that glistened like many gems stood imposing. It was like she had been transported to a dream-like kingdom floating in clouds.

「Did I… die?」

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Surprisingly enough, that was not a strange conclusion to arrive at. The particles of light seemed to fall down and settle, letting countless rays of light from above pass through. Such a scene could only be possible in a world above mortal knowledge.
Mira felt confused by the drastic change to her surroundings, making her walk around in circles out of desperation. But she did not have to wait too long for an answer.

「Sorry for shocking you like that.」

At the same time as that voice spoke, the gates of the palace opened. From behind the gates a robust man with a noble and heroic air to him appeared. Wearing white robes, he stood three times as tall as Mira, giving him an extremely imposing figure.

「What is going on…」

Mira had never seen that man before, but she realized who it was from just a glance.
His aura, her instincts, and the current situation, pointed all at a single name. Spirit King Symbiosanctius, the being standing atop all spirits.

「I saw everything unfold. I, Spirit King Symbiosanctius, thank you for your valiant efforts to protect the vestiges of my power.」

The Spirit King walked forth, standing closer to Mira where he bowed. Though even with his head down, his face was still at a higher spot than Mira’s.

「Anyone would’ve done that.」

Mira felt blessed to be thanked by the Spirit King himself, but she replied with her usual arrogant manners.

「Anyone, huh.」

For Mira, helping spirits, the good neighbors of humans, was something she thought was obvious. The Spirit King understood that much, muttering that in a low voice while smiling kindly, even though he was one of the most powerful beings in existence..

「Of course. Also, apparently there’s some of your power inside this thing, you should have it back.」

Saying that, Mira took out the strangely shaped vase and opened it, letting the light particles trapped inside float free.

「Oh?! This is…」

As soon as the lid was gone, a torrent of light came out of its opening, as if a blocked waterfall had just been freed. Mira was taken aback seeing that, wondering just how many of those particles could fit in such a small vase.
After a while the flow of particles receded, and when it stopped the vase crumbled to dust. Then all the released particles accelerated like shooting stars being absorbed into the Spirit King.

「That’s some power, alright.」

Seeing that, Mira grimaced, recalling the spirit bomb and the destruction she had somehow resisted.

「Thank you again, I’ve collected all of it.」

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Once the particles of light were all gone, the sky looked still again, particles twinkling without moving. Anywhere Mira looked, there was a breathtaking sight, so she settled on looking up. 「Anyone would’ve done that」 she repeated.

「I see, I see.」 Said the Spirit King, his eyes gentle like an old man looking at his grandchild.

「I’ve noticed my children seem to love you dearly as well.」

The Spirit King noticed the many spirit blessings Mira had received over the years, smiling pleased. At the same time, 「Oh, that reminds me」 he seemed to recall something.

「The reason I’ve summoned you here. I’ve seen how you fight against those fiends, and it’s my wish to lend you my hand.」

「What?!」

That suggestion was the best news Mira had heard in a long time. That man clad in spirit arms showed an exceeding amount of power. And considering the existence of a spirit bomb, it was obvious to conclude they might have other similar weapons as well, their power and shape still unknown. The help of an entity even more powerful than that was the best thing Mira could ever ask for.



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