|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2973 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1345 words|
The fight in the Mirage Maze over, Mira’s group returned to her wagon and headed back to the Fifty Bells’ headquarters. Kumo’s group stayed back, examining the remainder of the Mirage Maze in case there was anything else left there. The sun had already begun to set as the four began discussing what to do after that. Though as far as reporting their findings to headquarters was decided. They all were ready to go to Sentopolly, but they still had to decide who went to investigate what part. As they were engrossed with their conversation, they suddenly heard the ringing of a familiar-sounding bell.
「Wha-! What’s that?!」
Sasori’s tail sprung up and fuzzed up, her eyes darting around her while clinging tightly onto Hebi’s robes. It appeared she could not handle loud noises.
Mira walked past her and pulled open the sliding paper door of the closet, which concealed the source of the ringing, which made the sound become louder while Sasori’s tail began twitching.
「I wonder when he put this in here.」
She opened a box placed there, finding a black communications device inside. It looked the same as the one she had seen in her tower. It was shaped similarly to a phone, so the way to use it was quite intuitive. Mira took the receiver and held it to her ear.
『Ah, you finally picked up. Hello~ can you hear me?』
The noisy bell stopped and a familiar-sounding voice rang through the wagon. It was Mira’s good friend Solomon.
「Eh? What?! Who’s voice is that?!」
Sasori’s eyes peeked out from Hebi’s robes as she asked that in a low voice.
「A communications device? That’s incredible.」
Arlon quickly connected the dots, hearing an unfamiliar voice and seeing the device Mira held in her hand. He was aware of its functionality, as well as its high price.
『Oh? I hear a lot of other voices. Hellooo, are you theree?』
「I can hear you. I’m with the guys from the Fifty Bells.」
Mira turned to look at her companions as she replied to the device.
『Ahh, I see. I get it, I get it. So you’re traveling together with them. Alright so… hello everyone there, I’m Patronager S, I’ve provided Mira with pretty much everything you can see her use, nice to meet you.』
Arlon smiled hearing the rather casual introduction, while Hebi was still busy explaining what communication devices were to the scared Sasori.
「So, what do you need?」
Mira opened the closet wide and sat on the upper half, her feet dangling as she relaxed her body.
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『Do you still remember that incident from a while back? With that grudgeful kid.』
「Yeah, I still remember.」
He was talking about Kairos, the instructor at the academy who had attacked Mira while covered in shadow spirit arms out of a grudge. Mira had just fought someone in similar attire, so she quickly knew who Solomon was talking about.
『Heh, you actually do? Now that’s surprising. That makes things easier though. We figured out where his spirit arms came from.』
「Ohh that was fast! Where did he get those?」
Considering Mira’s unreliable memory, her response was unexpected. Solomon’s voice sounded very surprised through the phone. Mira did not seem bothered by that reaction, her interest lying entirely on the information regarding those weapons. They had found a strong link between shadow spirit arms and Chimera Clauzen, so whatever information Solomon had would prove to be valuable. There was no better moment to hear that, so Mira urged Solomon to continue.
『You sound more interested than I expected. But anyway, lemme explain everything in order so you understand where my help came in handy.』
With that, Solomon explained how he interrogated Kairos and his parents. First, they gathered all the spirit arms and figured out that they were bought from different people. The family had no direct ties with those merchants, but they all seemed to be part of three merchant groups that had plenty of spirit arms stocked up. As Solomon looked more into that, he found something in common amongst those three groups.
They all were under the umbrage of the Melville Trading Corporation. Until a decade ago, they were merely average members of the corporation, but in recent years they had garnered more authority and were close to being the three biggest groups under the corporation.
The Melville Trading Corporation mainly dealt with weapons, so they tried tracing the source and movements inside those three groups and found some bizarre things. A portion of the weapons that passed through the corporations would transform into spirit arms somewhere along the way. In some transactions more than half of the items change. But as the corporation passed them along to the three groups, the spirit arms trickled down one after another so it did not stand out. Those details were a bit dubious though, as it all happened internally in the corporation and would need to be investigated more.
『The thing is, this Melville Trading Corporation is looking pretty suspicious already. And then I began to wonder if it might have some connection to the stuff you’re investigating as well.』
Considering how suspicious everything was, Solomon closed his report off by mentioning a possible link between the corporation and Chimera Clauzen.
「So things are looking even darker.」
Replying that way, Mira also told him of everything she had found during her latest mission. Including what she saw and heard in the Libra Fortress and Mirage Maze. She was pretty much leaking top secret information about their mission, but Arlon and Hebi had no interest in stopping her, and Sasori figured she had no reason to stop her either since her companions remained still.
『I see, that does seem to paint them that way. Not to mention Sentopolly is also really close to where the Melville Trading Corporation’s main offices are located. They’re soaked in suspicion.』
When Mira told him everything, Solomon seemed convinced.
「I didn’t realize they were near each other. But that does sound dodgy.」
『I know. They’re in the Roseline Dukedom, which is also a powerful merchant country, though most of their nobles are also merchants and are embroiled in a political power struggle at the moment. Here’s the thing, the owner of the Melville Corporation, Elvis Melville, is next in line to be their reigning duke. Kinda a funny name don’t you think?』
A humorous voice filled the wagon. But it seemed everything he said was true, as Arlon muttered to himself 「Now that’s interesting.」 In a few short years the corporation had grown to the point of taking the reins of their country, and Chimera Clauzen seemed to linger in its shadows. There were plenty of reasons to investigate them further.
「Is that all you had to say?」
『Yup, that’s it.』
「That’s rare. You usually go on a bunch of tangents.」
Solomon had gone through the trouble of sneaking a communications device into the wagon and then used it to call her out of the blue. Mira thought he would have another bothersome quest for her, but she felt slightly let down learning there was nothing of the sort.
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『This was a small warning just in case. At this point, we only have a vague connection between Chimera and Melville, so it’s hard to say who’s working under the orders of who. So in case you were to defeat Chimera and they turned out to be the underlings, Melville might discard them like a lizard’s tail and scurry away to find new servants.』
「Hmm, so they would start all over again.」
Losing Chimera Clauzen would weaken the corporation, but since they were the source it was highly likely they held all the skills and knowledge necessary to restart a group like Chimera Clauzen. So as long as they still stood, they could continue with their plan as many times as necessary.