|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3100 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1547 words|
Mira and her group arrived at the city sunken in the lake, which housed the Fifty Bells’ headquarters, where they went to report the mission’s results to their commander Uzume.
「Seeing the results alone it can be considered a failed mission then.」
Uzume sat across the wooden room, a large table placed between them. Hearing the report, she first addressed Mira.
「Considering the situation I can’t blame you for that, but getting too engrossed in a fight while forgetting everything else is something Gra-… I mean your master, had the bad habit of doing. I wonder if he taught you that as well.」
「I fear something similar might have happened to the time when he had to fight against the Player Killer Leviard, but he enjoyed it so much he casually let him go as a sparring partner.」
「That’s… pretty much what happened…」
The power of the spirit bomb made it hard to imagine a way to stop Chimera’s Head from escaping. But if Mira had been more careful from the start, her vast toolkit might have contained something to avoid reaching such a state in the first place. Mira and Uzume had known each other for a long time, so Uzume knew Mira’s personality very well, and while she spoke in a roundabout way, she still pointed out Mira’s fault. In response, she meekly lowered her shoulders and looked down like a small puppy.
「Though well, I fear that if anyone else challenged him, they wouldn’t have made it back in one piece, so it’s alright. But you said you brought this in his stead?」
Moving on, Uzume turned to look at the coffin and black sword placed in the room. They were the items snatched from Chimera Clauzen’s Head.
「Yes. I believe the demon’s black curse that destroys spirits is the source of Chimera’s power. It should be worth researching more.」
Usually spirits had very resilient bodies, making capturing them a difficult task. Yet Chimera Clauzen had proved time and time again they were capable of doing it. Their secret to do it lay there, a curse that put them at an advantage when confronting spirits. If they investigated that sword, the Fifty Bells would be able to know its specific properties and maybe even find ways to counter its effects.
「Demons… huh. That sounds quite ominous.」
Uzume leaned back and spread her arms on the ground, looking at the ceiling. Mira had also told them the story of the demons the Spirit King had relayed to her. There was no trace of their existence left in books or legends, a piece of history erased from the world.
「I was also shocked when I heard that.」
Mira still recalled how she felt when hearing that, muttering emotively. But there were three others there who felt a different way. Arlon, Sasori and Hebi, rather than being surprised at learning there used to be a demon race long lost to time, were more shocked Mira had gotten a personal audience with the Spirit King.
The Spirit King was a powerful entity akin to a god. As far as records went, only two persons had gotten to speak with him in all of history. And that in the ancient times of the battle against devils. One of them was the current chief of the human race. The person who went to request aid from the Spirit King and devised a strategy with him, the legendary king Hannibal Ex Earthcla. The other was the great hero Forsythia, who sacrificed his body to channel the Spirit King’s power and slay the devil army king with it.
There had been no one else, before or after, who had spoken directly with the Spirit King. If Mira was telling the truth, then her encounter was a rare occurrence since millennia, and her name would be written down in history. But to Mira, the event was simply “surprising”, Uzume also did not seem too bothered by it, the two of them being more amused by the demon’s story. Arlon and the two others just waited in silence for Mira and Uzume to finish their conversation, which seemed to lack a certain amount of common sense.
In regards to their mission, they only had to wait for the members sent to the Sheltered Library to return. It would not be too surprising if they returned with a captured Head, but they decided to not keep their hopes up too much.
When Mira’s report was over, they also spoke of the information obtained through Patronager S. Since Mira’s group had nothing to do until the other group returned, they decided it was best to make good use of that information and depart on a second mission the next day.
The Fifty Bells’ higher ups gathered to discuss that mission, deciding to send Mira and Arlon to Sentopolly to investigate Chimera Clauzen’s main base and the owner of the spirit sword that had lost its power, while Sasori and Hebi would go to Roseline and infiltrate the Melville Trading Corporation. With their roles decided, they split up during their free time before heading out, getting everything they needed from the commercial district. Mira had nothing to prepare though, so instead she went to the courtyard and trained how to use Sanctia until late at night.
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The next day the group met up again, even though Sasori and Hebi had their own mission. Together, they left the headquarters and took off westwards. More than half of the continent’s west side was covered with wastelands, greenery becoming spotty compared to other areas. But in return, mineral deposits were vast and numerous there, the production of metals and rare resources flourishing, so the people living there had just as good and varied a life as anyone else.
Below the mountain range extended one of the Three Gods’ Countries, Ozstein, which they flew over for an entire day before calling it a night. The next morning they took off again, and near the evening they landed on an inconspicuous rocky mountain, a few kilometers away from Roseline. Sitting still in the crammed wagon for hours on end was exhausting, so they needed a short break. Though Sasori and Hebi also decided to get down there.
「We’ll be on our way now then.」
「Mm, good luck with your mission.」
「Break a leg.」
「Alright, see ya then.」
Sasori and Hebi were planning on sneaking into Roseline that night. The two stretched a little in front of the wagon and then changed into adventurer gear before leaving under the cover of the night. After seeing them off, Arlon and Mira began preparations for dinner. Though Arlon was the only one doing all the cooking. Mira merely summoned a Holy Knight to keep watch over them and handed Arlon all the ingredients she felt like eating. They complemented each other surprisingly well.
Dinner done, they prepared to sleep, Arlon in the driver’s seat and Mira inside the wagon.
At daybreak, they resumed their journey to Sentopolly. Hours later, when the sun was starting to set, a large city came into sight far in the horizon. Beyond it the sea could be seen, silent waves coming and receding.
There was less than ten kilometers between them and the city. They landed before the wagon became visible to lookouts in the city, and after pondering for a while Mira summoned Guardian Ash. A bright red magic circle appeared on the ground, a gray bear appearing from it as it grew bigger and vanished. It was a sacred beast, also known as the guardian bear. The bear was almost as large as the wagon, armed with sharp teeth and claws, but his eyes looked gentle as he looked at Mira.
「Ash, you look as good as always.」
Mira greeted the companion she had neglected for thirty years, gently touching his body that was almost twice as tall as her. Soon after the large beast turned around at a speed unimaginable from his size and licked Mira’s cheek. A clear sign of affection. Ash seemed more than willing to accomplish the task given to him by Mira, happily pulling the wagon after him and clearing the remaining distance in less than an hour, a speed that seemed disconnected from his languid bear appearance.
Sentopolly was an emerging country that focused on trade. It had only one city, but it was just as lively as any city of the Three Gods’ Countries. There were no walls around Sentopolly, the city still growing as there were many buildings in construction out in the wilderness.
The road leading to the city’s heart was four lanes wide, many merchant and adventurer carriages coming and going. Mira’s wagon joined that crowd from the side and traveled with them into the city. Given the lack of walls, there was also no gate leading into the city. Only a few defense posts and checkpoints were scattered along the road. The people they passed by all looked with interest at Guardian Ash. But as much as Mira’s wagon stood out, they passed through all the posts without issue.