|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2966 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1327 words|
A bit past early morning, everyone except for Mira and Emera went out to search for Chimera Clauzen’s headquarters as they had decided the night before. The remaining two would go in a different direction to find Gregor, who might have yet another clue.
「I think this place should be good enough.」
Mira led the way to a parking lot near the inn, where she searched for a relatively empty spot to summon Pegasus.
「Woah, it’s a pegasus… so cool.」
As the white horse elegantly stepped out from the magic circle, his wings spread out, Emera stared agape at his imposing figure, before turning to Mira and asking 「Can I touch it?」 Mira replied that she should ask Pegasus himself, so Emera turned to him and repeated her question, which was answered by a slight nod. As Emera stroked Pegasus’ mane, her face brightened up in happiness, looking like a maiden living in her dreamworld.
「Alright that’s enough, we should get going now.」
Saying that, Mira climbed on his back. 「There’s two of us this time, thanks for helping」 she told Pegasus, which was replied with an energetic neigh accepting of this new mission. Hearing that, and seeing Mira already on Pegasus’ back, Emera’s eyes began to shine.
「Can I really ride with you?!」
Emera asked full of expectation as Mira pulled herself a bit forward making space behind her on Pegasus’ back and pointing to it.
「It’ll be faster this way.」
That simple sentence made Emera smile more widely than ever before. While Emera usually only had eyes for swords and daggers, in truth she admired heroism above everything. That admiration had seeded her interest in weapons and tools a hero would use, and also spread to the kind of comrades a hero would have and would be sung about in legends.
And a pegasus was a famous recurring character in such tales. They were said to only allow those they approved of to approach them, not to mention riding them. Now, there was a pegasus standing in front of her, and her lifelong dream of riding one was also about to be fulfilled.
「I’ll appreciate that very much.」
Respectfully bowing to them, Emera took Mira’s hand and climbed behind her.
「Let’s go then.」
Hearing Mira, Pegasus spread his wings wide and they slowly rose up into the sky. As they reached a decent altitude, Emera noticed the high viewpoint she gained, while also feeling the warmth from below her, wind caressing her ears, and the scent of the sea nearby. So many things felt different when flying compared to riding a regular horse that Emera could only constantly look around while admiring the scenery she had dreamt of for so long.
「Thank you so much Mira!」
Saying that in a loud and happy voice, Emera hugged Mira from behind.
「I don’t know what’s gotten into you, but could you at least point us to the direction where Gregor is staying?」
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Mira could not understand why Emera would thank her like that, looking utterly puzzled, only asking where their destination was. Meanwhile Pegasus seemed rather disgusted with how close the two riders seemed with each other, but they did not notice that at all.
「We’re so high up! This is amazing, I never imagined it would feel this way to fly!」
As they flew towards Gregor’s hidden workshop, Emera kept getting amazed at the sight from up there and loudly voiced her impression.
「I know, it’s really impressive.」
Emera was right, the view from a pegasus was a breathtaking sight, but Mira was acting more protective and careful than usual having Emera up there with her, so she replied in a more composed manner. They left Sentopolly and flew along the coastline for a while before Emera pointed to a spot near the cliff edge. Pegasus landed near that spot, and looking at the cliff they noticed an opening carved onto the cliff wall. Getting closer, they also saw stairs leading down there.
「This is rather ominous…」
「I know what you mean…」
The stairs looked like they had been made out of the cliff itself, and were barely one meter wide making them look extremely dangerous. Even Emera was scared of them, clinging to the cliff as she began descending the steps. They stood at a considerable height above the sea underneath, making it easy to feel dizzy hearing the waves violently hitting the cliff below, so far away it was hard to see clearly and only the sound traveling up.
Mira had not much to fear, given she could run through the air with her sage skills, but such a sheer cliff still gave her a sense of vertigo and fear when she tried to look down. A strong salty breeze hit them as Emera fearfully went from one step to the next. Mira followed closely behind. At the end of the stairs, a narrow cave awaited them, only wide enough for one person to go through at a time and heading into the cliff and directly away from the sea.
Emera’s steps became more regular and confident as she walked inside the cave, Mira also speeding up to keep up with her. They had walked for around ten meters when they reached a door. Illuminated by a soft light, it looked no different from any door one would find in the city, making its presence inside the cave all the more mysterious and curious.
「This is it, Gregor’s secret workshop.」
Emera turned around to say that, then turned back towards the door and opened it without hesitating.
(I see, this explains why I couldn’t find it from the air last night.)
Mira had searched all around Sentopolly from high up in the air, so a cave in a cliff was obviously hidden from her that way. Knowing she had wasted an entire day that way, Mira could only smile despite herself.
Beyond the door was another cave, but unlike the first one, it was much wider. The ceiling was still at the same height, but there was around four or five meters of space to the sides. There were many stands with swords of all shapes and sizes here, but those swords were unlike any commonly found in stores, even an amateur being able to tell they were all custom made.
Emera greeted the white haired man sitting in front of a large drawing board hung on the far end of the cave. After a short delay, he turned around, and once he saw Emera slowly rose on his feet. He wore a very used black boiler suit, and the wrinkles on his face made it clear he was already past seventy years old. He was the master blacksmith Gregor.
「Oh, you’re here. Let’s check your grip today!」
A smile spread on his face marked with wrinkles as he began looking through the swords in a nearby stand. Moments later his hands froze and his face turned to Emera again, staring at the other girl standing with her. He narrowed his eyes and slowly approached them.
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「Hmmmm? Who’s this girl?」
Looking up and down at Mira, Gregor asked while frowning.
「Her name is Mira. She said there’s something very important she needs to talk with you about.」
With that brief explanation, Emera took a step back. Meanwhile Mira kept staring at Gregor. He had perfectly white hair, but it was overgrown and unkempt, and his attitude was rather indolent. Gregor clearly put his craft first and only took care of himself as an afterthought. He was a far cry from Mira’s ideal old gentleman, but she thought there were a few things she could learn from his passion for his work.
「I’m Mira, there was something I wished to show you, if you give me a moment.」