|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2824 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1388 words|
(This is what happens when you work for Chimera!)
As Mira observed the lady, in her mind she convinced herself it was all for good reason.
「Let’s continue as we planned then.」
Sasori checked all the bindings to make sure they were firmly tied, then began taking her own clothes off.
「Take care of this for me then.」
Sasori, wearing only her underwear, handed her recently taken off clothes to Mira.
「I’ll certainly keep them safe for you!」
Mira replied firmly and accepted the clothes that still had a lingering warmth from their wearer. After that she attentively watched Sasori picking up the woman’s clothes they had taken off earlier. Sasori’s underwear was a pair of short black leggings, and a black tank top. Those had essentially zero sex appeal, but paired with Sasori’s athletic and toned body, they accentuated her healthy appearance, creating once more a certain type of appeal.
Mira formulated the function of her clothing that way while watching Sasori put on new clothes, a sleazy grin covering her face as she casually threw Sasori’s clothes into her Item Box. Meanwhile Sasori did not notice Mira’s gaze at all, putting on all the clothes the woman had been wearing.
「Ah, ah, ahhh, ahhh~ I’m not Sasoriii~」
After changing her clothes, Sasori began training her voice. Each time she opened her mouth, it changed slightly until it sounded like a completely different person. Now it sounded identical to that of the sleeping woman. Sasori had memorized the sound of the woman’s voice when they heard her complain earlier, and now she faithfully recreated it.
「What a splendid performance.」
Mira nodded with deep approval, pretending to reenact a phantom of a certain literary work.
「I have liked to do impressions since I was a little child.」
Sasori seemed to be in a good mood being praised by Mira, finishing up her preparations by putting on the mask. Her voice sounded like a perfect recreation rather than just an impression, but she had been training that skill since she was conscious, so to Sasori it was nothing special.
The plan the two had come up with was for Sasori to pretend to be the woman and get outside. That way the guards at the entrance would claim the Head had come out and went away, making it harder to tell when she was captured once they realized she was missing. That would also hide the fact she was captured inside of Melville’s territory, giving them no reason to tighten security.
To make things better for them, the woman was wearing a mask, so it was even easier to supplant her. Sasori was about as tall as her too, and she could modulate her voice to mimic the woman’s, so Sasori was certain the plan would work. They were in the best spot to capture the Head, and on top of that they were delaying their acquisition of whatever she had been looking for there. If Mira had gone there alone, things would not have gone so smoothly.
「Ah, Mira. Look at this.」
Sasori, wearing all of the woman’s clothes, beckoned Mira to get closer as she looked inside the coffin.
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「Hm? What is it?」
Mira walked closer as told and looked into the coffin. There was something inside it, wrapped in stained clothes. It was hard to tell exactly what it was, but its general appearance gave a pretty good idea. There was only one object wrapped in cloth that would get stored inside a coffin.
It was a mummy. And not just any regular mummy. The woman had been working on it, loosening some of the cloth, and from the open space an arm covered in black mist stuck out.
「Could it be… that mist?」
Slightly shocked, Mira stretched her hand out and pulled off the cloth covering the mummy’s head. As the layers came off, they turned darker and darker, until it was completely black by the last layer. When the last layer came off and the mummy’s face became visible, something black spewed out from inside it.
Sasori was already on edge just imagining what was hidden under the cloth, so when the black stuff spewed out she shrieked and retreated all the way to the wall. Mira was also taken by surprise, her shoulder twitching violently, but she did not scream, merely throwing the cloth away from her hands while stiffening in place. She had gotten as shocked as she was concentrating on taking the cloth off.
The black cloud did not seem bothered at all, rising to the ceiling of the room and dispersing there until it vanished.
「That scared meee.」
「I swear, I should take more care of my poor heart.」
Once she recovered, Sasori laughed it off as she walked to the coffin again. Mira remained with her lips pursed as she glared at the mummy that had produced that black cloud. For a mummy, barely any tissue remained and it looked just like a bare skull. But it still looked different to a regular skull, it was pitch black. And while the black cloud it emitted had vanished, the skull itself still had a layer of a creepy black mist. There was one more defining feature on the skull, two horns growing out of its forehead.
「Wait, could this be…」
Most of the skull looked human-like, except for those horns. Seeing them, a feature Sasori had never expected to see on a human until the day before when she learned about a forgotten race, she gasped for air.
「It probably is one. And perhaps… all of these are…」
A suspicion Mira had was confirmed, her eyes lifting from the coffin and looking around at all the holes in the room, each holding a different coffin. The cursed black mist, and a skull with two horns. Those were all the bodies of demons. Mira asked for Sasori’s help to check multiple other coffins, and all of them had skeletons with demon features.
「So this is where they got this, and then they used it to fight against spirits.」
After checking the coffins, Mira looked at the sack on the floor and checked its contents before nodding. It was filled with demon bones, fragments of which had been sold in the city as Black Mist Stones. These catacombs were a graveyard for demons. Their curse that destroyed spirits had been born in this place, amongst all the bodies buried. With the large amount of skeletons available to them, Chimera Clauzen had been able to wage war against spirits without issue.
Considering the equipment used by the Head which Mira fought in the Ancient Circular Gate, they had also gotten quite far in their research of how to use them. Mira and Sasori wrapped the skeletons in cloth again, closed the coffins, and returned all of them to their respective slots. Then they looked around one last time to make sure they were not forgetting anything. If a single piece of evidence was found, the fact they had captured the woman would become known.
(Ideally I wouldn’t want to leave such a large quantity of the curse here, but I can’t do much about it for now.)
Her final inspection done, Mira looked around at all the coffins while thinking that. If she combined the Divine Protection of the Spirit King with the holy sword Sanctia’s true power, she should be able to destroy the curse. Mira had been training with the sword, trying to get used to it in her free time, but she still could not get the hang of it.
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That much was to be expected though. The Spirit King was an entity that surpassed human knowledge, and Sanctia was the daughter of that entity. On top of that they had only been in a contract for a few days, so it was impossible to think she would get to use its full power, or just her average power for that matter.
(One day I’ll definitely fulfill that promise.)
Mira smiled defiantly, even if she was unable now, she vowed she would rid this place of the curse, just like she had promised the Spirit King.