Chapter 93: Chance Meeting (Part 1)

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Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3028 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1453 words
Editor(s): Fire

The starry sky was starting to show itself by the time the group left the Libra Fortress.
Their next destination, the Mirage Maze, was further east from their current position, past a mountain range. It was a considerable distance that would take at last a day to traverse even if they went flying with the wagon.
The people in Sarut were getting ready to sleep for the night when Mira and the rest arrived there, taking the wagon to the outskirts of the city to start their new journey. Traveling that way would lead them closer to their destination in the shortest time possible.
They spent a few hours flying towards the east, the night turning deeper as they creeped into the next day. Shrouded in that darkness, the wagon crossed over the mountain range and began to descend, landing on the shore of a lake in the very center of a tree grove growing at the foot of the mountains.
The inside of the wagon posed such a calm space, so sleeping there was really easy.
Except that the wagon had been designed for a single user, and as there were four people in it, it felt a bit constricted as they flew. Thus, Mira and the rest decided to make camp to pass the night.
Even with how crowded it was, the inside of the wagon looked like a rather comfortable place to rest rather than out in the open, but Arlon was very used to traveling like that, while Sasori and Hebi had specialized in solo missions, so they felt more at ease knowing they were sleeping on solid ground.
Mira summoned a Holy Knight to keep watch while they slept and stationed it to the side of the wagon. Then she went inside the wagon and laid her bed out, where she quickly fell asleep while raising comfortable snores. Sasor and Hebi went to the wagon’s roof to place their sleeping bags, while Arlon settled on the driver’s platform.
The surface of the lake beside which they slept appeared calm and silent, reflecting the distant starry sky above like a pure mirror. The night looked so deep it appeared to suck in one’s consciousness, gently melting together with the stars.
Then, a disturbance had sent ripples through that clear mirror, a shadow slipping out and creeping towards the wagon.
Eventually the shadow stepped inside the area guarded by the Holy Knight, but for some reason it did not react in any way.
The shadow finally passed beside the Holy Knight, sidestepping Arlon who slept on the driver’s platform and entered inside the wagon.

A falling sensation overtook Mira as she slept, the thin veil of dreams quickly breaking from her mind. As her eyes slowly opened, she saw the black sky with flickering stars, and a well dressed youth with ashen hair.
Her brain struggled to comprehend her current situation, until eventually her face turned sour and she glared at the man carrying her in his arms like a princess.

「Who are you? Are you trying to kidnap me?」

Mira spoke with a languid voice, her mind still half asleep. Hearing her, the man noticed Mira had woken up and beamed a bright and kind smile to her.

「There’s nothing for you to worry about.」

He replied with a slight nod.
That made Mira look at him with even more suspicion. That was an obvious reaction, it was impossible to not be suspicious of someone who carried people away in their sleep.
He was aware of that as he deviated his gaze a bit, but his face showed no remorse, just an uncomfortable and complex expression.

「Anyway, can you let me down now?」

Saying that, Mira began to swing her legs in protest.

「Careful!」

Feeling Mira’s body start to slip away, he quickly tightened her arms around her. At the same time, a woman darted from behind the man and hurried to grab Mira’s legs and hold them up.

「I’m really sorry, but please bear with this for a while longer. We’re in the middle of the lake, so if you get away from him you’ll just sink in.」

The woman clung to her legs as she almost begged her to stay still. She wore a dress that looked made of feathers, and her blue hair appeared translucent. But the most striking feature was that her hair emitted a familiar glow.

「The middle of the lake, you said?」

Mira’s voice rang unsure as she looked around with a puzzled expression, stopping her resistance after seeing the woman’s particular hair. At first she had thought her surroundings were pitch black, but after a closer look she realized there was a dark ultramarine blue color spreading all around her, and the sound of soft waves could be heard from all directions.

「It seems you’re telling the truth. And you’re water spirits, I presume?」
「Yes, I’m Anlutine.」
「I could guess as much, and then-」
「I’m one as well. My name is Worthramble.」

Mira turned to look at the man carrying her, Worthramble, and he introduced himself with another nod.
They were both spirits, heralded as the kind neighbors of humans. Mira had stopped resisting as soon as she noticed that could be the case, given that a spirit would never harm a person except for extremely rare situations.

「I see. It still feels a bit strange though, I can’t sense a spirit’s presence from you.」

Mira’s eyes went from his hair to his face and the part of his body she could see before saying that.
There was one defining feature of spirits, small particles of light that constantly flew off their bodies. That was clearly visible on Anlutine’s hair.
But no matter where Mira looked, she could not see that on Worthramble. That was the reason why it took her a while to realize he was a spirit.

「As a spirit I’ve been given command over stillness. So concealment and seclusion are my forte, though due to certain circumstances I’ve gotten in the habit of always hiding my identity.」

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He had a forced smile as he explained, but when Mira heard that, she reacted by opening her eyes wide in amazement, her face quickly turning into one of delight.

「So you’re a Stillness Spirit? This is the first time I hear about any spirit like that! I’m really surprised.」

Mira raised her voice in gleeful joy, expressing her honest thoughts as she placed her index on her chin and added 「After another look there’s definitely a dignified air to you.」

「You never heard of us..? Though that makes sense, even my own kin constantly tells me I lack presence…」

In contrast to Mira, Worthramble was clearly feeling more melancholic. Maybe it was because of the set of abilities granted to him, but he did not stand out even amongst spirits.

「Anyway, let’s put that aside for now. I assume you had some business with me, so tell me what you need.」

The joy of meeting a new type of spirit had put her in such a good mood that she was ready to answer any question they might have for her.

「So… about that.」

Worthramble spoke in a hesitant voice while hanging his head with a pained expression.
At the same time, their surroundings suddenly turned unnaturally bright, making Mira squint from the sudden change in light. But her eyes quickly got used to it since the light was not very powerful.
As Mira slowly opened her eyes again, she gasped seeing the scenery in front of her.
They were in a small space, around thirty feet in diameter. But what surprised her the most was that further inside that cave-like space stood a half-excavated shrine. Apart from the shrine’s entrance, it was entirely covered in mud and lumps of dirt, but it still had an imposing appearance, not showing any signs of wear from the passage of time.

「What’s this place? I thought you said we were in the middle of the lake? This place looks like it’s underground.」

When Mira asked that, Worthramble turned around and pointed to a puddle on the ground.

「To be precise, this is a cave that spreads out from inside the lake. Me and An use our powers to conceal the entrance, so not anyone can get in here…」

He spoke as he walked towards the shrine, and only let Mira down after they passed the entrance.

「…but we can’t fight against someone more powerful than us. That’s why we brought you here, please help us rescue our friend.」



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