|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2293 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1105 words|
That was a signal they used among the Hidden. After explaining that, Hebi also went towards the forest and gave a different signal. When Mira asked what that one meant, Hebi explained it meant 「the other two are friends.」
「So you’re saying your allies are somewhere inside that forest?」
There was no sense to give signals if there was no one to see them, so there had to be other Hidden members in the forest. But as far as Mira could see, there were no people inside the forest, even when observing with the sage skill Life Sensing, she could not find anything inside its range.
「Considering how close we are to the Mirage Maze, I’d assume there would be members stationed here.」
If they got to talk with the Hidden group sent to the Mirage Maze, they would get a better idea of what the situation was around there. A stream flowing behind them, the sound of rustling leaves in the wind, and the short cries of hawks above them. All around them there were the calming sounds of nature, but Mira only looked at the raging tornado in front of them. Soon after she noticed the shadow of a tree moving, but it felt off compared to the wind direction. Then a silhouette emerged from those shadows and scuttled along the ground until it stood in front of Sasori.
「That’s quite the dramatic entrance, Sasori.」
The man spoke as he looked at the wagon he had seen land from the sky, but his eyes showed signs of exhaustion.
「I knew it was you, Kumo!」
Sasori referred to him as Kumo. He was another member of the Hidden, wearing a camouflage coat and with short hair, as well as a carved facial features that overall gave him a strong appearance befitting of a soldier.
「I recognize Hebi over there… but who are the other two?」
He took a glance at the other people traveling with Sasori, his gaze fixating on Mira and Arlon. Kumo saw the man was clearly a warrior, and the little girl had to be the summoner who commanded that monstrous Garuda.
「They’re the helpers for our mission. The big dude is Arlon, and the small girl is Mira.」
Sasori jumped back to where Mira and Arlon stood, roughly introducing them with pride in her voice.
「Nice to meet you, I’m Arlon.」
Arlon had a sharp gaze as he looked at Kumo, curiously examining his features while smiling broadly and introducing himself. Meanwhile Mira contorted her lips into a twisted smile as she arrogantly mentioned her name.
「They give quite an impression, I have to say.」
Seeing Arlon’s impressive appearance, clearly showing how much experience he had, and then Mira who looked frail enough but had mastered incredibly powerful spells, Kumo laughed loudly as he replied.
「Wait, wasn’t Mira the same person who helped capture the first Chimera member? Is this her?」
As he stored their names, Arlon and Mira, in his mind, he quickly realized he had heard one of those names in the past. Usually Chimera Clauzen would prioritize fleeing at any costs, even if it meant abandoning the spirits they hunted for. But one day they managed to capture one of their members thanks to the hand of a helper. Ever since that incident, the Fifty Bells had been able to quickly change course from investigating to a full out assault against Chimera Clauzen. All members had heard the name of that helper, Mira.
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「Yeah, that’s her.」
Sasori nodded in reply, and Kumo looked at Mira with impressed eyes before nodding softly saying 「I see」. She had a rather cutesy and normal looking appearance and clothing, but she was able to summon beasts like a Garuda. Kumo could see anyone, including Chimera Clauzen, lowering their guards and taking her lightly.
「Anyway, I’m pretty sure HQ told me your group went to the Libra Fortress, why are you here? Please don’t tell me you came to the wrong place.」
「Well, quite a lot happened there actually.」
With that preface, Sasori summarized their experience in the Libra Fortress.
「I see, so that’s why you decided to come here.」
When Kumo heard the entire story, he looked over at the four before muttering in understanding.
「Yup, that’s about it. Now this has been bothering me for a while, but what even is that?!」
Sasori’s voice gained a stronger tone as the sentence went on, and in the end she pointed to the giant tornado further away.
Kumo glanced at the tornado, a defeated look on his face as he sighed and waved to the forest. A few seconds later, a woman dressed like a monk appeared from another tree shadow.
「I just have to explain what happened, right?」
She had clearly been listening in to the conversation, but she looked just as exhausted as Kumo as she began talking about the tornado. The tornado was already there when their team arrived. And as Mira and the rest had guessed, it was not a natural occurrence but an artificial phenomenon. They had been trying to find the source of the tornado the entire time until the Libra Fortress group arrived, but had found nothing helpful.
A part of Kumo’s team had also tried various ways of going through the tornado, but so far nothing worked. Sasori asked for more details on the methods they tried, all valid for situations like these and very varied. The only reasonable option left was to spy on any Chimera Clauzen members that might enter into the Mirage Maze and see the path they take. But they had been unable to spot anyone getting anywhere close enough to warrant an investigation, so Kumo’s group was truly stumped.
「Hmm. Either way, there’s no use sitting idly here. Shall we go take a closer look?」
Everyone felt cornered knowing everything that happened, but hearing Mira’s suggestion, they immediately departed with her.
「Yeah, let’s do that.」
Now that they had four more minds thinking of the problem, chances were they could figure something new out. But for that, everyone had to examine the tornado from closer. Sasori realized that much and nodded, following Mira. 「I guess that’s something to do at least」 said Arlon as he also went after them. Hebi had been right behind Mira the entire time. Kumo and the other Hidden could tell how reliable those four sounded, so they also followed behind them in silence.
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