|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3181 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1372 words|
The day after Johann’s rescue, Mira and the others began moving at daybreak. Sasori and Hebi went out to investigate that establishment Johann mentioned, which was supposed to be filled with black mist stone tools and weapons.
Mira was, as agreed, taking Johann and his family through the wastelands. Optical camouflage alone spent far less mana than Complete Suppression, allowing Mira to extend its radius to cover more people, as well as letting her use it in tandem with other summons.
Johann’s family was on top of Guardian Ash, the gray bear, and alongside was Pegasus, with Mira and Worthramble riding him.
Their speed was upwards of forty kilometers per hour, but thanks to Worthramble’s magic, the large bear and winged horse running through the wastelands did not stand out at all.
Anne looked particularly excited traveling with the bear and pegasus, and halfway through said she wanted to ride on Pegasus.
Johann and Angelique had an apologetical look as they asked if that was possible, but Mira happily indulged. Anne had not been outside in years, so she did not mind.
A few hours later they arrived at the place they agreed on with Uzume, where they sat on the ground as if on a picnic.
They waited for ten minutes and a few more, and then they saw it in the sky.
「Ohh, amazing… It’s my first time seeing one.」
「The world really has changed a lot these years. It almost looks like they’re coming to carry us to the heavens.」
Johann and Angelique looked at the sky in amazement, speaking their honest thoughts. From high up, a large wooden ship, about thirty meters long, was descending. It was impossible not to be surprised by it.
「The last few days feel almost like a dream…」
「It’s so big!」
Mylenne seemed to still harbor some anxiety, looking uneasily at the ship floating in the sky while trying to force a smile. Anne, on the other hand, was more excited than ever.
「Ohh..! Is this one of those fabled flying ships?」
Mira had only heard of them before from Sero’s stories. But seeing one with her own eyes was still a breathtaking experience, and the thought of riding such a vehicle tickled her fantasy heart.
「That’s exactly it! This is the Fifty Bells’ prized spirit flying ship!」
As Mira looked at it with twinkling eyes, the tiny Piisuke riding on her head spoke with Uzume’s proud voice. Before Mira could say anything back, 「You might be wondering why it has the spirit prefix…」 the voice continued teasingly.
According to Uzume, the regular flying ships developed through magic engineering used highly purified magic stones as fuel to stay aloft. But the Fifty Bells had independently built their own flying ship, which could work only with spiritual power.
「Only the tight cooperation between spirits and men made this ship possible. This is the kind of future we envision at the Fifty Bells.」
Halfway through Uzume appeared in Piisuke’s spot, and finished the explanation as she looked at the ship above them. She was truly proud of their accomplishment, though her eyes looked slightly distressed. It was like she was remembering someone, who was further away than the ship.
「Mira, thank you for everything.」
「Thank you so much, please tell the other two we said thanks too.」
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With those parting words, Johann and Angelique climbed into the flying ship. Anne followed, waving her tiny hand while saying 「Bye bye!」 Mira saw them off with a gentle smile.
「We’ll take good care of Johann and his family in the headquarters, you go search for Chimera’s main base, Grandpa.」
Uzume took a few steps up the ramp before turning around to say that to Mira.
「Mm, I know. Are things going well with your preparations?」
「We’ve always been ready to fight. Some of our platoons have already departed. We’re still working on weapons to fight the black mist stone, but I’m sure having Johann will smooth things out. All that’s really left is to fight with all we have.」
「I see, it seems everything is going well then. Well, let’s meet again on the battlefield.」
「Yup, until then.」
Before parting ways, the two bumped fists and loudly exclaimed 「Let’s grasp victory!」 together. That was their old parting words before any fight as the Nine Wisemen. In a way, it was like a special good luck charm that assured their victory. Though it felt slightly uncomfortable considering that Soul Howl was the one who came up with it.
This was the first time it was only them two saying those words, and realizing everyone else was gone made it impossible for them to smile, simply turning around and heading their own ways.
「Sasori, Hebi, I’m counting on you.」
Mira was high above Roseline’s capital city Irene.
Riding on Pegasus, Mira muttered those words to the air, directed to the two girls who surely were working hard somewhere there, and she headed towards Sentopolly.
Finding proof tying Chimera Clauzen and the Melville Trading Corporation was the mission given to the two Hidden. So they did not want to have Mira holding their hand through the entire mission, and instead wanted her to help back in Sentopolly to search for the entrance to Chimera Clauzen’s main base.
Seeing they had been able to rescue Johann alone, she knew she could trust their skills, so she decided to leave Roseline in their hands. Now Mira headed back to Sentopolly, to regroup with her friends there and to aid them searching for the hidden entrance.
Two days after that, there was progress with the search, thanks to Zef’s findings. He had befriended someone working in a state institution, inviting him to drink and hear his woes and daily struggles at work, which led to Zef uncovering a lot of insider information.
Mainly the source of his struggles. The secretary of a politician who would randomly pop up everywhere and anywhere, even if no one saw them go through the main entrance. Always keeping watch over him, and never letting him have a moment of respite.
All the public politicians of Sentopolly were puppets, not knowing of Chimera Clauzen’s influence and who thought they were simply working for the city. There was no reason to harm them, and they knew nothing about the secret entrance Mira and the others were looking for.
But Zef found that story suspicious.
The secretary would randomly appear in the building. A possible explanation was that there was a hidden entrance and exit in that building. As soon as he had that suspicion, he started working on uncovering the truth. If the entrance was hidden inside the state institution building, whoever used it had to have enough authority to enter the building unquestioned. On top of that, there could be no suspicion of them regardless of the times at which they visited it, having unrestrained access to most parts of the building.
In other words, whoever knew of the entrance could not be a public politician, but needed to be in a position of power. Like the secretary of someone important.
So Zef asked for the name of said secretary.
His name was Thomas. The secretary of Sentopolly’s Minister of Finance Oswald.
There was a high likelihood that Thomas knew the location of a hidden entrance to Chimera Clauzen’s main base. To know for sure, Zef and Mira began tailing him together the next day. Thanks to that, they had finally succeeded in locating a secret entrance.
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Only using optical camouflage, instead of Complete Suppression, they located their man. He looked like a serious office worker, but he was actually wearing multiple Shadow spirit arms. Mira’s eyes easily identified them. That was enough to confirm he was involved with Chimera Clauzen.
They kept watch over him until late at night, when he entered a restricted section of the building, manipulated some complex device and vanished behind a hidden door.
At first Mira muttered 「Yet another hidden thing」 with annoyance, but a devilish grin quickly overtook that, since they had finally found an entrance.