|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3149 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1436 words|
Soul Howl must have been focused on making the chalice. They knew he would never get distracted once he put his mind into something. If he had been working for at least five years, chances were he had already completed it. At least that was what Mira thought, but Solomon shook his head and simply said, 「Take a look at the last page.」
「…Hm, I see.」
The list with the process to make the Brilliant Chalice of Divine Decree was written there, decoded from Soul Howl’s notes.
In total, there were around eight hundred steps. One would need to visit nearly every corner of the continent, or maybe even ping-pong between the Ark and Earth continents. Some steps even required very specific seasonal conditions and phenomena, so it would be necessary to wait a year before a step could be attempted. It was a bit mind numbing reading through it all.
Five years started to sound like too little time. Mira understood Solomon’s point, but she also became impressed with Soul Howl’s determination to do all of that.
「I guess that girl was exceedingly important to him.」
Mira recalled the woman frozen in apparent death in the white castle. It seemed like Soul Howl had changed a lot, in the past he used to really be into undead girls. Thinking of that, Mira looked at the latter half of the steps. The steps became increasingly more complex, which seemed to be a trend.
「Hmm, I wonder how far Soul Howl got then. I assume you’ve calculated that already?」
Combining the complex steps, and the approximate time when Soul Howl began his quest, it was possible to extrapolate Soul Howl’s current progress. That was one of the reasons why all that information had been compiled like that. And Mira already expected that Solomon had already done that, otherwise he would not have brought it up.
Mira had just wrapped up the situation with Chimera Clauzen, and she was already being given a new mission. She was slightly miffed by that, but she decided to urge Solomon to speak to get it over with.
「Yup yup, I’m glad you catch on fast. We’ve done the calculations.」
Solomon continued grinning, waving away Mira’s reproachful gaze as he elegantly sipped some tea, then began saying 「You see, my very capable scholars have determined that…」 before detailing anything.
According to their deductions, Soul Howl was likely in one of three places, the Hortland Hill, Razewood Swamp, or Harehock Mountains.
「…Somehow… I was expecting something more specific.」
Solomon had said he might be somewhere in one of those places. Mira noticed how vague Solomon had been, and instantly looked bothered by the amount of work that would take.
「Umm, you see… Considering his skills and possible improvements, if he completed everything at a quick pace, he’s probably at around step eighty. After that, some steps require specific things from those locations. The other steps around there don’t ask for specific places. But this is as close as we can get to pin-pointing his location, my scholars aren’t all-mighty either.」
There were many steps that required something from a specific location. But Mira had hoped he would give her a specific direction and tell her to go there, so he began looking around nervously as he tried to come up with an excuse.
「Hmm… So in the worst case I might need to check all of them…」
It was actually impressive that they narrowed it down to three places from so little information. But they were all far apart from each other, and the places themselves presented some problems.
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The recipe called for a visit to each of those places.
There were ancient ruins of an old city underground deep below the hill, and Soul Howl was supposed to gather a fragment of the chalk orbs supporting the new city above the ruins. Then from the swamp, he would need to get some ‘Certain Death Venom’ from the Snake King living there. Lastly, there was a Fire Giant living in the mountains, who could use an extremely rare piece of ‘Hellstone’ to produce a ‘Blazing Core’, required by the recipe.
At first glance, it did not sound too complicated, but those in the know understood those were reckless demands.
The Snake King, guardian of the ancient ruins, and the Fire Giant, were known as raid bosses in the game. In other words, they were enemies usually fought with a large number of players.
Even the Nine Wisemen would have a rough time trying to defeat them in a one-on-one fight. That was another reason why Mira looked so annoyed.
「But think about it, you really just need to check if he was there or not. I’m sure that shouldn’t be too hard?」
Solomon tried his best to motivate Mira.
But he was right, there was no reason for Mira to fight anything. She just had to look for traces of Soul Howl’s presence. The ruins were considered a dungeon, for example, so maybe someone in the guild would remember Soul Howl passing by.
Many spirits lived in the swamp, and there was a city of dwarves near the mountain where the Fire Giant spawns.
Soul Howl always stood out, and the three steps were rather conspicuous acts as well. It was very likely someone would notice him and remember.
In other words, a bit of asking around should tell her everything she needed to know. Just finding some hints would be enough to accomplish her mission. And if there were no traces of him yet, if she waited around a bit she would eventually find him. Solomon explained all of that.
「You might just be right…」
Hearing everything explained so easily, Mira was slowly convinced, and she eventually nodded while relaxing her frown. Solomon carefully studied Mira’s face before continuing. 「Here, a map of those areas」 he said, almost pushing some maps onto Mira’s arms.
「Hmm, where should I start with…」
They were not only far apart from each other, but they were a considerable distance away from Arkite as well. Mira frowned again as she looked at the maps one after another, trying to decide where to check first.
Solomon gave her a suggestion then, first the Ancient City Ruins.
「Hmm, the Ancient City…」
Mira did not seem too enthused with the idea. Though she felt the same way with either of the locations. But Solomon insisted, he claimed that would give her the best chances at finding him.
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「See, the Ancient City is the first one in the order of steps. If he was there already, you might figure out how long ago it was, and know how many steps he might have completed since. If he’s not been there yet, then just sit and wait, that’s the first place he’ll go to after all. Does that make any sense?」
「I see… You certainly have a point.」
Mira was easily coerced into the choice, and she nodded and accepted that as her first destination.
「Good. Here’s your budget for your trip.」
Solomon watched things go smoothly, and smiled friendly as he placed a small bag on Mira’s hand.
「Ohh, it feels even heavier this time!」
Mira felt the bag had more heft to it than usual, so she hurried to check the contents.
There were twenty gold coins inside.
「A million! This should last a while!」
Mira calculated how much that was worth before stuffing the bag inside her pocket with a face like a child on christmas. She was already daydreaming about the inns she would visit soon. No matter what situation, she was always thinking of ways to enjoy life.
「I heard Kiroly Bird and pot potatoes are the specialties there, so make sure to give them a try.」
Solomon was a bit jealous seeing Mira’s sightseeing spirit taking over her, but then smiled kindly.
「Sure. I’ll bring you a souvenir too!」
Mira stored the maps in her Item Box and said that happily. Then she added, 「Oh right, I almost forgot I brought you something too,」 and began taking out the items she bought in Sentopolly and Roseline and placing them on the table with a smile.
There was no rhyme or reason for her selection of souvenirs, but she still happily spoke about each of them. Solomon listened to her, trying to imagine those far-away places.
Their meeting just continued with lighthearted chatter after that, and went on until late at night.