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Published at 23rd of June 2016 10:00:16 PM

Chapter 20

She Professed Herself the Pupil of the Wise Man – Volume 1, Chapter 20


Sometime around evening . While giving her report in the King’s Office of the Arkite Castle, Mira nibbled a late snack, relaxed . As for Solomon, he listened attentively to his friend’s recounts, giving the occasional affirmative responses and, at the same time, looking over the report done by Joachim, written during his trip back to the castle .

“The Lesser Demon cursed the Cockatrice? Yeah, never heard of anything like that happening in the thirty years I’ve been living here . To begin with, this is the first time in, like, ten years since we had a Lesser Demon appearing here . ”

“Is that so? I wonder what the hell was that… just when I thought the mist would simply disappear, that thing happened out of nowhere . ”

“Well, you have my thanks for taking care of it . ”

There was a huge, near-infinite wall of differences between the past and the present . Consequently, the girl thought that what she had seen happening for the first time was, one way or another, a fact already well known in the new world . And yet, the occurrence of a living creature being cursed by the substance of malice was also a first for Solomon .

“A Lesser Demon… makes you wonder, just where did it come out from?”

After reading the report, the king placed it on his desk and mumbled, deep in thought .

“Indeed . And if that demon is involved, it definitely is something troublesome . ”

“I have no doubts . In any case, we have to at least identify its place of origin before stranger things happen . ”

“Hmm, the place of origin…”

As Solomon, with a sigh, heavily dropped his body on the chair, Mira followed him by leaning her entire frame on the sofa, a groan escaping her lips and revealing her worried thoughts . When it was still a game, the Lesser Demon was an existence that only appeared during certain quests . And said quests were mostly accompanied by a bad ending . Mira recalled those past events while stuffing her cheeks with cookies . Then, the moment she gulped down all those snacks with some black tea, the figure of a certain individual appeared in her mind .

“Oh, right… what was that person’s name again…”

“Hm? Who?”

Although she had a clear image in her head, the young girl couldn’t remember the most important part—their name—so, while pursing her lips, she squinted and searched within her memories . Seeing his friend, who always had a problem with remembering names, Solomon welcomed for a few moments the nostalgic feelings in his heart as he listened to her once again .

“Come on, it is that guy who carried a massive amount of holy water with him and chased Lesser Demons around, I remember he was an NPC that specialized in demons . ”

“Aahh, are you talking about Howard?”

“Yes! That one!”

When Solomon instantly said the name Mira had forgotten, the girl pointed towards him and indicated he was correct, all the while still holding a half-eaten cookie in her mouth .

“Hmm, if I’m not wrong, I believe he’s already dead . Since the first time we’ve seen him, he already looked pretty old, you know . ”

Howard, the man who researched demons . He was an aloof, old guy who treated everyone with his medicinal beverages brewed with holy water .

“Was that so? Well, I believed he might have known something about it . ”

Upon hearing that fact, Mira slowed down her hand, but still continued to bring snacks to her mouth . Immediately, she was struck with another bright idea .

“If he is dead, then there is something we can still do . Correct me if I am wrong, but there existed a mirror that could let you talk with the deceased, right?”

“Yeah, the Mirror of Governing Shadows[1] . But the problem here is that, in order to talk with the dead person, we either need to have made a strong connection with them while they were alive or possess an article that the deceased considered dear to them . ”

“Huumm, you are right . ”

Since her relationship with Howard was, at most, related to questing, Mira couldn’t say she had a strong connection with him . Moreover, she had no such article or item that could meet the Mirror’s requirements . Sipping her tea in an apparent bad mood, the girl absentmindedly let her gaze wander around .

“Come to think of it, there was a quest with a cursed mirror…”

“Yep . And if I remember correctly, along the way you would come across Howard, huh . ”

“Right? He would suddenly sprinkle holy water on you . ”

Prompted by the “Mirror of Governing Shadows” keywords, Solomon was reminded of the good old days, a period when they were still playing a game . Then, for a short while, the two friends had a lively talk, reminiscing their past .

———–

“Ah, that’s right!”

Abruptly, Solomon shouted as a certain thought crossed his mind; in turn, the girl asked him to explain what he meant .

“Luminaria interrupted us when we were discussing it, right? The matter about searching for the missing Elders . ”

“Now that you mention it, there was that subject, yeah . ”


Who, and how she would search for . Yesterday, when they were about to discuss that matter, Luminaria had entered the office . The moment she remembered it, Mira poured some black tea for herself, removed her shoes and stretched her legs on the sofa, preparing for a long conversation .

“So, I will look for them, fine . But do you know where they might be? If we do not have any clues, it will be impossible to catch those people . ”

Just like Mira said, the Nine Sages were a group of misfits . Perhaps, they might be simply wandering about, following their own whims . Consequently, there was no way for anyone other than the person themselves to know their whereabouts . Since the girl was asked to search for those wanderers, how would she even begin that task?

Tilting her teacup, Mira decided to leave that question to Solomon, considering she still couldn’t fully comprehend the new reality she was placed in .

“It was the Mirror of Governing Shadows . It made me recall about this discussion . Do you remember where the mirror was located? There is only one person that could easily be found there, right?”

The young girl began to ponder about it immediately . That item, a mirror that reflected the deceased, resided somewhere in the underground of a temple; then, as soon as she reached that part, the figure of a certain person crossed Mira’s mind .

“I see, it is Soul Howl . ”

“Correct . ”

He was the Elder of the Tower of Necromancy, 『Soul Howl the Giant Wall』, an individual who held a near-pathological love for undead girls .

Deep inside the dungeon 『Archaic Temple Nebulapolis』, nicknamed among players the “Underground Graveyard”, existed the Mirror of Governing Shadows . In the past, when they had explored it with every member of the Elders, Soul Howl called the place aparadise . To him, the dungeon that gathered a great number and variety of undead monsters could easily be considered a sacred place . Since he was stated as online in the friend list but wasn’t in his own tower, investigating Soul Howl’s most likely location could be worth a try .

“And then, while you’re at it, you can also try to use the mirror and contact Howard there, right? There’s nothing to lose if you just try anyway . ”

“Yeah . Who knows, maybe if I bring a lot of holy water with me it might even work . ”

“Great, one way or another, you could say that item is like a synonym for the old guy . ”

Both friends laughed at that exchange . An ordinary person wouldn’t be able to understand that, but apparently it was a common point of humor between players .

“But the Underground Graveyard, huh… it is a bit far from here . If only I could use my Floating Continent it would be perfect . ”

“I’ll leave you to deal with… nah, I’m providing some backup for you there . However, since this is roughly a top-secret mission, I can’t use neither the Thousand-mile nor the Home[2]carriages . ”

When Solomon was about to say something, he stopped for a moment and then indicated he would be giving some sort of support .  See it by yourself, feel delight in all the surprises this world can provide you . That was the wish within Solomon’s heart, for Mira to fully enjoy the world he had spent thirty years of his life in .

“Thousand-mile? Home Carriage? What are those?”

“Ah, the Thousand-mile Carriage is the vehicle that brought you here from the Tower . It was quite fast, right? That’s because of the special harnesses equipped on the horses . They make use of ability effects to thoroughly reduce the burden on the animals . It is the fastest carriage in our country . ”

Proudly answered Solomon, a great smile appearing on his face as he boasted with his chest puffed up .

“Indeed, it was pretty fast . Not on the same level as the Floating Continent, though . ”

“Just forget about that overpowered item . After all the time I’ve spent here, I can see just how much of a cheat that item was for us . ”

Cheat . The King’s words were actually reasonable, as the traveling speed of the Floating Continent rivaled that of a common airplane . Even the Armored Jeep, one of Sorcery Engineering’s finest works, was no match for it; additionally, the fact the vehicle had a high consumption rate of fuel, using sealing gems like water, was another setback . As a result, carriages were still the most common means of transport in that world .

“The Home Carriage might not be as fast, but we put up a lot of effort to make the interior as comfortable to live as we could . Simply put, I guess you could call it an RV version of a carriage . ”

“Oho, that looks good . ”

Sipping her black tea, Mira imagined herself lying on a bed inside a slowly running carriage, gulping down an Apple au Lait as her eyes gazed at the moving scenery outside the window .

“Surely that Home Carriage would make anyone want to try riding it, huh . ”

“Well, one day I’ll let you use it . ”

“Hey, come on, you cheapskate . Should it not be fine to send it to the Underground Graveyard?

“I really, really want to do it, but remember that this is a top secret mission . Both the Thousand-mile and the Home Carriages are custom-built vehicles, used mainly for stuff like transporting royalty or attending to national matters . Wherever any of them goes, they might end up attracting too much attention . ”

“…And I would like to avoid that . ”

“Right? Anyway, I will prepare a normal-looking carriage for you . ”

“Okay, got it . ”

As she replied with a nod, Mira tossed another cookie in her mouth .

A second later, however, the Office door was opened with a loud bang, startling the girl and causing her to have violent fit of coughing after choking on the snack .


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“Mission complete!”

Together with the shout, what appeared there was the figure of a certain person striking a pose, her blazing red hair fluttering around: Luminaria . While throwing an annoying glare at the woman, Mira gulped down the tea she held .

“Good job . ”

Solomon raised a hand and said some words of appreciation . He then cast a glance at the map on his desk, reconfirming the four remaining points where a herd of monsters had appeared . Currently in the middle of battle, the units dispatched to those locations had yet to send a completion report . However, there was no problem with that fact; rather, Mira and Luminaria were way too fast to finish their tasks .

“Oh, you’re back already? Maan, and here I thought I would be the first one to return . ”

When Luminaria closed the door, she saw the teary-eyed Mira pouring black tea and raised her voice .

“It was close . If you’d arrived around one hour earlier, you would have won . ”

“One hoour…? Damn, that was just the difference between our means of transport…”

Already used to doing it, the red-haired woman skillfully sat on a corner of the office desk; but contrary to her tone and words, she didn’t exactly look disappointed .

“You rode on the Armored Jeep again, right? How was it?”

Luminaria asked, the expression on her face showing that she already knew the answer . Then, after drinking her teacup dry, Mira returned the question with a hateful gaze directed towards that all-knowing face .

“One way or another, the lack of a seatbelt is a clear problem . Or maybe you could have Garrett receive some driving training . ”

Now looking at Solomon, Mira said that half-jokingly, albeit with an obvious focus on the seriousness of the matter .

“Hear what she said? Come, man, you really should equip a seatbelt on that jeep . ”

“Huumm, okay okay . I’ll try to take that into consideration . ”

With a reluctant expression, Solomon agreed and took out a camouflage helmet from his desk drawer .

“I believe that using a tank helmet has its own charm, though…”

Muttered the boy while donning the tank headgear, looking somewhat proud even behind the sullen expression he displayed .

———–

“By the way, now that we are on this subject…”

Starting with that, Solomon retrieved a sheet of paper from the top of his desk and stood up, drawing closer to Mira in an act that evoked the image of a child trying to pester his parent for something .

“So that we can have a better handling of the Armored Jeep, and also for the Accord Cannon’s experiments, I want you to make a good number of refining and sealing gems . I will bring all the raw materials for you!!”

After asking for that favor, he presented the paper to his friend . Written there was a detailed list of items, their required numbers and types . Other than it simply being a national interest, the Sorcery Engineering was directly related to his own hobbies, so it was probably for that reason that, right now, the boy’s face looked so alive .

“Okay . I see you really need a lot of those, huh? So, what is the needed rank of sealing gems?”

Said Mira the moment she received the paper and took a glance at it, fueling even more Solomon’s smile .

“As high as you can make them, but I guess we should focus on the number first . Aahh, well, it would be great if at least five of the gems you created were third-grade . ”

The ranking or grade of a sealing gem indicated the degree of power charged within them, ranging from first-grade for the strongest and seventh-grade for the weakest gem . Depending on the raw materials used, there was a limit for the ranking of the produced item, so a first-grade sealing gem was, by principle, pretty rare .

“No problem . However, if that is the case, I believe it will be faster if I return to the Tower . For stuff like refining gems I should have too many to count stored within my warehouse . Moreover, I probably have there a reasonable number of refining crystals, refining magic crystals and sealing gems . ”

“As expected of you . If only you’d arrived in this world faster, we would be already at the production of a Type-10, I guess…”

It could be said that the quantity of sealing gems produced was closely related to the progress of the Sorcery Engineering . Therefore, Solomon’s words were not an exaggeration, and if they had access to all the refining materials hoarded by the very developer of refining techniques, they would have advanced one, two levels above their current progress right now .

“Why did you not ask, like, Mariana for the items if you needed them that much? Even in my absence, she is still able to enter my place—I left her with the job of sorting every item there, you know?”

Of course, to use the contents of the storehouse that was located within the private room in the Tower, one had to first enter the room; but the only individuals who could do that freely were the Elder of that Tower and their own aide .

“Well… that was the problem . You see, I once asked if there were any refining and sealing gems in your storage . ‘Could I have some if you find them there?’ was what I requested…”

Said Solomon with a bitter smile as he suddenly turned around and sat on the sofa .

“Was that so? Then what? Did you happen to end up using everything?”


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“Aaahh… you see… she didn’t listen to me, at all . Mariana said that even if I am the one asking, she wouldn’t hand over your items willfully . There was something about it being her mission to protect that place, so that you wouldn’t be inconvenienced after your return—and you would definitely return, she added… while also crying . Obviously, there was no way I would force her to do it . ”

“Exactly . I was there too and, damn, she looked like she could even give up her life to protect that place . Talk about being stubborn . ”

“I… see…”

Hearing her friends, Mira thought once again about Mariana, who had been waiting for such a long time to see the return of Dunbalf .

(Maybe, at the very least, I should tell Mariana the truth . )

The figure of a young girl with a beautiful, sapphire-like hair, looking downward in a desolate manner appeared in Mira’s mind . Perhaps, Mira herself could be her savior and make the girl raise once again that face . The ideal man she’d aimed to be would never leave behind a girl crying; as soon as she realized that, Mira made the decision to be frank with Mariana and tell the truth the next moment they meet . The girl etched into her mind that, rather than the momentary feeling of shame she would be afflicted with after disregarding everything and telling the truth, confessing was something much more important to her .

“There you have it . I’ll leave the storehouse portion to your own judgement . The portion that I asked before will be good enough for now . Later, I’ll get you to the Refining Room . ”

“Alright, then let me make the gems before going to bed . ”

“Heh, if any of our refining engineers were to hear what you just said I bet they would faint . ”

With an extremely happy smile, Luminaria talked as she bent her upper body, supporting herself with both hands on her seat, the table . The refining engineers in the castle were busy day and night, so if they were to witness the speed at which Mira performed her refining, there was a risk that they would fall into a completely hopeless state .

“…I will have the materials and the refining table sent to your bedroom . ”

Picturing such scene in his head, Solomon told Mira he wanted her to refine the items in secret, with no one else around . While replying with “I do not mind,” the girl placed her teacup on the table .

“Just something, though . If you wish, would it not be better if you guys were able to do it yourself?”

“Well, that might’ve been my best option . Like our technology progress, that is still quite slow, our current production pace can barely keep up . Do you have any good techniques to help?”

The boy looked at Mira, his eyes full of expectation .

“Hmm, it will depend on your own hard work . Got a pen and paper?”

“Yes, err, let me see… here they are . ”

After taking a fountain pen that was on the desk and retrieving a parchment from its shelf, Solomon handed them to Mira .

“Just wait a moment . ”

With the objects in her hands, the girl unfolded the parchment on the table and began filling it with symbols and characters .

“Okay, I am done . Show this to your ‘refining engineers’ later, okay?”

“Humm . The hell’s this? Can’t understand shit here . ”

Snatching the parchment from the girl’s hands, Luminaria stared at the figures and symbols drawn on it, her face frowning . In but a few moments, she gave up and pushed the sheet to Solomon .

“This is… yes… I can understand they are related to refining . I should show this to them, right? Got it . ”

“Good, I am counting on you . ”

The things Mira wrote on the parchment were the configuration for a brand new refining table, one she had invented and researched since long ago . The small details needed were omitted and scribbled on the margin of the paper as special instructions .

In the distant future, that parchment would help revolutionize the Sorcery Engineering, but no one would have imagined that yet .

“Now then, going back to our previous discussion . I have already made the preparations for your carriage, so tomorrow morning you can already depart towards the underground graveyard and begin your search . ”

While saying that, Solomon took off his tank helmet and very carefully returned it to the drawer .

“That is a bit too fast for me . I still want to take a break and rest a few days here…”

As she stretched her whole body, Mira insisted she was completely spent .

“Really? Are you staying here for some more time then? Okay, but know that I prepared for you to leave earlier than usual because I was thinking of you . ”

“You did it for me?”

She casted a dubious glance in the king’s direction . Mira had absolutely no idea of what she could possibly gain from departing sooner .

“Yeah . If you’re going to stay, then my maids will be elated, but, of course, I believe you will be the complete opposite of that, right?”


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“What? What are you trying to imply there?”

“I heard something from my Head Maid . They received a burst of inspiration after seeing the robe you wore, and now it looks like all the maids are working to make you new outfits . ”

Solomon was all smiles after relaying that information and seemed to be greatly enjoying the situation; Luminaria also chimed in, saying “You’re so lucky,” as she laughed .

“I am… leaving as soon as the day breaks tomorrow . ”

“Huhuhu, alright . I will inform the others of that . ”

There was no way that clothes inspired by a faux magical girl-esque dress would turn out as something normal . As a result, Mira decided to quickly run away from the castle .

“What a bunch of weirdos…”

Disgust welling up from the bottom of her heart, the girl complained and immediately stood up .

“Where is the toilet?”

“Behind that door over there . ”

When Mira asked, Solomon pointed towards a small door in a corner of the Office .

“I am borrowing it for a little bit . ”

Together with those few words, the young girl opened the door in a hurry and disappeared inside that room . Left on the table were the empty teapot and several cookies .

———–

“When it comes to a king’s toilet, I bet that just renting it might cost like a hundred thousand[3] . ”

After a short pause, although Mira returned from the restroom feeling refreshed, she also said, at the same time, something that only a complete commoner would let escape from their mouth . A second later, the girl was immediately captured by the red-haired woman, who had been lying in wait for her prey with an invigorating smile on her face .

“Then, why don’t we go to a one million bathhouse next?”

And just like that, being carried under her friend’s arms, Mira was taken to the castle’s large bath .

———–

Having finished their bath, Mira, Solomon and Luminaria had dinner together . Afterwards, they moved to the Office and spent a pretty long period of time talking about trivial matters—it was just a silly conversation between close friends . In the middle of it, when Solomon’s military discussion began to show its signs, the young girl softly yawned .

“Oh wow, look at the time . ”

Upon seeing the sleepy Mira, Luminaria checked the present time and confirmed that soon it would be midnight .

“It went by pretty fast . ”

Also confirming the time, Mira gulped down the rest of her Apple au Lait and greatly stretched her body .

“Shall we call it a night? Let’s continue it next time . ”

“Ah, yes . Of course . ”

It would be a complete borefest if the military discussion were to actually continue, but after a good night of sleep he would probably forget about it, so Mira agreed without much thought .

“Your bedroom is the same as yesterday’s . Do you remember where it is?”

“Yes, it is okay . ”

Secretly leaving the empty bottle of Apple au Lait on the sofa, Mira stood up and walked towards the door .

“Then, I am going ahead . ”

“Okay, good night . ”

“If you have to wake up early, try to take your nightly activities in moderation and get enough sleep . ”

“Do not lump me with the likes of you . Good night . ”

Directing a glance towards the smiling Solomon and then changing it to Luminaria, whose habitual grin was plastered all over her face, Mira sent her good-nights and left the Office at the same time .

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