A herd of monsters appeared inside the country’s territory. After completing its extermination, Mira returned to the Arkite Castle and after quickly reporting what happened, she sat down in the corner of the sofa that was inside the office.
“To think a sofa could be this calming when it doesn’t shake.”
When returning she was thrown around by the armored jeep again, so once she was finally released, she made a slovenly expression and elegantly tilted a flask with Apple au Lait.
“To think that of all things, a Lesser Demon would be involved. So, the herd was wiped out but he completed his objective, is that right?”
“Mm-hm, no doubt. He let out that jarring cackling.”
Recalling the Lesser Demon’s creepy laughter at the very end, Mira placed the flask with half of the Apple au Lait remaining on the table.
Lesser Demon’s laughter. Most likely every player knew of it, it was something like a sign that the enemy has completed his objective. In other words, the Lesser Demon had completed his objective before the Dark Knight cut him down.
“That’s worrying. I’m already busy enough, and here another bothersome thing appears.”
Back when it was still a game, any and all events that Lesser Demons were involved in, were a real pain and completing them mostly left people with a bad aftertaste. Of course, Solomon too had experienced this before, which is why he made an annoyed expression as he picked up the report.
“Nhm, are you including me in that?”
Mira, who appeared not as Danbulf himself but as his disciple, had reacted to the words “bothersome thing appears".
“No no, of course not. If anything, you would resolve those...whoops, I guess this was a quite long break, but we were talking about how we can’t announce your return as a Sage, right?”
“Now that you say it, yeah.”
“So, I have this great idea.”
Solomon pushed the gathered report documents to the corner of the desk, and crossing fingers of his hands in a steepling pose like a certain commander character, he leaned forward and continued.
“Hooh, so what is it?”
Hearing that, her gaze grew sharper and she corrected her posture on the sofa, then put a finger on the end of her chin. These were the “serious talk poses" that were once a fad among their comrades.
“Once you have some accomplishments that anyone can admit, we just have to announce that you will succeed the Elder’s position as Danbulf’s disciple.”
What Solomon meant, was that they should put some more weight into Mira’s current title of the Sage’s disciple. Not many would believe that this girl who appeared so suddenly is Danbulf, and even if they did believe, Danbulf would lose dignity due to his changed appearance, and it was unknown what kind of bad influence it would have.
And in case where she was to immediately be put on Sage’s position as Danbulf’s disciple, it would mean that a young girl, although a hero’s disciple, but who had no accomplishments was put in position on top of spellcasters and given authority to influence the fate of the country. It was unknown what kind of needless backlash would come from the spellcasters who seriously trained themselves all this time.
But, what if her appearance was coupled along with a great contribution to the country?
“It will definitely go well, is what I can’t say, but I think it’s worth trying. Rather, I want you to do it.”
There was also a simple method of showing Mira’s skills off, but Solomon decided to discard it. Mira herself did not seem to understand it, but becoming Danbulf’s successor was now, a matter heavy beyond imagination. He thought that accomplishments matching the status were necessary to convince everyone.
“Well, I get the circumstances. So, what do you intend to make me do, mm?”
When Mira asked this, Solomon took a deep breath and crossed his arms. Then with a serious attitude, he made a slightly troubled expression.
“Danbulf...no, I’ll call you Mira from now on, we have no idea were it might leak.”
“Mm-hm, do as you like.”
“So, Mira. The thing I want to ask you to do, is to find everyone.”
Mira put a finger on her chin and repeated the word “everyone". He said “everyone" but she had no idea who was it about. For an instant after hearing that she had no idea what it meant, but based on the context she eventually made a prediction. When she reached the answer, she furrowed her eyebrows and made a really aggravated expression.
“Aren’t Luminaria and I the only Sages in this world?”
“Nope, if anything - you are the last one.”
“When you first came here I taught you how friend list works, right? You can check it yourself.”
Told so, Mira operated the bracelet. She displayed the hidden window and opened the friend list, there, she found the names of her past friends with whom she was close. Solomon and Luminaria’s names were displayed in white. And once she found the names she was looking for, she made a very, very languid expression as she stared at them displayed in white.
There were seven names Mira confirmed. In other words, they were names of all sages except for Danbulf and Luminaria.
“So that they are.”
“Then why aren’t they here?”
Solomon had realized that Mira was Danbulf thanks to noticing that Danbulf had become online. In other words, it could be interpreted that online meant being in this world. However, only Luminaria was here in their home base.
“I don’t know that, which is why I want you to search for them.”
“That’s one bothersome request. Where do you want me to look for them? Towers aside, they aren’t the bunch to stay in one place.”
“Well, honestly speaking I think it will take time. But if possible, I would like you to find half of them within this year.”
Half within a year. Not knowing what was his true intent behind the time limit Solomon gave, Mira asked a question.
“Half within a year sounds like quite the hurry. Searching for those guys with zero clues isn’t something that can be done within a year or two.”
Mira knew everyone quite long, so she understood them fairly well. Therefore, she was also well aware of parts of them that were beyond understanding.
“Well, that’s true. But it has to be within this year no matter what. The timing of you coming to this world is also barely within the limit, I even felt this must be fate.”
Solomon was well-aware that it will not go easy. And therefore he wanted to leave it to the one who had the highest chances of accomplishing it.
The boy’s expression with furrowed eyebrows, showing that he was tired from the bottom of his heart really did not fit him, but Mira realized based on way he spoke and his expression that he was at his wit’s end.
“Whence does this hurry come from? Tell me the reason.”
When Mira asked this, Solomon picked up a single document file from a bookcase, placed it on the table next to the sofa and opened it.
Written in the file were the records of the battle that happened ten years ago. A memory of the conversation with Graya passed by the corner of Mira’s head. After a certain battle, the rate at which monsters appeared had increased.
“Defense of Three Gods’ Countries…huh.”
After glancing at the content in the file, Mira checked the cover and muttered as she read the title.
“You heard of it?”
“Mm-hm. It’s about ten years ago, right? Graya said the number of monster attacks increased after that.”
While glaring at the file, Mira recalled what she heard from Graya.
“Yup. Ever since everyone disappeared I had to dispatch knights. There’s a lot of dispatches so the military costs are no joke.”
As he explained, Solomon sat down next to Mira and drank some of the Apple au Lait she started drinking earlier.
“This excessively sweet taste sure is nostalgic.”
“Nuh, drinking my stuff without permission. In your position there must be plenty of better stuff for you to drink, no?”
“I’m not a genuine king, after all. I still haven’t forgotten my love for junk food.”
He said and extended a hand with a the empty flask and an empty hand to Mira, he was prompting her for more.
“Really you. So, how is this related to your reason? It’s already in the past, no? So what, you want us to come back and exterminate the monsters again so that you can scrimp on military funding?”
Mira pushed the empty flask aside, took out a fresh Apple au Lait, and passed it to Solomon.
“Ahh, well. That would help me a lot, but there’s a more pressing problem.”
While saying so, Solomon drank some of the Apple au Lait and turned pages to stop at certain point. It was a page titled “Limited Armistice Treaty".
“Hm, and this is?”
After glaring at the title, Mira looked away from the text written in small letters, requesting an instant answer.
“You weren’t around so you don’t know, but the Defense of Three Gods’ Countries was a battle that scoped far beyond all wars we have experienced in the past. I think that if I said, the kings and pope of the three initial countries took the direct command, it will be easier for you to understand.”
“What…? Those immovable kings moved?”
It was no wonder Mira was surprised. The three initial countries were countries that all players started affiliated with. They existed before players founded their first countries where the new players were guaranteed safety.
Even during the nation-founding rush there was no country who would declare war against the three initial countries. And even if they had, those three countries had NPCs capable of easily wiping out even top players.
For three kings of such countries to move personally, spoke of the size of the incident. To digress a little, the nickname “immovable kings" Mira mentioned was given to them because no one has ever seen them in action.
“The battle has been named Defense of Three Gods’ Countries, but that’s because the initial three countries contributed the most on the frontlines. This war has involved the entire continent. It all started from a large army of demons who flew in from the sky. They mainly attacked the three countries, but once they received reinforcements they spread all over. Because demons started attacking the nearby countries, the damage naturally spread and many small countries were destroyed. It was horrible.”
Solomon made an anguished expression as he said it was horrible, showing that he was truly a gentle king who cared for his people. Seeing him like that, Mira said “Is that so.” and while she still did not completely understand, she lamented for her close friend.
“In any case, there was a large war like that ten years ago. With a war that large, you can imagine what happened afterwards, right?”
“Everyone was busy with reconstructions, weren’t they.”
“Correct. That’s why all countries made the Limited Armistice Treaty to restrain each other. The content was simple, the treaty is in effect for ten years, war and any actions related to it are forbidden.”
In other words, all countries in the continent thought “we can’t hold a proper war, so how about we decide not to try one-up another and focus on rebuilding?”.
“And the deadline for that treaty is close, is that it?”
Based on the context of the conversation Mira pointed at the time limit. In other words, when the time is up, everyone will be able to war again.
With only one of the Sages, Arkite Kingdom’s main force being there, it was possible for enemy countries to find a chance to attack. The abundant, rich land would give them a lot of benefits and there was no other country as versed in spells as Arkite Kingdom, if they took over the country they would be make a lot of that knowledge theirs.
“Honestly speaking, it’s not an exaggeration to say that we’re being protected by that treaty. Even if it isn’t enough to completely deter them, I at least want enough military power to protect ourselves. I’ll say it one more time. Mira, will you go find everyone?”
Mira closed the file and after a short pause, she stared back at Solomon’s serious eyes. She already had the answer in her heart.
“Very well, I’ll undertake it.”
When she answered, Solomon said “thank you" and smiled broadly.
“Now that we’re done with that, we should talk about where and how to look…"
Solomon drank all of Apple au Lait he received and then spoke while playing around with the empty flask, sneaking sighs in between words. All of the Sages were eccentric and hard to deal with weirdos.
“THAT is the problem. They aren’t someone you can find easily.”
“Right? Your too strong quirks are the problem.”
He said so, and looking through the flask at Mira he added “and one of you turns into this" then smiled wryly. However, his eyes looking at the best friend he met for the first time in thirty years were cheerful.
While they were talking like this, suddenly a noise came from the front. Immediately after, ignoring Reinard’s pleads to stop, a single woman opened the door of the office with so much strength it nearly broke.
That person who snatched away Mira’s and Solomon’s gaze, was a woman wearing a white and blue robe,and had extremely attractive proportions of her body and beautiful facial features. It was a beauty that would steal anyone’s gaze.
This beauty had a deep crimson hair that looked like it was burning, her boobs were unimpeded from asserting themselves as they shook. She glanced at Solomon with her crimson eyes which did not lose to the color of her hair, then poured her gaze at the girl.
“What happened all of a sudden? It is not the appointed time yet.”
Completely changing his manner of speaking and adjusting it into one full of dignity, Solomon fixed his gaze on the beauty who had entered the office. At the same time she heard these words, she closed the door with a strong momentum.
Being hit in the head by the closing door, Reinard made an expression of anguish as he staggered and tears appeared in his eyes. Seeing him like that, Joachim put a hand on his shoulder and comforted him by saying “don’t mind it, saying anything to that person is pointless".
“I heard a girl calling herself Danbulf’s disciple came, so I went to the guestroom to take a look at her, but I found no one. And when I wrung up a guard nearby he told me you moved to the office, so I came here.”
The beauty said so with a bright smile then faced Solomon.
“I see. Well, in any case, I thought of bringing her to you later anyway.”
After saying so, Solomon approached Mira.
“This girl’s Danbulf’s disciple, Mira.”
Introduced like that, Mira did not stand up from the seat or said any greeting, she just stared at the woman standing in front of the door, smiling bitterly at how the woman did not change, then reseated herself on the sofa.
“Is that so, so this is the girl. With that said, Solomon-sama. Should you be speaking this way?”
The way of speaking the beauty pointed out, was the speech mannerism that he had once corrected to a self-important one for showing dignity as a king, one he used when speaking with friends. The two had decided that when there was someone together with them, they would act in appropriate manner.
“Yeah, no problem. I mean, this is Danbulf himself. So you can speak normally, too. It’s been many years, but I still can’t get used to you speaking this way.”
While saying this, Solomon made a mischievous smile.
“Ahh, been a while, Luminaria, is what it is I guess. Though to me, it’s been just two days.”
Retaining a relaxed posture on the sofa, Mira just raised one hand in a greeting.
Luminaria. It was the name of one of the Nine Sages and the only Elder whose whereabouts were currently known.
“I see. Danbulf, huh. You’ve finally come here…"
Luminaria captured Mira’s entire body within her sight as if to examine her. Then seeing the adorable appearance of the girl, she clearly recalled the time when she had a discussion with Danbulf on their preferences.
Mira’s appearance perfectly matched the characteristics she heard back then. Seeing her best friend unchanged, Luminaria was both happy and amused, and she burst out into laughter.
Hearing the laughing voice leak leak out just slightly out of the office through the closed door, Reinard had covered his ears and together with Joachim they nodded to each other. Luminaria sometimes changes into a completely different person. That was the rumor whispered in the castle, which was correct in a sense.
After rolling about with laughter, Luminaria once again captured Mira in her sights. She grinned and made a meaningful expression.
“This means you finally realized how wonderful this is, right? A woman’s body is great, isn’t it. Did you play with it to your heart’s content yet?”
And while the first thing she said were really indecent words, Luminaria’s glossy lips with their ends raised in a smile were so alluring that they turned even such words into part of her charm.
“Don’t lump me together with you. It was an accident, so to speak, not my will.”
After stroking Mira’s silver hair all over, Luminaria pulled on her collar with a finger to peek inside and spoke after confirming that inside of the clothes was also perfect.
"...Ungh. It’s a long story.”
Irritated, Mira brushed off Luminaria’s hand and concisely explained everything, starting from the mail notice about expiring web money up until now.
“I got the Cosmetic Box I have for the same reason as you. I didn’t use it though.”
Once Mira finished explaining, Solomon said that he bought the Cosmetic Box for the same reason of not wanting to waste the money.
“In which case, I’m the same.”
Said Luminaria and took out a Cosmetic Box out of the item box, then played with it in her hands. Glaring at Luminaria hatefully, Mira pursed her lips sulkily and lied down on the sofa.
“I wonder why I don’t have one.”
“Because you used it, duh.”
Mira’s heart was gouged by Solomon’s blunt words and she growled “ughh”, before facing up and threw her arms and legs out like a sulky kid.
“But well, you should be glad that it wasn’t a joke character. The ideal female image, was it? It’s better than getting something you have absolutely no attachment to or is not your ideal, a silver lining in a dark cloud, isn’t it. From my perspective, this world becoming real was a lucky happening. This world’s the best. I mean, starting from day one I played to my heart’s content.”
Luminaria made a refreshing smile with her pretty face. If one ignored what was inside, she would definitely steal hearts of many men and unfortunately, the only ones knowing her real identity were the two that were here.
Staring coldly at Luminaria who did not change in the least, Mira scooped up a certain question that came to her mind.
“By the way, I just thought, but. Solomon, you were here thirty years, Luminaria was twenty, right? So much time had passed but you two don’t look like you aged at all.”
From Mira’s perspective there it didn’t look unnatural since it’s been just two days. However, the two who came to this world at different time from her remaining same as back then was inexplicable. Even if one overlooked Luminaria, the same couldn’t be done for Solomon. It was impossible for a human to retain a boy’s appearance for nearly forty years.
“Speaking of which, it’s become so obvious to us that I forgot to talk about it.”
“This is one of reasons this world is the best.”
To settle down in place, Solomon pulled his office chair with wheels next to the sofa, but as if it was for first come first served, Luminaria sat down on it and crossed her youthful legs to show them off.
“To put it simply, it looks like we ex-players are different from the normal people who used to be NPCs.”
A she spoke, Solomon poked Luminaria’s head, who impudently sat on his seat.
“Different from normal...how?”
“Yup. First, it’s about inspecting, did you try to inspect me or Luminaria?”
Told so, Mira recalled how she tried to inspect Solomon during the audience and how there was no information displayed. Trying again, this time he gazed intently at Luminaria who wriggled around in a disgusting manner. However, no information appeared within the sight.
“Nothing shows for you two. It worked for Süleyman and Graya however.”
Hearing that, Solomon made a boyish smile and sat on the sofa by Mira’s legs as she lied on in with her arms and legs spread.
“It appears that ex-players can’t be inspected. That’s the first difference. By the way, when I first saw you I tried inspecting you but didn’t see anything, so I knew you were an ex-player. Claiming to be Danbulf’s disciple the moment he appeared online, a loli matching Danbulf’s tastes appeared. Even people other than me would realize it with this much evidence.”
“In other words, it can act as basis for judgement.”
Mira said with a bitter smile.
“Exactly. We can’t be certain that everyone you’ll be looking for from now on did not change their appearance. But at the very least you can tell whether someone is a player or not.”
While saying so, Solomon had covered Mira’s legs which were exposed up to the bloomers, by adjusting the skirt-turned robe skirt.
“However, with their personality like that we have other things to base on other than their looks.”
“Certainly. I have confidence to tell this Luminaria here apart even if she changed into someone else.”
“Agreed. It would be hard to find another pervert like this.”
After taking a glance at Luminaria who stared at her own legs in rapture, the two laughed meaningfully. Being called a pervert, Luminaria glared at the two, but then for some reason her expression suddenly changed.
“In other words...we’re so close that you can tell me apart even if I changed my appearance, right?!”
Coming up with a really optimistic answer, Luminaria swiftly stood up and dove onto the sofa like a wrestling fighter. Solomon quickly avoided her, but Mira who was lying down tired, was unable to do anything, and was embraced by Luminaria who assisted by gravity, fell on top of her.
“Hey, stop it Bakanaria! ...Where ya touchin’!”
Luminaria’s wiggling hand treated Mira’s body as a sacrifice for itself and started creeping around her limbs as if to inspect her.
“It’s fine, it’s fin...ngha!”
Luminaria assaulted Mira like a certain evil magistrate’s impression, but along with a bursting sound she let out a voice that gushed out from deep inside her and flew in the air, then with all the momentum she hit the ceiling before falling back down on the floor.
Mira who lied face up on the sofa, had protruded her right hand up towards the ceiling. She fired a daoist spell which was her secondary class, at Luminaria from zero distance.
“Putting life on the line to cop a feel, aren’t you?”
Solomon spoke indifferently towards Luminaria, who slowly got up and responded with a proud expression “but that’s what’s so good about it" and showed a thumbs up.
Fixing her disordered robe, Mira got up and staring coldly at Luminaria, “next time I’ll include Magan1Magan, as in “Evil Eye”. Decided to keep it as is because it sounds much better this way..” she warned her. Luminaria’s both hands requesting more in a pose ready for fondling, suddenly lost their destination and after wandering about, have started picking up scattered documents.
“Mm, what an admirable attitude.”
“Oh you, I just like when it’s clean, you see”
“In that case, take care of this too.”
Taking advantage of the moment, Solomon pointed at a desk full of scattered documents, to which Luminaria nodded without a word.