“To continue what we were talking about - our biggest difference is this appearance. As you can see, it looks like we don’t age.”
While saying this, Solomon spread his arms and to show off his appearance.
“So that’s why you didn’t change in thirty years, huh.”
“Yup. Precisely speaking, there’s a lot we don’t know, so we can’t tell for sure. We don’t know if we really don’t age, or if we age but our appearance doesn’t change. Or whether we have lifespan. Things like that. Well, maybe we’ll be able to tell in forty, fifty years.”
If their appearance did not change with time, it meant that their body did not deteriorate with it. And they were able to retain youthful skin. Which is why one of the biggest reasons Luminaria said this world was the best, was because her appearance did not change. After all, if a player was a handsome guy or a beauty, they remained like that forever.
When Solomon said this, Mira comprehended why their appearance did not change. At the very least, she did understand that they were not fundamentally different, but that all the ex-players were in such a state.
However, she got curious about something when she heard the word “lifespan". While certainly it was too early for anyone to die naturally within these thirty years, but what about death from other factors?
Back when it was still a game, when a player died they were brought back to their affiliated country or home base, then respawned in a weakened state. But that was a game. She was curious as to whether these rules still applied, now that everything became reality.
“By the way, what happens when you die in this world? Do you respawn weakened?”
“When we die, huh…"
Hearing Mira’s question, Solomon made a troubled expression and crossed his arms to think.
Once he gathered his thoughts, Solomon raised his head and said “We still haven’t confirmed it." before he started explaining.
“Actually, we still haven’t heard of any player dying. However, this is just my personal opinion...we probably die.”
He spoke indifferently, but was as serious as it could get.
It was not unthinkable considering this world turned into reality. Although Mira hoped that was not the case, she knew it won’t be that convenient so she easily accepted these words.
“Mm, you say probably, what’s your basis for that?”
“That would be the friend list. You see, every evening I check the friend list. Even now there are people who suddenly appear in this world. However, the opposite also applies. It was a friend I knew was online, but I didn’t know where he was.”
After saying this much, Solomon closed his mouth and moistened lips. In the office which fell silent, there was only sound of Luminaria gathering documents together could be heard. She was still tidying up things.
“One night when I was checking the list like I always do, he turned offline. And since then I haven’t seen him come back online a single time.”
If one could tell their friend was in this world by seeing they are online, then offline meant he was no here. From there, one can think of two reasons for that.
One, was logging out in some way.
Another one, was that they disappeared from this world for some reason. In other words, died.
Believing in the basis Solomon used, Mira decided to act more careful than ever.
“Putting whether we die or not aside, honestly speaking, the number one reason for dying in this world would be combat, right? It’s hard to think we’d die like that. Our skills are same as they were, so as long as we run away from the opponents we can’t beat, be it Magic Beast King, Demon Lord or Dragon God, we will probably survive.”
While still in the middle of tidying things up, Luminaria sat down sexily on the table and spoke. Certainly, from these three’s perspective it was not that serious of a problem. Ever since the official game service started, these they used any ways possible to acquire the strongest powers in the world. It was not easy for them to be caught off guard by someone.
“Mm, certainly. It’s as you say.”
“True. Also, it’s just my hypothesis at this point, so let’s leave this topic at this for now. There is no need to know the answer right away, and the method of finding out isn’t humane. I think we just need to be careful not to die.”
Solomon made a smile again like he did earlier, then checked the current time on his bracelet.
“Now then, since we’ve already gathered we might as well put work away and eat dinner together. Just like back then.”
He said, stood up and went to give instructions to the two standing outside.
After a while, a maid came to relay that the dinner was ready and guided them, so the three moved from the office to a large banquet hall. In order to make it so they can talk without concerns as they eat, they were the only ones in the hall.
“As expected of a king, that’s one luxurious dinner.”
In the banquet hall, there was food lined up on a table as if it was a buffet party. Mira took a plate in her hand and started going around with intention of trying all the food that was there.
“The first-class ingredients are cooked by first-class cook, all of this is tastes great.”
Solomon said, boasting, and stood to the left of Mira with a plate in his hand.
“Like this deep-fried chicken, it’s amazin’, really tastes first-class.”
While saying so, Luminaria put meat fried golden on Mira’s plate, then stuffed her cheeks full of the same deep-fried chicken.
Eating first-class food like this was already normal for the two, but seeing Mira all excited they were reminded of their past selves.
And so, thanks to Mira whose eyes sparkled at all the luxurious food influencing Solomon and Luminaria, the dinner at Arkite Castle was lively from start to end.
After meal, the three sat down on the edge of the stage located in the middle of the banquet hall and started to reminiscence.
“That feels reeally nostalgic, even now I remember that gallant figure.”
Solomon closed his eyes and recalled an offline event they went thirty years ago. It was an exhibition event hosted by the SDF where anyone could see actual military equipment and weapons. It was mainly held to recruit people for SDF, but was extremely popular with military maniacs to the point where Solomon adjusted his schedule every year so that he could attend.
“That Type-10’s majesty, I wish I could see it again, ehh.”
“I’ve had enough of walking back then. It’s not an exaggeration to say that was the day I walked the most in my entire life.”
“Yeah, that was awful. He said that he’ll cover all expenses so I came, but what do we find? A military otaku festival.”
While Solomon immersed himself in memories with a smile, Mira smiled wryly and Luminaria put up a bitter expression as she recalled that with nostalgia.
“How cold of you, you two also enjoyed it quite a bit back then, didn’t you.”
Solomon said sulkily while he flailed his legs.
To Mira, that festival happened just two weeks ago. Told “I’ll pay all expenses" by Solomon, she headed over intending to have a nice trip, but what awaited her was an assembly hall with military vehicles and weapons.
As she recalled the still-fresh in her mind sight of that hall, the armored jeep suddenly passed through her mind.
“Speaking of which, what is that pseudo-armored vehicle I was made to ride this afternoon? Galet said something about magic engineering.”
When Mira said this, Solomon put a smile back on his face and standing in the middle of the stage, he made a daunting pose.
“You finally asked! To hide nothing, that armored jeep is the first step to my dream!”
He started to speak of his dream with a loud and clear voice, announcing as the King, that his ultimate goal is completing the Type-10’s reconstruction. The two applauded him with sparse clapping of hands, as to join his momentum.
“Thank you for your attention. Whoops, and speaking of which, it’s about the time for our appointment.”
Solomon who still was taking a pose with his arms spread, had confirmed the clock at the entrance of the banquet hall and jumped off the stage.
“Yeah, now that you mention it, that’s what I came here for in the first place.”
Said Luminaria, and as if recalling something - followed Solomon.
“What is it? What appointment?”
Suddenly brought back from the past in real world to the current real world, Mira asked the two somewhat absentmindedly. The two turned around and smiled full of confidence.
“Come, look with your own eyes.”
“We’ll show ya how this world evolved.”
Solomon spoke mischievously and Luminaria took Mira’s hand as if it was natural, then pulled Mira towards herself.
The three walked through a corridor and walked down multiple stairs. For every floor they went down, the quieter everything became and only the sound of their footsteps echoing from the inorganic grey walls remained in their ears.
We went down about ten floors, when Mira thought so, they saw a large metal door and guards protecting it.
The very moment guards saw Solomon and Luminaria’s figures, they saluted with the military salute from before and reported “There has been no irregularities!”.
Answering shortly, Solomon acted like a king in front of people. It was the same for Luminaria.
"Everyone has already gathered.”
“It will commence very soon. Solomon-sama, this person is?”
The guard turned his gaze at Mira.
“She is Sage Danbulf’s disciple, Mira. Her techniques might be useful for the experiment that is about to begin now so I’m bringing her with me.”
“So she is the one. My apologies for the rudeness.”
After saying an apology, the guard held up a card-type key against the door. Behind the slowly and heavily opening door, there was a white corridor further leading into the back.
Following Solomon and Luminaria, Mira entered the door. Inside, the medieval design changed completely and a there was a scenery reminiscent of a modern, cutting-edge facility.
At this sight, Mira took a look around and was reminded of an overseas aerospace bureau she once saw on the TV.
(“Looks like they’re doing something fun here, mm.”)
Deep underground, heavy thick doors, experiment. The first thing that one would think of after connecting those would be clearly, a secret research facility.
Said Solomon and when he stopped in front of a large door, it slowly opened by itself.
“This is quite amazing, hmm.”
In the back of the door, appeared an enormous white space. The width, the length and the height were all so great, that every wall looked to be far in the distance.
This space was filled with countless device-like things and in front, there was a large and conspicuous object. It had a clunky main body and a long, horizontal and cylindrical part attached to it. In front of the various gauges around it, there were people wearing white robes. In front of the standing out in front of the main body were people wearing aprons and covered in oil, who were talking about something.
In the back of this space, on the side Mira and the two came in from there were eight spellcasters clad in robes and five nobles wearing luxurious clothes that did not fit this place, all of them watched the main object.
“I have been waiting, Solomon-sama.”
Appearing from the side of the door, was Solomon’s aide, Süleyman. After a light bow to the three, he stood right behind Solomon.
“Everyone, good work.”
When Solomon called out to everyone, they all stopped moving their hands and turned around to bow deeply. Then once their raised their heads, all their gazes gathered on the girl whom they haven’t seen before.
Not used to stares full of curiosity, Mira moved sideways. Then, the moment she tried to hide behind Luminaria’s back, Luminaria grabbed hold of her both shoulders and pushed her to front.
“She is Danbulf’s disciple, Mira-chan. She has succeeded his Energy-Refining techniques so I’m sure she will be of help to our current experiment.”
While voices containing various emotions sounded from all around, a single noble took a step forward.
“So this is the rumored… May I greet her?”
“Hmm. Very well.”
With Solomon’s consent, the noble man walked right in front of Mira and knelt.
The man’s age was ranging from sixty to seventy, he had silver grey hair, a goatee and a wrinkled face, appearance-wise being far more fitting to be a king than Solomon. His luxurious clothes were no more decorative than necessary, and were arranged very elegantly.
“Pleasure to meet you for the first time. I am Edward Cors Steiner. It is the highest honor to meet the disciple of hero Danbulf.”
Edward had introduced himself like that and holding Mira’s hand he kissed the back of it. Normally, Mira would have brushed the hand away, but this time she was impressed by Edward’s masterful gentlemanly manners. It could even be said she was captivated by them. His appearance was like Mira’s ideal incarnate.
“Mm-hm. I’m Mira.”
Looking at Edward who stood up, bowed and headed back, Mira decided to do her best as well. Behind her, Luminaria gloated over the sight in secret.
(“...Hum, Edward. Did I meet him somewhere before?”)
With the gentlemanly manners ruminating in her head, Mira thought she heard Edward’s name somewhere before. However, as she searched the sea of her memories, it only appeared to her as a vague shadow on the surface of water and wouldn’t show itself clearly.
“Well then, are preparations done? Let us begin from the first stage.”
Brought back to earth by the sound of Solomon’s voice, Mira’s gaze chased after the busy researchers, then she looked at the enormous device they were moving around.
“This...looks like that thing attached to your armored jeep.”
Mira muttered and stared at the gun barrel-like black tube protruding horizontally.
“That’s one’s a small prototype, this one is the real thing.”
Some of the researchers skipped a heartbeat seeing Luminaria smile gently at Mira, her sister-like attractiveness made their hearts beat faster. On the other hand, Mira who knew Luminaria’s real self, took two steps away from her and shifted her body when seeing the dubious expression which displayed an emotion of a different category than happiness, anger or pity. That moment, in the distance ahead of where the gun barrel was aimed at, she noticed some kind of device installed there.
When she tilted her body lightly to see better, her smooth silver hair danced before flowing on her shoulder and her countless ribbons shook as well.
“Hey, we’re being stared at.”
“Hm, what? It doesn’t matter, let’s hurry and finish setting this up.”
“But, you know. Well, uh…"
“What wrong with you, suddenly?”
Ahead of Mira’s gaze, a researcher and engineer who were doing final adjustments captured the adorable girl who stared at them with curiosity.
“If I’m not wrong, that was Danbulf-sama’s disciple…"
“Wait, it’s rude to use such suffix towards her.”
“Just look at her, she’s Mira-chan isn’t she. How else should we title her?”
“Mira-sama...that’s also good in a way.”
The researcher grinned. The engineer also thought that was okay, and nodded in agreement.
Although the two were talking about something really trivial, the speed at which they worked had increased It was a result of them turning eager from being looked at by Mira.
“Preparations are complete, we are ready any time.”
From among the engineers, the only one wearing a hat of a different, red color, had announced this. He was the chief in this place and the one who has created the designs for the great cannon used in this experiment.
Turning her line of sight back at the great cannon, Mira predicted what kind of experiment was about to start. Large cannons firing shells already existed when this was a game, smithing-specialized crafters have developed them and they became widely used in most countries.
However, they weren’t as large as to be looked up at and did not require multiple gauges attached to it.
(“Let’s see, a small cannon was already powerful. It’s hard to imagine what will happen at this size.”)
Mira placed a hand on her chin enjoyably and waited for the test to happen.
The researchers stood on their places in front of the gauges and the nobles stood by the wall, looking at the results of the experiment.
“Begin the experiment!”
“Beginning the experiment!”
Once Solomon loudly declared, the chief repeated after him and activated the great cannon’s main device.
The room was filled with a high-pitched sound of a motor and pointers on gauges started to shake. The nobles caught their breath, Reinard and Joachim stood in front of Mira and the other two just in case, then looked at the great cannon vigilantly.
“Time left until the first stage is five...four...three…"
Together with the countdown, the reverberating sound grew louder and from time to time, a sound of electrical discharge mixed in.
“Two…one...critical point confirmed!”
Solomon’s voice sounded and the chief pushed the lever. At the same time, a flash of light clad in lightning was fired with a loud roar. The torrent of destruction hit a curtain of light which was located above the device in the front, releasing tremor and impact, followed shortly by a sound of explosion.
Witnessing the destructive power capable of blowing away even the device that released the curtain of light, everyone in the place was captivated by the great cannon’s power.
Seeing power on completely different level from the cannons in the past, Mira’s eyes sparkled as she stared at the new great cannon’s majestic appearance.
“This is in a completely different league.”
Luminaria put both her hands on Mira’s shoulders and leaning forward, moved her head next to Mira’s.
“This is the new crafting technology evolved within the thirty years you weren’t here. And the new weapon born from magic engineering - Accord Cannon.”
After saying this, she looked at the Accord Cannon satisfied that it displayed enough of power.