3

After finishing the adventurer’s registration formalities at the Spellcasters’ Union, Mira watched adventurers walking back and forth on the main road.

There was a mix of ordinary adventurers wearing armors and robes, as well as some American Ninjas concealing themselves and Samurai’s who looked ready to go sword hunting any time. Walking around like it was ordinary there was also a woman in nun outfit who wore a noh mask, and whose outfit was far more ridiculous than a mahou shoujo one.

(“So, I’m normal.”)

A person who was even beyond Mira’s kind, was walking around the city like she owned the place. There was no need to fear anything, Mira thought as she looked down on her outfit and, becoming confident of this fact, she forgot completely that even more so than the outfit, her own looks were what gathered attention.

(“Now then, what I should doo.”)

It would take an entire day until the adventurer’s license was issued and ready, so she was unable to enter the ancient temple which was her objective. Done with her business a little past noon despite thinking it would take a little longer to finish formalities, she had to think of what to do with the time that opened up.

That moment, a female adventurer wearing a robe with an alluring slit had passed beside Mira and entered a shop for spellcasters.

(“Hm...I guess I need to investigate the city!”)

After chasing the adventurer with her eyes, caught in her field of vision were unfamiliar spellcraft items lined on the display behind the window, dyeing her eyes with curiosity.

Since she had free time, she thought she might as well enjoy this real-turned world, and in high-spirited gait she entered the spellcraft store.

(“I see, so this is the difference between the game and reality, huh.”)

Impressed, Mira took a look at the spellcraft items displayed around her in the store. In the past, spellcraft items were for supporting people in battle. But now, among the lined-up items the majority were things related to cooking, lighting and other similar things related to daily life.

(“It’s all so interesting…")

She activated a device that sucked in air from the front and pushed it out on the back, which appeared to be some kind of vacuum cleaner spellcraft item, then with a smile started playing around with adjusting the strength of the wind that came out. Ahead of her line of sight, there was a suggestively-shaking slit.

Mira did not stop only at the spellcraft store but also toured weapon and armor, as well as medicine shops, and her eyes sparkled at all the progress. After she left the eleventh store, she found an unnatural crowd of people and stopped.

Before she realized, she moved a little away from the main street and was in the residential area where this crowd had gathered.

(“What’s with all that fuss?”)

Whether it was spirit of curiosity, or maybe just a reflex, but Mira thrust right inside the group of people as if sucked in.

Forcing her small body in, she passed in between the people to arrive at the source of the incident soon after.

There, was a wooden house that had nothing unusual in it. Possibly because they were not taken care of well enough, the flowers on the veranda wilted lifelessly. However, the reason for the crowd gathering was not the house. It was the zombie sitting down and leaning against the house.

What seemed to have been a jacket, was horribly burned and ripped turning into leather rags which were caught on the zombie’s shoulder.

“We are in the middle of investigating it. It’s dangerous, so please don’t approach.”

Warning the surroundings like this, was a Patrol Knight wearing a light armor of white and blue colors.

Patrol Knights were soldiers belonging to the Arkite Kingdom’s Patrol organization and were doing something like police work. On their light armor acted as replacement for a uniform there was the emblem of Arkite Kingdom.

Of the two Patrol Knights that were on the scene, one of them was having the onlookers move back, while the other one held his hand on the sword as he stood vigilant of the zombie that did not move a single finger.

(“What is going on? The sun is still up high.”)

The light of sun poured down from straight the sky and did not paint even a faint shadow. Looking up at the sky, Mira squinted at the dazzling light before moving her gaze to the zombie in the middle of a sunny spot.

That moment, one of the Patrol Knights muttered “It looks there’s something strange." and approached the zombie. At the same time, the noisy crowd turned silent, the location was dyed with stillness.

After standing in front of the zombie, the Patrol Knight removed the sword sheath from his belt and resolving himself, poked the zombie’s shoulder with it.

A quiet voice leaked from no one in particular and spread to everyone else in the crowd, making everyone whisper.

However, there was no sight of the zombie moving. After confirming this, the Patrol Knight once again poked him with the sheath. The poke being stronger this time, caused the zombie’s body to shake. At the same time, the whispering voices suddenly stopped, making the surroundings silent again.

While held their breath as they watched, the zombie’s body tilted and he fell on the side.

(“Looks like he ran out of strength.”)

The zombie’s limbs let out a small cloud of dust and shattered, making the two Patrol Knights look in each other’s faces and smile bitterly.

“Good grief, a false alarm.”

After muttering so, the Patrol Knight who was cautioning the surroundings had declared that it was safe.

Hearing that, the onlookers started to excitedly speak among each other, appearing to sow the seeds of rumors before slowly dispersing from the location.

(“I knew it, it has a body made of soil and plants... Seeing how it walks beneath the sun, rather than a zombie it feels more like a necromantic golem.”)

As people flowed in all directions, Mira stood in place with a finger on her chin and watched the enigmatic zombie.

Necromancy. They were spells for creating a temporary soul imitation and pouring it into dead bodies or inorganic substances. Although the dead revived with these techniques were only temporarily back, they were capable of retaining their abilities from when they were alive. Furthermore, unlike undead monsters, they did have a soul so they had no problems when they were exposed to the light of the sun. It was also the same for the golems who had a soul poured inside them.

(“Still, according to what they say, they are trying to avoid sun. I guess they’re different after all.”)

Although they were similar, there were also clear differences between them, and above all, it was human bones that were the core of the zombie. If anything, it was more like a skeleton was made into a golem. But was there a spell capable of doing such a thing?

Even if there was one, it would be denying the very foundations of Necromancy itself.

While Mira thought of such a thing, a different Patrol Knight carried in a large box.

Knights gathered the zombie’s corpse which fell apart and started to put the pieces into the box.”

“What’s this, a ring? I hope it doesn’t have some kind of strange curse on it…"

From among the pieces of the corpse, a Patrol Knight picked up a ring, then with a scowl he threw it into the box as if discarding it.

Seeing that with the corner of her eyes, Mira suddenly recalled her friend’s face.

(“I wonder If Soul Howl is in the underground cemetery, and if is is related somehow to this incident.”)

Although he was eccentric, his knowledge and his skill in regards to Necromancy were beyond anyone else. If asked, he might know something about this, Mira noted in her heart.

Once they were done putting the zombie inside the box, the Patrol Knights withdrew from the location. After seeing them off, Mira wondered if she should go to some cool store and started walking towards the main road.

Almost all onlookers have disappeared and the location had recovered calm silence.

“Ehh?! There’s nothing here!”

That moment, a hysteric voice had disturbed the silence. The owner of the voice who ran up to this place, was an Elf woman with long black hair. She had a gentle expression and slightly droopy eyes, was wearing a light armor of white and green color, and was equipped with a slender sword.

She stopped in place and started to turn around restlessly to look around.

Based on her behavior, Mira thought she was just an onlooker who heard about the zombie from somewhere and ran over, so she only peeked into the woman’s face as she passed by her.

That moment, the woman turned around towards Mira and captured her in sights.

“Oh, can I ask something? I came here because I heard a zombie appeared in here, do maybe you know what happened with it?”

The elf woman ran over to Mira while asking, then leaned forward in order to lower her line of sight to the same level as Mira and peeked into her face. Although the woman smiled gently, there was anxiousness in the back of her black eyes.

“Just a moment ago it was cleaned up by those Patrol Knights people.”

When Mira skipped the entire process and told her just the result, the woman looked away from her and turned her face toward the direction Patrol Knights left in.

“I see, I see. In other words, everything was resolved already. Ahh, I’m glad. Thanks!”

Relieved by Mira’s words, her cheeks loosened and the Elf woman said her thanks before knocking on the civilian house’s door the zombie had been leaning on.

Since all of the zombie’s corpse was removed clean, someone who just came wouldn’t know that just a moment ago a zombie was in that place.

Curious about what the woman intended to do, Mira walked up to her, watching.

From inside the house came out a plain, adult woman.

“Oh, Emera-san. What happened?”

The woman asked indifferently, and looking somewhat in daze she tilted her head. Maybe she was sleepy, as she seemed to be there in body but not the heart. Seeing that woman, Mira felt uneasiness in her chest.

“I heard that a zombie appeared around here, so I was worried and came. Was it all right?”

The elf woman called Emera appeared really worried, since she grasped the woman’s hands and squeezed them.

(“Rather than “around here,” it was right under your feet, though.”)

In her mind Mira retorted to Emera’s words.

“Is that so? I didn’t notice.”

The woman spoke as if it did not concern her. It was hard to pick up from her expression, but she was not bothered even after hearing a zombie appeared.

“I see. Looks like it was nothing serious then. Ah, if something happens be sure to tell me.”

“I’ll do so, thank you.”

And like that, the two exchanged farewells and the door closed.

After moving away from the door Emera turned around and made a relieved expression. She must have been really concerned about the woman from the house.

Then, when her eyes met with Mira’s and she smiled softly, Mira pointed by her feet.

“That’s where the zombie was lying around.”

“Fuhyahh?!”

When Mira pointed it out, Emera screamed in amusing manner and leaped away, just to look back at the place she was in just earlier.

“So you were an acquaintance of this house’s owner.”

With a dark smile, Mira pointed at the house with her gaze, making Emera puff her cheeks and nod.

“Yup. Her husband was a member of the guild I belong to. Thanks to that connection we met a few times and became friends.”

“Was a member, huh. In other words, he no longer is.”

Hearing Emera lower her tone of voice slightly, Mira felt an emotion a little different from curiosity, as she asked.

After taking a good look at her friend’s house, Emera lowered her gaze and nodded, then smiled softly.

“Yes. Our guild is mainly an adventurer's guild and we regularly move from city to city. Which is why why we don’t live a stable life.”

“Certainly, that is true.”

If one gets married, they need to build a solid foundation for the sake of his wife and the children that would eventually be born. When it comes to that, adventurers were worse than artists, very unstable. Although the reward was good, it was dangerous work where one risked their life.

“That’s why he, um, he was called Thomas-kun. Thomas-kun had undertaken the exam for this city’s union’s employee. And you see, thanks to the activities he did in our guild he was evaluated well and employed. He became union’s employee and was about to start his new life, but…"

After saying this much, Emera’s expression suddenly clouded and she glanced at the house of her friend.

“Something happened, right?”

Upon seeing Emera like that, passing by the back of Mira’s mind was a glance of the woman’s appearance. It was dark expression beyond what someone married should have, an expression of a person whose happiness has been completely crushed.

“It happened about a month ago. He went for an inspection of the dungeon’s barrier device and did not come back. A search team has been dispatched, but couldn’t find him. Our guild also did its best, but nothing. We couldn’t find even a single clue.”

Emera’s words appeared to let out unbearable emotions, they felt like she was blaming herself for not being able to help.

Although she was clearly dejected, she suddenly raised her face and changed her expression.

“Eh, sorry for saying something this dark. It’s all right! See, Thomas-kun often disappeared when he got absorbed into something. I’m sure he will come eventually!”

Emera smiled brightly towards Mira. However, the words she said felt more directed at herself.

“Well then, see you!”

Finally, saying a farewell, Emera gallantly ran off.

(“That girl’s expressions sure were finicky and often-changing.”)

After seeing Emera off from behind, Mira thought the impression of her. Then next, with a slightly sorrowful look on her face, Mira turned her gaze to the side.

There, was the house of the woman that was Emera’s friend. Although this house was supposed to have become happy thanks to the marriage, but despite being in the light of the sun, it appeared like the house itself was about to cry.

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