The morning after finishing registration formalities in the Spellcasters’ Union. On the bed Mira exposed her upper body and through trial and error she attempted to put on a bra. It was previously put on her by the castle’s maids, and she did not understand how it was put on. Yes, up until now Mira was going around without a bra.
Then after the difficult struggle continued for a while, she came back to herself.
“I don’t get it…"
The reason she attempted to put it on, was because she recalled the intimidation from the maids, but eventually tormented by self-loathing she threw the bra on the bed, before putting the sleeveless dress on.
This morning she woke up fairly early and decided to eat breakfast together with Galet. It appeared like his errand at Fort Karnack was over and today, carrying a parcel, he was leaving on another case.
Sipping Banana au Lait leisurely, Mira recalled the details of her objective.
The dungeon nicknamed “underground cemetery", Ancient Temple Nevrapolis. It had six levels in total and just as its nickname suggested, it was a dungeon that continued deep below the earth.
This temple carved out inside a small rocky mountain, had multiple statues of god carved out in the same way which were a magnificent view. If not for monsters, it might have prospered as a sightseeing spot.
And just as the word cemetery suggested, this dungeon was filled with undead monsters. Which was the reason there was a high possibility the one she looked for, one of the Nine Sages and a big lover of undead girls, Soul Howl was hiding in there.
Once she finished drinking her Banana au Lait, Mira took a deep breath before putting the coat on, then jauntily left for the morning city.
After arriving at the Spellcasters’ Union, Mira walked up to the familiar receptionist. Diligently putting documents in order was Yuurika, who handled Mira’s reception yesterday. Although the two were just acquaintances, it was not like they did not know each other.
“Can I have a moment?”
“Yes. Please wait.”
Being called out to, Yuurika put away the documents she was holding to the side and raised her head. Then noticing Mira’s appearance, she opened her eyes wide.
“Fuehh?! Ohh, Mira-san! Good morning! Um, you came to receive your adventurer’s license, right.”
After panicking for a moment, Yuurika quickly recovered her composure and immediately realized the reason Mira came.
“Mm-hm, is it ready?”
“Yes. It’s complete. Please wait a moment.”
Yuurika said and stood up to pick up a file from a shelf behind the reception before returning.
“Here it is, please check it.”
A single card was extended to Mira. Written on it was her name, class and rank.
The name was Mira, Summoner class and thanks to the recommendation, she started from the C-rank.
“Well then Mira-san, you are a C-rank so you are allowed to rent an Operator’s Bracelet. Will you use one?”
Yuurika opened a shelf and picked up a bracelet of a simple design to place it on the counter.
An Operator’s Bracelet. It was an unfamiliar name to Mira. However, she did know item put on the counter very well.
“Nhm, you mean this?”
While saying so Mira pulled back her left arm’s sleeve to show a bracelet on her white and slender arm. That moment, Yuurika fell silent in astonishment, but had immediately come back to herself and affirm.
“Yes, yes that one. It appears you already have one.”
Recalling that Mira was the disciple of a hero, Yuurika was convinced. It was no strange for a person of such caliber to possess one privately.
An Operator’s Bracelet were replicas of the terminal that players used, and the only option they had was the item box. And yet, the cost of creating one was extremely high and the technology used was secret, so there were few people possessing those privately.
Despite that, these items were unfathomably useful, so high-rank adventurers who were thought to have potential, in other words, C-ranks and above were able to rent them from the union for a monthly fee.
“As expected of Danbulf-sama’s… It appears like I should act more proper.”
While still a little nervous, Yuurika realized that since Mira was the hero’s disciple there was a need of acting with a better attitude.
Coming back to herself, Yuurika opened the file and took out a single piece of paper to give to Mira.
“Explained here you have the main points of the Spellcasters’ Union. Each request has its own rank and you cannot undertake a commission that is above your rank. You are allowed however, to participate in a higher rank request together with a higher rank adventurer, but that requires a fair amount of resolve.
Also, dungeons in various locations are limited depending on their rank. These dungeons are managed by the unions in the cities nearby, so to enter a dungeon you need to request a permission to receive a pass that will release the barrier. If you violate this regulation you will be imposed a penalty so be careful.
Do you have any questions in regards to what I said so far?”
“I need to request a permission?”
Mira was about to head to a dungeon from here on. According to what Yuurika said, she would have to request a pass, otherwise she would receive a penalty.
“After this I thought of going to underground cemetery...Ancient Temple Nevrapolis, how do I receive permission for that?”
“You are suddenly going in there?! ...Oh, the reception window takin care of dungeon management is the first one on the right as seen from the entrance, you can receive the pass in there.”
“I see, mmm.”
Twisting her upper body a little, Mira peeked out to confirm the reception in the back on the right. Although there were many people around the receptions in the middle, there were few by the reception at the corner in the right.
“Well then, now about using the unions’ facilities. They are mostly free. Consumables such as food and drinks are offered at a discount. Also, in case an adventurer damages facilities in any way, the repairs are deducted from adventurers’ rewards so please use them carefully.”
Once she finished explaining, from her pocket, Yuurika took out a leather case of about the same size as the card. It was a pink and cute card case with a wand drawn on it.
“This is a gift from me. Please use it to hold your adventurer’s license.”
Although Mira was bewildered by this overly feminine design, she was unable to flat out reject broadly-smiling Yuurika’s goodwill and just nodded. Seeing Mira agree, Yuurika immediately picked up the adventurer’s license from the tray on the reception and inserted it inside the card case, then passed it to Mira with a smile.
Smiling wryly in response to that, Mira received the license.
“Also, union’s chief said that he has something he wants to give you. He said that he will prepare it today, so he wants you to come show yourself tomorrow or after that, when you have time.”
“Something to give me?”
“Yes. I did not hear what is it, but I hear that it was something requested from Solomon-sama.”
“From that guy, huh… Well, fine. I will come tomorrow or some time after, is that fine?”
“Yes, please do.”
While Mira had no idea what will be passed by the union’s chief, but considering she was moving on Solomon’s request, she thought it must have been something related.
“With this, the formalities are over. Also, the only ones who know about Mira-san’s identity is just me and union chief, so if you need anything please come to me.”
“I’ll remember it.”
“What, is there something more left?”
Having a hard time to say it, Yuurika stared at Mira with a sparkle of expectation in her eyes.
“Please shake my hand!”
She extended her both hands forward and lowered her head while saying so. Just earlier she was making an expression for work. But now that was over, she was unable to contain herself and let her personal feelings completely take over.
Yuurika was a huge fan of the Nine Sages and especially Danbulf, to the point where her house was filled with goods regarding to them.
During her long vacations she went to Silver Horn and spent her time off on pilgrimages to look up at the Silver Towers.
In front of her, appeared the disciple of the hero she admired so much. As a result, she lost her head.
“Is this fine…?”
When enveloped by the momentum, extended her hand, Yuurika gently but strongly squeezed it with both her hands as if to engrave the sensation in herself. Moreover, tears started to appear in her eyes.
“Thank you very much. I won’t wash my hands ever again!”
“No, I think it’s better if you washed it.”
Not knowing that Yuurika was a wildly enthusiastic fan of Danbulf, Mira responded slightly put off. However, even though she did not understand it, she thought it was fine as long as Yuurika was happy about it.
“Well then, please have a good life of adventure. Thank you very much for using our services!”
Seen off by vigorous Yuurika, Mira moved away from the reception and started walking towards the reception in the right corner to receive a permission to enter the ancient temple.
“I want to request a permission to enter ancient temple, is this the place?”
After arriving at the reception, looking at the sign saying “Dungeon Permission Reception" she spoke.
“Yes, this is the reception that issues permissions.”
Hearing a familiar voice for some reason Mira raised her head.
And there, stood Yuurika.
Because Mira said that she was going to the Ancient Temple Nevrapolis, Yuurika asked the woman who had been working at this reception to switch with her temporarily.
Although Mira was appalled wondering what was Yuurika doing there, she did follow her instructions to pass the formalities required to enter the ancient temple.
After finishing the formalities, Mira paid a handling fee of 1000 Riffs and received a permission to enter the high-ranked ancient temple dungeon from Yuurika. It was a card that had various figures drawn on it.
At the same time, Mira received an explanation.
First, when the card touches the barrier stone at the entrance to the dungeon, the barrier is released and it becomes possible to enter inside. After ten seconds since the card stops touching the stone, the barrier repairs itself.
The card could be used only once, and to enter inside it was necessary to go through formalities again.
However, since cards could be used again if they went through special treatment at the union, they wanted adventurers not to discard them and bring them back after using.
No card was needed to leave the dungeon as it was possible to pass through the barrier to the outside.
“I ask again, please, we are low on the permission cards for entering the ancient temple, so cooperate with us and recycle it.”
Yuurika once again explained and then as if to add on to that, she pointed with her finger at the recycling box by the entrance.
After interjecting to show she was paying attention to everything Yuurika said, finally, once again exchanged a handshake.
Once Mira left the Spellcasters’ Union, Mira thought she might as well put the permit to enter the ancient temple inside the card holder. Although it had an overly feminine design, it was certainly useful.
It happened when Mira opened the case. Suddenly, the door of the Warriors’ Union opened with strong momentum and from the inside jumped out a single young boy. It appeared that something happened as the boy had tears in his eyes and he cast down his face with an expression of sorrow, then started to run in Mira’s direction.
The boy, not looking ahead of himself had charged straight at the Mira’s back. As she was in the middle of putting the permit inside the card case so the impact made her drop it, but she was able to bear it and not fall over.
“What the hell?!”
Mira reflexively glared at the one who bumped into her. But there, her eyes captured a young boy who tumbled and fell on the ground. Seeing that, her anger has cooled off and she walked up to the boy, then holding him with both hands she pulled his body up.
“Are you okay, boy? Does it hurt anywhere?”
While peeking at him to check on the state he was in, Mira brushed dirt of his body and gently asked.
The boy’s face which was probably mischievous normally, was both sorrowful and perplexed at the same time as he looked at Mira.
Smiling softly to the boy, Mira used the sleeves of her coat to wipe tears from his red eyes.
“Y-yes. I’m sorry to bump into you.”
The boy hurriedly lowered his head. He’s a good boy, Mira thought impressed and answered “it’s fine", then pat his head.
“How about you, are you hurt anywhere?”
Hearing a voice come from above, Mira raised her head. There, her eyes saw an Elf woman with black hair and black eyes.
“Ah, from yesterday.”
It was the Elf woman that Mira had met at the location of the zombie incident yesterday.
Although the boy glanced at the Elf woman, he immediately cast down his eyes and trembled.
“Hmm. It doesn’t seem like this boy cries because he fell over. Do you know something about it?”
If the boy only cried because he tumbled, Mira would give him Apple au Lait and went back. However, the boy’s were already swollen red from crying. Bothered by that, Mira asked for the reason.”
“Umm...ah, speaking of which I have yet to introduce myself. I’m Emera.”
After introducing herself shortly, Mira said “C’mon, a boy shouldn’t cry." and wiped the tears of the boy who was about to burst into crying again.
Seeing that, Emera made a slight smile.
“Um, about the reason, it’s not my fault...most likely, but this can’t be helped.”
“Hooh, and what kind of reason is that?”
“Aw, we just refused a reckless request, that’s allll.”
Hearing a little of anger in Mira’s voice, Emera responded in panic and started explaining.
“Uh, um, this boy apparently wants to enter a C-rank dungeon. Did you know that when you’re affiliated with the union you can receive a permit to enter a dungeon corresponding to your rank? I’m a C-rank, so I can enter up to a C-rank dungeon. That’s why he requested me to take him there, but I can’t just take him into such a dangerous place, so I refused.”
“Mm-hm, I see.”
If there was such a reason then it could not be helped, Mira loosened her expression.
Relieved after confirming that the harsh presence disappeared, Emera showed her adventurer’s license to show it. It was certainly a certainly a C-rank license and the class matched the appearance of a swordsman.
“Certainly, you are a C-rank. Oh right, I just entered the union, too.”
“Oh my, so you’re a newcomer.”
When Mira tried to show her newly-made adventurer’s license, she realized what happened just a moment earlier.
“Oops, I dropped it when we bumped on each other just now.”
She muttered and started looking around her legs. The boy too, imitated her and turned his gaze on the ground.
“Ah, I’m sorry. It’s my fault.”
The boy who found it first picked up the card case from the ground. And when inside the still-open card case he saw the dungeon permit, his eyes sparkled.
“Onee-chan! Onee-chan, are you going inside Nevrapolis?!”
He wiped his own eyes and looked up at Mira with anticipation in his eyes.
“Mm-hm, I am.”
Although she did not know what kind of change happened in his mental state, but it was fine as long as he stopped crying, so Mira nodded with relief.
“Eh...no way?! You’re a newcomer, right? Newly registered should be starting from G-rank.”
Surprised even more so than the boy, was Emera. It was no wonder. It was unheard of for someone who newly registered to start from a C-rank. Of course, Emera knew that with a recommendation letter one could start at a higher rank. However, the common sense was that it allowed starting at E-rank at the highest.
The adventurers who newly register with the union raise their rank accordingly to their accomplishments. If their skill is acknowledged they become F-ranks, then to E-rank, that was normal. Then once they pile up a lot of experience to be acknowledged as first-class adventurers they are given the C-rank, which was a proof of a high-class adventurer. However, this girl had completely skipped the middle-class and started from high-class right after registering.
What is the meaning of this? As if rushing in, Emera moved to peek at the card case the boy was holding. There, other than Mira’s adventurer’s license, there was the Ancient Temple Nevrapolis’ entrance permit.
“What’s going on…? A newcomer…? Huhh??”
Confused, Emera stared down Mira’s adventurer’s license. However, even if one managed to fake the rank written on the license, the union did manage all of adventurers’ information and faking one’s rank would not work when asking for permission to enter a dungeon.
“The ancient temple’s permit... it’s a real one, isn’t it.”
Emera had to mutter this one way or the other. Hearing those words, the boy’s eyes sparkled even stronger, and as he faced Mira he bowed deeply.
“Onee-chan, please, take me to Nevrapolis!”
He asked very desperately. Not raising his head yet, he repeated “please, please" time after time.
The Ancient Temple Nevrapolis. to go inside that dungeon, it was necessary to be affiliated with the union AND to be a C-rank or higher. And just as Emera said, inside there were dangers befitting the rank.
Which is why Mira got curious as to why did the boy want to go inside the ancient temple so desperately. If there was the reason for his tears then I’ll fulfill his wish, she thought.
“Hm, explain me your reasons.”
When Mira said this, the boy finally raised his head. His expression mixed in both anxiety and expectation, but he nodded with strongly with anticipation.
“I heard that there is a mirror deep inside Nevrapolis that allows people to talk with the dead. I want you to take me there!”
“A mirror allows talking with the dead...huh. You mean Dark Aid’s Mirror. So, is there someone you want to meet?”
“I want to meet Dad and Mom. My Dad and Mom are adventurers. But the other day people from union came and said that Dad and Mom died.”
Mira listened in silence to the boy’s words as he spoke with tears in his eyes and sniffling. Then, she looked towards Emera who seemed like she would know more details.
“You see, according to union’s regulations, people who disappear and don’t give signs of life in the middle of undertaking a request are treated as dead after five years since they have undertaken it.”
Although it was difficult for her to speak about it, Emera then supplemented the explanation.
About a week ago the boy appeared in the Warriors’ Union and started making a request to adventurers there. Emera who was a Warriors’ Union member had seen him multiple times and had naturally heard the reason he was doing so.
“I see. So that’s how it is.”
She could understand that when one is told they can’t meet their dear person, they would still want to meet them despite that.
Because his emotions grew too strong, fresh tears appeared in boy’s eyes and he faced downwards. Acknowledging his wish and put her hand on the boy’s head.
“What a coincidence. I planned to pass by there as well. I’ll take you with me while at it.”
Mira peeked into boy’s face and smiled to help him calm down, then looking into his eyes, she spoke gently.
The boy whose wish was refused all this time had a little of trouble understanding Mira’s words. However, it slowly sank in his heart.
“T-thank you very much! My name is Takuto!”
When he understood it, the boy, Takuto cried, but also made a childish and careless smile as he said so, then lowered his head again.