The next morning after they arranged to go to the ancient temple, Mira received the lunch box set she requested at the inn’s dining hall and left the inn.
The sky was cloudless and it was a perfect weather for a picnic. Walking around on the main street in the gentle, late morning sun, were housewives and armed adventurers.
Deciding to show off the essence of Summoning today, Mira took a deep breath and started to walk.
The location they promised to meet up, was in front of the union. After arriving there, Mira looked for Emera and Takuto. However, it appeared that they weren’t there yet.
After lightly checking the surroundings, Mira sat down on a chair for resting that was in front of the Spellcasters’ Union.
“Nhm, what’s going on?”
When she raised her head after taking a short break, Mira saw a squirming crowd. On a small plaza in front of two unions, there were men and women of all ages gathering around something.
Another zombie? Mira thought at first, but coming from that crowd were high, cheering voices, which is why she decided that was not the case.
After muttering to herself Mira lost her interest, took out Apple au Lait and started to sip it.
About ten minutes after Mira arrived at the union, the large clock on the plaza displayed ten in the morning. However, the two still did not appear.
“They’re late. Completely late, mm.”
Her dazed line of sight she aimed towards the surroundings, had once again captured the lively crowd.
(“Are there street performers in the morning in this city?”)
Thinking that could be a good way to kill time Mira stood up, and that moment, a familiar boy squeezed himself through the crowd and jumped outside. However, he was kicked by someone and fell over, which caused him to let go of the two copper coins he was holding, so he chased after the coins.
“What, it’s Takuto, so you were here.”
Mira picked up the copper coins that rolled on the ground and called out to the familiar boy.
“Ah, Mira-oneechan. Good morning!”
She smiled gently and extended a hand with the copper coins on her palm, which Takuto received with a friendly smile and said “thank you!”.
“It’s not just you, right. Where’s Emera?”
When she asked, Takuto pointed with his finger at the crowd that gathered in the plaza. Mira thought that they came before her and were killing time.
“Emera-oneechan! Mira-oneechan is hereee!”
Takuto turned towards the crowd, approached it and raising his voice he called out.
After a while, the crowd split and the black-haired Elf, Emera appeared from it.
“Mira-chan, so you came. You should have called out.”
When Emera said so, Mira shrugged and heaved a sigh theatrically.
“Don’t say stupid things. I didn’t think you would be in the middle of such a crowd.”
Hearing Mira’s words, Emera turned around to look again, then allowed her gaze to wander around before she smiled bitterly and joined her hands in apologetic gesture.
“I’m sorry! I didn’t think so many people would gather.”
Emera made an excuse. However, there was something that caught Mira’s attention in what Emera said, so she opened her mouth. In that moment.
“So this missy is the Mira girl you spoke of, sub-leader?”
Along with that voice, from behind Emera peeked a large man. This man was clad in a metallic armor shining in dull silver color and wore gloves decorated with scarlet bells. The large hammer he had on his back was as long as the man was tall and spoke of the inhuman strength he possessed. He had an expression of a good person, but at the same time his shortly-cut red hair and the unshaven face made him give off a wild impression.
With that as the start, two more people showed their face.
“Hahyuu, that’s super cuuteee!”
A woman wearing a purple robe stood right of Emera and while saying this, jumped like a rabbit. She had green hair and her green eyes hidden behind her glasses were dyed with lust and sparkling. A scarlet bell was embroidered on the sleeves of her robe, which must have been the guild’s symbol. At first glance she had intellectual facial features, but now that her expression was dyed with lust, it all was for naught. Her green hair extended a little below her shoulders. By the waist, she had an about meter-long staff.
“Seriously? Where, wheree?!! Ohh, found a pretty girl! But personally, I’d wait for another five years first.”
This time, lining up to the left of Emera and looking at Mira curiously from the top of her head down to her toes was a man clad in light equipment. He had brown hair and an earring in his ear, embroidered on the green bandana he had the same scarlet bell as the two others. He was the lady-killer type of guy, tall and holding twin short swords by his waist. He was wearing a black jacket on his back and camouflage-patterned pants with several belts tied around his waist. His light-heartedness was not limited to his looks, but also showed in the way he spoke.
“Who are they?”
While feeling uncomfortable with the sudden exposure to several stares, Mira looked at the three who seemed to be Emera’s acquaintances.
“They are members of the guild I belong to, Écarlate Carillon, whom I handpicked from among everyone!”
In response to Mira’s question, Emera puffed up her chest and said with confidence.
“With that said, we were the only ones who were free today, riight.”
“Why did you have to say it?!”
While Emera tried to show off as much as she could, it was all exposed by the light-hearted man. Caught by angry Emera, he said “sorry, sorry" clearly poking fun at her.
“I’m Asbar. Let’s get along, missy.”
Glancing at such two and smiling cheerfully was the large man. Although he appeared stern, his good-hearted personality showed in the edges of his words.
“I’m Fricca. Take care of me.”
Following him, the woman in purple robe put a finger on her glasses to raise them and smiled intellectually, then extended her right hand seeking a handshake.
“M-...mm-hm. I’m Mira.”
Thinking that her impression was different from earlier, Mira extended her own right hand towards Fricca’s hand.
“I knew it, you’re so cuuute!”
The instant their hands touched, Fricca smiled broadly and speaking in mushy voice she started to squirm, then pulled in with unexpected strength. Having no idea what is happening, Mira was caught in Fricca’s arms.
“So you’re called Mira-chaaan, these cheeks are soo squishy.”
While saying so, Fricca poked Mira’s cheeks with her finger. Although Mira attempted to escape, she was firmly caught in Fricca’s arms and was unable to escape from her range. Mira shook her head and resisted, but the moment it almost worked she fell for a feint and was poked in the cheeks again.
“Emera, do something!”
Unable to bear it, Mira raised her voice. Wondering what’s going on Emera let go of the light-hearted guy and turned around. Then noticing what was going on she smiled wryly and “there!”, delivered a chop at Fricca’s head from above.
“I’m sorry, Mira-chan. I already told Fricca not to touch you as much as it’s possible for her.”
“I’d rather you made SURE she doesn’t instead of as much as possible.”
The chop must have been fairly powerful as Fricca held her head with both hands and made an anguished expression. Still, since she was still intent on clinging onto Mira, Asbar pulled her away with an experienced move.
“I’m Zeffard. You can call me Zeff.”
The light-hearted man who introduced himself as Zeffard approached Mira without a sound and lowered himself to match Mira’s height, then smiled broadly. This carefree expression of his had given Mira an unexpectedly good impression of him.
“I’m Mira. So, who are these people?”
The appearance of Emera’s comrades whom she did not mention at all yesterday had confused Mira.
On the other hand, Emera answered as if it was the most natural thing ever. All of this was caused by the fact that the place they were heading was a C-rank dungeon. In order to dispel the remaining anxiety and make sure they completed the dungeon safely, Emera hurriedly spoke with the three last night. To Mira, the ancient temple was low level hunting grounds, but in general it required a fair amount of fighting power like the one that was here now.
“Mm-hm, well, fine. Let’s go.”
From Mira’s perspective there was no problem even if the number of people increased. It has been a while since she was in party with people she met for the first time, so it even felt a little fun.
Holding Takuto’s hand, Mira started walking with intention of departing but had immediately opened her eyes with astonishment. Before she realized, the crowd from the plaza earlier had spreading with them as the center.
This uproar was actually caused by Emera and others. Écarlate Carillon was a famous high-class guild. With the four members of such a guild gathered together, they started to gather attention.
Emera and others arrived in front of the union before Mira. They dealt with the several things they had to do inside the union and when they waited for Mira, people suddenly gathered to turn into this mysterious crowd.
The cause of the crowd gathering was with Mira, so it was self-evident that the same phenomenon would occur around them.
“Emera-neesan, so wonderful." “I wanna be stomped over by Fricca-san." “Zeff, don’t get carried away" “Asbar, bro, bring me to drink something next time." “Is that cute girl a new member?” “Zeff, be careful on streets at night!”
Voices came from all over in the noisy plaza. Used to it, Emera lightly waved her hand back, Asbar laughed cheerfully, Fricca remained absorbed in Mira, and Zeff alone said “All I get is abuse…" and hung his head.
“Well then, let’s go. Everyone, follow meee.”
Raising her right arm, Emera started walking the main street in high spirits. The only one who responded to her was Zeff.
Once Emera started to move, the crowd opened up and as they passed by, they were given voices of encouragement. It looks like high-class adventurers are treated like celebrities, Mira thought impressed as she hid in Asbar’s shadow.
About an hour from the Soul-Calming City of Karnack. After passing through the forest to the North, a cliff had spread in front of them. There, enormous statues were lined up one next to another, welcoming the party.
The countless statues cut out of the wall continued so far that they couldn’t all fit in the field of vision.
“Now then, it’s finally time for the real thing.”
“Looking at it again, it sure is a magnificent view, mm.”
Looking up at them Emera tensed herself, as for Mira, seeing this massive scenery, had completely entered a sightseeing mood.
At the foot of the cliff filled with countless statues, there was the entrance to the ancient temple.
“Well then, I’ll be off.”
While saying so, Zeff silenced his footsteps and entered the ancient temple. Although the possibility was small, there could be monsters hiding at the ritual site. It was an action cautious of such possibility.
With that said, it appeared there was no problem this time as soon after, a voice saying “iIiiit’s allll riiiiiight" had sounded.
Once everyone moved into the ritual site, they sat down somewhere near. Then after waiting until everyone caught their breath, Emera opened her mouth.
“Now, our objective this time is the fifth level, the Dark Aid’s room.”
“The Dark Aid’s Mirror, was it. Still, I’m not familiar with Summoning, but on the fifth level the number of troublesome monsters increases, will it be fine?”
Écarlate Carillon has dived into this place multiple times. They have prepared their equipment and charged in with their main members, thanks to which they were able to finish the fifth level.
Although they grew stronger compared to back then, there were only four members of the main force this time and a Summoner of unknown skill had been added. It could not be helped that Asbar spoke such a honest opinion.
“Hmm, I will make you correct your prejudices then.”
Mira said with confidence and puffed her chest. Écarlate Carillon was a guild that caught a lot of attention. If its main members properly understand Summoning’s real power, they will become an advertising sign that will help wipe away the bad image. That’s what she thought.
“I see, then I’ll look forward to it.”
While saying so, Asbar confirmed the medicine and various tools. It was so that he was able to protect Mira and Takuto if it was necessary.
“Asbar-san and I will be the vanguard. Mira-chan and Takuto-kun will be in the middle and in the back Fricca and Zeff-kun. Got it?”
“Yes! Please take care of me!”
After everyone had given their acknowledgement, Emera nodded with satisfaction.
Then, the four of Écarlate Carillon started their preparations for combat.
Asbar held the large hammer and confirmed the connection part, Fricca checked several tarot-like cards before putting them back in her breast pocket. Zeff pulled out his short swords and covered them with an oil-like coating.
As for Emera, she put away the sword she had at her waist and took out a long western sword out of item box, then with a suspicious smile different from before she hung it on her waist.
“Oh, is that leader’s sword?”
Seeing the sword Emera had, Asbar asked and everyone’s gazes naturally gathered on her.
“Yup indeed. I mean, we know what kind of place it is, when I explained to him what’s happening he lent it to me. With this we should be able to progress much easier.”
While saying so, she pulled out the blade. The sword with blade on both sides let out a faint white light, and just by a glance it appeared it was not just any sword.
“Hooh, a Spirit Sword of light, huh. That’s an interesting thing you have there.”
Said Mira after seeing Emera’s sword. The faintly shining white light was a characteristic of items enchanted with light element. There were several light elemental swords including rares, but the one in front of them was something acquired through special circumstances.
The most regular light elemental sword was something that had radiant water and augite added to materials when crafted. The rare ones were holy swords and divine swords which had peculiar designs, things that could be distinguished at a glance.
But the one that Emera was holding in her hands at the first look appeared like a mere sword imbued with light element. However, to spellcasters, especially the higher class ones, a certain something could be seen around it.
“I’m surprised you noticed. It’s normally our leader’s item, but I asked him if I could borrow it.”
Emera said and stared at the blade with an ecstatic expression. Then once she put the sword back inside the sheathe, the sparkling particles that were clinging to it have disappeared. Those sparkling particles were the reason Mira said it was a Spirit Sword of light.
Spirit Swords. They were swords that were blessed by a spirit and held a characteristic of the spirit that blessed them. These blessings also dwelled in things other than swords, and those items were called Spirit Armament1Not to mistake with Armament Spirit, which are Mira’s basic summons. Their characteristic was that the blessing could dwell inside any kind of armament and spellcasters were capable of seeing some of its power.
Warrior classes could see fighting spirit, spellcaster classes could see spirits. Which is why Mira was capable of seeing the spirit power dwelling inside the sword.
Every spellcaster knew of this. And the higher class the spellcaster was the more clearly he could see them, and sense more spirits.
"We’ll be relying on you then.”
Asbar raised the corner of his mouth in a smile and put the large hammer on the back again before standing up.
“Sure, leave it to me. Now, let’s go!”
Following Emera who stood up with a strong momentum everyone else also stood up and headed to the entrance of the Ancient Temple Nevrapolis’ underground first level, which was at the altar.
Emera, Asbar and Zeff only thought of Mira as of a knowledgeable girl, but Fricca who was also a spellcaster, was different. She was incapable of seeing the particles of light that were the proof of a Spirit Sword. For someone who could not see it, it would be difficult to guess at first glance that it was a Spirit Sword.
Although Mira spoke those own words as nothing but idle talk. From Fricca’s perspective this was the moment she started to think Mira was not an ordinary person.
The six lined up together in the middle of the altar. Part of the ground in front of them was covered by something like a membrane of polished glass. In the four corners of it, there were suspicious pedestals and crystals.
After taking a step forward, Mira took out the card case. Then recalling the method she was taught, she pressed the ancient temple’s permit onto a pedestal.
That moment, the membrane that blocked them from entering underground had become completely transparent in no time.
“Hmm, what an elaborate mechanism.”
Mira looked at the permit that lost its color and muttered. Meanwhile, Écarlate Carillon members passed by her and went ahead.
“Now, it’s finally timee. I wonder if there will be treaasuure.”
“Don’t forget the objective. We are escorting them to the Dark Aid’s room.”
“I know I know.”
Zeff passed through the completely transparent barrier and lightly descended down the stairs, Asbar with all seriousness warned him, then Emera and Fricca. Once Mira saw Takuto had passed through the barrier, she turned the permit to the card case and chased after them.