11

Emera who took a glimpse into the abyss of Necromancy now flinched at even the slightest sound from the surroundings and turned around. Asbar, feeling uncomfortable drank a little from his water flask.

And speaking of Fricca, “Mira-chan isn’t perturbed in the least, how wonderful!” - she appeared like usual. Because she was a spellcaster herself she had some understanding of Necromancy.

“Hey, let’s eat something. I’m real hungry already.”

Stroking his belly, Zeff sat down on spot.

“Hmm-mm, I guess.”

Mira felt hungry as well so she agreed with him. Other members also nodded agreeing partially and took out ingredients as well as cooking equipment from their item boxes.

“C’mon, you too, sub-leader.”

“Haaah… I’d prefer if there was nothing here.”

When Zeff called out to her, Emera muttered and mixed in a sigh.

Asbar and Zeff were in charge of cooking, and women who were in charge of consumption were in the middle of chatting meanwhile.

“By the way, I just barely heard earlier. But Mira-chan, who is that “Howard”-san who you were trying to meet? Is that a secret as well?”

Although Emera has been trembling with fear after searching the castle, now either because of pure curiosity or maybe to distract herself, asked something she was wondering about.

“What, are you curious?”

Mira asked back while passing Apple au Lait to Takuto.

“Yup, just a little. It’s possible that it’s the same person that I know, I thought.”

Happening to know someone like that Emera asked the question, her face was full of curiosity.

This time Mira was unable to gain any information in regards to Howard. However, he was quite famous, it was possible that someone here knew him and could summon him by using the Dark Aid’s Mirror. Thinking so, Mira explained his simple characteristics as they appeared in the back of her head.

“His trademark were a trench coat and capotain, he was a self-proclaimed Devil Scientist.”

Howard whom Emera knew might be a different person. However, expecting to find some information on Howard, even though she didn’t expect much, Mira provided his easy to discern characteristics.

“Ah, so it’s really that grandpa Howard that you meant!”

It appeared like the characteristics matched. Emera’s expression had immediately turned brighter and this time, she squinted as she reminiscenced.

“Ohh, so you know him.”

“Yup yup. I know, I know. In the past in the Lion King’s dungeon I was splashed with Holy Water by him. You suddenly splashed Holy Water at the mirror and called out his name, which is why he came to my mind first.”

“So he splashed you too…"

While she said this Emera’s smile twisted a little, Mira returned a wry smile to that.

His act for splashing people with Holy Water was a simplest method to confirm whether someone was under a Devil’s influence, and something that Howard did not forget to mention every time.

“By the way, if you have business with grandpa Howard, what kind of business was it? Can it be it’s about…the recent rumors that Lesser Demons have appeared?”

With an even more curious expression than before, Emera got on all fours and approached Mira.

“Well. I can’t say it hasn’t.”

Somehow, Mira started moving away as she affirmed. Lesser Demons have appeared for the first time in twenty years. However, she did not hear of Solomon putting a gag order on this topic. Lesser Demons often cause trouble so in general, it is dealt with by also calling for being on additional alert. Therefore, the case of Mira and the two Lesser Demons was also being added to the wave of information.

“So that was it, after all, ehh. There’s no good rumors about them, and the other day our guild received information that they appeared again. Which is why I was curious.”

“According to recent rumors, they say that they appeared near Arkite, too.”

Before Mira realized, Fricca had approached and was right beside her and interjected when it counts. Although Mira was on her guard for a second there, but Fricca had either calmed down or had learned something as she stopped at approaching any closer.

At the same time as she was relieved, a question appeared in Mira’s head in regards to what the two said. To be precise, to words “they appeared again" and “near Arkite, too". This did sound like it meant that aside from the incidents Mira herself was involved with, that Lesser Demons appeared in other places as well.

“The only ones I know of is about the ones that happened inside Arkite Kingdom, were there other incidents?”

“Yes, there were.”

When she asked, smiling Fricca moved up closer again, then in high spirits, she started to explain in detail.

According to what she said, over the last week there were three countries including Arkite that have battled against monsters incited by Lesser Demons.

Their objective was currently under investigation and a warning was scheduled to be given to all adventurers soon, recommending caution.

It appeared like the higher-ranked guilds were able of gathering information like these, Mira was impressed as she interjected to show she’s listening.

After hearing Fricca’s information, Mira had put a finger on her chin and groan “hmmm…", she started sorting out all the details.

According to what she said, other than Arkite there were also a few other countries that had monster herds appear sometimes, and in them several Lesser Demons were spotted.

Back when it was still a game, invasions by herds of monsters were part of it and it was not the problem of Arkite alone. They were appearing in multiple countries founded by the players.

And recently this trend has been intensifying until just the other day, when Lesser Demons appeared. With that said, thanks to countries’ quick response these incidents concluded without any casualties.

However, there WERE other countries where monsters appeared. Monster invasions and Lesser Demons. Also, the locations that were their objectives. Was there some kind of common point connecting them?

Receiving this many intermingling information, Mira’s consciousness sank into the sea of thoughts. Seeing Mira serious expression as she thought, Fricca, who had approached right next to Mira, stared at it with sparkles in her eyes.

“This serious expression is keewt as well!”

Unable to bear it Fricca leaped at Mira, but was smacked down like a fly by Emera’s chop.

Not even noticing the exchange of attack and defense between the two, Mira continued to recall the quests that Lesser Demons were involved in.

Back when it was still a game, there was no clear objective or reason for Lesser Demons actions. The only thing known was that they had an ill will and that all events had ended in really unpleasant manner, which was their only common feature.

However, the uproar this time had occurred in multiple countries adding some murkiness to these incidents as if there was an objective behind it.

(“This is growing more and more concerning, mm.”)

Although Mira did not expect it to succeed, it was regrettable she could not speak with Howard. He might have been just a self-proclaimed Devil researcher, but his knowledge was certain and there was a possibility of gaining some kind of hint. Disappointed, Mira heaved a sigh with a sour look and glanced at Emera.

“By the way, did you have some kind of deep connection with Howard? If you do, I’d want you to call him out using the mirror, though.”

“Hmm. I directly met him only once in that Lion King’s dungeon, so I can’t say I have a good enough connection to call him out.”

Mira asked Emera grasping onto the sliver of hope, but Emera shook her head sideways as she answered.

In order to use the Dark Aid’s mirror, a strong connection to the person when they were still alive was necessary. This could be relation by blood, being a lover or best friend. Of course, Emera who only met him once, and Mira who only spoke with him through the quest did not have strong enough connection.

“If I’m not wrong, even if you have no connection with the dead, if you had an object that was strongly related to him you could use the Dark Aid’s Mirror, right? In that case how about going to Ivris Village? That is the last place Howard-san has been researching in, there might be something left behind by him.”

It appeared like Fricca’s keewt-pathy has calmed down as she opened her eyes and raised herself up, and said while flashing an intellectual smile.

“Hooh, Ivris Village, huh. It’s a little far but it is worth searching.”

Just as Fricca said, even if there was no personal connection, it was possible to use the things left behind by the deceased instead. If she found that, it would be possible to use the Dark Aid’s Mirror to get information from Howard.

Ivris Village was a location far away from Arkite Kingdom, but it was possible to ask Solomon to send someone to collect his things, so it was not a problem.

As Mira once again sank her consciousness into beneath the surface of thought, Fricca’s illness started to resurface with at full power

“Mira-chan, so cuu…”

And this time too, Mira did not even notice as Fricca was sank by Emera’s hand.

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