She Professed Herself The Pupil Of The Wiseman chapter 26
Chapter 26: Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust
ED: Hey guys long wait huh? Well here it is.
Real Title: The mirror of the dark aid
The party was looking at the way Alfina dashed.
All her problems were solved so Mira’s eyes strongly shined, driving away the afterimage of the ghoul.
“Well, let’s get going.”
Saying that, Mira pointed the way ahead of them. Takuto hurried to her and grabbed her hand. Frica, following him, advanced next to Mira and leaned her body against her. Emera, Asbar, and Zef still gazed in the direction where Alfina had disappeared.
“Did you see it too?”
“Yeah, I did. That was ridiculous.”
“I just think it’s amazing.”
The three of them witnessed the fighting spirit coming from Alfina, who unsheathed her sword and dashed away. Upon entering a battle stance, everyone compared the strength of their fighting spirits to hers. Warrior classes can feel it, and the three of them felt that Alfina’s strength overshadowed everything they’ve seen before.
They threw glances to Mira, who was still puffing her chest from pride. Who in the world was that girl, if such a strong summon as Alfina called her master?
“It seems that summoners are really amazing. I am greatly impressed from seeing such a demonstration for the first time.”
“Who are thou?”
Mira stared at the woman, Frica, who talked to her. She was completely different from the time they had met earlier. The face she showed when teasing Mira disappeared without a trace; eyes resembling the night cosmos were silently directed at Mira. Mira couldn’t remember anybody who looked that smart, that’s why this Frica was a complete stranger to her.
“Haven’t we been together from the start? What a funny thing you are saying.”
Frica answered while pushing up her glasses.
“Hey, Emera! Frica went weird!
The strangeness of Frica, who with a smile patted her head, forced Mira to ask help from Emera.
“Eh? What’s wrong?”
Dazedly Emera finally woke up and came closer to her.
“Frica is weird. She’s kinda too calm or perhaps too smart. Anyway, she’s weird.”
“Ahh, that’s why.”
Quickly grasping the situation, Emera approached Frica and suddenly hugged her.
“The hell, Emera? Quit it now.”
With those words, Frica easily brushed away her hands and got free.
“So, what’s going on with you?”
“Mira-chan, try to do the same thing.”
“Wha.. why would I do such a thing?”
Mira clearly hesitated. There was no wonder in that because Emera basically told her to hug this wise beauty Frica. And, while she wasn’t against this idea, she was unsure if it was fine for her to do such a thing, she couldn’t gather enough courage.
“Hey, just do it and you’ll understand everything.”
Emera lost her temper and, grabbing both of Mira’s hands, made her embrace Frica from the front.
“Whoa, Emera, what are thou…aaaaah!?”
“So cute, Mira-chan! Wanna cuddle with big sis? You do, right? Here, come closer!”
It happened instantly. Frica instantly broke her cool intelligent face and embraced Mira, who flew into her breast . Then she immediately brought Mira to her cheeks and began enjoying Mira’s tenderness.
“What’s going on…!?”
This sudden change caught Mira off guard. She was wary of Frica after they met but since there were no actions taken, she was completely unprepared.
“Frica adores cute girls. She’s usually calm and composed and we can rely on her at back guard. But, as you can see, she easily becomes like that.”
“Then simply explain that in words!”
“I believed that it would be faster. Ehehe.”
Mira’s scream pointlessly echoed in the subjugated dungeon. But nobody answered her. The members of Ecarlate Carillon with eyes full of their deep condolences showed no intention of doing anything. Only Takuto showed his little adherence by firmly holding her hand.
Mira was finally set free when Frica completely recharged herself with adorableness. About 10 minutes passed since her restrainment. In this time, Zef scavenged the remains of the ghouls for peculiar drop items. He wasn’t particularly picky so the sorting of the monster drops was his specialty.
After that, the group finally got moving. They entered the passage beyond the area where they met ghouls, then went to the next hall. Not a soul could be found here, just piles of ash scattered around.
“I don’t feel anybody here.”
Checking the hall just in case Zef turned right and said it was safe.
The group entered the hall, and Zef continued to scout the area. Then he found something shining in a pile of dust before him.
“Oh, isn’t that a sealed stone?”
With these words, Zef picked a marble-sized purple gem out of the ash. Noticing that, Asbar kicked the pile of ash, confirming that another gem was inside and looked throughout the hall.
“Could all that ash be the remains of monsters?..”
There were over 10 piles of ash in this 24 square meter room.
Mira picked a sealed stone out of a pile.
“Hmm, they still drop the items that they should.”
Undead monsters are one of the primary sources of the sealed stones. Stones seal the magic power required to move corpses and a lot of things demand this mana. It seems that even in reality the monsters of the underground graveyard drop the sealed stones.
Formerly a lot of players farmed these dungeon monsters for the sealed stones. It was kind of popular among players, to the point they nicknamed it ‘visiting the graves’.
While Mira was busy with reminiscing about it, Zef managed to gather all of the gems in the piles. In total, he found 14 gems.
“I’m thinking, could it all be the work of Alfina?”
“In these circumstances, who else?”
“Then why did they turn to ash? Wasn’t she armed with a sword? Perhaps she can cast fire spells?”
“Unless she’s a high-level sorcerer, she can’t burn them down to complete ash. Yet there is no trace of such high-level magic so I don’t think she can be a sorcerer.”
Frica dismissed Zef’s guess.
As Zef mentioned, Alfina had a sword. Any corpses should have slash wounds from the sword, yet the closest thing to corpses were the ash piles scattered here like dust. It’s impossible to completely burn them to ashes without some quite strong flame attack. It could be done with the magic, yet it should be a high-level sorcery. Yet any strong power should leave appropriate traces, and Frica confidently dismissed this guess.
Everybody tried to figure it out, and after some time they looked at Mira.
“Mira, give us the answer, please.”
Zef with a wink demanded an explanation and Mira started to talk. She started with the reason why she chose Alfina among her countless summons.
“That’s because her sword is a cleansing sword forged out of condensed light. Each time she slashes a fiend, a light flash burns it away. Every monster here is undead, so nothing can stop Alfina.”
“I’ve never heard about such swords…”
Emera with a shine in her eyes looked at the dust piles around her. Half of the reason why she talked the Ecarlate Carillon’s chief into lending his sword was because she wanted to try it. Emera adored the famous swords.
“I see. I’m amazed that you can summon someone with such a sword.”
Asbar began respecting summoning even more.
The conquest of the rank C dungeon, the Ancient Shrine Nebulapolis, went easier than Emera expected… perhaps, it was wrong to call it “conquest” now.
The greatest danger of the dungeon — monsters — were turned to piles of ash that Zef eagerly scavenged. The most adventurer-like thing they did was Emera’s checking the way with the map in rooms with several exits.
“And why exactly did we tag along? To loot the sealed stones?”
Zef uttered that while finishing with gathering the drops. Zef himself didn’t care about it that much but the leader of the group — Emera — felt uneasy.
They were escorting Takuto until the Hall of Dark Aid. It was their plan, however, Mira proved that she could do it alone.
Allowing kids to go alone into a rank C dungeon where even high-level adventurers are forced to be careful was out of the question. Emera wryly understood that after imposing herself on them with such reasoning, she hasn’t yet gotten a second chance to use her spirit sword.
“So, how’s the leeching?”
“Don’t remind me!”
This word hurt Emera, but she had nothing to say in answer.
After that, they proceeded to a hall in the center of the third floor. There was the largest pile of ash in the dungeon. And the source of that was the main fear of Mira which made her resort to summoning, a giant ghoul. And now Zef was scattering those remains around.
“Whoa! A magic crystal!”
Zef raised up a palm-sized gem he found in the ash. The members of Ecarlate Carillion who were unconcerned till now instantly turned their faces to him.
There was no wonder in that. Magic crystals are a terribly rare drop from large undead monsters.
“That’s great! Let me take a look.”
“We got really lucky.”
Emera who became fully recovered charged at Zef, and Asbar gazed at the gem in his hands from far away. Frica hasn’t showed much reaction yet still flushed her cheeks.
Takuto had no idea what the fuss was about and just showed a happy smile, matching the air here. And Mira, being herself, mused about the rarity of this drop like it wasn’t her business.
And a bit later they finally got to their goal, the fifth floor, where the hall of the dark aid was located.
The scenery around them was the same, not a single monster and just piles of ash. However, the number of those piles increased and they became larger. They almost could see the brave swings of Alfina’s sword. Emera and Asbar gasped. They were supposed to break through it all themselves.
“The extermination is complete.”
And Alfina was waiting for them in the hall. There were no signs that she got tired, and not a single scratch showed on her armor.
“Yea, thanks for the hard work. As expected from you.”
“Your words of praise are an honor for me.”
Mira held her hand over Alfina who was kneeling down in a bow.
“Thou deserve some rest.”
She made the return command and Alfina, wrapped up in a magic circle, blurred away.
Everybody silently watched at that, just Zef looked at the return with sorrow.
The fifth floor’s design was simple, right after the passage down the ladder there was a square hall with passages at each side. They came from the 4th floor, so only 3 were left. The left one led to a storeroom, in front of them was the way to the last floor so their goal — the hall of the dark aid — should be at the right.
Emera checked with the map and turned right. Zef who was scavenging in the ashes followed the group a little behind.
“So, looks like we got to the hall.”
They opened a copper door at the end of the passage and arrived at a room with mystery paintings on the walls. Mira, who hasn’t forgotten this eccentric look, checked for the mirror right in front of the entrance.
Emera and Asbar looked around the room, but there were no monsters or piles of ash. Only a single mirror. Judging by Mira’s knowledge, no monsters appeared in this room.
The eerie silhouettes that rose in the pale light of lanterns made them doubt if this mirror has another effect besides showing the deceased.
Somebody’s gasp broke the silence.
“What’s the matter? Why are you huddling here? Have you gotten to the goal?”
Zef caught up with them. His voice startled Emera.
“Ye.. yes, we did. This way.”
Blushing her face from embarrassment that such a trivial thing frightened her, Emera pointed to the mirror.
“Isn’t that great, Takuto? Now you can meet your parents again.”
“Yes, because of all your efforts. Thank you.”
Zef saw the mirror and, becoming glad like it was his goal, was caressing Takuto’s head. Takuto who was smiling shed some tears while answering.
“So, go to them now.”
Mira released his hand and lightly pushed his back. Takuto, submitting to it, nodded “Yea”, and made a step forward and called the names of his parents in the front of the mirror.
The mirror was extremely easy to use, it just required you to call the name of the person you want to meet while thinking about them. And Takuto, gathering all memories of parents he had, called them out in front of the mirror.
“Have they appeared already?”
Holding her breath Emera couldn’t control herself. But when Frica quickly glared at her, she shrugged and sadly stepped aside.
“Only he can see them?”
Unable to bear the silence, Asbar asked that. But nobody was going to answer, so he could only stare at the back of Takuto.
The first one to notice the change was Mira. She trotted closer to Takuto and gently brushed his hair.
Seeing that, the rest of the members were going to step in when Takuto loudly burst out crying and, longing for warmth, clung to Mira’s chest.
Accepting his flood of tears, Mira gently brushed his back.
“What’s wrong? Were their farewell words so sad?”
Takuto shook his head in answer to her question and, holding his tears, looked up.
“Dad and mom don’t want to meet me.”
After those words, he burst into crying again.
It seems that he hasn’t met them. Emera and Frica put hands on his shoulders and shed some tears in discouragement.
Asbar fluttered about without any idea what to do. He opened his item box and tried to find some sweets or drinks.
And Zef pondered in the front of the mirror. Perhaps it was broken and lost the ability to call out deceased.
Zef whispered this name. It was the name of his little sister who passed away earlier due to an illness. This word unintentionally left his mouth.
A pale light appeared in the mirror and in the next moment a girl reflected behind it. She was about 15-16 years old. She wore a red one-piece and had tawny hair split into two braids. With a friendly smile, she looked upwards at the Zef.
Without a doubt, it was his sister Lyrica. She hasn’t aged after her death and had her favorite one-piece and the hair style he remembered well. The same Lyrica he saw the last time was in the mirror.
Zef unvoluntarily clinged to the mirror and called her name.
The girl in the mirror doubtfully responded to his words. Zef confirmed she can hear him and exploded with the feelings he held before.
“Forgive me, Lyrica. Please forgive that I couldn’t save you! If I could return home faster, you…”
The voice of Zef got hoarse midway and his apologies blurred. Despite that, Zef continued to raise his voice together with the word “forgive” that got mixed sometimes.
The one who stopped Zef while in the gust of emotions spat out everything he bore inside was Lyrica herself.
“Onii-chan, why are you apologizing? Have you done anything wrong?
“I… haven’t saved you. If only I returned home earlier, you could live.”
Zef continued to yell his confession. The only person who knew the circumstances, Asbar, with a scowl started to walk towards Zef.
When Asbar was going to say it wasn’t Zef’s fault,
“It’s not your fault! I died because of a disease. Not because of you! I haven’t come here to hear your apologies. I wanted to thank you!”
The girl inside the mirror scolded her crimson-faced brother, Zef. She was upset. He apologized for such stupid reasons.And he was blaming himself.
Filled with anger voice of Lyrica made Zef reflexively straighten himself. Noticing that, Lyrica broke a grin.
“You haven’t changed at all.”
When Lyrica was still alive, she scolded Zef when his mischiefs were going overboard. A lot of time passed since, yet his body still remembered the voice of Lyrica.
“I died because of an illness. Don’t take the fault yourself.”
“No buts. I know you was doing it for me. That’s why thank you. I love you, onii-chan.”
After that words, Lyrica’s image slowly started to blur. It seemed the time was up.
“Me too! I love you too!”
Zef yelled to the disappearing shadow of Lyrica. Right after that, everybody had a feeling that the girl smiled a bit.