The inn that they were staying at was close to the guild.
“I wanted to be able to reach you quickly when you visited the guild. Well, that and I have a fondness for the place.”
“Oh, right. This is where you arrived when you first came here.”
“Yeah. A lot happened, but it’s not a bad place.”
A lot…well, there was no point in asking further.
The room that they led us to was rather spacious for just two people. It was obvious that they had taken it so that they could invite us later on. That was Manager. Always thinking ahead.
“Let’s drink some tea and talk. First, we’ll tell you about what we did after you left us.”
I sipped the hot tea that they prepared, and waited for her to continue.
□ □ □ □
“We decided to go north in order to find a way to help.”
After leaving Asagi and Danila, we stayed in the imperial capital for a while. Lemon and I talked about what we learned from Reserentrible, and the information Asagi told us of Estarosta. And it seemed apparent that we should head to Erediares to the north.
We only had a vague idea of the area where the ruins might be. But I had a hunch.
There is a ruin, deep in a forest that is east of here. There were rumors about it among Adventurers. However, it was also famous for being a place where there was nothing to be found.
However, listening to Asagi and Daniela’s stories made me sure that it was in such places that elven ruins tended to be. And so in my mind, it was all but confirmed.
We made our way through Alessa and Lambrusen until we finally arrived in Erediares. And while I felt bad for Lemon, we rested just a little before immediately heading out to the woods.
On my way, I was attacked by packs of snow wolves that hadn’t been there before. But they were easily dispatched, and we arrived at the ruins and immediately began to investigate.
It was a stone building that had fallen apart. There were a few pillars still standing, but most of the roof was gone. And as it snowed nearly every day, most of it was buried. However, the ground under what remained of the roof was still visible.
In spite of such hardships, I was quite convinced that this was the place. And so it did not take us long to find the entrance. It was hidden underneath the stone tiles. We just had to open it and go inside.
The trouble started after that. There was something that I had forgotten. It was only later that I found out that we had only been able to enter the ancient elven ruin because of Daniela and Asagi.
Lemon and I were nearly recognized as enemies. However, thanks to them, our data had been registered in the Karma network, and we were saved.
Of course, since the data had been registered, that meant they understood why we were there, and the key was handed over to us.
“And we’ve been waiting for you to come here ever since. Which hasn’t really been long at all.”
“I see. That’s pretty much what they told us.”
“We asked them to do that.”
In any case, that was how we moved after separating in the city. So, what about you two?
□ □ □ □
“…And that about sums it up. Not the easiest of times.”
“So, you had your own struggles then…”
I finished filling her in on what had happened and then wet my dried out mouth with some hot tea. The sea of trees, the dragon, the mountains, the island… It really had been quite the journey now that I thought back on it.
“So, this is the rare weapon that I found in the ruins. I doubt there are many such weapons that match your attribute.”
I took out the ‘Three-bladed Sword of Everlasting Darkness’ and put it on the table. Two short swords with black triple blades. It should be easy for her to handle and could act as a medium for her magic.
“I see. It really is perfect for me.”
“Mister Asagi. Did you get something for me?”
“Lemon…uh, you can have this thing.”
I took out an ogre sword that we had also found in the elven ruin, Single Edge Decline. I had become flustered for a second when I realized that we had saved weapons for Matsumoto and Manager, but not Lemon. However, I was able to pull something out at the last second.
‘Single Edge Decline – A single edged one-handed sword. Made with high grade fire ore and mana infused steel in the furnaces of ogres.’
In any case, it sounded like just the thing to use against Automata. Thermal cutting. The very thought of it excited me.
“A one-handed sword!”
“Uh, isn’t that what guards usually use? And so I thought it was perfect for you. But if…”
“And a single-edged blade. High grade fire ore…it is a difficult weapon.”
Still, I had faith in her ability to wield it. That’s why I had brought it out.
“I’ll get accustomed to it before the battle!”
“Yeah. Just don’t hurt yourself.”
When we talked like this, Lemon really did feel like a cute junior. Even though she was way older.
“And here’s what I got for you.”
Manager said as she took out a pretty crystal from her bag. It was a white double terminated crystal.
“The key from the first facility that the Karma gave to us.”
I accepted the key and stared at it. This was the last one. We had all three now.
Before putting it away, I took out the other three and lined them up on the table.
The Urbesertrus key from the depth of the sea of trees.
The Kimon key from the undergrounds of the island.
And the Eres key that Manager had got for us.
With these three keys, we would finally be able to enter facility zero. Mistmaria.
“Now, we just need enough people to fight.”
“Rachel will be talking to Matsumoto for us. She’s going to the royal capital now.”
“I see. Yes, he’s very capable as someone who is also from another world. We’re lucky to have him.”
Was that a dig at me? He was always more like a protagonist.
“Also, we met with some ogres on the island. They also hold a grudge against the Nova and promised to help us.”
“That’s amazing… I heard that they had gone extinct.”
“Well, they seemed to be alive.”
“I can hardly believe it…”
As Lemon listened to Daniela in awe, I picked up the keys and put them away. It was time for us to leave. We would be setting out again tomorrow, and so there was shopping to do.
“Ah, by the way, Asagi. Do you have a minute?”
It was just as I started to plan ahead in my mind, that Manager called out to me. And so everything was erased and I turned to look at her.
“The thing is, there had been strange rumors going around recently. And I thought it might be related to you.”
“We just got here yesterday…”
“Yeah, but I still think there’s something to it. Just listen to me.”
She seemed very serious, and I couldn’t help but sit up straight.
“It’s about a giant white wolf.”