Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 3 Chapter 13: The Meeting of Spirits
Nectar’s party was currently accommodated in one of the places that the Guild procured for the long running Hunters.
Even though Madame Chinon offered them a place to stay at her mansion, Nectar’s party decided to stay with the Guild closer to the dungeon’s entrance, purely for convenience’s sake.
The town around the dungeon was completely different from Melias, and it was always vibrant, a mixture of freshness and confusing elements.
However, Nectar could also feel that there was some kind of disturbance in the leylines around the dungeon.
If it was something caused by human activity, then it would be nothing really that out of the ordinary.
After turning himself into a spirit, Nectar was way more sensitive to the flow of magic around him, but there was always a possibility that his senses might have been off.
Its arrangement here was strange, as if something was added to it.
Not knowing the true identity of the problem was making Nectar restless.
Even though he learned how to manipulate the leylines, he was still way behind Lava in that regard.
And he knew that instead of lamenting over it, he should instead make himself better at it.
And if there was something he wasn’t able to do right now, he just needed to think of a different approach to the problem. That was Nectar’s long-established line of reasoning.
First of all, they should search for magical artifacts inside of the dungeon.
If they can analyze the magic patterns in the dungeon artifacts, they might get some kind of a clue as to what was going on there.
On a side note, right now he was very happy.
Even though they had a lot of work to do, Nectar always thought it was important to enjoy the little things in life.
Usually Kyle would be the one who would act as his breaks, but right about now Nectar could finally act to his heart’s content.
The thing with magical artifact was that even if one could initially consider it as simple junk, there was still magic patterns in that junk, so it was important to always be on the lookout.
Searching around for clues like that was Nectar’s favorite part of this job, and if he could help it, he would also like to investigate the mechanism in which the floor guardians were functioning.
And if he was to find something interesting here, he might as well even bring it back home with him.
That was an opportunity he absolutely didn’t want to miss.
Being all excited, he turned around the street’s corner and he arrived at the street where shops with magic tools were lined.
Then he felt as though he heard something.
It was a strange kind of feeling, as if feathers were brushing against his skin.
It was moderately pleasant, but at the same time kind of disturbing.
Then Nectar noticed that the flow of magic has changed.
The swirling magic seemed to be calling out to him, guiding him towards where it was.
As he walked down the road, he could hear something similar to music sound in the distance.
The sound was warm, and even random people on the streets were stopping in their tracks to listen to it and look for its source.
Nectar was also listening to the melody, and as he walked down the road he seemed to be sucked right into that melody.
The road has lead him to the square where many of the town’s streets were meeting.
There, in the corner of the square, there was a group of people standing, and once Nectar got closer to them, he could catch a glimpse of the one who was standing in the middle of the crowd.
Sitting on the bench, it was a young man with pale hair who was stroking strings of the instrument he was holding in his hands.
On the surface level, he seemed to be close to Nectar’s age.
Every time his slender fingers stroke the strings of the instrument, it lets out a pleasant melody.
Nectar was not really that much into music. It was a matter not related to sorcery in any way, and so he was not interested in it. He had no idea what music was popular currently.
But even so, the somewhat melancholic melody was reaching into his heart, and some of the listeners were wiping the tears that gathered in their eyes.
The audience was enamored with the youth’s performance, so much that they didn’t even applauded him when he finished one song and move on to another piece, listening carefully.
Nectar listened to the sound, all the while observing the young man.
Even though he was surrounded by people, he seemed to be unmoved by the large crowd.
At first, Nectar thought that the youth might have been using magic to attract the onlookers attention, apparently it was something different than that.
It was weird for him to think that, but he was having a strange sense of déjà vu.
Thinking about that, Nectar didn’t even realize that the last sound has gone off and the performance was over.
At that moment a huge round of applause began to sound throughout the square, and torrents of coins began to spill towards the instrument-playing youth.
Despite his young appearance, the youth had delivered a top class performance, one that would easily rival those that you could hear at the royal palace. That fact alone was what was bothering Nectar.
However, he still had to go to the magic shops district and pick something that would make for a good souvenir for both Lava and Aru.
It was almost past noon, so it might be a good idea to try and contact them.
For Nectar, it was an important practice to communicate with his family everyday at roughly the same time, but unfortunately, where he was right now was hardly suitable to get in touch with them.
It was for this reason that he needed to entrust the message to the spirits and they were going to deliver it, which was rather frustrating thing to do.
For some it might have been a common practice, but for Nectar it was more of a kind of a last resort thing.
It seems that Aru has been working on another project together with his clubmates, and Marca was helping them out.
Aru also said to him that he was feeling lonely with them being gone, but at the moment Nectar was feeling even lonelier than Aru.
While speaking to Lava, he probably overwhelmed her with information, but it was impossible for him to have complex thoughts when she was the recipient.
It seems that she was having her hands full with dealing with the nobles.
She was rather vague about the details, but it seems that she was extracting the cores from the magic stones and that she was doing a good job on it so far.
He also smiled wryly when she said that ‘Ligurila is simply unstoppable here’, as he envied the kind of bond of trust the two women seemed to have with one another.
As much as he wanted to have something similar to that with her, he knew it would simply never work.
However, instead of saying that, he simply said ‘Hope that everything will go smooth;y on your end’ before ending the conversation.
「Ah! There you are!」
Suddenly, he heard loud footsteps accompanied by a loud voice.
「Hey you, you there! Yes you, with the flax-colored hair!」
Nectar initially thought that the words weren’t directed at him and he kept on walking, but their latter half made him stop in his tracks.
He turned around, and there was that young man who was playing the instrument, standing right in front of him.
There was a cloth bag hanging on his bag, where he probably stashed his instrument.
「Is there something you need from me?」
「You were listening to my performance, weren’t you?」
Nectar was surprised that the youth managed to spot him among such a huge crowd of people, but what shocked him even more was the familiarity with which the youth was acting towards him.
While he was feeling somewhat odd, the youth glanced at him with utmost curiosity in his eyes.
「Uwah, I thought as much. I was so focused on playing that I didn’t have time to look around, but to think it would be someone like you. Even so, it’s rare to see someone like you at a town like this.」
「Excuse me, but…… What are you talking about?」
Hearing Nectar’s words the youth blinked a few times, obviously surprised, but then he got closer to him and proclaimed in a silent enough voice so that only Nectar would be able to hear him.
「Eh, but mister, you are a spirit just as I am, am I right?」
This time, it was Nectar’s turn to look utterly surprised by this sudden revelation.
Yes, that feeling was exactly the one as if was standing against the Great Plant Spirit.
But it was the first time that Nectar have met a spirit other than his Mentor who was so rich in emotions.
It was surprising, but not all that unpleasant.
Realizing that Nectar was still a little bit vigilant of him, the youth extended his hand towards him.
「Of course, I am not going to disclose your true nature. But I must say that I feel relieved. I rarely see spirits who wander the land freely, such as myself.」
「I, I see. Please pardon my rudeness.」
Nectar sensed no lie in the youth’s words, and he also extended his hand towards him while apologizing for his behavior.
Still, he needed to maintain at least some level of wariness, in case the young spirit was to suddenly turn hostile.
「I see, so spirits like myself are still out there somewhere. I thought that there were not many of us left.」
「Is it really that unusual?」
「It is, sadly. Let’s start with the fact that the population of high spirits is relatively low in recent years, did you know? It is rare for spirits to develop an individual will all on their own. Also, even if there are some out there, they rarely want to leave the land of their birth. By that standard we can say that you and I are special. So it is nothing short of a miracle for the two of us to meet in a town like this.」
The youth seemed delighted, but suddenly his face was twisted by a frown.
「Say, can you be my friend?」
The youth asks such a question, to which Nectar’s blue eyes become round with surprise.
「I can only speculate, but you are unlike anyone I have ever met before. I wish that I could become at least a bit like you in the future.」
Nectar was having problems with squeezing his words out of his mouth after hearing such a sudden offer, but then something in the youth’s words caught his attention.
「You, you have other friends, right?」
「Hmm, I do, but they are mostly in an evil secret society that wants to deliver the world to salvation.」
Even though there was a truly evil smile accompanying those words, Nectar was astonished by his sincerity.
He was in the middle of a job, so he was worried that he didn’t really have time for this.
「I am really sorry, but I am in the middle of something really important right now.」
Nectar answers, to which the youth hangs his head in obvious sign of disappointment.
「I, I see. I’m sorry, I didn’t want to force you or anything.」
He backed away a few steps, but then he raised his head as if suddenly remembered something.
「Oh, are you going to be staying in this city, by any chance?」
「I intend to do that, yes.」
「Oh, if so, you’d beast leave this town as soon as you finish your business here. Better yet, you should leave this country.」
「What do you……」
Nectar wanted to ask what he meant by that, but the youth already turned around and went his own way.
「Until we meet again, Mister!」
Until he disappeared into the crowd, Nectar could see his instrument sticking out of his sack, with beautiful round torso and a graceful neck.
Nectar was thinking for a moment if he should follow the youth, but then he received a message from Kyle.
“Nectar, where are you?”
「On the streets, how did it go on your end?」
“Senjiro is something else. He might have got the information on the whereabouts of the monsters. We’ll be waiting at the base.”
Upon hearing that, Nectar began walking back to the inn where they were all staying at, as fast as he could.