Chapter 4-33 : Rescue Request Ⅱ (part 1)
「That’s right! We have Kurumi! Iris, you still have the Resonance Stone, right? I think it’s the right time to contact Store Owner-san.」(Kate)
「A, Are we going to use that stone…?」(Iris)
For some reason, Iris hesitated to use the Resonance Stone which was the only way to let Sarasa know their situation.
「What’s wrong? Store Owner-san made those stones and Kurumi in case this kind of situation would happen, right? If we don’t use it now, then when will we use it?」(Kate)
「I know, but…」(Iris)
「Don’t tell me… We have to pay for it if we use it? I thought she gave it for free.」(Kate)
「No, no. She did, but…」(Iris)
Saying that, Iris looked to the side and muttered by herself.
「…But in exchange, I had to do something embarrassing for her…」(Iris)
「Hm? Did you say something?」(Kate)
Iris shook her head in panic. She didn’t want Kate to know what Sarasa asked her to do in exchange for the stone.
Several days ago when Sarasa was about to complete the Resonance Stones, she called Iris to her workshop when Kate and Lorea were not around.
She told Iris that she would give her a Resonance Stone for free but Iris had to put on a cat-ear headband and take a cute cat-like pose while saying a cute line which would be the alarm sound for the Resonance Stones.
Of course, Iris refused at first but after she thought that she could get a precious artifact that might save her life, she listened to what Sarasa said in the end.
Thinking that her cute line would be heard throughout the store once she broke her Resonance Stone, Iris hesitated.
Sarasa and Lorea would definitely hear that but it would be very embarrassing if Andre and the other Collectors were inside the store at the same time.
However, the situation was not good. Just as Kate said, she had to use her Resonance Stone now.
「So? What are you waiting for?」(Kate)
With somewhat slow movements, Iris took out the Resonance Stone from her bag and let out a heavy sigh.
「Hahh… Alright, here we go… Eii!」(Iris)
She then slammed it to the ground.
The stone broke into pieces, turned to dust, and eventually disappeared.
Kate blinked her eyes a few times while looking at the disappearing stone. She was kind of disappointed with how plain it was. She thought that the stone would shine or make noises.
「That’s it…? That’s how you use it?」(Kate)
「What’s wrong? Why is your face turning red?」(Kate)
「Please don’t ask…」(Iris)
Iris looked away, trying to hide her blushed face.
She couldn’t hide her embarrassment as she imagined that her voice saying a cute line echoed throughout the store by now.
「Is that the artifact Sarasa-kun gave you in case of emergency?」(Nord)
「Yeah, Store Owner-san should know that we need her help by now… right?」(Kate)
「Y, Yeah. After she notices the alarm, she will check the situation here through Kurumi.」(Iris)
It was the first time Iris had used a Resonance Stone, so she was somewhat feeling unsure.
She took Kurumi who was clinging to her backpack and made her sit on her palms.
Iris, Kate, and Nord then were staring at Kurumi, waiting for some kind of reaction.
However, Kurumi was just lying down and yawning like a sleepy bear.
「「………..」」(Iris, Kate & Nord)
Still, they were patiently waiting without looking away.
「Umm… I wonder what takes her so long. 」(Iris)
「I think Sarasa-kun is having a hard time synchronizing her consciousness with our little friend here.」(Nord)
「You think so? But she did it so quickly before.」(Iris)
「That’s probably because she was close to this bear. But, normally, it will take you a few minutes before you can synchronize your mind with your Homunculus even though you’re close to it.」(Nord)
「A few minutes? But she did it in a few seconds back then.」(Iris)
「Really? Sarasa-kun is indeed amazing… Still, I think she’s having a hard time because our position is far away from hers now. Moreover, we are inside a cave. Normally, it’s impossible for most alchemists, but… Sarasa-kun knows how far this Salamander cave is from her home, right? She must be quite confident that she will be able to do it. 」(Nord)
「Umm… Actually, before we left, she said that she might barely manage to link with Kurumi.」(Iris)
「Barely, huh…? So she wasn’t sure? Anyway, let’s believe in her and keep waiting.」(Nord)
Iris and Kate nodded to Nord and continued watching Kurumi.
However, Kurumi was only lying down, crawling, and rolling around in Iris’ hands.
「Kate, look at her~」(Iris)
「She’s cute as always~」(Kate)
「Kuchu kuchu kuchu~」(Iris)
While Kurumi was lying face up, Iris tickled her stomach with her index finger.
Kurumi then tapped Iris’ finger a few times, telling her to stop.
「Ahh~ So cute~」(Iris)
「Fufu~ Yeah, she…. is…… Hm?」(Kate)
Seeing Kurumi continuously tapping Iris’ index finger, Kate realized something was off.
「Umm, Iris… I think it’s Store Owner-san.」(Kate)
Iris immediately moved her finger away and looked closely at Kurumi.
Kurumi stood up, put her hand on her forehead, and shook her head as if saying, “Hahh… What are you guys doing?”
It seemed that Sarasa successfully linked her mind with Kurumi just when Iris started tickling her stomach.
「I… Is that you, Store Owner-dono?」(Iris)
Kurumi folded her arms and nodded.
「I, I’m sorry! I got carried away!」(Iris)
When Iris bowed her head, Kurumi raised her hand, telling her that it was fine.
She then looked around at the three and tilted her head, asking them to explain their situation.
「Store Owner-dono, we’re currently trapped inside the cave. Some parts of the cave collapsed probably because the Salamander rampaged around.」(Iris)
「You’re probably confused because we had killed the Salamander, but it came back to life. It spawned from the river of lava thanks to Nord-san’s bizarre experiment.」(Kate)
「Ahaha~ I’m flattered~」(Nord)
「I’m not complimenting you!」(Kate)
As Kate yelled at Nord, Kurumi sighed and shook her head.
Sarasa had a feeling that Nord would cause some trouble to Iris and Kate since he was an eccentric researcher, but she never thought that he would revive the Salamander.