The next day.
“…Is it morning… I gotta… get up.” [Ryouma]
As I rubbed my eyes, I got off the bed. It’s been a while since I drank so much, but thanks to Tekun’s divine protection, I don’t feel sick at all. Actually, I’ve never had a hangover since coming to this world.
“Let’s do our best today too!” [Ryouma]
As I fired myself up, a voice suddenly echoed within my mind. This is… from a god!
“Ryouma, can you hear my voice?” [Gayn]
The owner of the voice, was this world’s God of Creation, Gayn. Because of all the banquets we’ve been having, my Oracle skill has been levelling up a lot. Before I knew it, I’ve become able to talk with them without having to go to the church. So, whenever Gayn and the others want to talk to me, I use the Oracle skill. We don’t really talk about anything else outside of the banquets though… Is he calling about that this time too?
“Yup, loud and clear. It’s been a while since you last contacted me though. Is everything alright, Gayn?” [Ryouma]
“But of course, we’re all doing splendidly. We just had a difficult job, and it was quite taxing. Everyone’s exhausted.” [Gayn]
His voice is cheerful, but there’re clearly traces of fatigue.
“If you’re all finished with your work, how about I cook you guys something again?” [Ryouma]
“We were actually hoping you would. Is that alright?” [Gayn]
“Of course, I’ll go in the evening after preparing everything.” [Ryouma]
“I’ll be looking forward to it then. See you later night.” [Ryouma]
After those last words resounded in my head, everything went silent again.
Incidentally, although I have to go to a church to enter the divine realm, there’s a church east of the mines. It’s built like those famous historical churches that I saw in my textbooks back in my previous world. It’s really amazing. In fact, Gayn and the others thinks so too. It’s a lot closer than the church in town, so I can take my time.
While I was thinking about what to cook, Elia and the others came.
Didn’t they go to Renauph? Are they back already? Miyabi’s family is there, so they should’ve enjoyed themselves more…
I greeted them at the entrance of the house, talked a bit, then I invited them in. Apparently, it was restless back in Miyabi’s house, so they couldn’t get much rest. In the end, they decided to just go back after an overnight stay.
“That aside, we bought you some souvenirs.” [Miyabi]
Oh, right. They did mention about buying me some.
As I said that, Miyabi and Sebasu-san glanced at each other. Then Sebasu-san took out a bag as big as a watermelon from his Item Box. And then, as if Miyabi was waiting for me to ask, she answered.
“This is a Milequilis Fruit.” [Miyabi]
Milequilis… I’ve never seen nor eaten one, but I have heard of it. If I recall correctly, this fruit is…
“Is this the famed Milequilis Fruit that’s delicious but hard to cultivate and quick to spoil?” [Ryouma]
Miyabi nodded, then she took out a fruit from the bag. The fruit was as rough as a pineapple and as big as a basketball. It feels hard, and it seems to be hollowed in just one spot. This fruit grows from trees, so this hollow spot is probably where the calyx used to be.
“Thanks. I like it.” [Ryouma]
Since it spoils fast, I should probably go ahead and use the light magic ‘Preservation’… Good. It’s too much to eat by myself, so I guess I’ll cut it for lunch, and serve it as dessert.
As I was thinking that, Miyabi spoke.
“There’s still more, ya know! Next up––“ [Miyabi]
“This one’s from my dad.” [Miyabi]
As Miyabi said that, this time she took out a rectangular wooden box that looked heavy. It was stuffed full of meguribushi.
“Oh, so this is a part of the payment for the production of the mizuame.” [Ryouma]
“Ya did say that you wouldn’t mind us making and using them in the store, so dad wants me to tell you that we’ll be stocking up on ‘em to study. We’re looking forward to work with the Saionji Firm from here on.” [Miyabi]
“Not at all. It’s my pleasure.” [Ryouma]
Being able to get meguribushi for so little is so awesome! But while I received the box of meguribushi, the souvenirs weren’t done just yet. Elia and the others still had a mountain more to give me. Most of them were food and imported clothes though. I’m not that particular about my clothes, but these clothes were imported from the dragonewt village, and looked like nagajuban, kinagashi and samue. These’re seriously some good stuff.
When I told the girls that I liked their presents, their faces blossomed into smiles. Apparently, they had a hard time deciding what to buy in just one day.
When you think about it, Renauph is close enough to teleport too, so these aren’t really souvenirs, but things that I could enjoy or use. I should happily wear these.
After I received all of their souvenirs, Elia and the others resumed their training in full spirits. Then after checking up on their training, I went to prepare lunch.
“Ryouma-san, aren’t you making too much?” [Elia]
“I’m going to be meeting up with some acquaintances later evening, so there’s quite a bit.” [Ryouma]
Elia’s curiosity was piqued seeing all of the food, but she didn’t pursue the matter any further, and she asked about my promotion exam instead. Whew, good thing she didn’t ask. If she went “Acquaintance? From where? And who?” I’d be really troubled.
After eating, we had the Milequilis for dessert. I asked Sebasu-san how to cut it.
“First cut it in half, then hollow out the seeds inside. After that, just cut it, and distribute.” [Sebasu]
…Is what he said. I guess it’s no different from cutting melon.
Following Sebasu’s advice, I reinforced my kitchen knife with ki, then I effortlessly cut the Milequilis in two, causing white liquid to gush out. At that, an intoxicating sweet smell suddenly filled the room. It probably seeped outside too. Can a fruit really emit this sort of fragrance?
“This fragrance is proof that it’s ready to eat. When it’s still too raw or too ripe, the fruit won’t emit this smell.” [Sebasu]
As I listened to Sebasu-san’s explanation, I removed the crescent-moon-shaped seeds from the two halves, then I cut them into portions. After that, Sebasu-san distributed them across different plates.
“Well then, it’s time to serve.” [Sebasu]
I took a bite… In that instant, the fragrant earlier ago spread within my mouth, and the fruit’s juices overflowed. I don’t’ really get the taste, but it’s like a mixture of various fruit juices.
As I ate, everyone else started eating. It was delicious, and everyone ate with relish. Apparently, the Milequilis Fruit is rare even amongst nobles, so everyone happily ate.
After eating, the training in the afternoon was cancelled, and the girls helped me prepare the food for the banquet later evening instead. They said it was to improve their cooking, but either way, it’s a huge help for me.
I put the food we made into a magic box, then I stored it in my Item Box. After Elia and the others went home, I went to the church East of my house.
Stone columns stood in a row, and in between was a large slab of rock for a wall. As soon as I passed through the entrance of the temple, I found myself in the chapel. This whole place could accommodate about 200 people, but aside from me, barely anyone ever comes here. Directly opposite the entrance could be seen an altar and a pedestal, as well as some statues shaped after the gods lined up.
The moment I stood in front of the altar, that familiar light immediately shone, and I closed my eyes. It seems they’ve been waiting. When the light ceased, I opened my eyes, and I found myself standing in that white space. The room wasn’t empty. There was a table and some chairs. And more importantly, there were plenty of familiar faces.
“We’ve been waiting, Ryouma! Take out those snacks!” [Tekun]
“Can’t you wait for a bit?” [Fer Noevir]
As soon as I appeared in the room, Tekun immediately asked for the snacks, leading him to meet Fel Noevir’s rebuke.
All the gods I know are present. Even the one who’s usually absent, Fer Noevir, is here. As for why he’s usually absent, it might be because he’s bad at rowdy stuff like this.
“Long time no see~” [Kufo]
“Sorry for always troubling you.” [Gayn]
“Gayn, Kufo, it’s been a while. Everyone seems to be here today.” [Ryouma]
“We just finished an important job, after all. Everyone wants to relax.” [Rurutia]
Speaking of important jobs… there’s only one thing that comes to mind…
“Did you figure it out?” [Meltrize]
“The Demon King’s Fragments?” [Ryouma]
The goddess of sleep and death, Meltrize, spoke. She’s always somewhere near every time I notice her presence… Well, I’ve gotten used to it already though. That aside, they were apparently still looking for them. I’ve heard them finding those fragments so many times, so I thought they found them all already.
“This time, we found three.” [Grimp]
“That many?” [Ryouma]
“Two were at the bottom of the sea. One was underground. There are more elsewhere too. He sure hid them well.” [Grimp]
“That guy’s body burst and scattered a lot when we were fighting him. Shouldn’t have let him. That just gave him a chance to hide himself.” [Kirilel]
This time the God of Farming, Grimp, and the God of War, Kirilel, spoke. Erm, wait… So, you guys made the demon king blow up several times? I’m impressed he managed to run away… If a human were in his shoes, he would’ve died long ago.
Apparently, the demon king’s power seems to be hidden. But on top of that, because they’re just fragments, their power is weak. And with all the magic power all over the world, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. As a result, they end up taking a lot of effort just to find one to destroy.
“That’s not all. The power to extinguish a fragment is really dangerous, so the surrounding area ends up being destroyed. So, we have to keep it in check to ensure that we do as little damage to the ecosystem as possible. We also have to monitor the area afterwards.” [Kirilel]
“The point is that it’s really exhausting, so it makes us want to drink.” [Grimp]
“Makes sense… Here, more snacks.” [Ryouma]
This time the Goddess of Land, Willieris, changed the topic, and Kufo joined in.
“That’s enough complaining, you guys.” [Willieris]
“Right, right. By the way, Ryouma, what have you been up to lately? We didn’t have the time to watch recently, so we’re a bit late on the happenings.” [Kufo]
The gods all looked at me as I recounted my time in the magic beast tournament and with Elia’s group. The topic this time was a lot more cheerful.
“Oh? So, you’re teaching those girls now?” [Willieris]
“Yes, everyone’s doing really well. For example––“ [Ryouma]
I happily talked about my time alone and with the girls’ training. I even had a glass in one hand and snack in the other as I talked, but there’s a limit to how long I can stay here.
“It’s almost time.” [Meltrize]
“Well, let’s continue this next time. I think you’ll have more stories to tell us then.” [Kirilel]
“I look forward to it.” [Tekun]
Meltrize reminded us of the time, so we started to end the banquet. After we finished, the light shone again. Suddenly, however, Willieris handed a map to me.
“Ryouma-kun, you’re already free from the last fragment, right?” [Willieris]
This is a map of Troll Canyon… That’s the canyon where the Execution Grounds is located, the place where I found the fragment. On the map, there’s a point that shows where I can excavate magic jewels.
Ever since I took the demon king’s fragment from the canyon, all the magic power that was being sucked by it spilled into the surroundings, resulting in an explosive increase of undead-type magical beast. Magic jewels have also become a lot more common. With this map, I’m guaranteed to find a lot of jewels.
It’s a map from the Goddess of Land herself after all. Naturally, the number of magic jewels you could find with it would be way over the top as compensation for some food. I didn’t really know what else to say, so I just gratefully accepted it.
“Thank you very much. I’ll gather some when I go out to feed the grave slimes.” [Ryouma]
“Don’t mind it. We’ll ask you to prepare a banquet for us again, so set those aside for the food costs then.” [Willieris]
“Sure. Then, until next time.” [Ryouma]
At this moment, my consciousness came back to the real world.