It has already been one month since the Founding Festival ended and the Semroid Troupe left.
The festival was like a turning point of some sort, as the summer gradually grew hotter this past month. When I went out to catch a slime to be donated to the church, I found a slime that liked to eat wind mana and was able to make it evolve. All the while, I never once slacked in my training.
Before I knew it, it has already been half a year since I parted with the members of the duke’s family. When I showed my face to the adventurers guild, Wogan-san called me.
“Ryouma, you’ve been doing well lately. At one point, I thought you’d go and become a merchant instead.” [Wogan]
“Ahaha… Well, I’m an easygoing guy.” [Ryouma]
“Well, when a man is put in a position over others, regardless of his natural inclinations, he will have to carry some responsibilities and do some work. …Anyway, going back to the topic, are you free for 2 weeks starting next week?” [Wogan]
I have plenty of waterproof cloth stocked up and I don’t have any work that needs to be done soon.
“Yeah, I should be free.” [Ryouma]
“I see. In that case, there’s a job I’d like you to take. It’s just a gathering job, but because of the amount, as much as possible, I’d like someone who can use dimension magic to participate. If you could accept the job as a transporter, it would be a huge help. Also, one of the monsters you want to fight will be making an appearance at the gathering point.” [Wogan]
“Yeah, the enemies will be treants. The material to be gathered will also be taken from them.” [Wogan]
Treants are plant type monsters that take on the appearance of a tree. They hide among trees and attack people and other monsters. There’s a lot of them living at the Great Shurus Forest. They’re a dangerous breed of monsters that specialize in mimicry and surprise attacks.
“I will be briefing the other members for a more detailed explanation, so if you feel like you’re up for it, drop by the guild again tomorrow afternoon. If you decide to take the job, you can register then.” [Wogan]
“Alright. I’ll see you tomorrow then.” [Ryouma]
“Yeah. Take care.” [Wogan]
Having decided that, I had to inform the others that I would be going out.
The next day.
As promised, I dropped by the guild and was brought to a room, where Miya-san was.
“Nyaa? Ryouma, you were called too, nyaa?” [Miya]
“They wanted someone who could use dimension magic.” [Ryouma]
“We’re bringing back that much, nyaa? What in nyaa world are they building, nyaa?” [Miya]
“Who knows?” [Ryouma]
We chatted idly like that while waiting, and then Wereanna-san’s group came with Raypin-san. Asagi-san came too. The last one to arrive was Wogan-san, who then briefed us on the job.
“…And that’s how it is.” [Wogan]
To give a short summary of what he explained to us, the objective of the job is to secure lumber. To that end, it would be best to hunt the treant and bring their lumber back. We need to bring back at least 300 treants worth of lumber, and any extra will be compensated for properly.
I don’t know how big a treant is, so I can’t say exactly just how much lumber 300 treants is equivalent to. Regardless, I’m sure it’s a lot. Now I can understand why they wanted mages that could use dimension magic like me and Raypin-san to come.
The team will be departing in two days.
I don’t see any issues, so I think I’ll participate. Everyone else also looked like they were planning to join.
After the job application was concluded, Wereanna-san suddenly asked this.
“What are all these treant lumber going to be used for?” [Wereanna]
“Ahh… You’re aware that the population of this town is decreasing, right?” [Wogan]
“Well, yeah. After all, one of the mines was mined out. Even if it’s just one mine, there should be a significant number of people who lost their job.” [Wereanna]
“The head of the previous office wasn’t so enthusiastic in that regard. Meanwhile, the newly appoint head – although he’s yet to do anything – is actually quite enthusiastic. Population growth, profit increase, and the improvement of the city environment. In other words, he has a lot in mind.
The job this time is because the proposal of the staff has been accepted, and now, they want to create a product that will garner fame and gather people. …Unfortunately, this town doesn’t have anything other than mines and iron.” [Wogan]
Wouldn’t the place where the rimel birds are often sighted serve as a decent tourist attraction?
“Someone proposed that too, but the rimel birds show up around the same time when the grell frogs are being hunted, so they can’t be used to attract tourists. Stopping the grellfrog hunting would cause the profit from that to vanish, so that’s no good either. Besides, the rimel birds aren’t around all the time, and what the public office wants to is a famed product that’s available all year round.” [Wogan]
Huh… I’m pretty sure developing a town isn’t that easy. I don’t know much about it myself, but isn’t it fine as long as you have something you can sell? There’s no need to be picky, right? Just make the most of whatever advantages you already have. Kind of like the festival… Yeah. Isn’t that good enough?
“Isn’t it fine even if it’s not all year round? You could treat it like a seasonal event.” [Ryouma]
“Seasonal events are nice and all, but this is a mining town. When the mines are mined out and there’s no fixed income, the only source of income will be those seasonal events. As such, the bigwigs want something that could be sold all-year-round.” [Wogan]
Ah, I see… Now that he mentions it, he’s exactly right.
“Well, it’s not like I don’t understand where you’re coming from. The situation isn’t that bad just yet, so I also think it would be fine if we gradually worked at it… But, anyway, that’s how the discussion of the bigwigs went and now they want to build a tourist town beyond the southern gate. At the center of which, they will be building their new attraction, the Fighting Arena.
Along with that, they will also be building inns to accommodate the participants and the spectators, as well as other facilities. The main point is to make money by selling tickets and getting people to gamble. It will take a lot of money until everything is completed, but the profit to be made afterwards is equally big.” [Wogan]
“A fighting arena and a gambling system, de gozaru? I’m sure that’ll bring a lot of money, but the public order is sure to suffer, de gozaru.” [Asagi]
Indeed. I can easily imagine all the thugs going around.
“And that’s why it has to be a new town. The arena, the inns the participants and the guests will be staying at… Everything is to be made at the new town. This town will continue as it’s always been and remain a mining town. The management will just be managing both this and that town, so you can just consider it as a new town.
The funds allocated to public order will also be greatly increased, so there will be many more guards than before. The gambling will be managed by the town and supervised throughly.
And – this is directly related to Wereanna’s question – but the construction of the arena has been entrusted to Perdre Bekentein.” [Wogan]
Everyone else other than me was shocked when he said that. Is he famous?
“Who is he?” [Ryouma]
“Mu, Ryouma, you don’t know, de aru? He is the second son of the Household of Viscount Bekentein. Supposedly, he should be assisting his older brother in managing their territory, but he has instead chosen to devote his life to his work as an architect, de aru.” [Raypin]
“He is a celebrity among architects and is so renowned for his genius that it is said there are none who could match him, but at the same time, he is also renowned for his weird behavior.” [Syria]
A deep person… In more sense than one.
“Apparently, when they consulted him, he was able to suddenly come up with a good idea, so he accepted the job right there and then. But when he accepted the job, he demanded this one condition: ‘I want all the important parts of the arena to be built with treant lumber! I will not build it unless it’s with treant lumber!’ Or so the story goes. And that’s why we want to start gathering treant lumber as early as now.” [Wogan]
Is this the so-called loneliness of an artist? I asked around a bit, and it turns out that while Treant Lumber certainly has its place in buildings, it’s usually used for the staves of mages and isn’t really a known material for buildings.
But Perdre Bekentein is a renowned architect so skilled that a little unreasonable demand like this would apparently be forgiven. They do say he’s an unparalleled genius.
While I was thinking that, the briefing ended and I left the area.
On the day of departure.
I’ve been preparing all this time, but technically, all I really did was move the stuff inside my Dimension Home to the storage in the abandoned mine, closed the entrance with earth magic, and then prepared some countermeasures for thieves.
That and I also finally tried expanding my Dimension Home just as Sebasu-san taught me.
Each time I did it, I felt the burden on me increase, but by relying on my great mana reserves and training, I was able to expand my dimension home to the same size as the first floor of the employee dormitory at my store. I don’t know how big a treant is, but I’m sure this much space should be able to accommodate a respectable amount.
While I was thinking stuff like that, I was still at the southern gate of Gimuru. …I’m not being idle. I’m just waiting for the others.
“Are they not coming yet?” [Ryouma]
When I looked around me, there was no one around. While I was wondering that to myself and looking around, I saw Raypin-san and Asagi-san walking from the distance.
“Good morning! Raypin-san, Asagi-san.” [Ryouma]
“Good morning, de aru.” [Raypin]
“Good morning, RYouma. Are you doingg well today, de gozaru?” [Asagi]
“I’m doing fine. Thank you.” [Ryouma]
After that we rendezvoused with Miya-san and the others, and rode on the carriage and two horses provided by the guild master. After receiving our food supplies, we set off on our journey. Incidentally, the carriage was meant for transporting goods, so it was Mizelia-san who drove it.
The southern part of Gimuru was full of trees, so as we swayed inside the carriage, the scenery passing as by painted a tranquil scene.
During that time we discussed our plans with our leader, Asagi-san.
“Inside the forest, Miya, Wereanna, and I will be the ones to fight the treants. Raypin and Ryouma will be responsible for transporting the defeated treants. On top of that, Raypin will also be in charge of searching for the treants, while Ryouma will be his escort. Is that clear, de gozaru?” [Asagi]
We all nodded to show our agreement. Although that was the gist of it, it didn’t mean I wouldn’t be fighting at all. Everyone already knows that I’m participating to gain experience fighting treants, so they will also be providing me opportunities to accomplish that.
After that we also discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the treant with the monster specialist, Raypin-san.
From him I found out that since treants attack by moving their branches, we have to watch out for attacks coming from above. As for the weakness of the treants, apparently there’s a lump on their body that looks like the face of a person. If you damage the area surrounding that lump or detach or break the part under it, you’ll be able to kill them. This time, though, our objective is to gather treant lumber, so we have to minimize damage as much as possible.
Although it wasn’t necessary to focus on not damaging it so much, it was important to keep it in mind.
We will also have to pay attention in case there’s an advanced treant variant. Higher treant variants move slower, but their branches are thicker, so they resulting force is also greater. Moreover, because they can also use wood magic, they’re a huge pain to deal with for the advance guard when they extend their branches and their vines.
Also, the only way to tell the difference between treants and normal trees is by sensing the trace of mana on them. Other than the face-like lump on them, they’re not any different from normal trees. And with the lumps sometimes being at a blind corner, it’s very difficult to tell them apart just by looking at them. On the other hand, if you can easily sense their magic, then distinguishing them is a trivial task.
Lastly, and I’m digressing here a bit, but apparently, they can walk. They move slower than slimes, but they can uproot themselves and walk.
It sure is a bit hard to imagine trees walking on their own volition, though. I mean that just goes beyond common sense.
In the first place, just what are monsters?
“Monsters, de aru?” [Raypin]
After our discussion concluded, I asked Raypin-san that question and as it turns out, monsters are beasts, plants, and other natural things that that mutate due to mana. Using treants as an example, treants are trees that absorbed mana and became a monster. If monsterification is a mutation caused by the absorption of mana, then I can come to terms with trees being a monster.
Come to think of it, Pauline-san did mention monsterification to me before… That time too she was talking about plants.
“Are humans not affected?” [Ryouma]
“Although there are cases wherein one absorbs too much mana and ends up in a state called Mana Intoxication, there are rarely any cases wherein so much mana accumulated in a human that it caused a mutation, de aru.” [Raypin]
Humans know by instinct to protect themselves, so they would usually involuntarily release mana. As such, no such mutations occur among humans.
I asked him about mana intoxication, and apparently, it’s not an easy state for humans with huge mana reserves to find themselves in, and even for normal people, it usually only happens when they use too much magic stones or mana potions or eat too much monster meat.
Raypin-san also says that most of an organism’s mana lies in their blood, so there’s actually no need to be that concerned about eating meat. The symptoms from mana intoxication are mild, so catching it from eating monster meat is a very rare case that one could only blame to bad luck. It was a topic that was apparently so trivial that Raypin-san could laugh while talking about it.
While we talked like that, we leisurely proceeded even as we paid attention to our surroundings.
Raypin-san also said that there were no monsters near Gimuru that would attack a carriage with 7 adventurers inside. Just as he said, not a single monster attacked us as we left town.
I talked a lot with Raypin-san about monsters and slimes while we traveled. With Mizelia-san, I talked about all the places they’ve visited, and with Asagi-san, I talked to him about miso and soy sauce.
“Miso Soup… That sure is nostalgic… Who would’ve thought that you could get miso soup and soy sauce from Renauph… Thank you for telling me, de gozaru.” [Asagi]
“If you’d like, I could make some miso soup for supper tonight. I have the ingredients for it.” [Ryouma]
“Really!? By all means, please, de gozaru!” [Asagi]
And just like that, I was put in charge of our supper.
Inside Raypin-san’s dimension home, I brought out miso soup, meat and potato stew, and rice.
Everyone enjoyed the food, but Asagi-san was so moved by the miso soup that he shed tears of joy.
“Asagi, you haven’t been back to your village for a long time now, huh?” [Wereanna]
“Umu. My village is in an island far far away. It’s not easy to go back, de gozaru. Besides, at the dojo where I studied the way of the sword, we are basically kicked off the island and told to become an adventurer, de gozaru. And we can’t return unless 50 years have passed or we become an S-Ranker, de gozaru.” [Asagi]
“50 years? Why so long?” [Wereanna]
“Apparently, the ancestor who founded our dojo traveled the world for years, de gozaru. One could sharpen his sword or broaden his perspective. Either way, our discipline demands that we survive the outside world. It is our training, de gozaru. After all, there are strong monsters and all sorts of people here that can’t be found in the island, de gozaru.” [Asagi]
“Is your island well protected? Won’t they be troubled if someone strong leaves for 50 years and doesn’t come back?” [Syria]
“Rest assured. The only ones sent out on a journey are those seeking to master the sword, de gozaru. Those who learn swords for self-defense, those who defend the village, those who are practicing at the dojo, the masters of the dojo. There are many capable people among those staying at the village, so there’s nothing to worry about, de gozaru.” [Asagi]
We talked like this over supper, and then when it was time to sleep, we all started preparing our sleeping bags.
I have to say, though, this place sure is big…
“There was a time when I couldn’t go back for a long time because of my research. So in order to fit my Dimension Home with my research material and all my furniture plus my monster specimen, I kept on expanding my dimension home.
Nowadays, though, I rarely leave Gimuru, so I usually leave most of my luggage at home. Because of the job this time, I had to take out even more stuff, de aru.” [Raypin]
I don’t know what to say about expanding his dimension home being quicker than just cleaning up, but… The result sure is amazing. There’s nothing here, so it feels even bigger than it is. It’s easily twice as big as my dimension home. I have to keep working hard.
After my sleeping bag was ready, there was nothing left to do, so I went to sleep.
I quickly slept and the day after, we departed on sunrise.
Tl Note: 3 times as long as usual, so this will fill in for the two remaining releases this week plus one extra queue.
Site Update: Removed disqus and brought back the old comment system since there’s no need to offload it anymore and we have some decent countermeasures in place now to deal with the spam. This should make the site cleaner since there’s no more ads from disqus.
Pressing the title of the series under the title of the chapter now leads to the TOC of that series. This should make it easier to reach the TOC.