“Look. This here is the Balminist. A herb filled with things that bugs hate. If you crush it and add it to water, you can make an insect repellent. It’s simple, but it’s very effective. The downside is that it can’t even last for an entire day. Of course, this also depends on the concentration, but either way, this means that you should gather the herbs while taking care not to crush them. Also, it’s harmful to the skin, so don’t rub it directly on your body. For the meantime, let’s get enough herbs for tonight and enough to fill our hands.” [Ryouma]
“Got it.” [Berk]
With our backs turned on each other, we quietly began gathering herbs.
There were no eyes or ears around us. We were all alone. Plants and vegetation danced as the winds passed by, giving rise to sounds of grazing.
“What is it?” [Ryouma]
Looks like he’s finally ready to talk about whatever is on his mind. Berk quietly opened his mouth.
“I heard Gazel and the others caused you trouble. About that… Sorry.” [Berk]
“Huh? That’s what you wanted to talk about? Why?” [Ryouma]
“What do you mean why? They’re just like me too, after all. Slum brats. I’ve known them since forever. We didn’t even get along all that bad until we became adventurers.” [Berk]
“I see.” [Ryouma]
“…I might be complaining at you a bit too much, but before registering at the guild, we were actually thinking of partying together.. But then I heard about Wist-kun registering, and I became concerned, so I decided to go with them instead. Because of that we ended up walking different paths, and before we knew it our relationship turned into this…” [Berk]
I see. At least, it doesn’t seem like he’s thinking, ‘We haven’t gotten along for a long time, so it’s not like I care about them or anything!’
“But you know it’s a different story when they’re making fun of Wist and the others. I can’t stand that. And I won’t compromise on that point!” [Berk]
“I see… But you can be at ease. I’m not that concerned about that incident anymore. In fact, I told them this too.” [Ryouma]
“Really? I didn’t know that.” [Berk]
It seems Berk himself wasn’t there at the time and had only heard of the incident from other people.
“Still, did you really think I would punish them so much?” [Ryouma]
“Well, yeah. I mean aren’t you the sort of person who’s understanding to others, but merciless to his enemies? Word has it that the thieves that aimed for your slimes always get beaten black and blue. I also often hear people saying ‘Don’t go after Ryouma’s slimes unless you want to see hell!'” [Berk]
“…Hmm. Alright, it’s true that I beat thieves up, and I’ve also heard about these so-called rumors from Gazel-kun and the others, but… Really? Do you really hear these things about me so frequently?” [Ryouma]
“There’s no point in lying to you, is there?” [Berk]
Perhaps, I should get Carm-san to confirm this matter when I get back.
After collecting the insect repellent herbs, Berk was finally put at ease.
But because he had to go out of his way to talk with me, he was separated from his friends, and now, he has no idea where his friends are. We’d already met up, so he decided to take this opportunity to help me out with something as thanks for forgiving Gazel and the others.
As such, we went to the woods to gather another ingredient.
“This is pretty deep into the forest.” [Berk]
“I already went to the shallower parts of the forest and the place near the river to get water and secure food yesterday. So, it’s probably deeper inside.” [Ryouma]
“Gilkoda Leaf, was it? Does that sell for a lot?” [Berk]
“Not at all. There’s poison mixed in with its medicinal components, so not even pharmacies handle it. But despite that it can be used to protect books and clothes from insects.” [Ryouma]
It’s acknowledged as a medicinal herb, but it’s an ingredient that’s rarely seen. I’ve never seen the real thing myself, but I saw the name of the herb and an explanation to go with it on the information provided for this area.
“The special trait of a Gilkoda is the stinky fruit attached to it. You’ll get a rash if you touch the fruit, so be careful.” [Ryouma]
“If it stinks, then wouldn’t it be easier to find if Ruth or Rumil were around?” [Berk] (The RAWs say Mimil, but based on the context, the author probably means Rumil, so I changed it.)
“The pair of dog-man tribe siblings, huh… They might be able to find it, but I’m pretty sure they’ll loathe the experience.” [Ryouma]
“It smells that bad?” [Berk]
“I’ve never seen it in person, but it’s a leaf with a special trait and a medicinal component.. It even has a poisonous component too, so I want to see it once.” [Ryouma]
The Gilkoda Tree that has stinky fruits. When I investigated it, I found out that its traits were similar to that of the Maidenhair Tree, also known as the Ginkgo Biloba, that were used as roadside trees in Japan to add color during autumn with its leaves.
Although this world has monsters and plants and vegetations not present on Earth, it also has specimens similar to those of Earth, like the wheat and the potatoes often used in cooking. And when it comes to medicinal herbs, there is Yomugi, which resembles the Yomogi (Japanese mugwort) on Earth. There are all sorts.
If Gilkoda Tree is really a Maidenhair Tree just as I think it is, then…
As I was thinking that to myself, the wind carried with it a stench that wafted up to my nose.
“This stench…” [Ryouma]”
“It’s over there. Let’s go.” [Berk]
We walked against the direction of the wind for a few minutes.
“Impressive, but it stinks…” [Berk]
The world before us was dyed in bright yellow as the jostling maidenhair trees glimmered under the light of the sun.
A leaf that possesses both medicinal and poisonous components.
Medicinal Components: Flavonoid, Ginkgolide
Poisonous Components: Ginkgolic Acid
When I used Identify on the fallen leaves, names that I recognized appeared.
There’s no doubt about it. This is maidenhair tree.
” ‘Item Box’ Berk. Use this. It’s a hand towel and a deodorizing liquid. Also here’s a basket for collecting stuff to put on your back and a bag too.” [Ryouma]
Supposedly, only unfruiting male maidenhair trees are used in the roadside back at Japan, but obviously, such considerations haven’t been taken here. This is a natural grove of maidenhair trees.
While impressed by the beautiful autumn leaves, I took measures against the stench and the rash, and began gathering the leaves.
“Thanks for helping me. Thanks to you I was able to gather a lot.” [Ryouma]
“Don’t mention it. I also got some nice souvenirs to give Wist and the others.” [Berk]
We quickly finished gathering the Gilkoda leaves and were able to return to camp safely.
“I’m going then. I have to make some insect repellent before they come back. I just have to crush them and mix them in water, right?” [Berk]
“Right. Just take care to avoid touching it directly with your skin and be careful where you apply it.” [Ryouma]
“Got it!” [Berk]
Berk took a mountain of Balminist with him and went back to his tent.
“I should go about my business too.” [Ryouma]
I went back to base and opened my Dimension Home. Before my duty time comes, I have to deal with the things I’ve gathered.
First, the maidenhair tree leaves. I have two baskets full of them, but there are still grains of sand and other garbage mixed in.
First, I moved all of the leaves to a large container, then I used alchemy to remove all of the garbage. Only the container and the leaves were left inside the formation, while the garbage have all been moved outside. I ordered the scavenger slimes to deal with the garbage produced, and then I used alchemy to also remove the poisonous ginkgolic acid. After doing all that, I have successfully neutralized the maidenhair tree leaves!
“I’ll just leave this here for now…” [Ryouma]
Next comes the mushrooms I gathered along the way back. These are for a mushroom cultivating experiment. I didn’t have the time last night because of the incident with the bloody slimes, but today I have time again.
” ‘Item Box’ ” [Ryouma]
I took out the fallen trees I found along the road.
Using alchemy, I once again removed the bugs and other garbage on it, then I had the scavenger slimes deal with them.
“‘Polish Wheel'” [Ryouma]
Afterwards, I turned the fallen tree into sawdust. The half-dried fallen tree was gradually crushed by the high-speed rotating wind and sand. …It feels a bit crude, but this is the first experiment, so this much should be fine. I placed the completed sawdust to the side for now.
Next, I moved the mushrooms to the container and used alchemy to separate them.
I’m going to try and cultivate these mushrooms, so I need to have some bacteria with me.
Using the sawdust as the growth medium, I was able to acquire the fungal filament that will serve as the seed. Moreover, I also got some fertilizer to serve as a source of nutrients from the scavenger slimes that ate all the garbage mixed in.
I mixed all three of these evenly with alchemy, and then I moved the resulting compound to a flat container that was about the size of a tatami mat and added a moderate amount of water to it.
“I wonder how this is going to turn out…” [Ryouma]
I have no experience cultivating mushrooms. It would be great if things went well and it turned into a mushroom bed, but… All I can do is leave things up to fate.
“Next is… Ah, right.” [Ryouma]
I spent the night last night at my Dimension Home, but tonight, I’ll be properly sleeping at my base. I have to prepare for that too.
I took about 20 sticky slimes with me and went out of my Dimension Home.
“I’m relying on you guys.” [Ryouma]
When I gave out the order, the sticky slimes quickly crawled up the walls and stuck themselves to the ceiling, then they stretched their tentacles downwards, turning themselves into simple flytraps.
With this they’ll be able to take care of all the small flying insects that try to get in!
Seeing the slightly swaying tentacles motivated me.
These slimes are really reliable.
After that I installed a mosquito net and a pig-shaped incense-stick holder with an insect repellent. And after all that I should be able to comfortably spend my time here.
Hmm… What should I do next?
Like that I continued to work on my environment until it was time for my duty.
Tl Note: Twice as long as the usual releases, so this part will be counted twice against the queue.