Looks like he’s talking about the time when he helped out with the processing plant. Now that I think about it, he does seem to have enjoyed his time there, and it seems to have done him a lot of good.
…But seeing how lively he is, I think it may be awhile before we can really say that he’s graduated from the prankster life.
“Should we go back and build your base then?” [Ryouma]
“Have you caught enough slimes already?” [Niki]
“Yep. I already have about 600 of them, so let me help build your base as thanks for those stones you gave me. I can use a lot of convenient spells, so feel free to ask whatever you have in mind.” [Ryouma]
“Alright. In that case, can you build it on top of the tree?” [Niki]
A tree house, huh? I should be able to manage if it’s just something simple.
“Let’s take a look at the location you picked first.” [Ryouma]
We went back to the village and Niki-kun showed me the location he picked out.
The location was between the border of the village and the forest. I’ve passed it many times before since it’s one of the corners in the forest I got firewood and lumber from.
It seems Niki-kun’s eyes were drawn by the big tree that was left alone since it was hard to cut.
“They said I could use the area around this tree. Dad, the village headman… Everyone gave me their permission. They even said they would help me build it.” [Niki]
“Wow, good going, Niki-kun. The trunk and branches are thick, so it should be able to support some weight.” [Ryouma]
The problem would be the size of his secret base.
When I asked him what kind of base he wanted to build, he said he wanted something along the lines of a shed.
“…Just leave it to me! ’Dimension Home.’” [Ryouma]
I called out the wire slime that evolved in this village.
“Onii-chan? Are you going to cut the tree?” [Niki]
Niki-kun looked anxious, but the wire slime isn’t here today to cut things.
I reassured him that I wasn’t planning on cutting the tree, then gave the command to the wire slime.
These mangrove-like trees have many branches.
So I had the wire slime place itself over those branches, then pulled it to bend the branches and create a space at the fork of the tree.
And then, while it was bent like that…
“‘Grow’ !” [Ryouma]
I used the spell from wood magic that grew things. The branches I casted a spell on grew a little and ate into the wires. As the branches were forcefully grown while in this bent state, I casted spells while imagining them in the right direction.
“Amazing! You changed the shape of the tree!” [Niki]
“There is an art known as ‘Bonsai’ that expresses nature by artificially changing the shape of a tree like this. Although, normally it’s done over a period of many years.” [Ryouma]
I pulled out the good and thin branches, then entangled them with the branches of the nearby trees and affixed them. After entangling the two thick branches to support each other, it was sturdy enough that it didn’t budge even when I dangled from it. Let’s set up a swing here. I mean when you talk about tree houses, there’s got to be a swing, right?
“Let me help too!” [Niki]
“Alright, in that case, you can help with pulling the wire once I’ve set it.” [Ryouma]
Like this we arranged the branches of the large tree for an hour.
We spread out the branches diverging from the trunk, then after they grew horizontally, we made the ends face up.
The shape of the large tree has changed a lot, and now it looks like a giant table.
With this and by passing the planks through the gaps between the branches, there should enough space to build a shed now.
“Next up is the installation of the swing and a rope ladder to make it easier to climb up, and then we’re done.” [Ryouma]
“What about the shed?” [Niki]
“That you should ask your dad. He promised to help you, remember?” [Ryouma]
“Oh yeah! I’ll build a great base with my dad! I’ll show it to you when you drop by next time.” [Niki]
After getting permission, I prepared some suitable lumber.
Then we built the rope ladder and swing, and then we installed them.
“Done!” [Ryouma and Niki]
It’s just the foundation, but I think we managed to build something great.
It’s almost time.
“Are you going back now, Onii-chan?” [Niki]
“After I bid everyone in the village goodbye.” [Ryouma]
I did inform them that I’ll be leaving today, but leaving without saying anything is just poor manners.
We cleaned up after ourselves, then went back to the village. There I dropped by Hoi-san’s place who served as my host.
“Oh! He’s back!” [Villager]
A large number of villagers were gathered in front. The members of the Wharf of Shikumu were with them too.
Before I could start wondering what was going on, they called out to me.
“Boy! So you’re going back now, are you?” [Villager 1]
“Y-Yes! Thank you for taking care of m—!?” [Ryouma]
“What are you saying!? You helped us fish and prepare our festival!” [Villager 2]
“You should have relaxed more.” [Villager 3]
“Even though the fishing period has finally ended and things have finally started to settle down…” [Villager 4]
“Ah, w-wait!” [Ryouma]
A crowd of men and women of all ages ages surrounded me and started talking to me. I have no idea what’s going on.
“Wait, wait!” [Kai]
“You’re troubling Ryouma.” [Kei]
“Please calm down.” [Shin]
Kai-san, Kei-san, and Shin-san interjected, then Sein-san and Peiron-san came in and pulled me out of the crowd.
“Are you okay?” [Sein]
“Thank you very much. That was a big help.” [Ryouma]
“Sorry about that… Everyone just came to see you off. They don’t mean ill.” [Sein]
“Everyone’s really free when there’s no fishing to be done, so it turned out like this. Good grief.” [Peiron]
While we were talking like that among ourselves, the crowd seemed to have grown bigger.
“Ryouma, take this with you.” [Mei]
“Have it for your supper or something.” [Mother]
Mei-san and her mother came out of the house and gave me something that was wrapped in big leaves. It’s probably a box lunch. A fragrant aroma wafted from it.
The dad came from behind them and left me a few words.
“Take care… On the way.” [Dad]
“Thank you very much. And thank you so much for taking care of me all this time! I really enjoyed my time with you!” [Ryouma]
I spoke in a loud voice for everyone to hear and bowed my head.
“It’s good if you had fun.” [Villager 5]
“Hey, take this with you too.” [Villager 6]
“Need some dried mud salamander meat?” [Villager 7]
“Drop by again.” [Villager 8]
“This was from last year, but it can still be eaten. If it goes bad, just give it to your slimes.” [Villager 9]
Everyone started talking again and they even started gifting me souvenirs and food.
I was really confused, but being surrounded by all these people like this made me feel really warm.
To be honest, I never thought they would send me off with these many people. I know the fishing period has already ended, but still…
There was no end to the voices that called out to me. I was a little reluctant to part, but I can just come again next time. Everyone told me that I could drop by whenever I felt like it. That’s why there was no need to be sad.
“Thank you so much! I’ll be sure to visit again!” [Ryouma]
“Be well!” [Villager 10]
“Come again! Make sure of it!” [Villager 11]
“We’ll wait for your letters!” [Villager 12]
The villagers noisily saw me off right until the very end. I promised to visit again one day before finally leaving the village that took care of me for a while.