“Thank you for today!” [Ryouma]
In the end, we probably prepared enough food for some hundreds of people.
I haven’t exactly been counting, but I kept preparing and handing out food until we ran out of ingredients.
Petty quarrels broke out occasionally while people waited in the queue, but the Macho Squad and the surrounding people helped keep things in order, and in the end, the soup kitchen concluded without incident. We finished cleaning up too.
The remaining luggage would be carried by the Macho Squad and Bell-san’s group when they go back to the church, so Yurdum-san and I bid them goodbye and went our way. These days Yurdum-san would escort me to the northern gate since I would be using my dimension magic as soon as I pass it, so the distance back isn’t actually that long. That being the case…
“Yurdum-san, do you mind if we make a short detour before going to the northern gate?” [Ryouma]
“Go ahead.” [Yurdum]
…I decided to make a short detour first.
As the sun set and we made our way through the streets, one of the new residential districts soon came to view. It was almost dark out already, not to mention cold, and yet kids could still be seen running around.
“Good evening.” [Ryouma]
“Ah, it’s Ryouma!” [Kid 1]
“The Slime Kid!” [Kid 2]
“The hidden boss is here!” [Kid 3]
Hey. The first two are still okay, but what’s with the third? What the heck is a hidden boss? If there’s a hidden boss, is there a boss that’s not hidden? Or at least, I wanted to ask them that, but the kids said ‘bye bye’ and ran away full of energy.
“These parts are still so full of life, huh.” [Yurdum]
“It’s because a lot of the people here are nocturnal.” [Ryouma]
Apparently, some of the beastmen tribe have nocturnal characteristics. It varies from person to person whether they’re completely nocturnal or can function in the afternoon too, but regardless, there are a lot of people like that in this district.
“I hear it’s especially common among the mole-man tribe.” [Yurdum]
“Yes, about half of the people living in this district should be from the mole-man tribe.” [Ryouma]
Just as the name of their race suggests, these people possess the characteristics of moles. For the record, that doesn’t mean that they can’t go out in the sun, rather it just means that they are much more comfortable in dark places. A characteristic like that shows its true worth when working underground.
With a small stature, they can move easily even in narrow places, many of them are strong too, but the best part about the mole-man tribe is a kind of ‘sixth sense’ that enables them to know how likely a tunnel is to collapse and how dangerous it is. The brilliant among them can use this special sense not only to avoid tunnels collapsing, but also to detect the presence of underground waters and noxious gases.
“They say the mole-man tribe can usually be found in towns near mines.” [Yurdum]
“They are some of the best miners out there, after all.” [Ryouma]
Speaking of which, the mole people mentioned that they prefer to live underground, so we prepared houses with basements for them. And because they prefer the basement, they actually use it for their main living space, while the first and second floor, that are exposed to sunlight, are delegated to storage rooms or free rooms. The first and second floors of the houses of the mole people rarely have any people in them.
Anyhow, we passed through that district, and then before long, our destination came to view.
In the northeast of Gimuru was the housing complex for the slum people without houses, a place known as the ‘shelter’.
Four square buildings were lined up in fixed distances, and every one of them had been made with my sand slime and sand magic.
I’d made them with the image of an apartment, but… The place isn’t really that clean, and there’s a neglected air about it, so the place really feels more like a ‘poorly managed school dormitory’. Just like the dorms my acquaintances lived in during our college days.
“Good evening.” [Ryouma]
“I see you’re here again, rich boss.” [Destitute 1]
“These parts aren’t really meant for your sort, but you keep coming anyway.” [Destitute 2]
A fire had been made in an empty space. The two people warming themselves with it called out to us in that unsociable manner. But while the words might suggest that we’re not welcome, that’s not actually the case.
They know that I’m the one who built this shelter, and they’re also aware that I’m well acquainted with Revel-san, the person in charge of the slums. I also bring some ‘gifts’ with me whenever I drop by, so despite their seemingly unsociable attitude, they are actually rather welcoming.
“I brought the usual stuff, so chat with me for a bit.” [Ryouma]
“Well, if it’s just a chat.” [Destitute 1]
“Hey! The boss brought booze!” [Destitute 2]
When one of the two men raised his voice, people came out of the buildings in droves, each with a bowl in hand. With so many people appearing in such filthy and tattered clothing so suddenly, no offense, but it looked just like a scene from a zombie movie.
While I was thinking something dumb like that to myself, I used my dimension magic and took out three large barrels of cheap wine that I bought the other day, as well as three large barrels of shirozake that my goblins keep making so much of to fill their bellies with. Then I also took out a box full of lamon fruit and jija root, then a box of full of tools, and then I also let the metal slimes out.
The shirozake was left as they were, while I had the metal slimes transform into slicers to help me cut a large amount of jija that I poured into the wine barrels.
After that I used a fire spell to heat the concoction and stirred with a rod I’d prepared beforehand until it was just about to boil.
There weren’t that many ingredients and the process was crude too, but with this, my ‘warm shirozake’ and ‘hot wine’ was complete.
“Please line up, we have lamon for the hot wine too, so feel free to have some.” [Ryouma]
“Boss, I’ll handle the wine.” [Yurdum]
“You heard the boss! Line up!” [Destitute 1]
“And one drink at a time!” [Destitute 2]
Once preparations were complete, the slum people lined up with familiar movements, and then Yurdum-san and I used a ladle to serve them their drinks.
“Thank you as always.” [Destitute 3]
“Haa… That’s the stuff.” [Destitute 4]
“Hee hee hee…. The warmth can reach so deep when it’s cold.” [Destitute 5]
Before long, when we’d almost served everyone, the person that I was waiting for finally arrived.