The crowd stirred when they saw how big it was, then the Emperor Scavenger Slime, the aggregation of 10,000 slimes, completely revealed itself.
“I-It’s huge!” [Townsman 1]
“What a huge slime…” [Townsman 2]
“Mama! Look, a big slime!” [Child 1]
“Yeah. Who would’ve thought there’d be a slime like that too.” [Mother]
“Just where did he catch it?” [Townsman 3]
“Don’t ask me. But it’s that kid, so it wouldn’t be odd for him to have a strange slime or two, right?” [Townsman 4]
“…Yeah, that’s true.” [Townsman 3]
…I wonder why. Despite being surprised, they could still somehow come to terms with it.
But anyway, I’ve already accomplished half of my objectives for today.
Even if the Emperor Scavenger Slime were made to fit within one’s vision, it would still be a sphere with a radius of about 3 meters. A four-and-a-half-tatami room is about three meters on each side, so the length and width of the slime alone would be equivalent to about four rooms. Anyone living a normal life would never have the chance to see something like that,
that’s why I figured I could make an impact by showing it to them.
In order to avoid future problems, I had to inform everyone that I’ve already become the duke’s specialist. But while there’s no age requirement to be a specialist, there’s still no denying the fact that I’m just too young, so it wouldn’t be strange for people to suspect the duke of favoritism.
That’s why I decided to show them one of my achievements in a way that they could ‘easily understand’ and lifted up my restriction on revealing the slime aggregation to the public.
In a sense, you could call this my debut as a specialist, but of course, work is work, so I’ll do it properly. Or rather, I have to do it properly since everyone is watching.
“I’m starting now! I’ll start with the lumber, so the wagon at the head, please get ready!”
After saying that, I gave a command, and the emperor scavenger slime made itself even bigger and spread itself over the entire rubble-covered site.
“Slimes are known to be weak, but they can still lift or push light things up with their body. And as you can see, once they’ve gotten this big, they can even lift heavy rubble or wood. Slimes do not possess any sensory organs, such as eyes or ears, but they are more than able to perceive external information and are able to distinguish between objects, so something like this–”
The giant slime took rubble of all sizes into it, and in the blink of an eye, sorted them and spat them back out through its tentacles, piling up the stones used for walls and other structures near me, while the pieces of wood used for pillars and other structures were lined up on the back of a wagon.
It was just like a heavy machine with a conveyor belt. This world has magic, but I’m sure it’s not normal to be able to remove rubble with this much efficiency. That’s why the coachmen that thought their turn wouldn’t come any time soon started to panic.
I do feel a bit sorry for them, but I’m going to speed up even more.
I linked my senses with the emperor slime’s, then while accurately grasping the position and state of the gathered rubble, I used earth magic.
“‘Create Block’.” [Ryouma]
As the great number of rubble were transformed into blocks of a fixed size, the emperor slime took them into its body.
“We will be working with the building stones at the same time, so please be ready to accept them!”
As the mountain of rubble was cleared, the next rubble was prepared right away and was turned into more building stones, quickly filling up the wagons with fragments of wood and building stones alike, while the former site of the lumber wholesaler vanished right before everyone’s eyes.
I’m sure it must feel good watching all that, and in fact, the commotion of the crowd gradually turned into a cheer.
One hour later.
“Thank you for your efforts, Ryouma-kun.” [Reinhart]
“You must be exhausted. Here, have a drink.” [Elize]
“Thank you. I wasn’t that exhausted physically and didn’t use much mana either, but as expected, it was nerve-wrecking. That really was quite a crowd, after all.” [Ryouma]
According to the briefing I received before the operation, there were debris equivalent to two large buildings remaining, but the work took us about just thirty minutes. Unfortunately, there was a shortage of carriages for transport, so there was another 30-minute wait. It was really hard for me then because the crowd kept looking at me during the whole time.
I don’t know if it’s because I’ve officially become the duke’s specialist, but the way everyone looked at me was clearly different. They did not have a bad impression of me and were not hostile or antagonistic, but being stared at by them made me feel uneasy…
“I’m sorry, but it’s only for today, so I hope you do your best.” [Reinhart]
“It’s alright since I know it’ll prevent later trouble.” [Ryouma]
“You don’t have to be that worked up. More importantly, make sure to eat properly and let’s do our best in the afternoon too. The store we’ll be going to next is under your administration too, right?” [Elize]
“Yes, but are you really going?” [Ryouma]
It’s almost lunchtime, so they would be having their meal outside today, but… I thought for sure we’d be eating at a luxury restaurant like the place Orest-san and I went to. Instead, they actually want to visit the affordable restaurant, A Working-Man’s Friend, that I invested into.
As the name suggests, it’s an affordable restaurant that’s light on the wallet but heavy for the stomach. The food isn’t bad by any means, but it’s not a store a noble, not to mention a duke, would go to.
“This is part of our inspection too. After all, it’s important that we see for ourselves the kind of food that the populace normally eat.” [Elize]
“Besides, we’ve also worked as adventurers for a time, so we used to frequent the town’s taverns.” [Reinhart]
“Come to think of it, I did hear something like that before.” [Ryouma]
The people of the Jamil people sure are friendly despite being nobles. Maybe that’s why they don’t really feel like a noble despite being one.
“That’s right. I told you before that our family has a tradition of sending our kin to travel by themselves when they’re old enough, right? That’s to make them understand the people’s way of life. After all, history is littered with stories of people has staging an armed uprising because their leader couldn’t understand them well enough.” [Reinhart]
“So I’ve heard.” [Ryouma]
“Besides, what would the people think if we were to eat at a luxury restaurant while the town is struggling? They might be able to understand it in their head, but there are sure to be people who won’t be able to accept it emotionally.” [Elize]
“Well, that’s true…” [Ryouma]
“Besides, nobles don’t want to eat luxurious food all the time. Sometimes, we want to take our time enjoying the taste too. So, at times like these, we can just go to a normal store. By the way, what’s that restaurant’s best seller?” [Elize]
“Hmm… Personally, I’d recommend the Sprint Rabbit Meat and Potato Stew, the Potato Salad, the Goblin Grass and Eggs, and the Stir-Fry with Sausage and Tofu. What do you think?” [Ryouma]
We place an emphasis on low prices, but you can’t actually run a business just by lowering the price and ignoring profit. There are a lot of other restaurants too. If we sell the same food as them but just at a lower price, we’ll only end up causing trouble for them, so we tried to differentiate ourselves by relying on uncommon ingredients to allow us to cut prices. Ah, but of course, the ingredients are still edible and legal.
For example, Goblin Grass is a bitter-melon-like plant about the size of an okra. It tastes like bitter melon and has a strong bitter taste, so not a lot of people like to eat it despite being edible.
It’s called Goblin Grass maybe because of its nutritional value, or maybe because it’s a simple food, or maybe just because goblins like to eat it. People also say that eating it revitalizes oneself, so it could be that too… This isn’t very child-friendly, but apparently, people use the term to refer to a goblin’s ‘thing’.
“Oh, I’ve had plenty of that during my days as an adventurer, I’ll be fine. The taste would depend on the dish, though.” [Elize]
“Personalty, I’m more curious about the tofu. What is that?” [Reinhart]
“Tofu is processed soy food. You make it by grinding soybeans to get the juice, then adding a coagulant to make it harden. I learned how to make it back at Fatma.” [Ryouma]
By learning to make tofu, not only can I use soybeans as is, I can now also make tofu, okara (bean curd), and soybean flour as well. They had soy sauce used for fish back there, so a Japanese transmigrator might have visited in the past.
“…I see your trip to Fatma was a fruitful one.” [Reinhart]
“Hmm? Yes, it was a good experience.” [Ryouma]
I was wondering what was up since he suddenly changed the topic, but Reinhart-san was looking at me with a fatherly smile.
“Umm, did I say something strange?” [Ryouma]
“None at all. I just thought that it’s best for you to be that way.” [Reinhart]
“I think so too.” [Elize]
I had no idea what he was talking about, but apparently, the madam got it.
“Ryouma-kun, you might not realize it yourself, and perhaps it’s not as much as when you’re talking about your slimes, but whenever you talk about the things you’ve seen or the knowledge you’ve gained, you always look like you’re having so much fun.” [Elize]
“Well, I certainly do enjoy trying out various things and experimenting.” [Ryouma]
“And that’s okay. See as much of this world and learn as much as you want. In the end, I’m sure that’ll be to your benefit, and consequently, to ours as well.” [Elize]
“Yes… Oh, we’re here already.” [Ryouma]
As the carriage gradually slowed down, merry voices could be heard from outside. Apparently, the restaurant was quite busy at lunch. When I peeked through the window, there was a line of customers waiting outside the restaurant. The crowded restaurant was full of smiling people.
This town and its people have once been wounded gravely, yet despite that, the people continue to walk forward. Whether it was in the business districts or the temporary housing area, not one person could be found crying by the wayside. Everyone was fighting in their own way to get back their lives for the sake of tomorrow.
It probably won’t take long for this town to go back to how it once was. I’m not a god, so I can’t see the future, but that’s how I feel.
…If living how I please ends up helping the town and everyone else, and if I can keep at that, then I’m sure that nothing would make me happier.
So, I sincerely hope, today and forevermore, that I would be able to keep walking with everyone in this life of mine.