He might have noticed me turning to the goblins, as Schieber-san asked me.
“Ryouma, are the armor your hobgoblins wearing also part of your prototypes?” [Schieber]
Schieber-san was looking at the hobgoblins that have positioned themselves around the goblins preparing the food. They are more combative than the other goblins, so they’re in charge of escorting the other goblins during outdoor activities. Especially, since most of the goblins are non-combatants. Even now they’re on the lookout for any threats, and they could be seen swinging their weapons from time to time.
I used the armor of the Siblings of the Strong Sword as a reference for their armor. I used alchemy to make the parts, then put them together myself. I think it turned out pretty well, if I say so myself.
“Yes, they’re prototypes too, but the craftsmen didn’t make them. They’re mostly meant to discourage any unwanted parties.” [Ryouma]
“Ah, so you were referring to them when you spoke about having deterrents. Well, with their physique, those thick armor, and how they’re able to move easily despite the great sword on their back, they definitely look the part.” [Schieber]
“I used an alloy called, Duralumin. It’s lighter than your usual iron and is easy to move in despite its strength. One drawback is that it rusts easily, so I applied a solution that combined the sticky slime’s sticky liquid with charcoal to prevent rust. It also serves to reduce the luster of the armor and gives it a more profound feel.
I’ve given them the bare minimum combat training too, so they’re fairly useful even during subjugation jobs. I can’t be completely unbiased when I say this, but they’re not just for show.” [Ryouma]
The basic tactic I came up with was to position the smaller goblins for long range attacks, while the bigger hobgoblins would fight in melee. They would mow down the enemy with arrow and magic, and any force that managed to endure that and approach would be dealt with by the hobgoblins.
The rimel birds could scout the enemy from the skies, while the slimes could quickly set traps and prepare a position, and I could move quickly without being seen thanks to my dimension magic. If we could even take the initiative on top of all of that, then our advantage in battle would put us way ahead of any foe.
It’s a simple tactic, but the more advantageous the situation is for me, the safer it will be as well. In fact, there have been plenty of bandits and monsters that were defeated just by the goblins’ attacks.
“Looks like they’re functioning as a ‘unit’ much better than I expected… I suppose that would make you the general and the chief of staff then, huh, Ryouma.” [Schieber]
“I don’t know about being chief of staff, but there is someone that might fit the bill. A genius chicken that goes by the name, Kohaku.” [Ryouma]
Kohaku is the leader of the clever chickens that I purchased for their eggs. Actually, he’s really more like the person in charge of their complaints. But anyway, the clever chickens are really selfish, perhaps because they were carefully raised as livestocks in a greenhouse, but Kohaku, the chicken in charge of them, is a small chicken less than a year old.
I felt bad for him being so anxious all the time, so I made a chess board to help him relieve his stress. He learned the rules in the blink of an eye, and before I knew it, I couldn’t beat him anymore.
After that, Kohaku taught the rest of the clever chickens the game of chess, and the complaints from the ones that got hooked grew less. Eventually, they started solving disputes with chess, greatly reducing Kohaku’s troubles. He was really happy, but it was an unexpected result that left me feeling complicated.
“I do hear him out from time to time though since it makes for a good reference.” [Ryouma]
“Is that so? I mean, have clever chickens always been that kind of monster?” [Schieber]
“Well, no one’s ever tried to teach livestock chess before, but there’s no doubting that they’re smart, and it’s said they could even understand humans, though I’ve never heard anyone mention they had a taste for chess. Regardless, it appears that they did in fact learn chess, so I suppose it’s possible depending on how one teaches them.” [Reinbach]
Schieber-san turned to Reinbach-sama for his opinion, and he readily answered as such, adding that it could turn out to be a popular spectacle for the affluent.
“As an unusual sight, you mean?” [Ryouma]
“There’s that too, but games that stimulate the brain are part of a noble’s education. It’s not unusual for nobles to hold tournaments, invite strong players, and even employ them for instruction. The wealthy and enthusiastic spend just that much money.
If the clever chickens can learn chess and be raised to become chess players, a chess tournament between clever chickens could be a thing in the future. When that happens, specialized monster tamers would likely appear too.” [Reinbach]
“Like horses, huh.” [Ryouma]
“Well, the only difference is that they’re competing in chess instead of speed, so indeed, just like horses.” [Reinbach]
“The trends come and go, but there’s always a market for these kind of competitions. Nobles love to jump at new things too. If done well, it could be really profitable.” [Remilie]
Well, dogfights and cockfights were a thing back on Earth too. They’re officially banned because of animal rights, but I guess in a sense, this isn’t that much different from a cockfight. What a terrible image. Chicken chess.
While I was thinking that, Sebasu-san asked me a question.
“Ryouma-sama, what are those metal carts that the goblins have been pulling for awhile now. The back looks like a pot.” [Sebasu]
“Those are mobile cooking stoves meant for cooking large portions of food for many people. You can prepare a lot of food on those.” [Ryouma]
When I was thinking about what equipment to prepare for my adventurer work, I remembered that the Japanese Self-Defense Force had a vehicle they used just for cooking, so I tried making a ‘Field Cooker’ myself. I didn’t know much about it, though, so I ended up just building a rear-drawn cart with a chimney like those old baked potato cars.
It’s not too complicated too, with just some fire protection and a large gas stove installed. But because of that it’s easy to fix, durable, and easy to use.
It uses methane gas as fuel, which is contained in the stench that the scavenger slimes could emit. It’s the main component of natural gas and could also be found to some extent in cow burps and human farts.
A scavenger slime also can’t produce that much of it on its own, but when there’s 10,000 of them to create an emperor scavenger slime, the amount of methane they can release is overwhelming to say the least. Unfortunately, that means that the other unwanted parts of the stench is magnified too.
“There’s also a device that’s meant to remove those unwanted parts.” [Ryouma]
This one is also a simple device, with a construct akin to that science experiment wherein one collects gas over water. The scavenger slime would expel its methane-filled stench through a tube, where most of the unwanted parts would be removed by passing through the odor-absorbing liquid.
The methane gas with the minuscule remaining odorants would accumulate in a temporary storage area and be sent to the tube above via air pressure, where a filter slime is waiting. From there, all liquids and sprays are blocked, and only the methane gas with minuscule amount of odorants is sent to the stove.
“Well, that’s more or less how it works.” [Ryouma]
“So you’re using something similar to the ‘earth dragon’s breath’?” [Sebasu]
“Earth dragon? I’m sorry, I’m afraid I don’t know anything about that.” [Ryouma]
“The term, Earth Dragon’s Breath, has been used since ancient times to refer to the wind that gushes out of the earth. It burns fiercely when ignited and is harmful when inhaled. It’s easy for them to cause damage in volcanic areas, leading to rumors of dragons sleeping beneath the ground to catch wind.
“In that case, please consider it as a kind of Earth Dragon’s Breath. I mean, it is under a surface, and there are times when it erupts on a surface too. There’s also no denying that it could be dangerous when handled incorrectly.” [Ryouma]
The Field Cooker I made was made under the premise that it would be used outdoors or in a well ventilated area. The gas also wasn’t completely removed of odor so that it’s easy to know if it does leak.
“Almost everything is operated by the slimes, from the amount of liquid to use in deodorizing the gas and the rate of exchange to the speed of the gas being blown, so there’s a lot of issues other than safety. It’s still much easier and safer to use a fire magic tool, so this field cooker of mine is really just a hobby item.” [Ryouma]
It wasn’t just the design, handling gas was also a sensitive matter that could lead to accidents without expertise. I actually worked part-time in the gas industry and got my certifications, but that’s a story from long ago. I don’t know enough to teach other people. At least for now, the knowledge I have is just good enough for personal use.
“Looks like you’ve been researching all sort of stuff in the time we haven’t met.” [Reinbach]
“By this point, I guess even that backpack of yours has a trick to it too, huh.” [Remilie]
“Yes. I used tubing made out of the same alloy as the hobgoblins’ armor for its framework to reduce weight without sacrificing strength. There’s also a belt around my waist that makes it easier for my body to support its weight. I can also drop it quickly by pressing on this part, which would disconnect the metal fixings, allowing me to make my escape or fight at a moment’s notice.
The rubber slime’s rubber could also be found outside of the framework to serve as cushioning, so a little impact won’t be a problem. It doesn’t have that much room for storage, but the bottom part comes with a storage space with drawers for small things and fragile items.
It provides easy access, so that’s where I keep my first aid supplies and equipment.” [Ryouma]
“Hmm… Can I give that backpack a try? I’d like to see your armor and any spares you have too.” [Remilie]
“But of course. I have a lot of prototypes with me, so please feel free to take your time.” [Ryouma]
“Show them to me too.” [Reinbach]
Huh? Before I knew it, I’d turned into a salesman.
Like that, I talked about my new equipment and prototypes until lunch was ready.