We walked for about two hours while subjugating the undead that occasionally appeared. The path was so poorly maintained it was curious if it could even be considered one, but we traversed it nonetheless, then climbed up a rocky hill, and before long, made our way to the top. From there below could be seen the countless valleys formed by the rain over the years out of the rocky plateau.
It was a beautiful sight that spoke tales of the vigor of the majesty of nature, so much so that it wouldn’t have been strange for it to become a tourist attraction, but…
“Yeah, that’s definitely a picture straight out of hell…” [Ryouma]
The floor of the valley could be seen from all the way up top, and on the route we were about to traverse could be seen hordes of undead too many to count. They ruined whatever scenic views there were, and they affected our plans as well. Even the experienced adults frowned when they saw them.
“Now what?” [Ryouma]
“They’re just zombies and skeletons, but there sure are a lot of them. It wouldn’t surprise me if there were some higher variants there too.” [Remilie]
“I think it would be faster to just go the long way around, but I’d feel bad if we just left this mess be.” [Reinbach]
“They’re not anywhere near the highway, but there’s a chance they could affect the trade with the neighboring countries. It would be better if we took them down here now.” [Schieber]
“Indeed, our journey may not be not aimless, but it is not one that requires urgency. A slight delay should be of no concern.” [Sebasu]
Since the undead were corpses that have undergone monsterification, in this country, their subjugation was considered to be a release of the souls that have been bound to this world, allowing them to return to the gods. We’re not in any rush, so it seems everyone is planning on subjugating the undead.
“I also think subjugating them is a good idea. But their number remains a problem. From the ones I’ve fought so far, my slimes could probably take them on, but… Do you think they’ll be fine eating undead? Spiritually speaking and health-wise.” [Ryouma]
“The clergy and the pious perhaps won’t be happy about that, but I think that’s about it. In the first place, there aren’t many people that would feed the undead to slimes. It should be fine as long as you can subjugate them. Besides, there’s no reason for us to expose ourselves to needless danger just because dealing with them is a kind of memorial service. At the very least, I don’t think so. As for your slime’s well-being, well, I don’t know anything about that.” [Remilie]
“I agree. We should prioritize our own well-being above all else, then the success of the subjugation, and then and only then the method.” [Schieber]
Reinbach-sama and Sebasu-san agreed as well. If they’re not averse to the idea, then I guess we can just rely on my slimes. There’s no way to predict how the slimes will react to an undead diet, so in that regard, we’ll just have to experiment and observe. In any case, the leading role will likely fall to the scavenger slimes, who have a tongue for rotten meat, the acid slimes, who enjoy bones, and the light slimes, who can use light magic. The other slimes can play support.
“Ryouma-sama, before sending your slimes to deal with the undead, may I propose that we first cut down on their numbers? I too don’t know what will happen when your slimes feast on the undead, but I do know that ‘miasma’ tends to appear when too many are gathered in the same place.” [Sebasu]
“Harmful mana, huh. Indeed, it’s a bit much to have them eat so many in one go even for an experiment.” [Ryouma]
“In that case, allow me. I’ve been having it easy this whole time, so I’ve got plenty of mana to spare. They’ll burn if I bombard them with fire magic from up here. That should reduce their numbers to some extent.” [Reinbach]
The hordes of undead at the bottom of the valley were zombies and skeletons, so they couldn’t fly. Reinbach-sama’s plan would make it unlikely for us to be surrounded.
“Oh, right. Reinbach-sama, I have a lot of oil and gunpowder in my Item Box. How about using that too?” [Ryouma]
“If you don’t mind, then by all means, please. Oil and gunpowder should make it much easier for the fire to spread, wait――” [Reinbach]
Halfway through his speech, Reinbach-sama suddenly turned to me with his eyes opened wide. In fact, so did the other three. They looked at me with disbelief.
“――Did you say gunpowder?” [Reinbach]
“Yes, I stumbled onto something similar while researching the liquids produced by my slimes. I experimented with it for awhile and intended to use it as a trap in the attacks at the end of the year.” [Ryouma]
When we were attacked by assassins last time, I already considered that they might attack again, so I prepared some traps ahead of time. In the end, however, due to the fatigue, the lack of sleep, and the midnight tension, I confronted them directly instead. But really, the plan during the planning stages was to run away
“I didn’t use the traps in the end, but the ingredients remain. I did a little studying on my own and learned that the undead are weak to fire, so I brought them just in case.” [Ryouma]
“I see… I have no idea where to even begin.” [Reinbach]
“Like a normal child, huh. But I don’t think a normal child would use gunpowder to set a trap in response to an attack. How did you even know how to make something as inefficient as gunpowder?” [Remilie]
“My grandmother was an erudite, and she had all sorts of literature in her library.” [Ryouma]
“Is that so? It’s probably too late to be saying this since you can already make it, but do be careful handling it, okay?” [Remilie]
…Since stumbling onto gunpowder, I’ve learned that it’s not used much in this world due to the existence of magic tools and magic stones.
Explosives made with magic stones were safer, stronger, and more cost-effective. Moreover, they were also used in cooking and heating, so they had a much wider range of application, making gunpowder a complete downgrade. So while it does exist, it’s not well known, and those that do know about it don’t think it’s useful… Thanks to that, however, laws surrounding gunpowder are surprisingly lax, and as long as you don’t cause an accident that involves other people, no one will blame you for experimenting.
Schieber-san was on the side of those policing the handling of dangerous materials, so I thought he would at least have a thing or two to say, but he completely let the matter slide. It’s not something people would know about unless they were a specialist, and it’s also not something that could be made, so that might play a part in why it’s so looked down upon.
In any case, I don’t have the slightest idea of promoting the advantages of gunpowder over magic stones… In fact, I’d much rather just be rid of the little inventory I do have on me as soon as possible so that no one gets any funny ideas.