“Would you like another cup?” [Ryouma]
I poured him another cup. Reinhart-san took a deep breath to immerse himself in its aroma, then he let out a breath of relief. I’m sure he must’ve worked a lot to protect me. And for that, I’m grateful. Isn’t there something I could do for him?
I decided to ask him instead of just wondering by myself, and after thinking awhile, he said.
“This might be a bit different from what you had in mind, but I’d heard from my dad about how you purified the miasma with your grave slimes. Is it true that you asked for land covered in miasma as a reward? So that you could use it for your experiments?” [Reinhart]
“Yes, but I’d be glad as long as I could have a place I can use for experiments and for feeding. In fact, I don’t really need to own it. If you could just lend me a place or give me permission to use it, that will be enough. I mean I haven’t even really thought about the management and rights afterwards, so…” [Ryouma]
“The thing is… Your experiment alone would be a huge help to us. Miasma and undead countermeasures cost money, and no one can afford to skimp out on them. So as long as the person can be trusted, I’m sure most nobles would happily give you permission to use their land if it means someone else will deal with the miasma and the undead.” [Reinhart]
As I’ve learned while we were in the Town of Departed Spirits, even if miasma couldn’t be fully removed, there was a lot of demand just to thin it or even maintain the status quo.
“From what I’ve heard, it sounds like you could already make a living by removing miasma.” [Elize]
“That’s true. Currently, I’m only interested in experimenting with my magic and my slimes, as well as seeing how far I can go, but I think I’ll put more effort into clearing out miasma once I get back from the Great Forest.” [Ryouma]
According to the gods, miasma is harmful to all the living creatures of this world. They harm not only the land and the animals living on it, but even the very world itself. Apparently, they’re something akin to the white blood cells in the human body. They are necessary for the continued existence of the world, but it’s problematic for there to be too many.
Miasma was on the rise, so they said that it would be a great help if I could help purify it.
“Wouldn’t that mean…” [Elize]
“…That you’ve received a divine mandate?” [Reinhart]
The madam was the first to speak, but she quickly became speechless, and Reinhart-san had to finish her words for her with a tense face. I better make it clear that they’re making a huge misunderstanding.
“The gods do sometimes suggest to do certain things, but they don’t actually give me orders. The gods prefer to refrain from telling people what to do.
Your grace, and the madam, and everyone else has helped me out so much. And in a similar vein, I am also grateful to the gods. So if something I’ve found interesting could allow me to repay that gratitude even a little, then nothing could be better.
I won’t have any goals left once I come back from the Great Forest, so I was thinking it would be good to set the purification of miasma as my goal for the time being. In other words… This goal of mine is really just something I’m doing for my own satisfaction. That’s all.” [Ryouma]
Now that I think about it, I might have decided to go to the Great Forest just because I didn’t have a clear goal after parting with everyone and deciding to become independent. At the time, I happened to think about my hometown, so I decided to set that as my goal. It was really just a whim.
But now, it’s a goal that I’ve set for myself. I suppose it can be considered as a rite of passage of sort as someone who was born to this world and now lives in it. Or maybe it’s the Japanese in me that just holds too tightly to the concept of obligations.
“You know, it’s really bad for the heart when you just casually drop matters pertaining to the gods… But, okay, I can kind of understand.” [Elize]
“If you’re going to be dealing with miasma, then you should get the supervision of an expert. Let’s bring Rosenberg-dono into the fray. I’ll look for some potential sites too, but do you have any specific conditions in mind? If not, then there are a few abandoned villages that could be rebuilt as long as they’re purified. Personally, I would prefer those.” [Reinhart]
I’ve recently been able to use Long-Distance Teleportation with my own familiars as a reference point. A place without a lot of people would be ideal. Abandoned villages are sure to be void of people since they are, well, abandoned. But why specifically an abandoned village?
I asked that, and apparently, Reinhart-san was currently planning to construct new villages and roads. Come to think of it, there was that talk about building villages for my slime farming experiment, wasn’t there?
“That’s not all. I believe I’ve already spoken with you about how the monsters have been increasing in numbers these past few years. In fact, at the new year’s ceremony, his majesty, the king, broached that very topic. He told us nobles, in his own words: ‘Be ever vigilant, so that you might be able to protect your own people, no matter when or where the problems arise.’
That’s why more and more nobles are making their preparations. Suddenly expanding one’s military and stocking up supplies would make the people uneasy, and there are also a lot of nobles that unreasonably believe they are safe, so while I don’t think anything will happen right away, it wouldn’t be strange for something to happen. Hence, my biggest motivator for building villages is actually to minimize the effect from that.” [Reinhart]
If a lord wishes to expand his army, then naturally, the resources needed to support his army will increase. Whether it’s the duke, or some other lord, if they were to try and procure those resources all in one go, the burden is sure to fall onto the people. And the shortage of supplies will inevitably lead to hoarding, reselling, and price inflation, resulting in a vicious cycle. This is less a prediction and more a guaranteed sequence of events.
At the same time, it finally dawned on me.
“You mentioned something about constructing villages for my slime farming experiment earlier this year.” [Ryouma]
“Yes, I was hearing about your slime farming for the first time, so I didn’t have a concrete plan back then, but it was definitely a moment of enlightenment for me. I’ve been wanting to maximize our territory’s production for awhile now, you see, but it was a matter directly linked to a lot of lives, what with food and medicine shortages, and the accompanying price hikes.
We’re constructing roads too because, well… There’s no point to having a lot of goods but failing to deliver them in time, is there? This matter goes beyond preparing for the monsters. This is something that will stimulate the economy, and if we can produce a lot of food through slime farming, then we’ll be able to support the other fiefs too.” [Reinhart]