6-14. People of Baron Muno Territory (5)
Satou's here. When I went to the countryside during my childhood, I played by the riverside a lot. I remember keeping beautiful stones like they were treasures. Right now, I wonder if they're still being kept in the closet of my parent's house along with my memories.
"Liza, I'm counting on you for the recovery of the magic core. You can leave everything beside the magic core as it is."
First thing first, I hand a dagger to Liza who holds nothing but her spear and ask for the recovery.
"Wait a minute, you went alone to do some dangerous things weren't you."
"Since I wasn't able to sleep, I went to gather some herbs and got attacked."
"Didn't I tell you not to go alone? Even though you've got shield skill, you could still easily die if you're careless!"
After apologizing to Arisa who has teary eyes, I face toward the old people who are looking at us from afar.
"I'm sorry for the disturbance in the middle of the night."
"We don't mind it, but is that monster a spider bear?"
"Yes, it's a spider bear you've mentioned in the afternoon, it might be a stray who've lost its way."
"Your luck were bad huh, it usually only gets to human habitation once in every few decades. This is the first time, I've seen one in my life."
"Is that how it is, it could have been dangerous if our capable girls didn't do their best."
Maybe it came out because their prey were hunted to exhaustion by human?
I thought that they appeared this time because of the land reclamation, but they were originally monsters which didn't get close to human habitation huh. If I didn't reclaim the land, these people might became victims someday.
"Say, is the one with red light a magic weapon?"
"Those onee-chan were using magic~."
"What are you saying, that person's shield is made with magic!"
"It did block all the monster's attacks~."
"But, even that red spear was BOOM, like that."
"I'll become a spear when I grow up."
"It was amazing right, like VROOM."
<TLN: Satou used Shield magic, not shield equipment in ch. 6-13, sorry for the mistake, it's been amended now>
The attack from Liza's spear during midnight is really eye-catching. The children who notice Mia's and my magic are only a few. Still, little girl, what do you mean by becoming a spear.
"I thought you were a merchant, turned out you were a magician huh."
"I'm only a beginner on both, leaving that aside, about this spider bear, I don't need anything else besides the magic core, so everyone can get the meat or the fur."
"That's the best thing I could ask for, but is it fine? If you take it to the town, you could sell it for high price you know?"
"It's troublesome to carry something that big."
The elders who are hesitating decide on it after this words from Arisa.
"Old man, you don't need to hesitate. Rather than trying to keep some queer appearance, it's your top priority to ensure tomorrow's food!"
"You're right. Then, I'll accept it with gratitude."
We leave the spider bear body while the blood is draining out, it will be dismantled tomorrow.
Next, I'm praying that while they're surviving with this monster's meat, they would discover the farm land.
"Onii-chan, this is, thank you."
A little girl who comes together with Totona gives me a small bag with a lot of pebbles inside. The pebbles are beautiful stones seemed to have been picked from the riverside. This must be this little girl's treasure. I'm okay with this kind of normal gratitude.
I pick one and return the rest to her.
"I'll only pick this one, you should treasure the rest."
The little girl bashfully hides behind Totona.
Cheers are raised at the place where the spider bear body is hung. It seems Liza has started the dismantling.
Since Totona and the girl are fidgeting nervously, I urge them, "Go take a look at it."
The thing that I got is an opaque red pebble. I didn't pick the most beautiful pebble, but when I appraised it, [Snake Blood Stone] was shown. Where does the snake come from.
Since this stone is one of the ingredients for [Antidote: All-Purpose], this might be a lucky find. I check on the riverside at the reclaimed land, it turns out there are a lot of the same stones there.
There's still time before breakfast, I guess I'll go pick them. Today, the breakfast is being handled by Lulu, Nana and Arisa. Lulu strives to teach Arisa how to cook.
"Mia, I want to take a walk along the river, do you want to go together?"
I invite Mia who has just came back from washing her hair and body with hot water. I wonder if the scolding from Lulu works well, recently, she's not loitering around when she's nude.
Mia hands me a towel and makes me dry her hair. Arisa shouts, "You're too sweet with Mia! Dry my hair too please~.", from afar, she's the same as always. Didn't I dry it just the other day?
I go toward the opposite of the river by jumping across stones that are scattered around on the shallow water.
Since the gap is a bit wide among the scattered stones, Mia extends her hands and I catch them to pull her.
Maybe I used too much force, Mia fell on my chest. If Arisa sees this, she'd likely say something again.
While picking up the intended stones on the riverside, I gaze at the river. Taking a stroll while listening to Mia's leaf flute play, this is truly an extravagant time. Yup, really calming.
"There's no fish."
Mia who were looking at the river while playing the leaf flute, muttered so. There isn't even shadow of fish in this river. Not even other aquatic organisms like crabs in the riverside exist. They were probably caught by Totona and the other and the neighboring villagers.
"It seems there are some birds."
The smaller birds seem to have cleverly survive. I continue picking the stones while we take a break.
We're enjoying the quiet stroll until Pochi calls us.
It was a bit hard to stop Pochi who came and tried to jump in the river since she wasn't able to cross the stones. Thanks to that, the languid atmosphere completely disappears. As expected of Pochi.
It has been two days since we left the old people and the children. We've meet thieves three times already, but we only left them half-killed since they were just common ordinary thieves. It has just been thrice, but I feel that the thieves' equipments are too good here. Back then thieves were using things like bow and arrow, woodman's hatchet, and daggers which can be said to be tools for everyday life, yet in this three occasions, they were using equipments like straight sword made from properly casted bronze. Furthermore, the leader-looking man even had breastplate and shield made with metal.
Although, even if the thieves had better equipments, they're still nothing against the beastkin girls. They were easily defeated without the girls even breaking a sweat.
"Master, a carriage~."
Tama who sits on top of me driving the wagon points at a meadow with her left hand. I can't see it since Tama rests her feet on my shoulder. Since it can't be helped, I turn my whole body to look there. One part of the carriage is peeking through the meadow. There's no one around there according to the radar.
It's probably a victim of thieves. I should make them some graves, but since I don't want to see gruesome spot, I decide to ignore it.
"I wonder if it was attacked by thieves."
"It probably is."
"Thieves should be beaten back nano desu!"
Arisa and Pochi who were piqued with Tama's voice appeared from the back. I'll overlook her for casually holding my arms, but since her hand is reaching to my thigh, I take a poking stance.
"Master, I'll return this book, so please lend me nature magic book next~."
Arisa who protect her forehead changes the subject while lightly glares at me, I receive the book.
I put the book into the bag, take out the nature magic book from there, and give it to Arisa. By the way, it's not from the storage. Since I got advanced magic books from Trazayuya, I put the introductory books I got from Seryuu city that Arisa gave back into the bag and left it there. I usually use it as a substitute for pillow.
As for the literacy rate, everyone has became able to read the 100 pieces of learning cards. Only Arisa and Nana are at the level where they can read books. It seems Nana has been able to read characters since the day she was made. Lulu and Mia can read simple picture books. Everyone sure learns fast.
Pochi and Tama are stuck with the difference between written and spoken language, so they can't read well. Since they've became able to read numbers, I'll teach them arithmetic next time.
"Master, this schedule, what is it?"
She shows me a paper taken from the nature magic book. It's the paper I've bought from flea market that was worth 100 gold coins.
I took a look at it during a break before, but it was just a paper mostly composed of date and schedule. It's interesting that the schedule look like it's printed, but since sometimes there are scribbles with random line and numerics drawn like spiderweb, I can't see its worth. So I thought that it might have some secret, and tried doing various things like looking at sun through it, but then I neglected it.
Arisa said so while looking at the paper.
"There's nothing like that written there right?"
"If you read it vertically, that's what it says you know?"
Vertical reading? There's something like bulletin board even in this another world huh.
When I look at the paper, it surely reads that.
I put the paper into the storage, sort it by date, and read it in turn. I see, it's certainly possible to be worth 100 gold coins.
"Arisa, you're great!"
"Fufun, if you want to praise me then I'd like you to show it in your attitude~."
I leave the reins to Tama, and hug Arisa. "Uwaah, so sudden, nnnoo~", she's letting out weird sounds, but well, it's fine.
I want to read the content of that paper in detail, but since we're going to encounter thieves in about two hours today, I leave it for later. The thieves this time is a group of 30 people.
Furthermore, there are four people from the knights of baron Muno territory heading here from that direction.
The thieves should be able to easily defeat those knights, but they don't look like they're going to attack the knights, I wonder if they don't want to fight knights even though they have advantage in number. The knights also seem like they don't notice the thieves, they're going straight here. Just in case, I arrange Liza to protect the wagon's rear, and Pochi and Tama to guard the front.
"The merchant over there, stop. The great me is a senior knight of baron Muno, Elal."
"Well well, knight-sama, nice to meet you, I am Satou, a merchant."
Since I don't know the exact etiquette, I go down the wagon and bow.
>[Etiquette Skill Acquired]
...was my etiquette until today not enough, or was it wrong--Let's not pursue the reason too much.
"Did you see any luxurious-looking noble-riding carriage? Or did you see a beautiful woman riding a white horse?"
"I came from earl Kuhanou territory, but I didn't see anything that look like that carriage or that person. I did see a carriage that looks like it had been used by merchants in a meadow just beyond this."
"You have no lie in that words right?"
"Yes, of course. Trust is the most important thing for merchants after all."
The knight is threatening me by gripping the handle of his sword, I calmly answer back. It's nothing compared to Liza's spear.
"Alright, sir Bezz, Sir Donoza, you check that carriage and then deliver the order to the guards at the border just in case. We will report back to baron."
The knights parted in two group and went away without even thanking for the information. It looks like the thieves are attacking the knights, maybe they find the decrease in number to be a good chance.
They're not people I'd want to save, but since the thieves are already lured out, let's accept this opportunity.