Intermission: The Work of Manager-san
My name is Yusala Touya, an elf who was born in Bornean forest.
"Manager, the preparation is complete."
The one who calls me is the sole employee of my shop, the small Nadi. Although she wasn't even as tall as my knee when I first met her, she's grown taller than me before I knew it.
Human grows fast.
She answers me with an energetic, "Yes!", and carries the big rucksack below her feet on her shoulder.
She presents another medium-sized rucksack below her to me while smiling.
That's my share of luggage huh.
"We can't. We don't have extra money for that."
I tried to tell her that I wanted to hire a laborer to carry the luggage, but it was rejected. Since she's in charge of the shop's accounting, I can't push it too much.
It can't be helped, I put my favorite staff in the rucksack, and shoulder it.
"I've put manager's favorite dried fig in the bento, so let's do this energetically!"
Hou, it's quite rare for the economical Nadi to look out for others.
My lips gets slightly loose. Since the sharp-sighted Nadi grins when she quickly sees it, I tighten it hard.
"Let's enter the mountain from around this area."
Nadi says so while showing the map to me.
We tie the horses that we rode here on trees. Just in case, I sprinkle medicines to ward monsters around them.
We're in the middle of a job from a merchant boy called Satou to deliver an item for the ashgrey ratkin people who live on an undeveloped land deep in the mountain.
Normally, I wouldn't take such annoying job, but since he's taking care a girl from my race, I couldn't decline it.
Rather than saying I cannot decline, normally I should've taken this job free of charge.
But a good-hearted person he is, he requested the job formally. Moreover, he gave three gold coins
as the payment. I wanted to tell that I didn't need the money, but Nadi quickly blocked my mouth and I was stopped.
I lost in thought for a bit.
I use the secret art for walking in the forest.
"■■■ ■■■ ■■■■■■■ Wood Walk"
Green aura wraps Nadi and me.
It's been awhile since I use this magic.
While we're advancing through the forest in these states, branches and weeds as tall as grown man avert themselves from us.
"This magic is really amazing, no matter how many time I see it."
"Is that so."
I feel slightly embarrassed from Nadi's straight praise.
As a nihilistic grown man, I have to remain expressionless.
I guide Nadi while we continue advancing the mountain path. Since obstacles are avoiding themselves from us, it's no different than walking in a highway.
"Ah, that's the firefly lily of the valley flower!"
Yes, while we're using this magic, we cannot hurt creatures of the forest. Once we do, the magic won't be usable for a season.
"So it's like that, aah, even though we could get five gold coins from the alchemy shop with that flower."
I lead Nadi who keeps staring at the flower in regret by hand, and advance ahead.
I wonder if there was a big monster that passed here, I catch sights of rocks and trees that are gouged unnaturally. Did some kind of high level monster have settled down in this forest?
I was going to use magic to check it, but then I noticed that my hand was still joined with Nadi's. I want to separate our hands, but she doesn't let it go.
"Err, there, it's separated."
It's rare for the intelligent her. She's really interested with the flower before is she.
I'm worried with her condition, but I have to confirm the safety first.
"■■■ ■■■ ■■■■■ ■■ Forest Whisper <<Natural Whisper>>"
The magic spreads through the forest.
『Did some new monster spring up in the forest?』
『Yes, a lot.』
『They're no more.』
『Exterminated the great wild boar.』
The forest little echoes continue to echo.
A hero in such remote forest? There should be some rumor if it was the Saga empire hero, but maybe a hero appeared among the ashgrey ratkin?
I'm slightly interested with it, but since it doesn't seem to be a monster, there's probably no danger.
We finally arrive at the ratkin settlements in the noon, but unfortunately, looks like we're not really welcomed.
The problem is I don't understand their words. Since I'm told that they saved Mia, I thought that they can speak elf language, but my expectation is off.
"How about it?"
"Yes, it's similar to weaselkin language. There are also some that are similar with elf language."
Nadi is speaking in guess while grabbing the cuff of my clothes.
Although I've heard that she's good with language, to be able to interact using unfamiliar language like this, she's truly capable.
I'd like to use the nature magic [Translate] that my granduncle used but I don't have it, it's impossible with my level.
I watch over Nadi who's negotiating.
In the worst case, we might have to push them the memento at least and go back.
The surrounding ratkin people become slightly noisier. Did Nadi make wrong expressions?
Un? My feet is being shaken.
When I look down, the ratkin little children are coiling around the luggage that Nadi and me have put on the ground. Since their noses are twitching, are they smelling something good?
I slowly squat down while being careful as to not stimulate the surrounding and open the big rucksack.
Strong smell spread. This bundle have croquettes huh.
Apparently, the children are interested with this smell. I don't know what's so good with this oily thing, but it's also popular in the city.
Nadi probably has brought it for her lunch, but let's use these to build friendship with them.
There are 10 croquettes in the bundle. There are 18 children huh.
I break the croquettes in half, and share it with the children.
When that happen, several ratkins who look like the mothers appear from the gap between the soldiers, and each of them carries 3-4 children who keep on chewing the croquettes to behind the men.
I give the last one to the ratkin who look here so wistfully. I saw a slightly appealing glance from Nadi. I'll divide you the dried fig later, so don't get mad.
I don't know if the croquettes succeed as the go-between, but since a ratkin that seem to be the patriarch who understand Shiga kingdom language comes, the goal is complete somehow.
"I see, so my brother has died."
"According to the person who was present on his last moment, it was a heroic death."
The patriarch says so as he holds the red helmet from among the memento I've handed. I can feel deep sorrow dwelling on his words.
When I was about to say thanks for saving Mia, and farewell, Nadi cuts in.
"Patriarch-san, why is only the forest around here dying?"
"I don't know the reason, but they've begun to wither since half a year ago."
I see, I understand what Nadi is trying to say. It's not enough with just thank you words.
I go out of the patriarch's straw-thatched roof tree house, and use a magic.
"■■ ■……■ ■ ■ ■■■■■ Summon Forest Maiden (Summon Dryad)"
In accordance to my spell, the spirit of this mountain forest responds.
It looks like a little girl with green hair.
"I have something to ask."
"Elf! It's been awhile."
"Do you want to know why the mountain dies?"
"The reason why the mountain die is~ because a human tried to forcibly operate the ruin."
According to the Dryad's story, it looks like it's because granduncle Touya's ruin has absorbed the earth veins around here. How can that be.
"It's alright. The ruin has stopped anyway, and I've taken a lot of mana from a cute child."
Due to the stimulation of that mana, it looks like she's succeeded in drawing power from far away earth veins.
Even though she looks like that, she's lived for a lot longer than me.
"Thank you very much."
"It's fine~, see ya."
The dryad went to the other side of the summoning circle while saying that.
It's already been resolved.
Since I talked with the dryad in elf language, I tell the content of the conversation to the patriarch and Nadi.
I wonder if my story is difficult, Nadi somehow interprets it for the patriarch.
"Oooh, the village is saved."
"I'm glad for you patriarch-san."
"Yes, we won't have to move to a different mountain now."
The patriarch firmly grabs my hand, and says thanks many times over.
Even though I did nothing.
"Isn't it because you use magic to identify the cause, and report that it's fine already right."
"Is that so."
Now then, the job is over.
I want to go back to the city, and take a nap on the usual sofa.