14-11. The Territory of Marquis Ganika
Satou's here. There is an unexpectedly large amount of omens of fall. But those many omens get overlooked until the fall.
"They're aall fish nanodesu."
I brought Tama and Pochi along to one of the big fishing villages in Marquis Ganika's territory.
We came to this village to search for fish as presents for people who live in the mountain regions.
This territory of Marquis Ganika is in the middle of the air lane that connects the Royal Capital and the territory of Duke Oyugock, it's an elongated shaped territory that mostly faces the sea.
"Merchant-sama, would you buy our product nya?"
When we were walking along the dried fish racks toward the place where there was a lot of people, a girl with strange end word talked to me.
She's a catkin like Tama. Unlike Tama, her hair and eyes look bad, but it doesn't seem like she has an ill intention against us.
It's annoying to correct her that I'm a noble, so I decide to continue the talk while leaving her misunderstanding alone.
"You really saved me nya. We've been getting a whole lot of fish for a half of month, we couldn't eat them all, so we had to turn them into dried fish nya. Yet the usual merchants said, 'every fishing village in the territory is getting a good haul, the price has fallen', they were reluctant to buy them, it was troubling nya."
When I asked about the dried fish's price, it was bizarrely cheap at only 5% of the price in the Royal Capital, so I bought a lot as recommended.
This girl seems to be the boss of this village, catkins and gillkins people with big builds carry the baggage one after another when the girl orders them.
"Are you only going to buy the dried fish nya? We also have dried abalones and beautiful shell cratfs you nyaow?"
The shrewd catkin girl tried to sell some expensive products.
The shell crafts' craftsmanship were not quite that good, but since I heard that they were the handiworks of widows and girls from poor houses, I decided to buy them all as they weren't that much anyway.
I can just sell them in the inland branch offices of Echigoya Firm.
Another fisherman-like gillkin came to sell some fresh mackerel-like fish, so I brought a basketful of them.
When I bought one, more fishermen came to me one after another to try to sell their fish.
It seems the story about big haul is true.
"The octopus outside the labyrinth are small nodesu."
Tama and Pochi who saw octopus among the seafood tilted their heads in puzzlement.
Of course they're small compared to the Dungeon Octopus that are more than 10 meter big in the labyrinth.
Even those are small compared to the Kraken that live in the open sea though.
While having that exchange, Tama and Pochi stuff the products that we've bought to their magic bags.
"Pochi will work hard too nodesu."
"Magic bag nya! As expected of a great merchant, they're different nya!"
The catkin girl made a fuss when she saw that.
There were many merchants who have magic bags in the Royal Capital, but there's probably no peddlers going around fishing villages who have one, no wonder it's rare.
Then, a catkin old man wearing worn-out clothes appeared.
Perhaps it's just my imagination, but the surrounding people's eyes are steep.
"Hear me! Everyone! This big haul is an omen of the undersea people from the deep sea attacking! We have to abandon the seaside and run away to the mountain now!"
Without caring the atmosphere around, the old man makes his speech while scowling at the sea.
I tried searching the sea map just in case, but I couldn't find the thing called undersea people. Of course, I've also searched the seas outside the territory.
There was a lot of monsters, but that was just the usual so I ignored it.
"Bemud-jiisan, we have a customer right now nya. Talk your nonsense to your pet dog in your house nya."
Once the catkin girl did that, the villagers around also sneered at the old man.
U~n, I hate this kind of mood.
I urge the catkin girl to settle the payment, and lead the villagers' interest from the old man to me.
"Excuse me, how'd you like to be paid, with cash or jewels?"
"Of course cash nya! It'd be good if it's in copper coins so we can distribute it to everyone nya."
Even though we bought so much, I only had to pay with 73 copper coins. I've been buying things with gold coins so far, so this feels strange.
The villagers who saw the piled up copper coins made a fuss, "We're having a feast today!"
We were invited too, but since we needed to prepare the lunch, we refused.
The thing that the old man earlier talked about caught my interest so I moved to the [Return Teleport] point outside the territory of Marquis Ganika and re-executed [All Map Exploration], but there was no new information besides the fact that there was an outbreak of monsters called Sea Orc that I saw for the first time in the bottom of the sea of the continental shelf.
I think being called 'deep sea' even though they're living in the continental shelf is a bit wrong, but I shouldn't mind the trivial.
<TLN: The sea orc's japanese name has "Deep Sea" on it, but the author only calls it "Sea Orc" as the "official" English name/katakana.>
For the time being, I pull one of the Sea Orcs with space magic and check it.
These Sea Orcs are basically a pig with fins as their limbs, and there's a swordfish-like horn on their forehead. Their average level is level 3, they're extremely weak. It seems there are various sub-species just like Demi-goblins.
There is a lot of them, but since they're so weak that the monsters in the sea could trample them down, they probably won't even get to the ground what's with the sea several kilometers around them containing many powerful monsters for them.
Right, there's no way that a world crisis will always be around the corner.
"Welcome back, Master."
When I got back to the small airship, a brownie in flight uniform greeted me.
Even though this ship can be left unmanned, I let brownies who wish for it to handle the ship during the normal cruises in turns.
This flight uniformed brownie is an airship maniac even among those brownies, he's doing his duty while wearing handmade goggles and flight uniform.
Moreover, it seems he likes to steer the ship with the wheel on the upper deck that's exposed to the strong wind and sunlight instead of the one in the bridge.
Once the brownie got back to the steering wheel, I turned on the anti-wind magic on the rear deck, took out beach chairs from the Storage, and began to check the information in the tourist book and the one I got from the map.
This territory of Marquis Ganika is a long territory that's endowed with 1000 kilometer long coastline extending from the east to the west, there's only a few inhabitable area as it has four cities, seven towns and many villages around them.
There are inlets protected with barrier pillars every 40-50 kilometer of the coastline to prevent monsters from entering, they're used as evacuation sites for ships that are cruising on the coast.
It seems the fee for entering these inlets are the source of income for the territory of Marquis Ganika.
Looking at the map, it seems most of the villages in the territory are located along these safe inlets.
Looking things with the Senrigan (Extra Clairvoyance) magic, the big haul isn't only happening in the village earlier, but it's a common situation among the villages and towns in the territory.
This [Senrigan (Extra Clairvoyance)] is an advanced version of [Clairvoyance] magic, I can view anywhere on the map with it.
I contact Echigoya Firm's Manager through Telephone magic.
『Yes, Elterina speaking.』
"Manager, do you know about the big haul phenomenon in the territory of Marquis Ganika?"
『--Yes, we are aware of it. We have received reports pertaining it from the branch offices in the marquis territory.』
Tifaliza who heard about it from the manager recheck the report once again.
According to the report, the haul is 20% better than the last year.
"It seems the haul is exploding even more in the actual site than the report suggests."
『Should we instruct the branch offices to buy more?』
"Yeah, if it's something that can be preserved dry, then you can buy as many as you like as long as it's not higher priced than the conventional market price."
I'm glad that she's quick to handle things, but I feel a bit lonely that she doesn't ask about the reason or the storage site.
The preserved foods that we'll buy can be featured on the branch offices in the inland.
The airship that's arrived in the capital of Marquis Ganika's territory is met by the next marquis and the chief nobles.
This is probably because I'm accompanied by Princess Shistina.
Since this is our first city, I'd have liked to tour it with everyone, but we had to participate in the tea party sponsored by the marchioness until the evening banquet.
I gave the usual snack sets and magic-made glassworks as the souvenirs.
Since Marquis Ganika is a sailor, I had prepared a glasswork modeled after big caravel ship.
It was not hard to do since I only imitated the real thing. I picked it since I thought it'd probably look better than some glass sword.
"Oh! I have never seen such a meticulous glasswork even in Oyugock Dukedom. Wonderful! Truly a wonderful item! With such an item, I cannot return the favor without giving back our heirloom, the Sea King Five-Pronged Spear or the Twin Sea Dragon Wand."
It seems Marquis Ganika really liked it, he told a joke that made his wife and retainers to lift their eyes.
According to the tourist book, the Sea King Five-Pronged Spear that he mentioned seems to have the effect of flinching the widely distributed sea-type monsters in addition to being effective against them, so it's an indispensable item for the fleet.
The Twin Sea Dragon Wand is a magic wand that acts as auxiliary for water magic, it's a key item for using the forbidden water magic [Divine Tidal Wave].
There's no magician that can use forbidden magic in the territory of Marquis Ganika but there's a lot of local water magicians here, so the item is an object of yearning in the territory.
"It's a joke of course. I will give my youngest daughter to the Viscount."
"Your excellency, if you joke too much, the snake king will change to the dragon king you know?"
"Princess Shistina is well-informed with our tradition. You guys, learn from her highness--"
I was hesitant what to say back to the marquis who was reminded by his first wife, but as usual the princess dealt with it before I could talk.
The 'you guys' that the marquis said are probably the daughters of his relatives who are in this place.
"Viscount-sama, what kind of place is the labyrinth?"
"Her highness, what kind of music is in fad in the royal capital?"
"Sera-sama, I will enter the temple apprenticeship next year. Would you tell me about the temple?"
When the marquis withdrew for governmental affair, the girls let out a barrage of questions like surging waves.
Most of them are asking the princess but since the princess has no interest in music or clothes that are in fad, they change the target to me so I don't even have time to drink the tea.
Every girl looks so happy, but there's one with a gloomy face.
She's not the marquis's daughter, but his niece, a daughter of an earl.
She's 15 year old, her physique is good and her shoulder-length hair leaves a lively impression. Her level is 10, her skills are [Water Magic], [Ship Handling], and [Etiquette].
"Nereina-sama, are the sweets not to your liking?"
"No, they're wonderful sweets that I've never tasted before."
I tried to talk with the earl's daughter in question, but since her nuance felt like she was annoyed, I stopped trying to talk with her in the tea party.
After the banquet, I've got to enjoy some rum recommended by Marquis Ganika and liquor bragged by the upper nobles in a salon that's separated by gender. It seems there's a lot of heavy drinker nobles in this territory.
When I was sobering up on the balcony while feeling the wind, my Attentive Ears skill picked up a conversation between two women.
"Nereina, are the undersea people really going to attack from the bottom of the sea?"
"My lady.... I do not know either."
Apparently, it's a conversation between the earl daughter Nereina and the eldest daughter of the marquis.
"However, as checked by the retainers, there are many stories where fish and monsters that have never been before being sighted among the populace. Moreover, the fleet of Baron Donsuden that should have arrived last month hasn't arrived even now."
"Something might be happening beyond the sea--"
The marquis daughter muttered a sigh like it was not her problem hearing the fretting Miss Nereina.
Fumu, distribution huh.... I didn't check that.
I saw it on the map, but since I didn't know the previous information, I don't really know.
It seems interesting, maybe I should check it out a bit.
I didn't think that she would really come.
"Was the dinner good?"
"Ganika Shrimp was delicious~"
Tama who's in dress lets out a smile.
For today's banquet, I went with not only the princess but everyone including the beastkin girls.
"I see, I'd like you to do a little something--"
"Don't worry be happy~?"
A while after Tama had disappeared, several people came to the balcony.
I asked Tama to call Liza, Pochi, Nana, and Zena-san here.
"I'm sorry to interrupt you during the pleasant banquet, but I'd like you to gather some information in the town."
"Understood, Master. Awaiting your order."
Liza consented to my sudden request.
I want to know whether the conversation earlier is true.
"I'd like you to gather information from the sailors in the town's bar."
"I-I'll do my best!"
Liza with Zena-san, Pochi with Nana, I open a gate to the nearby harbor for them to go investigate in groups.
Of course, they've changed to plain clothes.
I felt a bit hesitant sending them to harbor bar filled with rowdy people inside, but these girls should be able to repel some sexually harassing drunkards now. I hope they're careful not to overdo it at least.
"What about Tama~?"
"Tama has a special mission."
Ninja has ninja's work to do.
"Leaving us behind, I can't let that happen!"
After Tama disappeared, Arisa and Mia appeared through teleportation.
"I've never intended to leave you behind. Arisa is to gather intelligence from Miss Nereina together with Sera, Mia is going with me to intrude the library and check the old documents there."
I should ask the marquis directly after checking for a bit.
"Eh~, I want to go with Master too."
"Then once Sera's investigation is over, ,contact me with [Telephone] and I'll summon you here."
"Can't be helped. Since Arisa-chan is a nice woman, I'll give you an okay."
It'd have left a good impression if she didn't click and wink in the end....
"Mia, please check the books with chains over there. I'll look them all from the other side in turns."
Once we arrived in the dark library through space magic, we immediately began the investigation.
I granted Mia with the dark magic's [Night Vision].
Looking up the book straightforwardly would be troublesome, so I put the books along with the shelves into my Storage and then searched the keywords [Undersea People], [Ravine], and [Disaster].
Even though I had checked half of the ten shelves, I couldn't find anything that matched them.
『Master, we've completed the inquiry.』
"Okay, I'll summon you here."
Sera is still with Miss Nereina and the marquis's daughters, so I only summon Arisa.
"Sera is still talking with Nee-tan and the others, so she stayed behind. Undersea people sounds like the prophecies of Nostradamus doesn't it. According to the marquis's daughters, there wasn't any story about whether the undersea people really attacked in the history books of the marquis house."
I see, it seems to be a so-called folklore huh.
According to the four people who investigated the town, one of the rumor circulating among the drunkard seems to be [Undersea people are attacking].
According to Tama who investigated the fishing village, fish that were usually only seen in the offshore getting caught on coastal waters, and a lot of cases where strong monsters rampaging on the coast seem to be true.
The words [Undersea people] are certainly on the place where her fingers are pointing.
"Hey, do they really exist?"
"Who knows, they may be if the thing written in that book is true."
I shrug my shoulder to Arisa's question.
These are written in the book that Mia found--.
『The ground shook like it was the beginning of the world continued on, people profited from the dried up sea taking the sea products by hands, killing sea monsters that couldn't move on the ground, getting their hands on seemingly inexhaustible magic cores.』
The tide abating after an earthquake happened in my former world too.
『Such blessings didn't last long, from beyond the parched sea as the abominable inhabitants of the undersea city Nenerie came attacking. Without even getting the chance to name the undersea people, the people of the fishing villages were bitten from the head to toe, devoured.』
I feel that it's an allegory of tsunami, but I also feel that it's a written work by a reincarnated person who's into Ctulhu myth.
『However, the cruelty of the undersea people didn't last long. The king of Ganika that was bestowed the Sea King Five-pronged Spear from the god drove away the undersea people from the shore, the queen carrying the Twin Sea Dragon Wand pushed away the undersea people to beyond the ravine.』
It seems the territory of Marquis Ganika was an independent kingdom in old days.
I'd probably have to find the Sea King Five-Pronged Spear and the Twin Sea Dragon Long Wand and avert the crisis if this were an RPG, but since it's troublesome, I won't ask the marquis to lend them to me.
--With that information, I came to the sky above the place where the Sea Orcs are.
Written in the book that Mia found, during that time, there was a large quantity of eaten corpses of Sea Orcs getting washed ashore.
I've only brought Arisa here after some fierce rock-paper-scissor matches.
"Then, let's go."
I pick [Sea Divide] from the Magic Column and execute it.
The MP consumption is high for an advanced magic.
The seawater got pushed aside, and a perpendicular water hole several kilometer big in radius appeared.
"Uoooo, are you some kind of prophet!"
Arisa who's surprised hugs my head.
It seems she doesn't have enough leeway to sexually harass me today.
Ignoring the group of Sea Orcs who are floundering on the dried bottom of the sea, I move with Sky Drive.
Since I am the point of the Sea Divide, the divided part moves with me.
Sometimes there were tasty looking level 30 and above monsters scattered about, Arisa defeated them with her space magic.
Maybe I should have brought Mia who needs more experience points to level up.
After a while, we met a vertical cliff that looked like an ocean trench.
When we descended a bit, the radar's scope narrowed down. The trench seems to be of another map.
After executing All Map Exploration from the magic column, I see that the bottom of the trench is the [Undersea City of Nenerie].
Moreover, there are several tens of thousands of monsters called [Neroid] inside the city. <TLN: Yes, Neroid, not Nereid.>
Around 30% of those monsters have the condition of [Hunger] or [Starvation].
Perhaps in the near future, these Neroids would attack the group of Sea Orcs and might even reach the shore while chasing after them.
However, that will never happen.
"It's nice isn't it, finding another place to level up besides the labyrinth."
"That's right. They're too weak for Arisa and the others, but they should be good matches for Zena-san and the others' training."
I've completely enclosed them with space magic, so the Neroids won't be able to escape from the undersea city.
We tried to get in contact with them since they're called [Undersea People] for once even though they're monsters, but since they came attacking us with the intention to eat even without looking at us, we changed the objective to annihilation.
I also didn't get language skill, it didn't seem like we could converse.
Getting to tour and explore the undersea city while leveling up Zena-san and the others' levels is quite the bargain.
Along the way, I threw Sea Orcs that Arisa had defeated and unappetizing insect type monsters, so they shouldn't be annihilated due to starvation.
Nothing's happening in the world today too--.
There's no way that world crisis happens often.