14-17. Muno Earldom (2)
Satou's here. I've heard that saving the heroine in a pinch is a requirement of being a hero. Recently, I feel that there are a lot of heroines who save the protagonists instead.
The next day, we departed on the airship with Orion-kun and two of his attendants.
My companions are all the vanguard and Mia, five of them.
Lady Karina wanted to go, but I made her to stay in order to let her socialize with her sister-in-law, miss Muse.
I asked Sera to support the two.
I had asked Princess Shistina, Arisa and Zena-san to investigate the library in the former Muno castle so they also got left behind.
I'm told that most of the books have been scattered and lost, but the castle seems to be older than the kingdom itself, there might be some important documents remaining.
Lulu is teaching Gelt and other cooks the recipes she has learned in the Royal Castle and our journey.
I expect that the tourist attractions in Muno city will increase even a bit.
Along the way, we stopped by a pioneer village called Pendragon village.
The former boy thief gang and the elderly who were abandoned near the river are living here.
I built the village provisionally, but it seems they've properly developed housings and fields during this one year.
"Uwah, it's a ship flying in the sky."
Children began to gather when the airship lowered its altitude.
There's no place to land, so I descend to the ground using a rope ladder.
We're only going to see them for a bit, so only I, Pochi, and Tama get down.
"Everyone! Chevalier-sama has come!"
"Waa, it's Tama-chan and Pochi-chan!"
Following after the nimble children, the elderly also totteringly gather around.
Both the children and the elderly look more healthy than when we met them before.
"Young organisms, conferring candy so I communicate."
Nana who had come down before I realized it was already giving candy to the children.
The youngest child is being carried by Nana in high spirit while giggling happily.
After looking at them, I called the elderly.
"Excuse me for my long silence. This has become a splendid village isn't it."
"It's all thanks to chevalier-sama who had put up good words to viceroy-sama."
An old man who has assumed the position of the village chief talks politely.
It seems he was originally a civil official so he's fit for the job.
Liza brings down two barrels as the souvenirs.
"This one is a distilled liquor called 『Giant's Tear』, while this barrel has smoked meat inside."
"Oh! We're having a feast today!"
"We're holding a feast for Satou-sama!"
"It is time to show off my edible plant dumpling."
"Hmph, my fried dumplings are better."
I feel sorry for the old men and women who are getting frolic, but since we only come here to see them for a bit, we can't participate in the feast.
"That's too bad. Please wait a minute, I'm gonna wrap them up quick."
An old woman who looked disappointed went back to her hut and began to do something.
She's making a lunch box made of the so-called edible plant dumplings.
And then some senior boys carrying crude bows ran out of the forest.
"Satou-sama! Are Totona and the others working hard in the castle? This is a pheasant I caught myself you see. Please take it."
"This ear rabbit too!"
"Hou, these are some excellent spoils."
I receive the pheasant and rabbit from the boys who look so proud about it, and then I present them with short bows and arrows I took out of the magic bag.
I made these bows and arrows myself, but they're just extremely common items.
"They're genuine bows and arrows!"
The hunter boys' eyes are sparkling before the bows and arrows.
"C-can we really take these?"
"Of course, please use these to hunt good game for everyone in the village."
"Leave it to me! Satou-sama!"
"Un, I'll do my best too!"
After encouraging the boys and getting an edible plant dumpling lunch box, we promptly left the pioneer village.
The edible plant dumplings which we enjoyed from the airship's viewing deck were simple but it tasted somewhat nostalgic.
"Master, this is bad nanodesu."
When I was giving a lecture to Orion-kun about the actual scenery of Muno Earldom in contrast with the map from the airship's deck, Tama and Pochi rushed from the bow.
"In the forest ahead, being chased nodesu!"
Checking the direction Tama and Pochi pointed at, I understand that a flock of small sized monsters called Snake Bats are chasing several people.
These Snake Bats are monsters with snake body and one-meter-long bat wings, when it's alone, even a normal soldier can defeat it safely.
However, they have paralyzing poison, so if they're in a group, even a knight will be in danger.
Of course, we're talking about a normal knight here.
"Pochi, Tama, I permit you two to sortie."
Hearing my order, the two jumped off from the deck.
"Uwah! O-oy! Sir Pendragon, your retainers are!"
Seeing that, Orion-kun rushed to the handrail in shock.
Fwoosh, with a sound of cloth spreading, Tama shows herself on the port side.
Like a giant flying squirrel, she glided to the direction she reported earlier.
"A p-person, in the sky?!"
"Because she's a ninja."
I suitably answered Orion-kun's scream.
And then, boom, there was a big sound below.
Pochi probably landed on the ground.
Even though the airship's altitude was low, even Pochi would have gotten hurt at this height.
With Sky Step skill, a lower order skill of Sky Drive, she probably made footholds in the air and killed her falling speed.
It's plain compared to Tama's ninjutsu, but it looks like Pochi is steadily improving too.
Pochi runs while leaving cloud of dust behind.
She's about as quick as a car.
"Liza, to the port side."
I told Liza who was in charge of the steering wheel to turn the airship to where Tama had gone.
"Those children, just what are...."
"It seems they found some people being chased by monsters in that forest."
"--From this distance?"
I handed a telescope to Orion-kun who couldn't believe it.
"Dog-head? Aren't they Kobolds?"
"Yes, that seems to be the case."
I affirmed the question of Orion-kun who was peeking from behind me.
Pochi and Tama have saved the daughter of Kobold clan's head and her two male and female attendants.
The rescue drama was already over when we arrived, so I don't know the detail.
Orion-kun expressed them as [Dog-heads], but they're more like people who put on a dog-head headdress on their head.
Asides from their slightly long canine teeth and slightly pointed ears, they don't look that different from humans.
Their skin are just a bit too white and bluish.
Since there were seven corpses of the Kobolds in the forest, I moved there in secret with Unit Arrangement and collected them.
"Are you hurt anywhere nodesu?"
"....N? Is it Kyan?"
Tama and Pochi who sensed the Kobold girl waking up peeked at her face.
The girl uttered words in Shiga language.
I thought it was my chance to get Kobold language, how unfortunate.
"--You're not, who are you?"
The girl jumped and pinned Pochi's arms behind, looking alert toward us.
Tama jumped back at once.
I think Pochi should be able to easily escape the grasp, but she's probably afraid to hurt the girl if she forcefully shakes her off.
Pochi's troubled face looks cute, but I can't leave this as is.
"Let go of her arms. These girls are your saviors."
The girl lost her power with my words, so I quickly tear Pochi off her.
This is most likely an assistance from the [Abduction] skill.
"Kuh, where is my comrades--don't tell me."
Using 'Setsu' to refer herself, that's quite unusual.
If Arisa was here, she would have shouted "You think you're samurai!" no doubt.
No wait, that one is "Sessha" eh.
Now then, putting aside the girl's first person name-calling, it seems she's misunderstood that her friends are all killed, I'll clear that up first.
"Two of your bodyguards are fine. They were dying, but my magician friend has patched them up."
"I-is that so, you have my gratitude."
It'd be troubling if the adult Kobolds suddenly acted violently, so, after Mia had healed their serious wounds, I put them under [Anaesthesia] and [Force Sleep] magic and let them sleep on the napping room below.
Then Mia appeared from the lower floor.
When the girl found Mia, she went to Mia and fell down prostrating.
It's like she's doing a dogeza.
"I-I am an heiress of the late Bolflos, Piaz Bolflos"
『I'm the youngest elf of Boruenan Forest, the daughter of Lamisauya and Lilinatoa, Misanalia Boruenan.』
The girl introduced herself in fairy language and then Mia formally introduced herself too after nodding slightly.
"Misanalia-sama, I thank you for the mercy you have given to my comrades."
The girl continues to talk while her forehead is still on the floor.
Even though she's saying thanks, it feels like she's challenging someone to a serious match, or rather, she seems desperate.
"And, please forgive my impudence for wishing for another thing before I could return the favor--"
Summarizing the girl's story: the Kobold's mine had been exhausted, they ran out of gems called Blue Crystal needed for their breeding, so she'd like to have some of that Blue Crystal from Mia.
Mia tilted her face, looking confused.
She probably has no idea about that Blue Crystal.
Still, gems from an abandoned mine huh....
"Perhaps, the Kobolds attacked Kuhanou Earldom becaused they wanted that Blue Crystal?"
"That is so. We were told by a traveling magician about it."
While asking the girl, I search Kuhanou Earldom's silver mine.
I also tried searching for the unexplored mines, but I couldn't find the vein of this Blue Crystal.
"Are you really sure?"
"That I do not know. We cannot carelessly believe a weaselfolk magician, but upon completion, we promised to teach them the way to manufacture Blue Steel. Those greedy bunch should not miss that opportunity."
Geh, weasel again huh.
I'm slightly intrigued with that Blue Steel thing, I'll help them a bit.
I'll leave Mia to take care of the girl, and use [Telephone] magic to connect to Boruenan forest.
『Aze-san, could I have a bit of your time?』
『Satou! Of course you can.』
『Are you familiar with this gem called Blue Crystal?』
I asked about the Blue Crystal to Aze-san who sounded a bit lively.
Of course I'm talking in my mind, so the surrounding people can't hear it.
『Yes, I know about it. If I'm not mistaken, it's needed for Kobold's child raising isn't it?』
『The Kobold's mine has been exhausted, so they're in trouble. Do you know what kind of place this Blue Crystal occur at?』
『Umm, let me see--it should be deep in Mithril veins. I think you can get them along the deep part where the Dragon Vein is thick.』
I got to hear more detailed information than I thought, so I thanked Aze-san along with loving words and then I cut the call.
I don't know where this Dragon Vein is located, but since it should be connected to Sources, I'll check the core of towns and cities.
After checking Muno Earldom, I found out that there was an ore vein in the town where the monsters had build their nest.
There's a Mithril vein about 1KM deep under the city, and there are Blue Crystal along the crevices there.
That town is in a mountain district located between the hidden village of the giants and the Kobold town.
While I was at it, I tried searching the Mithril vein in the black dragon Heiron's mountain and the one in the dwarf's Bolhart dominion, I only found the Blue Crystals in the former.
The easiest way is to tell the Kobolds about the Blue Crystal in the Black Dragon Mountain which also means driving them away from the territory, but taking the profit for Muno Earldom into consideration, it'll be better if we gain allegiance of the Kobolds who hold the technique to mine and refine these special metal and also let them mine and refine the Mithril vein.
I call Arisa in Muno Castle with [Telephone] magic, and tell her to match the information about the ore vein.
Mia who looks like she's about to cry clings to me.
There's a desperate Kobold girl behind her.
That reminds me, I let Mia to handle her didn't I.
"Satou-dono, I beseech you! Send us to Boruenan forest with your airship. We will give you Kobold's treasured sword, 『Blue Fang』 as a reward for your assistance! If you so desire, I will make a promise to teach you the method to manufacture Blue Steel."
"That manufacturing method sounds attractive. However, we're currently in the middle of an official duty. We will help you obtain the Blue Crystal after we've accomplished our duty."
"Are you sure?!"
I assuredly nod back to the girl who's half in doubt.