"Real sorry aboot tha. Fo' real, sorry 'boot tha."
Fobea apologized as he lowered his head again and again. He's been at it for awhile now.
At first he was trembling all over in fear when he saw Lecan, then he suddenly bowed repeatedly when Lecan introduced himself as an adventurer who came for his Service Quest.
The quest is from an old man called Fobea, his yard has collapsed, it's dangerous, so he wants it get tidied up.
Lecan was not sure what it was all about so he went to see the site, and the yard had indeed collapsed.
He got the picture after talking to Fobea.
When this town was being built, a family of stonemason working on the town's rampart was living in this location. Since the rampart needed expansions and repairs afterward, this place was used to keep a large amount of stones. Stones of various shapes and sizes were cut into stacks of square shaped ones.
After a long time, as a result of taking only the needed stones away from here, the leftover stones have gotten piled up in quite an irregular way. Since those stones were left randomly lying here and there, with more and more getting piled on top of each other, the whole thing turned into a complicated and mysterious formation.
Around 20 years ago, that family migrated to another town. Another family purchased the right to live in the livable section of the plot of land, but no one bought the section where these stones were left behind.
Around 10 years ago, that unsold section was finally bought by Fobea. Fobea sold the house he was living in to be a dowry for his daughter who was going to be wed.
His daughter married into a faraway village, while Fobea moved in here and began to grow vegetables on the land available in the gaps between rocks, barely scraping by. He could find a space deep where he could somehow lie his body to rest, so Fobea had no complaints even though he lived frugally.
However, a small quake hit this place last year, sending the stones tumbling down. His vegetable field was wholly ravaged and most of his dwelling collapsed. As a result, he has difficulty just putting food on the table even now.
Nevertheless, old man Fobea subsisted by growing truly a small quantity of vegetables in the very little land that remained.
Lecan was astonished to hear that this was the 12th time he posted the Service Quest.
The state of things is too miserable for something that has been tidied up for the 12th time. Couldn't they have managed to at least slightly enlarge his living and field space.
After talking a bit more, apparently all the adventurers that had come here so far only went to throw away some little rocks and garbage and accompanied old man Fobea for a little chat before they returned.
"Human cannae' move rocks these big 'fter a'. It cannae' be helped."
Then how did the mason move these rocks, apparently they had several ape magic beasts and magicians to help them. Something infeasible without a huge sum of money.
And Fobea didn't ask Lecan to move a rock either. He merely treated Lecan to a herb tea made of a very small amount of tea leaves he made himself.
After drinking the tea, Lecan surveyed the surroundings.
The yard itself is actually quite spacious, thus, if they just carefully stack these rocks in the inner part that's along the rampart, they would secure more than enough space for living and growing plants. However, that will take time.
Aira told Lecan this when he undertook this quest.
"Oh and just between you and me, in case of a service quest, you basically want to finish it in one day, as your evaluation will go down if you take your time. However, there are some clients who purposely postpone giving their approval or give you a lot of works. I don't think old man Fobea is the dishonest type, but I'd recommend you quickly get the job done, get the completion coin and get back."
Wonder if she said that knowing the situation here.
Lecan pondered about all the 11 adventurers who had come here up until now. Lecan has no way of knowing what kind of people they were, but there must be some who felt frustrated to have come and gone without being able to do anything. And yet, having them trying to help even a little and accompany the old man even for a day might be his salvation.
And Lecan thought about what old man Fobea would do from here on. The old man will have no choice but to endure the rain if this stays as is. Even if that's not the case, he should at least get a little more of the space for growing vegetable back. There's plenty of land here. Land he's bought the right with his own money. Yet he cannot use that land.
"Alright, let's get started."
"Ooh. Gonnae pat mah back intae it."
"You don't need to help. I'll do it."
"Hee? That's, s'cuse me then."
Old man Fobea sat down on a rock and watched over Lecan, but then he was taken aback when he saw Lecan suddenly putting his hands on a rock.
"H-Hey ye. Ye cannae' shift tha. Yer' gonna hafa hard time."
"Quiet down and watch."
Lecan put his hands on a huge rock on top of a stack of rocks.
"Aa, aaa. Ye cannae' move tha..."
The rock that couldn't possibly be moved was easily moved out of the way. Lecan briskly carried it away to another location, and put it there.
Even four robust men can't possibly move even one of these rocks. To be able to move such a rock by himself, Lecan possess a tremendous strength.
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
"In order to put these rocks along the wall, we need to move away the rocks that are along the wall first."
"By the end of the day, I would only finish removing the wall side rocks at most. I'll continue tomorrow. If it's not finished by tomorrow, I'll continue the day after. I will come here every day until it's done."
Lecan who could easily move the rock in the beginning gradually grew more fatigued, his muscles began to scream. Yet he kept silently moving the rocks. As the sun set, Fobea excused himself into his house. Lecan could have kept working in the dark, but his stamina was at its limit.
He recalled something and made his way to the adventurer association. Aira wasn't present, but there was another woman at the counter, so he went there to report that he wasn't able to finish tidying up old man Fobea's house today.
Lecan stocked up lots of food at stalls, went back to the inn, paid for his room and ate dinner. He drank some booze, washed his body with the basin water and soundly fell asleep.
Waking up the next day, he ate the food he bought at stalls, and made his way to Fobea's house.
Fobea was quite surprised to see Lecan turning up so early. He offered Lecan tea many times over, but Lecan turned him down and began the stone moving work.
The fatigue from yesterday still remains, muscles all over his body are screaming in pain. At times like this, he feels envious of Boudo's <Great Strength>. With that ability and mana recovery potions, he would have finished everything in half a day. Even without that, he would have had it easier were he still possess the red jewel enchanted with <Stamina Recovery> and <Mana Recovery> he exchanged with Lady Rubianafale. However Lecan has not <Great Strength>. Nor the red jewel anymore. Nor do fatigue recovery potions exist. Thus, he simply keeps carrying rocks away in silent while enduring the pain.
By noon, quite a bit of space had opened along the wall. Lecan took his meal from <Storage> while feigning taking it from his bag. He shared two skewers to old man Fobea.
He was done with half of the work by the end of that day.
When he woke up the day after, he had muscle pain all over his body. He chugged water for breakfast. Walking to Fobea's house was excruciating.
He started working, but he couldn't make much progress. Nevertheless, by noon, it has been tidied up enough to have the result visible by bare eyes.
"Sorry but I've got some business to take care of today. I'll come again tomorrow."
"Haa. A'm truly ever sae grateful."
Lecan turned his back at the bowing Fobea, went back to his room in the inn and slept like a dead log.
Curiously enough, his muscle pain had somewhat subsided when he woke up the next morning. His body didn't feel as languid either.
The work progressed well that day. Both small and big rocks got stacked up neatly.
And by noon, everything was done. There's a surprisingly spacious land here, and a pile of rocks that's been solidly stacked without worry of collapsing next to the wall.
"Och, Och, Och, Och dear."
Old man Fobea was deeply moved emotionally. And then he burst into tears.
After listening to him bawling for a while, Lecan put his hand on old man Fobea's back.
"Give me the quest completion coin."
Lecan parted ways with old man Fobea who vehemently insisted Lecan to have a meal with him, saying that he had business and went to the adventurer association.
"Oh it took you four days."
Neither condemning nor commending, Aira calmly said that.