Ugh.. This ch is already long, but next ch is even longer!
It’s almost twice long as normal ch.
Even if I split it into 2 part, it’s long enough for each part.
So maybe I will do that.
17. For the time being, it seems I’m in a pinch
Illias wakes up to the morning sun light that slips through the window.
It’s morning, It’s time for her to get up.
She move her body up, and It’s a familiar view of her room.
However, unlike usual, She is not feeling well.
Thinking about the reason, she remember the event yesterday.
She were worried about him, planned to search for him, but she might passed him by outside, so, she decided to keep waiting until he came back home.
In the end, He came back almost the time for sunset.
Then, he brought her to ‘Dog’s Bone’.
She met the waitress, saw the bustle of the tavern, ate delicious food and drank alcohol.
And, she remember what kind of talk she had with him.
…. That was fun.
Everyone in the Lord Ragdo’ corps was kind, but she got off-duty day, she never had any activity with them.
Although she was invited, she always distanced herself.
She was afraid that it would be a nuisance to them if they were close to each other outside of work.
But not all of them like that.
I’m sure there are people who dislike me.
But there were certainly people who acknowledged and respected me.
What he said to her, his words come again in her mind.
She can’t help but to grin.
The memory from that point onwards is blur. She don’t remember walking back.
She rarely went drinking even though it’s legal for her. So she got excited since it’s been a long time she drink alcohol….
In the end, she drink until she lost her consciousness….
『Aaaa, What have I done!』
“Last night.. Am I drunk?”
If so, it’s him who carried me…
Her eyes wake up to that compassion feeling.
She place her right hand on the face and exhale deeply.
For the time being, let’s get up.
She stand up, get off to the first floor and wash her face.
Then, back to her room, and change to work clothes.
There is no time to make breakfast. She decided to buy fruit in the marketplace later.
Oh, Yeah, She need to apologize to him… no, not apologize but to say thank you.
Arrived in front of his room, then she knock it lightly.
No reply. Maybe he still sleeping?
Speaking of which, the first meting with him was about waking him up from sleep.
“Hehe, I’m sure he was a good sleeper.”
Remembering the past, she can’t help but to smile.
But she need to go soon. She want to talk about today’s dinner since she might have no chance to met him at noon.
She feel sorry but have no choice but to wake him up.
Then, she open the door, and raise her voice.
“Are you awake? It’s about yesterday…”
He can’t be seen anywhere.
What was left at the window was the clothes he wore until yesterday. Washed and still wet.
When did he get up? Was she sleeping deeply that couldn’t even notice someone doing laundry at home?
Ugh, I don’t care if someone saying that I look unrefined, But!
This muscle pain, you know, it’s terrible!
Thanks to that, I was able to wake up before the sun rose.
I didn’t feel like going to sleep again after that, so I decided to did some laundry, then go out.
Yawn. It seems I better get afternoon nap for about an hour later.
While walking to ‘Dog’s Bone’, The sun is starting to rise.
I wonder if Gozz are awake, if he awake I’ll asks him to give me some leftovers.
At the same time I arrived at the store, I saw a familiar face.
It’s Grandpa Kara’ wife.
“Oh? Boy, You’re so early.”
“Good morning. You too.”
“I always get up earlier and go to the marketplace, to get some cheap stuff!”
She suddenly do a victory pose.
It’s great to be that energetic. Could you give me some of that energy?
“I want to start managing and preparing the ingredients, What are you gonna do Boy?”
“Ah, I wanna check yesterday’s number of customers and sales, And talk to Gozz about everyone’ salary and how the money will flow.”
“Oh, If it’s just that, I’ll do something about it. Even I look like this, I’m actually good at managing something.”
It seems that the husband’s salary is also well managed.
I wonder, how much Grandpa Kara get for his pocket money.
“Then, after I heard the progress, I’ll go back.”
“There’s a bit leftover from yesterday, go eat first.”
I thought it wouldn’t be possible, but I received an invitation that I couldn’t hope for.
“Well, Thank you for your kind offer.”
“But, Salt is really convenient. Just by using a bit of it for most cooking, and the food taste and flavor become better.”
“Actually, You can use salt not only for cooking but to make seasoning too, if you do that, the range of use will be wider. But, to do that, first we have to lower the price of salt.”
“Can you do that?”
“I’m not sure, I’m going to do my best to make it happen.”
“Then I’m gonna wait for the good news. Oh, and for that, don’t hesitate to ask for help.”
I entered the tavern.
“Good morning, Madam Domitorkofkon! Today, you look beautiful too!”
Gozz greeted with a salute.
Hmm, this guy is the manager, huh…
While eating, Gozz telling me about sales and expenses.
And when we talk about what to do from now own, we ask Grandpa Kara’ wife to hear it too.
With this, it seems that there is no problem in managing money.
The number of employees has increased rapidly, but the balance is likely to remain positive.
If there is a problem, it’s the amount of food transported that need to be increased, but it seems a cart already arranged.
For the time being, there seems to be nothing to do.
“Next is we need to increase the recipes for women and lunch, so the customer base and occupancy rate will improve. If you have something you can think of, write it on a piece of paper and bring it next time.”
“You… you still want to increase it?”
“What are you saying? Of course! don’t worry I’m not increasing it like crazy.”
2 meter high man tremble in front of granny. What a good sight.
“Oh right, Lad, I need to give your payment.”
“The number of employees increased and I’m sure you need it more than me now. It’s okay just repay me a bit for the salt.”
After all, I can eat salty food here.
That alone is sufficient for the labor I did the past few days.
“That’s right… Then, came whenever you want to eat. When it’s not crowded I’m gonna make it for you free of charge.”
“I see, I will come when it’s crowded then.”
“Hey! Don’t give me more trouble!”
Still, I’m happy, He said that sometime it’s a treat.
After all, I’m having a Himo-Life right now. Soon, I have to get a regular job.
I got the salt fee, the basket fee, and the wages for two days. The money in my possession increased.
That said, it doesn’t mean that the amount of food that I bought and dinner that I paid for yesterday, in the end, my money did not increase that much.
Lastly, this money must be returned to Illias. I also have to think about raising my own money.
“Then the journey of raising my own money start.”
“Oh, Be careful… no, I mean if you’re in trouble with money, why don’t you just take what I wanted to give!”
My destination is Mr. Ban’ place, and if it’s about money, it’s a standard practice to rely on merchants.
Even though I has been visiting for three days in a row, Mr. Ban keep welcoming me with a smile.
“‘Dog’s Bone’, I just visited that place recently. What to say, It was a wonderful transformation you did there.”
“You visited already? I just talked it to you yesterday.”
“Of course, the most credible information is what you see. However, I was a little surprised by the employees…”
Right? After all, they’re wifes of famous knights. Anyone who knows will shocked.
They were enthusiastic about having a lively life for a long time, somemore they can earn pocket money too.
“Thanks to them, I have lost my job. I’m free, so maybe I should go ahead doing another stuff.”
“Is it about unexplored land exploration? What about the destination?”
“Yeah… However, I would like to ask this to be a secret.”
And I spread a copy of the map of Dokora on the desk.
“It is a copy of the map that the chief of the bandit alliance, which was destroyed the other day. They set up bases in mountains and forests to escape the knights’ hands. And I was thoroughly prepared the surrounding information too.”
“I’m impressed You got hold something like this. But, this is amazing. To active in such a wide area… The knights of our country sure have a hard time.”
“Today or tomorrow, an investigation of each site will be done, and stolen goods will be collected, The cave and other landmarks that are not used as bases should be untouched. So, I would like to investigate this area.”
“Then, what’s left is to know their investigation schedule. Still, this remind me the time when I saw a treasure map!”
“Treasure map? Mr.Ban are you a former adventurer?”
“Yeah, I’m doing great right now because the talent of the merchant was better, but I was naughty in the past, at that time I was a mess.”
Hmm, Why the people I met always have high specs?
I feel a great affinity with Gozz and Saira, But who know maybe they have some special skill or something?
Oh, right, Gozz judgement for alcohol was also appreciated by Mr.Ban.
And unexpectedly Saira may have a talent as a clothing store owner.
“But doesn’t you a bit careless now? Didn’t you think I would run away?”
“If that happen, I’ll think it at that time. So, I’ll just think that Mr.Ban is ‘That kind of person’.”
“Hahaha, that’s scary. Anyway, Let me be a good collaborator for you.”
“It just to investigate. But, I don’t have any special skill and not confident in my physical strength….”
“I see, You need people who can be your bodyguard.”
“And, the funds to hire it too…”
There are no personnel, food, horse, or miscellaneous expenses.
It will be no problem if there is a knight like Grandpa Kara, but I can ask him to work many times for free.
“How about recruiting interested volunteers like Mr. Ban?”
“I think it is possible to split the cost by 50% and it is not a bad idea. However, it is possible that information will be leaked to other business rival when recruiting.”
That’s right, Some people will try to do something bad considering the profit.
For this plan to works, it is necessary to create a hierarchical relationship in advance.
“I can make arrangements if it’s just one or two of the trusted adventurers. Let’s leave it as small scale team for now, and see what happens next.”
“Yeah, In the meantime, I’ll think about the financials.”
“Why don’t you just let me cover it?”
“If i get spoiled too much, it can’t be called cooperative relationship anymore.”
I’m not gonna end it after giving the idea.
After getting the resources, Mr.Ban will move around.
From the time of the investigation, if he piggyback me, I will look useless.
This time, I need to manage this myself somehow.
“But the arrangements and wages of the first adventurers, I might leave it to you…”
“Regarding that, I will give it as a reward, and thanks for future increase in salt supply.”
The best outcome of this plan is to achieve early resource discovery.
If it have a good prospect, you can choose the option of debt.
If done well, you can even convince the country.
In that case, it is now necessary to learn geographic information as much as possible and sharpen my sense of smell.
After that, I asked Mr.Ban to tell me about the mine currently used, but in the end I asked all the detail he knew.
“Illias. Did you get a reply to the invitation of the standing party and ceremony from that collaborator?”
Illias showing her stiffened face in front of Lord Ragdo.
Speaking of which, She hadn’t had the opportunity to speak out to him because there were so many things, she only have a short time to spend together.
“Not yet, huh? Didn’t yesterday your off-duty day?”
“I’m really sorry… Actually, He went out from the night before yesterday, and yesterday came back in the evening…”
“Don’t say you wait for him for a whole day?”
Lord Ragdo sighs.
To waste her off-duty day just like that, it’s not good.
“Today, you may go back early.”
“Ah, right. Let’s change my way of saying it. Today, Lady Ratzel’s job is to inform the collaborator of the invitation and get his approval. You don’t have much time, do your best!”
Soon after leaving Illias, who go out and run, Lord Ragdo laughs softly, saying good grief.
The weight in Her shoulders seems lesser than the day before yesterday. What happened in a short time?
Lord Ragdo thinks Illias as a daughter.
Seeing her good change, Lord Ragdo was grateful to the young man who he had not seen yet.
“The king… What will he do?”
I told the king about the book.
After making a difficult look, the King leave the book in Lord Ragdo care.
Searching the origin of the book, was issued, but there was no results.
The king and me are looking forward to meeting the young man.
Hopefully we can build a good relationship…
Well, it’s the beginning of the adventure.
According to Mr.Ban, there are areas where dangerous beasts do not appear in the vicinity.
When I check it on the map, there may be one cave there.
I decided to go by foot to save money.
Hmm, this high motivation even though I have muscle pain, is an activity that I want my old self in Japan imitate.
I leave the castle while greeting the gatekeeper.
Oh, and Mr.Ban is also next to me.
I said that I want to go see it alone, but he lend me a horse.
Then, when I told him I couldn’t ride a horse.
“Hmm.. Okay, Let me join too. I want do some adventure after a long time!”
He said that. It seems that his switch was turned on while planning the adventure.
But, Hey, you’re a trading company’ owner, is it okay?
We will continue on the road to the mine in a different direction from the previous direction.
And after we proceed for about an hour, we get off from the horse and enter the forest, the remaining 30% to the mine, we need to walk.
“This horse doesn’t attack any passerby right?”
“It’s trained to run back to the Kingdom if something happen, so don’t worry.”
Grandpa Kara’ horse has a rough temper, and I remember almost being bitten on my way home.
Compared to that, this horse’s eyes are kind.
Parting with the horse and proceed through the forest.
As expected of a former adventurer, The speed of advance is not losing to the knights or Grandpa Kara.
No, it’s more than just the speed of walking.
In addition to that, he pays attention to me to make it easier to follow.
Was it a scout-like position when he was an adventurer?
I don’t feel any hesitation in the direction of travel he choose.
“You’re used to this, huh.”
“Of course. I can’t do any fighting, but if it’s a scout’s job, since I’m still young, I still can do it.”
“As long as you’re reliable, I don’t mind.”
We pass through the forest, and the number of trees is decreasing.
The rock surface begins to appear, then the road begins to change from a flat road to a mountain road including uphill.
While I keep breathing hard to catch up, we arrived safely at the destination.
Unlike the cave I found before, the surrounding area is full of rocks. It’s more like a crack than the entrance to a cave.
From here on to top, a lot of rock can be seen, what a rocky mountain!
There was no further information on the Dokora’ map.
This point is probably the limit to make it into hidden base candidates.
“Well, Let’s go in!”
Both of us hold torches and enter the cave.
There is a narrow passage inside.
It’s easy to go on a straight road, but on the rock surface there are no new discoveries.
I wish there was a road leading down a little more.
“it’s just like a passage.”
“Right… Hm? I guess it’s a dead end?”
Damn! Are you serious it’s just a dead end.
I came across a cavity about the size of a small room, there the road was cut off.
The first investigation seems to have ended as a failure.
“Hmm, It’s a shame. It was probably not used as a hideaway because it was narrow and long.”
“Yeah, I guess so… it’ll be different story if you can see any ore or crystal on the rock surface…”
“But, I can’t see something like that around here… hmm? wait.”
It seems that Mr.Ban noticed something while observing the wall.
“Is there something?”
“This… This part… This wall was made by magic.”
Is there such a thing? While thinking that, I look at the pointed wall.
But I don’t know how it differs from other walls.
Even the material, everything looks the same.
“Really? It looks the same to me, though…”
“Hahaha, Of course. But if you’re a professional at finding road, you might know.”
With that said, Mr.Ban took out something like a twisted stake that would catch something on his head.
It reminded me the stakes used when setting up tents at camps.
“I think the wall made by earth magic that make use the surrounding ore… Hmmph!”
He vigorously thrust the stake against the wall.
And then he take out another stuff, It is a mallet with a gorgeous decoration.
Mr.Ban asked me to hold his bag and facing the stake again.
“Please move away for a moment, It’s dangerous.”
I silently keep a distance.
After taking a deep breath, Mr.Ban swings the mallet down toward the stake.
Then the wall shattered with a roaring sound.
“What.. what is that?”
“An enchantment hammer that increases the impact dozens of times. It useful when breaking through walls.”
“There are useful things like that too huh”
“But, it’s wasting a lot of mana, and there’s a problem, you can’t use it if you bring a Magic Sealing Stone.”
Oh, so the luggage you carried is that?
But, it seems that it can’t be used by Japanese people who have little mana.
Tsk, And here I was thinking if it’s a weapon with magic, couldn’t I battle using magic too, but!
There was another passage beyond the collapsed wall.
“This is, Hmm…”
I can understand why Mr.Ban thinks.
Now we are here to search for resources.
But what we found was a deliberately hidden passage.
And somehow, it smells.
Perhaps the bandits turned back because of this.
“Well, Let’s go!”
Oh, Mr.Ban’ eyes are in adventurer mode.
I bet he want to satisfy his curiosity rather than end up with a disappointing result.
It’s the same here, I continue while nodding.
After a while, I saw the light ahead.
It’s outside, apparently we passed through the mountains.
Through the cave, I look around while being dazzled by the outside light.
I can see a new forest there.
Compared to the forest that I have seen so far, This forest’ bushes of plants and trees give a quiet impression.
Hmm, what is this hollowness.
The passage just now, was it used in the past?
“So, is this the end?”
“No…. Please wait a moment.”
With that said, Mr.Ban goes to the forest.
I can’t let him leave me behind, so I continue too.
Mr.Ban seems to be exploring the forest rather than following the road.
And nodded many times with great interest.
“We seems to have made an important discovery.”
As a matter of course, I bend my neck to the side.
“Please look this map.”
He take out a large map.
Unlike Dokora’ map, it is a map that shows the topography of the entire Tiez territory without detailed information.
“We proceeded from here. And when considering the time we used for walking, we are around here now.”
The place where he pointed at, that was the mountains.
“So, We’re inside the mountains. I see.”
“Yes, in other words, this forest is a hidden forest surrounded by mountains.”
I see, there is a space in the large mountain range, and there is a forest there.
“Maybe it’s just that no one ever realized there was a strange forest nearby?”
“No, I examined the vegetation around this area, but it is different from the one in the Tiez territory.”
I observe the surrounding trees and plants again.
Yeah, it feels different from the forest I’ve been walking around for the past few days.
Oh, and this is close to that place.
“The shape of the plant, it’s similar with the one in ‘Black Demon Lord’s Killer Mountain’.”
“Oh, you’re well informed.”
“Right, I was attacked by the Slime there the other day.”
“What!? I can’t believe you’re not dead yet!?”
Ah, I miss this reaction.
But that’s true.
The trees are not transparent and do not emit light.
However, the plants that illuminated around my feet at that time are similar to this.
“Hmm, Well, I’m just lucky.”
“I thought that place doesn’t care about whether you’re lucky or not… Erm.. Anyway, these plants live in high-mana lands. It was thought that there was no place in Tiez other than that mountain where the lands have a lot of mana in it.”
“In other words, it’s possible to find rare plants here?”
“Yeah, This might be a new business opportunity!”
Mr.Ban is very pleased.
Ah, then I’ve started to look around here.
Even it’s not salt, If you can get valuable herbs and other foodstuffs here, that would be a good profit too.
To get an unexpected jackpot in an exploration that seemed to be a failure, It feels good!
While nodding, I’m trying to head towards Mr.Ban, who is about to disappear from sight.
Suddenly, I lost consciousness from the sudden impact.