|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1248 words|
We spent the next few hours loitering through the forest in search of the group of Treants. The unfortunate result, however, was that my stamina gave out before we could achieve that.
Since we needed some break anyway and it was just the right time for lunch, we decided to settle down at the nearby rocky area and started munching on our preserved food.
Incidentally, mine was baked grains hardened with sugar. It was hard enough to break a tooth, but I took my time to soak it with saliva and enjoyed its sweetness. Eating it took some time but it was just perfect for my small stomach.
“Still, there’s really no sign of them. Are you sure they were around here, Maxwell?”
“Yes. This should be where I spotted them before.”
“…I just realized this, but how long before are we talking about here?”
“It should be about 40-50 years ago, I suppose?”
“That’s long! This is why Elves are so…!”
Elves, who had incredibly long lifespans among all races often had carefree personalities. Maxwell was also in his 500s already, so his sense of time was vastly different from that of a human.
Incidentally, races with unidentified lifespans like Half-Demons and Gnomes didn’t differ that much from humans in that aspect.
That was because there were few among Half-Demons who were able to live out their lifespans due to the constant oppression and the Gnomes simply didn’t have a sense for it.
“Either way, if it’s a thing from 40-50 years ago, it’s no wonder they are no longer here.”
“Moreover, since that Fire Giant made this area its abode, they might’ve escaped somewhere else.”
“But Queen Blossom and Fire Giant are about the same rank, aren’t they? And depending on how many followers she has, wouldn’t she even be the stronger one?”
“Well, they are gentle in nature, after all. She probably avoided fighting.”
Lyell, Maria, and Maxwell pondered on the reasons we couldn’t find them. Gadius tended to keep quiet during these times, while Cortina was thinking about something on her own.
The hard, baked food I was eating didn’t seem like it was going to soften anytime soon. Moreover, it was meant for the adults so it was a little too big for my hands. As I held it with both hands, their conversation reached me without me particularly trying to listen to it. Both in the past and the present, I was in charge of the physical side of things, so it was not my style to butt in.
“Nicole, take this. Your hands are all sticky.”
Michelle was also nibbling at her jerky, but she saw my hands getting all sticky with the melted sugar and offered me a handkerchief.
Moreover, she was considerate enough to dampen it with water to make it easier to clean. What a fine bride she would be in the future.
“Hold on. Fire Giant might not have settled here too long ago.”
“Oh, what did you find out?”
Cortina cut into their conversation while looking around. Lyell knew the importance behind her statement, so he paused their conversation and waited for her to continue.
“Think back on it. The Fire Giant appeared while smashing the trees in its path.”
“Well yeah. Given its giant body, it can hardly avoid doing that.”
“But there aren’t that many fallen trees around here. If it had indeed settled in these parts, there should be far more broken trees scattered around.”
As she pointed out that fact, Lyell and the rest also looked around. The dense forest obstructed the visibility around… Meaning, the trees had multiplied to that degree.
If the Fire Giant laid waste to the forest, it shouldn’t have been dense enough to obstruct our vision.
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“True, I don’t see any signs of devastation.”
“Not to mention, Fire Giants should inhabit more elevated volcanic regions. In other words, it would be too unnatural for it to settle in a forest like this.”
We all gave a nod of consent to Cortina’s point, who displayed her unchallenged expertise in the matter, while the group of ordinary citizens simply stared in puzzlement.
Her insight was something that we, who had been with her since my previous life, had gotten all too familiar with, but for the others, she probably looked like a different person.
“In that case… Could it be that it wasn’t the Queen Blossom that has been driven away, but the Fire Giant instead?”
“Are you saying that the Queen Blossom has moved to the volcanic area?”
“The possibility of that is quite high.”
There was only one active volcano around these parts. It was Mount Nord located further south from here.
“If she had indeed moved there, then the safety zone for the Fire Giant could only be the place where the Queen Blossom wasn’t present. In other words, her old habitat. It wouldn’t be strange for the Giant to come to that decision, given its intelligence.”
“I see. Either way, there’s no point in searching aimlessly for it. For now, I suppose we should confirm that conjecture.”
Lyell lightly tapped on his knee and accepted her suggestion. Neither Maria nor Maxwell showed any opposition to this. Naturally, Gadius was the same.
“Eeh, is it mountain climbing now?”
The only one to complain was Tricia, who was constantly shut inside her medical office. As she generally lacked the physical exercise, the unaccustomed forest-trekking had her feeling groggy.
To tell the truth, Letina and I were in a pretty tough spot ourselves. Setting aside Michelle, who habitually roamed the forest, Letina who studied magic in the town and me with my weak constitution weren’t faring so well.
“Indeed… Setting the problem of stamina aside, we are certainly lacking some equipment to start climbing now.”
“Hmm, really? It’s not like it’s snowing though…”
“Lyell, I’ve always been thinking this, but just how much of a muscle-head can you be? There are many varieties to volcanos, and the most dangerous part of them are the gases that they erupt.”
Gadius, coming from the mountain district of Matara Alliance, remonstrated Lyell for his dumb statement. As he said, gases contained in smoke and such were dangerous for the climbers.
Not to mention, the volcanos were for some reason filled with toxic elements such as sulfur or mercury. And since some gases were invisible to the eye, you might even fail to realize the danger.
“In that case, shall we return once and prepare? If I remember correctly, there should be a Magic Item that could contain gases somewhere in my residence.”
“Maxwell, you really should clean up once in a while…”
Magic Items that could defend you from gases were quite cheap on the market. A place called the Labyrinth was filled with such traps, so it had quite a high demand among the Adventurers.
It went without saying for Maxwell, but even Lyell’s residence had them. Cortina’s too, of course.
“But we don’t have enough for Nicole’s group. We have to go buy some, I guess.”
“Well, then. Let’s return for now and start again.”
Before he even finished, he opened a Portal towards his residence. As long as one knew this Magic, camping at night would no longer be a problem for them. Accordingly, It was quite a high-level Magic, but Maxwell mastered it without any problems.
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And thus, we decided to temporarily return back to Raum.