Letter from the Imperial Capital and Treasure Map (Part 1)

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Author: Sasaki Ichiro Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mab English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Silva

As I watered the corn, which had borne crops far exceeding my height, and the large pumpkins, which had vines covering the entire garden and bore fruit everywhere, I squinted with satisfaction at my vegetable garden’s growth.

“I knew it, the mixture of fermented fertilizer and chicken manure really made a difference. For my first year growing them, I suppose they’re not half bad.”

Using a mixture of fermented fertilizer, which I had successfully developed with much effort, and chicken manure from Dan’s farm (though I am not sure if I can call the two-merte-tall, fanged, devil-bird-like thing a “chicken” or not), I grew corn and pumpkins. The growth rate and the thickness of the stems and vines have been very good, and they seem much more robust than the ones growing in the village field.

“I’d love to try hybridization at some point in the future. I think paddy rice is much better than upland rice for this, but I don’t know that much about it, and even if I did, there are still flood control issues that need to be addressed. That’s a lot to ask for from a remote village, let alone a single individual.”

The breeding process alone would probably take years, so it wasn’t something that I could do in a single night. Even so, I heard we had a particularly cold year every few years or so, so at least I’d like to try to save some cold-hardy seeds and cross-breed them.

Incidentally, in such a bad harvest year, the government distributed food that had been stockpiled in advance and also provided assistance in case of emergency—to be frank, I had this prejudice that nobles and such liked to oppress people in this world, but it seemed at least this country (Groviall Empire) was a much fairer society than I thought—thus, so far there was no case of anyone dying of starvation or sold into slavery (purely in the western pioneer village, though).

And so, having finished all my morning’s chores, questioning whether or not it was time to harvest, I stowed away the watering can and other things in the storage shed, changed from my apron into my usual black robe, and looked around the shed.

“—Now then. Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been to the pioneer village to do some shopping. I wonder where Maya and Vier went.”

At first, Maya was unable to get the distance right, and she made Vier wary with her giant stature, but recently the both of them had become very comfortable with each other and often found themselves both gone together.

During such times, I would ask Vier where she was and then “We’re playing~~ We ate something delish! It was BIG!!” an answer like that would come in the form of feelings.

Maybe Maya was in the woods to patrol the area and teach her how to catch prey while at it. Recently, Vier has been eating out(?) more and more. By the way, if I asked what she was eating, she’d answer with “Bugs—!!” and a visual of a dung beetle as big as a car was attached(?) to her reply, so I purposely avoided asking that… Maya, I’ll trust you won’t feed her anything bad, okay?

However, today I had told them ahead of time that we were going out, so I was expecting Maya to be stationed nearby by the time I was done. Putting aside Vier, this was unusual for the straight-laced Maya.

“Maya? Vier? Where are you?”

As I readied my staff in hand, ready for anything that might jump out, I called out to the two in the woods. Right then, Maya’s howl responded from quite afar, and not long after, a black silhouette—Regina’s familiar, the huge cat-like caru—belonging to Maya stepped out of the thickets almost with no sound whatsoever.

On her back was a golden-furred demon beast the size of an Akita dog—my Sirius familiar—Vier. She flapped her wings and jumped into my chest.

“We’re ba~ck!”
Such emotions flowed from Vier as she entered my hug. “Welcome back, Vier. Where have you gone?”

“Hmn~~~ walkies?”

“Walkies, is it? Was there anything out of the place?” I addressed that question to Maya, but she just looked back at me in silence. Was that supposed to mean that there was nothing worthy of note, or was that a gesture that implied she had something she couldn’t say to me… Either way, at this point, I could only conclude that there was no problem.

“Well then, Maya. Vier and I are going to the village, so please take care of Regina. We will return shortly, though…”

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When I told her that, Maya, looking apologetic, rubbed her neck against my body —probably marking me with her scent for safety— before she let out a single roar that filled the forest, sending off intimidation to the surroundings.

With this, at least our departure will be safe. Small to medium-sized demon beasts, ghosts, spirits, and whatnot would stay away from the area for a while.

“Thank you, Maya. We’ll be off then.” Vier hopped off from my arms and led the way, her steps bouncy and leisurely. As I walked along, I looked behind and saw Maya sitting in front of the hut, watching over us.

Is there something that’s bugging her, I wonder? Lately, Maya seemed to be cautious of something. She lingered around the hermitage and wouldn’t go far from there.

Even so, she still looked at me with that worried look on her face, so I lifted my staff in my right hand and showed it to Maya before we were out of her sight.

“It’s all right. I’ve learned the art for 『Close』*, and training my body with all the walking is an everyday thing already.”

『Close』 was a magic art of the Sky attribute, which was basically the substitute for the magic item bag that Regina used to bring whenever she went out for groceries, but this one was in the form of magic art. The idea was to make a ‘hole’ in the space using magic (which was apparently invisible to anyone other than the practitioner) which I could simply throw things into. I just had to think of the item that I wanted to draw to take it out, and the item would be spat out just like that. At the moment, the size limit was indefinite, but the total weight limit was about 100 kilogura. Well, I heard the capacity would increase the more I am using it, but for now, that was enough for groceries.

Speaking of which, from my experience, 1 kilogura is equal to 1 kilogram, and is equal to 1000 gura. As for dimension, 1 merte is practically 1 meter, which is 100 centimerte, and 1000 merte makes up to 1 kilomerte.

Thanks to my recent familiarity with the path and my daily training, it took me less than three hours to reach the village now. I should be able to return around 3 in the afternoon if there were no problems.

And with that, Vier and I headed towards the pioneer village in an easygoing mood.

“Doryaaah!!” Bruno lunged, full of vigor. His wooden sword was gripped with one hand at the end of its handle for further reach. He took advantage of the difference in our body builds and thrust from a long distance. It was a good, vigorous attack, but his movements were a bit too linear and crude.

“Bu…hak!” Just before his sword reached me, I bent down and dived under Bruno’s outstretched arm. With the same momentum as I slid into his arm’s reach, my wooden sword struck him in the flank with an audible whack.

“Ack…kgh…!!” Bruno frowned and held his side. Nevertheless, he didn’t let go of his sword. He kept himself low and as if to take one back, he whipped the tip of his sword up, aiming at my torso this time. I thought of parrying it aside, but the unexpected amount of strength his muscles provided prevented me from perfectly parrying it, forcing me to take a step back.

“Seryaah!!” Bruno must have seen this as an opportunity, he pressed on with his entire being and delivered a spirited blow.

“Kghh—!” As if succumbing to his pressure, I took another half-step back, pulling back my left foot to meet his wooden sword.

Two wooden swords locked to each other, and we automatically fell into fierce sword crosses—an apparent deadlock at first glance—but in a simple contest of strength, I couldn’t compete against Bruno. Bruno must’ve known that too. His face spoke of how confident he was with his victory, which unfortunately was suddenly planted to the ground.


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