Chapter 96: In whole, a favorable wind

A bit late. Chapter was pretty long. Also remember guys, on holidays I normally hang out with my usually busy friends and family. These kind of days are the few times I get the chance to, so do take that in mind in the future as well.

It’s also because there were way too many technical terms in this chapter I had to google a lot.

Anyways, enjoy! ^^

Finishing the test Tomoe proposed last night, I walked around checking Asora with Shiki and Ema.

In various places the work at hand was farming and construction. I was told of everything new they have found in the area.

When I heard about the expansion of the land, I learned that the needed facilities from one avenue have been completed and are now dividing the blocks for soil preparation. After finishing one street, putting everything in order is hard so they are probably doing it beforehand. Regarding the residents, there’s quite the scale in the town, so I think they can do as much soil preparation as they want. This is… that maybe? The silent pressure telling me to gather more residents?

I did ask an excessive request like making a miniature town for the sake of having adventurers come in, and yet, a part of it is already done. I think that’s quite impressive. Talk like “Being here and at long last reaching this point” may sound simple, but I feel like it is the best answer.

The agricultural field seems to have increased its efficiency a lot since Shiki came and did various things to it. If we talk about the things I have suggested in the agricultural field, it would be a simple way of making a paddy field, segmenting the field to use in turns and cultivate depending on the season. All things I learned in school and in field trips.

Moreover, there are things I’m probably wrong in. I am not specialized in that area, so I don’t know what’s most important.

That’s why I think Shiki is clearly being more useful than me.

Of course, the orcs at the fields have been working on fields for way longer than me, so since they have experience, there were lots of things they already knew. Like, it isn’t good to cultivate the same crop on the same field several times in a row. Repeated cultivation disruption, or something like that?

They are people that somehow managed to farm in a barren land. They are more reliable than me in that area.

“Now that I think about it. Ema, even though Shiki tinkered with the earth, are things like astragalus and white clovers still being grown in the dormant fields?” (Makoto)

I taught them about the astragalus and white clovers that are used to fertilize the earth, and suggested them to try growing those in fields that are lying fallow in the cycle.

If they are now able to reform the soil, then I think there’s no need for it though. But it isn’t that simple of an issue huh. If it’s a potted plant, one ampoule would resolve most of the issues, but horticulture and agriculture are subtly different so talking imprudently might not be a good idea.

“Yes. The plants in here tend to grow extraordinarily fast, and there’s also the issue of not being able to follow the seasons, so we are doing the cycles with the number of cultivations. After consulting Shiki-sama, he said that there’s sufficient merit in having them rest so we continue doing it. It also looks beautiful, so it serves as a playground for the kids that are in the middle of work, that’s why there’s some opinions saying that it would be a shame to not have them around. Luckily, in the present condition we are still able to fill the emergency stores with the amount of harvest, so I don’t think there’s a problem” (Ema)

A playground huh. In the time I was in Japan, it was a scene I have seen only a few times, but it is certainly true that looking at small flowers like astragalus and white clovers calm one down. To have them stay because of that reason might be good. Or is it too naïve?

Ah, that’s right. In a situation where we can’t count on the seasons, things like cycles are kind of pointless. I ended up talking about vague memories I had of when I read a history book. The growth rate is fast so they are probably managing somehow. Ema-san also said that the amount is plenty enough.

If I remember correctly, there was a time when we planted soybeans and in about 1 month it was green and ready to harvest. When I said some vague words like: “If there was a way to adjust the temperature and amount of light, we would be able to speed up the growth” and just like that, a system to harvest them in one month was created. I was seriously surprised. I felt like I saw Tomoe’s ability when she is serious.

“Ah… seasons huh. In that part, please wait for a bit more. We are currently investigating” (Makoto)

“Ah, no! I didn’t mean it like that…” (Ema)

Tto, damn it. I didn’t intend to blame her or anything.

“From the previous explanation, it seems like the amount made has increased decently” (Makoto)

“Yes. Following the instructions of Shiki-sama, we adjusted some things and are now able to harvest in about 2 weeks” (Ema)

2 weeks?!

To take 2 weeks after planting the seed. Even though 1 month was plenty fast. In that case, there won’t be any problems with food and soil in Asora. I have been receiving several reports of people from the wasteland wanting to migrate here. It might be time to increase the amount of residents.

I look at Shiki as if looking at an abnormal-, I mean, at a genius.

“It wasn’t much”, is what his face was saying.

“I just used what Waka-sama said as a base, arranged the elemental spells that could be used, and told the orcs in an easy to understand way. The arable land is currently sufficiently self-supported, but I plan on thinking up more things to improve it for future’s sake. I think I will be concentrating mostly on the product improvement” (Shiki)

It is already to the point that one could find food just by walking around normally, so it should be okay to not push yourself so hard.

There’s still some places that are not cultivation fields yet, but there’s plans to do so, so it seems like by increasing the area and gathering numbers, it will be totally fine.

“… Shiki, I am happy that you are ambitious but, try to get enough sleep okay?” (Makoto)

“Even if there are times when I want to sleep, it won’t affect my body’s health even if I don’t, Waka-sama” (Shiki)

“Don’t joke with such a straight face please” (Makoto)

Shiki may be saying it seriously, but I just push it as a joke. Look, even Ema is making a wry smile.

“U-Uhm, you see. Waka-sama, as you can see, there isn’t much problems with the cultivations and paddy fields but…” (Ema)

“Yeah?” (Makoto)

“There’s something… I want to consult you about” (Ema)

Saying that, she presses me and Shiki forward.

What? Did they find a new plant and are having problems?

We left the vast field that stretched out in front of us.

The orcs that were working and the ones that were in break, all lowered their head and saw us off. We both followed after Ema.

◇◆◇◆◇◆◇◆

The place where Ema guided us, had several plant stumps growing. They probably found them and brought them here with stump and all.

A big plant of 2 meters, no, about 3 meters. Its form makes me think of tropic but, this is…

Looking at it to see what was its identity, I found a familiar fruit growing from it.

Ah, so it was this.

But why are the Forest Onis here? Are they helping in gathering as well? For some reason Komoe-chan is here too. She would normally come running to me, but right now she is beside the Forest Onis and looking at the plant in question.

“This is a banana. So there’s even this here” (Makoto)

I am surprised that it was able to grow so big in a place like Asora. This is my first time seeing it growing from its tree. Maybe the bananas are unexpectedly tough.

That they are yellow might be because they are ripe already. If I remember correctly, they should be green at first.

“Yes. According to Waka-sama’s memories, this is supposed to be the fruit called banana that grows in hot places, but…” (Ema)

Ema seems to be bewildered. When I look, the forest Onis and Komoe-chan are fidgety and unable to calm down. What is it? Maybe because the Forest Onis have the image of always being wringed out by Tomoe, seeing Komoe-chan acting the same as them makes me feel uncomfortable.

“Yeah, they seem to grow in places with hot temperature like the current Asora. So?” (Makoto)

“We checked the reference book and it seems that the banana grows black seeds inside it. But in the stumps that the Forest Onis checked, they couldn’t find any such seeds” (Ema)

Reference book. She is probably referring to a plant reference book. I did read a book like that in the past.

But, did bananas have seeds? I feel like it didn’t have…

Ah, could it be…

“Ah, maybe it’s because they originally had them” (Makoto)

“Had them? If they don’t have seeds, we won’t be able to cultivate any new ones. How do they propagate?” (Ema)

“Uh?! Uhm, there are fruits that are modified according to the people’s convenience, so maybe for some reason the bananas began to grow with that kind of trait” (Makoto)

It’s Asora, a place where one can suddenly be able to harvest delicious radish, carrots and tomatoes. Those are also in the shape after being altered. The apples, pears and even the peach are like that.

That’s why I thought that them being modified was not anything strange.

This is bad. It doesn’t answer the question of how to propagate them.

“If I remember correctly, it is possible to peel the skin easily and eat it, moreover, it is incredibly delicious, however, in that case, it means that when this batch runs out, they will go extinct” (Ema)

Hearing the words of Ema, the Forest Onis make a grim face. Even though you guys are the ones that discovered it, why are you so sad about it?

Tears are welling up from Komoe-chan’s eyes?!

“T-That is troubling!!”

“Uwu~”

Even if you tell me you are troubled with a serious face…

“… Actually, when the Forest Onis first discovered this and brought it here, they uhm… seemed to have liked it quite a lot” (Ema)

So it turned into their favorite food?

When I turned to the Forest Onis to confirm, they nodded their head up and down like a broken toy. Komoe-chan is the same huh. I thought she had the same taste as Tomoe, but she has a young outward appearance so she probably has a different thought pattern.

“We don’t know of anything that tastes so good. When we ate this banana for the first time, we learned that there’s nothing that can compare to it in this world!”

“Bananas are delicious. I really like them. I always eat this after training” (Komoe)

… They are talking like they are doing drugs, oi. Saying “in this world!” makes me want to draw back. Komoe-chan unusually requests something of me. She is an unexpectedly shy girl, so it is quite a rare scene.

It’s just that in times of practice her bashfulness disappears and she silently punishes them. Sometimes, she is scarier than when Tomoe and Mio are there.

“I-I see” (Makoto)

“That’s why! We tried our best to bring it here without hurting it and investigated a lot, but we weren’t able to find anything resembling a seed. A-At this rate, we will lose the bananas!”

That means, they were only able to find a number of banana trees in the exploration area?

Withdrawal symptoms huh. That’s what one would think seeing the Forest Onis trembling and clinging onto the closest banana tree they had. It is funny, but it has turned into a picture I can’t laugh at. Their faces seem to be serious and look like they are about to cry. So after training, Komoe-chan has been steadily consuming the low amount of bananas huh. The Forest Onis are probably feeling a great deal of fear.

“I remember now. When the bananas grow, after that they will wither-” (Makoto)

“?! U-Uwaaaaa?!”

“?!!”

An incomprehensible scream. They are holding their heads and grieving. They even cut off my words just to scream that? The speechless Komoe-chan looks kind of cute.

But, is there are way aside from seeds?

I look at Shiki.

However, he just shakes his head. Well, that’s natural huh. He is specialized in earth, but that doesn’t mean he is knowledgeable of plants. He did say that he begin agriculture and earth magic when he arrived at Asora after all.

How should we do it?

The pineapple for example, they cut off the suckers and plant it to have them reproduce that way. But there’s no assurance that bananas are like that too. By the way, that’s information from tv.

They give the same tropic feeling, so maybe it can?

Umu…

“So it really was a tree that would wither within a year huh. There were opinions around that said the same” (Ema)

Ema also looks sad. It may not be as much as the Forest Onis, but it seems like she considers them tasty.

It is surprising how they can tell it is a perennial plant or a 1 year plant just by looking at the tree. Are there pros in the orcs?

I want to do something for them though.

… I am not sure if it would work the same as with suckers, but there is also grafting which is a method that doesn’t need seeds as well. There’s the problem of compatibility, so it is something that it is not certain will work and I only know a few kinds. Well, it is a technique that’s worth mentioning.

“Uhm, you see. It is not a sure method but… there’s a technique I know of” (Makoto)

I explain about suckers and grafting to Ema and the Forest Onis.

Ema seemed to be interested in the grafting but the Forest Onis spiritedly heard both of them. It is somewhat fresh to see the Forest Onis listening to me seriously. Komoe-chan is also nodding, but it is probably on the level of “I see~”; In the case of this girl.

Don’t let any word slip by, that’s what one could see from the determination of them. When the explanation ended, Ema asked me for cooperation on grafting. The Forest Onis ran off to the place where the banana trees came from to check if there’s suckers there. Komoe-chan also followed them.

“The image of the Forest Onis is a lot different from the time they came here” (Makoto)

“Tomoe-sama and Mio-sama, as well as Komoe-sama have been raising them quite a lot after all” (Ema)

“Ha…hahaha…” (Makoto)

“Waka-sama, thank you very much for the incredibly interesting information. Grafting sounds like it will serve us a lot, so I think about trying it out” (Ema)

“Go ahead. Even so, were suckers not in the reference book?” (Makoto)

“Yeah. Even if we call it a reference book, it is a book that is based off of what Waka-sama passed his eyes to after all. It isn’t like it is the exact book but a recreation of the book, so it is a given” (Ema)

I see.

Certainly, if it was taken from my memories, leaving aside the parts I don’t remember, the parts I didn’t see would be impossible to recreate.

Even so, the Forest Onis, to think they like bananas. It is probably something that only exists in Asora, but what are you doing by increasing your weaknesses.

I can already picture Tomoe taking their bananas and having them train while crying. Just how pitiful can they become.

I don’t think it will be a solution, but let’s have Ema give Mondo some bananas.

It’s really been a while since I have come to the workplace of the dwarfs.

Even though their tasks are not all about using fire, it doesn’t change the fact that this place is hotter than anywhere else. My legs can’t help but recede when there’s no business here.

Lately, most of the time I have come here only to receive reports.

“Oh Waka. Last night you took care of all of us and we all passed a fun time. Thank you very much”

“I am happy that you enjoyed it Elder” (Makoto)

“Each time we receive invitations like that, the ingredients and food variety increase so I can’t help but walk there every time. I was surprised to see that last night the home cooking of Mio was the main. I was astonished”

“It seems like she is doing it because she likes it, so if you want, please do accompany us in the future as well. At some time, Tomoe might begin a sake tasting contest, so I think that the dwarfs might find that more to their liking” (Makoto)

“Oh! Sake huh! That’s nice, I am looking forward to it. We will have to increase our work a step higher in preparation for that time”

“Ahahaha, do look forward to it. And so Elder, do you have an urgent business today? I heard it from Ema” (Makoto)

The eldwas Elder’s look is that of an advanced age old man. To the point that instead of a dwarf, he looks more like a short build demi human.

Just as his looks tell, he is a good-natured person, but even with those looks he is still able to handle a hammer that easily surpasses his stature, so there’s no mistake that he is the dwarfs’ elder. They are all tough with their tools huh.

No matter what, I always end up talking politely because of his seniority. Just this point, I just can’t help but doing it instinctively. It is carved in my mind after all.

“So that’s why you went through the trouble of coming here. No well, it is about the material that Mio-sama brought to us but, there’s something that worried me. Ah, Ema-dono. About the requested equipment, we have been able to make part of it, so could you please take a look. It is on the usual workplace”

Saying so, the elder gives me something. Ema nods and lowers her head to me.

“Waka-sama, I can go there for a bit?” (Ema)

“Of course” (Makoto)

“Then, please excuse me” (Ema)

Seeing her off, I return my gaze to the Elder. When I do that, he had a material in his hands, or more like, he put the wreckage on top of the desk.

“!! This is…” (Shiki)

Shiki reacts to it. He seems to be incredibly surprised.

“This is something that Mio-sama brought when her kimono was damaged”

“Mio’s kimono was?” (Makoto)

Was there such a mamono walking at the entrance of the wasteland?

It damage the kimono? If I remember correctly, the only ones able to do that were the Size Ants that came out in mass from a hole and were able to slightly tear it.

“Yeah, the back was completely ragged. Fortunately, her body had no injuries”

“?!”

Wa?!

An enemy that could damage her from the back?! Shiki is also quite surprised. Well that’s obvious, if Mio doesn’t lower her guard, her defense and perception are top level.

Tte, wait. No injuries?

“… Yeah, no injuries. It made us the craftsmen feel quite powerless”

“That means, only the clothes were damaged?” (Makoto)

He probably noticed my question from my expression. The Elder-san explains to me while placing a finger on his temples as if enduring a headache.

“We didn’t hear if she just regenerated or if she hadn’t received any injuries to begin with, but Mio had no injuries. If she didn’t tell Waka-sama, it is probably because she really didn’t receive any injuries and deemed it as nothing important. And so, we have been thinking about increasing the capabilities of the equipment in order to create articles that can protect you respectable ones, but this material that’s the very thing that damaged the kimono… There’s some problem with it”

“Was it incredibly powerful?” (Makoto)

That Mio. Seems like cooking was more important. She most likely didn’t report because she didn’t receive any damage. Even so, does she really understand what armor is for? I will have to sermon her a bit about properly making requests for the craftsmen to make the adequate equipment. If she is satisfied just by the clothes having the same sensation, it would be too pitiful for the craftsmen. By clothes I mean everyday clothes, the ones that the orcs go through all the trouble to weave for Tomoe and Mio. I think that those are also hard to make, but what the dwarfs are making is armor. For the sake of protecting life. Armor that’s used to protect you from attacks is a whole different story.

“No, the thing itself is quite good”

Quite good. If Elder-san says quite good after looking at it, it should be quite the rare thing.

“….”

Shiki is staying silent. How unusual. Even though he likes materials and armor. He was really happy about that staff too.

“After hearing Mio-sama’s story and investigating the material and kimono, we arrived at a conclusion. Most of the opinions said that it was just a mamono with high attack power and had grown big by chance. However, it ate a wind spirit, moreover, a middle class one in a very early stage. In the wasteland, there are a few amount of wind spirits and if we talk about middle class ones, then even I haven’t seen them. Thinking about the original power of the mamono, no matter if the spirit was weakened, it is impossible to think that it would be able to predate on a spirit. This is just a personal opinion of mine, but I feel like there’s some sort of underlying artificiality”

“An act? You are saying that someone did this with something in mind?” (Makoto)

That someone caught a spirit and had a suitable mamono eat it to have it evolve? What a dangerous talk.

“Mio-sama encountered it outside the wasteland. It seems to be a highway that extends onto Tsige. That means, it crossed the mountain range that divides the wasteland”

“You are saying that because Mio encountered it the fatal damage was low?” (Makoto)

“Yes. The Forest Onis investigated and the demons in the area didn’t show any sort of movements that stood out. Without knowing the reason, I am feeling a bit anxious”

“Certainly. Having the feeling of someone doing something below your feet is not comforting after all. Understood, I will…” (Makoto)

Investigate it. Is what I wanted to say, but in that moment…

Shiki silently raised his hand.

“Shiki-sama?”

“What’s it, Shiki?” (Makoto)

“… M-Me” (Shiki)

“What?” (Makoto)

“The one… who did experiments to that mamono… was me!” (Shiki)

““… Eh?””

The voice of me and the Elder overlapped.

“It was something that happened before meeting Waka-sama. In the time I was inside the body of a Forest Oni that was one of the many experiments I had done. I captured several middle class wind spirits and after weakening them to the point of not being able to resist, I made a mamono eat it” (Shiki)

“…”

“By eating a spirit, I thought that it may evolve into something like the spirit or a change close to that. But it turned into a failure that only increased the power of its scythe… and since I lost interest in it, I threw it away” (Shiki)

Threw it away you say, Shiki. What kind of dangerous thing are you doing.

“Oh, so Shiki-sama was the one who did it. Ah~, knowing the reason, the weight in my chest has lifted. With this, I will be able to concentrate on the creation of Mio-sama’s armor without any distress”

“I am sorry, Elder”

“It is fine. The material was used for the weapon of an adventurer somewhere, but it became good training for Beren. It seemed like he was worried that something similar would happen to Mio-sama again, but now he can have peace of mind”

“?! Could it be you are planning on telling Mio?!” (Shiki)

“… Ah, if I do tell her, Shiki-sama might be scolded. Waka-sama, what should we do?”

The Elder was concerned about Shiki’s wellbeing and passed the decision to me.

“… Shiki” (Makoto)

“Y-Yes” (Shiki)

“… Well, get scolded. It is true that the kimono was turned into rags after all” (Makoto)

“?!!! Aaaahh….” (Shiki)

The writhing Shiki-san. It was an unexpected position but…

Well, I think you can still return, so do your best Shiki.

Giving a sidelong glance at Shiki who was having a face like it was the end of the world, the Elder and I nodded to each other.

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