Chapter 2-11 : Ice Fang Bats Ⅲ (part 2)

 

「Store Owner-san, are we only going to hunt bats that are over five years old? There are so many of them, I don’t think it’s possible…」(Kate)

「She’s right. I think we can only kill them indiscriminately.」(Andre)

「No, no. It’s a little difficult, but it’s not impossible to determine their ages. For example… Look at the bat over there.」(Sarasa)

Everyone looked at the direction I was pointing at, but they didn’t seem to know which bat I meant.

I used wind magic to shoot down the bat, picked it up after it fell to the ground, and showed it to everyone.

However, they just tilted their heads, looking confused.

「…Umm, Sarasa-chan, we don’t even know why you shot this one…」(Andre)

「I don’t understand at all… It looks the same as the other bats.」(Gil)

「No, it’s not about their looks, it’s about the amount of magical power they have. You have to aim for the one with a certain amount of magical power.」(Sarasa)

「Wait a minute! How can we even do that? We can’t detect magical power!」(Gil)

When I explained calmly, Gil-san replied to me with a loud voice.

The other members nodded several times.

「Yes, I know. I’m not telling you to use this method. The first thing you should pay attention to is their body size. This one is slightly bigger than the others. Can you tell?」(Sarasa)

Saying that, I pinched the legs of the Ice Fang Bat I killed and held it upside down so that everyone could see how big it was.

They looked at the bats on the ceiling and the one on my hands alternately to compare them.

「I see…」(Kate)

「Now that you mention it, the ones on the ceiling look a little smaller… maybe…」(Gil)

「No, I don’t see any difference between them though…」(Iris)

「They are too far above. It’s hard to tell…」(Andre)

The height of the Ice Fang Bat on my hands was about 20cm, and the bats on the ceiling were mostly about 10cm.

Not many bats were larger than the one on my hands.

I could see the difference quite easily, but the others could barely see it.

The ones who seemed to be able to tell the difference were only Kate-san and Gil-san.

I don’t know about Gil-san, but Kate-san is an archer, so it’s only natural that she has good eyes.

「Well, other than distinguishing them from their size, you can also do it by looking at their fangs.」(Sarasa)

I opened the mouth of the Ice Fang Bat on my hands and showed its fangs to everyone.

There were two fangs with a length of about 2cm.

They were quite large considering the bat’s small body.

「First of all, you have to pay attention to their color. The darker the blue color of the fangs, the older the age of the bat.」(Sarasa)

「I see. Their color looks kinda beautiful…」(Iris)

「The bats that are over ten years old have fangs that are darker in color than this one, and it’s even more beautiful.」(Sarasa)

Iris-san looked at the fangs as if she was looking at a blue gem or something.

When she tried to touch them, I immediately kept the bat away from her and continued to explain.

「The second thing to note is their freezing ability. If your finger gets numb from the cold after you touch a bat’s fang for a second, then that bat will sell for a high price.」(Sarasa)

「I see.」(Iris)

Iris-san nodded after listening to my explanation.

She then took off her gloves, and tried to touch the bat’s fangs again, barehanded this time, but I immediately kept the bat away from her even further.

Iris-san looked at me with a complaining look, but I shook my head, telling her to not touch it, and then I continued my explanation.

「However, you need to be really careful not to touch the tip of the fangs, because the Ice Fang Bats that are over five years old can completely freeze your finger in a few seconds if you get bitten by their fangs. Iris-san, you’ve been looking really curious about the fangs, do you want to touch them?」(Sarasa)

「O, On second thought, no, I’m good…!」(Iris)

Iris-san shook her head and put on her gloves back in a hurry.

「Please listen to my explanation to the end before you touch them.」(Sarasa)

「Haha… I’m sorry…」(Iris)

When I was at the alchemy school, there was a rule not to touch anything before the professor finished explaining because it might be dangerous.

「The last method to distinguish them is to take a look at the roots of their fangs. Can you see the small lines there?」(Sarasa)

When I opened the bat’s mouth even wider, everyone looked into it with faces full of interest.

「Hmm… I can barely see them. It’s a little dark.」(Andre)

「Oh, wait a sec…【Light】」(Sarasa)

I used light magic and made a light ball, but I didn’t make it too bright because I didn’t want to wake the bats on the ceiling.

After the other members could see the inside of the bat’s mouth more clearly, they nodded several times.

「I see the lines. So the number of the lines determines the bat’s age?」(Andre)

「Yup. This one has five lines, so that means it’s five or six years old.」(Sarasa)

「I see. I think this is the easiest method, but to see the inside of their mouths, we have to kill them first, right…? Kate, can you see these lines from afar?」(Iris)

「Of course not. The only method we can use without killing them is to distinguish them by size. But, I can’t clearly tell the difference…」(Kate)

Kate-san shook her head with a bitter expression.

「Gil, how about you?」(Andre)

「Neither can I… In the first place, how can we kill them? Kate-chan can use her bow, but what about us?」(Gil)

「Ahh, you have a point… Sarasa-chan, is there any way for us melee fighters to kill them?」(Andre)

「Hmm, how about using a net? When you go look for insect materials, you use a net, right? I think you can use it.」(Sarasa)

「Oh, you’re right. If we make the handle longer and the net stronger, maybe we can catch the bats with it.」(Andre)

Ice Fang Bats are weak monsters. They have no weapons other than their ice fangs.

They won’t be able to do anything if they are trapped in a strong net, so they are quite safe to hunt.

「To take out the fangs, you just need to push it toward the bat’s mouth until it breaks. Please be really careful not to touch its tip.」(Sarasa)

While saying so, I broke the bat’s fangs and took them into my leather bag.

Because I don’t need the body, I just threw it outside the cave.

「There’s nothing we can use from their bodies, so you can throw them away after you take the fangs. But you should throw the bodies outside the cave so you don’t make the cave even more smelly.」(Sarasa)

「G, Got it…」(Andre)

「And one more thing. The older Ice Fang Bats are usually sleeping in the deeper part of the cave.」(Sarasa)

「Is that so? Then, we don’t have to worry about their age if we go deeper, right?」(Andre)

「Hmm…」(Sarasa)

I looked at the bats around us.

「There are many old ones even though this is near the entrance, so yeah, I think the ones in the back are mostly old Ice Fang Bats, at least for now.」(Sarasa)

「”For now”…? Ah, I see. So if we hunt the old bats in the back, the younger ones will move to the back to fill their place?」(Andre)

「Yup. So learning how to distinguish them is not useless.」(Sarasa)

「But I don’t think I can do it. I can’t even see the difference between their body sizes.」(Andre)

「Well, all I can say is please do your best to learn.」(Sarasa)

「You hear that? Do your best, Gil. I’m counting on you.」(Andre)

「Me!? Well, I don’t mind helping, but you should learn it too!」(Gil)

「Yeah, yeah.」(Andre)

「By the way, even though there are so many of them here, it’s better if you don’t hunt them too much. It will get harder for you to distinguish them the next time you come. Besides, you will have a hard time selling their fangs if you have too many.」(Sarasa)

I can’t imagine the total number of Ice Fang Bats living in this cave.

Perhaps because there was no one hunting them until now, they multiplied really fast.

If we hunt all the bats here and sell their fangs, I bet it will affect the price of the Ice Fang Bats’ fangs in this entire country.

「Anyway, let’s go deeper. Andre-san, do you know how deep this cave is?」(Sarasa)

「I don’t know, sorry. We knew about this cave, but this is our first time entering it. I think our senior, Drake, knew about it, but unfortunately, he’s already retired.」(Andre)

「I see. Well, we’ll find out soon. Let’s proceed carefully.」(Sarasa)

 

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