Chapter 3-10 : Investigation Ⅱ (part 1)
For dinner tonight, we’re going to eat dried meat, hard-baked bread, and stew made from dried vegetables.
I prepared my portable magic stove, poured water in a pot with magic, and started cooking.
This simple meal is not that delicious but it’s not difficult to make so it’s perfect as a camping meal.
「It’s been a long time since the last time I had a meal like this.」(Sarasa)
When I murmured like that while eating, Gil-san raised his eyebrows and looked at me.
「Hee… So Sarasa-chan has eaten a meal like this, huh?」(Gil)
「I’m a bit surprised too. I have the impression that Store Owner-dono always eats delicious food.」(Iris)
Iris-san looked strangely at me.
「When I first came here, Diral-san’s dining hall was often full of customers, so I had no choice but to make simple meals like this. Well, the bread I ate at that time was ordinary bread unlike this hard-baked kind though.」(Sarasa)
「I see. So it was long before Kate and I came to your house.」(Iris)
「Yup. Lorea-chan sometimes brought food for me back then. She probably couldn’t stand seeing me eating this kind of meal.」(Sarasa)
Before I have a kitchen, Lorea-chan sometimes brought me food from her home.
I began to eat delicious meals regularly after I made the kitchen and fixed my walls and windows that were damaged by Hellfire Grizzlies. At that time, Iris-san and Kate-san started living in my house, and Lorea-chan started cooking for us regularly.
「Sarasa-chan, were you not good at cooking back then?」(Gil)
「No, no. I can always cook, but cooking is not my forte. It’s just, I don’t have time to cook.」(Sarasa)
「Because you use most of your time to work in your workshop?」(Gil)
「Well, something like that…」(Sarasa)
I gave a slightly vague answer but Gil-san nodded as if he was convinced.
「By the way, how are we going to decide who will be on the lookout tonight? Shall we take turns?」(Andre)
After we finished eating, Andre-san reminded us about the lookout.
「Ah, I can use Alert Magic that will notify me if there are monsters or beasts coming this way, so I don’t think we need people to be on the lookout.」(Sarasa)
「Alert Magic…? Hmm… It’s not that I don’t trust your magic ability, but…」(Andre)
「Well, if you’re worried, I won’t object if we have to take turns to be on the lookout.」(Sarasa)
It’s only natural that a veteran Collector like Andre-san is cautious, but it looks like Iris-san is different.
She looked at me and shook her head.
「No, I trust Store Owner-dono! We don’t need a lookout!」(Iris)
「Iris, you say that just because you don’t want to be on the lookout, don’t you?」(Kate)
「Hahh… Why are you super honest only at a time like this…?」(Kate)
Kate-san face-palmed and sighed.
「No, seriously. I think Store Owner-dono’s magic is more trustworthy than us being on the lookout.」(Iris)
「Well, yeah. I think so too. Andre-san, what do you think?」(Kate)
「Hmm… We, the male team, will take turns being on the lookout. You girls can sleep. How about that?」(Andre)
「We absolutely have no complaints at all, but… are you sure?」(Kate)
「We don’t mind. Right, guys?」(Andre)
「Of course we don’t mind. Right, Gil?」(Gray)
「It’s decided then. Sarasa-chan, can you make a dim light ball with your magic for us?」(Andre)
「No problem. Well then, I’m counting on you guys.」(Sarasa)
I created a dim light ball for Andre-san and the others, activated my Alert Magic, and went into my Floating Tent with Iris-san and Kate-san.
◇ ◇ ◇
It’s been three days since we left the village.
We are getting closer and closer to our destination without encountering any major problems on the way.
My Alert Magic caught a monster’s presence last night but fortunately, it wasn’t a strong monster, so I decided to let Andre-san take care of it and went back to sleep.
I woke up once because of that but thanks to the Floating Tent, I could fall asleep again immediately.
「Look. I think that mountain is our destination.」(Sarasa)
「So that’s the Hellfire Grizzlies’ habitat, huh?」(Andre)
「To be exact, it ‘was’ their habitat. They might have found another one somewhere else though.」(Sarasa)
Andre-san asked while looking up at the mountain in the northwest of the forest.
The bottom half of the mountain was covered by trees, but there were not many trees on the upper half.
According to the book I borrowed from Master’s acquaintance, that mountain is a volcano and a Hellfire Grizzly habitat. Of course, there are places like this somewhere else where Hellfire Grizzlies can live, but this is the closest one to our village.
The flame stones lying on that mountain are the staple food of Hellfire Grizzlies, so as long as there are enough flame stones there, Hellfire Grizzlies won’t leave that place.
The reason why Hellfire Grizzlies go into a frenzy normally is because they lack flame stones. However, it doesn’t mean that there are no other reasons. That’s why we went here to investigate.
「Hmm… There’s no sign that this mountain will collapse soon…」(Andre)
「The smoke is a bit thick but it doesn’t look like the volcano is going to erupt soon either… Anyway, let’s go deeper and look around but please remain vigilant.」(Sarasa)