Chapter 3-25 : Aiming For The Volcano Ⅰ (part 2)
A couple of weeks later, Adelbert-san and Katerina-san came, and after confirming that the preparations were completed, we aimed for the volcano by following the path that we had walked with Andre-san and his party members last time.
Our goal is to find a Salamander, kill it, and collect the materials from it.
Unlike last time, we didn’t walk around to look for materials on our way because we didn’t have much time.
We have encountered several monsters along the way but we haven’t had any problems with them so far. The reason is…
「Actually, I was a little worried because I heard that The Great Sea of Trees is a very dangerous place, but it’s not as dangerous as rumored.」(Adelbert)
「You’re right. The monsters are not that strong. I can even kill them easily.」(Katerina)
While talking with each other like that, Adelbert-san and Katerina-san killed the monsters that came out of nowhere and tried to attack us.
Apparently, it’s true that they are way stronger than their daughters…
Katerina-san is a talented person and Adelbert-san is a trained knight, so it’s only natural that they are stronger than Kate-san and Iris-san who only practice archery and swordsmanship by themselves.
「I’m starting to think that I may be able to make money as a Collector when I retire as a lord.」(Adelbert)
「Father, no matter how strong you are now, you won’t have the same physical strength by the time you get old and retire. Besides, working as a Collector is not easy, you know?」(Iris)
「I know, I know. It’s not that I underestimate that job, okay?」(Adelbert)
Adelbert-san smiled bitterly at Iris-san who looked a bit unhappy probably because she thought that her father made light of her occupation.
Of course, Collectors’ main job is not fighting monsters but collecting materials. They have to know which materials can be sold, how to collect them, and where to sell them.
If Andre-san and Adelbert-san fought each other, Adelbert-san would most likely win, but if they were to compete for which one could make more money as a Collector, Andre-san would definitely win.
「Honestly, I was worried when both of you left to work as Collectors but I’m a little relieved now.」(Adelbert)
「The level of danger in this forest is not that high, so…」(Katerina)
While talking, Katerina-san glanced at Iris-san.
「…So normally, you should be fine… Normally.」(Katerina)
「Uuu… I’m ashamed of myself for getting hurt so badly back then…」(Iris)
「I’m sorry. If only I was more careful at that time, I might have been able to save you…」(Kate)
「Wait, why are you apologizing? It’s not your fault. Well, rather than being too weak to work in this forest, we were just unlucky back then. Who would have thought we would encounter a Hellfire Grizzly in that place?」(Iris)
Iris-san almost died that time because the two male novice Collectors who joined Iris-san and Kate-san were fooling around during work, and the Hellfire Grizzly that appeared out of nowhere. It’s completely not because Iris-san and Kate-san are weak.
However, it was their fault for not being able to choose their companions wisely.
「Sarasa-dono, do you think Iris and Kate have been doing well as Collectors?」(Adelbert)
When Adelbert-san asked me that, Iris-san and Kate-san quietly glanced at me.
「Hmm… I can’t deny that they still lack experience, but they always do their best and I think they have been working really well as Collectors so far.」(Sarasa)
I complimented them not because they were pressuring me with their gazes. I was just telling what I really thought about them.
They always ask for my advice regarding materials and learn various things from Andre-san and other seniors.
Iris-san and Kate-san smiled at each other after I answered Adelbert-san that, but for some reason, Adelbert-san looked like he didn’t believe it.
「Is that really so…?」(Adelbert)
He glanced at Iris-san and Kate-san with doubtful eyes.
「Adelbert-sama, I think what Sarasa-san said is true. In fact, they sent us a lot of money, right?」(Katerina)
「But I don’t think they made that money by themselves. I think they could make money because of the help of the people around them. Iris, am I right?」(Adelbert)
「Y-Yes. You’re right, Father. It was all thanks to Store Owner-dono and my seniors…」(Iris)
Iris-san answered while looking down. She thought that her father was disappointed in her for not being able to make money with her own power.
However, Adelbert-san nodded and smiled. He looked happy with Iris-san’s answer.
「Look. It’s not that I blame you or anything, okay? It’s a good thing that you have people you can rely on. You should keep learning from them. Sarasa-dono, I’m sorry if I ask too much but I hope you can continue to support Iris and Kate.」(Adelbert)
「Of course! They’re already like family to me.」(Sarasa)
I replied to Adelbert-san, who was bowing to me, without hesitation.
◇ ◇ ◇
After a few days of walking through the forest, we reached the area where Lava Lizards live.
It took us a few days but it was actually faster than the last time when we went with Andre-san.
This place hasn’t changed at all from the last time we were here. There was no sign that Hellfire Grizzlies had returned either. The only monsters we have seen in this place so far are Lava Lizards.
After all, it hasn’t been long since we visited this place.
The difference from the last time is that this time we came with Adelbert-san and Katerina-san, and unlike last time, we are currently in the middle of summer.
「It’s pretty hot and humid here.」(Adelbert)
「The weather today is hot in the first place. Moreover, the heat coming from the ground makes the air even hotter.」(Katerina)
In addition, the air around here is humid and hot due to the heat from the ground and the steam from the hot water blowing out here and there.
You would feel like you were inside a steamer or something if you were here.
This environment is harsh for humans like us, but for Lava Lizards, this is a comfortable environment. They were actively moving around and swimming in the puddles of hot water.
Bluntly put, humans shouldn’t come to this place in the summer.
If we come in the winter, this hot air may feel comfortable for us. However, the fate of the Lotze Family is at stake, so we can’t wait until winter.
「Thanks to these hats, we can withstand this environment but I can still feel the heat coming from the ground.」(Katerina)
「Without them, we might have collapsed from the heat. Thank you for lending us these hats, Sarasa-dono.」(Adelbert)
「No, no. You should thank Iris-san and Kate-san. Those are their hats. They bought them with their own money.」(Sarasa)
「Ah, is that so? Iris, thank you.」(Adelbert)
「Thank you, Kate-chan~」(Katerina)
Iris-san and Kate-san responded to them by smiling at them.
Adelbert-san is wearing Iris-san’s Cooling Hat while Katerina-san is wearing Kate-san’s.
The hat looks good on Katerina-san but it looks weird on Adelbert-san because the design is kind of girly.
Well, the function is more important than the design. Besides, Adelbert-san didn’t complain, so I don’t think there’s a problem.
By the way, Iris-san, Kate-san and I are wearing Heatproof Coats, so we don’t need Cooling Hats.
Wearing such a thick coat in this hot environment might seem odd but this coat repels the heat and has a cooling effect.
This coat has a hood, so we don’t even sweat in this hot place.