Chapter 4-14 : Homunculus Ⅲ
「Yaaaayyy! It chooses me!」(Lorea)
The hands that the bear hopped into were Lorea’s.
Now the bear officially has a name, which is “Kurumi”.
I’m glad she didn’t choose Iris-san…
*/TL : from now on, I’ll refer to the bear as ‘her’
「Kurumi, huh…? I don’t think it’s a bad name but “Salmon” is definitely better. Store Owner-san… you’re not controlling her, are you…?」(Iris)
「Of course, not. I let her choose for herself. Well, I’m not sure if she understands what she just did though.」(Sarasa)
A Homunculus intelligence is not that high. However, it’s not low either. They can memorize certain actions and follow simple instructions.
However, I doubt that the bearー I mean, Kurumi, chose Lorea-chan because she is smart enough to guess my feelings that I didn’t like the name Iris-san suggested.
But… Perhaps Kurumi is smarter than I thought…
「Alright. It’s decided. Her name is Kurumi!」(Sarasa)
「Kurumi-chan, I hope we can get along well!」(Lorea)
Kurumi replied to Lorea-chan by raising her hand while sitting.
I heard that a smart Homunculus can be a problem sometimes but… I don’t mind having one.
◇ ◇ ◇
*/TL : The story will progress in third person pov from here.
「Good luck, both of you.」(Sarasa)
「Thank you, Store Owner-dono.」(Iris)
After Sarasa and Lorea sent them off, Iris and Kate headed for the entrance to the forest and joined up with Nord there.
「Iris-kun, Kate-kun, I hope we can work well together for a while.」(Nord)
「You can count on us.」(Kate)
「By the way, Nord-san… Are those all items you’re carrying necessary …?」(Iris)
Iris and Kate were puzzled looking at the oversized backpack on Nord’s back.
Because it would be a long expedition, Iris and Kate also had a lot of stuff in their backpacks, but Nord’s backpack was way bigger than theirs.
His backpack was even a bit taller than himself. It looked very heavy no matter how you look at it but he didn’t seem to struggle at all carrying it. It was probably because he had a trained bodyー No, perhaps the reason why he had a trained body was because he always goes on expeditions while carrying such a big backpack.
「Of course, they’re all necessary items. We will need various tools for the expedition after all. The Floating Tent Sarasa-kun made was smaller than I thought, and thanks to that, my bag is smaller than I expected.」(Nord)
「That oversized backpack is smaller than you expected, huh…?」(Iris)
Leather tents are large and heavy but they are cheaper and more durable than tents made of lighter materials.
However, Nord asked Sarasa to make his Floating Tent to be light and compact. Therefore, Sarasa used thin and light leather as the base material. Moreover, it was quite small because it was only for one person. Because of that, it was no bigger than a two-liter water bottle when packed.
「By the way, what happened to the tent you had been using?」(Iris)
「I never had my own tent before. I usually buy one and then sell it right after I’m done with my expedition. Sometimes, I sleep with my escorts in their tent if they are males.」(Nord)
Nord often goes to places far away from big cities, and there are not many means of transportation to such places, so in most cases, he has to walk a long way.
He usually travels while carrying a large number of research tools and other supplies in his backpack, so he didn’t want to add to his luggage with a heavy tent.
Therefore, he usually sells his used tents in the nearby village or gives them to someone who needs a tent.
「I see. I understand. Carrying a heavy tent all the time is a pain after all. Before we came to this village, Kate and I used to sleep in cloaks and blankets when we camped outside because we didn’t want to carry a tent either.」(Iris)
「Right? For people like me who often travel from one place to another, it’s definitely better to have a tent, but I don’t want to make my bag heavier. I’m very happy that Sarasa-kun’s Floating Tent is light and super compact!」(Nord)
「Hee… Why didn’t you buy a Floating Tent years ago? Your life would have been easier if you have one, right?」(Iris)
「The thing is, this Floating Tent is custom made. I told Sarasa-kun to make it lighter and more compact than the normal ones.」(Nord)
「But you could have ordered the same thing in another alchemy shop, right?」(Iris)
「Eh? Do you think every alchemist wants to receive a custom order like Sarasa-kun?」(Nord)
「Most alchemists don’t like them. They prefer to make artifacts according to the Encyclopedia of Alchemy. Modifying artifacts is quite risky after all. You wouldn’t do that unless you’re a very skillful alchemist like Sarasa-kun. Moreover, she works fast. It didn’t even take a week for her to complete my Floating Tent.」(Nord)
Iris and Kate rarely visit other alchemy shops. They thought that other alchemists were just like Sarasa but it turned out that Sarasa was special.
「I know Store Owner-dono is a skillful alchemist but it seems like she’s more amazing than I thought!」(Iris)
「She is a disciple of a master-class alchemist, right? Of course, she’s exceptional compared to other alchemists.」(Nord)
「She is, but… How did you know?」(Iris)
「Leonora told me.」(Nord)
「Ah, that reminds me, you came with her letter of introduction.」(Iris)
「Yup. I wonder why a talented alchemist like Sarasa-kun opened a shop in a rural village like this.」(Nord)
「Now that you mention it…」(Iris)
Iris was wondering the same thing but she was glad that Sarasa opened a shop in this village. Otherwise, no one could have saved her life when she was badly injured after being attacked by a Hellfire Grizzly.