Chapter 4-16 : Survey Expedition Ⅱ
「By the way, Nord-san, you usually do research about monsters, right? But why did you look so enthusiastic when you saw those plants?」(Kate)
Nord, who couldn’t argue with Iris and Kate, unwillingly left the rare plant he was observing and continued walking.
He sighed with a little troubled face when Kate asked him that.
「Well, actually, I really want to study plants and insects rather than monsters.」(Nord)
「Then, why didn’t you do that?」(Kate)
「Because I need money to feed myself. I’m a researcher. I make money from submitting my research results to the government. Do you think they will pay me for researching insects?」(Nord)
「Well… I don’t think so…」(Kate)
Seeing Kate shaking her head, Nord shrugged and smiled bitterly.
「Then, how about researching plants?」(Kate)
「Alchemists have more knowledge about plants than us researchers. No one can beat them when it comes to researching plants. That’s why I chose to study monsters as my main job since not many people do that. I study plants only as a hobby.」(Nord)
Alchemists mainly use plants as materials to make potions. Many of them study plants in order to make new potions and increase the variety of potions.
Nord chose to do research on monsters because the government paid him well for that. The reason was that his research results could be useful to increase the security of the kingdom.
On the other hand, research on plants or insects rarely piqued the government’s attention unless it’s beneficial to the kingdom.
「So you chose to do research on monsters because it’s far more profitable than research on plants, huh?」(Kate)
「But Nord-san, if you can’t do research on plants themselves, then how about doing research on the cultivation method?」(Iris)
Iris, who had been listening, joined the conversation.
「You mean how to grow plants? That makes no difference. The methods of growing plantsー valuable herbs, specifically, had been done by alchemists. There’s nothing left for researchers like me can do.」(Nord)
「Are you sure? Have you taken a look at the herb field next to Store Owner-dono’s shop?」(Iris)
「Herb field? Ah, that reminds me, I saw a field surrounded by sturdy fences, but I didn’t see it closely. What about that?」(Nord)
「That’s Store Owner-dono’s herb field but it’s actually cultivated by a married couple who know nothing about alchemy. Store Owner-dono said that the herbs they grow are easy-to-grow types. Therefore, they can take care of the field after Store Owner-dono trained them for a while.」(Iris)
「I see. And then?」(Nord)
「Hard-to-grow herbs can be sold at a higher price, but Store Owner-dono chose the easy-to-grow ones because the chance for the married couple to successfully grow the hard-to-grow ones is very slim. Not many people can grow those types of herbs after all.」(Iris)
「Indeed. So, what’s your point?」(Nord)
「Nord-san, don’t you think you will make a lot of money if you can find a method to cultivate herbs that are difficult to grow?」(Iris)
「Research on the cultivation of herbs… that are difficult to grow…?」(Nord)
「Yes. So that people can grow hard-to-grow types of herbs easily.」
After listening to Iris, Nord stopped walking and thought for a moment. He folded his arms and whispered to himself.
Iris and Kate also stopped, waiting for Nord.
「That’s interesting… I can hire professionals to grow those types of herbs so that I can devote myself to studying them. Moreover, I can do this research on a continuous basis… I see… Iris-kun, you’re a genius! Thank you for giving me this idea!」(Nord)
Nord grabbed Iris’ hands and shook them up and down with a big smile on his face.
「I, Is that so? Haha! Looks like my brain isn’t there just to add weight to my head. But, Nord-san, I don’t think it will be easy.」(Iris)
「Of course, I know. Someone would have done this research long ago if it was easy. It will be difficult but I have some research results that may be useful. If the government pays me well for my search on Salamanders this time, I may have enough money to start it!」(Nord)
Iris clapped her hands as soon as Nord let go of them.
「Then, first, you have to do your best in this expedition!」(Iris)
「You’re right! Alright, let’s hurry! Our pace is somewhat slow today.」(Nord)
「Whose fault do you think it is…?」(Iris)
Iris and Kate sighed and continued leading the way.
◇ ◇ ◇
Thanks to Iris motivating Nord, their pace greatly increased.
Nord occasionally stopped to observe rare plants earlier, but he walked without stopping now. Moreover, because he trained his body, he walked quite fast even though he was carrying a big, heavy backpack. Because of that, Iris and Kate, who led the way, had to walk even faster.
As a result, they reached the foot of the volcano a bit faster than planned.
「Guys, let’s put on our Heat-proof Coats here.」(Nord)
「Alright. Kate, let’s set up a tent.」(Iris)
While Nord was changing clothes behind a tree, Iris and Kate set up a tent and changed clothes inside.
As a matter of course, the Heat-proof Coats Iris and Kate wore were made by Sarasa, and their quality was clearly superior to the one Nord wore.
Nord was interested in the high quality Heat-proof Coats they were wearing.
「Hee… So these are the Heat-proof Coats Sarasa-kun made, huh? Impressive… How much heat can they handle?」(Nord)
「According to Store Owner-san, you can touch lava for a few seconds while wearing this.」(Kate)
「Really? That’s amazing…」(Nord)
Heat-proof Coats made by Sarasa were different from ordinary Heat-proof Coats.
Because she made them as armor to fight a Salamander, she prioritized the quality over the cost, so naturally, the quality of Sarasa’s Heat-proof Coats is completely different from ordinary ones.
Ordinary Heat-proof Coats were only enough to protect you from the hot air and heat coming from lava, but Sarasa’s Heat-proof Coats could even stand the heat of Salamander’s Breath.
They totally outperformed ordinary Heat-proof Coats, but of course, they were far more costly than the ordinary ones.