Chapter 4-17 : Survey Expedition Ⅲ (part 1)
「Aa-ahh… I wish I had a Heat-proof Coat made by Sarasa-kun…」(Nord)
「By the way, Nord-san, how about your Heat-proof Coat?」(Iris)
「Well, it’s a mass-produced item. It’s not a unique Heat-proof Coat like yours. It’s only enough to protect me from the heat of the volcano.」(Nord)
Mass-produced Heat-proof Coats can protect you from the heat in a high-temperature environment, but not for a long time. Also, you can’t use them as armor to fight a Salamander because they won’t stand against a Salamander’s Breath, unlike Sarasa’s Heat-proof Coats.
「Well, we won’t fight a Salamander, so there’s nothing to worry about… I hope.」(Nord)
「I hope so too… Will you be okay entering a Salamander’s cave with that Heat-proof Coat of yours? The cave is far hotter than the outside after all.」(Iris)
「Ah, the last time I went inside a Salamander’s cave, sweat flowed out from my body like a waterfall, and I occasionally got dizzy from dehydration. I almost lost consciousness twice during the expedition back then.」(Nord)
If Nord didn’t bring people to escort him, he would have died of dehydration and heat stroke.
He didn’t realize that his curiosity almost killed him. Because of that, no one wanted to be his escort.
「Eh…? Will you REALLY gonna be okay…?」(Iris)
「Don’t worry, I trained my body. I’ll be fine!」(Nord)
While saying that, Nord showed Iris and Kate his arm muscles.
「No, no. You’re going to fight against heat, not bandits or monsters! Your muscles won’t help!」(Iris)
「Umm… You may be right, but I was fine last time, so I’m sure I’ll be fine this time as well.」(Nord)
Of course, you can’t deal with dehydration and heat stroke with your muscles. What you need is a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated, not your muscles.
Last time, he survived thanks to the escorts who helped him by continuously giving him water.
「Uhh… I don’t know how you get so much confidence, but luckily, there’s a source of water nearby.」(Iris)
「Yeah. We filled our water containers, so I think we don’t have to worry about running out of water.」(Kate)
Before they started climbing the volcano, they filled their water containers in a river near the foot of the volcano that they found the last time they came with Sarasa.
Knowing that there was a water source nearby gave them a bit of peace of mind.
「I wish there was another water source near the Salamander’s cave.」(Iris)
「I wish so too, but unfortunately, we can only find hot water on this volcano. I’m not sure if we can drink it. Nord-san, what do you think?」(Kate)
「I don’t think it’s drinkable. Well, you can drink it, but you will likely get sick.」(Nord)
On that volcano, there were a lot of places where hot water sprung out of the ground, but the water was muddy and didn’t look drinkable at all.
By the way, on his last expedition, Nord survived because one of his escorts found a spring with drinkable cold water not far from the Salamander’s nest he investigated.
Springs with cold water were rarely found near Salamander’s nests. Nord was very lucky at that time.
「Anyway, we’re gonna be fine, so let’s move on.」(Nord)
When Nord said that with a carefree tone, Iris and Kate looked at each other and sighed.
Although they had a bad feeling about this expedition, they started walking and following Nord since they agreed to escort him.
After walking for a while, they arrived at the habitat of Lava Lizards and Hellfire Grizzlies. However, they could only find Lava Lizards in the area.
「As I thought, there’s not even a single Hellfire Grizzly here.」(Nord)
Nord started to observe the surroundings. He measured the temperature of the mud and the surrounding air with an artifact while recording any information he got in his notebook.
Meanwhile, Iris and Kate were standing near him, ready to protect him as escorts. However, just like when they came with Sarasa last time, the Lava Lizards were ignoring them. They’re not aggressive monsters after all.
If Hellfire Grizzlies were still there, protecting Nord while he was absorbed in his research would be a tough job for the two.
「According to Store Owner-dono, the group of Hellfire Grizzlies who once lived here lost the competition for food against the Lava Lizards. That’s why they went into a frenzy and attacked our village.」(Iris)
「As I thought… Lava Lizards are not aggressive monsters, but it seems that they are better at hunting for food than Hellfire Grizzlies. The place where I did my expedition last time was also filled with Lava Lizards. I didn’t find any Hellfire Grizzlies there either.」(Nord)
「I see. By the way, are there other monsters besides Lava Lizards and Hellfire Grizzlies living in volcanoes that have Salamanders?」(Iris)
「Hmm… I will say it’s still under investigation. So far, we can only find Lava Lizards and Hellfire Grizzlies or either of them. I think other monsters can’t stand the presence of Salamanders on top of the volcano, so they don’t want to live near them. Well, there’s no proof, so I can’t be too sure about that. It’s just my speculation.」(Nord)
「Investigating that is your job as a researcher, right?」(Iris)
「Exactly. Not only study Salamanders but I also have to investigate their habitat. In other words, this entire volcano is my research subject. That way, the government will definitely recognize my hard work and give me a lot of reward money!」(Nord)
「Ahh… I see…」(Iris)
When Nord said that frankly, Iris awkwardly nodded at him.
「Therefore, Iris-kun, Kate-kun, can you help me with something?」(Nord)
「Alright. What do you want us to do?」(Kate)
「I want you to catch a Lava Lizard alive for me.」(Nord)
「「……Huh!?」」(Iris & Kate)