Chapter 4-20 : Salamander’s Cave Ⅱ
「The after-effect of the battle, you say?」(Nord)
「Yeah. When we fought the Salamander, Store Owner-dono used a high-level ice spell to freeze it.」(Iris)
「Her spell was so powerful that the whole area around here was completely covered in ice.」(Kate)
Hearing Iris and Kate’s words, Nord opened his eyes wide in shock. He looked around and pointed at the river of lava.
「Even this river of lava…?」(Nord)
「Yup. It was frozen too.」(Iris)
While imagining the lava in the entire area was frozen by a single girl, Nord sighed in awe.
「Unbelievable… I know she was the disciple of a master-class alchemist, but it seems like her power exceeds my expectations.」(Nord)
「I know she is very strong but do you think she is that amazing?」(Iris)
「Of course. Salamanders are weak against cold, so fighting them with ice magic is indeed the most effective way, but I think Sarasa-kun’s spell is too powerful. She even froze lava. That’s incredible.」(Nord)
Seeing Nord say that with an amazed expression, Iris and Kate looked at each other.
「We do think that she is amazing, but…」(Iris)
「It looks like Store Owner-san is even more extraordinary than we thought.」(Kate)
Iris and Kate hadn’t met many alchemists, so they didn’t know the standard of how powerful alchemists were. They thought that most alchemists were at the same level as Sarasa or just a bit weaker than her. They didn’t know that Sarasa was exceptionally better than most of them.
「I thought most alchemists are as strong as Store Owner-dono.」(Iris)
「I don’t think so. She is one of the top graduates of the Alchemy School, right? I bet she was the best student in her grade back then.」(Nord)
When she was still at school, not only was Sarasa good at making potions and artifacts, but she was also good at subjects that were not directly related to alchemy such as swordsmanship, magic, woodworking, ect.
She was especially good at using magic because she had a lot more magical power than normal people.
「Moreover, I do think that Sarasa-kun is one of those geniuses who are born every ten years.」(Nord)
Regardless of his weird personality, as a researcher, Nord knew a lot of alchemists, but Sarasa was probably the most talented one he had ever met.
「Yeah. I’m still wondering why a great alchemist like her opened a store in that remote village… Do you guys know something about it?」(Nord)
「I know a little but… I’m not sure if I can tell you. I’m sorry.」(Iris)
「It’s alright. I’m just a little curious. It’s not that I want to pry into a girl’s secret. Anyway, I’m very impressed that Sarasa-kun can use a powerful ice spell even though she is an alchemist, not a magician. Ahh… I wish I could watch her fight the Salamander back then.」(Nord)
「That was indeed a powerful spell… By the way, Nord-san, how do people usually fight Salamanders?」(Iris)
「First of all, you want to lure them out of their nest. After all, you will be at a disadvantage if you fight them in their nest.」(Nord)
「Is that so?」(Iris)
「Salamanders like hot places. The hotter the place, the more they like it. You know that inside the nest is way hotter than the outside, right? Also, it’s not recommended to fight them near a river of lava like this because they can heal themselves by diving into the lava.」(Nord)
「I see. I get the idea, but…」(Iris)
「Why didn’t Store Owner-san use this method back then? She chose to fight here instead.」(Kate)
Iris and Kate looked at each other’s confused faces.
「Ah, it’s because there were only three of you. To lure a Salamander out of its nest, you need a large number of people so that you can switch places and help each other while running and attacking the Salamander at the same time. Doing that with a small number of people is too dangerous.」(Nord)
Luring a Salamander could be a very dangerous task because the Salamander would keep attacking while chasing you.
Sarasa knew that she wouldn’t be able to protect both Iris and Kate at the same time.
Fighting a Salamander in its nest is risky, but luring it out with only three people is more risky, so Sarasa was forced to fight in the nest.
「In the first place, why did you challenge a Salamander with only three of you? You should have brought more people.」(Nord)
For Nord, it was a natural question to ask, but not for Iris.
She frowned and bent her mouth awkwardly.
「Umm… I can’t tell you in detail but it’s probably because of me…」(Iris)
The reason why they went to hunt a Salamander was to help Iris and her father pay off their huge amount of debt to Baronet Kirk.
Hiring people and preparing Heatproof Coats for all of them would cost a lot of money. If they did that, they wouldn’t be able to get enough money to pay the debt.
「Hmm, seems like you have your own circumstances. Don’t worry, I won’t ask further. Anyway, thanks to you guys defeating the Salamander, I can now investigate this nest freely~」(Nord)
Saying that, Nord looked around the nest and smiled.
He was grateful to Sarasa for preparing the perfect environment for him to learn more about Salamander habitats.
He put the magical power measuring artifact on the ground, took out other tools from his backpack, and started working again.
「I think this investigation will take some time, so you two can take some rest while I’m working.」(Nord)
「What did… you say…?」(Kate)
「Hm? It will take some time.」(Nord)
「No, no. After that.」(Kate)
「You can take some rest?」(Nord)
「「Are you sure!?」」(Iris&Kate)
「Yeah, you two had been working really hard, so you deserve it.」(Nord)
Hearing such unbelievable words coming from Nord, Iris and Kate looked at each other and smiled with teary eyes.
They had been through hell to get to this point but they could finally take some rest. They couldn’t express how happy they were.