Chapter 4-22 : Salamander’s Cave Ⅳ
About three hundred meters before they reached the entrance, Iris and Nord stopped.
It would be safer if they went out of the cave but their physical strength as humans didn’t allow them to keep running, climbing the passage while carrying heavy luggage on their backs.
Even Nord, who had more stamina than Iris and Kate, was resting his hands on his knees while breathing heavily.
「Haahh… Haahhh… I’m so tired…」(Iris)
Saying that, Iris dropped her backpack on the ground and sat down.
She was sweating a lot even though her Heatproof Coat had a cooling function. After all, although that function could create a comfortable temperature inside the coat, you would sweat a lot after doing heavy exercise.
Iris took out a bottle of water from her luggage and started gulping the water quickly as if she was eager to replace the water in her body that had turned into sweat while she was running.
Meanwhile, Kate finally caught up. She then immediately took out her water bottle and started gulping just like Iris.
「Pwaaahh! That was close…」(Kate)
「Kate, did you use the artifact?」(Iris)
「It can’t be helped… *gulp gulp* Pwaahhh!」(Iris)
After quenching her thirst, Iris glared at Nord with sharp eyes.
「Hey, Nord-san… There’s a lot I want to ask, but first, do you realize what you just did?」(Iris)
「You mean, reviving the Salamander?」(Nord)
Unlike Iris and Kate, who immediately took out their water bottles, Nord took out his notebook instead and started writing while replying to Iris without looking at her face.
「Yeah! You knew that a Salamander would spawn, didn’t you!?」(Iris)
「To be exact, I was making predictions that a Salamander would spawn if I did the experiment.」(Nord)
「Then why? You knew it would be dangerous, right?」(Iris)
「Because it’s necessary. I can’t call myself a researcher if I hesitate to do experiments just because they’re risky. In the first place, I wouldn’t have become a monster researcher if I wanted a safe job.」(Nord)
Nord finally raised his face and looked at Iris as he said that.
Nord hired Iris and Kate as escorts because he knew that he wouldn’t be able to avoid danger while doing his work, so it was strange for Iris to complain about how risky his experiment was.
Iris found it difficult to object but then she thought that as the one being escorted, Nord shouldn’t do something that could endanger their life without her or Kate knowing.
「Alright, I understand that your job is full of danger, but you should at least let us know before doing something dangerous!」(Iris)
「Ah, yeah… You’re right. I should have told you before doing the experiment. Sorry about that.」(Nord)
「Say, Nord-san, was that experiment really necessary? Did you really have to do that?」(Kate)
After emptying her water bottle, Kate joined the conversation.
「Of course. The results from that experiment alone will surely be useful for the country.」(Nord)
「I still don’t understand how can it be useful for the country…」(Kate)
「Hmm, I wonder how I can put it… In this country, you can go to this place, the Sea of Trees at the foot of Gerba Loch Mountains to get materials from certain monsters. However, there’s no guarantee that you will always find those monsters and get the materials you want, right?」(Nord)
「My experiment proved that monsters can artificially be spawned by increasing the density of the magical power in their habitat. You know what it means?」(Nord)
「Ah! If you can’t find the monster you’re looking for, you can just increase the amount of magical power in its habitat and wait until it’s spawned.」(Kate)
「Ding ding ding! You’re correct!」(Nord)
「I got the idea, but…」(Kate)
「I think it would be safer if you just order the materials you can’t find in this country from another country.」(Iris)
「Normally, you will think so, but it’s actually very risky to our country because other countries will think that we have run out of alchemy materials.」(Nord)
The country where Sarasa and the others live was not currently at war with any other country, but that didn’t mean that they didn’t need to be ready.
Even though this country didn’t have the intention to attack other countries, they had to maintain the situation where other countries thought that they were risky to fight, so that no one would come to attack.
This country was strong because it had so many talented alchemists. The artifacts and potions they made also played an important role in this strategy.
If other countries found out that this country ran out of materials, they would think that it had weakened, meaning that the risk of being attacked would increase.
「I see. Nord-san, you talk like a politician. Are you a noble?」(Iris)
「Kind of. I can’t tell you the details but all I want is to contribute to this country with my research. That way, the government will keep sending me reward money!」(Nord)
Iris and Kate couldn’t help but smile wryly when Nord said that shamelessly.
「But, Nord-san, it didn’t have to be a Salamander, right? I mean, you could have just made a Lava Lizard or a Hellfire Grizzly spawn.」(Iris)
「What are you talking about? My research theme this time is Salamanders, you know? Besides, Salamanders rarely come out of their nest, so there won’t be any problem.」(Nord)
It’s almost impossible for Salamanders to come to villages or towns to attack people since they don’t usually come out of their nests.
「Well, that’s true, but because of that, we almost got killed!」(Iris)
「Even though we wouldn’t get burned by the breath because we’re wearing Heatproof Coat made by Store Owner-san, that lizard could have killed us with its ramming attack!」(Kate)
「Moreover, although we can stand the breath, our backpacks can’t. Our stuff could have turned into charcoal and we would starve to death before reaching the village!」(Iris)
「Ahaha… Okay, okay. I’m sorry… But here we are, still alive and kicking.」(Nord)
「Well… Come to think of it, we were able to escape thanks to you punching that lizard. I was so confused at that moment.」(Iris)
Nord’s uppercut didn’t hurt the Salamander but it made the lizard lose its balance and gave an opportunity for Iris and Kate to flee.
「Yeah, I was taken aback as well when he rushed toward the lizard. Nord-san, I have to admit that you’re stronger than I thought….. And crazier than I thought…」(Kate)
After complimenting Nord, Kate glanced sideways and muttered to herself.
「Ahaha! I trained my body well after all!」(Nord)
As always, after being praised, Nord made a pose to show his arm muscles.
「By the way, why didn’t you bring any weapons? It will be safer if you have a sword or a dagger.」(Iris)
「No. As a researcher who studies monsters, I don’t want to damage my research subject. That’s why I always use my fists to fight.」(Nord)
After Nord said that, Iris and Kate looked at each other and whispered.
「He prioritizes his research over his own safety…」(Iris)
「That’s Nord-san for you…」(Kate)