Chapter 4-42 : Looking For An Exit Ⅵ (part 2)
The hole is a bit narrow but it can’t be helped. I dug it using an artifact for digging holes. The bigger the hole size, the more materials are required to activate it.
Even though this hole is small, the value of the materials used to dig it is not cheap, but there’s no way I would leave them alone.
「Guys, welcome back to the outside!」(Sarasa)
「Ohh! Finally, I can see the sunlight again!」(Iris)
As soon as they came out of the hole, Iris-san straightened her hips and spread her arms upward, enjoying the sunlight and the fresh air, while Kate-san squinted her eyes as she looked up at the sky and took a deep breath.
「Aahh~ This cold air feels so refreshing. Is it already winter?」(Kate)
「Yeah. It snowed a little yesterday. Luckily, it didn’t last for long. If it did, we would have a hard time looking for you guys.」(Sarasa)
「”We”? …Ah, you said you didn’t come here alone.」(Kate)
「Yup. I came with these guys.」(Sarasa)
I turned around and pointed my hand at the three people who came with me.
「Iris, Kate, I’m glad you’re okay!」(Andre)
「It must have been tough for you guys.」(Gil)
「Glad you guys are not injured.」(Gray)
As their eyes had gotten used to the brightness, Iris-san and Kate-san blinked a few times and looked in the direction I was pointing.
They opened their eyes wide as they recognized the familiar faces.
「Andre, Gil, Gray! You came for us too!?」(Iris)
「You guys… Thank you! Sorry if we made you worry.」(Kate)
「It’s okay. You should thank Sarasa-chan. We wouldn’t have come if she didn’t tell us what happened to you.」(Andre)
「She asked us to help her look for you but we haven’t been able to do much to help.」(Gil)
「Right. I feel like we’re just accompanying her.」(Gray)
「No, no. What are you talking about? I wouldn’t have made it this far without you three.」(Sarasa)
Andre-san and the others acted humbled as if they were embarrassed that Iris-san and Kate-san were grateful to them.
They said they didn’t help much but it wasn’t true. They have been a great help to me.
To find Iris-san and the others’ location, distance is important. Moreover, to synchronize my mind with Kurumi’s efficiently, I need to be as close as possible to her.
However, I’m an alchemist. My greatest strength is the ability to make artifacts and potions, but my workshop is in my house, so I will be greatly restricted in what I can do if I leave my house.
To deal with this problem, I came up with an ideaーー
◇ ◇ ◇
「Hee… It’s small but it’s quite a splendid base.」(Iris)
「Right? We built this hut so that I can do alchemy anytime here.」(Sarasa)
My idea was to make a hut that can be used as a base near the volcano and bring a magic furnace and an alchemy pot there.
First, I bought processed wood from Geberg-san. Andre-san and the others then brought it here and built a small hut. After that, we installed a magic furnace and an alchemy pot inside.
With body-strengthening magic, I could do it by myself but it would take time, so I asked Andre-san and his party members to help.
Andre-san, Gil-san, and Gray-san have helped me a lot. They carried wood and other heavy things from the village. They were also sending messages to the village, and patrolling around the hut.
I pay them daily but the amount I offered was not high and I don’t think it matches the amount of work they have been doing. However, they didn’t complain.
I believe that they cooperated with me not because they wanted the money but because they wanted to save Iris-san and Kate-san.
「I see. So, Sarasa-kun, you built this base here so that you can work while trying to grasp the situation inside the cave from here and come up with a rescue plan. That’s interesting.」(Nord)
Nord-san, who was stretching his body and doing exercise as soon as he got out of the cave, peeked into the hut from behind and joined the conversation.
However, what he got was cold gazes from the three tough-looking Collectors.
「So, you are the researcher guy who caused all this trouble, huh?」(Andre)
「How dare you put Iris-chan and Kate-chan in danger?!」(Gil)
「They may be your escort but you should put effort into avoiding danger for their sake and for your sake as well.」(Gray)
Nord-san looked a bit sorry. He smiled cheerfully at the three and replied to them.
「Haha. You guys are right. I made a mistake probably because I don’t have enough people with muscles this time. If only I had you guys with me, I might have managed to avoid danger.」(Nord)
I’m not sure if it has anything to do with muscles but after saying that, Nord-san rolled up his sleeve and showed his arm muscles.
For some reason, Gray-san stared at Nord-san’s muscles with interest and then did the same thing, pulling up his sleeve and showing his arm muscles.
Nord-san and Gray-san then exchanged their gazes and smiled at each other.
I don’t know why but I feel that there’s a strange connection between the two of them now.
「I see. If that’s the case, then I have nothing more to say.」(Gray)
「Oi, oi! Gray, why are you so friendly toward him all of a sudden? I don’t even understand what he said. Besides, it doesn’t have anything to do with muscles! Muscles won’t help you if you’re trapped in a cave!」(Gil)
「Huh? The one who don’t understand is you, Gil.」(Gray)
After replying to Gil-san with cold eyes, Gray-san turned to Nord-san and stepped closer to him.
「Those are splendid muscles. Not bad for a researcher. Not bad at all.」(Gray)
「Thank you. I train my body every day even though I’m a researcher. You have splendid muscles as well. As expected of a Collector.」(Nord)
After passionately looking at each other for a moment, Nord-san and Gray-san entangled each other’s muscular arms and grinned, showing their sparkling teeth to each other.
「Oh, god… What the hell is happening…?」(Gil)
On the other hand, Gil-san put his hand on his forehead and looked up at the ceiling.
Meanwhile, their party leader, Andre-san, sighed and shrugged his shoulders at the corner of the hut.