Chapter 4-44 : Epilogue (part 1)
After staying overnight at Diral-san’s inn, Nord-san left the village the next day.
He said that he wanted to go home quickly and summarize his research results.
He doesn’t have much money left, so he has to submit his research results to the government as soon as possible and hope that the government likes them and gives him money.
Nord-san had to pay Iris-san and Kate-san based on the number of days they worked for him. Since they were trapped in the cave for more than thirty days, he had to pay them a big amount of money. In addition, he also paid for the items in the emergency pack they had consumed.
Honestly, I was a bit worried about him. I asked if he would be able to return home with the remaining money he had but he said, “I’ll be fine as long as I have these muscles!” while laughing and flexing his arm muscles.
I wonder if he would hunt animals or something with his brute strength…
He is a researcher, so I guess he knows how to survive in the wild.
He’s a weirdo but he’s a generous person. He wasn’t stingy at all and fully paid Iris-san and Kate-san even though he didn’t have much money.
Perhaps his generosity and toughness are the reason for his success in his career.
On the other hand, Iris-san and Kate-san were just chilling and sleeping all day long for several days.
I understand why they were not in the mood to work though.
By the way, Lorea-chan was crying from joy as soon as she saw Iris-san and Kate-san’s faces when we got home. She was so excited and felt relieved at the same time, and as a result, she had a light fever the next day.
I didn’t think she had any symptoms of illness but I still gave her medicine and a potion to restore her physical strength and told her to rest at home for a few days.
◇ ◇ ◇
-A week after Iris and Kate returned home-
After Iris-san and Kate-san’s physical strength had recovered and Lorea-chan got better, I made a suggestion.
「Let’s go to the hot spring!」(Sarasa)
I stood up and said that while the four of us were eating breakfast at the dining table.
Iris-san and Kate-san looked a bit puzzled while Lorea-chan didn’t because I told her about it beforehand.
「Do we have a hot spring around here?」(Kate)
「Yup. It appeared a few weeks ago while you guys were trapped in the cave.」(Sarasa)
Iris-san and Kate-san looked surprised yet somewhat happy.
Meanwhile, Lorea-chan glanced at me and squinted.
「Sarasa-san, it didn’t appear. You MADE it, right?」(Lorea)
「Made it? Store Owner-san, what does she mean?」(Kate)
Kate-san asked curiously while looking at me with suspicion.
「Ahaha… Well, she’s right. I made the hot spring.」(Sarasa)
「Really? How did you do it?」(Kate)
「You guys bathed in a hot spring lately, didn’t you?」(Sarasa)
「Umm… Do you mean the underground hot spring we found in the cave? But how did you know? Could it be…」(Kate)
「Yup. It’s thanks to Kurumi.」(Sarasa)
「I knew it. So, what about the underground hot spring?」(Kate)
「Somehow, I managed to draw the hot water from there to the outside.」(Sarasa)
「Somehow? Uhh… You made it sound as if it wasn’t a big deal…」(Kate)
After Kate-san said that as she put her fingers on her chin and tilted her head, Lorea-chan glanced at me again.
「No, Kate-san. It WAS a big deal. You don’t know how ridiculously expensive the cost was. Right, Sarasa-san?」(Lorea)
「A, Ahaha… But, Lorea-chan, it was a necessary experiment. Certainly, it wasn’t cheap though…」(Sarasa)
Because mining is one of the most important industries in this country, there are many artifacts that can be used for mining.
The artifact I used to dig a hole when I rescued Iris-san and the others was one of them.
No one makes a living from mining in this village, so there’s no demand for such artifacts. Therefore, I made it myself.
Normally, artifacts for mining are big but I modified mine and made it as small and compact as possible so that I could carry it around easily.
Of course, all the materials to make it were not cheap.
「First, I had to check whether it was safe or not to dig a hole to draw the hot water outside.」(Sarasa)
「But in order to do that, you needed to know the exact location of the underground hot spring, right?」(Kate)
「Yup. While you were in the cave, did you realize that Kurumi sometimes drew something on the ground or rocks?」(Sarasa)
「Ah, now that you mention it, she drew something on a stone when we bathed in the hot spring.」(Kate)
「Store Owner-dono, I remember you mention about it in the hut after you rescued us.」(Iris)
「I did. Kurumi didn’t just draw without purpose. Her drawings were marks that helped me grasp the shape of the cave.」(Sarasa)
「I see. So that’s how you learned where the underground hot spring was.」(Kate)
Digging a hole from the outside to the underground hot spring was not easy and cost a lot of precious alchemy materials, but since we can now enjoy a hot spring, it was worth the trouble.
「So, where did you make the hot spring?」(Iris)
「It’s actually near the hut I built to rescue you.」(Sarasa)
「Is that so? But I didn’t see it back then.」(Iris)
「It’s a little away from the hut. It’s near the volcano. I made it there because it’s the nearest spot to the underground hot spring. Actually, I made the hot spring so that you guys could enjoy it as soon as you got out of the cave but it was starting to snow back then, so I thought it best if we immediately went to the village first and returned for the hot spring later.」(Sarasa)
「I see. If that’s the case, then shall we go after eating?」(Iris)
「Ahh~ I can’t wait to enjoy the hot spring again!」(Kate)