Chapter 4-5 : The Visit Of A Researcher Ⅳ
「By the way, how long do you need to complete my Floating Tent?」(Nord)
If I focus only on making his Floating Tent it will only take three days but I have to make something else, so…
「Probably… Five days at most.」(Sarasa)
「Alright. I want to go to the volcano as soon as possible but… Well, I guess I’ll walk around the Great Sea of Trees for a couple of days while waiting. This is my first time visiting this area, so I might find something interesting.」(Nord)
「You’re free to go to the forest but please don’t go too deep. It’s dangerous.」(Sarasa)
「Don’t worry. I won’t go too far from the village. I hope I’ll find something that can be my next research theme!」(Nord)
Researchers are greedy for knowledge, and that’s why they can produce some results from their research, but I hope he really won’t go too deep into the forest because of curiosity…
「I’ll be in the inn most of the time, so you can go there if you want to see me. Ah, by the way, the inn is very good. I mean, it’s too good for an inn in a remote village like this. I thought the room would be dusty and the bed would be squeaky.」(Nord)
Iris-san, Kate-san and I could only smile bitterly when Nord-san said something quite rude.
「Ah, you’re probably renting a room in the new building. Diral-san, the inn’s owner, expanded her inn not long ago.」(Sarasa)
「You’re lucky to come after the new inn building is complete, or else, you would have tasted hell living in that inn.」(Iris)
「Before they built the new building, the inn was packed with stinky Collectors after all. People who didn’t get rooms had no choice but to camp outside.」(Kate)
「Is that so? Thank God… I don’t mind camping outside while doing research in a forest or on a mountain but I want to enjoy my rest when I’m in a village or a town.」(Nord)
Andre-san once told me that Collectors who came from outside the village mostly chose to stay for a while because this village is close to the Great Sea of Trees and because there’s a reliable alchemist shop here. I’m pretty sure he was talking about my shop.
Because of that, Diral-san’s inn became more and more full of Collectors. Therefore, she decided to expand her inn.
I’m happy that the number of Collectors who stay in this village has increased but I’m a bit worried that they will leave eventually because this is kind of a boring place. There’s no entertainment or anything here.
However, we can’t make an entertainment district here. If they want entertainment, they have to go to the nearby town; in this case, South Strugg.
Besides, if such a thing was made in this village, it wouldn’t be good for Lorea-chan’s education.
◇ ◇ ◇
After Nord-san returned to the inn, we moved to the table on the shop floor to have tea. Lorea-chan also joined us.
「I agreed to do the job, but… Store Owner-san, are you sure we’ll be fine…?」(Kate)
「Don’t worry, you’ll be fine….. Probably.」(Sarasa)
Kate-san seemed worried somehow. It’s probably because she never received an escort job.
After all, people, mostly merchants, who need an escort will normally hire mercenaries, not Collectors.
Collectors sometimes do escort jobs but the ones they escort are normally alchemists who can’t defend themselves.
In other words, Collectors rarely get a job as an escort.
「Well, you see. You will be escorting a researcher, after all. You need to be vigilant.」(Sarasa)
「What do you mean?」(Kate)
「Researchers are creatures who are thirsty for knowledge. They prioritize their research over their own safety sometimes and will do everything for research purposes. Well, not all researchers are like that though.」(Sarasa)
If you simply make a round trip to a Salamander’s nest, the risk is low. However, there’s no way a researcher like Nord-san will only take a look at the nest for a couple minutes and then go home.
There’s no doubt that the risk will increase to some extent.
「Umm… Isn’t that a stereotype…?」(Kate)
「Maybe. But I think Nord-san is a bit suspicious. I don’t think his research on the ecology of monsters is important for the people in this kingdom, but strangely, the government approved his papers and gave him a lot of prize money.」(Sarasa)
Listening to what I said, Kate-san and Iris-san looked at each other worriedly.
「Then, should we turn him down…? But…」(Kate)
「No, you don’t have to. I wouldn’t have introduced him to the both of you if I thought the job was too dangerous for you. It’s indeed a risky job, but you can rest assured!」(Sarasa)
「Why do you say that? Ah, could it be… Are you going to accompany us?」(Kate)
「I’m not. You know I have work to do.」(Sarasa)
Kate-san looked a bit disappointed when I shook my head.
They’re not going to fight monsters, so I want them to do this job themselves. Besides, they’re professional Collectors, so they can’t rely on me all the time.
「But don’t worry, I’ll prepare something for you.」(Sarasa)
「Oh! Are you going to lend us an artifact!?」(Iris)
Iris-san suddenly leaned forward as she asked. She seemed excited for some reason.
I put my index finger on her lips to calm her down and gently pushed her back until she sat back on her chair.
「Yeah, I will lend you an artifact, but this artifact is kinda different from other artifacts. It’s called a “Homunculus”.」(Sarasa)
「Homunculus? I feel like I’ve heard that name somewhere but I didn’t know what it was…」(Iris)
「Sarasa-san, what kind of artifact is that?」(Lorea)
Lorea-chan, who has been quietly listening, suddenly asked me.
As usual, she looks somewhat excited when I’m about to make new artifacts.
「There are many types of Homunculi, but to put it simply, they’re like familiars. There’s some limitation, but it can share its senses with the user, so I can see your situation from here if you bring it when you escort Nord-san.」(Sarasa)
「Really? If such an artifact exists, Voice Boxes would become worthless then.」(Iris)
「No, no. If you just want to talk with another person, you should use a Voice Box instead of a Homunculus. Using a Homunculus is not as easy as using a Voice Box.」(Sarasa)
I started explaining the reason.
First of all, the range where the sound can be delivered with a Voice Box is overwhelmingly wider than the range where you can share your senses with a Homunculus. That’s why you can talk with someone in a faraway place with a Voice Box.
Unlike a Voice Box, you need to regularly supply your magical power to a Homunculus in order to keep it functioning. That’s why you can’t leave it in another place for too long like a Voice Box.
Moreover, Homunculi are quite difficult artifacts to make.
The reason why I told Nord-san that I would complete his Floating Tent in five days instead of three days is that I need some time to make a Homunculus.
Aside from a Homunculus, I also want to make Resonance Stones.
Resonance Stones are artifacts that are made in pairs. If you break one stone, the other stone will break too, and it will let you talk with the person who also has the stone for a brief moment.
They are disposable artifacts, so you can’t talk continuously like when you use a Voice Box. However, unlike Voice Boxes, you don’t need magical power to use Resonance Stones, so everyone can use them.
After I’m done explaining, Iris-san nodded several times and asked me.
「I see… So, if something goes wrong, I need to break the stone to notify you?」(Iris)
「Exactly. After that, I’ll check your situation with the Homunculus. However, whether I can help or not depends on the situation.」(Sarasa)
「Alright, I understand.」(Iris)