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Chapter 14 – Master Is Cute
I put my hands together and touched the food that Sylphy had made for me. I guess today’s menu is… It’s made by frying various finely chopped vegetables with finely chopped meat, then adding beans and stewing them in a mixture of mead and spices. It’s kind of like Indian food.
They eat this as a side dish with the baked bread made of kneaded grain flour. The bread is also fluffier than the one I baked. Maybe the dough has been through a proper second fermentation. I think it took too little time for that, though.
“How is it?”
“It’s delicious. I like the tangy spices in it.”
“Is that so?”
Oh, Master! No, no, no. You can’t, Master! If you smile at me with such a happy face, I’ll die! Aah! You can’t do this! You can’t do this to me, Master!
“What are you agonizing over?”
“Sylphy is so cute; it’s hard to live with her.”
“What are you talking about?”
She got angry at me with a slightly reddened face. It’s quite frankly counterproductive. Calm down, stay me, stay me. We’re going to have a serious talk later, so calm down. Yes, like an enlightened Buddha, I need to be at peace. In the meantime, I should concentrate on the food.
“Was there such a dish in Kosuke’s world?”
“Well, not exactly the same, but something similar, I think. I think it’s similar to a dish that was often eaten in places quite far away from where I lived.”
“Hmm, so it doesn’t taste like home.”
“Yes, it’s very different from the taste of my homeland. But it’s delicious.”
I don’t know if I’ll be able to go back to my world, but if I’m going to bury my bones in this world, I guess this will be the taste of my home. Next time, I’ll ask Sylphi to teach me how to make it.
“Now, I want Kosuke to teach me the taste of his hometown.”
That’s right. I will try my best to recreate it.”
When it comes to making Japanese food, miso and soy sauce are the main problems… as well as kombu and dried bonito flakes to make dashi. Will it be possible for me to make it in the future? Yeah, let’s make that one of my goals.
After the meal, the two of us sat down on a wicker couch and had a relaxing time. But today, it would be more of a serious conversation than a relaxing time.
“So, where should we start?”
“Well, I guess we’ll start with the wall and countermeasures against Gizma.”
Sylphy, who had changed into casual clothes, brought over a ceramic bowl containing mead to me. And then she took the same bowl and presented it to me.
“I guess we have to make a toast here, too.”
“So the etiquette is the same everywhere there are alcohol and people.”
We quietly clinked our bowls together and slurped down the mead. Yes, it’s sweet. I’ll be careful not to drink too much.
“So, the wall. If you can use the brick or stone wall you showed me earlier, I think we can make it work. If we can get the refugees to help us get the materials, we should be able to do it pretty quickly.”
“I think bricks would be better for maintenance. That stone wall looks simple at first glance, but you can see that the stones are interlocked to make it very strong when you look closely. It’s going to take some time to figure out how to do that.”
Sylphy slurps down the mead, saying, If anyone knows how to make bricks, it would be among the elves and the Merinard people. By the way, she didn’t drink directly from the bottle today.
“Then all we need is a lot of clay and fuel. I can mine it, and if you can get the refugees to move, I’m sure we can make some good progress.”
“All right. Now we have to deal with Gizma.”
“I think we can get rid of it by building a wall and mass-producing crossbows.”
“That crossbow is powerful enough to break through Gizma’s shell. Can we get enough of them?”
“If it’s a standard product, the main problem will be the animal bones. The other materials can be obtained by cutting down trees and extracting iron ore.”
If I cut down trees, I can gather everything except iron and animal bones. The amount of iron used for the bolts is not that much, and if things go badly, the amount we mined today might not be enough.
“How many refugees are there in total?”
“The latest number I know is 312. Of those, only a little more than 80% are able to work; the rest are old people, children, and the wounded.”
“Even a child can at least carry the bolts. As for the crossbow, including the spare parts, three hundred would be enough.”
I calculated the number of materials needed for the rest of the crossbows roughly. Uhm, if a single tree yields one log, six flexible branches, eighteen twigs, and a hundred units of fiber, then a single log yields twenty-four pieces of wood, and four flexible branches can be produced from the wood… which is difficult for my math skills to calculate. But if I cut down fifty pieces of wood, I can get enough for three hundred crossbows. With the steel ax, I can probably cut down thirty trees in thirty minutes, so I can gather them in less than an hour.
“Yes, animal bones are still a problem. We’ll need animal bones that are at least as big as the Lizarf. We need to use them to strengthen the bow part.”
“Fumu, animal bones, huh…? Can you substitute it with Gizma shells instead?”
I couldn’t help but ask back at what Sylphy had said. I hadn’t thought of that.
“It is similar, isn’t it?”
“Is that… so? Come to think of it, can we use that Gizma without permission?”
“Since it was both Kosuke and I who killed it, it doesn’t matter what we do with it, does it?”
“But, you know, it’s worth something.”
“Yeah, I know. But you know that gemstone that Kosuke pulled out of the rock? That’s worth a lot more than the shell.”
Sylphy gave me her usual grin. I’m sure she’s thinking of something wicked.
“I see. Then let’s dismantle it and use it here.”
At any rate, it seems that I can use them, so I start dismantling the legs and torso of Gizma in my inventory. As I did so, I obtained a large amount of Gizma shells, strong tendons, insect meat, and Gizma poison glands. I checked the crafting menu and found that Gizma shells are interchangeable with animal bones.
“It looks good.”
The strong tendons also seem to be compatible with the tough strings used in the enhanced crossbow. My evaluation of Gizma went through the roof. It’s a treasure trove of resources that are hard to come by.
“I’ve been wondering, how does the economy work in this village?”
“The economy of this village is not very developed. Food is basically rationed as much as you need. However, things like luxury goods, jewelry, weapons, armor, etc., are bartered. Meat is also a luxury item in this village.”
“I see. So Gizma’s tough shell can be used as a material for various things?”
“That’s right. The shells can be processed and used for armor, weapons, ornaments, and various household goods. The meat becomes a delicacy, and the poison glands are used to make valuable medicines. Their antennae and leg tendons can be used as strings for bows and musical instruments. However, it’s not often that people go out of their way to hunt them because they are so dangerous.”
“I see… By the way, when I dismantled Gizma, I got a hell of a lot of insect meat.”
“It’s pretty tasty, actually.”
“In my hometown, we didn’t have much of an insect-eating culture.”
It seems that bee larvae and preserved locust boiled in soy were eaten in some areas, but I’ve never had them. But when I think about it, crabs, shrimps, and sea cucumbers are just like insects…?
“How does it taste?”
“It depends on the part, but basically, it’s plump and light in taste. You can boil them in salted water or fry them in oil with Garike and Pepal for a salty taste.”
Garike is garlic, and pepal is a spice like pepper. I knew it sounded like a crab or shrimp ingredient. I’ll have to give it a try.
“However, it doesn’t last very long. Keep it in your inventory for a while.”
Let’s try it tomorrow.
“So, there’s something else I’d like to ask you…”
“About my origins, right?”
Don’t suddenly lean over and whisper in my ear; you’ll startle me.
“Do you really want to know? You might regret it.”
“I thought I might want to know everything about my beloved Master.”
My eyes swam involuntarily. It’s kind of soft, and it smells kind of sweet, like mead or something, and I don’t know what to do because I’ve never had an experience where I’ve been bugged in such a sexy way.
“It’s not something special to say… still, I don’t really want to talk about it. But, if you insist, I’ll tell you.”
Sylphy breathed down my neck while giggling. I see, that’s how it is. If that’s the case, Kosuke will serve you with sincerity.
“As you may have guessed, I am a member of the Merinard royal family――no, let me be clear. I am a daughter of the Merinard royal family.”
After a few rounds of fighting, Sylphy suddenly said with a pout. She seemed to be willing to talk to me because of my passionate service.
“So Sylphy was a princess. Why did you go to the Black Forest alone?”
“It’s a royal tradition. The princes and princesses of the Merinard royal family were supposed to be educated as forest elves in the Black Forest for ten years after their birth.”
It doesn’t seem to be a kind of hostage situation. She had said that the elves of the Black Forest and the Merinard Kingdom traded with each other. Is it something like, “Don’t forget to be an elf when you leave the forest”?
“I had white skin at that time. My breasts were almost flat, and I was more slender. It’s hard for you to believe since you only know the current me.”
“Really? It is true that I only know the current Sylphy, but I love your brown skin and big boobs.”
“Mmm… Hey, we’re talking about something serious here, so just try to be patient.”
She pinched the back of my hand. It hurts.
“I’m sorry to say this is completely unrelated, but how long do elves live?”
“It varies a lot from person to person, but it is said to be around five hundred years. The oldest of the elders in this village is said to be over 700 years old.”
“Wow, they really do live a long life, don’t they?”
Sylphy said that the Merinard Kingdom became a vassal state of the Holy Kingdom about twenty years ago. At that time, she was already in the Black Forest, which means she was between 10 or 20 years old. This means that the current Sylphy would be between 30 or 40 years old. And since an elf’s lifespan is about 500 years, or 700 years if they live long enough, I think it’s safe to say that they have a lifespan about ten times longer than that of a human.
So, Sylphy is 3 or 4 years old in human terms…? It suddenly made me feel like I was a criminal or something.
“What’s with the silence all of a sudden?”
“No, if you take the lifespan of an elf and the age of Sylphy and apply it to the lifespan of a human, then?”
My words were met with a puzzled look from Sylphy, who suddenly started laughing.
“Hahahaha! If we were to do a simple calculation, then I would be an infant, less than four years old in human terms! However, the body and mind of an elf mature in roughly 20 years. After that, their physical growth becomes very gradual, and they remain almost the same until they are about 500 years old. In human terms, they have a long period of youth. That’s why Kosuke’s concern is misplaced.”
“Well, that’s good to know.”
It’s not a good situation if she’s 3 or 4 years old. It’s not just loli; it’s pedo territory. I’m not into that.
“There is no doubt that I am a young elf――or perhaps Kousuke-Oniichan would have preferred that Sylphy called him like that?”
Suddenly, Sylphy began to speak childishly with a lisp. Is there a four years old who has such a sexy body?
“It’s surprising that you would joke around like that.”
“I’ve already told you. It’s just that I’m a bit young to be an elf. Normally, elves of my age are still in the prime of their lives. They are usually picking flowers and strawberries in the mountains and fields, or helping their parents with their work.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes. But my country, my family, and the Holy Kingdom have taken them from me. Now that I’ve been robbed, I have to get them back and protect the people who fled to the Black Forest. I can’t remain a child. Unfortunately.”
“So you thought you could use me. A marebito from a different world.”
Sylphy’s expression froze at my words.
“A marebito who appears in the predicament of the elves of the Black Forest and saves them. If you use such power, you might be able to regain the Merinard Kingdom. This is the reason why Sylphy did not report to the elders that I was likely to be a marebito immediately and offered her chastity to me in order to prevent them from taking me away.”
In my pursuit, Sylphy’s expression clouded sadly, but she nodded as if she had given up.
“I don’t mind, though. I can understand that.”
It’s not that I care; it’s just that I didn’t suffer any damage from it. Rather, it was Sylphy who had the hardest time. Even though she is older than me, she is still considered a child, and she had to carry a lot of things on her shoulders.
“You don’t have to feel guilty about me. It is more likely that I would have died by now if Sylphy hadn’t picked me up, and I was able to have this kind of relationship with a beautiful woman like Sylphy.”
I lightly kissed the tip of her nose as she looked incomprehensible and patted her head.
“I’ll do my best not to be abandoned by Master. I’m lost in this world, and I don’t know how to get back. I’m not even sure I want to go back for now… Anyway, since you picked me up when I had nowhere else to go and saved my life, I’ll stay with you until I can at least repay you for that. At least, as long as you want.”
Besides, isn’t it exciting for a man? The princess of an exiled country is going to fight to reclaim her country. I’m going to be a part of that battle and be the one to help her reclaim her homeland. Isn’t that something to dream about?
And even though I’m not a fighter now, I have extraordinary strength. I was just an ordinary person in Japan, a nobody, but I could become a hero. Everyone has a desire to be a hero, don’t they? I have it too. Every boy wants to be a hero.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. I know I’m a bit of a burden to you, Sylphy, but you can count on me.”
“Not at all… I’m very happy.”
Sylphy hugged me tightly, buried her face in my chest, and began to cry uncontrollably.
Hoaaaaaaa!!! What a cute little creature! Die! I’ll die a precious death!
While I was writhing in agony from the sheer cuteness of the creature, Sylphy continued to cry on my chest for a while and finally fell asleep from exhaustion.
On the other hand, the paternalistic and protective feelings that welled up from the depths of my chest would not allow me to give in to my inferiority complex… and I spent a sleepless night.