Here’s another chapter, enjoy~
Chapter 18 – The Gizma Tasted Like Shrimp
“This is Gizma meat?”
The texture is plump and slightly sweet. The aroma of the garike that was fried with the meat when it was cooked was very appetizing. The combination of just the right amount of saltiness and the lightly baked bread made me want to eat more. Yes, this is a very satisfying garlic shrimp, definitely. Or, to be precise, in this case, garike Gizma.
I took a bite of the fried onil―a vegetable that looks like an onion with purple inside―and the baked bread with garike Gizma in between. It’s delicious.
“How is it? Pretty good, right?”
“Yeah, it’s good. It would have been better if I didn’t know it came from that.”
After finally being released from the grinding work, I was having a late lunch with Sylphy and the others. There were four of us: Sylphy, Qubi, Isla, and me. Danan had finished eating first and went to patrol. Melty was working hard without eating lunch, saying that she had to make a plan to distribute the food, which had increased by 50% thanks to my work. I hope she won’t get sick.
“What is it? Does Kosuke hate Gizma? Well, I doubt there’s anyone who likes Gizma, though.”
Qubi had long since finished his meal. The only reason he’s sitting here is to chat with us. I liked his easy-going attitude.
“We don’t have much of a habit of eating insects in my hometown. In the first place, there were no big insects like Gizma. In fact, there were no such things as monsters.”
“No monsters? That’s not possible. If there is magic, there will definitely be monsters.”
“No, magic itself didn’t exist in the first place. There was probably no magic at all.”
“It’s hard to believe. There will be no life without magic.”
“Well, there is one, and it’s here.”
“You are the absurdity of existence.”
Isla is looking at me with fierce eyes and gulping down a garike Gizma sandwich with her small mouth. In the beginning, she was shy, but now she doesn’t seem to feel any reservations about the absurdity of my crafting abilities. What was that shyness in the beginning? If you’re curious, just ask me directly.
“I don’t mean to be critical, but why did Isla suddenly stop being shy around me? At first, you didn’t even make eye contact with me.”
At my question, Isla’s expression froze, and she pulled on her triangular hat. Oh well, she’s back to her original self. I guess I shouldn’t have asked.
“… We, the one-eyed race, are hated by humans. It’s because we’re ugly.”
“Really? I don’t care about that; I don’t think you’re ugly.”
Isla looked up at me with an upward glance, as if trying to figure out my true intentions. I looked right back at her. Well, indeed, their structure is far from human, but in Japan, they’ve become moe characters, like Mon Musume. I don’t mind it at all, or rather I don’t mind it at all because I’m rather fond of such characters.
“Yeah, okay then.”
Isla seems to have stopped being shy around me. That’s good, that’s good.
“You’ve been getting along pretty well with Isla, haven’t you, Kosuke?”
“Eh? Isn’t that normal? It’s normal to get along with each other since we are going to be supporting Sylphy together, isn’t it?”
I think I dodged the bullet pretty nicely, but Sylphy’s gaze was a little cold. Could it be that she’s jealous? Is she burning with jealousy? Master is too cute.
“Don’t worry, I’m all yours, Master――Ogoohh!?”
“Don’t you dare to jump on me while the sun is still high.”
I tried to hug her, but she punches me right on my solar plexus so nicely. I can’t breathe.
“Hehehe, you two sure are close.”
Qubi is grinning as he watched me suffer. You bastard, I’m in a lot of pain and have trouble with breathing here.
“Princess, what do we do now?”
“Well, we’re going to take full advantage of Kosuke’s abilities and complete the wall first. To do that, we need clay.”
“Clay, huh? We use it to make sun-dried bricks, so it’s not hard to collect.”
“Not only that, but I think we can reuse some of the clay by adding water to the drying bricks.”
“I suppose so. The only other thing we need is fuel, right? Kosuke.”
“Gehoo, gohoo, y-yes, ma’am.”
I managed to reply to her breathlessly. Could you please go a little easier on me?
“Then let’s go gather fuel.”
“Princess, we’ve already picked up most of the wood around the village.”
“Don’t worry, Kosuke will be useful there too.”
“I thought so too. What the hell is this? It’s not fair, is it?”
“Even if you say that.”
Isla glared at me with an unconvincing expression, and Cubi, with a dumbfounded expression, lightly poked a log lying on the ground with his toe. All I could do was to answer, “That’s what I think, too.”
“The tree has fallen with only a blow that scrapes the surface of the trunk, even though it was bent, it has straightened out, and it is now dry enough for processing instead of raw. It’s far more absurd than the increase in water.”
“You can make as much firewood and lumber as you want. You can also make all the money you want from it.”
“I told you already, our fate is in Kosuke’s hands.”
Sylphy is the only one who smiles and makes a good face. I’m glad to see that she’s in a better mood now.
“If you show this to Melty, she’ll go crazy.”
“You bet. This time, she’s going to make you cut down all the trees until the Black Forest is completely barren.”
“Haha, there’s no way she’ll go that far. She won’t do that, right?”
Hey, why are you guys looking away? Look me in the eye.
“This will be a secret from Melty. You’re gonna have to hide it. You got that?”
“I’ll try my best.”
“I’ll certainly do that.”
Mmm, thanks guys for all the iridescent answers!
This will be done. No doubt about it. Let’s cut as much wood as possible while I can now.
“Sylphy, I’m going to cut as much wood as I can. Keep marking them.”
“Okay. Isla and Qubi, go and get some clay. We have enough to do here.”
“Sure. With the princess here, everything will be fine.”
“Your Highness, I would like to clear up this absurdity. Qubi should be enough to support there.”
“Oh, I see. I’m also interested in Kosuke’s power. Qubi.”
“Yes, I understand. Good luck with everything, Kosuke.”
Qubi said, and ran like the wind. He said his physical strength was on par with other people’s, but from the looks of it, he seemed to have quite a bit of physical ability.
The sun is about to set, but there is not much to be said. Anyway, I cut down a lot of trees. I don’t want to look at the trees for a while. Because I cut a lot of trees. Isn’t it a bit much? I asked Sylphy.
“The trees in the forest will be cut down when Gizma and the other monsters come around this area anyway. If that’s the case, it’s better to thin the trees boldly and reduce the number of trees that fall needlessly. It’s hard to clean up afterward.”
Cleaning up a forest full of fallen trees will indeed be a painful task. It’s not only labor-intensive, but it’s also physically demanding.
“Hey, Isla. It’s time to go home.”
Isla, who had been riding on the log I had cut down and inspecting it in detail, sat up and brushed off the dust in her hands.
“What did you find out?”
“I found out that I don’t know how this log was produced.”
“This log is extraordinary. No matter where I cut and examine it, the wood’s grain and dryness are all consistent. It’s so constant it’s almost uncanny.”
“That is indeed, extraordinary. As a piece of lumber, it’s ideal.”
Sylphy agrees with Isla’s statement. If what Isla says is true, it is certainly ideal lumber. Even as an amateur, I think so too.
“It’s like the work of a god. I can’t even begin to understand it. This ax doesn’t have any magic in it; it’s just an ordinary ax. But when Kosuke uses it, something extraordinary happens. It’s really absurd.”
As Isla handed out the ax to me, I accepted it without hesitation. I used a steel ax instead of this one to cut down the trees today, but she insisted on letting her examine it, so I left it with her after I showed her that I could secure lumber just as well with the same ax. In the end, though, she didn’t seem to understand anything.
“The conclusion is that it’s some kind of mysterious power that only I can use, even though I don’t know why.”
“It’s so absurd I’m going to lose my temper.”
“Master, this girl scares me.”
“Isla is a… seeker of truth, so to speak. She can’t stand anything she doesn’t understand. She’s an excellent magician and a very smart girl.”
Sylphy says that as she looks away with a twinkle in her eye. So that’s it, huh? She’s a kind of a fool researcher, isn’t she? And I was locked on as a research subject. I wonder if Isla will ever ask me to dissect my body? She won’t, will she? That’s not going to happen, is it?
“I think I’ll have to dissect you.”
“Hey! Stop muttering horrible things! Master! She’s scary! Help me!”
“Hahaha, that’s only Isla’s joke to lighten the mood.”
“Yes, a joke. I would never attempt the barbaric act of dissecting a living person. Not while they’re alive.”
“Does that mean you would have no hesitation in dissecting a dead person? Doesn’t that include killing them if you want? Will it be okay?”
What was that subtle pause? Hey, don’t look away. Look me in the eye and say it.
When I returned to the village while keeping as much distance as possible from Isla, I found a small mountain of soil waiting for me. No, let’s not distract me from reality. This is a mountain of clay.
“Yo, looks like you’ve been working pretty hard.”
“Please tell me you’re lying, Barney.”
“Who the hell is that? My name’s Qubi.”
[T/n: Qubi used “Ore” as the first-person pronouns, so I assumed that he’s a guy for now.]
As I bent forward in disappointment, Qubi’s dumbfounded voice fell from above my head. It’s sad that I can’t get my story across. No, the problem is the pile of clay in front of me. If I have to shovel it out and put it in my inventory now, I’m sure to be late for dinner. I’ve been swinging the ax all day, and I’m starving. I want to avoid that.
[T/n: I don’t know what was his story about that Barney refers to, though :D]
“Sylphy, the work efficiency will drop if it gets dark, so let’s do it tomorrow.”
“Of course. I’m not a demon, no matter how urgent the situation is.”
Sylphy, who was shaking, smiled back at my opinion.
“I’ve ordered Danan to send out scouts. If the situation is that Gizma is going to come in tomorrow, I’ll ask you to push yourself, but fortunately, it’s not that kind of situation. I think we should cut back on the time we can.”
“That’s my Master; she knows me so well!”
“I’ll have them collect the clay again tomorrow. For today, just make fuel in our backyard.”
To make charcoal in a simple furnace, all I have to do is throw in the fuel and materials and make it while the sun is down. It’s a piece of cake.
Sylphy went to talk to the refugees around the clay pile and returned with a package from a female refugee who was passing by.
“You can have it for dinner. She voluntarily gave me some for you.”
“Hmm? I suppose they’ve accepted me a little better now, huh?”
“Maybe it’s a good thing you’ve been working so hard on that millstone during the day.”
“Stop it. I don’t want to remember that.”
That was terribly hard work. That was because I had to grind all the corn cobs they kept bringing in. Eh? If I have the ability to craft, I don’t need to grind the millstone, you say? Of course, I thought so too. But when Isla told me to try turning the millstone I was using for crafting, my crafting time was drastically reduced. I shouldn’t have blurted it out.
Melty, who wanted to make more and more grain flour, and Isla, who wanted to uncover my power, coincided beautifully, and as a result, I became a heavy millstone spinning machine with an empty heart. The gazes of the refugees pierced me as if they were looking at a pitiful slave. Well, I’m a slave, though!
“Anyway, let’s go home to rest. We have a lot to discuss, don’t we?”
Now that we had the idea of building the wall, we needed to talk about intercepting the refugees. How many weapons will the refugees need to carry, how many projectiles will they need, what about food? What about water? What about the elves’ support? There are still so many things that need to be worked out. There’s no time to rest.