It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (7/32), enjoy~
Chapter 53 – In Search of Warmth
Now that things have settled down, we have to deal with the next hundred or so liberated people. Well, there’s nothing for me to do directly, though. The humans of the Holy Kingdom oppressed them until just before, so anyone can understand that they have a strong hostility towards humans. Of course, I can understand that too. It would be stressful for them if I just walked up to them nonchalantly.
Nevertheless, I had to go out because I had something to do. It was inevitable that the liberated people would see me. So what to do?
“I think I should wear fake ear, fake ear + fake tail (dog type), or walking while saying, “Fuck you, shitty Adel!” Ah, a mask would be nice too.”
“No, you’ll be fine as long as I’m around, so it’s best not to do anything weird.”
I thought about it pretty seriously, though! Sir Leonard is a terrible person.
Pirna and the others consoled me and pampered me, and I recovered a lot of energy, and I went to the temporary command room where Sylphy and Sir Leonard were discussing the future plan.
“Let’s get back to the topic. For now, the liberated people are being fed. We have a total of 992 people, of which 303 are young men, and 352 are young women. In this case, “young” means those who are in good shape and ready to fight after training.”
“What about the remaining three hundred or so?”
“The remaining three hundred or so are those with limb problems, the elderly, and children. Among those with broken limbs and the elderly, there are many who could regain their strength with Kosuke’s treatment.”
Sir Leonard straightened his posture and answered Sylphy’s question. This is the difference in response.
“My splints are buzzing.”
I can’t do anything about missing limbs, but I can heal the aftereffects of broken bones and torn muscles with my splints. Even old people, such as those with damaged knees or hips, can very likely be healed with splints. And it’s a bit calculating, but when I heal such wounds, they are very grateful. In other words, there are many people who will be on my side.
It’s like killing two birds with one stone, increasing my strength and increasing my allies.
“As for the future plan, let the liberated people rest in this fort for a few days, preferably two days, and then send them to the rear. At that time, we will recruit those who will stay and fight in this fort. Leonard, how long do you think it will be before the enemy attacks?”
“Yes. The cavalry survivors will reach the fort on the territory’s border by the end of the day. From there, they will send fast horses to the neighboring forts and the rear, extract and organize their forces, prepare their supplies, and attack this fort… So, the earliest they could attack is ten days, and the latest within half a month.”
“I see. Kosuke, where do you think the best place to intercept them would be?”
“This temporary fort isn’t bad, and I’m inclined to make use of it now that it’s been built. After all, the front-line forts are far better for defense. I think it’s best to collect as much material as possible from this fort and retreat to the front-line fort as soon as possible.”
“I see… Yeah, that’s right. The first priority is to send the liberated people to the rear. We will divide our forces into two groups: protect the liberated people and the other to maintain this temporary fort. The purpose of holding the fort is to prevent the liberated people from being pursued. We will stay here until the rear transport is complete and keep the Holy Kingdom’s forces in check.”
“I think a week will be enough time to complete the rear transport to the front-line fort. The rest is to be sent back to the main base, right?”
“That’s right. I think it’s better to let those who have the will to fight stay at the front-line fort and train them.”
“Umu, let’s go with that plan.”
Sylphy nodded, and the course of action for the temporary fort was decided here. Now, then, I’m going to start preparing various things, too.
About one thousand liberated people were to rest in the fort for two days. In the meantime, I went to the underground shelter located between the temporary fort and the front-line fort and completed the task of expanding the shelter’s interior. At the moment, the shelter was only supposed to hold about 50 people at the most, so it would be completely overcapacity if it had 100 people, let alone 1,000.
The extermination of Gizma is progressing, but it is not yet complete. It was clear that we would not be able to pass the night safely without expansion. Fortunately, I have plenty of stone and soil, so there is no shortage of materials for expansion.
Accompanied by Worg, Pirna, and a few other Liberation Army soldiers as guards, I worked hard to expand ahead of the liberated people.
“You didn’t need a guard, did you?”
“No, I don’t feel safe going alone, and if something unforeseen happens, I will be screwed.”
“Well, I guess that’s true.”
I took care of Gizma on the road with my shotgun and rifled slugs. There is no time to be concerned about Gizma. As long as Pirna flies ahead and finds Gizma, there’s nothing to be afraid of.
We quickly ran through the wilderness, and I quickly began the expansion. The guards exterminated Gizma in the vicinity, and in four days, I had expanded four shelters. The capacity has increased tenfold to 500 people, and if pushed hard enough, it can accommodate around 1000 people.
And on the fifth day.
“Thanks for the hard work.”
Danan and Isla greeted us. Jagira, with her bolt-action rifle, is on top of the wall. She and Worg are waving at each other. Oh, so they’re getting along, huh?
“I’ve already heard the situation via Harpy’s message. I assume you’ve completed the expansion, correct?”
“Oh, it’s perfect. It can accommodate 500 people under normal circumstances, or even 1000 people if it’s packed. It may be a bit cramped, but it’s a hundred times better than camping out in the open.”
“I see. I’m sorry for all the trouble. You should get some rest today.”
“Yeah, I’ll be heading back to the temporary fort tomorrow. I have to collect the materials for the temporary fort and do some minor work.”
The temporary fort has had a good deal of work done to it, and if it is going to be abandoned anyway, I want to give it a proper send-off. Even if it’s abandoned and be used as a bridgehead for the Holy Kingdom, I won’t be angry.
“T-then there are things I want Kosuke to look at first.”
Isla looked up at me with her big eye and pulled my hand a little. The eye are somewhat brighter, and it seems as if they’re trying to ask me for praise. I have to admit; it’s kind of cute.
“Then let’s see it. I don’t mind a little surprise.”
“I will show you how it’s done.”
“Kosuke must be tired, so take it easy.”
Danan snorted and warned Isla with a wry smile. It seems that while I was at the temporary fort, there was some major development.
While Isla took me by the hand, I walked towards the development room.
“Oh… please come in.”
When I entered the development room, I was greeted by Sykes, the skinny ape-man alchemist, and the female engineers surrounding him.
“It’s nice that you’re getting along.”
Isla said, her large eye swiveling away from me. I made Sykes as a sacrifice in this development area… Well, you know, as Isla said, we’re really getting along well.
“More importantly, I want Kosuke to see this.”
I feel so sorry for Sykes that she said “more importantly” as Sykes is less important. I won’t forget your sacrifice, you know. Now, more importantly, Isla is confident in her work. Do you think I’m terrible too? Don’t worry about the details. Otherwise, you’ll go bald.
It is a box the size of a school bag. It’s made of leather, a wooden frame, and metal parts, and seems to be designed to be carried like a school bag. Besides, there are a number of dials and switches lined up. I can’t tell what it’s for by looking at it.
“This is a prototype Golem communicator.”
“It allows you to talk to people at a distance. The golem encodes the words you speak and sends them away as a magic wave. The receiver receives it, analyzes the code, and generates sound.”
In other words, you can encode your voice into data, send it on a magic wave, decode the data on the receiving end, and output it again as sound? Huh? I thought I was teaching them simple Morse code, but aren’t we jumping to the realm of encrypted communication?
“How far can this thing reach?”
“We were able to communicate with the main base without any problems.”
“Seriously… It’s amazing! No, this is really great!”
The distance from here to the main base must be close to 60 kilometers. It’s amazing that a communication device of this size can communicate over such a distance, isn’t it?
Isla made a smug face in response to my praise.
“You can praise me more. You can pat me on the head, too.”
“Wow, wow! You’re a genius mage and a genius alchemist!”
I pat Isla’s head as she puts her hands on her hips and stretches her flat chest. This achievement is truly amazing. It’s an achievement that makes me feel like I’ll allow her to make that smug face for the rest of her life.
“Now we just have to see how far we can communicate.”
“Hmm, yes. So if you’re coming back, I’d like you to accompany me on this experiment.”
“I see; I’ll just have to carry this thing on my back.”
“Yeah. Can you do that?”
I try to carry the golem communication device on my back. It’s pretty heavy, but I don’t think I’ll have any problem running with it.
Eh? Sykes? While Isla and I were talking about the golem communicator, the women took him somewhere. I’ll pray for his soul.
Other prototypes were also made, including a portable thermal cooker, a pot shield, and a quicklime thermal cooking bag. Only the pot shield and the portable thermal cooker could be added to the crafting list through item creation, so it seems that there is still room for improvement in the quicklime thermal cooking bag and the golem communicator.
“Ahh! I’m tired!”
“I’m a little tired too.”
As soon as I returned to this fort, I was stuck in the development room, trying to verify as much as I could here, find ideas for improvement, and produce materials for future research. Before I knew it, it was already dark outside. There’s a nap room for craftsmen in the back of the development room, so I think I’ll sleep there today. I could go to the room that Sylphy and I used, but she’s not going to be there, and if I’m going to sleep alone, it doesn’t matter where I sleep.
“I’ll eat and go to bed… I’ll take a bath tomorrow.”
I took out something from my inventory that can be eaten immediately, and Isla and I immediately filled our stomachs with it. Today’s menu includes pasta with meat sauce and potato potage soup. Both should be warm and tasty, but I’m too tired to enjoy them.
“Shall we go to bed?”
Isla and I went to the nap room and threw ourselves into our separate beds. Oh, I can smell the good stuff in the bedroom… Maybe because one of the female craftsmen usually uses this room. I let go of my consciousness while thinking about such useless things.
“Hmm… Is it morning?”
I woke up when the light shone through the half-open door. I had a long run yesterday and was stuck in the development room as soon as I got here, so I don’t feel too tired. But the warmth of Sylphy snuggled next to me soothes my soul.
Hmm? Isn’t there something wrong?
I fearfully turn over the blanket to see what the warmth is that’s snuggled up to me, and somehow, I find Isla crawling into my bed. She was hugging my body, her legs tangled around my right leg, sleeping happily. The only thing that saved me was that we were both properly dressed.
No, Isla has taken off her robe and jacket and is wearing only a thin, white negligee-like garment and panties. There was no protection for her flat chest, so it was transparent. This was dangerous. If anyone saw us, they would definitely misunderstand us.
And most of the time, this kind of scene will be witnessed by someone.
“Hmm? Someone’s sleeping at the…”
The blacksmith Lamia-san peeked out from the door of the nap room. She can see me turning over the blanket and Isla hugging me in light clothing.
“…Take your time.”
Sususu… and the figure of Lamia disappears as she dexterously retreats from her peeking position. Hey, wait, it’s a misunderstanding, it’s a misunderstanding!
I hurriedly reach out my hand, but the movement of my body wakes up Isla. Oh… good grief…!
“Hey, good morning, Isla.”
“Can you explain to me why you’re crawling into my bed in such light clothing?”
“Hmm…Kosuke went to bed first.”
Indeed, I think I fell asleep as soon as I threw myself on the bed. However, I think Isla was sitting on the bed across from me at that time.
“I thought I’d sleep in the bed over there too.”
“But the blanket was so thin it was cold.”
“…I guess that’s fair to say.”
I checked the blanket and found that it was indeed a bit thin. It’s not a problem for me because I slept with my clothes on, but if I slept in thin clothes like Isla, I’d be cold.
“So I hugged Kosuke and went to sleep. It was warm.”
“Shouldn’t you have slept with your clothes on?”
“My clothes would get wrinkled. Besides, I always sleep like this.”
“Well… but you shouldn’t go into a man’s bed. You’ll be eaten alive.”
“Kosuke can eat me, though.”
I was baffled by her straightforwardness. Isla’s eye, which look straight up at my face, are still a little drowsy and narrowed as if she had just woken up from sleep, but the light behind them really told me that she was not in a sleepy state.
“There’s never a dull moment when I’m with Kosuke. Your abilities, your knowledge, and your ideas always surprise and inspire me in some way. I want to be with you forever.”
“Uh, hmm, no, I’m very happy, but I have Sylphy, you know?”
“I know. Her Highness the Princess and Kosuke are in love with each other. I don’t want to get in between them, nor do I think I can. I just want you to allow me to be by your side.”
The big eye staring at me were moist, and Isla’s soft cheeks were flushed with the big confession of her lifetime. I don’t know how I should answer. But I do know that Isla is making this confession with great determination.
From my ethical point of view, accepting this confession would be too insincere a choice — both to Sylphy and Isla. However, according to the ethics of this world, it is not dishonest or insincere for a man to have relations with more than one woman. As long as the man is worthy enough to provide for all of them, it’s okay, or rather, it’s an honorable man to provide for more than one woman.
There is a saying that if you live in a country, you must follow its ways. I wonder if I should make up my mind now that I’ve decided to live in this world. I don’t hate Isla either…
“…Is it a no?”
“No, no, no. It’s not a no, but it’s not something I can just jump into as well. You see, I’m not from this world, and I’m still not comfortable with the gender relations in this world.”
“So we’ll start with friends.”
“…Weren’t you my friend before?”
Isla looked at me sadly.
“No, no, no, we were friends. We have always been friends. I’m sorry for the way I said it. What I mean is, we are more than friends, but less than lovers?”
“I don’t know about “lover,” but does that mean that Kosuke will accept me?”
“Slow down, take it easy! You have to talk it over with Sylphy first! I’ll talk to her too.”
“Hmm, okay. Pecking order is important. I have no intention of disturbing it either.”
Isla smiles with a happy expression. Hmm, cute. Isla is so cute. I replied on the spur of the moment, but what should I explain to Sylphy…? No, I’d like to ask her some questions about the Harpy’s, so let’s talk about it head-on.
Besides, there are other things that need to be done rather than love affairs right now. Since Isla seems to agree with me, let’s put all that aside for a moment and do what I have to do.
It’s not that I’m trying to distract myself from the problem or make it go away. It’s not good to be dishonest. It’s not good, is it? Yeah. But I’m not used to this kind of thing, so please forgive me if I run away or postpone it a little bit.