It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (21/63), enjoy~
Chapter 73 – First Time In A Carriage And My Ass Hurts
The next day, after spending a lovey-dovey time with Sylphy, me, Isla, and two other mages, ten light infantry, and Pirna and two other harpies started moving from Fort Gamma to Fort Alpha.
Last night, Isla and the others left us alone, perhaps out of concern for me and Sylphy, who would be separated for a while. Thanks to them, we were able to spend some quality time together for the first time in a very long time. To be more specific, I was able to enjoy Sylphy, who spoiled me so much. It’s been a while since I’ve felt like a regressed infant. She was so cute that I had a nosebleed.
When she woke up in the morning and became calm, she was so flustered. That’s what makes her cute.
“Hmm? What’s wrong?”
“You seem to be in a daze, so I called out to you. You’re in danger of falling.”
“Yes, it’s dangerous to fall. Try to be more alert.”
We were being driven in a carriage. It was the one we had captured at Fort Gamma. The carriage was not very big, but it was very comfortable. The horse-drawn carriages are not that big, but with two horses, the speed is quite fast. I think it’s partly because the luggage that should be loaded is stored in my inventory.
“At this pace, we should be at Fort Alpha by the end of the day.”
“Wow, three days on foot turned into one day. That’s fast.”
The scenery outside the carriage seemed to be quite fast. From what I remember, horse-drawn carriages don’t seem that fast, but maybe the horses in this world are stronger than the horses on Earth.
“However, there’s nothing I can do about the vibration of this carriage.”
“It’s much better thanks to Kosuke’s cushions.”
The road between Fort Gamma and Fort Alpha is neither a flat stone pavement nor a paved concrete surface. It was just bare ground that had been stepped on in the usual way. Therefore, the slightest unevenness would cause the carriage to shake badly. If it weren’t for the cushions, it would have been a pain in the ass in about ten minutes.
“It seems that the carriage has no suspension or anything… Well, that’s obvious.”
“It’s a device that uses spring force or something to keep the carriage from swaying.”
“Kosuke, can you make one?”
“I don’t know the detailed structure either, but… it might be possible.”
I accessed the carriage and found a menu of upgrades.
・Primitive Wagon Upgrade ―: 10 Mechanical Parts, 20 Wood, 8 Steel Leaf Springs.
“I think I can do it.”
“No, not while it’s running…”
I have a feeling that upgrading while the carriage is running will cause an accident. The horse will be startled by the light and start to freak out.
From Isla’s perspective, the fact that the carriage shakes less is a big deal. It’s a little early for a lunch break, but I think we should eat while we’re at it.
At Isla’s signal, the three carriages gradually slowed down and finally came to a stop on the side of the road. The people in the other carriages seemed to be fed up with the shaking of the carriages and came down rubbing their bottoms.
“It’s a little early for lunch, don’t you think?”
“Kosuke will modify the carriage. So it won’t shake so much.”
“Really? The cushions that Kosuke-san gave us helped a lot, but that’s very welcome.”
“We’re going to have lunch a little early. Kosuke, bring out the food.”
Following Isla’s instructions, I pulled out a food package from my inventory.
This is a wooden box containing dried vegetables, dried meat, baked bread, flour, and other foodstuffs, and salt, spices, and other seasonings. Well, originally, it was supposed to be three servings of food for five people.
This was a prototype to improve logistics efficiency and to package and manage the food that could be stored. In addition to this food pack, we will need pots and dishes, which will be provided to the soldiers as equipment. This pack will only contain the food.
“We’ll take care of the cooking, and Kosuke can modify the carriage.”
Once the food packs, pots, and pans are out, I start upgrading the carriage. I told the soldier taking care of the horses to untie them from the carriage and separate them. When I upgrade it, it glows brightly. If the horse gets spooked and goes into a rage, the horse and I are in danger.
Fortunately, I have all the materials I need, so the upgrade will be done as soon as the horse is separated.
“Hmm, it’s so bright.”
Even though it was daytime, the area was brightly lit. When I look directly at it, I get dizzy even in the daytime. I crawled underneath the covered wagon to see what was going on. It seemed that a spring made of steel leaf springs had been inserted between the axle and the body of the carriage. I wondered how much this would reduce the shaking. I’ll have to ride it to find out.
“Is it done?”
“Just one for now.”
“I’m looking forward to it.”
Isla, who always has a blank expression, smiles slightly. It seems that the vibration of the carriage was a serious problem for Isla’s small body.
“Don’t get your hopes up too high. We don’t know how effective it will be.”
“Hmm, okay. I’ll be happy if the vibrations are reduced even a little.”
By the way, I wondered why the axle of this carriage didn’t break even though it was subjected to such a vibrating impact. When I thought about it, I took a closer look and found that the axle was made of wood. What? Why doesn’t it break?
“Isla, if this axle is made of wood, how come it doesn’t break when it vibrates like that?”
“The wood has been carved with magic to strengthen its durability and repair itself. That’s why it won’t break.”
“It’s been strengthened by magic?”
“Yes. The axle is the most expensive part of the carriage.”
I see. My image of a carriage axle is that they break a lot, but in this world, they strengthen them with magic so that they don’t break so easily. This makes the axle more expensive, but it’s more cost-effective than having to buy several new axles or having one break and render you unable to move.
With Isla watching over me, I finished upgrading the other two carriages, and then it was time for lunch. Today’s menu is… I wonder what this is? It looks like something that was just thrown together and boiled.
“Baked bread is hard, so if it can be cooked, it’s easier to eat it cooked like this and crumbled into porridge.”
“I also stewed dried vegetables and meat to make a broth.”
“I also made dumplings out of grain flour and added them.”
In other words, it was a combination of all ingredients. No, the taste is surprisingly edible… but when I think about it, it’s hard to eat a normal meal on the battlefield, even if you’re boiling it.
In the past, when I was on Earth, if you look back fifty years, the food in the army was almost the same as this. Nowadays, the food is made into porridge because of the ability to boil it, but if it weren’t for that, we would have had to gulp down hard, salty, dried meat while chewing on hard, crusty bread.
It would be difficult to make a decent meal available anywhere without retort food or at least canned food. With the current level of technology, it would be impossible.
“What do you have in mind?”
“I’ve been trying to think of a way to make good food available everywhere.”
“Yeah, it’s hard. So it’s not gonna happen now.”
Eventually, I’d like to try my hand at bottling, canning, and retorting food, but that will take a long time. It might be faster to solve something in a magical way than that. If I could make a tool that could transport food in large quantities while keeping it fresh, that would be the solution.
“Wow, it’s not shaking as much.”
“It’s definitely a lot better.”
With the upgrade to the suspension, the carriage’s vibration was considerably improved. It still shakes quite a bit, but it’s a huge difference compared to when there was no suspension. If there are cushions, it won’t bother you at all.
It was well received by the lightly armored infantry of the Beastmen who was acting as our guards, and the carriage ran quite fast. Perhaps because of this, we were able to arrive at Fort Alpha just as the sun began to set.
“Oh, it’s overflowing with people.”
“Hmm, they’re even camped outside.”
Isla was right; there were several campsites built outside of Fort Alpha. Apparently, they couldn’t fit in Fort Alpha. It seemed that the people camped out in the tents were members of the Liberation Army. I guess they gave up the safe sleeping quarters in the fort to the refugees.
I parted ways with Isla and the mages, who were on their way to treat the refugees, and headed for the food warehouse with the light infantry. The place was crowded with refugees looking for food, and it was quite a mess. It was a struggle to get to the food warehouse, and if it weren’t for the light infantry, I might not have made it there.
“Aah! Kosuke-san! We’ve been waiting for you! Hurry up and take them out!”
“O-okay! Calm down!”
A goat-type Beastman civil servant girl wearing round glasses clung to me in half tears. She was mentally trapped because the supplies had almost run out despite many calls for food.
I began to pull supplies out of my inventory into the near-empty food pantry. There were mostly bags of grain, crates of potatoes and vegetables, and crates of ready-to-eat block cookies. The rest was dried meat made from Gizma meat. It’s supposed to be made of Gizma meat, but it looks like dried beef or pork, but who cares? With my ability, this level of unreasonableness is just the beginning.
Anyway, the only thing left was the salt. It was kind of sad to see only ceramic jars of salt lined up in the corner of the warehouse.
“Please keep the order! There are enough supplies to go around for everyone, so calm down!”
The girl from the civilian staff, who had looked like she was about to cry earlier, raised her voice and started distributing supplies to the refugees. The light infantry also agreed to help, so I decided to leave, saying I would go outside to build sleeping quarters.
“Hey, good work.”
A voice called out to me as I passed through the crowded area near the food storage. I turned around to see a fluffy fox man. I hadn’t seen his face in a while.
“Long time no see. I heard you’ve been sneaking in alone.”
“Well, I’m good at sneaking around, you know. I am the right person for the job.”
Qubi, whom I hadn’t seen in a while, looked as aloof as ever. It’s not like he’s lost weight or been injured. It looks like he did really well.
“I’m glad you’re okay, anyway. What are your plans now?”
After resting here for a few days, I’ll go to Fort Gamma and meet up with the princess and the old man Danan. I’m going on a reconnaissance mission.
“Well, be careful. Oh, yeah, have some of this.”
“Oh, is that honey wine I smell? Thanks.”
“Don’t tell anyone.”
Qubi hurried away with a bottle of honey wine in his arms. I think he’s going to drink somewhere soon. I watched him go and walked back out of the fort. As I did so, a werewolf accompanied by his subordinates came walking towards me from the front. Perhaps he had noticed me, but I raised one hand in greeting.
“Long time no see. You had a tough time.”
“Yes, well. Well, thanks to Kosuke-dono, it seems that things have settled down.”
The pantry was nearly empty. My inventory is pretty low, and I’m seriously going to have to do something about the supplies.
“I’m going to set up a supply base with a large farm tomorrow, so we should be able to afford it in a week. Have you selected a location yet?”
“Unfortunately, no. But there’s a stretch of flat land from this fort to the Great Omit Wilderness.”
“It could be anywhere.”
Worg nodded at my words. So why don’t we build one adjacent to this Fort Alpha? In the end, this place will also become the “rear,” and if that’s the case, I think it’s better to build it in a location where it’s easy to get security out of Fort Alpha. It might be good to build it on the Merinard side instead of the Great Omit Wilderness side. There seems to be a surplus of land, and the refugees here will be the ones who will work in the farmland. It would be a safer option than building a farm in the Great Omit Wilderness.
“All right, I’ll think about it and discuss it with Sylphy and the others in the evening.”
After parting ways with Worg, I set up my usual temporary lodging place a short distance away from where the Liberation Army soldiers were camped. It’s a base on stilts, very safe, and has a large bathroom, so it’s easy to use, you know. I’ve been upgrading it little by little to reflect the feedback from the users.
The Harpies and Isla will probably sleep in the same temporary lodgings as I do, so it should be fine, but I wonder what the others will do. It’s easy enough to make a place to stay, but I wonder what I should do. If I wanted to, I could build one for the soldiers stationed at Fort Alpha, who have camped outside… but there’s no way to clean up after them. I can’t just leave them outside the fort.
For now, I’m going to build a dormitory for the light infantry and mages who have worked with me up to this point. If I make it a little bigger based on the temporary accommodation, it will be fine… The capacity is about 20 people. It’s good to have a large space, yes.
As soon as Isla, Pirna, and the others come back, I’ll prepare a meal for them. I have to put the futon in the bed, and it needs some maintenance even after it is built.