It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (23/63), enjoy~
Chapter 75 – Stand By
After finishing today’s work, I returned to my room. Thanks to the fact that I’m always making the same food, I feel at home even when I move from place to place, which makes me feel at ease. Today, since I was going to consult with them, all the Harpies who had come to support the development of the production base, as well as Isla, decided to gather.
Today’s three Harpies were Rey, a jet-black-feathered Harpy, Pessar, a brown-feathered Harpy, and Capri, also a brown-feathered harpy.
After bathing and eating, we sat side by side on a rattan couch and relaxed.
“So, I heard that Kosuke wanted to talk to us about something today; what’s going on?”
“Hmm, I don’t think it’s anything to discuss.”
With that, I decided to confess what I had been thinking about during the day. It’s not that I can’t fight, but I’m hiding behind everyone else and letting my hands get bloodied. I am aware that my personality and abilities are not suited for combat, but I still feel guilty because I feel like I am forcing everyone to do something they don’t want to do.
After hearing my confession, Isla and the others pondered for a while. They must have been trying to find their own words.
“I know exactly how Kosuke feels.”
Isla was the first to open her mouth and stared at me. Because of the close distance between us, I could clearly see the reflection of my face in her large eye.
“I have the power of a court mage, but I also possess the power of an alchemist. And my body is small. That’s why they wouldn’t send me out on dangerous hunts.”
“Because if Isla collapsed, there would be nothing they could do if anyone got injured or sick.”
The jet-black-feathered harpy, Rei, mutters in a quiet voice. Isla nodded at the murmur.
“So, I couldn’t do anything too dangerous. The people around me wouldn’t let me, and I was aware that I couldn’t do that myself. Same with Kosuke now.”
“Same for sure… How did you get over it?”
It was a very simple answer.
“Even if you distract yourself and force yourself to move, the situation will deteriorate, and it won’t get better. I thought about which would help everyone more, if I stepped forward and used my power, or if I stayed in the village and helped everyone. Then I thought that no matter what I thought, it would be better for everyone if I stayed in the village. So I endured.”
I know that too. I know that, but it’s hard to say whether it’s enough to convince me. That’s why I’m struggling.
“If you’re feeling guilty, why don’t you ask the person you’re feeling guilty about?”
Pessar gives me a straightforward answer. But, to ask everyone, “How do you feel about me staying in my safe zone?” I want to refrain from doing that.
“At least there’s no need for Kosuke-sama to feel guilty about us Harpies. In fact, I’m grateful that you’ve taken such good care of us.”
Rey, who usually doesn’t talk much, speaks an unusually long line. I can’t see any sign of concern in her dull black eyes as she stares at me. I feel as if she’s really sincerely saying that.
“Well, I think so too. It’s all thanks to you that we’ve become so active, and everyone has taken notice of us.”
“That’s right. We weren’t strong enough to hunt the big beasts of the Black Forest, and we were clumsy with our hands, so we were a burden when we were in the village. There were times when we accompanied the hunters, but back then, there were no communication devices, so even if we passed on information, we often found that the target had already escaped or had moved on by the time we arrived.”
I’m good at hunting rabbits, though, Pessar said with a laugh. Apparently, they can catch small, lightweight animals by plunging down from the sky. I guess they are all like giant birds of prey.
“If it weren’t for Kosuke, we would have been killed in the Black Forest fighting Gizma or killed by monsters deep in the forest. Even now, thanks to Kosuke, we are able to eat and sleep in a safe and clean place. There is no way anyone would try to force Kosuke to fight after knowing that.”
“In other words, you worry too much.”
“It’s just like you’re doing everything alone.”
“I think Kosuke cares too much about things that don’t matter!”
“That’s pretty harsh.”
Too much thinking, I’m overthinking? Hmm, I wonder if that’s true. If that’s what everyone says, then I guess so. I do think I’m making a big contribution to everyone’s life and the fight.
“In the first place, Kosuke has the wrong idea. The people who are out there fighting are not being forced to fight. They are fighting because they want to. It’s not dirty work. They are throwing themselves into the fight to restore pride to themselves and everyone else.”
“That’s right. In the first place, the people who are fighting, including us, don’t think that they are dirtying their hands, feet, and wings. They’re fighting for themselves and for everyone else.”
In other words, it’s wrong to think that I’m making everyone’s hands dirty.
“It is fine for people to think that you are great or that you are doing your best, but it is not the same if you are apologizing for what you have done for them.”
Pessar and Rey also said that to me. Is my way of thinking wrong to begin with? It’s hard to say. It’s going to be very difficult to figure out how much war and the killing that goes along with it can be justified.
“The more Kosuke thinks about it, the more you get stuck. It is best to do what you can without thinking too much about it.”
“Doesn’t that make me sound like an idiot…?”
“…No, you’re not. You’re just being too nice.”
I think there was a subtle pause, or is it my imagination? When I looked at the Harpies, they averted their gaze or smiled at me. I’ll just pretend it’s my imagination for the sake of my mental health.
“No more hard talk! It’s been a while since it’s been our turn, so let’s get along!”
“Hmm, we should.”
“Don’t think too hard; just let us do our thing.”
Pessar pulled me by the hand and led me to the bedroom, Isla pushed me from behind, and Capri followed with a smile on her face. Rey was ahead of everyone else and had opened the door to the bedroom. It was perfect coordination.
“…Please go easy on me.”
The girls didn’t respond to my words, only smiled at me. This is dangerous.
Thanks to the effects of the mithril tools, the cultivation progressed at a rapid pace. In just three days, a vast expanse of farmland and an irrigation system for agriculture had been created.
“I think Kosuke’s watering hole is outrageous.”
“Isn’t it a little late for that?”
The main obstacle in managing vast farmland is the water used for farming. Naturally, clean water is preferable, and above all, there must be enough water to cover the entire farmland. The infinite water source I’ve created can easily meet both of these requirements.
“The fact that you can expand it as much as you want is amazing and dangerous at the same time.”
“To the ruler, it’s worth it to kill anyone who has control of Kosuke and take you away.”
“And Kosuke’s fields can be ready to harvest in a week. It depends on the crop, but you can harvest two years’ worth of crops in a month. If there is a surplus of crops, they can be sold elsewhere or used for animal husbandry. The value of Kosuke is immeasurable, even if it’s just for your agricultural abilities.”
When I think of it that way, my abilities are undoubtedly outrageous. The chicken that lays the golden eggs… is like a merlion that keeps spitting out gold coins. I’m sorry for the dirty analogy, though.
“If the Holy Kingdom learns of Kosuke’s existence, they may come to steal you away at any cost. The unexplainable power that Kosuke uses is similar in nature to miracles performed by priests and saints.”
“Yeah. That’s why we need to hide Kosuke’s existence at all costs.”
“Isn’t that impossible?”
The fact that I built this production base will be known throughout the Liberation Army, and eventually, people who don’t belong to the Liberation Army will visit this place. I think it’s only a matter of time before the Holy Kingdom finds out about my existence.
“Yes, it’s impossible. That’s why we have to be even more careful about protecting Kosuke.”
And then Isla hugged me tightly around the waist.
“Oh, I see.”
I can’t help but feel that something is very wrong, but I’m happy to be hugged by Isla, so I’ll leave it at that. It’s a little difficult to walk, and the warm stares of the Liberation Army soldiers are piercing me, but I mustn’t worry about it.
I’ve sent a message to Fort Alpha as soon as I’ve finished the maintenance of the production base, so the workers of this production base should be arriving here today.
The capacity of this production base is 500 people, so there is not enough room for all the people who have gathered here. The other half of the people should be sent to the central base or the main base in the rear.
At the main base and the central base, it seems that processing machines and metal refining furnaces using waterwheel power and magic power have started to operate, and they are short of craftsmen to handle those machines. Therefore, the remaining personnel is generally people with such skills and their families.
Also, I heard that they are starting to build roads that connect the main base and the central base to the various bases and shelters. In order to make it possible to move carriages at least, they are putting in people who can use earth magic and are working on it. I thought I’d be sent out sooner or later, but if they can do it themselves, so much the better. I don’t know if I can do everything myself.
“By the way, how is the invasion of Erichburg going?”
“Hmm, they’ve finished organizing and should be leaving tomorrow.”
“Oh, well. I don’t have to go this time, do I?”
“No, they’re doing it without Kosuke. It will be an all-out battle, with Alpha, Beta, and even the central fort deployed to help.”
“I see… It should be alright.”
The thought that someone I know might die without my knowledge makes me nervous. I think that if I were there, I might be able to handle it.
“There are crossbows, aerial bombs, and hand grenades. Sir Leonard has also gone from the central fort, and Danan and Zamir are also there. They will surely protect Sylphy.”
“I hope so…”
“It may be frustrating, but sometimes it’s important to stay in the rear and stand firm. With Kosuke behind them, everyone can fight with peace of mind.”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
Still, things that make me uncomfortable make me uncomfortable. I hope everyone is okay.