「Alright, let’s go harvest y’all.」
One day, when the paperwork for the raw material concerning the factory construction, Hiroshi suddenly came up with that idea.
「The way you said that makes it sound like we’re going to Kyoto or something. Anyhow, where specifically would we harvest？」
Haruna, finishing up with breakfast, tilted her head at Hiroshi’s sudden proclamation as she confirmed what he meant.
「Well obviously that’s gonna be deep in Forre’s mountains, mate.」
「Nonono. Don’t suddenly act like we’re supposed to expect that we’re going there. And why is this?」
Haruna couldn’t help but blast Hiroshi for his lack of explanation. It was true that after all that had happened they still hadn’t entered Forre’s mountain region. Still, that wasn’t reason enough to suddenly announce they were going to go harvest there.
「Well c’mon, we gotta go get materials to make a buncha stuff. What else would it be？」
「Well yes, but why that topic all of a sudden？」
They always went to harvest, but Haruna didn’t get why Hiroshi was treating it like some Kyoto excursion.
「I was just thinkin’ it’s about time I taught Teres ‘n the others some more advanced collectin’ tips.」
Hiroshi found himself grimacing at Haruna’s oddly doubtful demeanor. He had truly just thought of it on the spur of the moment, and wasn’t exactly contriving anything strange. This was one example of how his track record was beginning to display results.
「So what all will we be making exactly？」
「First we have throwaway items for one-hit KO avoidance. There are two patterns for this, and if we make both then we can avoid insta death twice in a row.」
「Twice? So you mean we make a bunch but we can’t actually use them over again once they’re activated？」
「Right, cuz they both got limits on usage. Also, one of them uses a system that shoulders the damage ya take, so if ya equip multiple ones at the same time then they all break at once.」
「I see. That’s worldbuilding for you–things just don’t go the way you want them to.」
Haruna found Hiroshi’s explanation to be convincing. Not only was there potion poisoning, but there was always a limit on anything convenient in this world. This time around, the limitation seemed to be even more extreme with death prevention.
「So how many times can you re-use the items？」
「The shouldering one has other penalties as well, so its effects are 24 hours, while the one that just prevents death would be 48 hours.」
「That’s a bit troubling, isn’t it.」
「Welp, it’s not too unusual if ya think about it.」
As expected, there was quite the severe re-usability restriction on both, and Haruna made a huffy face. From Hiroshi’s perspective, if it were that easy to activate the insta death function then they would be in trouble, so if anything these restrictions were light.
「Okay, that’s solidified then. What else？」
「Weapons for Elle ‘n Artiem. Elle can have an upgraded version of her dagger, and Artiem of course gotta have a bow.」
「If we only strengthen the bow, I doubt regular arrows would do it much good.」
「I’ll think bout that, don’t worry.」
Hiroshi indicated that this was no problem. Mio’s arrows were also regular ones, so of course he intended to finesse a lot of things.
「Anyhoo, that’s what we’re aimin’ for, so after we get bentos ‘n tools ready we’re off hikin’.」
Nodding at Hiroshi’s information, Haruna got to preparing their portable meals, consisting of onigiri as the principal ingredient. She already saw meatballs as a given, but was a bit torn between behemoth, garbarenzia, and wyvern meat. During this time, she was unconsciously working on fried eggs and fried shrimp; a fruit of her labor from the food stands.
「Elle-chan can’t make it～」
「Oh dear, that’s a shame.」
As Haruna was cooking, some octogals flew over and conveyed the message to her. Apparently Hiroshi had used Tatsuya’s octopus pots to confirm Aearis’s plans via the octogal network.
「Well, if she can’t make it she can’t make it.」
Haruna murmured, fairly disappointed as she gave the octogals conveying the message some fried eggs and meatballs. Also, the meatballs used appeared to be garbarenzia. She picked it because they had behemoth recently and because she had decided to have wyvern fried later.
「Lunch is ready, Hiroshi-kun.」
「Kay, then after ya git changed, we’re off. Hiyohiyo guards the place with the octogals.」
Encouraged by Hiroshi, Haruna left the kitchen as she took off her apron. They ended up leaving about an hour after Hiroshi suggested the excursion.
「Boss Man, there are a bunch of things that really have me wondering……」
Two hours after departure. Past the halfway point, as they were getting closer to the destination for harvesting, Nora looked around and furrowed her brow as she checked with Hiroshi about something.
「Well yeah, the ingredients over here are a treasure trove. Which part of this has ya wonderin’？」
「Okay, so that tree over there, its leaves, its bark, flowers, fruit, I feel like all of these can be used for something.」
「Correct, mate. That thing’s called a ordot. Ya can use it for materials for every variety of potion near level 6. But it’s a bit of a drag to get the leaves to use it, so not any amateur can handle it.」
「……I kind of see why……」
Nora nodded with a serious face as she heard Hiroshi’s explanation. Teres and Fum had a similar reaction. Nora and the other two could tell from the smell and mana that ordots were exceedingly good as medicinal ingredients, but the current probability that they could actually obtain an ordot as a proper material was around 30%, they could somewhat tell.
「There are a buncha other things there, but I’ll explain more once we reach the destination.」
Nora obediently drew back when Hiroshi told her that. There was a great danger of losing crucial information when you wrote down memos while walking. These kinds of lectures were best listened to while relaxing down somewhere.
「Boss Man～、Boss Man～」
「Can we eat that thing？」
Lime tugged at the bottom of Hiroshi’s jacket. In order to answer her, Hiroshi turned to look at the direction she was talking about, to which…
「Oveel, eh? There’s another rare one.」
Forre’s early summer fruit, ripened. The tree had to grow big in order to produce fruit, so wild ones with ripe fruit were fairly rare.
「Can we eat them？」
「Ya sure can. Want one？」
Responding to Lime’s request, Hiroshi went to go and pluck an oveel fruit, but then Lime once again tugged at the bottom of his jacket, stopping him.
「I wanna take it! Pretty please？」
「Kay, sure. Wanna piggieback？」
Giving a small nod and smiling at Lime, who had burst out a second time, Hiroshi grabbed her young body and hoisted it up onto his shoulders. Compared to the equipment he normally carried around, Lime’s weight was nothing.
Fum stared straight at the two of them. This situation appeared somewhat complicated.
「Fum-chan, what’s wrong？」
Haruna saw Fum acting strange, to which she shook her head, pretending nothing was wrong. Haruna sort of understood how Fum felt during the sequence of events.
「Fum-chan, you know you can ask for the same thing, right……」
「To the boss man, I still count as a woman……」
Haruna thought about what Fum said for a bit. It was true that Hiroshi counted Fum as a woman. This wasn’t in a sexual way at all, but more of as someone he was wary of. This sort of classification was an instinctual mechanism on Hiroshi’s part, not something he could just solve.
Fum and the other workshop members had no idea what kind of trouble Hiroshi had gotten into before, but had surmised he had been through some real trauma, thereby acting more careful around Hiroshi by copying Haruna’s mannerisms in an attempt to not overwhelm him.