「You think there’s a relationship between the feng shui and the cave-in？」
「I can’t say for sure, but whenever the feng shui weakens or the current changes, I feel the ground weakening. I’ve thought this on numerous occasions. Not the plaza where the branching path begins, but the straight tunnel path and where the entrance’s firmly reinforced, ‘n then the bedrock that’s clearly wider than the tunnel crumbles and gets pulverized, causin’ this flashy cave-in. I’m thinkin’ it really might be best to suspect the feng shui.」
Hiroshi, knowledgeable in both engineering and excavation answered, Mio’s question with consideration, and everyone just fell silent again. If they were to accepted Hiroshi’s suggestion that the feng shui was at play here, there was a fair chance that another incident like this one would occur. After all, this was not an issue of excavation technique, so no one at the actual scene of the incident would have any way of preventing such a disaster.
「……So how exactly do we go about checking this out? Go to the temple as usual？」
「Yup, not really much else. With big feng shui comesa natural connection to most temples.」
Hiroshi said nothing to the contrary when Haruna asked him about their course of action. There was a high chance that the feng shui acting up was an indication of some sort of irregularity occurring in the temple. Still, the only countries whose temples’ locations were made available to outsiders were mainly Farlane and Darl, while Forre, whose feng shui was the largest, was a complete mystery to anyone outside the country, including the god it worshipped.
「I think the goddess worshipped in Forre went by the name Elza-sama, right？」
「That’s what I hear.」
「One of the five great gods, eh……」
Tatsuya and Makoto sighed simultaneously at how much of a sitting duck this goddess was.
「The moment we come here, we get a hint of trouble. I bet this country is in one heck of a conundrum……」
「You act like this is new, but have we ever really found a country over here or over there where the higher-ups aren’t struggling with something?」
Tatsuya lamented yet another difficult situation, and Haruna burst out with her own remark as she grimaced. Unable to retort to that blunt comment of hers, Tatsuya just decided to gulp down the rest of his soup rather than say anything more.
「But I’d be really glad if the government didn’t get wrapped up in all this. We seem to be wrapped up in all the nationwide nonsense all the time, after all…」
「Well, it ain’t like we gonna get involved in the center of the country EVERY time, so let’s just try ‘n avoid that flag this time around, yeah?」
「Yeah, it’d be real good if we could, y’know. But wait, Hiroshi. The whole reason the central figures lay their eyes on us was because you kept going too far！」
「Farlane was a coincidence, and I’m purty sure that people had their eyes on us right away in Darl’s case……」
Hiroshi attempted to excuse his way out of Makoto’s harsh criticism. In actuality, had they not gotten themselves noticed in Farlane, the world would have probably been in crisis, but in the case of Darl, although they were monitored from the start by the royal family, it was Hiroshi’s fault that the group was forced to get involved in the events there, so he had no room to retort.
「Well, anyhow, returning to the first topic……」
「The first topic？」
「What’s that stone you mentioned obtaining？」
「Oh, that. It’s got a lotta mineral content, but it’s mainly iron ore. I was thinkin’ of usin’ it fer Haruna and the others in forgin’ ‘n smeltin’ practice. When I considered the amount o’potions that could be released or the amount o’work ‘n difficulty of dealin’ with the crushed bedrock when I removed it, I didn’t have no problem with takin’ it all.」
Hiroshi announced some of the things he had planned from the start when Haruna inquired. The reason they had come all the way here to this mining town was to train Haruna, Mio, and the craftsmen in Farlane in the ways of smelting and to gather the resources needed for that. And, if this were also a possibility, he wanted them all to dig up their own iron ore for Haruna’s practice, but what with the cave-in incident and all the noise that had followed it, he hadn’t been able to get to it.
「Practice is fine and all, but where and how will we do this？」
「I do happen to have a portable smeltin’ furnace ‘n forge set with me, so we can do it anywhere, mate.」
「Portable smelting furnace? The heck is that……」
「Just as the name suggests. Thanks to Igreos-sama, I was able to make a furnace with ample heat fer its size, and I made it just for times like these.」
「But is that really safe……」
Tatsuya couldn’t hide his discomfort (?) at these new, rather questionable items. Incidentally, this portable smelting furnace was foldable and able to fit into one’s pocket when fully compressed, but when fully outstretched, it was twenty percent larger than your average furnace. Due to its size, the amount you could smelt at once was limited, but the output quality actually outstripped your average furnace, with many a revision on it.
Furthermore, it was pointless to question this foldable, compressible morphing machine that clearly ignored the laws of conservation of mass. It was also pointless to question why Hiroshi couldn’t have just put a normal-sized furnace into a capsule to carry around to save time.
「Well, in any case.」
Hiroshi conveyed the current plans that were set in stone as he cleared up everyone’s finished eating implements, a habit he had picked up recently.
「No point stayin’ in this town too long, so let’s skedaddle today.」
「How ‘bout we practice refinement ‘n forging when we take a break on the road?」
「During our break, eh……」
Haruna murmured with a faraway look at Hiroshi’s outrageous suggestion. Although she didn’t come close to comparing with Makoto or Mio, Haruna felt she had gathered a wider amount of power than the average Class 7 adventurer. While Hiroshi had already attained an unbelievable amount of muscle mass from helping out in the family business back in their world, Haruna looked like she had hardly any muscle mass whatsoever. This seemed to be due mainly to her attribute points not falling even if she slacked, which was why she had nearly no change in her appearance (Mio was an exception because of her growth period) other than regeneration. She honestly didn’t want to have a massive build in the first place, so it was best not to question anything in this regard.
In Tatsuya’s case, it was truly strange that his nails, hair, beard, etc grew like normal, yet stuffing himself and drinking liquor didn’t fatten him up, but as that was no inconvenience to him, Tatsuya accepted it without over analyzing things. Tatsuya’s next birthday would be his twenty-seventh, so any form of aging also had yet to be seen. But of course Tatsuya had no inclination of staying that long, or else he would probably break at some point.
「Well, we know what our plans are, so how about we get going to the capital?」
There was no point in quarreling any further. Leave too late and they risked getting caught by the dwarves again, so Tatsuya announced their departure.
「Thanks for the food. Bill, please.」
「Yes sir. That will be With five sausages added that will be twenty domas.」
Paying the aforementioned amount (which was about twenty tirols in Farlane currency), the group got straight to leaving the inn. After this, there would be a bit of a disturbance with Haruna making weapons and tools every break and no one helping her in the slightest, but that will begin later on.
And so the curtains on the stage of the group’s adventure in Forre opened with many ups and downs from the very first day.
Thanks for the new chapter!