In this world only those races with attribute affinity over 90 contained magic stones. Correspondingly there were only four races confirmed to contain such magic stones. Inevitably it was these four races that the Empire targeted.
Elves → Wind Magic Stones
*Ruled by the Empire
Fire Foxes → Fire Magic Stones
*Able to oppose the Empire
Gnomes → Earth Magic Stones
*Live underground where the Empire cannot reach them. Sometimes Gnomes that come to the surface are kidnapped.
Water Sprites → Water Magic Stones
*Live in the water, same situation as Gnomes.
The Empire aimed for these magic stones as catalysts to allow humans to use strong attribute spells.
Human affinities were around 40 across the board. When using magic stones as catalysts their affinity to that element would be raised by around 20~30 points. After affinity passed the 50 point mark practical magics of that affinity would be usable.
If you were to put it another way, Humans could use any type of magic as long as they had a catalyst. This was their strong point. Other races were much too loved by a particular type of mana. This interfered with other mana around them making the effects of catalysts almost negligible.
「The Empire is stubbornly aiming for the Fire Foxes. Looking forwards you’d understand. If we Elves and Fire Foxes fight alone we’ll eventually lose. We should hurry to ally together.」
Particularly in recent years the Empire had done a great deal of logging thanks to how much wood was needed to produce their new iron. Many mountains had been cleanly deforested by them. In order to cut down on their wood usage they desperately needed to obtain fire magic stones.
「Cyril’s thought of a lot of things…but in truth you want your fiancee Kuu to come here right?」
Lucy said unhappily.
Kuu was a friend to both me and Lucy. She was a Fire Fox girl but back when our villages had close ties she would follow the Chief of their village, her father and come to visit us. When that wasn’t the case I would many times follow my father and visit their village instead. We had many chances to meet and had good relations with each other.
「That’s just something Dad and Kuu’s dad said when they were drunk. No one took it seriously. It’s fine, Lucy’s my number one.」
「But…Kuu is cute…」
「I think Lucy is cuter.」
I said with a wry smile.
Kuu was the daughter of the Fire Fox Chief.
In this world a child will be the same race as their mother.
Smaller races would bring in excellent members of other races to make sure there wasn’t too much inbreeding.
My father and I had often gone to the Fire Fox village to exchange boar meat for rock salt. The Chief of their village and Kuu took a liking to me.
My father also realized that his younger brother had a great desire to be the next chief and thought that I might be happier going to the Fire Fox village instead.
Since we were still very young I had no concept of love. I thought that both of us only thought of the other as a friend.
「Even Kuu was only 9 years old you know? She probably forgot that her father haphazardly gave her a fiancee 5 years ago.」
「But…I’ve felt that way for Cyril from long ago…Kuu might be the same too…」
Lucy had casually let slip a response to my confession without realizing it, but I couldn’t capitalize on this chance because our troubles weren’t over yet.
I didn’t want to dwell on something so silly so I changed the subject.
「You worry too much. Now about those potatoes. We’ll be harvesting them all tomorrow, but we could harvest one and see how they are…」
I said and walked to the nearest potato before pulling it out of the ground.
Lucy had a slight smile on her face. It looked like I had successfully shifted her attention. At times like this it was good I could figure out her emotions thanks to being childhood friends.
「Wow so many. For such a tiny piece of potato to become like this!」
Lucy cried out in wonderment.
The stalk I’d pulled up had 11 potatoes attached to it. They were about 150~300 grams each.
「Un, a bumper crop. The other crops are looking good so I think they’ll have around this amount as well.」
The quality of the soil and the fertilizer I had used was perfect for this.
One potato seed can make one or two sprouts. Even though thin stalks would reduce the number of potatoes harvested, we still had around 500 stalks growing.
By my estimates each stalk would have around 9 potatoes weighing 200 grams each. At a glance there should be around 900 kg of potatoes we can harvest this time. This was incredible growth compared to the 40kg we started with.
Even after keeping around 100kg for planting next year we could provide each house with 4 kg of potatoes.
We could rest easy with this kind of harvest.
「Chief Cyril! It’s bad! There’s trouble so please come out!」
As I was feeling relieved a young elf girl ran over crying out.
She was clearly in a panic.
「Could it be? The Empire attacked!?」
I panicked a bit myself.
I had thought that losing that number of soldiers and the fact that winter would arrive within another two weeks would prevent them from attacking. I had villagers keep watch for the Empire’s attacks but I had received no such reports.
「That’s not it. Umm, people from the Fire Fox village have arrived.」
My tension instantly abated.
I had just been thinking about wanting to visit them. I’m grateful they took the opportunity to visit us instead.
「That’s it. Since you panicked like that I thought something bad happened. I’ll be back soon. Treat them courteously. Guide them to…the Chief’s house.」
Lucy and I still lived in our own house, however the more luxurious Village Chief’s house belonged to me as well.
I thought about moving to the Chiefs house, but we didn’t want to separate from our own home filled with memories. Thanks to that the Chief’s house was more of a meeting place and a place to greet guests.
However Kona shook her head.
「What’s impossible? Is there any reason they won’t go there?」
「Well….they won’t fit.」
「They won’t fit? What are you talking about?」
Kona started to tear up at my intense questioning.
「Kona, calm yourself and breathe. Look Cyril isn’t mad so just go ahead and say it.」
Lucy came to the rescue.
It looks like I had pressured her too much.
「Suu haa suuu haa, okay I’m calm. Umm…there are too many Fire Foxes, they can’t fit in the Chief’s house.」
「They can’t fit? There’s enough room for 20 people in that house right?」
「There are 53 of them.」
I couldn’t help but react with shock.
「They are all young Fire Fox women, and are asking for help.
She said with a confused blushing face.
A group of 50 women asking for help.
Those words allowed me to understand.
「I see I understand. I’ll be there. Lucy return to the village with Kona, I’ll be going on ahead.」
Something bad truly did happen.
I ran with all my might hoping that everyone would act rationally back in the village.