Chapter 110: Foraging fundamentals, part 1


Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama


We had plenty of the E-ranked quest, ‘Foraging of Mini Fortunes’, to go around.

While they were being cleared at a steady rate, new ones were also coming in all the time, resulting in no net change. Even assigning them to the more lowly-ranked adventurers did not help the situation at all — in fact, I think we’re at the point where we’re dishing out more of these quests than anything else.

「Man, we have as many as ever…」, I muttered to nobody in particular.

「Ah, ‘Foraging of Mini Fortunes’… we get such requests from many different sources」, said Milia, our recently appointed new hire trainer.

For such quests, the rewards received are proportional to the amount of goods handed over. As Mini Fortunes are one of the herbs used as active ingredients in potions, we constantly receive requests for them from herbalists, hardware stores and sometimes even researchers. Still undergoing post-war restoration, the Principality of Vadenhaag still lacked resources such as water, rations and especially medicine.

Meiri had gone off on an F-ranked quest accompanied by Rodje and Lyla (in black cat form). While it goes without saying for Meiri, I’m genuinely glad that the two older ladies seem to be having fun as well.

The four warriors from the Pretty Girls’ Squad returned just as I was tidying up some paperwork. I had just assigned them one of those quests today…

「We’re back, Roland-sama」, said Hire, their leader, sitting opposite the counter.

「You must be tired. How was it?」

The demi-human Lyan hoisted the gunny sack onto the table. The amount of herbs inside was so pathetic that I could hold them all using both hands.

「Roland-sama, we only found this much…」, she trailed off.

I patted her head.

「Thank you. This is the most I’ve seen recently.」

「…This?」, whispered Sans, the dwarf.

「Yeah. Looking at the quest slips, it appears that the number of quests hasn’t gone up, but rather the volume of goods received has gone down.」

「We looked around all the places possible, but most had already been thoroughly picked」, added Sue, the elf.

I rolled up the quest slip.

「Some requesters submit another request after receiving the goods. Since you can never have enough of these things, some of them just leave a quest permanently up for grabs.」

「Lyan and Sue know the forest well, so it wasn’t really difficult for them to find new areas… but even so, the Mini Fortunes we found were few and far between」, explained Hire, to which her comrades nodded.

According to them, it had been impossible to find a single stalk nearby, so they had to travel a little further to procure what little they could.

「Many people will be affected if there aren’t enough potions」, sighed Hire.

At any rate, they had completed the quest assigned to them, so I gave them another one and sent them on their way. When they were out of earshot, Milia spoke up, clearly having overheard the conversation.

「Doesn’t this mean that the population of Mini Fortunes has shrunk?」

「As far as I can see.」

Adventurer or otherwise, everyone requires the use of potions once in a while. If they become harder to come by, scalpers and hoarders will emerge and send the price skyrocketing into the heavens, depriving the needy of them.


In order to grasp the situation for myself, I made my way to a herbalist located in Izalia. I inquired about the shortage, asking how much raw material would be required to keep production at a comfortable rate.

「I was walking around, trying to pick some on my own… but no luck.」

「Yes. It seems almost as if someone has picked them all.」

The shopkeeper laughed.

「When I was making my rounds, I saw a lot of tsunorabi.」

「Tsunorabi…? Horn rabbits?」

「Ah, yes. It really felt like there were a lot of them hopping around.」

「Well, they’re omnivorous.」

「That’s why I was wondering if they could be eating up all the Mini Fortunes.」

It’s entirely plausible, but they can’t possibly be feeding only on Mini Fortunes, could they? My head full of question marks, I thanked the shopkeeper and left.


I made a brief detour to survey a nearby plain before heading back to the guild, where I discussed the matter with the branch chief.

「I see… should we see what can do with those tsunorabi first, then?」

「The tsunorabi aren’t consuming only the Mini Fortunes — due to a population expansion, many different plants are being gobbled up, and it just happens that Mini Fortunes are one of those.」

「All the plants’ populations are shrinking because the tsunorabi are feeding on them indiscriminately, huh.」

「Tsunorabi can be made into cured meat products. If we offer a bounty for them, we can even make it a quest.」

「That’s it! Brilliant idea! Let’s get down to business!」, exclaimed Iris, who was immediately all for it. 「While rather simple on their own, the constant influx of Mini Fortune quests has been forcing you to assign them instead of other quests, right?」

Spot on, I thought. I nodded.

「Because of that, we are experiencing a backlog with the other quests.」

「There are definitely middle and high-level adventurers inclined towards hunting. I believe they’ll be willing to take up this quest」, she suggested.

Although there’s no guarantee that culling a bunch of tsunorabi will help revive the Mini Fortune population, it’s still important to try and nip the problem in the bud. We quickly got to work turning ‘Horn Rabbit Hunting’ into a quest, and immediately began assigning it the following day.

「It looks like the time has come for me to give it my all, Aniki…!」

Despite the new quest being E-ranked, the proficient archer Neil was nevertheless raring to go.

「I feel bad for the rabbits, but Aniki takes precedence…! I must do my best!」, pledged his junior, Roger, who was equally excited.

「A thousand rin for each one. If you choose to kill them, then make sure to drain their blood. Otherwise, we would like to receive them alive.」

「Roger that!!」

The Pretty Girls’ Squad came as they left.

「Are we hunting bunnies…?」, asked their leader, frowning.

「Roland-sama… I like watching tsunorabi-chans. Can’t we keep them as pets instead…?」

「You can, but you’ll have to forgo the bounty.」

「But… tsunorabi-chans are so cute…」

Lyan and Sans were visibly appalled, but Sue seemed largely composed.

「Did you even listen to Roland-sama’s explanation? Without potions, who will help us when we fall sick?」

Without a healer of some sort in your party, potions are indispensable. Your chances of survival drastically decrease if you set off without enough in your inventory.

Sue continued as she tensioned her bow.

「One rabbit for a thousand rin. With me and Lyan around, we can get twenty in the blink of an eye.」

「I like money, so I’ll do it」, said Hire with a glint in her eye.

Lyan and Sans had no choice but to agree with their comrades.

「Do your best, the four of you.」

After that, we assigned the ‘Horn Rabbit Hunting’ quest to the adventurers we knew as they showed up.

「If it’s at Roland-san’s request, then I can’t possibly refuse…」

「As long as Roland-san gives the word, I’ll kill anything… anyone…」

「No time to dilly-dally! If I do well here, I’ll be next in line to be his girlfriend…!」

For some reason, the female adventurers became especially motivated.

「If I nab the most rabbits, join me for a meal!」, exhorted one red-faced adventurer.

Everyone present swallowed and waited for my response.

「Sure. Whoever comes back with the most rabbits will receive my thanks, and I’ll join you for a meal too.」

「It’s the one chance we’ve all been waiting for!」, exclaimed all of them at once.

Feels like I’m in the Amazon, except that everyone is engaged in rivalry.

「Death to the rabbits!」

「I was born to kill!」

「Death to all of them!」

「I alone will stand on a pyramid of skulls…!」

Emanating a terrifying aura that could be said to be more of a miasma, the bounty hunters left to earn their bounty. There was also something I wished to check out, so I had a word with Iris and obtained permission to take some time off from the guild.


Leaving the capital on horseback, I scouted the forest and confirmed all I had heard for myself.

「They have no natural predators.」

No wonder their population is exploding.

The footsteps I saw in the compost covering the forest floor were too small to have been made by carnivores or large monsters. I also visited several other forests, and found that the situation was similar in all of them.

According to the employees’ manual, it is prohibited to hunt certain creatures — mainly harmless or endangered ones. Arriving at the forest furthest from Izalia, I finally spotted a lupine beast in the distance.

A Grey Wolf.

Due to countless dreadful experiences with humans over many generations, a sort of fear had been encoded into their DNA such that they no longer attacked us. Although commonly hunted for sport before, they had slowly crept towards endangerment, resulting in the global prohibition of their poaching.

It all only applies to humans, of course. They’re still a threat to other wild animals.

「Haven’t seen a single one in the other forests…」

If the tsunorabi population is expanding, then that of their natural predators, Grey Wolves, must be going down. It can only mean one thing — someone’s still poaching them.

I observed the lupine beast until I detected the presence of a human accompanied by footsteps.

「…」

A man sporting a five-o’clock shadow appeared and set up a large trap. I could immediately tell that he wasn’t aiming for small animals.

「Oi. Are you the one hunting Grey Wolves?」

「Huh!? What do you want…」

「The hunting of Grey Wolves is prohibited by law. Did you know that there’s a shortage of potions in the nearby cities because of your actions?」

「Nope, no idea.」

「I see.」

In a fraction of a second, I picked up a small twig and brought it close to his eyeball.

「Well then, if you become food for the Grey Wolves, nobody will have any idea what happened to you either.」

「W-What are y-you doing…!?」

「Grey Wolves’ hides are expensive, after all. You’re selling the hides of those you poached, aren’t you?」

「…」

「Don’t even try to hide it. In fact, tell me everything you know. If you’re the one setting up traps personally, then you can’t be much more than a lowly grunt.」

「And who are you to –」

「Nature has blessed us with not one, but two eyes. Clearly, your vision will still be intact even with one gone.」

Gripping the twig in a backhanded fashion, I brought it closer and closer to his eyeball as he began sweating profusely.

「S-Stop it…」

「Found your tongue?」

He raised both hands to indicate his surrender.

「Fine, I’ll spill the beans! I’m sorry! Just… stop it… and we can talk…」



6 Comments

  1. Those female adventurers are scary…

  2. Thanks for the chapter desu~

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