Chapter 204: Cheers are Synonymous to Hymns
「U-Unbelievable. The great trees are… 」
「Did he ravage the Goddess of Verdure’s land? 」
「No, unless the goddess gives her permission, it’ll take everything out of you just to get a single branch. 」
I can totally hear them since I’m standing downwind. Eh, don’t tell me somebody already owns these timbers? But they said ‘goddess’ — they’re probably referring to Dogū, huh. What a pain in the neck it’ll be if I get discovered — is what I thought while turning toward the sound.
Dwarf!!!!! Oh, I might be mistaken, but they’re short and stout and with a beard!! Dwarf!!
「A spirit pulled them out and gave them to me, you know. 」
「He can understand us!? 」
Thank you so much for all the help,【Language】-san.
「I am Gamri of the Black Steel Pit. 」
「Similarly, I am Grid of the Red Silver Valley. 」
「Similarly, I am Morick of the Sulfur Valley. 」
The first one to name himself has braided black hair. Grid has deep brown hair parted exactly in the middle with a huge split line. Morick’s straight locks are shorter than the other two and look more like dirty blonde than brown.
「I’m Soleil of the island beside Nalluahdid. The island doesn’t have a name yet. 」
It’s probably alright even if I named myself, but I decided to play safe just in case.
「Oh tall one, did you meet the Goddess of Verdure? 」
Tall… Oh well, I guess we gauge things like height using our own race as the standard, huh. After all, I did think about how short and stout they are when I saw them.
Gamri seems to be the leader of the trio; he stepped forward to talk to me.
「By Goddess of Verdure, are you referring to Do — I mean, a humanoid figure made with baked clay? If so, then yes I did. 」
「Incredible, an outsider… And it’s not even the summer solstice yet!? 」
The dwarves were over-reacting. It’s hard to discern what sort of expression they have on their faces that are covered with a beard, but I bet it’s probably something exaggerated, huh.
「There’s no doubt that that is indeed the Goddess’ receptacle. She’s inside it. 」
Gamri said with a reverent air.
News flash! Dogu is just a cosplay costume! Does that mean she’s really a shut-in?
「On the summer solstice of each year, we offer a handful of earth to the Goddess and she in turn will bestow a branch to us. May we ask how you manage to obtain such great trees? 」
「I also gave her a handful of dirt… 」
I looked around me. Yeah, it’s the same cold and desolate scenery I walked through.
「Are you saying you got yours here? 」
It’s totally different from Dogu’s preference; it’s dreary without a single blade of grass growing here. The miniscule amount of rainfall in this cold region is also a factor, but it’s also because this place is literally filled with boulders.
「Mm. We get a handful of the earth while performing rituals and offering prayers on the day of the winter solstice, and that’s what we offer her. 」
「It’s not like the rituals and prayers magically turn this place into a fertile soil abounding with green vegetation, is it?
The spirits of the wind bring rich soil to the central plains.Moreover, we’re in a world where it’s kind of hard to tell if ceremonies don’t really have any effect other than uplift the mood.
「If that did happen, the other races would’ve marched to this place already. 」
Yeah, that’s the point ~
「The goddess prefers fertile soil that grows trees. Are there any specifications about the soil you’re offering? 」
It felt like things got lost somewhere down the communication road for these guys, much like when playing Chinese Whispers.
「… None. Is that why she hasn’t bestowed even a single bough recently…」
「Then it’s probably so, since not even a single moss has grown here in recent years… 」
「We have to hasten and relay this information to all the holes. 」
The trio are muttering simultaneously.
I wonder what they mean by ‘hole’? Are they using that term synonymously to village or community?
「Oh tall one. We give our thanks. By the way, what are you planning to do with those trees? 」
「Furniture, doors, and probably wooden panels too. 」
I might be able to do floorboards with this amount. Ah, but we have to wait until the wood’s dry first.
「Have you decided on the artisan you’ll be entrusting this processing task to? 」
「No, I believe no one else other than us can process the trees of the lake here. ]
「That’s right, other folks can’t even saw it, much less strike a blow with an ax. 」
When they speak together, Gamri speaks first, followed by Grid then Morick. When I asked why it was so, they told me that the turn to speak depends on how magnificent the beard is.
「Ah, thanks but I already cut the branches. 」
「What gorgeous cut ends these are! 」
「It’s true!! 」
And there goes another round of massive overreaction.
「The great tree, the great tree of our dreams… But the cut ends are more nicely done than mine. 」
「You could’ve processed the branches while they’re still alive. Still, my skills fall short compared to yours. 」
「If I can have a handle for my battle axe fashioned from this… But it’s beyond my power. 」
The trio suffered a heavy blow. Well, I did use 『Zanzenken』 so…
「Whatever, it’s not like I can use it right away. I have to dry them first, after all… 」
「Me, me, I’ll dry them, I’ll dry them for you! I’ll dry those great trees for you, no, I beg you, please allow me to dry them!! Just how far will my skills go, I want to know!! I want to touch that great tree… uuu!! 」
Gamri threw himself to the ground and started beating the dirt with his fist while prostrating himself.
「Well, I’ll be grateful if you dry them for me. 」
Hey stop it, the bearded old guy is clinging to me while crying buckets!
「Gamri of the Black Steel Pit! You have to man up! 」
「Gamri of the Black Steel Pit! Show him the power of the earth people! 」
「Gamri of the Black Steel Pit! Just a little bit more! 」
「Gamri of the Black Steel Pit! Two more to go! 」
And so, I ended up letting them dry the logs, but they’re way too loud. I thought dwarves are a silent bunch, you know. Ah, but seven people in the story of Snow White are also dwarves, huh. I see it now.
Magic — Gamri said it’s a technique, but upon closer look, the spirits were helping him remove the water. Moreover, his groans and the other two’s cheering seemed to carry mana since the more they holler the more the spirits lend their power. Well, part of why the spirits were doing it is probably because they’re amused by the dwarves’ voices.
I considered inviting them to the island to be blacksmiths, but I guess not. These guys probably do a better job the more comrades they have that can cheer them on.
So it’s kinda like the hymns I hear from time to time resounding from temples and『Fae’s Bough』? Those also carry mana in them. Ah, but the scene is completely different for both of them!!
Gamri managed to dry everything without a single crack out of grit and sheer willpower; the other two had to carry him when he collapsed after he was done with the last one. As thanks, I gave a branch to each of them, and they were totally ecstatic. Yeah, I thought it was stingy of me in the face of all these huge trees, but then, they won’t receive such branches even if they spend half of the year doing rituals.
While still gasping for breath, Gamri gave me a stone that will lead me to the Black Steel Pit so I’ll go there later to watch them work. After the stuffy memories fade out, that is.
I felt tired in an instant, so I chucked the logs and branches into 【Storage】 and called it a day and went home. I wanted to spend some quality time with Riche — in silence.
The dwarf trio
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