Editor: Thor’s Stone
We’re taking a break from monster hunting today, so I’m taking it easy this morning. Since Karina-san will be coming over to fetch us at ten, we can’t wander around outside the inn at this time. It looks like everyone’s going to get some sword practice out in the yard after we had our breakfast.
Since I had something to check with Iris, I ended up holed up inside my room.
(Iris, can you pinpoint the current position of Cleria’s royal guards?)
『I currently cannot. But I can anticipate the roads they may take along the way. Do you want to send out some drones, captain?』
(How long will it take to find them?)
『We should be able to find their location in about thirty minutes or so.』
(Great. Send them out then.)
『We found them.』
Well, that was fast. It’s only been ten minutes or so since we started the search.
Then I watched the live footage taken by the drone through a virtual window and zoomed in on a single man riding on horseback. It really was Captain Dalshim.
When I panned out the image, I discovered a group consisting of about twenty horses pulling carriages traveling speedily on the road. Since the carriages didn’t have roofs, I was able to confirm the number of people as well.
And there was another similar-looking group traveling two hundred meters behind the first one. They may have made some distance from each other, but they were traveling in the same direction. They probably did so to avoid suspicions since a group of more than fifty people traveling together may seem quite strange in other’s eyes.
Hm? That’s strange? Aren’t their numbers a bit too much? If only 58 people were coming, then dividing into three groups should be enough. But why are there actually more than three groups following after each other?
(Can you check exactly how many people are there?)
The live feed sent back by the drone moved closer to the highway. Whoah, isn’t it flying too low? Even if it’s concealing itself through stealth mode, the engine sounds can’t be masked, and it looks like it spooked the people since they were scanning the sky warily as if looking for the source of the noise.
『Numbers confirmed. There are one hundred people in total.』
(Are you sure they are all from the same group? Maybe they’ve mixed with unrelated people while traveling.)
『That is probably unlikely. I have spotted the royal members we met in Gotania traveling together with all of the different groups.』
Iris then displayed the faces of the royal guards we met in Gotania on half of the screen. Hm. Yep, they’re all there alright. It looks like there’s no mistake.
But what’s going on? Did they take an escort request or something?
(Can you spot people not wearing armor?)
『There are none.』
All one hundred people were displayed on the virtual HUD. Oh! There are some women with them as well. Are they all Elna’s colleagues?
If there were some people not wearing armor and weapons mixed in, then we could surmise that they’ve undertaken an escort request, but since there were none, I suppose they all really were part of the same group.
Their number being exactly one hundred people seemed deliberate, and all of them had the air of experienced soldiers.
Well, this sure was a surprise.
When I mentioned wanting to procure a base, I was only expecting the 58 royal guard members, but I didn’t think their number would actually exceed that.
They probably thought 58 won’t cut it and looked for more members to join up.
They were probably from the army of the late margrave that was mentioned by Roberto back then.
It would be great if the potential base we will be checking out later could actually house all one hundred people, but if not… But we can’t do anything about it since they’re already coming. There’s no helping it anymore.
(How much time before they arrive here on Gantz?)
『Approximately twenty-three days, captain.』
That’s faster than I expected. Well, it’s Captain Dalshim after all. He might be urging them to pick up the pace.
(Check the position of the group once every day for me. Inform me if they run into any trouble.)
(And I’m sure you’ve heard as well Iris, but we’ve taken up a request to produce a liquor with high alcohol content.)
Iris used Selena to check out the state of our group from time to time with her permission via linking with her and utilizing her as a sort of biological terminal.
『…Yes, I’m aware.』
(Can you design an alcohol distiller that can be manufactured by this planet’s blacksmiths using local techniques and materials.)
『Like this? But as I have not yet had the opportunity to check out the tools that the local blacksmiths use, I cannot guarantee whether or not they can make this.』
The image of the distiller’s blueprint was displayed on the virtual HUD. Hou, so ancient distillers looked like this huh. It had the appearance of a slightly distorted copper kettle.
If you heat wine and other alcoholic beverages, the alcohol evaporates first. Purified alcohol can be obtained by inducing the evaporated gas into another container, cooling it, and returning it into a liquid form. And the equipment which can facilitate such a process is a distiller like this.
(Come to think of it, that’s right, isn’t it? I’ll go visit a local blacksmith’s workshop once I get a chance. Let’s settle on this design for the time being. Make it a bit smaller… No, a bit bigger than that… There we go. If you print out an instruction manual regarding the assembly of a distiller this size, how many pages would it be?)
『It would be 153 pages. Additional user instructions will take up another 57 pages by the way.』
Man, that’s a lot. So it’ll be 200 pages huh. No, I bet it’ll get longer if the knowledge regarding alcohol production was included as well.
Oh, man. 1,500,000 Guineas might have been a bit too cheap.
(Fine. Get the data regarding the liquor I drank yesterday from Nanom.)
(What’s its exact alcohol content?)
(Okay then. The one we will produce needs a bit more. Let’s see. Make it about 25%. I bet they’ll find the liquor more delicious with that. I surmised the basic process of making the liquor yesterday was adding distilled alcohol with this world’s regular wine, but I’d like you to research the details more if you could.)
『Excuse me, captain. I do not have the faculty to judge whether or not an alcoholic drink tastes ‘good’. I certainly have data regarding the brewing equipment and manufacturing processes that you humans use, but I do not have the know-how to brew a drink that the people of this planet would find ‘good’ by using locally secured ingredients, and this distiller we’ve designed.』
(I know. I’m planning on sampling all kinds of different local liquors these coming days. I want you to base the research on the data we’ll obtain from sampling those. You surely have some data for the beverages that are rated highly back at the empire, right? Just try to reproduce a drink based on one of those.)
『Even if we do have some data on hand, an appropriate evaluation program is lacking, so I don’t believe it will go as smoothly as you hope, captain.』
(There’s still some system resources that are not in use, right? Build a simulation module with those and use it for the research project.)
A simulation module is a system that can create a stand-alone virtual world that completely simulates the same conditions as the real world in cyberspace, so one can perform various experiments and verification processes in that environment. Since it’s completely virtual, you can freely adjust the time dilation to suit your needs. It does, however, use up a ton of processing power, so it isn’t normally utilized unless it’s for a grand undertaking of some sort.
『Are we really going to build a simulation module for something like this?』
(Don’t say it like that, Iris. This matter is vital for securing funds for our future activities. Also, although it would only cause small ripples at best, it will lead to an improvement of this planet’s science and technology, and that’s also one of the main goals of our long-term operations.)
『…Understood. I will do it then.』
I somehow managed to convince Iris. I then proceeded to recommend some of my personal favorite liquors to Iris. Before long, the time set by Karina-san for today’s appointment arrived.
When Karina-san came to the inn, she also brought a guy who looked very much like a craftsman with her.
“Alan, this is the craftsman we told you about yesterday. His name is Turk-san.”
“It’s nice to meet you, sir. My name is Alan.”
“The name’s Turk. Nice to meet you too, lad.”
Let’s hand over the hairdryers first before anything else.