(TN. For those that don’t know, kombu is seaweed.)
The history of Kombu Wall mine is new.
7 years ago a prospector named Cornelius found this silver mine and reported it to the king. Due to the mines rich silver deposits, it became a source of good revenue for the royal family.
As a result of this Cornelius was promoted from a mere prospector to a count and given the name Ramunes.
That was the story of Yuuraia’s father.
The area is currently experiencing rapid development.
A town has formed at the base of the mine and the magic railway is expected to connect there in the next 3 years.
At the moment the silver output is is quite low but they are forward planning and the anticipation is this will be made a royal territory under direct control of the monarchy.
As soon as I arrived at the mine I was put to work.
I know the sentence is forced labour but it would be nice to have a break on my first day.
If you complain or get caught being lazy you are whipped.
I worked with recovery magic basically on all the time.
Work is over at 16:00 during the winter months due to it being dark so you can’t work anymore.
After finishing work we go to the dining room to get some food.
On the menu today is vegetable soup and bread.
I had heard that half of the prisoners die within the first 6 months and I can believe it.
Prisoners who are strong get larger servings by the jailers and extra bread while weaker prisoners get smaller portions and small pieces of bread.
Recovery magic might keep me healthy but does nothing for hunger.
My immediate concern became food.
In the middle of the night while everyone slept I quietly get up.
With recovery magic, I am a man who can fight nonstop for 24 hours if need be.
While pretending to go to the toilet I slip into the mine and take out the demon stone.
There are guards watching the exits from the settlement but no guards watch the entrance to the mine.
Here’s a fun little fact. When I put the stone in it didn’t hurt but it was a little painful when I removed it.
It doesn’t matter where I put it.
Anyway, after using washing magic on it 3 times and disinfection 2 times I started making a golem.
Fortunately, I’m spoilt for choice with materials due to this being a mine.
The purpose of this golem is clear.
There were two ways of finding food I considered.
Hunt for it or steal it.
Gathering wild food is almost impossible in winter and I’d rather not to turn to crime unless I can help it so that cuts out stealing.
If I become desperate I’ll consider it but I’m not there yet so that left hunting
What kind of golem would be good for hunting?
I only have the lowest grade demon stone to work with so a big golem is out of the question.
Its power will be low as well so it’s prey will only be small animals.
The forests around the settlement are being cut down for fuel and timbers for mine supports, however, there is still some forest left around the base of the mountain. (1)
I’ll aim for squirrels and rabbits.
I’ve never eaten squirrel but it seems to be commonly eaten in the UK and other places. Apparently, the taste is somewhere between lamb and duck. Others say it resembles wild boar.(2)
I can’t get a grasp on what it will taste like since lamb, duck and boar are so very different in tastes.
In any case being able to identify strange meat is a good thing.
To catch my prey I considered various golems such as snakes and foxes but I ultimately developed a monkey golem named George-kun.
I’m going to have George-kun use traps and a bow to hunt the game.
I made him a small knife and some small traps. The traps I made out of Mithril.
I also made a number of poor quality guns for him.
The current strategy is to try using traps first.
George-kun runs off into the darkness carrying the first trap.
The settlement is surrounded by a log wall but George-kun has no problem skilfully climbing the fence and fading into the night.
Eugenie looked into her friend’s exhausted face.
Patty’s tanned skin was dry looking and she had dark circles under her eyes.
“Have you had any sleep at all Patty?”
“I can’t sleep…….Ippei was sent to the mine…….”
“How’d it go with the guild?”
“They made lip service about investigating it again but they didn’t care. How can Ippei have an F rank demon stone? They only drop from the 3rd floor. Ippei is a 9th rank adventurer. He hasn’t been to the 3rd floor!!”
“Yeah……Patty….There’s nothing more we can do. How about speaking to your father?”
“…….I’ve already done it. He said if Ramunes is really behind this all we can do for now is watch and wait.”
“Right……., it’s unfair on you but I don’t think we’ve got any other choice.”
“Poor Ippei. He must be hungry by now and probably shivering from the cold. He’s got no defensive powers. Just being hit on the head by a stone in the mines will kill him!”
Patty buried her face in her hands and began to cry.
These were the first tears Jenny had seen since Patty was a child.
Faint Jealousy flared up that Ippei could make her best friend cry like this, however, her feelings of wanting to do something to save him were also real.
The problem was, no matter how intelligent she was, Jenny could see no way of resolving the current situation.
After sending George-kun off Ippei made a hot water bottle out of the remaining silver.
They were only given 1 thin blanket and it was really cold so it couldn’t be helped.
Once completed I filled it with hot water made with life magic.
At least now I can sleep snugly tonight.
I hope I can see a nice dream of Patty.
I returned to my bed hoping for such a thing.
After an early breakfast the next day we were put to work again.
Breakfast was only oatmeal and again the Jailers unevenly distributed the food. There was hardly anything in my bowl.
Geroge-kun contacted me while I was hauling ore in the tunnels. Gobu and me can talk to each other if we are within 30 meters of each other. I made it so me and George-kun can talk to each other within 1 km.
I’ll introduce George-kun.
[Lv] 1 (highest level is 10)
[Attack] 7 (+35) Mithril bow
[Physical strength] 10
[Skills] Hunting Lv.1
[Notes] semi-autonomous type golem. 1MP a minute is required for action. MP may be charged up to 500. It will lose the ability to function if separated from its master for more than 8 hours and 20 minutes. If within a 3-meter radius of its master it can charge up its MP.
As you can see its specs are low due to the fact I concentrated on its MP level and operating time.
” (What’s wrong George-kun? Did something happen?) ”
” (Uukii!) ”
If he catches something he says [Uukii] and if something is wrong he says [Ugya]. These were the signals I had taught him before he set off.
” (George-kun, when you capture something, butcher it and bring me only the meat.) ”
” (Uki) ”
It seems I’ll be eating meat tonight.
(1) That answered something that was bugging me. Why did they stop working when it was dark? It’s a mine. Generally, they are dark. The prisoners must work outside as well, cutting down the forest and so on so they stop working when it gets dark.
(2) Not sure how true that is or where the author got that from. I’m from the UK (out in the sticks as well) and I’ve never eaten squirrel nor have I ever met anybody who has. Any other UK readers tried squirrel?