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10-03 Study Group
The cheerful greetings of the children resounded in Kaina Village.
“Yes, good morning.”
The children had come to gather at village chief Gheebeck’s residence. They were children taking part in Mine and Elsa’s study group.
There were nine of them. A small number. There was simply not a lot of children to begin with.
“There’s very few of them, huh.”
Mine also noticed it. That was because normally it wasn’t unusual for families to have over three children.
Elsa too had three siblings, albeit from a different mother, while Mine even had seven siblings.
“It’s because of the bad food situation, isn’t it.”
The village chief Gheebeck caught what Mine said to herself.
“Mine-san, it is actually because some men were conscripted, and also an epidemic disease eight years ago played a part.”
He was still talking to her in a slightly formal manner.
“An epidemic disease, you say…”
Previously, Rock had also talked about this with Jin. Although Rock had told Jin the main cause was conscription, the epidemic disease had in fact been serious.
At that time Rock had yearned to be a knight and had gone to the royal capital so he didn’t know of it very well.
“It was a harsh time. We lost half of the village, and to prevent contagion we had no choice but to burn all the dead to ash. That’s why we don’t have any proper graves for them.”
“So that’s how it was…”
Gheebeck continued to talk to lighten the mood that had become a bit gloomy.
“But the number of inhabitants will go up soon.”
Mine who had been looking down raised her head.
“I don’t know whether it’s because the burden on the villagers became a bit smaller ever since since Jin came last year, or because of the hot springs, though.”
“Ah, you mean that there are people who have become pregnant?”
Elsa who was next to them looked like she didn’t understand, but as you’d expect Mine could guess.
“Yes. The bellies of five women have become bigger.”
“That’s good news, isn’t it.”
As they talked, Hannah turned up.
“Auntie, no wait, sensei, good morning.”
“Yes, good morning, Hannah-chan. Shall we begin soon?”
They had already exchanged greetings at the house, but Hannah had been told to draw the line between that and the study group, so she put it to practice.
Adding Hannah there were ten children in total. They were aged from seven years old to 14 years old.
“Good morning, everyone. I’m your sensei, Mine. This is my daughter Elsa who’ll be my assistant.”
The children were lively.
“Alright, calm down.”
Mine clapped her hands and made the children go silent, then said,
“Since this is the first day, let’s begin with self-introductions. Although we might all already be acquainted with each other, but since sensei came to the village only few days ago we don’t really know a lot about you. So please tell us.”
Ye~s, the children replied.
“So let’s begin with sensei. I’m Mine. 35 years old. I’m not from here, but from Egelia Kingdom. Elsa here is my daughter. Now then, Elsa, please introduce yourself.”
“…I’m, Elsa. 17 years old. I’m from Shouro Empire. I’m not very good at talking, but let’s get along well, okay?”
Once Elsa had finished speaking, the children burst into applause.
“Show us magic again!”
When she had shown her magic after the icehouse was built, Elsa had become admired by the children.
“Well then, please introduce yourselves one at a time in turns starting from over there.”
“Yeah! My name’s Patty! I just turned eight. Umm, my dad is called Linus and he’s good at making things out of wood. My mom’s Sera. She’s a bit scary when she’s angry but she’s good at making food.”
“Thank you, Patty-chan. Next one, please.”
“Yes! I’m Mario. My father is Rock and my mother is Molly.”
Like that, the children introduced themselves.
Once they were done the teaching finally began.
Jin had been watching the situation a little distance away but when Reiko tugged his sleeve and he guessed she had something to talk about they went to the back of the village head’s house.
“What is it, Reiko?”
“My apologies, Laojun has something to ask you.”
“Hmm, I wonder what. Well, let’s go there for a bit and see.”
Since there was a Warp Gate in the basement of his new home, he was able to freely go back to the research facility.
The golem managing the Warp Gate room, Butler-1 greeted them and Jin headed to the usual living room.
Laojun’s mobile terminal Laozi was waiting there.
“My Lord, my thanks for coming all the way here.”
Laozi said and gave a bow.
“As a matter of fact, there was something interesting among the weapons collected from around Tetrada the other day.”
Laozi said and presented Jin with a short sword.
“Tetrada… Oh, that was where Cline Kingdom’s army was disarmed. So this was among the weapons?”
Jin gazed at the short sword while talking. There was nothing unusual about it, it seemed to be a sword just like any other. He tried taking it in his hand, and again noticed nothing.
“What about this?”
“For some mysterious reason, traces of My Lord’s Magical Energy can be felt from the sword.”
Jin who had heard something unexpected then tried using magic to investigate its workings.
“Indeed, this is my… Ah, I remember now. This must be Lithia’s short sword.”
Jin recalled it. It was last autumn, when he had transported wheat in taxes to Toka Village from Kaina Village together with some men. At that time, golems had appeared, and time Lithia who had then been a tax collection official recklessly used this sword to fight against them.
Even so, the sword that was made out of iron which was even softer than steel had quickly bent out of shape. Then after repelling the golems, Lithia had been feeling down after Toka Village’s smith had told her the sword couldn’t be repaired.
Unable to just watch, Jin had straightened the sword with [Forming], then turned it to a steel sword using [Carburising] and [Heat Treatment].
“This is the sword from that time. I see, Lithia was supposed to be in Tetrada too, wasn’t she.”
“By Lithia-san, you mean the person who told Father to run back then, correct?”
Reiko hadn’t been around when the golems were driven back: she was talking about the time when after that Earl Walter had come to capture Jin to a misunderstanding.
“Yeah. Looks like she’s been taking good care of this.”
The sword in his hand hadn’t rusted and had been sharpened well. Since it was Lithia’s it probably hadn’t been used in combat, and Jin could tell it had been handled with great care.
“Indeed. Someone who treasures a gift from Father is a good person.”
Reiko’s evaluation standards were plain and simple. Jin smiled awkwardly.
“If possible, I’d like to return it.”
Jin had gone and given orders to have the materials of the taken swords, spears, shields, armor, and such checked, then have them molten down to ingots except for the clearly special equipment that were imbued with magic or made out of rare materials.
Considering that, Laojun (and his subordinates) who had found this swords were deserving of praise.
“She was in the royal capital, wasn’t she?”
Jin muttered and Reiko caught his words.
“Father, don’t tell me you’re thinking of going there?”
“Hm? What’s wrong with that? My face isn’t that known in Cline Kingdom, so I don’t think it would be especially dangerous.”
“But even so…”
Lately the overprotective Reiko had frowned a lot. Laojun then gave a helping hand.
“Reiko-san, since My Lord has expressed his desire to go, I think it is proper to fulfill his wishes. And if possible, I’d like to ask for some more protective measures for My Lord.. ”
“Protective measures against what?”
It was an obvious question.
“Against anything that poses a danger to My Lord.”
Laojun replied and,
“Please take a look at this.”
He continued, then the portable terminal Laozi took something out of a basket.
“Hmm? Clothes, aren’t they?”
“Yes. These clothes were made out of thin slices of a Sea Dragon’s leather.”
“A Sea Dragon’s leather? I wonder if this can harden on impact too in that case.”
“Yes. According to our tests, it’s not to the extent of the reinforced clothing but it can defend against Ann’s full strength.”
Ann’s strength used to be about ten percent of Reiko’s. In other words a human couldn’t break through its defenses.
“The silver surface is the most heavy part, and by passing Magic Energy through it it can become even more robust.”
The silver referred to the front of the leather which had a smooth surface. You could think of the front as the spot with the most superior defenses.
“I got it. So, pants and a coat. Thanks, Laojun.”
“It is a privilege to be a help to My Lord.”
There was still something else at the bottom of the basket. It looked like a lapel pin.
“And what’s this? …No, wait, isn’t it a Magi Tool. And what… It deploys a [Barrier] on a reaction from the clothes?”
“Yes. Please attach it to the lapel of the coat. In the case that you receive an attack and the coat hardens from impact and from Magical Energy, a [Barrier] will be instantly deployed. Since it’s small the [Barrier] doesn’t last long, so please activate the bracelet before it breaks. ”
The equipment was perfect. The Pegasus personal airplane from earlier was good, but this time Laojun really did excellent work.
“Got it, I’ll gladly put them to use.”