Hi everyone, got another change I wanted to announce. Some of you might’ve noticed that a certain Dorassos had been mentioned in chapter 16. One of our readers used the comments to point this name out as a typo, and it was changed back into Drusus shortly afterwards. However… it is actually the other way round:
Drusus is the typo!
Drusus De Barishimon (old name)
ドラッソス・ドゥ・バリシモン (raw name)
dorassosu du barishimon (romaji)
Dorassos Du Barishimon (new name)
I added this little table as a means for comparison for those who want to know why and how… If you want to add something, feel free to write in the comments! Enjoy the chapter!
Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「That which brings blessings and tragedies」Part 2
When we were out of sight of the subjugation party, Ariane suddenly muttered something as we walked.
“There are a variety of humans……”
I contemplated what she said and took a quick look back. There was a gradual bend along the highway, and their figures were already obstructed by the trees.
Once we entered the empire’s territory, I began using 【Dimensional Step】in short, frequent bursts.
Since I’ve heard that the number of monsters increased along the border between Rhoden and Leburan, I shortened the distance of the transfers to lessen the chance of encounters.
To avoid heading the wrong way or arriving at another city, Ariane would check our progress every few transfers.
We were currently traveling northwest, following the highway towards Kesseck, the largest border town in the area. Once there, we could begin our search for clues about Dorassos Du Barishimon. After all I’ve heard, the empire was about five times the size of Rhoden Kingdom. Given the size of the empire, it’s unlikely that we’d be able to keep up the quick pace at which we’ve been able to rescue the captured elves. Well, unless they’re being held close to the border… but it wasn’t pessimistic of me to doubt that that’d be the case.
While I was caught in the whirlpool of my thoughts as we traveled, Ariane suddenly placed a hand on my shoulder and urged me to stop.
“Hold on a second, Arc.”
I looked back at her when she said that.
“What’s the matter?”
Currently, there was only an ordinary, grassy plain running along the highway. The forest had disappeared some time ago and I couldn’t see any monsters around that we should be cautious about.
However, Ariane narrowed her eyes and surveyed the surroundings.
Since there wasn’t any serious danger present, the constantly hungry Ponta began tapping on my helmet with her forepaw while wagging her tail.
“The mana is abnormally dense here……”
Ariane’s brow knitted while I was confused on whether there was any danger or not. It was easier for strong monsters to settle in areas of high mana concentrations…… Case in point, elves lived in the Great Canada Forest, which was inhabited by a multitude of monsters.
Ariane seemed to notice my confusion and tried to answer my question.
“Normally, specific types of trees, located in certain forests, naturally store mana or miasma, which gathers in deep hollows and caves where it can be condensed.”
Apparently, mana was circulated like a haze or fog. Taking what she said into consideration, I took another look at the plains we were standing in. It didn’t seem to be a place for mana to accumulate.
Although I couldn’t detect mana all that well, even I started to notice the same faint, skin crawling sensation I felt when I first entered Great Canada Forest……
Ariane lowered her cloak’s hood and carefully combed the surrounding area with a gloomy expression.
She walked a short distance away from the road and crouched down for a bit before slowly standing up while holding something in her hand.
“Fragments of 『Abundant Harvest Stones』……”
As she muttered that, she was holding the fragment of a purple crystal up into the sunlight. Ariane proceeded to pick up more of the fragments scattered around her while I was, once again, left confused.
“What’s an 『Abundant Harvest Stone』?”
“Well. It’s a magic tool created by the elves.”
“I see, and what does it do?”
I looked at Ariane as she rolled one of the semi-transparent, purple crystals in her hand.
“They’re crushed into a fine powder and spread thinly across fields in order to increase the vitality of the land and raising crop yields.”
After hearing her explanation, I looked at the fragments in her hand. It seemed to be a form of solid fertilizer, but that begged the question why they had been thrown into a plain next to the highway. Let alone a field, I couldn’t even see a house nearby.
When I returned my eyes to her face, Ariane began to speak before I could voice the question that was on my mind.
“There are certain precautions that need to be taken when handling them. If they are left unattended, in a roughly shattered state like this, then they start to release miasma that can attract monsters.”
I’ve heard of farmland becoming barren when too much fertilizer is used in short intervals, but this stuff came with the risk of attracting monster when used incorrectly.
“Do you remember? How Great Canada Forest is filled with huge trees and monsters?”
The scenery of the Great Canada Forest came to mind as I nodded at her question.
“Well, when the first chieftain descended upon the land, it was little more than a wasteland. The first chieftain used the 『Abundant Harvest Stones』 to revitalize the land and started cultivating the forest it is today.”
That was one heck of an amazing afforestation program. If I’m not mistaken, the first chief formed the precursor of the current elf society eight-hundred years ago, meaning that the vast forest had sprouted up in that short amount of time. Though that would be an easier feat for the long-living elves, it was still a shocking fact to learn that the massive forest had once been a wasteland.
“When the elves were purged from the human countries, we needed a visible defense, so the forest was hastily planted by spreading roughly grounded 『Abundant Harvest Stones』 throughout the land. The trees began to absorb the excess mana, monsters started to appear, and humans fled from the land. Well, at least that was how I was told the great forest came about.”
I looked at the quantity of 『Abundant Harvest Stones』 that dotted the area while listening to her explanation. It was more than likely that someone had scattered them here on purpose.
This seems to be the cause of the increased monster activity along the borders of Rhoden and Leburan. The only question remaining was who the perpetrator was……
“Are the elves behind this?”
When I asked this simple question, Ariane gave me angry look.
“What would elves stand to gain from spreading 『Abundant Harvest Stones』 across a human country’s border?”
Her sharp reply was all I needed to hear in order to know that she didn’t even consider the elves to be the ones behind this.
However, it was possible for the elves to profit from items with the ability to summon monsters. If, for example, the elves decided to release the monsters to disturb the public order of a neighboring country, what’d happen to local trade?
Since I wasn’t that knowledgeable about the elves’ relationship with the neighboring nations I couldn’t be careless in what I said. Also, I’d only upset Ariane if continued down this train of thought.
“While we elves are the manufacturers of the item, we aren’t the only ones in possession of them. A multitude of 『Abundant Harvest Stones』 have been traded to our sole human trading partner, the Rinburuto Archdukedom, so that they could sell them to other countries.”
The ability of the 『Abundant Harvest Stones』 to increase crop production would be useful to any human country, so having the monopoly must have been quite lucrative for the Rinburuto Archdukedom.
Considering the scarcity of this item, there’s no way these 『Abundant Harvest Stones』 have been spread in this area without some government’s order.
“Still, it’s quite the dangerous fertilizer. Trouble was bound to arise when placing it in the hands of humans.”
Ariane crushed the fragments of 『Abundant Harvest Stones』 in her hand before letting the dust be carried off by the wind.
“They were originally created to cultivate a forest. The only risks my ancestors were concerned about were the monsters that could potentially be attracted.”
“Ho, are the humans unaware of the monster-luring side-effect?”
Ariane merely shook her head as she replied in a disgusted tone.
“Greedy people are everywhere.”
Knowing that crop yields rose by scattering a thin layer of dust over their fields, there were bound to be people that ignored the risks and instructions in an attempt to increase their own profits.
Discovering the side effects of the 『Abundant Harvest Stones』 wouldn’t be that difficult.
However, the elves knowingly supplied the humans with these stones, meaning they considered it to be an acceptable risk if the human countries were overrun by monsters and trees, an environment they themselves were used to.
Well, this was only speculation on my part……
“Is there a method to counter those side-effects?”
I asked Ariane that question under the assumption that the misused 『Abundant Harvest Stones』 were behind the increased monster activity and that the problem would be solved once the stones’ effects were negated.
“The effects can be suppressed a little if the fragments get buried, but that would be ineffective unless you knew the size of the area they’ve been spread in.”
She did another scan of the area before shrugging her shoulders.
We had neither the manpower nor the time to deal with this problem. The only options we had would be to seek out and crush the large fragments of 『Abundant Harvest Stones』 and let the wind carry the dust away.
I was about to ask Ariane another question, but then I simply sighed and shrugged my shoulders.
Nine times out of ten, this was the work of a human nation and I could only guess on their reasons for doing it.