Chapter 24: The Hideout and The Coal
All the errands related to the weapon manufacturing were over. From here onward, it was the artisan’s territory, but I did not intend to do anything. Therefore, I decided to do some quests worthy of an adventurer. I did not know if there were subjugation requests around here.
I decided to secure an inn first. If possible, I would like to buy Magic Recovery Acceleration potions as much as possible.
I shall finish one by one. First of all, the inn.
I asked for recommendations, and someone recommended me a place called “Suiritei”, so I went there. It was not cheap at 1000 Tael per night, but it was not expensive either. Information was also important when choosing an inn.
I became used to inns in this world. Entering an inn and asking for accommodation became somewhat comfortable now.
「Welcome, are you staying? It is 1000 Tael per night. We also serve meals, which include the morning, lunch and night supper. Each meal will be 100 Teal cheaper for guests at the inn.」
Someone always greeted me with very polite attitudes at inns in this world. This time, it was a young woman who responded when I came inside.
I heard there were many dwarves in this town, but I saw many humans in customer service. Well, a clerk who drove out customers at an inn would be in trouble, and of course, it was natural to have a human clerk instead of a dwarf clerk.
「Yes, please. I will stay 7 nights for the time being. Is it okay to eat just one meal? Of course, I will pay for it.」
This place was the shortest route to the weapon processing facility. Eating at breakfast would be ideal, but not sure about the rest of the other meals. If one meal was not enough, I could add it later. I felt hungry because I had my last meal a while ago.
「I understand. Let’s do it this way. How about you pay 800 Tael for one night and one meal for the time being? You can have breakfast in the dining room.」
I handed over the money and went to the dining room to eat. The meat was a little salty, but it was good enough. In addition, the topography of the mountain was probably the reason why these people used wild plants instead of leafy vegetables.
This was okay. 800 Tael for accommodation fee each day for 7 consecutive days. Not bad, really. After asking where the potions were sold, I went outside.
The store was next to the town’s Guild. It felt like a general store.
I bought all 30 Magic Recovery Acceleration potions…120 Tael each…and finally headed to the Guild.
I saw requests of the E-rank, up one from the previous town. I found an affordable subjugation request.
Request details: Red Wolf subjugation
Reward: 50 Tael per animal
Remarks: It is necessary to enter the mountain to some extent from the road because the Red Wolves are not near the road.
A subjugation request where the number of kills had not been decided. Perhaps, the purpose was to prevent monsters from appearing on the surrounding roads.
I did not think that the Red Wolf was very strong in terms of the reward amount and rank. The name reminded me of the Green Wolf. Perhaps, they were relatives. That was why I received the request immediately. Unfortunately, the receptionist was a man.
I went backwards on the road I took when I came here, and after a short while from leaving the barren Mountains, the surrounding area became a forest. I turned left and entered the forest. There was no reaction on the advanced radar yet.
I decided to look around. All I had to do was move around while searching for the surroundings using the fully deployed advanced radar. However, I could not use the▼ because I did not visually recognized the Red Wolf yet.
After moving for about 5 minutes, three wolves appeared about 20m away from me. When I approached them to about 10m and hit them with Rock Spears, all of them died in a single blow. Still, I felt that their reaction was a little quick. I noticed that the position of the spear was near the edge of their bodies.
I felt it was better to have more magic and speed. I would have failed killing them straight away, if I was 20m away from them instead of 10m.
With that in mind, I ran in zigzag parallel moves to the direction of the road and hunted the Red Wolves I found along the way. I killed about 20 animals but one evaded my spears.
Well, I approached it and hit it with the second spear, and the Red Wolf died immediately. Of course, I recovered the corpse.
After hunting for another 30 minutes, I noticed a strange reaction on the advanced radar. This reaction belonged to two human-like spots.
I went to check them out. I secretly saw them from the bushes and tried to appraise them. Both were bandits. The scenery behind them looked like the tunnel in Ain. I wondered if it were the bandits’ hideout.
I did not feel like dealing with them alone, so I decided to go home.
I remembered the direction of the road, so I went straight toward the road. I arrived at the place where I found the other bandits as I searched for the mountains of Herrera.
I remembered the scenery to some extent, and now everything made sense. After remembering the place, I headed to the town.
I arrived at the Guild. Would the report about the discovery of the bandits’ hideout be good for the Guild? The branch chief summoned me after I explained to one of his staff about finding the bandits’ hideout.
「Is it true that you found a hideout in the mountains?」
「Yes. I saw two bandits protecting a place that looked like a tunnel.」
「Hmm…We’ve encountered some bandits close to the road recently but they escaped very quickly. I would have never guessed that their hideout would be in the mountains. Thank you for your report. I will organize a subjugation team soon. I will pay you once I confirm their hideout.」
「Then, this matter is confidential. If the bandits are courageous enough to make a hideout, there is a possibility that non-thieves are cooperating with them for the money, so we need to plan everything carefully.」
「Yes, of course. 」
「That is all for this story, please stop by the Guild tomorrow morning. By that time, the date of the subjugation quest will be decided.」
After I gave the report, I left the branch chief’s office and went to report my subjugation request. I killed 52 animals and was rewarded with 2600 Tael.
I had nothing to do, so I went to the workshop.
「Are you making my wand? How is it going?」
「It is impossible to do it now because the magical power of the Metal Lizard has not been removed yet.」
That was true. The Metal from Lizard Metal was used for almost all parts of the weapons, so it was necessary to remove the magical power properly beforehand.
「By the way, the trees in these mountains have been cut. Is it a measure against bandits?」
I knew that some armies did such a thing as a countermeasure against guerrillas. Was it the same here?
「No. We need charcoal for metal refining. That’s why we cut most of the trees from around here.」
「Why don’t you use a coal mining? 」
「We dig that too, but we can’t use it for most processes. If you use it for refining, the metal won’t become a good metal.」
Did that happen on Planet Earth? I thought I heard it in a history class or something. How did they deal with it? Certainly, coke* for metal refining, if I remember correctly…
Ah. It’s coke. All they had to do was make coke from coal.
I tried to make coke when I was a high school student. It may have been useful in battle, but it was useless knowledge as a normal high school student.
「You just have to make coke. Burn the coal like charcoal and remove the obstacles.」
「…I don’t know. I will introduce you to the fuel-related people because it is not my field of expertise. But Kaede, you will probably bear the cost of the experiment, okay?」
「If it can be used somehow, then someone will buy my technological method, no?」
I wondered if they would find it annoying if I said I knew of a new patent. But, if I provided great technology, it could be a plus for both parties involved.
「It would be amazing and efficient if we could really refine metals with coal. You should go to Igni’s fuel shop.」
After giving me the map, I decided to go there.
I felt as if I kept explaining new innovative things without doing much adventure. I did not know if I was really a magic swordsman or a technician.
「Excuse me. Is this place Igni-san’s fuel shop? 」
「Yes, that’s right. Did you come here to buy charcoal?」
A human responded.
「No, I know about a new fuel technique and someone told me to come here.」
「New fuel technique? 」
「Yes, I heard in the past that some fuels made from coal could refine metals.」
「Hmm, we are a charcoal shop…Coal is not my specialty.」
「The method to make it is similar to charcoal. What do you think? Of course, I will pay the cost of the experiment.」
「Then…I’ll ask my master.」
After a while, a robust man of the human race came out. I thought he was a dwarf at first.
「Is it true that coal can be used to make fuel for refining metal?」
「Hmm. Well, I can’t say for sure because the method isn’t perfect, but I think there is a good probability of success.」
「I see. I have little orders right now and I see no reason why I should decline you if you are willing to pay for the cost of experiment. Either way, this won’t be our loss.」
「That’s right. Of course, if you succeed and you end up using that technology, you know that I can’t offer it for free, right?」
「Yeah, I know. Let’s hear how you do it. 」
「Yes. You have to cover it with bricks to prevent air from entering the coal, and then, you heat it from the surroundings. Then something resembling gas and oil will come out. That is an impurity. The gas that will come out burns and it is poisonous, so be careful.」
「Gas…? What is gas? 」
「Gas is like burning air. You use it as fuel to heat coal.」
「I’ve heard the story of burning air somewhere, but never thought it would apply in here.」
「Yes. Coal requires a higher temperature than wood, so we have to use it. The liquid that comes out looks like oil, though it is not suitable for food.」
「I see. Alright, let’s do it. How much will you pay for it?」
「I will give you this for the time being.」
I gave him a large gold coin. I was about to run out of money, but I had the Metal Lizard to sell in the event of an emergency. There should be no problem.
「You are giving me a large gold coin, huh. It means this is a big deal. Okay, I will start the experiment today.」
I was not only a technician or an adventurer, but a capitalist and an inventor as well.
Well, in the case of an inventor, I was just stealing the achievements of past great men. Fine. It did not matter if they were good or not. I just had to make use of my knowledge. That’s all.
*Coke is a solid residue remaining after certain types of bituminous coals are heated to a high temperature out of contact with air until substantially all of the volatile constituents have been driven off. The residue is chiefly carbon, with minor amounts of hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, and oxygen. Also present in coke is the mineral matter in the original coal, chemically altered and decomposed during the coking process.
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