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The Adventurers who finally arrived
There were adventurers preparing to investigate the forest.
They were B-rank adventurers Cabal, Ellen, and Gido.
With monster activity worsening, even the merchants have avoided entering.
With protection fees rising, the trip would no longer be profitable.
Thus, to cross the forest, one would have to proceed on foot.
And in the first place, as no carriage could approach the “Cave of the Seal”, any trip would inevitably continue on foot.
When they had finished some preparation and were about to set off, a single person called out to them.
「Pardon me. If you are heading towards the forest, could I not perhaps accompany you half way?」
Was the voice feminine? Masculine? Young? Old? That you couldn’t figure out.
Nor could you see the person’s expression.
For some reason, that person wore a mask.
An expressionless, but beautiful, mask.
The stranger emitted a suspicious aura… but
「Should be fine…?」
「Hey! You! Before the leader – I! – gave permission… seriously, what the hell!」
「Really… well, now that Nee-san gave her okay, there’s no use arguing, is there?」
The three accepted the stranger without a second thought.
「I am grateful」
After saying those three words, the suspicious stranger silently followed the trio.
Thus, Cabal’s group of three obtained a new companion, and set off on their investigation.
*Tontenkan. Kaaaaan. Kaaaaan. Don!*
The forest was filled with the sound of cutting wood and blacksmith’s hammer.
The foundation of a new city is being laid; and new houses are being built.
At first, to lay the plumbing, they had avoided building any houses, and it was but empty land…
For the water way, they redirected the water from the river.
It’s under construction, but they plan on constructing a building for water pipe control. There, the water will be purified and distributed to every household.
As for drainage, it will be directed into an underground sewage. As it is made from wood, we decided to preserve it by hardening it in cement.
And, leading away from the city, it will end at a facility where it will be reprocessed into manure.
Furthermore, we temporarily erected a building the size of a Gymnasium on the outskirts.
It serves as temporary lodging are. And as such, it’s not made to last.
All in all, the construction proceeds smoothly.
Near the cave, at the seat of honor, I plan on placing my dwelling.
From there, we’ll first build the houses of the clan lords, followed by that of the commoners.
As I want to get it right, the initial map was drawn with utmost precision.
Drawing a cross, with large roads running through the city, this plan is best for overseeing the denizens’ behavior.
But, it is easier to attack.
(TL long note for the curious mind: what this plan made me think of is of construction of Heian-kyo (modern Kyoto) and Edo (modern Tokyo). I have a feeling that it is those examples that Rimuru is referencing. Kyoto was planned to resemble the Chinese imperial city, and thus constructed square. It had two main roads running through it, leading to the “seat of honor”, the imperial palace. Edo, on the other hand, imitated the construction style of castles; and, using rivers, was thus made into a spiral. In terms of defense, while both were well known styles, Edo was considered superior.)
In any case, seems like having the goblins evolve into hobgoblins was the right decision.
They quickly develop superior intellect and memorization.
Also, their constitution and strength improve.
According to the dwarfs, goblins are ranked F, but hobgoblins are monsters deserving a C~D rank.
In any case, I should probably treat them with the same respect as humans.
In short, their rank varies. Equipment and armor, individual class and skill, and other such factors greatly affect the rank.
I mean, individual strength depends on the individual, right?
The four I deigned lords, for example, are stronger than the rest.
And Rigurdo, whom I crowned King…
「Oh! You have spent your time here! I was looking for you!!」
What a monster! Is all I want to say. He’s huge and muscular.
Compared to an ogre, he’s not just similar, he seems stronger! Or so Kaijin said.
Thus is seems that evolution is affected not just by a name, but also by the class.
Truly, monster’s capabilities are wondrous.
Probably should try bestowing a few more titles to test this theory.
「Ay! We have captured suspicious individuals, so I came to report.」
「Suspicious? Of which monster race?」
「Not monsters, they are humans. As you have commanded, we did not lay our hands on them.」
「Humans? Why all the way over here?」
Finally, the opportunity I was waiting for! Have to start on friendly terms.
Well… if they are like those idiot adventurers from before, I’ll dispose of them or turn them into monster snacks…
「They were assaulted by a group of giant ants, and were saved by Rigur’s defense squad, who then took charge of their protection…
There is evidence that they were investigating these lands. How shall we respond…?」
Seems like investigating on behalf of some country.
I checked with the dwarfs, but Jura forest is not any country’s property.
Thus, there’s a good chance they are investigating the lands on behalf of an expanding country.
If that’s the case, that complicates the matter…
Well, I’ll decide after meeting them.
「Alright! I’ll meet with them. Lead the way!」
Having so decided, I jumped on Rigurdo’s shoulder.
Since Ranga moves around too quickly, moving on him is troublesome.
This is no different from walking, but my low eye level bothers me.
Besides, when trying to appear dignified, having people look down at you (literally) is counterproductive.
But it’s all an excuse!
Rigurdo, with me on his shoulder, walked to the captured adventurers.
So, what kind of people are they?
As I thought so, before my eyes (which I don’t have, of course), I saw,
「Hey! You! I saw that first!!!」
「You’re terrible! I was aiming for that meat!」
「Danna, I shall not yield when it comes to food!」
「*Mogu mogu*」(Munching sound)
I heard a boisterous group.
To my silent question,
「Many apologies. Somehow, it seems that all their items were stolen… so we decided to prepare a meal, and this…」
Rigurdo is pretty nice guy, it seems.
「Nah, isn’t this fine? Actually, well done! Treating those in need kindly is a good thing!」
I praised his actions.
More importantly, they, without consulting me, decided on a course of action they thought best.
That, in itself, is a wonderful thing, I imagine.
「Ay! Henceforth, as to not cause Rimuru-sama any trouble, we shall further devote ourselves!」
Well, he’s still damn formal, though.
After that conversation, we entered the tent.
To be precise, the people guarding outside opened the way in.
And all the eyes fell on me.
With their mouths full of meat and vegetables, Adventurers.
Their eyes opened wide at the sight of me. However, it seems that they aren’t aware that their surprise showed itself.
Hmm? Haven’t I…?
Ah! The trio of the cave!
But one of them I have never seen before.
Wearing a mask… how is he eating?
Slowly, at his own pace.
But, Barbecue!!! Kuu… I also want a taste.
Nostalgic Meat-chan. Ah… wouldn’t taste buds just fall from somewhere…?
Oops, my mind seems to have wondered in a strange direction.
Rigurdo let me down at the main seat.
「Dear guests, although we cannot offer better hospitality, please make yourselves at home. Before you is our lord, Rimuru-sama!」
Having so introduced myself, he took the seat next to me.
*Gokuri* The sound of them swallowing what they were eating and drinking resounded.
「「「What? A slime?!」」」
But really, to react in the same way… oh well.
「Pleased to meet you. I am the slime Rimuru. Not an evil slime.」
They responded to my greeting by spitting out food.
However, the one wearing the mask, seems to have kept his composure.
What a rude bunch.
Seems like they’ve been greatly surprised to see a slime talk.
Well, I do understand the trio’s surprise, but I’d rather they contain the food in their mouth.
So… what kind of people are they?
It would be good if they were decent folk, but…
Well, after having regained their composure,
「That was rude of us! We never would have imagined to be saved by demons, but we are in your debt!」
「Yeah! We work as human adventurers! This food, very delicious! These days we’ve been doing nothing but running, never having a decent meal… Truly, thank you!」
「Thanks! We’re in your debt. However, to think that hobgoblins were building a village here.」
「Gohogoho, gusu. Gokugoku.」
Well, at least they aren’t panicking.
「Well, take your time chewing, we can talk when you finish!」
Having said that, I waited for them to finish their meal.
They really should have just called me when they had finished, seems like they can’t be so considerate.
Well, they did get flustered, but that’ll serve as practice for future encounters.
From what I imagined, entertaining human guests (prisoners?) is certainly outside of my expectations… not that I can do anything about it now.
And, maybe because I was feeling a little unpleasant, I exited the tent.
When they finished with their meal, I had them escorted to the tent placed closest to the cave–one for my personal use.
Rigurdo seemed very apologetic, but,
「Well, don’t sweat it. Just learn for future reference!」
So I comforted him.
The goblins are growing.
Can’t expect everything to be perfect from the start.
Having entered my tent, I felt at ease.
Rigurdo had his Goblina subordinates bring us tea.
Seems much better compared to what they brought out before, but, unfortunately, I can’t taste it.
To see improvement even here… how amusing.
This is clearly a sign that they are evolving as a cultured race.
Now, time was spent on this and that…
“We apologize for earlier rudeness!” While saying so, the four enter.
It’s a simple tent, so feels narrow.
At the same time as the goblinas that showed them in leave, another set comes to bring them tea.
See? I don’t know when, but they’ve improved greatly in this respect.
When night comes, while drinking with the dwarfs, I do know that they discuss their lives and cultures.
「Well, then. Once again. Please to meet you. The lord of this place, I am called Rimuru. For what reason have you come to these lands?」
That question would fall within their prediction.
After all, they had plenty of time to discuss what answers they’ll give.
「The pleasure is mine. I am Cabal. For now, I am this party’s leader.
This is Ellen, and this is Gido.
Would you understand if I told you? We are B rank adventurers.」
「Pleased to meet you, I am Ellen.」
「Yo! Gido’s the name. Pleased to make your acquaintance.」
As I thought, these three are a party, huh.
At a B rank they are moderately strong, but the cave would be impossible…
Now then, the other one is?
「And, this one has joined us temporarily for the journey, named Shizu-san.」
「Call me Shizu.」
A voice that wouldn’t show whether the speaker was a man, a woman, an elder, or a child.
But, I can tell gender apart with ease. For me, who can tell goblin sexes apart, this is a piece of cake.
It’s a girl. Furthermore, if I am not mistaken…
Isn’t… she Japanese?
That’s the feeling that I get.
The way she sips her tea, and the way she sits.
Since I don’t know much about this world, I can’t be certain; but, surely that sitting posture is rare, right?
Currently, the other three are sitting normally.
Sitting on the wolf pelts, the males have crossed their feet. The girl named Ellen also relaxed, and reclines horizontally.
(If I think about it, aren’t these guys letting their guard down a bit too much… Isn’t there a sense of danger in this world?)
But enough of pointless chatter. Need to get down to business.
「How polite. And?」
I’ll summarize the conversation.
I heard their story.
These guys, without any restraint, they spilled the whole story.
So, on the orders from their guild master, they needed to come to the forest and investigate if any suspicious happenings were… well, happening.
「In any case, he says to search for anything suspicious, but what should we call suspicious and what normal, huh?!」
「Right, right! Should’ve asked him to explain in more details!」
「There’s a limit to how much we can investigate, you know!」
Thus they began badmouthing their guild master.
These guys are hopeless… I feel like I understand their poor guild master.
And when they had thought they found something fishy–a hole in a boulder, they drew their swords…
It was a nest of Giant Ants! To say the least, they were surprised.
I really want to ask why they drew their swords then. I really want to ask!
But it’s surprising they’ve lived this long.
And from there, for three days, they desperately ran, having abandoned all their things.
If I had to say something it’d be: “well done!” but I’ll refrain.
「Wouldn’t the most suspicious things be found around here? Like, in the cave?」
「No, no! There’s nothing in there!
Did you know~? They said that a storm dragon was sealed in there.
But, without showering once, we searched that place for two weeks without finding anything!」
「Wha… idiot! That’s not something you should be talking about right now!」
「You see? The one who spilled it is you, Nee-san! Not my problem!」
Ellen suddenly says, causing the men to panic.
Well, we had passed each at that time, so I knew.
Oh, and it seems that bath culture exists here… I’m planning on building a bath house in this city, as well.
「You say you investigated that cave, but for what reason?」
Doesn’t seem like they came for treasure, in any case.
While shaking his head, and with a sigh,
「Since we mentioned it, we have no choice.
The thing is, as Ellen mentioned, the black dragon’s presence suddenly vanished, and…」
I couldn’t have known, but Veldora’s disappearance caused quiet an uproar among the humans.
He was supposed to have been sealed, but his disappearance causing such chaos.
What to say, he was an amazing dragon. He liked to talk–a great guy all around…
However, isn’t his influence too great?
To have sent someone to investigate…
Building a city this close to the cave–was that a mistake?
「To say nothing of the fact that the cave’s previously abundant magical energy had decreased. An unusual phenomenon we couldn’t understand. Right now, it’s magic levels are average, and is no more than a normal cave.」
「Well, it’s filled with strong monsters, so it’s best not to enter it. No treasure in it either, and not a single ore to be found! Powerful monsters, and no benefit to be gained!」
「If you search around, you might find a thief’s gear drop, but nothing major.」
The ore… the cause of that particular predicament is none other than the one in front of you!
Well, it should be fine. They won’t know if I don’t tell them!!!
But their story continued.
“Ah! Since we mentioned it, we might as well tell you!” With such phrases, they discussed many things.
Maybe these guys are just good people.
With the cave’s worth declining, there was no reason to investigate around here.
I thought that we’d have to move the city, but should be fine, then.
In any case, since no country has rights to this land, they have no right to complain.
「By the way, as you see, we are amidst constructing a city here; would that cause any trouble with the guild?」
I tried asking.
「No… should be fine, I think?」
「Yeah… it’s no skin off the guild’s back. But, countries…」
「Yeah… no idea about them.」
That was their answer.
And it’s not like I expected guild members to know how countries would react.
When I thought that,
Shizu, who had been quiet until now, groaned loudly.
It suddenly began!