*Coughs up blood* Sleep is for the weak
Chapter 134: Balloon Shield
As I am testing out my new shields, Rafatalia comes running over.
She was gone for quite a while. Did she finish gathering her fellow villagers?
“I went to many different stores with the Slave Dealer, and managed to gather quite a few people.” (Rafatalia)
“I see… Okay, I’ll go check it out. Do you think I have enough funds?” (Naofumi)
“Yes, I was sent over to ask what you wanted to do with the remaining money.” (Rafatalia)
“I see. I’ll head over to the Slave Dealer’s place then.” (Naofumi)
“Yes, let us go. Where are Firo and Rishia?” (Rafatalia)
“I sent them out to hunt. I think they will be out for a while.” (Naofumi)
I don’t know how far Firo went.
I don’t think she will go to a place where even she will have trouble.
Her feral instincts are quite sharp.
“Ah, but first I have to say something to the Queen.” (Naofumi)
It will probably be best to prepare to depart tonight.
Time is of the essence. I need to see just how much I can train these people.
“Hmm? Have you finished preparing?” (Queen)
The Queen appears behind me. It seems she went out for a walk.
I fed most of the materials to the Shield, so the mountain has pretty much disappeared.
… The Queen must be pretty busy right now. It’s not strange for her to look for a change of pace.
“For the most part. Please send the rest of the materials to my village. I plan to make the meat into a meal sometime in the near future.” (Naofumi)
With the new slaves I will be getting, the need for food has risen exponentially.
It’s not that I can’t procure food on my own, but there’s a lot I need to do right now. First I need to work on reestablishing the village.
“Then I shall dispatch a platoon of soldiers to assist in your work. Please use them as you will.” (Queen)
“Ah, thanks. I plan to head to the area now to prepare.” (Naofumi)
“If you need anything, please feel free to ask. We will do our best to meet your needs.” (Queen)
“I got it. The first things I’ll need to do is to collect construction materials and put up theft countermeasures. I plan to depart tonight, so please prepare the men by then.”(Naofumi)
If a hero were to load a carriage with a large load of slaves it would seem quite shady. That’s why leaving in the night is probably best.
I thought Firo’s eyes would be like those of a bird, but she can see at night just fine. Travelling at night is no problem.
“I understand.” (Queen)
After hearing the Queen’s response, I thank her and leave the castle. I head for the Slave Trader’s tent.
“Hero of the Shield, I have gathered the slaves at your request.” (Slave Dealer)
“Yeah, I heard from Rafatalia.” (Naofumi)
When I enter the tent, I see some Demi-Human children, 8 in total, staring at me from inside cages.
All of them are watching my every action with fear.
Some of them are even shaking.
“I thought there would be adults here as well…” (Naofumi)
“In the wave, most of the adults perished… We don’t know the fate of those that survived…” (Rafatalia)
Even if they survived, Rafatalia was unable to discover their locations. Or perhaps she found that they had died afterwards…
If they had fled during the First Wave, there is a possibility that they escaped to Silt Welt or something like that.
Finding them will probably be impossible.
Anyways, I don’t plan to dig very deep into this.
“Now then, I’m sure you have already heard it from Rafatalia, but I will declare it again here.” (Naofumi)
It’s probably best for me to act strict here.
At the start, Rafatalia was a coward and Firo grew to be selfish.
To avoid these problems down the road, I should treat them with discipline.
“From now on, you all are my slaves. You will travel to your former village and rebuild it, while training to get stronger.” (Naofumi)
If I show kindness here, I will be looked down upon.
“I hate lazy people the most. If anyone begins to slack off, I will sell them without hesitation. You got that!?” (Naofumi)
As I say this, I see the Slave Merchant issuing commands to his subordinates. One strikes an instrument reminiscent of a gong.
… Who told him to do that?
Look at them, they look afraid.
… No that’s probably my fault.
“R-Rafatalia-chan, is this really the guy!?” (Child)
My ears hurt.
But what I’m running isn’t a charity. I must raise a force to combat the wave.
“Now then, I will start the Slave Contract.” (Naofumi)
As I raise my hand, the Slave Dealer lets out a smile. He hands over some Slave Contract Ink.
I put a drop of my blood into the ink.
And the process of putting the slave crest on the children started.
“Yes, what do you plan to do with the rest of the money?” (Slave Dealer)
“I plan to continue peddling, so if you have a monster I can use for transportation, it will help.” (Naofumi)
… The Slave Dealer’s eyes are still sparkling. Please stop it with that look.
“Then, shall I contribute a Filo Rial to your cause?” (Slave Dealer)
“No, I have my hands full with a Filo Rial as it is. Please offer a different species.” (Naofumi)
“Are you not good with Filo Rials?” (Slave Dealer)
“I would prefer a monster that won’t lose to Firo in skill. One that may be able to help plow the fields.” (Naofumi)
While wandering town, I didn’t see only Filo Rials and Horses. I’ve also seen animals that looked like Cows and Caterpillars hooked up to carts.
And if I raise another Filo Rial… My hands are full with Firo.
“Master, I’m Hungry” (Naofumi’s imagination)
The thought of more of those things is enough to make my face pale. I only want to raise them one at a time.
Among magic beasts, Filo Rials need to be raised with quite a bit of discipline apparently.
They might add a good amount to our fighting power, but for now, we are still just reconstructing. I don’t think I can raise a Monster with an appetite of that level.
I still have a lot of Spirit Turtle meat, but I don’t plan to waste it all at once.
I should first start with something I can actually handle.
“I see… Then I shall find a beast for you.” (Slave Dealer)
“I’ll leave it to you” (Naofumi)
“Do you want to purchase one from an egg? Or would you rather have a fully grown one? Raising them from eggs makes them more compliant later on in life.” (Slave Dealer)
“I guess an egg is fine for now.” (NAofumi)
“Understood. Yes.” (Slave Dealer)
The Slave Dealer walks towards the part of the tent used for Monster Sales.
I look through the restrictions I can put on the eight new slaves.
It seems I can also put a punishment for revealing classified information.
I’ll decide on their specific tasks later.
Is seems that the slave registration process has ended. As I look outside, I see the sun has already set.
We can leave after Firo and Rishia arrive.
After a while, Firo comes running in.
… There is no one on her back.
Did she fall off?
Firo skids to a halt in front of me.
“I’m home~!” (Firo)
“What happened to Rishia?” (Naofumi)
“P-please let me down…urp…” (Rishia)
It seems that Rishia hasn’t fallen off. She is grasping onto some of Firo’s feathers on her rear as if her life depended on it.
It seems that she almost fell off when Firo was going at a high speed.
Firo sits down, and Rishia falls off of her quite abruptly.
Rishia is making sounds quite unbefitting of a noble.
-Please hold for technical difficulties. (TL: Yes, it really says that)
“Now then, to check the results.” (Naofumi)
These two have been out since just before noon. The sun has already set, so…
Ah, Rishia’s level has risen by 20. The results aren’t bad.
Her stats are even higher than they were before the Reset. It seems that the Growth Correction effect is working properly.
“I can see stars. Itsuki-sama… Is that you in the afterlife?” (Rishia)
“That’s an illusion. Firo, please snap her back to reality.” (Naofumi)
“Got it” (Firo)
Firo lightly slaps Rishia’s cheek.
Is what it looked like, but Rishia is sent flying. Is she all right?
“Wha!!! Where am I!?” (Rishia)
“Oh, so you were okay.” (Naofumi)
“I thought I was dead!” (Rishia)
“Yeah, but you gained 20 levels to show for the experience. Your stats are higher than ever before, aren’t they?” (Naofumi)
Rishia checks her own status.
“Wow, Amazing!” (Rishia)
For her to be this amazed at her own stats…
“Rishia, I have a job I want to give you.” (Naofumi)
“W-what is it?” (Rishia)
“I want you, Rafatalia and Firo to help me manage the new Slaves and monsters I have acquired” (Naofumi)
“I-I see…” (Rishia)
“Rafatalia and Firo are already strong, I want you to act like their elder and train with them.” (Naofumi)
There’s no point in just leveling up.
Rishia, who leveled up down a wrong path before is a good example of this.
I plan to have Rafatalia and Firo assist them, but I don’t just want to build a party with a high level.
Gaining combat experience is also important in itself.
So for a while, I’ll take Rafatalia and Firo off the front lines.
This way, these people will be able to gain a strength that can’t be measured in level.
“You’re going to get stronger, right? Good luck.” (Naofumi)
“B-but that was for Itsuki-sama, and he…” (Rishia)
“He’s not the type of person to die so easily is he? When you meet up again, don’t you want to make him tell you that he needs your power?” (Naofumi)
I think it’s fine if he is dead, but I’m saying this in order to further Rishia’s growth.
“I got it! I’ll do my best!” (Rishia)
Rishia seems to have gained motivation. She stands up.
Good. Her heart has become stronger than before.
All that she needs now is diligence. Probably.
“I’ll wait expectantly.” (Naofumi)
“Master, what do you want Firo to do next?” (Firo)
“Please get the carriage. We’ll be carrying a lot, so also bring some carts. There should be a lot in front of the warehouse.” (Naofumi)
“Yes! Ah, I found this for you.” (Firo)
And with that, Firo begins to pull out the corpses of various monsters.
I’ve seen all of these before. Whatever, I’ll just feed them to the shield anyways.
You’ve unlocked the Balloon Shield
You’ve unlocked the Red Balloon Shield
You’ve unlocked the Orange Balloon Shield
You’ve unlocked the Yellow Balloon Shield
The monster I absorbed was a normal balloon. And I unlocked all of the other Balloon Shields with it.
For arguments sake, I look through the new shields. All of them only effect stats.
But the Balloon Shield is the only one with a strange skill.
Balloon Shield 0/5 C
Its stats are terrible. Even worse than my initial Small Shield.
But what does it mean by Monster Book?
I test it.
With a beep, a window appears in my field of vision.
… It displays all of the monsters I have fed the shield up until now.
It even says where I found them. It also seems to have the ability to lead me to a specific species of monster if I wish to encounter it.
It records the data of any monster I absorb.
However, it doesn’t seem to display the number of monster species of this world.
In high spirits, Firo went and got the carriage I had parked at the castle.
To be honest, if it weren’t for Firo, the voyage would probably take a few days.
“Hero of the Shield, as you have requested, I have prepared you some eggs. Yes.” (Slave Dealer)
The Slave dealer appears carrying a number of eggs.
“Ah, I’m grateful.” (Naofumi)
“Do you know when your next visit will be?” (Slave Dealer)
“Well, I still have money left over, so I may come again soon to buy more slaves.” (Naofumi)
“Well then, I will wait expectantly for that time. If I find one of the slaves you were looking for, should I contact you?” (Slave Dealer)
“Yes, please do.” (Naofumi)
“Understood.” (Slave dealer)
“Then I guess I should be off.” (Naofumi)
I hear the sound of Firo pulling the carriage getting closer.
“…but before that…” (Naofumi)
I turn around and face the Slave Dealer, who is rubbing his hands together.
“I’ll make dinner.” (Naofumi)
I use the Spirit Turtle meat that Firo brought back with her, and begin cooking in the tent.
It’s a basic hot pot consisting of meat and soup.
The turtle has a bit of a unique taste, but it shouldn’t be a problem.
“Wha?! This is Delish!” (Child)
“What is this? It’s better than what mom used to make!” (Child)
“Yeah! Why is that?” (Child)
“Naofumi-sama is a very skilled chef, you know.” (Rafatalia)
“Yeah! Firo loves to eat master’s cooking.” (Firo)
The slaves seem to be getting closer over the delicious meal.
“This is just perfect. To eat a meal personally cooked by a hero. I might fall for you.” (Slave Dealer)
The Slave Dealer also managed to obtain some of the food in the heat of the moment… If I worry about it, I lose. I’m cooking in his store, anyways.
“If you find more of the villagers, you might get to eat it again. Work hard.” (Naofumi)
But the Slave Merchant seems lost in his meal. I’m not sure if he heard me.
It’s like a welcoming party. Things will get busy from here on out. I need to make sure they get proper nourishment or they won’t hold up.
And like that, after the meal the slaves boarded the carriage and we leave the castle town in the darkness of the night. Towards our new home.