Chapter 136: Midnight Snack
And a while after that…
I hear a loud knock on my room’s door.
Rafatalia has come, along with the other female slaves.
“What’s wrong?” (Naofumi)
Rafatalia ignores my words, and makes a face as if she is asking for a favor.
Is she asking me to make an inference based on the situation? That’s impossible for me.
“Did she wet the bed?” (Naofumi)
“You’re mistaken. Please tell Naofumi-sama properly.” (Rafatalia)
“Um… Well…” (Child)
The other female slaves are looking at the floor with an embarrassed expression.
“… I got it. Most of the kids will probably ask the same thing, right? Please gather everyone and wait here.” (Naofumi)
“Thank you.” (Rafatalia)
I head to the kitchen outside, and begin preparations for cooking.
Really, these kids get hungry really fast.
I look through the monsters gathered while hunting, and arbitrarily stick some on skewers.
It’s a pain to deal with the smaller monsters, so I just pan-fry them whole.
With all this cooking, my free time is rapidly disappearing.
The next day.
“Now then, you all even had room for a midnight snack, but I must declare something. Those who don’t work, do not eat. My ingredient stock is rapidly decreasing. To replenish it, you all must perform some hunting. Basically, if you are able to defeat monsters, I might be willing to cook them for you. You got that?” (Naofumi) (TL: Food, the best way to raise a Loli army)
“Yeah!” (Kids in unison)
… They’re being surprisingly honest.
Even Kiel, who had previously shown animosity towards me is replying with enthusiasm.
I’m a bit suspicious, but as long as they’re motivated, I guess it all works out.
“I’ll make today’s dinner with what we have, but that’s your last free meal. Don’t forget that.” (Naofumi)
“…Yes~” (Kids in unison)
Last night was quite hectic. No matter how much I made, they kept asking for more. What’s more, they all seemed genuinely hungry.
I get the feeling that I will be stuck in the kitchen for the rest of my life.
What am I? A mother?
I only planned to look over their growth, and eventually help them hunt. That’s all it was supposed to be, but…
“Thank you for the food!” (Kids in Unison)
“You’re welcome, now go hunt until the evening.” (Naofumi)
“Got it~!” (Kids in unison)
They seem much more enthusiastic then yesterday, as they board Firo’s carriage.
… I hope they get at least 20 levels by the time they get back.
“The Hero’s cooking really is tasty. I should try my hardest as well.” (Soldier)
The soldiers from the castle are also finding motivation in my cooking. Well, these people are already doing important work, so I’ll let it slide.
I… begin preparing for dinner. Am I wasting my time here?
I use the rest of my time helping the soldiers with their work.
There’s another important thing needed in ingredient procuration.
And for that, I am having the Shield make herbicide in large quantities.
If a problem occurs, then I can deal with it immediately.
And for that purpose as well, I must raise the levels of the slaves.
If I used that carelessly, a mutation might occur, and I have no idea what will happen.
For now, I should handle the seeds in the carriage with care.
“We’re home!” (Kids in unison)
They’re all covered in dirt, but smiling as they return to the village.
They’re even more energetic before. In contrast, Rishia seems to be quite worn out.
Rafatalia and Firo don’t seem tired at all, though.
“So, did you hunt successfully today?” (Naofumi)
“Of course!” (Child)
The adaptability of a child is something to be feared. After two days, they are already used to it.
I get the feeling Rafatalia took quite a bit longer to adapt.
“Then, I’ll cook as promised.” (Naofumi)
“Hooray~!” (Kids in unison)
The children stampede towards the dinner I had prepared.
“Now then, Rafatalia.” (Naofumi)
“What is it?” (Rafatalia)
“After eating, there’s something I have to do… You might get angry.” (Naofumi)
“W-what are you planning?” (Rafatalia)
“A jungle.” (Naofumi)
It seems she understands what I was trying to say.
Rafatalia stares at me with stern eyes.
“Are you planting that?” (Rafatalia)
“Yeah, this area is filled with forests anyways, so I don’t see what difference it makes.” (Naofumi)
“But still…” (Rafatalia)
“The soil around here probably needs quite a bit of work. I did ask the slave dealer for a monster that would help in tending to the fields.” (Naofumi)
“… I understand. You have no intention of changing your mind.” (Rafatalia)
“It helps that you’re so understanding.” (Naofumi)
“If you consider efficiency, then I guess there’s no choice.” (Rafatalia)
I did raise Rafatalia to value efficiency over all else…
Though she does care quite a bit about aesthetics as well.
“And I also completed quite a few tests. I learned to make many types of medicines.” (Naofumi)
“Wait a minute, are you meaning to say you plan on modifying that thing even further?” (Rafatalia)
“Yes, I plan to turn it into something that will bring in money quickly.” (Naofumi)
Yes, my plan also puts money as a high priority. Rebuilding a village with only 8 slaves is impossible. Even if the Slave dealer manages to find another slave or two.
“I plan to modify it to make it easier to handle. I’ll also watch to make sure no problems occur. Just in case, I have prepared a stock of pesticides. I’ll keep at it until we gain a steady stream of food supplies.” (Naofumi)
“*Sigh*… Well, be careful.” (Rafatalia)
“I know” (Naofumi)
I won’t do anything that will cause me to lose money. I only act to make a profit.
The thing I’m planning may be able to have combat uses as well.
As I’m mulling over these facts, I noticed the meal I had made had disappeared at an alarming rate.
“Thanks for the food!!” (Kids in unison)
“You’re welcome.” (Naofumi)
I can hear some lively conversations.
They’ve only been here a few days, but most of them are already used to their new lives.
I guess that because this is their home town, they are able to adjust quickly.
They’re not acting like slaves at all… But I guess that will make them mentally stronger later on.
“Now then, I have something important to tell you all. Make sure to listen well.” (Naofumi)
Firo and the other slaves tilt their heads in curiosity.
It’s a bit of an amusing sight.
“Everyone follow me for a bit.” (Naofumi)
I walk towards the fields. It seems everyone is actually following me.
“Here, I have a special type of seed.” (Naofumi)
The slaves nod in unison.
“It was created in a faraway land, where it caused quite a bit of a problem.” (Naofumi)
I think the Soldiers have heard about it before. They are whispering amongst themselves.
“But I have modified it since then. You people needed a midnight snack last night, right?” (Naofumi)
Kiel is the one who responds.
“Please understand that I can’t waste all of my time cooking for you people.” (Naofumi)
“But… The Hero of the Shield’s cooking is delicious.” (Kiel)
“Yeah, I want to eat it every day!” (Child)
“If I am chained to the kitchen, then I can’t do my job. It’s not that I’ll never cook for you people. If you work considerably hard, I may consider it.” (Naofumi)
No matter how we progress on the village’s reconstruction, we will always be in need for food.
So I absolutely have to do this.
Those who do not work do not eat, but those who do not eat cannot work.
If they get enough food to fill their stomachs, their progress should improve.
“Now then, for the times that I’m not cooking, you’ll have to use this to sate your hunger.” (Naofumi)
I drop the seed into the ground and pour some water over it.
The plant begins to grow before our eyes.
The Bioplant grows to about three meters, and begins to sprout tomato-like fruit.
“It may have other uses, but for now I will be filling the field with this seed. Your job is to manage this plant.” (Naofumi)
“W-what will we have to do?” (Kiel)
“If it grows outside of its set area, you have to cut it. But for now, we haven’t decided on its bounds, so I’ll leave that decision to you.” (Naofumi)
“Is that fruit… Edible?” (Kiel)
“Yeah, I think it has become the specialty of the village I got it at.” (Naofumi)
At least I’ve seen it in the Castle Town being advertised as such.
“You can eat it if you get hungry. But if you see any problems occurring, make sure to report it to an adult. That’s all.” (Naofumi)
I pluck one of the large fruits and hand it to Firo.
Firo starts eating it, but her expression shows that it isn’t enough to satisfy her.
Following her lead, some of the other children begin to pluck the fruit and eat it.
“At first I thought that rebuilding the village would be impossible, but if it’s this person, he may be able to do it.” (Child)
Perhaps my reputation has gotten better. Or that may be my imagination.
“I told you that’s all. You are dismissed.” (Naofumi)
If the cultivation of this fruit is a success, we can end our food supply problem all at once.
It can also be said that if we didn’t end this problem, then I would never be able to train these kids to be competent fighters in the time we had left.
I think it’s time for me to see how far the knowledge I brought with me from my world will be able to take me.
Now then… the moment of truth is upon us.
The Next Morning.
I give instruction to the group managing the Bioplant.
The slaves are taking some damage while handling it. But that pain builds character.
I check everyone’s level.
As I thought, they are all around level 20. Rishia got to level 27.
Rafatalia’s level is unchanged. But the food shortage has been solved.
All’s well with the world.
I hear someone’s stomach growling.
“When is breakfast?” (Child)
“Today I prepared it before-hand.” (Naofumi)
(TL: He says, today I packed bento to be more specific)
I had made wooden boxes with steel reinforcement and loaded them on the carriage. By the way, the contents of them are Sandwiches containing thinly carved grilled meat.
“We’re leaving already?” (Kiel)
Kiel says this with defiance.
He’s been making quite a few such comments lately.
Perfect. Today is the day I correct his attitude.
“You’re saying that because you don’t respect my sincerity. Just go with the flow and take a break for breakfast. Otherwise, something terrible might happen.” (Naofumi)
“Firo, go take a walk.” (Naofumi)
If you don’t eat it quickly, the wild monsters may take it away.
But Kiel has gotten stronger, he should be able to deal with monsters of this caliber.
Firo probably gets it. She won’t go to areas with too high difficulty.
With this, Kiel will be able to fight the motion-sickness that Rafatalia suffered from as well.
Just as planned.
What? If you get used to it, it’s not a problem.
Well, if you expel the food right after eating it, I guess there’s no point. If he learns to eat while riding it, it’s killing two birds with one stone.
“Naofumi-sama… You’re going too far.” (Rafatalia)
Rafatalia says this while poking her head out of the carriage.
“Rishia also had to learn to get used to it.” (Naofumi)
“Even though I warned you, you’re still making that sound. Should I eat your breakfast for you?” (Naofumi)
“I-I’m working on it you know…” (Rishia)
Her voice is weak.
Well, it probably won’t be fixed any time soon.
I hand over bags made of Bioplant to the slaves.
“What is this?” (Kiel)
“You’ll understand soon. Now then, have fun.” (Naofumi)
I lightly hit Firo’s back, and she starts running.
“I’ll be off~!” (Firo)
With a rumbling sound, the carriage disappears into the horizon.
“I guess I should begin other preparations.” (Naofumi)
Now that a steady source of food has been secured, I can move on to the next stage of my plan.
“Hero of the Shield?” (Soldier)
“What is it? Are we out of seeds?” (Naofumi)
“No, there are no problems regarding that but… what about our breakfast?” (Soldier)
Why is it already determined that I’m supposed to make it?
“…Yeah, I’ve prepared it.” (Naofumi)
I distribute food among the soldiers.