Black Iron Magician - 219
Chapter 219 The Flower Country
――――The 39th day of training.
My running to chase after Haru and the others has become quite good. The lack of exercise, which I had been struggling with at the beginning, is gone and my body is light like a feather after I remembered the feeling I had in my heyday. My poor stamina, which made my throat feel like burning every time I took a breath, has passed the limit and I’m in a high state. If it’s the current me, I can run like a swift horse!
「As if. Even if I act tough, it’s still painful….」
Yes, it’s a lie. There’s no way such a convenient phenomenon would occur. My body is clearly showing its age. In addition, Nell’s lunch box is now empty, so I have fallen into a double crisis situation. My original plan was to return to Adelheit after confirming that Haru and the others had defeated the Demon King’s army and extracted information from the captured enemy’s general. I hadn’t planned on eating lunch on the way back.
「Why is it at this timing that they summoned the heroes? Is it bullying? Is it bullying toward this old man!?」
I was going crazy and slightly losing my temper. Calm down, as Haru’s master, I won’t get upset over something like this. My screaming body and back, and my stamina, I will make up for them with my willpower. But the problem now is that I’ve run out of food. While keeping my distance so that I don’t lose sight of Haru and the other, I will buy something the moment they take a break. Let’s go with this.
What about hunting for meat, you ask? That’s a no-no. If I want to cook meat, I will need fire. If I do such a thing, the smoke will rise and they will notice it immediately. Besides, did you forget Haru’s comment about my catastrophic housework skill? The same goes for cooking. I used to leave the cooking to Nell when we were adventurers, so there’s no way I can make one in a place like this. In addition, I want to refrain from eating meat for a while. Therefore, I have no choice but to buy ready-made preserved foods in nearby villages and towns.
The preparation for the ceremony will be delayed a lot, huh. Still, it won’t start until Haru and the others returned. I’m sure Nell will understand. That’s why it shouldn’t be a problem, but… about that ceremony, I awfully have a bad feeling about it. I don’t mean to imitate Nell, but my intuition is telling me so.
I’ve already instructed Lily to take care of Akira, so he won’t get in the way because of his grudge. As for Joseph, he has gone meek. So, it’s Nell, I guess? Did I do something that make her angry? Did my wish for vegetables in the meat lunch box make her angry!? Damn, I can’t get oxygen to my brain! I can’t think straight!
「Ahh, Weerel’s mineral water is delicious!」
Water, this water is my only friend now!
「What’s wrong, Haruna?」
「Hmm, nothing. I just felt like I heard a shout that if Joseph-san heard it, he will misunderstand and get angry. It was probably just my imagination.」
「I-Is that so? That’s awfully specific, huh….」
Crocus, a flower country located in the south of Adelheit. The country is rich in greenery, with clean and abundant water sources throughout the country and many rare flowers and plants that can only be found here. The colorful flower fields that bloom in various colors are a very popular tourist destination for women, and since the appearance changes fantastically depending on the season, there’s no shortage of visitors all year round.
In addition, there are many medicinal herbs that grow naturally in this area and they are of high quality. Merchants on the continent of Jiba claimed that potions from Crocus are the best for adventurers. The country of Crocus is a green land that has both the fancy side that maidens dream of and the practical side of spreading abundant medicines and poisonous wildflowers.
The unfortunate thing for Crocus is that it was the first to be targeted by Hund Lind, the 『Domination Craver』 of the Great Eight Demons. There’s no shortage of water sources in Crocus, making it an ideal place for the aquatic monsters led by Hund, and it’s a territory that’s preferred to take control even in the Jiba continent. Naturally, Hund began to attack Crocus first. Just as they did when they invaded Tazarnia, an ally of Adelheit, Hund’s subordinates began their invasion of Crocus. Hund believed that it’ll be over soon since it’s just a flower country.
However, this battle didn’t end so easily. Crocus’s counterattack was more intense than Hund had expected, and the battle was surprisingly equal. Just where did such a force come from this country that loves flowers and brews potions? It could be said that it was completely Hund’s fault that he neglected to investigate it.
The people who live in Crocus are called demi-humans and they look very similar to humans. For example, typical demi-humans are elves and beastmen. And then, the main race in this country is―― dwarf.
「Wow, they are smaller than me, but there are a lot of people with amazing muscles!」
「Um…. Dwarves have an image of blacksmiths and miners, but I wonder if dwarves in this country are different…?」
Next to the dragon carriage runs moderately, there’s a botanical garden that they had never seen before. Colorful and beautiful flowers are lined up by type. It’s probably for welcoming visitors to the country of Crocus, but they can only think about how much time and effort is needed to maintain this. That’s just how beautiful it is. And in the nearby are dwarves wearing straw hats and working clothes. All of them are tending the flowers with fresh smiles on their faces. If they were replaced by fairies or something, it would be a very fairy-tale-like scene.
「The country of Crocus was originally a desolate land…. Then, a dwarf queen who loves greenery moved in there and restored it over years… is what written in the academy’s history book….」
「As Chinatsu-san says, dwarves are good at handling steel and good at making equipment. However, in the case of Crocus, the queen has changed their hammers to hoes, and the scoops that were used for ores are now used for soil. The people are mild-mannered, with no stubble, and they all look fresh.」
「Hee, they are completely different from Gan-san. Ah, they are waving! Heey!」
In the middle of gardening, the dwarves noticed the dragon carriage and waved at them. Leaving aside their appearances, they certainly look refreshing and seem to have pleasant personalities.
「But, they have high fighting power as dwarves…. It’s said that Crocus has the military power to compete for the first or second place of the most powerful military forces on the continent of Jiba….」
「I’m sure they are just ordinary citizens, but if danger approaches here, they will turn into brave warriors. That is also the policy of this country. Cultivate the flowers with love, share the growth, calm your mind, and protect them with your muscles! is what all the queens have been saying desuwa!」
「Wait, there’s something wrong with the last part.」
Because it’s a country governed by such a benevolent dwarven queen, they are able to compete with the Demon King’s army. Salt damage seems to be fatal to this country, so the dwarves are resisting desperately.