“Putting you aside, Frau-san, I don’t understand why I would be needed.” (Croire)
The unusual sight of Frau and Croire walking next to each other through the city of Klinge had that much of an impact that it caused people walking on the streets to instinctively turn around.
Frau is in her usual apron dress, but this time Croire’s attire is a combination of a shirt and a flare skirt in light green color, which could somehow be called elf-like, white gloves reaching up to her elbows, white knee socks and leather boots.
At first glance, two transient young girls are walking next to each other, but in reality one of them is a 70 year old half fairy, and the other one is truly quite young, yet she is a fairy that can influence the whole city of Klinge. It’s a duo that’s hardly ever seen in a human city.
One tends to be deceived by their lovely appearances, but under certain conditions, both of them are extraordinary who can offhandedly win against an army corps.
“According to master, he apparently wants to leave it to professionals since there’s a limit to the number of structures that can be built for the city’s defense with only human power, even if he somehow managed to provide a large number of soldiers ~no.” (Frau)
Taking her eyes off Frau, who’s briskly walking next to her with small steps, Croire focuses her eyes on the townscape.
For a city where humans live and that follows Renya’s policies, Klinge has abnormally many green areas.
The plants growing on those areas are not for admiration, but are mostly economic plants that can be used for something.
There are plants to obtain fibers to twine ropes, plants that can immediately be used as food, and even plants that can apparently be used as medicine or poison.
As one would expect, signboards with warnings have been installed in front of the toxic plants. That has been done out of concern so that the city’s residents wouldn’t eat them by mistake, but all things considered, the entire scale of the vegetation exceeds that of a normal city by far.
“Even elven beans are being cultivated. Don’t these get stolen?” (Croire)
Croire touches verdant and thick growing leaves at a flowerbed-like place after stopping.
In the first place, elven beans are an elven produce, that is said to grow in forests. They are carrying out selective breeding so that the beans can even be cultivated on slightly barren land with little sunlight, as it’s blocked by the forest’s trees.
What’s slightly different to Renya’s former world is the fact that the elven beans grow into creeping plants.
In other words, it’s the type of plant that grows upwards while twining itself around something. If there’s nothing to cling to, it creeps along the ground for eternity. But the beans being cultivated in Klinge behave nicely for some reason and only extend their vines within their flower beds without leaving their boundaries.
“Even though their development somehow looks very good, I wonder why is that so?” (Croire)
“It’s the result of training ~nano.” (Frau)
“It’s nothing ~no.” (Frau)
Frau replies to Croire, who asked back after having felt like she had heard something that was extremely out-of-place, while hiding her expression by quietly turning her face the other away.
For a while Croire intensely starred at Frau, but after confirming that Frau just wouldn’t look her way anymore no matter how long she waited, she shifted her gaze back in the flower bed’s direction and decided to forget about her question.
Everyone has one or two things they don’t want to talk about. Depending on the circumstances, there are even some people who have a hundred or two hundred of such things, Croire believes.
There’s not a single advantage for either of us, if I insist on pursuing this matter.
“If it doesn’t lead to harm, one stays happy by not knowing about the things, which are better left unknown.” Croire completely internalized this after associating with Renya.
“As for the plants cultivated inside the city, the residents are allowed to use them as long as they don’t monopolize them or harvest them down to the roots ~no.” (Frau)
“That’s yet another unusual idea, isn’t it?” (Croire)
It’s not like Croire knows that many different cities.
If it’s inside the elven country, there are quite a few she knows, but if you limit it to human cities, she had only seen Kukrika apart from Klinge.
And yet, if you take her knowledge obtained from rumors and books into account, she possesses a considerable amount of information. Even after trying to search that vast sea of knowledge, there’s absolutely no information about cities like Klinge, which cultivate plants inside their boundaries and where it’s fine to eat said plants as one sees fit.
“It was master’s idea ~nano.” (Frau)
Frau says while starting to walk again. Croire trails behind her.
“He said that he at least wanted to make sure that the residents don’t need to fear starvation as long as they are in Klinge ~no.” (Frau)
“That’s a pipe dream, isn’t it?” (Croire)
Croire’s response was immediate.
Since Klinge is still a new city, there’s no slums, but in cities like Kukrika, such places do exist.
Even in the elven country it’s the same. Croire was aware of people that were worried about not having enough to eat even in the capital where the emperor resides.
There’s only very few slums in the elven country, which is supported by the blessing of the forests, but in human cities it’s not a rare occurrence for people to die due to starvation.
“No need to fear starvation” means the extinction of such people.
If a politician had heard that, they would probably have laughed scornfully even before discussing the level of difficulty needed to accomplish such a goal.
“You could say that. And likewise not say it.” (Frau)
Frau word’s along with her way of speaking, which was different from usual, caused Croire to become startled.
Due to the effect Frau’s words had on Croire, she revealed a somewhat satisfied smile. After sticking out her tongue like a child that succeeded in a prank, she continued in her usual manner of speaking.
“Either way, the only thing Frau is capable of is making sure that reality reflects master’s intentions as much as possible ~nano.” (Frau)
“It would be wonderful if you could turn it into reality. Having said that, let’s return to the first topic.” (Croire)
While attempting to switch topics, Croire notices that they have come to the outer part of Klinge without her realizing it.
Going by the city’s location, Klinge is forced to bear the responsibility of serving as the shield protecting the Trident Principality from the Miasma Forest’s threats.
The construction of a protective wall to shield the city while at the same time strengthening the city’s facilities were advancing at a fast pace, but because of the oracle regarding the demon king’s arrival, the wall’s construction was carried out as top priority.
As result, the construction of the wall was nearing its completion at a speed that seemed unbelievable in the eyes of other cities, but as Renya seemed displeased with the workmanship of this wall, he frequently wracked his brain on whether it could be somehow improved.
“I think it’s an imposing outer wall though?” (Croire)
Croire looks up the wall while following behind Frau, who had started to walk along the wall.
The wall’s height easily surpasses 10 meters, and even its thickness is close to 2 meters.
“Destroying a wall that’s only hard isn’t all that difficult ~no.” (Frau)
Coming to a halt sometimes and lowering her eyes towards the ground below her feet, Frau states so while examining something, but Croire doubts those words because she thought, that there’s no way for there to be a method to easily tear apart a wall of such magnitude.
“It will take an instant if it’s master ~nano.” (Frau)
“I wonder, what’s going to happen if you start hypothesizing about something outside the norm? There will be no end to it.” (Croire)
Certainly even Croire understands that the stone wall in front of her will instantly turn into meaningless rubble with a single slash from Renya or a powerful attack with his vast amount of mana, which makes Croire wonder whether it’s inexhaustible.
However, isn’t it complete nonsense to try to work out countermeasures against something like that? She asks herself.
In the first place, it’s not like there are multiple beings that possess abilities on par with Renya. If they did exist for argument’s sake, almost all plans would be no more than empty words.
“That’s true as well ~no. But I will do as much as I can ~no.” (Frau)
Frau believes that there’s a wide difference between not doing anything because it’s probably in vain, and it having been in vain as a result of it failing despite having tried various things.
Also, since it’s an issue directly affecting the residents’ lives, isn’t it very natural to assume the worst imaginable threat? She wondered.
“Since the cutting ability of master’s katana is outside physical laws, there’s no way to deal with it ~no.” (Frau)
“That one’s unfair, isn’t it? I mean, after all you can’t completely defend against it with sorcery or physical force.” (Croire)
Croire, who had seen Renya wield his katana while being at his side, arrived at that single conclusion.
It’s a fact that there’s no technique to defend against the blade of that katana wielded by someone possessing Renya’s skill.
At least it’s very unlikely that Croire could defend against it with the materials she knows and the techniques she has learned.
She thought that it was unlikely for the wall to be bisected with a single stroke by making it more massive than the sword’s blade, but even this will be sooner or later surpassed if Renya patiently continues to cut at the wall while changing his angles.
As long as it’s impossible to slash at something, it can’t be cut either, but if I’m asked whether I’m capable of continuously dodging Renya’s attacks, I can only say that it’s near impossible.
“With that you have no other option but to give up and accept your fate ~no.” (Frau)
“I guess it’s inevitable, but…” (Croire)
“Rather than that, Croire, I want you to press your hands against that spot over there for a bit ~no.” (Frau)
The place Frau pointed at was right on the boundary between the outer wall and the ground.
On that spot bare ground is exposed. It’s a place that has a different color compared to the surrounding ground, as it had apparently been dug up once by someone.
In order to do as told by Frau, Croire squatted down then and there, removed her gloves and gently placed her hands on the ground.
The softness of the soil that had been dug up recently is transmitted to her palms. Due to the scent of the earth tickling her nose, Croire perceived that the vicinity around Klinge possesses good soil which contains an abundance of nutrients.
“I’d like you to stay like that for a bit ~no.” (Frau)
Frau places her hands on Croire’s shoulders which had entered Frau’s reach due to Croire crouching down.
“I don’t really mind, but just what are you telling me to do…ngh!?” (Croire)
Croire’s voice jumps up in tone at the end of her sentence.
It’s because Croire feels something, which she couldn’t classify, being poured into her body from Frau’s palms.
It’s not an unpleasant sensation, but while that may be true, I can’t call it pleasant either.
“Frau is originally a house fairy ~nano. Right now it might be slightly different, but by recognizing Klinge as master’s home, I became able to exert my power over the entire city ~no.” (Frau)
Croire doesn’t respond.
Having her thoughts thrown into disarray by the mysterious something being poured into her through her shoulders, she doesn’t have the leeway to give an answer.
After circulating through Croire’s body once, that something penetrates the ground through her palms.
Croire’s thoughts, who is pondering what this something might be, cause the degree of her confusion to accelerate, but without any indication of whether Frau knows about that or not, Frau continues her explanation indifferently.
“But, since I’m a house fairy after all, it looks like there are limitations according to the circumstances and the targets, where I’m allowed to exert my powers ~no.” (Frau)
“When I thought of the best method to reinforce the outer wall, there was something I had to do by all means ~no. But, it looked like Frau’s powers were insufficient to accomplish that, no matter what she did ~no. That’s why the power of an elf, who is an expert in that area, was indispensable ~no.” (Frau)
Although it was only faintly, Croire began to feel the vibration of the ground through the soles of her feet.
The angry roars of men and screams of women from somewhere far away reach the ears of Croire, who owns an excellent sense of hearing as an elf.
Judging by the distance of those voices, Croire guessed that some kind of abnormal event was apparently taking place all over the entire city.
“As expected, I’m no match for an elf when it comes to handling plants ~no.” (Frau)
In front of Croire, who was about to ask Frau what she was talking about, the ground burst open at the exact spot where she had put her palms down.
She was about to withdraw her hands instinctively, but her body doesn’t move as she wants it to.
In a state of being unable to escape albeit wanting to do so, she’s even unable to move her eyes. As she’s frozen while intently staring at the ground, something with the thickness of a child’s wrist grew out from the tear in the ground as if piercing the heavens and lightly grazes Croire’s nose.
Ahead of Frau’s gaze which had turned her eyes upwards, who still hasn’t removed her hands from the paralyzed Croire’s shoulders, that which had sprouted out of the ground had grown up to the same height as the wall in one go, clung to the wall and then started to encroach the outer wall by extending its somewhat thick vines with a wriggling motion.
As if taking that as a start, thick vines, which burst out in the same way across the whole city at the base of the wall, started to grow in order to cling to the wall.
“Just as I thought, it’s necessary for vines like these to cling to the wall ~no. I have finished the preparations to have the same things cling to the exterior of the outer wall ~nano.” (Frau)
Only a sound that doesn’t form any words escapes Croire’s mouth, who looked up as she was finally able to move her head somewhat.
Croire saw through the true identity of the plant, which suddenly grew up in front of her, in an instant, but she’s surprised and panicked as she can’t see a link between the plant in her memory, and the plant continuously growing in front of her.
It was the elven bean which had previously appeared in the conversation between Frau and Croire.
However, there’s no way for normal elven bean vines to become this thick while continuing to grow, making creaking sounds.
“By covering the outer wall with greenery, it will be reinforced on top of allowing for the stones to be pressed tightly together ~no. Moreover, the seeds of the elven beans, which had been soaked in Emil-ane-sama’s special nutrient cocktail, are perfect against fire attacks because they boast of juicy, thick vines ~nano.” (Frau)
The beans’ vines, which grew densely in an instant, penetrated the gaps in the wall, and clung or dug into the stones forming the wall, resulting in the entire wall being supported by those thick vines.
The outer wall surrounding the whole city was covered by them. The wall, which had a grey color thanks to the bare stones, transformed into a wall thickly plastered by green leaves in a flash.
So to speak, something like a net that caught the whole stone wall.
Even if the wall broke down somewhat, it will be able to continue its task as long as the net tightly covers it.
“If it’s like this, the vines will be able to maintain the stone wall itself even if it gets broken a bit. And, if it’s from this many elven bean vines, it should be possible to harvest a considerably large amount of beans ~nano.” (Frau)
Frau bragged that she had been able to kill two birds with one stone, but no matter what, Croire feels uneasy about the phrase “Emil’s special nutrient cocktail.”
“Those can be eaten?” (Croire)
Before she noticed, the strange sensation circulating through her body had vanished. Croire stands up while brushing off the dirt clinging to her palms.
As if matching that movement of her, Frau removed her hands from Croire’s shoulders.
“It has Emil-ane-sama’s certification ~nano.” (Frau)
“No, I mean the certification of the person who created it doesn’t serve as any kind of guarantee though, right?” (Croire)
Croire sorts out the situation.
Apparently Frau was unable to artificially grow elven beans at this scale by herself. Pouring mana into the attribute and body of an elf – namely Croire – using her as catalyst and making the mana penetrate into the ground, she made the beans grow in one go.
The seed, which had been planted into the ground where Croire placed her hands, seemingly served as a trigger. That means the other seeds sprouted once that trigger seed did.
“It was a setup to cause chain growth of the other seeds by infusing power into one seed so that it can spread through the sorcery-like paths connecting all seeds ~no.” (Frau)
“That’s what Renya meant with wanting to leave it to professionals?” (Croire)
If Renya said such a thing, it might have been a comment after having heard about the scenery that’s taking place in front of me right now.
Then I have to file a complaint to Renya. Spurring on her body that has still had some numbness lingering, Croire asks Frau with a smile. Thereupon Frau averted her face quietly.
From that single motion, Croire grasps that the whole story had been made up by Frau.
“Let’s have a little chat, Frau-chan?” (Croire)
“…I-I’m against violence ~no. Chats are ultimately limited to words ~no.” (Frau)
Even Croire will get angry if she’s told that she was made to cooperate against her will in a situation, which she doesn’t understand quite well, on top of being brought along after being deceived.
Due to Croire approaching her with a bright smile while cladding her tightly grasped fists with mana, which seems to have strangely increased recently, Frau began to desperately rack her brain about what she should do to get out of this situation while her face became slightly pale.