This chapter is the edited version of another translation. You can find the original chapter post here.
Please notice that this chapter has NOT been re-translated but only edited in order to improve the readability.
Please be sure to thank the translator in the link provided above, if you wish to express your gratitude.
This chapter was merely moved to this blog as the original blog has been inactive for quite a while.
By no rights Infinite Novel Translations claims ownership of the translation.
ED: Garit, Loxy
“I refuse to be sad. I am happy that, in the end, you got to pass on peacefully, Master.” (Wendelin)
I am resolved. I made no grave or other marker. Master said that he didn’t want a grave. He was satisfied that someone would remember him.
Master was an orphan with no relatives. Because of that, there’s no one that will object to me inheriting his possessions.
Besides, he is supposed to be rotting away in the Demon Forest, so even if there were a legal heir, I doubt that they would risk their life to retrieve his magic bag and other possessions. All of his wonderful gear would’ve just been lost for eternity.
It’s true that Master was a powerful magician and a famous adventurer before Margrave Breithilde hired him, so his possessions are probably worth a small fortune. I suppose a legal heir could try to hire an adventurer to retrieve it, but the odds of someone accepting the request were practically nil. Any normal person would naturally give up. I mean, even Margrave Breithilde, who incurred huge losses from the failed expedition to the Demon Forest, didn’t bother trying to search for Master’s magic bag despite the fact that it held the provisions for the entire army.
“Let’s take a look and see what we’ve got… I hope there’s a cool magic tool or something.” (Wendelin)
I touch the little mana crystal that’s affixed to the drawstring on the bag and channel mana into it. By doing so, an inventory of all of the items in the bag appears in my mind.
Oh, there’s a letter from Master.
I quickly open the magic bag and retrieve the letter. In it I find a carefully written inventory of all of the items in the magic bag.
“That’s convenient, I was struggling with the long list projected into my mind.” (Wendelin)
Master writes that, rather than demean our final moments together with minutia, he wanted to leave me with words of significance. To that end, he left me this letter with some of the more administrative instructions and other formalities. He also notes that this letter can serve as proof of ownership for the bag.
“Even after we performed the capacity matching, your mana pool continued to grow. Don’t ever neglect your training, even when you reach your maximum capacity. The contents of this bag are my legacy, which I leave in your care…” (Alfred)
First is equipment such as robes and accessories that Master had collected. There was also the staff and magic sword that Master used as well as a bow that shot magic arrows. Finally, several knives made of orichalium and mithril.
Master was indeed a peerless adventurer. All of his accessories had magical effects and, as such, were quite valuable.
Next was the many magic tools that Master owned. About half were only usable by magicians, but the other half were general-purpose items that can fetch a hefty sum at market.
“There is a magic tool that produces ice that could be used to keep my perishable food cold.” (Alfred)
It seems like a mundane item, but Master wrote that he had found it in some ruins during his time as an adventurer.
In addition to hunting monsters for meat and materials and collecting valuable trade goods in monster territories, adventurers also explore ruins and dungeons from the ancient magic civilization that, for some unknown reason, were always infested with monsters. The purpose of dungeon raids is to find ancient artifacts.
It’s just that only a handful of adventurers could go on these raids and actually survive.
In time immemorial there had been a magic civilization that had excelled at the manufacture of magic tools with technology and craftsmanship that far surpassed the greatest artisans of today. Exploring ruins and dungeons will often yield valuable magic relics left behind by that civilization, but it comes with an extreme level of risk to life and limb. Because ruins and dungeons are so dangerous not many people manage to make it out alive, but Master had survived more than once during his days as an adventurer.
“The fact is that the odds of success with a small party composed exclusively of elites are exponentially higher than going alone or with amateurs. I tried to tell the former Margrave as much, but…” (Alfred)
Unconsciously, a wry smile spread across my mouth. It was as though I could hear Master talking to me.
“The purpose of the expedition was to claim new land, which requires the extermination of each and every monster in the territory. As such, it was necessary to bring a large army. Still, it’s not surprising that we were wiped out. We relished our initial victories, some of which were over large swarms of monsters. But these victories begat hubris, and because of that hubris we allowed ourselves to be divided and summarily overrun. The totality of the defeat is evidenced by the small number of survivors.” (Alfred)
And among them, not even half were able to work as soldiers when they returned. I had seen this with my own eyes. Among the survivors from our Baumeister Knight Territory, there were a number that were so screwed up that all they did now was cower as if trying to escape an invisible enemy. Father exempted them from the draft after they returned.
They must have PTSD.
“I tried to limit the number of troops as much as possible, but the Margrave refused to hear reason. Instead, in order to maintain the soldiers’ morale, we instituted an incentive program that rewarded each soldier based on his hunting results.” (Alfred)
Because the force was so large, they managed to collect a substantial amount of meat and materials. These materials were to be sold upon the army’s return in order to recoup the rewards paid out to the soldiers. Of course, each soldier’s reward was proportionate to the value of the goods each soldier collected.
They believed that a soldier with a full purse was less likely to be reckless in the face of danger. He would instead choose to retreat so that he could live to spend his hard earned money. Margrave Breithilde was also compensating the soldiers just for agreeing to the deployment. The Margrave felt justified in this because he expected to fully recoup the deficit created with the revenue created by selling off the materials that were collected. Basically, this resulted in a system whereby each soldier received a medium sized salary just for being there, and then could earn an incentive-based bonus ranging from small to large depending on the number and nature of the monsters he killed.
Thus, Master dispatched the troops hoping that their inherent greed would save them.
Unfortunately, theory failed to manifest in reality. Instead, the soldiers were blinded by the promise of large rewards and resolved themselves to push forward until they exterminated every last monster in the Demon Forest. This lapse in judgment quickly led to annihilation.
“Besides, the logistics of the army relied heavily upon my magic bag.” (Alfred)
The overall strength of the entire army was materially increased by his mere presence, even if he wasn’t on the front lines. That’s because the usual difficulties that stem from transporting supplies for 2,000 soldiers became a nonissue.
Furthermore, the Demon Forest was home to particularly treacherous mountains, hostile even by the standards of the neighboring territories. In order to traverse these mountains (that were even taller than Mt. Fuji), the army had to travel about 300 kilometers through unforgiving terrain.
Usually, transporting the resources necessary to sustain an army of 2,000 through such a hostile environment would require the army to slow down substantially, which would result in the journey taking several months.
Also, the Baumeister Knight Territory, with a population of 800, was the only allied land nearby. There was no way a territory of that size could resupply 2,000 soldiers.
So it was impossible for the Baumeister Knight Territory to provide meaningful aid (other than the troops that my father sent to reinforce the Margrave’s army).
From his letter, it was clear that Master’s retrospective realization that his plan had been folly caused him deep regret.
I wonder why Father never told me any of this. In order to appear responsive to the Margrave’s call to arms, even if the response was only a form of appeasement, Father had my grand uncle lead an army of 100 Baumeister soldiers into the Demon Forest to reinforce the Margrave’s main force. This move, however, only created more bodies.
“I want to impress upon you the full implications of what I’ve written. This magic bag contains all of the food and resources once meant to supply the full 2,000 man army comprised of the Breithilde and Baumeister forces.” (Alfred)
That’s a pretty mind-bending realization. I wonder how deep a powerful magician’s magic bag really is.
For Margrave Breithilde to amass resources for 2,000 soldiers was a herculean accomplishment in and of itself, but for Master’s mana capacity to be so vast that it can store such a staggering amount, it stands as a testament to the strength of Master’s magic.
“I guess you’re wondering how large my mana capacity is.” (Alfred)
He read my mind. What a cliché trope.
“It was enough to store three months of food and provisions for 2,000 soldiers, so…” (Alfred)
The majority of the resources consisted of hard-baked bread that had been salted safeguard against spoilage, sugarless cookies, salted meat, and barrels of something I can most easily explain as a sort of sauerkraut. Even after racking my brain I can’t even begin to understand how this magic bag works.
Inside a magic bag, magic bends the laws of physics. Not only can it store much more than a bag of its size should, it also stops time for the stored items. Because of that, the contents of the magic bag haven’t aged even a moment since they were first stored.
It’s thanks to magic bags like this one that wealthy middle class citizens in the capital, which is located at the heart of the continent, can enjoy fresh fish from the coast for dinner. Or at least I read that in a book from the study. Honestly, I really want to grow up already so I can get out of this backwater territory.
Next are the backup weapons and armor. They’re mostly iron and bronze. Just like the spare tents, the equipment gives off a medieval vibe.
The army had also been concerned about its supply of fresh water. As such, Master’s magic bag was filled with a bunch of leather canteens filled with potable water. This probably had the added effect of boosting the soldiers’ morale. Speaking of morale, there was a lot of alcohol in this bag, including both antiseptics for treating injuries and alcohol that bespoke a more recreational purpose. Examples of the latter include wine produced in the Margraviate and a vast amount of distilled liquors such as brandy.
Apparently, oenophiles exist in every world.
In my previous life I also used to drink it every evening. I wasn’t a heavy drinker though.
Of course, in this world I had given up drinking since I had no way of obtaining alcohol. (Ed. and you’re a young child.)
“Next, there’s the large amount of monster meat and materials, which the army collected in the Demon Forest…” (Alfred)
The bag was filled with tons of loot and a lot of precious items. But even if I have all this loot, I can’t make use of it in my current state. I should just leave it alone for now. After all, so long as it stays in the magic bag it won’t deteriorate.
“Lastly, a large amount of jewels, ornaments, silver coins, and gold coins…” (Alfred)
During the expedition, Margrave Breithilde had intended to throw around his weight as a big-shot noble by offering large rewards to the soldiers. Master had been carrying the bankroll for those rewards in his magic bag. The amount of money in the bag could make a person feel dizzy.
“I can’t use it at the moment though.” (Wendelin)
There are no stores in this village where I could just casually go shopping. Even if there were, I can’t let people know about the existence of this bag. No matter how much they care about me, being the eighth son and all, what would my family do if they found out I had this much money?
In the worst case scenario it might even pose a threat to my life.
“So the contents are off limits until I’ve grown up.” (Wendelin)
I really want to wear Master’s robe and accessories, which have been infused with powerful magic, but my body is still only six years old. The problem is one of size, so I have no choice but to wait for my body to grow.
“Phew… I should head back…” (Wendelin)
I stored master’s equipment in the magic bag and headed home.