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
“Since this forest is solely for the use of our family, feel free to use your magic. I’ll accompany you and help you gather your catch.” (Erich)
“Ah. So that’s why I haven’t run into any other hunters.” (Wendelin)
“There’s so much land in our territory that there are plenty of places for the villagers to hunt and gather freely. Nobody complains that we keep this forest for our personal use. Even if the territory were to experience a wave of emigration, we can just develop the common, uninhabited land. There’s no reason to use this forest or do something rash, such as make another attempt to reclaim the land currently occupied by the Demon Forest.” (Erich)
It turns out that my family has gone so far as to prohibit people from entering this forest in an attempt to keep my magic a secret, all to prevent the succession crisis that would likely ensue if my magic became public knowledge.
It all makes me uncomfortable, but I can’t leave this place until I am 15.
Erich also notes in passing that the family keeps me around because they won’t be able to eat guinea fowl for dinner every night once I’m gone.
Is that a joke? They can’t be serious.
Still, no matter the reason, the result is that I am tacitly allowed to go to the forest everyday.
“You know, I always hated the brown bread and vegetable soup. Since we started having meat, yams, mushrooms, and fruit for every meal I’ve never been happier. Thank you, Wend.” (Erich)
“Didn’t Father and our other brothers go hunting?”(Wendelin)
“No. Because we lost so many men in battle five years ago, even our father and brothers are forced to pick up the slack and plow the field every day.” (Erich)
“I guess that’s right…” (Wendelin)
“That said, we can’t serve brown bread and vegetable soup at Kurt’s wedding reception. We’re counting on you to come through for the family.” (Erich)
He’s right. It would be the end of a noble if he served such a shameful menu at a wedding reception.
“I’m sure you could handle it yourself with a bow…” (Wendelin)
“It would be easier if I didn’t need to do it alone.” (Erich)
Using the detection magic that had always allowed me to avoid large animals, we sought out big game to hunt. Once we spotted our quarry, Erich would fire an arrow and I would reinforce it with magic.
It’s been said for some time that Erich is the best archer in the Baumeister family. As of today, I can unequivocally confirm that fact. I don’t need to correct the arrow’s direction at all. Magic-enhanced arrows mercilessly find the vital points on each wild boar, deer, badger, and guinea fowl that we encounter.
Erich and I quickly drain the blood from our kills, each expertly felled with one arrow to the heart or head. We smear the hide in salt so that it can be tanned later. Honestly, it was a lot of hard work for a seven years old child, but it is made tolerable by the fact that I can strengthen my body with magic.
We finished without any problems.
“So you have been holding back after all.” (Erich)
“It would be strange for a seven years old child to hunt wild boar alone, right?” (Wendelin)
“Not for a talented magician.” (Erich)
According to Erich, there are some magicians born with a large amount of mana. These magicians are able to hunt monsters even from a very young age, in some cases even younger than I am now.
If a magician can shoot fireballs at least as big as softballs then he can make quick work of most large animals and monsters such as goblins or slow-moving zombies.
Furthermore, apparently there have been many children born with an innate mastery of the sword or spear that could accomplish similar feats. It seems that the children of this world are quite a bit more active than those of my previous world.
“Magic is really amazing. To be able to strengthen my arrow’s power to the point that it can travel so far…” (Erich)
“It was easy since I only had to adjust the power and not the trajectory. Your aim is perfect.” (Wendelin)
“I’ll gladly take the compliment.” (Erich)
When I hunt I usually make an arrow out of earth magic and fire it toward my prey. But Erich correctly points out that it’s a bit of a waste. Indeed, I’ve had my own bow and arrows for a long while now. It would actually use less mana if, instead of using magic to create and fire an arrow, I instead fire a normal arrow using my bow and subsequently reinforce the arrow and its course using magic.
However, I’ve gotten into the habit of deliberately wasting mana to grow my mana pool. I figure it’s a habit I picked up before I met Master.
“Alright, I think we’ve done enough for today.” (Erich)
In front of us lay the day’s catch, which we have already bled dry and organized. It’s a huge haul. Generally, I am the only one that makes use of this forest. As a result, the forest is still pristine and largely untouched, so it has a huge bounty to offer. It’s not that different than many of the wild plains and forests in our territory.
Although there aren’t any monsters living here there are ferocious wild animals like bears and wolves. As such, it would be unsafe for women and children, and even most of the territory’s men, to enter the forest alone.
But it isn’t so dangerous that it would prevent the development of more farmland and new settlements if Father were able to gather people and lead effectively. Other than the expedition to the Demon Forest, he’s been generally successful in this pursuit in the past.
“You know, Father wasn’t truly persuaded by the Margrave when he sent our troops five years ago. He took part to suit his own purposes.” (Erich)
In other words, our Father viewed the development of new land as secondary. Instead, in his eyes, the primary purpose of clearing the Demon Forest was to accumulate wealth by gathering monster materials and meat.
Of course, the expedition would have yielded valuable goods such as medical herbs, plants, and animal materials. Medical herbs that can be gathered from monster territories are pretty similar to the materials that served as a base for herbal medicine and homeopathy in my previous life.
But, in addition to these valuable yet somewhat common goods, Father may have been able to collect truly rare materials that can be used as ingredients in magic medicine and other elixirs, many of which only can be found in monster territories such as the Demon Forest. Magic medicine can miraculously heal injuries and cure illness. Apparently there’s even medicine that can revive the dead. However, the raw materials necessary to produce magic medicine are quite rare, leading to high prices at market.
Some magicians specialize in magical pharmacology, a branch of healing magic. By channelling mana, these magicians can refine the raw ingredients into powerful draughts. However, skillful magical pharmacologists are rare.
Because the base material costs are high and the skill necessary to refine that material is rare, magic medicines currently command exorbitant prices.
“Because few people enter the Demon Forest, the precious medical herbs and other materials that have been successfully collected usually come from near the entrance.” (Erich)
However, because there is higher traffic near the entrance, many of the rarer materials had been picked clean. As such, they could no longer be found unless an adventurer ventured beyond the entrance and searched the depths of the Demon Forest.
Even with conservation efforts and a ban on indiscriminate gathering, it takes much longer for magical plants to grow when compared to normal medical herbs. And no matter how broad the Margrave’s prohibitions on indiscriminate gathering may be, there’s no way to actually confirm that adventurers are complying with such efforts given that no enforcement officer can follow them into monster territory.
“No way! Don’t tell me that Father did something so reckless for a few valuable materials. To raise an army based on a pretextual casus belli is pretty low… and in the end they only ended up courting their own demise. What a joke.” (Wendelin)
Erich is actually very critical of the previous Margrave, even if he doesn’t say so out loud. It makes sense. Erich had to put his entire life on hold because of the hubris of the Margrave and Father. I would imagine that my other brothers, who are hunting elsewhere, must feel that way.
And the pain of delaying their respective lives is probably made more acute when they have to spend their days hunting for materials for the wedding feast.
“Anyway, we’ve done enough for today. We still have three days to hunt, so there’s no need to rush to get it all done at once.” (Erich)
That sounds right to me too, so we return to the mansion with our catch loaded onto a cart.
Erich and I delivered much better results than the hunters from the villages and our other brothers. With three days left until the wedding, the family is counting on our strong performance to continue.
And after five days, at long last, Kurt’s wife arrived with her escort group. The old priest that ministers to our territory presided over the wedding. Like Christianity in my previous world, weddings take place in a church.
Amalie, the bride, turned 18 this year, so there’s an age difference between her and Kurt. But that is the norm for people in this world, and there are many instances where older royals, nobles, and successful, wealthy merchants marry younger women. In fact, substantial age gaps can appear when such men take wives or mistresses of a lower social class.
And Amalie certainly wouldn’t find it odd to get married at her age. Some women tend to marry later, such as successful adventurers (that often put their male counterparts to shame), but most women are married by 20. There is some variance from person to person, so no one would speak ill of an unmarried girl until she was in her early twenties. But after about 25 she will be treated as a spinster.
Amalie’s family, the Meinbach House, is in better financial condition than the Baumeister House, so she is wearing an expensive dress for the big day. In fact, her family sent along some fine gifts, such as quality furniture. That just goes to show the importance of maintaining appearances for a noble.
I will not be a noble so I’ll be exempt from such frivolities.
“Another week…” (Erich)
Erich let out a sigh during the ceremony. In one week Hermann will be married, at which time he will officially be adopted into the branch family (to which his wife belongs). That will be a signal to the remaining sons: Paul, Helmut, and Erich. They will receive a small sum of money from Father and finally leave the territory.
All three of them plan to head to the capital to take the entrance exams, which are prerequisite to becoming a soldier or petty official. Assuming they pass, they’ll be able to live independently, which is why they’ve been training desperately in swordsmanship and rigorously studying math and writing for all of these years.
“It’s still impossible for you to be independent, Wend.” (Erich)
Actually, I could do it if I wanted to, but there’s not much that I can do as a seven-year-old, so I choose not to. If I were to leave home in this state, then rumors would spread that Father and Mother are negligent and, in the worst case, they may be accused of throwing away an unnecessary child, which is unheard of as a noble. So I have no choice but to endure it for a few more years.
“I hardly talk to Kurt and Hermann though.” (Wendelin)
Our ages are just too far apart. We could practically be mistaken for parent and child. I’m sure that my talent for magic only further complicates those relationships, as it has the potential to turn into a landmine down the road when it comes time for Kurt to succeed as head of the Baumeister family.
As a result, I’m not sure how to talk with them. They don’t hate me or anything, but I’m sure the feeling of distance between us is just as pronounced for them as it is for me.
“This is the beginning of my solitary life.” (Wendelin)
A week later, the second son, Hermann, was married into the branch family. Erich and my other brothers are given a pittance in exchange for abandoning their claim to the Baumeister territory and their succession rights, and they set out for the capital with a caravan that had been passing through our territory.
“When you come of age please come to the capital. I’ll be happy to host you.” (Erich)
With that, I bade farewell to my gentle brother and only companion in this world, Erich. I let out a heavy sigh and, as Erich’s silhouette disappeared over the horizon, I shifted my gaze to the future.