Chapter 16 – Determined to be alone

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


 

“Hey, isn’t that the youngest Baumeister boy?” (Villager)

“You mean Sir Wendelin?” (Villager)

“I wonder what he’s up to?” (Villager)

“Who knows. I’ve heard he’s pretty lazy, but even a kid his age would be helpful if they’d put him to work in the fields.” (Villager)

“Since he’s the lord’s kid he gets away with whatever he wants as long he doesn’t annoy daddy.” (Villager)

A month has passed since Kurt and Hermann got married and my other brothers left the house. At the moment I’m running through a field in a portion of the territory that hasn’t yet been flagged for development.
Farmers make comments as I pass them by. They’re on their way to the fields for the day. These days, the prevailing rumor about me in the territory is that I am a selfish child who doesn’t lift a finger to help his family.
Father and Kurt wouldn’t dare say that, so I’m not sure how the rumor got started. They might think that I’m just some lazy seven-year-old kid, but the arable land development and irrigation ditches they spend their entire day working on could be done in an instant borrowing my magic. After all, I’ve pretty much mastered most basic and intermediate magic already. I’m also fairly capable when attempting advanced magic. To dig a ditch or flatten a field with earth magic would be a trifle.
It bears mention that only a handful of humans could make that claim with a straight face. Only a high ranking magician can demonstrate such impressive feats.
That said, neither Father, Kurt nor anyone else in this territory has an accurate understanding of the full extent of my abilities as a magician. If they did they wouldn’t still be deciding whether or not to ask for my help and I’d probably be stuck digging an irrigation ditch right now.
But, as far as my family knows, I’m some run-of-the-mill magician that reinforces his body and physical abilities with magic in order to hunt guinea fowls in the forest.
Maybe that’s why they recently gave me permission to go where I please during the day. Of course, they couldn’t really prevent me from doing what I please anyway, as the Baumeister Knight Territory is vast and the number of searching eyes are few.
The only area that our people are familiar with is the area around the three villages (with a total population of eight hundred people). That is really just a small area at the foot of the mountains that border the villages to the north and west. In this small area, the prairie and forests have been cleared and developed into farmland, which the villagers use to feed themselves. That means that the vast majority of the territory, being the massive swathe of land to the east and south, remains undeveloped. A good amount of this area is occupied by the Demon Forest, which begins a few hundred kilometers away and stretches all the way to the coast, where it runs into the sea.
The land allocated by right to the Baumeister Knight Territory has the potential to make the Baumeister House one of the richest noble families in the southern part of the kingdom. If it could be fully developed, that is. However, when it comes to development of our territory, it was much easier said than done.
My father has said on many occasions that the sea is the best way to unlock the potential of this territory. But any path to the sea would have to pass through the Demon Forest. The initial cost of blazing a trail to the sea would be quite high, but the real killer would be the regular cost of maintenance required to ensure that the path isn’t reclaimed by the primordial forest.
However, because no noble would have any grounds to contest our claim to the newly unlocked land, such a path would allow us to set up a port to facilitate trade and marine transportation as well as a de facto monopoly on the many products that can be harvested from the sea, such as fish and salt.
Salt, especially, would be a huge help to our territory if we could produce it ourselves. Our territory is actually adjacent to the sea, but we normally buy salt from the caravans that visit by making the dangerous journey through the mountains. Although the price is fair given that the merchants have to bear significant logistical costs, it still results in well above market prices for salt and other such commodities.
Which explains why our soup contains only a hint of salt. Oh well, that’s the Baumeister Knight Territory for you. No wonder I’m trying to broaden my horizons.
Each morning I begin my day with light sword practice. After practice I eat some breakfast and then I pack up two small pieces of brown bread as a sack lunch and head out.
The first stages of development on the expanded farmland and the construction of an irrigation canal have been completed, so people have more free time to go hunting. With less intensive work required on a daily basis, Father and Kurt are now able to take turns overseeing the farming effort. As a result, on any given day, at least one of them is able to go to the forest to hunt and gather.
I guess that having guinea fowl as the main dish for dinner each night is made less delicious if you have to swallow your pride and accept that it was caught by a seven-year-old kid. That said, guinea fowls are pretty difficult birds to catch even for professional hunters. So, on days when I can’t catch any I make sure to bring home two or three prairie rabbits.
The southern portion of our territory is covered by untamed forests and prairies and very little else. While this is the source of the aforementioned difficulties in development of the territory, the upside is that there is an abundance of wild game to hunt on my way back home each evening.

“Well then, I will visit the Demon Forest today.” (Wendelin)

Flight and Teleportation are the two spells that I’ve been practicing intensively of late. I’m actually able to use both spells at once, which is pretty cool.
Flying magic in this world is basically exactly how I had imagined it would look having grown up on manga, anime, and video games. However, the first time I tried flying at high speed I found it hard to breathe as air was forced back into my face. Since then I have learned to protect my body with a thin membrane of air, and that hasn’t happened again.
Although I’m still practicing, at this point I can travel at speeds similar to that of a car on the highway.
Teleportation, on the other hand, allows me to instantly travel to any point that I’ve previously visited, so long as I remember to log the location in what is essentially a detailed mental map. So, once I make it to the sea it should theoretically be possible for me to go back whenever I want, instantly. But I’m probably getting ahead of myself, as I haven’t actually arrived at the Demon Forest yet.
Until recently, I hadn’t had a chance to log teleport locations in any region besides the one directly surrounding my home. However, I have dedicated a good amount of time over the past few weeks in order to create a log map of the Savage Lands, which allows me to move at will inside the Baumeister Knight Territory (which covers an area roughly the size of Hokkaido).
At this point, I’ve logged much of the area occupied by the Savage Lands. The Demon Forest represents roughly 25 percent of the Savage Lands, so the last few weeks have been dedicated to logging a thousand different potential teleportation destinations in the remaining 75 percent.
Obviously, logging a point doesn’t mean that I set up a physical sign or anything. It’s more like I record rough coordinates for the location in a detailed mental map, flagging it as a safe location to potentially land if I need to teleport into the area.
In order to travel using Teleportation, I only have to picture the coordinates and the rough location of where I want to end up in my head while casting. Sometimes I end up a little ways away from where I wanted to be, but it’s always easy enough to cover the remaining distance with Flight.
One fact that has become more and more apparent over the last three weeks is that the Savage Lands are a goldmine. There are myriad plots that could be cultivated. Requisite flood control could be managed with relative ease by repurposing the many rivers that crisscross the terrain. There are countless thickets, woods, and forests. There are also numerous deposits containing precious stones and gems, minerals, and ores that include iron, copper, gold, silver, mithril, and, in a few spots, orichalcum.
If it could be exploited, the Baumeister Knight Territory would be promoted to at least a marquis peerage in a heartbeat. It wouldn’t be farfetched to say that the territory could be its own small, independent kingdom if fully developed.
But that’s a pipe dream for now.
The kingdom is busy developing its central region and can’t be bothered with its southern frontier. The nobles in the south are united under the Margrave Breithilde, but these nobles have their own savage lands to tame.
The bottom line is that, for now, it is impossible to gather the manpower and funds necessary to develop the Savage Lands. Most likely, this land will not be developed for hundreds of years.
But I digress, for now I can easily locate two rabbits the second I arrive. I can also grill and eat fish that I catch in the rivers and use the vast, empty prairies to practice new magic.
More specifically, I can attempt advanced, powerful battle magic. I can’t imagine a better venue for such pursuits.
I might try practicing specialized applications of earth magic later. I recently found a gold mine and, using gold ore and gold dust I had collected, have been practicing a spell that extracts the pure gold while leaving behind impurities and slag. I then use a different spell to form the purified gold into gold ingots.
Master called the spell that pulls out the gold “Extraction” and the spell that reforms it into ingots “Recombination”. It is basic magic that any magician with aspirations in alchemy must master. Once a budding alchemist masters these basics, he can eventually learn how to channel mana into silver to form mithril.
It apparently takes a lot of mana to create a small amount of mithril, so the process isn’t terribly efficient. Still, it would be a good exercise for expanding a person’s mana capacity.
I am not the first visitor to many parts of the Savage Lands. The first to explore many of these areas was the army led by Margrave Breithilde.
I’m sure the Margrave would have liked to discover at least one productive mine, but it would have been difficult to send people prospecting in such a remote place. So the Margrave set his greed aside in favor of quickly reaching the Demon Forest.
“I wonder what secrets are hiding in such a deep, dark forest…” (Wend)
Today I finally caught my first glimpse of the Demon Forest. It radiates eeriness and gloominess even in broad daylight. Ominous sounding bird calls and the roars of unidentified monsters also leak out into the surrounding areas.
I doubt it was a good place for a seven year old to explore solo.

“Well, I won’t go inside till I grow up.” (Wend)

Even though I have become a strong magician and I can enhance my physical strength, there’s a real chance that I would die if I venture into the Demon Forest carelessly. It might turn out okay, but it’s not worth risking my life to find out.
This world is not a game. There is no continue button if I die.
Once I get a bit older, I’ll start really working on my swordsmanship and other martial arts so that they’re in shape by the time I grow up. Someday I’ll definitely come here with Teleportation with a view toward proper exploration.
Even someone as cunning and powerful as Master was overcome by the swarming of monsters in the Demon Forest. So even if I were careful, I’m not sure that I can traverse it safely.

“But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on going to the sea.” (Wend)

I spent the next week exploring the Demon Forest from the sky by making high passes overhead with Flight and peering through the tree cover using detection magic.
The shortest path to the sea is straight through the Demon Forest, so I’ve been trying to find a route that doesn’t run through the territory of any dangerous flying monsters that could venture above the canopy.
Obviously, if I sensed a dragon or something I would get out of there in a hurry, but I was dead set on finding a route without any predators. As a result, after a week of searching, I succeeded in finding a narrow flight path through the airspace above the Demon Forest.
Fortunately, monsters never leave their territory, so I did not have to worry about them leaving the Demon Forest to attack me. Also, I can fly just a smidge faster than a dragon if I really go all out, so I figured that I would be safe even if I got in a pinch.
“There are delicious fish in the sea! And I can create my own salt!” (Wend)
I’m sick of thin, lightly salted soup. Even if I can’t get my hands on soy sauce and miso, I can at least have a meal that has some flavor.
The coast has a vast amount of unexploited salt.
Thinking about it gets me all fired up! I shout, “to the sea!” and blast off like a rocket.
I burn a ton of mana and launch myself to unexplored heights at top speed, doing my best to track the “safe” route I had charted. A few minutes later I find myself standing on the shoreline staring out over a vast, unending stretch of sea that disappears into the horizon.

“I did it!” (Wendelin)

This is a place untouched by human hands, with crystal clear water gently lapping against a beautiful sandy beach. Moreover, the coast and sea are not a part of the proximate monster territory, so I couldn’t perceive any threatening presence with my detection magic.
However, I do detect a number of large fish in the sea. Maybe something like a shark. As long as I stick to the shallows, they shouldn’t be a threat.

“First thing’s first… time to eat!” (Wendelin)

I quickly throw together some tackle, bait it with some bread I had been carrying with me, and start fishing on a rock poking out of the sandy beach near the waterline.
The fish aren’t shy at all, so even an amateur fisherman like me can pluck them from the water with relative ease.
In my previous life I was quite capable of cooking for myself, so I have a rough idea of how to go about preparing the fish. I first use Appraisal, a spell that can detect whether an item is poisonous, and find that my catch is safe to eat. It looks like a mackerel. Still, out of abundance of caution I cast Antidote and make sure to cook it well over an open fire before eating it.
Even with nothing more than seawater as seasoning, I thoroughly enjoyed grilled saltwater fish for the first time in a long time. The villagers sometimes catch fish that resemble carp and koi in the irrigation canals of the Baumeister Knight Territory, but they smell of mud and are generally quite unappetizing.
After eating two whole fish I find that I’m still hungry.

“Next is shellfish, crab and lobster.” (Wendelin)

In a tidal pond near where I had been fishing I can see shellfish attached to a rocky outcrop. From here I can see oysters, turban shell snails and abalone. Once I approach I also notice that there are large lobsters and crabs in the pools. They are all collected with ease.
I skewer them with a makeshift spit and cook them over the fire. As they cook they give off a mouthwatering, nostalgic aroma.

“Delicious!” (Wendelin)

I gorge myself with huge bites and eventually, for the first time in a long while, feel that unique joy that can only come from the sea.

 

 


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5 Comments

  1. The Japanese really do love their food, don’t they…? Nearly every light novel or manga I’ve read goes into passionate detail about the food at some point!
    I’m British of course, so I’m used to bland food. We Brits love to eat everyone else’s cuisine instead! ^^

  2. i see a lot of grammer errors, though i’m not native. but it’s just too much. there are even am is are mistakes

  3. I agree, I’ve been noticing that the grammar is just atrocious these last chaps. I know ur trying to keep the novels readability but could you please try editing some I these because the errors are to the point where I almost don’t want to read the novel even though I like it.

    • I had assigned people to edit the earlier chapters as these aren’t my translations to begin with.

      Well due to my absence due to sickness and work, the motivation seems to have been lost. I have been given 4 edited chapters by an external editor, so I guess I will put the out soon.

      For the other chapters, there will have to be new volunteers wanting to re edit the earlier chapters up to 25.

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