Chasing the escaping tentacles and chopping them up, discovering even more thick tentacles by digging them out at the ocean’s floor and chopping them up; and in between, chasing around goldthun swarms, his initial objective, for a bit, trying to catch several of them. Renya, who enjoyed fishing to his heart’s content, stuffed his inventory with so much seafood that he felt slightly uneasy about its capacity, and thus swam back to the wharf.
When he arrived at the wharf Renya stored his katana into his inventory and tried to pull himself up after placing his hands at the wharf’s edge, but he stopped moving for a moment due to the spectacle unfolding on the other side of the wharf.
The first thing he saw was a group of fully armed soldiers as far as the eye could see. Although they were unsure about how to proceed, the sight of them surrounding the wharf, where Renya was trying to pull himself up, with their longswords and spears at the ready was so abnormal that it caused Renya to wonder just what might have happened.
What he saw next were Rona and Kilie sitting around the fire just as before. They were continuing to grill the remaining fish slices on the net, but they were surrounded by soldiers for no apparent reason. They completely looked like criminals, and the looks the two were sending Renya somehow made him feel as if they were blaming him for something.
Nearby, one could see Shion, who was looking in Renya’s direction with gleaming eyes for some reason, and Emil who was also looking at him with gleaming eyes but in a somewhat different meaning than Shion’s, a dangerous glint to be precise. Those two weren’t surrounded by the soldiers, but instead Baron Gordonal stood stock still next to them while folding his arms and making a bitter expression.
Looking even further into the distance, Renya could sporadically see the figures of town residents, who were watching the situation with frightened expressions, beyond the soldiers.
Renya kept hanging at the wharf as if doing a pull-up exercise, thinking about the situation he had swum into.
“What’s going on?”
Not being able to reach a conclusion after thinking it over, Renya asked no one in particular. He did such a thing hoping that someone that understood the current situation would give him an answer, but the one who replied the quickest here was surprisingly Shion.
“Renya in the nude!”
Quite a few soldiers fell over, dropping their weapons. Kilie gazed at Shion as if looking at some kind of disappointing existence. On the other hand, Rona slightly blushed and stared at the ground.
Renya nimbly removed his right hand from the wharf’s edge, and scratched his cheek with the now free hand while holding his body up with just the left hand, “You know, that’s not the answer I’m looking for…”
Come to think of it, Rona also stared at me intently when I was undressing, wasn’t she? Renya recalled.
For an instant Renya wondered what might be so interesting about seeing a nude man, but then he changed his mind as it might not be unusual for women to get excited when looking at a nude man, seeing as men would get excited when seeing a nude woman.
“Welcome back, Renya! Did you catch anything unusual!?” Emil asked with shining eyes, but that wasn’t an explanation of the current situation either.
Saying that Emil seemed to put more importance on her research than naked men was not wrong, but for Renya that information had no use.
“Leaving that aside, an explanation of the current situation…”
“Current situation?” As if saying that she had just noticed, Emil looked at the soldiers around her, and the town’s residents in the distance.
Emil, who had spent a good chunk of time surveying her vicinity, thought for a moment afterwards, and asked Renya with a smile plastered all over her face, “Should I erase them?”
While thinking that it was only natural for the surrounding people to look startled, Renya pulled his body out of the water using only one hand and sat down at the edge of the wharf.
It was a line he would usually interpret as a joke, but since Emil was actually serious, he had to tread carefully. If Renya were to say yes to her question for argument’s sake, it would really lead to a one-sided massacre. Even Renya didn’t have the hobby of meaninglessly turning an innocent city into a bloody hell.
“So, what about the explanation?”
“Look Renya, if two beautiful girls are grilling fish over a fire at a plaza close to the wharf early in the morning, the soldiers on patrol would come and have a look at what’s going on, don’t you think?”
Being introduced as beautiful girls, Rona lowered her gaze even further, whereas Kilie acted strangely bashful. Given that there was no particular protest towards the way they were introduced, Renya urged Emil to continue.
“And once they were questioned by the guards, wasn’t there an idiot that jumped into the ocean by himself?”
“Well, there are some things I’d like to say about that, but I can accept such an evaluation, if absolutely necessary.”
In reality, Renya had intended to explain that he hadn’t done anything that justified calling him an idiot, but in Emil’s eyes his actions were extremely stupid, and in the eyes of the soldiers and residents idiot was too soft an expression. The difference in perception in this area could be allotted to the difference in power and respective position.
“Afterwards it soon turned into a huge uproar. It would have been fine if the idiot were to die all by himself, but since it would turn into a disaster if something went wrong, causing the katurul to get angry, the soldiers from all over town were pulled together, and now we have this mess here. Hearing that it was you who apparently jumped into the water, Shion and I quickly came running over along with the baron.”
“On top of that, Renya…” Shion, who was breathing roughly in a rather questionable way, got close to Renya with her eyes still glued to his chest.
Somehow Renya could feel something like a danger aimed at his body, but since he would have no other option but to jump back into the ocean if he were to try escaping, he forced himself to resist the urge to flee.
“…Once everyone had gathered, explosions could suddenly be heard from within the ocean, things that somehow looked like tentacles could also be seen moving around in a great hurry, and columns of water were repeatedly shot into the air. Don’t you think that those watching such events, would fall into great turmoil?”
Being told so, Renya turned his eyes towards the horizon. He hadn’t cared about it at all while diving, but certainly, when he was chasing the katurul around, the tentacles did break through the water surface sometimes, and when he blew up the ocean’s ground, he felt like a considerable amount of water was driven upwards, however he hadn’t considered how it would appear when seen from the town.
“That’s…I’m terribly sorry.”
“No, I mean, I don’t give a flying damn about it. So, what did you catch, Renya?”
When asked like that, even Renya had no other choice but to show his spoils. He opened his inventory, chose a relatively small amount from the catch within, and pulled it out. Watching a motionless tentacle the size of a child’s arm suddenly appear in Renya’s palm, screams were audible and a commotion took place.
“This is an auxiliary arm of the katurul, isn’t it?” Emil asked.
“Probably. I’ve never seen a master arm, so I can’t say which it is.”
“What are you going to do with this?”
Contrary to their surroundings which had drawn back, Shion brought her face close to Renya’s hand with keen interest. Renya had been slightly worried that it might grow from where it had been cut or stay alive for a while even after being detached from its main body, but even after leaving it alone for some time, it didn’t show any signs of doing such things. Therefore, Renya didn’t caution Shion when she started to poke the severed end of the tentacle with her fingertip.
“I tried to bite it, and it was actually quite delicious.”
“You ate it!?”
Renya nodded at the surprised Shion. Renya also noticed that the faces of the soldiers, who overheard their conversation, froze, very likely out of fear, but he decided that there wouldn’t be any point in worrying about it.
He decided to leave it alone because he believed that eating marine products raw was probably going to be very difficult to explain to this world’s residents. Even in my former world, countries other than Japan didn’t really have a passion for raw marine products, hence there’s no way that residents of a completely different world would be able to understand, Renya judged.
“It has a crunchy consistency and a faintly salty taste. It’s a fairly interesting ingredient, I’d say?”
“I-Is that so…?”
“Renya, obviously you’re going to share several of them with me, right? For research purposes!”
“You won’t eat them…? I’m not really eager to do so, but well…there’s something I want you to look at as well.”
For Renya who only perceived the tentacles as foodstuff, Emil’s request to give her some of it as research material wasn’t something he was keen on. However, as he wanted her to look at something else he had stuffed into his inventory, Renya resolved himself to hand over several katurul tentacles as a sort of payment.
“Something you want me to look at? I wonder what it is…wait, this isn’t slimy, it’s squishy, though.”
Emil was the owner of a void storage and thus she gleefully stored several tentacles, which Renya had taken out of his inventory, into her own storage. At the same time Renya retrieved the object he wanted Emil to look at.
The thing Renya wanted Emil to look at were undersea stones that got broken and scattered about when Renya was attacking the katurul’s tentacles with slashes and magic while trying to capture more tentacles. In certain areas of the stones’ surfaces, where small barnacle-like shells or some types of seaweeds completely unknown to Renya should be clinging, there was nothing, but what Renya worried the most were the fractured surface areas that were exposed for the first time when he broke them.
“Look, the surface over here has a somewhat metallic shine.”
“Hmm? Let me see.”
After she finished putting away her share of tentacles, Emil brought her face close to the part of the stone Renya was pointing at. Kilie, who had drawn near without them noticing, brought her face close as well.
“Assuming it’s an ore, it seems to be one with fairly high purity.”
“Hmm, well, from what I can see, it might be possible to get the metal by simply throwing it into a furnace after crushing it enough…these…maybe…” Emil stared at the cross-section of the stone for a while, but apparently having suddenly hit upon some kind of idea, she let a finger run across the stone’s cross-section.
As if tracing Emil’s finger, something that seemed like characters were depicted on the stone, solidifying into real characters while radiating.
“You can use your own…”
“Just hurry it up. You’ve reached the point where you can use alchemy, right?”
Emil had a massive amount of mana when compared to a normal person, but if compared to Renya, who had an almost infinite amount, using Renya’s mana would doubtlessly be more cost-efficient. Renya, who poured mana into the characters drawn by Emil while thinking that it really was something she could have activated by herself, showed a faint expression of surprise as he felt mana being drawn out from within his body. After all it was decisively more mana than he had expected.
As Renya continued to provide mana while feeling slightly tired, the light of the characters slowly gained in intensity. Before long, the characters themselves started to smoothly flow down from the stone’s surface onto Emil’s palm who had just waited for them. When all characters had trickled down, only a simple stone without any metallic glitter was left behind.
On the other hand, Emil, who had caught all the characters with her palm, lightly clutched her hand once, and when she opened it again, silver clods the size of gravel grains could be seen on her palm.
“That just now was the alchemy spell <Refine>, just so you know.” Emil explained.
“A technique that will make any smith cry, I’m sure. So, what are those small grains?”
“Yeah, well…until I tried refining them, I wasn’t confident either.” Emil looked at the silver grains atop her palm while lightly rolling them around, and then made eye contact with Kilie who was peeking at Emil’s palm.
“Oh sorry, I’m the peddler Kilie. I did business with Renya a little while ago.”
“Ah, okay. What do these look like to you?”
Kilie folded her arms and made a brooding face after being asked so by Emil.
“I tried to appraise them, but…although I don’t know why, I grasped that they are ores. However, my understanding doesn’t reach as far as grasping what kind of ore it is…”
Renya remembered that he had received such a skill as well, although he felt as if it had been a very, very long time ago. He had tried to appraise the grains before relying on others, but probably because his own knowledge was too lacking, the appraisal’s result was limited to no more than, <Result: Metal Ore?>
“As long as there’s no discrepancy in the analysis, I assume that it’s orichalcum from its appearance.” Kilie said.
“You sure got good eyes. I have the same opinion.” Emil confirmed.
“Orichalcum?” Renya asked by parroting the word he had never heard before, but the reactions in his surroundings were completely different.
Starting with the baron, all officials of the Gordonal Barony showed visible changes on their expressions. Rona and Shion looked at Emil with expressions that revealed hat they were slightly taken aback, but Emil and Kilie, who had voiced out the metal’s name, remained calm without any particular change to their expressions.