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T/N: Magic Arts -> Divine Arts
Renya spreads out a net over the open fire prepared in the kitchen and grills onigiri.
He had stored a large quantity of rice from his home in his inventory.
He didn’t have much intention to use it, but with the elven country regularly sending a considerable amount of rice, and since it had reached such a point that it was possible to sporadically find rice at Kukrika’s market, Renya eagerly stocked up on it by making use of his funds.
Frau, who holds the purse strings, was often quite strict when it comes to wasting money. But when buying up rice, she never said anything, because it’s Renya’s favorite dish. Nevertheless, Renya rarely complains about food, but she wasn’t stingy when providing funds for rice, as it’s unknown when they will be able to procure the next batch and if they don’t buy new stock when it’s up for sale it might run out quickly.
Unless you limit yourself to calling the dish with its general term onigiri, there exist a great and diverse variety of onigiri.
Beginning with the type of rice used, the way of cooking it, its contents and moreover how you process the onigiri after shaping it, one can create as many different types as one likes.
You might as well say that the repertoire is infinite if you don’t care about its taste.
In the first place, it’s wrong to call something overly eccentric as part of the repertoire, since dishes are all about the taste, is Renya’s personal belief.
In order to make really basic onigiri this time, he cooks a large amount of rice in the kitchen built by the soldiers, smears miso on the onigiri after lightly roasting them once and then grills them well.
The one handling that process is only Renya with Croire assisting him as a helper, but the miso onigiri made by the two, which are grilled one after the other at an unthinkable speed and skill, keep vanishing successively at an unbelievable rate.
I brought two casks of miso in my inventory, but it might not last for the duration of the training if it continues to be consumed at this speed, Renya fears.
Once that happens, it would be best to switch over to the soy sauce which I have brought in caskets as well, but although I brought along two caskets of soy sauce, I can’t say for sure that it will be enough.
Next to Renya who’s assiduously grilling the onigiri, meat that uses miso as base and wild grasses that were picked up by Croire in the vicinity are cooking together inside a cylindrical container heated by fire while making simmering noises.
First thing in the morning, the soldiers had hunted a big boar and dismantled it right away. After chopping the meat into suitable chunks, they cooked it together with the wild grass in a broth blended with miso. Renya arbitrarily named that dish other-world-style tonjiru.
Ladles of that soup are poured out one after the other and its volume is decreasing at a staggering rate.
As the boar’s meat was too much, one pot was not enough to hold it all. And since the ones eating were a group of 100 soldiers, Renya had lined up several of them. However, as many of the pots were now empty Renya had to remake a whole bunch of new dishes.
“Somehow I feel like I came here as a cook.” (Renya)
Even as he grumbles, Renya’s hands don’t stop moving.
He dips his hands in water that has been prepared with a bit of salt mixed into it, quickly grasps the hot rice with his hands and swiftly shapes it into a triangle.
When he placed it on top of the net, it was taken off the net by a hand, which stretched out from the side, even though the onigiri hasn’t even been grilled yet.
“Hey! What are you doing!?” (Renya)
“I’m sorry, Instructor-dono! It’s because I don’t have the time to wait for it to finish grilling!”
Even while apologizing to Renya, the soldier, who had stolen the onigiri, stuffed it into his mouth and started to chew.
Before Renya realizes it, there isn’t even a single grilled onigiri left anymore.
The production of onigiri can’t keep up with the demand at all.
Once he turns his gaze while sighing towards the fence, which is hiding the campsite, he catches sight of some silhouettes that have burst into flames, while producing crackling sounds, in a big hole that had been dug out without him being aware of it.
It was a hole that should be quite deep, but due to there being numerous things being thrown into it, the hole has already been filled up to the brim. It was a view that made him worry whether the fire will ever burn out.
Smoke rises alongside the blazing flames, but Croire is secretly controlling the smoke with wind sorcery so that it doesn’t waft over.
I’m pretty sure that eating would be out of the question if that smoke ended up wafting this way, Renya judges.
What had been thrown into the hole were monster corpses ranging in types and sizes.
The monsters that were hunted by the soldiers inside the forest, had their magic stones gouged out on the spot and were burned at a newly built incineration site near the campsite. Such tasks are currently being carried out at the pit.
“Remember, you guys! Continue hunting the monsters in the vicinity and don’t let even a single one live! They are opponents that will spread much harm if you let one of them get away! There’s no need to hold back. This is also Instructor-dono’s wish! Search for them even if you have to split apart grassroots and annihilate them completely! It’s a preliminary skirmish before the one with the underlings of those creepy nobles! Display the fruits of your training to Instructor-dono!” (Keith)
Keith held such a speech in front of the lined-up soldiers early in the morning.
Certainly, the one who gave that order was Renya.
He had summoned Keith the previous evening and informed him of the training contents,
“The objective is to have you personally experience something similar to real combat. To be precise, I will have you earnestly fight against the monsters living around here. There might be quite dangerous monsters too, but I won’t listen to any complaints. The scheduled training period is ten days, but be aware that it depends on the training results during that period whether you will be able to return to the city afterwards. There’s no way that I will allow you to fight the nobles’ private army in a state that makes it easy to see that you will lose.” (Renya)
Renya told Keith with the intention of saying “Apart from ability, I cannot afford to let soldiers, who don’t have an adequate battle resolve, fight”, but Keith interpreted that in his own way and apparently adjusted the expectations slightly above what Renya had planned.
“Soldiers, I’d like you to listen!” (Shion)
Shion instigated them even further.
“Even you are going to hold a speech!?” Renya was surprised, but Shion apparently didn’t notice his expression.
“Exterminating monsters here and now won’t only serve as the finishing touch to our training. You defeating the monsters also has the meaning of stopping any damage that might have befallen the people of our Trident Principality in the future. I’m Shion, a princess of Trident Principality. Upon my duty as princess, I promise you that I will always fight at the front line until this training ends. Soldiers, I ask you to assist me in that!” (Shion)
Renya wanted to retort “A princess doesn’t have that kind of duty”, but it’s not an atmosphere that would allow him to make such an interjection.
“You guys! Even Her Highness the Princess has made such wish! Now is the time to show our power and pride as the national army! Together with Her Highness the Princess!” (Keith)
“”””Together with Her Highness the Princess!!””””
“Death to the monsters!” (Keith)
“”””Death to the monsters!””””
“Renya-san? Are they going to start a war against someone?” (Croire)
Seeing the soldiers off, who are departing from the campsite while raising battle cries and hoisting up their weapons, with a somewhat blank look, Croire asks Renya, but Renya lacks the words to answer her with.
This sort of instigation was too much responsibility for Renya.
Telling them to get rid of their shyness first, telling them to somehow change their mood or expecting them to keep their mouths shut and fight, there were quite a few things I wanted to say, but talking like Keith or Shion is probably impossible for me, isn’t it? Renya ends up thinking.
What Renya wanted to have the soldiers experience in this forest was the act of killing living beings with their own hands.
It’s a fact that something like that can be only be called natural for soldiers, but according to what Renya had heard and learned from Shion, a big war hadn’t taken place on the human continent for several centuries.
It seems that the soldiers of all the nations occasionally fought, if it’s restricted to the monsters that appear once in a while, but it’s no like an entire army could experience something like that. Once he tried asking Keith, even the hundred soldiers participating in this time’s training were the kind of soldiers that have never actually killed someone despite receiving training for it.
Once the time for real combat comes, it will make a big difference whether they have such an experience or not, Renya anticipates.
But, even if it may be true, there aren’t any people in the area people who can be killed off without a problem.
As a result of pondering over various options, Renya concluded that tossing the soldiers into the Miasma Forest was likely the best option.
He also considered the possibility of going to the Forest Labyrinth, but compared to the Miasma Forest, it’s narrow and unsuited for large-scale combat.
Moreover, the current Forest Labyrinth is in a state of requiring observation. He couldn’t imagine that it would be a good idea to provoke the overseers by messing around in the labyrinth.
For the time being, since they were able to march into the forest by themselves without me having to urge them forward, I suppose it’s fine as is, he consented.
Thinking about what he could do in the meantime, Renya decided he would get the soldiers’ food ready and asked Croire to help him. But, after starting the preparations, things began to become strange.
First, half of the soldiers suddenly returned.
Renya wondered whether they got cold feet, but once they came to the campsite, they immediately returned to the sleeping area, took off their armor and started to sleep.
In front of the puzzled Renya, 25 soldiers nearby started to dig out a hole outside the fence and began to gather fallen branches and leaves to be used as fuel.
At this point Renya noticed the soldiers’ intention.
Somehow it seems that they have taken the words 「have you earnestly fight」 seriously.
In other words, for the sake of fighting earnestly, they split the unit of 100 soldiers into four squads.
While one squad fights, one squad is in charge of looting the raw materials and disposing of the corpses, and the remaining two teams focus on resting their bodies while waiting for their turn. By doing such rotation, they apparently plan to hunt without rest until the end of the training.
In that case, there was also the opinion that it might be fine to set up a three-shift-rotation with three squads, but Renya wanted to evaluate them highly for deliberately splitting into four with more single squads.
Due to this, it’s possible to take longer breaks and to take one single squad as surplus in case something unexpected happens.
Of course, even Renya doesn’t expect them to be able to fight earnestly for the long duration of ten days, even if they tried to do such strenuous work.
Even so, I guess I will watch them thrive as long as they can, Renya decided.
The monsters corpses that are continually carried in are cut apart, have their magic stones taken and are thrown into the fire.
Wild animals that are considered a threat to people despite not being monsters are skillfully and efficiently hunted and have their pelts removed
Their edible parts get immediately cooked or are chopped up and stored for maturing. The inedible parts and the trash are burned together with the monsters.
Renya ends up astonished because they expressly built one hut that shuts out the sunlight and moreover has a good ventilation for the sake of preserving the meat by making it mature.
Be that as it may, things such as the monster materials and magic stones as well as the animal materials and meat were delivered successively in front of Renya’s eyes to the point that they gradually form a hill.
They will probably stop once the sun goes down, Renya thought lightly, but with Keith’s brief comment “From here on out it’s training for nighttime combat”, they didn’t stop fighting while illuminating their surroundings with torches and spells which were cast above their palms.
If they do such kind of combat, injured soldiers will be an obvious consequence.
Renya can’t use divine arts.
Unrelated to whether he has any motivation to learn them or not, Renya has never believed in god.
Different from sorcery, divine arts are exercised by borrowing the power from god who really exists in this world.
That means, someone who doesn’t believe in the lender of the power can’t use divine arts.
Also, something like making valuable healing art users accompany the soldiers in their training is next to impossible.
Healing art users are people that ought to be sheltered. If something happens to them after having them accompany in the training, it will result in a situation that can’t be undone.
The circumstance of there being no type of healing wasn’t very desirable for Renya, but even so, the medicines he received from Emil and the medicinal plants that Croire picked up in the Miasma Forest somewhat worked as a substitute.
For light injuries they used Croire’s medicinal plants and for slightly heavier injuries they administered Emil’s recovery medicines.
“Renya-san… humans, they get stronger, by going mad, don’t they?” (Croire)
Obviously clear from the slenderness of their body lines, elves are quite inferior in regards to stamina when compared to humans.
In the Croire’s eyes the soldiers’ behavior of continuing to earnestly hunt in a three-shift-rotation* seems to look like some kind of madness. (T/N: probably error by author, as they are using a two-shifts-rotation)
“Aren’t they fighting with vigor once they got on with the mood? I’m sure those…” (Renya)
Renya answers while looking at the magic stones being transported in a carefree manner as if carrying pebbles from a river bed.
The amount of materials invested into this excursion, wasn’t that much and it didn’t cost a lot either. However, after deducting these materials to the ones that were piling up in front of Renya, it gave quite a surplus.
Since Renya himself can charge the principality with the costs, he doesn’t really care much about money, but Renya thinks that it will be a happy occasion for the soldiers if there’s something like a bonus after the difficult training.
While tossing large amounts of rice into a container that was filled with water in order to cook more rice, which had once again ran out, Renya began to count his chickens before they hatched and wondered just how much profit they would be able to make.