41 – Actually Dangerous Herb Search
“Isn’t mistress being a bully here? Telling a newbie to go herb searching, in this season of all times?”
“I-I say, I completely thought Calsey would stop him here… But for her to send him away with a smile…”
Eru was in a slight panic, as she switched her gaze between Calsey, the monster hunter, and the entrance.
“W-We have to hurry up and chase him! If we don’t stop Tatsumi…”
Eru who came out of the counter with a commotion wanted to dash out of the bar just like that.
But Calcedonia who was sitting on the counter stopped her.
“No need to worry. My husband, he’ll bring back the Grendan Herb within a single bell.”
The [Single bell] Calcedonia talked about was the interval between two rings of the bells the temple sounded to announce the time. Back on Earth, it’s the equivalent of 2 hours.
“Hey Miss <<Holy Maiden>>, no matter what, ain’t this a bit too reckless?”
The monster hunter shrugged his shoulders helplessly.
“Because this town’s quite big, it will take some time to reach the south gate from here if he’s walking. And from the south gate to the forest, in this season if he’s going by foot then it’ll at least take a bell of time you know? Certainly, there is only a plain from the gate to the forest without much obstacles, but that only counts in seasons without snow. In this season, you gotta be careful as you walk so you don’t trip.”
A season without snow and a season where the snow is piled up. Just which one would make a trip longer goes without saying.
“Besides, while the Grendan herb grows all season, it’s a pain searching for it in this season. But there’s snow piled up all over the place.”
He had to advance through the plains while pushing through the snowfields and had to dig up snow to search for the herb.
Though it was only one stalk, finding that one stalk was by no means an easy task. It’s a heavy labor that exhausted one’s stamina and willpower.
“And by the way, it’s already the 5th bell now right? There’s only about 2 bells remaining till the sun goes down. If someone camps outside in this season, it might even end up with that person dying… Calsey, does Tatsumi have any experience camping out in this season.
The 5th bell Eru mentioned was 2 P.M. on Earth— after 2 more bells, or at 6 P.M., the sun would go down.
It takes about 4 hours for a round trip, so if he returned before dusk then he had almost no time left over to search for the herb.
“If it’s for seasons without snow he has received training for camping outside from the temple but, he doesn’t have any experience for seasons with snow.”
As a part of his training, Tatsumi had experience of camping outside but just as she said, it was when there was no snow.
Tatsumi had no experience of camping a night out in seasons like this when the cold was severe.
And like Eru said, if one was careless camping outside in this season, he or she could potentially freeze to death.
Hearing what Calcedonia said, Eru and the monster hunter became even more nervous.
But, Calcedonia was exceedingly calm as she didn’t even show a hint of impatience.
“Hey, Miss <<Holy Maiden>>. Is this really okay? At this rate, that laddie might not ever return? Ain’t he your lover?”
“That’s right Calsey, at this rate Tatsumi might end up as Lint said and…”
The monster hunter called Lint was worried like it was his own problem. Seems like he had a character which is used to looking out for others.
Calcedonia observed the monster hunter called Lint anew.
He looked to be in his mid-30s or early 40s. There was a kind of dignity overflowing from his being, he should be a really skillful hunter.
Actually, all the equipment he had was from Monster materials. If he wasn’t skilled enough, then he could not have hunted some of them.
He, who was worrying about Tatsumi as if it was his own business, made a really good impression on Calcedonia.
“It’s alright. My husband will be back soon. Of course, with the target herb in hand.”
That’s why Calcedonia replied to Lint with a smile on her face.
After that, there was a bizarre atmosphere hanging around the [Elven Resthouse].
Eru and Lint who could not calm down kept of fidgeting in anxiousness as they turned their eyes toward the entrance a number of times. There were a few times other visitors came in through the door, and every time that happened their gaze full of expectation quickly turned into dejection.
The other monster hunters had their own thoughts on this.
Just like how there were guys who were completely indifferent about Tatsumi’s matter, there were also people who were like Lint and kept looking at the door.
Among them, there were also people who were betting whether or not he would come back alive, so the overall atmosphere was a bit chaotic.
Within all that, only Calcedonia was perfectly relaxed as she drank the tea brewed by Eru.
And then, just as Calcedonia said, when 1 bell of time finally passed,
“I’m ba-…….. huh?”
Tatsumi returned to the [Elven Rest House] with a somewhat carefree attitude.
All the Monster hunters present in the bar looked at Tatsumi in astonishment simultaneously.
While being perplexed by the abnormal air of the bar, Tatsumi approached the counter where Eru and Calcedonia were waiting.
“Yes, Miss Eru. It’s this right?”
Saying that, what Tatsumi took out was a vibrant herb with some dirt hanging on the roots, and snow on the body.
It was the Grendan herb, this test’s target.
“……T-That’s certainly a Grendan but… H-How did you do it so quickly…?”
“That’s… a secret I’m afraid.”
Tatsumi suddenly said with a blink.
Though there wasn’t really a reason to hide it, he shouldn’t indiscreetly boast about his powers. Judging that, Tatsumi dodged Eru’s question.
Lint, on the other hand, was seriously looking at the Herb brought by Tatsumi.
“….Yup…. This doesn’t look like a piece he’d bring after buying it somewhere. Judging by the snow and dirt, he didn’t pick this too long ago… Hey lad, where did you pick this herb from?”
“Of course, from the south forest Miss Eru told me about, but?”
“No, certainly the only place around here with Grendan herbs would be around the south forest but… Just how did you go and come back in such a short amount of…. Lad, are you by chance a mage?”
“Yes, I am a mage.”
While he replied to Lint with a smile he secretly thought ‘A mana user to be precise.’
Lint crossed his arms with a growl and kept staring at the Grendan herb Tatsumi brought back.
The other monster hunters were looking at his silhouette with varied expressions.
People who admired him because he could bring it back in such a short time, people who doubted him thinking he cheated, and people who were sad because they lost the bet.
Among them, the only person who had no doubt at all about Tatsumi’s achievement, Calcedonia, approached him with a smile.
“Dear, good work. And welcome back.”
“Yup, I’m back, Calsey.”
They just smiled as they looked at each other. For these two, they didn’t need words to communicate.
Eru and Lint were looking at them with marvel.
The other monster hunters at the bar also sent flying jeers one after another.
But, as long as Calcedonia had Tatsumi all the jeers would turn into blessings, and Tatsumi too had long grown accustomed to these kinds of reactions.
Tatsumi then looked at Eru and asked her about the test.
“So, did I pass the test?”
“Yes! I, Erulula Zaphyra Fyrasilula Akatsuka as the mistress of the [The Elf’s Resthouse] gladly approve of Tatsumi as a monster hunter, though a novice.”
As Eru declared, everyone started to cheer.
“Work hard from now, rookie!”
“Don’t get too optimistic and do something stupid you hear me?”
“If ya get hurt then you’ll make the pretty lady sad.”
“Don’t get too over familiar with mistress bastard!!”
There were many monster hunters and each of them showed different reactions.
Though a few of them were completely indifferent about him, most of them comfortably accepted the rookie.
Tatsumi finally was publicly acknowledged as a monster hunter who would frequent the [Elven Resthouse] from now on.
Surrounding Tatsumi and Calcedonia like a ring, the monster hunters were interrogating them on how exactly he could’ve brought back a Grendan herb so quickly.
“About that, I used a bit of magic.”
“This times herb searching was really compatible with my husband’s magic.”
Tatsumi and Calcedonia answered the monster hunters’ questions with that.
While Eru and Lint wanted to know more of the details about the magic, as long as they weren’t willing to talk Eru and Lint would probably not press them.
Actually, the test this time was really compatible with Tatsumi’s magic affinity.
The most troubling obstacle of the test was definitely the large amount of snow piled up on the plains.
The snow obstructed movement and hid the tracks of the herb.
But this wasn’t really much of an obstruction in front of Tatsumi’s magic.
By using <<Instant Transition>> he could remove the hindrance of snow.
If he used the roofs to go out of the town, then there really would not be much to obstruct his view, as he could then easily use <<Instant Transition>>.
Well, of course, his <<Instant Transition>> also had a few limitations.
Although it could be said Tatsumi had an unlimited supply of mana, the amount he could actually store in his body at a time was limited.
That amount was even smaller than Calcedonia, just a bit more than the average mage.
In the past, when he first used <<Instant Transition>> he used an amount far greater than Calecdonia’s, but that was when he was in a subconscious or berserk state and normally, he was unable to do that.
Because the farther he teleported, the larger the amount of mana needed increased, so no matter what the distance of one teleport was limited.
Of course, even if he used up all the mana with 1 teleport, the next second it would all be but replenished from the surrounding so, yes, it was true he could only cross a limited distant with one teleport. But all he had to do is repeat that.
Tatsumi easily reached the forest with repeated transfers, so after that, he rested a bit to recover his stamina. Then he started to search for the herb.
This is where his <<Instant Transition>> ability really shined.
Tatsumi used the scabbard of his sword to draw a suitably large circle in the snow. Then he transferred it all away.
By doing this he had no need to go out of his way to dig up all the snow.
By the way, the reason he drew the circle was because doing this helped him solidify the image he had to transfer the snow.
Repeating this a few times, he found the target herb.
And after he found the herb there was no need to hurry.
Tatsumi examined the surroundings of the forest. He memorized exactly where which type of herbs grew, as it might come in handy in the future.
The suburbs and forest surrounding the royal capital had no fierce monsters, so Tatsumi circled around the place with a nonchalant attitude and finally after his stamina was fully recovered, he returned the same way he got there.
“Ah, That’s right!! Hey! Tatsumi, if it’s okay want to exchange phone numbers and address?”
As Tatsumi and Calcedonia were happily speaking with the monster hunters, Eru suddenly spoke out.
“No well, I don’t mind exchanging but, we can’t use cellphones in this world right?”
“Isn’t it okay? Come on, it’s all about the meaning, the meaning! Uwah! Exchanging numbers and addresses, so nostalgic!”
Tatsumi smiled bitterly seeing the delightful Eru.
Certainly, as Eru said, she did not have the chance to exchange contacts with someone in this world.
Though they won’t be able to communicate normally with their phones, there’s no harm in exchanging their contacts.
“I guess that’s right, even if it’s just the ambiance.”
As Tatsumi once again brought out his phone, Eru also took out a thin palm sized and transparent board from her pockets.
“Perhaps… this is a phone from the 2080s?”
“Yes, other than this there were also the laying-types which were implemented directly into the brain but, my husband disliked those so I also only used these types.”
“I see, as expected of the future. But, how do you charge this?”
“Ufufu, actually, I brought a lot of things when I came here.”
As Eru said smugly, Tatsumi looked at the direction she pointed at. There, he saw a small palm sized machine put in a nice spot.
Of course, it was Tatsumi’s first time seeing such a machine but, he could somewhat guess what use it had.
“Is that by chance… a mini solar power generator?”
“Bingo. But it can’t really output that much electricity. At most, I use it to power some small electrical appliances in my room.
It seems like Eru had made ample preparations before coming to this side.
If by chance, Tatsumi also had some time to prepare before crossing over, then what would be the things he would bring, he wondered.
But as soon as he thought of that, he pushed the idea towards the back of his mind.
It was too late to think about changing the past. And besides, Tatsumi found a wonderful treasure in this world, greater than any handy device he could bring, or any delicious food he could eat.
After exchanging contacts with Eru, he looked towards the wonderful treasure— towards the silver haired girl sitting by him.
“Is something the matter, dear?”
“It’s nothing. I’m just happy because I have you by my side”
At Tatsumi’s sudden words, Calcedonia happily blushed.