In the peaceful scenery of birds chirping and small animals moving about, a loud explosion happened. An enormous impact onto the hardened rock surface of the empty land.
Rocks were shattered and blown away, intense clouds of dust danced in the winds.
「This will do. 」
The culprit that made the rocks explode commented, seeing his work.
「Having magic sure is convenient. 」
The peddler Michelle too commented so with a stupefied and impressed face. However, leaving aside Ardis, the person himself, even the other company, Nere and Rona didn’t seem very surprised.
For them, it was not actually that surprising. Ardis released arts that focused explosion to one point.
A crater of eighty meters in diameter was made at the place it impacted.
「I think this much will be five meters deep but……」
「Excavating ores with magic like that, it’s not just on the level of shocking. 」
「Isn’t it fine, it’s effective after all. 」
「Well, I’m not complaining about that. ……Oh right, the dusts are settling, let’s get down. 」
At the center of the crater, the deepest part was about five meters below ground. Michelle prompted that it was time to go as they headed on the gentle slope down to the center of the crater.
Ardis together with Michelle, Nere and Rona were walking westwards from the mining village, Glock Village. It was to discover the 『Heavy Iron vein』 that Sera talked about.
「Is there really a vein here? 」
「Sera-sama had said so. There must be one. 」
Rona’s soft mutter that didn’t enter Michelle’s ears was instead responded by Nere in a flat tone.
「It’s only Nere that is so confident. 」
「You shall soon be confident as well. 」
「I pray that I will be. It’s not a good idea to start exploding everywhere to find a vein after all. 」
While hearing the two’s conversation, Ardis followed behind Michelle.
Michelle didn’t care about the argument behind her, but picked up a piece of rock that was at the center of the crater.
She took out a magnifying glass from her pocket and started inspecting it seriously.
An unintentional mutter, Michelle threw the rock to Ardis at the back.
「How is it? 」
Ardis who is not a specialist could tell no difference between it and a normal rock.
「I’m not a specialist, so I can’t say for sure but. It seems like the Ojou-chan with the brown hair was right. 」
Michelle stood back up, and tapped on the ground with her foot lightly before continuing.
「The rocks here does contain Heavy Iron. But regarding its purity and content, that’s up to ore specialist to determine. 」
As expected, even Ardis and Michelle didn’t expect that much. Ardis had even brought out Michelle from the hidden village especially to find for an ore vein that wasn’t even confirmed to exist rather than someone from the Glock Village.
Even though the 『Bell Chaser』 that used to be around the Glock Village was subjugated, it’s still possible to encounter beasts or other demonic beings.
Regarding that, Michelle who is used to travelling with mercenaries are easier to protect.
Since she had seen Heavy Iron ores as a peddler several times before, she could at least tell if there’s any Heavy Iron at all.
「So there really was a vein here……」
For Ardis who listened to Sera half-believingly was also only half happy.
With the new Heavy Iron vein found in a promising location near the Glock Village, they can let the refugees work and offset some cost of the food that Ardis will provide.
Even though he can barely afford it if he vomited out all his savings, it’s still too much for Ardis alone to bear everyone’s food cost for the next five months.
「Taking some sample back to the Glock Village will allow us to fetch better details. 」
Nodding at Nere’s words, Ardis started throwing the rocks into a sack.
「It’s fine and all that we got a source of income but. The problem with transporting and procurement of the food are still there. No matter what, I myself can’t possibly handle that much you know? 」
「Well, I have my plans. Let’s talk about it more when we get back. 」
Replying lightly to Michelle, Ardis flung the sack full of ores to his back. Letting the ore specialist in the Glock village examine the sample they retrieved, it seems like the quality was 『Not bad』.
It depends on the size but, if they can continue mine for ores of that quality, then it should be more than enough to feed three thousand people, the specialist said.
The ore specialist then went immediately with the guards of the Nyrestia house to the site in question.
The Glock Village is now busy in clearing land, building and hunting. Even so, their number are still in the thousands.
They have more than enough manpower. A few hors after Ardis and the others brought back the ore sample, fifty or so men can be seen going to the site along with escorts.
Seeing the Glock village getting lively over the discovery of an ore vein, Ardis and the other went on the road back to the hidden village.
Ardis who arrived back in the hidden village after two hours of flight immediately gathered the related people in his own house and started a discussion.
The participants are Sera, Michelle, Nere, Rona and members of 『Bright Stars of White Night』.
「You’re not calling the village chief or the other councils? 」
「Since it’s doesn’t concern this village. I want the minimum people to know about it. 」
Ardis who answered Sera’s question was then met with another question from Ted with a strange expression.
「Then why we are here too? 」
「You guys are trustworthy and there’s something that I need to ask from you and Michelle too. 」
「Something to ask? 」
The natural question was from Orphellia.
「Transportation of food to the refugees in Glock village, and also the help in carrying Heavy Iron ores out from the village. 」
Hearing Ardis’s answers, Ted and Orphellia started looking strange.
「Certainly, we have been being Michelle’s escort recently but. We are not caravan though? We don’t like to carry stuff for that long. 」
「I know Ted. It’s not like I’m asking for you to be there throughout the day. The period is as promised before. However, there’s a secret that I need you to keep. 」
Norris who had been hearing the conversation with a smile reacted at those words.
Ardis replied so shortly, and asked the golden partner at his side.
「Rona, okay? 」
「No problem. 」
Saying so, Rona stood up and walked a little further from the other people.
「About Rona? I don’t intend to blabber about him speaking human language. 」
「Nope, it’s something different. 」
In the hidden village, it’s known that Rona and Rupus can speak human language. And so, Michelle and Ted and the others that frequent this village naturally knows about that as well.
Although that certainly isn’t something to be spread around, it’s not like it’s a important secret to be kept.
「Look closely. 」
Ardis said so to Ted and the others, and then grabbed onto a dagger that was sheathed.
Under the twelve eyes’ surveillance, Ardis opened the 『Gate』 and put the dagger in it. The dagger that entered the gate disappeared from their eyes.
As Ted and Orphellia was getting surprised, Ardis said 「There」, and gathered everyone’s gaze to Rona.
And then Rona was biting onto the dagger that Ardis just sent over to the other side with the gate.
「Fu――n, that’s interesting. 」
Then, it was Nere’s turn to be impressed, Sera as well smiled seemingly finding it interesting.
「Pass it back, Rona. 」
The dagger then disappeared again. The next moment, Ardis retrieved the dagger from the gate, and Norris suddenly started laughing.
「Ahaha, that’s amazing! So you can exchange things even from a distance!? 」
「Something like that. 」
Strictly speaking, it’s not a direct exchange of items but, the point is that Ardis and Rona can both exchange items even from a distance away.
「That’s quite the display of ignoring physical laws. 」
Sera smiled bitterly, and then asked her next question.
「Is there a limit to the exchange distance? 」
「Who knows. Never tested it, so I’m not sure either. However, I haven’t felt there was a restriction in distance yet. 」
In the first place, it is a round trip to the other world, from that point alone, physical distance is already meaningless.
「I see. I get what you’re trying to say. So either you or Rona will be in the Glock village, and the other will be in another village and sending in supplies without regards to distance right? If transportation can be done in moments, then certainly moving the Heavy Iron ores won’t be trouble either. 」
Even though with an understanding expression, Michelle’s brows seemed frowning.
「Aah, I see. Certainly, if we transported the items from where we bought it, then there’s practically no problem with transportation. 」
Even Orphellia who had been looking with round eyes could understand the use after hearing Michelle’s explanation.
Unlike Orphellia who was impressed, Ardis apologized a little awkwardly to Michelle who seemed soury.
「Well……, about that. I must apologize to Michelle. 」
Michelle for the past two years had been acting as the middleman of trading between the hidden village and various other places.
Even if they had Sera’s special charm, it’s still a dangerous trip, on top of that, it’s not that great in terms of business.
Of course, Michelle accepted it knowingly but, naturally, it would’ve been more profitable for her if they traded with this method.
If Ardis had been using the gate to procure food supplies, then there might not even be a need to involve Michelle.
Ardis didn’t do that to hide the existence of the gate, but at the same time only increased the burden of Michelle and the others.
It wouldn’t be weird even if she became furious but, Michelle just snorted and accepted it, looking given up.
「I guess you have your own reasons too……. Even though you asked, it was myself that made the decision in the end. I won’t blame you for that. 」
「Seriously……, not just flying in the sky, you can even send things instantly at a distance? It makes me feel like a fool for carrying goods on carriage. 」
Despite grumbling on by herself, Ardis was relieved that she didn’t seem to be blaming Ardis.
「But still. Even if you can transport items instantly, there’s still a limit right? It’s too unnatural to buy too much food with this little people, and even if sent to Glock village, there’s a need to keep it safe there. I still can’t see how I can possibly handle it all on my own. 」
「Yeah, I have some thoughts about that as well. 」
「If they’re bought by some large business association, then it wouldn’t be so unnatural right? 」
「Large association? You got somewhere in mind? 」
「Well yeah. I got one. 」
Answering so to Michelle, Ardis recalled the young woman president of a business association with a weird speaking habit.