Magi Craft Meister 439
13 Stronghold Enhancement Arc
13-27 Inado Mine
Let’s go back in time a little, to the middle of June. Back when the Technology Expo in the Shouro Empire hadn’t been held yet.
Day after day, the council of the Klein Kingdom was in disarray.
The topic in question today was the former Earl Walter’s Inado Mine.
The policy of splitting the former Earl Walter’s estate and giving it to the new aristocrats who have made achievements had already been decided.
Toka Village would go to Lithia Farheight. And the Inado Mine to the east would be added to Jin’s leasehold land as well.
But there was a problem with the Inado Mine.
At the Inado Mine, gold, silver, and some Magi Crystal and so on could be gathered. They account for about 5 percent of all mineral resources, both as a source of income for the kingdom and as a resource to support industry.
It was truly regrettable to let go of that 5 percent of the kingdom’s source of income.
It may be that human beings are reluctant to let go of something when need arises, even if they had decided to do so themselves.
“Then, could we agree to say that Jin’s land will be officially leased from August 1st, and that as much mining as possible will be done until then?”
Alois III, King of the Kingdom of Klein, sighed softly at the teasing of his ministers.
“(It seems that the corruption of these old aristocrats isn’t limited to Count Walter’s estate…)”
However, as a king, he couldn’t allow himself to say that out loud.
“Then what should we do with the miners?”
“Humans aren’t as efficient. That’s why we should use golems instead.”
“Don’t we have 20 general-purpose golems? We should send 10 of them in.”
Those golems had been made by Jin.
That suggestion seemed to have been made for the benefit of the country, and since there was no point in objecting to such grounds, even the king himself couldn’t reject it without giving them a chance to explain first.
The next day, the 10 general-purpose golems and several mine carts were sent out, joined by the leaders Viscount Bayer, Balton Ohlstat, and Heintz Lash, and the coachmen.
Viscount Bayer became a leader by saying he was familiar with the intricacies of mine management. Bolton could classify ore with its “microscopic magic eye”. Heintz came as a guard.
The party reached the Inado Mine six days after departing.
The Inado mine’s entrance was located atop a small hill, and its tunnel was dug diagonally downward.
The area remained just as it did back when Count Walter destroyed the magic tools, freeing the criminals who then went on to cause the miners to attack the Kaina Village.
“Alright, let’s get started!”
After cleaning up the scattered debris and broken pieces from the magic tools, they moved right onto starting with the excavation.
The ability of the golems that Jin had built was simply amazing.
Although far from the Golems of Horai Island, these general-purpose golems were about 10 times stronger than regular humans, and they could dig up even more than them with their pickaxes, chisels and hammers, and so on.
Air and food weren’t an issue for the golems as well.
All they needed in order to keep working was to have their tanks filled with Mana once per day. The carriage was stacked with mana supply vessels for that purpose.
They could also operate with the bare minimum amount of light.
These were all thanks to Jin’s merit, but Viscount Bayer wasn’t noticing that.
All he could do was laugh while staring at the heap of ore piled up in front of him.
Bolton appraised the ore, finding gold, silver, quartz, raw Magi Crystal ore, and so on.
“It looks like the veins are indeed starting to run out of ore. The amount of ore that has gold in it is declining.”
Hearing Bolton’s report, Viscount Bayer issued new orders.
“Let’s try digging deeper, then. These golems should be able to do it.”
The advantage of golems was that even if water was to start springing up after a certain depth, they could work to some extent even underwater. The Viscount had ordered the veins to be dug deeper than what humans would normally be able to.
In this way, two months’ worth of ore was mined in a single week.
As the work became routine, the Viscount began to frequently go down to the nearest village, Toka Village.
In terms of distance, Kaina Village was actually closer, but he chose to go to Toka Village instead because even if it was already well known, he didn’t want to face the fact that they were mining at such a quick pace.
＊ ＊ ＊
Such precautions were useless against Kaina Village’s monitoring system, “Koushin”.
The Inado mine had also been monitored since Earl Walter’s previous attempted attack.
In addition, there was a special magic line working as a tracking system connected between Laojun and the general-purpose golems. With that tracking system, he could see everything the golems did.
“They’re desperately mining for ore.”
“Yes. They seem quite frantic about filling their pockets, huh?”
“How petty. It seems to be full of greedy people like these all over the world.”
“I agree. So, what should we do?”
“Let’s leave them be. It’s the same with or without such a poor mine. Besides, we’re talking about My Lord. It’s possible that he won’t even bother himself to manage it out of it being too troublesome.”
It was no wonder that Laojun described the mine as “poor”.
The daily production of the Inado Mine was about 0.5 kg of gold, 3 kg of silver and 6 kg of copper. 4 kg of tin and 10 kg of zinc. 0.1 kg of Mithril silver. 150 kg of quartz, and 15 kg of agate. And about 0.5 kg of Magi Crystal.
It was about 1/500 of Hourai Island’s overall production. And even then, this amount was possible only due to Jin’s general-purpose golems. When humans used to work the mine, its production wasn’t even one tenth of this.
“Even so, it seems they have dug quite deeply.”
The Inado Mine was a higher point than that of Kaina Village. Its main tunnel had already been dug past 100 meters deep, and was about to reach the 150-meter mark.
＊ ＊ ＊
July 1st. It was the day when Lithia officially became the head of Toka Village.
Viscount Buyer stopped resting in Toka village the previous morning and left to avoid quarreling with Lithia. He knew that Lithia was close to Jin to some extent.
“Well then, the right time is near.”
Out of the five wagons under his command, four had already been sent back with the goods. The remaining wagon was also filled with more than half of its capacity with ore. It would be full in a day or two.
Even though the general-purpose golems performed way better than humans, it still took longer than expected to carry ore to the surface from about 150 meters underground.
“If it were any less efficient than this, it wouldn’t even be profitable.”
It had already become a mine that was impossible for humans to work in. To give a mine in those conditions to someone could be seen as an act of disdain towards them, but the Viscount didn’t care about such a thing.
The ones who cared were the country and the royal family. He just did the job he was ordered to do.
(Though I am taking a cut here…)
Viscount Buyer muttered that in his mind. From the excavated gold ore, he secretly smelted about 2 kg of gold and took them for himself. The viscount used the Engineering Magic spell “Smelting” to that end.
Then, on July 2nd…
The wagon was almost full and the work was completed in a single day.
Bolton, who was appraising the ore every day, was the one most pleased.
“Should we go back with this now? Even though it was an order, I didn’t really want to do this job… By the way, I heard that Gloria is coming to Toka Village, perhaps I should meet with her tomorrow.”
He had such trivial hopes.
At 6 PM, the depth of the main tunnel had reached 200 meters deep.
At that moment, a sudden tremor took place underground.
“What was that?”
Then, a cloud of dust was spewed forth with a thunderous roar.
If a tunnel over 200 meters collapsed, not even golems would be able to escape in one piece.
Thinking he could lose 10 valuable general-purpose golems, and the responsibility for that would fall to himself, Viscount Bayer turned pale.
But the situation wasn’t as simple as that.
A large amount of rock spouted from the crumbling tunnel. It flew in the air for tens of meters before falling. The standing tree near the exit of the mine was broken into pieces.
The 10 general-purpose golems have also been hurled out of the mine all together. However, none of them were unharmed. Many of their arms were missing, and many of their legs had been bent.
“T-This isn’t just some cave-in!”
Bolton cried out at the unstoppable sound of the earth rumbling. Heintz was also alert. The only one who seemed to be flustered and not knowing what was going on was Viscount Bayer.
Then that appeared.
“W-What is that…?”
It came out of the mine.
About 5 meters wide, and 50 meters long. The surface of its body had a metallic luster about it, and glittered in metallic green. Countless legs were wriggling on both of its sides. Its four eyes were shining red.
It was a monster that looked like a giant centipede.
It wasn’t only one. Two, three… A total of five giant centipedes had crawled out of the tunnel.