Magi Craft Meister
Chapter 328 Lishia — Close to Kaina Village
May 15th — the day Jin reached Shouro empire’s capital, Rozaito, Lishia and Pascaud had reached Sharuru city.
“Just a little longer till Kaina village. If we stay the night at Toka village and depart at dawn and hurry, we will be able to reach the Kaina village before nightfall.”
“Lishia-san, you have been there once, haven’t you?”
“Yes, in the autumn of last year, as a tax-collecting officer.”
The taxation system of Kurain kingdom is somewhat special.
Generally, the citizens pay taxes to the country. It can be wheat, minerals or money.
And the country pays the nobles’ wages with that tax.
This is because there are new nobles, knights and even nobles who do not have any land.
And the nobles who do have land get paid according to the size of their land. And as such, having lost Kaina village, count Walter’s wages have decreased.
However, looking at it from another perspective, it also means that the tax collected from the land by the country doesn’t really leave the land either.
In other words, most of the income gained from mineral or harvest from a newly cultivated land goes to the land owner.
The country buys these minerals. Because of this, count Walter’s own financial standing was quite high. At least until the salt incident.
The mining in the Inado cave was also one of his sources and that was why the incident about the forced labor of the criminals getting out was not known by the public.
“It was quite a disaster back then, getting attacked by the Unifier’s golem.”
Lishia said, patting the sword on her waist.
“Right. But you were the one who drove them away, right?”
As she had decided to say that after being requested by Jin, that is what Pascaud Rush thought of the incident.
“No, actually, Mr. Jin drove them away.”
However, there was no need to hide it anymore. The people above have known it long ago.
“I-is that true?! A magi craftsman did that? How?”
But it was hard for Pascaud to believe such contents.
“He cut through the golem with water magic that time, if I am not mistaken.”
“And how exactly would he go about doing that……”
He couldn’t understand even more now. Pascaud could also use magic. Pascaud specialized in wind magic and he was especially good with ‘wind cutter’ among them as well.
He didn’t even hear of that wind magic cutting such a metal golem.
“If I remember right, Mr. Jin called it ‘water jet’.”
“Water jet, eh? ……… Haven’t heard of it.”
Pascaud was slowly starting to realize that Jin wasn’t just one of your usual magi craftsman.
There was some time left before it got dark so Lishia decided on doing a little sightseeing on her own. And she found a crowd in front of a certain shop.
Curious as to what it was about, she listened in for a while and found out that it was a quarrel about the salt price being too high.
“……That’s weird, there should be more than enough salt stored from what I have heard.”
As a member of the relief knight squad, there are times when she needs to do health management of the soldiers. At such a time, she got to know of the seriousness of deficiency of salt in soldiers and had checked with the inventory control about the reserve.
This year, Kurain kingdom should have more than enough salt in reserve.
“I wonder if someone is buying the goods unreasonably.”
However, no matter how much she thought about it, there was no reason to buy up all the salt around this area. Salt was circulating normally around here and even if one were to buy all of it at once, they wouldn’t make much of a profit either.
It would rather make the citizens suffer. And it would only increase their complaints to the landlords and the country.
“Don’t tell me, that is their reason?”
Lishia thought but if she didn’t know the meaning behind it, it would be meaningless to keep wondering about it and so she cleared her head and went back to the inn.
The following day, the two departed early, hurried with the horses and reached Toka village just before sunset.
There was a lodging house for soldiers there. Lishia and Pascaud stayed there.
Before it got dark, Lishia gave the carrier pigeon some fodder and water.
Lishia said. It was because that day the two pigeons had gotten chubby.
“I wonder if it’s cold to them now.”
During winter, the birds expand their feathers and store air between them to keep them warm. The two pigeons had their feathers expanded just like that.
“I guess I will give them a bit more food.”
Muttering that, Lishia gave the birds more than usual.
She then washed her hands and went for her food. Simple food for the soldier. To be honest, they weren’t delicious at all but as Lishia and Pascaud experienced the battlefield, they didn’t complain.
At that time, she heard something troubling from a soldier stationed nearby.
It seems this village was running short on salt, as well. Mysterious men and soldiers are buying all of it.
“Now that I think about it, I heard something similar in Doppa and Rakuno too,” said Pascaud.
Lishia didn’t hear anything like that but she could tell that Pascaud wasn’t lying.
“That’s weird…… I shall send a pigeon as soon as we get into Kaina village.”
Lishia guaranteed the soldier as such. If she contacts the capital, they might take some measure.
“But, in the middle of the road, between Doppa and Rakuno, that rocky area was amazing, wasn’t it?”
As the atmosphere had gotten gloomy, Pascaud tried changing the topic.
That rocky area was the part the Hourai island’s golems fixed.
“Yes. It was very rough the last time I crossed but it was smooth and clean today. Nostalgia, was it? They did a really good job.”
They had gotten rid of all the crumbling rocks and even hardened the stone there with magic.
“Nostalgia, eh? I wonder if they have any connection with the mysterious person called Deus Ex Machina.”
Hearing Pascaud talking to himself like that, Lishia wondered if they might have any connection with Jin.
And then, early morning of 15th, Lishia and Pascaud departed from Toka village. They were planning to reach Kaina village by that day.
The horses they were riding were quite well and the luggage transport horse also seemed energetic.
The stars were still visible in the sky.
While they advanced on, those stars also became imperceptible. And then, the east sky became bright and the sun rose.
“The weather seems good today, as well.”
By the time dawn broke, the two had crossed the rocky areas. It was the area the golems attacked before.
“We will reach the mountain road once we cross that bridge.”
Lishia explained to Pascaud.
“Then let’s let the horses drink water in that river.”
About 2 hours had passed since they departed from Toka village. It was the perfect timing for a break. They lead the horses to the riverside and let them drink as much as they wanted.
They also had their portable food. Which were some crackers and beef jerky. These wouldn’t be as fun to eat without water as they get stuck in the throat but they had more than enough water with them.
After about 15 mins, they departed again.
The sun had rose well above now and the temperature along with it. Suddenly remembering about the pigeons, Lishia looked at the saddle and found out that their feathers were still puffed.
“It will get warm soon, alright?”
Saying that, Lishia hurried.
They would naturally become slow when they start to climb, so Lishia wanted to close the distance up till that part quickly.
It seemed like Pascaud also understood that as he also followed behind with the luggage horse.
“Ms. Lishia… she sure is used to this.”
Pascaud wanted to have the horses run side by side but decided not to after seeing the width of the road.
On their way, they also passed some peddlers. They also had luggage horses so they crossed each other by a very close margin, which made Pascaud glad that he didn’t line up the horses.
It seemed like the peddler wanted to say something after seeing Lishia but Lishia had her head down during the whole time so no words were exchanged and they crossed each other.
After going through that road for a while, the mountain roads became zigzag and the horses started to get tired. But fortunately, the slope had decreased now and they reached the resting lodge. It was exactly noon.
“We somehow managed to arrive on time. Let’s rest here a bit.”
Lishia’s face was red with heat and her breathing was also rough as she said that.
“Ms. Lishia? Are you sure you’re not feeling bad?”
As Pascaud asked worried, Lishia shook her head.
“No, I am fine. Just a bit tired.”
Saying that, she went and washed her hands and face. Pascaud also followed and let the horses drink water, as well.
The two of them had lunch afterwards. Same as their breakfast, it was crackers and beef jerky.
As Pascaud was starving, he finished eating really quick but Lishia didn’t seem to have much of an appetite, as she just kept chewing forever.
“Ms. Lishia, are you okay?”
As Pascaud asked again, Lishia looked a bit surprised and answered,
“I-I am fine. It’s just that I don’t have an appetite.”
“Isn’t it better not to force yourself to eat at times like that?”
Lishia agreed and forcibly swallowed the beef jerky in her mouth and put the rest in the bag.
“Now then, just a little more to Kaina village. Let’s rest properly after we reach there.”
“Let’s do that.”
Pascaud was worried that Lishia was pushing herself but he thought that they would have to reach Kaina village to do something either way so he decided to stay silent for now.
The horses seemed to have regained their strength after eating some grass so they decided on increasing their pace a bit more.
The road didn’t have any more sudden drops and it would just be a down-slope after they reach the Togo mountain ridge.
At their current pace, they would reach Kaina village by 4:30pm.
Pascaud followed from behind. From his eyes, Lishia looked like she was suffering quite a bit.
Her usual straight up posture had also become rounded which just goes to show how bad her condition was.
Even though Lishia was a healing magic user, there’s quite a difference between healing wounds and curing illness.
Wounds are treated by surgery and illness is treated by medicine.
Lishia was specialized in healing the wounds and her weak point was curing illness.
“Ms. Lishia, just a bit more, do your best.”
Seeing her condition get worse by the second, Pascaud tried raising her morales with words.
They somehow managed to climb up the Togo mountain ridge. They were 30 minutes behind schedule but they still had plenty time on their hands.
All that’s left is to go down.
They could see the Helme river in front of them.