“For example; what would happen if we were to splash water into high temperature oil?”
“…That would be crazy dangerous. The people that have done that probably received heavy burns, and maybe even create a fire. What’s with that example, Shiki?” (Makoto)
“Why is that?” (Shiki)
“Water and oil don’t get along. If you were to do that, the hot oil would fly around and might become a big disaster. That’s why when cooking deep-fried food, there’s the need to be careful of not letting water in. Even if it’s only a small amount, it would be dangerous.” (Makoto)
“That…would I be able to understand it with this textbook, with the so called phenomenons that are written here?” (Shiki)
“The physics textbook? Shiki, if you are to bring something out, it has to be a cooking book.” (Makoto)
That Shiki, what does he intend to do by suddenly bringing out several physic books?
Something like ‘what would happen if water is poured onto hot oil’ should be written in books that teach how to make deep-fried food.
—Outskirts of Kaleneon.
In the place that was once a reservoir, there’s me, Shiki, Ema, and the Eldwas’ Elder, moreover, there’s also Ruria who had gotten better now.
The Draupnir was slowly swaying inside the magma as per usual and emitting heat.
It isn’t showing any signs of going out of control.
Even though it did go out of control when it left my hand. Just what’s going on? I don’t understand at all.
If Ema, the Elder, and Shiki, are able to understand something, it would be great.
Shiki threw me a strange conversation and was derailing a bit though.
I separate from the three who were gazing inside the hole that was once a pond, and sit on a bench that we made with a tree.
“Waka-sama, there’s a lot of points that differ, but the explosion that Serwhale spoke about, probably happens in Waka-sama’s world as well.” (Shiki)
“I think it is close to the phenomenon called vapor explosion. Do you know about it?” (Shiki)
It is a word I feel I have heard before.
Though, I feel like it was from a novel or a manga.
Did I learn that in physics?
I do remember about dust explosion though.
It was famous because an explosion incident of this type occurred in a mine and caused deaths.
Vapor explosion huh.
Could it be…
“Ah, could it be you were referring to that when you were talking about the oil and water just now?” (Makoto)
“Yes. As a phenomenon, I think it is a befitting comparison. The basic explanation of a vapor explosion is that when water makes contact with a high temperature material it will vaporize precipitously.” (Shiki)
Meaning it vaporizes all at once huh.
It is true that the Draupnir fell into the reservoir with a temperature that was a lot higher than I anticipated.
And, that explosion occurred.
As a result, the water was gone and had become like muddy lava.
There’s no doubt that the water in that pond had all evaporated in a short amount of time.
So that was the steam that robbed me of my vision at that time huh.
…I didn’t think Shiki was studying in physics already.
Moreover, he is in the position of teaching me.
In physics, I liked the calculations quite a bit, but as a subject, it was one of my weakest points. I feel slightly miserable.
“Even if a small ring were to become a high heat source, I don’t know yet if that could create an explosion of that scale though. There was no explosion energy formula written in the books after all. In the first place, the ring should have been blown away somewhere by the explosion, and yet, the Draupnir is right there, so I am just saying that the phenomenon is close to that of a vapor explosion though. What Serwhale called a natural result is probably referring to this phenomenon.” (Shiki)
If the water evaporated and created an explosion after the ring touched the water surface, the impact of it should have made the ring fly out somewhere.
It is not such a heavy object after all.
It is a phenomenon that can be explained by science, but there’s no doubt that the explosion had fantasy elements in several points as well.
“It shouldn’t have emitted such high temperature to begin with, so as expected, it is an unfortunate accident. I was able to properly control it when it was in my hands though. How complicated. A vapor explosion huh. Let’s remember that.” (Makoto)
“When the water vaporizes, the volume increases by more than a thousand times, and there’s the chance that the heat of the ring contributed in adding fire into the explosion. The hydrogen probably also suffered an outbreak, so it is a possibility…but with the estimated power it should have had, it is still…” (Shiki)
What Shiki was saying was about to leave the limits of what I understand.
I have studied a decent amount, but my life was basically using the bow.
If we were to do a test now, I would probably get lower scores than Shiki.
But how is it that he is able to get so much practical knowledge when there’s no teacher and only has books as reference?
As I thought, Shiki is impressive.
“I understand now what happened at that time. And so, now we have to think about what to do about it. Eva and the others can’t do anything about it, so maybe it should be better to remove it from here and take it back to Asora.” (Makoto)
“It is pretty stable, so I think it is possible to put it to practical use just like this.” (Shiki)
“Wouldn’t it be dangerous for the town if there’s a magma pond at their vicinities?” (Makoto)
“It will most likely be a big blessing along with the hot springs that were excavated in the mountains of Kaleneon. Also, even if it is close to the town, it is not a distance where children would be able to get close to. If there’s an idiotic adult that falls into this place, that person wouldn’t have lived long anyways, so it is not something we need to mind.” (Shiki)
“I see…” (Makoto)
“This heat can be used. The snow in the surroundings of the pond has melted and the temperature is high. For Kaleneon, it can currently be used as a place to throw away the snow. The current state is that hills of snow have been piled up around all the place after all. With that, it will probably affect the functions of the town as well.” (Shiki)
“But it is far for a disposal, right? It is true that there’s the need for a place to dispose of the snow though. Narrow alleys are buried after all.” (Makoto)
Even in the parts of Japan that were faced with tremendous snowfalls, there were aqueducts made for the melted snow, did they have some sort of vacant land to temporarily gather the snow?
…But I haven’t lived in a part like that, so I don’t know.
In Nakatsuhara, the snow would pile up a few centimeters once every few years, so there was obviously no countermeasure for the snow, I think.
And in truth, when that happened, I remember the trains and busses were in great disorder.
When I was young, the snow was simply something to be happy about, but when snow fell in the senior high school exam, it was rough.
I felt like I was being confined inside the bus.
“If it’s only a distance like this, we can use the dwarfs and adventurers to perform the maintenance. If they stayed shut in the town, their skills will simply grow duller. The hot spring that Tomoe-dono is working on will most likely have the piping underground, so it will take some time before it can be brought to the town.” (Shiki)
Using the hot spring to deal with the melted snow was a proposal that was done to deal with the snow in the next years, so there’s no problem in that.
“Ema, and the Elder-san. Did you guys grasp something?” (Makoto)
While I was thinking about whether to speak about the proposal of Shiki to Eva, Ema and the Elder approached us.
When I checked, I could see Ruria was also walking towards us.
“Yes. Thank you very much for bringing us with you.The internal magic power stored up in that Draupnir has changed into heat and working stably as a heating device. I estimate that it will be able to maintain its current state for around 5 years.” (Ema)
It really lasts.
“But the process in which was used to reach that state, bluntly speaking, I don’t understand it. I discussed with Ema-dono, but can we have Waka-sama do several trial runs of what you did and create Draupnirs similar to that?” (Elder)
“I see. If we make trial runs of the same circumstances, there’s the chance that a similar Draupnir might come out.” (Makoto)
Then that’s a plan.
Shiki also said that it would be okay for Kaleneon to use it, so it seems like it is better if that magma and ring are not retrieved.
I was thinking about scooping it out with the arms that I haven’t used once since the incident in the demon race territory, but it seems like there will be no turn for it.
“Looking at the moment it is created, we can research it from zero. I think that by doing that, we will surely be able to utilize the Draupnir in a near future.” (Ema)
I nod at the petition of Ema and the Elder.
“Understood. When you have prepared a place to test it, tell me. I will do what I can.” (Makoto)
“Thank you very much!”
“Regarding this place, just like Shiki said, we are thinking of having Eva and the others think about the method to utilize it. Regarding the mountains, Kuzunoha will be dealing with it, so you will be able to use the help of adventurers.” (Makoto)
“Yes. Thank you for hearing our plight.” (Eva)
I am the one that wants to lower his head, but Shiki lowered his head deeply before I did.
The hot spring was a success and the reservoir was a failure, but it is great to see that there’s a way to somehow utilize the reservoir one.
“Raidou-sensei! That pond of bright red fire, it seems like it will stay like that for 5 years!”
“Ruria, for a person that has recently recovered from a cold, you are pretty energetic.” (Makoto)
“Well, of course! Looking at something like this, makes my motivation spring forth!” (Ruria)
“Motivation huh.” (Makoto)
“This is something I thought since the time you were a customer of ours but, the things that you do and the things you accomplish are all things that can’t be imitated by others, Sensei.” (Ruria)
Ruria was in an excited state.
She had taken off her winter clothes and was holding it between her arms.
It is certainly true that those clothes are not necessary around here since it is hot and it would just make you drenched in sweat.
“In regards to that, I think that Shiki was the one who was the strangest one of the two though.” (Makoto)
“The cream Nabe, right? It is true that that was a product with a mysterious popularity and only a limited amount of people ordered it. By the way, I don’t understand what’s good about it at all.” (Ruria)
“That’s how it should be.” (Makoto)
“I have tried using ingredients from these areas to make such cream, like a soup with thickness, but it is not sweet.” (Ruria)
“Yeah yeah. If it were something like stew, I would understand.” (Makoto)
“In a forest slightly further away from here, there’s a delicious bird that’s used for those kind of dishes. When this place is given proper maintenance and it is made as a base or a resting point, we will be able to secure a good amount of those as ingredients. I am happy!” (Ruria)
Ah, the one that Ruria is pointing at huh.
If there’s one base point along the way to the town, it would be in a distance that’s good enough to make it possible.
It doesn’t feel like the forest would be able to provide much in a deep winter though. At the very least, it seems like there’s an edible bird there, so there might be worth in going.
“A bird huh. Now that you mention it, does the bird called Snow Bird taste any good?” (Makoto)
I remember the bird that Serwhale defeated.
If it tastes good, I don’t mind bringing it here next time.
“…Sensei, to get that you would need to go to those mountains over there, so I haven’t prepared one of those before.” (Ruria)
“Ah, I see.” (Makoto)
“The Ares Bird that appears in that forest is troublesome, but not to the point of being impossible to hunt.” (Ruria)
“Ares Bird. It has a more troublesome sounding name than Snow Bird though.” (Makoto)
It sounds like a God of war.
“Compared to them, not at all. In summertime they have a bright red body and move in flocks, so it is difficult to defeat them, but their individual strength is not worth of mention. In winter, their bodies turn pure white and slip into the snow as they slowly move in it, so it is hard to find them, but it is easier to hunt them than in summer. By the way, the taste changes depending if it’s summer or winter, but no matter which it is, both taste good.” (Ruria)
Turns completely white in winter, wait, is that a *ptarmigan* or something? <northern grouse in Arctic regions with plumage that turns white in winter.>
In summer they are easier to find, but you have to deal with them in flocks.
In winter they are easier to hunt, but are harder to find.
A bird that is somewhat troublesome.
“At first, the meat was hard and stinky, so I thought it was impossible to eat though. The only things I can do are related to food, right? That’s why I find things that can be made into food like crops, animals; and try to make ways to prepare them. The Ares Bird is high grade and can be obtained in great numbers, so I did my best.” (Ruria)
“You researched and found a way to eat it?” (Makoto)
“Yes. It is no good to always rely on the food of Sensei’s place after all. The people of Kaleneon have to find a way to fill the stomach of the people living in Kaleneon. Right now I am in the middle of researching a method to process the surplus of summer to preserve it.” (Ruria)
“That’s impressive.” (Makoto)
I have never tried to research the way to eat in a delicious manner a crop that I have seen for the first time or a meat.
Japan was abundant in recipes after all.
The preparation method of the ingredients that I obtained could be found in the internet or books.
Even if it is possible to check with magic if it is poisonous, this is pretty impressive.
“That’s not true. Sensei is the impressive one for being able to create a pond like this. Having a place as warm as this even though it is winter, I have begun to think that it will be possible to somehow overcome this year’s winter. There’s many ways to utilize it after all!” (Ruria)
What more? Apply magic to it and do a lot of things.
Yeah, a lot of things.
True, there’s a lot of things huh.
“…Yeah, you are right. I am happy to know that it will prove useful.” (Makoto)
“This is no time for me to be catching a cold! Even though I only did something I was not used to, how embarrassing.” (Ruria)
“‘Something you are not used to’?” (Makoto)
“I accompanied the adventurers to try better preparation methods of mamonos in the actual spot. The wounds and exhaustion of that time left me in bed for a while.” (Ruria)
“When you say ‘preparation methods’ are you talking about ways to beat them?” (Makoto)
“No way! Things like draining the blood, and how to divide the cuts of the meat. Leaving aside the raw materials, when it comes to ingredients, the cases where the adventurers just grab a random portion of it are many. And many of those cases, they bring portions that are not suitable as food.” (Ruria)
…There’s so much to it.
It is certainly true that depending on the type of fish, the way of fishing and breeding changes.
If they are not treated as materials but ingredients, the way that the adventurers deal with it can certainly be considered sloppy.
Even if Ruria teaches them the appropriate process, the problem is if whether they will actually put them into practical use.
“In the end, the ingredients that are processed with the correct method will increase in worth, so we would be able to buy it at a higher price. So there’s advantages for the adventurers as well. Even if there are times when they can’t do it, when they have the leeway to, they have the option to, so it helps us out.” (Ruria)
It feels like she saw through me.
“Like a fated relationship between the workers and the strong?” (Makoto)
“…Onee-chan and I want to be of help after all. There’s not much I can help in regards to politics, so it is just the least I can do though.” (Ruria)
Ruria makes a strained laugh.
The government is a den of thieves.
I think that Ruria is doing the right choice.
There’s strong and weak points for everyone.
If Ruria does what Ruria can do and she is able to contribute to Kaleneon in that way, I think that’s fine.
But saying you can’t in anything is most likely self-depreciating you way too much.
Even I understand just how important is food for a country.
The many techniques that Ruria will create in the future will become a strength for Eva, no doubt about it.
No matter how they say it, they are properly helping each other out.
…Ah, I see.
“Eva is having it hard as well, but we will help out too. When spring comes, the snow will melt, and the cultivation of new land will progress. The lack of workers can be obtained by soliciting the Adventurer Guild. It is fine to support Eva, but try not to burden too much of it by yourself.” (Makoto)
Zef said that Kuzunoha is beginning to deviate as a company.
One of the reasons why is because we don’t really depend much on anyone else, maybe?
If there’s things a company lacks, the company will obtain it from another place.
Just like how craftsmen obtain their materials; an obvious thing to do.
But if the Kuzunoha Company wanted to, we would be able to resolve everything with just Asora.
When taking that into account…it is certainly true that we are different.
When you are lacking something, depending on other companies is the obvious thing to do, but there’s no harm in not doing it.
Even if the company changes into a country, that basis won’t change.
Then if a country requires an important supply from another country in order to maintain itself and ends up depending on it, it will become a certain weakness.
Is the thought I reached to when thinking about Kaleneon.
In that case…won’t it be pretty hard to destroy Kuzunoha Company from the outside?
It seems like it wasn’t only me who had a high defensive power, Kuzunoha Company does too.
The way of dealing with companies that Zara-san and Rembrandt-san told me about, there are quite a lot of those that can’t be used against Kuzunoha.
The employees are a force to be reckoned with, and there’s also Asora that holds us like a family.
The stocking that we do in public is a simple front, so there’s no problem if we were to lose that.
In the first place, if they were to interfere in transportation related stuff, we can just teleport.
We have enough support from our customers that we are already on the point that even if we were to gain enemies in Tsige or Rotsgard, we would be able to laugh it away.
Our balance is enlarging every month, so there’s no issues with money for the time being.
It has only been a few years since we began, but…at some point in time, we have become quite the troublesome company.
Meeting Rembrandt-san at an early stage had a big effect in it as well, but the number one reason of it was because everyone is doing their best. I am truly grateful.
“Yes, I will do my best!” (Ruria)
“Shiki! We are returning soon. What about you two?” (Makoto)
After looking at Kuzunoha Company again and getting a better opinion of it, I was strangely moved.
I call out Ema and the Elder that were at my side.
Whether they will be going back to Asora, or go to the town.
The two have comrades and subordinates in the town, so I have to ask them first what they will be doing.
“I will be accompanying everyone to the town. We will have to revise the plans of this and the hot springs. There’s a number of Highland Orcs that can be placed for the snow disposal, so I have to talk about those topics with Eva.” (Ema)
Ema is strict with Eva.
But it is not like she is just whipping her.
I secretly think that she is actually expecting things from her.
“I will also go check out the work and state of the young ones. I also have an interest in the hot springs, so after that, I was thinking about helping out Tomoe-sama. Is that okay?” (Elder)
“Got it.” (Makoto)
Eh? There’s no reaction from Shiki.
He is facing the pond with his eyes closed, his right hand on his mouth and muttering.
“But even if it were to reach the limit amount of Waka-sama’s magic power that it can store…the efficiency of the heat conversion has…activated as a result…no matter how I think about it, the price of both formulas are not equivalent…” (Shiki)
“But if that’s the case, that’s practically…” (Shiki)
“!!! Yes, what is it?!” (Shiki)
“…We are returning. Is something the matter?” (Makoto)
“Ah, understood. I am sorry. I ended up falling in deep thought about something trivial. It seems like the subject called physics is more interesting than I thought.” (Shiki)
“…Well, keep it in moderation, okay? And so, Tomoe was going to be shut in the mountains for the whole day, right?” (Makoto)
Shiki walks at my side as I began to walk.
The topics like magic and agriculture are already plenty difficult to study, but on top of that, he is trying his hand on physics as well. It can’t be helped that I am worrying if he will be okay.
If he is stuffing himself too much with things, I should have him rest sometime.
At this rate, I feel like he is shaving off his sleeping time to read books.
“…Yes. She was pumped up saying that she will make it take form in two days. Mio-dono is also together with her.” (Shiki)
“Mio too? That’s rare. Does she have an interest in hot springs?” (Makoto)
“It seems like her interest is not in the hot spring itself though.” (Shiki)
While holding his forehead, Shiki speaks as if having difficulty in saying it.
So it isn’t a direct interest?
“Is it related to the beautifying elements, or the health side?” (Makoto)
“No, I think Mio-dono is interested in the custom of mixed bathing.” (Shiki)
What the hell?
Mixed baths in hot springs?
No well, there were mixed baths in Japan as well, but…they are not common.
Most of the hot springs are divided in men and women.
When there are cases where there is only one, they normally divide the times of usage.
The times when mixed bathing in hot springs was normal should be around the Edo period…
Don’t tell me…so that’s what it is?!
“Yes. Tomoe-dono thinks that it is a standard that hot springs are mixed and she has explained that to Mio-dono. As commemoration for safely finishing the maintenance of it, she said it is the norm to have four people entering the bath first.” (Shiki)
“Of course, counting Waka-sama, we all make four.” (Shiki)
Shiki says this straight.
What a pitfall…
We are talking about Tomoe who employed the *Ryo* in the currency of Asora even though it is slightly irregular. <an obsolete currency in Japan>
It is certainly true that it was possible.
I should have thought about it in an Edo manner.
“About us four entering…were those two looking forward to it?” (Makoto)
“Of course. Even I am interested in this thing called hot springs. I am looking forward to it.” (Shiki)
“Is that so…” (Makoto)
Well…I will just prepare myself.
In any case, having a mixed bath inside that white-out mountain, it is obvious that there will only be steam and snowstorms, so the only thing that will be coming out of it is a wry smile.
I feel sorry for Tomoe though.
From the beginning, it was a hot spring that I dug for the sake of the town, so it can’t be helped that the location of it is a popular dangerous mountain.
I hope she is not trying to make it a high quality hot spring district.
As long as they don’t get glued to me, I will be able to make it through.
It is the same as entering the hot spring with your family.
Even so…I should have told them to divide it in male and female beforehand.
What a blunder.
“There’s baths for: Scaled, hairy, aquatic, and big sized people. It seems Tomoe-dono was planning on making quite a lot of different types of outdoor baths and seemed to be truly having fun.” (Shiki)
Why aren’t you dividing those between men and women?!
Why did it become mixed baths?!
I didn’t voice it out. I have already resolved myself.
I felt the irrationality.
“Levi, I am sorry.”
“It is fine if you understand, as long as you understand.” (Levi)
In the demonic mountain of Kaleneon where powerful mamonos live in.
It will soon stop being called a demonic mountain and be called a hot spring mount, but leaving that future aside…
The Scylla, Levi, came to this mountain with Makoto the other day, but returned to Asora before encountering any mamonos. And now, she is shouldering a stone that is bigger than her and talking to a Lorelai young man that is staggering beside her.
He was currently using magic to make the construction tools float as he transports them.
The two of them were participating in the creation of the hot spring.
But the two were currently in a location slightly further away from the other members.
“I am surprised by how Serwhale-dono and Waka-sama were able to walk through this kind of mountain.”
“Those two are weird. It is also true that it is crazy cold, but this place not only messes up with your sense of distance, your sense of balance is also gone, right?” (Levi)
“Yeah, I couldn’t even tell where I was at all. It is a scary place.”
“It is certainly true that I underestimated the cold, so when I heard the talk of Tomoe-sama, I volunteered myself with the intentions of conquering this, but I still don’t have the courage to leave the barrier of Tomoe-sama. Waka-sama and Serwhale-san were doing casual talk as they walked straight to this place, you know?!” (Levi)
“Umu…when I heard that Levi had lost to the cold and ran back, I thought that it would be good material to tease you, but…this is the real deal. Even when I stretched my own hand, I could only see it slightly. Not being able to move at all is no joke. Actually the likelihood of dying is high.”
In order to teach the young Lorelai man, who laughed at her, about how cruel of an environment this mountain that made her give up was, Levi brought him to a place slightly separated from the group.
And then, the man that slightly left the boundaries of the barrier, had apologized to Levi after a few minutes.
This mountain that takes three days to reach from Kaleneon to there in all seasons except winter. It isn’t a place with an environment that people can step into in that cold season.
Strong mamonos, constantly raging blizzards, the snow flies around in different directions as if crazy, even the snow piled up on the ground is blown up by the strong winds and it is practically as if your vision has been taken out completely.
Obviously, the only thing that reaches the ears is the roaring sound of the wind. The higher you advance, the lower the temperature. In time, it will change to ice and even in mornings, the light will be completely blocked out.
Not only fighting, it is a mountain where you can’t even stop your steps.
It is definitely not a situation where one would do casual talk and drill their way underground.
Currently, they are able to work thanks to the barrier of Tomoe that is covering the areas where the hot springs are.
It is that kind of situation.
Inside the barrier the snow won’t be able to enter, and the strong wind is mostly cut off.
The temperature is around zero degrees, but compared to the outside, the temperature is relatively higher and stable. And for the Asora residents that are doing work, it is a state where they can do their work without any problems.
The only reason why Levi and the young man can be there is because of the barrier of Tomoe.
In any case, the two who had finished their business, returned in a hurried pace to the working place where everyone gathers, and went to work on what they were assigned.
“The set up is going well-ja na. Mio is also motivated, so the work is progressing~.” (Tomoe)
“Rock baths, cypress baths, footbaths, stream baths… And also, this… you are making so many different types, Tomoe-sama.”
“Umu, I am counting on you. In the country of Waka, bathing was a type of leisure they had. The hot spring facilities of Waka’s country that I used as reference had a variety of styles like that. At times, the hot springs could be used as travelling locations. We can’t slacken in this-ja. It will be difficult, but since we have the chance, I want to satisfy Waka. I am counting on you.” (Tomoe)
In a sense, this could be considered the derivation of a super bath-house. A hot spring resort.
If Makoto were to hear of this, he would probably be wondering what point in the Edo period he has fallen into.
They are planning on reproducing the traditional bath-house design, so in Tomoe’s words, it would be: small things form a big one.
Footbaths, boiling baths, even saunas were planned on being integrated.
“That’s true. Well, there’s worth for us too in doing this. Leave it to us. Also, the plan of drawing the hot springs to Kaleneon is interesting. Hm? Sorry, excuse me. What is it?”
The older dwarf that noticed the young craftsman approaching, asked for the consent of Tomoe and puts a pause to the conversation.
“Master, regarding the composition of the hot spring we were tasked to by Tomoe-sama, it seems like there’s a slight problem.”
“What is it?”
“We found sediment from the hot springs. From what we have confirmed, it might be an insoluble component that when hardened, it can make it precipitate.”
“…Meaning that it might block the plumbing we were going to use for heating?”
“…Fumu. Leave the ones experienced in carpentry just where they are, the others remaining, make one team and investigate it. If it is a plumbing that is underground and doesn’t touch the air, there might not be any problems, but there’s the need to confirm it. If it can block it, we might need to do trial runs with the material properties of the plumbing and with the permanent enchant magic. Also, try asking for the opinion of the other races. They might tell us something that we don’t know about.”
The dwarf that was talking with Tomoe, received a report of a problem from one of his subordinates, and worked out a plan to deal with it.
Looking at this, Tomoe nods with a satisfied expression.
The works that require brute force are dealt mostly by Mio. The grounds have been secured and the soil preparation is already progressing.
The important hot spring also has no issues when bathing in it, and it was practically the same as the hot springs she knows of.
The craftsmen dwarfs are also moving well.
And so, the hot spring plan is progressing smoothly.
Tomoe had a wide smile as she supervised the work.
But suddenly the eyes of Tomoe turned cold and sharp.
It was only for a mere second.
“Well then, I am sorry, but I will be leaving it to you for a while. I will return by evening. Make sure to deal with the things only after you have gotten a grasp of it. If there’s any problems with the barrier, you can ask Mio.” (Tomoe)
“…Understood. Have a safe trip!”
Tomoe disappears within the Mist Gate.
The destination was related to the cold eyes just now.
She was concentrated in making reality the hot springs she is so expectant of, but she intended to take care of something before that.
At that place, there’s a silent lake.
A lake that Tomoe and also her master had visited before.
Name is the Meiris Lake.
Without any joy in her expression, Tomoe unsheathed her katana and waves it.
A truly mysterious spectacle appeared.
From the tracks of Tomoe’s katana, an island in the middle of Meiris Lake was visible, and no matter what part one looked at, there was no other place aside from there where the island could be seen.
The katana of Tomoe was swung again.
The flash that shone, faintly spread out like a rift, and Tomoe entered it.
She disappeared inside it, and after a while, the rift disappeared and the Meiris Lake returned to silence.
“You would obviously be on guard when your domain has been invaded, huh. But in the first place, there’s no way something that didn’t even work on weaklings like Sofia and Lancer, would work on me. Now then…” (Tomoe)
While checking the surroundings, Tomoe mutters this and swallows one big breath.
“WATERFALL!! COME OUT!!!” (Tomoe)
With a hand on her katana, Tomoe calls for the master of this domain.
“Muh? A familiar? I wanted to skip the unnecessary stuff, so I went through the trouble of shouting out loud though.” (Tomoe)
Tomoe turns her eyes towards the presence that appeared from the water surface, and in that place stood the Gel mamono that guided Makoto and Hibiki to that world.
“Bring out Waterfall. As it is a business between Superior Dragons, there’s no room for you to appear, familiar.” (Tomoe)
The Gel trembles in a disorderly manner.
But it didn’t seem like it was intending to call for Waterfall.
“Good grief… It is a pain, but can’t helped.” (Tomoe)
She holds the katana’s handle, and her eyes narrowed slightly.
“What’s your business, Shen? No, Tomoe.”
“If you are coming out to stop me, then come out from the very beginning. Don’t go doing something as pointless as waiting-and-seeing. Such a pain.” (Tomoe)
Floating lightly on the air, a small dragon advances through the lake surface.
The recently reincarnated Waterfall.
It doesn’t seem like she is using her wings; she is using magic to fly.
When Tomoe places Waterfall in her field of vision, she immediately complained about not coming out right away, with her hand still on the handle of the katana.
“‘What’s your business in this rude visit?’, is what I asked though.” (Waterfall)
“As serious as always.” (Tomoe)
“It seems like you have changed quite a lot. Laziness and fickleness; I can’t believe you are the same Mist Dragon that was considered the symbol of indolence.” (Waterfall)
“A lot happened.” (Tomoe)
“That’s intriguing.” (Waterfall)
A turbulent atmosphere flows between Tomoe and Waterfall.
“Now then, about that business. Waterfall, I don’t know what’s the reason of it, but you still have your memories from before, right?” (Tomoe)
“…I don’t know what’s your basis of this, but the only one who is able to do that within the Superior Dragons is Grount, Tomoe.” (Waterfall)
“Umu. That’s why Root and I were relieved. You guys were defeated by a weakling like Sofia, but as long as you were to reincarnate and return to life, there should be no problems. We didn’t put it much mind.” (Tomoe)
“Then there’s no problems, right? I have heard from my familiars, but it is certainly true that it was a blunder of mine for being defeated by them. I will accept that critic of yours.” (Waterfall)
“…But Waterfall, when I tried to read the memories of the egg of that guy Night Clad, Doma, the memory of Sofia killing him remained.” (Tomoe)
“…That’s something that has never happened before. He didn’t have a power like that in the past, and yet, he reincarnated with those memories remaining. That’s just…” (Waterfall)
“Crimson Red, Azuma, was recently born, but from what I confirmed, he retained his memories. In that case, it is strange that you are the only one that reincarnated as always, Waterfall.” (Tomoe)
“Tomoe, please cut it out. Even if I had my previous memories, what does it have to do with you invading here?” (Waterfall)
“If that weren’t the case…there wouldn’t be any other explanation of why you are so cautious of Waka-ja yo. That would also serve as the reason why you are defending your memories and not letting me see them.” (Tomoe)
“Cautious of Raidou? Just what in the world are you saying?” (Waterfall)
“In the memories of Waka, you were clearly overly cautious of him. Don’t you understand? That served as ‘the trigger for me to investigate the memories of Doma and Azuma’-ja. This was a doubt that was born from your behaviour.” (Tomoe)
Tomoe continues her words in a quiet manner.
The words of Tomoe mentioning the ‘memories within Waka’, had clearly made Waterfall show surprise.
But the surprise soon disappeared and confidence returns to her expression.
“Fufu, the memories of Waka? You who are under control of Raidou? There’s no way you would be able to see the memories of your master. Please stop playing bluffs.” (Waterfall)
“…Our relationship is slightly special you see. Waka shows me his memories without any frugality. Well, after saying all of this, there should be no need to confirm it though.” (Tomoe)
The atmosphere flowing between the two changes slightly.
Tomoe changed it.
“Showing memories to others without being frugal about it? There’s no way there’s someone as stupid as that. And Raidou is not the type of person who would let others see his memories.” (Waterfall)
“Fuh, what do you understand about Waka? Looking at those two, and still expecting something from Hibiki; there’s no way someone like that would understand him.” (Tomoe)
“…No way, to think that there was actually a master who would show his memories to his subordinates. An existence as crazy as that is just…” (Waterfall)
“You miscalculated. You intended to move in the shadows, but it was easily exposed. Waterfall, you should understand as well, right? My objective is your life-ja.” (Tomoe)
“A fight to the death between Superior Dragons? Has Raidou driven you to such a point of insanity, Tomoe?” (Waterfall)
The words of Waterfall made Tomoe laugh hard.
“Might be the case. That person seriously possesses a drug-filled appeal-ja.” (Tomoe)
“No matter how you think about it, those words should be denoting the heroes though.” (Waterfall)
“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. There’s also the way of thinking that even when the person is admired by the general public, there’s actually not a single one that’s truly into it. There’s people that simply gather upon the greatest common divisor. Our side might be the opposite of that though. Our Waka isn’t popular in the millions, but is truly admired by a small amount of people. That’s the kind of person he is-ja yo.” (Tomoe)
“I couldn’t see that charm at all though.” (Waterfall)
“As expected. That’s why you joined hands with Hibiki, right? You let Waka into your treasured library, and introduced him to some dubious recall ritual because of your caution and fear towards him. You wanted to erase Waka from this world as soon as possible.” (Tomoe)
“The recall ritual was something I thought he wished for though.” (Waterfall)
“I won’t deny that. But that ritual has quite the peculiarity. The analysis has not been completed yet, but it is definitely not a proper ritual.” (Tomoe)
“I also don’t know the details of it. The only thing I know is that the summoned one will be send back to his original world.” (Waterfall)
“…Hmph. Well, I don’t need to ask you about it. I feel sorry for you guys since you just reincarnated, but…I will have you reincarnate once more. It would be annoying to have more people doing sneaky stuff on our backs.” (Tomoe)
“That you have come to my domain alone and have said this, makes me doubt your real intentions, Tomoe. You and I, when we are in our own domains, it is practically impossible to lo—wait, did you say ‘you guys’? Don’t tell me, you…” (Waterfall)
“I took care of Azuma; Doma by Root though. For now, it seems they haven’t retained their memories. Their deaths were irregular, so we are looking after them.” (Tomoe)
“…Raidou is a bigger danger to this world than the Goddess. Why is it that you and Root don’t understand something so simple?” (Waterfall)
Tomoe unsheathed her katana without saying any words.
The air got tense in an instant.
“I won’t let you activate Asora in my domain. I won’t repeat the mistake I did with Sofia.” (Waterfall)
“How pitiful-ja na. I didn’t have the intentions of using Asora in the first place. Sorry to say this but, with you and I, it won’t even be considered a fight.” (Tomoe)
Tomoe swings her katana in a direction that differed from the magic clad Waterfall.
Like a clionidae in the moment of devouring its prey, the Gel had commenced an attack on Tomoe, but was cut in half.
Even though it was a quick and silent motion, Tomoe didn’t take her eyes off Waterfall as she cut it.
The past figure of Tomoe leaving it all to brute strength when swinging a katana, was not there anymore.
It was the start of the battle.
Reacting to the voice of Waterfall, several shining water pillars rouse from the lake.
In this space she has configured herself, moreover, with a spell she is specialized in, there was no need for Waterfall to utilize arias in order to activate spells.
The countless whirling water pillars that were freely twisting and drawing a trajectory, attacked Tomoe.
However, Tomoe was looking at that situation without a single trace of agitation. Waterfall had no idea what she was thinking.
And then, Tomoe sheathed her katana back.
“Do you think you can endure it just because you have resistance to it?!” (Waterfall)
Without even moving, the whirling water pillars passed through Tomoe one after the other.
Being raised in midair, she was being attacked by the raging water inside it.
Waterfall who was looking at that spectacle, gulped her breath.
It’s a natural response.
Because everything had disappeared.
It was as if time had rewinded to the moment before Waterfall had activated that big spell.
Just one thing was different. Tomoe’s figure was not in the place where she should be, and Waterfall who had noticed that instantly, follows her figure.
“You are slow.” (Tomoe)
Hearing the voice that came from the skies, Waterfall unconsciously groaned.
But she can’t do an appropriate counter.
She noticed Tomoe after she had already swung her katana.
A high-speed slash that can’t be followed with the eyes.
It is the Iai stance that Tomoe was zealously practicing.
Tomoe passed by Waterfall who was floating in a slightly high position, and Waterfall felt that time unpleasantly slow.
And then, she loses sight of Tomoe again.
She didn’t understand what in the world Tomoe did to her, and in the middle of her confusion, Waterfall decided to launch an attack from all directions and have Tomoe step back.
Even though it is a fight where both sides know each other’s abilities, she couldn’t understand the movements of Tomoe and was falling into confusion.
“Azuma was too, but as expected, you guys are weak.” (Tomoe)
“Shen, over there?!!” (Waterfall)
Waterfall reflexively called Tomoe’s old name, and at that time, she understood what happened to her own body.
Her field of vision slowly changes.
By the time she noticed that her head was cut off, it was obviously too late.
The head of Waterfall silently falls into the lake.
“Is it over already?” (Tomoe)
“…By no means.”
The head of Waterfall speaks out.
The lake surface freezes in an instant, and slightly after, the body stands on top of the frozen surface and grabs her head.
“You are like an undead-ja na.” (Tomoe)
Without getting surprised, Tomoe looked at Waterfall placing her own head back to its original place and made a sarcastic laugh.
“You should have predicted something like this when you decided to fight me in this space.” (Waterfall)
“Of course-ja. But it seems like you can’t read my movements at all.” (Tomoe)
“…That’s true. I thought you would fight as a warrior, but you use spells. And then, that action where you didn’t evade nor guard…an illusion, wasn’t it?” (Waterfall)
“Knowing it is an illusion, it is easy to deal with it. There’s no point in illusions when you know it is one, you know?” (Waterfall)
“Now then, I wonder about that.” (Tomoe)
Tomoe lowers her waist, and releases an Iai in that very place.
It was an overwhelming speed where one could only barely tell it was an overarm stroke.
The expression of Waterfall stiffens.
“What are you playing at?” (Waterfall)
“You will know soon.” (Tomoe)
“…How unpleasa—ah?” (Waterfall)
From the top of her shoulders, Waterfall felt a sharp heat.
Her vision is dyed completely red.
She was cut.
Several seconds passed before she was able to notice this reality.
“In the katana I gave to a subordinate of mine, there’s an ability called [Marking]. When the requirements are fulfilled, you can ignore the distance and freely cut your target. Of course, the consumption of magic power is not to be underestimated, but even so, if it is a fight using only a katana, there’s enough to spare. It seemed fun, so I had it enchanted in mine as well.” (Tomoe)
“It was like an acrobatic.” (Waterfall)
The wound of Waterfall recovered in the blink of an eye.
Even when her head is cut off, or receives an obvious fatal wound, she is not affected by the damage.
Not even letting out a scream was abnormal.
“In terms of healing, there’s no Superior Dragon comparable to you, huh. Your reputation and skills have not dulled, it seems.” (Tomoe)
“Do you think you can defeat me with an attack like this?” (Waterfall)
“I was only trying out my new sword, and confirming the results of my training-ja. Let’s end it already.” (Tomoe)
As she finishes speaking, the figure of Tomoe multiplies like mirror images.
And all the Tomoes that were lined up horizontally had begun an aria.
“An illusion again?! I don’t know what you intend to do, but I won’t let you!” (Waterfall)
Waterfall erases the increased Tomoes with magic one after the other.
But as she erases them, more Tomoes keep popping up, and the situation showed practically no change.
“An illusion of this scale…why are you able to do it here?! Could it be that I have been dragged into Asora without noticing?” (Waterfall)
“I won’t do something so unnecessary.” (Tomoe)
“So you are there!” (Waterfall)
Facing the direction of Tomoe’s voice, she increased her power in an instant and presents Tomoe with a blaze containing all her power.
Compared to the power of Root that Makoto witnessed, it would be considered an elementary level, but it was a blaze that had quite the power in contrast to that small body.
It looked like the blaze of Waterfall had caught Tomoe, but it quickly dimmed and disappeared.
Of course, Tomoe was okay.
“Just what in the world are you preparing?” (Waterfall)
“Even if you were to remember it, you still wouldn’t be able to do anything against it though… [Pure Illusory Reality], that is the spell that killed you, you know.” (Tomoe)
“”Killed? What are you saying?” (Waterfall)
“Maybe with this you will notice.” (Tomoe)
When Tomoe points her arm at Waterfall, wind blew.
No magic power was used, it was genuine wind.
“Wind? What does this have to do with anyth—ing?!!” (Waterfall)
“My body has turned to mist?!” (Waterfall)
“Eternal dreams, illusions and reality; I wonder where is the boundary between those two.” (Tomoe)
Tomoe mutters as if monologuing.
The body of Waterfall begins to dim away from her legs and wings first, as if being drifted away by the wind.
Just like how Waterfall felt, it was as if wind was washing away mist; a strange spectacle that felt illusory.
“Do you think an illusion will—!” (Waterfall)
Waterfall immediately judged that what was happening was an illusion.
Even when she tried to wave it away or activate a spell, it was useless. She couldn’t understand the situation at all.
“It is pointless-ja. As long as you doubt it for a single instant, your very body will turn into an illusion itself. There’s no path but disappearing-ja.” (Tomoe)
“A spell that can turn others into illusions, something like that…a power like that…” (Waterfall)
“Then, are you going to accept attacks turning into illusions? Well, interpret it in whichever way you want. It is admirable that even when you are only a head, you still didn’t show fear.” (Tomoe)
“Wait! Where are you going?!” (Waterfall)
“Iam finished here. There’s hot springs waiting for me. Also, if I were to arrive late for dinner, I will cause unnecessary worries to Waka. The matters of you and the other Superior Dragons, won’t disarray the heart of that person.” (Tomoe)
“Shen…Tomoe! Wa–it…” (Waterfall)
“Well then, cya later, Waterfall.” (Tomoe)
The figure of Waterfall disappeared.
And then, at that place, there was nothing moving anymore.
Even the familiars that should have had a relative amount of numbers.
Not a single one was breathing anymore.
Without turning around once, Tomoe left Meiris Lake.
Returning to Kaleneon, Tomoe burned her passion at the hot springs, had dinner with everyone like always, and passed the day as if nothing happened.
She didn’t even let out a burp about killing Waterfall.
The unexpected present that Sofia left didn’t bring out any new sparks, and silently became a solved incident without Makoto knowing.