Chapter 6 – The population(of digging buddies) increased!
“I’m so sorry!!”
The goblin that was called General slammed his head to the floor.
“Even after you had saved us, I pointed a weapon at you! Argh! Why am I always such a fool!”
He said as he repeatedly bashed his head against the floor.
“We-well, well. I’m also sorry for laughing…”
“Don’t apologize! You broke the curse that was cast on the Princess!! While we must apologize and be grateful to you, you…”
As the General did not know my name, he paused.
“…I’m Heal. Hey, why don’t we do the introductions while we eat? I’m pretty hungry myself.”
“O-of course! I am General Ere of the Berdan Tribe!”
As if to follow him, the goblin they called Princess continued.
“And I am ‘Ri,’ daughter of King Rowdan of the Berdan Tribe…”
“I am the Shaman of the Berdan Tribe. I am called Bari.”
I see. They all had very short names…
Perhaps in their tribe, their office was more important than their names.
The Princess was the child of their chief, the General led their warriors, and the Shaman oversaw their ceremonies.
It would be a good society if everyone had a role.
“As I said, I’m Heal. Prince of the Kingdom of Sanfaris…or at least, I used to be.”
Even now, I was probably still a prince. But I wasn’t really confident in that fact anymore.
Besides, I might be considered dead.
General Ere opened his mouth as if to answer me.
“Prince? I see. So that is why you could use so much magic.”
“It’s nothing impressive. Besides, it wasn’t magic that broke the curse. I did that with a stone I got from the mines.”
“Well, I guess it would be hard to believe… If you want, I could show it to you later. But more importantly, what brings you all here to these rocks?”
Ere had a pained expression as he answered.
“That…it was because our tribe’s homeland was burned away by orcs. With the exception of ‘Ri’ here, the king and his children were all killed. Since then, we have wandered around the Barleon Continent for a year in search of a home. However, no tribe would accept us, and humans would drive us away… And so with the 800 men we had left, we built a ship and decided to attempt to reach the new continent.”
But, I suppose their ship was wrecked…
Bari, the goblin Shaman continued the story.
“Currently, we do not even know if the others are alive. Yes. I knew that miserable ship was fated to sink. I tried to stop…”
It had probably been General Ere who pushed ahead with the plan.
Because he stayed silent.
Then Princess ‘Ri’ opened her mouth.
“Bari, please don’t blame Ere about it anymore… I believe our fate would have been the same had we stayed on land.”
“Indeed…Princess. Forgive me.”
And then Ri turned to me.
“Lord Heal. Thank you so much for saving us… I don’t know what to say to express my gratitude.”
“No, it’s nothing. By the way, you…”
If Ri was supposed to die today, that meant the Turtle Stones had only given her an extra 79 days to live.
As the curse was gone, did that mean it wouldn’t shrink…?
“I know. Regardless, I do not have very long to live… Still, I have never been so happy in my life. There has always been a pain in my chest ever since I was born. But now it doesn’t hurt at all.”
Ri put a hand to her chest as if she were feeling her heartbeat.
Her expression did look peaceful.
Ere and Bari must have been feeling conflicted because they just smiled faintly.
They were probably thinking about how she couldn’t escape death.
“…Right. It’s true that you don’t have long to live. However, it’s too early to give up.”
“These Turtle Stones that I used…there should be many more of them sleeping underground. With these, we should be able to extend your life much farther.”
Upon hearing these words, Ere leaned forward.
“I-is that true, Lord Heal!? Such a thing exists in this world!?”
“Yeah. And I can dig a lot faster now. I got all this in just three days. If I keep digging for a week, I might be able to buy you another year?”
Ere and Bari looked at each other.
“L-lord Heal… It sounds too convenient. But would you allow us to help you mine these Turtle Stones?”
As I replied so quickly, Ere and Bari looked like they couldn’t believe it.
However, they soon understood me, and they both bowed their heads.
“Thank you! Thank you!!”
And then Ri looked at me with wide eyes.
“W-why…would you share something so valuable with us?”
“Don’t worry about it. I doubt I’ll have many opportunities to use them anyway. And I care more about digging than what I get from doing it. Besides, I was getting very lonely. Ah…”
I realized that Ri was crying.
Well it was no wonder. No one wanted to die.
And so she must have been very happy now that she saw hope.
Ri bowed her head and said ‘thank you.’
But I really hadn’t done much.
Though, I suppose I was supposed to be the lord of this land.
“You’re welcome… But, how should we do this?”
I was able to dig so smoothly because of the effects of Cave King.
I did have a few other pickaxes, but I doubted they would be able to do much with them.
Besides, what if they started digging in the wrong places and caused the cave to collapse?
Advisor…uh, do you have any good advice?
<<Currently, Cave King allows you to bestow some of its effects onto tamed monsters.>>
Specifically, mining skill boost, experience boost, and mining support through the mining optimization feature. However, the boosts were not nearly as high as the person who had Cave King.
Furthermore, you could not share the Inventory, auto-gathering, and Night Vision features.
Interesting… In any case, it showed how important taming was.
However, goblins and slimes were different.
Well, I suppose there was no harm in asking.
“But, there is a condition. You have to let me tame you.”
“I-in other words, we will become your subordinates, Lord Heal?”
“I have no intention of giving you orders, and you can say no to any requests I might have… Actually, I really don’t mind being the only one to mine the Turtle Stones, you know? You don’t have to worry. I’ll give them all to you.”
“No-no! You’ve done so much for us already! I and Bari will gladly serve you! But the Princess…”
Ere said this much, when Ri also opened her mouth.
“Lord Heal! If it would not be a burden, allow me to serve you as well!”
Ere closed his mouth.
“P-princess! You are royalty…”
“Everyone is working on my behalf. I must do something as well. Besides, I have a debt to Lord Heal. I have to pay him back somehow. Though, I do not know if there is anything I can do…”
“Lord Heal. Please allow us to serve you. And give us new names.”
Ri was about as tall as a human child, but she looked at me seriously.