Chapter 209 – It Was A Turnip!?
The teleportation gate that was reached from the weapon storage room. Beyond it, was a sprawling and unknown world.
We had come out onto the summit of a mountain. And when I looked at the base of the mountain from every side, I could see that forests extended as far as the horizon.
Unlike Arancia, which a different teleportation gate led to, this land was rich with green. They were not plagued by the black mist.
And so we trekked halfway down the mountain and inspected the plantlife.
“I’ve never seen this white flower before… Not that I am particularly knowledgeable about mountain plants, but I think it is possible that we are not on the Barleon continent. Besides…”
I stood up and scanned the area.
“There is no mountain range that extends this far in Barleon.”
As if to cut through the south and north, tall mountains drew a line. There was nothing so tall and long in Barleon.
It was then that Baris came running from the gate.
“We have finished securing the weapon storage and the gate. How should we proceed with the exploration?”
“Indeed… Being able to collect the seeds of some plants should be more than enough for Sheorl right now. However, in case it becomes necessary, it will be best if we have a way of contacting these people, who are likely of the Vader Dragon Kingdom.”
There was no guarantee that the Vader Dragon Kingdom would always be safe from the black mist.
And so I wanted to ensure that a cooperative relationship could be built if needed.
“We will gather plants and resources while locating at least one Dragon Kingdom town. There should be one towards the north, as that is where the lindwurms flew.”
“A wise decision. And what of personnel?”
“Indeed… It would be best if Rienna decided which plants we could use. And so Rienna should come. Also, if we’re going to move through the forest, then I would want Ashton and Haines, as they can detect things with their sense of smell. And Number 15 can help if something were to happen… Ah, and Shiel and Mappa might wish to come too?”
As I said this, both Shiel and Mappa nodded.
And so I continued.
“This time, I want you to come with us, Baris. That being said, you must fly in the air and conceal yourself. And then you can let us know if you see any human settlements.”
“Understood. But that would mean you, the princess, and I, would all be away from Sheorl.”
“Now that you mention it… Maybe we better avoid that?”
“No. Sheorl is now ready to handle all manner of emergency situations. Things should be fine if the General is there. I think it best that we finish scouting this place from the sky and land as quickly as possible.”
“Then that’s what we will do. A more thorough exploration can be done once Kamyu and the others return.”
After that, Rienna and Haines arrived, and so we began our search.
First, we descended the rest of the mountain and entered the forest at the bottom.
“It is a rather deep forest…”
Very little sunlight came through, and it was the kind of forest where a person might quickly become lost if they entered it.
But Haines was full of confidence as he said,
“Leave it to me. It doesn’t matter what forest we are in, we cannot get lost when my nose is here. Besides, this time, I have made brother Mappa carry some honey.”
In other words, he will know immediately where Mappa is.
Mappa shook his head, as if to refute the idea that he would wander off again. But it was definitely true that Mappa was the biggest reason to worry. And I decided that I would also keep an eye on him.
On the other hand, Rienna showed no signs of being afraid of the forest.
“Yes, many of these plants are different compared to the ones I’ve seen in Barleon forests… Though, I have seen this orange in Barleon.”
Rienna continued to pick plants, seeds and fruits in the forest and place them into her basket.
“Sheorl’s variety of crops will be greatly enhanced now.”
“Yes! We can expand the fields and grow some saplings to make a new forest.”
“Indeed. I was thinking about how it would be nice to have trees along the streets for shade.”
I didn’t know if they would even grow in Sheorl’s climate, but we had the World Tree’s blessing as well. And so we should be able to grow all kinds of plants.
Mappa and Shiel were also picking nuts that had fallen from the trees.
“Ah, Mappa. Don’t eat that mushroom…”
Aside from the fact that Mappa would occasionally pick mushrooms of dangerous-looking colors, our exploration went smoothly.
And we heard no word from Baris, who was in the sky.
However, Rienna must have noticed something, as she suddenly stopped and looked around.
Haines also stopped and looked around. He too noticed the change.
“…Aye. It is very fishy”
I asked, and then Haines explained.
“No, it is not any particular smell. But, this forest… It is very neat…”
“Yes. Someone must be tending to this forest. That’s why it is very easy to walk in.”
But I knew little of forests, and could not see what they were seeing.
However, it did seem that walking through it was not as tiring as I might have expected.
“So, you think that someone lives in this forest?”
After considering this for a moment, Haines nodded slowly.
“There are few beasts as well… And none of them are carnivorous. We have walked this far, after all. if there were any bears or wolves, they would have found us by now.”
“Do you mean that this forest is so dangerous that wolves and bears avoid it? Perhaps we should not have picked these fruits and plants without permission.”
Rienna said, but Haines shook his head.
“If that were the case, they would have done something from the beginning… And since nothing has been done, perhaps they do not want us to notice their presence.”
Upon hearing this, I said to Haines,
“I don’t sense any special magic energy nearby… But if what you say is true, we best return once, and go around while making our way to the north.”
I wanted to believe that this was a force different from the Vader Dragon Kingdom. But if they were together, then the Vader Dragon Kingdom would hear of this.
Rienna and Haines nodded their heads in agreement.
“All right then… Hey, Mappa. We’re leaving. Hey…”
Mappa was grabbing a giant leaf. And when he pulled it, a white and round root appeared.
“A turnip? …!?”
Suddenly, a high-pitched scream emitted from the turnip.