Chapter 104 – A Detective!?
The day after we harvested the Grank wheat and baked the bread.
We planted some of the grain, as well as the magibeans and other seeds we received from Varthburg, and my work in the fields was done. I had even made tools and wheelbarrows that would be used for daily farmwork.
Now, I just had to wait for them to grow.
Along with the growth acceleration power of the Ents, the beans and vegetables should also be edible soon enough.
As I gazed at the fields, Iria turned to me and said,
“So it is finished for now?”
“It is. I was able to make everything we needed for farming.”
“Then today we can…”
“Aye… To the sea.”
However, Iria noticed that I had a cloud over my expression, and she looked at me worriedly.
“Do you have any regrets?”
“No, I could just be mistaken. But while we were baking bread yesterday, I saw a child that I had never seen before. And I haven’t been able to see them since.”
“What did they look like?”
“Completely covered in hair. I thought they were a dwarf who hadn’t shaved yet, but Ymir said that there is no such person.”
“I have not seen anyone like that either… What about the Mopes?”
“While there are some pregnant Mopes, they say that there are no small children right now.”
I said, and then Melk muttered.
“Melk has not seen any either. However, Melk would have noticed any strange smell. But there was no strange smell yesterday.”
“I see… Then perhaps I am just mistaken.”
However, if it was a spy from the Demon King Army…
Iria must have sensed my anxiety, as she said,
“It would be terrible if they were to do something inside of the village.”
“Perhaps you should increase the number of watchers at night.”
“We should probably do that. Besides, if possible, I want to find out what this thing is.”
“Then Melk will search. Melk will sniff, Asuha will look from the sky. Everyone else can search the village.”
Melk said, and I nodded.
“Aye, let us search.”
And so we decided to search through the village.
However, even after walking for half an hour, we could not find anything. I carefully watched the children who were playing, but there was no one who fit the description.
Just then, I noticed that Fletta the elf and Moo the Minotaur were walking down the road up ahead.
“Ah, Mr. Joshua!”
Fletta saw me and started to run with Moo.
“Good morning, you two. Have you made new friends in the village?”
“Yes! We’re going to play tag with them now. Why don’t you join us?”
Fletta said, and Melk answered in her usual, calm voice.
“We are looking for someone. Fletta and Moo should help the investigation.”
“Huh, that sounds interesting! You must let us join in! I’ll call the others as well. But, what kind of person are you searching for?”
“Small and hairy.”
“Small and hairy… Ah!”
Fletta raised her voice and looked at Moo.
“Huh? Have you two seen this person?”
“Yes. You know, when Mr. Joshua was baking the bread? We were there and got some too. But there was a child who couldn’t go get any bread. And so I gave mine instead.”
“Huh. That was very kind of you.”
“After all, the child looked so very hungry. And…was also very hairy.”
So they were hungry.
We had started baking the bread shortly before midday. And so it hadn’t been that long since everyone ate breakfast. And while there was not much variety, our food situation was not so bad that people were always hungry in this village.
As for not going to get food… Was the child just shy, or cautious for some reason?
We were sending more than enough food to the dwarves, so it was possible that this person was not part of the Fendel Alliance.
“Did they eat the bread?”
“Yes, and their body shook greatly. And when I asked if it was good, they didn’t reply, but gave me this.”
Fletta took out an old piece of wood from her skirt pocket.
“There is something written on it?”
Melk muttered as she looked at the piece of wood.
Indeed, it seemed like something had been carved into it. However, they were not letters that I recognized. It didn’t have the many curves seen in the letters of monsters. If anything, it looked like a simple picture.
“That looks like a child’s scribbles.”
“I think it is a thank you note! After that, they ran towards the river!”
Fletta said as she pointed to the river.
“The river. In that case…”
Iria nodded at my words.
“This may be a dwarf after all then.”
“Aye. However, if what Ymir says is true, then it’s not from the mountains. Perhaps there is a different group of dwarves.”
But Melk had a puzzled expression.
“The dwarves have a strong smell. Melk would have noticed. But there was no smell.”
Melk turned towards the river and continued.
“Perhaps they dove into the river.”
“Yes, maybe soaking in the water would erase the smell. Especially if they live in the water… Maybe they are the Kappa…”
“You mean those water dwellers that Ms. Monica talked about.”
I nodded at Iria’s words.
“Aye. However, they are not likely to be close by. Either to the north or south of here. But it will be hard to find someone who is underwater.”
As we talked, Melk must have had an idea, as she clapped her hands together.
“If it likes bread, then we can fish it out with bread.”
“What a simple-minded…”
“Surely they will come to eat it if it is that bread. Joshua, you must make a boat.”
“Very well… In any case, we wanted a boat in order to trade resources with the elves. So I will make one.”
So saying, I headed towards the river.