Chapter 66 – Goddess of Winter

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Several days after the dwarves began work on the highway construction.

According to Valbo’s request, every morning I have been casting 9 [Create Monster], [Infinity], [Wall of Stone], and [Wall of Iron].

In other words, everyday there have been 27 Forest Giants fiercely cutting down trees and digging away at the mountain. The thunderous noise from this was in no way inferior to that of construction sites in modern Japan.

The original timeline that had been drafted with the Giants’ work pace already incorporated was shortened even further. Everything is proceeding smoothly.

It’s just that…… after coming to this world, I had gotten used to the overwhelming lack of human-made noise, so…… well, in short, it’s really noisy.

♥♦♣♠

“I’m really sorry that I haven’t been able to get to you guys until now.”

“Ah, um, it’s fine……”

In the midst of the ongoing noisiness, I am now with all of the former magic soldier trainees.

We are in the hall of the main tower, which is a significantly quieter place.

Although I had heard from Mora that they had been getting a bit impatient, I still couldn’t help but to prioritize other things ahead of them, so the first thing I do is properly apologize to them.

“Even we see how hard you are working for the others, so we understand that there’s no helping putting us off for a little while.”

“We’re totally fine.”

To my relief, it’s not only the normally obedient Teru, but even Log and Daya are displaying surprisingly acceptive attitudes. I suspect Mora must have helped put in a word or two on my behalf.

More like, when I give it a more serious consideration, I realize that these three are literally the youngest in the castle. I really ought to give them more attention.

“From now on, I am going to teaching you three the techniques needed to make golems. But of course, I’m not going to cram it all into one session. This will be a long process, during which you will also have to help out around the castle…… is that fine with you all?”

“Compared to the Training Facility, this is so much easier, so we’re fine.”

“Good answer. Then first of all, I’ll give this to you guys. I’m sorry that there’s only one copy, you guys will have to take turns reading it.”

I hand a book to Log.

It is The Primer for Alchemists, from the Alchemist Tool Set.

The contents are as the cover says. It was written by me and my Game Master friend long ago based on the D&B rulebook, meant to be a pretend alchemist manual.

Thanks to The Overlooker, it has already been ‘translated’ to this world’s written language, which was thoughtful of him.

But seriously, Overlooker, dude. If you’re going to do it thoughtfully anyways, then I would have really appreciated you thoughtfully removing the depressing and thorny elements too.

“Ummm…..”

While I’m absorbed with such thoughts, Teru calls out to me reservedly. For some reason, Log and Daya are looking downwards.

“Yes, what is it?”

“We can’t read it.”

Nn?”

It was Log who brusquely replied in place of the troubled-looking Teru.

“None of us knows how to read, so……”

Daya also looks depressed. Which reminds me, I haven’t given thought to this world’s literacy rate. Mora can handle not only reading and writing but also basic arithmetic, so I ended up letting my guard.

“Wait, but…… didn’t they teach you at the Training Facility?”

“No they didn’t……”

It sounded like the program needed smarter applicants, so you could have at least taught them how to read and write, Heldol…… Or maybe he thought to dedicate even that time to strengthening their magic?

“…… We, um, are we not needed anymore……?”

As I was feeling righteously indignant about the Magician’s Guild’s sloppy educational policy, Log hesitantly questions me. Oh no, looks like I’ve made them worried.

“That’s silly, no way that’d be true.”

“But…… since we can’t study……”

Log and Daya are hanging their heads, while Teru is looking anxious.

“In that case, then let’s start with having you three learn how to read and write. Let me think……”

I can comprehend this world’s language, but since I’m lacking in the common sense here, I’m not suitable to teach them. In the first place, I can’t even free up that much time. Sedam and Irudo both seem like they could teach, but I need them to focus on their current duties. And of course, I cannot burden Mora even more than she already is.

For a second, Claura’s face floats up in my mind, but to be safe let’s just go with Torad for this.

“That’s……”

“Yes, what is it? If it’s about Torad, I’m sure he’ll teach you kindly, so there’s no need to worry.”

“Tha-, that’s not it. Um, why are you being so nice to us……?”

So asks Log in a quiet voice. What I see in his black eyes is suspicion more than unease.

Up to now, they have continuously been dragged around at the convenience of adults, so I suppose that reaction is only natural.

I had acknowledged his strong will to fight against Shadow Demons. This arrangement was also due to my negotiations with the Magician’s Guild. These are proper reasons that I don’t think a bad idea to tell him straight. But.

“What do you think I am? A Great Wizard would never abandon a child.”

♥♦♣♠

“I see, I understand. Those kids have also been on my mind a bit.”

When I went to consult with Torad about this new duty that I had decided on my own, he very quickly accepted it.

“I will bring them up to be devout followers of Ashuginea for you to see.”

“Oi.”

“Hahaha, I was joking.”

Thinking about it, the priests in this world draw their power from the various gods, so those gods probably do exist.

I reflexively retorted like how I would in Japan, but I should probably fix my habit of thinking that religion = questionable.

“Speaking of which, Ashuginea is the Goddess of Winter, right?”

“Yes, she is. What about it?”

“I can’t seem to match the element of ‘winter’ to being the guardian goddess who offers protection against Shadow Demons. Is there some story behind it?”

As my view on religion is still that of a Japanese person, I had intended to not really get into this world’s mythologies.

However, now I want absolutely whatever information I can find about focal points. If the goddess Ashuginea is somehow tied to the Shadow Demons, then perhaps I might be able to find a hint. Furthermore, I might also learn something about The Overlooker.

“Hmm, well, Ashuginea being a guardian goddess actually doesn’t really have much to do with Shadow Demons.”

Oi, it doesn’t?

“What it is more connected to is…… Margils-dono, do you know about the ‘dragon people’?”

“Nope, not a thing. So they exist in Sedia?”

Did a really amazing keyword pop up all of a sudden?

I kind of want to hear about it, kind of don’t want to hear about it……

But the gentle Torad kindly gives me an explanation.

“It seems that they are in an empire that exists on another continent south of Sedia. They are a race that possesses intelligence equal to, or perhaps even higher than that of humans. 200 years ago, that ‘Dragon Empire’ arrived at the southern tip of Sedia and began setting up a colony. At the time, that area was land belonging to Ran Bolt [Southern Country of the God of War].”

Oh man, isn’t that totally an outbreak of war flag?

“At first, the Dragon Empire paid Ran Bolt tribute and also started trading, so Ran Balt gradually ceded them land. But 50 years ago, the Dragon Empire started to invade.”

See?

I think the Shadow Demons alone are enough to fill my quota of such people. More like, why haven’t I heard about this earlier?

(It was only quite a while after this that I learned there is also a country of giants far in the north……)

“At first, Ran Balt was losing very badly and kept losing large pieces of land. However, the Empire’s advance suddenly faltered.”

Hou?”

“It turns out that the dragon people are weak against the cold. After coming north, they learned that they couldn’t stand ‘winter.’ No matter how hard they fought in the summer, they would inevitably become unable to move and get pushed back during wintertime. After this repeated for several years, finally they asked for a ceasefire.”

“I see. So that’s how the idea that ‘winter protects’ came to be.”

Which reminds me, I think I’d previously heard from someone that there are massive mountain ranges down south that cause sharp climate changes.

“Exactly. It is also said that during winter, the Shadow Demons also don’t move about as actively. And this is why Ashuginea is fervently worshipped as the wife of the God of War, Rangah, who is the chief god of Ran Balt, the country whose name means ‘Southern Country of the God of War’.”

Fuumu.”

While looking at Torad’s proud face, only one thought came to my mind.

“Hey, Torad.”

“Yes?”

“Is that ceasefire still going on right now? On the off chance, it’s not that they are actually gearing up for some massive scale invasion, right?”

“Hahaha. The ceasefire has already been in place for almost 50 years. By the name of Ashuginea, the Goddess of Winter, I assure you there’s no way.”

Are you sure?

I’m counting on you, Goddess of Winter-sama……


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One thought on “Chapter 66 – Goddess of Winter

  1. I reflexively retorted like how I would in Japan, but I should probably fix my habit of thinking that religion = questionable.

    YES, PLEASE DO. It’s absolutely one of the most annoying traits of Japanese fantasy; particularly since it almost always comes with real gods and (particularly) goddesses which the main characters get to personally meet. And they usually work so hard in deconstructing every other Dragon Quest “hero goes forth to kill the Demon King and save the world” trope, too…

    Like

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