Black Cat Chapter 35: A Day of Severe Lingering Summer Heat

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 The next day, on the coach to Ibouro, I discussed the goblin’s nest with Mr. Zeol.



“It’s not a cave, there’s a separate entrance. …They’ve built their nest in a troublesome place.” (Zeol)


“Well, all I have to do is block up the upper exit and the cracks in the rock…” (Nyango)


“Well, if you have such a way, we don’t have to worry about it. If we include it in the subjugation plans for autumn, there should be no problem.” (Zeol)


“So, you’ll be exterminating goblins and kobolds nests again this year?” (Nyango)


“Of course. If we leave them near the village, we will have to deal with them in the winter.” (Zeol)



 If the subjugation is not finished in autumn, it will be difficult to deal with the situation when the village is attacked after the snow falls.



“If the snow makes the footing worse, we will inevitably be at a disadvantage. We would have to finish the battle in autumn, when the conditions were better.” (Zeol)


“Then, when we return from Ibouro, I’ll go scouting in the mountains. Walking around the mountains looking for nests is a waste of energy.” (Nyango)


“That’s right… I’ll negotiate with the chief to let him pay us a certain amount for each nest we find. If we know where the nests are and the approximate size of the herd, it will make it easier for us to prepare.” (Zeol)


“I understand. I’ll get to work on it as soon as I get back.” (Nyango)


“Even so, Nyango made a sunshade for us, and that was a big help. In this weather, the horses and we would have been beaten down by the sun.” (Zeol)



 The cloth Zeol had prepared was an old covered wagon cloth, when unfolded, large enough to cover not only the coachman’s seat but also the horses.



“I was only thinking of ourselves, but… you’re really good to think of the horses as well.” (Zeol)


“That’s because I can support them with magic. You won’t find anyone in the whole country who can do this.” (Nyango)



 The summer is over, and it is already autumn, but the sun is strong and the temperature during the daytime makes me want to escape to the shade.


 Even just putting up some cloths to block out the direct sunlight makes a big difference in how comfortable it is.



“Horses sweat, and if you don’t give them salt along with water, they get tired and can’t move.” (Zeol)


“I’m sick and tired of just sitting here. I hope it gets cooler soon.” (Nyango)


“Because catkin have fur… It’s nice and warm in the winter.” (Zeol)


“I don’t know. Well, we will grow our winter coat in a little while, but cold things are still cold.” (Nyango)


“It’s said that winter is the season for catkins.” (Zeol)


“No, that’s totally as a heater, right?” (Nyango)


“Fufufu… well.” (Zeol)



 Thanks to the shade provided by the cloth, the tiredness on the horses seemed to be reduced considerably.


 The horses pulling the wagons that we passed on the way were sweating so much that their entire bodies turned white, and they were breathing very hard.



 Mr. Zeol made shade for the horses but did not force them to work too hard, making sure they rested and watered frequently.


 If the horses got stuck, the wagons would be stranded on the street and the probability of being attacked by monsters would increase.


 Horses and people on the road are destined to share the same fate.



“You would think that taking more breaks would take extra time, wouldn’t you? The resting time is indeed long. But if you let them run while in a good mood, the travel time will be shortened, and the time to arrive at the destination will be the same, or even faster. Besides, the fatigue level for the whole day will be very different. When you add it all up, the number of years a horse can pull a wagon can make a big difference.” (Zeol)



 What Mr. Zeol said sounded absolutely true, but it would be difficult to put into practice.


 When we arrived at Kidai, the horses that had pulled the wagon for half a day from Atsuka seemed to have plenty of energy left in them.



 We left Kidai just before noon, and the temperature had risen to the point of shimmering on the road, probably due to the southerly winds.


 The unseasonably hot weather must be like a so-called foehn phenomenon.



“Damn, I can’t take it easy now…” (Zeol)


“Mr. Zeol, shall we use some water for a shower?” (Nyango)


“Haa, where are you going to get enough water to use?” (Zeol)


“That is, of course, with magic tools…” (Nyango)



 I decided to show Mr. Zeol, who had a dubious expression, an item using the water magic circle that I learned this summer.



“Then, here is the shower.” (Nyango)



 A fine stream of water pouring down in front of the two horses pulling the carriage looked like two shower nozzles set up in the air.



“Hey, wait, Nyango. What’s going on here!” (Zeol)


“It seems that if the air is solidified into a magic circle using void magic, the magic element contained in the air will activate the Engraving Magic.” (Nyango)


“What, then can you use other Engraving Magic?” (Zeol)


“Yes, I’m still practicing, but I can use fire magic circle and light magic circle.” (Nyango)


“Gahahaha, how interesting, you are really amusing, Nyango.” (Zeol)



 The magic circle that I am activating now is covered with a container with small holes made by void magic, so that water can come out in the form of a shower.


 I have been working on it this summer to make it more comfortable for bathing.



“Nyango, can you spray it a little further forward?” (Zeol)


“Sure, oh, it seems to be cooler that way.” (Nyango)



 By adding more nozzles and spraying water about ten meters in front of the carriage, the heat decreased a little more.


 Furthermore, I gave the horses a bath along the way, so we were able to reach Ibouro safely without being exhausted.



 Along the way, there were people resting their horses in the shade of trees, and at the entrance to the town, the guards were surprised to see us.



“You guys came all the way here in this heat?” (Guard)


“Otherwise, we wouldn’t be here.” (Zeol)


“Well, you’re right, you have pretty tough horses.” (Guard)


“Hahahaha, the coachman’s skill is good.” (Zeol)


“Hahahaha, if you put it that way. You can go.” (Guard)



 They don’t expect us to come here with a sunshade and sprinkling water, do they?



“After I leave the horses and wagon at the inn, Mr. Zeol, I have someplace I’d like to go.” (Nyango)


“Oh, you mean that little spending money you were telling me about?” (Zeol)


“Yes, I need to get there as soon as possible, or it’ll lose its freshness…” (Nyango)


“Freshness?” (Zeol)



 Mr. Zeol, perhaps curious about the word “freshness,” followed along with me.



“Where are you going?” (Zeol)


“To a restaurant.” (Nyango)


“A restaurant…?” (Zeol)



 The manager of the restaurant, who had bought the prone mushrooms from me at the time of the Nest Leaving Ceremony, remembered me.



“Oh, did you get something good again?” (Restaurant Owner)


“Yes, I have four today…” (Nyango)


“Can I see them? The ones you brought in before were very well-liked. …Oh, they are still just as wonderful.” (Restaurant Owner)



 The manager’s eyes lit up as I opened the basket and showed them the prone mushrooms.



“What do you think?” (Nyango)


“Yes, I’ll have them all. How about four for a gold coin?” (Restaurant Owner)


“Yes, thank you.” (Nyango)



 When the manager went back inside the store to get the money, I was patted on the back by Mr. Zeol.



“I’m surprised at you, Nyango. That is not pocket change.”  (Zeol)


“That hurts, Mr. Zeol.” (Nyango)


“You can just eat it, can’t you?” (Zeol)


“Well, I think it’s difficult because it doesn’t always reliably grow.” (Nyango)


“Is that so…” (Zeol)



 I took the money from the manager, thanked him, and left the restaurant.


 The restaurant must be quite prosperous because they stocked up on prone mushrooms for a gold coin.



“Nyango, next time, go with me on my errands.” (Zeol)


“Yes, that’s fine. Where are you going?” (Nyango)


“Well. Come with me.” (Zeol)



 Mr. Zeol led me to a food market.


 Meat, fish, vegetables, grains, dried foods, knives, cooking utensils, and many other items are lined up in a narrow space.



 If I were to say in Tokyo, it would be like the Ameyoko Shopping Street in Ueno or the outside market in Tsukiji.


 Various smells are rushing in and out, and it is hard to tell what they are.



 The corner where Mr. Zeol arrived was dominated by an even stronger smell, an area lined with stores selling spices and other products.


 Well, I guessed he was here to stock up on tea leaves.



“Here we are, Nyango. This is the best tea store in the market.” (Zeol)



 Mr. Zeol’s words were more than half lost in my ears because of the smell that tickled my nose.


 The small store right next door sold coffee beans.



“Mr. Zeol, I’m looking in the next store over, so give me a shout when you’re ready to leave.” (Nyango)


“Oh, alright…” (Zeol)



 The woman in the coffee bean store was a raccoonkin woman in her forties.


 She was wearing a traditional costume, which is not seen in this area.



“Welcome, my boy. How do you like the aroma? Doesn’t it smell good? These are beans called Calfe. You roast them well, grind them into a powder, and boil them in hot water.” (Raccoonkin Lady)


“I don’t see these very often.” (Nyango)


“In Ibouro, I think we were the first to start selling it a year ago. It’s already common in the Royal Capital though.” (Raccoonkin Lady)



 The aroma of the coffee, which was the first thing I had smelled since my reincarnation, had taken over my brain.


 I had assumed that rare things were expensive, but when I asked about the price, it was surprisingly not expensive.



“Which one is less sour?” (Nyango)


“Hee, have you ever had Calfe, boy?” (RaccoonKin Lady)


“Uh-no, I only heard about it.” (Nyango)


“Then this Karzi Frera would be good. It’s not sour and has a rich aroma.” (Raccoonkin Lady)


“I think I’ll buy some…” (Nyango)


“Here you go.” (Raccoonkin Lady)



 In the end, I couldn’t resist and bought some. I’ll buy some sugar later


 Mr. Zeol and I, who seemed to have bought good tea leaves, left the market with happy faces.




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