Chapter 1-17 : New Problems (part 3)
「Hellfire Grizzly Frenzy?」(village mayor)
「Yes, most likely.」(Sarasa)
“Hellfire Grizzly Frenzy”.
That’s what people call the incidents where a group of Hellfire Grizzlies attacked villages or towns.
There are various theories about the cause, but the most influential one is “lack of flame stones”.
As the name suggests, flame stones are stones that contain the power of fire.
They could be mined in the mountains in the depths of the Great Sea of Trees.
Hellfire Grizzlies like to eat these stones, but if for some reason they can’t eat enough flame stones, they will leave their territory and go rampage as if they lost their minds.
The sign that they are going crazy is that their eyes turn red.
I killed one, but I heard that they usually move in a group, so most likely, there are still at least ten of them, or more than one hundred at worst.
「No… way….」(village mayor)
The village mayor’s face turned pale after listening to my explanation.
A while ago, after I finished butchering the Hellfire Grizzly I had killed, we hurried back to the village, stored the bear’s corpse in Jasper-san’s hut, and immediately went to the village mayor’s house.
If there are only one or two left, they will be easy money for me, but I can’t deal with a “Hellfire Grizzly Frenzy” alone.
Not to brag, but I don’t have the stamina to fight for a long time.
「W, What should we do…? Jasper, do you think we can handle it?」(village mayor)
「I can’t even kill one… And I don’t think we have enough time to ask the feudal lord for help…」(Jasper)
「The bears will come tomorrow at the earliest, and within six days at the latest.」(Sarasa)
「We’re doomed, then! We even don’t have time to contact the feudal lord… Even if we had time, I don’t know if he would send his soldiers to save our village…」(village mayor)
The village mayor held his head as his face turned even paler.
As Ells-san told me, the village mayor could do nothing but collect tax from the villagers.
He didn’t know how to deal with an emergency situation like this.
The most reliable person in this village is Jasper-san, but…
「Sarasa-chan, can you do something?」(Jasper)
「Jasper-san, I might have killed one easily earlier, but I could do that because the bear was alone, and I did it with a surprise attack…」(Sarasa)
It’s the same as if you could stop one sheep, but just imagine if there were ten sheep rushing toward you at once.
How can you stop them?
Well, Hellfire Grizzlies cannot be compared to sheep, though.
「Of course I will cooperate as much as I can, but… are there any villagers who can fight?」(Sarasa)
「Frankly, it’s only Jasper…」(village mayor)
「But I’m sorry. I don’t think I can be any help… And most of the villagers are just farmers.」(Jasper)
「Even though they can’t fight, they can help by throwing stones and water at the bears. And I think we should ask the Collectors who stay in this village to cooperate.」(Sarasa)
「But, this village doesn’t have much money…」(village mayor)
Looking at the village mayor’s troubled face, Iris-san and Kate-san raised their voices.
「As a Collector who stays in this village, I’ll cooperate! But I don’t think I can be of much help. 」(Iris)
「Me too! If there’s something I can do, I’ll do my best!」(Kate)
「Ooh! Thank you! Some Collectors who have stayed in this village for a long time may also be willing to help.」(village mayor)
「As for the reward, I will buy all the materials from the Hellfire Grizzlies you kill at a high price.」(Sarasa)
Collectors are not mercenaries, but I think they will cooperate if I buy their materials at a high price.
Besides, this is about the safety of the village they stay in.
The problem is only veteran Collectors might be able to kill Hellfire Grizzlies.
I think the Collectors who are as strong as Andre-san would be able to do it.
「Even so, we still don’t have enough people to protect the entire village.」(village mayor)
「Exactly. But I have an idea.」(Sarasa)
I’ve read in a book that we can distract Hellfire Grizzlies to some extent with magic stones that have been filled with fire magic since they like flame stones.
If we can’t protect the entire village, we have no choice but to distract the enemies and gather them in one place.
「We will make a big cage, guide the bears there, and attack them at once. People who can’t fight can help with the preparations. If we do this, maybe we can kill them all…. maybe…」(Sarasa)
Even if we couldn’t lure all of them, it should be better than having the bears spread all over the village and causing chaos.
If there are some bears that couldn’t be lured, we would have no choice but to send someone to deal with them.
「We can also just run away to a different village, but Village Mayor-san, the decision is yours to make.」(Sarasa)
「Hmm… We can’t abandon the village because most of the villagers are farmers. They won’t be able to make a living if they abandon their farmland. And there’s no point in expecting support from the feudal lord…」(village mayor)
「This territory’s feudal lord is incomptetent, after all…」(Jasper)
Both the village mayor and Jasper-san sighed.
I don’t know what kind of person the feudal lord is, but normally, a feudal lord is supposed to send support immediately to villages in trouble, right?
But there’s a possibility that all the people who live in a village are people who came from another territory, so maybe that’s why he didn’t want to support a village carelessly?
Even so, the feudal lord can still make profit from collecting tax money from them, right?
So yeah, maybe the village mayor and Jasper-san are right.
The feudal lord here is just an incompetent jerk.
「It’s the same with you, Sarasa-chan. You haven’t lived in this village long, so you don’t have the responsibility to protect this village, right?」(village mayor)
「No. There’s no way I can run away and leave my friends behind.」(Sarasa)
Lorea-chan is my precious friend.
Ells-san, Diral-san and Geberg-san are also kind people who I can’t abandon.
I will not let them get killed!
「Thank you, Sarasa-chan. And thank you, God, for sending Sarasa-chan here.」(village mayor)
「We’ll be forever in your debt. Thank you, Sarasa-chan. I also love this village. There’s no way I can abandon it.」(Jasper)
「Please don’t worry about it. More importantly, we have to start working now.」(Sarasa)
And then, we discussed how we will make the cage, how we will lure the bears, and where we will fight them.
I have learned about how to deal with this kind of problem at school, but Iris-san and Kate-san unexpectedly had more knowledge than I thought.
Thanks to that, the discussion progressed smoothly.
◇ ◇ ◇
「Sarasa-san, is there something I can do to help?」(Lorea)
「Ah, there is! Can you pick some herbs from the backyard and wash them?」(Sarasa)
「Leave it to me!」(Lorea)
Immediately after seeing off Lorea-chan who dashed toward my store, I started making fire magic stones.
Although I called them magic stones, they don’t need to be as pure as the ones used to make artifacts, so I just quickly grind the crystal shards into powder and put fire magical power into it.
However, I need to make quite a lot of it because we have to sow it over a fairly wide area to lure the bears.
「If this failed, we would be doomed…」(Sarasa)
The money I used to buy these large amounts of crystal shards will be replaced once I sell the materials I get from the Hellfire Grizzlies that will attack us.
If this plan goes well, that is.
If it failed and we didn’t have a choice but to run away, abandoning the village, I would return to the royal capital and work at Master’s store like before.
But of course, I want to avoid it if possible.
By the way, I told Lorea-chan that I would go back to the royal capital if we failed to stop the bears.
She was shocked for a moment, but then she calmed down and asked me if there’s anything she can help with.
That’s Lorea-chan for you.
And by the way, Iris-san and Kate-san were helping build the cage.
The cage must be strong because we will lock the bears in there.
Aside from the cage, we also built simple fences surrounding the village just in case.
How strong the cage is depends on how strong and how much the bears will be, but I don’t think I need to worry about that because Geberg-san and his men were also helping build it.
But in case we failed…
No, no. Stop being pessimistic!
I have to do my best while thinking optimistically!
After I shook my head to get rid of pessimistic thoughts from my head, I continued grinding the crystal shards.