They were able to meet up with Zendo and the others safely and on time, and were now proceeding smoothly to the Lententius Salt Lake in the same formation as yesterday.
“Hey, Grandpa, can I have a quick tour of your workshop today?”
”Oh? Well, I don’t mind as long as you don’t bother me. It’s not like we’re doing anything big, so I’m sure you’ll get bored really fast.”
”That’s fine! I was just curious to see what you were doing.”
”I see. Well, it’s probably better to see a lot of things while you’re young.”
Zendo smiled again, and Ai was given permission to observe the salt making process.
After some more time passed, they reached the lake quite easily.
All right, I’m going to go on my own again from here, so when you meet up with Tatsuro later, come to the workshop that’s the farthest from the lake. I’ll be there.”
”Okay. The farthest one.”
Then Ai got off the wagon and waited for Tatsuro to arrive while keeping an eye on the rest. As soon as they finished meeting up, she immediately told Tatsuro about her visit.
“Heeh, I’d like to see the place where Zendo-san works. I’d like to see it.”
“I’ve got permission and I’ve been told where it is, so we can go right away.”
”All right. Let’s go there right away!”
The two of them then entered a large building located at the farthest point from the lake and closest to the road leading to the town, just as Zendo had told Ai.
Inside the workshop, there were people working on the workbenches, moving large tools, stirring something, and so on, all in a hurry.
Tatsuro searched for Zendo, trying not to get in his way, and eventually found him working at the largest desk at the far end.
When he saw him approaching, he motioned with his hand for them to come over.
”Ou, you’re here!”
”Well, I’ll go about my business as usual, but you can ask me questions if you’re curious.”
“ Are we interrupting anything?”
Tatsuro was worried that talking to him while he was working would interrupt his concentration, but Zendo laughed it off.
“You know how many years I’ve been doing this? I can do it while talking.”
”You’re very skilled, Grandpa!”
”A bit, hahahahah”
The laughter echoing through the workshop was enough to get the other craftsmen used to it, and they went about their work in silence.
In the midst of this, Zendo immediately resumes his work.
First, Zendo took out a white stone-like object in a container.
“What is that stone?”
”It’s a product of extracting only the salt from the water in the lake, and then processing it with a special magic tool.”
“Special magic tools?”
”Yeah, a special magic tool.
It’s a trade secret, so I can’t share it with you guys.”
“All right, I’ll try not to ask about that!”
Tatsuro and Ai saw a craftsman at work, answering their questions without a hint of displeasure, but with his hands still moving.
”But if all you need is salt, you don’t need to form it that way, do you?”
”Yes, it does. Well, if it’s salt from a normal place, then I suppose it does.”
“You mean it’s not normal salt here?”
”That’s what I’m saying.
And now. The reason why I’ve gone to the trouble of making it look like this stone is…”
He then crushed it in half with a chisel and hammer on the workbench, and placed the cross section of the stone for them to see.
When the two of them looked at it, they saw that there were transparent lumps of about a centimeter at the largest and a few millimeters at the smallest.
“What are these?”
”That transparent stuff is our pride and joy, the finest salt.”
”Are you saying this is salt?”
”Yes, it is, though it takes more work to sell it.”
And so, with blinding speed, Zendo crushes the stone into smaller and smaller pieces, extracting only the clear parts.
The two of them rolled their eyes and watched as he moved so fluidly.
Leaving them behind, he finished removing all the transparent parts from one salt stone in the blink of an eye and handed them to us one by one.
“Give it a lick.”
“How about it?”
”—-This is” “– No way”
At such a reaction, Zendo laughed gaily.
The salt that was handed to them was indeed salt.
But it had a taste so different from ordinary salt that even the two of them, who did not have a particularly good sense of taste, could tell just by licking it.
“It tastes really good, doesn’t it?”
”Yeah, I’ve never tasted salt this good.”
“That’s right. That’s because it’s not just salt! Hahahaha!”
The two of them thought that Zendo was genuinely cool because of his proud expression.
After that, they were able to hear a lot more about salt making and thanked him with a satisfied look on their faces before leaving.
By the way, Zendo told them that the box-shaped tool on the rear car yesterday was a magic tool to draw water from the lake.
The two of them, having become familiar with the local products of the town in the other world, went to the campsite they had set up yesterday in high spirits.
By the time they got there, it was a little past noon, so they took the tent out of the “item box” and went inside to have lunch side by side.
”By the way, I heard from Gaz on the way there that today is the day of solution and tomorrow will be the polar night.”
”That means it’s finally …….”
”Yeah, come here tomorrow and you’ll see the third face.”
“We’ll have to come back tomorrow.”
“I’d like to get all four of them.”
The two of them, who had shown their Japanese collecting habits in such a place, looked forward to tomorrow, looking forward to what they would see.
After spending some time flirting with each other, they began to do their own things.
Tatsuro was practicing the mixture of light and dark magic from yesterday, while Ai was reading an illustrated book of edible demons.
After about an hour of this, an announcement came to Tatsuro’s ears.
《Skill Magic Quality Increase Lv.2 has been acquired.》
”Whoa, I got it.”
”Hmm? Did you get it perfected already?”
No, that was going well too, but now the 《Magic Quality Increase》 skill has leveled up.””
“That means you’re at Lv.2?”
”Yeah, it seems that practicing this mixture of light and dark magic was also a good way to practice that, since the adjustment of the amount of magic power is very severe.”
The unexpected harvest made Tatsuro feel that this practice was even more meaningful. Seeing her partner like this, Ai asked a question that she had wanted to ask but had refrained from asking because it would interfere.
”So you can have it both ways. So, is the day of reckoning almost here?”
”I’m almost there. I might be able to create a magical creature at Lv.1 by the end of today or tomorrow.”
“I really want a cute one.”
”It’s not really a pet, but ……, I’ll keep that in mind.
“Yeah, I’m looking forward to it!”
When Tatsuro stroked her back, she seemed to be happy and strengthened her arms as she accepted Ai’s hug.
Seeing her like this, the idiot boyfriend said, “I knew my girlfriend was the best!” They enjoyed the warmth of each other’s body without practicing.
Because of this short detour, Tatsuro’s mixing magic still didn’t succeed when it was time to go home,……, but there was no word of regret from the two of them.
”I don’t want to be late again today, so let’s get ready to go home early.”
“Yeah, it’s bad enough that I have to call you when you’re tired.”
As soon as he said that, he quickly put his personal belongings and tent into the “item box” and walked towards the workshop building.
They were relieved to see that the craftsmen were already preparing to leave and that they would not be bothering Zendo today.
”Oh, you’re here!”
“Are you ready to go home?”
”Yes, all we have to do is load up the goods for sale and go home. We should be ready to go in less than ten minutes.”
”All right. I’ll go to Gaz’s. See you later, Ai. Zendo, see you later.”
“See you later” “Ouu I’ll take care of her!”
He waved lightly to Ai and Zendo, and as they split up, he spotted Gaz at the end of the line, already loaded and seated in the driver’s seat.
Tatsuro greeted him lightly and got into the carriage, and a few minutes later, just as Zendo had said, the column began to move.
“Nothing came on the way there, so maybe things will be calmer on the way back.”
Gaz’s words gave a bad feeling in his mind that it sounded like a flag, but he told himself that it was just his imagination and replied appropriately.
But as it turned out, the premonition came true.
When Tatsuro and Ai had left the lake and were halfway to the town, it happened.
”Gee gee gee…”
Before Tatsuro’s wagon could pass by, an Imomu jumped out of the trees. But with yesterday’s pitiful circumstances and Imomu’s legs, he couldn’t catch up with the carriage even if he let it go, so he tried to ignore it and let it pass him by – just then, the head of another demon popped out from behind it and swallowed Imomu whole into its mouth.
It was a big gray lizard that was two meters tall with a tail.
The eyes of Tatsuro and the giant lizard crossed each other.
The ferocious scream made Tatsuro instinctively understand that a battle was inevitable.