Develop 120

Chapter 120 Respective Motives

Edited by: Kanaa-senpai

 After hearing the story from Niya-san and the others, I was thinking about what had just happened in the office.

 Although I was too scared by the ominousness of the term “disposable” at the time and couldn’t ask anything, the words that came out of Momoka’s mouth stuck in my mind and the small anxiety that was born in my heart was gradually turning into something much bigger as time passed.

 Momoka said that she could only fight, but was Momoka a soldier like Niya-san?

 If so, is Niya-san “disposable” too? According to what Niya-san said, there were not many surviving humans left, so why dispose of the few that have survived?

 No matter how much I thought about it, there was no answer, and in fact, more questions arose.

 After all, the world is very different from this place even if the questions are answered.

 Anyway, I needed to organize my thoughts.


 ”Neil, it’s Lewya.”

 ”Come in.”

 The door to the office was knocked, and after confirming that it was Lewya on the other side, I invited her inside.

 ”I understand that you need something from me.”

 ”Yes, I have a favor to ask Lewya.”

 ”You want to ask me for a favor?”

 ”Well, I actually want to ask the spirits for a favor.”

 ”I see. That’s why you called me.”

 Lewya, who understood why she had been summoned, asked me directly.

 ”What do you want from a spirit?”

 ”I actually want to ask for a guard for Momoka.”

 ”What did you say?”

 ”I can’t go into detail about why I want a guard, as it’s personal information. But I’m worried, so I’m asking you―Lewya?”


 In the middle of the conversation, I noticed that Lewya had a stern expression. When I called out Lewya’s name, Lewya spoke without changing her expression.

 ”Neil, have you recently misunderstood the existence of spirits as something convenient?”

 ”What? No, I don’t think so.”

 ”Are you sure about that? Then why did you call me here first?”


 ”I was the first one to propose using the power of spirits. So I don’t mean to be harsh, but let me tell you one thing. Spirits are not servants, they are our neighbors. If it’s just a small favor, then it’s fine, but I don’t think spirits would agree to protect people.”

 ”Would it be no good even if we offer compensation like we did in the field?”

 ”I told you, spirits are our neighbors, don’t think that they will do anything for us as long as we pay them a price. At least, the spirits will not accept someone who thinks that way.”

 ”Is it okay to ask for surveillance?”

 ”That’s fine. I originally asked for surveillance from the spirits who have been watching over this land since ancient times. All I’m doing is asking them to let us know about things that we might find interesting while they watch over this land. Like with the field incident, spirits are just lending us a hand while continuing to do what they need to do.”

 ”So, is it wrong to want to protect people because it goes beyond what should be done?”

 ”That’s right. Originally, spirits are non-interventionist, and it’s impossible for them to lend a hand like Wen does on their own will.”

 ”Wen… I see. If it’s Wen, maybe she’ll listen to my request.”

 ”Neil, were you listening to my story?”

 ”I did listen, I know full well that I’m treating the spirits well, but I’m asking for your help anyway. I don’t want to go through what happened to Pius again.”

 ”Pius? Why are you bringing up Pius?”


 Lewya looked at me with a searching look, then let out a small breath.

 ”Alright, let’s talk to Wen.”


 ”But there’s no guarantee that Wen will accept your request. What Wen is doing is not something we asked her to do originally; she’s doing it voluntarily. And to Wen, Momoka and the others are outsiders. As long as they’re around, it’s doubtful that she’ll protect them.”

 ”Still, it’s better than nothing.”

 ”And one thing to keep in mind, focusing on one individual means that you can’t keep an eye on others. The spirits are also wary of suspicious people wandering around outside, so there’s no need to worry about that. But we don’t know what else might happen, so we should be prepared for emergencies more than usual.”

 ”I understand.”

 And so, through Lewya, I decided to ask the spirits to protect Momoka.

* * *

 At the same time that Neil was discussing with Lewya in the office, there was a small shadow wandering around the perimeter of the mansion.

 ”There must be something going on, for sure.”

 The identity of the shadow was Ronim’s daughter, Zora, and since she came to the settlement, she had been sniffing around Neil.

 The reason, needless to say, is that she does not trust Neil, a nobleman of the empire.

 Even if Ronim and his companions trusted him, the other party was a nobleman of the empire, with tricks up their sleeve. Zora thought that everyone had been easily deceived.

 ”If it’s not like that, there’s no way that my dad would forget the promise with me.”

 Yes, what drives Zora is the jealousy of having her dad taken from her. Of course, there are other reasons as well, but at present, the largest percentage in Zora is undoubtedly her jealousy.

 Dad, who returned two weeks after the promise, finally returns, but not only did he add work beyond what was initially planned, he plans on returning to work at the settlement again in the New Year.

 It was unbelievable to Zora that her dad, who at first seemed to be gloomy about having accepted a job from a nobleman, accepted the additional job with a smile, saying that it was a good job.

 …Well, regarding that, she knew why everyone was happy to accept additional work after seeing the Sincere Dwarves who were addicted to the taste of the settlement’s cuisine at the dining hall on the first day, but that was beside the point. She never wanted to think that her beloved dad was so absorbed in good food and drink that he forgot his promise with her.

 ”Well, if it comes to this, why don’t I sneak into the suspicious hut that the noble frequents and expose his true colors tonight or something?”

 ”Hey! Zora!”

 ”Oh, it’s Dad’s voice.”

 As Zora thinks about sneaking into Neil’s laboratory, she hears Ronim calling Zora in the distance and Zora rushes toward him.

 ”Oh Zora, I’ve finished my work, now let’s go to the dining hall for dinner.”


 ”What’s the matter? You don’t look well.”

 ”It’s not like that. Hey, Dad, what time will you get home?”

 ”Umm, let’s see, there are still a lot of things to build here, so I can’t go back right away. What, are you missing Mom?”

 ”It’s not that! I just thought that she might be lonely all by herself.”

 ”Is that so? But what she misses is probably the alcohol here. She hogged all the alcohol I brought back as souvenirs, even during the New Year’s farewell, she said ‘please take care of the souvenir sake’.”

 ”Well… yeah.”


 Remembering the beaming smile of her mother when they were sent off, Zora could only nod her head.

 Ronim wondered about his daughter’s strange behavior since they arrived at the settlement, and deliberately raised his voice to cheer her up.

 ”All right! Let’s eat more than usual today!”

 ”Well, dad, I think we always eat extravagantly.”

 ”Don’t be stupid. Just because we have a warm nest egg, doesn’t mean we can eat to our heart’s content every day. If we continuously spend recklessly, the money will run out sooner than we know it. We control ourselves more than you think.”


 Zora looks at him suspiciously, and Ronim gives her a sly grin.

 ”I’m sure! That’s why today, you can order whatever you like, Zora!”

 ”Well, if you say so, dad, I guess I can go along with it.”

 While Zora says “I guess I can go along with it,” she had unknowingly become captivated by Narsht’s cooking over the past week. Zora found out when the sincere dwarf finished his work and returned to the city.

 Meanwhile, there was a group of people in the forest watching the family heading towards the dining hall.

 They were the ones who were after the secret of the settlement, which had been mentioned numerous times in Neil’s conversations.

 ”Sigh, those dwarves are making a fuss again.”

 ”Which means they won’t move from that building for another two hours. What are we going to do?”

 ”It doesn’t matter what our intentions are and what the dwarves are doing. Plus, during that time, the servants will frequently go back and forth between that building and the residence. Sneaking into the settlement carelessly increases the possibility of being caught by someone.”

 ”So, we’re going to act at midnight after all? But then the patrolmen will wake up. If that happens, we won’t have enough time to carefully examine the crops… Or do we really know the secret of how the crops are growing at this rate?”

 ”…What were the results of the investigation?”

 One of the two people in the conversation asks the other, who has stayed out of the conversation.

 ”I haven’t found anything particularly secret in the soil of the fields. The only suspicious thing is that all the nutrients in the soil are at normal levels, despite using so much alchemy fertilizer every day.”

 ”Is it possible that those crops that grow so quickly are absorbing all the nutrients given to them at once?”

 ”It’s possible, but it’s strange that they’re still absorbing nutrients at that rate but there are still nutrients remaining in the soil. It’s as if someone is manipulating the supply of nutrients, when normally such a rapid rate of absorption would have sucked up all the nutrients in the soil.”

 ”Is it possible that there are some magic ingredients in the fertilizer?”

 ”Magic already exists in the soil, so even if there were some kind of magic mixed into the fertilizer, it wouldn’t be detectable. It would be good if we had access to the fertilizer before it was mixed into the soil.”

 ”The crops are fine, right?”

 ”That’s been investigated separately by the client, which is why they asked us to investigate the secrets of the settlement directly.”

 ”If checking both the crops and the soil is pointless, then there won’t be any more information to be gained by blindly searching the fields.”

 ”What should we do? It’s been a week already, and I’m starting to get worried about the food supplies and test supplies we brought.”

 ”We need to contact the courier before we run out of food, or else we’ll be stuck here in the forest living off the land until they come to get us.”

 At their words, the leader of the group thinks for a while as he stares at the settlement.

 ”…Let’s contact the courier.”

 ”Does that mean we should try again after some time?”

 ”No, if we withdraw and find no information during the next attempt, we’ll take a big loss.”

 ”So should we withdraw now before we take a big loss? We can use the advance payment to break even.”

 ”Don’t be so quick to answer. I haven’t said we’re giving up yet.”

 ”Huh? What do you want to do then?”

 In response to the rude question from the man, the leader looked again towards the settlement, or more accurately, towards a certain building.

 It was a location that seemed to hold the secret of the settlement that had been revealed during their investigation over the past week, and it was located in the center of the settlement. However, despite searching the fields thoroughly, they couldn’t gather any information, and the man became impatient and decided to take bold action.

 ”Tonight, we’ll sneak into the hut beside the mansion. If we can’t find any information there, then our job is over.”

 This was an invasion of Neil’s laboratory. Over the past week, the man had roughly figured out the behavior patterns of the people in the settlement, and he knew that the guards wouldn’t enter the laboratory.

 He thought that if he could sneak in during the night and search the laboratory, he would be safe.

 But the man didn’t know that there was someone else who was planning to break into the laboratory at the same time.

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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.

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