Develop 122

Chapter 122 Neil’s Premonition

Edited by: Kanaa-senpai

 Late at night when everyone was asleep, I lay on the bed in the bedroom, unable to sleep, gazing blankly at the canopy as I wondered about Momoka.

 Did Lewya manage to ask Wen to protect her?

 Well, before that, Wen was generally carefree and rarely stayed in one place. Especially when there were external visitors to the settlement, it was said that he sometimes wandered in the woods. There was also the possibility that Lewya hadn’t been able to talk to Wen yet.

 Lewya also had his duties as a servant and wasn’t always talking to spirits.

 The more I think about it, the more I feel uneasy.

 It was already late at night, but was Lewya still awake? Just as I was wondering if it would be bothersome to visit the bedroom now, the door was knocked gently.

 ”Who is it?”

 ”Neil, it’s me, Lewya.”

 ”Lewya? Come in.”

 As the saying goes, there must be something to talk about if you come at this time. Still feeling uneasy, I told her it was okay to come in.

 ”Neil, there’s urgent news. The guys who were sniffing around the fields have entered the settlement.”

 ”I see. They finally got impatient.”

 I thought that if they realized there was nothing coming out of the fields even after sniffing around, they would give up and go home or resort to aggressive measures, but they chose the latter after all.

 ”There’s new information from the spirits. They say they’ve entered the laboratory.”

 ”It’s not a coincidence, is it?”

 ”Yes, they were using the building to hide and move around, so it was somewhat roundabout, but they only sneaked into the laboratory and didn’t enter any other buildings.”

 So they must have thoroughly investigated not only the fields but also the settlement itself.

 ”What should we do, Neil?”

 ”Just to make sure, is there any chance they know what we know?”

 ”I don’t know. It’s unlikely that anyone besides the elves would notice surveillance by spirits, so the possibility of them noticing is low.”

 Well, what should we do then?

 They should not be able to find anything related to farm’s secret in the lab, and the only things in the lab are seasonings, alcohol, and the beauty products that Mei is making.

 At this point, instead of causing a stir, it might be better to just let it go, and I turn to look at the sword leaning against the bed.

 This sword is not the beloved sword but a new one that I requested through Harvest Hoe’s firm, and it is made of the same material and design as the beloved sword, but since it is made by human hands, it is not exactly the same, and there are slight differences in the magic power and the weight balance, so it is not completely comfortable in my hand.

 ”By the way, Lewya, what happened with Momoka’s situation?”

 ”I spoke to Wen and even though I got her approval, she didn’t seem to be pleased with it.”

 ”I see, that she approved is at least something to be grateful for.”

 Even if she doesn’t like it, the fact that she agreed means that she will protect Momoka. I was worried about the distance between Momoka and the others because their carriage is on the opposite side of the mansion from the hut, but now I feel a little more secure.

 ”Huh! Neil!”

 ”What is it?”

 I am startled by Lewya’s sudden change of expression, and she opens her mouth in an urgent tone.

 ”Zora went into the lab! It seems like she was caught by them!”


 Why would Zora be in the lab? Did she follow and catch up with them?

 Why was she walking around at this time? I was full of confusion and questions, but I quickly grabbed the sword leaning against the bed.

 ”Neil!? What are you doing–”

 ”There’s no time to talk about it!”

 My bedroom is on the second floor of the mansion, and I don’t have time to walk down the stairs to the front door.

 With no other options, I opened the window in my bedroom and threw myself into the darkness below.

 I had done the same thing when monsters attacked the settlement before, but this time, it was hard to perceive the distance between me and the ground in the darkness. I prepared to cast a wind spell in the same way as before, aiming at the ground, but either my aim or the power of the spell was off. My body was blown sideways by the wind pressure and I rolled ungracefully on the ground.


 Despite the intense pain throughout my body, I commanded my limbs to stand up forcibly and dashed towards the hut near the mansion.

 Spirits monitored their movement, but there was inevitably a delay before they passed the information on to Lewya.

 It probably took several seconds, and in a worst-case scenario, it could be more than ten seconds before I heard what had happened to Zora.

 If anything happened to Zora in the meantime – I couldn’t shake off the ominous feeling that weighed on me. But I ran frantically and hammered the door of the shed down.


 Since I still hadn’t gotten used to the darkness, there was complete darkness in the hut where even moonlight couldn’t reach. I felt the presence of someone moving inside and pointed my sword at the darkness.

 ”Don’t move!”

 I was sure that someone was there, although I couldn’t see anyone. As I kept staring at the darkness with my sword ready at the entrance, multiple human shadows gradually appeared in the darkness.

 As Lewya had told me, three men with mismatched equipment were staring at me at the entrance. Zora, who had been captured by one of them and had a knife pointed at her neck, was there, too.

 It seemed that I had made it in time, and while I was relieved that my ominous feeling had not come true, she was not yet out of danger.

 ”Release Zora now!”

 ”Wow, that was fast.”

 ”Or should I say, isn’t he the one who was caught? Isn’t it too convenient to jump in just when we were trying to hide?”

 I don’t know what he means by “jumping in just when we were trying to hide,” but it seems like it really was just barely in time.

 ”Master Neil!”

 Diana’s voice calling my name from behind, along with the sound of multiple people approaching.

 Did Lewya tell everyone? No, even if they were sleeping, landing so loudly like that, it wouldn’t be strange to wake up from the sound.

 ”Don’t come any closer! If you get any closer, I’ll cut off this girl’s head!”

 ”Stop everyone!!”

 I shout towards the people who are approaching as the man holding the knife to Zora’s neck speaks.

 The men who took Zora hostage take a step forward, and as they do, I take a step back. When they get outside the hut, they glower at me while keeping an eye on their surroundings, and begin to move slowly toward the forest.

 ”Wait! Release the child!”

 ”Do you think we can let go of our hostage in this situation?”

 The man responds coldly to my words and tightens his grip on Zora’s restrained arm.

 ”When we have reached a place where we can feel safe, we will release her. Let me make it clear that if you try to follow us, her life will end.”

 ”If you do that, you lose your hostage.”

 ”And do you know this phrase? ‘If I’m going to die, I’ll take you with me.’”

 They mean that if we chase after them, they’ll just take us down with them.

 However, I can’t just let them go like this. There’s no guarantee that Zora will be safely released, and even if she is, the likelihood of her being able to return to the settlement on her own is low.

 I consider whether there is any exchange condition that can be proposed and make a suggestion.

 ”Then how about exchanging it for the information you want?”


 ”You came to investigate the secret of the crops grown in the settlement, didn’t you?”

 ”Well, let’s say we agree to that exchange. Will you let us go after releasing the hostages?”

 ”If you release the child safely.”

 ”I don’t trust you. Even if we release the child after hearing the secret, you might still do something to us.”

 ”Even if I say I won’t do it, you don’t trust me?”

 ”Of course. Who’d be stupid enough to believe a nobleman’s word, especially when dealing with an Imperial nobleman?”

 It won’t work. These people prioritize getting away from this place safely. That’s why they won’t release the hostages no matter what.

 Then there was only one solution I could think of.

 ”Then I will be your hostage.”

 ”Master Neil!”

 I hear Diana’s surprised voice behind me, but I ignore it and stare at the man in front of me.

 ”… Are you serious?”

 ”I am. I don’t know how far you are going to go, but if you release Zora safely, is it a place where she can come back on her own? I can fight a little, and at least I can protect myself.”

 ”Master Neil, then I’ll do it!”

 ”Diana’s no good. Even they’re not reckless. If a noble becomes a hostage, they’ll have to treat me with caution, won’t they?”

 ”Well, I don’t want to do anything that would make the nobles angrier.”

 ”Besides, I know the information you want. How about it?”

 The man who seemed to be the leader and was holding Zora as a hostage stared at my face, seeming to confirm the true meaning of what I said.

 Time flowed silently, and eventually the man spoke up.

 ”…very well, throw your sword down and come here.”


 As instructed, I threw down my sword and faced the group of men with empty hands. But at that moment…

 ”―No, stop!”


 Everyone froze at the sight before them.

 All attentions were focused on the men, and they were all equally on guard of us and our surroundings.

 Momoka, with her white hair fluttering, was standing right in front of the leader of the group, and forcefully ‘crushed’ both of his wrists with her hands.

 In the midst of this sudden event, before anyone could react, the one who responded first was the man whose wrists were crushed


 He screamed in agony, finally feeling the weight of his broken arms. At his scream, the other men who were standing alongside came to their senses and tried to attack Momoka, but…



 The men suddenly slid sideways as if slipping on ice, passed me, and disappeared from view behind me as if they had been pulled away.

 Reflexively, I turned around, still confused about what was going on. There I saw Mio-san with her palms extended in front of her, restraining the two men who were struggling to escape from her grip.


 ”I’m sorry, but if we hadn’t stopped them, Momoka-chan would have been in danger…”

 Niya-san showed anger towards Mio-san who restrained the men by unknown means, and in face of the chaos, we remained helpless, unable to do anything.

 ”Shit, what’s going on!? Why can’t I get away!? Is there some kind of glue on your hands!?”

 ”I wanted to resolve this peacefully as much as possible, but there’s no help for it now, is there?”

 One of the restrained men holds a sword in his hand and tries to thrust it toward Mio-san, who is restraining him.

 Mio-san, whose hands were occupied to restrain the two men, had no way to prevent the sword from being thrown at her. Just as it seemed that the blade would pierce her body, the sword was flung away without warning.


 The man whose sword had been knocked away yelled out in frustration and watched as the sword flew away.

 ”What the hell, you’re not just a whore?”

 ”Oh, please, calm down… We don’t want to get violent either…”

 ”You broke both of my friend’s arms, and you’re telling me to calm down? Just let us go already!”

 ”Uh, please don’t resist…”

 ”Hey! Mio! Come here!”

 As the men struggled, Mio-san desperately tried to restrain them. Meanwhile, Iko-san, who seemed out of place in the intense situation, was waving her hand from a distance.

 ”If you need them restrained, leave them to me!”

 ”Iko! What the hell are you doing?!”

 ”Niya, I know you’re angry, but there’s no pretending we don’t know anything since Momoka made a mess, don’t you think we should cooperate and do each other a favor?”


 ”That’s why, Mio! Pass them over me!”

 ”Iko-chan, please…”

 As soon as Mio-san directed the men’s restrained hands towards Iko-san, the men were propelled towards her.

 The men were sent flying with tremendous force and it seemed like they would collide with Iko-san, but they suddenly lost momentum as they closed in on her and fell vertically, crashing heavily into the ground.



 ”Welcome. Sorry, but please stay stuck like that for a while.”

 ”What is this… my body feels heavy?”

 ”Oops. I think it’s better not to move forcibly. Your limbs might say goodbye to your body under their own weight.”

 What’s going on here? From the way things were going, it seems that Mio-san and Iko-san are not normal, and Niya-san was the only one who could fight, wasn’t she? And Momoka’s movements were so fast, it’s as if she teleported!

 ”Master Neil!”

 ”Oh, Diana!”

 Damn it, even though I couldn’t think of anything else, I suggested becoming a hostage myself. I braced myself for Diana’s reprimand, but to my surprise, her eyes were filled with concern, not anger.

 ”Are you okay? Did you get hurt!?”

 ”Huh? No, I’m fine.”

 It’s not unusual for Diana to worry about me, but it’s the first time I’ve seen her looking so anxious.

 I wondered if I had done something to make her worry so much, and then I saw myself and understood why Diana was so worried.

 I was covered in mud because I had jumped out of the window in my nightclothes and rolled around on the ground so much that Diana must have thought I fought and ended up like this when she heard the noise and came running.

 I explained to Diana while she was trying to remove the dirt from my body, “No, this is not because of the fight or anything—Aah!?”

 ”Does it hurt somewhere?”

 ”Well, I did tumble around quite a bit when I jumped from the second floor, so I think it’s just a bruise.”

 Perhaps due to the thread of nervousness being cut, my whole body suddenly began to hurt.

 I was relieved that nobody else besides me was injured. While thinking about that, I heard a sound, like something collapsing, from behind.


 I turned around at the sound, and saw Momoka as she tumbled and fell to the ground.

 Suddenly, the word “disposable” that Momoka had said earlier flashed through my mind, and I rushed over to her, calling out her name.

 ”Hey! Are you okay!?”

 ”Yeah, I’m fine.”

 ”What do you mean you’re fine?”

 ”I’m good, I just need some rest and I’ll be fine.”

 Momoka looked up with a red streak running down her nose, and she didn’t seem to be all right at all.

 ”For now, let’s get you treated together. Unfortunately, there’s no doctor around, but I can use a simple healing magic to help you-“

 ”It’s no use, that won’t be enough to heal Momoka’s damage.”

 Moona-san appeared out of nowhere and cut me off, squatting down beside Momoka.

 ”What do you mean, it won’t be enough?”

 ”It’s okay, leave it to me when it comes to Momoka.”

 ”Moona, I’m fine on my own.”

 ”What do you mean you’ll be fine? Your legs are so swollen and discolored that you can’t even move them properly.”

 Your legs are so swollen and discolored that you can’t even move them properly.”

 At Moona-san’s words, my eyes naturally turned to Momoka’s legs, and I gulped.

 Momoka’s legs were so swollen and discolored that I could clearly see them even in this darkness.

 These injuries were beyond the scope of minor healing magic.

 ”If you’re going to charge in recklessly like that, you should be grateful you didn’t get your legs torn off.”

 ”…I’m sorry.”

 If you were sorry, you wouldn’t have done such a reckless thing.”

 Moona-san tried to reach out to Momoka, but she twisted her upper body to dodge the hand.

 ”No, I don’t need medical treatment. This is my own fault, and Moona doesn’t need to shoulder the burden.”

 ”What do you plan to accomplish with that injured leg of yours?”


 ”Momoka, you didn’t forget our promise, did you?”


 ”It’s okay. It’s not that heavy a load. And I knew what I was doing… so don’t be unreasonable.”

 Moona-san gently embraces Momo, who looks as if she is about to cry.

 This time, Momoka did not try to resist and held her in her arms, and their bodies were suddenly enveloped in a pale light.

 ”What is this?”

 It was different from the light of healing magic; it was a little stronger, and above all, the light shone only on the hand of the person who cast the healing magic, not on the whole body.

 After staring at the scene for a while, the light gradually subsided, and Momoka’s legs, which had been swollen and discolored, were restored to normal.

 ”Whew… Ah!”

 ”Look out!”

 I support Moona, who almost falls when she tries to get up.

 Her body is surprisingly hot, and beads of sweat the size of pearls fall from her forehead.

 ”Haha, sorry about that. I suppose my stamina has really gone down for me to get this dizzy from such a small effort.”

 ”Moona-san… just who are you people?”

 ”I will be the one who tells you about that.”


 ”Master Neil, may I have a moment of your time? And could we please talk somewhere more secluded?”

 ”…Alright, let’s talk in my office.”

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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.

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