Develop 145

Chapter 145 What Neil Want

Edited by: Kanaa-senpai

 Upon hearing Lewya’s unexpected revelation, I couldn’t hide my surprise.

 ”I saved the Elf village? What are you talking about? I don’t recall any of this.”

 ”I suppose not. You didn’t set out to save us intentionally. But thanks to you, we’re living here now. It’s all thanks to you, Neil.”

 ”Wait a moment, please. Explain it in a way I can understand. I haven’t grasped anything, and it’s all very confusing.”

 ”Well… then come this way.”

 Guided by Lewya, I walked through the Elf village.

 On the way, the Elf residents noticed my presence, casting various looks. Some showed curiosity, having never seen a human before, while others bowed their heads towards me, much like Lewya earlier. Some seemed grateful, but I wasn’t sure how to react.

 There were also those who stared openly, their hostility evident. It seemed that not everyone was fond of humans.

 Amidst these diverse gazes, I reached the destination where I was led. It appeared to be an ordinary field.

 ”Neil, do you remember when you asked me a question about the quality of the settlement’s crops?”

 ”Um, yeah. It was something like, ‘Do you have any idea about the change in crop quality?’”

 Lewya’s response indicated that she didn’t recall any specifics, but there had been an incident in the Elf village where crop quality changed. However, she didn’t seem willing to discuss it further.

 ”Well, I responded that way because you asked if the quality had changed, but truthfully, it wasn’t about the quality improving. More accurately, the crops just stopped growing altogether.”

 ”They stopped growing? The spirits are supposed to manage crop growth perfectly. Why would this happen?”

 ”Indeed, the spirits can manage the crops’ growth perfectly, but for that, certain prerequisites must be met. If there’s no soil or water, even the spirits can’t make crops grow.”

 I glanced around at Lewya’s words.

 In the midst of the lush green forest, all the surrounding plants thrived, seemingly meeting the conditions necessary for crop growth.

 ”What went wrong?”

 ”It was nutrition. Originally, when nutrition is lacking, the spirits can compensate by drawing nutrients from other soil. With their intervention, crops can grow. So, Neil, can you guess what happens when crops are grown by scavenging the limited nutrients present here?”

 ”Specific nutrients became depleted, causing crops to struggle?”

 No, it wasn’t merely a scarcity compared to others; the nutrients in that soil had indeed been depleted. It’s not hard to imagine that this shortage also affected other plants and crops that had thrived there for ages.

 ”Why did you let it get to this point?”

 ”It’s a simple explanation. We didn’t notice until it reached this stage. We believed spirit management was flawless and never considered any issues could arise. Our optimistic view that this forest is fertile and that our food would be sufficient probably helped nurture our complacency. Centuries of uneventful existence reinforced this mindset.”

 Indeed, seeing the thriving growth without much human intervention might lead to the notion that relying solely on spirits is foolproof. Given the fertility of the land, depletion of nutrients didn’t occur quickly, and if centuries had passed without any problems, it might be understandable that the Elf residents didn’t notice the issue until it became apparent.

 ”Did the spirits not say anything until it became a problem? If the spirits were collecting nutrients from the forest, they should’ve noticed before the depletion occurred.”

 ”We only asked the spirits to ‘cultivate crops.’ We never instructed them to report problems that might arise from it. So, they simply grew the crops as they were told.”

 ”It seems the inflexibility of spirits remains the same, even with Elves as their counterparts…”

 Even with Elves being capable of seeing them and interacting with them, this was the kind of response they got. It reinforced how challenging it is for humans to rely on spirit power. Looking at it this way, Wen’s existence is quite an irregularity even among spirits.

 ”As soon as the issue was uncovered, we tried using compost and green manure on the fields. However, the results were quite disappointing. The lacking nutrients weren’t easily replenished with these methods.”

 That’s, of course. Natural fertilizers have their limits. Hence, I developed alchemical fertilizers to efficiently supply nutrients that natural ones couldn’t. But hold on.

 ”Could it be alchemical fertilizers?”

 ”Yeah, when regular fertilizers proved ineffective, and we were at our wit’s end, we received a divine message from the spirit tree. It was about the new fertilizer that’s been circulating in the human settlements lately. According to the oracle, it could potentially resolve the issue we’re facing.”

 I see, Lewya must have meant that the human settlement had been using alchemical fertilizers from the start.

 ”It’s impressive that you managed to obtain alchemical fertilizers. Though they are widely available, acquiring them requires funds. How did you manage that?”

 ”Neil, do you remember the magic I usually use?”

 As she spoke, Lewya touched her ears. When she’s in the human settlement, she shortens her ears using magic, so seeing her with her current long Elf-like ears was a bit unfamiliar to me.

 ”It’s unnecessary when you’re secluded in the forest, right?”

 ”Ah, I get it now. It’s magic to blend in with other races when you descend to human settlements.”

 ”Descending to human settlements doesn’t involve anything significant. It’s just a matter of taking temporary jobs to earn money and purchasing necessary supplies for our life. There are many things we can’t obtain easily in the forest.”

 So, she gathered alchemical fertilizers by working and earning. Lewya’s attitude towards me likely softened because I was the human who developed alchemical fertilizers. But while it’s true that the worst-case scenario could have led to crops not growing and causing famine, it’s a bit perplexing to easily trust someone who merely developed a type of fertilizer.

 ”I understand the situation, but can my individual trustworthiness be solely based on this? While I did develop alchemical fertilizers, it might be hasty to trust me so readily. It’s a separate matter.”

 ”I didn’t trust you solely because you developed alchemical fertilizers. It’s because you didn’t monopolize the technology for your own gain.

 You spread it not only within the empire but to other nations as well. The effects are remarkable. If you were a noble, or even if you weren’t, most would keep the formula secret and monopolize the benefits. But you didn’t. You prioritized the nation’s interests over personal gain.”

 ”That’s true. Yet, isn’t it mainly the commoners who are engaged in agriculture? If alchemical fertilizers were priced too high, they wouldn’t afford it, and if I only distributed it within my territory to stabilize crop yields, the profits wouldn’t be significant.

 Besides, no matter how much I try to keep it secret, such information tends to leak eventually. So, I thought it would be better to spread it.”

 Moreover, when it comes to what I develop, His Majesty often holds the core rights. Even though I’m the developer, rights often slip away to the country along with honor and rewards right after completion.

 Well, I’m not sure if I could have spread it effectively just within the Count Atmiras’ estate. Even if I could, it wouldn’t have been done as swiftly. So, if the country takes the lead, it’s beneficial for us.

 Thanks to that, the Atmiras’ name has spread within and outside the empire. I gained even more influence within the empire than before.

 ”Yeah, I just thought that prioritizing long-term benefits over immediate gains was more beneficial for me. Others might perceive it as if I’m not seeking any profit.”

 ”So, Neil, what do you seek for yourself? Wealth? Fame?”

 ”Both would be nice if I could get them, but I’m not that eager to pursue them. Too much wealth and fame tend to attract unnecessary troubles, so moderation suits me. So, if I were to answer Lewya’s question… Well, I guess my seeking is for ‘peace.’”


 ”Ah, that includes both physical and the so-called peace of mind. It’s what I seek. So, I dislike getting into conflicts with others that disrupt my inner peace. I try my best to avoid it. Not monopolizing the things I develop is to prevent unnecessary conflicts.

 Helping others also stems from not wanting to see someone hurt and disturb my own peace. People often label me as selfless, willing to sacrifice my gains for others, but that’s not true. I’m a selfish person who prioritizes my own tranquility above all else.”

 ”I see, that’s the kind of benefit you’re after. But you still sound quite humble. In fact, you sound so self-deprecating that it almost comes across as sarcasm.”

 ”Ugh… Well, what can I do? I seek peace, after all. If I confidently declare, ‘I’m a pacifist! I hate conflicts! Let’s all go in peace!’ it would make me seem a bit deranged.”

 ”I wasn’t expecting such confidence… well, it’s Neil, after all. I guess that’s just how you are.”

 I feel like I just got an unsatisfactory agreement, but it’s because of my lack of confidence. I decided not to dig further, as I would only end up complicating matters.

 ”Nevertheless, I feel relieved after hearing your story. Back then, trying to believe in Neil wasn’t a mistake.”

 ”…Is that so?”

 Lewya’s straightforward words made me feel embarrassed, and I responded curtly. Perhaps finding my reaction amusing, Lewya let out a small laugh.

 ”Hehe, well then, let’s stop this detour here and head to the elders’ place. They should have received the notice of our arrival by now, and I’m sure they’re eagerly waiting.”


 That’s right, I didn’t come here to listen to ancient Elf stories. I came to discuss the future of the human settlement and the Elf village. With a renewed sense of purpose, I tightened my focus and prepared to meet with the elders.

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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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