We finished setting the traps all around the underground aqueduct and went outside. All we had to do now was to wait for the Blood Mice to eat the food and the poison to take effect.
“That stench is sticking to my clothes.” The underground aqueduct didn’t smell great. It would be especially hard on women like Linear-san, but she didn’t seem to care.
“Yeah, it smells, but you’ll get used to it.” It seemed like she was speaking from experience. She kept walking.
“Linear-san, can we take a break for about 30 minutes?”
“Sure, I don’t mind. I’ll be resting in my room.”
“You will? I want to relax a bit too, can I come with you?”
“I don’t care.”
Well then, if you’re fine with it, I’ll take a break in that room as well. I went back to the management office with her, and we entered the room upstairs. However, I did go back into the corridor once to duplicate the light magic tool, key, map, etc., and by the time I returned to the room, it was already time to get back to work.
“It’s time to go.”
I headed back to the underground aqueduct with Linear-san. We turned the light magic tool on and lit up our surroundings.
“Wow, no way!”
Linear-san’s surprised voice was lovely. Blood Mice were lying around all over the place. Every single one of them was already dead. Alright, the experiment was a success.
“Linear-san, it worked ― they all got poisoned.”
“Y-yes… This is a pretty amazing result… But now we have to deal with the corpses. It’s pretty hard to carry them out.”
“In that case, shall I dismantle them?”
“Dismantle? Oh, come to think of it, adventurers also get paid for the number of subjugations, on top of the hourly wage, right?”
“Right. So, as proof of subjugating the Blood Mice, I need to bring their fangs or tail.”
“Then it’s a good idea to dismantle them. In the meantime, Relius, can you make some more poisoned food? I’ll go set it out again.”
“I thought you’d ask that, so I made it during our break.”
I handed her a pouch with more poisoned food.
“…Ah, you did it already.”
“Thank you very much. Please set it out.”
“Yeah, leave it to me.”
I pulled out my hammer when I couldn’t see Linear-san anymore. All that was left was to dismantle them. I hit them all with my hammer, and got a large amount of Blood Mice material. Poisoning the bait saved me more trouble than I thought. Linear-san came back after I’d disassembled a total of fifty blood mice.
“What the…? Are you already finished?”
She looked at me with astonishment. To convince her, I showed off the pouch full of Blood Mouse tails.
“…Are you really good at dismantling? It’s all in excellent condition.”
“I think it’s because they died of poison. That’s why I can take them without any damage.”
“I see… well, for now, I’ve set out all the poisoned bait you gave me.”
Linear-san opened the map and showed me the notes roughly indicating where it had been placed. We left the underground aqueduct after that and took another break in the office.
“Fifty bodies, in one day… I’ve been at this for the past week, and I barely got fifty in all that time.”
Linear-san was a little depressed at the situation.
“W-well… this task just happened to be well-suited to my skills.”
“Yes… for what it’s worth, you’ve been a great help. We’ll be finished much earlier than we expected.”
Linear-san looked at me with relief.
“Come to think of it, do you have any weapon besides your Divine Treasure?”
She seems to have noticed my sword. I instead took out my hammer to show it to her. “My Divine Treasure is not that strong.”
“Do you have some fighting ability? But where did you get that weapon, anyway? From a labyrinth?”
I guess it wouldn’t be a problem to tell her about my Blacksmith occupation.
“I actually have the Blacksmith occupation.”
Her reaction was completely at odds with what I had been expecting. She looked at me with eager, sparkling eyes.
“What’s up with you all of a sudden?”
“You can make weapons, right?”
“Y-yes… I mean, I’m a blacksmith after all, so I can only make weapons.”
Well, currently I could make almost anything, but I wasn’t goinrvg to mention that.
“No, I think it’s amazing.”
Still looking cheerful, she took out her cane. “This is my only weapon, but it’s useless.”
Is it really okay to say something so… blasphemous?
“…Is it okay for a member of the church, who serves God, to say that?”
One of the reasons they didn’t like Blacksmiths is because they interpret them to be rebelling against God. The Blacksmith makes weapons, and so ignores the precious weapon that God has given to him.
“Because I think that God is messing with me.”
She was blaspheming again. I sighed. “Well that’s fine. I do realize the cane is useless for fighting, but… why are you getting closer?”
“I want you to make me a weapon. I’ll pay for it, of course.”
I was a little surprised at her proposal. She wanted me to make a weapon for her. I never thought anyone would say that. As I stared at her, Linear-san nodded happily. “On the day of the oracle ceremony a while ago, one of the people turned out to be a Blacksmith. I was worried because there was a big fuss in the church, but is it possible that person was you?”
“Were they really making a big fuss?”
“Yes. Because a Blacksmith is a bad person who rebels against God.”
“…A bad person. Is it because they ignore the Divine Treasures and make weapons of their own?”
“Yes… I guess.”
I had no idea. They’re right, too. They were probably trying not to tip me off. If that’s the case, it’s a big deal.
“The bishops of this city were trying to placate them. Making weapons is not a bad thing in itself. No doubt there will be some situation in the future where a Blacksmith will be needed. The fact that God has given someone that occupation and Divine Instrument means something.”
“Is that how it is?”
“Yup. Well, leaving that aside…. what do I need to pay for it? Even using my body is fine.” Linear-san chuckled.
“W-what are you talking about!”
You’re a sister, aren’t you? When I turned red, Linear-san hid her mouth with one hand. Her eyes were narrowed in jest. “What’s with that reaction? Well, I was half joking. Half serious. I want to do my absolute best to compensate you.”
“You did? Well, for compensation…”
“If we do it here now… it would be embarrassing.”
“N-no one would ask for that in a place like this!”
“At night, then? I have work tomorrow, so I don’t have much time at night either, you know?”
“No! I… I want to meet and talk with the bishop. Is that possible?”
“…The bishop is a man you know. Is that what you want?”
“Aren’t you misunderstanding something?”
“Well, it’s fine, so would you like it in private? But…”
“That’s not what I mean! I’d like to consult with the bishop in detail about his views on Blacksmiths.”
Linear-san tilted her head.