The light of an early morning was shining down on me and the occasional gust of wind would rustle the tree leaves on this quiet mountain.
The massive Dragon King’s Tree stood proudly at the summit of the mountain, boasting of Mother Nature’s prowess. The tree’s massive branches and leaves cast a natural umbrella over the area.
Sunlight poured through the foliage, creating spots of lights which illuminated the working area.
A little bit off the mountain’s beaten path stood the remains of a Shinto-style building. The roof had rotted away to the point that it fell in on itself, while the colonnade still pierced the sky.
The sunlight that managed to penetrate the foliage and the remains of the roof were reflected by the armor I wore.
The suit of pristine silver armor had fine details etched into it with white and blue undertones. A jet-black mantle, inlaid with a pattern seemingly cut from the starry night sky, hung from my shoulders and rustled in the wind. While the armor was befitting of a fairy tale knight, the mythical sword and shield I usually held…… weren’t in my hands.
Instead, I held a wooden handle.
A metal trowel was attached to the handle and had a lump of a gray, mud-like substance sitting on it. It was the mortar used to hold bricks together.
After arranging a line of bricks I would apply an even layer of mortar on it before stacking more bricks on it.
“Hmm, that should do it……”
I took a step back and looked at the brick structure with its semicircular entrance as I thought aloud.
What I was building was a brick kiln for my kitchen.
Even though I had been able to successfully acquire the gas-stove-like magic tool the elves used, a kiln was necessary to bake bread, a staple food in this world, with my own hands.
It would have been impossible to call craftsmen to such a remote location, and despite it having been a challenge to gather the materials I did a decent enough job, if I do say so myself.
Luckily a peddler I knew in Lanbaltic had managed to gather everything I needed to construct the kiln, so the material costs weren’t that high.
Once the kiln was dry, I could bake pizzas as well as bread.
I’d found tomatoes on the Southern Continent and it would just be wrong not to make it.
With various possibilities in mind, I took a wet cloth and wiped the excess mortar and dirt off the bricks.
While I was working, Ponta appeared out of nowhere and ran up to my feet.
Having a body length of about sixty centimeters, the head of a fox, the appendages of a flying squirrel and a fluffy tail, Ponta was what was known as a spirit beast in this world.
Though her underbelly was covered in white fur, the rest of her body had light green fur that made it easy for her to blend into grass or trees.
“Ohh, Ponta. Where have you been playing all this time?”
I put down the trowel and started running my fingers over Ponta’s head as I spoke.
Ponta happily began nuzzling my hand in response.
She began waving her cotton-like tail as her large ears began to twitch in response to the sensation she felt. A sudden roar caused me to immediately turn around.
Tearing my eyes away from Ponta I was greeted with the face of a massive beast looking into the kitchen window.
No, it would be more accurate to call it a massive reptile rather than a beast.
It stood four meters tall. Two large horns grew from the creature’s head, reddish-brown scales covered its entire body like a set of armor and a mane of white hair trailed down from its head to its tail.
Despite its bulky body, the creature’s cry was rather high pitched, and its white mane glittered in the morning sun as it started shaking its head.
Its head was too large to fit inside the window so it started rubbing its neck against the wall and snorting in protest.
“Oh, were you and Shiden playing together?”
I spoke the creature’s name as I approached the window and began patting Shiden’s head as he glared at me.
Shiden blinked his reptilian eyes in rapid succession while i was petting him.
I think he’s gotten comfortable in this environment.
He originally lived in the great plains of the Southern Continent…… the nomadic Tiger Tribe called creatures like Shiden dragon mounts for obvious reasons.
However, after my considerable contributions to the beastmen of the Southern Continent in a recent incident, the leaders of the Tiger Tribe gifted me this mount as a sign of ‘Friendship’.
Shiden was the size of a car and I wanted to decline the offer, but repeated claims of “This is proof of our friendship” made it difficult to refuse.
As a person who had received the name of an elven village (by proxy), I was the de facto representative of said village, so outright declining the gift might have hindered future relations.
That’s what I convinced myself of anyway.
Shiden’s dignified appearance would certainly catch the attention of humans, but fortunately this mountainous region was quite a distance away from human settlements and the nearest beastmen village will be on the other side of a forest once it was completed.
Being able to handle loads greater than any horse could, Shiden would come in handy when I needed to make any long journeys on foot.
The leader of the Ena clan, the largest of the Tiger Tribe clans, also provided me with “devil nails”, the chili peppers that I ventured into their territory to obtain in the first place.
Perhaps it’d be a good idea to make pepper sauce or tomato chili.
“It’s been ten days since…… no about two weeks since then.”
The memories of what happened on the Southern Continent flooded my mind as I continued to pet Shiden.
“Though you’ve gotten used to the forest, it might be a good idea to take you to a large grassy plain……”
Dragon mounts were rather intelligent creatures since, even if left alone, they would find their own food and a safe place to sleep.
When I tried to wash him in the hot spring, Shiden became rather restless and I couldn’t figure out why until I noticed who was already occupying the spring.
After that, whenever the Dragon King Williahsfim, the ruler of this land, came down from his tree Shiden would go hide in the forest until he left.
Well, that was a response you’d expect from a normal animal.
There weren’t many animals like Ponta who had the courage to play around with the Dragon King’s long tail while he soaked in the spring.
In any case, Shiden was from the plains, to begin with. The forest…… let alone the location of my home, was located close to the summit of the mountain and didn’t much in the way of open fields.
Since our closest neighbors were building their village on the peninsula along the lake in the east, it may be a good idea to travel there once in awhile.
While praising my own ideas, I noticed someone behind me and turned around.
Ariane’s lilac skin was slightly flushed and her wet, snow-white hair was wrapped in a large piece of cloth.
She must have just finished her dip in the hot springs before she came here.
Ariane must have liked the hot spring more than I initially though, because every once in awhile she would join me on these excursions and spend her time soaking in the water.
Instead of her usual form-fitted leather armor, she wore traditional elven clothes which had unique patterns sewn into it. She was exactly like a beauty relaxing after a bath.
“Ah, already finished with the stove? Arc, you’re rather skilled at this type of thing……”
Ariane was taking a look inside the kiln I’d just finished putting together when those words of praise slipped from her lips.
Her abundant chest adhered to the law of gravity and the front of her outfit, which came together like a yukata, started to come undone.
Just as I was about to glance at her magnificent figure from behind the safety of my helmet, Ponta ran towards Ariane at full speed and jumped into her chest.
“Wait a minute, Ponta! haha! That tickles! hi hi hi.”
── Such an envious position to be in.
That foolish thought sprung from my mind as I watched a beautiful woman and cute animal play.
Once Ponta settled down, Ariane let out a tired breath before turning to me.
“Arc, it’s around lunch time so how about we go back to the village?”
I looked up at the sky to confirm what she said and sure enough, the sun hung high in the sky.
I had been so obsessed with building the kiln that I didn’t even notice it was already noon.
“Hmm. There are a couple of things I want to work on, but I can come back to them later.”
After replying, I packed up my tools and walked to the front yard with Ariane and Ponta.
We were a simple use of 【Transfer Gate】 away from reaching Raratoia.
“Shiden, hold down the fort while we’re gone.”
As the magic formation began to glow beneath our feet, I gave a final order to Shiden, who responded with a shake of his mane.
It was an exchange we’ve developed since I acquired Shiden.
After Ponta said goodbye to her new friend, the magic was invoked and everything faded to black.