The Peerless Kobold - Chapter 172
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Under the cloudy winter sky, several Kobolds who came back from hunting gathered around the campfire in the village square and held their hands out to the fire to keep warm.
(If I remember correctly, there was a fire-using, mage-type Kobold among them, but…)
As Maril passed by the group of Kobolds while being led into the settlement, she noticed the flint and steel which had been probably used to light the fire like a person from a civilized place would do instead of relying on innate qualities like fire manipulation.
“… They have a scoop wheel and even an aqueduct that stretches to the edge of their settlement.”
“It’s almost like a small village, isn’t it?”
“Looks like we have to change our first impression of them…”
Just as the vigilante corps members said, it was surprising that the Kobolds were more civilized than they had imagined.
Flustered, Maril looked away and looked at where they were being led to and saw a large, blue-furred Kobold placing a water-filled iron pot over the fire and selecting the appropriate dried herbs to make tea.
“Hello, good afternoon.”
When the hulking blue Kobold with the friendly expression said something, the wheat-skinned elf that accompanied them interpreted it in the common language, but… the number of questions Maril and her companions had only increased.
(Anyway, why is there even an Elf here!?)
After they waited for the Werecat craftsmen by the river for almost one and a half hours, the ones who welcomed them were the tall and lean Kobold who was somehow connected to the Black Elf.
Her surprise at seeing the attractive Elf girl exchange glances with the Kobold and talk with him in their language was still fresh in her memory.
Anyway, Maril regained her composure and looked at the large blue Kobold.
“I guess it’d be weird to say this is our first meeting, but… Thanks for helping us last time, Mr. Blue Kobold.”
“Garuoua, ruaoouu… Kuagaoruuo, wauo waoaan.”
“Hn? Last time?”
Although she thought he looked cute as he cluelessly tilted his head to the side, Maril told him about the time they fought the bandits that attacked their village, and the Blue Kobold nodded as if to say, “Oh, I see.”
“Oh right, there was something like that before~”
After some more small talk, the blue Kobold wrapped the mixed herbs in a clean linen cloth and threw it inside the iron pot with the boiling water, took out some honey, added some with a wooden spoon, and mixed it.
After being impressed by the practiced manner in which the tea was being prepared and after politely expressing her gratitude to the tall and skinny Kobold who had helped them numerous times, Maril gave another slight bow to the two Kobolds.
“I’m Maril, the acting village chief. Nice to meet you.”
“Guaurugaao guruaowauu kuaruwau, uaoon.”
“I’m Zeno, the leader of the local vigilante corps.”
“Guruu garuguau guo.”
As Maril feigned friendliness and exhibited a graceful demeanor as she greeted the blue Kobold, each of the members of the vigilante corps also followed suit and bowed their heads.
“Guruu wauuh, uruoaao kuoruu.”
“Hello, I’m Ax, I hope we can get along well.”
A worn-out Battle Axe and Shield which showed that he was a warrior lay beside the huge Kobold as he cheerfully responded to their guests.
(If I remember correctly he sent those bandits flying with that Battle Axe before…)
As she recalled an event from the past, Maril sat around the fire with the others and received the present that Zeno took out and handed to her.
“These apples and beer are produced by our village, please have some.”
“Gaaugaruau guouukuauru, kuruaou”
“I’ll be taking this for now…”
After receiving the burlap sack that contained the apples and beer, Blazer gave it a light sniff to check for poison and handed it to Ax.
“Thank you, please have this from us as well~♪”
In return, everyone from Viel village was treated to some freshly brewed, rosemary-scented herbal tea in wooden mugs, although it couldn’t be called a return gift since it was prepared in advance.
A single wooden mug would need to be chiseled into shape and polished with a polishing cloth smeared with a polishing solution made from animal fat and powder made from finely crushed freshwater clamshells, so if this was made by the Kobolds, then they are quite skilled.
“This… Did you make this?”
“Garuo… Guruuo garuau?”
“Oh no, I didn’t make it, Smith did.”
Maril quietly sipped her herb tea after hearing the response and took a deep breath before thinking about the opportunity as the acting village chief.
(Hmm, if they are skilled enough to do woodworking, maybe we could buy their wares and sell them to the neighboring towns? Also, I wonder if they could supply us with dried herbs and herbal medicine if we ask…)
Aside from the possibility of enriching the economy of Viel village, it was also necessary to establish friendly relations with the Kobolds who control the upper reaches of the Steele River which is their source of water and livelihood, and having a trade relation with them could be a way of achieving this.
As the leader of the village, she could not overlook the fact that if they could procure a rare commodity from the forest, then they could sell it exclusively since they are allowed to freely come and go inside the forest sanctuary.
Moreover, it is a story for later when Maril, who had ridiculously high household skills, was able to make highly detailed, felted Kobold dolls from the Kobold sheddings she received from them and ripped Muriel out of her money.
That aside, Maril glanced around the settlement as she put her thoughts together and responded to the casual conversation.
“From the looks of it, nothing seems to be particularly of concern, right?
“Yes, it’s quite peaceful in fact…”
Zeno casually picked up on the whispered words and expressed his agreement.
Actually, they were asked by the feudal lord to investigate and report the Kobolds in the sanctuary via the administrative office of Ferias territory which is located in the core city.
(Well, I don’t intend to return good with evil after they saved us twice though…)
In the meantime, just as Maril was thinking to keep the presence of the Elves in the area and that the Kobold settlement is civilized under wraps, Blazer, who had been observing her facial expressions since earlier, interjected,
“… Guouru, wooou voruwafaau?”
“… By the way, what’s your purpose for coming to our settlement?”
“Well, we only came to greet you as neighbors.”
“Kuun, guakuoauru gauouu.”
Although Blazer wondered about the casual response, Ax took it at face value and their conversation with the villagers around the campfire proceeded in a relaxed manner from start to finish, but…
(Uu… interpreting is hard… I might have agreed too easily)
Selica, who was giving her all in her supporting role, was already getting tired, and although she had already prepared an oil lamp and some vegetable oil, Maril and the other villagers decided to cut the conversation short, as they wanted to return to the outer edge of the forest before it became dark.
Although they were cutting it close to their schedule, they also said goodbye to Barrack and Grimer who seemed to be heading back to Lucua village after spending the night in the floppy-eared Kobolds’ house, and headed to the outskirts of the Kobold settlement.
However, for the last time, Maril turns to Blazer and Ax who had come to see her off, and, with a slightly embarrassed expression, uttered the simple greeting that Selica had taught her.
“Woa, uworu!” (See you again!)
“Voaruouu…” (Some other time, perhaps…)
“Worukuaaouu” (Take care on your way back.)
After bidding farewell to the two Kobolds, Maril and the other villagers turned around and walked towards the afternoon forest, and the slightly unusual day for the Kobolds living in the sanctuary came to an end.
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