Science Shall Prevail Over Magic / Science Shall Prevail Over Magic Chapter 13
Helium, 13th Chapter: Hunting in the Forest
Pushing through the thicket that was ankle high, for a while he walked inside the forest with Frey.
Suddenly, the sound of water was heard. A river drifting through the woods, as if it was interposed, came into view.
“Let’s proceed downstream by the riverbank. Once we move to an area where trees are short, it won’t take half a day to the Royal Capital.”
“Is this the same river flowing from Wide Town? Wouldn’t it be better if we moved by the riverbank from the start?”
If we could travel to the Royal Capital from Wide Town, why would Frey take such a detour? Hence why Shin voiced his doubt.
“We could. Until now, weren’t the trees on the path sparse? It was a path used to transport goods to the Royal Capital, so it was somewhat flat. Even so, you can’t exactly call it ‘reclaimed’.”
Which reminded Shin that he, too, found it quite easy to walk from the halfway point onward when he was heading to Wide Town.
“Why transport goods on foot?”
“No, it was… a countryside down the south. There was nothing. Yeah… even the roofs were made of straw.”
“S-Straw thatched roofs… such a village still exists? I have a long way to go as an Adventurer.”
Apparently, the village Shin had visited first… correction: the village which happened to be the destination of his teleportation was extraordinarily obscure.
To begin with, there was not a single moment during the past few hours when he thought that there might not be a need to deceive her.
Shin decided that it would rather be more convenient to go with, “a countryman who is not conversant with the ways of the world”.
“It’s going to get dark soon. Oh well, since we are proceeding by the riverbank anyway, we can walk plenty under the moonlight… Still, we will have to prepare dinner before too long, so we’d better start.”
“Hunting. We can eat fruits, but a beast or a fish would be better for the main course. It would be difficult to catch a fish, though.”
Back in Wide Town, although he had an opportunity in a long while to partake of cuisine, the concept of hunger did not exist for Shin.
Although Shin considered carrying on walking, when he thought about Frey, he gave up in favor of her stories.
“Is there something I can do?”
Frey had left to, apparently, collect large stones off the riverbank for reasons unknown.
To build a fire, something that would burn readily was required. Hence, twigs cut off from the trees nearby would not do; as the moisture content in the growing trees would be high.
When he returned with dozens of deadwood pieces on his body to where Frey originally was, he found a mound of stones deftly piled up.
”Shin, please put the twigs on these stones.”
Upon observing carefully, he found that the stones were not merely piled up. Forming a circle, the pile had a gaping hole in the center.
To have heat conducted to the stones; have only as much air in as was insufficient to extinguish the fire; and to control oxygen.
Toward Frey, who was well versed in such a primitive way as that besides being agile, Shin harbored respect albeit only just. As requested, he dumped the twigs into the center of the stones.
“That’s crude… oh well. I’ll go look for edible fruits. Since you would surely have no idea, wait here.”
Saying so to Shin, this time Frey went into the forest.
“Fuu, to get teleported to such a primitive age.”
Left alone, Shin aimlessly walked to the riverbank and peered into the water.
Although he had seen fish bred in mansions for amusement, it was his first time seeing them swimming naturally in a river.
In the era of Earth which Shin belonged to, rivers did not exist; especially in Japan. Actually, there did exist one. However, since it flowed underground through a drainage facility into the sea, he had no opportunity to see it. Much less to say about one with the fish swimming inside.
“It would be difficult to catch a fish, huh?”
Shin could not get the meaning of those words.
Shin, who had the child inside him excited, nonchalantly brought his Alloy boots to the surface of water and activated Acceleration System.
The Acceleration System generated repulsion force toward the magnetic field.
It would naturally produce electric current. In that instant, any conductive material present there would naturally receive an electric shock.
“How do I eat it?”
He muttered. Pondering over it, he picked four up and put them on the bank.
Shortly after, Frey emerged from the thicket with something white in her hand.
“What a lucky day! There was no need to lure the beasts. Maybe the heavens pitied me for getting betrayed by my companions?”
“Is that an usagi?” (TN: Usagi means rabbit)
Frey’s sarcastic words beamed. The animal with long ears that she was holding looked like a rabbit to Shin.
“Usagi? It’s a pig rabbit. It’s very quick and equally skittish, so it’s hard to find. Its meat is such a delicacy, that it goes for quite a high price.”
Literal translation: Buta usagi. The nose of that animal was smashed just like a pig’s, and its ears were disproportionately long. It was as if a pig and a rabbit had undergone a fusion. Shin felt an urge to laugh at the fact that it was named as such in this world. (TN: Buta means pig)
“What’s so funny? Hey, are those fish over there?! Oi Shin, how did you do it?”
“Just caught them… Wait a minute! Its speed underwater would put even a pig rabbit to shame. Are you a fisherman? No, a fisherman would use a net.”
Frey, who was so surprised that she forgot the existence of the pig rabbit she was holding in her hand, rushed over to where Shin had put the fish.
“O-Oh well. We have about all the ingredients, and it has gotten dark, too. Let’s build a fire?”
Saying this, Frey threw the fruits into the pile. After rummaging through the robust bag that she had been carrying all this while, she took something out and held it to the twigs dumped earlier by Shin.
The moment he had his suspicions raised, Frey hummed some words. The next moment, her hands started to glow red and a fireball shot toward the twigs.
“This would do.”
In a blink of an eye the twigs enclosed within the stones blazed; culminating into a splendid bonfire.
Shin was reminded of the fireball shot by the man back in Wide Town. The mysterious phenomenon, which in comparison lacked power, replayed right before his eyes.
“This is another way of using a Mana Calculus. Well, there’s no right or wrong way of using it. ‘The way it’s used depends on the one using it’, they say…”
Frey’s words, which carried a hint of grief, were somehow convincing. However, those words couldn’t keep Shin from making his suspicions known over the same phenomenon transpiring before his very eyes.
Fireball… although how it could suddenly shoot off from the hand was questionable in itself, it was impossible for it to ignite the combustibles into a blaze in an instant.
“This Mana Calculus… can be used like that? Can’t you just burn the premature twigs then?”
“N, aa. It’s because of the firelighter fruits I threw before. The juice it secretes catches fire quickly. But to not know even that… Shin, do you even have a Manacraft?”
Although what he had was an object called Portable Terminal, denying it would be of no use.
It was for the first time since coming here that he was disclosing information. He didn’t care, though. It was not something others could use anyway.
“…I haven’t seen such a Manacraft before. I can’t find the Mana Calculus even after examining it. There must be a Mana Calculus and something to draw that energy out. It must have been designed by one of those scholars. That strife wouldn’t have taken place had it not existed.”
Shin, who had heard from Frey about how in the past the Kingdom was divided after fighting over this Manacraft, recalled the struggle which the advancement of science brought about on Earth. He could not agree more, if only on that part.