conditions were too attractive for us to give up on, so it must’ve been pretty urgent for Sieg-san to reach this village.

After all, news of particularly high quality earth-extract were doing rounds.
This “earth extract” was said to be made by mixing lots of ingredients using alchemy, and was supposedly indispensable for alchemists.

“But aren’t alchemists supposed to live in larger cities, and such? I’m sure they must have other businesses.”
“It would seem that some highly-acclaimed alchemists prefer to settle in frontiers.”

Lilifa joins into mine and Sieg-san’s conversation.
She is an elf, and our designated magician.

Elves were highly tribal, as well as a curious bunch.
Without straying from the norm, she also stuck her head in whatever piqued her interest.
This time’s request was accepted by Lilifa as well, on reflex.

“Ooo-i.”

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Zeal, who went ahead as our scout finally returned.

“I think I found what could be a human settlement just ahead.”
“Ooh! I’m sure that must be the rumored pioneering village!”

Sieg raised an elated voice upon hearing Zeal’s words, but I was a little caught up in how he said it.

“Did something happen to the village?”
“…I was just a bit surprised since it’s surrounded by a moat and walls on all sides.
Seemed too splendid for a village.”
“? Aren’t strong defenses normal for a pioneering village, considering where it’s located?”
“It felt a bit too grand despite that…”

Zeal’s remarks had made me curious, but we couldn’t very well turn back now.
Sieg-san also seemed to be curious, as he stopped his horse-carriage and approached me.

“What do you think?”
“I can’t judge without having seen it myself.”
“That’s also true.”

Zeal’s intuition was almost always correct in times like these.

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It wouldn’t hurt to be cautious.

***

“What’s that?”

As we continued our journey, a village(?) started becoming visible.
Just as Zeal said, it was surrounded by walls, and even had a moat.

However, the scale was strange.

The walls were most likely twice my own height, and the moat was so wide that even Zeal couldn’t have jumped across it.
Zeal wasn’t the only one surprised at the fact that such a high-defense village was a pioneering village.

“Sieg-san.
It might be better if we staked this place out first.”
“You’re right.
Even I didn’t expect it to be like this.”
“Heey! Racquel! Can we go in yet?”
“”…””

Beside the two of us who were talking with dark expressions, Lilifa couldn’t stifle her curiosity.
For a curious elf like her, this village would appear to be full of interesting things.

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