Chapter 55: That time when we were able to obtain a source of honey
After everything that happened, I still woke up at the same time as usual. During breakfast, I just decided to forget about yesterday’s incident and start the daily morning meeting.
「Ahem. For today, let’s carry the stones that we gathered from the reclamation area to the shallow area by the sea in order to prepare to build the fish farms. I’m going to go exploring again this afternoon so please make sure that there are no injuries even when I’m away」
After the meeting was over, everyone started making their own preparations but I noticed that the children were trying to keep their distance. They were also starting to prepare to do their tasks so I decided to just leave them be until they’ve calmed down a bit. If that doesn’t work then I guess it would be fine to just leave it to Tanya and Sonya to heal their trauma.
With that mood, I began rapidly cutting trees and extracting the roots. The stones that were gathered from that would be transported by the others to the locations indicated by the fishing group in order for them to begin constructing the fish pens. As for the large stones that were too much for the humans to carry, I just put them inside a large 【Water Ball】 so it would be lighter and transport it myself.
After eating lunch, I went to the wetlands to check on my handiwork from yesterday.
Not a lot of water is flowing out but it’ll eventually get collected on the reservoir and which will flow out to the water channel. Also, the water wasn’t as dirty as it was yesterday since the sediments have already started to settle. I wonder if I should take some measures to make sure the soil at the bottom doesn’t get disturbed. I’ll try to see if any of the humans have that kind of expertise and consult it with them.
I was curious about the beehive I found yesterday so I went there to examine it further. I’m not sure if it was actually a Yellow Jacket but I discovered a similar looking monster that’s about 30cm long that was clinging to the beehive with its wings loudly buzzing as it was chewing on a honeybee.
Even though it’s bigger, it doesn’t seem to be that different from the Yellow Jackets that I know. I just hope it’s not smart and just moves on instinct. Whenever you’re engrossed in something, you don’t notice the fine details like when you’re making meatballs for example.1
For the sake of obtaining honey, I shot the hornet with my 【Stone Bullet】 which punched a hole through its body. However, it seems like it had a pretty strong life force because even though it fell to the ground, its wings still continued buzzing while making a cracking sound with its chin.
Hmmー, I don’t really want to get close to step on it to be honest. Because of that, I created a small 【Stone Wall】 and just kicked it down in order to crush it. I also got on top of that wall and jumped several times to make sure that it was totally crushed.2
Looking at the hive, it seems like a considerable amount of honeybees were defeated but more than half of them are still alive so it’s still probably fine. It’s more important for the queen to survive I think. Well, I’ve heard that just three Yellow Jackets could even annihilate a pretty large colony of honeybees so I wonder if this means that they didn’t suffer that much damage. I’m not really sure about that but I decided to pick up the hive that fell to the ground and move it to somewhere safe. Since I had the opportunity, I also tried tasting some of the honey that was being produced there.
「Hmmー, I guess honey is commonly used as a sweetener in this world. I kinda want to drink warm milk with honey now」
I’m not talking about Latte and Miel okay?
When I looked at the stone wall, it already disappeared and what was left was the perfectly pressed 30cm long body of the Yellow Jacket that was lying there motionless.
Is this one actually a hornet? Well, it looks exactly like a Yellow Jacket though. Hmmー, it’s a bit bigger than I imagined but it still is a terrifying thing either way if you see a group of these. It’s a good thing they fly solo when looking for food.
『It’s a valuable source of protein you know?』3
No no no no, I’m not going to eat it okay? Maybe the regular Yellow Jacket’s larva if I absolutely don’t have a choice but having to eat one this size is too much for me as expected. You can even turn it into tsukudani and kanroni4 if it’s this big you know? But even before that, this guy is pretty hard right?
「My oh my, thank you very much for helping my comrades」
I heard somebody talking behind me so I turned around to look and found a 20cm tall blond fairy with compound eyes. It had something that looks like a bee’s abdomen growing by its waist and was making a buzzing sound as it hovered.
「Iyaa, well. It just happened so…」
「Well, if that didn’t happen then this hive would have been destroyed you know? That’s why, thanks」
We both just stood there in silence after that. Since I had nothing to lose, I tried restarting the conversation.
「I’m Caam by the way. Is it okay if I ask for a reward?」
「Hmm~. It’s okay you know? You want honey right?」
「Well, in short, yeah」
「You like being pretty vague with your words, don’t you? A man should immediately get to the point you know?」
「Okay, can I keep you guys?」
「Ohhー, a fastball is it? I don’t hate that kind of thing you know? How do you plan to do that specifically?」
「I want to do what’s called apiculture. It is similar to raising chickens and pigs but instead, I’ll be raising bees. I’m going to build some kind of hive near my house which will be your new home then harvest some of the honey you produce there from time to time」
「Hmー. What do we get from doing that?」
「How about protecting you guys from foreign invaders?」
「……well, I guess it’s fine if you do that same thing you did earlier」
「Then it’s settled. Ahー, could I know your name?」
「We don’t have individual names you know? I am a honey bee after all」
「Is that so? I understand」
「No no, please don’t mind it. I’ve already reported this to the queen so she can more or less leave information about you to my younger sisters that will be born. I also let the others know about you, you know?」
Hmmー does that mean that any information that one of them receives gets disseminated to the others? I don’t really understand but I’m thankful for that.
「Oh yeah, do you know of an Alraune that was living around here?」
「Ah, that flower right? It gives us some of its nectar in exchange for helping it propagate you know?」
「Then, does that mean that you guys get along?」
「Totally! She’s already friends with all of us you know?」
「Then that’s good. Actually, she’s currently in a pot that’s in front of my house so do you want to speak with her first?」
Before she could even finish what she was saying, the honeybee suddenly flew into the hive so I don’t know what she was going to say. It seems like she was given instructions to do that.
Once she got back she said 「Okay, shall we go?」 then followed after me.
After we reached the temporary base, I called out Fleur-san’s hibiscus flower body that was on a pot in front of the house I was staying at.
「What is it? The children are using fire right now so I’m concentrating on that. Oh my, those are honey bees, aren’t they? What’s the matter?」
「Their hive was attacked by a large hornet so I helped them and now it seems like we’re about to form a partnership」
「He actually came on to me by saying 『Can I keep you?』 you know? 」
「Oh my, you’re surprisingly aggressive, aren’t you?」
「I was just aiming for coexistence though. Well, let’s just get straight to the point. I proposed to keep the bees. That way I can take some of their honey from time to time but in exchange, I’ll provide protection from foreign invaders. They seemed to know you when I brought you up so I thought it would be a good idea to have them talk to you first」
「You’re leaving it to me to mediate, aren’t you?」
「……sorry about that」
「Could you give me more details about what you plan to do?」
「I’ll hollow out a tree trunk then cover it with a lid on top and put the exit hole at the bottom so that rain and wind won’t get in」
「Then, I’ll open the lid from time to time in order to extract honey……」
「One-sided exploitation, is it? Absolutely the worst」
「That’s not all of it you know? For example, if I put in 5 frames for the honeycombs, once it’s ready, I’ll just take one, extract the honey, and put it back. After a while, I’ll take the second one and repeat that cycle so that way, I’ll only actually take a small amount. Also, there are plenty of Fleur-san’s children growing nearby so you’ll have plenty of nectar to harvest. The bees won’t lose out on this deal you knowー!」
I looked at the honeybee while saying that.
「Hmmー. Well, if it were up to me, I’ll say that this deal is better than being annihilated I guess~. This feels like we’re offering honey in exchange for protection though…… I cannot decide this by myself so I just reported everything you said to the queen」
「Okay. I’ll be expecting a favorable response」
「Now then, Fleur-san, why are you here with Caam?」
「I guess you can say that I just came along with Palma, a dryad I know. The water that he produces with magic is amazing you know!? It quickly spreads all over my body giving me energy you know!?」
「You really aren’t interested, are you……?」
She pouted as she said that.
「It doesn’t seem like that water will be beneficial to us after all」
「You can produce delicious honey from that you know?」
「Caam is a really magnificent demonkin, isn’t he!? I’ll also report this to the queen」
What’s with that? Is she that simpleminded because she’s an insect I wonder?
It looked like that talk would continue on for a while so I decided to check on the kids but it seems like Fleur was still doing her job of looking after them properly. This parallel though processing thing is pretty amazing isn’t it?
「Where did you go!?」
They were already finished when I got back so I was scolded. I thought that was a bit unreasonable since I just left for a bit to check on how the children were doing but at least their conversation didn’t continue on endlessly.
When the report got back, it seems like my proposal was approved. However, they would like to oversee the making of their hive. If I can’t find a suitably hollow tree, I wonder if they would be fine making one out of the firewood?