Chapter 83: That time when the humans and demonkin were forming relationships even without me
「Caam-san, do you have a moment?」
While I was working, the leader of the fishing group approached me.
「What is it?」
「The sea over here is shallow, right? There’s something that I used before I became a slave that’s called a flatboat. I think its low draft would be better with these waters so, um, would it be alright if we have one built?」
「Hm? If it will improve your work then you don’t have to ask for my permission. It would be fine if you just go to the craftsman yourselves and ask him to build it for you, you know?」
A flat-bottomed boat huh? If it’s that, then it should be able to carry goods even in shallow waters without any problems. I guess I should also go and have a look.
「Ahー, come to think of it, I’ll also go with you. I’ve been worrying about how we’re going to harvest and transport the coffee that’s on the other side of the island and just realized that we don’t have to transport everything by land. I don’t know the technicalities of how it’s made so let’s go to the carpenter’s place together」
After saying that, I went together with the fishing group’s leader to Jucob-san’s place.1
Once we reached his workshop, we started explaining while showing him a simple drawing of the boat.
「We would like to make a boat that’s shaped like this. If we have this then we won’t need to worry about transporting goods even with the shallow waters surrounding the island. We also won’t need to worry about getting horses and oxen since we won’t be going by land. Manpower will be enough」
「I don’t mind but your destination is on the other side of the island, right? Wouldn’t it be hard to get there with just oars? Well, I’ll still make it though since you asked」
「If that’s the problem then I may have a solution. There’s this girl named Sheila from the sahagin tribe that I get along with. I could talk to her and see if they could help」2
「Oi oi, when did that happen?」
Jucob-san grinned as he teased the fishing group leader.
「While I was catching fish, she suddenly appeared and told me that what I caught was poisonous then we got along from there. Even after that, she would help me out by pushing the boat from behind or holding it still whenever I lost my balance. After that…… Well, uh, you know……」
The fishing group’s leader was a bit shy after saying all of that. Well, I think it’s great that they were able to break down the barriers between their races. It shouldn’t be that hard unless it’s the top half fish type though.
「Up until now, we haven’t really had anything to do with each other but we should slowly start interacting more with other races like the harpies. Group leader, I would like you to set up a meeting with their race. Can you facilitate it?」
「I don’t mind but what are you going to do?」
「I’m planning to hire them as our workers. If possible, I want the negotiations to end up with a win-win situation for both sides」
「Huh? What does “win-win” mean」
「It’s when both parties come to an agreement where both sides don’t lose out on anything. In other words, they both win. It would be great if everyone can proceed with the discussions and build your own connections even without me. I’ll eventually want to retire and freely live my life with my family after all so I’ll have to find someone who’ll succeed me in being the island’s leader. That’s still a long way off though. However, considering the future, I think building personal connections is also necessary. Well, you’ll probably be uneasy so I’ll go there as the representative this time. Sooner or later, I won’t have the time to attend to every single minor detail though so I should consider appointing a representative who deals with those jobs」
「Oi oi, the chief should be someone like Caam right?」
「I won’t be able to handle being both a demon lord and the island’s chief you know? Right now, I’m just striving to make this island, which was given to me as my territory, easier to live on. I also want to live a normal life after I’ve achieved that. My goal is to divide the island into four sections, make villages on each one, then appoint the village chief there and only provide them with simple instructions. Ah, we strayed away from the main topic, didn’t we? Anyway, should we wait until the boat is completed before we set the date for the discussion, or should we do it before?」
「You’ve thought of this quite a lot, haven’t you? I just thought it would be you that would lead the island with the way things are going」
「That’s not the case you know? I mean, I want to be able to enjoy my life too. If you think of being a demon lord as a business, the previous one was just not managing his employees, the humans, correctly. Well, that’s just my opinion though. Well then, how about it? I think it’s about time I stop deciding everything so, group leader, please decide on the time and place for the meeting」
I abruptly pushed the responsibility onto the fishing group leader.
「O-okay. I’ll inform Caam-san after I’ve talked with them so let’s decide at that time」
He was suddenly put on the spot so he stuttered a bit but he was able to give me a proper reply.
「Got it. Please let me know when you’re done talking with them. As for Jucob-san, I’ll leave making the boat to you and Goburg-san」
After that, we went back to our respective works.
Several days later
「Caam-san. How about after lunch today?」
「That soon!? It’s almost lunchtime you know?」
I said that while checking the position of the sun.
「Well, after I told Sheila, she went back to tell her father then that’s what she told me when she got back. The location will be the area near the beach where we eat」
「W-well, the earlier the better I guess. I wonder what I should use to negotiate? We don’t really use money on the island yet, and it’s still too early to harvest the wheat…… Do you know what the aquatic demonkin eat?」
「Don’t ask me, please. How would I know?」
「You were talking like both of you were in love though so I just……」
「No, we haven’t progressed that far yet. I mean, we haven’t even had a meal together before」
「As for my sahagin mom who has more human than fish features, she eats both meat and fish. And our staple food was bread…… I’m stumped about what to do」
「Do I really have no choice but to just ask? Well, let’s just think about it while we’re eating」
I was absent-mindedly waiting at a desk with a cloth over it near the beach drinking barley tea. I think you usually don’t eat or drink anything while waiting for your guests to arrive though……
But a woman brought me barley tea so it can’t be helped.
As I was thinking that, a couple of aquatic demonkin rose from the waters then came over to us.
「That girl is Sheila」
The sahagin woman called Sheila had slightly pulled back, seemingly transparent, blue hair that reached to her waist and a supple build of a swimmer.
「Ahー, she almost looks like my mother. They have the same fin-like thing on their hands and faces for example. If they really are sisters then I just hope that their representative isn’t my grandfather. I wonder if all sahagin women look alike?」
「Eh? Shouldn’t you be happy if that’s the case?」
「She fell for my lizardman father and gave birth to me in the middle of the continent, you know? And besides, I’ve never seen my grandparents before so it should be reasonable to think that something happened, right? I’d rather not find out about it at this point」
「I-is that so……?」
Well, the color of mom’s hair, skin, and eyes are different so they probably aren’t related.
Since they were almost here, I went over to meet them then gave them my greetings.
「Thank you for coming here today」
「Don’t mind it. Let’s just go ahead with what you have to say」
「Understood. Then let’s sit down and talk over here」
I lead them to the seats under the tent.
「I think I’ve introduced myself before but my name is Caam. Nice to meet you」
「The name’s Lucan. Unlike my daughter, I’m not really fit for land so it would be great if you keep it short」
「Understood. I’ll be brief. Right now, we’re making a boat with a flat bottom. Unlike the rowboats we’ve used until now, this one can carry things on shallow waters without scraping the bottom. Right now, in order to earn money, we’re selling the fruits of a tree that’s on the opposite side of the island. However, it takes time to transport the said fruit by land. We also don’t have any horses or oxen to pull it so we’re thinking of transporting them by the sea and we thought of asking you guys, who can swim fast in the sea, for help. That’s the reason why we called you here」
「Too long! Summarize it a bit more」
That was still too long!?
「We would like you to transport fruits from the other side of the island that either we or the harpies will harvest to this place using boats that we’re currently making. What would be a good compensation for that work?」
I’ll just speak with the assumption that he’ll accept.
「Things that we can’t get from the sea would be good. From what I’ve heard, it seems like you are raising livestock for meat. Just let us regularly eat land meat」
「Is that really enough?」
「It is. We’re only interested in eating and sleeping. If we can eat land meat for just a bit of work then there’s no problem. A lot of my people have excess strength after all. The boat will only have cargo in it, right? Then there’s no problem」
Woah, how manly. I wonder if this is what a man of the sea is like? Well, we didn’t really get a win-win relationship though.
「Also, we’ll take sweets. It’s pretty much impossible to make under the sea after all so we can’t eat it. Even in our group, there are ones who want to eat sweet things」
「Understood. We’ll proceed with that in mind. Once the boat has been built, we’ll show it to you so please test if whether or not you guys will be able to pull it and how much weight can you handle」
「Got it. I’ll let everyone know. My skin is starting to dry out so I apologize but I have to get going soon. Otherwise, let me soak in the water for a moment」
「I’m sorry for not noticing. Next time we meet, we’ll set up a seat on the water’s edge for you」
「That would be great. If there’s nothing else, I’ll leave the rest to Sheila and go back to the sea」
「We’ve already tackled the main part of the discussion so it should be alright. Thank you for coming」
After I said that, Lucan-san went back to the sea.
Even though I think he’s manly, I guess his time on land is still limited. Maybe it would be a good idea to have those that have an appearance that’s close to humans like Sheila-san live in the lake that’s close to the mountain. Either that or make a waterway they can pass through, like salmon that’s returning to the stream they were born in.
When I was eating the other day, I noticed that there are also mermaid-type demonkin so it will probably be difficult for them to travel on land. It might be a good idea to work out some kind of plan for that.
I doubt they would agree to be carried in barrels. I remember there being a certain mermaid in a tub though. There were even cod dancing on land like it was natural. I don’t really get the aquatic demonkin.
That’s not saying much though since I don’t even know the category of demonkin I fall in.
As I was thinking that, I noticed that the group leader and Sheila were having a nice time talking by the beach. Well, I guess it’s great that they’re getting along. Even though I want to just leave them alone, I also have something important I have to say. Having to butt in with the current mood’s going to be tough.
I don’t want to get in the way of their romance but I should just talk to them now that they’re here.
「E-excuse me. Sorry for interrupting your fun but please let them know about the things I asked earlier. Like if they can manage to pull a boat, or how much load on the boat they could carry, or how long will it take to get to the other side of the island?」
「Ah, I apologize. I’ll go ask them」
「W-well then, I’ll be going back to work」
I decided to leave and let them enjoy their alone time.