Chapter 84: That time when we harvested coffee
In the evening, I went to the coffee shop to check on the state of things.
「Caam-san, we have less than half left of the beans」
I had put the coffee beans in a barrel to serve as part of the interior decor so I opened it to check and saw that more than half of it was gone.
「Ahー, it’s true. Doesn’t look like we’ll make it till the next harvest」
「Why are you so calm about it!? Isn’t this a pretty big problem?」
「You’ll still be able to operate for several days so don’t worry about it and just resume the operations. Iyaー, is this what you call the scream of happiness?」
「What are you talking about? I’m concerned about this you know?」
「It’s fine, it’s fine. Anyway, how are the sales? Just let me know how the sales are per day」
「Uhm, it’s about this much」
He showed me the bag where they keep the day’s proceeds.
After counting the money and subtracting the miscellaneous expenses, it was equivalent to the amount you’ll get for working 25 days at a decent place.
They won’t understand if I say it was worth almost a month’s worth of work so I’ll just simplify it.
「The amount we’ve got is the same as you two working for ten days even after deducting the expenses」
「We’re not buying the beans after all. We’re also getting the rest of the required materials for cheap from Nils-san. I don’t know how much your rent is but I think there’s still going to be a lot left even if we include that. I think it would be fine unless you start lavishly spending or get caught up in a weird scheme. Well then, I hope you’ll continue to do your best」
「Y-yes! We will」
「Ahー, if you ever feel like going back to the island, please inform the customers in advance with a sign that says you’ll be taking some time off. I’ll come to pick you up when that time comes」
「Well then, I’ll be busy starting tomorrow so I’ll deliver the beans as soon as I’m done with that」
「We’ve already used half of the coffee in the shop we established in town so we’ll be harvesting them today」
「What’s that? You want help?」
「I’m still uneasy about the mode of transport so I’ll just ask the harpy tribe and aquatic demonkin for help for now. We’re going to be paying them with meat so please hunt a lot. You can use this empty box and bag. Keith, I’ll entrust the meat to you」
「Leave it to me!」
After that, I went to the beach then made a slightly large stone in the air which made a loud splashing sound when it landed on the water.
After a while, Lucan-san showed up.
「Too loud! If you’re going to call then do it more gently」
Crap. I forgot that fish are weak to loud sounds in the water.
「Sorry, I will do so next time. Anyway, this is about work」
「What’s this? Is this about pulling the boat we talked about the other day?」
「No, we’re not doing that yet. It’s something urgent」
「……tell me more」
「To make money, we urgently need the fruit of the trees that are on the other side of the island. For land-based demonkin and humans, it would take quite an amount of time to get there so that’s why I called Lucan-san who can swim there quicker」
「Is that all?」
「We’re going to be harvesting the fruit so please select people who can go on land. We’ll need to fill up those boxes」
I pointed at the boxes that were piled up behind me.
「Got it. We’ll meet up on the other side of the island right?」
「What about you? How will you get there?」
「I’ll go there using magic」
「That’s pretty handy, huh? Well, we’ll be going ahead」
「Thanks, see you there」
After that conversation, I transported myself to the mountain in order to call the harpies.
「Ohー, hey Caam! What’s upー?」
I found Facile sloshing around in the hot spring.
「I’m here to talk with Chiarore-san about work」
「Is it meat~!? We’re going to get meat!?」
「Don’t misunderstand. I’m not giving it to you, you’ll have to work for it」
Facile tilted her head in confusion.
「You work for money. However, since you guys say that meat is better than money, that’s what I give you in exchange for your work. I’ll give you money if you want though」
「That’s why I’m here to discuss it」
「I see~. Dad is up there」
「I’m in a hurry so I need you to call him. Can you do it?」
After saying that, Facile flew away even though she was still wet. I wonder if all harpies are like this……
While waiting, I inspected the area where the hot water gushes out and the drainage holes. As expected, feathers were floating around the drainage holes. Five minutes later, Chiarore-san arrived.
「Demon Lord. This visit seems to be about work」
Don’t tell me you already forgot my name.
「Yes. I would like your help to collect that red fruit. Enough to fill the boxes behind me」
「Got it. Should we carry those boxes too?」
「No need. I’ll do it myself. Let’s meet up in the direction where the sun sets」
「Meet up? Who else is coming?」
「They are the aquatic demonkin」
「I don’t like those guys!」
「Um, did something happen between you? If so then I might have to reconsider a lot of things」
「Can’t eat them even though they’re fish. They even fight back」
The heck? Can you only see them as prey?
「Er, since they are also demonkin, why don’t you treat them separately from fish?」
「Ohh, you’re as smart as ever!」
I’m done with this tribe. My head always hurts when I interact with them. It really makes me want to say 『My headache aches』.
「Ahー, un, are you going to leave immediately? The aquatic demonkin started swimming towards the meeting point from our village area just a while ago so I think it will take a while for them to arrive. How fast can Chiarore-san and the others get there?」
「Umu, the sun would have only moved a bit by the time we reached the place where the red fruit grows」
They’re fast as I expected. It would be great if we could give them jobs that could utilize that speed but I can’t think of anything aside from sending letters. That won’t happen until the island gets more developed though.
「Well then, let’s meet up at the beach at the direction where the sun sets」
After saying that, he immediately flew away. Doesn’t he still need to call his comrades? I decided to not think about that and just go to the meeting place using transfer magic.
When I arrived, there was nobody there yet.
I only told them the general direction so I decided to raise the ground and form it into a pillar to serve as a landmark. It might also work as a stone pillar later on. Since I already set this up, I guess I might as well place one in each of the 4 cardinal directions.
While I was busy with that, a half fish half human type demonkin rose from the water.
Why the heck did this guy arrive first?
I was thinking that, the sahagin that was pretty much human except for the fish for a head(an ajot?) came over to talk with me.1
「Maou-san, you’re pretty fast huh?」
「Well, you’re pretty fast too. I’m astonished at how fast you are」
Wait, this guy has vocal cords?
「I’m the fastest in this area after all」
He did a thumbs up as he said that. If he had a human face, he might have been a fresh-looking young man but for some reason, I feel irritated when he does it with a fish face like that. However, I shouldn’t discriminate. That’s why I also smiled and gave him a thumbs up. I think that’s how I should reply to that. It would be really awkward if he meant it differently though.
「Are you just going to wait until everyone else arrives?」
If you only look from the neck down while he’s talking, he really seems like a nice young man. That image gets ruined by the head though. Am I the only one who thinks that?
After a while, the harpies arrived followed by the rest of the aquatic demonkin.
「Why the heck are harpies also here?」
「We were called by the demon lord after all」
「So were we」
A young harpy and aquatic demonkin started fighting like middle school kids but I just ignored them and began talking.
「We are all demonkin who are living on and around this island. Because of that, I called out to you so that we would all get along. Was I being bothersome for doing that?」
「No, not really……」
「That’s not it」
Both sides reacted like their fight was stopped by a teacher.
「When I spoke with the harpy tribe earlier, they seem to think that everyone living in the sea is fish except that you guys fight back. They could only think of you as food. In order to clear that misunderstanding, why don’t your tribes exchange food? That way, we’ll all be able to get along. Okay?」
「So that’s what it was. I thought they were idiots but I didn’t think they would be that stupid」
「Can’t really help it since you guys look like fish. We’re going to be careful from now on. I’ll also let the rest who aren’t here know」
「So it’s all good now right?」
「「So, what should we do?」」
Their conversation ended, then they came to me to ask for instructions. Despite their quarrel, they’re perfectly in sync.
Their tribes will probably get along from now on. I just hope they don’t make children with a human body, a fish for a head, and wings on their backs.
「Alright, it’s simple. Please collect the red fruits from the trees behind me and put them inside these boxes. That’s all. If it isn’t red, that means it’s not ripe yet so don’t take them. I’m also going to give you bags. You can put it inside the box once it becomes heavy. Simple, right?」
「I’m also going to work so let’s all do our best. Of course, you will be rewarded with meat for your work」
It just dawned on me but, is this really alright? It hurts my conscience though. I should give them preferential treatment once our village flourishes.
After that, I began my work by collecting the fruit into the bag then placing it into the box once it was full. While repeating that simple task, I was also making sure to properly observe the surroundings.
「I’m sure I have more!」
「No way. Mine is heavier after all!」
They were having that argument but I don’t think it matters in the end. The fruit will be peeled, dried, roasted, and ground after all.
It would be better if the beans are heavier and there are more of them though.
「This is almost entirely seed but you can eat it, right?」
Facile and a sahagin woman were peacefully doing their task.
It’s kinda heartwarming.
Since there were plenty of people, the boxes immediately filled up. I brought a lot of containers since I was being greedy but it still didn’t take a long to finish.
There might be three barrels worth in total. I wonder how much it’ll decrease after peeling and drying it though.
「Thank you, everyone. We’ll be able to manage now that we have this much. I’m not sure if they’re already done hunting but please go to the village to receive the meat」
Everyone cheered after I said that. The aquatic demonkin vigorously ran towards the sea and swam back with all of their strength. The harpies also disappeared into the eastern skies.
Do they really want meat that much? If that’s the case then it won’t be a bad idea to put more effort into breeding the pigs. Hunting the wildlife won’t be permanently sustainable after all. We already have an example of that since the rabbits on the island almost went extinct.
While I was thinking about that, I activated the transfer magic and returned to the village.
What’s this? For some reason, I feel a bit sluggish. Does the transfer magic really consume that much mana? I haven’t noticed since I haven’t done a round trip until now. I should be careful next time.
「We’ve taken as much as we could get. Now it’s our turn to work by peeling the fruit and laying it out to dry」
「That’s true. It would take time for us to go all the way to the opposite side of the island so they were a huge help」
「However, we can’t just leave it all to them so next time, we’ll just ask them to transport us back and forth using the flat-bottomed boat that was made the other day. We’ll fill it up with as much as we can then come back」
It would be great if I could pay everyone’s salaries but coffee isn’t well known yet. If we manage to sell it, it might be a good idea to go shopping in Corundum with everyone. It would feel just like a school trip.
It’s going to be hard to pack enough food for everyone to last for six days though so this plan might be impossible. I don’t even think that ship would fit all of us, much less our food.
While I was thinking of that, I put the beans in a house that’s not directly exposed to sunlight since the beans spoil easily. I was about to prepare the meat that we were going to give the harpies and aquatic demonkin when I saw Keith smugly pointing his thumb at a bear and deer that had a hole on its head and other vital spots.
「Thanks. That’s going to be a huge help」
I responded maturely instead of stooping down on his level. It will just get even more out of hand if I react after all.
Just as we were about to start the dismantling work with everyone, the harpies arrived at the village. There was a slight ruckus since they wanted to try the freshly extracted liver. I can understand why you’d want that but you should still be careful about parasites. You guys are still humanoid even though you’re demonkin after all.
A short while later, the fish head guy who said he was the fastest swimmer came into shore. I’m really curious about how his body works.
「Alright, it seems like everyone’s here so let’s eat. Thanks for the meal!」
「「「Thanks for the meal!」」」
This time, I also invited the ones who didn’t participate in the harvest so that we could eat together and deepen our friendship. The human males we’re completely distracted by the female mermaid we saw the other day who wasn’t wearing anything on top though. I also asked her to cover her chest with a cloth this time but one of the human men still asked her to introduce them to a sister or something.
As for Facile, she was eating meat together with the sahagin woman who she was talking with earlier. It seems like they were getting along well.
I also saw a human woman talking with a sahagin man. She might have fallen at first sight for those supple and firm muscles.
Well, I think it’s alright as long as everyone’s getting along.
「What’s up, Keith?」
「What’s this for?」
「What do you mean? It’s better if everyone gets along right?」
「Well yeah but there are only a few places where demonkin and humans get along like this」
「Then why don’t we create another one of those places? I’m even planning the island’s development to be able to accept all races」
「Wouldn’t there be some kind of war because of that?」
「That’s why, in order to avoid that, I’m trying to get the humans and demonkin to get along right now. What’s more, it’s only the higher-ups who are being stupidly set on their ways. What do you think would everyone do if they can’t access something popular that can only be found on the island because of a decree of some kind of important person? They would complain, right? And besides, even if they decide to kill all the humans and demonkin here to get the island for themselves, rumors have already spread. No matter how much they’ve been brainwashed or taught that anyone who associates with the demonkin who are heretics, how would you think the soldiers who came to kill us will feel? I’m sure it’s not going to be great. Then, the demonkin would condemn that and they’d retaliate…… Wait, there’s going to be a war then. What do you think?」
「How should I know? Seriously, I regretted asking that question halfway through your speech」
「Wellー, sorry about that. Basically, there shouldn’t be anyone who’ll wage war against us. However, the goal is to make the island’s products popular with royalty, the royal family, nobles, and big-time merchants. Hopefully, we’ll have enough to be able to oppose the seizure of this island. If we’re threatened, I’d like to think that we could just say we’re going to stop shipping coffee and they would rescind their threats out of fear of backlash from the unhappy people. But still, if there ends up being a war…… No no no, wars are no good. Once we get money, we’ll also make liquor and sweets as our specialty product and make it even harder for both sides to intervene okay?」
「Do you want to have another war?」
「Why are you still talking about it then?」
「It’s a lot of trouble whenever a country is involved. Even more so when there are demonkin. They treat it as a good enough reason to invade. They don’t need any reason to take control of an island managed by a demonkin other than to please their superiors. Apart from that, if they find out that the demonkin is actually a Demon Lord, the whole country might start making a move. Well, a hero already came though!」
「What the heck!?」
「I managed to settle it by just talking though」
「Talking you say? How did you get a hero to hear you out?」
「He had more than enough reason to listen to me. Well, let’s just think about this later. For now, let’s get some meat」
「The heck? Just tell me」
「I can’t. I can’t tell you since it’s not even something I can tell my friends and family」
After that conversation, I ate some of the meat that Keith had hunted. While we’re at it, I also served the remaining liquor I had.
Hopefully, the harpies and aquatic demonkin would be able to get along better with this.
What’s that gross thing?2
「Hm? What’s up, Keith? You still have things to ask?」
「What’s with that one with a human body but with the head of the fish? There’s also that fish with human limbs growing out of it」
「Those are sahagin right?」
「No way. They should be more…… you know? Shouldn’t their fish features be more spread out along their body? Just like that woman over there」
Keith pointed at the sahagin woman who’s eating meat together with the fishing group leader.
「They only have fins on a part of their arms and scales on their hands and feet you know?」
「It’s one of the mysteries of life. That’s just how it works」
「Don’t brush it off as just a mystery. What the heck is that thing!?」
「They’re part of the sahagin and mermaid tribe」
「No way, they’re more like fish people rather than just a mermaid or sahagin. Where are their voices even coming from!?」
「It should be from their mouths, right? You’ll just go bald if you think too much about it. I’m just not thinking about it」
「Ah, I see. Well, I haven’t been able to sleep for a while because of that」
「You’re going to go bald you know?」
「I won’t! My dad has a full head of hair even now I’ll have you know」
「Just imagine, if that pairs up with a harpy, we’ll get that but with wings. I think it’ll look divine」
「What kind of evil god is that!?」
There were flying fish in my previous world but I wonder how it’s going to end up. That evil god would have to form an alliance with mutation and the mystery of life to win against its DNA. It’s probably impossible though.
Whenever they spoke about that… being… I kept remembering Slayers’ fishpeople (though they are more like the other one mentioned, with just human limbs from a full fish body).
This is a good payoff for the infrastructure Caam’s been preparing. Glad to see him act as a mediator between races too. In any world, money talks, and by monopolizing on the coffee monopoly, Caam should manage to keep his island safe. Thanks for the translation!
Well, the production methods are pretty straightforward, and if someone seizes the island, then the coffee fruit trees aren’t going anywhere, right? It’s entirely possible to subjugate the islanders and force them to work, if you think like a human noble.