The Black Catkin Princess
Editors: Sebas Tian, Joker
We decided to give the area another quick check after defeating the goblins. Our goal was to check if there were any scouts or stragglers and hunt them down if there were.
Urushi joined Fran and aided in her search, but the three of us failed to uncover any clues even after an hour of investigation. We couldn’t even find the nest the goblins had crawled out of. The result left me confused. Normally, goblins dug out massive shelters for their communities. Both the goblins Fran and I had worked together to defeat and the stupid ass goblins I’d destroyed back when I first came to this world had possessed huge nests. It didn’t quite make sense for the group we just encountered to live out in the open.
They couldn’t have just migrated over from elsewhere, right? Nah, no way. There were way too many of them for that.
As we found ourselves unable to find anything, we ultimately ended up returning to the village as is.
We did happen to see a monster called a Chicken Deer along the way, so we eliminated it and brought it along, so we technically didn’t return completely empty handed. We at least picked up a half decent souvenir. The deer itself posed little challenge to us. It was extremely cowardly and attempted to turn tail and run the moment it spotted us, but it couldn’t come anywhere close to keeping up with Urushi’s speed, so he chased it down and ended it with ease.
The black catkin erupted into cheers as Fran arrived in Schwartzekatze. The flashy spells we cast were apparently so brilliant and showy that the villagers had seen them from within the walls.
“W-What power! Wow! That spell of yours was like a natural disaster in and of itself!”
“That’s the Black Lightning Princess for you!”
“Yeah! She’s so cool!”
They only became even more excited upon seeing her pull a chicken deer out from her storage.
“Woah! Holy shit dude, look at that! She even took out that deer monster all by herself!”
“I want to marry her!”
“Brought souvenir. For everyone. Eat.”
“I-Is that really okay!?” asked the chief.
“T-Thank you so much!” The old man began bowing as he thanked her profusely. His voice was tinged with all sorts of emotion. Her actions had clearly moved him. He wasn’t the only one either, as many villagers began bowing and paying her their respects. Despite being a mere F ranked threat, the chicken deer was apparently one of the region’s toughest monsters. Seeing her bring one back had led the villagers to gaze upon her with renewed respect.
Because they were so fast and eager to run, their horns were actually worth a good bit. The black catkin would often salvage the horns off chicken deer that had naturally reached the end of their lives and sell them to supplement the village’s income.
“You’ve acquired more armour?” The chief’s eyes practically bulged out of their sockets. “And so much of it too!”
A decent portion of the armour we dumped out had melted due to the intense heat of the electrical charges we’d sent pulsing through them, but a good bit of it could still be salvaged and put to use.
“Only this one barely burnt.”
“You’re right. It does seem quite special.”
The set of armour Fran was pointing at was the one worn by the goblin king. Being made of steel, it was a good bit stronger than everything else we gathered. None of the black catkin present were able to make good use of it as they were right now. It would be much better for the chief to hold onto it until the clan’s members grew more powerful. A thick stream of tears burst from the chief’s eyes as Fran explained her intentions.
“O-Of course! I’ll make sure it falls into the hands of someone worthy!”
The second night, like the first, ended up as a banquet, albeit a much quieter one. The black catkin were all too focused on magecraft and martial prowess to do anything more than quietly speak amongst themselves.
Tonight’s main dish was the four meter tall deer Fran had hunted. It was large enough to provide every villager with a cut of meat.
“Here, have some of this.”
“Try this out too.”
“And don’t forget to have some tea!”
Many of the female villagers were taking turns serving Fran. She was clearly the party’s guest of honour. They had not only cooked up a storm, but also brewed tea for her because she was too young for alcohol. The manner in which they were bringing Fran her food was reverent; it was almost as if they were handing her offerings.
“Is the dish to your taste, Princess?”
“What about this one? Would you like to try it, Princess?”
Halfway through the party, the black catkin stopped referring to Fran as the Black Lightning Princess. They’d instead just started referring to her as just “Princess.” As Fran didn’t particularly care either way, she didn’t stop them, so the habit soon spread throughout the village.
Oh well, not like anything bad’s going to come out of it. Fran’s more than cute enough to be a princess, so if anything, I’d say the title suits her.
I’d never actually met the beastkin country’s princess, but I was certain that Fran was cuter than her regardless.
“We can’t thank you enough for all the equipment you’ve graced us with, Princess,” said the village elder. Even he had given the nickname the green light.
“Just dumped junk.”
“To us, your ‘junk’ is an entire mountain of treasure. Unfortunately, we don’t have a blacksmith present, but we’ll take it over to another nearby village and have everything repaired as soon as possible so we can distribute your gifts to the villagers.”
“No blacksmith here?”
“Unfortunately not. He passed away several years ago after being struck by a sudden illness.”
While he did have an apprentice, the apprentice was far too green to be worthwhile, so he temporarily moved to another village so he could learn from the blacksmith there. And because of that, Schwartzekatze was currently blacksmithless.
I guess that means they’ll need to wait a good while before actually putting the stuff we gave them to use.
“Us, do something?”
We’d stumbled across a rare chance for us to make use of the blacksmithing skill that we’d spent so many points on. Fran had never done anything past just maintaining me, so I was almost certain the opportunity would serve as good practice for her to brush up on her skills.
“Sure. I don’t see why not.”
“And here we are. This is the smithy.”
“Are you sure you don’t need any help?”
“Sure. Because secret techniques.”
“My apologies! I understand, I won’t pry any further!” said the chief, enthusiastically.
Fran nodded. She’d decided to get to work the moment the banquet came to a close, so she’d decided to spend the night in the home that belonged to the former blacksmith. Looking inside, we confirmed that it had all the tools we needed.
“We’ve kept the place clean, but that’s it, so feel free to use it however you wish.”
“Princess, please! You’ve no need to thank us. In fact, we should be thanking you!”
We got to work as soon as the chief left. Since we had the blacksmithing skill, we were able to do everything we needed to, and quite easily at that. Our first task was converting everything irreparable back to ingots. We’d already finished sorting through everything before actually arriving. We’d handed everything that could be made usable after a bit of maintenance over to the villagers. They had already began the mending process, so I was sure they’d have all sorts of usable gear in the near future.
All the stuff we brought with us either required a lot of work to fix, or was flat out beyond repair. And again, everything was already sorted. The plan was to melt down the stuff that was beyond repair and use it to fix the stuff that still had a bit of life left in it.
“Alright, I’ll get to work. Feel free to sleep, Fran.”
“You sure? Well, works for me I guess. Let’s get started together then.”
And so, Fran and I worked the forge together until she started nodding off.