176-160 Abandoned mine (1)

 We made it to the point where we turned around last time without any problems, but the speed was slower than last time.

 The reason was the mapping.

 Yuki is struggling with the azimuth gauge, and it seems that the slightly curved pathway is quite difficult to draw.

A square is 20 paces on a side, and if you walk diagonally, it's about 28 paces. ...... Ah, but it depends on the angle. ......

 He seems to be mapping with a sense of about 10 meters per square, but just listening to his mumbling, he seems to be having difficulty.

 Even so, he seems to have gotten a better sense of the situation and has increased his speed, but it's still much slower than walking normally.

 At this rate, it seems that the range of exploration will be affected by Yuki's mapping speed and her patience. I don't think I could last an hour.

We're going to have to take breaks quite often, aren't we?
Well, mapping is nerve-wracking, so it's probably for the best.

 When I whispered to Haruka, she nodded her head as she watched Yuki scratching her head and trying her best.

 However, it would be difficult to take turns mapping with someone else.

 Their stride lengths are different, and their senses of angles and so on are also not the same, so there is a high possibility of inconsistency.

We're at the end of the road, which way should we go?

 This is where we turned back last time.

 If there is a fork in the road, then mapping is necessary, so I turned back, but there is not much difference between the two roads, and there is nothing to guide me.

"Take whichever you want. We don't have a clue.
Then we'll take the left.
What do you mean?

 Toya responded to Haruka's words without pause, and I asked him why, but he said it was just a hunch, no reason at all.

 Well, it's not worth bothering about, and there's no reason to oppose it.
 We'll go in the direction Toya has chosen.

 The abandoned mine is an artificially dug hole with no unnatural unevenness, making it easy to walk through.

 The slope tends to go down gradually toward the back, but the slope is quite gentle.

But there are no pillars in this tunnel, right? Is it okay if it's not supported?

"It's pretty hard to the touch, so it should be fine. But it must have been hard to dig, because it's mostly rock.

I wonder if that's why they brought in so many workers. If you're falsely accused and forced to work hard in a place like this, you might understand why you become undead.

 I don't know how much labor it takes to develop a mine like this, but we've killed at least 100 undead so far.

 To think that those people were forced to work, dig these mines, and then die: .......

 Feeling a little chilly, I rubbed my arm.

"Nao, what's wrong?

 What's wrong, Nao?" Perhaps wondering what I was doing, Haruka approached me.

No, it's just that I feel like a lot of people died here.
"Nao, are you scared~?

 Yuki said with a teasing smile, but I don't like it, do you?

 I don't expect anything in particular to happen, but the crematorium, the graveyard in the middle of the night, the feeling of death, the feeling of .

"Don't worry, Nao. Ghosts are common here.
"......, of course.

 I'm not sure if that's something to be relieved about, but it's certainly a situation where you can't say 'I'm afraid of ghosts'.

 I'm sure you're not the only one.

I understand the feeling, but... I'm going to cleanse you, so don't worry about it.

You've already killed a lot of undead, but you're still sensitive in a weird way, aren't you Nao?

 I'm not sure what to make of it, but I'm sure it's a good idea.

 Our women are too tough.

 --No, I'd be annoyed if someone said, "Oh my God, that's scary! I'd be annoyed.

 If you think about it, it's probably a good thing.

Back to the topic at hand, the reason why there are no pillars supporting the ceiling is because of magic. As the digging progresses, it seems that the surrounding area is hardened by earth magic to prevent collapse. It's like a shield construction method.

So there's no need to worry about collapses?

 It is a very safe construction method used in modern tunneling.

 If it's earth magic, it can be solidified without any joints, so it's probably safer.

But didn't Diora say that they couldn't get any specialized engineers to work here? It was top secret.

............ I'd better be careful.

 No shoddy work, ever.

Yeah. Nao, if it looks dangerous, use earth magic. I'm busy mapping.

Okay. Natsuki, let me know if there's anything you're worried about. We'll take precautionary measures.

Yes, sir. I don't want to be buried alive.

We can use earth magic to get out of here if we have to. Still, the less danger, the better.

 Even today, I hear that accidents involving burial alive in mines occur frequently in China, so you can never be too careful.

 I speared the walls around me, checking for fragile parts as I walked.

It's changing a bit, but is it ...... a trial dig?
I don't know.

 After a while, there were tunnels on either side of the road, but they were less than ten meters deep, and we could see the end of them by light.

 The depth of the tunnels is less than ten meters, and you can see the end of the tunnel with a light.

You wouldn't normally dig a tunnel with such a complicated shape, would you?

What about it? Isn't it possible that the tunnel will naturally become more complex as we dig for the vein?

"I see, there it is.

 The goal is not to dig a passage, but to dig out the ore.

 And those veins don't always run in a straight line.
 With that in mind, Natsuki had a point.

 Maybe that's why the first path curved gently.

Oh, it looks like a dead end.
...... Hmm. We're about eight hundred meters from the fork.

 Since there were no enemies, Yuki, who had been mapping, was probably the most tired of us all.

 She stopped, exhaled, counted the squares on the map, and said.

"Good work. Are you okay? If you want, we can rest here. It's just a little wider.

 The end of the dead end passage had been widened to the size of a small room.

 However, there were only a few pieces of wood on the ground, so it was hard to tell if it had been used for some purpose or not.

 I imagined that there would be a little more trash on the ground, but I wondered how they were mining.

No, I'm fine. I'm tired, but it's only mental, and I won't need mapping when I come back.

"Really? Then let's go back.

 We went back to the fork in the road without taking a break, and took the right road this time.

 There were some long side roads stretching out on both sides of the road, but basically it was the main passage and the side roads, and it was simple enough that you wouldn't get lost without a map.

 After about an hour's walk from the first fork in the road, I got my first response from [Searching for enemies] after entering the cave.

A skeleton. Distance is about 100 meters ahead.
"Good. So the spotters are working.
It's a little short, though.

 The range is much shorter than outdoors, but it's still enough for practical use.

 This is a great relief.

"Indeed, if you listen carefully, you can hear a rattling sound. What should we do? Save the magic?

"Yes. There's a good chance that there will be a lot of undead, so let's just kill them as usual.

 If it's zombies, I'd like to see them die by purification, but if it's just a few skeletons, it won't be much trouble.

 There were only five skeletons that showed up, and they were easily destroyed by the two vanguards and me.

Will there be more of them? At the rate we've been going, we're honestly not going to have time to make any money.

I don't know about that, but wouldn't it bother you if they came by too often? Like when you sleep at night.

"......, sure. It's not good.

 Toya is right about the money aspect.

 But the purpose of our trip is to get away from the heat and recover the Viscount's heirlooms.

 Even if we fail, there is no penalty, and if we are successful, we may be able to connect with a powerful man.

 This country seems to be one of the better ones, but even so, it seems to have a kind of humanitarianism, so the more you remember, the safer you will be.

 To be honest, I'd be more comfortable if I didn't have to deal with them at all.

"Oh, by the way, there's an earth magic called 'Seek Earth', right? Nao, can't you use that to find mithril?

"No. You can't find it if you don't know the metal of the target.

 The "Seek Earth" spell is also used to find mineral deposits, but if the magician doesn't know what kind of response the deposit will give, the spell is completely useless.

 If you don't know the shape and texture of the object, you won't be able to find it.

"What about gold, silver, copper?

That's no good either. The best you can do is iron, but what's the point of picking up ore with low content?

If you're poor, that's one thing, but nowadays...

 I took the opportunity and tried to use it.

 I could understand the reaction of iron, gold, silver, etc., but unfortunately, the minerals I could detect here were not in sufficient quantities to be economically viable.

Well, it's not practical to mine them by yourself, is it?

Yes. In the original world, the average gold content of a gold mine is three grams per ton.

Oh, really?

 It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're doing.

Yes. Even if you refine a dump truck full of pure gold, it will only be the equivalent of a few gold coins.

"Wow, that's a lot of work.

 The gold coins that we usually use in this world are 'coins that contain gold', and the gold content is quite small, but listening to Natsuki's words, I understand that this is natural.

 A large gold coin may contain half of the gold, but even so, the cost of production and the value of the coin may or may not match. .......

 I think it would be difficult to dig for gold by hand, but I wonder if magic or alchemy could cover that.

"Nao, can't you use magic to extract it directly from the ground, like zumo-momo?

"That's absurd, Toya. I'm not sure if it's a good idea, but it's a good idea. I'm not sure what to do.

 What happens when you try to collect elements with low content? I've already experienced that when I made the bath.

 --Oh, I see. As long as you collect ores with high content, you can extract them with "Create Earth". Then refining will be easy.

 Maybe that's how they refine it in this world.

Come to think of it, what's more rare, mithril or gold?

Mithril, I guess. Considering the amount in circulation. I mean, it's not pure gold, but it's still in circulation.

Wow, so mining mithril ore is even harder. ......

 Tohya frowned at Natsuki's answer.

 In the event that you've got a lot more than gold, even if all of your tunnels are filled with mithril ore, you'll only have a handful when you refine them.

 ...... Yeah, it's still impossible to recover mithril ore.

 I was faintly hoping that I might be able to get my hands on some mithril weapons, but...

 I guess I'll just have to save up and buy one.