502-500 young driller's worries

 My name is Kinmarie.
 I'm a demon.

 I have an ancient and venerable profession.

 I'm a well digger.

 The well is important. In fact, it is indispensable.
 We can't live without water, so a well is essential to our survival.

 We go around the country to villages and towns, using special methods to dig into the ground and uncover veins of water, and then reinforce the holes we dig to create wells that can last for decades.

 These methods are the property of artisans who are not allowed to leave the premises.

 For this reason, a well digger's guild was formed, and the secret methods required for well digging are kept in strict confidence by the guild.
 In order to learn the art of digging a well, you have to join a well digger's guild and take an oath to 'never tell a soul'," he said.

 I also joined the well digger's guild at the age of 15, and after completing a rigorous apprenticeship and learning a vast amount of the guild's knowledge and skills, I was finally able to make it on my own.

 I'm proud of my work, and I'm relieved to know that as long as I have this job, I won't be deprived of it for the rest of my life.

 After all, it's a job that's close to people's lives.

 As I said before, people cannot live without wells, so the work of building new wells and managing and renovating existing wells will never cease.

 Just when I was thinking that it was time for me to get a wife after planning my life in peace, a strange job came my way.

 And it was directly from the Demon King.

 The ruler of the Demon Kingdom...not to mention, the current Demon King Zedan, who destroyed his arch-enemy, the Human Kingdom, and became the actual ruler of the earth, has already been chosen to become the Ming Dynasty's king who will be remembered in history.
 Of course, not a stigma, but a heroic name.

 Since this was a request from such a hero, the Well Diggers Guild, as expected of the well digger guild, was both appalled and elated.

 What kind of well does the Demon King want them to dig?
 But the request was different from what we had imagined.

They said something like 'dig out hot water from the ground'.
 I don't need to say that I was baffled by the fact that this was the Demon King's command, but it was so strange.

 Hot water from the ground?
 There's no way they're going to release that, is there?

 What comes out from underneath the ground is ordinary water, and there is no such thing as hot water coming out.
 Hot water is water that has been heated.
 Hot water coming out of the ground means that the ground is getting hotter and hotter.

 If that happens, the ground will get hot and we won't be able to stand.
 Our feet would feel itching.

 But our client is our lord and master. We couldn't refuse him without a fight, so we decided to accept the request for a mere formality.

 I was chosen to be in charge of the project.
 To be honest, I didn't know if I should be happy about it. It's an honor to be involved in a direct request from the king of demons, but the content of the request is too outlandish.

 If you are going to be involved in a poor job and fail, you will attract the displeasure of the highest authority at the time.
 If he failed to do so, he could lose the stable job he had just found.

 Perhaps this is why they came to me, after getting dragged through the ranks.
 Even if everyone was discouraged, they couldn't refuse the request itself.
 Rejecting the wishes of the highest authority could lead to the well digger's existence being in jeopardy.

 After much deliberation, I decided to accept the request.
 You've gone to pick up chestnuts from the fire.

 No matter how high up you get, your guild is what makes you who you are, and if someone else has to take on the job, there's no choice but to do it.

 I'm just returning the favor to the guild that gave me the status and skills to get this far.

 I took on the challenge of digging a ridiculous underground hot spring, but of course it was extremely difficult.

 There was no way hot water could come out of the ground.

 I investigated many times and dug out a vein of water, but what I found was all underground water.
 It was not hot water.

 By the way, it's cold because it flows deep underground, far from the sun.

 It's impossible for the water underground to be hot enough to be hot water.

 A year passed, then two years passed, and so on, as we continued our laborious work.
 Two years passed.........and I couldn't produce any results during that time.

 All I could do was waste money, which only increased the burden on my heart.
 I couldn't even submit a satisfactory report to the Demon Lord, and the realization that I was being hunted down was growing by the day.

 There were times when the guild leaders advised me to 'give up', but I couldn't stop.
 If we had come this far, we had our own determination.

 In this case, we're willing to give our lives to dig up hot water from underground to meet the Demon King's expectations!
 I'm a well digger with pride!

 The people around me seem to have commented that I was 'desperate', and they may be right.

 But then came the moment.

 A person like a goddess of salvation who could break through the blockage....

    * * * *

Do you believe that you are the messengers brought here by the Demon King's will?
On your left. My name is Holkosfone.

 The one in front of me was a young woman not much older than me.

 And she is beautiful.
 So beautiful that even a ball lady could not complain about it.

 Such a beautiful woman comes to a well drilling site that smells of sweat.
 What in the world do you want?

'I have come to this place under orders from my master. To dig a hot spring.
I have been informed that you are here on a similar mission. We have also been instructed by our master to work together, to help each other accomplish our objectives.
That master is........the Demon King?
No, my master is my master.

 We all had no idea what this young woman was talking about.

 Perhaps, but I am sure that she is a person sent to assist us in our work.
 But that fact in itself is also uncomfortable.

 The fact that the supporters were sent to us meant that they thought we couldn't accomplish our goals by ourselves, which in turn meant that they didn't trust our abilities.

 However, not only have we not been able to complete the request over the past few years, but we haven't even taken the first step.
 I reminded myself that it was only natural for people to doubt our abilities, but if I did, I would be pissed off at my inadequacy.

 So perhaps it can't be helped if you feel a stinging sensation similar to taking it out on this beautiful woman who showed up with a big smile on her face as a helper.

This isn't a playground, okay? It's a serious place to work, getting covered in dirt and mud to secure water. There's always the danger of a well being drilled that could collapse, so it's not a place I'd be comfortable working in.

 Such a pretty lady, she's about to cry just from getting mud on her.

 I don't want such a weakling to ruin our workplace.
 Even if you're sent here by the king himself, you can still leave the profession first.

''Let me make a correction. What you guys are drilling is not a well, it's supposed to be a hot spring.''
So what's this oncen thing you call it?
A hot spring is a hot spring. "Hot springs are hot springs, but your digging methods are not sufficient to make them gush out. There is a natural limit to the depth at which you can dig, if you rely on human labor. If you want to find the hot springs, you'll have to dig deeper.

 What is she talking about?
 I must say that not only is her appearance beautiful, but her tone of voice is also bizarre.

 I've been digging wells for more than ten years, and she has the power of persuasion to overwhelm me, who can already be called a veteran.

I'm sure you'll be able to find out what's going on. It's true that I can feel the flow of liquid at this bottom, far below the ground. As expected of a professional, I should call her a professional.

 Indeed, this time, I was looking for underground water veins, assuming a far greater depth than usual.
 Digging for normal underground water is always cold, so I thought I'd aim for something out of the ordinary.

 But how could this maiden notice that!

'But the digging point is somewhat off. At this rate, no matter how much you dig, you won't get any hot springs out. I advise you to move the digging location.
What are you talking about? This is a decision we professional well drillers have made after a very thorough study! I can't have an amateur tell me every single thing I need to fix!

 But inwardly, I found myself admitting that she was right.
 This time, I was so obsessed with 'drilling differently' that I looked for water veins deep underground, but the deeper they were, the more difficult it would be to investigate and the more likely I would miss my aim.

'Let me do a more precise survey,' he said, 'so that we can get a more accurate drilling point. That way, we can calculate more accurate drilling points, and we should be able to dig out the hot springs with certainty.
What do you mean? How are you going to investigate this in laymen's terms, while we're the experts?
I'll use this.

 After saying that, she took out.....