I stayed out without permission to take down the Nest of Armored Ants. I tried to explain this to the Baron, but he didn’t seem to get the message.
Since I had brought this on myself, I carefully explained it again. After the explanation, the Baron, whose expression was completely invisible, summarized the story.
“Did you really defeat the Queen Armored Ant and clear the Armored Ants Nest?”
(Oh! He got it this time.)
“Yes, I did.”
The Baron looked at the Butler.
“Call the Knight Commander here right now. I know he’s tired after coming back last night, but tell him to come right away.”
(Hmm? Knight Commander? I’ve already told the Knight Commander about my attack on the Armored Ants Nest.)
When I encountered the Knight Commander in the Orc Nest, he asked me to let him know about my plans. Since then, I’ve been reporting my progress. The Knight Commander would often be absent, but I did tell him once, a little over two months ago, that since there were no more Orc Nests left, I would be attacking the Armored Ant’s Nest.
“So you brought back the armor of the Queen Armored Ant to the garden?.”
“Then we’ll look at that armor until the Commander arrives.”
(Oh, you have forgiven me already? As expected of Rickel’s technique of apologizing.)
He no longer mentioned the unauthorized night out at all. I, along with everyone else in the Baron’s household, headed for the garden.
The armor of the Queen Armored Ant was in the garden, shining pink gold. The normal armor of the Armored Ants is silver in color.
The Baron touched the armor of the Queen Armored Ant. Thomas joined him in touching it.
“He’s coming soon, sir.”
The Butler, who had gone to call the Knight Commander, returned.
“Well, by the way Sebas, Allen says this is the armor of the Queen Armored Ant, have you ever seen one before?”
“I’m sorry, sir. I don’t know that much about magical beasts.”
(Hmm? Well, it’s a B rank magical beast, and it’s pretty rare as well. So the Baron doesn’t know if it’s really the Queen Armored Ant’s armor. And that’s why he is called the Knight Commander?)
The Butler also replied that he didn’t know, and together they touched the armor of the Queen Armored Ant, and the Knight Commander came running into the garden of the mansion.
“You asked me to hurry up and come, My Lord?”
For someone who was called in suddenly when he was relaxing in the afternoon, the Knight Commander was dressed and styled well.
“I’m sorry to disturb your rest, Zenov, but I wanted to check something with you. Is this the armor of the Queen Armored Ant?”
“Queen Armored Ant?”
With a look of wonder on his face, the Knight Commander stepped forward and looked at the Queen Armored Ant’s armor.
“I’m sorry, sir. I’ve never seen a Queen Armored Ant before.”
Apparently, the Knight Commander had never seen one before either.
“Allen said this armor is of the Queen Armored Ant. I don’t remember exactly what I heard, but wasn’t it impossible to defeat an Armored Ant Nest?”
(What? Impossible to defeat? You mean it’s not difficult, but impossible to defeat?)
“It’s impossible, sir. It will be impossible even if we dispatch a group of Knights. I think even for the Silver Fang of the Gale, it would be impossible.”
The Knight Commander says that it is impossible even for the Knights and the A rank adventurer party Silver Fang of the Gale. He replied as he looked at the Queen Armored Ant’s armor in front of him.
“Huh? Aren’t Armored Ants themselves C-rank magical beasts?”
Looking at the Queen Armored Ant’s armor, I asked why it was impossible to defeat an Armored Ants Nest. The Armored Ant is a C-rank magical beast. How could it be impossible for Knights and A-rank adventurers to defeat them?
The Knight Commander gave me an explanation. If you want to defeat an Armored Ants Nest, you have to kill over a thousand of them. And even after they are defeated, more and more Ants will spring up from the Nest. The number of Ants you have to kill can be as high as 1,000 or 2,000.
(Yeah, that’s correct. I killed about 5,000 of them.)
The Knight Commander continued to speak further.
“Sending the Knights to defeat thousands of Armored Ants would entail a great deal of sacrifice on our side.
And even more difficult than that is defeating the Queen Armored Ants in the depths of the burrow. There is a labyrinth of branches leading up to where the Queen Armored Ant is. The Armored Ants use their own body as a wall and try to trap those who enter in the small rooms and dead ends in the labyrinth. Even if you defeat the Armored Ants that try to trap you, you will not be able to break through the confinement and will lose your life.”
(Yeah, I was trapped a lot of times too.)
Each time I was trapped, he returned my summons to card form and repeatedly re-summoned them.
“So wiping out the Nest is impossible. Well, if you are going to conquer it, you have to ask yourself how much sacrifice you are going to have to make. At least I’ve never heard of anyone attacking an Armored Ants Nest.”
The lives of many Knights and adventurers will be sacrificed in order to conquer an Armored Ant’s Nest. No one is willing to make the sacrifice to capture the Armored Ant’s Nest.
The Knights also only targets the Goblin and Orc Nests in their expeditions, not the Armored Ant Nests.
“What? But I heard that some of the current Mithril mining areas used to be Armored Ant Nests.”
“That just happened to be a disused burrow where the Queen Armored Ant died or something.”
After hearing all this, I understood why the Baron and the Butler were expressionless. They had never heard of someone killing Queen Armored Ant before. They had never even heard of anyone attacking it. My words were so surprising that they didn’t know how to react.
“I didn’t know that. Oh, not only did I bring back the Queen Armored Ant’s Armor, I also have this.”
I pulled out a jute sack that had been hanging on my shoulder for a long time.
“It’s a rock I picked where the Queen Armored Ant was. I thought it might be Mithril ore.”
“”This is it!””
“Yes, Lord Baron!”
Everyone reacted to the rock that I pulled out of the sack. The reaction was much better than the Queen’s armor. They looked as if they recognized this stone. This one seems much more real.
The Baron and the Knight Commander walked up and looked at the stone that I brought back.
“Allen. Let’s continue in the Meeting Room.”
Accompanied by the Baron, the Butler, and the Knight Commander, I went to the Meeting Room on the third floor.
“Put everything in the jute sack on the desk.”
I felt bad for putting a stone that might have been covered with the bodily fluids of the Queen Armored Ant on the table, but I put it down as instructed.
When the Baron saw the stone, he left the Meeting Room. He seemed to have gone to the next room for something, because I felt a presence in the next room.
“This is Mithril ore.”
(Oh! That’s a Lord of a once prosperous territory in Mithril. You have the real thing?)
The Baron placed the Mithril ore next to the stone I brought.
It had the same sheen and texture as the one that I had brought back with him.
“Looks the same.”
“That’s right. Sebas, take the map and go.”
Sebas brought a map from the other room. A map of the territory was placed on the table. He asked me where the Armored Ant Nest was located.
This was not the first time I had seen a map of the territory, as I had been briefed on it when I was defeating the Orc Nest under the direction of the Knight Commander.
The Armored Ant Nest was located between the first and second of the four tunnels. “It’s right around here,” I replied, pointing to the area with my finger.
“I see, this is close to the Nest we’re attacking.”
The Butler and the Knight Commander responded to the Baron’s words that he was correct.
“I think we need to make our move fast before another magical beast makes the place it’s home.”
The Knight Commander said that he would head to the Armored Ant Nest as soon as he returned to the city.
It reminded me of something I hadn’t reported yet.
“Is there anything more?”
“Yes, I can draw a simple but complete map of the Armored Ant Nest. So, please give me a parchment.”
All I had to do was copy the map I had recorded in my Grimoire. It was a simple one, but the map was of a labyrinth that was about five kilometers long. The future management of the labyrinth will be easier with this map.
“Really? I’ll have the parchment ready right away.”
“My Lord, you should know about the mining rights.”
“No, I know.”
“Allen, you’ve done an excellent job on this one. I will of course not question your absence without notice.”
“And of course, you are the first discoverer of this Mithril vein.”
It’s not like I discovered it, it’s like I got it.
“According to the Kingdom’s laws, the person who discovers a mining site for resources, not just Mithril, is entitled to 30 percent of the rights.”
“Mm, 30% of the mining rights are yours, Allen. It’s yours.”
(Seriously, I’m going to be a wealthy man in this world. But what are mining rights?)
The Baron explained in more detail.
It seems that 30% is actually much less than what I anticipated.
From the profit from the sale of Mithril, all expenses are deducted, including the cost of building the mining areas, the blast furnaces, and the labor costs of the Knights and miners. From the profit after expenses are deducted, another 60% is deducted as tax for the Royal Family.
The right to receive the net profit left after subtracting the tax to the Royal Family is called mining rights.
Since I found the vein, 30% of the mining rights will belong to me. The remaining 70% of the mining rights will belong to the Lord who rules the territory.
At the age of eleven, Allen had acquired the mining rights to 30% of the mining site, which he had obtained by subjugating an Armored Ants Nest.
Thanks for reading.