Chapter 71 – To the White Tower of Trials
From the trade city of Lanct, it will take half a day ride on a carriage.
I thought it was a joke but a huge, white, cylindrical building shows its majesty before me.
The upper part of the huge tower is so high that the cloud is already blocking it.
On a hill, its ivory-like structure is piercing the sky. Who and how did someone build a tower like this?
「Takeru-dono, that is the “White Tower of Trials” desuyo.」
「It’s really big….Also, the area here looks like a tourist spot.」
There’s a fence surrounding the white tower and within it is a green park. The soldiers of Lanct Duchy are patrolling all over. They managed this place well.
Aside from us, there were a lot of people. They are not adventurers but tourists.
The white tower part, which is in a safe position away from the “White Tower of Trials”, is one of the most popular tourist spots in the duchy to enjoy.
I heard that this was a dungeon that no one has captured but apparently, this is a tourist spot for children. I lost it when a child said “Alright papa, I’ll capture the “White Tower of Trials””.
White tower cookies, white tower cake, white tower-shaped porcelain figurines, marble handicrafts, strange wooden masks that have nothing to do with white tower, there are a lot of souvenir shops selling white tower goods and their businesses are doing great.
「Master, if you run a stall here, crepes will surely sell.」
The one who said that is Eliza who’s with Melissa.
They are both slave girls who are former beggars. They fought as gunners in the last war but their main profession is running a crepe stall.
I also think that it would be interesting to open our business in Lanct Duchy and deal with Duke Emeheart with an economic war.
That might be more fun than killing each other.
「I hope we can do that when the war is over….. For the time being, do the two of you want to eat anything?」
It’s a great tourist spot.
I decided to let the slave girls take a break here.
As for me, I’m not going to buy because I’m hungry but I want to buy to survey our future enemies. Like this shop that sells “white tower juice”.
It was a mouth-watering fruit juice squeezed from white peaches.
「That’s a poor joke….something like that is normally delicious.」
Squeezed fruit juice is a luxury item in this world.
That means Lanct Duchy is richer than expected.
Though it is said that there is no way a delicious food can be considered as a specialty product, upon tasting the cookies and cakes, I found that the sweetness level is high. No wonder they sell like hotcakes.
Not only are they managing a dangerous dungeon properly, they are also making money from tourism. I think the lords of this world have great power of imagination.
「Maa, I have to admit that Duke Emeheart is also a good businessman.」
Seeing the flourishing White Tower Park, I’m impressed with the administration capability of the duke.
From behind, my stalker commented.
「Now you see how amazing our “white tower of trials” is!」
The blonde-haired, blue-eyed princess knight in blazing armor and cloak with scarlet hawk emblem is standing there.
Maybe because she heard me praise the duke.
「Why are you so proud?」
「The amazing white tower is managed by our territory. Of course, I’ll boast about it.」
The princess said that with a clear face. There is no trace of joking around or sarcasm.
I’m a little scared of how this girl thinks so I think it is better not to get involved with her.
「Hey, Eleonora, I want you to humor me with this question, how long are you planning to follow us?」
「Huh, what are you talking about…..huh? I came to the white tower because I wanted to! I’m not following you!」
This….She’s not a tsundere but she’s talking like a tsundere which makes her more annoying.
Since she can’t attack us directly, she’s changed her tactics to mental attack. It can be said that she’s skillful in that aspect.
She’s been following us all this time so the damage has gradually entered my mind especially when she opens her mouth.
Of course, there’s no way the straightforward princess knight can think of such an advance technique. In short, her existence itself is plain annoying.
A natural like her, in a sense, can be said to be the most troublesome enemy.
I wish her to leave as soon as possible.
This is not a battlefield so I can’t just beat her up and ask for ransom.
Now, the value of her existence goes beyond zero, negative.
I don’t mind her stalking us in the City of Lanct but I don’t want her to do the same when we’re capturing the “White Tower of Trials”.
What kind of punishment game is this?
「Hey, aren’t you prohibited by Kato-san from interacting with me?」
「Kato said that as long as I don’t get in the way of the Silesie’s hero, I could both approach and interact with you.」
She’s getting in my way in a present progressive form so can you please come here and take this princess knight.
「Ah, sh*t. Just tell me what you want already.」
「This is the territory of my house so I won’t allow you to complain.」
She keeps a certain distance as she follows. Ignore her, ignore.
If I can’t see her, it will feel like she’s not really here.
「Takeru-dono. We’re finally here. Though the outside is safe, inside this walled area is a real dungeon. Don’t let your guard down.」
The defensive gate was opened and the mercenaries advanced to the bottom of the tower.
Inside the walled area is a danger zone where monsters overflow from the basement of the tower.
According to the gatekeeper, the number of adventurers who come here from various places has decreased because of the war of the empire. Because of that, the area surrounding the white tower has become dangerous too.
However, there’s no danger for them because they have more than five thousand mercenaries.
With surprising swiftness, the mercenaries ran around the white tower and completed the conquest. Many carriages entered the entrance and the base camp was built.
No one knows how long it will take us to capture this dungeon but this base camp will be our supply base and command post for the time being.
Of course, the monsters that the mercenaries have defeated won’t be wasted and the staff will cook them later.
The area around the white tower, the roads are made of red bricks and they are already crumbling. It is very different from the smooth, polished marble floor at the entrance of the white tower.
The surrounding area looks like a crumbling ancient site.
On the other hand, the gigantic “White Tower of Trials” itself is made of unblemished polished marble even after hundreds of years. I wonder what kind of magical protection it has.
It is shiny and when you touch it with your fingers, you’ll feel how luxurious it is.
The pinkish floor around the main gate with beautiful marble pattern is a material that nobles would be glad to have.
I’ll calculate it (I meant the price if I cut some out and sell it.).
The Sawatari Company also deals with stone materials. A marble this beautiful is a luxury among stone materials.
If I use my light sword, I might be able to break through the protective magic and cut some out.
If I cut some and sell it in the City of Lanct, I might be able to profit more than capturing the dungeon itself.
「Takeru-dono, those outrageous people who tried to cut off marble from the tower will be eliminated by a strong guardian.」
「Oh, that’s scary. So it has an anti-robbery measure.」
According to sensei’s explanation, the “White Tower of Trials” seems to be a heritage of an ancient civilization superpower called “Holy Queendom of Liliella”.
This gigantic white tower that is said to be either 100 floors or 99 floors is said to be built by Queen Liliella, Asama’s saintess who received absolute power, to let the people know the majesty of the creation goddess.
At the entrance of the tower stands a huge statue of Goddess Asama with silver wings.
Somehow, I feel like she’s staring at me and it is eerie. I wonder if Asama really has a surly face.
「Sensei, this goddess statue has a chubby face….what I mean is, its design is not modern.」
It is not ugly but it gives off an eerie atmosphere and the eyes are sharp.
I think the statue of a goddess should be more beautiful and benevolent.
The body shape is stout and the face is swollen and looks like a turtle.
I did not speak since the moment I said a bad word, I’ll be at risk of being attacked by a powerful guardian.
「No one knows how Asama, the goddess of creation, looks like so this statue is said to be modeled after Queen Liliella, Asama’s saintess. 」
「I see. 」
I don’t intend to badmouth an ancient queen so I guess this is a carving error. Let the sleeping dog lie.
Anyway, I avoid directly criticizing it. I heard those who criticize it will receive merciless punishment.
There was this hero who overcame the tower’s trial and even received orichalcum armor only to be punished in the end.
「Takeru-dono, the orichalcum armor and the large shield that Crown Prince Freed and his party used came from here. 」
「Ah, you mean they also tried to capture this place? 」
I heard that no one has explored the top floors so did they manage to climb up to the middle?
「No, it was his father, the golden lion emperor, his majesty Conrad of Germania Empire. 」
50 years ago, Freed’s father, the old Emperor Conrad Germania Germanicus, sunk the “hotbed of corruption and delusion” dungeon and became a hero.
When the old senile emperor was still young, he challenged the “White Tower of Trials” and managed to get to the 54th floor where they got the orichalcum armor and shield.
「I see, Free is just using his father’s equipments.」
「Maa, that’s what it is desu. As the heir to the throne, it is normal for him to inherit the legendary armor.」
He is using the orichalcum equipment he inherited from his father.
He dares to laugh “Fuhahahaha” even though he did not gain them using his own power. I think Freed is acting like a young master he is.
「Since someone managed to reach the 54th floor, do you intend to go further?」
Looking up at the gigantic tower up close, the 100th floor at the top seems to be too far away.
Even in the Oracle’s Great Cave, the bottom is the 10th floor. Even if we are using an army to capture this, I don’t know how much time it will take.
「In this mercenary group, there are a lot of veteran adventurers and there are also those who already tried capturing this tower. We don’t lack guides. Let’s start by exterminating the small fry monsters that live from the basement to the third floor.」
「Alright. Let’s start preparing then.」
In our case, rather than saying we’ll exterminate monsters, it is more correct to say we’ll cook.
If we want to capture the tower using 5000 people, we must also feed them. The preserved food we prepared in the carriages are not enough.
Let’s start the war of food procurement. Near the entrance of the dungeon, there are many monsters. They are food source.
We have become experts in monster meat cooking because of the Silesie born chef, the great Louise-sensei. She’s someone who can dismantle and eat every monster meat.
Inhabiting the basement of this “White Tower of Trials” are the basic monsters; goblins, ogres, and orcs.
There were few goblins but there were a lot of ogres and orcs. They’re a good food source.
Of the small fry monsters, the ones with the worst meat are the little green goblins.
I often hear voices of concern about green meat being poisonous but it doesn’t seem to be the case.
If goblins can produce poison in its body, they wouldn’t be considered as small fries.
There are higher kinds of monsters that use poisons but the goblins can’t.
However, no matter how much one says about the edibility of goblin meat, it is stinky, hard, and bad.
Looking at them, I think it is because they are small and weak so they have less fats and more muscle fibers.
The similar monster, ogre, is the same but it is less stinky. Though it is hard too, it is better in terms of cooking for food.
The best way to eat ogre meat is to turn them into minced meat and make them into hamburgers, or you can slowly stew them like Louise.
If there are other monsters available, it will be better for the bad tasting goblins to be squeezed for fat for soap and turn its meat into compost or feed.
Among the small fry monsters here, the most delicious one is the orc.
They can be boiled, grilled, and mixed with flour, eggs, breadcrumbs, and fried it into tonkatsu.
They taste like pork. The meat is soft, the umami is overflowing, and the aroma is so fragrant that it penetrates into the nasal cavity.
For parts that seem greasy, you just have to grill them and the greasy part will be removed resulting to a refreshing texture.
Though I might be considered as a maniac, I think the purple gelatinous part around the orc ankle bone is the best part.
It should be treated like pork trotters and should be boiled softly in spices. It is rich in collagen so it will be good for beauty.
The smell of orc barbeque, which is grilled after being spiced by salt and pepper, is irresistibly appetizing.
This is the enjoyment after fighting with monsters.
Duke Emeheart, who turned the white tower into a tourist attraction, is still too sweet to leave this abundant food resource behind.
Under the command of the Garan Mercenary commander, the corpses of the hunted monsters are brought to the outdoor base camp one after another.
The monster corpses are dismantled into meat and skin by Louise’s team. The meat is distributed by Collete’s team after cooking them while the skins were tanned into leather and sold as they are or processed into leather goods.
Great, nothing’s wasted.
After making sure that the work will progress, I left the camp.
Lyle-sensei is in charge of commanding the camp so there won’t be any problem.
As for me, I have something else to do.