Chapter 27 Unexpected Accident

 unforeseen accident

 After the digging experience was over and I returned the visitor's card to the office, rain began to fall drizzling from the dark sky.

"Now we can get back to the inn without getting too wet. Chi is going back to the mine."

"What? Is Tien-san coming back?"

"Hurry, we need to help everyone get home."

"Well...I see. That's too bad. I've prepared lunch for you."

 Tien's eyebrows twitched at Nina's words.


"Yes . Of course I made it with ingredients that don't contain pollen from the Purple Bellflower."

 When Nina showed her the basket case, Tien's heart swayed.


"It's just lunchtime, Tien, why don't you go eat?"

 Give chase, Astrid,

"Yeah, that's good. If you don't eat, you won't have any energy... you know that better than anyone, don't you?"

 I'll finish you off.

 Indeed, Tien had eaten a lot last night and this morning, but he was feeling quite hungry just from guiding the mine.

 As if to say, "I'm going to make up for everything I've done.

"Chi's stomach has discovered the luxury of..."

 Tien thought to himself.

"Yes...I'd like to have it if it's not too much trouble."

 The four of them came to a shady spot in the trees, away from the management office.

 There were no houses in this area, just large equipment used and discarded in the mines.

 If there is a cafeteria nearby, Tien will lose his appetite because of the smell.

"Here you go, eat up."

 Nina opened the basket case.

 There were sandwiches of every color.

 The colors of the vegetables and meat sandwiched between the two dishes shine like jewels, even though it has been a long time since they were made.


 As Tien shouts out, Emily says as she quickly takes the first one.

"Nina woke up before sunrise and baked bread all the way here."

"Oh, I'm sorry, it's my fault."

"No, no, no. It's not like that... come on, try it. I'd rather be grateful."


 I don't know," Tien said, taking a bite out of his sandwich.


 Tien's eyes widened and he gobbled up the rest of the food.

"Hey? The sandwiches made with Nina's bread are so delicious! We're lucky to have them today. Thanks a lot."

"Well, if it makes you so happy, I'll make you a sandwich every day."

"You know, if you do that to me, I'll be afraid of you. It's best eaten on special occasions like this. Hey, Astrid?"

"Yes, it is. This sandwich is really great. When the public finds out about it, chefs from the best restaurants will come to learn about it."

"No, no, a maid..."

 Of course," Nina said, and then fell silent.

"What's wrong, Nina?"

"...I learned how to make this sandwich specially at the mansion where I used to work. The chef, Roy-san, was so kind to me, but I couldn't even say goodbye before I left. .... Considering Roy-san's skill, I'm sure many cooks would like to know the secret of his deliciousness."

 Nina smiled sadly as she remembered Roy, Mona, her fellow maid, and Toms, the gardener.

"I wonder how they're doing."

"...Nina, do you think that you could--"

 That's when Emily tried to talk to Nina.


 In the distance, I heard what sounded like the earth shaking.

 When Astrid asked, Tien stood up and looked in the direction where the sound had come from.

 The direction of District 4--.

"Squishy-ho is squishy-ho!"

"Oh, she ate the whole sandwich!"

"T, Tien-San, that sound... do you have any idea what that is?"

 Tien nodded his head and swallowed.

"Something may have happened in the mine."

 When Nina and the others returned to the mine entrance, all hell had broken loose.

"Get the wounded over here!"

"What the hell, it shook like hell."

"Workers! Get out! Just get away!"

"Hey, hey, hey! That sounded great!"

 Many miners are coming out of the wide entrance tunnel.

 Most of them had nothing in their hands and were in a hurry to escape, anyway.

"Somebody go get the guards! District 4! District 4 has collapsed!"

 The word "collapse" spread like an electric shock.

"Run, run, run! The rest of the place might collapse too!"

"The front's jammed! Come on, get out!"

"What are you going to do with the iron ore you dug up today!"

"What's more important, your life or mine?"

 In the chaos, the workers pushed each other, shoved each other, and even fought each other as they fled the mine.

"Hi, how's the damage?"

 A group of clerks came out of the administration building and ran up to the miner who had shouted "collapse" - it was a big red-haired miner.

 Tien was slightly relieved to see him, though he seemed to be wounded in many places.

"A lot of people got hurt. Water came pouring out of the ceiling and we knew we were in trouble so we got the hell out... but a lot of people got caught in the collapse that followed. Some of them broke their legs, so we're working to get them out. So far, no one's died."

"Well, that's good... that's unfortunate."

"No, there's one stranded on the other side of the collapse. Probably not a direct hit."


 The clerks froze at his words.

 A direct hit by the rock will kill you, a crush will kill you.

 Even if you're lucky enough to survive, you'll die when the oxygen runs out.

"The foreman was on the other side of the collapse."

 The red-haired man said with a sigh, "You were yelling at us as we ran away, telling us that we hadn't met our quota.

 It was common sense to evacuate first in case of danger in the life-threatening mining industry.

 Even the clerks were stunned by the foreman who was giving priority to the quota,

"And, anyway, I take it the foreman is still here by himself?"

"Yeah, probably. It's a pretty big space, so I think there's plenty of air left."

 A sense of relief spreads through the air when he hears that.

 The clerks were all talking,

"This seems like a good idea to wait until everyone in the garrison -san arrives."

"Let's proceed to identify the injured party. I'm sure they'll want to be compensated."

"The mining schedule is going to be delayed, so we're going to get a big kick out of that."

 That's what we were discussing.

"...We should go help them right away."

 Only the girl from the Moon Wolf tribe was different.

"Tien-san?" What does that mean? As he just said, the only one left behind by the collapse is the foreman, and there's plenty of air. It's better to leave it to the garrison than for us to move in a hurry."

"If it collapses once, it might do it twice."


 That possibility was something that the clerks had tried to ignore.

 The garrison is a group of people who protect the security of the town, not professionals who save lives.

 The clerks didn't want to take on the responsibility of saving people's lives now that there was a problem with the collapse, so they just wanted to put the blame on the garrison.

"But... since the foreman, the one in charge of the site, is inside, there's nothing we can do..."

"Yes, sir. We're just clerks."

"Oh, here he is! Is that the man who broke his leg?"

 When the miners arrived at the entrance of the mine on makeshift stretchers, the clerks headed towards them.

 All that was left was the red-haired man, Tien, and Nina.

Miss-chan, you're right. But those clerks aren't wrong either. Even if they ran this place, there'd be no workers to follow."

"What about the mine manager then?"

"A mine foreman is just an ornament playing the role of a nobleman. All they do is grab the foreman by the neck and rant about quotas and quotas and quotas. Thanks to him, we're all stuck with quotas... you know? Miss-chan was called a "ghost dog" and the foreman took his frustration out on us. If that bastard gets left behind in the collapse, everyone here will think he got what he deserved... all the time."

 The red-haired man frowned.

"What! That hand...!"

"Yeah, I'm not very good at it either. But I only broke a couple of fingers. Nothing serious."

"The sooner we treat him, the better."

"I know. But there's going to be a lot more injuries from here. I've got to deal with them, so I'll deal with them later."

"Let me see."

 Nina slid out from beside him and grabbed the man's hand.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. What the hell?"

"It's going to hurt a little."

"Oh? --What the hell?"

 Nina pulls on the man's finger that she says is broken. The intense pain brings tears to the corners of the man's eyes.

What the hell are you doing?

"Bone grafting. I put the broken bones together. See a doctor, just to be safe, okay?"

 While she is saying this, Nina applies ointment to the finger and takes out a bandage and wraps it around the man's finger to hold it in place.

 The man could only blink his eyes at the brilliance of her handiwork.

 After the procedure, Nina..,


"What, what...?"

"You want to help?"


 Tien's breath caught in his throat at the straightforward words.

 But the next time, he shook his head clearly.

"I should be there to help."

 Tien said.