C215: In-tree-guing

Afforestation.

In order to revive the elven forest which had once withered away due to the tyranny of the human race, a project funded by our elves and carried out by the Demon King’s army has been initiated to grow tree saplings and plant them.

The elves can invest a lot in their home forest’s revival since they have no other use for their money, while the Demon King’s army can secure employment without paying out of their own pockets.
It was a win-win situation for both parties.

But is there anything I can do to help, I wonder?
Like offering some wisdom, for example.

Planting trees to revive the forest is hard work.
Besides, they take a long time to grow. If we go through the normal process, it would be a decade-long project. But if we don’t, we could shorten that time to a few months or years…

Anyway, let’s put all of that aside for now.
The first thing to consider is what kind of tree to plant.

Big trees, small trees, leafy trees which fall off in the fall and winter and trees which have leaves all-year-round, trees as thin as sticks, fruit and flower-bearing trees, etc.
What kind of tree should we plant from these choices?

Since the purpose of this afforestation project is to return the forest to its original state after it was devastated by magic, I think it’d be best to plant trees that were once there.

And not just one kind.
Many kinds.
Because having different kinds of trees growing is how nature works its wonders.

However…

“No! If we’re going to plant trees, it has to be maple trees! The sap that comes out of them is divine!”
“If you’re going with that logic, then these cypress trees are way better! They’re strong and sturdy, perfect for making tools!”
“I want fruit-bearing trees like this!”
“I want apple trees!”
“Don’t you think there’s something sophisticated about planting bamboos?”


The elves are arguing here in the dungeon orchard.

There are dozens of different types of trees planted here that we use for various purposes, such as cutting them down for lumber, picking their fruits, and admiring their flowers.

Our forest-dwellers visit the dungeon orchard far more often than the other farm residents, so they know the types of trees that thrive here, and each of them has a tree or two that they fancy.

Now, all of them are presenting their own favorite trees to plant in their old home.

“I think we should plant loquat trees! They have edible fruit, herbal foliage, and good lumber!”
“Shuddup! You should listen to me, the former boss!”

But Aileron…
Don’t you want to restore the forest to its natural state?
And yet, you’re deciding which trees to plant based on your preferences.

…I wonder if that’s really okay?
It’s hard to draw a line between what’s natural and man-made.
But I still think it’s better to plant trees that naturally grow in this world.

The trees here in the dungeon orchard are trees from my world, sprouted by my ability.
In other words, they are trees from another world.
It’s not desirable for alien plants to flourish in this world, taking away the indigenous plants’ space.
This is why I think it’s a good idea to plant their forest with trees that are originally from this world.

“No way. I want maple trees!”
“I told you that loquat would be better, you blockhead!!!”

None of them are listening at all.
Do my profound thoughts not reach them?

“Lord Saint!”
“What kind of tree do you think we should plant, Lord Saint?!”

Now they’re turning to me for suggestions.

…Hmm.
Let’s see…
If they’re actually asking me what kind of tree I want to plant under that pretext, then it’d be…

“…Cedar.”

Cedar is a very useful building material.
Unlike other trees, it grows straight and is easy to process.

That’s why in my world, there are even mountains that have only cedar trees and nothing else.

“…”

However, cedars have one more major characteristic that cannot be ignored—they spread a tremendous amount of pollen at the beginning of spring.
Their pollen is the cause of a certain national disease…

“…Hay fever.”

Let’s imagine—a cedar forest flourishes in another world thanks to the elves’ afforestation initiative and engulfs the entire world in its pollen…

“Sounds disastrous…”

Whether or not this world will be exposed to the fury of cedar pollen depends on my decision today.
Still…

“What do you think we should plant, Lord Saint?”
“……Cedar.”

The reason I can’t get rid of the feeling that hay fever isn’t my problem is that I’ve never had it—breathing in cedar pollen doesn’t make me sneeze or itch my eyelids.

Cedar being a particularly excellent building material is a fact. It’d also be a fantastic idea to give the people of this world Pandora’s box containing both hope and despair in the form of cedar saplings.

…On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t.
I think it’s a bad idea to intentionally introduce alien plants.
Let’s just plant tree saplings indigenous to this world.

I felt like I had gained some kind of virtue by making that decision in my head.


Still, having said all that…

“My Lord…”
“Hmm? Oh, Orkubo. You guys came as well?”
“We’d like to cut down a few cedar trees if you don’t mind.”
“Sure.”

The cedar trees cultivated in the dungeon orchard have been very useful in the construction of the mansion and the bathhouse. That just goes to show how useful they are.

We can’t give up on planting them just because I’m afraid of people getting hay fever.
It doesn’t affect me anyway, so we’re good to go!!!

“…Achoo!!!”


…Huh?

Was that a big sneeze I just heard?

“We’re cutting down the cedar.”
“Heave. Ho!”

The orcs swing their axes into the fine cedar tree to chop it down.
Naturally, its foliage sways with their every swing.

“…ACHOO!!!”

?!

……Psh, naw.
No way.
I’m just hearing things.

I’m sure I am.


this chapter’s title has got to be my proudest big brain moment yet. the Japanese title is 気になる木, which is read as ‘ki ni naru ki.’ loosely translating it, we get something like interesting/concerning/troubling(the list goes on depending on the context) tree.

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2 thoughts on “C215: In-tree-guing

  1. lecora alzuras

    Thanks for the chapter! The Cells at Works episode makes more sense to me now since it was an episode about hay fever from cedar.

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