Shini Yasui Kōshaku Reijō to Nana-ri no Kikōshi chapter 80 - secret workshop (part two) | English Novels Online

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Shini Yasui Kōshaku Reijō to Nana-ri no Kikōshi
Chapter 80 - Secret Workshop (part two)
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Chapter 80: Secret Workshop (part two)

We went with Gilbert to the upstream of Varnalis River at night.

Trading the horse-drawn carriage with a small boat en route, we boarded a flat-bottomed ship heading upstream at a harbor on the outskirts of the town.

Loaded on this flat-bottomed ship were various everyday commodities to be delivered to the village upstream.

Pulled by a horse in the towpath made on the shore, it traced a gentle flow upstream.

Gilbert sipped a glass of mulled wine that the crew had shared, and exhaled deeply, breathing out white vapor.

Harold and I who were still children were given a heated spice apple juice.

The cinnamon and ginger warmed our body from the core.

“On the evening of the day I arrived at Knot Reed, I went up the river like this.

It’s only been seven days since then, huh……thanks to Botchan and you guys, it’s been days that were rich in experience.”

“But, Aniki, if you were going up the river by yourself, wouldn’t it be better using the land route?”

Harold put a damper on Gilbert who was looking into the riverside in nostalgia.

“There was a package that I wanted to carry in, so I had to use a ship.

From the results of my many years of research, I knew that the local whetstones were ideal for porcelain materials.

Since they were as cheap as dirt, I bought up all the whetstones that were in the market.”

“Heeh, a whetstone, huh……hm, huh? Buy up?”

『Speaking of which, you told us that the market price of whetstone is rising.』

“Aniki, so that was your doing, huh……”

Harold glared at Gilbert with accusing eyes.

He did say that he was repairing a rotating whetstone of the confectionery store.

Perhaps, other bad effects of whetstones shortage might have come out.

“Eh, what? Why are you angry?”

“Nothing—. It’s just that Aniki’s actions result in a lot of troubles this week—.”

“Now, now, I don’t know what happened, but it’s fine, right?

Because of my foresight, I made use of them in the production of porcelain with painted cobalt oxide.”

At Gilbert’s words, Harold became silent begrudgingly.

There was no doubt that he was saved by it, so he couldn’t say anything.

“Well, whether it was a foresight or not, we shouldn’t be fixated on those unnecessary details.

We can sell the white porcelains to eastern business partners, where they are still popular.

Even though I know that fact with my head, my heart isn’t on board, I guess I’m afraid that it won’t reach expectation.”

『But thanks to your extra insistence, the material is not wasted, and everything goes well.』

“Right, right, mister. You say some good things.”

Gilbert’s mood got better thanks to Tirnanog’s words.

Harold’s staring seemed to show that he was still dissatisfied.

“Tsk, Aniki is doing fine, huh……but, is it possible to sell that conveniently in the East?”

“It was the opinion of my partner at the time I was in the South.

That guy didn’t agree with my hobby, but he has a considerable aesthetic sense.

He is quite favourable as a partner, well, I think it’s fine to trust his judgement.”

The East had an elegant and sophisticated culture, yet they preferred simple things.

A pure white porcelain might be better suited to the taste of eastern people than a porcelain with flashy and gorgeous paintings on it.

“Is that partner of yours possibly a mage of Hafan?”

“Aa, I was in charge of alchemy, that guy was in charge of magic and he was studying to combine East and West techniques.

Although I got separated from that guy due to that event, but the scroll entrusted to me by him is even now still my partner.”

Gilbert said so, his nose sniffling whether due to the cold or sentiment, and looked up to the dusk sky.

I raised my face to follow his line of sight.

In the dark sky without the moon, the stars were shining brightly.

At this time, in that direction I could see the first magnitude stars of Lupus and Canis Minor.

Then, on the underside there were the red stars that made up Cancer.

Gradually lowering my line of sight from the three constellations, I noticed that a huge shadow was towering.

It was a tall tower that looked as if it was touching the sky.

There seemed to be windows around the tower, and several small orange lights were lit up.

“The tower has come into view at last. Boatman, please drop us off this shore.”

“Ou.”

As the ship stopped, we got off to the riverside.

It was around 8 o’clock in the evening, but because there was no moon, the field of vision was much darker.

Each of us lit a lamp or lantern.

“It’s a splendid castle. Is it the residence of a nobleman around here?”

“Nn~, well, that kind of stuff……Botchan should know more about it, right?”

“Oh my, Harold, huh?”

“No, about the detailed description……ah—, that one is mine.”

Harold averted his eyes while scratching his cheek.

No, it wasn’t in the level of ‘it’s mine’, right?

“That castle of ours is called 〈Castle of Light〉.

It’s an old castle built on the rocky side of the bank of Varnalis River, characterized by a very tall tower.”

“The one that built that tower was the Turm family who migrated here.

If you think about it, Turm and Nibelheim are often connected to each other.”

“Anki, if you say that, practically all noble families and companies in Knot Reed are connected with each other.”

“Hahaha, that’s true.”

Harold and Gilbert laughed with each other after saying so.

Indeed, it seemed that the whole Knot Reed had a friendly atmosphere like some kind of family or relatives.

“There is nothing special, it’s just an ordinary rural castle.

When the weather cleared up, we can see the unbroken view of the town, so it’s not bad.”

“That’s nice.”

“Aa, that’s right. When this matter has settled down, shall we meet together and hold a feast?

Since there is no budget, we will be eating food a little and having fun, it will be just a modest thing.”

A celebratory feast while watching the night view of Knot Reed might be a good proposal.

Although it was said one shouldn’t count one’s chickens before they had hatched, as long as I kept my nerves tightly bound up, even if I relaxed a little, there shouldn’t be any repercussion.

“I think it’s a quite tasteful plan.”

“That’s nice. I will go wherever there is alcohol.”

『Umu, not bad.』

“Alright, then it’s decided.”

When all of us showed our agreement, Harold’s teeth could be seen as he laughed.

“Well, that’s that. Let’s put the matter about Castle of Light as something to look forward to, first off, let’s go to my secret base.

It’s just a little farther, be patient and we will arrive in no time.”

Even though he said ‘a little farther’, we arrived at Gilbert’s hideout in just about five minutes from where we disembarked.

There was an old cabin on the open space where only the foundations of some buildings remained.

According to Gilbert, it seemed that it was formerly a work cabin for quarrying.

It was borrowed from his second older brother and had been refurbished for porcelain production.

The window of the cabin was shut down, and the door was replaced by a newer and heavier one.

As we approached, I could hear heavy footsteps from inside.

I had a feeling that there was someone, or rather, something inside.

(These are not human footsteps, that means……)

I thought that it was unnatural that Gilbert left his workshop even though he was making porcelain.

At first I thought that there were collaborators, but he didn’t seem to have contacted anyone until he brought us here.

But if the collaborators were not human beings, and instead golems, for example, then it made sense.

“Now then, welcome to the secret workshop of Gilbert Turm, ladies and gentlemen.”

Gilbert opened the door of the workshop with a rumbling sound.

From inside the room, air colder than the outside air of autumn night came out.

Even if the golems were sucking the surrounding heat for their activity, it was a bit too cold.

In Gilbert’s workshop, as expected, many golems as large as children were running.

Just like his drawing during the magic lecture, the golems were short and stout and headless.

Even only counting the ones within my line of sight, it seemed that there were more than 10 golems.

While this was an individual workshop, it was rare to have this many golems running.

Each golem, when I looked closely, was slightly different in appearance and movement.

All of them probably incorporated special syntax to handle specialized work process.

Some golems were pulverizing white ore containing light brown stripes into powder.

There were other golems who added water to the white powder and kneaded it, while other golems were molding it by turning the pottery wheel.

They were working on various processes.

However, the characteristic of this workshop was not just the golems that were working in divisions.

There were a number of magic circles with complex composition spread throughout the room.

The work was being done not only with alchemy but also magic.

“The magic circles set up around here are for drying and cooling.

Special adjustment is given so that the porcelain doesn’t break even in a hurried work.

The furnace in the back room, of course, is a custom-made that incorporates magic.”

“Awesome, Aniki! Did you make a workshop like this alone?”

“Gilbert-san can use Hafan’s magic, huh.”

“Good grief, I’m glad that you are finally surprised.

It’s the result of me dabbling in magic for a little while.

Well, the one that actually built the magic was not me, but my partner.”

Gilbert was at the lead and went smoothly between the moving golems.

While being careful not to disturb the working golems, we followed Gilbert.

At the back of the workshop, four simple wooden tables were lined up.

About 20 tablespoons of white unglazed platter were placed on those tables, waiting for the next journey.

A golem was slowly making a round trip between the tables and the magic circle for drying.

Gilbert picked up the dish that was just placed by the golem and stared at it critically.

“I also came here once in the afternoon.

I started the magic from the scroll built by my partner and made the production faster.

Hm……it seems that we can proceed with the painting phase without problem.”

Gilbert said so and showed us the dish, it was a large dish of about 50 cm in diameter.

If one painted cobalt oxide on this dish, it would shine brighter.

“E, eehh!? There’s already a prototype made, Aniki!?”

“Aa, I need to reinstall the magic of the furnace so you will have to wait for my magic to recover, it will be completed after firing it two more times.

Perhaps I will be able to show it off at about the day after tomorrow.

Anyways, I’m thinking about trying out the designs around here on the first few dishes.”

Gilbert handed the incomplete dish to Harold and took out a thick envelope from the shelf.

He picked out several sheets of paper and spread them out on the table.

With a delicate drawing, a pattern with atmosphere similar to the one that decorated Turm Wand Store was drawn.

Perhaps it was a copy of an ancient porcelain pattern.

Harold gazed alternately between the dish and the design, and gulped.

“Say, Aniki, I wonder if I can help, too?”

“Ou. Naturally, Botchan’s help is included in my calculation.

I meant to ask you myself if you didn’t ask me.

Botchan can paint a bit too, right?”

“Aa, I learn diligently after all. Because things like that are necessary for making wands.”

“Yosh, yosh, there is no problem then. It’s a big help.

It’s impossible for my golems to do delicate works like painting after all.

As expected it will be truly difficult to draw these many dishes all by myself.”

Gilbert smiled a little and put the design in front of Harold.

It looked like a luxurious pattern painted with not only blue but also variety of colors.

To me who was not so devoted, it was a design of a level that seemed to be a bit weird.

Harold stared at the design and nodded with confidence.

“I can do it……I, I will do it. This dish, I will make it the best possible dish.”

“Alright, that’s the spirit.”

Gilbert hit Harold’s back as if sealing the deal.

While watching the state of the two of them, Tirnanog laughed a little from inside of his face armor.

『Apparently, we don’t seem to be able to help with anything.』

“That’s true.”

“Oops, sorry, both of you. Even though I had brought you guys to a faraway place like this.”

“No, I can see valuable things and it was a good learning experience.”

『Our roles will be looking at the finished product in surprise, it’s important for you guys after all.』

“Hahaha, your expectation is that high, we cannot make a bad one even if it’s just a prototype.

Well, it’s fine. Please look forward for it.

Botchan, I’m going to arrange a carriage from a nearby village, so start without me.”

Gilbert said so, leaving the workshop.

Harold put on an apron and changed into clothes that could work.

Harold, after having decided on what to do, seemed to be quite excited.

“Harold, many things happened today, but I’m glad that there’s a chance to turn things around.”

“Aa, thank you for keeping me company this whole time, really, thank you.”

“Don’t mind it. Because we’re partners, aren’t we?”

Towards my words, Harold smiled with a crying looking face.

It looked like he was about to cry, but he looked much firmer than before.

If he looked like this, he would be fine.

By the time Harold finished preparing for work, the carriage that was called by Gilbert had arrived.

Then, Tirnanog and I entered the carriage and left the workshop.

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Shini Yasui Kōshaku Reijō to Nana-ri no Kikōshi

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