They have found a little hope, but how should they utilize it? Enjoy the chapter!
ED: xtostos, eristol
In a certain cabin of the new aircraft carrier, I took a little break.
I sneaked into a cabin without people and took a rest on the soft and luxurious sofa.
Palug climbed up the backrest of the chair.
『Haah……Auguste, so splendid.』
“That’s true, he seems to be in such a radiant mood as though he has gotten rid of an evil spirit1.”
『Right……huh? That way of saying, am I the evil spirit!?
Aaah……the fact that is not incorrect is so vexiiiiing!!』
“Now, now, it wasn’t only Palug who afflicted him, so calm down.”
I inadvertently dissed Palug.
What afflicted him was not only the spirit possession by Palug, but also the so-called worldly scandal and bad reputation.
Either way, Palug who possessed him was a guardian angel, so she doesn’t have to worry about it.
『Even so, Auguste has become a very splendid young man during the time I didn’t see him~
He is likely to grow up to be exactly like my King Guillaume~
I’m sure, when he reaches adulthood, he will definitely become a beautiful youth, so you need to book him soon~ ……wink, wink.』
“Why are you talking in onomatopoeia?
Did Auguste really change that much?”
He is supposed to change much six years in the future, be it to become a feminine man or host-style.
It seems that I couldn’t notice his minor changes over several months because of those images of him in my brain.
If Palug’s disguise is accurate, I feel like he will become the second King Guillaume.
『It’s not that~ Surely the growth of his heart can be seen in various places and his expressions~~
I cannot help feeling that it’s a shame I couldn’t see the growth of that child up close.』
“Is that so?”
『Yeah, that’s right~
Aah, Auguste ought to make a lot of achievements in the future.
And so, as artists compete with each other, they will make paintings and sculptures based on the beautiful prince and I can please my eyes.』
I shrugged my shoulders while watching the former angel who was out of control.
Well, recently things have been depressing, so it is important to have fun more than anything else.
Anyway, Tirnanog who usually makes a comment was quiet.
I observed him with the corner of my eyes to check whether his condition was bad or not.
Tirnanog seemed to be thinking about something with his arms folded.
He stared at Palug for a while and then hit his palm.
『Mu! That’s it! I should have known that we can make that thing. Erica. I will borrow the cat for a bit.』
『Eh~? What is it, what is it? For the serpent to borrow my help, isn’t it too unusual for you?』
“What’s wrong, Tir? Have you come up with something?”
『Fufufu. No, I sometimes think that I should try to do a mock-alchemy.』
When Tirnanog invited Palug to his hand, he began to consult about something in a whisper.
For Tirnanog to negotiate with Palug with a warm attitude is unusual.
『……So once I do this, you follow up like this.』
『Hmm~~? Is that fine? You’re going to become a charred lizard. Although you are already black originally.』
『Do not hold back. If you go easy on me, we are likely to fail instead.』
『Hrrrm……I don’t understand what you’re talking about, but okay.』
Apparently, their consultation seems to have ended.
Tirnanog picked up a drinking glass in the room and put something like black powder in it.
And then, he deformed his armor through his magical power.
The armor’s fingers were stretched out in front of him and the space in-between the digits connected like fin webbing.
He held the glass in his transformed hands as if wrapping them around it and shut them airtight.
『Come on, do it.』
『I’m not responsible for what is going to happen, okay~?』
Palug placed her paw on Tirnanog’s hands.
There was a sizzling sound like dropping water on a heated iron plate.
The part of the armor touched by Palug became heated and red.
Wait, is this really okay?
『Fumu, heat it up just a little bit more.』
『You seem to be unexpectedly calm. Then how about this?』
Tirnanog’s whole armor shone red.
It seems that it was heated by an outrageously high temperature.
『Alright, it’s almost done. Good work, cat.』
『Good grief. Just what are you making me do when I’m still recovering. I won’t forgive you if it’s something boring.』
『Kukuku, just look forward to seeing it.』
The moment Palug released her hands, I began to hear sounds like liquid moving at high speed from Tirnanog.
The armor which was red returned to its original black color.
When Tirnanog created openings across his armor, steam blew out vigorously from there.
Apparently, it seems Tirnanog used his own liquid body as substitute for coolant, circulating it along the armor to cool down on the inside.
『Now, it’s done. You can see it.』
Tirnanog opened his palms.
We looked into his hands.
『Oh my, this is a nostalgic color.』
There was a single glass bead.
It wasn’t a transparent glass used for material, but rather an indigo blue glass.
It was somewhat similar to marbles and it was a bit nostalgic for me.
Huh? But, the blue glass of this world—
(Aah, it seems that the colorant to make superior blue glass is Gigantia’s specialty. There are old blue glasses, but they are gradually becoming impossible to repair.)
Oh yeah, right, Auguste said that at the cathedral on the Island of Messenger.
Because it is made of rare minerals produced by the enemy country, it is rare to make it.
Because of that, stained glass can’t be repaired.
“Tir, where did you get the pigment? Rather, when did you get it? You have been with me all the time.”
『Erica. You should have also seen it……something exactly like it.』
Tirnanog brought out a black powder wrapped in cloth.
The cloth seems to be the cut end of the bandage he used for his disguise, but what is this black powder?
It looks like a compound that contains metal.
Speaking of the metal we recently found, it is that, huh.
“Is this the smelt that was kept in barrels inside the waste mine of Nibelheim?”
『That’s right. When that redhaired brat kicked down the barrel, I thought that I could use it for something and borrowed it for a while.
This oxidized cobalt was also used for variety of purposes by the former Visitor’s Clan.』
“So the identity of the expensive pigment is cobalt oxide, huh.”
I didn’t think of it when I was in the mine.
Tirnanog was able to properly recognize the smelt in that darkness.
『Heeh. With this, we can restore the stained glass of the church, right?
You were working hard for the sake of Ignitia, this is a glorious achievement for a serpent.』
『No, this is not only for the sake of the royal family in South.
Erica, if my memory serves me right, the blue glass material can be traded at a high price, right?』
“Ah! That’s right! It’s about twenty times the price of silver of the same weight!”
I feel that Auguste said that about the market price.
Then, far from being a mountain of waste, isn’t it a mountain of treasure?
But, I wonder if it would go smoothly.
『If they sell all the contents of those barrels, the ruin of the Nibelheim family might be averted.』
“Wait, the buyers might not be immediately available for such an amount.
Because there is a demand for the restoration of stained glasses, I think that Ignitia will soon come to terms, but if the cobalt is sold as much as what is necessary for the repair, then it is likely that its market price will gradually drop as the supply will be over-delivered.”
『Mu? Really. This is quite difficult.』
Even if we overestimate and assume that we will sell them all as a replacement for silver, there isn’t that much demand for it.
First of all, we need to find demand for cobalt oxide for somewhere other than stained glass.
『How about paints?』
“Since for blue they have lapis lazuli……aside from painters who have patrons, paints that are twenty times as expensive as silver are too harsh for ordinary painters.”
『Sorry, Erica. I thought that it could be useful even a little.』
“Well, I think that it’s much better thinking Nibelheim is hoarding rare metals rather than a mountain of waste.
I think this will be enough for the immediate fundraising, so it’s not totally useless. I’m grateful.”
However, we can’t seem to think of ways to effectively utilize it.
It might be better to borrow the wisdom of Harold and Gilbert.
Also, I want to let Harold know quickly and tell him that there is hope even if it is just a little.
“Let’s change places with Palug and meet up with Harold. I want to hear the opinions of other people.”
『Got it. However, it’s boring to keep staying at this party.
I will tell Ernst that I have decided to return to the Water Palace early.』
Palug twirled and transformed into me wearing an identical dress.
Tirnanog also opened the bag and took out a spare clothing.
I brought it only just in case, but that was the right decision.
『That’s right. That is true indeed. I ought to ask that guy what he was going to use it for, too.』
『There was someone who noticed the value of this smelt even before I did.
Like me, that guy brought back a handful of smelt.
He looked at the cobalt oxide and made an expression as if he had found his long-lost brother.』
I was taken by surprise and looked back towards Tirnanog.
If that is true, that person likely knows of methods to utilize cobalt oxide that we don’t know about.
It might become a trump card to save the Nibelheim territory.
『Kukuku, hurry, Erica. I am also interested in what that guy is going to make.』
Tirnanog’s eyes were shining ominously and he laughed while showing his sharp teeth.
1 Getting rid of evil spirit: an expression in Japan, they said that evil spirit is the source of disaster and by getting rid of them, you return to your normal state. In other words, getting rid of what troubles you. But, since it coincides with Palug’s situation back in the second arc, she felt slighted lol.