There are only 13 chapters left of this arc. Woo! Enjoy the chapter!
ED: xtostos, eristol
We were running through the Crucible Street at dusk.
Just as the last chimes of the church’s bell were resounding, Tirnanog and I arrived at Turm Wand Store.
It is to meet Gilbert, not Harold.
The other person who noticed cobalt oxide is said to be Gilbert.
It is difficult to say whether or not he is going to be inside the wand store, but it is better than looking for him blindly.
『As usual, there is no sign of a customer.
The store owner doesn’t seem to be in the store, but there is a sign of the redheaded brat.』
“That’s rather convenient.”
Even when I went inside the store, no one came out to greet me.
Looking around, I saw Harold polishing the shelves quietly with an almost dead facial expression.
He shouldn’t have to clean anything at times like this.
No, perhaps it is more painful for him if he doesn’t distract himself by doing something.
“Harold, are you okay?”
“Ah……? Aa, Erica, welcome.
What is it? Have you found a wand that matches your taste?”
“You don’t seem to be fine. Unfortunately, we’re not here as customers.”
『Is Gilbert in the back?』
“Aniki? Aa, Aniki came back a while ago.
It seems he was going to make something difficult that he couldn’t afford to fail, so right now he’s shutting himself inside the Wunderkammer, but……”
It is as we expected after all.
When I exchanged looks with Tirnanog, he nodded.
“Harold, this is something you also need to hear. Let’s go together, okay?”
『Even if you say no I will force you to come with us.』
“Eh, ah, wait…… the store! There is only me manning the store!”
“We were your only customers in these two days, right?”
“T-that’s true, but! Aah, jeez, let me lock the door first at least!”
As Tirnanog manhandled him, Harold was kicking and struggling.
We let him go to lock the store, then we headed to the Wunderkammer in the back of the store.
“Yo, everyone, what’s the matter?”
Gilbert seemed to have just completed the preparation and was about to clear up the alchemy tools spread on the desk.
I glanced at the container placed on the desk.
Gilbert quickly hid it in his bag.
Again, Gilbert seems to be keeping secret about the blue pigment he has found.
Since Harold knows nothing, it somehow feels like that.
In a sense, it can be said that we have met him just in time.
It would’ve been difficult to meet him if he had gone somewhere else to make it.
Tirnanog rolled an indigo blue glass bead on the table.
Gilbert reached for it with a relieved expression.
Tirnanog’s hand caught his stretched hand with a lightning-quick movement.
『As expected, I knew you would recognize it at a glance.』
“We have come to talk about it.”
When Tirnanog and I pressed him, Gilbert cast his eyes down and laughed.
“Hahaha, you caught me. Even though I thought that I would be able to evade questions until the prototype is completed.
Not only are you aware of the identity of the smelt, but you were also able to make the actual thing in just a few hours.
As expected of the daughter of the head of the alchemists. You cannot be measured by ordinary means.”
Gilbert muttered thoughtfully.
No, no, it is because my friend is a phantom beast, I myself am just an ordinary and mediocre girl.
But I couldn’t say that.
“W-wait, what are you talking about! Are you leaving me out of the loop?”
『Wait, wait, Harold. Let’s explain it in order. I will let Gilbert explain it.』
“Mister, so you’re leaving it all to me.”
Gilbert smiled bitterly and lowered his hip back to the chair again.
When he put the container in his bag back on the table, Tirnanog released his hand.
Gilbert breathed out a sigh while gazing at the glass bead through the light of the lamp.
“Aah, it’s a fine coloring after all.”
“Is it a blue glass? It’s certainly rare to see such a thing.
What’s up with this glass?”
“This was made from the waste inside the barrel that was kicked off by Botchan.”
『To be exact, I made a blue-colored glass rather than the glass itself.』
“This is a rather rare metal on this continent called cobalt oxide.
Far from a waste, it seems to be worth twenty times that of silver of the same weight.”
Harold cried out with his eyes wide open.
He has to be surprised because what he thought was just a waste turned into treasure.
“That……what a coincidence!”
“Indeed, it’s an amazing coincidence.
Surely the proportions of the metals contained in the ore deposit and the smelting method thought of by Earl Nibelheim have ended up producing this result.”
“You mean, if we sell this rare metal called cobalt oxide, we can regain even the loss of the fraud!?”
“I wonder about that.”
“Well, that’s what one would think. That’s why I couldn’t say it.”
Harold who recovered from his shock raised a voice full of joy.
Gilbert and I shrugged and exchanged glances.
“It’s not about how much you can sell, the problem is how to sell it.
For example, if you sell it as a material for blue glass, there is only a limited demand.
If you sell it to the temples, churches and part of the aristocrats and merchants, the consumption will reach the limit.”
“If they know that cobalt oxide can be made as long as the silver ores in the northwest areas haven’t been exhausted yet, its value will be lower than it is currently.”
“You shouldn’t sell the cobalt oxide itself, but the added value born by it.
Just as how the Nibelheim territory isn’t just selling a mass of high-purity silver, but a high-quality silverware.”
“Hahaha, you are still a child but you sure know your stuff, Ojou-san.
That’s why I also thought that I want to pitch in and help my important younger brother.”
『In the end, what kind of person are you, Gilbert?
You are not just an ordinary youngest child of a wealthy merchant.』
“I’d like to return those words to mister as they are.”
Gilbert smiled wryly at Tirnanog’s pointed question.
“To begin with, I didn’t collect the smelt for some insight I had.
When I used analysis magic because I was worried whether harmful substances were mixed and I discovered it by chance.
But mister, you didn’t use any magic or anything.
You are not just an ordinary escort of a duke’s daughter.”
『I am a very ordinary guardian. And my old friend was a famous alchemist.』
Tirnanog continued to sidestep the question without lying as usual.
Gilbert shrugged his shoulders at his response.
『What were you doing before you returned to this place?』
“I was pursuing my dream. It took me ten years for that dream to come true halfway.”
“Specifically, what is that dream?”
“That is……well, I will show you. Keep it a secret, okay?”
Gilbert took out the white silk packet from his bag.
He gently put the somewhat flat packet on the table and carefully unwrapped it.
What appeared from the white silk fabric was a plain white dish.
It wasn’t pure white, it was tinged with a faintly pure and translucent bluish color.
When it was seen under the strong yellow-colored light, the whiteness felt more prominent.
“Is this porcelain?”
“Correct. As expected of the duke’s daughter, you could recognize it at a glance.”
No, it is just that in my previous world porcelain was not unusual.
I couldn’t say it though.
“Ooh~ certainly, this is similar to the dishes Master is collecting!”
“Right, right, this is similar to that dish.
There is a broken one in that collection, right?”
“It is a dish with a picture of a beast.”
“Actually, the one who broke it was me.”
Harold froze in shock for a moment, his chair moved back a few centimeters.
I understand his surprise.
Even if it is a used item in pristine condition, it is at least worth a castle.
When he saw our reactions, Gilbert laughed with an expression like a mischievous boy.
“Uwah……that kind of thing……Aniki, I guess you were very angry?”
“You’d think so. But actually it was a bit different.
Maybe because I was a child who was born when my old man was already old, I was very spoiled.”
Gilbert murmured in nostalgia that he was a brat in those days.
It seems that he felt a sense of satisfaction by feeling cherished from the reaction, as he did various mischief to attract his father’s attention.
At some point, he himself forgot the reason why he broke a dish which was precious to Elder Turm.
He would only know about it after a long time had passed, but it was a dish that was expensive enough to be able to buy a small southern island with one piece of it.
Nevertheless, there was no wrinkle between the eyes of Elder Turm.
“Instead, he was worried whether or not I got hurt.”
From the eyes of Gilbert who was only a child at that time, he also found that the eyes behind those lenses were sad.
Although he was trying hard to care about his child, Gilbert seemed to have received the impression that he had somewhat created a hole in the heart of Elder Turm.
Perhaps, it might have been a dish which was cherished next to his thirteen sons.
Thinking so, Gilbert became frightened and thought to apologize again.
“So, I said it clearly.
‘When I become an adult, I will make the same dish’, I said.”
Elder Turm was furious when he heard those words.
You don’t have to risk your life to make that kind of thing.
Use your time and talent for more meaningful things.
When he raised his voice as he said this, Elder Turm gazed at Gilbert with eyes that had a deeper anguish than when the plate broke.
“That was the only time my old man yelled at me.”
I guess he was probably worrying about Gilbert’s future.
However, on the contrary, Gilbert’s heart was captured by the existence of porcelain.
He wanted to triumph over his old man by any means. And then, he wanted Elder Turm to laugh as he sees the dish he made.
“That’s why, I purposefully chose a porcelain collector who was particularly on bad terms with my old man, and got myself a patron.”
It is said that the noble is a powerful aristocrat from Ignitia.
Without telling anyone, Gilbert got on a ship to the South and left Knot Reed.
“I used that noble’s connections and enrolled in Lindis under a pseudonym.
It was a short and exciting free time to learn the minimum necessary knowledge and skills.
After I got a personal laboratory in Ignitia, it was a life that would make me want to say that it was a confinement.
Well, I thought that it was not bad, since I would finally be able to make this, with my youth as the compensation.”
“Wait, Aniki……don’t tell me, the white porcelain alchemist who is rumored to be fleeing an Ignitia aristocrat is……?”
“Because I was nearly killed. What is it called, research policy disagreement?”
Gilbert was wearing cordovan shoes.
According to Harold, those are the Ignitian aristocratic shoes.
I didn’t notice until I was told, but the hint had been there forever.
“I wanted to reproduce the blue in my memory, but he wouldn’t let me.
That person wanted to have a collection of levels that he could appreciate.
But, I wanted to reproduce the technique in its complete form.
I wanted to revive the ancient colors on this one. I wanted to make the real deal, not an imitation.”
Gilbert looked towards the South in nostalgia for a moment.
He seemed to be feeling some respect and sincerity for his Ignitian noble patron.
It must have been a strong feeling to the degree that it wouldn’t go away even if he got killed.
“Just a little bit longer, and I might have to say goodbye to my neck and torso. But it seemed that my luck had not run out yet.
I was able to escape due to the great chaos caused by the prince.
When I was desperately running away, I had no destination in mind, but for some reason I reached my hometown, Knot Reed.”
The rumors about the white porcelain alchemist seems to have been true.
He was able to escape by taking advantage of the massive mental interference because he is Gilbert, whose blood is a mix of the eastern mages and the Visitor’s Clan.
One never know what will change things for the better in which ways, huh?
Gilbert picked up the blue glass bead that was rolling in the corner of the desk and held it up to the light.
『That blue is the blue from your memory, right?』
“Aah, that’s right, mister……if this is the case, it can be reproduced.”
『The blue you were looking for was in your hometown this whole time.』
“It’s an ironic thing……”
Gilbert closed his eyes and placed the blue glass on the table.
Taking a deep breath, he opened his eyes with a serious look.
“Say, Aniki, can this be produced in our territory?”
“Aah, it can be. As long as one knows how to handle the furnace. I have spent my life for that.”
“Then, if this story spreads, there will be no lenders who will withdraw their money from the Nibelheim family right!?”
“No, you need the actual things, not just lip-service.
Just as how I resigned to talk when confronted with Ojou-san’s blue glass.”
Harold’s bright voice and expression finally came back and Gilbert backtracked.
“I wanted to make money for furnace and pigments somehow and tried to sell the white porcelains that I had.
But, not even one was sold.
It seems that a scam aimed at an antique art dealer was rampant some time before I came.
The scrutiny for artworks in the north-west area has become considerably severe.”
“Oi, oi, Botchan. Don’t be looking like that. I didn’t say that I cannot do it.”
“But, Aniki. Even if you start making porcelain from now, ultimately you won’t be able to make it in time……”
“No, that’s not true.
Oops……it’s going to be done heating up soon.”
Gilbert murmured so and stood up.
Huh? Doesn’t it take more weeks to make porcelain?
Harold looked up at Gilbert with an absentminded blank expression.
I am certain that I was making a taken aback face that wouldn’t lose out to his.
“This is just perfect. Everyone, follow me.
I will show you the magic that I……no, we assembled over a decade.”
That said, Gilbert laughed with a lot of confidence.