I hurt my waist for sitting too long lol. I need to move more. Enjoy the chapter!
ED: xtostos, eristol
Last night we went upstream using the flat-bottomed ship route, this time we are travelling there using a horse-drawn carriage.
By the time we arrived at Gilbert’s workshop, the sun was already high.
When we opened the door and entered the workshop, the golems appeared to be still continuing the same works from last night.
Meanwhile, Gilbert, the workshop’s owner, was sleeping at his work desk.
Just as I was thinking of what to do, Harold showed his face from the back door at the right moment.
The redhead which was always beautifully arranged had also became a mess, he seemed a bit tired.
“Yo, Erica and mister. Please don’t wake Aniki up.
Because he only fell asleep an hour ago after pulling an all-nighter.”
『Umu, I see.』
Tirnanog gently fixed the blanket which had fallen at Gilbert’s foot.
“Is it perhaps still too soon for the baking to be done?”
“Nope, you have good timing.
The second firing was finished soon and it’s about time to steadily cool it down.
We have two prototypes, the finishing touches have just been finished earlier……do you want to see them?”
“Hehe, are you surprised?
Aniki, that guy, he seemed to want to see the finished product as soon as possible.
I happened to have a magic recovery potion, so he used his magic vigorously……well, that is the result.”
Harold referred to Gilbert who was sleeping with a look resembling that of a burned-out boxer at the end of a death match.
If it is not only mere sleep deprivation and fatigue but also magical power depletion, then it is understandable.
Harold lined up two flat wooden boxes on the desk and opened one of the lids.
What appeared was a delicate-looking dish with a lace made of blue and white silk threads.
On the slightly bluish white, there was a pattern of pomegranate painted in glossy indigo blue.
“First off, it’s a dish painted only with blue.”
“Because of the deep blue, the white looks all the more brilliant……it’s very beautiful.”
“Right? This is a dish I am proud of. Aniki called this ‘sometsuke’ or ‘seika’, by the words of the eastern continent1.”
Harold opened another box.
The first thing that caught my eyes was the vivid colors of the painting.
At the center of the dish, lions and flowers painted in red and gold were dancing.
In addition, the circumference part was divided into six, and animals like auspicious beasts were painted in each.
The shade of indigo blue made the beasts stand out fantastically.
It resembled something I saw once.
The design of the dish decorating the wall of Turm Wand Store, which had broken once and then repaired with golden joinery.
“This other one is called something like ‘somenishiki kinrande’2.
Paint a picture in blue and apply a glaze from the top and bake it, then put colors other than blue and gold and it’s done.
As you can see, it took a lot of trouble making this.”
“This seems to have the same pattern as the one with the crack traces decorating the back of the store.”
“Aa, that’s right. Like the one Aniki broke as a child.
It seems that this dish is based on one of Knot Reed’s legend, the legend of a navigator who met seven kinds of monstro.”
The large dish on which seven beasts were drawn was a beautiful but grotesque artwork.
Speaking of which, that legend should be compiled in the collection of stories that I have only begun to read.
“It’s not like a dish but an artwork.
The appearance of the beast depicted on the broken plate is very beautiful.”
“Nn? A dish? Now aren’t you saying something unthinkable?”
The blanket was squirming while saying something and Gilbert raised his face.
Oops, not good, the exhausted Gilbert has woken up.
Hm? But, I wonder if I said something strange.
“What do you mean by ‘something unthinkable’?”
“Ojou-san, it’s not ‘like an artwork’, this dish is actually an artwork……fuwaa~ah.”
“I mean, Aniki, is it okay for you to wake up?”
“Aa, I already slept enough. It will be bad for my back if I sleep in a weird position any further.
Even so, Ojou-san has a bold way of thinking, huh……as expected of someone from the Aurelia Ducal Family.”
I inadvertently talked about porcelain with my previous life’s aesthetic sense.
On this continent, porcelain is a rare existence.
Naturally, even the wealthy Aurelia Ducal Family can’t afford porcelain dishes.
However, Gilbert seems to be interested in my careless remarks.
“Do you know?
Porcelain was originally an artificial gem made by the King of the eastern continent.”
Gilbert gently stroked the surface of the result of his hard work while laughing.
Certainly, its beauty can be compared to jewels.
“It seems that in that place jewels like precious stones were thought to be the key that leads to immortality.
Since the successive kings used precious stones for everything, of course, eventually the produced precious stones were not enough.
Those who were commanded by the King did trials and errors repeatedly to artificially make precious stones.
It was this porcelain which was created in the end.”
Gilbert proudly said so.
I guess he naturally feels connected to the people who did the trials and errors.
“Initially it was created as an equipment used in the King’s rituals, then it became an artwork to be collected by the nobles, and finally it is going to become a dish for ordinary people.
……Isn’t that great? How interesting! This really ain’t bad.”
When I heard Gilbert’s words, I realized.
It might be that this continental porcelain culture has reached a major turning point due to my careless remark.
Gilbert held his hand out to the air in order to lift the dish up.
I felt like I could see a vision of the future of porcelains in his hand.
“Haah!? I don’t know what you’re talking about suddenly, Aniki.
Are you still sleeping? Are you tired?
Hey, hey~ I still have potions to remove drowsiness and fatigue.”
Harold who seemed to have gotten tired of the story pressed a potion bottle against Gilbert’s face.
The content of the bottle was pretty much a grotesque purple color.
Gilbert retreated to pry his face off and escaped from the bottle.
“N-no way! I don’t want to drink anything like that stupid unpleasant potion!”
“I got plenty of freebies from Sergei-ojisan, so please don’t hold back and drink it, Aniki!
“I’m not holding back or anything!”
Harold cornered Gilbert with a lively expression.
Looking at the desk, it appeared that there was a written explanation of the potion.
I was wondering what various things were mixed in it, so I read it out loud.
“‘The main components are horse heart, deer horn, dried scorpion, dried sea serpent, molasses, and the cerebrospinal fluid of a kraken.’
Although the ingredient for magical supplement is the kraken’s cerebrospinal fluid, I think it’s also an effective ingredient to recover from fatigue.”
It can recover lots of magical power, and in addition, this potion is likely to become a nourishing tonic.
When Gilbert listened to the breakdown of the materials, his face turned pale.
“Geeeh, and I was chugging down lots of that strange potion last night!?”
『Is that so? It looks delicious.』
“Eh~ isn’t it fine, Aniki? This is a high-class item that only costs three silver coins, you know~!”
When Harold drew near, Gilbert got up from the chair and ran away.
I felt his iron’s will to not drink even a single sip.
“Oi, oi, oi, please don’t bully the pitiful me with that kind of behavior, Botchan.”
“Don’t force him, Harold.”
“I’m not bullying him, I’m showing my appreciation for his efforts!”
“Ah~ if you have the time to bully me, then this will be Botchan’s last job!”
Harold was the next to suffer a painful expression this time.
His movement solidified while holding a glass bottle containing purple potion.
“Hey, you have to negotiate with Earl Nibelheim, right?
It’s crucial that you convince the Earl, after all, you can’t move things, people and money in a big way, right?”
Speaking of which, we haven’t talked about the story of the matter and the countermeasure plan with the most important person.
But, doesn’t Harold hate to speak directly with his father, the Earl Nibelheim?
“That’s true, but, I don’t think he will listen to my story if I go.
It’s much better for Aniki to be the one who speaks with him.”
“I want to complete the baking of the prototypes already.
Not some large dishes or vases intended for collectors…… let’s see, to begin with, let’s make a commonly-used dish like small plates or teaware.
Besides, my appearance and character are dubious, right?
Even if you say that there are some reservations between you two, you are the trusted son of Earl Nibelheim after all,
If Botchan persuades him, even Earl Nibelheim who has gotten cautious after having been scammed once will surely go along with it.”
When Gilbert said ‘trusted son’, Harold chewed his lips slightly.
I recalled the Nibelheim’s strained parent-child relation and the awkward air between them.
“Um, can I also go along with Harold? I’m worried about what will happen.”
“Erica, are you sure it’s okay?”
“But even if I am there, I may not be able to do anything.”
“No, rather than going alone, just by being there, you will make my mind feel dozens of times easier.”
Harold looked at me like a man who was grasping at straws, so I smiled back.
『Then, I suppose I will also go with you.』
“No, he might be suspicious with mister because you look a bit too severe.”
Tirnanog who stood up sat back down again from Gilbert’s critics.
I couldn’t deny that he was indeed a bit suspicious-looking.
『Hmm……then, instead of coming along, I will advise you guys.
You will probably feel reluctant to reconnect with a family member who had a disagreement with you at one time.
However, no matter how unpleasant, make sure that you ascertain the true feelings of the other party.
You’re in luck that you still have the time to do so.
If the time comes when you can never meet him again, you will never be able to know what that guy was really thinking.
One knows not, for they will never respond again, it’s easy to arbitrarily decide that they were a good person, but……that is somewhat lonely as well.』
Hearing Tirnanog’s words, not only me and Harold but also Gilbert held his breath.
Perhaps because their situation overlapped with his he couldn’t leave them alone.
Because he has suffered for hundreds of years without knowing the true feelings of those who he grew up with as families.
『That’s it from me. Later, please listen to your father.』
Cutting off Harold’s words, Tirnanog closed his mouth.
Harold gazed at Gilbert who was hesitating and nodded firmly even though he was still wavering.
“Then, wait a moment. I will change my clothes.”
Harold said so, unraveling the string of the apron and retreated to the back of the workshop.
Gilbert was pondering about something, but after sighing, he stood up from the chair.
He carefully put the dish with the pomegranate pattern into the box of white porcelains and packed it in the bag.
Besides the dishes, he put as many as two samples of ore.
“A dish and a cobalt oxide sample and whetstone. Give it to Botchan.”
“What about you, Gilbert-san?”
“I……I’m……ultimately, I’m the type who isn’t good at using my head.
Since I will be shutting myself alone inside the workshop, I will consult the furnace and clay while moving my fingers.”
Gilbert scratched his head and glanced at Tirnanog.
I guess something in Tirnanog’s words just now made him think a little.
I received the bag and nodded deeply.
“I will leave Botchan’s matter to you. Because I will have to do my best for myself for the time being.”
“It will be fine. After all, he is the one I chose as my partner.”
“I see, that’s right.”
Gilbert smiled with a complex expression and nodded a little.
He held a few materials and retreated to the back of the workshop.
In exchange, Harold who had changed into a noble-like appearance appeared.
“Well, let’s go. Erica. To my father.
It will be fine. We only need to talk about the porcelain in particular, so you don’t need to worry about anything.”
Harold, who was putting on a brave face, urged me while talking rapidly.
I am still a little worried, but it is better than nothing at all.
For the porcelain industry and for the negotiations that would decide Harold’s fate, we headed to Nibelheim’s Castle of Light.
1 染付 (sometsuke) : blue and white porcelain, 青花 (seika) : ceramics with blue pattern on a white background. These words were written in katakana, so maybe the ‘eastern continent’ in this world has a Japanese culture.
2 染錦金襴手 : gold-painted porcelain that combined both dyeing and overglaze enamels.