A New Invention
In the blink of an eye, 4 months had passed.
I put my all into gathering ingredients and materials like magic stones as I searched the forest. Still, I knew I was extremely weak, so I didn’t go too deep.
There are many spells that require unique materials like fire and wind stones. I didn’t make as much progress as I’d hoped, but as far as the four elements–fire, wind, earth, and water– went, I was able to finish middle rank.
- Spell Name: 【Whirlwind】— Master Rank
- Explanation: Within a fixed distance, manipulate a blade of wind at will to tear apart your enemies.
- Chant: Chant Revocation
- Rank: High
The ingredients required to learn this spell are 100 Rank G- magic stones, 10 wind stones, and 10 wind hunting horns. The wind hunting horns came from the horns of a Wind Horse, which had G+ stats or better across the board.
This magic let me tear anything apart within a fixed distance with a wind blade, and I was able to tear apart monsters in a tenth of the time once I got used to it.
I now had the following stats.
- Grey Millard
- HP: F (22/100%)
- MP: E- (31/100%)
- Strength: F (29/100%)
- Endurance: F- (90/100%)
- Magic: E- (94/100%)
- Magical Endurance: F (2/100%)
- Agility: F+ (3/100%)
- Luck: F (90/100%)
- Drop: F+ (10/100%)
- Wisdom: ΛΦΨ
- Growth Rate: ΛΦΨ
Since then, I have been doing constant exercise, but owing to the fact that I mainly hunted with magic, so my Magic and MP stats grew comparatively more than my strength stat. Additionally, I didn’t take enough damage, so my HP and Endurance stats stayed low.
On that note, I’ve made a new discovery into my Drop stat which recently rose to F+: when I killed slimes, they now dropped a water stone together with the normal magic stones. In short, as the stat rises, rare drops become more common.
I once offered the birds, rabbits, and berries that I had collected to the kitchen, but word came back that Cliff had stolen some as if to pick a fight with me, so I instructed for the ingredients to be used only for the servants.
Recently, I’ve been borrowing old pots and pans from the storehouse and making food in the 『Ancient Forest』I tried finding salt and other seasonings, but much to my chagrin there seemed to be a dearth of anything remotely flavorful I could use in the village.
And so, the legal parents of the owner of this body, Grey Millard, returned from the capital. They are apparently called up for the new emperor’s inauguration ceremony.
The impression I got from my father, Rais, was neither positive nor negative, but that of a weak-willed man. My stepmother, Valeria, is contrastively prideful and assertive, leaving my father a henpecked husband.
Naturally, since we aren’t related by blood, her treatment of me consisted of constant harassment, the pinnacle of cold-heartedness.
This is all according to plan.
“I have no use for freeloaders. Hurry up and draw some water,” my mother commanded.
“Please, ma’am, that kind of task is still difficult for young Grey,” Sebastian advised, but she wanted none of that. What a princess.
“That’s alright, Sebastian. Thanks, though,” I said. I grabbed several buckets from the kitchen and began to head towards the well.
I can understand what he’s worried about. With my height, just lowering the bucket into the well is difficult enough and pulling the bucket of water back up requires a decent amount of strength. Most importantly, drawing water requires both hands, so the danger of falling into the well constantly looms around the corner. It certainly isn’t a task for your average eight-year-old.
My stepmother probably knew that already and just wanted to see my crying face when I eventually failed, but as I am now it’ll pose no burden.
When I was filling the bucket up with water, I felt a gaze coming from behind me, so I spun around to see my stepmother’s frustrated face and Sebastian, whose eyes are wide open in shock.
“May I help him carry it, ma’am?” Sebastian asked.
At his unusually strong tone, my stepmother gritted her teeth. “…Do as you please!”
In hysterics, she stomped back into the mansion. What an annoying woman.
“Young Grey, my deepest apologies,” Sebastian said.
“It’s fine. No big deal.”
As a result of my Strength stat rising to F, I won’t even break a sweat doing a task like this.
Besides, I feel like I’ve gone through hazing of a similar level back on Earth… I think. I can only piece out a little, so I’m not too confident.
From then on, I took it upon myself to draw the water. In the end, it didn’t feel right to not contribute anything, so it all worked out perfectly, except I had actually created another problem.
It was that.
“Hurry up!” my stepmother yelled in her uniquely hysterical way. She knit her eyebrows at the sight of a young girl with blazing red hair who was drawing water while sweating buckets. No, to say she was drawing water isn’t quite correct; she hasn’t raised the bucket in quite a while.
My stepmother was a sadist with a screw loose, who couldn’t live without seeing someone suffering at least once a day. She knew that no matter what she ordered I would do it without fail, so she then made this young girl her outlet for relieving stress.
The girl, Satella, had an especially candid personality and would often talk back, leading to more harassment.
“Grey’s only eight but he can do it. There’s no way you can’t do it if you’re ten!” she shouted.
What a ridiculous line of thought. Making a child draw water itself is already abnormal. In that case, why don’t you, an adult, do it yourself, I thought to say.
Satella desperately tried to raise the bucket of water as she held back tears. I think it’s about time for an adult to step up.
As I began to step forward, a hand grasped my shoulder from behind. I turned back to see a grim-faced Sebastian standing stock-still.
“I’ll go. If you went it would have the opposite effect,” he said.
That’s true. The fact that her stress originates from me is immutable.
“If you would,” I said.
Sebastian raised his lips into a smile and approached my stepmother and bowed elegantly. “The tea is ready, ma’am. There’s also the snacks that were souvenirs from the capital.”
Snacks from the capital, though. The Millards aren’t rich by any means, but they still spend their money so frivolously?
“I see. Thanks,” she smiled, but soon after turned back and yelled, “You better draw the water properly!” before stomping back to the mansion.
Seriously, she’s the worst. Going from what I eavesdropped off the servants, her audacity stemmed from Aqua not being here. After all, despite possessing unparalleled genius, she was so upright I could barely believe she was even related to everyone else.
My stepmother would start taking notice of me if she found out that Sebastian had been helping me behind-the-scenes. He’s really helpful. Actually, if he weren’t here the Millards would fall from nobility in seconds. Honestly, I don’t care what happens to my dumpster pile of a family, but I do owe Aqua; I’ll be troubled if I don’t help her become a proper lady by the time she gets married.
“Switch with me,” I said. Without waiting for her response, I began to raise the bucket. Together with Satella, we carried the bucket of water back to the kitchen.
“Here you go. It’s the bucket of water and today’s ingredients,” I said to the servant.
“My! Thank you as always, young Grey,” he replied.
The servant, Dom, was a bearded man who was the sole chef for the family. He happily accepted the bucket of water.
“Ah, today was Satella’s turn, though. You should be thanking her instead,” I said.
“Again? That shitty old hag,” Dom cursed.
A large vein popped on his forehead as he spat out his resentment. I really hope this guy doesn’t get fired.
Well, he does have to make something edible out of those crap ingredients. He’s definitely skilled and probably never will have to worry about food. In fact, I’m confused as to why someone of his caliber even works for such a poor family.
“Can you make something for her to eat?” I asked the cook.
“Sure thing. Leave it to me!”
He gave me a thumbs up and quickly began frying up the bird meat I had brought back.
“Thank you,” Satella whispered.
As I left the kitchen, I felt like I heard Satella saying something.
This time, due to Sebastian’s quick-wittedness, nothing bad happened, but my stepmother’s harassment would continue. In that case, I should end the source of the problem.
Fortunately, a rumor that that man had come to Mirage this morning floated around.
“Amazing…” Giresse muttered annoyedly as I stacked up a mountain of magic stones as well as other materials and ingredients. I probably shouldn’t tell him that this was less than 1% of what I had stored.
Giresse also had his own item box, so this amount should be fine.
“I’ve got some things to buy this time. Also, if you know a skilled craftsman I’d like them to make something for me,” I began.
I wanted parchment, a large amount of salt, and a book related to grimoires I had asked about before.
Salt, well, I just can’t bear these tasteless meals anymore, especially since I have so many ingredients. Giresse has visited many other locations, so he should have access to an enormous amount of salt.
“Okay. Let me see,” he said as he began looking through my stuff.
I waited a bit, but then his face darkened.
“Is something the matter?” I asked.
“Everything’s so…fresh. Like you just prepared it.”
“Well of course. Anything inside my item box is frozen in time.”
“Haha…you’re quite the comedian, Grey-kun,” he laughed dryly.
I tilted my neck in confusion. “Uh, that wasn’t a joke…it’s true.”
His face twitched. Crouching, Giresse clutched his head and groaned, reviving after swaying to-and-fro for a bit. “A-are you even aware how valuable that kind of ability is?”
“It is quite handy,” I admitted.
I’m quite familiar with how convenient it is. Still, I don’t even have a clue on the scientific basis of its makings, and no matter how valuable it is, it’s not like I can reproduce it. There’s not much value in powers or skills that only I can wield.
At best, I could pull out a hot-‘n-ready soup, assuming I had properly stored it beforehand.
Giresse planted his face in his hands and heaved a large sigh. “You know, us merchants would pay an arm and a leg if we could get that kind of power. You’re basically a walking shop—your presence alone is sufficient to get money flowing.
“I never thought about it that way.”
“It’s true. Hey, Grey-kun. Won’t you come to Straheim?”
“Ah, I heard about your situation from the villagers. If you ask now I think they should let you go easily.”
Leaving now, huh. I never considered that. Giresse seems to think my family doesn’t want me to leave or something. Well, knowing my stepmother that would never happen.
“At the moment I do have a reason I can’t leave right now. I’ll think about it until you come back in four months. Is that okay with you?” I said.
I can’t leave Satella alone to fend for herself, regardless of how good our relationship is. An adult should never abandon a child.
“I see… I was probably rushing things a bit. Still, you shouldn’t be in a place like this. Please come to our business in Straheim,” Giresse said.
“I’d love to come when the time is right.”
Certainly, if I could fix Satella’s situation that seemed like the next step.
My sales totaled 633 gold. With 300 gold I bought all the salt and pepper Giresse had on hand.
Normally, you can’t buy a merchant’s salt and pepper that they plan to sell somewhere else. But because I had sold Giresse a large amount of fresh meat and ingredients, I was given an exception.
Giresse’s bag has the capability to store a lot of things and uses a 『Chill Stone』to keep its contents cold, preventing any degradation. Nothing was actually frozen in time, so he didn’t have time to go around to other villages and instead planned to head right back to Straheim.
The day before he left, we were eating dinner at our usual spot in the first-floor cafeteria.
I pulled out a piece of parchment that I had drawn a blueprint on and handed it to Giresse. “I’d like a good craftsman to make this. I’ll pay 200 gold. If that’s still not enough I’ll pay the difference the next time we meet.”
“What’s this?” he asked, staring intently at the blueprint.
Normally, blueprints are very detailed. However, I couldn’t read or write, so mine consisted of just a basic layout. At home there’s not a single book. No, it’s more that there’s not a single book that I’m allowed to read. Naturally, there are none in the village, so I haven’t even gotten a chance to learn. No matter how smart I am, impossible is impossible. Aqua would probably lend me some, but unfortunately I would soon be making my way to Straheim.
Yesterday I had Sebastian teach me how to write numbers and units, so I was able to somehow fix up a blueprint, my stepmother none the wiser.
“It’s an apparatus that aids in drawing water from a well. With this, even children could draw water without breaking a sweat,” I explained.
Developed in the Taisho period in Japan, this tool helped support Japanese families until wells were replaced with a more sophisticated system.
Giresse’s eyes twinkled. “Drawing water…”
Of course. According to Sebastian, many nobles and the wealthy used a water stone and had no need for a well. Naturally, they were consumables—water stones used in this fashion would quickly dry out, thus 99% of the empire’s citizens relied on the water coming from wells. This tool should be a ground-breaking invention.
“So if you push this rod, you can draw water? But there’s no magic tool to supply power,” Giresse said.
Inside the cylinder, a piston repeatedly moves up and down, drawing the water up with pressure.
“Pressure?” Giresse asked.
“Yes. There’s energy that’s naturally around us. The pump just makes use of it,” I explained.
“An unknown power outside of magic. Interesting. When I return to Straheim I’ll have this made immediately. It just so happens that one of my acquaintances is a skilled blacksmith,” Giresse said.
“I appreciate it.”
“I’m the one who wants to thank you. I was able to have such a thrilling talk with you, after all.”
“Haha. Now, I’ll explain it so please take notes,” I said. After I lightly bowed, I began explaining the specifics of the『Hand Pump』.
I took a breather after I finished explaining it all, when Giresse began staring at me with a serious face.
“You mind if I ask you something?” Giresse asked.
“Are you really eight years old?”
“That’s what I told you before. And if you’ve heard any rumors in the village you should know that to be true.”
“Yes, but… That knowledge, the way you talk. Sometimes I almost trick myself into believing that I’m talking to someone older.”
Well, I am older.
“There’s actually something I want to order for next time,” I said, steering the conversation in another direction.
Giresse leaned forward in anticipation. “What do you want?”
“I want you to come with soy and riso. As much soy as possible, but it’s fine if you bring just a bit of riso.”
In this world, rice was called riso and soy was, well, soybeans. When I asked Dom yesterday he happily taught me this.
Soy was a staple food in the northwest, so it should be simple enough to get. Riso was an ingredient used in the eastern side of the empire, but it should be sold at the marketplace in Straheim.
“Soy and riso, a strange combination indeed,” Giresse said.
Of course, the only people who wouldn’t think that would be fellow Japanese.
“Maybe. Well, that’s all I want.”
“I’ll see what I can get. Now then, I pray for our mutual profit. Projet! (Cheers!)”
“Projet! (Cheers!)” I emptied the glass of juice Giresse had given me.
TN: “Projet!” is their word for cheers