Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
The Hermit of Endsk (VIII)
==The following day, just past noon.==
The priest, Emma, came from the shrine to visit Violant.
“Nicoli has already built a prototype of the steamer based on your explanation yesterday. I was hoping you could come and see if it was done correctly.”
“It’s already ready?”
“Yes, it’s made out of bricks and plaster, so it is a little different from what you described, but I think it’s pretty good.”
At Emma’s behest, Vio returned with her.
In the temple garden, three men who looked like carpenters stood talking. Their conversation wandered around the topic of something in front of the hot spring drainage canal. The canal cut through the back of the garden. Meanwhile, they were surrounded by children who looked on and chatted noisily.
One of the carpenters was Nicoli.
When Nicoli noticed Vio, he took off his flat cap and waved hello.
“Hey guys, this is Lord Violant. Good morning!”
“Hello, Emma told me you already built the steam cooker?”
“Yes. It’s a prototype. My master and I were just talking about a way for the steam cooker to collect more natural steam from the vents in order to cook more efficiently.”
Nicoli introduced his master, a bearded man who appeared in his forties.
“This is Flint Hans. He’s the master to whom I apprentice.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Flint. I look forward to working with you.”
“I’m Percy, Flint’s senior apprentice.”
The third carpenter, who looked slightly older than Nicoli, introduced himself. Vio shook his hand.
Flint pointed to the steam cooker and explained his current problem.
“Thank you so much for sharing such an interesting idea with us. It was fun to craft something we had never made before. We created a grooved lid as indicated in your original instructions, but steam escaped. We piled bricks on top of it as a stop-gap measure. We then sealed the gap with mortar. It’s a prototype, so it’s small. I think it’s big enough to hold a basket with vegetables, though.”
Flint beckoned Violant towards the steam cooker. Vio slid the wooden lid off and steam shot out the top.
There were three ledges for racks on the inside onto which baskets could be placed.
The steam cooker was about knee height. Because of this, it had been possible to make it in half a day.
“It’s wonderful. It’s not exactly the same as the ones I’ve seen, but it’s an excellent reproduction of one.”
“I’m thinking of creating a tighter seal around the base of the steam cooker as well. I feel as if there is not enough steam being directed into the steamer.”
Flint was accurate with his assessment.
“It’s incredible. I’m impressed that you quickly created something like this just based on my explanation. You are masters of your craft, aren’t you?” Vio said.
“Haha, stop, you’re embarrassing me.1 Thank you very much.”
Flint blushed as he humbly thanked Vio and bowed. His two apprentices also bowed.
“Rille, with something so impressive, why don’t you get started? It wouldn’t take much time to steam some vegetables, would it?” Vio asked.
“That’s right, I could do it right away with some bean sprouts, and it would also be great with mushrooms and onions.”
“Then let’s get all three of them.”
Jill handed Rille the money. She then bowed and ran off. She was usually so calm I had never noticed before, but she was a fast runner. It took no time at all before she was out of sight.
Then, Dawn came over from the general magic shop, taking the vacant spot where Rille had been standing.
“Oh, Dawn. We’re about to experiment with the steam cooker.”
“Yes, the priestess and I spoke about the fascinating things you’ve been doing recently.”
Dawn replied pleasantly, then apologized for the unpleasantness he had caused Violant yesterday.
“I’m sorry about the way my father-in-law spoke to you yesterday. He’s still being stubborn… I’ll come to the inn and let you know as soon as I convince him.”
“Ah, well, about that. I have to return to Leca by harvest season, so I can’t wait more than six days. If he can’t be convinced by then, I will give up and go back.”
“Is that so? Well, then I need someone to come and convince him with some enthusiasm!”
Dawn raised his eyebrows and broke into a wide grin.
“Heh heh. Someone who is scary won’t be able to convince him. How about you convince Yuan to persuade him while you teach the orphanage how to farm their fields?” Vio asked.
“Oh, I heard about that from Emma this morning. I looked at the field, and they’re missing the basics. I’m teaching them how to plow first,” Dawn replied.
It was just as Vio had suspected. Dawn wouldn’t be able to leave the orphanage alone and in need.
“That’s great. I’m glad. I feel so bad that the children are going hungry. Even if convincing Zora ends up being hopeless, just knowing we were able to help the orphanage makes it worth it.”
Vio cracked a smile. He patted Dawn on the shoulder with a thoughtful face.
A sob broke out from Emma. Vio was shocked, but she didn’t look like she was crying.
“Such kindness! It just caused me to burst into tears!”
“Really, though? It’s in my family’s territory. I think it’s a natural course of action.”
“The shrine is not considered part of the municipality, so most lords who come by only donate the minimum and go off on their way. May the blessing of the Green Spirit Yuglena be with you.”
Emma wailed and began to pray fervently.
Vio was a little unsettled by Emma’s reaction but thanked her for her prayers and good tidings as they were.
The three carpenters smiled and bowed to Vio.
“Lord Violant, we will take our tools with us and return later to work further.”
“Ah, thank you.”
What Vio appreciated most was that they had made it for free, despite it being a prototype. Flint smiled back with a business-like smile and replied, “I always love new and interesting projects. If you think of something new, please come to me.”
Somehow Vio could tell that they were embarrassed by their own businesslike manner. They really seemed like good people.
Translator’s Note: Ookami is sorry this was such as short chapter but he’s absolutely exhausted from typesetting for the Corporate Slave manga. He promises to make it up to you with his cuteness.
E/N: I guess we already have a “cat” photo for this week!