Chapter 28: Knead

It was right before sunset when they reached the Merchant’s Guild. They rushed into the shop.

The shop in the Merchant’s Guild had a supply of items that merchants and craftsmen need in stock. The doctor’s section had the small tins of genea cream that Mariela was looking for, though the tins were actually about five cups worth, as well as two sizes for the ointment tins that you fill with completed medicines. They had a greater selection of vials and powdered medicine than Herbal Store Gark, and also had paper used for labelling—she bought a couple of those.

What’s unusual was the published catalogue that included commonplace utensils like mortars all the way to equipment she was seeing for the first time.  The illustrations came with explanations—it seemed to an apparatus that compacts powder into tablets and a spinning disk-shaped device that shapes pills. Never has she seen such things before. Feeling the advancement of technology, she ended up losing sense of her time as she stared at them.

Not good, not good. The older brother managing the shop was glancing towards her, looking like he wanted to close up the shop.

In a fluster, she headed to the smithing section. As the shop older brother approached her like he wanted her to finish her shopping quickly, she requested for 5kg of trona ore(トローナ鉱石,) 10kg of ram stone(ラム石) and 3kg of metallic sand.

“Metallic sand, is it? The scattering from refining and forging? I wonder if there’s some inside.”

This is old stock, but since it’s for disposal, I’ll lower the price, he looked around and took some out for her.

After finalising the bill, they left the Merchant’s Guild. About 300kg of ram stone was needed in total, so this amount was totally insufficient, but with Mariela’s plan, she should be able to obtain that much in the area. On the contrary, if her plan was off, she will have to give up on the glass ceiling.

At any rate, the Gordon and Johann father and son pair had stated that they require 2 tonnes of glass to implement the glass ceiling. An amount that will take 20 yagu to transport. This wasn’t for a noble’s mansion; she had no intentions of doing something this conspicuous. Mariela had considered giving them a third or a quarter of those glass panes, saying that she had stumbled upon them by accident.

With that amount, a small crucible used to make potion vials will make no progress.

She was going to try head to the place tomorrow, but if her expectations were off, she can just get a number of small windows affixed.  

Only allowed on

They returned to Yagu’s Drawbridge. During that time, when there weren’t many customers yet with the sun barely set, she gave Ms Amber her cookies. Ms Amber looked a lot more despondent than usual.

“So these are the cookies Emilie had been talking about. I heard that it’ll make you very energetic.”

The cookies were popular with the women at Yagu’s Drawbridge; it was gone in a flash. Ms Amber was also delighted, but Mariela thought that it was different to her recovering her required spirit.

Having caught sound of the clamour surrounding the cookies, Emilie raced over.

“Big sis Mari, Big bro Sieg, welcome back! You know, after Dad ate the cookies, he got sooo energetic. We went to the wholesale together. Saying that I’ll get lost, he gave me a piggyback. I was sooo high up!” she gushed, her cheeks flushed. To be looked after by her father, it seemed she had quite some fun.

“Emilie, it’s time you take a bath and then sleep.” The inn’s master came out from the kitchen and urged Emilie to return to her room.

“I’m not sleepy yet—” Emilie pouted.

“Big sis Mariela is going to tie your hair for you again, right? What will you do if you oversleep?” the inn’s master admonished her gently.

Emilie said, “I guess so. I’ll wake up early tomorrow to prepare breakfast. Tie up my hair tomorrow too!” and returned to her room.

She is an obedient child. Let’s tie her hair in a cute style tomorrow.

“Thanks for the cookies. I was able to stay with Emilie for longer,” the inn’s master said, taking out a tray containing two types of dishes. It appears to be a special plate consisting of all of today’s menu. Apparently, it was the master’s way of thanks.

They ate it scrumptiously and returned to their room before night time.

“Okay. I want to make general oil(ジェネラルオイル) today. The makers will be I, Mariela, and my assistant, Siegmund.” 

“…. best, regards?”

(Oooh, Sieg is on board with it.)

Sieg replied to Mariela’s nonsense. Since it appears that she had gotten on friendlier terms with Sieg, she got a little happy.

They sat facing each other on the table and laid out the ingredients and utensils.

First, the mortar and pestle. The orc lard and the orc king lard. Orc king meat is extremely delicious and expensive, but the lard, which is harvested in greater volumes than the meat, came in the size of a large fist and can be bought cheaply with several copper coins. The orc lard was a freebie. Both were fresh and had a small amount of monster magic left.

In Mariela’s mortar, there was a fistful of orc lard, and in Sieg’s mortar, two fistfuls of orc king lard.

“Okay, knead the lard, please. Ah, try not to put in magic.”

Knead, knead, knead, knead.


When the lard got stretched into a paste, she slowly added some water imbued with the Drop of Life and kneaded it again.

General oil requires the magic that is left in the orc and orc king lard, so it has to be manually worked on. Aside from the much-needed Drop of Life, it didn’t require skill nor the use of magic. The user’s magic will transfer to the ingredients temporarily when you use skill and magic, so the weak magic remaining in the lard would end up disappearing.

Knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead.


“Hey, Sieg. You’re from a village close to the Evil Forest, right? So did you really not use potions but medicines? What kind of medicines were there?”

“There were, no potions, in the forest. There was a, pharmacist grandmother, who made medicines.”

She asked him about the circumstances around their medicines as they kneaded.

No matter how small the village, there would be several healing magic users, and injuries were usually healed with magic. Apparently, it was typical to use medicine for injuries and to stem blood flow as first aid treatment until they see a healer for minor injuries that are not significant enough to warrant the use of healing magic.

In the case of illnesses, where it can reoccur, medicine is commonly used. In particular, when the patient is a child with weak physical strength, there are cases where the child could end up passing away from losing to the reoccurring illness, so there are many cases where magic users also hate medical treatment. 

Because if you go all the way to the royal capital, low-grade potions can be used instead of medicine, Sieg explained.

“Where are the potions sold in the royal capital? And for how much?” She was grateful that the conversation moved onto the royal capital. It was the place where Sieg had been taken to be sold, so it had been difficult for her to ask.

 “Middle-grade potions and lower are even sold in general stores. High-grades are sold in potion specialty shops.”

Potion specialty shops are opened by alchemists who can make potions that are high grade and above. In the royal capital, there were twelve alchemists who can make high-grade potions, and when you go to special grade potions, there were only three. Even regarding the price of the potions, Siegmund explained in detail of the scope in which he knew about them.

“High-grades by only twelve people!?”

“Were there, more, two centuries ago?”

When Sieg asked, Mariela realised it.

Two centuries ago, there were more alchemy skill holders than there were bakers, but Mariela had no clue how many alchemists could make special and high-grade potions then.

“Even in Defence City, high-grade potions were only handled by potion specialty shops. I don’t know how many specialty shops were in the kingdom, but there were only three in Defence City…”

When Mariela was able to make high-grade potions, she went around asking if she could put them in high-grade potions stores. However, each shop turned her away, accusing her of lying. Since there were a lot of alchemy skill holders, there were also many who could make high-grade potions, so she thought she had been driven away due to the fierce competition, but was that not it?

(Not good, my hands stopped.)

Her hands had stopped kneading the lard. She added some water imbued with the Drop of Life and started again. The fat content of the lard emulsified and rose to the top as a foamy white cream.

Knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead.


The price of low and middle-grade potions was not much different to the market price in Defence City two centuries ago. It turns out that it was indeed just Labyrinth City where it was abnormally expensive.

“What kind of place is Labyrinth City when you look at it from the outside?” she asked.

“It has the image of a place of rest, a safety zone within the labyrinth. The Evil Forest and the labyrinth are considered together as a labyrinthine place where monsters wander about, and within that, it’s something like a safe place for refuge. It is not thought to be a place for permanent residence. Since I used to be a B rank adventurer, I had planned to come here when I advanced to A rank.”

She didn’t think that Sieg would talk to her about his past.

(He used to be a B rank adventurer…)

No matter the adventurer rank, apparently you can rank up when you complete a fixed number of commissions where the difficulty is determined by rank. To advance from B rank to A rank, you have to handle far more requests than B rank and lower, most of which are concentrated in Labyrinth City. It is more efficient to take up commissions in Labyrinth City, so it’s easier to rank up to A.

Since Labyrinth City is in want for high-rank adventurers, there are even services where the A rank adventurers of Labyrinth City will take B rank adventurers, who aspire to come to the city, all the way here. By the way, to go back, you are on your own.

The ability to go through the Evil Forest alone on horseback corresponds to A rank standards.

B ranks can go through with an A rank spearheading, but in the case of those with C rank and lower as well as those with a lot of baggage, you must rush through it without sleep or rest on an armoured carriage that can defend against monster attacks like the Black Iron Transportation Corps.

B rank adventurers who come to Labyrinth city, whether they go through the Evil Forest with their own ability accompanied by the strength of an A rank, or cross the mountain range in the space of a month’s time with the Yagu caravans—aside from paying private transportation parties like the Black Iron Transportation Corps and getting transported like baggage—have no way of leaving Labyrinth City.

As they kneaded the lard, Sieg told Mariela about that.

Knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead.


The emulsification of the lard progressed steadily, rising up to a fluffiness like whipped cream.

“Yeah, looks good.”

Mariela scooped away only the top 2/3 of the lard whip into a new mortar. The bottom part is mixed with impurities as well, so it won’t be used. She took the king orc whip Sieg kneaded and scooped about half of the orc whip and added it to the new mortar. She passed it to Sieg.

“Okay, knead it.”

Knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead.

In the mortar that Sieg was kneading, Mariela added the orc king whip little by little. The amount was difficult to gauge here. If there is too little orc king, the effect will weaken, and too much, it will get separated.

Knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead.

“This much is good enough, I think…? Then, we’ll submerge it in hot water.”

After the orc whip and about double the amount of the orc king whip was completely mixed in, each mortar will be filled with water and placed inside a large rotating container to be mixed slowly.

After a while, the whip will dissolve and separate into water and fat. The orc and orc king lard that doesn’t normally mix will become a single, uniform layer. This fat is general oil.

It is a recipe for high-grade alchemists in Alchemist Items Useful for Home Living from Mariela’s Library.

“General oil finiiished. This time, we’ll use the general oil we finished to make orc leather repair creaaam.”

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The fat that had risen to the top is general oil. She washed and dried the mortars they had used to knead the orc and orc king lard. In one of those, she put in three fistfuls of the genea cream she had purchased at the Merchant’s Guild.

“Okay, Sieg, knead it, knead it.”

Sieg made a look, Are we still kneading? Assistant Sieg, please hang in there.

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- my thoughts:
If I have to type that word one more time, I will be compelled to chuck my laptop out the window, I swear, but alas, there will be more kneading next chapter orz--- that said, happy new year, everyone :D
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