Knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead.
Sieg knead-knead-kneaded the genea cream without a word of complaint.
Yeah, an assistant is useful. When you knead by yourself, you’ll get muscle ache and stiff shoulders by tomorrow.
Genea cream is a vegetable fat taken from the seeds of the genea fruit. It is a solid at room temperature and melts and permeates through skin at body temperature. This ingredient naturally contains copious amounts of the Drop of Life; when applied onto skin, it increases the healing effect of tissue, so Mariela has used it liberally as a moisturiser for dry skin for ages since birth, and frequently used it in soap and salves.
Genea seeds are large in contrast to the fruit, which doesn’t have much flesh, but it has high food value. The taste is stringent and odd, not something you would eat in large quantities, but when you mince it into a paste to put in a ham sandwich, or when you mix it into a salad, it adds depth to the flavour. By the way, genea cream can be eaten as is, but it’s not treated as food due to its lacking taste.
As if the odd taste of the genea fruit is good, goblins enjoy eating the ripened fruit off the ground. Genea trees grow on the lower levels of the labyrinth and in the shallow parts of the Evil Forest, so normal citizens can harvest them with an escort. The illustrated label on the genea cream tin show that women, who work for the Seal Company, would go to pick the fruits in the labyrinth before dawn, while accompanied by escorts, and then process it into genea cream. The women drawn on the label are middle-aged to elderly, so it might be an industry that supported prostitutes whose terms of service have ended.
The quality of the genea cream was good. With this, Mariela didn’t need to make it. She would certainly like to use it as well.
She slowly added in small quantities of the still-not-solidified general oil into the genea cream Sieg was kneading.
Knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead, knead.
Since she didn’t add water to the genea cream, it gained a soft creamy texture instead of a whip. Once she combined the genea cream and general oil evenly, it was done.
“Thanks for your hard work, Sieg. The orc leather repair cream is finished. Use this cream to polish the orc leather trousers and jacket we bought yesterday. The shoes and bag too. Ah, it’ll separate in 15 minutes, so be quick.”
Mariela also put some cream onto a dishcloth, then coated and polished the brand new shoes, bags, and harvesting-use leather clothes.
“What’s with this cream?” Sieg was surprised. The quality of the orc leather rose before their eyes. Though supple, it has strength. It’s like the orc leather can now barely defend against goblin attack.
“It became something similar to orc general leather, right—? ”
Generally, leather repair creams are a mixture of the fat of the same monster. By supplementing it with fat from the same species, it will pretty much repair the tissue, and make the leather products longer lasting.
Of course, it won’t raise the strength even if you polish orc leather with orc king fat. Even if they are from the same orc family, the ranks are different, so it will get an effect not different to just polishing it with genea cream, not a repair effect.
The repair cream Mariela made was an emulsion of orc fat and orc king fat with the Drop of Life to repair orc leather and orc king leather. It won’t raise it to the level of orc king leather, but it will strengthen the leather to have the same performance as orc general leather.
The repair cream itself will separate in around 15min, but the strengthened orc leather is fixed to general class while retaining the look of orc leather.
“With this polish, orc leather products can become extremely long lasting—” Mariela gave an explanation about general oil light-heartedly.
The defence capacity of orc is thick with fat, so the leather itself has low value.
Orc general is nothing more than slight;y good for E rank adventurers; not to say of wyvern, it is inferior to minotaur leather.
“No, isn’t this, something major? Even reinforcing wyvern leather to the level of dragon leather…”
“Ahh, that’s impossible. This is limited only to orc. It is written in the recipe that the true value of orc dwells in its meat and fat. Seems it’s possible because it’s orc fat.” Mariela had tried other materials as well, but none of them went well.
By the way, the real worth of general oil manifests in orc meat.
“When you fry orc meat in general oil, the taste somehow turns into orc king meat!”
Mariela made her smuggest face today. “Not orc general, but orc king meat!” She didn’t forget to repeat and emphasise on it.
This orc leather repair cream is a recipe that utilises general oil.
General oil is mentioned in Alchemist Items Useful for Home Living, a secret recipe that was added in on the sly when she was able to make high grade potions.
The recipe explanation wrote: “For the pitiful junior who can’t eat orc king meat even if they can make high grade potions. (*Selling is forbidden. Please treat it as a forbidden spell).”
When Mariela ate orc meat that has been fried in general oil for the first time, she ended up crying over the deliciousness. It was a deliciousness that made her forget the ache in her arms from kneading the lard. She thanked the senior who developed the recipe from the depths of her heart.
Since Sieg was also cried when he ate the risotto, Mariela made sure to explain it to him, thinking that he would probably really get into orc king meat, but Sieg narrowed his eyes at her. “There’s a lot of things I want to say, but.. has Mariela even eaten orc king meat? Aside from what’s been cooked in the oil.”
“Doesn’t this get the taste of orc general meat? The name is general oil, right?”
Certainly, it said ‘to the pitiful junior who is unable to eat orc king meat”, but it didn’t say that “it’ll turn into orc meat.”
“…Oh well, if it’s general class, it’ll pass as good quality orc leather.”
As she said that, Sieg polished the orc leather one after another. He polished the easily worn-out hems and joint sections with more care, and Mariela also polished the leather, learning after him.
In the time it takes to say “Ah”, around 15min, when they polished everything, the general oil repair cream separated, unable to be used.
Even the taste of orc general oil makes meat extremely delicious. If possible, she wanted to eat the meat as well.
As Mariela who cleared away the oil in disappointment,
“Let’s eat, real orc king meat, next time. Mariela, can now buy it, right?” Sieg asked.
“I guess so. Since I was able to sell the potions with a high price. I can even buy orc king meat…right? …wait…. Huh? Then could that mean, I could buy orc general or orc king leather goods? I didn’t need to make the general oil in the first place?”
“… you can buy it, right? Didn’t you purposely buy orc leather to disguise yourself…?” Sieg said as though he was looking at a pitiful child.
With a strange yell, Mariela threw herself onto the bed.
“I didn’t even need to do all that knead-knead-kneading—”
“Well, it wasn’t for naught, right? Cheap orc leather goods won’t catch people’s attention,” Sieg consoled her.
(That’s true, that knead-kneading wasn’t for naught. Sieg, you can talk normally now.)
As they conversed a lot while they knead-knead-kneaded, Sieg was able to speak without getting stuck for words. Even though he spoke in blocks, before she knew it, he was speaking smoothly.
“Sieg—, clean up for poor me—”
“Can’t be helped. You can go take a bath too.”
Conversations also became natural. Indeed, that knead-kneading wasn’t for naught.
(It was mostly Sieg who kneaded though.)
After putting on the shoes that had been polished to sparkling, Mariela headed for the bathroom.
The next day, they headed for the new house early in the morning. The Gordon and Johann father and son pair were already waiting at the entrance. When she apologised for making them wait,
“A novice’s” “An oldie’s” ““Morning is early.”” The two spoke over the other, and then said simultaneously, “”What you sayyyy!”’
It was mysterious since their work discussions go on without a hitch.
The building contract for the resident section and the contract tying the slum people was passed over to them, and she checked it with Sieg. The shop section will be contacted when the draft is fixed.
The contracts were simpler than the one with the Black Iron Transportation Corps, but it became a proper magic contract, where it was written: “Preserve the confidential information pertaining to the execution of the formal contract”.
“Isn’t this exaggerated?” Mariela unintentionally let out.
“It’s a given. And also, that’s a sacred tree, right? This is from my years of experience, but a place that has such a thing growing will have anything happen all the time, for better or worse. Having to even draw up a magic contact to deter any spilled secrets, is our way of assuring safety for the worst case scenario.”
I see, Mariela was in awe. Not just giving Mariela and Sieg a peace of mind over the fact that their house plans could be leaked, the Gordon and Johann father and son pair had also drawn up the magic contract so they won’t get threatened to release information.
After checking for problems on the contract, they signed it. When they passed over the master key, they told her that they will start work first thing in the morning. Apparently, it was fine to give the remaining money once the work was over.
“Please finish the plans for the shop section in two to three days,” she requested Johann, in which he replied with, “Understood”, and then she left the new house with Sieg.
In order to have a wonderful shop, there had to be hope in getting the glass.
For that reason, they put on the orc leather harvesting clothes they just polished today and also brought a lunchbox with them.
She went with Sieg to the shop where they rented yagus three days ago.
When they said that they want to rent two today, they got the yagu from last time and a slightly docile one. The hierarchical relationship in a flock of yagu is clear, where the lower ranked ones tended to follow those that are higher in the pecking order. This is one of the traits that makes them easy to use, as they form lines to cross the mountain ranges.
Mariela rode the docile one and made it gallop, but…
“Uwah, wai- too fast, too fast–, I’m gonna fall—”
Mariela’s yagu scrambled after the yagu mounted by Sieg that was running in high spirits. She desperately clung onto it to not fall off, to say nothing of riding it.
In the end, she rode together with Sieg like last time, and the yagu at the back was loaded with their belongings.
“Even though we borrowed two.” Mariela was miffed, as it didn’t make sense, but this way was faster so it can’t be helped.
Opposite to last time, the two people and two yagu went downstream to the river where they collected sand three days ago.
The farmland along the riverside have almost finished sowing wheat; nicely ploughed fields spread out. Employed serfs had proceeded to distant fields that haven’t been completely sowed, or they were probably preparing for the labyrinth expedition. There was no activity in this area.
On the riverside, Tamamugi (タマムギ, ball wheat) grew in the wild; it was harvest time in another week. Tamamugi is an ingredient for midgrade and lower antidote potions. She bought it from Herbal Store Gark last time, but if possible, she wanted to harvest some. Since this is farmland, she had to check with Grandpa Gark to see if she can pick them as she pleased.
Going down the river bank, they reached the end of the farmland. The picket fences were hammered in, and daisis and bromomintella, plants that warded against monsters, were planted.
This was the end point of the farmland that had been cleared and recovered; beyond the picket fence was the Evil Forest. The pickets were faced towards the Evil Forest, and hammered in extensively–the boundary between the farmland and the Evil Forest went on forever.
The scale of it seemed to display the mentality of the people who feared the Evil Forest. Even though she used a monster repelling potion, she felt a little scared.
The Evil Forest spread out in Mariela’s memories. Despite knowing that this place was the cleared area of the Evil Forest, and that it’s recovered land, she fell into the sensation that the forest seemed to be rushing in.
After using one more monster repelling potion just in case, they proceeded into the Evil Forest.