Magi Craft Meister 598
18 Further Progress Arc
Reinhardt’s Kartze Village was about 120 kilometers away, in a straight line, from Magiroots Village.
The trip would take them around 3 hours at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour.
As Lake Tosmo spread out to their left, they crossed the airspace of Vanne before starting to drop the altitude.
Kartze Village was a little farther away from Eksi, where Elsa’s parents’ house was.
Jin’s blimp had descended into the wide front yard of Reinhardt’s estate, called “Rankenhaus.”
“Young lady! You seem well!”
“Ah… You too..”
Adberg, who was there with Reinhardt to welcome Elsa –and who had been Elsa’s former butler, now serving as Reinhardt’s secretary– took her hand and burst into tears.
During lunch at “Rankenhaus”, Jin told Reinhardt and Berthie about how Earl Kuzuma and Beana’s wedding had been.
“I see, Louis and Beana… they look like they make a good couple.”
“Yeah. Ah, that’s right, I managed to catch a glimpse of the carriage you sent as a gift, Reinhardt. When did you make it?”
“Haha, I somehow managed to find some free time to make it.”
Then, when Jin talked about how Elsa’s “Magical Excess Syndrome” had been completely cured, Adberg was overjoyed with tears in his eyes.
“Master Jin, thank you so much for saving the young lady…!”
Adberg bowed his head over and over again, and seeing him like that brought tears to Elsa’s eyes as well.
They continued to talk about various things until they all finished eating.
At that moment, a maid entered the room.
“Master Reinhardt, your guest is here.”
“Ah, right on time. Please guide him to the workshop.”
Seeing the confusion on Jin’s face, Reinhardt answered with a smile.
“It’s Mr. Toa. You said you were planning to build a desiccant plant? And that you wanted to make it available to the general public?”
He had only given Reinhardt a general outline of his plan via the Mana Comm. Toa also said he wanted to help in any way he could.
“Mr. Toa came the day before yesterday and told me that he had found a promising deposit of limestone.”
Jin remembed that Toa had mentioned that he would be coming here a few days ago.
“The place is a rocky mountain near Lake Tosmo. It seems to be almost entirely made of limestone.”
The issue of not having enough materials was now as good as solved.
The mountains in the Chichibu region in Japan are made of limestone as well, which is used to make cement. One of those mountains, Mt. Buko, was known for how much its shape has changed over the years of having its limestone essentially shaved off its surface.
“So, yesterday I sent someone to mine there for a while.”
Now that Reinhardt had become the lord of this small village, he was involved in many things for the good of the village.
“I was just wondering if we could start an industry.”
Jin thought that an opportunity like this was definitely a godsend.
“Let’s get on with it right after this.”
“…Brother Jin and Brother Rei are so full of energy today.”
Elsa muttered those words after seeing the two of them in such high spirits, and Berthie followed up on it.
“Uhuhu, he has been this excited since last night. Being able to leave his everyday government affairs for a while really makes him very happy.”
Reinhardt seemed to have been a bit drained up by his work recently as well.
After a short rest after lunch, Jin and Reinhardt headed for the workshop that the latter had built on the premises.
“Hey there, Jin, Lord Reinhardt.”
“I guess I can’t say that it’s been a while, can I?”
Normally, Toa wouldn’t use any honorifics when referring to Reinhardt, but since this was Reihanrdt’s own house, he feared everyone else around him would think poorly of him, so he chose to call him “Lord”.
As for Stearlena, she was dressed in a rather unusual manner for her.
Her copper-colored hair was tied up high, and she was wearing a light purple dress that reached down to her ankles and a white summer cardigan-style jacket.
They seemed to be on their way back home after having visited the family of Toa’s late wife, in other words, the House of Marquis Theoderic.
Stearleana then left the workshop saying that she wanted to go talk with Berthie.
“Toa, I heard you found a limestone deposit. I expected no less from you.”
Toa scratched the back of his head after hearing Jin’s words.
“Well, collecting materials was originally one of my jobs. I may not look it, but I have a really good understanding of internal resources.”
As expected of a first-class alchemist.
“So, we have some materials prepared here.”
Reinhardt had prepared some limestone and Magi Crystals, as well as some stones for making a furnace.
“You used a carbon crucible for your experiment, right?”
“Yeah, but it’s not very common. Any material that can withstand 1,100 degrees Celsius will do.”
In modern science, several carbon-based materials, including ceramics and superalloys have been developed as “ultra-high-temperature materials” in the fields of aviation, space, and energy technology.
“Toa told me how to make it. The principle is simple, but we’re trying to come up with a method for mass production.”
As the Magi Craft Meister, Jin possessed several abilities that others did not, and because of this, his way of thinking often deviates from the way of thinking of ordinary people without him even noticing.
In order to make up for that, Jin was planning to ask for Toa’s cooperation this time.
“Several kinds of rocks can be commonly used as refractory materials.”
Toa pointed to the stones that had been prepared in advance..
“First up is tuff.”
Oya stone is one of several kinds of tuff stones. This type of stone can stand up to 1,000 degrees Celsius, which was a little too short of the temperature needed for working with limestone.
This one could also withstand up to 1,000 degrees Celsius.
There were also andesite and serpentinite, but none of them seemed they would withstand 1,100 degrees Celsius.
“Hmm, looks like we’ve fallen short.”
“Making it an industry for the people of the fief is no easy task.”
Jin and Reinhardt were racking their brains.
“If we had anything like carbon, zirconia, or platinum, they’d do just fine…”
However, those materials were far too expensive for them to be used as base for an industry.
Seeing the unusual struggling expression on Jin and Reinhardt’s faces brought a sad look to Elsa’s own face.
“… Wasn’t there any other heat-resistant stone we could use…?”
Jin desperately searched his own mind for answers.
“Heat… Furnace, huh…”
The thought of things such as blast furnaces still caused Jin to shiver a little. It wouldn’t matter if it was a small crucible like the one they made the other day, but the mere thought of making a furnace large enough for a person to fall into was enough to give him goosebumps.
This reaction wasn’t unreasonable because he had almost lost his life by falling into the ladle of an electric furnace.
Jin felt a bit pathetic for having had this kind of reaction. After all, it wasn’t that he hated dealing with fire.
Noticing Jin’s slight trembling, Elsa remembered how he had nearly died in his home world, and gently took his hand.
Thanks to that, Jin regained his composure, which allowed him to remember one particular kind of stone.
Peridotite is a type of intrusive igneous rock composed mainly of olivine and pyroxene which is formed deep underground, and features a high resistance to heat.
The melting point of olivine is 1,910 degrees Celsius, and its crushed sand could be used for sand casting.
Olivine of good quality could be obtained from the Inad Mine near Kaina Village. However, its quality was so high that it could be considered to be on the same level as a jewel, which in turn makes it too expensive to use it as a material.
Therefore, Jin came up with the idea that peridotite could be used as a material for furnaces instead.
Peridotite is an igneous rock, that is, a volcanic rock. As such, it would be produced in a different area from that of limestone, which is a sedimentary rock.
If anything, the Shouro Empire had a lot of land made of sedimentary rock, especially around Lake Tosmo.
Andesite and other rocks could be found relatively nearby, but there were no nearby mountains where peridotite could be mined.
“But Having to import such heavy stones does cause a bit of a price problem.”
Toa had a history of pouring money into collecting materials. As a result, it seemed that he had a good grasp of the costs involved in Jin’s plan.
This made them think of just how easy Hourai Island, and to an extent all of magic itself, had it. They didn’t have to worry about costs or anything like that.
As long as he had the ingredients, he could at least make do with processing them with magic alone, but Jin was still worried, since he wanted it to be accessible to the general public.
“Iron won’t do it, right?”
Jin nodded at Toa’s question.
“Yeah. The melting point of iron makes it look like it’ll do just fine, but continuously heating it up to such high temperatures will cause it to oxidize and crumble in no time.”
Iron combines easily with oxygen, especially at high temperatures.
“This problem has turned out to be surprisingly difficult to solve, hasn’t it?”
Toa also crossed his arms and pondered whether there were any good materials they could use.
“I guess the only thing left to do is put up a barrier…”
This is a factor that raises the initial cost and makes maintenance difficult at the same time.
“I’d like to consider that option our last resort, though…”
Everyone in the workshop seemed to be at wit’s end.
At that time, one person peered into the workshop.
“What are you guys doing?”