Magi Craft Meister 615
18 King Klein’s Treatment Arc
“The Klein Kingdom had a bad harvest?”
After enjoying his meal on Hourai Island, Jin received a report from Laojun.
“That is correct, My Lord. The abnormally long rains they have been subject to this autumn seem to have caused mold to grow on their wheat crops.”
“So they have problems with food preservation…? Maybe that’s the mold situation that Her Majesty was talking about.”
Jin could understand why the Empress of the Shouro Empire was in a rush to produce large quantities of desiccant.
“At this rate, the Klein Kingdom could end up facing a serious food shortage.”
“But this year can’t be the first time they had such abnormal weather, right? Something similar must have happened in the past… How did they survive that time?”
“There was a skirmish with the Franz Kingdom back in April this year. It seems that a considerable amount of their wheat stockpiles ended up spoiled at that time. If it had been only the bad harvest, they would have been able to manage somehow with their remaining wheat…”
It seems that the situation had only gotten this much worse because of a man-made calamity.
“The same thing can be said for the Celuroa Kingdom. They currently seem unable to support their rural areas.”
This only went to show how little war accomplished aside from impoverishing every country involved in it.
“The kingdom hasn’t reached out to us so far, right?”
“Correct. …I believe they have refrained from doing so since they have done many dishonest things in the past. Besides…”
“They may not think that there’s something you can do regarding their food situation, My Lord.”
Jin was considered to be the best in the world when it came to making things, so it was probably logical that no one would think him capable of solving a food situation.
“Well, I suppose I could make dehumidifiers…”
The principle is simple. By taking in the air from a room and cooling it, the amount of saturated water vapor in it will decrease, and it will condensate back to its liquid state. Then, by removing the water and warming up the air back to room temperature again, it will become dry air.
This was how air conditioners commonly found in modern Earth worked.
“Should we support the Klein Kingdom via Nostalgia?”
“Ah, that might be a good idea.”
Air conditioning itself was a technology that existed in the past, so Jin thought there would be no problem in sharing it with other countries. He then decided to leave this task to Laojun.
“However, this widespread shortage of food…”
“Ah, that’s right. They still desperately need food aid to come from somewhere.”
The food self-sufficiency rate of the Small League of Countries was just above 100% to begin with. In other words, it already wasn’t leaving much room for surplus.
This was mainly due to this world’s rather underdeveloped storage technology, which severely hindered the possibility for long-term storage of food.
“They’ll need the technology of the Ether Stocker as well.”
Jin believed that it would be difficult for these countries to reverse-engineer this technology into weapons. Also, it would be good for them to have this technology as it also has its uses in daily life.
“Oh, and what about the situation with the members of that foreign race that were attacking from the other side of the Hari-Hari Desert?”
“The Quinta Regulus 42 is currently in Ismal, the westernmost town of that region, conducting its investigation, but no reports worthy of note as of yet.”
“Hmm, do you think it could have been a false lead?”
“If that’s the case, then I’d like to back it up.”
“That makes sense.”
＊ ＊ ＊
Nostalgia was based in the northwestern part of the Celuroa Kingdom, near Ahi.
“Elena, do you have any new instructions?”
Nostalgia’s Number 1, Joule Rolland, called out to the beautiful Automata named Elena.
“Yes, Jules. The Klein Kingdom has suffered from poor harvests due to the long autumn rains, and there is a risk of famine if things continue as they are.”
“…What? That’s not good.”
Number 2, Donald Carou Alpha, also joined the conversation.
“Isn’t it? That’s why we will be presenting ‘dehumidifiers’ to each country.”
“Dehumidifiers? How convenient.”
Joule and Donald nodded in unison.
“Donald, can you prepare some samples?”
Elena asked Donald, Nostalgia’s main Magi Engineer, to work on some dehumidifier samples.
“Sure, leave it to me.”
“Joule, please think about how Nostalgia is going to send the dehumidifiers to each country.”
＊ ＊ ＊
“An Ether Stocker, you said?”
Jin had come to the Klein Kingdom as “Deus Ex Machina”.
This was the second generation of artificial bodies equipped with the technology to serve as Jin’s “double”.
Even if someone were to look at it up close, there was very little risk of anyone realizing that it wasn’t a real human being, but an Automata posing as one.
“Yes. With this Ether Stocker, you’ll be able to extend the time you can store grain exponentially.”
If the Ether content in the crops were to be as high as those from Hourai Island, they could be stored semi-permanently, but regular crops would be limited to a storage life of 5 times its original value.
Even so, the fact that a storage period that used to be only about 2 years could be extended all the way to 10 years was ground-breaking.
“Unfortunately, I cannot help with the crops themselves.”
“No, no, this alone is a lifesaver, Lord Machina. Thank you very much!”
Chancellor Powell bowed his head repeatedly in gratitude. Being able to improve the storage life of the kingdom’s existing crops was already a great help.
The commander of the Knights of the Imperial Guard, Glenn Dabrode, was also present in this meeting in the Chancellor’s office as an escort and witness.
No matter how much his country’s Chancellor brought in the technology to save the country, Glenn always kept a straight face that indicated that he didn’t like bowing to someone of doubtful origin as Deus Ex Machina…
＊ ＊ ＊
“They should be able to manage with the help of this technology, right?”
“Yes, My Lord. I’ll use Machina to tell the Egelia Kingdom and the Shouro Empire how the Ether Stocker works. Will it be too much interference?”
“Ah, that’s a tough call…”
“I know how you feel, Jin.”
Jin turned around at the sudden voice, and found Reinhardt standing behind him.
“Hey there. The desiccant plant has already been set up, and mass production has started, so it no longer needs my direct supervision. I thought you’d be wondering what to do about this situation, so I came here.”
“Thank you, Reinhardt.”
Jin was truly grateful for his friend’s consideration.
“Nostalgia is taking care of the dehumidifiers, and Machina is in charge of the Ether Stockers. The only two things left are the situation with the members of the foreign race who live beyond the Hari-Hari Desert, and how to procure food.”
Reinhardt nodded after hearing Jin’s summary of the current situation.
“…Both are high priority. So I’m thinking about what to do.”
“I see. You’re a bit of a worrywart yourself, Jin. You don’t have to carry everything on your back, you know?”
“I know. But I’m so deeply involved in all of this that I can’t just pretend I don’t know about either of these problems.”
The situation with the members of the foreign race was affecting the Shouro Empire, while the food problem was affecting the Klein Kingdom. And there was no doubt that both of them required immediate attention.
“Certainly, this is the exact opposite of the ‘peaceful world’ that you strive for, Jin.”
Jin just wanted to focus on making things that would improve people’s lives, things that could be useful to people, and the things that he wanted to make. But such a modest wish was unlikely to come true.
“But that’s because you’re a good person, Jin. Well, I don’t think we would have become friends otherwise to begin with.”
Joined by a wry smile, Reinhardt’s words still had no intention of stopping Jin.
“The problem of mold growing on grains can be stopped with desiccants and dehumidifiers. The Ether Stocker’s effect won’t be very noticeable right away, so first of all…”
“West it is, then?”
Jin and Reinhardt nodded to each other, agreeing that the problem at the desert was more urgent.
“You wouldn’t be saying that because I’m from the Shouro Empire, would you?”
Jin laughed in response to Reinhardt’s comment, which he thought would have been left best unsaid.
“Come on. To be honest, I’m a little curious about the other side of the Hari-Hari Desert.”
“Ah, I can understand that. I think anyone from the Shouro Empire has had that thought at least once.”
Reinhardt agreed with Jin’s statement.
“In that case, I’ll have to think of a way to go beyond the desert.”
“The Ether concentration on those parts might be lower than here, right?”
“Yeah, but well, the people living in the northern continent were still doing somewhat okay. But here, in the southern hemisphere, it might be really dangerous.”
According to a report from Sky-1, which was conducting a detailed investigation, there was a possibility that its survey flight in the southern hemisphere would have run out of energy and crashed if not for the Magi Crystals it employed as a backup energy source.
“Luckily for us, that area beyond the Hari-Hari Desert doesn’t go much further to the south, so I think it’s safe for us to go there.”
“…So you were really thinking about going there yourself, after all…”
Reinhardt seemed worried, but Jin reassured him.
“Well, it’s not me who’s going, but ‘Laozi’.”
Jin wanted to go himself, but his intentions were met with strong opposition from Laojun, Reiko, Ann, and others, so he tearfully gave up.
He had thought about using his “double”, but there were a lot of things that Jin wanted to do on this side of the continent, and above all, there really was not much reason to go there himself, so he decided to leave that to Laozi instead.
“I see. I’m relieved to hear that, Jin. If you had still been adamant about going there yourself, I would have objected as well.”