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Magi Craft Meister 353
12-03 Saki Eschenbach
The day after the welcome party, Reinhart’s brothers went back to their respective offices and workplaces.
He did not dare ask what those offices were. Apart from that, there was something else Jin was interested in.
That was to meet the ‘alchemist’ Toa Eschenbach.
After breakfast, he indirectly suggested the idea to Reinhart, who nodded as if to say ‘I understand’.
“The Eschenbach household is in the neighborhood, so don’t worry.”
Reinhart then began preparing a carriage.
“Are we going by carriage, Jin?”
To which Jin nodded after some consideration.
The steward drives the carriage as indicated by Reinhart. Jin faced Reinhart and began to apologize to him.
“… Reinhart, you’ve faced great troubles to return to your home and family, so it’s okay if you want to stop coming along with me. I mean, you’ve got Berthie-san, and your mother…”
“Ha ha! Thanks for putting me to good use! … I appreciate your honesty. Accompanying you is the solemn duty Her Majesty has bestowed upon me.”
As soon as that conversation was done, they found themselves outside the Eschenbach residence. It took them five minutes to arrive by carriage, and even walking would have been about only ten minutes. It was literally next door.
The Eschenbach residence was a smallish-looking house built on a vast plot of land. At the garden, a great variety of trees an grass have grown– no, been planted.
“We even had enough time to talk for a bit in the carriage! How unusual of me, huh?”
As they were walking towards the house’s entranceway, Jin was wondering in excitement what sort of person is this Toa Eschenbach that Reinhart had spoken so much about.
“I wonder if it’s ok to go in?”
As those words escaped his mouth as if they were a whisper, Reinhart knocked on the door using the knocker that was attached to the entranceway.
After two minutes of waiting for a reply that didn’t come, they knocked once again. And then, yet once again.
After the third knock on the door, it finally opened.
“… How noisy! Even though I’m busy now… Huh? Who would have thought it was Reinhart? Well, if it’s you, it’s a different story.”
The blunt voice that came out probably belonged to a woman.
Perhaps since she was wearing a shirt and trousers, along with an overall-styled, gray-stained apron, it was difficult to understand her figure.
Moreover, she was wearing no makeup, and her hair seemed as if it hadn’t been taken care of in a while.
Her charcoal-colored hair was cut at shoulder-length. There were places where her hair was cut in a straight line and others where it was simply unkempt. As she didn’t seem to be using a brush or a comb on her hair, it bounced around loosely all over the place.
Her eyes were of beautiful purple-gray color, but it seemed as if her eyesight was poor, as she immediately frowned, which gave out a moody impression. However, the voice that came out was a woman’s voice.
She was merely a little shorter than Jin. Seemingly thin, her chest size is small enough for Reinhart not to take notice of it.
She also seems to be about the same age as Jin.
However, her most surprising feature was that both the right half of her face and her right arm were red, and looked swollen.
“Sa… Saki! Your face! Your arm! What happened to you!?”
Reinhart panicked. Thinking that it would be best to give her medical treatment before anything else, Jin pushed Reinhart aside and began preparing a spell.
However, even after some of the redness had receded somewhat, she was not completely healed. Healing magic didn’t seem to work on her. So Jin looked at Reiko.
“Yes, Father. … Heilverfahren.”
It’s advanced medical magic. With it, the red-swollen skin regained its true color, and the inflammation receded completely.
“… I’m surprised! Wasn’t that an advanced healing spell just now? And what’s more, it was chanted in the style of our country! Reiko-chan, when did you remember this spell?”
It’s the spell that Elsa used during the magical exhaustion fever uproar. Reiko also acquired this spell. She can even use the highest-ranked healing spell, ‘Genesung’.
Before Reiko could answer, the woman before their eyes– Saki, was it?– thanked Jin.
“Would you look at that? Thank you for healing me completely, dear guest. Reinhart, will you not introduce us?”
That threw Reinhart off somewhat. He stood there rearranging his thoughts before he spoke.
“Oh, this is my friend, Jin. He’s an honorary Magi Craftsman from Egrea Kingdom. He was accepted into the Magi Engineer’s Guild as an honorary member recently.”
“Hoho! My goodness! Pleased to meet you, Jin! I’m Saki. Saki Eschenbach. I’m Reinhart’s childhood friend. Please call me Saki.”
While reflecting on her tomboyish manner of speaking, Jin reintroduced himself.
“I’m Jin Nidou. Pleased to meet you.”
“So polite! Please, let’s talk in a more familiar way. I’m no good at formalities! You could say I hate them.”
“I see. Nice to meet you, Saki.”
As Jin corrected himself, Saki nodded happily.
“Yeah, that’s more like it. … Say, Reinhart, did you come here to see my father?”
“Yeah, is he home?”
Saki shook her head.
“You know how my father is. He suddenly rushed out two days ago. He could be at the Harihari Desert or the Krueger Mountains by now…”
“Good grief! Just as usual…”
Hearing Saki’s reply, Reinhart gave out an amazed expression on his face.
“So, what did you need my father for?”
Saki asked this while looking at both Jin and Reinhart alternately.
Reinhart was the one to answer that question.
“Actually, we came here today because Jin is interested in alchemy.”
Saki sank her teeth into that answer.
“I see! So Jin is also interested in alchemy! In that case, you’re just in time! Come on in, you two!”
Without waiting for an answer from either of them, Saki dragged them both into the house. Jin and Reinhart smiled bitterly as they followed her in.
“Which reminds me, you came back safely, Reinhart! I’m glad, I’m glad!”
Saki said that as if she had just remembered about it while walking through the corridor.
“You never change, Saki. You’ll never marry anyone like that!”
So had Reinhart replied while letting out a sarcastic laugh. While that kind of speech is nowadays considered sexual harassment, Saki turned it aside with a smile.
“Oohoho, don’t worry about that. I don’t have the slightest interest in getting married, after all.”
And after saying that, she suddenly turned over to Reinhart, and said:
“Which reminds me, I heard you got engaged to Berthie! Congratulations!”
“Yeah, thank you, Saki.”
Reinhart replied with a smile. But Jin thought that the smile that Saki had shown in return had a hint of sadness. However, as soon as Saki had turned around, he thought that it was probably his imagination, and didn’t say a word about it.
Opening the door at the end of the corridor, Saki turned to Jin and said:
“Here we are, this is my laboratory.”
Reinhart, who had been there many times, murmured:
“It’s been a while since I last came here.”
As the door opened and they went in, a strange odor invaded their noses.
A few flask-like containers were lined up on the working table, and some of them had some sort of liquid in them. The smell seemed to drift from those flasks.
The smell of several liquids mixed together, making it a particularly strong kind of smell.
There was one of those smells that Jin was able to tell apart from the rest. It was one that he was familiar with. He approached the flasks lined up on the working table.
“Wait, Jin! Be careful! I got that swelling because I touched that sap there on the left-most part of the table.”
Jin took a quick look at that flask. It contained a black, sappy liquid. After gently shaking the flask, he could see it was considerably viscous.
But that wasn’t the flask that Jin’s nose was driven to. It was the second one next to that one.
That other flask contained a liquid of a slightly ambered color. Jin gave a more thorough sniff at that liquid.
“… Yeah, there’s no mistaking it. I don’t even need to use ’Analyze’ on this one. This is maple syrup!”
After hearing that, Saki quickly approached Jin and grabbed him by the shoulders.
“Jin! You know what this is!”
“Ah, yeah. Where I come from it’s called maple syrup. It’s a sweetener made from boiling sap extracted from sugar maple trees…”
Having heard that, Saki released Jin’s shoulders, faced Reinhart, and began to cry out in excitement.
“Reinhart! Did you hear that? This ‘maple syrup’ may be used as a substitute for sugar! It will even rival sugar itself!
Reinhart seemed to know that reaction fairly well. He replied with a sarcastic smile.
“Oh, I see! I wonder if you can finance and create a mass production system?”
Saki seemed pleased with that reply.
“Ohoho! You get it, don’t you? As expected from my childhood friend! Okay, there are many of these ‘sugar maple’ trees growing at the shores of Lake Tosumo. All we need to do is to go there and extract the sap from them, right?”
Saki was extremely thrilled when she spoke. Jin, however, could not help intervening.
“Uh, if you try to make a sweetener out of it, you would have to boil it down a lot.”