Magi Craft Meister 378
Since the glasses were completed, they leave the workshop and head towards mayor Gibbeck’s house.
The reason for that is that today is the “group study” day. It’s too bad that Elsa is not around, being that she is one of the teachers.
“Jin, what is this ‘group study’?”
Jin has a simple answer to Saki’s question.
“Ah, you see, there are no schools in this village. Because of that, children come here for their basic studies. Reading, writing, mathematics, and stuff like that.”
“Ooh, that’s very interesting! So Elsa and Mine are the teachers?
“Yes, that’s right.”
After that, seemingly deeply interested in the group study session, Saki says that she wants to go check it out. Since there’s no harm doing that, and Saki is so eager to see the class, they decide to visit the group study class.
“Patty, what’s 23 plus 8?”
“Correct. And 57 plus 6? Umm… Mario?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
Today is math day. All the kids are adding two-digit numbers and 1-digit numbers without any problem.
“Very well. Then we will be starting to do some subtractions. Open your textbooks at page 21.”
The textbooks are written by a high-speed copying golem. Thin wood shavings are used as paper. This paper substitute is called “Kyougi”.
They are reinforced with engineering magic so that they can be used as proper paper.
Jin wanted to create actual paper for the books, but pulp alone does not do well when mixed with water. For this reason, Jin is still looking for some tree similar to the ‘sunset hibiscus’ so that he can make Japanese-styled paper.
The reason for that is that he doesn’t really know the proper way to make paper. The only time he’s ever made paper, it was from recycling milk cartons, and even then he had to mix it with a bit of laundry starch.
“I want something that is water-soluble, but that after drying it becomes water-resistant…”
It was hard to find such a thing here. If he were to find that kind of material, it would create a huge source of industry for Kaina Village.
“…Jin? Hey, Jin!”
Saki’s voice brings Jin back to reality.
“Ah, wha… what?”
“Don’t ‘what?’ me! The class is already over, and everyone went home for lunch. Shouldn’t we head back as well?”
Then, after finishing tidying up the materials, Elsa and Mine show up.
“Shall we go back, Jin-nii?”
“Let’s head back, big brother!”
And so, together with Hanna, Saki, Elsa, Mine, and Reiko, Jin heads back to Martha’s house.
“Welcome back, everyone. The food is already on the table.”
Sara, the golem, stands by after having finished her preparations.
It’s a standard Kaina Village lunch. A specialty bread and smoked beef, with a siding of vegetable salad.
Jin had started to eat fruit and vegetables just to get a better vitamin intake, but nowadays he’s eating them because he enjoys them.
“Mmm, this bread really is delicious. It’s not really purely white, but maybe it looks white now because there’s almost no crust in it?”
“Ah, that’s because it has flour on it.”
“I did the sieving today!”
“Ah, so you did that, Hanna?”
They continue to enjoy their lunch while chatting cheerfully.
After finishing their lunch, Saki asks Hanna to show her how she sieves the flour.
“Umm, you put the flour in here and then you shake it.”
Hanna makes her demonstration using whole wheat flour.
“Oh! I see! Thanks, Hanna!”
Saki seems to have hit on a good idea. After gently brushing Hanna’s head and thanking her, Saki turns to Jin and Elsa.
“Jin, Elsa, I want your opinion on something.”
The three of them go back to Jin’s workshop.
“After looking at that sieve, I had an idea.”
Saki begins her explanation.
“I understand that sieves are used to separate big things from small things.”
Saki looks straight at Jin as she speaks. Agreeing with her reasoning, Jin nods.
“So I thought that it could be used for things other than flour. Like tea, for example.”
“Ah, I see.”
Tea leaves are always inevitably mixed with small pieces of leaf dust. When leaves are stored, sometimes by friction or shaking, the leaves break apart into leaf dust, which is almost impossible to remove completely from the rest of the whole leaves.
When this dust is mixed along with the tea leaves, they give a certain degree of unwanted bitterness to the resulting tea.
“If you sieve the tea leaves to remove the dust before making the tea, it should make it tastier.”
Jin is impressed. Saki has a broad field of vision for finding many practical uses for things.
“And there’s more. It can be used to sieve soil and remove its impurities, you can make well-drained soil.”
That’s something that horticulturists do nowadays on Earth.
“The key component of the sieve is its net. If one were to stretch a net like this and attach it to the window, wouldn’t it serve as a screen to keep bugs out?”
In other words, a bug screen.
“Those are great ideas, Saki. Well done!”
“Oho! I’m glad to receive such praise from you, Jin. Well, I still need to think about how to make this net.”
Here, when people speak of nets, all they can think about are things like fishing nets. Making nets out of wire is not a common technique here. Since there is no nylon, the concept of a bug screen does not exist.
“Well, yes. But the first step is to come up with the idea. After that’s done, it’s up to us engineers to think about how to bring those ideas into reality.”
“I’m sure Jin-nii can produce the nets, but then again, they’re not that popular, aren’t they?”
Elsa shares her sharp opinion.
“Right. Unlike pen nibs and balls, it’s useless if we don’t mass-produce these nets.”
This makes Jin think that he’d wish there were merchants in Kaina Village.
And that wish would come true through Laojun in the near future.
Now, returning to the main topic.
This time, Jin has a question for Saki. What he wants to know is if there is any sticky chemical agent that could be used to produce paper.
“Hmm, I think that there’s a fruit from a certain plant that can produce that kind of stickiness.”
“Do you mean ‘ogura’?”
Mine comes in with tea for everyone, and says the name of the fruit Saki mentioned.
“Ah, that’s it. Ogura. Are those in bloom now?”
“No, they bloom during midsummer.”
“Mine, please tell me what you know about this ogura plant.”
Mine seems to know quite a bit about the topic, so Jin asks her many questions. It seems to be similar to Earth’s okra.
Since Jin knows that okra and sunset hibiscus are both from the same mallow species, he decides to ask Laojun to get some through Reiko.
“Reiko, come here.”
“Listen, I need to get some ogura…”
Saki smiles as she looks at Jin give out his indications in such a calm voice.
“Jin seems to be so affectionate towards Reiko… It’s a little different to how Ehr and I get along. How should I put it… Ehr wants to take care of me.”
Without a moment’s delay, Elsa takes the opportunity to say something.
“Yes. Jin-nii is really close to Reiko. He even hugs her sometimes.”
“Oho, that makes me feel a little jealous.”
Elsa’s face is full of suspicion, and at the same time, Saki’s face shows that she’s unable to understand her reaction.
Their reactions are similar, but the feelings within are completely different.
“If there was a cute girl just like Reiko, even if she were a doll or an automata, would it be her human emotions that he would like to hug? Don’t you think that even I could want to hug such cute little kid, like Reiko?”
“… Is that so?”
“Didn’t you make a mascot doll for Reinhart, Elsa? Aren’t dolls cute?”
Elsa can’t find the words to return to Saki’s question.
“Well, sure, I do hug Non from time to time. Is that the same thing as Jin-nii wanting to hug Reiko?”
“Well, grown men getting too close to girl-looking dolls does worry me a little.”
This conversation seems to be getting more and more weird.
Being the subject of the topic at hand, Jin looks at the two of them looking extremely unpleased, as if he had chewed on a bitter bug.