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452 Jin’s Work
“Ah, this? It’s a dish called ‘Pashta’ which we’ve just recently started cooking here in the Toka village. You knead the flour, roll it into thin pieces and stretch it…”
According to Lithia’s explanation, it seems they are stretching it one by one. Once he took a closer look at it, it looked like an amateur’s handmade udon–all of them were a bit thicker than normal and the sizes differed. That’s fine and everything.
However, the sauce did not go with it at all.
It had a bland sweet vinegar-like sauce all over it. Although there are probably people who would like this taste, it is definitely suitable for the general public–thought Jin. At the very least, it wasn’t to his liking.
It was not inedible but the balance was just off. He felt like it would be better on yakisoba rather than on these pasta-like noodles.
Pepper also existed in this world and same as in Earth, it can be harvested in the South. The fact that it’s hard to cultivate from the seed is also the same. It is normally cultivated through plant cutting.
Jin also did not know about the cultivation method but since Hourai Island is a subtropical area, it is possible to cultivate pepper. As such, he had recently sent the Quinta to acquire it and now they had started cultivation.
Putting that aside, Jin was now thinking how if they could find a spice to substitute pepper, they could make it Toka village’s exclusive produce.
After having lunch, Jin immediately started looking for suitable spots to set up a hot spring facility. Having worrier’s disposition, he couldn’t sit still and went straight to work. It was easy for Lithia and Saki to also keep up as they were of commoner birth as well.
As Elsa had been with Jin for quite some time now and knew Jin’s pace, she also had no difficulty in keeping up.
However, it seemed like it was a bit much for Berthie as she had been living as a noble since birth. Jin told her to not push herself but she said she was fine and insisted to tag along.
Toka village does not have any volcanoes nearby like Kaina village and as such, it did not have as many hot spring spots. However, as he kept meticulously searching, he soon found a good spot with good amount of spring water.
“Ah, found a good spot.”
“Really? That’s wonderful!”
Lithia was so glad hearing the result that she jumped in joy.
“I also found a lode of copper nearby as well….”
“Copper? Would it be easy to mine it?”
There are a few different kinds of copper ores but the type under here seems to be copper pyrites. A precious kind of ore.
“It is close to the surface so it should be easy. You can try mining it when you have some leeway.”
“Thank you very much!”
The Klein Kingdom’s taxing system was such that the people of the territory cleared the taxes to the landlords and the landlords then cleared the taxes to the kingdom. The amount the landlords have to pay as tax depend on the people of the land and the tax ratio. So if the land’s harvest increases, it would result in making the people’s lives more abundant.
If they get a new mine in the land, it will increase Toka village’s overall harvest. Although it won’t be exclusive to Toka village, it is a good enough objective for Lithia to aim for for the time being.
However, the hot spring comes first now.
“Well then, let’s have it made here, shall we?”
The Toka village chief Brack set the location. It was beside a small river.
Lithia had called him here to discuss the matter. There were also a number of young village folk along with some children who were intrigued in seeing what Jin does.
“Elsa, this is an application of earth type magic as well.”
Jin used the magic while explaining it to her.
With the dig magic, he created the pool for the hot water, the ditch and the settling pond.
Elsa was also observing with interest as this was different from the usual engineering magic he does.
Although Jin was in contact with the surface, no one else could pull of a feat of digging up a hole dozens of meters deep so easily. Elsa did not realize this at the time.
All the while, Jin just kept working at his own pace.
Tracing the procedure he used in Kaina Village, Jin had finished making the facility in no time.
However, the hot spring here is a simple thermal hot spring. With no smell of sulfur, the water here is clear and transparent. The temperature is also about 50 degree Celsius and so there’s no need to decrease the temperature no cool the water first. It gets to the appropriate temperature by itself when left in the pool.
“All that’s left is to put up a shack.”
“Yes, we will be doing that! Mayor, I’ll leave it to you. I’ll pay for the daily wage…. mayor?”
Having seen Jin’s work firsthand, the mayor Brack was left frozen in place due to shock. Lithia called out to him once again.
“….Y-yes! A-ahh, yes, we just need to build the shack here, yes?”
“That’s right. Let the villagers use it. I’ll leave the procedure to you.”
Lithia had no intention of meddling in the details from the start. She provided the preparation money as well as the daily wage for them. It was her plan to revitalize the village this way.
“I understand. I’ll get to it right away.”
“Mr. Jin, thank you very much!”
Lithia lowered her head as she thanked Jin back in the landlord’s mansion.
“Now then, Mr. Jin, how may I remunerate you?”
“Asking that to the person himself…”
“No, I want to have a honest relationship with Mr. Jin.”
Now that she came and said that straight out, Jin can’t be careless with his words either. He tried remembering the time he was working.
(Engineers would get about 5000 yen per hour, so for 4 hours would amount to 20,000 yen. If I were to add the travel time and keep it at 2000 yen an hour, that would amount to another 20,000 yen for 10 hours. Another 10,000 yen for the business trip, so that totals at 50,000 yen. That would be about 5000 toll.)
“Alright then, it will be 5000 toll.”
Lithia doubted her ears. Hiring even a common freelancer magician (magi craftman or healer) would cost more than 10,000 toll for a day. And since he is the magi craft meister, she was expecting around 50,000 toll.
However, Jin took Lithia’s reaction in the opposite way.
“Ah–…. Was it a bit too high?”
He asked. And since Elsa and Berthie normally do not deal with money related dealings, they did not know what would be a good price either and so they remained silent.
“N-no, it’s the opposite! I was wondering if it’s okay with it being that low…”
“Ah… Because it is Ms. Lithia, I’m offering a discount as a friend.”
Jin tried to gloss it over. However, to Jin’s surprise, Lithia was overjoyed to hear that.
“I-I see! ….As a friend! Ufu, thank you very much!”
Elsa looked at their faces in succession and let out a sigh.
They decided to stay over at Toka Village that night.
As there was time left till dusk, Jin went on a walk around the village with Reiko.
“Oi, dont’ be so slow now, newbie!”
“Really, how clumsy.”
Jin looked at the direction from which such voices came and found the military post.
A 16-17 year old new soldier was being pushed by the senior soldiers.
“Oi, come on, bring it over already.”
The boy was carrying 5 man’s worth of baggage and was slowly keeping up behind the senior soldiers, almost staggering every now and then.
And just right before the military post, one of the leading senior soldiers kicked a log in front of the newbie.
Since he could not see his feet because of the baggage, he got caught in the log and fell over. And of course, he dropped all the stuff he was carrying as well.
“Aahh, look what you did to the baggage. Now it’s all dirty.”
“I’m very sorry.”
“No dinner for you tonight.” the senior soldiers coldly said that before picking up their stuff from the baggage and left towards the post.
It seems no matter where you go, there is always the senior-junior bullying. Jin couldn’t bear watching and so went to the young soldier’s side.
“You, are you okay?”
It seems the kid had hit his knee when he fell and could not quite get up.
He used healing magic on the kid. Jin could only do up to the basic level healing but it was effective enough.
“T-thank you very much. That helped a lot.”
The kid expressed his gratitude to Jin as he stood up and picked up the baggage again.
“Ah, wait a bit.”
Seeing the kid try and carry the remaining 4 soldiers’ baggage covered in dirt, Jin told the kid to wait.
A spell to get rid of the dirt. Seeing the baggage all cleaned up, the boy lowered his head again and expressed his thanks.
“T-Thank you very much! I-I am Fred. I became a soldier this year!”
“Fred, eh? I’m Jin.”
“Mr. Jin. Are you of this village?”
“No, I am from Kaina Village, it’s far north from here.”
“Eh? Kaina Village? ….Jin…. By chance, a-are you Mr. Jin Nidou?!”
“Yeah, that’s me…”
As he became a soldier in the neighboring Toka village, he had heard his fair share of Jin’s stories. And so, realizing that it was actually Jin, he almost dropped the baggage again.
“I-I’m sorry, excuse me!”
Fred skillfully bowed even while carrying the baggage and hurried towards the military post.
Even after returning back to Lithia’s mansion, Jin couldn’t help but think about that young kid named Fred.
When a new member joins a group like this which already has a defined system, there’s always trouble till they can mix in.
Even more so if it’s a soldier squad where it’s easy for stress to build up, thought Jin.
In the orphanage Jin belonged to, when a new kid came in, it always took some time for them to fit in with the others. Of course, it would differ from person to person, some would take more time, some would take less.
Jin was a senior back in the orphanage… since he was the oldest, he had seen his fair share of newcomers and made sure they got along well.
And to such a Jin, being concerned for Fred was only natural.
“Mr. Jin, did something happen?”
Gloria asked Jin during dinner. Jin told them about the scene which played out before him this evening.
“Hmm, today half of the soldiers were replaced but to think such a thing happened….”
As Gloria was the previous instructor, she took that hard.
“Let’s just keep an eye out for it casually.”