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After saying goodbye to Eisa-sensei, Harold and I went to a bar.
“I guess there is no grape wine, huh?” (Harold)
Harold sadly talked so when reading the bar menu. In the Kingdom of Shaalta, grapes couldn’t be cultivated, so wine wasn’t available on the market.
“That’s too bad. Just endure with beer, please.” (Yuri)
“Shall I do that? The beer in Shaalta is the best. After all, this alcohol is local alcohol. Hey, what are you doing?” (Harold)
“Aah, I’m fine with milk.” (Yuri)
“What? Why don’t you drink alcohol?” (Harold)
The Shanti were very resistant to alcohol, so they drank alcohol well. This couldn’t be seen in the dining hall, but there were many students in dormitory drank. There was no rule saying that people under the age of twenty weren’t allowed to drink.
“I have decided that I will not drink alcohol until I am twenty years old.” (Yuri)
‘I don’t think it will affect me too much, but I don’t know what the effects on my body are. I didn’t make a vow not to drink even a single drop. However, I don’t intend to drink regularly.’
“What? Is there such a rule in the Academy? It doesn’t applied here.” (Harold)
“No, it’s a rule that I made. Besides, I have some things else I need to do today.” (Yuri)
“Is that so?” (Harold)
Harold called the waiter and he immediately ordered for a drink. Beer was given to him as quickly as possible. Harold looked like a real sailor, and he drank it in a gulp.
“…Fuhaa~. Delicious!” (Harold)
It was a hearty way of drinking.
‘Aah, it looks delicious… Oi!
I didn’t drink in the previous life, but this makes me want to drink. Rook prefer distilled liquor, so when he drinks beer, he can’t finish it in several gulps.’
“So, please tell me about your trip.” (Yuri)
“Aah, alright. First of all, I set sail to the Great Albio Island and the voyage broke down, but I managed to arrive.” (Harold)
“No, don’t simplify the story. Tell me, how did you sail?” (Yuri)
“Since it’s not a coastal sailing, it would be difficult, right?” (Yuri)
‘There is no accurate chart to the Great Albio Island in this country. It means, it is difficult for sailors. In other word, once they start out in the ocean where they can’t see land, they won’t know their whereabouts. There is no such a convenient thing like GPS.’
If it is an inland sea like the Baltic Sea or the Mediterranean Sea, they will eventually reach shore sooner or later, but in the case of a large ocean such as the Atlantic Ocean, it will be different.’
Needless to say, it’s hard to reach the Republic of Albio by sailing along the coast. The entire coasts along the way are enemy countries, so they have to go through the open sea.’
“Ooh, there’s a man who’s always in charge of the navigation. He did it for me.” (Harold)
‘Oi. Did you leave the whole navigation to other person?’
“Did you go there by guesswork?” (Yuri)
“That word sounds bad, but yes, that’s it.” (Harold)
‘Guesswork, is it? Isn’t he risking his life from the beginning?’
“Well, I somehow managed to get there. Then, I went into a valley that no one was going to be there, and put the anchor down.” (Harold)
“Yes, sure.” (Yuri)
“After that, when I got to the shore, there was a crowd of people coming out of the forest.” (Harold)
“Then, I got caught. Somehow, it looked like a pirate stronghold.” (Harold)
‘Isn’t that the END of the survival? This guy is alive and well.’
“They asked in Kura language ‘Whose army are you?’. Aah, I forgot to say thanks to Eisa-sensei for that. I told them ‘I am a merchant. I came from the Shan Peninsula.’” (Harold)
“They told me not to lie, so I took off my hat, and showed my ears. They were astonished.” (Harold)
‘Of course, they will. The pirates must have thought that they were a navy for some country and came to subdue them. Then, when this fool nonchalantly came out while being surrounded, I’m sure they were surprised because Harold was a different race from far north region.
“From there, we’re become drink buddies.” (Harold)
‘Wait. Wait a sec!’
“Why were you drinking? Shouldn’t it become something like battle?” (Yuri)
“They are the people of the sea, and they have a rule to help those who have accident at sea. They aren’t taking my property.” (Harold)
‘From my point of view, it seems a little unbelievable that pirates take such actions, but there may be such a unique culture.’
In this world there are many accidents at sea. So the culture of everyone is having an equal status if they are drifting in the sea is formed. It isn’t a widespread culture, but rather a culture of the Republic of Albio which is a maritime nation.’
It’s an interesting culture.’
“Well, we didn’t have accidents at sea. Anyhow, we became drinking buddies. That was why I was comparing the drinks. I told them we were strong drinkers.” (Harold)
“I bet it was fun and all good.” (Yuri)
‘It was a very lucky first contact. If one of the cogwheels in their brain screwed up, this guy could be killed on the spot, and all of the goods would be taken away. He would meet such a BAD END.’
“Well. Then, I left sailors in the pirate village, and went to the capital.” (Harold)
“Did you leave the sailors in their village? It’s very kind of them.” (Yuri)
“Of course, I left the money for food and accommodation.” (Harold)
“Aah, I see…” (Yuri)
‘The money used in this situation was the gold coins of Shaalta. Since the coins are made of gold, the intrinsic value goes beyond the difference of the currency. Nonetheless, the other party isn’t a savage tribe, the sailors were allowed to stay…’
“The place we arrived was the Great Albio Island which you discussed earlier with Eisa-sensei. After that, I went to the Small Albio Island by land route and ferryboat. The capital is on the Small Albio Island.” (Harold)
‘Well, if you navigate the sea properly, you are mostly likely to drift to Scotland. In fact, he was drifting to that place, right?’
“However, the capital was much smaller than Sibyaku though. Anyhow, I’m here.” (Harold)
“You’ve done your best.” (Yuri)
Although he studied the language, he didn’t bring along his friends. It was amazing that he made a solo trip to a foreign country on his own.
“Then, I stayed in a tavern for a few days and got into brawl.” (Harold)
‘Brawl, is it?” (Yuri)
“I’m not sure if it was a misunderstanding, but it’s natural for sailors. When they reached the shore, they went into the bar and made a fuss for a few days. Of course, it was a brawl between sailors.” (Harold)
“I see.” (Yuri)
‘Is that how it is? I’m not sure.’
“Then, there was a person like a messenger from the castle came to the inn. I was invited to go there.” (Harold)
“Even though I was invited, the Republic didn’t give a pretentious feeling similar to Shaalta. I was nervous when I had dinner with them, but based on my observation, they completely didn’t care about manners. They were a bit respectful, but when the booze started to go in, it went away, and it became a banquet.” (Harold)
‘Was it a banquet? No, no. I mean what kind of country is that?’
“From that, I somehow noticed that there’s no king in the Republic.” (Harold)
‘That’s right. If there is a king, it would be a kingdom.’
“In that place, there are many first class pirates, merchants and others.” (Harold)
‘It has many forms. In other words, they might have a parliamentary system where influential people gather. Such a thing is included in the republic system.’
“I met a lot of people there. It’s because of the flow of alcohol which enable me to do business with them.” (Harold)
“The flow of alcohol, is it?” (Yuri)
“Well, I was lucky. I got along with merchants, and since I got along well, they took me to the port the next day and introduced me to all kinds of people.” (Harold)
‘You’re really lucky. It was smooth.’
“The next day, I returned to the village where I left the ship. I returned the ship and went back to the capital. It was packed with loads that could be sold for a while. When I got there, I sold it off, and stopped the ship at the port for a while. The ship was old, but I was amazed with the old-fashioned ship.” (Harold)
‘As I expected, they have quite considerable technology for water.’
“”I stayed there for about a week and looked around the market with an accountant and found out which one I could bring home to sell. I brought a lot of things. I made a lot of money.” (Harold)
Harol’s voyage was a huge success.
“Well, that was good. No, it was really good.” (Yuri)
Harold’s hard work paid off.
“Well, this is the end of my travel story.” (Harold)
“I see. It was a great deal for me.” (Yuri)
“By the way, did you have anything new?” (Harold)
“Yes. I have thought a lot of things, and I decided to do a business.” (Yuri)
“You? Why?” (Harold)
He seemed to be surprised.
‘I guess it’s not normal for a noble heir like me to start a business.’
“It’s not about pride. I have almost finished my class, and I had a lot of spare time in the afternoon until graduation. So, I thought of doing business in the capital.” (Yuri)
“…It’s difficult to start a new business in Sibyaku, you know.” (Harold)
Harold looked serious as if there were a lot of things to be considered.
“I know, so I thought of a completely new product. I’ve shown you that product, Harold-san.” (Yuri)
“Aah, was that it?” (Harold)
“I’m making that now. Well, it’s still a prototype though.” (Yuri)
That was the tenth prototype.
“But, even if you try hard and become a pioneer, it would be stolen in the end, right?” (Harold)
Everyone said the same thing.
“I took the first step to avoid that. It’s called a patent.” (Yuri)
“Patent? You mean exclusive permit?” (Harold)
“No, it’s different. Patent is…” (Yuri)
I briefly told him about the patent.
“That is… you’ve done a great job.” (Harold)
“Yeah. The public announcement about the system has already been made, and it seems that the fifth patent has been approved. By the way, the first patent is my plant-based paper.” (Yuri)
“Are you already making it?” (Harold)
“Yes, of course. “I rent a hut on the mountain side of the capital city, and produce it there.” (Yuri)
“That’s amazing. Can I take a look at it next time?” (Harold)
“I’m going there today.” (Yuri)
“Then, let me follow you.” (Harold)
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I decided to bring him along.
“I’m going to go to my house because I don’t want to spend money on the carriage.” (Yuri)
The residence was about a short walk from the bar. After going through the gate by the face pass, I told a caretaker that I wanted to borrow a Galloping Bird.
“Oi, I’ve never been on it.” (Harold)
“There is a saddle for two people here, so it’s alright.” (Yuri)
However, since the Galloping Bird wasn’t horizontally long like a horse, the two-man ride was somewhat painful.
“Is there a problem?” (Harold)
It seemed that it was his first time riding a Galloping Bird.
“It will be a good experience. It’s much more comfortable than riding a horse. Please get on it first.” (Yuri)
“Uhh… I got it.” (Harold)
Harold reluctantly stepped on the stirrup and straddled the saddle.
I was already used to it, so I stepped on the stirrups and rode it. It became like being caught between Harold’s thighs.
“We’re going.” (Yuri)
Then, the bird started running. The bird wasn’t a young bird. It was an adult bird with a large body, so it was calm even with two riders.
“We’re here.” (Yuri)
We arrived at an old building on the west side of Sibyaku.
There were several reasons for choosing this building. One was it was cheap because it was tattered. Secondly, it was originally a livestock barn. So, there was still a device to draw water with watermill to make the livestock drink water. Since it was located upstream of Sibyaku, it wasn’t covered with dirty water, and the water was clean.
The inside was dirty and the whole surface was covered with dirt, but it was good enough as a workshop.
I opened the door and went inside.
“You have come, Yuri. This time, it’s pretty good.” (Cuffe)
Cuffe, who was working, said cheerfully.
The eleventh prototype seemed to be quite good. The one that I was using for my notes was the tenth prototype, and it was already at the degree where it could withstand writing.
The feel of writing wasn’t as good as it was on a copy paper, but it was able to withstand the use of writing letters and recording minutes.
‘Is it about time to sell it?’
“…Isn’t that Cuffe?” (Harold)
Cuffe suddenly became expressionless when he saw Harold’s face.
“Harold Harrell… why are you here?” (Cuffe)
“Bastard… what are you doing here?” (Harold)
“Are you going to answer me with a question? I’m the one who is asking you.” (Cuffe)
“Why is the sales clerk of Allenfest Company here? What are you trying to do?” (Harold)
“I’ve already quit. I’m talking about that time of the past.” (Cuffe)
‘Somehow, this looks like a dangerous situation.’
“Do you two know each other?” (Yuri)
“No, I don’t.” (Harold)
Harold said so.
“He was a business rival in the past.” (Cuffe)
‘Hoh, I see.’
“Well, please get along. Cuffe-san is an important partner.” (Yuri)
“Can we get along, is it? This guy had been imitating sneakily for a long time, and he disturbed my business over and over again…” (Harold)
“That was the job I was given, so I couldn’t help with it. How long are you going to grumble about that part in the past? What an unmanly guy.” (Cuffe)
“Who is unmanly? Do you want me to hit you again?” (Harold)
Harold rolled up his arm.
‘I wonder if he had hit Cuffe once.’
Cuffe seemed to be calm. He put his hand between eyebrows, showing a gesture that he didn’t want to deal with Harold.
“Is your hobby still solving the problem with brute force and go crying later? This is why sailors are troublesome bunch.” (Cuffe)
‘Dang… these guys… Even though they are adults, they seem to quarrel a lot.’
Harold was too stimulated. He pushed me away and tried to grab Cuffe, so I kicked his legs with all my might and he fell. He tried to grab the cloth on my back so he wouldn’t fall down, but I got a knee in the dirt.
“Harold-san, I don’t want you to go on a rampage here…” (Yuri)
They seemed to have a lot of things going on in the past. It was fine to have a brawl, but I didn’t want it to happen here.
After all, there were various kinds of paper, strainers, and others. Some papers were being dehydrated with stones on it. Speaking of the frame, it would be likely to break if adults fell on it.
“I’m not going to stop.” (Harold)
“I feel sorry to Eisa-sensei since you’re going to learn about Isus religion. Can you say to her that you fight and beat up other people?” (Yuri)
When I mentioned Eisa-sensei’s name, it seemed to be working. Then, he stood up quietly.
“You too Cuffe. You should think about the place if you’re going to ask him for a fight. What if the tools are broken?” (Yuri)
“…You’re right. It’s certainly going to be broken and it’s going to hurt the business.” (Cuffe)
“What? Why are you talking casually with this kid? It’s laughable.” (Harold)
I also didn’t feel good about it, but it couldn’t be helped since Cuffe wanted to do it in that way.
“Yuri is the employer and I’m the hired manager. You know what I’m talking about, you stupid sailor.” (Cuffe)
‘Is that a derogatory call for sailors? I could only hear the facts are lined up.’
“Please stop, both of you.” (Yuri)
‘If you want to do it, do it outside.’
“So, what about the eleventh prototype?” (Yuri)
“…Aah, this is it.” (Cuffe)
Cuffe gave me a piece of paper.
Since the bleaching material hadn’t drained yet, it was still brownish. When I saw something like a copy paper, the color became a concern.
However, it was white enough because it used whitish material. For starters, the parchment wasn’t a pure white writing tool, so there would be no problem in circulating this product.
Instead, I was looking at the quality of the paper. The surface was smooth, and there was a little tomentum.
This was an important element because the tomentum fiber causes the brush to stick on the paper. If the brush got stuck, not only will the writing feel got worse, but it would also cause the paper to tear.
As for the minimum quality, ordinary people would use common people would use ordinary writing instruments, wrote letters on a piece of paper, and the rate of paper being torn should be less than ten percent. The only way to increase the durability was to thicken the paper, but if the paper was thickened, it went without saying that there would be various disadvantages. Plus, the quality of the paper surface was a particularly important element.
“It’s great. You did well.” (Yuri)
“I also thought it was good.” (Cuffe)
He seemed to be happy to produce a good quality product.
“This is good enough for sale. For the time being, this is going to be the first commercialization.” (Yuri)
“With this, we can sell it to stationery stores.” (Cuffe)
“Yeah, let’s do it.” (Yuri)
The plan had been decided to a certain extent after meeting with Cuffe. This would be marketed as an alternative to the parchment for the time being.
Parchment was sold mainly as a memo pad. It was irregularly shaped parchment,
It was made from animal skin, and of course, animal skin wasn’t shaped in a beautiful rectangular shape. For that reason, to sell it as a rectangular paper, the surrounding parts were cut off.
In addition to that, the parchment was stretched so that it didn’t shrink in drying process after the tanning process. However, if it was damaged during the tanning process, even if a hole as small as a needle hole, it would spread greatly when it dried. As for paper, that part would also be a defective product, and it would be removed.
In other words, the piece became an uneven created in the process of parchment production. Of course, the price was much lower than that of a beautiful square, but it was still expensive.
As for Myaro, he bought the parchment that was made in a rough square shape, and tied the hole at the edge. That was used to take notes for the Kura language that he didn’t make much progress.
Of course, it wasn’t possible to write long sentences because the parchment shape was inconsistent, which was inconvenient. Thus, I expected that if a square paper came out, it would be sold as a substitute.
Since the plant-based paper was inferior to the parchment paper in terms of quality, it wouldn’t be sold as a substitute for parchment from the beginning, but it would attack from different directions. That was why.
“How about the productivity?” (Yuri)
‘No matter how good the quality of the plant-based paper is, it takes money to process and if the raw material is unavailable, we can’t produce it.’
“We are not using raw materials that are difficult to procure. What we devised was the dehydration process. I thought that the tomentum might be there because of the rough surface of the wooden board during the compression process. So, I applied wax to a fine board that had been smoothing nicely to create water repellent effect.” (Cuffe)
“You’ve thought about it. Amazing.” (Yuri)
“Not really.” (Cuffe)
Contrary to his words, he seemed happy.
“The price shouldn’t be a bargain compared to the parchment made from the surplus parts. With this, the quality is good when compared to the parchment.
‘There is no need to sell something that is functionally superior at a bargain price.
“I also thought that too. How about seventy percent of the price of the equivalent product?” (Cuffe)
“That’s fine. If we sell one after another, we will hire people to increase our marginal productivity to the level where the marginal productivity would cause shortage in raw materials.” (Yuri)
“It’s easy to hire people, but… can you prepare more tools?” (Cuffe)
“I’ll order one more batch of tools. If you need the third one, tell me.” (Yuri)
‘I have placed a second order for Lily-san. Since I paid a lot of money for the first batch of tools, she was willingly accepting my order. The frame cost me 1500 Ruga.’
“Got it.” (Cuffe)
‘However, even if the bottleneck of the production facility can be eliminated, the bottleneck of the material procurement is quite difficult. Currently, we are collecting material from yarn shops and weavers, but we don’t know where else to get the raw materials.’
‘If each frame is for a person, we will have enough raw materials for the operation if I collect it from the whole Sibyaku, but if I increase by two or three people, the supply will not be able to catch up with the demand. Will the day come when I have to think how to use wood as the raw material?’
“You guys… have done a lot of things, huh.” (Harold)
Harold said so while looking surprised.
“Well, of course. We’re going to take the whole world with this.” (Cuffe)
‘Whole world. Did he have such feelings before he was aware of it?’
“Whole world, is it? Oi oi.” (Harold)
“I’m not bragging, you know. We’re going to take over the parchment guild.” (Cuffe)
He was so firm when saying it.
“Well, it’s not the end with paper though.” (Yuri)
“As soon as the paper is on track, we will start the next product. The first step is to take over the parchment market by mass-producing the paper. Well, I haven’t applied for a patent for the next technology yet, so I can’t say it in front of Harold-san.” (Yuri)
“Oi, what are you talking about? Are you for real?” (Cuffe)
Cuffe said so.
“Do you think it would be the end after we make this?” (Yuri)
‘That will be a problem.’
“Well, yeah.” (Cuffe)
‘What? Did he really think that?’
‘What a fool. Paper is a way of making money quickly.’
‘Once I’m done with it, I’ll move on to the next business. The money is not enough no matter how much I have.’
“If Cuffe-san wants to end up with paper shop, I’m fine with it. Right now, I’m thinking about two more project as expansive as this project. The paper project seems to be the easiest, so I just tried it first.” (Yuri)
“Oi, oi, seriously?” (Cuffe)
‘Hmm, does he intend to become a papermaker?’
“If Cuffe-san is satisfied with being the manager of the papermaking division, that’s fine.” (Yuri)
‘Then, I’ll have to find new people. Cuff is competent enough and very motivated. So, I’d like to keep him in the company as long as I can.’
“No, if you go further, I want to follow you. That is until I become talented.” (Cuffe)
There was determination in his eyes.
‘I don’t think he will go back to the time when he got drunk all the time. That is a good thing.’
- FYI, the Kingdom of Shaalta is located where Norway is.
- The North Sea is a marginal sea of The Atlantic Ocean.
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