Here is the new chapter of Otherworld Nation Founding Chronicles.
TL: Pengu (20%)
ED: Osura (80%)
|Ch4||テトラ||Tetora||female||Vice Captain||Smart, quite||10|
|Ch4||グラム||Gram||male||N/A||Timid, petite, good with bow||10|
|Ch4||ソヨン||Soyon||female||N/A||Ron’s chilehood friend||12|
|Ch 9||ユリア||Julia||female||Almis’s magic teacher (temp)||Lavander hair||unknown|
Chapter 11: Pottery
“How is it? Can you see it?”
“Yeeah, kind of. It’s blurry.”
Right now I’m doing magic training.
What I’m doing now is what can be called the fundamentals of the basics, practice to see the soul, but…apparently I’m no good at it.
“It’s not that you’re very untalented. It’s more like you’re just a bit on the ‘bad’ side for boys. Since it’s just the basics you’ll definitely be able to master it after about three years.”
“Three years, huh…How long did it take you, Julia?”
“For me, it was three days.”
“…Isn’t the difference a bit too big?”
I’m guessing Julia is just a monster. That’s relieving.
“In the first place, in magic the difference between having no talent and a lot of talent is just that wide. Ninety percent of it is about talent.”
“Then doesn’t that mean that it’s pointless to even try?”
“No, that’s not the case. If you just want techniques to resist curses, as long as you’re not some kind of super airhead anyone can learn it.”
So I guess that since I’m just on the ‘bad’ side it’s fine.
“Curses, like chickens, come home to roost. That is common sense when it comes to cursing. It is much easier to defend yourself from a curse than it is to use one. For ordinary shamans, even cursing someone who doesn’t know magic would only work about half the time. If the target realises that they have been cursed, the curse won’t succeed. You can easily reject a curse with only willpower. Although when it comes to someone of my level, it would be easy to curse you to death.”
“If I recall, I believe that it’s easy to curse plants since they don’t have any will, right?”
I think I heard something like that before.
“That’s right. That’s why you need to protect crops with barriers. For the most part, I think shamans are better at defending themselves from curses than using them. Because you need at least three shamans worth of power to break the barrier that one single shaman set up. Because I’m as powerful as a hundred people, this law doesn’t apply to me though!”
Julia said and puffed up her thin chest.
Don’t brag about every little thing.
“Since we’re not going to be getting anywhere until you are able to gain awareness of the spirit world, make sure you try hard every day. You should also meditate a little each night before going to sleep.”
“It feels like I’m going to do muscle training.”
“Because those are the basics. I also meditate everyday. Before going to sleep.”
In the end I just have to keep on putting effort in every day, huh.
So nothing changes in terms of exercise and magic in that area.
“By the way, how valuable is salt? Do you take it from the sea? or from rock salt?”
“Salt? I guess it’s fairly valuable. Mostly rock salt. If we took it from the sea, to boil the water we would need a lot of firewood.”
I see. So they’re valuables.
I want to avoid trading with iron ware. Because I want to leave some of the ironware for self-defense. In that case, should we mine the rock salt ourselves, or make some kind of special product…
“Is there anything you want?”
“What’s this about? Are you going to give me a present?”
“No, not like that. I was thinking that I could make something to trade for the salt. I was asking just for reference.”
“Ehh, asking something like that all of a sudden…Let me think. If I had to say, maybe some kind of pottery?”
Doesn’t everyone have pottery? It’s not anything special really, right?
“Occasionally someone crosses the sea, from a region called Karisha. The pottery that they bring is tough and entirely different from what we use. Also, they have a really beautiful colour. Because of that, it’s really popular among royalty.”
“I see. The pottery we use is fragile, and the colour is dirty. Thank you for the information.”
I’ll think about it as soon as I get back.
First we should think about the features of the pottery we use.
They are thick and fragile. They are also red.
This is caused by the fact that the clay contains oxidised iron. The criminal is ferric oxide.
Pottery in this area is mainly made by heating the clay in an open environment. Because of this, a large amount of oxygen is constantly being supplied, making our pottery like this.
Then what should we do?
We should just bake it in the ground.
We should make an anagama kiln. (TLC/ED: An ancient type of kiln made by digging into a slope. For more information, google is your friend.)
Since heat can’t escape from a closed space easily, it can also heat objects at a much higher temperature than baking something open-air.
At the end we block the flue and the kiln’s opening with firewood. By doing so, we can limit the amount of oxygen being carried into the kiln.
As the amount of oxygen decreases, we won’t get a buildup of ferric oxide. Instead we will get iron monoxide.
Iron monoxide is black. So we will get a piece of black-coloured pottery.
In other words, Sue ware. (TL: type of unglazed pottery made from the middle of the Kofun era through the Heian era)
Well, I’m not really familiar on the subject though.
Anyway, I can make something better than the pottery used currently. Though I don’t know whether it is superior to Karishan pottery.
Now then, an anagama kiln is necessary to bake the clay.
Since this ‘anagama kiln’ (lit. hole kiln) is, as the name suggests, a kiln in the ground…that means it’s time for some hard labour.
Do we have the time for that? Don’t we have to work on the farm?
That’s not the case.
Rather, we are super free right now.
We’ve finished harvesting the turnips and are now raising clovers. Since clovers are half weed or something, we don’t really need to trouble ourselves over them.
Although because of that they’re so tough that I can see us having a hard time trying to remove them next year.
So, we have plenty of time.
“That being the case, do you have the hoe with you? We’re going to begin making it right away.”
“Where will we make it?”
Soyon asked while holding the hoe.
“On a slope. I think that there was a slope that seemed just perfect for this over in that direction. We’ll make it over there.”
“Are we going to be digging just so that we can trade for salt?”
“We’re not doing this only to get salt. When we aren’t able to harvest wheat and the like, it would be handy to have something that we could use to trade for foodstuffs.”
We don’t have an unlimited supply of iron for tools.
On the contrary, there are trees that make firewood and clay in abundance. We don’t have to worry about exhausting those.
Also, we can use the anagama kiln to make useful things other than pottery.
We’re not going to lose anything by making it.
“Let’s do it!”
Like that, we began working on the anagama kiln.
We began by cutting down the trees on the slope.
Everyone in the main workforce is 10 years old. Because of this, the work proceeded at a very slow pace…actually, it wasn’t slow at all.
“Okay, the fifth one!!”
“…Almis, are you really a human like us? You are more powerful than a usual adult no matter what I think.”
Tetora asks, her appalled voice hardly audible over the sound of a tree falling.
That’s right, I have the divine blessing that increases my physical strength.
That bastard griffon dissed it saying its effect was questionable, but just that is more than enough to cut down a few trees.
Right now I have the strength of a muscular male in his prime.
It’s truly convenient. But while it is convenient, I would rather have the ability to read people’s minds, or have the physical strength be enough to uproot a tree with one hand.
I guess I shouldn’t be asking for too much.
Anyway, the work is advancing smoothly.
Five days have passed since we began cutting down trees, weeding, and digging into the ground.
We finally did it.
Since as an amateur I just designed it in a way that seemed right, so I can’t expect much in terms of performance.
Well, while it might not have the best performance, since I don’t have any plans to make any super amazing piece of pottery, that’s not a problem.
“Next is hand building time.”
I knead the clay and re-arrange the shape.
To tell the truth, I’m actually quite good at this kind of simple work.
In fifth grade in elementary school, I was praised for my talent in ceramics at a crafts workshop.
For my score in arts for junior high, I got a full five.
“You!! You’ve done it now!! This is payback!!”
“Quit messing around, you shit head!!”
“Hey boys! You’ll drop the clay. Ah!! It is stuck to my clothes! You!!”
“S, stop fighting…”
“…They’re all idiots.”
Do these guys plan on working seriously at all?
Ron, Roswald and Soyon, the three at the centre of the fight start a mud war.
The pacifist group, led by Tetora and Gram, gather around me and begin to take refuge. I guess because they believe the mud won’t come flying towards me.
I continue working silently.
A convenient-looking cup, and a large piece of pottery used to boil things. A plate and a jug.
Since they will be used for not only trading but also for our own personal use, we need to make a lot of them.
Shit, I’m the only one working seriously, aren’t I?
“Hey, make your own tableware yourself.”
Only the pacifists answered. It didn’t reach the ears of the guys fighting.
“It’s finally complete.”
I took out the pottery that had cooled down from being in the kiln.
It has a nice grey colour to it.
It rung a high-pitched sound when I tried flicking it. It seems like it’s fairly durable.
Looking at the cup she made herself, Tetora seems to be deeply moved.
After all, it feels good to make your own things with your own hands!!
Ron and Roswald are disappointed.
I don’t know if the pieces they made weren’t thick enough, but they‘re cracked.
“That’s because you were playing around.”
Soyon said as she crossed her arms.
From what I saw, all you did was play as well…
“Well, there will still be plenty of chances. Let’s make good pieces from now on. We have all the time we need.”
I say, and Ron and Roswald’s eyes brightened.
Like that, while cultivating the clovers we continue to mass produce pieces of pottery.
“Here, a present.”
“Eh! For me? Thank you!!”
Julia delightfully hugs the piece of pottery. Is she really that happy over it?
“This looks very durable. How did you make it?”
Julia asks as she checks by flicking it with her finger.
“That’s a trade secret. By the way, do you think I can trade this for salt?”
“I think that it’s good enough.”
Is that so. That’s relieving to hear.
“Where should I exchange it for salt? Since they’re valuables, I would need to negotiate with some influential person to get it, wouldn’t I?”
“Iet me think…then how about I bring it for you?”
“For three of these pieces, I will give you one piece’s volume of salt.”
“Is that fine? If you’ll give me it then that would really help.”
If it’s just some village elder then it’d be fine, but I would rather not have to negotiate with some country’s nobles or kings. I’m still a child. In the worst case scenario, we might get robbed.
As I’m only borrowing the Griffon’s authority, it’s not going to help me with being physically attacked.
So if Julia will bring it here for me, then there’s nothing better than that.
“Absolutely. In terms of value I think I’ll get one piece profit for this, but is that fine for you?”
“…I guess so. I don’t mind. Then, I’ll be counting on you from now on.”
Like that, the pottery-salt trade pact was closed.