Volume 2 Chapter 28 part1

“Yup. Nothing beats the outside, alright.” [Hyuzu]

After completing our task in the mine without any incident, we went back outside.

Hyuzu-san was quite pleased to be out of the dark and dreary tunnel.

“We dont have time to enjoy ourselves, Hyuzu. We have to go back and write a report.” [Zeff]

“I know, but itll be afternoon by the time we finish, so just a little bit more and sweet rest will come.” [Hyuzu]

We were called too.

After that we all headed for an area near the entrance of the mine.

Its a wide area that used to be the dropoff for mining tools and other luggages. Because of that it was clean unlike the other areas that were littered with stones.

Currently, were just using it as a rendezvous point as well as a parking area for our carriage, but in its heyday, it even had a rest area for the employees.

“Oh.” [Ryouma]

As I walked through the tall weeds that reached up my waist, from time to time, a cold gust would blow. Its because a part of the road had become a cliff. Without anything to block it, the wind was free to blow a chill gust. Its great since the suns rays are really hot.

Turning toward the direction the wind blew, I could see the road we used to get here, and consequently, the whole town of Gimuru.

Under the perfectly clear blue skies that was without a single cloud, the lone stretch of road that extended out from the vast blankets of green painted a tranquil and relaxing sight.

“Young master, be careful. Theres a cliff that way.” [Zeff]

“Thanks for the warning.” [Ryouma]

I decided to heed Zeff-sans warning.

He had a point. The weeds were tall and it was hard to see my feet, so it wasnt far-fetched to say that I might lose my footing.

When I looked down I saw a great amount of earth and sand gathered under the cliff. Thats probably a slag heap. This is my first time seeing one.

It wasnt exactly pretty, but seeing a mountain of red soil covered in weed strangely reminded of natures vitality. But still…

“It sure is a waste…” [Ryouma]

They said this mine doesnt produce any iron anymore, but isnt there actually a lot?

The red on that soil is the color of iron oxide… in other words, rust. If they used alchemy, they could probably continue to produce iron, but alchemists are ill-reputed around here, so they probably cant.

We walked toward the wide-open area as I thought that. When we got to the place, for some reason, Reinhart-san and the madam seemed to be waiting by the entrance.

“Welcome home~” [Elize]

“How was it?” [Reinhart]

“Mother, father, I defeated lots of cave mantises!” [Elialia]

“Hmm, seems you did well.” [Reinhart]

“Ryouma-san started helping me along the way to keep the mantises away, so I was able to cast my spells unhindered. Ryouma defeated even more mantises than me too!” [Elialia]

“So Ryouma-kun protected you, huh. Thank you, Ryouma-kun.” [Reinhart]

“Still… Were there that many cave mantises?” [Elize]

“Apparently, the tunnel we entered was a nest of cave mantises. There were nothing but cave mantises inside.” [Jill]

“I see, then how about going into another tunnel this afternoon, but this time with us? I want to see how you and Ryouma-kun fight too.” [Reinhart]

“Really? Ill do my best!” [Elialia]

“Oh my, arent we excited? But before that lets have our lunch first. The others will be returning shortly, so until then lets talk.” [Elize]

Like that we ate and talked about the details of my adventures with Elialia in the tunnel of cave mantises. After that it was decided that we would be going into another tunnel after lunch.

“By the way, Ryouma-san. What was on your mind a while ago?” [Elialia]

“A while ago?” [Ryouma]

We ate with the 4 members of the dukes household, and for most of the time we were talking about either our reflection on the events this morning or Elias way of fighting. When that topic was exhausted, however, the ojousama – Elialia – asked me something. Unfortunately, I had no idea what she was talking about.

“Didnt you say,what a waste, when you saw the landscape around here?” [Elialia]

Ah, so thats what she was referring to. Unfortunately, while I understand what shes talking about now, the topic is a bit problematic for me.

“I-It wasnt anything important.” [Ryouma]

I suck at lying. Really. Im sure even a slime could tell from that last sentence that Im just trying to pull the wool over her.

“Suspicious… Very suspicious.” [Elialia]

“You sure are a poor liar.” [Reinbach]

“Is it something you cant say?” [Reinhart]

“If you want to say something, you should just say it.” [Elize]

Well, I guess if its these people, it should be fine.

“Do you remember what I told you about along the way to Gimuru? About the salt?” [Ryouma]

“Ahh, I see, so thats what. Dont worry. Theres no one here except for us, Sebasu, Arone, and Lilian. Arone and Lilian are good at keeping secrets, so you dont have to worry about word getting out.” [Reinhart]

“Right. Anyway, you know I can use alchemy, right?” [Ryouma]

“Ive heard of it.” [Reinhart]

Although it was Reinhart-san who replied, I was focused on Arone-san and Lilian-san.

They looked surprised when they heard the wordalchemy, but they didnt show any unpleasant feelings.

Heaving a sigh of relief, I continued.

“R-Right. And this mine is going to be abandoned, yes?” [Ryouma]

“Thats right. Were done with the papers too.” [Reinbach]

“What about it?” [Reinhart]

“It might still be possible to acquire iron from this mine… That is with the use of alchemy, anyway.” [Ryouma]

When I said that everyone else except me stiffened.

“Is that true?” [Reinhart]

“Yes. Do you remember what I told you about detoxifying the salt from Gana Forest?” [Ryouma]

“I do.” [Reinhart]

“Its the same thing. All I need to do is to take the iron from the soil. I believe that red in the soil is actually the color of iron. Umm… when you put water on a sword and leave it like that, itll rust, right?” [Ryouma]

“Naturally.” [Reinhart]

“In the same way the iron of a sword can rust, so can the iron inside the soil. Thats why its colored red. So long as I use alchemy and extract only the iron from the soil, it should be possible to produce iron. That being said, it would probably be an issue if an abandoned mine suddenly started producing large amounts of iron, so thats why I think its a waste.” [Ryouma]

“Thats true, but… Ryouma-kun, if you think you can do it, why not try? Im interested in whether it would work or not, and I also have a way to sell them without causing trouble.” [Reinhart]

“Alright.” [Ryouma]

I nodded and decided to give it a shot.

Volume 2 Chapter 28 part2

If using alchemy wont pose a problem, then theres no reason to hide it. Gayn did say that he just randomly put something together to create alchemy and fulfill the request of an otherworlder, so its actually pretty easy to use. All you really need is an elementary understanding of the chemical elements and science, and youll be good to go. Unfortunately, its also because of that that alchemy hasnt taken off in this world.

Frankly, if its just extracting iron, then…

What is iron oxide? Thats rusted iron, of course.

What about oxidation? Thats the process when oxygen combines with an element. And in the case of iron oxide, thats obviously the combination of iron and oxygen.

What is oxygen? Thats the air Im breathing right now.

What occurs during alchemy? Oxygen is forcefully removed through the utilization of mana, leaving behind only iron.

If I teach them this much, then Im sure even Reinhart-san and the ojousama will be able to do it.

If thats not enough, then I can teach them about the basic properties of oxygen too. Im sure even that much wont take more than an hour to teach.

Although, to be honest, I dont really feel like teaching them that much unless they ask.

If they want to learn it or use it for the sake of reviving a dead enterprise, then by all means, go ahead.

Gayn and the others may have made alchemy because of an otherworlders demands, but in the end, its still something that belongs to this world.

After lunch.

“Ryouma-kun, will this do?” [Reinhart]

“Yes, thank you very much.” [Ryouma]

I drew the basic magic formation required by alchemy – a simple square inside a circle – on the ground, then I took a stone bowl full of red soil and placed it on the formation.

“Lets begin. Its dangerous, so please make sure not to enter the formation.” [Ryouma]

After warning them, I let my mana course into the formation, and then a bright light dazzled from the formation as a thin film of light was created.

None of the spectators uttered a word during this moment. They all watched with rapt attention.

Cant blame them, I had the same reaction on my first time. Nowadays, it feels no different from turning on a computer, though. Then again theyll probably make an even bigger fuss if they could see a computer turn on. Man, I sure miss computers.

Oops, lost myself in my thoughts there for a moment again. Lets continue…

Alchemy has different magic formations for different jobs. This formation is meant for separating. With it Ill be able to take the oxidized iron alone, and the rest of the soil will naturally float out of the formation.

When the light faded, only red-colored grains were left in the bowl. All the soil have already left through the thin layer of light.

When I used the neutral magic, Identify, on the red grains, I was able to confirm that they were indeed oxidized iron.

I need to do the separation process one more time, but this time, Ill be removing the oxygen from the iron. After going through the same process as before, all that was left was a sparkling and silvery sand.

Leaving it like that would make it too easy for the wind to blow, so I decided to draw another magic formation beside the separation formation. This time, what I drew was a pentagram and a circle, the alchemical formation meant for combining things.

One needs the ability to visualize, as well as have knowledge of the substance before and after combination to use this formation, but with it, one can combine things. Im going to use it to turn this sand of iron into one lump… There.

I used Identify once more to confirm that I have indeed succeeded in making a lump of iron. It has a purity of 100%, so theres no mistaking it.

…Of course, the reason I dont have much of a reaction is because Im already used to alchemy. When I first used alchemy, I became really excited and thought about a lot of things. The fact that Im able to act unaffected like this really speaks volumes about how familiar Ive gotten to alchemy.

“Reinhart-san, its a success. Please take a look.” [Ryouma]

While Reinhart-san stared at my lump of iron in my hands, I handed it to him.

When I did, he rubbed my lump, slapped it, turn it over and held it up to the light, and then used Identify on it.

“Yep, its iron, alright… You actually did it

………Sorry, Ryouma-kun.” [Reinhart]

“Huh!? Why are you suddenly apologizing!? Please raise your head!” [Ryouma]

His sudden apology left me bewildered. Did something happen in the short time I was performing alchemy?

Reinhart-san raised up his head, but he still continued to apologize.

“Umm, you see, alchemists claiming they can make gold is so common its basically a stereotype, so when you said you could make iron – of course, I didnt think you were trying to swindle us – I didnt really believe it. I doubted you and your claims, for that I apologize.” [Reinhart]

Ahh, so thats what he meant.

“The fact I asked you to show me your alchemy despite my doubts is…” [Reinhart]

“Its fine, really. I mean it cant be helped if its such a tall tale. Besides, its not like I was hurt or anything.” [Ryouma]

“Thank you. Still, real alchemy sure is impressive. I cant believe you were actually able to produce iron from that soil.” [Reinhart]

“And its so pretty too. Its like silver.” [Elialia]

“Indeed. Do all things made from alchemy turn out like this?” [Elize]

“Unfortunately, because of that we cant sell it. Its real iron, yes, and Ryouma-samas alchemy is indeed amazing, but…” [Sebasu]

Because of alchemy, or rather, because the purity was too high, the lump of iron couldnt be sold. It was made by magically gathering all of the iron content from the soil into one lump, so of course, the purity is high.

Because of that, not only is it soft, its also flexible, has a sheen glow to it, and rusts harder than normal iron. Or at least, thats what I remember from that one news segment back in my previous life that talked about pure iron. Although, even that didnt discuss 100% pure iron.

Well, this one was made with magic, so using my previous lifes standards doesnt really fit.

Anyway, putting that aside… Since I know what the issue is, I can solve it. If the purity is too high, then Ill just lower it.

I drew a six-sided star with a circle around it on the ground, and placed the soil from before on top of it.

This six-sided star magic formation is meant for mixing. It can equally mix together various substances of different nature. It doesnt have a lot of uses compared to the other formations, but it can be used to lower the purity of my iron lump.

Gradually, the color of the iron grew less and less lustrous, until eventually, it turned into a blackish hue, no different from your run-of-the-mill iron.

That being said, it was still different from iron produced through more normal means.

Although it looks just like iron, the impurities mixed into it is different from common iron, which has plenty of carbon at the cost of its viscosity, leading it to become more brittle.

Anyway, the point is that I dont know whether this could actually be used or not.

When I told Reinhart-san that, he laughed.

“Then Ill get a merchant I can trust to investigate it. If you want, I can introduce you too.” [Reinhart]

“Really? Then please.” [Ryouma]

“Of course, of course… Now, who to go with… Should I pick that guy? Or maybe the blacksmith would be better?” [Reinhart]

Im curious about the quality of my iron, so I asked to be introduced, but…

After that Reinhart-san became a bit too overzealous in picking out who to bring my lump of iron to that he even skipped out on our monster hunt in the afternoon. And now, the ojousama has her cheeks all puffed up… What to do?

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