“It looks like Philine was accepted without any issues, and the demon is obedient as well. It finally feels like I can go back to my normal life.” (Wendelin)
“Dear, how about another serving of tea?” (Elise)
“Thank you, Elise. Can you please pour me some?” (Wendelin)
“Yes, here you go.” (Elise)
On an early afternoon of a certain, sunny day we spent our time leisurely inside the mansion.
I put a cookie inside my mouth after taking a sip of the tea poured by Elise.
The cookies were handmade by Elise, Ina and the others working together.
“I wonder what Erw and Haruka are doing?” (Wendelin)
I casually asked since I couldn’t see them anywhere close-by.
“Since today’s a day off, he’s going to guide her around Baulburg, he said.” (Ina)
“A date, in other words?” (Wendelin)
Both of them are officially betrothed to each other and it’s just a matter of time until they marry.
But since Haruka is from Mizuho, the various preparatory meetings and arrangements take time.
Meaning, they are enjoying some time as lovers before that.
“Since Baulburg suddenly grew big in the last year, I think it’s fun to make various discoveries.”
It’s because I prepared the soil for a big expansion, but thanks to Roderich’s tenacity and Erich-nii-san’s help, Baulburg expanded to twice its previous size during our absence.
Stores and sightseeing spots, we don’t know well either, have been established. It seems Erw and Haruka went out to see those.
“Huuumph, to go on a date with your girlfriend on your day off…” (Wendelin)
I guess it’s a habit from my previous life.
I get angry the moment I hear stories about riajuu.
Figuratively speaking, it’s like having the bad luck of being asked 『I wonder where I should go tomorrow for my date with my girlfriend?』 by a coworker just when tomorrow’s finally a day off.
However, right now I’m Earl Baumeister. And thus there’s no way for me to vent a worthless feeling of jealousy.
“Wend-sama, I want to explore the city on the next day off.” (Wilma)
“That’s a great idea.”
With that the feeling of jealousy that gnawed at my heart was immediately dispelled.
Right, after all I have five wives right now.
Moreover, I’m the one invited to dates by women.
Once I recall that this would have been impossible in my previous life, I became slightly sad again.
“Wendelin-san, if it’s the new urban area, Roderich-san talked about the need of inspecting it soon.” (Katharina)
“A date and an inspection are two different pair of shoes.” (Wilma)
“Indeed. After all it won’t be possible to go shopping even if there are interesting stores.”
It’s just as Wilma says. Since it’s work, you have to carry out the inspection properly, and that alone won’t be any fun, right?
“Katharina, will you be satisfied with it just being an inspection?”
“Satisfied or not, that’s not the issue here.” (Katharina)
“Katharina is diligent after all. Wend, I will go with you as well. It looks like it will be plenty with Katharina doing the inspection.” (Luise)
“T-That’s not true!” (Katharina)
Since Katharina lacks the ability to easily adapt as she’s a bit too serious, I’d like you to not tease her too much.
“Then next time it will be a date with everyone in the new urban area, okay? Katharina, you will join as well, won’t you?” (Wendelin)
“Yes, well…I will go with you, too.” (Katharina)
At such times Wilma or Luise, who are able to honestly say that they want to go on a date with me, are less work.
“Milord, there’s a matter I’d like to discuss with you…” (Roderich)
At that point Roderich entered the room, carrying a bundle of documents.
It looks like he wants to consult about work.
“Public works again?” (Wendelin)
“That will follow step by step.” (Roderich)
Not 『It’s enough already』, but step by step, huh? It looks like my daily public works with magic will begin again after resting up from the civil war for a bit longer.
When I accidentally look sideways, I see Katharina revealing an expression, asking 『Again…?』.
As she’s a type similar to me, she has skillfully mastered various kinds of spells. Having improved her skills during the civil war, the shrewd Roderich set his aim on her.
Since there’s few nobles, who can use a magician and moreover several of those for the development of their territory, there’s no way for him overlook her.
“I’d like to hear about your view in advance, Milord. If you have some kind of idea, I would be glad, but…” (Roderich)
“Roderich-san, would you like to have some tea?” (Elise)
“That’s very appreciated.” (Roderich)
Roderich sat down and accepted the tea poured by Elise.
“Staring up an industry within the territory, eh…?” (Wendelin)
The matter of consultation by Roderich was about what kind of industry to begin within the Baumeister Earldom.
“It’s not enough with the loot from the Demon Forest?”
“Luise-sama, I won’t say that it’s not enough, but looking at just relying on those as future prospect is…” (Roderich)
The development of the Baumeister Earldom is making progress, but if one were to speak of its industry, it’s focused on agriculture, fishing, and hunting as well as gathering in the Demon Forest.
Because of the development rush, there’s a mountain of public and construction works. There’s also the business catered towards the gathered people.
But, we have to assign new work to the manpower, once the first stage of the development has been completed.
If we can’t do that, the people will lose their work and lead a life in slums. The public order within the territory will naturally deteriorate, too.
In order to guarantee employment and allow the money to circulate within the territory, a new industry is necessary.
I discussed that idea with everyone.
“I see. So what are you going to do?”
“Well I wonder?” (Wendelin)
“It would have been cool if you could cleanly say “Let’s do it like this,” Wend!”
Sorry, but suddenly creating the territory’s industry is impossible.
“Luise-sama, there’s no problem since Milord has said that he understands why it’s necessary to create an industry.” (Roderich)
“Having said that, do you have any idea, Luise?”
“Eeeeeh? I’m your wife, Wend, so I have nooooo clue.” (Luise)
“What a dimwitted way of talking.” (Ina)
“Ina-chan! That’s cruel!” (Luise)
Well, I think Ina is right there.
An industry that will provide safe employment to the fief’s population, huh? People become rational only when their necessities of life are guaranteed.
If I can’t provide everything, I will be lacking as feudal lord. Well, it’s inevitable for there to be differences in the things provided to them though.
The food will increase by increasing the farmland at a quick pace. Even the amount of the goods gathered and hunted by adventurers is in the middle of growing. If we simply keep relying on the imports from other fiefs while unable to use anything but magic airships for transportation, we will run into troubles once the population grows in the future.
As it’s the same with other goods as well, producing the goods, which we can produce ourselves, within the territory will provide jobs to the residents.
We have to stimulate the economy by spreading money around.
“Among the necessities of life, we are putting great efforts into taking steps for securing food and housing. I suppose the problematic areas are clothes and living ware.”
“I see. In the long run there will surely be issues with the transportation expenses.”
A long time ago the Margrave Breithilde household sold salt to the Knight Baumeister territory through a merchant group.
That salt was slightly expensive, but if you consider the transportation expenses, the Margrave Breithilde household made a loss. Them dispatching the merchant group despite all that was because of their sense of duty as patron and as high-ranking nobility.
However, there’s no one that will make such considerations for a huge territory at the scale of the Baumeister Earldom.
There would be the option of transporting a large amount all at once using the same ship for it, but cheap clothes and living ware wouldn’t become quite expensive.
Even so, given that the kingdom and the Margrave Breithilde household mediated to not raise the prices too much as well as thanks to Roderich’s skillful negotiations, we have managed to avoid a situation where prices are several times higher than in other fiefs.
“If you consider the distance, it would be best to produce cheap goods that will be used by the residents within the territory.”
“We could call people from elsewhere and have them build workshops for clothes. Clothes will be fine if we use cotton, hemp and monster materials such as the thread of the Big Southern Spider.”
“I guess expensive clothes with high quality are impossible.”
“Tailors, who can produce clothes that can be exported to anywhere, are naturally sheltered by their feudal lords.”
I suppose that makes sense.
After all they are valuable, talented people that earn income through export.
If it’s a tailor, who sews clothes that can be made in huge amounts at competitive prices, they will try to go for it in the Baumeister Earldom where demand is expected to increase in the future.
Roderich is apparently gathering such talented people.
“Raising the production output of clothes depends on our ability to secure the raw materials within the territory. Also…”
Roderich’s eyes shift towards the teapot, which Elise uses to pour tea, the cups, the saucer and the plate with the cookies.
“Just as you have guessed, Elise-sama.” (Roderich)
Given that humans eat everyday, tableware is necessary.
“I guess it means that cheap tableware that can usually be used by the fief’s population is lacking as well?”
“That’s right. I hear that tableware is difficult to transport as it’s heavy.”
The prices of clothes can be kept low by transporting a huge amount via magic airships, but soft-paste and hard-paste porcelain is heavy. Since they are breakable, it’s also easy for them to be damaged during transport. These aspects lifts the expenses.
Having said that, tableware made out of metal is heavier and more expensive.
“Recently tableware made out of wood is in fashion within the territory.” (Roderich)
“It’s an effective way to recycle unused branches and scraps of the wood used in construction and development.” (Elise)
I see, they have solved it ingeniously with a material they can obtain locally.
For having noticed that, Elise is amazing as well.
“In other words, it’s possible to make hard-paste and soft-paste porcelain in the fief.”
As long as there’s clay, the necessary raw material, it’s possible to make hard-paste and soft-paste porcelain.
Just like I made jars with magic in the past.
“By the way, is it possible to make expensive porcelain that can be exported?” (Wendelin)
“In a few decades maybe?” (Roderich)
If it was that easy to make, nobles, who own production areas that can create high-class items, wouldn’t guard the artisans with eagle eyes, would they?
“The quality of the required clay is lacking. It should be possible to find clay with better quality, if we search the territory, but right now I’m having the gathered craftsmen focus on quantity over quality. In reality, they aren’t unskilled either though.” (Roderich)
According to Roderich, the production of porcelain is easy and thus various nobles have turned that into their special product. It looks like the competition is intense.
It’s fine as long as you can make goods with your brand that sell for a lot or if you become the purveyor of the royal family or a high-ranking noble, but at the moment there are many production areas for earthenware that are fairly unknown.
Since the number of earthenware that can be sold doesn’t increase in such production areas, there are craftsmen left over.
Given that the eldest son inherits in most cases in this world, there are many cases where the second or third sons learned the trade while helping out at home and became surplus then.
Such people have come to the Baumeister Earldom, but there seems to be a fixed number of people among them who are fairly skilled.
“How about having those people make high-class porcelain?” (Katharina)
“Katharina-sama, it’s not that easy to make goods that have a high popularity.” (Roderich)
If you could make porcelain that can immediately be sold at a high price by leaving it to craftsmen who are slightly skilled, there would be no hardships for anyone.
“Besides, such products have already appeared on the market.”
Roderich pointed at the porcelain made by Mizuho I had received from High Earl Mizuho…no, I guess now he’s a Duke. They resemble Imari porcelain quite closely.
“The civil war came to an end and thus trade with the Empire has resumed. Even Mizuho has to compensate for the huge war expenses and the maintenance of its new territory. The Mizuho porcelain is popular because of its novel design.”
Following that, I compare the pot with the tea made by Elise and the Empire’s porcelain from a famous pottery which I had received as part of the reward from Peter.
Elise’s favorite pot is an item she brought with her as dowry.
It’s a famous product of a purveyor who serves many of the Kingdom’s noble families, not only the Viscount Hohenheim household.
“What do you think, everybody?”
“Well, I don’t think that the Empire’s porcelain will sell that much in the Kingdom. Don’t you think so as well, Wend?” (Ina)
“I do.” (Wendelin)
I agreed with Ina’s opinion.
There’s not much difference in the quality of the porcelain between the Empire and the Kingdom. Bringing it expressly to the Kingdom will only make the transportation expenses high, meaning it will be difficult to sell it.
The quality is the same, but even the designs and paintings resemble each other quite a lot. In Earthen terms, it’s close to the design that can be seen on Western white porcelain bowls.
It’s quite thick and its color feels more grey than white, but that’s probably owed to the quality of the clay.
“Wend-sama, it’s just a bit, but the Mizuho porcelain is whiter.” (Wilma)
“Now that you mention it, that’s true.”
As Wilma says, the Mizuho porcelain is somewhat whiter than the others.
“Rather than the difference in quality, it looks like it’s selling because of its unusual design, dear.” (Elise)
Given that Mizuho has a culture resembling Japan, the porcelain adhered to it, too.
A small teapot that’s not a pot, teacups that are not cups, or things that were pretty similar.
“But, it’s difficult to use this.” (Elise)
“It doesn’t suit me, or rather, it’s odd. Aren’t there many items that are similar to those used at the tea party held by Duke Mizuho during the civil war?”
It’s better to use a Western-styled tea set at times when we are enjoying mate tea and cookies like now.
Made by Mizuho is a brand for rich collectors since it’s rare and the number of available items is low, but it’s not fit for being used normally.
“Elise, wouldn’t it be better if this tea pot and cups were whiter?” (Wendelin)
“No matter what workshop, all of them are researching on a daily basis how to achieve that. Though it seems to be quite difficult.” (Elise)
I guess it’s because the technology is still in the middle of development. Porcelain that you can buy at a reasonable price in Japan is white and of good quality.
“Understood, I will try coming up with a little something.”
“Ooh! As expected of you, Milord!” (Roderich)
“Thinking is no guarantee for success.” (Wendelin)
I was struck by a little idea. If I use this method, the quality of the porcelain might improve.
Let’s run some tests with magic at once.
Having said that, there’s no way for me to own the techniques to produce refined porcelain.
The jars I made with magic in the past were crude earthenware containers.
Thus I decide to use a technique that was invented in Great Britain during the 18th century.
It’s a porcelain called 『Bone China』, produced by mixing bone ash of cattle into potter’s clay as substitute for white clay since that was difficult to procure.
Since there are several places in the territory where you can pick up clay, it’s been traditionally in use. It should be possible to make beautiful, opal porcelain, if you shape, bake and create clay that had bone ash mixed into it.
There’s no guarantee that it will succeed by default, but there should be no loss in trying.
“Time for experiments.”
Bones, which are the raw material of bone ash, are available in large quantities when a monster, which had been hunted, is dismantled. Bones were used as material for magic tools and magic potions as well as substance to improve the soil in agriculture, but there were also many excessive parts that are discarded as trash.
“(If I remember correctly, bone china should be porcelain containing more than 30% calcium phosphate. Since there are no cow bones, I have to substitute it with monster bone ash.)”
While adjusting the mixture rate with magic, just as I did at the time with the 『Extreme Limit Steel』, I produce plenty of clay with bone ash mixed in and change it into boards. Then I manufacture it into porcelain by reproducing a firing reaction with magic.
Since I don’t have any techniques for molding it, the shapes were distorted, but I succeeded in creating white porcelain that’s whiter than Mizuho porcelain which used to be the whitest.
“(I guess this is the best one. I will remember the detailed mixing ratio.)”
Next I create a great amount of clay with that mixing ratio and decided to give it to craftsmen to have them make tea cups, saucers, tea pots, plates and vases.
“Which reminds me, where is porcelain being produced?”
“There are several places within the territory, but today I will guide you to a pottery that’s located in the outskirts of Baulburg.”
Once we arrived at the pottery, many craftsmen were in the middle of work.
“Oh, a magic furnace. I expected a normal furnace.”
A magic furnace uses mana as fuel instead of firewood.
Since it’s easier to adjust the required temperature and maintain it, it’s easier to produce earthenware with good quality.
As it’s a magic tool, it’s very expensive. Using an ordinary furnace was common practice for small potteries.
If you ask why I know something like that, it’s because I heard that Mizuho uses magic furnaces except for a few special earthenware products.
“Isn’t that expensive? A magic furnace, that is.”
“That’s the norm.” (Roderich)
If you were to consider obtaining a magic furnace as prior investment in the high-class porcelain world with its intense competition, you would probably buy it off a noble who ended up deep in the red due to its maintenance costs.
A magic furnace can’t be used without mana or magic stones.
For small potteries, which can’t employ a magician, that will become a big burden. Therefore it’s easier for them to use the wood growing in the vicinity as fuel.
“Oh my, Roderich-sama and…Earl Baumeister-sama!? Welcome! Please come in!”
A middle-aged man, who seems to be the one in charge of this pottery, greeted us half in astonishment.
“How it’s going with the earthenware?”
“Right now we are making large amounts of cheap earthenware that can be readily used by the fief’s residents.”
Ten-odd craftsmen were immersed in their work, but once I look at the produced earthenware, it doesn’t look all that bad.
Though it’s a layman’s judgment at best.
“They don’t seem all that different…”
I took out the famous porcelain of the Empire from my magic bag and compare it. The clay’s quality is inferior, but I feel like the molding technique is equal.
“Wow, the Empire’s Rubel Pottery’s products, huh?”
“I received them as reward. I don’t really know anything about them though.” (Wendelin)
In my case it’s a safe bet that I wouldn’t realize anything even if I were given porcelain and told that they originate from a pottery in the Kingdom.
“Well, it’s my work after all. I worked in the Sohnfahrt Pottery located in the suburb of the royal capital.”
If I remember correctly, the favorite tea set of Elise should have been made there.
I suppose they are a purveyor of high-ranking nobles.
“Roderich, isn’t he actually a really amazing craftsman?”
“No, I’m not at that point yet. Giving it a fair assessment, I’m halfway to being first-rate.”
Once I listen to him a bit more, I hear that this supervisor was born into one of the families managing the Sohnfahrt Pottery.
“Craftsmen are similar to nobles in some points. If you speak of nobility’s purveyors, they have a good reputation, but since it’s high-class items, it’s not like they can sell large amounts. The number of people, who can succeed as craftsmen, is limited. Even I continued training since my childhood, but my elder brothers were given priority, with the result that I would have wasted away if I hadn’t left the house. There are also similar circumstances in other potteries… Waiting to be invited by a noble, who wants special porcelain, is the best option.”
The competition in the porcelain world seems to be terrible.
Apparently the left-over children of craftsmen are sent out into the world.
“Talks that business with Mizuho porcelain will increase from now on are circulating within the industry. You can’t win against the unusual Mizuho porcelain with the porcelain of an amateur after all.”
In the end all that’s left is to mass produce cheap earthenware catered towards commoners with the resolve to accept small profits.
“In the case of the Baumeister Earldom, imported porcelain will likely lose its standing soon since we can sell it cheaper as we have no transport costs.”
Only a few high-quality porcelain items will remain as imported goods?
“In the future only making goods that are so overwhelmingly excellent in quality that even an amateur can see it, or making goods that are different from the other porcelain will be left as viable option.”
“I thought so, too, and thus I prepared this.” (Wendelin)
I took out the material, which was a mixture of monster bone ash and clay, from my magic bag.
“If you use this, it should be possible to create porcelain that has a far stronger white lustre than the existing ones.” (Wendelin)
“Certainly, this will allow us to make porcelain that’s white in comparison to before. Even the designs and pictures on the porcelain should become more conspicuous.”
Looking at the white clay held out by me, all the craftsmen apparently got motivated.
Telling them to show us the finished product once they’re done, we left the clay behind and returned to the mansion.
And then, a week later, a message informing about the completion of a prototype arrived. Thus Roderich and I headed to the pottery once again.
“Please look, Earl Baumeister-sama! We completed such a white porcelain!”
The porcelain, which has a feeling of transparency with its milky white color, has been completed safely. The pottery’s supervisor seemed to be very happy.
“Ooh! What degree of whiteness!” (Roderich)
“If it’s this, it will sell for a lot!”
It’s a piece of work that feels more translucent and has a better opal color than the traditional porcelain made in the Empire and the Kingdom, as well as the Mizuho porcelain.
The 『Fake Bone China』 was completed without a hitch.
There are still parts to be improved, but I can leave those parts to the craftsmen who are professionals in this area.
The most wonderful part about this is probably that it can be exported at this quality.
After all we had nothing to export except for goods such as the monster material obtained in the Demon Forest, mushrooms and medical plants used as ingredients for magic potions, unusual fruits and most recently sugar.
“We will focus our workforce on this and also strive to create a much better porcelain.”
“I see, please do you best.” (Wendelin)
This was the birth of porcelain that used monster bone ash in a world different from Earth.
It’s strange that no one attempted this until now, but since it will yield a profit for us, it’s a great and fortunate opportunity.
The craftsmen, who received a supply of clay, produced various porcelain goods. The items, which were judged to be for sale among them, were exported to the capital.
“Huh? Did you change the teapot, Elise?” (Erwin)
During tea time Erw noticed that the teapot, which Elise was using to pour tea, had changed.
“I’m a member of the Earl Baumeister family, so I will use this one that I was given as present, starting from today.” (Elise)
Now that she mentions it, I remember that the pottery’s supervisor gave us this one as gift, saying that it’s an excellent piece of work.
“It’s the porcelain made with the clay that had been magically combined by Wend, isn’t it? It sure is whiter than the previous teapot.” (Erwin)
“True. This seems to use clay that’s of a higher quality than the one made in Mizuho. Even its shape looks refined as it’s not too thick. The picture drawn on the pot with its shining white looks pretty.” (Haruka)
Haruka knew a lot more about porcelain than Erw and I.
Everyone agreed that it was a very precise evaluation.
“You’re really well-informed.”
“Because there were a lot of people, who know plenty about porcelain and handicraft, in the Battou Unit, I learned it naturally after being taught by them…” (Haruka)
Apparently there are many among them with artistic education, who are not mere sword idiots.
“Then it’s the same for Takeomi-san as well?”
“Nii-sama is well-informed about swords, but as for other things…” (Haruka)
I see, I suppose that means he’s a thorough katana idiot.
“Mixing the ash of monster bones into clay? You did well to come up with such an idea, Wend.”
Though I didn’t come up with it, but actually knew about it.
Even so, it was difficult to fine tune the components with magic many times over until clay that could be used in top-quality porcelain was completed.
Simply mixing bone ash and dug-out clay will result in a dull white.
Since there’s also a difference in whiteness of the fired pottery depending on the type of monster, whose bones are used, I have to get the craftsmen to research this.
“If the cups are beautiful, the tea tastes a lot better as well.”
Elise poured mate tea into the teacups and distributed them to everybody.
“If you drink tea from such a cup, it gives you a feeling of extravagance.”
“It’s weird compared to the tableware back at home, but since a dojo has many disciple, it’s wrong to not prepare quite a number.”
Ina and Luise also enjoy the tea in the new cups.
“But, it would be nice if it had a higher capacity.”
“Wilma-san, that’s not the idea behind this cup… This whiteness and the refined design; quite suitable for a noble.” (Katharina)
I suppose for Wilma the cup’s practical use matters more than its design.
However, Katharina was completely satisfied as she could bask herself in a feeling of nobility.
“Dear, this porcelain has a mysterious luster. It’s good that it looks refined, allowing the white to stand out all the more, since it’s not emphasized too much.” (Elise)
“Ooh! What a spot-on evaluation!” (Erwin)
Erw is surprised, but Elise is a genuine noble lady after all. As she has been living while surrounded by such items since her birth, she has naturally acquired an aesthetic sense in that direction.
“Now that you’re saying it, you’re correct.” (Katharina)
“Katharina, you only noticed it because Elise mentioned it just now, didn’t you?” (Wendelin)
“Wendelin-san, that’s most certainly not the case.” (Katharina)
“Isn’t that obvious?” (Katharina)
Given that it really smelled strongly like a lie, the eyes of everyone besides Elise focused on Katharina.
Elise is an exception as she hasn’t the character to doubt people.
“Even I didn’t realize it until I was told.” (Wendelin)
“Be attentive of that part! After all you were the one to supply the materials.”
Even if I’m told that, I don’t possess anything like an artistic education.
“Erw, you know…do you think that I acquired an artistic sense at birth or something like that? I leave such things to Elise.” (Wendelin)
Even taking my previous life into account, it’s impossible for me to possess an artistic talent or an aesthetic sense.
“It’s no problem since you have plenty of good parts and other areas where you excel, dear. Compensating for each other’s missing parts is what being a married couple is about.” (Elise)
As expected of my wife. Elise really says the good stuff when it matters.
“I tried to probe it with magic for a bit just now, but since there’s still a faint residue of mana remaining from the monster bones, this seems to be the reason that affects the luster of the porcelain.”
“To know this much and yet not having realized it…”
“I know as much that it’s white and beautiful, but you won’t know the cause unless you investigate it with magic! Did you yourself notice it, Erw!?” (Wendelin)
“No, my birthplace has a longstanding lineage of being rural nobility after all. Do you think that there are goods from purveyors, who work for high-ranking nobles in the capital, back in my home?” (Erwin)
“No, my home didn’t have those either, you know?” (Wendelin)
The 『Fake Bone China』 was completed like this, but with it becoming popular due to its whiteness, its luster and the vibrancy of its designs, it turned into a special product of our Baumeister Earldom.
At least it should have…
“Milord, it seems there’s not enough clay because of the many orders.” (Roderich)
“No matter how many you produce, it doesn’t catch up with the demand.”
“Damn it! My workload has increased again!” (Wendelin)
The huge amount of public works that had piled up since I returned to my territory for the first time in a year, and in addition the work of adjusting the components of the clay to make these high-quality porcelain goods; for a while any break vanished from my schedule.
No need to guess. I became more busy than during my time as salaryman.
＊ ＊ ＊
“So, Milord, I’d like to borrow more ideas from you.” (Roderich)
“Listen here, Roderich. Do you believe that I’m owning some kind of magic pot that spits out business ideas?” (Wendelin)
“I wouldn’t go that far, but isn’t the porcelain a huge success?” (Roderich)
Roderich approached me with an excited face, expressing 『Quick, the next idea』.
The porcelain using monster bone ash had become very popular.
Thanks to that it apparently became a gold mine for the Baumeister Earldom, but at the same time the sales of potteries in other territories should have declined.
If the sale of the potteries located in their own territories go down, the nobles there will likely blame me. Headhunting craftsmen and espionage activities to find out the raw materials and the manufacturing process are of concern as well.
Roderich turned the craftsmen working in the potteries close to Baulburg and the skilled ones among the craftsmen working in potteries, which are spread across the Baumeister Earldom, into retainers.
The earthenware catered towards commoners has been entrusted to private potteries. The high-class porcelain that uses monster bone ash is directly managed by the Earl Baumeister household and the craftsmen serving me as retainers.
Although the pay is low, it’s possible to pass on the title. Depending on the amount of money of the sold porcelain, they will receive bonuses, too.
It’s a system that’s equal to the daimyo treating potters as samurai during the Edo period.
Since it’s for the sake of keep it confidential, it’s indispensable to employ them with a proper pay.
Since they independently researched mixing the clay, which was brought in from all over the Baumeister Earldom, with monster bone ash, it will be a full success, once they manage to make high-class porcelain without borrowing my help.
Since it will also decrease my work, it’s killing two birds with one stone.
“This is no good, huh?”
“Umm…Philine-sama, why are you wearing a maid uniform?”
As we had actually planned to go out together tomorrow, I brought her with me from Breitburg, but Luise had fun putting the clothes, which I had test manufactured by Baulburg’s tailors, on Philine.
“I feel strangely energetic in this maid attire.”
“It’s the latest uniform invented by me.”
The maid uniforms in this world have the skirts reach down to the ankles, use stiff fabric, have almost no ornaments and even the design is old-fashioned in my eyes.
Accordingly Philine is wearing the maid uniform that had been completed as a requested prototype in one of the workshops of the city while using my personal opinion as reference.
In reality I had planned to have Luise wear it, but…
“I will wear it as well. A short skirt, plenty of frills and the color’s not black either.”
“Maid uniforms are generally black, but I believe that it’s just following the rules without thinking for oneself if you only use black. It’s the same for the design as well. Won’t a woman get more motivated to do her maid work by wearing an exciting maid uniform?” (Wendelin)
“Even though you say that, it’s just your personal preference, isn’t it Wend?” (Luise)
“Not at all. I’m just properly considering the welfare of my servants.” (Wendelin)
I had also the idea that it might turn into a little bit of business once I finish the new maid uniform, but to be honest I just felt like seeing modern maid uniforms after a long time as I’m going to see them everyday.
Since there’s many places that use maid uniforms as work uniforms such as the restaurants and shops in the city, and not just the maids of nobility and the wealthy. It will be a big benefit to get some money out of it, if I can sell them due to the expectations of the uniforms attracting customers.
If there’s one problem, I guess it the fact that they might get copied right away.
“The swimsuits from before were nice, too. Wend, you do have some strange talents.”
It’s no talent, but me simply remembering what I’ve seen in my previous life.
What I used as reference was the time when I was taken along to a maid cafe by a senpai who likes such establishments.
“Of course I have your share as well, Ina.” (Wendelin)
“I get one as well?” (Ina)
“It’s time to try on some clothes, so let’s have some fun. I also have maid uniforms for Elise, Wilma, Katharina and Haruka.” (Wendelin)
“You are really well prepared, aren’t you…? Oh well, it sounds fun either way. What about you?”
“I’d like to wear it. Seeing Dominique’s maid clothes in the past, I wanted to try wearing them once as well, but since it seemed that I would get scolded by Grandfather…” (Elise)
Elise is a normal girl as well, so she had interest in fashion.
“Looks interesting.” (Wilma)
“Why do I have to wear the clothes of servants…?” (Katharina)
“If you don’t like it, you don’t have to wear them.” (Wilma)
“Since profits will come around to the Earl Baumeister household, if the tailors within the territory flourish due to the new maid uniforms, this is the duty of one who was born into a noble household.” (Katharina)
Katharina was curtly told, “If you don’t like it, you don’t have to wear them,” by Wilma, but it looks like she doesn’t want to be left-out or maybe it’s because of her being a former loner.
While using a weird sophism, she agreed to trying on the new maid uniform.
“Come to think of it, it will be the first time for me to wear a skirt.” (Haruka)
Given that Haruka is basically a person who is too serious, she agreed with trying on maid clothes as it’s an order by her lord.
She says that it’s the first time for her to wear a skirt, but if I remember correctly, there were no people wearing skirts in Mizuho to begin with.
Everyone headed to a separate room in order to change clothes and then assembled after finishing in around 10 minutes.
“Yeeeah, what a supreme bliss.” (Wendelin)
Philine was blue, Elise green, Ina purple, Luise pink, Wilma yellow, and Katharina orange.
“Wendelin-san, Erwin-san, do you have some kind of complaints towards me?” (Katharina)
“Wend, I don’t know how to tell her…” (Erwin)
“Isn’t it unnatural, if you say it deliberately?” (Wendelin)
Everyone is cute and the clothes suit them well. It turned into a setup of Earl Baumeister and one of his retainers being pleased with the wives and a girl wearing multicolored maid uniforms, but it didn’t suit Katharina at all thanks to her haughty attitude even as maid, and her hairstyle.
“I wonder, would another color for the maid uniform be better in your case, Katharina?”
“Wend, I don’t think that’s the issue here.” (Erwin)
“I see! She just have to straighten that hairstyle!”
After all a maid with ringlet curls is weird.
If she straightens her hairstyle…
This turn of events, just recently…
“I shall decline. I’m picky about this hairstyle.” (Katharina)
Hmmm, to be so obsessed about ringlet curls…
“Do you possibly have some kind of illness where you will die if you unfasten the ringlet curls, Katharina?” (Wendelin)
“As if some one like that exists!” (Katharina)
I guess such an illness doesn’t exist after all…
“Haruka-san, you look great.” (Erwin)
Only Haruka wore a traditional, black maid uniform, but Erw still seemed very happy.
It has a little less frills and a longer skirt than the maid uniforms of Elise and the others.
I changed it with a feeling of holding back on remodeling it too much, but Haruka became pigeon-toed and seemed to be very embarrassed.
It looks like the skirt is still too short for her taste.
As she didn’t wear anything but hakama to begin with, it’s probably just because she isn’t used to a skirt.
“A bashful Haruka-san, how nice…” (Erwin)
This one is a lost case. Erw is totally ogling her.
“Dear, as expected, I have a problem with using maid uniforms in different colors than black inside the mansion.” (Elise)
“I see, I expected as much.” (Wendelin)
“So you understand at least that much.” (Luise)
“Luise, even I have some common sense, alright?!” (Wendelin)
“That was doubtful at the moment when you reformed them into such maid uniforms.” (Luise)
Luise, that’s no way how you should talk to your husband.
“Elise, these are for the shops in the city.” (Wendelin)
For restaurants that hire young girls as waitresses, these new maid uniforms will be very useful.
“Because plenty of male customers will visit?” (Elise)
Nothing less of Elise. She saw through my intention right away, huh? Though it might only her being perceptive as she’s a woman.
“To be blunt, or rather, it looks like many male customers would actually visit…”
Ina, this is the sad nature of men.
“There’s no mistake! The number of male customers will increase!”
In that case even the store will be able to recover the expenses for the maid uniforms right away.
“With several women wearing these in a single store, I think it will be necessary to have several spare sets as they have to be washed, too. If they wear different-colored maid uniforms everyday, it might transform fresh customers into regular patrons.”
“Wend-sama, is that true?” (Wilma)
“It might be. As long as the managers believe so, we will be able to sell a great number of the new maid uniforms.” (Wendelin)
And if the tailor workshops make a profit, the tax revenue for the Earl Baumeister household will increase, too.
“Wend-sama, you’re good at business.” (Wilma)
Wilma, please praise me more.
I’m a Lord-sama who is prepared to contribute to an improvement of my residents’ lives.
“Hence, let’s change the maid uniforms worn by Dominique and Lea into these.” (Wendelin)
“If you change them this much, it might become too showy instead.”
Elise approved of the maid uniform worn by Haruka to be used in the mansion.
“Umm, Wend.” (Ina)
“Eh? You against it, Ina?” (Wendelin)
“I’m not, but I think that we should keep the old, traditional maid uniforms.” (Ina)
“Maid uniforms with an outdated design? Why…?” (Wendelin)
“For young maids such as Dominique and Lea, it’s fine. But, there are maids inside this mansion that are older than our mothers.” (Ina)
Now that she mentions it, that’s true!
There’s no way that only Dominique and Lea can handle such a big mansion. We have also hired a great number of people such as the wives and daughters of my retainers as maids.
I guess wearing these frilly and short-skirted maid uniforms is tough for maids who have become somewhat old…
“I think they will wear them without complaints, if you adopt them, but…” (Ina)
The rest seems to be slightly difficult to say for Ina. She probably wants to say that it will also be hard on our eyes.
“Ina, I will come up with a maid uniform that has a subdued design and uses the same skirt length as the traditional ones.” (Wendelin)
Thus the new maid uniforms in various colors were sold by tailor shops within the Baumeister Earldom. They were mainly very popular with restaurants.
But, in this world that has no copyright they were copied right away. I think I will note it down as being not overly profitable.
『Earl Baumeister, according to what I have heard, you enjoyed making my cute Philine wear indecent clothes…』 (Amadeus)
“I don’t remember anything like that happening, though…” (Wendelin)
Later on it was leaked to Margrave Breithilde that I had Philine try on a new maid uniform, and thus I got stuck explaining it to him which was an unnecessary waste of time.