“If you become as old as me, you will also consider the Mizuho cuisine as refreshingly delicious.” (Hohenheim)
In the end we couldn’t resolve the issues surrounding the future management of the excavated tunnel.
Lord Eulenberg, who possesses the territory at the northern exit of the tunnel, didn’t have the ability to handle it.
The Margrave Breithilde household and the royal family feared bad rumors that might crop up if they intervened in this, and thus neither of them accepted to take over the management.
Without reaching a conclusion today and since it will take time to do maintenance work and carry out an inspection of the tunnel, all of us have returned to our respective territories or the capital.
We returned to our mansion as well after entrusting the management of the tunnel itself to Thomas and Nikolaus, after Roderich had increased the number of soldiers. Cardinal Hohenheim accompanied us.
He did so in order to have dinner with us and because there are various other matters that have to be discussed.
The menu was centered around Mizuho dishes which Elise and the mansion’s cooks had recently learned. They were very popular with Cardinal Hohenheim.
While drinking Mizuho sake, he happily enjoys eating deep-fried eggplant in broth, deep-fried tofu with soup, and grilled salmon.
Salmon is a fish that can’t be caught in the northern streams, even not in the Empire. It’s a special product of the Earl Mizuho Country, err, Mizuho Dukedom.
Cardinal Hohenheim tastes the salted salmon with relish.
“The Earl Mizuho Country, or rather Dukedom, eh? It has rare products. The Kingdom’s nobility and rich people might really band together and buy foodstuff from there. It looks like the low greasiness will be popular with the elderly and women.” (Hohenheim)
Even on Earth the Westerners ate Japanese food during the healthiness boom.
The humans of this world might rate the Mizuho cuisine as such as well.
“It was correct to gain the right to directly trade with them. It’s your biggest accomplishment.” (Hohenheim)
Since I have been recognized as close friend by Duke Mizuho, I can purchase precious goods cheaply.
So to speak, at a friendship discount.
“The reward from the Empire’s government has been probably enormous as well.” (Hohenheim)
“They only paid us in accordance to the contract.” (Wendelin)
Burkhart-san and Doushi didn’t want any more than that either.
It’s probably because they believe that it would do us more harm if we were afflicted by ulterior motives due to having received concessions and territories in the Empire.
“I guess that’s typical for you, son-in-law. By the way, Elise.” (Hohenheim)
“Yes, grandfather.” (Elise)
Cardinal Hohenheim calls out to Elise who’s sitting next to me.
For him to having visited us today was also for the sake of having a relaxed talk with his granddaughter.
“There’s still no child?” (Hohenheim)
“I’m sorry. Not yet…” (Elise)
“Umm, you know…” (Wendelin)
“I’m aware of the circumstances. I just asked to make sure.” (Hohenheim)
The reason why we still haven’t made a child was owed to the contraception through magic potions until now.
At first we didn’t want to have any children for around a year since we were newly-wed, and then it was because it would lower our combat power if she got pregnant during the civil war, in other words, very pragmatic reasons that are easy to understand.
“If no child is born by Elise, the number of idiots that will get unnecessarily worried, albeit being totally unrelated, will keep increasing.” (Hohenheim)
“Nowadays we aren’t using any contraceptives. It’s probably just a matter of time.” (Wendelin)
“That’s very promising then.” (Hohenheim)
“However, is it alright for you, Cardinal Hohenheim, as a clergyman, to speak about such matters?” (Wendelin)
Since he tentatively belongs to the church, I end up wondering whether that’s no offense to their doctrine.
“Of course I won’t say that in my public position. There are many believers who come to the church to consult about their inability to make children. It will turn into a problem if there are rumors about someone like me.” (Hohenheim)
There’s a priority to keep up the official stance in the church, but Cardinal Hohenheim is also a Viscount.
As noble it’s only natural to worry about his successors.
“Son-in-law, you’re still 17 years old. To tell you the truth, I’m not really worried. Besides…” (Hohenheim)
Cardinal Hohenheim turns his eyes towards Amalie-san who’s sitting at the end of the table.
Actually it was planned for her to officially come to the mansion in a few more days, but after it was decided that Cardinal Hohenheim would visit us, I hurriedly brought her along from Paul-niisan’s territory.
The plan is to introduce her to an influential person, who is also the grandfather of the first wife, and at least get his permission or toleration.
Of course this was a suggestion from Roderich as I didn’t possess such aristocratic wit.
It had been arranged for Amalie-san’s official position to be the Head Maid, but today she’s not in a maid attire.
Once she officially enters my mansion, she will publicly be in charge of taking care of me inside the mansion, and she will essentially be treated as concubine in the Earl Baumeister family.
Even the clothes she’s wearing today were no different in quality to what Elise and the others wear.
It’s because I have prohibited any discrimination between them.
“I am…” (Amalie)
“I don’t particularly mind. It’s apparently owed to Lord Mainbach understanding the commonplace truth of nobility.” (Hohenheim)
“Do you know my father, Cardinal?” (Amalie)
“Once you become a cardinal of the church, you gain access to a fairly big amount of information.” (Hohenheim)
The reason why Cardinal Hohenheim is treated as ghost geezer on the streets lies in this.
He’s a cardinal and an appointed Viscount, but that doesn’t mean that he possesses outstanding assets or a large group of retainers.
As appointed Viscount, he holds no territory.
However, he’s holding onto an information network that uses the churches, which have spread all over the Kingdom and even into the Empire, as intermediary.
Because of this, even His Majesty had his fair share of troubles in the past.
“Six people, huh? That’s still too lacking for the current you, isn’t it son-in-law? Since I’m a noble as well, I won’t say anything if it doesn’t disturb the inner pecking order. All’s fine as long as you freely give birth to children. After all there’s too few family members in the Earl Baumeister household.” (Hohenheim)
It seems I have to strengthen my control by making the children of concubines into family heads of branch families and dispatch them as governors all over the place.
“The Baumeister Earldom is too huge. Son-in-law, you have to do your best and make children.” (Hohenheim)
“What do you call it again…ah, it’s as if I’m a stallion.” (Wendelin)
“Isn’t that a perfectly fitting phrase. It’s the same for all nobility and royalty. They have to control the lineage and give birth to children. Oops, I have digressed from the topic. Our visitor from afar has nerves of steel. As might be expected of a lady that formerly was a Duchess said to be a candidate for the next Emperor.” (Hohenheim)
Cardinal Hohenheim’s eyes turn from Amalie-san to Therese whom I invited as guest for dinner.
It sure makes sense, or rather different from Amalie-san, who isn’t accustomed to such event, she revealed a smile that contained a boldness befitting a former Duchess.
“I have parted with the seat of Duchess Philip and am in a position of being indebted to Earl Baumeister-dono for being granted a retirement pension. I don’t think that I’m someone worthy to be paid attention to by thee, Cardinal Hohenheim-dono, who’s recognized to be the next pope…” (Therese)
“No, no. I’m just an old geezer who’s worried about his granddaughter.” (Hohenheim)
Cardinal Hohenheim seems to be wary of Therese scheming to become my wife, give birth to my child and raise that child to become the next Earl Baumeister.
“The higher one’s social standing becomes, the more people who are suspicious of one. I have thought that I was able to escape such society by now, though.” (Therese)
“Even if the person herself thinks so, there’s still the worry whether the surroundings believe the same.” (Hohenheim)
“If it comes to thee, Cardinal Hohenheim-dono, it must be difficult as there are many seeds of anxiety in the world.” (Therese)
“What, it’s all within the bounds of common sense, Therese-dono.” (Hohenheim)
Therese matches her eye line with Cardinal Hohenheim.
Our side, who merely watches, feels as if sparks are scattered between them.
“Old man.” (Elise)
“It’s troublesome as humans become distrustful once they grow old, you know?” (Hohenheim)
Being held back by Elise, Cardinal Hohenheim’s expression fell apart.
“Cardinal Hohenheim-dono, thy feelings towards thy granddaughter are something that I can understand very well. Since mine grandfather has already passed away, I’m very envious.” (Therese)
“I’m grateful for your words.” (Hohenheim)
It looked as if both ceased their confrontation, but Cardinal Hohenheim’s worries haven’t been dispelled.
He applied pressure on Therese that he would gather information through the churches within the Baumeister Earldom, and immediately make a move if something happened.
But then again Therese herself has already assumed a stance of wanting to be excused from that kind of power struggle.
She goes as far as telling him to freely go ahead with monitoring her if he wants to.
Therese has reached the point where she stopped making suggestive approaches as she did before and was even building friendly relations with Elise and the others, but in reverse I feel a bit lonely now that she’s isn’t making any moves on me anymore.
I wonder, is this actually her plan?
Either way, I truly don’t get women.
“How about thee disclose some information for the sake of showing thy affections for thy grandchild here?” (Therese)
“I suppose that makes sense.” (Hohenheim)
The information mentioned by Therese is probably related to Lord Eulenberg, whom we met today, and his territory.
Given that there’s a church in that territory, Cardinal Hohenheim should possess some information.
“Though it’s a quite pitiful story…” (Hohenheim)
According to what we were told by Cardinal Hohenheim, Lord Eulenberg seems to be a good-natured man with a very timid heart.
“Faint of heart, or rather, he’s a person who was above the clouds for being able to meet His Majesty only once in his whole life during the peerage succession ceremony. He believed that nobles such as Margrave Breithilde and the ministers are people whom he would never meet.” (Hohenheim)
“It’s a similar rural area as my home, after all.” (Wendelin)
The Eulenberg territory is mostly self-sufficient. And they can get some cash income by selling their special product, Maroimo, to the villages and cities in the neighborhood.
“The neighboring cities and villages are within the Breithilde Margraviate, but it’s unlikely for their family to get in touch with the feudal lord who lives in Breitburg.” (Hohenheim)
They plow the fields together with their 300 residents in a rural farm community, rejoicing or grieving dependent on the amount of harvest.
Lord Eulenberg doesn’t seem to have any interest in an exchange with other nobles, and the majority of the nobles don’t know of his existence either.
Although he’s a noble, it’s at a level of him having grown up in the family of a wealthy farmer. Their aristocratic parts are even less than those of the past Knight Baumeister household.
They aren’t prospering, but they aren’t poor either.
As they are close to being farmers going by their usual appearance, they don’t worry about the viewpoint of others at all.
The feudal lord doesn’t demand severe taxes, and since he’s gentle and virtuous, there’s no dissatisfaction among the fief’s population either.
“Now that you mention it, there were many kind people there.” (Elise)
Elise bought Maroimo and other vegetables on our way back home, but without doing anything like overcharging the guests from afar, she paid a cheap price as if buying directly at the production site.
“But, I wonder, won’t the second son and those below him be troubled in such a territory?” (Luise)
“No, they won’t.” (Hohenheim)
Cardinal Hohenheim answers Luise’s question.
“Leaving that territory for Breitburg isn’t that difficult.” (Hohenheim)
If they want to lead a carefree life in the Eulenberg territory, they can simply stay there, and if they want to make a name for themselves, they can search for employment in Breitburg.
There are many people who return to their birthplace even after having left once. Only that much is proof of the Eulenberg territory’s wealthiness in regards to its physical goods.
Even without having overly much money, one can live there, and there’s won’t be any food shortage either.
It appears as if there are many people who look well-built among the fief’s residents because of that.
“They can also go shopping in the nearby villages and cities.”
Once I hear those circumstances, they might have a lot more flexibility in their livelihood than the people in the former Knight Baumeister territory.
“I guess they earn some income with Maroimo.”
“That potato is delicious and sweet, isn’t it?”
It seems to be a potato that is very popular in the cities around the Eulenberg territory.
Thanks to its cultivation conditions, it can’t be harvested anywhere in this area except for the Eulenberg territory. Thus it might also have some rarity value.
“Lord Eulenberg is really no one one who pointlessly puts on air as noble. His heir looks like he’s studying how to cultivate and perform selective breeding for the potatoes.”
“So it seems.” (Luise)
“As we saw.” (Wilma)
Luise and Wilma honestly stated their impressions.
As similar parent and child, they appear to be timid, but their knowledge in regards to Maroimo seems to be magnificent.
However, being able to obtain such information; I suppose, nothing less to be expected of the church.
“After hearing of their circumstances, it just makes them even more pitiable.”
That family will be fully satisfied as long as they can cultivate Maroimo together with the fief’s population.
And now they are suddenly forced to manage a tunnel, form a retainer group and employ around 1,000 soldiers.
The ones who were present at that place were only high-ranking nobles, but all of them sympathized with Lord Eulenberg.
They should have carried out crafty schemes in the past, but that’s probably the exact reason why they felt like running away after seeing a person like Lord Eulenberg.
“Even though all of it would be resolved if Margrave Breithilde took the blame, but that man is too indecisive.” (Hohenheim)
“I wonder why?”
“Because of you, son-in-law, that man is considered to be the sole winner by the Kingdom’s nobles. He might believe that any further benefits will be poisonous instead.” (Hohenheim)
I think that it would be fine for him to rush ahead as is.
“Either way, we will wait and see for a while. That man will do a scientific examination of the tunnel, won’t he?” (Hohenheim)
That man is about Arnest who’s not present right now.
He has secluded himself in his room to prepare for the investigation of the tunnel.
“That person is truly a seed of trouble as well, isn’t he?” (Hohenheim)
Cardinal Hohenheim had realized Arnest’s true identity long ago.
“Well, he will probably stay obedient while investigating the ancient ruins in the Baumeister Earldom.”
“I sure hope so. Just thinking of trying to restrain someone who has more mana than you, son-in-law, is already pointless.” (Hohenheim)
He will be docile as long as he can do what he likes. Because his likes also benefit the Kingdom, there’s currently no policy besides leaving him in my care.
“Son-in-law, you will frequent the Eulenberg territory for a while, won’t you?” (Hohenheim)
I will monitor and transport Arnest, who will investigate the tunnel, and I should also gather information in the Eulenberg territory by myself.
I will hunt as adventurer while occasionally doing public works within my territory. As such it was planned for me to take on wyverns and flying dragons in the Greater League Mountain Range.
It’s because they are living right next to the Eulenberg territory.
“That territory will have it difficult for some time as well.” (Hohenheim)
“With such talks coming forth, it’s very likely that the pair of naive, timid parent and child will faint again. What difficult circumstances.” (Therese)
“Fufu, as expected of you, Therese-dono, you do understand.” (Hohenheim)
“It’s relatively easy to imagine.” (Therese)
Cardinal Hohenheim is wary of Therese as Elise’s rival, but he seems to like the aspect that she was an excellent noble.
I guess they talk the same language.
He happily continues the conversation with her.
“We will rely on you for a while so that no uncalled-for bugs meddle in this, son-in-law.” (Hohenheim)
Even though it’s just the opening of a tunnel, it’s obvious that Cardinal Hohenheim’s prediction will come true, resulting in us being once again dragged into the bustling activity of nobles.
“He sure is an enthusiastic fellow if it comes to excavation and research.”
As we had to check the state of the Eulenberg territory regularly, we transferred on-site with 『Teleportation』, but first went to see Arnest who’s investigating the tunnel.
He was carrying out an enthusiastic, scientific examination under the watch of Thomas and his men, who are in charge of guarding the place.
“What magnificent structure!” (Arnest)
“How nice, you always seem to be full of joy.”
“At such times this me believes from the bottom of my heart that it is great for me to have been born a commoner. Without having to mind the disputes of society, I enjoy imagining the grand history based on the underground ruins. It is an advantage of being an archaeologist.” (Arnest)
“That certainly sounds great. It’s a big tunnel. It looks like it will take time to investigate it.”
“That is convenient for me.” (Arnest)
Having been dragged into a troublesome situation, we were unhappy, but Arnest was in a good mood as he could investigate the tunnel to his heart’s desire.
“Is this a place where one can investigate so much?”
“An amateur will not realize, but it has many places that ought to be examined.” (Arnest)
Even though it’s merely an old, big tunnel, it looks like the examination will take around one week.
Given that we are bored as we have to keep him company, I decided to entrust the monitoring to Thomas and his men.
After all the possibility for Arnest to abandon his prey, the ruin, to run away is fairly low.
Above all else, I have gotten fed up with the the archaeological talk which doesn’t interest me at all.
“Feel free to do so.” (Luise)
“You are not interested?” (Arnest)
“I will skip out on such a sophisticated topic.” (Luise)
“How regretful.” (Arnest)
Not just Luise; there’s no one else besides Elise who properly listens to Arnest going on about his boring archaeological matters.
Of course I pass on that as well.
“I leave him to you, everyone.” (Wendelin)
“Please worry not, we will take care of it.” (Thomas)
“By no means did I expect that you can make a living with such kind of work.”
In exchange for us, several young men among my retainers, who are curious about archeology, accompanied Arnest.
Even in the demon country it seems difficult to make a living as scholar. It’s the same in the Helmut Kingdom and the Holy Urquhart Empire…it might be a lot more difficult if you consider the economic conditions of the countries.
The Kingdom’s academy is difficult to enter, and high-ranking nobles as well as geniuses at an impossible level are given priority.
As for other means, there are several such as having big nobles or major merchants, who like archeology, as patron, or carrying out scientific investigations of underground ruins, which were completely explored by adventurers, upon requests by the adventurer’s guild, but even these are preferentially assigned to the Kingdom’s academy and are more lucrative depending on your social standing. Anyway, it doesn’t change the fact that one cannot make a living with archeology, resulting in many youths giving up on it.
Accordingly we decided to recruit assistants who also watch Arnest from among the younger retainers of the Earl Baumeister household.
If it’s our retainers, it will also be easy to protect Arnest’s secret.
As the Earl Baumeister household is a rising noble family, it’s also connected to our evaluation of appreciating cultural projects by acting as patron of an archaeologist.
“It’s just because you don’t want to get involved with it, right?” (Erwin)
Erw hit bull’s eye with this.
“Fufufu, even if I provide the money as patron, it’s the best to not meddle in it. However, tell me, are you interested in it, Erw? If you like you are free to join the tunnel investigation.” (Wendelin)
How cheeky. Erw doesn’t have the slightest interest either.
If he says such things, I will force him to participate in the tunnel’s investigation upon my authority as his lord.
I will also request a proper report from him.
“Sorry, please spare me.” (Erwin)
“Right? Well then, I’m leaving the rest to you, okay?” (Wendelin)
“I think it is wonderful that I have also gained new assistants.” (Arnest)
As Thomas and his men will be present, too, it should be alright.
We left the tunnel, returning to the Eulenberg territory.
“No matter how often I see it, it sure is a magnificent rural area…even more so than my home…” (Erwin)
While watching the Maroimo fields spreading on the mountain slope outside the tunnel, Erw once again admires the rural flair of the Eulenberg territory.
I have never been at Erw’s home, but I know that it’s probably a match with the Knight Baumeister territory.
“The whole surface of the mountain slope is covered with Maroimo fields.” (Ina)
Ina voiced out her impression while looking at the Maroimo fields that have been likely expanded with hardships.
For some reason the Maroimo have to be grown on a mountain slope, and they can’t be successfully cultivated unless the temperature goes down in the morning and evening.
Moreover, as they seem to grow well with a mild climate during the day, there were many places satisfying those conditions on the mountain slopes located in the Greater League Mountain Range which lies in the southern part of the Lingaia Continent.
“It having to be warm means that it would be hard to grow Maroimo in the Mizuho Dukedom.”
If I remember correctly, it’s difficult to cultivate sweet potatoes in cold places as well…
Since the Maroimo seems to be in the same category as sweet potatoes, it probably grows well under the same climatic conditions.
“No, the Mizuho people accomplish the impossible if it’s related to food.” (Haruka)
“That’s quite the bold statement, Haruka.”
“I’m sure, if they knew about this Maroimo, there would be people that would try to cultivate it in Mizuho.” (Haruka)
“(I can’t definitely state that there wouldn’t be such people…)”
Lately Haruka had been busy with the preparations for her marriage with Erw, but as she has nothing in particular scheduled today, she’s accompanying Erw.
She declared that the Mizuho people, who fuss over food, would surely try to make it possible to cultivate Maroimo in the Mizuho Dukedom with its cold climate.
Even I cannot help but feel that they would end up trying to do so someday.
“Putting that aside, how would you cook the Maroimo, Haruka?”
“Right now I have various ideas. Milord, Erw-san, look forward to it.” (Haruka)
“That’s great to hear.” (Wendelin)
“Haruka-san’s home cooking is really the best.” (Erwin)
I’m certain, if it’s Haruka, she will certainly come up with delicious Mizuho-styled dishes and desserts.
Let’s leave that as enjoyment for later.
“Wend, the person over there is the heir…”
“Right, that Veith-san who can’t fight at all.” (Luise) 1
“Luise, that’s impolite, you know?” (Ina)
“I mean, Ina-chan, if you look at his aggressive prostrating, anyone would think so…” (Luise)
“You’re certainly right there, still…” (Ina)
With her good eyesight Luise discovered one of the key figures.
The son and heir, Veith-san, who prostrated himself together with his father yesterday, was working on a field.
This person’s name is full of gallantry just as Luise says, but going by his appearance, he’s nothing more than a kindhearted young man who’s completely unrelated to something like combat.
He appears to be teaching the farmers how to work the field, but even though he’s a noble, he doesn’t even wear a sword.
Probably he doesn’t feel like he might be seen by other nobles at all.
“Well, well, what a pleasure, Earl Baumeister-sama.” (Veith)
Once he discovered us, Veith-san ran in our direction like a raging billow, and greeted us with a polite bow.
As he can easily run on this slope, it doesn’t look as if he has nothing to do with martial arts. He might have more stamina and better reflexes than visible from his outward appearance.
“Veith-san, you are the successor of the Eulenberg territory, so even if you don’t keep a very low profile…”
It’s better than yesterday’s prostrating, but it’s very clear that father and son don’t mingle much with other nobles. In addition they seem to misunderstand that all other nobles are more amazing than themselves.
Since we are both nobles, I’d like him to stop with such behavior, but…
“I’m sorry. As it’s an unconscious habit…” (Veith)
“Wait, wait! If you get used to that…” (Wendelin)
Even if I suddenly insist on a noble-like speech and conduct, it will likely be difficult for him.
“Somehow he’s the complete opposite of Katharina.” (Luise)
“Indeed, it might be great if he could follow Katharina’s example, at least half of it. If he follows her example completely, he will go over the top.” (Wilma)
“That’s quite cruel of you, isn’t it…?” (Katharina)
Luise and Wilma are saying considerably awful things, aren’t they?
Certainly, even when Katharina’s household collapsed, she insisted on a noble speech and conduct without losing her pride as noble.
I won’t say that he has to follow her example completely, but it might be better if he does so at least a bit.
“The situation has ended up like this, so I think that you will have more chances to get in contact with other nobles from now on, Veith-san. If you take an overly menial stance towards them, there’s the danger that you will be used and looked down upon. That will also be of disadvantage for your residents.” (Katharina)
“Ooh! There it is! Katharina’s just reasoning.”
“It’s a sound argument, but it’s slightly vague as well.”
“Jeez, just leave me alone…” (Katharina)
As she ends up being treated harshly by those two again, Katharina had an expression of giving up completely.
“That’s true. Haughtiness is not good, but same can be said about abasing yourself too much. From now on you will need to pay some attention to it.” (Elise)
“Got it.” (Veith)
In the end this area belongs in the sphere of Elise who has a natural virtue as priestess.
Once he’s skillfully persuaded by the gentle Elise, even the timid Veith-san readily accepted the advice.
“Even though I have said the same thing…” (Katharina)
“Katharina, your appearance is too flashy. At such times Elise-sama is the most suitable.” (Wilma)
Or rather, I think that Veith-san, who is naive and doesn’t know about the outside world, might have pulled back from Katharina with her extremely gaudy look.
There’s probably also the reason that there’s a priest like Elise in this territory, too.
However, while thinking that it will take time for Veith-san to fix his low profile attitude, I returned to the topic and touched upon another matter.
“It sure is a wide Maroimo field.” (Wendelin)
“Yes. We painfully expanded it up until here for several decades since the era of my great-grandfather.” (Veith)
According to Veith-san, they reclaimed the mountain slopes where wyverns and flying dragons won’t visit, extending the Maroimo fields up to this place.
“I heard that it’s difficult to cultivate Maroimo.”
“As a matter of fact, if it’s just about growing them, it will be fine as long as it’s not a too cold climate. However, in order for them to taste sweet, it’s necessary to pay attention to various things besides the location of the field and the climatic conditions.” (Veith)
Veith-san becomes talkative once the topic shifts to Maroimo.
I think he likes cultivating potatoes more than swinging swords.
“(He would be happier as a researcher than as a noble…)”
Ina whispered, but she’s correct that he’s likely more suited to be a researcher than a noble.
He’s a person that would willingly doctorate in the agricultural department at a university in Japan.
I think he’s the type that would be introduced as Professor Maroimo in TV variety shows.
“Even if you directly plant the Maroimo seeds, you won’t be able to harvest many of them.” (Veith)
The place where Veith-san led us was a facility resembling a greenhouse where sweet potatoes are allowed to sprout.
There are several greenhouses inside a hut next to the fields. Them being sheltered in a hut seems to be for the sake of the greenhouses’ soil to not get too moist due to rain.
“The potato seeds are allowed to sprout in the greenhouses like this before the vine parts are planted in the fields.” (Veith)
“I guess that part is similar to sweet potatoes.” (Wendelin)
“Correct. Maroimo is a mutation of sweet potatoes after all.” (Veith)
That’s why their cultivation method overlaps with sweet potatoes.
“After planting the vines, they will be harvested in around three months.” (Veith)
The continent’s south is all year long warm if you exclude the mountainous districts which are cold in the morning and evening.
In other words, it’s possible to harvest Maroimo three times a year.
No, if you do it skillfully, you can harvest them four times, I think?
“The sprouting in a greenhouse, the fields on the slope, and the difference in temperature; are there any other necessary conditions?” (Wendelin)
“The quality of the soil. If you look at this, you will see that we frequently add extra fertilizer.” (Veith)
At that moment, one of the farmers working nearby showed up.
“I want ya ta look at the state of ma field’s soil.”
“Is the soil no good?” (Veith)
“Da fertilizer might be slightly lackin’.”
“I will have a look right away.” (Veith)
“I’m sorry, young master.”
Veith-san went to the field of that farmer, picks up some soil and started to check its flavor by ingesting it.
“You can grasp its state by doing that?” (Wendelin)
“Yes. I think it requires a little bit more fertilizer. Fermented river fish is no good. You have to use compost made out of fallen leaves and grass.” (Veith)
“Nothin’ less of ya, young master. I’ll add extra fertilizer right away.”
“Good idea. It will become sweet if you deal with it quickly.” (Veith)
Tasting the soil to check its quality.
I feel like there had been such people in the past.
“It’s difficult, isn’t it?”
“There’s no problem if it’s just the cultivation, but making it sweet-tasting is complicated.” (Veith)
In exchange, the Maroimo, which are sweet after growing up with troubles, are sold immediately.
Because of that they are probably so popular that they often don’t reach Breitburg.
“Thanks to that I’m all day long on the fields.” (Veith)
That’s the kind of explanation we received from him, but…
“I’m feeling very guilty…”
“Wend, something like the management and guarding of a tunnel is impossible for that person.”
“It’s a complete miss-match.”
“We should entrust it to someone else.”
“I’m pretty sure he won’t do it.”
While baking Maroimo in stone ware as snacks in front of the tunnel, we talk with each other in a circle, but the words coming out of the mouths of Elise and the others were 『Entrusting the tunnel’s management to Veith-san is almost impossible and pitiable』.
“That does make sense. As even I had my fair share of troubles, it will be unreasonable for that man, who has absolutely no experience, to suddenly lead 1,000 people.” (Erwin)
I guess Erw, who commanded troops even though only a few during the civil war, wants to say that it would be a miracle if Veith-san would be able to properly command 1,000 guards to manage and guard the tunnel.
“Even before that, it’s nothing he himself desires either.”
“That man, he will become extremely exhausted from accumulated stress and worry, won’t he?”
Erw was somehow able to manage since he’s mentally tough, but Veith-san possesses such a faint heart that he immediately prostrates once he sees a high-ranking noble.
As his father is much the same, we can’t rely on him either. As such there’s probably no other choice but to have either Margrave Breithilde or the Kingdom own the tunnel’s entrance, no matter whether it’s right or wrong.
“Suddenly everyone’s behaving as if they are good people, aren’t they? Won’t it be a blessing for the Eulenberg family to have their territory relocated to a wide area that allows them to cultivate plenty of Maroimo?”
There’s no contact from His Majesty of Finance Minister Rückner, who went back to tackle the open issues as homework.
Even we are at a point where anymore of this will make us give up hope.
“Milord, the Maroimo are done.” (Haruka)
“Ooh! They finished baking, eh!? What a nice aroma.” (Wendelin)
Haruka, who watched the fire, informs me that the Maroimo finished baking.
Once I opened the lid of my self-made baked sweet potato device, a savory, sweet aroma spread all over.
With a blueprint drawn by me with my meager artistic skill as reference, this device was created by a magic tool artisan whom we invited to the Baumeister Earldom.
Thanks to a highly efficient magic crystal, it can bake potatoes for a long period once you supply mana to it.
The stones used for the device are lava stones that emit infrared rays. I processed them with magic in a way that they have the same size.
Because of that the production cost was around 500,000 cents, but that should be in the range of a permissible expense for being able to enjoy delicious stone baked sweet potatoes.
At the very least I don’t consider it to be expensive.
Besides, this is a prototype.
If we assume mass production, the costs will likely become a lot cheaper.
“Wow. Even the nectar of these Maroimo is oozing out.”
Maroimo have a stronger sugary taste than the sweet potatoes I encountered in my previous life. Once you bake them on hot stones, it goes as far as them dripping with nectar.
The trickling nectar was scorched by the heated stones, causing the sweet scent enveloping the vicinity to become irresistible.
Just as I thought, it was a very good idea to have had a baked sweet potato device made by paying money.
“I think this way it’s even more delicious than steamed.”
No matter which world, women love baked sweet potato.
All of them are eating their share with expressions full of happiness.
Of course I’m overjoyed as well.
“Dear, let’s go back and buy them as souvenir once again.” (Elise)
“You’re right. If you make pudding and cake with this potato, they might be tasty.”
“Once we return home, I will try making them as test.”
We are in a state of escaping reality due to the deliciousness of the Maroimo, but His Majesty and the ministers should be the ones to decide what should be done about the tunnel’s management.
Since there’s no way to take any further steps as long as they don’t make up their minds, we finished the rest of the day by hunting flying dragons nearby.
“Say, Wend.” (Erwin)
“What is it, Erw?” (Wendelin)
“I suddenly thought of it just now, but isn’t it fine even if we don’t particularly come here every day?” (Erwin)
“…Now that you mention it…” (Wendelin)
The probability that we will be told anything by His Majesty in a day or two is low. Even if we come here, all we can do is eating Maroimo as snack, and hunt wyverns and flying dragons, I guess…
“…I don’t consider that to be bad, though.”
“No, no, no, wait! As Earl Baumeister that’s bad, isn’t it!?” (Erwin)
For a change I ended up being rebutted by Erw with the sound argument, 『There’s also work only a noble can do』.
“Having said that, if I pretend that I’m indeed coordinating the concessions like a noble in such way, Roderich shouldn’t increase my workload either.” (Wendelin)
While pretending to work as a noble, I will calmly spend my time in the Eulenberg territory.
After all it’s not really bad to hunt the wyverns and flying dragons inhabiting the Greater League Mountain Range as adventurer either.
“I’m not worried at all.” (Wendelin)
“It’s no problem, but do you believe that such deception will work against Roderich? What do you think, Elise?” (Ina)
“Let’s see, I’m sure he will immediately grasp the state of affairs…” (Elise)
Before Elise could finish speaking, there was an incoming call on my MHCD.
As I pick it up right away, I can hear a familiar voice.
『Milord, as for the discovered tunnel and the circumstances of the Eulenberg territory, I grasped the details from the message by His Majesty. Given that I can’t believe that the situation will change in a day or two, I’d like you to return for now and complete the same work as before…』 (Roderich)
Ina’s prediction proved to be completely right, resulting in us returning to the mansion for the moment.
My plan of continuing to live as adventurer in the Eulenberg territory while eating Maroimo fell apart in no time.
“Uuh…Ina, because you made such prediction…” (Wendelin)
“It’s my fault?” (Ina)
“Not quite, but…it makes me want to say so.” (Wendelin)
“I’m sorry, Wend. Look, it’s also because Amalie-san is going to come to the mansion, right?” (Ina)
That’s a joyful occasion, but doesn’t that make me seem like quite the lustful man?
Moreover, it even comes from Ina with who has been keeping me company for a long time.
“Anyway, we have to go back today.” (Wendelin)
“That’s correct. Go on, dear.” (Elise)
That how it was decided that we would return to the mansion, but the conclusion of the all-important matter with the tunnel still ended up being postponed.