The job of an assistant secretary was, bluntly speaking, boring.
I became Lyle-sensei’s assistant, who was in charge of making clean copies of detailed reports and drawing up official documents. However, the amount of work wasn’t that big a deal.
Losgow was a small settlement located at the foot of Ye Mountain, with a population that could be, at most, 200 people.
At the outskirts of this village, there is a small iron ore mine that falls under the direct jurisdiction the country, unlike this village that belongs to a local feudal lord. If one was to include laborers and blacksmiths living near that mine, or perhaps, even wandering adventurers, like Louise, the population shouldn’t be more than 300 people.
Certainly, this village feels like a miniature garden.
Even though I said my job includes drawing up official documents, it doesn’t really amount to much.
I can understand why secretary Lyle decided to work additionally as a private tutor of children, as he had too much spare time.
Still, there was a benefit even in drawing up these boring documents.
While I had been checking on and writing various documents intended for this place’s king and feudal lord, I finally was able to understand this village’s topography and characteristics.
Even the distance separating here and the royal capital wouldn’t take more than 4 days of travel by stagecoach to traverse.
Reversely, it would probably mean the kingdom itself wasn’t that big.
Either way, I want to try to go to the royal capital of Silesia.
However, there’s something I’m more concerned about….
“Secretary Lyle, are there any hot springs in our village?
“I guess. If you want to enter a hot spring, you’ve gotta dig one with a shovel.”
As I was told, apparently, there is no convenient place here in which hot water will gush out. Rather, the place along the river on the outskirts of the village would become a hot spring if you dug there.
Somehow, it feels different. I wonder if it’s due to the appearance of this plain hot spring located in this dry river bed.
“Well then, shall we enter together this time?”
“Yes…. no, I’m not quite good when it comes to entering with someone.”
Ah, sensei-made an unpleasant face. I guess he’s right, as there’s no way for us to enter together.
That’s because it won’t do if we don’t hide our private parts.
Were I to insist on doing that too much, I would worsen his Excellency’s mood, so I decided to stop.
More importantly, it isn’t something to be concerned about right now.
“Secretary Lyle, does this hot spring contain sulfur?”
“Ohh, I see you can understand it well. It does, as there’s a volcanic crater, which exposes them, nearby.”
That’s right. The presence of a hot spring doesn’t necessarily mean there’s sulfur, however, there are lots of instances where a sulfur mine would appear whenever there’s a hot spring nearby a volcanic crater.
The erudite Lyle-sensei, known for his intellectual thirst and vigor, seems to also be a 1st class alchemist, who does field works besides merely drawing up documents, such as checking this surrounding for mineral resources.
I shall ask him for more details regarding this place later.
“Are there also mines with niter in them?”
“Niter, you say? There are none in the surrounding area. If you want niter no matter what, how about ordering some from royal capital, or producing it by yourself?”
Were I to order niter from far away, the size of the budget I would need for my plan would probably skyrocket.
I know this from a manga, but, certainly, niter should be a product obtained from fermentation of animal dung.
I think I should be able to make it if I boil down soil from areas that had been previously used as a toilet for livestock and humans.
I will ask Lyle-sensei, who’s a professional alchemist, for more details regarding that as well.
Having sulfur, niter, and charcoal, I should be able to create gunpowder.
“Could it be….. you’re thinking about making gunpowder?”
“Ohh, did you notice?”
As expected of Lyle-sensei and this medieval times fantasy world.
However, I was surprised he could notice that.
Hmm, could it be that gunpowder is something commonly used in this world?
I thought about marketing it as my own original technique, but….
“I too have never made gunpowder before. I have only read about it being applied before in some distant empire during a war, in history books.”
“I see, so gunpowder has already been used in a war.”
However, it would mean then that gunpowder isn’t commonly found in the Kingdom of Silesia.
Despite the item having already been invented, nobody seems to have recognized its effectiveness yet, I guess.
In that case, it may be possible for me to follow my original plan.
There was a fear that someone would steal my idea, but, I had already decided to tell Lyle-sensei my plan.
Lyle-sensei has been taking care of me a lot, so I don’t mind if he steals the idea.
“Actually, I’m thinking about making bombs created with gunpowder and marketing them for the purpose of open-pit mining.”
“I see, so by creating explosions, you could dig a hole til you hit bedrock? That’s an amazing idea…. I’ve never heard about such a method. Is that something Takeru-dono has hit upon?”
That’s right. It’s a technique I’ve hit upon.
Well, it’s merely rock blasting, but still.
That’s why Lyle-sensei, if you gaze at me that much with your eyes radiating with respect, I’ll become embarrassed, so please stop.
There’s no way for me to tell him my knowledge is something I’ve gained from a different world.
Obviously, manufacturing bombs takes time and I don’t know if I can market this item, However, if things work out, this might become a source of income.
“Lyle-sensei. If it’s fine by you, can I have you help me with the production and sale of gunpowder goods? Of course, I’ll reward you appropriately.”
“Yes, I don’t mind. Despite me having lots of free time, I’m deeply curious about manufacturing of gunpowder. Also, I don’t particularly mind the money.”
Was Lyle-sensei the type of a person that valued knowledge above money?
Well, I guess he’s even more remarkable than the tribal chief of this village.
Naturally, I plan to manufacture gunpowder, but, since the iron ore pit belongs to the Kingdom of Silesia, I’ll allow myself to make use of secretary Lyle’s reputation when marketing it.
A person of doubtful origin, like me, might be able to pass through any obstacle, rather than having to traverse them.
For the time being, I’ve decided to check on the site where the sulfur is being collected when going to the hot spring located on the dry river bed.
Because going there alone would be tedious, I decided to call someone to tag along with me.
The first person who came into my mind was Lyle-sensei, however, I was denied by him to associate with me in bathing together as fellow men. I wonder if Louise will agree to come with me.
Speaking of which, I haven’t met Louise much recently since the time I became an assistant secretary.
That’s because Lyle-sensei lent me a room to stay at in this village’s only inn.
In this inn, there were also a bar and an adventurer’s guild.
Once I returned back from my work this afternoon like usual, I saw Louise drinking in the bar.
“Yo, if it isn’t Takeru-dono, the assistant secretary.”
“Please stop that.”
When I told Louise, whom I haven’t met for a long time, about me becoming an assistant secretary, she treated me to hunted meat (It was monster meat again), and even congratulated me for getting my new job, but….
Lately, she’s been bantering with me each time we meet each other.
It looks like she learned about me being referred to as ‘Takeru-dono’ by Lyle-sensei, and has since then become addicted to use that name as a key point for her to laugh.
Naturally, I myself knew I wasn’t fit for such a formal way of being referred to, so, I got red in the face upon hearing it.
“Fufu, sorry for that. I’ll bring you some more crazy dog’s meat next time, so forgive me.”
“More importantly, won’t you come with me to a hot spring?”
Because I had already gotten tired of eating grilled monster meat, I thought I would invite Louise to the hot spring.
“Hmm, a hot spring? Let me think for a moment.”
“As expected, is it no good?”
Louise doesn’t seem to be that interested. Perhaps, I should have let her get drunk before trying to invite her?
I was hoping to have a mixed bath with a beauty of exceptional figure, like Louise, however, it might be that she was able to read my skillfully hidden ulterior motive.
“I don’t quite get why I should, you see.”
“No, what I mean to say is, I don’t see any meaning in submerging oneself in hot water. If you want to clean yourself, wouldn’t it be fine just to wash yourself with the hot water in a bucket instead?”
“Hmm, I see.”
It seems like taking a bath isn’t common in this place.
I wonder if it’s because of cultural diversity.
Perhaps, it would also depend on the person themself, as Lyle-sensei wasn’t against bathing in a hot spring.
The moment I thought I should give up and not try to force Louise, I heard a cute, familiar voice from beneath me/from below.
“If you’re going to a hot spring, why won’t you invite meeee!”
A rustling, blond Sara-chan, whose appearance resembled that of a childhood friend, appeared from below the table.
Wouldn’t I hit my thighs against the table, as a result of being surprised?
What will you do if my old injury from the crazy dog’s bite opens?
Despite this rattle and noise, Louise quickly grabbed her plate of cooked beans together with her mug of beer and continued to eat and drink composedly.
It looks like the only one who was surprised was me. Could it be that coming out from below the table is a common part of this world’s culture?
“If it’s now, I don’t mind giving Takeru, special, rights to invite me to a hot spring.”
“Hmm, if you have permission from your parents, then I’ll take you.”
If we choose to go to the hot spring near the sulfur mine, then the place won’t be that far away from the village.
There also doesn’t seem to be any danger of monsters appearing on our way, so there’s no need for me to object to her request.
Having Sara-chan come with me will be a form of repaying her favor for introducing me to Lyle-sensei.
I’m fine with her coming with me if she wants, but, I’d rather have her receive permission from her parents first.
“Looks like you’re treating me like a child. You’ve got some guts, even though you were a servant just recentlyyy.”
“Sorry for that.”
Sara-chan stuck out her almost flat chest while raising up her chin.
She most likely intends to act bossy, but, because she’s a child, it looks cute instead.
Still, isn’t this all the more reason for her to get permission from her parents, since I used to be their former servant?
I’m not sure if it exists in this world or not, but I’d hate it if I had to be involved in some sort of legal case.
“If it’s permission, then I can get it. So, take Sara-chan quickly with you.”
“Ah, is that so?”
Holding her plate and mug of beer skillfully in both her hands, Louise said so with a disappointed face while eating her side dish.
If Sara-chan was to go rampant here, she would most likely hinder Louise in eating.
It would be a different story if it was just Sara-chan, but, if the elder-sister-like Louise insists so, I can only follow what she says.
Carrying towels and shovels, the two of us went to a spring located on a dry river bed.
Indeed, there was a stream coming up from a brooklet-like small river.
The smell of sulfur, which I could detect, gave me some hope of turning this place into a mining site.
“Well then, it’s time to dig. Takeru, dig a hot spring for ussss.”
Could it be that, even now, I’m still a servant of the Rhod family?
Well, since I was indebted to Sara-chan, I started to dig a big hole, like I was told.
Interestingly enough, clean water mixed with mud continued to gush out as I was digging firmly and gradually.
Digging a hole becomes a habit when you do it gradually, and once you become hooked, it doesn’t feel like you will be bothered by digging at all.
“Lyle-sensei said that your skin turns pretty when you submerge in a hot springggg.”
“That’s right, I guess this will work as well.”
Still, to think that Lyle-sensei would know about a hot spring’s properties in this period. I guess he’s way too incredible.
Could it be, he…. who isn’t a girl, is actually a modern person that was transported from another world?
Hmm, thinking about that, it’s indeed a frightening possibility.
This time, should I have tea with Lyle-sensei and try to casually ask him about modern times.
One thing I can tell is, that there’s a chance Lyle-sensei’s transparent-like skin was created as a result of this spring.
And then, if I hide for a long time somewhere in this surroundings, will I be able to watch some precious bathing scene involving Lyle-sensei?
“Takeru, are you thinking about some dirty things?”
“Arara, you can tell?”
Not like I’m particularly thinking about anything dirty, since Lyle-sensei is a man. Even if I was to see bathing scenes involving a man from time to time, it shouldn’t be considered a crime.
Rather, it should be fine for fellow men to take a bath together, but, for some strange reason, I’m feeling guilty.
“Well, it’s fine either way. Let’s enter quickly.”
“Ummm…… I think it’s the right time to ask, but, are you really fine with us entering together?”
No matter how much of a flat-chested child Sara-chan is, it felt a bit awkward.
Since it’s quite bothersome to dig two holes in separate places, it can’t be helped but have a mixed bath.
“Takeru, are you the type of a person who gets aroused by looking at naked children?”
“…..No, I guess I’m not, even if I’m told that.”
“My mom told me I should be careful, because there are people like that, but, isn’t it fine if you’re not like them.”
“You’re right. I guess it’s all about protein.”
Since it would be troublesome if I were mistaken and reported as a lolicon, I decided to stay composed.
Sara-chan peeked at my face with her upturned eyes as if searching for something.
The pink-colored lips of Sara-chan, whose appearance was vivid, changed into a smile.
I wonder, if I’m not being made fun of.
For a high schooler to be ridiculed by a girl 5 years younger, what will people think about that?
Somehow, it felt like she was putting on airs. As I was thinking so, Sara-chan suddenly undressed and became naked.
Uwa, I guess in this world there’s no concept of underwear.
Or perhaps, it’s because of her being a child born in countryside?
I couldn’t think of anyone I could compare her with, so I didn’t know.
No good, my heart is beating fast. Don’t panic! A hero who comes from another world isn’t supposed to panic!
“Takeru…… however much it is, I’ll be embarrassed if you stare at me that much.”
I guess it will be a breach of manners if I stare at her too much. Protect me, my manners! Come to me, my seat belt!
I quickly undressed myself and I submerged inside a natural bathtub.
Speaking of which, I thought Sara-chan had no chest at all, but, it turned out she actually had some. On that chest of hers, which was around the size of a small wooden bowl, there was plumpness.
The tips of her slightly bulged chest resembled cherry blossom-colored petals, however, the area near her crotch was still smooth like that of a child.
Oh my, I’m really staring at a child’s body, which is probably wrong by any means.
The situation suddenly felt like the one with an R18 setting.
Sara-chan quickly entered into the bathtub.
The hot water was white and cloudy, so as long we submerged inside the spring, it would be fine even if something was to explode.
I’d rather you not ask me what’s going to explode.
“This feels goodddd.”
“Yes, indeed, it feels like being reborn.”
For Sara-chan, it was probably something just pleasurable.
However, for me, it was a bath which I could enjoy again after half a month.
The climate here was much more dry than in Japan. Therefore, even washing your body with hot water would suffice, still…
“As expected, you can’t call yourself a Japanese if there’s no bath!”
I thought so from the bottom of my heart, or better to say, shouted.
Being a Japanese is about baths!
I’ve decided to come to a spring more often.
“That’s right, don’t you use soap?”
“Soap, it’s that thing that creates bubbles, right? I’ve never used anything as expensive as that.”
Certainly, if memory serves me rights, there wasn’t even something like that in this village’s only general store.
Despite there being towels, there is no soap?
“Hmm, would you like to try if there was one?”
“If I say ‘I want ittt~’, will you buy it for me, Takeru?”
Oh my, so you already know how to coquet a man at this age? Indeed, she’s a scary kid.
Despite Sara-chan being a child, she can sometimes say things like an adult woman.
Perhaps, it’s because of the short life span in medieval times.
She’s still a 12-year-old kid, but, unless she quickly becomes an adult, she will probably die.
This what you call living fast, isn’t it?
Who would’ve thought the 17-year-old me would be teased by a girl this fast.
Certainly, that’s a frightening speed for a fantasy world.
“I’ll try and see if I can get a hold of some soap.”
However, I won’t be buying it, you see.
It should be fine if I try to make it.
“Hee? As expected of Takeru, who’s a literary man.”
Somehow, it felt like I was being revered.
For some reason, it looks like Sara-chan imagines a literary man as someone who draws amazing graphs together with Lyle-sensei.
In comparison with that cheat-like level pundit, I’m merely just the sort of person who possesses half-baked modern knowledge. However, I do want others to place their expectations on me.
If I remember correctly, soap should be easily made with oil and ash.
Provided it’s true that soap is expensive, maybe it’s possible for me to turn this into goods for sale too.