Chapter 77 – The preparations
Whoosh whoosh- The sound of the wind spouting out from the pair of bellows reverberated.
Each time it happened, the charcoal would turn faintly redder and brighter together with the heat rising up.
Eiji was swinging with his iron mallet while being alone in the workshop.
Without any signs of anybody around, the sound of the mallet echoed inside the dim place.
His pupils went back earlier than usual.
He didn’t intend to let Pietro have anything to do with weapon making nor, obviously, Dante and Katharina, who arrived from Nazioni.
Eiji decided that creating weapons will be exclusive to him alone.
He placed his trust in Pietro’s ability to keep a secret; nevertheless, there was a high possibility that the young Pietro will expose the information unintentionally through his actions.
There’s no telling if someone holding distrust would appear from somewhere, were he to neglect any small detail.
Perhaps It was necessary to pay close attention.
Not being able to learn through observation is a waste,
however, there are cases when learning by oneself goes faster.
Doing one’s job while teaching and giving instructions to others is quite tough.
At least, if they don’t improve their basic skills a little more, Eiji probably won’t be able to entrust them with his job.
– But, in the end, I’ll be in a trance-like state when making something, I guess….
Eiji put a self-mocking smile on his face.
Despite him harshly refusing to make weapons, whenever he finds himself at the stage of crafting something, he would become lost in his work.
An artisan is really a person of cause and effect.
Such a person will want to convert his joy of making items into all possible things.
The first weapon that Eiji decided to make for his self-defense was a spearhead.
Because they are intended to be used during a special occasion, like wolf extermination, a thorough understanding of its work process and vital points will play a big role.
Despite blacksmiths and tool makers having skills, making weapons that are outside of their area of expertise is difficult. However, utilizing one’s small experience of making something similar may contribute in grasping the vital points of making weapons.
Again, a long-range weapon can keep a further distance between opponents in comparison with a Katana, and is probably more likely to become the main force on the battlefield.
Since he entrusted his disciples with making arrowheads, Eiji himself focused his full power on crafting things which only he could make.
Eiji intended to make a big spear for a person with a large body like Philip by centering its shape around an Omi no Yari.
The amount of steel material used would increase rapidly, but nevertheless, Eiji decided to overlook that fact on this occasion.
The mining is making good progress thanks to Dante and the rest, isn’t it? – he thought.
Evening is the best time for a blacksmith to swing with his arm.
The red-dyed sunlight will clearly display the color of the heated steel.
Were it to be dazzling broad daylight, this wouldn’t work.
Eiji made mild steel one after another.
All of them had a similarly perfect shape, just like they were measured with a ruler.
If one were to line them up, their difference would probably be less than 1mm.
That’s because doing the same things constantly will increase one’s work efficiency.
A mild steel is a mild steel, and a steel is a steel. They both should undergo many procedures, such as heating, quenching, and annealing.
Should I start making same items every week? – Eiji thought.
– …… Is there someone here?
Suddenly, he noticed someone’s presence.
Turning around, he looked for the person.
Normally, he would only hear the sound of the workshop.
Eiji interrupted his work and looked over the interior.
There was no trace of a person hiding, even in the cover.
If so, could it be the entranceway, or the windows?
Both of them were opened in order to let light come in.
– Indeed, that’s strange…….
There was nobody in either of these places.
However, Eiji certainly felt someone’s presence.
Just who had approached this workplace, and what was that person’s aim?
Eiji took advantage of him reaching the point where he could rest, and extinguished the fire.
Then, he properly locked the entranceway.
With the lock being steel-made, it wasn’t something that could be easily broken under normal circumstances.
With this, it should probably be safe for now.
Forgetting about that person’s presence for the time being, Eiji was thinking about the plan hereafter.
When it comes to war preparations, it isn’t just fine to weapons.
Food provisions, protectors, and constructing defensive facilities were also among the preparations necessary.
That’s why, items that are meant to protect one’s body will as well be necessary.
Nevertheless, it’s also possible to create and improve those without using iron as their main component.
Shall I entrust Tanya-san with the instructions and have that made as next?
As a matter of fact, everything that is required to make it is fully set.
The remaining thing would be to change the manner of operations.
While pondering about various things, Eiji got on his way back home.
As soon as he returned, Tanya was waiting for him with an already prepared meal.
Because Eiji would continue to smith in the evening, their meals were taken later than in other households.
For that reason, they would have to use extra oil to light their house, which was a bit severe for their pockets.
Once Eiji came back, they immediately started eating.
– So with that, Eiji-san will from now stay alone in the workshop, right?
– Yes. I’ll be working overtime. I decided to tell you ahead of time so as not to cause any misunderstanding this time.
– I’m sorry about that time…..
– Ah, no. I didn’t mean to bring it up again, but you see, that’s not the point. If you encounter Pietro or the other pupils, please don’t tell them anything, even if you are to be asked.
– Understood. I won’t tell anyone.
Seeing Tanya, who nodded decisively, Eiji felt at ease.
For Eiji, even if he was to hold military power, he wouldn’t want to resort to a war.
Building up their stockpile in secret, growing into a comparable military power that can’t be capsized by others, and gaining their independence through decisive actions was the best method.
Some may say that he’s naïve, but Eiji wanted to avoid the death of those in his close surroundings more than anything.
It wasn’t something that could be treated as human affairs where people’s death would be learned from television or newspaper in remote places.
If a war takes place in this village, people, who have been close to him, will die one after another.
And that could also concern Eiji himself.
Considering all of that, the most vital thing would be not to let their secret leak out.
– Still, those people have been performing really well.
– Yes, I too will admit that. After all, they are pupils who have lived under my guidance.
Back in the medieval times, pupils would take care of their master’s home, which was considered an obvious thing. Even now it’s the same regardless of whether it’s east or west.
There are also examples left in the surviving documents where certain guilds would deliberately ban the exploitation of pupils by their master’s wife in their agreements.
Tanya, who was also pregnant, could request aid from her surroundings.
Just that fact alone made Eiji concerned about her behavior.
– Speaking of which, Eiji-san.
– Katharina-san said that she would like to have a bra, but…
– Ah, she probably needs one, I guess.
– Since I’m thinking of trying to make it, won’t you tell me its method?
– If you like, I can make i—ah, no! It’s nothing. Please do so, Tanya-san!
– All right.
Just before Eiji tried to suggest him making it, Tanya’s eyes emitted a dangerous light.
Even though, a while ago, she had a smiling face, Eiji wanted her to stop having a serious look out of nowhere.
He would touch Tanya’s chest numerous of times under the pretext of size measuring, so his fondness of chests was well known to her.
Katharina’s breasts were also unusually abundant.
Certainly, it would be better for her to have a bra.
– Well then, shouldn’t Tanya-san too have a brand new bra?
– I guess so. Is it because of my tummy growing big? Recently, it has grown bigger again, to the extent of me being unable to adjust the hook.
– I’ll make Tanya-san’s bra, so please make another one for Katharina in the same manner.
– Please do so. I wonder if Eve-san and Adele-san are fine without having one….
Just as she said, Eiji recalled Philip’s and Fernando’s wives.
Hm….. I think they would be okay even without one, and there should also be no problem in terms of fashion.
However, perhaps they wouldn’t mind if he was to prioritize other things first.
Eiji refrained from giving a clear reply.
– First, shouldn’t we begin with yours?
– Let’s do so.
There was no end to the topics of their conversation.
Even after finishing the meal, they continued their pleasant talk.