The northern side of Lily Garden.
Here, Lily Garden’s heating device warms up all the water that flows in from the northern stream for the large baths and toilets. A large number of Fever stones are kept inside the device, and a tremendous amount of steam billows from out of the top of the device’s ventilation shafts.
Ellis was staring at this device intently. Apparently, she was having another idea.
“Do we still have some of the pancake ingredients Frau?”
Ellis returned from the heat generator to the kitchen and asked Frau.
“I have a stock of the mix and some sugar inside the smaller treasure chest.”
Frau pointed to the wooden treasure chest in the corner of the kitchen.
Ellis brought more than the contents of the treasure chests from the labyrinth, she brought the whole treasure chest back as well. These treasure chests had a unique preserving ability that made them perfect for storing food. There was one wooden treasure chest from an elementary labyrinth, and there was one iron treasure chest from a boss room in an upper labyrinth. This was only really possible thanks to the Bag of Gluttony. Without it, no one would bring back a heavy box rather than the valuable drops.
“Thank you Frau.”
Ellis measured out some of the pancake mix from the treasure chest with some milk in a bowl. She then poured the solution into a pottery cup before arranging the cup into a wisteria basket.
“What are you doing Ellis?”
Usually experiments are done between two people, Ellis and Claire, but Claire was off playing with Katie at the moment.
“Do you want to come see Frau?”
Curious, Frau obediently followed Ellis.
Ellis returned to the heating device, and she placed a lid on top of the wisteria basket while hooking up the basket’s handle to a long stick with a hook at one end. Manipulating the stick, she slid the basket into a ventilation opening, engulfing it in the expunged steam.
“What are you doing Ellis?”
Ellis replied to the question the same way she had before.
Actually, Ellis did not want Frau to get too curious until the experiment was successful, so she decided to remain quiet on purpose.
“Is it almost ready?”
After waiting for a while, Ellis manipulated the stick again and brought the basket back out of the steam into her hands. Careful so as to not burn herself, Ellis removed the basket’s lid, and a sweet scent drifted out. Some white and fluffy was overflowing from the pottery cup placed inside the basket.
Ellis took a piece of the fluff from the cup and popped it into her mouth.
Ellis nodded satisfied.
“It’s a success. Don’t hold back Frau.”
Taking Ellis up on her invitation, Frau pinched off a piece of the fluff herself. A sweet and fluffy feeling spread out into her mouth as the new food melted on her tongue.
“Aah, it’s so moist and fluffy and delicious.”
Ellis had successfully produced a steamed cake. A crispy pancake cooked with butter on both sides is also delicious, but the steamed cake is more moist, fluffy, and best of all, does not use any oil.
“To think there was such a method of cooking.”
Frau was admirably impressed. Before now, there was no method of steam cooking, at least not in Warren.
Satisfied with the experiment’s results, Ellis returned to the kitchen with Frau, talking about the future.
Today, Claire took Katie to visit the master of the Workshop Guild. Katie was wearing some white leather boots that she had bought at an armor shop yesterday.
“Master, are you here?”
As soon as Claire called, Flint immediately stuck his head out from inside the his workshop.
“I want to ask you to take a look at this.”
Taking the white boots from Katie, Flint examined their shape and size.
“Hmm, based on this… Yosh, come on in.”
Flint brought Claire and Katie into the smith inside the Workshop Guild.
“Well then Katie, would you show me that work of beauty?”
“Here you go.”
Flint received the Brave Ripper and set it on top of a table next to the boots.
“Well then, let me just go over these.”
Flint looked like he had actually gotten younger right before Claire and Katie’s eyes as he held the Brave Ripper and compared it to the boots. He confirmed the weight of the gauntlet before checking its internal structure, especially its ability to retract and draw out its claws.
“Can you do it?”
To the question, Flint gave a slightly troubled look.
“I’d have to adjust the weight of the claws, and the boots would need to either sacrifice some of their defense or their attack.”
The base long boots are light enough, but if you were to add metal to make adjustments, the weight would go up accordingly.
The reason why Claire and Katie were visiting the Workshop Guild was to balance out the Brave Ripper with the other portions of Katie’s equipment.
A pair of claw gauntlets and claw shin guards are equipped on both hands and feet, so a balance is required. Unfortunately, the dark mithril that Brave Ripper is made out of is significantly lighter than her usual equipment, so whenever Katie performs her usual movements, she is almost sure to lose her balance. Her dance-like movements have been restricted. Flint anticipated this problem and offered his help back when he first saw the Brave Ripper.
“If we equip the boots with the same size claws as the Brave Ripper, you will end up needing ballast on the heels, and the weight will go up accordingly. If we try to raise the defense of the boots, then we won’t be able to afford the weight of the claws.”
Flint had a serious expression, and even as he was saying those words, he was sorting through all the knowledge and experience he had to try and find a solution. Katie made all the consideration pointless.
“You can build it for attack-only. Defense doesn’t matter as their attacks don’t hit me in the first place.”
Flint was a little taken aback by this answer, but Claire was standing behind Katie, nodding her head and mumbling, “That’s right.”
“Ah, I see I see. You sure are cheerful girlie!”
Flint let out his trademark booming laugh and passed off the boots to a smith to start the order. The smith who took the order just had one question.
“By the way, the mechanism to eject and withdraw the claws, what is it? Can I run a few experiments with it?”
“That should be fine. It’s not like Claire and Katie invented it.”
It was true. They just found the gauntlet, and that fact gave Claire a disgusting idea.
“Hey master, about the Brave Ripper. Do you think we could mass produce some poorly made copies?”
Flint immediately noticed Claire’s intentions and smirked.
“Are you asking me to sprinkle around some poor quality products to towns and cities across the country?”
“I suppose if I were to make them out of brass, the color would be similar.”
“And I’d be able to immediately tell the differences because mine has my name written in it.”
After giving each other a wink, Claire and Flint returned to the topic at hand.
“The boots will be finished in three days, so you can pick it up then. Unfortunately, I’ll have to borrow Brave Ripper until then.”
Once everything was taken care of, Katie and Claire waved goodbye and decided to take a stroll as they left out of the guild’s back entrance.
Reeve is visiting the Merchant Guild at Ellis’s request because according to Ellis, Reeve gets a lot more information when she goes by herself rather than when Ellis comes along. All this information comes from Maria directly too.
“Miss Reeve. Welcome!”
Compared to Maria’s haughty atmosphere, Reeve was feeling rather melancholic.
“Because I’m just here for work today, you can just call me Reeve.”
“That won’t do. Greetings are important and should be done with energy!”
Reeve somehow managed to agree with Maria, but she could feel her face tighten up.
“Let’s go Miss Reeve! About today’s request.”
Maria had two requests today.
The first one was about help with men’s bathing house in the city. They had adjusted it in accordance with the management style of Lily Garden, but business was not increasing. They decided to ask Warren’s Jewelry Box for their help with this matter.
The second request was about Warren’s Harvest Festival that was coming soon. They wanted Warren’s Jewelry Box to help out with it.
“Because we are girls, if you let us inspect the men’s bath, I’m sure something will come up.”
“By the way, what does the Harvest Festival entail in particular?”
“It is an event mostly enjoyed by tourists. We try to drum up business so that more people will travel here throughout the year.”
For Warren, the harvest festival isn’t so much a celebration of the year’s products so much as an event to draw in more tourists and have them spend their money.
“So do you want us to set up a booth?”
“That could work. If you apply in advance to the Merchant Guild, I’ll make sure to reserve you girls a good spot.”
“Alright. I’ll be sure to tell my mistress.”
Reeve repeated Maria’s request in her head.
Seeing such a serious expression on Reeve’s face, Maria couldn’t help but blurt out outrageous things,
“By the way, Miss Reeve, can’t you stay here a little longer today?”
but Reeve has already become accustomed to such things.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t have those types of hobbies. Your feelings are more than enough.”
While adding, “at least not with you,” in her head, Reeve quickly mounted her Magical horse and left the Merchant Guild while ignoring Maria from then on.
“Aan, Miss Reeve…”
Apparently abandonment play was something that excited the Milf. A happy ending.
While eating Frau’s homemade oil pickled salmon with cold tomato pasta, Ellis listened to Reeve’s report.
“Should I go check it out this afternoon?”
“I’ll go with you.”
Ellis judged that if anyone was going to go with her, it would be better for her to go rather than Claire.
“Should I go?”
Although Claire offered to do so, there were other things that Ellis thought, so she switched the story.
“I have an idea about what we can do for the Harvest Festival.” She then turned to Frau. “That thing from this morning.”
“Certainly, it can be made easily and cheaply. It’s also delicious, even if it gets cold.”
The three people not in the know were curious to what it was Frau was praising so passionately.
“They are sweets. I’ll teach you three how to make them.”
After finishing lunch, Ellis and Frau prepared some pottery cups, pancake mix and milk on the table. When Ellis placed the cup in front of them, Frau measured out some milk and mix, and placed it inside the cup.
“Mix gently so that you don’t make a mess, but be sure to remove any clumps.”
The three copied Ellis and Frau’s movements using tiny spoons to mix everything together. Once all the powder had melted into the milk, it was ready.
“Next you will fix the cup into a wisteria basket.”
Ellis arranged everyone’s cups into a metal cage and placed them into a basket that was prepared this morning. Frau made sure that all the cups were secure, and Ellis grabbed the long hook pole that was resting on the kitchen’s wall.
“Now let’s go.”
With Ellis in the lead, the five headed towards the heating device. Upon arrival, Ellis took the basket from Frau, and she placed the basket inside the steam the same way she had done that morning.
“What are you doing?”
“Cooking Reeve. Claire should already understand the mechanism.”
“I understand Ellis.”
“If you put it there, the steam will make it hot.”
Unfortunately, Ellis really didn’t know how long she should keep them in there.
“I wonder if it finished awhile ago.”
Ellis took the basket out of the heat generator, and Frau took a peek underneath the lid. Three people were surprised by the sweet scent that wafted out. When they looked inside, five white fluffy cakes had formed.
“These are called steamed cakes.”
Ellis pulled out her own cup after waiting for the heat inside the basket to dissipate a little.
“Oh, it’s so soft.”
“It’s moist and fluffy and tasty!”
“Since there wasn’t any oil, doesn’t that make this healthy!?”
Katie is normally an air head, but she seems to notice the important things rather easily at times like this.
“We can sell these at the Harvest Festival.”
But Ellis shook her head and wagged her finger in front of Frau’s lips.
“Sweet Frau. We will sell more if we make a few adjustments.”
Ellis quietly addressed the four girls.
“Let’s each perform an experiment. Then, we can have a competition and try selling our experimental cakes at the at the festival. In the meantime, Claire, come up with a design and submit it to the Workshop Guild so that we can mass produce the cakes for selling.”
This was the task Ellis had for Claire.
“Next is the bath. Reeve, let’s go quickly.”
As Ellis and Reeve left—Frau, Claire, and Katie all watched them go while thinking about their own experiments for the future.
Ellis went with Reeve to greet Maria, and the two of them then walked on foot to the bathhouse which was currently closed for cleaning.
“What is this …..?”
Ellis didn’t know what to say when she saw the state the the bathhouse was in.
First of all, the impression around the building was bad. Women who were clearly street prostitutes were hanging around the front entrance, and it created an atmosphere that would prevent any ordinary man from approaching. When the girls entered through the side entrance to avoid them, an unfriendly old man was there to greet them.
“Who are you young girls? Did you come to take a bath?”
Reeve walked up to the old man who was currently laughing about his own vulgar implications and coldly addressed him.
“This is Ellis from the Warren Council. She is visiting today on behalf of the Merchant Guild master Maria.”
At last the man at the reception desk put on a serious face and stood up straight.
Ellis interrupted the panicking man.
“This is a surprise visit. We’ll walk around ourselves, so you can just wait here. We do not know how long we will be.”
There was nothing glamorous with this bathhouse.
The bathing for men had just opened up the facility’s structure and expanded the kiosk like Lily Garden, but none of the ideals were copied at all.
Ellis couldn’t count the number of times she’d already sighed.
“I don’t understand, I don’t understand at all. Maria!”
When she returned to the Merchant guild, Ellis mercilessly pointed out all the issues that had to be fixed. Even Maria was pushed back by Ellis’s words and passionate attitude.
“So what should we do?”
Ellis’s smile spread across her face to the confused Maria.
“We’ll will go with this.”
Ellis licked her lips.
“Something like that…”
“Poison can also be a medicine if it’s a small amount.”
Maria hesitated. She wasn’t entirely sold on Ellis’s suggestion.
“We will help you, so please allow us to do it this way.”
With Ellis saying so much, Maria gave in and silently nodded.
In this way, the Merchant Guild master had gone in bed¹ with a hikineet dressed up as an 8 year old girl.
1. This is an idiom. Maria did not actually sleep with Ellis. To get in bed with someone means to become involved with illegal activities, so a corrupt cop is in bed with the mob. The last sentence is just an allusion to the fact that whatever Ellis’s solution to the bathhouse is, it’s less than moral