Yuusha no furi
90: Hazardous fairy Haya and fermentation
I entered the workshop of the fairy Haya to ask her to make an offertory box.
The door was set up in the way, that only the hero party or people with the "Light"-attribute can enter.

It's a small workshop with the size of about five tatamis.
However, since everything was down-sized to be used by a fairy of 30 centimeters, it was extravagantly spacious to the fairy in question.
Devices that seemed to be prototypes with unknown purposes were lined up on the shelves at the walls. A lot of devices were equipped with rotation mechanisms. Did she practice for the paddle steamer with these?

Haya was sitting at a work table and stopped moving her hands, that were swinging a hammer and a chisel.
"Welcome, Keika-san!"
"You seem to make all sorts of things, huh."
"It's thanks to you, Keika-san! I can freely pursue my ideas. Thank you."

I took one of the devices off a shelf. It's a round ball that has a helicopter-like propeller attached to it.
"Freely pursued technology is the best. What's this?"
"That's a 'Drorone'. It uses a 'Ghost Core' and can take pictures from above. Do you want to see?"

Somehow, an unpleasant premonition haunted me and I picked up the next device. It's long and narrow and has a propeller at its bottom side.
"This is?"
"That makes use of a compressed 'Dragon Breath' and is an 'Intercontinental Ballistic Love Letter Delivery Machine'. It reaches the chest of the recipient with an error margin of one centimeter."
"Heh. --How fast is it when it arrives?"
"Maybe about 8 kilometers per second?"

"*Haa*?? Why?? Delivering love letters is one of the jobs that a fairy has to do!"
Haya complained to me while making her round eyes roll.
"The recipient will die! The town might even disappear!"
"That would indeed be a problem. Then I should also make a love letter reception machine I guess."
I feel that this is going into the wrong direction.

I took the model of a propeller plane. It's a biplane.
"Don't create anything that's too different from this world's technology. At least keep it down to something like biplanes... by the way, what is this?"
"That's an 'Ultra-High-Altitude Stealth-Tactic Bouquet Presentation Machine'. It can deliver a bouquet of flowers with an error margin of three centimeters from a height of 55000 meters, that even dragons or magic won't reach. You can have a peace of mind even if you don't have air superiority. It's just like out of a fairy tale--'
"...now I feel like the fairies should be left to die after all."

"*uu*", Haya's face distorts.
"That's terrible... you're the one who told me about it. Although I only took paddle steamers, steam engines, springs, gears, crank mechanisms, screws, gas properties and the dynamic lift as references."
I sighed.
Did she develop the technology so fast because I told her about the earth's technology?
She pestered me several times to talk about the earth, but to think that she adopted those things so easily...
I'm glad that I haven't told her about nuclear fission.

"My bad. But, don't refer to the things I've told you too much. Those are ideas from a different dimension after all."
Haya obediently nodded. She's cute when she's docile.

"*cough*", I coughed and spoke.
"So, there's something I want you to make."
"What is it?"
"It's an offertory box. It's a box of about this size and money can be put inside."
I indicated the size with my hands.

"Hmm. For what purpose?"
"I want to set it up in front of the front shrine in the center of the premises for people to put money inside, but I want to make it in a way, that the money can't be stolen. Additionally, I want it to make a sound when money is put inside."
"Can't you catch a 'Mimic Box' and tame it?"
"I'd have a really bad feeling about that. I want something with a less dangerous feel to it."

Haya spoke after thinking hard.
"Then, no one would be able to steal the money if you keep the box constantly heated to several thousand degrees Celsius."
"Isn't that idea strange!? The village will burn down and the surroundings will turn to magma. The money will evaporate as well."
"*Uu~*, it's difficult..."

"You don't have to think that complicated, can't you come up with something simpler? Things like installing a fairy door at the bottom of the box that transfers the money to the house."
"Oh~. Nice idea! It's as if you've got the mind of a fairy."
"No way! But let's go into that direction for now-- Ah, what I also wanted to know, can you make a "Darkness"-attribute detection device from scratch? And also enhance it to react to demons?"

"Sure. I can make it when I take the ball from before as reference. Should it be the same sphere shape?"
"No, it should be the same size as me. Please take the bronze statue at the front shrine as reference. But make sure that you're not seen."
"Yeees. I'll take a look at it with the 'Drorone'."
"I'll leave it to you."
She started to work at once, so I left the workshop.

I leisurely walk through the backyard.
I think I'm done with everything I wanted to do with the residence.
What's left is to choose a suitable object of worship.
With regards to the village, I want to build a hospital and a school once everything related to housing is done. They should attract people, who will certainly be grateful. This should increase my believers.
Also, once the field work and harvest is done, there will be more people available, which means that I should be able to add even more buildings.

The mansion's bath has also been completed in the backyard near the dining room.
The dressing room is right behind the entrance and in the back are a washing place and the bath. The bath tub is large enough for five of six people. If it's too big, it'll require a lot of energy to heat the water, hence I had decided on a medium size.
But most importantly, I finally have the bath that I had longed for.
I'll go in later.

I met Clarissa when I passed by the kitchen behind the house. She carried dry firewood.
"Oh. Keika-sama. Please wait a little longer until dinner."
"I don't mind. Ah, that's right!"
There was still another matter that I wanted to tackle.

Clarissa raised her voice and looked surprised.
"What happened?"
"I've seen some pickled leaf vegetables the other day, but are there also other fermented foods?"
"Fermented food? You mean like cheese or wine?"

"That's right. Are there others? For example are there fermented steamed rice or beans, or might the juices that are produced during that process used for seasoning?"
"How are the beans processed after they've been steamed?"
"I think, salt and 'Kouji' are added and then they are put in an airtight barrel."

"It's a kind of mold that grows on rice or bread but isn't toxic."
"Finding harmless mold might be difficult..."
"So it's like that after all"
Although there were all kinds of ingredients from all over the continent available for the cooking contest in the dragon's dungeon, there were neither rice, nor miso nor soy sauce. There were fermented fish and meat sauces though.

This means that it's known that easily rotting fish or meat can be preserved by pickling it in salt.
The fermented fish and meat sauces were the resulting products of the natural fermentation. The taste is good but the strong smell is a weakness.
Just like it works with rice and wheat, beans can also be preserved in the same way after they've been steamed and pickled in salt, but I wonder why it's done.
Maybe it's because of the high humidity in Japan and China, which leads to natural germination and the beans hence can't be stored for a whole year...
I didn't really know about it since I never had an interest in it.
To begin with, I received meals as offerings but I never did them myself.

Clarissa spoke.
"In short, steamed beans and wheat should be pickled in salt, right?
"That's the idea."
"But there's the proverb 'You should neither let your lover nor your bean soup wait'."
"I get the meaning more or less. It'll be dangerous if it's left alone for too long. Overall, when thinking about the possibility that poisonous mold will grow, I feel that I should be present when it is eaten since I can heal with magic."
"Understood. I'll make it for testing."

Then Minya peeked with her face through the rear entrance. Her triangular ears are moving swiftly.
"Test, you said?"
"Ah, maybe I should ask for your help as well, since you're also skilled at cooking."
Clarissa nods to my words.
"Minya-chan has amazing skills. I'm familiar with the cuisines of a lot of places, but she'll surpass me before long."
Minya learned the cuisine of Edelstein by helping Clarissa, and her cooking level has already reached 30.

If Minya participates, she can also think about ways to pickle beans in salt.
Of course I told them everything I knew.
I don't know what's of importance, so I told them about how stones are placed on the airtight barrels, how the beans are immediately laid out in an even room after they've been steamed, how many days they are heated and so on.

Well, I guess I can consider myself lucky it works out.
Since it's a different world, who knows what kinds of deadly poison might be born from that.
I thought about giving Haya information about bacteria and enzymes for a moment, but then abandoned the idea because she might just begin to create bacterial weapons at once.

I was thinking about making miso and soy sauce into local specialties of Keika Village.
They are easy to transport since they can be stored over a long time. I can sell my name. And the people will have a lifeline should there be a bad harvest, so it should increase my believers. There are only benefits.
And even if it's difficult or might even fail, I don't have anything to lose.


It became evening and we're eating dinner together.
Lapisia's favorite food - sausages - were brought out onto the table.
Since meat was expensive, it was a luxury in the village.
Also, sausages were rare in this country. And intestines are usually either thrown away or immediately cooked because they'll quickly spoil.

Lapisia yells after she bit into it.
"It's also tasty if you put it between the bread and apply some sauce."
She puts the sausage in the bread, applies some sweet sauce and stuffs it in her mouth.
She gulps down while her eyes are sparkling with happiness.
"Hm! Tasty! Thank you, Keika!"
"But also eat vegetables! You can put them in between."
While Lapisia looked puzzled, she did as she was told, put the vegetables in between and started to eat.

"You worked hard today after all. It's your reward."
"I'll also work hard tomorrow!"
"Hm--, I don't really have any work for you for a while. Whether you'll play or study, just do your best."
"Ugh~, yes, I'll do my best..."
Lapisia looked somewhat sad and frowned. But she kept lively eating the sausages with the bread without interruption.

At that time, Fioria's hand, that she used to eat her soup, stopped moving.
She gazed into the empty space and muttered "Ah...yes...understood".
I felt faint magic power.

"What's wrong, Fioria?"
"Keika-sama. I was just contacted by my companions and they seem to have found it."
It's probably about the World Tree.
She seemed to keep her wording vague because Clarissa and the slave girl Ena were in the room.

"So it was like that then? Aren't you glad?"
"Everyone seemed troubled whether all of them should move and how to get to the west in that case."
"There's something I want them to do. It'll surely be of benefit to the humans and the elves alike."
--And also for me. It'll increase my believers further!

"You have such an idea!? Understood, I'll tell my companions."
"Let's talk about it once the elves have returned."
"Yes, understood."
Fioria lowered her head. Her green hair covers her cheeks.

Rii, who sat beside her, spoke.
"Keika-san, thank you for the sake of everyone."
"Well, I'm also doing it for myself, so don't mind it."

However-- I was deep in thoughts.
While I'm glad that the World Tree is alive, its location is bad.
The Demon Lord's territory is only a little further away after leaving the large forest.
It'll soon be found if it keeps growing like that.
There's no way that it can be protected by 500 elves, and I can't always come rushing to help. It'll be especially in danger if the Demon Lord's army attacks while I'm busy dealing with the Demon Lord, the last guy of the Four Heavenly Kings or another annoying opponent.

The region, where the beastfolks are living in, is at the northern side of the forest and I could make it into a first line of defense if I'd annex it. That would make it easier to protect the World Tree.
However, even if I'd drive the Demon Lord's army away and reinforce the beastfolks, there isn't enough food to maintain that region.
Also it'll take time for them to be able to defend themselves even if I'm not around.
In that case, I guess I don't have a choice but to protect them for a while.

"The time is overwhelmingly short... The food reserves of the beastfolks will be soon used up and it'll be a gamble whether they'll make it through the winter or not."
"Keika-sama? Are you troubled?"
"I guess. Maybe you can give me some advice later."
"Yes, Keika-sama. I want to help you in any way I can."
Celica smiled happily.

Just looking at her smile was making me feel better.
I also wanted to do my best for her.