Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Chapter 126 - Magical
Julie was a commoner that lived in Casa city. She was born from a poor family, she had never attended school, and she would later marry a carpenter.
Her husband was a good carpenter and she had given birth to two children. Life was very good. From time to time, they were even able to afford magic vegetables.
Julie's home wasn't far from the Markey merchandise store. Generally, she would go there to buy things because it had a good reputation and their prices weren't high.
Today, Julie went to the Markey store to buy some daily necessities because her husband had just made a business deal, earning them five gold. She thought about buying a magic radish that she could prepare at home for them to eat.
The reason she was going to buy a magic radish was because of her two children. They were now going to school at the east district's Casa Magic Academy, and their results were very good. Listening to the school's teacher, she knew that if her children were to eat more magic vegetables, they would be more likely to become mages.
Parents wanted their children to amount to something, so Julie and her husband would simply eat less just so that their children could eat a magic vegetable every week. For the average commoner, this was already a very good amount.
Julie felt surprised the moment she entered the Markey store because of the magic radishes she saw in the vegetable area. Magic radishes were certainly something she recognized because it was often times the only magic vegetable she could afford.
The reason Julie was in a daze was because these magic radishes didn't look the same as the ones she had bought before, which were short and had a bizarre shape. These magic radishes were long and plump, round and straight. Looking at it, you couldn't help but want to take a bite.
The moment Julie walked over, one of the employees immediately went up to her and smiled. "Hello, this is our store's newest magic radish. It is very high quality, better than any others on the Continent."
When Julie saw the magic radishes, although she was somewhat reluctant, she still wanted to buy a little. But these magic radishes looked like they weighed a minimum of two pounds, which would make them cost twenty three silver coins. To be honest, she could barely bear to spend that much money.
However, because of what the employee said, Julie picked up one magic radish. "I guess I can buy one to taste it."
The employee immediately smiled. After telling her that the radish actually weighed a little more than three pounds, Julie paid the money and then brought the magic radish back home.
At lunch time, Julie used half the magic radish to make a soup. Her eldest son, a twelve year old, was officially starting to learn magic. The sooner he could master meditation and feel the power of magic, the greater his achievements in the future would be. It was precisely because of this that Julie and her husband insisted that their children eat a magic vegetable at least once a week.
It was a simple meal of bread and magic radish soup, which showed that they were doing living a good life. You should know that many commoners in Casa city would only eat two meals a day, and those meals would generally only consist of staple foods, like bamboo rice.
Julie's husband, Rolle, saw the magic radish soup on the table. "You bought magic radishes today?"
"I got some at the Markey store. They say it's the best magic radish in the Continent."
Rolle didn't say anything else as he sat down and ate. Their eldest and youngest son, Rory and Ross, also came in and took a sip of the soup.
Just drinking the soup made Rory feel surprised. "Mom, today's soup tastes great!"
Ross nodded, agreeing.
Julie smiled at her two sons, her heart full of joy. Then Rolle drank the soup, and he was also shocked. He turned to Julie and said, "Today's soup really does taste great!"
Julie froze for a moment, then she reached down and also drank a mouthful of soup. Yes indeed, it tasted better than any she had before. Not only did the soup taste good, she also felt some heat running through her body after drinking it.
She was very puzzled as everyone finished the meal. Afterwards, Julie cleared the table while her son Rory went to his room to meditate. Rory was a sensible boy. He knew that his parents didn't have it easy, so he wanted to learn magic as soon as possible. One day, he would become a mage and give his parents a better life.
Today, just as he began to meditate, Rory felt very different. He found himself feeling traces of energy all around him. It was like being in a strange new world where he was surrounded by small colored dots of light. Trying to feel this light, he didn't expect that they would suddenly start pouring into his body.
Rory awakened. He wasn't that old, but he had been learning magic theory at his school for a few years. More recently, his teacher had started teaching him meditation, and what it would feel like when he successfully meditated.
Rory excitedly jumped up and ran out of the house, shouting "Mom, I can meditate! I can meditate!"
This alerted Rolle and Julie. They both ran out of the house and gave a look of surprise at Rory. "Son, what did you say? Did you really learn meditation?" Julie asked.
Rory excitedly nodded his head up and down. "Yes, I finally meditation. I can feel the magical elements, just like teacher said."
Julie and Rolle began to feel excited, but they also felt that something was strange.
They didn't understand how Rory could suddenly learn how to meditate so fast. He had just started learning meditation ten days ago. His teacher had told them that although their son was a talented child, because he hadn't eaten a lot of magic vegetables, it would take at least one month before he could feel the magic elements.
It was because of this that Julie and Rolle felt strange. Suddenly, Julie thought of the magic radish that she had bought. With this thought, she immediately ran into the kitchen and cut a piece of magic radish, then she ran back out and handed it to Rory. "Son, eat this piece of magic radish and see what it feels like."
Rolle saw what Julie did, then he understood. He stood there motionlessly as he stared at his son. As for Rory, he didn't quite understand, but he was obedient as he ate that piece of magic radish.
After eating it, Rory felt some heat running through his body. His mind had never been this awake before as he immediately ran to his room and sat down, cross-legged.
Julie and Rolle also went to Rory's room, where they saw how fast he was entering meditation. Because of that, they then simultaneously ran straight towards the Markey store.
Similar situations were occuring throughout Casa city, whether they were commoners or the small elite. Their children had good magic talent, but because they weren't as rich as those great nobles that could eat magic vegetables like snacks, it would take their children awhile to feel the magic elements.
Zhao's magic radish had several times more magic elements than the other more common magic radishes, maybe even ten times more. It was almost like a pill that would stimulate their children's magic talent, allowing them to feel the magic elements at a greatly accelerated speed. Even if the parents didn't understand magic, they could see that it had something to do with that magic radish, so they all immediately rushed to the Markey store to buy more magic radishes.
In the morning, Laura was able to sell two thousand catty of Zhao's magic radishes, but immediately after lunch, they were sold out.
Seeing all of those people in her store, Laura felt surprised. She had thought that it would take three to five days to sell one jin of magic radishes, so she didn't expect that they would be sold out in less than a day. Those magic radishes were now their biggest sellers.
Laura quickly asked what was happening, and she found out that a lot of children in Casa city had finally successfully meditated after eating those magic radishes. She felt her head go thud.
Naturally, she believed that it wasn't possible to master meditation just because of eating a magic radish, but it must have played a huge part, otherwise how could all of those children suddenly learn how to meditate.
But whether it was true or not, as long as the word got out, this would only increase the Markey store's reputation. Even those who were just curious would certainly come to the store to buy something.
Translator Notes: This chapter is to make up for the one I missed on Sunday, 6/5
Translator Notes #2: I'm not sure, but I think the word "meditation" can be replaced with "cultivation", but I decided to keep it as meditation for now because that's what this chapter says.
Translator Notes #3: I don't know about you, but I find it strange whenever someone runs out of the house in excitement. That's never happened to me when I get a high score playing Angry Birds.
Chapter 125 - Opportunity
With a worried look, Laura was standing outside Casa city's most famous commodity store. Not only was this large store run by Laura, it was also the Markey clan's branch headquarters in the Purcell Duchy.
Today, the reason why she was standing outside, and not sitting inside like she did usually, was because she was waiting for the convoy to return from Stony Mountain. Although this time she hadn't purchased much, only one jin of magic radishes, this purchase called for all of her attention.
In addition to the fact that this was the first time she was collaborating with Zhao, it was very important that she checked the quality of the radishes. Although radishes could be regarded as a low-end consumer good, if many of the radishes were of high quality, it could have a very large impact on her business.
It was like if two food stores were selling radishes, the first one would sell big radishes at a price that wasn't expensive, while the second one would sell radishes that were not as good at the same price. Certainly, you wouldn't go to a store just to buy radishes, you would also buy other vegetables as well. So naturally, the customers would only do business with the first store because they were selling the highest quality radish at a decent price.
Although Zhao had assured Laura that all the radishes he produced were of the same high quality, she still didn't believe him. If you do business, you should always keep the mentality that you would be cheated a few times.
Kun was also standing outside the store. Normally, Laura and Kun wouldn't care about such a low amount of goods, but this time was different. This cooperation could rise or fall from this first purchase.
Just then, a small team of people could be seen from far away. They had a banner with the Bana symbol on it, letting everyone know that they belonged to the Markey Company.
When Laura saw this convoy return, she immediately went to the store's backyard. After all, when a team comes back with goods, they would directly go to the back where the warehouse was and place the goods there.
Kun followed behind Laura. They really wanted to know if the radishes Zhao sent were as good as the one he showed them on Stony Mountain.
The team quickly went into the backyard, which was large and had a lot of room. There were isolated places where they could put their horses and carts, while the rest of the area was taken up by a warehouse, a place to live, and an office.
It was Sean who led this team. Originally he was a porter captain, but he had gotten a promotion. He was now a team captain that was responsible for their transactions with Zhao.
Three days ago, Laura had told him to buy five oil presses for Zhao, which was something that didn't cost much. In Casa city, there were too many places that sold it. After Laura told him to make this purchase, she then started cleaning up her stores.
That was to say, Laura was cleaning out everyone who wasn't loyal to her. This was something she had been meaning to do ever since she had been attacked during her trip to Montenegro Fortress. But no one was prepared for how fast she was doing it, so they weren't ready to fight back. She was doing this right now because of her alliance with Zhao. If Zhao found out that her control of her stores was unstable, it may affect his cooperation with her. So Laura used these three days to clear out members of the Markey clan who weren't loyal to her, and put her most trusted men in important positions.
Sean has always been loyal to Laura, plus he has had some contact with Zhao's people. That was why Laura promoted him to team captain. Although a team captain was similar to a porter captain, he now got better treatment.
Sean knew that Laura took her cooperation with Zhao very seriously, but he didn't think she would take it seriously to such a degree, and even personally wait for them to arrive.
Sean immediately walked up to Laura and said, "Miss, here are the magic radishes you ordered."
Laura just gently nodded her head, then she quickly went to the carriages. The carriages were just wooden trunks that were more than a meter high, allowing it to hold many things. It was covered by a coarse rope in the form of a cage.
Sean loosened the rope, allowing Laura to look into the trunk. The insides of the trunk had a layer or weeds, on top of which were the white magic radishes. Reaching inside, Laura took out a radish.
This radish was no different than the one she saw in the manor. It was the same size, and had the same smooth skin that was both tender and moist. She could see that it was a top quality radish.
Laura then picked up another radish. It looked exactly the same. Even their weight was equal.
She turned to Sean and asked, "Are of these magic radishes the same quality?"
Sean quickly nodded. "Yes, all the magic radishes are of the same quality and they even weigh the same. After so many years, these are the best magic radishes I have ever seen."
Laura and Kun saw the shocked look on each other's faces. They knew that magic radishes weren't a precious commodity. It was precisely because of this that the requirements for the quality of magic radishes weren't particularly strict. Some magic radish growers wouldn't take out any of the bad magic radishes when they sold them to Laura. The result of this was that, unlike the big magic radishes, the bad ones would be sold at low prices. A lot of well-paid commoners would buy these low quality magic radishes to eat.
All of the magic radishes that Zhao gave them were actually quite good. There was only one explanation for this: Zhao would take out all the bad magic radishes before he sold them, but why would he do that? Doing so would make him lose a lot of profits. Or did he grow all of these magic radishes at the same high quality? Ah, but that can't be. Even for someone who studied plants, it would be impossible for them to guarantee that everything they grew would come out the same.
Laura really wanted to make Zhao tell her how he did this. But she would never know about Zhao's space, which would produce things based on data, like carving something out of a mold. The space didn't behave like an ordinary piece of land.
Laura placed the white magic radishes she was holding back into the carriage, then she turned to Sean. "For now, put these magic radishes into storage. They will go on the shelves tomorrow."
Sean saluted, then he immediately directed people to start unloading, while Kun and Laura went into the office in the backyard.
"What do you think, Grandpa Kun?" Laura asked.
"It seems that Zhao is cooperating with us because he has faith in us," Kun said after he sat down. "The force behind him must have a good quality piece of land. This land is not small, otherwise it wouldn't be able to produce so much high quality magic radishes."
Laura frowned. "But even with good land that could make high quality magic radishes, if you take out all the bad ones, wouldn't your losses be too big?"
Kun gave a slight chuckle. "That's why I said Zhao must have a lot of faith in us. It seems that he wants to create a brand. He's taking out all the bad magic radishes and only sending us the good ones to sell. Slowly, people will begin to recognize this brand of magic radish, and then the business will grow."
Because of Kun's words, Laura couldn't help but feel surprised for a moment, then her eyes brightened. "So if we can work together for a long time as he would give us large quantities of high quality magic radishes, then we would start to build a reputation on this Continent."
"That is so. For us, this is definitely an opportunity. If Zhao really could provide us with large quantities of magic radishes, then it wouldn't take long before the entire commodity market in the Purcell Duchy is ours."
Laura excitedly stood up. Although they were doing good business here, there were also other companies that had branches in the Purcell Duchy. The competition between them was very intense. Up til now, they would only tie with the other large companies. If she wanted to suppress them, it would be impossible.
But now there was an opportunity in front of Laura. As long as she seized it, she would have control of the entire commodity market in the Purcell Duchy.
Translator Notes: This chapter is to make up for the one I missed on Thursday, 6/2
Chapter 124 - Oil Press
In addition to the space, the valley in Iron Mountain could also be used as a rear base.
The land there was very stable, and was surrounded by cliffs that could block the wind. Plus, finding water wasn't very difficult. It was very convenient, and was suitable for human habitation.
Zhao believed that in the future he would have more and more people. As long as he had the strength, he could build a small duchy in the Black Waste. Naturally, the people who came here would want to establish and live in their own villages.
Of course, right now Zhao didn't have the strength to do that. The village he was planning to build in the valley was going to be a prototype to see what issues needed improving. This would help him build bigger villages later.
But the land improvement in the valley had not been completed yet. It was not the time to establish a village. For now, it was just an idea.
Three days quickly passed. They were just waiting for Laura to send the oil presses, then Green could go to Casa city.
At noon on the third day, people from the Markey clan arrived at the foot of Stony Mountain. This time Laura didn't come with them. Green came forward with five carriages full of magic radishes in exchange for the oil presses that Laura's people had brought.
In addition to the five oil presses, Green was also given two hundred gold coins and a book. This book was an encyclopedia of animals and plants on the Continent that was written by a refining pharmacist. It was Laura's gift to Zhao.
Last time they met, Zhao said that he was researching plants and he was preparing to open a ranch. Laura didn't want to lose this opportunity, so she bought him a book, to solidify her alliance with Zhao.
These kinds of books were rare on the Continent. Whenever a refining pharmacist wrote a book, it would often take him twenty years. He would collect a lot of plants and animals on the Continent, then he would visit a lot of other refining pharmacists and alchemists and learn from them, and then he would research it all. And finally, he would write the book.
Because this book wasn't about magic, not many of it were published. Generally, only refining pharmacists or alchemists would read it.
As well as the magic radishes, Zhao was also giving Laura one hundred and ten fire fish. This was Zhao's gift to her.
The oil presses were exchanged for the magic radishes. It was a good thing that the five carriages were able to hold the five oil presses, allowing Green to pull them up the mountain. Once he was up there, Green didn't unload the carriages, and instead Zhao brought them into the space.
Beyond Zhao's expectations, there was also a manual telling you how to arrange the oil presses. He felt very puzzled by this because he understood the situation of the Ark Continent. That is to say, their science was mostly focused on things like mixing drugs in alchemy. They weren't exactly a civilization that had a lot of machine technology. Yet the design of the oil press was very precise.
The oil presses went directly to the Iron Mountain castle where they were packed into the warehouses.
They were very well designed. The oil presses were three meters high, with a drum container at the top where you would feed in the oil fruits, a disc in the middle with long poles sticking out that could be pulled by spirit beasts, and a pipe at the bottom which would be the outlet for the oil.
It all looked simple, but with a machine that had the size of twenty square meters overall, it wasn't exactly small. Good thing it could be dismantled into several parts, otherwise they wouldn't have been able to fit inside the carriages.
Zhao saw how high the feed container was off the ground. If you wanted to feed it with oil fruits, there were only two ways. The first way was to form boards into a slope shape to give the feed container a better opening to catch whatever you put in. The other way was to use a conveyor belt.
The conveyor belt method was the easier way. You just load the belt with oil fruits and they would automatically go through the opening of the container. The oil press didn't have a conveyor belt design, so Zhao feared that there was no such thing on the Continent.
The board method was what was widely used on the Continent. People would just dig a pit in the ground and then they would put the oil press in that pit, so then the feed container would be closer to the ground. Any oil that was extracted would be brought up in barrels. Zhao didn't want to use this method because it wasn't an easy task to dig around here. The ground in the castle was all made up of stone.
Zhao still wanted to use the conveyor belt method because it wouldn't be difficult to do. It just needed some renovations. Fortunately, the whole press was made of metal, so to change it they just needed some metal parts.
But the next question was where would Zhao get a blacksmith? If he really wanted a conveyor belt, he would need a blacksmith to do the job, and his skills couldn’t be too weak.
Zhao wanted to ask Green if he knew. In the Continent, there were a lot of machines built by blacksmiths, and some of them were powered by magic crystals. But since the oil press was just a simple machine that squeezed out fruit oil, it wasn't worthy of using magic crystals as a power source because it wasn't worth the money. So simple machines like the oil press were generally designed to be powered by water, wind, or animals.
Since there was no way to build the conveyor belt, they could only use the board method. They didn't lack any boards, but Green still needed to go buy some barrels.
Green was aware of their situation, so he immediately set off to Casa city, while Zhao got some boards from the castle. They were also getting ready to wash the oil fruits. Fortunately, water was conveniently nearby, just outside the castle. Zhao told Ann to build a stone basin where water would keep flowing in, allowing them to wash the little hairs off the oil fruits. These little hairs, which could also become food for the fish, would flow out into the moat.
Once the oil fruits were washed, they would be transported back inside the castle, ready to be pressed.
Zhao calculated that to work the press, including cleaning the oil fruits, he would need a minimum of four people. Since there were five oil presses, twenty people were needed.
Zhao had no lack of manpower, but he didn't want any of the slaves to do the work. That was because he wanted the oil presses to keep running twenty-four hours a day, which would require at least three shifts. If he were to use the slaves, that would mean he would have to use sixty people in order to maintain normal operations. But since Zhao only had one hundred slaves, a reduction of sixty of them just to run the oil press was clearly impossible. So he decided to use his undead to run the oil press.
Twenty people were needed to feed the oil fruits to the oil press, but he also needed some animal power to pull the poles to extract the oil. Zhao was thinking of using the scaled wildebeests.
Zhao wanted to use the scaled wildebeests because his undead were not suitable for the pulling part of this job. Their driving force wasn't the same since some of his undead, like Alien, were a different size and shape to some of his other undead, like the rat-like undead. There was no way for them to do the pulling on the oil press in a stable way.
As for his scaled wildebeests, although they weren't much, they were good enough for the job. Zhao's intention was to turn them into undead, and thus the problem was solved.
Now everything was almost ready. They just had to wait for Green to come back to buy the rest of the things they needed.
Starting a pressing factory wasn't a trivial matter. As long as they could make some oil, they would have another source of income, which for the Buda clan was really important.
Translator Notes: This chapter is to make up for the one I missed on Tuesday, 5/31
Translator Notes #2: Sorry for the late chapter. This one just stumped me. It took me three days on-and-off to mistranslate it. I hate this chapter SO MUCH!!! Why? It's because:
A) If they only got two hundred gold coins, and each oil press was worth one hundred gold coins, that would mean they would have gotten an income of seven hundred gold coins. Yet they said that they were selling the radishes at sixty copper coins per catty, and they were selling an initial five thousand catty (one jin) of radishes. So how the fudge did they arrive at a number of seven hundred gold coins? (Also, I just realized that this web novel never mentioned how much copper coins is worth one gold coin)
B) I understand the conveyor belt method, but I don't understand what the hell is this board method Zhao keeps talking about? All that is mentioned is using boards to make some sort of slope shape or something, and digging a pit in the ground and putting the oil press in that pit. What does that mean? How would they get the oil out if the outlet is at the bottom of that pit? I don't understand anything!
C) Why was Zhao thinking of using scaled wildebeests at all? I'm still not completely sure why his other undead won't work. I mean he's planning to kill his scaled wildebeests to turn them into undead! That's just wrong to me. In my opinion, it's okay to turn your enemies into undead, but not your farm animals. Was there a reason that I missed? Have I gone insane? Definitely, because I don't understand a single thing in this chapter! I probably just mistranslated everything, so please take it with a jupiter-size grain of salt.
Translator Notes #3: Guys, remember that this is an MTL, so 99% of everything you've read has been mistranslated. The truth is that ever since Adam Buda drank the Water of Nothingness, he has been in a coma all this time and it turns out this was all a dream.
Friday, June 3, 2016
Chapter 123 - Crystal Horn Worms
-This chapter was sponsored by Cedric (from Canada) and Jere (from a place called Uusimaa, which I had never heard of before. You learn something new everyday). Thanks!!!
Zhao found that preparing a place to extract oil wasn't as simple as he thought. It wasn't just installing an oil press, there were also other different steps to take.
First, he needed a place to wash the oil fruits. You must get the oil fruits clean, otherwise the peeled fruits would only produce crude oil, affecting its overall quality. Second, keeping the oil press running required manpower, and in this case he would instead use his undead. And third, he needed to prepare a container, like a barrel or a metal drum. After all, they couldn't just allow the oil to drip on the ground.
The amount of oil he was planning to make was not a small number, so he would need to to prepare a lot of these containers. However, Zhao simply didn't have any carpenters to make the casks for the barrels, nor did he have the money to buy the metal drums because the price was too high.
Thus, without enough money, Zhao didn't know what to do. Even if he wanted to hurry their development, it would be impossible.
Now Zhao's only recourse was to wait until after they get their oil presses, then he would look around Casa city to see how much barrels cost, and then buy some.
Although he currently had funding problems, that didn't stop him from organizing the large rooms to get ready for the arrival of the oil presses.
After ordering the slaves to clean the rooms, Zhao and Meirin left the castle to go to the underground lake. Although there were no fish in the lake, probably because of the toxins from the creatures of the carrion swamp, that didn't rule out that there wasn't a powerful water spirit beast. If they started raising scaleless fish in the lake, that would be the same as feeding that spirit beast, so for extra insurance, Zhao decided to bring Meirin to the lake to determine that there were absolutely no spirit beasts.
Meg and Green were also following along. If they did find a strong water spirit beast in the underground lake, then their help might be needed to deal with it.
Although they had previously checked the lake, this time they were going to be more careful.
Fortunately, there seemed to be no water spirit beasts in the lake. It appeared that the toxins from the undead spirit beasts were too strong, now there was no life in the underground lake.
However, Zhao still worried, so he sent one of his undead down there to check out the lake himself. Soon he received news from his undead. It had found an inlet that was blocked. This inlet was supposed to be a hole dug by the dwarves so that a source of water could flow in to fill this underground lake, but now something was blocking it. He had to see it for himself, so Zhao opened up a screen, allowing him to see what his undead was seeing.
Looking around underwater, he found some kind of coral-like thing.
Zhao was surprised by this. He didn't understand why something like coral would be in this lake. He remembered that this stuff would generally be found in the sea, so why was it in this place?
Unfortunately, the inlet was too far away to see it clearly, so Zhao directed the undead to get closer to it. Meirin was also watching the screen along with Zhao, and when the undead got close enough, they saw how huge the inlet was. It was ten meters high and twenty meters wide, and it was completely blocked by this false coral-like thing, which looked like it was made from blue crystals. It was very beautiful.
When Meirin saw it, she understood. "It turns out to be crystal horn worms. Only this thing could fool my search and survive in this place."
Zhao looked puzzled. "Grandma Meirin, what are crystal horn worms?"
Meirin smiled. "Crystal horn worms are very special aquatic organisms. Individually, they are so small that magical detection simply can not find them. No one knows how they can survive in water, all they know is that they secrete some kind of magic crystal. These crystals are so hard that it would be difficult for fifth level warriors to cut it with a sword. As for these insects themselves, they have no attack power, yet they can survive in any water environment up to a certain depth. Also, they're not afraid of poison. There are some alchemists that would try to collect these insects to make antidotes."
When he heard what Meirin said, Zhao thought that not only did these crystal horn worms evolve to survive in any water environment, they were also unafraid of poison. No wonder they were still alive in this underground lake.
Looking at this coral blocking any water from escaping, Zhao couldn't help but nod his head. "This is good. It'll save us a lot of trouble when he put in some fish."
Meirin smiled. "Not only that, but these crystals secreted by the crystal horn worms also have other uses. Aristocratic families generally like this stuff because of how beautiful they are, and when you place them in a room, they can usually prevent magical poison attacks. Even if someone wanted to poison you, this crystal has a feature that could warn you if there are any toxins within a five meter range. A lot of noble clans will pay a high price for these crystals. We have so many in this lake that if Master wants to sell them, we can make a lot of money."
"Well, let them stay in the lake for now. It's not like they can run away," Zhao said.
Meirin gave no opinion about the matter. That was because she knew there was an advantage of keeping the crystal horn worms in the lake. If they were to add in some fish, the fish would rarely get sick and would have a high survival rate. But there was no need to tell Zhao this because he had the space, which would already give the fish a one hundred percent survival rate.
Since Zhao decided to not dig out these crystals, this was also good. After all, they were planning to raise fish at a large scale, which would have been impossible in Zhao's space. Only this lake would be able to fit all of them.
Once they were done, Zhao felt relieved because now he knew they could start raising scaleless fish without any trouble.
Back at the castle, Zhao and Green looked over several of the large warehouses where they were going to install the oil presses. Seeing as they were all clean and ready, it was time to return to Stony Mountain.
For the next three days, Zhao had been waiting in the manor for Laura to send someone to pick up the magic radishes. In this time, he was able to grow and harvest nine batches of radishes and two batches of oil fruits.
In addition, Zhao now had one thousand mature rabbits and seven thousand rabbit cubs. As for the scaled wildebeests, he stored them away because he was now focusing on only raising the blue-eyed rabbits. That was because the meat from these wildebeests were rough and tasteless. They were only good as pack animals.
Also in this three day period, Zhao had made some good progress with the land transformation in the valley of Iron Mountain. Someday, he might send some slaves there to build a small village so that they could be relatively independent.
Translator Notes: This chapter is to make up for the one I missed on Monday, 5/30
Translator Notes #2: I know that worms technically aren't insects, but that's just what this chapter says.
Translator Notes #3: The author finally explained something in this chapter. Whenever there's an outbreak of undead spirit beasts, they would poison the land and the water, yet when Zhao first came to the Black Waste, the water was clean while the land was still toxic. I'm guessing that these crystal horn worms would eventually purify the water after each outbreak.
Translator Notes #4: From now on, I'm just going to assume that ever since he opened the ranch, Zhao has been able to store living animals in his spatial barn (unlike before, when he could only store robotic objects). That's the only explanation for why he has more than a thousand animals.
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Chapter 122 - Unfathomable
Laura, Kun, and Nier were sitting in the carriage as they went down Stony Mountain. They weren't talking.
A moment later, Laura opened the window and saw Sergio who was riding next to the carriage. "Sergio, have you eaten yet?"
Sergio was surprised, not knowing what Laura meant. Although he was her chief guard, Laura had never before cared about whether or not he had eaten. But since she asked, he immediately nodded. "Yes, Miss, back there."
"What did you eat?"
Again, Sergio couldn't help but feel surprised. "Mister Zhao ordered the undead to send us food. There was pie, rabbits, and some vegetables I had never seen before."
"How did it taste?"
"It tasted good. There were a lot of meat and vegetables. The magic in the vegetables were very strong. As for the dish with the magic radishes, its magic was several times stronger than the ones we sell in our store."
Laura nodded, then she left the window and looked towards Kun. "Grandpa Kun, what do you think?"
"It's unfathomable. Zhao must be someone with a lot of influence. He's probably the spokesman for the big force that's supporting him. But what's strange is that the large forces in the Continent usually have their own distribution network. So why did they specifically come to us?" Kun shook his head, but then he answered his own question, "No, although we have some enemies from the heirs in our clan, we can't be considered Zhao's real enemy. After all, our strength is too small. Compared to the entire Markey clan, we can't be regarded as a threat. That must have been within their calculations. Since Zhao is able to raise so much fire fish, he must have wanted to work with someone that wouldn't take that much effort to destroy, in case they might become an enemy that would covet what he has."
Laura nodded. "Ah, yes, from Zhao's words, you could tell that his territory isn’t small since it could produce so many things, like oil and fire fish. I can't really think of a place in the Continent that could raise that much fire fish. Even if there was such a territory that could do that, why would Zhao want to cooperate with us?"
Kun was frowning. “I really can not say. He said that he was researching plants, which doesn't seem fake. If he wasn't studying plants, then it would be impossible for him to come up with magic radish seeds of that quality, and vegetables that I had never seen before. Did you notice it when we ate today? Even his servants were eating the fire fish. Apparently, in their eyes, fire fish aren't rare. The only ordinary thing there was the meat from the blue-eyed rabbits, which he had bought from Casa city."
Again, Laura nodded. "When I said that he would become an ally of the Markey clan, he was unwilling, and that he would only form an alliance with us. That's not the only thing that's strange. Supposedly, if there was a black mage that powerful, he should have been well-known among the important figures in the Continent, yet I had never heard of him before. Oddly enough, at his side he has a high level warrior, a maid that is also a mage that is not of a low level, and a very powerful undead light mage. This man has too many secrets, right?"
“Indeed, there must be a reason why Zhao has an eighth level warrior by his side. If I fought against him one on one, I'm afraid I can't tell if I would win or lose. Not only that, his maid is at least a sixth level mage, and at such a young age. She definitely has a lot of magical potential. Even his cook is a high level mage. With those types of servants, and the power to summon more than a thousand undead, Zhao's strength certainly is not small," Kun said.
"Anyway, it now appears that Zhao doesn't mean to do anything with us other than conduct business. If he really can provide such high quality magic radishes, then that's very good for us, just as long as we are careful. After all, we don't want him as enemy. We need a powerful ally."
Kun nodded. "Yes, we have to be careful. I suspect that Zhao has a shady identity. He isn't just a simple black mage. Even when he eats, he wouldn't lift up his veil. It must be because he's afraid of his face being seen."
Laura smiled slightly. "But whatever his true identity is, it doesn't matter, just as long as there is no hostility."
"Miss is right. No matter who he is, as long as he isn't hostile to us, we can cooperate with him. But we must still pay attention to this man. Getting so many fire fish to Stony Mountain is not an easy task, yet he was able to do it so that those who were watching him were totally unaware. This in itself showed his strength since he was able to get a spatial item. Not only that, but he also clearly knew our whereabouts. It seems that he could be arranging for someone to watch us, making sure that we don't leak anything. We must be careful."
"Don't worry, Grandpa Kun. I know what I'm doing. As long as we don't try to fight him, he will maintain his cooperation with us. It'll be fine. You might not see it, but Mister Zhao is a good man."
Kun started smiling. "Is that so? Oh, I think that he took a fancy to you, Miss, otherwise why would he want to cooperate with us?"
Laura blushed. "What nonsense are you speaking, Grandpa Kun?"
Kun couldn't help but laugh, which made Laura's face turn even more red. Laura had a good impression of Zhao. After all, he was kind enough to help her, yet he was also so mysterious. In addition to feeling gratitude, Laura also felt a hint of curiosity. When a woman was curious about a man, it wouldn't be long until her heart falls.
Laura had made up her mind to keep up their cooperation with Zhao. The strength he had exhibited was not weak, and was comparable to a large clan. That was why she dared to cooperate with him.
At this time, Zhao was preparing a few large empty rooms in the castle to later put in the oil presses. Also, the mines were getting tidied up to get ready for the blue-eyed rabbits, and Meirin was looking if there were any water spirit beasts in the underground lake.
The reason why Zhao didn't order this to be done before was because he had almost no money, but now he had forged an alliance with Laura and was about to get some funding three days later. Although it wasn't as much as he would like, it could still be considered a stable income, and he believed that later this income would just grow more and more.
When they had returned to Iron Mountain in the afternoon, they could see that the slaves hadn't been idle. The castle was slowly getting repaired, while the female slaves were planting alfalfa seeds and oil fruit trees throughout the mountain. Of course, they couldn't finish in such a short time because they also had to do some weeding.
The moment Zhao came back, he immediately arranged for someone to clean the large rooms outside the main parts of the castle. These rooms were like warehouses used for storage. For a long time, no one had lived in them, but now they were getting them ready to put in the oil presses.
Translator Notes: This chapter is to make up for the one I missed on Sunday, 5/29
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Chapter 121 - Cooperation (Part 3)
-This chapter was sponsored by Robert (US) and Anonymous. Thanks!!!
Zhao nodded. "Mister Kun, do you know how much oil I could get per day from an animal oil press?"
"Generally, this machine would produce about one jin of oil per day, but of course, you could only reach that yield if it works around the clock."
"This amount of oil is not low. Do you know the price of this kind of oil press?"
Right away, Kun said, "The price is not expensive. Only one hundred gold coins. Its main function is to press nut oil or fruit oil, so it’s very cheap. If it was too expensive, no one would buy it."
Zhao understood, then he turned to Laura and asked, "Miss Laura, when you pick up the magic radishes, please bring me five animal oil presses. Is this convenient?"
Laura nodded. "Yes, it won't be any trouble. Please rest assured, Mister Zhao. I will have five of these machines ready for you."
"Miss Laura is too kind. Just deduct the money from the magic radishes to buy the five oil presses," Zhao said. "Now that we are allies cooperating with each other, if I really have what it takes to help Miss Laura, then I will do it."
"Thank you, Mister Zhao. Please rest assured that after three days, I will ensure that there will be an on-time delivery."
Zhao smiled, then he turned to Green. "I suppose I should give Miss Laura a small gift. Go get some fire fish ready for her for when she leaves." Then he faced Laura again. "I see that you like fire fish. I don't have a lot, but I will give you several of them, Miss Laura. I hope you will take it."
Laura didn't want to put him off, even though a few fire fish was worth a lot of money. If she was too polite, then she would appear hypocritical. "Thank you, Mister Zhao. To be honest, I really do like eating fire fish. They are very delicious."
"You're welcome, Miss Laura." Zhao smiled, then he said, "Before you go, I do want to ask one more thing. Are you in the market for blue-eyed rabbits?"
Although Laura was surprised, she immediately remembered that some time ago, Zhao had bought three hundred blue-eyed rabbits. She couldn't help but frown. "I really have not done any business with blue-eyed rabbits, but I do have some contacts with several meat processing plants. I can ask for you, Mister Zhao."
Zhao nodded. "Sorry to trouble you, Miss Laura. I'm trying out a breeding program that would help me raise enough animals so that even ordinary people would be able to afford meat, such as blue-eyed rabbits, long-haired pigs, scaleless fish and the like. But for now, I only have blue-eyed rabbits, so that's what I want Miss Laura to focus on."
"That's not a problem. I'll immediately tell my contacts about it. It seems that Mister Zhao's operation contains a variety of things. The Markey Company will now have to increase their number of projects."
In the Ark Continent, there were a lot of meat processing plants. They would make things like cooked meats or canned foods. If it was some kind of special cooked meat, then only the nobles would be able to afford it. As for the canned goods, they were usually eaten by commoners, and a large amount of it was supplied to the army.
Laura had done some business with these meat processing plants. Her stores would sell canned foods and cooked meats, so naturally she would know some people from these plants.
"That would be best," Zhao said. "After you're able to sell a number of my goods, I'm sure there will be more and more opportunities for us to cooperate."
Laura smiled. "That is certain, Mister Zhao. But I still have a question I want to ask you. Today, you invited us to eat, but can you tell me what were the ingredients in those dishes, because I have never seen them before."
Zhao knew why Laura asked that question. "Those are just some new varieties of magic vegetables. They are unique, and can only be found in other parts of the Continent. To be honest, in addition to being a mage, I also have a strong interest in studying various plants. Those vegetables were combined with some plants that could be found in the wild, and from my research I was able to create new varieties. However, their yields are too low, so there is no way for me to cooperate with Miss Laura in selling them."
Zhao was now misappropriating those vegetables from Earth. They had never been seen in the Continent before, so if he were to suddenly sell a large amount of them, it would be very difficult. Only after he established a stable income would Zhao slowly introduce these vegetables to everyone.
Laura nodded, but then she said, "Can you at least give me a small amount of those vegetables, Mister Zhao? I would like to taste them."
"That is no problem. Three days later, when you send someone here to pick up the magic radishes, I will have some of those vegetables ready for you."
Just then, Green came in from outside and bowed to Zhao. "Mister Zhao, the fire fish are ready. There's twenty of them."
Zhao just gently nodded his head, then he turned to Laura. "It's getting late. I will not hold you any longer, Miss Laura. Just remember what you promised in three days."
Laura and her group stood up. "Yes, it's a deal. Please rest assured, Mister Zhao."
Having finished their meeting, they walked outside. Zhao escorted Laura and the rest of her people as far as the manor's door, then Green, while riding Alien, led them down the mountain. Once Laura was gone, they returned to the living room.
Zhao soon removed his black mage outfit, and once Green came back, he also took off his helmet and threw it to the side. "Master, this time we were only able to sell a small amount of radishes to Laura. This will leave a great gap in our funding."
"Yes, I know, but now we can't rush. Once people know about the quality of our radishes, there will soon be more orders. There's no need to be anxious. For now, we still have over one thousand gold coins. Grandpa Green, take a trip to Casa city. First, I want you to buy some books about animals and plants on the Continent, second, buy some plants that might be useful, and third, pay attention to the slave trade. In the future, if we want to develop our clan, we're going to need a large number of slaves."
Green nodded, then he said, "Master, what about the mines in the Iron Mountain? Don't you think it's time we should raise some blue-eyed rabbits there?"
"You can, but I want to wait until after we get the oil press. Once we extract the fruit oil, we'll be able to give the blue-eyed rabbits something else to eat. Plus, I want Meirin to search the underground lake to check if there are any spirit beasts. If there are no spirit beasts, we can buy some scaleless fish to raise."
"Then, after the oil press is installed, I will go to Casa city," Green said.
Zhao nodded. "Okay. Today has been very productive. As long as we cooperate with Laura, we'll have a steady stream of income. Currently, our income might not be high, but it's enough for us to use. We don't need to be too assertive yet."
Green's eyes were shining as he nodded as well. "With the production of fruit oil and the meat from the spatial ranch, we will be able to increase our revenues. Then we can buy some more slaves for our clan and slowly develop."
"Ah, yes, but we can't be anxious about it. If we move too fast, there will just be flaws, which will just bring more trouble. In fact, our biggest problem isn't how fast the clan develops, it's the carrion swamp. That matter has not yet been resolved. I will have to check on Drunk's progress soon."
Green didn't speak because he knew that Zhao was right. If the problem with the carrion swamp had not yet been resolved, then an outbreak of spirit beasts would ruin everything.
Although Zhao had the space, there was a limit. Right now the ranch could only raise a maximum of one thousand animals and the farm only had a little over ten acres of land. This wasn't a problem for growing enough radishes and oil fruits, but it would make it more troublesome to grow other crops.
In the future, they would have to focus on developing outside the space. But with the threat from the carrion swamp, that would be difficult.
Translator Notes: This chapter is to make up for the one I missed on Saturday, 5/28
Translator Notes #2: I'm guessing the canned foods is something like spam.
Translator Notes #3: Did you notice that Zhao didn't gush about the fact that Laura looks like Taylor Swift in this second meeting? I wished he did. It would have made it funnier to imagine selling radishes to Taylor Swift.