Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Bringing the Farm... - Chap 124
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.