If using alchemy won’t pose a problem, then there’s no reason to hide it. Gayn did say that he just randomly put something together to create alchemy and fulfill the request of an otherworlder, so it’s actually pretty easy to use. All you really need is an elementary understanding of the chemical elements and science, and you’ll be good to go. Unfortunately, it’s also because of that that alchemy hasn’t taken off in this world.
Frankly, if it’s just extracting iron, then…
What is iron oxide? That’s rusted iron, of course.
What about oxidation? That’s the process when oxygen combines with an element. And in the case of iron oxide, that’s obviously the combination of iron and oxygen.
What is oxygen? That’s the air I’m breathing right now.
What occurs during alchemy? Oxygen is forcefully removed through the utilization of mana, leaving behind only iron.
If I teach them this much, then I’m sure even Reinhart-san and the ojousama will be able to do it.
If that’s not enough, then I can teach them about the basic properties of oxygen too. I’m sure even that much won’t take more than an hour to teach.
Although, to be honest, I don’t really feel like teaching them that much unless they ask.
If they want to learn it or use it for the sake of reviving a dead enterprise, then by all means, go ahead.
Gayn and the others may have made alchemy because of an otherworlder’s demands, but in the end, it’s still something that belongs to this world.
“Ryouma-kun, will this do?” [Reinhart]
“Yes, thank you very much.” [Ryouma]
I drew the basic magic formation required by alchemy – a simple square inside a circle – on the ground, then I took a stone bowl full of red soil and placed it on the formation.
“Let’s begin. It’s dangerous, so please make sure not to enter the formation.” [Ryouma]
After warning them, I let my mana course into the formation, and then a bright light dazzled from the formation as a thin film of light was created.
None of the spectators uttered a word during this moment. They all watched with rapt attention.
Can’t blame them, I had the same reaction on my first time. Nowadays, it feels no different from turning on a computer, though. Then again they’ll probably make an even bigger fuss if they could see a computer turn on. Man, I sure miss computers.
Oops, lost myself in my thoughts there for a moment again. Let’s continue…
Alchemy has different magic formations for different jobs. This formation is meant for separating. With it I’ll be able to take the oxidized iron alone, and the rest of the soil will naturally float out of the formation.
When the light faded, only red-colored grains were left in the bowl. All the soil have already left through the thin layer of light.
When I used the neutral magic, Identify, on the red grains, I was able to confirm that they were indeed oxidized iron.
I need to do the separation process one more time, but this time, I’ll be removing the oxygen from the iron. After going through the same process as before, all that was left was a sparkling and silvery sand.
Leaving it like that would make it too easy for the wind to blow, so I decided to draw another magic formation beside the separation formation. This time, what I drew was a pentagram and a circle, the alchemical formation meant for combining things.
One needs the ability to visualize, as well as have knowledge of the substance before and after combination to use this formation, but with it, one can combine things. I’m going to use it to turn this sand of iron into one lump… There.
I used Identify once more to confirm that I have indeed succeeded in making a lump of iron. It has a purity of 100%, so there’s no mistaking it.
…Of course, the reason I don’t have much of a reaction is because I’m already used to alchemy. When I first used alchemy, I became really excited and thought about a lot of things. The fact that I’m able to act unaffected like this really speaks volumes about how familiar I’ve gotten to alchemy.
“Reinhart-san, it’s a success. Please take a look.” [Ryouma]
While Reinhart-san stared at my lump of iron in my hands, I handed it to him.
When I did, he rubbed my lump, slapped it, turn it over and held it up to the light, and then used Identify on it.
“Yep, it’s iron, alright… You actually did it
………Sorry, Ryouma-kun.” [Reinhart]
“Huh!? Why are you suddenly apologizing!? Please raise your head!” [Ryouma]
His sudden apology left me bewildered. Did something happen in the short time I was performing alchemy?
Reinhart-san raised up his head, but he still continued to apologize.
“Umm, you see, alchemists claiming they can make gold is so common it’s basically a stereotype, so when you said you could make iron – of course, I didn’t think you were trying to swindle us – I didn’t really believe it. I doubted you and your claims, for that I apologize.” [Reinhart]
Ahh, so that’s what he meant.
“The fact I asked you to show me your alchemy despite my doubts is…” [Reinhart]
“It’s fine, really. I mean it can’t be helped if it’s such a tall tale. Besides, it’s not like I was hurt or anything.” [Ryouma]
“Thank you. Still, real alchemy sure is impressive. I can’t believe you were actually able to produce iron from that soil.” [Reinhart]
“And it’s so pretty too. It’s like silver.” [Elialia]
“Indeed. Do all things made from alchemy turn out like this?” [Elize]
“Unfortunately, because of that we can’t sell it. It’s real iron, yes, and Ryouma-sama’s alchemy is indeed amazing, but…” [Sebasu]
Because of alchemy, or rather, because the purity was too high, the lump of iron couldn’t be sold. It was made by magically gathering all of the iron content from the soil into one lump, so of course, the purity is high.
Because of that, not only is it soft, it’s also flexible, has a sheen glow to it, and rusts harder than normal iron. Or at least, that’s what I remember from that one news segment back in my previous life that talked about pure iron. Although, even that didn’t discuss 100% pure iron.
Well, this one was made with magic, so using my previous life’s standards doesn’t really fit.
Anyway, putting that aside… Since I know what the issue is, I can solve it. If the purity is too high, then I’ll just lower it.
I drew a six-sided star with a circle around it on the ground, and placed the soil from before on top of it.
This six-sided star magic formation is meant for mixing. It can equally mix together various substances of different nature. It doesn’t have a lot of uses compared to other formations, but it can be used to lower the purity of my lump of soil, which I previously made via the previous alchemical formation.
Gradually, the color of the lump of soil faded, until eventually, it turned into a blackish hue, no different from your run-of-the-mill iron.
That being said, it was still different from iron produced through more normal means.
Although it looked just like iron, the impurities mixed into it was different from common iron, which had plenty of carbon at the cost of its viscosity, leading it to become more brittle.
Anyway, the point is that I don’t know whether this could actually be used or not.
When I told Reinhart-san that, he laughed.
“Then I’ll get a merchant I can trust to investigate it. If you want, I can introduce you too.” [Reinhart]
“Really? Then please.” [Ryouma]
“Of course, of course… Now, who to go with… Should I pick that guy? Or maybe the blacksmith would be better?” [Reinhart]
I’m curious about the quality of my iron, so I asked to be introduced, but…
After that Reinhart-san became a bit too overzealous in picking out who to bring my iron to that he even skipped out on our monster hunt in the afternoon. And now, the ojousama has her cheeks all puffed up… What to do?