I took the tea and drank it at one corner of the counter.
Hmm…? This tea… It tastes like coffee.
“Well? Do you like it?” [Receptionist]
“Yeah. It tastes great.” [Ryouma]
“That’s good to hear. I was a little worried since it is rather odd for a tea.” [Receptionist]
“I’ve drank something like it before. Did you make it from roasted beans? Or maybe from the root of a flower?” [Ryouma]
“Supposedly, it’s made from the root of a flower called Dante. I don’t know the details, but it’s supposed to be good for your health.” [Receptionist]
I see. Dandelion (Dante) Coffee, huh. That sure brings me back… When I was still employed at the company, I would aways find the time to drink it everyday.
“Where can I buy this?” [Ryouma]
“You like it that much? …An old man from a nearby florist always gives me some of it, but it’s not an actual product and just something he came up with himself.” [Receptionist]
“I see. Thank you.” [Ryouma]
Since I know the name of the flower already, I can just make it myself. From my Earthly knowledge, dandelion coffee is made by washing the roots with water, drying it, and then roasting it… Doesn’t sound too hard.
“Thank you for the tea.” [Ryouma]
“Sorry it wasn’t much. Are you going already?” [Receptionist]
“Yeah. I need to find a place to stay at.” [Ryouma]
I thanked her and left the store.
But in the same moment I tried to turn the door knob, I felt it open from the other side.
“Oh, my bad—” [???]
When the door opened, the person on the other side and I tried to avoid each other, so we stopped for a moment. But because of that we ended up realizing who the other party was, causing us to be even more shocked.
Standing before me was none other than Serge-san.
He called my name too, so it’s not just someone who looks like him.
“Good afternoon. What a strange coincidence. I did hear that you’d be going to the magic tools fair, but…” [Ryouma]
“Indeed. Ryouma-sama, may I know what brought you here?” [Serge]
“I had a package to deliver. Adventurer work. It was urgent, so the decision was made in haste.” [Ryouma]
“What a surprise… I’m currently going around greeting some people I know. This workshop happens to be one of the workshops I’m friendly with.” [Serge]
“I had no idea.” [Ryouma]
“Master Serge! You’ve come at last.” [Receptionist’s Dad]
“Oh! Excuse me. Dinome-dono, it’s been too long.” [Serge]
“You exaggerate. It’s only been 2 or 3 months at most. You seem to be doing well, though. By the way, would you happen to know this boy here?” [Dinome]
The bearded man appeared once again from inside the workshop, and after a short exchange of greetings with Serge, looked at me with an odd gaze.
“My name is Ryouma Takebayashi. Serge-san is a benefactor of mine.” [Ryouma]
“Likewise… Dinome-done, Ryouma-sama might appear young, but he’s a person worth having a good relationship with. He’s also interested in magic tools.” [Serge]
“Oh? You appraise him so highly? I’m Dinome. If you’re interested, you can take a look if you want.” [Dinome]
“Would that be alright?” [Ryouma]
“I’m inviting you. It’s fine. Either way, I have something to show to Master Serge, so…” [Dinome]
After saying that, he went in without bothering to hear my reply. Serge-san followed from behind as if he were already used to it.
I bowed my head to his daughter and followed the two of them in.
“It’s here.” [Dinome]
Beyond the door deeper inside was a room far bigger than anything one might have imagined from the earlier room.
There were four boxes with wheels attached to them. Most probably the rumored magic cars.
Various components and workbenches could also be seen in the corner of the room. On the other side was a large door and a wide window that’s probably meant to allow materials to be brought in and out of the room. The room was bright and open.
“Remember. No touching. Only looking.
Master, over here…” [Dinome]
I don’t really know where to go, though, so I think I’ll just follow Serge.
“Is this the newest model? …It hasn’t changed much.” [Serge]
“On the outside, perhaps, but on the inside… Not only is it more mobile now, it is also much lighter. Unfortunately, the main problem remains unsolved.” [Dinome]
“Is it impossible to load anything onto it?” [Ryouma]
“It’s fine as long as it’s light, but any more than that and it’s no good. It’s a delicate problem. And I can’t make the body any lighter without compromising the strength of the body. I can’t sacrifice safety.” [Dinome]
“That is indeed the problem. Accidents happen even in races, after all.” [Serge]
This topic about magic car races would come out from time to time. Maybe they’re planning to participate. I guess you could liken the relationship between Dinome-san and Serge-san to that of a mechanic and a sponsor.
At first, I could still follow along, but as the conversation continued, the two maniacs started drifting off into their own world.
I left when they started talking about the number of revolutions.
After that I looked around the workshop, but honestly I couldn’t really understand much just by looking.
Just what are they making?
“This is rather… Normal.” [Ryoma]
Among the magic cars was something that resembled a normal carriage.
Well, the only real difference was that it could accommodate a horse in front and had a seat for the driver. Maybe this one isn’t a magic car and is instead some other magic tool.
I was curious, so I went back to the two and waited for them to stop talking for a moment.
“Dinome-san. What magic tool is that one?” [Ryouma]
“That one? That’s just a normal carriage. A neighbor asked me to fix it.” [Dinome]
I could easily accept him repairing a normal carriage, but Serge-san, who knew him longer, was confused.
“You accepting normal repair work? That’s rare.” [Serge]
“Yeah, well…” [Dinome]
While he was hesitating to talk about it, I asked Serge-san why it was so strange for him to repair the carriage.
“He’s gotten a lot more mellow since his grandchild was born a few years ago, but he’s someone who doesn’t work on anything other than magic tools. I thought for sure he’d refer someone looking to repair a carriage to a shop that specialized in that.” [Serge]
“…Actually, I need money… For my grandchild.” [Dinome]
The bearded man seemed really embarrassed to say that. His face was beet red.
“Planning to buy him a gift? I can help.” [Serge]
As the air turned tepid, Serge-san came swinging with a proposal.
But the bearded man, Dinome, refused him.
“It’s not for a gift. It’s for tuition.” [Dinome]
“For the imperial capital’s academy?” [Serge]
“Yeah. Actually—” [Dinome]
This guy keeps acting like he doesn’t want to talk, but it’s clear as day that he’s dying to.
…Could he be?
“—My grandkid is a genius! He’s only four, you know? He frequently comes to listen to us talk about work. And then my lowest ranking disciple started explaining to him like a big brother. I was wondering to myself what an apprentice was talking all big for, but then… Look at this!” [Dinome]
This guy’s gone full doting-grandpa-mode and he isn’t even bothering to hide his loose face.
He opened a drawer from the workbench and brought back some cogwheels, then he suddenly picked one from the bunch and allowed his mana to course through it.
The cog started spinning. It seemed to be the same kind of magic tool Serge-san showed me a few days ago. But this one is a lot slower in comparison, and from time to time, it would stop as if it were rusted then start moving again.
“Judging from the flow of the conversation, I take it this was made by your grandchild?” [Ryouma]
“That’s exactly right, boy! Isn’t he amazing? We can’t sell this just yet, but my grandkid who’s just 4 years old actually managed to make this.” [Dinome]
“He really learns fast.” [Ryouma]
“I know right! I think he might’ve picked up something because I sometimes worked while carrying him on my back… It’s really shocking, isn’t it?” [Dinome]
“What an enviable kid. I can’t even use enchant magic.” [Ryouma]
When it comes to people like this, it’s best not to contest them and just agree with whatever they say.
That’s something I learned from my past life. As such, I ended up listening to the guy as he boasted about his grandchild.
Tl Note: Also, forgot to mention this, but the PDFs and ePUBs were updated recently. Credits go to Byggvirr and a kind reader for their work on the ebooks.