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I'll be making potions from morning today as well.
I headed to the castle's distillation room after I got changed.
Corinna-san, the exclusive pharmacist, started her days early in the morning. Most of the time, she would already be working in the distillation room by the time I get there.
People in this world commonly started work when the sun came up.
I was following that model but Corinna-san started work earlier than that.
I tried to start work at the same time as Corinna-san once, but she told me to come at the same time as everyone else.
She didn't want people to see what she was doing first thing in the morning.
It seemed to be related to the secret recipe and she didn't tell me in detail.
Corinna-san was already making potions when I arrived at the distillation room.
"Ah, morning. Can you prepare some Intermediate HP Potions today? The amount we need is written in the memo over there."
I did as Corinna-san said. I looked at the memo and prepared the ingredients for the Intermediate HP Potions.
The ingredients lined up on the table were a little different from the ones taught at the Research Institute.
That was because we needed to mix medicinal herbs that weren't normally used.
Instead, the amount of ingredients used were less than usual.
That was because it was Corinna-san's secret recipe.
There were a lot of different kinds of secret recipes and she taught me that one.
I put the ingredients into a pot and began mixing, then the distillation room door opened loudly.
Some time had passed since I've started work, but it was still early in the morning.
I looked at the door wondering who would come here this early, and I saw a tall man, who could be described as a giant, with a scary face entering the room.
His height wasn't the only thing that was big.
He was a bit thick.
Everyone at the 3rd Knight Order was muscular, but this man exceeded them.
He had thick muscles on his upper arms and chest.
I felt like the room got narrower because he was so big.
He had short brown hair and sharp amber eyes.
His hair colour was similar to Director's, but I felt like it was more dry and brittle.
I'd never noticed it until now, but Director took proper care of his hair.
Someone called out to me while I was thinking that.
"Oh? Your apprentice, granny?" He looked around the room and said when he noticed me.
Was granny referring to Corinna-san?
Corinna-san taught me a lot of things, and the other people had an unspoken agreement about me being like an apprentice, but I was worried about whether it was fine to say it out loud.
I worried over how to answer and she came out of the room at the back of the distillation room.
"You're so noisy in the morning. Can't you be a little quieter?"
"I tried to be quieter!"
"How? Then, what do you want?"
"Oh…… I came to pick up the potions we ordered yesterday."
"You guys. We only received the order last night, did you think it would already be finished?"
"Ah, no. Of course not, sorry but…… we need it in a hurry now……"
Corinna-san glared at him and his voice got weaker.
His flustered state was like a dejected dog getting scolded by its owner.
He didn't actually have droopy dog ears, but it felt like he did.
Corinna-san was small but she was very scary when she was angry, so I could see why the man would cower before her.
Even so, it was only natural that Corinna-san got angry.
The potions that the man came to pick up wasn't just placed yesterday, they'd placed the order in just before work finished.
It wasn't this man, but I remembered someone from a mercenary group had come in to place the order.
They hadn't given a deadline, and it would have been nice if it could be completed by the afternoon.
I was in the process of making them.
There weren't any problems.
"It can't be helped. Sei."
I nodded when Corinna-san called me.
I took the required amount out of the storage shelf at the back of the room and prepared them.
They had ordered quite a lot of potions and the man was stunned when he stared at the potions I had put onto the table.
He didn't think that we would be able to prepare the amount they'd ordered.
Why were there extra potions when there's a medicinal herb shortage?
The culprit was me.
It accumulated because I was practicing Corinna's secret recipe for Intermediate and Advanced Potions.
Of course, I got permission from Corinna-san before I practiced.
Corinna-san had said, "They'll sell anyways."
Therefore, like at the Medicinal Herb Research Institute, they kept potions here for emergencies.
"I knew you could do it, granny."
"Tsk. Thank Sei if you want to thank someone."
"The potions are made by Sei. I can guarantee their effectiveness." Corinna-san said and the man looked at me again.
I felt his gaze, introduced myself, "My name is Sei," and bowed. The man came towards me.
"I'm Leonhardt. I assemble the mercenary groups in the castle."
He held his right hand out, so I thought that he wanted a handshake and held mine out too. He shook my hand firmly.
Afterwards, he smiled and said, "Nice to meet ya", while patting my left shoulder. I stumbled.
"Leo! Don't treat a woman so roughly!"
I straightened my posture and looked up at the man who was hastily apologising.
He had apologised immediately so he probably wasn't a bad person.
"My bad. You alright?"
"Yes. I'm fine." I smiled while replying and he looked relieved.
"Also thanks for the potions." He took the box containing the potions and left after he said his thanks.
The distillation room was silent once again.
At any rate, he was a lively person.
I thought that it was unusually quiet in the distillation room after he left.
Corinna-san took me to the medicinal field on the outskirts of the capital.
When we came from the Royal Capital, we went past some wheat fields. The medicinal herb fields were on the other side.
As expected of a medicinal herb producing area, the garden was a lot bigger than the Medicinal Herb Garden at the Royal Palace.
Klaussner's capital was surrounded by forests, so I couldn't see that far, but the field spread out to near the forest.
The field was outside of the castle walls but Corinna-san said it was safe.
Demons rarely appeared close to castle walls, and the ones that did were mostly weak.
Corinna-san said that even she could handle weak demons.
She taught me about the medicinal herbs in a section of a huge field.
It's the so-called practical training.
We squatted in the middle of the field and I looked at the herbs while I listened to Corinna-san's explanation.
I don't know about the herbs that I'm looking at.
It was probably something unique to this world.
At the very least it wasn't a herb that I've heard about when I was interested in aromatherapy.
She taught me about the herb's traits, effects and what to be careful of when handling it.
"This herb is ineffective by itself, but if you mix it with other herbs then it's recovery rate increases."
"So you can decrease the amount of herbs you use if you mix this into a recipe, right?"
That medicinal herb was used in Corinna-san's secret recipes.
The herb was used after drying, so I couldn't recognise it even if I saw it.
This wasn't usually recognised as a medicinal herb because it was only effective when used with other herbs.
Surprisingly, this herb might have existed in my old world.
It might be the same as this world and isn't recognised as a herb; so it wouldn't have appeared in my aromatherapy lessons.
We got up after Corinna-san finished her explanation, so that we could go to the next section.
I stretched because my body was stiff and a loud voice called out from behind me, "Oi, so you were here?"
I turned around at the unfamiliar voice, and saw a muscular man running towards us.
It was Leonhardt-san; the person who had come to the distillation room that morning.
I watched him run towards us and was reminded of my former friend.
I couldn't express my feelings into words……
I haven't thought much about you being here.
This place is probably heaven for you.
Forgive me for looking off into the distance.
He must have returned from subjugation because he had a lot of comrades behind him.
They were probably mercenaries, since he'd said he assembled mercenary groups.
Leonhardt-san had a splendid stature, but the people behind him didn't lose to him in that aspect.
What was I saying?
I'm saying they're probably macho.
People with such stature were mostly macho.
If my friend was here right now then he would be doing a victory pose.
Leonhardt-san reached us when I was thinking about such trivial things.
He started talking in an excited tone as he came closer, "Granny, was the potion I received this morning a new product?"
"What's this all of a sudden?"
"The potions I received today are more effective than usual!"
"Is that so? Then that's good, isn't it?"
"That's good, isn't it……? It isn't a new one? Then is it that? Did you give me Advanced Potions by mistake?"
"There's no way we would be able to make that many Advanced Potions at this time, now could we?" Leonhardt-san's shoulders dropped when Corinna-san replied bluntly.
A new one probably meant a new type of potion, right?
The potions I gave him today were the ones I made while practicing the secret recipe.
We received the order in the evening and he said he wanted the potions this morning, so I took them from the storage at the back of the room.
From his story, the accursed 50% increase was working well this time too.
"No way, I don't think that effect is from an Intermediate one."
"Even Basic Potions were more effective than usual."
"The effects didn't feel as good as the Intermediate ones, but it was probably around the same."
I moved out of the field and onto the road, and was surrounded by the people who came with Leonhardt-san.
They also talked about the potion's effectiveness.
It feels like déjà vu.
"I said it didn't I? I guarantee the effect."
"Come to think of it, you didn't make it did you granny?"
Leonhardt-san looked at me probably because he remembered what was said this morning.
The others also looked at me.
I'll be bothered if you stare at me that much.
Corinna-san continued while I was worrying about how to deal with this. "If you want to say it's new, then it's new. The potions we gave you this morning were definitely Intermediate HP Potions, but they were made with Sei's secret recipe."
"For real? Aren't you amazing for making something like this in this year!"
"Leo!" I staggered and Corinna-san rebuked him at once.
Leonhardt-san once again regained his energy and hit my back.
Yup, I want him to use less power.
I smiled ambiguously and Leonhardt-san looked crestfallen and apologised, "My bad."
But secret recipe?
Actually, I made the potions that were given to him using only the ingredients that Corinna-san told me to use.
The only difference would probably be the amount of magic power channelled into the potion.
My magic power was different from everyone else's.
If magic power could also be counted as an ingredient, then in a sense it was my own secret recipe.
However, it required a lot of effort to make a single secret recipe.
Even more so if it was highly effective.
I felt really guilty that she said it was my secret recipe even though the effect was only due to the difference in magic power.
'Cause everything else was done by Corinna-san, you know?
It bothered me, so I secretly looked at Corinna-san. She raised an eyebrow and nodded slightly.
Was she telling me it was fine?
I felt really bad about it but I didn't want Leonhardt-san and his crew to notice so I looked down. Corinna-san smiled with just her mouth.
They didn't notice the exchange between Corinna-san and I.
We had fun talking about potions for a while and then Leohardt-san and his crew returned to the castle.
"Even so, you're such an amazing girl. It's really great that the number of talented pharmacist have increased. We're relying on you!"
He looked like he wanted to pat my back again when he finished his greetings, but he probably remembered about Corinna-san getting angry at him earlier and he flinched. He put the hand he had raised onto his head and scratched it.
It seemed like he remembered this time.
Then, after our farewells the group went to the castle.
Corinna-san pat my back when I sighed.
I turned to the side and Corinna-san made a face that said good grief!
"Well then, should we go to the next one?"
"Yes." Corinna-san prompted and we decided to move onto the next section.
I greeted the people around me when I finished my work at the distillation room, and went into the corridor.
I walked towards the room that I was staying in and saw Captain-san coming from the other side.
"Sei. Good timing, I was looking for you."
"You were looking for me?"
He told me that he was heading to the distillation room to look for me.
"I wanted to talk about the investigation results."
"Okay. Then… where should we talk?"
"The Knight Order is borrowing one of the rooms, let's talk there?"
We talked about what had been happening with us while we walked to our destination.
I talked about the incident at the distillation room.
That place was known as a sacred place for pharmacists, and I learnt so many things from other people, as well as Corinna-san.
The other people kept their distance from me since Klaussner-sama had introduced me as the 【Saint】, but they got used to me while I was asking Corinna-san various questions.
Rather than say they got used to me, it's probably better to say that they wanted to hear about the Research institute so much that they couldn't hold back.
The first person that talked to me was just like Head Magician-sama when he talked about magic; but she wasn't the only one.
This place was known as a sacred place and most of the people here could be called mad pharmacists; their personalities changed when they talked about potions or herbs.
The lady who talked to me first, started the chain and then other people joined in.
Their questions varied greatly, but I was often asked about the efficiency of medicinal herbs that have been inspected, and about new potion recipes.
I only answered questions on the research published at the Royal Capital, the speed in which information was passed was slower than Japan, so there were things that the people in the distillation room didn't know.
They were extremely grateful when I told them that kind of information.
I was happy that they were pleased and I tried to change the topic from medicinal herbs to cooking and they got really into it.
I talked to Director about medicinal cooking before, and their reactions were the same as his.
Corinna-san was also interested, and asked me a lot of questions.
She said she wanted to try it once, but I didn't know any recipes for it.
So I talked about the dishes I made in the Royal Capital and the effects of the medicinal herbs I used.
Even so, these stories were very interesting for the people in the distillation room.
Then, I became friends with the people in the distillation room while answering their questions.
Of course I asked them questions too.
I was able to gain a lot of knowledge on things that seemed useful to my research; including secret recipes.
Thank you, I appreciate it.
"Seems like you had a good time at the distillation room."
"Huh? Yes, I did."
"I'm glad you had fun."
"Ah, no, that's……"
I heard a burst of laughter next to me, so I looked up and saw Captain-san looking at me gently.
I became really passionate when I started talking about the distillation room.
I started saying technical things about potions and medicinal herbs to Captain-san, even though it was outside of his expertise.
I noticed this and became a little embarrassed.
I could feel myself going a little red.
I hung my head down in shame and heard chuckling next to me.
We arrived at the room that the Knight Order was borrowing.
I heard that they borrowed a room, but they actually borrowed a two story building on the castle grounds.
According to Captain-san, the Knight Order always used that building whenever they went on an expedition here.
The first floor of the building was used as a battle station by the Knight Order. There was a hall as soon as I entered the building.
There was a long table with chairs in the hall, and I could see knights talking about something while they were looking at a map.
Since everyone knew each other, the knights only raised their hand in greeting when they noticed that Captain-san and I had entered.
I followed after Captain-san, went past the hall, and climbed the stairs at the back.
There were a lot of rooms on the second floor.
One of the rooms was used as the Captain-san's office.
The office had an office desk and lounge suite, like the ones in the knight barracks at the Royal Capital.
I sat down on the lounge suite opposite to Captain-san when he asked me to.
"It's a bit sudden but I want to get to the point."
Captain-san started talking about the Knight Order's present condition, and the results of the preliminary investigation.
The knights split up into groups and moved separately.
The groups scattered in the north, east, south and west. They investigated the surrounding area in turns.
The knights on the first floor had just returned from their investigation.
The knights were also subjugating demons as they investigated the surroundings.
According to them, there were as many demons here as there used to be in the Royal Capital.
Demon subjugation missions would begin once the investigation was over, but it would take some time to deal with the demons.
Captain-san thought the same as me.
"It would probably take some time to deal with the problem. I would like to return to the Royal Capital as soon as possible but……"
"I'm fine with that. I can learn about medicinal herbs in the distillation room."
Captain-san seemed apologetic, so I told him about the distillation room and he looked relieved.
Then he smiled, probably because he remembered the things we were talking about on the way here.
Sorry that I'm obsessed with potions.
I suddenly remembered something and tried to talk about it. "If the knights have been encountering demons during the investigation, then they've been using potions, haven't they?"
"Yes we have."
"How do you replenish your potions?"
"We brought some with us from the Royal Capital and we'll buy more here when we run out."
"If you don't mind, then, should I make them?"
"Yes. Of course, I'll need you to prepare the ingredients, but I think it's cheaper to buy medicinal herbs than potions."
"That's true, but you'll need tools if you're making potions."
"I was wondering if I could use the ones at the distillation room. I'll check with Feudal Lord-sama."
"I see. Then let me confirm if you're permitted to use the distillation room."
They were still investigating the surrounding areas, so they didn't consume that many potions.
However, they would probably start using more potions once they start subjugations.
The Knight Order would probably need a large number of potions, since a lot of knights came on this expedition.
I don't know what recipes are used to make the potions sold in the city.
Fewer ingredients were used in the secret recipe than the normal one.
This city was also facing a medicinal herb shortage, even though this is a medicinal herb production area. I could save on ingredients if I made the potions myself so I thought that it was better this way.
Captain-san also said that this way was better because it cut out expenses.
Personally speaking, I could practice the secret recipe as much as I want using the Knight Order as an excuse.
I had Corinna-san's permission to make the potions and I made a lot of potions while practicing.
I could still make more potions.
I was a bit worried that the distillation room would be overflowed with potions, like the Research Institute.
I could make a little more if we sell it to the mercenaries and the Knight Order, right?
"Let's go back to the main topic. Are you subjugating after you finish the investigations?"
"That's the plan."
"Will the Knight Order and mercenaries be teaming up to go on subjugations?"
I remembered about the mercenaries and asked Captain-san about it and it looked as if I've touched a touchy subject.
He worried for a while after I confirmed that fact, and answered my question while being vague.
I heard Captain-san and the others talk about the demon situation on the day we arrived at Klaussner, while I was resting in my room.
Captain-san had met with the mercenaries that were employed in the fief at that time, but he said that the vibe wasn't really good.
The mercenaries that protected the fief were strong and they rarely requested for the Knight Order's help.
However, the demons had effected their main industry, so they requested the Knight Order's help.
Although they were hired, the mercenaries took pride in being able to protect the fief for so long.
Even when Captain-san met with them, it felt like they had only reluctantly accepted the Knight Order's help under Feudal Lord-sama's orders.
Under such circumstances, Captain-san decided that they would all subjugate in their own sections, instead of mixing the teams.
The person who had met Captain-san and Feudal Lord-sama was probably Leonhardt-san.
He had said that he assembled the mercenary groups when I met him at the distillation room.
He didn't seem like someone who would have a vendetta against the people who came from the Royal Capital.
Perhaps, he didn't know I came from the Royal Capital?
Come to think of it, I only told him my name.
"Was the person you met Leonhardt-san?"
"Yes, do you know him?"
"He came to the distillation room this morning to pick up some potions, so I met him then."
"Didn't he say anything?"
Leonhardt-san thought that I was Corinna-san's apprentice, so it wasn't something that Captain-san should be worried about.
I don't know about what would happen if Leonhardt-san found out that I came here with the Knight Order.
But I wasn't worried about it.
The mercenaries seemed like really good people when I met them today.
They opened up to me somehow, even if they had ill feelings for me in the beginning.
That's what I think anyways. Am I being too optimistic?
"I think Leonhardt-san would be fine. But about the subjugation…"
"Yes. We're still planning to investigate tomorrow. I will contact you when the subjugation has been decided."
Is it not my turn yet?
Well then, I'll just study at the distillation room for a bit longer.
Oh yeah, I should let Corinna-san know that they might be making potions for the Knight Order.
I came up with some plans in my head, and my talk with Captain-san was over, so I went back to my own room.