07-09 The Ores
Jin returned back to the crossroads of the tunnel branches, just when the other people had all returned too.
“Hey, how did it go for you, Jin? I got these.”
Reinhardt showed the pieces of ore he had harvested. There were two crystals and an amethyst.
“I found these.”
Jin also showed off his spoils.
“Oh, three citrines, three amethysts, and a smoky quartz, huh. As I’d expect from you.”
It seemed that Reinhardt had an idea as to just how Jin found them. Although the little girl dug up one of the citrinse and amethysts each.
“I couldn’t find anything but this one.”
Elsa held out the black quartz in her hand to show it.
“It’s just a crystal, isn’t it.”
Reinhardt voiced his thoughts.
“Mother, here, it’s a present.”
The girl from earlier gave the gem she had dug out earlier as a present to her mother , the wife of Viscount Secatt.
“Now now, really? Schiede, thank you.”
Apparently the girl was called Schiede. She was smiling as her mother stroked her head.
Jin gave them a sidelong glance and thought it was good that he had made the pink sapphire with Craft Magic.
“That mister over there told me where to look.”
Jin heard her say. Then the viscount’s wife walked over where to Jin was and,
“My daughter seems to have had help from you, thank you.”
She thanked Jin.
“Err, excuse me, but you’re Mariria-san, right?”
Reinhardt asked from the side.
“Yes, I am Mariria, and you are?”
“I’m from Shouro Empire, and my name is Reinhardt. I met your husband Viscount Secatt in Asunto the other day.”
He said. After Mariria heard that she said,
“Oh, so that’s how it was. Was my husband okay? He’s been late in coming back so I’ve been worried.”
“Yes, he’s fine. It’s just that there was a bit of trouble during His Highness Ernest’s birthday party, so I think he was recruited for dealing with the aftermath.”
As the propagation of information was slow in this world, it seemed that news of the golem riot hadn’t reached the madam yet. And so Reinhardt told her just the harmless parts.
The madam seemed to be relieved after hearing of her husband’s circumstances from Reinhardt who had been there.
“Brother’s return is late.”
During that, the voice of the little girl, Schiede, could be heard. The young boy who was her elder brother hadn’t come back yet.
“That’s so, Edem’s late, isn’t he.”
“I’ll go search.”
Schiede said and began to run.
“Ah, don’t run, it’s dangerous!”
Right after her mother Mariria said that, Schiede tripped and fell over.
“Come on, I told you so, …How inconvenient that I can’t use healing magic…”
Then Elsa stepped forward and,
“Let me. …[Heal].”
“Ah, it doesn’t hurt any more.”
“My my, young lady, thank you. Come on Schiede, thank her.”
“Okay. Thank you very much, miss.”
Obediently, the girl thanked Elsa as soon as her mother told her to.
“…Take care now.”
It was dark so you couldn’t see it well, but Elsa seemed to blush a little.
“Mother! I found an amazing gem!”
Then, while yelling loudly, Schiede’s elder brother Edem arrived.
“Come on, look! It’s a green gem! And this beautiful shape!”
Edem said while holding out the raw ore he had in his hand towards his mother. Jin at a glance recognized the gem from its unmistakable characteristics.
“Isn’t that fluorite.”
Elsa caught his absent-minded muttering.
“Mm, yeah. It’s the gem that, um, Edem is holding. It’s a neat octahedron, right? Fluorite has that kind of cleavage.”
Fluorite is calcium fluoride. In fact, it is also used in iron manufacture. At the very least, the electric furnace that Jin fell into utilized it in its blast furnace to draw out the foreign matter called slag while manufacturing iron.
And that’s why contrary to expectations it was a mineral Jin was familiar with.
Because it was too soft for a gem (4 on Moh’s hardness scale), no one but some collectors gathered them.
This was probably also one of the freebies for tourists.
“My my, Edem also found a splendid gem. I’m glad.”
“Brother, I found a pink gem.”
“Is that so, good for you.”
Jin had no intention of throwing cold water on the delighted family. However. Their intimacy was just a bit enviable, he thought.
“Alright everyone, did you have fun? It’s about time for us to get out, so please follow me.”
The guide then raised his voice. The eight people returned the borrowed Magi Tools and returned the way they came.
＊ ＊ ＊
When they came out, the clouds had split and bits of blue sky peeked out from between them. The blowing winds were already the winds of spring.
“Ahh, the outside air is good, isn’t it.”
Jin said while stretching, Reinhardt also agreed with an ‘indeed’, and Elsa too nodded rapidly.
“Well then, farewell everyone.”
The wife of Viscount Secatt said her goodbyes. While waving her hand Schiede said,
“Mister, miss, bye bye!”
Jin and Elsa waved their hands a bit in return.
It was precisely lunchtime so they decided to try going into a nearby restaurant.
Because this was a mining village, the restaurant’s insides too were decorated with various large and small crystals, gems, and pieces of ore.
“There’s no Aquamarine?”
Elsa asked Jin with a low voice.
“Aquamarine, huh. I wonder.”
Aquamarine resembled the color of Elsa’s eyes well. That was one of the reasons it was Elsa’s favorite gem.
“Ah, that seems to be the case.”
There was a fist-sized crystal decoration. Aquamarines were the same mineral as emeralds, but emeralds were crystals born deep underground in enormous pressure, while aquamarines could be found inside regular pegmatite.
“It’s pretty even without polishing, huh.”
“Mh-hm, I’d say that if a polished gem was a dressed-up beautiful woman, a raw gem would be a pristine village girl.”
“? ? ?”
Reinhardt sudddenly cut into the conversation. Both Jin and Elsa couldn’t help making an undescribable face as Reinhardt said something uncharacteristically pretentious.
“Huh? I’ve got a feeling that you’re thinking of something awful.”
Reinhardt guessed and said while smiling bitterly, then,
“It’s not just your imagination. A line like that doesn’t suit Rai-nii.”
Elsa revealed her honest impression.
“That’s terrible. I was just considering whether or not to buy that gem, but should I not?”
Reinhardt said as if disgruntled and,
“Sorry. Rai-nii is handsome.”
Elsa said and edged closer to him. Reinhardt’s bitter smile intensified,
“Just when I think you’ve become more of an adult, but you never change, huh. Oh well, I’ll buy it.”
Reinhardt was weak towards his cousin.
＊ ＊ ＊
“So sapphires like that still come out…?”
The guide who had watched Schiede hand it over to her mother, the Viscount Secatt’s wife, reported it to the miners’ guild.
After that, the tunnel for tourists was closed for two weeks, and mining was cirred out, but far from pink sapphires even regular corundum was found barely found.