Translator: Kell | Editor: Ryunakama
It Worked Fine
One hour later.
After obtaining what I wanted, I returned to the pharmacists.
「Let’s use this.」
I placed a quern-stone on the table. Quern-stones are stone tools for hand-grinding a wide variety of materials. You just put the materials inside and spin the stone around.
This world used it for grinding wheat to make bread. But no one said you couldn’t use it to grind ingredients for a medicine.
「That’s… a little bit rough, isn’t it?」
「Let’s just try it anyway.」
I tossed some belladonna into the quern-stone and started rotating it around. It took no time at all to completely grind them.
「Can you use it?」
「Maybe… but the yield will be lower.」
The pharmacist studied the powdered belladonna. It did look different from when it was done by hand. Perhaps if the quern-stone is modified for belladonna use, it would look the same. Then again that would take a long time.
「Can you make medicine out of it even with a lower yield?」
「I think so. We haven’t tried using quern-stones before, so we won’t know until we try.」
「Then please try it.」
I glanced at the pile of belladonnas. We might waste a few for experimenting, but it should be fine. We have plenty of it around.
And so the pharmacists started to work on it. The process looked complicated – pouring water in a strangely-shaped pot, tossing in ground belladonna, adjusting the temperature.
The pots were of different shapes and they used them in order. Two hours later…
「It’s done. Here’s the healing medicine.」the pharmacist said as he packed the product in a bottle.
So that’s confirmed. We can make medicine even when using quern-stones for grinding.
「How’s the volume?」
「Let’s see… If we used our hands to crush the belladonna, the output would be 1.2 times than this.」
Hmm… so the output does decrease.
「It doesn’t matter much. We have plenty of belladonnas so just keep at it.」
They started grinding more using the quern-stone. We can be more efficient now.
「I have this weird feeling of guilt grinding belladonnas with quern-stones…」
「I’m having fun. Normally a pharmacist wouldn’t be able to use so much belladonnas in their entire lifetime.」
The pharmacists were chatting with each other. They were quiet when they did it by hand. This means their job is much easier now.
I guess the problem now is that the processing takes time. One bottle took two hours to make. We can’t possibly use up all the belladonnas we have. It’ll be much more efficient if we made them in huge batches.
「Is the process of making medicine generally the same as what you did earlier?」
「Yes. I believe every pharmacist in this kingdom follows the same steps. The government itself taught us and there are tools specifically used for making them.」
He pointed at a small pot he used earlier. “Healing medicine processing pot no. 1” was written on the side. Upon closer inspection, the other pots had numbers as well. It seems each pot is made of different materials and they come in different shapes.
「So is there a law that says you should use these?」
「Not really. But we can make the best medicine with these. They’re a product of countless trials by our predecessors.」
I see. The government taught them so they could make the most medicine out of their limited resources.
「Can you still make the medicine if you used different pots?」
「Yes. Long ago they used normal pots apparently. When these specialized tools were introduced, output increased by about ten percent.」
Ten percent… That’s still quite a lot, but we can’t be picky right now. We have to produce a lot so we might need to tweak the process a bit.
「There are bigger pots, right? I saw one as big as this.」I said, placing my hand just above my head. I have no idea what they used it for. All I know is that it’s really big.
「Yes. They’re mainly used for cheaper ingredients and mass production. 」
I knew it. That pot is used for production as well. Adjusting the temperature will be more difficult with a bigger pot. We’d be wasting a bit of belladonna, but that shouldn’t be a problem. If we processed them in small amounts, they’d only deteriorate.
「Try making the medicine with the big pots. We have plenty of belladonnas to use anyway.」
The men started experimenting. Count Meigis gathered only a few pharmacists, but he said they’re competent. I’ll just leave it to them. I’m sure they can produce a great product.