「Well, we at least got this far, so let’s go ahead and take it to the end.」
The wave of unease on her shoulders relieved, Fum decided to take the enchantment all the way through its course. It was at this time that an irregularity occurred.
Letting out a pathetic “btoom” sound, the enchantment fixed in place had been repelled. Fum hurriedly examined the pestle she had tried to enchant.
「……Nothing’s happened to it yet, huh？」
「Right, it’s just a normal pestle.」
「There wasn’t a single enchantment on it before, so I assume it’s still that way？」
Gazing intently at the failed pestle, three of them gave their conclusions.
「I guess we need to test this out one more time？」
Teres and Nora nodded with serious faces at Fum’s question. Once Fum got back into the procedure, Nora gave Lime instructions in a low voice.
「Lime. After this is over, I want you to show me your magic class notes.」
Lime replied in a low voice, and as she did so, the enchantment failed with the same timing as before.
「Weird. Guess I’ll try a bit with the boss man formula.」
As Lime went to get her notes, Fum cast the same enchantment with the same method she always used. This time it was successful. The enchant was imbued into the pestle like normal.
「Reeeally weird. As I thought, there must be a hole somewhere in the theory……」
「And in order to figure that out, I had Lime bring her notes over.」
As they were discussing this, Lime, notes in hand, came back alongside Hiroshi. He seemed to have come back here from Rufeus to run some sort of errand.
「Oh, Boss Man？」
「Heard from Lime that y’all were doin’ somethin’ cool. I’ll spectate a lil bit.」
Hiroshi grinned as he motioned for Fum to start the process. Nodding, Fum first explained what they were doing and then used a pestle of the same material to begin. As he watched her do that, Hiroshi suddenly interjected.
「Another mighty darn weird way of doin’ things, mate.」
「Ah, so I am doing something wrong. We also thought something was off, but didn’t know what specifically.」
「Well yeah, there’s no way y’all would git that. The steps themselves ain’t gonna make a huge difference other than the school of thought they emerged from, but the catalyst has a horrible affinity with Strength Up.」
Immediately pointing out the irregularity, Hiroshi took out several other catalysts and began an explanation.
「Y’see, while it’s true those catalysts ain’t got many kinks in ‘em ‘n ya can use ‘em for most enchantments, their affinity’s horribly bad with several enchantments like Strength Up, like lethally bad. The wood materials used to make pestels are also bad with Strength Up, so if yer gonna do it ya gotta first do it with the catalysts I got right here, mate.」
「But the mortar went fine, didn’t it? Besides, the weird part was when I connected the lines, and Lime also said the main abnormality had to do with the flow of mana.」
「The main reason it went fine was purely cuz the mortar’s materials have a fantastic affinity with Strength Up. I won’t be able to say much about the flow until I try it myself.」
Nodding at Fum’s question, Hiroshi implemented the enchantment via the same method Fum previously did in order to investigate the cause. The conclusion……
「The procedure, the catalyst, the enchantment material, all these are super wack with their affinities, mate.」
「If ya swap out the first step for a different one, the process becomes that much better, mate.」
「Ah, really now.」
「Yup. Give it a whirl.」
Fum and the others responded to Hiroshi’s encouragement and tried it themselves. Compared to the initial experiment, this felt a lot better, and Lime was also fine with the flow of mana.
「You’re right, it’s a whole new experience.」
「Seriously, why do they have such an unreliable procedure written in these documents？」
「Yeah, really. Sometimes the textbooks tend to have super illogical methods in them……」
Fum and the others let out groans at the result. Hiroshi grimaced as he gazed at them.
「So what did you come back here to do anyway, Boss Man？」
「Mm? Ah. I tried makin’ a drink. Have y’all tried carbonated water or foamin’ drinks before？」
「Well yeah, we have……」
Teres answered for everyone, responding to Hiroshi’s question. Unbeknownst to any of the Japan people, Wulls also had several locations with carbonated water wells, and several times when they had gone to deliver goods, the girls had drunk from those wells. Also, there were several fruits that you could leave fermenting in juice form right before they became alcohol and obtain sparkling juice. Not only did Hiroshi and the others make everything themselves, they also had a narrow field of activity, so they had never drunk any of this, but all the personnel working at the workshop had tried the beverages at least once.
「Great, then y’all already know what’s up. Imma replicate one from our country and I’d like y’all to try it.」
Hiroshi said as he took out a dark liquid with a different color than the bottled soy sauce. As they looked at it, Fuma and the others appeared slightly repulsed by this, but Lime, filled to the brim with curiosity and placing her full trust in Hiroshi, quickly extended a hand.
Needless to say, this dark liquid was cola. Hiroshi had apparently begun with the red label version.
「Boss Man, can I drink it！？」
「Hold on a sec. Imma put it in a cup right now.」
Soothing Lime, who appeared to have a serious appetite for the drink now, Hiroshi poured the dark liquid into a cup, filling it to the brim. After he handed it to Lime, she drank half of it in one strong gulp, not losing to the carbonation.
「It’s sweet, bubbly, and tasty！」
「Oh, glad to hear it mate. But don’t drink too much; it ain’t great for yer health. Let’s keep it at that for today.」
Grimacing at Lime’s reaction, Hiroshi warned her to not drink too much.
「Oh, ya wanna drink some too, eh Hiyohiyo？」
As if he had a sensor of some sort, Hiyohiyo, who was supposed to have been sleeping, was up and about, pestering Hiroshi for some cola. As he poured some into a cup for Hiyohiyo, the bird grabbed the cup skillfully with its wings and then loudly gulped down the drink.
「Oh, glad to hear ya like it. But no more, kay?」
「Nah, nah. Yer not supposed to gush it down like that in the first place.」
Hiroshi attempted to somehow calm down Hiyohiyo, who had begun insisting that he get more of this drink. Once he understood that he couldn’t get any more from Hiroshi, Hiyohiyo flapped back over to his bed.
Looking at Lime and Hiyohiyo, Fum and the other two timidly put their own cups to their mouths. For whatever reason, it wasn’t Teres or Nora who reacted weirdly despite being the elders of the group, but instead it was Fum who did not find the flavor of the cola desirable.