Minasan oideyasu. This is Yukkuri demasu!
Another chapter. Will finish another one by this week.
DISCLAIMER: There is no guarantee that my translation is 100% correct. Please correct me if I was wrong.
Online Grammar Editor
Interlude 6 – A Certain Research Investigation
The academic institution 『Ginger’s Training School』 located in the former slums of Parnam, the capital city of the Kingdom of Friedonia, was started under the sponsorship of King Souma as a part of the plan to secure talented people and to diminish the slavery system. Nowadays it had its size and scope upgraded into what is now called 『Ginger’s Vocational Academy』. While still retaining its primary education institution, various faculties had been created for the study of various specialized academic disciplines. The faculties that were deemed as successful in this place would be established on the other vocational school in the other cities.
There were already several faculties that had become independent and began to be established on the vocational school in the other cities, but the 『Agriculture』 and 『Medical』 faculties still remained in this vocational academy. This was because the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Poncho Ishidzuka Pannacotta, and the physicians Hilde Nouge and Brad Joker took their residence in Parnam. This displayed how Souma, who aware that the improvement in food supply and medical care are directly linked to the improvement and growth of the population, highly regarded these two fields.
Now two couples of men and women were facing each other across the main gate 『Ginger's Vocational Academy』. One couple was a combination of a almost-thirty years old man with a round stomach and an elegant and intelligent beautiful woman. The other couple was a combination of a gentle-looking boy who look like a girl on first glance and a slightly older, impressive strong willed eyes and beautiful Raccoon Tribe girl who had. The queer thing would be that both women were wearing a classic long skirt's maid dress.
The men and women who are about to enter the Academy’s premise were the current Kingdom’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry – Poncho, and the Chief Maid of the Parnam Castle and the Personal Maid of Princess Liscia – Serina. The pair who greeted them on the premises was the Principal of this 『Ginger’s Vocational Academy』 - Ginger Camus and his Secretary plus Maid – Sandria. Poncho and Ginger shook each other’s hands while smiling.
「We welcome your visit to our place, Poncho-dono.」(Ginger)
「Gi-Ginger-dono also seems to be in good health, yes.」(Poncho)
「Um…… There is no need to speak that formally with me. Aren’t Poncho-dono more senior than me and also a minister of this country?」(Ginger)
「Th-this is a habit, so I can’t do anything about this, yes.」(Poncho)
「I am a fainthearted person, so please refrain from that way of speech.」(Ginger)
When Poncho was flustering sweat in that conversation, Serina interjected.
「Good grief…… Despite your knowledge have saved the lives of countless people, why don’t you have a little more confidence in yourself already.」(Serina)
「Umm, you are?」(Ginger)
「Pardon me for interjecting. I am employed as the Chief Maid of the Castle. My name is Serina.」(Serina)
While introducing herself, Serina bowed with a refined gesture.
「S-so courteous. I am the one who had been entrusted with the position of the principal of this academy, Ginger.」(Ginger)
When Serina bowed to him, this time it was Ginger who in a panic. Seeing Ginger’s reaction, Serina slipped out a smile.
「Because Ginger-sama is the principal of this academic institution, there is no need to speak that formal with a mere maid like me, don’t it?」(Serina)
「Well, that is……」(Ginger)
「So Master is weak against a beautiful onee-sama.」(Sandria)
This time, Sandria interjected.
「San-san!? What are you suddenly spoke like that!?」(Ginger)
「Since that is a fact. Aren’t you always being nervous in front of a beautiful person like Hilde-sama?」(Sandria)
Sandria picked up the hem of the apron dress and bowed while spouting a rude remark at Ginger.
「Nice to meet you. My name is Sandria, the secretary, maid, and cherished love-slave of Ginger-sama.」(Sandria)
「Stop! That will hurt my reputation! I only employed you as the secretary. Isn’t the maid work something that San-san did on your own, right? Also, what do you mean by the last one!?」(Ginger)
Ginger protested like this, but Sandria brushed it like a wind unbothered.
「I presume you are Poncho-dono? I had heard a lot of rumors about you. I heard that the resolution of the severe famine of my comrades is all thanks to your action. On behalf of everybody, please let me express our gratitude.」(Sandria)
「T-there’s no need! Please don’t mention it, yes!」(Poncho)
Poncho hastily replied as Sandria bowed towards him. Seeing his actions, Serina stared at him with rather cold eyes.
「Poncho-dono. Even if you are praised by an “underage girl” you so fond of, please don’t lose your composure like this.」(Serina)
「P-please don’t put that strange label on me, yes!」(Poncho)
「A strange label?…… But, I am aware of it, you know?」(Serina)
Serina replied while smiling, but her eyes weren’t laughing at all.
「The food “Hot sandwich” that you developed with His Majesty not long ago; you only share it with Tomoe-sama, isn’t it? You never spoke nary a word about it with me.」(Serina)
「Is this perhaps, the cause of your bad mood these days!?」(Poncho)
If anyone was asked “Who is the most glutton person in Parnam Castle?”, they would answer, “Without any doubt, it would be Aisha”. Then if they were asked, “Who is the second place?”, the answer will be, “Serina”. However, there was a subtle difference in their glutton title. Unlike Aisha who more like, 「I’ll eat anything if it’s delicious (especially if it’s sweet)!」, 「Please more food!」, Serina didn’t request for quantity, rather she expressed strong interest, especially, in the so-called junk food or B-class gourmet cuisine made by Souma and Poncho.
Souma and Poncho had invented many dishes until now. Though accurately, the dishes were only a reproduction of the cuisine from Souma’s world, amongst those dishes, there were dishes that couldn’t be found in a luxurious restaurant such as Napolitan bread or yakisoba bread, which completely captivated Serina.
Actually, Serina's House was a famous House that had produced many personal butlers and maids for the Royal Families. For that reason, they received ethic and esthetic education from childhood so as to not disgraceful in front of the Royal Family. Even in the table manner, they would always pursue to eat good food in a good manner. Of course, buying and eating food from a mere streetside stall won’t be deemed as acceptable. For Serina who was brought in such environment, the dishes that were made by Souma and Poncho were shocking.
(To put a staple food on top of a staple food!)
Serina, who was exposed to the Napolitan bread for the first time, felt that such notion that she had so far were completely broken the moment she had a taste a bit. How can this vulgar food taste so delicious? Ever since then, Serina often accompanied Poncho. After all, if she hanging around him, she could participate in the trial eating of delicious prototype dishes. The dishes made by Poncho was the only thing Serina interested at– other than cute girls –…… Hence the reason why she held a grudge at Poncho due to him excluded her from eating new dishes.
「Th-that is still a sample dish, so its quantity wasn’t much……」(Poncho)
「I had received an order from His Majesty and Princess to accompany you who aren’t that accustomed in dealing with the public, so I endeavored to wholeheartedly assist you. Even so, you didn’t give me a chance to sample the food, is it because I am already an adult woman?」(Serina)
「When we return! When we return, I will you properly treat you with food, yes!」(Poncho)
Poncho panicked when Serina made a sad expression. Then,
「It’s a promise.」(Serina)
Serina said that with a completely nonchalant face. Apparently, she was just acting to obtain Poncho’s promise. Poncho dropped his chest crestfallenly. Seeing these two’s interaction, Ginger was dumbfounded, but Sandria repeatedly nodding for some reason.
「It looks like their relationship is similar like the one between Master and me.」(Sandria)
「? My employer is the Princess, however.」(Serina)
「Not in that meaning……」(Sandria)
Sandria showed a troubled smile at Serina who titled her neck in confusion. Meanwhile, both of the men were watching these their conversation while question mark floating over their head.
◇ ◇ ◇
After the greeting finished, Ginger took Sandria, Poncho, and Serina and leave 『Ginger's Vocational Academy』 to head towards “Outside”. In the 『Vocational Academy』, there was a research building for the agricultural technology, where research about crops and compost or selective breeding were conducted. However, there was no field inside the Vocational Academy where those research result could be seen. The former slum was located close to the City Walls, so they established the field beyond the City Wall. The research building and the field were separated by the castle wall, but the distance was really short that it was easy to travel between the building and the field.
Passing through the city gate, Ginger guided Poncho and the others to the field owned by the 『Vocational Academy』. While greeting the Guards who watched the field, the four people arrived in front of two fields. It seemed that none of the two fields had planted with crops, but the first field’s soil looked like a normal black soil, while the second field’s surface was dried up and cracked. After showing these field, Ginger then asked Poncho.
「The reason for Poncho-dono’s visit today is related to the research of “that”, correct?」(Ginger)
「Yes. Since His Majesty and I too have great expectations for the “that” research result.」(Poncho)
After hearing Poncho reply, Ginger shook his head with an apologetic expression.
「…… Let me preface my reply with an apology. We did not get a result you expected.」(Ginger)
A research that Souma or Poncho put great expectations into. It was a research of the 『Failed Creation』 that had been invented by the Over-Scientist Ginya Maxwell. During the previous reign of the King Albert, Ginya developed a plant-seed inserted arrowhead so that a battlefield could be full of greeneries. However, due to the effect of the light magic enchantment endowed to that arrowhead, the plant grows and proliferates at an extremely rapid rate and nearly engulfed half of the research building with vegetation. So it was a failure creation with a major defect.
Ginya was transferred to the Royal Army and her research was frozen. However, King Souma, in his interaction with her, became aware of her research and noticed its usefulness, and so he ordered for the resumption of that research. Ignoring the arrowhead part, if they researched about how the vegetation grow at such speed that could engulf a building, then it might be useful for desert greening and food productivity improvement. However, since the genius Ginya no longer had any interest in that research, Souma ordered the Agricultural Technology Research Department at Ginger's Vocational Academy instead.
However…… Ginger said that they couldn’t show a successful result.
「Certainly we achieved the rapid growth of the plants. Between the growth and proliferation plant trait, we had succeeded in eliminating the proliferation part, so being engulfed by vegetation won’t happen anymore.」(Ginger)
「So it becomes controllable? Isn’t this a success, yes?」(Poncho)
「No, not at all. Although this research is performed with expectation for being employed in food productivity improvement and desert greening…… The research found out that it would be useful for that purpose. Ginya-dono’s magic arts is “only” accelerated the plant’s growth. Poncho-dono, do you know what plants needed for their growth?」(Ginger)
After thinking for awhile, Poncho answered,
「It should be a fertile soil and water…… and, sunlight, yes?」(Poncho)
「Yes. There is no problem with the sunlight. For the water, we could manage one way or another. The problem is the fertile soil. Even when the plant had its growth accelerated, the amount of water and nutrients absorbed from the soil doesn’t change. Ginya-dono also recognized this point, so in her magic arts, she also included a function to absorb nutrients and water from the soil.」(Ginger)
Ginger said this word as he pointed at the cracked dried field.
「This field is the aftermath of the growth-accelerated wheat harvest.」(Ginger)
「…… It's completely similar to a desert sand, yes.」(Poncho)
「Even if we can accelerate the plant’s growth, fertilizing the soil would take a considerable amount of time. As a result, the plants would absorb moisture and nutrients from the soil and ended it this dried up field. In this state, nothing can be planted on it anymore.」(Ginger)
「Can’t you continuously provided the nutrition into the earth one way or another?」(Poncho)
「It is impossible. Unlike water, providing continuous nutrition to match the growth speed itself is not realistically possible. In the first place, fertilizer itself is limited. If the fertilizer is depleted due to the increase the growth speed, as a result, the productivity improvement might not happen at all.」(Ginger)
「So that is…… impossible.」(Poncho)
When plants decayed, it will return the nutrition back into the soil, but it won’t happen with the food crops. Indeed, it is impossible to return every food part that had been consumed by human back to the field.
「This is the reason why we judged that this method not suitable for growing food crops. The other purpose, the desert greening, will also impossible since it lacked water from in the first place. Even if we could provide it with water canals, this time the rapid growth rate would be the bottleneck problem. The plants also decayed at a rapid rate, after all.」(Ginger)
「So it’s something that can’t be done either way, yes……」(Poncho)
Poncho dropped his shoulders dejectedly. It was disappointing that the research that he put hopes for had produced zero results. However, Ginger shook his head again.
「It doesn’t mean that it is completely without result. Please look at the neighboring field.」(Ginger)
「…… But, there is only a soil-covered field?」(Poncho)
「Yes, the soil in this field is just a normal soil. A created “normal soil”.」(Ginger)
While saying this, Ginger took a handful of soil.
「The soil in this field is brought from the dungeon inhabited by many undead-type monsters. Of course, when it was first brought here, it was contaminated by miasma released by the undead-type monster.」(Ginger)
Poncho unconsciously yelped. An undead-type monster such as Skull Dragon, scattered miasma that harms living beings simply by being present in the environment. The miasma spreads disease, corrodes things, and prevents living creatures to reside on that location. Moreover, it has the characteristic of remaining on the ground for long period of time. As a result, the land where the Skull Dragon once rampaged or where there is a large outbreak of zombies and so on, will end up as a barren land where no crops will grow in that location for a long period of time.
However, Ginger picked up that should be dangerous soil in his hand without any hesitation. Poncho closely examined that soil with an intense stare.
「Is this soil…… safe?」(Poncho)
「Yes. It had completely cleaned from miasma.」(Ginger)
「What had you done, yes?」(Poncho)
「By using that same method. There is a flower that blooms only in a dungeon where many undead-type monsters resided.」
As Ginger said this word, he asked Sandria to bring out a stalk of flower. That flower was reddish violet colored with a greenish-black spots, obviously, this was a poisonous-looking color combination. A flower that you don’t want to give as a gift for an auspicious celebration even as a mistake.
「This flower is called 『Miasma Flower』 amongst the adventurers who went into the dungeon. The location where this flower bloom indicates that it is the active domain of the undead-type monster. That’s why when they discover this flower, they would prepare countermeasure for the miasma.」(Ginger)
「So there is a flower like this. Wow, to think that I don’t know about this.」(Poncho)
Poncho is very well-informed about edible plants. Not only about ingredients that are edible, but also ingredients that are inedible. Because Poncho’s knowledge is rooted from his appetite. Therefore, he wasn’t that well-informed in plants that are inedible just by looking from its appearance or plants that are virtually inedible, which didn’t pique his interest. Ginger unintentionally chuckled.
「As the name suggested, this Miasma Flower grows with miasma as its nutrient. This is the reason why it grew in throngs inside the dungeons with a large number of undead-type monster. If we plant the Miasma Flower combined Ginya-dono’s magic arts to accelerate the plant growth in a contaminated soil like this one, then……」(Ginger)
「!? I see! The amazingly fast rate of growth will absorb the miasma from the ground!」(Poncho)
*pon* Poncho hit his hands. If they used the method on the normal plants, they would absorb the soil nutrient and left it barren. But in Miasma Flower’s case, only the miasma that will be absorbed. Ginger nodded.
「Afterward, we can harvest the flowers and incinerate them. Since the miasma had been used for its growth, only ash remained after they are burnt. If we repeat this process twice, the contaminated soil will return to a normal soil like this one.」(Ginger)
「Isn’t this- isn’t this a truly wonderful discovery! It could counteract the effect of the undead-type monsters on fields and crops, yes!」(Poncho)
Poncho was delighted. Its application wasn’t much, but since the anticipated research wasn’t without any result, he was delighted none the less. Poncho suddenly had a thought.
(This reminds me…… When gathering the talented people, His Majesty had spoken these words, 『I will decide whether or not it is useful.』 Perhaps his words mean that there are no useless thing in this world. Even me who don’t have any talent other than eating…… could help this country even just for a little bit.)
Poncho, who thought like this, felt slightly more confident in himself.
Serina and Sandria were watching the men engrossed in serious conversation from a slight distance away with a slightly dismayed expression. Without throwing a single glance at them, the two men were having an exciting exchange of opinions about the research. It was as if in the men’s head, the women’s existence had disappeared. Seeing her master behaving like this, Sandria asked Serina.
「…… Are every man always behave in this manner?」(Sandria)
「That maybe so. Princess oftentimes appears to be jealous when watching His Majesty. I felt that even if she trusts His Majesty who worked hard running the nation, in some respects, she looks frustrated.」(Serina)
「How about Serina-sama?」(Sandria)
「Me? Of what?」(Serina)
「Are you currently feel jealous?」(Sandria)
「Not at all? My employer is Princess. Certainly, I have been given the privilege to be at Poncho-dono’s side, however, to feel jealous when seeing him talking with another person is something that perhaps won’t happen.」(Serina)
Serina replied with a serious expression, and after Sandria thought about it for a bit, she looked straight at Serina’s eyes and asked,
「Well, what if Ginger-sama is a woman? In this case, will you still not feel jealous?」(Sandria)
Serina looked at Poncho and Ginger who were in the midst of conversation. If the one Poncho is talking with is a woman, then…… After pondering for a few moment, Serina finally gave her answer.
「Whoever he is talking with to, I don’t feel anything.」(Serina)
「………… However, if Poncho only gave that person to taste his new cuisine…… Then…… I don’t…… like it. Even if eating together with that person is not something that is wrong for him……」(Serina)
Serina replied with an expression of not understanding why she was thinking like this. Sandria made a slightly surprised face, but she didn’t ask any further.
Serina herself didn’t really understand if her words “only” came from her gluttony. However, she predicted that this ‘fuzzy’ feeling will be cleared after she returned back to the castle and ate the promised hot sandwich.
The way to a woman's heart is through her stomach.
That’s why don’t be cheap and take her to fancy restaurant!
Also… All aboard! Ship is setting sail!
 Toasted sandwich for non-Westerners.
 B-class gourmet cuisine are Japanese term for cheap ‘everyday’ cuisine food commonly served in izakaya or famires (ファミレス) like ramen, yakisoba, okonomiyaki, etc, compared to the fancy A-class gourmet cuisine served in fancy expensive restaurants.
 Carbo above carbo in modern parley.
 No way… So you mean that the soil around Parnam is a Chernozem? This type of soil have a high humus content and is very fertile so it could have high yields.
 Desert greening is the process of man-made reclamation of deserts. Basically turning desert into less than desert.
 The classical “men married with his job” situation. Expect jealous harem members.