Dream Life Chapter 8: “The Workshop”

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 I headed for the dwarven blacksmith’s workshop with my father and his squire, Nicholas.



(It’s been a year since I started living in another world. I get to see a different race for the first time. It’s also a classic one, the Dwarves…)



 I was so excited that I couldn’t believe my mental age was forty-five.


 I knew they existed, but to be able to see them in the flesh would be a different feeling. If possible, I would like to see elves, beastfolk, and dragons, but Rathmore Village is a human village, and even beastfolk, which should be relatively common in this region, do not live here.



 The workshop is located on the east side of North Hill, and black smoke is rising from the chimney on the roof.


 Nicholas enters the workshop like a vanguard, followed by me and my father.



 The inside of the workshop was filled with sweltering heat despite the pleasant season at the end of May, and I could hear the rhythmic clanging of hammering from the back of the room.


 Nicholas returns, smiles wryly, and



“Bertram says his hands are tied. He says if we want to see something, we’re on our own.” (Nicholas)



 My father also chuckles and explains, “This happens all the time.”



(Even though Father is the lord? Is he getting special treatment because my grandfather invited him? Or is it his work as a craftsman… I hope he’s not a difficult man…) (Zack)



 Nicholas left the workshop, either because he had other business to attend to or because he was not comfortable with the blacksmith.


 My father takes me to the back of the workshop.


 As we entered the back of the workshop, we saw a row of finished farming tools and pots, and further in the back, a furnace burning bright red and the back of a small craftsman swinging a hammer beside it.



(He was small but sturdy. He was a little less than 150 centimeters tall. But his arms look thicker than my torso. If he had a beard, he would certainly be exactly what I imagined a dwarf to be…) (Zack)



 I wait quietly for the work to be done, careful not to get too close.


 The blacksmith continues to hammer for nearly twenty minutes as if he has unlimited stamina before he finally stops and starts to heat the metal.


 The sword he was hammering seemed to be a slender sword, and he finished heating it immediately signaled by a sizzling sound.


 He was not sharpening the sword yet, but I could sense that it was a work of art.



“A lord’s business seems to be pretty slow, isn’t it, Matt?” (Bertram)



 The blacksmith turned around and yelled at me.


 My father laughed and said, “I don’t have that much free time.


 Apparently, the blacksmith was joking as well, but with his loud and gong-like voice and bearded face that made it hard to make out his expression, it didn’t sound like a joke to me.



“Zack, this is Bertram the blacksmith. Say hello.” (Matt)



 I said, “I’m Zack. I’m sorry to bother you,” and I bow my head.


 Bertram looks wide-eyed for a moment but then turns to my father with a single word, “Bertram”.



“What can I do for you today? Shouldn’t the patrol team’s weapons still be good?” (Bertram)


“Today is kind of like the introduction of my son, Zack. He wanted to see this place, so I brought him.” (Matt)



 Bertram stares at me silently, as if he’s saying, “What are you looking for?”



Is there anything else you can make, Bertram, something unlike what I see here?” (Zack)



 I couldn’t bear the look in his eyes, so I forgot my act and asked the question in my true tone.



(I screwed up. Apparently, after coming out the day before yesterday, I can’t help but be lax… Let’s ask what I want to ask here…) (Zack)



 But he didn’t care how I talked, he got on my case.



“What do you want? You’re not ready for a sword yet. Is it a knife?” (Bertram)


“Can you work with copper?” (Zack)



 The question caught him by surprise, “Copper?” He asked.



“I wonder if you can make something like a copper pot or something…” (Zack)


“I know about it but I’m unsure… Matt, your son is a weird one.” (Bertram)



 I looked up at him and my father noticed that I was also talking plainly, and he had a stern look on his face.



(I hope I don’t get scolded later, but I can’t help it, even if it’s my fault…) (Zack)



He followed up with, “Sure, he’s odd, but he’s amusing, our Zack,” and then began chatting with Bertram.


 I looked around the workshop slowly and took interest in the furnace and the charcoal next to it.



(That’s not charcoal… coal. I’d love to get a closer look, but I’m afraid I’d get yelled at if I walked up to it, so I’ll just give up.) (Zack)



 While they were chatting, Bertram must have been watching me, because he asked me if I wanted to see the furnace, and then he said, “If you want to take a look at the furnace, I’ll show it to you.”


 I nodded broadly and followed behind Bertram, slowly approaching the furnace.


 The heat was burning my face, but I persevered and took a closer look.



(The material is an ingot, isn’t it? The bellows are hand-pushed. It looks like a firebrick. Bricks are not used in the house, so maybe it is specially made…) (Zack)



 Then Bertram picked up the coals on the side.



(The fuel in this case looks like coal… Many of the pieces have shiny cracks… At a quick glance, there is some lignite-like coal mixed in, but most of the coal looks like anthracite and bituminous coal. It’s pretty good quality coal…) (Zack)



 I had a job in a steel mill a long time ago when I first started working for the company. At that time, a pleasant engineer at a customer site taught me a lot of things and I learned a little bit about coal.



(Where do they get coal? In this world, it would be an open-pit mine, and if it’s close enough, I could use it for my plans…) (Zack)



 I wondered if he also did other work like casting, there were pulleys and hooks on the ceiling, and sand and crates at the edge of the workshop.



(Up to this point, it’s more of a small foundry than a workshop. If they had a few more craftsmen, they could do a lot of things.)



 I feel like I’m going to be exposed from looking at him too much, so I pretend to be bored and go back to my father.


 When my father says, “Sorry for interrupting you,” and is about to leave, Bertram says, “Zack, you said. Come visit me anytime,” and he smiled at me, showing his white teeth.


 I said, “Yes!” I replied cheerfully and followed my father.



(Did he like me? But he’ll definitely know my secret if I keep coming here. I’d better talk to my grandfather about it…) (Zack)



 Once outside, Nicholas is waiting for us and takes us to the next workshop.


 On the way, my father warns me in a whisper to be careful how I speak.


 I nodded and apologized with a whisper.



 The next workshop was a woodworker’s workshop, where logs were processed and barrels were manufactured.


 Two craftsmen were lumbering thick oak-like logs they had cut from the forest with huge saws.


 When they recognized my father, they stopped their work and greeted him.



“”Welcome to our place milord.”” (Woodworkers)



 When the burly-looking older craftsman bowed, my father pointed at me and said, “Please show us inside.”


 The older craftsman’s name was Craig, and he was working with his son, Kenneth.



 When I entered the workshop, I saw a brand-new barrel laid out in addition to wooden planks and square timbers.


 The barrels were larger than I am tall and could hold several hundred liters, and they were fastened with iron hoops.


 I made a mental note that I could use this place too and headed for the last, the leatherworker.



 The leatherworking workshop was filled with a strong smell, and inside two workers were tanning the hides.


 When my father entered, the craftsmen stopped working and stood up hurriedly.



(Only the blacksmith responded differently. Is it because the others are sensible people or because the blacksmith, Bertram, is a dwarf…?) (Zack)



 Inside the workshop, there were shoulder pads and breastplates lined up, perhaps parts of leather armor, and many more leather pieces were hung on the walls.



(don’t know anything about leather processing. I’ll just have to ask them to make me some armor one of these days…) (Zack)



 When I finished my tour of the workshop, the sun was hanging in the middle of the sky.



“I had some lunch box prepared. We’ll have lunch along the banks of the Black Pond.” (Matt)



 At my father’s suggestion, I rode with Nicholas to a small lake called Black Pond, located south of South Hill.


 Black Pond is a lake with clear water and is almost triangular in shape, about 500 meters on each side.


 It is said that the lake got its name from the reflection of the Black Forest and the mountains when viewed from South Hill.



 We let the horses gallop a little and arrived at the shore of Black Pond in about ten minutes.


 The grass around us looked like reeds, and the forest trees were reflected in the mirror-like surface of the lake.


 Finding a conveniently placed fallen tree, we sat down and began to spread out our lunches.


 The lunches consist of bread and roasted meat. Nicholas gathers branches from nearby trees and builds a fire with his magical tool of ignition.


 The first magical thing I ever saw was the Lighting Magic Tool in the mansion, and the second thing I saw was this Igniting Magic Tool.


 The Magic Tool is a tool made of a simple magic circle and a stone filled with magic power called a Magic Stone, which allows anyone to use basic magic, Lighting, and Ignition.


(I was surprised when I saw it for the first time. The lighting magic tool looked like a fluorescent light and could be used just by putting magic power into it instead of turning on a switch. Even I, a three-year-old, could easily turn it on. Rather than putting magic power into it, I just touched it and commanded “Switch On”, so it was almost like a touch-sensitive electric appliance.) (Zack)



 After building a fire, we boil water in a small pot and make soup with salt and meat. It only took about 20 minutes, but I was happy to relish the scenery.



 After lunch, we continued along the Black River, which flows west out of Black Pond, and then north along the Finn River, which joins the Black River from the north.


 The Finn River is a small river, but its current is strong, and a water mill was set up around the north of West Hill.


 There was a water mill, where the sound of a water mill was echoing, milling flour while accompanied by the sound of a pestle pounding.



 As I rode my father’s horse, I thought about what I should do.



(First of all, we need to take care of sanitation. Most of the feces of livestock are left scattered, and human excrement is just as terrible. They also don’t care if there is excrement near the well. I could probably start by making a toilet.) (Zack)



 Around two in the afternoon, we returned to the mansion, but instead of taking a nap today, we went straight to my father’s office.



A/N: Regarding coal, the main character has little knowledge about it, but the author has almost zero. If there are any inconsistencies, I would be grateful if you could enlighten me.

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