Episode 19: History at night (6)
“You know, Princess Consort? How…”
Ritlen’s eyes widened at her unexpected words.
The princess consort was a very wise and intelligent person, but she was not a metal working expert. How could someone who had never smelted know of an alloy that didn’t rust?
‘No, but it’s the Princess Consort…!’
It was none other than Her Highness Aristine. She wouldn’t say that unless she knew for certain.
As if responding to his trust, Aristine confidently nodded.
“Mhm, I really do.”
As Aristine replied, she inwardly let out a huge sigh of relief.
‘I’m really glad that it’s a familiar metal too.’
Otherwise, there was a high chance that she wouldn’t have much knowledge about it since she didn’t major in chemistry or engineering. She would have had no choice but to search for it, hoping that her previous self had stumbled upon it in the news at least once.
However, this was a metal that almost everyone on earth knew about.
Often called steel or stain-steel for short.
It was used in countless ways, from household items such as stainless-steel pots, stainless-steel tumblers, and stainless-steel kettles to automobile parts, aircraft, and industrial equipment.
And above all—.
‘Even the medical scalpels in my previous life were made of stainless steel.’
She made a mistake by not paying attention to the material earlier.
‘A disposable scalpel that only needs the blade replaced. And stainless steel that is slow to rust.’
It was perfect.
It would truly become the best scalpel capable of overturning the market instantly.
‘Just knowing about stainless steel doesn’t solve everything.’
Just before coming to the forge, Aristine used her Monarch’s Sight to do deep research about stainless steel. If not for the fact that her Monarch’s Sight was seen through her senses rather than reality, she wouldn’t have had enough time even if she looked for three days and nights.
She searched textbooks, crumpled stainless steel composition labels, newspapers, internet articles, etc.
From the textbooks, she could tell that stainless steel was an alloy made by mixing iron with chromium and nickel.
‘But in what ratio?’
She looked through many scenes to find the ratio, but she couldn’t figure out the specifics.
Even when she found scenes that depicted the ratio, the proportion of nickel and chromium was different in each scene. In the midst of that, she even saw an internet article about a new stainless steel processing method.
In other words, there were several ways of processing the alloy. Of course, her self in her previous life did not click on that article. She probably didn’t even remember glancing at an article titled like that.
‘If I knew this would happen, I would have checked out all sorts of articles in my first life. I didn’t even have to read it.’
Even if she regretted it, it was already too late.
That was all the information she got from her previous self who didn’t have much interest in stainless steel.
When it came to stainless steel, there was only one aspect her previous self was interested in.
Which would taste better: ramen cooked in a stainless-steel pot or stainless-steel pan?
‘I guess I really liked food, even in my previous life. I thought I liked it because I couldn’t eat that well when I was a child.’
Either way, although her investigation into stainless steel yielded results, it left her with more concerns.
‘It makes sense when you think about it. Processing graphite gives you pencil leads with various strengths like 4B, 2B and HB.’
Likewise, stainless steel would have different properties depending on how it was processed. But with the limited information from her past life, she didn’t know the processing method or the ideal alloy ratio for medical scalpels.
‘But thankfully, I do have a very reliable assistant.’
Aristine looked at Ritlen and smiled widely, “Ritlen.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
“It will be a slightly boring, annoying, and difficult process but would you like to make it with me? A new alloy, that is.”
At those words, Ritlen’s face became incredibly serious.
“Princess Consort. I locked myself inside my room, experimenting with many alloys but I never once felt the process was boring.”
“What about annoying?” Aristine asked playfully.
“That happened sometimes. At times, the result was very different from what I expected.”
Ritlen smiled, embarrassed.
“So please show me. I will definitely live up to your expectations, Your Highness. It might be hard to trust a guy like me, but I will.”
Ritlen’s olive green eyes glowed with uprightness. His eyes shown with determination symbolizing victory and peace.
Ritlen unconsciously swallowed.
A smile that seemed imbued with sunlight slowly spread across Aristine’s face.
“I trust you.”
It was a simply but weighty word.
To Ritlen, the weight was pleasant but heavy.
His respected teacher only sighed at him and his senior, fellows and juniors all pointed at him critically. Having lived that way for so long, Ritlen didn’t have confidence in himself.
He just kept pulling out the rising flames of iron within.
“I am lacking in many areas, enough to be called the shame of Catallaman. I am not someone who Your Highness should trust so much…”
“I decide who I trust.”
Aristine cut him off. Then she frowned slightly.
“I believe I’ve said something similar before. Have you forgotten?”
Of course not.
Ritlen remembered exactly when Aristine had said such a thing. Because he had never forgotten it for a moment.
《 I trust what I see.》
‘…Those were her exact words.’
Just remembering it made him feel valuable and a faint smile appeared on Ritlen’s lips.
“And you asked me to believe in you.”
Ritlen looked at Aristine, startled. He dared to say such unreasonable words to the Princess Consort?
“Isn’t that what you mean by living up to expectations?”
A sigh left Ritlen’s mouth. He felt embarrassed, like his inner wishes had been exposed.
“Be honest, you want me to believe in you, don’t you?”
Ritlen felt shameless but he couldn’t help but nod his head.
“If you don’t believe in yourself, believe in me.”
Aristine smiled at him.
“Believe in my eyes that found you in the midst of so many others.”
Ritlen swallowed. His fingertips felt hot.
He recalled the sight of Aristine’s back, blocking the sun as she stood in front of him. The image of her turning around and reaching out to him was still vivid in his mind.
The sunlight seemed to spring from her back like wings, and the hand that held his felt extremely gentle.
It was a moment of salvation that he could never forget.
Ritlen couldn’t trust in himself, but he could trust his savior. She believed that he wasn’t an embarrassment but a respectable blacksmith.
Furthermore, someone that would become the best blacksmith.
Ritlen’s eyes lit up.
“Good,” Aristine nodded her head and smiled, “Then let’s give it a try.”