Episode 27: Between Friends (1)
Translated by: Miss Ruby
Edited by: ShadowDog
* * *
Rumors spread quickly throughout the palace.
“Oh my God, did you hear?”
“About Lady Dionna, right?”
“I thought of her as a kind and generous person…she even took care of us, court ladies.”
“I never thought she was doing something like that behind everyone’s backs.”
Only in the craziest of dramas would you find a woman who had absolutely nothing to do with the husband acting like a lover in front of the wife.
“But still, how could she say such things to the Princess Consort…”
“She even did it in the bride’s waiting room on the wedding day?”
“Oh my! I can’t believe she dared to make such lies about His Highness Tarkan.”
“Right? If that was true, what does that make His Highness Tarkan!”
“She made our Highness Tarkan into an adulterer!”
What kind of person was Tarkan?
A proud hero who defended Irugo from Silvanus and demonic beasts. To think she would put such a scandal on his head!
“Imagine what the Princess Consort has been thinking about His Highness all this time!”
“She must have thought her husband was having an affair!”
“That is so unfair!”
It was mortifying when you thought of it from Tarkan’s point of view and just as mortifying when you considered it from Aristine’s point of view.
“But she seems completely fine, and she has been getting along well with His Highness Tarkan…”
“I haven’t seen any dissatisfaction from her too.”
“This marriage is so important; don’t you think she must have told herself to be generous and endure?”
“Right, people will talk if there is any dissent between the two of them…”
“I can’t imagine how thoughtful she is.”
“At the same time, it’s also sad. I wonder what kind of thoughts she’s been having all alone, in this foreign country.”
She was doing just fine, only thinking about making money. She didn’t care whether Tarkan was committing adultery or not.
But the court ladies, who had no way of knowing that, sighed deeply when they thought of Aristine.
“You know, Lady Dionna has liked His Highness Tarkan for such a long time. So I felt pity for her when His Highness Tarkan married someone else…”
“You’re right. We all felt sorry for her.”
While thinking that nothing could be done once Tarkan became a married man, they told Dionna otherwise.
Saying things like Dionna suited Tarkan or that it would have been better if Dionna became the princess consort.
It was half-sincere and half to comfort Dionna.
They could only say that because they knew Dionna would never become the princess consort.
And Dionna seemed to understand that fact as well.
“But every time, Lady Dionna defended the Princess Consort.”
“Yes. She always said she wanted His Highness Tarkan to be happy and wished for them to have a strong relationship.”
“I remember her saying that both of our Highnesses need to get along well, even if it’s for peace.”
“Ugh, you’re telling me that was all a lie?”
The court ladies rubbed their arms and trembled.
“I am getting chills.”
“I thought she was being sincere…”
They shook their heads back and forth, then they lowered her heads sullenly.
“I feel sorry to Her Highness…”
“…We were wrong.”
The longer they stayed with Aristine, the more they liked her but the more guilt they felt towards Dionna.
Somehow, following Aristine felt like betraying Dionna.
That’s why they found themselves telling Dionna even more that she suited Tarkan.
“I should have listened to the other girls when they said something was off about Lady Dionna.”
The closest court ladies to Aristine used to always say that Dionna was strange.
“I know. I thought they were just slandering someone for no reason.”
“Maybe I should be glad that I know the truth now, at least.”
“Let’s be good to Her Highness from now on.”
“Right, we have been too detached because she has other close court ladies.”
“Even if it stings…”
The court ladies began to talk about how to best serve Aristine in the future.
If Dionna ever learnt about this, she would almost faint.
Because she had been turning over the court ladies in Tarkan’s Palace to her side for several years, but they just turned their backs on her.
* * *
“Yes, if we do that, I think it will be possible even if we don’t have pig-iron.”
Ritlen nodded and looked at Aristine.
“As expected of Your Highness. To be able to think of such a thing…it’s amazing.”
Seeing the admiration on Ritlen’s face, Aristine smiled awkwardly.
‘I didn’t think of it; it’s a technique I saw on Earth through the Monarch’s Sight…’
Aristine cleared her throat as she watched Ritlen’s invisible tail wag back and forth.
Presently, she was explaining to Ritlen how they could overcome a situation where pig-iron was unobtainable. And as you can see, Ritlen’s reaction was positive.
The fact that Ritlen was acting like this meant her plan was completely feasible in this world as well.
Aristine’s solution was very simple.
Can’t get new material? Just reuse the old ones!
In other words, using scrap metal.
Of course, there were several grades of scrap metal, and making high-grade steel was difficult due to impurities.
But a scalpel blade was different. Scalpel blades were disposable. There was no need to secure pig-iron if they could collect and recycle the scalpel blades that were used once and disposed of.
‘Of course, we will still need pig-iron.’
The Queen’s forced occupation of pig-iron was not going to last too long. Once that period passed, she would be able to buy as much iron as she wanted.
The problem was how to recycle the scrap metal.
And Aristine found the answer in her previous life.
‘The electric furnace method.’
Literally speaking, the method worked by using electricity to generate heat for smelting scrap iron. The heated electric pressure is used to make molten iron, separate the impurities, and remove the carbon.
By using scrap iron instead of pig-iron which they couldn’t obtain, the problem was solved.
“There is another advantage to this process.”
Aristine flashed Ritlen a grin.
“It omits the blast furnace stage of turning iron ore into pig-iron.”
Normally, iron ore was made into pig-iron through a blast furnace then pig-iron was smelted into stainless steel. But with the electric furnace method, stainless steel could be made directly from smelted scrap iron.
In other words, one step of the process was completely removed.
“You’re right,” Ritlen’s eyes sparkled, “This means we can save a lot of time.”
“Exactly, time is everything for us right now.”
Less time meant less expenses.
“Two birds with one stone…! Princess Consort, you are truly the savior of this world!”
Ritlen was emotional and grabbed Aristine’s hand tightly.
Aristine was taken aback and looked at him.
‘Wait, why am I suddenly the savior of the world?’
She only suggested a change in the stainless-steel manufacturing process.
‘And it’s only because I want to make a ton of money.’
Aristine looked at Ritlen, whose eyes were still sparkling, and his invisible tail was still wagging furiously. Then she sighed and gave up.
She already knew he was this type of person. Might as well let him keep thinking that.
Aristine gave up on understanding Ritlen then she opened her mouth with a serious look on her face, “That said, there are problems we need to tackle first.”
“Yes, we need to find a high-temperature energy source.”
Aristine nodded in agreement.
On Earth, molten iron was made through the high heat of electricity. But what about this world?
Naturally, the answer would be to use manastones, however…
“The problem is that the 1st Prince Hamill was placed in charge of the newly discovered manastone mine.”
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