Chapter 144 True thoughts
Near the North Slope Mine, at the furnace back yard.
Nightingale picked up the glass which laid on the table and raised it near her eyes to take a closer look. The translucent crystal glass sparkled in the light and not even a little bit of discoloration could be seen.
She knew that this cup was known as the Crystal Cup; the firing process and the formula had always been the royal alchemist’s confidential information. The value of such cups like the one she held in her hands were measured in gold royals. Such crystal glassware was only used together with silver tableware; they served as an opportunity for powerful nobles or wealthy businessmen to show off their wealth.
But now, these crystal containers were gathered from inside the whole palace and were about to be melted into their raw state.
“Your Highness, you can’t burn these cups, they are worth several gold royals!” Nightingale exclaimed.
“I have no time to study how to turn sand into a colorless glass, so this was the only way I could get it.” Roland took another beautiful cup and threw it into the cauldron formed from Anna’s black fire. Seeing this cup, Nightingale remembered that the Prince had used it to drink ale out of it during their afternoon tea sessions before the start of the Months of Demons and during the welcoming party for her sisters.
Due to the stable high temperature, the glass inside the pot soon began to melt, turning into a sticky paste.
“Do you get glass… by burning sand?” Anna asked. “Are they made out of the same substances?”
“Well, the main ingredients are similar, but in the sand, there are a lot of impurities. The glass created by burning natural sand is partially brown or green most of the time, which doesn’t meet the required standards.”
“So with other words, crystal clear glass is created out of pure sand?”
Hearing this question, Roland had to smile. “You can think of it like that. I already put this knowledge in the book, so you will see it again later. Those small balls decide what matter looks like.”
Whatever, I don’t understand it anyway… Nightingale thought uninterested, the color of the glass doesn’t affect the function of its container, ah. Furthermore, you aren’t even using them as drinking glasses, so why do you insist on using clear crystal cups? Asking this herself, she went to Anna and took a look at the remolded glassware.
Although they were still transparent and crystal clear, their new appearance and their former form of cups were completely different.
Some looked like a tube, with a round bottom and a thin and long body. The other ones looked like bottles with the body of a kettle, but the bottleneck was only thumb-sized.
The strangest thing was a tube that was bent like a horseshoe but with no seals on either side of it.
Not understanding their function, Nightingale asked, “What are you going to do with these crystal glasswares?”
“I won’t use them. They are for the alchemist who will later come to Border Town,” Roland used a rod to stir within the melted glass.” They can use these vessels to extract acids and alkali chemicals; I need those chemicals to produce new weapons.”
Acids? Alkali Chemicals? Nightingale blinked confusedly with her eyes, completely unable to understand what he was talking about. This kind of feeling made her depressed. But if she asked one question after another, she would seem to be ignorant, and Nightingale really didn’t want to expose this side of herself to Anna, so she tried to focus on their conversation. This was the only way she could understand what they were talking about.
“How do you want to lure alchemists to Border Town? Even Longsong Stronghold has no Alchemy Workshop. You have to go to Redwater City to find some alchemist, and I also heard that their pay is even higher than that of ministers. It will be hard to recruit them with gold royals alone.”
“You actually know a lot,” Roland replied with a smile, “That’s right. I have already sent people on their way to Redwater City; I’m awaiting their answer in around two weeks. But I don’t try to recruit them with the help of gold royals. Instead, I offered to reveal some secrets of alchemy to them. As for if I am able to recruit them or not, we will see, but at least I tried it.”
The praise in the first part of His Royal Highness’ explanation immediately dispelled Nightingale’s depressed mood, so she happily went to the center of the yard and picked up one of the pastries placed on a round table and stuffed it into her mouth.
Since Roland would now spent most of his time staying at the experimental site during the afternoon, the tea session had also moved from the castle backyard to the Northern Mountain Slope.
On the round table there were the special snacks the chef had created under Roland’s instructions.
For example, this is called steamed stuffed bun- its crust was made out of wheat flour, but she didn’t know the kind of method they had used to make it so incomparably soft. It was wrapped around a meatball, and when she bit into it, her mouth was filled with juice… in that way, it wasn’t like bacon, which was hard to swallow. As long as one bit into it, it was the perfect fusion of minced meat and meat stock.
After happily eating it, Nightingale put one finger after another into her mouth and sucked them clean. While sitting on the couch with a full stomach and a worry-free heart, Nightingale was suddenly overcome with a tired feeling.
Can it be that I have become more and more lazy as of late?
Her body was sprinkled by the afternoon sun, surrounding her with warmth just like water. The rustling sound of leaves created by the spring breeze calmed her heart. She took off her shoes, rolled her legs under her body and laid down sideways.
This perspective allowed her to directly look at the back door of the calcining room, which had an extra curtain in front of the door. The curtain was most probably only for her so that she couldn’t secretly enter the room. Thinking of this, Nightingale felt it was quite funny, the wall separating it from the backyard was well and good, but in the end, it didn’t matter. After all, she could just go through the ground. She had also once entered the mysterious room, even standing quietly beside him during the production process, but she still didn’t take the finished gunpowder.
However, the other side still thought that she didn’t know anything about it, but in the end, he didn’t know that it was he who was being kept in the dark.
After moving her head, Nightingale was able to look at Anna.
She was holding a recently melted down cup in her hands and spoke with a serious and focused expression to His Royal Highness.
Towards this talented woman with a common family background, Nightingale’s heart only had feelings of admiration.
She and her sisters were able to escape from their fate of homelessness and were freed from the torture of the demonic bite largely because of Anna. If she hadn’t changed the view of how the Prince looked at the witches, all these positive developments would have never happened.
If His Highness were to ever actually take a witch as his wife, then Anna was almost the only person Nightingale could think of.
Although there was also a trace of expectation in her own heart, Nightingale had chosen to deeply bury it in her heart. She decided that it would be enough for her to be happy as long as she was able to stay with His Highness for most of the time.
But when she closed her eyes, she couldn’t prevent the pictures from appearing in her head.
Roland stood in the King’s Palace in front of the throne as the new King. He was wearing a golden crown and was holding a scepter in his hand. Then he began to move toward the castle terrace, where he showed himself to the crowd, accepting their admiration and cheers.
The whole time was a woman walking and standing at his side; she was wearing a white satin skirt and had to be Anna. Just like the king, she also wore a golden crown, but her face was hidden behind a veil. She raised her hand and waved to the people with a smile.
During the entire time, Lightning was drawing circles above them, letting rose petals rain down on them, and from the king’s clock tower in the distance, a melodious bell toll could be heard.
On both sides, Nightingale could see her sisters standing, shouting their blessings and applauding.
She could feel how her body was slowly overwhelmed by sleepiness and her consciousness became hazier with each passing second.
Roland finally turned into the direction of the woman beside him, lifted her veil and slowly moved his face towards her lips.
The final scene of her vision become very blurred. When the veil was taken away, Nightingale saw that the woman standing there with closed eyes as if in a trance… was herself.
She tilted her lips upwards and fell asleep.