All sorts of glassware is now arrayed in front of me. I have borrowed a shed once used by Douglas to perform alchemy experiments, which isn't far off what I'm doing. Although... despite the implications of that as being a rickety shack, I guess it is better to think of it as just a small lab separated from the actual home, stuffed in a wooden cabin.
With the two points I got from surviving the thunder harrowing, I invested in a new offshoot of Improvised Explosives II, Explosives Chemistry. This cost both points and appeared to give the knowledge to make nitrocellulose and white powder. We're really starting to get to the powerful stuff here. There are further tiers of both explosive paths beyond this point now available, Explosives Chemistry SS, and Improvised Explosives EX, but each is a crazy pricey 7 points, so those could be a while coming. There's also a cap to this tree, another '???', requiring a mystery prerequisite as well as both 7 costs. Yikes.
You might wonder why I didn't go for any thunder magic? Well... the only spell I've witnessed Seria incant so far was something high-end (Torhammer, presumably).
So whilst I noticed 'Minor Zap' had appeared, already learnt, as the root of new part of the skill forest, there were only '???' options leading from it, indicating more prerequisites. They're most likely knowing some thunder incantations as this magic is clearly not from earth.
One of flasks I have starts to bubble, so I reduce the heat.
Frankly, I still don't fully understand the concept of nitrification myself. After all, I actually ended up failing higher level chemistry at school, which is mainly what drove me into the humanities degree route.
Despite this, my hands work and somehow, part of me moves like I've done this a thousand times before.
Skills from the Multivultus Scientica are actually pretty scary like that. It's pretty evident in the whole precognitive dodges as well. I basically have control of my body wrested from me to force me to make the most survivable movement. Like for an instant, an amazing acrobat takes my place. But since it’s just an instant, I don't have the follow up moves, and always end up on my ass.
I suppose... it could be considered rather sinister. Not that I'm complaining. It is all that is keeping me useful, and alive, in some cases.
This process is far more involved than making an impromptu Molotov. But after what I guess is two or three hours, everything comes to a head, and I have me some proper white powder, stuffed into little glass vials and wadded with wax threaded with fuses.
I hold one of the now thirty vials up to the lantern light. It went dark outside ages ago.
A bit slapdash... but stable without flames applied, which is what I was going for.
"These little things are dangerous? I find this difficult to imagine."
I turn to see a huffing Rishya. She is carrying a tray with a teapot and a single mug, and sets it down.
"Alot of things are more than they first appear." I say, smiling at her.
"Don't misunderstand. You are an asset to Aria's mission. Your sustenance is, sadly, part of my duty."
"Ouch. But... if that were all, surely a maid could have brought me tea? But instead, the young mistress herself braves the night."
"Hmmph. If nothing else, you have a way with words." She responds, flicking her nose up.
"I am not complimenting you. A snake’s glibness is not a thing to be admired."
"Then whilst I am glib and not admired, I suppose I should take this opportunity to apologise about before." I say, scratching my cheek.
Rishya sighs and looks away.
"There is nothing to apologise for. Cruel as you are to shatter a maiden's pure delusions, truthfully I was only lying to myself, and well aware of the fact..."
Huh... that's unexpected. Maybe she doesn't hate me after all.
"...and in any case, Aria has already had enough suffering, so I have determined that I will attempt to come to terms with your beastly nature, for her sake."
Maybe not. She is actually just a surprising realist? At the very least, her loyalty is pretty astounding.
"For her sake..." she repeats under her breath.
Rishya has a resigned, yet surprisingly content look to her. It feels... surprisingly maternal, buried beneath this shell of a fussy ojou-sama.
Her red eyes suddenly snap up to glare at me again.
"...w-what is it!? Stop looking like you pity me!! I'm leaving! Hmpph!"
Oops, my surprise must have leaked onto my face. She dashes outside and slams the shed door in my face before I can apologise again.
I look at the still steaming pot of tea, and smile to myself.
"Thankyou for the tea. I appreciate it." I say loudly to the door.
There is a slight yelp and then I hear a pitter-patter of rushed feet.
What a bizarre girl this one is... though actually... bizarre is the standard state here among these girls.
Well, I'm out of vials, but have enough powder for another couple of uses. I think this will be for the specialist grenades. I still have the black sand and the cuts of terrimar I can use to make a couple of scary flechette and chemical bombs. I'll have a full arsenal then.
Let's get it done!
Support "Yuusha Isekai! Youjo Suki!"
- Purveyor of dubious medicinal snake oils [since 1885]
Bio: A strange englishman with an unusual degree of ambivalence over tea, he is a second-generation nerd, and the unfortunate owner of a berserk, leaking imagination that occassionally requires vomiting up as new designs for games and worlds. He limped through university on a humanities degree, and though he often expected a career surrounded by paper, he did not expect that paper to be mostly forms and meeting minutes full of content so dross it could bore you to tears. On the other hand, being in the civil service does teach valuable life skills, like the ability to turn a single concept into fifty-seven pages of content, something which synergises surprisingly well with more creative forms of writing as long as it is restrained. Also the creator of an Anime RPG called Aniventure, and the writer of Yuusha Youjo on this site. Praise be! Or something...