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Ascendance of a Bookworm - Chapter 142

Published at 24th of June 2020 12:53:40 PM

Chapter 142

I was going to the Gilberta Company today, so I had to put on my apprentice's uniform . But not only the uniform, but all the decent clothes I had were thin, long-sleeved ones that were a bit cold to wear at this time of year . Lately I'd been wearing the hooded cloak that Benno gave me last winter, but I couldn't wear it forever .


"Looks like it's time to buy winter clothes . "

"Winter clothes for going north?"

Turi asked, and I nodded . When I stayed at home these days, I usually lied in bed, so I didn't really get a chance to wear casual clothes . But every time I went out, it was mostly to the temple and the Gilberta Company, so I needed to buy winter clothes suitable for the north side of the city .

"When you go to the thrift store, remember to ask me to go with you . I'm sure to win this time!"

I remembered the last time Turi and Lutz were in a tie . After that, Turi became an avid dress-watcher, wandering the city on her days off to see what others were wearing .

"Turi, let me tell you something . I am going to deliver a book to Mr . Benno today . I planned to go directly to buy clothes after that . . . "

"Huh? But I have to work today!"

Because yesterday was a day off, Turi was able to go to the workshop to help with the binding . She had to work every other day, so it's out of the question for her to go shopping today . She glared at me with resentful eyes, and I chuckled as I put the picture book in my favorite tote bag .

"I've changed my mind, so don't look that way . I have winter clothes for the attendants to buy, so we'll go when we're both off . Now that you're going to the orphanage to take sewing lessons, you should have something to wear to the north . "

"Will you buy my share too?!"

Not only did she teach the children how to cook, she helped me take them to the woods, and now she's going to teach them how to sew . She really helped me a lot for the orphanage, but I never paid her a salary . Lutz was like someone from the Gilberta Company, so I usually paid him a little more, and every time I developed a new product, I split the revenue with him . It was time for me to get something for Turi, too .

"Think of it as a teacher's salary . "

" . . . I didn't teach anything great . That's too much for me . "

Turi pursed her lips, but her cheeks flushed with pleasure . She was happy, and it was wonderful . I would gladly give her my purse!

"Maine, let's go . "


Lutz came to pick me up, so I took my bag and went outside . A cold wind blew on me and I felt that winter was really coming .

"Good morning, Lutz . . . Oh, are you wearing that, too?"

Lutz was wearing a hooded cloak of the same design but in a different color than mine . He said earlier that it was too tight to wear because he had grown taller over the past year . It seemed that he could not resist the cold after all .

"Turi and I were just talking about getting some winter clothes together on our next day off . "

"It's really time . "

Lutz looked down at the ill-fitting cloak and sighed .

By the way, I had also grown a little taller, and the overlength cloak now fitted me well . Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that I had been so devoted to render my magic and had seldom been ill by eclipse . Although my body was still weak, the number of times I fell ill decreased, and the number of times I could eat normally increased accordingly . Besides, the food in the temple was as luxurious as that at the aristocratic table, so I finally improved a little in height .

Fire god Lydenscheft, who was in charge of growth, thank you!

"Pray to the gods!"

"What are you doing?!"

"Oh, I'm sorry, I'm used to it . . . "

Before I knew it, I had adapted myself to the habits of the temple . I was able, on the spur of the moment, to perform a strange prayer in the street, which attracted the attention of passers-by . I hung my head in embarrassment and walked with Lutz to the Gilberta Company .

"Mr . Mark, I have something to show to Mr . Benno . Is he here?"

"Yes, he is in the office . Wait a moment . "

After Mark informed Benno, Lutz and I walked into the office . Benno was sitting at his desk busily writing .


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"Good morning, Mr . Benno . "

I waited until he put down his pen before greeting him . He answered me, stretched hard, and then turned his eyes to Lutz .

"Yes, Master . "

Perhaps understanding the meaning of his gaze, Lutz asked me to sit down and disappeared behind the door that led to the second floor .

"Mr . Benno, what is Lutz going to do?"

"Well, I asked him to tell the servants to prepare the tea . "

He said as if it was a matter of course, but this was the first time I saw Lutz going upstairs from that door .

"Is he free to go up to the second floor?"

"He is Dupari, isn't he? As he is still a minor, I take care of his lunch, and he still lives with his parents, but when he comes of age he will live in my house, like Mark, and I will manage his life . "

"Oh, I see . . . "

Since I didn't become a merchant apprentice, I didn't know the difference between Dulua and Dulpari, but I thought it's similar to the difference between a contract employee and a reserve cadre .

"I wonder whether it is better to say you are different or lack common sense . " Benno sighed .

At that moment Lutz came back, hesitating whether to stand behind Benno or sit next to me .

"Lutz, you and I did it together . Sit here this time!"

I patted a nearby chair and called him to sit down . Benno nodded in agreement . So he smiled and sat down next to me .

"Well, what do you want me to see?"


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"Tada! That's it! The Children's Edition of the Scripture . "

"So you guys were serious about this?"

Mumbling in disbelief, Benno took the picture book I handed him . He glanced at the cover and back, then squinted at the binding stitch .

"Is this book held by thread alone? No paste?"

"Gelatin isn't finished yet . I've considered making paste from starch, but not only would it cost more, but the children at the orphanage were against it because they thought it was a waste of flour, so I gave up . "

The children said they would rather eat the flour than make paste . And I had seen them go hungry and reluctant to use flour to make paste . Benno paused for a moment, stroking the flowers on the cover .

"But a cover other than leather is a rarity . Is this the same paper you sent me before?"

"Yes . If I could paint it, I could make it prettier . I've also thought about making dye out of fruit, but the children always put food first . "

Children were working to feed themselves, so the food in front of them must be more important than the illusory pursuit . I would have to try to make dyes out of inedible materials in the future .

"What could be made of black and white alone?"

Benno said as he opened the cover, and the first thing that caught his eye was an illustration of Wilma . At the moment he saw the illustration, his eyes widened, and he seemed to be deeply attracted .

" . . . it's amazing . What's this?"

"You can get an illustration like this by applying pigments through a hollow-out onto another sheet of paper .  It's called silhouette picture and it's a new way of drawing . Wilma did a lot of work on it .  Isn't it beautiful?"

I puffed out my chest to show how capable my attendant was, but Benno hugged his head as if he had heard something vexing .

"A new way of drawing . . . you've taken on so many new things without saying a word again . "


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"Oh dear, Mr . Benno, don't be so troubled . A book made of paper is something that no one has ever seen, so don't bother about an illustration . "

There were books made of parchment, but this was the first attempt to make books out of paper . Now it was just a new way of drawing, I would not take any complaints about that .

"How dare you ask me not to bother? You . . . "

"This is the first picture book in the world for children .  On paper that has recently invented, we've done illustrations in a new way with pigments that have never been used before, and we've also used new printing and binding techniques . Frankly, none of them are known . "

Benno stared at the picture book as if he was looking at something horrible, and then he scratched his head .

"You make my head ache . . . So, what's the price?"

"If we just calculate the cost, the picture book is worth about one small gold coin and five big silver coins . But the more picture books we make, the more the initial investment can be spread out, so the final price should be around eight big silver coins . "

We collected the soot to make the pigments this time . If we had to make the soot manually, the cost would be increased . We also made our own paper, and we didn't have to pay any commission to Benno . The current price includes only initial investment, raw materials and labor, so I was not exaggerating the value of this book .

"Oh . . . "

"As paper becomes more widely available, its price will fall, and so should the price of books .  As for the pigments . . . If linseed oil is always expensive, there's nothing I can do about it . It's really not cheap . "

Benno shook his head at my words .

"It's cheap compared to the four or five big gold coins that an aristocrat would normally spend on a book . It's even too cheap . It's also very suitable for children . "

"If you want it to look luxurious, we can change the cover to leather . It's just that I value the beautiful illustrations on the inside more than the elegant covers on the outside . "

Without the privileged conditions of the aristocrats, commoners could not afford a single book . However, if it could be bought for an inexpensive price, someone should want to buy it as a status symbol . For the vain plutocrats, if we make the cover a little more ornate, they would surely fall for it .

"Yeah, some of the rich might be willing to pay . . . Do you have any other books planned?"



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