Chapter 12: Coarse Salt in the Urn

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio  Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

The urn was the color of earth and about the size of a grown man’s head. It seemed to have been used for a very long time, which was evident by the severe scuff marks on the edges. Only bits and pieces of the original image were left on the urn, making it hard to distinguish what it was.

“My Lord, I think you’d need to look at this.”

The Swadian Peasant holding the old, tattered urn looked serious.

“Right, hold on.”

Kant frowned at the peasant holding the urn.

Upon seeing the earth-colored tattered urn, his frowned deepened as he said, “If you’re talking about this thing here, it’s just an old urn that should be disposed of. I don’t think you need to bring it here.”

This world had no technology for making porcelain, but it did have the technology for making high-grade earthenware.

Fine, high-grade earthenware was actually quite expensive.

It was especially so in the eyes of Kant, who was from a noble family. That old, tattered urn had no value to anyone but the poorest of paupers. Even if something like that were left on the streets, few people would pick it up and consider it a treasure. Most people would leave it for the street cleaners to find and dispose of.

The Dukedom of Leo produced huge amounts of clay. As such, high-grade and low-grade earthenware were practically everywhere, making the urn nearly worthless.

“No, it’s not the urn itself.”

The Swadian Peasant shook his head.

“What is it?” Kant looked on with a curious expression.

“This.”

The peasant approached Kant. He gently and carefully held the tattered urn up for him to see. The urn seemed to have something contained within it. As he looked, white bits flickered in the light of the sun.

Kant was slightly stunned.

The sight seemed quite familiar.

He looked in the urn and found that those white, scattered bits were some kind of white powdery substance.

The identification of the substance instantly popped into his mind.

“Salt?” His eyes slightly widened.

The peasant nodded affirmatively and said, “Indeed, My Lord. It is salt.”

Hints of joy could be seen in Kant’s eyes.

In such a backward world, both salt and sugar were considered rare seasonings and condiments. Even as the youngest son of the duke and a baron of the Dukedom of Leo, he had brought less than two baskets full of those seasonings when he came to his fief.

Ten pounds of salt, 10 pounds of sugar and 5 pounds of black pepper were all the seasonings he acquired when he was conferred the title of baron.

“Where did you get this urn of salt?” he asked.

Kant unconsciously gulped. He looked at the peasant, who appeared excited.

“We found it in one of the Jackalan’s tents. There was a tent bigger than the others, and we found the urn when we were cleaning up the place,” the peasant said as he pointed to a patch of grass not far away.

“Jackalans?”

Kant licked his lips as his brows furrowed in contemplation.

He glanced at the tent, which had been cobbled together with beast pelts and linen cloth, that remained unpacked. It looked much larger than a usual Jackalan tent. He quickly came to understand something quite important.

This was likely the tent that belonged to the leader of the Jackalans.

Although they were considered a primitive race, they still had castes. The leader was often the one who hoarded most of the tribe’s wealth.

However, what piqued Kant’s interest even more was how salt was discovered in a Jackalan Tribe. It was worth noting that even lesser lords in the comparatively wealthy Dukedom of Leo would not have so much salt in their households.

“It’s probably from a salt mine in the desert.”

A Desert Bandit spoke in a confident tone. It was apparent he knew of such salt being found in the desert.

It was especially apparent when the eyes of everyone present scanned the white powdery salt in the urn, which had bits of grey in it. It confirmed what the bandit had said. “Furthermore, it’s an open-air salt mine. These coarse salts were collected from alkali soils.”

“Coarse salts from alkali soils?” Kant twisted his head a bit. His brow lifted.

The Desert Bandit nodded and said, “Indeed. It’s very close to the salt produced by the salt mines in the Sarrand Sultanate.”

Another Desert Bandit added to the explanation. “These are probably coarse salts that were just simply collected and cleaned. There are still bits of sands in them, so the texture is awful. Sarrand craftsmen filter the coarse salts for a bit before boiling them and refining them into finer table salts.”

“So, that’s how it’s done.” Kant slightly nodded.

Thoughts welled up in Kant’s mind as he kept looking at the coarse salt in the urn.

“If that is true, we can be sure that there is alkali soil found in the deeper reaches of Nahrin Desert.” Kant tried his best to maintain a calm expression, yet his excitement was heard leaking out through the tone of his voice.

The Desert Bandits nodded affirmatively. “Going by common logic, that is indeed how it should be.”

Joy instantly filled Kant’s face.

Even if he were to do his best to suppress his emotions, the burst of joy deep down still made him struggle to control himself.

“This is very good news!”

He gulped and tightly clenched his fists.

Salt might have been of little value in modernized Earth, but if one were to look into human history, salty seasonings had once been a symbol of luxury and high status, be it in the east or west. It was something that had once been exclusive to rich people.

It worked the same in this mysterious dimension of swords and magic that resembled the middle ages.

Salt was an expensive seasoning. At the same time, it was one of the common materials mages employed when casting magic. As such, having access to a precious supply meant having access to vast wealth.

It was quite a surprise that somewhere deep in the barren Nahrin Desert, there was actually alkali soil full of salt.

The newly discovered fact excited Kant tremendously.

“This is an opportunity!”

As he gulped, happiness was seen in his eyes. However, he was still extremely cautious about it. As a Transported, he understood what he would gain by having access to a place that produced salt.

Wealth.

Opportunity.

Schemes.

Kant licked his lips as he looked around. His mind slowly calmed.

There was the only village in the Oasis Lookout, and Drondheim was filled with his men and no outsiders. As such, from the looks of things at the moment, it was a secret known only to him.

[Ding… The oasis was finally cleaned through painstaking hard work.]

[Side Quest: “Clean up the oasis” is complete.]

[Reward Acquired: Flour x 20]

[Comment: That could be easily accomplished with only simple labor, right?]

Just as Kant was still enjoying his joyful mood, a prompt came from the system.

A dialog box appeared on his retina, confirming the completion of the side quest he was assigned in the morning.

At the same time, 20 bags of flour were prepared in some mystical space of the system, which Kant would be able to easily materialize at any given moment.

“Good news does come in pairs.” Kant smiled.

He looked at the urn of salt below his leg, which had been a pleasant surprise.

As long as Drondheim was developed, Kant had enough to defend and feed himself. The salt would serve as an auxiliary force, propelling his further success. He could open a trade route to the dukedom and gain more wealth.

Salt was something that could almost serve as currency.

He saw a flicker on his retina. The system had assigned him another side quest.

[Ding… Side Quest assigned.]

[Side Quest: The Origins of Salt]

[Reward: Standard Swadian House x 5]

[Introduction: Where did the salt come from? That is a question worthy of careful search in the deeper reaches of the desert. You might find different resources there, just like those precious salt.]

Kant shook his head and smiled as he looked at the dialog box on his retina.

Even without the quest assigned by the system, he still would have assigned someone to thoroughly look into the place where the salt came from.

“An alkali soil eh? That’s mine!”

Kant’s face was filled with determination.

If such precious resources were to be taken over by the primitive Jackalans, it would be a terrible waste.

Kant needed to take the salt mine resources for himself.

He did not bother with any pretentious compassion or excuses. He made it clear right there and then that he wanted to take such resources for himself, one way or another, to fuel the development of his fief. He was completely willing to clash with another Jackalan Tribe if that was what was required.

“Swadians do not fear.”

Kant’s eyes were filled with pride and might.

The Kingdom of Swadia was known for its exceptional feats at ground warfare in the Continent of Caradia. In such a world, eliminating the Jackalans, who were still in a primitive stage, was an easy feat.

Furthermore, with access to the system, Kant could sustain his warring efforts for years.

Even if he were to trade the lives of 10 Swadian Peasants for a single unit advancing to become a Swadian Knight, it would be worthwhile.

“We shall make plans for this.”

However, he quickly calmed himself and returned to his usual self.

It was imperative to search for the salt mine, but he needed to be cautious while venturing deep into the Nahrin Desert. It was absurd to charge into the sea of sands without proper preparations just because it was a quest from the system. He would be little more than a fool if he were to do so.

Then again, he smiled in an even more brimming manner as he looked at the six Desert Bandits by his side.

Luckily, I have desert experts by my side.

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