Shomin no Aji – Chapter 96

Cold beverage on a hot day is delicious, isn't it?

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Upon our return to the mansion, we have decided to act as if nothing happened and have an afternoon tea with His Highness until Otousama returned.

Oniisama entered through the back door and took a seat after changing from his tattered clothes.

Today’s afternoon tea is ice tea.
Without changing the amount of tea leaves, I used more hot water than usual and poured it into a pot with crushed ice that was prepared separately after straining the tea leaves. After the ice melted to a degree and the tea grew colder, I added the next batch of ice. I had to be careful so it wouldn’t become sweeter after cooling down as occasionally happens, so I prepared syrup for those who would like it sweeter.
The sweets are freshly made scones. The sweetness is faint and might be unsatisfactory, so I also prepared cream and jam.

「It’s my first time drinking a cold black tea, but this is tasty..!」

Gulp, gulp, gulp… puhaaa, said His Highness the Crown Prince after drinking.

「I thought that a cold beverage on a hot day would be nice」

Though cold things aren’t good for the body, they are fine occasionally. It was hot today even when I was in the forest.

「However, to take out cold drinks on the hottest part of the day… that isn’t quite easily done, you know?」

Indeed. Ice isn’t easily obtainable during the summer… I’m able to do it because I can use ice magic.

By the way, the reason that I didn’t cool it down directly with ice magic is that I tried it before and froze the whole pot… using magic delicately is difficult… since it couldn’t be helped, I made a lump of ice and crushed it… I’m good at that!
Ugh… I have to concentrate on the minute adjustments.

「It’s not that difficult when using ice magic」

Only if not handling things delicately though… I answer while looking far into the distance.

「It’s not like every single person can use ice magic, you know? There are people who are more or less skilled in water magic, but… for example, merchants and commoners who can’t use magic and have no means of obtaining ice」
「That’s so, isn’t it… in that case, how about holding a special ice magic training for the students of the academy and producing lumps of ice? You could sell that ice in town. Ice created with magic won’t melt easily. I believe the commoners would be able to spend their time more refreshingly in this season that makes people collapse from heat」
「It’s prohibited for students to work with magic while in the academy」
「… How about linking it with voluntary service? Hold special training linked to a stable production of ice and sell the ice cheaply on the streets as a by-product. The proceeds should be then contributed to the academy or orphanages. Part of the profits could be allocated to the academy’s budget」
「… Hmm, I see. I shall consult with Father」

Looks like His Highness has some interest in it. Alright, alright, if ice can be supplied stably, refrigerators might spread around. I have seen Showa retro-wooden refrigerators in my past life, and it was just a wooden box with a door and upper bunk where you’d put the ice, so it’s not like it can’t be made, right?

There are storage boxes with cooling type magic stones, but those are not cheap so only nobles can get them and Item bags and Item boxes are also expensive, so only merchants with considerable profits or high-ranked adventurers have them.

Anyhow, both are convenient yet too expensive for the commoners…

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