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There is a medicinal herb garden neighbouring the Medicinal Herbs Research Institute.
There were plots for researchers to grow and maintain their own plants.
On a fine day, I was looking after my plot when a shadow was cast from behind me.
The shadow indicated that the person had a parasol, so it wasn’t a researcher.
Who the heck is it?
I turned around and saw someone I knew.
“How do you do, Sei.”
I couldn’t hide my surprise when I saw Liz smiling with a parasol in hand.
I’ve only ever met her in the library, you know.
Oh yeah, didn’t I invite her here a long time ago?
I’m sure it was when I first met her.
“Welcome. I’m surprised you came.”
“You told me to come if I was interested in herbs. So I took you up on your offer.”
“I did. It’s a bit weird to stand around here and talk, so why don’t we go inside?”
I walked with Liz to the research institute.
Even though I’d said the garden was close to the research institute, it was a bit far.
But I think it’s pretty close if you walk and talk.
“Oh, were there any herbs you wanted to see? I’ll show them to you.”
“I am interested in herbs, but there’s something I want to ask you about your cosmetics.”
“Yes. The cosmetics you made last time were really effective. But…” My face twitched when I heard what Liz had to say.
Actually, cosmetic products made from the same recipe as mine is being sold at a company in town.
A long time ago, when I shared my cosmetics with Liz, it became popular amongst the ladies at her academy because it was so effective. It became so popular amongst the ladies that they requested that I sell the cosmetics.
So in response to their request, I gave the recipe to a company in town to make and sell.
It’s hard for me to make the amount they’d requested after all.
Since the company was selling the cosmetics, Liz also bought it from there.
However, after she’d started using the cosmetics she’d bought from the company, she hadn’t gotten the same effects as when she’d used mine.
‘They use the same recipe, so why are the effects different?’
She was curious about this, so she came to the research institute today.
I have a good idea of why this had happened.
It’s because of my accursed 50% increase.
For some reason, the potions and food I make are 1.5 times more effective than the ones others make.
I call this mystery ‘my accursed 50% increase’.
And this curse is also active when I make cosmetics.
The difference that Liz was talking about was without a doubt, my accursed 50% increase.
But, I didn’t know if it was alright to tell her about it.
It seems safer to discuss this with Director first.
I feel bad, but I’m going to change the topic.
I’ll talk about it with her in the future.
We arrived at the research institute, and I showed her to the parlour.
I was afraid of showing her the laboratory because there was confidential information there.
“I’m going to get some tea. Do you dislike herb tea?’
“No, I like it. Thank you.”
“Okay, wait here.”
Herb tea is herbal tea.
Liz might be used to drinking tea, but I don’t have expensive tea.
But, we do have some for guests.
People liked herbal tea depending on their preferences, so I asked her for confirmation, and it looks like she’s okay with it.
I got Liz to wait in the parlour as I went to the kitchen to make tea.
There was always hot water in the kitchen so that people can make tea any time they want.
So, I finished quickly.
After the pot had warmed up, I discarded the old hot water, and put fresh hot water and herbs into the pot. This should be done once when I get back to the parlour.
I put the pot of tea, cups and tea cakes onto a tray and returned to the parlour. Liz was waiting for me while staring blankly out the window.
“Sorry for making you wait.”
Liz noticed me when I entered and smiled.
I felt warm and fuzzy from her smile as I put the cup in front of her and poured her some tea.
“Oh? I can smell a lot of herbs in this. It smells good.”
“Thanks. I tried to make a blend.”
There was herb tea in this kingdom, but people drink it as medicine and not for enjoyment.
For that reason, if one were to drink a blend with various herbs, the emphasis would be placed on the medicinal properties and not the taste and aroma.
In short, it wasn’t delicious.
It was hard to blend the herbs, so they would only drink tea with one type of herb if they were to use it in place of regular tea.
I’ve only started blending recently.
Today’s blend is chamomile, rose and rosehip.
I was recreating a blend I’d seen in Japan.
This blend was good for dry skin.
When I told her this, she got excited.
“I know that the effect is like medicine since it’s made from herbs. But, I didn’t know that it was good for beauty too…”
“It’s not limited to tea. Aren’t there any food that is said to be good for your skin?”
“I’ve never heard that before.”
Speaking of which, Director listened eagerly when I told him about medicinal cooking.
He said there was no such concept in this world.
I wonder if those ideas never developed because they have potions in this world.
“Wait, are there also no potions for beauty?”
“Potions for beauty?!”
Liz’s eyes widened in surprise.
She has a strong interest in topics related to beauty. Is it because she’s a young girl?
“Do you know about any potions like that?”
“I do, but it’s not a potion. It’s just similar to a potion.”
“Can you make it?”
“I don’t know.”
I know of something called cordial.
It’s commercialised now, but it was initially made at home.
It was easy to make. I’m sure you just have to simmer water, herbs and sugar in a pot.
I can make it here too if I have the ingredients for it.
I told her, and she said, “I want to drink it.”
I decided to deliver it to the library at a later date since it was difficult to prepare right now.
Then, I delivered the cordial to Liz three days later.
When I met Liz at the library, she was overexcited.
“Sei! The thing I drank was amazing!” She’d forgotten that she was in the library and shouted when she saw me.
She seemed overly excited because she was full of smiles.
Luckily there were only the two of us in the library. If other people had been here, then they would definitely frown upon her.
Liz was usually careful not to behave like this. The effects of the cordial must have been really dramatic for her to forget herself and shout.
I saw the effects with my eyes and could see why she was excited.
The cordial I made showed dramatic effects once drank, so you could probably call it a potion.
It didn’t have much of an effect on me probably because I was using my own cosmetics, but when I gave it to the female researchers, the results were enormous.
The researchers’ skin was horrible because they immersed themselves in research too much, but their skin recovered straight away after they’d drank it.
Their skin became smooth and shiny.
Their bad complexion also got better straight away, and their cheeks were pink, and their lips had colour on them again.
The effects were so drastic that the other researchers, who were there, stopped what they were doing and just stared in amazement.
I’m sure this effect is related to my accursed 50% increase.
But I still don’t know if my pharmacy skills are causing the effect or if it’s my cooking skill.
So I couldn’t call this a potion.
If it wasn’t medicine, then would it be a nutritional drink?
After that, I lost to Liz’s demand and cordial was commercialised.
Beauty really does make women go crazy.
It was my first time seeing Liz get that excited.
Incidentally, she forgot about the cosmetics matter because of the cordial, but she’ll probably bring it up again in the future.
I’ll check with Director on how to tell her about it before I see her again.
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