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87 – A Princess’ Bed
The giant clam’s sh.e.l.l was very difficult to pry open. Without appropriate tools, the fishermen were helpless.
Liszt didn’t insist. Anyway, the black pearls had nowhere to run. After the large squid was broken apart and its rotten carca.s.s was thrown into the sea, Liszt gave the order to bring the giant clam back to the castle, where it could be investigated at leisure.
The enormous giant clam was quite odd-looking.
Along the way, it attracted the gazes of numerous commoners, and when it reached the castle, the servants also went to take a look at it. No one had ever seen such a strange thing.
“Teacher Marcus, what are your thoughts on how to open it?”
Marcus pondered for a moment before saying: “It’s very strong, the two halves of the sh.e.l.l are firmly fixed together, but its sh.e.l.l is irregular and there are many gaps, so it should be possible to open it with poles. Wooden poles won’t do. It would be best to use a thick iron pole, but there should be no iron poles in the fief.”
Iron tools were very precious, no one would use iron ore to forge a thick iron pole just to pry open the giant clam’s sh.e.l.l.
“Perhaps we could use fire.” Suggested Carter.
“As the sh.e.l.l is too thick, it would be quite difficult to harm it.” Rejected Liszt. With the black pearls inside, if it was to be cooked…
“We could use hooks, hooking two hooks, one to each half of the sh.e.l.l and then use horses to pull them in opposite directions to pull open the sh.e.l.l.” Marcus eventually thought of a stupid method.
However, its effect was not bad.
Two horses pulled a rope each. When the rope was about to snap, the horses finally managed to pull open the giant clam’s sh.e.l.l. The giant clam looked just like a flower in bloom. Although the degree to which it was opened was not too great, but the sh.e.l.l’s ligament and flesh could already be seen.
Marcus grasped his two-handed sword, poured qi into the sword, and cut off one of the ligaments.
The horses pulling the giant clam’s sh.e.l.l immediately pulled it open into two halves, which no longer tried to close themselves. Liszt's gaze fell on the protrusions atop the inner surface of the giant clam. The plump protrusions concealed pearls.
“Cut them out. Be careful, there are pearls wrapped inside. Don’t scratch them.”
Marcus personally took a blade and carefully cut open the membrane of the protrusions. When the membrane of the largest protrusion was cut open, a black, shiny pearl the size of a washbasin was revealed inside.
“There are still others next to it, taken them all out.” Liszt was very excited.
Although he still hadn’t figured out the use of the black pearls, but finding such a big black pearl was still an incredible thing. If it was placed in his birthplace, it could be auctioned for an jaw-dropping price.
When Marcus finished, a total of sixteen black pearls of different sizes were taken out.
The biggest one was the size of a washbasin.
Two were nearly the size of a basketball, three were the size of a big bowl, and the rest were the size of oranges, apples, and table tennis b.a.l.l.s.
After cleaning them up, Liszt took the largest black pearl into his hands. He suddenly felt like there was a trace of magic power flowing inside the pearl. He quickly released Magic Eyes. Next, he saw a whirlpool of magic power deep inside the black pearl. It was of a light blue color, which was the color of water-attributed magic power.
“It has magic power?”
He previously used Magic Eyes to examine the giant clam. However, he didn’t find any trace of magic power. Who would have thought that the black pearl actually had magic power.
“Sir, these black pearls seem to have magic power?” Marcus also discovered this anomaly. However, he couldn’t use Magic Eyes and therefore was not sure.
“They have indeed.”
While overturning the black pearl, a knight novel that he had read came to Liszt’s mind. In the knight novel, it was mentioned that the song of Sirens was capable of calming down storms in the sea, that a mighty knight had captured a Siren and made a magic equipment out of it.
A ship equipped with this equipment would float calmly in the sea even amidst a storm.
No one knew for certain what Sirens were, but there were people who claimed to have heard the song of Sirens – Kosto had just said that he heard the song of Sirens. However, there were no records of what Sirens were. Most people believed them to just be stories that sailors made up.
Although the black pearls had no relation to this story.
But what made Liszt draw an a.s.sociation was the Siren made equipment that could shelter ships from storms.
“Could this black pearl also be made into magic equipment capable of resisting storms? After all, it is an item with water-attributed magic power and its magic power is unusually rich, not much inferior to that of dragon-produced gems. I don’t know if it could suppress storms in the sea, but it should be possible to make it into a magic equipment.
Without wizards, there was no way to study the black pearls.
Liszt felt that there were still other uses – for example, as air conditioners.
“Teacher Marcus, Mr. Carter, everyone, don’t you think the air is much cooler?”
Marcus sensed carefully: “I don’t think it is cooler. However, the moisture in the air seems to have increased somewhat.The black pearls should have condensed the surrounding water vapor.”
“In any case, they are good stuff. If one would want to sell them, how many gold coins do you think they would go for?”
“I’ve heard people say that a fist-sized white pearl would go for at least five gold coins. Therefore, a black pearl of the same size should go for ten gold coins, I guess. As for the largest black pearl, Sir, I can’t estimate its value, it is a novelty.”
“They are quite rich in terms of magic power. Therefore, they should definitely be more valuable than white pearls. However, as the castle is temporarily not short on money, their appraisal should be reevaluated” Liszt was not very satisfied with Marcus’ appraisal.
He felt that the appraisal of black pearls being twice as valuable as white pearls still didn’t do the black pearls justice, that their worth might be greater than expected.
Therefore, he said to Carter: “Mr. Carter, move them to my study.” He kept scrutinizing the black pearl the size of a table tennis ball in his hand.
“Very well, Master!”
A moment later, Carter came back and asked: “Master, what about the giant clam’s flesh, can it be eaten?”
“I think it can… Hmm, let Tremblingwoods try it first. If its poisonous, then throw it away.”
“What about the two halves of the sh.e.l.l?”
“Wash the inner surface of the sh.e.l.l clean. I want to see whether it had jadefied.”
In Liszt’s birthplace, jadefied giant clams were gemstones, they were one of the seven gemstones in Buddhism, and were known as one of the four great organic gemstones along with pearls, corals and amber in the Occident. Jadefied giant clam was the whitest material in his birthplace, it was formed from the jadefication of the inner surface of the giant clam.
“Such a big giant clam is bound to have a part of it jadefied.”
Very quickly, however, Liszt realized that he had made a mistake. Although the giant clam was enormous, yet there were no marks of jadefication on the inner surface. Only at this point did he recall that it was impossible for a living giant clam to be jadefied. Jadefication took time. Just like jade, it took it ten million years to arise.
Jadefied giant clam was gradually formed over ten million years after a giant clam died and was buried in the sand.
Without jadefication, it couldn’t be made into jewels, yet Liszt had a fantastic idea: “Mr. Carter, could it be made into a bed?”
As he said that, the scenes of a cartoon – Disney’s The Little Mermaid – he had seen in his childhood appeared in his mind. In the cartoon, she had a sh.e.l.l as a bed.