57. The Difference Between a Sword and a Kitchen Knife
“Then, I’ll start working. Good luck, Liliana.”
As always, he told me to do my best.
It was akin to a magic spell for me.
Everyone said it as a matter of course. However, when it came from him, it gave me courage.
I felt like I could do anything.
I tied my hair as I became enthusiastic.
The flame was optimal while the tools and materials were within reach.
“Oh, at last!”
When I heard a voice full of expectation from Doga, I glanced at him.
That should be the last time I turned my eyes away from the flame and iron.
Until I finished, even if I heard the sound of conversation, I wouldn’t reply.
I took a deep breath and focused.
It had been a while since I last made a kitchen knife.
When I was working in the palace, I never had the chance to make one.
When I was young, my master taught me how to make them. After that, I made several pieces regularly to improve my skill.
That was my first time receiving a request or making one as a product.
However, I wasn’t particularly nervous.
After all, the steps were the same.
I should do my best in doing what I could.
First, cutting out the material.
Unlike tamahagane, which was used to forge swords, I would start with a plate-shaped object.
I prepared three boards.
One was a steel plate, and although the other two looked similar, they weren’t simple pieces of steel.
They were steel in that wouldn’t rust, so to speak. However, their constituent elements were different from ordinary steel. It was a material that wouldn’t rust even if wet with water.
The material was also known as stainless.
I arranged the steel plate so that it was sandwiched between the two pieces of stainless steel. Then, I covered it with hosha powder, and put it in the heated furnace.
I took out the three pieces of metal that had turned red after being heated.
Then, I struck it.
The hosha I had added earlier was to stick the metals together.
Joining different metals together wasn’t easy.
Simply heating and mealting them wouldn’t make them stick together. I still had to strike them so they’d mix with each other.
“…What a good technique—I’m in love—”
“Is the method for making a knife different from that of a sword?”
“Huh? Grave, didn’t you go to work?”
“This is part of the job.”
Grave was holding a wooden box containing materials and was going back and forth between the table and the smithy.
He was checking and organizing the existing materials at the same time.
It seemed that he suddenly became curious while I was working and called out to Doga.
“In the end, it’s the same, right? At least to the untrained eye, they look the same.”
“It’s totally different! What she’s doing is a process called, ‘forge welding.’”
“It’s a process of combining metals together. It’s quite tedious. After all, metals aren’t easy to combine.”
I heard Doga explaining to Grave.
The difference between a kitchen knife and a sword.
Certainly, if it was for casual use, the difference wouldn’t be apparent—for both were blades.
However, just like Doga said, they were different.
He then explained the differences.
“As for the difference between a kitchen knife and a sword? First of all, their purposes are different. A kitchen knife is used to cut ingredients, while sword is used to cut people and monsters.”
“That much I’m aware.”
“They are also used in different places.”
“One is in the kitchen, and the other one is on the battlefield?”
The kitchen knife and the sword also differed because of the places they were used.
“A kitchen knife is something you use in the kitchen. That is, a place with water. Even the ingredients contain water. After use, it’ll also be washed off with water. In short, they’re made on the assumption that they’ll get wet.”
Yes, kitchen knives got wet.
Vegetables, fish, and meat also contained water.
Once a kitchen knife was used, it’d get dirty. Therefore, it needed to be washed off.
Swords would also get wet, but they weren’t made on the assumption that they would.
Iron tended to rust when it got wet.
“If you make a kitchen knife as you would a sword, it’d quickly rust. Then, what about the ingredients? Would you eat something that has been cut with a rusted knife?”
“That’s true, but why not make a sword with the method you would use for a kitchen knife?”
“Because the steel used for forging a sword is sharper. The characteristics of the kitchen knife that Liliana is currently making is that it won’t rust easily, and that the blade is hard. However, sharpening will be difficult. Therefore, its sharpness can’t be maintained.”
The sharpness of a sword was its life.
In that respect, I thought that the same also applied to kitchen knives.
As such, there were kitchen knives that were made of steel. If properly maintained, the rust would be suppressed.
“It isn’t something that chefs are particular about. More like, kitchen knifes that doesn’t rust are used in ordinary households. They are easy to use, even if they aren’t as sharp as a sword. Not to mention, they don’t rust.”
“I see, so that’s how it is.”
Doga’s explanation matched what I had in mind.
Grave sounded convinced.
“There are many kinds of cutlery, I see.”
“That’s right. As I said earlier, each has its own purpose. There are various knives for cutting fish, vegetables, etc.”
“There are that many? The work of a blacksmith is wider than I thought.”
“That’s right, a blacksmith is a craftsman who can freely manipulate all steel.”
I contemplated on Doga’s words as I struck the heated steel.
Manipulate all steel, is it…?
It was a matter of course—but the way he phrased it sounded cool.
***T/N: I don’t need an entire chapter dedicated to telling the difference between a sword and a kitchen kniiiiife
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