Announcement: I'll stopping publishing the chapters for a week to increase the numbers of chapters the patrons have. Once the dungeon arc is over, I might do 1-2 weeks stop again to focus on a few things that need attention, like reviewing the early chapters of the story.
Yunia and I stay like this for a while, switching between stargazing and observing Gify frolicing in the grass, then a drunk Roxanne comes outside and clumsily molests us until she falls asleep. I carry her to bed, and we all call it a day.
Today is the 23rd.
Alissa wakes me up by just lightly licking the head, and once she sees that I'm fully awake, she deepthroats me, tipping me over the edge. Yet another wonderful morning, snuggling with my women.
Waking up in this mess of women's limbs and breasts while smelling the gentle perfume of their skincare products is simply the best thing that a man could ever ask for.
My [Summoning Magic] increased by 1 (now 14+27). Yesterday's canopy creation with the elementals was a really good idea, after all.
After a cozy and calm breakfast, I decide that it's time to get to work.
I go out into our backyard and pull a table and the crate of cocoa fruit out of my "Items" with a *poof*, then I start inspecting the fruit. The girls crowd around me, curious about what I intend to do.
"Oh, this is the fruit that you said chocolate is made from, right?" Alissa asks.
"Yep," I happily reply.
"Considering how much you loved eating chocolate, I thought you'd forgotten about this since you never mentioned it again."
I smile wryly as I admit, "Truth is, I have no idea how chocolate is actually made, so I thought that I should wait until I knew more about it. Then I thought that I might as well do it now since once we're Lords, we'll be able to get our hands on more cacao if we want."
"I haven't tasted chocolate yet, but I heard that it's suddenly become extremely popular in both Faium and the capital," Yunia comments.
I nod in agreement and explain, "Chocolate is edible happiness, so it's no surprise that it's become so popular. What we have here is raw gold, we just need to refine it, somehow."
"If you say so," Yunia says with a wry smile and shrugs.
I pick up a cacao fruit and look it over. It's a rather soft ovate fruit, and it doesn't smell like chocolate, just an earthy scent of a forest.
I cut it open to reveal five lines of gooey white seeds, somewhat like a corn cob. Each seed is like an unpeeled lychee, but much less watery. Their smell is fruity, and it doesn't resemble chocolate at all. It tastes horribly bitter and acidic, so it obviously needs a lot of processing before it'd even come close to actual chocolate.
I see a large, hard seed buried under the goo, so I wash it off and open it up, revealing a dark interior that tastes nutty and very bitter. The husk of the seed has no particular flavor, so it must be this bitter inner part that chocolate is made from.
"Hm… I think coffee and chocolate are made in similar ways, so this seed should be the secret, but I don't know what to do with this goo."
"Why not just wipe it off?" Alissa suggests.
"You could ferment it. Plenty of fruits are first fermented to add flavor, then squeezed for their juices," Yunia comments.
I turn to her and raise my eyebrows in surprise.
"I've inspected a few breweries in the past," she adds with a wry smile.
"I think coffee is left to dry and ferment in the sun, so perhaps you're right, but that would take days…" I respond with a frown.
Yunia smiles smugly and asks, "Why don't you add an 'aging' abstract concept to your [Grow]?"
I slap my forehead. "Oh, right, magic. I'd forgotten we could do that…"
She gently nods with a subtle smug smile. "Plenty of our aged food is made magically. Nobody has the time to wait a decade for a piece of wood to absorb some perfume or smoke."
"But magical aging is different from natural aging," Lina remarks.
Yunia nods again, still smug. "It is, but you can control the aging a lot better when it's magical."
"Use a nature elemental for that," Alissa suggests.
"Right, easier that way," I respond. I'm not that good at dealing with abstract concepts yet.
I summon the elemental, and an elven looking woman wearing a traditional elven bikini appears in front of us.
"Oh…" Yunia mutters as she realizes who the elemental resembles: her.
"Well, well, well. Welcome to the club," Hana teases her and elbows her ribs.
"Hmph, I'm still prettier than this mossy imitation," Yunia hisses and snobbishly turns her head away.
"You weren't like this when Jarn said that she was copying your face," I say, a bit confused at her reaction.
She refuses to look at me or the elemental as she explains, "It's because she was copying me, not just mixing it with a random face and ruining my beauty."
"Alright…" I say with a shrug and continue my work.
I remove the pith-like thing keeping the cacao seeds together, then I place them in a covered bowl, and order the elemental to slowly ferment it.
Something that should take a few days is done in just two hours by spending a shit ton of both my and Roxanne's mana. Since we aren't exactly sure about what we're doing, the mana cost of the fermentation rises quite drastically.
The seeds gain a strong coconut-vinegar-like smell, and a juice gathers at the bottom. Roxanne inspects it with her enchanted monocle for noxious mana signatures and clears it for drinking. Its flavor reminds me of lychee and apple, but with a lot more sourness to it.
"I think the seeds smell strongly enough now; any more than this and they'll rot. The fermentation should have added some flavor to it," Yunia comments.
"Okay… now what?" Roxanne asks.
"If this were coffee, we'd dry it, then open it, grind it, and roast it," I answer.
"Drying will stop the fermentation, so I think that's the correct way to do this," Yunia agrees.
I summon a fire, a wind, and a water elemental, then I empty the fermented seeds into a metal pot so that they can quickly dry them out.
"Keep the heat low so that they don't cook," Yunia adds.
The four elementals work together, and now everyone contributes a bit of mana to power them. The nature elemental ages, the fire elemental controls the temperature, the water elemental removes the humidity, and the wind elemental creates a bubble of dry air around the seeds.
After another hour, they seem to have dried out as much as possible.
The husk of each seed has become crunchy, making it easier to separate it from the crumbly inner part.
"How do we do this? Summon a bunch of goblins to husk it all manually?" I question.
Yunia shrugs and answers, "I guess. There are ways to use [Weaverism] for this task, but I don't know how."
Ciel plays with the crunched seed and notices how the husk flies away with just a breeze while the inner part is too heavy. She lightly hits a closed fist against her palm and says, "Ooh… we could use the wind elemental for this."
"Fuck yes, that's genius," I emphatically approve.
We sift the husks by blowing air past the crushed seeds while we pour them into a bowl. The husks are blown away while the important bits aren't affected.
"Now, roasting," I say with a smirk.
We spread the inner bits on a metal baking sheet, and the fire elemental roasts them, controlling the heat so that they all roast evenly. The smell of cocoa starts to waft from the bits, and it causes me to shudder with delight.
"Oh, wow, this smells quite nice," Yunia comments.
Alissa sniffs the air repeatedly and her fox tail lazily wags. "It really does remind me of the chocolate we ate," she adds.
I dry a small tear that was forming at the corner of my eye and say, "We've done it. This is chocolate. Well, not finished chocolate, but it still has that wonderful smell that I missed so much."
Hana eats a cooled bit, and her face scrunches up. "So bitter!" She exclaims.
"Yeah, it needs a lot of sugar before it's ready to eat," I respond with a smirk.
"Oh…" She mutters and looks away in embarrassment.
Yunia snorts, but she doesn't tease her further because she knows how Hana "punishes" the wives when they tease her too much.
"Anyway, now we need to grind this down into a powder," I say.
"Earth elementals," Alissa suggests.
"Yeah, no way we're doing this manually," I agree with a smile.
I summon one with a mortar and pestle as its hands, and it starts grinding, and grinding, and grinding, and grinding.
"Well, shit, this is going to take a while," I comment.
We each find something to do while we wait. Alissa starts cooking up lunch with the help of two Hobgoblins; Hana, Aoi, the golems, and I all play around with sparring and Aoi's water balls, which are refreshing in today's hot weather; Roxanne continues exploding things inside her workbench; Ciel and Lina resume sewing the costumes I sketched sometime ago, which they hadn't worked on for a while; Yunia takes up one of Lina's books, but falls asleep while reading it.
Just before lunch, I stop the grinding to take a look. The chocolate has become an oily paste, though it's still far from smooth and silky.
I separate out a small amount of it and summon another, smaller earth elemental, then I add a lot of elven sugar to the mix, and give it a taste.
"It's really greasy. We're still missing something," I comment.
"For me, it's pretty good," Ciel says with a smile and licks her lips.
"Meh," Aoi says and shrugs.
"Gih!" Gify chastises Aoi for having terrible taste in sweets, and I nod along in agreement.
The other girls enjoy it quite a lot, and we have to hold ourselves back from eating it all. We also wake up Yunia and give her a sample of it, which she approves of with barely contained excitement.
Then I add some precious cow milk to the sweetened paste, and it quickly becomes watery. I stop the grinding and use the fire elemental to cool it down, but it doesn't harden, so my attempt at milk chocolate has failed, though it's now rather close to chocolate milk, instead. This milk is more sour than what I could get on Earth, so it's not as delicious as what I had in mind, but we're making progress, at least.
"The problem is the grease," I repeat.
"I could try to separate it with [Alchemy], but it wouldn't be cheap, mana-wise," Roxanne comments.
"Back on Earth, we did it without magic, so there must be an easier way."
"Couldn't you use an oil press?" Lina questions.
"Oh… right," I mutter. But of course, oil from nuts is extracted that way. "This sort of thing isn't common knowledge back on Earth, so I have no idea of how to even make one," I respond with a shrug.
"We had one back in my hometown, so I know how it works."
I grin in excitement. "Draw some schematics and I'll make an elemental take its shape."
She nods, making her bangs sway, and smiles, wiping away her usual gloomy expression.
Lunch is a rather strong-tasting werefox fish stew with Tonique, a not-potato elven pie, Sommerlande fruit salad, and fried mushrooms. A wild combination, but it has at least one thing that we all like.
"Gih!" Gify approves. The wider the variety, the better.
After fattening up again, Lina draws some quick schematics for the oil press, then she leaves with Ciel and Yunia for the knight's academy library.
Since the cacao processing seems to have gone well enough, I decide to use all the cacao fruit I have left to make cocoa. It's a pretty large crate, so we should be able to make a few dozen kgs of chocolate.
"Ugh… I want Ciel's MP…" I groan as I start to get hit by overuse.
"You don't have to make it all at once. You could just continue another day," Alissa suggests.
I shake my head and click my tongue repeatedly. "Tch, tch, tch, tch, tch. The quest for chocolate cannot be postponed. I must get diabetes today," I insist with an overly dramatic tone.
Alissa's eyes die a little inside. "'Diabetes'…"?
"A disease from eating too much sugar."
Hana slowly turns towards Roxanne, and the lazy succubus sweats cold.
"If you don't spend MP on the elementals, you won't get to eat any chocolate," I state sternly.
"What about the others at the academy?" Roxanne asks, immediately betraying her sister-wives.
"They'll give their mana when they come back," I answer and make sure that they receive the message through [Bind].
Roxanne's horns go so limp that they sway about like noodles.
A few hours past noon, everyone in the mansion is dozing off in the lounging chairs, suffering from mana overuse and from using [Redirect Mana] too much.
"We're waiting," I slowly say through [Bind], and the other girls decide to return from the library.
They pay for a [Gate] transport and arrive back after just a few minutes.
"I heard you have [Mana Overuse Resistance]?" Yunia asks, and I nod with a smug smile. She swallows heavily and feeds the elementals all her mana so that they can continue working.
If a small batch has tired us out this much, doing the whole crate in one go will completely exhaust us.
"Anyway, I've done some research on the red desert," Yunia says as Hana massages her head.
"Oh, what did you find?" I ask, excitedly.
"It's likely that the dungeon's desert is actually Heretic's Rest. The inner desert of that region is completely inhospitable, and it's known to have colored sands… like the Colored Sands region."
"And since the Dungeon Master has probably seen ours or any of the adventurer's memories, they should know about Heretic's Rest," Roxanne's muffled voice comes through the pillow covering her face.
"Oh, right. That makes a lot of sense," I reply and nod along.
Lina frowns, making her look gloomier than usual as she says, "The books hardly ever mention Heretic's Rest, but it's such an obvious connection that I should've made it a long time ago."
"But you just said that it's hard to find information on Heretic's Rest," Ciel replies, puzzled.
"It's understandable since we aren't exactly proud of having that stain in our territory," Yunia admits with a bitter smile.
Lina just becomes even gloomier. "But it was my first task, to learn everything I could about the elves…"
"Just remember to never overwork yourself unless strictly necessary," I remind her and give her a kind look.
She hardens her expression and nods. "Understood…"
The oil press works wonderfully, producing almost crystal clear cocoa butter. There are still some solid cocoa particles in it, but it's just something that Lina came up with from memory, so there's plenty of room for improvement.
We all have a taste of it, then I cool a coin-sized sample until it hardens.
"This tastes good," Ciel comments.
"So many sweets could be improved with this butter," Alissa adds, her voice filled with wonder.
I rub the cooled butter on my lips, then I grab Alissa's face and give her a deep kiss, then she giggles like a girl once I release her. "I'm sure the elves would find a way to make this into an amazing lip balm," I say, then I walk over to Roxanne to give her a kiss too, but she grabs my face and steals one from me, first.
Then I give a buttery kiss to each of them, and when it gets to Aoi, she just licks my entire face.
Yunia is the last to get her kiss. She savors my lips a little more than the others, then she evaluates it, "Hm… yes, this is quite novel. It has an 'earthy' flavor that's different from the usual flowery or fruity blends that are common around here."
"It's the roasting. You know it's nothing like this when it's raw," I respond.
She walks up to the oil press and dips her finger in the cocoa butter, then tastes it again and says, "Indeed… I think we don't tend to roast seeds because of how much effort it takes to process them. Since we can just spend mana to make more fruit grow, we've neglected seeds in our diet."
"This sort of thing is common in Ryutake, though," Hana comments.
"We ought to recruit a dragonkin cook if we want to improve our chocolate," I suggest.
"You want to start producing chocolate?" Yunia asks.
I shrug. "If we can secure a deal to supply us with cacao, then perhaps we could. We already have all the other ingredients necessary, like the sugar, spices from Maoka, mages who are experts in magical fermentation and aging, and my technical knowledge on how to turn this into an industry."
Yunia smiles gently and muses, "If Confiel hasn't ruined things, we should still have control over a good chunk of the Eia sold in Escanso. Transferring the mages for processing cacao will be simple."
"If you can make golems similar to these elementals, then we'd have a huge advantage over Faium producers," Lina adds.
I nod and agree, "I really am afraid of the consequences of introducing automation to this world, but since I've already spread the knowledge of [Golemancy], it's only a matter of time until the industrial revolution happens, so we'd better get a head start on it."
"I haven't heard about that one, yet," Yunia comments.
I give her a fake smile and say, "Let me tell you all about human greed and the horrors of the industrial and robotic revolutions."
Just before sunset, the processing of cacao into cocoa is done, so I unsummon all the elementals and start summoning a production line with ten earth elementals.
I've come up with a few designs for grinders, so each of the ten elementals that I summoned is using a different prototype. I start comparing their output, then I end up culling half of them, replacing them with oil presses.
Over bath time, I make sure to spread Lina's little asshole again with a tentacle. She seems to have a slight weakness to wriggling, so I sneak a dozen little tentacles into both of her holes and let them go wild.
Ciel's inner sex demon awakens at the sight of that, so I let her have control of the tentacles herself.
She leans on top of Lina and pinches her clit while invading her mouth with a tongue that wishes to become a tentacle itself.
The wriggling is a different sensation from penetration, or sucking, or vibrating, causing Lina to quickly orgasm due to its novelty.
I see a large ass enticingly jiggling in front of me, and I salivate like a hungry animal as I stare at it.
Ciel freezes, noticing my lust seeping through [Bind]. "Ahn~…!" She moans sensually as I suddenly slide into her, then Lina moans, too.
It's time for a session of triple-cock pounding.
For dinner, I just pull out some leftovers. We don't need an elven banquet every day, and even Yunia (reluctantly) agrees with me.
After that, I focus on fixing my milk chocolate production. The oil press separates the greasy cocoa paste into cocoa powder and cocoa butter. I discover that adding a small amount of butter back into the powder gives it a consistency similar to chocolate if I get the percentage right.
I try to slowly add milk to the chocolate, but it quickly becomes chocolate milk instead, and when I add thickeners like flour, it just doesn't work well and makes it taste "wrong."
I'm certain that milk chocolate is a thing, so I'm pretty sure it's the moisture that's making it turn out so badly.
I remove two of the earth elementals from the lines and exchange them for a fire and a water elemental, then I get Roxanne to help with removing all the moisture from the milk. We manage to create powdered milk without too much trouble, which I promptly add to the mixer.
We all watch with interest as the molten chocolate pours into a small bowl and slowly solidifies.
Once there's enough of it for each of us to have a bite, I order the elementals to remove the heat from it to help it solidify faster, then I break it up into chunks and distribute the pieces.
The overly-sweet chocolate melts in my mouth, and I shudder as my tongue orgasms from the pleasure.
My mind goes blank, and a bright light blinds my eyes, then my consciousness is cut off.
"Quest complete: milk chocolate created. I'm returning you back to Earth," God says.
Lina giggles, and the girls smile while Alissa gives me "really?" look.
I give them a cheeky smirk, then I immediately start making some adjustments. We have hazelnut and raisins, so I just have to create new flavors.
The quest for chocolate comes to an end just before we head off to bed. Not all of the cocoa powder has been processed, but enough of it to last us a short while has been turned into bars of Wolf's Milk Choco, Hazel Choco, and Raisin Choco, and I also made about five liters of Wolf's Choco Milk. As a side-product, there's even a whole bar of cocoa butter that we can use to enhance desserts.
I have actual chocolate now. Life's good.
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