build a passageway where the heat and smoke from the furnace will flow inside.
‘So the heat can circulate around the longest path and pass through the floor.’
He carved his way around the passage.
Meanwhile, he didn’t forget to carefully adjust the height of the passageway.
‘This is how the heat stays as long as possible without escaping all at once.’
First, when the fire is lit in the fireplace, the heat and hot smoke will pass through the passageway under the room.
With the arrangement of the flat stones, the heat that comes will stagnate.
The clay will spread the stagnant heat effectively to the flooring.
Then, the heat will be caught one last time before escaping.
Finally, the chimney’s formation will prevent rainwater and cold air from coming inside the passageways.
(tl/n: I might made some mistakes while translating this part.
I’m not very sure.)
Be even more careful.
Reduce errors as much as possible.
Dig and check it.
Check and refine it again.
After that, the passageway’s walls were coated with red clay.
I dried the red clay sufficiently and then placed flat stones meticulously on the passageway.
‘Thick stones on the lower end near the furnace and thin stones on the opposite upper end.’
It was laid out carefully.
The upper part was too far from the furnace so it would be heated more slowly and less warm.
Therefore, if the thickness of the stones were different, it was possible for the floor to be warmed evenly.
‘Now, it’s your turn.’
The crevices between the flat stones were filled with rocks.
The surface was covered with clay dough.
Dry mud was laid on top of it and then was packed again.
It was applied again as a plaster to flatten the floor and then it was dried thoroughly.
After that, the surface was scraped and finished with the thinnest layer possible.
It took him three full days to get to this point.
The core of the ondol construction was completed but he had to postpone the opportunity to test it.
“Excuse me, Master Lloyd?”
When I was happy seeing the newly-made ondol floor, a servant came inside.
“The Lord is looking for you.”
The Lord, Baron Arcos Frontera.
It was his father’s call.
Suddenly, he had to go.
Lloyd left the unfinished ondol room.
The gossips and chatterings of the spectators, who had gathered in groups of twos and threes, stopped at once.
Lloyd passed through the awkward silence and headed for the baron’s mansion.
“I heard there’s been a strange rumor going around these days.”
Clack. The fork moved.
The iron fork picked up a crude homemade sausage.
However, the Baron’s hands stopped there.
He didn’t bring the fork to his mouth.
I casted my eyes to the opposite side of the table.
“You’re doing something in the tavern backyard, aren’t you?”
That gaze wasn’t warm.
To put it bluntly, it was icy.
Rather than looking at a son, he looked as if he was looking at a troublesome problem.
That look in the Baron’s eyes made Lloyd feel bitter again.
‘This body has its drawbacks.’
The owner of this body that he owned now, Lloyd Frontera, was a typical scumbag.
Gambling away and doing vandalism from binge drinking and drunkenness.
In addition to the unfathomable truth, he had such splendid (?) history and karma.
Maybe that was why he always had to face the prejudice from people around him.
In other words, no matter what he did, people would look at him with a crooked look.
What is that rascal doing this time? What kind of accident is he trying to cause? Has he lost his mind? Or is it his time to die? Please don’t cause any inconvenience to the people around you… and so on.
It was the same even now.
“Let’s hear it.
What are you up to this time?”
The Baron’s voice was as cold as his gaze.
As soon as I heard it, I realized.
That wasn’t a question.
It was a reproach.
“If you’ve heard the rumor, you’d know.
I’m making the ondol that the tavern owner ordered.”
“Are you trying to fool your father with empty words just like how you fooled the tavern’s owner?”
“I can’t help it if you think so.”
Lloyd glossed over roughly.
At this point, will you believe what I say? On the contrary, it seemed better if he would just buy useless misunderstandings.
Because it was hard to persuade the Baron in front of him.
It was awkward.
‘If I talk too long for no reason, I could get caught.’
Somehow parents can recognize their children.
I am not Lloyd Frontera.
This is Kim Suho who took over this body.
I was worried that I would be suspected without any reason.
So I chose to avoid a deep conversation.
“If you have nothing to say, I’ll finish my meal now.”
Just like the damned Lloyd did, I spoke out and focused on my meal.
Before he could start talking about anything else, I thought I should just fill my stomach with the food in front of me and get up quickly.
But then, the Baron’s question reached his ear.
“Is it because of the family’s situation?”
“If you have eyes and ears, you’re bound to know what’s happening these days.
Did you do this on purpose because you were upset about it?”
Does he refer to the seizure because of the swindler? As expected, the prediction was correct.
“But it’s all right.
It’s just a passing windfall.
It’s no big deal.
Who am I? I am Arcos Frontera of the family who has protected this territory for five generations.
This father can overcome this kind of hardship in no time, so don’t let it get into you too much.”
“This father will cheer you up, so don’t let it shake you either.”
I’ve heard things like that before.
Suddenly Lloyd raised his head.
He looked at the Baron.
A handsome middle-eastern man.
But, his face looked somehow exhausted.
I could see my father’s face that I had seen that day overlapped with his face.
‘It’s the same as it was then.’
It was my last vacation from the army.
At that time, my father, who was suffering from investment fraud, had that same look on his face.
He suddenly grabbed my hand tightly.
It’s not a big deal.
Just mind your studies.
He smiled and pleaded me to do so.
So I didn’t know, I thought he was really okay.
A year after that, I didn’t know that my parents, who couldn’t get out from an enormous debt, would make an extreme choice.
The Baron in front of him now had the same expression as my father at that time.
He was not okay.
He was trying to pretend he was okay in front of his child.
Lloyd put his fork down, The thought of focusing only on eating had long since vanished.
He also gave up his commitment to distance himself from the Baron for a while.
And he unwittingly opened his mouth.
“Don’t give up.
I’ll do my best too.”
If I could go back to that time a few years ago, it was something I wanted to say to my father.
Then, I rose up quietly from my seat.
The baron looked at me with strange eyes.
A look of determination that was different from the coldness before.
The gaze felt burdensome so I hurried off.
Fortunately, the Baron didn’t hold onto me.
The construction continued.
The ondol in the backyard of the pub quickly took shape.
The gazes from the onlookers were pouring in.
Amidst the misunderstandings, murmuring, and rumors, I charred the panels.
It was to get a thin film of carbon coating the wood to prevent deterioration.
I wasn’t used to it at first, so I messed up a few.
Some were so burnt that it split, and some recoiled.
However after several attempts, I got the hang of it.
The key was to burn only up to 3 millimeters deep from the surface of the red pine panel.3
The panel had become durable and lighter.
The water didn’t soak in easily.
I think this would last at least for 10 years.
We weaved the roof with these panels.
Vinegar was spread on the panels, dried, and covered with clay from the floor.
I applied a slightly thicker sheet of layer with a damp grass and pasted it on top.
Then, soybean oil was applied and resin was added to finish the waterproofing process.
It was the completion of the ondol room.
I lit a fire as a test for the ondol and touched the floor.
‘This is enough.’
I couldn’t help but smile.
Now it was time to check the customers’ reactions.
Traditional wooden frame: it’s a traditional Asian construction method by making the frame using heavy wooden logs.
Gable roof: Here, it meant triangular-shaped roof.
Gable’s definition is referring to the triangular part of a structure.
I think the author refers to shou sugi ban technique.
Shou sugi ban is a traditional Japanese procedure of skillfully charring wood with fire to make it water resistant.
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