“Move your legs!” Phil yelled as he attacked with a wooden sword.
A loud smack could be heard as my wooden sword made contact. I felt the force go through my arm and down my body, shaking me to the core.
“I’m trying,” I grumbled. Phil was a tyrant when it came to practicing with the sword. What was even worse was that he wasn’t lenient at all towards someone like me.
Dodging out of harm’s way, the attack of Phil’s sword was precise and vicious. I could feel the multiple stings still screaming on my body, telling me to slow down from the past hits.
“Do not stop blocking. We need to continue to condition your body to automatically block without you thinking. Feel the flow; don’t force it.”
“I am!” I called out. I ducked under a swing and rolled out of harm’s way.
Another strike snaked into the right and struck me on the shoulder. I almost let out a squeal, but instead kept my mouth shut as best as possible. I did not want to give Phil a single glimpse of me being in pain.
“Stay on your toes. Move your whole body with little movements. Don’t waste unnecessary energy. A girl’s body is completely different from a man’s. You need to make sure to fully understand what you are capable of.”
“I know,” I growled. My body felt stiff from the past week from working out. Even though I was getting better and better, Phil always seemed to know where to hit to give me extra blows to my body.
“You won’t learn what it’s like to fight in real life if you are pampered. Use everything to your advantage.”
We continued for another thirty-minute until my hands felt like lead. I collapsed onto the ground, exhausted. Being in a human body and training, it was a difficult task.
For the next three months, we were busy with our business stocks. Somehow or another, Phil understood how to use the skill Coder without too much difficulty. The only difference was that he could only bring out one transparent screen. While I could already bring out three. I did not expect the amount of energy to bring out a single transparent screen to take such a heavy toll on him as I saw him struggle.
Phil was out cold for a whole day the first time he used the skill. He was able to slowly increase his time to be able to use it. It didn’t take too long for him to get it under control in less than a month. His coding was a little sloppy at first, but eventually, he got it right.
“How many did you count in crate 1?” I asked, shuffling the crate with a large number one on its side to help differentiate the number of boxes we had.
“There are twenty of them wrapped in wheat.”
“We have so far three different types of light fixtures: a bed lamp, ceiling lamp, and a watch type lamp. We have about 20 each of them.” I felt pleased. It took longer than expected to make so little in only three months. I had to use my stash of gold to pay for the mold to hold the Level E light crystals. In total, I spent over six Ancient Draconian gold to make this possible. The thought of my food leaving my pocket made my heart twist in pain.
“I got the permit to sell them on the streets,” Phil spoke, he was putting away the last lamp into crate twenty.
“Why didn’t you ask your grandfather to get you the permit?”
“Because it was a trade-off in helping you out for the past three months, my lessons will be cut down by half. ” Phil grumbled, “Grandpa is wondering what we’ve been doing these past months. It’s not easy avoiding his gaze.”
“It’s fine. Today is the day anyways.” I replied chirpily, looking forward to this day, excitedly.
“I called in a couple of favors with the guards that I know.”
“Is that necessary?”
“Yes, this technology is revolutionary.”
“Hmmm, if you say so.”
“You don’t understand how serious this is.”
“I do. I do. It will allow people to stay up later at night, giving people more time to do things.” I replied casually. My mind was wandering around with other exciting things I could make for the next couple of months to come.
“Yes, and people will go to war for this.”
“It’s a possibility.”
“You’re making me a bit worried now.”
“Good. It’ll keep you on edge and to be suspicious of people.”
Phil picked up the box and took it outside. He placed it in the wagon with the other table. He came back to pick up the last one. “Get on. The soldiers will be waiting at the town square.”
I climbed up onto the wagon that was hitched to the horse. We moved forward onto the uneven terrain and made our way towards the town square. The sun was already setting, and the festival was in full swing. It was the yearly spring festival of a new beginning. Loud sounds of music played songs that I have never heard before.
We stopped in front of a rundown looking stand. It did not matter where we were situated, we knew what we were going to advertise, and we needed the darkness for it to go into full effect.
“Sir!” A young soldier in her teens appeared with two more soldiers lightly armed. Her face was covered in freckles, and her wavy brown hair covered a bit of her face.
“Terry, I’m glad you made it.”
“No, it’s thanks to your help that I was able to help my family. I can not thank you enough.” Terry deeply bowed. “These are my friends in arms, Sal and Sam. They are twins, and they’re aiming to become scholars. Though certain family circumstances have caused them to enroll in the military.”
Two young males with golden hair appeared from behind him and smiled chirpily. Their bright attitude and cheerful personality made it easy to talk too.
“Hi. I’m Sal,” The male on the right spoke.
“I’m Sam. We came to help.” The other male on the left side of Terry replied with a grin.
“We heard you were going to do something interesting, and we couldn’t help but come by and see.”
“You’re the young Zemrik’s heir. Aren’t you?” Phil looked them over in interest.
“Hey, be more courteous. You’re in front of Duke Hon’s grandson.” Terry hissed and pushed both their heads down into a bow.
“Cut it out. We know. Sheesh.” Both of them tried to push Terry’s hand aside.
“Yea, Terry, you’re messing up our hair. It’s a chick magnet, you know.”
“Stop being idiots.” Terry did not let go.
Both Sol and Sam pushed away Terry’s arm. They escaped her grasp and evaded around her flailing arms.
“Oh, look here. We have a young miss.” Sol stopped and smiled. He came over and crouched down face-to-face.
“That’s Berry,” Phil replied. “A friend.”
“A friend? Oh! I see she’s an elf.” Sol reached over and patted my head. “So, what are you doing here?”
“I’m his business partner. Can you please move a bit so I can set up?” I asked politely. I walked towards the three boxes that were set to the side. I opened up one of the boxes and pulled out a blanket to put over the wooden table.
“Did she say, business partner?” Sol looks confused. “Someone that young?”
“She is,” Phil spoke. “I would need you guys to split up and protect us from the sides. Don’t let anyone go near the items in the box. If anyone of the items in the box is stolen, you will be paying 40 gold coins to compensate us.”
“What?! 60 gold coins? Is that expensive?”
“It’s worth it.” Phil nodded. He gave them a mischievous smile. “You’ll understand when you see it.”
The light in Phil’s eyes sparkled at the things that they were going to show tonight.
Taking out only three of each, I placed them neatly in a row.
“What is this?” Sam asked. He bends over, peering at it curiously and reaching over to tap on it.
“A lamp, a night watch, and a ceiling lamp. Don’t touch, or you’re going to pay for it if it breaks.”
Sam pulled his hands away quickly. Some curious bystanders peered over, wondering what we were selling. I pushed one of the boxes close to the side and stood upon it.
I glanced around the crowd and looked up into the sky. It was the perfect timing, the sun was setting, and the torches were starting to be lit. It was taking out a modified magic stone that was beaded into a necklace.
“1, 2, 3. Testing. Testing.” The magic stone amplified my voice. Okay, I’m all ready. With a deep breath, I calmed my nerves.
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!” My voice rang out like a banshee.
Everyone froze in a stupor and stopped what they were doing. Even Phil fell over with his hands covering his ears.
“Well, that did the trick.” I happily smiled. I was looking over to the crowd that was closing their ears in pain.
“Are you nuts?” Phil shrieked. He got up. “My ear almost popped!”
“You’re doing fine. Anyways, hello, everybody. My name is Berry.” I cutely winked out to the crowd.
Oh, god, how embarrassing. I thought I saw a couple of females squeal, though there were a few older men that gave off a creepy vibe. “This is the Wonder Shop that just opened. Today we have exceptional items for sale.”
I brought up my wrist in front of me as quietly as possible. Even the clothes I wore were adorable in the eyes of females. “This here is a watch light.” I show it for everyone to see. A watch was wrapped around my wrist with a magic stone stuck to the middle. Designed on it was an etching of a white dragon.”It has one unique ability. Activate Light.” I clapped my hands above me.
Like a fairy that has been blessed with the god of light, my wrist was illuminated with light. The people who were watching fell back in awe. Some even bow down, thinking that a miracle happened.
“This special watch is imbued with light and can stay on for half a day.”
The crowd became interested quickly, and more people came forward as a large crowd was being formed. My voice even could be heard to the back.
“To turn it off. All you need to do is say Off and clap.” Once again, I clapped over me, and the light turned off.
The voices of the people began to speak out loudly among themselves in interest at what I had done.
“Is that the power of God?”
“It’s magic,” I replied with confidence.
The other’s chattered amongst themselves in an excited voice.
“Really? How is it possible for such a small stone to illuminate such bright light?”
“I don’t know, but that for sure will be useful.”
“Activate Light.” I clapped once again. From the dim lighting, I once again appeared bright and glowing. “They are three types of light items we are selling. The first is this light watch that has been imbued with sound recognition of your voice. Only one voice can be recognized when turning the light on and off. The reason is that no other people can turn off the light, but the owner themselves. We will be giving you a written explanation on how to record your voice along with it. The light watch is going to sell for four gold for one.”
Phil handed me the next item. This time it was a wooden lamp with a hood over it to damp out the bright light. A white dragon design was embroiled in the wood itself. “This is a lamplight. Same words, but anyone can turn it off and on. You can put it in your room so you can read or work at night. The price for one lamp light is two gold coins.”
I handed the lamp light back to Phil, and he finally gave me the final product. “This is the third item. It’s a wall light fixture, same principle as the lamplight, and it goes for three gold. Now please line up if you are interested in buying it.” I motion in front of the table.
The guards quickly got into the potion, trying their best to quell the mob. Both Sol and Sam had to pull out their swords and stop people from mobbing them. The crowd quickly scrambled into a line when they saw the guards in action. They were pushing and shoving so they could get ahead from the other.
“There are only limited amounts. So we will only sell each person one of the three.” I spoke.
“I want to buy all three types!” A fat man was the first in line. He slipped in seven gold coins towards Phil.
“I’m sorry, only one.”
“But I’m paying you for all three. I have the money.”
“It’s not that we don’t want to sell you the lamplight, it’s just that this is what we have stated. One for each person. We will be selling more another time.”
“Fine. I want the lamplight.”
Phil took the three coins and left the rest for the fat man to take. He went towards the crate and pulled out the lamplight and handed it to him.
“Here you go.”
“Thank you for your business.” I cutely winked and posed.
The older man giddily left the booth in a hurry. One-by-one, the customers bought the products. Lamp lights and wall lights were the ones that quickly got sold out, while the watch light took a little more time for people who could afford to buy it.
“Thank you for your patronage!” I spoke. I posed and smiled. “We’ll be coming back with new and old items. Please look forward to the Wonder Shop with our white dragon symbol.”
Finally, with all the products sold, I hop off the wooden crate. That was the most embarrassing performance that I had ever done in my life. My knees shook from the ordeal, and all my strength vanished. I plopped onto the floor.
“Quite a performance,” Phil spoke, staring at me and silently laughing. “I did not expect that at all.”
“Well, that was a once in a lifetime performance, okay. I’m not going to do that again.”
“I don’t know. It seems that you became a star of the show.”
“Quick making fun of me.”
“It’s true.” Phil laughed.
I glared. We packed up and got into the wagon. Sol, Sam, and Terry hopped in, and the wagon moved forward back towards the mansion.
“Sir! Do you, by any chance, have a couple more? I will pay for it now.” Terry asked, hopefully. She was gazing with longing at the light watch on my wrist.
“Three gold, and you can have the one on my wrist,” I spoke.
“But didn’t you say it was programmed with your voice?”
“I can erase it.” I bluntly spoke, which awed Terry.
Terry fished out three gold coins from her pocket and handed it to Phil. I brought up the watch near my mouth and whispered ‘delete voice.’ Taking off the watch, I gave it to Terry.
“Thank you!” Terry excitedly replied. She quickly took it and placed it on her wrist. I handed him a slip-on on how to record his voice. Her hands greedily took it and began to record her voice.
“Do you have any more?” Sol and Sam asked, begging for one as well.
“Sorry, no,” I replied. “Don’t worry, and we’ll be making more.”
Sol and Sam nodded, even though they were saddened by the thought of not having one now, they knew they could get one later.
“We made quite a lot. I was a bit worried people wouldn’t buy it for such a high price. Golds isn’t something one can fork over so easily. One gold could feed a family of four for six months here.”
“Well then, it seems we made quite a profit. We’ll give ten percent to charity through food or necessary items for the poor. You don’t mind, do you?” I said habitually, realizing that I was going to my old habit on Earth that leaked out of me. I asked my partner in crime.
“You are the head of the company.” Phil shrugged as if it was nothing. “I’m guessing we’ll be going around repurchasing the materials.”
“Wait, is this young lady the president of Wonder Shop?”
“She is the one.”
“Her? Seriously? I thought you were the one that made it.” Sol was shocked by what Phil said.
“Nope. I don’t take credit when it’s not me who did it.”
“That’s an amazing little miss.” Sol whistled. “It must have been very complicated in making it.”
“Thanks, Phil did help quite a bit; without his, input it probably wouldn’t have turned out like this.”
“You guys are geniuses.”
Phil just brushed it off as if it was nothing. “So, what are you going to do with this money?”
My hands were itching to take a gold coin from the small pouch. I had to pull it back just to make sure I wouldn’t eat it in front of the other three. Phil was the treasurer, and I got the feeling he wasn’t going to let me touch too much of the gold that we made out of worry of me eating it all. “We need to buy more ingredients.”
“All the Magic Stones, and this time contract out a couple of blacksmiths that are willing to work with
“Don’t you mean an artisan?”
“Well, we do need them too. I especially need someone good with ironwork.”
“I see. I’ll see what I can do.”
“Do you think you could hire us?” Sol and Sam asked. They scooted close to Phil and begged.
“Me too. Me too!” Terry asked.
Phil turned towards me, and I shrugged. I did not know what their skills were like. “Well, how about this. We’ll do an exchange of services.”
“Really? What would we be doing?”
I cut in. “Studying, creating, and in exchange for guarding if you have the aptitude for it.”
My mind was reeling with ideas. We needed more people to help produce and protect the items we were going to make. If we wanted to increase the revenue, more people were needed.
“Studying?” Sam was confused. “Why do you need someone to study when guarding someone?”
“You’ll need it. We’ll negotiate a place for you guys to stay and eat. I’ll be needing to talk with my
“Really?” Terry asked excitedly. If she bounced around any harder, I swear she would have fallen out
of the wagon.
“We’ll talk about this later. We’re here.”
I turned around and noticed that we had arrived in front of the mansion already.
Everyone got off. They were a small crate in the wagon hidden by a bunch of blankets. I dug through them and pulled a decent size box where my whole arm could wrap around out.
“What is that?” Sam asked.
“A gift for persuasion.”
A small group of maids waited for us at the door.
“Welcome back, young master.” A young maid bowed. “We have dinner ready. Will you need us to set up three guest rooms?”
“Yes, please, we’ll eat when I finish talking to my grandfather. You three go with them and wash up. We’ll join you guys later.”
“Will do, sir.” Sol stood up straight; she was looking at the mansion with excitement.
“I have never been serviced by maids before.” Sam grinned from ear-to-ear.
“As you wish.” The maids left with the three.
“I leave the negotiation to you.”
“I expected you to say that.” Phil looked troubled.
Both Phil and I went to Duke Hon’s study room. Phil gently knocked on his grandfather’s door.
Pushing the door, Phil went in first. The room was dimly lit, making Duke Hon squint to read his paper works.
“Phil, what are you doing up so late?”
“Grandfather, I came to negotiate with you.” Phil cut straight to the point.
Duke Hon glanced at his grandson, wondering what he was going to say as his demeanor completely changed into his usual frigid diplomatic self.
“What would it be this time?” Duke Hon closed his fingers against each other. For a moment, he looked like an evil mastermind.
“Hello.” I stepped out from behind Phil’s waist.
“Well, if it isn’t the little miss.” Duke Hon’s expression became warm. His eyes sparkled with curiosity in seeing me. “How can I help you today?”
“We have a business we would like to talk about.” I pushed the box up on the desk. Duke Hon peered into wondering what it was. He took a moment to look; eventually, he reached in and pulled out a light lamp. Curious at the item, he placed it down in front of him.
“This is a light lamp. I suggest you try clapping your hands together to turn it on. It’s coded a bit differently.”
“Clapping my hands to turn it on?” Duke Hon tilted his head in confusion. He raised his hands and clapped once. The whole room became bright, allowing us to see the place.
I thought the room was clean, but now that I look around, it is dirty. For sure, this lamp light will help with cleaning around the mansion.
“It’s a little different from the one we sold today. To turn it on and off, you just need to clap.”
“This is quite extraordinary. Where did you get this? I have never seen such a product before.”
“We made it,” I said with confidence.
“Actually, Berry here invented the core of the lamp itself,” Phil spoke. “It’s what I have been helping Berry create this past few months.”
“So this is what you have been doing. I was wondering why you were neglecting your duties, but this is different. I can see why you were so focused on working on this.” Duke Hon was pleased with the product in front of him.
“Today, we have successfully made about 200 gold coins from selling just 60 of these products. The cost of making 40 of them did not even cost over 10 gold coins.”
Alarmed, Duke Hon stared at the product in hand. “I see, this would even be considered a luxury item to the nobles if you sold them for a higher price.”
“We were thinking about having the artisans craft elegant designs for them,” I replied, my mind whirling with ideas.
“That’s quite fascinating. How is it made?” Duke Hon leaned a bit forward, taking a good look at the two.
“Well, that is the thing. Some conditions need to be met before even attempting to make them,” said Phil.
“That would be?”
“You need to know magic, learn how to read Berry’s language, and know a certain skill. The product is made from Common Magic Stones.”
“Did you say Common Magic Stones?”
“Yes. The lowest kind.”
Duke Hon was surprised at what he learned. Everyone knew that the Common Magic Stones were almost useless, until now. “This is truly a revolutionary item. Who would’ve thought that Common Magic Stones could be used this way.”
“I had the same thought, grandfather.”
“What language do you speak, Berry?”
I hesitated. Crap, what language did I speak anyways? Thinking it over, a phrase came into mind.
“Ancient Draconian! You don’t mean the lost language?”
“Yes?” I faltered. Holy crap, they literally believe me.
“That would make complete sense now. You must be the last rare few of your elven kind that can read actual dragon language and have Ancient Draconian coins. This is truly a mind-boggling experience.”
“I assumed it was an ancient draconic language.” Duke Hon was pleased with what he had learned.
“When I looked through the history books, I saw the same symbols appearing in lost languages and writing.”
So I was right? I questioningly stared in confusion. Did I even just lie right now? Ugh, I need to stop doing this, or it’s going to eat at my soul.
“Fascinating.” Duke Hon eyes stared at me like an interesting new toy that had been discovered. “What are you planning on doing from here on out?”
“Expand the business.”
“How many employees do you have?”
“That’s what I’m also looking for. We got three new soldiers who will be helping protect our product. Two of them I have the feeling can learn the language. It’s going to take some investment. We are looking for blacksmiths as well.”
“I can recommend you a good blacksmith.”
“If you don’t mind, I would like to start a small class for orphan children and teenagers. Adults are welcomed. There are no species restrictions. Anyone willing to learn, I accept teaching them. Right now, I don’t expect anything in return.” I asked.
“I do not understand why you would go to such length?”
Duke Hon’s quietly watched me wondering what I would say next.
“The future rests in the children. Without them, there is no country nor purpose for this world to even continue existing. We strive for a better tomorrow and teaching the children morals and knowledge, which we, as a different species, can come together in understanding. We could benefit from each other’s cultures and grow as a whole.”
Duke Hon thought deeply about what I had said. “That is quite a large ideal to say for someone so young.”
“No, sir, it is something everyone possibly had once thought of or wished for before the politics had crushed it.”
“Even though I know that life does not always go that way, I want to create a sanctuary for all races to come to rest and learn.”
Duke Hon was looking at me intensely. He leaned forward and closed his eyes, brooding over what was just said. “Young lady, for someone so young to have such an ideal. I do not know if I should say you are foolish or wise.”
“I am neither.”
“So, will you be willing to help grandfather?” Phil asked.
“Yes, I see this as a good investment for our town.”
“Would it be possible to start tomorrow?” I asked. I was getting hyped at the thought of this project. I wanted to see how far I could go. It was a gut feeling that made my stomach roll around with butterflies, I knew this was going to be worth my time.
“I can arrange that.”
“Please, let it be an open space where a lot of people would come.” I chimed in.
Duke Hon nodded.
“Is that all?”
Phil replied before his grandfather could say anymore. “Grandfather, I would like to work with her.”
“I assumed as much, but this does not mean you should neglect your lessons.”
“Do not worry, grandfather. I will hold my end of the bargain.”
Satisfied, Duke Hon watched us leave.
Since the moment I met Berry, I thought she was strange. A child that appeared out of thin air and lived alone like a Hermit. I get the feeling there was more to her, but I just could not figure out what.
I know I was rude to her the first time we met, in which case I had a reason. What was worse was grandma accepted her like it was nothing. For someone who had brought peace, led large armies gallantly into battle, and was called Lioness of Dragonia, she lacks common sense. It’s a given that one should be skeptical if some kid comes out of the Forgotten Forest like it’s her back yard.
Though what I did not expect was that Berry did not have any parents. She was just like me, someone who had not grown up with a father or a mother. I understood her, and I could not help but wonder what hardship she had gone through. I, on the other hand, had my grandmother to keep me sane.
Leaning back on my chair, I look out the window. Warm light entered into the room as piles of paper works were left on the side. Laughter echoed as five young kids were running around Berry playing tag with her. Berry fell face first, and the kids laughed at her misfortune. I couldn’t help but hold in a chuckle at her fall. It was a perfect face plant.
Looking back, I did realize quite a bit of things even more strange about her. The most surprising thing that kept me on edge was how she ate gold. It wasn’t just one, but three, and she kept it up religiously. The horrible crunching like sound that made you automatically taste metal and the possible pain that comes with it, but she did not budge a single bit. It’s truly something I could not get used to nor understand how she had gotten the curse in the first place.
Every day I would catch her giving a funny look of pleasure at eating the gold. It’s like she ate the most delicious thing in the world. I just don’t understand her at all. Now, she would eat gold in front of me without much care. Isn’t it something one needs to be careful of so she won’t be found out?
I sighed. Lately these days, I noticed that I’ve been sighing a lot more than usual. I can tell she is weary around me at times, but I’m not sure why. She even gives me the strangest expressions, when
I talk about eliminating obstacles. It’s quite funny watching her. So many flavorful emotions that I never expected to see.
One thing after another, she never stopped to amaze me. From staying at the library until she finished reading every single book. To the point of reciting any lines from any book that I ask. She truly has an extraordinary memory. I don’t know how she can store so much information in her small head, but she barely uses it to help her out in her situation. She’s so oblivious to her surroundings that it makes me wonder, how did she survive all this time?
That’s not all, the thing she had created. These Lamp Lights, light watches, and wall lights were at first strange, but when in use, it was a whole different level.
It opened up more time in a day. No more do we need to sleep when the sun goes down. Instead, I can stay up all night without getting a headache from reading the paperwork. I could tell, this would become revolutionary.
The use of Common Magic Stones for such purpose would increase its value exponentially; before that happens, I have sent out a large number of orders of Magic Stones. I wonder what else she would make using the same method.
Her demeanor changes like a child every time she succeeds and fails. I must be careful; I don’t dote on her. Every day she feels like a younger sister that I have never had before. Hopefully, she would stop running away from me as if I’m some kind of monster. I didn’t realize how much I have come to appreciate her presence. She’s like a fresh breeze of wind that changed my life.
“Phil!” Berry burst into the room flabbergasted. Her whole appearance looked like she took a sharp fall. Branches and dead leaves were stuck onto her hair, and small bruise marks were littered all over her body.
“You need to help me.”
“What did you do now?”
“I didn’t do anything. These brats are out of control!”
I stared at her funny. She said, ‘brat’ again. I swear she sometimes sounds older, but her appearance looks nothing like one. Elves are known for their youthful appearance, but no adult elves look like a child.
I stood up and walked with her. We walked through the hallway and finally came out through the courtyard. Five children from the age of seven to twelve were laughing joyfully as they played with one another. They were three humans, one elf, and one beast kind. They were also seven humans who were the age of thirteen to seventeen who were also from the orphanage and looked after the kids.
Sol, Sam, and Terry were also present. They were sitting on the grass with pen and parchment in hand and copying the first volume that I had explicitly written and translated. It has been a month since school started.
Berry had asked for the children at the orphanage to be her first students. Duke Hons did not disagree and instead allowed it. Now the children were brought here every day to learn the language that Berry had to offer.
“Lily. Stop running around.” The eldest male student called out to the wildest child in the group.
“I don’t want to. I want to play!” Lily squealed.
“No. If you want to eat later, you need to study.”
“But I don’t want to. Can’t I eat first?”
“No,” I replied. Everyone froze. “If you don’t study, there will be no dessert.”
“I’ll study. I’ll study. Please let me have dessert after lunch!” Lily came over and grabbed onto my arm.
“If you behave, then I’ll think about it.”
Lily nodded and wouldn’t let go.
“Class is starting. Everyone comes along.” Berry called out. She sat down with her legs crossed. Everyone sat around her, wondering what she would teach. I walked over and sat next to her.
“Today, we are going to learn something different.” Berry pulled out something from her pocket. Two common magic stones that were level E. One of the two magic stones was a bit strange, especially how the stone was mixed with multiple colors.
“This is the ‘Rule’ Stone.” Berry picked up the multiple colored Magic Stone. She held it out for everyone to see. “This stone has the sixteen different magic mixed to create one stone. The highest grade level a Grade E can get too.”
“What does it do?” Sam asked.
“It’s quite a fascinating stone. I was trying to figure out how to combine all the different types of stones; I accidentally dropped them into a hot pan. It melted all the stones together and radiated a strong force of magic. It took eight protection Magic stones to keep the energy contained until it cooled down. Even then, mixing them and condensing it took a lot more energy than I thought.” Berry rolled it in her hand. “What’s truly extraordinary about this stone is that whatever you write on it, it stores the information inside the stone itself instead of on the outer skin. There is a limit in how many words a normal stone can contain. So far, it can contain about 16 times the normal E level common magic stone.”
“Then why don’t we use that?” Sol spoke. He scooted in closer.
“The problem lies in what to write in it. It doesn’t work like a light magic stone. Just like its name, it gives it order to other magic stones that are connected to it. Meaning, I can set up a rule where one letter can mean one specific word.”
Sol and Sam were baffled. The others had a difficult time understanding what Berry was even talking about. Yet I could not hold back my surprise. This was a truly fascinating discovery.
“What does she mean?” Lily asked, confused. “I don’t get her.” She pulled on my sleeves.
“It means that the words can be shortened on the regular stones giving it more space to write on the stone. This allows us to code more.”
“Exactly!” Berry’s whole face lightened up in excitement. “This gives us more complex scripts and opens up a variety of different ways for it to do things. Not only that, it seems that the higher the level of Magic stones, the more commands that you can write. If my theory is correct, an A Level Common Magic Stone could hold up to one hundred million commands or more!”
“O-o-one hundred million? Is that even an actual number?” Everyone was confused at the odd words that she had stated. Sometimes the words that she spouts out were strange, but they had a meaning behind it. Especially the simple numbers that she has taught everyone. Instead of counting one by one, the symbols that were shown were much more easier and faster to calculate.
It has become so normal to write it out in actual numbers than for it to be completely spelled out. Even Duke Hon was fascinated when he saw the strange markings; he thought it was a completely new language. When I told him it was just numbers, he asked to learn this new way and made it become a trend in the mansion.
Seeing the Duke understand it so quickly is quite frightening to behold. No wonder he is called the Master Scholar. Our numbers and budgeting have become more precise, and the records even shorter. Problems such as things being miscalculated have decreased immensely, and finding out how much we have lost was more natural to calculate. Every day our profit has been jumping leaps and bounds.
“Yes, I show you the basic arithmetic. It’s possible.” Berry nodded furiously.
“Teacher,” a young boy raised his hands.
“Is there any way to erase all the things that you have written on the magic stones?”
“Well…. Once you have used up all the space, you will not be able to take it back. Instead, you have to write a command at the very end that gives you the option of erasing the code or allowing a certain code to be erased or changed. This is where the ‘Rule’ stone also comes into play. This stone already has that function in it to safeguard against people who forcefully try to erase it or override. Think of it as a security that keeps the ‘Rule’ protected.”
“So how would you use the ‘Rule’ Stone?” Terry asked. She was leaning against a tree a bit bored at the lessons but still listening.
Berry grinned. She fished out a thin metal rod in her pocket that had a hoop around both ends. Placing the metal on the floor, Berry put the ‘Rule’ Stone in one end of one of the circles. Picking up the second Common Magic Stone that was colored blue, she held up for everyone to see.
“This stone has the words that represent what the Rule has. Without it having the full words written out, it just becomes a stone. Nothing activates, but when you connect it, it becomes a different story.” Placing the stone on the other end of the wire, it sparks blue, and a large scale barrier that covers around them appears like a bubble.
“The barrier is outputting thirty percent of its power. At the same time, any low-grade magic that is not stronger than thirty percent of the barrier will be reflected with double the amount of power, meaning another thirty percent of the power is used to send back the magic. While if sixty percent of the stone magic is used, it allows forty percent of the stone to be used for something else. So far, the ideal percentage of the stone lasting the longest is thirty by sixty by ten percent rule. The last ten percent is to create a strengthening command that increases the output of the shield by double.”
“So that means that the magic stone needs to be connected to the ‘Rule’ stone even to work. That is pretty useful, though the price for making a ‘Rule’ stone will increase the price.” I spoke—the possibility of attaching multiple magic stones brought out many different uses.
“We will be able to one day create our own?” A young girl asked. Her cute cheeks were slightly red from sunburn.
“If that is the path you want to take, then yes. You just need first to remember the book that Phil has written for starters.”
Everyone chatted excitedly.
“Well then, we’ll continue with yesterday’s lecture on short sentences.”
For the rest of the hour, Berry taught diligently. Even I was jotting down notes for the next volume.
With the lesson over, the maids and grandma brought over sandwiches for everyone to eat. I swear that my grandmother was good at conversing with people. She had a knack for making friends with a snap of her finger. I sat down next to the tree and leaned against it. Berry came over with her portion and sat down next to me.
“Phil, we brought you some lunch.” Grandma gently smiles as she looks at the kids.
“Thank you, grandma.” I took the food from her. Grandma came over and sat down next to us to enjoy the gentle breeze.
“Well, now, how is my little Berry doing?”
Berry stopped and gulped down her food. “Great. The kids are taking the material well. In about another four months, I assume that they can read and write the basics.”
“That’s wonderful to hear.” Grandma nodded. “Phil, what do you think of Berry here?”
“Um….great?” I was wondering why the sudden question.
“Great? Is that even an answer?”
Grandma sighed. “Are you still mad that we brought her into the family? Because if you are, you should let it all go.”
“No. Grandma. I’m not. It’s just that your question was too sudden. I didn’t have an answer to give you.”
“Oh.” She thought it over in what I had said. “Then, do you like Berry?”
“Pfft!” Berry spat out her food and was coughing hard.
“Grandma, she’s a kid. All kids are annoying at one point, and they start to grow on you.”
“Kuhuhuh. That’s good to hear.”
I don’t know if grandma was poking around for more answers or if the answer I gave her was enough. For some reason, I felt like there was more to the question itself, but instead, I brushed it aside. “So…what do you think?” I asked Berry.
“The food? It’s not bad.”
“No, I’m talking about the magic stones.”
“Oh, that. I find it very promising.”
“What do you have in mind with it?”
“I want to create a vehicle one day or maybe a robot!” Her voice quickly was hyped up with excitement.
“Vehicle? Robot?” Once again, she said some strange things.
“Ugh, I forgot you don’t know. A vehicle is like a carriage but without a horse. While a robot is a mechanical human.”
“I’m not sure what they are, but I am looking forward to what you have to offer.”
“Kuhuhuhuh,” She laughed. It was one of those evil laughs that I sometimes catch her in.
A glint of gold caught my attention hidden away in her sandwich. I looked around quickly to see if anyone saw her slip it in. This girl truly doesn’t understand the concept of being careful. So far, there was no one else around us who saw what she did, nor hear her eat it.
She made every day enjoyable. I wonder what other ways I can tease her and enjoy my time leisurely learning the use of Magic Stones.
Not too far away from us, the soldiers that were stationed were huddled together, talking loudly among each other.
“Is it true? There is a large force of goblins coming to the town?”
“Yes. A scout just came in, saying a large mobilization of over twenty thousand is coming this way. What’s worse is they might come here in less than a week.”
I placed my sandwich back into the basket and got up. Quickly I walked over. “Is there something the matter?”
“Sir!” All the soldiers froze up.
“Please go ahead with what you were talking about. Was the goblins correct?”
“Yes, they are coming in large forces. Rumors are going on that the king has not sent in reinforcements and has abandoned us.”
“Do not worry. There must be a misunderstanding. I will talk with my grandfather to see what is going on.”
An unknown unearthly sound was heard overhead. Everyone stopped to see what was going on. A small strange shape that looked like a bird flew high in the sky.
“What the hell?”