After Eryn and I arrived home from our job, we discovered a burly looking man in our living room dressed in neat clothes. Seeing the man, Eryn froze and turned to walk the other way.
“Eryn, I know you’re there. No point in running away.”
Eryn looked like she wanted to hide at that moment, but slowly turned back and crept forward.
“Hello, Uncle Roland. W-What are you doing here?”
“Hmph. Don’t think that your good find makes up for all the work that hasn’t been done since you took up this knight position.”
“But I have been keeping up on my merchant learning…to a bare minimum.” Eryn had muttered that last part softly to herself.
Roland sighed, “I know you want to walk the path of your mother, but we are a merchant family. This is the only thing maintaining our status as nobles.”
Eryn had apparently been groomed by her family to succeed the merchant business, though rather reluctantly. Instead of being cooped up in an office pushing documents and arranging deals, Eryn would much rather travel around helping people. A compromise had been made between Eryn and her uncle such that she would continue the trade of her family while pursuing her dreams as a magic knight.
However, Eryn considered this as a safety net in case her position as a magic knight got her nowhere. Eryn’s goal had been to earn prestige through her accomplishments, thereby creating an alternative method to maintain her noble status. Currently, she was stuck balancing both duties, which would keep her occupied for periods of time.
As her uncle dragged her out the door, Eryn sighed with resignation and turned to me.
“Claude, can you report to the guild? Come find me around dinnertime.”
“Ok, I’ll let Pietro and Carina know,” I replied as Eryn was dragged away.
After putting away my stuff and checking in with Carina, who was in the kitchen, I took the cart and went towards the city.
Having arrived at the guild, I took the report that Eryn had written to the front desk and handed it to the receptionist. The receptionist looked over it once, nodded, and then stamped it.
“There. All done. Thank you for your service.” The receptionist bowed slightly.
With that complete, I still had a few hours before it was dinner time, so I decided to stroll around the marketplace once again. Having only been gone for a week, not much had changed. It would likely take some time for the distribution of the pizarka lard to begin. Hopefully, this new product would help the success of the Faulkner family.
As I scanned over the marketplace, I saw a familiar-looking robed figure in the middle of conversing with a merchant. It was Katsys. In her hands was a wooden board-like object, which she handed over to the merchant.
“I’ve improved the transport board as you’ve requested.”
“Oooh. That’s great! Now I can move stuff around a bit easier. Though, the board is still a little small. I can’t put a lot of boxes on it.”
“Well, I’m currently limited by how big of an object I can enchant.”
The board itself was about 3 feet long but only about a foot wide. As the merchant applied some mana, it started levitating on its own. Stacking some boxes on the board, he pushed it along the ground. It was working fine until he added some more boxes. Becoming slightly unbalanced, the entire load tipped over and spilled to the ground.
“Oops. Still need to work on stability,” Katsys said sheepishly.
“Well, it’s a good try. Though I’m not sure what I could use it for in its current state.” The merchant scratched his head in thought. “With how expensive these magic tools are, I’m better off renting some horse-drawn wagons still. Levitation magic isn’t exactly a cheap commodity for us common folk.”
With no way to maintain balance on the board, it would be tough to move much back and forth. It would still be more efficient to use a cart instead. Sighing, Katsys took the board back with disappointment.
“Hey wait! Can I take a look?” I chimed in.
Katsys turned around, not noticing that I had been there. “Oh! Hi Claude! Sure, here you go!”
Putting mana into it, the board started floating again. This time, it floated lower to the ground. Likely due to my lower magic potential, the amount of mana I could supply was less than the average person. However, this was perfect for me. I stood on top of the board and kick off the ground with one foot.
The board moved forward, at a faster speed than my cart. It didn’t require much effort to keep it going, as I only needed to kick the ground every so often. The mana drain was pretty low too, so it seemed like I could travel quite the distance with it. Turning around, I moved the board back towards the starting point. This time, I shifted my weight left and right, in which the board responded accordingly. Amazingly, it felt pretty comfortable and familiar, like riding a skateboard. Injecting a small burst of mana, the board responded by hovering higher, effectively causing the board to pop up. It went up a bit more than I expected as I lost my balance and fell backwards. Having lost its mana source, the board hovered for a bit before gently falling to the ground. Great Scott! I didn’t even have to go to the future for a hoverboard! This would be pretty useful for getting around.
“Aw yeah! Katsys, can I buy that off you?” I shouted while still sprawled on the ground.
“Um…sure?” Katsys replied with a look of surprise.
Both Katsys and the merchant looked at each other with a similar glint in their eyes. The anticipation of profit brimming from their expressions as they reached out to shake hands.
“Hey, can I put an order in for 10 of these? I think there’s a better way to market these.”
“Y-Yes, I can do it by the end of the week!”
And thus, this situation would spark another trend, especially among the younger generation.
“You really helped me back there. Thanks.” Katsys glowed with satisfaction.
Having made a successful deal with the merchant, Katsys had given me the test board for free.
“Still, you otherworlders sure know some interesting applications. I wonder if I should pick your brain for some ideas.” Katsys scanned my face for a reaction.
While I was a novice when it came to magic, it was true that there were many things from my world that didn’t exist here. Having lived in a modern world full of technology and experiencing the outlandish imagination of anime and video games, there was a chance that I could see the end goal of an invention, despite not having the know-how of getting there. Katsys may be able to apply her magical knowledge to create some similar effects. I reeled in my thoughts for a moment before they got too out of hand. This world was probably not ready for things like mobile suits. I must restrain myself!
“Sure, I don’t mind telling you a bit about my world though it’s quite different than here.”
“Really? I can’t wait to find out all the possibilities! I’ve been having sort of a mental block lately being cooped up, so I really need someone that has been out and about for a different viewpoint!” Katsys shouted, brimming with excitement.
Cooped up? Maybe she doesn’t get out much besides working on inventions. Katsys did appear to be a little socially awkward, but that’s not strange compared to my nerdiness. Though it was weird that she wore a hooded cloak all the time. During that short time that I saw her face, I was surprised by how pretty she was. There must be more to the situation, but no point trying to pry it out of her.
As there was still some time before I was supposed to meet Eryn, we started chatting about my previous world – about cars on the road, planes in the sky, and cities full of tall towers. About how information could be transferred with the touch of a button, all across the world.
Katsys marveled at how technology could get so advanced despite the lack of magic as a foundation. Her eyes brimmed with delight as I spoke about my everyday encounters of random things. It was like her dreams had been laid out before her, almost within reach. Finally, it was about time for me to go.
“Your world must be some paradise. Don’t you miss being there?”
That was one topic that I tried not to think about anymore. With no way currently of going back, it was better to ignore my past life and dive headfirst into other things to distract myself. Yes, I really missed my old world. It was a life filled with random, seemingly boring events and navigating aimlessly without a solid purpose, but I had fun along the way. I missed relying on my parents every so often, who were only a short drive away. Though my biggest regret was that I had completed all the optional dungeons in the game I was playing but had saved right before the final boss. I know it’s silly, but I genuinely cried that night when I realized that I probably would never see the ending to something I put a hundred hours into. These reasons had been mostly why I had tried to keep myself busy.
Sensing the change in mood and my hesitancy in answering, Katsys panicked slightly and tried to divert the conversation.
“Um…Well…I know! If there’s something that you want to be made from your world, I can try my best to imitate it here! I’m sure it will benefit both of us.”
“Thanks. I’ll try to bring you an interesting idea.”
No point dwelling on it anyways. I’ll just have to push forward and do what I can here. Seems like I at least made a new friend in the process. Parting ways, I headed off to find Eryn.
The Faulkner family’s merchant headquarters was located on the outskirts of the marketplace, where the residential areas began. As I arrived, the sight of people trickling out of the buildings at the end of the work day greeted me. The sun had just set in the distance as the orange tint of the sky was getting darker. Some people headed home. Some made their way into the restaurants or taverns that dotted along this area.
As I walked into this building for the first time, a doorman greeted me mentioning that they were closed for the day. I explained that I was a servant of Lady Faulkner and came to escort her home. The doorman guided me to a room near the back. I opened the door to find Eryn with her head on the desk and several stacks of papers littered about.
“No more numbers, please…” Eryn mumbled as it seemed like her soul was leaving her body.
Walking over to take a peek, I recognized what looked like accounting sheets and calculation tables filled out. The math looked pretty straightforward but tedious. Well, I guess it beats trying to learn Calculus, which was so boring I’d often nod off in class.
Eryn still hadn’t noticed that I had arrived, so I decided to poke her exposed cheek.
“Oi…Eryn. You alive?”
“Eryyyyyyn! Wakey Wakey!” I called out a little louder.
“5 more minutes…” Eryn mumbled in response.
In that case, I guess I’ll be a little mischievous. Placing the new acquired levitating board underneath the seat of the chair, I activated it and moved it high enough to lift the chair a little bit in the air. Eryn’s butt moved up along with it, as the top half of her body remained sprawled on the desk. Since she still didn’t seem to care, I started adding small pulses of mana to the board, causing Eryn’s butt to bob up and down. At some point, noticing the strange sensation, Eryn tried to get up but panicked and tumbled face-first onto the ground.
I grabbed the board and started to back away. I had only meant to shake her awake with my newly acquired toy, but that turned out bad.
Flames started to emerge from behind the desk by the time I made it to the door.
“Claude…is that any way to treat your master?” Eryn said in a low but chilling voice.
That’s not good. I have no idea how to deal with the quiet fury type.
Eryn walked over and grabbed me by my neck scarf.
“Then, I guess you won’t mind paying for dinner and drinks then?” Eryn was physically smiling, but her eyes belied her expression.
We left the building with Eryn pulling me along by the scarf. She guided me to an upscale tavern nearby, which appeared to be frequented by the nobility. Looks like my wallet would have to make up for my foolishness.