A new idea struck me like a lightning, so I thought “why not?”
How exactly does an infinite bag work?
I mean, everyone knows you can put something in then pull it out while it’s still in the same state no matter how much time passed. Like ice, for example. It, just, won’t melt. Time is stopped in there, and everyone treats it as common sense. How so?
There’s also the fact that you can put something which size exceeds the bag itself. From a longsword to even a polearm. You can even insert your own hand to try to reach the bottom, which you won’t ever reach by the way.
I think someone can just go inside one of these bags and nobody will ever notice it. I wouldn’t dare to do it, though. Just thinking that I’ll fall endlessly scares me enough.
Incidentally, do you know that an infinite bag will only work for its registered user? I think that’s quite sensible. I mean, imagine your infinite bag, which you have wasted a fortune to buy, got stolen along with all your precious treasures. If it were me, I’d consider suicide.
Naturally, anyone would kill to get even one of these bags. They said the technology to produce them is still shrouded with mystery. Only the fairies know the secret behind it.
Well, it’s not like they’re that rare. I think you can procure a proper one in a specialized shop for a few hundred golds? Anyway, seeing some high leveled adventurers or, especially, merchants going around with one or two infinite bags hanging on them is commonplace nowadays.
Thing is, someone has mastered the art of infinite bag making. However, he didn’t keep it secret and instead sell the how-to to the highest bidder. The market soon overflowed with cheap infinite bags, though the majority of them are deficit products that malfunctions every once in a while.
Guess that’s what a merchant is. All that matters is money, not the quality of the product.
How does an infinite bag malfunction, you ask? It implodes. Anything you put inside it will be history. I don’t want to imagine what would happen if your head was in it when it imploded.
By the way, the inside of an infinite bag is dark. It needs great courage for me to ascertain that, so treat that information with care.
Anywho, the infinite bag is just… weird.
Some said that it’s only a sack with spells that make it look smaller than the actual size. That doesn’t explain why time is stopped in there.
Some said that it was originally the bag of the God of Time, and the fairies took it from him as a prank. Well, every each of us will be damned then.
Most said that I shouldn’t pry too much into it. That’s just how it works, that’s that. Like apples that will certainly fall from their tree, or the sun that will always rise from the east.
I said to them, I beg to differ.
If we want to uncover the mystery behind an infinite bag, then we only have to come to the right person.
Zeno Alvin Emerson. The man who unveiled the secret behind the infinite bag. The man titled as “Father of Magic Industry”, “Black Arts Alchemist”, “the Ghastly General”, “Third Born of Marquis Emerson”, and “the Wonder” to name a few.
Some title he got.
By the way, yep, he’s also one of the “Emerson’s Three Monsters”. His older sister is Athene the Goddess of War and his older brother is The Leon.
Securing a reservation for his audience is not an easy feat. Even the Kings and the Emperor called out to him. Nevertheless, I outdid myself and managed to meet him.
Before me, sitting on a coach with his ever-dead facial emotion is Zeno Emerson. The Wonder in the flesh.
“And, what can I do for you?”
Asks Zeno to me with a cold tone. Now I understand why they said he feels like a moving doll.
“Um. I want to know the secret behind the infinite bag, uh, sir.”
You can’t blame me if I’m being nervous. I mean, who isn’t?
“Are you one of those up-and-raising entrepreneurs? You can buy the blueprint of it in the nearest firm.”
“No, sir. I mean, the secret, secret. I mean, like, how does it work and such. Um, sir.”
Zeno puts the tea down then gazes at me—Or, it looks like so. I don’t know. I can’t tell when his eyes are dead like those fishes from the market. He could as well take a nap with his eyes open and I wouldn’t be able to tell.
After a moment that lasted like an eternity, Zeno finally opened his mouth again.
“Such a young curiosity. Have you read my books?”
“Yes, I have. My favorite is “Ability, Capability, Liability”. The way you describe magic affiliation and how to overcome it captures me completely.”
Deriving a bit, Hyakinthos the Great once said that “Magic is Illusion that deceives”, claiming that magic, in essence, is not real and exists only in our mind. His argument was fortified by the fact that any substance made of Mana will vanish/completely lost its mass given time.
Zeno Emerson added a little something to that statement. In one of his books, he boldly stated that “Magic is Illusion that deceives even Gods”, angered the Holy City, and walked away with it.
Says so, Zeno once again takes a sip of his tea. He must really like teas. Or maybe he’s simply thirsty?
“I don’t mind teaching it to you, but don’t blame me if you can’t follow it.”
“I won’t, sir. I, uh, I can’t possibly blame you when you have vacated your precious time for me.”
“Stop that ‘sir’. It makes me feel old.”
“Yessir. I mean, yes, si-, uh… yes.”
“Good. Do you have a handkerchief I can use?”
I hand him the handkerchief my Ma made for me. It was my birthday gift. I wonder what is he going to do with it. Maybe he’ll turn it into an infinite bag? No way.
Disregarding to what I’m thinking, Zeno lays my handkerchief on the table. He then produced a mana gem from his pocket then places it beside the handkerchief. With an incantation I’m not familiar with, Zeno casts a spell to the two items. Corresponding to his spell, the mana gem shines gently while my handkerchief floats. I certainly didn’t expect this.
Zeno continues with his process. Again with an unfamiliar language, he chanted an Aria. This time, a number of magic formations emerged atop my floating handkerchief. I don’t know what is he doing with it, I do know it won’t something as simple as making it clean. I just hope he won’t turn my treasured handkerchief into cinders, or a frog maybe.
The magic formations then got absorbed into my handkerchief. As I’m witnessing magic is out from my now falling handkerchief, I noticed that the mana gem is no longer in its place.
Zeno then produced a string, again from his own pocket. He proceeds to tie the edges of my handkerchief, making a hollowed part in the middle which you can put things into. Weird enough, just like a bag.
“Here you go. Your infinite bag.”
Zeno returned my handkerchief—magically made an infinite bag now—to me as if what he did was not worth mentioning.
I was… at a loss for a second, before I wordlessly accept my handkerchief, then snapped out.
“W-, w-, wa-, wait a sec! D-, did you just—!?”
“Yes, I made an infinite bag from your handkerchief.”
“I-, in such—!?”
“In such a short time, yes. It still didn’t beat my record, however.”
“B-, but w—!?”
“Don’t ask me why. You were the one who asked me to show you the rope, I did what you asked. I enjoyed your company, thank you for your time.”
Blank. That’s the state of my mind right now. Even when Zeno calmly sips his tea, I just could stare at him in disbelieve.
Seconds until his words sink in; 3, 2, 1…
“Wait, tha-, that’s all!? No-, no explanation or theories or lecture or, I don’t know, is there really nothing, anything, at all!?”
“Th-, that can’t be right. I mean, I’m sure I asked you how it works not how to make them! I mean, like, if I only wanted to know how to make it, I’d go to “the nearest firm and buy the blueprints there”!”
“I believe that is not how it went.”
“Actually, that’s how it went! And no don’t you think that it’ll be a bother to accompany me any longer! I! Paid! For! This! SIR!!”
“No, I’m thinking no such thing.”
“I can see the creases on your eyebrows. You definitely are thinking such a thing.”
The creases got even deeper. I guess it’s actually not that hard to figure what he is thinking.
For the second time, Zeno gazes into me again without saying anything. I don’t understand why he tends to do so, but it feels awkward and, honestly, creepy.
“Fine. Just when I thought I would enjoy some hospitality, someone has to shout at me because I made him an infinite bag. Is this Wednesday already?”
“S-, sorry… I kinda lost my head there…”
“No, clearly you did not. I will tell you how it feels to have your head lost. Anyway, let me see your handkerchief, I’ll show you how it works.”
Following his words, I returned my handkerchief to him. Upon receiving it, he loosened up the string he winded on it then, again, laid the handkerchief open on the table. After some incantation, the handkerchief is afloat for the second time today.
“What did you catch when you saw what I was doing?”
“Pardon? Oh. Uh… since you prepared a mana gem, I can only assume you were enchanting my handkerchief with a spell, but that would be impossible. Enhancements are only to add a few properties to the item, like making it harder to break or easier to cut. So I guess you’re using a new techni—”
“Who decided that?”
“If I want to make my sword to be sharper with magic, I’ll enhance it with Sharpness. If I want to make my clothes to be as hard as steel, I’ll enhance it with Hardness.”
“That would be s—”
“But who said I can’t enhance my bag to be bigger?”
“That’s… umm… nobody?”
“And why would I follow some nobody’s order? I set my own rules.”
Adding to his last remark, another incantation escaped his mouth. The magic formation from before seeped out from my handkerchief, completely on sight this time.
“Bu-, but, that’s impossible… There are limits to what properties can be enhanced to an item, depending on its material. There are materials that can receive mana more effectively than the rest. Mithril, for example, its conductivity of mana is high, thereby—”
“I see you crammed many textbooks into your head before you came here. I suggest you throw them away, they’re blinding you.”
“You see, when it comes to magic, anything is possible. Or should I phrase it like this; It is rather impossible to be impossible.”
“What do you mean?”
“Magic is Illusion that deceives even Gods. When you make a ball of water using Mana, or magic power, what will happen to the ball of water once you release it?”
“It will vanish.”
“It will vanish, true. Because that is what magic is. If you hit a tree with a fireball, what will happen to the tree?”
“It will be burn, that’s common sense.”
“Yes, that’s common sense. That is also why nobody asks about it. It’s natural, just like my tea will be spilled if I tip over my cup. It is foolish to even ask.”
“Okay, but why are you telling me this?”
“Impatient, aren’t we?”
“I-, I mean, you’re being so talkative all of a sudden.”
“And you’re being demanding. I wonder who did frantically ask an explanation just a few minutes ago.”
That one was clearly my fault.
“Suppose you light a cigarette with a fire you produce with magic. The fire will vanish as soon as you get the mana out of the system, but is the cigarette still lit?”
“Of course it’s still lit. That was a rhetorical question. The problem is “why”. Isn’t magic only an illusion? How could something that doesn’t exist influence the world in real time? If I imagine you getting kicked in the face, will that actually happen?”
“I, uh… I’m sorry.”
“Why did you apologize? Did you do something to me?”
“That’s… a rhetorical question, right?”
Ma, save me.
“Where did we leave it again?”
“Ki-, kicking me in the face?”
“Right. There is nothing impossible when it comes to magic. It is but an illusion, it’s supposedly nothing but an illusion, yet it still leaves an impact on the reality. If I say, you can do anything you want to do with it, and only your imagination is the limit, do you understand what I’m trying to say?”
“Are you saying that… there are no rules for magic?”
“Oh, there is a rule; magic consumes mana. The rest, however, depends on the person. For example, I can turn the coin that you’re saving in your pocket into a fortune so you can have your reimbursement without wasting any more resource.”
“Can we move on from that topic? Please?”
“We do that after I demonstrate you how to abuse magic. Now, the coin.”
I found the coin he talked about hiding deep inside my pocket. It’s something that not even I was aware it was on me. I passed my precious dime to him, just as he requested..
This feels like extortion. How did he know there’s a coin in my pocket anyway?
“This isn’t extortion. No, it’s not blackmailing either. It’s an investment.”
“Stop reading my mind, please, if you mind.”
After he received my coin, he started working on the magic formation that emerged from my floating handkerchief.
“Do you know how an infinite bag works? Oh, right, we’re getting there.”
I lose if I reply; therefore I am silence.
“You see, when a box is closed, you can’t see what is inside from the outside. You can guess what it is, you can assume all you want, but you will never know the accurate answer unless you open the box. Once it becomes clear of what resides within the box, all your wrong speculation becomes invalid, and just one fact comes to the surface. However, what if, by any means, the inside of the box remains unknown even after it’s opened?”
“Uh… then, you’re not completely wrong?”
“You’re right. What if, by chance, you’re not putting just one coin, but two coins, into your pocket, but you forgot about the second coin? You’re not even sure there is the second coin, or maybe the third coin.”
“Then, there is a possibility that I have more coins that I thought inside my pocket?”
“Again, right. Now watch this.”
Maybe he was done meddling with the magic formation, Zeno once again turned my handkerchief into an infinite bag then put the coin into it. I don’t know what is he doing, but I’m sure, to god I swear, it will be something that defies my common sense.
After a while, Zeno picked my coin back from the bag then put it on the table.
“Is this your coin?”
“Yes, but, what—”
“We’re not done yet—Is this is also your coin?”
What Zeno showed to me, was the exact same coin he just pulled out from the makeshift infinite bag he made only minutes ago. He placed the second coin next to the first coin as if forcing me to see that there are two exact same coins, sitting next to next.
“B-, bu-, but—!?”
“Too soon—What about the third coin? Do you remember I put three coins in here?”
“A fourth coin? Fifth coin?”
Zeno keeps producing the same, exact, precise coin from the infinite bag. It looked like he was saving more in it, except all of the coins are oddly, and creepily, identical to the last bit.
“One or two coins, reasonable, but how about this?”
Zeno stopped after five. This time, however, he holds the bag upside down then shakes it, as if trying to get something out of it. Then, avalanche happened. An avalanche of neverending coins happened. They are all identical coins.
Coins, coins, coins. Coins here, coins there, coins everywhere. All produced from just a single handkerchief that tied with a string.
My brain froze. My thought process just won’t… processing. I expected something not normal, but that… that is beyond me by leaps and bounds, that is.
“Infinite bag locks the dimension, literally. It’s like an anchor in the space-time fabric. Anything you put into goes into the imaginary space, somewhere out of this reality, out of the Gods’ reach. Tweak it a little bit, and, as you can see, you can trick even the Gods.”
“…O-kay… but won’t all this—”
“Vanish? No. They won’t vanish. Magic is the means, the bag is the means, but the coins? The coins are real. Every single piece of it is real. Just like the cigarette that is lit. Well, lost your head yet?”
“Ahahaha… haha… no way…”
“Ahaha, yes way. Now then, how much is the reimbursement again?”
Special thanks to my Proofreader