Knowing where Darren was leading to, Lachlan’s answer was direct in order to stamp down any painful, false hope. “The portal has never been found since she left. And it’s likely that it was sealed almost completely because the influx of humans greatly diminished after. But even if you could find it and travel successfully, there’s no way to ensure that you would return where and when you had left Earth. Space-time itself would likely prevent you from ever setting foot within millenniums of your original time. As for the Knight-Mages, they were still only human, so they didn’t live as long as the elementals. Although their descendants were strong, their power weakened over many generations.”
Instantly, the boy deflated. Darren half sighed, half scoffed. He leaned back in his chair and and looked up at the ceiling. The remaining trace of floundering hope in his heart drowned in the somber, swelling reality. Now, it was truly clear that there was no way back. Desolate, Darren just vacantly stared down at the booklet in his hands. Essairyn looked over at him sympathetically. She handled the news better since she had resolved to live in this world the other day. But a stifled corner of her conscience cried out in guilt. Essairyn squeezed her eyes shut in order to put an end to the gnawing remorse. You’re stuck here, so it’s okay to live as you want. You don’t have to try looking for a way back to Earth. It’s okay. You’re okay. She opened her eyes and released her subconsciously clenched fists. She determined that this would be the last time she would dwell on the subject.
As Essairyn closed the booklet, she paused at the first line of the history. Tymlune, the timeless one, forged Earth… She mused that this must be the name of the creator god of this world. Various parts of Sol’h’meyr’s history shared parallels with other cultures’ and religions’ creation stories on Earth. A savior, a flood, a new kingdom… Of course now, she was starting to question all the religions of the world. A droll smile plastered her lips. If only the people back home knew this…
However, a world that was only eight millennia old seemed like an infant to Essairyn. It wasn’t possible that Earth could exist for billions of years while Sol’h’meyr was barely even a speck in the bucket of Earth’s time. But seeing as Sol’h’meyr was relatively advanced for a civilization not even ten thousand years old, perhaps the elemental gods had created Sol’h’meyr during the age of rapid human development. Sighing, she turned to Lachlan again.
“Could you teach us about currency, demons and spirits, elementals, and magic more?” If they were going to survive in the world, they needed to know more than just history. Currency was first on Essairyn’s mind after the embarrassing scene at the market. But the rest was of especial interest to her.
“Of course, I was meaning to teach you just that,” Lachlan responded before taking out a sheet of paper and pen from his magic cache. He actually did mean to move onto those subjects, but he was curious to why she mentioned currency first. She didn’t completely come off as the practical sort to him.
Writing down on the paper as reference, he deftly drew various shapes of coins. He explained that an eleuar was worth sixteen synde, and a synde was worth sixteen pynce. Both eleuars and syndes came in whole, hathe, and quarthe forms, respectively meaning one, one-half, and one-fourth. Pynces came in the same forms plus two additional forms: an eythe or eighth, and a seythe or sixteenth. Eleuars were made of ra’lerium, a white metal with a faint ice blue gleam. Syndes were made of gold, and pynces were made of silver or copper if they were eythe or seythe. In order of most valuable to least valuable, the coins increased slightly in size.
“However, a quarthe eleuar is the same size as a synde while a quarthe synde is the same size as a pynce, and a quarthe pynce is the same size as an eythe pynce,” Lachlan finished with a flourish of the pen. An accurate representation of the coin sizes and engravings marked the front page.
Essairyn gawked at the page, amazed at his speedy drawing skills. She took out her coin pouch and placed the various coins on top of the circles. They matched perfectly. “Wow! You drew them exactly the same! So, if I’m understanding this right, I have one eleuar, two hathe eleuars, four syndes, five pynces, four hathe pynces, and one eythe pynce?” Of course, she had spent one eythe pynce earlier on the green jewel.
“Correct.” Lachlan suppressed a twitch of his brow. The girl had supposedly just arrived yesterday, but she already had an ample amount of money. She couldn’t have possibly stolen it, but the nice leather coin pouch suggested otherwise.
“Nice!” Essairyn subdued her ecstatic gratification. The Andelrins had been rather generous with her based on what Lachlan had said a mere pynce could buy. For a nice, short time, she could live easily on this money while trying to settle into this world. On that thought, however, she flashed her eyes over at Darren. She was already traveling with a bottomless pit that was Akari, so if she took another another travel buddy, the money would definitely run out much quicker. Regardless, she was still intent on hooking Darren into adventuring with them.
“Do you know the value of these items, if any?” Essairyn retrieved the beast demon claw and jaguar’s tooth and scales.
Once again, Lachlan repressed the surprise on his face. He wondered if she had been killing demons and selling their drops. Certainly it would explain the sizable amount of money she owned in such a short time span. “This claw is from a second tier bear demon, an erhinde. It’s of uncommon rank and worth one eleuar. The tooth and scales came from a valguarkin, a hybrid jaguar demon with faint dragon-blood ancestry. The tooth is worth five eleuars while the scales are each worth one eleuar. However…”
“However?” Essairyn indiscernibly narrowed her gaze.
Lachlan pursed his lips. “That is what they’re worth, but since it’s obvious you’re still new here, some merchants might try swindling you for less…” With those kinds of high-value items, she should have much more money on hand than currently. While Reisparte was known for its illustrious market trade, it was equally infamous for swindling the ignorant that often visited.
“Ahhh….” Essairyn uttered with a knowing nod. Lachlan’s words reminded her of the hooded man from earlier. He had said the same thing. Regardless of the questionable flirtation, it seemed that the stranger really had been honestly helping her.
“Then spirits and demons, elementals, and magic?” Her words came out in a slight rush of excitement, making Lachlan faintly smile.
“Yes..” He flipped over the page and once again speedily scribbled down information. “Demons and spirits are classified by numbered tiers instead of alphabetic ranks like for Mages and Knights.” Essairyn already knew about classifications from Akari, so she jotted down anything new said in her head. Both the fourth and fifth tiers made up less than two percent each of the demon and spirit population. Since a fifth tier was considered B/A rank while a fourth was C/B rank, then spirits and demons indeed laid in-between elementals who consisted of one percent A and five percent B while humans consisted of one percent B and very fractionally of one percent A. From an elemental to a human, the power ranges were like left skewed bell curves shifted progressively further to the left.
“…your magic control is double of your magic capacity. For demons and spirits, it’s also double, but for elementals, it’s quadruple. Lastly, besides the magic cache, inventories can also be synthetically produced inside gemstones with large magical capacities. These are the same stones which are commonly used by mages as amulets for storing m’u.” Ending on the last string of information, Lachlan returned the pen to his inventory and handed the paper to Essairyn for keeping. She then stored it in her magic cache, too. Darren eyed the hidden inventories with some envy. Even if he was still getting over the fact that he could never return to Earth, the reality of magic enraptured him. After all, he was all too familiar with video games and their virtual fantasy worlds. But even despite that, the conception of magic would be enchanting, perhaps frightening too, for anyone.