Under a bright evening sky graced by glowing, ambient moonlight, beyond the castle walls of Radenshire, Kejirion ran frantically, shouting orders about:
"BUILD THE TENTS TO FACE NORTH WITH A SLANTING REAR! THE WINDS ARE STRONG HERE!"
Armored knights along with the Ferric moved as instructed.
Been a good while since I ran around like this.
Bent over, he took deep breaths and gasped for air.
"Are you feeling unwell?" Sanyuine approached from his front.
"... Yeah, just tired -
"I'm starting to smell for the role too, heh." Kejirion grinned as he stood up.
It's my third evening in this world. He thought.
He glanced around to see knights, men, women, and children doing their part in creating a temporary base.
The elderly and sick prepared beds and other interiors.
Most of them were drenched from head to toe, they wore humble ornaments and clothing which adapted to the desert's natural temperature.
"Yui, this is a sight not of poverty, for in the vigor I see in their eyes never have they ever felt more alive." Kejirion grinned widely.
"Anyways..." He continued:
"How are the food rations going?" He asked a passing knight.
"They are presently being distributed to those who are laid and set in a shelter, sir!" The knight responded.
"How long do you think it'll last?"
"W-wha-well - As long as the west provides?" The flustered knight mumbled.
"The what? I'm talking about the food supply?" Kejirion looked at the knight dumbly.
"Er, yessir, we have been ordered by the duke himself to distribute barb supplies directly to the Ferric as aid, and that comes from the west... Am I good to go now sir?"
Dumbstruck, he let the knight off.
I actually forgot to bargain Victorio with that... Was that a mistake or..? He thought, and chuckled.
The night progressed as fast paced as that.
In no time, tents of earth were built to withstand the wind and shelter, instead of hammers and nails, foundations were built with a single chant.
Skilled mages created multiple structures mere minutes which only needed minor polishing.
By the crack of dawn, triangular tents were laid across the southern entrance, each personalized with pots, wares, and heirlooms brought from Ferroland.
In a certain tent of earth, Kejirion slept with a single jacket, his small bag served as a pillow.
*pip-pip* *pip-pip* *pip-pi -*
"A-ta-ta - ow --
"Are these signs of aging?" He chuckled.
Forget morning routines, my back hurts like hell!
The sound of rain in the distance beat the earth constantly,
No one's awake yet huh?
He stretched his neck and checked on his phone reflexively.
Six thirty and... Oh, not connected to the internet... Is Yui close I wonder? He stroked his chin and pressed on the icon that indicated Wi-Fi.
Three out of five..? Not bad I guess. Probably behind this tent.
Outside, soft light revealed the morning mist.
I remember playing a game like this once... He reminisced.
I went camping with a bunch of guildies near a waterfall, though it was a game, the memories were definitely...
He hesitated and revised:
Something that looked like this.
*tap* *slide* *tap*
He selected mute and marked all the messages as read.
I'm not dealing with those pings again!
He scrolled nervously.
The still fog of the morning blanketed the land. To the outside world, the strange earthen tent produced a faint, bright which outshone the calm lull of dawn.
After several minutes, the buzzes and ringing of the notifications died down, leaving silence.
Today is... He puffed a heavy breath of air.
Today is Monday..!
"I better get ready for class - "
He quickly stood up and consequentially hit the hard, low ceiling above him.
His breaths were quick and faint. The world seemed to spin, zooming in and out, his vision blurred.
He gripped his chest tightly, steadying his focus.
Exhausted, he slammed his back onto the corner of a wall and slid slowly.
Right... That's right... Heh... Heheh!
Kejirion pinched the bridge of his nose and smiled maniacally.
"There's no going back from this point, huh?
A dark shadow covered his eyes as he looked down, his hands that gripped his phone tightly quivered noticeably.
"I want to eat fried rice, and mashed potatoes...
"I want to smell the scent of laundry... The blaring of cars early in the morning; the annoying ads on the radio... Ice cream... Air conditioning..." He whispered emptily.
Where he was, there were no sounds of machinery, silence prevailed.
Not a bird chirped, neither did the wind howl, nothing.
Until today, he had not felt the heavy repercussions of societal displacement.
Then... He thought to himself.
Who cares? Just bring all of those things here?
An almost evil grin streaked across his face.
He pat his cheeks lightly and booted the phone.
There were a lot of notifications which came from mail, news, subscribed content, and from the messenger application.
He quickly tapped on a familiar photo that represented who he last talked to.
|John Oliver Yesterday at 09:26 AM
Lel fell asleep, dw i got u
A rather astonishing message displayed on his messenger app.
This man is hella casual, well; whatever.
He's the type of person you could tell that you sold both your kidneys and he'd simply reply 'GG'.
And he hasn't replied since..? Does he think I'm kidding? I'll smack this guy..!
Kejirion grit his teeth, annoyed.
Somehow, that brought energy back to him.
"Eh... Whatever." He continued to open other messages.
Hah? Nothing? Kejirion stared at his screen nervously, expecting more -- messages, calls, alerts; anything.
Silence, he had been left alone yet again.
"Now that I think about it, I'm not that of a big deal?" He chuckled.
"I could have actually died there and then, but to the internet service provider, I'd be displaying normal activity regardless..?"
He laughed energetically.
"GAH! WHO CARES ANYWAYS?!" Kejirion recovered quickly.
"Now then, how are apartments made..."
*tap* *tap* *tap*
Reinforced bars, dump concrete to fill it from the ground up and you've got reinforced concrete...
Several images were presented on his screen, detailing procedures and requirements.
With this knowledge, one should be able to make an apartment?! Would it hold without computations?!
He stroked his chin, deep in thought.
Well, even without knowing weird theorems like the three moment equation and of sort, there were massive buildings that were made in the past so... I guess so? I'll leave it to this world's pro builders I guess?
But lives are on the line, will this really work?
With a few more taps, he looked into safety procedures.
An apartment built with modern knowledge should be a lot safer than an apartment made with guesswork... The chances of a building imploding in one go should be rather rare, as opposed to a random jenga building...
An entire list of schematics were displayed.
What's this? His eyes widened.
I see... So we'll need mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and sanitary engineers for this one...
This is going to be incredibly labour intensive, I wonder if we've got the manpower for it?
Will it be economically viable right now?
He stroked his chin.
Hold on... Is it *magically* possible?
Kejirion's frown quickly turned into a grin.
"I'll check Ferroland, retrieve the plane, and check what our engineers know and can do..."
"I see you're well-rested." A familiar male voice interrupted.
"Rather early today, aren't we, my Duke?" Kejirion responded with a smug demeanor.
"This is my usual waking time..!"
"Wouldn't that mean you woke up extra early today?"
"..!" Victorio gestured with his finger but slowly withdrew it.
Victorio then said:
"Are you ready yet, anyways? I've readied our escorts, do make haste."
"Uwah! I haven't even had breakfast yet but eh, right, I'll have it on the way I guess?"
"Have breakfast on the way? Is that even proper?" Victorio stroked his chin.
"The food is in a can so I could gulp it down while we travel."
"It's preserved food, don't worry about it; I'll introduce the manufacturing of this some other time." Kejirion assured as he fixed his knapsack, phone inside.
Man, I can't wait to get changed... He thought as he sniffed himself around.
He stood up and faced Victorio.
"Shall we?" Victorio led the exit, Kejirion followed from behind.
The atmosphere was calm, but the audible sounds in the distance were anything but at rest.
Kejirion tipped his head to the side to listen.
"Who'd have thought it would rain in FERROLAND in our lifetime?!"
"The work of the gods! No! Beyond that!"
Voices cheered, chanted, and were generally overjoyed.
It seems that they had only realized what had truly happened only after sleeping.
"Not bad... I'd be lying if I said only that." Victorio chuckled, which surprised Kejirion.
"Truly an impressive feat, I thought that I would wake up and it would all go back to normal... But nothing thus far proved my doubts to be true...
"Man without a title, Kejirion! Nail the coffin of my suspicions and bury it in! Present to me a flying machine!"
Victorio was visibly suspicious.
An army of knights were standing by not too far from him.
"Can you really not fly in this world, using magic..?" Kejirion stared into the sky.
"Able, but with extreme difficulty to the point of impracticality."
"Why? How?" He asked Victorio.
"Have you ever tried floating by pulling your own feet up using your hands, staying suspended in the air?" Victorio asked rhetorically.
"..." Kejirion kept silent.
"Obviously, that won't work." Victorio concluded.
"Then get another one to raise you up and raise them up too?"
"Possible, a few have done it; the reason for this is -- spells require chanting, you simply cannot get anyone without prior selection. A mage versed with fire magic may be incompatible with another proficient in water magic... Even if they were both to chant the same line for levitation, suspension would be extremely difficult and draining on their own mana reserves...
"Due to this, levitation no-chants are the most viable, and are rare in this world... A child who might be able to no-chant levitation might lose this ability once they are honed with the other magical disciplines, depending how far the magical logic is from levitation..."
Before Kejirion could say another word, Victorio went on:
"The most common way in this world is through explosion magic, it has been observed that those who are able to do it blast off and leave a conical trail... The faster they're able to chant explosion spells, the faster they'll be... Yet I can't imagine how taxing this must be to one's mana reserves, thus only Foundations and their disciples practice such draining tasks..." He concluded.
This guy... Kejirion grinned nervously.
Victorio would probably qualify as an all-out aviation nerd... Those conical trails are probably similar to wingtip vortices, an effect often seen whenever a jetliner throttles or moves at high speeds... He looked at the man straight.
I doubt that these 'Foundations' or such actually practice explosion magic; rather, they label it that way; or they honestly don't know what they're doing and brute force it... But my money is on...
Kejirion composed his thoughts.
They are likely keeping the method a secret... Wingtip vortices only form when you deliberately add a tip, or a definite point to the wing... Meaning that they're likely chanting something OTHER than explosion magic to keep the generation of lift going... They'll need a platform... Two to make it similar to a modern airplane...
"A-and, did I answer appropriately?" Victorio abruptly looked to the side, avoiding eye-contact.
"Yeah, perfectly, couldn't have asked for more." Kejrion gave him a thumbs up.
"T-then, shall we get going and see the -"
"Not with this much people."
"?!" Victorio was visibly shaken.
"Explosion was it..? Are you suuuure about that?" Kejirion glanced around as he phrased sarcastically.
He paused for a moment to understand what Kejirion was getting at.
"I understand, I'll be assigning them to help around here instead." He was quick to comply.
"Get Solana, Fiocina, and Yui... Yui should be nearby; I'll wait by the large fallen tree directly south of here in half an hour." Kejirion ordered.
"The Radenshire Clocktower is too far up in the northern areas for me to see it immediately, how am I able to tell the time in this case?"
"I was thinking of using calculus to solve just that problem, but for now you may feel around and guess... If you arrived there first, it's not yet thirty minutes; sounds good?"
"Calcu.. What? Fine."
"Excellent, I'll be orienting our staff members with what to do in the meanwhile, do take care."
After their exchange, the two went their ways.
Kejirion ran steadily and observed the town.
The townsfolk were clumped together.
They told stories, played games, knit clothes, and had other pastimes in general.
Some played with improvised musical instruments such as leaves, pots and pans, and nylon strings.
"Hol' up -"
Kejirion came to a halt.
He approached the kids who fiddled with an instrument that resembled a long guitar... or a cello? It was definitely larger than the child holding it.
This is... The kids stopped as Kejirion knelt until their heads were leveled.
"Was'up 'ster?" A starry-eyed boy said in a lively manner.
"You own this?" Kejirion smiled politely.
What? He processed the response.
"Who made these er... strings?" He asked.
"A grea' swam'ster did!!" Another child responded enthusiastically.
"Idiot! We'vn't swan'sters here!" The one who held the instrument bopped the other child's head.
"Grea' hawk 'en 'erhaps?" A lass chimed in.
"Oooooh!" The two boys went.
"You... Get these from monster drops?" Kejirion stroked his chin.
"Hey now kiddos! Don't go botherin' mister!" A demanding voice shout out from behind.
Kejirion looked back to see a fair-skinned lady posed with an arm on her waist.
She had medium-length yellow-ish white hair and light-yellow eyes, and wore a long, plain white cloak with yellow-dyed pointy ends.
I remember this person... Kejirion scratched his cheek to think.
"You are... Silica... Silica Vitreus, was it?" He stood up to face her properly.
"It honors me to know that my name is remembered by he who was appointed by Lady Sanyuine herself." The lady identified as Silica said plainly.
"You praise me too much... Anyways, if I recall, you were assigned to head the information and communications depar- group, right?" Kejirion asked.
"That is correct."
"Give me a two-minute run-down of what happened since yesterday."
Silica paused for a moment, visibly surprised, but calmed down to think rather quickly.
"At first, people were overjoyed that it rained. We brought pans and crates out to savor the rain. Eventually there seemed no end to it, the folks calmed down and returned to their homes, still enthusiastic. Approximately an hour after that, knights from Radenshire requested we move with them. I am uncertain of what convinced us to move without lady Sanyuine's orders, I suspect the rain, however. Forward in time, we take shelter from the rain here as we speak." She said quickly.
"Anyone left behind?" He followed up.
"Chance of someone sneaking back?"
"Close to nil."
"Under what basis?"
"Lady Sanyuine is here."
Upon hearing this response, Kejirion fell silent.
This devotion is clearly not normal. He lowered his head to think, after a moment he then said:
"Excellent, I'd like to know about these strings, you see." He stepped aside, revealing the stringed instruments.
Silica knelt and inspected the instrument held by the awestruck kids.
"These are common drops from fibrous worms..." She plucked the strings, which in turn produced a sound.
That's a G! Kejirion grinned.
"Drops?" He asked.
"Unprocessed material from monster carcasses. Drops have rarity, either depending on the creature's development or whether it swallowed an item from other adventurers." She stood up to face him.
"Ah wait what -"
Just now I think I heard something very important - Kejirion's mouth gaped.
"There are monsters- I mean mobs... Er, creatures you hunt regularly for commerce in this world?"
"Yes... It is what I do, is such a thing strange? I thought it was rather common practice... Or is it because I am a woman? If such is the case I assure you that I am more than capable."
"That's definitely not the case -- I apologize for being surprised but... How do you get the energy to? I thought that the Ferric needed barbs to stay healthy?"
"I simply cook what is edible. Truthfully, I'm one of the few who don't require the consumption of barbs... You can tell from my complexion and magical affinity..."Her voice trailed off.
"And? How'd these kids get the strings?" Kejirion asked.
"S'ica gave it 'ta us!" The child butt in.
"I-I did not! You merely found it, toyed with it, and decided to keep it out of your own volition... I simply consented, seeing no use for..." She responded childishly.
Nylon... Huh... Kejirion stared at the sky.
An impressive material, it can be used to make tents, parachutes, bags, ropes, strings, suits... You name it. He began to recount.
"Were clothes attempted to be made from these?" He asked out loud.
"Yes, though they tend to be heavy, itchy, and with large holes, hence practitioners of such come in rare." Silica responded.
"... I see."
Kejirion stroked his chin and glanced to the side, deep in thought.
Earlier, Victorio mentioned the existence of a clock tower... Be it run by magic or gears, it's proof of this world's acknowledgement of mechanical engineering at the very least.
I'd like to rule out the clock being run by magic, because if such convenience existed, everyone would have clocks and he wouldn't have to run all the way there.
If the magical item to make it was too valuable, it would be a target of thievery. I think it checks out, not even Fiocina considered Radenshire to be the safest.
And right in front of me, nylon material.
He inspected the instrument being plucked by laughing children.
They know how to knit it seems...
"Silica." Kejirion spoke out.
"Your clothes, was it made from plant or cattle?"
"How were your clothes made?" He asked as he stared at her clothing.
"If this is a cheesy line to get me to undress I would have to apologi-"
"I'm not interested in that, how were your clothes made?"
The two stared at each other blankly.
To restart the conversation, Silica coughed and went ahead first:
"Plants then... I suppose, we take riverside wildgrass and a bunch of other requests and give it to a weird guy in Radenshire."
A weird guy in Radenshire? Perhaps a tailor? Kejirion thought to himself.
"Hm, wouldn't that incur a cost though?" He asked.
"Surprisingly, not a cent, though they do ask to be called honourable and whatnot, requiring to be praised for their work... Aside from that, they ask for materials, we gatherers obtain these, and they'll craft apparel for us..."
"What you're wearing now, is it from them?"
"Indeed it is."
"As for these kids?"
"We tore most apart and knit once more for others as we have no means of producing fabric, the cloth is more important for general use."
"I see... That's interesting..."
Kejirion shuffled around his bag, got his phone, and checked the time.
Hm, I spent eight minutes here, not too bad.
"In any case, I actually need the Ferroland board right now, could you go get them? I'll wait by... That house -"
He pointed at a house that appeared larger than the others, south.
"Board?" Silica asked.
"The ones who were voted to represent."
"I see... Understood... In that case I can call them now." She stood firmly.
Silica then took Kejirion's hand, then raising both of theirs to the air.
"H-hold on what are you -"
She glowed and gave him a cheeky smile.
"< I am Silica Vitreus -"
WHAT AN IMPULSIVE WOMAN - ! Kejirion was visibly shaken as Silica started her chant.
What does she expect -
It was at that moment he realized her intentions, his eyes then widened, he broke into cold sweat as Silica grinned at him with expectant eyes.
He steadied his breathing in an attempt to calm down.
AmIactuallygoingtodoitpleasenoIhopethisworksohboyohboyohboyohboy ! ! ! The world to him seemed to be spinning.
Both their arms raised, he stared into the sky and shouted with conviction.
"< My name... Is Kejirion! "