Since it was pretty obvious, I will be honest. Yes, there will be “time travel” in future chapters. Last chapter (which is chapter 35.5) acts as a placeholder for when I get to that part. Since I don’t know exactly what chapter number it will be, I just put it as “???”. Hell, I am still trying to figure out if I want to split the dwarven saga into two or three arcs.
I thought I would use the edit option as a part of the storytelling so that the time travelling wouldn’t be so confusing. It will be straight and linear for the readers.
Just remember to check back here in the future, it will be replaced with an actual chapter when the time comes.
***June 6th, 965 A.F.***
I reluctantly woke up when the village rooster crowed. I barely slept a wink last night. There were simply too much to think about last night. In the end, I couldn’t come up with a plan to earn the 15 gold coins.
A gold coin is a lot. It could easily feed our family for at least month. If I get paid for helping out in the field yesterday, I would have only earned four large copper coins, which could feed me for a day. The conversion rates for coins are relatively straightforward to remember. Each small copper coins is equal to the smallest unit, Rutes.
10 Small copper coins convert to 1 large copper coin which equals to 10 Rutes.
10 Large copper coins convert to 1 small silver coin which equals to 100 Rutes.
10 small Silver coin convert to 1 large Silver coin which equals to 1000 Rutes.
10 Large silver coin convert to 1 Gold coin which equals to 10000 Rutes.
100 Gold Coin convert to 1 Platinum Coin which equals to 1000000 Rutes.
The platinum coins are above the gold coins, but peasants like our family will never encounter them. The platinum coins are only used by nobles and royalty.
There were multiple ideas that I had during the night, but after careful consideration, I rejected them all.
The first idea I had was to become an adventurer like those heroes in novels and mangas. The problem with that is I would have to wait till I am 15 years old. You are considered to have become an adult when you reach 15 years old. The adventurer's guild would not accept any children. I could try to lie and cheat, but with my prepubescent look, I doubt anyone would fall for it. Not to mention, I am attempting to hide my strength from everybody. So this idea was struck down almost immediately.
The second idea I had was to find a job in Caedona. Unfortunately, just like child laborers in old Earth, children are paid significantly less than adults. It will be a miracle if I find someone willing to hire me at equal pay as any adults.
This leaves me with the last option. Become a merchant and sell things. I can easily use my father’s name to sell the item if I want people to treat me as an adult when dealing with me. People wouldn’t try to cheat me out of my money… as much.
Since I have previous world’s knowledge, I can use it to my advantage to sell items that have yet to be invented. The problem is what I should sell to earn 15 gold within two years. I made a list of attributes that the item must have. The first and foremost, this thing must be impossible to duplicate. In this medieval world, there are no copyright laws. If I make something great, other people will just copy what I make and sell that at a lower price. Second, it must be cheap to create. I don’t have that much startup capital. Third, It must be something used by the general populace. I need to keep it liquidatable so I can hit the time limit of two years. After thinking about it for the whole night, I still haven’t figured out what to sell.
Still being dead tired, I changed out of my pajamas and headed outside. Warm sunlight befell on my face, and I felt a little bit better. After a few quick stretches, I started on my daily exercise regiment. I began to run around the village, greeting everyone on the way.
I had some ulterior motives for doing such exercise. Besides the fact that I am training myself, I am giving myself an alibi just in case I showed my inhuman strength to the public by accident. In case someone questions why I am so strong, everyone in the village could become my alibi that I had been training since at a very young age. I told everyone that my training regimen includes 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, and run 10 km every single day.
After running for about half an hour, I headed back towards my home feeling refreshed. Once I got there, I picked up two buckets and headed towards the centre of the village. It was my daily chore to fetch water for my family. Usually, I have to go three times a day.
When I got to the well, I saw Oscar using the community well. He is one of the children in the village. Other people in the community say that Oscar could have been my twin brother, with the same shade of red hair as I do. Although he is slightly younger than I was, he was about the same height as me. Seeing that he is struggling to pull up the bucket from the well, I decided to help him a bit.
“Morning Oscar, here let me help you.”
“Morning, and thank you big brother Ajax.”
“No problem at all. You scratch my back; I scratch yours.”
Both of us pulled on the rope that was attached to the bucket. I didn’t need his help, of course. It was done to hide my strength. Sometimes, when I am sure no one is around, I just yank the bucket in one go so I can finish my chores quickly.
We filled all four of our buckets silently and started to head back to our respective home.
Even though we are the same physical age, our mental age is different from all the other child. I don’t get along well with other kids. It’s a bother to act my age.
“Mom, I am home! Is breakfast ready yet?”
“Almost. You fetched water yet?”
“Ya, you need some?”
“Yes dear, can you bring a bucket in here?”
I carried a bucket of water into the kitchen as per instructed. She poured the bucket into a pot and started to prepare porridges for everybody. Without turning around, she began to talk to me while she was cooking everything.
“Ajax, can you tell your mother how you are raising the money to attend the Royal Academy?”
“I haven’t decided on a plan yet. I should have something by the end of the day. Being a child, I think the best would be selling something in Caedona in dad’s name. That way, people wouldn’t cheat me out of my money. Well, less likely to cheat.”
She stopped moving for a second and turned around to face me. She pulled out something from her apron.
“Ajax, this is something I have kept a secret, even from your dad. Don’t let anyone know you have this.”
She put a plain looking silver ring into the centre of my palm. After I had inspected it, I found strange inscriptions on the inside. Remembering the incident with Smaug, I hesitated for a bit.
“This...am I going to turn invisible if I put this on, right?”
“Where did you get such a strange idea? No, this is an enchanted ring of holding. It has been my family heirloom, handed down to me from my parents. It should help you as a merchant. Even if you can’t earn enough gold, you can sell this quickly and get at least ten pieces of gold.”
“Morning, Catherine. Emily is still sleeping, so I figured I head down here first. What’s for breakfast.”
I quickly hid the ring in my pocket. There should be a reason my mother was hiding this from my dad. In the split second, I decided to keep the status quo. I won’t ask her now, but I trust that she will tell me why she is hiding this ring when the time is right.
“Morning, dear. I am almost done. There is breakfast on the table already. You two start eating first.”
I sat down at the and picked up a mug of juice. I was thirsty because of the exercise I was doing during the morning. When I took a sip, I immediately spit it back out.
“Mom, what is this? Had the juice gone bad?”
Both of my parents burst out laughing when they saw me do a spit-take.
“No Ajax, you used the wrong mug. The one you are using is for your dad’s morning ale.”
“Wait till you are a bit older, and then you will learn to love your alcohol.”
At this point, I knew exactly what I should sell.