My ultimate hope and dream for this little story is to have someone translate it into other languages just like those Japanese WN and LN.
***June 7th, 965 A.F.***
“Hello, Mister Mayor. My name is Ajax McGuire. I heard from my father that you wanted to meet with me before you let me graduate.”
I did a little bow out of courtesy before I sat on the chair. Having a body of a child, I struggled a little, climbing onto the chair designed for an adult. After I properly seated myself on the chair, I looked at him confidently. I want to show him that I am not just any ordinary child. It was imperative that he treats me as an adult if I want to negotiate a fair deal out of him.
“Please, just call me Tom. Let’s skip the pleasantry and go straight to business. I am a busy man, you know. I heard from both your father and your teacher that you wanted to graduate early. I looked back at the history of this town and I found no such precedence. Can you tell a reason why I should make an exception for you to graduate early?”
“Let me answer your question with another question of my own. What is the purpose of the mandatory education?”
“That is easy. The founding kings of the dwarven kingdom made the policy so that everyone can live in the society where we all have a common starting point. It is to ensure everyone have a fair chance at a decent life.”
“You really think that is the real reason?”
“Oh? From your tone, you don’t agree with this. So what is your view?”
“If it was to ensure everyone have a common starting point, why isn't the Royal Academy free as well? The Royal Academy is catered for the rich as it is. No, the reason why there is free education is simply, money.”
“Free education is just the bait. By making education mandatory, the nobles have an accurate idea of the number of the population using the records of graduation. After all, you can’t tax someone if you don’t know they exist.”
“That is an interesting idea.”
“Not to mention, by having everyone educated, it lowers the costs to run the kingdom in the long term. For example, let’s say the king wants to make an announcement throughout the whole kingdom. If everyone was not educated, they would have to hire someone and yell out the announcement in every single town. That costs a lot of money. Not to mention, it is not very efficient. If everyone is educated, all they have to do is send out the message to be posted where everyone could see. Education is the lubricating oil for the kingdom. It keeps everything running smooth.”
“So what does this have to do with your early graduation? I don’t exactly see a connection.”
“I have already learned everything that I need to learn from school. I don’t know if my father told you this, but I knew how to read and write since I was two. There is nothing I can learn by staying in school. I could have stayed in school for the next two years, but that would be wasting my time. The reason that I need to graduate early is the same reason for the kingdom giving everyone a free education, money. Here take a sip of this.”
I pulled the wineskin filled with alcohol out of my bag and handed it to him. He gave me a puzzled look before taking a sip. Just like how my mother acted, after the first sip, he didn’t stop until the wineskin was empty. After that, he let out a satisfying sigh and gave me back the wineskin. Damn it, why does everyone finish the whole thing when I told them to take only a sip. At this rate, I will run out of samples.
“What is this? This is amazing! The taste rivals the wine that they make in the capital!”
“It will taste even better after leaving them in a wooden barrel for a while. I named it Belhern Whiskey. This is something that I have processed from the typical ale that everyone drinks. As you could tell, this product has tremendous potential. What I want to do is make enough money so that my fiance and I can attend the Royal Academy in two years. In order to do that, I need to graduate from school right now so that I can concentrate on producing this. This is the other reason that I came to meet you today. I want to make both of us rich.”
“I am listening.”
“Being a child of a small village, I have no connections to sell Belhern Whiskey. I would try to find contacts myself, but I simply don’t have the time to do so. I was hoping we can be partners in this business ventures. I can use the connections you have...”
*Knock knock knock*
“Sir Tom, John has arrived as per his appointment.”
Our conversation was interrupted by a knock on the door. It was the old butler. He stood outside and spoke through the door to inform the mayor that he has another visitor waiting for him. Seeing that the mayor had a prior engagement, I asked if we should continue this discussion another time.
“I am sorry for taking so much of your time. Should I come back another day?”
“No, you stay seated. Frank, reschedule his appointment for tomorrow. In fact, remove all my appointments for the rest of the day, I have a lot to discuss with this young gentleman.”
“As you wish, sir.”
The mayor turned his attention back to me with a slightly embarrassed smile.
“Sorry about that. I didn’t plan for this meeting to go on for so long. Originally, I was just curious about you since everybody I asked called you a genius. That’s why I set up a meeting with you. I was going to let you graduate regardless of what happened during this meeting. Looks like I got a bit more than what I asked for.
“No problem, now let us get back to business.”
We discussed the business plans for the whiskey for a long time. We talked about all the details, such as how to split the profit, who to sell to and how much it should cost. Out of our conversation, I learned about the existence of magic contracts.
A magical contract consists of three parts: A vow from the first party, a vow from a second party, and the consequence for the party that breaks their promise. Common consequences are slavery, which causes the party that broke the contract unable to refuse any order from the other party, and death. You can also get a bit creative, such as cursing them with impotency until reparations are paid in full. One benefit the magic contracts have over traditional contracts is that they are based on the spirit of the contract, not the letter of the contract. Though there could still be loopholes that someone can abuse, so I will have to be careful when I sign them.
The lengthy discussion lasted well into the night. I ended up staying for dinner with the mayor. Frank, the butler, brought dinner into the office while we kept talking business. In the end, we talked for so long that I had to stay over for the night. The butler prepared the guest room for me. As soon as I plopped on the soft bed, I closed my eyes and drifted into my dreams.