E shook his head and climbed aboard the car, patting the driver seat beside him. “Put the key in the ignition and give it a gentle twist,” he said, gesturing towards the dashboard in front of him.
Vur sat down while Stella peered at the wheel as he stuck the key inside. The car roared to life when he turned the key. He nodded and glanced at E. “Now what?”
“Now you adjust the three mirrors so you have vision of your surroundings,” E said. “Then you wiggle this stick over here, called the shifter, to switch from unmoving to moving forward to moving backwards and finally to moving forward extremely fast.”
Stella glanced at the shifter and tilted her head. “Wouldn’t it make more sense to put the moving forward extremely fast before the moving backwards?” she asked, frowning at the letters drawn onto the car.
“Yes, it would,” E said, “but there’s some technical difficulties. If you switch from moving forward to moving forward extremely fast without placing it into reverse first, there’s a high probability of the engine exploding. We’re not sure why putting it after reverse lowers the explosion rate, but hey, it works, so that’s the way it has to be.”
“How do I make it move?” Vur asked as played around with the shifter.
“The right pedal makes it move. The left pedal makes it stop,” E said. “You’ll get used to it. Try to reverse out of this parking lot and onto the road. Spinning the wheel left makes the car move left and vice versa.”
“What’s this button?” Stella asked, pointing at a big red button located above the shifter.
“That activates the cannons,” E said. “Don’t touch it.”
“Oh,” Stella said and nodded even though she didn’t know what a cannon was. “Maybe you shouldn’t put it in such a touchable place, and you should make it look less pressable.”
“That’s what I told Plumby,” E said. “He said the bright-red color was enough to act as a deterrent.”
Stella scratched her head as the car lurched out of the parking lot. “Plumby sounds dumb.”
“He designed the car,” E said. “Some people are smart in some ways but stupid in others. A good leader might not make a good cook. A great engineer might not be a good user interface designer. That’s why it’s important to delegate roles to those who are capable.”
“But you didn’t delegate any user interface designer to help Plumby,” Stella said and furrowed her brow.
“And some people are just a complete nightmare to work with, but they’re so good at their jobs that they don’t get fired,” E said. “That’s Plumby.” He glanced at Vur who was maneuvering the car around a corner to head towards the main road. “You’re doing great for someone who’s never driven before.”
Vur nodded. “It’s like driving Willy,” he said. Once he made it out of the palace, he moved the shifter down to moving forward extremely fast and pressed the gas pedal all the way to the floor of the car.
E’s eyes widened as he was forced back into his seat. Wind blew past, causing his hair to fly wildly, and Stella had to grab onto Vur’s ears to prevent herself from being blown away. “Slow down!” E shouted as he inched closer to the center of the car. “Why are you going so fast!?”
“Fast?” Vur asked and turned his head, his foot still pressed on the gas pedal. “This feels pretty slow.”
“Keep your eyes on the road!” E shouted. “And take your foot off the pedal!”
Vur snorted and lifted his foot. The car slowed down, and E spat a bug out of his mouth while fixing his hair. “I just realized a few crucial features that were lacking,” the dwarf king said. “There has to be something to tether us to the seat, so we don’t fall out in case you swerve while going that fast. Maybe I’ll call it a seatbelt? And we need something to shield us from the wind and bugs; otherwise, it’d be too difficult to keep our eyes open. Something to shield us from the wind…, let’s call it a windshield.”
Vur sighed as the car puttered along. “Why did you want me to slow down?”
“Because I don’t want to die,” E said. “And what do you mean it’s like driving Willy? You have something similar where you’re from?”
“Willy’s my pet spider,” Stella said. Her eyes widened, and she covered her mouth with both her hands before glancing at Vur. “Err, Vur’s pet spider. I know because he said so in his sleep once.” She nodded twice before hiding inside Vur’s hair.
“Willy’s a pet, but he’s big,” Vur said. “Bigger than this car. He moves much faster too.” He pressed the gas pedal all the way down, causing the car to speed up again. A golden aura appeared over his eyes to help him see despite the wind blowing into his face.
“I thought you were going to drive slower!” E shouted as he squinted and shrank into his seat.
“No,” Vur said and shook his head. “There’s an easier solution. If you die, I’ll revive you. Now you don’t have to worry, right?”
“No!” E said. “That’s not how it works!”
“Just trust me,” Vur said and rolled his eyes. “What’s your intuition say?”
“It says you shouldn’t drive!”
Vur snorted and glanced up. There was a sign to his right that had names and distances written on them. “Those signs are convenient,” he said as it blurred past. “I should put some up in the sky back home.”
E lowered himself further into his seat. “Just follow the signs to Mt. Inesia,” he said. “Please don’t crash into anything.” He let out a whimper. “Am I the only one who’s frightened of how fast Vur’s going?”
“Yup,” Stella said from within Vur’s hair.
“If a physical impact could kill me, I think I’d be just as terrified as you,” Diamant said. “But it can’t, so I’m not.”
“I really should’ve just been an investor,” E mumbled.