"It'd be nice to play with you~ So I'll wait for you 'til then… The end… Soooo," I looked above a piece of paper I was reading from, "what'd you think?"
"I don't like it," Sylphy said.
Et tu Fairy?!
"Why, I thought you'd love it?!" I asked.
This is my heart and soul you know! Please be gentle as you step all over it!
I worked so hard on it too…
"Why does the love interest have to have green hair, and why does she have to die?" She crosses her arms, pouting, and looking away, mildly peeved.
There's that I suppose.
In the solace of my room I just read to her, read not sang, my story on the princess of evil.
Singing it was a one time thing. I wasn't going to go through that performance again. It's exhausting. My respect for the arts have increased.
My apologies bards everywhere, you're not just sexcraved lunatics that want to stick it in everything… mostly.
With how nerve wracking it was to sing it, I just read it instead. It's a story very dear and close to my heart so obviously I would share it with those important to me. Wouldn't want to leave her feeling left out after everyone already experienced it.
I didn't think she would dislike it though.
Hah… everyone's a critic.
They are very nice tales, Vocaloid songs, and Sylphy being a fairy tale enthusiast would like them, I assume. I know her parents read her fairy tales so I assume she likes them, but I haven't asked, but books aren't cheap so it's a fair assessment.
In any case, unlike the two ladies downstairs, I was confident she wouldn't have broken down and cried during my read.
…but unfortunately she hates it.
Rudeus is sad. Rudeus will go now, and die in a ditch now. Don't look for Rudeus, Rudeus is already dead.
"I see… I thought you'd like the heroine. She's pretty, and loved by all, including a prince."
I could only sing it so many times anyway, before I'd die of embarrassment. Perhaps I should have swallowed my embarrassment, and sang one more time.
Although… singing to a girl in private… that sounds alot like a flag. Almost raised a flag.
"And she dies. Can't you change it?"
"...don't want to."
I really don't want to change it.
The song/story has a very special place in my heart, as during my useless days in another world, back on earth, Vocaloid songs were my heart and soul. When I could barely move, and I separated myself from the world, not knowing what is popular or trending, I just went down the otaku rabbit hole, and not caring for what was 'good,' or popular I found Vocaloid songs, and fell in love with them. Those songs were my first source of happiness those days.
I must have heard those songs a thousand times.
I listened to them at the beginning… and at the end.
They were the last songs I heard the day I died.
"...if Rudy doesn't want to change it… that's fine too," she concedes.
"...thanks… I'll make you a fan yet."
"If that's what Rudy wants," Sylphy says.
"Sooo… there's a chance?" I ask.
"Maybe… The story was nice, but," she twiddles her fingers, cycling them in circles in front of her, "wouldn't it be better if the green haired girl married the blue-haired prince, and then they fought the queen."
You have too much faith in my creative ability.
"But then the events of the story wouldn't happen. Then it would just be a fairytale."
"Isn't it supposed to be a fairytale?"
"Yes, but it isn't supposed to be 'just,' a fairytale. I want my sisters to think about its meaning."
"Besides, the green haired girl isn't a hated demon or anything, but a lovable commoner girl that a prince would risk everything for. So that's pretty good right. I mean, if I, no, when I get this story to be popular, and spread the word over and over, then the image of green haired girls would become positive right? It will be nice when people start thinking of green haired girls as girls as kind and beautiful as princesses."
"...that does sound nice. I guess the story isn't that bad." she twirls a stray hair curl dangling by the corner of her face. "Hey Rudy, do you like green haired girls?"
Now if that isn't a loaded question I don't know what is.
"I like all kinds of colorful hair… green is vibrant."
Her ears droop.
"...but I think Sylphy's luminous green hair the most. It's so bright, and lively, it reminds me of spring."
"He he~" she puts her hands to her cheek, eyes closed, smiling widely.
Well isn't she happy. Whatever, if a few words make her smile I don't mind saying them. Hmm… I wonder…
"Remind me, how did you feel about my story again?"
"It's the best!" She yells.
Well, so am I. My mood has improved!
"Yosh, next time I need an actress for my plays, I'm coming to you first."
"Sure!" she yells, her hands still on her cheeks, and eyes closed.
…I'm not sure if she's even paying attention, but I'll remember it.
"Alright, I got stuff to do."
"Eh?" she brakes from her stupor.
"Keep mama and Lilia company downstairs. I'm sure you'll enjoy playing with them."
"I'm not coming?" she asked.
"Trust me, you'll have more fun here with them than with me, I'm going to be… working? I guess."
I struggled to put what I'm going to do next into words. Preparations? Excavating? Training? Hunting? All of the above?
I have a busy schedule.
"Regardless, Sylphy look after my family, see yah," I called it a day, and opened the door to my room.
"Hmmm!" she pouts, giving me a small glare.
Sorry fairy, but you have to be at least this tall, for that to have any effect.
That said… Please don't start glowing your eyes. That is actually a little scary.
"Rudy's been 'working,' for several days. We haven't play-ahem," she coughed into her fist.
I heard that.
"Trained! In a while."
"I understand, but I have things to do. I can't always be training with Sylphy. Sometimes I have to do things by myself. I am the teacher you know. I have to go ahead, so I can come back to you and teach you safely. So we can train, or play new games later," I say standing by the open door.
I'm serious. If she were to follow me during my training sessions, well… her safety would be in trouble. I am a bit… reckless with my own being, but I have healing and flight magic, even in the worst case scenario, I feel I would survive.
But I won't take half assed measures with others.
Honestly… you learned something new about yourself everyday. Thinking back on my life recently, and the me from back on earth was quite… pitiful. Didn't really have friends in the traditional sense. As like my love life, it was… superficial. Meaning I didn't see them beyond online.
So I really couldn't know, not really, how far I'd go for my friends.
Turns out I'm quite protective.
Picking up an empty satchel leaning by the doorside, and putting on the light jacket that was resting on its hook, I made for the exit.
"How long would Rudy be gone for?"
"Let's see… it's an hour, no, fifteen minutes over there," I turned to her, noticing her noticeably unhappy expression, her arms crossed. "Let's see… I'd be using my modified kite, then I will probably have to work for around two hours… then an hour back, so… A while."
"...fine," she sulked.
"...ok, I'm off now," fully packed. I made my way out of my room.
"Ok." She gets off my bed and follows along.
…carrying her kite as well.
Ah… young lady, what are you doing?
Walking down the hall, and down the stairs I asked. "Um… Sylphy, why are you carrying your kite? I don't think you'll need it to play checkers, you know?"
"I'm coming too."
I turned to look at her determined face.
"No, you're not."
She grasps my arm, holding it tight.
I turned to her, and… I see it would be difficult removing her.
She's not gonna take no for an answer is she. What happened to the cute kohai that would do everything I say?
Oh that's right, I beat it out of her!
Whoa… that doesn't sound right.
"Hah… change of plans I suppose."
I suppose I have been leaving her in the dust lately. I'll just adjust my plans a little to remove the dangerous parts out of my schedule.
Seriously, what happened to the shy kouhai.
She's grown a little more confident in herself these days. She still listens to what I say, but… if it's inconvenient, she can go against it.
I guess the worries of her being dependent on me are mute now.
I pity Laws, when she starts going through her rebellious phase.
"You'll grow bored, you know."
"No I won't. Rudy's right there."
After hearing the weirdest compliment ever. Please tell me that was a compliment.
I kept walking along with Sylphy at hand.
Making my way down the living room, it was time for me to make my farewells, seeing as I won't be home for several hours.
Poking my head through the entrance way, I see…
"Mmmh… not fair. I was playing this game before you, how are you this good?"
"Hmph. Foresight, I have it in spades, I won the last ten games in a row!" Zenith crosses her arms holding her head up with pride.
"...before I learned the rules. And Madame proposed, and I quote; 'It's not that complicated you'll learn it as play along," Lilia responded, tilting her glasses, menacingly?
I see two beauties going at it.
…hmm, that also doesn't sound right. Also;
Nice I approve.
It's not often I see the glasses tilt thing done in real life.
Well as long as they're having fun.
Before me are the two beauties of the greyrat household. On the left we have a demure, allegedly, maroon haired maid hovering over black chess pieces, and across from her we have the queen of the household, self proclaimed queen of games; Yugi-I mean! Zenith Greyrat, hovering over the white.
Rah-rah, and the crowd goes wild.
Jokes aside, the sight of two grown women playing chess enthusiastically. As beautiful as it is, it's also hilarious.
Muahaha, bow before me, mortals! For I have invented the game of kings!
Peculiar, but not unpleasing, the sight of these two goofing around brings a smile to my eyes. Although, a snicker almost escapes my lips as I see them goof..
I lean back against the stairs as I watch these two. It's the little things in life you know. It's their fun playing around, and I have fun watching them… well, watching Zenith explain herself. Now this should be good.
Oh, do explain, oh great chess master. Explain how you were trying to make her a great player, by beating her down when she doesn't know the rules. Please, I need some entertainment.
Zenith flinches. "Ha ha… I-I mean I-It worked right? It was all part of my plan to get you to become a great chess player." Zenith touches her fingertips looking away slightly.
Yeah, not a chance. Even I don't believe that. You just wanted to win as long as possible didn't you?
"Is that so?" Lilia grabs a knight, and places it strategically at an angle, giving her bishop a clear path at the king. "Checkmate," she adjusts her glasses, a smirk gracing Lilia's face.
Ah, I see what you did there.
Guess, all good things must come to an end.
"Eh? But my… eh?" Zenith mutters. She looks up and down from her board to Lilia.
Sorry, but no matter how much you turn your head, you can't deny the reality. You lost.
Zenith exe. has stopped working.
Good game scrub, but it's over.
I walked to the table. "Touch luck mama, but… you created a monster."
"Rudy!" she rushes at me, and hugs me to her chest in a heartbeat, "Lilia's bullying me. Please avenge me, and defeat her for me?"
"Nope." I shut her down.
We've grown irrevocably closer to each other. All of us. After that night with my performance, the barriers between us began to shatter. It wasn't anything immediate. The next day was an awkward day of furtive glances here and there from all parties, as we struggled to open up.
But opened up, we did.
We pushed on. And on, and on, and on. And… Well, we're here.
We've developed a relationship that goes beyond titles and positions. Where honesty is not just the best policy, but the only policy. Lilia and Zenith are closer than ever. I'm closer to Zenith and Lilia, and we're all much more in forefront with each other. Overall we're just close.
Speaking of close…
"Air… Mama air," I struggle to say, tapping at her back.
Maybe sometimes too close.
Rudeus Greyrat; deceased age seven. He died as he lived… smothered in breasts. Ha! If only.
Pushing away from me, she throws a hand to her chests, dramatically. "Traitors, traitors. Mhuu! I'll remember this! Next time we'll play… play… um… checkers? Yeah, checkers. I'll show you no mercy." she declares.
So we're going to play a game that involves little to no strategy huh?
The funny thing is Zenith loves games.
The funny thing is she sucks at games.
Well atleast all the ones I've made.
Sidenote; she's decent at checkers.
"Rudeus, Sylphy" Lilia bows her head. "It's a pleasure to have you in our household. Has the master been treating you alright?"
"Mmh!" Sylphy nods her head. "Rudy's been treating me great. He's taught me a lot of things, we're keeping busy," she says from behind me. Rushing past me she closes the gap between her and Lilia, before pulling on her apron asking her to kneel. As Lilia gets on her knees Sylphy covers her ear, and whispers something to it.
"...I see. I look forward to it," Lilia takes a glance at me, before adjusting her glasses.
"…if you're going to conspire against me, can you at least do it when I'm not in the room."
"Sylphy come here," Zenith opens up her arms asking for a hug.
To which Sylphie responds, hugging her.
"Aww! What an adorable girl. If my next child is a girl, I hope she grows up to be as adorable as you."
"...at adorable," Sylphy mutters.
"Yes you are! Now how do you feel about playing checkers with me? Together we can get revenge on Rudy and Lily. He's been hard on you lately right~ don't you wanna beat him?" she tells her.
"Checkers is a two player game mama. Also, what are you doing? Stop trying to turn my students against me."
"What's mine is mine, and what's yours is also mine? Since Rudy is mine, your students are also my students."
"What kind of messed up logic is that?! You tyrant! Who's bullying who?!"
"Rudy…" she lets go of Sylphy, walks next to me, and kneels, before putting a hand on my shoulder, and looking at me with somber eyes. "Rudy… if there is one truth in this world, that I've learned, and you should keep to heart it is…" she pauses, closing her eyes and gathering her breath, before reopening them, "A pregnant woman is always right." She smirks.
Can I bite you?
"...I hate you"
"Nope~" she boops me in the nose, tapping it with her index finger, before standing. "You don't. Now come on," she pulls me by the hand, "don't you wanna play with us?"
"As tempting as that would be, I have things to do. Sorry, I'll see you later." I put my free hands on top of hers, and gently separated myself from her.
"Oh? That's too bad. Oh well, I guess it's just you and me again, Lilia. Oh! One more thing," she bends down and whispers in my ear. "Could you invent something less skill based, and more luck based so I can win more?"
Ha! How Petty! I love it!
"Sure, I'll think about it. My queen's word is absolute afterall."
Think doesn't mean yes, just that I'll think it. lol.
At my 'admittance' She wraps her arms around me in a heartbeat, and plants a wet one on the side of my face.
"Fugwa?" words? Escaped my mouth. That was unexpected.
Whoa… well… that made my heart skip a beat.
At least give a man some warning. If I don't expect it, I don't know how to react. Are you trying to give me a heart attack?!
"Thank you. Now go out, and have some fun of your own. Watch over him, Sylphy. Rudy sometimes acts before he thinks," she walks to my student, and pats her head.
"Yes Ma'am!" she salutes.
"I feel like everyone is having fun at my expense."
"Not true master," Lilia interjects. "We're all having fun with Rudy," she smiles devilishly. "At Rudy's expense."
Indeed very close. Everyones has grown very close. So close, they're very comfortable making fun of me.
Well… I don't hate it.
"Hah… silly me, how could I not notice. Anyways, see you in a few hours," I started making for the door.
"Bye Miss Lily, bye Rudy's mommy," Sylphy followed alongside.
"Bye, Sylphy. Bye Rudy," Zenith waves me off.
"So long Sylphiette, so long Master," Lilia bows.
Opening the house door, I take one last glance behind me to see how they're doing.
"Is there another game the madam would like to partake in?" Lilia questioned.
"How about hangman?" Zenith proposed.
She picks out the game she knows she has somewhat an advantage in.
She has a diverse vocabulary.
"Very well, I'll get the tiles." Lilia walks to the game board case, and pulls out a case holding several tiles representing the alphabet.
Seeing as I'm running low on writing material, I decided to make something more permanent. Besides, they'll make good learning pieces for Aisha and Norn, when they grow up. Making all those games cost me quite a bit of effort, as I wanted it to be as eloquent looking as possible for my sisters, so they have small designs of pictures representing the letter, in the back.
The A is for apples, and whatnot.
I hope it'll be useful. An artist I am not… but I did try my best.
Watching these two women holding my game smiling at each other, I can't help but think I did something right.
I step outside. "Boy do I love it when a plan comes together. Now then, time for my mining operation. Let's go, Sylphy."
From priceless to pricey.
"I've been working on the railroad~"
"Aaaalll the livelong day~"
"I've been working on the rail-rail-road. Aaalll the livelong day~"
It is now the tail end of the winter solstice, and the fresh winds help cool me off, and carry my voice to echo off the mountain's walls. Currently, I stand inside of a ditch in the middle of a mountain. My body submerged in a hole in the ground, a whole three feet. Approximately, as the rim of the whole reaches my chest when standing vertically.
Because of a certain cute kouhai of mine, I had to skip the most thrilling parts of my morning exercises, so I couldn't go out hunting treants. Probably for the best. They're literally just growling trees.
Fighting a Sudowoodo gets boring real fast real quick.
So I might as well go to work in the mountains, and sing where no one can judge me.
Just me, and the cool winds. No one to tell me that my singing needs work.
"All the livelong day~" Sylphy pitches in.
Well, except her.
"Heh~" standing up I poke my head out of the pit, and see a young elven girl on her hands and knees, a faint green glow on her hands, as she's covered in dust, and mud as she hums along.
"W-what, it's catchy," she looks away from me, before continuing her training.
Well she's not wrong.
"Thank you, thank you. I'm here all day. By the way, how's it going?" I check in on her progress. Placing my elbows on the edge of the hole I rest my neck as I question her.
"Mhhu… it's difficult…" she continues pouring her mana through the ground.
I know right!
It wasn't in the original plan that I was going to hang out with her today, but you know what they say; not all plans survive first contact with the enemy.
Not that she's my enemy.
…or is she? Dun-dun-dun!
Anyways, the original plan as per usual, was to get my morning magical reps/training in, by going to the edge of the forest and killing some monsters. Sudowoodos mostly, but any other non flying type would do. As I strengthen my mana control through the Rasengan, and get more used to it in battle. I would get plenty of battle experience, while simultaneously getting stronger.
I thank you, Sudowoodos, or is Trevenants more accurate? Regardless, your sacrifices have not gone in vain.
In addition to the experience, I've also been collecting their wood. So like the native americans I make use of them in every sense of the word.
You as well tutorial npc who showed me all about them, their weaknesses, and how to scour their bodies for materials. Your value is underrated, but I will never forget you.
What was his name again, Laws Dragonborn?
"Alright, tell me in detail what you're having difficulty with?" I asked her.
"Details? Ah… um… sure," she sits up, still on her knees, arm cross as she contemplates, "well when I put my magic in the ground it starts going through, but then when I do it like Rudy wants it goes, um… whoosh," she uncrosses her arms throwing her left hand to the right pointing to it, "and wham," she throws her right hand pointing to the left, inadvertently hugging herself as she points in opposite directions.
Adorable, but continue.
"Then everything just becomes blurry, and it's like someones shaking my head… It's dizzying," she puts her hands on her head as she shakes it gently.
Yeahhh… that sounds about right.
To be fair, this is an intense magical exercise, and my first time performing was similar, but nothing you can do about it, all you can do is persevere.
"Don't worry, this is your first time. Just keep at it, and you'll get there. The clearer the image gets, the better you're getting."
"Got it!" uncrossing her arms she salutes, before frowning, "but can't Rudy just teach me, like all the other spells?"
"Yeah… about that…"
Well… considering this isn't a spell, and the only other way I can think of teaching this would be… the same way I learned it. Which means teaching her my massage skills, seeing as that is where this skill originated from, and seeing as I'm a hands-on teacher; I'm going to have to say…
Not a chance, little fairy. You're too young for that.
"This… spell is more of an exercise than anything else. Before I can teach you how to run, you gotta figure out how to walk. You gotta have a feeling how the technique works all by yourself, since everyone's body is different. The way you 'feel,' the spell isn't something that can be taught."
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
She must never know…
Hmm, I wonder If I should teach her the Rasengan?
No, scratch that. At its current form it's more or less a hand grenade, and it's not the ball of pure mana that I want it to be. Until I can perfect it, I'm not giving my student a hand grenade. Yet. I'll teach her the technique once I, myself, have mastered it.
"Hmm, got it. I'll do my best!" breaking me from my monologuing, she gets back on her hands and knees, closing her eyes, and starts channeling mana once more.
What a dutiful student. I will give you a gold star.
The Mana echo technique. Name pending, but as good as any. It is the technique I used for getting an insight into the inner workings of Lilia's body, but it could be used for any surface additionally. It's a technique that requires quite a bit of control, so I figured; two birds one stone. This training is sort of a litmus test to test it's use as a combat technique as well as strengthening ourselves.
Multitasking for the win!
Not being able to leave my adorable kouhai all by her lonesome, I needed a way to let her feel included. So I've doubled this seccion into both a training exercise and a money making exercise.
I'm a genius!
I get to train my precious student, and get an extra pair of hands to help me out, in my other endeavors. It's a win-win scenario. It's…golden…
The secondary purpose of today's endeavor is to make money after only thing more important than power for an adventurer is money after all. Well, really anyone really, but for adventurers who are essentially contracted mercenaries, doubly so. That's why we're mining. Have to get used to this somehow. It even makes for good training.
Wax on, wax off. So this is how sensei's feel when they come up with unique training methods.
…or maybe they were just trying to skimp out on some free labor?
I will never know.
Anyway, might be a bit foolish, but dragon's… dragons love gold, and mountains are known for being rich in minerals, sooo… Red Dragon mountain should have something valuable.
…hmm… I suddenly feel very silly. I feel like she might look at me with pitiful eyes if she could read my mind.
She must never know.
Regardless of my methods, this technique really is worth its weight in gold. So one way or another she's getting her money's worth. I get to strengthen her, keep her occupied, and I might even make some money by this day's end if all goes according to plan. All in all a very profitable day.
Long live operation, Gold Digger!
…I'm really glad she can't read my mind…
I named the project, in my head, the gold digging operation, but honestly I'll settle for bronze really. It doesn't even need to be something valuable, just something I can use.
I've got a long way to go. If I want to become the ideal version of myself. In three years, for better or worse, I'm going to fulfill the promise I made to Sylphy, and considering the current circumstances… it will be a… hassle. In essence I can't expect to have anyone's support, and will have to be independent, the both of us, from our parents. In order to do that I'm going to need to build stuff, and to do that you can either pay someone to get you the equipment necessary for that, or you can make it yourself. A craftsman I am not. But I could be. Everyone has to start somewhere, in my case the dragon mountain range is my beginning.
Sounds nice; Rudeus Greyrat, dragonborn.
Ooooh, I like that. Forget sorcerer supreme. Dragon lord is where it's at.
Wait a minute, aren't dragon's extinct in this world?
…hmm, tab on the name for now.
Odd naming sense aside. I did think this thoroughly.
Right now Sylphy and I are in our developmental years, where the best way to increase our mana reserves is by training. That said, the bigger our reserves get, the harder it gets to increase them.
Something like a very strong muscle.
If magic is a muscle in this example, and spells are weights, then rather than performing a saint class spell which would be the equivalent, for the sake of this example; let's say 100 pounds, then performing this 'lighter,' spells is the equivalent of carrying 20 pounds instead, but using them… really, really slowly. Straining the muscle by focusing on our control, and hence growing it, rather than just in pure power.
Plus we destroy the environment less this way. So less scaring the villagers with thunderstorms.
I wonder what they would think if I summoned a thunderstorm every other day.
A small house in the middle of nowhere covered in stormy clouds… am I a horror monster?
In any case, I chose to go about this through the use of Mana echo. I have high aspirations for this technique. It was once used as a CAT scan, now let's use it as a metal detector.
As expected its versatility was tested and the results were… varied. On one hand I found out both mine and Sylphy's control was amazing, sooo… banzai? But… the technique itself… needs work in certain areas.
Perform this technique on a human body, and you have an efficient x-ray technique, that gives you a 'feel,' of a person's inners. Sending mana through a rock though… leaves little to be desired.
The original idea was to send mana through the ground, and see what I can hit, and start digging from there, but… the environment is varied. Some areas are very mana absorbent… and sometimes it's not.
When sending the mana through the ground, the 'visualizing,' the feeling, is a little… off, and I get a cascade of signals.
There are simply too many 'signals' to go through..
Some areas absorbed mana easier. Some areas did not. And some areas, just let my mana pierce through, and through, and through… and then I stretched myself out, and can't feel anything. Both our reserves are on the large side, but they're not mountainous. When sending mana through Lilia, the core of the technique back then was purely based on control. Here though? In the wild, you have to be gentle when you have to be gentle, and you have to be forceful when you need to be forceful, and the variety of minerals in the ground sometimes throw the caster off, giving you a 'dizzy feeling,' if you will.
Like yelling into a cave.
The mana conductivity of different minerals varies, leaving varied results, and I'm still getting intune with the 'feel,' of iron, zinc and others.
This really is the ideal type of training that focuses on everything, power, control, and concentration. As every metal requires a unique touch, so you have to change your approach appropriately.
In essence; it's difficult.
I was wondering for a moment, if I perhaps upped the difficulty curve perhaps a little too much jumping from CAT scan to metal detector, but I really didn't think it would be this varied.
I raise my head over the horizon of the hole looking off to the side, and seeing a pile of metals laying a few feet away.
Well… there are successes even in failure.
It's not gold, but we're getting results. So we are going somewhere, even if we don't know where that 'where,' is.
So thank Millis for small victories, and all that.
Who knew this all started from massaging a maid.
I guess the saying is true… All great progress are made from great men pursuing great women.
Who said that?
Well, me obviously! I'm quite great.
So yeah, impressive technique. And although I can only reach about twenty meters, twenty meters is pretty far.
Turning my head away from the pile, I look back at Sylphy faithfully doing what I asked of her. I see her eyes closed in concentration, as she breathes steadily in and out, only to interrupt herself occasionally with a flinch or a frown, and a twitch of her ear, dear and there, but persevering nonetheless.
You sure are working hard aren't you… maybe you really are a shonen protagonist. If we were just a few years older, I could see myself falling for you.
…WAIT A MINUTE! Does that make me a heroine?!
Regardless, I hope she's not overdoing it.
"You know you can take a break right. There's no need to push yourself too hard. You've already done enough."
Take a break, green fairy. All work and no play make Sylphy a dull girl.
"You don't want to pull a me, do yah? I'm a horrible role model."
"Rudy…" she frowns.
"That's not funny."
I wasn't exactly joking, but…
I look at her peeved expression.
How often do I actually see her angry?
I'll shut up.
Also you know you don't look intimidating at all right. It's only when the mana starts flowing that the hairs on the back of my neck start rising.
I will never tell her that though.
I should also tell her I wasn't joking. Even if she's not intimidating, that's no reason to start a fight. It feels like that might happen if I bring it up.
That and this is supposed to be a productive day, not a self-destructive day.
Rubbing the back of my head I apologize, "uh… sorry, my bad, but seriously, working too hard is bad for you. Remember the first time you overdid our magic exercises, and were leapfrogging all over the place. Remember what happened?"
I had the benefit of practicing this technique by massaging Lilia, she on the other hand, is just diving into the deep end.
"I-I'll be careful. I can still keep going. I'm… I'm not gonna pull a Rudy."
…was that a pun?
I'm proud of you. Note to self; head pat young kohai.
"But…" she lowers her voice, looking down, "If I keep doing this then I'll get stronger right?".
"Then I can do it," she raises her head, "I'm a big girl!" She puts her fist to her chest, before nodding her head.
Definitely a shonen protagonist.
"Surrrre you are…"
And I'm the demon king.
Say that when I can't carry you with one arm. No strengthening magic needed.
"Mhuu…" she pouts, before redoubling her efforts, putting her hands back to the ground.
How dutiful. Oh, wait, that's Lilia. How… diligent? Yeah! How diligent of you green fairy.
Training aspect of it aside. I really do hope we can sell that metal we dug up. I don't have the smithing skills to make use of it, so I'll just have to sell it instead, but… is there even a smithery in this village? What to do…
More and more, as I play and train with Sylphy, it's becoming more and more obvious that money is going to be an issue for me in the future. Paper, wood… armor, swords, wands, tents, and on and on, the list goes.
Money really is the source of all the world's problems isn't it?
Did you think that play was cheap?
No. That too cost me. What? My dignity!
As for the details…
I just… had to be my mother's dress-up doll for a whole day.
But really! Who knew books were so expensive?!
Lord knows I didn't. I mean I did, but I didn't know by how much. I almost died of shock when I asked Zenith.
Well, they're loaded. I'm just a spoiled brat.
But that's something that can be taken care of. Perhaps even today!
But first thing first.
"Take a break, that's an order. Teacher's orders are absolute." I peek my head out, and look at the sun's placement. There's still several hours left of sunlight, but she's done enough for now. "There is such a thing as working too hard. Sit down and rest. Besides, I've almost reached my objective, we'll be out of here in a jiffy."
Halting her exercising, she stands resting her elbows on the edge of her hole, "You said that an hour ago."
"No I didn't."
"Yes you did!"
"Nooo… it was more like thirty five minutes ago?"
Not my fault, there was a surplus of metals in the way, and I wasted my time digging them out. I can't help it if they're in the way.
"Don't worry, I mean it. We'll be done in a moment."
"You better, hmph," she stands up, puffs her cheeks, and turns away. She just pulled a Zenith.
How could you?! T-That's copyright! I-It's illegal.
"So demanding…" I whispered.
"I heard that!" she frowns, as she sits on top of a small pile of metals, arms crossed.
…right, elf. Oops?
"...we can go sledding after this." I pacified her.
With things warming up, this might be the last day we can work some snow fun in. I had to wash away a lot of the melting snow just to dig here.
I guess we'll be surfing soon. Or… we could surf down the mountain? That's a fun thought.
Before any of that though, it's best to pursue money making idea 300. Well, more like idea 14, but that doesn't have the same ring to it.
Aside from selling the metal, even if I don't have the right skills, yet, storing a lot of it away for a future endeavor is also an option. From a hot air balloon, to the printing press, my mind has been rolling with the possibilities. I can't say I remember all the components piece by piece, blame the education system, but I do remember the general premise of how it works, and through trial and error, I could invent something along those lines. Probably. I've already gone through a slight trial with the air balloon project, and so I know with enough effort I can get there. But there's a catch.
That even trials cost money.
Talk about a type 22.
I have plenty of magical inventions that I want to bring to existence in this world that I feel would make combat, and exploration a synch. A hand glider, hot air balloon, claw, blowdart, tripwire, etc. etc. The possibilities are endless. But in order to get these things…
Well… you get the idea.
It would be a crime not to invent these things after burning up so many bed sheets.
And falling… so much falling…
Honestly, I have to make it. The hot air balloon, and other items revolving around flying don't exist in this world, so I'm going to need to bring it into existence, if I want my dreams to…
…I'm glad no one can look into my head, oh wait Hitogami!
Well, if you're reading my thoughts, oh-suspicious figure, who is clearly not Truth from Fullmetal. Enjoy my dad's jokes for the next ten years.
Is that cruel and unusual punishment?
Serves him right!
Where was I?
Oh right. Money!
"Jackpot!" Throwing away the pickaxe, I threw my hand into the pit.
"What did you find Rudy?" Sylphy questioned from on above the hole.
"No idea!" I yelled.
"Then why did you say jackpot?!"
"Because I struck gold!"
I dug my hand into the dirt, and raised a black stone to the sky as I put it above my eye. It can't be larger than an eight ball.
"It doesn't look like gold!" She yells.
"I meant metaphorically!"
Note to self, teach Sylphy metaphors-wait a minute, aren't metaphors exclusively linked with the world's common sense. Of which I am lacking…
I did hit some good spots here and there. I've been hitting piles and piles of silver or bronze looking material. Emphasis on the looking, if the way my mana interacts with them is anything to go by, they're not all the same metal, and just look similar to each other. Anyways, I've dug up quite a few minerals, and noticed that some of them are very sensitive to mana, and some are extremely resistant. But this little stone was different. It shows up as nothing, but a black dot in my head, similar to that clottage I found in Lilia all those years ago.
I wonder if we should have a review session, or would that be bad for the baby?
Things to ask Zenith later.
I feel a smirk spreading across my face.
A mana resistant, possibly immune material. Jackpot.
It might not be gold, but it's bound to be valuable. I'll have to find a use for it later.
"...whatever… let's get this cash bag out of here," throwing the small obsidian piece into a knapsack attached to my hip. I'm done for the day.
"Are you done yet Rudy?" Sylphy questioned as I made my way out of the ditch.
"I told you, you would be bored if you came with me."
"Mhuu," she pouted, "but Rudy's been leaving me in the dust lately. Always disappearing by himself."
"I knew you wouldn't find it interesting, and there are times I'll have to do things by myself."
"Fine, I just didn't think you would rather play in the dirt than with me."
"Dirt?! I'll have you know this is," I pat the knapsack at my side, "... is probably very valuable. At any rate this will be part of our adventuring gear in the near future."
Probably. I still have no idea what it is, or how to work it, so only time will tell.
"And it is?" She lets the question trail off.
"But! It's extremely mana resistant. It's either so mana resistant, it can resist a great deal of mana, or even better immune, either way, I'm confident I could make some use for this in the future.
A magic resistant material. I could make use of this.
"If nothing else. I can always sell it. It's bound to be more valuable than gold."
"Yeah, yeah. I know…," I ruffled my hair. "But it hasn't been a total waste of time, right? How'd you like the new spell?"
Should I compliment her hair one more time?
"But… it's useful, Rudy's right. We'll probably get stronger using this."
"Of course, was there ever any doubt?"
Stop that. Your silence is deadly.
"Anyways!" I ignored her pause. "Yes, we're done, let's clean up and start going home."
Jumping out of the pit, I looked at my surroundings.
It's a minefield.
Whoa… I made a mess.
As I look around I see the evidence of my past diggings over the last few days, when I did this exercise by my lonesome. For a moment I thought of filling them in during the first day, when I came here by myself, but if I did that I'd risk the chance of digging in the same location.
It's been quite tedious.
Still though, I'm glad I brought Sylphy along.
All I did was tell her to practice the technique, and talk to her here and there, but just having someone to talk to goes a long way.
Am I becoming a normie?
"I sure have come a long way from my hikkimori days."
"What's a hikkimori?" Sylphy asked.
I turned to Sylphy's side, and looked upon the small reserve of Iron she's sitting upon. "Now start putting as much as you can of that pile in your knapsack, and I'll help carry the rest to Geralt's horse."
At least I've made some headway in one way or another. Even if I won't make a good bang for my buck, in the short run, the training she got from this will go a long way in the future.
Unfortunately it's heavy. Fortunately, we have a horse.
Thank you, Geralt.
I had to make a small price to pay in the form of owing him one, but that's fine. Apparently having a noble owing you one goes a long way.
I mean I could always shamelessly 'forget' but he seems like a decent guy, so I'll help him out.
Now that I think about it I could pay him back with a pound of iron.
"All done," she says, her knees shaking under the weight of two heavy knapsacks.
You really are working hard today aren't you, but…
I look at her hunched figure, and wobbly knees.
Must… resist… urge..
I tap her in the forehead, causing her to tip over.
I could not.
"Wa-wa-Ahh!" she waves around her arms, reaching to hold something, before failing and falling over.
…the urge was too strong.
"Rudy!" she yells as she lays on her back like a tipped over as a turtle.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Ha ha! I couldn't resist. Here," I reached for the bags over her shoulder, freeing her from the weight, "let me help you out."
"I hate you…" free from half of the weight she sits up, and crosses her arms looking at me with a slightly red face, and a small pout.
"No, you don't." I adjust the bag, and place it on my back.
"...at least Rudy's having fun." Sylphy cleaned herself, wiping herself down, before getting up and coming to my side.
"Don't worry. We're done here. Let's go."
"Soooo… sledding?" she asked, tilting her head.
"I still have to carry the metal down the mountain, and return Geralt's horse and pickaxe."
Actually… where did I throw that thing?
…I'll have to give him a noticeably large piece of metal now.
"You can go ahead of me, and I'll meet with you on our training hill."
"...mhuu…" Sylphy pouts.
"Then we can play."
"Yay!" She smiles brightly, throwing her hands in the air.
Gotta protect this treasure. She makes these boring days a little more tolerable.
This is what it is all about. Two happy women back home, one adorable student at my side, all smiles all the way around. Even my own.
You know what… fuck it. Let's throw caution to the wind.
I throw the bag off me, and cast it aside.
"Ah, screw it. Geralt can wait a little. Hey Sylphy?"
"Did you bring your kite up here on the mountain or did you leave it at the base?"
"It's right here," with a twist of her wrist a wind is summoned, and flying into her hands is her kite. "I'm always ready."
We'll see about that.
"Good. is it in good condition?"
"Hai. I take care of my treasures," she hugs it towards herself.
"That's perfect. Now, do you remember how we used to use our magic during our Roxy days?"
She nods her head slowly.
"Perfect. Today we're going to use water magic in a similar way. Get ready to experience a water slide."
The kite might be thin, but it should be able to endure one trip.
"What about the bags?" she tilts her head to the weight on her back.
"It's fine. Take it off, and I'll come back for it. After all, it's not like there's any thieves in the mountains. It can wait, you've waited long enough. Let's have some fun."
She blushes, turning her head to the side, and putting a sleeve over her mouth.
…I might have raised a flag, but at this point I don't care. I just want to return the favor.
It's all fine and dandy to get rich, but what good is all the money and power in the world, if I can't even smile.
I patted her.
"R-Rudy, what are you doing?"
"Nothing~ I just promised myself earlier that I patted you today. Do you want me to stop?" With one arm around her, my other pats her head.
"...I didn't say that," she whispers, leaning into my hand as I patted her.
This is priceless.