Table of Contents
Princess Mayardus stared at me arrogantly, knowing she had me trapped. The Count’s family looked on anxiously, awaiting my response while Lilinor stood to the side with an amused expression.
I closed my eyes to think.
‘There must be a way out of this one. Although she’s clearly trying to make things difficult for me, she must have a purpose for this. If I can grasp that then maybe I can find a way out, there no such thing as a perfect trap, right?’
I got some inspiration from the word ‘Perfect’.
‘It can’t be perfect, she isn’t omnipotent. There must be a way to get a positive result for me.’
“Johra? Why are you taking so long? You couldn’t have fallen asleep right?”
Ignoring her teasing, I tried to think faster.
‘What if it really is the perfect setup? The Count can’t go against the Princess’ will. Her will… wait, for royalty their honor is even more important than their lives. Yes, that’s her weakness.’
I opened my eyes and met her gaze.
“Have you come up with your requests?”
“Yes, I’m confident that the Count can accept them and that it wouldn’t betray your Majesty’s honor.”
Her eyes glittered with fascination, wondering what I had come up with.
‘I’m sure you won’t have seen this one coming.’
“My first request is for you to give me three examples of what you consider to be reasonable requests. My second request is the right to pick one out of those three.”
The princess’ complexion changed dramatically whereas the Count remained neutral.
I had satisfied as her demands and gotten around her trap. Since she was the one making the suggestions the Count is sure to accept them. Also, her honor would prevent her from giving too small of a request, so I was sure to gain something.
Lilinor gave me a pat on the back, impressed with my choice. Surprisingly, the princess also had a satisfied smile, just like when she lost to me in chess, she was gracious in defeat.
“Count Sion, are his requests acceptable?”
“Indeed they sound fair.”
After nodding back, with an air of nobility she commanded.
“Everyone except Johra can leave, I will announce my requests in private.”
As they all left the room she sported a mischievous smile.
“Good, so my first example is for you to ask for my hand in marriage. The second is to request all of my property. The last one is to ask me about this key, you can also choose all three….”
She pulled out an unremarkable key the size of one’s index finger and placed it on the table.
‘How cunning! She is basically forcing me to choose the the third one. Although the first too aren’t simple requests which would go against her honor, they are so over the top that if I were to choose them I would anger the entire royal family. It’s another one of her traps!’
My face turned red from thinking too much.
“Johra I’ve never seen any material like the one the key is made out of. It’s atomic weight is over 2,000.”
Lena spoke to me covertly.
‘Uh…. what a suspicious looking key. So much so that it is making me curious as to its identity. Although I do sense a hint of danger from it, it feels like fate, such an annoying result since I don’t have much of a choice right?’
After some time, I decided to pick up the key.
“I see, so have you decided on the key?”
I nodded back.
“Just as I expected. Well, now that I’ve accomplished everything I came here to do, I should be heading back. Still, I was half hoping you would choose me as well.”
She said with a coquettish smile, somewhat peeved that I was able to ignore her charms.
“What is this key used for?”
“We don’t know, it is an heirloom which has been passed down in our royal family for generations. All we know is that the key will show us the way.”
“Is it some sort of prophecy?”
“Just don’t go spreading news of this around. This is a big secret of our royal family, with devastating consequences.”
“I understand, thank you for entrusting it to me.”
“Not at all, instead I should be thanking you instead for volunteering to investigate the mysteries of this key which has confounded my family for so long. If you come to the capital, be sure to visit me. Keep this with you so that it will be easy for you to meet me. Good, Count Sion, prepare the wagon I’ll be on my way.”
She disappeared as quickly as she had arrived, leaving a golden pendant engraved with the royal family’s emblem in hand.
“A mysterious key huh… let’s just be glad I’ve avoided the calamity.”
Putting the key and pendant in my pocket, I headed back to my room. The Count’s family seeing how tired I was didn’t ask any questions and just allowed me to go.
When I arrived, Viezda and Lilinor were already there, waiting for me.
“Good job, it was a nice battle of wits.”
“Master has everything been resolved?”
After giving her a curt nod, I lied down and quickly fell asleep. I was so tired from having my nerves on the edge for the last few hours.
“Good job Johra, it was one step more.”
I once again heard the voice which sounded like Lilinor’s, but came from somewhere else. It’s like having something at the tip of your tongue but being unable to grasp it.
“Who are you?”
“You’ll know when the time is right.”
“Can’t you simply just tell me now?’
“ No. It it also due to a promise on your part.”
“Why is it that I can’t remember?”
As I woke I saw Lilinor’s cute, child from sleeping peacefully. One would never imagine that she was in fact a terrifyingly large dragon. Viezda was on the floor, sleeping with her head leaning against the bed.
“Viezda why are you sleeping in such an uncomfortable position?”
Picking her up I carried her over to her own bed.
“Master, please don’t leave me….”
“Don’t worry, I’m right here.”
After setting her down gently I stroked her hair. She held my hand firmly as she closed her eyes again.
The moonlight shone through the window, creating a serene atmosphere. I held her hand and watched patiently as she fell asleep.
“Wouldn’t it be great if the world was always this peaceful?”
“Johra, the language package is ready.”
After hearing the good news, I immediately set out to the estate’s library. The Count had already given me access to most places in the manor.
“Wow, this is bigger than I expected.”
Turning on the magic powered lamps, I began searching through the bookshelves.
“Just stand in front of it. I’ll send the nanobots to do the analysis, it should take approximately 5 minutes per bookcase.
By letting Lena read all these books, it could expand her database and could make her future analyses far more accurate.
All the books which Count’s family had collected over the years were all held in this room. It was a tremendous amount of knowledge, from the royal family to history, culture, magic, geography, dungeons, treasure and ancient relics. It had it all.
If one were to try and read all of it it would be far too time consuming, and by the time you had finished you would have probably forgotten so much of it that it was no longer useful. But by having Lena scan it, it would take only one night and I could have her access it at any point in time.
There were about 30 books per row and 8 rows in each bookcase. The ability to read around 240 books in 5 minutes was just too much of a cheat….
“Johra we’ve finished this bookcase.”
“Did you read all of it?”
I asked her as we moved on to the next one. The nanobots were so small that they were invisible to my eyes, I was a bit suspicious and wondered if she had just glanced over parts of the books.
“Of course I finished it all Johra. The bookcase was mainly about History and I learned some interesting things. Like that they often refer to God as an existing being and describe some unknown materials with quite a lot of detail.
“Indeed, I also believe that there is at least one God in this world.”
“Is that so? How interesting. It also mentioned how skills and magic originated from the first God.”
“I don’t doubt that either.”
“There are even abilities that allow one to view people’s Status, as if it were a game back on Earth.”
“Yes, I also have that ability.”
“Truly? Just like in some game?”
“It’s pretty similar yes.”
“How fascinating, how did Earth and this world even come into contact.”
I explained to Lena all I knew about those that had been reincarnated here such as myself.
“It seems like there are more than a few people from Earth which have been summoned here.”
Lena continued, “perhaps judging on by the similarities between games back on Earth and this world, we can infer that some beings have likewise crossed over to Earth.
“Really? Are you sure that people from this world have gone to Earth?”
“Well, what if….”
“Do you know of one?”
“Well there was one, but he didn’t stay on Earth but fled to the outer reaches of the galaxy.”
“Was it Metatron? I indeed read a record of an incredible battle named the Celestial War where Metatron fought against the a group of Gods, before finally escaping.
“Hmmm It should be the showdown between Metatron and the High Gods.”
“According to the book, Metatron was in favor of totalitarian-like control of everyone’s lives whereas the High Gods leaned more towards freedom. The cause of their war was this crucial difference of opinion, and as a result all those from Metatron’s camp were either killed or sealed away.”
“Sealed? Do you have any data regarding this?”
“Nothing concrete, just vague mentioning of it in old literature, but many text have been lost in time or in the possesion of Demons.”
“Yes, they inhabit some dungeons, it’s actually a quite well known fact.”
“Really, the exist in dungeons?”
“Right, It is the place where the Gods who sided with Metatron were cursed and sealed away, it’s actually not too far from here.”
“I’ll have to check that out later. Did you learn anything else that’s useful?”
“Once we’ve finished scanning all the documents then I’ll organize them properly and report back to you. For now please move on to the next one.”
I spent the night going from bookcase to bookcase until we finished scanning everything.
“Johra, I’ve finished compiling all the data and there are some interesting things. I think we even have a hint regarding the key.”
“The key you received yesterday from the Princess.”
“So what did you find?”
“Well, it isn’t so much about the key.”
“Well there is this place in the South Pole called God’s Tower which has never been opened. I checked the door carefully and I noticed that the patterns in the book match exactly those on the key.”
“Really? Then it must be the right key to open it. But what is this God’s tower? What was it built for?”
“Unfortunately there isn’t enough information, we’ll have to collect some more data.”
“Understood, in the future I’ll try to find a larger library, but this should be enough for today.”
“Oh right, I’ve also accumulated a lot of data about some runes. With the right designs, supplemented by magic stones, we can create a wide array of magic spells.”
“Well, magic stones aren’t that easy to obtain. Also, magic stones already contain magic power that help you cast spells, so what’s the point of inscribing them with these runes?”
“Well, a magic stone that has been inscribed with a special rune can hold up to double the amount of mana.”
“Well at least it’s some interesting knowledge.”
“For example, we can extract the mana from the magic stones just like we did for your ship Valen, and then make an array.
“Then what kind of magic arrays are possible?”
“I think it should be possible to create a spatial storage tool and teleportation circles, but I would need to run some tests first.”
“That sounds very useful!”
“Well it’s just a theory at the moment, but I think it’s possible.”
“Magic stones… those are pretty expensive. In the end it always come down to money doesn’t it?”
“It should be easy no? You can simply create gold and sell it at high prices.”
“Yea but if I sell too much people will begin to suspect where it came from and maybe investigate. No, I’ll have to find a more mundane solution.”
“Like your chess venture?”
“Ok cheer up, I’m sure you’ll think of something. In the meantime I’ll continue to organize and analyze all the data we just obtained.”
By the time I came back to my room, Viezda had already woken up.
Her face basking in the morning sunrise was truly quite lovely.
“Viezda, we need to go someplace.””
“Huaaaam Johra? Didn’t you sleep last night?”
Lilinor let out a big yawn as she looked up at me in surprise.
“I slept a little, do you want to join us?”
“Where are you going?”
“To a dungeon to hunt monsters..”
After hearing Lena’s story about those legendary dungeons, I made it my goal to collect as many ancient books in the hands of those demons and we could you the chance to train as well.
“It should be fun. Unlike the forest, dungeons are filled with strong and wicked demons. I’m sure I’ll enjoy watching you fight them.”
“Just watching? Won’t you help out?”
“I’m basically a neutral party.”
“But you’re supposed to be my friend.”
“Well I guess if your life is in danger I’ll lend a hand.”
I prepared my stuff for the trip and informed the Count about my intentions at the breakfast table.
“I’ll be heading out for a couple days.”
“Where will you be going Johra?”
“I’ll go dungeon hunting.”
“Oh that might be more than just a couple days.”
“Johra, It’s some bad timing because I just received my father’s permission to join you on some adventure quests.”
Jillian said, full of disappointment. He was finally allowed to tag along with Johra’s group for regular quests, but not something dangerous like demon hunting.
“I actually have something you can help me with, Jillian.”
“I plan on opening up an official chess store in Gartmar. I want you to work together with Levin to make sure it is successful. I think this can bring in a lot of profits.”
I was surprised by how much of a hit chess had been with the royal family, and wanted to distance myself from it. I figured giving the business to the Count’s family to run would be a great idea.
I still have a lot to pack so I’ll get going. Viezda and Lilinor will also be joining me.”
After we finished packing I had Levin bring the carriage around and we took it to Gartmar.
“Thank for the lift Levin, we’ll go by foot from here.”
“Ok, I’ll head back first then. Stay safe and don’t forget to bring me back a present!”
“Sure, I’ll try to prepare something, but we aren’t exactly going sightseeing.”
I waved him off as he departed with a smile.
“We have so much to do, let’s get going.”
“Yes” The girls replied in unison.